Promises Under the Influence
by Uru-Chan

Pale light pooled in the crease of the windowsill, flooding the room in a wash of muted silver. White rivulets bathed a span of chestnut hair, rippling like kelp about the pallid, upturned face. Dark fingers traced reverent patterns on cool flesh, exploring the softness of the boy's cheek. The American flinched abruptly, struggling beneath the Wing pilot's weight. Heero's body jerked upright, the wooden chair screeching slightly against the floor.

"Duo? Daijoubu?" Cobalt eyes peered sleepily at the feverish boy, rubbing the cheek so recently pressed to the other's breast. Violet eyes shifted rapidly beneath moist lids, breath squeezed audibly from fluid-filled lungs. Yume, Heero noted grimly, features sharp with disappointment.

"Shhh," he whispered hesitantly, glancing at the doorway in a brief surge of embarrassment. Bakayaro, he rebuked himself. You should follow your feelings. Where is the shame in this? Duo stilled beneath Heero's soothing palms with a low, shuddering exhalation. The Japanese boy lowered his torso to the bed once more, settling himself against his lover. I will be here when you wake.

**As I watch you flickering slowly/ In the shadows nothing to hold/ It's as if I don't recall our time before/ And would it be so wrong/ Not to remember**

Dark eyes gazed pensively at the slack face, heavy-lidded with exhaustion. Duo's breast lay comfortably beneath his cheek, warming him like sun-baked brick, pulse throbbing in Heero's ear. One arm extended lazily, fingers outstretched as he bathed them in the warmth of the American's breath. His gaze fell on the slightly parted lips, features drawn in frustration.

So pale... .so silent... One thumb traced the line of his lower lip, tugging childishly at the boy's mouth until it resembled the familiar grin. Heero withdrew his hands; Duo's face fell slack and emotionless once more. Terrible, the thought of you without it. Kuso, Duo. Kizutsuitemo egao wasurenai. Don't forget your smile.

**There are times I look at you differently/ Like I've never seen you before/ Funny after all we've done, you could be someone/ I don't know at all. Don't know you at all**

The slight creak of the door startled Heero from his reverie, the lean body snapping upright instinctively. The Japanese boy fisted the gun on Duo's blanket, sighting as the figure moved gradually into the bedroom. Light pooled abruptly across Wufei's face, illuminating an expression of mild disapproval.

"I said leave us alone," Heero growled menacingly, neglecting to lower the weapon. "I told everyone--"

"I'm leaving on reconnaissance tonight," the Chinese boy interrupted, fingers tracing the straps of his pack. "I'll leave when I've spoken my mind, Yuy, and not before." Heero's eyes narrowed, but he suffered himself to release the weapon, fisting Duo's hair in consolation. Wufei's aristocratic features softened slightly, a soft sound of approval escaping his lips.

"You've played hatred so convincingly," he murmured, glancing at the unconscious American. "I'm pleased to see you're being honest with yourself at last."

"Ch'. What the hell do you know?" Heero sneered, inexplicably threatened by Wufei's presence.

"Nanase, Yuy. I know you love him."

**Catch me I don't wanna fall/ But you pull the mountain from under me/ Look I'm dangling up in the blue/ And it's a cartoon kind of eternity/ Before I drop down to you/ What am I supposed to do now?**

"I don't need your help," the Japanese boy snapped, glaring at the hand clenching his arm. Wufei stood inches from the bristling pilot, more than willing to risk Heero's wrath for the American's sake. Images of a raven-haired boy clutching his lover drove the Wing pilot to distraction. He clutched at the Chinese pilots fingers, peeling them from the surface of his flesh.

"He'll be fine. We'll both be fine." The Wing pilot radiated possession, proclaiming his ownership of Duo with tone and gesture.

"No, he won't," the Shenlong pilot murmured, pinning Heero with a significant glance. "Listen to me, Yuy. If you care anything for him, you listen to me. Maxwell is not a conquest, a prized possession, a well-trained dog on a leash!" Wufei's voice grew slightly raw, the words recycled from a painful memory. Trieze never learned...I'm not certain Heero's any better. "When he wakes," Wufei sighed, "he'll be terribly fragile for a time."

"Why should he be fragile?" Heero interrupted irritably. "His ribs are broken, not his head."

"It's not my place to say," the Chinese boy replied severely, annoyed at Heero's bleak humor. "But abuse him as you did before, and you will destroy him. And if you harm him, you will have me to answer to. I will hunt you down, Yuy. You have my word on it."

Heero's eyes flashed briefly in surprise, his expression shifting rapidly to fury. Kuso, is he challenging me? He reacted instinctively, winding the boy's shirt in his fist and yanking him close.

"What is he to you?" he whispered harshly, thrusting the Chinese boy to the moldering wall. Plaster flaked from the watermarked ceiling, glistening faintly in the moonlight.

"No Yuy," Wufei responded harshly, gazing boldly at the Japanese pilot. "What's he to you? That's all that matters." Heero's fist uncoiled slowly, comprehension rising with each iron digit. The Chinese pilot sagged slightly as the boy released him, smoothing his clothing with forced nonchalance.

"I'm not going to fight you for his affections," Wufei announced, gathering his pack from the floor. "He loves you, and I desire Maxwell's greatest happiness. Besides... I have issues of my own to resolve."

**There is something beautiful shining/In the fall of light in your hair/ Funny for a while it seemed to come from the sky/ But it's in your head/ Yes it fills your head/**

Duo... Alone with you...this is where I belong... Heero's fingers stroked the American's lips, gazing at the silvery windowpane. "Okaeri Heero," he whispered to himself, burying his face in the fall of heated chestnut. "Welcome home." Cobalt eyes glanced briefly at the hardwood floor, the shape of Wufei's departing footprints in the dust. If I'd never left him...If I never let him go...Duo, Duo...look what I've done to you...I will carry this guilt forever.

**You and I don't always fly/ Let me go I wanna fall/ Deep into the dark/ But I'll come back to you/ And I'll always know how to find you/ Cause you shine like the midnight sun**

Midnight Sun by Duran Duran

On to part fourteen. Back to part twelve.