Killing Him Softly: Chapter 2 – Angel
Disclaimer – Oh how I wished I owned it, but alas, Relena lived through the series and Heero never told Duo how much he loved him, so no, obviously I don't own it.
Warnings – Still AU, author's still retarded
He'd ignored the first letter. It was not special, or note-worthy, just plain and, well, boring. It hadn't attracted any attention at all, so he'd set it aside, not giving it any thought. When he first got signed to his label, he'd imagined himself answering every letter he got with dedication, but reality sank in, and between performing, public appearances, and the little time left he had for actual song writing, he had little time to look at fan mail, let alone read and answer them.
He'd gotten caught up in his life, and it made him tired. Everywhere he turned, some one wanted something from him, and it was draining him dry. He wanted a release – a break. He wanted to be in a place with some one who knew him and understood him –who loved him for who he was. He wanted a pillar of strength to lean on in trying times. He wanted an angel to wrap their arms around him.
The thought made him snort in dry amusement. Sentimental bullshit – all of it. But still, he couldn't help but feel lonely.
He'd look out at the skyline of whatever city it was that he was visiting this week and wonder why he kept on like this. It was killing him softly. He, who before his fame, had been surrounded by close friends, now itched in his solitude like some locked up mental patient in a rubber room. There was no time for a life, no time for friends, no time for Duo Maxwell to be Duo Maxwell. Though he'd never admit it out loud, there were several times he'd just wanted to walk away from everything and be free. And yet, the next morning would find him rolling out of bed and facing the music as if nothing were wrong. It was a sick cycle that kept going.
One night, though… one night he was particularly bad. He'd spent the night in his hotel room, hanging out with the only friend he had left, Jack Daniels. Gazing out at the night as he always did, he vaguely wonder what it would be like to jump from his tenth floor window and end it all as a smear on the sidewalk and a blip on the evening news. Yes, he thought to himself, things were looking grim for our hero.
But then the letter caught his eye. He stared at it for a while, wondering what dement horseshit he might find in there. It was more than likely some hapless fangirl pledging her eternal love to him, enamored of his image on MTV. He opened it anyway.
To say he was startled by the clumsy, yet beautiful prose that he found would have been an understatement. This wasn't a fan letter, but a real letter, a communication between two people. He fumbled for the envelope and studied the return address – it was no one he knew, and yet the words on the page, so stoically carved in blocky, small print, spoke to him as if the sender had known him his entire life.
As he read through the letter, he sobered slowly. Each word was honest and beautiful – things that Duo had not heard or seen in what seemed like forever. Everything that plagued him like wayward hellhounds always nipping at his heels were finally held at bay and Duo's isolation slipped from him. In fact, he felt weightless, and – peaceful?
As he finished it, he stared at it in near distrust. It was about simple things, day to day life, but it also held the writer's fears and insecurities. Not the whole picture, by any means, but they were hinted at. It was hypnotic. Idly he caressed the signature at the bottom of the page – a "Heero Yuy". He liked the name.
Folding the letter gently, he replaced it into its envelope. With great care, he made a home for his new treasure in his suitcase. For the next week, he took it out at odd times and read it, sometimes silently, sometimes out loud. The words gave him comfort and release. It let him know that he wasn't alone.
More and more letters appeared from this mysterious fan as time wore on, and each was treasured. He kept them all in his suitcase, near him at all times. He felt compelled to answer them, yet, some dark, frightened part of him said that if he did, the letters would stop coming. Yet the need to reach out to that other soul that seemed to know his so well.
The only thing he could come up with was song. Hell, it was the thing he used to express himself, the thing that had brought this 'Heero Yuy' to first write to him… why not answer him back that way. Thus 'Letters' was born.
His agent hated the album. The producer said it was ok, but it wouldn't chart well. Duo didn't care. It was his message to Heero, and he wanted it to stay just as it was. He had to let that other soul know that he'd heard him. But when the album was complete, he didn't find the satisfaction that he'd been looking for. It felt like a job half done, and Duo hated that feeling.
So when his agent grudgingly proposed a listening party for the album, Duo had no question as to where he wanted it to be. He wanted to be near where Heero was in the hopes that he might see, or possibly meet the sender of those wonderful letters.
Oh yes, it seemed like a great idea – right up until show time. Protected by the darkness that covered the tiny stage, Duo surveyed the audience, trying to pin point whoever this Heero Yuy was. He knew that he was holding the show up, but this was important to him. It made him sigh, and knowing he was only delaying the inevitable, he dragged the beat up old stool that the club left for his use to the front of the stage. He was nervous. He didn't know if Heero was here, and if he were, what would he think about the new songs? Would he be angry? Duo didn't want to think about it. He just wanted it over.
So he called for the lights, he voice sounding entirely too loud through the microphone. Hell, it had even startled him. It didn't help at all that his guitar was out of tune. Feeling like an amateur, he quickly tuned it and faced his audience. Determined to cover what had to be his first case of stage fright ever, he spoke more softly, "I wanna thank all you guys for coming out to see me tonight. It's a special night for me, really, you see, I wrote some new songs, and I was wondering if you would hear them out for me tonight?" His ringing ears barely caught the subdued cheers from the audience, but he grinned into the bright lights anyway, "Thanks."
He was so nervous that his fingers zinged when he touched the strings of his guitar. Fortunately, they kept their places and didn't stray out of place. Slowly but surely, the music took him and he was able to lay thoughts of Heero to rest. Music had always had that effect on him, and right then, he was grateful for it. He felt the feeling of freedom he'd gotten from the letters settle over him, a comfort even on stage.
The set was over quickly, too quickly. As the final cadence fell on the last song, Duo felt sort of shocked. Looking up at the audience with a strange feeling of loss, he said the only words he could think at the moment, the words his agent had sternly instructed him to say, "Well, that was my new album. It's called Letters. I hope you all enjoyed it, thank you." In a daze, he left the stage.
Backstage, some form of solid thought finally began to rumble in his mind, unfortunately, it was confusion. In the build-up to the show, he'd imagined meeting the mysterious Heero Yuy and finally talking with him, but now… now he didn't know what to do. Hell, he didn't even know if Heero had come. How the hell was he supposed to find him? He didn't even know what the guy looked like! It was hopeless.
Dejectedly, he made his way back to the stage. His agent and the club owner were talking about something, rather heatedly from the looks of it, but Duo could have cared less. He just wanted to go back to his hotel room and visit with his good old buddy Jack. It had been a while, but he decided after tonight's let down, he deserved a shot or two.
So lost in his thoughts, he nearly missed the man still sitting at a table in the audience. But not quite. And was Duo ever glad he'd spotted him. He was a lean man, though obviously well-built. He had sun soaked skin that glowed in the dim house lights. Short, dark hair dripped like chocolate over his eyes. And those eyes – damn, even at this distance, some fifteen feet away, they looked deep, and turbulent. They were the color of the sea after a bad storm, a deep blue lightly tinged with gray. And they were currently fixed right on Duo.
And like that, his breath was gone.
"… Hello?" The man's voice was dark, monotone, but undeniably sexy. It sent a tiny shiver from the bottom of Duo's spine straight to the top.
"Hello." Granted, not the cleverest thing to say, but Duo was pretty proud himself for getting anything out at all.
"I… uh, liked your show."
Duo blushed at the compliment, "Thanks. I'm glad you liked it – uh…?"
"Heero. My name is Heero Yuy."
Screw Jack. "Duo… er – I guess you already knew that, huh?" He grinned sheepishly.
The man smiled slightly and crossed to him, extending a hand, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Duo."
Upon accepting the hand, Duo smiled back, unsure what to say. I mean, 'Hey, I got your letters.' Sounded pretty lame, and any attempt at explaining what they meant to him would just sound weird. But he didn't want this opportunity to pass him by.
"Hey – uh, Heero, would you like to go get some coffee?"
A flicker of surprise crossed those stunning blue eyes before he smiled that barely-there smile once more, "Sure."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Spend all your time waiting - for that second chanceFor a break that would make it okayThere's always some reason -to feel not good enoughAnd it's hard at the end of the dayI need some distraction -oh beautiful releaseMemories seep from my veinsLet me be empty -oh and weight-less and maybe I'll find some peace tonight In the arms of an angelFly away from hereFrom this dark, cold hotel roomAnd the endlessness that you fearYou are pulled from the wreckageOf your silent reverieYou're in the arms of the angelMay you find… some comfort here You're so tired of the straight line -that everywhere you turn There's vultures and thieves at your backStorm keeps on twisting -keep on building the liesThat you make up for all that you lackIt don't make no difference -escaping one last timeIt's easier to believeIn this sweet madness -oh this glorious sadnessThat brings me to my knees In the arms of an angelFly away from hereFrom this dark, cold hotel roomAnd the endlessness that you fearYou are pulled from the wreckageOf your silent reverieYou're in the arms of the angelMay you find… some comfort here You're in the arms of the angelMay you find… some comfort here
Ok, ok, this is the end – I swear. For some reason, I couldn't just let this one sit. I know the end's not all that conclusive, but at least they met face to face…
DeadAngel – I'm glad you liked it… I hope this chapter didn't ruin everything.
Serenity Maxwell – Ehh, I'm sorry it was confusing at first, I didn't exactly know where to start, and I'm not all that great of a writer – I'm glad that you loved it despite the rocky beginning.
Aurenne – Nope, not a one-shot anymore! I'm really touched that you liked this story so much, and I'm glad that I got the rapport between them across. P.S. I read 'Fishy!' sometime ago, and you gotta know, that story is super cute!
Ayamari – 'blushes' Aww shucks… 'tweren't nothing. Thanks for the glowing review.
If you could let me know what you think, I'd really appreciate it.