Warnings and Disclaimers on first page of story

Heero's Fourth

By: Dyna Dee

Chapter 21


Heero Yuy woke slowly. His level of consciousness grew from an awareness of a dullness in his mind and body, to the smell of antiseptic and a decidedly warm body pressed up against his right side. Without opening his eyes, he felt the I.V. tube in his left arm, and registered the faint sounds and distinct sterile smell of a hospital. He forced his eyes open to see that the world around him was white, foggy, and unfocused. He turned his head slightly to see a blur of reddish brown blocking his vision. After blinking, it became clear what it was and who it belonged to. A smile ghosted across his lips as the memory of his long and strange dream came back to him. His brow creased slightly as he tried to assimilate what it meant. Was it just a dream, or possibly a past life remembered. His relationship to the other pilots now seemed to make sense to him in light of the dream he'd had.

"Duo," he whispered hoarsely.

The warmth next to him immediately shifted as Duo brought himself up to stare at his friend. His wide amethyst eyes blinked in surprise as they took in the open cobalt blue eyes and the lazy curve of Heero's lips.

"Heero!" he whispered, and then becoming aware of his position, the braided boy jumped hastily down from off of the bed.

"I'm sorry, Heero," Duo gasped in apology and blushed. "I didn't mean to invade your personal space, but, they said you were starting to show signs of coming out of the coma and I...I just wanted to make sure you knew someone was near so that you'd come back to...us."

"It's okay," Heero croaked out. He watched with interest as his friend's eyes welled up with excess moisture.

"Man, Heero. You scared the shit out of us." Duo's voice shook slightly. "You gotta stop trying to destruct man, it's not right."

"I thought you said boy's don't cry." Heero teased weakly.

Duo sniffed and quickly wiped at the excess moisture not yet spilled. "I'm not crying," he pouted. "And if I was, it wouldn't count, cus they'd be tears of joy that you're okay."

Heero nodded. "What happened?"

Duo drew a little closer to his friend. "Wing exploded after you fired on Mariemaria and Barton's stronghold. Even injured, you managed to get inside and collapsed only after setting things right in there. You've been in a coma for a month now." Duo's eyes sparkled as his eyes spoke volumes. "The war is over, Heero. We don't have to fight any more."

Heero blinked at the words and at the reality that he'd survived once again. "Have you been here the whole month?" he asked, disbelieving that anyone would care for him that deeply.

Duo nodded, looking a bit embarrassed as he flipped his braid forward and began playing with the tasseled end. "You're my family, Heero. I could never leave you like this. I've been here every day, talking and singing to you. I knew you would come back to us, even if it was just to tell me to shut up." He smiled ruefully.

The Wing pilot had to smile at that. "The others? They're okay?" he asked, vaguely remembering the battle below as Wing stood poised for its final strike.

"They're fine and have all been here regularly. Relena, too." Duo replied quietly.

Heero studied the face before him. It was so like the boy in his dreams. The one he'd loved so deeply. He blinked with a new realization. He now recognized the look of love in Duo's eyes, and realized he'd seen it there for some time now and that he'd never really understood it. It was the same look as the boy in his dream had when he looked at this Prince. He and Duo had always skirted around talking about their feeling for each other, even though it was apparent they had them. They were engaged in a war that took precedence over their personal emotions, and he sensed that both of them were uncertain and afraid of an admission of how they felt and how it would be received.

Taking courage from his dream, wanting to have those feelings in his life once again, Heero raised a hand up to touch Duo's face.

"Do you believe in past lives, Duo?" he asked, his voice weak and frail from disuse. "That maybe our lives have been intertwined throughout time?"

Duo smiled softly at him and pressed his cheek into Heero's palm. "That wasn't how I was taught, Heero. But there's always been a feeling of familiarity between us, a need to connect, hasn't there?"

Heero nodded. "I feel it with the others, too," he replied. "But not as strongly as with you," he added as his eyes searched the depths of the amethyst eyes above him. Suddenly feeling utterly weary, he closed his eyes and let his hand drop down to the bed.

"Heero!" Duo called out alarmed.

"When I'm stronger, I need to tell you of the dream I had...if it was a dream or a memory," he whispered.

"I should signal the nurse to tell her your awake." Duo replied worriedly as he looked back towards the closed door. "The others will want to know you're awake, too." He turned to move away, but found his wrist captured by a surprisingly strong grip.

"Wait, Duo." Despite his weakness, the Japanese boy tugged the slightly smaller-framed boy back to his side and pulled him down onto the bed next to him. Duo was stiff at first, but soon relaxed and melted next to his side, resting his head on his shoulder. Moving his left arm with the I.V. in it, the former Wing pilot held his best friend close to him. "You're my Heart, Duo," he whispered. "You've always been and always will be."

He felt Duo's arms enfold him. "I..I don't know how, Heero," Duo whispered back, his lips moving against Heero's neck. "But I feel like this is where I belong. It feels right somehow. I'm not complete without you."

"We're both where we belong," Heero whispered, and for the first time in this life, he felt the promise of happiness beginning to form within his heart moments before he let himself drift back into a natural sleep, held once more in the loving arms of his Heart.

The End.

Hope the happy ending made up for the Kleenex alert. *sniff* Guess ya gotta trudge through sorrow to know the joy.

I hope you enjoyed this incredibly long fic. It certainly was fun to write. Thanks for all the positive feedback, it was amazing.