Carrot of Love



From: Maxwell Orphange, L2, Venus Sector

To:                    -                                     



            Wanna hear a good story?  I have one for you.  Ya know, I have never realized how sweet AND sour tasting a carrot can be.  You look at a bag of them and any one of them could be either sweetest shit you've ever tasted, or so sour it makes you want to throw the half-bitten thing into the river Styx.  Amazing, ne?  And there's no way of telling unless you have the balls to take a bite and chew. 

            Wondering what this has to do with anything?  Well, nothing really.  Just observations.  Things are never as they seem, ne?

            So, what was I doing?  I was going to tell a story, ne?  Ah, right.  So, I'm sure you know aaaalllllllllllll about us by now, via Quatre.  He doesn't tell us, but we assume they are about him and Trowa.  Well, hells, not to hard to figure out considering the boy is obssesed with Trowa.  But then again, that tall dude is obsessed with Quatre too, so I guess it works itself out.  I figure it's about time I write something. 


            Every morning, before school starts, Heero comes over.  A normal routine for us is him to walk over to my orphanage, come to my room, and sit on my bed.  I'm usually just getting out of the shower by then.  After I dress, he brushes out the knots as I eat my trusty Nutri-Grain bar plus choclate-chip Ego.  Breakfast of champs.  He's damn fast too.  Then I braid my hair, grab my books, and we're outta there.  Together we walk to our meeting point and wait for the other three to arrive.

            Quatre never mentioned all that, did he?  It'd be kinda hard, because he doesn't know about it.  None of them do.  They just kinda assumed we arrived at the same time. 

            I should explain why Heero goes through all this trouble just to hang out with me for a little bit.  It's because of his house. 

            Heero is a very unusual guy; all five of us are pretty strange, considering.  But, in my eyes, this guy has it worse off.  I had a pretty shitty childhood so far, but I look at it this way; if I hadn't gone through all that, I wouldn't be the person I love today.  Who knows what the hell I'd be, and so I just am content with the outcome.  No use bitching and seeking attention for the past.

            Back to Heero.  Heero is... well, it's hard to tell in a way you'd understand.  It's complicated.  We don't know if he was an orphan too, if he was a test-tube baby, if he was just put up for adoption, or what.  However it came about, he has been in the "care" of this weird, deformed group of scientists.  They are his legal gaurdiens.  There's always at least three in their house, for they travel around alot.  They're really genius type dudes, and so they got alot of awards, projects and shit.  I guess there's like eight, or so.

            Heero doesn't remember alot from when he was really little, but what he does remember is pretty much bright lights, prodding and pain.  Nice, huh?  The other guys don't know this, but Heero is practicaly a walking experiment; a toy for these guys.  For some f-ed up reason, they are the ones who train him to be a single-minded... Well, a singled-minded something.  I guess machine fits.  Heero said he once heard them say something about testing the limits of humans, and using a human as a computer.  Which, sadly, isn't far off from what Heero is like...

            The dude is practically perfect in school.  His math skills are fuckin amazing.  I've never seen a person get a perfect everytime on EVERYTHING.  Ironicaly enough, he's only slightly less perfect at creative writting.  Something which can be acredited to his lack of emotions, feeling and imagination.  As far as creativity goes, Heero has zero.

            There's little I can force him to tell me, but I did manage to also find out that after school, when Heero is at home, they do stuff to him.  Like, seriously f-ed up shit you wouldn't want done to ANYTHING, even someone as annoying as Relena!  I don't have detail, but I know it envolves Heero being strapped to an unforgiving, metal table.

            The scary thing about Heero is how lifeless he is.  We work together to help him be able to grasp emotions and the like, but it's an uphill battle.  The other guys don't seem to notice because I've taught him the normal emotions, and Heero's affection for them has helped him to be able to be compassionate towards them.  But I see it...  I easily read how he is confused so often, how lost he seems, how innocent he is.  You see, besides complex, mind-scrambling knowledge, Heero's education was completely ignored.  How I know this?  When the others laugh at a joke on t.v., he asks me later to explain it.  There was also a time that was really kinda funny.  He showered after gym one time, and I was waiting for him.  He came out to ask me for soap and didn't bother to put on clothes... 

            Okay, so fine, I have a bit of a thing for him, shoot me.  Besides all of this, he is a babe.  Oh no, babe does not do him justice- he oozes sexuality out the ears!  I swear, if he wanted to fuck the entire school, everyone would line up for it.  I'm NOT lying! 

            But, to finish my ridiculously long description, Heero is monotone in everything.  He even SPEAKS without inflection.  Quite a feat, actually.  His face is almost always expressionless (unless he's a bit confused, in which case his right eyebrow raises a fraction of a centimeter). 

            What was I tyring to tell?  Oh, right, why he spends that much effort to be around me.  Well, he doesn't like going home.  I think he's damn brave for staying.  My skinny ass would have been out of there a long while ago.  But I guess it's like my own view; he's known this all his life.  He's uncertain of what things would be like without it.


            Sigh... this always depresses me.  But, back to the story story. 

            One day, fresh from the shower, we reached the meeting point and waited.  I get up pretty early and so we are always there early.  I go to sleep pretty late too.  I guess I don't spend much time asleep because I am always worried nothing will be there when I wake up.  I'm not like Quatre; I can't go to sleep secure in knowing tomorrow will be fine and safe as today was.  Call it paranoia, I call it practicality.  You don't live alone on the streets without picking up certain traits.  I guess that's why I never cut my hair- who knows what would happen if I change anything in my recently gained asylum?

            Tangent?  Sorry, expect these.


             So, we were waiting.  I noticed a good size hickey-looking thing on the back of Heero neck.  Not bothering to ask permission (do I ever?) I turned his back to me and inspected it.  Heero, showing he knew full well it was there, pushed me away and turned around again, facing me.  I gave him a suspiscous look and he snorted.

            Sometimes there just aren't any use for words between us.  We're close friends, we both know each other's gestures pretty well.

            Heero glared at me and I cynically raised an eyebrow in return.

            "Heero-kun, what's that ugly thing on your neck from?"


            May I add he absolutely SUCKS at lying to me?  Even in his monotone, I can detect the fib.  Or was it just painfully obvious he lied?

            "Oh come on, I know a good hit when I see it.  What happened?"

            "Nothing important."

            Aaahhhh, so he's going to just pretend now, is he?

            "Heero-kun, I know we said you could just come over and stuff when you needed to, no questions asked.  But geez man, can't you just tell me what the heck did that?"

            "Look Duo, thanks, but no.  I've told you - I don't want to discuss these things."  He said in his toneless-sorta-way, and pulled the hood of his jacket over his head, hiding the mark now that he knew it was noticeable.

            I sighed and let it go.  Heero's no dummy; he has been careful to never say anything that might give me the ability to tell authorities and possibly get Heero removed from the scientists' possesion.  The most he tells me is it is painful, and never what it is.  High school is the only insitution outside of the his house he's been to, but had been carefully taught never to let anything slip.  It pains me he does this and confuses me too.  Wouldn't one WANT to get out of that situtation?  I guess that brings me full circle to my 'not-regretting-the-shitty-life-you've-been-forced-through' argument.  Damn.      

            "Okay, alright.  I guess I have to respect that....  So, looking forward to our math exam?" I cheered, already bouncing around the subject.  Heero nodded and stared off into the sky, vaguely giving me attention.  Inside, it hurt.  Here was my  good bud, being fucked with constantly, and I'm unable to help.  He depends on me for the answers to all those damn child-like questions he asks, but I can't protect him.  And he's so much like a little child...  An abused, soul-drained, spirit-lost child...  I have seen enough of those before, thank you.

            "I seeeeee!!!  What'dya think the odds are Trowa and Quatre actually studied?"

            "Why wouldn't they?"

            I sighed again.  "Nevermind.  Just don't repeat that."

            "... Okay."

            "OHAYO DUO-KUN!!!"

            Quatre and Trowa arrived, then Wufei.  All together we walked to school.  My eyes, although I was talking with Quatre, were always drifitng back to watch Heero.  He trudged along behind us, hood drawn low over his eyes, head facing the ground.



            Later, we all crashed Q's house and had our usual study session together.  After that, me, Wufei and Heero left.  Trowa, of course, stayed...  Che, those two are so cute.  I could go on forever about what a cute couple they make, but I'm sure Quatre does that enough, eh?

            Wufei took the turnoff for his little apartment and we continued on to the orphanage.  It was Thursday and Heero was spending the night.  Our school was doing the PSATS by grade, and only Trowa had to go in tomorrow.  What can I say, it's a big school!

            How did Heero get permission to stay the night?  He asked a week ago and the sceintists' said yes.  It's weird, yeah, but I'm not complaining.  I'll do anything to keep Heero from that house.  You see, there are certain scientists in the bunch that are a bit fatherly toward him.  It all depends on the group currently at the house.  If he asks far enough in advance and asks the right one, they'll usually let him.  It's not like Heero is the only experiment they have to spend time on.  And, anyways, I figure they find letting him do stuff like a "normal" kid is sort of a 'variable' in the experiment.  Yeah, that pisses me off.

            So, at any rate, we entered and headed immediately to my room.  Usually I greet Father Maxwell and the kids here.  I spend my afternoons playing with the kids (most are alot younger than me here) stuff like football, race cars, and (occasionally) Barbies.  Yes, I've played with Barbies, get over it.  I don't try and take Heero around to do that; he's uncomfortable in big crowds.  I get the impression sometimes he's uncomfortable around humans completely.  It somehow makes me feel good to know I'm part of the four he let's be around him.

            I drop my bag onto the floor and head for the bathroom.  Oh, I forgot to mention that.  Me, being the oldest teen here, has a small bathroom (private) connected to my room that is only acessable through my room, making it all MINE.  I cannot express how much I LOVE THAT. 

            As I scrub my teeth (a nervous habit; you never know when you'll just not have one anymore for a long time), Heero plops onto my lower bunk bed, and kicks his shoes off.  I, for one, can attest that Heero does not like to wear shoes.  Another thing I attribute to whatever those bastards are doing to him.

            I eventually come out again and lounge out on the floor.  There's a silence between us.  Strange, since I never seem to shut up.

            So I feel obligated to jarr the quiet first.

            "Heero, what's going on?  Is it bad?"

            He was silent a minute.  "Not any worse than usual."

            "... Wanna talk about it?"

            Heero looked at his own feet.  "I don't think we should."

            Gosh, that exasperates me.  I can't imagine that it's good for him to keep it inside.  I watch him as he pulls his knees up under his chin and hugs them to his chest.

            It strikes me again how vulnerable Heero can be.  How vulnerable he is.  I know he's like a genius, and has this crazy amount of unexplainable strength.  Yeah, I've tumbled with the guy and he's NOT one to fuck with.  But anyway, looking at him now, he looks like a sad boy.  His messy, unbrushed, dark brown hair.  The deep, cobalt blue eyes.  The face of youth, but the expression of an elder.  It's amazing...  He's such a contrast; a complete puzzle.  Everything about him contradicts himself, and it seems he's just caught in the middle of it; doesn't know how to get himself out of the chaos.  Unloved...

            I wasn't loved when I was little, but I am now.  Have been ever since the orphanage found me, and besides, there were little kids I watched out for on the streets.  They loved me, at least.  And now, kids here love me, Father Maxwell loves me, and my friends at school love me.  But Heero? 

            No one loves Heero.

            "Hey, Hee-kun, did you hear about the story of the guy from Vegrasi?"

            Heero looked over to me, a small thankful smile tugged at only a tiny part of his lips.  But it was teeny enough for even me to catch it.  I smiled.

            "Well, it goes like this..."



            It was about a month more of this for me to realize I was falling for him. 

            It was everything about him; his beauty, his strangeness, his way of moving, his innocence...  Something within him seemed to call out to me.  Begging for release from it's cage.  A shroud of sorrow surrounded Heero, and he always seemed alone.  The urge to hold him in my arms, smooth my fingers through his hair, and whisper soothing words into his ear got steadily stronger.

            Was I protective of my unbalanced friend?  Sure.  Actually, I was extremely protective.  I don't know if the fact he was in so much inner pain drew me to him, he was locked within himself, he needed help so badly, or that he was so fucking attractive made me determined to keep him from as much harm as I could manage.  I am called many thing, shallow among them, but no one can claim that I don't care for those in need of it.

            Despite all this, I stuck to my determination to not laddle my own teenage heart onto his large pile of Shit to Deal With.  The guy's back was already heavy with problems.

            To be clear and hopefully not lose your interest, I'll skip to the night something actually happened and set things in motion.


            I stared at the ceiling.

            The half-naked picture of a very hot Baywatch actress looked down on me from the poster there.

            A soft rapping on my window drew my attention from the buxom brunette's most intriguing item.  I sat up and glanced out the window.

            Already I was somewhat worried - it was thunderstorming outside.  Who would be at my window during a thunderstorm?

            Knowing the answer, I jumped off my bed (I sleep in the top bunk normally) and went over to the window.  I undid the lock and pulled it up.

            A very drenched Heero flopped in, slamming onto my floor.  I slammed the window shut and knelt by him, turning him onto his back.

            "Heero!  Heero, daijobu desu?"

            The poor boy was already unconscious.  All I could see on him was mud and water.  Sighing, I was relieved when I felt his pulse and temperature.  He was fine, just out cold.  And dirty...

            "Well, well... Can't tell the Father, he'll only take him back to his house.  What else to do with you, Hee-kun?" I mused to myself, brushing wet bang away from the closed eyelids.  With a slight, fond smile, I picked him up and took him into my bathroom.


               His eyes found mind before they found anything else.  I saw the question there and didn't supply an answer, waiting for him to remember.

            I sat across from him, in a chair.

            "Why am I naked?" he asked simply.

            "You were soaking when you came here, and muddy.  I cleaned you up and shucked you into bed.  You weren't in the state to do it yourself."

            ".."  He observed me a minute before relaxing. 

            I have to admit, I had enjoyed watching the sight of him while he slept. 

            After I had woken up (early), did my normal routine, pulled my chair from it's desk so it faced the bunk beds, sat and watched Heero sleep under the covers in my lower bunkbed.  I guess he asked me that first because I was fully clothed. 

            I admit, alright, I enjoyed undressing him and taking care of him last night.  But even I have my scruples; I didn't feel him up or anything.  I only did what was nessacery.  Wy didn't I put him in my clothes, at least underwear?  I believe the best way for a body to make heat is to be naked.  I knew he'd get warm faster and more so if I left him naked in the bed.  So I did.

            From the look on his face, he seemed to understand this.

            I watched as he sat up, running a hand through his impeccably messy hair.  My eyes drifting to the fresh marks on his skin.  I won't describe them, but it was obvious something had caused suffiecent damage to him and NOT in the same class as the bruise-hickey I found before.


            He looked over.

            "Can I at least have a tiny explination for last night?  I think you owe me."  I knew guilting him would have a better chance than relying on his sense of fairness.

            Heero seemed to consider this. 

            "I remembered and freaked out."

            I blinked.  "Excoose me?"

            Heero sighed.  "I... I remembered."  He looked down to his hands, which were currently lifeless in his lap.  I scooted a bit closer in the chair to the bed.

            "Remembered what?"

            "What they do to me."

            "How could you not remember?"


            I watched in stunned silence as a tear slid down his cheek.  I couldn't help it- I got up and went to him.  I sat next to him and gently grasped his hands, reminding him he wasn't alone...  That he wasn't alone now.

            "Hee-kun, please tell me.  I need to know, tell me.  Don't keep it inside to kill you, let it out.  Trust me to understand and comfort.  Allow yourself that."

            He looked up at me with water-filled eyes.  He once again struck me as lost, and desperately needing affection, but too trapped in hell to ask.  But I knew he'd tell me now; something bad enough has happened to break down his barriers and I had plunged in.

            "I...  I don't remember after it happens what goes on.  Only.. only when I sleep.  After it, I write it down so I'd remember later what happened.  I...  When I am awake, I can't remember at all how things came to happen.  But when I sleep... I remember; I watch it again and again, and feel it again and again."  Droplets flowed freely down his cheeks.  "I read them over and over, trying to grow indifferent, to not be affected by it, but I'm pathetic."

            I was too surprised to react.  I didn't imagine it was possible for someone to torture themselves so badly.  If I had to read over and over all the stuff I've bee through...  I shudder just thinking about it.  I knew then that Heero was much more unstable mentally than I thought; how depressed was the poor guy?  It was amazing to me he wasn't bouncing off the walls by now, but I knew for certain he couldn't continue living like this.  One day he'll go nuts or kill himself.  And considering Heero's fearlessness, I had no trouble deciding which of the two was more likely.

            Heero's eyes pleaded me to say something, but I knew no words.  I simply held him close in my arms and he weeped on my shoulder. 

            I never imagined Heero could cry.  So foreign an idea...  I guess even I thought of him as the machine he's being pushed and forced to try to be.



            It became clear to me I had to work fast.

            After the incident, I knew he wasn't going to last much longer.  Even someone of his great will, tolerance, discipline and whatever the hell else they trained into him, Heero was going to crack.

            It pained me to watch this and not be able to directly effect it.  The others...

            They didn't seem to notice, which pisses me off.  Irrational, I know, for Heero never shows anything but his mask to them, but still.  I guess that's unfair of me.  Trowa and Quatre were just discovering each other (they had just gotten together around this time), and Wufei was dealing with marriage.  Hells, even I hardly saw them anymore with these new changes. 

            I figured Heero would be alright if he could talk with someone about this stuff, let himself out of the cage which the scientists enclose him.  I knew, just knew, there was someone beautiful inside.  His true character was something I longed to see.  All his acting didn't throw me off- inside of Heero was the one I loved and longed for.  The soul being denied.  I hoped by telling Heero I loved him and would always be there for him would help him open a little to me, if he knew that someone was there.

            But then I also knew Heero didn't quite understand stuff like that.  Love qualifies as an emotion, ne?  Heero still was uneducated in this.

            I like challenges though.  I certainly didn't see any other options anyhow, so I decided to go with my plan.


            I'm trying to cut back and not make this a saga and bore the living crap outta ya, but gimme a break if I end up doing that, okay?


            I took a deep breath.  This was it.

            I was taking the coward's way into this.  It's not like I'm faint of heart, or ballelss, it's just I was a little scared in doing this. Scared because I knew he wouldn't feel the same, and because he might not even take this as I mean it and kill himself anyway.  As long as my note was still in my hand, I was safe enough to have hope.  Once it's gone...once it's gone, I'm going to have to live with the facts.  Life can be so damn mean sometimes.

            But if this would save Heero, help him, then I'll do it.

            "Hey, Hee-kuuuuun!" I flopped an arm around his shoulders and leaned on him as we walked to the school.

            "Hn." he grunted, trying mildly to shake me off.  It was funny in a way; I cling to people and he avoids them.

            "Maxwell, don't torture Yuy."

            "Pbbbthh, if you wanted a hug, why didn't you ask right away Wuffi?"

            "Che, don't call me that."  Wufei smiled and I grinned back.  Turning my attention right now to the bishi under my arm, I forced my hand to put the note in his pocket.

            "A present for you when you get bored."  I winked and let him go.  He looked at him with that expressionless but gorgeous face once more, blinked then headed off to his homeroom.  I waved to the others, (snuck a kiss onto Wuffi's cheek, just to make him yell) and ran off to my own.

            As soon as I was out of sight of the others, I drew a deep breath.  It was all up to fate now.  If Heero realized by this that someone does love him, cares, and wants to help, maybe he'd open up some and be happy... 

            Maybe.  Hopefully. 

            Today was Friday.  That night we were all spending the night at Quatre's place.  Once again, I had convinced Heero to ask and he managed to get approval.  I wasn't sure what I'd say or do, but there was time enough to figure it out before tonight.  


            To my dissapointment and/or relief, things were completely normal.  There were no funny looks from Heero, no questions, no hints that he had read the note at all.

            Stupid of me to think he hadn't, now that I look back on it.  Heero being Heero wouldn't have tipped off the note in front of the others.  I don't know why this didn't occur to me before, but it hadn't.  I was a bit worried, trying to think without arousing suspision, on another plan.

            Unknowingly, Quatre gave me an answer.

            "Alright, me and Trowa in this bed, you three in the other!" Quatre cheered.

            Wufei looked a bit perplexed.  "I, uh...  have to sleep with Duo?"

            I gave him a big ol' grin and hentai wink.  He shifted away from me in worry.

            "Duo, please!" Quatre begged.  "Wufei, don't mind Duo, you KNOW how he is...  besides, he'd feel up Heero before you, ne?" he laughed.  Collectively we chuckled.

            Oh, how right you are....

            "Oh, how right you are!" I said in a sarcastic tone. 

            "But seriously, is that okay?  I don't want to be a nasty host, but I really wanted to cuddle with Trowa." The little blond chirped, his cheeks blushing.  Who, I ask, who can deny such a cutely honest and blushing Quatre!? 

            We all agreed and giggles at Trowa as we noticed our silent friend was also blushing some.

            So after all our goofing off and horseplaying was done and we were falling down in exhaustion, we gave in and went to bed.  We always try to make evenings last long, forever, when we can all get together like this.  But there's just a point where we have to give into sleep.  Especially Wufei; the guy has stamina, but from the little we know of Meiran, she runs him ragged at night if you get my meaning.  So he needs his strength.  What!?  I'm just telling it like it is!  Him and his wife are teenagers and married!  What'dya expect??  The two are kinda funny together - Wuffi's a scholarly type, always in a book, and Meiran is always training, fighting.  I have no trouble imagining her tackling an unknowing Wuffi and coaxing him into putting his book away...

            What was I saying?

            Oh, right, well, so we piled into bed(s).  We flicked off the lights and got settled.  I was on the right side, the outside facing the other bed, then Heero in the middle, Wufei towards the wall.  I looked over to the smaller bed next to ours.

            I couldn't help but smile.  My nightvision is pretty good, so even in the faint starlight, I could easily make out Quatre's little form wrapped around the longer Trowa.  Both were smiling happily.  Those two are so sweet.

            I was awake long after everyone dropped off.  Insomnia/paranoia, remember?

            I felt a poke in my side.

            I rolled my head (I was laying on my back) to look at who poked me, figuring Wufei or Heero was moving in their sleep or something.

            Shiny, bright cobalt met my eyes and I somehow managed not to fall of the bed in surprise.  His nose was practicaly touching mine.

            Heero silently pointed to the door and nudged me again.  I nodded some, getting his silent instruction, knowing now this was the reaction I'd been waiting for.

            Yeah, I was nervous as all the hells.

            I pulled myself quietly out of bed and walked to the door.  It squeaked a bit when I opened it, but no one sleeping noticed.  Heero slipped out of bed and followed me.  I went into the hall and leaned against the wall.  Heero shut the door and turned, then walked over to me.  I waited- for what, I didn't know, but I was waiting.

            His fist came into view and I watched detached as he opened it.  In his palm was a small, folded peice of paper.

            "Duo..," he started to whisper.  Apperantly he forgot what he was going to ask or say, or maybe he just didn't know to begin with, but needless to say he didn't add onto that.

            I plucked it from his palm and unfolded it.  Yep, this was my note, alright.

            "Heero," I whispered back, "I still want to be friends, even if you don't feel the same.  Just remember that I love you and will always be here for me.  You don't have to go through this alone and make it worse; trust me and I'll comfort you."

            He looked a bit bewildered.  I wasn't surprised; I had no doubt he never heard these words directed at himself before.

            Taking great courage, I reached a shaking hand out and gently caressed his cheek.  I would have laughed at how cartoonishly wide his eyes got at this, but there was no way with all this tension.  I guess it was foolish of me, seeing as he may have very well grabbed my wrist and broken it.  But I suppose it was a good move, showing Heero I trusted him despite whatever reflexes that could have made him hurt me without him realizing before too late.

            Amazement dawned on his face and I felt my heart clench.  He was beautiful all the time, yeah; but he was even more so when he had feelings plainly shown.

            I smiled, no matter how much this was hurting.

            I faltered when he looked down and wetness dropped from his eyes.

            Confused, I drew back my hand and stepped closer.  "Heero?"

            "I'm confused..."

            Oh, fuck-bunnies.  "T-tell me Heero, I'll try to explain it to you."  My voice was raw, but this was hidden easy enough in the fact that we were whispering.

            "When I got your note, I looked love up in the dictionary.  I was so.. happy... because I thought you felt the same.  But when I read the defenition, it wasn't the same as I felt, and I knew it wasn't...  I don't know anymore..." Heero whispered, voice choked.

            Poor kid...  Even if I don't really understand what he's trying to tell me.  "Heero, do you want to tell you what love is?  Dictionaries aren't good for emotions; cold, printed words can't explain emotions."

            He nodded solemnly and I smiled again...  His cuteness still mad eme smile despite how much things were sucking.

            "Love to me is...  well, to a degree devotion to someone.  You want to do everything for them, anything they ask.  You're happy when they're happy, you're sad when they're sad.  Your kokoro beats twenty times faster at just seeing them, the same of the thought of them.  All you can think on is them, and your main concern is them.  And the biggest reason you can think of to keep living is to never miss a moment of seeing them.  Does that help, Heero?"

            Heero looked still upset.  "That's not exactly how I feel about you..."

            I blinked.  "W-well, what do you feel?"  Perhaps this wasn't the wisest or most polite thing to blurt out, but heck, I wanted to know.

            "I feel safe around you, like nothing bad can happen.  I want to be around you all the time, because you also make me forget about how things are really.  You make me... happy...  All I can think of is you.  Your hair, your eyes, your voice, your body... The words you say, the way you are.  I admire your courage, your compassion, your strength...  When I spend the night, I want to climb up and lay in your arms and be warm and safe." he laughed desperately.  "Pathetic..."

            My eyes, by now, were roughly the size of flying saucers.


            He looked over at me, nervous, as if I would hurt him for confessing this to me.  My heart ripped; what the hell did those bastards do to him!?  Obviously they had trained him to equate speaking honestly of himself with pain.  Those fuckers...

            My inital anger must have shown in my eyes, and he backed away.  I noticed and knew what I did.  "Gomen Heero, I'm not angry with you, please.  Just those damn scientists."  I stepped towards him and reached out a hand.  He flinched.  "Heero, trust me.  I'm not going to hurt you."

            My fingers found his messy hair and he looked up at me.  "Duo, what do I feel for you?"

            I found myself grinning.  "Oh, you love me s'all."

            He looked confused.  "But you said you love me and it's not the same."

            "Love isn't the same.  You love me and I love you for different reasons.  But I love you mainly because you're you.  And from what you said, you love me because I'm me.  So, clearer?"  I smiled happily to him.  Timidly he smiled a little back.  The sight melted my heart.

            "Is this good?"

            I laughed, but careful enough not to be too loud.  "Yeah, very good, for us.  NOT for those fucknuts you live with though.  But don't worry, they don't have to know." 

            Heero looked a bit more willing when I told him this, relieved he wouldn't need to tell the scientists.  He doesn't lie often, and I doubt whatever they programmed into him didn't have a thing that made him tell the truth.  In their eyes, emotion was a big no-no.

            I don't blame him in the least for feeling that way.

            "Hey, Hee-kun, can I kiss you?" I asked, grinning lopsidedly.  His innocent face looked confused again.  I fought the urge to chuckle. 

            "What's a kiss?"

            "Why, this, silly." I covered the distance between us, tilted his face up with my fingers and kissed his lips.  They were soft, spicy.  When he tried to ask what I was doing, I silenced him by slipping my tongue into his mouth firmly.  A small noise came from the back of Hero's throat and I felt smug as I slowly withdrew my tongue and lips from his.

            I grinned as I watched his flushed face and felt his hands clenching my back for support.  "There's alot to teach and show you, Heero-koi."

            "Heero-koi..." he savored the name, knowing it's implications.  I didn't let him ask and stole a kiss from his lips again instead.


            And we've been together ever since.  To be honest, Heero is very needy and dependant on me.  I know people would think this unhealthy, but I don't agree, or care.  He needs someone to cling to, someone to be his haven from it all.  I'm just lucky he chose me.  I'll never leave Heero; I'm full in love with the weirdo, devoted and addicted.  Whenever our church takes us on little trips for three days, I worry constantly about my koi.  He's afraid to be alone, and he's afraid of losing the only person who ever loved him.  But he never will, I promise that.

            Am I sentimental? PAH! Not quite.  But, when it comes to my sexay koi, I guess I do go a bit overboard.  So here we are.  The end of the story.  It hurt alot for us to eventually open to each other and figure it all out, but it was worth it.  Things aren't always easy, but we make it through; together.  Everything is worth it in the end though.  Heero's alive, I'm truely happy, and the world is still turning.

            To me, love is like a carrot.  For some people it's sweet, for some it's sour.  To us, it's both.


            - Shinigami Duo Maxwell