Disclaimer: I dun own them. Hell I don't technically own this plot! This story is based on The Chinese Box, one of those low budget movies that I just happened to pass by. I didn't like it as all, so I rewrote it. And I don't own GW or anything.. 'cept maybe the plot changes. Oh well, this is my pride and joy, so have fun reading it!

Pairings: 1+3, so far.
Warnings: OOC, angst! There's, like, ONE lemon scene, a lot of cuss words ('cause Duo's a potty mouth), yaoi. Oh, there's a lotta bad things that happen to some of the characters, so you might get mad. The guys are around 25 or 26-ish years old. Except Duo. He's around 22, 'cause this is an AU story. Shonen Ai so far. Deathficcy Mebbe That's about it, I guess. ^___^


The L2 Box
Part 7


After the miserable events that had happened, was it a big surprise that I isolated myself in the house in a deep depression? I did nothing but walk around like a zombie at times. I couldn't believe what I had done to Trowa. He must truly despise me, and I despised myself. No friend would have done that. There was no excuse for what I had done. I'd lost my appetite and wandered around my house once in awhile with no purpose.

In the bathroom, every time I looked into the mirror, I became overcome with repulsion. My frame had grown thin, and I was pale. Not like the white, delicate skinned, but a sickly, green pale. My hair looked stringy, dirty and oily. I was so disgusting. Just looking at myself made me sick and I found myself emptying what little I ate into the toilet next to the sink. God, no wonder no one loved me. I was an awful, selfish, disgusting bastard.

I would have stayed in my house until I died. No one would have found me until I was a pile of rotting flesh, but a little blond angel just had to make a house call. He was, least to say, horrified at my state of being. He mother hen-ed me, going about tidying up my house while scolding me for not taking better care of myself.

"Look at you! You're eyes are sinking into their sockets! And your skin is so pasty. What have you been doing to yourself? You look like you've lost 5 pounds in a week!" He was a bit upset to see any of his friends like this.

After I had been forced to go relax and soak in the tub for a while, I came back out to see Quatre setting the table full with a warm, steaming, delicious meal. Giving a grand smile and a hand gesture, Quatre motioned me to take a seat and eat.

"I came to check on you. Trowa said you had a bad bout the last time he saw you." That's putting it mildly. "He told me what happened. About his past, I mean." There was silence. Had they argued? Did Quatre go nuts like I had? No. Quatre's too calm and collected. He would never act irrational and lunatic as did. I knew Quatre had a nasty temper, but he would never lash out at his loved ones. I see why Trowa had fell in love with Quatre instead of me.

"We've discussed it a bit." Quatre explained. "What's past has past. I still love him. I still love him with all my heart. We're still engaged and I'll love him forever and more." I took a deep breath. I had to accept it. No matter how much I'd love Trowa, he'd never chose me, he shouldn't. Why should he? Quatre's love was even stronger. Their love was so sweet, almost to the point of being too sickly sweet that it practically gave everyone around them a stomachache. But that's what made their love so strong and mine so weak. And I told myself to stop being to selfish. I had blown my chances big time, so I didn't even have the right to be jealous. Just be happy for Trowa for finding such a wonderful man, even if it wasn't me. I think Quatre is going to be perfect for him. Trowa deserved no less.

"But we also haven't heard from you in a week or so and my space heart told me that you needed company. So here I am. And I'm glad I did come! I can't imagine what you were thinking to treat yourself like this!"

Quatre came by at least every other day to check and see if I was eating enough and taking care of my health. I feel so unworthy of a friend like him. How could he still be so kind after I'd tried to steal his fiancÚ? After I had been so cruel and horrible to the man he loved. But, he wouldn't have any of that. He hated it when people self loath and tried to make me snap out of my depression.

"I know something's are troubling you." He commented. "You don't have to talk to me about it if you don't want to. But, Allah, please take better care of yourself. I hate seeing a friend in this condition." Hn. If he felt like this over a small depression, how would he react when he knew I was killing myself with this disease?

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

In two weeks, I was feeling at least a little better when Quatre came by carrying a vase of flowers.

"They're from Trowa. I told him you've been sick. He wishes you to get better and sent me along with these flowers." Trowa sent me flowers? Even if he hadn't personally come to see me, did these flowers mean he had forgiven me? Even if it was just a little? That had raised my spirits to an all high.

He placed the flowers on my desk and turned to look at me with a serious face, "Heero," Quatre began, taking in a deep breath, "You've been confining yourself in this house for a long time. You need to get out. Why don't you come over to the bar? At least you'll be in the company of your friends." Just mentioning the bar almost gave me a panic attack. Even if Trowa had given me flowers, was it a good idea to go back so soon? How could I even face him after everything? I shook my head slightly. No, bad idea; I don't think I can even face him without humiliating the both of us again. I should wait a little longer until I could compose myself and grovel and apologize for forgiveness.

He gave a small sigh at my hesitant response. "Well, at least you should get out and for some fresh air. It'll be good for you." Now that he mentioned it, I think it'd be a good idea. I was beginning to feel trapped in my house and bored of the same surroundings everyday. My depression had lessened when Quatre began his visits. His bright presence gave me comfort and hope that all was not lost. The flowers from Trowa made it even better. At least, I was on the right road this time.

"Yes. I think that's a good idea." I replied, actually cracking an almost invisible smile. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the tape that held the incomplete interview with Duo on it. Besides, there was still some unfinished business.

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

I rubbed my tired eyes, strained and getting watery from viewing the microfiche. I was searching though the hundreds of historical documents to find anything about Duo. Staring at the film speeding by at a blurry rate began to hurt my eyes and I could feel another headache coming, starting with a dull throb. I'd been there for hours already and I hadn't found anything even close to a clue.

"Sir? Is everything alright?" The assistant librarian came by to check; A small, young, petite woman, her brown hair in a neat bun, and clothes in a tidy fashion.

"Hn." She came by to glance over my shoulder. It was odd. People usually try to avoid me because of my personality. But then, they're always trying to come near me because of my looks. I'm not being egotistic. It's true. I've had my share of admirers.

"Do you need any help?" I could hear her take a sniff at my cologne. She leaned in closer to take a better look at the screen, or perhaps to brush her skin against mine, because she brushed to hard, pushing my hand forward and making the film fast forward. The girl "eeped" and fled when I finally managed to press the stop button and turned to glare her a promising death if she stayed any longer.

After the door slammed shut, I turned back to the screen, recollecting my thoughts. It was then that I saw a glimpse of a suspicious headline. A church? I vaguely recalled Duo mentioning some church in his childhood. Scrolling the film a little to the right, I was able to read: "Maxwell Church raided and destroyed. Sole Survivor." There was a picture of a young boy. A boy, with the unmistakable beginnings of a long braid and sad violet eyes, huddled in the rescue blanket and a medical officer addressing a wound on his cheek. Talk about luck. I might had passed that if the librarian hadn't come in. I almost felt like running out to give her the kiss of her life.. Almost. I stared at the picture again, certain that the boy was Duo.

Gotcha.

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

The colony should do something about these low-income buildings, I thought as I walked along the hallways of a dirty, dank, musty apartment building. The lighting was so poor that many that lined the walls weren't even working. I almost missed the place I was looking for because I couldn't even see the numbers in the dim light. As I knocked on the door, I was puzzled at why my palms were getting sweaty. No one answered the door. Knocking again and again, finally, someone from behind spoke up.

"You can stop knocking. Some people need their beauty sleep. It's obvious that Duo's not in right now." I twirled around to face a young girl around the same age as Duo. She looked at me curiously. Even in the poor lighting, I could still see her thick make up and sleazy clothing; it screamed, "prostitute" and I wrinkled my nose. You know my high opinions of people in this line of business.

Seeing that I was just going to stare at her, she introduced herself. "I'm Hilde, Duo's neighbor since forever." She raised an eyebrow and asked, "What can I do for you? You're not looking for. sex are you? Duo's been out of the business for a while. And.. Well... You've seen him haven't you? I mean, he's not the kind of person people go look for." Was she talking about his scar?

"Where's Duo?" She ran a hand through her purple hair, seeming to think.

"It's his day off. If he's not in his apartment, he's probably out in alleyway -Hey! Wait!" she called out, but I ignored her and heading toward the direction she was pointing. "Duo's my friend, and if you hurt him, I'll hunt you down personally! You'll be sorry!" I heard her warn as I left the hallway.

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

I could hear laughter of children as I came near the alleyway. Peeking around the corner, I saw children, at least five kids, surrounding Duo, all trying to catch his attention, tugging on his sleeve, repeating his name over and over without stopping to breathe, running around in circles, hopping on one foot onto the other. A little girl even was riding on his back, clutching his long braid like a rein. How could I not smile at this? The little scene was too peaceful, so joyful and happy. Duo was carrying a little bag, where he was pulling out some food and handing it out. The children took it gratefully, glomping onto him right afterwards until he had to pry the kids off his legs. After staring at the scene for a moment longer, I was surprised when Duo turned around and saw that his face wasn't covered up. I thought he wanted to hide himself from everyone. Why didn't he cover up in front of these children? That only started even more questions in my mind. I waited patiently for the kids to finally scatter away before approaching Duo.

When the kids all left, Duo gave a sigh and pushed his long bangs out of his eyes, only to have them fall back into place. He began walking back to his apartment when he spotted me ahead.

"Hey, what'er you doin' here?"

"I want my money back." I replied very solemnly.

"What?"

"Your interview. You didn't tell me everything."

The other boy looked away. "I told you everything." He tried to walk away, but I blocked his path.

"You liar."

He glared at me. "I do not lie! I run, I hide, but I DO NOT lie!"

I held out a printed copy of the news article. "Well if you didn't lie, then you left this out." Duo's eyes widened. then panicked.

"Where did you get that?" He attempted to take it but I held it away. "Where did you get that?! Give it to me!" He demanded, trying to snatch the article from my hands, only to have it out of reach. We struggled, almost like a wrestling match, and ended with me holding the paper behind my back and Duo's arms wrapped around me, trying to get it. My breath hitched as I realized our position. Duo's body pressed hard against me. We were so close I could smell his shampoo.. Minty.

His body is so warm, I absently thought. Duo jerked away, realizing what he'd been doing. I could see a furious blush creep onto the marred face. And like he gave up, he brushed me aside and unexpectedly started running away.

"Matte! Duo! Wait!! I just want to know!" I ran after the braided boy. Half of me feeling exasperated, but the other half was highly amused.

Running a few blocks, my head decided to begin pounding again. Not now! Of all the times for my sickness to be acting up. I was busy with something important right now! I tried to ignore it and keep running after the braid in front of me, but God! It felt like a bullet searing through my head. My body suddenly spasmed and my legs gave away. I clutched my head in my hands and closed my eyes to prevent tears from escaping. It hurt so bad that I lost all of my senses for a moment numb with pain. I had to give up the chase and fell against the wall, trying to save myself. Trying to fruitlessly stop the pain.

I wasn't sure how long I sat there, leaning against the wall in my own hell. But when the pain began to fuzz away slowly, I saw a hand before me. I looked up in surprise, wondering who the hell wanted to help me, and was met with Duo's warm, kind, indigo eyes. He had come back when he saw me struggling. Something fluttered inside as I took his hand.

on to part 8

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