pairing: 1+2+1
warning: very foul language and an unfavorable view of putting characters on a pedestal.

About Life
by Nazarri

I am a parentless child of poverty, homelessness, and war. My scars run deep and have forever decided my life. No fancy words can glamorize or paint a pretty picture of what has happened to me.

Like my fellow pilots, a "normal" life for me is nothing but a wasted fantasy that I will not indulge in. It is just something that others want to push on us to make them feel better about their own reality. Well, that is just too fucking bad. Our experiences are not here for anyone to piece together some piece of cute fluff that totally contradicts what we truly are.

What we went through is beyond most people's comprehension and no one else can truly understand. No one, no matter how well meaning his or her intentions might be. I am sorry if this upsets your sensibilities or twisted sense of romance, but that is the way it is. I will make no apologies for it.

Duo put down his pen and looked over the paper that contained his written thoughts. He frowned at his words and wondered silently if he really as angry as it sounded. But he was and he knew it. He had found that writing down his feelings helped him to express himself in a non-violent way.

But violence is what he needed. He was truly pissed-off this time.

Pushing himself away from the dingy gray metal desk, Duo made he way to the small window that looked out from his office into the salvage yard. It wasn't much, but it was his. At least it was honest hard work. A little dirt and grease never hurts anyone. And even if he would never truly be one of the "normal" everyday folk, he got to come in contact with them.

It was better than hanging around wealthy snobs. Duo didn't really think that much of people like that, his experiences with the rich and powerful were not positive. Among many other things, he could pin Solo's death on them. Greed and self-centered goals was the only thing that they knew. Quatre had been the only exception that he had ever met. He knew that Quatre was a true human; he had serious doubts about the others that he had met.

Duo was grateful for what he had. He worked hard for it. It also gave him a chance to work out his frustrations. Life and war was all that he had ever known. He constantly struggled with his own daemons, just like his fellow pilots did. They would never be normal or have normal life; it wasn't possible. Not after all the killing that they had done, unspeakable training methods that they were subjected to, or the horrors of backstabbing politics. The betrayal and stupidity didn't help either.

But some assholes would never let them be.

So when he saw the horrid articles written about he and his fellow pilots in a strange set of articles based on a "Where Are They Now…" theme, he was absolutely sick to his stomach.

The anger surged again and he felt himself loosing control.

He grabbed to stupid magazine from the table, twisting it is his hands as his fury grew.

He ran out into the middle of his salvage yard. The night lighting cooled his skin, but not his temper. Duo threw the paper to the ground and viciously pressed his booted heel into it. For good measure, he spit on it. That did nothing for him.

Furiously, he grabbed a large hunk of metal scrap, one that he would have never been able to pick up on his own under normal circumstances. He threw it across the yard with superhuman ease. "People Suck!" He screamed at the top of his lungs.

That helped, but it wasn't enough. What could possibly make up for the way the he, Heero, Trowa, Quatre, and Wufei were bastardized at every turn? He wanted to hurt something; he needed a physical release.

Duo tensed every muscle in his body, before screaming at the top of his lungs. "Leave us alone!"

He reached for another piece of metal, but he stopped cold when he saw movement out of the corner of his eye. He recognized the movement immediately as being Heero's.

Duo turned to face his long time partner; they hadn't seen each other in a few months. But Heero hadn't changed; he even wore the same old spandex and tank top. This comforted Duo is a strange way. He cocked his head to the side, "What brings you here?"

Heero shrugged lightly and took a small step forward. "I could feel your pain."

Duo swallowed hard. He looked down at his feet, feeling bad about unintentionally drawing Heero into his emotional needs. "You've always been a good friend."

"Just returning the favor."

"It's not a favor, Heero. It is a sacred honor between the five of us. Especially between you and I."

Heero nodded his understanding and sat on the ground. "You want to talk about it?" He purposefully gave Duo lots of room in case he needed to fling metal again.

"There isn't much to talk about, it just pisses me off, you know? They can fucking lie about us all they want and they will never be stopped. They can just keep on doing it because it sells! We sell! It's just another form of prostitution. Let's sell the Gundam pilots, their lives, and their dignity. They don't give a fucking damn about us!"

Heero said nothing, but nodded in agreement.

"Did you see what they hinted about her and me? Don't they know that she practically spit on me? I risked my life to save her precious ass and she showed nothing but contempt! Oh yes, that was a fine thank you! She can afford everything but basic manners. She does not even lower herself to speak to me! Makes it impossible for even friendship much less something more! What is wrong with people?"

"I'm sorry, Duo. No one ever said that life was fair. They obviously don't know anything about either of you."

"Well, Heero, they don't treat you much better. They don't fucking care! Not about the truth anyways!"

Heero shrugged.

Duo grabbed the offending documents and thrust them roughly in Heero's direction. Spit rolled off of the glossy pages. Heero did not reach for it.

"Do you see these articles that are written about her? You would think that her shit doesn't stink. Or that she actually saved the world, not you! Do they even know her? Have they ever spoken to her?"

Heero snorted at that. "No, that's what her spin-doctors are for. They do everything they can to control how she is seen. The masses are bullied into believing that she is this perfect princess that we should all adore."

"Perfect my ass! Why is it a bastardization to say that she is anything less than perfect? Why do we have to pretend that she isn't messed up! Especially since we are bastardized and treated so cruelly? But no, we can't say such things because it sheds a negative light on her. A fucking double standard, that is what it is!"

Duo looked down at the spit-covered publication, fury rose like bile in his throat. It wasn't right. It just wasn't. What gave anyone the right to be so callous toward them?

His body shook from the absolute anger the coursed through him. Like an exploding bomb, Duo put all of his weight into his swing and flung the magazine as far as he could into the darkness. "Fuck you!" he screamed at the uncaring universe.

"Why do you do this to yourself?" Heero asked only being vaguely curious. He was more interested in getting Duo to think rather than react.

"How can you take this so calmly?" Duo swiftly countered with a hiss.

"We cannot control what these people write about us. Getting worked up over it doesn't help."

Duo threw his hands into the air with disgust. "For the love of God, Heero! They have Trowa dating the woman that we know to be his sister! That is so beyond gross! Quatre prancing around with that sword-wielding Amazon that tried to kill him! Twice! He's a nice guy and all, but he isn't an idiot! And did you know that our honorable wife-mourning Wufei is a ladies man? He's out playing women for fools every night!"

"Well, its more interesting than the truth." Heero shrugged.

"But it is all lies, Heero! Why can't they deal with the facts? Why is that so hard? Without thought or care, it is insinuated that I might be romantically involved with the last person in the universe who would want anything to do with me! Or what about this Hilde nonsense! Last time I asked her for a steak, I ended up with one in my lap, hot off the griddle! Can we say issues? Or how about that crap about you being a prince falling from the sky? What kind of shit is that?"

"The kind of shit that sells."

Heero had a point; it was appealing on a very juvenile level. But this was about life, not childish fantasies and that was the difference. Duo could not just let go of these things so easily.

"I hate what they do to us!" he fumed. "And I hate that they don't care what they do to us! After all that we did, we still don't seem to warrant the respect or dignity that we have rightfully earned." Duo looked down at his feet. He felt so dirty and unclean. "I don't like how this feels and I don't like seeing my friends abused this way either!"

For a moment, they Duo stood there in silence. His stillness gripped Heero's heart.

With a war cry that shattered the night, Duo grabbed another large chunk of metal and tossed it into a mess of wires and broken equipment. Sparks flew high into the air; electricity crackled all around.

Duo paid no mind to this as he reached for something even bigger, something that would release the anger and strain.

But he suddenly found that he could not move; a pair of strong arms immobilized him from behind. Duo screamed with pent up rage, he needed release. He was well aware of Heero's incredible strength. But as he fought against the idea of being held, there was such an immense sense of comfort in it. Duo struggled slightly, but soon realized that his efforts were futile.

He sagged back into Heero's firm body, allowing himself to be pinned to the firmness behind him. Exhausted from his struggles, he found that he could no longer fight.

"Don't hurt yourself, not over the likes of them. They aren't worth it." Heero's voice was incredibly soothing to him.

Anger rushed from Duo's body, leaving a sense of sanity in its wake. He wanted to be held, he was safe and secure, and the world couldn't hurt him any longer. Not while Heero held him.

They stayed like that for a long time, Duo in Heero's arms, watching the stars travel across the sky. Neither one finding a reason or want to move. For them, it was a simple moment of peace, a moment to speak from the heart.

Two fucked-up people against a fucked-up world.

Duo let his head fall back onto Heero's shoulder, his voice soft and calm. "I am so tired … of being hated … of being scorned … of having to fight for every ounce of dignity. Why the subtle anger toward us? We fought for their peace, why isn't that enough?"

"What they write and say appeals to the lowest common denominator."

"True. But is it really such a horrid thing that Trowa and Quatre truly love each other? That the depth of their love knows no bounds? Or that Wufei loved his wife and mourns his loss. That he finds solace in books instead of fucking around? Or that me and you …" Duo let the words die on his lips, realizing that he was speaking and not thinking.

"That our souls are entwined as one in an indestructible bond of immortal love." Heero whispered softly into Duo's ear.

Duo turned within Heero's embrace, coming to face him. Heero was so genuine and honest, his feelings reflected in the light of his eyes. Duo sighed heavily and looked down at the ground between them. "That was lovely Heero, really. But see, my story doesn't get to have a happily ever after because I am not good enough for the hero of the world. I am a male, poor with no name and that makes me unworthy. The hero is not supposed to love me, he is supposed to love the princess, that is the way fairytales work. The girl gets the guy."

"Idiocy." Heero snorted with disgust. "If I wanted the princess, I would have stayed with her."

Duo looked back up at Heero, sincere love and hope illuminating from the depths of his soul. "So Heero, since you were so near and felt my pain, does that mean that you stay close to me?"

Heero smiled gently and turned Duo to face where he had jumped the fence. Overlooking the scrap yard was a window, it was open and apparently from where Heero jumped.

Duo laughed out loud. "You mean you have a place that overlooks my scrap yard."

"I watch over you." Heero's admission could barely be heard in the still of the night.

With a questioning look, Duo turned to Heero and asked, "Is there something you want to talk about, Heero?"

Heero shook his head no, looking slightly uncomfortable and a bit vulnerable.

This amused Duo to no end. "Ah, I see. Well Heero, why didn't you say anything to me?"

He shrugged. "I didn't know if you needed me."

Turning very serious, Duo walked back over to Heero and put his arms over his shoulders. "I need you Heero, please stay …"

He nodded, but Duo knew that Heero didn't fully understand the request.

"No Heero … I mean please stay with me … tonight."

Heero's eyes widened as he realized what Duo was actually saying. Without another word, Duo took Heero's hand. Walking backwards while not breaking eye contact, Duo pulled the man that he loved into his home and his bed.


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