That Which is Not His
"Where's Duo? Is he sick?" Iris asked.
"He's fine. He'll be back before the end of the day."
"Oh. I wanted to say sorry neither of you were accepted, I don't know why Mr. Singh didn't like you," the ponytailed girl sighed and set down her lunch tray across from Heero.
"Don't worry about it," Heero said. "It's probably for the best. It isn't likely I'll be staying at this school very long."
"My family moves around a lot."
"Is it a military thing? That could be why Mr. Singh didn't like you. He's funny that way, I mean he works in a..." the girl chattered on and Heero spared it only part of his attention; he was concerned with the covert looks he was receiving from faces he recognized as belonging to the group of boys Duo and he had fought the other day.
"...tonight if you'd like to come," the girl paused and Heero automatically responded with an agreeable sound before he recognized it had been a question. What had he just agreed to? His brain rushed to feed him the information his conscious mind had missed.
"It will all depend on Duo," he said and the girl bobbed her head in a nod before launching into a fresh surge of chatter. Duo had been right, she could really talk; almost as much as he could.
When she fell silent, Heero knew why. He grit his teeth and slid his fingers under the lip of his lunch tray.
"I wouldn't if I were you," he said without otherwise acknowledging the boy who had tried to sneak up on him. The boy's friends, including the blonde troublemaker whose face was still marred by an ugly bruise, were each making their way towards the table where Heero sat.
"Yeah well you're not me, you're just a faggot," the boy snarled and Heero heard the slosh of the milk in the carton he was carrying.
Heero rolled off his chair, spinning and landing on one knee as he used his momentum to swing the edge of his lunch tray directly towards the boy's hip. He let the tray fall with a clatter and stood up calmly as his would be assailant was clutching his side with a grimace of pain twisting his features.
"Walk away before I really hurt you," Heero advised, curling his fingers into a fist. He sized up the other boy; he was several years older and in excellent physical condition, likely from playing some sort of contact sport.
"You just caught me off-guard," the boy scoffed and straightened.
"Hn." Heero narrowed his eyes. Things were going to get ugly if the older boy wouldn't back down. "Very well. Did you want to settle this somewhere less public?"
"Scared of getting a beating in front of everyone, are you?" the boy screwed his face into a sneer.
The Wing pilot simply shrugged. His lack of fear was starting to confuse the senior. "It should be the other way around," he said with no hint of smugness.
"You little bastard, I'll pound your fairy ass."
"I'm afraid I already have a boyfriend," Heero replied and couldn't help but smirk as the threat backfired and the boy's neck turned an angry red. The crowd that had gathered around them rippled with laughter and he shifted his weight ready for the inevitable.
Heero deflected the boy's well-aimed punch with the back of his arm and rammed his shoulder hard into his attacker's chest. The senior reeled at the force of the blow and Heero pressed the advantage. Twenty seconds and a bloodied nose later, he'd earned a look of grudging respect from the older teen.
"I didn't know queers could fight so well," the boy said trying to staunch the flow of crimson from his nose. Heero accepted what would be the closest thing to an admission of defeat he'd receive and turned to check on Duo's redheaded friend.
The milk that had been thrown at him had ended up splattering all over her chest and a group of girls were cooing and comforting her. She was fine, Heero assessed and scanned the faces for the blonde boy. The crowd was starting to bleed away and he spotted a faculty member pushing through the students to get to the source of the conflict.
"You idiot!" the angry blonde with the bruise on his jaw glared at his defeated friend before switching his venomous look to the redheaded girl and stalking up to her.
"This is all your fault," he cried, grabbing her arm to shake her.
Heero was about to intervene when he was pleased to find he didn't have to; Duo would be happy to hear about this.
"Let her go, you jerk!" one of the girls surrounding Iris cried and swung her purse at the boy. It clocked him squarely on the jaw and he staggered; he'd be sporting a matching bruise soon enough.
"What's going on here?" the authoritative voice silenced almost everyone in the lunch room. The man fixed an eye on the blonde boy holding his face, "...you again." He looked up and saw Heero. "This the Japanese kid who hit you before? He causing trouble?"
"It's not like that at all!" the teacher turned to the girl who had spoken up. "Louis grabbed Iris! Just look!" Sure enough, there were fingershaped marks on the redheaded girl's arm.
"I'm um, the one who hit him," she said and lifted her purse in explanation.
"A little roughhousing with the new kid I can understand, but this," the man frowned and gestured for the blonde youth to get moving. He crooked his finger to the girl with the purse, "You come along too; the headmaster will need to know what happened."
The older boy Heero had fought a few minutes before had left unnoticed and the Wing pilot picked his tray up off the floor before gathering his books and following suit.
"Wish I'd been there," Duo said and shadowboxed as Heero told him about the conflict at lunch. After the school day ended, they had met up as planned at the oak tree in the center of the campus quad; the rest of the students tended to avoid them when they were there. "I coulda kicked some major ass one on one."
"It's a good thing that you weren't."
"Why?" Duo paused in midpunch and looked quizzically at his friend.
"Because if you were there to play hero, those girls wouldn't have had a reason to step in," Heero said and closed his eyes as he leaned casually against the base of the tree.
"Huh, for someone who's main idea of social interaction is glaring, you've got a pretty good handle on how people think," Duo said, giving up shadowboxing to rest his hands on his hips and grin at his friend.
"It's amazing how much someone can learn when their mouth isn't constantly busy," Heero retorted.
"Hey!" Duo put his hand to his chest in mock pain. "That hurts Heero, that really hurts."
"So we're going out tonight?" Duo grinned
"Unless you want to decline."
"Nah. Going out is good."
"Somehow I figured that would be your decision," Heero chuckled quietly to himself and opened his eyes when Duo hooked a finger into the front of his pants and tugged.
"You did, did you?" Duo said in a significantly lower tone of voice.
Heero felt his heart rate increase and the sounds of birdsong and nearby traffic dimmed; his world narrowed down to the devilish grin that was steadily growing closer.
"I didn't dream that last night did I?" Duo said. They were so close now that their hair was brushing together and Duo tapped his thumbnail against the button of Heero's jeans.
"Pointing my gun at you and asking if you wanted to molest me..." Duo tilted his head curiously.
"It happened," Heero said and jutted his chin out to capture the other boy's lips.
"Mph!" Duo jerked bodily, then overcame his surprise and eagerly returned the kiss. He'd been a little worried that the new sexual dynamic in their friendship would make things weird, especially since they hadn't really discussed it and Heero hadn't made a move since he got back from securing supplies.
"Shall we go to our room so I can see to molesting you properly?" Heero murmured into the kiss.
Duo groaned something along the lines of 'God, yes' when a horribly irritating beeping sound made both boys glance down.
Duo uttered a scathing stream of curses as he wrestled a small black beeper from his pocket.
"Why now?" he cried, staring at the little offending beeper he held in his hands and shook it furiously. "Why why why!" he looked up at Heero and the other pilot gave him a tight rueful smile and a shrug.
"I'll wait outside for you until eight thirty. If you aren't back by then, I'm not staying," Heero said.
"Yeah, okay," Duo shoved the beeper back in his pocket and traded it for his keys. He was about to toss them in the air, when strong fingers wrapped around his forearm and pulled him back for one more long, slow kiss for the road.
"I'll be going now," Duo said, more to remind himself that he had somewhere to go than as a goodbye.
"I'll be waiting."
Something in the way Heero said that made Duo's stride more unsteady than the kiss had.
'Eight twenty-eight,' Heero noted the time and shifted his weight to his other leg. Neon light cast soft coloured shadows around him and he occupied himself by grinding out of existance a small tuft of grass growing between a crack in the sidewalk.
"Heero!" he lifted his head up and pushed away from the wall as Duo ran up. The American slapped a hand on Heero's arm and ducked his head as he caught his breath. "Didn't think you'd still be here."
"It's still only eight twenty-nine," Heero said and Duo started laughing.
"Of course," Duo shook away the laughter. "So we going in or what?"
"I didn't actually expect you to be this late and the reading already started."
"Eh, I really don't care about poetry anyway," Duo said with a shrug and glancing over his shoulder at the colourful marquee jutting out from the front of a building two doors down. "How about a movie while we're out?"
"Are you sure you don't just want to go in and be late?"
"Nah, it wasn't a done deal. Just show up if we wanted right?" Heero nodded and Duo started walking backwards. "Then lets catch a movie!"
Five minutes later, Heero found himself with an armful of popcorn, candy and two sodas. Duo, who had somehow managed to arrange things so he was only carrying one item, led him to the front of the small theatre and plopped down in the center of the third row.
"What are we watching again?" Heero asked, staring at the folded seat and wondering how he was going to sit down while holding everything. Duo pushed the seat down for him and took a soda from his hand as he repeated the name of the movie.
"Not exactly a date movie, but it will do," Duo said, biting into his hotdog and extending his legs as much as he could. He spotted the look on Heero's face and winked. "Oh did I forget to mention that? This is now officially a date."
"I see," Heero ate a few pieces of popcorn and kept an eye on Duo. "I've never been on a date before."
"Neither have I," Duo replied and finished off his snack in three quick bites.
"Is this date because of-"
"Is it becau-"
"This is a date because I like you Heero," Duo said, catching the Japanese boy's eye as he took a sip from his soda. "Don't think this means I'm making some big commitment to you or something; you know where my priorities lie. Let's just say I've been thinking about us and I'm willing to give this a shot and have fun while things permit."
"Movie's starting," Duo whispered, his attention snapping to the screen as the lights in the theatre dimmed.
Thirty minutes into the film, the popcorn was gone and Heero found himself with nothing but a movie he didn't care about to hold his attention. He set the empty bucket on the floor and glanced over at Duo. The American was watching the screen in rapt fascination and Heero narrowed his eyes. Weren't there some sort of rules that one followed on a date? Somehow his earlier plans of using the dark of the theatre to grope Duo seemed innapropriate and Heero considered his options.
Deciding between watching the movie or risking being inappropriate, Heero chose the latter.
He slid a hand up Duo's thigh and the American started to chuckle. When Heero pulled away with an indignant snort, Duo hastened to make amends, "Wait. I'm just laughing because I made a bet with myself about how long it would take for you to stop pretending like you cared about the movie."
"Really." Heero didn't sound amused.
"Did you want to know who won?" Duo said, leaning over the armrest.
"You were betting against yourself."
"Yeah well, want to know what was riding on the bet?" Duo whispered into Heero's ear.
Heero made a soft noise and Duo wasn't sure if it was assent or a reaction to the tongue on his earlobe. He nipped the soft flesh before whispering, "If you lasted an hour, we'd skip the rest of the date and cut straight to the fun."
"And because I didn't?"
"We sit here and watch the rest of this thing," Duo chuckled and blew a puff of air into Heero's ear before dropping back into his seat. "It may not be the best thing I've ever seen, but it's good."
That was definitely not what Heero wanted to hear, but he resisted the urge to drag Duo out of the theatre. He'd play along and sit through the rest of the film if that's what Duo wanted. When the credits rolled however, the American was fair game.
Sometime during the remainder of the film, Duo's hand sought out his in the dark and Heero found the gentle pressure of their fingers together surprisingly thrilling. Sweet though it was, the constant contact had served as fuel for the fire and Heero pulled Duo rudely to his feet before the first name in the credits had scrolled onto the screen.
"We're going back to the dorms. Now." Heero stated and dragged the braided boy out to the street.
"What? No ice cream or romantic walk first? Some date this is!" Duo complained teasingly, although he was just as eager as Heero to 'cut straight to the fun' as he had put it earlier.
"I'll let you drive," Heero offered.
"Deal!" Duo agreed instantly.
"No pit stops," the Wing pilot warned.
"I wouldn't dream of it," Duo replied and they practically ran to where he'd parked.
With Heero's hands all over him on the way back, it was a miracle he didn't lose control - of himself or of the motorcycle.
When they got to the door of their room, Duo put a hand on Heero's arm and stopped him before he could unlock it.
"Our date isn't over yet," he said and stood in front of the door. "This is the part where you kiss me goodnight before I go in my door."
"It's my door too," Heero pointed out.
"All the better," Duo grinned and grabbed a fistful of Heero's shirt.
Heero sucked on Duo's tongue as it probed into his mouth and he heard the click of the latch. The keys were still in his hand, but he didn't really care how Duo had unlocked the door. As the door opened, he felt himself being pulled inside and one of them had the presence of mind to close it and slide the bolt home.
"If you fall asleep on me, Duo Maxwell, I'll kill you," Heero hissed and pushed Duo up against the wall. The braided boy rolled his head to the side and groaned as fine white teeth scraped against his neck.
"You have my permission," Duo said and gripped Heero's shoulders.
"What else do I have permission to do?" Heero slid his hands down the other boy's sides.
"Anything you want," there was enough of a pause that Heero knew Duo didn't quite mean that and he felt Duo tremble as he unbuttoned the American's shirt.
"What I want...is to taste you," he said, pushing the shirt aside to bare Duo's chest. The statement seemed to ease the other boy's tension and he felt a hand sliding over his upper back as he dragged his tongue towards an erect nipple. He swirled the tip of his tongue over the pebbled flesh as he unfastened Duo's jeans and slowly sank to his knees.
"I...wait..." Duo gasped and Heero stopped with his fingers curved into the waist of Duo's boxers.
"Let's take this to the bed," Duo said.
Heero felt a wave of relief; he was convinced he'd have died of sexual frustration if the braided boy had called everything off. With a nod, Heero wrapped his arm around the back of Duo's legs and lifted as he stood.
"I can walk you know!" Duo yelped as he was carried towards Heero's bed.
The bed complained as Duo's body was unceremoniously tossed down onto it. Duo on the other hand, had no complaints when his boxers were pulled to his knees and Heero straddled his legs. Warmpth enveloped the head of his cock and Duo gasped in pleasure. The Japanese boy's hair hung down and brushed against his flesh; it was both erotic and ticklish and made the muscles of Duo's stomach flutter.
"Heero..." Duo moaned and shifted fitfully between gripping the sheets and curving his hand over the back of Heero's bobbing head. "God...Heero. That feels so fucking good."
"Didn't I tell you to shut up?"
Duo lifted his head to look down and a louder moan escaped his throat when Heero crawled up his body and straddled his chest.
"Do I have to put something in your mouth to make you be quiet?" Heero asked and slapped the head of his cock against Duo's chin.
"That would do it," the boy beneath him panted and opened his jaw wide. Heero angled his cock down and watched as it disappeared into Duo's mouth. It didn't take long for the sight of the American's cheeks bulging to become almost too much to bear and he had to pull out.
Duo was about to protest when Heero swung around and promptly silenced him again. He had a hard time concentrating on what he was doing when Heero fell forward and completed the sixty-nine. He gave up trying to move his tongue entirely and just sucked when Heero's hand gripped the base of his cock and started pumping. The pressure and friction was making him see sparks and he gurgled a warning when he felt close to orgasm.
Heero felt the other boy's body tense just before the rush of Duo's seed spilled onto his tongue. He tried to swallow, but most everything just ran out the sides of his mouth and down Duo's twitching length. When Duo's muscles relaxed, Heero felt fingers dig into his thighs and the tongue that had been dormant began again in earnest. He lifted his head and tried not to thrust his hips as sensations he'd never felt before jolted him to new heights of ecstasy.
No longer feeling the urgency of needing to come, Duo took his time. He slid his hands along the firm muscles of Heero's bent legs and slid down to bend his neck back and accept more easily the cock that strained to fill him. He teased with his tongue and lips while doing his best to keep his teeth out of the equation. His mouth started to go numb, but the low gutteral sounds that Heero was making kept him from stopping for a break.
Heero started to lift himself away when he knew he was going to come, but Duo angled his head back even more and swallowed him nearly to the hilt. He dropped his head again, pressing his cheek against Duo's leg as he succumbed to the pleasure of release.
Later, as they curled together atop the rumpled covers of the too-narrow bed, Duo listened to the deep easy breathing of his partner and tried to quell his thoughts and sleep. How much of what he was feeling for Heero was based on actual attraction and how much of it was simply because of the roles fate had thrown them into. He wanted so badly to let the little fuzzy sparks of his crush blossom as they willed, but they were in the middle of a war.
Maybe someday, he thought as Heero nestled closer against his back. Maybe someday I could love you.
"Sixty seconds," Duo reported in a whisper. "This better be worth it. You ready?"
"Of course," Heero assured and kept a precise internal countdown of the time. At forty, he sought out the other boy's hand in the dark and gave it a firm squeeze. "Duo, this may be a trap and I want yo-" the words caught in his throat and Duo's fingers crushed tight around his.
He closed his eyes and prepared to try again. Why did this always happen to him? He hated being unable to express what he felt. "Duo, I want you to-"
"You don't have to remind me to be careful," Duo interrupted. "I'll be fine."
The Wing pilot's brows knitted together, that hadn't been what he wanted to say; but maybe Duo knew that and didn't want to hear it. Heero found it easy to anticipate how people reacted to such base emotions as fear and anger, but love...love was chaos: wild, unpredictable, deadly.
"Twenty seconds," Duo warned and nodded in satisfaction as the red light below the nearby security camera started to flash. "System's starting to reboot; right on time."
Heero made a final check on his gear and when the red light blinked out, Duo gave his partner's hand one last squeeze. "You...you be careful too, alright Heero?" the American murmured before he shouldered his pack and slipped away down the shadowed corridor.
'At least he didn't complain about excessive amounts of explosives this time,' Duo thought and pushed a small button on the device he had just fixed to the wall. A soft click and a small green light told him the charge was armed and he pulled an identical one out of his pack and moved to the next important structural point.
When he'd finished, he stood back and surveyed his work. Tiny green lights glowed throughout the room and Duo nodded in satisfaction. Blowing up the new wing OZ planned to use for weapons R&D wouldn't stop them, but it would cause some delay and help explain away the loss of Heero's scientist's data.
"Too bad you started moving your files to this new baby, isn't it Mr. Scientist," Duo grinned and patted the side of a large mainframe computer as he activated the final charge.
Heero was late. Too late. The shift change in the guards along the fence only lasted five minutes and four of that had already gone by.
Duo paced back and forth in the grass, then stopped and brought the infrared binoculars back up in case he had missed seeing the telltale heat signature exiting the building. It wasn't like Heero to cut things this close and Duo's fertile imagination came up with all sorts of possible reasons for the delay.
"It has to be a trap," Duo cursed and started back down the hill. He was only a meter away from the fence when he heard it rattle and a dark shadow scrambled up it. Heero's feet made a soft whump in the grass as he landed and he nodded calmly at his partner. He'd gotten his part done.
"You're late," he accused and pulled the detonator from his pocket.
Heero offered no explanation, he merely grunted and took the detonator away from Duo. He flipped open the trigger guard and seconds later the first of the explosions could be heard. The ground shook as they ran up the grassy hill and towards the trees where they had sat only a few days earlier.
"Man, you could've let me push the button," Duo slowed and looked over his shoulder as the sky lit up and the entire eastern wing of the facility was engulfed in a giant orange fireball.
Duo caught Heero's arm and the Japanese boy glared. He felt they should be using this time to get as far away as possible, but he too slowed and turned to watch the destruction.
"Lookit that. Better than fireworks," Duo commented as a fuel truck exploded. "Lights the sky up like a sunset too, kinda romantic in a fucked up sort of way, eh?"
"No..." the word bled out, like the color in his cheeks as Heero watched the scene unfold with detached fascination.
"You don't have to sound so serious, I didn't entirely mean that, although I do-" Duo stopped when he saw the look on Heero's face. "Heero? What's wrong?"
Heero wanted to answer, but he couldn't. Below them, the force of the fuel truck's explosion had struck close enough to one of the standing mobile suits that it was sure to unbalance it and send it toppling. History was repeating itself. His first mistake since he'd agreed to become a pilot in Operation Meteor had come back to haunt him. He'd done it again.
With no explanation forthcoming, Duo followed Heero's line of sight to the row of unmanned mobile suits standing on the far side of the facility, "What the hell is the matter? You think they're going to muster a pilot and come after us or something?"
"Hey, looks like that one's gonna fall. It's going to make one hell of a crash," Duo chuckled and was totally unprepared for the fist that came slamming into his face. He staggered back, spit blood and stared at Heero; he was so stunned he almost didn't duck the second swing in time. "What the fuck was that for?"
"People are going to die," Heero said and launched himself at Duo. "You don't care that it's going to kill innocent people."
"Shit! Heero!" Duo dove to the side and ignored the pain of landing on a rock as he rolled into a crouch. "What the hell are you talking about? The suits?" the Deathscythe pilot was completely confused, but the one thing he did know was that he wasn't going to let Heero beat him into a bloody pulp. There was a moment of uncertainty on Heero's part and that was all Duo needed; he tackled the Wing pilot and thanked the streets of L2 for teaching him how to fight dirty.
"Let me go," Heero hissed and bucked, but the body pinning him down remained where it was and he had no leverage.
"Not until you tell me why you almost broke my jaw," Duo shot back and drove his elbow harder into Heero's back.
"Innocent people are dying and it's all my fault."
"This shit again?! Didn't we already have this talk?" Duo sighed and felt the body beneath him go slack. He wasn't going to take any chances though and didn't ease up in the least. "Look. OZ set us up and we fell for it. Just cause you were the one who struck the blow doesn't mean that me or those other guys weren't equally ready to shoot that plane down."
"Not that. Down there," Heero tried to lift his head.
"Okay. You've lost me," Duo shook his head and rocked back, effectively freeing the other boy. "I'm probably going to regret letting you up, but pretend I'm six years old and explain everything to me before you resume kicking my ass, alright?" he said as he loosed Heero entirely and sat down heavily in the grass.
Calmer now, Heero rose unsteadily and surveyed the damage at the facility. He expected to see a cloud of dust rising and the horrible wreckage of an apartment building torn down by the crushing weight of a seven ton suit. Only there was no wreckage. The suit had fallen well within the bounds of the fenced off area and even if it hadn't, there were no apartments.
It wasn't the past repeating itself. This wasn't the colonies. He hadn't just killed a slew of innocent people. People he was supposed to be fighting for. Reality rushed back full force and Heero looked down at where Duo was still sitting. The American spit again and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. Eyes fully adjusted to the amount of light available, Heero saw that Duo's hand came away darkened with blood.
"Duo," he said, dropping to one knee in the grass next to his friend. To his credit, the other boy didn't even flinch when he placed his fingers hesitantly at the spot which was sure to form a bruise. "I'm sorry. I just... thought that something else was happening."
"Flashback or something?" Duo asked and made a soft noise of understanding when the Japanese pilot nodded a yes. "Then we'll chalk this up to temporary insanity," he said, spitting once more before levering himself to his feet and nodding in the direction where they had stashed their bike. "Come on, we should get out of here."
Feeling preoccupied, Duo didn't even fuss when Heero automatically settled in to the forward position on the motorcycle's seat. All he could think about was how he had misjudged so much about Heero. After New Edwards, it had always seemed that Heero had been more upset about screwing up the mission than the lives of the people it would affect.
Had he completely misunderstood the other boy's remorse? Did Heero really care as deeply as he did about civilians? He must, Duo thought, yawning the aching jaw that proved it. No wonder the Wing pilot couldn't kill the girl that kept following him around. Admittedly she was a dangerous liability, but now, at least to Duo, she was a reassuring dangerous liability.
Duo hugged himself tighter against Heero as another block zipped past and considered this new facet of Heero's personality that he hadn't ever really thought about before. Compassion in the perfect soldier...
"Someday. I promise," he whispered into the confines of his helmet and he was comforted by the thought that when someday came, Heero would be worth it.