Author: CalicOcat
Disclaimer: Duo and Heero and the rest of the GW gang aren't mine. This story is. Nuff said.
See Part 1 for warnings

'Thinking'
"Speaking"

************ Time passing or scene change
*~*~*~*~*~* Major POV shift

Mission: Marriage + Chapter 2

"Thank you, Rashid," Heero said.

"You're welcome, Master Heero," the Maguanac answered, closing the door on his way out.

Heero flopped into a chair and sighed with satisfaction. It was such a relief to be away from Relena. Without Zechs there to bail him out when she got too clingy or aggressive, it was becoming increasingly difficult to deal with her obsession. If it weren't for the fact that labour laws guaranteed vacation time, he was sure Relena would have found a way to pressure Une into cancelling his, particularly since he was meeting up with the other ex-pilots for the full month he had booked off. Wufei was due to arrive on L4 later that week, and the other three were all working at WEI today, finishing off a few last-minute problems in order to free up the rest of the month.

He and Wufei were the only two full-time Preventers. Winner Enterprises Inc. kept Quatre busy most of the time, with Une only occasionally calling him for duty when his business knowledge or skill as a tactician was needed. Trowa headed WEI's security force - their problems with corporate espionage had virtually disappeared since he took over, and, like Quatre, Une very rarely called him in as a Preventer. Since moving here from L2 a year and a half ago, Duo split his time between providing specialized training for Preventer agents - Une had yet to find anyone who could out-stealth or out-trick Shinigami - and working in the WEI "idea" labs, dreaming up everything from better blasting compounds for WEI's mining subsidiaries to a new and improved auto-pilot system for use on WEI shuttles.

Given a real choice in the matter, Heero would like to join the three of them at WEI, either working in the programming section of the "idea" labs or on the computer end of security. As long as Une was forced to keep him assigned to Relena, however, that was impossible, since heading her security force was a round-the-clock, 7-day-a-week job. And the Preventers were needed. There was no way that he would ask Une to put Relena's budget-cut threats to the test just to get him away from her.

'Worst case scenario means only three more years of "parole" in the Preventers. Surely I can survive three more years of Relena... But I hope this plan works so I don't have to!'

Jumping up from his chair, Heero rummaged through his luggage for the outfit he intended to be wearing when Duo got back from work. 'Tight, skimpy bathing suit - check. Indecently tight, ripped-up, faded, over-priced button-fly jean shorts - check. Suntan oil - check.' Laying the clothing across the foot of the bed, he thought, 'Now if Rashid sends Quatre up as soon as he gets home, all I have to do is get his cooperation and Mission: Marriage will be underway. Urgh, I think I might have read too many of those romance novels - that sounds suspiciously like the title of one of them...'

************

Quatre reached over and pushed Trowa's jaw closed. "It's not polite to ogle other men in front of your lover," he mock-scolded. 'Not that I can blame him, I'd be gaping myself if I hadn't seen him getting ready upstairs... And with his back to us and him towelling off his hair like that - and no one else knowing he's arrived - I'm the only one who realizes that gorgeous body at the poolside is Heero Yuy.'

Peeking out of the corner of his eye, he saw Duo's casual glance turn to one of definite interest. The braided teen ran a very appreciative eye over a golden, well-muscled back, lingering over the taut, well-defined buttocks that were clearly outlined by the tight, skimpy suit. Quatre fought to contain a snicker as Duo moved his towel from over his shoulder to hang over his arm and down in front of him as his swimsuit-clad body reacted to the sight in front of him. 'He's in for a shock right about...'

"Who's the hunk?" Duo whispered, poking Quatre in the ribs urgently, just as "the hunk" started to turn around. Checking that attractive body out from the ground up as it turned, Duo turned an amazing shade of lobster red as he reached face level and met the brilliant blue, slightly amused, eyes of his best friend. "Quat, I forgot my sunscreen, help me find some," he said loudly, dragging Quatre back into the mansion.

By the time Duo finally released him inside one of the bedrooms with the door shut and locked, Quatre was laughing so hard he could barely stand up. Duo demanded, "Why the hell didn't you warn me it was Heero? Gods, I can't believe I just ogled my best friend." Quatre just laughed harder as Duo paced up and down the room, arms waving wildly, ranting about how totally inappropriate his looking at Heero like that was, how mortified he was at being caught doing it, and how Heero was probably going to finally make good on all those "omae o korosus" when he got his hands on him.

'If he has his way, yes, he will be giving you a "little death" in future,' the Arabian thought, snickering again at the thought. "Duo, are you more upset at having ogled Heero or at being caught doing it?" he asked, interrupting the American's rant as he started repeating himself.

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Duo demanded, planting his hands on his hips and glaring.

"Oh, nothing, nothing at all," Quatre answered, fetching a bottle of sunscreen from the bathroom and tossing it to his friend.

Duo looked from Quatre to the bottle and back inquiringly.

"Your, ah," Quatre snickered again, "cover story for your escape, remember?"

"Oh." Turning an interesting shade of red again, Duo collapsed on the bed, wailing, "Oh gods, I can't go back out there! Tell them - tell them I have sunstroke or something!"

"Duo, you were outside for all of two minutes, if that, and this is a colony! You can't have sunstroke! Come on now, let's go. You're going to have to face him sooner or later, might as well get it over with."

"No, I'm not going back out there," Duo refused stubbornly, grabbing hold of the bedpost as Quatre tried to drag him to his feet.

"Duo, don't be an idiot! You can't hide in your room all month!"

"Wanna bet?!"

Just then there was a knock at the door. "Duo, I know you're in there. Open up."

"Oh fuck, Heero." Turning pale, Duo clutched at Quatre pleadingly, "Please, Q! Tell him I got called back to work, hell, tell him I died of embarrassment, just please, please, don't let him in!"

"Too late," a voice came from the now-open door. Heero slipped his lockpick back into its place inside the waistband of his hip-hugging shorts.

'Fuck, why did I ever get him in the habit of carrying a lockpick at all times?' Involuntarily, Duo's eyes followed the lockpick as it was tucked inside the waistband of those low-slung, very tight shorts - those shorts with rips in very interesting places... 'Mmm, but I like where he's keeping it... Damn it, Maxwell, stop that! He's your best friend, remember?!'

Taking advantage of Duo's momentary distraction, Quatre slid out of his grasp and ducked out the door past Heero. "I'll be out at the pool with Trowa. Join us once you've got him calmed down," he told Heero.

As Quatre vanished down the hall, Duo peeked nervously at Heero from under his bangs. "Uh, sorry, please don't kill me?" he offered tentatively.

"Baka. Stand up."

Reluctantly, Duo slid off the bed and stood, still not meeting Heero's eyes.

"Turn around."

Confused, Duo did as he was told. A sharp "Keep turning" prevented him from stopping with his back to Heero. As he turned to face Heero again, he saw his friend sweeping his eyes up over him in an exact duplicate of what he had done to Heero only a few minutes earlier. As Heero's eyes met his, Duo caught a brief flash of something almost - hungry? predatory? - on his face before it was replaced by a mischievous smirk.

"There, now we're even." Heero's smirk went from mischievous to smug as Duo flushed and sputtered helplessly, unable to come up with a response to that comment. "Now come on, I bet Trowa dinner out tomorrow that we could beat him and Quatre in a game of two-on-two water basketball."

Still dumbfounded, Duo followed his best friend out of the room, relieved that Heero wasn't mad at him but... 'What the hell was that?! Heero's straight! Isn't he?'

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