DISCLAIMER: (Borrowed in part from Jay, with her permission) The Gundam Universe of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing is © Sotsu Agency, Sunrise, ANB, and Bandai America, Inc. Characters, places, timeline and other elements of the Gundam Wing series are the property of said organizations, and I do not profess to own them. The original material herein is © the author and not considered public domain. Please don't sue or plagiarize. I'm in a perpetually non-prosperous state and all spare change usually goes into coffee or bags of oats.

PAIRINGS: 1xr, 1x2
WARNINGS: Angst, yaoi, songfic
LYRIC CREDIT: "Take Your Fingers From My Hair," by Zebra, from the album Zebra.

SUMMARY: Duo makes Heero choose between he and Relena once and for all.

Life's Little Decisions
by Shira

From the confines of his warm bed, Duo could hear the loud swish-kathud of the front door being opened and forcibly closed again. Damn sticky door is so loud at night Peeking an eye out from where his head was buried under the blankets, he peered at the alarm clock on the night stand beside the bed. The glowing LED display illuminated its corner of the pitch-black bedroom with its message of 3:42 am. I don't know why he doesn't just stay the night with her. Rolling over, Duo pulled the covers back over his head in an effort to fend off the feelings of despair that were already descending on him in his partially awakened state. Damn you, Heero.

The sound of footsteps sounded through the house, down the hall and stopped at the bedroom doorway, where they did every night that he was away and returned late like this. There would usually be silence as Heero gazed a few moments at the sleeping form in the bed, and then the footsteps would continue on to the next room. Some nights Duo was never aware of his watcher; most nights, like tonight, he was. These chance nighttime meetings left both pilots filled with apprehension, unbeknownst to the other, and they were happening more and more as time went on. Duo pulled his head out of the blankets again and sighed. Are you coming in tonight or not?.

"You're awake." Heero said quietly in his usual monotone.

"I heard the door." Duo answered. "I wasn't waiting up."

Heero insisted that Duo not wait up for him when he was away on missions. "Theirs were the lives of soldiers," he'd said to Duo, "and thing can happen." Things like going to her instead of being here with me. Duo never admitted to it, but some nights he waited up anyway, not really knowing why. He doubted very much that Heero waited up for him to return from his own missions.

Heero silently entered the bedroom and crept to sit at the side of the bed next to Duo. "The mission went as expected," he volunteered.

Duo caught the faintest essence of perfume on the air when Heero drew near. Yes, apparently BOTH missions went well. In the light of the alarm clock display and a ray of moon beam from through the mini-blinds, hard blue eyes connected with soft purple ones asking for forgiveness and leniency. Duo sat up in bed and met Heero's gaze with sadness in his own tonight.

"Heero..." Duo began to speak, but his words were halted by soft lips touching his in a sensual, loving embrace. He felt a hand running through his river of silken hair, and it felt nice. Duo leaned into the kiss and his heart grew heavy as he did. Heero pulled him close, wrapping his arms around him and holding him tightly. Guilty. You're guilty, aren't you? You feel the guilt of being with her, and yet you come to me filled with love and affection... and guilt. You come to make yourself feel better. Heero, why can't you make up your mind? Duo opened his eyes wide and quickly ended their kiss, pushing Heero away to arms length.


take your fingers from my hair
they have gotten us nowhere

The hurt in Duo's eyes was evident, even in the near-darkness.

"No Heero... I can't do this anymore", he said, holding back his welling tears. "I can't bear this anymore."

Heero let his arms fall away, as well as his eyes, unable to meet Duo's pained expression. The proverbial knife blade in his side was being twisted a bit; he full well knew the hurt he was causing his lover. He said nothing, and just rose from the edge of the bed, disappearing from Duo's sight, leaving the longhaired boy without any answers to fight the flood of distraught that overtook him.

Heero, don't do this to me... don't do this to us.

we can't last another second
we are two, too lost for open doors

It had started innocently enough... two souls amidst a whole warring world, and both in need of solace and companionship. But what had developed from it was the growing need of each to have one another...perhaps actual love? Perhaps love, yes, but one-sided as it was unrealized on the part of one. Denial, the minds's betrayal of the heart. His mind telling him that he 'should' be with her, and all the while his heart telling him that he 'needed' to be with him. Too weighty for young love to handle this predicament... so he handled it in his best way possible. He ignored it. You have to decide Heero... I can't go on like this. Duo's voice rang in his mind, the same thought clouding him day after day after day.

take your memories and your ways
let me see a brighter day

Duo sighed and pulled the covers back up to his neck as he lay down again. His mind raced; there would be no more sleep tonight as he contemplated the situation for the hundredth time. Maybe I shouldn't have pushed him away. He'd finally put his foot down and given Heero something to think about. No, it was time...it's time to end this... Duo lay looking at the pitch-blackness before him, wondering what Heero would do now, and hoped against the worst. But Heero was too much of a thinker and too much of an idealist to allow his heart to rule him. He analyzed everything. It was this that Duo feared most. 'She' would undoubtedly win his affection because she was 'she'.

greener fields aren't hard to hope for
it's just hard to go on living here without you

You knew this would happen eventually
. Duo wiped a single stray tear from the side of his temple as he thought of the hard truth of the situation. No matter how strongly his feelings were for Heero, no matter how much Heero loved him back, Heero would not subject himself to the continuation of an unconventional relationship if he were forced to make a decision. He was trained to be too pristine for that. Why do you have to be so damn perfect all the time Heero?

somewhere I have dreamed
that you haven't got the time to be with me
somewhere though it seems
that you have been makin' love without me

The thought of them together... the thought of her...in spite of everything, it didn't bother him. They were good together, Heero and Relena. But not as good as 'we' are together... and besides that, you were mine first... Duo didn't hate her for it. Actually, in a way he pitied her, knowing that she was going through the same thing that he was. She knew the score. She wasn't stupid. But for all the good intentions in the world, he could only think of her as his enemy in the battle to keep his loved one, a battle that he knew he was about to lose. Duo shuffled in his bed, rolling onto his side, his wide eyes now staring at the display on the alarm clock. 5:23 am. In a few more hours it wouldn't matter anymore until tonight, as he would wear the mask of a happy, well-adjusted soldier ready to tackle his next mission with the vim and vigor of life. Only he would know that deep inside his heart was breaking a little more every day for the impending loss that hung in front of him. He, and maybe Heero, who would see the look in his eyes and know what Duo was thinking.

oh, starshine, moonshine
you're the light that shines upon me baby
I know you'll go
find yourself another lover lady

Duo met the dawn with bleary eyes and dull, tussled hair. His pining had once again prevented him from forgetting the problem at hand, even for a few hours time. Maybe I'll just stay in bed today. He was soon aware of blue eyes staring from the doorway again, and he motioned to come and sit down. Heero obliged, planting himself in the exact spot as he sat earlier that morning when he'd come home. Sitting up, Duo rubbed the sleepiness from his eyes.

"Morning." Duo said.

"Hai." Came the short response. All they could do was look at each other.

"Heero, why?" Duo cut right to the chase and questioned the other boy.

"Why do you have to make me choose?" came the cold response. It was Heero's only defense, to be cold like that, since he knew very well himself what the answer to the question was.

"I can't live this way Heero..." Duo's voice was filled with emotion. "I need all of you... or none of you", his eyes dropped to his hands, which were twisting a lock of chestnut colored hair around his fingers.

"I can't..." Heero began, then stopped. He looked away.

let me tell you how I feel
loving others isn't real

"You can't WHAT Heero?" Duo perked abruptly, but this time there was anger in his tone. "You can't commit to the one you truly love because you'll see yourself as somehow 'less perfect'?"

Heero's blue eyes became hard as he filled with the sadness of Duo's cutting words.

"You can't figure out which one of us you are supposed to be with? I can tell you which one, Heero." Duo continued his rant as his face flushed. "Which one of us do you choose to come back to every night, no matter where you are? Which one of us do you come to when you need someone to just hold you? Which one of us do you run to when the missions are hard, or they don't go right?" There was desperation in Duo's voice now. "You come to 'me' for all that Heero... 'Me.' Yet you go to her because you've convinced yourself that she makes you more the coined 'perfect soldier' that J called you. Fuck being perfect for once, Heero. Life isn't perfect, Heero!"

you are blind, too blind to notice
that her love is not the love we share together

Duo, practically in tears at this point, rose and stormed out of his bedroom wearing nothing but sweatpants bottoms. His flowing mane followed like a flag blowing in the breeze, making Heero sigh at the sight of the bishounen boy departing. Frozen by that last display of emotion from Duo, Heero could only sit and watch him go. He'd really screwed up this time. Royally.

Duo made his way out into the crisp morning air and paced back and forth barefoot in the front yard, tears streaming down his face. Within minutes his exposed skin was bright red and his feet were numb from the coolness of the air outside, but he didn't feel it. Either he goes or I go. He'd gotten this far, it was time to finish this once and for all, lest he weaken and fall back into Heero's two-timing arms. He had to stay strong, no matter how hard it hurt. He owed it to himself, to not be dragged down by Heero's feelings of inadequacy. He'd already suffered in life enough at his own doing…he certainly wasn't going to keep brunting the pain of this ridiculous situation any more. That's it, Heero...go back to her...I guess that's where your insecure ass belongs.

somewhere I have dreamed
that you haven't got the time to be with me
somewhere though it seems
that you have been makin' love without me

Duo was still pacing, and shivering, when Heero appeared outside and brushed past him. "Go inside before you freeze to death," was all he said as he was preparing to leave.

"Where are you going, as if I really should care at this point?" Duo blurted out rather sarcastically. His hurt was now on the defensive.


"Yeah, yeah, I know…" Duo replied. "Don't wait up."

Heero turned and answered his comment with a surprising, "That's up to you this time, Duo."

Duo shot him a confused glance as if to sat 'Now what was that all about?'. Within minutes Heero was gone, and Duo was left still standing in the front yard, barefoot and bare chested, shivering... either from the cold or from his anger and pain, he didn't know. He finally turned and went inside.

oh, starshine, moonshine
you're the light that shines upon me baby
I know you'll go
find yourself another lover lady

I can't take it no more...

Fast forward. Night again, and Duo wondered to himself where the day had gone already. Once again snuggled in bed, once again with blankets over his head creating a warm cavern under the covers. He could hear the familiar swish-kathud of the front door as it did its thing again. Heero. Great. He's back. To rub salt in the wound. The more things change, the more they stay the same. He's going to come and stand in my doorway and look at me like he does every night that he comes in late. I can feel him doing it. His eyes burning into me right through the blankets.

"What do you want Heero?" A muffled voice was heard from within the confines of the insulating blankets.

There were a few moments of silence and then the feel of the side of the bed sinking as Heero sat beside Duo. A hand grabbed the edge of the blankets, pulling them away and inviting in the cool air, and the dim light from the alarm clock. And the sight of Heero's tear-streaked face.

"What?" Duo immediately sat up in bed, his natural instinct to concern himself with what could possibly be so sad as to make Heero upset enough to cry. "Heero, what's wrong?" His hand reached out to Heero's.

"I did it... I've decided... in all fairness to both of you." Heero's face was sullen.

Duo could feel a lump forming in his throat as he prepared himself for the inevitable. You knew it would come to this... be strong... don't let him see you break down again.

"...and?" Duo's voice cracked. There was quiet for a few minutes as Heero collected his thoughts. Neither could look each other in the eye and Heero sniffed at the tear-induced congestion in his nostrils. Then turning to Duo he finally spilled his secret.

"I ended it." You ended it. The look on Duo's face was nothing short of shock. You've figured it out... I can't believe you've figured it out. Stunned, Duo's heart raced as he thought of what to say, but nothing came to him except tears of joy streaming down his emotionless face. And as they did, Heero wiped them away one by one with the back of his hand. All the hurt, all the love, all the days and nights of emotional turmoil suddenly descended upon Duo at once and he was too overwhelmed to respond.

"I understand now... I needed you to show me." Heero said in a whisper.

He leaned forward and hugged his love with all his passion, his hands once again finding their place, interwoven in the lengthy strands of Duo's hair. Then finally emerging from his state of shock, Duo closed his eyes and wrapped his arms around Heero's warm body, sighing a deep, comforted sigh of relief. Hai, Heero, I love you too...


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