Title: Someone Else Will 1/1
Author: Seraphim Grace
Archive: Always appreciated and replied to.
At a peace celebration Heero and Duo meet after parting bitterly.
Someone else will
The auditorium was full to bursting. The crowd was perfectly groomed. In the warm glow from the dimmed electric bulbs there were the sparkle of gemstones like stars. They mingled and chattered, and around the outside of the hall, Heero leant against the wall, looking at the champagne glass in his hand as if, if he stared at it long enough, it would open up and reveal the mysteries of the universe to him, as if it would answer his questions, even those he barely understood himself.
Relena wore an ash grey dress, long gone were the pinks and blues that she had worn, now she wore stately colours, but never black, black was for the dead she said, black was for failure. The colour gave her a rosiness to her cheeks that Heero had thought had left her. She smiled when she saw him, moving through the crowd like a spirit. Her smile was large and genuine with nothing of fakery and her expression was one of fondness and adoration. She had admitted that she no longer loved him, but she still adored him.
"This party," she whirled around, her glass in her hand, "is to celebrate what you did, to celebrate all of you." She reached forward and planted a sugary pink kiss on his cheek, "enjoy your party, you're a hero, Heero." She laughed. Her cheeks were pink and her breath smelled of wine, she had had more than one of the glasses in her hand.
"He didn't come." Heero said. He had scanned the room, once, twice, and then a third time but he couldn't see him. Wufei was talking to a Chinese official, Quatre and Trowa as inseparable as if they had been born with one body. They seemed more at home in this kind of party. Duo hadn't come. Heero hadn't really expected him to.
"He might just be caught up." Relena said with a smile.
"He didn't come." Heero corrected her. "I,"
She pressed her fingertip to his lip. "He understands, I'm sure of it."
"How can he?" Heero said lowering his eyes to the wooden floor, "I don't understand it myself."
On the stage the band were playing some happy orchestral piece when they suddenly stopped. They changed tack entirely, playing something slow and bassy. A single lone figure stepped out on stage, holding a microphone. Like all the other men in the room he wore a tuxedo but the length of braid that snaked behind him revealed his identity better than anything else. The flower in his buttonhole was a forget me not, which brought out the colour of his eyes. Seeing him Heero's heart almost stopped in his chest. He had wanted him to be here- had been terrified that he wouldn't show; had been terrified that he would.
"You knew." Heero accused Relena, she spread her hands as if to say this was none of my doing.
Opening his mouth the room fell silent. Duo sang comfortably, he sang with a cold precision and passion that few could emulate, he sang on the stage for a career, so Heero didn't know how Relena had arranged this. Perhaps she had just asked him. His eyes met Heero's through the crowd. They scythed through the crowd like laser beams to find him. There was muttering when he appeared on stage, and then the eerie silence.
He opened his mouth and began to sing.
"I aint gonna laugh at this no more
or just let it slip by
I aint gonna watch this til I choke on the lie"
Heero had never heard this song before, and he had attended every one of Duo's performances even when he himself didn't know why. He loved Duo, he always had, but he couldn't be near him. It was maddening to love someone so much that their presence caused you pain.
And on there stage Duo continued to sing. He didn't dance to the music, but the song was slow and bluesy, he just stood with his laser beam eyes fixed on Heero and sang, sang like his heart was breaking. He looked exactly as he had in that moment where Heero had told him it was over, that he was leaving, that expression that was caught between wounded and spite.
"I aint gonna take this anymore
I aint sitting quiet
you can tranquillise my mind with phoney hope
but I don't buy it, I don't buy it"
Across the auditorium Quatre held Trowa's hand a little tighter than he had before, and Wufei's eyes looked down at the floor as of he was ashamed to meet Duo's eyes. Heero wondered if they knew this song better than he had. He had never heard it before. Part of him never wanted Duo to stop singing it to him, the part of him wanted it to stop, and the last part remembered a dark night just outside Mombai with the sweat slick on their skin and the ancient ceiling fan whirring in the night. The golden sheen of his complexion, and his eyes dark in the moonlight, and the remembered smell of his sex. How Duo looked at him with such adoration and told him, "you're telling a joke, you're kidding me, I don't buy it. You can't be leaving me. You can't, you love me. You said so, I don't buy it, Heero, it's not true." But it had been.
"Cause you will kill me when you have to
And you will tie me to the table
And you will tell me that you don't want to
But if you don't you know someone else will."
And then Heero understood why this song, why that night, in the celebration of their role as heroes. He had never heard it before, and suspected that he never would again. But Duo didn't care, he sang regardless. He had probably dredged through all the information at his command to find this one song, it had the sound of something whispered about, something hunted about it. It sounded as rare as the performance itself, but Heero knew with cold certainty that Duo hadn't written it. This was someone else's pain, these were someone's else's words.
Duo hadn't written a song since Heero left him.
He had chosen this song for the chorus, Heero had always been unable to kill him, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't live without him, the concept of Duo being dead made Heero's heart tighten convulsively, but he couldn't live with him either. He loved him that much that Heero thought he was going mad.
"But I aint gonna listen anymore
Obedient and polite
And i aint letting killers so like me sleep tonight"
That line caught Heero unawares, there was no sense of longing, no love in this song, just resignation and horror. Heero wanted to go on to that stage and to silence him, to make him be silent, but he never would. He wanted to climb the steps at the side and wrap his arms about Duo and tell him everything would be fine, that he was sorry, but he never would. This was Duo's place and this Heero wouldn't take from him.
"and I aint gonna play my part no more
Their sentence it aint right
Cause you can think you're free but i'll leave you
To serve my time, serve my time"
This song was almost like a suicide note, something to be left behind when all was lost, something other, but it was someone else's song, someone else's dream left behind to be sung on this stage in front of the gathered officials of the ESUN, most of whom would only hear a sad bluesy song, a song that would mean nothing to them.
"Cause you will kill me when you have to
And you will tie me to the table
And you will tell me that you don't want to
But if you don't, you know someone else will."
Duo finally lowered his eyes.
"You know someone else will."
Heero wasn't sure if he was going to cry or throw up. Relena's bottom lip wavered and then she began clapping her hands together, spilling her champagne as she beamed at Duo through the tears in her eyes. Her applause was thunderous enough that Duo looked up and smiled at her, but for his smile, for the applause and the ease with which he had sang, his eyes were dead. With a low and rather stiff bow Duo descended the steps to the dance floor. Just standing there Heero felt traitorous, as if he had betrayed Duo just by being here.
"We need to talk." Duo said as he walked up to him, ignoring the throng of people vying for his attention. "Now." It was an order and Heero obeyed him.
The antechamber was a small lead-in to the kitchen. The walls were lined with plates and Heero knew instinctively that they would be interrupted. It was a party after all. Duo didn't seem to care. "How dare you?" He snarled. "How fucking dare you?"
"I was invited." Heero answered calmly. Inside however he was a mess.
"Not the party." Duo sneered, "I knew you'd be here, but how dare you come here looking for all the world like nothing is wrong." His fists were clenched at his sides, "d'ya know how much effort it took me to come here." He was carefully enunciating every word he was that angry, as if he was tasting them before he chose them. "and you, you didn't have to try at all." He finally lowered his eyes to the floor and Heero thought he might be able to breathe again. He hated seeing Duo so upset and he knew it was his fault, and that just made the anger boil up within him. "You look exactly the same. How could you?"
Heero knew there were no words that could explain the volcano of emotions that threatened to overthrow him seeing Duo like this, with his colour high in his cheeks and his eyes glistening with tears he would not let himself shed. "I loved you." Duo repeated, "I love you." He whimpered almost to himself but Heero's hearing was sharp and more than anything he wanted to reach out and put his arms around Duo but he no longer had the right. "You said you loved me."
That Heero could answer. "I do." He said stiffly, "I have only ever loved you, I only ever will."
"Then why?" Duo asked, "why? At least give me that, if you love me give me an answer."
"Because I love you," Heero said stiffly, "because the emotions you made, you make me feel overwhelm me, when I am with you then you are all I can think of, you intoxicate me to the point of poison, when I am with you the emotions boil over until I am physically sick. That even when I left you I could not stay away, I followed you like some kind of stalker trying to find some peace in your presence. Because I love you so much that I vanish in the wake of it and it scares me."
Duo was incredulous. "You left me because you loved me?" He asked with a forced laugh in his voice, "because you love me?" Heero was unsure if he would laugh or cry. "I may be young and in some things naïve but I'm not a fool, Heero, don't take me for one."
"I never thought you a fool." Heero said, "of all the things I think you, a fool was never one. What do you want me to do? Give you answers I don't have myself, explain something I don't understand, all I know is it physically hurt me to be with you I loved you that much and it scared me."
"Then why didn't you tell me?" Duo asked, his eyes were full of unshed tears, "why couldn't you just tell me that?" He was spasmodically clenching and unclenching his fists. "Why couldn't you just tell me? I would have understood, don't you think it's like that for me? That sometimes when I see you my stomach twists and turns so much with joy that I throw up, that I spent nights watching you sleep and waiting for you to leave me because I didn't deserve you." Duo fell forward unto Heero's chest beating his fists futilely against him, "and then you left me, you bastard, you left me."
"I know." Heero said, he would not apologise because he was sure that he had done the right thing. It had cut at him like knives to see Duo and know that he was hurting, that he was hurting because of him. How many times had he seen Duo, standing lost on some stage in some smoky bar, and it had taken every inch of his resolve not to go to him and wrap his arms about him and hold him as tight as he could, because it looked at any moment like he might vanish away. How many times had he watched him sing someone else's love songs, how many nights like tonight had he known those other people's words of pain were directed at him. "I know."
Relena watched them sadly through the glass, "men are so dense," she said to Dorothy who was stood beside her.
"I know." Dorothy said, "they make something so simple so complex it's painful. You'd think they'd understand something so simple as love."
Relena's smile was sweet and sad, "there is nothing simple about love, Doro," she said, "there's nothing simple about it at all."
The song is by Del Amitri and is called "someone else will" but the chances of you being able to download it are really scarce as it was a b-side on a vinyl limited edition of a single only available in the UK as I understand it. It's also very beautiful and very sad and if you can find it then by all means it comes highly recommended (by me) but on the other hand if you can't, I'm sorry, but I did warn you. If you see it on eBay I suggest taking the chance but it's only one song (although the other three on the vinyl are cool as well) and it's a b-side to "Here and Now". I just didn't want you thinking that I could write songs, because I can't.