Disclaimers:  I Don’t own anything.

Notes:  This story is a part of my holiday series.  The previous stories in the series were “Christmas Memories,”  and “New
Years Resolutions.” Enjoy.



Valentine Blues
Prologue



Duo stood, staring at the tombstone before him.  It was Sister Helen’s grave, the final resting place of the woman who was the
closest thing Duo had ever had to a mother.  

It had been a while since he had visited Sister Helen’s grave.  He hadn’t been here since before the Mariemaia incident.  Now,
he had a lot to tell her, so much to talk about.  

He had woken up early just to come and see her, gotten on a flight today for the sole purpose of visiting this graveyard which
was located so far away from the home he and Heero now shared.  So much had happened in the past few months, a suicide
attempt, then discovering Heero’s true feelings about him.  So much sadness followed by a great deal of happiness.

Duo and Heero now lived together.  It wasn’t like Duo had anywhere else to go, not since he had been evicted from his home
and lost his business, but still, he enjoyed living with Heero . . . his Heero.  It was Heero’s home actually, one he had bought
with the money he made from selling his paintings, Duo hadn’t actually contributed to the purchase.  However, Heero had
made sure that all the paperwork was in both of their names, so they shared it equally.

“You wouldn’t believe how stupid I acted.”  Duo said, talking to the kindly nun’s tombstone.  “For a while I actually thought
that no one loved me.  At Christmas-time I went so far as to try to kill myself.  Good thing Heero found me in time.”  Duo
smirked.  “But it all turned out for the best I guess.  If I hadn’t acted like an idiot and tried to kill myself, I might never have
known how much the guys care about me  . . . how much Heero loves me.”  Duo yawned, feeling the effects of waking up so
early.  He had never been a morning person before, and today was no exception.  He had just wanted to see Sister Helen’s
grave today, just to talk.

Warm arms wrapped around Duo from behind.  “Duo  . . . ?”

Duo smiled up at Heero, then he looked back at the grave.  “Sister Helen, this is Heero . . . the one I was telling you about.  
Heero . . . this is Sister Helen.  She was my mother in the Maxwell Church . . . and afterward, I always remembered her as my
mother.”

“I'm sure she was a wonderful person.”  Heero commented.

A tear trailed its way down Duo’s cheek.  “I wish you could have met her when she was alive, Heero.  She was so beautiful . .
. inside and out.”

Heero turned Duo in his arms, forcing the American to look at him.  “Don’t start blaming yourself for this, Duo.  I don’t want
you to hurt yourself again, not physically or emotionally.”

Duo forced a smile, the memories of his suicide attempt near Christmas so clear in his mind.  The way he had just slit open his
wrists, and leaned back against that tree to die out in the cold.  He had spoken to God then, in the moment before cutting into
his flesh, telling Him that if He wanted Duo to live, then He’d better send someone out to find him.  And only a few minutes
later, Heero showed up, at least Duo thought it had been a few minutes.  But it was difficult to say, because of his drunken
haze and exhausted state, his mind wasn’t working quite clearly.

“Are you okay?”  Heero asked, dragging Duo away from his thoughts.

Duo draped his arms around Heero’s neck, laying his head against the shoulder of his lover.  “I am now.”  Duo replied,
speaking the truth.  Ever since he had found out how Heero truly felt about him, things had just gotten better, and New Years
was just wonderful.  Duo remembered that night quite fondly, their first intimate night, and how gentle and caring Heero had
been.

Duo sighed against Heero’s chest, closing his eyes as he enjoyed the feeling of Heero’s arms around him.  It was just so
comfortable, Duo didn’t want to break away from him.  The air around them was too cold in this February month, and the
warmth of Heero’s body was definitely more inviting then the cold of this windy day.

He lost himself in the feeling of Heero’s body, not registering on anything else around him.  The graveyard fell away, the
coldness seeped from his body, all that was left was Heero, his strength and warmth.

“I love you.”  Heero’s voice said, the only thing capable of cutting through to Duo at the moment.  

Duo smiled, not looking up, just continuing to drown in the warmth Heero’s body provided.  “Love you too.”  He mumbled,
listening to the beating of Heero’s strong heart.


*****


Heero sighed as he held Duo in his arms, running a hand along Duo’s back, alternating strokes of the silky braid with caresses
of his back.  He just wanted to offer comfort to Duo.  He knew that Sister Helen was special to him, that her death had been
particularly difficult on him.

A sudden change in Duo’s posture caught Heero’s attention.  Duo’s weight was resting more on Heero than it had been
before.  Heero looked down at the face of his lover.  He smiled, seeing that Duo was asleep, his breath even, with a small smile
gracing his beautiful features.

Heero bent his knees slightly, just enough to sweep Duo into his arms.  Duo moaned, but didn’t awaken.  Heero wasn’t
surprised that Duo had fallen asleep.  Duo had woken up pretty early, and although his health had progressively gotten better
since his failed suicide attempt, he wasn’t completely healthy yet.  

Duo was still underweight, a little pale perhaps.  He slept so long each night, not quite as long as a month ago, but still a long
time compared to his usual sleeping habits in the past.  None of this worried Heero, however, since he knew that Duo was
getting better.

Heero silently carried Duo to the awaiting car, casting a last glance at the gravestone before setting Duo into the passenger
seat.  “Goodbye.”  He said to the silent stone, offering a last farewell to the woman that had helped to make Duo the person he
was.



To Be Continued . . .