Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing or the characters of the series. Bandai/Sunrise/Sotsu have that privilege. I am not making _any_ money from this. This story is for entertainment purposes only. I doubt it will even entertain. Please do not sue me, for I am but a poor, unemployed college student. Haha! I'm in college!

Pairings: 2x1 (primary), Solox2, 1x1, 6x2, 5+M, 3+4
Rating: R overall
Warnings: AU, yaoi, angst, lime, masturbation, language, violence, blaspheming angels, death, attempted suicide, possible OOC, etc., etc.
Feedback: Appreciated. C&C are always nice. Flamers will be harshly mocked for the incompetent asses that they are. Thank you.

Author's Notes: This is what happens when a GW fan reads too much Angel Sanctuary. This fic has been heavily influenced by AS, mainly in the characterizations of a few of the players involved. It started out as more of a fusion, but then it turned into something else entirely, so the plot isn't at all like AS. If you're familiar with AS (the manga, not the anime), I'll go ahead and say that Solo pretty much *is* Katou in a lot of ways, but is very different in others. (You'll see--if you read the fic, that is.) I'm even basing what Solo looks like on Katou. But fortunately, there'll be NO incest in this fic as is the case with AS. Just some boy-fucking. Can I say that? Yes, I think I can. These are *my* notes, after all. Please don't be offended by how I treat God and the angels in this story. It's just fiction. And if it makes you feel any better, this does not represent my actual beliefs in such things, it's just me on an AS/GW high. The title comes from a Garbage song of the same name. The song kind of sounds like the attitudes of a few of the characters. And it's better than "Untitled GW/Angel fic."

//thoughts//, stuff between ~*~*~*~*~ indicates a flashback, #mind-reading#


As Heaven Is Wide
Part 5
by KM


Duo looked at the shorter boy incredulously. "What the hell are you talking about?" Then, looking over his shoulder at Heero, who gave him an impatient glare in return, he asked, "Can't this wait? You kind of interrupted something."

Cocking his head and giving Duo a long-suffering look, Quatre answered slowly, as if he were speaking to a child. "No, Duo. This can't wait. I came here intending to interrupt this. Now are you going to invite me inside or not?"

"Sure, sure..." replied the longhaired boy, stepping aside to allow Quatre into the apartment. Gesturing between the boy on the couch and the unexpected guest, he introduced the two strangers. "Heero, this is my friend Quatre Raberba Winner. Quatre, this is Heero Yuy."

Quatre turned to the other boy and smiled, but his eyes widened as he took in Heero's features. Raising his hand to his heart, he whispered, almost in awe, "Good Heavens! The resemblance... He's identical."

"Yeah," nodded Duo, scratching the back of his neck with his palm. "It's almost scary, isn't it?"

"It *is* scary," agreed the blonde, still staring at Heero. "I didn't think it possible for one individual to look so much like another. It's truly remarkable."

Growing increasingly uncomfortable under the newcomer's scrutiny, Heero fidgeted in his seat, surreptitiously pulling a pillow over his lap to hide the bulge in his pants. He glanced over to Duo, trying to signal his distress, but to no avail; Duo was too engaged in talking to the intruder.

While they were wrapped up in conversation, Heero took a moment to evaluate Duo's friend. He appeared to be around Heero's age, and he was short, his build slight. He did not seem feminine, but delicate, as though he had never been exposed to the harshness of the world. His face was kind, almost childlike, with wide blue eyes, a small, upturned nose, and lips that easily took to a smile. Dressed rather strangely for a boy his age, he wore a pale blue suit, tailor-made from the looks of it, buttoned-up, with an off-white shirt and tie.

Heero's ears finally picked up their conversation, and much to his surprise, found that they were discussing him! Suddenly curious, he cleared his throat and asked, "So who is it that I look like?"

The two blanched, looking like they had accidentally given away a secret. Duo recovered first and replied, "Oh, just an old friend. Don't worry about it." Then, casting a glance at Quatre, who answered with a curt nod of his head, Duo walked over to the couch and leaned down, putting a hand on Heero's shoulder. "Me and Quatre have a few things we need to discuss. I don't think it'll take too long-"

"It better fucking not," Heero broke in, giving Duo a sullen glare. "Why can't you just tell him to leave?"

With a sad smile, Duo shook his head. "It's not that simple. I wish it was. Really. But why don't you wait in your room for a little while, until we get done."

The Japanese boy narrowed his eyes. "I'm not some little kid, Duo, and I don't like being treated like one. Besides, this is my house. If you want to talk so much, do it somewhere else. You can't just send me to my room when you don't want me around." He stubbornly crossed his arms over his chest, trying not to appear as if he was pouting.

//Oh, God, he's pouting.// "Please, Heero. Just do this for me." The American gave him a pleading look.

Heero grudgingly gave in, scowling at his friend. "Fine. I'll go to my room. But I *am* going to hold this against you."

Duo grinned. "And I'd hold it against you if you didn't." Leaning closer, he whispered, "I promise I'll make it up to you later, okay?" He raised an eyebrow, waiting for Heero's acceptance. At the other boy's nod, Duo planted a quick kiss on Heero's lips before hauling him off the couch and ushering him out of the room, ignoring the dark-haired boy's grumbles.

Seeing Zero-one's human form being pushed into another room, Quatre called, "It was nice to meet you, Heero!" The boy in question cast a glare over his shoulder in reply.

Once Heero had been secured in his room, Duo returned to his old friend, motioning for them to sit at the kitchen table.

"Nice kid," said Quatre, raising an eyebrow.

"Yeah, he's great. But you pissed him off with your unexpected visit." Knowing that the boy across the table was in town for business, Duo decided to skip the pleasantries and get right to the point. Speaking in their own tongue, he asked, "So what's all this about me destroying the universe?"

Quatre speared his friend with a deadly serious look. "Duo, you are placing everything, all of us, in danger by getting involved with Zero-one."

The American rolled his eyes. "Look, I know that relationships between angels and humans aren't considered kosher by the higher-ups, but I hardly think that the whole world will come crashing down as a result."

"I'm serious, Duo," admonished the little blonde. "I don't think you have considered all of the ramifications of your involvement with this boy."

Sighing heavily, Duo waved a hand at the other boy. "I think you're just blowing things out of proportion, Quatre. I didn't intend to become so attached, but really, who cares? I mean, what does it matter what I do with him while he's on Earth?"

"It matters a lot! You know firsthand what can happen when an angel falls out of His favor. Everyone around him is affected. Wufei was removed from the High Council just for being close to you; think what could happen to Heero."

Duo did not look convinced. "I'm still not following you. Besides, he's only a human."

"He's not 'only a human.' He's a human that possesses an angel's soul." Putting his hands on the table, Quatre continued. "Let me make this simple: you were cursed because you were young and nave and you gave in to Zechs. Even though you weren't part of the rebellion, and you were one of God's favorites, He still cursed you, simply because of Zechs' betrayal and your involvement with him. Now imagine how God would react if he found out that the soul of one of His most prized angels was tainted by one that had fallen."

Realization and horror dawned in Duo's eyes and he buried his face in his hands as Quatre went on. "If you continue with this relationship, Zero-one's soul might not be allowed re-entry, and if that happens, we don't stand a chance. Zechs will take over Heaven, wipe out all the angels, and destroy the Earth."

Feeling his heart breaking, Duo shook his head. "That can't be how it is. Please, tell me there's some kind of way around all that. Please, Quatre."

Quatre looked at his friend with sad eyes. "I'm sorry, but I'm not going to lie to you. You have to end whatever it is between you two, and you have to do it now."

**********

Inside his room, Heero stewed, pissed off and frustrated at Quatre's sudden appearance.

//Dammit! Why did that guy have to come in right at that moment? Just when... Just when I could have forgotten, even for a little while, that Duo doesn't love me.//

Putting down the book he'd been reading, Heero leaned his head back against the headboard. He stared up the ceiling of his bedroom, painted like a sea of stars and planets floating in a dark blue ocean.

"Duo painted it..."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"But, aren't stars... girly?"

The sixteen-year-old Duo whipped his head around, nearly falling off his ladder. "No," he answered, affronted. "Stars are not _girly_. They're cool." Turning back to his painting, he continued, "Besides, it's not just stars; there's gonna be planets and everything up here. You'll see. Now quit bothering me, I'm creating a masterpiece."

Heero gave him a questioning look, but shrugged his shoulders. "Whatever," he mumbled under his breath, adding, "I can always paint over it."

He plopped onto his bed, bouncing a few times before settling. The fourteen-year old boy stretched out on top of the covers, watching his older friend paint his way across the ceiling, coloring over the white with a deep midnight blue. The gentle sweeping motion of Duo's paintbrush, combined with the sound of the American's low humming soon lulled Heero to sleep.

He was awakened a short time later by a strange, wet tickling sensation on the end of his nose. Blinking his eyes open, he saw that the source was Duo, happily tapping him on the nose with his paintbrush.

"Hey!" he cried, pushing Duo's hand away. "Stop it!" Pulling himself upright, he asked, irritated, "What do you want?"

Duo put his hands on his hips and shook his head at the younger boy. "That's no way to talk to the guy who's painting your room. For free, I might add."

Heero narrowed his eyes. "First of all, you're just painting the ceiling. Second, I didn't even ask you to do it, so of course you're not getting paid. Third-" Duo's laughter interrupted him, and he stopped, scrunching up his face in a scowl. "What's so funny?"

"I'm sorry!" Duo apologized weakly between guffaws, almost doubling over in his merriment. "It's just that... You look so funny with that mean look on your face and that..." He paused, momentarily overcome with laughter. "That angry look and that big blue nose! It's too funny..."

Eyes widening, Heero clasped his hand over his nose, pulling it back only to find his fingers covered in dark blue paint. "Duo..." he warned dangerously, "I'm going to kill you for that." The longhaired boy received no further warning before Heero jumped up and rubbed a paint-coated hand in his face.

Sputtering, Duo turned his head to look at the smirking Japanese boy, now on the other side of the room and bouncing on the balls of his feet like a boxer ready to fight.

"Oh, no you don't," cautioned Duo, dipping his paintbrush into the can at his feet. "Start running now, because you are *dead*, little man!"

Heero took off as Duo charged, darting out of the room to avoid the American's wrath. He ran out into the living room and skirted around the chairs and end tables, Duo close at his heels. As Duo chased him into the kitchen, he dashed around the table only to find himself trapped, with Duo standing on the other side of the table and cutting off his possible escape routes.

"You might as well give up, Heero," he smirked. "All your exits are blocked. You can't win."

The younger boy just glared. "Hn. I'll never give up that easily."

Duo waved his paintbrush at Heero, making a few drops of paint fall onto the table's surface. "Whatever you say. But I'm just telling you, you should give up now. I'll go easy on you if you do. No wedgies or anything."

Heero gasped. "You wouldn't."

"Ah, but I would," nodded the other boy. Then, without warning, Duo cut to the left, trying to get around to the other side before Heero had a chance to escape.

Unfortunately for him, Heero reacted instantly and broke off in a run toward the bedrooms. //Maybe I can lock myself in the bathroom...// Out of the corner of his eye, Heero saw his pursuer hurdle the couch rather than go around it, and he increased his speed, all the while cursing Duo's longer legs.

Heero darted into the bathroom that separated his room and the guest bedroom and locked the doors. Finally safe, he leaned against the counter and breathed in deeply, trying to refill his lungs. At the door leading to his room, he heard a knock followed by Duo's voice.

"Heeeeeee-rrrooooo!" he called innocently, raising the pitch of his voice to sound more feminine. "It's me, Relena. Please come out and play with me."

The younger boy laughed. "Not on your life."

"Oh, but Heero, it's my birthday! Don't make me sad on my birthday." Duo sniffled on the other side of the door. "Please Heeeeee-rroooo! I'm so lonely!"

"Thanks, but I'd rather go blow myself up."

Duo laughed, dropping the girly tone. "Seriously, Heero, you can come out now."

"No. I'm not coming out until you promise you're not going to do anything to me."

Heero could almost hear Duo shaking his head. "You know I'm not going to do that. Because I am going to get you. But since you aren't giving up, I guess I'll just huff, and puff, and blow your ...door down."

With a /snick/ of the lock, the door opened, revealing Duo, still brandishing his paintbrush. "Heeeere's Johnny!"

Backing up toward the shower, Heero asked, disbelieving, "How'd you get in? I locked the door."

Duo smirked, slowly forcing the other boy into a trap. "That's a trade secret."

The dark-haired boy kept retreating further into the room until he ran into the shower curtain. He stopped, squared his shoulders, and looked at Duo, ready to accept whatever "punishment" awaited him.

The American stopped right in front of Heero and grinned. "I told you that I was going to catch you."

"Now that you've got me, what are you going to do?" asked Heero somewhat nervously.

Something flared in Duo's eyes at Heero's question, but he quickly doused the spark before Heero had time to notice. Pursing his lips in thought, Duo took a moment before answering. "Oh, I don't know. I could string you up naked on the flagpole at school and leave you there. That would be fun. Or I could shave off all your body hair. But that would be too messy. There are just so many possibilities. Any suggestions?"

"I don't care. Just keep your hands off my underwear."

Duo laughed heartily, but looked down at Heero with a strange, almost wicked gleam in his eyes. "Oh, you say that now..." Then he snapped his fingers, smiling, "I know. I think it will be quite fitting for this occasion."

Heero furrowed his dark brows. "What is it?"

"You'll find out soon enough. Now," Duo grinned, "close your eyes."

Finding it odd, but doing as he was told, Heero shut his eyes. He had no idea what was coming, and he knew that should worry him. His pulse quickened slightly, but he recognized the chill that coursed down his spine as excitement rather than fear. It seemed that he was anticipating his punishment instead of dreading it. His heart began to beat even faster when he felt Duo's soft fingers brush against his face, gently lifting the hair out of his eyes. //Duo...//

Needless to say, Heero was unpleasantly surprised when he felt a paintbrush sweeping over his face, covering it with dark blue paint. He kept his eyes closed until Duo was finished, then glared as the other boy dragged him in front of the mirror to show Heero his handiwork.

"See? That's what happens when you're mean to me." He laughed when Heero scowled at him, clapping a hand on the shorter boy's back. "Hey, don't get so defensive. You got off easy this time. And at least it's water-soluble paint. Now," he continued, exiting the bathroom, "tell me where you want the moon."

Following Duo back into his room, Heero asked dumbly, "Huh?"

Duo pointed at the ceiling with his paintbrush. "The moon? Where do you want me to paint it?"

"Oh." Heero thought for a moment. "I don't care. Put it wherever you want. It's not like I even look at the real one."

The older boy gaped at his friend. "How can you not look at the moon? It's beautiful!"

"It's a big rock. What's so beautiful about that?"

Shaking his head, Duo sighed. "Such a shame. Poor guy can't even recognize true beauty..."

//You're beautiful...// Heero startled himself with the thought, a strange feeling overtaking him. He shook his head to clear it. //What is going on with me? It's Duo! He's my best friend, not to mention the fact that he's a boy. Just a very beautiful, wonderful boy...//

"Well," Duo continued, oblivious to Heero's internal monologue, "I'm going to put it right over your bed, so you'll have to see it. Maybe then you'll start to appreciate it."

* * * * *

After Duo had finished up the ceiling a few hours later, both boys lay on the floor, admiring the work.

"It looks really good," complimented Heero, his face still feeling stiff even after he'd washed the paint off.

Duo grinned. "I think it looks pretty good myself. I like the blue. It matches your eyes."

Heero blinked, confused by the odd swelling sensation in his chest. It seemed that everything Duo said or did made him act oddly and feel strange, new emotions. Deciding not to think about it, he shrugged his shoulders and asked, "Where'd you learn to paint?"

Stretching his arms out above his head, Duo replied, his tone boastful, "Oh, I picked it up from Michaelangelo." When his friend chuckled, he went on, "Yeah, me and Mike were good friends over in Florence. I even inspired him to do that whole Sistine Chapel thing. It was all *my* idea."

The younger boy rolled his eyes. "Riiiight..."

"Hey, it's the truth! Who do you think posed for Adam? He had to, uh, scale a few things down, if you know what I mean, just for decency's sake, but the rest was all me."

Heero just shook his head at Duo's tale spinning. "Uh-huh. That's not hard to believe at all..."

"Oh, so you think I'm lying, do you? When have I ever lied to you?" he asked, insulted.

The Japanese boy turned his head to look at his friend. "You haven't. But I still think you're full of shit."

"Well fine, since you don't believe me, I'll show you just how I did it." Sitting up slightly, Duo propped himself up on his right elbow and bent his left leg at the knee, imitating the posture of Adam in the famous painting.

"So I was sitting there, posing for the guy, and I said, 'Hey, why don't you have him reaching out to God and God reaching out to him?'" He lifted his hand in Heero's direction, and the Japanese boy involuntarily raised his own in response, slowly bringing their fingers closer.

The longhaired boy went on, his voice growing softer to Heero's ears, "So he decided to paint it, just like I'd suggested, and when he did, everything worked. It was perfect. Like..."

He trailed off as their fingertips brushed against each other, and at that moment, Heero felt a jolt of some indescribable feeling pass through his body. He wondered if Duo had felt the same thing, and found his answer in Duo's eyes, their sparkling depths meeting his.

"It was like magic."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"'Magic.'"

Heero ran a hand through his hair, his fingers tangling in the thick brown locks. With a yawn, he scooted forward a bit before falling backwards, his head hitting the pillow gently as he stretched out on his bed. Looking up, he saw the moon Duo had painted two years before. It really was beautiful, he had to admit; it seemed to cast a glow over the room, even though it was only paint, and sometimes Heero wondered if Duo had been telling the truth when he spoke of painting with Michaelangelo.

//That's when I knew. It was that night. As soon as our fingers touched, I knew I loved him.// He gave a wistful sigh, the sound pathetic to his own ears. //And for a while, I thought he loved me, too. But that was before Solo and everybody else got in the way. They stole him away; they got between us...//

//No... They didn't get between us. When it comes right down to it, Duo's always chosen me over his other friends, his other life. So maybe it's me that caused the problem. Maybe he feels like he's got to baby-sit me, or that I'm holding him back from what he wants to do, and that's why he doesn't...//

The Japanese boy furrowed his brow at the thought. "It's better not to think about it, Heero," he advised himself. "It will only hurt worse if you do."

Trying to keep his mind off of his love troubles, Heero resumed reading his book, but he only managed to get through a few pages before getting distracted yet again. This time, his attention had been garnered by the sound of the voices in the next room.

Heero got up from his bed and walked over to the door, pressing his ear against the wood to listen to their conversation. Though slightly embarrassed at eavesdropping, he figured that as long as the other two didn't find out, he was safe. He strained to understand their words until he realized that Duo and Quatre were speaking in a language that he did not understand.

It was strange, sounding like an odd mixture of languages. It was something Heero had definitely never heard before. The words were completely alien to him, but at the same time vaguely familiar.

Even more bizarrely, both Duo's and Quatre's voices had changed from how they normally spoke, their speech smoother, more flowing. Musical, even. All of their words seemed to be followed closely by echoes pitched slightly higher than their own voices, creating a beautiful harmony whenever either of them spoke.

//How weird... I wonder how they're doing that.//

Heero listened for a bit longer, the melodic sounds of their voices almost hypnotizing. Finding himself about to drift off, he shook himself and went back to his bed.

//If I go to sleep, time will pass more quickly, and that Quatre person will leave, and then Duo and I can be alone again.// Heero pulled the covers up to his chest and closed his eyes, barely registering when his head hit the pillow.

**********

In the other room, Duo's world was slowly falling apart.

"What do you mean, 'whatever we have between us'?" the American asked angrily, narrowing his eyes at the boy across the table. "We're friends. Can't we have that?"

"Oh, I see. So you two were just 'being friends' on the couch before I interrupted, is that it?" Quatre asked somewhat condescendingly.

Duo rolled his eyes. "It was the first time we'd ever done anything like that."

"And it will be the last time as well. No matter how much you may hate it, you cannot continue this type of behavior with Zero-one-"

"His name is Heero," interjected Duo, his tone bitter. "He's a person, not some fucking robot that you people keep making him out to be."

Giving his friend a polite smile, Quatre apologized. "I am sorry for that, Duo. I did not intend to insult you. But like I said, you have to put a stop to this relationship."

Rising up from his seat, Duo stood and began to pace the room. "But I love him, Quatre. I really, really do. And not just the angel inside him. I love Heero." He cast a pained glance to the blonde boy still seated the table, hoping to gain sympathy. "You can't make me just stop loving somebody."

"Have you told him?"

Duo stopped in his pacing and looked at the other boy curiously. "What?"

Quatre leaned toward Duo. "Have you told him? That you love him, I mean."

The braided boy hung his head. "No. I almost did, but... I just couldn't get the courage to tell him to his face."

"Good!" exclaimed the blonde boy, clasping his hands together. "And he probably thinks that you don't love him, right?"

Nodding his head sadly, Duo replied, "Right."

In contrast with the other boy's melancholy expression, a smile lit up Quatre's face. "Even better!"

Narrowing his eyes and clenching his fists at his sides, Duo ground out between clenched teeth, "How is that better?"

The little blonde did not wither under the force of Duo's glare. "As long as Heero doesn't know the depth of your feelings toward him, it will make ending this easier."

Duo stalked over to where Quatre was seated and grasped the boy's shoulders, giving him a shake. "Look," he stated firmly, "it doesn't matter to Heero if I don't love him. For some reason, he loves me and he doesn't even ask that I return those feelings--but I *do*, very much--and he still wants me despite all my flaws and even though he doesn't know how I feel about him. So I don't think this little theory of yours is going to work. I mean, if you don't want me to sleep with him, fine, I won't, I'll hold him off, but I can't stop loving him and I can't stop him from loving me. It just won't work."

With feigned resignation, Quatre felt his shoulders sag under the pressure of Duo's hands. "Fine, fine, do what you want. Don't pay me any attention, even though I'm only trying to look out for your best interests as well as those of everything else in creation." Looking Duo squarely in the eye, he added, his voice calm, "But do try to think of Heero. You know how much it hurts to be pushed away by the One that created you. Do you want Heero to feel that too?"

The American loosened his hold on Quatre and broke eye contact with the visiting angel, suddenly realizing his own selfishness. Duo's stomach turned at the thought of Heero having to undergo the shame and humiliation, not to mention the heartbreak and sense of loss that he had felt when he was labeled "cursed." Even more sickening was the knowledge that *he* would be the cause of Heero's downfall.

//I can't do that to him. Not for any reason...// His mouth suddenly dry, Duo replied in a small whisper. "No. I don't want that for Heero. I'd rather spend eternity in Hell than put him through that."

Quatre patted Duo's hand in a soothing gesture and motioned for him to sit back down at the table. Once the other boy was seated, the blonde spoke again. "I think you're making a wise decision, Duo. I know it will be a difficult task, but remember that it must be done." He smiled slightly, adding, "On the positive side, you _can_ remain friends with him. That would work to your advantage, even. After all, if he trusts you, it will be much easier when it comes time to return him to Heaven."

"Yeah," answered the downhearted angel, the bitterness clear in his tone. "It'll make it much easier for me to kill him."

"Try not to think so morbidly. Remember that you're only releasing his soul so that it can join with its rightful body."

Duo tried to stamp out the anger that rose within him, but to no avail. "But I'm still killing Heero, damn it! No matter what happens to the soul, his life will end!" He slammed his fists on the table, making Quatre flinch. "You have no idea how hard this is for me. The one time I get close to one of Zero-one's incarnations, the one time I actually start to care about a human, I find out that he has to be returned. It's about to kill me, Quatre, but you just can't seem to see that. Maybe if you were in my shoes, if you had to kill Trowa in order to rescue some allegedly all-powerful deity and save creation, maybe then you'd know how I feel. But you're not me, you don't know what I'm going through, and you have no fucking right to tell me how I should think about all this." Settling back in his seat, he asked, with no small amount of contempt, "So is that all, or is there more you'd like to tell me?"

Quatre shook his head, hoping that he would not upset Duo any more than necessary. "No, there is more. You need to inform Heero of your true identity and of the situation."

"By when?"

"As soon as possible. Tonight, right after I leave, preferably."

The longhaired boy closed his eyes, making an effort to calm himself. "How long before...?"

Quatre answered his friend quickly. "Five days at the most. We don't know when Zechs will make his move, but they are predicting that there will be a battle by week's end. We need Zero-one to be awakened before then, so that his mind and body will have time to adjust."

"Yeah, I guess being out-of-commission for a few eons could really mess a guy up..." Duo commented absently. Opening his eyes, he stared at Quatre, his usually vibrant gaze now flat, lifeless. "I think you should go."

The other boy nodded and got up to leave, but turned as he reached the door.

"Duo... Please don't think that I came here to hurt you. That couldn't be further from the truth." His voice wavered, but he went on, even though Duo refused to look at him. "You've been through so much already, and the last thing I want to do is cause you more anguish, but if it wasn't me that told you, it would have been someone else." He took one last look at his friend before whispering his goodbye and heading out.

Duo sat at the table for a long time after Quatre had left, contemplating this new turn of events, the burden on his heart growing heavier and heavier with each passing minute. //Why is this happening? Why, damn it?! I was so close to being happy, finally, after all these years, and now this. And how am I going to explain all this to Heero? How do I tell him that he has to die in less than a week? By my hands, no less.// He rubbed at his temples to keep his headache at bay. //How can I make him see that we can't be together, no matter how much we both want it?//

Pulling himself out of his chair, he walked over to Heero's bedroom door. //Quatre did say to tell him as soon as possible...// He took a deep breath and reluctantly raised his hand, pausing a moment before knocking. When he received no answer, he cracked the door open and peered inside.

"Heero?"

Stepping inside the dark room, Duo found the Japanese boy lying peacefully in a bundle of blankets, sound asleep. A small smile tugged at Duo's lips as he observed the boy, and he moved closer, careful not to make a sound. When he reached Heero's bedside, he sank to his knees and rested his head on the edge of the mattress, watching the younger boy's chest rise and fall with each breath. Duo greedily drank in the sight, knowing that in less than a week's time, Heero would be dead, and he would only have memories to look back on. Reaching out, Duo tenderly brushed his fingers along Heero's jaw, his smile widening when Heero turned his face into the caress and nuzzled Duo's palm.

Sleepy blue eyes fluttered open, finally focusing on Duo. Heero smiled and brought his hand up, wrapping his fingers around Duo's and pressing the other boy's fingertips to his lips. "It's about time," he said quietly, his voice still thick from sleep. "Is your friend gone?"

Duo nodded his head. "Yes. He left a little while ago."

Grinning seductively, he shifted onto his side to face the American. "Then what are you waiting for? You told me youd make it up..." A great yawn forced him to trail off, and he colored slightly at Duo's chuckle. "What?" he asked, embarrassed.

"You're tired, Heero. Go back to sleep." Running a hand through the messy dark hair of his friend, Duo used his free hand to pull a blanket over the boy's bare shoulder. "It can wait until tomorrow."

Heero scowled, but another yawn prevented him from protesting, and he wiggled under the covers to get comfortable. "Fine," he sighed, drifting off again. "Tomorrow..."

Once Heero had fallen back into his slumber, Duo leaned forward and pressed a light kiss against the dark-haired boy's lips before rising from his crouch by the boy's bedside. Looking down at his friend's innocent, sleeping form, Duo smiled wistfully, suppressing the urge to gather Heero in his arms and hold on tight, never letting go.

//Yes, it can wait until tomorrow. Everything can wait...//

on to part 6

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