Title: Reality gives no second chances

Author: Sorceress Fantasia

Pairings: 2+1

Warnings: Duo POV, angst, TWT, ficlet, need for basic knowledge of RPGs to understand

Archive: Lev's Lair



Disclaimer: I tried to fake the copyright paper so GW would belong to me. But it didn't work out. So, I don't own any of the GW gang and the anime. And just as added note, I don't own FF7 either.

Notes: As there are references to RPGs in this fic, you'll need a little basic knowledge about it so you'll understand. I will explain in terms of FF7. During a battle, three of your characters would be on screen with a couple of enemies. The basic functions available to you would be 'Attack', 'Magic', 'Summon' and 'Items'. Choosing 'Attack' would cause your chosen character to launch a physical attack with his/her weapon. Choosing 'Magic' would result in your chosen character casting a spell. The numbers following an attack is the amount of damage inflicted.

Thanx to Dark Tenchi for beta-ing! ^^

Slash! 2485.

I looked at the screen impassively.

Bang! 2450.

The monster snarled at me, jolting at the pain I'd just inflicted on it. It's nice, to play computer games. Especially when you have nothing else to do. I don't.

Fire 2! 2561.

I was much too bored to look for better recreational activities. Wufei went out to the gardens to practice his katas. Quatre and Trowa are on a mission. Heero? No idea. He disappeared days ago.

I was bored. And I went snooping around Quatre's mansion for something to do. I found this game console lying in the attic, and a computer game close by. It was old, judging from the amount of dust and cobwebs; it was probably ten years or even older. But I was bored. So I took it downstairs and fixed it.

It took me the better part of the day, but I was fine with that. I didn't have anything better to do. The injuries I received from my last mission prohibited me from doing anything strenuous. Heero had to carry me around the first few days I got back from the base I infiltrated.

Still, the simple task of fixing the console drained me of my energy so much so that I fell asleep soon after that. I started playing the game I found the next morning. It was an RPG called Final Fantasy VII. The storyline was cliché, what with an evil man wanting to control the world. I was, of course, the protagonist leading a team of comrades to fight against that crazy fellow [1]. Cliché, but very captivating still. After all, the game reminded me of myself. The crazy guy hell bent on dominating the world was obviously OZ, and the protagonists were even more obviously, us gundam pilots. If I could not go out and decimate any OZ bases, I could do so in the stuffy confines of this mansion.

The monster on the screen jumped at me, swiping wildly with its claws. 3352.

My counterpart on the screen was low on his health points. I'd better heal him, or he might get knocked out soon.

Cure 2! 2588.

Wufei once asked me what was my obsession with computer games. After all, this wasn't the first game I'd played in Quatre's mansion. He said it wasn't good for my health, to be all cooped up in front of the television and moving only my fingers to give the in-game characters my commands. I told him it was simply because I liked it. They were stress-releasing outlets without having to kill anyone in reality. When I couldn't go on missions and do my part for peace, I could do so in the game.

But is that all there is to it? No.

The monster, a demented, deformed looking creature, went berserk. A lightning web seemed to appear all around, ensnaring all three of my characters. 4322. 4210. 4000. One of them fell. The other two were no better off. My turns came, and I healed the two remaining fighters. My other turn, I used it to revive the fallen warrior.

Revive. That's what I like about computer games. When someone close to you died or was near death, you could bring them back to life or cast a healing mist to nurse them back to health easily. You don't have that kind of thing in reality, do you? Solo is still dead. Father Maxwell is still dead. Sister Helen is still dead.

Another thing I really liked about computer games is that you could do everything again. If you missed something, you could play that part one more time and try again. If you couldn't beat the enemies, if you saw the words 'Game Over' glaring at you from the screen, you could still do it again. All you had to do was to press the 'reset' button and everything would restart. Everything would still be the same way as before. A few minor details would probably be different, but it was still basically the same.

Real life isn't like that.

That day, I confessed to Heero. I told him my feelings for him. How much I wanted to be with him always.

He had given me hope before. When my mission went bad, he was there to pull me out of it. When my sprained ankle made my escape seem impossible, he was there to carry me in his arms and escape from the burning base. When my blood soaked through my clothes, he was there to slice them off carefully and clean me up. When I was having trouble moving around Quatre's mansion, he was there to carry me around.

He made me breakfast when I grumbled about Wufei's cooking. He braided my hair when I had problems doing it with my injured arms.

All that gave me hope. Led me to think that Heero possibly harboured feelings for me. That perhaps he wanted me as much as I wanted him.

But I was wrong. I knew it the minute he looked at me after I had confessed.

"I'm sorry… Duo."

Those words felt like 'Game Over', but there wasn't a 'reset' button. Real life told me I couldn't have him, and it was just that. Nothing more. No resets, no trying again.

Heero left that night. Left with only a single message addressed to Wufei.

'Take care of Duo.'

I haven't seen him since. And I probably won't until a joint mission. If there is one.

I won't mope around. It doesn't change anything except make myself miserable. I won't forget it either. It would only make things worse between Heero and me. Life would have to go on, the way it always does.

When I see him again, I won't tell him it was just a joke. The weight of my confession would always be there, as would the repercussions. We would have to deal with it, the way we always do when things go wrong.

We would eventually move on to more important things in our lives. The confession would one day seem like an empty sentence.

But it would always echo in my mind.

No second chances.

The game was different.

The monster growled, and the lightning web appeared once again, enshrouding everyone. Two fell. One was left standing, on his very last breath. If I didn't heal him, he would die before his next turn.

I looked at the screen. My cursor was on 'Attack'.

I pressed 'Enter'.


Sorceress Fantasia 21st June 2003

Last beta-ed 12th July 2003

[1]: I know this isn't exactly the storyline, but if I were to tell it exactly the way it is, I might as well write a FF7 fic.