Stops Along Life

by leejeeg

Kind of a sucky title-but I lack a better one.

No warnings, except it'd be good if the reader is very familiar with GW

Just a bit of philosophy, Heero-style.

The sun was setting as the group sat out on the patio in the spacious property surrounding the house. It was of course, Quatre's house, an estate large enough to accommodate his large family and friends.

Heero was among the few enjoying the pre-fall weather. Dorothy Catalonia and Relena Peacecraft sat with him, comfortably nestled in sumptuous lawn chairs, along with Sally Po and Trowa. Quatre was indoors, instructing staff members for the evening.

"I'm just saying that peace in and of itself cannot exist without war," said Sally.

Relena frowned, fine eyebrows knitting delicately. "But we must strive for Total Pacifism."

"Relena," Sally tsked, "with all due respect, there can never be total anything. Life has to have balance-if things were only one way, where would we be?"

"Happy and at peace," was the smug reply.

"And I would be out of a job," Heero inserted absently. He was not really interested in their debate; he'd heard it all before and was unimpressed.

He was grappling with yet another of his personal demons: right after the war and Mariemaia it had been the nightmares, images of death and destruction that assailed his sleep until he thought he would go insane. His walkabout prior to joining Preventers had done a lot toward redeeming himself and assuaging him of some of his guilt.

Now it was the future bedeviling him with its infinite possibilities and mysteries and life's unanswered question: what was the meaning of it all?

Thousands, probably millions of learned individuals had pondered the question; as a result Heero had little hope of solving life's mysteries himself. But the question plagued him.

It was not that he was dissatisfied with his existence. He was certain that he ultimately had followed his mentor, Odin Lowe's advice; he had done his best to follow his emotions, which inevitably led him to strive to do what was right, always. Sometimes he was successful, and there were times when he was not.

But what was the purpose of life itself? Was there a god of any denomination and if so, what did it expect from humanity?

Duo once explained to him that religion had many incarnations but ultimately came from one divine source because everyone in the world, with the exception of evil people agreed on the same basic moral precepts. He smiled at the recollection; Duo had been affronted that Heero did not believe he could use the word "precept" correctly, in a sentence. He rubbed his arm subconsciously as if he could still feel the punch his braided partner had given him.

If Heero were to review his life he would be satisfied with what was there. But did it mean something? Was it supposed to? What if after death, there was nothing at all? To just stop being in a black void, insensate, just not there anymore. That was the most disturbing thing he could imagine.

There was a commotion in the house steadily making its way out to the yard. Heero smiled as his lover made his way to him. Duo bestowed a kiss on his partner's lips before moving on to greet everyone else.

Duo agreeing to be his had been the absolute best day of his life, hands down. His lover was agreeable, compassionate, intelligent, and his good humor was infectious. Duo had shown Heero the importance of the old clichè of stopping to smell the roses. He enjoyed life more because it was impossible not to with his irrepressible partner around. He looked up at the sky and clouds often because Duo insisted that the beauty of the world not be missed in any of its aspects. He watched everything with an appreciative eye and took nothing for granted.

Duo was laughing and smiling as he interrupted Relena and Dorothy's debate which was a good thing, lest it escalate into something decidedly anti-pacifist.

That's when it hit Heero: life was a series of stops, every exit holding something new or different, something to be appreciated. Something to be savored. Our job, as humans was to take our lot in life and strive for the best possible outcome, never give up trying to improve our lots; knowing our limitations and developing our strengths. And helping each other, not taking anything for granted.

Heero did not know if that really was the answer to life, but it was the answer to his and it fit, felt right.

The best part was that he did not have to make any of these stops alone. He went over to Duo and kissed him affectionately, the light of this revelation bright in his eyes.