Author: J. Strahan
Pairing(s): 2+1, 1+2
Rating: PG
Warnings: shonen ai, sweet, fluffy-sap, possibly a little OOC?
Disclaimer: Characters not mine. Ficcie is.

Appreciate Beginnings

The sounds of jackhammers and shattering concrete greeted the dawn, cheerfully aiding Heero in finding a reason to glare at every living creature and inanimate objected that dared to cross his path. He wasn't having a good morning, and the raucous noise outside certainly wasn't helping.

He glared angrily, almost jealously at Duo, who lay comfortably in their bed, snuggled under the covers, with a content expression on his sleeping features. How in the name of All that is Holy could Duo sleep through this racket?!

He showered, dressed in the same tanktop and spandex as usual, and stalked into the kitchen to prepare something to eat, each passing second grinding his nerves. His head was throbbing in unexpressed agony as he fried the eggs he would be eating for his breakfast.

Heero knew exactly why his skull was aching so relentlessly. Last night had been particularly loud. Duo had insisted that they attend a block party they had been invited to; or rather, that Duo had been invited to. Though Heero had been reluctant, he let himself be convinced with the thought that Duo might get himself into trouble if he went to a party alone. He had spent the entire night (until three o'clock, anyway) observing his partner from the edge of the room, as far away from the party he could possible get without physically leaving Duo unattended. Unfortunately, it wasn't far enough because the loud, thumping noise most teenagers called music had taken its toll on his sensitive ears, leaving him what may have been the worst headache he'd ever had.

He was grateful that he didn't have to prepare for a mission today; he'd be content to stay home in peace until his head stopped aching. Unfortunately, the contruction workers outside seemed to have a different idea.

Duo woke up slightly tired, and very rumpled, slowly sitting up and rubbed his eyes in an attempy to clear his fuzzy brain. Gradually, he became aware of what was going on around him, and grinned in sheer glee as he identified the sounds that had woken him, immediately deciding that today he was going to bug the living hell out of his partner. He practically shot out of ben, pulled on his baggy black riding pants, and dashed out into the hallway, his other clothing lying forgotten on the bedroom floor.

Heero grouned and bit back the urge to roll his eyes; he'd done it again! He scooped half the eggs into a bowl of rice and dropped the spatula back into the scorched pan, glaring at the offending eggs that remained. Why had he made more than necessary? This was the third time this month that this had happened. It was completely illogical that he would double the food rationings without even noticing it, but somehow it had happened, and it had happened more than once.

He growled in frustration as he grabbed a fork and stabbed a chunk of egg, his skull still throbbing painfully.

At the sound of quick footsteps coming down the hall, Heero looked up just in time to see Duo bounding in, topless and barefoot, grinning for all he was worth. In different circumstances, such an image would have had him quite happy, but as intriguing as the sight was, it didn't help to lighten his mood now.

"Why the hell are you so happy?" he ground out, eyes following Duo's every movement, from the twinkling eyes to the swinging braid, tied with the violet ribbon the Japanese pilot had given him.

"Good morning to you, too, Sunshine!" Duo chirped in return. He could feel Heero's gaze on him, and immediately could tell that Heero was having one of his worser mornings; it wouldn't be smart to try to annoy him... but it's certainly be fun! He laughed to himself, turning towards the refridgerator to find something to eat. Today was going to be entertaining!

"Breakfast is on the stove, Duo." Heero grunted irritably.

The American glanced over his shoulder, and sure enough, he spotted the pan of fried eggs and the bowl of rice beside it. He was mildly surprised and genuinely pleased to see that Heero had prepared his breakfast as well.

Usually Heero would prepare a small meal for himself and tell Duo to fix his own. Recently, though Heero sometimes would makes enough for the both of them, which pleased Duo to no end, not to mention that Heero's meals usually turned out tasting far better than his own.

He grined again and scooped the remaining eggs into the rice bowl that had been left out for him. It was nice to know that Heero thought about him -- probably not as fondly as he might want, granted -- but at least there was some regard for him behind those intoxicating cobalt eyes.

He set his bowl on the table next to Heero and was about to sit down when a stroke of inspiration hit him. With luck, his efforts would pay off, and he wouldn't get clobbered for it.

In a quite move, he flung both arms around the neck of a rather startled Heero Yuy, who froze, fork dropping from motionless fingers. He felt the other boy tense up, but ignored it and pressed on, pulling his chest up tightly against the other's, gracefully straddling his waist and seating himself on Heero's lap.

Heero sat immobile, absorbing the warmth of Duo's bare chest pressed against his own. Warm breath tingled his ear, and the scent of Duo's shampoo teased his nose. Slowly he relaxed and almost thoughtlessly closed his eyes. He reached an arm around the other boy's slim, muscled waist, running his fingers over Duo's hip, coming to rest at the small of his back, here he traced light circles over the smooth pale skin.

The braided boy nuzzled Heero's ear, his cheek pressed gently against the other's. After a second, Duo tightened his arms around Heero's tanned neck in an intimate yet friendly gesture, and whispered into his ear. "Thanks for fixing breakfast, Heero."he breathed in a low voice. "It really means a lot to me."

He pulled himself even closer against Heero's chest, the pressure causing his touch to become heated. He reveled in the feeling of those firm musicles and the smooth flesh underneath the thin cotton tank top.

Heero tried to concentrate on remembering to breathe. Being so close to the American, touching him, was emasculating his iron control over his mind and body. Just thinking about him seemed to have that effect. His hand still mindlessly rubbed over the small of Duo's back as he attempted to focus on processing the long-haired boy's words. "No problem, Duo. Anytime." he answered huskily when he had finally formulated a reply, pathetic as it was. The only thing that was registering now was the thought that from now on, he'd be making breakfast for two every morning.

He didn't want the moment to end. It seemed like every time the braided boy was near him, he was left wanting more. More of what, he was never quite sure. Now he knew exactly what it was the he had wanted, and now that he was recieving what he had hoped for, he was going to hold onto it as long as he could, and enjoy every second of it.

Duo smiled against the juncture of Heero's cheek and ear, lips brushing lightly over the sensitive flesh. A wave of slightly surprised satisfaction washed over him as he felt Heero shudder in reponse. He hadn't expected to get a reaction from the gesture, especially not such an obvious one.

Duo knew he was walking a fine line. On one side there was a relationship to be created, a bond beyond the simple friendship they currently shared, one that Duo would be all to happy to have. On the other side of the line was isolation. One wrong move could ruin the fragile friendship he had worked so painstakingly to build, or even scare Heero emotionally, preventing any attempt to form a relationship with him in the future, whether from him or someone else. The stakes were high for both of them.

He reached up to run his hands up through the other boy's chocolate-brown hair, starting at the base of his neck, the short silky strands tickling his palms and the calloused pads of his fingers massaging his scalp. As much as he wanted to advance their relationship into something more, the risk was too great. He'd be content with what he already had for the time being. It was enough for now.

The chestnut-haired youth pulled away from the Japanese boy, steadying himself of Heero's bare shoulders and he raised himself up off of the spandex-clad lap.

Heero's hands slid away from the American's waist as his pulled away, the comforting heat and delicious pressure Duo's body had provided was removed, leaving his skin heated and aching to be touched.

He opened his eyes, suddenly acutely aware that the headache that had been plaguing his was completely gone; it had stopped hurting instantly when Duo had embraced him. Even stranger was that he found that he didn't really care why, either. His headache was no longer important. The only thing that mattered was the boy who was standing in front of him. He sought out Duo's eyes, silently requesting and explanation of what had just passed between them.

Duo stood before the Japanese boy, fingers tingling and skin burning, looking down into the depthless blue gaze that had ensnared him from the first time their eyes had met. He knew what the other was asking him, but he also knew that it was still too soon. Heero wasn't ready to take the next step.

He knelt down, meeting Heero's gaze at eye level, and sought out one of Heero's hands with his own, still wearing a gentle smile. He leaned forward until their faces were mere inches apart and spoke in a hushed tone. "Not yet, my friend. You'll know soon enough."

~ Owari ~

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