Letters to Heero 4/?
by Pink Whirlwind
Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing
His room was hard to really define, his little one room apartment. He wasn't sure how long he'd been there or when he'd last gone out. Duo wondered if the world outside were even real, if it weren't real, then what was it?
His fingers rested on the keyboard, the keys worn smooth, even though all he wrote were letters to Heero.
"I had a dream, my love," he wrote, "That we were Preventers together and you got shot, but I don't really remember what happened after that. I think my therapist might right - that I'm having a psychotic break. What do you do when your mind ends and the world's not real any more? He suggested that this dream I had, that maybe it had been real and you were dead, but I just couldn't accept it. I still can't. You see, my love, loving you is all I've really got. I don't know where you are or if you were even ever real. Maybe I just imagined you because I was so fucked up that no one could love me, so I just... made you up. Or maybe you were real and you're dead. I don't know how to explain it, Heero, but I'm dying. It's like every time I exhale, there's less of me to inhale. You're less there every time I blink my eyes and in a moment - I'm just going to stop being. So my love, if you were ever real, this is my last letter to you or to anyone. There aren't that many breathes left, but I don't want to leave anything half said when the last breath does come. You understand right? So, whatever I'm worth - all of that worth is loving you.
Goodbye, my love.
He leaned back in his chair. He'd meant to ... something. Go for a walk maybe, but there was just... he blinked and his eyes didn't open.
Just outside his small little apartment, his therapist stood, wearing a dark coat, and a satisfied smile.
"It's the ship," Heero said decisively, attaching a two cable to it.
Trowa adjusted his trajectory just a little, floated up next to the pitted hull of what might once have been some part of a ship, maybe big enough to hold a life pod, maybe power for life support. "I am not reading life signs, but radioactivity levels are high, Heero."
"This is it," Heero said stubbornly. "Life signs won't show if it's set to minimal status. You know that."
"We expected to find a ship," Trowa said. Even on small space he occupied on the inside of Heero's visor, he expected his sometimes very obtuse friend to read concern, not obstruction. "This is not a ship. It's not even salvageable." Trowa switched their link to being just between the two of them, blocking out Quatre and anyone else who might want to be listening. "You have to accept that Duo may have been alive for as long as he could keep himself alive and that's got to be longer than anyone else I know, but this isn't a ship. It's hardly big enough to be a life pod. If it's from Duo, it's a message in a bottle, not a boy in a bottle. It's going to have to be enough to know that he loved you."
"No." Heero affixed the second tow line to the dark battered little ball of scrap and began the slow path back to Quatre's ship.
What Trowa said made much more sense than them cracking this thing open and finding a sleeping Duo inside. Even if they did, so much time had passed. It was more likely that Duo would be alive than sane.
Trowa caught up, attached his two tow lines, and they made better progress. What he hadn't said was that he understood the likelihood of there being a dead Heero if they couldn't find a live Duo, if they weren't very careful.
Decontamination hit them all as soon as the bay closed. Inside their suits, it wasn't uncomfortable, but it took longer than Heero wanted it to. Standing there as clouds of nanites swarmed them for any kind of contamination, removed radioactive particles, recharged batteries, recharged O2 containers, probably didn't take more than fifteen minutes, but that time gave Heero enough time to think through every possible outcome of this scenario twenty times. The very worst one was a skeletal Duo locked forever in a pose of trying to claw his way out of an escape pod. His second most urgently not wanted scenario was for Trowa or anyone else to realize he was crying behind his dark tinted solar visor.
So maybe he lost a track of time a little, when Howard exclaimed, "That's the kid's work. I'd know those weld joins anywhere. I need a sonic spanner."
As Howard was rambling and shouting, the bay must have been cleared of vacuum. Heero pulled his helmet off. "Is it possible?"
"Oh hell yes," Howard said.
The pod was actually bigger than it had seemed outside. It was easily long enough to hold an escape pod and while the base extended like two slender, junk latticed ruins, they actually made for pretty good landing gear and put the main body of the pod just a little over Howard's head. Duo's old friend stood underneath, both hands up in the rat's nest of shielded cabling and shredded hull. "This is really pretty good Sweeper work."
Quatre joined them then, looking paler than when he'd almost killed Trowa. "Heero," he started cautiously. Trowa, who had just passed his suit off to one of the flight crew, gave Trowa the kind of warning only a trusted spouse can give.
"I'm telling you," Heero said firmly, "This is Duo's work. He won't die days before we find him, now would he?"
Quatre and Trowa looked at each other, both of them being willing to accept years from the look of the snarled metal that had been dragged into the bay.
With a look of triumph, Howard jumped back, as two internal doors opened and a perfectly untouched life pod lowered slowly down to the floor. Heero finished peeling off the last of his suit and ran to look check the status screen on the pod. "He's alive."
"You know," Quatre said very gently, "Even if this is Duo's work, that it might not be Duo in the pod."
"Then who wrote those letters?" Heero spat back, angrily. "There's zero radiation, zero contaminants. Let's get this thing down to medical and get him out."
Quatre's hands flew to his temples, eyes narrowing. "He's not alone."