Author: Jupiter Strahan
Rating: G
Pairings: 1+2, 2+1
*Warnings*: Oh dear lord. It hasn't been beta'ed. I just kinda wrote it. It's a one shot thing. I only read over it once. Just a minute ago. I have no idea how many mistakes there are. I'm sure there are a lot. It takes place after A. Beginnings, I think. I haven't really decided. *rolls eyes*
Other Warnings: Shonen ai(kind of), fluff?, Duo singing a love song, OOC? I'm pretty sure they're OOC. Oh well. Okay. Here goes:

Appreciate Prayer

A slim, spandex-clad teen climbed a set of stairs in an apartment building. It was late; dusk had fallen three hours previous, but he felt oddly refreshed. It could be that his mission had gone much better than anticipated---he'd finished it in two days, and he was expecting it to take at least four--- not to mention that he didn't have a scratch on him. Something about the atmosphere tonight left him feeling in a surprisingly good mood. He had almost smiled at the little girl who had been trying to sell him cookies when he passed her on the street. Granted, he hadn't actually smiled, but he had been shocked to feel his lip twitch slightly when the tiny child had tugged gently on his tanktop, untucking it, grinning widely all the while.

He unlocked the door to their apartment, noting with satisfaction that the door swung open silently, meaning that Duo had oiled the door hinges as Heero had told him to. Soundlessly he shut the door and made his way toward the living room where his partner most likely was, judging from the sounds that were coming from that area of the apartment.

He stopped in the doorway and glanced around the room, eyes immediately spotting his roommate. Duo lay spralled across the ratty, scratchy old sofa in their apartment staring fixedly at the television, mechanically feeding popcorn into his grinning mouth, completely oblivious to his observer or anything else, for that matter.

Heero leaned against the wall and peered at the television, which currently featured what appeared to be a man in a lobster suit walking through a restaurant. Heero shook his head, his lip quirking slightly at Duo's choice of entertainment. It was one of the many movies Duo rented whenever Heero had a mission and he didn't. His gaze returned to his partner, whose position had not changed. He was still entranced by whatever was happening on the screen.

Heero didn't know how long he stood there, but after a few minutes, Duo let out a chuckle and swung his feet off the sofa and onto the carpet, eyes never leaving the screen. Suddenly he noticed Duo's lips began to sync the words from the movie. 'How many times has he seen this?' Heero wondered.

"The moment I wake up...!" Duo said in a low voice, which slowly rose to normal speaking volume. "Before I put on my make-uuup!"

Heero blinked. Make-up? Duo wore make-up? No, he'd been around Duo long enough that make-up wasn't part of Duo's normal routine. His eyes narrowed at Duo. Suddenly, a set of decidedly feminine voices chimed in from the television, "I say a little prayer for you..." The pilot's eyes flew to the TV screen where two women were shown, the source of the female voices.

Duo picked up again, "While combing my hair now..." Deep blue eyes shot back to the braided boy who was slowly standing, the TV remote control in hand. Heero arched an eyebrow. Duo was singing? "and wond'ring what dress to wear now!" Duo had definitely seen this movie too many times.

Duo closed his eyes, completely caught up in the song, holding the remote as though it were a microphone. "I say a little prayer for you!" he sang, voice building up, pointing his finger at the screen where the women were shown, singing along with them. Heero stood silently watching Duo, surprise etched clearly across his features.

"Forever, and ever, you'll stay in my heart,
and I will love you forever, and ever, we never will part,
and how I love you, together, forever, that's how it must be;
To live without you would only mean heartbreak for me!"

The Japanese boy felt the smile coming on, but he didn't suppress it. The antics of his partner were interesting enough when they were simply around each other, but it seemed that when Duo was alone, or at least thought he was alone, he was more.... He couldn't think of the right work for it. He was just more "Duo."

"I run for the bus, dear," Duo sang into the remote, his free hand moving through the air as though he were the one in the movie singing, and not just a long-haired boy wielding the controls to a television. "while riding I think of us, dear. I say a little prayer for you..."

Heero simply watched the boy put on a show for no one, occasionally glancing at the screen to see what was happening in Duo's movie. His eyebrow rose once again as he saw the patrons of the entire restaurant singing the song, including the men the the lobster suits. Duo certainly had a strange sense of humor.

"At work I just take time,
and all through my coffee break time..."

He certainly had a good voice though. Duo seemed to hit each note with incredible precision and emphasis, though Heero had never heard Duo sing before. It had never even occured to him that Duo could sing, but thinking about it now, because Duo's voice was so pleasant to hear (not necessarily to listen to, however) it seemed natural that Duo would have a talent for song. After a moment he decided that active thought wasn't needed to enjoy the singing, and he let his mind drift with the sweet tenor, eyes trained on its source, subconsciously taking in every move of the boy's body, the smooth rapid movement of his hands, the sway of his hips to the beat of the music, the responding swing of the neat chestnut braid, which occasionally bounced off the boy's back.

At some point, the song hit an interlude and Duo's eyes opened, falling upon Heero leaning against the wall, piercing blue eyes trained on him. He froze for a moment, like a deer caught in headlights, then flushed crimson as he tried to think of a way to cover for his actions without looking like more of a fool that he usually did. "Um... hi, Heero, I, uh... I wasn't expecting you back yet, and I was um, I was getting a little stiff and, well..." His mind went blank. The American cursed himself inwardly. Of all times to be unable to come up with a good excuse, why did it have to be now? He had tried so hard to get Heero to at least regard him as a comrade at least, the last thing he wanted was for Heero's meager respect for him as a partner to be jeopardized, but it seemed like he was in over his head.

Heero merely gazed at the other boy, his amusement concealed, but only just. He couldn't explain his need to see Duo embarassed; maybe it was just because it so rarely happened. However, he knew that embarassment was often followed by anger, and he loathed the thought of having Duo upset with him. "You sounded good. You should sing more often." The words fell from his lips without thought, and the moment they were spoken, he kicked himself inwardly. Duo wouldn't understand what he meant to say, or how he felt. Hell, he didn't know how he felt! He turned abruptly and headed down the hall without another word.

The dark-haired pilot's unexpected complement caught Duo offguard. And judging by the way he was retreating into his room, he had said more than he'd meant to. He certainly didn't want Heero to think of him as nothing more than a loud-mouthed fool, but it would be worse if Heero's mood changed because of a few ill-chosen words. He had noticed that the boy's mood was different that it usually was - for the most part, Duo could read Heero's mood, like a book, and it was something he prided himself on. He couldn't quite identify what was going through Heero's mind, but he had a good idea of what it might be.

"You know, the song isn't over yet..." He said softly, knowing that Heero would hear him anyway. As he'd hoped, Heero slowed considerably and glanced at him over his shoulder. Duo instantly drove on, "And the movie's not over, either. I could use some company."

Heero turned to face him, but made no move to re-enter the living room. A few seconds later, the interlude faded, and Duo raised the remote to his lips and began to sing once again, this time staring directly into the eyes of his roommate.

"My darlin', believe me,
for me there is noooo/ one but you..."

He held his arm outstretched to the other, emphasising his words.

"... please love me too...
and I'm in love with you...
and answer my prayer, babe."

Heero padded back into the room where Duo stood, their eyes locked. He gave a nearly unnoticeable nod, and seated himself on the sofa.

"Say you love me too...!"

Duo finished the song with less fervor than he had started with. Heero knew the American was trying to find a way to keep as much tension out of their relationship as possible. Though Heero never made mention of it, he was sincerely grateful for Duo's efforts, they were the reason they worked so well together in the first place.

The dialogue of the movie started up again, and Duo let out a sigh of relief. He looked at the sofa, then looked around the room for another seat. Before he had a chance to move across the room to the padded chair on the other side, he felt a sharp tug on his braid. Turning, he found it loosely gripped in Heero's hand. "Um, Heero?"

"Sit."

Duo cocked his head to the side, then complied, beginning to kneel on the carpet. Another tug.

"Geez! What?"

"Not there." Heero gave the braid yet another tug, and scooted a few inches over, making his intention clear beyond any doubt. "If you sat on the floor, your head would block the TV."

Duo smirked at his partner and fell back onto the couch, nestling himself between Heero, the couch pillows, and the popcorn bowl, then glanced at the screen again. "Ooh! This is my favorite part!"

A few minutes later, Heero broke the silence between them with a word. "Explain." If there was one thing he hated, it was not knowing what was going on.

"Well, in a nutshell, it's about this chick, and she finds out that her best friend is getting married, and she realizes that she's in love with him. She tries to steal her friend back from his fiance', because she's scared she'll lose him." Duo let out a sad laugh. "It's a great movie, but God, I hope that never happens to me."

Heero's expression didn't change, instead he turned back to face the screen. Duo sighed quietly and turned his attention to the movie once again. Ignoring the movie completely, Heero watched Duo out of the corner of his eye, understanding dawning on him. "It won't happen, Duo. Not to you, anyway."

~owari

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