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01 October 2006 @ 11:27 pm
Hold Your Light- Chapter 18 part 1  
Song quote comes from Tool and the song "H."  I hear Trowa's voice in this quote.  He's beginning to realize Duo's effect on him and, for better or worse, it is changing him.  Hugs to presser_kun for the beta.

Hold Your Light- Chapter 18




I am too connected to you to
Slip away, to fade away.
Days away I still feel you
Touching me, changing me,
And considerately killing me.

            “H.”- Tool





It’s well after nine o’clock when I pull into the driveway.  The outside porch light is on, but the rest of the house looks dark.  I look up to the second floor windows.  Trowa’s is the only one that overlooks the front lawn and even that one is black.  I wonder if he’s sleeping.  I hope he is.  He needs the rest badly. 


I really hate that I have to psyche myself up to get out of the car and go inside, but I fear what may have happened while I was gone.  Well, there’s no use in delaying the inevitable.  I slide out from behind the wheel and slam the door behind me.  With any luck, Heero and Trowa stayed at opposite ends of the house.


I peak my head inside the foyer before I enter.  The house is dead calm, but I can see that the kitchen light is on.  I step inside, close and lock the front door.  After I place my keys on the small table just inside the door, I enable the security system.  I’m actually surprised that it wasn’t done already.  Heero is a little…paranoid about certain things, and the possibility of people walking into our house unannounced is one of them.  Even though I told him that this is a nice, quiet neighborhood and people always knock first, he still insisted on getting it.  Well, to be fair I would have insisted on one too, but it wasn’t because I was leery of our neighbors the way Heero was.  It was more for that little piece of mind that helps me sleep better.  Always secure your perimeter before bedding down.  That was one of the golden rules on the street, and something every good solider knows. So I guess I can’t fault any of us for having these residual hang-ups. 


The kitchen is empty when I enter.  The chair closest to the sink is pulled out from under the table as though someone had been sitting there, but its occupant is nowhere to be found.  There is a small sketchbook and a pencil lying across the open page.  I look down at it and am amazed by an incredibly accurate rendering of our backyard as seen from the porch.  Heero must have drawn it; it’s too precise to be Trowa.  And given Heero’s need to keep himself busy, it makes more sense that he would plan out his strategy for landscaping the yard in detail.  I sigh softly.  Everything’s always a mission with that one.  


My ears pick up a muffled, repetitive clanking sound drifting up from the basement.  I walk across the kitchen to open the basement door and the sound gets louder.  I take the stairs down to find Heero in our makeshift gym, under the bench-press machine.  He’s pushing and pulling the bar up and down at a steady, yet forceful pace. The doctor did tell him to take it easy for the next few days, so he really shouldn’t be using the heavy equipment.  But getting a former Gundam pilot, especially this one, to laze about is as futile as trying to get a fish not to swim.  And all things considered, he walked away from the whole ordeal with relatively minor physical injuries.    He glances my way when I walk towards him, but doesn’t break rhythm. 


“So, you had to bother poor Wufei, huh?”  I say as I stand at the foot of the machine.  He pauses, arms extended straight out from his chest.  I lean to the side a bit so I can see how much he’s benching.  Five hundred pounds.  And he lifts it so effortlessly.  It’s hard to imagine his compact body being capable of such things, but it is.  Amazing what a little bioengineering can do.   


“I was worried.  I didn’t think you should be alone.”  He bends his arms and resumes the up and down motion.  Right before I open my mouth to reply he adds, “And it’s not because I thought you were going to kill yourself.”


Damn, he took the words right out of my mouth.  “Good to know and I appreciate your concern.  Wufei, on the other hand, wasn’t too thrilled.”   Heero gives me an inquisitive look and I give him a cheeky grin in return before turning around and walking into the laundry room. 


“Was he really angry?” he pants, once again breaking his rhythm.  He voice betrays a small measure of concern.


I turn around in the doorway.  “Not too bad.  You caught him just as he was heading home.  He was a little miffed about that, but nothing I would call angry…or at least, Wufei-level angry.”      


That seemed to be a good enough answer for him because he continues his workout without further inquiry.  I bend over and pull out the load of laundry from the dryer and toss the bundle into the basket.  Kicking it to the side, I pick up Trowa’s sheets off the floor and begin to douse the stains with ammonia.  There is a little twinge in my stomach as I rub my thumb over one of the blotches.  Oh, Trowa…


I have to blink back the tears that burn my eyes and threaten to run down my cheeks.  I try to convince myself that the fumes from the ammonia are causing them, but it’s useless.  God, this is just tearing at my soul to constantly be in a flux between such profound misery and unfathomable rage.  I want to hurt them for Trowa.  I want to hurt them badly.


But I choke it all down because I know that feeling like this isn’t doing anyone any good at the moment.  Least of all me, but when that day comes, when I finally take my revenge, those motherfuckers will know that no one- no one messes with Shinigami.  I just have to bury it for now.  I’ll get my chance. 


“Oh, before I forget,” I call out to Heero as I close the lid on the washing machine, “Wufei is going to bring by his car for me to look at tomorrow.”  He doesn’t acknowledge me, but I know he heard.  The repetitive swoosh, clack, swoosh, clack continues.  I pick up the laundry and balance it on my hip as I walk back into the main part of the basement.  “He can also give you a hand with…whatever you’re planning on in the backyard.”


Again he doesn’t say anything.  I stand there and watch him for a moment, noticing for the first time the sheer determination in his eyes.  Heero takes keeping in shape seriously, but not this seriously.  His tank top is soaked with sweat.  I’m not talking a little dampness around the collar and armpits here.  The whole shirt is wet like someone threw a bucket of water on him.  His long bangs are also plastered to his forehead and enough beads of moisture are rolling off his body to make small pools on the floor beside the bench.  He’s obviously been at this for a while.  Something’s wrong. 


“Did something happen while I was gone?” I inquire carefully.


The weights on the machine crash together loudly as Heero lets go of the bar and sits up abruptly.  Whoa, I’d say that’s a big, “Yes.”  Without so much as a glance in my direction he stands up and walks over to the rack of free weights and picks up the towel draped there.  He swipes it over his face and chest before turning to face me.  His eyes are hidden behind his bangs.


“Trowa hates me.”  


He says it so blandly that it takes me a second to process.  “No, he dos--“ I cut the involuntary counter off in mid-sentence.  Something is way off here.  “Why do you say that?  What happened?”


Heero’s face becomes stony.  He obviously doesn’t want to talk about it. To be honest, I really don’t want to, either.  I just want to not deal with this whole disaster for a while.  Is that so much to ask?    


“What happened?  And don’t tell me ‘nothing’ or I’m going to kick your ass,” I tell him as I pinch the bridge of my nose.  I can’t believe I’m pushing him on this, but something tells me that he really wants to vent about what went on while I was away.


He clenches his jaw; I drop my hand and see those stormy blue eyes weighing the options.  Come on; just tell me already.  The quicker we get this over with, the sooner I can go to sleep.  With a sigh that seems to deflate his entire body, he says, “Trowa had another panic attack.”




And…I tried to help him and he freaked.”  He sits down on the workout bench wearily and rests his elbows on his knees.   


“So, that makes you think that he hates you?”  I’m a little confused here.  Trowa, in the midst of earlier attacks, freaked out on us both and didn’t say anything about despising us. 


“No,” he replies to the floor.


I take a step closer.  “Did he say that he hates you?  Did the words ‘I hate you, Heero’ come out of his mouth?”


“No.  He didn’t have to say that for me to know.”


I take another step closer.  “Why not?  What happened?”


He looks up at me through his bangs and then his eyes go back down to the floor.  His shoulders tense as he takes a deep breath, holds it, and then lets it out slowly.  I get the sudden feeling that whatever he’s about to tell me is not going to be good. 


“He came down looking for you about an hour after you left,” he begins.  “He seemed…troubled by the fact that you weren’t here.  I asked him if I could help with anything. I didn’t want to push him, but he declined so, I let it drop.  He was very antsy and wouldn’t sit down.  It was like he didn’t want to get anywhere near me.”


Okay, not too bad so far.  This sounds like how Trowa’s been acting all day, though, I wonder why he was looking for me.   “Then what happened?” I ask.


“We had a fight, I guess.”


“You guess?  Either you did or you didn’t.”


“Then I guess we did,” he says sullenly.  “Anyway, after we exchanged some words, he stormed out of the kitchen.  I followed him into the living room and noticed that his back was bleeding through his shirt.”


I bring my both my hands up this time and tiredly rub at my eyes.  “Yeah, he told me that he popped a few stitches overnight.” 


“So, I tell him this and he panics when he sees the blood.  I mean really loses it, not like before, Duo.  This was so much worse.”  Heero looks up at me, allowing me to see the usually tightly guarded fear in his eyes.  Those blue eyes go distant as he continues.  “He tried to run away from me, but he caught his foot on the end table and fell. Hard.  I went to help him up and…he screamed and tried to crawl away.  It was like he wasn’t there. He wasn’t seeing me or the room or anything anymore.  He was so scared, Duo…so scared.  I’ve never seen him like that before.  Not even during…”


Ah, fuck.


 “That was no panic attack, Heero,” I say gently.  “Trowa had a flashback.”


He’s trying to not let on how much this is bothering him.  I can see it in his body language.  It’s the reason he was down here for god knows how long, trying to exercise -literally- the demons out of his body.  Heero is trying to fall back into the training routine that gave him some amount of comfort before and during the wars.  Arms, legs, pulse rate, extensions, contractions, these are all things he can control.  It’s got to be one hell of a shock for him to figure out that there won’t be any solace in the pattern this time.  Not for something like this.       


“Scoot over a bit.”  He shifts over and I sit down on the narrow bench next to him.  The sharp smell of sweat and deodorant emanating from his body is slightly distracting.   He smells good, rugged.  I’m surprised that I have to consciously direct my thoughts back to the matter at hand before I start thinking about walking down a road I don’t think either of us should be traveling right now.  


“The blood must have triggered a memory of his…um, past,” I tell him.  “You’ve had to have had that before, right?  When you remember something that feels so strong, it’s like you relive it?”  He nods.  “Shit, I must have relived the time when Trowa blew up Deathscythe like, a hundred times.  It still hurts to this day.” 


I get a small smile out of him for that one.  Some strategically placed levity never fails to bring someone out of a funk.  I guess Heero was feeling bad that he couldn’t help Trowa more, or that Trowa got upset when he touched him.  I’m pretty sure Heero’s never had to deal with someone as, um, distraught as our lanky friend, so I can see how this would be upsetting to him.  I suppose he took Trowa’s reaction as a sign that he hated him for failing the mission.   I’ve found that-- 


“He kept calling out for you.”


Wait.  What did he just say? 


“Over and over,” Heero whispers.  “In-between the screaming and the begging, he kept calling your name, asking for you to help him.” 


I stare at him, wide-eyed and completely flabbergasted.  Screaming and begging?  My God, things just keep getting better and better. No wonder Heero is freaking out.  Well, freaking out in his own Heero-like way, but I thought Trowa was angry with me for being too pushy and trying to meddle.  Why would seek me out?  Something must have happened after I left. And whatever it was appears to have been bad enough to trigger a doozy of a flashback.       


 “He did, did he?” I finally manage to say, even though my throat has gone dry.   I get a curt nod in response.  This had better not be some sort of jealousy thing.  He’d better not be pissed at me just because Trowa wanted me in his moment of despair and not him.   Because if he is, I’m going to…to-- I don’t know, but petty jealousy is the last thing I need right now.        


“So, what did you do, leave him on the floor, frothing at the mouth?” 


“No, of course not,” he replies warily to my snippy tone.  I’ve just put him on the defensive.  He leans away from me.  “After he passed out, I carried him up to his room to treat the wound.” 


I am so not in the mood to be dealing with this right now.  “And I bet he was pissy at you for that, too.  Look, Heero, he’s going to lash out as us because we’re the nearest convenient target, so stop taking everything he says so personally.  He doesn’t really mean what he’s saying.  Just let it go.  He doesn’t hate you, alright?” 




But nothing,” I interrupt.   The sides of my head are beginning to throb.  “He’s just saying things that will make you angry because he’s trying to push you away.  Since we both agreed that we weren’t going to push back, you need to drop this.”


He sets his jaw and narrows his eyes at me.  At this point, I don’t want to know what Trowa said to him that got him so riled up.  I’m sure it wasn’t very nice, and I’m sure this won’t be the last time Trowa scores a few hits, but we can’t let them get to us.  I swipe a hand through my bangs.  Fuck, I need a cigarette. 


“Work out whatever it is you need to work out down here,” I say as I stand.  “But don’t take it upstairs with you.  It won’t do anyone any good.”


“So, I’m just supposed to bury all this and pretend like what he did never happened?”  Heero’s voice is surprisingly petulant. 


I bend down to pick up the basket of clothes before turning back to face him.  “You know what, Heero?  I don’t have a fucking clue about what you should do.  Maybe you should figure this one out on your own.”


I turn around and head up the stairs before he has a chance to say anything.  If I stay down there any longer, I’ll just wind up taking my anger out on him.  Heero’s problems are just going to have to wait until tomorrow.  I just want to go upstairs, have a smoke, make my bed, and get in it.  I’ve had enough of dealing with other people’s problems for today.






The door to Trowa’s room is open as I pass by.  All the lights are off and the room is quiet, but I can’t help but think that it’s some sort of invitation.  Well, if it is, I’m not going to take it.  The last thing I want right now is to have a run-in with him.  I balance the basket on my hip while I reach inside my room and feel along the wall for the light switch.  I step into my room only to find Trowa, sprawled out face first diagonally on my unmade bed.  He’s sound asleep. 


Well, isn’t this day just full of surprises? 


I place the basket on the floor and kneel down next to the bed, close to Trowa’s face.  His breathing is deep and steady.  It looks like he’s out for the count.


“Trowa?” I say softly, trying to rouse him.  He doesn’t so much as flinch.  I give his shoulder a light shake and still nothing.  This is the sleep of the righteously exhausted.  With the few hours he barely manages a night, I don’t have the heart to wake him…even if he is in my bed.


“What am I going to do with you?” I sigh as I brush the bangs away from his face.  “You have to make everything so difficult, don’t you?  I’m trying, I really am.  I…I…just let me in once in a while, okay, Tro?”


I stare at his serene face, willing his subconscious mind to hear my plea.  I rest my head on the mattress next to his, and listen to him breathe for a few minutes.  If I close my eyes, I can almost fool myself into believing that the beatings and the rape didn’t happen.  It’s just the two of us, dozing after a fantastic round of sex, enjoying the company without having to say a word.  But the second I open my eyes, I see the bruises on Trowa’s face and the gauze peaking out of the collar of his shirt and the fantasy shatters into a million pieces.  It was so much easier before all this happened.  Trowa and I could go on pretending, never asking the important questions.  We could believe each other when we said it was only sex, that it didn’t mean anything more, and we’re just companions.    


Why are you in my room, Trowa?  Why were you seeking me out before?      


It’s kind of funny, less than two minutes ago I was ready to tear into the first person to cross my path, but now…now I just feel so goddamned helpless.  What can I possibly do to help this wonderful person in front of me?  I’m just an ex-street rat who happens to be a kick-ass pilot.  I know about Vulcan engines and linear induction, but not this, not how to deal with this.   


I pick up my comforter off the floor and carefully drape it over him.  I’m sorry, Trowa. I’m sorry I can’t be any better at this for you.




Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Fran: Namiki (LotB)franwi on October 2nd, 2006 07:32 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy to see this posted! Such an amazing and incredible read. The conversation between Duo and Heero was awesome. You capture their frustrations so very well. And what in the world happened while Duo was out? Why are things so tense between Trowa and Heero? It's a sad situation for all of them. Off to read more!
evilkat_meowevilkat_meow on October 2nd, 2006 09:40 pm (UTC)
The events that occured while Duo was out can be found in chapter 16, the one from Trowa's POV. In case you need a refresher:
Part 1
Part 2

Heero has a very good reason to be upset.
Fran: Honey-Oops! (Ouran)franwi on October 2nd, 2006 10:12 pm (UTC)
I do recall that! I guess after 17 I did need a refresher. I thought maybe there was more on top of that. I really feel horrible for Heero, though - confessing his love at the worst possible moment and later having it thrown in his face like a joke by the one he loves. Yeah, that was awfully shitty. Of course I love in this chapter how Duo realizes that whatever went down between them was best put aside for everyone's sake, because Trowa's lashing out and Heero's way too sensitive at the moment to step back and see it as self-defense and not an attack. Definitely love how much you put into this!
evilkat_meowevilkat_meow on October 2nd, 2006 11:43 pm (UTC)
It's okay. I sometimes forget what happened in previous chapters too...and I'm the one writing it ;P

So yeah, Heero is not only dealing with his guilt, but he's wanting to comfort Trowa because he really does love him and is getting shot down at every turn. It's only adding to his self-deprecation.