“A curse affects both the victim and the caster. A skilled curse-caster can bend this effect so that their share in the curse is something they don’t mind, something that doesn’t inhibit them… but even if they manage that, repeatedly having a share in any curse leaves a mark eventually.”

When Heero rescues an abandoned doll from the gutter, he hardly thinks it’s going to change his life; but now he and his best friend Quatre find themselves involved in the breaking of a curse from almost a hundred years ago, and perhaps in falling for exactly the wrong people.

Quatre had never been the type to take issue with a repetitive routine. He didn’t mind going to work every single day at the same time through the same traffic and doing things that varied very little from one month to the next, and he almost never thought, I need a vacation. Saturdays and Sundays were enough for him to relax on, and he was careful to accept only the social invitations that would still allow him time to do so. He’d been the same way during college, and the attitude had always alternately annoyed and impressed his friends and acquaintances. Heero called him a workaholic, at which Quatre just laughed (sometimes somewhat abashedly, depending on how many hours he’d been at the office that day).

But lately he’d caught himself thinking, upon awakening, I have to go to work again? It was taking an increasing amount of effort to stay concentrated on what he needed to get done every day, and he had significantly less patience with everything that didn’t involve going home and seeing Trowa. Quatre couldn’t decide whether this was because he’d never encountered a set of circumstances so interesting as the curse and its victims… or because his relationship with Trowa was more meaningful and engrossing than he’d realized. Or possibly just because of the death thing.

He remembered what his father had said, of course, and tried his hardest not to let this affect his effectiveness; he thought he did well, and that, even if his co-workers recognized that he was not quite himself lately, nobody except perhaps Heero was aware of the amount of impatience and tension coming gradually to a boil inside him.

That Friday had finally arrived he was incredibly grateful. Only the weekend and one more day of work remained before the night when the curse would supposedly break. But that was another thing… As if he hadn’t already had enough to think about, now there was the issue of whether or not anything would even happen at all on Monday evening. Of course if the curse didn’t break on Monday evening, Trowa certainly would not die on Monday evening, which was a relief… but what other effects would that have on the curse victims? Could either of them handle getting so close and then being let down? Would they be willing to try again?

He also still couldn’t decide if Duo was right about leaving Trowa in the dark. If Cairo’s little trick turned out not to have affected the curse-breaking process, Trowa’s awareness of it would be an entirely unnecessary source of worry for him. And if it had messed things up, was there anything Trowa could do? Surely the burden would still be on Heero’s shoulders, so would it matter if Trowa found out on Monday rather than today?

But Trowa seemed to believe so firmly now that the curse would break — the catalog on his study table was an ongoing testament to that — the only remaining uncertainty the question of his own fate once it did… Was that a belief in the curse breaking on Monday, or the curse breaking at some point? If Monday, then surely it would be better to warn him, guard against any false optimism… or would that shatter his belief entirely, return him to the despondency of before, all the worse now after that brief taste of hope?

Quatre just didn’t know. If it had been entirely up to him, he would have taken a chance on honesty and openness… but since he was so uncertain, and since Duo had made the request for silence, he was holding his peace at least for now.

It wasn’t as if it was the only matter of import he was keeping quiet about.

“I still think Duo needs to know,” he was telling Trowa; they had been debating across their lunch/dinner.

Trowa pursed his lips. “I don’t want to make him unhappy about something that’s unlikely to happen.”

Though the words ‘unlikely to happen’ in relation to Trowa’s upcoming death were music to Quatre’s ears, he wasn’t sure he agreed with Trowa’s point; and the thought process was all too similar to what Quatre had been going through all day in regards to the other secret.

“He’s your best friend.” If Heero’s theory was right, Duo might very well consider himself something more than that. “He may not be able to do anything about it, but he at least needs the chance to say goodbye.”

“But I don’t think it’s very likely that we’ll need a goodbye.”

“And that’s wonderful,” said Quatre vehemently. “But just in case, since you still think there is that chance, he needs to be told.”

“He’s looking forward so much to being human again…” Trowa was gazing at his food as if it was very interesting, which seemed to Quatre, at the moment, somewhat evasive. “I don’t want to spoil his happiness.”

“You don’t think having his best friend unexpectedly die the instant he’s human again will spoil his happiness?”

Trowa’s uncertain frown had slowly transformed into that pensive, repressive expression that suggested he had arguments he was reluctant to voice; he probably had some other, totally different reason for not wanting to tell Duo, and Quatre couldn’t even begin to guess what it was.

“Will you at least tell him on Monday?” Quatre asked, a little impatiently. It drove him crazy when Trowa did this.

“Quatre…” Trowa’s low tone was serious and sad. “If you were in a bad situation, and you learned that the only way out of it might kill your best friend, what would you do?”

There were further points Quatre had wanted to make, but at these words he was stunned and momentarily speechless. How he had never come to look at it from that angle he didn’t know, but now that he did…

What would he do? No experience in his life, he felt, was analogous to being a doll for eighty-seven years, so here was another of those circumstances where he didn’t know if his imagination was up to the task. But of course at the phrase ‘best friend’ his thoughts flew instantly to Heero, who had held that position for a decade, whom he wasn’t at all averse to admitting that he loved… the thought of seriously endangering Heero for any advantage of his own didn’t sit right, no matter what suffering was involved on his part.

Would Duo risk the life of someone he loved for his humanity? Or would he refuse… throw away the month’s progress and continue in his current form for Trowa’s sake, even if no one — including himself or Trowa — wanted him to? And what would Heero think of that?

“It’s my sacrifice,” Trowa said. “It should be my choice, I think.”

But didn’t Duo deserve some choice too? What if he didn’t want Trowa to take such a risk for him? Whose right was it to make this type of decision? In such moments, it was not unusual for a man to fall back on his primitive training… but no teaching Quatre could remember from the whole course of his life indicated how such a situation should be handled. All he was certain of was that he didn’t want Trowa to die, and that Duo would certainly feel the same. Who needed to know what when was rather beyond him at this point.

“I guess it is up to you,” he said softly at last. “I just hope you’re right.”

“So do I,” said Trowa.

Duo was laughing again.

“Stop that,” Heero ordered, accelerating more than he needed to and consequently taking a fairly sharp turn at a greater speed than was strictly wise.

“I really can’t.” In testament to this, Duo was still chuckling as he said it. “Just… the look on your face… If he’d been able to see it, he’d have probably taken back the invitation right then.”

“You must know him better than that by now,” sighed Heero. “He doesn’t take hints.”

“Yeah, I know. But it was still heeee-larious.”

“You’ve heard every single conversation I’ve had with him since he started being so friendly,” Heero went on in some frustration as he pulled into his own lot. “Have I given any indication at all that I’d like to hang out with him outside of work?”

“I’m not really sure you’re capable of giving that type of indication,” Duo said, his tone all of a sudden very solemn — though it was the solemnity of a joke at Heero’s expense. “In fact, I might just have a heart attack if you did.”

Heero had his revenge by pointing out, “You don’t have a heart.”

“Oh, yeah,” said Duo jovially. “Damn.”

“But seriously…” Finding that his usual spot was taken (again) by next door’s boyfriend (Heero considered it a tragedy that the truck was that familiar), he pulled into a farther parking place. “Have I given him false signals or something? Why would he invite me to anything?”

“He’s trying to get into your pants,” said Duo wisely as Heero lifted him out of the car along with his briefcase. “I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s nice in there.”

Heero didn’t reply, as they were passing another apartment-dweller that was already giving him an odd look at the sight of the doll in his hand. And once he’d entered the empty stairwell on the way up to the second floor, Duo spoke again:

“Honestly, though, I think the poor guy’s just lonely. He feels like he’s made a connection with you, so that’s all he’s going to see for a while. You could be ten times more anti-social and he’d still probably act the same.” Hastily he added, “I know, I know, you’re not anti-social. Hell, compared to that guy, you’ve probably got the best social life ever.”

Heero smiled wryly as he unlocked his apartment door. “OK,” he said. “Thanks.”

Wufei had invited Heero to accompany him to the unveiling of some new collection of figures from some show or other, and the current relatively rational discussion of the circumstance had only arisen after the incapacitating bulk of Duo’s laughter had passed. Now that they were home, however, the subject was dropped in favor of Duo’s usual flirtatious remarks as Heero changed clothing, Duo’s usual grumbling about his inability to eat as Heero found dinner, and eventually Oz. But it came up again later as Heero was getting ready for bed.

“I can’t believe that guy asked you out,” Duo was chortling after a long silence during which his mind had obviously returned in some amusement to this topic.

“He didn’t ‘ask me out.'” Heero was glad he was in the closet where his blush couldn’t be seen.

“Yes, he did! Looking at action figures together? That’s totally a nerd date!”

“He’s straight,” Heero said flatly.

“He thinks he is,” said Duo in a tone of correction. “I am going to have so much fun with him when I’m human again…”

“You’re going to try to prove he’s gay?”

“Well, that, and, like, put Silly String all over his car.”

Heero emerged from the closet at this point and began looking for a different shirt to wear to bed, since he deemed that last night’s had passed its between-wash limit. Duo whistled at his bare chest and started saying teasy flirty things, and this derailed the conversation again.

Once he was in bed, Heero found his mind drifting to the oft-contemplated idea of Duo as a human and what he would do at that point; and he had to admit that he really liked the idea of Duo messing with Wufei on a regular basis. Only (hopefully) three more days…

And it occurred to him all at once, somewhat idly — a clown of a thought — to wonder what would happen if he were to discover on Monday night that it had all been a hoax this entire time. After all, though he’d seen proof that magic existed, what he’d seen didn’t actually prove that most of what Duo and Trowa had said was true. What if it was all an elaborate prank?

The thought was too absurd for any reaction but laughter — out loud, even — which seemed to be the theme of the day, and Duo couldn’t but hear him. “What are you laughing about all by yourself in bed there?” he demanded.

“I’m not all by myself.” Heero rose onto an elbow and turned toward Duo on the nightstand. “You’re here.”

“Yeah, but I’m not in bed with you,” Duo said coyly.

“In one sense you are… you’re in bed, I’m in bed, we’re in the same room…”

“OK, OK, OK.” In the darkness, Duo’s little waving arm was barely visible. “But what were you laughing about?”

“I’ll tell you,” said Heero slowly, “but you have to understand that it was just a stupid thought… nothing serious… I definitely know by now that you’re a real person…”

“Whoa!” Duo laughed. “Now I’m really curious!”

So Heero told him. He’d been a little worried that Duo might be unhappy at such an idea’s even having occurred to him, but it turned out Duo was only amused at the hypothetical situation Heero proposed. The question of why anyone would want to trick someone else into carrying a doll around with him for a month was the subject’s primary source of amusement for him, and he started speculating enthusiastically.

And though the ‘anyone’ in this case was, of course, Trowa, Heero couldn’t be jealous — or anything but amused, really — at Duo talking about him continually, due to the wildness of the various theories Duo put forth as to why Trowa might act that way. In fact, Heero couldn’t help voicing a few of his own, or occasionally just building on Duo’s. And it wasn’t the first time they’d lain there talking and laughing in the dark, like kids at a sleepover, far longer into the night than one of them at least should have been awake.

Quatre forced himself to play with the dogs for a bit on Sunday morning before, pleased with his self-discipline, he headed over to Trowa’s house. There, after a long discussion about books, he chose one of the few Trowa owned that wasn’t in the unreadable magical language, and sat back in Trowa’s computer chair (dragged into the study for the day) to read it.

Trowa was once again making notes for his own hypothetical book, and it was pleasant to be able to look up and see him working placidly throughout the morning. Additionally, today Trowa finally noticed, for the first time, that his tea was a different flavor than what he’d been buying for decades, and Quatre got to tease him about that.

For lunch they had fajita steak and rice, which Trowa seemed to enjoy — but he seemed to enjoy it even more when, after they were done eating, they somehow (Quatre really had no idea how it came about) ended up making love in the living room. Then they finished clearing up after lunch, which process had been interrupted by the previous activity, and attempted to return to what they’d been doing earlier.

They found, however, that the fond looks they kept throwing each other for the rest of the afternoon rendered them absolutely useless at their respective pursuits. Finally Quatre set aside the book he’d been trying to read — it was interesting, just… not as interesting as Trowa — and went to join his boyfriend in the armchair.

It was remarkable how quickly hours could fly during the course of a conversation that was one third intelligent and productive, one third flirty and stupid, and one third kissing. Of course there was also an extraneous fraction in there somewhere comprised of the dark thoughts Quatre could not entirely banish about Trowa’s possible death, and, since Thursday, the possibility that the curse might not actually break tomorrow — but despite this, the time passed relatively swiftly and smoothly. And even once it was over, Quatre could still look back on it and work through it all again in his mind, if not with exactly as much pleasure as when actually taking part in it, at least with more than he took from anything else that didn’t involve Trowa.

But eventually, aware that he needed to leave yet reluctant to do so, Quatre slid out of the chair, standing straight and stretching slowly. “Well, tomorrow’s the big day…”

“Yes.” Trowa also stood behind him, and ran a hand up Quatre’s back to settle between his shoulder blades. He still moved somewhat hesitantly making gestures like that, but he was getting better.

Leaning against him, Quatre sighed, mostly in contentment. “I can’t wait to see you un-cursed,” he said. He couldn’t help adding mentally, Assuming the curse actually breaks, and you don’t die. Damn secrets.

“I’m looking forward to it myself,” Trowa understated.

Quatre’s backwards-seeking hands found Trowa’s arms and guided them around him, consequently pulling Trowa closer. “Are you nervous at all?”

“Yes,” Trowa said simply. “I never asked to be immortal, but I’ve gotten used to it… I’ll have to get used to mortality all over again.”

In one way or another, Quatre thought a little despondently. He noted, at the same time, that Trowa had expressed no nervousness about the curse’s actual end; it seemed he really did have faith that it would break tomorrow. Quatre said nothing about this, however. “I’m glad you’ll be mortal again,” he replied instead. “I’d hate to keep getting older and older while you stayed the same.”

“I’ll always be older than you, though.” Trowa’s tone was so serious, it was a few moments before Quatre recognized that he was teasing. Trowa was teasing him. Unprovoked!

It was difficult to keep his voice level after that realization. “But you always being older than me doesn’t mean very much.” He started walking, not really with a destination in mind but enjoying dragging Trowa along behind him. “I mean, I’ll always be older than Heero, but so what?”

“I’ll always be a lot older than you,” Trowa amended.

Quatre’s grin was now definitely sounding in his words. “That depends on how you’re keeping score! You were born when, 1898? And the curse started in 1923?” He laughed. “Actually that’s probably still older than me. When’s your birthday?”

Trowa had to think for a moment. “August twenty-second.”

“So that would make you about twenty-four and a half, right?”

“‘Twenty-four and a half…'” Trowa murmured. “It’s been a long time since I thought of myself like that.”

Quatre chuckled. “Well, mine’s in December, and I’ll be twenty-five then.”

“So I’m still older than you.” Trowa bent to kiss Quatre’s neck from behind.

Several minutes passed before Quatre made any further move to depart, and even then it was only at the sound of the clock; and after he’d been so responsibly keeping track of the time on his own, too! “I need to get home to bed,” he sighed.

He had already turned away when Trowa said hesitantly, “I wish… I wish you could stay. I know you have to work in the morning, but–” But he got no further than that, as his mouth was suddenly otherwise occupied.

Maybe Quatre had been unreasonable in wanting to hear voiced this particular desire; maybe he’d been asking Trowa to read his mind (something he knew now, since he’d inquired, that Trowa could not, in fact, do). And maybe it was silly to have essentially been wishing for Trowa to behave selfishly — to ask Quatre to stay even when he knew Quatre needed to leave — but somehow the lack of that request on all previous occasions had made Quatre feel as if his company was something to be enjoyed but never actively sought.

Someday, provided Trowa was still around, Quatre would explain to him that the real issue was not where he slept but how much (and thus the important question was what aspects of his sleeping arrangements might keep him awake); but at the moment he didn’t give a damn whether or not he was up all night — because Trowa wanted him to stay.

Eventually he drew back, releasing Trowa’s lips from the passionate kiss with which he’d enveloped them, and looked his somewhat baffled lover in the eye. “I’ll stay as long as you want,” he whispered.

Trowa looked pleased but a little confused. “Don’t you have to be at work in the morning?”

“Yes. But right now I have to be here.” And, taking Trowa’s hand, Quatre pulled him toward the bedroom.

“We should have gotten today off too,” Heero murmured as he set Duo down on his desk and tried to decide whether it was yet warm enough in here to take off his jacket.

Duo didn’t answer. Instead, a voice behind Heero said, “And why is that?” He turned to face Dorothy, not having realized she’d followed him into his cubicle. As usual, she looked simultaneously amused and accusatory. “You guys have taken a lot of time off lately. It must be nice to be a Winner’s best friend.”

“Yes,” Heero replied calmly, “it is.” He didn’t answer her question.

She didn’t repeat it. Dorothy was very good at picking her battles. “Medford’s systems are down,” she informed him instead. “You probably have fifty emails waiting already. Send anything my way you think I can handle.”

In some consternation, Heero turned back toward his computer and began logging on from his standing position. “Thanks,” he told Dorothy abstractedly.

On any other day he would have grumbled a bit about the greater and more complicated workload, but today it was exactly what he needed to keep him occupied and distracted. Which did not by any stretch of the imagination mean that he didn’t think about the doll on the desk beside him or the man that doll would hopefully become tonight — but at least he managed to keep that to every other thought.

Mid-morning he received an email from Quatre: I’m going to have to fly out to Medford tomorrow. I am so frustrated.

I’m sorry, Heero wrote back. He felt his friend’s pain, but couldn’t help being secretly glad that it was Quatre’s and not his own. Maybe have Trowa magic you out there tonight after everything’s over, and stay in a hotel?

Quatre’s answer read, That’s a good idea, but he can’t jump there if he can’t get a clear mental picture of it, and I haven’t been there often enough for that.

Maybe he has, though.

Maybe. Heero could almost hear the sigh in this single-word response. He shook his head.

As usual, bored with the monotony of a workday he wasn’t technically part of, Duo jumped eagerly on the movement. Figuratively speaking. “What’s up now?”

Heero explained.

“It is so nice that you guys took the day off in the first place,” Duo said sincerely in response. “I mean, for you it already makes sense, since you’ll definitely need a day off after this last month of hell… but it’s just a really nice gesture from Quatre.”

This was a perfect opening for Heero to explain that Quatre also had a specific interest in this beyond politeness or even friendship… but, as usual, he couldn’t find the words. Not when Duo was looking forward so happily to becoming human tonight. So he merely nodded slowly, as if continually distracted by his email — though in reality his eyes were locked there solely because he couldn’t bring himself to turn them toward Duo at that moment.

At lunch time, Heero was distressed to find that it was only lunch time. He felt like he’d already been here a whole day plus overtime, but was, in fact, barely halfway done. His mood wasn’t improved by the awareness that he was unlikely to be able to avoid some overtime, given that he was absolutely not coming in tomorrow and therefore needed to make sure everything was set up to go smoothly without him even if they were still supporting Medford. This would put something of a burden on Dorothy, and, though he rather hated to admit it, Heero would owe her one. But he still wasn’t coming in tomorrow.

“So here’s our last lunch in this random parking lot,” Duo commented; Heero, pulling into the area in question, had to remind himself rather firmly that the pleasure in the doll’s tone probably had more to do with his desire to become human again than his disliking of spending lunchtimes with Heero in a random parking lot. When Heero just nodded, Duo went on, “And your last day having to explain me if anyone asks.”

Unfastening his seat belt and rolling down his window, Heero nodded again.

“You know, though,” Duo mused on, “I don’t think I ever heard you give a real excuse for having me there anyway. So it’s not like me not being there is going to change much.”

Heero thought it would actually change quite a lot about his job not having Duo there. As tiresome as being the in-house entertainment had been for the first few weeks, once that had died down he’d never felt anything but satisfaction at having Duo with him all day. The ability to turn to him and strike up a conversation about anything at any point (depending on who else was around, of course) easily allayed all of the little frustrations many of Heero’s co-workers often caused. He was going to miss him more than he could say.

He didn’t attempt to say any of this, however. Instead he just admitted, “I never did think of an excuse that didn’t sound completely stupid.”

“You know what you should have said? You should have said you had to take me to work for a whole month because you lost a bet. With Quatre, maybe. I bet he would have played along and everything.”

Heero turned to stare at him, surprised and perhaps a little annoyed. “You could have made that suggestion a month ago.”

“I would have,” Duo said sheepishly, “if I’d thought of it any time before just now.”

With a smile of defeat, Heero shook his head. “Well, it’s almost over, so we can just let everyone keep wondering.”

Hopefully it’s almost over,” Duo muttered.

Heero nodded. He’d been trying to avoid thinking about the dog thing, but it was impossible not to taste occasionally the undercurrent of doubt that event had set in motion. Because the awareness was always there, beneath everything else, that even after so much toil and pleasant looking forward, it was still possible that nothing would happen tonight.

Of course there was another possibility they had not discussed at all — that the curse would end while Heero was still at work, and there Duo would be unexpectedly, a stranger in the midst of business and everyone, and Heero really would have to come up with an excuse this time. This particular possibility, however, far from being discouraging and worthy of avoidance like the other, struck Heero as rather amusing — which was fortunate, as he had need of amusement for the rest of that day.

He tried not to watch the clock, since he already knew he wasn’t going to leave until everything he needed to get done got done and everything was ready for his absence tomorrow — rather than the swift departure maybe a couple of minutes shy of five on which he’d originally planned — but even before Duo started asking him approximately every six and a half minutes what time it was, he marked the coming and going of 2:07, 2:20, 2:39, 2:42, and 2:56. Then the three o’clock hour passed in agony, and Heero couldn’t even bring himself to berate Duo for his constant demands, as his own eyes were on the computer clock more often than not anyway.

There was a tension steadily growing in the air that would not be dispelled by any words — even words that weren’t about how many minutes had passed since the last words. Heero thought that, at least on his side, words unsaid played some part in this. He should have told him by now; he should have told him long before this. And yet he just kept at his work in restless impatience and uncertainty, and the tension grew. He thought even Dorothy sensed it, when she came to consult with him about something… though it was nothing unusual to receive an odd look from Dorothy, especially these days, and Heero didn’t much fancy pursuing the reason for this one.

Duo certainly felt it… between four and five, his time-related inquiries came gradually to be replaced, mostly, by impatient humming and cursing under his breath at intervals. He waved his arms and legs in a distracting little sort of dance, and again Heero could not bring himself to find fault with the behavior; though he wasn’t given to fidgeting, and had other things to do anyway, he couldn’t deny that he was in exactly the same mood.

Every minute past five o’clock was downright torturous. If not for the minor Medford disaster, he would have been home by 5:20, and he was more than aware of this with each sixty seconds that passed. Duo had taken to whining intermittently and levering himself around the desk as best he was able, pausing comically if it sounded like anyone was drawing near and might notice him, which was even more distracting than what he’d been doing before.

The final straw was when Quatre — office-addict, uphold-the-business-honor-of-the-Winner-family Quatre — showed up in Heero’s cubicle and announced that, since he was being robbed of what was supposed to be his day off tomorrow, he wasn’t going to stay any longer tonight. Quatre was leaving before Heero.

“That’s it,” Heero grumbled the moment his friend was gone. “I’m done after this.” He gesture at his monitor almost angrily. “They can figure things out themselves.”

“We really can, you know,” came Dorothy’s sardonic voice from behind him. She’d stayed late for about the same reasons Heero had, and had probably wandered over now to see what the result of his visit from Quatre would be; though she didn’t know exactly what was going on, it wouldn’t take a genius to see that something was. “I’m impressed that you’re even still here. Go home.”

Heero glanced around and up at her. She was giving Duo that thoughtful look again.

Finally he nodded. It wasn’t as if the quality of his work wasn’t deteriorating rapidly at the moment anyway. He saved his current progress, told his computer to shut off, and started gathering his things.

“I’m looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday,” was Dorothy’s somewhat odd goodbye as Heero, having shrugged into his jacket, took Duo in one hand and his briefcase in the other and pushed his chair in with his knee. He didn’t pause to find out what she meant, just nodded as he hastened past her, and then practically broke into a run to get off the sales floor and out of the building.

Duo was not terribly sensitive to G-forces, but he got the feeling Heero was driving significantly faster than usual. And no wonder, really… Duo doubted Heero could be as anxious as he was for what would hopefully happen tonight, but still he must be pretty eager. The silence between them in the car, into the building, and up the stairs was tense, though not necessarily in an uncomfortable way.

“Shouldn’t Quatre have gotten here before us?” Duo wondered when they entered Heero’s empty apartment.

Heero gestured to the door across from the one they’d just used. “He probably went to get Trowa. His car was in the parking lot.”

After Duo’s noise of comprehension, the silence returned while Heero changed clothes in haste that wasn’t necessary but was definitely understandable. When he emerged from his closet in jeans and a t-shirt, he looked down at Duo where he’d put him on the end of the dresser as usual. Pensively he asked, “Are you going to tell Trowa about the dog?”

Duo sighed. “No, I don’t think so. Just keep your fingers crossed that I won’t have to. I’d cross my own, but… you know…”

Soon Quatre entered with Trowa, both of them looking quite agitated. Quatre threw himself down onto the sofa, and Trowa came to stand stiffly beside where Duo now sat on the kitchen counter.

“Dinner?” Heero suggested. He’d already been looking through what he had available when the other two arrived.

“Do you want to cook?” asked Quatre from the couch. “Or should we just order a pizza?”

“I don’t mind,” Heero said. He moved Duo across the kitchen and continued digging through cupboards. “I’ll make something easy.” Duo thought Heero actually rather preferred it this way, as it would give him something to think about.

“Can I help at all?” Trowa asked cautiously.

Duo couldn’t see Heero’s face perfectly from where he sat, but at these words it seemed to take on a somewhat skeptical expression. Heero smoothed it away as he glanced over his shoulder at Trowa, however, and said, “If you want to find the biggest pot in the cupboard behind you and fill it with water…”

Trowa nodded and obeyed.

“Heero, can I help you at all?” Quatre echoed Trowa’s offer from the living room without, as far as Duo could tell, rising from the sofa.

“You stay out of my kitchen,” Heero replied with mock severity.

“He can’t be that bad,” Duo laughed.

“Wanna bet?” called Quatre.

“Heero, did you want this boiled?” Trowa asked.

“Yes, if you can figure out the stove.”

Trowa made a faint disdainful noise as he set the full pot down on the stove, and spoke a water-boiling spell.

Heero turned in surprise from what he was doing, which involved various vegetable-type substances. “Did you just tell the water to boil?”

“Aww!” said Duo gleefully. “Heero’s hit understanding!”

“I did,” Trowa said.

Heero stared at the now-boiling water for a moment, then reached for a tall plastic container nearby that held colorful noodles. Handing it to Trowa, he next pointed to a drawer and said, “Put four cups of noodles in.” He pulled a large spoon from a closer drawer and added, “And stir it.”

Trowa nodded and obeyed, accepting first the noodles, then the spoon, then looking in the indicated drawer for a measuring cup.

“So magic is really that simple, is it?” Heero mused quietly.

Duo had become somewhat hypnotized watching Heero’s hands dicing a variety of edible items into precisely similarly-sized pieces. When he realized that Heero had asked a question Trowa was not going to answer, however, he finally said, “Yeah, you pretty much just order things around. That’s why it’s called ‘command magic.'”

“Is it?”

“When you order stuff to happen, yeah. There’s other kinds too; Trowa could probably tell you better.”

But what Trowa said was, “Did you need more water boiled?” as he gestured with his empty hand to what Heero was chopping.

“No…” Heero smiled faintly; he obviously wasn’t used to this kind of assistance in the kitchen. “But if you want to pull out a frying pan from that same cupboard and grab some margarine from the fridge… there should be half a stick sitting in the door…”

“You know, Heero,” said Duo thoughtfully, “we could help you start casting spells if you wanted. Once you’re awake enough where you can understand the magical language, you’re usually ready to start–”

“Not tonight,” Heero interrupted firmly. “Maybe sometime, but not tonight.”

Duo laughed. “Yeah, OK, you’re probably right.”

At Heero’s request, Trowa cast a few more spells to move the cooking process along, which Heero watched in cautious fascination. Duo wondered whether he was really interested, or whether it was simply another way of distracting himself from the concern and impatience he felt for tonight.

The dish in progress turned out to be pasta salad with shrimp, which the humans ate with wine because there was general agreement that they needed it. This was the first time Duo had ever seen Heero and Quatre drink, and hopefully the last time he would ever have to watch them eating without being able to join in.

And as they were dining and Duo was looking on, it occurred to him for the first time to wonder, “Hey, Heero… how come you don’t have a table?”

“See?” said Quatre triumphantly.

“Apparently,” Heero said dryly, “it’s because I have poor taste.”

“Well, if is kinda weird that you have an end table and not a dining table.”

See?” said Quatre again.

Heero gave a defeated laugh. “I’ll get one one of these days.”

“He’s such a bachelor,” Quatre commented wisely.

Duo was so agitated that he didn’t consider himself up to any of the flirtatious lines that came easily to mind at this.

Once the humans had finished eating and cleaned up after the meal, there was some aimless wandering of the limited space available (which would have been even smaller if Heero had possessed a dining table), and then Heero and Quatre settled onto the couch (as far as their agitated and rarely lengthy seated spells could be called ‘settling’), while Trowa remained behind and, seeming unaware he was doing it, paced slowly. Heero did invite him to take a seat, but Trowa declined almost without a word.

A heavy silence fell over all of them, in fact, as time dragged on. It was one of those moments when Duo experienced all the mental effects of something typically considered physical without any of the actual associated sensations — in this case of stifling, of suffocating, of being slowly crushed by something he could not throw off. There came with this a raging, swelling impatience, both anticipatory and fearful, which was quickly swallowing up all else.

They tried to watch something to pass the time, but TV seemed even stupider and more aggravating than usual tonight, and they couldn’t agree on a movie. Besides, the others seemed more interested in watching Duo anyway. Whether Quatre was seated and fidgeting or making yet another restless circuit of the room, he was turned toward Duo about half the time; it was no surprise that twice he ran right into Trowa. The latter was pretty consistently staring too — Duo didn’t look around from his seat on the end table very often, but he was nevertheless aware of Trowa’s gaze. And Heero simply never took his eyes off Duo.

Under different circumstances Duo would have been pleased by such undivided attention, especially from Heero, but right now it was as if they thought they might miss something if they looked away. As if they wouldn’t know the moment he turned human if they weren’t actively watching for it.

And all the while, Duo himself grew more and more nervous and concerned. Surely it had been earlier in the evening than this…! Actually, hadn’t he and Heero been within the requisite five feet most of that day? Maybe the dog thing really had messed this up… But what would that entail, exactly? Trowa would undoubtedly know, but to ask him would involve telling him, and Duo didn’t even want to be thinking about it himself.

And they just wouldn’t stop staring…

Finally he snapped. “I swear to god, you guys, if you don’t all quit ogling me, I’m going to kill you all as soon as I’m human!” He thought he saw Quatre wince as he said it, and sighed harshly. “Heero, pick me up, would you? If I sit still in here for one more second…”

Wordlessly Heero obeyed, taking Duo in hand and striding down the hall toward the balcony door with every bit as much impatience in his movements as there had been in Duo’s voice. Past the door, he set Duo on the balcony railing, though for safety’s sake did not release him. “At least out here,” he muttered, staring up into the sky, “we can see the damn thing.”

Duo also turned his eyes toward the moon, and felt himself calm a little. It was a partial moon, not too far from the full, he thought, placid and distant, and not even the brightest source of light in the vicinity. A faint cool wind was blowing, and the night was quiet.

“It’s funny…” he remarked eventually in the most subdued tone he thought he’d used all day. “The moon doesn’t really annoy me, even though I know it’s got all this to do with me being a doll.”

“You probably haven’t had long enough,” Heero theorized. “If you’d spent a few years knowing that this magic had to do with the moon, you’d hate it.”

“Yeah…” A long silence followed while Duo thought about those hypothetical years and the very real ones that had already passed. Finally he said slowly, “Listen, Heero…”

Heero looked abruptly toward him.

“Thanks for all of this.” Duo’s meaning wasn’t really enhanced by the gesture he made here, but at least he got to use one of his elbows. “I want you to know that, even if this doesn’t work, I’ll still appreciate everything you’ve done for me just as much. OK?”

“Don’t talk like that,” Heero ordered. “Give it a little while longer, and you’ll be human again.”

Duo made a sound of longing, which didn’t even begin to express the strength of the emotion that filled his entire spirit, and turned his eyes back up toward the moon. Afterwhile, without looking away from the light in the sky, he murmured, “But seriously…”

And it almost came out right then and there. He almost told Heero everything. It was on the tip of his nonexistent tongue, and only with difficulty and indeed some reluctance did he restrain it at all. Not yet! he reminded himself. Don’t ruin this!

“Thanks a lot,” he finally managed.

Heero squeezed him. “You’re welcome.” And then they both went back to watching the moon in tense silence. Watching and waiting.

His Own Humanity is an AU series set in modern-day America (plus magic) featuring characters from Rurouni Kenshin (primarily Saitou and Sano) and Gundam Wing (primarily Heero, Duo, Trowa, and Quatre). In chronological order (generally), the stories currently available are:

Sano enlists the help of exorcist Hajime in discovering the nature of the unusual angry shade that's haunting him.

Best friends Heero and Quatre have their work cut out for them assisting longtime curse victims Duo and Trowa.

During Plastic (part 80), Cairo thinks about thinking and other recent changes in his life.

A look at how Hajime and Sano are doing.

A look at how Trowa and Quatre are doing.

A look at how Heero and Duo are doing.

A meeting between Kamatari and Wufei.

Couple analysis among Heero, Duo, Trowa, and Quatre.

Quatre undergoes an unpleasant magical change; Heero, Duo, and Trowa are forced to face unpleasant truths; and Hajime and Sano may get involved.

During La Confrérie de la Lune Révéré (parts 33-35), Sano's 178-day wait is over as what Hajime has been fearing comes to pass.

During Guest Room Soap Opera (part 3), Cathy learns a lot of interesting facts and Trowa is not happy.

A few days before the epilogue of La Confrérie de la Lune Révéré, Duo and Sano get together to watch football and discuss relationships and magical experiences; Heero listens in on multiple levels.

On the same evening as That Remarkable Optimism, Trowa tells Quatre's parents the whole truth, as promised.


  1. sharona1x2

    This is one of those situations where no matter what they decide, someone is going to be hurting. I agree with Trowa. He should be the one to decide who knows what, since he’s ultimately the one who started everything. I’m glad Quatre finally agreed with him. I think Duo would find a way to sabotage things, if he knew that Trowa might die.

    I can’t believe this is part 81 already. It feels like I just started reading it a month or two ago. Part of me wishes it would never end, but I do want Duo to be human again. :-)

    • corpus_yaoi

      haha, I kind of think that since Trowa “started” it, it should be Duo’s call on making the decision (but how can he make a decision about hearing one possible ending to the curse without spilling the beans!) I suppose, in a different situation, that makes more sense. But again, like I said below, with these sort of moral issues, it’s not really who’s right and who’s wrong so much as who can hold his tongue and what cards you hold.

      Heero’s not telling Duo about Trowa and Quatre being together
      Trowa’s not telling Duo about his possible death
      Duo’s not telling Trowa about the dog incident

      Seems like poor old Duo’s getting ganged up on DX

      • momentsdrift

        Don’t forget that neither Heero nor Duo is telling the other how he feels about him. And that Quatre’s not telling anybody anything, when he knows almost everything that’s going on XD

        I’m not going to lie… one of the reasons the dog incident even took place was so that I could throw yet another secret in there, because I am evil and I thought it would be rather hilarious.

    • momentsdrift

      I can’t quite decide whether or not I think Trowa would be better off telling Duo… but he’s made his decision, so there you go XD

      Part 81, I know!! I swear I’m going to go PPD once I’m done posting this; I’ve never been this attached to a story before. I’m glad you’re still liking it… I hope you like it all to way to the end!!

  2. corpus_yaoi

    good old “can’t have it both ways” thing.

    I was surprised that Trowa’s saying there’s a good chance he *won’t* buy the farm come Monday… I know I’ve proven my mind to be sieve like in the extreme on more than one occasion where story details are concerned, BUT i thought Trowa was more inclined to believe it was a foregone conclusion.

    Anyway, it’s fun to read about all the “what ifs” with a truly moral dilemma… like the old trolly problem. Not fun as in “whoppee!” but, you know, interesting. I’m glad Trowa brought up his take on the issue, not that I think Quatre needed another perspective to worry over but at least it explains Trowa’s stalwart refusal to tell Duo about the potential “death thing.”

    So this weekend, I suppose Trowa and Quatre will be busy making the most of their time just in case it is the last of their time and Heero gets to worry over whether or not he should finally tell Duo about Trowa and Quatre…

    • momentsdrift

      Trowa’s exact words were, “I don’t know how likely it is, but I believe there is a possibility…” But Quatre made such a big deal of it (in his head, and, I believe, perfectly understandably) that it’s no surprise you came out of the scene thinking the circumstance was more likely than it actually is.

      And you are exactly right about what they will all be busy doing this weekend XD We’ll get a little of it in the next couple of parts.

  3. imedazuberi

    Oh! When Trowa puts it that way, I see his point of view. Tough call. I hope everything turns out for the best for everyone. *^_^*

    • momentsdrift

      Yeah, it would be a hard choice to make, wouldn’t it? And we can only wait and see whether or not it turns out for the best for everyone. Or, rather, you can only wait and see. I already know.

  4. dentelle_noir

    Lovely Chapter!!! I hadn’t thought about it from that angle either!

    Also, I bet Quatre has been evasive to Duo and Heero not because he’s obsessed with Trowa, but because he has so many secrets to hide!

    • momentsdrift

      It’s a tough call, isn’t it? They all have more reasons than just the obvious for wanting the curse to end…

      Thanks for your comments!

  5. duo_loopo

    Geez! What a predicament! Oh man this made me sad. I can only imagine how upset Quatre must be in learning that the man he loves may die soon. GYAH.

    • momentsdrift

      And it’s even worse in that the curse breaking is such a desirable thing in every other respect, making it difficult, if not impossible, for him to wish that it just wouldn’t happen. Poor guy. Let’s hope he has a happy ending! :D

  6. blackjackcat

    Yeah..that’s rough. I really feel for Quatre.
    Well, all of them. :(

    Very good. d^_^b
    Looking forward to more. :3

    • momentsdrift

      Yeah, Quatre is pitiable… but I feel bad for Trowa too! I say that as shouldn’t, though, considering I’m the one heaping troubles on his head… XD

      Anyway, thanks for your comments, as always!!

  7. shadownitewolf

    Interesting interesting. I wonder what Monday will bring…
    Thanks again for another suspenseful chapter from Trowa and Quatre’s point of view…

    • momentsdrift

      Yes, what will Monday bring? We’re almost there :D Glad you enjoyed; thanks as always!

  8. sharona1x2

    I just had another “Awwwwwwwwwwwww!” moment. I’ve had a lot of them, especially at chapters that show how much the relationship between Heero and Duo is growing. Part of me wanted Heero to put Duo in bed next to him, although I’m sure Heero wants to wait until Monday night. :-)

    That totally is a nerd date, but it can still be platonic. I agree that Wufei is probably just so happy to find someone who apparently shares his interests.

    • momentsdrift

      I can see that the events of Monday are not going to come as a surprise to you. Um, that is, I mean… BUT WHAT IF THINGS DON’T WORK OUT??? You never know; I could be totally evil and have the curse not break and, um, Duo decide to go live with Trowa (and Quatre break up with him over that), and then Heero, in his intense depression, is suddenly dating Wufei without any clear idea of how it happened. YOU NEVER KNOW.

      • momentsdrift

        In an actual nerd competition, this Wufei would win by a million miles. In a competition for Heero’s affections, however, methinks the prize would go elsewhere :D I, too, am looking forward to seeing Duo mess with Chang on a regular basis, so let’s hope I actually ever get around to writing some of that XD

  9. imedazuberi

    Oh! Great chapter. I love it. *^_^* Fluff and more fluff! The best way to start the week! *^_^*

  10. duo_loopo

    Why do I see Heero and (human) Duo totally being friends with Wufei after the curse is broken? And I wanted a snuggle moment there too!! Gosh these guys make the best couple don’t they? And I’m sure Heero will be out of sleep for more than just staying up and chit chatting with Duo once the curse is broken!!

    • momentsdrift

      Fluff and more fluff and making fun of Wufei are definitely my idea of a good time :D Thanks for your comments!

  11. blackjackcat

    Haha Duo’s got nerd competition?
    I have to admit I’m looking forward to seeing Duo mess with Chang. XD

  12. dentelle_noir

    I really liked the play between the two of them! They have such good chemistry!

    • momentsdrift

      If I ever write a sequel or spin-off to this story, we will see precisely how Heero and (human) Duo deal with Wufei later on, I promise. It is a topic of much discussion between me and Zombie Girl XD

      And I think you may be right about Heero’s sleep habits in future :D

      • momentsdrift

        Thanks! I’m glad you think so! ^____^

        • momentsdrift

          Heero, as you can see, is less pleased than you are that Wufei asked him on a nerdy date. But Duo seems to find it fairly entertaining. I’m glad you were amused! Thanks for your comments!

  13. shadownitewolf

    Ohhh this was funny :D
    I like how Wufei “asked” Heero out to a nerdy date, as Duo calls it. Was pretty awesome heh
    Thanks again for another lovely chapter! ^-^

  14. alaskan_ninja

    I must say, I love love LOVE the way you write their relationship :) It’s interesting to see it as 4×3, since the popular (and my still all-time fave) is 3×4, haha. I’m hoping that later down the road we will see Trowa take initiative and instigate sex, even if just once. But we are getting closer, and that makes me feel warm and squishy inside.

    And I hope (damn my angst-loving, sentimental heart…) that we also get to see some form of outward expressed relief from the Q-man when (trying to stay positive here and keep faith that you won’t kill off one of your fave characters, haha) the curse breaks and Trowa DOESN’T die. I hope for tears of relief from Quatre, but I’ll take an omission of his hidden fears to his lover.


    • momentsdrift

      Well, Monday is coming soon (story Monday, I mean), and then we shall see what Quatre has to say when the crucial time comes! Hopefully it will satisfy you :D

      Thanks for your comments! ^___^

      • momentsdrift

        :D I’m glad you thought it was cute, because I totally did too. Especially since (as he kinda mentions himself) it’s something so trivial (and yet amusing) that Trowa hasn’t really thought about it in a long time.

        I agree; Quatre needs to get what he can done Sunday night… Monday’s going to be hell on everyone. As we shall see starting RL Friday XD

  15. sharona1x2

    I love them arguing over which one of them is older. Well, not arguing, exactly. More like teasing. Whatever it is, it was very cute. It was also a nice way to get Quatre away from thinking about Trowa’s possible death, even for just a moment.

    I suspect Quatre isn’t going to be able to concentrate at work on Monday anyway, so he might as well have fun on Sunday night.

    • alaskan_ninja

      I think you need to post it NAO! :D I work 32 hours over Saturday and Sunday, so PLEASE post it sooner! :D Please please please?!?!?!? *puppy eyes*

      Need moar Plastic NAO!

  16. femaleshinigami

    OMG I loved this part. GO TROWA! Finaly he starts to show incentive! I love how they interact, it’s one of my favorite things in this story. I’m sorry I’m not commenting as often as I would like, but I sometimes print out the parts to read on the bus, etc, and then when I come home I forget to go comment >_<

    I can't belive it's just one more day… makes me wonder… Will it all end good, and we have just a few more parts to go? Will the curse not brake this time? Will it occur that something more is needed? Or will it brake but we will get some 'after the curse brakes' chapters? :D I would love those :D

    Gaaah I can't wait to see more ^_____^

    • momentsdrift

      Nice try, but Monday is comprised of the next eight parts (if I’m counting correctly). It wouldn’t do any good to post the first of them early XD Yooouuu will just have to be patient.

      • momentsdrift

        It’s because he’s made of awesome. How else? XD Thanks for your comments!!

        • momentsdrift

          I definitely do appreciate the comments; they make me extremely happy. And I’m very glad you love the story!

          It’s entirely possible that I am evil, but, given the geographical impediments to kidnapping me, I honestly think it would be quicker for you just to wait for the parts to be posted :D :D

  17. corpus_yaoi

    well, I’ve been curious about this the last couple of chapters, but *when* Monday will the curse actually break is what I’m all hot and bothered to find out about… at the stroke of midnight (and, hey, the lunar cycle is kind of subjective, depending where you are, isn’t it? that’s one kind of calculation I could never figure out: things involving the international date line type stuff)

    I hope you’re not offended (and I’m probably honestly only thinking about it since I’ve been rereading the series) but I can’t help but compare Quatre and Trowa’s age comparison and Quatre’s (however playful) lamentation to Twilight (ahhh, blasphemy, I may burn in hell for that). I wonder if it would have been more “meaty” to have added more concrete examples of HOW they “proved” their relative ages (as in stupid twilight). Like magic is firmly seen as a kids’ “thing” today, so maybe that could have knocked off 5 years of Trowa’s age and subtract another five or so for living such a bohemian life. Quatre gets to add years for being a responsible type adult with a respectable type job, but subtract a few for still living at home. That kind of thing.

    On the whole, though, I thought the description of their final whole, more-or-less worry free (haha) day was well spent. I’m glad they accidentally ended up making whoopie after lunch, seems like it would take the pressure off the end of the day and all that (although, part of me was like “don’t you dare come up for air til it’s monday! XDDD)

    And Quatre’s reaction to Trowa’s “I want you to stay” I was fatasizing about that from the very start of the chapter, so I’m really happy it got said. Let’s hope there’s a lot more of chances for Trowa to profess his insane desire to have Quatre’s society in future!

  18. imedazuberi

    Awww Quatre. How can someone be so sweet and devious at the same time?! LOL! *^_^*

    • momentsdrift

      XD Sorry. Hopefully what actually transpires will make up for the wait.

      • momentsdrift

        Hopefully, hopefully! Monday starts on Friday (as it were), and we shall see what happens! Thanks for your comments :D

        • momentsdrift

          When, indeed? All the guys seems to have tacitly taken it into their heads that it won’t be until late evening, probably because they are all connecting the breaking of the curse with the moon and most people think night when they think of the moon… but are they correct? Who knows?

          Hah! Offended? You have no idea how many Twilight references Zombie Girl and I have dredged up when I was discussing or reading parts of this story to her XD XD XD Trowa’s even as pale as a vampire. Your ideas for adjusting their ages made me laugh, too.

          Glad you liked their last day before It’s Time. Whether or not Trowa has that chance to profess his desire for Quatre’s company remains to be seen.

          • femaleshinigami

            I try to comment as often as I can :) I know how much it means for an author ^___^ And Also, I just like to express how much I love a story :D

            You are evil, you know that? And I love you for it XD I’m tempted to kidnap you and have you tell me… but that would mean you wouldn’t be writing and posting…. ah, decisions, decisions..

            • momentsdrift

              I’m glad you think they’re cute, and I’m glad you’re excited!! I know I am. Thanks for your comments ^___^

              • momentsdrift

                I’m pleased that you found it sweet ^__^ I’m also glad that Trowa finally asked… not as glad as Quatre, though!

    • alaskan_ninja

      I’m sure it will. I just hate waiting XD

  19. shadownitewolf

    Dawwww Quatre. Hopefully he’ll get his wish of Trowa having the curse broken. Very interesting…
    Can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings though ^-^

  20. duo_loopo

    YAY TROWA!! Ugh they’re so cute together!! Holy crap I’m getting so excited for the big REVEAL!!!

  21. femaleshinigami

    Wow, things seem tense arround here. And I have a feeeling Dorothy knows more than they suspect she does ;) Daamn two more days for the next part… TWO WHOLE DAYS?! XD

    • momentsdrift

      Yes, tension is par for the course for the rest of Monday :D And, again yes, I think Dorothy may indeed know something. TWO WHOLE DAYS! Sorry, heh. Thanks for your comments!!

      • momentsdrift

        I hope the tension isn’t really too much, because if you were to stop reading it would never be resolved, heh. Dorothy’s cryptic remark will be explained in time, but first we need to have some more Monday :D

  22. sharona1x2

    I don’t know how Heero made it through the day. I never would have been able to stand it, especially with Duo on the desk. I’m picturing him waving his arms and legs around. That would be as cute as it would be distracting.

    I’m on pins and needles now. It’s almost time. I’m so excited!!!

  23. corpus_yaoi

    *is dead*
    You ended it THERE?

    First: another fantasy breaking-of-the-curse.
    They had been in bed not yet a full hour, but the tension running as high as it was, Heero and Duo were exhausted. They hadn’t lasted past midnight, which is why the initial noises had gone unnoticed. In fact, the whole ordeal was rather anticlimactic: one minute, Duo was a plastic doll lying in a plastic bed; the next, he was flailing to gain purchase, positioned precariously as he was on the extreme edge of Heero’s bed.

    “What the?!” Heero spoke groggily, disturbed by the undulating bed and then, the breathy sound of an epic struggle followed quickly by a dull thud.

    “I FELT THAT!” Duo whopped. Through the incomplete darkness of his bedroom, Heero was able to make out the dim shape of Duo’s fist pumping the air, and a scrap of the arm to which it was attached. “I FELT IT! Sonuvabitch!”

    “D- Duo?” The bedside lamps flashed on and the light was glaring despite the being set to the lowest wattage. A large, masculine hand came up to grip the edge of the mattress, the strength of that grip made the veins pop against the smooth skin. Heero’s heart skipped wildly behind his ribs. The moment they had waited for, the moment he had angsted for, was come.

    “Yeah, it’s me. I’m… me.” The hand on the mattress clutched the covers tightly and without any further ado, Duo’s smiling face popped into view. Heero had only two thoughts: He’s human… and he’s beautiful.


    haha! well, at least he won’t pop’n’bang in the office. That would surely be awkward. Now, I have to go back and reread what Dorothy’s reaction was to Duo way back in the day…

    • momentsdrift

      I know! As he said, they should have gotten that day off too. Of course, then they’d just have been sitting around at home all day in the same agitation, but at least they wouldn’t have had to deal with work stuff XD

      Yes, it is almost time! I’m excited too! I hope everyone likes the way things turn out!

  24. imedazuberi

    Ok! Now with Dorothy’s cryptic remark, I want to read more… I am nearly biting my nails here.
    Arg… the tension is too much. Thanks again for the update. *^_^*

  25. blackjackcat

    Run Heero run! /
    Onward to the next part!

    • momentsdrift

      You didn’t expect me to just hand over the Big Scene first thing on Monday, did you? It needs to be worked up to properly :D

      Da ha, your idea is awesome. Without getting into specifics, it looks like you’re following my train of thought on certain matters pretty closely, too :D Nicely done!

      The Dorothy scene you want is, I believe, in part 49, incidentally. If you haven’t already found it on your own.

      Thanks for your comments, and that lovely little speculative snippet!!

      • momentsdrift

        He will certainly not dawdle on the way home, as we shall see :D Next part on Sunday! Thanks for your comments!

        • momentsdrift

          Isn’t that line kindof awful?? XD Because Heero thinks he won’t have Duo around on a regular basis after this evening. Poor guy.

          No, not quite Sunday yet, heh. I’m excited too, though! And finding out more about Dorothy will take a bit longer.

          Thanks for your comments, as always!!

  26. duo_loopo

    “He was going to miss him more than he could say.” :( Oh man, that was a heavy line. Boy oh boy, am I excited about the BIG Reveal or what! Is it Sunday yet?!!! I’m also curious to find out more about Dorothy!

  27. dentelle_noir

    I’m only reading it, and *I* barely made it through that day!!! The TENSION!!! And I adored Dorothy in this! Me thinks she’s more observant and open than she appears!

    • momentsdrift

      Heh heh… I’m very glad if I managed to convey the tension so well ^___^ And, yes, Dorothy knows more than she’s saying!

      69 minutes until I post the next part… and then I can go to bed…

  28. corpus_yaoi

    First of all, this was a wonderful chapter. I’ll admit, I was geared up for plodding through just Trowa and Quatre, so I was happily surprised we stuck with Heero and Duo. I’m worried why Trowa and Quatre seem so tense with each other, though…

    The balcony escape seems so romantic-y… and then Heero puts Duo on the balcony railing?! I just cant help but fear Duo will pop up, all human like, only go SPLAT all human like when he goes over the railing (unless Heero lives on the first floor, but even then, people have died making bad exits from first floor windows!)

    The interaction between Heero and Trowa was priceless! Duo’s line “Awww, Heero’s hit understanding” reminded me of a 12 step program, perhaps one designed to make you believe in magic? I read the Trowa line “did you need more water boiled?” as being facetious, is that correct? Heero does smile afterwards, like Trowa’s letting Heero know his using-the-stove comment was patronizing… they’re gonna be best friends XDDD

    • sel_barton

      Well, he fell from a window when he turned into a doll. Call it going full circle? ^_~

    • momentsdrift

      I’m afraid I’m going to have to hide from you after the next chapter XD Though, honestly, y’all’s response to this part has made me think I may go to daily posts for the remainder of the Monday parts.

      Da ha, the kind of irony that kills off characters just at the end of their long struggle for a better life is not my type of storytelling (most of the time). I promise Duo will not be falling off anything and dying in this fic, heh.

      XD There probably are 12-step programs for various aspects of magic. And Trowa’s line may indeed have been spoken with somewhat facetious intentions (for the very purpose you mentioned), but there was also the legitimate desire to know whether or not Heero needed more water boiled (for the stuff he was chopping up at that point). And I do hope they’re going to be best friends! We’ll see how they progress from now on…

      • momentsdrift

        I’m glad you could feel the tension so vividly; I worked pretty hard on it. Thanks for commenting!

  29. sharona1x2

    Need. Next. Chapter. NOW! Seriously, I’m about to go crazy having to wait. Then again, maybe it’s good to have something to look forward to. I just know it’s going to be worth all the waiting.

    I loved seeing the guys anticipating Duo’s change together. I like that you spent a whole chapter on that. It really builds up the tension. I also got a kick out of Trowa helping Heero cook. I’m picturing Heero learning some magical tricks once this is all over.

  30. imedazuberi

    Ok! The tension was so vivid that I can picture them pacing and staring.
    Great chapter. I liked how they were staring at the moon waiting for something. Very poetic. Thanks for sharing. *^_^*

    • sel_barton

      I’ve been reading very hungrily. I can’t get enough. I just have been horribly bad about commenting. I hate to just beg for more every time. ^_^

  31. dentelle_noir

    I enjoyed the interaction between Trowa and Heero! Heero has been so jealous of Trowa and he’s still tense, but I laughed when each of them got a chance to sorta… show off to the other in a way.

    I also loved the dining-room-table argument! HAHAA! It’s mentioned and all Q has to say is “see!” And i can already imagine how many times they’ve had this discussion! Haha! Love it!

  32. blackjackcat

    Oh how the cliffhanger kills.
    And I was thinking we would finally have an answer about Duo!
    Silly me. ;p

    Great chapter; ending especially. Makes me wonder what happened between Quatre and Trowa too..


    • momentsdrift

      I’m considering going to daily posts for the remainder of the Monday parts. I have a couple of hours left to decide…

      I’m glad you liked this part. I honestly don’t think there could possibly be too much tension built up for something like this. After 87 years of suffering, how would you feel at this point? I think I actually let them off somewhat lightly, considering that circumstance.

      Thanks for your comments!

      • momentsdrift

        We can just hope that Trowa and Heero continue to become better friends. Heero knows by now that he’s got no reason to be jealous of Trowa, but Trowa doesn’t know yet why Heero was being so cold to him before.

        :D I’m so glad you liked the dining-table exchange. I found it rather amusing, myself. I’m sure Quatre has offered a number of times to buy Heero a dining table, and Heero’s always been like, “Eh… nah…” XD

        • momentsdrift

          Silly you, indeed! This is a 250-page story; I wasn’t about to resolve the buildup to the climax in a mere two and a half or five pages :D But I am considering going to daily posts for the rest of the Monday parts. We’ll see. Anyway, thanks for your comments; I’m glad you liked it!

  33. femaleshinigami

    WAIT WHAAAAAT?! We STILL don’t know?! XD Aww damn it! XD

    More and more I’m getting a feeling that it’s somehow going to be important, that they state their feelings for eachother, like ‘the curse will be broken when you fall in love and are loved back’ kinda way x)

    *huffs* WELL ANYWAY, I can’t wait for the next part! (which is obvious) And I must say I enjoyed this one a lot, even if it was a) way too short for my greedy, needy mind b) brought no answers, you evil thing you c) had no making out involved. x)

    You could really feel their tension, and nervousness. I particularily liked Duo’s reaction. Yet my favourite part was Trowa boiling the water, and ofcourse Duo telling Heero they can teach him magic :D

  34. crystal_lilly

    I’m getting closer! They’re getting closer! If it was possible for me to skip ahead but still know what happens in all the parts, I’d do it! It’s like I just can’t read this story fast enough, after going for such a long time without reading the updates!!!!

    *laugh* And reading about Quatre’s reluctance to go to work, I had a moment of justification, saying “Yeah, Quatre, this is what most of the real world feels every morning when they have to get up and go to work.” LOL But that may just be me and my own dissatisfaction with my overburdened work schedule as of late. Never mind the fact that I was talking out loud to a fictional character. *laugh*

    Aw, man… all the secrets around here are killing me. XD Poor Quatre, having to juggle so many. I honestly didn’t think of the angle of Duo deciding to stay a doll so that Trowa wouldn’t die – that would be a horrible decision. Because Duo would also have to give up Heero, completely, so that he didn’t ‘accidentally’ break the curse while in Heero’s company. Wow, my head is spinning. I can see why Trowa wouldn’t want to tell Duo… *sigh* I’m totally hoping for a happy ending here. *smile*

    • momentsdrift

      :D I’m glad you’re so into the story that you wanted to read it that quickly. That’s awesome to hear.

      Heh, yeah, Quatre generally likes his job way more than most people I know like theirs. I’m so glad his attitude could prompt you to talk out loud to a fictional character :D

      Quatre is in possession of every single secret except for the fact that Duo likes Heero. I didn’t set out to pile them all onto his head, but I was really pleased that it worked out that way, because, of the four of them, Quatre has the most normal situation and the least curse-related angst. So the secrets kinda balance that out.

      I haven’t been able to decide whether or not I think Trowa’s right about not telling Duo. He has a very good point, but so does Quatre in wondering whether or not Duo deserves a choice in this too. There probably isn’t a right answer.

  35. crystal_lilly

    *breaks into giggles* Wufei! Invited Heero to something outside of work! Like friends! Or even as a date!! What’s more, it’s a Collectible Figure Display!!! *more laughing* I knew it! I knew Wufei was seeing Heero as his new best friend. I mean, every single conversation that Heero didn’t rudely stop or brush Wufei off was just another sign that Heero wanted to be friends with Wufei!! *biggest silliest grin on my face* I love it. I absolutely love it. ^__________^

    And then Duo and Heero staying up late conversing about silly, hypothetical scenarios for their odd situation reminds me so much of when I visit some friends of mine and we stay up late talking and laughing like 12 year olds at a slumber party. *smile* This whole chapter is awesome. I have to read it again. I think it’s one of my favorite chapters so far. ^____^

    • momentsdrift

      Eh heh heh, I can’t help laughing at that either. Poor Wufei. Poor, hopeless, nerdy Wufei.

      And, yes, those boys are totally like slumber party kids!! Particularly with the hypothetical discussion that leads to excessive laughter; I used to do that all the freaking time. Oh, wait. I still do that.

      I’m very glad you liked this part so much!

  36. crystal_lilly

    This is so sweet. They really do make a great couple. *smile* The whole age thing made me laugh, as did the part about Trowa finally noticing a new flavor of tea. *grin* And of course Quatre would actually ask Trowa if he could read minds. XD XD XD

    I really enjoyed their entire interaction here – I hope Trowa has a functioning alarm clock that can be set for West Coast time. *smile*

    Monday’s going to be torture for all parties involved. XD XD

    • momentsdrift

      I also like to think they make a good couple. Heh, and Trowa’s tea… Quatre was right: he doesn’t drink it for the flavor, just for the caffeine. And, yes! Anyone might be a little concerned about their boyfriend secretly reading their mind, but especially someone as controlling as this Quatre is XD

      Oh, yes. Monday’s definitely going to be torture >:D

  37. crystal_lilly

    *mwahahahaha* It’s horrible, but I’m so amused that my prediction was right: Monday was torturous for them. Poor Quatre, robbed of his day off with uncursed Trowa. Poor Heero, made to stay over way past 5:00.

    You know, I’m now quite curious about Dorothy – I swear she knows something! *ponders* I wonder if she has any history with magic? Or maybe she saw Duo moving one time? It could be any number of things. It could just be Dorothy being all sly and mysterious, like she usually does. XD

    Now we get to see what Monday evening is like! Oh, I hope Cairo didn’t mess them up, I want the curse to break! *rushes on to the next chapter*

    • momentsdrift

      Quatre is going to be even less happy about losing his day off once today is over, too XD But, as Heero mentioned, this is uphold-the-business-honor-of-the-Winner-family Quatre, and there’s no way he would shirk his duty.

      Good questions about Dorothy, and they will be answered in time :D

  38. crystal_lilly

    Wow! The tension sure did ratchet up even higher in this part.

    First of all, my favorite line of the chapter:

    “See?” said Quatre triumphantly.

    This is obviously a topic that has come up before – I’d bet numerous times. XD XD

    And wow – Heero can understand what Trowa is saying! That is super exciting. I keep wanting Heero to become a magician too, even though there are probably not enough parts of the story left for that.

    Tangent: that reminds me of the message board that Heero posted on at the beginning of the story. Did he and Quatre ever go back to that post after they met Trowa?? Knowing the internet, I bet it’s at 20+ pages of replies by now. XD

    And the anticipation, so intense! Duo is almost human again – I hope! *laugh* If I were Duo, I would probably not be able to stand everyone staring at me either. XD

    • momentsdrift

      Heero’s lack of dining table is an issue that I imagine comes up between him and Quatre about once a month — and, actually, that’s probably part of the reason he still doesn’t have one: he’s being perverse in response to Quatre’s prodding.

      I don’t believe Heero ever did go back to that message board, no. Maybe Duo will once he’s comfortable with computer use :D

      • crystal_lilly

        Random thought!! *bounce* What if Wufei just happened to find the message board post about the ‘talking doll’ while he was doing ‘research’ on the internet!!!!! *dies* Oooooh, I’m so going to play around with this little scenario. XD XD XD Your Wufei in this story just amuses me to no end, but in a fun way, not a making fun of way. *nod*

        Uh… you know, I think I’m a bit of a nerd myself and I just want Wufei to find a good set of (nerdy) friends that he can relax around. XD XD XD XD ^______________^

        *goes off to contemplate new scenarios between Heero, Duo and Wufei*

        • momentsdrift

          :D Magical assistance when cooking is not something he’s used to, heh.

  39. shadownitewolf

    Taken me a bit to read this…next ones will be a coming lol
    This was pretty suspenseful. Poor Heero and Duo…not able to go home until after Quatre…

    • momentsdrift

      An unprecedented difficulty! But I just had to torture them some more XD

  40. shadownitewolf

    heh I liked how Heero was stunned from Trowa’s action and response lol

    • momentsdrift

      You’re right; that is indeed a very interesting possibility. What I think is most interesting about it is that Wufei would probably figure almost everything out. He knows Heero’s new boyfriend looks like the doll Heero was previously bringing in; he knows at least to some extent what Heero’s style is when composing electronic communications (and, for all Quatre prodded Heero into giving all the necessary details back when Heero was writing the post, I’m sure the latter still turned out fairly terse); and he overheard Heero’s “Didn’t they have phones back then?” statement… that might be enough for someone far less nerdy than Wufei to make an educated guess. Of course, you’d have to be as nerdy as Wufei (or someone that already knew magic was real) even to start to believe in something like that… so Wufei would probably try to find out whether it was true in some manner he at least thought was circumspect. Which definitely does open amusing avenues of thought XD You keep having the best ideas about that guy!!

  41. priscel

    Aww that was beautiful. lol I’m going to be a zombie at work XD

    • kuroiyousei

      You’ve come so far! You’re almost to the big scene(s)! :D

  42. priscel

    lol I think Dorothy was talking to Duo at the end. Clearly she’s been eavesdropping on their conversations … oooh the wait is getting unbearable lol but the next chap is just a click away! woohoo!!

    • kuroiyousei

      Answers about Dorothy anon! Glad you’re so interested in what’s going to happen :D Thanks!


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