Disclaimer: The GW Boys aren't mine. heavy sigh
Warning: This fic was inspired by Benadryl (mmm, fuzzy thoughts). Shounen Ai, 1+2/2+1, 3+4 implied, etc. Lime-ish.
by Lady M

Pretty in Pink
or The Mission That Went Horribly Horribly Wrong

Duo, sprawled comfortably on his bed reading a dog-eared manga, looked up as Heero suddenly snapped his laptop closed, stood abruptly, and walked stiffly to the other side of the room. Duo sighed, knowing all too well what that meant.

"Mission?" he asked glumly, sitting up and swinging his legs over the side of the bed.

"Hn," Heero responded, dragging his duffle bag out from under his bed and rummaging through it before pulling out a sleek-looking Magnum that he quickly checked for ammunition. Duo cursed silently. Of course a mission would have to come along now, of all times. He'd been hoping to get a little "quality time" in with his taciturn companion that evening. Maybe chisel away some of that cold-eyed mask of his, and see more of what lay underneath.

It had only been within the past week or so that Duo had made the astonishing but delightful discovery that a little flirting, of all things, could get under the Perfect Soldier's skin; that it could even get the stoic young man -- dare he even think it? -- flustered. There was no other way to put it. A little casual touch here, a little not-so-subtle innuendo there... and Heero was squirming. Threatening to kill him, too - - there was that little drawback, of course. But Duo was used to the usual constant threat of his own imminent demise. He could deal with it. Especially if it meant watching some real, not- altogether-hostile emotion flicker across that stony expression every once in a rare while.

Duo only hoped it all meant what he thought it meant. Of course, Duo had been nearly falling-down drunk the first time he'd dared attempt something so bold as coming on to Mr. Omae-o-Korosu. Were he in complete control of his faculties, he would have never, in a million years, stuck his tongue in Heero's ear like that. He was crazy, after all, not suicidal.

Well... not very.

Lucky for him, though, Heero hadn't shoved him away, punched him in the face, or even put a bullet between his eyes for his drunken, amorous advances. Instead, Heero had merely jerked in surprise, his hands freezing in mid-motion over the keys of his laptop.

"Duo?" he had said calmly.

"Nn-hnnn?" Heero's ear. Yummy. Nibble nibble.

"What..." And Heero's voice was suddenly hoarse. He cleared his throat and tried again. "What in the hell do you think you're doing?"

"Nnn. Sucking on your... nnnn... earlobe, man. Can't... nnnnn... you tell?"

"... Why?"

"Because you're...." Duo's tongue flickered teasingly along the inner ridges, and Heero stifled a gasp. "... so damn cute."

"Idiot," Heero managed. "You're drunk."

"That I am."

"... You... wouldn't do this if you were sober, would you."

Duo had blinked stupidly. That was an odd question... though, the way Heero had said it, it was more of a statement. His brow furrowed as he thought about it intently.

"Hell no," he decided, right before attacking the outer edge of Heero's perfect ear with little love nips. His braid, which was already drooping precariously over his shoulder as he leaned over, chose that moment to slither forward into Heero's lap. Was it his imagination, or did Heero just moan slightly? "You'd... nnn... blow my head off."

Heero hadn't responded to that. The Perfect Soldier just sat in unmoving silence for a long moment (though, in his drunken bliss, Duo couldn't tell if the long moment was a few seconds or an hour as he continued his pleasurable assault on Heero's ear). The moment was broken when Heero abruptly got to his feet, the movement throwing Duo off balance so that he fell back and sat down hard on his rump on the wooden floor.

Duo had laughed then, a sound suspiciously close to a giggle, as he looked up at Heero with bleary eyes. Man, he was drunk. His vision wavered as he tried to count how many Heeros were standing before him. At least three. He lifted one hand towards the Heero in triplicate. "Ne, Heero, will one of you help me up?"

The Heeros had glared at him. "Baka," they snapped, before turning and stomping off into the bathroom. A few moments later, Duo could hear the hiss of the shower running, and he blinked. Weird. He could have sworn Heero had already taken a shower earlier that evening.

Duo shrugged, then curled up on the floor and immediately fell asleep.

The next morning, when he woke up with a killer hangover and replayed the events of the previous evening over in his mind, he groaned into his hands, knowing that the next time he saw Heero, he was as good as dead. That is, until he realized that he was no longer sleeping on the hardwood floor, but rather, tucked neatly into his own bed.

He grinned, feeling no small amount of amazement. A quick inspection under the covers revealed that he was still in his clothes from the previous evening. Damn. Oh well, did he really expect Heero to put him into his pyjamas? He should be counting his blessings. If Heero had gone through the trouble of putting him to bed, that might mean that there was a pretty good chance that he wasn't going to kill him. This time, at least.

But Duo Maxwell was called Shinigami for a reason. He just couldn't resist flirting with death... in more ways than one. Duo had never mentioned that evening again, and neither had Heero. But now, several days later, Duo was intrigued, hope and suspicion warring within him over what might be going on inside the other boy's head. So he had begun his little flirting test, trying to see just how far he could push Heero before the boy finally snapped and either blew his brains out, or... blew him in an entirely different manner altogether. Of course, Duo thought, squirming a bit where he sat, the latter was preferable...

And tonight, he had been planning a full-scale after-dinner flirting assault against his unsuspecting comrade-in-arms. But with Heero's new orders, that pretty much threw his scheme out the window. Still, maybe it wouldn't be a total loss...

"So what's this new mission?" Duo asked, all innocence, wide eyes and cheeky grin as he watched Heero methodically slide bullets into the Magnum clip. "Where are you going? Can I come?"

"No, you can't," Heero replied without looking at him. "It's reconnaissance. You'd just be in my way."

Duo clutched his chest as if mortally wounded. "In your way?" he exclaimed, rolling his eyes dramatically. "Man, how can you say that? You know reconnaissance is my specialty! In and out, in and out..." Duo illustrated with an emphatic, pumping sweep of his hand, and stifled a chuckle. Heero still wasn't looking at him, but the tips of his ears were turning pink. Damn, this was fun. "I could get us in and out of there so fast and silent, they would never even know what hit them." And neither would you.

Duo wondered if he'd said that last part out loud, because Heero shot him a death glare that almost killed him on the spot. He swallowed hard, and grinned. "So... whaddya say?" he continued bravely. "You can't deny, we make a great team."

"No."

"Aw, come on."

"No."

"Why not?"

Heero sighed with barely-suppressed aggravation. "Because it's a one-man job. I'm just going to check on some reports that an auto manufacturer is actually a cover for a Mobile Suit factory."

"Oh." Duo squelched his disappointment. Heero was right, that was a one-man job, and a boring one at that, even though it was necessary. They couldn't exactly blow up the place if it was actually nothing more than the local industry. Still... "And if it is a Mobile Suit factory?"

The barest hint of a smile quirked at the edges of Heero's lips, and the briefest gleam of battle lust glinted in his cold blue eyes. "Then tomorrow night... you and I will take it out."

Duo grinned and jumped to his feet. "All right!" he cheered. "Here's hoping!" Nothing like making things go boom to get the ol' libido flowing, after all...

"Hn," Heero responded, sliding the cartridge into the Magnum with a solid click.

~~

Heero Yuy slipped stealthily through the midnight shadows of the forested hillside that overlooked the sprawling grounds of the King Motor Company Western Division, and did not think about Duo Maxwell.

Ever the Perfect Soldier, he crept to the edge of the rocky overhang, almost at a belly-crawl, reached back to retrieve a small, sleek pair of night vision goggles from the partially open satchel that was slung over his shoulder, and did NOT think about Duo Maxwell. He peered through the goggles, his brows furrowing intently in concentration, his eyes adjusting quickly from the near-absolute darkness of the moonless night to the shimmering, two-toned world of neon green and black. Through the goggles, he could now clearly make out every sharp-edged detail of the three large buildings that made up the auto manufacturing plant, and the tall cement-and-steel fence, topped with a generous amount of barbed wire, that surrounded the grounds. And he absolutely did not think about Duo Maxwell.

No. He definitely did not think of Duo. Duo's... tongue... in his ear. Duo's tongue, sensuously tracing along each inner ridge with infinitely soft moistness... and the feel of the braided pilot's warm breath against his skin, so close, it seemed to seep right through him and into his brain, filling it with an unfamiliar, pleasant fog, even as his body throbbed with little ripples of pleasure...

Heero blinked at the sudden tightening sensation rising in his groin. A fierce scowl settled across his features, and he took a measured, deep breath to reign in his quickening pulse. He shook his head once, sharply, supremely annoyed with himself. No. He was NOT going to think about that... that... whatever the hell it had been, dammit! Especially not now.

Maybe later...

But not now! He had to focus on the mission. King Motor Company. Possible Mobile Suit factory. Right.

Forcefully banishing the... unsettling memories of Duo from his mind, Heero shifted his position, inching up a little further on the outcrop, ignoring how the stony ground beneath him dug into the bare flesh of his arms and lower legs. Leaning forward, peering through the goggles, he counted the security guards. Two at the front gate. From this angle, he could also see four to each building, and there were probably more out of sight. A surprising amount of security for a mere auto manufacturer. On top of that, the guards didn't carry themselves properly. No ordinary, run-of-the-mill security guards, these, Heero noted, unless King Motor Company either had a killer security training program, or had taken to hiring ex-soldiers.

Still, well-trained, over-cautious security guards did not an undercover Mobile Suit operation make. He was going to have to get closer, infiltrate the facility. Find out where the Mobile Suits were hidden, if any existed at all.

If Duo were with him, he knew the clever Deathscythe pilot would already be planning the sneak attack, with great, overly-vocal enthusiasm. Heero mused silently that it was a good thing he had chosen to leave the exuberant boy behind. While Duo was most definitely an asset in covert operations such as this mission, Heero knew he was perfectly capable of handling it himself. Besides, he didn't want to have to worry about watching Duo's back, keeping him out of trouble...

(Though, deep inside, in a part of his soul that had yet to see the light of day, he knew Duo could take care of himself, and that there was a new, different reason for his concern; for wanting to keep the other pilot out of harm's way...)

Yes, it was good that he had left Duo behind. Besides, he needed to be absolutely focused. There was no room for error in this, or any mission, and Duo's presence would have been a... distraction...

Heero could almost picture him now, laying next to him on his stomach, propped up on his elbows as he looked out over the factory, his violet eyes glittering in the darkness as he grinned that utterly disarming, maniacal grin... The long, impractical chestnut braid trailing down his lean, sinuous back...

Heero blinked again.

Sinuous?

Utterly disarming...?

With a sound that was almost a groan, the Perfect Soldier rubbed one hand over his face. "Duo," he muttered. "What the hell have you done to me?"

~~

"Ahhh-CHOO!"

"Gesundheit," said Wufei, without looking up from his book.

Duo sniffed as he flopped on an overstuffed chair on the other side of the small living room. "Gah," he gasped, wrinkling his nose. "Looks like someone's talking about me. Either that, or I'm coming down with a cold. Damn, I hope not."

"More likely, it's just all the dust in this old place."

Wufei flipped a page and kept his eyes fixed on the kanji, determined not to be drawn into yet another conversation with the American pilot. He really did want to finish his book.

"Huh, you can say that again," Duo said with a grin. For emphasis, he picked up a threadbare throw-pillow that was gray with age, and whacked it against the sagging bookshelf behind him, sending up a large poof of dust. "Wow, would you look at all that?" he exclaimed, watching the cloud of motes drift in the lamplight. "Man, this place probably hasn't seen a feather duster in a couple of decades or so."

Wufei stifled a sigh, then glared at him over the top of his book. "Kindly do not stir up the dust further, Maxwell."

"Whoops, sorry." In spite of his words, Duo's mischievous smile was not in the least bit apologetic. "Well, hey," he said, shrugging, "I guess I shouldn't complain. Sure, it would take Quatre's entire cleaning staff a week to clean this place, but at least the water heaters in this safe house aren't broken, unlike the last place we crashed."

Duo took a breath to elaborate further, but, to Wufei's immense relief, he was spared more of Duo's effervescent verbosity as Quatre entered the room, wiping his floury hands on his baker's apron. "Dinner's ready," the blond Arabian announced.

Duo immediately leapt to his feet. "All right! I'm starved."

As Wufei marked his place in the book, he breathed a small sigh of relief. If there was one thing guaranteed to keep Duo quiet for at least a short while, it was food.

"Smells good, Quatre," said Trowa, who had just come down the stairs.

Quatre beamed at his lover, who returned the smile almost shyly from beneath his long, tapering bangs. Duo looked back and forth between the two, a little too obviously, then chuckled knowingly.

Quatre blushed under Duo's scrutiny, and sighed. The Deathscythe pilot might be silent as death on the battlefield, but under other circumstances -- especially in person -- he was about as subtle as a ton of bricks.

Why, just the last week alone, Quatre had been surprised to see that Duo had finally progressed beyond his pining-from-a- distance stage of longing for Heero, and was now out-right, actively pursuing the boy. Duo was so amazingly un-subtle about it, it seemed that everyone had noticed what was going on. Everyone except Heero, of course. So maybe it was a good thing Duo came on like a ton of bricks, he realized. Anything less might not get through to the stone-faced Wing Pilot.

In the meantime, Duo was continuing to leer at him and Trowa, so Quatre glanced around quickly for a distraction. He immediately found the perfect thing -- their quintet was minus one member. "Where's Heero?" he asked innocently.

"Oh, uh..." Duo stopped smirking, and put his hand behind his head in embarrassment. "I forgot to tell you. He left on a mission earlier. It shouldn't take too long, though, so we should try to leave him some leftovers, neh?"

"So speaks the human vacuum," said Wufei with a snort.

Duo managed to look mildly offended. "Oi! I've got a high metabolism."

Wufei eyed Duo's lean form with a single raised brow. "Obviously. All that food you consume has to go somewhere. Yuy will be lucky if there's a single biscuit left when he gets back."

"Oi!"

"So what was the mission?" Quatre asked, anxious to interrupt Duo and Wufei's verbal sparring before it got out of hand.

Duo shrugged. "Nothing major, he just went to check out some car factory to make sure it's not really an undercover Mobile Suit operation. If it is, we'll be taking it out tomorrow night."

"Which car factory is that?" Trowa asked, leaning against the doorframe.

"I think he said it was the King Motor Company. They're some luxury car manufacturer," Duo replied, and blinked as he saw Trowa's surprised expression. "Why?"

"King Motor Company," Trowa said thoughtfully. "Aren't they the ones who make those... interesting pink limousines that Miss Peacecraft owns?"

Duo's jaw sagged. A moment later, his lopsided grin was back in place, and he was trying hard not to laugh. "Holy cow, Trowa, I think you're right. Damn!" he exclaimed, his tone a strange mixture of delight and frustration. "I knew I should have gone with him! What I wouldn't give to see the look on Heero's face when he gets an eyeful of a whole fleet of Relena's cars! Man, I can't believe I'm missing out on that."

"Don't be so sure," Trowa said mildly. "It's highly unlikely that the company only makes... pink limos. And even less likely that they keep a fleet of them at the factory."

"Oh." That dampened Duo's enthusiasm somewhat. "You're probably right about that. Oh well, I guess I'll find out when he gets back. In the meantime..." Duo walked through the kitchen door between Quatre and Trowa, snagging each of them with his arms and dragging them through. "I'm starving. Let's eat already!"

Wufei followed close behind shaking his head, a small, amused smile tugging at the corner of his mouth.

~~

Heero crept silently across the rooftop of the main factory building, glad to be beyond the reach of the flock of security guards swarming the grounds below. It had been trickier than he thought it would be, sneaking past them without detection. Were it a different type of mission, he could have gotten away with creating a disturbance with a well-placed explosive or two, and he also wouldn't have had to think twice about killing any soldiers who got in his way.

Then again, if it were that type of mission, he might have brought Duo along after all. And since just the thought of Duo was making him feel confused, muddle-headed and tight-chested again, it was just as well that it was merely a one-man reconnaissance job.

Besides, the security guards might be civilians, not soldiers. And the factory might not be a Mobile Suit factory. And even if it was -- especially if it was -- he couldn't afford to give away his presence, and thus put them on the alert for tomorrow's attack.

And he was suspecting, more and more, that there would be an attack. Duo would be happy about that, if his instincts were correct. The factory grounds had been so well guarded, he had to abandon any plan to enter the buildings through the ground level doors. Which was why he was currently on the roof, and creeping toward the skylight with a glass cutter in his palm.

As Heero reached the skylight and looked down into the surprisingly well-lit factory, he froze.

Stretched out beneath him was a virtual sea of all-too- familiar cotton-candy pink automobiles.

The corner of Heero's left eye twitched slightly.

The sight of so much... pink... drove all thought out of Heero's stunned mind. Except for one particularly intense thought.

Mobile Suit factory or not, this place definitely had to go.

"Freeze, punk."

Heero, already frozen by the mind-numbing sight of a fleet of Relena's cotton-candy-pink limos, obediently continued not to move. But not because the man behind him said so, or even because the man was holding a gun, its cold barrel suddenly pressing mercilessly into the back of his skull.

He froze because he couldn't comprehend how he could have let years of training and conditioning slip away, and allow himself to become distracted enough that someone could sneak up on him unawares.

It might have been just the limos, he mused grimly. Pink.

Ugh. It should be illegal for cars to be that color. Or anything else, for that matter.

But more than the sight of pink limousines, he greatly suspected his unforgivable lapse in caution and awareness was the direct result of... Duo Maxwell.

Even now, with a gun pointed at the back of his head, he couldn't seem to purge the recollection of the American's drunken advances from his brain. In fact, the memories seemed to clarify and sharpen in his mind. The teasing, flickering tongue in his ear; the feel of the silken mass of the boy's braid laying heavily in his lap...

For days, the memory had lurked constantly within his thoughts, filling him with a strange ache he couldn't even begin to define. But now, with death just a twitch of a finger away, his mind racing even as time seemed to shudder to a stop, he could almost name the emotion the experience had evoked in him, without denial.

Desire.

He had wanted, so badly, to reach down and untwist that long, thick hair, plunge his fingers into the soft strands... He had wanted to turn his face just so, and capture that hot, moist, wandering tongue with his mouth...

He couldn't, of course. Because... because he was the Perfect Soldier, and Perfect Soldiers don't indulge their whimsical, licentious fantasies about their fellow pilots, and take advantage of them when they are drunk out of their mind. But, the thought suddenly occurred to him, Perfect Soldiers also couldn't be taken by surprise by a single gun-toting guard on the roof of an automobile manufacturing company that might be a cover for a Mobile Suit operation...

So maybe he wasn't the perfect soldier. Maybe Dr. J's training was incomplete. The good doctor certainly had never taught him how to deal with the possibility of suddenly wanting to play tongue tag with a certain violet-eyed terrorist...

"Put your hands up where I can see them," the man behind him grated. The barrel of the gun dug painfully into Heero's scalp. "No funny business, or your brains are going to be decorating the skylight."

Yes, thought Heero, as he slowly lifted his hands into the air, keeping his glass cutter carefully hidden in the crease of his palm. This man behind him was no average security guard. His trigger-happy attitude practically screamed "OZ soldier." Heero realized, rather calmly, that unless he thought of something fast, he was probably going to die in the next few moments. He only hoped the man would let him at least turn around, because he didn't want a bunch of Relena's pink cars to be the last thing he saw. Aside from that, all he could seem to think about was that he would never get the chance to tell Duo how he felt about him.

But maybe that was a good thing. He could see it now. Walking straight up to the Deathscythe pilot and saying, "Duo... You confuse the hell out of me." And then maybe punching him in the jaw. Or kissing him senseless.

Yeah, he could see it going either way...

Also, he didn't even know how Duo really felt about him. Duo had been drunk, after all, and people say and do things they don't mean when they are drunk. Hell, Duo had even come right out and admitted he would never have come on to him if he were sober...

Duo had been so drunk, he probably didn't even remember the incident at all. Or maybe he did remember, but was too embarrassed over his actions to mention it. Heero had hoped (rather guiltily) that it was the former, because if Duo remembered and was embarrassed, the chance that there might be a repeat performance was practically nil. But Duo had been steering clear of the alcohol the past few days...

What was even worse, Heero realized, was that ever since the incident, he had been finding subtle... innuendo... in almost everything Duo said and did. And Duo, who was only being his usual talkative, energetic self, probably had no idea that under Heero's cold-eyed mask, a spark had been lit...and that spark was slowly smouldering, building in strength and igniting fires where no warmth had existed before, thawing his frozen heart like the mid-summer sun on a glacier. No, Duo probably had no clue that he was driving his fellow pilot practically insane with desire with nearly every word, every gesture, every smile...

Heero Yuy, who had never before experienced anything like the trembling, desperate, visceral need that the braided American pilot evoked in him, couldn't even begin to comprehend what to do about it.

And he wouldn't get the chance to figure it out -- especially if he got himself killed in the next few seconds. Which was almost certain to happen if he didn't get his act together and gather his scattered wits so that he could think of a way out of this mess...

"Drop the bag," the man said in a tone that clearly communicated he meant business.

Reluctantly, Heero lowered one arm and let his small duffle bag slip from his shoulder. He wasn't too worried about losing the contents, since the bag didn't contain anything that couldn't be easily replaced. But his .357 Magnum was in there (another unforgivable mistake), and the chances he could get to it before the soldier decorated the roof with his gray matter were practically nil.

"Turn around," the man grated. "Slowly. One false move, and you're dead."

Heero turned around - - glad, at least, to have the pink limos out of his direct line of sight. He found himself staring, instead, down the barrel of a gun held by a huge, burly, lantern- jawed man, who was wearing a security guard uniform that looked a few sizes too small for him. Looking up at the towering, overly- muscled man, Heero briefly wondered if they even made uniforms his size.

The big man blinked at Heero in surprise, and took a step back. "What the-- you're just a kid! What the hell are you doing up here?!"

Out of all the reactions Heero expected, that was not one of them. Why did it matter if he was a kid, if he was caught in the act of spying on an OZ facility?

But the man's sudden uncertainty was clear. He lowered the gun slightly, even as a scowl furrowed his brow. "Answer me, boy. What are you doing on the roof of Vice-Minister Peacecraft's car factory? This better not be some kind of prank, or you're in deep shit. Hell, you're in deep shit anyway, so explain yourself."

Heero blinked. A prank? This guy thought he was here to play a prank?

Not exactly the reaction of an OZ soldier, protecting a secret mobile suit factory. Had his instincts been wrong? Was this place truly nothing more than Relena's pink limo manufacturer?

It couldn't be. Not with all this overblown security. It had to be an OZ outfit. Maybe the soldier was just really dumb. And in this deadly situation, he was suddenly reminded of a movie that Duo had made him watch a month or two back. It was some ancient, pre-colony film that Duo loved, called "Die Hard." "When the guy is sitting in the bathroom pulling glass out of his feet," Duo had said afterwards, "and he's talking over the radio to the cop about his wife and kids, thinking he's gonna die soon... man, that just kills me."

Heero thought the movie was okay. He had mostly enjoyed watching Duo, and his animated reactions to the movie, discreetly out of the corner of his eye. But there was a particular scene that he remembered -- where the hero caught the terrorist flatfooted. Hans Gruber, faced with a gun to the head, had gone in an instant from cold and collected, to terrified and tearful; slipping from his clipped German accent to the vocal patterns of a slightly drunk American, and acting as though he was merely a hostage who had escaped the main group...

The corner of Heero's left eye twitched. It would be difficult -- he'd never done anything like it before. He had absolutely no experience with this kind of thing. But it was so stupid, it just might work.

If he could pull it off, that is...

Staring at the guard, he forced his eyes to go wide and scared. At least, he hoped that was what he was doing. He was a Gundam pilot, not an actor. Still, this was a mission he had accepted, and he had to follow through, no matter how... demeaning it might be.

"D-don't shoot," he stuttered. "I... I was just looking."

Hm... he didn't sound nearly panicked and fearful enough. He tried to put more emotion in his voice. "I wasn't going to do anything, I swear!" Yeah, that was better, he thought, even as he winced inwardly.

The guard lowered the gun further. "Just wanted a peek at Miss Peacecraft's pink limos, eh?" He wrinkled his face in disgust. "What are you, some kind of stalker freak?"

[cont]