WARNING: Very High Angst Lemon, Proceed With Caution, Kleenex Warning
[Sequel to Tragic Secrets; Book 6 of the "Secrets" Arc, Final Installment of arc]
Author: Enigma
Written: October & November, 2000
Cumulative Rating: NC-17
Pairings: (1x2/2x1) (3x4/4x3) (5+S)
Category: Angst, yaoi, AU
Cumulative Warnings: Angst, lemon, yaoi, sap, AU, OOC
Be Prepared: Kleenex Warnings!! also: avoid Colas
DISCLAIMERS: I don't own Gundam Wing or any other anime or TV characters I use here, just the ideas in this story and some characters that are new are truly mine. Any reference to copyrighted material or trademarked goods should be considered an "homage" (yeah, right!) Don't sue me, even the lawyers wouldn't enjoy it, except of course for the Ashe and Jojo characters!
NOTE: Timeframe---after the war has ended and the Gundams were destroyed. //yada, yada, yada// = inner thoughts

Silencing The Secrets
Part 19

Wednesdays were never any special day to Heero but after what happened the next day, they became his favorite day of the week.

Everyone seemed to be heading out early for various reasons. Celcia, Quatre, and Trowa left with Trixie to fly into the city for the meeting with the adoption board. The kids were rather hyper since Vash couldn't go to school and Laurel's class was going on a field trip. Wufei had gotten news from Sally the night before that he was needed to handle some things he didn't wish to discuss and had gladly accepted an offer to fly to Preventer's headquarters with Rex. This left Heero and Duo with the whole house to themselves, but Duo wasn't interested.

In actuality, Duo had been awake all night wondering just what he thought he was doing as far as his relationship with Heero went. Every time the two were alone, it seemed to him, he got the overwhelming desire to do things he wasn't sure about. He'd argued with himself that it wasn't fair to Heero to lead him on the way he had and it wasn't fair to himself to let things go as out of control as he felt. After thinking it through during the night, Duo had come to a conclusion. He would take a walk into town and make a decision. Either he was going to pursue Heero Yuy and restore what they had before his secret heart condition had interfered or he was going to apologize to the man who had saved his life for no longer being who he had been and plan a life without him. After breakfast, he went back to his room to get his hiking boots and gear to head out for a day of solitary decision making.

Heero, however, had other plans. He, too, had been awake all night and had overheard Duo arguing with himself.

//So, today's the deadline, ne?// Heero had watched his former lover leave to get ready for his travels. //Then today will have to be the last day I try to get things straightened out with him.//

Heero had reviewed his own feelings through the night as well. No matter how many times he tried to convince himself otherwise, his mind always retraced its steps to the belief that Duo did still love him and all Heero needed to do was get Duo to see what he could see already. If it wasn't love, then there was certainly lust, since every chance he'd gotten Duo had been the one to initiate their moments of intimacy whether fulfilled or interrupted. He preferred that the answer to the question be "love" but for now he would gladly accept "lust", but either way it did no good if the braided American cut him out of his life. Granted, Heero could not possibly imagine his friend and lover being a monk, one of the options he had argued with himself in the hours before dawn, but it certainly indicated to Heero how desperate Duo was to come to a conclusion of some sort.

Duo came back out of the hallway and Heero was stunned momentarily. The long braid was loose and free, the chestnut hair held back at only a single point at the base of the neck while Duo fumbled with his hat. A black Outback-style hat was fighting Duo's attempts to get it to fit well and it was winning rather easily. He was wearing a simple all black outfit of short sleeves over the same cut-offs which had driven Heero to distraction the day before but the sturdy boots looked well-worn.

"Need a hand there?" Heero offered, getting up from the table to see why the hat was winning.

Grunting in disgust, Duo tossed the hat to him. "Here. The damned thing has a mind of its own today. I can't get the brim to lay properly."

"Really? Let's see," Heero scrunched the leather under his powerful fingertips until there was a satisfying crinkling sound as he broke it back into shape. He handed it back to its owner who looked pleased. "How's that?"

"Thanks, Heero," Duo smiled and pulled out his dark sunglasses as he walked to the door.

"Where you headed?" Heero called after him noting the slight hesitation before he got an answer.

"Just felt like a walk, that's all. I'll be back later." Duo headed for the door in a hurry but not quick enough to escape the rejoinder.

"Mind if I come along? I'll be bored out of my mind and a walk sounds good." Heero's tone was pleasantly neutral hoping Duo wouldn't flat out refuse. He didn't.

"Well, I was looking forward to getting out by myself, but it might be a good idea if you came along." Duo sounded a little worried but then smiled. "If I leave you here alone, odds are you'll go back to trying to be a gardener and get bit by a snake like Vash did! Grab some good walking shoes, though, it's about ten kilometers round trip."

"No problem, be ready in a second." Heero sighed in relief as he went to pull on the first pair of hiking boots he could find and discovered they were getting tight. Discounting the slight pain, he grabbed a hat and returned to join Duo and they headed out. Slight disappointment registered as he noted the braid had been replaited while he got his shoes.

They covered over half of the distance to town in companionable silence, a relief to Duo who was still trying to decide his fate. Seemingly from nowhere, his thoughts were broken by a quiet curse. "Shimatta!" He looked for Heero and realized he was a solid fifty paces behind him.

"Yo, Heero! What's wrong? What are you doing so far behind?" Duo turned and walked back to him automatically when he noticed annoyance and pain written on Heero's face. "Got a rock in your shoe?"

Grimacing, Heero leaned down to retie the laces on his boots for the fifth time. "No, damned boots are too tight." He laughed at himself in disgust. "Can you imagine how incredibly stupid I feel out here slowing you down just because my feet hurt?"

Duo laughed but regretted it when Heero looked even more angry with himself. "Hey, man, that's okay. Sit down and take them off, let me see if there's anyway to restructure them a little for you."

Surprised by the offer, Heero limped over to a patch of shade with some grass and plopped down gracelessly. He pulled the laces free and yanked the boots off discovering just why he was having so much trouble. He'd developed an impressive array of blisters that looked like they'd only get worse before they got better.

"Oh, man! This is too much!" He moaned and fell back to lay on the grass doing his best not to yell at himself for failing his mission because of footwear.

"You got that right, Heero, old buddy! What the Hell were you thinking wearing these?" Duo was surprised to realize they were the same boots Heero had worn when he piloted the original Wing Gundam and they were now easily two or three sizes too small.

Throwing an arm over his eyes in defeat, Heero admitted, "I don't think I *was* thinking, Duo." He sighed as his friend looked at him perplexed. "Actually, that's probably what's wrong with me lately anyway, I'm just not thinking! I had some crazy idea that if I came with you we could talk, but this is just not working out the way I thought it would."

Heero was furious with himself, assuming he'd just lost his chance at rebuilding a future with Duo. "Why don't you go on into town without me. I'll just slow you down."

Duo, starting to get a better feel for what had suddenly made Heero so angry with himself, sat down next to him. "Sorry, pal, no can do." He grinned when Heero's arm fell away and Heero looked at him in disbelief. "Let's see, what did I tell you once? Oh yeah. I repeat, 'if you insist on going to Hell, then I'm coming along for the ride!'"

on to part 20

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