by Dev-Aki Basaa
The place felt peaceful, just a few people were even
patronizing the restaurant and their murmurs of
conversation hummed in the background, adding to the
sedate atmosphere. Heero sat in the third booth of
the first row of seating, facing the entrance - some
preservation quirks never go away. Duo took a deep
breath, Heero was engrossed enough in that book he
probably wouldn't even notice him until he was upon
him. He started walking toward him and each step he
took felt overly deliberate, as if he might be
marching to the end of the greatest thing that had
ever happened to him. He didn't know what Heero's
reaction to seeing him here might be.
He tried not to pause, he knew that would draw Heero's
attention more than just what would seem like a
passerby. Finally at the booth's edge, Duo didn't
hesitate. He slid smoothly into the booth seat across
from Heero, folding his hands on the countertop,
settled in, like he was supposed to be there.
He'd surprised him; that was for sure. Heero's eyes
were wide, his mouth open as if to speak, but nothing
was forthcoming. Duo tried to gauge his expression
beyond just shock. Was he shocked, but not
necessarily unhappy to see him? Or was he shocked and
upset at his sudden arrival? Maybe he was just
surprised that anyone could have snuck up on him.
"Hey," Duo said. A pitiful opening, for certain, but
he was feeling rather nervous and unsure and he didn't
have clue one on how to proceed. He kind of hoped
Heero would just lay into him so he could jump right
into the fray himself - a technique he felt familiar
with. His anger floated just below the surface of his
calm, ready to come flying out, hurt and confusion a
fuel to its fire. But what if they did just start
hashing this out, no holds-barred? What could that
mean for them later? Would they say things they
shouldn't, hurtful things that could never be taken
back? Duo winced as he watched Heero's brows draw
together, the beginning of one of his infamous glares.
Maybe this was a mistake; maybe he shouldn't have
come. Mentally, Duo shook his head. No, he'd done
the right thing by coming; he'd been such a wreck not
knowing. In the end, he'd felt like he didn't have a
choice. His sincerest hope was that they'd come out
better on the other side of this - whatever *this* was
about to become.
"Duo..." Even that initial tone in Heero's voice told
him he was in for it. But before Heero could form his
next words, that waitress in the dingy brown uniform
interrupted them. She looked even older up close, a
woman with her own grandchildren, perhaps. A woman
who flashed Duo a comforting smile and a motherly look
that reminded him of Sister Helen, of so long ago.
She kept her head bowed, focused on the notepad in one
hand, a pen in the other, perched, ready to scribble
down another order.
Duo wondered if it would be odd, under the
circumstances, to order something. Could one make a
serious argument with one's mouth full? Probably not.
However, she didn't say, "so, honey, what can I
get'cha?", clichéd in its phrasing and tone. Instead
her gaze darted to Heero.
"So's this your little man?" she asked.
Nothing else could have broken the tension better.
A small grin curled across Heero's face and Duo
couldn't help but smile back. Heero could be so
adorably shy sometimes, something Duo'd never expected
of him but it sure was charming as hell.
"Yeah," Heero answered. He must have spoken of him to
this waitress and already Duo was feeling less alarmed
about these little excursions. Not any closer to
understanding them, but at least he didn't feel so
desperate as he had before.
Then Duo realized the waitress had shifted her gaze
from Heero to him, giving him an appraising look - the
literal up and down, eyes-to-ass-to-toes kind that
made you feel so conspicuous even the most confident
guy would have felt naked after. Duo tried to pretend
he wasn't totally aware of each moment she continued
to stare at him, but he also wondered if he should ask
if she thought his kidneys looked healthy.
Her gaze finally went back to her notepad, her slight
grin quirked a little and she nodded.
"Yup," she said, "you're right. He is pretty damn
Duo gawked at Heero, his smile spreading as Heero
turned an adorable shade of pink and looked away. Duo
was so touched. It wasn't as if he didn't know Heero
thought he was attractive - Heero's actions alone told
him as much. In fact, with a few spontaneous
(seemingly, anyway) exceptions, Heero's actions told
him everything. Duo didn't get to hear too often what
Heero had to say about him. It was really nice to
By the time the waitress had taken Duo's order for
coffee - nothing else thank you - and left them alone
again, all of Duo's anger had disappeared. Granted,
his hurt and confusion remained, but those emotions
were far more manageable and justifiable.
Heero looked back at him, his embarrassed flush had
faded and the anger in his eyes was gone. He
seemed...disappointed, instead. Duo found that to be
puzzling, but he didn't let it give him pause, forging
on just the same.
"Why couldn't you tell me about this?" He made a
small sweeping gesture at the surrounding booths.
Heero took a deep breath, looking like someone
resigned to a fate, and answered him. "I wanted it to
be a surprise."
Duo frowned, his face crumbling with his confusion.
Heero then looked down at the book that still laid
open before him. He seemed to concentrate on it for a
moment, then, with a sigh, he closed it and pushed it
across the table to rest in front of Duo.
"Happy Anniversary," he said.
"Anniversary?" Duo shook his head. "Heero, we had
our year anniversary 6 months ago. Quatre threw a
party for us, remember?" He then leaned into the
table a little bit and waggled his brows for effect.
"They made us leave early because we kept making a
scene." He couldn't hold back a grin remembering the
scene they'd made. Heero grinned too.
"Not that anniversary," he said, a faint blush
returning, but then his expression turned serious
again. "The anniversary of the first time you told me
you loved me."
Duo's eyes went wide in surprise. "Oh my God," he
said in a gasped whisper. He remembered that? Duo
had to think about it for a moment, but that was
right. They'd been together for about 6 months before
either of them had said the words. He was struck dumb
that not only did Heero remember it better than he
had, but that he'd also endeavored to mark the moment
like an anniversary. A very special anniversary.
Heero nodded towards the book. "Read," he said.
Duo looked down at the plain covered book before him.
The binding was black with a dark green front and back
flap. There were no other markings, like a title or
author, to distinguish it. The waitress came with his
coffee then, setting it down off to the side of the
book and retreating right away. Duo didn't even look
up, though. He turned the book so it was upright and
opened to the first page with writing. It was Heero's
*Happy Anniversary, Duo. I Love You Too.*
He knew Heero loved him, that part didn't come as a
surprise. He didn't say it often, but Duo did know
how he felt. However, Heero hadn't said it that first
time Duo had said it to him. It had taken him a few
weeks before he said it back. But this, written here,
honoring that first time, it was like it rewrote
*I Love You Too. *
It was as if he'd said it that day too, in that park,
as they sat together watching the sunset.
He didn't ever need to move beyond this first page,
this was everything to him; he could stare at it
forever and never lack for another gesture from Heero.
This was perfection. But Heero seemed to be growing
impatient with him, stuck on the same page, and
finally he reached over and turned it for Duo.
The book was - or had been - a blank notebook with
ruled lines and little stationery-like accents in the
corner. Now it featured Heero's penmanship and page
upon page of transcribed poetry.
The classics: Shakespeare, The Bronte Sisters,
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina and Dante
Rossetti, Percy Shelly, Robert Graves, and more.
There were even more recent, post-colony authors like
J.F. Hilt, Katherine Mary, and Ashley "Baby" Angel.
Every poem was one of love - the beauty of it, the
pain of it, the magnitude of it. All handwritten, all
in Heero's penmanship.
Duo was in awe.
He looked up, eyes wide as he tried to gather his
thoughts into speech. He took a deep breath and his
words came out like a whisper.
"You are amazing, you know that? Far more amazing
than I give you credit for."
Heero smiled a little more then reached over and
turned several pages deep into the book. Duo watched
as more and more poems passed by, maybe even some
short stories. No wonder this had taken six months,
the extent, the scope of the work here was huge!
Finally Heero stopped flipping pages and Duo focused
on the poems now before him.
*Need - by Heero Yuy*
*Victory - by Heero Yuy*
*Charmed - by Heero Yuy*
Duo looked up, still awestruck, still amazed.
"You wrote your own poetry?"
Heero shrugged. "Sometimes even the best authors
didn't capture exactly what I wanted to say."
'Oh my God,' Duo thought, resigned to just blinking
and staring. 'How did I get this lucky?'
But Heero shook his head, cutting him off.
"Read," he said again.
Duo looked down and began to read aloud, his voice
touched with the wonderment he was feeling.
"I need your arms around me in ways I cannot explain.
Locked inside me is more fire and passion than words
could ever express,
Whether written on a page or flowing like a song from
But when I touch your face, kiss your lips and skin,
peer into the wild depths of your eyes,
I have all of what my heart yearns for.
Words of love may spill over our lips, but they are
Speech can only contain pale descriptors of the love
Peace comes only from the knowledge that you exist in
So I will brush my fingers across your cheek and call
to you, ever and again.
Echoing your own words to me, I will whisper in your
ear, 'you are my love.'"
Duo looked up and Heero was smiling.
"That's beautiful," he told him.
Heero just reached across and pointed to another poem.
"I liked this one."
So Duo read.
"I have captured his fascination,
It is my greatest victory,
And equal obsession is my reward.
Together we live in perfect complexity,
Needing nothing but each other's arms."
When Duo finished, Heero asked, "Do you think it's
"Yes," Duo answered immediately, breathless, still
amazed and dumbstruck. He honestly didn't know what
to say. He knew Heero was capable of such emotion,
but to see it - so much of it - collected in front of
him and in such a beautiful expression of it... He
didn't even know where to begin to say how deeply it
touched him. It made all his simple statements of, "I
love you," seem so pale.
Heero reached across and pointed again.
"This one started it all." He pulled his arm back and
went on. "I actually wrote that a long time ago, when
we first got together after the war. I didn't
originally mean to include it, but having written it,
I had the idea of giving you a collection of poems
that made me think of you. But I never found a poem
that had said the same thing as that one, so I
included it. The others stemmed from that idea."
Duo looked back down and read.
"I am charmed, completely charmed.
How did he mange to do that?
Delightfully twisted around his finger, I find myself
Tempting descriptions and my dreams spin light and
dark and inviting.
Subtle kindness and I strive to repay the gesture.
Open generosity and I give him everything I have.
He instills in me his trust and I return the favor.
Distant looks and people wonder of what I'm thinking.
Humored grins and everyone wants to know the joke.
Anxious glances and they ask me if the time passes too
Eager steps and speculation murmurs on my destination.
He tells me he missed me and I find myself smiling.
I missed you too."
Even before the last syllable had passed his lips, Duo
was sliding out of his side of the booth and into
Heero's. He grabbed his face and kissed him, as hard
and as deep as he could, expressing the completeness
of his emotions in action alone. Distantly, he could
hear chuckles and a few 'aws' from the other patrons.
He figured that waitress was probably grinning from
ear to ear.
After a moment or two of making a spectacle of
themselves, Duo broke their kiss, leaning back and
running his thumb across Heero's swollen lips. He
always loved seeing them like that. With those lusty
eyes and kiss-swollen lips, he couldn't think of
anything more beautiful.
"Thank you," he whispered, brushing Heero's lips
again. "Thank you so much." By the look in his eyes,
Duo was pretty damn sure Heero knew he was thanking
him for more than just penning this book. He was
thanking him for his love, for loving him and for
accepting his love. Oh yeah, he was definitely one
lucky guy and he wanted little more at that moment
than to express all this love, all that depth, with
actions. Many actions.
He grabbed Heero's wrists and tugged as he started to
slide out of the booth.
"We need to go *home*, Heero." He didn't even try to
hide the needy whine in his voice.
Heero chuckled, pulling back on Duo's grip, a tug of
war with his own arms. "I need to pay the bill."
Duo slid close again, slipping his arms around Heero's
waist, rubbing his side the way he knew Heero loved
it. He grinned even wider when he felt Heero's
answering shiver of excitement.
"How much do you think it'll be?"
Heero nuzzled his nose along Duo's neck, making the
tiny hairs all over Duo's body stand on end.
"My salad, your coffee - five or six dollars?"
"Great!" Duo reached into his back pocket and dug out
his wallet. He grabbed two 20s out of the worn
leather and slammed them on the tabletop.
"That should cover it."
Heero raised his brow in mild surprise, but he didn't
say anything. He knew, as Duo did, that the waitress
deserved it, whether she realized it or not. She'd
saved them from what could have been a disastrous
situation. They could have argued their relationship
to its death. Instead, they were closer than they had
been in a long time. Duo had finally gotten what he
wanted. Heero, through this sweet, touching gesture
had assuaged him of his own doubts. He had made him
feel wanted and loved when he needed it most. Of
course, Heero had - if unintentionally - caused the
problem to begin with.
Heero had started to slide out of the booth, but Duo
stopped him. He shoved his wallet away and reached
across the table to grab the book. Glancing down at
the bare cover, he smiled, then he looked up and
caught Heero's now curious gaze. He tapped the book's
edge lightly against Heero's chest.
"Listen," he said. "This is important. If you ever
decide to do something like this again, you need to
hide it much better. I followed you tonight because I
thought there was something seriously wrong."
Heero nodded, glancing down at the book resting
against his chest and brushed his fingers along the
length of the spine.
"I know. I didn't do a very good job keeping this
from you, but I didn't know how else to pull it off."
Duo nodded, understanding that Heero would think that.
"But you could've told Quatre," he told him.
Heero looked up and frowned. "He would have told
"Better than him thinking we were breaking up and
echoing all my fears."
Heero's eyes widened then and he shook his head. "No,
never that. Look."
He grabbed the book from Duo's hands and opened to a
little over half-way through and began thumbing
through the pages - one blank sheet after another.
"See," he said. "I didn't fill the book because it's
not done. We're not done." He looked up, his gaze
very intense. "We have the rest of our lives together
to fill this book."
Duo smiled, so wide his cheeks hurt and he reached
over, taking Heero's face in his hands again and
kissed him. So lucky. He then pulled back from the
kiss and leaned his forehead against Heero's.
"Damnit, Yuy. We need to get out of here before I say
screw self-control and just ravish you right here in
He then grabbed the book back, pecked Heero on the
lips one more time, said, "I love you," and took off
towards the door. Heero was right on his heels, the
now empty tote-bag in his grip.
As they burst though the front doors, laughing and
touching, they almost collided with an older couple,
coming into the restaurant. Duo managed an apology,
also while fending off Heero's roaming hands and as
they took off, running for home, Duo could just hear
the words of the older couple ring after them.
"Damn kids," the man grumbled, but the woman, her
smile apparent by the tone of her voice, countered
him, saying, "Let it go, Harold. Can't you see
they're in love?"