Duo stood before the full length mirror which hung on the inside of his bedroom closet door, several feet
between the shimmering glass and his visibly shaken body. He was almost sorry he had begged Quatre to
replace it, the first one becoming a casualty of his more than month old rage. Eyeing his reflection
carefully, Duo's concentrated mostly on his face. 'Its definitely got character' he smiled, closing the closet
Wufei entered the room several minutes later finding Duo spread on his bed reading. Duo was lying on
his stomach, with his legs bent at the knees, his calves crossing, his bare feet moving in time to some
rhythm only he could hear. He was wearing an incredibly tight pair of black jeans and a sleeveless short
white lycra shirt, which hugged his body nicely, a wide band of flesh visible around his lower torso. Wufei
took several long appreciative looks, and wondering when he started finding Duo so incredibly delightful to
look at, scolded himself for the stares and spoke.
"Duo, we're going out for a while, wanna come with us ?" Wufei asked.
Duo thought for a moment "No, thanks, I'm just going to stay here and read.", his attention immediately
returning to his book.
Wufei's face turned solemn "Duo….You have barely left the house the past five weeks and for three weeks
before that in the hospital. We have to go back to school next week. I think you should come with us. It
will do you good to get out, Duo."
Duo gave his words some thought and then rolled over onto his side to face Wufei, his cropped shirt now
allowing Wufei a clear view of his tight stomach muscles. "I'm really not in the mood to go out, Wu. I'm
enjoying being a recluse." He smiled, his violet eyes offering their famous glint.
"Suit yourself !" Wufei told him as he made his way from the room.
Duo was visibly nervous that Sunday evening at dinner.
The four boys had decided to spend their last remaining hours together before school re-started. Sitting
around the large table in the den, the four engrossed in a very serious game of poker. Duo was slightly
tipsy from the several glasses of wine he had enjoyed earlier, yet his demeanor was still quite serious.
The others knew he was apprehensive about going back to school in the morning.
"I think I'm gonna get drunk." Duo announced out of nowhere "Anyone wanna join me ?" he winked.
Noting it was still early, the four refilled their glasses and indulged themselves. They played several of
their favorite drinking games and were grew generally giddy. The silliness ensued for a few hours, before
Quatre noted the time "Ummm…………I think it's time we all headed for bed. School in the morning !" he
Moans and groans filled the room, no one wanting the evening to end.
Duo was, as was his intention, the drunkest of them all.
Wufei helped his inebriated roommate up the stairs and into their room, plopping the very tired, but still
smiling Duo on his bed.
"That was fun, eh Wu ?" he questioned, a huge smile on his face.
"Yeah, it was Duo." Wufei smiled toward Duo, who was now attempting to stand and remove his clothes
for bed. Thinking better of it, Duo instead sat on the edge of the bed and slowly pulled the small white
shirt over his head. Wufei could see several scars on Duo's upper body. Though they were apparently
quite old, they were obvious from the distance of the room.
Duo stood and started to unbutton his pants, went he lost his balance and fell giggling onto the floor
"Whooooops !!!" He chuckled, failing again at his attempt to stand.
Wufei lifted him by his upper arms to stand and holding him stationary, allowed Duo to safely remove his
jeans. Falling backwards on to the bed, Duo closed his eyes "Thanks, Wu-chan. Don't know what I'd do
without you !"
Pulling himself up to a standing position, Duo headed for the bathroom and returned several minutes
later, making his way across the room, his nearly naked body now standing in front of the full length
mirror. His eyes taking in every inch of his form,…. his face showing displeasure at the view.
Wufei watched him from the corner of his eye from his bed on the other side of the room.
Then clearing his throat, Wufei offered "You look fine, Duo. Go to bed."
"Huh ?!" Duo replied, taken off guard by Wufei's words, which had brought him back from his lost stares.
Wufei laughed "Your body.." Wufei continued "It looks just fine, Duo, go to bed. We have to be up early
in the morning."
Lifting the hem of his black boxers up a little higher on his thigh, Duo frowned at the entirety of the huge
scar. "You think they will let me out of gym until…..."
"Until the scar goes away, Duo ? You are just going to have to learn to deal with." Wufei cut him off, then
continued, making his way to stand behind Duo. "It's not going away, Duo……ever."
Wufei didn't mean to be so brutal in his assessment, the hurt of his words were clear in Duo's eyes. "I'm
sorry, Duo…I didn't mean to…" His words were cut off as Duo turned toward him, his arms surrounding
Wufei's neck, the entire length of Duo's body pressed up against his. Wufei's arms gently made their way
around Duo's waist and burying his head in Wufei's neck, Duo started to cry.
Wufei was mentally uncomfortable with Duo's emotional need and physically uncomfortable that Duo was
standing so incredibly close to him. Breaking the embrace, Wufei eased the now silent Duo backward a
bit. Duo looked toward the black eyed pilot and bringing his hand to rest on the back of Wufei's head,
pulled the shocked pilot toward him, Duo's lips now pressing hard against his, Duo's mouth opening in
invitation. Wufei's tongue finding it's way into Duo's open mouth, his hands now pulling the very
sensuous boy closer to him.
Never breaking the kiss or the now very tight embrace, the two made their way across the room, Wufei
falling to the bed, pulling Duo down on top of him. Increasing the passion of the kiss, Duo pushed his hips
downward to rub his growing erection against Wufei's fully hard length. Letting out a small moan, Wufei
thrust himself upward, Duo grunting lowly into Wufei's mouth.
Breaking the kiss for air, Wufei let his fingers dance down the soft flesh of Duo's naked back, increasing
the pressure his digits were applying until they reached the elastic band of Duo's boxers.
"Mmmmmmmm…….Duo" Wufei almost purred. Duo looked down into the Chinese pilots eyes, his violet
eyes hungry with passion…....and fear.
Duo dismounted the boy beneath him and sat beside him on the bed.
"I'm sorry, Wufei…..I just can't." he told the now seated and more than slightly disappointed Wufei, his
eyes never leaving Wufei's gaze.
Standing to make his way across the room, Duo continued "It's not that I don't want to, I *really* want
to, Wufei……" he smiled, turning to Wufei, before continuing in a more serious tone "It's just that…….that
I'm still in love…….with Heero." The last of his words coming painfully, as he allowed himself to admit it to
anyone but himself for the first time in over 2 months.
Heero had only a week left before his re-training and mission would be complete here on L1. While he
was contemplating asking Doctor J to remain on the colony for a while longer, certain that there was more
than enough he could do to assist the Doctor in his research, he was also contemplating his return to
Earth. He missed the comradery of his fellow pilots and was sufficiently comfortable with his stance
regarding Duo. Despite the fact that Duo would always hold a special place in his heart, he was ready to
deal with their relationship being only platonic. The only situation he found unacceptable at this moment
was not having Duo and the others pilots in his life at all.
Following his admission to Wufei the previous week, Duo found himself in a very pissy mood. He was
downright nasty and miserable…….to everyone…….all the time. As intolerable as the three boys found his
behavior, they refrained from confronting him directly about it. Instead, doing everything in their power
to try and snap him out of it. Wufei was privy to the information necessary to help Duo the most, but
didn't feel it was his place to tell the others, instead hoping that Duo would break his silence and let his
His very suggestion to Duo that night, in the privacy of their room, brought on quite a scene.
"It's no ones damn business, Wufei !" Duo screamed "It just kinda slipped out to you while I was drunk.
Let's just pretend I never said it okay…..It's all a moot point anyway." He continued.
"But Duo…." Wufei started to interrupt.
"But Duo what !??!?" Duo turned suddenly toward Wufei, he was fuming mad, Wufei could see the fire in
his eyes, his voice now mocking Wufei's "But Duo you should tell the others that you are still in love with
Heero ! But Duo you should call Heero and tell him how you feel ! But Duo you have to snap out of
this ! But Duo you shouldn't keep torturing yourself ! But Duo you should really stop finding your body
so fucking repulsive !!"
The last words hurt Wufei the most and judging by the look on Duo's face, he was none too pleased at
having said them aloud.
Wufei gently replied "All of the above, Duo……all of the above.", then left the room.
Heero's message was short and to the point.
I will be returning to Earth a week from tomorrow.
I am deeply regretful of many of the assertions I made in my last correspondence and would like the
chance to rectify the situation.
Knowing you all most likely still harbor ill feelings towards me, I will await your reply before confirming my
plans to travel to the estate next Sunday at noon.
Nervously clicking the send button, Heero sat back and smiled at the possibility of the reunion.
The message came as a pleasant surprise to everyone, only Duo seemed to hold any reservations and
Quatre and Trowa understood his reluctance……at least that thought they did, Wufei noted. It was, after
all Duo's actions, however unintended that had caused Heero's departure. Not wanting to spoil the almost
elated mood that Heero's imminent return was causing, Duo swallowed his numerous fears and went with
the general flow of the room.
Checking his mail nervously every hour, anxious to receive a reply one way or the other, Heero clicked the
small 'incoming messages" button that flashed furiously in the corner of the screen. Noting the address of
the one new message, Heero took a deep breath and opened it, the short message overwhelming him
We will be anxiously awaiting your long overdue arrival back home.
Quatre had ordered the spare room that had been previously Wufei's readied in the event that Heero
wanted to stay the night. His letter made clear that he wasn't planning on moving back in with the other
four, although Quatre hoped they would be able to persuade him to.
Trowa and Quatre held no animosity toward the emotionally distraught Heero of several months ago.
They had been through too much together to let his apparently regretful words stand in the way of their
Wufei had never been as close to Heero as the others, but oddly, he too felt his loss. It had been two
years since they had met, the pilots almost inseparable during that time, the battles and bloodshed
forming a tight bond. It was his newly formed friendship with Duo that left him apprehensive about
Heero's return, knowing what effect it would have on the still emotionally fragile boy. Wufei intended on
protecting Duo from whatever possible harm this event could bring. Wishing the others were able to help
him, frowning at Duo's inability or unwillingness to tell them.
Sunday morning found Duo standing in front of his closet.
"Hey, Wu ? Have you seen my white turtleneck ?" He casually asked.
"I think it's in the laundry." Wufei replied, barely taking his eyes off his computer screen.
"Damn, I wanted to wear it this morning." Duo sounded disappointed.
Pulling the ball of cotton fabric out of the laundry basket and shaking out the wrinkles, Duo held it up to
himself. "Still wearable." He smiled.
Slipping into his familiar black garb, a small square of white turtleneck peeking out of top of his large
black jacket, Duo stood with his hand on his hips, smiling at the reflection. It had been some time since
he'd worn this outfit and somehow felt it appropriate for Heero's return. Pulling the long sleeves down,
well over his scarred wrists, he turned to face Wufei.
"Look okay, Wu ?" He questioned.
Turning toward Duo, who he noted looked unusually happy at his appearance, Wufei smiled, "As always,
Duo." Then added seriously, "Are you nervous ?"
"Maybe just a little…….scared to death." Duo answered seriously, his inflection light-hearted, quickly
adding "You know the deal."
"Shinigami scared to death !!" Wufei teased, his hands grasping at his chest. "Who would have thought
Duo stuck out his tongue at the laughing boy and waiting for Wufei's impending smile, left the room.
Heero was nervous during the entire flight back to Earth. His attempts at distractions were for the large
part unsuccessful. Wishing he hadn't slept late this morning, Heero closed his eyes and tried to sleep.
The drive to the estate proved even more nerve racking than the flight had been, as Heero didn't like the
unknown. He knew that his return was welcome, but there was still some in depth conversations that
needed to take place and the emotional aspect of all of this was what frightened him most. Especially the
conversations he knew he would be having one on one with Duo.
As the taxi made its way up the long driveway to the estate, Heero tugged slightly on his jeans pulling
them downward and blindly adjusted the collar of his black silk jacket and finally making sure the hem of
his green tank top was tucked neatly into the waistband of his blue jeans. Looking at his reflection in the
window, Heero ran his fingers through his hair, giving it only mild attention, as it appeared to always look
the same no matter what he did.
Stepping from the car, Heero smiled to himself at the familiarity of the entrance and the sight of the warm
foyer beyond its glass walls. Before his arm had fully extended to reach the bell, the large wooden door
opened and Heero was met by four extremely warm smiles.
Heero followed Quatre inside, taking time to notice how everything looked just as he had recalled.
The five pilots sat on the couch in the den. Quatre thought it was best to be informal and ordered his
servants not to disturb them.
"How are things on L1 ?" Trowa asked Heero, who seemed a little nervous amongst the four.
"It was a learning experience working with Doctor J again. Not as entertaining as school, but I enjoyed
it." he answered.
"What have you all been up to aside from school ?" Heero questioned, his attention focusing on Trowa and
"The usual nonsense. We did play a concert a few weeks back though." Quatre smiled
Heero smiled, then continued "I know this may sound a little odd, but would you mind if we moved our
little gathering outside. One thing I miss about Earth is the wind and the smell of the air........and the
rain" he added "L1's climate control does have its advantages, but I much prefer nature's way." he
Standing to leave, Heero look toward where Wufei and Duo still sat. Duo had a slightly forlorn expression
on his face and Wufei appeared to be comforting him, his hand resting gently on Duo's knee. Unsure of
whether Heero's presence was causing him to be upset, Heero ignored the scene and followed Trowa out
onto the patio.
Heero walked to the edge of the second story balcony and grasping the railing, turned, his hands still
resting on the rail behind his back, Heero spoke to the two boys in front of him.
"Quatre...Trowa....I would like to apologize for the way I left a few months back. It was inexcusable, but I
was too hurt to handle it any other way." Heero began and taking a deep breath, continued "I'm also
sorry.....*truly* sorry for the implications of my message. I have never regretted our friendship..."
"Quatre interrupted him "Heero, we understand......we even understood back then, please don't feel bad.
All of us are glad you are back."
"I'm not really back." Heero told him "I mean, I'm back on Earth and perhaps in school, but not back to
live here....I don't feel comfortable with that." his words trailing off seeing the disappointed look of
Trowa excused himself "Let me go see what is keeping Wufei and Duo."
Heero sat beside Quatre "Duo looks well. I'm glad you are taking good care of him." Heero smiled.
Quatre only nodded. "Of course" he smiled. He had no intention of going into any of the details of their
past few months involving said pilot.
Trowa returned moments later with Wufei and Duo in tow.
"Now that we are all here..." Heero started "I would like to apologize for my unexpected departure. As I
already told Quatre and Trowa, it was inexcusable and I'm sorry. In addition" Heero continued "the
message accompanying my departure......well......I was not exactly in the greatest frame of mind when I
wrote it." Heero looked up and his eyes met Duo's "You need to know that I didn't mean any of those
things and.." he stopped, breaking their stare. "I hope you can all find it in your hearts to forgive me."
barely choking out the last words , Heero's head fell to his chest and he made his way back into the
The four remaining pilots looked at each other, understanding how incredibly difficult it was for Heero to
be so open and honest with them. Sitting quiet for quite sometime, still absorbing the touching apology
from Heero, Duo was the first to leave, the others a little apprehensive about letting him go, especially
since they didn't know where he was going.
"Duo....where are you headed off too ?" Wufei asked, keeping his promise to watch out for Duo.
"I'm going to go inside to talk to Heero" he said pausing at the patio's exit, and turning back to look at the
others, added "if that's okay with everyone ?" Not waiting for an answer, Duo winked and went inside.