momentary lapse of reason
Duo's curiosity and perhaps something more, caused him to do a search for his ex-friend several weeks later.
Heero had indeed disappeared off the face of the Earth and the colonies too, so it seemed. There wasn't a trace of the former Gundam pilot to be found. Heero had virtually disappeared into thin air. Duo almost chuckled as he looked at the lack of results his efforts had produced. He had to remind himself that if Heero didn't want to be found, he wouldn't be, but somewhere inside, Duo couldn't help but imagine the worst.
What if Heero had done something foolish, taken his own life? That certainly wasn't outside the realm of possibility given Heero's tendencies in the past. Duo quickly dismissed the thoughts. This was Heero. He certainly had better control over his emotions than that.
Thinking back over the past several months, Duo frowned. Heero has clearly been upset the night he left, the recall of that evening still causing Duo to shudder...... and then there was Heero's note. Heero had made it clear that he valued their long-standing friendship, reassuring his friend he wanted nothing more from the relationship. As much as Duo had been surprised by Heero's emphasis on the importance of having Duo in his life, it had failed to dismiss his anger, Heero once again deeply hurting and on the run.
:: maybe he doesn't have as much control over his emotions as i thought ::
Troubled by his thoughts, Duo increased the parameters of his search, adding Heero's favorite color, food, movies, books, even several of the passwords he was known to use to his already extensive search. If Heero was alive and had access to a computer, Duo was intent on finding him.
The weekend came, the first five days of the search turning up nothing on his former friend. Duo set his laptop up at home so that he could continually monitor activity for any actions, even subtle ones, which might indicate Heero's whereabouts.
Duo tried to keep his mind off of the issue, but the thought that his dismissal of Heero's offer of renewing their friendship in such a heartless way might have caused Heero to do something rash, consumed him. The words had come so easily that day, Duo could still hear them even now.
:: nothing heero. i want nothing to do with you at all ::
They reflected the rage he felt over Heero's actions, the deception, the lies, the way Heero had toyed with his unstable emotions. The callous dismissal of his long time friend was appropriate then... it was appropriate now; as was the guilt he felt over Heero's disappearance... and the fear that rose inside him that some harm had come to the young man who, despite his numerous shortcomings, had once stolen his heart.
"Duo? You going to join us for lunch?" the blonde asked through the door.
Duo looked up from his computer, "Um. I'll be down in a few minutes, Q."
Quatre returned to the kitchen, Trowa and Wufei already seated at the large table. "Is he coming?" Wufei asked.
"He said he would be down in a few minutes." Quatre replied, "He has been spending a lot of time by himself this past week. It's just not like him." he added.
"Duo has been through a lot lately, Quatre. I think he still needs time to work things out." Wufei replied, noting his response did nothing to alleviate the worry he read on Quatre's face. "I think Heero's leaving was a setback for him."
Trowa nodded. "He does seem to be taking it rather hard, though I'm not sure why."
Wufei looked up sharply as Trowa spoke. "What is it that you don't get, Trowa?" he asked coldly, his tone surprising the two.
"He practically told Heero to go, Wufei." Trowa replied, "Why should he feel any differently about it now?"
"Yes and it was his choice." Wufei began, "Probably the best one for all of us, considering what happened." Wufei lowered his eyes. "That doesn't mean he has to like it."
"Wufei?" Quatre asked softly, looking over at his solemn friend. "Do you think that Duo regrets what he's done?"
Trowa looked over toward his lover. "I don't think that is what he means at all.... is it, Wufei?" he questioned.
"Only Duo can answer that." he replied.
Duo made his way downstairs, his wide smile greeting the others as he entered the kitchen. "Hey, guys. Sorry I'm late."
"No problem, Duo." Quatre smiled, "Glad you decided to join us. You've been spending all your time up in your room." the blonde began, "Is everything alright, Duo? You seem to be preoccupied these days. Something bothering you?" he asked.
Duo shook his head as he looked at Quatre, "Nah...I'm fine." he replied, "Just working on a little something..... you know how obsessive I can get." he winked.
The concern on Quatre's face hadn't diminished at Duo's reply. "Yes, we do." he smiled weakly. "What is it this time? Another bike? Old movies? Heero?" Quatre asked.
Duo smiled and shook his head. "You don't beat around the bush, do you, Q?" he replied.
"No. I don't." he smiled. "We've all noticed that you aren't exactly yourself these past few weeks... since Heero left." Quatre looked up expectantly at Duo.
"Is that what this is all about?" he asked smiling. "You all worry too much." he replied, taking a moment to gauge the reaction on each of their faces.
"You're looking for him, aren't you, Duo?" Quatre asked.
Duo looked up in surprise, smiling at the concern on their faces. Shaking his head from side to side as he laughed lowly, Duo continued his breakfast, not confirming or denying their suspicions.
He didn't have to.
Several months had passed, the time taking with it much of Duo's guilt over the events surrounding Heero's mysterious disappearance, yet the cobalt-eyed young man never left his thoughts. The idea of relinquishing his search for Heero wasn't something he entertained, though he found himself devoting less energy to the seemingly useless task.
Another week was drawing to a close and Duo sat behind his desk, watching the clock as it rapidly approached quitting time. The shrill beep of his computer caused him to turn sharply toward it, a small red light furiously flashing at the bottom of the screen.
Duo's heart began to race as he continued to watch the blinking light.
His search had finally turned up something on Heero.
He smiled at his reaction. "Calm down." He warned himself. "You don't even know if it's him."
He knew that the wide parameters he had set up could very easily turn up something completely unrelated to the missing former Gundam pilot, though his optimism remained. This was the first clue to Heero's possible whereabouts in the almost six months since he had vanished into thin air.
Duo moved his cursor over the red dot and clicked it, sitting back as the screen filled with its sudden wealth of newly discovered information. Carefully reading through page after page of text, Duo reclined back into his chair and sighly deeply.
It was Heero all right. Now what was he supposed to do?
The young man's thoughts had never gone beyond this point. He had focused only on finding Heero and now that he had, he wasn't sure how to proceed; nor if he should proceed. He simply didn't know what he wanted from him now that he had found him.
:: maybe just finding him is enough ::
Knowing that Heero was still alive lifted a tremendous amount of guilt from Duo's shoulders.
He let it go at that.