Disclaimers:  I do not own Gundam Wing or any of its characters.

Notes:  This part switches between Duo’s perspective and Heero’s dream.  I hope it doesn’t get confusing.



Desires and Deceptions
Part 27



Duo shuffled into the bedroom, closing the door behind himself.  Immediately, he heard a whimper and blinked over at Heero,
frowning when he saw the other young man caught in the midst of what appeared to be a terrible nightmare.  Heero was
shaking, his head thrashing from side to side on the pillow, frightened whimpers escaping his throat as he clutched to the sheets
below him in tight grips.

“No.”  Heero mumbled in his sleep, tears coursing from his closed eyes.  He stretched his hand out toward something unknown,
something that only he could see, then dropped his hand to his side again, grasping to the sheets below him once again.

Duo watched, awe-struck as Heero sobbed in his sleep, crying out in fear-filled whimpers.  He had never seen Heero in such a
state.  Combined with the paleness of his skin and how thin he had become, Heero looked frail, younger somehow.  

Slowly, Duo staggered over to Heero’s side, dropping to his knees beside the other young man’s bed.  He watched as Heero
shivered in his sleep, sweat beading on his skin, his brow furrowed in what seemed to be pain.  Curiously, Duo listened as Heero
spoke once again, trying to comprehend what it was that Heero was seeing.

“Cold . . . too late . . . Duo . . . I’m sorry.”  Heero gasped and shivered, his words almost too faint to hear.  “Too late to save
Duo.”

Duo frowned, not sure what could possibly be going on inside of Heero’s head.  “What are you seeing?”  Duo asked, although
he knew that Heero wouldn’t answer him.  “Why do you think it’s too late to save me?”

“He searched the morgues first before finding you in that hospital.”  A voice announced from behind Duo.  “He could be reliving
that in his nightmares.”

Duo spun, his hand flying to his chest in surprise, only to see Trowa standing just inside the doorway.  He hadn’t even heard the
other youth enter the room.  “What?  Why?”  Duo asked, trying to slow his heartbeat to a more normal tempo.

Trowa shrugged, not taking a step further into the room.  “Maybe it was his way of punishing himself.  I guess he figured that .
. . even if you weren’t dead, he deserved to face the possibility.”  Trowa replied, then gestured toward Heero.  “Do you need my
help?”

Duo looked back at Heero, feeling a smile pulling at the corners of his mouth.  “No, I think I can handle this.  After all the times
he helped me what I was having nightmares, I guess I kinda owe him.”

“All right . . . just call me if you need anything.”  Trowa replied.  A moment later, Duo heard as the door was opened and shut
once again.

Duo reached out, but pulled his hand back before he could touch Heero, not sure if the other youth wanted such contact from
him.  Duo might have some hope that Heero still cared for him, but he wasn’t about to push the limits by touching Heero just
yet.  He sat back on the floor, watching Heero with growing concern, pulling his half-unraveled braid over his shoulder and
grasping it tightly, not sure what he should do.


*****


Heero walked through a hall that seemed to twist and swerve beyond what was normally seen in reality, causing Heero to
wonder if this was all a dream or not.  Considering the way the walls literally pulsed as if with a heartbeat, he decided to lean
toward thinking it was a dream of some sort.  He snorted to himself . . . even in his dreams he couldn’t shake his training, still
surveying all around him with clinical observations.

“But you already shook your training!”  A strange, eerie voice from seemingly nowhere called out.  “That is what brought you
here in the first place.”

Heero spun around, searching for the source of the voice, but he couldn’t see anybody.  “What?  Where are you?  Who are
you?”  He asked, trying not to panic although the strange voice had come from nowhere.

There were no answers to his questions.  He looked around himself once again, feeling as if he were being watched, the hairs on
the back of his neck standing up.  He didn’t like this . . . it was just creepy, something telling him that this would turn out badly
for him.

A pair of swinging doors suddenly appeared in front of Heero, the hinges creaking loudly as they moved.  Heero hesitantly
moved forward, recognizing those doors from somewhere but not quite remembering where.  He pushed them open, gasping as
he stepped into the room and realized where he was.

This was a morgue . . . across from him was a metal slab.  Heero gulped, seeing that there was a human-sized shape on the
slab, covered by only a thin white sheet.  Chestnut-colored hair flowed over the edge of the slab, almost close enough to touch
the floor.  Heero shivered, the room becoming increasingly cold as he stepped forward, noticing the wispy bangs that showed
from beneath the sheet, his mind forgetting his thoughts as to this only being a dream.

He could feel the chill in the air and his breath could be seen in the little tendrils of mist caused by the differences in
temperature.  He didn’t remember the other morgues feeling this cold . . . it was akin to being inside a meat freezer for some odd
reason.  Heero wrapped his arms around himself, feeling the shivers that were beginning to move throughout his body.  His feet
echoed with each step he took, getting him closer and closer to the slab and the unknown figure that lay on top of it.

Finally, he was standing beside the metal slab, staring down at the sheet-covered body that lay there.  Hesitantly, he reached out,
his shuddered breath clouding before his eyes as he took hold of the sheet.  Heero swallowed the lump forming in his throat,
fighting his fear as he pulled back the sheet in one swift movement.  What lay before him made his heart skip a beat, his skin
covered in a cold sweat as tears formed in his eyes.

There on the slab was Duo, his beautiful Duo.  The skin was so pale, grayish, the hair was dull and listless . . . and yet Duo was
still the most beautiful creature that Heero had ever seen.  With a shivering hand, Heero reached out, intending to brush his
fingers across the silken skin that he had caressed so many times before.  

However, the instant that the tips of his fingers came into contact with Duo’s cheek, an icy wind swept through the room,
causing Heero to gasp as it brushed his bare skin.  He watched, pulling his hand back in shock as Duo’s lovely body began to
wither away before his eyes.  Years of decay happened in mere moments, the skin drying out, the eyes sinking in . . . eventually
becoming a skeleton.  But it didn’t stop there, no, then the bones began to break, turning to dust right before Heero’s eyes,
finally blowing away on the same wind that had chilled Heero only a moment ago.

Heero whimpered, his heart throbbing in his ears as the last traces of Duo’s body disappeared completely.  “No.”  He sobbed,
falling to his knees, his face buried in his hands as he cried.


*****


Duo walked out of the bathroom, a damp washcloth in one hand as he crossed the room to kneel beside Heero’s bed once
again.  He frowned, listening to Heero’s whimpers, watching the shivers course through his body even as sweat glistened on his
skin.  

Carefully, Duo folded the washcloth and placed it over Heero’s forehead, hoping that it would help somewhat.  As the shivers
continued in Heero’s body, the Japanese youth muttering about cold, Duo stood once again.  Duo turned to his own bed, pulling
off the blanket, then returned to Heero’s side.  If it would help Heero, then Duo could give up his blanket.  He draped the blanket
over Heero’s shivering body, making sure that he was sufficiently covered before Duo once again knelt down on the floor.

He reached out, his hand nearly clasping Heero’s, only to pull it back away once again.  He was still unsure if Heero would want
to be touched by him, still feared that Heero would reject him if he tried.  What would happen if Heero woke up and saw that
Duo was touching him?  Would he still care?  Or would he push Duo away?  Duo didn’t want to take the chance, so he just sat
back and watched, worriedly chewing on his bottom lip as he twisted his braid in his hands.

He wondered what demons were plaguing Heero’s dreams, just what was enough to make him whimper in fear or shiver with
such an intensity.  Obviously, it was something terrible.  Duo hoped that Heero would be okay.


*****


Heero sobbed, this nightmare replaying the vision of Duo’s body withering away over and over again as he knelt on the cold
floor.  It was his fault, all his own fault and he knew it.  He rocked back and forth, trying to stop the sobs that wracked his
trembling body.

“Useless!”  A bitter, yet familiar, voice shouted angrily.

“Who’s there?”  Heero asked, looking around and once again seeing no one.  

And then a shadow moved, a figure cloaked in darkness slowly approached him.  “You’re useless now!  You’re pathetic!”  The
voice continued.

Heero stood, growing angry as he listened to this voice.  “Who are you?  Show yourself!”  Heero demanded.

A deep laugh echoed through the room, and Heero watched, his eyes widening in shock and fear as he finally saw the person he
had been speaking to.  It was himself, at least a double of himself.  This double was standing before him, wearing the green tank
top and spandex shorts that Heero had often worn.  The double’s skin was paler than Heero’s though, almost white in pallor.  
However, it was his eyes that caught Heero’s attention.  They were pure black with no pupils or irises, just cold and dead as
they glared at Heero.

“You were TOLD not to feel anything.  You were trained to wipe away these stupid emotions!”  The double hissed.

“Who are you?”  Heero asked, frowning as his voice came out sounding choked.

“I’m the soldier you were supposed to be . . . the one you tossed aside . . . I’m you.”  The double smirked, his eyes narrowing
as he looked Heero over.  “You’re pathetic, a useless waste . . . J didn’t train you well enough.”

“Leave me alone!”  Heero replied, deciding that this double, this soldier, was not to his liking.  

“You forgot your training.  Feelings are worthless chemical imbalances that serve no purpose other than to confuse and distract
from the mission!  You allowed the imbalance to happen and cared for someone you knew you were unworthy of!”  The Soldier
sneered.  “He wasn’t worth the effort, these useless emotions weren’t worth your loss of concentration.”

“Stop it!”  Heero shouted.  “You’re wrong!  It was worth it . . . Duo was worth it!”  

The Soldier merely laughed, his tone cold and cruel.  “Pathetic, simply pathetic.”  He smirked, his form fading away to nothing
right before Heero’s eyes.


*****


Duo picked up the washcloth from Heero’s head, noting that it was warm now.  Well, he had been sitting here for several
minutes now, watching Heero’s every movement.  So Duo stood, groaning in discomfort as he moved and walked back to the
bathroom, turning on the water in the sink and rinsing out the washcloth with cool water.  Sighing to himself, he walked back
into the bedroom and over to Heero’s side.

“Stop it.”  Heero muttered in his sleep, his brow furrowing as he shook his head in his sleep.  “You’re wrong.  It was worth it .
. . Duo was worth it.”

Duo gasped, dropping the washcloth as he heard Heero’s words.  Could he possibly have meant that?  And who the hell was he
talking to?  Was someone telling Heero that Duo wasn’t worth anything?

Duo shook his head, clearing his thoughts.  This was a dream, just a dream of Heero’s.  Perhaps it didn’t really mean anything.  
Duo knelt down, picking up the washcloth from where it had landed and placed it over Heero’s forehead, hoping for the best,
Heero’s words still ringing through his ears.


*****


Heero felt the tears prickling in his eyes, wondering if what the Soldier said had been true or not, wondering if he was just as
weak and pathetic as the Soldier wanted him to think he was.  Then suddenly, a brilliant light flooded the room.  Heero looked
away, blinded momentarily.  As soon as his eyes adjusted to the light, he looked back, his mouth dropping open when he saw
Duo standing in front of him.

Duo was lovely, his hair loose behind him, bathed in white light.  Heero reached out, only to have his hand pass through Duo’s
body as if it weren’t even there.  It was then that Heero noticed that Duo was floating just above the ground, his body
translucent.

“Duo?”  Heero gasped, wiping the tears from his eyes as he looked at this beautiful apparition before him.

“I said I loved you.  I never lie.”  Duo’s apparition said, his voice sad, tears falling from his eyes only to disappear into a gentle
mist before they could land on the floor.  “You never had a problem believing me before.  Why did you think I was lying about
something so important?”

Heero shook his head.  “No . . . You’re too perfect . . . too good for me.  Look at what I am!  I’m nothing!  I have no right to
look at you as more than a friend.  You deserve someone better, someone that can love you properly.”  Heero said, desperate to
make Duo believe him, knowing that everything he said was the truth.  Heero did trust Duo . . . but he just wasn’t worthy of the
lovely American, wasn’t even worth standing in his shadow.

“Maybe.  But I didn’t WANT someone better!  And now I can’t have anything.”  Duo said, sniffing sadly.  “You killed me,
Heero . . . with your distrust.  You didn’t believe me and I went out and got myself killed.  All because of you.”

“No, I didn’t kill you.”  Heero said, reaching out again only to clasp nothing.  Duo faded from view, his body disappearing
completely and leaving Heero alone in his sorrow.


*****


Duo listened, hearing a few mumbled phrases every now and then, none of them good.  He didn’t like listening to Heero, the
way he berated himself.  Duo still didn’t know who Heero was talking to, but he knew that whoever it was, had been filling
Heero’s mind with self-hate and sadness.

Twice now, Heero had raised his hand, as if reaching out to someone.  Both times that hand had fallen back to the bed, shortly
followed by a pained whimper from Heero, telling Duo that Heero hadn’t found comfort in that dream yet.  The washcloth was
forgotten, tossed aside.  Heero’s thrashing about made it difficult for Duo to keep the cloth on his head, and he had given up
trying to keep it there.

Once again, Heero’s hand reached out, searching for someone or something to hold onto.  Duo bit into his bottom lip, not sure if
this was the right thing or not, but only wanting to help.  He hesitantly clasped Heero’s hand, fighting back his own fears as he
offered comfort to Heero, who seemed to desperately need it.

Heero sighed in his sleep, the tension leaving his face as he brought his own hand and Duo’s closer to his face.  He nuzzled his
cheek against Duo’s hand, rolling over and curling his other hand around Duo’s wrist, sighing softly.  “Don’t hate me.”  He
mumbled quietly in his sleep, sounding so much like a frightened child.  “Please . . . don’t leave me.”

Duo smiled slightly, reaching out with his other hand and brushing his fingers through Heero’s damp bangs.  “I won’t leave you,
Heero.”  Duo whispered, knowing that no matter what happened, the two of them would have to work things out.  He wouldn’t
let Heero suffer anymore.



To Be Continued . . .