disclaimer: they are not mine. i never pretended they were...

this is a sequel to 'caution: speed bump ahead'
pairing: 1X2, R+1, R+2
rating: NC-17
warnings: yaoi, AU (AC200), angst, sap and lemon
spoilers: dun think so.....

notes: sixth and next to the last fic in the 'getting caught, giving chase and giving in' series. reading the rest of the series would probably be a good idea. you can find them [ here ].   once again, huge thanks are due to frog for the wonderful beta job!

by jana

The two left Duo's apartment in tandem on Monday at 7am, with Duo headed for his office and Heero to the spaceport.

Outwardly, there was nothing unusual about their parting; there was the customary embrace and the kiss that always followed when Duo dropped Heero off. It felt different to Heero though, perhaps because they had not made definite plans to see one another again. This was something he always did... and generally well in advance of when he was slated to leave. He had not done so this time though, and his hopes of Duo mentioning it as they said their farewells this morning were crushed as he watched his lover drive off not having said a word about it.

Once inside the huge steel and glass building, Heero shifted his attention to finding the correct gate for his shuttle departure and made his way there, weaving in and out of the hundreds of other early morning travelers that filled the newly erected structure. He walked through the narrow passageway to Gate 11 and set his luggage down before seating himself. He looked over at the clock, noting he still had almost an hour before his flight would be called to board. He made use of the time to think about all that had happened between him and Duo the past six days.

Most of the memories easily brought a smile to his face and Heero scanned the waiting area, checking to make certain he was not being observed, before continuing.

Duo had very much enjoyed coming home from work on Tuesday night to find Heero in the kitchen and dressed in nothing but the white apron. Heero had managed to quickly get over the embarrassment he felt at the situation and allowed Duo's hands to roam freely over his exposed body while he stood at the stove and tended to their meal. It was an enormous distraction to say the least and Heero was torn by which current activity he wished to more fully devote his attention to. He could feel the stirrings of arousal even now as he recalled how quickly he had surrendered to the impatience and urgency of his lover's touch.

Duo's hands roamed over his naked flesh much as if he were touching him for the first time, while lingering at those places on his body where experience had taught Duo were capable of driving Heero still madder with desire. Heero recalled the sounds he had made: unable to see Duo's face, but sure that his lover was grinning as he continued his explorations.

Duo moved closer to him, sucking at the nape of his neck and then tilted Heero's head sideways to take advantage of the bared column of flesh. His teeth scraped roughly against Heero's skin, apologetically kissing and licking the tender spot before moving on and repeating the process. Having slowly worked his way down Heero's back to his waist, Duo untied the thick knot that kept the rest of Heero's body from him and lowered himself down onto his knees, spreading Heero's legs apart using both of his hands. Heero leaned forward a little; tightening the grip he had on the edge of the counter as Duo's warm, wet tongue made contact with the base of his spine. It traveled downward from there, nestling comfortably between the cheeks of his ass and teasing its way to Heero's entrance.

Heero recalled crying out then, requesting that Duo cease toying with him and was rewarded with the firm pressure of Duo's wet tongue at his hole. Heero pressed back, moaning as Duo wriggled his tongue, pushing it still further inside of him. Heero spread his legs wider, grinding against Duo's face as he continued to lick and suck the tiny opening.

Heero had been sure that Duo's behavior indicated that he would prefer to be taking Heero tonight, but that was not how things had played out. Duo had suddenly pulled back and brought himself to his feet. Heero turned to face his lover and watched as Duo stripped for him right there in the center of the kitchen, slowly removing each article of clothing to drop them in a pile at his feet in his usual seductive manner. Entranced, Heero kept his gaze focused on Duo, totally ignoring dinner for the time being and allotting the erotic striptease all the attention it was worthy of. Once naked, Duo approached the kitchen table and pushed the two place settings off to the side. He bent the upper half of his body forward over the table then, raising his hips and ass tantalizingly high in the air as he offered himself to Heero.

Heero shifted in his chair, once again diligently surveying his surroundings. Confident that he was not being observed, Heero folded his hands in his lap and closed his eyes, reenacting the balance of the scenario in minute detail.


Duo had decided to remain working during the three-week period he had initially slated as a vacation of sorts in between his job and the start of classes. He was thankful that he had not mentioned anything to Heero about it, as he initially intended for it to be a surprise. His reason for doing so was two-fold, the first being the more than mild trepidation he felt by the thought of leaving his job.

His announcement that he was resigning from his position was greeted with great surprise and Duo had spent the rest of the afternoon downplaying the rumors that began to circulate throughout his department about him and Heero. The fact that he admitted he would be working for his friend and former Gundam pilot, had probably given rise to the chatter and those who were closest to Duo, had probably noticed the changes in him. He did not bother to confirm or deny that he and Heero were lovers, finding the speculation not without humor.

The other motivation for his decision was even more complicated than the first... and that was Heero.

Duo had originally anticipated the two would spend most of the three weeks together: preferably at Heero's apartment on L1. He had reasoned that spending time there was more enjoyable and not only because of the company. It would be a step closer to moving in with Heero; something that he had very much thought he wanted to do until last week.

Duo frowned as he thought about the verdict he'd arrived at and then of Heero's reaction to it. He would not have backed down if Heero chose to push the issue, but Heero didn't seem to be at all upset by his choice. It should have been a good thing, Duo told himself. Heero was respecting his wishes, understanding what his needs were. It was what he would have done if the situation were reversed. So why the hell was it bothering him so much?


Heero had taken some time during the flight home to analyze their current situation and wondered, perhaps, if Duo was correct: that things between them were moving too fast and that some time apart was warranted. Heero acknowledged that their relationship was progressing very rapidly. He was the one responsible for initiating the physical contact between them shortly after he had arrived at Duo's apartment for that initial encounter. They had ended up having sex that night too. Heero recalled the events of that evening and was clearly able to place the blame equally on both of them. Duo had been just as enthusiastic as himself. He did not think it likely, but would not rule out the possibility that Duo thought the sexual aspect of what they had was what was most important to Heero. Certainly he was aware that sex wasn't all Heero was interested in, but the long gaps in between their visits found them sometimes overly eager to touch one another and it took an unusually long time to satiate their sizeable appetites.

He had also been the one to admit his feelings to Duo first, albeit in an altogether muddled and unconventional manner. Heero was acutely aware how bothered by his admission Duo was. He had apologized time and again for it, though: explaining to Duo that he had not meant to blurt out his feelings in front of Quatre the way he had. He also made sure that Duo knew he meant those words and that while the timing wasn't exactly opportune, Heero had no intention of hiding how he truly felt about the other man.

Duo leaving his job had also been his idea, as was the plan to have Duo move to L1 with him.

The proposal to have Duo work for him came about because Duo had repeatedly voiced displeasure over his current job. Heero would not have tried to coerce Duo into abandoning a career that he felt satisfied by. He didn't think that offering Duo an option, a way out, was a negative thing. The move too, made sense, especially if they did decide on working side-by-side. Inter colony travel was expensive, inconvenient and fairly time consuming. Heero had not even entertained the idea of moving to L2. Unlike, L2, his home colony had flourished, providing a far better standard of living and contained the core base of his clients as well. It was only logical that should one of them have to relocate, that it would be Duo.

Unable to determine exactly what was bothering Duo and therefore powerless to try and make any necessary amends, Heero decided that, for starters, not signing onto AIM as frequently as he had been was probably a good idea. Duo might feel obligated to talk to him if he saw that he was logged on and Heero thought that he might be equally as compelled to message Duo. There was also the notion Heero had, that the sooner Duo got the ‘space' he required, the less time he would stay distanced from Heero. It would allow Duo plenty of time to work through whatever it was Duo seemed to feel he needed to. With all the time he spent on his computer, though, it would not be an easy chore. Heero had adjusted his schedule months ago, so that he was working when he knew Duo would be likely to be online. There was no need for that now and he mentally concluded that he would readjust his work timetable accordingly; allowing one hour to overlap when he knew Duo would be on. In addition to the self-imposed restraint, Heero decided he would only sign onto AIM four nights a week.

He sincerely hoped that Duo would notice and be appreciative of his efforts, despite his reluctance.


DMaxwell02: hey!

Heero was happy to see Duo's message pop up onto his screen. It had been an entire week and a half and as torturous as he found it, he had stuck to his guns. Heero still had reservations about the way he had decided to approach the situation with Duo. The lack of communication between them was not bound to resolve anything.

GroundedonL1: evening
DMaxwell02: hows it going?
DMaxwell02: havent seen you in a while

Heero smiled.

GroundedonL1: been busy. im fine
DMaxwell02: cool. things are winding down at the office. less than two weeks to go
GroundedonL1: nervous?
DMaxwell02: maybe a little. its weird. yanno?
GroundedonL1: understandable. when do your classes start?
DMaxwell02: the 24th. decided to work till then. idle hands and all

Heero nodded: mentally concurring with Duo's decision. He wondered what Duo might have done if had he not wanted to put some distance between them. Heero did not want to think too hard about it. The idea of losing spending a large block of time with his lover bothered Heero tremendously.

GroundedonL1: good idea

Several minutes passed before Duo spoke.

DMaxwell02: so... you going to be available after i start school?
DMaxwell02: i mean, for help and all

Heero smiled. They had agreed on that a while ago. Heero did not believe that Duo would need his assistance, but obviously felt better knowing it was there.

GroundedonL1: i said i would. i think you will be fine though
DMaxwell02: yeah... youre probably right

Heero didn't know how he was supposed to interpret Duo's comment. There seemed to be hint of sadness in it, though Heero could not imagine why. Perhaps Duo had changed his mind about working with Heero altogether. The idea made his pulse noticeably quicken and rather than get himself worked up over it, he decided to ask Duo about it.

GroundedonL1: do you still want to take the courses?
DMaxwell02: yeah! of course!

Heero sighed in relief.

GroundedonL1: good

It was another minute or two before Duo messaged him again.

DMaxwell02: i should be going

Heero glanced up to check the time on the taskbar of his computer. It was almost midnight... late; but he still didn't like the timing of Duo's departure.

GroundedonL1: night then
DMaxwell02: night heero

Duo signed off...

No ‘I'll see you soons', no virtual hugs... no anything that indicated they were anything more than friends.

Heero shut down his computer shortly after Duo left and turned out the light before crawling into bed with his clothes on. He had not previously considered the possibility that Duo might reject him. He hadn't seen a reason to. Oh, in the beginning he had, when they had first spoken to one another online: small traces of doubt lingered even after he admitted to Duo that he had such strong emotions for him. Once they had made it past that obstacle, though, their relationship transcended beyond what Heero had wished for. He was certain that Duo felt the same way: that they both wanted the same things.

How could he possibly have been so mistaken? Had Duo been giving him signals along? Had he missed them, or worse yet, ignored them? Was he completely incapable of reading his lover?

Heero rolled over and slid his body between the cool white sheets, not wondering for a moment why he found himself on the verge of tears.


Lacking somewhat in both self-discipline and formal education, Duo found the start of classes a little daunting. He hadn't quite known what to prepare himself for and the first week proved to be a string of revelations. By the end of week three, he had found a suitable way to manage his time, juggling the limited hours and designating a better part of each day for school related work. Any time he had allotted for leisurely activities, which included chatting on the computer, had failed to materialize.

The new routine had become less stressful from there on in, and Duo gradually found that he had small chunks of freee on his hands. It took a little more effort to combine them into a larger block and still further attempts at shifting them all to the evening when he knew Heero would most likely be on his computer.

Two more weeks had passed and by the time they had caught each other online again, Duo had already left his job and was attending classes. After their last encounter, Heero had cut his time on AIM down to two nights a week and had to somewhat force himself to sign on even then. Duo had not emailed him nor called him during that time and the lessening of contact between them made Heero grow somewhat paranoid; thinking that maybe Duo's request had actually been his lovers polite way of breaking things off between the two of them. It was not something that Heero thought Duo was likely to do though: in effect stringing him along. Duo had always prided himself on his honestly and Heero could not see his lover going against his grain now: especially not over something as important as this.

DMaxwell02: there you are! i was beginning to think youd disappeared into thin air

Heero felt a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

GroundedonL1: hey duo
DMaxwell02: busy?
GroundedonL1: something like that. hows it going?
DMaxwell02: good. good. cant complain
DMaxwell02: i mean, i can... but i wont

Heero did find himself smiling this time.

GroundedonL1: did you get an invitation to relenas fundraiser?
DMaxwell02: yeah...
GroundedonL1: something wrong?
DMaxwell02: just bad timing. i suppose i should go
DMaxwell02: its the least i can do
GroundedonL1: bad timing?
DMaxwell02: yeah. right before finals
GroundedonL1: oh. you should try to make it
DMaxwell02: you going?

Heero nodded.

GroundedonL1: yes

He wondered if Duo was pleased by his response. He said nothing, though.

DMaxwell02: i need to go buy a tux

Heero didn't bother to mention that a dark suit would have been acceptable as well. It took little effort to call to mind that he had never seen Duo formally dressed and Heero was not going to derail perhaps the only opportunity he might have.

GroundedonL1: you can always rent one
DMaxwell02: maybe. those things never seem to fit quite right

Heero agreed. That was precisely the reason he had bought his own. He hadn't had much cause to wear it; save the occasional political function Relena held and requested his presence at.

The conversation was sparse from then on and very little was said between the two during the next hour. They talked a little about Duo's courses and Heero could tell by the way Duo spoke, that he was having none of the difficulties he had feared he might. Heero made it a point to remind Duo that he was available for help should Duo need it, at the same time reiterating his belief that Duo could handle it. Duo asked if Heero had heard from any of the others and Heero admitted that he had not. Duo went on to say that he had been in contact with both Quatre and Wufei, explaining that it was just pleasantries they had exchanged: more of an effort to not lose touch with one another than anything else.

Duo said goodnight at a little after one and Heero signed off shortly thereafter. He had come very close to telling Duo that he missed him, but fearing the response he might get, decided against it. He would hopefully get to see Duo at Relena's in three weeks and would speak to him then about what was happening between them. Three weeks was a long time, though, especially when there was so much at stake. Heero felt confident that seeing Duo in person was the key to resolving everything.

He could tell so much more about what his lover was thinking by looking into Duo's eyes.


Heero had arrived on Earth mid-afternoon on the day of Relena's gathering and spent a few hours with her, assisting however he could with any last minute preparations she needed to make. The servants saw to most of the final details, but Heero noted that Relena kept close tabs on what was happening, assuring that the affair came off as smoothly as possible.

Relena had showed Heero to his room not long after he had arrived and he returned there now, just an hour before the function was slated to begin, to shower and dress. The two had enjoyed a light dinner at four and as he had hoped, Relena had not said anything to him about Duo. She had mentioned nothing about him being invited nor did she speak of the relationship between them that he was pretty sure she was aware of.

At precisely 6:30, Heero made his way downstairs and into the enormous ballroom that was located in the East Wing of Sanq's Presidential Palace. The band was setting up on stage and Heero watched for a while as they checked that their instruments were properly tuned, that the microphones were turned on and that the volume was at an acceptable level.

Heero visually scanned the huge, crowded space for Duo from its entrance and unable to locate him, found his way to table #2, as the place card with his name on it indicated he should. There were eight people already seated around the oblong table, leaving two vacant chairs. Heero sat in the one that gave him the best view of the main access to the room, noting with a frown that the last available empty seat at the table was nowhere near his own.

Five minutes after their meal orders had been taken: Duo arrived. Heero had been watching the room's entrance diligently for his lovers arrival and found himself unable to hide how happy he was that Duo had made it and how incredibly handsome he looked. Introductions were made before Duo sat and he and Heero shook hands and exchanged smiles and polite greetings. Heero was pleased that what seemed to be a tighter than normal handshake passed between them and he wondered how long it would be before he could get Duo alone and the two could talk.

Dinner was eaten with very little discussion other than general comments about the meal, the weather and the gathering itself. Heero did not know anyone at the table other than Duo and it seemed to him that everyone else was in a similar predicament. Heero was grateful because it made his own silence seem that less obvious. Relena delivered a short thank you speech after the meal while the tables were being cleared, introducing several of the candidates whose political campaigns were to benefit from the gathering. They each spoke briefly and the microphone was then turned back to Relena, who announced that the band would be playing music suitable for dancing and that dessert would be served shortly.

Several of the people at their table left to either dance or mingle and Heero decided he would use the opportunity to seat himself in one of the empty chairs on either side of Duo. Duo smiled as Heero stood and pulled the chair to his left back from the table. He smiled once Heero sat. "Hey!"

Heero returned the smile. "You look very nice. Bought the tux?" He questioned as he washed his eyes over Duo in appreciation.

"Yeah. Um... you look really good too." Duo smiled somewhat sheepishly toward him.

Had everything between the two been normal, Heero would have suggested that they take a walk, giving them some time alone and away from the scrutiny of others. Heero would have liked to hug his lover and kiss him tenderly in a proper greeting. He instead asked Duo how his classes were going and Duo in return questioned Heero about work. Things were clearly awkward between them and Relena's approach to their table could not have been timelier.

"Good evening, Heero." She began and then turned to face Duo. "Nice to see you, Duo." Duo brought himself to his feet and graciously thanked Relena for inviting him, paying her several compliments: one on her appearance and a number about the meal and the affair in general. Heero took the exchange in, looking up at Relena when silence fell.

"Care to dance with me, Heero?" She asked. Heero nodded and stood, excusing himself from Duo with a nod and a smile.

Duo watched as Heero and Relena crossed the room only to stop in its center amidst a sea of dancing couples. He kept his attention on the pair as they moved across the polished wooden floor: uneasy as he watched Heero take Relena into his arms. It was no small pang of jealousy, Duo acknowledged. It downright stung. He didn't resent the fact that Heero and Relena were dancing: it was that as much as he wanted to, he would not have the opportunity to dance with Heero.


Heero ushered Relena toward the sparse crowd of dancing couples, reaching for her waist with one hand, while holding onto her shoulder with the other. Her both hands rested on his shoulders and they began to dance.

"Heero..." Relena said with evident concern. "...is there something wrong?"

Heero shook his head to indicate that everything was fine, but he had doubts that she would believe him.

"Is it Duo?" She asked quietly.

Heero felt slightly embarrassed by her question for two reasons; the first being his reluctance to talk about it; the second was that he had never actually told Relena that he and Duo were involved. He evidently hadn't needed to, but felt bad about the omission nonetheless. "He's been distant." Heero finally admitted. "I've not seen him in nearly a month." He went on to say. There was a long pause and he looked directly at Relena before he continued. "I honestly don't know what is going on."

"He hasn't taken his eyes off you since we left the table." Relena told him.

Choreographing their dance steps to allow him a mostly unobstructed view of their table, Heero looked toward where Duo sat alone, unable to deter his smile as he watched Duo turn his eyes away in embarrassment of being caught staring.

"I think I always knew the two of you would end up together."

Heero met Relena's gaze with wide eyes.

"Oh, Heero." She chuckled softly, "Give me a little credit here, will you." She insisted. "Duo was always very obvious about the way he felt about you."

Heero nodded, fondly recalling a few choice memories. He had thought nothing of his partner's actions at the time. Looking back though, he found Duo's behavior quite unmistakable.

"You, on the other hand," She continued. "...were far more subtle."

Heero offered her a small nod in return.

"There was something about the way you spoke of him. I felt a little foolish for having chased you around once I figured it out." Relena told him.

"I was flattered." Heero replied with a smile.

Relena smiled back. "Now if you'll excuse me." She said, taking her hands from Heero's shoulders and stepping back. "There is another handsome young ex-Gundam pilot I am most eager to dance with before the night is over."


The pair exited the dance floor when the song ended and made their way around the perimeter of the ballroom to table #2. Heero smiled as Relena insisted that Duo have one dance with her. Duo had not refused Relena's invitation, but Heero could tell that his lover looked less than comfortable with her request. Heero thought that it might have only been nerves, as he knew for certain that Duo was quite capable of dancing.

Duo was sure that he blushed all the way to the dance area and that the blush continued even as they reached an empty spot on the dance floor and he took Relena into his arms; making sure to keep her at a comfortable distance. He was feeling rather self-conscious about his abilities and perhaps just a little out of his league.

"I appreciate you taking time out to attend tonight, Duo." She said.

"It's the least I could, considering all that you've done." Duo replied honestly. "I can't thank you enough, Relena. I don't know if Heero told you just how bad things were."

"He did. Truthfully, I had no idea, Duo." Relena admitted. She smiled at Duo then. "I was delighted there was something I could do to help."

The conversation about the increased funding ended there and Relena broke the odd silence a minute later. "I think it's wonderful about you and Heero."

A familiar heat rose in Duo's cheeks yet again. Heero had not mentioned that he'd told Relena about the two of them. He also found it an awkward topic to discuss with someone you barely knew.

"Umm... thanks." He replied with a shy grin. "Heero's great." Duo said, his voice tinged with a hint of sadness.

Relena merely nodded in agreement, releasing her hold on Duo as the song came to an end. "I'm sure he would really like to hear that from you about now. " She said with a smile and walked away.


Duo decided to go get a bit of fresh air rather then go back to the table right away. He exited the main ballroom and wandered down the hallway a few hundred yards before finding and stepping out onto a large balcony off the very far end of second floor. Despite the fact that the temperature outside was a balmy 75 degrees, Duo shivered as he stood alone in the large open space and let out a heavy sigh.

He hadn't known what to expect seeing Heero here tonight. Heero's behavior, so far, had been aloof and on the cool side, just as it had been for the past month or so. Duo was sure that whatever was bothering Heero had to be somehow related to his admission of wanting more time before cementing their living and working arrangements. What he didn't understand was why Heero seemed to be reacting so strongly to it. Heero had said that there was no rush, but now, Duo sensed that Heero didn't really mean those words. He too, had not been totally honest when revealing his apprehension that night. He really needed to find Heero and talk with him about it. Soon.


Heero had tried his best to be discreet as he watched Duo and Relena move around the dance floor. He did not want to get caught by Relena as Duo had. He could see that the pair was talking as they danced and couldn't help but be curious about the topic of their conversation. Heero had kept his gaze on his lover even after the song had ended and had followed Duo's movements as he exited the ballroom alone. Eager to speak with Duo, he waited all of thirty seconds before deciding to seek out his nomadic lover.

He reached his target several minutes later and took a deep breath before joining Duo out on the balcony, bracing himself for the possibility of a negative outcome.


Duo turned from his place at the railing to face his lover. "Hey, baby." He said softly.

Heero smiled at the manner in which Duo addressed him and moved to join Duo at the edge of the overlook.

"Nice view." Duo said, reaching forward with both hands to grip at the cool stone rail as he turned his gaze from Heero.

Heero nodded and laid his right hand on top of Duo's, squeezing it gently. "What is going on here, Duo?" He asked tentatively.

"Not exactly sure." Duo said softly. "I was actually hoping that you could tell me."

Heero sighed heavily. "You asked me to let you have some space."

"I asked for time, Heero." Duo corrected harshly. "There's already a colony too much between us."

Heero certainly agreed with that and nodded. "I thought it would be a good idea if I made myself scarce."

"It wasn't!" Duo insisted. "You practically ignored me. I didn't know what the hell to think, Heero."

"I might have gotten a little carried away." Heero admitted. "I thought that it would be useful in helping you... sort things out."

"I knew that was what this was all about!" Duo exclaimed.

Heero stared back at Duo in confusion.

"You think that I'm having second thoughts about us?"

"Aren't you?"

"No!" Duo said loudly. "Jesus, Heero..."

Heero was thoroughly confused. Nothing Duo said helped. In fact, he was only making matters worse. "Start at the beginning."


"Exactly what happened that night?" Heero asked. "That is what started this whole thing, right?"

Duo nodded and closed his eyes for a brief second before opening them and focusing his gaze directly on Heero.

"I missed you..." He began. "Almost everyone brought their significant others along, but you were back home on L1." Duo recalled. "We were out celebrating and they all had their someone special to do it with. Someone to share the night with..."

Heero sighed. "I am sorry." He said.

Duo smiled then. "It wasn't your fault."

"I am still not sure I understand." Heero told him. "Why did that make you decide to hold off on everything? I think it is only natural to want to be with your partner for those types of occasions"

Duo nodded. "It is."

"I am glad that you were thinking about me." Heero said.

It was Duo's turn to sigh. "You're practically ALL I think about, Heero!" He exclaimed.


"That can't be healthy!" Duo said loudly. He blushed then and looked around to make sure that no one had joined them out on the balcony and had witnessed his little outburst.

Heero, in the meantime, could not stop grinning. "So, you said that you missed me that night?"

"Not just that night."

"And you think that I was not missing you as well?"

"No... I just...."

Heero inched his way closer to Duo. "Just what?" He demanded. "Just forgot that I have been the one plotting and scheming behind your back for the past three months so that we could be together?"

Duo shook his head no.

"At first I thought you had found someone else." Heero said then.

Duo's eyes opened wide and Heero smiled. "It was just a passing thought." He told Duo.

"And I should smack you for even having it!" Duo laughed.

"What was I supposed to think?" Heero asked in a more serious tone.

Duo's brow creased slightly, crinkling the bridge of his nose. "It didn't seem to bother you the night I told you. Yanno?" He asked. "I figured you were okay with it... was better that way, cause then I didn't have to explain things further."

"That you missed me when I wasn't there."


"That you thought you were too obsessed with me."

"Right." Duo said again.

"And you never thought for a minute that I was feeling exactly the same way?"

Duo sighed heavily. "Right..."

"Now who should be smacking who?" Heero asked playfully.

Duo chuckled in relief.

"I love you." Heero stated matter of factly. "I want to live and work together with you on L1. I want us to fall asleep in the same bed every night and wake up next to each other every morning. I want us to order dinner out and lay on the living room floor while we watch those old movies of yours. I want to fight over whose turn it is to do the dishes. I want to go food shopping with you." Heero finished with a smile.

"Bullshit!" Duo accused through hearty laughter.

"Fine." Heero acquiesced with a grin. "All but the food shopping part."

"I want all of that too." Duo quietly admitted.

"Don't need any more time then? Heero asked.

Duo shook his head no.

"Good." Heero said.

"I wish we were alone now." Duo admitted.


Duo reached out, taking Heero's hand in his and slipping his fingers in between Heero's to successfully entwine them. "Been what? Six weeks since we've seen each other?"

"Forty Three days." Heero helpfully supplied.

"Too long." Duo said, to which Heero nodded.

"Do you want me to have Pargan bring your bag into my room?"

"Umm... yeah. You sure you're okay with that?"

"I am the one that suggested it." Heero reminded him.


Heero and Duo returned to their table once they rejoined the affair and the pair were just in time to be served dessert. Heero had excused himself a short while later and wandered around the palace until he'd located Pargan and requested that Duo's bag be brought into his room. The older gentlemen had seriously inquired if Mr. Maxwell was all right and Heero had informed him that the former Gundam pilot was indeed okay. He had not found the need to say anything further once he noticed the color rise in the older man's cheeks.

Duo had excused himself only after most of the guests had departed and had said goodnight to their hostess, once again thanking her for the evening and the invitation. Heero remained amongst the dwindling crowd for a while longer, not wanting to seem too eager to follow his lover to their room, as both Pargan and Relena were aware of the changes that had been made in their sleeping arrangements.

Waiting a full thirty minutes after Duo's departure, Heero too, said his goodnights and thank yous and headed toward the West Wing of the Palace to his room and a much-anticipated reunion with his waiting lover.


Duo untied his bow tie before undoing the top button on his shirt. The white fabric was stiff with starch and Duo rubbed at his neck in relief. He sat in the huge chair to the left of the bed and removed his shoes, setting them off to the side and stretched his legs out in front of him.

He was very much relieved that the conversation between him and Heero had gone as it had. He had no real reason to believe otherwise, but the distance Heero had forced between them for the past six weeks had him concerned. He was glad too, that Heero had suggested they share a room tonight. Duo had genuinely missed waking up beside his lover and was looking forward to it now, even if it was just for this one night.


Heero entered his room, smiling at the sight that greeted him. Duo was curled up in the large chair beside the bed; tie and shoes removed and his hair unbound. He locked the door and began taking off his clothes, watching his sleeping lover as he went about the task. He had not failed to observe how very tired Duo looked, noting the slightly darkened circles beneath his eyes and how Duo shifted in his chair from time to time throughout the evening in an effort to stay alert.

Tonight had gone as well as he could have hoped for. Things between them were better than before, Heero noted. Neither of them had hesitated to confess that they had been missing the other, and Duo had assured Heero that he was ready to proceed with the plan of moving in together.

Clad in just his boxers, Heero lifted the heavy pale blue comforter from the bed and draped it over Duo's sleeping form, tucking the edge of it up under his lovers chin. He was admittedly a little disappointed at not being able to share the bed with him tonight, reminding himself that the situation was only temporary and assured that he could handle it.


Heero woke the following morning, sensing first, that it was later than he normally woke and rolled over to his right, to find Duo propped up and laying on his side looking down at him.


Heero stretched his arms high overhead. "Mm... morning."

"Sorry I fell asleep last night. I was beat."

"You looked exhausted." Heero concurred. "I was very tempted to wake you." He confessed.

"I'm here now." Duo said; reaching toward Heero with one hand and pushing the dark hair from his lover's sleepy blue eyes.

Heero's body had begun to acknowledge Duo's presence long before Duo verbally reminded him he was there. He was thankful that it didn't take him long to fully awaken. He did need to at least use the bathroom first and told Duo so. "Give me a minute, okay?"

Duo smiled and nodded, watching as Heero left the bed.

Returning several minutes later, having brushed his teeth, splashed his face and relieved himself, Heero climbed back into bed and crawled beneath the covers, then turned to face Duo.

"Nice set up here." Duo said.

The huge bedroom was more accurately a suite; complete with a full bath that had a separate tub and shower. The bed itself was king sized and a couch, chair and table had been set up across the enormous room to resemble a living area.

Heero nodded. "Relena entertains a great deal."

Duo chuckled then, and Heero looked up at him to see what it was that Duo found so humorous. "Somehow I thought everything would be pink."

Heero smiled. "That was a long time ago."

Duo rolled over onto his back. "Yeah." He agreed. In a lot of ways, the wars they had fought in seemed like they had taken place a lifetime ago. Sometimes, though, Duo found that the memories of those two years came uncomfortably close to the surface. He had found suitable ways of dealing with it. "Speaking of pink..." Duo said. "What was the deal with your cumber bund and tie last night?" He asked as he looked over at Heero with a wide grin in place.

"It was peach." Heero corrected him. "While we are on the topic of tuxedos..." Heero began, rolling over onto his side. "...You looked great in yours last night."

Duo smiled. "Thanks. So did you."

Heero was reminded then that Duo has fallen asleep almost fully dressed. "You slept in yours." He commented.

Duo blushed a bit. "Last night was the first time I'd ever seen you dressed like that."

"And I you." Heero told him. "I was looking forward to it." He added.

Duo smiled again. "I was actually hoping to have the pleasure of you removing it for me... after we danced."

Heero's eyes widened and Duo felt his cheeks grow a tad warm.

"Something slow, of course." Duo said in barely a whisper. He turned onto his side and bent down to touch his lips to Heero's. Heero responded to the kiss, craning his neck up to seal his mouth to Duo's. Duo ended the kiss and pulled back. "You'd bring our bodies close together and press your hips to mine." Duo said, bending again to tease Heero's mouth with his tongue. "I'd grind back and we'd both be hard before long." Duo went on to explain. Heero nodded and strained upward to kiss Duo, eager for him to continue. "And then?" Heero asked.

Duo smiled. " Mm... then I'd take off your tie and unbutton your shirt. You'd do the same to me."

"I like the idea of dancing with you half naked." Heero confessed. Duo reached over, setting his hand on Heero's shoulder and then slid his hand over his chest. He took one of Heero's nipples between his thumb and index finger and applied some pressure. Heero hissed and covered Duo's hand with his own, urging Duo to keep touching him.

Duo went on to tease his other nipple, toying with it until it stood erect and then lowered his head to suck the tiny nub into his mouth. "That mouth will be the end of me." Heero said in a whisper.

Abandoning Heero's chest, Duo bent his right leg at the knee and laid it over Heero's right leg. He brushed his hand over Heero's groin, tracing the length of Heero's cotton clad erection. "Your pants would be the next to go." Duo said huskily. Heero wanted to tell Duo that his trousers would soon follow, but Duo chose that moment to slip his hand inside Heero's boxers and wrap his fingers tightly around his shaft.

"I'd almost certainly want to suck your cock." Duo said. Heero moaned softly and reached over to run his hand up the inside of Duo's thigh; gently squeezing the stiffened rod of flesh between his lover's legs.

"Oh yeah." Duo hissed. He pushed his hips forward into Heero's hand, relishing the increased friction. He had missed having Heero's hands on him. It was obvious that Heero felt the same way.

"We don't have much time." Heero said. He had checked the clock and knew it was already near eight. He'd slept later than he intended to. Relena had informed them last night that breakfast was at 8:30, and he still had to shower and dress.

"I bet you can make me come in about two minutes." Duo said. Heero supposed it was probably more realistically closer to five, but appreciated Duo's confidence in his abilities.

Duo rolled over onto his back and Heero quickly unfastened Duo's pants, lowered his underwear and took good firm hold of his cock. "I can spare a little more time than that." He told Duo.

Duo began to moan as Heero stroked him. It had been far too long and Duo was embarrassed to admit to even himself that his two minute estimate was probably not that far off. Heero shifted on the bed and lowered Duo's pants to his ankles, then bent down to take all of Duo's arousal into his mouth. Duo writhed on the bed, moaning in pleasure beneath him as Heero orally worshipped his cock. It was easy for Heero to read his lovers body language and unwilling to deny Duo what his body wanted, Heero moved swiftly to remove Duo's pants and wetting his fingers with saliva, slid two of them into Duo's entrance. Duo became more vocal then and Heero sucked vigorously, penetrating Duo with the full length of his fingers. Duo repeated his name loudly several times, opening his legs as wide as he could. Duo's voice was thick with lust, raspy and unusually deep and Heero knew he would never tire of hearing it.

Heero reached down with his left hand and began stoking his own cock, tugging sharply at it in answer to the mounting need he was feeling. He let Duo's erection slip from his mouth and brought himself up onto his knees between Duo's spread legs, watching as Duo's hand immediately replaced his mouth.

"Jerk off for me, baby." Duo pleaded softly. "You look so gorgeous like that."

Using one hand to slide his boxer shorts down, Heero leaned his weight against the lower half of Duo's left leg. He watched Duo's reaction to the display and added yet another finger to the pair already inside his lovers opening. "I want to be inside you." Heero said with a low growl.

"Mm, baby, I want that too."

"Yes." Heero hissed back. As tempting as it was, it had been far too long since the last time they'd had sex to settle for a quickie. He plunged his fingers deep into Duo, curling them forward and striking his prostate.

"Fuck!" Duo cried out.

Knowing how close Duo was to reaching his climax, Heero began stoking himself more roughly: watching Duo thrust himself down onto his fingers and increasing the motion of his hand accordingly.

"Come closer." Duo said through heavy breath.

Heero moved forward on his knees, releasing his cock and holding himself steady with one hand on Duo's knee. He bent forward slightly and saw the look of approval on Duo's face. "You first." He told Heero. Heero closed his eyes and reached again for his cock, squeezing his fist tight as his hand moved rapidly up and down the length of his shaft. Duo gasped and Heero opened his eyes to look up at him. He kept his gaze on Duo's face, watching for the expression he was certain Duo would reveal at his climax. Duo muttered small encouragements, moaning in pleasure as Heero's fingers continued to fill him. Heero's desire grew as he surveyed the scene before him: focusing mostly on the flurry of activity between Duo's legs.

Glancing upward as he heard Duo call his name, Heero firmed the grip he had on his cock and stroked it faster "Wanna see you come." Duo said. Duo's channel squeezed tighter still around his fingers and Heero felt his balls draw upward as his body began to tremble. "Oh yeah." Duo moaned. Heero groaned, struggling to keep his eyes opened and focused on Duo's chest as he climaxed. His fingers stilled inside of Duo while his body reeled from the intense pleasure. Thick streams of come erupted from Heero's cock to splatter against Duo's stomach and chest. A loud moan alerted Heero to the fact that Duo was about to climax as well and he drove his three fingers deep into Duo, watching in awe as his lover finally lost the last of his control and shuddered in release beneath him.


Breakfast had been comfortably casual, if not somewhat rushed, Heero noticed, most likely due to time constraints he reasoned. What little conversation there was around the large dining room table had centered on the prior evenings events and Heero was relieved that the subject of his and Duo's relationship had not been brought up. Heero guessed that it was most likely apparent to Relena that the two had worked things out.

The pair departed almost immediately once they had finished the morning meal, once again extending thanks to their hostess and accepting her offer of a ride to the spaceport. Duo's shuttle back to L2 was not set for departure until almost an hour after Heero's, but the two had decided they would accompany one another on the long drive. The dark panel that separated the back seat of the sleek black limousine gave them unlimited privacy and they took advantage of it, using the time to talk further about the upcoming changes.

"I'm glad I decided to come last night."

Heero nodded. Duo understood that it was, in part, a way to thank Relena for her assistance. A monetary donation might have served the same purpose, but was a less personal method to show his gratitude. He could not help but wonder how much of Duo's decision to attend the function rode on the fact that Duo knew he would be there.

"Did you decide to go because you knew I was going to be there?"

Duo smiled. "That had a lot to do with it." He put his hand on top of Heero's where it rested on the black leather seat between them. "It was the first time I'd gotten an invitation to something like that." Duo said. "I was curious about it."

"And?" Heero asked.

Duo shrugged. "Not really my cup of tea." He said, looking directly at Heero. "You seemed rather comfortable."

"Not really." Heero replied. "I do not feel quite as ill at ease now as I did the first time I agreed to attend."

Duo smiled. He could perceive how the situation might get easier to deal with the more times you placed yourself in it. He could also see the benefits of such a gathering. Perhaps he would still be able to have some influence on the flow of money to the less fortunate colonies even now that he had left his position. He liked the idea.

"Now that Relena knows we are a couple, she will be sure to include your name on all of the invitations she sends me."

Duo chuckled. "I really don't mind."

"That she knows about us, or about the invites?" Heero asked.

"Either." Duo answered. "You should have told me you told her, though." He said to Heero then. "Would have made the whole conversation with her a little less awkward."

"I did not tell her." Heero informed Duo. "She caught me off guard as well."

Duo let out a hearty laugh, which caused Heero to smile. He shifted closer to Duo and slid his arm behind him, wrapping it securely around his waist and then he kissed him.

It was a small kiss: just Heero touching his lips to Duo's really and applying a light amount of pressure. Duo did his best to respond, keeping the kiss simple while still conveying to Heero that he would have liked more. Heero imagined that Duo knew the feeling was mutual.

"What was that for?" Duo asked once they had separated.

Heero did not have an answer to his lover's question. He wasn't quite sure why he had kissed Duo, but it did seem that Duo enjoyed it as much as he did.

"Do I need a reason?" Heero asked.

When Duo shook his head no, Heero smiled and kissed him yet again.


There was little traffic along the route and the hour passed more quickly than they would have liked. Heero was glad that there were still nearly forty minutes before his flight was due to board, allowing the two of them some more time alone to talk.

Heero shifted his luggage to his left hand and reached out for Duo's hand once they'd entered the building. He glanced over at Duo in an attempt to gauge his lover's reaction to the physical display and was pleased that Duo seemed outwardly unaffected by it. He didn't think that Duo would mind, but since it was something that had not come up before, Heero felt compelled to question Duo about it. If Duo was successful in his attempts to get Heero out of the house more often as he planned to, it would surely be coming up again.

"Are you okay with this?" Heero looked down to where their hands were clasped and then back up at Duo. Duo lips curled into a grin and he squeezed Heero's hand in response. "Yeah." He said quietly.

After obtaining their boarding passes, Heero searched the large space and finding the least crowded corner of the designated waiting area, steered Duo toward it. They set their bags down at the very end of the row of attached seats and Heero waited for Duo to sit before joining him on his left side. This would probably be the last time they would be in this situation; waiting in the spaceport with each of them headed to their respective apartments on a different colony.

"Three more weeks." Heero said.

Duo smiled. "You nervous?"

Heero shook his head to indicate that he was not. "Liar." Duo accused half-jokingly.

Heero leaned to his left and kissed Duo, leaving his face close to Duo's even after their lips had separated. Duo looked somewhat surprised by his action. "I want this very much." He told Duo candidly. He brought his lips to Duo's again, this time, lingering long enough to satisfy the hunger he was having for his longhaired lover. "We will be fine." He assured Duo.

Duo let out a low laugh. "Who are you trying to convince? You or me?"

Heero shrugged. Yes, he still had doubts. Small ones. He guessed Duo did as well. That was fine with him. Heero didn't think that anyone was ever completely ready to take such a huge step, but people did it all the time. Reservations or not, they were both well aware of what they were getting themselves into. Heero didn't think that either of them were deluded enough to believe that there wouldn't be numerous hurdles they would have to overcome.

"I'm pretty sure I'm ready." Duo said seriously. He smiled at Heero then. "You wouldn't believe me if I said I was totally sure anyway." Duo finished. Heero leaned toward Duo, thanking him for his honestly with another kiss.

It felt good to finally have everything out in the open. It was like a fresh start, Heero thought: a very good way to begin their future together.


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