Heero smiled, his right arm raised and in front of him, as if holding a glass 'Here's to another successful mission.', a glint in his cobalt eyes. Taking off towards the western sky, Heero glanced back to see the tangled, smoking mess of Oz's mobile suits he left in his wake. He derived a great amount of pleasure from the view, a sinister grin found its way to his lips and momentarily laughing out loud, put Wing into high gear and began his long journey.
Home this time, was, as it had been for the last year, another one of Quatre's family's houses. It never ceased to amaze Heero that wherever they needed to be, Quatre's family had a suitable hideout for them. Sometimes the safe houses were actual estates, sprawling out over miles of beautiful landscape, other times, they were secluded little cabins nestled into the mountains. Either way, the experience was always pleasant, as Quatre's family fully intended for Quatre and his comrades to be comfortable and without need at all times.
Flying towards home now, almost on autopilot, Heero looked back over this mission. It had taken longer than anyone had anticipated. Had it actually been a month he had been gone ? It was another solo mission and while Heero didn't mind, he did, much to his amazement, genuinely miss the company of his fellow pilots. There was one in particular that Heero especially felt at a loss without. The braided angel had somehow managed to capture the stoic pilot's heart sometime last year, this coming as as much of a surprise to Heero as it did to Duo.
This mission, like most others, hadn't allowed Heero much outside contact, and while he had managed to send short weekly messages to Duo letting him know that he was safe, Heero was unable to receive any correspondence back. He was *certain* that this angered Duo far more than it did him, causing another smile to creep onto his face.
Heero pulled out his ever-present laptop and booting it, began typing the last of this mission's messages home. 'Mission Complete. Expect to arrive 0800 Friday.' Clicking the send button Heero closed his laptop and continued on the course home.
'10 more hours' he thought 'seems like almost an eternity...'
The corners of Heero's mouth curled up slightly at the thought of the long-awaited reunion with his Duo.
Quatre sat up in his bed and stretching his arms wildly up to the ceiling, let out a huge yawn. Glancing over at Trowa, who lie curled up beside him, still asleep, the blond boy smiled at the familiar sight and rolled out of bed. He immediately logged onto the computer to retrieve any messages, as was his job with Heero away on a mission.
Hurriedly, Quatre made his way back to the bed, and shaking Trowa awake announced, "Heero is on his way back home. He will be here tomorrow morning." Trowa sat up with a start. Hearing the trembling in Quatre's voice and noticing the sullen look on his lover's face, he moved toward him gently, allowing Quatre to lay his head on his shoulder. Trowa let his arms encircle Quatre's tiny waist and gently applied the right amount of pressure.
Breaking the embrace only several moments later, Quatre unwillingly took leave of the comfort of Trowa's strong arms. Trowa grabbed his arm and pulling Quatre toward him, placed a gentle kiss on Quatre's lips, causing the blonde to smile.
Making his way down the hall, Quatre hesitated before knocking on the door of Duo's room. Taking several very deep breaths and making a fist, he rapped lightly before entering, and then cautiously closed the door behind him.
Heero was totally bored out of his mind. Four hours of flying had practically mesmerized him. Glancing over at the small tape machine in the seat beside him, he decided to recount the mission to Dr J verbally to help pass the time.
Picking up the small device, he pressed the record and play buttons and began his meticulously detailed account of his month long mission. Some time later, satisfied with his recollection of what had transpired, Heero glanced at the clock in the cockpit and winced "Hmm...still 5 more hours to go."
Heero reclined slightly in the pilot's seat and bringing his arms back to rest behind his head, sat back and let his thoughts wander, finally, coming to settle on the one thing that made Heero the happiest. Duo. Heero grinned, once again finding it odd that there actually *was* something that made him happy. His vigorous training had never covered this aspect of his existence. He was indeed the perfect soldier, but his social skills were unhoned......non-existent even ...that is...until Duo.
Duo Maxwell first appeared on the scene the day after Heero had landed on Earth. Their meeting was umm....not on the best of terms, Heero recalled, letting out something reminiscent of a small laugh, as Duo had shot at him several times, hitting him twice. Things *did* get better from there, but Heero still couldn't recall at what moment their relationship had turned from enemy to friend and then again from friend to lover.
For the entire first year, Heero found Duo to be unduly annoying. Duo was *always* cheerful, most times bouncing around wildly for no apparent reason and was *way* too talkative. Heero found his behavior most un-soldier like and quite frankly downright irritating ! He let Duo know of his displeasure every chance he got.
Duo usually just shrugged him off, immediately returning to his playful self, never once letting Heero have the satisfaction of his mood being interrupted by Heero's biting words. While this infuriated Heero, he somewhat envied Duo's ability to deal with everything so lightly. He found himself finally accepting and eventually enjoying Duo's company, which was fortunate for both of them, considering they were almost always paired as roommates.
Little by little, Duo began to become what Heero understood to be his first 'friend'. During school and in between missions, the two engaged in conversations other than the typical mission oriented discussions they had been accustomed to. It was so easy for Duo, but Heero, as Duo oft reminded him, took things way to seriously. Even his other fellow pilots had commented on his less than amicable nature....on *more* than one occasion.
It wasn't until they had a 3-month gap between missions and took off for one of the Winner Estates, that Heero was able to understand and finally appreciate that there was more to life than missions. The reality of this had more than slightly jarred his world, but with no battles in sight, he was eventually drawn into the lives that the other four pilots had made.
At some point during this sabbatical, Heero became aware....or maybe it was just *more* aware, that his feelings for Duo had become somehow different. Not only able to tolerate Duo for extended periods of time, Heero now found himself seeking out Duo's companionship.
It was also then, that Heero began to notice Duo's incessant flirting and teasing. Thinking back, he realized that Duo had been doing these things for quite sometime. Heero had previously written them off as part of Duo's generally bizarre behavior, but now he understood them to be something different all together.
The realization that Duo apparently had more than platonic feelings for him was, at first more than mildly disturbing to Heero. Not only because Heero was a guy, but well.....because Heero was *Heero* ! He found it most unfathomable how anyone, let alone this beautiful boy, this boy so full of life and joy, could find something in Heero worth savoring. With this evidence, Heero once again retreated into his somber world, uncomfortable now about spending time with his fellow pilots, especially Duo.
His flight to seclusion, while not unnoticed by Duo or the others, was for the large part ignored. Everyone went about their usual routines, chalking it up to 'just being Heero.' Heero had to admit he missed the company of his fellow pilots, but was unable to come to terms with the *Duo-thing*. It had mildly occurred to him that the greater part of the discomfort he felt regarding Duo's attention, was due to the fact that Heero too had begun to have similar feelings. He pushed the thoughts from his mind and thrust himself into anything he thought might sufficiently distract him.
Three days into his gloom, at around 8:00 PM, Duo knocked gently on the door of their room. Entering quietly and only inches into the room, Duo's eyes captured a pleasant, but far too familiar sight.
Heero sat at the small black desk in the corner of the darkened room in front of his laptop, dressed in his standard green tank top and black spandex shorts. Despite the fact the Duo always teased Heero about the lack of variety in his wardrobe, Duo was quite taken with the way Heero's looked in his standard garb. The tank top hung loosely around Heero's upper chest, revealing just enough of his muscular chest, leaving some to the imagination. Duo had *quite* the imagination.....especially when it came to those black spandex shorts ! Duo had to imagine they were quite uncomfortable and restricting, although Heero obviously had no problem wearing them.....and quite frankly, Duo had no problem gaping at Heero as he wore them. The fabric tightly clinging to every inch of Heero's exquisite form, a moments glance able to fuel Duo's fantasies for a week.
Heero was staring into the shimmering neon green screen, almost captivated by its eerie glow.
"Heero ?" Duo called "Aren't you going to join us ? We're all playing cards !"
Duo made his way over to Heero and placing his hands lightly on his shoulders, grinned that evil Duo grin and bending down closer to Heero's ear pleaded once again in his ever-so gleeful way "Come on Heero, pleeease ....... Aren't you sick of sitting here alone with your laptop every night ?"
Heero shuddered slightly at the feel of Duo's hands on his shoulders. 'Why is he always touching me ?' Heero inhaled deeply, taking in the scent that was familiarly Duo still standing only inches behind him. 'Why does he have this effect on me ?'
Heero turned around to see Duo standing in the center of the room with his hands on his hips, his braid hanging loosely over his chest, clad in a pair of ever-so skin tight black straight legged jeans and a slightly torn, untucked white t-shirt, the golden crucifix laying neatly on his upper chest, his violet eyes staring sternly at Heero. 'You look so sexy when you're mad, Duo'
"You can't just shut out the entire world, Heero. It's not healthy !" Duo scolded.
Heero knew that Duo was right, but Heero wasn't ready.....not just yet. Heero stared at Duo with that patented Heero Yuy stare.
"Suit yourself !" Duo snorted, turning to leave.
"Baka" Heero muttered under his breath as Duo slammed the door.
Duo entered the room at around midnight, "Goodnight Guys. See you at breakfast." he called cheerfully to his fellow pilots down the hall, as he closed the bedroom door.
Heero's entire body tensed. He lay face down in his bed, sleepy, but not yet asleep for the past few hours, his mind racing as he attempted to come to terms with these foreign emotions. Heero could hear Duo cross the room...' Duo does *nothing* quietly' he noted.
Heero heard the soft rustle of Duo's clothing and the muffled sound of them dropping slowly to the floor. Heero closed his eyes tightly and tried to shut the thoughts of envisioning what Duo was doing out of his mind. 'I'm such a control freak' he thought to himself as the vision of a very erotic naked Duo flashed before his eyes.
Duo entered the bathroom, lowly humming an upbeat tune that Heero vaguely recognized and released his hair from its ever-present braid, letting out a low sigh. Heero could hear him softly running the brush through his endless hair. After brushing his teeth, Duo turned off the bathroom light and plopped with a loud thud down onto his bed.
Heero could hear the rustling of Duo's bedcovers and allowed a small smile to grace his face as he imagined Duo tossing amongst the covers in an attempt to get comfortable. Noticing that the noises from Duo's side of the room had finally ceased, Heero allowed himself to once again relax and promptly fell into sleep.
Heero looked at the ground below him, he was fast approaching the wide meadow where he had planned to land Wing to break up the monotony of his trek and catch a few winks of much needed sleep. Shifting Wing into low, then questioning his action, Heero put his machine back into high gear and sped ahead. Time spent with Duo was more precious indeed.
Heero's focus abruptly turned to the side window of the cockpit. His eyes widened 'Sunrise' he said slowly, his body moving forward to catch a better view 'I never appreciated this ........until Duo' his eyes gentle and his smile wide.
It was indeed sunrise. The sky was filled with the most wonderful splashes of color that Heero had ever imagined. Heero could see the large orange ball peeking its way out over the horizon. 'I'm almost home, my Duo.'
Heero woke the next morning and turning, noticed Duo already gone, his bed still disheveled.
Heero dragged himself out of bed, promptly returning the covers to an orderly position. Making his way slowly to the bathroom, he showered and forced himself to think about how he would handle the day. He knew his actions of the past few days were cowardly. It was so unlike him to run from things, but .....this....'confrontation' ... *was* unlike anything he had ever dealt with before, but he resigned himself at that moment to settle this no differently than he had settled all of the other conflicts in his short life....head on !
Making his way downstairs to the kitchen, Heero could hear the voices of the other four pilots. Mostly Duo's, of course, and lots of laughter. Entering the kitchen, he was greeted by all four. They seemed quite surprised, yet genuinely pleased to see him.
"Hey, Heero !" Duo called, that ever present grin plastered on his face "Glad you finally decided to re-join the human race."
Much to everyone's surprise, there were no death threats or even a glint of that Heero Yuy stare. No one was more shocked than Heero himself.
"Hn." was his only response as he proceeded to take a cup from the cabinet and fill it with coffee.
Taking a seat across the table from Duo, Heero devoted all his attention to the wonderful cup of energy that sat before him, reveling in its warmth and restorative powers. Heero eventually glanced up to find Duo, chin held in both of his hands, elbow's leaning on the table, smiling gleefully, apparently lost in thought, staring dreamily into Heero's eyes.
Heero blushed slightly.
Duo was startled from his admiration by a sharp pain in his ribs.
"WHAT !?" he screamed, suddenly facing Trowa, who had since removed the painful elbow from Duo's side.
"It's not polite to stare." scolded Trowa.
"Mmmmmmmm......sorry." Duo said, offering no explanation to either pilot, the disappointment clear on his face.
That afternoon Quatre and Trowa had gone shopping. Quatre had spent the remainder of the day in the kitchen preparing a sumptuous dinner for the five of them. That was the night the wine flowed, the night they all giggled together for hours on end at seemingly nothing and the night that Heero allowed himself to respond to and finally take on Duo and his endless flirting.
Late evening found the five pilots sitting cross-legged in a circle on the carpeted living room floor. There were various discussions going on at any given time. No one sat silent for more than a minute or two. It was apparent that everyone was sufficiently relaxed. There was a fire burning in the huge fireplace, allowing the wonderful smell to permeate the entire room and everything in it. Quatre left momentarily, returning with a bottle of red wine and five long stemmed glasses, much to everyone's delight.
Filling the glasses and handing one to each pilot, Quatre stood before the four boys. Taking time to let his eyes fall solemnly on the each of the four faces before him, he simply raised his glass, eyes misty, his gaze now directed at Trowa, seated next to him. He brought the glass to his lips and drank.
His toast had had its desired effect. Quatre turned to gaze at the four pilots around him and noted their slightly glassy eyes. Quatre was most taken off guard with the appearance of one shimmering droplet, which had formed, in the left eye of the stone-cobalt stare of the perfect soldier.
Breaking the uncomfortable silence, as usual....
"Cheers !" Duo announced happily.
Turning towards Duo, cobalt meeting violet, Heero tipped his glass to touch Duo's. The clink of the glass escaping no one's attention.....especially Duo's. Their eyes met for only seconds, but Duo saw something there he had never seen before. Yes, there was *definitely* an uncharacteristic tenderness in Heero Yuy's eyes !! The look in Heero's eyes escaped no one's attention either......
Duo sat motionless and more surprisingly speechless, his mouth partially agape for the next few seconds. He needed some time to process this information. More importantly, he needed to get his brain back in gear after this jolt, he needed to figure out how he planned on proceeding. This moment, no matter how insignificant it may have outwardly appeared to the others, was nothing short miraculous in Duo's eyes and he had no attention of letting is pass him by.
Heero broke the silence this time, squirming slightly in place, having noticed that all eyes were focused in his and Duo's direction. "Hey.....Wanna play Twister ?"
Now the focus of everyone's eyes was directly on Heero.
Quatre covered his mouth and giggled. "Sure, Heero !"
Duo couldn't help but laugh out loud. He put his hand on Heero's shoulder and staring directly into Heero's eyes, smiled "You are just full of surprises tonight, Heero !"
Heero swallowed hard 'Well, here goes...' and staring back into Duo's eyes, turning up the corners of his mouth, his face melted into the most sinister grin he could manage.
Heero's grin not lost on Duo......not lost at all. Heero watched Duo's face light up and was sure he had made the right decision to tackle this...this...whatever it was.. head on.
Quatre walked out of the room, followed closely by Trowa, to get the game, leaving the other three to begin moving the furniture around to make room for the Twister board.
Once outside the living room, Quatre turned to Trowa "Do you notice anything odd about Heero tonight ?"
Trowa nodded in agreement "and Duo too." he added.
"Yeah...and Duo too." Quatre added with a giggle. Trowa loved the way his lover giggled when he was thinking things like he was thinking now.
"Quatre, slow down.....it's not like anything is going on between the two of them."
"I know Trowa, but I sense that something will be before the night is over." he replied, continuing down the hall with a very giddy look on his face.
Trowa shook his head. 'Where does he come up with this stuff ?' he shrugged his shoulder's and followed Quatre to the hall closet where he retrieved the game and they set off back to the living room.
Inside, Duo was busy refilling Heero and Wufei's glasses, chattering as usual, whatever he was saying grabbing the attention of both Wufei and Heero. Quatre and Trowa entered almost unnoticed by the others, still glued to Duo's story, and set up the Twister Board in the middle of the room.
"Okay guys..." Quatre announced "Ready to play !"
Trowa refilled his and Quatre's glasses as the others turned to join them in the center of the room.
Heero turned to Duo and putting one arm around Duo's waist, stared into his sparkling violet eyes and seductively whispered toward his ear "Yeah, are you ready to play, Duo ?"
The look on Duo's face was priceless and Heero wasn't the only one in the room to notice. The obvious exchange had caused Quatre's face turned a lovely shade of pink, Trowa to drop his head to stare at his shoes and Wufei's mouth to fall open.
Duo was once again at a loss for words. Heero was very proud of himself. He had been able to render Duo speechless twice in the past 10 minutes.
The game went on for about an hour, the five of them laughing themselves silly over the positions they had gotten into and the giddy laughter when they all tumbled into a heap on the floor. It hadn't gone unnoticed by anyone that Duo and Heero had deliberately sabotaged most of the games, by stretching their limbs toward the colored circles nearest each other. Duo blushing on more than one occasion as Heero's body came into contact with his, Heero touching several places eliciting a shiver from the braided boy. Duo was enjoying the game and like everything Duo did, he fully immersed himself in it, blatantly gliding his hand over Heero's body where ever and whenever the opportunity presented itself, regardless of the possible consequences.
Heero smiled all through the lengthy recollection. It had felt like ages ago. He couldn't recall with clarity a time that he and Duo were not ... involved. Once the process of their relationship got rolling, it sped out of control into something that neither one of them had totally been prepared for.
Heero glanced at the cockpit clock again........"Damn.....3 more hours" he banged his fist down onto it "Is this thing broken ?!"
Heero eventually settled back into the seat, continuing the recollection.