Disclaimer: http://www.geocities.com/aceconners/love_me_still_disclaimer.htm

Pairings: Original characters. R+1, 1/2, 3/4, 5/2? (/ = reversible, y'know what I mean?)
Warnings: OOC, ANGST! Guys are around 20 years old. After EW.

Note: The guys are around 21-ish years old. It's after EW, they've all spent one or two years on their own before going to Preventers when they're 18-19-ish and Heero and Duo finally got together around then and they've been together for about a little more than a year. Everything's pretty vague, eh?

Love Me Still
Part 14

The moment I stepped off that grand estate, it was like some superior being have given me my life back. Relena didn't fight to keep me back; instead, she hid in one of her many rooms as I took my first few steps of freedom again.

The T.V. and newspaper reporters had already gobbled up the news of our broken engagement, but I informed only my closest and most trusted friends of the details Relena had revealed. I sent Trowa, Quatre, even Duo and Wufei a copy of my report, informing them of everything including all of Relena's confession nearly word for word. I actually felt giddy and almost skipped down the walkway just thinking about what I was going to do with my future. Then I skidded to a stop.

I had no clue what to do. What was my future?

My first whim was to drop by my old apartment to see Duo, but it occurred to me that maybe he really didn't want to see me right now. Maybe he didn't love me anymore, maybe he never did. I still wasn't sure if he had been acting at the wedding or not. Duo was too good at those things. Perhaps he would never be able to trust me again.

Maybe he needed some time to think and handle his issues with Wufei. Briefly, I wondered what he'd do to Wufei. But for now, I'll give him time and I'll give myself time. With all the commotion that had happened, I'm sure a time-out would help clear some things out. Everything had taken an unexpected turn and I definitely needed some time to think and plan things out further.

Besides that, I don't think I even deserved Duo anymore. After all I'd done to him, granted, that it wasn't entirely my fault. It's just, all the things I've done must surely have hurt him as much as it hurt me. It was my fault for being gullible. It was my fault for not being more suspicious. For not showing my love enough

I watched as my taxi arrived at the front of the estate to take me to the airport.


[Change in POV]

God, what was I doing here? I fidgeted on the front porch. What the hell was I thinking? When no one answered the door, I felt slightly relieved. Don't get me wrong, I REALLY wanted to see him, but I was nervous as hell. It's like I drank three espressos in a row. Not only was I squirming around like I really had to use the bathroom, I couldn't calm down my racing heart beat. Hm, I guess he's not here. I frowned slightly at the door. Despite feeling slightly relieved, I had a disappointed look as I descended the front steps and back to my rental car.

"… Duo?" Heero's uncertain voice made me spin around quickly to see him approaching, jogging slightly before stopping a few feet away in front of his house.

"Hi." I greeted lamely. I shifted my feet and suddenly noticed that there was this humongous dog trotting beside Heero. "Wow… nice dog. Has he got a name?"

"Her name is Lucky." I raised an eyebrow and was granted with a small, but beautiful smile. "I didn't name her. The previous owner did." Seeing me hesitancy, he added, "She doesn't bite." Relaxing a bit, I leaned down and patted her furry head. Her fur was really rich and thick. I didn't really surprise me. I figured Heero was the kind of guy who'd go for big, strong dogs. She was slobbering and panting heavily; they must have just come home from a jog when I came.

He didn't say much, just watched me pet his dog as I started to talk idly. He watched me with puzzled, curious but hesitant eyes. "This is a really nice place you got, Heero." Pacifica was beside the ocean, always cool, even in the summer, or that's what I heard. Cool during summer, but FREEZING during winter! Seeing me try and unsuccessfully hide a shiver, he started towards the front door.

It sounded cautious, but he asked anyway, "… Do you want to come in? It's warmer inside." I nodded gratefully, following him. I was thankful that, for the time being, he hadn't asked me anything and just accepted me there. I was relieved that he hadn't shot me the first minute he saw me standing here.

With a whistle, Lucky followed after her master and even nudged the door closed after herself.

"Wow, did you teach her how to do that?"

"Hai," he answered, a bit proudly. "She's a very smart dog. I taught her that in a week." He patted Lucky quickly before asking, "Do you want something to drink to warm you up?" I nodded, feeling sheepish for dressing inadequately for this area. He headed off towards another room but I stayed behind to watch the dog, more like a bear, waddle toward the living room, smack the remote with a paw, and plop on the couch to watch T.V.

"Did you teach her to use the T.V. too?" I asked, very impressed. Taking notice of the quaint decorations around the house and hallways, I followed him into the kitchen where he was setting a small pot on to the stove.

"Iie, she figured that by herself." He frowned slightly. "Her previous owners… were going to put her to sleep." I took at seat on a stool beside the island counter as he was told me the short story. "Since they did not want her, I adopted her because my house… feels a little lonely." Oh, I looked away feeling guilty for some reason. If you'll let me, I could fill it; make it less lonely.

"You house is really nice though." I admired the tasteful furnishing and decorating.

He actually smiled again and looked around the room himself. "A neighbor was talking about Feung Shui and I decided to give it a try." He actually talked to his neighbors?

I briefly wondered if he had hacked into some bank account to get the money for this sweet house. Our apartment had been slightly too small; Quatre's mansions humongous, but this place, it was nice and cozy. All he needed now was a doormat that said, "Home Sweet Home" and it'd be perfect.

"Wow… no wonder everything looks really nice." While we waited for the milk to heat, we glanced around the room uneasily, causally glancing at each other sometimes, sizing one another. He seems different- more at peace, relaxed and more human and possibly, more happy. You don't know how much it means to me to see him this happy and healthy. It's almost enough to make me scared of ruining his life again by appearing on his doorstep. Seeing him like this elated me, knowing he was taking care of himself better than I was taking care of myself.

Truth be told, I had been doing horrible these last few months, torturing myself. All this time, I was afraid he hated me after what I'd done to him. Actually, it was Quatre who was tired of seeing me wilt with every phone call and he convinced me to go see Heero. I was afraid of seeing hate in Heero's eye, but surprisingly, he's invited me into his house; he was hospitable and, well… friendly, or as much as he could be.

Watching him shift his weight back and forth on his feet uneasily, I could tell he was waiting for me to say something.

"Uh. So, what have you been up to?" I asked, diverting from the conversation that was going to have to happen sooner or later. I wanted it to be later.

"Nothing much. Just the usual things." Whatever the "usual things" was supposed to mean. He searched the cupboards for the hot cocoa powder. I bit my lip as I watched him stir the milk in the pot, waiting for it to heat a bit more. Something about this image, Heero in the kitchen stirring some milk on the stove, makes my heart flutter. It sounds kind of weird, but I'll always remember this image. A domesticated Heero doing normal things that everyone else does, enjoying life and making hot chocolate for me, warmed my insides. There's something so innocent and simple about this image that all I can do is stare at it. I've seen him with cold eyes, holding a gun and killing people and this person before me was almost the opposite.

God, I could easily picture him humming in a frilly apron making breakfast for our small family of two, three if you add the dog…. Uh… I shook my head of wishful thinking.

"How is work?" He asked me pulling me from my daydreams.

"Good. I'm on a two-week leave from Preventers and decided to drop by and give you a visit. I should have remembered to bring a house warming gift though." I slightly dodged. I hadn't revealed my true intentions, but that wasn't important right? I had found his address easily in the Preventers database after he, to my dismay, transferred to another area.

"Aa. That's good to hear. I heard you last mission was very…hard." I had nearly lost my life. That was when I decided that I needed to see him, perhaps for one last time before it was too late. Just as long as I saw him just once more. But… had he been keeping track of me?

"Yea, it was. Noin told me to take a few weeks off to recuperate." It sounded kind of awkward, out conversation, but it was casual nonetheless, better than what I had hoped for. I slouched relaxed on the stool, talking about easy subjects like the weather and sports; talking like normal people.

I never imagined we'd live through the war or that we'd ever have normal lives after it. I can't count the many times I imagined the two of us as a happy, normal… family. It's always the simplistic things that get to me. It made this place feel like a real home.

It made me gain confidence and I knew had to tell him whatever I had come here for. "Uh…. Heero?" I asked for his attention as he turned off the stove when the milk reached the right temperature.

"Just a second." He put off as he poured the mixture into two cups and stirred. I smiled as a gesture of thanks when he handed me the warm drink. After the war, he had learned that he had quite a liking to sweet things… just like a little kid with candy bars. A cup of cocoa instead of coffee didn't surprise me at all. "OK." He settled on the stool beside me, waiting expectantly.

Whatever speech I had planned was forgotten and I was at a loss for words when I was face to face with his beautiful self and caught in his azure stare. Does he know how breathtakingly handsome he is? It awes me every time. "Heero, I love you." I blurted out.

Damn. Well, that hadn't gone as planned. Sometimes I talk too much for my own good. I shouldn't have said that. Trying to hide, I took a sip of the drink too quickly, nearly choking on the extreme sweetness.

Amazingly, he didn't go zero system on me. He didn't even express anything on his impassive face. Instead, he just looked down at his drink, playing with the mug handle. His bangs covered his Prussian eyes so I had no clue what he was thinking. Please don't hate me. "That's not what I meant." He looked up suddenly, with hurt eyes and I wanted to kick myself. "No, that's not what I meant either!" I rushed, feeling stupid for bumbling and hurting him like this, "I mean, I DO love you. What I really wanted to say is that… I'm sorry."

…… …

"…. For what?" He raised an eyebrow.

"I'm sorry about a lot of things, Heero. What I said at the wedding, I didn't mean it." I hadn't meant a single thing. How could I ever hate and despise him? I was just angry and I wanted him to hurt like he had hurt me. Now, I wanted to take every word I had said and apologize and hope he'd accept me back. God, I had really fucked everything up, hadn't I?

I jumped slightly when his hand suddenly came to hold my chin and make me face him. Even in those dark blue eyes, I could see the sincerity and forgiveness. This was too good to be true. "Duo, you shouldn't have to apologize. It's my fault too. If anyone should have to apologize, it should be me." Regret was clear on his face and I had the urge to kiss it and make it go away. I didn't want anything to mar his handsome face.

"No," I shook my head. "I read your report. It WASN'T your fault. We were both tricked." I hated being tricked, but then I suppose Wufei and I are even though, since he tricked me and I used him. He was really pissed when I found out the truth and finally informed him that I had been using him to get back at Heero. But now, I'm glad he's out of my life. I had watched his and Relena's wedding broadcast on the T.V. for a minute before turning it off to do something else. Relena and Wufei have a nice baby girl now.

There was a minute of silence as we both reminisced and thought, then Heero asked, "You love me?" I nodded. "You do…. Then why are you here now?" And not earlier? There was a long gap, months before I had the guts to come here and stand just a foot away from Heero, close enough to smell his sandalwood and ginger clean scent.

"I was just…." I swallowed to clear my throat. "Why didn't you come back when you left Relena? You left. You ran away, transferred to another branch" I took in a shaky breath, relieved that things were going well so far, "I thought you was still angry with me for the things I had said and done to you."

"I wasn't sure." He answered truthfully, brooding eyes looking at me sorrowfully. "I was afraid that you'd hate me after all those things you said and all the things I had done to you."

"Jesus, it's YOU that's supposed to hate me." Isn't it so ironic? Us loving each other but afraid at the same time. It took me a while to gather some nerve to come see him and confess. Otherwise, I probably would have gone mad. "I didn't come earlier 'cause I couldn't bear it if you shut the door on me. But, I just needed to see you one last time, even if you'd never forgive me."

His other hand came to cup my face and I immediately nuzzled his rough palms, reveling in their warmth and texture. Then I pulled back slightly. "No, Heero." Don't touch me like that. I had slept with other people to spite you. I had used people, used their bodies, and played with their emotions. Can't you see how horrible I am? "I'm filthy. You don't know the things I've done. I don't deserve any forgiveness from anyone." I couldn't even put it in words. All I knew was that I didn't deserve this. I didn't deserve him to touch me like this. Strong hands turned my head to face him again, more insistent this time.

"Of course you're forgiven, Duo." No. This was too easy. I was supposed to beg and cry at his feet. I had pictured it in my mind many times; how he'd scorn me and tell me to get the hell out of his sight. It wasn't supposed to be like this. Not that I'm complaining. But this was too easy. Was I really forgiven? I almost wanted to deny all of this. Surely I didn't deserve any of this. I didn't! But, I stared into his honest eyes and felt myself being redeemed. God should have given him a halo.

"I'll forgive you, that is, if you'll forgive me too." He finally bargained. I nodded quickly.

"Of course." I said it sort of breathlessly as I realized he had gotten closer. Licking my lips unconsciously, I added, "You were surprisingly easy to find." He smiled and I felt my insides melt. His smile reached his eyes and I saw a happy sparkle in them and my insides were absolute putty, signaling to the whole world that I was absolutely and forever under his power.

"Maybe I wanted to be found." He answered, his lips whispered ghostly against mine; the movement caused the slightest of winds, yet my skin had goose bumps immediately.

I turned my head to kiss his palm gently. Before all was done and forgiven, I needed to tell him, "Heero, I love you still."

Hearing that familiar phrase, he smiled only for me before I kissed those pretty, pink lips. I've missed the sensation, his soft lips moving slowly against mine and I could hear his light sighs as he returned the kiss full heartedly. I felt the Heero's hand cup the back of my head, pushing us closer together to deepen our sweet kisses.

His clean, masculine scent intoxicated me as much as his luscious mouth did. I accepted his tongue greedily, wanting anything he'd give me. He touched mine tentatively before slowly swirling it, playing lightly with mine, taunting my tongue with his mouth where he sucked gently and tickled with light, short, kisses.

"Mmm… Heero." I moaned; the both of us out of breath despite having broke apart many times for air. God, where had he learned to kiss so well or has it been so long since we last kissed?

"I've missed that." He kissed me softly, but quickly again before resting his forehead against mine so I could see only his navy eyes. Silently, we both mouthed, "I'm sorry" before sealing our apologies and forgiveness with another light kiss. I don't think I'll ever grow tired to his delicious kisses.

It makes me euphoric; this lightheadedness, warmth and pleasant haziness. It makes me forget everything else and all I can concentrate on is Heero and everything he's doing to my body and me.


"Hey, Heero?"

"Hm." We were lazily snuggled on his cushy couch and I didn't want to budge an inch.

"I don't suppose you taught your dog to light the fireplace?"

He snorted out an endearing "baka". "Are you cold?"

"Kinda." I've always had a tendency to feel colder than normal people.

I half sighed and half purred contently when he pulled me closer against his warm body and wrapped his arms tighter around me.

"Hey, Heero." I asked again.


"Did you… do you really want a child?" I was just curious. Just 'cause, you know, people sometimes get to that point in life where they're ready to start a family, where they really wanted to have a child of their own. I couldn't give Heero a child, obviously not. And I hope he wouldn't resent it.

Heero took a serious minute to think before shaking his head slowly. "No, not yet. All I really want right now… is you." I looked up from resting my head on his shoulder. It's not often when he's romantic or poetic, but when he is, it's the sweetest thing EVER! He blushed so it reached the tips of his ears and his thin lips automatically give a nervous almost lopsided smile. I wish I had a camera.

"Well, what would you have wanted anyhow? A boy or girl?"

"Girl." I raised my eyebrow skeptically. He's not the type who could survive a tea party or dance recital. Psh, it's not like he even has a sense of fashion. Then he thought about it again. "Boy or girl, it doesn't really matter, ne?" He replied undecidedly. "Just as long as she has your eyes or your smile. I'd like that." Oh that was endearingly sweet. I could almost cry right now. "But," he smirked, quickly kissing me on the nose, "hopefully, she won't talk as much as you do." I "humphed" and stuck my tongue at him.

He took the opportunity to steal a kiss. One of many more to come.


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