Thing of Beauty

It's been a few months since I've posted any Gundam Wing. This one, in my mind, feels a bit abstract in emotions and does cut out to different scenes frequently but for good purposes, believe me. And of course this is 1x2x1 meaning HeeroDuo but it switches dominance for both characters. A little bit of Heero perspective. And I do poke meanly at Relena, I'm not going to apologize for it. Mentions of the movie and series. This is unbetaed simply because I needed this posted to get it out of my way...it's been creating creative blockage. The worst kind.

Disclaimer: GW belongs to its respective creators. I'm fresh out of wit today, folks. Being sick for over three weeks can do that to you.


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What do you see Heero. . .

Darkness. Vast and nothingness….II want to get away from it. There's a little girl in a white dress, she's smiling-- except there's no mouth…just a bleeding hole. Her skin is burned red and black, her eyes are intact. Round. Cold as marbles. She's holding the flower you gave me.

Don't succumb to your memories. . .you have to try and fight. . .

I don't think I can. As soon as you held out that flower to me, smiling like the guiltless…baka you are-- It was suppose to be a joke, wasn't it? The rest of us were impatient in this empty field after finishing our mission, and you decided now was a better time than ever to fool around. You found the accursed object and presented to me with as much enthusiasm as that little girl had. Am I doomed to destroy you as well baka? You only half meant the innocent in your gesture.

Dammit if you don't. . .what kind of soldier are you Yuy. . .

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Perfect.

A quiet satisfied smile upturned his lips.

Duo gave a long lazy sideways stare at one of his five companions clicking away at his portable laptop, spine bent forward crookedly, serious blue eyes fixated on his task and full of the artificial glow of the screen.

"Yuy, what's your favorite color?"

Instead of a standard 'hnn' of an answer, the clicking ceased a split second only to resume twice as fast, followed by a curt 'Don't have one'.

"Ree-he-heellly." The braided boy drawled out, grinning a very Cheshire cat-like grin before scooting himself closer; the stoic clearly didn't notice the change in personal space, that, or didn't care. Though Heero probably couldn't see him, Duo pulled on a thoughtful mask, stroking his chin for an added effect, and gave a quick nod to no one in particular, "This is just my opinion but…" with cat-like reflexes managed to loop his prize around the other boy's ear without getting strangled, "I think orange suits you all right."

At the brush of skin (fingertips) against skin (cartilage), cobalt tore themselves away from his work and cringed at the sudden heat. Suspiciously, one of his hands came up to rub the area touched, to return with a long stemmed flower twisted between his middle and ring finger.

When Heero gave him a frown, the other boy responded with a charmingly coy smile. It was well worth risking future usage of his internal organs. Especially to witness firsthand a human reaction from the Perfect Soldier. Seeing attractive pristine blue widen, even a fraction bigger, astonishment, uncertainty, terror-

Terror ? . ?

Heero's usually vacant appearance changed within a matter of moments. Seconds of complete and utter terror replaced itself with dismal, cruel misery. Like someone who was watching a horror movie in their head that they couldn't turn off.

Duo knew there were the rest of the Gundam pilots to consider, wanting to know what was wrong, and proceeded to ignore any calls from a distance; gathering the slackening form into his burly arms. Feeling no resistance, (he wasn't expecting him to be aware of his surroundings in the state he was slowly sinking into) the braided boy tightened the hug, lacing his fingers through a mop of unruly brown hair, murmuring under his breath, "What do you see Heero……?"

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His mind's eye snapped wide open, wiping clean the remnants of canopying and senseless emotion that had weakened. Weakened so that when his indifferent cobalt orbs inched themselves numbly through slits of eyelid, he found his body completely limp against another more attentive. His bare arms slung down at his sides, left cheek buried weakly into fabric.

Twelve feet away, Wufei had one leg extended in mid-step, surprise etched in his expression from the insistent grip on the back of his shirt Quatre kept solidly, the blonde's youthful countenance hard with lines that were never there originally.

A foreign hand, supple and warm, intertwined into Heero's faintly moistened locks, pressing the side of his face into the thick fabric, into the torso of the stranger in an misplaced attempt of awkward comfort. But he knew that smell on the fabric. . .oily. . .like metal parts. The offending hand jolted away as if electrocuted by a few hundred watts as the boy grunted loud enough to catch attention. Thusly releasing the still sagging body to fall softly onto his back into the grass.

"Hey--!"

Blue-violet peered down at him, sincere concern coming off the L2 pilot crouched beside the fallen, "Heero, are you okay buddy? What the hell happened to you, you started blacking out…"

His deep voice faded into uneasy silence upon glancing at the now crumpled blossom, indigo eyes bore into Heero doubtfully, almost as if to say 'So this is the Perfect Soldier's weakness. . .?'

Pushing the icy beads of perspiration out of his face, Heero rolled onto his stomach. Knotting his eyebrows.

"I'm fine."

And threw up those words.

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Their temporary apartment they shared on Earth. They split the pay of the rent. In winter, every corner, any holes making ventilation from the snowy wonderland outside were stuffed within an inch of their lives with old newspaper. In summer, all the tiny-ass windows were thrust open, propped up by Heero's heavier books. The boys didn't mind walking around half dressed (not going as far as full frontal nudity). They were guys, and on the occasion there was total nakedness…it was nothing they hadn't seen before that wasn't anatomically similar to what they were carrying.

Even though Duo had to constantly suppress extremely random and increasingly nagging images of a naked sweating Japanese boy moaning about heat underneath ultra-sheer sheets.

That morning, clad in only his most breathable pair of shorts and lying on the semi-cool floorboards right beneath the open window in the kitchen, Duo clutched his complaining belly with an eye-squinting wince.

"Yeah…yeah…I know stomach…."

The top of a spiky head came into view from the hallway and relief outweighed the abdominal cramps almost instantly. "Finally! Good morning Heero!"

"Why are you on the floor?"

"Waiting for the cook, of course." Prussian blue blinked coolly and without sarcasm.

"You couldn't make your own breakfast?" Duo sat up, looking quite scandalized.

"You…want me of all people to get near a stove? When we chucked out the last fire extinguisher? Do you even remember why we got rid of it?"

An arrogant smile cracked at the pitch of an all-too familiar 'Hn'. "I totally agree Heero, I do make a mean bowl of cereal but what you didn't know since you've been gone the past three days playing bodyguard to that--" Duo had to stop himself from letting the words 'pink soul-sucking bitch' slip out, "peacemaker, is that we're out of Cocoa Puffs and milk."

The sizzling of bacon was already wafting throughout the room. Duo's mouth salivated when he saw Heero reach for the few pieces of bread left over (hey, not only could he make cereal but amazing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to top it off).

"Slap on some French Toast, seal vo please?" He exclaimed in his most terrible impression of a Frenchmen, nasally-voice included. The Japanese brunette revealed his unmoved profile.

"The God of Death eats French Toast?"

"Syrup and everything baby." Heero turned his back on him, unconsciously swiping the red on his cheeks that he blamed humidity of. Once he was done placing the plates of breakfast foods on the kitchen countertop, Duo wasted no time to swallow everything he could whole. With an audible gulp, the braided boy finished to fix on a goofy smile and groan happily, stretching his arms up over his head, "Mmmm…tastes like suffering…."

Something loud exploded in the form of a snort.

Heero covered his nose and mouth with both hands, cobalt eyes round with shock. Duo dropped his fork, bacon piece attached, onto the tiled floor with a metallic clang.

Heero. Yuy. Just. Snorted.

Heero. Yuy. Just. Laughed.

He didn't know whether to collapse onto the floor hysterical himself or warn the others that their very existences were in very real danger. Surely this was a sign that the planets would fall out of alignment, the Sun would wink out like candlelight, and the universes would implode in on themselves.

It took all the willpower Duo Maxwell possessed not to throw his arms around the gorgeous boy.

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There was nothing more left for him in this existence. He would have preferred to have gone down with his Gundam (if it had still been in one piece), fighting for in what he believed in, not cozily living under the nails of Lady Une. . .continually a puppet needed only for the dirty work.

Not that he didn't have a problem with getting his hands bloody.

As long as they could be cleansed over time.

He especially didn't like the fact he had to end it while living with someone he deemed a 'friend'. The fuss Duo would make upon discovering his pasty corpse arranged all nice and neat in his cot at twelve in the afternoon…on a Sunday of all days. How unfortunate indeed.

And how to go was another factor to mull over. Heero had no weapons on him that had silencers, he certainly didn't want the apartment to blow up with his explosives in the boards underneath his mattress (there were others to consider). The next best thing would be chemical killers. Walking through the plan one last time, the messy-haired young man checked off his mental list as he curled up against the pillows near his headboard.

Make dinner. Check.

Eat dinner. Check.

Pay no attention to the inane remarks from his roommate. Check.

Shower. Check.

Paperwork.

He unconsciously twisted his dripping bangs away from his eyes as his index finger tapped the button ENTER and soundlessly surveyed his documents deleting themselves. With several clicks of the mouse, he activated the high-powered security system to erase memory and everything else from his files, knowing full well that no hacker could hope to access his work. Not even Maxwell.

Check.

Placing his beloved laptop, still on, on the bureau nearest his bedside, Heero shut off the lamplight. Pale streamed in from the open French doors and the faint dull of his computer silhouetted watery shadows, stroking edges and corners, of the black seat of his wheeling chair . . .

The shapeless material of an ivory rolled-sleeve shirt . . .

The plastic cap of a pill bottle sitting mutely on the desk across the grave-silent bedroom. . .

Formidable dark blue closed irritably.

He needed a smoke.

Fishing out his silver lighter from one of his coats hanging in his closet and a single cigarette out of the pocket of his shirt lying on the carpet, Heero moved barefoot onto the balcony beyond the gaping doors, crossing his muscled arms and leaning his elbows on the railing. An angry burning red dot amid the nightfall, dusky tobacco smoke outlined purple and visible in the rays of moonlight. A bit of brown curled to dust, singeing his big toe, when an accustomed drawl interrupted his suicidal reverie.

"Got a death wish?"

The ex-L2 pilot emerged from the darkened hallway, well hidden in his black attire minus the white highlight of the priest collar. His thick braid fell over his right shoulder as he joined Heero in the task of staring ahead at the many city lights below them. The other merely sucked in another whiff of poison to expel into oxygen. Duo, already leaning forward, switched his position to resting his upper arms on the metal railing, not quite facing his comrade.

"Those can kill ya."

"Hn."

Grinning mockingly now, the second eyed him, "But you don't care, do you? Whatever gets you closer to death I suppose. Are you that anxious to leave me, I mean, I know that I'm not the best cook there is but I do do some of the housework--"

"It was nothing you did."

Blue-violet thinned suddenly at his too composed tone.

"With or without you, this was all to come to pass with certainty."

Perceiving that this was becoming an increasingly fragile subject, Duo snapped his mouth shut noticeably with a click before whispering through gritted teeth, "Believe me when I say there are still people out there who care about what you do to yourself. That what happens might affect others who care a little more than they should."

Heero spun at the exact second he stormed out, silently and automatically outstretching his shaking hand. Letting gravity steal his third of a cigarette out of his grasp.

The frustrated teen halted at the noise of heavy fleeting footsteps pounding, turning in time to catch the figure running at him, the crown of a spiky head ramming into his broad chest hard enough to lose his breath. Before he could raise a fist to strike his attacker, Duo observed the tanned fists tearing into his jacket quivering, as was the rest of Heero's body. He could he have been. . .crying? NO, that wasn't possible. But something wasn't right about how he was shaking so violently.

At first tentative, Duo patted the other boy's shoulder, "Heero? What's a matter?" His seize stayed on the trembling shoulders and tightened in alarm when a soft sob came up through the other teen's throat. Barely heard but…there. There was something wrong.

The Perfect Soldier doesn't sob.

Sympathetically wrapping arms around his back, the braided boy led him to his cot, cradling what he could of the seventeen-year-old in his lap clumsily. The sensible parts of his thoughts knew that if he didn't do something quick he could lose whatever was left of him forever, so Duo was reassured to feel Heero in spite of everything clinging to him like a life preserver.

In a way he was. . .

A lowly. . . broken life preserver embracing a beautiful damaged victim of manipulation and war.

Frankly, he didn't know what to do. He had this lonely magnificent creature, depended on for selfish reasons and grown deeply attracted to not just sexually but emotionally, in his grasp and couldn't bring himself to obey what his system wanted.

Not with this one.

He couldn't take advantage of him. This wasn't just your ordinary free fuck, this was…the ultimate untouchable. Not like those faceless men and women, what felt like eons ago, those unfamiliar never to be known again.

Heero wasn't trash.

Not like he was.

Besides, the Perfect Soldier had to be straight as a line, being as perfect as he was. . .

So it was only natural for him to protest against the Japanese boy panting beneath him, against the need to become as intimately near as he could with him by tenderly compacting their torsos together, against the gentle laborious tempo lovers gave each other.

Losing virginity. Check.

Not once was a kiss exchanged.

Blank.

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Five in the morning, Heero Yuy crawled out his warm haven of flesh and blankets with a lack of dress, flipped on the bathroom light, and flushed the pills down the toilet.

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This had Relena's fault written ALL over it.

She just HAD to make a big scene at the airport, and now they had a bunch of gun-wielding rebelling colonists and soldiers firmly on their asses. The pink-flaunting Ambassador of Pacifism found shelter somewhere inside with her guards while the ex-pilots and OZ's armed forces fired back outside.

This is all a set up to kill us, Duo mused as he popped a bullet through a gray-haired man's forehead, why the hell did they need all five of us?

Quatre and Trowa took the right side of the group, not far from him, Wufei and Heero reappeared behind the Peacecraft bubblegum pink limousine peppered with debris of the gunfire; each taking one end of the motor vehicle as a shield and fort.

Stray bullets were flying everywhere, he felt the hot pressure of a remarkably close one whizzzzz past his cheek as he ducked.

To put it adequately….Fuck.

Duo didn't have enough time to pay attention to every event happening when he looked down to reload, definitely not aware of the ricocheting projectile bumping off the plaster wall and aiming for the soft skin of his exposed craning neck. Getting shoved face-first flat onto the concrete, the teenager whipped around with his gun barrel leveled at his eyes before indigo bugged out at the sight before him.

Where he once stood, Heero knelt on one knee, breathing heavily through the pain. Blood red gushed from the ripping mutilation, delicately painting the crevices of his bicep an intricate webbing pattern. Shaking his head as if annoyed and not in agony, he pointed his weapon with his injured limb at the intruders coming at him, unrelenting in the task of blowing their faces clean off.

A new energy pulsated through the Shinigami.

The gunfire went on for a good ten minutes. All the rebelling, thirty dead; on their side, two dead and six wounded.

Quatre smiled to himself as if pleased, studying the destruction done through thankful eyes to see that his teammates were unharmed. Wufei and Trowa assisted the neighboring OZ soldiers with the more deadly wounds, Duo and Heero separate and off to the side by themselves.

Heero sat on the ground bandaging himself unemotionally, the occasional twitch of his large eyebrows giving off some sign of discomfort, and Duo on both of his knees with his back to the scene, from a distance, looking as if he were clutching at his stomach.

Suddenly, Quatre's own stomach lurched painfully and an ugly heat squeezed his chest cavity. Panting, he glanced back at Duo and started running for him. Heero saw his expression and followed behind closely. As they closed in on him, the first pressed a hand to his heart and gasped.

Shining violet-blue peered upwards sightlessly at him; Duo's built slid to one side for the unforgiving ground to connect with a dim thump, forced to land instead on top of somebody. His rescuer adjusted the weight, getting a good glimpse at what was beneath the black cassock-style shirt, if Heero had undone it, they would have found the entire white undershirt a fresh maroon.

Blood bubbled from between his lips.

"..thought you didn't care."

Smoothly, a hand looped around Duo's head to push back long bangs from his forehead. Warm callused fingers pressing faintly into the hollow of silk skin.

Duo closed his eyes contently.

Heero squeezed a little harder and followed in suit.

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The doctors had informed him that Patient 02 had an hour to live tops. That had been two days ago. Inside the sterile and harshly fluorescent building, Duo Maxwell smiled feebly at his sweater-clad visitor, chuckling, "About time you came. . .couldn't leave without saying goodbye."

Heero replied bitterly, pulling up a plastic seat, "The physicians are an embarrassment to the vicinity, you should have been taken to a more experienced hospital." He paused when the other flinched at an invisible pain, hissing noisily, choosing not to speak until his expression became relaxed once more, "You truly think you're going to die here?"

"Maybe. They're not walking in with genuinely happy faces." Duo announced, serenely turning his face towards him. "You know. . . .I never did get a kiss from you asshole." When the Japanse ex-pilot didn't respond, he smiled mildly, "Ease me through the passage?"

Heero unfolded his hands.

His heart walloped against his Adam's apple as he stood up and sat down beside him to fasten expressive blue eyes directly into him, tilting down gradually to have Duo beneath him, bringing his arm to the other side of his head. Not wasting another second to guessing or suspense, lips claimed lips. Moaning happily, Duo arched up into the received kiss, tongues dancing leisurely.

As it slowed, the other boy muttered darkly into his mouth, "Dying, my ass."

"I might have forgot to mention that I'm being released tomorrow in fair health."

Duo took his punishment with stride.

Check.

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What do you see Heero. . .

A newfound comfort. Purplish-blue to vanish into when I don't want to be found. A prankster's crooked grin. Ears that go pink when I smile, really smile. A broken life preserver, a good-looking one capped with a twist of long brown braid.

I see you.

Fin.


Those crazy Gundam boys. The purple button likes it when you push it. I'll never know what you thought until you say it.