Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing, its characters, its quotations, or its plotlines. They belong to the Sotsu Agency who owns their trademark, Bandai who licenses their use, and, of course, the guy who created them. I am neither receiving payment for this work, nor will I accept any. No copyright infringement is intended.
Spoilers: No.
Reviews: Welcomed.

Notes: PG for a cuss word. Drama. This is a scene, in media res, between Duo and Heero. Post-EW. I am practicing the use of imagery as subtext. Familiarity with the canon pasts of the characters is assumed.

Not Forgotten
by Muffie

"I'm not doing it, Duo."

There was a moment of silence, then a wry laugh. "I know you aren't, buddy."

Duo dropped, ass first, into the Adirondack chair next to him. Heero flicked a momentary glance out of the corner of his eye. In the quiet lake, the Golden Retriever/Labrador mutt flailed around in a circle, searching. He watched the waves ripple toward the shore before disappearing into nothing.

The fuzzy end of the braid slid into view, Duo's fingers slapping it against the bottle of beer dangling between his fingers.

"Got any more of those?"

He grunted. Duo would Duo what Duo wanted to do. Duo always did. Duo chose to grunt; though, it sounded more like laughter.

The dog, fuzzy lips wrapped around a dingy red tennis ball, struck out for shore.

"How'd you know it was me?"

He tapped the laptop's screen with the bottom of his beer bottle. "Wufei drives. You prefer to test my security."

He didn't have to see the grin to know it was there. "How far'd I get before you caught me?"

The dog's front paws hit the bottom of the lake and the arrowed swim turned into enthusiastic bounding.

"Farther than last time. Why'd you come?"

Duo twisted in the chair, making the wood squeak. "Wanted a beer."

The dog stopped, the longish fur on its fat belly dipped in the water, and shook itself off.

Heero thought about taking a swig of his beer; instead, he pointed toward the screen door with the bottle. Duo chuckled, the quiet one that sounded more like a playful puppy's growl than a real laugh. His own lips threatened to turn up, just a bit, before he covered it with a sip from the bottle.

The dog started its bounding again, until it cleared the water. It stopped for another full-body shake. It stood for a moment, a ridiculous expression around the red ball, then flopped into the dirt on the water's edge.

Duo did the puppy chuckle again, but made no move to get the beer he wanted.

The breeze shifted slightly, ruffling his bangs and bringing the scent of earth and forest. The stiff leaves on the cottonwoods chattered. Duo let a smug little sigh go. The dog stood again, picking up the ball, and bounded toward them. Heero frowned. "Well?"

Duo shifted in the chair, settling in deeper by the sound. "Well what?"

The dog made it just past halfway to the deck before plopping onto the grass. The red ball popped free and the dog nosed it back into the cradle of its paws.

Heero waved toward the lake, and the world in general, with the beer bottle. "The speech."

"What speech?"

He ground his teeth together. "The speech about doing the mission. That's what they sent you here for."

"Oh, that speech."

The breeze teased the grass. The water lapped against the rickety dock. The dog picked up the ball and climbed to its feet.


"I forgot what I was supposed to say." Duo was grinning again; it made him sound as if he were sharing a private joke. "Hey, if you're that into it, you can give me the speech instead."

"I don't want to hear it."

"That's good, because I don't want to give it. I haven't been practicing my Wufei impression, though I can do a mean Trowa." Duo paused to puppy chuckle. "Unless you make me laugh."

The dog jogged forward again, aiming for the steps at the corner of the deck.

"I have a different speech, wanna hear it?" He grunted. "No."

"Too bad. Here it goes."

"I don't--"

"You're my friend and I miss you."

Heero sighed and set the bottle beside the laptop. "Duo...."

"Nice speech, huh? I told them I'd come out and try and talk some sense into you, but I didn't tell them what about."

He sighed again. "What are you going to tell them when you get back?"

Duo seat squeaked. "That I had a beer and you're not doing the mission. Sound okay to you?"

The dog's front paws clattered on the wooden steps.

Heero turned to frown at Duo. "You're not having a beer."

Duo grinned at him. "I'll have one with dinner."

"There's a bar and grill a few clicks south of here."

Sitting down, the tail thumping against the deck, the dog dropped the red ball between them.

"Only if you wear something a little more dressy than spandex. I'll feel like a dork."

He jerked his eyes back to the lake. "I'm not inviting you to dinner. I'm kicking you out."

"Repeat after me, buddy. Heero is Duo's friend. Duo misses Heero."

He snatched the bottle and took a long drink.

"I really do miss you, buddy."

He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "I'm just following my emotions. You thought that was a smart thing to do, too, so let me do it."

"Oh? What emotions are those?" The mild amusement in Duo's voice grated.

"The ones that tell me that I like my life the way it is."

Duo shifted in his seat. "The ones that tell you to sit out here by yourself and watch your laptap cycle through your security monitors?"

"It's not about that. It's about--" He squeezed the bottle in his fist.

"It's about what?"

Heero stared at Duo for a long moment. The usually mobile face held itself still. He slid two fingers around the neck of the bottle and let it swing lazily. "It's about knowing what's important."

He looked out over the water.

In his peripheral vision, he watched Duo lean over and pick up the red ball. The tail thumping sped up. Duo tossed the ball from hand to hand long enough for the dog to stand up and broofat him. Duo did the puppy growl chuckle, then straddled the chair and threw the ball. With a breathless yip and a scrabble of claws, the dog chased after it.

"Nice dog. What's his name?"

Heero twisted the bottle in circle. "Mariemaia."

"You know that dog's a boy dog, right?"

He shrugged. "It doesn't know a boy name from a girl name."

"You can call it a he, you know."

Heero smirked. "Neutered."


He turned his head just enough to get a good look at Duo. The breeze brought the scent of the lake to them. "I call it Mary."

Duo smiled softly. "Then say it's a she."

The dog overshot the ball and slipped to a clumsy halt. It barked at the red spot in the grass before picking it up and trotting toward the deck with its nose in the air.

Duo leaned back in the chair with a grunt. "I know what's important, too."

He frowned at Duo's solemn profile.

"I call you buddy."


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