Disclaimers:  I don’t own Gundam Wing or any of its characters.  I am just using them here for nonprofit fun.

Notes:  I was watching a special on MTV about Hate Crimes, and I guess I just got inspired to write something.  Here’s my little
fic involving a hate crime.  Enjoy.



Love and Hate



Heero looked up from his laptop as Duo walked into the room.  His long-haired roommate seemed more agitated than usual.  But
Heero pushed away any thoughts of asking him what was wrong.  It wasn’t his place to intrude in Duo’s life.

Although he cared for the other pilot, Heero couldn’t let his feelings for Duo get in the way of his missions.  So, Heero chose to
ignore the feelings, even though there were times when that method proved to be increasingly difficult.  Sometimes, like now,
when something was obviously troubling Duo, Heero wished he had expressed his feelings to him, if only to give Duo some
form of comfort.

Duo sighed as he flopped face-down on his bed, grabbing a pillow and covering his head with it.  Almost immediately
afterwards, Heero heard Duo utter a long string of curse words that were slightly muffled by the pillow.  Heero merely sat there,
continuing to type, even though he did wish he could do something to help Duo.

Duo quickly sat up.  He threw the pillow across the room where it hit a wall and slid to the floor.  “Dammit!”  He shouted.

“What is your problem?”  Heero finally asked, turning his attention to the American.

Duo glared at him.  “I'll tell you what my problem is.  My ‘problem’ is our next assignment.  How could you tell Une that I’d
ever do something like that, without asking me first?  I will not stand on some street corner in the freezing cold, prostituting
myself, even if it is to catch some sick bastard!”  He shouted as he stood, coming to stand only inches away from Heero.

“It’s a mission, Duo.  You should be prepared to do anything necessary to accomplish the mission.”  Heero replied.  He truly
hadn’t thought that this would upset Duo so much.  If he had known, he would have asked Duo if he wanted to do it, but now it
was too late.

“The mission, the mission.  That’s all I ever hear from you.  Jeez, don’t you ever lighten up?  I thought that once the wars
ended and we joined the Preventers, that you’d at least get some hint of a personality.  Guess I was wrong.”  Duo said,
gesturing emphatically.

Heero watched as Duo grabbed his leather jacket.  “Where are you going?”  He asked.

“As if you really care.”  Duo replied.  Then he sighed as he pulled his jacket on.  “It’s my day off.  I might as well enjoy myself.”

Before Heero could even open his mouth to say anything, Duo had already left.  This worried him.  Who knew what Duo would
do in his present state?  He might do something foolish or risky.  Heero couldn’t allow that, so he grabbed his coat and followed
him.


*****


Duo sighed as he stepped into the nightclub.  It was a gay bar, one of many Duo frequented.  The music was good, the drinks
cheap, and the bartender didn’t ask to see ID.  All of that together made this a place that Duo enjoyed.  That and the fact that he
loved the attention he got whenever he walked into the place.

However, today Duo wasn’t interested in all the gazes directed at him.  None of those people mattered at the moment.  Heero
was the only person he could think about, the only one that interested him.

How could Heero have been so insensitive, to just tell Une that Duo would take that degrading mission?  Didn’t he have any
respect for Duo?  Sure, Duo wasn’t an angel, but he wasn’t a slut either.  And nothing would make him sell his body on some
street corner, even if it was going to be an act.

It really hurt, knowing that Heero didn’t care enough to ask him if he wanted to go through with the mission or not.  After all the
years, all the missions they had been on together, Duo still meant nothing to Heero.  Looks like Duo had wasted all that time
thinking he could get Heero to feel something.  It was difficult loving Heero and knowing that he didn’t love Duo in return.

Weaving his way through the crowd, Duo went straight to the bar and ordered a drink.  Just like always, the bartender didn’t
ask for ID.  He just brought over the drink, which Duo guzzled down as quickly as possible.  Several more drinks quickly
followed the first.

“Hey, you want some company?”  Some guy asked, sometime around Duo’s fifth drink.

Duo looked over at him, noticed that he was attractive.  Short blonde hair, brown eyes, nice body.  But Duo only wanted one
guy, Heero.  “Sorry, pal.  I didn’t come here looking for company.”  Duo said in his most polite tone.  Then he took a swig of
his current drink.

The blonde just shrugged.  “Suit yourself.”  He said, before turning and walking away.

Duo finished off his current drink and stood, feeling a need for a distraction.  He made his way to the dance floor, just wanting a
moment of peace.

He let the music guide his movements, dancing with everyone and no one.  It helped a little, but not much.  Soon, however, even
dancing lost his interest.  He walked back to the bar, a light sheen of sweat on his brow.

After two more drinks, he’d had enough for the night.  Enough drinks, enough of people, just enough.

Once again, he wove his way through the crowd, this time heading for the door.  Hopefully, by the time he got home, Heero
would already be asleep, so he wouldn’t have to deal with all of Heero’s questions about where he had been all night.  Duo
sighed as he stepped out of the club, the chill night air making him shiver slightly.  He knew that Heero would be awake when he
got back, awake and waiting to yell at Duo about his drinking, about how he wastes his time frequenting gay bars.  Mr. Perfect
Soldier could be so condescending at times.

He walked down the street, pulling the collar of his jacket tighter around his throat.  Soon, Duo got the feeling that he was being
followed.  He took a quick glance back and saw a group of five teenagers behind him.  Duo didn’t like this.  Something bad was
about to happen, and it would probably happen to Duo by the looks of those boys.

Duo sped up his pace and turned a corner, hoping he could lose these guys eventually.  But it didn’t seem as if luck was with
Duo and he tripped, banging his knee pretty hard on the concrete.  Moments later he heard the approaching footsteps.

“What’s the matter, Fag?  Drink too much at your little gay bar to walk straight?”  One of the teens, asked.

“Back off.”  Duo hissed, not needing to hear this crap at the moment.

“Ooh, listen to that attitude.  Maybe we should teach this little Fag a lesson in manners.  What do ya say boys?”  Another voice
asked.  The other teens answered affirmatively.

Duo didn’t like the way this was heading.  He pushed himself up, knowing he had to get out of there quickly.  But his knee
radiated pain, and he fell to the ground again, biting back a cry.

“Aw, Baby got a boo boo?”  One of the teens taunted as several hands grabbed Duo’s body.  

“Let’s give him a couple more.”  Another replied.  “We’ll show him and his kind that they’re not welcome around here.”

Duo tried to fight them off.  But with the effects of the alcohol he had consumed that evening, and the fact that he was
outnumbered, he didn’t stand a chance.  Moments later, he found himself being dragged into a dark alley behind the club,
wishing that he had stayed home that night.


*****


Heero had followed Duo to the club, fearing that the beautiful American might do something rash in his frustrated state of mind.  
Watching Duo drink had been upsetting enough, but then to watch him dance, made Heero’s blood boil in jealousy.  He was
jealous of all those men that danced with him, of all those gazes that were mesmerized by Duo’s every enticing move.  None of
them had deserved the honor of watching the grace of that beauty, to see Duo move like that.

Heero groaned as he stepped out of the nightclub.  He couldn’t believe that he had lost sight of Duo.  He had only taken his eyes
off of Duo for a moment, to dismiss some guy making a pass at him.  And when he looked up again, Duo was gone.  After
doing a quick search of the club, Heero decided that Duo must have left.

Heero chose a direction then started walking.  This route would have been quickest if Duo had decided to go home.  Heero
hoped that he had.

As he walked, he heard a loud hate-filled shout.  “Fucking Fag!  I hope you die!”  The shout was immediately followed by
thuds, by the sounds of a fight, or more precisely, by the sounds of a beating.  There were no sounds that indicated that
someone was fighting back.

Heero ran toward the sounds, fearing the worst.  When he turned the corner to the alley behind the club, his fears were
confirmed.  A group of five teens stood around a beaten and bloody Duo, alternating punches with vicious kicks to Duo’s
slender frame.

Heero pulled out his gun, aiming it at the sky, and fired one round.  “Leave him alone!”  Heero shouted, trying desperately to
remain calm.  He couldn’t risk Duo’s safety by letting his rage take control.

The men turned, one of them grinning.  “Well, what have we got here?  You this queer’s boy toy?”  He asked, no fear in his
voice.  The group took one step away from Duo, moving in Heero’s direction.

“Stay where you are, or I will be forced to stop you.”  Heero said, his voice never wavering.

Four of the boys stopped, while the fifth, obviously the leader, didn’t.  “He’s just bluffing.  He wouldn’t dare shoot.”  The leader
said, taking another step.

Heero didn’t hesitate.  He shot the guy in the leg, effectively knocking him to the ground.  The leader just lay there, clutching the
bleeding wound and crying in pain.

“Anyone else think I’m bluffing?”  Heero asked, allowing himself to smile at the sight of the teen writhing in pain on the ground.  
He had deserved that for hurting Duo.

The four still standing, all shook their heads, raising their hands above their heads, quickly.

Heero gestured toward the leader with his gun.  “Pick up your friend and take him to the back of the alley.”  He ordered.  “Sit on
the ground and place your hands on the ground in front of you, where I can see them.”

The group quickly obeyed, while Heero pulled out his cell phone.  He quickly dialed the number and sighed in relief as Wufei
answered.

“Wufei, we have an emergency.”  Heero said, slowly stepping toward Duo, relieved slightly to see that Duo was still breathing.  
But still he was immensely worried that Duo might die.

“What is it, Yuy?”  Wufei asked, a hint of concern in his voice.

“Duo’s down.  He’s been beaten, badly.  He’ll need medical attention.”  Heero replied, kneeling beside Duo.  “Broken bones,
numerous lacerations and contusions.  Too many injuries to name, too much blood to see how serious the wounds are.”  Heero
fought back the urge to retch, seeing Duo like this, knowing that he had to say these words in a calm tone, as if Duo meant
nothing to him personally.

“Where are you?”  Wufei asked.

“An alley in the city.  Behind a club called the Neon Peach.”  Heero said.  “And Wufei, better send someone to pick up these five
thugs, before I kill them myself.”

“Duo’s that bad?”  

“Yes.”  Heero admitted, wishing it wasn’t the truth.  Duo did look horrible, his body covered in his own blood, his face so badly
bruised that he couldn’t be recognized by his features.  The only way Heero had known it was Duo, was by the clothes he was
wearing, by the length of hair lying by his unconscious form.  The clothes, which were torn and stained with blood.  Duo’s hair,
his wonderful silky hair, was matted and dirty, the braid having come loose at some point during his beating.

“Help is on the way, Heero.  We’ll be there as quickly as possible.”  Wufei said.  

Heero hung up, then placed the phone back into his pocket.  He reached out, not knowing how he could be of help to Duo right
now, just knowing that he had to do something.  He grasped Duo’s hand, holding it gently so as not to cause him even more
pain.  “Hang on, Duo.  Don’t die.  Help is coming.”  He whispered, still aiming his gun toward the thugs that had hurt the
American.

In mere minutes, Heero heard the sound of approaching sirens.  Usually response times for ambulances and the police weren’t
so fast, but Wufei had a way of speaking that got people to move faster than normal.

The police rushed past Heero, and finally, he was able to lower his weapon, as the cops took care of the thugs.  He holstered his
gun, then let his free hand join the other, holding Duo’s hand carefully between both of his.  The medics had to forcefully pull
Heero away from him.

Heero didn’t hear anything, didn’t see anything, other than Duo.  He hadn’t even noticed that Wufei was standing beside him,
talking to him.  Duo was all that mattered at the moment.  He watched as the medics worked on Duo, getting him into the
ambulance.  As the doors closed, he hoped Duo would be okay, hoped he would get a chance to finally express his feelings to
Duo.


*****


Heero stared at Duo’s comatose body.  He had never imagined this moment to be this way.  He had hoped that when he finally
told Duo of his feelings, that Duo would be awake to hear it.  But that might not be possible, ever.

The doctors had said it didn’t look good.  Duo might never wake up from this coma.  Heero could only sit there beside him,
holding his hand, watching his bandaged-covered form, with the barest hint of hope remaining in his heart for Duo’s survival.

Those thugs had done a number on Duo.  Internal bleeding, head trauma, one broken arm, both legs broken, along with several
bruised and broken ribs.  He had a punctured lung, damage to several other internal organs.  The doctors said that it was a
miracle he was still alive, that he should have died in that alley, or in the ambulance.  They didn’t give Duo a chance of survival,
not even a slim one.  They had even tried to get Heero to sign the papers to have Duo taken off of life support, to let him die so
that they could harvest his internal organs.

Heero couldn’t let that happen.  He still had hope.  Duo was tough, he had been a Gundam pilot after all.  Even if the doctors had
given up on him, neither Heero or any of the other pilots had.

“I’m sorry, Duo.”  Heero said, once again sitting beside Duo’s bedside.  “I never should have volunteered you for that mission.”  
He brushed his hand through Duo’s bangs, trying to avoid the bandages that were wrapped around his forehead, the numerous
ugly bruises that marred Duo’s once lovely face.  “I love you, Duo.  Please, get better.  Prove all those doctors wrong.  I know
you can.”

Heero turned, hearing the door open.  “I just wanted to inform you that Trowa and Wufei took that mission for you and Duo.  
You should have seen Wufei’s face when he found out that he’d be the one standing on that corner.”  He smiled, an obvious
attempt to cheer Heero up.

Heero merely nodded, not feeling cheered up in the least.  How could he find happiness, when Duo still might die?

“Heero, I’m sure he’ll recover.  But you have to get some rest.  You’ve been here since last night.”  Quatre said, stepping into
the room.

“How can I rest, when it’s my fault he’s in here?  If I hadn’t been so pigheaded, he wouldn’t have gone to that club, wouldn’t
have been beaten by those punks.”

Quatre’s hand clasped his shoulder.  “You can’t blame yourself, Heero.  You had no idea that this would happen.”

Heero turned away from Quatre.  “I won’t leave him, I can’t.  I have to be here when he wakes up, I have to apologize, have to
tell him . . .”  He trailed off, letting the words disappear.

“That you love him?”  Quatre asked.

“You knew?”  Heero questioned, never taking his eyes from Duo for an instant.

“I’m not blind, Heero.  Besides, being an empath, I probably knew what you were feeling before you knew it yourself.”  Quatre
stepped over to Duo’s bed, laying a hand on the American’s arm.  “He’s still in there, Heero, somewhere deep down.  But he is
fighting his way back.  You just have to keep hold of your hope, talk to him, give him a reason to come back.”

“I will, Quatre.  Thank you.”  Heero replied.


*****


After a week, the doctors had been surprised at Duo’s improvement, and they were able to remove him from life support.  
Heero had been thrilled, seeing that Duo could survive on his own now, but still distressed that he hadn’t awakened from the
coma.

Trowa, Quatre, and Wufei had visited often, offering their support to Heero.  Wufei and Trowa bringing good news about their
mission, filling Heero in on the details.  Their kindness was appreciated, and Heero always thanked them.  Quatre also brought
food for Heero, considering that the Japanese pilot never left Duo’s side for more than a few seconds at a time, and only when
he had to.  He never got himself any food, so Quatre’s help was a great relief for him.

Once again, Heero was sitting beside Duo’s bed, looking at his face, fighting the weariness that crept over him.  He was
exhausted, never sleeping for more than a few minutes at a time, always wanting to be there in case Duo woke up.  Finally,
exhaustion won out, and he laid his head down on the side of Duo’s bed, just wanting to get a little rest, to close his eyes for
only a short while.  

He didn’t know how long he had slept, before something gently brushed against his cheek.  Heero’s eyes snapped open at the
contact, and immediately his gaze fell onto Duo’s open eyes.  “You’re awake!”  He nearly shouted, lifting his head from the bed.

Duo opened his mouth, trying to talk but nothing came out, just a strangled gasp.

Heero held his hand up.  “Don’t try to speak.  You’ve had a tube down your throat for a while now, just had it removed.  Your
throat is probably still sore.”

Duo nodded.  Then a confused look crossed his face.

“You’ve been in a coma for about a week.  Do you remember what happened to you?”  Heero asked, watching Duo carefully.

Duo thought for a moment, then shook his head.

“You don’t, huh?  You were beaten by five teenage punks.  You’re lucky to be alive, the doctors gave up on you long ago.  But I
didn’t.  I knew you’d get better.”  Heero said, laying his hand against Duo’s still bruised cheek, trying not to hurt him.  He wasn’
t surprised that Duo didn’t remember the attack.  Short term memory loss wasn’t an uncommon occurrence in cases of this
nature.

Duo reached out weakly, clasping Heero’s hand with his.  

“I have to tell you something, Duo.”  Heero said, faltering for the words he wanted to say, the words he had already said when
Duo was in the coma.  “I’m sorry I told Une that you’d go through with the mission.  I never meant to hurt you.  I should have
asked your permission first.”  He paused taking a breath.  “If I hadn’t been such an idiot, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt.  This is
all my fault.  I almost lost you because I was a fool.”

Duo shook his head, obviously disagreeing with Heero.  He opened his mouth, but this time was able to gasp out a few simple
words.  “Not . . . a . . . fool.”

“Yes, I am, Duo.  I almost lost the person I love because of my idiocy.”

“You . . . love  . . . me?”  Duo asked, his voice rough.

Heero felt a smile begin, and didn’t try to stop it.  “Yes, I love you, Duo.  I just wish I had told you before you almost died.  I
know you can’t love me, not after this.  And I’ll understand if you never want to see me again.”  The smile faded, disappearing
completely as he lowered his head in shame.

“I . . .do  . . . love  . . . you.  Can’t  . . . change  . . . that  . . . ever.”  He said slowly, gasping, every word difficult for him.

Heero lifted Duo’s hand, and pressed his lips to it in a gentle kiss.  He was thrilled that Duo loved him, thrilled to have heard the
words.  He wanted to kiss Duo on the mouth, but judging from the remaining bruises on the American’s face, that would only
cause him pain.  Heero didn’t want to hurt Duo, so he’d wait until Duo was better.  He’d wait as long as Duo wanted, wait
forever if he had to, if only to make Duo happy.  


*****


Duo groaned as he slowly opened his eyes.  It had been weeks since he had gotten out of the hospital, weeks since Heero had
finally admitted his feelings, and Duo couldn’t be happier.  Well, actually, he would be happier if he didn’t have to go through all
that physical therapy for his injuries.  Man, did that really suck.  And today was one of those days.  He had an appointment with
his therapist in a few hours.

Although Duo couldn’t remember most of the events from the night he had been attacked, he still had nightmares, still woke up
fearing he’d be hurt.  Laughs taunted his dreams, slurs were shouted, although Duo never could quite hear them.  Heero had
filled him in, had told him about what happened after Duo had left their shared room that night.  At least Heero hadn’t kept
anything from him, had told him all of the gruesome details.  It was something that Duo appreciated, that Heero didn’t think him
so weak as to not be able to handle the truth.

Warm arms surrounded him, pulling him closer into a comforting embrace as Duo pulled himself into consciousness.  The sight
of his love, smiling at him, made a smile spread across Duo’s own face.  

“Good morning.”  Heero said, planting a tender kiss on Duo’s lips.

The two of them hadn’t done anything physical yet, at least nothing serious.  But Duo was content to wait.  He knew that Heero
was only concerned about his health, worried that he might hurt Duo is he moved too quickly before Duo’s injuries had fully
healed.  So far, the two of them had only cuddled, had several make out sessions before snuggling together and going to sleep.

“Good morning.”  Duo replied.

“Time to get up, Duo.”  Heero smiled, helping Duo to sit up.  

It was still difficult for Duo to get around even after all the weeks,  With two broken legs and a broken arm, there wasn’t much
that Duo could do on his own.  But he appreciated all of Heero’s help, all the thoughtfulness he showed when caring for him.  

“Do I have to?”  Duo whined.

“You have physical therapy today.”  Heero said, stating what Duo already knew.

“But it’s just more tempting to stay in bed with you.”  Duo smiled, wrapping his one good arm around Heero.

“As much as I’d like to stay in bed with you, you have to go to therapy.  The sooner you get better, the sooner we can do more  
. . . fun . . . activities.”  He smiled shyly, as if embarrassed by his own words.

Lord, Duo did find that so damn attractive.  Heero could be downright adorable when he wanted to be.  “Can’t wait.”  Duo
replied, pressing his lips to Heero's in a more passionate kiss.

Heero’s tongue invaded his mouth, and Duo welcomed it.  For the first time, Heero was actually showing some aggression in his
kisses.  For so long, all Duo had gotten were gentle kisses, tender embraces.  Heero didn’t want to hurt him, didn’t want to push
him too fast.  

Duo smiled as their tongues sparred, massaging each other’s, not an easy feat to do when your mouth is busy.  But still, he
managed a small smile, happy in the knowledge that Heero loved him, and wouldn’t leave him.



The End