disclaimer: the boys aren't mine. i just play with them for my own entertainment. if they didn't like it, they'd complain... right?

this is a sequel to 'mercury rising' (it is highly suggested that you read 'mercury rising' before you read this)
pairings: 2X1, 1XOC, 1X1, 1X2
overall rating: NC-17
cumulative warnings: yaoi, AU, pov, possibility of kinky things, citrusiness; some implied, some shown and a shit load of angst
spoilers: *coughs* ermmm... no

notes: this is for kelly; who is adamant in her belief that my mercury duo is in need of a major attitude adjustment..... and that heero has just the tool for the job. *hentai grin* she didn't ask for the angst... that just comes with the territory ^_^;;

another note: thank you again, frog... you still rock! *huggles*

summary: heero wants something from duo that he isn't likely to give him without some sort of confrontation....

// heero's thoughts //

a change in the weather
by jana
part 8

The inside of the club was reminiscent of all of the other ones I'd been to; it was just the crowd that was different. I attributed the variation to the locale and the obviously celebratory event of the beginning or spring break. I moved through the small, but busy space and positioned myself at the bar, watching as the others I'd come with join the mass of people on the dance floor. I had declined Vince's offer to join them with a wave of my hand and a smile. I knew that he had only asked me out of courtesy; knowing that he knew me far better than to think I would actually dance.

The unmistakably unique scent of my former lover found its way to me a full minute or two before the familiar baritone of his voice did. I did not turn as he stood beside my stool at the bar and ordered himself a Black & Tan. I took a moment to identify the pleasing aroma he was giving off, deciding that it was a combination of his cologne, the coconut shampoo he often used and sweat. He remained at the bar while he drank his beer, standing so close to me, that I could actually hear his breathing even out and made the assumption that he had been dancing.

"Heero?" I heard him say. "That you?"

I turned on my stool to face him and nodded, hesitantly bringing my eyes upward to make contact with his. "Duo."

"Wow. Been a long time." He said with a wide smile.

I nodded, finding myself momentarily at a loss for words and then finally saying. "It has. How have you been?"

Duo shook his head and cupped his hand to his ear as his brow creased. "What?"

I leaned in a bit closer to him. "I said, 'how have you been?'"

He nodded. "Fine. You?"

The music seemed to grow louder, which I quickly decided was a good thing. It would be impossible to carry on a conversation in here and part of me really wasn't sure it wanted to have one.

Duo reached out for my wrist and I looked down to where his hand held me, before looking back up at him. "Come outside and talk a bit?"

// Did I want to do that? //

Despite my hesitation, I nodded and followed Duo outside.

"Noisy in there." He reiterated with a half smile. I could tell that he was nervous.

"How is your hand?" I asked, looking down at it.

He held it up for me to see, wiggling his fingers and then flexing them as he smiled. "It's fine. 5 stitches"

I nodded and looked up just in time to see the smile disappear from his face. It was only then that I noticed that he was wearing some type of dark makeup around his eyes and that it succeeded in making them much more expressive.

"I was hoping that you would call me."

"I thought about it." I told him seriously.

"Why didn't you?"

There were several very valid reasons why I had not called him, and a few others that I had probably given undue credence to. I shrugged.

"I figured that my journal would explain a few things... " He started.

"Your journal?" I asked.

"Yeah. I probably shouldn't even have sent it." He could tell that I was confused. "You didn't get it?"

I shook my head no and then explained to him that I had gotten his package, but that I had not opened it. There had been reasons why I had not early on; now, it was more that its presence had been forgotten. I was thankful he didn't question me about it.


He had my curiosity peaked. "What was in it?"

He laughed nervously and I figured he wasn't going to tell me. I knew then, that I'd be reading it when I got home tonight.

After a minute or two of awkward silence, I suggested we head back inside, using the pretext that I was cold. Duo agreed and I headed back toward the bar once we'd re-entered the club, with Duo following close behind me. "You wanna dance?" He asked. I shook my head no and explained that I didn't know how, adding that I would only embarrass the both of us if I accepted his offer. He smiled and waved back at me as he headed for the dance floor, leaving me seated at the bar.

I ordered myself a beer and turned my attention to the sea of people that were dancing in the center of the tiny club. I told myself that I was not searching the crowd for Duo, but ceased looking any further once I had set my eyes on him. He was dancing alone at the moment, but I had the feeling that he wouldn't be for long. Jay joined him a minute later, and I felt relieved, even if I had no right to.

I saw someone approaching from the corner of my eye and turned to my left, smiling at Vincent as he stopped several feet away. "Small world." He told me as he winked. I was certain that he had spotted Duo in the crowd.

I smiled. "It is."

"Did you talk to him?"

"A bit." I told him.

He put his hand on my shoulder and leaned toward me. "You still have a thing for him. Don't let him go again." He said and then he left before I could respond.

It was not as if I wanted things to turn out the way they did and he knew that fixing them wasn't going to be simple. The way I saw it, there needed to be a lot of talking between us if we intended to get involved again. I got the impression from our brief discussion outside that we both wanted that. At the very least, we had to deal with the somewhat nasty argument we'd had three months ago and there was still the matter of Duo's control issue, amongst other things, that we needed to talk about. I thought again, of the conversation I'd had with Duo outside and wondered what he had written in his journal to cause him to think that I would call him. I recalled then that he had expected me to call him after he had not shown up at my parent's house on Christmas Day as well. I was still lost in thought when I felt someone rest their hands on my shoulders from behind me. It took me only seconds to identify who it was. "Back again?"

He moved a bit closer; clasping his hands together and resting them on my chest as he drew me back to lie against him. "Dance with me."

"I told you that I don't know how."

He lowered his head, putting his lips so close to my ear that I could feel the warmth of his breath. "Please?" he pleaded.

I did not respond right away. I was a bit rattled by how close he was and was giving his invitation a little more thought. "I'll lead." He told me.

Now why didn't *that* surprise me? I took a second to appraise the song that was currently playing. "Can we wait for something a little slower?"

"How slow?" he asked softly. It sounded almost seductive, or perhaps that was just wishful thinking on my part.

"Medium slow." I replied after giving a moment to determine what dancing 'slow' with Duo would entail. He chuckled and removed his arms from around my neck, coming to stand beside me and staying silent until an appropriate song came on.


I remained frightfully self-conscious for at least the first 30 seconds of our dance. Duo kept half an arms length distance between us and I found his moves rather straightforward and easy to imitate. The song ended and I started to walk off the dance floor when I felt a sharp tug on the back of my pants. I turned around to remind Duo that I had not said anything about more than one dance and found myself all but confined by his embrace and not wanting to extract myself from it any time soon.

"You'll get the hang of it." He told me as he raised my one arm up to lie on his shoulder. He reached around me with both of his arms, sliding his hands into the rear pockets of my jeans. I surrounded his neck with my other arm, clasping my hands behind his head. "That's not so bad, is it?" He questioned. I quickly searched the list of adjectives I could currently think of to describe the situation we were in and found that 'bad' was definitely not among them. I shook my head no and let Duo pull me toward him until our bodies were flush up against one another.

The kiss came shortly after and I think that I might have been the one who initiated it, though I couldn't be sure. It didn't matter. Duo's tongue teased me, twining itself around mine and then disappearing back inside his mouth and making me chase after it, which I did. I pried my lips from his minutes later and only when I felt a soft tap on my left shoulder. "We're getting ready to head home."

I turned to find Vincent behind me and looked quickly back over at Duo to find him looking rather sheepish... or maybe it was embarrassed. "We're just friends." I told him softly, recalling that he was unaware of what was happening between Vince and I; rather what *wasn't* happening. He smiled and I could only describe the look on his face as one of relief.

"I'll take you home later, if you want to hang out a while longer, Heero." Duo said. I looked over back at Vince "You okay to drive?" I asked, recalling my promise of earlier. He nodded and glanced over at Duo, who answered the question he saw. "I'll have a few cups of coffee before I drive him back."

I reminded myself that Vincent was aware of Duo's drunken night at my apartment. He had been drinking tonight as well, but very little from what I could tell. Vincent did not know Duo well enough to judge that and while I found the exchange a little awkward, I did appreciate his concern. Vincent smiled and said goodnight before stepping from the dance floor and exiting the club.


We didn't stay much longer beyond that point. Duo found Jay and the rest of his friends and let them know he was leaving. We got outside and I rubbed my upper arms briskly. "Got chilly." I told him.

"Yeah. You wanna go get a bite to eat?"


"Cool. There's a great place just around the corner from my apartment."

It was fortunate for both of us that the diner was only three blocks away, since neither one of us was wearing a jacket. The two of us ordered breakfast and a cup of coffee. Duo decided on a ham and cheese omelet, while I had a toasted bagel with cream cheese. Once we had placed our order and the waitress brought our coffee, I looked across the table at him, saying exactly what I think was on both of our minds. "So, what now?"

"Good question." He replied with a lopsided smile. He looked a little lost, very much how I was feeling.

"We have some things we need to talk about." I suggested.

"Yeah. We do." He concurred. "We said some pretty nasty shit to each other."

I could not help but let out a laugh, before getting serious again. "I have never gotten that angry at anyone before." I confessed.

"You had a right to." I was a little taken back by his willingness to so readily admit that. I couldn't help but wonder exactly what he meant by it and keep my eyes on him, hoping he was going to say more. "I really wish you had read my journal, Heero." He sighed. For the second time that night, I really wished that I had read it too and I told him so. "Me too."

"I am sorry, Heero."

"For what?"

"For a lot of things, I guess." It seemed to me that he was going to continue, but he didn't.

"That makes two of us." I told him with a smile.

Our food came and there was very little conversation while we ate and none of it had to do with what had taken place between us. I was extremely curious about what else Duo had to say and there were a few things I needed to say as well, but I did not bring it up again. I think we both recognized there was much to be aired out. I admitted to myself that we were off to a pretty good start though and if I still had the capacity to read the smile on Duo's face correctly, he did too.

on to part 9

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