Image + Part 9 (cont)
"Danish?" Heero offered,
holding out a plate.
Duo's eyes lit up. "Oooh, thanks! I love these but Quatre won't let
me eat them."
"Something about a sugar rush and hyperactivity, but I don't really
know what he's talking about," the boy said, taking a large bite.
Heero resisted the urge to yank the pastry from Duo's hands and throw
it as far away from the braided boy as possible.
"So when can we have sex?"
Heero choked on his own pastry. "Wh...what?"
Duo giggled. "I know you want to take things slow and get to know
each other first. And I really admire that. Shows how much of a gentleman
you are. But..." He licked his lips hungrily as he looked at Heero.
"But simply watching you take a bite out of that danish has already
made me half-hard again."
Heero was really glad he didn't have anything in his mouth that time.
"Duo..." he warned, glaring at the young man.
"What? I'm nineteen. I'm supposed to be a horny teenager." He
gave Heero a look that made the older man squirm. "So how long do
we have to wait?"
"Uh, Duo - getting to know each other takes time."
"Well how many dates does it usually take for you to sleep with someone?"
Duo asked, smiling innocently at him. "On average, I mean."
Heero blinked and turned red. He couldn't believe he was actually having
this conversation. "I don't know. Seven maybe?"
"Seven? Heero, I'm shocked. I would have thought at least twelve."
"Well every situation is different, Duo. With us it may take longer..."
"Oh no! You said seven. Last night counts as one," Duo insisted,
holding up one finger. "Six more to go! If we go out to lunch today,
that'll leave five."
Heero snorted. "Why not throw in dinner as well and knock it down
to four?" he asked sarcastically.
Duo shook his head. "No can do. It's Saturday. I have to help out
at the orphanage tonight."
Heero cocked his head in contemplation. "You really enjoy it over
there, don't you?"
Duo put down his danish and looked away. "Yes and no. I love the
kids, but that place holds some unhappy memories for me. I was sent there
after my parents died. Don't get me wrong - Father Maxwell is a wonderful
man. He took me in and loved me, but it was still hard. I missed my parents,
and yeah, while it was great having a lot of kids around to play with
all the time, it was hard to watch them get adopted one by one, leaving
me all alone."
"And you never were?" Heero murmured.
Duo shook his head. "Father Maxwell is my uncle and only living relative,
not to mention my godfather. He and my father were brothers. He felt he
owed it to my parents to look after me and not leave me in the care of
strangers." He shrugged. "It's not like I wasn't happy. But
seeing one friend after another leave with a new mom and dad... it hurt
"I can imagine."
"Anyway, Father and Sister Helen loved me and I didn't always show
them the same when I was a kid. So now I'm trying to make up for it now.
Besides, I like working with the kids. They're so much fun, not to mention
adorable and cute..."
"Like you," Heero interrupted, causing Duo to blush.
"Uh, yeah. Anyway, I've spent every Saturday night and Sunday morning
helping out at the orphanage and the church. It's my way of showing Father
and Sister Helen my thanks for taking care of and loving a brat like me."
Heero laughed. "I'm sure they don't consider you a brat. And it's
a very admirable thing you are doing. But there's just one problem with
Duo frowned and stood up straighter. "What?"
"Just how I'm going to be able to handle not seeing you on Saturday
nights," he replied, sighing melodramatically.
Duo blinked at him. "You mean... you don't mind?"
"Mind? Why should I mind? It's something you obviously enjoy doing.
What right do I have to ask you to stop?"
Duo stared at him for a long moment then launched himself at Heero. "Thank
you," he mumbled, burying his face in the older man's chest.
"What for?" Heero asked, wrapping his arms around the younger
"For understanding." He looked up to meet Heero's gaze. "No
one I've ever gone out with has understood. My last boyfriend broke up
with me because of it."
Heero snorted. "His loss then," he said, kissing the top of
Duo's head. He continued holding the smaller man for a few moments before
gently prying him loose and shoving a styrofoam cup of orange juice into
"Finish your breakfast, Duo."
Duo grinned. "So can we meet for lunch?"
"Don't you have to go to work today?"
"Nope. I called Quatre and he gave me the day off." He looked
up at Heero. "What about you?"
"Looks like you're in luck. Today's my day off." He reached
out and took Duo's hand. "And since I won't get to see you tonight,
how about we spend the day together and get rid of one of those dates?"
Duo's eyes lit up as he squeezed Heero's hand. "I'd love to."
The following morning dawned
gray and cloudy. Duo suppressed a yawn as he straightened up the hymnals
and prayer books in the pews, cleaning up after Sunday mass. He hadn't
gotten much sleep the night before - he'd been so keyed up after spending
the whole day with Heero walking around the city that sleep had eluded
him for most of the night. Just thinking about the dark-haired detective
made his stomach flutter as though a thousand butterflies were trapped
inside. Duo smiled softly to himself and kept working.
The braided boy looked up
to see a small child sitting on her knees in the pew in front of him,
grinning at him.
"Good morning, Cecily," he
replied, smiling at the little girl. Cecily was only six years old and
never failed to seek him out every Sunday after mass to say hello. Duo
felt the girl had a secret fascination for his braid. "How are you this
"Fine. I'm just waiting for
Momma and Daddy to finish talking to Father Maxwell," Cecily said, leaning
over the back of the pew to watch him. "Whatcha doing?"
"Tidying up," Duo said, shoving
another hymnal into the correct holder.
"Oh." The child watched him
work for a moment before asking, "Hey Duo, what's a sidekick?"
"A sidekick? Well, I guess
a sidekick is like a hero but not as strong. You know, like Batman and
Robin. Batman is the main hero and Robin is his sidekick."
"Oh," the little girl said
again, suddenly looking perplexed. "Well, do you have a hero?"
Duo had to smile at that.
"I guess you could say that," he said, thinking of his own Heero'. He
looked up at the girl again. "Why did you want to know?"
"Because Momma said you were
a sidekick and I didn't know what she meant."
"She said I was a sidekick?"
Duo asked, confused.
"Uh huh." Before Cecily could
say anything else, a woman entered the church and called out her daughter's
"Cecily! Come here right now!"
she said, looking warily at Duo.
"Okay!" Cecily hopped down
off the pew and ran down the aisle to meet her mother. Duo stood up as
"Good morning, Mrs. Kirkpatrick,"
he said, waving at the woman.
"Good morning, Duo," she replied
stiffly, giving him another hard look before grabbing her daughter by
the hand and walking out of the church. Duo frowned. Usually Cecily's
mother would stay and chat with him for a few minutes after mass. But
today she had seemed almost cold towards him. Come to think of it, a lot
of people had been giving him strange looks all morning.
Duo looked up to see Father
Maxwell enter the church after saying his good-byes to the last of the
"Hello, Father. I'm almost
done cleaning up," the long-haired young man said, moving to the next
"Wait a minute, Duo. There's
something I think you need to see." The aging priest held out a newspaper
for him to take. Duo threw his uncle a questioning glance before taking
the paper and unfolding it. What he saw on the front page caused him to
His own face stared at him
under a headline that read POLICE SEEK PSYCHIC'S HELP IN TEARDROP CASE'.
"Psychic... not sidekick,"
he mumbled to himself as he quickly skimmed the article. He felt his stomach
sink as the article mentioned him by name, the details of finding the
Peacecraft girl's body, even where he worked at Quatre's clinic. The article
also included a few details of his vision of Relena - details he'd told
only to Heero. Suddenly he wanted to throw up.
"Duo," Father Maxwell said
gently, placing a comforting hand on the boy's shoulder. "I know you don't
like talking about your special talent but... are you helping the police?"
"I was," Duo replied bitterly.
"I was helping that detective - you know, the one you spoke to when the
police thought I had something to do with that poor girl's death. He promised
I'd be involved as little as possible. But now..." He crumbled up the
newspaper in his hands angrily. "Geez. No wonder people were looking at
me funny this morning."
"But why would he go to the
papers with the story?" the priest asked.
"I don't know." He handed the newspaper to the Father. "But
I intend to find out."
Heero took the stairs two at a time, smiling to himself as he recalled
the day before. He and Duo had walked around the town, enjoying one another's
company, having fun, and laughing. Laughing - he couldn't remember the
last time he had laughed so much. Duo was bringing out a side of him he
didn't know he had. And he was enjoying every minute of it.
He reached the second floor
and was surprised to see Trowa waiting for him outside the door to the
homicide department with a grave expression on his face.
"Trowa? What's going on?"
"I take it then that you haven't
seen this morning's paper," his partner said.
"No, I haven't."
Trowa handed him the newspaper
he'd been holding. Heero looked down and saw Duo's picture on the page.
Trowa snorted. "That's not
the worst of it. Treize is looking for you."
"Double shit." He looked at
his partner. "How the hell did this happen? You're the only one I told
about the details of Duo's vision." He narrowed his eyes. "You didn't--?"
"Of course not," Trowa scoffed.
"You know I would never compromise a case like that. Even though I still
don't believe in that kid's hocus-pocus mumbo-jumbo-" Heero rolled his
eyes. "-I still wouldn't do that."
"All right, all right. I believe
you." He peered over Trowa's shoulder to look through the glass door.
"I suppose I'd better go in and face the firing squad. Get it over quick."
Trowa placed a hand on Heero's
shoulder. "It was nice knowing you."
"Very funny." Taking a deep
breath, he pushed open the door and stepped inside.
Trowa had been right. Captain
Khushrenada was waiting for him inside. From across the room, he could
feel Wufei's eyes glaring angrily at him. He avoided looking at the Chinese
detective and followed Treize into his office.
The ginger-haired captain
didn't say a word. He simply sat down in his chair, tossed a the morning
paper onto his desk, and looked at Heero expectantly.
"Look, sir, I don't know how..."
"Oh I can guess how the paper's
got a hold of this story," Treize said calmly. "It's that damned leak
in the department again. What I want to know is when did the department
start consulting with psychics to help solve our cases?" He looked back
at Duo's picture. "Especially psychics' that were once considered suspects."
Heero swallowed. Treize was
speaking in a calm, rational manner. He hadn't screamed at him once. And
quite frankly, that scared Heero to death.
"Sir, if you don't mind me
saying so, we haven't had any concrete leads in the case. It's time to
start grasping at straws. None of what the kid saw may pan out, but until
this case is solved, I'm going to follow up on every lead that comes my
Heero could see a vein pulsing
on Treize's forehead. "I can understand your dedication, Yuy. But do you
have any idea how embarrassing it is for the department for people to
know that we've been reduced to consulting with so-called psychics because
we can't figure out this case using old fashioned detective work?" He
pinched the bridge of his nose, taking deep breaths in order to keep his
temper. "Do what you must, follow up on any leads you might have, but
for God's sake keep a low profile on this. Now get out of here before
I decide that this is a really, really bad idea."
Heero didn't have to be told
twice. Treize's attitude was scary. Heero could always tell when the man
was truly angry - the angrier he was, the quieter he got. He closed the
door behind him and heaved a big sigh of relief.
"How'd it go?"
Heero looked up to see Trowa
standing in front of him. "I think I have just stared into the face of
death." Trowa snorted. "Well you aren't bleeding, so I'd say you got off
"Thanks, Trowa," Heero said
"No problem. And by the way,
you have a visitor."
Heero jerked his head in the
direction of his desk to see Duo standing there, looking very upset. Heero
swore under his breath and hurried over.
"Duo," he said, reaching out
to the obviously distressed boy.
Duo drew away. "You didn't
ask me what's wrong. I guess that means you've already seen the paper."
"How could you? You know how
I feel about... about people knowing about my fucking so-called gift',"
Duo said angrily, turning accusing eyes on him. "You promised me no one
would know. You said you'd leave my name out of it."
"I did. I tried. I only told
Trowa what you told me." Duo still didn't look convinced. "Duo, there's
a leak in the department. The press has been able to report the smallest
details of our cases for months now. I don't know how but somehow whoever
it was got wind of your story." He reached out again only to have Duo
avoid his touch once more.
"Duo, are you mad at me?"
"Yes. No. I don't know." He
shifted uncomfortably on his feet. "I guess... I know it's not your fault.
But... you should have seen the looks people were giving me this morning.
One of the children's mothers didn't even want me talking to her daughter.
Everyone's acting like I'm some kind of freak."
Heero could see Duo was trembling.
He wanted nothing more than to reach out and hold Duo, but knew the hurt
young man would only draw away again.
"Duo, I'm so sorry."
"I know," the young psychic
said, sniffling. "I'm just too upset right now to be sociable. I'm going
to go home." He looked back up at Heero. "I'm not mad at you, but I just
need to be alone for a while. I'll call you soon."
Heero sighed as he watched
Duo walk away. Things were just going from bad to worse. No, today was
definitely not going to be a good day. Duo hummed to himself as he walked
down the street, grateful that there were not many people out in the middle
of the surprisingly warm weekday afternoon. The article about him had
been in the paper five days ago, but people were still giving him odd
He hated it, hated feeling
like everyone was watching him, observing him like some specimen under
a microscope. Even the patients at Quatre's clinic had been looking at
him either like some kind of lab experiment or as something to be feared.
At the end of his first day of work after the article had been published,
Duo's nerves had been so shot that Quatre had ordered him to take a week
off to relax and let the whole matter settle down a bit. If it ever would
settle down. His little secret was out now, and it would be difficult
for people to forget. For the millionth time in his life, he wished he'd
never been born with the ability to have these stupid vision. He never
wanted them. All he'd ever wanted was to be normal.
Then again, had he been normal,
he probably would have never met Heero.
Duo hugged himself at the
thought of the older man. After he'd calmed himself down after the little
confrontation with Heero at the police station, Duo had called and apologized
to him. Thankfully, Heero had understood, and they were back in the blissful
stage of the fledgling relationship. Sadly, Heero's job didn't leave him
with a whole lot of free time, so he and Duo had only seen each other
twice since the previous Sunday. But they had plans for tonight. Date
number five. Two more to go.
Duo smiled to himself as he
walked along, remembering the feel of Heero's mouth on his skin. He knew
he was falling hard for the detective, and that scared him greatly. But
he also knew he'd never felt like this about anyone ever before. Ready
or not, he was falling in love with Heero Yuy.
<< FLASH >>
<< FLASH >>
Duo stopped in his tracks
and looked around. An uneasy feeling settled in his stomach as warning
bells went off inside his head. Something was wrong.
<< FLASH >>
<< FLASH >>
His breathing sped up as he
looked up and down the deserted street. Something wasn't right. His instincts
were screaming at him to run away, to find some people, to call Heero
- anything but remain where he was. Looking over his shoulder one last
time, he turned and walked quickly down the street. The neighborhood was
quiet - almost too quiet. And it wasn't one of the nicer neighborhoods.
When a car horn from the next street over shattered the silence, Duo jumped
and looked around again. Then he chastised himself as the feeling of panic
began to subside. Perhaps he was just jumping at shadows.
He laughed at himself for
being silly and turned back around. He'd only taken two steps when he
felt someone move behind him. Before he could turn, a pair of strong arms
wrapped around him. One hand plastered itself over his mouth to keep him
from screaming as he was dragged into a nearby alley. Duo struggled but
whoever had a hold of him was too strong. Then he felt the cold sharpness
of a knife against his throat. Immediately he froze, eyes open wide in
He felt an unshaven cheek
nuzzle the side of his face. Duo shifted his eyes but couldn't see who
his captor was. Suddenly he felt a tongue slide up the outer edge of his
ear. Duo closed his eyes and whimpered as a rasping voice whispered into
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