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19 April 2006 @ 11:02 pm
Hold Your Light- Chapter 17 part 1  
Much love to presser_kun for getting this back to me so fast.  

Music quote from this chapter comes from Tool and the song "Pushit."  This is an awesome quote.  I mean, who can't relate to that sentiment?  Duo feels the weight of everything bearing down on him.  He wants nothing more than to be able to not carry it anymore.  It seems selfish, but it's an honest reaction.  And now, without further ado...

Hold Your Light- Chapter 17




But I’d trade it all

For just a little

Piece of mind


“Pushit” -Tool







I take the last drag off my cigarette and stab it into the sand to extinguish it.  There is a steadily growing collection of spent butts sticking out of the dirt at my side, like someone buried a psychedelic sea urchin there.  I finished my last pack an hour or so ago and am well into the next one.   I know I shouldn’t be smoking this much.  I know I should really be quitting, but I can’t.  This is the only thing I have right now that is keeping me from completely losing it and walking away for good.  How am I supposed to deal with all this? 


I can’t deal with it.  That’s the only answer I’ve come up with so far.  If I could, I wouldn’t be sitting here on my ass watching the tide roll in.  I just needed to get out of that house before I said something I would regret.  It’s bad enough I was having a confessional with Heero in the kitchen.  But Trowa was right, he is looking to me for all the answers and I don’t have a clue as to what I can say to help him.  Where is the person I can go to for all the answers?  Who do I get to lean on when dealing with this shit gets to be too much?   


“Why me?”  I ask the rolling waves crashing into the surf.  Why do I have to be the one that has to deal with this?  I’m not qualified to deal with my own problems, let alone someone else’s.  I’m nineteen years old and I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime’s worth of pain.  Is it ever going to get better?  I sigh heavily and punch my fist into the sand.  I know I’m feeling sorry for myself.  Compared to what Heero and Trowa must be going through, I can’t complain.  But I’m so torn between staying here and helping them and hunting down those bastards behind all this and delivering some justice, Shinigami style.  The thought of those motherfuckers roasting in the fire of a carefully controlled explosion puts an evil grin on my face.  Or maybe I’ll take them out one at a time.  Sneak into their homes, catch them off guard and stick a knife in their windpipes real slow, and cut out their internal organs in alphabetical order…make them hurt.  Maybe not today, but I will find them and they’ll pay for hurting Trowa…they all will pay. 


A mother with three children in tow walks up the dune towards the parking lot.  She pauses momentarily when she sees me directly in her path and then ushers her children closer and steers them around me.  Yeah, I probably do look like a scary, punk kid right now.  Can’t say that I blame her for not wanting to be anywhere near me.  I wouldn’t want to be near me, either.  The sun is going down and the last of the beachgoers are heading home.  Wish I could say that that’s where I want to be heading too, but I can’t.  Now that I’ve been out for a few hours, it’s that much harder to force myself to go back and face those two.  What if I keep doing the wrong thing?  I’ll just be making it worse instead of better.  I feel so powerless, and it makes me angry that there is nothing I can do.  Why did Heero tell me to escape to the roof?  Why didn’t we stick together?  I could have helped them…I could have stopped it from happening.  Fucking idiot!  Why?


I bury my face into my knees and curl into a tight ball.  I’m not going to cry.  I’m not going to cry.  My eyes start burning.  I squeeze them shut as tight as I can to prevent the tears.  Why does this keep happening to me?  Why is it that all the people I’ve given two shits about in this life end up dead or hurt while I can do nothing but watch it happen?  A sob breaks free from my chest and that unleashes a torrent of hitched breaths, teetering on the edge of outright bawling.  It’s a good thing it’s just the seagulls and me left on this part of the beach.  It would be quite awkward to have witnesses to my second breakdown since this whole mess happened.


All that blood.  When I first burst into that room, I thought for sure that Trowa was dead.  He was so pale and still in Heero’s arms…and all that blood.  Not again.  I remember thinking that.  Please God, not again.  Don’t take another one away from me.  It’s all so vivid still and I seriously doubt I’ll ever be able to forget.  The overwhelming metallic smell of blood was enough to make me gag, the gore under Heero’s nails…I remember what the body looked like.  Heero had clawed his fucking throat out and ripped open his chest cavity with his bare hands.  Like an animal.  And then to be holding Trowa so gently, it was surreal.  I scrub the tears away with the back of my hands and inhale a deep, shaky breath.


After the whole Marimaia incident, Heero vowed that he would never kill again, and up until now, he hasn’t.  He came back every time with zero kills.  Given the nature of most of our missions, I didn’t think it was possible, but he managed it.  The fact that this mission was enough to make him break such a precious vow is not only frightening on many levels, but it’s also sad, really sad that he was forced to do it.  And he did it with such over-the-top violence.  Now, from the mission report and his own account, the general, the one who had actually raped Trowa, was killed by spinal cord separation at the base of his skull.  Heero snapped his neck, he told me that himself.  But there were no other signs of violence.  He told me that the Doctor taunted him the whole time, telling him horrible things about happened to Trowa in the past.  But what could have been said that would make Heero lose it and damn near tear the bastard limb from limb?  Is he really unstable?  The bruises on my arms give a sympathetic ache. 


Fuck, I just want to crawl under my covers and hide away from the world right now.  Let the professionals handle this. I’m no expert.  I’ll be as supportive as I can, but I’m going to have to back off for my own sanity.   I guess it was wrong of me to push Trowa so hard.  Damn it!  I don’t want to admit that Heero was right.  Stuff like this just goes to his head.  I can totally see that I-told-you-so look on his face.  Despite the melancholy mood, I smile with genuine fondness in my heart.  These guys are the closest friends I’ve had since Solo. 


Well, I suppose I shouldn’t be delaying the inevitable any longer.  The sun is almost down and I have to go home eventually.  I stand up and brush the sand off the seat of my jeans.  With one last look to the brilliant orange-red sky and the rolling waves, I turn to walk back to the parking lot.  Off in the distance I see headlights coming in my direction.  Great…security.  Well, I’m leaving.  No need for them to come all the way over and bother me.   As the car approaches, I notice it’s not the make and model of the usual patrol cars.  It kind of looks like- Wait!  It can’t be.  Holy shit!  It is.


I shake my head from side to side, laughing as Wufei pulls the sedan into the spot next to my truck. 


“So, I’m about to walk out of my office,” the Chinese boy tells me as he slams the car door shut and begins to walk towards me.  His tie is loosened and his button-down shirt is rumpled.  There are even a few strands of hair that have come loose from that tiny rat-tail and fall around his face.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen him so unkempt.  “The only thing I have on my mind is going home, taking a shower, and eating my first decent meal in nearly forty-eight hours.  I have my keys in hand and I’m literally at the threshold when my phone rings.  I don’t want to answer it, but something, some voice in the back of my head tells me that I should.  So I pick it up.  It’s Heero.” 


He stops a few paces in front of me and I give him a guilty half-smile.  He doesn’t look amused.  My eyes go down to our feet.


“He sounded…concerned,” he continues.  “He tells me that I need to come down here to Parking Field 8, close to the West Bath House, and make sure you’re alright.”


I’m a little surprised that Heero remembered my favorite beach spot.  I only managed to drag the two of them down here once.  Trowa was very nervous the entire time, constantly looking around.  That, in turn, put Heero on edge.  And believe me, two soldiers in ready-mode is enough to take all the fun out of anyone’s day.  Trowa refused to take off his shirt because of the scars on his back.  Of course he didn’t want it to seem like that was the reason, but I knew.  We had been sleeping together for almost two months and had had sex about four times at that point.  He had to know that I knew about them.  Did he not want Heero to see them?  In all the time that they spent together during the Eve Wars, there had to be a time when he saw him shirtless or when Trowa wasn’t wearing one of those stupid turtleneck sweaters.  His clown costume was sleeveless, wasn’t it?  Maybe the tension between the two of them goes back to the wars.  Well, if there was tension, they had kept it hidden from everyone quite well all this time.  I hadn’t thought of that and part of me wishes I didn’t just think of it now.  I’m so tired of all this, I really am.   “Look, Wufei, I’m sorry he made you come all the way down here. I-“


He raises his hand to signal me to shut up.  “Are you alright?” 


I sigh wearily and lean back against the front grill of my truck.  “Yeah…I guess.”


He gives me a disparaging once-over.  “Do you want to tell me what happened?”


No, absolutely not.  “Who said anything happened?  I just wanted some time by myself.  Things have been a little…tense lately.”


Wufei and I have never been what you would call close.  Comrades, yes.  Would I trust him to have my back in a fight?  You beat your sweet ass I would.  But we were never the type to kick back and drink a few beers after work.  In fact, I’m not entirely sure that he drinks.  Might be against his religion or something.  Well, if you wanted to get technical, I really shouldn’t be drinking either since I’m underage, but most places look the other way when I wave my Preventers badge in their face.  And sometimes it’s nice to be around other people in a social type of situation.  I’m not a loner like my two housemates, content to stay home on a Friday night reading a book or creating the latest and greatest encryption code.  I’m a people person.   


“I don’t doubt that,” he replies with a soft snort, but then his features soften with worry.  “Are they…I mean, have they…?”  Wufei pauses momentarily to gather his thoughts.  How are they?  Heero sounded so…”


“Lost?”  I supply for his uncharacteristic loss of words.    


He nods slowly.  “Yeah.  It’s not a tone I’m familiar with when dealing with him.  I must say that I was completely caught off guard by it.  That and the fact that he never asks for help unless it’s something impossible were the motivating factors that got me here.  I figured something major must be going on.  So, what happened, Duo?  Why did he call me and not come himself?”


I shrug my shoulders.  “I guess he wanted to give me some time to be alone.”


“Then he should have trusted you to come back in a reasonable amount of time.  That doesn’t explain why he felt someone should check on you.  You weren’t going to do something like hurt yourself, were you?”


My eyes go wide and I whip my head up to look him in the eye.  “What? No!  I just…I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I got out of there for a little while.” 


“Couldn’t take what, Duo?”


Oh no, I’m not falling for that one.  It will take more than that to get me to open up, Agent Chang. I roll my eyes at him. “Look, I’m fine.  I’m not about to off myself or anything, so you can stop worrying, okay?  Go home, get something to eat, and do whatever it is that you were planning.  I was just about to go home now anyway.”  I walk around him to get into my truck and he turns in place to watch me, but doesn’t make a move to stop me.  No, he does something completely unexpected.  When I open the door and slide behind the wheel, he scurries around the front of the pickup and jumps into the passenger seat.    I grip the steering wheel until my knuckles turn white.


“Go home, Wufei,” I say without looking at him.




“Yes.  Go home.  You can tell Heero that you did your civic duty and checked up on me.”


“I’m still not going to leave.”


I snap my head to look at him.  “Look, do I have to forcibly remove you from this vehicle?”


He snorts condescendingly and crosses his arms over his chest.  “You can try.”


My brain processes the challenge within a nanosecond and reacts.  The switchblade is out of its hiding place in my left boot and in my hand, ready.  Now, I have no real intent here, just a little show of force, but with the speed of a hummingbird’s wings, Wufei has me in a joint lock that shoots pain up to my shoulder.  I swear I didn’t even see him move.  My fingers go numb and my grip falters.  The knife drops to the seat, bounces once, and then falls to the floor with a dull thud. 


“What the hell is the matter with you, Duo?” he yells.


I try to wrench my hand free, but he twists my wrist harder, putting more strain on my elbow.  Any more pressure and it’ll dislocate.  I grit my teeth against the pain and look up into his intense black eyes and narrow my own.  This battle of wills is far from over. 


“Don’t even think about it,” he snaps, digging his thumb in once more and jerking my body forward to keep me off balance.   I continue to thrash about; trying to roll myself in the direction he’s bending my arm.  A yell of frustration escapes my lips and I kick out my legs to push off the driver’s side door and throw my full body weight into him.  For a moment it works.  Wufei falls back against the side of the car with a grunt, but when I try and free my arm, he renews his hold.  Frantically, I keep pulling, trying to get away from him.  I feel panicked all of a sudden; a fluttering in my chest makes my breath become short.  A flashback.  No, a memory.  So distant and faded like an old photograph at first and then suddenly alive in full Technicolor glory.  Of hands. Hands restraining, holding me back, keeping me from something.      


“Stop it, Duo!  Just stop it.” 


And to my surprise, I do.


“It’s not me you’re angry with,” he says softer and loosens his hold.  When I don’t make any further attempts, he lets go completely. 


I slink back to my side of the car, ashamed at my actions.  What the fuck is wrong with me?  I just attacked a close friend, and for what?


“God, I’m sorry, Wufei.  I…I…” 


I have no explanation for my actions, at least, none that will satisfy either of us.  Wufei bends down to retrieve my blade off the floor.  Without looking at me, he folds it and sticks it into the pocket of his pants.    


“You ready to tell me what happened?” he asks, giving me a sidelong glance.  I slump in my seat.


No, I’m so unbelievably not ready to tell him anything.  How can I try to make him understand what has me completely baffled?  But after I take a deep breath, the words start pouring out of my mouth and I tell him everything.  I tell him about the mission, where we went wrong, Trowa’s panic attacks and general attitude since coming home, Heero’s confusion and anger issues, and my own feelings of helplessness.  I start rambling on about my childhood and why I can understand what Trowa must be feeling.  It sounds incoherent to my own ears, but Wufei remains quiet and listens to me unload.  I end up telling him about the non-relationship I had going on with Trowa before I can stop myself.


When I finally come up for air, some time later, the sun is almost completely gone and I feel drained of all energy.  Man, I need a drink.  I have the worst cottonmouth.  I shyly look over to my right.  Wufei looks…well, considering everything I just told him, he looks like he’s taking it pretty well. 


“I had no idea,” he whispers, eyes widened.    


“About anything in particular or all of it?”


“That you were…” Wufei trails off looking thoroughly embarrassed. 


“Gay?” I answer for him.  He shrinks into the seat a little more.  “Out of everything I just said that was the one thing you focused on?” 


“No!” he quickly admonishes, turning towards me.  “I didn’t mean it like that.  I mean, yeah it’s a little shocking.  I thought you had something going on with Hilde or did at one point.” 


“Well, we kind of did for a little while, but it didn’t work out the way either of us wanted it to.  So, we split ways.  I still see her once in a while, but not like the way it was.  We’re just friends now.”  I look down at my lap.  “The thing with Trowa is more…complicated.” 


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