LSE // 7-12-02
(Completing the Silence - Chapter One: Side Effects)
rated: PG-13 - violence, language, content
shounen-ai/yaoi

Side Effects




The door's unlocked. Does it lock from the inside, no...it must lock
from the outside, with a key of somesort. Maybe it doesn't lock. Maybe
it's never been locked, all it's door-life has been spent offering
equal access to anyone and everyone, like a cheap whore. A door-whore.
A whore-door. A whore's door. I'm tired, it must be a side-effect.
Affect? Effect. Affect is the whole thing. The total affect. Total
effects. Effect looks weird. E-fect. E-fact. In fact. As a matter of
fact. Just the facts, ma'am. God, I'm tired. Why can't I see anything?
Am I dead? No, I'm sleeping. Can you be tired when you're sleeping?
I am... I am sleeping. Side-effects.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

"Duo?" Are hallucinations a side-effect? Hallucinations.
Illuminations. Fireworks. No, snapping. Finger snapping. "Duo!"

Light instantly floods my vision as my eyes snap open, franticly
searching for the source of my awakening. I find the source above me,
a pair of cobalt-blue eyes staring at me, concern flickering behind a
mask of indifference. Or so I'd like to think. "Oh." I say, alarmed
to find my voice a weak croaking noise, pathetic. I try to cough, to
clear it, but there's nothing blocking the passage. It feels like
sandpaper. Sandrock. Quatre. Trowa. Wufei. "Heero." I rasp the name
out loud.

Heero nods. "Yes, that's right. I'm Heero. You're Duo."

"Tarzan."

"Nani?"

"Me Tarzan, you Jane. You sound like that. I sound dead."

Heero straightens, his eyes hardening as he stares at me from the
chair beside my bed. The bed. Is it my bed? "You're not dead," he
snaps.

"No. Not dead. Yet."

Those blue eyes void of all emotion, a blank mask. Freaky. "Baka!" He
shouts, standing so suddenly the chair topples over backwards. "Do
you not even remember what happened?!"

"Why's my voice. Dead. I sound dead," I mumbled incoherently, loosing
what little consciousness I regained. Heero starts to sit, but finds
himself without a chair. He gropes backwards and finds the fallen
furniture, setting it upright and getting himself on it.

"Don't," he whispers, leaning forward. I'm shocked at the amount of
emotion hidden in his flat monotone. "Don't fall asleep, Duo. Stay
with me, okay?"

"Shinigami."

----------------------------------------------------------------------

The door's open. Was it closed earlier? How long ago was it? Did I
hallucinate Heero? No, I can see him. If I move my head, I can see
him sleeping in the corner, still on the same chair. There's not
much else in the room. It's white. Very white. At least it's big. I
think I may be claustrophobic. That's a long word. Hallucinate.
Illuminate. Claustrophobic. No, that's not right, the words don't
match. Should they match? Why, do I care?

"H..." my voice is worse than before. I try again, "Hee..." That
won't wake him. I move my foot slowly, cautiously, under the covers.
If I stretch it out enough... My toe knocks the vase atop the table
and it crashes to the ground with a delightful burst. Broken porcelain
flows everywhere, showering the tile floor. I shake with silent
laughter.

"Shit!" Heero jumps nearly straight up, bolting out of the chair and
staring in confusion at the shattered vase, then sees me. He presses
hard on my quivering shoulders, flattening me to the bed and stopping
my shakes. "Duo!"

I think he's angry. He knows I broke the vase. I struggle to stop
laughing, "S...sorry." I manage, a mangled whisper fighting free.

"Sorry?" He repeats, letting go of my shoulders. He takes in the
scene once more, and it dawns on me he hadn't seen my laughter.

"Couldn't...wake you," I wrestled myself into a grin, shocking Heero
further. He gapes at me. I grin. He thought I was convulsing or
something. God, could I convulse? Side-affect? Effect.

"Duo?"

"Water?" I ask hopefully, eyeing the open door.

A woman in a starched uniform walks in. Nurse. She's a nurse. "Is
everything alright? I heard...oh!" She steps back in dismay, her
slippered feet crushing a piece of broken vase. "What happened?"

"Minor accident. Put the cost of the vase on the bill." Heero said
as if reading mission objectives. The nurse nodded, shooting me a
suspicious look. "Oh, and water. Food?" He turns to look at me.

I shake my head, turning it away from them and staring at the
opposite wall. I have a window. It looks over a park, but all I can
see is the sky. Blue, blue sky. Heero's eyes are blue, a different
blue. Steel blue. Hard blue. I shiver.

"Are you cold?" He asks.

"No." I rasp, rolling my head away from the window. I feel very
surreal about it. About everything. About what I did. We don't talk,
and soon the nurse comes back with a pitcher of water and two cups.
Heero doesn't thank her, at least not that I can hear, for I'm staring
at the window once more.

"Do you still want water?"

I turn back to him, nodding. I'm mildly pleased to have the bed
automatically lift, going from a flat position to a comfortable
sitting one. I don't have to move this way. Hurts to move, I think. I
hurt. I start to move my hand, to take the water, and find I can't get
it to respond. Hurts too much. Heero seems to already know I wouldn't
be able to and sets the cup carefully on my lip. I cough as the liquid
hits my parched throat and I choke, the water dribbling out my mouth.
Ew. Heero lifts the cup away and looks at me, disappointment shining
out of those steel eyes.

"Sorry." My voice sounds a little better, I nod to the cup, "Please?"
I don't want to say anything, I don't feel like talking. That's a
first. I'm not amused by my own joke. Would Heero smile if I told him?
The second attempt goes a little better and I manage to get the entire
cup in me. I lean back, exhausted after such minute work as swallowing.
"Thanks." I say, and am pleased to hear my voice is back to almost
normal, only a small rasp to it.

Silence falls, thick. Thick silence. Thick. Tick. Tock. "Time. What
time is it?"

Heero looks to his watch and keeps his eyes on it, "Eleven-oh-eight."

"Morning?"

"Evening."

Well hell, the sky isn't blue after all, now that I notice. Looks blue.
Blue-black. "Nice weather."

He stares at me, and I try to smile to let him know I was trying to
joke, but somehow I can't muster a smile. Pathetic, Duo. Pathetic. I
look away suddenly, intently studying the window. "Please. Leave?"

I wait for the sound of the door clicking closed and when it does I
let them come, hot salty tears. I don't care anymore that I never cry,
I can't help it. I press my face into the pillow to muffle the sounds.
A weight presses against the door and I franticly sniffle, rubbing my
cheek against the pillow to wipe away the tears. I don't want to move
my hands, either of them. Neither of them. Both of them. Oh, God...

The door opens slightly, "Duo...?"

"I'm fine! Go away...please." I add quickly, I don't want Heero mad.
God. God. Good. Dog. I snicker slightly at that train of thought, and
I hear the door close once more.

After an eternity I push away the tears. I drift into an uneasy sleep
full of disconnected thoughts. Sometime they come and give me
medication, but I might have dreamed that.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Heero turned away from the door with a sigh, making his way slowly to
the nurse's station. Finding the nurse in charge, he tells her he's
leaving, in case asks. "How is he?" The small blonde asks, standing
with a stretch.

"Better. More alert, I think." Heero mumbles, nodding in acknowledgment
of his companion's silent concern. "They're going to move him tomorrow.
Release him soon. Maybe..." He shrugs into the offered coat.

"Do you think Trowa and I could see him tomorrow?"

"Since they're moving him, yes. Maybe. The nurses would know."

Quatre shook his head slightly, steering Heero towards the waiting car.
Climbing into the passenger seat, Heero slumped against the window,
staring out gloomily. Quatre shoot his friend a concerned look, but
his gut told him not to question. He couldn't resist. "Is he... I mean,
Duo's going to be okay, isn't he?"

Pale skin, tile floors, chestnut waves... "I don't know."

"What about you?" He asked, tone softening.

Heero watched the passing scenery for a moment, not answering. "He
doesn't even care. I don't think... I mean, if you did something like
that..." He closed his eyes with a sigh, words eluding him. "Trowa and
you... it's different, isn't it? Than with Duo and me."

"Yes," Quatre admitted, feeling a blush across his cheeks. "But then
again, it's the same. What you two have is special, Heero. Duo knows
that, I'm sure of it."

"Then why! I don't understand...why..." Heero suddenly broke off,
lifting his head off the window and staring straight ahead.

"Heero?"

"Nothing. Forget it." He said, visibly disturbed. Quatre had never
seen so much emotion from the stoic fighter, this Perfect Soldier. He
didn't press the matter any further.

Heero didn't say anything until when they reached the small house
they, the five of them, shared. Shared because, as Heero told himself,
it was cheaper, but in truth because they all wanted to stick together.
"Tomorrow... you guys come too."

Quatre nodded, going inside. Heero didn't feel like talking anymore
and went upstairs immediately, locking himself into the bedroom. Their
bedroom. His and Duo's. He could see the monochromatic wardrobe Duo
insisted on wearing, all black, in the open closet, and angrily shut
the offending door. Sparse in the way of decoration, mostly Duo's
belongings lay across the dresser and bedside table.

Heero picked up a hair tie from it's place and gently untangled the
chestnut strand attached to it.

/He wasn't moving, he looked so serene. Peaceful, even with the chaos
strewn about him...

Heero shook his head, tossing the hair tie to the floor. He couldn't -
wouldn't - think about that now. He wasn't sure why Duo had so suddenly
asked him to leave, but he was sure he'd seen tears in those hidden
violet hues. He'd heard Duo try to muffle the sounds. It broke his
heart. Was Duo still crying?

He was angry, too. Furious at the boy, he wanted to grab him and shake
him as hard as he could, screaming. He wanted to bite and kick and...
Why? Why had Duo...why...

/The gold cross was smeared with blood. It looked as if Duo had been
holding it before he collapsed. His hair was tightly braided. He
looked asleep.

Heero growled in his throat and kicked the bed hard enough for the leg
to almost snap. "Why?" He demanded his reflection. He stormed to the
bathroom, clicking on the light. "Ick." He said, staring in horrified
fascination at the remains of the chaos. The tiles would be forever
dyed by his lover's blood, a brownish red stain faint and faded, but
still strong enough to resist many attempts at clean. The mirror had
yet to be replaced, but the broken shards had been cleared away.

Heero turned away, afraid he'd still see Duo's crumbled body, skin so
white, with all that blood around it...

----------------------------------------------------------------------

"Hallucinations a side-affect?" I giggle, "effect."

The nurse stares at me and walks out, muttering something I'm sure
wasn't complimentary. My new room is bigger, but I share it with
another person, who I can't see because of the curtain. "Hello." I'm
feeling conversational, and my voice is one-hundred percent like mine
again.

No response. I keep talking. "What are you in for? Sounds like
something you'd say in jail, doesn't it? My name's Duo, Duo Maxwell.
Have you been here long? I think I've been here two days, that sounds
about right. I lost track. They won't tell me what's going on, I'm a
little ticked about that. Are you female, or male? Not interested, I
mean, no offense, I'm sure you're lovely, but I've sorta got someone,"
My chest tightens as I say this, because I'm no longer sure I have
that someone. "Anyways, I haven't tried any of the food yet, does it
suck as bad as I fear?"

"I don't know, Duo, but would you like to try?"

I roll my head over quickly, surprise registering on my face. "Q-man!
Ah, crap, is that meatloaf?"

Quatre walks over, smiling, and sets the tray on the table in front of
me. I'm already sitting up, the nurse did that for me earlier. Behind
him come in Trowa and Heero. "I believe the lady told me pizza..."

"Q-man, she lied, this isn't pizza."

Heero's eyebrow twitches slightly and he leans over and says something
to Trowa, who doesn't even look over, but I know he's heard. "Who were
you talking to?" Trowa asked, his one visible eye looking to the
curtain.

"Roommate. Dunno name yet. Kinda quiet. Damn, they should at least
give you salt!" I don't know why I'm talking like this. Because I
always do? I don't feel this happy.

Trowa disappears behind the curtain and comes back out, shaking his
head. "No one there, Duo."

"Well damn, I wanted some company. Hey, is this jello?"

I don't notice Heero leave, because Quatre has engrossed me into
cheery conversation and by the time I notice there's only three of us
in the room, it's too late. Trowa watches us for a while, content to
let us idly talk about anything but reality. Quatre doesn't mention my
actually being in a hospital, and I don't ask any questions about it,
even though I'm full of them. My memory is hazy.

Trowa drifts away, out into the hall. I can hear him talking to Heero,
their twin monotone's a drone. Quatre continues talking, "The air
conditioner's still broken, but it being winter we haven't really
gotten around to fixing it..."

I'm feeling a little funny. I try to focus on what he's saying, but
soon he realizes I've stopped answering. "Duo?" He asks, looking around
at the near empty room. "Duo?"

"Quatre." I shake my head as if to clear it. When I open my eyes, the
room's spinning, I force myself to focus directly at Quatre. "What
were you saying?" My voice sounds weird, I don't sound right. I don't
feel right. I'm getting scared. Another side-effect?

"Duo, are you alright?"

I want to laugh, tell Quatre something funny and feel okay again. But
I'm not, and by the look in Quatre's eyes he must know it. I must look
as horrible as I feel.

At this point Heero and Trowa come back in, and Heero takes one look
at me and his face goes blank. Completely void. Is he angry? I don't
understand. I'm scared. I want Heero to hold me, to whisper in my ear
everything will be all right. I don't want to die. I don't want to be
here anymore, in the hospital, where people die. I've seen people die.
I'm the God of Death.

"Duo?"

They're all looking at me. I turn my head away, looking to the curtain
with nothing behind it. They tricked me. I wanted a roommate. "Fine."

"You don't sound fine," I can hear the anger in Heero's voice. I hate
myself, for making him angry. What's worse, I think he's been crying.
Was he crying, in the hallway, with Trowa?

"I asked the nurse but she said they weren't and they won't tell me
why." Well, that sounded fucked. I wanted to say something else. I
can't control my own voice anymore. I shiver beneath Quatre's heavy
coat. "Why's it cold?" I can hear whispers, and then footsteps.
They've gone to get a nurse.

"Duo."

It's Heero.

"Duo..."

----------------------------------------------------------------------

I wake slowly, unsure of where I'll be when I open my eyes. I'm
surprised to find myself still in the same bed, I thought for sure I'd
be moved again. I'm suddenly aware of another person in the room, and
I fear it's Heero. I don't feel so funky anymore, did they pump me full
of more medicine? "Heero?"

"No. Why don't you face me, Duo?"

I'm intrigued, it's a feminine voice. I turn my head slowly and find a
pretty young woman in one of those business skirt suit things women
liked to wear when they wanted to look professional. Maroon and cream.
She had light brown hair pulled back into a bun atop her head and a
pair of delicate silver eyeglasses perched on her nose. She looks
so...school-ish... "Who...?"

"Hello, Duo. I'm Doctor Burnett."

"You don't look like a doc. Where're the scrubs?"

The doctor folds her hands across her lap, "I'm not that kind of
doctor. I'm a psychologist."

"A shrink." My hopes of ever get out of here plummeting. They've
committed me to an insane asylum.

She sees my panic and smiles reassuringly, "I'm just here to talk to
you, Duo. Your friends are worried."

"They think I'm crazy."

"No one said anything about your sanity or lack of. Do you think
you're crazy?"

"No! I mean, I'm not talking to myself or...or waiting for the
mothership, like that. You know?"

The doctor looks down at her notepad for a moment. "Duo, do you know
why you're here?"

My stomach flip-flops. "Sure," I say. I study a spot on the ceiling
with determined persistence, not meeting the doctor's look. "I mean...
I got hurt, right? They put you into hospitals for that."

"Duo, your friends tell me you hurt yourself. Do you remember that?"

I remember it. I remember kneeling on the bathroom floor, taking my
cross in my hands and lowering my head as if in prayer, lips moving in
silence as I watch the blood flow from me. There's lots of blood. The
door's locked, I can hear people outside. Heero's yelling something,
they're pounding on the door, I... "Yes. I remember it."

"Do you want to talk about why you tried to kill yourself?"

"I'm not suicidal!" I stare at the woman, my eyes pleading with her.
She stares back, unaffected. "I'm not crazy."

"No one said you were, Duo. Are you angry at yourself?" I ignore her,
looking away. It's my only way of escape. "Did someone do something to
you? How was your childhood?"

"Get out! Get the fuck out!" I scream, suddenly not wanting her there.
I don't want to ever see her again.

"I'm only trying to help you..."

"Fuck it! I don't need your help!" The doctor stands and quietly
leaves, giving me a sense of shame for yelling at her. I didn't want to
think about why I'm here, I don't want to think about that day. How
long ago was it? They won't tell me anything. I'm scared. I want the
doctor to come back and give me a pill and make it all go away. I want
to get rid of the pain.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

"Well?"

Doctor Burnett took off her glasses and looked back towards the room,
"It's hard to tell at this point. I don't see any symptoms of a
psychological disorder just yet. Did he seem depressed at all?"

"Duo's usually cracking jokes, always smiling." Quatre looked to
Heero, "Did you notice anything?"

"You found him, correct?"

Heero shrugged, uncomfortably aware he'd have to talk. "He seemed
distracted, that's all. We had a minor disagreement and he went..."
about to say crazy, he reconsidered and said, "he got really upset."

"I notice he has cut on his eyebrow, how did he get that?"

"Two days before the...incident he walked into a street pole."

"Were you with him?"

"No, that's what he told me."

"I see. I'll come by tomorrow, maybe he'll be more cooperative then.
I'm going to recommend he be released, I don't feel this environment
is healthy for him. Will there be someone to watch him?"

Heero nodded immediately. "Thank you, doctor." He turned to Quatre and
Trowa, "Would you mind waiting in the car?"

Duo was facing away from the door when he entered, and he cleared his
throat slightly to announce his presence. He couldn't see the bandaged
arms he knew lay beneath the sheets, and he didn't want to. "I told
you to leave."

"Duo."

"Heero... Are you going to put me away?"

"What? No, Duo... You're going home soon."

He paid attention then, turning his head around, violet eyes wide in
open disbelief, "They're letting me go?"

"Yes."

"I thought... I mean, the doctor..."

Heero touched Duo's cheek gently, wiping away a tear stain, "Baka.
They don't want you here anymore than I do."

Duo's eyes widened further, "Heero..."

"It's expensive." Heero suddenly withdrew his hand, turning away, a
hard look in his eyes. "We can't afford it."

"Heero, I-"

But there was no one there anymore.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

I cautiously start to stand, and find myself amazingly able to do so.
The smiling nurse turns the wheelchair around towards the hospital and
leaves, humming to herself. I wanna punch her. Alarmed at the thought,
I climb into the backseat of the car, Heero already behind the wheel.
He's a horrible driver, I love to tease him about it. I don't say
anything. I think I'm still drugged, but I can't recall the last time
they gave me medicine.

I stare at the bandaged arms in my lap, thick white gauze covering
them all the way to the elbow. Blood stains the white in a few places.
Beside me is a bag full of gauze, and my pillow. They let me keep the
pillow, which is about an inch thick and feels scratchy. Heero's
staring at me. "What?"

"Seat belt?"

I start to move my hands, but the bandages make it difficult. After a
moment of fumbling I give up, sheepishly looking to Heero for help.
Instead of reaching over to assist, he simply puts the car in gear and
drives off. Damn. I should say something. Something funny to put us at
ease. I can't. I look through the bag the hospital gave me, mostly
gauze and the remains of my overnight kit. "They gave me a bedpan!"

Heero doesn't even crack a smile.

I sigh, sitting back and looking to the window. I see our house, the
house, my house. It's smaller than it should be, despite Quatre's
connections and Relena's insistence. We were going to move somewhere
else, a bigger place. A better place. Heero's comment flashes back at
me.

/"We can't afford it."

I look down to my arms again. No, I think, I suppose we can't. Not
now. Not with me. Ten year's after the fucking war and look where the
mighty have fallen. Maybe not fallen. Stumbled maybe. Hell, I've
fallen. Wufei opens the door for me, they're all smiling like idiots.
Okay, just Quatre's smiling. Heero's cold, so very cold, almost
glaring at me. I look away from him, grinning to Trowa and wandering
up the walk and into the house. It's warm, a fire glowing from within
the hearth.

I slid the gold cross along it's chain for a moment, waiting for the
rest of my ex-pilots to join me. In what, celebration? Congratulations,
Duo! They let your psychotic-ass out of the hospital! We're going to
have to watch you like hawks, to make sure you don't succeed this time
around! Fuck it. "Are those pancakes?" I ask brightly, heading for the
kitchen.

It's awkward. One of those situations people enjoy laughing at, once
it's over with. As long as they're not in it. Heero barely talks, I
ramble like an idiot, about anything but the present. I talk about
pancakes, about Quatre's hair, about Trowa's hair. I tease Wufei and,
hell, I even manage to get a few guilty smiles for my efforts. For a
while it looks like we might be okay, maybe they'll go call that
psy-whats-it and cancel that whole therapy thing. Ha! I say with my
actions, Ha! I don't need therapy, I'm as happy as a... a... a really
happy thing! Like moths. They're happy. Until they fly into the light
and char their brains out. Do moth's have brains?

Do I sound forced? I must look stupid, acting as if nothing's happened
while the evidence calmly lays across my arms. I bang my arm against
the cabinet and screech out an oath, causing everyone to jump. I turn
my back on them and hold the offended limb to me, cursing my stupidity.
All my hard work brought tumbling down by one little cabinet door. No
doubt about it, Ol' Duo's crazy. Gonna lock him up in the crazy house.
Poor Ol' Duo, laughing and grinning the whole way, never even saw it
coming.

"Are you alright, Duo?" Quatre asks, stepping around the kitchen
counter.

I laugh, whirling around to face them all again. "Well, I'm going to
go take a shower, call me if I don't get out before lunch is ready.
What are we having?"

"Uhm..." Quatre looks over his shoulder to the other four, who are all
staring at me. I don't wait for the answer and try to calmly walk out.
I grab the hospital bag on my way up, suddenly realizing that, in order
to shower, I'll have to take off my bandages. I wonder if the others
realized that. Probably, they aren't crazy like me. Crazy Duo.

Shinigami.

I start to head for the shower in my room, mine and Heero's, but I
stop in the doorway to the bathroom, frozen. The mirror's gone, they
haven't replaced it. The floor, stained with blood. My blood. I can
hear the screams. My screams. His screams. I lean against the door's
frame, knowing I can't go in there. I blindly stagger backwards,
bumping into a small yet solid body. Heero moves around me, gently
closing the door and standing there for a moment, head rested against
the smooth wood.

"I think I'll use Wufei's shower..." I say weakly, turning away.

Heero doesn't say anything. I didn't expect him to. I didn't want him
to.

Safely bundled up in Wufei's shower, I flip the toilet seat down and
sit, staring at my arms. Carefully, I peel away the layers of wrapping.
I bite off a scream, forcing myself to be detached about the
procedure. I get my right arm, the one with the least damage, free and
study it, strangely amused. I laugh. Well! No one can accuse me of not
trying hard enough! The slashes aren't organized, they aren't in neat
little rows and columns, they're everywhere, angry. Furious marks, I t
hink I hit bone on a few. They're stitched with little blue plasticy
threads. Cool.

I hold the arm out, turning it this way and that. It's sore, I don't
like moving it. I don't want to see the left arm. I take out a fresh
role of gauze and wrap it back up, tears starting to prick just behind
my eyes. I'm shaking. I don't want to take a shower anymore. I move
against my will, taking off my cross and sinking slowly to my knees. I
hold the cross in my hands, clumsy with the bandages. I don't pray, I
just kneel.

There's a knock on the door.

"Hai!"

"I thought you were going to take a shower."

"Decided against it," I swing open the door and grin at Heero. He eyes
me carefully, eyes my arms. "Maybe later."

"Hn." He turns away, "Someone here to see you. Come downstairs."

"I don't really want any visitors. If it's Relena, can't you distract
her? Tell her I'm sleeping. Maybe I will go sleep. I'm kinda tired.
Heero? ...Heero?"

He leads me into the living room and hovers there in the doorway,
motioning me in. That damn psy-whats-it there. I put the cross around
my neck and can't help but glare at Heero as I go in, lounging across
the chair set in front of the doctor. She looks to Heero and nods. The
door closes and we're alone.

"Hello, Duo. Do you remember me?"

"You're the tooth fairy!" I cry, sitting upright and staring at her
with wide eyes, a grin across my face. I laugh at her expression and
sit back in the chair, braid falling limply over the side. There's a
stain on the ceiling. Looks like a dog. Dog. God.

"This isn't a joke, Duo. Your friends tell me you've been acting odd."

"I've been a bundle of laughs, haven't I?" I lower my head to look at
her, grin plaster in place.

"Do you find this funny, Duo?"

"I find life funny, Doctor Burnett. Doctor Burnett, do you ever laugh?"
I mock the way she talks, very pronounced and always sure to address
by name.

"This is serious, Duo. You're depressed and suicidal and you need help.
I can't help you unless you meet me half way."

It's a speech right out of a textbook. I shrug, "So what do you want
to talk about?"

"Let's talk about what happened. Tell me everything you remember."
She's got her notepad out, pen ready.

I cross my arms in a pout and lay across the chair, legs dangling off
the side. "How about you. Where you were the night of December 7, AC
205?"

The doctor sighs, writing something down and fixing me with a
disappointed look. "This isn't about me, Duo, this about you. Have
you been taking your medication?"

I took to my watch, "'bout to take another dose in a few minutes.
Actually three, they have me on three pain-killers. Feel great, a bit
fuzzy. Side-effects," I laugh, "hey, are hallucinations a side-effect?"

"Are you having hallucinations, Duo?"

"If I say yes, will you leave?"

The doctor folds her hands over her knees. Navy and white this time.
Looks better on her than maroon and cream. Ice cream. I want ice cream.
They're supposed to give you ice cream when your sick. "We're not
going to play that game, Duo."

"I want ice cream."

She stares at me, then nods to the kitchen. She follows me as I go and
fumble around, somehow getting the bowl down and the ice cream out,
fortunately it's not very heavy. I stand there for a moment, looking
at the scoop and the carton. I know I don't have enough dexterity in
my fingers to actually scoop ice cream out. Dammit. It's just me and
the doctor, and damned if I let her help me. I put all the things
back, even the spoon, since it's not too dirty. "I thought you wanted
ice cream?"

"Yeah, but lunch is..." I look at the clock, mercifully it's
reasonably close to noon for this excuse to work, "I don't want to
ruin my appetite."

"Can't even scoop ice cream, can you?"

"Shut up!" I snap, walking around the counter to face her. She's about
eye-level. "Hey, sorry, just forget it, okay? I didn't really want it
anyways. So, session over yet?"

"You have a lot of anger, Duo. Were you trying to vent that anger?"

I stare at her, then burst into laughter, "Me? Doc, I'm about the
least angry person you're gonna meet in this house. Well, maybe Quatre,
but he did flip out that one time and start blowing stuff up. Heero,
Wufei, now there's your anger. Heero's always angry." My voice softens,
betraying my feelings, but I grin at the doctor for cover.

She nods as if everything makes sense to her, "You're angry at Heero?"

The hell. "Aren't you listening? I'm not angry."

She looks meaningfully at my arms, which I hide behind my back. I don't
like the look in her eyes. "What do you want?"

"I want to help you."

"What do you want from me?"

"I want you to be honest with me, Duo, and answer my questions."

I wander back into the livingroom and lay across the couch, folding my
arms over my chest in stereotypical shrink position. "And if I answer,
will you leave me alone?" She just looks at me. I sigh. I don't want
to tell anyone, I just want to forge the whole thing and move on. I've
gotten far worse wounds in the war. Hell, Heero's not one to talk,
he's tried to kill himself more than I have! I think everyone tries
at somepoint or another. Why's everyone so worked up over me?

Because, you idiot, this is peacetime. If you were going to kill
yourself you should have done it during the war. "I don't really want
to talk about it."

"All right, Duo. What do you want to talk about?"

"Do you play chess?"

"Do you want to play chess?"

"Do you like ice cream?"

"Are you mad you couldn't get ice cream?"

"Are you gay?" I ask with a grin, having fun with this little game.

"No."

I laugh, "That wasn't a question! I win."

The doctor sighs and stands up, still glaring at me off the tip of her
nose. I grin up at her. "I have infinite amounts of patience, Duo." I
watch her leave, and in the silence I can hear her talking to Heero in
just the other room. I creep over and press my ear to the door,
listening. "He's very closed about it. Do you know what happened?"

Silence. Heero must have shook his head, for she says, "Well, if you
find anything more out tell me. I'm prescribing anti-depressants.
Watch him, I still think he's capable of doing something...drastic."

Bitch.

"Thank you."

For a moment I thought it was Heero, but it's got to be Quatre. I
don't see Heero thanking very many people. I hear the front door close
and I start to leave, but I suddenly hear something that stops me in
my tracks, frozen, one foot about to move. Crying. Quatre's crying.
Slowly, so not to alert them of me, I open the door a crack and look
through. My eyes widen and see something I thought I'd never see.

Heero is crying.

I back away from the door, tripping over a table and crashing to the
floor with a lamp, which shatters just like the vase in the hospital.
I scramble to my feet and I'm bolting for the stairs by the time Quatre
and Heero come into the livingroom.

"Duo!"

I keep running, running away from Heero's tears. I'm drowning in them,
salty, raw with pain. My pain. He's screaming, I'm screaming, there's
blood everywhere. The mirror's broken. Pain, so much pain. The lamp
broke, just like the vase, just like the mirror. Everything's breaking.
My heart's breaking.

I see Trowa's startled face on the top step, but I don't really see
him until we collide.

Someone shouts my name.

I'm falling.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


Author's Notes:
My first ever Gundam Wing fanfic. After extensive discussion with
Katie, I feel pretty good about it. Feedback/reviews are very much
appreciated! More chapters coming.
Baka - idiot
Hai - yes

copyright 2002 - Gundam Wing and characters copyright other people.
LSE - "Violet" (ManzokuBiscuit@aol.com)
www.geocities.com/manzokubiscuit/index.html