Duo swore the only thing that could make him run was an OZ mobile suit hot on his ass. So, what the hell was he doing running on a gravel trail at six o'clock on a fucking Monday morning? The war was long over, so it must have something to do with the ass he was chasing.
Yep, Heero, clad in snug sweat pants and a sweatshirt, was several yards ahead of him, leading Duo down a wooded path like a carrot on the end of a stick. How could he resist? Even at this hour, Duo was not going to let that ass get too far ahead of him and lose sight of it around the next bend. Nope, he wanted it right where it was, pacing him at the perfect distance for the best view.
Several weeks ago, Heero had brought up the subject of running, explaining to Duo that it was good conditioning for Preventers' field agents. Running, of all things? Wasn't it enough that they went to the firing range together once a week? Or that they were teammates on the best basketball team in the league?
It wasn't as if Duo was out of shape. Hell, he was in the best shape of his life. Strong and lean, he was pleased with how his body had matured, and he had helped that along by working out regularly. He stopped by the gym at headquarters at least three times a week to lift weights, do sit-ups and pull-ups, and most importantly to ogle Heero. There was no finer vision than Heero with sweat beaded across his arms and chest as he took deep, grunting breaths while bench pressing over 300 pounds. It was fucking amazing.
Okay, so he hadn't gotten over his wartime crush. At nineteen, Duo expected those youthful, burgeoning feelings to disappear any day now. He'd give up on Heero and fixate on someone else, right? Not so fast, nothing had changed. In fact, his feelings were growing stronger with the object of his fascination at his side all day, nearly everyday.
Heero had grown-up nicely, too. That heavy lifting had made his chest broad and muscles hard. He still wore his hair shaggy with long, dark bangs hiding those stormy blue eyes. The tone in his voice hadn't much changed either. It had only grown more masculine as the boy had grown into a man, gaining even more confidence and conviction than he had during the war. It made Duo's toes curl just to hear Heero rattle off an inventory of the weapon's store room.
Here he was on his fifth morning of torture, following the looping trail back to the parking lot. He could see their cars parked side-by-side as they came down the final stretch, and he felt that awkward sadness creeping up on him again. As much as he disliked running, he liked the view it gave him very much, and appreciated any time he got to spend with Heero away from work.
With the workout finished, it was time to say, "Good run," hop in their respective vehicles and meet up again in the Preventers' locker room. But today, Heero nodded toward the bench at the trailhead, walked over and sat down.
"Got a Charlie horse in your leg?" Duo asked, confused by the change in routine.
"We made good time. I thought we could sit for a minute."
"Wouldn't you rather get to headquarters a few minutes early?"
Heero shrugged, and that shrug sent a tingling sensation across Duo's shoulders. He had never known Heero to pass an opportunity to go that one step further, whether it was triple checking their ammo supply for a mission or getting to work early.
Duo plopped down on the wooden bench, keeping the requisite twelve inches between them. Not that Heero had any rules about such things, but it was something that Duo had noticed about guys. They didn't sit too closely to each other or it could get you a black eye.
"Good run," Duo said out of habit. He tugged on the front of his sweat jacket to get some cool air next to his skin.
"You're getting stronger with each run."
Duo glanced sideways. "Don't sound so surprised. It's not like I'm a desk jockey."
Heero chuckled quietly. "You'd never be that."
Now, Duo looked over at his friend. "You're in a good mood this morning. Maybe you should get up on that side of the bed everyday." He laughed.
"How do you know which side of the bed I get up on?" Heero's tone was a little serious like when they were interrogating a member of a weapon's ring.
"It's just an expression, Heero," Duo said. But I wouldn't mind knowing...
Things got quiet as they turned their eyes to the park's welcome sign with its list of regulations and the shrubs and perennials landscaped so nicely around it. Their conversations often drifted into silence when Heero didn't see the need to reply, and Duo was too tired or frustrated to keep both ends of the discussion going. This was one of those tired times, due to the fact that Duo had gotten out of bed at 5:20 a.m.. He probably should have gotten up earlier, but that was just enough time to brush his teeth and dress in his running clothes before meeting Heero promptly at six o'clock.
"A cup of coffee would make this moment perfect." Duo grinned, wishing there was a vendor nearby.
"Is that all?"
"Well, since you're asking," Duo said, watching a robin poke around in the grass for worms, "One of those donuts with the cream filling would be nice." He patted his stomach daydreaming about a sugary, caffeinated breakfast, and turned his head to ask Heero if he'd like to stop somewhere on the way to work. "What about...?" The words faded away as he realized just how close Heero had gotten.
Somehow in the intervening minutes, Heero had scooted closer, so much closer that their thighs were touching lightly. Heero's face was just inches away.
"You were saying?" Heero asked. A devilish grin appeared on his face as his eyes locked with Duo's and he leaned in.
"What the..." Duo's eyes widened before the sentence was swallowed by the press of Heero's lips against his in a remarkable rush of warmth and intent.
Duo held his breath, disbelieving. His heart pounded as though they'd just finished their run. He wanted desperately to memorize every detail of the way Heero's lips felt on his before the moment vanished into mist.
When Heero pulled back, the look in his eyes was gentle and a little unsure. "You weren't expecting that."
"Not by a long shot," Duo said with a snort.
They stared at each other, not knowing what to say or do next. Heero's body still touched Duo's from his shoulder down to his knee. The heat that radiated from Heero was intoxicating, and he urgently wanted to pull the young man on top of him to set his entire body aflame. Instead, Duo grasped the bench between his own legs, fearing he might topple ass over tea kettle the way his head was spinning.
"Duo, are you all right?"
The concern that shown in Heero's blue eyes reminded Duo of the time they had gone out drinking after their first successful mission with Preventers. That was also the last time, since Duo had ended their night by up-chucking on Heero's shoes.
"I'm not going to be sick, if that's what you're asking," Duo said, sarcastically.
"Good." With relief evident on his face, Heero leaned in for another kiss. This time when their lips touched, Duo put his hand to Heero's chest and pushed him back.
"Uh, hang on there, buddy. Not that I don't appreciate you trying to resuscitate me after that run, but what the hell are you doing?"
"I'm kissing you."
"Yeah, I got that part, but since when do we lock lips?"
"You didn't like it?"
"Is that a trick question, because until I get some caffeine, I can't tell."
Heero sighed deeply and straightened his back. "Duo, I thought that since we've known each other for a long time-"
"And we fought two wars together-"
"Yeah, we kicked ass."
"We're partners in Preventers-"
"The best they've got."
"And you've been staring at me slack-jawed at the gym for months now."
Duo's mouth opened, and then snapped shut.
"You didn't think I'd notice?" Heero raised an eyebrow.
"I... was just admiring how you handle those weights."
Heero chuckled. "Okay, you can play it that way if you want, but I happen to know that your sprint time at our last physical beat mine by 1.2 seconds."
Duo blinked nervously and then collected his thoughts. "Sprinting is different than distance running."
"Of course, it is, but each time we've gone running, you've never been ahead of me. Not even for a short distance."
The observation made Duo gulp, but there was no way he was going to give Heero the satisfaction of seeing him squirm. "What's your point?"
"My point is that you're as competitive as I am when it comes to sports... or drinking for that matter."
Duo laughed a bit sheepishly at the reference. He had gone drink for drink with Heero that night years ago, belting back a couple dozen tequila shots. But when it was time to go home at 2 a.m., Duo's legs had buckled under him, and it all went downhill from there.
"There must be a reason you're hanging back on our runs, Duo. Is it because you like the view?"
Duo's cheeks blazed with embarrassment from Heero's spot-on deduction. "You're one hell of an investigator, Yuy."
"And you'd be a lousy poker player, Maxwell."
"Ah, who cares about poker when we could be locking lips?" Duo's eyes twinkled.
"Then I was right... to kiss you?"
"Hell, yeah! Been thinking about it for ages."
"Is that all you've been thinking about?"
With a mischievous grin, Duo grabbed his braid from his back and held the tip under Heero's nose. "I've been watching your behind too long to lack that sort of imagination."
Heero looked down at the braid and grinned. "What do you plan on doing with that?"
"It's a little too soon to be sharing all my secrets." For emphasis, Duo brushed the end of his braid under Heero's nose.
Heero moaned and slid his arm around Duo's shoulders, drawing them closer. "Just one thing before we go any further."
"You putting the brakes on already?"
Heero shook his head even as he smiled. "No way. But next time we go running, I want to be the one with the view."
Duo tossed his head back with a laugh. "Was I that obvious?"
"Only under intense observation."
"Then bring it on. I'm ready for some Heero intensity."
They smiled before coming together in a powerful kiss, forgetting the park and the birds and the early hour. When they drew back, flushed and excited by the promise of that kiss, they each sighed happily and perhaps a bit warily from the long journey that had brought them to this point.
"Feels like we've been running in circles a long time," Duo said, scratching his head.
"I'd chase you any day."
"Oh, yeah?" Duo asked with a laugh. Before Heero could respond, Duo darted up from the bench, making a mad dash for his car.
Heero was in hot pursuit, only a heartbeat behind him. With a long last step, he grabbed Duo around the waist, turning him in his arms and pinning him against Duo's car.
Duo wriggled briefly in a mock attempt to escape, and then wrapped his arms about Heero's neck. "Looks like your sprint time has improved."
"It helps to have something to focus on."
"Hey, were you looking at my ass?"
"Good," Duo said, grinning madly. He kissed Heero soundly, once more, and then reluctantly pushed him away. "Maybe we can run laps at lunch?"
"I thought you didn't like running, Duo."
"Well, it's a lot more fun with you chasing me."
"I know what you mean," Heero said. He turned to head to his car, but paused to give Duo a look over his shoulder. "Have I ever mentioned the benefits of wrestling?"