In His Touch

You can say you love me, that I'm your perfect crush.
How it hurts to need someone that much.
You can swear you mean it, but that ain't good enough.
Because when a man loves another, in his heart…it's in his touch.

Then words don't mean…that much.

Celine Dion – In His Touch

Heero Yuy has never said he loves me. Despite the fact that its been over a year since Dekim Barton tried to use Mariemeia Kushrenada to take over the Earth Sphere – and consequently two years that we've been lovers – he's still not comfortable enough expressing his emotions to say it.

But I know he does. Love me, that is.

I remember how outraged Hilde was when she heard that Heero had never said those three little words. I wouldn't have told her, but she asked me point-blank, and I don't lie. Especially to friends. She couldn't understand how I'd stay with someone 'with all the emotional expression of a rock,' I believe was the oh-so-tactful way she put it.

But I love him. Especially because Heero is a rock. The rock of my foundation, which I cling to when I feel lost. And while a rock itself may not be overly expressive, that doesn't mean Heero can't express himself just fine when he tries.

The thing that I couldn't get Hilde to understand, no matter how many times I tried to explain it – and maybe I didn't do a very good job, but just because I'm more comfortable with my emotions, doesn't mean I escaped the stereotypical guy inability to be articulate concerning them – is that Heero doesn't have to say anything for me to know he loves me.

All he has to do is touch me. And yeah, it took forever to calm her down once I told her that – she thought I was talking about sex.

Hmmph. As if. Not that making love with Heero – and yes, it is making love; even Heero has said so, which is one of the small ways he acknowledges his as-yet-unarticulated feelings for me – isn't absotively, posilutely wonderful…

But those aren't just the kinds of touches I'm talking about.

I'm talking about when, right after he'd nearly killed himself destroying Libra, and was in the hospital recovering from stress fractures in every bone in his body – except his skull. I always knew his head was harder than Gundanium – and doctors kept falling all over themselves trying to document this 'marvelous medical miracle' of his survival, or some other such shit. He clung to me like I was his only lifeline whenever one of those leeches – and I mean this literally; the amount of blood they drew you'd think they were trying to supply a whole coven of vampires with dinner ala Heero Yuy – got near him. My hand went numb a couple of times he held them for so long and my wrists developed some interesting bruises because he gripped them so tightly, but I was the only one he'd let comfort him – albeit in such a seemingly small, yet truly significant way – much less touch him.

Those days were practically torture for me – a sweet torture. I'd loved him for so long it had grown into a visceral need for his presence and to finally be able to touch him… It won't surprise you to know that that's what gave me the courage to reveal my feelings for him and ask him if he wanted to try a relationship. It also won't surprise you that he said, 'Yes' without even having to give it more than a cursory 'He means what I think he means, right?' thought.

I'm talking about when I got a really bad cold four months into our relationship, and despite the fact that there was a really big case he could've taken – that I knew he wanted to take; cases involving kids get to us both, big time, and I was real pissed I couldn't go, I didn't want him to have to miss on the sting – he stayed home with me. It had only been a little over three months since he was released from the hospital, and less than two since we started working together at the Preventers, but he took time off – without pay, not that that really mattered to wither of us – to stay home and fuss over me, despite the fact that I was perfectly capable of battling a measly cold by myself.

He fixed me chicken noodle soup – from scratch, not a can; if that's not a sign of love from a guy who hates to cook and could cheerfully exist on nothing but ration bars and tap water, I don't know what is – and kept me company all day, even forgoing working on his laptop to watch stupid comedies with me. He wiped me down with cool clothes when I was seating from the fever, and warmed me up with cozy blankets when the chills got bad, even going so far as to climb in with and chance getting my cold and delaying his return to work.

I'm talking about when I got a flu shot next year, deciding not to chance a repeated of my six days and seven nights enforced bed rest, only I hate hospitals. Even if the doctor administering the shot is Sally Po. Heero went with me, and he actually held my hand. Heero is not a fan of PDAs – even in front of friends, which Sally is one – so you'll forgive me if I swoon at the memory.

I'm talking about when a mission to bring down a really big inter-Colony drug cartel went bad and I got shot in the arm. We managed to get to relative safety – all right, it was a nook behind a large packing crate in an abandoned warehouse. What else could one expect from the slums of L2? – and catch a few minutes to regroup. Even though there wasn't really time to do more than bind the damn thing and hope I didn't bleed to death, Heero actually chanced the danger and fished the bullet out – and he did it with more concern for my comfort than for swiftness and efficiency – and treated it with our limited field first aid kit before he bound it up and we charged back out to try and catch the bad guys.

I'm talking about when the mission was over and I suffered an adrenaline crash of epic proportions, collapsing into his arms once we were back in our no-tell motel room. It was the first time I'd ever been back to that part of L2 since I'd left it on Howard's ship five years previously, and the shock of the memories, the energy rush of the mission, and the fact that the bullet I'd taken had been aimed right of Heero's head…

Well, I was a shaking, sobbing mess in his arms. And despite the fact that he was extremely uncomfortable with overly emotional displays, no matter how private…he didn't push me away. He pulled me closer into his arms and did that murmuring of soft nonsense syllables thing that's so damn soothing when you're a nervous wreck and no words will fix things. Only having some who cares about your nearby will.

People say 'I love you' all the time and never mean it. Because they want to get someone to sleep with them, because they want to stop a fight… They still lie. They get up in front of their closest friends and family and swear undying love and devotion for forever and always, into eternity and beyond – and then get divorced less than a year later. So you'll forgive me if I think the words can be overrated. It's the feelings that aren't.

Heero Yuy has never said he loves me. But when he touches me, words don't mean that much. He shows me his love in a thousand little ways, a thousand times every day. He wears his heart in his hands, where only I can touch it, which means more than a thousand declarations of, 'Aishiteru' ever could.

And when he finally does say it…

I'll know he means. Because it was there all along, in his touch.