Disclaimer: Gundam Wing and the characters are not mine. I’m only
borrowing them and I promise to return them in one piece! ^_~
//Light a candle,
Lay flowers at the door
For those who’re left behind
And the ones who’ve gone before
Here it comes now,
Sure as silence follows rain
The taste of you upon my lips
The fingers in my brain
Every gentle, as it kills me
where I lay.
Who am I to resist?
Who are you to fail?
Got to get you out
of my mind,
But I can’t escape from the feeling.
As I try to leave the memory behind
Without you what’s left to
Could be so sorry,
for the way it had to go
But now I feel your presence
in a way I could not know
And I wonder,
do you ever feel the same?
In whispering darkness,
do you ever hear my name?//
(Out of My Mind ~ Duran Duran)
The half-empty whiskey bottle wobbled as Duo put it back down on the table. He stared at it for a while... watching it tremble and listening to the music trickle through his half-soaked brain. The bottle lost the war with gravity and toppled over, spilling its liquid contents across the wood surface and onto the floor.
“Shit.” He said quietly, but he made no move to clear it up. As he watched some of the alcohol soaked the edges of the small card that was responsible for the existence of the whiskey. Duo moved slowly forward and, with shaking fingers, he plucked up the card and stared at it.
The card was small and had scalloped edges. The simple lettering flowed across the surface, and he gently traced the embossed lettering and murmuring the words to himself.
“You are... cordially invited... to the wedding of Heero Yuy and...” He choked slightly. “Hilde... Schbeiker...”
But it wasn’t really those words that hurt the most. What Duo found painful was Hilde’s little message at the bottom, the one that reiterated her words to him of two months ago: *’We’ve shared to much to sever all ties... I don’t want to lose your friendship, Duo.’*
“You lied to me, Hildey,” Duo whispered harshly. “You said my hurt would lessen... you _lied_!”
The door to Duo’s apartment suddenly flew open and slammed against the wall. Startled he. “Oh... hi, Princess...”
“Where have you BEEN?” Relena Darlian demanded as she walked inside. “The Conference started and you were supposed to be...” her angry words trailed away as she took in Duo’s haunted face and the spilled whiskey. Her eyes softened and she bit her lip. “Duo... what happened?”
Duo held up the soggy invitation. “The mail arrived jus’ as I was leavin’.” He told her. “There was this lil invitation.”
“I didn’t realise that it would get here so soon...” She whispered.
Duo pushed himself to his feet and regarded her, swaying slightly. “You _knew_ already!” He accused her.
Relena nodded slowly. “Dorothy called and told me yesterday that they had set a date.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
Relena flipped her long pony-tail back and fixed him with a hard look. “Because I knew you’d hit the roof!” She pointed to the whiskey bottle. “Duo... you’re drunk! You’ve been drinking since you opened that invitation haven’t you?!”
Duo glowered at her and turned away. “I’m _not_ drunk.” He insisted and promptly walked into the wall instead of through the doorway to his bedroom.
Relena’s lips twitched. “Sure, you’re not.”
Duo rolled off the wall and into his bedroom, mumbling expletives as he went.
Relena sighed. The past two months had been very hard on Duo. He did his duty as a bodyguard for Relena, but there was no life in his eyes. At first Relena offered him a shoulder to cry on and listen patiently to his wild ranting about Heero and Hilde. However, even Relena had her limits and she started to get angry with Duo and told him so. Strangely enough, this seemed to pull Duo out of his self-imposed gloom. In the last week his old humour started to return and from all appearances he was beginning to accept his life and the prospect of Heero and Hilde together.
“But it only takes one little thing to bring reality crashing down on you.” Relena murmured. She sighed again and grabbed a cloth from the kitchen to start mopping up the spilled whiskey. She dabbed gingerly at the carpet, wrinkling her nose as the fumes assaulted her. “Ugh... this place is going to smell like a still!”
“Well, we won’t be around to worry about it for the next few days.”
Relena looked up and saw Duo slouching in his bedroom doorway. He looked slightly sheepish and was fiddling with his braid.
Standing up, Relena folded her arms. “Does this mean that you _want_ to go to the wedding?” She asked cautiously.
Duo slouched even further. “It’s not a question of wanting to go,” he said. “But I think that I _should_ go. Maybe this wedding will be the thing that gives me a kick up the rear and helps me move on.”
*Or causes you even more pain* Relena thought and frowned. “Well, you might be right.”
Duo crossed over to her and pulled her hands into his. He looked intently into her face. “Oi, oi... you _were_ intending to go, right? I’m not pushing you into something you don’t want to do?”
“Oh... yes, I’m going,” she told him quickly. “You know it’s different for me, Duo. Heero and I never... committed ourselves like you and Hilde did.”
“Yeah, but you still love him.” Duo said and Relena winced at his use of the present tense. “Relena... “ Duo squeezed her hands, headless of the wet cloth she held. “You’ve been a real friend, and I don’t know if I can ever pay you back...”
“I don’t want payment!” Relena said firmly. “Duo, I _want_ to help you!” She attempted to lighten the mood by smiling slightly and joking. “Besides, I’m doing everyone a big favour by keeping the God of Death from going on a rampage!”
Duo grinned at her use of his old name. “Yeah, well... if you only knew how many nights I’ve dreamt of going up against Heero in Deathscythe and...” he coughed and stopped as Relena’s eyebrows shot up. “Er... yeah... well...”
Relena’s eyes searched his. “Do you still hate him that much?” She asked softly.
Duo didn’t answer but his eyes spoke eloquently.
“Duo...” Relena took in a deep breath and let it out slowly before proceeding. “You and Heero used to be so close... perhaps while you’re mending the bridges between you and Hilde, you could give some thought to closing the gulf between you and Heero?”
Duo was silent and then he sighed. “I-I don’t know if that’s possible...”
“Can’t you try?” Relena pushed him. “You both shared so much, and you were friends despite your differences. Surely you don’t want to let that go?”
“I don’t know.” Duo repeated. He shrugged. “Maybe when I stop wanting to smash his face in when I see him THEN we could... communicate.”
Relena dropped the subject. She had done her best and planted the idea in Duo’s mind. The rest was up to him... and Heero.
Go ON to PART ONE
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