Sometimes it’s just too late


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 once more.

 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 behind him.

”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.”

 “I know.”

 “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... that-”

 “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 him most.”

 “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 have known.”

 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 stepping back.

  “You 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 chance?”

 “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 another chance?”

 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.

     ~little princess


Back home