Disclaimer: Gundam Wing and all characters belong to Bandai, Sunrise, Sotsu and peoples.

Pairing: 2+1, 3+4, eventual 1x2
Rating: PG13 for language... rating will change
Timeline: some nebulous point during the first war ^^; No spoilers.
Warnings: angst, denial, my brand of humor, fluff and sap, eventual lemon

Notes: Yeah, so, I went for the traditional pairings in this fic. I almost didn't, but it just kind of happened that way. Kat kind of wrote himself into this chapter a little more than I had planned on, and it was his decision. -_- Hopefully, it's not too cliche in spite of that. I've personally never read a fic quite like this. Thanks to Steve Parker for the inspiration, which came from a quote in his 'And Never the Twain Shall Meet', which apparently struck my Janson muse's rather twisted sense of humor at an interesting angle. ^^;

Thanks to Moonraven, Lóceheri, Sol, Fancy Figures, Morgan, Sevun, Lisa, Hana-chan, Bijinsei Aoi, Jonas, Alexis, Silent Wanderer, Triv, Briar Eve, Presser, Misty Yuy, Shinigami Phoenix, Nephtyr, HeeroDuo1x2x1, kittylover16, LittleDarkOne, and everyone else who read and reviewed the prologue, and encouraged me to finish this! (Hope I didn't forget anyone...^^;) It's great to know so many people are looking forward to it. ^^ And thanks to Hiriyou and Lóceheri for betaing, helpful comments, and other sundry bits of advice. ^_^

Stealing Sweet Dreams
Chapter 1
by Kagemihari

Heero sighed as he shut down the systems of Wing and unstrapped himself from the cockpit. Mission accomplished. He was looking forward to sleeping for several hours. And not sleeping next to Maxwell. In fact, he was looking forward to not sleeping in the same room as Maxwell.

Maxwell was a lot of things, but first and foremost, he was goddamned annoying; and sharing a bed with him was not at the top of Heero's list of favorite things. It didn't even make the list. Even if it was just one night. He wasn't entirely sure why, but it had been one of the more uncomfortable and unsettling experiences of his life, and he was not looking to repeat it. Ever.

He had half a mind to send a message to Dr J. to ensure this. Although once he had finally gotten to sleep, he had slept well; but his lingering unease had made things awkward between them today as they completed the mission. It was not going to happen again.

Putting it out of his mind for the last time, he levered himself out of the cockpit and climbed down, standing for a minute and stretching tense muscles. The red light of sunset spilled in the opening of the comparatively small hanger, washing the concrete in a ruby glow and highlighting subtle glints of pink and silver on the edges of the machinery.

Across the open space, Deathscythe's hatch opened and pilot 02 appeared, grinning, his blue eyes looking more violet than usual in the evening light, as they shone with humor and the high of a successful mission.

"Hey, Yuy, made it back in one piece I see."

Of course he was in one piece -- why would he be otherwise? He didn't bother to answer the obvious statement. Maxwell swung himself down and dropped lightly to the ground, his long braid falling down over his shoulder. He flipped it back as he sauntered forward, still grinning like he'd just put one over on somebody. Maybe he had.

Heero shook his head and turned to go, not really listening to the ensuing chatter, wondering absently why Maxwell was fighting in this war. He certainly seemed to be passionate and dedicated enough. It was a most comfortable thing, to have the God of Death on your side.

What kind of history would make you call yourself the God of Death? Not that it mattered. This was only the latest of times that Heero had watched the glowing scythe chew through opposing mobile suits like waxworks. 02 was a very, very good pilot, as good as Heero himself -- maybe better, although it hurt his pride to admit it. He would, of course, not admit it aloud to anyone.

Forgetting Maxwell, Heero flexed his fingers, and rubbed his thumb over the calluses left by years of piloting. He loved flying Wing, and took great pride in doing it well. One of the few things he truly enjoyed, it was a relief to him to let go, throwing himself into the near-instinctive patterns of flight without having to think about anything except the clean, clear precision of his trajectory and the empty space beyond. He was a skilled soldier, trained for perfection in all areas of fighting and anything that might be necessary to complete his missions; but above all else he was an excellent pilot. Flying anything was a thrill -- but flying a Gundam was incredible beyond compare.

It was one of the few places he felt truly free, in the metal shell of his Gundam, racing effortlessly through the starrry blackness of space, or soaring high in the air over Earth, with enough firepower at his fingertips to take out a base singlehandedly. An indestructible force, unstoppable by anything -- save another of it's kind. The feeling of sheer speed and power he got from being at the controls of Wing was a rush of euphoria that he thought must be like a kind of fierce joy. He was not very familiar with that emotion, so he couldn't say for sure.

Whatever it was, most of the time it almost made up for the harsh, cold fact that the Gundam was a war machine, designed to inflict death and destruction on just about anything in its path; and it's pilot, merely a weapon, an extension of itself. Most of the time, he could ignore the fact that the only purpose of either was to complete whatever mission was assigned to him.

He preferred not to think of it too often. Rather, he focused on the freeness of flight, the adrenaline of a fight, the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that came from being very, very good at what he did. He could be counted on to complete the mission, every time, no matter what. Even if it meant putting up with the less than enjoyable company of 02 when they had to work together.

Shaking his head, Heero followed the other pilot up to the house, absently watching the braid thump against his back, almost brushing his ass as he walked. If the other guys had already taken bunks that left him rooming with Maxwell again, he was going to sleep on the couch.


Duo had a feeling that Yuy wasn't really listening to him at all as he led the way out of the hangar, but at least it filled the silence, taking the edge off the strained atmosphere that had existed between them since last night. Had it only been last night? God, but it had been a long mission.

Okay, so it hadn't been that long... but it had seemed like a lifetime. He hadn't slept well at all. What kind of moron had arranged for them to stay in a place that only had single rooms? Jeez... not that he minded getting a little closer to Yuy, he was damn sexy, but it would be a lot more fun with a little cooperation from his partner.

He sneaked a glance at the other boy out of the corner of his eye. Yuy was definitely not listening to him. He wasn't really saying much, though, nothing important, just making conversation. Well, conversation was not the best word -- to converse implied at least a two-way chat, and this was definitely one-sided. But it was much, much better than silence.

Silence was a warning. Silence meant trouble. Streets that were too quiet meant something was wrong, a quiet which was too often just the calm before the storm. Silent people were even worse -- hard to read, they didn't give you anything to work with. Silence meant they had something to hide. Silence gave you no cover, no distraction to keep someone else from reading you too well.

Silence... meant you had too much time to think. Not the quick, sharp thoughts that kept you alive, but the slow, deep treacherous thoughts that pulled you in and pulled you under, dulled your edge, made you slow down and stop fighting. The kind that made you wonder if living was really worth it.

Duo didn't like silence. So he kept chattering about nothing, a diversionary tactic that he had down to a fine art. When they reached the house, a plain, boring frame house that might once have been a farmhouse, Duo felt the slight easing of tension that came with being in a 'safe' place. A place where you didn't have to stay on high alert; he sighed a little, and relaxed somewhat.

He was looking forward to caffeine, food, a hot shower and a warm bed, in that order. Dumping his gear beside the door for the time being, he watched Yuy disappear down the hall without a word, and shook his head as he headed for the kitchen.

He was relieved to find Quatre there, someone he felt more at ease with, his closest friend among the other Gundam pilots. Someone who would banter with him as he let down, releasing the stress of the mission.

"You made coffee!" he exclaimed with a wide, grateful grin. "You're a lifesaver, Kat."

"Of course," the blonde boy smiled at him. "I knew you would be coming in, wanting it."

Finding a mug in one of the metal cabinets, Duo poured himself a full cup, sniffing deeply as the fragrant steam rose. He took a gulp of the strong black coffee, not quite hot enough to burn, and felt a little better all over. Yeah, that should keep him awake until he managed to get fed and clean.

Though small, the room was warm and comfortable -- a good place to sit and eat, or just sit and talk at the sturdy, square wooden table. There were bright yellow curtains at the now dark window above the sink, and Duo wondered briefly if that was color people referred to as 'sunny'. It did give a certain homelike touch to the functional safe house kitchen. Quatre sat at the table with his own cup of tea, keeping him company while he rummaged for something to eat. "How'd it go this time?"

"Oh, the usual," Duo answered, sounding somewhat preoccupied as he made himself a sandwich. "Find the target, blow stuff up, shoot any Ozzies, get out without gettin' captured or killed... mission accomplished."

Quatre chuckled at the flippant answer, and Duo flashed a quick grin in his direction as he replaced the sandwich fixings in the fridge. It was an ugly shade of mustard that clashed with the more greenish yellow of the linoleum that covered the floor -- notwithstanding the faint brown pattern, almost too light too see. If someone was going for the sunny theme with all the yellows, here, they had overdone it. Or maybe, they had just been real high on something at the time.

And thank you for not sharing, Duo thought to himself, smirking. Food in one hand and coffee in the other, he hooked a chair with one foot and turned it sideways, dropping into it with a sigh of appreciation.

Quatre gave him a sharp look. "Tired much?"

"I'm beat," Duo admitted ruefully, setting his mug down so he could pay attention to the sandwich with both hands. "Didn' get much sleep last night." He knew that Heero had hated every minute of the night they had been forced to spend together, and it hadn't been so easy on him either. It had taken him a long, long time to get to sleep, and he knew he'd been restless when he finally did sleep. He'd woken up several times, paranoid about the state of his hair, and annoyed that he was letting it bother him that much.

Finally, disgusted with both the situation and his reaction to it, he had simply given up, turning on his stomach and letting the hair fall where it would. It was Yuy's problem, and if he didn't like it, he could shove it. Duo didn't care what he thought.

Liar. Yeah, right. So, he cared. He snorted in self-mocking amusement. Lot of good that was going to do him -- Yuy was determined to dislike him, no matter what he did. It didn't matter anymore. There was nothing he could do to change the other boy's mind about him, and he sure wasn't going to bust a gut trying.

"Say, Kat?" he asked around a mouthful, trying to sound casual. He swallowed and took another drink of his coffee before he continued. "Suppose you could do me a favor, and make sure Yuy and I aren't roomies this time? We've... had about enough of each other's company for a few days."

Raised eyebrows greeted this request. Quatre was aware of Duo's interest in the Wing pilot, and knew that he often went out of his way to reach out to him, in spite of the lack of response to his friendliness. Duo wanting to avoid Yuy completely was highly unusual. "Something happen between you?"

Duo sighed, and winced inwardly. Sometimes Kat was entirely too perceptive. "Not really." He smirked, unable to resist the chance to tease. "We just slept together, that's all." At Quatre's shocked gasp, he chuckled and explained, "Some idiot decided to skimp on our motel room -- we had to share the bed. Yuy was not happy."

After a moment, Quatre broke into startled laughter. "Oh my!.... I see," he replied, amused. "Well, it won't be a problem -- we've each taken a room so far. You can have the other bunk in my room and Yuy will be in with Chang or Trowa."

Thank goodness for small mercies, Duo thought, a phrase he vaguely remembered hearing Sister Helen use. "Good," he said aloud, hoping his relief wasn't too obvious. From the look on Quatre's face, which suggested he was holding back more laughter, it was. "It's not that funny, Kat," he growled, glaring at his friend.

Quatre did laugh then, a bright, infectious sound that made Duo smile in spite of himself. "I suppose not, for you, but... oh my... I can just imagine the two of you spending an entire night in the same bed... I wish I could have seen it. The looks on your faces must have been quite entertaining."

That got a reluctant chuckle, and Duo shook his head. "Smartass. I'd like to see you spend a night with Trowa--"

"No, that's okay," Quatre cut him off hastily. "I'll just laugh at your expense, thank you -- it's much more fun." He smiled cheekily.

With a mock glare, Duo finished off his sandwich and got up from the table. "You just wait, Kat, when it's your turn, you ain't gettin' no sympathy from me. What-so-ever." He scowled threateningly for half a second, then grinned and stretched lazily. "Thanks for the coffee."

"No problem," Quatre answered affectionately. "Go get some sleep. My room is second on the right down the hall. Bathroom is first door on the left if you want a shower."

"I do," Duo agreed fervently, "I do indeed. Nice an' hot, with plenty of scrubbing -- feel like I'm covered in grease and grime." He grimaced, and shoved a hand through his bangs. His braid swung as he shook his hair back; he wondered if he was up to dealing with that tonight. It was a mess, and it would feel so good to get his hair clean, but he didn't know if he could stay awake that long.

In the end, he went ahead and washed it, just to get it over with. He knew he'd sleep better if he did, even though it would still be damp when he re-braided it. But he didn't spend as much time on it as he usually did, not bothering to do more than apply shampoo and conditioning once each, getting in and out of the bathroom as quickly as possible. He could see signs of someone else's recent shower, and assumed Yuy had already taken his.

At last, Duo stretched out on the bed with a long sigh of relief. Man, that felt good. A bed all to himself, and no bright blue glare to hassle him across the room. Quatre's eyes smiled a softer blue as he asked if Duo was ready to turn out the light. He murmured a vague affirmative, and Quatre snorted and shook his head as he hit the switch.

"I don't know why I bothered to ask," he said with a dry grin.

"I dunno either," Duo mumbled, trying to grin back, but he was having trouble keeping his eyes open now, and Quatre couldn't see him in the dark, anyway. He shivered, his skin tingling slightly as a stray flash of memory brought back the freaky-odd feeling of Yuy staring at him in the dark last night from the middle of the room.

It was a shame, he thought hazily, that a guy as hot as Yuy was such an uptight jerkoff. Spent a whole night in bed with him, and didn't even remotely get to enjoy it, on any level. He would have appreciated just being that near the guy, sharing body heat and pretending it meant something more; but Yuy's cold attitude and the argument about his hair had killed even that small pleasure.

Yeah, he decided, it was a damn shame. Well, it would be more of a shame to let that night ruin one of his favorite fantasies: A night, just one night to watch Heero Yuy's ice melt, to watch the fire in the blue eyes melt into passion instead of anger. One night to have that passion that surely must exist, somewhere in there, directed at him, Duo Maxwell.

A sleepy, silly smile did cross his face then as he finally drifted off. Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?

on to chapter 2

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