Disclaimers:  I don’t own anything.

Author’s notes:  This is a Duo/Heero fic.  If you don’t like it then I suggest you stop reading this now.  This is an alternate
universe fic, where all the pilots live together in a military compound or something.  I’ve read other fics where they’ve had this
sort of living arrangement, and I thought I could use it.  If it bothers anyone, I apologize.  

Sorry about the title, but I couldn’t think of anything better.

WARNING!!!  I make Duo suffer in this fic.  Hope all you Duo lovers won’t hate me for this.



Painful Memories
Part 1



Eyes, cold, soulless eyes, stared at him.  No, not at him, but through him, as though he wasn’t even there.  It was cold, the air
bringing a chill to his skin.  He couldn’t stop shivering, as the fear enveloped every bit of him, like a blanket.

Then the hands were on him again, cold, rough hands.  They stripped away his clothes along with his dignity.  They held him
down, never releasing their unbreakable grips on his body.  No matter how much he struggled, he couldn’t break free, couldn’t
get away.

The voices laughed as the hands held him tight.  Their words cut through him like a knife.  “Just submit and it won’t hurt.”  
They repeated.

But he wouldn’t submit.  He would never give in.  Then the pain began.  His body just stopped functioning as all he felt was the
pain.

Duo woke up, his body covered in sweat.  “That was one hell of a dream.”  He muttered to himself, as he lifted his shaking
hands to his face.  But he knew that it was no dream.  It was reality, it was his past.  A past that he never wanted the others to
know about.

How could he tell them, how would they react if they knew what he had done, what had been done to him?  He couldn’t tell,
wouldn’t tell.  No one would ever know, and he could continue with his life, not having to worry about how the others saw him.

Duo sat up, tossing the sweat dampened sheets away from him as he swung his legs over the side of the bed.  As he stood, he
glanced to the other side of the room.  Even in the dark, he could see Heero, sleeping in his own bed.  He sighed, thankful that
he hadn’t woken the other pilot.  The two of them shared a room in the small base that all the pilots lived in.  Although Duo
wished he and Heero shared a whole lot more, like a bed.  

He pushed those feelings down, knowing that Heero wouldn’t want to get that close to him.  Heero was straight as an arrow,
not interested in dating guys.  Besides, Heero was in love with Relena, everyone knew that.  

A pang of jealousy hit Duo every time he saw Relena hanging on Heero’s arm, staring into those captivating Prussian blue eyes
of his.  But, Duo’s feelings didn’t matter as long as Heero was happy.  And what made Heero happy, was Relena.

Still, he couldn’t help but wish that Heero actually saw him as more than a friend.  Hell, he wasn’t even sure if he meant that
much to Heero.  He couldn’t be too sure about how Heero felt about anyone, since the other pilot hid his emotions so well.  For
all he knew, Heero hated him.

Duo shook his head, pulling his mind away from his thoughts of Heero.  He crossed the room, and stepped into the bathroom,
closing the door behind him, quietly.

He closed his eyes as he flicked the light on, knowing that the sudden brightness would sting.  As he opened his eyes again, he
caught sight of his reflection in the mirror.

His usual mask of cheerfulness was gone, and Duo could see the real him staring back.  His smile was gone, replaced by the
grim expression of a man that hated what he had become, what he had been though.  His cobalt blue eyes reflected the intense
pain that he always kept hidden behind the illusion that everyone saw as Duo Maxwell.

No one would know, no one would ever see this stranger that stared back at him from the mirror.  He knew they would never
understand, never be able to comprehend the pain or the emotional strain that his memories caused him.  Duo had to pretend he
was fine, had to hide the truth from them.  But in reality he wanted everything to end, all the pain, all the memories.  Several
times a day he considered what it would be like to just slit open his wrists and watch the blood flow from his veins.  He always
stopped himself from trying it, but the thoughts always remained.

He turned on the faucet and splashed cold water on his face, wishing he could wash away the memories so easily.  Then he
turned the water off.  As he stood up straight, he glanced at his reflection again.  

“Why aren’t you dead yet?”  He whispered, glaring at his mirror image.  

Of course, he didn’t expect an answer.  It was just a simple question he asked himself almost every day, wondering why he
hadn’t been killed in battle or why he hadn’t taken his own life long ago.  The answer came to him quickly, Heero.  Heero was
the only reason he hadn’t killed himself long ago.  He couldn’t leave Heero, didn’t want to cause him any pain by taking his own
life.  He wouldn’t be able to stand it if Heero suffered because of his death.  What if he blamed himself for it, thinking that
maybe he could have prevented it somehow?

Duo left the bathroom, shutting the light off as he passed by the switch.  He climbed back into bed, not bothering to pull the
sheets over him again.  He sighed as he lay back, wondering if he would be able to get any sleep.


*****


Duo sat at a table in the lunchroom, alone.  He was staring at the coffee in his mug, as he twirled the cup around on the table.  
He was lost in thought, his mind occupied by the memories that plagued his every waking moment.

He wished he could forget, wished all that pain would go away.  But no matter how much he wished about it, it never
happened.  The memories were always there, the dreams, the sudden flashes that intruded on him at just the wrong moments.  
He never knew what would set off one of his memories.  A scent, a phrase.  Anything could cause a memory to emerge from
his mind.

“Hey Duo, you okay?”  Quatre asked, as he sat across from him.

Duo looked up, placing his cheerful mask back in place.  He smiled.  “Of course.  Why wouldn’t I be?”

“You just looked distracted.  Were you thinking of something?”  The blonde asked, taking a sip of his own drink between
sentences.

“Nothing.”  Duo replied, casually.  He couldn’t tell Quatre, wouldn’t burden him with the knowledge of Duo’s past.  Duo knew
Quatre would only see him as a disgusting freak if he told the young blonde.  Everyone would see him that way if they knew.  
There was no way he could let anyone know the secret he kept hidden.

But Quatre obviously didn’t believe him.  “Oh come on.  I can see that something is troubling you.  Maybe if you tell me, I'll be
able to help in some way.”

Duo didn’t mean to, but he snapped.  “Just leave me alone.”  He regretted his tone even before he had finished speaking.  There
really had been no reason to yell like that.  Quatre was only trying to help.

Quatre flinched and looked away.  “Sorry Duo.  I just thought I could help.”

Duo stood, leaving his coffee on the table.  He closed his eyes for a moment, wishing he could take the words back.  He turned
his back to the table, to Quatre.  As he walked away, he mumbled, “No one can help me.”


********************


Quatre watched as Duo left, wondering what was troubling his friend.  He had heard Duo’s last statement, and was confused as
he thought about what could possibly be so bad in Duo’s life that no one could help him.

He wanted to go up to Duo, to just demand that he answer his questions.  But he knew he couldn’t force him.  He also knew
that Duo wasn’t the type to answer unless he wanted to.  Even though he seemed cheerful and carefree, Duo could be a very
powerful and cunning soldier.  If he didn’t want to talk, he wouldn’t.

A hand grasped his shoulder, firmly, but Quatre didn’t have to look up to see who it was.  He knew it was Trowa.  “Duo’s in
pain.”  Quatre said.

“Did he tell you what was wrong?”  Trowa asked, still behind him.

“No.  But I can just tell that something is wrong.”  Quatre answered, looking over his shoulder to see Trowa’s sparkling green
eyes staring down at him.

“Give him time.  Maybe he just needs some time alone.”

“I guess you’re right.  None of us have really known each other for very long.”  Quatre replied.

“That’s right.  It takes time to trust people.  There are things in each of our pasts that haunt us.”  Trowa said, smiling slightly.

Quatre smiled back, although he was still concerned about Duo.  What could cause Duo so much pain?  


*****


Duo was lying on his bed, just staring up at the ceiling, his arms laying by his sides.  He was dressed in his usual black clothes
and minister’s collar.  He wanted the memories to stop, wanted the pain to end.

He clenched his teeth, shutting his eyes as tightly as he could.  But none of that mattered, nothing could stop the memories, ease
the pain he felt.

Trowa knocked on the door and walked into the room.  “Hey, come on.”  He said.  Heero was behind him.

Duo sat up, opening his eyes as he moved.  “What’s up?”  He asked, his mask of happiness back in place.

“We have a mission.”  Heero said, not even looking in Duo’s general direction.

Duo wished the other pilot would show the least amount of interest in him, even if Heero’s heart belonged to someone else.  He
wasn’t asking for much, just a glance or something.  Anything to tell Duo that Heero didn’t hate him, that he didn’t think Duo
was the lowest form of scum on the earth.

“What is it?”  Duo asked, standing and walking over to the door.

“We’ll tell you on the way.”  Heero answered, as he turned and walked away.  Trowa silently followed him.  

Duo sighed and followed Heero and Trowa to the hangar, where the Gundams were kept.  As they walked, Duo kept thinking
and thinking.  He knew that one of these missions might be his last and he wanted Heero to know how he felt.  He didn’t want
to die without telling him of his true feelings.

He climbed into the cockpit of his Gundam, hoping that they would both come back from this mission alive.  If they did, he was
going to tell Heero, he was going to let him know.  Even if Heero didn’t love him, he had to tell him, had to find out if the other
pilot cared about him in the slightest way.



To Be Continued . . .