Author: Merula
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing is not mine. Neither is 'Iris' by the GooGoo Dolls. It was playing when I wrote this, and it kind of fit the mood.

I wrote this to prove to myself that I could write a one-shot that did not involve Duo or Heero trying to kill themselves. Don't know how well I succeeded... In the great forest of life, all I have to offer is the sap. Be warned!

Out of the Blue

The war had been over for years when he showed up on my doorstep out of the blue. I wasn't expecting him- hell, I had gone with Relena's theory that after all this time he was probably dead somewhere- as much as I hated to think it.

It had been four years since I had seen him, at the end of the Mariamaia incident as the papers like to call it now. He'd vanished afterwards, and no one had seen hide or hair of him since.

Oh, we looked, really we did. Relena especially. But no one found him. He was gone as if he had never been.

I had done several things after the war- worked the salvage yard, worked with Howard, even spent sometime with the Preventers. None of them absolutely made me happy or even contented me for very long. I wasn't hurting on money- I've always been a saver, and after the war I found that G had left me something to save. I guess it was supposed to be an apology- or blood money or something.

In the end I moved myself back to Earth and opened up a music store. I kept odd hours and stocked some weird stuff, but I had an appreciative clientele and did quite a bit of internet business. I managed to stay in the black, and that was good enough for me. I lived in the space above my store. It was small, but hey, it was only me, so it didn't matter.

It was a rainy day when Heero appeared. I was in the store listening to the disc I had playing and just kind of spacing out, leaning on the counter and watching the rain.

And I'd give up forever to touch you,
Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be...

It was a melancholy song and kind of fit the mood of the day. It reminded me of someone that I never really forgot. The rain was coming down in sheets and I was tempted to lock up and go upstairs for some tea when the door opened with it's soft chime.

I looked towards the door surprised that someone had actually dared the weather to go shopping and found myself frozen in surprise.

Heero Yuy stood there, closing up his soaked umbrella. For a moment I wondered if my daydream had simply come to life. But he was taller, older looking than when I saw him last, different enough to be real. He looked up when he finished and saw me gaping at him. He smiled, a rare expression for him once upon a time, and those dark blue eyes of his crinkled up at the corners.

"Hey Duo," he said softly, "long time no see."

"Heero?" I asked and pinched myself. "Is that really you?"

"Yes." He put the umbrella down next to the door and walked closer to me. I moved out from behind the counter. "It's good to see you Duo."

"It's good to see you too." I stood and stared at him as he looked at me. We must've looked completely stupid standing there staring at each other.

Suddenly he laughed softly and reached out, pulling me into a quick hug. I hugged him back automatically.

"You look almost exactly the same," he said after he let me go. "Taller," I had gained a few inches on him, "and your braid's longer, but you still look the same."

"Sheesh Yuy," I grinned at him, brain cells starting to function again. "I was going to tell you the same, but I didn't know you had learned to talk."

"I've learned quite a bit," he smiled wider. Man, it was great to see him! I moved around him and changed the sign in the window to closed and locked the door.

"I was just about to close up and go get something hot to drink. Care to join me?"

"That would be great." He followed me up the stairs and into my tiny apartment. I went over to the sink to fill my teakettle as he hung up his coat and claimed a spot on my couch.

"Still like it plain?" I asked him.

"Yes. I bet you still put tons of sugar in it."

"Less than I used to," I shrugged. "Still can't deal with it plain like you and Fei." I put the kettle on to boil and then sat down on the other end of my couch, facing him. "So where have you been Heero? Relena's been looking for you."

"All this time?" He looked surprised.

"Well, no. I think she stopped about 2 years ago. Figured you were dead and it was time to give up." I tilted my head. "Have you contacted her?"

"No. I came here first." He gave me one of those odd glances of his. "How is she?"

"She's married- you must've heard," I told him bluntly. "Married some blond guy- can't remember his name, but I guess he was at that school with you and her all that time ago."

"I know who you mean. He was devoted to her. I'm glad."

"She's expecting their first child- I'm sure you've heard that as well."

"Yes. She is still a good story. The press loves her." He smiled faintly. "But how is she really? Is she happy or is that just the press?"

"She's happy," I told him honestly. "She calls once in awhile- keeps in touch you know. She's very happy."

"Good. What about the others?" The teakettle whistled and I went up to fetch the cups.

"They're doing well. Fei's working for the Preventers- totally happy dispensing justice." I smiled. "He's dating Catherine- do you remember her?"

"Trowa's sister- the knife thrower." He laughed. "Wonder what arguments are like between them?"

"Let's just say it's a good thing Fei is agile or he would've been skewered by now." I handed him his cup and sat back down again.

"I'm happy for him. What about Trowa? Quatre?"

"Together, of course. Sickeningly sweet, I might add."

"So you were right about that all along."

"I told you! You were the one that kept saying no."

"I was an idiot. Looking back it was obvious."

"Yeah it was." We grinned at each other.

"What about Miss Noin?"

"Married Zechs- poor thing."

"What? Miss Noin wanted to marry him- didn't she?"

"I meant Zechs. She doesn't let him brood anymore." We laughed together.

"So she straightened him out. Good." Heero put his cup down on the table. "What about you Duo?"

"Me?" I shrugged. "Well, I did a few things after the war, but I ended up here."

"Yes- salvage, the Preventers, Howard's- why did you choose this?" I blinked at him.

"How did you know what I've been doing?"

"I kept an eye on you." I put my cup down carefully.


"Why do you think Duo?"

I flashed back to the first war- the night before the end. Heero had come to find me in my cabin, wanted to make sure I was ready for the next day. We'd ended up making love for hours. I thought it was just his way of relieving the tension- we might all die the next day. When I'd said something like that to Heero, he'd just given me the most hurt look. I'd tried to apologize but he left without another word. After that last battle, he'd disappeared. During the Mariamaia incident he'd frozen me out when I tried to apologize. I guess he thought it was better off forgotten.

Was I wrong?

Heero was watching me closely. "I don't know," I told him honestly.

"I wanted to know how you were doing," he said calmly. "So I kept an eye on you."

"Oh," I managed.

"Can I ask you a question Duo?"

"Sure thing," I tried to pull myself back together.

"Why are you here by yourself? All the others found someone to share their life with. Why are you alone?"

"Because," I looked him in the eye, knowing he deserved the truth, "you wrecked me for anyone else." His face softened a bit and he slid closer to me on the couch.

"Truly Duo?"

"Yes, Heero." His arms reached out for me then and pulled me close.

"Then can I stay with you?" He kissed me deeply and I tilted us backwards into the soft cushions of my sofa.

"I'm not letting you go again." I told him and he laughed against my hair.

He's asleep next to me, wrapped in my sheets as I watch the rain slide down the glass. My head rests against his chest, listening to the steady beat of his heart. I don't know if he'll still be here when I wake up tomorrow, or if this is all just some really great dream, but at this point I'm too happy to care. He's here with me now and that's all that matters.


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