Disclaimer: i do not own gw, damn me..

Pairing: a smidgen of 1x2
Genre: general stuff...
Spoilers: a wee bit for series and ew, but not much

Note: sorry for the absence.. will be back in full commission in a week or so (after i recover)

Coming Home
by 0083

//There is no place like home.// After the second war wound down and we won yet again, I felt that it was time. Time for me to head home. I've been running around for ages now, from colony to colony, to earth and back. I'm homesick, you know?

So after the war ended, after Mariemeia became Une's responsibility.. I just packed up and left for L2. L2, the place I grew up in, where I had my closest friends die on me.. the place of memories and pain. Home.

My first steps onto the colony was rather surreal, almost strange in its normality. Where I expected to see children huddled around the shuttleport looking for easy targets for pickpocketing or begging, I saw well dressed teenagers giggling and having a smoke behind their parents' backs. Where I thought I should see a hotdog vendor selling badly made dogs (and I think they really were dogs back then, you know), I saw a small restaurant terrace filled with coffee swilling businessmen and their guests.

Home seemed very strange from my first step.

I walked through, looking for Hilde's address, knowing that she was waiting for me, but I couldn't shake the feeling that my home was different.. so much more than I thought it would be. My feet took me through a busy business district that my head insisted was supposed to be a drug haven filled with prostitutes and thieves. My eyes glanced over buildings shiny and new, overtaking my memories of dark, decrepit structures.

My home never seemed so foreign.

Hilde greeted me with enthusiasm, dragged me through our apartment in a torrent of words and movements and insisted that we go out to the bazaar for dinner. The bazaar.. was there such a thing when I lived on L2 so long ago?

It was such a busy place. People were everywhere, haggling, selling, buying.. they were lively, lit up with the fire of commerce. The small hot bun stand Hilde loved was on an intersection between the vegetable vendors and the jewelry sellers. I was overwhelmed.

That night, I couldn't sleep. I lay on my clean white sheets, crisp and scented lightly, thinking about my first day back home. I knew, believe me, I knew that L2 had changed before I came back. I knew that there wouldn't be whores and thieves on every street corner, that the buildings had been rebuilt by corporations ready to make profits, that the nooks and alleys of my childhood were no more. I knew. But I didn't believe.

Somewhere deep in my heart, I was looking forward to seeing the home I had envisioned and harbored in my heart for a long time. The filthy streets, the gangs of children, the kindly priest, the loving nun, the church.. I wanted to be where the streets were familiar, where my memories were, where my heart was lodged. My past, my vision, my home.

But they no longer lived here. My home did not exist on L2 anymore.

//You can never come home again.//

I spent a few weeks on L2 in a daze, working with Hilde at the junk yard, eating, sleeping, doing all the normal things. But somehow, the feeling of being home never arrived. I was a tourist on my streets of childhood, a visitor in the place of my heart, an on-looker in the corners of my memories. L2.. why couldn't you be home for me as you were before?

Why am I not happy that the people on L2 are happier? No starving children, no depraved asses preying on the weak, no dirty streets, no abandoned buildings. They are good things, damn it. They are what I fought for, you know? Shouldn't I be at home in this place I helped to make?

But I keep looking for dark alleys.. I keep looking behind me, seeking my past home.

Or more specifically, my Father and my Sister.. and my sanctuary.

My home.

I finally got the nerve to visit the Maxwell church and what I saw devastated me. The church was no longer there. The rubble, the fallen beams, the darkened and sooty stones were all gone. There was a park there now, a grassy field with trees and flowers that shot off vibrancy, and the only remembrance was a plaque.

A bronze plaque.

My home.. The only home I had ever known was L2. The streets, the gang, the church. Even after they all died and disappeared on me, I always believed that when I came back, I'd be at home in L2 because of my ghosts. My memories would make L2 my home forever.

But.. there is nothing.

I can't come back to the home I knew.

//Home is where the heart is.//

Few more weeks went by and I knew what Heinlein meant by being a stranger in a strange land. Yes, L2 had become a strange land and I its only stranger. I walked the streets, detached from everything and everyone. Nothing was familiar, even after all this time.

That should not be a shopping mall, damn it.

And that should be filled with water catchers, not flower pots.

Why so many cars?

So many things, so many doubts.. that is never home.

Hilde knew something was wrong and she tried to help me out, but really.. she's a native here. She has favorite places to shop, knows of a great linguini place just off this street and that avenue, and can wave a friendly hello to people walking by. I.. I can't.

I asked her how she felt so at home here, why it was so dear to her.

She couldn't say, but she looked at me and smiled sadly. She held my hand and spilled a lone tear for me.

I knew then.. that I had to move on. That I had to find a home of my own, like she had.

But then there is the question. What is home?

It isn't L2. I know this. My memories and ghosts have all gone, leaving me desolate on a floating metal fortress in space. For me, home was no longer where I could wallow in my past, remember things.. no longer a place where I can say 'I remember that store, I used to do this and that with such and who.' Home isn't where I grew up.

So, where is my home?

And with that question, a pair of exquisite and warm cobalt blue eyes swim to the surface of my heart.

//Home is where you make it.//

I have never been so hurried before. Hilde helped me pack. Okay, she helped me throw my shit into my bag as fast as her arms could move. And I was on a shuttle to L1 before I could say 'goodbye' to L2, a place that had been home but was no longer.

I had found the answer. Heero. I would make a home with him.

Anywhere. Somewhere.

Because.. my home is where Heero is.

The old cliches are right. Every last one of them. You can never come home again, because places change. But a person.. Heero would change with me, never without me. He would grow with me, mature with me, grow old and senile with me. He would never leave me, not like my ghosts, memories.. not like L2.

Home is where my heart is.. Heero. It is where I make it. Anywhere with Heero.

And so.. in the end, there is no place like home.

Or is it there is no person like home?

I'm coming home, Heero. Have the welcome mat out for me, love.


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