Well...FF. Net accidently removed Slave ;( I was really depressed about that for a while and as a result Master is kinda on hold for now. I will be revising the beginning chapters of Slave and reposting it eventually. I was just really upset that they went on a spree of removing so many fanfics, and deleted mine which didn't violate the rules so many fics were being removed for. .:sigh:. Ah well. Mistakes happen, I guess. Still sucks though -.-
Anywho... I decided after putting Duo Maxwell in Slave, he deserved a little piece of his own with Usagi ;) As a result, I wrote this little fic. It's a "two-shot" fic, just two chapters long. The whole story is completed and its second part will be posted whenever I get around to revising it for spelling and grammar. Hope ya like it, please review!
Note: This takes place shortly after the arrival in of Galaxia in Stars, and after Endless Waltz I guess in Gundam Wing. I dunno. Timelines may seem a bit messed up as far as ages and situations go, and for that I'm sorryy!
†.The Validity Of A Promise.†
The young teen carefully adjusted his collar, smoothing out the fine creases in his priest attire. He took a casual glance in the mirror, flashing his reflection a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. It was almost a mockery, wasn't it? To dress every day in the holy attire of a priest, with hands stained so heavily with blood... But that didn't really matter.
Nothing mattered, when he truly put some thought to it. It was for that reason he tried not to. It was so much easier to live life under the pretentious guise of happiness, living under a mask of smiles and flirtatious suave. Ah, yes. Much easier that way.
He proceeded out of the house, closing the door uncaringly behind him. He carefully fixed his dark shades upon his eyes, pushing up the sunglasses that rested upon the bridge of his nose. With his hands clasped nonchalantly behind his head, he began walking with no particular direction in mind, whistling a small tune that held no real melody.
Hiiro, Wufei, Trowa, and Quatre were back at Quatre's mansion at the moment, he knew. Now that things were relatively settled in the colonies, there was no need for the Gundams. The five pilots resigned to a life on Earth, hoping to find some solace here whilst some of their youthful teen years remained. He was supposed to meet them, but at the moment he really had no desire to do so. He merely wanted to be...alone. Away from everyone else, or at least the four sources that served as his constant reminder of who and what he was.
The happy-go-lucky, 17 year old ex-Gundam pilot, Duo Maxwell, was stuck under a hard realization at this moment in his life: He was not happy.
His aimless walking led him to the park. This was as good of a location as any, he supposed. He strolled into the arching confines of the green trees, trying to take comfort in the delicate chirp-chirping of the birds. At least the damned birds were happy, he mused bitterly. He sat down gingerly at a vacant bench, situated nicely in shade under a tall tree, full in its vivacious bloom.
He let his eyes drift shut for a moment beneath the sunglasses, taking in the still breeze and warm sun tingling upon his face. It was truly a pity he wasn't more appreciative of nature; he could almost enjoy this...
It was hard to gauge just how long he sat lost in these thoughts. A quiet sniffling from next to him broke him out of this slight reverie, his head tilting to look questioningly at the saddened noise. A young girl, probably a year or two younger than himself, sat there with her face buried within her palms. Through the darkness of his sunglasses, he observed the strange hair-style she had; her hair was long than his. That was saying something, he mused, regarding his long braid of chestnut hair that brushed well to his waist. He removed his sunglasses, marveling at the golden blonde color of the enviously long hair, tied into two buns with flowing pigtails. He was broken out of his appreciative gazing as another soft sob parted from her lips.
Duo frowned and shifted uneasily; he was never particularly good at dealing with crying females. "Hey miss, what's wrong?" he asked tentively.
The girl jumped slightly at the sound of his voice, her tear-stained face turning to him. Though currently rimmed with red, he saw the cerulean color of her wide, innocent-looking eyes. Her full pink lips were parted slightly in the surprise, her lower lip trembling. "I'm sorry," she apologized in a shaky whisper, scrubbing at her eyes with her hands in a feeble attempt to clear away the tears. "I...I t-thought you were asleep. I'm s-sorry, if I awakened you Father, I'll go.."
Duo chuckled slightly, silencing her stammer for words. "Easy babe," he said in a soothing tone. He ran her words through his mind again, his eyebrow raising. " 'Father'?" he echoed.
The girl sniffled. "You're a priest, ne?" she said softly, referring to his clothing.
Duo laughed, though the girl could sense the traces of bitterness that laced the sound. "No babe, I'm not. What's your name?"
The girl smiled, blushing slightly. "I wasn't completely sure, you look way too young to be one... My name's Usagi Tsukino... I'm sorry," she mumbled again with embarrassment.
"Hey, stop apologizing," Duo waved off. He stood from the park bench, extending his hand. "Duo Maxwell," he introduced.
Usagi tilted her head at his hand before a small smile came to her lips. "Nice to meet you," she murmured, grasping his hand.
Duo pulled her up to a standing position as well, offering her a smile. "So what was bothering ya? I never like to see a girl cry, especially one so beautiful." Ah yes, he was ever the flirtatious one; some habits would never truly die.
Usagi's expression became saddened again, her head lowering. "It's nothing, really," she mumbled.
Duo glanced at her curiously. "Well, Usagi-chan, I'm not really one to pry...Wanna go for a walk?" he asked somewhat abruptly.
Usagi looked at her hand which still grasped his own. She blushed slightly as she nodded, beginning to pull her hand away. Duo smiled at her innocence, his hands coming to clasp behind his head once again as he walked.
She wasn't one for silence, he realized, listening half-heartedly as she rambled about her friends and school and something-or-another. Still, the company was nice, he mused. He took more enjoyment out of watching the wide range of emotions she managed to convey all at once; her beautiful, happy smile would quickly turn into a frown as she moved onto the next topic, before turning into a thoughtful expression as she pondered something. It was very cute, and so very innocent.
"...But Rei-chan is always soo mean to me," Usagi fumed angrily, a frown upon her lips. She stopped talking suddenly, glancing hesitantly at Duo. "Ne, Duo-san, tell me about yourself."
Duo looked somewhat startled from the question, though he quickly regained his composure. "There's not much to know really," he answered simply.
Usagi giggled slightly. "I've been talking for I don't know how long... I'm sure you're tired of listening to me," she said apologetically.
Duo offered her a reassuring shake of his head. "Nah, no worries. It's nice to listen...and the company is pretty appealing," he added with his charming smile, rewarded by the heated blush of her cheeks.
It had been well over a half an hour that they had been conversing. Usagi glanced casually at her watch, her eyes widening incredibly. "Oh noo! I'm so late," she wailed. "I was supposed to meet Rei-chan and the others at the temple," she explained at his confused expression. "She's gonna kill me.."
Duo looked at her with amusement. "Why don't I walk there with you? I'll explain that I kept you held up," he suggested.
Usagi's eyes widened. "Hontou? You'd do that for me?" she all but squealed. Seeing the small shrug of compliance, a smile spread happily upon her lips. "Oh thank you thank you!" she gushed, hugging him tightly.
Duo was surprised as her arms came to wrap around him, but he reveled in the feel of the warm body against him. He wasn't accustomed to such contact, but something told him he'd definitely like to get used to it. He slowly reciprocated to the hug, his arms wrapping loosely around her waist and pulling her closer. He breathed in the pleasant scent of her hair, his chin resting lightly against the top of her head. "Of course," he murmured.
Usagi felt her heartbeat quicken at being so close to him. She laughed nervously as she quickly pulled away, averting her eyes and beginning to walk in the direction of the temple. "Oh, Minako-chan is going to love you," she said with a happy giggle. "She'll probably latch onto you and try and claim you for herself..."
Duo raised an eyebrow as he walked beside her. "And why's that?" he questioned.
"Because Minako-chan flirts with all of the hot guys," she answered.
"So you think I'm hot?" Duo teased, his eyes dancing with amusement as she began to stammer for a response. She was definitely a cute one.
They walked the rest of the way in relative silence. "Here we are," Usagi mumbled with a little apprehension, pushing open the sliding door of the room Rei and the others were in. "Hi Rei-chan!" she greeted over-enthusiastically.
Rei stood immediately, an angry frown upon her lips. "Usagi no baka! Why are you so late?" she demanded.
Ami frowned slightly. "It is rather irresponsible to be so tardy, Usagi-chan," she scolded. Makoto nodded in agreement.
Minako grinned at Usagi sheepishly. "I just got here a few minutes ago myself," she whispered.
Duo chose that moment to step inside, offering a pleasant smile to the four girls, who looked at him with widened eyes. "Hello ladies," he greeted suavely. "I apologize for Usagi-chan's tardiness. It's all my fault, really..." He paused a moment, licking his lips slightly. "You see, it's been a while since I've seen Usa-chan," he explained, glancing at her with an expression that said 'play along.' "She warned me that she'd be late if I took too long, but we got so caught up in reminiscing.." He trailed off with a small apologetic sigh.
Usagi laughed a little uneasily, waving her hand. "Minna-san, this is Duo-s...err, Duo-chan," she said with a small blush.
Duo tried to mask the amusement from rising in his expression as she stumbled over the affectionate nickname. He turned his gaze back to the four girls who still looked slightly dumbstruck. "Duo Maxwell," he elaborated. "It's a pleasure to meet you all... Usagi has told me so much about each of you...In fact, I bet I could place a name to each of you already." He turned his gaze to Rei, recalling the insult she had delivered as soon as Usagi had arrived. 'Rei-chan is always soo mean to me!' Usagi had sniffled out earlier. "I'm guessing your Rei?"
The raven haired girl's eyes widened slightly. "Y-Yes," she stumbled out, surprise clearly evident in her features.
Duo pressed his lips together, turning to the other blonde in the room...the one currently batting her eyes and leaning forward. "And you must be Minako," he guessed. The happy grin that spread upon Minako's face was enough answer to confirm him being right. He turned to the blue-haired girl, recalling her proper speaking and kind reprimanding. "Ami?" Ami nodded, her eyes averting slightly as she blushed. His gaze finally rested on the last girl. "And of course last but not least, Makoto." The brunette nodded quickly, a smile hinting upon her lips.
Duo finally turned his gaze back to Usagi, trying hard to contain the smirk that threatened to spill upon his lips. Her eyes were slightly widened, her lips sealed tightly together to prevent her jaw from dropping to the ground. 'Never underestimate the observant nature of a Gundam pilot,' he thought with a trace of bitterness. "Well, I should probably get going for now, as I'm sure you all have things to discuss..." Might as well make this believable, he mused, resting his hands lightly against Usagi's upper arms. He lowered his head just slightly and pressed a small kiss to her forehead. "I'll seeya 'round, babe," he murmured. Lowering his mouth to her ear for only her to hear, he spoke very quietly. "It was nice meeting you," he breathed out, trying not to smile as Usagi shivered. "I'd like to see you again."
Usagi nodded slightly. "You remember my phone number, right Duo-chan?" she asked innocently, smiling at him sweetly.
Duo gave her a look of mock-regret, shaking his head. "I'm afraid not, Usa-chan," he said sadly.
Usagi pulled out a pen from her pocket and grasped his hand a little nervously. Duo breathed in a little sharply at the tickling press of the ink against his palm. "Thanks babe, I'll be sure to call," he promised.
Usagi smiled weakly, giving him a quick hug. Duo turned back to the other four girls. "It was lovely meeting you all," he said smoothly, his dazzling smile flashing and imprinting upon their hearts. "While I'm glad Usa-chan told me about you all, she failed to mention how beautiful you all are." He watched as they all blushed again, looking flustered and pleased with his personality.
"Do you have to go so soon?" Minako asked abruptly, a small pout on her lips. "It seems like you know so much about all of us already, but we know hardly anything about you! Surely, a friend of Usagi's is a friend of ours...Ow!" Minako winced as she received a sharp jab in the side from Rei. Rationality crept back to the forgetful blonde; they were here to discuss senshi matters.
"I'd love to hang out sometime, but unfortunately I'm late for meeting some people as well. Some other time," he suggested, though he mentally lacked the sincerity of fulfilling such a statement.
"That sounds good," Makoto murmured.
Ami smiled politely. "Surely, Duo-san.. it was nice meeting you as well."
As soon as Duo left, Minako turned to her quickly. "Usagi-chan!" she squealed. "He's so dreamy! Is he in a relationship? Is she ugly? Is he single? Do you think he might want me? Hook me up!"
"He is rather attractive," Ami said quietly with a small blush.
Makoto sighed dreamily. "He looks like my old sempai," she said wistfully.
Rei grinned, turning to Usagi with an equally curious gaze. "He is a hottie," she agreed.
Minako nudged Usagi, her eyebrows wiggling as her gaze became suspicious. "Are you gonna snag him, Usa?" she shrieked incredulously.
Usagi's eyes widened at the implication. "N-No!" she stammered, a blush rising delicately to her cheeks. "We're just friends."
Rei rolled her eyes at the over-zealous blonde. "Minako!" she scolded. "Usagi-chan has Mamoru-san, remember?" she reminded with a hint of bitterness she failed to completely mask. Her hand softly flew up to her mouth as she realized her words, glancing at Usagi with regretful eyes. "I'm sorry," she apologized quickly.
Usagi's expression became saddened again, the sorrow she had felt in the park returning in strong waves. "It's okay," she assured, though her voice shook slightly. "I mean, it's only t-two years..." Mamoru had left for America a few days ago to continue his college studies. Usagi shook her head firmly. She had cried enough that day, and after Duo made her feel so much better, it would be pointless to start up the tears again for now. "It'll be fine," she said firmly.
Minako offered her fellow blonde friend a comforting hug. "Hai, it will be... and if you feel any signs of depression, the four of us will be here to tackle you with lots of hugs and makeover parties and shopping and—"
"She gets the point," Makoto interrupted coyly, earning a rather crude facial expression from the senshi of Venus.
Ami smiled as the two girls began bickering half-heartedly, though it quickly returned to a frown as she began her role of the responsible one. "Minna-san, please quiet down for a moment. We have to go over the information we currently have. There haven't been many youma attacks, and we have to evaluate what we currently know. This enemy is after the starseeds of humans... it seems they are after random targets, as there is no current detectable pattern. We must stay on the lookout and gauge when the next attack may occur."
The other girls nodded solemly, getting down to business with discussing the previous attacks.
Click, click, click. One, two, three.
Usagi listened aimlessly to the dull clicking of her shoes against the pavement as she walked to her house, counting each step to ten, counting backward, and repeating. It was one way to keep from mulling over the empty hollow within her heart with the lack of Mamoru being there. She missed him terribly already; how was she meant to endure two whole years without him...?
The girl sighed, shaking her head firmly. Well dwelling upon it certainly wasn't going to make it any easier, she concluded, rubbing her thumb reassuringly against the promise ring he had given her prior to leaving. She yawned soundly as her house came into sight, her eyes blinking lazily. First order of business would be getting some sleep and not moping, she vowed. She proceeded to her room rather quickly, the promising comfortable look of her bed offering her all of the necessary incentive to lay down and drift off to a deep sleep. As her head dropped against the fluffy pillow, sleep almost immediately followed the closing of her eyes.
A quiet knocking sounded upon Usagi's door approximately three hours later. "Usagi-chan?" called the soft voice of her mother. "Usagi-chan, phone call!"
Usagi mumbled in her sleep, barely stirring until the words registered through her bleary mind. "Phone call," she mumbled. "Phone call...mm...Mamo-chan..." Her eyes widened as she immediately sat into an upright position. "Who is it?" she asked quickly.
"I'm sorry dear I didn't ask, Shingo answered the phone... it was 'some guy', is all he said," she answered with a small chuckle. Usagi's happiness rose incredibly as she darted out of the room, nearly knocking into her mother in the process.
"Sorry!" she called, racing down the stairs to the phone. "Moshi moshi? Mamo-chan!" she squealed with excitement.
"Eh, who's Mamo-chan?" responded an amused voice from the receiver in a questoning tone.
Usagi felt her heart sink, but she still managed a sheepish smile. "Hi Duo-san, I'm sorry about that," she apologized. "How are you doing?"
She heard the small chuckle on his end, and the sound was comforting to her ears. "No more 'Duo-chan', huh?" he teased. "I was kind of getting used to that."
Usagi giggled. "About that... thank you so much for doing that for me. I didn't want Rei-chan and the others to yell at me." Especially since she already had to deal with the stress of Mamoru not being there to comfort her.
"Don't worry about it," he assured. "You do owe me now though," he added contemplatively.
Usagi's eyebrows rose as she shifted the phone against her ear. "Well what did you have in mind?" she questioned.
There was a small pause before he answered her again. He hummed lightly, as if deep in a ponderous thought. "Well, since we only just met today I guess I'll let ya off."
Usagi laughed softly. "Ohh how very kind and gracious of you," she replied sasrcastically.
"Uh huh, I sure am. I meant what I said though... I'd like to hang out again sometime."
Usagi glanced at her watch. It was 6 at night, still fairly early and after her nap she doubted she'd be able to get back to sleep again right away. "How about now?" she suggested quietly. Company was a good thing, to merely get away from the thoughts and moping.
"Wow, so eager to see me again already? Surely.. where do ya live?"
Never one to distrust, Usagi gave him her address and soon hung up with him. Glancing at the mirror, she attempted a small smile at the sad-looking reflection. She went upstairs to brush out her sleep-matted hair, expertly redoing her odango style. Only a few minutes passed before she heard the gentle chime of the door bell. "That was fast," she mumbled, taking a final glance in the mirror.
"Usagi-chan!" her mother called sweetly.
"Coming," Usagi called back, going down the stairs. Duo stood at the threshold of the front door with her mother, the two conversing quietly. A soft giggle was heard every so often from her mother, and Usagi couldn't help but roll her eyes. "Hello Duo-san," she greeted.
Upon hearing his name, Duo shifted his gaze to the blonde girl. His smile broadened to his charming grin, his head inclining. "Hello Usagi-chan," he greeted with a sweeping bow. "Feel in the mood for some ice cream?"
Usagi's ears perked up at the sound of that. "Surely!" she exclaimed.
Ikuko smiled warmly at her daughter. "He seems like a fine young gentlemen, Usagi," her mother encouraged, winking at her. Usagi groaned at the implication; her parents didn't completely approve of the age difference between her and Mamoru, slight as it was in her opinion.
"Duo-san is 17, okaasan," she said warily.
Ikuko nodded. "I know, dear! A good age...only a year older than yourself, and he's so polite and quite handsome."
"Oh, nonsense ma'am, I just believe women should be treated with respect," he replied smoothly, earning another sigh of approval from Ikuko and a groan of frustration from Usagi.
"Let's go," the blonde girl mumbled, walking passed her mother and practically dragging Duo with her.
"Have fun you two!" her mother called happily to their retreating forms.
Duo gave an amused glance to the blonde girl who currently had his hand grasped in her own, forcing him to walk slightly behind her as she stormed ahead. "Well I didn't know you wanted to be alone with me that badly," he commented, easing his hand against hers to lace their fingers together.
Usagi pulled her hand away, a small glare and noticeable blush greeting his amusement. "You flirt with everyone," she muttered, shaking her head.
"No no, it's my blatant honesty and charm that dazzles all of the ladies," he assured suavely.
Usagi laughed softly, casting him a disbelieving glance. "Uh huh, so why am I having the hardest time believing that?"
"Because you have so little faith in me it seems," he complained with a pout.
Usagi snorted slightly, happy to have reached the ice cream parlor. They took a booth and ordered two of their largest sundaes. Duo watched with mirth as Usagi's eyes lit up like a small child as the ice cream was placed in front of her. She immediately delved into the cold treat with her spoon, taking several large spoonfuls before he could so much as lift his own. Her gaze shifted to him for a moment as he chuckled. "Wha's so funny?" she asked through a mouthful.
Duo merely shook his head, a small smile lingering upon his lips as he took a spoonful of his own. "So who's Mamo-chan?" he asked with curiosity.
Usagi paused in her eating, he noticed, the spoon pulling away from her lips as if in slow motion. "Mamo-chan is my boyfriend," she answered, her expression holding sadness.
Duo nodded in understanding, not really feeling any disappointment upon hearing this. He hadn't been trying to seriously hook up with her in the first place; he just wanted to get to know the usually happy blonde. His tilted his head slightly as he pondered her tone of voice. "So why the long face?"
Usagi took another small bite, rolling the cold vanilla dollop around her mouth before swallowing to answer. "He left six days ago, to America to go to college. I won't see him again for two years," she answered quietly. "That's why I was crying in the park this morning. I... I just miss him a lot."
"Ouch," Duo muttered. "And you guys are still going out, despite the fact of the distance?"
Usagi nodded enthusiastically. "Hai! I love Mamo-chan... he and I are destined to be together," she sighed out dreamily.
A small chuckle was heard from Duo. "Ohh, so it's one of those in-love relationships," he clarified with understanding.
Usagi frowned slightly. "Of course! What other kind of relationship is there?"
She watched the small, saddened smile tint upon Duo's lips. "Not any good ones," he answered softly.
Silence settled upon the two for a short while, before Usagi broke it again. "I am kinda nervous, honestly," she admitted. "I... I'm afraid of something happening to him while he's there, or just maybe he might...you know, find someone else..." She covered her mouth upon confessing her doubt, shaking her head fervently. "No no! I take that back, I don't doubt Mamo-chan's loyalty," she assured herself quickly.
Duo offered her a comforting smile. "It's alright to worry, Usagi-chan. Worrying about someone means you care about them... Doubts are normal, but it's faith that keeps ya together."
Usagi nodded her head as she listened to him, feeling a great deal of comfort from his words for some reason. "You're right, Duo-san...Still, I feel like all I do is babble to you about myself and my worries. Please, tell me more about yourself."
Duo merely looked at her for a long moment, rolling a small dollop of vanilla ice cream around slowly upon his tongue, tasting the sweet, cold flavor. Nodding slightly as he swallowed, he spoke very softly. "Well, I have four friends much like yourself. Quatre kinda reminds me of how you describe your friend Ami; very smart and fairly quiet. Sweetest guy, though. Very polite. Trowa's a bit impassive, I guess. Not much of a talker but...efficient. Wu-man is... er, Wufei and I, we're good buds though he'd never actually admit it. In fact, if I were to say that he would probably threaten me with his katana..." He watched Usagi's eyes widen, the small laugh that parted from his own lips at her expression surprising him. He had lost of the joys of truly relishing in a laugh; it was nice to do again. "Not seriously," he assured her, his smile broadening. "And Hiiro is a bit...ah, antisocial I guess."
"You all sound very different," Usagi commented thoughtfully, staring sadly at the ice cream in front of her that was nearly almost gone. "But having a lot of different people as friends can be a very good thing. It's fun to meet people and become close with friends that you wouldn't really consider before. What about your family?"
"What family?" Duo muttered rather bitterly, though he quickly shook his head. "In a weird sense, we've all sorta became each others' family. No parents, no close relatives...We've just mainly got each other." The braided boy watched incredulously as tears rose into the blonde's eyes. "What's wrong?"
"That's so sad yet sweet," she whispered, sniffling back the tears. "I'm so sorry that you don't have a family...that must be hard.." She shook her head several times. "I could never imagine that.."
Duo found himself nodding in compliance. "Yeah... I guess it can be a bit hard," he replied quietly. "But you learn to deal with such things." There was a brief silence as the two finished their ice creams. "Ya know, I don't usually go and tell all these things to people...especially someone I've known for scarcely a day," he added a bit contemplatively.
Usagi gave him a warm, assuring smile. "Well, I'm glad that you did, Duo-kun. I like getting to know the real you, behind all your flirting and charm."
Her eyes widened slightly as he reached his hand across the table to grasp her own, bringing the back of her hand to his lips. He brushed the softest of kisses upon the warm skin, his charming smile sliding easily upon his face. "Are you sure you don't like my more charming side, Usa-chan?" he murmured.
Usagi blushed darkly as she pulled her hand away, laughing nervously as she stammered for a response. His gentle laughter silenced her stumble for words, and she couldn't help the faint smile that touched her own lips at the beautiful sound.
Hehe, kind of a dull start for a fic I know, but the second half of the story is a bit better. Not enough Duo/Usa stories out there! ;) Lemme know whatya think so far!