Disclaimers: (sigh) Don't own any part of them--just enjoy watching what they do from time to time.

Warnings: After the war, mention of 1x2x1, Heero POV.
Feedback: Craved nearly as much as good 404 error messages.

Summary: Yet another quiet little exploration of the relationship between Heero and Duo. Number fourteen in a very loosely connected set.

The Little Things Arc
Part Fourteen: Duo's Sofa
by D.C. Logan

Duo was out again. Either at the salvage yard or off on a delivery, or out on some task or completing an errand--something else that had taken up more of their precious time together recently. He usually left a note attached crookedly to the refrigerator--but he must have been running late today.

Heero wasn't often home alone in the afternoon, but a change in scheduling had left him at loose ends, and instead of spending the Tuesday afternoon at a desk tracking down dead leads for potential clients, he'd decided to come home early to surprise Duo. Too bad Duo wasn't home to be surprised...

He'd fed the fish, parsed though his email, and opened the door to the refrigeration unit about four times and had yet to take anything from it. That was one of Duo's habits, one that he hadn't noticed himself practicing until today. That in itself was a sobering thought; what other habits had he picked up that he hadn't noticed? He thought back though his morning routine and nothing stood out--but then again he'd probably been opening the door to the fridge for weeks and hadn't noticed *that* either. Even that easy acceptance of change was new, no debating, no mental list of pro versus con. He chuckled, amazed at what a few months of living with Mr. Maxwell had done for him.

He walked back to the refrigerator, opened the door, and stood in front of the assortment of packaged and repackaged foodstuffs. He didn't want to do anything more than prove he could do it, even after realizing that he'd done it four times already over the past hour. No, Duo wasn't in the crisper drawer this time either, but he _was_ on Heero's mind. Heh, from impediment to distraction, from acquaintance to liability, from friend to lover to partner; and it had come to this--missing him for a few hours and searching out parts of Duo's life in unexpected places. Damn.

Actually, it was probably a good thing that Duo wasn't around to see him wandering at loose ends like this. Still, it would have been nice to have something new for Duo to tease him about. Yes, he'd been to blame for the unintentional meltdown of the coffee maker, but that had been two weeks ago, and he was getting mightily tired of Duo's wry grin over breakfast every morning.

He closed the insulated door against its seals and meandered back to the sofa. Duo's sofa, the only piece of furniture he'd insisted on keeping when they'd agreed to move in together. It had seen many better days, and not just a few good times. He slipped his shoes off, toe against heel for one foot and then the other, crushed the throw blanket into a shapeless mass, and crammed it against a worn arm. Then he stretched out his body along its lumpy breadth with a satisfied groan. It had been Duo, predictably enough, who'd discovered the furniture's true calling. It wasn't a sofa for sitting on--indeed, it was extraordinarily uncomfortable for that--it was a sofa for laying on, sprawling on, and at least one fantastically memorable time, for having mind-blowing sex on.

He found himself growing hard just thinking back to that day. Hell, where was Duo when he _really_ needed him? Well, he could fix that. He loosened his clothes and closed his eyes, then formed an image of Duo in his mind, imagining him in three dimensions, watching, waiting, and allowing the smallest tip of his tongue to trace the bottom of his lower lip. With that picture firmly fixed in his mind, he reached down and in and tugged at the part of his mind that controlled this for him--let it go--and remembered.

Duo breathing over his fingers to warm them first while watching Heero under heavily lidded eyes. Cupping his hands as if in prayer, and then slowly and rhythmically rubbing them against each other, creating additional warmth with the gentle friction. Then sliding his hands up the warm silky skin of Heero's sides--shifting them under the folds of Heero's shirt and working his way upwards...and then down. The vivid replay alone was enough to cause Heero to arch his back in response.

It was amazing, that even the months-old memory could bring him to this--and that the reality was his and his alone. He found himself thanking the powers that be on a daily basis--not quite believing his unfathomable luck and the string of circumstances that had drawn the two of them together. Some days if just didn't seem real or possible--almost as if some stranger lived in his body and walked through his life.

But Duo made it all real and tangible for him, and when he became overwhelmed by it all, broke it down into pieces Heero could understand and absorb and cope with. Such a gift, and given freely and daily without any expectation of anything in return. It still had the power to blow his mind... and he missed him dearly, even in these small moments.


on to 'the leaving kiss'

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