Disclaimer: I don't own anything!

Pairings: 1X2X1
Warnings: yaoi, 1x1 in this chapter, Heero's POV, major sap,..... (the next part will be the lemon)

Coming Home to You
Part 2
by Mara

I admitted it to myself, completely. I almost wanted to deny it, but my feelings of friendship for Duo mixed with this pleasant desire to kiss the beautiful, long haired boy were too much to ignore. I had a crush on Duo Maxwell.

I felt strangely happy to let myself feel that emotion, but my mind started when I realized that there was no hope; Duo would only be disgusted if he knew that I liked him.

I didn't want to, but I had to; slowly I stood up and released Duo. He leaned uncertainly against the counter, staring at me with an expression I couldn't define, as though he suspected I could just as easily attack him or hug him again.

"Are you all right?" I asked, trying to make it look like I hadn't embraced him, even though we both knew better.

"... yeah," Duo said softly, looking like he wanted to say something else, or maybe to *do* something else. But I didn't let myself think any farther than that, fearing another erection. So I did the only thing I could do, which was turn around and continue stuffing boxes and cans into the cabinet.

We sat down to have dinner soon after that, and I was so hungry that I put almost as much on my plate as Duo. There was something inside me now that I had admitted as the truth, and it proved to be a relief everytime I looked at Duo while we were eating. I liked him. I knew that now. I couldn't do anything about it, but I chided myself that at least I'd found out that I liked boys, not girls. No, I corrected myself just after thinking that. I didn't like *boys*... I was completely focused on one boy.

Despite my inability to act on any feelings, I couldn't help smiling at Duo while we were eating. He caught the tail end of the smile when he looked up, and I smirked when he openly gaped at this.

"What's so funny, Heero?" he asked loudly, suddenly pointing at himself. "Me? Since when do you smile about anything?"

"Yes," I said, still smirking and wondering what kind of reaction I'd get from him . "You're funny."

He opened his mouth to say something, but- yet again- his face turned crimson and he looked down. What was the matter with Duo, I wondered. I seemed to be having a strange effect on him since I'd gotten back from my last mission.

He refused to say anything through the rest of dinner, though I caught him trying to look at me without my noticing a bunch of times.

Duo watched TV after dinner, and I went back to our room to check a few things on my laptop. By the time eleven o'clock came around, I was actually more tired than I would have expected, given the fact that I'd slept the entire day away. I got up to use the bathroom and came back into our shared bedroom to find Duo sitting up on his bed, wearing a long sleeved shirt and boxers. His face was hidden by a particularly large volume of manga, which when I got closer, I could see was called "Child's Toy." Apparently Duo had just gotten to a part that was extremely funny, because he burst out laughing as I sat down on the bed beside him, not too close.

"Heero," he said between laughs. "You have to look at this." He doubled over. "I... can't... stop laughing!"

I took the offered manga and started at the beginning, which was only a few pages earlier than the part that Duo was laughing about. He looked up finally and read along with me, and when we got to the funny part, he starting laughing all over again. Even I had to smirk, and it turned into a smile, and then a grin. I was sure that Duo saw my expression... it seemed to make him smile all the more, and I was glad for that.

"Hey, Heero," Duo said suddenly. "You speak Japanese, don't you?"


"I don't like manga that's already in English. The translations always sound weird. Would you..." he looked uncomfortable about whatever he wanted to say. "Would you maybe teach me some Japanese? Maybe we could use my manga as a guide... you could teach me the written language first."

He finished the sentence quickly, and looked very unsure, as though he expected me to hit him for asking such a thing. Was I that hard on my partner that he would be afraid to ask me a favor? Memories of every damn nice thing Duo had ever done for me flashed through my head, and I wasn't surprised to discover that there were so many of those kind moments in our history of being partners that my brain was momentarily overloaded.

Duo was pressed back against the headboard of the bed, still apparently waiting for me to utter "omae o korosu" or punch him. In my mind, a hug would have been more appropriate.

"Sure," I said finally. "I'll teach you, Duo."

He gaped. "You will?"

I nodded. "Want to start now?"

Yet another look of disbelief from the God of Death. "Wha- of course I do!"

He scrambled off the bed and ran for one of his bags. "I have a few volumes with me that are in Japanese. I can't read them... I just got it to look at the artwork." He set two down in front of me, and I stared

. "Rurouni Kenshin?"

Duo shrugged. "The fighting scenes looked cool."

I will never forget the next two hours that Duo and I spent together. Every moment of teaching him, of speaking and writing and having him mimic my actions was more fun than any living event I'd experienced up to that point. Obviously, he picked things up quickly, and the proud and surprised smiles that resulted when I told him he was doing well, or that his lettering was perfect, were breaking a deep hole inside of me. That sounds like something painful and awful when I say it like that, but it was just the opposite. I figured out that it was easy to make Duo smile, or to make his face light up beautifully, but the fact that he was smiling for me made the expression punch holes deep inside my mind, and Duo's contagious warmth seeped in through them. Pretty soon, I was smiling back at him, sometimes for no reason. It felt wonderful.

Towards the end of our little tutoring session, Duo commented that the only Japanese phrase he'd known before that night was "omae o korosu," given the frequency with which I said it. That comment put me over the edge, and I had to stifle a laugh.

We finally stopped, and Duo put the manga away, his gorgeous face still glowing from smiling and laughing so much during our time together. By now it was one o'clock in the morning, and the sensation of my eyelids burning again told me that I'd probably be getting a decent amount of sleep tonight. I changed into a pair of boxers and a T-shirt and climbed into my bed just as Duo was doing the same on his side of the room. The lights were turned off, and my body slipped into sleep only a few minutes later. Just before I lost myself to dreaming, Duo said across the room-


"Hn?" I asked, half asleep.

"Thanks for that. It was fun."

"Hn," I agreed sleepily, but I think he understood by my tone that if I were awake I would have said "yes, Duo, it was."

I slept soundly until exactly 4:26 AM, and I knew that because Duo's green neon alarm clock was the first thing I saw when I woke suddenly. I was so tired that I wondered what could possibly have woken me up. Then... there was a muffled sound from the other side of the room; Duo was talking in his sleep again.

I then realized exactly what had woken me up; I was fully hard, so much so that the erection actually hurt. While I was briefly contemplating what to do about this, Duo made another soft noise in his sleep. What he was dreaming about, I had no idea, but the sound coming from his mouth at the moment was something between a gasp and a slight moan. My painfully hard cock pulsed at the sound, and I couldn't have stopped my hand from brushing down to caress it if I'd wanted to.

I had never actually done this before, but when I slipped my hand inside the boxers and slowly caressed my length, it didn't take long to figure out what felt good. As I stroked, slowly at first, an image of Duo stole into my mind. A scene played through my mind, of Duo getting up from his bed and coming over to slid on top of me. After that, it wasn't hard to supply the image of Duo taking my arousal in his hand and running his fingers over it with increasing speed, just like I was doing. I stroked faster, playing an accurate version of Duo's voice in my mind, of him whispering to me in heated tones that he wanted everything, that he wanted me to take him, to bury my cock deep inside his body and fuck him just liked he'd always dreamed of me doing.

The pleasure increased in intensity, and with one more thought of how beautiful Duo would look with his hair down and an erection to match mine, I fell over the edge into an abyss of ecstasy that I'd never felt before. I had to throw my pillow over my mouth with my free hand to muffle the cry of pleasure and surprise that accompanied wave after wave of passion that was coaxed out by my stroking hand.

Panting in the aftermath of it all, I turned my body to the wall away from Duo and felt just the slightest bit of guilt that I'd thought of the braided boy while doing that. It had felt incredible, but my feelings for him went beyond sexual matters, and unless I could actually do some of those very tempting and pleasurable things with Duo to show him exactly how much I liked him, it felt sort of cheap and only half worth it to only imagine and never really get to touch him.

I realized that I was a mess, and I stood and quickly walked to the bathroom to clean myself off. I came back a minute later and settled myself under the blankets to hopefully get a few more hours of sleep.

Duo had never really stopped mumbling in his sleep, but now some of the things he was saying were coherent sentences. As I closed my eyes once more, he said, "Heero... Heero."

I was so sure he was awake when he said it that I almost asked him what he wanted, but then he mumbled something else and I realized that he was still sleeping. My brow furrowed and I stared at the bluish shape of Duo's form in the darkness. Why was he saying my name?

"Heero," he said again, sounding either more insistent or more like he was in pain, but I wasn't sure which.

He said something too quietly for me to hear, and then said very clearly, "Heero, don't leave me."

I squeezed my eyes shut, fighting off any emotion that dared plague me at these words from my sleeping Duo.

'Why would you say that? I will *never* leave you,' I thought immediately as Duo shifted in his sleep once more, all the while sounding as though he were in the midst of an unpleasant dream. 'Duo, if you want me at all, there would be no way for anyone to keep me away from you.'

I stared over at my beautiful partner for another few minutes, but he said nothing else. It would have been wonderful if I could have decided that Duo begged me not to leave in his sleep because he wanted to be with me in the same way that I wanted him, but I knew I wouldn't be able to bear it if future encounters with Duo proved that he felt nothing more than a bond of friendship between us. Either way, his cry confirmed my hope that he knew I considered him a true friend, and now I knew that he at least considered me one as well.

My heart felt as light as it had during our mixed up session of teaching Japanese, and I fell asleep happy, and for the moment, sated.

You can imagine my surprise when I was woken up at 8:30AM by Duo, the king of over-sleepers. First I heard his voice calling me, and I was still too asleep to open my eyes. I foggily reasoned that I was dreaming , so I stretched one arm up for him without thinking. He must have thought I was asking for a pull to get me out of bed, because he fastened his right hand around my bicep and clasped his other hand in my outstretched. His skin was very, very warm, and smoother than I would have guessed. I smiled in my sleep and reached out for him with my other arm, all the while thinking with my cloudy consciousness that I was in the middle of a great dream.

"Duo..." I said in a pleasure tinted voice, and now he was holding one of my hands in each of his.

How on earth was I supposed to realize that this was definitely not a dream when Duo's fingers squeezed mine, and when he stroked his thumbs against the palms of both my hands? This was obviously not something that he did on a daily basis.

But somehow, I did come awake then, and as my eyes slid open, I surveyed the scene before me with no small amount of surprise. Duo was kneeling beside my bed, holding both of my hands in his. His hair was unbound, and it flowed over his shoulders and chest in shining waves. His gorgeous eyes moved to mine as soon as I opened them, and I saw there everything that the braided boy had been thinking while he'd sat there and watched my state of half sleep.

In Duo's eyes, I saw it. In the center of the violet orbs was an emotion deeper than I'd had ever seen, and in that passionate stare, I saw my own life reflected. It was not my life from my own perspective that I saw, but every detail of the way *Duo* perceived me. The Heero beaming back at me in Duo's eyes was a beautiful creature, a boy who was appreciated in every instance of his life, and above all else, a boy who was loved.

That was really the moment when I let that knowledge melt into my brain. Duo loved me. This was not friendship, a bond between two young pilots paired together for missions. It was the same thing I felt for him, the incredible wash of caring mixed with the desire to give and receive the ultimate pleasure together.

This was the moment I had to look away, because I did not know what to do or say in response to this obvious and passionate emotion that Duo was expressing silently just by looking at me. The desire to kiss Duo had never left me, and now I knew that if I tried to kiss him, I most certainly would not be rejected. Still, I couldn't find the courage to do it. I was totally scared, although I didn't know exactly what I was scared *of*.

Duo dropped my hands when I did this. I wondered if he knew exactly how much emotion I'd seen in his gaze.

I knew that I would have to do something to let Duo know that the feelings were completely returned, but how I was going to do this was not apparent to me just then. I think I was afraid of doing something wrong and scaring him away, or that he might realize that I wasn't quite as great as he'd thought. That was ludicrous, and I knew it; Duo had definitely been looking at me with love in his eyes, and that was an emotion not easily reversed. Despite that, I didn't feel confident enough to tell him just yet. I needed time to think about how it could be done.

"Time to... wake up," Duo said lamely, trying as I had yesterday to cover up something affectionate that had happened between the two of us. I managed to look back at him and nod, rising slowly up from my bed. Without focusing on Duo's eyes and somewhat hurt expression, I went quickly to the bathroom and started a shower for myself, all the while contemplating this new turn of events, half my mind and heart anxious with thoughts of what would happen *after* I straightened things out with Duo. Without my actual prompting, I felt myself harden under the inviting heat of the cascading water, images of Duo in my mind only making the process more severe. It was maddening, but I forced myself not to touch it and give in to pleasure once more. I knew I was hoping that once I got the courage to tell Duo everything, I would never *have* to do that again by myself. I couldn't wrap my mind around the idea of just how good it would feel to do something like that with Duo. It would undoubtedly be a thousand times better than what I'd already experienced, and if Duo truly loved me, then I couldn't wait.

As I continued the shower, I of course wondered *how* I was going to tell Duo how I felt. I couldn't help remembering our time together the night before, the two hours where I'd taught him Japanese phrases and characters. Duo had been uneasy about asking me to help, but after we began, he'd become completely relaxed, and even *I* had been smiling right along with him. The whole atmosphere of the situation had been perfect, and it gave me an idea...

There had been way too much tension in the room a moment ago, when Duo woke me up. Perhaps another Japanese lesson could lighten up the mood between us... and then I could tell him.

It was the best idea I could come up with, and after the hot shower nearly made me touch myself, I knew that I had to go through with it *immediately* or I would go crazy with desire for Duo.

I dried myself and dressed in the usual tank top and spandex. I walked off to the living room and waited until I heard Duo running the shower for himself. I stole back into our room and went directly for the pack that I'd seen Duo take his manga from. After going through it, I saw that he had only the first two volumes of Kenshin manga, and the back of the second book told me that there were certainly a lot of other volumes to buy. I was pleased to see that the sticker on the front side had both the name and address of the bookstore where Duo had bought the manga. Memorizing the address quickly, I stuffed the books back inside his bag and left the safe house, already grinning. Hopefully things would work out perfectly.

About an hour later, I was back, and as I approached the front door of the safe house, that same feeling came over me again. When I stepped inside, Duo would be there for me. But now... now I knew that he loved me, and what was more, I loved him in return. I decided as I turned the key in the lock that nothing in life would ever give me more satisfaction than coming home to Duo.

I walked down the hall, and there was Duo, standing at the bottom of the stairs, braid looped over his shoulder and staring at me strangely, clearly not sure if he should smile. He noticed the bag in my arms immediately.

"What did you get?" he asked.

I smirked. "Something for you."

His eyes became comically wide. "What? ...Really?"

I nodded and motioned for him to follow me into the living room. He sat tentatively down next to me and watched as I took a wrapped package out of the bag. I handed it to him silently. Duo still looked kind of weirded out, but he opened it. I was surprised when he said absolutely nothing, just stared down at the presents in his lap.

"...Duo?" I said finally, wondering what was going through his mind.

"You... you got me the rest of Rurouni Kenshin?" He pulled out the manga books one by one, flipping briefly through the contents of each. I had learned when I got to the bookstore that there were twenty eight volumes of the series altogether, so I quickly decided to buy Duo all twenty six parts that he didn't already have. By the look on his face, I'd obviously done something phenomenal.

"You like it?" I asked, already knowing the answer. "I thought we could read them together. I can teach you more today if you want."

"Do I like it?" he repeated, grinning. Then he realized what else I'd said. "Can we start right now?"

I smiled. "Sure."

I was about to say something else, but a growl from Duo's stomach interrupted me.

"I haven't had breakfast either," I told him. "Want me to make pancakes again?"

By the expression on Duo's face, it might as well have been Christmas morning. "Yeah, I would love that," he said, unintentionally showing me a glint of that passion filled stare I'd been privileged to see earlier that morning.

Breakfast was filled with Duo's chatter about any number of subjects, and I listened with amusement. He once again complimented me heavily on my cooking ability. I wasn't sure whether I was glad this time to hear his quiet sounds of pleasure while eating; it just seemed to be something that Duo did, although it caused a predictable and frustrating tightness in the spandex, but at least I was sitting across from Duo, so he couldn't see.

He caught me smiling at him for absolutely no reason more than once. By the gleam in Duo's eyes, I could tell that his uneasiness about my waking to find him practically holding me had all but melted away. This was perfect, exactly what I wanted; both of us were relaxed again, and soon I might have to courage to do it...

We went back to the living room right after breakfast, and Duo picked up volume three of Rurouni Kenshin. He handed it to me and I flipped to the first page. We had to sit pretty close together to both be able to see the pages on the small book. Letting out a tense breath that I didn't know I'd been holding, I started to read aloud in Japanese and stopped at the end of each sentence to tell Duo the translation. Obviously, I figured that since we were looking a graphic novel, Duo's eyes would be focused on the book, so he would be able to follow everything I was saying. That was what I assumed, but when I'd read a few pages and noticed that so far he'd been completely quiet and hadn't laughed or commented about anything, I stopped and glanced up at him.

He was staring at me, studying my face and at the same time radiating the same love I'd seen before. There was no mistaking this... Duo loved me, and he couldn't make himself hide it even if he tried.

"Duo?" I asked, hoping he could say something in reply, because my breath had caught in my throat.

"Heero, why have you been so nice to me lately?"

"I can't help it," I heard myself saying. This was it. "How can I not do things to make you happy, if I love you?"

Duo's face was perfect, and he suddenly looked happier than I've ever seen him. This is Duo we're talking about, so that *is* saying something.

"Heero, I... I love you too. I have for a long time."

The manga fell out of my fingers and onto the floor, forgotten for the moment. I suddenly had a gorgeous braided boy against me. As I'd suspected, he fit perfectly in my arms.

"A long time?" I asked against his neck. That had taken me by surprise.

"Yes," he said slowly. "Almost since the first day we met. I thought you practically hated me, but you've been so nice since you got home from your last mission... I couldn't control myself from wanting to hold you this morning." In emphasis, he snuggled deeper into my embrace. "Heero..."

Unable to stand it any longer, I lifted his face to look at me. It was easy to get lost in the violet orbs, but I thought I would die if I didn't kiss him.

"I love you," I said plainly, my voice fierce and serious. Without waiting another moment, I leaned forward and kissed Duo. He parted his lips and kissed me back, throwing a frightening amount of emotion into the gesture. I was in heaven; this alone felt better than touching myself had the night before. The sweet warmth of Duo's mouth was intoxicating.

I felt him trace his tongue around the edge of my lower lip and I opened my mouth a bit more to draw his tongue in. Duo gave a soft sigh of pleasure as our tongues entwined, and I placed both hands on his shoulders, drawing him as close to me as possible. As the kiss continued, I eventually dropped one hand down to release the tie on his braid, and when the hair came loose, I buried my fingers in it as though that were the only lifeline keeping me connected to Duo.

It must have been a few minutes later when finally broke apart, and we stared at each other awestruck, as though not believing what had just occurred.

"I saw how you felt by that look in your eyes this morning," I blurted out. "If you hadn't shown that to me, I wouldn't have had the courage to tell you that I love you."

"I *thought* you saw that," Duo admitted. "I don't know what I was hoping to accomplish by looking at you like that, because I didn't think you could care about me, but now I'm glad I did."

Duo happened to glance down, and he caught sight of something which spandex couldn't hide very well. For once, I didn't care. There was a decidedly hungry glint in Duo's eyes now, and he placed emphasis on that desire by moving a bit closer, grinding himself lightly against me to show that he was equally hard, that he wanted me as much as I wanted him.

I couldn't hold back a moan at the feeling of his arousal, and I knew that I had to have more.

"Duo, I-"

"You want to make love to me?" His gaze was openly lustful, but the love was still there in abundance. He wanted everything, and he wanted it because he loved me.

"Yes," I half moaned. "Is that what you want?"

"Oh, yes... of course I do. But I want to touch you first."

He stood up and gently laid me back on the couch. My cock throbbed in anticipation at the expression on Duo's face; I could tell that he was going to explore and tease every inch of my body before we were finally joined as one, and I planned to do just the same to him.

on to part 3

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