Heero came to the top of the stairwell and saw Duo standing in the doorway, looking into the barren apartment. "That was the last box. Ready to go?"
Without turning around, Duo nodded. "In a minute. Just... a minute."
Heero closed his eyes for a moment, accompanying a soft snort. He walked up to Duo, wrapped firm arms around Duo's torso, rested his chin against Duo's shoulder, tilted his neck just enough to place a light kiss on Duo's cheek. "Penny for your thoughts, love."
Lopsided grin, soft pat to the embracing arms. "Just thinking of... stuff." Duo let fingertips smooth across the doorway frame, tugged on a smile. "Remember when you showed up here, soaking wet and out of breath from running through what has to be the storm of the decade?"
Heero nodded, tightened the hug. "The night I made up my mind - when I first told you I loved you."
Soft chuckle. "Your timing has always been excellent. I'm glad you didn't catch a cold."
Snort. "I never get sick."
Grin. "Oh? Then who was it I treated to oodles of instant chicken soup a few months back?"
Grunt. "Fine - almost never, then."
Duo glanced over at the floor by the far wall, at the different shade and four shallow depressions in the hardwood floorboards, marking where the couch used to be. "And over there - where I teased you to no end, the night you desperately tried to build up the nerve to kiss me."
Smile, rub of cheeks. "I got there at last, didn't I?"
Chuckle. "Yeah, you did..." Duo's eyes drifted off to the side of the desolate room, to the bedroom door. "Then there's that," he nodded pointedly. "I hope you remember that night?"
Short snicker, lips to cheek. "Always - both the first, and all the rest."
Duo bent an arm back to grasp at the back of Heero's head, and ruffled his fingers in the dark locks. His eyes drifted to the single big window of the small apartment living room, and a sigh escaped him. "And that's where you... offered permanence."
Amused snort. "If that's what you want to call it - forever together, Duo. That's what I asked for, starting with a home that's ours, not mine or yours."
Sigh. "I know..." Chuckle. "I said yes, didn't I?" Against his cheek, he felt Heero nod.
"And I'm glad you did."
They grew silent, standing in a disjointed embrace, reminiscing. At long last, Heero grew weary of watching the desolate room.
"You're not leaving behind the memories, Duo. Those will always be with you - with us." He paused, relieved to sense Duo give a cautious nod. He loosened the embrace, stepped back and coaxed Duo to turn around, before delivering a proper kiss. At its end, he took Duo's hands in his, a short step back, another. "Come, let's go. Don't let go of me, and don't look back."
Duo smiled, fought back the tears threatening to spill, and let himself be dragged out the doorway. He pushed the door shut with his heel, the lock clicking into place. He didn't look back, only forward; into a future that appeared nothing but bright.