"Duo." They had finished lunch at a table outside the restaurant they had met at that first evening. Heero's single word broke a few minutes' silence; Heero had found his thoughts turning back to the investigation, and he decided to broach the subject. He called his companion's name again when Duo didn't look up. "Duo."
This time it worked. Duo looked at him, a little startled. "What is it?"
Heero felt a snap of curiosity to know what had been holding Duo's attention. "What were you thinking about?"
Duo frowned, looking at nothing in particular on the ground beside a nearby table. "I was just wondering about the summit."
Heero looked at him in surprise, until Duo looked back. "What?" Duo had clearly felt Heero's stare but didn't understand.
"I was going to ask you about it. What do you think about it, really?"
Duo smiled briefly but then his expression turned to seriousness again. "I just can't tell. There is something. But I just don't know what it is. Maybe it's just 'cos you've told me about it - " he smiled up at Heero " - but I'm sure there's... something... Sorry that's so lame. But whatever it is that's going on, someone's planned it so well that we won't be able to see the join. It'll be difficult. But hey, that never stopped us before." He winked at Heero.
Heero gave him a small, but genuine, smile. He found that he liked hearing Duo say "we", as though they were a team. He realised they were: partners. And, he knew, Duo had just voiced Heero's own thoughts on the investigation. "I'm glad you agree with me. Now, all we have to do is do something about it."
They paid and left the restaurant, slowly making their way to the point where their paths divided. They reached it; Heero turned to his companion just as Duo leaned in towards him. A spike of almost shock ran through him. "Duo..."
Duo stood back, rolling his eyes. "Yeah, yeah, someone might see, and everyone knows you here. But..." In a sudden movement he pulled Heero around the corner into a yard branching off the main pathway. "But Heero..." Heero found himself held by his shoulders and too close to move away "just a kiss..."
Heero was suddenly lost again, with the crush of lip on lip; familiar heat spreading through and touching, again. The kiss was fast, a thrill; when they broke apart, Heero saw that Duo was breathing harder, just a little, like himself.
Duo's lip curled up at the corner. "You're right. That wasn't just a kiss." Heero wondered, again, how Duo had known what was in his mind. But it'll have to be enough till tonight." With that final sentence, he threw Heero a wink over his shoulder and left at a run.
Heero watched him go for a few moments before setting off back to the police station. He realised he couldn't help feeling something like joy at his new situation. It should, he knew, feel wrong: he should feel guilty for his deeds and feelings, maybe even more so for the happiness he felt at them. But... as much as the neutral voice in his head told him he should, he couldn't. He felt so far removed from the past seven years of his life... Duo had taken him, turned him inside out, breathed life through him... then put him back, new, and it felt... not like falling, he mused; but more like... drifting. He didn't want to stop it; was content to move with the forces at work on him.
He was back at the station. He had spent the morning toeing the line, getting on with work on other cases like the DCI had wanted. But he hadn't been able to shake off the feeling that there was something he needed to attend to. His meeting with Duo had confirmed it. Now matter what his superiors said, he had to devote his attention to the summit. He made his way straight to the DCI's office.
"Sir, I've been thinking."
"It's what we pay you for."
Heero ignored this comment and the slight irritation it caused in him. "I want to continue looking into events at the summit." Even as he finished the sentence, the DCI was shaking his head.
"Come off it Heero, there's nothing happening right now. And even if there *is* something going on, we have absolutely no leads and no idea where we can go from here. You're one of my best officers, Heero, and I'm not going to waste you on that cold trail."
Heero was silent for a moment. It was true; but... "I may not have anything to go on, but I'm sure there's something not right. I don't know what it is, but there's something. And... I have an informant who agrees with me."
"Someone at the summit." Heero looked steadily at his superior in a way that never allowed anyone to talk back at him - he found it a very effective method of convincing people through his own self-belief. He watched the DCI consider his response, and continued. "You trusted Trowa's feeling before. Trust mine now." He looked down to where his superior sat behind the desk; he knew he'd won.
"Alright, Heero, but you can't devote all your time to it. And I'm not letting you waste my manpower on it, we're stretched enough as it is."
"That's alright sir. I just need Trowa's help."
The DCI gave him a long look. "OK. But if I need you for something else, you jump, right?"
Heero nodded once, and waited just long enough to not seem disrespectful before leaving. He was happy with the result. Now... he just needed somewhere to begin.
"So, you're making progress then?"
"Not yet. But at least he's letting me do things my way. It's a start." They were sitting on the ground, on the balcony of Duo's hotel room, overlooking the city. The sun had only just disappeared below the skyline, and the sky was a vivid aquamarine where it showed through the clouds in shadow. Heero felt... at peace. He smiled to himself at the irony. Spending years of his life with a pacifist, but it was this vibrant, assertive, resilient changeling in whom he could discover his own peace. It was... a harmony, a echo; no discord. He broke the silence again. "What about you?" He looked away from the cityscape and back to Duo; who was watching him: smiling.
"Hmm?" Duo seemed startled out of other thoughts. "Oh, yeah, it seems to be going really well. Ms. Peacecraft is being really helpful. It's since I apologised for the riot I started." He laughed. "It's looking good, like we might be able to something worthwhile agreed on. I think maybe Ms. Peacecraft realised just how strongly the colonies feel about the situation... and just what might happen if earth continues to push aside their problems." There was a pause before Duo went on. "She clearly feels very strongly about peace." He looked at Heero; but Heero remained silent for a long time. Eventually Duo went on. "Yeah. She doesn't want to risk anything that might conceivably lead to war."
Heero shifted under Duo's gaze. What was it that was making him feel... uncomfortable?
"She's very dedicated." This last spoken quietly, still with eyes fixed on Heero.
Heero glanced into that gaze; but looked away. "I... Yeah."
Duo continued to watch him, an open look; but Heero didn't speak again. Eventually he knew Duo had looked away, and he felt safe to look back at that face. Duo gazed off into space; he looked... wistful...
Heero kept the silence until Duo looked back towards him. Still that wistful look, strange; Heero had never seen it there before. And with it, a seeming sadness. "It almost makes me feel guilty, y'know." He looked into Heero's eyes; then, slowly moving nearer "Se's so good at what she does, she's done so much for me..." crouching in front of him "that I know I should feel guilty" leaning in "for" leaning closer "doing this." Against Heero's lips; he felt like he could put out a hand and touch the sensation, it was so strong. "But..." And now, again, that small distance was closed, and Heero savoured the warm mouth that met his, equal.
Heero dizzied, there was force in the kiss and he multiplied it, wanting Duo to know how much he wanted it too. He stopped his thoughts and focussed on the way their mouths fitted together, the pure intensity of the contact. Such a simple thing, but it felt... so intimate... He felt, again, the heat in him rising and knew Duo felt it too, perhaps more.
But, with a desperate sound, Duo wrenched himself away, and Heero was left, breathing hard. Duo was still close, close enough to resume the touch, but he held himself away; Heero saw a tremble in Duo's posture as he held himself, crouched before Heero, keeping control... just... A hand on his arm, and he wondered when it had landed there - contact with Duo now so natural.
Duo whispered, looking into Heero's eyes. "But I don't feel guilty at all."
They kissed again, unable to keep apart; but Duo pulled back again, taking Heero's face in his hands. "Why, Heero? Why did you have to be married?! I finally meet a man who's honourable and dedicated, and someone's already taken him." Heero could see that, even through Duo's humour, there was a pang of sadness there.
He felt it in himself too. "I'm not those things. I'm..." He stopped and held his tongue. He didn't meet Duo's gaze.
Duo looked at him fiercely, making Heero look back into those eyes, so close. "You *are*, Heero, and more. You're strong, and loyal, and independent, and right and pure... and it's when I see those things that I know I want to be with you, Heero." With an air of desperation he leaned in again and took Heero's mouth with passion; Heero felt him trying to take assurance from the kiss, and he did his best to give it.
When they parted, Duo leaned his forehead against Heero's, eyes shut tightly. "If we'd met during the war..." Heero brought his arms up to embrace the young man before him, feeling the harsh tang of regret "... it could've been me..."
Heero shut his eyes too, tentatively stroking his hands over Duo's back in a measure of some comfort. He cast round for words that would have the same effect, and opened his eyes, touching Duo's cheek to make him do the same.
"Duo." He held his palm against that warm skin. "You shouldn't worry. This..." he rubbed his thumb over Duo's lips impulsively "whatever it is, or is going to be, I don't want it to end. It is you, Duo."
Duo smiled, a small smile but Heero was unexpectedly pleased to see it. "Good. 'Cos I meant what I said. I'm not giving up on you. No way." They kissed once more; and Heero thought.
End it... I couldn't. Duo.