The L2 Box
I woke up feeling fuzzy and warm. It's been ages since I've ever woken up like this. Just this absolute inner peace, and warmth surrounding me, making me feel so safe and secure. Shifting a bit to stretch, I felt a dead weight on me and it made a small noise, a soft grunt. Surprised, I looked down to see Duo snuggled in my arms. Oh. In the morning haze, I recalled last night's events. He gave a small sigh and burrowed further into my arms when my grip tightened. Half of his face was pressed against my chest, hiding his scar. Brushing some hairs out of the way, my fingers traced the unmarred half of his face. He had long, thick, dark eyelashes brushing against those high cheekbones that were tint with just a hint of natural blush. Those lips I had finally kissed where lush and soft, usually turning up into his trademark smile. His skin, so thin and delicate, like rose petals; that part was smooth, flawless. God, he could have been so beautiful if he didn't have a scar. So utterly beautiful.
I looked away for a moment, thinking. What would have happened if he didn't have the scar? Would I still have met him? Would he have given my pitiful self the time of day when he could have so many other followers? Would he. still have slept with me?
I was thinking to hard, I know, but now that my mind was clear, I began to wonder: what the hell happened last night? I mean, I know we had sex. Did we make love? Or was it just lust and giving into natural needs? When I realized I wanted Duo last night, it wasn't for his body. I wanted his love. And the entire time last night, he never once uttered the word "love" .and I hadn't either. I wanted his love. but I had taken his body instead.
What the Hell?!?! This awareness got me scrambling out of bed but Duo's leg was hooked around one of mine. The realization was dawning on me and I had to get out of here! His fingers were entwined with mine, making me feel as though I were caught in a net. Oh please, please let go! Desperately, I tried to tear away from him. He only frowned in his sleep and glomped onto a pillow after I had freed myself. I was having such a panic attack that I nearly fell off the bed in my attempt to escape.
As soon as I had gotten free and stood up, I noticed something. blood, dry and crusted . a little on my thigh and on the sheets. Duo's? What had I done?! I had taken advantage of Duo. I had taken advantage of a momentary weakness and took his body! God, I'd taken him as though he was whore! If I needed a fuck so bad I could have gotten a hooker! Not Duo! I rushed to the bathroom and turned on the water, feeling slightly sick. Ignoring the freezing temperature of the water, I climbed in and began washing the tell tale stickiness of my sweat and our mixture of semen off myself.
Against the loud sound of the running, cold water, my mind was screaming. How could I? I've never been the kind of person who had casual sex! I had tipped over the pedestal that held the statue I had treasured the most. I could have hired a prostitute if I needed to release myself so bad! And you know how much I even despised those people, but I had just brought Duo's status to the same level as theirs! I had brought Duo into a sick, little world and tainted his innocence. Him, the one I had wanted to protect so much from the bad things in the world, and it was ME who would end up hurting him. I just took him! It hadn't been about love! It was just raw sex wasn't it??
When I at least felt clean enough physically, I came back out into the bedroom. I had to get out before I ended up scrubbing my skin raw. Duo wasn't there.. Duo? He was in the other bathroom, brushing his teeth. He already had on a pair of boxers and a T-Shirt. Seeing my reflection from the mirror, he glared at me. I could feel a lump growing in my throat. I had been expecting something to happen after I came out, but it didn't occur to me that I wasn't ready to face it.
"What do you want?" He asked after rinsing him mouth. Not even bothering to wait for my answer, he walked around me and left the room. I followed him silently as he stormed into his bedroom.
"Duo? What are you doing?" I could hear the bewilderment in my own ears as I saw him pull out a suitcase.
"What's it look like? I'm packing." No. Please don't leave me.
"Why?" I asked. He just ignored me and continued to stuff his belongings into the luggage. "Why?" I asked again, this time shutting the suitcase so he had to stop. I'm so sorry. You hate me so much that you want to leave? He only glared at me, lips set in a tight, thin line. Like he didn't want to look at me anymore, he spun around on his heels and left the room. "Duo!" I followed him of course. "Why are you leaving me?" It seemed obvious why, but my emotions were going haywire at the thought of losing my only comfort left in the world. He slapped my hand away when I tried to grab his shoulder.
"Why should I stay when I'm not wanted?" He finally answered back.
"Why did you even ask to me come live with you if you're so scared of me?" He interrupted me. I wasn't exactly sure what he was talking about. He stalked further into the room and I noticed he was walking with a little limp. Walking kind of wobbly.
"Duo. are you ok? You're walking."
"No! I'm not ok! I'm limping around 'cause my ass was just fucked last night and it frickin' hurts!!" He screamed at me. "I can't believe I even let you take me! After all I've been through! How could you just screw me and not see how important it was that I even let you TOUCH me?! How could you use me like that!?"
Wait. What?! The gears in my head were cranking again. Oh god, I was so stupid! Sometimes I can be so god awful stupid! How could I have thought that it was just meaningless sex? To him, after the rapes, sex meant so much more. I stood there staring at him adding one and one together. Somehow, even though I was pretty sure of the answer, I was still hesitant. So I just stood there and stared at him, trying to think it over again and again.
"Don't you get it? I love you." He whispered, the angry rage had disappeared and left his tone defeated and sad; his hands were at his sides in tight fists trying to control his emotions. "How could I not? You were so nice to me. You were a good-looking guy, oh what the hell, you were so hot! But more importantly, you were so kind to me! Acting as if you actually cared. I couldn't help it and I fell for your goody boy act! I was too weak! I fell in love with you." He loved me. He loved ME?! I didn't cry or embrace him. Hell, I was in shock and my mind abandoned me as I tried to comprehend his words.
"People say love is when you don't want to go to sleep because reality is better than a dream. You think I was sleeping?" He shook his head. "I laid there watching you sleep all night because, for once in my life, reality was actually better than anything I'd ever dreamed of. Someone I cared for, in my arms, keeping me warm from all those nights I'd been so alone." He frowned a little
"But... you woke up. And I saw it in your eyes. You. you don't feel the same way. You were so disgusted with me you nearly cried bloody murder as you tried to get out of my grasp. Anyway, I have to go finish packin-" his sentenced ended in an undignified squelch as I pulled him forcefully towards me to crush him in an embrace. No, he had misunderstood me! I wasn't disgusted at him! Never! I was appalled at myself! Not him!
"You, idiot." I told him, my tone was affectionate, but my voice wavering. "I don't hate you at all. I care a lot about you. I didn't take care of you for charity. I could have just ignored you the day I met you on the streets, but you fascinated me since day one. and I just realized that I." Right now, I wanted to scream that I loved him, but I couldn't! Why was I freezing up? My tongue felt thick and clumsy, refusing to move as I tried to figure out the words I wanted to say to him. Was "I love you" enough to express what I felt?
Uneasy with my silence, he lifted his head, looking at me with hopeful eyes, shining with almost tears, making them sparkle like tanzanite. "You what?" He encouraged me to go one. I pulled him even closer, remembering the warmth of his body against mine, and kissed him soundly. A deep, slow kiss. A much gentler kiss than last night, but so soft and sweet. Let actions speak louder than words. I smiled against his lips as I felt his arms wrap around me, palms placed on my back, returning my embrace. He read my mind.
Now I understand why people love to make out. Our breaths mingled giving heavenly sighs, we tasted each other and I love the particular sweetness in Duo's mouth. Every time our tongues met or when he was brave enough to explore my mouth, it gave me warmth inside, he was stirring my soul. His kiss drowned me, making me lose track of the time. We both started when the phone suddenly start ringing. He broke apart, resting his forehead against mine so our noses touched. "Don't answer it." He pleaded, wanting to savor the moment. Heck, I didn't feel much like doing anything else if it meant that I'd have to leave him alone for a second. The phone rang three more times before the answering machine took over.
"Heero, it's Trowa." I felt Duo freeze against me. "I wanted to apologize about what happened at the club. Look, I hope we're still friends. Quatre had this crazy idea. He thought that it'd help you get over whatever guilt you're keeping inside. He said that the test would help make you realize things about yourself, so I agreed to it." I'm going to have to talk to Quatre soon, to strangle him... or thank him, I'm not sure yet. Because it was his idea that made me finally come to terms with myself. It was his crazy idea that got me this wonderful, love of mine, in my arms.
The next sentence, though, left me dumbstruck. ".I know you're sick." Damn, my secret was out. Like I had just been pushed into the artic ocean, my body went cold and froze. "We know you haven't been getting treatment for it. Relena called, begging for us to get through to you. Let us help, Heero. Call me back later." As soon as we heard Trowa hang up on the other end, Duo took a deep breath and slowly withdrew away from me.
"This is one hell of an emotional roller coaster you're putting me on, Heero." He commented dryly, but the humor was lost. There was another string of silence as I waited for the expected question. ". All this time? You've been sick and didn't tell me?" I could only nod. "Those headaches and all those pills?" I nodded again as he was going to condemn me. He stalked around the room, thinking, and not wanting to look at me. If he were angry with me, I'd take his wrath. It was my fault for not telling him.
"I was so stupid!" He suddenly shouted out. "No one gets headaches like you! I should have known! Should have asked more questions!" He seemed angrier with himself than me, and I just stayed quiet as he was thinking to himself. "How bad is it?" He finally asked, biting his lip in anticipation.
"It's pretty bad, Duo." I told him the truth, daring to come closer to him. "I don't know how much time I've got left."
"What do you mean "time left"? You're going to die?!" His eyes widened in horror as I nodded my head slowly.
"Duo, I've got something that's deteriorating myelin from here." I pointed to my head. "The doctors told me that I'd have maybe less than a year left before I go into a comatose state. and I'll die soon after that."
"H-how can you accept it so easily?" He cried out.
"I was diagnosed in January. I've had 10 and a half months to accept it"-
"You haven't even tried!"
"At first, you know, after I was depressed about Trowa and I didn't see a point to try. I was a miserable person back then." Duo tried to listen with understanding, but he was frowning the entire time. "I thought that it's be better if I just left. I mean, even if I cured myself, what good would it do? I'd come back home to nothing." I took hold of one of Duo's hand and used my other hand to tip his head so that I could look into his beautiful, lavender eyes. "I hadn't realized that I was wrong until now." He gave me a hopeful smile.
"So, now, will you go try and find a cure?" I stared at him. Were my eyes watery? They were stinging and his image was slightly blurred.
"I. It's too late now, Duo. Even if there were a cure, it's too late for me. I've waited too long. Why can't we just try and enjoy the time we have left, ne?"
"And. what am I supposed to do when you're gone?" He whispered, almost afraid of thinking about it.
"You'll find someone else. I'm sure you will. You'll find a better person than me." He stared at me incredulously for a moment.
"No!" He shook his head violently. "No!" He shouted again in denial, tearing himself from my grasp and ran away. I chased after him as he headed towards the kitchen. He had grabbed a kitchen knife and brought it over his chest and looked at me threateningly.
"Duo! What the hell are you doing?!" I nearly screamed. What was he thinking?! Was he actually going to kill himself? Right there in front of me? My heart was hammering against my ribcage and I could practically hear it.
"Heero, I don't want a love I can live WITH. I want a love I can't live WITHOUT! I can't live without you! Don't you see? I don't want to be here if you're not! If you die, I'm going with you!" Tears were already slowly streaming down his face. Could he love me that much? He stood there, ready to take his life, and I'd never been so scared.
"Duo, please put the knife down." I pleaded, but he shook his head violently and pressed the knife even closer against his chest; he bit a lip to keep it from trembling, and took a step back as I tried a more direct approach to try and take the knife away.
"Heero. if you're gone. What am I going to hope for? There's nothing left in this world for me." I stared at him. "I used to go by. dreaming about Solo. But I can't anymore. And then you gave me new hope. If you're gone, what will I." His voice waned away; his entire body was trembling. He was scared, as much as I was, but he wasn't going to give up so easily. I didn't have an answer to his demands.
"Promise me." He spoke up finally. "That you'll try to find a cure. At least, then you won't have any regrets, even if you have to die. Promise me that you won't just give up!" He demanded of me.
"I promise, Duo." I nodded slowly, giving time to let it sink in for the both of us, any sudden movement might cause panic in such a delicate situation like this " I promise only if you promise to put the knife down and never try to kill yourself again." I bargained with him softly. He sniffled a bit, trying to calm down, staring at me as he thought over his choices. And before I registered the sound of the knife clattering onto the ground, I found myself with an armful of a sobbing boy.
He was crying for me, clutching me so hard, like it would prevent my life from escaping. When he raised his head to kiss me, I could taste the salt of his tears and I felt him whisper, "I promise if you do to." I could only nod, placing a hand behind his head to push him further deep into my kiss.