momentary lapse of reason
Heero entered the foyer and Duo closed the door behind him. "Not much has changed since you left." he said, walking forward into the den, Heero following him into the large room.
"Make yourself at home." Duo smiled, motioning for Heero to sit. "Want some coffee? I just put on a fresh pot."
"That would be great, Duo. Thanks." he replied sitting down on the edge of the large black leather sofa.
"I'll be right back." Duo told him.
Heero nodded and watched Duo as he crossed the room.
"Touch of milk, no sugar, right?" he asked from the doorway
Heero smiled and Duo winked at him, practically running toward the kitchen, his braid swishing from side to side behind him.
Heero reclined back into the soft thickness of the couch and awaited Duo's return.
Several minutes later, Duo returned with coffee cups in hand and sat beside Heero on the couch, handing him the large white mug.
"Thank you." Heero replied, taking a sip.
"I hope you don't mind, Heero, but I didn't tell anyone you were coming." Duo started. "I just figured we needed some time alone, you know?"
Heero nodded. "I was hoping that you wouldn't mention anything to them. There is a lot you and I need to talk about first, Duo."
Leaning forward, Heero set his cup down on the glass top table. "How are you, Duo? I mean.... how are you feeling ? You look thin...and pale." Heero told him in a soft voice. His hand reached up to cup the hollow of Duo's cheek for just a second before he retracted it. " I'm sorry." he smiled weakly toward him, picking up his cup.
"Nothing to be sorry for, Heero." Duo responded. "I've lost a lot of weight and I know..... I look like shit." Duo offered. "I have started eating again though."
"This isn't still related to the accident, is it?" Heero asked, clearly concerned about his friends appearance.
Duo shook his head. "No. At least not directly. Ummm...... Wanna bring your stuff up to your room?"
Heero looked up, his face revealing his surprise at Duo's words. He did not fail to notice the fact that Duo had succeeded in changing the subject. There would always be later.
Duo stood, taking Heero's bags in his one hand, Heero's hand in his other. "Don't look so shocked, Yuy. Do you think you can be that easily replaced?" he asked, winking at Heero's wide smile.
Opening the door to Heero's room, the two stepped inside. "I dusted and vacuumed it this morning." Duo remarked nervously, setting Heero's bags down at the entrance.
Attempting to release his hand from Duo's grip, Heero was met with resistance. His eyes locked with Duo's, the braided man shaking his head from side to side. "Not letting go, Heero."
Duo's eyes took on a glassy appearance as the two stood staring at each other. "Duo....."
Duo tightened his grip on Heero's hand. "No, Heero! I've made this mistake before and I'm never going to make it again." he told him; his voice crackling as he spoke.
Heero brought his hand up, the palm gently cupping the side of Duo's face "Duo... it's okay... I don't want you to let go." Moving his thumb over his cheekbone, Heero wiped away a single warm teardrop.
That was second time Duo cried since Heero had arrived back home.
It was far from the last of the tears to be shed.
The two made their way back downstairs and into the den, Duo still holding Heero's hand tightly in his. Sitting on the large sofa, he pulled Heero down to sit beside him. "We should talk before everyone gets home."
Heero nodded and took a deep breath. "Where should we start, Duo? It's all such a mess."
"How about we take it from the beginning?" Duo asked, raising his eyes to meet Heero's gaze. "When we first met."
Heero looked over at Duo, his expression of surprise clear. "What does that have to do with now?"
"A whole lot if I'm not mistaken, Heero..... and I'm pretty sure that I'm not."
Heero shifted uncomfortably against the smooth leather beneath him. "Why don't you just come right out and ask me what it is that you want to know. I'll answer you as best as I can."
Duo nodded and releasing Heero's hand from his grasp, stood to cross the room. "Fine then." Pacing the large room for several minutes, Duo collected his thoughts and turned to face Heero. There had been too much beating around the proverbial bush and Duo wouldn't have any more of it. "I think you know that I've had feelings for you almost from the first time we met. Would that be a fair thing to say?"
Heero shook his head. "No. It took me quite a while to figure it out."
"How long?" Duo asked.
"A few months maybe. I don't know, Duo. Too much time has passed for me to remember that clearly...." Heero replied. "I know that you've cared deeply for me... for a long time."
"And you, Heero?" he started, "When did you realize that you cared deeply for me?" Duo asked quietly, coming to his knees on the floor in front of Heero.
Heero looked nervously down to where Duo knelt. His amethyst gaze was soft as he looked expectantly up at him, "Well, Heero?"
Sitting motionless and in silence, Heero lowered his head; turning his eyes from Duo's gaze.
Standing, Duo looked down at his friend. "Fine. If you can't answer me then there's no point in us continuing this conversation."
Disappointed by Heero's refusal to answer him, Duo shook his head lightly from side to side and turned to leave the room. Stilled as a hand caught his wrist as he reached the room's exit, Heero spoke. "A long time, Duo......... too long."
"How long has it been, Heero?" Duo asked turning toward him, his voice almost desperate, "I need to know!"
Releasing Duo's wrist from his grasp, Heero sat down on the couch and looked up into Duo's eyes. "Five years."
Duo once again brought himself to his knees before Heero. He heard the words, but it took a while for them to fully sink in. Reclining back onto his feet, Duo's gaze locked onto nothing in particular. He was glad that Heero was able to confirm his suspicions, but there were many more questions that had to be asked and more answers needed; answers that Heero Yuy would surely be reluctant to give. For a moment, he thought that perhaps Heero would continue talking now that the floodgates had been opened, but he sat in silence and Duo's mind was a flurry with what exactly he should ask Heero next.
It was difficult for Heero to gauge Duo's reaction to his admission. While he seemed outwardly unaffected, his silence was unnerving and Heero wanted to be sure of his friends reaction before he continued. Heero spoke softly as he addressed him "Say something, Duo." His attention was only on Duo who still seemed lost in thought as he stared off into space.
Duo visibly snapped out of his trance and looked up at Heero. "I was kind of hoping that you would say something, Heero. If you prefer though, I will keep on going."
"I'm not surprised by your answer, Heero. I would have been shocked as hell if you told me that last year, but not after all that has happened in the last 12 months. I've spent a great deal of time thinking and things started falling into place." Duo offered. "The most obvious one being your motivations behind what happened after my accident."
Heero rose and made his way to where Duo stood. "So you want to know why I kept my feelings for you hidden for all those years?"
"Yeah." Duo smiled. "That would be a real good start, Heero."
Their discussion had continued throughout lunch and Heero discovered that relieving himself of the long carried burden left him able to be more open and honest with both Duo and himself.
The look of confusion that occasionally flitted across Duo's face usually resulted in a smile or a nod of understanding from the amethyst-eyed man as Heero read his expressions, expounding further on his offered explanation. He had no intention of holding anything back from Duo, gently reminding himself that that was how they found themselves in this predicament in the first place.
Heero sat back in his chair after concluding a particularly lengthy monologue and looked across the table at his friend. "Quite the switch here. I'm the one doing all the talking for a change." Heero commented.
Duo stood and carried his dishes to the sink. Setting them down into the stainless steel basin, he turned to address the cobalt-eyed young man still seated at the kitchen table. "Don't worry, Heero. I have plenty left to say."
Making his way over to Heero, Duo took both of his hands in his and pulled him to stand. "But not now. Let's go back inside."
Duo sat in the center of the large overstuffed sofa and let out a small sigh as he leaned back into its softness. "I'm exhausted. I've had virtually no sleep these past few days."
Heero nodded. "I've been awake for over 24 hours myself." he returned, seating himself on the couch to the left of Duo. "All this talking has tired me out even more."
Duo looked over at Heero. "It's emotionally draining." He replied, letting his eyes close.
Heero settled back into the corner of the sofa, closing his eyes and resting his head against smooth leather cushions behind him. Letting the events of the past few hours flash through his mind, Heero opened his eyes and looked over at Duo.
His eyes were closed and the tension so clearly visible earlier had vanished from his heart shaped face. Completely relaxed and at peace, Duo Maxwell had never looked more beautiful. Heero reached out and wrapped his hand gently around Duo's upper arm and guided him closer, hoping that he would not resist.
Partially opening his eyes to look over at Heero, Duo moved across the couch toward him, allowing the cobalt-eyed young man to draw him into his embrace. Bringing his head down to lie on Heero's shoulder, the two drifted off to sleep.