Odd and Outrageous by Karen the Huntress
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Author's Chapter Notes:
Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing or its characters
Feedback: Always appreciated.
Duo's POV:

Heero Yuy is odd. Now don't get me wrong; odd is not necessarily a bad thing to be. Or should I say unique? Nope, odd is the perfect word.

After all how many people do you know who sets their own broken bones or self-destructs while still in their Gundam? I mean it, the Boy is odd. Who else would go to the trouble to sneak into OZ to rescue me and then have to decide whether or not to shoot me and all without an escape plan.

Heero is the most single-minded person I know. The mission, always the mission. Will take any punishment, any pain, anything for the mission. And he seems to do it all without the slightest bit of emotions to get in the way. Like I said Heero is odd.

But I know his secret. I know under that cold, stoic facade he is not emotionless at all. Quite the contrary. It is not that he feels no emotion, but too many emotions.

Forced detachment that shows itself in his dispassionate coldness is Heero's only coping device. Anger is his response to the overwhelming feelings of guilt. Guilt at the lives wasted in war, the innocent victims of the senseless conflict.

The Hell Hounds Of War believe they have trained away all of Heero's emotions. Forever vanquished their influence. How wrong they are. While he was never given a chance to experience the softer emotions, they are still there under that hardened glaze sealed over his heart. No, they haven't destroyed the last speck of his humanity. I know, I can feel it.

It is not that Heero doesn't want to care, it is just that he doesn't know how to start. His self-inflicted angry armor, thrown up against the world, is his only means of self-preservation.

That "Perfect Soldier" identity so careful fashioned to deceive not only the world's painful prying into his heart, but himself as well.

It is not that he doesn't want to trust, need to love, it is that he doesn't know how to let down his damn guard that, for so long, has kept him safe against the cruelty of betrayal and broken promises.

But I can help, I know I can. I know I can bridge that gape between Heero's doubts and fears and his desperate need to know a single moment of joy. His need to be secure in a shattered world going mad all about him. All he needs is an anchor in his vanquished emotion's sucking whirlpool and I can give him the handhold he needs to pull himself free.

I might not be that stable myself. Hell, I'm about as messed up as they come. I know he thinks I'm a fool with all my pranks and jokes. Another emotional casualty of this stupid war I guess.

But whatever I have, whatever I can offer, he has it all. Maybe, together, we can find some small measure of peace. Maybe Heero Yuy can find his true self among the tattered remains of his soul. Yeah, maybe together.

True, Heero Yuy is odd, but in a most wonderful way. I guess odd is not so bad after all.


Heero's POV:

Duo Maxwell is outrageous. Well maybe the term is a bit harsh, but right now I can't think of anything else to call him.

No matter the situation, no matter how serious or dangerous, he bounces around with that ridiculous braid flying everywhere. He chatters about nothing of much meaning. And that grin. That annoying, but somehow haunting sweet smile, is always plastered on his face.

Once, when I risked compromising a mission to rescue him from OZ, I wasn't certain whether I shouldn't just shoot the baka and be done with his maddening antics and unprofessional behavior.

Duo stood there, that always-present sparkle gleaming in those wide violet eyes, being so damn trusting. As much as I considered the "Proper Training Procedure" I knew, despite Duo's casual attitude, he was too valuable to the assignment's overall success to waste.

And you know how Maxwell interpreted my logical reasons for sparing him, he thought it meant I cared. He actually believed I had singled him out to be a friend. Couldn't understand that I had no time to care. No need to become involved in worrying about his reckless disregard for missions or, apparently, himself. Now isn't that outrageous?

But I know his secret. I know behind that lighthearted facade, that happy face displayed to the world, Duo is hurting.

That he is lonely and frightened. Afraid that, like all the other times in his past, anyone he cares for or loves will be torn away. Afraid that his heart could not bear one more painful separation.

So he laughs and makes joke, pulling the most insane stunts just so he won't have to acknowledge his fear and pain.

And you know something else about this enigma that calls himself Shinigami, The God Of Death, he has made me want to care. Something about the trust he gave me that day in OZ's holding cell made me reconsider my own false face I show to the world.

Duo Maxwell, with his outrageous ways, touched something in my soul. He cares, no matter how much I try to dissuade his efforts to save me; he genuinely cares about me. But do I deserve any of it?

I think he truly believes he can overcome my cold, detached training, save the single spark of my humanity I have ever so carefully hidden away.

Maybe he can. I don't know, but maybe. If he can trust me, maybe I can let down my guard, too. Let this crazy, wild God Of Death into my heart and know it will be safe. Maybe, with his help, I can learn to care and love. Maybe.

Yes, Duo Maxwell might be outrageous, but in an eccentric wonderful way. I guess outrageous is not so bad after all.

Odd and Outrageous--Karen Hickman--August 2003
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