Duo couldn't say that he minded the latest situation that he found himself in one bit; instead of being with the other four Gundam pilots in their newest safehouse, he was alone... with Heero.
Not only that, but the safehouse was in the middle of the woods, very secluded from the rest of the world. It was snowing hard outside, and Duo was sitting in the same room as Heero- the only room in the cabin- and thinking happily about how their sleeping arrangements would work out with the only one bed that the safehouse provided.
Heero, of course, was working away at his laptop, back to Duo, while Duo was grinning and imagining how much he'd love to cuddle up under the warm looking quilt with the cobalt eyed pilot for the rest of the night. He couldn't count the number of times he'd imagined what it would be like to kiss Heero, to stare into the cobalt eyes of the Perfect Soldier and see desire there to match his own. There were many things- most of which Duo had to think about when he was alone, lest he get an erection in front of Heero- that he wanted to do with the love of his life, but he barely had the courage to dream beyond kissing him.
He had roomed with Heero on various other missions, but never had they been in a situation where they had to share the same bed, and the thought was unbelievably exciting.
The only thing about this situation that Duo didn't like was the fact that none of what he wanted would really happen; he could just imagine Heero killing him if he found out that Duo was in love with him.
Heero, meanwhile, was typing nonsense words into his laptop and having thoughts very similar to Duo's; he was tired, feeling cold, and would love nothing more than to gather his long haired fantasy in his arms and drift off to sleep with Duo's warmth pressed close against him. Heero sighed inwardly, imagining just how hard Duo would laugh if he knew of his feelings for him, which had long ago strayed from mere friendship and camaraderie on their long missions together.
Heero wasn't exactly sure what had made him fall in love with Duo. It was a mixture of Duo's always cheerful attitude, which had warmed his heart even after the most horrible and exhausting days, and the unfailing kindness that Duo had always shown toward him. Heero's mind wandered a bit, and he also had to admit that Duo's incredibly gorgeous face and body didn't hurt either. He was completely lost, and would never have the courage to tell Duo how he felt.
It was at this moment that the fire chose to burn out, and both boys' attention snapped toward the fireplace. Heero walked over and briefly inspected the wood, which had almost completely burned out, and was nothing more than a pile of ash. He had been so preoccupied with thoughts of Duo that it hadn't occurred to him to check on the wood supply. He glanced up and saw that Duo was considering this as well, and the violet eyed boy suddenly bounded for the door, grabbing his coat on the way.
"I'll get more wood, buddy, you just keep working on your mission report."
Heero started to protest; he knew how cold it was outside and thought that his body could handle the extreme temperature better than Duo's- but Duo was already halfway out the door before he could say anything.
"Don't worry about me," Duo said, guessing Heero's thoughts. "I'll be back in five minutes." And then he shut the door behind him.
"Hn," Heero said to himself, and gazed uneasily at the door for another moment before returning to sit in front of his laptop.
Duo was beyond freezing by the time he found the woodpile near the back of the cabin, and was relieved that the last occupants had had the foresight to leave a large amount of cut logs in the pile before their departure. He gathered a mound of large pieces in his arms and turned back in the direction of the door. It was snowing so hard that he could barely see anything, and had to feel his way back by placing a hand against the cabin wall. He knew he had been outside for more than five minutes already, and hoped that Heero wasn't worried. Duo caught himself on that one- *did* Heero ever worry about him? Duo knew he'd be lying if he said he wasn't overwhelmed with fear when Heero got himself caught in tricky situations during their missions. Not that he doubted Heero's skills as a pilot and a soldier, but Duo couldn't honestly say how he could even want to continue his life if Heero were suddenly missing from it.
Duo was so intent on thinking of Heero that he didn't watch where he was going, and tripped on some snow covered object on the ground. He dropped all the wood and went flying face first into the snow. The snaps on his coat ripped open as he fell, and Duo felt all at once that there was snow packed against his face, and deeply squished under his shirt. The piercing cold that now bit at him was infinitely worse than it had been before his fall. Cursing to himself, he stood and gathered the wood again, not bothering to button his coat.
He continued to use the cabin wall as his guide to reach the door, and was soon there. By now, his hands were numb, he could barely feel any part of his face, and he regretted leaving the cabin without taking anything more than his coat. Duo realized that he couldn't open the door with his arms so full of logs, and settled for kicking it to let Heero know he was there. The Perfect Soldier opened the door moments later and relieved him of his burden, eyeing his snow caked form with curiosity. Duo leaped into the cabin and slammed the door behind him, glad for the change in temperature though he could barely feel it at first.
"I fell on the way back," he explain sheepishly, suddenly feeling slightly faint.
He saw Heero dusting the snow off the logs and piling some in the hearth, and it was then that a wave of dizziness overcame him. Duo realized that he was much colder than he'd first thought, and pressed against the wall to give himself some support against the oblivion that threatened to claim him. Heero must have heard his strange movements, because he turned around and his eyes widened in concern. 'Concern?' Duo thought distantly. 'Am I hallucinating?'
But then Heero was beside him, removing the wet coat and asking if he was all right.
"Um..." Duo had to think about that one for a second. "I think so. Just-" His teeth started to chatter, and he clutched at his arms reflexively. "Just- c-c-cold! Start the fire!"
Heero nodded and went back to the fireplace to ignite the fire. He did this as quickly as possible, and then turned his attention to Duo, who looked so vulnerable and pained sitting in the corner with chattering teeth that he wanted to do anything to protect him. He settled for walking back towards the longhaired boy and offering a hand to help him up.
"Come sit next to the fire," he commanded.
Duo nodded and took Heero's offered hand, and Heero's heart gave a small pang of pain when he felt just how cold his partner's hands were. He helped Duo to his feet and guided him toward the fire, where he motioned for him to sit down again. Duo did, although he didn't yet look like he felt any better.
"Y-you can g-g-go back t-to what you w-were d-d-doing, Hee-ero," Duo managed, looking unnaturally pale. "I'l-ll be f-f-fine."
"No," Heero said simply, and opened up one of the closets in the cabin, which he had earlier inspected, and knew to have clean blankets and towels inside. He pulled out a warm looking quilt and two towels and then went to Duo's own pack, where he took out a dry pair of boxer shorts and a long sleeved shirt. He felt a blush rise to his cheeks when he realized what he was doing, and what he needed Duo to do next, but fought the change of color in his face with his iron control.
"Duo," he said to get the beautiful boy's attention. "Take off your wet clothes, dry yourself off completely with the towel, and change into this." He offered the towel and the clothes. "Then you'll feel better."
At the words "take off your wet clothes" from Heero's mouth, Duo's mind had gone blank, but when he tried to comply with Heero's request, Duo found that he simply couldn't.
"H-h-heero," he chattered helplessly. "I can't. I can b-barely move."
Now Heero was worried. He desperately hoped that Duo had not seriously damaged himself by going outside, and knew that he had to get the boy he loved warm as soon as possible, even if it meant- his heart pounded- helping Duo change clothes.
He sat down tentatively and reached out to touch the top of Duo's shirt. He licked his lips nervously as he unbuttoned it, and Heero knew that he no longer had any control over his face; it was undoubtedly bright red. He could only hope that Duo wouldn't notice.
Duo was reveling in the feeling of Heero's incredibly warm hands against him, though it also pained him to realize that Heero was only doing this to save him from freezing, and not out of affection. He whimpered, half out of pain at the cold sensations running through him, and half out of desire for Heero, and noticed that the cobalt eyed pilot visibly stiffened at the sound. Heero removed Duo's wet shirt, and his breath caught in his throat as he gazed at the longhaired boy's taut stomach and perfect muscles. He reached behind him for the towel without taking his eyes off the boy he loved and wanted so very much, and he instantly began to dry Duo's upper body with it, feeling the need to protect and shelter Duo suddenly burn fresh in his mind. Duo made that noise again, a mixture between a whimper and a moan, and Heero's heart hurt with love and desire.
Duo felt a little warmer as Heero's hands covered by the towel rubbed his muscles and forced some heat back into them. He wished that Heero would put the towel down and touch him with his warm, bare hands. He couldn't think of anything he wanted more at that moment, and was almost tempted to ask Heero if he would do that. Then he heard Heero clear his throat in what sounded like a nervous tone and Duo looked up at his face. Duo could scarcely believe it; Heero was blushing! He was also trying to say something, but looked almost unable to do it.
"I... need you to..." Heero glanced down, and Duo realized that he wanted him to take off the wet riding pants as well. "Can you move yet?" Heero asked.
"I think so," Duo said, and realized that his teeth were no longer chattering. He stood up somewhat uncertainly and looked up to see that Heero had politely turned his back. Almost disappointed, Duo let the riding pants and his boxers fall, and he used the towel briefly on his legs before putting on the dry boxers and the long sleeved shirt that Heero had gotten out. He wrapped the fluffy quilt around himself and sat down in front of the fire, already feeling tingles of warmth extend through his arms and legs as the flames in the fireplace grew higher.
"Much better," he said appreciatively to Heero, who turned around again. "Thank you."
He was surprised when Heero sat down next to him. They sat in silence and stared at the flames for many minutes, both thinking how much they wanted to admit their feelings, even if it meant rejection. Duo wanted badly to open up the blanket he was wrapped in and move Heero inside with him, but was afraid of the violent reaction he would most likely get. Then again, his mind supplied, Heero had already shown that he was concerned for his welfare... he had been downright *kind* in the past few minutes, and Duo couldn't remember Heero ever showing him so much.... tenderness. Suddenly feeling daring, Duo raised his left arm and motioned toward the open section of blanket to Heero.
"Are you cold too?" he asked, hoping his face wasn't too red.
Heero stared. Duo wanted to be close to him? No, he thought, Duo was probably just returning the kindness, and wanted him to be warm too. But Heero actually smiled when he realized that if this were the case, Duo could have simply suggested that he grab one of the other blankets. No doubt about it; Duo wanted to be close to him, and Heero was all too happy to comply.
He scooted across the floor and ducked down under the offered section of blanket without a word. Heart pounding wildly, he felt Duo's arm lower again, across his shoulders, and the tentative way that Duo laid his hand against Heero's far shoulder told the Perfect Soldier everything he wanted to know. Duo really did care about him. He pulled the edge of the blanket around to completely cover both of them as they sat close together.
Duo could not believe what was happening. Not only had Heero agreed to his request, he seemed to enjoy the contact of Duo's arm around him. His heart gave a pang of hope that Heero could possibly return his feelings. They were nearly pressed together, but not quite, and the heat from Heero's perfect body warmed Duo up much faster than when he had been under the blanket alone. Without thinking, he stroked his fingers across the warm, muscled skin just below Heero's shoulder, and felt him tense at the touch. Did Heero want him to do that, or was he tensing because he didn't like it? Duo had to know for sure, and though he didn't exactly know how he could ask Heero something like that, he turned his head to say *something* just as Heero did the same thing.
Heero realized that after turning his head at the same time as Duo, their lips were inches apart. He swallowed heavily, staring into the violet eyes that had captured him completely from the first day they had met. He knew from every one of Duo's actions that the gorgeous longhaired boy felt more than friendship for him, and that last caress of his fingers against Heero's shoulder had wiped away the last shred of doubt that this was true. He could see the uncertainty in Duo's eyes, and wanted to let his fantasy know just how deep his feelings were.
He leaned forward and brushed his lips against Duo's, never breaking eye contact with his love. Duo's eyes widened at first, and then he closed them, moving even closer to Heero to deepen the kiss. Duo's mind was fogged with love at Heero's tender gesture, and he couldn't believe that Heero actually returned his feelings. More than that; Heero actually seemed like a different person. He could feel Heero's lips *smiling* into their kiss!
"Ahh... Heero," Duo whimpered as their lips parted. "I..." His voice faltered as he looked into deep cobalt eyes that were filled with something he had never seen before: desire. "I love you, Heero."
And there it was again, Heero's rare smile. Duo's heart lifted at the sight, and he tried again, hoping for more of the same. "I love you," he repeated, and sure enough, Heero's smile deepened into what could only be called a grin. Duo had never in all their months traveling together seen Heero grin.
"I love you too, Duo," Heero said in a husky tone that made Duo feel a pleasant flush of desire. "I've... wanted to tell you for so long."
"You have?" Duo could not contain his surprise. "I thought you would kill me if I told you how I felt."
Heero chuckled, another first for Duo's ears. "Kill you? No, I probably would have done this." He leaned forward once again, taking Duo's soft lips with his own. He reached out and gathered the boy into his arms, running one hand down Duo's long braid.
When their second kiss ended, Heero touched the end of the braid and raised his eyebrows, clearly asking permission. Duo nodded instantly, and Heero removed the tie, using his fingers to undo the braid. Duo's hair fell out in chestnut waves, and Heero thought that it felt as soft as he'd always imagined it would.
"Mine," he heard himself whisper as he ran his fingers along Duo's cheek.
"Yes," Duo agreed, placing his arms around Heero. "I've always been yours. I... that was my first kiss."
Heero was shocked. "You... but..." he trailed off. He had formerly supposed that Duo and Hilde had once been a couple, but that was apparently not true. "Really?"
Duo nodded. "Yeah. I... didn't have the guts to tell you how I felt, but I still wanted to save it for you."
"It was my first kiss too," Heero admitted, smiling again.
"I'm glad," Duo said happily. Then he yawned. "Heeeero, can we go to sleep? I'm feeling pretty tired."
Heero nodded, eager for the chance to hold Duo's lithe body in his arms for the rest of the night.
"You don't feel cold anymore?" he asked, still concerned.
"No." Duo grinned. "Thanks to you I'm completely warm now." To show exactly how much he meant that, Duo removed his shirt and vaulted for the bed. He sat there in only his boxers and smiled at Heero, waiting for him to join him.
Heero stood there for a moment, taking in the awesome sight of Duo, hair unbound and flowing around him, face flushed, taut muscles gleaming in the gold light of the fire. "Mine," he repeated with wonder, and removed his tank top so that he was only wearing his usual spandex. He heard Duo gasp at this, and smirked as he laid down next to him on the bed. Duo covered them with the quilt, and Heero got on all fours and straddled Duo's hips, gazing down at the longhaired boy, whose violet eyes were reflecting with the same amount of caring that Heero had always felt, but never been able to express. Heero leaned down and brushed a line of kisses down his throat, and Duo whimpered his name. He then gathered Duo in his arms as he'd longed to do for months and pressed the longhaired boy's form tightly against his. They both gasped at the contact of warm skin touching, and then relaxed into one last, long kiss before sleep started to take over both their minds.
"Heero," Duo said distantly as he began to fall asleep. "What if the fire burns out again?"
Heero considered that for a moment, then placed a kiss on Duo's forehead. "It doesn't matter. I'll be here to keep you warm."
Duo smiled and whispered "love you" before sleep took him, and Heero followed soon after.