Disclaimer: Don't own anything...

Note: This chapter is written slightly differently since it was difficult for me to show what was happening to Duo through Heero's POV. This one will switch between Heero's POV and third person following Duo. Hope this doesn't ruin the story for anyone.

Chapter 22: Sweet Lullaby

Posted on 16th Oct. 2007

"Officer down! Send paramedics immediately!" A police officer said into his walkie talkie as the rest of the police officers rushed to try and stop the bleeding of the victim as well as control the number of people walking into the apartment out of curiosity.

"Ma'am, would you please step outside? This is a crime scene." An old lady with wide worried eyes nodded and thinning gray hair was ushered outside but not before darting a quick look at the prone body on the ground.

"Is he all right?" She asked, her voice shaking. "He's my neighbor, will he be all right?" She asked again once outside. In her hands she held a small handkerchief that she was twisting and turning with worry.

"We don't know that Ma'am. We've called for help. So far he's lost a lot of blood but he still has a pulse." The officer told her, trying to calm her down. "Where were you when this happened?

"I was shopping," She said pointing to a pile of grocery bags down the hall, "Was it a robbery?"

"We don't think so. Did you see anyone strange? Anything suspicious?"

"Oh no… you must understand officer I am not a nosy person. Oh no, no, not at all. But when I usually come back from grocery shopping and if Duo is home he helps me take the bags in. I'm an old woman now so I can't carry all those things anymore, specially the milk it's too darn heavy…"

"Ma'am!" The officer placed a hand lightly on the old lady's shoulder. "Did you see anyone?"

"Oh you young kids… so impatient. I'm getting there. So today I got my milk and my vegetables and I was coming home and I saw the door open. I knew something was wrong then so I peeped in, just to be sure because they never leave their door unlocked and I found the poor, poor boy all pale and his hair all drenched in blood… I rushed home and called the police. I never saw anyone." She said her voice trembling as she recollected the terrible moment she had walked in on the scene.

The officer nodded.

"I knew something was wrong the moment I saw the door open… the other boy that Duo lives with… very quiet he is… shy but still sweet. He is very careful about these things, never leaves the door open…" She thought out loud and the officer froze.

"Boy?" The officer asked lifting an eyebrow in question.

"Oh yes, and if I'm not mistaken they loved each other."

"There's another person living here?"

"Oh yes, he was an agent too. They're always together. Where is he now?" She asked him and the officer quickly took note of the new information. Maybe it was a lover's spat?

"Is it possible that the partner could have caused this?"

"Oh no, I'm quite sure he couldn't have." She looked so confident saying that that the officer stepped back into the room to tell the others.

"Do you know his name?" He asked her and she frowned as she struggled to remember.

"I remember Duo introducing him to me once… very quiet that young man. But very sweet too. He had such a young face but such mature eyes… you know what my first thought was upon seeing him?" She asked and the officer opened his mouth to ask her to answer the question but she continued before he got a word in. "I thought, what a nice young man. Why if I was thirty years younger and he was thirty years older…"

"Ma'am! Do you remember his name?" The officer asked again.

"Oh! Oh yes, yes… why it is a strange name… made me think of all the old comic book heroes… Oh! His name was Hero something… Hero you… uh…" Her frown deepened as she struggled to remember but the officer recognized his name and ran into the room.

"See if anyone can get into contact with Heero Yuy!" He shouted to the people there and one of them ran and picked up another phone.

Ten minutes later an officer reported, "Sir, the Preventeers headquarters claims that Agent Yuy left work early today and according to them headed home. They are sending their personnel now."

"Great, not only is one agent injured, another's missing."

oOOo

Derosia came back into the room about fifteen to twenty minutes later. The feeling in my legs had returned quite some time ago and I had taken that time to explore the room and look for any potential weapons. Just like I remembered, nothing could be wielded. The beds and the chairs were nailed to the ground.

When he returned I was sitting on the bed, flexing my toes to get rid of the slight tingly feeling in them.

"You're up!" He said enthusiastically. He made a bee-line for me and grabbed my neck pushing my face towards his. I didn't resist and he pushed his tongue into my mouth as soon as his lips connected with mine.

Not this time, a voice that sounded suspiciously like Duo's snarled in my mind and I clamped my teeth down as hard as I could on his tongue and I felt the skin break. Derosia howled and pushed back from me while I spat out his blood from my mouth.

"You're not touching me this time Derosia." I told him and wiped his blood off my chin with the back of my hand.

I saw him covering his mouth and I knew that unfortunately, the damage I had caused to his tongue would not be enough to slow him down.

He made a strange guttural noise but I easily interpreted it as his threat to kill me. At least there was enough blood in his mouth to keep him from talking.

Quickly I stepped out of the room and locked the heavy metal door behind me, knowing that it'll only hold him for about five minutes before he broke through the metal and came after me. But that was more than enough time. I was not afraid… it was difficult to feel fear when you considered yourself a dead man.

I headed down to the last room in the hallway that I knew was the lab. I went in and looked at the assortment of needles and drugs and torture devices lined up. I smiled as I picked up a stun belt. It would be ironic if I managed to put this on him… give him a taste of what he had done to me.

I'll never leave you alone. The words rang in my ears, both Duo's and Derosia's voices overlapping. When Duo had promised me that I had felt incredible warmth… when Derosia had said that to me, it had been a threat.

Smiling to myself I also picked up a pair of gundanium handcuffs.

I love you Heero… you know that right? I do, Duo. Always.

I hooked the handcuffs in my belt hoop and looped the stun belt around my shoulder. I then perused through the assortment of scalpels and other sharp instruments before deciding to use a few as knives and picked up a few. All the others I threw into the garbage chute so he won't be able to get his hands on them. I was extremely glad that I was wearing my Preventeers uniform when he attacked me. The suit was designed to give me lots of room to move around and for me to force Derosia down, I needed to be quick and agile.

Will you be mine Hee-chan? Always.

That bastard's going to pay even if it's the last thing I do.

I heard a loud slam and my smile grew wider.

As Duo would say, it's Showtime!

oOOo

"Oh my god!" Quatre exclaimed as he saw Duo on a stretcher being pushed into an ambulance.

"Go with him. Wufei and I will handle the rest." Trowa said to Quatre and he nodded.

"Keep in touch. I want to know what happened." Saying that Quatre quickly jumped into the ambulance with Duo and the doors closed behind them, the ambulance pulled away with sirens blaring.

"I have faith in Duo. He'll pull through." Wufei said noticing Trowa looking at the retreating back of the ambulance.

"It was Derosia. He escaped last night." Wufei nodded acknowledging the fact that Duo's chances of survival were slim and they had work to do rather than dwell on that.

"Heero had the tracking watch, why didn't he use it?" Both Trowa and Wufei looked at their watches in question, checking if maybe they had missed the signal. "Last night's storm shouldn't have disabled the watches. The satellite link was open constantly."

"What if he was incapacitated?" Trowa offered and they both fell into silence.

"Explains the old lady not hearing anything." Wufei mused.

"Heero's been kidnapped by Derosia and so he's probably on the road. Duo's car is missing as well as his keys. Send out an APB for a blue Camry with Duo's license plate."

"Understood." Wufei turned to talk into his com unit and Trowa sighed, rubbing his face in worry. Please Duo… Heero… be all right.

oOOo

"You're being a bad boy Hee-chan." Derosia said as he walked into the lab. I saw that even though his tongue was still injured it had stopped bleeding for the time being just from the way his words slurred slightly as though he didn't want his tongue touching anything inside his mouth. "If you apologize I won't kill you."

I'll give you anything Heero… just ask. You've given too much already Duo… now it's my turn.

I gave him a blank look. I can't believe he terrified me the first time. Now that I remember all the things he had done to me at such a young age I was not afraid of him anymore. I think the first time what scared me more was that I didn't know why I was terrified of him.

"Come here Hee-chan… Don't make me come get you." I knew that this was a show of power. If I went to him he'd know he had won. But not this time. Maintaining eye contact with him I climbed on a stretcher and sat down carefully schooling my expression into that of slight boredom. I saw his eyes narrow in anger but he didn't move forward. He knew that if he came to me then I had won. Keeping an ear trained on him I looked away from him. I needed him to get as angry at me as possible because then he'd lose his rational thinking ability and I'll get him.

Dance with me Heero.

"Come here Heero." He growled. I found myself retreating into soldier mode. I was keenly aware of everything in the room. I found myself taking note of every tiny sound, the locations of the exits felt like a tangible presence and I found my concentration divided between Derosia's position and the location of the doors. My hand tensed subtly around a scalpel. I needed him to suffer and just killing him won't be fun at all… no, no fun at all…

"Heero…" He growled and I grunted in answer still not looking at him. "You will do as I say or…"

"Or what?" I asked feeling my anger bubble up inside me. Long gone was the sadness over the fact that he had ripped Duo away from me. I knew that at the end, I'm either going to kill Derosia and then kill myself or if I was unable to kill him then I'll kill myself. Either way I would be with Duo… but I'll do everything in my power to make Derosia regret he ever escaped from prison. "Kill me? Go ahead. Hurt Duo? Already did it. What can you threaten me with?"

"I'll hurt you a lot Hee-chan. Remember the collar? I can make it a hundred times worse." He said and I smiled.

I got off the stretcher and refused to answer him as I stared him down. He didn't break his stare either.

oOOo

The Preventeers Headquarters were in frenzy. Trowa had every agent running back and forth contacting every police station within a hundred miles of the city. The city was just short of being on red alert.

Quatre was on the phone as well as working on his laptop. He was seated next to Duo who was still unconscious, a heavy bandage covering his head. His hair had been shaved in order to be able to perform the surgery on him and he looked strange without his tail of hair beside him. The doctors had said that his skull had suffered several fractures but luckily none of the bone pieces had pierced his brain and hence allowed him to live. However, they had no idea how badly his brain was affected and in the worst case scenario, Duo would remain comatose.

Quatre busied himself trying not to think about how they could end up losing two of their friends in one day. Instead he directed his anger and frustration towards finding Derosia and destroying him. He put a lock on Derosia's accounts as well as put his picture on high alert in the entire country. If Derosia tried to use any ATM machine to get some cash, the Preventeers would be alerted immediately.

"Please Heero… be all right." He whispered to himself as he glanced at Duo's silent figure. He reached forward and placed a hand on his arm, taking comfort in the fact that he was warm. "Please come back Duo… we miss you already."

oOOo

As I stared at him I noticed that he was planning something. I could see his eyes shift really quickly around me, I noticed the tendons in his neck strain and stand out as he contemplated and I saw his fingers twitch lightly. Noticing his reaction I found myself getting tense as well, ready to jump into action should he attempt anything. My fingers closed around the scalpel ready to stab.

Then suddenly he sprung to life and pushed the metal table in front of him hard so that it came sliding towards me. I jumped on top of it and then jumped back down. He ran towards me intending to grab me and I knew that the moment he managed to get a hold of me I won't be able to do anything. So I took a page from Duo's book and tried to be evasive in my movements. It came with difficulty because I am better at hand to hand combat that I am with evading but my training slowly started kicking in and I managed to avoid every punch and kick he threw my way.

"You're mine! If you can't be mine then you can't be anyone else's!" He yelled as he brought his swung his fist at me. I noticed that he had left himself wide open in his anger and frustration so I grabbed his fist to hold him steady and then sliced him under his ribs.

Seeing him stumble back from the attack was when I realized that he really was not stronger than me… at least not anymore.

oOOo

"How is he Doctor?" Wufei asked when he and Trowa arrived at the hospital to talk to Quatre.

"He is stable. But he had several skull fractures specially centred around the back of his head. Because he's still alive we know the attacker missed his medulla or he would have stopped breathing, but what worries me is that he did manage to attack his occipital lobe which…"

"…is the motor centre and coordination." Quatre finished for him and nodded understanding what the doctor was saying.

"If he does wake up, I'm worried that he may not be able to coordinate his movements." The doctor informed.

"What do you mean?" Wufei asked not liking the sound of that.

"He means that Duo might not even be able to button his own shirt." Quatre explained trying hard to keep his voice steady and managed to not let it crack.

"Is this for sure?" Trowa asked. "When he wakes up this will happen?"

"No… but there's a high chance that it will… but we can't even say if he will wake up." The doctor finished.

Wufei nodded and Trowa went over to comfort Quatre who looked devastated at the idea of Duo never waking up. The doctor left the friends together in the patient's room and suggested them to contact him immediately if there's any change.

"He will be fine. Duo's a fighter. He'll get through this… they both will." He hugged Quatre tightly and the blonde nodded trying to convince himself that Duo would come out of this alive and well.

"Any leads?" He asked subtly wiping his tears with a quick jerk of his hand. He continued to lean against Trowa, his warmth and strength offering him immense comfort.

"Not yet. Derosia may have escaped the city limit before we issued the alert. Or he may still be within the city, hidden somewhere." Wufei explained.

"I was trying to track Heero's watch via satellite but there's no signal." Quatre said pulling away, going into his mission mode. "That may be because his watch may have been destroyed or they're somewhere that blocks signals."

"Underground?" Trowa guessed.

"A military hangar? They're designed to block signals from weapons." Wufei suggested.

"It'll have to be abandoned or Derosia won't be able to get a hostage in and go undetected." Quatre said.

"An abandoned hangar is easy to check out because there are only two in the city. If he's just underground though… that would be a problem." Wufei offered.

"He could be in an underground parking lot… a basement… sewers…?" Quatre counted off looking more worried as he realized there were a dozen places for him to hide Heero.

"No… he'll go for something more permanent. I'm willing to bet he's in a hangar of some sort. Some place isolated…" Trowa thought out loud.

"Outside the city… there's an old runway strip about eight hours drive away that has an underground hangar… could he have…?" Wufei added.

"Duo was attacked around noon today. The city went on alert at 3 pm. He could have managed to cross the city border before that, at that time the power was still out so he could have easily escaped in the chaos." Quatre said as he pulled up a map of the city on his laptop. "There were agents clustered around here," He pointed to an area on the map, "here, and here. The prison guards were combing the area here and had noticed the escape early today morning so they had the entire east side of the city on guard. He couldn't have escaped from there."

Trowa looked over Quatre's shoulder at the map. "The south and west sides were being managed by Preventeers… and Duo and Heero's house is under three hours away from the north border."

Wufei grunted his acknowledgement. "He made a long detour. The strip is eight hours away from the east side of the city."

Quatre and Trowa looked up at that. "So if I'm guessing right… and if they're really headed for the strip, then they just arrived there." Quatre said and Trowa nodded noting the time.

It was 1 am.

oOOo

I glanced at the clock in the corner. 3 am.

Derosia looked surprised that I had managed to hurt him. I was surprised too but I carefully schooled my expression so that I didn't have any of my thoughts reflecting on my face. It makes sense. It takes three weeks of inactivity to weaken muscles… and in six weeks of inactivity the body begins breaking down what it doesn't need. Derosia was not allowed outside his cell because everyone was afraid he'd be able to escape then. So for the past year he's been locked up in a jail cell.

No wonder he's weakened. He can still bend steel I'm sure but I doubt he can bend gundanium.

I advanced on him feeling more confident that this time I'll be able to hurt him. As he tried to punch me I grabbed his arm and punched him in the jaw. I knew that if I was able to break his jaw then he'll be blinded by pain and won't be able to fight effectively after that. This time however, he managed to counter me by kneeing me in my stomach during the punch knocking the breath out of me but I recovered quickly and dodged his punch.

I swept my legs underneath his causing him to lose his balanced and he reached out to grab something to steady himself and clutched at air. When he fell down I quickly grabbed his shoulders to restrict his movement and then punched him hard in the jaw again.

While he was momentarily disoriented I grabbed his arms and twisted them behind his back, handcuffing him. In the next few moments I grabbed the stun belt and locked it securely around his waist and locked it. I grabbed his hair and dragged him out of the lab and into the hallway. I made an extra effort to be as uncaring as possible towards him as I pulled him into the room where he had put me.

Just as I started leaving the room to see if I could get out of here my foot hit something and it glittered as it rolled away from me. I bent to pick it up and noticed that it was a ring with a small diamond placed in the middle. Looked like an engagement ring.

"Is this yours?" I asked him, laughing bitterly. I saw the carving on the side of the ring that said 'H&D' and I laughed harder. "H and D? Planned to marry me?" I asked him but then I wondered… H and D? Heero and Derosia?

I watched his face as he struggled to not move. With the stun belt on he was utterly incapacitated. Any movement will have him electrocuted.

He did manage to turn his face towards me and I saw him smile… a horrible twisted smile that immediately put me on my guard. So I was wrong… he didn't plan on marrying me… then how come he had a ring with the initials H and D carved into it?

Is this what he found in the glove compartment? Is this… I swallowed thickly… is this Duo's?

"Is this yours?" I asked him, my voice thick with emotion. I saw his eyes shine with glee and I had my answer.

Duo got an engagement ring? He wanted to marry me?

Suddenly tears sprung into my eyes as I realized exactly how much Derosia had taken from me. I saw black as I punched him so hard I felt my hand go numb. I punched him again and again as a cry was ripped out of me.

Duo was going to marry me… and he took that away from me! I hit him harder and harder, my anger only growing with each subsequent blow until I felt mad and faint with rage. And he was still laughing at me. I wanted him to suffer so badly that it actually hurt. I hated him so much that I could actually feel a hole in my chest that was so big it threatened to engulf me.

Through the blur of my tears and the pain in my chest I felt a part of me dying. In a moment of stubbornness I pulled the ring on and swore myself to Duo.

I love you Heero. I love you too, Duo.

"You lose bastard. I'm his." I hissed to Derosia and kicked him in the stomach.

oOOo

"All units in position, sir! Awaiting orders!" A voice spoke out loudly amidst radio static.

Quatre pressed the speak button on his com unit, "Roger that. Units A and C cover the air strip. Is the medic heli here yet?" (1)

"ETA five minutes."

"Affirmative. Out." Quatre said and put the com unit away.

"We could be wrong." Wufei said abruptly and Quatre looked at him calmly.

"I know we're right. I just know it. Heero's okay and Duo's going to be okay. I just know it." Quatre said looking outside the helicopter's window. "They have to be."

Wufei didn't argue with him and Trowa put an arm around Quatre comforting him the best he could.

oOOo

I felt numb inside as I stared at the ring glittering innocently on my finger. What am I doing? Nothing's holding me in… Derosia has been taken care of…

Why am I still in here? I looked around the room, the white halogen lights were harsh and made the metal shine. I was sitting on one of the beds, my back leaning against the metal frame and I just didn't want to move.

I could go outside… contact my friends through the watch… I could… maybe I could still see Duo… maybe I could touch him one last time…

But I didn't move. I just closed my eyes and waited… for what? I don't know. But I didn't want to move anymore… just no more.

My train of thought was interrupted when I heard a slight buzz and then Derosia screamed. He continued screaming for about ten seconds and then he seemed to lose consciousness. I felt nothing upon seeing his pain.

I knew the stun belt would send 50 kV of electricity through his body when he tried to move for as long as 10 seconds at a time… but I felt nothing. It'll be very fitting if he died because of electrocution.

"Do you believe in God Heero?" He rasped, spitting out a wad of saliva laced with blood. "You have to… everything that has happened can't be by coincidence."

I looked at him blankly. I didn't care to answer him.

"What are the chances that the storm would take out power like that?" He continued looking very gleeful for someone who was handcuffed and spitting out blood. "And for the storm to disable your alarm system too. Then you came home without the traitor." He grinned very widely showing me his teeth reddened by blood. "It's like God wanted me to kill him… and he wanted me to have you."

I ignored him although his words caused a fire in me to roar. I closed my eyes again and tried to go to sleep. At least, maybe in my dreams I'd be able to see Duo again.

oOOo

Trowa, Quatre and Wufei led a small unit of soldiers towards the main door of the underground hangar near the airstrip. The other units went around and secured the perimeter in the case of an escape.

Quatre observed car tracks leading into the garage and he pointed them out to Trowa and Wufei. They both nodded and gestured to the door. Wufei counted down three by holding up fingers and then Trowa shot the lock. They all rushed in moving quickly.

Wufei was the first to notice the blood tracks on the floor and he led the entire unit in the direction of the trail of blood hoping with all his might that the blood did not belong to Heero.

They arrived at a door that was bent out of shape and just barely hanging on its hinges. Trowa gave the signal to go in.

oOOo

I had almost fallen asleep when I heard a loud bang. I sat up straight and looked at Derosia expecting him to have escaped. He was still on the ground and his face was pale from the constant shocks.

So what was that noise? I looked towards the door but I couldn't find the energy to actually get up and investigate. So I just laid back down and waited. What was the worst that could happen? Some friend of Derosia's shows up and kills me? I don't care. And they won't be able to rescue Derosia anyway. The stun belt needs a key to open and any attempt to open it otherwise leads to constant jolts of electricity. The person wearing the belt and the person removing the belt both will be electrocuted.

There's no way he's escaping. And as long as he suffers I don't care what happens to me. I traced Duo's ring with my finger and held my hand close to my heart and curled up on the bed. I just didn't want to do anything more.

"Don't want to go see your friends?" Derosia laughed manically. "But they came all this way to save ittle wittle Heewo." He mocked but his words bounced off me.

I heard the bedroom door open but I was facing the wall away from it.

"Heero?" I heard Quatre ask me. "Is that Heero? Oh God are you okay?" He rushed towards me just as I got up quickly. They found me? How…?

Duo… is he okay? Is he alive? I felt my heart rate increasing as hope and panic laced through me simultaneously. I needed to know if he was okay but if he was dead… I didn't want that confirmation.

"He's okay!" Wufei announced right behind him and went to investigate Derosia.

Quatre came and hugged me tightly and I felt tears soaking in my shirt. "Quatre." Does this mean that Duo died?

"Duo… is he dead?" I asked, my voice blank but my heart pounding so hard it seemed to leap out of my chest.

Quatre shook his head but continued to hug me tightly. "He's unconscious." He told me while at the same time he looked over me checking to see if I had any injuries. "Status?"

He's alive. He's alive. He's alive.

"Minor bruising on the ribs and stomach." I reported but my heart was hanging on to the words Quatre had spoken earlier. He's alive! He's not dead! "He's okay then?" I needed to hear that he would be okay.

Trowa stepped forward. "We need you to remove the stun belt or we won't be able to transport him to the hospital."

Hearing his words caused my vision to darken with anger. "What do you mean hospital!" I said my voice dangerously low. "You want to keep this bastard alive after what he's done to us?"

"We have to do what's legally right. Up until now we can take your actions as self defense but if you don't remove the belt now then you'll be accused of torture." Trowa said and looked at Quatre for confirmation. Quatre nodded reluctantly.

Derosia laughed loudly, his breath wheezing. "If I live I'll come after you again! And if that traitor lives then I'll come back and kill him again!"

"Do you need anymore confirmation than that?" I asked incredulously. Deep inside a tiny voice told me that what they were saying was right but at the moment I couldn't care less. I needed him to suffer and they had no right to take that away from me.

"Do you have the key Heero?" Wufei asked and I shook my head.

"The belt snaps shut by itself… and I had no intention of letting him go so I didn't look for a key. If there's a key then he knows where it is." I spat at him. I really, really didn't want him to survive.

Wufei kicked Derosia rather hard. "The key?" He asked his tone dangerous.

Derosia laughed again. "I wanted to put this on Hee-chan. And I didn't intend on letting him go. There is no key!"

"He's a dead man." One of the officers standing in the room whispered.

"I need to see Duo." I announced and everyone nodded. A small part of me was filled with glee when it became apparent that the belt wasn't coming off any time soon.

"How do we transport him without electrocuting him?" One of the officers asked.

"Or ourselves?" Another one asked.

He turned to the group of police officers and agents gathered there. "We'll handle it from here. Leave us for a moment." The officers looked a little bit hesitant. "Now. That's an order." They stiffened for a bit and then left. "Shoot him." He said to Wufei.

"What?" He asked taken back by the coldness in Trowa's voice.

"Shoot him. It was self defense. He escaped. Restraining him was useless. We had to shoot him." Trowa explained.

Wufei nodded once and Quatre held Trowa's eyes for a second before nodding slightly as well.

"You're going to kill him?" I asked, not able to come to terms with the idea that after this I may never have to fear him again.

"If we get him out, somehow the law will let him go again and then he'll come back for you. We'll stand as witnesses claiming that it was self defense." Quatre said.

"The belt…" Wufei asked.

"Just throw some water on it. It'll electrocute Derosia quite badly but it'll short circuit the belt and it'll come right off." Quatre said flippantly. We all looked at him. "What? It's not a weakness of the system. If someone is wearing it and throws water on it they'll effectively kill themselves. Since we don't care about getting him out unscathed, just throw water on it."

Quatre could be vicious when it came to defending his friends. I hadn't seen that much anger and coldness in his usually warm and soft eyes before.

A moment later a single shot rang out.

oOOo

It felt like a dream when I walked through that hospital door. I saw Duo lying on that hospital bed, just as pale as the sheets and my heart just… hurt.

Any words that I wanted to say stuck in my throat as I took in the heavy bandage on his head and the long braid gone… they had to cut off his braid…

It's not enough Hee-chan… I hurt you so much and all you ask for is my hair? Take all of it…

I'm sorry Duo… you had to give up your hair after all.

I went to his side in a daze and fell to my knees. Reaching out I held his hands gently, afraid of breaking him. His hands were cold but alive… I could see the slight rise and fall of his chest, the slight movements of his eyes as though he was merely asleep and all my emotions just exploded.

I felt tears flow down my cheeks as I rubbed my face against his hand, not believing that I hadn't lost him. That he was still here, that there was still a chance that we may have a life together. I closed my eyes, just feeling his fingers as I gripped his hand tightly and held it next to my face.

I was dimly aware of everyone leaving the room to give me some time alone with Duo, and I was immensely grateful for that.

"Please be okay Duo… Please don't go… I'm sorry I couldn't save you… Please…" I whispered fiercely to him, my lips brushing his hand. "Please don't leave me alone."

"I… I don't plan to…" I heard a voice rasp out, thick and deep. I looked up, my eyes wide and saw his large, violet eyes looking at me dulled with pain and exhaustion.

"Duo…" He's awake! He's awake! The realization came slowly as my tears fell even faster. "You're okay!" I laughed flooded with relief and such happiness I thought my heart would stop. "You're okay!"

He gave me a weak smile, "I'm okay…" He repeated, swallowing thickly. "Water…"

I rushed to a glass filled with water and a straw and held the straw to his lips. He took small sips and seemed to feel better. At that point, someone knocked on the door and then walked in. It was a doctor who seemed to freeze when he saw that Duo was awake.

"He's awake?" He asked. I nodded and Duo tried to grin but failed. He settled for nodding slightly and wincing with the effort. "You're not supposed to be awake yet." He said surprised.

"What do you mean?" I looked at him questioningly.

"He went through intensive surgery just yesterday… he can't be awake already." The doctor stated still looking a little blown away.

"I heal fast." Duo said and then winced with pain and I tucked the blanket securely around him.

"Not that fast." I said to him. Now that I had him back I'll take care of him. I'll make sure nothing like this ever happens again. I can't lose him again… I can't. "Sleep Duo…" I said to him and sat down next to him.

The doctor did a simple physical examination on Duo before leaving. He found everything in the correct working order. He was still shocked that there was no permanent damage and he left mumbling something about sheer luck. I smiled broadly at Duo when I found out that he would really be okay.

The doctor left soon afterwards and I tucked Duo in properly, making sure he was comfortable. "You're wearing my ring…" He said sleepily before his eyes closed gently and his breathing evened out.

"Yes I am Duo." I whispered, not wanting to wake him up, and placed a small kiss on his forehead, delighted when I felt his warmth on my lips. "Just sleep now…" And I slept next to him, my hands gripping his and my head resting on the sheets next to him.

oOOo

"It's beautiful." I whispered looking at the sunrise. Gently Duo squeezed my hand. We were lying in the park, on the dew covered grass watching the sun rise.

I felt Duo trace the ring on my finger lightly. He was wearing a matching one that I had bought for him and we'd had a small informal gathering of close friends, including Relena, and had exchanged rings.

Legal or not, we considered ourselves committed.

"I can't believe I almost lost you." Duo said to me and I felt my expression darken. I hated thinking about that day.

"It's a second chance." I said to him trying to dispel the sudden dark mood that had settled over us.

"We have the rest of our lives to make up for the massive number of stupid things we've done, don't we?" He asked me hugging me lightly, his arm around my waist.

"You mean the stupid things you've done." I teased him and he bit my ear in retaliation but I felt him smile against my skin anyway.

"I guess I have a lot of fixing to do?" He kissed my neck.

"Not really." I said to him, sitting up and breaking his hold around me. "Just a lot of building."

"What do you mean?" He asked slightly confused. He crossed his arms under his neck to cushion his head. He stopped for a second to move the tiny pony-tail he had from getting trapped below his arms.

"I want a house in a nice neighborhood with a white picket fence…" I started talking, looking at the sun that was now shining brightly at us. "… and a garden with vegetables growing in it. We'll have a dog too… maybe adopt some children… we'll have a large kitchen with an eat-in area…"

I glanced at Duo expecting to see wariness and maybe mischief in his eyes but instead I found him listening intently.

My voice started losing it's playfulness and became more serious. "I want… a bedroom, with a bed that is so soft you sink into it… and a gym in the basement… a red carpet in the hall… a fern …" I fell into my daydream, doing a mental walk through my dream home. "A two car garage… I want… I want a large window in the bedroom covered with sheer curtains… a large washroom with a large tub so we can bathe together… a couple of extra bedrooms for the kids…" Suddenly Duo got up and kissed me softly, his lips lingering.

"We'll have that… we'll have all of that." He promised me and I believed him without a doubt.

Fin.


1) I suck at writing mission/police talk thingie... u know the whole ETA and klicks and stuff... phoooosssshhhh goes over my head. So I'm sorry if it sounds corny or its wrong or something...

A/N: Deep breath It's over. I hope the end didn't disappoint anyone. Sorry for the huge delay, the end was a long time coming! Thanks for sticking with me till the end. Without your support (and constant badgering to finish this story) I would never have gotten around to it.

Until next time,
Persephone

PS: My next project that'll get all my attention will be Lonely Day. So the second chapter shouldn't be that far away :)