Author: Jupiter Strahan
Pairings: 1+2, 2+1
Rating: G
Warnings: mild shonen ai, sweet, fluff
Part of "Appreciation" series
Disclamer: Just imagine that I wrote one.
Lots of love to Hisui, who gave me *more* inspiration, and to my dear friend Sailor Zoisite who went through the boring process of beta-ing.

Appreciate Style

Duo woke up to the sound of the shower. He rolled off the bed, still completely dressed from the night before, and rubbed his eyes, trying to remember what his dream had been about. Something about Heero... and... Duo shook his head. He couldn't remember anything, except that Heero had been in it, but that wasn't uncommon.

As he stood up, he noticed his boots lying at the foot of the bed. 'That's odd... I don't remember taking them off last night...' But then again, he didn't remember Heero coming back to their apartment, or even making it to the bed last night, either. 'It must have been Heero,' he thought to himself. He grinned. 'That guy isn't nearly as cold as he tries to come across.'

Duo was lacing up his boots when the shower stopped, and looked up as Heero entered their bedroom, a large, white, fluffy towel wrapped around his waist. Heero had tried to dry off, but since his hair was still wet, water continued to drip into his eyes and down his tan neck, arms, and torso. Duo smiled to himself. Heero was completely unaware of how good he looked like that. 'Or at any other time' he told himself as he hopped off the bed to dig Heero's clothes out of the dresser.

Duo pulled out Heero's green tank top, black spandex shorts and a pair of socks and tossed them at Heero, who was sitting at the edge of the bed and drying off again. He had learned a while back that Heero didn't wear underwear. Heero's excuse was that he had no need for extra clothing and that the tanktop and biker shorts were sufficent.

Once Heero had his shorts on he made another attempt to dry off his hair, then pulled on his top, socks, and shoes. Duo preoccupied himself by checking Heero's laptop for any new messages. There was one, a short one from Dr. J for pilots 01 and 02 to prepare for a mission to blow up some base in South Africa in five days. Duo snorted. Weren't they always ready?

"What is it?" Heero stepped up beside him and peered at the screen.

"Not much. Our next mission is in five days. They want us the be ready."

"Hn." was Heero's response. He turned and headed to the kitchen to get breakfast.

"WAITAMINUTE!!" shouted Duo, in a mock-furious tone. Heero winced. That certainly would have woken anyone in the building who was still sleeping.

"What, Duo?" He muttered.

"You're not even going to fix your hair?!" Duo cried incredulously.

Heero arched an eyebrow. "I never do. It's a waste of time."

"What do you mean by that?" He scowled at Heero, swinging his braid over his shoulder. "No wonder it's always a mess! You just towel it off and leave it! I demand that you let me do something so it's not such an eyesore! Well, it's not an eyesore, but it could look a lot better!" He grinned in that not-quite-mischievious way that told Heero that it would be easier to let him have his way.

He sighed and sat down on the bed again. "Just don't do anything--"

Duo cut him off. "Nothing that would stand out, I know. I just want to see if I can fix this... mess!" He gestured to Heero's still-damp mop of hair. Heero just sat and looked at him, as if to tell him to get it over with.

After a short trip to the bathroom Duo returned with a comb, a spray bottle of water, and a pair of scissors. Heero immediately took the scissors from him. "No, Duo." He growled, as though commanding a dog.

"Geez! G trusts me with a machine of mass destruction, but you don't even trust me with scissors!" he quipped, then bounded onto the bed, positioned himself behind Heero, and began to comb.

Unfortunately, it was a lot more difficult that he expected. Tangles weren't a problem; there were very few of those. The problem was that no matter what he tried, the rapidly drying mass just wouldn't stay put. If he kept wetting the hair, it was easy enough to do what he wanted with it, but as soon it began to dry, it magically reverted to the same unruly style it was always in. Duo didn't mind, really; he always enjoyed a challenge.

For a nearly silent two hours he attempted to style Heero's hair in any fashion different from his usual, including an imitation of Wufei's style. That one failed because Heero's hair was just short enough to slip out of the rubberband and send it shooting into Duo's face before returning to "Heero" style. He gave a sigh of defeat.

There was no possible way to style Heero's hair aside from shaving him bald... but there was no way Heero would have let him do that. Then again, he didn't really want to shave him bald, since he liked Heero's hair anyway. It looked good on him, no matter the messy style it was always in.

Heero's hair was much softer than he had expected, almost like rabbit fur. It baffled him as to how it could be so difficult to style, but it was awfully nice to touch. After a while he decided that it was a hopeless cause, and set the comb aside so he could run his fingers through the now-dry mop of coffee-brown silk. He leaned a little closer and caught the faint scent of jasmine. Heero was using his shampoo? The braided boy smiled to himself and continued to massage Heero's scalp with his fingertips, feeling Heero's warmth filter into his hands.

Heero had sat nearly immobile for his hair-care session. He didn't mind, really. There wasn't much to do anyway, and something that both entertained Duo and kept him quiet was a rare thing. Not that it bothered him cared when Duo talked, either. He liked the sound of Duo's voice; it was the non-sensical babble that got on his nerves. He certainly didn't mind letting Duo mess with his hair, since he knew there was little the American could do as long as Heero kept the scissors away from him. For most of the time he kept his eyes shut and just concentrated on the feeling of Duo's fingers in his hair. It was a very relaxing experience, actually. Duo was quite talented with his hands, he noted to himself. He didn't even notice that he was falling asleep until Duo spoke.

"It's hopeless, Heero," Duo muttered lightly.

Heero snapped out of his reverie. "What is?"

"I guess you're just going to be stuck with that boring old style, since there's no possible way to fix it up." He knocked the comb off the bed.

"I could have told you that," Heero replied.

"Well, why didn't you? You mean to tell me I just wasted two precious hours of valuable TV time trying to do what you already knew was impossible?" he complained.

"You wouldn't have believed me," came the answer.

"True." Duo flopped back on the bed and let out another sigh, "But still! Two hours...."

Heero stood up and slowly headed into the hallway. After a moment he returned to the bedroom and searched the other boy's eyes. "Was it really a waste of time, Duo?"

Duo looked up at him and smiled, a real smile. "Actually, no. It wasn't a waste at all."

Heero let the corners of his mouth rise into a nearly unnoticable smile. "Good. Now how about breakfast?" He extended a hand to assist Duo off the bed.

Duo's smile grew even wider as he bounded off the bed, snagging Heero's arm and headed out the door. "Breakfast? Are you cooking? Or are we going out to eat?"

"I'll cook." Heero replied, letting Duo lead him into the kitchen.

Duo grinned again and ruffled Heero's hair, to no effect. "That sounds great."

~Owari~

Notes:
1. It wasn't a hentai dream, you pervie-bunny! I beleive that if you talk in your sleep, you're talking about your dream. As he was talking to Heero about Heero, he had to have been dreaming about him! (see Appreciate Friends)
2. Of course Duo thinks he's good looking! Who wouldn't? He's just being honest, He's not interesting like THAT... not yet, anyway!
3. I maintain the belief that Heero has 7 green tanktops and as many pairs of spandex. I don't know WHERE he keeps them (probably in the back of his gundam or something) but I refuse to believe he wears the same damn clothes every day. I also believe that he launders them, unlike some of you!

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