The snow whispered against the window. There was a chill in the air,
but not enough to be uncomfortable. A small space heater cast a rosy
red glow in the otherwise dark room. It was winter, and they didn't
have a fireplace in their small, two room safehouse, but Duo didn't
care. He had a cozy blanket and a warm body to chase away the winter
Duo shifted on the couch, snuggling closer to his lover, turning his
head to place a light kiss on Heero's chest. He heard Heero sigh
softly, the hand wrapped around Duo's shoulders stoking light
circles over the American's upper arm. Duo smiled and slid his own
arm around Heero's waist, trying to get as close as physically
possible. One calloused hand slipped under Heero's shirt, sliding
across smooth skin, curling just above the waistband of well-worn
When nothing but a small sigh escaped his lover's lips, Duo looked
up, a small frown on his face as he noticed Heero's far-off, almost
blank expression, indicating his lover was either bored out of his
mind or lost in thought. And since Duo was curled up against his
side and Heero's arms were wrapped around him, he was pretty sure
Heero was not bored.
He shifted again, stretching up to ghost his lips across Heero's
jaw. "Where are you, love?" he whispered huskily into Heero's ear.
Heero blinked, then looked down at him with a confused look on his
face. "What do you mean? I'm right here."
Duo laughed a little before pulling himself up into a more upright
position to look into Heero's eyes without straining his neck. "No,
I'm right here. With you. And you're a million miles away." He
reached up to brush an unruly strand of hair away from Heero's eyes
as his lover scowled at him. "Penny for your thoughts?"
Heero looked at him for a moment longer before turning is gaze
away. "I'm not sure they're worth that much," he said, murmuring
almost too softly for Duo to hear him.
Duo frowned, sitting up fully and wrapping his arms around one of
Heero's. "What's wrong?
"Nothing," Heero answered automatically, still avoiding Duo's eyes.
"Bullshit." Heero glanced at his lover, startled. "I know you better
than you know yourself sometimes, Yuy. I can tell when you've got
something on your mind." Duo's gaze softened. "Please don't shut me
out. Tell me what's going on in that head of yours."
"I... it's nothing really." Heero looked away again. "Just thinking
about... the mission."
Duo sighed, sitting back. He really did know his lover better than
anyone. Heero wasn't lying to him, but he could tell when the Wing
pilot wasn't telling the whole truth. However, it was a start. He
could work with that.
He bent his head to lay a tender kiss on his love's
shoulder. "Worried about it?"
Heero shook his head. "No. Yes." He shifted uncomfortably. "Duo,
I... this mission... it will be... difficult."
Duo swallowed and nodded. The amount of time Heero had spent on his
computer and in his Gundam the past few days told him as
much. "Odds?" he asked, proud of himself for keeping his voice
"Less than 50 percent."
Duo let his gaze drop, one hand absently playing with a stray thread
coming loose from the blanket. "Oh," he said simply, suddenly
feeling the cold.
"Duo..." Heero hesitated, as if unsure how to comfort or explain.
"You don't have to say it, Heero. I know." He leaned his head
against Heero's shoulder. "You have a plan then?"
Heero gave a little snort. "Don't I always?"
Duo had to smile at that. "I assume it's important." Heero started
to say something but Duo shook his head. "No, don't say it. I know
it's important." He sighed a little.
"Duo, you know there's a good chance I might not..."
Duo reached up and placed his hand over Heero's mouth, eyes open
wide, and shook his head. "No, Heero. We're not going to talk about
"No!" He reached out and took Heero's hand. "Heero, we're soldiers.
We fight. We fight knowing the risks. Every day we go out there
knowing that we might not come back, that someone we care for might
not come back. We know what we got ourselves into..." He let out a
long breath. "Heero, I know your mission is going to be dangerous.
Maybe too dangerous. But I know you have to go. I can't... I won't
hold you back. But... just give me this moment."
"Just a moment?"
Duo nodded. "We can't live for the future. We may not live to see
it. But we can live for these moments." He lay his head on Heero's
shoulder again. "Take these quiet moments where you can, Heero.
Enjoy each as though it were your last. And if you're lucky enough
to have another, be thankful for the opportunity." He snuggled down
against Heero's shoulder. "Just don't waste them."
Heero was silent for a moment, then he moved, wrapping his arm
around Duo's shoulder. Duo felt him turn his head, burying his face
into Duo's hair, kissing the top of his head lightly.
"I was thinking about the future."
Ah, the truth at last. "And what were you thinking?"
It was a while before Heero answered. "When I was first sent to
earth, in Wing, I honestly didn't think I'd live very long, much
less to see the next year. I was... so far removed from myself that
I didn't care if I lived or died, as long as I completed my mission.
But then you came along." He gave Duo a little squeeze. "You came
along and... I found parts of myself I didn't know were missing. You
helped me find them."
"I know we can't live for the future, Duo. No matter how much I
might want to." He turned his face to rest his cheek on top of Duo's
head. "But I'll give you these moments, since they are all I have to
Duo felt a warmth in his chest as he smiled against Heero's
shoulder. "May I ask what brought this on?"
Heero adjusted the blanket. "I was thinking of the future, and of
the past. I was thinking, remembering, how I didn't expect to live
to see the new year."
"And I surprised myself. It's New Year's Eve, Duo." He brought a
hand up to lift Duo's face to his. "It's New Year's Eve. I'm alive.
But more than that, I want to be. And it's because of you."
Duo felt his breath catch as he looked into Heero's eyes. He hadn't
been aware of the date. Time didn't mean much to him except in terms
of mission parameters. But as he watched himself, reflected in
Heero's bright, clear eyes, time seemed to slow, his moment
stretching on as if the future was indeed attainable after all.
"I made it another year..." he murmured, the heat in Heero's eyes
burning away the last of the chill.
"We both did." Heero bent his head forward, brushing a light kiss
over Duo's lips. "Happy New Year, Duo."