Must Have Been the Mistletoe + Part 2 (cont)
"They spent most of the afternoon playing what? " Iria
asked Rashid in disbelief.
"Mistletoe tag," he repeated patiently, grinning at the memory.
"Obviously the type of kiss varies depending who you catch, but apparently
they were all enjoying themselves considerably judging by the noise level.
You wanted them all to act like the teenagers they never got to be for
a while - well, I would say that they were following orders this afternoon."
"Mistletoe tag," she murmured thoughtfully, "I don't think
there is such a game..."
"There is now," Rashid advised her. "The rules are very
simple. You can't 'tag' the same person who tagged you, the person has
to be underneath a stationary bit of mistletoe - no carrying mistletoe
around with you, in other words - and you have to give someone a kiss
in order to 'tag' them. Oh, and the staff are not part of the game,
or we'd never have got anything done this afternoon." Sobering, he
told Iria, "They are all doing much better already. Maria
and Antoine have been keeping them well-fed and sleeping in one room has
reduced the nightmares down to manageable levels for the pilots, though
they are certainly not entirely gone. I don't know what the young men
will do when the month is over and they are alone again, however."
"We'll deal with that when the time comes," Iria said, sincerely
hoping that things would work out so that it would not be an issue for
at least her baby brother and his best friend by then. If all went well,
Trowa would be staying with Quatre when this was all over with. Rashid's
daily reports seemed to indicate that Heero and Duo might finally be working
things out too. Chang Wufei, however... Well, five colonies, five Gundams,
five pilots - there was only so much she could do given the odd numbers
she had to work with. With Dorothy and Relena already paired up, that
left only Zechs, and he and Wufei simply did not get along.
Eyes widening in shock, Duo stared in disbelief for several long moments
before quietly backing out of the room. Apparently Zechs had finally found
a way to stop Wufei in mid-rant. And surprisingly enough, Wufei didn't
seem to be objecting... Duo knew that they'd managed to 'tag' each other
several times during the game of Mistletoe Tag earlier that week, but
he'd never imagined... Shaking his head in disbelief, he headed off to
try another room. So far, he'd run into Relena and Dorothy making out
in the sunroom, Quatre and Trowa 'practising' (though it looked an awful
lot like making out to him) in the music room, and now Wufei and
Zechs caught up in a rather heated-looking kiss in the games room, pool
cues forgotten on the table behind them. Whether it was the Mistletoe
Tag or just the mistletoe itself, he didn't know, but it seemed to be
Remembering the Mistletoe Tag was enough to bring a faint trace of a smile
to Duo's mouth. He'd never expected Heero to tease him like that, and
when he'd impulsively 'tagged' Relena after running into her, he'd
never expected to turn the afternoon into one full of laughter, mischievous
ambushes, increasingly silly kisses from friends (Trowa had handed him
a chocolate kiss at one point and Zechs had gallantly kissed his hand
with a bow and a flourish like a character in a historical movie at another),
and increasingly teasing and finally outright hot kisses from Heero.
He was almost ready to believe that Heero really was finally interested
in taking their relationship to the next level, moving from friends to
lovers and maybe even more. 'I'd almost given up. The first year wasn't
too bad, the second got pretty lonely, the third was just plain miserable,
and by partway through the fourth, I finally decided I'd have to take
a chance and give him a bit of a nudge. When the fifth year rolled around...
I don't even wanna think about it... Maybe my notes really were
too subtle a hint for him to pick up on and he didn't mean to indicate
that he just wasn't interested anymore... A year of leaving increasingly
frequent notes on his desk with only a handful of actual get-togethers
to show for it is kinda hard to just forget about, though...'
Finally locating Heero watching a movie in the lounge, Duo said, "Hey,
'Ro. Whatcha watchin'?" Somewhat cautiously, he waited for an indication
of welcome before moving any further into the room. Heero didn't waste
any time giving him one, rising and striding across the room to pull him
into a deep kiss. "Mmm, nice..." Duo sighed as they drew apart
again. "What's with all the kisses lately?" he asked as Heero
tugged him towards the couch.
"Blame it on the mistletoe," Heero suggested, snickering. "There's
certainly enough of it to take the blame..."
Glancing back at where he had been standing, Duo pointed out, "But
there wasn't any over there..."
"That's why we moved over here," Heero told him, pointing
at the large ball of the stuff hanging directly over the couch. "I
think my boring movie just got a lot more interesting," he whispered
in Duo's ear, the tickle of his breath sending shivers of anticipation
"Good," Duo whispered back, "'cause I'd hate to see you
gettin' bored on your vacation." As he willingly responded to Heero's
next kiss, Duo let a little bit more hope creep in. Maybe it wasn't too
late. Maybe they hadn't missed their chance at happiness.
Firelight glinted off mingled strands of golden brown and platinum blonde.
Her head tucked against Dorothy's shoulder, Relena said softly, "I
don't want to pretend you're just my press secretary anymore, Doro. We've
long since passed the point where either of us was likely to change our
minds about this. I'm not ashamed of what we have together and I don't
care what anyone else thinks."
"It could cost you your political career," Dorothy warned, reluctant
to discourage something she wanted too but too loyal to Relena's best
interests to let her ignore the facts.
"I don't care. The most important laws have already been pushed through
and it would take years and years of challenges to get them repealed.
Same with the existence of the Preventers - they can't be dissolved without
a majority vote from each colony's government and each regional
Earth government plus the United Earth Sphere government. I've
done nothing but work for peace since before I was sixteen. I think I'm
entitled to have my own life while I'm still young enough to enjoy it."
"What about your mother?" Dorothy asked softly, hesitant to
bring up a sore subject but well aware that it had to be faced.
Straightening away from Dorothy, Relena stared into the fire, hands clenching
into fists and face hardening grimly. "She requested that I call
her Mrs Darlian, remember? She made her feelings on the subject
of you and I perfectly clear when she caught us together the last time
she visited." Forcing her hands flat again, Relena said more calmly,
"She's made her choice. Her own petty prejudices have condemned her
to a lonely life. If she ever changes her mind and apologizes to both
of us, I'll welcome her back with open arms. Otherwise - well, the only
other people either of us actually care about have already made their
acceptance clear. My brother may not want to hear about my 'sex life',
but he's made it perfectly clear to me that if you make me happy, that's
all that matters to him. The pilots accept us, and I've never heard so
much as an implied criticism from Une or Sally. They're all the family
that we'll ever need."
Shifting so that she was the one leaning against Relena this time, Dorothy
observed casually, "You know, the media would be far more tolerant
of a legally-recognized relationship than an unofficial one."
"If that's supposed to be a proposal, my dear Miss Catalonia, it's
the most unromantic one I think I've ever heard," Relena commented
drily. "But a very small, very private Christmas Eve wedding, complete
with horse-drawn sleigh, would be rather nice."
"Christmas Eve?" Dorothy quickly counted off the days on her
fingers to make sure there was enough time to handle the legalities. "I'll
have to see what can be arranged."
"You do that," Relena answered, lifting her companion's face
to brush a kiss across her lips. "You just go right ahead and do
"Hey, Heero, you in here?" Duo called, peeking around the corner
of the library door. "If you're busy already, it's okay, but I kinda
had somethin' I'd like some help with if you're not..." he said hesitantly
as Heero set his book aside.
"No, I'm just killing some time," Heero answered, extending
one hand in silent invitation.
Duo promptly joined him on the couch, curling against Heero's side in
what was becoming an increasingly familiar manner. "There's still
no snow in the forecast, but it's s'posed to stay well below freezing
right through Christmas, so I was wonderin' if we could try something
I read about one time. Iria's got us all scheduled to go ice skating in
a few days, but I'm not lookin' forward to tryin' that for the first time
in public. There was a book I read that talked about buildin' a frame
out of wood, linin' it with plastic, then coverin' the plastic-lined bottom
with water. Once the water freezes, you add more, and keep repeatin' the
process till you've got a good few inches deep of ice. Voila, a private
skating rink! The lawn's pretty level at the end of the house that's protected
from the prevailing winds..."
Intrigued by the idea - as well as grateful to have Duo showing enough
confidence in him to ask him to take part in an activity together
for once instead of the other way around - Heero asked, "Have you
spoken to Rashid yet? We'll probably have to go to town to get some supplies
to build it with, but he'll be able to tell us whether there's anything
here that we can use or not..."
"Then you'll help?" Duo asked, amethyst eyes sparkling with
Firmly quashing the desire to cheer at finally seeing something approaching
Duo's old joy in life displayed on that expressive face, Heero said, "Of
course! It sounds interesting to try even if it doesn't work perfectly.
And I'm not too thrilled about learning to skate in public either."
Stopping in the midst of tugging Heero to his feet, Duo exclaimed, "Oh
shit! I wonder if any of us know how to skate?! And I guess we'll
kinda have to have skates, won't we?"
"Bet Iria never even thought of that," Heero smirked. "Guess
we have a number of things to pick up in town..."
Duo was delighted to discover that the private skating rink trick actually
worked quite well. The lack of snow meant that they didn't even have to
worry about clearing the ice prior to re-flooding it, and they had ended
up with a reasonably smooth, even ice surface. In the end, it had turned
out that Relena, Dorothy, and Zechs could all skate quite well. Quatre
was passable and Trowa - well, to someone used to walking tightropes,
picking up ice skating was a breeze. Duo had roller-bladed with borrowed
equipment a few times at schools back during the war and, after a few
false starts, found that the skills transferred over reasonably well.
With the benefit of his martial arts training to help with balance, Heero
had picked up the knack extremely quickly as well. Which made Wufei's
apparent difficulty and tendency to cling to Zechs for support decidedly
"How much longer till they admit what's going on?" Quatre asked
Duo, shaking his head in disbelief as Wufei 'tripped' and fell into Zechs's
arms yet again.
"Don't ask me, I find the whole idea of those two together so incredibly
bizarre that I don't even wanna think about it."
"How are things going for you and Heero?" Quatre asked, checking
first to be sure that Heero was still concentrating on the quick lesson
in stopping safely that Relena was giving him.
Duo hesitated, almost afraid to put his hopes into words for fear of jinxing
them. "Okay, I guess," he admitted, "but I'm tryin' not
to get my hopes up too high. We're about back to the point we were at
five years ago." His very real fear that, having reached that point,
Heero would back off again was left unspoken. Quatre had enough worries
about his own slowly deepening relationship with Trowa without taking
on Duo's as well.
"How 'bout you, Q? Tro comin' along nicely?"
Quatre gave Duo a beautiful smile, "Oh yes. Which reminds me, I think
that pretty soon we're going to have to work out some sort of schedule
for the shared sleeping quarters so we don't all desert Wufei at once."
"Uh - yeah, I guess so," Duo responded. He wasn't too sure that
would be necessary too quickly. Heero hadn't really even hinted at taking
things that far yet and he was too afraid of ruining what they had now
to bring the subject up himself. This was beginning to remind him ominously
of the days leading up to Heero's "request" five years ago.
'If he decides to back off again, I don't know what I'll do. If
I give him an ultimatum, I might lose him for good. But if he doesn't
follow through this time, I don't know if I can stand to go back to bein'
alone again for another five years...'
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