Disclaimer: About the same as always, I'm out of my head, and know not what I do.

Pairings: 1x2
Warnings: A touch of man/man love, mild language ...and yeah, sap

A/N: [info]heero_01_yuy's birthday was Friday, and wanted to give him a little something as way of thanking him (and [info]duo_02_maxwell) for sharing their lives and friendship.

Best Gift
by Merith

Heero stifled the disappointed noise that rose when his lover rolled out of bed. On the verge of waking, the dip and release on the mattress prodded him into full consciousness. Heero had hoped this day would be different, and Duo would sleep in with him a little longer.

"Go back to sleep, babe," the man kept his voice low. Heero felt the kiss on his temple, and he blindly reached for him. A soft chuckle, and his hand was tucked back to his side. "Sleep, you need it."

Listening to the quiet footsteps pad across the room and out the door, Heero opened his eyes. Together for less than six months, these past two had been rough. His work schedule suddenly changed, putting him on a twelve hours swing shift for the first half of the week. Leaving two hours before Duo was due to arrive, and coming home long after Duo had gone to bed had slowly stripped the close companionability they'd experienced before the shift change.

Heero rolled to his back, pulled the pillows into a more comfortable position, and tucked his hands behind his head. He had to get another job. That's all there was to it. He wasn't about to lose the best thing that ever happened to him. The money in savings would get him by until he found something else, if it came to that. His car, he'd paid off with the year-end bonus check in January, and the only expenses he had were the day to day living ones. If he were frugal, and the need arose, he could live off his savings for most of a year. He would find employment long before that, or go into business for himself.

The smell of coffee permeated the room, and Heero sat up. Though he'd barely slept four hours, he didn't want to sleep; he wanted to be with Duo. Walking to the dresser, he adjusted his pajama bottoms, and ran a hand over his hair, trying to calm its tousled appearance. His shirt drawer was empty. It'd been his turn to do the laundry last, and he'd put it off to finish working on the deck. He grabbed a tank out of Duo's drawer.

Heero could hear Duo talking to himself in the kitchen area, and stopped, curious as to why he wasn't getting ready for work. He tilted his head, listening. A muddled list, abbreviated instructions, and a few expletives; a wondering smile threatened. Pausing at the kitchen entrance, he watched, feeling the hovering smile manifest. Duo was attempting to make breakfast. Not sure if the goo the man currently stirred was meant to be pancakes or something else entirely, Heero choked back the amused laugh.

The frying bacon smoked, setting off the fire alarm and propelling Heero into action. He pulled the pan from the stove, while reaching overhead to hit the all clear. "Damn thing. I should have moved it a long time ago."

When he turned to face him, Duo's expression waffled between consternation and baffled surprise. "What are you doing up? You should be in bed," he scolded, even as he moved forward. Enveloped in an embrace that Heero made the loss he'd felt only moments ago fade.

"Couldn't sleep. Wanted some coffee," he mumbled into his hair. "What are you doing? How come you're not at work?"

Duo was shifting under his hands. Heero pulled back to look at him. "I wanted to bring you breakfast in bed. You know, for your birthday." Duo leaned forward, pressing the top of his head against Heero's chest. "Guess I blew it, huh?"

Pulling him close and running a hand over his back, Heero surveyed the results of Duo's attempt. "Well, the bacon doesn't look too bad, and the eggs," he paused, managing with Herculean effort to not give in to the automatic reflex. "The eggs seem appetizing. Though I think pancake batter isn't supposed to be that color."

"It's a cake." Duo laughed, head still pressed to his chest.

"Oh." Heero gently pushed the man away, forcing him to meet his gaze. "How about if I go back to bed, and let you finish? Pretend I never came in, okay?"

Duo snorted. "Don't think that'll work, Yuy. The alarm would have woken you even if you hadn't already gotten up." He pulled from the embrace, and leaned back against the counter. "Face it, I suck at this too." Heero laughed with him when he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. "This domestic crap isn't my thing, ya know."

Heero locked his arms loosely around his lover's shoulders, and gave him a slow kiss. Breaking it, he drew in a shuddering breath. "There's more to sharing a house than the domestic crap." He liked the way Duo's smile tugged up on the corners of his eyes. He liked the look the man was currently giving him, warm emotion with an undercurrent of heated suggestion. Duo's hands pulled on the tank, sliding their way up his back. Leaning into him, Heero nipped at his lips. "There are other things we could be doing, and other places we could be doing it in."

An unintelligible noise rumbled from Duo's mouth. As Heero moved his attention along the man's jaw and teased his lobe, Duo said in a rushed breath, "I just wanted to do something special... we've never celebrated birthdays before."

Giving a kiss behind his ear, Heero leaned back, his hand planted on the counter to each side of the other man. "I don't need breakfast in bed, though I appreciate the thought." He placed a kiss on his lips. "The 'in bed' part of your plan sounds special to me."

"That was to be breakfast dessert," Duo laughed, tugging on him, pulling him closer.

His finger dipped into the mixing bowl, scooping up a glob of batter. "So what's this?" And popped the mix into his mouth. The world froze. His eyes went wide, and he forcibly made himself swallow instead of spit. His hands already reaching for the mug next to the bowl, he gasped out, "How much salt did you put in?" The cup at his mouth, he gulped the liquid down.

"Salt?" Duo moved away, looking from Heero to his batter. "I didn't put any salt in it. The recipe says salt is optional. See?" He held the book in his hands, pointing out the ingredient.

Heero nodded, wiping the moisture from his eyes. "It has salt in it though. A lot of it." A sudden thought, and he opened the cupboard over the stove. "Shit." Pulling down the tightly sealed canister, he shook it. "It's my fault, Duo. This isn't sugar." At Duo's puzzled expression, he added, "The salt container had a hole so I used this empty container." He looked at the small opaque canister and shook it. "I guess they look enough alike to make that kind of mistake."

Arms wrapped around his waist, lips cut off any words he might have spoken. "Let me put you back to bed." Another kiss, a nuzzle, and a hand slid under the elastic of his waistband. "I'll feed you a little breakfast dessert and then take you out to eat."

Tossing the salt on the counter, ignoring the soft plop from where it landed, his own hands found their favorite places to be. "I like this plan. Feed me. Let me eat." Mouths met and words died. With a groan, Heero pulled away. "Duo. Bedroom. Now."

The hands stilled on his flesh, and removed themselves, eliciting another groan. Grinning broadly, Duo turned him about, pushing on his back, directing him out of the kitchen. "Come, birthday boy. Let's go lite a candle." Another groan, accompanied by a head shake. "Okay, so I suck at that too." Mirthful sounds trailed down the hall with them.

As the morning waned, Heero fought the sleep wanting to slip in under his awareness; Duo's fingers tracing light patterns on his arm, and down his back, did nothing to help. He rubbed his cheek against his lover's chest, pulling him closer. "Stay with me." The words were said before he could stop them.

Duo's hand stilled. "I'm here. I will." Heero released his held breath slowly.

"I've missed this." He raised himself up enough to brush a kiss to the other man's mouth. "We can't keep this up. I can't go on like this."

Watching as his eyes narrowed, Heero waited.

"It sucks, but what're you going to do? Quit your job?" By the quickening beat of Duo's heart, Heero knew the joking tone in his voice to be a lie.

Before Heero spoke, he moved to straddle his lover's thighs and pulled him into a tight embrace. "Yes, I am," his voice low, and strong. And he knew he would. After all, it was his birthday, and the best gift he could receive, he now held.


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