Title: A Child's Love 1/?
Author: Makoto Sagara
Category: Romance, angst
Pairings: 2+1, OCxH, 3x4 & 5xS (just mentioned in this chapter)
Warnings: Shonen ai, language, angst, OOC, set 5 years after EW
Disclaimers: Don't own Gundam Wing. Don't make any money. Heck, don't own plot really. *cries for not owning anything, not even computer*
A/N: Ah, well, you see, this was actually a plot bunny that was fed to my muse by my friend, Angel, because she feels I don't write enough 1x2 fics. I hate to point this out to her, but I have only written one confirmed 1x2. The other was a 2+1, 1+2, 5+2… Yes, I know, confuzzling, but so be it. I would much rather get back to Gundam Diaries and pollute my mind with a 5x2. But, this is all Angel's fault. Also, many, many thanks to Lady Violet, JoIsBishMyoga, and Stacy for their help, and for being patient with a big baka like me.
Dedication: To Angel, who started this whole thing.
Symbols: /blah/ thoughts
* blah * emphasized words
*~*~*~* major scene change or POV change
*~~~~~* minor scene change
Duo Maxwell stood in the mirror of his bedroom, looking at his reflection. /Same old hair. Same old blue eyes./ He sighed at the older man he saw staring back at him. /I still look like I did at fifteen. I'm a bit heavier, and a lot taller, but other than that, I'm still the same old Duo./
His thoughts ran away with him, and he didn't hear his best friend, Hilde Schebeiker, call for him throughout the house. That is, until she was pounding on his bedroom door.
"Duo! You take longer to get ready than any girl I know. Get your butt in gear! You're gonna be late to your own birthday party!" she yelled through the thick wooden door.
Duo smiled at his reflection, and walked over, opening the door and barely missing Hilde's hand as she went to start pounding again.
"Sheesh, Hilde, what are you trying to do? Decapitate me?" He smiled brightly.
"It would take a *lot* more than *my* hand to knock off that hard head of *yours*, Duo! Now, scoot! We're gonna be late, again!" She sighed, dramatically. "Why do I put up with you?"
Duo hugged her tightly. "Because you love me, that's why." He ducked as she tried to punch him in the shoulder. "Hey! Don't get violent. It's my birthday after all."
"Today is only your birthday because we picked a random day of the year. It could easily be some other day." She snickered. "So I can beat you up any time I want."
Duo looked at her, flashing her his 1000-watt smile. "*Now* who's making us late?"
Hilde glanced at her watch, and then let out a groan. "DUO! We are already ten minutes late!" She grabbed his arm and drug him out to the car. "You're IMPOSSIBLE!"
They arrived at the club, where all their friends and Hilde's boyfriend, Mike, awaited them. As soon as Duo walked into the doorway, he was engulfed by about ten people.
"So, Duo, how's it feel to be twenty-one?" one voice called to him.
"Good to see you again buddy. Gonna party hard?" another said.
He cheerfully shrugged off the crowd. He quickly scanned the room. /He didn't come. Hilde said she invited him. What happened?/
Another voice cut through his thoughts. "Looking for Heero, aren't you?"
Duo turned around to face the speaker. "Mike. How are you?"
"I'm good," The other man, a tall brown-haired guy that Duo had introduced Hilde to, said. "But, you, my friend, look like you could use a drink."
Duo smiled widely. "My man, you are a saint!"
"Nah, I'm just here to get you drunk." He gave Duo a wink and walked off to the bar.
"Duo, when do we get to hear you wonderful singing voice?" one of the women in the crowd asked.
"Never!" Hilde screamed. "Last time, I had nightmares for a week."
Everyone started laughing, mostly because that caused the guest of honor to look horror stricken.
Duo turned to the nearest person. "I'm not *that* bad am I?"
"Nah," the girl consoled him. "Just nothing to write home to Ma about." She snickered.
"Thanks, Trish. You always did know how to make a guy feel great about himself."
"Any time." She winked at him. "So, you gonna save me a dance, or do I have to look elsewhere for someone to entertain me?"
Duo stared at the petite redhead next to him. "Sure, when do you want it?"
"Now, preferably, before I can't find you." She said, a silky tone creeping into her voice.
"Sweet." He looked around the place for the DJ. "Hey, Clank, play me something so I can dance with this lovely lady here."
The DJ, a man with blue and orange hair, looked up and nodded. "Sure thing, Duo, my man."
The next hour and a half passed in a semi-blur for Duo. He danced, had some drinks, talked, had cake, opened tons of presents, and just tried to enjoy himself. Finally, he found himself seated at a table with Hilde and Mike.
"You *did* invite him, didn't you, Hilde?" he asked, almost desperately.
"Yes, I *did*, Duo. I left him messages through every way I could think of. He never contacted me back." She placed a hand on her friend's shoulder.
Mike piped up. "Maybe he didn't get them? I mean, it's possible. You said it's been 5 years since you saw him last. A lot can happen in that time, D."
Duo looked at the couple, pushed his drink away, and grabbed some water from a nearby table. "Yeah, I know, but…"
Hilde shot a look at her boyfriend. "Honey," she whispered, "why don't you go talk to some other people. I want to talk to Duo alone."
Mike gave her a puzzled look, but stood up. "Hey, D, I'm gonna go see how everyone is doing. Be back later, ok?"
"Sure, man. See ya." He waved his hand.
Hilde did a quick look over of her friend. He had had about 10 drinks this last hour. He looked like he was ready to cry, or worse, and well, he was drunk.
"Duo, what's wrong? I mean, I know you miss the other guys, but there's something more to this. What is it?"
Duo looked up from his water. "Aw, Hilde, I *hate* how you read me. You're almost as bad as Quatre." He sighed, and opened his mouth, but stopped. He leaned in close. "I *do* miss all four of them, but I dunno."
"Bullshit! You are antsy over something. Spill it, boy, or I make you work double shifts for a week!"
They broke out into a fit of giggles over the old routine.
Duo sighed once again. "Hill, I… I never told anyone this, so you gotta promise not to spill the beans."
Hilde shot him a wounded look. "Like I would!"
"Oh, I know, but you gotta promise not to tell Mike."
She was really worried then. Duo and she never kept anything from the third partner of the junkyard; well, except the small fact that Duo was a Gundam pilot during the war. She knew that it had to be pretty serious if Duo didn't want his other best friend to know. Hilde took a deep breath. "Ok, Duo, what is it?"
/Can I really tell her? I never told anyone. Not even Heero. Hell, I didn't admit it to myself until AFTER the Eve's War,/ Duo thought. /It's not as if it's not true, cuz it is, but…/
The braided boy shook his head. "Sorry, Hill. Okay," he leaned in close. "I have loved Heero Yuy since I met him. I can't stop thinking about him. Even 5 years later. He is the one that I want to be with. I know this sounds insane, but every moment I'm away from him, I feel like I can't truly be myself."
Hilde just looked at her best friend. "You love him?"
"Well, DUH, Hill!" He was slightly annoyed by her questioning.
"Then why haven't you told him? God! I mean, I *knew*, but I wasn't going to force you to tell me." She hugged him tightly. "So, when are you going to find him?"
Duo's mouth started to gape open. "Tell…" he squeaked, uncharacteristically. He cleared his throat. "Tell him? You mean, like… Seeing him to tell him?"
Hilde just raised an eyebrow. "Duo, I've known you for over 6 years now. You're not dumb. Far from it. You are one of the greatest people I know. You aren't afraid of anything. You, of all people, deserve to be happy." She gave him a quick peck of the cheek. "Think about it. You'll see. *Now* where is that boyfriend of mine?"
Duo watched her leave. /She doesn't know what she's saying. Telling Heero Yuy that I love him is like signing my own death warrant. I'd have to be crazy… And yet, she has a point./ He sat there for twenty more minutes, drinking water, and thinking. Then, he walked across the room towards the bar.
When he got there, Duo squeezed between Hilde and Mike. "I'm going home. Tired and all that jazz. Can I borrow your car, Mike?"
Mike shot him a worried look. "Sure, D, no problem. You gonna be ok?"
"Yeah. I just need some sleep," Duo said. /And a long hot shower./
"Here. I'll help you load your presents in the car, and that way, Hilde can make your excuses to everyone else." Mike handed his car keys to Duo, and then walked over to the table with the gifts.
"Are you sure you are ok?" Hilde asked, skeptical to say the least.
"Yes, Mother. I'm sure. I just need a shower and some sleep." He sighed.
Hilde moved his bangs from off his forehead, and kissed the exposed skin. "Well, sleep tight then. I'll call you in the morning."
"Alright." Duo walked off, grabbing the remaining gifts off the table, and headed towards the parking lot.
He walked calmly to Mike's car, and placed the boxes in the backseat of his friend's blue Audi. Mike clapped a hand on Duo's back, and smiled.
"Look. You know if you need anything, you can always ring Hilde and me, right?"
"Yeah, man, I know." /I know that you and Hilde are perfect for each other with the way you two keep questioning me,/ he thought wryly.
"Good. We'll call you in the morning. Sleep well." Mike walked back inside, and Duo got in the car, driving as fast as he could to his house.
Duo awoke the next morning with the light from the sun killing his head. /Hangover. Had too much to drink. Gah! Pain./ He stumbled from his bed, and into the bathroom for a shower. /Water will make it better. Besides, I'm still in my clothes from the party. I reek. Thank someone that it's Sunday./
He undressed, ignoring the protests of his head and body, and slipped under the cool water of the shower spray. He stayed there for a while, just letting the water flow over him. He was starting to drift off to sleep when his head hit the tile.
/Shit! Just what I needed. I'm *definitely* going to have a shitty day now./ Duo hurried through washing his hair and body, going for the world record for finishing up.
He spent the rest of the morning padding around his house. He stared at his vid-phone and the laptop on the desk, debating whether he should call Hilde and Mike, or start searching for Heero.
After a few agonizing hours of debating, he finally gave in and booted the laptop up. He sat there, twiddling his thumbs, watching the screen as it took forever to start. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the computer was ready. No sooner had he pulled up a page for a search engine when the phone rang.
Duo walked over to the phone, saw Hilde's number flashing, and hit the accept button. A second later, Hilde's face flashed on the screen, a look of worry and relief on her cute face.
"How are ya this morning, trouble-maker?" She smiled, and that caused him to smile in return.
"I'm good. Gotta a headache, but other than that, I can't really complain."
"I told you to stop after that fifth drink, but you and your macho attitude." She snickered. "So, what are you up to today?"
Duo blushed faintly. "Nothing really."
"Are you going to look for Heero?"
He glared at the girl in the screen. "Have I told you lately how much I *hate* it when you do that?"
Hilde all but beamed. "Yes, last night. So, are you?"
"Yes, Mother," he said sarcastically.
"God, no, I would kill *myself* if I was your Mom." She stopped. "Oh, Duo, I'm sorry. I forgot."
"That's ok, Hill. Not like I remember much about my parents, anyway." He smiled faintly. "So, why'd ya call, other than to annoy me?"
"Well, Mike decided that since you didn't have as much fun last night at the party that we would take you out for dinner. Any objections?"
Duo thought that over. /I could go to dinner with my two best friends, and get all angsty over how happy they are together. Or, I could stay home, and stare at the walls while I eat something I throw together. No contest./
"Yeah, but he has to pay."
Mike appeared behind Hilde on the screen. "Like I would invite you to dinner, and then make you pay for it. Sheesh, D, give me some credit." He smiled.
"Only when you pay me back the 100 credits you owe me."
Hilde turned to face her boyfriend. "You owe him money?"
Mike blushed a few different shades of red. "Um, yeah, well, it was for your birthday present." He turned toward the screen. "Thanks *so* much for your help, Duo…"
"Any time, man. So, what time should I meet you lovebirds?"
Hilde spoke up. "Well, we were thinking of coming over, so we could get Mike's car back. Ya know? Since you drove it home last night."
"Uh, yeah. It's in the drive. Come and get it, but when should I expect you guys?" He scratched his head at the base of his braid.
"About 7, I suppose. We'll call before we come." Hilde leaned towards the screen. "Let me know if you find anything, ok?"
"Alright. Talk to you guys later." He sighed.
"Yep. See ya, lazy ass." She smiled.
"Bye, slave driver." He hit the disconnect button, and started as his laptop pinged.
/Something already?/ He walked back over to the desk and stared as he saw articles from the war, and afterwards. There were pictures of all five Gundam pilots after the Eve's War, right before they all starting living there own lives. Duo's right arm was slung over a surly, brown-haired, blue eyed, Japanese boy his age in a green tank top and blue jeans. His other arm was around the shoulder of an arrogant and haughty looking Chinese teen. There were two other boys in the picture. A small, smiling blond Arab was standing next to a tall, slim boy with gravity-defying brown bangs, which covered one of his green eyes.
Duo snapped out of it, and opened more search engines, inserting the names of the other Gundam pilots. Ten minutes later, he had wedding announcements for Wufei to Sally Po. /Of all people. He married her?/ A few minutes later, he was staring at an announcement for the union of one Quatre Raberba Winner to Trowa Barton. /I remember that. That was one hell of a party. I had a headache for three days afterwards. Too bad they couldn't come last night. Business crisis, indeed. I would have fired that guy who messed up./
He closed the extra windows and stared at the first window, which listed an address and phone number for a Heero Yuy on Earth. Duo felt his heart lurch. /He's on Earth?/ He looked throughout the results page for a wedding announcement, but didn't find one for Heero. /He didn't marry her? Wait a minute. I remember hearing about Ojou-san's wedding. She married some handsome aristocrat./ He sighed in relief.
He stared at the number and address for a long time, before finally snapping out of his trance, and writing the information down. /Now what?/
Dinner was a very nerve-wrecking experience. After Duo spilled the fact that he found Heero's info, Hilde repeatedly asked him when he was going to get in touch with Heero. Mike finally asked her to stop so they could enjoy their meal. Hilde dropped it, but promised that she would nag Duo until he did something about it.
The drive home was filled with beginnings of plans, but Duo scrapped everyone, for there was a flaw somewhere. /I can't call him. That's too impersonal. Can't send a letter. He would toss it. Do I...?/ He stopped. /No. I can't just go and see him. I have responsibilities here on L2. I have… Nothing really. I can ask Hill for the time off. She would give it to me. It's not like I can't afford the trip either. Thanks to Oz, I'll never have to work if I don't want to./
He pulled into his driveway before he knew it, and was followed to his door by Hilde. Duo turned around to face his friend, who looked very annoyed.
"You *are* going to call him, or write him, or something, are you?" Her eyes were slits in her slender face.
"Yes, Hill, I'm trying to think of what to do." Duo pulled his braid forward and started slightly tugging on it.
"You know, if you want time off from the scrap yard, I'd give it to you." She sighed and hugged him. "Duo, I just want you to be happy."
"I know that. And you had *better* be serious about the time off too." He wrapped his arms around her and embraced her tightly.
"I am. Besides, it's not like you do much but bug me anyway." Hilde pulled away, showing that she was smiling.
"Yeah, and I love you too."
"I know you do. Now, go get some sleep. You've got a big decision ahead of you." She headed towards her car, and drove off. Mike came over after she had left.
"I know she's a pain in the ass, D, but she means well."
"Yeah, well I knew that before I decided to join her in the business." Duo smiled.
Mike snickered. "Well, she's right about one thing. You have one hell of a decision ahead of you, and you need to sleep on it." He headed towards his own car. "See ya tomorrow, D."
"See ya, Mike." Duo watched as his friend pulled off, and then headed inside, determined to sleep until the morning.
Seven days later, Duo was sitting on a shuttle, headed for Earth, the European continent to be exact. /Leave it to Heero to be totally predictable when it came to a real life outside of piloting Wing. He moved to Earth. Got an apartment in Paris. Ok, so that was a *little* unlike him. I never thought he was the Parisian type./ His thinking was disturbed by the polite and crisp voice of the flight attendant.
"The captain has just told me that we will be arriving in Earth's atmosphere shortly. Please, make sure you are buckled tightly, and that all your luggage is secure. Thank you for flying The Earth Sphere Shuttle." The perky voice cut off.
Duo checked his luggage again to make sure it wouldn't hit him while landing. /In two hours, I'll be in a hotel room in Paris. And, then I can look for Heero./ He looked out the window and noticed the light effects of the shuttle entering the volatile atmosphere around the blue planet. /I'm so close./ He closed his eyes, and prayed like hell that Heero hadn't moved in the last week.
Duo had barely checked in and dumped his bags, before he was outside looking for a cab. /It's only about 6pm here. He should be home, right?/ He flagged down a cab, and hopped in the back as soon as it stopped.
"Là où êtes vous allant?" the cab driver asked.
Duo blinked. /HUH? Should have let Trowa teach me French./ "I'm sorry. I don't speak French," he said, turning red around the ears.
"You are American?" the driver asked through his thick accent.
"Yes." Duo sighed in relief. /At least now I won't have to wave my hands like an idiot./
"I ask you where you are going?"
"OH!" Duo rattled off the address of Heero's house.
"Zat is quite a bit out of ze city. It will be at least cent credits."
"How many?" /Saun? What the hell is that?/
"Désolé. One 'undred credits."
Duo smiled. "No problem, buddy. Just take me there."
"Bien sur!" The cab took off, and Duo's thoughts sped by as fast as the vehicle the rest of the trip.
The car stopped in front of a small, but tasteful, two story house in a quiet neighborhood. "We are here, monsieur."
"Thanks, buddy." Duo passed 150 credits to the cabbie.
"You are welcome," he said as Duo shut the door, and started up the walkway. /Well, here goes nothing./ He stood up straight and knocked on the door.
His heart was pounding in his chest as time slowly ticked by. A few minutes passed, and he knocked again. Still no one answered. Duo was about to leave when finally the door opened. Heero was standing there.
Duo's mouth went dry. /He's as gorgeous as I remember. His hair, his eyes, his…/ He let his eyes travel the length of Heero's form. /Body. Oh, God, why am I here? I'm just gonna make a fool of myself./
"I'm… Sorry, Heero. I'll just go," he whispered.
A hand reached out and grabbed one of Duo's arms. "Duo?"
"Heero." /He looks… lost?/
"How… how are you?"
"I'm… good." He stole a glance inside Heero's house. "Look, I'm sorry I bothered you. I just wanted to see how you were."
"Who's that man?" a little voice spoke up. Duo looked behind Heero to see a boy, about three or four with brown hair and big blue eyes, holding one of Heero's pant legs.
/Who is that kid?/ Duo just stared at the child, who was staring back at him.