disclaimer: the boys aren't mine. i just manipulate them for my own personal enjoyment.

rating: *this fic is not yet rated*
feedback: it's necessary to live...so, yes!
warnings for entire fic: shounen-ai/yaoi, angst, duo/heero torture, language, small lemon-ish spots(?), AU (AC 200)
spoilers: none
pairings: odd....can't explain but it involves heero and duo and 3X4 implied.

notes: another one that came to me in dreamscape. yes, i know, i have weird dreams. you should see what happens after i eat pepperoni pizza ^_~

//heero's thoughts//
:: duo's thoughts ::

momentary lapse of reason
part 24

Heero reclined fully back in his chair and eyed the now blank screen in front of him. //what was that all about? //

He couldn't help but wonder what wad happened on the other end of the line..... his lifeline to Duo. //why was quatre there? why had duo left the line open all this time, only to close it when he had finally contacted him?//

He didn't need to wonder for too long why Quatre had brought his attempt at communication with Duo to a halt. He was certain that the blonde more than likely continued to harbor ill feelings toward him. It seemed that Quatre had taken what happened between himself and Duo more to heart than the others.

While Heero had previously made it perfectly clear to Duo that he intended to shut him out, part of him longed to see the flashing green light on his screen again, knowing that Duo was on the other end... thinking about him in some capacity.


Duo returned to his desk after his brief encounter with Quatre. He turned toward his computer screen, noticing that the green light that acknowledged his open connection to Heero's computer was no longer flashing. A further check of the system showed that the link had been permanently severed.

Duo closed his eyes and fell he back into his chair.

There was a part of him that was relieved that Heero had cut off their communication. It was the final barrier that stood in the way of allowing him complete closure. The rest of Duo Maxwell trembled uncontrollably with a mixture of sorrow, disbelief and deep despair.


The rest of the day was nothing more than a blur and returning home that night, Duo made his way up to his room and climbed straight into bed.

The 14 hours he had slept did nothing to quell Duo's misery. He woke at six to the sound of his alarm clock, still dressed in his work clothes from the day before.

He was still lying in bed when Quatre knocked on his door at 7:15. "Duo? We're leaving in 10 minutes." Quatre waited for a response, when none came, he knocked again and opened the door. "Duo? You're all dressed, why don't you come down and have a bite to eat."

Duo sat up and looked toward the open door and the blonde who stood just inside it. Quatre could easily see that Duo had been crying. "Duo?"

"I think I'm gonna stay home this morning, Quatre."

Quatre moved to sit beside him. "Are you feeling okay, Duo?" the blonde asked. "You don't look well."

Duo lie back down on the bed bringing his forearm to cover his eyes. "I'll be fine, just let personnel know I won't be in today. Thanks."

"Sure thing, Duo." he replied. "Anything I can get you?" he asked looking toward his friend.

Duo shook his head in reply.

Quatre rose and exited the room.


The three young men returned home to find Duo much in the same state that Quatre had left him in that morning.

"You going to join us for dinner?" Wufei asked from the open doorway.

"Not hungry right now, Fei, thanks."

"You? Not hungry? You *must* not be feeling well." Wufei joked as he made his way toward the bed. "Fever?" the raven haired young man asked as he brought the palm of his hand to rest on Duo's forehead. "No fever. Why don't you come down and join us anyway."

Duo rolled over onto his side. "Maybe later."

Wufei brought the covers up and laid them over his friend. "You should at least change into something more comfortable." Wufei told him, noting Duo was still clad in his work clothes.

"Yeah." Duo replied, crawling out from underneath his blankets. "Thanks." he replied, standing to remove his jacket.

Wufei smiled toward him as he made his way to the room's exit. "Sleep well."

Duo nodded in return.

Swiftly changing into a pair of his favorite sleeping shorts and a t-shirt, Duo made his way into the bathroom. Relieving himself and flushing the toilet, Duo stood before the sink to wash his hands, catching a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror. The evidence of his tears stained his face and he brought his hand up to touch his cheek. "Boys may not cry...." he whispered. "...but men sure do."


Though Duo rarely fell ill, it wasn't until the third day of his current 'sickness' that Wufei began to suspect that their friend was not suffering from a stomach virus as he had contended. Before sharing his discovery with Trowa and Quatre, he decided he should confront Duo about it.

"Duo?" he called through the door. "You awake?"

"Yeah, Fei. Come on in." a soft voice returned.

Wufei entered the room, crossing it to sit beside Duo on the bed. "Feeling any better tonight?"

Duo shook his head.

Wufei reached forward to brush the hair from Duo's face. "Did you eat something today?"

Duo looked up at his friend, his dark eyes filled with concern and shook his head. "No."

"You want to talk about it?" Wufei asked, standing as Duo sat up in the bed.

Moving toward the edge of the bed, Duo brought his legs over the side and lowered them to the floor. "I'll be fine. I just need to work through a few things." he replied, looking up at the raven-haired young man. The concern on his friend's face prompted him to continue. "Don't sweat it, Fei." he smiled weakly toward him.

"You should at least eat. I'll bring something up, okay?"

"Sure." Duo replied, standing. "And Fei?"


"Let's keep this just between us, k?"

Wufei nodded and exited the room.


As promised, Wufei did not mention anything to Trowa or Quatre about his little talk with Duo. His condition soon become apparent to both.

"It's now an entire week he's been like this." Quatre began. "The last few nights he hasn't been sleeping. I can hear him up in his room until all hours of the morning. Someone has to talk with him and find out what's going on."

Wufei lowered his eyes. "He won't talk about it. I tried."

"Maybe we need to bring in a professional." Trowa offered. "It doesn't seem to be something he's just going to be able to snap himself out of."

Quatre and Wufei both nodded.

"Shall I go talk with him?" Quatre asked.

"I'll go with you." Trowa replied standing.


Duo sat in the chair in the very corner of his room. The huge overstuffed chair had become his favorite spot of late. Sitting with his knees drawn up to his chest, Duo clutched them tightly with both arms as he gazed out the window in front of him. Resting his head on his knees, Duo sighed and whispered the one word that all his thoughts and their ensuing confusion centered around. "Heero...." Closing his eyes, one warm tear rolled down his cheek. Tightening his grasp on his legs, Duo lowered his head and sobbed as he tried to release the mounting pain. It wasn't enough this time, it was never enough.


A light knock on the door roused Duo from his thoughts. "Duo, it's Trowa and Quatre. May we come in?"

Rising from the chair, Duo made his way into the bathroom. "I'll be right there." he replied, bending over the sink to splash his face. Walking toward the door, Duo took a deep breath and opened it, allowing his two friends to enter.

One need only take one look at the braided boy before them to see that Duo had been crying, the condition of his hair and attire further proof of his declining mental state. "Duo..." Quatre began, looking up into his sad violet eyes "You need to talk to someone... if not one of us, then a professional. Maybe Sally."

Duo shook his head. "I'll handle it, don't worry." he told them.

"It's too late to tell us not to worry." Trowa started. "Look at yourself, Duo, you're not handling it."

"I just need more time, that's all." he replied, looking up at the two. "I think I'll go take a shower now... if you'll excuse me." he continued, crossing the room to enter the bathroom.

"Come down and have something to eat when you're done, okay, Duo?" Quatre called after him.

"Sure. I'll be down in a little while." he responded, closing the door behind him.


True to his word, Duo strode into the kitchen nearly an hour later, his shower and a change of clothes seeming to lighten his mood somewhat. He remained quiet during their evening meal, his sullen demeanor reflecting whatever it was that was troubling him.

"It's Heero, isn't it, Duo?" the blonde asked, though it was more of a statement... there had never really been any doubt.

Duo looked up and nodded. "I know it's stupid." he started, lowering his head. "I just can't seem to get over it... over him...... I miss him so much." Duo choked out, his eyes watery as he looked up at his three friends.

Quatre lowered his eyes as Duo looked toward him, recoiling from the pain so clearly visible behind his violet eyes.

on to part 25

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