Author: BleedToBlue
Genre: Gundam Wing FanFiction
Pairing: 6x2, 1xR, 3x4, hints of 5x2
Warnings: SAP, m/m implied.
Disclaimer: The Gundam Boys are borrowed for fun only.

A/N: Thanks to Marasmine for beta-ing. Any mistakes are mine alone.

The Entropy of Memory + Chapter 9

It was a beautifully crisp afternoon, the sun was shining in a cloudless blue sky, the air was clean and sharp as Wufei and Duo walked a pine needle covered path that would bring them to the river that cut through the Winner property. The trail led beneath tall trees that filtered the light, creating dappled patterns on the ground. Duo and Wufei talked about Wufei's last assignment, about Sally and her new family; things that were innocuous or inconsequential should anyone overhear.

Wufei nodded to the security people they passed, and pointed out the security monitors and sensors as if Duo wasn't intimately familiar with the security arrangements. Duo realized Wufei was reminding him that their privacy was an illusion, their movement and speech could be picked up by electronic eyes and ears, all of which might not be friendly.

At the water's edge they turned and walked upstream towards a large pool filled by a noisy rush of water tumbling and falling several feet over an outcropping of rocks. Just above the falls a wooden bridge spanned the small river, shaded by a stand of pines. It provided a quiet, sheltered spot to admire the swiftly moving water as it spilled into the pool below. Duo followed as Wufei moved purposefully onto the bridge, Wufei halted in the middle, and braced his arms on the wide wooden railing of the bridge. Duo moved to stand next to him, waiting until Wufei decided to tell Duo what he wanted, why they were there.

Wufei dropped the smiling facade he'd put on in case they were being watched and looked very serious. "We can speak openly here. The noise of the water covers our voices." Wufei staightened up and moved to stand in front of Duo. "The security cameras aren't angled to pick up our faces if we do this.

Wufei leaned forward, brushed Duo's cheek with his knuckles, and slid his hand around the back of Duo's head, twisting his fingers into the long hair. The very intimate gesture surprised Duo.

"You're blushing, Duo." Duo could feel the heat as the blood rushed to his face, he didn't think it was entirely embarrassment. 'I'm going to kiss you.' Wufei's eyes telegraphed. Duo stared into those eyes and tried to grasp what was happening as Wufei matched that thought to deed.

It was a good kiss, Duo thought. Wufei's mouth was soft and warm. He pulled Duo close and kissed him until Duo relaxed and leaned against him. Duo felt his whole world might be crashing down around him. Wufei pulled back from the kiss and Duo leaned against him, feeling more than a little shaken. Duo felt Wufei's breath, warm against his cheek.

Duo leaned back then to look into Wufei's eyes, eyes that were dark with some unfamiliar emotion. Duo stretched up to put his lips against Wufei's ear, keeping his words to a fierce whisper.

"Great kiss, Wufei, but I happen to know you are as straight as an arrow. Now what the hell was all that about?" Wufei twitched a bit and Duo knew he was trying not to laugh. Duo turned his head to catch Wufei's expression.

"Not so straight as you might think, Duo." Wufei muttered with a wicked little smile, arms around Duo now like a lover, or a friend who was trying to hide something. "I'm sorry, just go along with me for now? We're being watched."

Duo had felt someone's eyes on him but had assumed it was security, Wufei's words made Duo tense up. There was a plea in his voice that Duo couldn't refuse. And then the impact of what Wufei said hit Duo. Wufei wasn't straight?

Duo moved and with both arms around Wufei's neck and his body firmly planted against Wufei pulled his face down until their mouths almost met and spoke against Wufei's lips. "What exactly does that mean...not so straight?" Duo planted small kisses as he spoke, let his tongue slide over Wufei's lower lip, watched Wufei's eyes trying to read him. Then Wufei's eyes slid closed, his lips parted, and Duo abandoned himself to the sensation of Wufei's tongue as it danced and swirled against his own.

Kissing the Dragon felt dangerous and exciting; not a game Duo would have initiated on his own but one he found he enjoyed. After all, Wufei had asked him to play along.'And who am I' Duo thought, 'to refuse an offer like that?' Wufei had, Duo suddenly realized, uncharted depths, and a most unexpected talent for kissing. For several long breathless moments Duo abandoned himself to the pleasure of Wufei's mouth on his.

The need for air drove them apart, the sense of someone watching was gone. Duo stared up at Wufei, at the just been kissed look on Wufei's face that Duo was sure matched the one on his own face. It might have been an act to fool someone but Wufei had enjoyed it as much as Duo, if Duo was any judge of such things.

"'Fei, tell me why I'm kissing my friend, my unexpectedly not-straight-friend, in the middle of the woods. Tell me why I've spent years thinking you were straight and that you disapproved of me?" Duo grinned at his friend but underneath there was some old pain. Duo was sure Wufei had disapproved of his feelings for Heero. Duo always thought it was about him being gay; now Duo wondered what else he'd been wrong about?

"What, you don't think I could just want to kiss you, Maxwell?" Wufei was looking at Duo with the old stiff, stern face but Duo could see amusement underneath. Wufei picked up Duo's braid and let it slide through his hand.

"I didn't disapprove of what you are, Duo. I was worried that Heero would hurt you." Wufei's face lost all traces of humor. "I was right, he did. He hurt you during the war and he hurt you again when he went to Relena, and he's still hurting you."

"No Fei, it's okay." Duo smiled broadly and slid an arm around Wufei's waist, bumped him with a shoulder. "Don't try to change the subject, Chang ...what are you up to? Is this Preventor's business? I don't usually kiss for missions, ya' know." Duo laughed but it held a bitter edge.

"I wanted to do that for a long time. I thought maybe I'd have a chance with Heero out of the picture. Do I have a chance, Duo?" Wufei asked and Duo knew that surprise showed on his face.

"I...I don't know . I...this is a lot to take in. I had no idea." Duo had had no idea that Heero was interested in Relena, or any girl; no idea he'd walk away. Duo had never dreamed Wufei wasn't straight that he might be interested in Duo. Duo wasn't sure of anything anymore. He knew that he'd enjoyed kissing Wufei but Duo knew he wanted Zechs, even if he didn't have a chance with him. What did that say about him, Duo wondered? Duo thought seriously about turning tail and running; back to the city, back to L2; running to catch a freighter headed for somewhere he wouldn't have to deal with any of this. Mars was still an option, maybe Noin and he had more in common than Duo had ever imagined.

Wufei looked away for a moment and when he looked back at Duo his expression had changed. "I need to talk to you about something else." Duo's mind was still trying to process what Wufei had already said but he struggled to follow along.

"I have reason to believe that Quatre's security, possibly Preventor's security has been compromised." That got Duo's complete attention. Wufei was still standing very close, he casually laid an arm across Duo's shoulder as his hand caressed Duo's neck.

"It's important that anyone watching think we are here for a private moment. Not to talk about business." His eyes were locked onto Duo's who thought they held an apololgy for what he was saying, what he was about to say. Duo understood, Wufei was telling him that the kissing and holding him were a cover. Wufei's eyes narrowed.

"Don't think that! I see it on your face. I wanted to kiss you,have wanted to, that wasn't about the job, or making anyone think we were intimate. My timing was...not well thought out. Forgive me?" Duo could only nod, but it seemed to ease something in Wufei's eyes. Duo was more confused than ever.

"What's going on with security? Is this part of last night?" Duo asked, feeling safer talking about threats and danger than emotions.

This was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Duo realized. Proximity. Quatre had tried to tell him that it was working so closely with Heero and Heero's friendship that had made him think he was in love with Heero. Maybe he wasn't cut out to have a partner. Heero loved him as a friend, they'd been very close. Quatre told him it was a natural thing. Not anyone's fault and that when Duo found someone to love him back he'd realize that he wasn't really in love with Heero. Duo still didn't believe Quatre but he missed Heero and about now really wished he could talk to his best friend. Duo thought he could use someone to help him sort through all this. He'd needed someone at the wedding and Zechs had been there, that's all it was. And how was he supposed to explain Wufei?

"There have been leaks from headquarters." Wufei continued. "Someone is giving out information and it might be from within the Preventors themselves, maybe from Quatre's security, or possibly someone who'd hacked one or both systems and is monitoring them." Wufei said. "We have to be very careful that they don't know we are aware of them."

Wrapping both arms around Duo and pulling him close again, Wufei had spoken quietly. "You need to be very careful, very cautious about Zechs." Duo felt his whole body go rigid and he tried to pull away. Wufei held him tighter, "Listen! Zechs seems to be the target and anyone he cares about." Duo did pull back at that, jerking out of Wufei's embrace, not sure just what he was implying. Wufei almost snarled at him.

"You are his partner. You are a logical target." Reaching out and taking hold of Duo's arm Wufei pulled him in close again. "An attempt was made on Noin and they are just friends! We've found evidence of other plots. We think it's someone looking to pay Zechs back for the war but we can't be sure. They may mean to kill him, but first they want to hurt him by hurting and killing people he cares about."

"We've only been partners a very short time, ‘Fei. We both asked Une to reassign us, everyone knows we are hardly friends." Duo said and didn't understand what the fuss was, Wufei should be worrying about Relena, or some of Zechs' old Oz buddies.

"You were overheard discussing your plans for leaving together in public, at headquarters, it obviously wasn't for a mission. Zechs was seen picking you up at your apartment. Someone followed you here."

Wufei eyed Duo speculatively, and added, "Someone might have read something into that." Duo snorted as Wufei took a breath and continued, "There's been talk at headquarters, office rumors Duo, rumors about Zechs interest in you. People are talking about the wedding, Zechs was hardly discreet about his interest."

They were still standing close, touching, giving the appearance of an intimate relationship. Duo was leaning on Wufei now and he dropped his forehead to rest on Wufei's shoulder. There was so much subtext and too much new information in what Wufei was saying. Duo felt confused, and disoriented. Rumors? About him and Zechs? Wufei wanted to kiss him? That someone was trying to kill Zechs and possibly himself wasn't nearly as strange or hard to understand for Duo.

And there was something else niggling at Duo's. "'Fei, exactly how is my pretending to be involved with you supposed to help Zechs?" The tension earlier between Zechs and Wufei was beginning to make sense to Duo. Was Wufei right, did Zechs really care about him?

Wufei looked not in the least repentent as he answered. "You being involved with someone else would cause Zechs a great deal of pain. It might be enough to keep you off the list of people to hurt." Duo blinked at the answer and thought there were some big holes in that theory.

"Duo, do you care about Zechs?" Wufei's voice was tense as he asked. "I'm asking because I think Zechs cares about you, I saw how he looked at you. He's probably looking for us right now, I don't know how long before he'll find us. If you care about him this will cause trouble. I didn't mean for that to happen." Wufei said wryly, then added in a stronger tone. "Do you feel something for him?"

"No, I don't know, I'm not sure. I...maybe?" Duo had no trouble with the denial but the truth was a bit harder to stumble through. "Definitely maybe. I'm sorry, ‘Fei."

Wufei's face looked serene but his voice held a touch of regret. "I shouldn't have waited so long." Wufei stroked his hand down Duo's braid.

"I didn't do or say anything to Heero because he didn't intend to hurt you even though he did. But if Zechs hurts you I won't hold back." And he smiled a very dangerous smile. "I will always be your friend."

In the distance they heard men shouting and the noise of several people taking shortcuts through the underbrush.

Wufei grinned, "I think your partner is about to arrive." Duo turned to face the noise but Wufei kept his arms wrapped around Duo and added with a chuckle. "I don't think he sounds very happy."

Wufei, Duo thought, was enjoying himself entirely too much.

[ch. 8] [ch. 10] [back to BleedToBlues' fic]