Memory and Future
by Orla
A sequel to ‘Kimi no Koto wa Itsudemo Mamoru’
Rated PG for language

***

Disclaimer: Gundam Wing and the characters are not mine. I'm only
borrowing them and I promise to return them in one piece! ^_~

***

//Here in the night
I see the sun
Here in the dark
Our two hearts are one
It's out of our hands
We can't stop what we have begun
And love just took me by surprise
Looking through your eyes//
[Looking Through Your Eyes by LeAnn Rimes]

Part 6

***

Heero opened his eyes a fraction and then shut them quickly as the morning light stabbed into his skull. He felt terrible; as if Wing Zero was jumping up and down on his head. His mouth felt fuzzy and as he moved to sit up his stomach did a triple flip. Groaning softly, Heero sank back onto the pillows and prayed for a self destruct switch.

"Ooh..." Hilde's voice hit his tortured ears and he felt the soft, cool touch of her hand stroking his forehead. "I knew you were going to feel like this."

Heero frowned slightly. The last thing he vaguely remembered was falling onto the couch and then Duo... His eyes opened fully and he struggled upright despite the pain and nausea. "I'm in bed..." he said.

Hilde smiled. "Yes. Duo helped me to carry you up the stairs last night. You were _very_ drunk."

"Duo?"

"Uh-huh, he and Relena stayed overnight." Hilde swung out of bed, answering Shinobu who was starting to whimper in his cot.

"Is he alright?" Heero asked anxiously.

"Duo's fine... oh, you meant Shinobu!" Hilde picked up the baby and rocked him. "He's just hungry, aren't you sweetpea?" Shinobu gurgled in response and Hilde kissed him. "Now why don't we let Papa die quietly and get you fed, hmmm?" She shot Heero a mischievous glance.
He grimaced and closed his eyes.

"Ha ha." He muttered and sighed. Lying back on the pillow, Heero listened to the soft sounds of his son enjoying breakfast. The peace eased his aching head and the nausea subsided.

"GOOD MORNING!" Duo yelled cheerfully from the doorway where he stood, smirking at Heero. "How's the head, pal?"

Heero glared at him. "Omae o korosu." he snarled.

"Now, now... is that anyway to talk to the man who has the cure to your pain in his hands?" Duo's eyes continued to mock Heero. He held up a full glass and moved over to set it on the table. "But for now, I'll ignore your rudeness Heero, and just give you the patented Maxwell hangover cure."

Heero eyed the substance in the glass suspiciously. "It looks like green goop." He said flatly and Duo affected a hurt expression.

Hilde glanced over and laughed. "Not _that_ stuff!" she cried. "Duo, it tastes awful!"

"It's not that bad." Duo protested. "And I've improved the recipe... added a couple of things to make it taste _alot_ better."

Hilde was disbelieving. "Heero, I warn you, that `goop' does work but after tasting it you may wish you hadn't tried it." She gently burped Shinobu. "Is Relena awake?"

Duo nodded. "She's in the kitchen, having breakfast... or she was. For some reason her appetite went while I was making the cure."

Heero's eyebrows twitched slightly at this information, but he said nothing.

Hilde shook her head. "Poor Relena, why am I not surprised?" She smiled at the two men. "I'm going to see if I can't tempt her to eat more and cook up something for the two of you as well. Please try to keep the blood out of the carpet, Heero... it's so hard to get the stains out!"

Blowing her husband a kiss, Hilde left. Duo perched on the edge of the bed and grinned at Heero. "Ignore her, I swear that this works!" He assured Heero who was still silently regarding him.

"Hn." Heero sat up, wincing at little as his throbbing head protested. "I believe you, but I also believe Hilde when she says your concoction is disgusting." He picked up the glass and sniffed the contents.

Duo leaned forward. "Well, I can one hundred percent guarantee that it's not poisoned." He met Heero's eyes. "I'm well passed those thoughts."

"I know." Heero said, and he meant it. Things would never be quite the same between them, but the air of bitterness was gone from Duo and Heero no longer had a feeling of angry wariness towards the other man.

With a slight smile, Heero raised his glass and drank the contents down in one gulp. The next thing he knew, he was on his back and gasping as a bitter, burning taste tore down his throat.

Oops, looks like I made that a bit too strong." Duo muttered. "Sorry about that."

Heero wheezed. "S-sorry?!" He swallowed and then lunged for the other man. "I _am_ going to kill you!" he cried with conviction, his fingers flexing in anticipation.

Duo scrambled out of the way, protesting loudly. "Hey! Hey! It wasn't intentional, Heero! And besides... aren't you feeling better now anyway?'

"I am not..." Heero paused and assessed his position. He was standing upright, the floor wasn't moving, his head wasn't aching and, apart from the awful taste in his mouth, he actually did feel fine. "Huh. It _did_ work." He blinked in astonishment.

Duo looked smug. "See? I told ya!"

"Don't push your luck Maxwell." Heero grabbed a towelling robe. "I concede that your cure worked, apart from initially making me feel as if I'd been blown up again!"

Duo raised an eyebrow. "Is Heero Yuy making a joke?" He queried and was glared at as Heero walked into the ensuite, firmly shutting the door behind him.

With a shrug and a chuckle, Duo left the bedroom and wandered back downstairs. How long had it been since he last teased Heero like that? Long enough to almost forget how enjoyable it was to dice with death.

The sound of feminine laughter filtered out from the kitchen and Duo peeked around the door to see Relena and Hilde talking. Hilde darted around, fixing breakfast for four, while Relena sat at the table holding Shinobu in her arms. Duo smiled at the picture she made. The sunlight hit Relena's hair in such a way that it glowed and complimented the tender expression on her face as she looked down at the baby.

Duo's breath caught in his throat and he frowned, disturbed by the emotions he was feeling. He decided not to interrupt the two women and silently slipped away from the door and into the living room.

There was little trace of last night’s party, Duo and Relena had helped Hilde to clear up after the guests had gone, and Duo's steps were unimpeded as he mooched around, glancing at things. He made his way to the mantelpiece that was liberally decorated with cards from well wishers and photographs that Hilde had put there.

Heero and Hilde's wedding portrait held pride of place, although Duo suspected that photos of Shinobu would soon replace it. On either side of the wedding portrait were separate photographs of Heero and Hilde. Heero was astonishingly relaxed in his, a smile graced his lips and
there was a glow in his eyes. Looking at the date, Duo calculated that the photo had been taken not long after Heero and Hilde fell in love. He grimaced slightly, he remembered that euphoric feeling when you were in the first throes of a love that was equally returned by the other person. Abruptly, Duo turned away from the photos. He didn't want to spoil the renewal of his friendship with Heero and Hilde by dwelling on his own disappointment.

"Are you still angry?" Heero stood in the doorway, his hair slightly damp from his shower. Despite his surprise, Duo couldn't help smiling, it was so typical of Heero to be so quick to get ready even when it wasn't necessary.

"Are you still angry?" Heero repeated himself. His tone was flat but there was an edge of concern in his eyes. Duo shook his head.

"No, not angry..." He searched for a word to express the emotions he felt. "I suppose... I just.. I'm, well, _resentful_ more than anything else."

"Resentful?" Heero mulled this over.

"Of the life you and Hilde have." Duo explained. "I didn't realise how much... family... meant to me. You have what I want most, and it's not simply Hilde that I'm talking about." He looked away from Heero's face, embarrassed at how bare he was leaving his soul, yet at the same time there was an overwhelming feeling of relief.  "Does that sound so crazy, Heero?"

"No." Heero's expression relaxed and he smiled slightly. "For a long time I didn't realise what having a proper family meant to me. I am lucky, I know that."

Duo glanced back at him. "I'm glad that you know that," he said softly. "Because you won't make the same mistakes I did..."

Heero frowned. "If we had not believed that you were dead then perhaps things would have been different." He corrected the other man. "I never meant to love Hilde, just as you never expected to end up with Relena."

Duo laughed. "Saying `what if' never really helps, Heero! Look... I can't pretend to be thrilled, but I've accepted things now and I _do_ feel happier when I know that you care so much for Hilde. Besides I..." He stopped abruptly and stared wildly at his friend as Heero's last few words registered. "What do you mean by `end up with Relena'?"

Heero was completely expressionless as he replied. "I meant that you've ended up as her bodyguard and good friend." He said blandly. "What did you think I was saying?"

Duo flushed slightly. "N-nothing." He said, but his eyes were still a little wild. "Um... y'think Hilde's finished breakfast?" He asked and hurried out of the living room.

Heero raised his eyebrows. Interesting reaction, perhaps Hilde wasn't imagining things after all.

***

"Of _course_ I'm not imagining it!" Hilde argued later that evening when Duo and Relena had departed. "I know Duo, I know Relena and I know the signs. They're really attracted to each other but they're refusing to considered it." She huffed. "It's very frustrating!"

"Are you proposing to play matchmaker?" Heero asked suspiciously.

Hilde leaned on the table, cupping her chin in her hands. "It's a tempting prospect." She said. Heero frowned and Hilde laughed. "But I won't." she assured him. "I'm not any good at it... as proven when I was trying to put you and Relena together."

Heero laughed suddenly. "That was more due to me than you." He said, moving over to her and putting his arms around her shoulders. Hilde made a happy little sound and leaned against him. She liked it very much when Heero was unexpectedly demonstrative.

"It's just that I want Duo and Relena to be happy." She murmured.

"For their sake or to assuage your own feelings of guilt?"

Hilde sighed. "A bit of both." She confessed. "I do still feel bad that I hurt Duo so much, even though I _know_ it isn't really something I can do much about and..." She twisted and put her arms around Heero's neck. Looking up at him, she smiled. "I really don't want to change the outcome in any way!"

"Good." Heero said, his smile matching her own. He kissed her and for a brief moment, Duo and Relena were forgotten. When they parted, Hilde looked thoughtful.

"Of course, the way Duo and Relena are messing about, it's going to take a big shock for both of them to admit their feelings." She shook her head. "And I hope it doesn't come to that."

***

Duo leaned back in his seat and stretched out his legs. One of the best things about working for the Vice-Foreign Minister was, in his private opinion, the degree of comfort that she and her staff
travelled in. No more was he crammed into narrow and uncomfortable seats, squashed in with a bunch of other equally uncomfortable people. He turned to remark about this to Relena, perhaps even make something humorous out of it, but the words died unspoken when he looked at her.

Relena was reading through a long speech, her lips vibrated slightly and he knew that she was softly running though the speech. Duo regarded her, admiring the strength and resolution that he saw, but also concerned that Relena was once again burying herself in work. She blinked and looked up, glancing over at him. Their eyes met and held. Relena smiled and Duo was immediately aware that her smile was making his heart leap oddly.

"I'm glad that we went to see Heero and Hilde." Relena said suddenly. "It was something that we both needed to do, don't you think?"

Duo squashed the emotions surging within him and nodded. "Yeah." He ran a hand through his bangs. "It certainly helped me close a few doors... and reopen something I thought was lost forever." He grinned. "I take it that you and Hilde had a good heart to heart?"

"Yes," Relena flushed slightly. "Although Hilde seemed to think that you and I..." She looked away. "Well, anyway... it's good that everything is settled."

Duo leaned forward slightly. "What did Hilde think about us?" He asked, trying to sound casual, but also vaguely aware that the answer was very important to him.

Relena's cheeks were very pink and she fumbled slightly with her speech. "Oh... well, it was silly really... but she seemed to think that there is something... romantic between us." She laughed nervously. "I said it was silly, after all... we're just friends!"

Duo slumped slightly in his chair. "Yeah... just friends." He mumbled. He had said as much to Heero, but somehow that didn't make him feel any better. He rubbed his eyes; damnit... he couldn't be falling in love with Relena Darlian!


Go ON to PART SEVEN

Go BACK to the Gundam Wing fanfiction index