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Fic: Santa Clarita - Value of Us - Being Human 1/1

Fic: Santa Clarita - Value of Us - Being Human 1/1
by Pinkwhirlwind - aka Max

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing

Notes:  This one’s probably short, just from Heero’s pov

In the year they’d been in Wyoming, Duo had had four flashbacks, these fits of his, that were strong enough that he needed to be restrained or tranquilized. I really don’t think he’d hurt anyone, even if there wasn’t an intervention. I don’t think they think so either, or they would have told the school. If they really thought it was that dangerous, they won’t let him go to school or babysit, and he loves to babysit. I would consider that some kind of fit as well, but I have been very strongly reassured that that is a very normal behavior, to which I countered that blowing things up is also, obviously, a very normal behavior. Marin just... stared at me. I am correct. Humans blow things up frequently. Frequent behavior is normal. Where we disagree is in that normal behavior is good.

Wufei has had fifteen similar episodes where the past imprinted on the present so strongly that he had to pause his activities or retire for the day. Quatre twenty-two. Trowa states that he does not experience such events as they would interfere with his responsibilities as head of Quatre’s security. In case we had not previously established this fact, I should like you to know that Trowa lies. Relena has missed four days of work, as the president of the Earth sphere. Allen and Mary fought in the wars too and they also have incidence, though not as intense. They account for this by explaining that their traumas were treated early and frequently by their wife, Marin. Kait has nightmares about  the fire that killed her family and left her in a state of I’m not sure could have been as fully repaired without the entirely quasi-legal research and development going on at the ‘ranch’ in Wyoming.  In all of contemporary medical records, treatment for post traumatic stress disorder is 1200% higher post war than pre-war.  Apparently people were very much watching what was going on during the wars and there should have been more convictions than just the five of us and Zechs. There is so much misery.

I don’t have incidences.


Not one.

Duo says I’m a lucky bastard.

I am.

There are moments when I catch him looking at me with so much love and I think that that feeling must be what the various mythological heavens must feel like.    He’s my royal flush, in hearts, with a stupid grin, and usually a crazy scheme about something. I’d follow him anywhere, any time, cut my heart out to do the best thing for him, and I am lucky.

I’m not that lucky though.

So here I stand, scratching the back of Sandy the Pig’s head, wondering how in the hell Duo thought he heard patterns that could be translated in the sounds that swine make, but he did. He knew he was right. I know the answer to why I don’t have incidents too, but I don’t want to. I don’t know why Duo hasn’t come to the same conclusion. If I could fake a nightmare, well enough to fool him, I’d give serious consideration to trying.

“Heero,” Marin said, irritation in her voice. “You said you were coming to see me at 15:00.”

“I did say that. I’m sorry.”

“Decided you didn’t want to hear what I’m going to tell you?”

“I’m still deciding,” he said without looking back at her. “Somethings are hard to unhear and I don’t keep anything from him.”

He could almost hear her rolling her eyes. “Well, he hasn’t been on my server this week, so ride with me.”

“He doesn’t want to know,” Heero whispered.

“Bullshit. If he knew we’d done brain scans, he’d have been on my system curves on a rose. Ride with me.”  She nudged his back and dropped reigns on his shoulder.

“Hn.”  He swung up into the saddle though, gave Crispen a scratch on his neck.

They kept a gentle pace until they were well outside the compound and the horses were warmed up, then gave themselves to the wind, leaning over, tight and unified, reflecting the shared evolutionary history of the two species, human and horse. The path was made to be run, with jumps and curves set in. It was a challenging run, including a forested area where satellites, microdrones, and other means for spying were thwarted, for the most part. In this part, which was designed to give the horses a breather, Heero slipped from Crispen’s back and let him drink.

“Well? What is it? There’s some kind of brain tumor?”

Marin blinked, her lips tightening up as eyebrows arched. “Oh wow! I thought you had it mostly figured out. A sizable part of your brain circuitry is non-organic, but it looks organic. The difference is undetectable to any commercially available scanner. You don’t have post traumatic stress because your mind is built out of a better model.”

Heero’s mouth fell open and the reigns slipped from his hand. “I’m... an android?”

“Oh hell no,” Marin slipped from her horse and pulled a tablet from her saddle bag. “Do you want to see? It’s really beautiful.”

“I’m... I’m... a machine?”

“You’re upset?” She asked, eyebrow arching. “Oh wow. You’re really upset. Why are you upset?”

“If I am a machine.. which being non-organic would make me a machine, then I can not be Duo’s husband.. marry him... love him.. I’m... just following through with some programming that my creators implemented. I could be incredibly dangerous.”

“Being dangerous only makes you human. Heero, I didn’t say you were a machine. Heero!”

Running that day it was  as if the limits were finally off. So many things made so much more sense. And yet they didn’t. Nothing made sense. A machine won’t care about being a machine. A machine won’t run from intangibles like being human or not being human. A machine won’t feel this hole in his being at the thought of losing a human being’s love? Would it? During that run, I couldn’t even imagine Duo’s expression in any kind of negativity.. I feared revulsion, hatred, fear, betrayal, disgust... something like I would imagine feeling if I suddenly found out Duo had been a toaster all along. I couldn’t imagine his face twisting into any of those expressions so his face just faded to a white blur and I ran faster, my heart beating so hard in my chest it felt as big as the horses had when we were running together.

I could hear Marin behind me calling my name, but I couldn’t let her catch me.

The echoes of Zero woke in my mind, postulating various outcomes.. that there could be trigger words that might control me, that my body could be used for things I didn’t approve of, or that my personality, the essence of who I am would disappear as if I were no more than a wisp of Duo’s imagination. I couldn’t Marin or anyone else catch me, so I veered from the path, expecting her not to bring her horse onto the uneven ground.

There were recordings in my head too, like suppressed memories that I’d never been mean to find. J’s voice tried so hard to reach me in those moments. Orders about the peacefulness of sleep, about how the value of a life is in its efforts, not in its length, about great a gift... and I didn’t listen.. I tried so hard not to listen. He had not meaning for me. He was a liar.

If I couldn’t imagine the future Duo, I imagined him from the past, and I can see, looking back how he broke me, broke me from what I was meant to be. He introduced the fatal flaw in me.. want. I wanted him those moments when we had sex and it wasn’t good, but it was still beyond sweet. That first time when I thought he was dying and I was just trying to give him his last request, which made no sense at fucking all looking back and if I’d been a pure human, maybe I never would have done it.  

By the time I got to the neighbor’s house where Duo was supposed to be mucking stalls, my head was like the white noise of explosions merging and tearing each other apart. J wanted my attention so badly that I believed I was going to vibrate apart.  I don’t even know how many miles or how fast. Marin was long left behind and there he was.

He stood in the center of the barn, shirt off, baggy jeans low on his hips, braid all mused and stuck through with hay as he turned to see me.  The pitchfork he was holding dropped and he was running towards me.  

For the very first time, maybe because I’d stopped running or I’d reached my goal, I heard J’s voice clearly as he said my name.  

But then Duo’s lips were on mine, warm and dry, the curves of them against mine like a brand, an indelible imprint. His tongue slipped into my mouth and I felt his strong arms holding me. All the personality that was ever me hung in the air like a fragile little bubble, immortal only in the moments of time it exists in and gone in all the others.

I get that. I do. That if you build the most powerful weapon ever...when its done its job, you put it to sleep. As nice as you can, if it was once human, but you don’t leave it running around. Weapons are tools.

Then his tongue touched mine and really, there’s no space between where he ends and I begin - it’s one molecule to another all the way across. Data is just bits of electrons dancing this way or that. Duo might be a crazy fucker sometimes, but he’s more sure of himself and of right and wrong than J ever was.

So it was Duo’s voice in my head.

“I love you.”
I drank him in. Every moment we’ve ever been together re-lived, replayed, everything from the first time he told me he loved me, the moment he said he’d kill me for not running away with him, seeing him at the airport, everything, and I never have wanted so much before or since.

I wanted to be the man he knew. The mission would never be over, for so long as he lived.  In my mind I walled J’s voice up, thick wall of bricks, sprays of moulton gundanium, more bricks, and seal it up with a big poster of Duo Maxwell... no... property of Duo Maxwell.

He felt me smiling. I know because I felt his lips smile back against mine. We were one being there in that kiss.

“Baby, what’s wrong?”

“I’m part machine.”

“Yeah. Knew that. You didn’t know?”


Duo ran his fingers through my hair and machine or not, goosebumps ran down my spine, sent blood to my penis, and I could feel my pupils dilating.  “Heero, everyone’s a machine, it’s just a matter of what kind. You’re more humane and wonderful than any other unaugmented human I’ve ever known. I’ve never seen you in a cold sweat like this... you look... gray.” There was real fear in his eyes as he looked down at me, his hand trembling slightly. “Baby? You okay?”

And then J’s voice stopped murmuring from behind those walls and my heart took a solid normal beat.  “I’m... you still want to be with me?”

“OH fuck yeah. For all eternity,” Duo promised, hands tightening on my arms. “What happened?”

“Some ... old programming. J wanted me to shut down.”

“I am so gonna kill him one of these days. You’re not gonna shut down, are you? Please don’t leave me?”

“I am,” and I paused to really explore those parts of my mind that I hadn’t looked at before. I didn’t have time to got through them all now, but I knew I would be. I would rewrite them all with commands from Duo. So I knew, and with a smile, I promised, “I’m okay. I’m really okay. I’m not leaving. I’ll be here as long as you want me.”

“Well, then you’ll be here a long fucking time.”  Duo grabbed me into a tight hug, holding onto me with one of those desperate hugs of his.  “We’re a matched set, baby.”

Then... I was just okay, happy, peaceful, a little horny. There are advantages to being me.  “Are we alone?”

“Yes,” he whispered in my ear.


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