by Flamika
Disclaimer: The only thing I own is the pea-sized brain that thought of such a ridiculous title...
Warnings: 2+3 shounen-ai!!!!

Screams From the Peanut Butter Jar

What a day, Duo thought tiredly as he let the door to the safe house shut silently behind him, cutting off the hungry night that had been seeking to invade the temporary sanctuary. He stood there for a few moments in the dark entryway of the safe house, letting the cool darkness of the air close around him like the protective arms of a lover, trying to soothe the aches out of his weary limbs and bleeding heart.

Mission complete. Another OZ base destroyed. Another hundred ignorant soldiers put into an early grave by the God of Death.

Even an hour later, their screams still rang in his ears, horrible and inescapable. Duo never tried to shut them out anymore.

"It's a Gundam!!!!"


He didn't feel it was right to do so.

"Aahhhh!!!!"

After all, he had killed them.

"Fire! Keep firing! Don't give up!!!"


Wasn't it only proper that he should be forced to listen to their final words before he brought down his scythe and sent them into oblivion?

"Aah... G-Gundam... "


He owed it to them - those poor soldiers whose hearts were as filled with the passion for battle as his was.

"... "


Their hearts mirrored his own in youth and willpower.

"... "

Why did everything have to end this way? Duo knew that he and those soldiers might have been allies if they were not on opposite sides of the terrible war that OZ had brought down on the Earth and the colonies. But a God that Duo no longer believed in had decreed that Duo Maxwell would spend his entire miserable life fighting his fellow brothers in an unjust war, and no matter how powerful Shinigami might be, he couldn't combat the power of a diety that he couldn't see.

But Duo no longer believed in God. The higher power that he fought on an invisible battlefield was not the God of Christian belief. No, Duo didn't want to waste his time fighting something that didn't exist. The god he fought was the God of Death. He fought himself. And lost every time.

After all, those screams were still ringing in his ears, weren't they?

"I need backup down here! I need bac-"


"I need a vacation," Duo muttered, rubbed his soot-stained face with his dirty hands. Slowly, as if he had lead weights attached to his feet, he shuffled out of the entryway and towards the kitchen, intent on eating the entire pantry so he would have an excuse not to go sleep. Maybe he would even drink some of Quatre's nasty tea, if it would keep him awake.

His morbid mood improving a bit at the idea of food, he entered the dark kitchen and groped for the light with his left hand, cursing as he knocked something off the wall. Probably the clock. Oh well. He would just blame it on Wufei. After three more failed attempts to locate the tiny switch, Duo finally managed to turn on the lights.

Only to see a figure seated at the kitchen table.

"Ah!" Duo cried in shock, about to run all the way back to Deathscythe's hangar before he managed to recognize the person sitting at the table, staring at him calmly.

"Trowa!" he gasped, violet eyes wide as he clasped a hand to his chest. "You scared the crap out of me!"

Trowa didn't reply. He just sat there with his arms folded across his chest, slouched in his chair so that his long legs would fit under the table. A single emerald green eye glittered up Duo; the other was masked behind a wall of light brown hair.

"I didn't even know you guys were back yet," Duo commented, calming down a bit and striding into the kitchen, embarrassed that he had made a complete fool of himself in front of Trowa.

"We completed our mission a long time ago," Trowa answered, his soft tenor ringing unobtrusively through the empty kitchen. Duo, however, interpreted the words as an insult.

"Well, excuse me!" he declared irritably as he stalked over to where Trowa was seated. "You know, Bang Boy, it's a little tough when you're sent to destroy an entire OZ base all by yourself with no backup!"

"You had Deathscythe," Trowa commented, staring up at Duo with that way-too-green eye of his. For some reason, whenever Trowa directed that emerald gaze of his towards Duo, the braided pilot felt strangely weak in the knees.

Now, however, wasn't one of those times. "I'm not talking about mobile suit battles!" he told Trowa angrily. "I had to infiltrate and sabotage the computer systems in the main control room all by myself! At least you had three other people with you to back you up! I had no one!"

No one but those screaming soldiers. Screaming as I killed them.


Trowa abruptly shifted his gaze away from Duo's dirty face, appearing to find the wooden tabletop more interesting at the moment. "No need to get all worked up, Duo," he said calmly. "I wasn't insulting you. You were probably sent on the mission because the engineers believed you to be the most competent one."

The unexpected compliment brought a slight flush to Duo's cheeks and helped to ease his sour mood a bit. Yet, still, he deflected Trowa's praise, rare as it was.

"Whatever," he grumped, walking away from the green-eyed pilot and proceeding to investigate the cupboards, intent on finding something edible. "Heero or Wufei probably would have been a lot better-suited for that mission than I was."

"No," Trowa countered, watching furtively as Duo yanked open the pantry and stuck his head inside. "They're too destructive."

"And the God of Death isn't?" Duo retorted, looking at rows of nonperishable canned foods without really seeing them.

Trowa didn't reply. A good thing, as far as Duo was concerned. He wasn't in the mood to explain just who the God of Death was, and he didn't want Trowa to know about him. About all the dark secrets lurking in his past. About how the screams of those soldiers still chased him persistently even after their bodies had been incinerated by the final judgment passed by the Gundam Deathscythe and his pilot, the Great Destroyer - Shinigami.

Poor guy, Duo thought as he picked up a can of chicken soup, wrinkled his nose, and tossed it back in the pantry. Poor Trowa... he doesn't even know he's sitting alone in the kitchen with the Devil. Why's he here anyways? I didn't even think he liked me...

"Where are the others?" Duo asked, breaking the silence that had descended over the room like a stifling blanket. Cans clanged together as he continued to rifle through the pantry, searching for who knows what.

Trowa's voice floated from behind him. "Sleeping."

"Are you sure?" Duo queried, knocking over a can of spinach (Perfect Soldier gourmet food) as he reached for a bag of what looked to be potato chips in the back of the pantry.

"Pretty sure," Trowa replied. "At least they all were when I came down here."

Duo was disappointed find that his bag of potato chips was actually just an economy-sized bag of coffee grains. Original blend. Blech. Damn Wufei and his strict adherence to tradition.

"Gross," Duo commented, tossing the offending bag aside before turning back to Trowa. "Heero's probably hiding in the bathroom trying to break into the Pentagon with that damned laptop of his," he said jokingly, more for the sake of conversation than to make Trowa smile.

"Maybe," Trowa responded flatly, and didn't say anything else.

Duo resisted the urge to sigh. He wished that any of the other pilots had been down here instead of Trowa. It wasn't that he didn't like the guy. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Duo had been painfully aware from the first time he had laid eyes on the tall pilot of Heavyarms that Trowa Barton was quite an attractive guy, and not just in appearance. Trowa had an unspoken, quiet allure to him that differed from that of Heero or Wufei and often went unnoticed by most people, but not by Duo. Being one that was full of energy and the need for constant motion, he had been drawn to the silent green-eyed pilot like the moon would be drawn to the sun. That silent demeanor coupled with a lean body, willowy limbs, and a pair of eyes that never failed to make Duo's heart skip a beat had resulted in the braided pilot becoming fatally attracted to someone he could never have. Just like the moon could never embrace the sun, and those dead soldiers could never live again...

"G-Gundam... who... are... ?"


"Ah hah!" Duo suddenly cried triumphantly, his braid flopping around on his back as he leapt up to snatch something from the top shelf, nearly dropping it twice on his way down. He whirled around with a huge grin on his face, hopped over to the table and waved his discovery in Trowa's face.

"Peanut butter!" he declared, as if Trowa couldn't read the label that was right in front of his nose.

The green-eyed boy just sat there and stared at Duo like he had lost his marbles.
In a good mood now that he had discovered something that wouldn't trigger his upchuck reflex, Duo smiled cheekily at Trowa and crossed the kitchen to the counter, where he dragged the bread out of its hiding place in the corner and started looking through the drawers of silverware for a knife.

"How can you eat this late at night?" Trowa suddenly asked.

Duo shrugged, wincing at the ache in his shoulders. Seems he had been slammed into that wall harder than he had thought. Damn MP just wouldn't go down easily...

"Don't give a damn who you are! You aren't getting into that control room!"

"Do you have any idea who you're dealing with, pal?"

"I'm dealing with a dead little boy, that's who!"

"No... you're talking with the God of Death... and it's you who's gonna die... "


"I can eat at anytime," Duo told Trowa, his momentarily happy-go-lucky mood dissipating in the face of that one soldier who took a bullet to the brain before he would back down. His hands trembled slightly as he set the knife down on the counter and reached for the jar of peanut butter. He hoped Trowa wouldn't notice his current state; he didn't want the other boy to think of him as the weak link in the group.

A heavy silence descended over the kitchen as Duo clumsily tried to open the jar of peanut butter. He didn't know why he was still so shaky. Sure, he was a little off-balance after missions, but it was never this bad. And of course, it had to be when Trowa was around that he ended up so severely messed up that he couldn't even make his stupid hands stay still! The lights in the kitchen suddenly seemed so unbelievably bright that he found himself squinting slightly.

"Damn! You just killed those guys like they were nothing!"

A cold sweat broke out on his forehead. He could feel Trowa watching him.

Managing to exert minimal control over his hands, Duo felt the top of the peanut butter jar come off with a loud popping sound that seemed to echo forever in the silent kitchen. He watched dimly as the red circle of plastic slipped to the countertop and rolled a little distance before flopping down into its final resting place as if in defeat. Duo stared at the top of the peanut butter jar lying on the pristine countertop like a pool of blood, all too aware of Trowa's gaze riveted on his profile. For a guy that didn't say a lot, he sure seemed to make up for it by staring...

Dreamily, as if his movements were being manipulated by some outside force, Duo shifted his gaze and stared down into the open peanut butter jar at the creamy almost-solid substance that stared benignly out at him. The smell of peanuts drifted to his nose, mingling with the smell of blood that already seemed to be permanently adhered to every inch of his skin.

Now the screams were coming from the peanut butter jar.

"Y-You must be some kinda monster!"

"No monster," Duo muttered under his breath, hoping Trowa wouldn't hear him. "Just Shinigami."

"Duo?" Trowa asked. "Did you say something?"

Damn, Duo cursed silently. He did hear me...

Forcing out a laugh, Duo said, "Nope, just talking to the peanut butter."

And the voices... do you hear the voices... Trowa?

"If you say so," Trowa replied, sounding dubious. Duo could barely see a blur of his figure out of the corner of his eye, but he could feel the intensity of the other boy's gaze.

Determined not to let Trowa see how unstable he was, Duo quickly picked up the knife and was about to scoop out some peanut butter when a sharp jolt of pure agony lanced through his shoulder, eliciting a short cry from him and making him drop the knife on the countertop with a loud clatter. He clutched at his injured shoulder as the agony faded into a dull ache, laughing mockingly at him.

Guess one of those bullets must have actually scratched me
, Duo thought, grimacing.

Suddenly, Trowa was beside him. "Are you alright, Duo?" he asked calmly.

"Huh?" Duo repeated dumbly, turning to find himself lost in a sea of dark emerald green. Funny, how he had never noticed how much taller Trowa was than he. "I'm... I'm fine," he stammered, staring up into Trowa's face.

Trowa shook his head. "No, you're not," he stated plainly. "Let me see." He took a step closer.

Duo backed up immediately, the small of his back hitting the edge of the counter rather painfully. "No, it's fine!" he exclaimed. "You probably don't want to come any closer to me. I, um, really really stink!"

And I don't wanna taint you with my poison. Never you, Trowa...

Trowa rolled his eyes slightly at Duo's lame excuse. "Just turn around," he ordered calmly. "I think there's a cut somewhere on your back. That's probably why it hurts to lift your arm."

Duo sighed as he saw the firm resolve in Trowa's one visible eye. "You're not gonna leave alone, are you?" he asked.

Trowa didn't answer; he only made a motion with one of his fingers for Duo to turn around.

Warily, Duo turned around and gripped the edge of the counter with his hands, putting his back to Trowa. His heart beat nervously in his chest like it never had before. He didn't want Trowa to touch him, but then again, he sort of did. With those slender, nimble fingers with their calluses from all the hard chores he was forced to do at the circus or from keeping up the maintenance on his Gundam. He couldn't help but wonder what those fingers would feel like running all over his body, caressing his skin and burying themselves in his hair. Damn, Duo just couldn't help himself. Trowa fascinated him without end.

"Ow!" Duo cried when Trowa suddenly touched a particularly hurtful spot on his back. "Man, you don't waste any time do you, Trowa? Go right in for the kill."

"You have a shallow cut on your back, close to your shoulder," Trowa announced. "That's why it hurts you to move that arm in a certain direction."

"In the direction of the peanut butter jar," Duo added with a sigh. Now what was he going to eat?

"Go sit down," Trowa suddenly ordered, his fingers sliding off of Duo's back. "I'll make your sandwich."

Duo whirled around with a surprised smile on his face. "Really?" he asked, mood lightening a bit. "Thanks, Trowa! You're a pal! That's really nice of you, buddy!"

Trowa just shrugged and positioned himself at the counter, his shoulder brushing against Duo's lightly since Duo hadn't taken the hint to move and was still crowding up the space.

"Make sure you really goop it on," Duo instructed. "Have you ever made a peanut butter sandwich?"

Trowa declined to answer his inane babbling and instead nudged Duo with one of his narrow hips, startling the other boy with the sudden bodily contact. "Move over," he ordered.

"Sure thing!" Duo enthused, hopping away from the counter and hovering over Trowa's shoulder instead, watching with interest as Trowa lifted the butter knife with his beautifully formed, slender fingers. Duo's face was only inches away from the back of Trowa's head, and he suddenly caught the scent of apples in the air. Acting on pure impulse, he stood on his tiptoes and confirmed his guess that the exotic smell was coming from Trowa's golden brown hair.

"What are you doing?" Trowa suddenly asked, turning his head slightly towards Duo.

"Oh!" Duo leapt back in alarm, a blush rising high in his cheeks.

Damn! How freaking embarrassing!


"Your hair smells like apples," he told Trowa sheepishly, feeling like a total dork. What was he thinking? Smelling Trowa like a dog or something...

"Yeah, um," Duo stammered as Trowa continued to go stare at him from the corner of his eye. "I'm going to go sit down now!"

Still blushing, he shuffled over to the small kitchen table and flopped down in the chair Trowa had been seated in a few moments earlier. In his embarrassment, however, Duo had apparently forgotten that every inch of his body was bruised - his backside included.

"Ow," he commented, leaping up from his seat in an instant and rubbing his bottom gingerly.

"What's wrong?" Trowa asked, not looking up from where he was spreading peanut butter over one slice of bread.

"My butt hurts," Duo explained, glaring at the wooden chair as if every ounce of pain lancing through his buttocks could be blamed on the chair instead of the guard that had knocked him flat on his ass... until Duo shot him in the head.

"Ha! Whatcha gotta say for yourself now, kid?"

"... I'll kill you for that... "


Trowa didn't respond to Duo's complaints about his aching posterior. With another swirl of the knife, he finished making his fellow pilot's sandwich and placed the cap back on the peanut butter, being careful to the lay the knife on top of it so the utensil wouldn't fall to the counter and get peanut butter all over the place.

"Thanks, Trowa," Duo said as Trowa handed him his sandwich. Duo gave him a grateful smile as he managed to catch Trowa's eye. For a moment, the light in that one visible emerald eye seemed to soften, making Duo's heart melt. He received the weirdest impression that Trowa was about to smile, but the other pilot just walked past Duo and to his chair without another word.

Well, at least he didn't leave me alone here, Duo thought as he watched Trowa sit down again in the chair that had so rudely offended Duo's sore backside.

He glanced down at his sandwich then back at where Trowa was seated calmly, staring at the tabletop as if it were the most interesting thing in the world.

An idea suddenly crossed his mind. Do I dare? Duo thought with an internal grin. I do dare! If he gets mad then... oh well. I'll just go hide in the corner to lick my wounds and eat my sandwich...

Trowa looked up as he suddenly found Duo standing right next to him, something resembling mischief flickering in those beautiful violet eyes.

"Sorry, Trowa!" he suddenly declared cheerfully, just before turning around and sitting in the other pilot's lap, his boots dangling a couple of inches off of the surface of the floor.

The look on Trowa's face was priceless, as Duo had been expecting it to be. His one visible green eye got wider than Duo thought was physically possible, and his mouth dropped open slightly.

"What are you doing?" Trowa demanded, his calm voice almost belying the nervous tenseness of his muscles.

"Oh come on!" Duo protested, eyes pleading. "My butts hurts and I've been on my feet all night, practically!"

"And so you want to sit in my lap?"

Duo smiled at him. "Your lap is comfy, buddy."

Trowa folded his arms across his toned chest and said nothing, but Duo thought he saw a faint pink tinge come to his cheeks.

"Don't worry," Duo told him. "I won't get too comfortable. I'll just finish my sandwich and climb off."

He turned away and took a bite out of his sandwich, chewing carefully to make sure that the peanut butter didn't get stuck to the roof of his mouth (he wouldn't be able to talk then!). He pretended to study the kitchen with interest, but it was just an action done to cover the fact that sitting in Trowa's lap was making him nervous. The other pilot's face wasn't that far from the side of Duo's, and Trowa's apple-scented shampoo kept drifting to Duo's nose.

Wonder if he just took a shower? Man... and I reek like blood and gunpowder. Well, he's not complaining... and he's relaxed a little bit.

Duo suddenly felt a tug on his braid, just the barest tingling across his scalp. He turned slightly in surprise to find Trowa retracting his hand as if he had received a slap across the back of it.

"What's wrong?" Duo asked, an amused expression on his face. Had Trowa just been playing with his hair?

"Your braid is in pretty good condition," Trowa said uncomfortably.

Duo smiled. "Yup, this thing is tougher than I am." He turned back to his sandwich. "You can play with it if you want."

Damn... that sounded dumb...

Trowa folded his arms across his chest as if to keep them under control. "No thanks," he said. "If I had hair as pret - I mean, as long as yours, I wouldn't like just anyone playing with it."

Duo shrugged, trying not to seem too eager. "I don't mind. It's rather soothing, actually."

"Oh," was all Trowa said, but after a few moments of hesitant waiting, he unfolded his arms and started fiddling with the end of Duo's braid again, long fingers tugging gently on the chocolate brown strands.

Hmmm, Duo thought. That does feel kinda good...

He just sat there for a while, content with trying to get the peanut butter unstuck from the top of his mouth and basking in the sensations coursing across his scalp. He decided that enjoyed being around Trowa.

"So," Duo asked. "What were you doing down here so late at night?"

"Just sitting here," Trowa said calmly. "I like the dark and the quiet."

Duo's heart jumped. "Oh," he said, his mood suddenly deflating. "I probably disturbed you then, huh?"

Trowa made a noncommittal noise, but Duo interpreted that as a "yes, you did."

"You know, I don't TRY to bug people," Duo suddenly huffed, feeling hurt for some reason. "I just talk a lot because I don't like listening to the silence. You can hear too many things when it's so quiet."

"Catch that kid!"

"But I don't make too much conversation," Trowa said calmly. "So why are you still down here with me?"

Duo turned his head to the side and glared at the other pilot, who only stared back at him placidly. "Do you want me to leave? I will you if you want me to!" he snapped.

"P-Please don't kill me!"

"I was just asking a simple question, Duo," Trowa responded. "I was curious."

Duo's eyes narrowed as he stared into the emerald depths of Trowa's eye, searching for any hint that he was lying to him, but he found none.

"I just didn't want to be alone!" Duo said sharply, turning his face away from Trowa. "I can never sleep after a mission anyways."

"Why not?" Trowa asked softly.

Duo shut his eyes tightly, trying not to see the landscape of dead bodies and smell the black wind of death that blew over the battlefield. "Because... " he stammered.

"Aaaahhh!"


"Because... "

"Nooooo!"

"Because I can still hear them screaming!" he exclaimed, shuddering.

"Who Duo?" Trowa whispered softly, wrapping an arm around the other boy's waist.

"The soldiers," Duo whispered, staring at the linoleum floor and not seeing it. He felt so cold. "I can always hear them, their voices, their screams. But do you know what's even worse than the screams, Trowa?"

"What's worse?" the other boy asked softly, tightening his grip on Duo.

"The silence."

"The silence?" Trowa echoed.

"Yes," the braided pilot whispered back, his heart pounding out of control in his chest. "The silence... after they're all dead. The screams fade into silence, but then they start again... and again... and again. And I make myself listen to them because I'm the one that killed them, because I'm Shinigami... "

"You can't help what you are," Trowa said softly. "You're a Gundam pilot. You're a soldier. That's all we can ever hope to be in this war-ridden world right now, and you shouldn't persecute yourself for it."

"Persecute myself," Duo repeated bitterly.

I deserve to be persecuted. As long as it's just me, and no one else has to suffer anymore from Shinigami's scythe...

"Why am I even telling you all this?" Duo suddenly demanded, turning his head to stare at Trowa. "You don't want to listen to me. You don't even like me!"

Something suddenly flickered in Trowa's visible eye, and Duo's breath caught in his throat when he saw what looked to be passion in those emerald depths. The screams suddenly rose up more violently than ever, and Duo realized that his own voice was amongst them, telling him furiously that there was no way in hell that Trowa Barton could feel anything other than disgust for a boy that had been raised by the streets.

"You think I don't like you?" Trowa whispered softly, a small smile tugging on his lips.

Duo swallowed, his heart thumping in his chest. He was all too aware of just how close Trowa's face was to his. He realized for the first time that Trowa had one of his arms wrapped around his waist, fingers resting lightly on his hip. The other maddeningly warm hand was resting on his thigh.

"Y-Yeah," Duo forced himself to stammer, his eyes wide. "You don't like me... right?"

But I like you, Trowa...


"What makes you think that I don't like you?" Trowa murmured intensely.

"B-Because I'm loud and annoying," Duo babbled, leaning away from Trowa even though all he wanted to do was throw his arms around the other boy's neck and crush his lips to that soft-looking mouth. "And I'm, um, the G-God of the Death and I kill people and I hear screams in my head... "

"God of Death," Trowa mused softly, his breath fanning softly against Duo's cheek.

"Yeah, that's me," Duo said miserably. Then he waited. Waited for Trowa to push him away and call him a monster and say that he deserved everything that came to him...

"I used to be called 'The Silencer'," Trowa whispered, eye never leaving Duo's face.

Duo blinked, and whispered back, "Silencer?"

"I would give anything to hear screams," Trowa said softly, leaning forward so that his face was inches from Duo's. "But I hear nothing. Just... silence. That horrible silence that you loathe so much."

"Oh Trowa... " Duo murmured, barely containing the urge to wrap the boy in a soothing hug. Trowa didn't deserve what had befallen him. Never Trowa...

"I waited up for you," Trowa said suddenly, words tumbling out in a rush. His eyes were overbright, and Duo saw shy vulnerability trembling in those depths, as if to say, "Don't hurt me... please."

"Waited up for me?" Duo whispered in surprise. "But... why?"

"I... I always wait for you," Trowa confessed, his voice soft and wavering slightly. "At the top of the stairs. I watch for you from my window. Sometimes I wait here in the kitchen, just to hear you stumble over things in the dark, to see that you're okay."

Duo's heart was thundering in his chest. "But... why do I never see you?"

"I... always leave before you can catch me," Trowa whispered, lips inches away from Duo's. The braided pilot suddenly got the impression that Trowa wanted to kiss him, but was afraid to do it. Usually, that wouldn't have been a problem for Duo; he was a master at taking the initiative. But for some reason, with Trowa it was different. Duo didn't want to hurt him.

"H-Hey, Trowa?" Duo suddenly found himself whispering. "Do... Do you like me?"

For a moment, Trowa didn't say anything, and Duo was afraid he had made a serious misassumption about the situation. Or worse - he was afraid Trowa had been messing with his head all along, even though he knew it would have been totally out of character for the other pilot to do something like that.

But he suddenly felt his sandwich - which he had forgotten was even there - being pried from his fingers. Surprised, he pulled back in time to see Trowa placing it on the table by Duo's elbow, the single bite he had taken out of it making the bread look like it was smiling at him.

"Um," he suddenly found himself protesting nervously. "I was sort of going to eat... "

His words were cut short when Trowa suddenly reached up and tilted his chin so that Duo was forced to meet his eyes. This time Duo was sure it was passion he was seeing in those emerald depths, and the thought alone was enough to send shivers of pleasure racing up his spine. For a moment, the screaming cacophony of dead souls rose up, clamoring for his attention, for his guilty conscience and bleeding heart, but Trowa suddenly brought his lips to Duo's, and the world vanished.

The screams were drowned out by the sudden rushing of blood through his veins and the feel of Trowa's soft mouth against his. At first, Duo was too stunned to react as Trowa kissed him softly, silken lips stealing his breath away and making his heart race in his chest. Trowa eased back slightly, and Duo found himself leaning forward with a small gasp, wanting to feel that warm mouth against his again.

Finally his heart seemed to realize that this was Trowa holding him, kissing him and allowing himself to be kissed, and this epiphany suddenly reanimated Duo's limbs. He wrapped his arms around Trowa's neck and felt the other boy's arms encircle his waist in a tight embrace, pulling Duo's warm body closer to his own. This time is was Duo that captured Trowa's mouth in a passionate kiss, easing his lips feverishly over the taller boy's until he felt Trowa's tongue brushing against his lips, requesting entrance. Duo immediately opened his mouth and allowed Trowa to slip his tongue inside, moaning as he felt the other boy tasting the sweetness that dwelt in the hot, wet cavern. Nothing he had ever experienced in his entire life could compare to this. The killing rage. The screaming soldiers. The black wind of Death. None of them could even compare to the intensity of this one kiss.

It was only a mutual need for breath that forced the two to reluctantly pull away from each other. Breathing hard, Duo tightened his grip around Trowa's neck and buried his face in the golden brown hair, breathing in the scent of apples deeply. He felt Trowa's bangs tickling his skin as the other boy leaned forward to plant a kiss on Duo's neck.

"You tasted like peanut butter," Trowa gasped, nuzzling Duo's neck gently.

Duo laughed outright and kissed the curve of Trowa's ear, fingers buried in the silken hair at the nape of his neck. "I can't believe this is happening to me," he confessed suddenly. "Until now I could only dream and hope."

Trowa laughed softly, a mere rumbling in his chest that Duo thought resembled a lion's purr. He kissed Duo neck again and whispered shyly, "Hey, Duo?"

"Hmm?" Duo murmured, rubbing his cheek over Trowa's hair, which was surprisingly very soft.

"Do... do you want to sleep in my room tonight?" Trowa asked timidly.

Duo smiled. He didn't need to see Trowa's face; he could feel the other boy's blush heating the skin of his neck. "I kick in my sleep," he warned Trowa.

"At least now you'll have someone to kick," Trowa replied.

"I hog the blankets."

"That's okay. I don't get cold easily."

"I make strange noises in my sleep."

"I'll plug my ears."

Duo laughed and pulled back so he could see Trowa's face, which was still faintly pink with the remnants of his blush a few moments before. There was a soft light in his emerald eye, and Duo relished the faint smile lingering on those soft lips, which he promptly kissed again.

"I talk in my sleep, too," he warned with a smile. "Unless I'm tired."

"We'll just have to find a way to tire you out then," Trowa said with a straight face.

Duo's eyes widened, and his smile got even bigger. "Thinking hentai thoughts, Tro-chan?" he teased.

Trowa's blush suddenly returned with a vengeance, blood rising high in his cheeks. "N-No... " he stammered.

Duo couldn't help himself. Leaning forward again, he rained kisses all over Trowa's cheeks, enjoying the feel of the heated skin underneath his lips and the way Trowa's long bangs tickled his forehead.

"Still hear those screams?" Trowa whispered as Duo planted a kiss on the corner of his mouth.

Duo's brow creased. Pressing his cheek against Trowa's beautifully flushed one, he closed his eyes, letting that horrible silence descend over his soul as he rested in Trowa's arms, the scent of apples wrapped around him.

He listened.

And listened some more. With the deepest hidden sensors of his soul, he listened, sending the Reaper out over his insubstantial battlefields from days past, searching for things alive that should really be dead.
And he listened.

Nothing. The screams were gone.

His limbs feeling watery with relief, Duo turned and planted a soft kiss on Trowa's cheek. "Maybe this is why you were called 'The Silencer'," he whispered, heart in pain from the extent of emotion he was feeling. Trowa didn't say anything in reply; he didn't need to. He knew he had just helped Duo exorcise demons that should never have made their homes in the braided pilot's soul, sadistically tugging the strings of his bleeding heart and guilty conscience. He felt the relief and gratitude in Duo's heart and didn't see the need for words any longer. Slipping one of his arms underneath Duo's knees, he gathered the other boy's supple body against his own and rose, lovingly carrying him out of the kitchen and up the stairs, leaving the peanut butter sandwich sitting alone on the countertop, the single bite taken from it frozen blissfully in a perpetual smile.

end

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