I Forgot To Tell You
by Chester D. aka H.J. Bender


It was Saturday.

Yep, and that meant it was time to go out and about and be amongst the living today. So I pull on my denim jacket, strap on my Docs and a smile that would charm more than just the ladies, and hit the streets. No particular place to go. Just wandering. The story of my life.

Okay, so I'm walking along the main street in the heart of town, whistling a tune with hands in my pockets and looking like your average, all-around dumb, cute, American teenager when all of the sudden, who should I see? I'll give you a hint, or hell, I'll just tell you and save two seconds: it's Heero-san, Mr. Heero Yuy... and he looks so damned good this morning it's incredible. I couldn't believe my luck, old Zero-One right here on L2. It must have been a miracle, 'cause he sure looked like one now.

Heero, his hair has this kind of gleam to it, and it makes this angelic halo around his head. He looks like something that had just stepped out of the stained glass at Maxwell Catholic Church. And that face. I won't even get started on that 'cause I'll never stop, but I will say that he was and will always be gorgeous. I knew that since the day we met, no lies there. And I love that pissy, pouty expression he's always wearing, like someone just rubbed him the wrong way... ha. I'd like to rub him the wrong way, or any way for that matter.

I have a smile
Stretched from ear to ear
To see you walking down the road.

He doesn't see me; there's a lot of people out and about today, and the crowds were thicker than usual. He looks so serious, like he still has a mission even though the war has been over for nearly two years now. He looks so much better when I'm not bothering him, so I didn't wanna say hi or anything to spoil that handsome sulk on his face. I don't care that I hadn't seen him since the war--maybe I'll just sit back and watch him from a distance. For now, at least.

We meet at the lights
I stare for a while
The world around disappears.

He was waiting at the crosswalk as the traffic sped by noisily. I stepped up beside him but there were a few people between us. Somehow those people and the cars and the crowds on the sidewalks seemed to disappear, and we were both standing alone in a silent, deserted city. Like we were the last two human beings on the colony.

He looked at his watch and sighed impatiently. I could feel my smile broaden. He's so cute. I mean, just the way he pretends to be so high and important. Like a little kid in a teenage body. A damn fine teenage body, I might add. Those jeans he was wearing really accented that nice ass of his. I wasn't staring, I mean, I just happen to notice because I'm very observant about people. Yeah. Observant.

It's just you and me
On this island of hope
A breath between us could be miles.

Okay, so maybe this isn't the first time I've had feelings for another guy. Nothing new. Sure, I've had the odd girlfriend every now and then but those relationships never went far or deep. It's kinda hard to relate with somebody who you've gotta keep secrets from, but Heero already knew my secrets. Heero knew who I was, he's seen me for who I am. With Heero, I feel a sense of familiarity and comfort, probably from being military comrades. But something else stirs up in me when I think of him, like a warm summer breeze or one of those feelings where you get all goosey on the inside and smile for the rest of the day. I guess you could call it a crush. So I've got a crush on Heero, big fat hairy deal. Nobody knows but me, no harm done. Boy. Nothing brings people together quite like a war.

But I just have to get closer to him.

I disappear into the crowd and slowly approach from behind, on Heero's right. No one was in between us now. I had to fight to keep the smile off of my face. I'd really suck as an actor. If he turned around and recognised me, then I would act all surprised and be like, oh Heero! Fancy meeting you today!

I'm not sure if that's a lie or not. It sure feels like one when I say it in my mind. And I sure as hell know Heero wouldn't buy it.

Let me surround you
My sea to your shore
Let me be the calm you seek.

It's never enough for me. I have to get even closer.

So I step forward and casually brush his arm with mine. He doesn't notice. I'm stoked. I lean forward real slow, trying to get as close as I can without actually touching him. Goddamn, he smells so good. He's not wearing cologne or anything, it's just Heero's scent. The odour of determination and omae o korosu. Eau de Heero. I lick my lips, tempted to just blow my cover and outright mug him, tackle him to the sidewalk and never let go, smother him like a mother seal rolling over on one of her pups. I'd probably end up limping home minus five teeth plus one black eye.

Plan B was blurting out hello or something to him, but when you're standing next to a guy that looks as sexy and scary as Heero, you kinda lose your facility to speak.

But every time I'm close to you
There's too much I can't say...

But just being near him is enough for me. Mother Nature and Fate musta really had it in for me, cursing me with these hormones that make me crush on my brother in arms, then slapping this awkward moment on my ass to boot. Well, fine. I take what I can get and never ask for more. I was raised to appreciate what I have. And if this is as far as I can go with Heero, well... maybe it's all I deserve.

Suddenly, the lights changed and Heero stepped off the kerb. My little daydream of us shattered, and the moment was swept away with the wind.

Damn. I should be a poet.

And you just walk away.

It never fails. There is always some reckless driver who tries to race through the yellow light before it turns red, and this was one of those times. I saw the car. I saw the car that would hit Heero, and I reached out to him, but he was too far away.

Jesus Christ, I wish I could tell you how it feels to reach out for something that isn't there. It's a twisting, horrible feeling to know that Heero was about to be killed for certain and that there was nothing I could do to stop it.

The moment dragged by for years, a heartbeat happening only once a minute. And all I could think, all that was going through my mind right then was-

And I forgot to tell you
I love you.

I had a flash, a glimpse of the near future that suddenly show itself in my head. Oh God, it was horrible. I'd stand there paralysed after having watched Heero get run down and killed by a car after he had lived through so much and had his whole life ahead of him after the war.

I saw the paramedics crowded around him, trying to put his broken body back together and keep the blood from flowing. Blood. Red life that gushed out of my Heero and gathered in a pool on the black asphalt. It was like some kind of horror movie, only worse 'cause it was real.

I saw the ER, heard the doctors shouting in codes, saw Heero's battered, unconscious face as he slowly let go his grip on life and his hand went limp in my own. It wasn't fair.

This wasn't fucking fair.

And the night's too long
And cold here without you.

I saw the funeral. God, the awful silence of a graveyard where Heero Yuy, my Heero Yuy, was now sleeping in the ground. I saw the rest of the guys, all shaken and confused like me and not willing to believe that Heero the Indestructible, Heero the Immortal, Heero whom I suddenly realised I loved and needed more than any living thing in this crazy, fucked up universe... was dead.

I grieve in my condition
For I cannot find the strength
To say I need you so.

I saw myself, a human ghost, a living corpse in the wake of that day. I was empty and hollow and nothing good could ever fill the void that had been made since Heero went away. I had always been proud, stupidly proud--a fucking, arrogant, strutting peacock. I never needed anyone. I had survived on my own for years, and I would continue to do so, dying as an old geezer with a fading memory. Age grants mercy from the pain of bad memories, at least.

But how could I find it in myself to admit that I needed Heero? And when he didn't even need me, when he was better off without me and probably gonna marry that idiot Relena chick and have a million kids... selfishness is my first reflex for personal preservation, and Heero was mine. He was my Heero. I'm probably as obsessed with him as she is, but at least I know what love is. Not some stupid fairy tale told by an aristocrat who hasn't risked their life fighting for the freedom of their people, even when their own people rejected them. Haven't I suffered enough in this life enough to deserve a love like this? Hell fucking yes, I deserve it. I love Heero.

Heero... who stepped off the kerb on Saturday and was killed.

But every time I'm close to you
There's too much I can't say...

I snapped myself out of my millisecond-long mirror to the future, and I decided that a life without Heero was a thousand times worse than no life at all.

And in that moment, I decided to die for Heero.

I threw myself off the sidewalk and into him, knocking him down onto the asphalt and latching my arms around his chest. We hit the ground as the car was bearing down on us, horn blaring; I hugged him tight and rolled over onto the double yellow. I could feel the tyres as they rolled over the edge of my jacket, and the heat of the undercarriage as the car went screaming past us, screeching and honking, and disappeared around the corner. We had survived by mere inches.

Chaos followed. I heard a whistle being blown and people shouting, and crowds all around us. I could feel Heero's pulse pounding through every limb of his body, and I opened my eyes, letting my grip loosen. There were two cops holding back the throng of onlookers and we were helped to our feet, hustled out of the street and onto the sidewalk.

The incident had scared the living shit out of me, but it was worth it. It was totally worth it. Heero was okay, though looking around in confusion. I heard him say, "Who was it? Who grabbed me?"

One of the officers pointed in my direction, and I saw Heero's eyes widen. I smiled and waved, knowing I probably looked like a dead man propped upright. He walked over to me. I was shaking as he stared at me with that hard, calculating gaze.

"You were there the whole time and you didn't say anything?"

I shrugged and played it off. He shook his head and -write this down- grinned.

"That's one hell of a way to say hello."

We had to stick around for about another forty minutes, paramedics showing up just to make sure we didn't go into shock or something (they obviously didn't know that we used to do this kind of stuff for a living), cops asking about the car so they could identify it. I don't what they'd charge for; attempted vehicular homicide or reckless driving I suppose, but at least we were both alive.

God that I don't believe in, that I had abandoned years ago, thank you for giving me the courage to save my Heero.

The crowds had finally thinned and everything was back to normal. It was almost creepy how quickly the situation was over. One minute I was throwing myself into oncoming traffic, the next minute I'm standing on the corner as everybody goes about their own business. I'd lost track of Heero and then saw him out of the corner of my eye, walking down the sidewalk. As if nothing had ever happened.

And you just walk away.

I sighed and prepared to go back home, forgetting about shouting hey and then making a confessional out of him. I knew full well how crazy my thoughts were, but something stopped me in my tracks.

I loved Heero. I loved him enough to jump out in front of a speeding car and push him out of harm's way. I loved him enough to give my life for him, and I sure as hell wasn't going to let someone I love that much just walk away. Not after all that.

So I turned around, jogged up to his side.

He stopped and smiled, amazingly. "There you are. I thought you had just gone home," he said.

I grinned and turned completely bashful. "Yeah, well. I thought you'd done the same."

We stood there in silence for a while and I became speechless, even for a loud mouth like me. People around us began to disappear again. I wouldn't say nothing this time, hell no. Not after I almost lost him.

"Um," we both said at the same time, and smiled. He gestured as if to say 'you first'.

"Uh... you..." Courage that helped me save his life, let me speak now or forever hold my peace. "You wanna go grab lunch with me or something?"

This time, I was throwing myself off a cliff instead of a sidewalk.

But then he smiled. "Yeah," he said. "I'd like that."

And I think my parachute just opened.

I smiled back, and it felt like I had tears in my eyes. "Great!" I said. "I know this awesome little pizzeria on East 12th..."

And we just walked away.

Owari

This fic © Chester D. 8.31.01, revised & edited 12.23.2005. "I Love You" © Sarah McLachlan