LSE // 4-29-03
(Falling For You - Part One)
rated: R - language, content, violence

Part One


But for the steady, rhythmic click of the keyboard, the room was
quiet. Which was no surprise considering the sole occupant was
completely absorbed in the glowing laptop screen before him. Or, at
least he believed himself to be focused. In reality, Heero couldn't
keep himself from straining to catch the sounds of a Gundam landing.
Specifically, the Gundam Deathscythe.

He told himself it was just concern for the mission. Definitely not
concern for the moronic, braided pilot. Not even when Duo's mere
presence made him feel as flighty and excited as... No. These were
not appropriate... Heero shied away from the word feelings.

With an angry scowl, that look which Duo referred to as the Heero Yuy
Death-Glare (tm) and many had seen as the last thing before death, he
closed the laptop. The resulting snap seemed to vibrate off the walls
and punctuated the quiet. A cold precision to the action, Heero
checked to make sure his gun was clear in its holster before walking
out from the small bedroom -- surely it was coincidence he was
sharing the room with Duo...

He found the other pilots lounged in front of the television.
Actually, Quatre leaned every so slightly against Trowa, who merely
pretended to be interested in the movie they were watching. Wufei sat
removed from the scene, but still very much a part of it even though
he read a slim paperback. Only Trowa glanced over when Heero entered.

When a commercial break caused a rift in Quatre's concentration, he
looked over and blinked wide, aqua marine eyes. Startled, but
determined not to be bothered by the fact Heero was just standing
there with a grim scowl, Quatre smiled and asked, "Do you need
something, Heero?"

No reply came, because Heero's alert ears had caught the faintest
roar of an engine in the distance and he had already spun around to
leave. Quatre exchanged a knowing look with Trowa and settled back
against the taller boy's side to watch the rest of the film.

Heero hesitated at the door of the safe house, pressing one cheek to
the glass to best peer out into the twilight gloom. He could just
barely make out the silhouette of the Gundam lowering into the forest.
He had no reason to go out to meet Duo. Soon Deathscythe's pilot would
return and give a debriefing of the mission. And there was no
indication by the mecha's flight that the pilot was suffering from
serious injury.

But Duo had been acting oddly lately. Heero hadn't really wanted to
let him go out on the mission to begin with. He hadn't voiced his
objections, though, since he had no reason to. Quiet. That's what was
bothering him so much about Duo's behavior. He was oddly quiet. Not
that Heero cared. Not at all.

The glass fogged from Heero's breath, momentarily disrupting his view
of the Gundam. He backed away and started to simply wipe the glass
off, but instead shoved his hands into his pockets. A sigh filled with
a shocking amount of longing escaped him and Heero turned away from
the door with difficulty.

Duo was over an hour late. Heero grabbed frantically at a soldier's
emotionless composure and prepared to chew Deathscythe's pilot out.
He forced himself to be furious with Duo. Pilot 02 had obviously not
followed the mission parameters. Time tables were not suggestions.
Heero didn't work so hard planning these things to have braided bakas
ruin everything. Yes, he was mad at Duo.

After all, anger was so much easier to deal with than...


The control panel's lights has completely dimmed and the Gundam had
grown silent before its pilot even stirred. His injuries were minor;
a few cuts and bruises from being bashed against the cockpit walls,
but the cause of the reluctance wasn't physical.

Duo gripped the seat until his knuckles were white, trying to shake
the lingering shades of doubt. The mission had gone so horribly wrong.
The original plan was simply annihilate an Oz base. There were few
personnel -- it was mostly a research facility -- and even fewer
mobile suits, which was why only one Gundam had been sent.

That was the original plan. Get in, make hell, get out. Simple. Be
back for dinner, save me a seat by the tube. Yeah, right, Duo thought
with a tired sigh, releasing the seat with a pained hiss. He'd gotten
in fine, and had begun to gleefully rip the base apart when the
information he'd received proved to be horribly wrong.

To begin with, there had been more mobile suits; more soldiers. And
the base wasn't even a research facility. Oh, no, he couldn't have
been lucky. It had to be a training area. The pilots he'd found
resisting his destruction had been mere boys, even younger than
himself. None could be more than thirteen. At first, Duo was sure
he'd gotten the coordinates wrong. But, no, he had time to double
check before the slaughter had begun.

Even with the number advantage, the recruits, the student-soldiers,
were no match for Shinigami. Death had swept through the ranks
quickly. Duo had tried to see them has only the enemy, not children,
but it was impossible.

With a groan, he saw the time was an hour past when he should have
gotten back. But orders had clearly stated not to let anyone leave
the area alive. He had been forced to hunt down the few that had
fled. And it had taken him a while to polish off both the base and
the suits. But, he wouldn't think of that. He wouldn't think of how
easily the scythe had cut through the transport... flames...

Jumping down to the soft forest floor, Duo quickly went about
concealing Deathscythe from both eyesight and radar searches. Already,
he was formulating what he would report back to the four waiting
pilots. Trowa wouldn't say anything, but Wufei might call him a
weakling for taking so long to deal with nothing more than a 'handful
of brats' (he could just see the Chinese pilot referring to the
training base's fighters as such.) That he could handle.

Quatre, however, had an unnerving ability to see through even his
brightest of masks. The small blonde would sense his uneasiness about
the slaughter and might... No. He'd have to avoid Quatre. And that
just left Heero. Perfect Heero Yuy.

But he had done everything according to plan. It wasn't his fault the
information was faulty and that recruits took so long to die. So what
if he was an hour late? Fuck Heero!

Footsteps heavy and dragging, he trudged up towards the safe house,
nestled into concealment among the hills and wood. As he parted from
the forest and drew closer, he could see that a few lights were still
on in the living room and upstairs. One light he knew was coming from
the room he shared with Heero. The other, which had an added flicker
to it, came from the living room and announced the television was
still running.

Maybe he could just sneak into the kitchen and grab a quick snack
before going upstairs, avoiding Quatre's inquisitive stare. That
still just left Heero. Fuck Heero. Duo pressed lightly on the kitchen
door and gained himself admittance into the dimly lit room. Quietly,
so not to warn the others of his presence, he rummaged through the
cabinets before finding a protein bar. Although not his snack of
choice, it would suffice for his purposes.

Employing full Shinigami-stealth capabilities, Duo moved for the
hall, the stairs, and freedom. Unfortunately, he was almost on the
first step when a cheerful call came from behind him; "There you are,
Duo!" Quatre said, "How was the mission?"

Cursing silently, Duo turned with a smile firmly in place, "Mission
successful, but I'm beat. I was just going to skip up to bed early..."

Quatre frowned, "Are you hurt any?"

Duo shook his head despite it being a small lie. Several bruises
crossed his shoulders and he'd received a glorious bump to the head
from being shook about the cockpit, but the injuries were slight and
did not need anything besides rest. Just when Duo thought he'd get
off, there came a heavier pace of footsteps.

Drawn by voices, Heero came even with Quatre and a little beyond,
glaring up at the pilot on the stairs. "You're late," he barked,
"what went wrong with the mission?"

Only Quatre caught the apprehensive worry in the question. Duo
returned the scowl and tone in kind, "Nothing went wrong except your
Goddamn information."

"My information was faultless."

"That wasn't no fucking research facility, that was a training base
full of new recruits."

Heero's eyes glittered dangerously, "A handful of recruits slowed
your progress by one hour? Did you even complete the mission?"

About to interject with peace, Quatre caught the look in fury in
Duo's stance and choose to retreat with the hope the two could reach
resolution without violence. Slipping out from the hall, Quatre
hesitated in the doorway to catch Duo's enraged explanation before
fully withdrawing. His empathy only received snatches of emotion from
either pilot, and none of what he was picking up seemed healthy. In
Quatre's opinion, Duo and Heero needed to admit their feelings and
stop acting so...


"Even a young enemy is a target," Heero said coldly, meeting Duo's
glare evenly.

"You bastard, those were children!"

"Children can kill just as effectively as adults. If you cannot
control your useless precognitions about age and war, Pilot 02..."

Duo suddenly didn't want to see that cold, smug look anymore. Not on
a face he so longed to caress and kiss. Damn you, Heero Yuy! he
though furiously, why do you have to be such a...! Without even
realizing it, Duo back-handed Heero across the face.

Beyond a low grunt and the slight shifting of his head to the left,
there was no reaction from Heero. Duo started to apologize, but he
wasn't sorry and, as far as he was concerned, Heero deserved it.
"Next time, get your fucking information straight, and don't bitch at
me for taking an hour longer than your precious time table allows,"
Duo growled, surprising even himself with the violent tone.

Without giving Heero a chance to respond, Duo whirled around and
stalked up the stairs. Unfortunately, he shared a bedroom with the
Japanese pilot and the chance of Wufei trading was zero. Fuming, Duo
jerked his clothes off and threw them at the floor, where they
harmlessly landed. Standing in the doorway with one hand on the light
switch, Duo strained his ears to catch the soft voices rising up from
the stairs.

"...apologize to Duo," Quatre pleaded. Heero either made no reply or
it was silent.

Clicking off the lights with more force than necessary, Duo turned
and, after letting his eyes adjust to the darkness, crawled into his
narrow bed. He dared Heero to come in later and turn on the lights,
or make so much as a peep of noise.


Hours later, when Heero did dare to venture into the darkened bedroom,
Duo was fast asleep. The Japanese pilot stood for a moment in the
gloom, looking at the still, peaceful face so devoid of the previous
fury. Some part of Heero felt ashamed for yelling at Duo after what
had happened, but the dominating feeling was one of satisfaction. His
first instinct, seeing the tired, worn look on Duo's face, was to
rush up and... hug the boy.

Heero shook his head in disgust. Soldiers did not hug.

As always, Heero fell asleep as soon as his head touched the pillow.
Yet another way he differed from his companions in regards to
training; a true soldier learned to sleep on command.

Across the room, however, Duo's face shifted from peaceful to
anguished as images swirled up through his unconscious and formed
into nightmare. Slain children pursued him, each pointing to Duo as
their killer, their Shinigami. The recruits, no longer faceless
pilots to oppose him but happy, vibrant children, screamed as Duo's
scythe reaped destruction and chaos.

"No..." Duo moaned, tossing in his bed and vainly trying to seek
escape. "No..."

Sharp pain snapped Duo back into reality, and he opened his eyes to
find the hard glint of Heero's glare bearing down. Heero's hand was
raised and Duo's face stung fiercely on either cheek: the Japanese
boy had slapped him awake. "Ow," Duo muttered, and knew he was
blushing beneath the red marks from Heero's palm.

"Baka," Heero issued coldly, but made no move to get off Duo's bed.

"What's your deal?" Duo snapped back, sitting upright and throwing his
best glare. Acting as if he hadn't been lingering, Heero stood and
wordless went back to his own bed.

"Don't disturb my sleep with your pathetic whines," Heero growled out
once back under his sheets, turning away from Duo's side of the room.

Maybe it was the stress. Maybe it was Heero. For whatever reason, Duo
snapped and, before Heero even had time to realize it, the American
had charged out of bed and across the room. Heero recovered enough to
sit upright and raise a hand in defense before Duo's fist connect
squarely with his jaw.

"Bastard!" Duo shrieked.

More surprised than actually hurt, it took Heero a moment to recover
from the blow. Duo felt his anger ebb slightly and opening his mouth
to apologize, but the words died into a soundless gasp as Heero calmly
returned the punch; right into Duo's gut.

Screw apologizing! Duo thought, hauling Heero out from the bed and
tackling the boy to the floor. Tightly concealed emotion exploded
into fury beyond cause for the circumstances. What started as cold
and precise dissolved into a frantic scramble over the carpeting,
each trying to gain the advantage over the other. Wrapping his hand
through Duo's braid, Heero lifted the boy's head enough to gain
leverage before slamming it into the dresser. Duo retaliated by
clawing at Heero's arms to get his braid released before kneeing
Heero in the stomach.

Suddenly, they came to a stop, Duo pinned beneath Heero. Both boys
were breathing hard and sweat glistened over equally heated glares.
Duo was uncomfortably aware of the feel of Heero's hands on his bare
arm despite the violent grip in which they were locked. Staring up
Heero's face above his and realizing how pointless the entire thing
was, Duo forced himself to go lax in silent surrender.

"Why do you have to be so heartless?" Duo whispered quietly, his
voice still carrying the lingering traces of anger.

"Why do you have to be so stubborn?" Heero returned.

Before Duo could stop himself, he answered. "Because I love you."

The world stopped, it seemed, and Duo watched in agony as Heero's
eyes first flew wide, giving him some hope, but then returned to the
same narrowed glare. "Love is for the weak," Heero growled, abruptly
releasing Duo and standing, seemingly uneffected by the fight.

Stunned, Duo could only lie there, staring up at the cold look on
Heero's face. Ideally, Heero would have whispered back an exclamation
of love and their lips would have met in that glorious first kiss.
Ideally, and ideal was just blown to hell.

"You..." Duo began weakly, gaining his feet and staring with
disbelief into Heero's blank face. He couldn't... Duo turned away,
jerking his bag out from under the bed and snatching up jeans a shirt.

"Where are you going?" Heero demanded.

A vicious "Fuck you" was the only reply as Duo jammed the clothes on
with shaking hands. He had to get out. Away from Heero. Just... away.

Heero watched silently, unable to grasp the gravity of the situation
but fully aware he had just seriously screwed up. He longed to reset
everything and start over. But love was for... Heero tried to shut
out the soldier's training and his own reflexes. Hearing the emotion
in Duo's announcement, and seeing Duo's reaction to Heero's own
heartless, bastardly comment.

Heero wanted to approach the boy and confess his own... feelings.

"You guys okay?" Quatre's voice called, floating through the closed
door along with a soft knock. The blond stepped back quickly when Duo
swung the door open and silently brushed by him with fresh bruises
his face and a limp. Startled, to say the least, Quatre glanced into
the bedroom long enough to see Heero standing there, equally as
beaten, before hurrying after Duo.

Forehead pressed to the glass, Heero watched from the window as Duo
stormed out of the safe house at a near run. Quatre started to follow,
but the small Arabian stopped half-way across the lawn in defeat. The
soldier in him demanded Heero prevent Duo from wandering off and
jeopardizing the safety of the Gundams or the other pilots. Heero
squashed the soldier's response and tried to think about what a
normal human would do in similar circumstances.

Go after him.

Stay here and wait for him to shake it off.

You're a moron. You should have said you...

Heero growled and turned away from the window, hands clenched into
fists as if daring the thoughts to continue. He did NOT feel anything
for that mindless baka. Any concern was purely related to the mission.
And the fact Heero was helplessly in love with Duo.




Author's Notes: Yeah, yeah; I'm suppose to working on my AU 'fic for
that contest. *cough* Well, this sorta just jumped up and tackled me
with my muses beating me into submission and I was in a feverish,
half-dead state of illness already, so... (I'm current struck with
some random sickness. Joy) This is what you get. Shouldn't be terribly
long, maybe just another part (notice I'm not using chapters for this.
Just to be random. And I feel like this needs parts.) or two.
Probably just one more part, unless my muses... *half-hearted glare*

Oh, and the story title isn't what it seems... [insert evil laugh]

I'm staying home sick tomorrow, so... fingers crossed!

Feedback/reviews are very much appreciated!
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