Author/Artist: by Aki Midori
Pairings: Heero Yuy and Duo Maxwell
Rating: PG-13 for now
Warnings: Shounen ai (boy-boy love), gratuitous use of bad language
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing and the characters that I will be using are not my property. I’m using them merely for pleasure and, of course, to share the lu~rve. :3
This story has been gathering molds for so many years now, so I figured it’s time to breathe life into it. Originally, it was supposed to be a SenRu (Sendoh x Rukawa) fic, but recently, I can only imagine Heero and Duo in this story. I’m going to be abusing my artistic/creative license with regards to the angelic / celestial / life-after-death themes, so please bear with me as I go along. So, enjoy, everybody, and I hope you’re not missing Commodore Wilkins too much. ;)
Prologue: Guardian Angel
Chapter One: Split Second
The frown marring Duo Maxwell’s usually-smiling face was unbecoming. Neverland Bookstore’s employees suddenly found themselves on the sharp edge of Duo Maxwell’s amethyst glare as he strolled into the shop with a dark scowl attached to his face, instead of his trademark thousand-watt smile. His perpetually-divine braid was falling out of the rubber band that held it together, his clothes were all rumpled, and his shoulders were slumped in defeat. Beneath his angry, glaring eyes lie deep pools of pain and sorrow.
“Hey Duo,” Hilde greeted as Duo strolled into the private office they share. At twenty-three, Hilde Schbeiker was pretty as all pretty women go. With short, hair as dark as the night sky in the middle of the storm, and sparkling eyes as blue as the deep end of the ocean on an autumn night, Neverland’s employees couldn’t quite fathom why she hadn’t hooked up with the most handsome man that ever walked the earth, namely Duo Maxwell. While the two are practically joined at the hip, never had they seen their bosses involved in any romantic or sexual activity. Drats.
Duo acknowledged his best friend and associate's presence with a defeated sigh. “Heya, Hil.”
“How’s it hanging?” Hilde asked, mindful of the mood her friend was in.
Duo sighed for what probably was the fiftieth time that day. “Limply, and a little to the left,” he replied, peering at his crotch.
It took three whole seconds before the innuendo sunk in. Hilde’s nostrils flared as she gave her best friend a whack upside the head- a normal scene, of course, considering Hilde’s penchant for physically abusing her best friend on a daily basis.
“Perverted moron!” she scolded. "I meant, 'how are you doing', idiot! Couldn't you at least give me a decent answer? What's with you anyway? You looked as if the whole world has turned its back on you.”
“I think it did, Hil.” Duo pouted as he dropped his sullen face onto the counter. “Fuckin’ music store ran out of copies of Zero’s latest album. I even called three months ago to reserve a copy, but some higher-up moron decided to play god and gave my copy to his idiot son! Would you believe that?! I’d never do that to any of our customers! That’s fucking insane!”
Hilde opened her mouth to comment, but Duo beat her to it with an angry swipe of his arm. “Fucking insane, I tell you, Hil! I don’t ask for much, do I? I mean hell! That’s the only album where guitarist-slash-sex-god Heero Yuy ever sang. Usually he’d just strum on his miracle guitar and glare at a vast expanse of nothing-ness, but this time, he actually sang, Hilde! He actually sang! And the stupid manager of the music store fucking gave my copy to somebody else, only because ‘I fucking did not have a down payment!’”
Hilde shook her head in exasperation and sat down in front of her friend. Glaring at the man wouldn’t help one bit; she knew that from ample experience. Still it didn’t stop her from sighing out loud. “I don’t know what the hype is about, Duo. It’s no the end of the world. They’re just another rock band-“
"Just another-" Duo trailed off with eyes wider than saucers. He stood in all his furious glory and stared daggers at his best friend. "Just another rock band!? You offend me, heathen! What the hell do you mean by that? We're talking about Zero, here, Hilde. Z-E-R-O. The best band in the world. They've raided the charts since they started a year and a half ago, plus, their guitarist is a GOD, I tell you."
“That Heero yuy person?” Hilde asked. Duo chose to let the offending remark slip and nodded solemnly instead. “The blonde one with hoards of groupies following him around as if he’s the Supreme God of Mount Olympus himself?”
"Idiot. You’re talking about Quatre Winner. He’s the keyboardist and mixer of the band." Duo scowled. "Don't you remember Heero Yuy anymore? He was our classmate when we were in high school."
Hilde didn't show any signs of recognition, which made Duo want to bonk his friend. "Mop of deep chocolate hair? Eyes the color of the ocean? Bronze skin? Vice-president to Chang Wu Fei? Student council’s most popular officer? Don't you remember him anymore?"
Hilde thought for a moment before her face lightened up like an incandescent light bulb. "Ah! That guy! The senior catalyst of your rather disastrous attempt to come to terms with your then-newfound sexual orientation." Hilde laughed. "You couldn't decide whether or not you're bisexual. It was the first time you started to like guys. You were so into the guy but he wouldn't even look at you even if you tried to get his attention like a mad man! Hah! I remember that time when you approached him and offered your hand for a shake. He just gave you an icy stare and walked away! Duo Maxwell’s first and only rejection. You're still not over him?"
Duo sighed. "Yeah. I mean, he's really something, you know? Sparked something in me since the first time I saw him. It's irrational, I know, but believe me, Hil, I couldn't get him out of my mind even if I tried. Just one look… one eye contact, and boom! There went my senses. Flew out of my being, just like that."
"You think it's that 'soulmate' thing every romantic’s talking about? Like he's your soulmate or something?"
"I dunno," Duo replied, thoughtful. "Could be. But right now, I do know that I want to burn that music store to kingdom come 'coz they didn't save a copy for me. Frustrating, really."
Hilde was about to reply when the bell of their bookstore chimed, signaling the arrival of a customer.
“Good morning- oh shit.” Duo all but hid himself beneath the counter when he saw his most persistent suitor sauntering straight towards him.
“Good morning, Duo.” The smile on the pretty woman’s face was so sweet, Hilde thought she’d develop cavities just looking at it. Her name is Relena Peacecraft, daughter to the city’s most influential politician. She met Duo on a book fair, and was captivated by the handsome young man within five minutes of spending time with him. Since then, she spent all her free time on Duo and Hilde’s book store, buying every book she could get her wealthy, manicured hands on just to make a pass at Duo.
“Hello, Relena,” Hilde greeted, barely managing to hide her smirk.
“Hello to you, too, Hilde!” Relena smiled as she all but scrambled up the counter to peek at Duo. “Duo, why on Earth are you hiding in there?”
“How may we help you today?” Duo asked, faking a smile as he stood up from where he hid behind the counter.
“I have something for you, Duo.” Relena’s smile was so sweet, it sickened Duo to near nausea. She appeared to be having a difficult time playing the coy lady, but Hilde, who was watching the scene with an amused smile, thought it was a valiant effort anyway.
“Aren’t you interested in my gift, Duo?”
“Not really, Relena.”
“But I’m sure you’d love it!”
“Well, we’d just have to find out now, won’t we?”
“Look here.” Relena’s smile was nothing short of dazzling as she finally pulled out a square-shaped, paper-wrapped package in her bag. She handed it to Duo, who looked as enthusiastic as a rock. His demeanor changed however, as he tore away at the wrapper.
“It’s Zero’s latest CD!” Duo laughed in glee as he jumped over the counter to give Relena a hug, his former ire at the lady all but forgotten. “Thanks so much, Relena! You just made my day!”
Relena winked at Hilde as she snatched the CD from Duo’s hands. “That’s gonna cost you a dinner, Duo.”
“Aw, man! I knew there was a catch!”
“Nothing in life’s for free, Duo dearest.” Relena smirked as she dodged Duo’s attempts to get the CD back. “It’s just a dinner date, Duo! What’s a shared dinner between two good friends?”
“Relena, if you hand that CD over, I swear I’d eat dinner with you for as many times want!” Duo exclaimed as he tried to reach for the CD again.
“As many times?” Relena asked, swatting Duo’s arms away.
“Yeah, I promise! Just gimme that CD!”
Relena laughed as she finally took pity on the desperate man and gave him the CD. “One dinner’s enough, Duo. It’s enough for me to know that I made your day somewhat better. I knew you’ve been waiting for that for a long time now, so what the heck.”
“You’ve made my day infinitely better, ‘Lena,” Duo said. “Just for that I’m taking you to Pierre’s tomorrow night, so doll yourself up, alright? Now, if you’ll excuse me for a moment, I’ll just listen to the CD for a while. Take care of the shop, Hil, I’ll be back in a few!” Duo’s braid trailed behind him as he made a dash for his office, leaving behind two amused young women.
Hilde raised an eyebrow at Relena. “You’re not so bad after all, Ms. Peacecraft.”
Relena smiled softly as she glanced in the direction of Duo’s office. “It’s not everyday I get to do something nice for the guy I like.” She sighed as she stared longingly into the room Duo disappeared into. “Such a shame he wouldn’t ever like me the way I like him.” Relena smirked upon seeing Hilde’s slack-jawed expression. “Come on, girl. I know I’ve been very aggressive in my pursuit of your best friend, but I could also take a hint, you know?”
“Well, with the way you pursue him, it’s kind of hard for me to tell.”
“Ouch! Sharp tongue you got there, lady!”
“Not as sharp as your eyes when you’re on your stalker-mode,” Hilde retorted, a fond smile softening her sharp barb.
“Hey, I have to go,” Relena said with a smile of her own. “I just dropped by to give Duo his gift. Please tell him good-bye for me.”
“I will,” Hilde promised. “Thanks again, girl. You just delivered us all from a bad day.”
“Anytime, Hilde. I’ll see you around!” With one final wave, Relena stepped out of the quaint bookstore and into the bustling street.
“Well, what do you know,” Hilde remarked as she rested her chin on her hands. “The day’s looking up, after all.”
Hilde laughed as she heard an excited yelp from the direction of her friend’s office. “Well, looks like it’ll be just me this morning.” She shook her head in amusement as she prepared to take on another busy day at their budding bookstore.
The man grunted as he swaggered towards his eighteen-wheeler. He knew he shouldn't have imbibed that much alcohol, especially since it's not even evening yet, but he just couldn't resist. The smell of the alcohol was just too enticing.
Screw the metal scraps.
Just as well, he's on his way to deliver those huge logs to the construction site, anyway, so there's no need to worry.
The engine roared to life, and he gave out a delighted laugh. He's such a superman. All drunk, and yet, he could still drive. Now, now... but why are there two's of everything? Oh, well. It must have been an optical illusion of some sort.
He had to get these metal scraps to the site, or else, he'd lose his job.
He wouldn't want that to happen, right?
It was shining, just like a saving grace.
Duo chattered happily as he tucked his cellular phone between his cheek and shoulder, grabbed the Zero CD with one hand and drove with the other.
"It's a good day, after all, Hil!" Duo exclaimed. "We closed the deal with the builders, we're on our way to becoming the most well-loved bookstore in Tokyo, plus I got my Zero CD!"
Hilde laughed on the other end of the line. "Yeah, yeah. I'm happy, too. Most popular bookstore, you said? I know you can do it. I'll be with you all the way, my friend!"
"I only have one more wish, then afterwards, I can die in happiness," Duo said with a sunny smile as he took a left turn on a one-way street. The street was isolated, unlike all others, but Duo paid it no heed.
"And what would that be?"
"I wish I could see Heero Yuy one more time," Duo said with a soft smile. "Spend some time with him, maybe. That way, maybe I'd find out why I'm so drawn to him since day one. I want to get to know him. I want to be with him." He opened the CD case with one hand and took away the flap which contained the lyrics of the songs, plus the band members' pictures and dedications. He skipped the other band members and turned to the page where Heero’s picture was.
The man was tall- bronze-skinned with a powerful, yet compact build which made him look like a Greek god. His blue eyes were so sharp and cold, they seemed frozen, like ice. His deep chocolate brown hair was tousled with the long, unforgiving bangs almost covering his eyes, giving him a mysterious, bad-boy aura. His black leather top was torn at the sleeves, giving him the look of a punk. Black were his pants as well, and his boots were shiny against what seemed like the studio lights. To top it all off, a leather choker with a silver cross embedded at the center adorned the rocker's slender neck. A dark blue electric guitar was slung around his shoulder. Heero Yuy's dedication was short, as always, but Duo was struck speechless when he saw what was written there.
/For you- and the things that could have been, if only I took your hand, once so long ago./
Chills ran down Duo's spine then, and for a moment, he was utterly quiet. Could it be that the guitarist constantly thinks of him, as well? If so, then what would you call it? Fate? Destiny? Soulmates?
What was he thinking of, anyway? To whom did Heero Yuy dedicated that message for? Slim chance that it could be him. After all, he's the not the only one who offered a hand to Heero. There were many others... Millions, gazillions, maybe. But still...
"Duo? Are you still there?" Hilde's impatient voice snapped over the line. "Oi, I think you should drop your phone /and/ the CD now. In case you've forgotten, you're driving."
Duo shook his head and laughed uneasily. "Yeah, you're right. Anyway, I'll see you tomorrow, Hil. Congratulations to us!"
"Yeah. Bye! Take care, now, would you?"
"Yes, I will. Bye." Duo closed his phone with a snap and concentrated on the road. His heart was heavy, though, upon seeing that message. He truly wanted to see that man again- only to appease his heart, if not to find out why he's having such feelings since way back when.
Once again, he took his eyes off the road and it landed on the picture of Heero Yuy.
"I wish I could see you."
"What the-" the bulky man cursed as he made another sharp turn, yet again. The brakes won't work. He was pretty sure he checked it the day before, and it was doing fine.
Another sharp turn brought him to a narrow, isolated street. He tried stepping on the brakes again, but the truck won't stop.
He never noticed the one-way sign perched on the pavement.
He did notice, though, the black sedan advancing towards him. Suddenly, all traces of alcohol left his bloodstream. Sobriety shot through his mind, sharp and swift as a bullet. Suddenly, fear so great gripped his heart. There was no way around this catastrophe, and it was his fault.
'Oh my Lord,' he thought. 'Please save us all.'
It was a day like all others, and yet, it was not.
His dream is on its way to becoming a reality. He closed the deal with his builders, and the renovations he had seen only in his wildest dreams are well on their way to becoming reality. He had his best friend to back him up, too. His mother just gave him a call to ask how the meeting had been, and she'd been delighted to hear the news. She was going to pray for him, she said. It was a fine day, in the least. To top it all off, he has with him now the latest album of the number one band in all of Sanc.
Maybe he could learn to like Relena, too, just not in the way she’d hoped.
And if he allowed himself to fantasize, he might have been the one whom Heero Yuy dedicated the album to.
He's going to celebrate this wonderful day with a warm, luxurious bath tonight. With his rubber ducky, of course.
He was so deep in his thoughts; he really didn't notice the loud honk reverberating from the eighteen-wheeler truck advancing towards his car in a furious pace.
It was too late when he noticed, though.
Nothing could be done anyway. It was as if the collision was written in the stars. The street was too narrow, and even if he did stop his car, the truck wouldn't.
It advanced towards him, speeding towards him like a furious avenger.
It happened in a split-second.
Suddenly, all he could think about was the searing pain.
Suddenly, all he could see was red.
Suddenly, all he could feel were shards of glass puncturing his skin.
And his life flashed before his eyes.
And his friends and family's faces disappeared from his grasp.
And his dream flew out of his hands.
And the last thing he saw before everything became black, was Heero Yuy's intense blue stare.
And then there was nothing.
It was a day like all others-
and yet, it was not.
- Current Location:ze batcave
- Current Mood: awake
- Current Music:Fahrenheit - I Really Like You