momentary lapse of reason
Saturday morning shortly after dawn found Duo stirring as Heero sought to disentangle himself from their embrace without waking his sleeping lover. His efforts proved to be unsuccessful and he found himself gazing into sleepy violet eyes. "Going somewhere?" Duo asked, reaching out to pull the seated young man back down onto the bed.
"I thought I'd get some work done while you were sleeping." Heero replied, stretching over to kiss his smiling lips.
"Mmm... stay for just another minute?" Duo asked, curling up to Heero as he lay down beside him. He was unable to deny his lover's request, this being the last of their mornings together for who knew how long and he pulled the blankets up to cover them both, wrapping Duo securely in his arms. "I could stay like this all day." Duo mused, lifting his head up off of the pillow and laying it back down on Heero's chest. Nodding in agreement, he closed his eyes and he kissed the top of Duo's head, squeezing him gently; suddenly there was nothing more important than the young man he held in his arms.
He could feel the warmth of Heero's body beside him long before he opened his eyes in an effort to rouse himself from sleep. There were no longer visible signs of stress on his lover's serene face and Duo wrapped one arm around Heero to pull him closer, the other hand pushing the dark brown hair from his face. "You really are a beautiful sight in the morning." he whispered, tilting his head to place a soft kiss on Heero's forehead. As much as he would have preferred nothing more than the status quo, he reluctantly decided to wake him, knowing Heero would most likely be angry at himself for falling back asleep for as long as he had.
"It's almost 9:30." Duo announced softly, rubbing Heero's upper arm as he spoke. Heero let out a low moan and rolled over onto him, slowly opening his eyes to look up at Duo. "I fell back asleep." he noted, Duo nodding in return. "I think you needed it." he smiled, rolling over to seat himself on the edge of the mattress.
"I'll make breakfast this morning. Anything special you want?" he asked, turning to face Heero as he stood.
Heero shook his head and yawned, stretching his arms high up over his head. "I'm going to go take a quick shower. Whatever you make is fine." he replied, suddenly eyeing Duo's unclothed form with more than casual interest.
"Me first...I'll be fast." Duo replied, grinning at Heero as he grabbed a clean set of clothes. "And *I'm* not on the menu." he winked, heading for the bathroom.
Heero had managed to get dressed, boot his laptop, wash, dry and put away last night's dinner dishes and make a fresh pot of coffee, pouring them both a cup before Duo reappeared from the bathroom. Heero turned his eyes toward the room's entrance as he heard the approaching footsteps. "It's about time." he commented, slightly irritated.
Duo paused his motions at hearing the inflection in his words. "Sorry.... It's the hair." he returned, recommencing towel drying his hair. "Shower is all yours. I'll start breakfast." he finished, laying the large towel over his shoulders as he approached the refrigerator
"I made coffee. Yours is on the table." Heero told him as he stood to exit the room, turning back as he neared the rooms exit to join his partially clad lover across the room. "I'm sorry, Duo." he spoke from his place several feet behind him. "I'm a little on edge lately. It's understandable that you took so long in the shower." he finished, reaching forward to take a lock of Duo's wet hair into his hand.
"S'ok, Heero." he smiled weakly as he turned toward him. "We haven't had time to get used to each other's routines."
Heero nodded, still guilty about his harsh words. "I didn't mean to...."
"Don't worry about it, Heero...really." Duo smiled. "Now go take your shower." he ordered, turning Heero toward the rooms exit and giving him a little push.
Duo somberly watched Heero's retreat and leaned back onto the kitchen countertop letting out a huge sigh.
:: Oh God... I hope this wasn't a big mistake ::
Duo was tense as he set about preparing breakfast, looking over at the clock several times, the minutes seeming to pass more like hours as he anxiously waited for Heero to finish his shower. He had barely started drinking his cup of coffee, the first sip making him all too aware of his already trembling hands.
Setting the cup down on the table, he looked again toward the doorway and then up at the clock. Checking one more time that he had not forgotten anything as he had hastily set the table, Duo sat and rethought how he should break the news to Heero of what he had planned. While this was certainly not the most opportune moment to trot it all out, he was left with no other choice.
Smiling nervously as Heero entered the kitchen, Duo took the platter of pancakes from the oven and carefully set them in the center of the table, seating himself across for Heero.
"They look great." Heero commented, standing to reach forward and place several of them on Duo's plate, then his own before sitting back down. "Duo... I've been thinking...." he began.
Duo snapped his head up to look at Heero, his heart racing as he searched for a clue of what Heero was about to say on his face.... nothing. He bit his lower lip, wringing his hand together on his lap beneath the table.
"Is something wrong, Duo?"
Heero nodded. "After this project is over, I think I'd like to turn in my notice and move back to New York." he spoke, trying to gauge Duo's response.
"What?!?" Duo asked quite surprised.
"If you'd rather, I'll wait a while...." he started.
"No." Duo was quick to cut him off.."I mean that's a great idea, but ummm......"
"But what?" Heero asked, clearly puzzled by Duo's hesitation.
"You see, I kinda have something to tell you." he started, rising from the chair. "While you were in Japan, I had this idea...." he paused. "We both missed each other a lot, right?" he asked.
Heero nodded. "That would be an understatement. Go on."
"I thought it would be nice for us to be a bit closer. I mean being on opposite sides of the country was getting to be real drag.... you know? With you and your job..... all the long hours and travel and me...."
"Get to the point, Duo." Heero smiled toward him.
"Fine.", he relented, taking in a deep breath. "I've been temporarily transferred to the Preventer's California office."
"That's great." Heero smiled, rising to cross the room. "When? How long until you move out here?" he asked.
"Actually, Heero.... I'm already here. Thursday was my last day in New York." he replied, looking up at the clock. "Uhhh... this is probably bad timing, but I need to go look at the housing the office set up. I'm supposed to meet the real estate agent there at noon."
"Housing?" Heero asked.
"Yeah....the office is located about and hour and a half from here."
"Oh what?" he asked. "You didn't just think I'd move in without talking to you about it first, did you?"
"It wouldn't have been such a bad idea." he smiled, wrapping his arms around him. "Though I would have to ask for the landlord's permission to install a second shower." he winked, kissing the tip of Duo's nose.
"Either that or we'd have to take our morning showers together." Duo snickered.
"Mmmm... that could work.... though we'd have to get up a little earlier." he returned playfully.
Duo winked and stepped back. "Not to change the subject... but I really have to go. Would it be okay if I borrowed your car? I mean, if you'd rather not, I understand. I can call a cab."
"Want company?" Heero asked, surprising Duo.
"Sure!!" he replied, hurrying from the room to finish getting dressed. " I just assumed you would need to stay home and work." he told Heero who followed him into the bedroom.
"I do need to work." Heero replied, shutting down his laptop and slipping it into is leather bag. "You drive...." he smiled, tossing the keys at Duo "....and I'll work." he finished, laying the black leather strap over his shoulder.
Duo looked down at the keys in his hand and then back up at Heero. "Deal." he smiled, exiting the room behind him.
The first 15 minutes of the 90 minute trip were spent with Heero as navigator, reading the huge map as the two tried to make their way around the unfamiliar territory.
"God! The roads here are worse than in New York." Duo commented, finally entering the freeway.
"I'm still not used to them." Heero commented as he folded the map and returned it to the glove compartment. Reclining back into the seat, Heero looked over at Duo. "So how long *is* this temporary transfer?" he asked.
"I kind of left it open ended. I wasn't sure if you'd be okay with it...." Duo told him, his hesitation prompting Heero to respond.
"Why wouldn't I be?" he asked, noting the frown on Duo's face. "Duo?"
"Well.. things like this morning. Despite the fact that we've known each other for so long, everything is still new and we really don't *know* each other....yanno? Am I making sense here?" he asked, looking over at Heero.
"Yes and keep your eyes on the road, Duo." he warned. "I suppose things are bound to come up.... though they are not likely to change anything. We just need to work through them. Being closer is definitely a good thing. I'm glad you thought of it, Duo."
Duo nodded. "I wasn't so sure after this morning. I am now though." he smiled, reaching over to take Heero's hand in his. "We can see each other every weekend and even on weeknights if we want to." Duo continued in an attempt to feel him out.
"If we want to?" Heero asked, releasing Duo's hand to reach down at his feet for his laptop. "Interesting choice of words there, koi."
"Were they?" Duo asked, adding. "I'm not taking anything for granted here."
"Me neither." Heero replied, focusing all further attention on the screen before him.
Duo glanced over several minutes later to find Heero typing away, seemingly oblivious to his surroundings and he smiled. The reluctance he felt earlier had all but vanished, he could only hope Heero was equally as pleased with the rest of the afternoons revelations.
Announcing to Heero that they would be exiting the parkway momentarily, Duo reached into the back seat and grabbed a small yellow piece of paper, looking down at it. "We are about ten minutes away from what it says here." he commented, handing the paper to Heero. Setting it on the dashboard, Heero shut down his laptop and returned it to its case before lying it carefully at his feet.
Taking his sunglasses from the glove box, he slipped them on and took the yellow paper in hand. "Any idea what type of accommodations they are?" he asked.
"Ummm.... not really. Something nice I hope."
Heero looked out the window at the neighborhood they were passing through. "If it's anywhere near here, I'd say *very* nice." he commented. "Turn left on West Street. Should be the next traffic light."
"Yeah, this is a great area." he returned, signaling his intention to turn ahead.
Driving several blocks, he looked over at Heero, who seemed to be lost in thought. "Everything okay?"
Heero nodded. "Do you see the size of some of these houses?" he asked, lifting his glasses to look at Duo.
Duo smiled over at him. "Uh huh. Should I keep going straight?" he questioned.
"Oh... sorry." Heero blushed, looking back down at the directions. "Yeah.... turn left at the stop sign ahead." he pointed. "That should be Sycamore. Are you sure these are the right directions?"
"Pretty damn sure." Duo smiled, pulling into the fourth driveway on his left. "We're here." he smiled, putting the car in park and turning off the ignition. He looked over at Heero as he gripped the door handle to exit. "Shall we?" he asked smiling at the dumbfounded expression on Heero's face.
The two exited the car and stood back to admire the house. It was a huge white colonial with a brightly painted red door and slim black shudders on each of the countless windows that covered nearly all of the front facade of the house. It sat back some distance from the road, almost lost amongst the acres of green that surrounded it.
"Are you certain this is the right address?" he asked again, looking down at the paper he held.
"Yup...I'm positive, Heero." he grinned, taking his lover by the hand. Digging the key from his front pocket, Duo unlocked the door and motioned for Heero to enter, pulling the door closed behind him. "The real estate agent said he would meet us here. Let's go inside," he smiled.
Pausing as they heard voices once they had passed through the foyer, Duo turned toward Heero and kissed him soundly. "I hope you aren't going to kill me for this." he grinned, covering both of Heero's eyes with his hand as he pulled him forward through the house.
"Kill you for what, Duo?" Heero asked sternly.
"Ohhh....you'll see." he replied cheerfully.
The voices seemed to fade as the two continued on through several rooms, the murmurs finally silenced as they came to a sudden stop. Pulling his hand away from Heero's eyes, Duo stepped back away from him, watching as he opened them. He stared in shock at his three friends who stood smiling in front of him, before turning to face Duo with his mouth still agape.
"Surprise?" Duo wondered, still unsure of Heero's reaction.
"Yes.." Heero nodded. "Very. How did you....? You all...? Wow." he grinned, taking several steps toward Trowa, Wufei and Quatre, shaking each of their hands firmly before pulling each of them toward himself and into a warm hug. He stepped back and looked around the room they were in.
The kitchen was enormous with a sandstone quarry tile floor. The two outside walls, were covered completely in glass, a pair of french doors opening out onto a huge wooden deck, the rear yard behind it stretching out far beyond his line of vision. The room was exquisite, but it wasn't the room itself that Heero found himself affected by, it was the furnishings. His eyes became misty as a clearer picture of just what was happening presented itself. "I don't know what to say..." he began, squeezing Duo's hand tightly.
"How about saying you like it?' Duo asked in jest, "It's a lot bigger than our house in New York." Duo smiled, shaking Heero's hand rapidly to snap him out of his trance.
"So, all of you transferred out here? We're all going to live here? Together?" he asked, the implication of what his friends had done finally sinking in.
"That's the plan, Heero." Duo smiled, reaching into his pocket. "This is for you as well." he added, placing the folded paper into his outstretched hand.
Heero looked at the four for a moment and then down at the paper in his hand.
"Go ahead. Read it." Duo nudged him with his elbow.
Heero carefully unfolded the paper under watchful eyes and began reading, slowly folding the paper back up into quarters when he was through. "Now I *really* don't know what to say."
"Lady Une was more than thrilled at the prospect of you returning to work." Trowa added. "We all are." he added, looking over toward Wufei and Quatre who were both nodding.
"It's not a problem if you need some time to think about it." Duo told him, smiling as Heero immediately shook his head.
"No, Duo. No... I don't need time to think about it at all." Heero smiled warmly. "I'm just shocked that all of you are here and that we..." Heero lowered his head, overcome with emotion at the lengths his friends had gone to in order to make this happen and the reality that the five of them would being together again.
"S'ok, Heero." Duo told him softly, wrapping both of his arms around him. "I take it you're not mad then?" Duo asked as he lifted Heero's chin. "Not going to threaten to kill me? No 'omae o korosu'?" he asked shaking his head from side to side, finally pulling a weak smile from his emotional lover. "I do kind of miss that you know.." he added, kissing Heero's slightly upturned lips.
"Baka." Heero grinned as Duo rolled his eyes up into his head at his use of the word.
"So, you want the five cent tour?" he asked, "Actually, he whispered, "it costs more like a dime in this neighborhood."
Heero smiled and nodded. "We'll be right back." he called to the others, pulling Heero from the room.
Every room of the house was furnished, although sparsely, with their belongings from their home in New York. "This house is a lot bigger than the other one." Duo began, slowly moving from one room to the next. "We could use a few more things to fill it up." he smiled.
Heero nodded appreciatively as they made their way up the huge oak staircase in the center of the house. "The bedrooms are all up here." Duo informed him, pausing as they reached the top of the steps. "Take a look at that pool." he smiled, pulling Heero toward the enormous window at the upper landing. "One more great reason to live out here.... twelve months of swimming and it's heated too." he winked.
Continuing down the hall, Duo pointed to the first of the doors on their left. "That is Trowa and Quatre's room. This one is Fei's." he announced still walking toward the end of the hallway. "And this one is ours." he smiled, opening the last door to allow them to enter.
Heero nodded to acknowledge Duo's words, still standing in the hallway as he peered into the room.
// our room //
"You can go in, you know." he chuckled, pulling him inside and closing the door behind them. "I think we could use some new furniture in here though. This stuff doesn't match....it's everything from your room and from my room."
"Kind of clashes, actually." Heero noted, walking around the huge room. "I say we keep it."
"Nani? Why would we want to do that? It looks...well... hideous!" he replied smiling.
"As a reminder." Heero started, glancing over at Duo who nodded his understanding. "...at least for now. I see you replaced the beds though." he added with a grin.
"Yeah...well..." Duo began as he made his way over to Heero "I didn't think sleeping in separate beds was an option."
"It's not." Heero replied, pulling Duo down onto the bed on top of him. "A waterbed?" he asked shocked as their bodies rose and fell with the motion of the liquidy mattress.
Duo giggled. "Umm....yeah.... I thought it would be fun." he leered, flipping Heero over onto his back.
"Is that all you think about. Fun?" Heero asked teasingly as he looked up at his grinning lover.
"Nope." Duo replied with a huge grin, his face turning more serious as he continued. "Most of the time....I think about you... and how lucky I am that I have you..... and that we are *us*." he spoke softly, bending down to administer a chaste kiss "...and of how much I love you." he finished, pressing his lips tightly against Heero's before seeking entry with his tongue.
Heero swallowed hard and closed his eyes as Duo's tongue pushed past his lips and entered his mouth, his own responding to the slow twisting movement of Duo's tongue around his. Heero was amazed that there were such a wide variety of kisses, the one they were engaged in once again different from anything the two has thus far shared. This one seemed to convey something far beyond what their words would ever be capable of expressing. Opening his eyes to gaze up at Duo, Heero found his eyes open as well.
Shimmering violet jewels looked longingly down at him and he found himself lost in their promise. He could only hope his own eyes were able to reveal the depth of passion he felt for the beautiful young man in his arms.
He need not have worried.... they did.....