Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing
Heero pressed send. It was the 1005th email he’d sent to Duo in the last ten years and he KNEW they were delivered and read, but no replies ever came. Duo had been his only kiss, but that had a decade ago. Staring at the screen, he rubbed his face, realized he hadn’t shaved in two days.
Email 1006th had to be written.
I’ve been busy. Do you want me to be sorry? I want to see you. My career at Preventers is over. Please.
I’ve been busy. Do you want me to be sorry? I want to see you. My career at Preventers is over. Please.
Then he got up and got a water, a protein cookie, and wondered about a life that had given him a house that he didn’t use 90% of. The only glimmer of emotion he could find was in his memories of his childhood friend. His computer dinged for the first time since he’d resigned Preventers and he nearly tripped over a chair he didn’t use getting back to it.
535 Jefferson St. New Seattle, L5.
98234-213 Call before you arrive.
Heero’s hands went to his face, fingers pressing to the bridge of his. His eyes felt like they’d fall out of his face. Duo and ... Chang. Bile rose in his throat. How could that even possibly be?
Fingers shaking, as he started to understand more about himself, about why Duo mattered to him. “Chang -
Are you and Maxwell married.
Almost instantaneously, as if it had been sent before he sent his response.
“You’re an idiot. I am married. Minaret, my wife and the mother of my four children, said to advise you that if you have any desire to reconnect with Duo, you should bring him a pet, something cute and fluffy, the prettier and friendlier the better. She also said you should come without expectations.
Duo is... different.
Different? A pet? Heero glarred.
I don’t have anymore time for you. Come, don’t come - I don’t care. You make him worse than he is, and I’ll kill you. Are we clear?
Heero’s nose twisted, his lips thin and caught between a snarl and a sneer. He was not going to be told off by Chang Wufei in some cryptic daddy speak like that man had done so much better with his life!
His next email went to Relena.
Please advise me on what would be a good fluffy, very friendly pet to be given to someone who might desire such a thing?
Her reply came pretty fast.
“Oh! Hi Heero!
How are you? A fluffy, friendly pet? Are you going to see Duo! See! I told you that you should go! You should get him a snow weasel! He posted a pic of one of those this morning on the community thread.
Heero glared. A snow weasel? Did they also have rain weasels? Money weasels? Office weasels? What the hell was a community thread? Duo... the man who loved blowing things up and was probably a little psychotic... wanted a snow weasel?
Heero searched for for what a snow weasel was and he just stared at the white thing with blue eyes and it looked like some kind of expensive Japanese bread. Maybe he planned to eat it? He wasn’t quite sure if it would baked.. But it might not be a ‘cute’, if such a word connected to such a thing if it were like deep fried. That would probably mess up the fur. Would it bit?
Heero scratched the back of his head, one eye squinting more than the other, then wrote back.
“Where do I get one of these things? Is it like some kind of delicacy? Should I bring a certain kind of wine with it or something?”
That got an immediate callback from Relena, her face right up to the camera. “Oh my fucking god! Heero! What the hell’s wrong with you! My daughter almost saw that message? What is wrong with you??”
Heero’s lips pursed up as his eyes shifted to the side. “I was just asking.”
“It’s a pet, Heero. You pet it, give it treats. You do know that Duo writes romance novels, right?”
“We are talking about Duo Maxwell, right?”
“Yeah,” she said calming down. “I expect we are. Heero, I’m not sure visiting Duo would be a good thing.”
“I’m going,” he said stubbornly.
“Fine,” she said in her best mommy knows best voice. “When? I’ll arrange for a tame snow weasel and it’s support system.”
“I want to go now,” Heero said, feeling as if he’d been living without his skin for years, but only know realized how much pain he was in. “I need to see him.”
“It’s not going to be what you think it will be,” Relena said softly, caution in her voice.
“Why does everyone know more about Duo what I do?”
“That is definitely a question you should find an answer to, Heero.”
“Thank you for advice. Should I bring him a matching weasel? Do they have sun weasels too?”
“No,” she said, her mommy doesn’t approve look pretty effective even over video chat.
So three days later, Heero Yuy excited a commercial shuttle, feeling self conscious over the cane still needed because his body did not like the replacement leg. It was all very good to have an enhanced immune system, but it didn’t help with some things. The weasel keeper followed along with the thing’s habitat and more luggage than Heero had brought for himself.
New Seattle.L5 seemed to have very good security. He wasn’t even sure he could breach her without permission, even if he wanted to. That said, the inside was quaint, pretty, small town feeling with smiling people. Heero felt profoundly out of place. Leaning on his cane, he tried to figure out how to call a cab.
There didn’t seem to be any public transportation or any buildings over five stories tall. The blue sky stretched forever. That he’d made a mistake hummed over every nerve he had.
Then an odd little blue car pulled up and stopped suddenly, surreal and almost cartoonish. A person jumped out of it, waving with this grin on their face, so cheerful, with hair colored like a sunrise.
Every instinct in him, told Heero to shoot the monster before the dream went any farther.
“Hi! I’m Eclipse! I’m Duo’s publicist! He wanted me to pick you up. Oh my god, is that the snow weasel! ‘Lena said you’d be bringing one!”
The person bent over the cage to look the small mammal in the eye, chattering away at with the same level of enthusiasm that Heero had warranted. “Where is Maxwell,” Heero snapped. What kind of place was this that didn’t allow guns, but had people like... Eclipse?
Eclipse shook hands with the weasel handler, nodding and smiling. Then the handler just turned and walked back into the space port, which looked, from this side, like nothing more than a tourist information center. Half dancing, Eclipse moved the weasel condo to the back of the blue cartoon car and fit it in, promising the stupid thing, which Heero really wanted to point out did not speak English, that where they were going was going to be great!
“Okay! Colonel Yuy if you could please make yourself comfortable in the car, we’ll get you right home!”
Heero’s teeth itched. He really wanted to bit this guy somehow. He settled into the front passenger seat though, put on the seatbelt, and thought up some stern words for Duo. There ought to be an apology after being treated like this. This was just... annoying.
Eclipse spun their seat around to face Heero as car took off for whatever destination. “So, welcome to New Seattle.L5. We’re a very small colony and very selective on who is allowed out of the reception area. You should know that you have been granted exceptional exceptions.”
It occurred to Heero that he could make his own gun, worse come to worse. “Is Duo being held against his will?”
“Oh goodness no!” Ellipse batted at Heero with both hands as if he’d just said the most ridiculous thing. Anyone who wishes to leave, is free to do so! Committing violence here will get a person escorted immediately to the reception, to exit the colony. This colony is a refuge, a sanctuary. The Son of Heaven degreed this colony for his dear friend. There are those of us here who are capable of violence, swift and effective,” Eclipse said with that same children’s television show smile, “We do not tolerate violence, especially not near Duo.”
“Are you threatening me,” Heero said, wanting to backhand this person until their blood splattered on the glass.
“No,” Eclipse said, batting eyelashes, “I’m giving you information you will find helpful for surviving this colony. The Imperial family lives here as well. We love Duo just as much as we love them. You do not wish to be perceived as a threat, Colonel. Do you understand me?”
“Yes,” Heero said.
Shortly thereafter, the car pulled into the garage of a small blue house, that sat in the shadow of a much larger house.
“You should take your gift out of it’s house and follow me in,” Eclipse said sweetly.
Something just wasn’t right about all this. Heero seriously wanted to know how he had just wanted, unarmed, blissfully unaware of where he was going, into the inner sanctum of the Imperial Chinese family.
Still, this is where Duo was and he wanted to be here. He opened the cage and the fluffy little white thing bounced to him sniffing his fingers, but squealing when Heero picked it up by the scruff of the neck.
“Oh goodness,” Eclipse said, “No, no. Hold him like this!”
“Thank you,” Heero said, holding the little fluffy white thing like an unexploded grenade.
Eclipse knocked on the door from the garage into the house, waited, then opened it to step inside, “Duo! Hi! Heero and I are here! Can we come in?”
Heero didn’t hear Duo say it was okay, but a moment later Eclipse was motioning for him to come in.
Heero was deeply glad the stupid fur ball didn’t try to run away, because he only had one hand to hold it. Cane in his other hand, he navigated the steps up into the kitchen.
Duo, looking like no time had passed at all, stood there spreading something on bread, headphones on. His braid swung as he danced slightly.
“Duo,” Heero said, feeling his heart soften, feeling like he had skin on again, finally, as if everything scary about the world had just fallen silent. “I’m here.”
Duo pulled some lunch meat from a pouch and arranged it on his sandwich, then some pre-sliced tomato.
“Duo,” Heero said a little louder, more urgently.
Eclipse shook his head. “Hold the weasel up, both hands if you can.”
Heero nodded, did as he was asked, keeping his weight on his good leg. Eclipse flipped the light on and off.
Duo immediately turned his head in their direction, violet eyes empty and unfocused.
Heero felt fear, like he’d ever felt fear before. Dying didn’t scare him. Losing his leg didn’t scare him. Being retired from Preventers didn’t scare him. War, famine, violence - none of that scared him. An empty Duo though meant the world was broken. In desperation, Heero held the weasel out a little higher.
Duo mouthed opened like he gasped, but there was no sound. He dropped the knife and moved to pet the little white fur ball, who took to Duo like a flower to sunlight. It scampered into Duo’s hands and cuddling. Duo started making little weasel gibberish at the thing, petting it, and then just wandered off.
Heero grabbed his cane and nearly sighed as he took the pressure off his leg. “What’s wrong with him?”
“There is nothing physically wrong with him. Your guest room is the first to the left. If you’d like a house of your own, let me know. If you want to talk to Duo, there is a computer by the bay window. If you type to him there, he is likely to respond.”
“What happened,” Heero said, brows furrowed. If someone hurt Duo, he’d do them bodily harm. It was what he was good at, after all.
“We don’t know. He was like this when his Imperial Majesty found him.”
“But Relena said he writes novels,” Heero pointed out, because none of this made sense.
“Oh yes, he writes lovely novels. You should try reading them.”
“Will do,” Heero said, moving off to find the computer that Duo would respond to. He leaned his cane against the desk and sat down carefully, fingers resting on the keyboard.
“Do you like the snow weasel?”
“Oh yes! She’s splendid! She has such beautiful blue eyes! I’m going to call her Heero!”
Heero squinted at the screen, read that line three times. “Is it okay if I stay for a while?”
“Sure! Do you like to play race car games?”
“I’ve never played, but I’ll play with you.”
“Great! After I get another chapter done, okay? Get some lunch or something and I’ll be out soon. What’s your name?”
“I’m Heero... Yuy,” Heero typed, thinking he might cry... like actually cry for the first time in longer than he could remember.
“Great to meet you Heero Yuy I’m Duo Maxwell.”
Heero just sat there - staring.