momentary lapse of reason
It was Sunday morning and Duo had decided to spend the day cleaning. It was far from a typical thing for him to do, but perhaps the fact that he had received no word from Heero had aided his odd desire.
:: time to start fresh ::
He didn't like to admit that this chapter of his life was ending, but the writing was all over the walls, far be it for him to ignore it.
Moving methodically from one area to the next, Duo had succeeded in sorting the contents of his room into three piles on the floor in the center of his bedroom. The first being the stuff that he used on a day to day basis, the second being things he had not seen in years and cared not if he ever saw again, the third and probably the largest of the three, consisted of those things which no longer provided him with the comfort that they used to. In effect, the third pile was now as much trash as the second, but they were things Duo could not bring himself to part with.
Neatly returning all the contents of the first pile to their new homes around the room, Duo made his way downstairs, returning shortly with several large trash bags and a large cardboard box. Filling two of the black plastic bags with the contents of the second pile, Duo tied a knot in the top of each one and set them down in the hallway outside his room.
Turning his attention to the one remaining pile, Duo knelt beside it and picking the items up one by one, carefully placed them into the large cardboard box and sealed it with masking tape. Standing to get a marker from his desk, Duo labeled the box and placed it on the uppermost shelf of his closet. Looking up at it once more, he frowned at the thick black letters he had written on the side of the box 'Heero'. Turning that side of the box toward the wall, Duo closed the closet door and leaned against it, reflecting on the task he had just completed.
Heero finished watching the first of the four personal disks Duo sent him. He had enjoyed it for the most part, though it left him feeling more vacant than he had anticipated. He glanced over at the table where he had left the other three disks, opting to store them away for future viewing.
Making his way back into the kitchen, Heero removed the rest of the items from the box, one by one putting them away. Each article he touched brought with it some small flashback, a long distant memory that made Heero uncomfortable and a sudden sadness fell over him. His smile returned as he picked up the small brown bear. Walking across the room, Heero placed it in the center his dresser and looked down at it.
He now understood Duo's intent.
Duo stood in the center of his room with his hands on his hips. Satisfied with his efforts as he looked around his bedroom, Duo frowned. There was one more thing that he needed to do.
Searching throughout the house, Duo made his way down stairs and hearing voices coming from the den, entered the large room. "Hey guys."
Quatre and Trowa turned their attention to the room's entrance where Duo stood. "Hey, Duo." Quatre smiled. "Come on in." the blonde replied.
Duo hesitantly entered the room, standing before the two who remained seated on the couch. "Would either of you mind if I packed up the stuff in Heero's room?"
Both men looked up at him as he finished his sentence. There was no mistaking the sorrow in their friend's eyes.
Duo eyes remained downcast and he toyed with the end of his braid as he awaited a response.
Quatre looked toward his lover and Trowa lowered his head. "Sure, Duo, that's fine."
Several cardboard boxes and trash bags in hand, Duo climbed the stairs and made his way down the hall, pausing in front of the door to Heero's room. He had been there nearly three weeks ago to choose the items he planned to send Heero. This time the effect it had on him was very different. This time he was looking for closure.
Entering the room, Duo couldn't help but notice that the only change the room held, despite it's obvious lack of an occupant, was the thick dust that had gathered on the furniture in Heero's absence. He smiled as he ran his finger through it, imaging Heero's expression had he been there to witness Duo's action.
"Where to begin." Duo mused looking around the room. Setting the boxes down in front of a large bookcase, Duo began taking them one by one from the shelf, bending to place them into the box at his feet. Having sucessfully cleared the lower shelves, Duo stood on his tiptoes, reaching forward to collect the few paperbacks that stood neatly in a row on the top shelf. Sliding them forward toward the shelves edge, Duo looked down as something fell from between the small stack of books he held. Placing the last of the books in the box, Duo bent to pick up the square white paper that had fallen to the floor. Turning it over, Duo looked down at it, suddenly overcome by a profound sadness.
In his hand was a photograph of the two young pilots taken shortly after they had met. Though there was little to be joyful about, Duo's smile was wide as he hung on his friends shoulder. The corners of Heero's mouth were turned upward, almost forming a smile... the Wing pilot's arm wrapped tightly around his waist.
:: what happened to us, heero? ::
Closing his eyes, Duo sat down on the edge of the bed and tried to drive away the incredible anguish Heero's memory caused him. This is what greiving was all about. Saying goodbye. It mattered little that Heero was still alive, the process was still the same.
Looking down once again at the picture he held, Duo took a deep breath, his senses suddenly assaulted with the distinct scent that still remained in the room after all this time. Clutching Heero's pillow to his chest, Duo buried his face in it, purposefully inhaling Heero's long absent scent and softly sobbed.
"Where is Duo?" Wufei asked, looking over toward Quatre and Trowa.
Trowa looked up. "I have not seen him in a few hours. He is probably up in his room."
Quatre rose "I'll go get him." he smiled, making his way from the kitchen.
Knocking lightly on Duo's bedroom door, Quatre called out. "Duo. It's dinnertime."
Hearing no response, Qautre entered the room, his eyes searching the large space for only a moment before he closed the door.
Thinking back to the last time he had seen Duo that day, Quatre made his way down the hall to Heero's room. Opening the door slowly, Quatre crossed the room to stand beside the bed, frowning as he met with Duo's sleeping form.
"Duo." he whispered. "What are you doing to yourself?" The blonde saddened further as he looked down at his friend.
The braided young man lie in the center of the bed, his body curled in a fetal position around the large pillow.... the picture of the two young pilots clenched tight in his fist. Covering Duo with what he could of the bedspread beneath him, Quatre kissed Duo on the top of his head and turned off the light...... leaving Duo with all he had left of Heero.
Heero entered his office on Monday and booted his computer. Draping his jacket over the back of the chair, he set his briefcase down and ventured down the hallway in search of his morning coffee. Seating himself behind his desk, Heero looked toward his computer, his eyes drawn to the small green light flashing in the lower right hand corner of his screen.
The package that Duo had sent him once again brought the braided young man to the forefront of Heero's thoughts. He made little effort to push the memories away this time. Distracted by the small blinking light, Heero couldn't help but wonder whether Duo had any intention of trying to make contact with him again. He imagined that Duo had to be angry or even hurt over how Heero had responded to his last two attempts, yet the line remained open. Duo had made the last gesture, he at least owed him an acknowledgement of his efforts.... a thank you for the package..... and perhaps something more.
Waiting nearly an hour, Heero decided he was going to take the first step this time.
There was a short pause before the return came.
Heero smiled and nodded, typing his reply.
 yes, it's me, duo
 it's not duo, it's quatre
 connection severed...
Releasing his finger from the function key at the top of Duo's keyboard, Quatre looked down at the screen and shut his eyes, letting the implications of what he had just done sink in. Continuing to successfully delete any trace of the brief encounter, Quatre rose and made his was toward the door of Duo's office.
"Hey Quatre ? Did you want to see me about something?"
The blonde looked up startled as Duo's cheerful voice rang throughout the large room.
Quatre smiled and shook his head. "Nope. Just dropping off those files you were looking for, I put them on your desk, Duo."
"Thanks, Q." Duo smiled.
Making his way down the corridor, Quatre paused at elevator and looked back towards the open door. He wondered whether he should tell Duo that Heero had tried to contact him. Thinking back to Duo's behavior over the weekend, he decided against it and stepped forward into the elevator, pressing the 3rd floor button.