It's been a long time, I know, I'm sorry. I'm trying to get back into the 'game'. I hope to update again soon

toni: Thank for reading and reviewing, I hope you will like this update, it sure took me a while ;)

Serenity a.k.a. Serena: Sorry I haven't been online much. I just bought a laptop and it doesn't have an internet connection yet and I haven't been behind my computer much since. I'm really down on inspiration right now, I'm quite sure you will notice, reading this chapter. I am trying though because I'm determined to finish it, even though that's a long way off. I really don't want to leave everyone hanging again so I promise I'll give it my best :) Thanks for your review. I hope you'll enjoy and leave another.

Made in HeavenChapter five: exchanging information

Duo let out a deep breath as they started the ascent of yet another another sandy dune. It seemed as though as time progressed, that their feet sunk deeper and deeper into the loose sand, easily stirred by the hot wind. Like their legs were as heavy as they felt. His head felt clear but the extreme heat became a nuisance beyond imagination. He felt irritated and frustrated and on the edge. Their was this fine line between sanity and insanity and he felt as though Heero was pulling him across. Minutes of silence turned into hours, who knew, maybe even days. The mystery of his being that Heero appeared to meticulously uphold had Duo questioning him.

He looked up at Heero's sweating back. The shirt, though dirty and now torn in some plavces, was of an expensive brand, no men that he had seen on the boat had any means of affording such a shirt, let alone the high quality jeans he wore that none of the African men had been wearing. They were all dressed in rags, most of them didn't even own shirts, let alone shoes as they walked barefoot across the hot sand of the beach when repairing the boats. Heero wore shoes. Boots no less and they appear to be of genuine leather.

Who are you?

'You know, I really don't remember you seeing on any of the boats.' Duo spoke up.

Maybe he didn't hear me. Duo thought as it remainded silence between the two of them except for the wind softly wistling around their boots. Duo narrowed his eyes at the back of Heero's wet T-shirt and his hair, stiffened by seawater salt and sand, struggling in the wind. Duo's eyes widened apon the realisation that Heero had his head slightly turned and was looking back at him through the corner of his eye.

Oh you heard me, alright. Duo grumbled. 'You know, I don't mind you ignoring me when I talk about the time I 'accidentally' glued my hand to my teacher's butt, but sometimes I do wish you would give me a response of some sort.'

'Hn…'

Duo waited. Fooling himself into believe more would come. More words. More noise. But Heero's sentence was finished only by their mutual harsh pants.

Duo rolled his eyes. 'Okay, any other form of response? Something that might actually qualify as a word or, dare I say, sentence?'

With stern eyes fixed on Heero's fading footprints in the sand he continued to follow the track up the dune till suddenly he bumped into a solid obstacle. Looking up he was greeted by cold blue eyes whose effect could not be counterbalanced by the scorching heat of the afternoon sun. Duo felt a welcome chill shoot down his spine, like thunder, to his feet, ankle deep in the sand.

'Is there anything you want from me, Duo?' Heero asked. His voice composed, but his fists were clenched and his knuckles were white.

Duo put up his bravest face and mirrored to the best of his abbilities the chilling glare he was at the receiving end of. 'Just some answers.'

Heero narrowed his eyes dangerously. 'I do not recall you asking me a question.'

Thickheaded lunatic, Duo thought. 'Alright, why didn't I see you on the boat?'

The Japanese man was already moving away from him with a pace as steady as ever.

Duo wiggled his feet out of the sand and hurried after him, struggling as his feet sand deeper and deeper as their neared the top of the dune, where the sand was constantly loosened by the wind.

'There were about sixty people on those boats.' Heero finally spoke matter-of-factly, 'The odds were against us meeting.'

Duo narrowed his eyes, preeping up to him was the feeling he was being to, blatantly. So near death, couldn't they have the decency to be honest with each other? 'Well, the odds were against us surviving and washing up on the same beach too, but we rocked that, didn't we?' He snapped.

Heero didn't respond to his raised voice, instead, he replied most sarcasticly: 'Yes, we did.'

Sick and tired of his arrogant behaviour Duo caught up with him and firmly planted his right hand on Heero's left shoulder and spun him around, stepping into his private space, noses nearly touching, he seethed, hanging onto his last shreds of control: 'Don't ya dare give me an attitude like that, buddy.'

'I apologise,' Heero said unsincerely, his eyes blank, like he was looking straight through Duo and was staring into the distance, at the disappearing shoreline behind them, 'I was under the impression you wanted me to answer your questions and since you asked…'

Smart guy… Duo let go of Heero, who immediately distanced himself from him. Duo took a few deep breaths and though the hot air brought relief whatsoever he soon found himself calming down. 'Be honest with me Heero, what are the chances of everyone dying except us?'

Heero tilted his head. 'Do you want me to answer.'

Breathe Duo, Breathe. 'Yes.'

'Slim.'

'Heero…' Duo warned.

'I do not know what you want me to say, Duo. I do not have all the answers.'

'But you have some, don't you?'

Silence.

'Dammit Heero!' he kicked sand at him. It didn't reach much higher than Heero's knees, but to Duo it felt satisfying and tasted like more. 'Can't you atleast pretend to care? Pretend to care about all those people who died and pretend to care that we will follow suit?'

Heero just looked at Duo. Blank, just the tiniest hint of confusion. He blinked as Duo continued his tantrum.

'How do I know I can trust you?! Because you saved my life?!'

Heero looked away. He seemed to be in deep thought for a while, his eyes were moving from side to side as he appeared to be searching for his answer in the sand, but he came up with nothing. After a while, he gave up and he turned away from Duo again and started to take one determined step after another, as he had been doing sicne they left the beach they washed up on.

'Please Heero!' He ran after him but stopped a few feet short, Heero just kept on walking. 'Please just… just talk, or… or sing! Just do something that will prevent me from going insane!' Duo buried his hands in his dry hair, near deperation. His face was redder, redder than the sun could ever burn it and his felt his eyes stinging with tears that slid down his cheek like drops of water on a hot plate. They evaporated in the harsh heat of the sun, none made it past the cheekbone.

He felt stupid, so incredibly stupid. For ever setting foot on those boats. For ever following Heero into the desert. For ever letting things get to him like this. It was the heat, he knew it was, it was messing with him and the most frustrating was there was nothing he could do about it. For the heat would be taunting him, making him sweat and pant and getting him all frustrated and irritated right to the very end.

Through his tears he noticed Heero had stopped and turned to face him again. His image nothing but a vague silhouette against the bright like coming from behind the steep dune that was as much as the Everest to Duo as the Everest could ever be. A journey too hard, a summit too high.

'What do you want me to talk about?' Came Heero's voice, unexpected.

Duo's head shot up, in one motion he wiped his bangs and tears out of his eyes. Now that he had Heero where he wanted him, he wasn't sure what he wanted from him. 'Just… uh, tell me something about yourself.' He opted. All of a sudden he worried that he would be forcing Heero into something he didn't want. He should take in mind that these would be Heero's last days on earth too, if he wanted to spend them in silence shouldn't he repsect that?

When his vision cleared he assessed Heero face. His complexion was tanned. His nose, cheeks and forehead were a bright red. His eyes were narrow and dark. His head was tilted a bit. Maybe he was confused. Maybe he was suffering from a neurological disorder… Atleast the perpetual angry look that he kept over him, as if intentional, seemed to be fading behind a thin veil of confusion and understanding.

Duo's face split into a watery smile. The effort alone, was relieving him of his frustrations. 'Tell me something about yourself.' He said encouragingly. The feelings of guilt and selfishness were but a mere distant throb. He needed this. More than Heero needed the silence, he was sure.

A slight frown appeared on Heero's sunburned face. He formed a look of deep concentration. 'My name is Heero Yuy.' He said a short while later, looking at Duo for approval.

Duo nodded, but the insecure way in which he was searching for his words, so inappropriate for his character, so far Duo could effeciently judge, had him wondering. 'Yes?' Duo encouraged him.

'I am from Japan.'

'Which part of Japan?' Duo helped.

'Okinawa. Motobu.'

Duo nodded, as though he understand. Truth was he knew nothing of Japan. Okinawa and Motobu were names unknown to him. He decided it would be most fair to, instead of interrogating Heero, to exchange information. 'I'm from the United States of America. I've lived in Washington all my life. We had this huge white house with a red door and blue windowframes. What was your house like?'

Heero though for a moment. 'Small.' He decided with a nod.

Duo repressed the urge to snort, he shouldn't have expected any more. 'You said before you had a dog named Ookami, what kind of a dog was he?'

'She was a crossbred'

'Oh… Toby was a golden retriever.'

They looked at each other, now both uncertain how to proceed.

With a leap of faith, Duo opted to press his luck. 'So, what were you doing on those boats?'

The drastic change of topic didn't go unnoticed by Heero. Who blinked and refused to answer, the angry, distrusting look returned to his face.

Duo stared right back at him, not relenting. He himself remembered the night quite clearly, up until he found himself struggling beneath the surface. Flaying his arms around him in the water wildly, not knowing which way was up and which was down. In the dead of night, the sky was as dark as the depths of the ocean. The memory of the panic he had felt at that moment would never be erased.

'Tell me first what you were doing on those boats.'

Duo grinned. 'So two can play that game, huh?'

Heero's expression turned smug at the positive response. 'Either we exchange information. Or we live with the secrets.'

Duo's grin broke into a smile. Enjoying this little game too much he played along. 'So,' he started and began walking again, this time he was the one to lead, leaving Heero behind, standing calf deep in the sand, he could feel the blue eyes on him as he continued: 'what kind of crossbred was she?'

He didn't know what Heero facial response was to that remark, but he liked to believe a secret smile. His skin already tingled with curiosity and he hoped he would live long enough to find out what Heero was doing on those boats.

Be merciful.

Love,

Crimson.