Last Reunion- a GW yaoi fic by masamune
Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing or any of its characters, same goes for those little references I've thrown in here and there. Please feedback is welcome (flames too, I get quite a lot of those) send to MasamuneEHS@hotmail.com
AC 205- Hokkaido Safehouse
It's dark in here, but I really don't mind too much. The dark doesn't create the things of nightmares; it just hides and shields them. …Wonder why I started thinking about that? Shimatta! Just bumped into the coffee table in the center of the living room. Seems like just yesterday that Quatre would have a plate with five teacups set out on it. Duo always had his feet up no it and every now and then accidentally knock one of those expensive cups to the floor, causing multiple chips on them. Hn, but those days are ten years gone…it's strange how time goes by. I glance at my watch, almost 8PM, the others, if they're going to come at all, are two hours late. I knew they wouldn't come, I knew it last year too but Heero scared the living day lights out of me by coming in through an open window around 10. My reflexes are slowed; I'm out of shape. The lanky yet muscular form I once possessed is long gone, gone with the days of the war. I stayed in shape for awhile but that was before the Preventers shut down and I broke my leg in that circus act on L1…the sunset is gone and only a sliver of orange light peaks over the ocean crest, barely lighting the small room I'm in. It used to be Duo's favorite room to bother Wufei when he performed his daily kata. Those were the days when Duo was normal, days he used to make jokes and make sense, days long dead.
AC 195 Hokkaido Safehouse
"Kisama Maxwell!" came the roar, shattering the morning silence as it echoed off of the walls. "You know one of these days I'm going to cleave you in two when you sneak up on me during my kata! And I'll be justified in that action!"
"Aww come on Wu-man!" responded the carefree, boyish voice of Duo. "It's only a little joke ne? You gotta learn how to loosen up and relax sometimes. Besides, you could never beat Shinigami with that little butter knife of yours."
I knew that Duo was smiling and that Wufei was scowling ferociously even though the solid living room wall separated me from them. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Quatre rush from the kitchen towards the room Wufei meditated in every day. Quatre constantly fought to keep the insanity level lower than what it could be. I had just turned back to my research on an OZ facility that I was supposed to infiltrate with Heero in a few days.
"Shimatta Maxwell! This is a war not some child's game! And my meditation is a very relaxing experience, until you come and disrupt it!!!"
Days like those I had often felt myself afraid of word from the scientists to split up. Days like those I felt myself attracted to Quatre, with his innocence and peace loving ways. Hn…now that I look back I think that was what got me through days like those, days when Duo annoyed Wufei and Heero and carried it a tad too far and made a mess of things, like when he painted Wufei's katana a rich shade of blue…
Quatre's voice was soft and small, I could hear it but it was too hard to make out what exactly he was saying. Quatre…always the peacemaker. Whatever it was it worked because an instant later Duo flopped down lazily on the couch opposite me.
"Yo Trowa what ya reading?" he asked.
It seemed he had forgotten the whole entire incident with Wufei. I looked up at him, his violet eyes sparkling and dancing, they always seemed to be doing that, sparkling. People always said I have sad eyes, well there isn't much I can do about that, its second nature to me now. I gave Duo a look that should have explained to him that it was mission related but silent responses were never enough for him.
"So what is it?" he repeated.
"Mission data," I replied shortly. Talking with Duo was always weird, it seemed that I was talking to my opposite. Shimatta…its amazing how many things can change in a short time.
AC 198 Preventer HQ
I remember it perfectly, that overcast morning. It was a regular, standard procedure, get up, masturbate, shower, get dressed and go down to breakfast kind of day. Those were the days when the Preventers were still in action. It was Heero, Quatre and myself sitting in the mess hall when a perfect stranger came and plopped down noisily in the seat next to me. I looked up to see who it was and then let my fork drop into my eggs…there were three, sunny side up. Quatre looked over and put his cup down, spilling his coffee all over the table. The brown liquid quickly destroyed the napkins it first hit and then snaked across the table until it landed in Heero's lap. I'm sure it was scalding hot but Heero didn't even flinch. I think that was the first time I've ever seen him with such an open look of awe and shock on his face. And so we sat there for what seemed like an eternity but I'm sure it was more like ten seconds. Then the silence broke.
"What's up with you guys today?" it was the normal, cheerful voice. It came from the same mouth on the same face that it had always come from, but this time it was from a stranger. No one moved. "Helloooo?" the stranger that was Duo waved a hand in front of my face, I didn't even blink as he knocked my bangs away and my other eye confirmed what the other had seen.
"D, Duo," Quatre sputtered. "Duo your hair," the words came out faintly and for a second I thought Quatre was going to faint.
Casually Duo reached back and casually brushed the back of his neck, a question mark on his face.
"What about it?" he replied.
"Duo what happened to your braid?" I asked finally breaking the silence.
AC 205 Hokkaido Safehouse
It had been a major shock to all of us that day. After regaining our composure we rushed Duo to the medical wing of Preventer Headquarters and had him checked out. The doctors couldn't find any fever or problem at all except for small scissors marks on the back of his neck. What made Duo cut off his braid, nobody ever found that out. If it wasn't enough of a shock to us that Duo had chopped away the lovely chestnut hair, an extension of himself, his trademark, his signature, then we all got another shock later that day when we decided to go visit him in the med wing.
AC198 Preventer HQ- Medical Wing
"Ohayo!" the cheery voice was the same. "Oi, it's been so boring sitting here all day long with nothing to do." Violet eyes scanned merrily across the room.
"Are you feeling better?" Quatre asked sounding concerned, what had happened at breakfast had startled us all but Duo actually hadn't been sick…
"I'm fine!" Duo's voice seemed so…normal. "It was a pretty funny joke making everybody think I was sick while I only had a few knicks on my neck. You guys are real jokers, I'll bet you've been planning…"
"Maxwell," Wufei's voice cut him off in a soft but commanding tone. "You cut off your braid and that isn't fine. We all know how much that was your most prized possession. We thought you might have been feeling sick or…"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Duo raised his hands for effect. "I just have one question for you guys."
The silence was thick, I thought Duo had just been playing a silly game with us like he often did. No one said a word. And then he asked us something that would have us confused for weeks.
"What's all this talk about my having a braid?"
AC 205 Hokkaido Safehouse
Duo denied ever having his long chestnut braid, a thing that had held so much importance in the past. Even after showing him photos of himself Duo had said very quietly and morosely, "I don't remember ever having that. My hair's always been short, right?" But when asked to describe his 'old hair' he had been at a loss of words. We took him to a hospital on Colony C4-03 where the doctors poked, prodded and did multiple tests. After almost a month they called in a specialist from L2, within a matter of minutes he had diagnosed Duo. Quatre cried, Wufei had shook his head, Heero remained like a brick wall, never showing his emotions but talking less then normal. I did likewise. The disease that had run rampant through L2 during Duo's childhood had infected him, however Duo had a natural immunity to this disease, until it evolved. It wouldn't kill him, but it would deteriorate his brain until the point where he'd be a vegetable.
Life is a bitch and then you die. Duo was released from the hospital the day after the diagnosis. There wasn't anything the doctors could do for him. The best thing was for him to have as good a time as possible before it ended. But from the way he acted even after learning his fate one wouldn't have been able to tell that anything was wrong, same Duo.
AC 205 Hokkaido Safehouse
There's an old dusty picture face down in my old room, our old room…I must have left it last year. It's tattered and wrinkled, faded, like the memories it holds. I take a look and can't help but smile and bite back some pain. Heero and Wufei scowling, Duo with his braid hanging, intensely close to Heero, myself with that ridiculous uni-bang I used to wear. Quatre…where did it all go koi? In those days it seemed that we'd be together forever, nothing could possibly separate us, certainly we'd never separate from each other.
I sigh and drop the photo onto the dusty bed, our bed, strange how it still seems to hold his scent, his aroma even after all these years. We used to passionately make love on this bed until dawn woke during days hiding from OZ. Shimatta, I don't even want to think about stuff like that now, I don't love him anymore, he doesn't love me, that's the way it goes. Despite my thoughts and efforts I touch the bedspread, running my slender hand over its softness…
AC 199 Winner Residence, L4
"Stop! Trowa! Stop that!"
Light shown through the window, falling on the white silk sheets. I played teasingly with him, blowing and gently nibbling on his ear, that drove him wild. Both of us were naked but we didn't care then, each others bodies were as familiar to the other as their own, and besides, after a rather chaotic morning incident involving Abdul and a terrific nosebleed on the bedroom entrance the Maguarnacs had learnt to not disturb us when the doors where shut.
I adjust my head to kiss him, his lips sweet and tasting slightly of strawberries. "Trowa, koi, you know that I have to get to the office soon," his soft, gentle voice hid his lie very well. But I could see right through it, I know that he really wanted to stay…those were the best of days…
But the Ghaleon Company had contracted that a new colony would be made on the LaGrange point area closest to Mars. Quatre started slipping out earlier and earlier to work at the office, he would remain until late at night and sometimes come home and plop down on a couch or chair and fall into a much-needed sleep, until the morning came at least. I started to see less and less of him but…things got worse when Duo had to be put into the L8 Hospital for the Mentally Ill. Quatre was glum, maybe the stress of work and worry for Duo, who could hardly remember his own name these days. I visited on occasion. I was still working with the circus occasionally. Katherine had gotten married to a guy named Zangan, the "human cannonball". Heero visited a lot though but...
AC 205 Hokkaido Safehouse
…I whip around to face him, cold, dark cobalt eyes. Ks'o, how'd he manage to sneak up on me? Was I that far lost in my reminiscence of happier times?
"You're losing your touch," he says, his voice still holding its dark and somewhat ominous tone. He steps into the dark room; I hadn't turned the lights on, and he says, "I wasn't sure if you'd come back this year."
I shake my head. How could I not come back? "I always come," I remind him, my voice merely a whisper. "Well how's the business been? Velrent decided not to come this time?"
He shakes his head in reply, "He's on a job. Business," he pauses mid sentence something he doesn't often do, "business has been deathly slow, only four small jobs all year. And Alex got killed last month."
I cringe. Have I become so weak that death effects me now? It didn't in the past…
"My condolences," I offer but he shakes his head. "He made a mistake, it comes with the job." Still cold Heero…still so coldly professional, I've managed to shed some of my shell, why haven't you?
"Velrent barely got out alive also," he adds turning around and flipping on the lights, I blink. "He, Velrent, went back when he noticed Alex was not at the rendezvous. When he found him, Alex shot him in the leg and told him 'Get the fuck outta here baka! I die, so what? Go before I shoot again'."
I sit down on the bed, a dull pounding throbbing in my skull. Heero, Velrent, Alex…they'd been partners for nearly 5 years now…operating an elite mercenary unit out of L2. Strange as it seemed for Heero to go back to the war life so soon after escaping it, it was all he had left to go to. By that time Duo was too sick to even communicate properly. Maybe something in Heero broke when Duo became sick, or maybe the Perfect Soldier really did need a battlefield, the way I needed silence to safeguard my sanity.
"Surprised to see me aren't you?" Heero asked, always serious. Honestly I was surprised to see Heero standing in the bedroom doorway. He hadn't come last year, but Velrent had.
AC 204 Hokkaido Safehouse
The safehouse was quiet, it was the first time I had come to the 'reunion' alone. Quatre was too busy at the office, as usual. I had been surprised when Velrent showed up at the front door. It wasn't the first time I had met him. He had been with Heero at the funeral too, only a month ago.
Velrent had grown up on L2, radically spiked black hair and uncommonly pale skin, hiding from cops and running with gangs. Like I he had fell in with gangs and mercenaries at a young age, we shared a lot in common when it came to childhood terrors. He had a small scar on his chin and carried himself in savvy manner. We had drunk some beer, which he had brought, and soon had a small conversation going.
"Heero's on a mission," he said in a deep tenor voice. It had startled me that Heero would have sprung right back into action so soon, Velrent seemed to read my mind. "Its just his way of dealing with life, fighting. But those fuckin' Smoke Jaguars are a mean gang, ne? Hope he didn't bite off more then he can chew."
"The peace didn't last long after Marameia's army fell," I said shortly, as was my custom.
"Ch'," he spat, suddenly becoming very serious. "Battles will never end. Only the people directly affected by the White Fang-Earth battle learned any lesson. And for some it was to fight more. Its weird the way we people can love so much, yet hurt so many, ne? We desire life but seek it over the crushed bodies of others. What kind of life can you live when you finally reach your goal and look back on all you've done?"
Of course it was a rhetorical question but I knew he meant it that way. Velrent was a great guy, always knowing when to crack a joke and when to stay quiet, his only problem was that he always spoke in riddles.
"Just never look back," he finished with a sigh, "and to you there will be no horrors to tarnish your goal."
AC 205 Hokkaido Safehouse
The clock ticks away on the kitchen wall. Seconds disappear into minutes into days into years that fade into sand when they're done. It's always been that way, time we take for granted while we have it and then when its gone we try to embrace it again amongst the shattered memories we have left of it.
Heero sits at the table opposite me, neither speaking. It doesn't' matter, we've been out of touch for so long that we don't have much to say. Come to think of it we never really talked even when we had things to say. Even in the old days when we worked together as Gundam pilots. After he woke from his coma it startled even me that we were so much alike. Both never allowed to have a childhood. What miniscule childhood we each had was ripped apart by the horrors of war, mine in the mercenary units of L3, his in intensive training. In the end we were both only fractions, broken images of what we used to be, real human people. But at least he had a name. His power, relentlessness and bravery were and still are things that I respect greatly in him. Silence envelops the room, but this one is thicker, not our usual, something is brewing. It's weird the way I know but it's a cloud between us that wasn't before. He raises his head as though to speak, hard cobalt eyes but, now they seem softer, as though he were still a lost child. He's struggling with words, a thing that's quite common for me but not for him.
"What is it?" I ask flat, monotone, as though I'm dismembered from my body and just observing the life of Trowa Barton and the individuals he meets on his way.
His eyes meet mine, then glance away. He opens his mouth to speak.
"What really happened to Duo?"
AC 204 L8 Hospital for the Mentally Ill
"Dr. Hyral needs to run some tests but that won't be until later this afternoon?" the fat nurse opens the door for me. "But I trust you won't wanna stay that long ne?"
"Hai, actually if there wouldn't be any problem then I'd like to remain until then."
"Oh," she seems shocked. Guess that not many sick people get visitors that really want to spend time. "Fine…Ok go on in."
The room smells. I wrinkle my nose. It's so artificial and stuffy that I almost feel as though I've been covered in a plastic sterile bag. If Duo could even smell then I'm sure that he'd have wretched. But that was back a long time ago, now he mostly sits in a chair, looking out a small window at a tiny garden in which nothing grows but small ugly shrubs. It's almost too much to not cry because the man sitting, like a lump in front of me used to be the most energetic friend I've ever known.
His braid is gone, his skin is pale, he's weak and even skinnier then he was in his days as a pilot although he has grown a whole foot since. Wires run from a strange machine that lets off a faint whiny sound run into his right arm. His head is crocked at an odd angle and his back is to me, staring vacantly out the window.
I turn the chair around and sit in another directly across from him. He is surprised to see me; or more probably anybody other then the nurse or doctor.
"Nani? Heero?" his speech is slurred and husky from whatever medicine he takes. A small glob of spittle hangs from the corner of his mouth. I can barely understand him. "Is it you Heero?" But today seems to be better then most.
I wipe the spit away and barely manage to maintain my composure as I give him a gentle hug. "No it's me Trowa," I whisper, my own voice suddenly lacking.
I sit down and he talks for awhile. It's mostly gibberish and I can only make out a few words here and there but I nod attentively and listen as best I can. Every now and again I get up to wipe away the spittle and each time he says "Arigato Heero". I know he doesn't know my name, the only one he remembers is Heero and every now and again Quatre.
It was about past midday when it happened, he stopped talking. Looking up I thought I asked if he wanted a drink, he nodded and so I went and filled up a glass with water and was just turning off the faucet when he spoke again.
"Oi, arigato Trowa."
I dropped the glass I was that surprised. But I didn't care much about that. Duo sounded normal, healthy, like in the old days. Duo never remembered names. He must have seen my surprise because he apologized.
"Gomen Trowa," his voice was weak but calm, more like the braided baka. "Didn't mean to scare you. Ne? Shimatta its good to 'be myself' when there's actually people around."
I made myself look at him, a frail sickly young man, his eyes saddened and weary but still containing that sparkle that made Duo Duo. He was still drooling slightly but now I could feel the difference. It wasn't just some mentally broken body with a broken mind.
"Trowa it's really nice of you to visit me. Usually I just sit here and babble and drool but…" his voice drifted off, his eyes shifting and gazing out the window. "I only stay like this for a few minutes at a time and it doesn't happen very often."
Finally I found my voice, "You remember those things?" Then suddenly I exploded, yelling jubilantly. "Then the disease hasn't totally destroyed your mind! If you can regain yourself for a few minutes then the doctors could find a way to treat you! It…" I noticed that during my babbling Duo had turned away and was no longer moving but staring out the window. Suddenly the medicinal smell hit me again and he turned around to face me. His bright violet eyes were teared over and he slowly opened his mouth to speak. And I swear by God that I'll never forget what he said to me.
"Trowa I want to die."
AC 205 Hokkaido Safehouse
Heero left an hour ago. Of course I told him what really happened to Duo. An incredibly mentally sick patient doesn't break into a medicinal cabinet, steal drugs and then overdose himself on painkillers. I'm glad that it was painless for Duo. At least the end of his life didn't have to be hurt him. He deserved so much more out of life. But then again, how many need to suffer always? How many more die without ever getting a fair chance? It's impossible for me to postulate. It's something I don't have control over; it's something that'll never change. And anyway, these days most people are happy, content with life. But I wake too often in the early darkness of morning to wonder what goes on to the countless few that suffer still.
I gaze back at the old safehouse, it needs to be repainted and the lawn hasn't been mowed in god knows how long. In the shadowed arms of night it's cradled, like a memory in the candlelight. Shimatta, that place holds so many memories.
But this is the last time. I'm not coming back again I think. Catherine must be pretty worried about me. I promised I'd call at noon, it's already past three in the morning. Life keeps moving memories get left behind. In the end there's not much one can do but keep going. I look back one more time, tears blurring my vision.
Old memories, old friends, old days, sayonara.
Please, feedback! MasamuneEHS@hotmail.com