Possession is nine tenths of the law. Any law - man's, nature's, God's.
He's with me, but that doesn't keep all the predators away.
A simple walk across the lawns of the Preventer's complex shouldn't have challenged that law.
Warm, early Spring days were rare, and any excuse to be outside in the sun had been Duo's way. As his partner, at work and home, I was more than obligated to follow. In fact, I deemed it a necessary part of my responsibilities.
Crossing from the main building to the training facility found the both of us in an easy silence. Together for four years, with over a year as lovers, we spoke on a level most couples didn't. His banter and seeming non-stop chatter didn't play a part in our lives. He had nothing to prove to me, nothing to hide. I almost hated losing who he was when others were around.
I spotted the man first. He appeared to be waiting for us at the back courtyard, watching as we walked. Duo hadn't seen him yet, his attention focused on the papers he carried. My sudden close proximity brought an irritated sound and he absently shoved me away. When the man stepped closer, I moved in front of my partner and halted, shielding him, barely moving when he ran into me.
"What the hell? Heero..." Duo's voice stopped. "Oh." He'd recognized the man as well.
The lithe, tall blond came to a stop less than a yard away. His eyes slid contemptuously from me to my partner. Their shade of color changed marginally as he smiled. "Duo," the word slipped from his mouth as though on silk.
Duo stepped out from behind me and nodded. He was close enough I could feel the movement of his body; one of his hands positioned itself on the small of my back. "Zechs."
I said nothing, and received nothing in return. The former OZ soldier and I had done all our talking in battle. What respect we'd held for one another lost itself in asserting who had the right to be where I now was. His tenacity only served to cement my hold.
"Please, Duo, it's Millardo now." His smile grew. I imagined how he'd look with a few of those teeth missing. "I hear you'll be taking a group of recruits on a field training exercise next week."
"Yeah, got their folders here." I felt Duo's nod, and his hand press into my back a little more.
"Seeing as this is your first time," he chuckled softly. I tensed at his choice of words. The fingers clutched at my shirt. "I'd like to offer my assistance. Be your partner for the day."
"No." It'd been the first time I'd spoken to the man in more than a month.
The sneer he aimed at me missed. "I don't believe I'd been addressing you, Agent Yuy." The Antarctic air he soaked up during his time there seeped into his speech.
Intervening, as he always did, my partner slipped in smoothly, "I've already got a partner for this mission," the coolness of his voice belied the smile he flashed. "As I do all my missions. You know that, Agent Wind." The fingers released their grip, though I still held myself tense, ready to launch at the slightest provocation.
His smile faltered. "Very well, Duo. Should you ever find yourself in need," his glance flicked to me and back. "Of someone with more ...experience, come to me."
The hand holding my shirt kept me from attacking. His taunts had become more barbed in recent months, his actions less honorable.
"He doesn't have need of any experience you could offer." My hands clenched themselves into fists.
A glacier wind blew, swirling the normally perfect hair around the man. "Everyone grows up and matures, develops refined tastes. Even you, Agent Yuy."
I stepped forward, fists raised, pulling Duo along with me. The man dropped into a half crouch. "Any time, Marquese."
Duo pushed himself between the two of us, shoving first one, then the other apart. "Oh for Christ's sake! You two are morons." He shot a glare at me before addressing him. "You even hint at shit like that again, and I'll kick your ass. Anything more, and I'll file charges. Not again, Zechs! Got that?"
The blond moved back, reluctantly nodding, not saying a word. Spinning back to face me, Duo smacked the folders against my chest. "And you, I'll see you back at the office. And don't bother showing up until you've lost that fucking macho attitude you're sporting."
The two of us watched as he stalked to the main building, his braid swinging behind like a hissing snake. Zechs glanced at me and shook his head. "He's not a possession, you know."
I smoothed my uniform back into place, and felt the slight bump of the chain and pendent beneath my shirt, catching my attention. Leaving my hand to cover it, I met his gaze. "Never thought he was," I told him softly. "But he is mine." He stepped aside as I walked past.
Duo didn't look up when I walked in, I didn't expect him to. Coming to stand behind him, I laid a hand on his shoulder. A slight squeeze was all I could give; words held no meaning for my actions. His hand covered mine.
"I meant it when I told you forever." From his tone, I knew the look he wore - the one with his eyes closed tight and an expression of weariness that had nothing to do with the physical. I could only squeeze his shoulder again. He leaned against me, exhaling in a rush. "One of these days you'll know, you'll feel it without me having to remind you."
Another squeeze. "I will, soon." My other hand stole up to feel the hidden lump, its presence reassuring with its significance. I knew without looking, one of Duo's hands did the same. Symbols of meaning exchanged with vows neither would break. Nothing formal, nothing legal, but a law unto itself, and all the more binding.
He was mine as I was his.
Possession might be nine tenths, but the last tenth is a far stronger law. Love.