In The Memory Part 7

It was three o'clock in the afternoon before Heero finally ventured into the kitchen for something to eat. He hadn't eaten since the night before when he and Duo had snacked on chips and dip, and after hours of emptiness his stomach was grumbling in violent protest. He could just barely bring himself to care enough to numbly make himself a can of vegetable soup. A few minutes later he was looking down at his empty bowl, and he couldn't even remember eating.

He got up from the table and put the bowl in the sink, leaning against it for a moment and letting an exasperated sigh escape his lips. Why had he said those things? He couldn't imagine ever thinking Duo was an idiot. Sure he talked a lot, but since meeting Duo, Heero found that usual chatter comforting and quite often amusing. How could he have ever felt differently?

He knew how he could find the answer. But the thought of listening to the recording again caused a great trepidation to grow in him. He had a million questions pertaining to his former life, but he was afraid of what the recording would reveal.

Knowing it was inevitable, he returned to the spare bedroom, where the disk sat ominously next to his laptop. He sat down behind the desk and stared at the disk for several long moments. After more internal argument, he slid the CD into the drive. He clicked on the audio file and listened as the crackling of the recording sounded throughout the room.

"This is Doctor Brian Levitz," the doctor's voice began again, "Date - 17 March AC 202. Time - 11:35 am. I am sitting with Heero Yuy, who has come of his-"

Heero clicked on the progress bar and sped the recording forward a few minutes.

"- and on about nothing at all," Heero heard his own voice say. "I remember thinking he was such an idiot. I was a Gundam pilot, I was trying to fight a war and it was like he didn't care at all what was going on. I really didn't understand how he became a pilot. He was just impossibly annoying."

Heero leaned back in his hair, putting his hands behind his head and sighing in frustration. He was glad Duo hadn't stayed to hear more. He hated himself for saying such things.

"And that ridiculous braid..."

Cringing, Heero bit his lip and fought the urge to shut off the recording again. But the laptop went quiet, as if the old Heero was considering his words.

After a few silent minutes, Dr. Levitz spoke. "Go on, Mr Yuy."

The Heero on the recording hesitated before continuing. "I never thought we would become friends, much less... more."

"How did that happen?" Dr. Levitz asked.


"Tell me how your relationship developed."

Heero's voice sighed from the laptop. "We became friends from working together in the war. We had a couple missions together, hid at the same school once or twice. We saved each other's lives on several occasions. Actually we were just friends for a long time... To tell the truth, over the course of the war I became attracted to Relena."

Heero frowned. Relena Peacecraft? The girl he knew as a friend, but nothing more? He wracked his brain and suddenly images of the familiar blond woman came to mind. He remembered those feelings he had once had - the confusion she caused within him, then the fascination that grew into a sort of affection. He remembered her being kidnapped and the fear he had felt, the need to go and rescue her. He remembered being with her after the war, working as her body guard in public, being her lover in private.

The memories came back painfully and Heero forced himself to listen to the recording again.

"- and we started a relationship. I really had no idea what I was doing with her. But I knew she loved me, and I liked her enough. We were together for a few months before... well we just kind of grew apart. After the war Duo had gone to work with Hilde and the Sweepers, but we kept in contact. When Relena and I broke up, I stopped working for her. After a little while, Wufei persuaded me to join the Preventers and being stationed on L2, I was able to see Duo more often."

The recording went quiet for a few moments.

"Tell me about that," Dr. Levitz directed the old Heero.

"About what?"

"The times you spent with Duo Maxwell."

Again there were a few seconds of silence, and then Heero's voice continued describing his life. "He dragged me along to the movies..."

Heero saw a flash of him and Duo sharing a large bag of popcorn, Duo eating the majority of it. The smell of theatre butter and Duo's cologne invaded his senses.

"We went out to eat when we could..."

He remembered sitting across from Duo in a dimly lit restaurant, watching as the braided man enjoyed his large platter of pasta. He could taste wine on his tongue, feel the smooth tablecloth beneath his hand. He recalled feeling a strange tightening in his gut as he looked at Duo that night, and not knowing what to make of that sensation.

"He took me to a carnival one weekend..."

The image of a large ferris wheel formed in Heero's mind. He saw Duo dragging him into the small compartment of it, sitting close enough to make Heero feel the warmth of his thigh against his own. He remembered tasting funnel cake for the first time in his life, and Duo's complete pleasure at watching him eat it. He remembered that large smile of Duo's that he was slowly beginning to treasure.

"He wanted to ride every ride and play every game. We didn't leave until they were closing down at 11 o'clock..."

Heero thought of that night when they left the carnival, tired from a full day of excitement he had never experienced before that night. He could recollect Duo falling asleep in the car on the way home, a large stuffed bear sitting like person in the back seat of Heero's sedan. Heero couldn't help smiling as the memories flooded back.

"He even surprised me once - showing up at my door one night with a DVD and pizza..."

Listening to his voice recall the memory with such fondness, Heero felt the images return to him. Kicking back on his couch with Duo beside him, eating slice after slice of meat-covered pizza until his stomach could not hold any more, watching the action flick Duo had brought with him and had obviously seen before... Heero slowly remembered all of it. And with increasing eagerness, he listened as his own voice continued from the laptop.

"I didn't fall in love with him right away, but I definitely felt it more and more over time. It was a while before anything happened. We were at his apartment eating Chinese and watching another one of his movies." The Heero on the recording paused. "He just leaned over and kissed me and we just kind of realized we basically were in a relationship already. So we just kept going from there."

Intense joy came over Heero as he remembered their first kiss. He could almost taste the Sweet n' Sour sauce that mingled on Duo's tongue. He could smell the scent of Duo's hair as he remembered running his hands through that silken mass.

It amazed him that he had ever wanted to forget such a memory.

"What happened then?" Dr. Levitz asked.

Heero's voice sighed from the laptop. "We dated for about a year and half. Then he made next move... again. He proposed to me..."

The bliss in Heero heightened and he remembered the ring Duo presented him with. He remembered the night in the park, riding Duo's motorcycle and the picnic they had shared that was much like the one they had recently gone on. The memory of Duo sliding that ring on his finger, after asking that momentous question, played strongly in Heero's mind. Absently, his right hand moved to caress his left ring finger. Happily remembering a time when that ring had been there, he sadly missed it.

"We married at a small ceremony." The recording went silent and the old Heero's voice lowered to almost a whisper. "It was the best day of my life..."

Flashes of Duo in a tuxedo, his shining hair pulled into his usual braid... Their friends gathered around them as they read their vows... Sliding a golden band onto Duo's finger... Heero felt a tear slip down his cheek. Every emotion he had felt that day came back full force, and he felt every one of them with the greatest pleasure. How could he have ever wanted to forget such happiness?

"But it didn't last?" Dr. Levitz was simply asking a question, but Heero hated him for ruining his moment of reminiscence.

"No," firmly replied Heero's voice from the laptop. "Things started getting a little rocky when I had a few dangerous missions for the Preventers. He was worried one day I wouldn't come home, and he always reacted to fear by either joking about it, or getting angry. Those days he got angry. One night we had a big fight and he left. And that was it."

Suddenly Heero remembered the fight in all its horrible glory. They had gotten into a shouting match, which had surprised both of them because neither was one to lose their temper. Heero had punched a hole in the wall in frustration and Duo had thrown his ring at him, saying something along the lines of that he couldn't do this anymore. He kicked Heero out of the home they had shared. And Heero had been so irate, he hadn't argued. Other memories followed - Heero moving his things out of the house. Saying goodbye to the lovable Boxer, Nio, whom Duo had to hold back by the collar as Heero left. He remembered driving away from that small blue house and letting anger override any regret.

Heero couldn't stand it any more. He stopped the audio file and returned the room to silence. Picking up the phone, he quickly dialed Duo's home phone number. He remembered that number as having once been his own as well. The dial tone stopped and the phone began to ring. It kept ringing... Heero waited several minutes through the repetitive ringing, before slamming the receiver down in frustration. He picked it back up and dialed Duo's cell phone. Maybe he just hadn't been home... This time the ringing stopped after a few seconds and Duo's voice came on the line. Heero's heart jumped for a moment before he realized it was the voice mail. He forced the receiver back down without leaving a message and leaned back in his chair.

He had to talk to Duo. He had to apologize, he had to make things right again. He had loved Duo - he still did. More than ever now that he had his memories back. Even remembering the hate that had grown in him after they broke up, it all seemed so childish now. He felt none of that anger that had originally drove him to the Serenity Corporation. He felt only the intense love he had felt for several years before that.

Making up his mind, he stood from the desk chair and went to the living room. He grabbed his coat, which had been flung over the couch, and snatched his keys from the key hook. He left the apartment with every intention of seeing and speaking with Duo. He knew Duo would go home, and with his memories back, Heero didn't need to wonder where that was. He remembered how to get there, the street, the exact address.

Climbing into his car, Heero hoped with every fiber of his being that he would be able to convince Duo that he did not think he was an idiot... that, on the contrary, he loved him immensely and wanted him back. He was willing to do anything to get him back.



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