I am strong. I donít say that just because my ego is larger than the moon. I say it because itís true. I mean, if I wasnít strong, I would have broken under the strain of this war by now. I would have turned to a quivering mass of flesh when the Maxwell Church burned to the ground with everyone in it. I might have even lost my mind when Heero blew up his gundam and himself into the next dimension.
So, Iím strong. I can live through damn near anything, it seems. Physically, Iím not the stellar example of strength, but hell, emotionally, I must be the proverbial rock. Rock made from gundanium or something. In my short fifteen years of breathing and living, I have yet to break. The death of my closest childhood friend and mentor didnít break me. Seeing the burnt and mangled bodies of Father Maxwell didnít break me. Sister Helenís last blessing did not break me. Heeroís near death did not break me.
Thatís why I have to wonder why it is that Iím crying right now. I wonder, why the hell am I close to losing it?
Because of one stupid small thing. Because of words. Because Heero Yuy, the perfect soldier himself, told me he loved me.
And meant it.
Yeah, Iím strong, but as soon as those words were out of Heeroís mouth, I ran like hell and hid. Heero wonít find me anytime soon, I doubt that heís even looking. But damn it, here I am with tears on my face and my mind about to break under the strain.
The strain of being loved is worse than anything I can think of at this point in time.
Itís one thing to watch people die. Everyone, even those you care about deeply, die one day. Itís a fact of life. However you go, you go. Death is the one constant, the one thing that everyone can share. Iím Shinigami, right? Death is a friend of mine. As horrible as death is during war and as terrible as death can be during peace, it is what it is. I got used to it.
That makes me somewhat callous, I know, but Iíve seen too many dead people and made too many people dead to really cry over it anymore. Iíve accepted it. Death happens.
But love. The kind Heero spoke of. It is not a constant. It is a wildly fluctuating thing that no one quite understands. Iíve known other kinds of love, of course. You love your friends. I loved Solo like a brother. You love your family. I loved Father Maxwell and Sister Helen like they were my parents. You love your comrades. The other pilots are great. Those kinds of love are things everyone knows at some point in their lives.
But that love that poetry likes, the love that girls my age swoon over, the kind of love that people insist makes the world go around. That love does not happen. Not like death. Not everyone gets to experience it, bask in it. Not at all.
So when Heero said he loved me, as in ĎI am in love with youí, I ran. And slowly, I think my mind is breaking. All because he said he loved me.
Iím strong. Strength allows you to survive horrors in life. Abuse, death, pain, betrayal.. All those things can be overcome with strength. And I have. Love though isnít so easy. Strength isnít enough to overcome it, work around it or even ignore it.
All I have is my strength. And itís not enough to quell the frightening feeling deep in my stomach.
Heero Yuy loves me.
And I love him back.
And my mind cannot accept that. Itís too foreign, too strange. The nausea, the joy, any of it.
So I sit here in my little hiding place, crying like a lost child, my mind slowly unraveling because I donít have the strength to face love.
Funny thing is, Iím not afraid of love. I donít fear it. If I did, I could be strong and overcome the fear. Itís something deeper than fear. Something more frightening than being scared. Itís absolute awe.
Death takes all. It takes everything in the end. Everything ends. But love. Itís forever, right? Never ends, never begins, it just is.
So how am I supposed to face something so vast and incomprehensible? I am I supposed to have the strength to go up against something so beautiful and startling? How can I ever face love knowing that Iíll be lost somewhere inside forever, something that doesnít end?
The answer is, I donít. I canít.
Iím not strong enough for love. I donít have the strength to stand inside of love with my own two feet.
And so I cry more and I lose myself deeper and deeper into it.
But just before I slip into complete oblivion, there is a hand on my shoulder. A warm hand, soft yet calloused, strong yet delicate. Heero.
He silently takes me in a hug, letting me cry. I cling to him, thinking if I cling hard enough, I wonít lose my mind.
"I love you."
My mind slips a little more with his admission. I canít help it now.
"Let me be here for you."
I donít understand. I canít. Iím not strong enough.
"None of us are strong by ourselves, Duo. Let me support you."
And with that, the world opened up anew in bright colors.
He would support me. He would be strong when I could not. He would lend me his strength so I can stand again.
"You are my strength when I have none. Let me do that for you, too."
Iím going to let him. I know it. Iím not strong enough to face love by myself, but with Heero, with our combined strength, we may be strong enough to do it. We may have the strength to experience eternity.
The tears stop and my mind is at peace. Simply because Heero supported me.
Love. Iím not going to face it. Heero and I will do it together. And perhaps, somewhere within the loop of forever, weíll have the strength to journey through it.