"Imagine something of your very own; something you can have and hold.
I'd build a road in gold just to have some dreaming." - Blondie, Dreaming
They met over at Duo’s early the next morning. Hilde complaining bitterly about the early hour, until Milliard made coffee and fresh cinnamon rolls. Then she’d followed him around for the rest of the morning making love-struck eyes at him, and telling him he’d captured her girlish heart with his pastry making skills. Eventually Treize had told her she was a girl after his own heart, and they’d both followed the suffering blond around after that, teasing him mercilessly.
Duo and Heero had finally tackled Hilde and forced her to help them find the camping supplies. Then Treize went to get his boat so that they could start loading it up. The three teenagers trundled gear down to the dock, and Milliard packed up all the food. A few hours after that, Mil and Treize went to the island and dropped off the gear.
They were sitting on the shady back porch talking about the island, when a car horn blared from the front of the house.
"She’s here!" Duo ran to get the front door. They all quieted down as they heard voices enter the house and begin moving towards the back porch. Relena came through the kitchen; linked arm in arm with Duo, behind them was a tall girl with long blond hair and elegantly split eyebrows. Treize gasped.
"Dorothy!" Within a few seconds, the strange girl was being swung around in a bear hug. Treize grinning fiercely, set her down, and then hugged her again.
"I’ve missed you too. Now could you stop trying to break my ribs?" Came a muffled voice. Treize finally released the slim, blond girl and she smiled around at everyone, straightening her clothes.
"So are you going to introduce her?" Milliard asked dryly. He knew who she was, having met Treize’s younger cousin many years ago at a rather awkward time. She’d walked in on them eating breakfast. Off each other.
"Dorothy Catalonia, everyone. Everyone, this is my cousin Dorothy. I haven’t seen her in ages." He turned to Dorothy, "I thought you were away at University?"
She rolled her eyes. "I have been. How do you think I met Relena? And then she just happened to mention her brother was partners with one Treize Khushrenada and the rest was history." The blond girl smiled at Treize, who stood with his mouth slightly open.
He snapped it shut with an audible click. "This is a smaller world then we ever dreamed." He finally managed to say, then he grinned foolishly, and picking up Dorothy again, proceeded to crush her in another bone cracking hug.
"Her ribs are going to ache for days after this." Milliard commented to no one in particular.
The boat sped over the water, white foam shooting out in the wake of the craft. Zero stood in the bow, drooling into the wind. Every now and then, someone would give a cry of disgust as a bit of dog slobber hit them. Everyone except for Milliard and Treize, who were sitting at the back of the boat, the shield of the pilot’s shelter covering them
The wind rushing past his ears, Heero turned to Duo and shouted. "Are we almost there?"
Duo frowned, and then he leaned closer to Heero. "What?"
Hilde leaned across Heero and bellowed. "He asked if we’re almost there!"
"A little longer!" Duo shouted, leaning across Heero’s lap so she could hear him better over the rushing of the wind. They stayed there for a moment, discovering that Heero’s body served as an excellent windbreaker.
"Hey Duo," Hilde said in a conversational tone of voice, "Do you think he can hear us?" She pointed upwards and tapped Heero on the chin. Duo looked up. Heero was watching him, a small smile playing about his lips. His eyes were a lighter blue out here, Duo noticed, almost cobalt. Then he blushed and sat up again. Hilde laughed.
After another half hour passed, the boat began to slow. They cruised in between giant rock studded islands. A few of them had houses that looked to have been there for hundreds of years. Trees and bushes covered most of the islands, making for impenetrable forests and shady glens. The boat slowed further as they passed a rocky beach, then Treize went to the front and stood on the bow.
Milliard cut the motor, and sudden quiet descended. With a bump, the boat settled onto the bank and Treize hopped out with the rope, to tie them up to a convenient tree, Zero following him. The wind whistled faintly between the trees and birds sang somewhere further inland.
"It’s beautiful. Like being in another world." Hilde said quietly, staring around with wide eyes at the trees enclosing them. Heero nodded in agreement, though his eyes strayed towards Duo as he did.
Duo turned from looking at the rocky beach and nodded, "It’s like this everytime. Come on let’s go to the camp. It’s further inland." He climbed up onto the bow of the boat and dropped lightly onto the beach, gesturing for the others the follow him.
Soon they stood together, taking in their surroundings. Treize broke the silence. "If we want to get any clams before the sun sets, we need to head to camp."
Duo smiled and grabbed onto Heero’s hand. Hilde snatched Duo’s other hand, and they grinned at each other.
"Are we off to see the wizard Duo? I don’t see a yellow brick road." Hilde began tugging on Duo’s hand, "Come on! I want to see the Emerald City!"
Heero rolled his eyes, but he too tugged lightly on Duo’s hand. "Show us the camp Duo."
"Mil and Treize set up the tents already, so all we have to do is collect extra firewood and go clam digging." They began walking down a narrow path that led from the rocky beach to the woods. Zero ran ahead, his stub of a tail wagging furiously, sniffing everything in sight.
"Clam digging?" Heero asked, raising his eyebrows and looking at Duo questioningly.
"You’ll see. Haven’t you ever been camping before?" Duo followed the path ahead with his eyes, carefully stepping over fallen branches.
"I’ve been camping, but not on an island. And never someplace like this." Heero glanced above at the towering pines and the glimpses of sky in between them. "Why isn’t anyone else around here?"
"Well, Treize’s father owns this island." Duo glanced back at the others, walking further behind them along the path. "So it’s private property. It’s actually kind of nice, no one can come here and pollute it, or chop down the trees, or build a house." He stopped talking and merely gazed about, his feet now sure on the familiar path.
A gap appeared ahead in the trees, Heero caught a glimpse of an olive drab tent. "Is that the camp up ahead?"
Duo looked up and followed Heero’s gaze. "Yeah, that’s it. That’s the eating tent you see, and the sleeping tents are set further back in the trees."
"I take it we aren’t roughing it then?" Hilde asked, finally speaking up after a disturbingly long silence.
"No, But you’ll see, our way of camping out here has it’s way of getting to you." Duo smiled as they approached the giant screened off military mess tent. "Treize and Mil went junk shopping for most of our gear, they fixed it up so it was usable. It’s mostly all old army surplus."
The camping area was set up in a rough semi-circle around a large pit in the middle, where, presumably a fire would burn later. The three sleeping tents were set up further back, shady limbs spreading over them and filtering out the sun. The mess tent sat to one side of the sleeping tents, nearer the fire pit. A table was set up inside the screened in tent, a cooler and provisions sitting beside it. Zero was bounding from scent to scent around the campsite, sniffing vigorously at old smells.
Duo tugged Hilde and Heero over to the tent they would all be sharing, and unzipped the flap. "Good, Treize found some extra sleeping bags. It’s cold here at night. The wind blows in off the water and cuts right through your clothes, and the tent." He shivered to accent his point. Then looked Heero up and down slowly. "You might want to change out of those shorts."
"Suit yourself. But it’s going to get really cold when the sun drops down for the night."
"You can keep him warm Duo." Hilde piped up, both boys turned to look at her. Heero glaring and Duo blushing furiously.
Heero eyed the foil packets dubiously. "What exactly is in those?"
Milliard sighed and explained again. Heero was now the third person to ask. "The clams you dug up, lobster Treize brought, corn, potatoes, onion. Now we’re going to let it sit here," He started placing the well-wrapped packages onto the coals, "And in an hour you won’t care what’s in these, because you’re going to be starving." He grinned at Heero and continued carefully putting the packages onto the coals.
"Come on Heero," Duo said, walking up to the two of them, and leaning down to poke at one of the foil wrapped bundles. "Clambake? You’re the best bro." He turned to Heero, "Hilde wants to go explore the woods for a while, want to come?"
"Ok." Heero didn’t mind at all when Duo took his hand and led him across the camp towards the path through the trees. Instead, he focused on the comfortable warmth of the other boy’s hand in his. The sky was darkening, stars beginning to peep from in between a few scattered clouds above. "Duo? How are we going to explore the woods in the dark?"
Duo grinned; lifting the unlit lantern he held in his other hand. "Always come prepared."
Heero rolled his eyes. "Where’s Hilde?"
"Waiting on the rock beach for us, near the boat."
The camp was just disappearing from view behind them. Heero squeezed the hand in his and watched his footing on the uneven path. Suddenly Duo pulled him to a stop and pointed silently ahead.
Flying through the trees like a ghostly shadow, was an owl. It drifted slowly between the trees, flapped once, and dove for the underbrush. There was the shriek of a small animal, and then the owl took flight with something squirming feebly in its powerful claws.
They stood for a moment, watching where it had been. Then Heero shook himself and noticed it was getting darker, and Duo was still holding his hand.
"I’ve never seen that before." Duo said in a hushed tone, as he began tugging Heero down the path again. Then he stopped once more and Heero bumped into him.
Duo stood with his head cocked to one side, listening. "You hear that?"
Heero turned around in place, listening intently, he could hear a faint rustle further down the path, but it sounded like trees in the wind more than anything else. "What are you hearing Duo?"
Duo’s teeth flashed in the encroaching darkness, he leaned close to the blue-eyed boy, tugging him so that they bumped together. Pressing his mouth close to Heero’s ear, he leaned in and whispered softly, "The monsters are out tonight Heero." Then he licked the ear that was so close to his lips, and slid his tongue briefly around the outer rim of it. He chuckled when Heero shivered. Then he felt strong arms wrap around him in return.
"Oh? What monsters do I need protection from?" Heero asked in a low voice, his arms tightening, his hands already itching to slide into that hair. He inhaled Duo’s scent then sighed against his neck. He was so tired of wanting. Would it be so bad to give in for just a little while? He nipped lightly at the soft skin beneath his mouth. Everytime he gave in was the last time. Yet, it kept happening again. His hands slid up the slim waist, over the lithe back. Heero’s eyes slid shut as his lips found their way to Duo’s. His hands automatically holding onto the long braid, needing a lifeline. It felt so good everytime. He started backing Duo up against the nearest tree; he wasn’t going to stop this time. He pulled his mouth from the panting lips and opened his eyes to see violet pools reflecting his face. "Duo."
There was almost a threat in the low growl of his name. Duo shivered and his hands clenched in Heero’s shirt. It almost sounded like a good threat, the kind you try to get someone to give you. He shifted his hips against the other boy and brought his mouth back to the warm lips waiting so close to his own. "You’re not going to stop this time."
In answer, Heero caught his mouth in another kiss, pressing against him more urgently. His hands slid down Duo’s back and began pulling up the thin sweatshirt to expose firm, smooth skin.
Duo’s lips parted under his on a soft moan. Then his tongue was sliding into Heero’s mouth exploring, touching, tasting. His hands biting into the muscles of Heero’s back, gripping tightly. He felt like he was going to fall at any moment. The only real, solid thing was the hot body grinding against him, Heero’s mouth. He groaned into that mouth as one of Heero’s hands slid up his bare chest.
"Ooh! Tonsil hockey! What’s the score?" Hilde’s shout made both boys jump guiltily. They separated and Heero glared death at her. She smiled sheepishly at him, then put her hand to her mouth as if just noticing something "Oh wait, I just interrupted that part hunh?"
Duo pulled his sweatshirt back down, thankful it was probably too dark for her to see the bulge in his jeans. He silently cursed Hilde, and wondered if tying her to a tree wasn’t a bad idea after all.
"I’ve been waiting on the beach now for a half hour. I thought maybe a bear had gotten you." She clicked on a flashlight and aimed it at them, then grinned. "Looks like you got mauled by one at any rate."
"Hilde." There was another threat in Heero’s voice. But this time, Duo thought, it didn’t sound like the good kind of threat.
Hilde giggled nervously and sidestepped around them, then started running towards the camp laughing, yelling back over her shoulder. "I never saw stuff like this back in Kansas! Auntie Em, Auntie Em!"
Duo and Heero exchanged glances, Duo shrugged and Heero nodded. Then they bolted down the path after the fleeing figure.