JUMPER

Songfic to Jumper, by Third Eye Blind.  Typical disclaimers apply.  A bit of OOC.  Sorry.

*I wish you would step back from that ledge, my friend...*

"Duo, what do you think you're doing?!" Quatre cried out the open window.  The braided Gundam pilot sat on the ledge of the wall, legs dangling, nineteen stories off the ground.  The blond looked close to tears.  "Come back inside!"

Heero sprinted in the door.  "Is he still out there?" he asked calmly, panting for breath as Quatre retreated from his spot.

The blond nodded.  "We almost thought you wouldn't make it.  Try to talk to him, he won't listen to any of us."  Quatre looked at Heero pleadingly.  "We thought that you might be able to make him realize that he's doing the wrong thing."

Heero stared at the gaping window.  "Mission accepted."

*You could cut ties with all the lies that you've been living in...*

Duo was looking down from the ledge, an amused look on his face, as Heero peered out.  "Duo, you baka.  What are trying to do?" 

There was no response.

"Duo!"  Heero tightened his grip on the window's sill, knuckles going white with rage.  He heard Duo chuckling softly from his spot.  "What are you laughing at now?"  The chuckling stopped abruptly.

Heero sighed, knowing that simple talking wasn't going to get him anywhere.  He doubted there was much that would get through to the boy.  He knew that from personal experience.  He stepped out onto the ledge to join the braided baka.

*And if you do not want to see me again, I would understand.*

Heero stood awkwardly next to Duo, and was startled to see that Duo was smiling through fragile tears.  He hesitated, then sat, so that he was on Duo's level on the narrow ledge.  Duo looked surprised.

"What is it this time?  What's bothering you?" Heero asked gently.  Duo didn't answer.  "Is it something I did?"  Heero doubted that it was, he wasn't sure what he could have done to his fellow pilot to make him try such a thing.

Duo still didn't reply.

*I would understand...*

Heero sifted through his head for just the right question to ask.  Nothing came to mind.  He mentally cursed himself, then decided to get the trivial questions asked while he was thinking.  "Why were you laughing?"

The braided boy smiled and spoke softly.  "I'm scared of heights.  I was just thinking over how ironic it was that I was going to die this way.  Doing the one thing that scared me most."

"You're scared of heights," Heero repeated, trying to make this compute in his mind.  Duo nodded, smiling still.  "So you're going to throw yourself off a building?"

"That's about it.  I have it all worked out.  I'll fall quickly and watch as the ground gets closer and closer.  People say you have to conquer your fears, so I'm going to, with my last few moments.  It's my own way of being inexpugnable."

"That's bull."

Duo smiled again.  "I know."

*The angry boy, a bit too insane...*

"Why?" Heero asked after a long pause.

"Why what?"

"Why are you doing this?"

Duo looked away.  "Just because." 

"There is more to it than that.  I can see that just by watching you."  Duo was silent, so Heero continued.  "Besides, I thought you said Shinigami couldn't die."

"He can't.  But I'm not Shinigami, Heero.  Can't you see that?  I made that up so I wouldn't have to hurt anymore."  Duo looked down at the people gathering below him and shivered.  "And so I wouldn't have to worry about dying.  But in the end, this was the easiest way."

* Icing over a secret pain...*

"What's hurting you?"  Heero frowned, thinking the question he didn't speak aloud.  Heero wanted to know if he was the one making Duo do this, the one causing him pain.

Duo shrugged.  "Things."

"Does it have something to do with Hilde?"

The braided boy snorted.  "No.  When I told her to go away, I meant for her to go away.  I'm not going to go crying in my beer for something I'm not sorry for doing."

"That makes sense."  Heero looked over at the window.  Could he get back in and drag Duo along with him without falling?  Probably not, so Heero wasn't even going to try.  "Is it the missions?  The battles?"

"I've gotten used to them.  Those type of things don't bother me anymore."  Duo sighed.  "Heero, stop asking questions.  You aren't going to get the answer you want from me, and I have no plans to go back inside."

*You know you don't belong.*

"I'm not giving up yet, Duo."  Heero sighed, thinking.  "Are you still thinking about the Maxwell Church?"  He saw a muscle in Duo's hand twitch, and the way Duo set his jaw.  "You couldn't have saved them, Duo."

"Don't you think I know that?" Duo shouted.  "But knowing it and believing it are two different things."  He sagged a bit and stared up at the sky.  "That's not why I'm doing this, though.  Did you know, Heero, that even in the church, I never really fit in?"

"With hair like that, who would?"

The braided boy laughed.  "I didn't think of that.  No, Heero, that's not what I meant.  I wasn't like everyone else.  I'm still not.  I don't fit here."

"You do, though.  You are one of us."  Even as Heero spoke the words, he knew that they were a lie.

*You're the first to fight, you're way too loud...*

"You know better, Heero."

Heero thought about it.  "I suppose.  But why do you think you are so different from us?  You are a soldier, we all are.  Your mouth may be too big, but that is what makes you Duo.  You don't have to be exactly the same as the rest of us in order to fit."

"That's what you say, but not how you feel, right?"

Heero would have hit the braided boy if they hadn't been nineteen stories off the ground.  As it was he just glared and frowned.  "I was taught to act on my emotions.  It's not an easy thing to do, but they have never steered me wrong.  If I felt that you didn't fit in, I would say so."

Duo laughed a little, half out of disbelief, half out of hope.  "Sure you would."

*You're the flash of light, on a burial shroud...*

"Duo, it is because you are not like the rest of us that makes every day worth living."

"You're only saying that so I'll go back inside."  Duo sighed and tucked his knees up into his chest, resting his chin overtop.  "But it's not going to work."  There was a long pause.  "You know, you've used up your word quota for about two weeks in this conversation alone."

Heero smiled a little.  "It will be worth it, if I can understand what you're trying to do."  The Japanese boy watched Duo carefully as he spoke.  "You're different from everyone else I know, and those differences make you stand out and make you all the more interesting to the rest of us.  They are what make you fit."

* I know something's wrong.*

 Duo didn't speak for a long time.  He appeared to be musing Heero's words over in his head.  But the crowds down below were gathering quickly, expecting a show, and Heero was afraid what Duo would do to please the waiting public.  Then he heard a voice by the window.

"Yuy, are you planning to jump too?"

Heero sighed, turning to Wufei.  "Go away."

"Winner and Barton told me to see how much progress you're making.  So get over here and tell me how much progress you're making!"  The Chinese boy was hiding his worry with anger, that was clear to Heero, but nothing could disguise the concern shining in his eyes.

"Duo, stay here.  I'll be right back.  And if you jump without my permission, they'll be hell to pay.  Got that?"

*Well, everyone I know has got a reason...*

"Gotcha."

Heero gave the braided boy one last look of reproach before slowly making his way over to Wufei and the window.  He disrupted a pigeon too, just for entertainment, making it squawk a little and fly further down the ledge.  Heero then pushed Wufei out of the way and climbed inside.

"Is he going to come in any time soon?"

"I'm working on it."

"Why is he doing this?"

Heero shrugged.  "We all have considered it from one time to another.  Duo is just taking it a step too far."

"But he must have a reason."

"Don't we all?"

* To say: put the past away...*

"I suppose."  Wufei frowned.  "Don't let him do anything stupid.  Like jump."

Heero raised an eyebrow.  "Do you really think I would ever let him do anything that would harm him?  He means more to me than that."  His eyes widened as he realized what he had said and he looked Wufei over critically, trying to see if the other boy had picked up on his slip.  He had.

Wufei smirked.  "I guess I owe Quatre and Trowa some money now."  His smirk turned into a smile.  "Make him forget everything that has harmed in.  Force him to disremember what he's been through.  Then you can make him yours."

Heero stepped back out onto the ledge.  "Roger that."

*I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend...*

Heero resumed his position next to Duo.  Neither of them said anything for a long while.

Then Duo cleared his throat.  "You know, Alfred Hitchcock wrote a short story about a guy who was going to jump off a ledge.  The cops came in the get him down, and the fire department, even the mayor, but no one knew who the guy was, so they couldn't send in his friends to talk to him."

"What happened?"

"A cop finally came out to sit out on the ledge with him.  Then it turned out that this cop had been having an affair with the guy's wife, and the guy pushed him off."

*You could cut ties with all the lies that you've been living in...*

"Oh."  Another long pause.  "I'm sorry I asked."  Duo grinned. 

"Don't worry Heero, I have no intention of pushing you off the building.  And if I did, I think you'd survive anyway."  Duo sighed, leaning back against the building.  "I kind of feel like that guy."

"I wasn't even aware that you were married.  Is your wife really having an affair?"

Duo laughed.  "No.  I feel like him because no one knew who he really was.  Sometimes I feel like I don't even know who I am."

"You're Duo.  The red nova in a field of diamond studded asterisks.  You are my hoshi."

Duo looked puzzled.  "Your hoshi...?"

"My star."  Heero sighed.  "I don't want my hoshi to fall too soon."

* And if you do not want to see me again, I would understand.*

"Your star?  Wait, are you saying that... that..."  Words failed the braided boy, he could only look at Heero in shock.

"I am saying that you are my best friend, and more."  The words were difficult to say, but Heero choked them out decently enough.

"Are you serious?!?"

"Yes."  Heero sighed again.  "I wasn't going to tell you.  If you don't ever want to lay eyes on me again, I will respect that.  But if I am forced to be separated from you, I want to know that you lived."

* I would understand...*

"Heero, why... why didn't you tell me?"

"I was worried you would not rate it highly.  Or that you would push me away."

"I... I didn't know.  You love me?"  Duo appeared shocked, and a bit disgusted.  Heero had been afraid of that.  He was more afraid that Duo would jump now, because he knew what Heero felt for him.

"Yes.  I'm sorry."  Heero looked away, examining a crack in the brick wall.  He couldn't endure seeing Duo's disgust.  He was surprised when he heard Duo's soft laughter.  Heero wanted to cry.  It was worse than he had suspected, Duo thought he was crazy.  Or a freak.

He was surprised when Duo's soft fingers caught him under the chin and forced him to face Duo's amused smile.  He was even more surprised when Duo's lips brushed against his own.

* Well, he's on the table and he's gone to code...*

Heero tried to pull away, only to have Duo bury his nimble fingers in the Japanese boy's dark hair and bring him back, deepening the kiss.  Heero jerked in surprise when he felt the American's tongue brush against his lips.  Duo took advantage of this momentary lapse and entered Heero's warm mouth.

Heero twisted away from the American's grasp, knocking himself off balance.  After a brief moment of dangerous teetering, Heero regained his bearings and stared at Duo with wide eyes and a look of disbelief.  Duo raised an eyebrow.

Heero licked his lips, and, when Duo's taste recaptured his senses, he coughed.  "What was that all about?" he gasped.

Duo smiled.  "Did you enjoy it?"

* And I do not think that anyone knows...*

"What?"

Duo repeated himself.  "Did you enjoy it?"

"Don't tease me, Duo."

"I'm not teasing.  It was different, but it wasn't all that bad.  Did you like it?"

"Duo, I refuse to be an experiment.  I don't want to play games."

The braided boy smiled.  "Heero, ever since I met you, I've been wondering what the hell it was that made me want to hang around.  I saved your ass quite a few times without knowing why.  I want to find out."

"I'm not going to be an experiment."

"And I'm afraid that that's what we're both going to be, at first.  We have to experiment to discover what's going to happen to us."

*What they are doing here.*

"No.  Just because I may be attracted to you doesn't mean you can toy with me, especially when you're just trying to satisfy your curiosity."

Much to Heero's surprise, Duo laughed again.  Heero looked at him, confused.  "You idiot," he chuckled.  "That isn't why I did it."

"Wha… What?"

"You make too many assumptions, Heero.  Did it even occur to you that I might have feelings for you?"

Heero snorted.  "It still hasn't."

Duo sighed and did exactly what Heero had been afraid he would do.  He stood up and looked down.  "Those poor people down there don't realize how much of a mess this is going to be."  He appeared to muse this over.  "Do you think they'll just be splattered by blood, like when the girl was hit by the bus on that movie Final Destination?  Or will there be guts and stuff mixed in?"

* And your friends have left, you've been dismissed...*

"That's gruesome."

Duo lost it.  "What do you care?!?  First you say you love me, then you don't believe me when I tell you I return the feeling!  And those people down there are waiting for the show..."  Duo's voice trailed away.  "I've never been one to disappoint my public.  You can go."

Heero stood and lay a hand on Duo's arm.  "I won't-"

"GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!" Duo screamed, pulling away.  This sudden jerk knocked him off balance, but he managed to recover quickly.  Then his foot nudged Heero in the side.  Before he knew what was happening, the Japanese boy had lurched and slipped off the ledge.

* I never though it would come to this...*

"No!  Heero!" Duo watched the other boy tumble over the ledge, towards the ground.  He sat heavily, hugging his knees to his chest.  "Oh no... Heero, I didn't mean it... Come back..."  His voice changed to raging sobs and he buried his face in his knees.  "Heero... I love you too much to let you go... I wish I'd known I'd lose you, because I would have held onto you so damn tight even God couldn't have pulled you away..."

Duo looked up when he heard laughter from below him.  "You baka!  Give me a hand up!"

* And I, I want you to know.*

Duo's eyes widened.  "Heero?!"  He lay on his stomach, gazing at the other boy.  Heero had been lucky enough to grab onto the ledge below Duo's own, and was hanging on, pushing himself up onto his feet.  He let Heero grab onto his hand and pull himself up.

"You idiot, if I'd known you were going to do that when I told you to go away, I wouldn't have said anything."  Duo grinned and stuck out his hand.  "Friends?"

Heero looked at the hand, then shook his head.  "No."  He ignored Duo's hurt expression.  "Are you still going to jump?"

The braided boy looked down and swallowed.  "Yes.  Heero, I have to do this.  It's the only way I can stop hurting..."

* Everyone's got to face down the demons...*

"That's not true."  Heero held the braided boy by the shoulders.  Duo wondered vaguely what he planned to do.  Shake him, hit him... Kiss... oh.  When Heero released Duo's mouth, he stepped away, towards the window.  "There are other ways to stop the pain, Duo."

"Not this pain."

"Duo... everyone has pain.  And it can all be worked out."  Heero stepped off of the ledge, into the building.  "You're afraid of heights.  Come back inside, and I'll make sure you don't have to be afraid of them anymore.  Because I'll make you fly so high that you can't see the ground, and you don't know what awaits you."  He stepped away, so that Duo couldn't see him, but his voice was still clear.  "A hoshi lingers high in the night sky."

* Maybe today we can put the past away.*

Duo looked down again at the people, then towards the window.  The glass was starting to glow, reflecting the soft light of the setting sun.  Duo looked up at the sky that was already darkening above him.  There were no stars up there.  Not yet.

"The stars shine too brightly to have me up there.  I... I'm tainted, Heero.  I grew up alone on a colony where I had to do... horrible things in order to survive.  I can't forget that."

"I'm not asking you to."

Duo hesitated again.  Then, shut his eyes tightly.  When he opened them again, he saw Heero leaning out of the window, Cobalt gaze resting on him.  Duo looked down at the ground, and listened closely as Heero began to speak again.

"I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend," he whispered.  "You could cut ties with all the lies that you've been living in.  And if you do not want to see me again, I would understand."  Duo took a careful step towards the window, then looked down once more.

"I will understand," Heero said again, more firmly.  Duo swallowed and climbed into the room where Heero waited for him, arms outstretched.

*I would understand...*

And Duo knew then that he had made the right choice.

*****

You ever written a story with one idea in mind, then it totally blew out of proportion and turned into something completely different?  This was one of those things. I wrote this fic a LONG time ago when I first started to understand why people thought the guys weren't exactly... girl-oriented.  I'd actually forgotten about it, but I found it while studying for school finals...  Granted, this studying didn't contain much studying.  Hey, I tried.  Hope you enjoyed it; it's the ravings of a poor, misunderstood fan fic writer who really doesn't know when to quit.