Part 12
Saturday Afternoon

Author's note: the story is no longer in Duo's point of view, for obvious reasons. I also apologize for the change of tense ahead of time.

Heero just sat there, watching as one of his best friends faded into thin air, leaving the room silent and empty. That was the first thing that hit him, the silence. How silent it would be now that Duo had disappeared…

He shook his head and stood up quickly. Racing out of the room Heero paused only to grab his jacket from the hall closet and grab the key's to Wufei's motorcycle off the wall. Quatre and Trowa looked up from the actions of making weekend breakfast to see him race out of the house in a flash, starting up the motorcycle and peeling out of the driveway. Wufei raced into the kitchen a second later.

"Where's Yuy going with my bike?"

Trowa and Quatre both shook their heads, completely lost. They had no idea.

The road scenery flew past Heero and he paid very little attentions. He watched the road and other cars, only to make sure he didn't crash and that he was going the right way. The rest of his mind was concentrated on one image, the image of Duo's smile.

He didn't understand why he was in such a hurry but he had this feeling that if he didn't move quickly he'd lose Duo again, and this time for real. All he could think about was the smiling American boy who had piloted the gundam right next to him, helping him defeat OZ in the wars. But Duo was more then just a co-pilot, Duo was a friend. A friend who really cared about Heero, and Heero knew that he had precious few of those that he cared for in return.

He honestly had no idea if his feelings went beyond friendship and at the moment didn't care. All he cared about was Duo; he'd worry about the relationship between them later when he made sure Duo was ok.

And so he drove on, just driving as fast as he could to reach that one spot. He had no idea if his hunch was right but what could he lose other than a small tank of gas? He had to find Duo… people don't just disappear without leaving something behind.

Heero pulled the motorcycle to a stop and stumbled off the bike. He paused as he saw the scene before him, frozen in shock as he took it all in.

Before him lay Duo's wrecked jeep, wrapped around the tree just as before. But the wreck looked fresh, as if the car had just crashed a mere minute before hand. From where he stood on the shoulder of the road he could smell the fresh gas leaking from the engine, covering the ground. Smoke seeped out of the engine, warning of a fire which had started. But there was something even more important in the car.


Through the window he could see Duo's body, pinned in the driver's seat as he lay there, dark blood flowing down the side of his head. Heero shook off the shock and moved forward, knowing the gas didn't have long before it caught fire. With all his strength he pulled on the car door, forcing it open with a loud whine of metal. Hurriedly he wrapped his arms around Duo and pulled him from the wreck.

Duo didn't move at first, but as Heero began to pull him out he gave a sharp cry of pain. Heero glanced down at the car and saw that Duo's foot was trapped, locked against the breaks by the damaged metal. Setting Duo back on the seat he kicked at the metal, trying to make it come free.

The smell of gas and smoke was now over-powering, filling the inside of the car and seeping into the air all around them. Heero worked as fast as he could, kicking and hitting at the metal until it finally gave way, but only enough for him to pull out Duo's foot, causing him to emit another cry of pain. Heero ignored his cried and grabbed the American pilot, hurriedly pulling him far from the wreck.

He reached the side of the road, a good thirty feet from the wreck, and finally set Duo on the ground, gently. Heero took a few breaths to calm himself and slow the pumping adrenaline, then turned his attention to the other boy.

Duo lay on the ground next to him, barely breathing, with his eyes shut tight. His entire face was twisted, showing exactly how much pain he was in. Inspecting his body further Heero found that the trapped foot had been broken, while the large gash on Duo's head really wasn't that deep. Both his arms were in pretty bad shape, one being broken and the other dotted with thousands of small particles of glass. Heero frowned deeply as he noticed the amount of blood flowing from those wounds. Quickly he moved to the motorcycle and grabbed the cell phone from his jacket, dialing up the hospital.

"He… ero?"

Heero turned back from the cell in surprise, to find Duo slowly blinking open his eyes. Dropping the phone to the ground, after telling the hospital attendant their location, he raced over to Duo's side.

"Right here," he said quietly.

Duo's eyes shot open in surprise and locked with Heero. He tried to move one of his arms but gave a small cry as pain shot through his body. Heero pressed his arm back to the ground, and instead reached forward to Duo's face, brushing the blood covered bangs from his eyes.

"You… can touch me…?" Duo muttered in wonder.


"I…" Tears threatened at the sides of Duo's eyes and he didn't care. Instead he just ignored them as they pooled together and slipped down his cheeks. "I'm alive?"

Heero couldn't help but give a small smile at that. "Yes. Pretty worse for wear, but alive."

"I'm alive," Duo muttered quietly, still playing with the words. To him they almost didn't seem real. He couldn't believe this, it had to all be a dream, yet another torment before they let him die for real.

But no, this was real. And if Duo doubted that for any second those doubts disappeared immediately with Heero's next action. Leaning down slowly Heero placed his lips against Duo's, kissing him softly and sweetly. They kissed each other for moments of silence, until they could hear the sounds of the ambulance in the distance, only then did Heero pull away.

Duo licked his lips slowly, savoring the taste of Heero's mouth against his. "Heero?"

"Baka." Heero said with a soft smile, yet a scolding tone to his voice. "Don't you ever leave me like that again."

Duo smiled as the ambulance pulled up next to them and people started jumping out with equipment. "Never. I'll never leave you again Heero."


"Ouch!" Duo gave a yelp as he knocked the cast against the side of the shuttle seat. Behind him Heero immediately caught him as he lost hold of his crutch. Duo gave a small laugh as Heero helped him into the seat, handing him his lost crutch.

"I feel like such a helpless child," Duo said with a frown. He'd been released from the hospital pretty quickly, not looking that bad, despite the fact that he felt like a mummy. The car wreck had indeed broken his foot, which was now encased in a thick cast with his pale toes sticking out at the end. His right arm was also in a cast, while his left arm was bandaged thickly from the glass cuts. Other than that there was just the large bandage over his right eye where he'd had that cut. Despite the excessive amount of bandages and the obvious pain Duo was still grinning like an idiot the whole way.

"If you feel like that, maybe you shouldn't have left the hospital so early," Heero remarked, taking a seat next to him and helping him with his seatbelt.

"Naw, I like having you take care of me."


"No, seriously Heero."

Heero glanced over at his friend to find the impish grin gone from his face. He was completely serious as he glanced out the window, waiting for the shuttle to take off.

"I need to do this," he said quietly.

Heero's expression softened. "Are you going to tell me why you felt the sudden need to book a flight to L2?"

Duo nodded slowly. "For Solo."

Heero lifted an eyebrow. "That boy? The one who was in your room before?"

"Yeah. He died a long time ago and it's a long story. But he raised me when I was living on the streets on L2, before I snuck aboard G's ship. Solo's the whole reason I named myself Duo, because I promised to live for both of us when he died."

Heero watched the serious expression on his friend's face as he stared out the window. He'd never seen Duo look so serious and so sad. Reaching over he squeezed Duo's hand lightly, causing the American boy to jump out of his self-induced trance and look at him in surprise.

"It's a long ride to L2," Heero said softly. "Tell me about him."

Duo smiled lightly and nodded.


The buildings rose above them as giant crumbling sentinels, attesting to the small battles which had been waged endlessly on L2, as with the other colonies before the Eve Wars. Duo walked in front of Heero, leading them on at a slightly hurried pace, despite his crutch, as Heero walked slower behind him, taking in everything around him.

The crumbling buildings. Rubble. Scrap metal. Broken glass. Evidence of the many people who had huddled here, homeless and forgotten in this small corner of the colony and galaxy. Who would have ever thought that someone with such a happy personality had come from such a horrible place? But then again, Heero reflected, maybe it was Duo's personality that enabled him to live through this hell. Quickening his steps he soon joined Duo and walked at his side.

"Duo. You can't visit Solo's grave. On the colonies they dispose of the bodies and use them as fuel," he reminded his friend quietly.

Duo shook his head. "Not his body. I probably broke dozens of health codes at the time but I refused to let his body be burned. I buried him when he died."

Heero raised a confused eyebrow. "How? The dirt isn't low enough to bury a body."

Duo stopped at a large pile of rubble from a crumbled warehouse. He flashed Heero a light smile. "The dirt wasn't deep enough, but the rubble and waste was. He's buried here." Duo handed Heero his crutch and struggled down to the ground until he was on his knees. Reaching into his shirt he pulled out the crucifix Heero had returned to him. They had found it on Duo's bed after returning from the hospital. Almost reverently he placed the crucifix beneath the rubble, near where Solo's body had been buried.

"Keep this, old friend. And I hope that where ever you are now you are happy. Hopefully this will let you know how much you meant to me." Duo closed his eyes and for the first time since the Maxwell church had burnt down he muttered a prayer, to which ever god chose to listen. A prayer of protection for his friend.

Gesturing toward Heero he took Heero's arm and pulled himself back up, brushing off his jeans. Without a word he nodded back toward the shuttle, indicating to Heero he was done. The two left, headed back toward the shuttle, ready for the ride back to their home on earth.

They turned away too early to see. Had they stayed there a little longer they might have glimpsed the flash of red hair on the boy who appeared, leaning against that crumbled wall. Kneeling down he picked up the cross from beneath the rubble and smiled, clutching it to his chest.

Strangely enough though, about a week later Heero woke up to find the crucifix lying neatly on his bedside table with a note attached. In messy handwriting was a single message.

You keep this. It's your turn to take care of him now.
-- Solo

Heero smiled lightly and picked up the crucifix and fastened it around his neck.

"Mission accepted," he murmured softly.

From his place in the corner, even though Heero couldn't see him, Solo smiled. Then he disappeared, comforted in the fact that he was leaving his friend in good hands.

The end.