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.

WARNINGS: Angst, sap, implied yaoi, physical/emotional abuse, suicide attempts, blood.

SUMMARY: Duo winds up in an institution due to severe depression, and Heero helps him face not only his own demons, but also the ones working at the facility who are trying to make his life a living hell.

by Shira

6 Months later

If You're Heart Is Aching
Just Remove The Shame
You've Got To Want It

Give Your Soul A Shaking
And Refuse The Blame
You've Got To Want It

~excerpted from "Runaway Train" by Geddy Lee, from the album My Favorite Headache

Sitting on the edge of the deck fence, Duo stared out into the ocean, watching the setting sun. The sky was painted a wash of violet and purple and red, a beautiful canvas from nature. The wind picked up a bit, and he pushed a stray wisp of hair behind his ear. He liked watching the phases of the sun and the moon - there was something wondrous about it all. It calmed him. A couple of albatross scurried across the shoreline as the waves rolled in, running back to stay dry, then forward again to pick at the little gifts the tide had brought them.

Listening to the voice of the sea, Duo half-smiled, content. It had been a long time since he felt content. It felt good. His hair loose and blowing in the cool evening breeze, this was a moment that could not be duplicated, except maybe by doing it again the following evening. He was the picture of serenity this evening...his ripped and faded blue jeans and over-sized, inside-out sweatshirt and bare feet adding to the relaxation. Today, at least, life was reasonably good. Sure, there would be more therapy in the future, and bad days with the good, but for now, everything was nice.

Padding up behind him, also in bare feet, Heero crept over and slid his arms around Duo's waist, pushing his nose into the long tresses and taking a deep breath. "You OK?" He asked, always concerned about what dark thoughts could potentially be lurking in the expanses of his lover's mind. Heero paid careful attention to Duo's moodiness these days.

"Perfect." Duo answered, leaning back on Heero. They watched the ocean like that for a few minutes, simply enjoying each other'stouch and presence.

"You still wanting to call everyone tonight about the weekend?" Duo had suggested that they invite the three remaining former Gundam pilots for a get-together weekend before their two weeks at the beach rental was through - a kind of "family gathering" of sorts. He felt the need to reconnect with the ones that had been so important in his young life. He especially wanted a chance to thank Quatre for all of his help while Heero intervened in what would probably have turned out to be Duo's demise. Together they, along with Sophia and Anja, pulled him from the brink of extinction, and now that he was able to realize that, it was that much moreimportant to him.

"Yeah, I do. I really want to see them all. I want us to be together in the same place, just for a little while, so I can realize how good I've got it. I want to feel that feeling...of loving and caring. Like you, Heero."

Heero kissed the back of Duo's neck. "Then call them we will. They'll come. I know everybody has been very anxious to see you after all this time, and knowing how depressed you've been. I think it will be a nice surprise for everyone to see you feeling good again."

"You know something, Heero?" Duo said, eyes still fixated on the ebbing tide. He sniffed the air and tasted the sea salt on it.


"I wouldn't be here right now if it wasn't for you." He paused. "I'm glad you finally came around, so that you could save me from myself.

" "Me too. I'm glad I came around too, Duo. I think we both got the salvation that we needed."


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