Disclaimers: not mine, no money!!

Pairing: 1+2, R+1 (relax, it's fine)
Warnings: cute shounen-ai, angst
Other warnings: guns, French fries, Battleship, maybe kinda sad.

Author's Notes: This is a cheesy "Duo has a secret crush" fic, but it does have some redeeming qualities. An early fic.

Summary: The War of 195 has just been won, but will Heero and Duo end up friends?

Things French
by Granate

Duo Maxwell yawned and stretched as he wandered into the cafeteria of the Peacemillion. He plopped into a booth across from his buddy Howard. "Another war didn't start while I was asleep, did it?" he asked.

Howard laughed in his wheezy way, "No kid, but you were asleep long enough! Don't get me wrong, though, you boys have earned it!"

"What's the news? Quatre make it home ok? How are negotiations?" Duo asked eagerly.

"The Winners sent us a message a few hours ago, Quatre is in surgery and getting the best care available. Final negotiations are going really well, they're asking for Relena, so we're taking her to earth," Howard answered.

Duo shrugged, "I don't have anything else to do." He was glad they'd be getting rid of Her Majesty. Her presence was really stressing him out. Not only because she ignored him rather pointedly, but because he hated seeing her and Heero together. It was stupid, and he knew it, but he couldn't help it. Jealousy? Well, probably. He liked to think he was sort of friends with Heero, maybe good friends. Granted, at first they had hated each other, but they worked well together and were assigned a lot of joint missions. Together, they were unstoppable. Pitted against each other, they were a pretty evenly matched. Like in gym class at school, one-on-one basketball, and fencing matches. They had faced each other in just about every sport in school. They even wrestled in their shared rooms when they fought about who got which bed or why wouldn't Duo just put the manga away and turn off the goddam light?!

It made him resentful to think the Heero might like Relena better. But really, things hadn't been so peachy between them lately. He really hadn't seen Heero much since they had been in Barge's prison a while ago. By then, Duo had already realized his feelings for Heero were more than those of friendship. He had first discovered it when Heero had rescued his from prison the time before, and taken care of him for a week. At first he thought it was just a plutonic type crush, where you think someone is really interesting and neat and you like them and want to spend a lot of time with them, not really romantic in any way. But no. That's not what it ended up like. He began to like Heero in another way. But he was awkward with his feelings, he didn't want Heero to ever know. He knew he was acting strange, but he just couldn't handle being near his friend. He was heartsick and mad at himself because he wanted things to be the way they had been before. Before this stupid crush.

Relena entered and sat at a near-by table. Duo's food has just arrived and before he could take a bite, Heero entered. Not wanting to witness Heero sit down with Her Majesty, Duo made some lame excuses and scuttled out, hoping he wasn't seen.

- - -

Something was wrong with Maxwell. Heero was not as emotionally oblivious as most people assumed and he could tell that something was up with his friend. He had a distinct feeling it had something to do with him. The first thing he saw when he entered the cafeteria was the flash of Duo's braid going out the other door. Heero frowned. He was being avoided. It had been going on since he'd arrived on the Peacemillion.

"Heero! Over here!" Relena's voice interrupted his thoughts, "Come sit by me!"

Heero numbly did as he was instructed. He tried to listen to whatever it was she was going on about, but he couldn't get his mind off Duo, it just kept wandering there. He searched his memory to when things had been 'normal' between them. When they went to school together. They'd shared books, rooms, classes, missions, even beds. They'd fought together and they'd fought each other, like when Duo wouldn't put the manga away and turn out the goddam light! He didn't realize it then, but Duo had become his first friend.

The next he'd seen of Duo was that baka's bruised and swollen face gracing every news channel in the colonies. He didn't know why he'd thought he would actually GO THROUGH with killing Duo. As soon as he saw him in that cell, barely able to stand, putting on a brave face for his death, he knew he'd end up rescuing him.

Duo was in worse shape than he'd let on, which wasn't a surprise. He'd fallen unconscious as soon as they'd cleared OZ's space fortress. He'd stayed with Duo for a week (three days of that unnecessarily) to make sure he was ok, and then took off.

Duo was all bruised and battered then next time they met as well. They'd taken care of each other in the OZ prison. He cleaned Duo up after he was dumped in the cell, of course, after chiding him about the botched mission, and Duo took care of him when he came back sick from test-pilot missions, or got sick from something in the food. Duo had even tried to protect him in a strange way, telling the OZ soldiers that he was a better pilot than Heero and they should take him instead, even though Duo could barely stand.

But Duo had been avoiding him since he arrived on the Peacemillion. He didn't want to fix their suits together, didn't want to 'hang out,' or play games or any of the things Duo used to try an initiate with him. And oddest of all, it had gotten worse after he'd rescued Relena. All he'd seen of Duo lately was the swish of his braid as he left the room.

He got up abruptly and ignored the princess' surprised pleas for him to stay. He gruffly grabbed Duo's untouched plate from Howard's table and left.

"Come in!" Duo shouted through the door when Heero knocked. Heero entered silently and found Duo lying on his stomach on his bed reading the latest news on a vidscreen.

"Oh! Hey…" he said, looking completely surprised. Heero sat on the bed and put the plate in front of Duo.

"You didn't eat any," he grunted.

"Wasn't hungry," Duo answered, staring at the screen.

"That's not like you," Heero observed. Duo just shrugged. Heero recalled something Duo had done when he himself had done something out of character. Heero put his hand on Duo's forehead. When Duo had done it, he'd growled and recoiled from the touch, but Duo laughed. Heero didn't even know what it meant, but it was some sort of joke.

"No, I'm not feeling sick. Heero, are you trying to be funny?" Duo asked, amused. Heero didn't respond. Duo went back to reading the news. Heero wasn't used to being ignored. He was more used to trying to ignore the American. This felt strange. What did Duo do when he wanted attention? Ah yes, he did something bothersome. Heero stole French fry off of the still-untouched plate.

Duo eyed the Wing pilot suspiciously. Heero rarely ate, much less took someone else's food. Plus, he hated fried foods, especially French fries. Too much oil or something. When Duo did nothing, another fry disappeared from the plate and into Heero's mouth.

"Heero, why are you stealing my fries?" Duo finally asked as Heero chewed a third one.

"I don't know, does it make you mad?" Heero asked in a challenging tone as his fingers snuck towards a fourth.

"Uh, no, it's actually nice to see you eat something. I just didn't think you liked fries," Duo commented.

"Maybe I do, maybe I don't," Heero replied still in that challenging voice. He popped the fourth stolen fry into his mouth and chewed deliberately in Duo's direction.

Duo was dumbfounded. He'd never witnessed behavior of this sort from the Japanese pilot. Nothing even close. "Heero, are you trying to start a fight with me?" he asked. It'd been a while since they'd brawled.

"I don't know Maxwell, I don't fight girls," Heero snorted. None of it was true (Duo wasn't a girl, and he would fight girls, especially Dorothy if he could get his hands on that bitch), but it was an insult he'd heard others use.

"Heero -" Duo started.

"I want your fries," Heero said, grabbing for the plate. This is how most of their mock-fights started. Heero wanted the socket wrench Duo was using, even though he had his own. Brawl in the garage. Heero wanted the remote control. Brawl in the living room. Heero wanted Duo's pencil. Brawl in the library. That one had gotten them both kicked out. They were just little scuffles, they played like bear cubs and Duo always ended up laughing. "You gonna try and stop me?"

Duo was actually moving to push the plate at Heero, but it must have looked to Heero like he was taking the bait. Without Duo even knowing it, the fight began. Heero grabbed Duo's wrists and tried to flip him on his back.

"Heero, cut it out!" Duo growled, fighting to free his hands. He kicked wildly at Heero, who almost had him pinned. Heero growled back and dodged his feet. "Stop it!!" Duo cried angrily, kneeing Heero in the gut. Heero realized that Duo was fighting to get away, not pin him down. "I can't do this anymore!" Duo said, scrambling out from underneath him. "Just leave me alone!" he shouted as he ran out the door.

Heero sat on the bed amongst a mess of French fries, completely bewildered. Whatever he had been trying to do, he'd majorly fucked it up. He picked up every fry and put them back on the plate as he thought about what this strange behavior could mean. He could only come to one conclusion: Duo didn't want to be his friend anymore. To his surprise, the realization of that hurt him. It hurt somewhere in his chest, made him frown. He couldn't for the life of him figure out what he might have done differently to drive Duo away. He was mean, surly, and grouchy, but he was ALWAYS like that, and it had never bothered Duo before.

He returned the plate to the cafeteria and figured the only thing he could do was ask. But first he had to find him. And he knew that Duo could disappear when he wanted to.

Duo found an out-of-the-way elevator, closed the door, and turned the power off. He sank into a corner and pulled his knees to his chest. He was nearly sobbing, not from tears but from anger. He was absolutely hating himself at the moment. Just when Heero actually wanted to be friends, he couldn't stand to be around the other boy. How could he have been so stupid as to fall in love?! It had just ruined everything

He slammed his fist into the wall and it hurt in a satisfying way. He was pissed, and he needed to go destroy something. The target practice range came to mind. It would be empty, especially now. He got up and turned the elevator back on.

Heero didn't really know where to begin looking. Duo had seemed upset, possibly mad. When he was mad, he liked to destroy things, or get his anger out somehow. Heero thought of the gym, but Duo would have no one to spar with. It occurred to him that he would have liked to spar with Duo there, it was a nice gym for a space ship, plenty of athletic equipment and courts, foils, a boxing ring, even kick-boxing pads. He reminded himself to stop daydreaming and get back to the matter at hand. The target range came to mind next. There would still be guns and plenty of rounds and supplies there. He decided that's where he should start.

Duo was indeed there. Heero could see him from through the plexi-glass, wearing the hearing protectors on his ears and a grimace on his face, strong arms absorbing the kickback each time he fired. Every bullet went straight to the bulls eye. Duo was a dead shot from any angle, any distance. The only reason he hadn't killed Heero the first time they met was because didn't mean to. Heero looked on as Duo reloaded and pushed the button for the flashing targets. He hit all of those too as they appeared. When he paused to reloaded again Heero entered his booth.

Duo looked surprised, and then mad. "What the hell do you want?" he asked, slamming the clip into the chamber.

"I want to know why you don't like me anymore," Heero answered in monotone.

Duo chuckled bitterly and shook his head. "Why I don't like you anymore?" he asked almost sarcastically, still not looking at Heero.

"Yes, why you don't want to be my friend. Why you avoid me all the time," Heero continued unphased. Duo didn't answer, just checked the safety, lifted the gun, and aimed.

"I don't think I can change your mind," Heero added in, "I just want to know why, what I did."

Duo relaxed his arms and dropped his head, his fringy chestnut bangs falling over his eyes. Then he looked at Heero. "Do you really want to know, Heero? I mean, do you REALLY?" he asked, almost laughing. His laugh alarmed Heero, it was the kind he made when he was really on the edge.

"Would I be standing here saying I did if I didn't?" Heero asked agitatedly.

"No, I guess you wouldn't say you did if you didn't, because you always make perfect sense, Heero Yuy! Always perfect! Well, then I guess I'll tell you!" Duo laughed, aiming again at the target figure. "Because I have a BIG. STUPID. MISERABLE. FOOLISH. PATHETIC. STUPID. RIDICULOUS CRUSH ON YOU!!!" Duo punctuated each word with a bullet, not to the target figure's head, but straight to its heart.

Heero wore no hearing protectors and each word and each shot rang in his ears and echoed in his head. He didn't know what to say. Duo's arms dropped to his side and he still looked straight ahead at his target.

"You said stupid twice," Heero said, trying to fill the ringing silence.

"Because that's what it is!" Duo said glaring over at him and throwing his hands up. "It's stupid for me to like you! It doesn't make sense!" he shouted, "It's not logical! It's not the 'appropriate course of action,' and its not what the 'statistical battle calculations' said should happen! It's not even right! But I DO. I do and I can't help it. OK?! So do you get it now?! It's difficult for me to be around you," he said, throwing his ear protectors off and heading for the door, "So just leave me alone!"

Again, Heero watched as Duo's braid swished out of the room. He stood in complete shock. He was pretty sure he knew what a 'crush' was. He remembered hearing the word before. It meant Duo liked him as more than friends, and kept is secret because he feared his feelings were not returned. So, Duo liked him more, but wanted to be around him less? That made no sense to him, but it was obvious that Duo was hurting, and it seemed to be because of him. He was leaving soon and he couldn't let things end like this. He had a vague idea of something he could do about it.

Heero knocked on Duo's door. There was no answer. He tried the door but it was locked. He knocked again. "Duo?" he called, "Hey, I know you're in there! Someone said they saw you go in! Open up!"

"Didn't I tell you to leave me alone?" Duo called back angrily.

"Stop running away from me, Duo! There's something I need to ask you!" Heero insisted. After a moment the lock pad made a soft chirping noise, and he silently opened the door.

He could see Duo on the bed, huddled against the wall. "Why are you here, Heero?" he asked quietly, "Are you trying to make this harder for me? Are you here to make fun of me or gloat?"

"Why would I do something like that?" Heero asked. It bugged him that Duo might think he would do something to hurt him on purpose.

"I don't know, because now you think I'm pitiful or weak. I can understand that - " Duo said.

"I don't think you're weak, quit saying that!" Heero cut him off, surprising himself with his own anger.

"Fine then. What did you want to ask?" Duo asked wearily.

Heero paused embarrassedly. This was tougher than he thought it was going to be. "I… I wanted to know if you… if you wanted to, uhhhhhh, kiss me," he fumbled nervously.

"What?!" Duo asked incredulously.

"Uhhhhh, you know, if you wanted for us to, you know, kiss," Heero continued stupidly. He had a feeling this wasn't coming out right, but he really did mean it. They might as well. After all, he and Relena had kissed. Twice actually. For the first time back in the Sank Kingdom. She had leaned over and briefly put her lips on his. It had been pleasant enough. Her face looked very soft and pretty when she closed her eyes like that. He had figured not killing her for touching him was reciprocation enough. And she had thought so too apparently, because she had done it again after he rescued her a few days ago. It had been nice enough. So he'd kissed Relena, and he liked Duo better actually, so they might as well kiss too as he saw it.

"Well, do you want to or not?" he asked impatiently.

"Well, yes I want to," Duo said, getting flustered, "But not unless you do."

Heero looked puzzled. "Unless I do?" he repeated back, baffled.

"Well, YEAH," Duo almost laughed, "I'm not going to kiss you unless you want me to! That would be kind of stupid, don't you think? Now go away and quit patronizing me."

"OK, I want you to," Heero decided, mustering all his courage.

"Heero, just stop it, ok? You just feel bad for me or something, but this isn't helping. I just want to be alone," Duo said, turning to face the wall.

"No, I mean it," Heero insisted.

"Heero…." Duo said in a warning tone.

Heero was quiet for a minute. Duo could hear him pacing around a bit. "You know, Maxwell," he said, sounding suddenly cunning, "We haven't played any of your games lately." Duo could hear him rummaging in the closet.

"Because I got sick of losing all the time," Duo sighed, still lying facing the wall.

"Battleship! My favorite!" Heero said fondly as he pulled the box out. Duo rolled over in curiosity. Heero was setting up the game on the floor. He looked expectantly at Duo, who looked back at him suspiciously.

"Let's make this interesting, shall we?" Heero started. "You win, and you get to kiss me. I win and… well, I guess we don't kiss."

Duo pondered this for a minute. Heero always won. At everything. They both knew that. This could be his way of saying he DIDN'T want to kiss Duo. But then again, he could plan to lose on purpose, meaning he DID want to kiss Duo like he claimed he did.

Duo peered at him doubtfully. Heero was already setting up his board. "No peeking, Maxwell!" he said, not looking up, "I know how bad you cheat!"

Duo sighed and rolled off the bed onto the floor across from Heero. He set up his board expecting the worst.

"7G" Duo began listlessly.

"Hit" Heero answered.

After Duo had sunk two mid-size ships and Heero had sunk nothing, he decided Heero WAS doing it on purpose. So, he played equally bad to test Heero's resolve. Duo discovered that when Heero put his mind to losing, he lost just and fiercely as he won. Duo could have even sworn he was cheating at losing, moving ships around and such.

"Well, Maxwell, looks like you won!" Heero observed his devastated fleet, "So, come get your prize."

Duo just looked at him. This was so unbelievably awkward. But this was what he wanted, right? "Okaaay," Duo started, "Come sit over here." They sat next to each other on the bed. Heero was looking at him, waiting, probably not going to make the first move. Heero was blinking his exotic blue eyes, the ends of his dark scruffy hair getting caught in his lashes. This was how Duo always thought of him, with a softer expression than his usual hard glare. Heero's looks were remarkable, it was true, but Duo admired what was in that head and desired that hidden, scarred heart just as much.

But he still couldn't get over the feeling that the Wing pilot was going to bite him or something as soon as he got close.

Duo swallowed hard and closed his eyes. Heero didn't bite him. In fact, his lips were surprisingly pliant and warm. He moved his fingers to softly touch Heero's cheek, drawing him in a bit.

Heero felt a jolt when Duo's lips met his. Duo's lips were strong but soft, it was an incredible feeling. When Duo's hand held his jaw, he felt his body respond without his mind telling it to. He tilted his head and moved his lips as if to catch Duo's. He felt himself relax and his eyes slowly shut.

His response thrilled Duo. It seemed like he might actually like it! Duo was surprised he wasn't grossed out or mad or something. He flicked his eyes open to sneak a peek. Space's Biggest Bad-Ass certainly had long, thick lashes! They were so beautiful against his tan cheeks. Duo closed his eyes again, exhilarated. He wondered how long Heero would let him do this.

Duo grew stronger, opening his mouth, trying to make Heero move more. After some time, he rashly brushed his tongue over Heero's bottom lip. The boy instantly broke away.

"Maxwell! Why did you just lick me? I said you could kiss me!" he asked, shocked and seemingly appalled.

Duo turned bright red. "I… uhh… sorry… that was a French Kiss. I'm sorry! I didn't mean to gross you out or anything, I just thought you might like - … I'm sorry, Heero," Duo stuttered, embarrassedly. Heero just looked at him accusingly. "Have you never kissed anyone before?" he asked timidly.

"I have!" Heero said indignantly and then added, "But not like that."

"Oh," said Duo still embarrassedly.

"But that's something people do?" Heero asked suddenly.

"What?" Duo asked.

"Uhhhh lick each other?" Heero said, this time it was his turn to blush.

Duo made a face and stifled a laugh. "Yes! It's a French Kiss. I guess the French made it up. And you don't really lick each other. Well, I guess you sorta do, but it's not as gross as you make it sound!" Duo told him.

"Then you've done this before?" Heero asked dubiously.

"Yeah," Duo nodded.

"With who?" Heero asked, narrowing his eyes.

Duo narrowed his back. "If I tell you, you have to tell me who you've kissed," he said.

"Deal," Heero nodded.

"Well," Duo started, squinting his eyes and trying to remember, "A few girls back home, Nadine from our first school, Maureen and Taylor from our second school, ummmmm a girl named Anna, let's see… a Katie, a Nancy, oh, and Hilde." He felt bad about that last one. He genuinely liked Hilde, he really really did, but at that time, he'd wanted Heero and he knew it. He had been trying to force himself to get over it, but it didn't work. Anything else just seemed empty.

Heero stared at him in shock he felt a strange sensation: jealousy. Duo had liked all of those people well enough to lick them! But Duo was HIS friend!! Heero didn't want Duo to lick anyone else, or like anyone more than him. "Show me," he demanded.

"Huh?!" Duo exclaimed, surprised by how close Heero had suddenly gotten.

"You like me more, right?" Heero growled.

"Uh, yeah," Duo answered nervously.

"So, let's do it," Heero continued impatiently. He started to move his mouth towards Duo.

"Wait! First you have to tell me who you've kissed," Duo reminded him.

"Oh yeah," Heero said, looking down. Suddenly, his two little kisses seemed pretty lame. And he'd certainly never licked anyone. "Relena. Twice," he said, not looking at Duo.

"Relena, huh?" Duo said softly. He knew it. He'd known it all along. The Princess and the Warrior, it was so perfect.

"But she never licked me," Heero added, not wanting Duo to get the wrong idea about the two of them. Duo seemed a little distant suddenly. "Ok, now you will show me how," he said, changing the subject.

"But, Heero, won't she be mad?" Duo asked. He didn't want to stand in the way of the Perfect Romance.

"Who?" he asked blankly.

"Relena! Won't she be mad that you're kissing me?" Duo asked.

"Who's gonna tell her? Besides, it's none of her business what I do," Heero said.

"So, you guys aren't… you know, together or anything?" Duo asked timidly.

Heero made a confused face. "Together?" he asked, "No, I hardly think a few kisses constitute some kind of commitment. Besides," he continued, leering closer, "I like it better with you. Now you will show me how." Heero leaned over and took Duo's mouth.

Duo felt like he was flying. Heero liked kissing him! Better than Relena!! He wouldn't have believed it if Heero's demanding lips weren't urgently entreating his. He put one hand on the side of Heero's neck and the other very gently on his cheek again. Very slowly, he touched his tongue to Heero's lips again and gently pushed between them. Heero seemed a little surprised, but didn't stop this time. Duo's tongue lightly stroked and played with Heero's and then retreated.

Taking the hint, Heero got a better hold of Duo's shoulders and mimicked Duo's touch. His tongue explored Duo's lips first, tasting them, and then gingerly pushed into his mouth. Duo's lips parted eagerly and his tongue met Heero's with enthusiasm. Heero was beginning to see why people liked this, it felt very nice, and he liked the way Duo tasted. He started to lose himself in the feeling.

Duo was lost too. Heero's mouth felt so good, how he'd always imagined it would be. His tongue was big and strong, so much it surprised Duo. He'd never kissed another boy before, and certainly no one like Heero! He wished they'd started a long time ago!

For one of the few times in his life, Heero tried to turn his brain off, but something kept nagging him. Honesty. He had to be honest with Duo. Although this meant more to him than the few kisses he'd shared with Relena, it still couldn't mean more than it already did. He was still going to leave.

"Duo," Heero murmured softly into the boy's lips.

"Hm?" Duo asked, a little hazy.

"I'm leaving soon," Heero told him, sitting back a bit.

"When?" Duo asked, a frown forming on the lips Heero had released.

"In a little while," Heero said.

Duo was quiet. He didn't ask why, and he didn't ask where. It didn't matter. If Heero wanted him to know, he'd have told him.

"But… I'd like to spend the rest of my time here with you. May I? Because you are my best friend," Heero said very seriously. He was glad to see Duo's smile return.

Duo didn't bother to tell him that best guy friends weren't supposed to kiss. He just grinned and pushed Heero onto his back. Heero allowed himself to be pushed onto the bed. Duo's mouth met his again full force. For a moment, he thought this might be too good to leave. He congratulated himself on a good idea. It had made Duo happy again, which most important to him, and gave him a place to stay so that Relena couldn't find him before he left. Not to mention that Duo was a wonderful kisser. Duo's lips brought him much pleasure, made him feel things he'd never experienced before. And lying down, it was even better. Duo was on his side, leaning over him. He could feel the boy's fingers lightly stroking his face and neck. He reached up and buried his fingers in Duo's hair. A few times, Duo would stop just to gaze down at him. Heero was transfixed by his friend's luminous indigo eyes.

The kisses seemed endless. After some time, Heero switched their positions, rolling Duo onto his back. Duo was completely immersed, he'd never felt anything so wonderful. Heero was, not surprisingly, a VERY fast learner. He was even quite inventive. It made him happy beyond comprehension that Heero wanted to spend the rest of his time with him like this. Heero reached an arm around him and pulled him very close. The intensity that Heero had found surprised him a little. He was suddenly thankful that the other pilot was so damn stubborn. If he had left him alone like Duo had told him to do, they wouldn't have ended up like this.

* * *

Heero's internal clock told him that they had been on the bed kissing for hours, and it was long past time for him to go, they would be approaching earth now. He moved his lips to Duo's cheek and then rubbed their noses as he waited for Duo to open his eyes.

"It's time?" Duo asked with a sad smile. Heero nodded, not taking his eyes from Duo's, he wanted to remember the look in them forever.

"See me off?" Heero asked.

"You got it," Duo agreed, and Heero got up from on top of him.

"Got everything?" Duo asked, not knowing what else to say.

"Computer's docked in Zero, gun's in the cockpit too," Heero recalled. That was everything. Duo followed him out the door and through the emergency hallways that no one used. Duo got the feeling he didn't want anyone else to know he was leaving. In a particularly narrow staircase, Heero grabbed a hold of his hand and didn't let go until they'd reached the mobile suit hanger.

"You know," Duo started as they approached Heero's gigantic winged suit, "I'll be on L2, somewhere. You should look me up, stop by sometime. If you get lonely or need anything. Or if you just need a friend. Or if another war breaks out or something!" Duo joked. Heero smiled slightly. He pulled Duo into his arms and rested his head on his friend's shoulder. He sighed softly into Duo's ear as he felt the boy's arms wrap tightly around his waist.

Heero pulled back slightly so he could kiss Duo. Then, looking into his eyes, he told him, "You are a good friend, and I have always liked you very much, even when I pretended that I didn't."

Duo grinned, he didn't know what to say. They kissed one last time before Heero ascended into the cockpit. Duo got himself to the hanger control room and waited for Heero's signal that he was ready. Instead of a computer signal, he got Heero's face on the vidscreen.

"Goodbye, Duo," he said.

"'Bye Heero," Duo smiled back and Heero was gone. He opened airlock for Zero and watched through the window as the suit took off into space. He closed the giant doors when Zero was clear and waved, even though he knew Heero couldn't see him.


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