watched his reflection as he worked on his hair. He occasionally had to wipe the
mirror clean of condense, for he had just gotten out of a good, hot shower. When
his hair was finally brushed he divided into three equal strands it and started
braiding, a handling he was so used to that he was sure he could do it neatly
even if he did it asleep. His hands moved the strands automatically as he
studied his face and upper body.
He really cherished his hair. The other pilots had frequently asked him why he kept it so long and he had always given them the same reply –because it reminded him of his past. They had taken it the wrong way, though. Wufei had snorted, asking why he wanted to remember his past he wanted to forget. Trowa and Heero hadn't reacted much at all –just an acknowledgement from the unibanged boy and a silent look from the perfect soldier– and Quatre had started asking many more questions Duo didn't feel he was ready to answer yet. Sure, these pilots were his partners, but until the war ended, he could not afford to actually become friends, right?
a while, the braided boy's gaze shifted to the reflection of his chest. There
were four scars there, one ugly, thick one and three faded. He remembered the
stories behind each of them, two of the faded ones had come from oz-torture.
They had a knife so thin, that every time it cut your skin, it gave the same
feeling as that of a paper cut in your finger. They had given him so many cuts,
drawing just a little bit of blood every time, but Duo hadn't given them the
satisfaction of a sound. It wasn't until they had left that Duo had broken broke
down, sobbing quietly. The two cuts that had left scars were the result of the
soldier losing his patience with him.
other faded scar had happened when he was young and had been trying to get away.
He didn't remember what he had stolen anymore, but he had run into a fence and
had to climb over it. Somebody had grabbed his leg to try and pull him back so
he had to make some moves to get free. The scar marked the place where his skin
had been torn open because of something sharp that had stuck out of the fence.
ugly, thick one stood out clearly, Duo hated that. He had gotten it in a
one-on-one fight with an oz-soldier when escaping. It was too close range for
the other one to use his gun so he had gone for the knife instead. He had
plunged it into Duo who had gone practically mad at that and had ended up
killing the guy with his own knife...
sighed. Those memories were not pretty ones.
was why his braid was so important to him. It reminded him not only of the bad
times, but the better times as well. How he used to laugh with Solo when people
were looking for a girl, how sister Helen came in every morning to braid his
hair, how she always patted his head after she was done, telling him to be a
good boy today... It reminded him of the people who had loved him, cared for him,
but most of all, it reminded him of what he was capable of.
the Maxwell church had burned down he had sworn that, unless he would find that
person his heart belonged to, he would never, ever let anyone see him with his
hair loose. And up till now he had been capable of keeping that vow.
tied a towel around his waist, knowing that was probably not necessary. Most
likely, his stoic roommate who went by the code name 'Heero Yuy' would be
sitting at his laptop; typing away God knew what that boy was typing.
braided boy sighed and put his grin in place, before he opened the door and
stepped into the room he shared with mister-perfect-soldier. First thing Duo did
was scan the room, just out of habit, making sure he was safe for now. Nothing
seemed out of order, the door was closed, window closed, the two beds were made,
Duo had a pair of clothes spread out on the bed, his priest outfit he was going
to wear today. Heero Yuy was sitting at the desk –surprise, surprise– with
his laptop, noticing him, acknowledging him as no threat and ignoring him
grin widened. "Hiya Heero!" He said cheerful as he made his way over to the
stoic boy, "What'cha doin' this time, buddy?" He glanced at the screen, or at
least tried to, but the moment his hand came in contact with the other boy's
shoulder, Heero hit the hand away and glared at his roommate. Duo knew that look
and he knew he had to keep his distance. But that didn't mean he couldn't
continue annoying the boy, right? He backed off and walked over to his bed while
the perfect soldier returned his attention to the computer.
pretended to be offended by the other pilot's reaction. "Aw, c'mon Heero, you're
no fun, you know. I'm only trying to make buddies with you!" Duo glanced in the
direction of his roommate and was satisfied when he saw his back turned to him.
He took the towel from his waste and started dressing himself. "How in the world
are we gonna complete missions together successfully if I don't know who I'm
working with, huh? I'm just trying to get to know you and you seem pretty
interested in your laptop so I shouldn't I be as well? You don't have to..."
that point he was interrupted by a lout grunt. "Shut up, baka." The stoic boy
sighed inwardly as he put on the top of his priest outfit and tried to get the
long braid out from under it safely, without messing it up too much.
call me that, I got a name, you know, one I enjoy very much, one that is
sufficient as well, besides, it's shorter than baka so if you're typing a report
it would go faster to type Duo than to type baka... But then again, you probably
type 02 instead of a name, don't you?" Duo started with his pants now. "Yeah,
people tend to do that, doctors do that too, giving us numbers instead of names.
A name should be something given to you by others, something you can cherish,
something you know you are remembered by. I gave myself my own name, ya know. I
already told ya before how I got my first name. Hell, knowing you, you've
probably researched my whole past so you already know all the shit I'm tellin'
ya. That way you don't have to listen to my ramblings."
sat down and started working on his footgear. His voice was still overly cheery
as he continued his talking, even though he didn't feel like that at all.
not completely true, though, that I chose my whole name. When I lived at the
Maxwell orphanage, father Maxwell once made me a big wooden nametag, carved my
name in it with a knife, said I could hang above my bed. I couldn't read well at
that time and father Maxwell refused to say what it said. He just said that the
sooner I learned how to read, the sooner I would know. Yeah, that man knew what
to do to get me stimulated for such things as studying. I was really surprised
when I could read and I read 'Duo Maxwell'. No one had ever bothered giving me a
last name before. Called myself just that ever since!" Completely dressed now,
Duo got off the bed and walked back to the boy who was staring at his computer,
typing something now and than. "Sooo, Hee-chan, I'm just gonna have to punish
you now. For every time you call me 'baka' I get to call you Hee-chan twice!
The other pilot just went on ignoring Duo and the braided boy finally decided he had enough. He walked out of the room and closed the door behind him, only to fall back and lean against it. "Who am I kidding," he murmured, "He doesn't listen anyway, it's not like he cares." He sighed deeply before he pushed himself away from the door and started down the hall.
pushed in the security code before he entered the safe house. He was glad to be
back, the mission had taken a lot from him. Though he was not hurt that badly
this time, he was dead tired and all he really wanted to do was go to sleep. He
didn't even think he would make it to bed if he were to take a shower before
going to sleep. He couldn't go to bed yet, though, he had to inform Heero and
Wufei of 'mission completed' first.
and Quatre were in another safe house. All five of them together only made them
like cattle. Oz was pretty dangerous these days and they couldn't risk all of
them being captured at once. At least this way, if they somehow managed to catch
onto them, some would survive to continue fighting.
sat on the couch with a book in his lap. He was staring at it, though Duo
noticed he wasn't reading anything. He probably expected the braided pilot to
burst into chatter and make him loose his concentration anyway. No luck for the
Chinese boy tonight, though.
leaned against the doorframe and when he didn't speak up immediately, Wufei did
it for him. "Status?"
accomplished." Duo grinned as he tiredly stuck a thumb up. Wufei made a sound of
acknowledgement, but never lifted his head to actually look at his fellow pilot.
"Where's Heero?" Duo asked finally.
on a mission yesterday."
The braided one wondered. "Haven't heard him say anything about it."
in right after you left." Was the only explanation Wufei offered.
Duo pushed himself from the doorframe and started heading for the stairs. "Well,
I'm off to bed. Man, those newby Ozzies sure can run, ya know. One almost
managed to match my speed."
didn't comment on that, but Duo didn't really mind. He shuddered at the memory
of the mission. The shinigami in him had wanted to kill them all there and then,
but his common sense had told him there were too many on his trail. He'd had to
loose a couple if he'd wanted to have a chance of making it out of there alive.
Luckily for him those soldiers had just been transferred there and they hadn't
had a chance to get to know that city all that well yet. It had given Duo the
advantage since he had purposely left early to explore the city for possible
hideouts. He still couldn't avoid killing some of those bastards, though, and he
had to leave that same night before Oz was organised enough to comb out the city
in order to find him.
but content Duo retreated into the room he shared with Heero. At least now he
didn't have to worry about that boy keeping him from his much needed sleep with
the noise his fingers made on the laptop.
turned on the light and started taking off his blue coat, dropping it to the
floor right where he stood. He would wash his clothes tomorrow or something, he
didn't feel up to it now.
pilot turned over to his bed but then he stopped moving. He squinted his eyes as
he concentrated them on the object on his pillow. Slowly he made his way over
there and picked the rectangle piece of wood up. It was about as big as his
stretched-out hand and seemed to once have been part of a plank or a board.
Something was carved in it, but his shadow was blocking the light so he couldn't
read it. He turned on the lamp on his bedside and used the light source to read
the neatly carved letters. He gasped as he realised it read his own name.
He stood there for a moment, staring at the objects as if he saw burning water, but when he moved his fingers he felt some grooves on the other side as well. He turned the object over to read what was carved into the other side and his eyes went wide as he made out the three words.
I do care
couldn't help but smile at the wonderful gift he had been given. The other pilot
had no idea just how much this meant to him. He placed the object under his
pillow, next to the knife he kept there, determined to keep this peace of
treasure with him for a long, long time.
smiled at the object once more before he placed his pillow back. Then he sighed
and headed for the bathroom. He wasn't going to sleep anytime soon anyway.
Despite his determination not to, he felt like for the first time in a long
while he had a friend again, however stoic the boy was.
he loved that feeling.
~ The End~