The grey building looked gigantic from where he was
standing, at the foot of it. The dark clouds and the rain pouring down from them
only added to that impression of power, like it was saying that all that would
try and stand in its way would be crushed, or end up bowing down before it,
trembling in fear and begging for forgiveness. He felt so small and unimportant,
standing next to it and he realized that small and unimportant was all he was.
There had been a time once, where he had felt
big, back when he still fought for the colonies alongside of the other four
pilots, alongside of… him. When those times were over,
there came a time where he was not so big anymore, he wasn’t so naďve to
think he meant anything more to the world, but he knew he meant the world to one
single person. And that one person had meant the world to him.
He shivered, remembering those days,
remembering that they weren’t anymore. Every morning when he awoke, there was
that moment where he believed all of it to be a bad dream, just a nightmare,
nothing more. But then he’d feel beside him and he’d notice that his bed was
empty and his mind would painfully kick him back to reality, where he was alone
in that big cold bed while all he wanted to do was snuggle with his former lover
He sighed. Now was not the time to remember
that, he had something to do and standing there, outside, in the rain, safely
protected from the wet drops by his umbrella was not going to get him anywhere.
Gathering all the pieces of courage he’d gathered in
the past three months together, he started moving forward, trough the glass
doors, into the surprisingly small and dark entrance hall towards the elevator,
where he pushed the button for the fifth floor. There he got out and followed
the signs to the left, searching for door number 512. There he stood still, hand
raised to knock, hesitating.
He took a deep breath and let his knuckles
connect with the door, three times before he lowered his hand. He closed his
eyes, imagining what he would find behind the door. But when he heard someone
unlock it, he opened them again, to come face to face with those crystal-clear
blue eyes that had ones shone for him, for him alone.
“Duo?” His voice sounded shocked and a
bit raspy, as if he had a cold or something similar. His eyebrows drew down upon
recognizing his visitor, but soon enough that surprise was hidden behind that
stonewall he so easily seemed to rebuild around him.
There was a silence between them, in which
they seemed to measure each other, coming up with strategies they saw would fit
best judged on this first reaction. Then Duo spoke, unsure of what else to do.
“May I come in?” His voice was so
different than that from the apartment’s owner. His voice was soft and sweet,
though still masculine.
He was let through,
even got to enter the living room but he was not offered anything to drink or
even to take a seat. It was definitely not a good sign, though it was to be
expected after everything that had happened. The only reason he was let in was
most likely because the hallway of an apartments flat was not the right place to
discuss relationship’s issues, especially not when said issues involved sex.
Duo quickly scanned around and saw that though the
walls and floor covering were light, the main color of the furniture was black.
He didn’t get much time to take it in though, as his companion spoke up from
”Why are you here?”
Duo winced at the cold tone he held in his
voice, but turned to answer anyway. “I want to talk to you.”
“Why haven’t you contacted me? Did my
letters not arrive?”
The smaller man walked towards the black
cupboard and opened the top drawer, his movements followed by Duo’s eyes. He
rummaged trough it, took something out of it and closed it again. He turned
around and walked towards the table where he ungracefully dropped the collection
of white, unopened envelopes.
So that explained what had happened to his
e-mails and voice messages. Deleted without a second thought. That really hurt.
“Why didn’t you let me explain?” He
asked, doing his best to keep his voice steady.
The answer was just as cold as the whole
conversation had been so far. “What is there to explain?”
“That I am sorry, for one!”
The other man snorted. “And that is
supposed to make everything all right?”
“If you’d read those letters, it would
have explained why I acted so stupid. It would have explained that I didn’t
know what else to do or to think, if you’d opened them, you would’ve known
“That what? That you want me back?” The
tone in which those words were said cut across his heart like a razor blade so
thin. He closed his eyes in guilt, just so that for one moment he didn’t have
to see that stone-cold look on his face and instead could pretend that his eyes
were soft again, showing tender, showing care.
“Don’t you see? The whole world was
turned against us, both of us! I was scared, Heero, so I turned against you.”
He had to take a deep breath to calm himself. “I was wrong, I see that now and
I’d do anything, everything to take that back. My mind might have turned against you, Heero, but my heart never really
doubted you for one moment!”
Heero turned away from the table, away from
Duo as he clenched and unclenched his fist. “You’re right.”
Duo blinked. “What?”
“You’re right. The world was against both
of us. And that was just the reason we had to stick together.” He turned
around, but the amounts of pain and betrayal suddenly written across his face
scared Duo. He unconsciously took a step back as Heero continued to speak. “We
should have gotten through it together, you and
I. But the one person whom I still dared trust turned against me when I needed
“I was scared, Heero,” Duo tried to
reason, “and confused. I didn’t know what to do, I wasn’t thinking
straight, I’m sorry!”
“Just because of my sexual interest
doesn’t mean I would ever go as far as what was done to that girl! If
anything, you should have known that.” Even the perfect soldier’s voice
threatened to falter there.
At least now he was allowing his emotions to
show. So Duo tried again to apologize. “I dressed up for you, I pretended to
be young and weak and naďve and I let you control me. When I heard that you
were a suspect... You have no idea how scared I was. I-I really-
thought that maybe there was a chance that my imitation might just not be
enough for you. When they came for you, my ass was still red from the night
before. I was scared, Heero. Don’t you see?”
Heero took a deep breath to steady himself
and keep from yelling at his former lover. “I trusted you. I needed you to
trust me but you didn’t. Not even when I told you I was innocent. You should
Heero’s calm composure had given Duo a
chance to steady himself as well. “We had a fight on the night of the murder.
You left two hours prior to what the police report stated as the time of her
death. You came home in the middle of the night, drunk, bleeding and you refused
to tell me where you’d been. The bartender testified that you’d entered the
bar half an hour after the murder and that you were already bleeding. You were
recognized near the park at one time by a neighbor walking a dog. You had no
alibi, said you had been walking by yourself and I knew you were upset.” He
managed a small pause between each fact he named.
Heero glared, his anger rising again. If Duo
could play it that way, so could he. “The girl had serious wounds from the
cuts the branches made, showing clearly that she was
treated violently. She had been raped and even beaten to death, killed by a blow
to the skull I have never been anything but careful with you and I never
used anything on your head. Even when you said you trusted me I refused to do it
without your safe word. That should have been proof for you, Duo. That should have convinced you I would never want to harm anyone.”
“I knew that, I did! I knew you wouldn’t
harm me and you were so good, but god, Heero, I’ve seen you in the war, I’ve
seen you afterwards, I’ve seen how you had to pull every string to not just
loose yourself sometimes.”
Suddenly, Heero had enough. This foolishness
was getting them nowhere. He had made his decision months ago, when he was in
custody and Duo had testified against
him. Duo, whom he had always trusted, whom had been more than just a friend with
whom he had shared his darkest secrets, that same Duo had told the police of
their games, his fantasies, Duo’s submissions. Heero had never seen that
coming, but when it came, it had hit him hard. They had worked so hard together
to find their peace. All the trust he had put in Duo, all the trust he thought
Duo had put in him, all was gone with just that moment of doubt. Not even the
proof that he was innocent and the testimony of the one guilty or any of Duo’s
attempts to make up could bring that trust back to him.
He turned away so that he didn’t have to
look at Duo’s face. “Why are you still here.” He asked softly.
“I want to apologize.
I know I’ve hurt your trust, I should never have done that, I should
have listened to my heart instead of my mind and the minds of others.” He
paused a moment and Heero heard him step closer. Suddenly he felt a hand on his
shoulder and his whole body stiffened. But when the hand softly tried to turn
him back, he shook it off. Half expecting that hand to be back on his shoulder
within the second, he kept his body stiff until he heard Duo sighing and
didn’t deserve to be betrayed like that, I know that and you have no idea how
sorry I am. I am here to ask your forgiveness.”
“Forgiveness.” Heero said it as if he
wanted to taste the word. “Then what?”
“Then... whatever you want, Heero. We can
try again. From the beginning if we have to. We can do it together, Heero. I
know we can. We can get trough this, does the
soldier in you really allow you to give up what on we had just like that?”
‘Just like that?’ The words echoed in
Heero’s mind, ‘just like that’? He said it as if it were nothing, as if
what happened was no more than a misunderstanding about who would cook dinner, a
disagreement over what they were going to do this weekend. Maybe that was all it
was for Duo, but to Heero it meant a lot more. It meant that no matter what they
did, no matter how long they would take or how hard they would try, Heero would
always be haunted by that one event. He would always remember that moment where
Duo’s trust in him faded and he would know it could happen again.
Even if they got back together now, Heero
would never be able to trust Duo completely anymore. That was not what made a
relationship go, it would never work. Their entire being-together had been based
on either depending on or trusting each other or even both. Take one away and
the foundation for their relationship was gone. That was the harsh truth, no
matter how they both might hate it.
“It’s over, Duo.” Heero
stated clearly, his voice back to the emotionless voice. It was all he could do
to keep himself safe. He knew that going back, that trying again wouldn’t
work. It just couldn’t.
But Duo didn’t seem to accept it.
“That’s it?” He said, disbelieving and hurt. “You’re just gonna sit
back and give up? You’re not even giving me-giving us a second chance?”
Heero spun around and was glad Duo had kept
his distance or he was unsure of what he would have done. “Second chance? You
want a second chance?” He asked, disbelieving. “Where was my second chance
when I was in custody? Where was my second
chance when you were convinced I was guilty? If I’d been found guilty, if
I’d done my time, always denying, would you then have given me a second
“But you were innocent! I know that now,
the press knows it, the world knows it.”
Heero snorted inwardly. Sure, the press
printed his innocence, in a tiny article somewhere hidden at page 17 or so in a
paper that nobody bothered to read, only after Duo’s whole confession of their
sex-life had been printed in big words on the front page and had been told on
the news many times. In the meantime, Heero had lost his job, his face, his
friends and everything around him. But most of all, he had lost Duo.
He had been offered to get his old job back once he
was proven innocent, but Heero had refused, knowing that his colleagues would
never forget what had happened or what he preferred. How hard it had been to
find a place where he wasn’t immediately recognized, where he could get a job
without being persecuted, even though he was proven innocent.
When Heero didn’t answer, Duo tried another
thing. “Is there someone else? Is that it, Heero? Is that why you won’t come
back to me anymore?”
So now he doubted his capability of telling
the truth again? “No.” If only it were that simple. If he’d had someone
else he could have just said it and left it at that. But he was still far from
being over Duo. The thought of another relationship had never even come to his
mind yet! Did the braided one honestly think that lightly of him?
“Then why, Heero, why can’t you give me
Heero sighed. Why couldn’t Duo understand
it? “I just don’t love you anymore.”
That got Duo silent. “Don’t or
can’t?” he asked, voice wavering.
Duo looked at him as if trying to discover
something that could help him get his loved one back. But obviously he didn’t
find it as he finally closed his eyes, a pained expression on his face. “So
this is it then, huh?” He said when he reopened his eyes, not allowing any of
the tears to escape.
Heero walked to the door that connected the
living room with the hallway and held it open. Hesitating, Duo began to move
towards the front door, watched by Heero. But before he could disappear trough
it, he turned around, a last pleading look in his eyes. When Heero didn’t
return any emotions, he made his face a cold mask to hide behind.
“Goodbye, Heero.” He said just before he
turned to walk away.
Heero watched him step into the
elevator. “Fare well, Duo.” He whispered.
Heero watched trough the big window in his apartment as Duo exited the building, slumping in defeat. As his ex-lover walked to his car, he placed a hand over his heart where he once more felt that pain he had been feeling ever since that evening the cops had come to take him away. He squinted his eyes as the sun’s reflection on the car blurred his vision of Duo. He watched how the blue car entered the road and drove forward, getting smaller and smaller until it was completely out of sight. Heero’s heart was aching for the loss of his once lover and best friend, but he knew it was for the best. He really didn’t love him anymore.