LSE // 1-4-04
(Last Chance - Epilogue: Last Goodbye)
rated: PG13 - language, content shounen-ai/yaoi

Last Goodbye

-

The quiet hum of machines drew him up from the depths of endless
slumber, and a fierce voice whispered into his ear. "You can't die!"
Since he didn't want to die, not anymore, he obeyed. When a second
voice broke the grasping silence with a melodical hum to drown out
the mechanical, he stirred awake through the layers of fog.

"Hn? Awake are you?" came a soft voice, and one so completely
unexpected that Duo opened his eyes to investigate.

A mosaic of blurred colors sorted themselves out into the smiling
face of a young nurse in green hospital scrubs. Duo blinked in
surprised, and the nurse raised a finger to his lips. "Sh, your
friend is still sleeping," he said in the same quiet voice, dark eyes
twinkling with some suppressed secret.

Duo turned his head enough to spot Heero, slouched in a chair beside
the bed, head tilted back and unruly chocolate-colored hair even
messier then usual. "He refused to leave your side, that one did. He
stayed with you all through the night. We didn't think you were going
to make it for a while."

The nurse smiled and ran a hand through messy light-brown hair. Duo
looked back over to him and returned the smile, a bit sheepishly. He
started to say something, then paused. The nurse's eyes were a deep,
dark black with endless depths. Immortal. Duo blinked, and shook the
idea from his mind. What a silly thought!

"He saved your life," the young man said, nodding towards Heero's
sleeping form. "And it was close. If we hadn't gotten you in as soon
as we did... who knows? Well, I don't mean to scare you or anything.
But you're very lucky."

Dark eyes hardened, demanding attention, as the voice dropped out
from friendly tone, "Very lucky. He loves you, Duo. Without him, you
would be dead. Don't throw this chance away."

The moment was broken by the nurse's sudden smile, and Duo found
himself quickly forgetting what had just occurred. "Very lucky,
Mr. Maxwell," he said quietly.

Duo turned his head to follow the nurse's progress out of the room,
but a soft sound to his right brought his head back around. Blinking
sleepily, Heero was starting to bring himself more-or-less upright
within the confines of the hospital chair. Duo's breath caught, and
he waited until cobalt eyes finally rested on him before offering a
tentative smile.

"Duo!" Heero cried, eyes going wide.

"Hi," he said, voice rough from sleep and disuse.

Shinigami leaned against the wall and tilted his head back with a
grin, watching the two fumble with newly found love. Mortals, ha!
Heero lifted his head suddenly, gaze shooting across the room and
locking on Shinigami's face. The God straightened slightly, and
resisted the urge to look over his shoulder.

"Thank you," Heero mouthed silently.

Shinigami shrugged uncomfortably and turned away into the shadows.

"Heero?" Duo paused, and tilted his head. "What is it?" he turned his
head in the directed the other boy was looking, but he saw nothing but
shadows in the darkened corner of the small room.

"Nothing," he said quickly, turning back and caressing a hand down the
side of Duo's face. "Just thanking someone."

"Oh," he frowned in confusion. "Who?"

"A friend," Heero said quietly. "Are you tired?"

"A bit," Duo managed around a yawn.

Heero smiled, "Go to sleep. I'll be here when you wake up."

Lids closed over violet eyes, and Duo's features smoothed out into
sleep. Heero grazed a kiss on one cheek before standing and crossing
the room, stopping a few feet from where the God of Death stood. They
regarded each other warily for a few moments, and then Heero smirked,
"Taken up nursing?"

Shinigami scowled and the scrubs vanished in favor of simple jeans and
plain white shirt. "Death is the doctor you come to when all others
fail," he replied smugly, dark eyes smiling.

"What happens now?" Heero asked quietly, turning to look over at the
hospital bed. "What about our deal, Shinigami?"

"When you die," Shinigami replied with a slight laugh in his voice.
"I believe that was the original context of our agreement."

Heero scowled, "I remember. I don't want to sound ungrateful, but
what happen? I failed, didn't I? You said if I failed, nothing would
change, and Duo would..."

"I changed my mind," Shinigami said quickly, wanting to erase the
sudden look of despair that crossed Heero's face. "You got two out of
three of my requirements, that's not so bad. Leave it be, Heero.
Don't try to understand Death."

"What about you?"

"Me?"

Heero rolled his eyes with a smile that was all Shinigami could ever
ask for, "Do you see any other Gods of Death around here? What happens
to you? Will I... Ever see you again?"

Forever dark eyes grew serious, "Would you want to?"

He shuddered at the implications of the query, "I don't want to die
if that's what you're asking."

Shinigami grinned to mask the disappointment in his eyes, "Well, then,
don't do anything stupid."

"You're a bastard, you know that?"

"Love you too, Heero," he quipped back.

Darkness shifted, Heero blinked, and the space before him was empty.

The bed behind him, however, was not.

He crossed the room again and perched on the chair, watching the play
of sunlight across Duo's face and hair. The boy stirred in sleep,
murmured Heero's name, and smiled. Heero reached out and gently
pushed aside the fall of delicate bangs.

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

Hanging his jacket on the rack, Heero looked around the apartment
expectingly and then frowned when it remained silent. "Duo?" he
called, stepping inside more and tilting his head to catch any faint
response. "Duo?"

"Heero! Come quick!"

Drawn by the urgency, Heero ran for the sound of the shout and
skidded around the corner into the small hallway that led to the
bedroom. Duo turned his head and grinned, standing awkwardly on a
chair with both arms extended high above his head to position a framed
picture against the wall. "Hi! Welcome home, can you give me a hand?"

Rolling his eyes, Heero stepped forward and stretched on his toes,
grabbing the bottom edge of the frame. "The way you shouted, I thought
maybe you were being eaten by the cat." The feline in question meowed
and wound herself around Heero's ankles.

Duo ignored the comment and stuck out his tongue in concentration,
deftly hammering the nails to hold the picture in place. "Tada!" he
said proudly, and shifted his foot to step off from the chair.

Heero caught him around the waist and pulled the boy down safely, but
kept his arms around Duo long after both feet had reached the carpet.
"What are you so proud about?" he asked, lifting his head to look up
at the picture. It was an old one, the two of them at some after the
war party. Heero sulked with a grinning Duo hanging off his arm and a
party streamer draped over one shoulder like some long-forgotten sash
of honor.

"I found it when I was unpacking," Duo remarked, following Heero's
gaze. "I thought it would look cute."

"Cute," Heero repeated, and made a face. "Couldn't you have picked
something else?"

"I knew you'd say that. Smile!" Duo pulled a camera out of nowhere and
held it at arms length. Heero blinked moments before the flash went
off and then blinked again at the residual dots. "There. I couldn't
find any other pictures of us together."

Heero smirked and tightened the circle of his arms, drawing Duo
closer, "Maybe we should remedy that."

Amethysts rolled in amusement, "I refuse to have the photo guy stare
at me like some amateur porn star."

"Fine. We'll go take innocent pictures of trees or something
afterwards."

"Oh, yeah, that'll be dandy, we can have an apartment filled with
pictures of trees."

"Hn."

Duo laughed as they drifted into the bedroom and barely remembered to
nudge the door closed before the cat could follow.

Afterwards, the sheets half-draped over then both, Duo gave a languid
stretched and rolled over, then propped himself up on elbow. "Heero,
what's this?" he asked, picking up the photograph from the night
stand. Heero gave a fully inarticulate noise, and then bothered to
open one eye when Duo gasped. "Heero!"

He sat upright as Duo flicked on the lamp. "When was this?" Duo asked,
puzzled, tilting the picture so they both could see.

Heero nearly choked on his tongue. "Where did you get that?"

The American blinked innocently and gestured, "The night stand." He
paused, then grinned, "Heero! You're so thoughtful, did you know I
wanted to put up a picture of us? When did you even have the time to
look for it? ...Where did you find it? I don't remember this even
being taken."

Heero stared. It was a very familiar scene, although not entirely one
he would have liked Duo to be privy to. As, however, it technically
involved Duo... His head spun trying to figure it out. The battered
sofa, the debris just barely visible around the edges...

Captured forever in four-by-six glossy print, Heero and Duo locked in
passioned embrace.

Only Heero knew the exact scene portrayed. And it wasn't Duo, just
Shinigami using the American's form.

And there was no way there could be a photograph of it.

Unless...

-

-

~*~*~*~*~*~*End*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Author's Notes: Whee! What a crazy ride. o_o what did you think?
Kate wants me to write a sequel, and I already sort of have the idea
ready. I might just write it for my own amusement, unless anyone would
like to read it? Let me know! It would be more of an original story
and Shinigami-centric, with Heero and Duo only having a minor role.
Shouts out to Kate, D and Tia for reading, Holly for musing and lots
of hearts for Meg!

Feedback/reviews are very much appreciated!
copyright 2003 - Gundam Wing and characters copyright other people.
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LSE - Violet Nyte (VioletNyteML@yahoo.com)
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