Disclaimer: This is fanfiction based on the characters and universe of Gundam Wing.

Another Version of Events
by Karan Seraph
Chapter 83

It was accurate to say Heero had worked up a whole new sweat, though he was not conscious of doing hard work. It was just the heat, though summer had nothing to do with it. The heat all seemed to come from Duo. They were doing it his way, not the way Duo normally would do it with anyone else, but the way he would ask to have it done to him.

Perhaps this would teach Heero he did not need roughness. Perhaps he would learn if he was a 'sicko'. Perhaps...

It was good. Really good. Truly, deeply good. Yet, Heero did not feel that certain something he thought he ought to in this position. He did not feel thrown out of his body and spiritually aware and at the same time something like zen.

He was just about to beg Duo to do it some other way when he felt fresh, warm droplets fall between his shoulder blades. He thought it was more sweat, until Duo spoke and Heero heard the strain in his voice. It was more than evidence of physical exertion. Duo was overcome with emotion. Heero could tell from that one word, his name.

If he had not realized it already, Duo's slight repositioning of his hand on Heero's shoulder would have told him. The touch even made it clear which emotion had come over Duo. He did not grasp Heero's shoulder as if afraid to lose him. He did not tease with light playful fingers. The best term for it was: strong tenderness.

Tears, a strained voice and strong tender grasp on his shoulder and Heero knew Duo was in love. And as he knew, it came to him in one more way. It came through the sixth sense.

He no longer wished to ask Duo to change his methods. He did not feel his mind should go anywhere. Everything was coming into his mind. Heero had everything he needed.

He twisted his left arm to put his hand behind his back. He felt Duo's moist fingers slip into his hand. If Hilde came into the room just then, it might have seemed Duo was twisting Heero's arm to pin him to the bed, he was, only Heero had put himself in this position.

Heero felt every second of Duo's ecstasy along with everything his own body felt. He was grateful he had not asked Duo to change the way he did things.

"Heero," Duo said again. His voice was full of gratitude and love. "Heero, I-Oh God. I-"

Heero forced his breath to slow. His arm was still pinned behind his back. Love me so much it makes you weep, He thought, but said nothing of the tears aloud to Duo. Duo was sensitive about male shedding of tears.

"This way is good," Heero said, after a silence.


"I still think I like that other way, but I guess, I do not need it. If you ever feel you want to do this, Duo, just let me know, so I will not order you to do it some other way."

Duo laughed warmly, released Heero's arm, then hugged him.

They had communicated to each other their love, without actually saying the words.

"Wanna give as good as you got?"

Heero laughed, though not as coldly or as hysterically as he once would have, "Sure, but maybe we could towel off and get some water first."

"Whatever you want, Baby. Anything you want."

"That's satisfying to hear!" Heero said in his Duo voice, which was likely a very poor imitation.

Duo laughed.

They were in the kitchen when Hilde returned, bringing Midii with her. Heero was wearing some of Duo's clothes, with the cuffs of the jeans turned up, and Duo was in a robe he had stolen from the hotel in X18999, which was rather femmy and made of red satin. Hilde rolled eyes at them, but Heero was sure she would have guessed what they had been up to without the tousled hair, strange lounging attire and unshowered scent.

Heero turned from washing his hands to assembled a sandwich while Duo stood guzzling some unnatural colored sports drink. "Any news?" Heero asked, glancing to Hilde before returning his attention to the sliced luncheon meat.

"You want to know?" Hilde asked, clearly addressing Duo.

He lowered the bottle to the counter.

"So you are going to drink all of that?" Midii asked him.


You are going to drink the remainder of that now your mouth has been on the bottle?"

Duo flicked her off.

Heero shook his head. "I am sure Duo is dying to know", Heero said quietly.

"Girl, right?"

Hilde smiled. "Boy. No known genetic disorders or defects. My hair color. Dark blue eyes. Likely a similar percentile in height to you."

"They can tell all that, huh?"

Hilde nodded.

"You have a copy of the full workup? Or did they just tell you the results?"

"Full copy on disc," Hilde said slowly.

"They sent the tests out to a lab?"

"The office has their own expert in extracting and reading gene code."

"It's mostly done by computers", Midii added.

"I believe that is true. The people in the office just feed samples to a machine and circle specific bits of code in searching for known defects and the commonly asked for traits."

"You should have someone else look at it," Heero said.

"What the fuck for? Don't be a freak. I'm sure the kid will be fine. Right, Hilde?"

Heero glared at Duo as he held the butter knife. "Hilde does understand her child's father has some unusual traits."

Duo seemed confused, but Hilde said, "Is there someone we can trust, Heero? I had not thought about that. It is good that you reminded me."

"Oh", Duo said, finally realizing what they were talking about. "You think he'd be different?"

"Determining that would be the purpose of having a real expert search through the entire code. It might help to compare it to a sample with the traits we are searching for, or several samples."

Duo walked from the kitchen with his drink; the monitor powered on as he walked near it.

"I think I was one of the first people to know, but he still does not seem to want to talk about it with me."

Heero nodded. "Ask Sally who she would recommend. Do not bother Duo. I have my own data on disc already and I am willing to lend it to you, if it will help to prepare for your child."


"You just keep that around? Your DNA on a disc?" Midii asked.


"I will let you know when I talk to Sally," Hilde said.

Heero nodded slightly, finished his sandwich and then put the remaining ingredients and utensils away.

Duo was watching a movie when Heero took his sandwich and a bottle of water into the living room. He sat beside Duo and looked at the screen. "Do not recognize this one."


Heero said nothing.

"Jackson's Fellowship of the Ring. I swear I've heard you use the word 'Elven' before..."

"Oh... I have seen this. Or, I've seen parts on TV over the years. I read the books once. Usually like Science Fiction more, but I rather liked reading about the campaigns and battles."

"Well, I expect you'll have a cornflake moment any time now and rediscover what is so great about the movies that you do not get out of books."

"Ewan MacGregor in it?"

Duo laughed. "No, but one of the cast was in a Star Wars movie, in a remarkably similar role."

"Which furniture belongs to you? Will you move your things out? When we have the house?"

"I think I will, though I am not sure about moving a lot of furniture, like if it is cost effective. What do you think? Should I shuttle furniture to Earth, or buy new stuff there?"

"Eventually we will have to buy new furniture, just to fill up the house. I think I will leave my apartment in the Colonies intact, except for personal items. I will have to purchase a second desktop to keep in the house, to use for work. I will need a desk or workstation for that with a chair. Otherwise, some sort of bed and some table for dining would be the most necessary items, or, the first I would buy."

"To be honest...until we do the construction and I move my stuff there I do not think it will be clear to me what furniture and storage I will need. There is a lot of storage there, I mean, for kitchen stuff and collectibles and books. That one area of the house has a lot of cabinets."

"True. How did you suppose we should handle the construction?"

"Well, it depends on you. I mean, we close in less than two weeks. Ken can start the construction then, but I will not be able to get there until September, because I have so much to work on for our bid here. I'll be on Earth after that, but in school or working a lot of the time. You're welcome to use the other rooms and oversee things while I am not there, but Ken will be able to keep an eye on the workers if you cannot. So, you do not need to move until everything is ready."

"I will think about it. The next six weeks you will be especially busy."

"Yeah. I won't be able to get away. If you are able, I would love for you to visit, but I know you need to schedule around your own work."

Heero nodded.

They watched the movie, and then, with Heero wondering if Duo were most like an Elf, went to bed. The next morning, Heero fixed Duo breakfast, with Duo sleepily insisting he should be the one fixing Heero breakfast. After breakfast, Heero kissed Duo goodbye and went home.

It was ten days before they saw each other again. They had spoken on the phone and seen a lot of each other that way, but it was not like being together in person. Duo smiled and waved from the drive when Heero stepped down from the truck after Koi.

Duo had spent the past two weeks working on his Tinman, but Heero had spent his time preparing for a move. He had had lunch or dinner with a different friend each day and went through a logical list of topics of conversation with them, including his intentions to stay in touch, suggesting they give him current contact information, and asking if they had any general advice for buying, owning or decorating a home. Many of them had offered unneeded furniture or decorative items along with advice, and so even though Heero had left the majority of his own furniture in his Colonial apartment, his newly collected hand-me-downs and belongings had necessitated the truck.

Duo had arrived separately, without obvious luggage, meaning to get a flight back to the Colonies as soon as possible.

Heero had known of Duo's plans. They had discussed Heero's decision to reside in the house during construction, though the amount of things Heero had brought along surprised Duo. Duo was accustomed to his handshake deals and trusting others to do their share of work when it was promised, but Heero suspected Earth was a little different and that someone other than Ken should be on site to watch over the various work teams.

Heero did not doubt Ken was a great guy who got excited by architecture and renovation, he sensed nothing unsettling about him, but Heero did not think Ken should be trusted to look after their house and to oversee the workers. He might not personally check every work order or learn who was on a particular construction team that day. Those things might not seem important, but forgetting such details could lead to tragedy. Who knew who might want plant a bomb...or substitute substandard building materials for the high quality materials that had been ordered.

Duo seemed happy to see Heero, but less excited...less hyperactive than Heero would have imagined. He did not think it was sleepiness; Duo would have slept on a commercial flight unless some nearby passenger had looked too strangely at him. Still, he did smile for Heero.

Heero stopped before Duo, rose onto the balls of his feet and kissed Duo once on the mouth. "I want to go on a date."

"Finally decided against monogamy?" It was clear Duo meant it as a joke, though Heero would not have known had Duo not been so familiar. The tone was not quite Duo's usual sarcastic warble.

"With you", Heero said calmly, figuring that a reassuring answer was appropriate, whether Duo was joking or not.

"I don't..."

"Let me take you to dinner at least." Heero almost said that Duo looked like he needed to get out, but in the last nanosecond he decided that was something a best friend could say that a boyfriend should not. He was Duo's friend and wanted to be honest, but one probably did not want to hear they looked weary and depressed from their lover. Heero probably would not like to hear it, even if it was true. "I miss you and..." Heero quickly thought of something else that would be true and reassuring, "you were always a good date."

"I didn't even bring clothes. I really need to get back."

Heero looked over Duo's attire. The clothes were not what Heero would have imagined Duo to wear. He had on a short-sleeved dress shirt with a striped tie and some rather dark, nondescript pants that some low level businessman or clerk would wear. "I'll buy you something to wear. Not that your outfit is unattractive. Actually, I find it...cute, but..."

Duo laughed. "C'mere." He extended an arm and Heero knew to step in and allow Duo to embrace him. "Man, I must really look like shit for you to be trying so hard..."


Duo did not allow Heero to finish protesting before he continued. "We're not just dating anymore, Heero. You don't have to try so hard to be the perfect boyfriend. You can just be yourself and tell me I look like shit when I do."

"I was trying to be reassuring", Heero whispered. "I would not have said 'shit', only that you seemed weary or stressed, like you could use a night out. It is also true that I would like to go on a date with you. And I do think this outfit appealing, only, not what I would guess that you would find appealing."

"You were always a little more punk rock than me", Duo chuckled. "So, you really willing to buy me some new clothes?"

"Yes. I will even give you a bath and a massage, and comb your hair, before we leave. It will be our house."

"You know, you don't need to seduce me."

Heero smirked helplessly. "A boy is not obligated to grant sexual favors just because someone buys him a new outfit and some dinner. You can accept what I am offering at face value or not at all."

"I accept! I accept!" Duo laughed and threw up his hands as he spoke. "I probably will have sex with you though."

"Truly deeply..."

"Satisfying to hear."

Heero smirked and walked to the front door. He heard Duo sigh and follow. Ken was already waiting with the door open. He said they were only waiting for the bank representative now.

Heero and Duo greeted everyone, His realtor, Andrea, was there as well. Heero suffered some small talk while waiting for the bank representative. It was mostly discussion of what he planned for the house and how much he loved it.

When the bank representative arrived, everyone went over the paperwork and the transfers of money were made. Finally, Ken ceremoniously presented Duo with a number of keys on a cute chain featuring some anime character.

When the two women had left and Duo and Ken were happily chatting about all the plans they had for the house, Heero decided he would start unloading things from the truck.

Heero heard segments of conversation as he moved in and out of the great room, where Duo and Ken were standing. Duo was saying that Heero would be staying at the house Ken should keep him informed of everything and consult Heero before calling Duo about any matter with the house. Duo still wanted to talk to Ken about the house, but it would be better, Duo was saying, if the others took care of minor things without him, while he was still busy with the mobile suit project.

Eventually, Duo noticed that Heero was carrying furniture past him and did his nervous laugh. "I guess I should help him."

Ken took the hint to leave and Duo was soon helping Heero to unload the truck and carry things into the house. Most of the furniture, non of it very large, was placed in the greatroom under tarps and sheets, as it had been packed for shipping. The things Heero would need and use sooner rather than later he put in the rear room, knowing it was the room in the house the most removed from areas of construction.

There was a kotatsu, futon and wardrobe trunk in the room and then Heero went to the cab of the truck and brought in his computer gear and a few more of his and Koi's accessories in bags.

It was late afternoon then and Heero made a mental note that the room needed a lamp lighting fixture of some kind for evenings. Heero collected his toiletries and some towels by the light from the windows and his mobile computer screen and then invited Duo to the bathroom.

Duo got up from the futon, where he had been resting beside Koi and followed. As they passed the kitchen, Heero reprioritized his mental list to move his reminder about ordering groceries to the top of the list just under the lamp. In the bathroom, he made a note to add household cleaning products to his order. The room was clean, but use would necessitate future cleaning.

A house had so much to clean and maintain, but Heero was confident he was up to the task. Duo would be handy, as they said. Once Duo was moved in, then they would work out where chores and who got to place what where and what tings they would buy together for the house.

Heero started the tub filling. The fixtures and controls here were all very modern and efficient, though the styling of everything made the house seem preserved in a past age. Heero did agree that Ken had done a wonderful job on the restoration.

The silence must have seemed awkward to Duo. "So, where will we go to dinner?" he asked.

"What do you feel like?"

Duo laughed. "Researched Sitka as if for a mission?"

Heero poured some scented oil into the bathwater. "I have been to Sitka twice already on business, but to answer most truthfully, I did further research when I knew we would be living here. That is only sensible."

"Yeah, yeah. Let's do something like burgers or pizza."

"You want to see how American food is in Alaska?"

"Sure. I mean, it does differ regionally, even if it is sorta 'American' food."

"I think we can find a place. We can take the truck or call a cab."

"Truck will do, but now you mention it, there will be some deliveries here soon, when I am gone most likely. You can sign for them."


"Five total."

"Do we need five? They are not Gundams, are they?"

"No," Duo laughed, "I wish."

"You do?"

Duo let that question go and continued his earlier reply. "One is the plane I told you about. I did tell you...?"

"To commute between Sitka and San Francisco."

"Yeah, and one is just a collector piece I admit, but I think you'll like it. More a project, as I got these all in parts. See? Another is for you to drive year round. The other two are mainly for good weather."

Heero could only wonder. "Get in the tub", he said after a length.

Duo stepped over the edge of the tiled tub and sank slowly into the water. "You always make it so hot."

"Better to cook you... to clean you with, My Dear."

Duo grimaced and stifled an outright laugh. He probably guessed that Heero had been waiting for an opportunity to say that and had not come up with the line spontaneously, but he did not call Heero on this. Duo made himself busy with wetting his hair.

He was a good boyfriend, Heero thought.

Heero removed his shoes and socks and then stepped into the water, still clothed. Duo smiled as Heero knelt between his legs. Heero saw the smile, and he could see lashes and lids, but not Duo's eyes, yet he knew he was watching. "It's kinda a fixation."

"You have a problem with me bathing you while wearing wet clothing?"

"Not really. No. No problem."

Heero lifted the soap and puff. He leaned toward Duo and rested his arms on Duo's shoulders. "I missed you."


Heero blindly poured soap onto the puff behind Duo's back and tilted his head slightly, suggesting he would kiss Duo. "It will be good...when the house is finished and we are both living here. It will be good to find each other between all the business traveling."

"Yeah. It'll be fine. I know I'm looking forward to it."

Heero pressed his lips softly to Duo's, then opened his mouth and slipped his tongue over Duo's teeth. Heero was looking forward to living with Duo.

When Heero had finally managed to get Duo clean, he peeled out of his wet clothing, wrapped Duo in a towel, and then quickly straightened up the small bathroom, before leading Duo back to the room he had chosen to stay in during construction.

Heero asked Duo if he felt hot or cold. He said he could try to get the heater to work. It was summer, and warm outside in the evening, but Heero had not checked the house's environmental controls. He went on explaining that he would look into all the security and electrical systems as soon as he was able and that the base and tabletop of the kotatsu had actually come from Japan and were quite old, but Ursula had said the heater she used with them had come from the Colonies and had already been converted once for a different voltage.

Duo listened and sat draped in towels looking out the glass to the yard. "It's really beautiful...to just have trees there."

"Beautiful." Heero tried to call up his mental inventory and recall where he had packed the camera, but he abandoned the task to just look at Duo. He had once before owned a house and had trees to look at, but it had made him feel there should be someone there to share.

Heero shook himself and remembered they were getting ready to go out. "I will comb your hair."

"My backpack is there. My comb is inside."

Heero found the comb and knelt behind Duo to comb out his hair. It was nice to have trees.

When they were dressed and Koi on a leash, they got in the truck and Heero drove downtown. It was more difficult to park than a little electric Colonial, but Heero only had the truck and hiring a taxi would have cost more. After all the talk of principle and interest, Heero was even more conscious of how much he spent than before.

They went to the vintage clothing store they had visited before, where Heero had gotten his 517s. When they walked inside, the woman working in the store questioned Heero about his dog. She was not bothered that Koi was in the store, but curious about his breed and what his name was. As Heero answered, Duo went to look through the many racks filled with clothing.

"Are you looking for anything in particular?" the woman asked.

"I promised to buy him one outfit, because he only brought the one set of clothes for his visit, but I have no idea what he is looking for, or if he knows before he finds it."

"Can I try some clothes on?" Duo called.

"No problem, the fitting room is there." She pointed out the curtained stalls even as she gave Duo an appraising look that seemed to search for number of garments held and any baggy clothing he wore.

Heero wondered if they had repaired the hook.

In about a minute, Duo came from the room wearing brown leather pants. He grinned.

"I really did think I would like them on you, but now the make my think of Jim Morrison and that makes me think of Quick..."

"I'll look for something else." Duo bounded off still wearing the leather pants and murmured something about remembering to ask Quatre about lambskin.

While he waited, Heero went to look at some décor items. The store had, besides clothing, vintage and novelty fabrics, lamps and other accessories. He was considering a spheroid paper lantern when Duo came to him wearing another outfit. This ensemble involved the color black, a concert tee, a tuxedo shirt, and 150s style military-inspired dress pants with stripes down the outside of each leg. The most unusual thing was that the stripes were made of red sequins, but otherwise the style and color scheme did seem like Duo.

"You like this one?" Heero asked.


"Looks good. Can you find me a shirt and tie like the one you wore before, in my size?"


"What do you think of this lantern for the house? For the room I am using."

"I sorta had the idea it's be good for tea or a shrine or meditation, eventually."

"I got that idea when you mentioned tatami mats. The lamp is psuedo oriental."

"Go for it. It's not very expensive, right? We can get something else in the future if you want."

Heero nodded and watched Duo bound off to look for Heero-sized clothing. When they were both dressed in their date outfits, they had the price tags collected from them to purchase the clothing and paid for the lantern as well. They were allowed shopping bags to carry their own clothes in and left the store with thanks.

The bags were put in the truck and they walked to the restaurant, a diner-style establishment Heero had read about. It was a little trendy and expensive to be considered an actual diner by many, but the important thing was the menu. They ordered burgers, fries and shakes and sat eating and talking for a long while, even into sundaes and coffee. They realized after the second cup of coffee that the waiter was asking if they needed anything so frequently because he was waiting for them to ask for the check.

Heero paid for dinner from one of his accounts and then he and Duo both used the diner's restroom. They walked on the streets a while, just talking and letting Koi lead the way. They did not really discuss anything important. Sometimes they talked about the house, but not about the finances of it or the work ahead, only their hopes. They reminded each other of good times in the past and shared their memories and opinions of those events. They told each other of books, movies or shows they enjoyed. They even talked about sports and the weather.

"Do you want to go to the port and look for a flight, or go to the house?" Heero asked. They were standing at the truck again.


As Heero pulled into the driveway, he made a mental note to have the outdoor lighting installed or find a supplier of the necessary equipment. Heero suspected that with all the work going on, some things were going to become his responsibility entirely. All the things he had recommended when he had thought the house for someone else would have to be taken care of.

Heero let Koi out first and glanced toward Duo. He was giving Heero an insanely sexy look from across the bench seat and Heero toyed with the concept of having sex in the cab of the rented white box truck before deciding it was more exciting to go into their new house.

Duo did not know Heero's thoughts, and it seemed he was willing to try sex in the truck, but Koi's loud barking distracted them both.

"Maybe an animal..."

Heero hopped down from the truck, aware that Duo was carrying the bags with him and exiting from the opposite side of the vehicle. By the time Heero walked around the front of the truck, Duo had dropped the bags and stopped to pet the strange dog in their yard.

Heero first called out the command for Koi to come sit beside his leg and then called out to Duo, "It might be sick...you should get away from it."

"That's rather cold," Duo said, but he sounded absolutely freezing.

"There's been a canine viral epidemic and many sled dogs were affected. I have to think of Koi." Heero grasped Koi's collar and held him close.

"He's probably just a neighbor's pet. Even if he is stray... you shouldn't."

"Maybes Duo! It's not like I have a vaccine I'm withholding from the animal; it's only logical to be concerned."

Koi started barking again and Heero noticed that he aimed his eyes and ears toward the trees at the side of their yard. There was a beam of light moving there, an adult human carrying a flashlight, Heero decided.

"Hello," Duo called in a rather friendly tone, "This your puppy?" His eyesight was marginally better than Heero's in low light and Heero did not doubt Duo could already make out the man's features. As he approached, Heero could see that it was a man, with dark skin and hair.

"Is that your dog? He is not sick, is he?"

"No," the man said irritably, as if tired of answering the same question many times. He sighed. "It is only right you show concern for your own dog there. I thought it might be a Pharaoh Hound. It is a most distinctive sort of bark."

Heero supposed it might be. He had mainly experience with Koi and not with other dogs, but it made sense different breeds might sound different.

"I'm Marcus MacDonald. I'm a veterinarian. I am also keeping a number of my brother's sled team dogs at my home right now, as he sent the ones that passed quarantine south to decrease their risk of exposure. This one got away. Some of the puppies still try to dig under the fence and he was successful."

"Clever guy", Duo said. "What's his name?"

"Doesn't have one. My brother agreed to try to sell some of the dogs, he's trying to raise money to fund medical treatments and research right now...these dogs are all pedigreed and descended from champions but right now we can't even give them away. Too many people associate the disease with sled dogs, even though it can affect all canines."

"So, no one wanted to adopt him?"

"No. I got found most of his litter homes with clients of mine, but they all had pets previously and I know some were doing me a favor in taking the others. This one seems just one too many."

"It's no good running away." Duo told the dog, "at least you had someone that was trying to find you a home and willing to care for you in the mean time. Trust me. You wouldn't like the streets, even in this neighborhood."

The dog expressed Joy to have Duo rubbing his neck and talking to him. Heero had enough experience with Koi to know how to read some canine body language. "What is it? A Malamute?"

"With eyes like these? It must be Siberian."

"That's right," Marcus told Duo. "I have some other breeds at my house, but this is a Siberian Husky. Malamutes are more broad and they do not have blue eyes."

"I thought they had darker fur."

"They come in various colors. This is a sable and white."

Heero nodded. "Have you been able to train him?"

"He is housebroken, but that is about it. My brother would have trained them for work, but he has enough concerns now. I know some basic training techniques, but I have not had time. Until recently, I think we had twenty dogs at our house. Ken was not here much, but the neighbors on the other side were starting to complain."

"You know Ken?" Duo asked. "We just bought the house from him. Closed today."

"Ken said the house would be selling, but he would not say anything about the buyer."

Duo laughed. "I asked him not to." He stood and extended a hand to Marcus. "Duo Maxwell", he said. "This is my partner, Heero Yuy."

Heero just bowed, but he made it a polite one.

Marcus looked confused for a moment and then bowed hesitantly in return.

"Heero's all right, just sorta sever when you first meet him. Well, at least very formal and stern. He's Japanese-Russian Colonial."


"My wife, Moira, is partly Russian, but neither of us have been to space," Marcus said.

Heero smirked.

"People say it's nearly like living on Earth there now, but I still can't help thinking that everyone there is some kind of astronaut or scientist and it's like in the movies."

Popular movies made on Earth were part of what caused Earthlings to have the impression that Colonials were rather elitist, deviant and rebellious.

"It is very similar to living on Earth, except there are no suburbs or large areas of unsettled landscape. If you lived in a densely urban area on Earth, living in the Colonies would feel quite similar."

"Right, they are like big cities hung above the Earth."

"They have pets," Heero said. "Koi has made several trips between Earth and the Colonies."

"The first living being launched into space was a dog," Marcus said softly.

"Died in orbit," Duo added.

"Men died too, so it was not like they were particularly cruel to the dog, just in an experimental time."

"It's just ya think some tragedies could have been avoided if people were just a little smarter."

Heero growled and saw Duo wince.

"I didn't mean..."

"Always in retrospect," Marcus said in his friendly tone. "It is natural to feel tragedy could have been avoided in retrospect, but at the time, it is usually true that everyone concerned was doing the best they could at the time."

"We are going to have a fence put up soon. We have experience with pets." Duo laughed, but then he stopped and seemed to realize what Heero was saying. "We did just buy a house, but I think we could give you money in exchange for the dog if it is a fair price."

"You want to adopt this one?"

"I think Duo likes him. He seems much more what Duo would expect in a dog than Koi. And the puppy looks happy."

"Are you sure, Heero? I'll be away for another month and work and school will keep me traveling a lot."

Do you want the dog, Duo? I can keep him at the house with me. It may be possible that you could take him with you; I usually take Koi wherever I go. Or, if not, one of us will usually be at the house."

"If you are seriously interested," Marcus said, "I can bring him back tomorrow with his papers and some supplies I have for his care. And if you ever both need to leave town and are not able to take the dog, I can take him, so long as it is a few days now and then. Otherwise, I can recommend a good boarding kennel. I am afraid it may be more difficult to travel with this dog. Even Koi may be stopped in some ports, if they are aware he is traveling from Alaska."

"Yes. I will need a local vet to keep his papers updated."

"I would be happy to see Koi at my office."


"Yes. Your Koi seems healthy and you have a big yard, so I think this guy will do well with you. He does seem to like Duo."

The puppy was licking Duo's face. "We should name him 'Nu'", Duo said.

"Nu? Koi and Nu."

Duo laughed. He kissed the puppy's nose then handed him over to Marcus. Their neighbor said goodnight and took Nu to his house for the night, leaving Heero standing before the house with Duo and Koi. "You want to come in for a while?" Heero asked.

"Definitely coming in!"

Heero cocked his head and then went before Duo to the door. He unlocked it and walked inside. It was dark and Heero switched on the hall light. They did not have voice control in the house...yet. "I should have bought a light bulb." Heero made a note to add that to the grocery order.

"For the lantern?"


Duo followed Heero into the room where his things were and put down the bags there. Heero could hear his movements. Koi remained in the greatroom, where his water dish had been placed. Heero could not hear Duo move after the bags were set down; he only felt his touch when it came. Duo's hands slipped into the front pockets of Heero's jeans, such that his palms were placed over Heero's hipbones and his fingers prodded at Heero's legs through the thin lining of the pocket.

"There's my buddy", Duo said, his voice gone low. "Which room you want to do it in first? This one?"

Heero smirked. When they had talked about moving into a house together, Heero had imagined it would be something that happened all in one day. Actually, he had not pictured the unloading of furniture or financial transfers at all, only the fucking on the floor in the first room they came to. He did not feel like that now...the floor that was.

"Just get in bed with me here, Duo-chan. When the house is really ours and we are together again, expect me to make certain we do not miss a room." Heero picked Duo's hands from his pockets and turned. "I want to kiss you." He came close to doing so, but stopped just short of true contact and then moved to whisper at Duo's right ear. "I want to push you to the bed. I want to undress you. I want to feel your body. I want to tie you up. I want to fuck you long and slow."

Duo was wordless and swaying. Heero pushed him to the bed.

He bent, knelt on the futon and crawled over Duo's sprawled body. "No complaints?"

Duo glanced up and rolled his eyes as if Heero were insane to ask such a question.

Heero smiled. "You are a good date."

"Ay, he's gorgeous, bathes me, grooms me, buys me new clothes and dinner, gets me a pet, voices his intentions to give me really great sex and I'm a good date?"

Heero chuckled. "I loved every nanosecond, Duo-chan, especially this part where you warble and speak of me in the third person." Heero sighed. "Fond memories."

Duo's momentary pout said those memories should not be so fond, but he must have known they were. "I heard..." he said, breaking off as he realized he was keeping Heero from kissing him, and then continuing quickly so as to get to the kissing, "that some couples, even if the live together, even if they are married and see each other every day, schedule a date night together. I guess you'd like that. I mean, I think I would be interested in that sort of arrangement."

One short soft kiss and then Heero whispered. "Aa." He could have said more. He might have said that he looked forward to nights spent in, that he had no problem with spending hours on the phone or flying in for the night just to crawl all over each other in bed most of the visit. He might have said he loved their vacations. He could have told Duo that he wished they could date more in the future. Duo knew.

Heero needed no special ability; he just needed to understand that in this relationship many things were mutual. He did not need to tell Duo what Duo must be feeling. Duo knew Heero felt it, because he did.

No 'I missed this' or 'I will miss this'. There was only, 'You taste so good now' and 'right there'. Heero always missed Duo when they were apart, but he did not say it once he was on the bed undressing him. He stopped thinking about shuttle flights and just entwined himself with his lover, mindlessly. It was beautiful.

Heero had packed all his personal belongings, and so that meant he had bondage gear and cordage enough to restrain Duo if he wished. He wished. Duo clearly got off on it, and Heero loved that look in Duo's eyes when he gave up struggling.

It was good. Heero found that Duo had been correct when he said that Heero would be able to let go entirely, no matter the position. There were no kisses or clean up afterward, only the catching of breath and limbs loosely tangled as they slipped into dreams.

Duo's motorcycle dream again.

Later, Heero woke wondering if some of the vehicles Duo would have delivered were bikes.

Duo was still asleep when Heero woke; Heero watched him as he stretched, moaned and rubbed hair out of his face with the back of his hand. Duo opened his eyes slowly and spoke in a gravelly voice, "We don't have food here."

"Making the order now", Heero told him. He had already opened his mobile and was moving the fingers of his right hand over the keys and touchpad to select groceries. He had a text editor running as well, with a To Do list, and a second browser window displaying flight schedules. "I'm all over it", Heero said in monotone.

Duo chuckled. He always thought it funny when Heero used slang. He turned from his back, slipped his left hand across Heero's back and then kissed Heero's right shoulder. "Found me a flight?" He continued, sucking and nipping at Heero's neck and shoulder; it was very distracting.

"I need elbow room."

Duo laughed, again. "I could scoot over this way," his fingers walked to Heero's left shoulder, "but then I'd be on top of ya."

"So long as it does not involve penetration..."

Duo was silent, but Heero could feel his laughter. He spoke then, "Man, you always think I'm after your ass now, Baby! It's a nice ass, but not my favorite part!"

"Hn. Which part is that?"

Duo rubbed his cheek against Heero's shoulder. He really did need elbow room. It was more difficult to use the computer with Duo snuggled up to his side. "Your brain."

"You are just saying that."

"I don't lie. It's true."

"Aa. What is the second favorite part, then?"

"The cock," Duo admitted, "but third would be your eyes. And your chest is really great, and your mouth and your hair and your legs."



"I like your mouth best", Heero whispered. "I really do need elbow room."

Duo climbed over Heero and lay at his left side. "My mouth likes you best."

"I can tell."

Duo laughed softly as Heero used the space to open another copy of the browser to view some kitchenware from and online store. "I need to buy some pots and pans to use now, but I can wait to buy other things until you are here."

"Need money?"

"I will take care of it." Heero selected a starter set of some professional grade pots and then checked some flights. "You can fly to LA and get a shuttle there. The 'con' to living here is that there is no spaceport nearby. Alternatively, you could fly to Tokyo and get a shuttle there. You gain hours flying west."

"Right, right, Alcatraz is not cleared for commercial passenger flights. Your shuttle is there."

"Correct, but I may...no, you can take it. Technically, you should not, for insurance purposes, but if there were any problem, I would think of a way to write it up."

"Nah, wouldn't look good. I am a Preventer agent now."

"You only bend the rules in service to security of the Sphere."

"We don't bend rules; they just have a whole separate set of rules for us, so we have room to protect everyone."

"I always wanted a Big Brother."

Duo laughed and shoved Heero in punishment for the joke. "Just tell me about the flights. I bet Tokyo only has direct flights to S4."

"You can only get the direct daily flights between Earth and S3 from the spaceports in California and Florida. Most commercial passenger space transport would have a layover at S4...though a few other ports add in the flight once a month or around holidays."

"No big holidays now. Actually, I'll call in and see if Preventers has any flights I can jump on; if not, I'll go via Tokyo and S4." Duo climbed back over Heero and reached for his backpack, beside the bed, to get his phone. Heero did not know why Duo used that archaic audio-only device, but he supposed someone as stealthy and expert at manipulating telecommunications had a reason.

As it turned out, if Duo could get to the Bay area, he could get on a Preventer transport taking parts and personnel to the lunar base. He should be able to get a flight from there to S3, quite easily.

Heero booked the flight to San Francisco and suggested that if Duo took the truck to the rental place near the airport in Sitka, it would save them both time, as they would not have to call for a car and Heero would not have to return the truck later.

Duo did not feel good about leaving Heero without a vehicle, but Heero assured him that his research had included the location of nearby bus stops.

Duo got up and rushed around, washing and dressing. Heero was left in bed, ordering groceries and trying to convince himself it was not sad that he and Duo were finally sharing a home and Duo was leaving after only one night.

It bothered him that he felt so emotional. It was not wrong to feel. Not wrong to act on feelings...

But Heero felt bad about feeling bad. It just seemed...sappy...to feel sad that Duo was leaving. He is coming back, Heero reminded himself. Duo lives here, with me, he just needs to be away to do his job, right now.

"You going to eat all that pocky and chips by yourself?"

Heero looked at the virtual cart. He had increased the quantity without being entirely conscious of it. "I need a bath."

"Yeah..." Duo said; his tone did not really sound like agreement. "You better enjoy having the house to yourself while you can, ya know! I mean, before you know it you'll be totally pissed off at finding my clothes all over the place and I'll move some stuff of yours so you can't find it and break something while bounding all over the house."

Heero smiled. "That is what comes from owning a pet. I will just have to be sure to discipline you."

"Yes." He paused a moment. "I need the keys."

"On the kitchen counter."

Duo nodded. "You won't find some cute boy in the neighborhood to play with while I'm away?"

Heero shook his head. "The boys here probably all have parents. I am not sure what they would think of me."

"Everyone in the neighborhood loved you, Heero; it will be the same here. You'll be so busy with the dogs and construction..."

"You should go. You need to."

"Yeah." Duo leaned over the bed, Heero lifted his head, and Duo kissed him. He winked at Heero, "I promise I won't mess around while I'm gone!"

"I will visit you if I can... definitely I will call."

Duo winked again. "Looking forward to that!" He grinned then lifted his backpack and left the room.

Heero sat up and watched Duo go to the door. He opened it and left the house without looking back. "I need a bath", Heero said to himself.

on to chapter 84

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