Disclaimer: I don't own them and I don't make any money off of this.
Warning:Male/male sex, graphic, violence, language
"I told you to leave that at
home." Duo caught Heero's hand before he could draw his gun. He forced
the gun back into it's holster at Heero's back and tucked Heero's black
jacket back over it. "It was just a car back firing. Bad power return,
Heero was stiff, adrenalin pumping, trying not to throw Duo's hand off
of him. It was almost a full minute before he was able to convince his
mind that he didn't need to shoot and kill something.
Duo smiled, "Better. It took a lot longer last time."
Heero agreed, but he still wasn't happy with himself. The war was over.
He was with Duo. They had a small apartment in a high rise on Earth. Duo
was working on cutting edge engines for one of Quatre Winner's companies,
and Heero was testing computer designs for another. They made good money,
had a comfortable life, but Heero couldn't stop being a soldier.
Heero had tried to think of it as another mission, undercover, but Duo
had figured that out after the third day and had taken away that comforting
security blanket. Now, it was like suddenly being naked, or walking on
a tight rope without a safety net. Life had been necessary during the
war, planned, and lived without many variables. Duo tried to guide Heero,
tried to teach, and tried to make him be something that he didn't know
how to be... Human, normal, like everyone else they passed on the street.
Heero looked sideways at Duo, who was looking about them as they walked.
He was smiling, eyes sparkling, and not the least bothered by Heero's
lapse. It made Heero wonder what kept Duo with him. He was understanding
emotions more and more now, but there were still aspects that eluded him.
Duo was handsome, outgoing, and everyone they met liked him. Before they
had recognized their feelings for each other, Duo had displayed a healthy
libido and an interest in many people. Sex for him had been casual and
fun. Heero still expected him to look at the handsome men and beautiful
women that passed them by, but he didn't. His eyes touched on the shops,
on some of the sportier cars that drove by, but never on anyone with more
than minimal acknowledgment. Heero, in a moment of frustration when he
had failed, yet again, to show his feelings for Duo, had suggested that
Duo have sex with other people. Duo had frowned and looked angry, and
Heero hadn't suggested it again. Duo was with him, it seemed, and he was
A tall man, with dark sunglasses, reached into the breast of his coat.
Heero touched the butt of his gun, but fought to keep from drawing it.
He had to grit his teeth, every muscle tense and shaking, as he ignored
every bit of his training and allowed the man to pull out a handkerchief
and wipe at his nose.
When they had passed the man, Duo looked at Heero with a grin. "See? Progress."
But then he saw how pale Heero was and he grabbed him by the elbow and
settled him onto a bench. Heero sat, hands between his knees and head
hanging. "Love?" Duo asked worriedly.
"Duo..." Heero didn't want to say it, but he was too used to dealing with
facts and consequences. "I don't think that I can stop reacting."
Duo crouched in front of him and refused to let him hide behind his messy
bangs. His purple eyes met Heero's blue ones and he said, "You were wired
to feel pain every time that you felt a strong emotion. You over came
that. You beat it. Sure, things aren't perfect. They never will be, Heero."
He motioned around them without looking. "If you think I want you to be
like these people, you're wrong. I just want you to be yourself, not what
some screwed up scientist tried to make you." He poked a finger into Heero's
chest. "I know you can manage that."
Heero wasn't that confident. He knew what he had been put through during
his training. It was in his blood and bone.
"Heero?" Duo cocked his head at him. "What are you feeling... right now?"
Heero thought about it, turned the emotion over and over, trying to understand
it, but couldn't. "Afraid," he replied at last.
Duo raised eyebrows, but then understood. He settled on the bench next
to Heero, his long legs stretched out. "Anything else?"
Heero thought about it, delved past that fear to an emotion that was sitting
at the level of his heart.
"Say it," Duo whispered as if they were sharing a secret. "No one is going
to hurt you now, because of it."
Heero tensed, hunched, and then said, "Pain."
"Pain?" That caught Duo by surprise. He studied Heero for a long moment
and then he cautiously said, "That makes me afraid."
Heero looked at him quickly in concern. "Why?"
"Because... " Duo put a hand over Heero's and squeezed tight. "I care
about you. I love you. Isn't that what you really feel... not pain, but...
love? Sometimes, it hurts when you're afraid that the person you love
is going to... reject you."
Heero thought about that. Love. Pain. Fear. "You don't need me," Heero
told him. "I'm a liability."
"If we were in a life or death situation, trying to win a war?" Duo snorted.
"Yeah, you would be. Out here, where we only have ourselves to answer
Heero licked dry lips, not sure how to put his doubts into words that
weren't clinical or precise, something Duo had been trying to discourage.
Duo smiled and his hand squeezed tight again.
"For now, just say it any way you have to, Heero," Duo encouraged.
"I..." Heero squared his shoulders and asked stiffly, "I don't see how
I contribute to... to our life together. What makes me an asset?"
Duo chuckled. "You want a logical, reasonable explanation? Love isn't
like that Heero. It's like me, spontaneous and unreasonable. I can tell
you that you're strong, steady, and committed. I like that and I need
it. Those are assets." Duo leaned in close, draping an arm over Heero's
shoulders. "You also understand me... well, most times." He waved with
one hand at the people walking by. "They will never understand me like
you do." He lowered his hand and leaned back into the bench. "Bottom line,
though? I love you and I don't want to leave you. I also don't want you
to leave me. I'm not going to stop wanting that because you can't stop
thinking that everyone's a potential bad guy. I just want..." Duo went
thoughtful and then he continued, "I want you to do it, though, not because
someone's psycho training is forcing you to. I want you to be able to
decide when to put down or pick up the gun yourself. Those people will
be a lot safer when you can, especially poor, old Mrs. Hanover down the
hall. I doubt she thought that coming over to offer us cookies would get
a glock put in her face."
Heero winced. Duo hugged him and then stood up, pulling Heero up with
"Come on," Duo said cheerfully. "The more you walk around the neighborhood,
the quicker you will start to relax."
Heero doubted that. He was even now looking around them and making numerous
mental notes about each person within shooting distance. Short, fat man:
limp, coat big enough to hold a large rifle, hands in pockets, probable
communications device. Young woman looking their way; High heels, liability,
restrictive skirt, easy take down. Angry older man: large bag in one clenched
fist, arm arching for a throw, possible bomb.
"Heero!" Duo shouted in alarm.
Heero was already in motion, though. The man was throwing the bag into
traffic. A terrorist, Heero's training told him, target; civilians and
infrastructure. The man's eyes went wide as Heero caught the bag in mid
air and punched the man solidly with his fist. The man went down, unconscious.
Heero placed a foot on his throat and then looked into the bag, ready
to diffuse or dispose of a bomb.
A black puppy peeked out looking anxious, a bare handful of velvet fur
and liquid, brown eyes. Duo caught up to Heero just as Heero was about
to drop the bag in surprise. Duo put a hand under it to steady it, and
understood the situation at once.
"Bastard!" Duo spat at the unconscious man. "He was going to toss the
dog into traffic."
Heero looked from Duo, to the man, and then to the puppy. It wiggled pathetically,
yipped, and pleaded with it's eyes.
"Better get out of here before the cops show up," Duo warned and Heero
was automatically following Duo without question, a part of his mind slipping
back into the war. Undercover. Keep quiet. Keep hidden. Don't call attention.
The man was left on the sidewalk, but the people who had witnessed Heero's
attack were unsympathetic and beginning to walk away from him.
"You're holding him too tight," Duo grunted. He slipped into an alley
and then stopped. Heero followed, still looking down at the puppy. "You
can dump him here," Duo told him.
"Here?" Heero looked around them. His mind easily calculated the odds
for the puppy's survival. Zero. "No," Heero replied and held the bag tightly
Duo looked perplexed. "No? Why not?"
Heero was at a loss. "I don't know."
Duo looked from Heero to the puppy. "He's homeless. You bought him some
It startled Heero to suddenly see a lack in Duo and to know that here
was something he understood that Duo didn't. "He needs to be cared for."
"Yeah?" Duo looked as if Heero had grown an extra eye. "So did I, but
I made it on the streets. He's got his shot now, so let him go."
Patiently, Heero took the puppy out of the bag and held it more gently.
The puppy licked his nose. It stirred something in Heero. It wasn't dangerous.
It couldn't suddenly attack him. He didn't have to be on constant guard.
It... liked him. He petted the soft fur, trying to place it's pedigree.
Cocker Spaniel? A mix?
Duo cleared his throat. "Heero," he said, "You going to tell me what's
going on in that head of yours?"
"How do you... How do you take care of a puppy?" Heero wanted to know.
Duo shrugged. "I don't know. I only know how to catch and cook them."
Heero felt alarm. He held the puppy protectively. "You won't eat this
one." It wasn't a question.
Duo quirked an eyebrow. "Does this mean he's coming home with us?" Heero
nodded. Duo was still puzzled, but he suddenly laughed, "Look at you!"
Heero blinked at Duo's laughing face. "What?"
"After everything I tried, a little bit of fur did something I couldn't,"
Duo told him.
"What?" Heero repeated, feeling stupid.
"Brought back some human in you," Duo replied."For that, he gets a new
The puppy licked Heero's nose again and then curled up against his heart.
It wasn't a mission parameter. It didn't fit a spec. It didn't have a
military purpose. It was just a puppy and... it needed Heero. "Duo?"
"Hm?" Duo replied, bemused as they left the alley and began walking back
"The pain is gone," Heero replied.
Duo smiled and leaned against him. He rubbed the puppy's ears and whispered,
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