(The sequel to Temptation)


Disclaimer: I don't own anything of Gundam Wing
Song quotes belong to Lenny Kravitz and U2

AC 197

Three days after Heero had left Hilde was more of a wreck than she had been before. She obviously hadn’t slept much and wasn’t eating a lot, either, so Sallie decided maybe it was better she did stay at the hospital. She didn’t know why Heero suddenly wasn’t around anymore—maybe they had a fight, she thought. That guy still sometimes doesn’t know how to show someone that he’ s a human being and cares, she thought to herself.

Hilde sat in next to Duo, her hand holding his tight. She stared at him for a while. “Duo, would you ever forgive me?” she muttered. His eyes twitched. “Duo?” she said, a little louder. His head began to roll. “Duo!” He turned a little, and his eyes began to open. “Hilde…” “Oh God, Duo, you’re back!” Hilde cried and threw her arms around him. At that moment Sallie and another doctor rushed in. “Duo, do you remember you full name?” Sallie asked him. “Of course,” he responded. “Quatre Rabarba Winner. I’m the richest guy in the colonies.” “Yup, I think he’ll be ok,” Sallie told Hilde with a wink. “In the meantime, I’ll tell Quatre someone’s impersonating him.”

“Oh Duo!” Hilde cried out again. Tears of joy began to sprout from her face as she hugged him fiercely. “Hey, where’s Heero?” he asked after a moment. “I thought he’d be here. That bastard.” “Don’t say that, Duo. He has been here, almost every day,” she informed him. Her tone was a little sad. “Hey babe, what’s up? You two didn’t have a fight now, did you? I know you weren’t a big Heero fan in the past, but I thought you guys could at least stand each other’s company.” “No, it’s just—never mind. I’m sure you’ll see him soon.” She smiled at him. Duo smiled back. Hilde, you can’t fool me—you’re hiding something, he thought to himself. But he shrugged it off. Whatever it is, it can wait.

Sallie came back in with Quatre. “Duo!” he shouted, rushing to his friend’s side. “Hello, no, I think your name is Duo and my name is Quatre, and I’ve got twenty-nine beautiful sisters and lots of money—” “Great, think we can get him unconscious again?” Hilde joked to Sallie. “That is tempting, but I’m afraid we’re going to have to make this conversation serious. Duo, can you feel your legs?” At that, Duo began to frown. “No, I can’t. What’s up with that?” “You are paralyzed from the waist down. We’re not sure but it might only be temporary. Your vitals are recovering quite rapidly and we’ll probably get you in a wheelchair soon, and after that we’ll begin physical therapy and see if you can gain the use of your legs again.” Sallie paused after that, looking through her chart. “I’m finished, so I’ll let you two have some time alone for now.”

“Yeah, I guess I’ll go call the others and tell them you’re back!” Quatre ran out of the room. “Gee, I think he’s really excited to share the news, don’t you?” Duo teased. Hilde smiled at him. “Oh Duo, I just missed you so much. I’m so glad to have you back.

Meanwhile, Heero was hanging out at the spacedock, looking out over the stars. A car drove by, slowly, blaring its radio with an old song from twenty-first century Earth:

“All of my life, where have you been?
I wondered if I’d ever see you again.”

Damn. He hadn’t slept much since that night with Hilde. Things had become so complicated in his personal life, something he wasn’t used to at all. He was used to having all hell break loose in the outside world, but inside everything had always been so simple. Just follow orders, and remember your training. There’s nothing to it, really. When he had first met Relena that had all changed. Suddenly he found himself caring about another person, thinking about her all the time. He still did. But now he also thought of Hilde.

He had never known before what it was like to be with someone. He realized that what he really wanted was to be with Relena like that. He loved her, and now, in some strange way, he kind of knew how to love. When you love someone you care about them and want to be with them. He had cared about Hilde for Duo’s sake, but also for his own. He needed to know what it was like to care for another. But how can I be with Relena now? She doesn’t want me anymore, and I’m only realizing now how much I need her.

Heero’s cell phone rang. He answered. “Yeah?” “Heero, it’s Quatre. Duo’s awake—he’s doing pretty well!” “Good, that’s good.” “So are you coming?” Heero paused in silence for a moment. Somehow, it felt wrong to be around Duo and Hilde now. “Heero, you’ve got to come—he’s been asking for you.” Heero swallowed hard. Did Duo know? “Yeah, I’ll be there.” He hung up, then started towards the hospital.

Heero arrived at the hospital, but Hilde met him down the hall. He stopped and stared at her. She was beautiful, graceful. She stood there, looking deep into his eyes. “Heero. Duo’s been expecting you.” “Hilde.” He didn’t move “Heero, you can’t keep avoiding me. Just come on.” “Have you told him?” he asked her as he took a step forward. She shook her head. “I don’t think I can. I mean—I’ve never kept anything from Duo before, or at least for very long. I hope he doesn’t have to know, and I hope we can just move on with our lives.” “Hilde, I don’t think it can be that easy.”

She didn’t respond as they rounded the corner to Duo’s room. They entered, and Duo smiled. “Hey buddy! The God of Death has returned!!!” “Remind me to call up hell and tell them they made a mistake,” Heero muttered. Duo reached out for him and slapped him on the arm. “Hey, Sallie tells me you took care of Hilde for me. Thanks man. I know I can always count on you.”

Heero just gave a shrug and a half-smile, avoiding Hilde’s eyes.

A week had passed, and Duo’s health had returned at an amazing rate. What happened in the next two days was, as the doctors said, a miracle. Duo’s paralysis proved to be temporary and he was walking again, though slowly. Sallie watched his progress and said while it was amazing, she had some news that was going to be hard for him to take.

“Duo, sit down.”
“I’ve been lying down for over a month now, Sallie—how can you ask me to sit down?” he joked, leaning on his crutch for balance. “Fine, stay standing, you stubborn fool. I’ve made a medical decision that you might not want to hear. Duo, I’m grounding you as a military officer. You are hereby exempt from all further missions from this point on. I’m sorry, Duo, but one more accident like this last one and you will probably not pull through.”

Duo scratched his head. “Wait—what did you just say? Did you just ground a Gundam pilot?” He tossed his head back and laughed. “That’s a good one, Sallie.” Her face was stern. “Duo, I’m serious. I’ve informed Heero and Quatre that I would be grounding you, and they agreed.”

“What the hell?” Duo just shook his head and walked out. Hilde was waiting for him. “Hilde, take me home. I’m tired of this place.” She nodded in response.

Hilde drove home, and the whole way Duo was quiet, which disturbed her very much, and also reminded her of the first time Heero had driven her home.

She helped Duo inside, thankful that his room was on the first floor. He slumped into the couch and Hilde sat beside him.

“Hilde, they’ve grounded me.”
“What?” she said, startled by his words. “Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either. Sallie said she was grounding me from all military service and that she had informed Heero and Quatre. I can understand Sallie—Quatre might go with it as well, but Heero? Why would he agree to that? Heck, he’s had it worse than I have and is still doing this same old shit. He’s been so strange, lately.” Hilde looked away and didn’t say anything, but it was too late—Duo caught the look in her eye.

“Ok, little lady, tell me what’s up.”
“Huh?” she asked, looking puzzled. “Come on, babe, you’re not fooling me. Something happened between you and Heero while I was under. Come on, you can tell me—what happened? Did he piss you off?” “No, Duo, he didn’t do anything. He stayed here and made sure I ate and slept.” “Oh.” Suddenly Duo sat up straight. “Wait. He stayed here?” “Sallie told him to.” “That doctor keeps telling everyone what to do. Was he a royal pain in the ass here?” “No, Duo, he was fine,” she replied, shifting uncomfortably. “Hilde, you’re hiding something still. Look at me.” She looked up into his eyes, and a tear escaped her eye. He brushed it off, puzzled. Then all of a sudden his face turned red.

“Did Heero make a move on you? Did he try—” “Duo, NO!! Please, just lay off. It’s nothing.” “Damnit, it’s not nothing. Something happened between you two, I can tell!” At that, Hilde was now furious with Duo for not dropping it and being so suspicious, she jumped up and stomped her feet. “No, Duo, everything’s fine. Heero stayed her, he checked up on me and made sure I was ok. He was a good friend.” Duo was sure there was still something else she was hiding, and so he continued to press. “A good friend who checked up on you, huh? Did he come up to your room to check on you? He did, didn’t he? He kissed you, didn’t he?”

“No, no no NO!!!” She was now in a rage. “Duo, you want to know the truth? Duo didn’t do anything. I did. I kissed Heero. In fact, I did more than that. I wouldn’t let him leave my bedroom and I fucked him. Yeah babe, I did. Did you want to hear that? That I screwed up and made a fucking mistake like that!!!” She slumped onto the couch, sobbing.

Duo just looked at her, his jaw dropped in shock. What the hell had she just said? “Oh I’m so sorry, Duo. It was a mistake. A big fucking mistake.” “You can say that again.” “Duo, please, hear me out. It was a mistake and he left after it happened and hasn’t spoken to me until that day he came to see you and we haven’t spoken since. It was wrong. It was a mistake.”

Duo jumped up, grabbing his coat and leaving his crutch behind. He pulled the drawer out of the end table—literally out of the table—and grabbed the gun he had hidden there.

“Duo, don’t—”
“Just shut up, Hilde. I’ve heard enough from you.” He turned away without another word and ran out of the house, slamming the door. As soon as she heard the car start up and pull out of the driveway she ran to the phone and dialed Heero’s number.

“Heero, it’s Hilde. Duo’s coming. He knows—oh God, he knows! I’m sorry, Heero—” “Don’t worry about it, Hilde. He won’t kill me,” he told her with confidence. “I know him too well—maybe I know him better than you do.” “Heero, do you want me to call the others, or the police?” “Hell no, don’t call the police, and don’t call the others—they don’t need to get involved with this.” “Heero, Sallie told him he was grounded as well. I’m so scared.” “It’s going to be all right, I promise you, Hilde. Don’t worry about it.”

He hung up the phone and took a deep breath. I knew this was coming, Duo. I knew your own damn curiosity would get the better of you.

Hilde replaced the phone and again returned the couch, crying. Why do I always fuck things up? Why didn’t I control myself? Why didn’t I tell Heero to go sooner?

Heero sat in the backyard of the apartment he stayed at when he was at L2. He heard a car screech to a halt in front and a door slam.

“Heero. I heard something really funny today. First I heard that I was grounded, that not only had Sallie grounded me but Quatre and my best friend had signed off on it. Then I come home and hear a good one. I hear that my best friend fucked my girlfriend while I was in a coma.”

Heero said nothing. Duo ran up to him and grabbed him by the collar. Heero looked in his eyes coldly. “What, are you going to kill me? Duo, you always shoot first and ask questions later.” Duo shoved him against the wall of the apartment building. “Damn you. You’ ve screwed me over ever since I met you. Why did you have to screw my

“Did you ask her why it happened? Did you let her tell you? Or did you just run here with the idea of killing me first, having your girl leave you and then wondering oh yeah, I never actually heard their side of the story. But it doesn’t surprise me, Duo. It doesn’t surprise me one bit.”

Duo relaxed his hold on him a bit. “Talk, then.” “Which do you want first? The grounding or Hilde?” “Hilde’s more important to me than anything, and you know that!” He growled at Heero. “Does she know that? Did you ever tell her?” “She knows.” Heero took a deep breath. “Duo, you have a right to be pissed off at me and I don’t blame you if our friendship ends here. What happened between Hilde and I was just physical. That doesn’t justify it by any means and I’m not trying to. Hilde was a wreck when you were out. She had been starving herself and wasn’t sleeping. She was emotionally stressed out and confused. So don’t blame her.”

“Funny, she said the same thing about not blaming you.” “It just sort of happened. I didn’t mean for it to, and neither did she. I even suggested leaving the morning before, and if I had known what would happen I would have.”

Duo was silent for a moment. “So now I know why she did, but why you?” Heero looked down. “Duo, it’s hard to explain. I never meant to be with Hilde that night, or ever. You know more than anyone else that there’s one person I love, and I can’t show her.” “Hilde just happened to be there?” He nodded. “In a way, she showed me how to love. Duo, I’m sorry.”

Duo let go of Heero completely and stepped back. “Ok, explain the grounding to me, then I’ll go.” Heero took a deep breath. “I agreed to that for Hilde’s sake. She needs you. She’s strong but when you almost died she lost it. I think she’s even stronger now, and in a sense I don’t think she needs you like she did before. She could live on without you. But right now, after all that has happened, she needs you, and you need her. Duo, the grounding, as far as I’ m concerned, is only temporary, and it only concerns our join missions. If you get called on an individual mission no one can stop you, not Sallie, not me. But for the time being, be with Hilde.”

They stood in silence for a moment. “You know that I brought my gun with me this time.” “I know.” Duo laughed a little, then. “She called you, didn’t she?” “Yeah.” He looked at Duo. “She’s an amazing girl, Duo, and she totally loves you. And if you want me to, I’ll stay away from her forever. I won’t see her again.”

Duo shook his head. “No, can’t do that—you’re going to be the best man at our wedding!” “Huh?” At that moment Duo gave him a hug, and hugged him so tight Heero almost fell over. “Ok, ok, Duo, I’m going to lift your grounding. But don’t rush back into work.” Duo smiled at his best friend, then got in his car and drove off.

Duo came home and found the lights off. He softly shut the door and crept up the stairs, wanting to surprise her. Carefully he opened the door, trying not to make a sound, as he looked to her bed. It was still made. He scratched his head. Where could she have gone?

He began to panic as he ran down the stairs, his legs still weak. He almost tripped and went over on his head. He ran to the door. Her coat was still hung up by it, her keys still on the table. Where the hell was she? Was she kidnapped? Oh God, what if she had been taken? Please God, no, don’t let her be gone now.

He stood still for a moment, puzzled, then realized there was one place he hadn’t checked. He walked over to his own room. Curled up on his bed was Hilde, fast asleep, hugging his baseball cap to her chest. He stood in the doorway for a moment, just taking the sight in. She was beautiful, she was amazing. And she was his girlfriend, and he loved her.

He crawled in beside her. She stirred a little. “Duo?” “Shhh, you can go back to sleep. It’s just me.” “Oh Duo,” she cried and wrapped her arms around him. He placed his arms around her and buried his face in her hair—it always smelled so good. “It’s ok, Hilde. It’s all ok.” “Duo,” she began, but started to cry. “Damnit, you’ve always been so good to me and I’m just so sorry.” “No babe, I haven’t been that great to you. I never told you how I felt. I ’m sorry I never told you how much you mean to me.” He held her tighter. “Hilde babe, I love you. I love you so much that I won’t let you go. Girl, maybe we both need to forgive each other.”

She softly kissed him, then. He was surprised—her kiss was so gentle. It was like the first time she kissed him. He smiled, remembering that moment. She had kissed him in the kitchen of the house they lived in at the time, completely unexpected. He even remembered the song that was playing at the time on the radio:

“All the promises we make
From the cradle to the grave When all I want is you.”

Two weeks had passed, and Heero stopped in front of their house. He took off his sunglasses and stared at the house. Should he even bother? He paused outside of the door, his hand raised up to knock, but unable to do it. He began to walk back down the front steps when he heard someone coming to the door.

“Heero?” He turned around. Hilde was standing there, looking at him, a soft smile on her face. “Hilde.” “It’s good to see you again. I wondered if I ever would.” “I came—to say goodbye. I’m leaving L2.” She nodded. She somehow had known he would. “I’m—I’m going to try—” “You’re going to Relena.” “Yeah.” She smiled again. “I hope it goes well. I know it will. You love her, don ’t you?” “Yeah. I just have never known how to show it before. Hilde,” he said softly, walking back up the steps, taking her hand. “I can say I’m sorry to Duo for what happened, but I don’t know if I can say that to you.” “I know. I love Duo with all my heart and the only reason I would take back what happened is so that he wouldn’t get hurt. But Heero, I needed you that night.” “And I needed you.” They stared at each other for a moment, then Heero slowly wrapped his arms around her. It felt so good to hold her again. “Take care of yourself, Heero.” “You too, Hilde.”

He turned and walked back out the door. “Who was that, honey?” Duo called to Hilde from inside the house. “It was Heero.” Duo looked at her. “Is he leaving?” “Yeah—he said he’s leaving the colony, going to see Relena.” “That little devil,” he replied. “Go get her, tiger.” “Tiger? Hey, that’s my nickname,” Hilde protested. “Tiger? Is the widdle kitty on the prowl?” he began, blinking his violet eyes at her. “This widdle kitty’s nails haven’t been clipped!” Duo immediately began to run, remembering he was still recovering as Hilde pounced on him from behind.


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