Draw me a picture worth a thousand words and I will
write a poem worth a million pictures.
The tension was thick, almost solid in the air.
Relena sat on a comfortable chair with her skirts
arranged around it in a lady like fashion while her
sisters stared holes into her head. She understood
why they were angry, of course, but that did not make
the confrontation any easier. She glanced sideways at
her younger sister Dorothy, the master of the past and
nearly flinched from the intense glare. Dorothy's
frozen blue eyes were positively glacial and dripping
with icy rage. On the other hand, her older sister
Noin was more composed in her anger, sitting across
from her quite calmly with her delicate hands folded
over her lap. Relena almost hid behind Noin to escape
Dorothy's gaze, but she didn't. She would stand by
her decision and make sure that they understood why
she had chosen the path that she did.
"Sister dear," Noin said smoothly, "care to explain to
us why you gave Heero one of our most prized
A half smile formed on Relena's face, tentative and
nervous. She wondered if her sisters would understand
"Yes, sister," Dorothy jumped in with an icy edge, "do
tell us. Tell us why you gave away the Pendulum
Signet, something we have never even considered
parting with on any circumstances!"
Sighing deeply, Relena reconsidered her answers. She
could say that she had given Heero the pendant because
she had pitied his pained state. That was part of it,
truthfully speaking. But a bigger part of the gift
had not been mere pity nor a hope for his happiness.
"I did it to repent for our past mistakes."
"We made no mistake! We are the Fates. We never make
Relena snorted at Noin's insistence.
"Oh, but don't we, sister?" Relena said with spite.
"We see the flow of time as it passes over mortals.
Dorothy, you can change a mortal's past with a blink
of an eye and send him spiraling to a different
destiny. Noin, you can shape a life in the present,
cut off their life at a whim. I can see the possible
futures for mortals and choose a path for them,
regardless of what they want. We have controlled them
for so long that we forgot we can make mistakes."
"Just what mistake did we make with Heero's mortal
anyway? We did for him as we would for any other
"Dorothy, you are as arrogant as you always were,"
Relena replied heatedly, "and you can't see how much
we damaged one of our kind by being whimsical with his
Noin raised her hand and stemmed the tide of cruel
words to follow. She, as the oldest, had to maintain
a level head.
"Relena, you know as well as I do, we do not inform
anyone of our decisions. It was Dorothy's choice to
make Heero's mortal lover love him. It was your
choice to have the mortal follow Heero into that lair.
And it was my choice to end his life there. What
more could we have done? Heero knew that his mortal
could die at any moment. It is not our responsibility
to coddle him."
Relena shook her head in frustration. Her sisters
just did not understand.
"That's not what I mean, Noin. We had a choice. We
could have just let Heero's mortal go fall in love
with someone else, fated it so that those two never
even met. But because we destined him to love Heero,
we permanently killed something within him. We all
knew that Heero would love him! We saw it. So what
if we can't control the lives of gods? We manipulated
Heero's by playing with a mortal. Can't you see that
we are at fault?"
Noin exploded. Relena had no other words for her
sister's sudden burst of anger.
"How dare you question! There is no fault! We
destined him to love Heero and that is that. So what
if Heero fell for him? It was his choice, not ours.
He damaged himself, not us. There is no
responsibility. And you, in your stupidity, gave
Heero a means to overstep what we have set out for his
mortal in this lifetime! Don't you get it, Relena?
If Heero uses the Pendulum, not only will he become
mortal, but the two of them would step outside of
destiny! That is unacceptable! No mortal can be out
of our control."
Relena bowed her head in mute defeat. The Pendulum
would create a void for Heero and his lover, a void
free of their meddling, of fates, of destinies. They
would become radicals within the world order for
eternity because their souls would forever be outside
of their reach. But she didn't care. It was the only
way Heero could have his lover back. If he and his
lover did not step outside of their control, she and
her sisters could make everything go badly again. She
could not bare to do that to Heero, not again. No.
She would make sure her sisters did not interfere.
"It's too late!"
The horrified scream from Dorothy made Relena look up
from her lap. Her sister's blue eyes were wide with
terror, her blond hair whipping about her body as she
shook from disbelief. Her own eyes widened at the
same time Noin's did. Yes, it had happened. Heero
had used the Pendulum.
Now, the rest of his life and his lovers were up to
Trowa and Quatre eyed the stranger warily, their hands
ready to reach for weapons at a moment's notice.
Wufei had not let his eyes wander far from him either,
but his eyes were filled with downright hostility.
But the stranger did not seem to notice the three of
them at all. He was too busy staring at Duo, his face
slack with joy.
"All those years.. finally, we can be together
Duo did not understand what the stranger was talking
about. He had never seen him in his life, had he? He
figured he would remember someone like him. So Duo
had to conclude he did not know this odd but gorgeous
man. Then why did he feel as if he should know him,
that he should have some ties to him? And why did he
resent him so much? There were questions that he
could not answer swimming around in his head,
clamoring for resolution.
"Who are you?"
Heero smiled at Duo's hesitant tone. His lover
definitely looked and sounded different than his
previous incarnation. He was no longer an auburn
haired, green eyed boy so carefree with his affection
and trust. No, his lover was now a beautiful boy with
long, brown hair in a braid with sparkling violet
eyes. His lover was also a wary, deadly being without
fondness for those he did not recognize.
"I know you don't remember me," Heero said softly,
"but I have remembered you for fifteen hundred years.
I loved you for that long and will continue loving you
for eternity. I am Heero."
Heero's elation turned to confusion when his lover
burst out into laughter. He stared at his mirthful
lover as he literally fell to the ground when his
knees gave out from the laughing.
"You.. you.. you love me? For fifteen hundred
years? Are you fucking crazy?"
Heero had expected disbelief and other unpleasant
things at his first encounter with his beloved. After
all, he did not know of him currently. But something
about the way he spoke bothered him, almost made him
"I do love you."
Duo let out a fresh peal of laughter as he heard the
sincerity in Heero's voice. He wasn't laughing
because the situation was funny, but because it
sounded so true.
"Fifteen hundred years? Is that even possible?"
"For a god, it is."
The laughter stopped as suddenly as it had begun. Duo
stared at Heero with wide eyes, knowing his friends
were doing the same. A god. They were face to face
with a god.
"You really expect me to believe that bullshit? You
are a god? As in, powerful, all knowing and all that
Heero nodded, the grim look on his face growing more
pronounced. He did not recall his love being so foul
mouthed nor so disrespecting. His lover had been one
of his worshippers after all, adoring him and loving
him like no one else. But this current incarnation
was different. The soul was the same, yes. But the
package was nothing like he remembered.
"Heero, you said, right? Heero, if you are a god,
Duo shook his head in disbelief. This Heero expected
him to believe whatever he said without any kind of
proof. Who had that kind of faith in anyone these
days? And why did he feel compelled to believe him
"Okay, fine," Duo said with a trace of annoyance,
"then at least prove that you love me."
That got Heero confused more than ever. Prove his
love? How did one go about doing that?
"I have loved you for more years than you can imagine.
Is that not enough?"
"No, it's not. What's my name? What color do I like?
What do I say when I'm pissed off? Do you know
anything about me at all, oh great god Heero?"
"What does any of that matter?" Heero replied, "you
are the same soul I love. I would love you regardless
of what is on the outside. It is your soul that
This time, the laughter was tinged with bitterness and
mockery. Duo could not believe the nerve of this
Heero who claimed to be a god. He loved him, did he?
He has loved him for that long, has he? Then why did
who he was matter so little? Did that not merit any
kind of love?
"Sorry, buddy, wrong answer. You don't love me, just
some guy who died a long fucking time ago. So fuck
you, fuck me, get lost."
Everyone in the clearing blanched at the absolute fury
and pain behind that one word uttered by Heero. It
was incredible how a small word could contain so much.
"No," Heero repeated, "I will not. You will remember
me. You will see that you love me as I love you.
Then it will be as it should be."
Without waiting for a response, Heero pulled out the
Pendulum Signet and held it aloft in his hand. He did
not notice that all four mortals had gotten their
weapons out, ready to strike him if he made a false
move. He did not see how Duo's eyes glittered with
both anticipation and fear. All he saw was his own
lonely soul within the pendant, longing for the one
thing that could assuage the pain.
Heero's words activated the Pendulum Signet. The
pendant flashed brilliantly in indescribable colors,
shooting out beams of light towards Duo in steady
waves. Heero felt himself being drained by the
pendant as well, but he held on until the pendant was
Trowa, Quatre and Wufei, at the emergence of the light
from the strange object in Heero's hand, tried to get
to Duo and help him. However, their bodies were
rooted to the ground, unable to move, even unable to
utter a sound. They watched helplessly as Duo was
assaulted by light, his face a study of every emotion
available to a human being. They saw Duo cry out in
joy and fear, laugh in love and hate, thrash in
passion and darkness. After what seemed to be an
eternity, the lights stopped and Duo collapsed to the
The three of them could finally move and they rushed
over to their fallen companion's side. They
frantically checked for a pulse and signs of breathing
and found that he was still alive. He had just passed
out. Angrily, Wufei stalked over to Heero and punched
him in the face as hard as he could.
"What the fuck did you do to him?"
Heero merely wiped the small trickle of blood from his
lip and smiled. He could feel it. He could feel his
mortality. He felt the vibrancy of life more because
he now could die. The Pendulum Signet had worked!
"I just helped him remember us."
Having no reply to that cryptic remark, Wufei went
back to Duo's prone form. Whatever had really
happened, he had a feeling that their lives had just
gotten more complicated than ever.
The world was a sluggish blur, moving slowly and
thickly around him. Duo wanted to open his eyes and
check out what was happening, but his eyelids were not
cooperating. He could hear noises all about him.. the
wind rushing, the water falling, the grass moving.
And somewhere in the distance, he heard a voice.
"Oh, Heero, aren't these beautiful? They are the
color of your eyes!"
That voice was cheerful and almost child-like, ringing
with an innocence that Duo had never experienced. He
dimly wondered who it could be. Who had that kind of
innocence anymore? Certainly not him. He had shed
his innocence when he had been sold into the
assassin's guild by his abusive father and apathetic
mother. He envied the owner of that carefree voice,
the way it glided over him in gentle waves of comfort
Then it occurred to him. The voice.. it had called
to Heero. Heero, the boy who had suddenly stepped
into his life with grandiose declarations of love and
immortality. The boy who had made him angry with his
words of love. Duo forced his eyes open and felt the
sharp, stabbing pain from the sunlight . He waited
for his vision to clear and then looked about him.
He was mildly surprised that he was floating in
midair, his body parallel to the ground. He swiveled
his head around to his right, towards the direction of
that human voice and saw a boy about his age prancing
around the grassy field below him. The boy was clad
in a tunic of some sort belted at the waist by a rope,
running on barefoot. His shoulder length auburn hair
had violets and larkspurs in it, contrasting sharply
with his big, clear green eyes. His pale skin seemed
almost too translucent in the bright sun, seemingly
more colorless because of the vibrant red of his hair.
But what attracted his notice more than the boy was
the figure following behind him. There could be no
mistake about it.. it was Heero. The dark brown hair
mussed by the wind lay haphazardly over his beautiful
face, nearly covering the deep blue eyes. Heero had
very little clothing on, just something that could
pass for an indecent loincloth, his bronzed skin bare
to the entire world and Duo's eyes. Duo had to admit
that Heero was perfect physically and that there had
been an instant attraction when they had first met in
the campsite. But this Heero he was seeing did not
have that painful and desperate look in his eyes.
Instead, this Heero was brimming over with joy, almost
bouncing as he followed the redhead around the field.
"Is that who I was? That innocent boy?"
Duo felt tears gather behind his eyes. So, that was
the boy Heero had loved for so long. He was looking
at what his soul was fifteen hundred years ago, housed
in a compact body that radiated innocent joy.
"Heero really must be stupid! I'm nothing like the
boy he loved."
That thought pained him somehow. Duo didn't really
understand what was going on with his emotions at all
when it came to that enigmatic boy. But he knew that
he didn't love Heero. No, he didn't. He couldn't.
The one who loved Heero was down there on the field,
auburn hair and green eyes, running around and
laughing. And that was the one Heero loved. Heero
did not love Duo Maxwell, the assassin with eyes too
old for his pixie face, the boy with a crude sense of
humor, the one who did not trust people without a good
Duo continued watching as he floated in midair,
trailing his eyes over Heero's lithe body and rippling
muscles. It was too bad that the guy was so
beautiful. As he watched, he saw the scene fade away
slowly, the colors leeching out of the landscape and
the light growing dimmer. The last thing Duo saw
before darkness engulfed him was the boy and Heero
entering a small cave hand in hand. And somehow he
knew that whatever that happened in that cave would
make him understand his resentment for Heero and the
pain behind Heero's eyes.
"Thank goodness you're okay! We thought he had done
something horrible to you."
Duo winced as he lifted his head off the dirt and
opened his eyes. He saw that it was getting light,
the dawn just filtering in and the evening star dying
out. He also saw three very concerned faces of his
"I'm good. Just a splitting fucking headache."
Just then, Heero stepped into the tight circle of his
friends and reached out his hand. Just before Heero
could caress his face, Duo jerked out of reach and
slapped the hand away.
"Don't touch me unless I tell you that you can, okay?"
Duo knew that he had sounded irritable and
unreasonable, but he could not help it. Whatever he
had seen while he had passed out had affected him more
greatly that he let on. The image of Heero laughing
and loving that boy had only proven that Heero did not
love him. Duo turned his head to look at Heero
defiantly, but he lost all malice when he saw the
immeasurably hurt look shine so darkly out of the deep
blue eyes. Instead of feeling justified for his
actions, Duo felt like a cruel jackass.
"I.. I don't understand," Heero spoke quietly, "I
thought you remembered. Don't you? How you felt
about me? You must have remembered."
Sitting up completely, Duo faced Heero. His friends
backed up to give him some room, but he still felt
their curious eyes on him.
"Yeah, I guess if you can call it that, I remembered.
I saw you all googly eyed over a boy who is nothing
like me. He was an innocent boy. Packaging aside, as
you say, the one you loved and I are nothing alike.
Not a damn thing alike."
"That isn't true! It can't be. You are the same
soul. How can a soul change?"
"That's us mortals for you, Heero," Duo replied
scathingly, "we change a whole fucking lot according
to our environments. So get it through your fucking
head! I am NOT the same guy you loved! I don't even
The pain that shot through his heart when he spoke his
last sentence almost ripped Duo into two. However, he
covered it up the best he could, trying not to grimace
or shed tears at his statement. He did not love
Heero. He didn't.
"I don't believe you. I can't. Say you're lying to
me. Say it!"
Duo saw the anguish that was shredding Heero apart.
The beautiful god before him was suffering, more so
than he had before. It hurt him to see Heero like
this, even if he didn't want to feel that way.
"Damn it, Heero, if you want me to love you so fucking
much, make me love you! And you better love me for
who I am, not for what I was! Can't you see the
Heero sat back abruptly at Duo's ultimatum. He could
not believe that this was how it turned out. After
all he had gone through in fifteen centuries, after
giving up all that he was, this was the reward. There
was no declaration of eternal love, no joyous reunion,
just a heartache that surpassed the aching pain that
he had been through.
Relena had been right. This hurt worse than before.
She had known and had tried to warn him. Heero could
feel a hysterical bubble of laughter building in his
chest, clawing its way through to his mouth. He knew
that if he started laughing, it would be over. He
would be driven into madness. But no, he was stronger
than this. What was that his love wanted? To be
loved as he was now, not what he remembered? To make
him love all over again?
"I will," Heero said in a shaky voice, "I will make
you love me again. More than before. And I will love
you. No matter what."
The relief that washed through Duo's system was
incredible. For a moment, Duo had been deathly scared
that Heero would just walk off and never deal with him
again. He could admit that there was an attraction, a
tie between them. But he still felt that resentment,
that hatred he had first felt when he saw Heero. It
was as if he wasn't in control of his emotions, his
life. He hated that feeling and it had become worse
when Heero had just demanded that he love him. But
with Heero at least trying to do what he asked, the
resentment was less, the hatred faded a bit. Maybe,
just maybe, this could work.
"Okay then. It's a deal."
Heero finally smiled. If this was his only chance
with his beloved, then he would not waste it.
"Hi. My name is Heero. And you are?"
Duo shook the proffered hand and began again.
"Duo. Duo Maxwell. Nice to meet you."