As soon as he was released from the meeting, Heero checked the messages on his mobile. He'd felt it vibrate, but hadn't picked up of course. He flipped open the sleek black mobile as he strode down the hall back to his office.
"Oh? Message from Duo?" a voice asked over his shoulder.
"Dammit, Barton," Heero swore. It was a good thing Trowa was on his side, he'd hate to have an enemy who could sneak up on him the way his partner could. He liked to attribute it to the fact that after six years, he was comfortable with the other ex-pilot. Too bad Barton was taller and had developed a nasty habit of reading over his shoulder just to annoy him. After making sure the message was clean, Heero hit replay and watched Duo's face appear again on the tiny screen.
"Yuy, call me so we can talk about arrangements," his tinny voice. He waved and added, "And hi to Barton since I know he reads over your shoulder."
"Have you told him about the thing yet?" Trowa asked.
"Remember Relena said not to make it seem like a big deal or he won't come."
"I know, which is why I haven't told him yet," Heero explained.
Trowa gave him a look and Heero gave it right back. "I'll tell him tonight," Heero said flatly.
"Just remember, Yuy, it'll be your head in a jar on the Vice Foreign Minister's desk if he doesn't show up."
"He'll be there if I have to drag him by the hair," Heero grunted.
"Quatre needs help with last minute things, so you'll be picking him up by yourself. I trust that's ok with you?" Trowa asked as he opened the door to their office and held it for Heero.
Heero looked at his partner out of the corner of his eye as he walked past to his desk. "No problem," he said as if he'd been asked to pick up a loaf of bread on the way home from work. He hadn't actually told Trowa about him and Duo yet, it was too new. Trowa knew that Duo had been staying at Heero's place instead of one of Quatre's guest apartments during his trips to L1 for the past year, but it had only been the last couple of visits that they had started sleeping together. Or not sleeping, depending on how you looked at it.
"I told him I had to work, he won't suspect a thing," Trowa said as he sat down at his desk. Their desks faced away from each other on opposite walls of the small room. Between them was a table covered in discs and folders for the latest piece of intelligence they were checking up on. Both being people who liked their space, they used the table for joint projects and the desks for individual assignments. When they didn't have a specific field assignment, they worked for Intelligence or assigned themselves projects, which they had the liberty to do since they were part of the Preventers elite force. Heero made it a priority to keep on top of technological advances, so his half of the office contained metal shelves and boxes of gadgets, chips, myriad digital devices, power supplies, you name it. The only time he regretted the arrangement of the office was when Trowa was out of ideas and would throw wadded up paper at Heero's head to "help himself think."
Despite his quirks, Trowa was a good friend, the kind who let Heero be himself and never judged. He felt lucky to have a partner who understood him so well, there were a lot of agents he probably couldn't work with. He had not had a normal life, plus he and Trowa, and even Quatre to a certain extent, were a little ostracized from the others because they were Gundam pilots. A lot of the agents, ex-military men in their thirties and forties, just plain didn't trust young people their age, which wasn't working to their advantage either.
Heero didn't feel young. He was only twenty-five but sometimes he felt old. Of course, when one didn't expect to live past the age of fifteen, twenty-five WAS old. He'd already lived 167% of his life expectancy. Sometimes, when he really stopped and thought about it, he couldn't believe how much he'd grown since then and not just emotionally, away from the I-am-a weapon mentality, but physically. He'd hit a growth spurt at seventeen and another late one at twenty-one. He was closer to six feet tall than five feet tall now. That was over seven inches of height he was never supposed to see.
It wasn't just his height, either. Since he wasn't supposed to live to adulthood, it was doubtful anyone in charge of his pilot training had bothered to think about how it might affect his body later in life. He was exceptionally strong and his body was still very efficient in terms of not needing as much sleep or food to function. Did all this mean he would drop dead at age forty? He had no idea. Somehow, in ten years, he'd learned to deal with all the left over questions. That was another of his particular skills, the ability to keep moving forward. As long as he had a purpose, he was ok.
That's why Preventers was good for him and he'd stick with it even though he was sometimes treated like a spring buck despite the fact that his earliest memories included learning to use a gun and prepare explosives. A purpose was good. A peaceful purpose was better. He would never forget what Duo said to him once, what seemed a very long time ago: "I fight so they don't have to." So if Heero had to put himself in dangerous situations so that the people of the Earth Sphere could live peacefully, that was fine by him, that could be his purpose. He would have been doing it even if the Preventers did not exist.
Back between the wars, Preventers had been a much smaller, much more secretive organization. Heero moved around that year, working on his own to investigate threats to peace. His failure to prevent Relena's kidnapping was what eventually convinced him that he needed more resources. With their success, Preventers grew and vigilante peacekeeping was not condoned, so the boy codenamed Heero Yuy went legit. He now had a government-issued citizen ID number, fingerprints on file, a permanent address, a pension plan, the whole nine yards.
He, Trowa, and Wu Fei had stuck together in Preventers academy, since they had to do a few years of that before becoming legal adults and official agents. It was during those years that Heero learned what it truly meant to have friends. More accurately, he learned that he'd had friends all along, just didn't know how to be a friend. Most importantly, he'd learned the value of having friends. Duo had tried to teach him that during the wars, but it was too early - the wrong time, the wrong state of mind. It surprised him how the regret nibbled at him over the years. He and Trowa had partnered up and decided to join the Colonial Preventers effort after academy, and eventually, this put him back in contact with Duo. He'd made sure not to be such an idiot the second time around and it ultimately landed Duo in his bed. Or to be precise, on his couch, on his floor, in his shower, and on his kitchen table. They had failed, as of yet, to make it to the bed.
Duo kept odd hours, so trying to call him was always a gamble. Between their work schedules, they could play phone tag for days. Heero decided to wait until he was home for the night to call Duo from his computer. He set the laptop on the coffee table and connected the call before wandering off to go remove his shoes, fully expecting the six rings until the call went to Duo's inbox. He heard two rings and then a familiar voice.
"Hmm... I see a Yuy-less apartment," Duo said thoughtfully. "Could his cat have placed this call?"
"I'm here," Heero said and dashed back into the room. He collapsed onto the couch in front of the screen, adding, "and you know I don't have a cat."
"I know, I keep telling you to get one. You never listen to me, Yuy."
"Right, which is why I'm returning your call," Heero said as he took a good look at Duo on the screen. "Still at work?" he asked as he loosened his tie.
"Yes, so you behave," Duo warned with a glint in his eye.
"It's late, even I'm home," Heero remarked, sitting up.
"Yeah, the day I out-work the original workaholic," Duo snorted. "Hey, if you're going to be around, can I call you back in an hour?" he asked.
"I'll be here," Heero nodded. Duo said goodbye and Heero disconnected before going to change his clothes and fix something to eat.
According to most people, Duo had become a workaholic himself in the last few years. Right after the Eve Wars, he had disappeared and joined the Sweepers again doing some salvage in space. Post-war salvage turned out to be competitive and dangerous, plus there was so much valuable material floating around, the government was up in arms about having to buy back what it had left out there. The rule in salvage, as Heero had learned it from Duo, had always been if you can tow it home, it was yours, however the Preventers were very concerned about civilians coming in contact with mobile dolls containing the Zero System or other military grade weapons. For the first time, the government was drafting regulations on salvage and the industry was in an outrage.
The threats and legal battles reached fever pitch in AC200 and that was when Duo emerged, willing to act as negotiator. The salvage industry trusted him because he was one of their own, born and raised a Sweeper as far as they were concerned, and his role in the wars allowed him at least some recognition within the government, especially his old comrades now in the Preventers. Over several tireless months going back and forth, he hammered out restrictions approved by both sides, and settled a special deal between ESUN and the Sweepers. The Sweepers were the largest salvage organization and historically anti-government, so it was a landmark accomplishment.
Next Duo had pushed for the salvagers to unionize. For the first time, thousands of people were receiving insurance and retirement savings and had laws in place to protect them in their work. Now firmly established as mediator, Duo became the permanent liaison for the Sweepers. Their base of operations was on L2, but his work sent him to the Colonial Preventers Headquarters on L1 quite frequently, since ESUN had chosen Preventers as the agency to handle salvage issues in space. Lucky for Duo, his old friend Quatre Winner was the head of the Colonial Preventers branch.
Colonial Preventers was in its infancy before the Eve Wars and efforts were considerably ramped up after the uprising. Wu Fei stayed on Earth with Sally, Une, and Relena. Heero and Trowa both decided to go to the colonies, but neither wanted to head up operations. It was Quatre who had stepped up to the plate. He was young, but he was more used to battle strategies and political tactics than business, so he left his family corporation to his sisters and took on Administrative duties for the growing Colonial Preventers. They were supposed to be two cooperating entities, Colonial being subordinate to Earth, and there was some resistance to that idea, but Quatre dismissed any arguments completely. His good relationship with Director Une kept Earth and Colonial Preventers ties close and friendly.
Duo called back a little over an hour later.
"Audio only?" Heero asked, disappointed.
"It's good to hear your voice," Duo said, "besides, this way I can pretend you're naked."
"No, I'm on my mobile, walking home from the subway station," Duo admitted, "I'll plug you in as soon as I get there."
"Long day?" Heero asked.
"Yeah, just got that big deal pushed through a couple weeks ago, but there's still little details to take care of and loose ends to tie up, you know how it is," Duo said.
Duo's latest "hobby," as he liked to call it, was health care restructuring. Two and a half years ago, Duo had presented some ideas to improve public access to health care and been granted the authority to implement them on some of the poorest colonies in the L2 cluster. Initial floundering had turned into a remarkable success and his initiatives had been employed on increasingly more colonies in the cluster.
"I'll have everything done by Thursday, though," Duo added. "I'm home now, hold on a sec..."
Heero waited and there was a moment of static as Duo docked his mobile and then he appeared on the screen with the grin Heero had been looking forward to.
"Say, Relena is going to be here, she'd love to see you," he said
"Not another gala," Duo winced as he undid the top button on his shirt.
"Just a reception," Heero lied.
"Oh, so a MINI gala," Duo snorted, disappearing for a moment to get his computer bag.
"I already told her you'd be coming."
Duo sighed, "Black tie, I suppose."
"But of course."
"That's Lena, all pant suits and ball gowns. What I wouldn't give to catch her in sweats sometimes," Duo joked as he unzipped the bag and pulled out a few discs and thick, sealed envelopes.
"Come on, Duo, I tend to think you'd look stunning in a ball gown," Heero deadpanned.
Duo snorted, "Right. I'd probably spill on it and rip them strappy things soon as I moved."
"Well, that's why I was thinking strapless for you, show off your arms. You have great shoulders too," Heero kept up.
"Please don't tell me you've really been thinking about this," Duo laughed. "Besides, I got nothing to hold it up!"
"Let's see," Heero demanded, a smile creeping onto his face.
Duo unbuttoned his shirt all the way and held it open. Heero leaned closer to the screen to inspect.
"Hmm, yes you are quite flat-chested," Heero nodded solemnly, "but your hair would be the envy of the aristocrats."
Duo laughed loudly. "Yeah, but I'm a terrible backlead on the dance floor," he hummed at Heero with a wicked grin.
"I would believe that. And I'm kidding of course, I'll have a tux waiting for you."
"Good. So, Agent Barton said Agent Yuy will be coming to pick me up," Duo said as he got up from the chair.
"Of course, Mr. Maxwell."
"Agent Yuy is my favorite you know, always so punctual," Duo commented, emphasizing the word 'punctual' as if it meant Sex God. Heero couldn't see him for a moment when he went to his bedroom. Heero liked it when Duo did things like change clothes and cook dinner while they talked, it made him feel like he was actually there with Duo. He'd even watched Duo floss once.
"Hey, if you're going to strip, you should at least let me watch!" Heero said loudly into the mic on his computer. Duo stepped into the doorway wearing just a pair of boxer shorts and did a little dance before coming back out in a ripped up old tee-shirt advertising some strip club on the moon.
"And I'm staying with you?" Duo asked, sitting down at the desk again.
"I failed to make you a reservation with Hotel de la Winner so you're stuck with me."
"Two whole nights? Whatever shall I do? So you got a spare couch for me, then? Or floor? Or bathtub?" Duo joked.
"A bed would be more comfortable for sleeping."
"A bed would be more comfortable for a lot of things," Duo said, voice going low.
"No promises," Heero shook his head, "it all depends on if I can get you all the way to the bedroom. I'm zero for four at this point."
Duo chuckled, "Well maybe we should try a little harder this time, it would be better for my back."
Heero frowned to himself and picked at his sleeve as he mentally gnawed on something he was still trying to say to Duo. How could he tell Duo he wanted it to be his back this time?
"Hello? Still there?" Duo asked, face getting very close to the screen as he observed Heero.
"Oh, sorry, I was distracted for a minute," Heero said, snapping back to attention.
"We're bantering about sex and you get distracted?" Duo chuckled ruefully and shook his head.
"I was going to say no, no spare couches here. You'll have to sleep in my bed with me," Heero said, chickening out.
"Your bed or the street, huh?" Duo frowned. "Tough one. You're an animal, Yuy, I might fare better for myself on the street."
If Heero had been the type to blush he would have done it right then. Duo was being facetious of course, but there was always a kernel of truth to those things. The first time had started right here on the very couch he was sitting on and ended up on the floor, resulting in rug burns for both of them. Duo had left the next morning and not returned to L1 for a month. The second time, they barely got the door shut and ended up screwing right there against the wall. The next morning they did it in the shower, which was trickier than Heero had imagined. On Duo's last visit, he'd had almost constant meetings and Heero had brought him home intending to feed him, but ended up fucking him on the kitchen table before he ever got around to turning on the stove. Every time with Duo had been intense, uninhibited, almost reckless. It was exhilarating to find a lover as aggressive and hungry as he was. He tended to be just a bit more aggressive, which was why he had been on top every time and he was thinking it was time to change that.
He wanted Duo to fuck him, and he wanted it pretty damned bad. He had never been against the idea, not with Duo, but well, he just wanted Duo so much he always kind of took control. And it wasn't as if Duo was complaining at all. He wanted Duo to do it to him this time but the problem was he didn't know how to ask. He'd never done it before, never even seriously entertained the idea, so how was he supposed to ask for it? The truth was he hadn't done much at all before Duo. He had discovered very early on that he was not the kind of person who could have casual physical relationships. There had been those he had found appealing, but he could barely tolerate people touching him, save for an infinitesimally small fraction of the Earth Sphere population, and that tended to make physical intimacy difficult.
With Duo there was no hesitation. He didn't know about Duo, but there had been an instant attraction on his side when they were reacquainted in AC201, an attraction so strong he wondered if it hadn't started ten years ago. He wasn't just letting Duo touch him, he wanted Duo touching him, wanted Duo's fingers unbuttoning his shirt, wanted Duo's tongue in his mouth, wanted Duo's hand in his pants, wanted Duo's mouth on his cock. Oh, and it didn't stop there. The things he wanted Duo doing to his body... As of late, he'd been thinking about it while pleasuring himself. He had been tempted to try inserting a couple fingers, but he hadn't yet. Corny as it sounded, he wanted Duo to be the first one inside him. Since he'd waited this long and never done it, may as well wait for Duo.
Before saying goodnight, they talked a bit more and Duo gave Heero his flight information and promised to send the exact itinerary soon. These arrangements used to be made through the Preventers but now they were done personally. As a sign of respect, Duo Maxwell was assigned top agents as an escort when ever he was on L1 for business. Really, Quatre had arranged it that way on purpose so his friends had time to catch up with each other, and that was how Heero and Trowa had gotten to know Duo again in AC201.
For how closely they had all worked during the Eve Wars, it had always surprised Heero that Duo had gone back to the Sweepers. When the two of them had stormed X18999, he had felt almost as if they were of one mind, but obviously that was not the case because he hadn't seen this coming, not by a long shot. Space salvage was risky, unpredictable business and news of Duo had usually trickled down to him from other sources until the Salvage Talks, where he had at least seen Duo when he was allowed to sit in silently for video conferences.
The short hair had been a shock. Chin-length might have been long by some standards, but this was Duo, after all. He hadn't cut it since, that Heero knew of, so it had grown long again, but back then, Heero remembered how surprised he'd been when he saw Duo. He finally met Duo in person months later on his first visit to L1. At twenty-one, Duo had grown significantly. Heero was still growing at the time and Duo had been taller than him, and to this day still claimed that he still was, though Heero was sure he was not.
Quatre had asked Heero and Trowa to meet Duo at the space port personally and escort him during his first visit to the colony. For as much as they had worked together during the wars five years prior, it felt like he was meeting Duo for the first time. Heero had to take into account that even their tentative, vague partnership during the wars on Earth had been significant to him, given his frame of mind at that time, but that didn't mean it had meant anything to Duo. When he thought about it, how well had he really known the other pilot? Well enough to predict how he would attack during battle, well enough to trust Duo to have his back, and yes, well enough to decide he would be an asset and not an impediment if he could just save him from execution. But had he known anything about Duo personally? Not really. Had he wanted to? No.
When and why he'd made a complete one-eighty on that issue he could only guess, but he was grateful for the second chance. Quatre had been the first of the other four Gundam pilots to get in contact with Duo since he was part of the Salvage Talks. Duo had stayed with Wu Fei while he was on Earth and Heero knew they had become good friends. Now that Heero and Trowa were friends with Duo again, the five of them were closer than they had ever been. Maybe it was strange that they were closer than they had been while they fought together, but Heero recognized that that had not been a time in which you could really get to know a person, could not afford to invest in a friendship, not to mention that he himself had not known how back then.
Maybe it was because the five of them shared something no one else in the Earth Sphere could quite understand, but it felt right that they should continue to support each other. For Heero, having contact with Duo again was like fitting a piece into a puzzle. Many pieces of Heero's puzzle were gone forever and it felt like something of a relief to have the space Duo had carved out for himself filled in again. And it wasn't as if getting to know Duo all over again had been a chore. Duo was... exactly the same. After seeing Duo in action at conferences and meetings, Heero had thought he'd turned into a sober adult but that was just Duo's game face. Heero was known for the occasional smirk, but Trowa was thought of as the most straight-faced, no-nonsense agent at HQ, and yet Duo could have him laughing his fool head off.
It wasn't something he was ever going to say out loud, but he looked forward to picking Duo up at the spaceport. He'd never forget Duo's face the first time he'd recognized exactly who Quatre had sent to meet him. Heero still liked waiting for Duo at the terminal, watching him breeze through the door, bag slung over his shoulder, scanning the room for a familiar face, and then the way his face would break into a big smile when he saw them.
He waited alone for Duo in the spaceport terminal this time. The alone time with Duo would otherwise make Heero elated, but they would have just enough time to get cleaned up and changed before they had to be at the reception. People started to come through the security check point and Heero watched keenly for Duo. He spotted Duo first and just watched his eyes search the room and finally rest on him. He strode up to Duo and they exchanged greetings and shook hands. They would not hug until later because he was in uniform and had to be professional. He took Duo's bag, as he or Trowa always did so that it didn't look like two Preventers agents had come to arrest Duo Maxwell at the spaceport. They talked easily about Duo's flight and other business as Heero led him to the car. The parking garage was empty and Duo hugged him when they got in the car.
"We're only going to have time to change before we have to go," he warned pulling away. If he held Duo any longer, he would start kissing him and who knew where that would end up.
He could practically hear Duo make a face as he put his seatbelt on. "We should try to leave early then, I've only got two nights with you," Duo said.
"Maybe," Heero said. Duo was not aware of it yet, but he was sure that leaving early would not be an option for them tonight.
They discussed Duo's meeting schedule for the following day and stopped at Heero's apartment so they could change. He didn't get to punch the code into the door before Duo grabbed him by the collar and kissed him. Duo's mouth owned him instantly, he forgot the door code, he forgot tuxedos, he forgot about a tomorrow full of meetings and tedium. He knew from experience that Duo could so effortlessly throw the switch inside him and once he hit that threshold, restraint went out the window.
Duo pushed him away suddenly. "Open the door," Duo breathed.
He could not think of the code, but his fingers automatically punched it in. Duo entered, quickly abandoning his bag on the couch before towing Heero inside and kissing him. Heero's hands clutched his shoulders, unsure whether to pull him closer or hold him away. He felt a stirring in his groin and his cock twitched. It had been awake since waiting for Duo to arrive, but it was making its presence known more seriously now. He tried to calm himself. Not only was he trying not to take control this time, but he and Duo really had to be somewhere soon.
"We should get changed and go," he swallowed as he broke away.
"Let me help you, then," Duo said and began to untie his tie.
Heero closed his eyes when Duo licked his neck all the way up to his ear. "Duo," he groaned, "we don't have time."
Duo tossed the tie away. "I'm making time," he said firmly as he pushed Heero back against a low book shelf. His fingers made quick work of the buttons down Heero's shirt and caressed over the muscles underneath. Being touched had never felt as good as it did when it was Duo touching him. He couldn't figure out exactly what the difference was, but it did nothing to help his self-control at the moment.
"You can't come pick me up looking so hot in this uniform and then expect me to keep my hands off you," Duo scolded and took firm hold of Heero's cock through his pants.
"You kept your hands off me for years, if I remember correctly," Heero panted as Duo rubbed and squeezed him to full hardness. He was far beyond protests now. How long had it taken, thirty seconds? He would have thought himself pathetic if he weren't so horny.
"Purely against my will, I'll have you know," Duo growled as he jerked the zipper of Heero's pants down. Heero's his eyes closed when Duo dropped to his knees and tugged his pants down, letting them fall all the way to his ankles. Just the very tip of Duo's tongue teased over the head of Heero's cock and then down his rigid shaft. Heero groaned and spread his legs as Duo sucked gently on his balls. He heard a faint rustling and saw that Duo had his own pants open and one hand inside.
Duo's lips played over the slick head again and then swallowed Heero's cock. He couldn't quite take it all the way, so he held the base with one hand as he sucked. Heero moaned again, completely lost. He got to see Duo so rarely, sometimes with weeks or an entire month in between visits. It made their newfound connection almost bittersweet. He had yet to ask Duo to be exclusive only to him. That made a second thing he needed to ask Duo on this visit.
A tremor shot through his stomach and it was right about now that he would normally pull Duo up or push him to the floor, but they didn't have time for decent sex under the circumstances and he'd told himself he wasn't going to take control this time. His stomach shuddered again when he thought about asking Duo to finger him right now. He opened his mouth but only pants escaped, matching the rhythm of Duo's mouth. He tried to move his lips but could not make any sounds besides Duo's name. The skin of his chest and face flushed even hotter.
He looked down and watched Duo stroking himself for a moment before leaning over a bit and grasping his sleeve. Duo hummed a question around the thick cock in his mouth and their eyes met briefly. Heero grabbed Duo's hand and brought it to his mouth, sucking his fingers inside. He could taste faint traces of Duo's precome on the tips of his fingers. Duo's eyes widened and he let Heero's cock slip from his lips.
"You just keep doing that," Duo rasped as he reached down with his free hand to untie one of Heero's shoes. Heero was a little off balance and resisted when Duo tried to lift his leg, but Duo finally got one of Heero's legs free of his pants. He shifted on his knees and hoisted that leg over his shoulder. He replaced his hand on Heero's shaft and immediately resumed sucking. Heero cried out softly and gripped Duo's wrist tightly, shoving his fingers far back on his tongue. He was getting more and more excited thinking about those fingers inside him. His hips jerked shallowly into Duo's mouth. Duo finally took his fingers from Heero's mouth and massaged his opening with the slick digits.
Heero jerked and gasped at the sensation. Duo shifted again, lifting Heero's leg and opening him as much as he could. Heero closed his eyes and leaned back on the bookshelf, hands clenching over the wooden edge. He wanted Duo inside him so much he thought he was about to beg Duo to do it, but his cries came out needy and wordless. Duo sucked a little harder and carefully sunk two fingers into Heero, just to the first knuckle. Heero grunted as his body automatically reacted to the intrusion. Duo's mouth kept him distracted as his fingers pushed steadily to the second knuckle. He caressed Heero inside, pulling out slightly and gently pushing back in, sliding a little further.
"Ooh," Heero breathed out, almost in surprise. This was... He hadn't expected it to feel... "Oh, Duo," he moaned, letting his head fall back. Unable to finish sentences, even mentally, and how long had it taken? He wasn't even paying attention anymore. Just two of Duo's fingers seemed to stretch and fill him; he wondered how Duo's cock was going to fit inside him. He clenched his jaw as Duo concentrated his oral attention on the head of his cock and continued to reach up inside him.
"Yes," he hissed, thrusting into Duo's mouth and liking how that felt with those fingers. Heero was rocking helplessly as Duo worked his fingers in and out, plunging deeper now. Duo struck his prostate and it felt like his mind exploded. His whole body seized and he was coming and choking back shouts, one hand tangled in Duo's hair. He felt Duo's throat swallowing clumsily around him and he surged a second time into that hot mouth.
He became aware of himself again after a moment, aware that he was a quivering mess perched on a bookshelf, wearing a rumpled uniform shirt and his pants around one ankle, with one leg still propped on Duo's shoulder. Duo was sitting back on his knees, stroking himself rapidly.
"Wait," Heero croaked and let himself slump to the floor. Still unsteady, he managed to position himself on the floor between Duo's knees, sitting up with his shoulders against the book case. Getting the hint, Duo rose to his knees again and Heero leaned forward and closed his mouth over Duo's dripping erection. Duo groaned loudly and braced his arms against the shelves. Heero didn't have much leverage so Duo drove in and out of his willing lips. It didn't take more than two minutes before Duo was desperately crumpling Heero's shirt in one hand and flooding his mouth with a sharp cry. Heero was not on the ball about swallowing and most of it dribbled down his chin, but he didn't care and simply wiped it on his sleeve when Duo drew away.
Duo collapsed into his lap and held him around the waist, burying his face in Heero's stomach. He petted Duo's hair, still trying to catch his breath.
"Let's stay here," Duo mumbled against his shirt after a moment.
Oh shit, Heero swore silently, the party. "We can't," he murmured regretfully. "We're already late. Come on, get up."
Duo groaned unhappily and tightened his arms around Heero's waist.
"Come on, Duo, we promised," Heero reminded him.
Duo grumbled to himself but did let go. Heero stood more steadily than he expected and helped Duo up. Duo grabbed him by the shirt again and kissed him lazily, letting them taste themselves, each other. Duo laughed a little when he pulled away.
"We can't let Relena see us like this," he grinned and wiped at Heero's chin. "Guess we better get cleaned up."
"Well, I'd be better at it if I got to practice with you more often," Heero said in his defense as he followed Duo to the bathroom.
Heero led the way into the lavishly decorated reception hall. The place was lit up with glittering chandeliers and sparkled with silver trays and crystal champagne flutes. There were already so many people there, Heero guessed they were among the last to arrive.
"Yuy," Duo hissed as they entered, "this is no mini-gala."
Heero turned his head and smirked over his shoulder. "Correct."
"Lying, cheating, back-stabbing traitor," Duo sulked as he dogged Heero's steps. "Which old windbag dignitary is it for this time?" he complained as Heero looked for Relena.
"You'll see," Heero said, holding back a snicker.
"You know I hate this kind of thing," Duo grumbled.
"Are you going to whine all night?"
"Maybe," Duo retorted. He suddenly plastered himself to Heero's back and whispered in his ear, "I'd much rather have you pounding my ass to the bed and coming all over those clean white sheets of yours, Yu-"
Heero cleared his throat loudly. "Relena," he said and graciously stepped up to give her a short bow. Duo did the same, only to hide the fact that he nearly fell over because he had been leaning on Heero.
"Gentlemen," she smiled at them and turned to Heero. "Bringing him late to his own party, shame on you, Heero," she said conspiratorially.
"You know how traffic is around the capitol," Heero said blandly.
"Party for me? I think not. Come on, Yuy, let's get some drinks, this broad's crazy," Duo joked.
Relena laughed. Duo Maxwell was most likely the only person in the entire Earth Sphere who could get away with calling the Vice Foreign Minister a "broad." Heero knew she adored Duo. She had thrown her full weight into his corner during negotiations, putting her reputation on the line and helping to calm the Cabinet and Senate's fears during tenser times with the Salvagers so that Duo could do his job. Heero didn't think she knew Duo as anything but "the pilot of that black suit" or "the guy with the braid" while they were on Peacemillion, and now they were like old buddies. It was good for both of them as far as Heero was concerned.
"Nice to see you too, Duo," Relena chuckled.
"Was my greeting unacceptable? Here, I'll be Heero," Duo said and then gave a low sweeping bow. "Always a pleasure, mademoiselle," he purred and kissed her hand with a loud smacking sound.
"Ok, then I'll be Duo," Heero countered and put his hands on his hips. "Yo, Lena, when are the shrimp cocktails coming around and where's the booze at?" he asked, trying to mimic Duo's voice as well.
Relena laughed and Duo hit him on the shoulder. "I don't do that!" Duo snorted.
"Watch the threads, man!" Heero continued in his terrible Duo impression. "Make yourself useful and get me a drink, woman," Heero said, despite the fact that Duo had started hitting him again.
"Haha!" Duo laughed loudly, "I only say that to Sally!"
"Only say what to me?" another female voice asked from behind him.
"Agh! More crazy broads!" Duo exclaimed, whirling around. "Make yourself useful and get me a drink, woman!"
"Duo Maxwell, I'd beat you to a pulp if I wasn't in a strapless gown right now," Sally told him sweetly.
"It's not the dress, it's the ridiculous amount she paid to have her hair done up like that."
"Wu Fei!" Duo grinned. "What the heck are you guys doing out here in the colonies? Not that I'm complaining! God, it's good to see you guys!"
"We heard somebody was getting some big news today," Sally said as she hugged Duo back.
"That's right, Quatre's being crowned Supreme Dictator and Philosopher King tonight," Wu Fei deadpanned as he hugged Duo next.
"No, I'm not," Quatre laughed as he and Trowa approached Relena's side.
"You!" Duo gasped, pointing at Trowa. "You told me you had to work tonight, but you're really out partying with Winner!"
Trowa just quirked a single eyebrow at him and said nothing.
"It's not my party!" Quatre claimed innocently.
"Ok, I think everyone is here, we can get started," Hilde said, appearing behind Duo.
"Agh! Crazy broads coming out of the woodwork!" Duo choked. "You told me you had a family thing this weekend, Shbeiker!!" he accused his friend. "You're all lying traitors! Everyone tells me stories and then goes to Napoleon here's inaugural ball!" he huffed exaggeratedly and gestured to Quatre.
"It's not my party!"
"This IS a family thing, honey," Hilde smiled and moved to kiss Duo on the cheek.
"Hello everyone and thank you for coming today," a wheezy voice said over the loud speaker.
"The geezer!" Duo swore, "he told me he was going to be on L4!"
"Tonight we're having a very special celebration for someone who's been like a son to me," Howard continued and Heero watched as Duo blanched right there on the spot.
"Yuy, I think I forgot something at your house," Duo whispered.
"You're not going anywhere, Maxwell," Heero stated.
"Traitor! I thought you were my friend!" Duo hissed
"I could not be more proud tonight as I introduce to you our esteemed Vice Foreign Minister, Relena Darlian, who has some wonderful news to give us tonight," Howard said from the podium.
The hall erupted with applause as Relena glided to the microphone, escorted by Quatre. "Good evening," she opened, "most of you know why we are here tonight, but our own guest of honor does not so I'll cut right to the chase. It is my pleasure and great, great honor to announce that I have nominated Duo Maxwell to fill the open seat on the Colonial Public Health Commission."
"Heero, be a pal and get me a drink?" Duo asked, barely audible over the thunderous applause. Heero nodded and moved through the crowd as Relena continued. "Ladies and gentlemen, this was an extremely easy nomination for me to make. It is my job as part of the communication link between Earth and the colonies to know the colonies and their people. I have been a friend, colleague, and admirer of Duo Maxwell for many years now and his programs and ideas have made an unprecedented improvement on the poorest parts of his home cluster of L2, parts that have been long ignored and unjustly given up on.
"Bringing hope and health to thousands of lives is something many of us aspire to and few of us will ever accomplish. I have full faith that Duo's wisdom and ingenuity will be invaluable to the Colonial Public Health Commission and it is my belief that he can bring the kind of success L2 has seen to the benefit of all the colonies."
More applause rang through the hall and Heero set a tumbler of neat Jack in Duo's hand. Duo tossed it back immediately, sputtering a little in surprise when Relena asked him to come up and say a few words. He swallowed quickly and handed the glass back to Heero before going to the podium to take his place next to Relena.
"I know Preventers Colonial Branch Director Quatre Winner wanted to say a few things," Relena said and handed the microphone off.
"I just wanted to get myself in trouble with Duo by saying that the Vice Foreign Minister and I have been conspiring together for weeks on this nomination,"
Quatre grinned at Duo. "I'm extremely excited that Duo's nomination has been officially accepted for consideration by the Colonial Senate, pending his acceptance of it. If I know Duo, he'll say that he doesn't deserve this and he's just doing what needs to be done, but that's exactly why he does deserve this, and why the colonies need him. Duo," he said turning to his friend with a big smile, "I've known you for ten years and you've continually amazed me with what that loud-mouthed pilot of Gundam 02 is really capable of. You've been an inspiration to me and I sincerely hope you'll accept this nomination."
Quatre stepped away from the mic and let Duo have a turn. He just looked around for a moment, wondering where to begin.
"Uh, I don't think I've ever heard my name and the word 'wisdom' in the same sentence before with a negative in there somewhere," he joked. "I, uh, don't know what to say, I'm completely shocked. If any of you were really my friends, you'd have warned me! I suppose I can't say I don't deserve it because Quatre has beaten me to that one, so I'll just say that I'm truly flattered and touched and... really, really shocked. I've had a lot of help along the way from many of you here, whether it was coming up with funds for my hare-brained ideas, acting as a mental crutch for me when times got tough, or saving my ass from one disaster or another. So, I'll just say thanks, and I accept the nomination."
Duo stepped down and the hall rang with applause again. A string quartet started up and Relena kept Duo with her as they made the rounds and thanked supporters. Heero did not prefer to mingle and stayed mostly with his friends. Even years later, everyone who had been on Peacemillion was in a sort of special, exclusive club. It didn't matter if they had argued and hated each other back then, when it was all said and done, they'd shared something huge and it could never be erased or forgotten. Even when Duo disappeared for five years without any real contact, he had been welcomed back with open arms.
Despite being amongst his closest friends, there was one person in particular Heero wanted to be with tonight and so eventually, he made his way over to Duo and just chatted with Quatre while he followed the three of them around. Everyone in the room knew who he was, so it wasn't as if Heero Yuy talking to Quatre Winner looked out of place.
Relena stole him for a dance first chance she got. She was smiling at him a little funny, but he let her bring up whatever was on her mind in her own time.
"Last time I checked, Heero, your official title wasn't body guard," Relena said with a secretive smile as they waltzed.
"No, it's not," Heero confirmed.
"You haven't left his side all night," she said, still trying not to give in to the smile.
Heero studied her for a moment before answering. "Is there a reason I should?" he asked lightly.
She smiled at him. "No, no reason at all," she said. "You know, if he gets the position, he'll be here on L1."
"Vice Foreign Minister, just what are you implying?" Heero asked, trying to sound innocent.
"He'll get it," she said with complete confidence. "He's the best candidate, hands down. There are older men up for the position with more governmental experience but they haven't achieved in their entire careers what Duo's done in five years."
"You seem confident," Heero remarked.
"Of course," she smiled, "I wouldn't have nominated someone I didn't think should win it. He's amazing."
Heero couldn't agree more. When the song ended, Quatre told him Duo had dashed off to talk to Hilde about something. Heero found her at the bar.
"I saw him with Wu Fei," Hilde told him. Heero looked around and located Wu Fei on the dance floor.
"I think he was with Trowa last," Wu Fei said and pointed to the buffet where Trowa was in line with Sally and Howard.
"I thought he was with you," Trowa said, offering Heero a cube of cheese on a toothpick. Heero declined and ducked out into the hallway.
Where would Duo be? Heero felt he should be able to figure this out. The hallways had people coming and going but the veranda was dark and empty. He slipped out the glass doors and looked around. From the veranda, Heero could see a solitary figure by the fountain below. The gardens were not lit and the fountain was silent. He silently descended the stairs, listening to the quiet kerplunk of Duo throwing pebbles into the water.
"I think you're supposed to throw coins," Heero said and Duo turned to look at him. He looked mildly guilty, probably for having fled his own party. "Why so glum, Commissioner?" Heero asked.
"Hey now, it's just a nomination..." Duo replied with a wry chuckle.
"You're hiding out here," Heero said, very much a statement and not a question.
"Yeah, you could say that," Duo nodded slowly. "Just kind of in shock."
"A good kind of shock though, right?"
Duo didn't answer right away. "It's just so weird. I don't really feel like I did anything. I mean, Relena paved the path for me constantly during the Sweeper Talks and Quatre helped me find charities and benefactors to get my initial vaccine program off the ground. I didn't do any of this myself, I don't see how I'm suitable for such an important job."
"Duo, being successful doesn't mean doing everything yourself," Heero said. "Yes, you know some of the right people, but you had a vision, the resourcefulness to get it done, and the fortitude to see it through. Maybe you don't know how rare that is. People like Relena and Quatre have the abilities and the contacts, but they can't think of everything. They need people like you to help them direct their resources."
"Being strong doesn't mean you have to do it all yourself," Duo paraphrased with a lopsided smile. "You have no idea how strange it is to hear you say that, Heero Yuy."
Heero smiled a little, too. "And you have no idea what a revelation that was to me, or how long it took for me to finally understand," he replied.
Duo sighed softly and looked back at the fountain. "Can I tell you something, Heero?" he asked.
"Of course," Heero answered, "anything."
"It's kind of a confession, I guess," Duo said as he sat down on the edge of the stone fountain. "I didn't want to do the Salvage negotiations. It was Howard's idea. I wanted to help out of course, but it ended up being such a big job. If I'd have known how much work it would be, I might have refused. With a lot of help, I managed to get it done and then suddenly I was famous again. Everyone knew my name and it seemed like they would listen to me, so I thought maybe it was a chance to do something about health care."
He paused and Heero remained silent, just waiting for him to continue. Duo picked up a few more pebbles and threw them into the water.
"I don't know, I guess what I'm trying to say is I didn't mean to do any of that stuff," Duo said with a frown. "An inspiration to Quatre Winner? A colleague of Relena Darlian? That's not me, man. It's just feels so wrong, you know? I don't feel any different. I'm still me, I could still totally mess things up. I'm just doing what needs to be done. I'm just me," he said, echoing Quatre's words.
"Duo, don't you see? That's exactly why people believe in you so strongly. Do you think Quatre is stupid?" Heero asked.
"Why would anyone think Quatre is stupid?"
"Do you think Relena is an idiot?"
"Of course not!"
"Duo, these are the people who believe in you! And of course me and Trowa, Wu Fei, Sally, Hilde, Howard and countless others," Heero said. "Do you know what Relena said to me while we were dancing? We all know how gracious she is, but there is no way she'd ever put her support behind someone who couldn't do the job. You're the best man for the job, she said as much herself."
"Thanks, Heero," Duo said, finally showing a smile, "I'll let you know when I need a peptalk. Right now I just need time to let it all sink in."
"Ok, no more peptalk," Heero agreed a little sheepishly. So maybe he'd gotten a little zealous there.
"How 'bout a kiss, though?" Duo asked, barely above a whisper.
"I give better kisses than peptalks anyway," Heero replied.
"Then come here, Yuy."
Heero did and was pulled down by the lapel of his jacket into a deep kiss. He opened his mouth and let Duo's tongue send his mind straight to the gutter with no apologies. He couldn't stop himself from flashing back to earlier at his apartment, everything that he felt, every new sensation. He wanted more of it.
He finally pulled away from the kiss, swallowing. "Duo, I want..." he rasped, digging his fingers into Duo's collar, "tonight, I... I want to... I want - "
"Duo? Are you down there?" Wu Fei called from the veranda. Heero straightened up immediately.
"Yeah," Duo called back as he stood up, "just came to find Yuy, who foolishly thought he could escape my party."
Heero whacked him across the chest for that one and then followed him back up the stairs.
Several hours and many, many drinks later, the party had to end because Duo and just about everyone else had work to do the next day. Thursday was an awkward night for an event, but Relena's schedule was always tight while she was on the colonies. She and Quatre had wanted to have the party as soon as they'd gotten the news that Duo's nomination had been made official.
Heero had had one glass of champagne to formally toast Duo, but otherwise went dry so that he could drive. Duo seemed happier, albeit drunker, than he had when Heero had found him in the garden, and he should be after hours of congratulations and toasts and telling stories with friends. He had also done his patented schmoozing routine with the guests he didn't know as well. It was something Relena and Quatre had natural talent for, but it was a skill Duo had had to learn and still had to force himself to do to this day. Duo could have a short temper and the little side comments he made privately to Heero during parties were always worth wearing the tux. Another reason that being Duo Maxwell's escort was his all-time favorite Preventers assignment.
"I can't believe I said 'save my ass' during my speech," Duo laughed as Heero retrieved the car keys from the valet.
"It was a fine speech, Duo," Heero said as they got in.
Duo pulled his door shut and fell back against the passenger seat. "I said 'ass' in front of two hundred senators, delegates, politicians, justices, and ambassadors!" he groaned and laughed again.
"Yes, but they all love you and find your little colloquialisms quaint," Heero teased as he pulled out of the parking lot.
"Maybe so, but it would have been nice to prepare myself a little," Duo lamented.
"But then you wouldn't do things like say 'ass' in front of two hundred senators, delegates, politicians, justices, and ambassadors," Heero pointed out.
"Fine, Yuy, be on their side, you traitor," Duo grumbled, but Heero caught a smile on his face. "You know, that comment was mostly aimed at you. You saved my ass, rescued me that time."
"Well, you rescued me first," Heero replied. It amused him until he remembered that his original assignment that time had not been to rescue Duo. He tightened his hands on the steering wheel and refused to let himself think about it.
Duo sighed contently and closed his eyes for a few moments.
"Hey, you and Relena looked good on the dance floor," he commented as they stopped for a red light. Heero just shot him a look. "Do you think you'd be with her if you were on Earth?" Duo asked.
Heero's mouth fell open a little bit. "Wh-what?" he asked, not sure he was understanding correctly. Why would Duo ask something like that?
"You know," Duo shrugged, "if you lived on Earth, do you think you'd be with Relena?"
Heero didn't know what to say, he hadn't realized Duo was so unclear about his feelings. It made a pit in his stomach. "Duo, you're thinking about this all wrong," he said. "If I wanted to be with Relena, I would be on Earth."
Duo looked as if he was considering this. "Oh, ok, I get it," he nodded.
Heero reached over and tilted Duo's chin in his direction. "I don't think you do," he said thickly. He was about to kiss Duo when he was honked at by the car behind him, impatient to be held up now that the light had turned green.
Heero drove on and parked and led Duo back up to his apartment. He decided that he had to tell Duo and he had to do it tonight. It unsettled him now that Duo didn't know how he felt about him. Duo should know how important he was to Heero. He kissed Duo when he got him inside and pushed the black jacket off his shoulders. Duo mumbled into his mouth but they didn't stop kissing as he unfastened Duo's bowtie and unbuttoned his white shirt. Duo moaned and twisted his fingers through Heero's dark hair. Heero started to get hard thinking about what he wanted to ask Duo tonight. He wanted Duo to fuck him so badly, he wanted to be the one coming all over the clean white sheets as Duo came inside him.
"Duo," he whispered urgently and nipped at the man's lips. Duo moaned again. "I want..." he swallowed, sure he had found the words this time, "I want you to... I want... Oh, Duo I..."
Duo's hand clumsily sought his forearm and squeezed to get his attention. "Heero?" he groaned, opening one eye, "baby, whatever is, I'm sure I want it too, but I think I drank too much."
Heero's shoulders sagged. "You did?"
Duo's eyes closed again and he nodded mournfully. "Oh yeah, I'm drunk as a skunk," he shook his head apologetically.
"I couldn't really tell," Heero admitted. It alarmed Heero just a little that he had been so focused, he had not noticed how inebriated his lover was, but then Duo had always been good at holding his liquor.
"Totally incapacitated here," Duo said, opening his eyes to look up at Heero. "I'm sorry, Heero. I want to, I really do. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is..."
"Totally incapacitated?" Heero filled in with a regretful smile. Well, at least that explained the odd Relena comment.
"I'm sorry," Duo said again, "I know we only have a couple days."
"It's ok," Heero assured him, "I'm glad you said something before you fell asleep on me. I can take a rain check for tomorrow. Here, let's get you undressed and into bed."
Duo nodded blearily and Heero helped him undress until he was comfortable in his shorts and undershirt. Heero pulled back the covers and let him get settled. "Don't go to sleep yet," he instructed. He went to the kitchen and returned with a big glass of water, aspirin, and a vitamin tablet.
"You're not feeling sick are you?" he asked.
"No," Duo mumbled drowsily as he sat up, "just happy and now I'm a little horny but can't do anything about it." Heero sighed a little since he was in much the same position at the moment.
Duo downed the pills and the entire glass of water at Heero's request and then snuggled back under the blankets. Heero hung up Duo's tux and took his own off, making sure to hang it neatly before turning off the light. He brushed his teeth, washed his face, and then slipped in beside Duo.
He lay on his back and soon felt Duo nestle against his side. He put his arm around his lover. He would ask Duo to fuck him tomorrow night, and then sometime before Duo left, he would tell him that he wanted to be with him. Whether he moved to L1 or not, Heero wanted to make it official.
"You don't think this means I have to grow up, do you?" Duo asked sleepily.
"Hmm?" Heero hummed.
"The nonimation... nomination. Does it mean I have to be an adult now?" Duo yawned.
"Duo, I think you've grown up already, whether you like it or not," Heero answered.
"You're s'posed to say no, traitor..." Duo mumbled just before falling asleep.