disclaimer: the boys aren't mine. i just play with them for my own entertainment.

cumulative rating: NC-17
pairings: 2+1, 1X1, 2X2, 2X1 it's heero and duo, folks. do i ever write anything else?!?!
warnings: yaoi, AU, light angst, POV in later parts, OOC (depends), citrus in various forms (too long a list to mention)
spoilers: you're kidding....right?

notes: my muses took off on this one. im trying to keep them in character as much as possible given the obvious total rewrite of their pasts.

this was *supposed* to be another PWP, but it took on a life of its own and ended up to be fairly long and i'm pretty sure it's not a pwp anymore, but i'm unable to put my finger on exactly what it is. *sweatdrops*

it is also the first time i've attempted to write a fic where heero and duo are NOT heero and duo... meaning there was no war and that they grew up having lived relatively normal lives; very much unlike their soldier counterparts. it is also my first attempt at a strict 2X1.

summary: heero and duo are both 20 and in college and it is summertime. they don't know each other.. but they will.

// thoughts //

mercury rising
part 2

Cynthia had spent a better part of late afternoon in Heero's room, aiding him as he unpacked. He had not asked for her assistance nor did he decline her offer. It was more than duty that brought her there, she genuinely enjoyed the young man's company; noting he seemed to feel the same.

Unlike his parents, Heero never spoke to her in a condescending manner, though he was often short on words. The two were never ill at ease with one another, but she had often witnessed the brasher side of the soft spoken young man; his mannerisms seeming to fluctuate greatly depending on whose company he was in.

"You seem to have taken a liking for more modern music." she noted, neatly slipping each disc of his CD collection into the slots of the black metal rack that stood on the floor beside his bed.

"I've expanded my horizons a bit." he smiled back at her. "Though I still prefer classical."

She nodded and continued her task as Heero removed the various components of his computer from its box and set them on his desk. Cynthia watched him from the corner of her eye. She hadn't been surprised when Heero had announced he was planning on becoming a Computer Major, it seemed to suit him. A career as a Programmer would allow him to work in a closed environment with minimal human contact and for the most part, rely only on himself for his success.

She smiled as he handled the machine. "Any projects this summer?" she asked, nodding her head to indicate her question was regarding the computer.

"I've been working on an rpg [3] engine. I'll most likely fool around with it a bit while I'm home." he replied, connecting the last of the hardware and plugging the surge protector into the wall.

"Like Final Fantasy?" she asked.

Heero turned toward her a offered her an innocent smile. "Not quite as sophisticated, but the same general idea." he returned. "Enough of this for today."

She nodded and looked around the room. They had succeeded in unpacking three of the six boxes that sat neatly stacked in the corner.


Duo had decided to spend the night in Lambertville.

He wasn't expected at the Yuy house for another day or two and the quaint town nestled beside the Delaware River attracted his attention as he passed through.

It was unpretentious; the small street that ran through its center lined with antique shops and art galleries. He parked the black Volvo in front of a Bed & Breakfast and headed up the shrub-lined walkway toward the large brightly painted Victorian house. He approached the desk and registered; requesting and being given a room that offered a view of the river. Grabbing an overnight bag from the car, he headed up to his room on the second floor, immediately drawn to the view outside the divided window.

The Delaware River was thin and muddy at this point, the narrow brown water only 300 yards wide and served to separate New Jersey from Pennsylvania. From his vantage point, he could see the dirt trail that lined both sides, the well worn path a testament to its use. Looking further down the river, Duo could see the small metal bridge that was passage for both vehicles and pedestrians alike. Smiling at the vision, he reached into his bag for a large spiral bound pad and a small rounded piece of charcoal. He settled himself onto the wide ledge that sat below the window with one foot tucked up under him and began to sketch.


Heero had risen at 9:00 in the largely unfamiliar space. He had yet to adjust to the surroundings and a quiet that was oddly unnerving. He looked over at the clock and stretched his arms up over his head. Sleeping this late was a luxury and he let out a small moan of pleasure; certain this was something he could grow accustomed to.

Several minutes later, a soft knock came on his partially closed door. "You awake yet?" the female voice asked.

"Just barely." he returned as he brought himself to a seated position. "Come in."

Cynthia smiled as she entered the room, missing the sight of the messy haired young man; his deep blue eyes still filled with sleep. "I made breakfast for you... it's in the microwave. I'm going into town for a while. You need anything?" she asked from the doorway.

"I think I'm all set." he told her, rising from the bed. "French toast?" he questioned, looking toward her as his senses began to wake.

She offered him a wide smile and nodded. "I haven't forgotten. Now go eat it before it gets cold." she finished, closing the door behind her. She stood for a moment on the other side, picturing the smile that deserved to be on the young mans handsome face. It saddened her it was rarely there.


Duo chose to spend the morning and a good portion of the afternoon familiarizing himself with the small town. He walked through its center, stopping in several of the shops and making a few purchases. Tucking the bags snugly into the back seat, he started the engine and proceeded toward his destination; 30 miles north of his current location.

Merging back onto Route 202 just minutes later, Duo fell prey to the silence inside the vehicle. He hated it.. if left him with too much time to think and he found himself caught up in the thoughts that seemed to bombard him from out of thin air.

Why the hell was he doing this?

Thinking back, he realized that he should have maintained his contrary posture when dealing with his parents. They had made the suggestion in an almost offhand manner over dinner one night. He felt little reluctance to offer an objection as it hadn't come in their standard 'forcing things down his throat' method.

The possibility that they'd figured out a way to coerce him into doing things brought a sour look to his face and he sighed. He had committed himself to this and while he had every intention of keeping his word; he had no intention of enjoying it.


Heero spent the first minutes of the morning in his standard fashion, taking a quick shower before grabbing his coffee and heading out to the pool. He had fallen into the routine during last summers visit and picked up on it without forethought on this his first day back home. He paused as he passed through the kitchen, recalling that Cynthia left him breakfast. He grabbed the plate from the microwave and a cup of coffee and made his way through the yard.


Cynthia was her usual talkative self during lunch and Heero equally in character with his silence. The subject of their soon-to-be guest came up and Cynthia informed Heero that she'd received a call and that he should be expected sometime late this afternoon.

Heero nodded to acknowledge her words, offering no comment in return. There was a small part of him that welcomed the stranger, though only for a selfish reason; he disliked the idea having to maintain the pool himself.


It was nearly 5:30 P.M. when the noise of an approaching car attracted Heero's interest. The house was located on a dead end street and saw very little traffic. Without conscious thought, Heero took note of even the smallest disturbance in the typical silence. He followed the hum of the engine and paused his movements as it slowed; crossing his room to look out the window at the rear of the house. He saw the late model Volvo turn the curve in the driveway and stop several feet shy of the garage doors.

From his window, Heero observed Cynthia as she exited the house as the driver stepped from inside the vehicle. It was the hair that caught his attention first; holding it for several confusing seconds. There was an excessive amount of it and it trailed down the center of their back in a thick loosely woven braid.

His brow wrinkled and he did a double take.... recalling his conversation with Cynthia and reassuring himself that the expected summer help was indeed to be male. He looked more closely at the tall, slender figure, but was unable get a better look; the young man well hidden beneath his black baseball cap and dark glasses.

Cynthia approached him and extended her hand. He watched the exchange and could see the two smiling at one another and what he assumed to be the two making their introductions. They spoke only briefly before Cynthia pointed at the guest house and they started toward it. His eyes followed their movement until they reached the white gate that marked the entrance to the pool area and then he laid back down on his bed and continued reading.

About thirty minutes had passed when he heard the slam of a car door and sat up to look out the window again, watching as the thin braided young man removed several pieces of luggage from the trunk of his vehicle. He made his way down the path and Heero watched as he entered the guest house; startled seconds later by a knock on his door.


He rose and answered, finding the tall redheaded housekeeper on the other side. "Time for dinner."

"I see our company has arrived."

"Yes.. He's just getting himself settled in. Seems nice enough."

Heero walked behind her through the long hallway and down the stairs. Nice had nothing to do with it. "Let's hope he does a good job."

[3] role playing game: winks at kristen and tells her to pass it along to colin

on to part 3

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