LSE // 5-1-03
(Falling For You - Part Three)
rated: R - language, content, violence
shounen-ai/yaoi

Part Three

-

"DUO!" Heero screamed, adjusting his grip in the last second to keep
a fragile hold on Duo's wrist. A sob escaped him, and the world was
softened by tears. "Don't do that!" he gasped, unable to stop his
heart from racing uncontrollably.

Passively, Duo stared upwards, vaguely disappointed Heero was so
determined to fall to an icy death with him. However, all those
thought stopped at seeing what looked suspiciously like tears
clouding over the other boy's face. "Sorry," Duo whispered, voice
trembling, "but you should have let me fall."

"You fall, I'm coming after you," Heero answered, voice trembling.
"Can you even swim?"

"Like a rock."

The hung there in silence, the rain beating down and making it hard
for Heero to keep his hold on both Duo and the metal railing. While
Heero struggled, Duo hung in relative relaxation, shivering slightly
with the cold. The wind buffeted him, causing a gentle sway which
further weakened Heero's grip. Despite the cold, he felt warm,
reassured by the knowledge Heero loved him.

"I'm sorry... for earlier," Heero said suddenly, jolting Duo out of
his contemplative stupor.

"Me too. I shouldn't have hit you."

"I was being a bastard."

"Stop it, or I'll bite your hand just to escape the mushiness," Duo
quipped, but smiled softly when Heero looked down in surprise.

Heero slowly returned the smile, and the moment, now shared,
lengthened. Heero's firm grip on the railing laxed, and he scrambled
to try and regain his hold. The rain complicated matters, and he
ended up with a fraction of his earlier security.

"H...Heero? Don't be afraid... You fall, I fall, right?" Duo asked
nervously, seeing the Japanese pilot struggle to maintain his hold on
the railing. "I... I love you!" he shouted, wishing Heero didn't have
such a tight hold on his wrist. In a heart-beat, he would fall into
certain death rather than... "I love you," Duo whispered in defeat.

Heero felt his fingers slid off from the railing, and then he should
have crashed down into the water far below... but he didn't. Opening
eyes he wasn't even aware he had closed, Heero found himself staring
up into familiar, shocked green eyes.

"Trowa?"

"Hold on," Trowa muttered, one hand firmly locked over Heero's wrist
just like Heero was clinging to Duo. "Give me your other hand."

"Can't," he added a fierce shake of his head to the word, unsure if
he still held Duo through the numbing cold that was sweeping over him.
What if he had let go? Duo couldn't swim.

"Heero?" Quatre leaned over the railing, standing next to Trowa, who
was stretched out on his stomach on the bridge. "Duo!" he shouted,
spotting what Trowa couldn't in his position; that Heero's other hand
was tightly locked over Duo's. "Duo's down there, Trowa."

Leaning his head out, Trowa managed to catch a glimpsed of
Deathscythe's pilot, hanging far below. "Quatre, go get some rope,"
Trowa ordered quietly, trying to think of how to get both of them
back on to the bridge. The gap in the railing wasn't wide enough for
him to haul Heero through if the boy was holding on to Duo's hand.

Quatre hurried over to the jeep, which was parked nearby. On a whim,
he had made Trowa pull over, and when the noise of the engine had
died off they both had heard shouts over the rain. Luck, fate, God --
whatever it was -- enabled Trowa to see Heero's hand clinging to the
bridge rail. Quatre shuddered, thinking how close they'd come. But,
they weren't out of danger yet...

Returning with the rope, Quatre hovered anxiously over Trowa's
shoulder, trying to see into the gloom below. He couldn't tell if Duo
was even conscious from the way the pilot hung limp in Heero's grasp.
Quatre wondered how long they'd been hanging there from the bridge in
the cold rain and wind.

"What should I do with the rope, Trowa?"

"Get Duo."

Quatre blinked in surprise, then looked from the rope to the bridge,
then down towards Duo. Quickly, he tied one end of the rope to the
bridge railing and the other end he fastened into a secure loop.
Carefully, he lowered to circle of rope down towards where Duo hung,
trying to shout over the rain, "Duo! Grab this!"

Heero's eyes slowly followed the loop's progress down. "Duo?" he
called, wishing there could be some feeling in his cold, numb hands.
All his energy was being placed into making sure it didn't let go of
Duo now, this close to safety.

Head lifting slightly, Duo squinted up into the rain just as the rope
bounced against his face. "Ow," he muttered, reaching up and twisting
his arm securely through the rope.

Quatre pulled taunt the extra slack, bracing himself against the
railing and suddenly very glad he'd taken the time to tie the rope
to the bridge as well. "Okay, Trowa. I got him."

Together, Trowa and Quatre hauled the dangling pilots back on to the
bridge, carefully helping them back over the railing. Heero's feet
hit solid ground first, and he immediately spun around to assist Duo
over. Quatre, nearly thrown aside by Heero's sudden move, smiled
softly to himself at the gentle way the Japanese boy handled Duo. The
blond coughed and politely looked away as the two stood there in
embrace.

"I thought..." Heero started to say, but his voice choked and all he
could do was cling to Duo. Dimly, he noticed Quatre saying something
about blankets and leaving with Trowa, but it didn't seem important.

Tightly clutched to Heero's chest, Duo's voice was muffled, "Heero?
Are you cold?"

"No..." Heero murmured, pulling his face out from Duo's wet hair and
looking curiously into the boy's face.

"But... you're shivering..." the words faded into embarrassed silence
as Duo realized the shaking was purely nerves. "Are... you hurt?"

Heero shook his head, "Just sore. You?"

"I'll live," Duo answered quietly. "I'll live."

The ride back to the safe house was subdued, Trowa driving while
Quatre fussed over the two soaking wet pilots. Thickly bundled with
blankets that were also growing wet, since the jeep afforded zero
cover against the onslaught of rain, Duo tried to ward of Quatre's
attentions. "I'm fine, Quatre. Stop worrying..."

"Fine? How long were you out in the rain? How long were you dangling
from that bridge without," Quatre abruptly stopped talking, not
wanting to burst into hysterical tears. Just thinking about how close
everything had been; if Trowa hadn't lunged so quickly... Quatre
wanted to ask how Heero and Duo had ended up hanging off the bridge
to start with, but he knew better.

"I'm just cold, wet and tired. Really," Duo gave a reassuring smile,
his voice ringing with sincerity, "I'm okay."

Quatre sighed in defeat just as Trowa pulled to a stop along side the
safe house. "Come inside, then."

Seemingly unaffected by the entire ordeal, Heero obediently climbed
out of the jeep, but paused for a moment before turning back.
Extracting one hand from the blankets, he offered it out towards Duo,
who simply stared at it in shock. Shaking his head slightly with a
smile, Duo took the offered hand and used it to hop out of the jeep.

As soon as his feet hit the ground, however, Duo crumpled, his knees
no longer wanting to support him. Over two hours in the cold and rain
in addition to the sheer stress of everything; it all chose that
moment to catch up with him. Heero shouted in surprise and awkwardly
caught the boy's weight, shrugging off his blankets.

"Just tired," Duo mumbled with a sigh, sinking into the security of
Heero's embrace and unconsciousness.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunlight streamed in through the closed blinds in bright, horizontal
bars, one of which landed right across Heero's closed eyes. Annoyed
eye-lids parted and blue depths squinted into the light before Heero
rolled his head away. Half-way into the roll, however, he paused;
what was the sun doing up? Usually, he woke long before the weak dawn
sun had time to even contemplate shining through the window.

And why did he feel as if every muscle in his body had been stretched
and beaten? Suddenly, his fogged mind cleared and his last memories --
the argument with Duo, the bridge, carrying Duo inside and...
Heero sat up quickly, immediately seeking out the bed across the room
with his gaze.

Duo lay there, his slender frame bundled underneath blankets that
clearly bore the mark of Quatre's nursing. Ignoring the protests from
his sore body, Heero slipped out of his bed and hesitantly crossed
the room to stand over Duo's bed. Cautiously, he lowered his weight
on to the bed, causing the mattress and old springs to squeak in
protest.

For a while, Heero just sat there staring down at the boy's face,
peaceful in sleep. Slowly, Duo's eyes opened and he started to sit up,
startled to find Heero looking so intently at him and sure
something had to be wrong. Oz attacking the village, maybe, or
storming the front lawn while Quatre held them off with a frying pan
or...

"Hey, lay back down," Heero protested, pushing gently on Duo's chest,
"I didn't mean to wake you."

"Heero, I-"

The boy shook his head, sending unruly chocolate bangs swaying low
over his forehead, "How are you feeling?"

"Fine. Listen-"

Again, Heero interrupted, "Are you sure?"

"Heero!" Duo cried in partial anger. "Will you just shut up and
listen to me for a minute? It's important." He pushed Heero's hands
off from his chest and sat up, leaning against the headboard.

The Japanese pilot fell silent, shifting nervously; he expected Duo
to retract his earlier declarations. They had both been under so much
stress with the war and just everything... Heero couldn't deny his
own feelings anymore, but what if Duo...?

Lifting heavy eyes to stare right into Heero's, Duo seemed to nod
quietly to himself before speaking, "I meant what I said, Heero.
Every word... well, except all those about you being a cold,
emotionless bastard," Duo offered a weak smile, with Heero returned
hesitantly. "But I did mean everything else. About... how I feel
for you. I just wasn't thinking straight back there, on the bridge.
But, I want you to know, I wasn't going to jump. I would gladly take
the plunge down into that creek to save you, Heero... because I do.
Love you."

"I'm sorry I hurt you," he said quietly, eyes dropping away from the
intensity of Duo's gaze. "And... I meant what I said, too."

Duo's shoulders slumped in defeat, taking the explanation to mean
Heero was referring to the fatal last words of their fight. Of course,
Heero would have said anything to rescue a pilot in trouble...

Seeing Duo's reaction, Heero awkwardly placed a hand on top of Duo's,
wondering why he seemed doomed to always say the wrong thing. "About
loving you, Duo, not about... that other." Just in case Duo didn't
believe the words, Heero drew up his courage and swiftly pressed his
lips to Duo's soft cheek.

The boy pulled away in shock, amethyst eyes searching over Heero's
face and settling finally on that anxious stare. No longer cold and
unfeeling, Heero's eyes fully reflected the emotions Duo knew had to
be in the pilot's core. "Oh, Heero..." he murmured, wrapping his arms
around the boy in a tight embrace.

And as the late morning sunlight streamed through the windows, Heero
pressed his cheek against Duo's soft, chestnut hair, marvelling at
how lucky he was. Emotions were not for the weak, and love was
definitely for the strong.

-

-

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Author's Notes: Oh, you just thought I could be so evil!
Yay! Finished at last. I enjoyed writing this, even though I felt
guilty for not working on my AU 'fic like I was suppose to... whoops!
^_^() Oh, well. For an update on my progress in that contest 'fic,
just check my author's bio at FFN and MM.org.
Uhm, still sick. Saw a doctor and got medication, so... yay. Not sure
what I'm going to work on next. I quite possibly may just be
completely irresponsible and tackle a new project. My muses are
greatly inspired by my illness. Satan creatures...
Shouts out to Kate, Holly and Ebony - thanks, girls!!

(PS - I lowered the rating back to PG13 since I didn't do a scene I
was planning on. But I like how this came out better.)

Feedback/reviews are very much appreciated!
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