Usagi settled into the warm embrace and leaned against the firm chest of the man behind her. ~He feels so real,~ she thought to herself. ~I could almost forget this is just a dream.~ She smiled faintly. ~Besides, he'd never act like this for real, when we're both awake, so I should just enjoy it while it lasts.~
"How did we get here?"
She was surprised when it was Heero who broke the silence, but at least it was with a question to which she already knew the answer. Blood rushed to her face, and she felt herself turn a pretty shade of pink as she thought of it, though.
"When we... made love, it created a telepathic link between us," she explained.
His entire body stiffened just noticeably. "Did you know about this?"
~I have to be completely honest with him or I'll lose him forever.~ "I knew," she slid out of his arms and turned to face him, guilt in her eyes, "but more importantly, Hekate knew." She bit her lip. "It was her... objective from the start."
"To try to bring me over to their side."
She couldn't deny it, not honestly. "Hai, though more to steal you from m- to keep you all to herself."
"So why are you here now?"
"Because... I love you."
"Which you? Usagi, Selene, or Hekate?"
~ * ~ * ~
The doorbell rang, and a less-than-happy Duo opened it. He stood there for a second, wondering if maybe he should close it and try again, then grinned at the four women before him. "Konban wa! You must be the Outers, eh?"
"Shinigami?" the tall blonde woman questioned. Form the description he received, this must be Ten'ou Haruka.
"Yep, that's me!" He opened the door a bit wider. "Come on in. Usagi's asleep upstairs so-"
"No, she isn't, Shinigami-san," the small girl interrupted.
He turned sharply, and there she stood near the bottom of the staircase, imminent tears ready to stream down her face without yet falling. And it certainly wasn't joy at seeing these people that had put them there. Heero, you bastard... I know you're behind this somehow.
"Shinigami-san," the black-haired girl was saying, "we'll wait for you and Usagi-san in the living room, okay?" Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Quatre usher them in the correct room and close the door behind them all.
"Daijoubu?" he asked then mentally smacked himself. Obviously she wasn't; that had been a really stupid question. Duo no baka, he scolded himself.
Next thing he knew, Usagi's arms were around his waist and she was crying on his chest, whispering the most broken combination of Japanese and English he'd ever heard before, punctuated with frequent repetitions of "Gomen."
For several long minutes, he held her and let her cry. When exactly, he wondered to himself, did she become more than an imouto to me? He didn't even have to really think about that one. That's easy. When she - well, when she as Hekate first chose Heero over me, screamed "Ai shiteru, Heero-sama" at him. That's when I realized it: I've always loved her this way; I was just fooling myself into thinking otherwise. She deserves a lot better than a guy like me, but she deserves a hell of a lot better than Heero! He'll just keep hurting her like this.
Once she finally started to calm down, very gently he lifted her head and asked, "What happened, Usagi?"
"Do I have to?"
"I think it would help."
She bit her lip, her eyes turning to look at anything but him, even trying to squirm away, though he didn't let her. "I was asleep, and then I was... talking to Heero in my dreams."
"In your dreams?" he repeated. "Telepathically, you mean."
"Hai. And he wanted to know if I knew we'd be link because we..., and I said yes and Hekate knew too. He - we talked some more, and..." She shrugged.
Gods, he hated to do this! "Talked some more about what, Usagi?"
"He asked me why I was there now, I said because I loved him," she rushed to say, never even noticing the way he winced at those three words, "and he asked which me, and I said I didn't know, and somehow he threw me out, and I drifted a while, then I woke up." She finished, short of breath.
Even that was glossed over a bit, he could tell. Maybe the rest of this just needs to be private. I sure don't want to know! "Daijoubu, Usagi. It'll be okay." Very gently, he wrapped his arms around her again. "I won't let anyone hurt you ever again. I don't want to see you cry anymore."
Liquid blue eyes blinked up at him. "Duo?"
He felt a embittered smile build on his face. "This probably isn't fair to say to you right now, demo... I love you, Usagi. I was wrong before. And I know I've lost you now to Heero, but... can't you give me a chance now while he's gone?"
The color slowly drained from her face, and she blinked very sharply up at him. "Ch-chotto, Duo," she stuttered. "I don't-"
A faint light of hope that she had barely noticed in Duo's eyes died, but then the familiar smiling mask came back up, even as he let go of her and sat down on the steps at her feet. "It's all right, Usagi. I understand. Like I said, I know you love Heero now." Though the smile stayed on his face, a sad look entered his eyes. "I'll keep loving you though."
"Duo?" He glanced up at her, and she slowly knelt beside him. "I don't... know how I feel about you or Heero. Demo, I'm going to find out."
A faint but honest smirk built on his face. "Then I'll be there for you no matter what you decide, Usagi. As long as you want me to," the smirk changed into a grin she couldn't help returning, "okay?"
"Gomen ne, Shinigami-san, Usagi-san...," a small voice stated.
"Hotaru?" the blonde goddess whispered as the black-haired girl stepped into view.
"I wanted to tell you two what was decided. Haruka and Michiru are leaving with Quatre-san and Trowa-san first thing in the morning. Setsuna and Wufei-san will be staying here with you guys."
"And you?" asked Duo.
A dark glint in her eyes, she answered, "I have a personal mission of my own, Shinigami-san. I'm going to find Heero."
28 March 2001
Again, no reviews, no updates. If anyone notices this... Somehow, I doubt it. 10+ reviews means another chapter of something. I'm not even going to bother leaving my e-mail addie. No one e-mails me.
Also, for my website, DarkMagick.net, I am looking for a fan artist to do a manga to this story and others. Please contact me.
This is where you come in. Review and tell me who you want Usagi to end up with this story: Duo or Heero. Please go on the story, not personal biases.