A while ago I said I'd never write another songfic. And guess what! I haven't. Because I actually wrote this like 4 years ago and never posted it. Figures, doesn't it? You'll probably notice that the style is quite a bit different from anything I've written in the last 3 or 4 years for exactly that reason. Also, I didn't revise it really, so this is fairly rough. I was just browsing old fic rejects, and decided what the hell, might as well post it.

But I warn you, it's old. Think of it as baring my soul to the internet by posting something that's kind of embarassing.

Summary: SONGFIC, 3rd Eye Blind. Heero watches Duo choose his destiny, powerless to stop him and only able to try and convince him that someday, it would get better.

Disclaimer: Neither the song nor the character belong to me. This fic is purely to entertain myself. And because "Jumper" is eternally my Duo character song.


Jumper

By Rashaka


I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend,
You could cut ties with all the lies
That you've been living in
And if you do not want to see me again,
I would understand,
I would understand

Duo sucked in his breath, and he pulled his fingers into a fist. Like the rest of his body they itched to reach forward and the touch the trigger switch. It would give him release. It would make the whole world disappear in an instant. No more hate. No more pain. No more fear. No more blood on his hands. He raised his right hand, ever so slowly.

"I never thought you'd take the coward's way out. You were better than that."

The words hung in the empty air, waiting to be acknowledged.

"Heero," the black-clothed youth hissed, his hand dropping back to the hard metal edge it had been gripping like a vice. He refused to turn around, refused to look the other boy in the face. "You're not one to preach, with your history. I suppose Quatre sent you, huh? Golden boy really need to mind his own business some times."

His voice was cold, jaded. It seemed unlike his normal tone, but maybe, Heero thought, it had always been a jaded voice and they just hadn't listened enough to hear it.

"No. It was Wufei." Heero stood where he was, not risking moving even an inch forward toward his friend. Instability hung around theyoung manlike a cloak, and Heero dared not interfere and upset the balance even more.

"So," Duo muttered casually, "Wu-man's got more brains than I gave him credit for. If I were planning to stick around, I'd remind myself to remember that." His eyes blurred slightly as he looked down at the panel of control switches in front of him. His sadly cynical words still held a little of the false humor he'd been projecting from day one of his "friendship" with the Wing pilot, and before. But the humor fell flat, like everything else around him suddenly seemed to.

The angry boy, a bit too insane,
Icing over a secret pain,
You know you don't belong

Heero's blue eyes stared daggers between Duo's shoulder blades, but as always Maxwell was indifferent to his glares. It had forever been that way; his friend was walking energy, a spark of fire in a black hole, and no amount of pressure or animosity could snuff it out, even from the stoic Heero. Duo was action incarnate: the first to leap, the first to grin, and always the first to his feet after the plunge. Even his pleasant companionship hid one of the worst and most capricious tempers Heero had ever come across. But in the boy in front of him, Heero saw energy that was not reaching outward to everything and everyone,like it always had before. This energy was coiled up like a ball, intense and bright and about to implode inward.

"Duo," he spoke quietly. "Wufei said you spoke to him yesterday after the conference with Une, and that you seemed… tight. Like you were practicing barely restrained control. He suggested I should see if you were alright."

"So Chang cares, big deal."

You're the first to fight,
You're way too loud,
You're the flash of light
On a burial shroud,
I know something's wrong

"You're not." You're not alright. The unspoken word echoed around them, even in the silence.

Duo's shoulders twitched slightly, as if being told what he had already decided for himself still hurt. "Do you remember growing up, Heero?" he asked suddenly, pulling the question out of the thin air around them.

Well everyone I know have got a reason
To say
Put the past away

The Wing pilot started to say no, as a reflex, then stopped to reassess the question. After a long silence, he replied quietly, but strongly. "I remember being a kid. A long time ago. If I try very hard, I imagine I can almost remember my mother's face. I remember being hungry, and cold, and then I remember Odin Lowe taking me with him. From that moment I stopped being a child."

Duo's hands were grasping the edge of the panel with whitened knuckles, and he chuckled softly at Heero's admission. "Well," he echoed, "I remember it too. Growing up I mean. I grew up when I was seven. The first seeds of it were planted when I was five, though." He stopped and chuckled some more, his shoulders shaking a little. It wasn't a happy chuckle, and it twisted in Heero's ears like a serpent. "You know what they called me? They called me Key." Whoever 'they' were, Duo had been their key; Heero could see, even understand that. That was Duo's nature- to be the answer, to have the answer, to cleverly unlock himself and others from the chains.

The shaking in Duo's shoulders increased, and his knuckles looked ready to pop from the pressure with which they clung to the table's surface. He focused his eyes on the switch that rested inches from his right hand. All he would have to do was unclench his grip on the edge, move forward a bit…and then oblivion. Four hundred and seventy thousand volts, straight to the brain and beyond. With so much power he'd be dead before he felt the first sensation. It would be impressive, and he did have a reputation to uphold.

I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend,
You could cut ties with all the lies
That you've been living in
And if you do not want to see me again,
I would understand,
I would understand,

"It was cold, Heero."

Heero remained poised to act, an arrow being strung. But he could do nothing until Duo made the next move.

"All this time I've been thinking, and the one thing I can remember most is their faces. When they died beneath me, their faces had that same horrified look as the colonists in the church all those years ago. Only, this time it was me."

"So go see a shrink. Deal with it like the rest of us." Blunt as ever, that Heero Yuy. He'd suddenlyhad enough of this pity party.

"It's not that simple."

Well he's on the table,
And he's gone to code
And I do not think anyone knows
What they are doing here,
And your friends have left you,
You've been dismissed,
I never thought it would come to this

Heero deliberately relaxed his muscles, stepping backward. Giving up all chance at interference if Duo found his guts and flipped the switch. He sneered down at his friend, irritation overcoming worry.

"No, Duo, sometimes it really is that simple."

"Fuck you."

"Likewise. Now get away from the damn generator. You're not going to commit suicide."

"How would you know?"

"Because Duo Maxwell never waits, and you've been sitting there for far too long."

A flush of something like regret crossed the other pilot's face, and Heero knew it was over. As Duo's shoulders slumped and he sank to the ground, hand falling away from the switch, Heero finally allowed himself to move forward. He reached past the boy who now crouched with his arms around his knees, and carefully replaced the electrical panel cover. On the floor near his feet Duo shivered. Then the Wing pilot calmly typed the code and turned off the generator. He watched the lights flicker as it powered down.

Electrocution was such an ugly, abrupt way to die. But no surpriseafter all, Duo Maxwell would never go out with anything less than a bang.

And I,
I want you to know
Everyone's got to face down the demons,
Maybe today
We can put the past away