DISCLAIMER: I don't own gundam wing or any of it's characters

DISCLAIMER: I don't own gundam wing or any of its characters. I don't even own my car so don't sue me*_*

I Promise

BY: Lara_Winner

Hilde Schbeiker gazed around her small impersonal room. She'd been living in this home for over a year. They said she wasn't capable of living by herself anymore. They said it would be in her best interest if she lived here. It was just a polite way of saying they wanted to get her off their hands. She could still walk and she could certainly do for herself but they had taken all her choices away. She never wanted to live in this damn nursing home.

Slowly in the faint moonlight she made her way to the window and let her eyes wander over the darkness. Eighty-four years old and still kicking, she thought with a smile. But it wouldn't be long now before she bid this world goodbye. She could tell she was getting weaker and just breathing was getting harder as the days passed. Besides, she was ready. She had lived a full life and had experienced everything that was important. It was time for her to leave this world to the next generation.

Sighing she turned and took a seat in the rocking chair that faced the window. She began to rock back and forth as she looked down at the picture she held in her withered wrinkled fingers. In the moonlight she could see the creases and tears that marred the faded picture. It showed its age. She could hardly believe it had been sixty-two years since the picture had been taken.

Her eyes glowed as she took in the features of the boy in the photograph. This old picture of Duo Maxwell was one of the few things she had left to remember him by. This and the engagement ring she still wore around her finger. But they didn't get married. They didn't have time.

Long forgotten memories flooded her mind in the darkness. She usually didn't let herself think of his death. It still managed to cut her heart like a knife but nonetheless she remembered the events clearly.

He had never been sick a day in his life but quite suddenly he started having terrible headaches. At first they hadn't thought anything of it but then the real symptoms started. The nausea, the weight loss, the constant tired feeling, and the bruises he didn't remember getting. She had finally convinced him to go to the doctor. She had known something was horribly wrong because they had kept him in the hospital for three days just taking tests. Then the doctors delivered the verdict. At the age of twenty-two he had terminal cancer.

They were told that by the time he started experiencing the symptoms it was already too late. There was nothing they could do. The cancer was only thirty percent curable when caught early and when caught in stage four only one percent. He had taken the news comparatively well. She had been a complete wreck.

As the weeks passed she helplessly watched him get worse and worse. The whole gang had come to L2 to be there with him. Even Heero had showed up. But there was nothing that could be done except make the time he had left as comfortable as possible. He had been given two months but it had only taken three weeks.

The night he died she'd been there sitting by his side. He was so pale and thin and even his violet eyes had lost their sparkling clarity. At the moment they were alone and he turned to her his eyes filling with tears.

"Hilde." He whispered weakly.

"I'm right here." She said as she squeezed his hand.

"I think its time." He said softly.

She knew what he meant and her tears wouldn't be stopped. She crawled in the bed and laid beside him cradling him in her arms. Gently she stroked his brow as she began to sob quietly. He raised his eyes to hers and she could clearly the pleading in their depths.

"Please don't cry, baby." He begged.

"I can't help it. Oh god, I can't loose you like this." She managed to choke out.

"You're not losing me. I just have to go away for a while but I'll be waiting for you, I promise. Even if you can't see me just remember that I'm there watching over you, okay." he whispered.

She nodded her head unable to speak. He started coughing violently and her heart ripped in two knowing this was it, he body was failing him. He gripped her hand tightly as he tried to take in air but his lungs were refusing to work. She knew he was struggling against it.

"I'll be okay, you don't have to fight it." She forced out the words between her tears.

Even as she spoke she felt him relax against her. Slowly his grip on her hand loosened and his breath caught in his throat. His eyes remained locked on hers and she watched as their inner brilliance faded. She started sobbing uncontrollably clutching him tightly knowing he finally had found release from his suffering.

The funeral had been a complete blur. It had taken months just for her to function normally again. Everyone had been so concerned about her but she knew she would survive this. It would be a slap in his face to give up. So she pushed herself on and every night in the privacy of her room she would cry herself to sleep.

Her mind snapped back to the present and she wiped the tears that were coursing down her cheeks. He had been the love of her life. Even after all these years she loved him as much now as she had then. The picture had helped her remember him as he truly was. With a smile and a twinkle in his eye. That was the man who had won her heart. That was the way she preferred to remember him.

In the years after his death she learned to live again. She had learned to think about the good things and live for the moment, not for tomorrow. She had done everything she wanted in her life and she knew he was proud of her. But there was one part of her that was off limits, her heart.

She had had many opportunities to start new relationships but she never gave them a second thought. Relent had once told her that she should move on and she had replied, "Why waste my time. I've experienced heaven, anything else would be lacking."

And she didn't regret her decision for a moment. That part of her life was entwined with his and till they were together again, she could wait. But her impatience was growing. Lately she'd been dreaming about him, and thought she had heard his voice several times. And just the other day she had sworn she saw him standing at the end of the long hallway outside her door, but it had been crowded and she brushed if off as just seeing things. But now she questioned it. Her time was definitely coming to an end. She didn't need a doctor to tell her that her body had enough, and she wasn't afraid because her soul had enough too. He was coming for her, she was sure of it.

A soft smile crossed her lips as she shook her head helplessly, chuckling. At the thought of him so close and yet so far away her heart surged with anticipation. A giddy feeling of excitement burst within her and she forced herself not to laugh out loud. He was coming! She had kept her part of the deal, she had lived her life and now it was his turn to keep his part.

Standing up she returned to the window once more. She could see her reflection clearly in the moonlight. Her short white hair, her wrinkled face, her still vibrant blue eyes. Her smile faded at the sight of her aged image. She was older and wiser and not the girl she had once been, not anymore.

"I've changed," she whispered sadly, "I'm not the person you left behind."

"You think that matters." Came the soft reply.

She froze as her heart started pounding frantically. There was no mistaking that voice. Not when she had longed to hear it for so long. Her breath caught as she turned from the window, her eyes taking in the sight before her.

He was sitting on the edge of her bed, his elbows braced on his knees and his chin resting on laced fingers. His smile was almost challenging, as if he dared her to object his words. Her eyes took in every detail, from his black boots to the way his braid casually hung over his right shoulder. He hadn't changed one bit. He still looked sinfully handsome dressed in a black tank top that showed his muscles and tight black jeans that made her heart beat even faster.

Her eyes filled with tears and she blinked, partly to clear her vision and partly to see if he would disappear. She could feel the shock wearing off. Her mind was starting to make coherent thoughts once again. Her heart rate finally slowed, her hands unclenched as she began to relax.

"I was hoping you would come." She said as she began to take hesitant steps towards him.

"I promised I'd be here so here I am" he said, his self-assured attitude evident in his cheerful voice.

She smiled as her gaze searched his violet eyes. Even now he could still make her stomach flip with just eye contact. She stopped right in front of him, so close they were almost touching. She reached out her hand and gently brushed her fingertips along his cheek. To her surprise she could feel the warmth of his skin and the moisture from the tear that fell from his eye at her touch. He grasped her hand tightly and brought it to lips, his eyes never leaving hers. Her voice shook with the force of her surging emotions as she softly spoke.

"I've missed you so much. Don't leave me again, please."

"Are you sure you're ready to come with me?" he asked, his eyes turning sad at what he would have to do.

"I've been ready for a long time," She whispered, "A very long time."

"Forgive me for leaving you." He said as he stood and wrapped his arms around her frail form.

"You didn't choose to die. How could I blame you for that? Just promise me you won't leave me again." She replied, her voice muffled as she buried her face against his chest and tried to stop the tears that were falling from her eyes.

"I promise." He said pulling her tightly against himself.

The moments ticked away as he held her. Her only thought was the feeling of security she felt being this close to him. She was finally complete. She was finally home.

Reluctantly she pulled back and looked up at him. He nodded, understanding the look in her eyes. She wanted to be free. She was ready for the next step, the step that would lead to forever.

He guided her to her bed and tucked her in like a child. She looked at him questioningly but he just grinned. She gripped his hand as he sat on the edge of the bed beside her. She was a little nervous. This would be the last time she would be present in this world. She was moving on to the unknown and she was leaving everything behind. But she would be with Duo and that was all that mattered. The love burning in his eyes took away all her fear. She was ready.

"Is this going to hurt? " She asked with a hesitant smile.

"Nope, not at all. If it hurt I wouldn't do it to you." He said.

"What exactly are you going to do?" she questioned as she tried to sit up. Gently he pushed her back down and leaned over her, his weight resting on his arms and his lips mere inched from hers.

"This." He breathed as he brought his lips down to hers.

It was the barest touch of lips but she felt it through her whole body. She knew he was trying to distract her with the kiss and it was definitely working. Of course he was the only person ever allowed the liberty so it had been way to long since she'd felt these sensations. Vaguely her mind registered the intense pulling from outside her body but he started do deepen the kiss and her mind lost all capability to process thoughts.

She hadn't even realized she'd wrapped her arms tightly around his neck till he broke the passionate kiss leaving both of them gasping for air. Though she was dazed she could clearly see the relieved expression in his eyes. That was when she realized she was sitting up and practically half in his lap. But she had been laying down only a moment ago……. She turned her head and her eyes widened.

Her physical body was lying motionless in what appeared to be sleep. There was a peaceful expression on her face and she wasn't breathing. She turned to Duo and he just smiled as he absently ran his fingers through her hair.

"Its over. Just like that?" she asked stunned.

"Yep, just like that. Not bad for the kiss of death, huh?" He chuckled.

"Not bad at all." She agreed.

She turned to look at her body once more and caught sight of her reflection in the wall mirror. Her chest tightened in surprise. She was staring at a child. Well, the youthful image staring back at her was definitely herself only she hadn't looked like that in sixty years. She turned to Duo with an ironic smile twisting her lips. Now how in the world did he manage that?

"Great, I had to die to get my figure back." She laughed. But her laughter faded at the serious look in his eyes.

"Hilde, you were always beautiful to me." He said as he leaned close and kissed her again.

This time she held nothing back and neither did he. She could feel his soul melt in with hers. It was more than a kiss and it was more than an embrace. There were no mortal boundaries confining them. They were truly one, no end and no beginning, just a connection that didn't need words or thoughts.

She pulled away with tears streaming down her cheeks. In that moment she'd felt the depth of his love for her. From the stunned expression on his face she knew he felt hers for him. She smiled through her tears as she rested her forehead against his and tightened her arms around his neck.

"Thank you for coming back to me." She whispered, her heart in her voice.

"Babe, I was with you all along, you just didn't know it." He replied as he gently wiped the tears from her glowing blue eyes.

A.N. – Okay, What do ya think? Too sappy or too weird? This was supposed to be a songfic but I liked it better without the song. I just had to write a happy Duo&Hilde fic. I mean I don't think there will ever be a story that I will write that won't have angst in it, but I can give you guys happy endings so here's one for all Duo&Hilde fans everywhere.