Once Upon A Time

Disclaimer: If I owned them, would I be writing fan fiction?  *thinks on this*  No, probably not.  So there.  Don't sue.


And they all lived happily ever after.

I've always hated stories that ended that way.  I mean, what happens the day after the hero and heroine ride off into the sunset?  The morning after all the magic, do they wake up and realize that this isn't going to work out?  I mean, once they all live happily ever after, they really can't go "well, this doesn't look like it'll be the happy ending I want.  You've got acne and you don't dress all that great.  So I'm just going to go work with my wicked step family again until someone better comes along, okay?"  Forget Cinderella's glass slipper and Snow White's seven dwarfs.  Happy endings just don't happen in real life.

Okay, so it's true that I heard my first fairy-tale when I was almost twelve, and I hadn't exactly had a happy life up until that point.  So obviously I was going to be a bit skeptical of happy endings.  Most of those happy endings don't involve blood, gore, mobile suits, and death in general.  So who can blame me for not believing in "and they all lived happily ever after?"

I mean, take today for instance.  I woke up this morning to Wufei banging around downstairs in the kitchen, Trowa and Quatre making as much noise as they possibly could in their room upstairs, and one of those major erections that you only see in porno's waiting between my legs.  And, of course, Heero was nowhere to be found.  Surprise surprise.  He tended to come and go as he pleased and didn't give much of a damn what anyone else cared.  I'd gotten used to it, but that didn't mean I like it.  Especially not in situations like I was in.

So anyway, after a brief visit to the bathroom and pulling on some clothes, I made the dangerous journey down the stairs to the kitchen.  Dangerous, really, when you remember all the crap we tend to leave on the stairs.  Dirty laundry, stray magazines, sheet music, leather collars (surprisingly, most belonged to Quatre), random bits of food, television remotes, forgotten ammunition shells, an assortment of weapons, broken tools, and the occasional skateboard or other wheeled thing.  So sue me; we're five teenage guys living in one huge house.  Skateboarding down the stairs had seemed like a good idea at the time, alright?  Well, up until the point where I broke my collar bone and Heero insisted he had to fix it for me instead of calling an ambulance, like any other normal person would do, and practically knocked me out with the pain, but that's another story.  And I'm getting off track again.  I'm good at that.

Okay, so I got the kitchen and found Wufei banging pots and pans together and hurling random food items around the room.  All right, so I'm exaggerating.  He was attempting to cook.  And let me tell you, handing a Chinese katana-wielding maniac cooking utensils is almost as dangerous as walking down the stairs.  If he didn't burn the house down, he'd end up poisoning himself- at the very least.

So, being as not a morning person as I was, I took the stuff away from him and whacked him upside the head with the frying pan.  Not very hard, of course, since he would have forced me to eat his cooking if I mauled him with a frying pan before noon or messed up his hair.  Wufei wasn't much of a morning person either, I guess.  As it was, he shot me a look that warned me not to overstep my boundaries, and, if it was possible, probably would have killed me, and sat dejectedly in a kitchen chair.  I made a mental note to hook him up with some nice lady (Wufei didn't really share our… preferences) to settle down with who could cook and clean without complaining.  If one of those actually existed, of course.

Now I'm not as bad a cook as Wufei, but I'm a long shot away from running my own cooking show.  I can use the toaster pretty good, and the microwave, which is a step up from our local Chinese maniac.  Hell, not even Wufei can mess up toast.  But the only real chef in the house was the guy who delivered pizza, who, in my opinion, was quite obviously a true god sending.  And Heero can cook too, but he not only was he never around, but he didn't seem to like doing it.  I asked him once why he hated cooking and he had walked out like he hadn't even heard me.  Quatre was used to having servants around, Trowa seemed to think it was "women's work," which really sounded more like something Wufei would say, but whatever, and Wufei and I just couldn't do it.  So, since I didn't feel like ordering a pizza at seven in the morning (not to mention the place wasn't even open yet), I cracked some eggs and turned up the heat on the oven.  Oh yeah, I forgot.  I can fry eggs too.  Yeah.  Go me.

It was only after I looked at the calendar that the day zoomed right down the toilet.  February fourteenth.  At first even that didn't seem so bad, until I realized that meant it was Valentine's Day.  Again with the not so badness.  I just thought it was kind of cute and I smiled to myself as I realized why Quatre and Trowa were being unusually perky this morning.  And then reality crashed straight into me.  That's another thing that doesn't happen in fairy tales, by the way.  Sleeping Beauty doesn't realize that maybe everyone's keeping her away from sharp crap for a reason and Miss Beauty doesn't run the hell away from that awful beast.  Another pet peeve of mine.  Not to mention the whole deal with Rumpelstiltskin.  Why didn't the lady just grab the kid and run as fast as she could before any alarms went off?  It's what I would have done.  Anyway, it was about this time that realization suddenly dawned on me.  This was Valentine's Day, so where the hell was Heero?

I strained my memory, which wasn't working so well before noon, and remembered that Heero hadn't been in last night or most of yesterday.  And let me tell you, that hadn't made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.  This wasn't going to make me any happier, either.  Only Heero Yuy would forget to come home on a day like Valentine's Day.  How typical.

Okay, back to my happy endings peeve.  Well, as the day went on it got steadily worse.  Trowa and Quatre only left their cozy corner of their own private Utopia to eat and Wufei insisted that he had some meditation or whatnot to do, so I not only had my own dirty dishes to wash but everyone else's, too.  Then Wufei had the nerve to come out of his room and complain that the house was dirty.  That was nothing new; Wufei's room is sparkly clean and he expects the rest of the house to be just as immaculate but without him having to lift a finger.  Life has been way too good to Wufei.  Anyway, this time I felt pretty awful and spiteful, so I caught him by surprise, pushed him out the door, and locked him out of the house.  It was pretty cold out there, but see if I gave a damn.  Then I started cleaning the downstairs up all by myself.  Whoa.  Shocker.  I just felt that spiteful.  When I finished the downstairs, I did the basement, and then I just kind of figured "to hell with it" and did the rest of the house- being very very careful to avoid Quatre and Trowa's room, of course.  Love bunnies are gross, unless you're one of them.

So there I was, covered in grime and dirt and surrounded by brooms, mops, vacuum extensions, and bags of trash when guess who decided to come inside.  Here's a hint.  It wasn't Heero.

Well, I guess it had started raining out there, so Wufei decided to pick the lock, an action which he wasn't all that skilled at, and muddy my clean floor and drip water on everything.  Okay, so he did look like a drowned rat (although why anyone would want to drown a rat is beyond me), but what right did he have to come in and ruin my still sour mood?  And then he told me I looked like a slob.  Granted, I wasn't at my usual perfection and I wasn't any Prince Charming at the moment, but did he really have the right to tell me that?  I was the idiot who decided to clean house!

Okay, so that was my own stupidity.  Who cares?

Anyway, Wufei pissed me off again, so I decided he needed to go run around the house again.  This time, though, I didn't manage to catch him off guard and he ended up kicking me outside.  But he was considerate enough to throw me a raincoat.  Yipee.  He left me in the cold, freezing, rainy outdoors with a raincoat.  What a kind soul he was.  Well, to my credit, I was a great deal better at picking locks than Wufei was, and I happened to have my handy-dandy lock picking kit with me, so it didn't take me very long to get back inside and insulate myself in my room with a hot, steamy shower and a new change of clothes.  One bad thing about Earth is the lack of climate control.  At least on the colony it doesn't rain a lot!  Okay, I used to think having actual weather was great, but I'd since learned my lesson.  It really wasn't all that it was cracked up to be.  Go figure.  Having real weather sucks.  Now you know.

Anyway, after I recovered from my little adventure with the weather, I had to reconnect the phone lines.  Why?  Because two little love-bunnies had decided that they didn't want to be disturbed by the phone ringing and had virtually chewed through the phone lines.  Well, not really, but Trowa did somehow figure out how to get the phone lines to cross with the water lines, so every time someone tried to call the house, the water would get cold and the kitchen tap would turn on and off.  They'd done this before, but it was still annoying as hell to fix.  While I was showering, the water got cold about fifteen times at five minute intervals and I could hear Wufei cursing in Chinese as the kitchen sink started to overflow.  One knows no fury like a katana-wielding maniac threatening a sink with the wrath and justice of Nataku.  So I fixed the phones, partly because Wufei was still as pissed at me as I was with him and threatened to cut my hair as I slept and partly because I wanted to make a phone call.  Heero had been gone for nearly a day and a half and I wanted to know where the hell he was.  It's times like that when cell phones come in handy.

So I dialed Heero's cell phone number and, when he picked up on the second ring, started cursing and yelling my lungs out at him.  It was almost three minutes into this rather one-sided conversation that I realized Heero hadn't been the one who picked up the phone.  I apologized profusely and said I must have dialed the wrong number, but the guy who answered just said that I hadn't and asked if I was a friend of Heero's.  I couldn't help it.  I started laughing hysterically.  Yeah, Heero was my fuck buddy.  Of course, I didn't tell the guy that.  I think he would have had me committed.  So I just said yes, I was Heero's friend.  I mean, what else could I say?  That we'd been getting into each other's pants for almost a year?  That we were, in very liberal terminology, "going out?"  I really don't get it, but people just don't react well to the fact that people can be homosexual and still be people.  That's yet another thing with fairy tales.  When was the last time you read a fairy tale where the main characters were gay?  They really should have one of those, where Prince Charming has to rescue Prince Valiant from the hands of the Wicked Queen of something.  All right, so maybe I'm pushing it a bit, but you get the idea.

Anyway, after I clarified that yes, I was one of Heero's friends; the guy asked if I knew him really well.  Okay, what are you supposed to say to that?  Yeah, the two of us tended to sleep together, but I didn't really know him all that great.  You know, he would leave me some money on the dresser now and then and I'd go out and buy me something to eat.  I could tell that wouldn't go over to well either, so I just said that we were pretty close.  Close.  Huh.  Now that was the overstatement of the century.  When I think about it, I really don't know Heero all that well.  He knows pretty much everything there is to know about me, mostly because I like to talk about stuff after we're done screwing our brains out, partly to get my head back in gear and partly to make sure Heero knows I trust him.  But even though Heero listens really well, and he reply's at the right times and he has things to say about my little synopsis', he doesn't really open up too much.  Pretty much everything I know about him I've learned during the time we've spent together since the war ended.  Like how he doesn't like to cook, or how he hates it when I try to make him stick around when he wants to go out and do who knows what.

Now realize, here I am talking to some guy I don't know who picked up Heero's cell phone.  Just imagine the things going through my head right about now.  I think one the mildest things was that he'd taken another guy to be his lover and that's why he hadn't come home.  But that's when I started to wish that had been the case, because that's about the time the real shocker came.

I'd dialed up the police department.  They'd found Heero's- or at least a beaten, mangled body with Heero's cell phone and convenient, unique no-picture ID that he said he needed in case he had to go incognito again- in an alley of some sort.  They'd confiscated the phone and ID and did what they could for "the body" as the guy said.  And I laughed.  I asked if it was some kind of joke.  No one could best the Perfect Soldier, and I told them that.  They weren't joking.  Damn.

And now they want me to identify the corpse.

I haven't gone yet to do it.  I know I have to go and see if, by some strange fluke of fate, it wasn't Heero after all, but I don't know if I can do it.  I don't know if I can stomach one more dead body or add another soul to the list of the people who have died because I dared to love them, even though I knew that it's impossible for Shinigami to love.  Maybe I just needed to vent a bit.  Now I kind of feel wet and limp, like that soaked dishrag Wufei stuck on my head after I hung up the phone and had a brief swooning spell.  But now that I've done this, I have to go.  I said I would, and I can't just decide to start lying now.  Besides, I need to know.  Is it true that Shinigami can't love- even someone as malleable as the Perfect Soldier?  I have to know, or else I'll just explode.  That's a curse of mine.

So is it any wonder that I don't believe in happy endings?