by Dev-Aki Basaa
If Quatre had any clue he'd interrupted two people who really *didn't* want to be interrupted, he never let on. In fact, if that was indeed the case, he was a damned good actor too.
Quatre released Trowa's arm and rushed to the other side of Heero's bed. "We were so worried about you." He gripped the side rail of the bed and leaned towards Heero. "Not just the shooting, but during your whole mission." Quatre smiled - the sweet, kind way that always managed to endear Quatre to anyone, whispering. "I kept you in my prayers every day, Heero."
Heero gave him a slow reverent nod. "Thank you. That means a lot."
Quatre leaned closer. "So, how are you *really* feeling?" As if he already knew that Heero would be holding back such information out of pride or protection. Sometimes it seemed like Quatre knew each one of them better than they knew themselves.
Duo watched, listening to Heero assure Quatre he was perfectly fine, all things considered. He found himself equally touched by their exchange as impatient with it. Would they *never* get a chance to be alone?
Duo hadn't realized that Trowa had moved to stand behind him until he felt the weight of his hand rest on his shoulder. Duo turned slightly as Trowa leaned close to whisper in his ear.
"We won't stay long, I promise."
Duo twisted fully in his seat and grinned up at Trowa. His thoughts must have been pretty damn plain on his face. Or maybe Trowa just understood. Duo's smile grew so broad his cheeks stung with a twinge of slight pain.
"Thank you!" he breathed, trying to infer the length and depth of his gratitude in those two words.
Trowa squeezed his shoulder and straightened, his lips curling into a slight smile, but then Duo saw his smile fade and he turned back around, following Trowa's gaze.
A Preventer cadet stood at attention in the room, just inside the door. Christ, another interruption. Duo refrained from strong-arming the cadet out of the room. Barely.
"Agent Earth, sir!" The cadet saluted.
The hum of Quatre's words died as he turned around; Heero simply nodded to the agent.
"At ease," he said.
The cadet shifted to stand legs apart, arms behind his back. He stared sightlessly forward, focused on a distant point beyond the group.
"Agent Wind to see you, sir," he announced, his voice as crisp and clean as the starched uniform he wore. Duo grimaced at the sight. For as much as he considered himself a solider, he could never be a mindless drone like that - could never lack the flare of individuality and personality. He glanced at Heero, who still seemed to be considering the cadet's arrival, eyes narrowed as he regarded him. Duo cocked his head a little to the side; Heero had once been much like that. All mission, no life. Right now, however, he was sighing and running his free hand through his blonde bangs, feathering them in with the dark of his natural color. The cross that dangled from the curve of his left ear swung violently with the action, catching the light and glinting. Duo smiled. Though he knew much of that mindless solider in Heero was gone, he still found this new look very reassuring. Well, and hot. Can't forget that. He hoped Heero chose to keep at least some of the changes, not just to amuse Duo, but because they were unique and something he'd come to identify with. The cross swung again as Heero nodded to the cadet.
"Show him in," he said, then, as the cadet snapped back to attention, pivoting and then marching into the hall, Heero glanced Duo's way. His brow was furrowed and he had a telling expression on his face. Telling, at least, to Duo, who understood, perfectly. Heero wanted to speak to Zechs alone. He said much of it with his eyes. An apology. 'Sorry for yet another interruption.' Duo quirked his lips and nodded.
's'ok,' he mouthed and Heero smiled. They'd get their time. One of these times. Damnit.
Heero looked away from Duo when Zechs slowly walked into the room. Duo just caught the frown that formed on Heero's features before he turned to address Zechs as well.
"Heero, Duo, Quatre, Trowa." Zechs nodded to each in turn. He didn't move far from the entrance of the room.
Duo frowned as well. Zechs seemed stand-offish. His eyes looked weary, his voice dead. Even in the chaos after the assassination attempt, Duo had heard rumblings that something wasn't quite right with Zechs. That he'd found new demons on this mission. He hadn't really believed it.
"It's wonderful to have you back, Zechs," Quatre said, stepping away from Heero's bedside, then turning to give Trowa a meaningful look. Duo chuckled to himself. So, they had their own ways of non-verbal communication. Trowa gave a slight nod, surely agreeing with Quatre's assessment of the situation. It was time for them to go.
Quatre turned to Heero and Duo, announcing as much. "It's getting late," he added as an excuse, unecessary though it was.
"Thank you for your visit," Heero said with a nod, using his free hand to push himself up a little further against his stack of pillows. He was preparing himself for his conversation with Zechs already. Duo suppressed a sigh. He really hated to leave him, but he didn't need him around for this.
"Listen, I'll see you guys down to your car, okay?" Duo said as he stood, gaining himself his own out. Quatre must have suspected that already. He didn't even hesitate.
"Thank you, Duo. We'd like that."
"It was good seeing you both again, Quatre, Trowa," Zechs added, also with a nod. "I'm sure I'll see you again soon, Duo."
"Oh absolutely," Duo grinned to Zechs as he approached Heero's bedside. He then leaned in and placed a kiss at Heero's temple. "See you in a bit, okay?" he said, catching his gaze.
"Okay," Heero answered so simply, but much more was said with his eyes. Memories of passion flared like deep blue flames around the black of his pupils. It made Duo shudder with excitement, the sensation dancing down his spine. His grin broadened and he turned away, his steps quickening to meet Trowa and Quatre at the door.
He couldn't wait to leave so he could hurry back.
Heero let his gaze linger at where Duo had just left for one moment more, before turning his full attention to Zechs.
What he saw made him frown again as it had when he'd first entered the room. Zechs looked different already. Or, he looked the same as before, now no longer different. His hair had been returned to its natural platinum blonde and the piercings and chains that had accented his features were gone. So quick to forget, Agent Wind?
"I can't stay long, I have an appointment with the Preventer's doctors about a few tattoos," Zechs said, a small smile curling the corners of his mouth. The grin didn't reach the rest of his features and especially not his eyes. They looked empty.
"Opting to be rid of them, hm?" Heero ventured. They'd both certainly had been of that opinion when the mission details described what changes they were in for. Even more so after several sessions of poking, prodding, and piercing. But as their assignment went on, how could they not become used to, even comfortable with, these alterations?
"And you're not?" Zechs said, walking closer to Heero's bedside, his words a touch harsh at first, then softened as he went on. "I guess I did hear that Duo was rather enamored with the look."
Heero shrugged. "Well, you know I can deny him nothing."
Zechs cocked his head to one side, eyes narrowed slightly. "Yes, but, it's not you, Heero."
Heero wanted to laugh at that comment. "Isn't it? I mean, it was very much me for two years of my life. That time does not disappear just because I'm home again." The last part came out a little stronger than intended, but it was true. He lived that mission for two years. It stole away time he would have otherwise spent with Duo, content and happy - emotions he only experienced with Duo. He couldn't pretend that time didn't happen. He wouldn't pretend a part of him didn't now belong to Keb.
Zechs had no response. Heero sighed as he watched him cross the room to the window, standing there to stare out at the darkening sky.
It was different for Zechs, Heero realized that. The mission had impacted him in another way entirely. While Heero spent it away from his heart, Zechs had found his.
And in the last place he wanted to find it.
"Are you going to see him?" Heero knew he wouldn't need to clarify who.
Zechs didn't turn around. "Well, yes, of course, at the trial when we testify."
Heero didn't suppress his grumble of frustration. He glared at Zechs' back, his words clipped as he spoke. "That's not what I meant."
Zechs snapped back. "I know what you meant."
The room seemed overly quiet as neither of them spoke. Heero could clearly hear the bustle of people in the hallway and the continual noise of traffic from outside. If he concentrated, he could hear the steady even breaths Zechs took to calm himself down. He still hadn't turned around, even though it had grown almost pitch black outside and only Zechs' reflection shown starkly in the glass. His eyes were closed.
Heero ran his hand through his flop of bangs. This wasn't going anywhere. Why had he wanted to see him in the first place? When Wufei had even mentioned Zechs, it was as if he thought Heero might be able to speak to him, to get through to him. But they weren't communicating any better now than they did in the past two years - unless it concerned the mission. But Heero had wanted to see Zechs for more than discussing his denial, he still held guilt for pushing Zechs into an emotional risk. If he started there, with an apology, perhaps he could get through to Zechs and venture into other territory.
"I'm sorry," he said, not sure at first if he'd said that aloud. Zechs hadn't responded, still standing at the window, eyes closed. Heero shifted in the bed, beginning to think that he should say it again, louder maybe, until he saw Zechs eyes open.
Zechs sighed and turned around, there was an impatience in his tone. "What are you apologizing for?"
This was something, a reaction. "For not understanding how things were between you and Reth," Heero explained. "For pushing you into..."
But Zechs held up a hand, cutting him off.
"Stop," he shook his head, "you have nothing to apologize for."
"I need to get going, my escort is probably getting restless," Zechs cut him off again, walking back towards the room's entrance. "You give that man of yours a huge kiss. He really missed you."
Heero sighed in defeat. Zechs didn't want to be helped. Not yet, anyway and no one was served by forcing him into it right now. "Yes, I know and I will," he answered instead.
Zechs nodded, the small smile returning to his expression. He raised a hand in goodbye and turned to leave the room.
But then he paused, mid-step and slowly turned back around. He caught and held Heero's gaze, his eyes not seeming so empty now.
"For what it's worth," Zechs began, "it was good working with you. I think we made a good team."
Heero smiled and nodded, but not breaking the gaze. "Yes, we did. I look forward to being assigned with you again."
Zechs' small smile spread. "Thank you, until next time Heero."
He turned to leave, but Heero called him back.
Zechs turned with far less reluctance this time. His hair fanned over his shoulder, sliding across his back as he faced Heero again. "Yes?"
Heero only paused for a moment. "You should go see him." He'd never been one for pulling punches.
The tension in Zechs' body returned with those few words. He looked away and didn't look back even as he spoke, or even as he left the room. "I have someone else I need to see," he said and then was gone.
Heero knew he didn't mean Preventer's doctors. Heero let his head fall back on his pillows. A little puff of air rushed past his ears. Damnit. He had failed. But he hadn't had a clue of how to accomplish making Zechs see what he did not want to see. Really the man had to come to that conclusion on his own. Heero knew that; he'd been there. The last thing he had once wanted for his own life was to fall in love with Duo Maxwell. He'd denied it for almost two years before he realized Duo was worth the risk of living with his emotions - foreign things that they were to him at the time.
He was only lucky enough that he'd not been too late.
The most wonderful sight he'd ever seen was the way Duo had stood before him, in the threshold of his salvage yard office door, with that broad smile on his face, telling him he needed him too. His eyes had glinted with an edge of passion, love and desire.
Not unlike they were now.
"The room's empty," Duo said, with a waggle of his brows as he closed the room's door.
"It is," Heero answered, sliding down a little lower on his stack of pillows, his hospital gown twisting even tighter around his body. Wouldn't have to worry about that anymore, soon.
"And visiting hours are over," Duo continued, walking with slow deliberate steps towards Heero's bed.
"That's correct," Heero agreed with a nod. He could feel his breath quickening already. It'd been so long.
"They have you on a heart-monitor, Heero? I'd hate to set off alarms when I make your heart pound out of your chest." He grabbed the gauzy curtain and pulled it away from the wall, guiding it along the track so that it surrounded both Heero's bed and the cot beside it.
Heero shook his head, following Duo's movements, never taking his gaze off him. "No monitor. What do you have planned."
Duo shrugged as he came up to the bedside. He pushed the railing on the left side of Heero's bed down. "Not as much as I'd like." The mechanism clicked into place below the bed. "There's a time and place for everything, but I think we'll keep ourselves amused."
"Mm, that so?" Heero reached out and rubbed his hand over Duo's thigh as he sat down, facing him, on his bed.
"That's so, Heero Yuy," Duo said as he braced his hands on either side of Heero's head and lowered himself down for a kiss. Their mouths met, open for each other, waiting for each other.
Longing for each other.
No interruptions this time, they kissed, eyes sliding closed, tongues delving deep, stoking fires within them. Heero brought his hand around Duo's waist, his fingers playing with the waistband of his jeans then sliding up under the shirt he wore, feeling the heat of Duo's skin against the flat of his palm. Duo shifted against Heero's body, making him gasp. He moved his weight to his right arm, freeing his left hand to work on the ties of Heero's hospital gown. First the one over his shoulder, then the one under his arm, Duo untangled each tie without ever leaving the heat of Heero's mouth. He pulled down the worn fabric, baring Heero's chest and brushing his fingers over the rings through Heero's nipples.
Heero gasped at the touch, his eyes flying open, filled with the sight of red-brown bangs and a pale forehead. He had no idea another's touch to his piercings would have such a strong effect. He panted into Duo's mouth then let his eyes slide closed again as Duo sucked his tongue into his mouth, pulling a moan from him with it. Duo helped Heero free his arm from the other side of the gown until it was pushed down to the blankets that laid across his waist.
Heero whimpered as Duo broke their kiss, panting as his tongue slid along the edge of his jaw, pressing his lips just below his ear. He feathered kisses down his neck. Heero arched his neck further, giving Duo full range of his skin, offering his flesh as if in the spell of a vampire. At the nip of Duo's teeth against the pulse pounding in his neck, he half wondered if he had done just that.
He wrapped his arm around Duo's body and pulled him down upon him, sighing as Duo's weight pressed him deeper into the mattress, Duo's arms curled above his head.
"I love you," Duo mumbled as he kissed along his collarbone.
"I missed you," he said as his tongue slipped down his sternum.
"Shit!" Heero called out as Duo's mouth descended on his nipple, his tongue circling the flesh and teasing inside the ring. His teeth pulled at the metal and Heero cried out again, the sensation so intense. He couldn't keep quiet as Duo traded his attention between both nipples, taunting the rings back and forth, torturing him. Heero felt Duo's fingers caress down the side of his face. He turned toward them, taking a finger into his mouth, drawing it in with his tongue. Duo's skin tasted salty and clean, familiar. He remembered the first time he'd tasted it. On one of their early dates, he'd been kissing Duo senseless into the cushions of his couch. Duo's hands had been playing in his hair and he had reached up, breaking their kiss, bringing his hand down and taking one of Duo's fingers into his mouth, drawing on it hard. Duo's eyes had widened comically large and he'd panted, moaned and almost had lost it right then.
"Fuck, Yuy, what you do to me."
Heero opened his eyes to find Duo in such a state now, panting over him, watching as he drew the next finger into his mouth. His eyes were pools of black, the loose tendrils of his hair falling like a curtain around them. As he swirled his tongue around the pad of Duo's finger, Duo shifted his body against Heero again, moving to straddle his thigh, the bulge of his erection pressing against his blanket covered flesh. He rubbed against him and Heero moaned around Duo's finger, almost unable to keep his eyes open. But Duo held his gaze with the power and strength of a hypnotist and even as Duo slowly moved against him, rubbing himself, panting hard, Heero stared back at those black eyes rimmed with blue, feeding off the taste of his skin and moaning with each thrust.
Duo's rutting became more intense, his eyes closing as he lost himself to it. The hospital bed quaked and squeaked, as if to say it wasn't going to make it much longer. Alarmed at the risk of yet another interruption when the bed collapsed beneath them, Heero released Duo's finger and pulled his hand away, kissing the center of his palm just before he let go. He then commanded Duo to sit back. Hazed with lust and whimpering, he did as he was told, reluctant though he was.
Heero reached forward with his free hand and unzipped Duo's jeans, sliding his hand inside and releasing Duo's erection.
"Christ!" Duo threw his head back as Heero wrapped his fingers around the hard shaft. Slick with sweat and pre-come, Heero easily pleasured Duo, pressing where he knew he liked pressure and feathering touches where he knew he was most sensitive. Duo panted and mumbled a succession of 'ohgods' and 'christs'. Though still lost in a haze, Duo's hand reached down under the blankets, under the pulled away hospital gown and wrapped his fingers around Heero's arousal.
Together they moaned, fists squeezing and pulling, bringing on each other's peak.
The first time together in too long.
"Fuck!" Duo tensed first, his mouth frozen in silent cry as he spilt himself over Heero's hand. He convulsed and his fist squeezed tight, bringing Heero over the edge with him. Heero threw his head back against his pillows as he came, moaning Duo's name.
Heero gasped, trying to regain his lost breath. Duo collapsed limp against him. He curled his arm around his waist and pulled him close, turning his head to kiss Duo's sweat-sheened temple.
"Love you," he mumbled against his skin.
"Missed you," he said as he drifted off into slumber. He hadn't felt this content in two long years.
Heero blinked awake, languid and drowsy still. He hadn't woken like that in a long time, not since...
His sight adjusted to the darkness of the room. He couldn't feel Duo's weight against him as he had when he'd fallen asleep.
"Duo, you there?"
A loud snore answered his call.
Heero glanced over into the darkness to his right. He could just make out the cot and a lumpy form atop it. He then looked down at himself. His gown looked and smelled fresh, tied perfectly over his shoulder and under his arm. The blankets were pulled up almost to his chin. Heero smiled. That's contentment. To know and trust someone - Duo - so much he could sleep through being cleaned, dressed and tucked into bed. The old solider in him would never have allowed such a thing.
There were times when he thought he missed that old solider and the control and security he brought.
This was not one of those times.
Heero laid back down, nestling into his blankets and listened to the soft sounds of Duo sleeping, punctuated with the occasional loud nasally snore.
He couldn't have asked for more beautiful music.