By LoneWolf (kodoku na okami)
COMMENTS: Duo is horny for Heero. That shouldn't surprise you. Duo is telling this story. That should scare you, or tickle your hentai fancy as the case may be. And the title is capital "H" period, lowercase "L" period, lowercase "hattai". There is a reason for this which will become apparent later.
WARNINGS: AU-ish/AT-ish, yaoiness, citrusy (not sure if it breaks the lemon barrier)

H. l. hattai

I'd always known there was something weird about Heero Yuy. I just never knew how weird until I found out. OK, so that wasn't very profound. What I mean is, he was always so cold and stand-offish. At first I though it was some kind of superiority complex or something.

Don't get me wrong. He's good at what he does -- damn good. "The Perfect Soldier" is almost perfectly correct.

And I am madly, passionately, to-Hell-with-the-rest-of-the-world in aishiteru and lust with him. Yes. Both at once. Isn't it better that way? I aishiteru him and would do anything to make him happy, and I lust him and would do anything to make him happy -- two different kinds of happy, of course. Heh.

And I know I'm using "aishiteru" strangely, but English sucks when it comes to expressing how two people are bound to each other, so I'll borrow one of my favorite Japanese words because it is perfect. I mean, in English, all I can really say is, "I love Heero Yuy." I love chocolate too -- especially on Heero -- but that doesn't mean I'd want to spend the rest of my life with a bottle of chocolate syrup... Well, as usual, I'm off track. Can't keep my mouth under control, can't keep my pencil under control either. Ramble, ramble, ramble, that's me.

Uh, anyway. I was talking about Heero. I guess the first time I got suspicious was when he got those mission orders.

+

He was sitting, staring at the computer. "No, Duo." Heero has about a dozen ways of saying "no" ranging from faking-because-he-knows-he-should-say-no-but-really-means-yes to absolutely-no-way-in-Hell-forget-it-if-you-ask-again-omae-o-korosu. This was about midway on the scale -- not really serious. I still had a chance of getting him to say, "Yes".

"Aw, Heero. I want to go camping and it's so boring alone." Yes, I was whining. It was for a good cause. Camping alone is boring, but that wasn't the real reason I wanted Heero to go camping with me. At the time, I was standing behind him, in that gentle updraft that comes off any warm body, smelling him and horny as Hell. Smelling Heero always does that to me. It's part of the reason we have a very active sex life.

"Go with Trowa or Quatre." Now is that the dumbest thing he could say? I mean, everyone knows about Trowa and Quatre. They would have come, but who wants to be the third wheel with those two love birding over each other. Especially when I'd rather be love birding -- and a Hell of a lot more -- with Heero.

"Nah. They're always, uh, busy." Who says I can't be discreet? "And Wufei is no fun." Tell me I lie. Wufei isn't a bad guy in real life, and Wufei on a camping trip alone is one thing. I think. I guess that's like the proverbial tree falling in the forest. Anyway, Wufei on a camping trip with other people is not a happy sight. And Wufei on a camping trip alone with me is about two steps short of Hell for both of us.

"I am not fun." The way he said that was so funny. It was that cool, flat, emotionless voice, but I could see his face reflected in the monitor. He was frowning. You know the frown. His eyebrows go together and his forehead wrinkles up and he looks so serious. I knew better than to laugh then. He's a little more lenient now.

"Yes you are." I was grinning, and not just at his face. Oh, we weren't like Trowa and Quatre -- yet -- but I hoped we would be by the end of the camping trip. Only had one tent, y'know, and I had a feeling that if I could get him going, Heero Yuy would be a wild animal in the sleeping bag. Heh. I prefer to sleep naked. I figured that would do it. Not that I have the world's most fabulous body -- that title belongs to Heero -- but I was sure mine was good enough to get his attention. Oh, did I mention? It was late summer. Way too hot to sleep *in* the sleeping bags. And if I just happened to roll over against him in my sleep and start calling him and sliding my hand down his Spandex pants... Yes. I had it all planned. By the end of this trip we were going to be screwing each other like a pair of jackrabbits on Viagra.

"I have a mission." Red alert! Big, screaming, flashing alarms went off in my head. My plan began to break up before my eyes. I had been ready for just about anything but a mission. I have known devout Jesuit priests who were less devoted to their mission than Heero Yuy is to his. It was a good sign. I knew that if I could get him to fix that same devotion on me, I'd be set. It was also frustrating, though, because, at the time, he hadn't set that devotion on me and I wanted it from him -- badly.

I grasped at the pieces of my plan, trying to save it. "What? I just--"

About that time, the computer dinged. Heero opened the email, scanned it and deleted it. I was still flabbergasted by his "I have a mission" and didn't think to read over his shoulder until I heard him say, "Ninmu ryoukai." By then it was too late.

But I don't give up that easily. "Can I help?" Good old me. Always trying to help Heero on his missions. Actually, I just hated sitting around waiting for him -- hoping he'd make it back alive and in one piece. And maybe this particular mission would involve an overnighter and I'd have a chance to get my hand in his pants after all.

"Iie." Remember how he said "No, Duo" before and I said he wasn't really serious. OK, this was serious. Whenever he said, "iie" with that hint of cold in his voice and that touch of finality, I knew I had about a snowball's chance in Hell of convincing him otherwise. Less, actually. At least a snowball in Hell might melt and put out some of the fire for a second. My plan exploded into a million burning bits like a spaceship in one of those old sci-fi movies.

Once. Exactly once in all these years, I have broken that, "Iie". It was a good thing too. I'll get to that eventually.

+

So you're sitting there scratching your head saying, "Duo no baka, why would that make you suspicious? He never wants you to go on a mission with him." Well, you're right. Except remember what I was saying before the computer dinged? I was saying, "I just checked ten minutes ago." And remember how the ding came *after* he told me he had a mission. OK. I knew there was nothing there when he said it, which meant he knew that mission was coming before it got there. Too weird, huh? Enough to make me suspicious. Especially when you add the two other times it had happened in the last ten months.

Now you're surprised that I put all that together. Well, let me explain something to you. I may act like a fool, but I'm not. I want people to underestimate me. It gives me the advantage when they think I'm dumb. And I'm good at playing the game. It's fun, in a way, to watch people make that mistake. And everyone does.

Except Heero. I think he underestimated me for about five minutes, then saw right through the act and kept a wary eye on me ever there after. Oh, sure, he used to "Duo no baka" me more than anyone -- still does -- but I think it's just his way of letting me know he knows and isn't going to blow my cover. I've come to love it when he says it. I think of it as one of his ways of saying "aishiteru" so I'll hear it, but no one else will.

Anyway, back to my story.

I was suspicious. I shrugged and said, "Fine," in my best angry voice, and stomped out of the room. That's what Heero would have expected. I always go for a walk -- OK, a stomp -- when I'm angry. It helps me clear my head and vent my frustration on nothing more than the ground and my feet. The ground doesn't complain, and my feet are used to it. But that time, I was only a little angry. Mostly I was intrigued. Oh, yeah. Now you're scared, aren't you? Duo Maxwell was intrigued. World, watch out! So I walked around, thinking and plotting and finally decided what I'd do. I was surprised it took me so long to figure it out. It was so incredibly obvious.

I'd follow him.

Quit laughing. I've followed him lots of times. A few of them he didn't know I was there until too late. Just wait. One of those times is part of this story.

So I went back to the room. Heero was just putting a spare pair of those delicious Spandex shorts in his pack, bent over slightly -- just enough to make his butt stick out. Oh, man, what a beautiful ass he has, especially when it's wrapped in Spandex and leaves just a tiny bit to the imagination.

Everyone thinks naked bodies are so erotic. They are. Believe me, I've seen plenty of them and they have their plusses. But that teasing almost-but-not-quite naked of Spandex or underwear or an artfully draped bit of cloth or a branch or, Hell, even an electric bill held just right. For me, that is a real turn on. It makes me sit there and think, I mean really think about what is hidden. When Heero is there naked right in front of me it's like "OH!" and I stare at him for a minute or two, then the nudity begins to lose its appeal because there is no mystery -- or, more likely, one of us jumps the other and we fuck like bunnies, in which case seeing becomes secondary. But when I'm imagining, even though I know exactly what he looks like, and especially if he's giving me teasing glimpses whether he knows it or not, I can stare and think for hours.

He turned as I closed the door, ruining my view. Oh well, his chest is almost as nice -- the tank top revealing just the lines to set my mind, and other things, on fire again -- and neither chest nor ass can hold a candle to his face. The eyes do it to me every time.

Yeah, so I spent too much time reading Romantic poets and obsessing about the whole "eyes are the windows to the soul" thing. Well, what I saw through these windows was beautiful and frightening. Frightening because they were his mission eyes -- cold, hard, deadly blue like the sky at 30,000 feet without an oxygen mask. Beautiful because I had seen them different once or twice and knew that somewhere under all that freezing ice was a warm, caring person who I desperately wanted to want me.

You see, that was the thing with me. I wanted -- still want -- him to want me.

When we first met, I was an uncertain kid and Heero -- for all he was as young as me and more confused about a lot of things -- he had his act together when it came to what we were there for. He always seemed to know what he was doing, why and how. Yeah, I idolized him for all that I tormented him relentlessly. I wanted to be as good as he was. I wanted him to pat me on the back after a mission. I wanted him to tell me I'd done a good job. Well, OK, I would've settled for just the "good job" part.

A month later, I figured out that I had been hot for Heero since I met him -- still am. He is beautiful, so anyone should be able to understand that. Why did it take me so long? I mean, I was walking around with a club in my boxers most of that month. Well, what can I say? Sometimes I am a fool.

Please don't think this was some teenage gay phase, and please don't bring up genetics or an overbearing mother. I don't buy that shit. I've tried it both ways with both sexes and have found I like being on both sides of the sexual equation. The best way to get that is with another guy who feels the same way. Not to say I don't appreciate a pretty girl, but for sex, guys win hands down. Clear enough?

Anyway, about six weeks after I realized I was in lust with him, I was stomping around campus wondering why in Hell I would want to sleep with someone who was such a complete bastard ... when I realized that was only part of it. What I really wanted was for him to want me enough to stick around after the war. I stopped dead in my tracks. Want *me*, OK? Understand this, not just my ass, but me, Duo Maxwell, sex, kinks, braid, good looks, loud mouth, insanity and all. I knew the only reason I could want that was if I loved him. That was too dangerous. No one survived Shinigami's love. It was too late. I aishiterued him and I couldn't change that. I'm a lot like Heero and his missions when it comes to aishiteru. That's the way it's supposed to be, right? I winged off a quick prayer to God, Mary and all the angels begging them to keep him alive and told myself that if anyone could survive me it would be Heero Yuy. He is one tough bastard, after all.

I was thinking about all that when I felt him patting my face. "Duo?" I think he'd probably called my name a couple of times before that, but I was too lost to hear it.

He touched me, I thought. "Yes, Heero?" I could hear the dreamy tone in my voice and knew I was grinning like a schoolgirl after her first french kiss. But he'd touched me. And not to hit me either. His scent was cloying the air around me, filling me. I could feel the blood rushing from my brain to something that was definitely not what I wanted to be thinking with just then.

"Are you OK?"

"Yes Heero?" Yes, there was still a question mark on the end of it.

Whap!

"Itai!" It wasn't hard. Not really. Just enough to get my attention and make me think I'd been hit. "What the Hell did you slap me for?" Then I remembered how I'd been acting. He saw it in my eyes and graciously ignored the question.

"I'll be back in three days," he said in that flat I'm-on-a-mission-omae-o-korosu voice.

I nodded. He left. I fidgeted. I danced from foot to foot. I scratched my nose. My ear. My head. Played with my braid. Hummed a few bars of some silly song I couldn't remember the name of. When I checked my watch for the tenth time, I decided thirty seconds should be enough of a head start. I opened the door and strolled out into the hall, glancing around, casual, as if I might be considering a trip to the bathroom. Then I walked quickly toward the stairwell.

At the front door of the dorm, I caught sight of Heero maybe a hundred feet away. He was heading east. That was weird. The Gundams were hidden to the north of town. Well, I thought, maybe he's going over a few blocks to make sure no one follows him. I was proud of myself for thinking of that. I knew it was exactly how he would think. Of course, it never occurred to me that I might be one of the people he didn't want following him.

I stayed about a half-block behind him. After six blocks he stopped at a fruit stand. I turned to the newsstand beside me and flipped through a magazine, acting like I was deciding if I wanted it, but watching him the whole time. He bought a peach, then moved on up the street. I put down the magazine I'd been pretending to look at, noticing as I did that it was definitely not my type, and continued after him. At the next corner, he turned north.

I hurried a bit, closing the distance in case he turned again. I didn't want to lose him. I peered around the corner -- and found myself staring at an alley, empty except for the usual alley garbage. I ran down it, thinking there must be a way out at the end, but it was just a dead-end wall. I retraced my steps, looking for a doorway or stairwell or anything that could serve as concealment or an exit. I couldn't believe I had missed him. When I was a kid I survived by seeing all the hiding places the second I looked at an alley or street or in an abandoned building. It was too deeply ingrained in me. There was no way I could have not seen an escape. He'd vanished.

As I stood halfway up the alley, staring around, dumbfounded, something hit me on the shoulder. I looked around. No one. I looked in the debris at my feet and saw a freshly cleaned peach pit. I looked around again -- still nothing -- then heard a soft snort and looked up. Five stories above me, Heero stood on the roof of the building.

I didn't need to see his face up close to know he was glaring at me with an ice glare. And I was pretty sure it was the I'm-really-pissed-omae-o-korosu ice glare, not just the you're-annoying-me-omae-o-korosu ice glare. After a few seconds, he turned and walked out of sight, leaving me to stand there, staring up the blank wall, mouth open, wondering how in Hell he'd made it fifty feet up the side of a building in less time than it had taken me to walk that far on the sidewalk. I shivered. Too weird. There must be a secret way up or something. I decided it wasn't worth the effort to try to find it. If I'd missed it in my careful scan of the alley, I wasn't going to find it.

I bent and picked up the peach pit and put it in my pocket. A souvenir.

I'd just have to think of something else. I had three--

Uh, excuse me. Heero just got up and that always demands my attention. Heh. Wouldn't want to disappoint him.

+

I came back from class three days later and opened the door to find him asleep on his bed, facing the wall, in nothing but his briefs. I stood there, not closing the door because I knew it would wake him -- he's a very light sleeper -- and just drank in the vision of perfection I shared a room with. I think his back is almost as beautiful as his chest. Shit. His whole body is beautiful and I could stare at it for the rest of my life and still find something else beautiful about it every time I looked. OK?

Worry pushed the lust back a bit and I ran through my usual post-mission litany. No blood on the floor. No smell of antiseptic. No bandages. No sign of injuries. Resting peacefully. That was a beautiful sight that had nothing to do with his body. Hey, don't forget that I aishiteru him too.

Someone shouted in the hall. I think it was Osama. He was always shouting at someone in the hall. Yes, there is at least one guy in this world with a mouth bigger than mine. Ask Heero. He'll tell you it's true.

I knew Osama's shout would have broken through his sleep, so I closed the door and walked over to the desk to put my books down. I heard him get out of bed and then that particular musky scent that is distinctly Heero Yuy filled my nose. It's hard to describe it, really. It's a hint of something animal, something sexy, something sweet, something pungent. Now, I know what all those things are, and why they make me hard. Knowing doesn't make it any less sweet -- or arousing.

I turned to find him standing inches behind me, glaring, but not a true ice glare. "Nani?" I asked innocently, trying to suck as much of that smell into me as I could without being obvious, and trying not to think about what it was doing in my pants and hoping it didn't show. Oh, yeah, I wasn't just hard. I was hard and wet. Another good reason to always wear dark pants.

I knew he was going to say, "Duo, if you follow me again, I'll kill you."

"Duo, if you follow me again, I'll kill you."

And I was right. I told you I'm not as stupid as I act.

He didn't wait for an answer from me, just walked right past me, so close I could feel the heat from his body. That didn't help my pants a bit. I turned anyway and watched as he gathered his shower kit, stripped and wrapped the towel around him. I thought about joining him, but he'd know why I was doing it. I always get my showers late in the evening so I can brush out my hair without worrying about something annoying, like homework, or important, like dinner, interfering. Besides, I'd get another chance to see him naked when he came back -- and he wouldn't see that I was hard for him like he would in the shower. I watched him walk out, my eyes following the sway of his perky little butt under the towel, my brain imagining the parts the towel hid.

I've been told that some people mistake Heero for a girl at first glance. I'm not sure how unless they're only looking at his butt. I've never seen a girl with a back like his, or with shoulders as strong as his, or biceps that big, or with hips that narrow. But, maybe, if they were focussed entirely on that butt -- and I can understand how that could happen... Of course, it was more obvious that day. Sometimes, like that day, he walks with his heels a good inch off the ground and takes long, gliding steps with his knees slightly flexed. The heels thing makes his butt stick out a bit and the long steps makes the sway more pronounced. So, yeah, I guess I can see how someone could make that mistake.

I changed into shorts -- loose shorts given my condition -- and my "Fallen Angel" shirt and flopped on my bed. I would have, uh, relieved the tension in my pants, but Heero's showers were too quick for me to really enjoy it. Laying on my belly kept it out of sight and that was enough for now. Besides, Nakamura had brought me an old reprint of "Kozure Oukami" number twelve -- the only issue missing from my collection -- and I was dying to read it almost as much as I was dying to do Heero. Reading the manga seemed a lot safer at the moment.

I had just finished the tenth page and noticed my shorts were no longer uncomfortable when the door opened. I told you he took quick showers. I looked up, keeping the manga in front of me so it wouldn't be obvious that I was staring at him as he walked over to the mirror and began combing his hair. A minute later, as he shifted his weight from one leg to the other, the towel slipped half-off those narrow hips giving me a tantalizing view of two-thirds of his ass, which started undoing all my relaxing. A few seconds later, it dropped off. God, I love looking at his ass.

He didn't seem to care that I was staring -- or maybe he just didn't know. I think he did, though. He can always feel eyes on him, so he tells me. He turned around, giving me a front view, just as I'd hoped he would, then hid everything beneath those awful white briefs he insisted on wearing and slipped into clean black Spandex and green tank top. Heero has never been an original dresser. I've tried to change that and have, to some extent, succeeded, but I think he'll always be partial to Spandex and tank tops around the house. That's OK. It's just more of that not-quite-naked erotica I love, and I get to see it live every day. Damn, I'm one lucky son-of-a-bitch.

"Do you have the assignments for the past three days?" He asked.

He was standing next to my bed. I lay there, smelling him. God, he smells good. Of course, that was all it took to get me back to where I was when he left for the shower. "Uh..." There was no way I could get up to give it to him right then -- not without giving him an eyeful of my hard dick bouncing around inside my shorts too. "Yeah, in the front of my Pre-Calc book." I pointed to the pile of books on the desk, hoping it would be enough. I wondered if he used some kind of cologne. I had a hard time seeing the Perfect Soldier really caring what he smelled like, but whatever it was, it made me lust him more.

As I said, I'm a lucky son-of-a-bitch. Heero walked over to the desk and pulled out the assignment sheet I'd diligently recorded for him, then sat down to catch up on homework. It was going to be a long, boring weekend. Then again, I thought as I turned back to "Kozure Oukami" and pretended to read, I could spend it watching him do homework. Oh, sure, there are a lot of things I'd rather see him doing -- like smiling that secret little smile only I can see to tell me he aishiterus me, or smirking that little smirk to tell me he wants to make love. Or, at that particular moment, taking off his clothes and telling me he wanted to screw me non-stop until the sun rose. But Heero doing homework can be a beautiful sight too. It is to me, anyway. Of course, I'm head over heels for the guy. I might be a bit biased.

I saw his eyes cut toward me. He knew I was watching him and wanted me to know he knew. Oh well. I turned my focus back to the manga, resigning myself to quick glances as he worked. He was doing homework, and there was no need to provoke him. Instead, I thought about the alley and how in God's name he had gotten on that roof. It still bugged the Hell out of me. Enough that I'd gone back and tried to figure it out, just to be sure I wasn't losing my touch -- or my mind. But there was simply no way up that I could find. He'd either jumped, climbed, flown or teleported, all of which were patently impossible.

I also thought about how I was going to follow him next time.

Oh, you think his threat scared me? How many times have I heard "Duo, omae o korosu" from those luscious lips of his? Hell, he even says that sometimes when we're about to make love. I think it means the same as when he says, "Aishiteru," just a bit more sexual. ... Yeah, definitely more sexual. But, to steal a line from Shakespeare, I would gladly "die" in his lap.

Yes, that's right. Just because two people aishiteru each other doesn't mean they can't enjoy a good, hot, sweaty fuck every now and then. More often in our case since we lust each other too. Some of the times I best know he loves me are when he sneaks up behind me and grabs me for no apparent reason and rips our clothes off and then *asks* if I want to screw him long and hard or do I want him to screw me. I mean, as if he has to ask when I'm standing there naked and throbbing in front of him. But he does. I love his tender spontaneity. It lets me know I still drive him wild, and that he cares about what I want, both at the same time. By the way, in case you're wondering, my answer to his question is always, "Both."

Um. So where was I? Oh, yeah. I was trying to decide how to follow him next time. Which made me wonder how I'd been caught. Hey, if you don't know how you messed up, you can't try to avoid the mistake next time. It dawned on me to ask a stupid question. "So how did you make me?" The worst he could do was glare at me and not answer, but I didn't think that would happen.

He looked up, surprised, a bit angry that I'd interrupted his studies, but too proud not to answer, as I'd suspected. "The braid," he said. "There aren't many like it in Japan." He went back to his books.

You will never hear me say that I am not a complete baka sometimes. This was one of those times. It was incredibly obvious. I'd been standing at the newsstand, my face hidden by the magazine, but, duh, my hair had been clearly visible. And Heero was right. Not many people, much less guys, in Japan have yard-long braids hanging off their heads. Even fewer have soft, chestnut-brown hair. Sometimes vanity is appeased at a price.

I thought about pulling it out of the braid next time, maybe leaving a ponytail, but the color would still give me away and it would be a bitch to get untangled. I didn't even think about a bun. I had tried that exactly once and would cut it off before I did it again. Yeah, long hair has its penalties. I also wasn't about to dye it black. Can't you just see me with roots? Besides, black hair, black clothes, pale skin. I'd look like I was trying to be some kind of vampire or something. I would have to think of something else.

Then I heard him say, "I didn't think 'Triple E Tits' was your type of magazine."

Oh, shit. He'd seen me with it at the newsstand. If it had been "Playboy" I could have said it was for the articles. Then I really heard what he'd said. Damn! He suspected -- from the sound of it was pretty sure -- I didn't go for girls. I wanted to say, "Of course it is," but that would have been a lie. The only answer I could come up with that wasn't a lie was, "I didn't want you to see me." That's what I eventually used.

What? You think I was going to outright tell him that I was into guys -- specifically him? I didn't want to scare him off. Then he said something that made my heart stop for a moment.

"Hn. Not mine either."

I stared at him with my mouth hanging open, but his eyes were fixed on his homework. Damn! Had he just said he didn't go for girls? Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. Could I ask him? HELL no. He might, just not the ones with five pounds of silicone in their chests. Hmm. But if he liked them flat-chested, maybe I could... I cut off that line of thinking. It was better to try for a straightforward seduction with all the cards on the table. I wanted him to want me, not me pretending to be a girl. Besides, it would be a lie.

I had trouble keeping my attention on the manga or my plans to follow him. My mind was still running circles around his last words and what they might really mean.

Umm... Excuse me again. He's home from work, will be walking in the door any second, and I want to be there to kiss him and say hello and tell him how much I missed him today. I always do that when I get home first, and I mean every bit of it.

+

An hour later, as we were heading to dinner, I finally figured out a way to discover what Heero's secret missions were about. He kept mission logs on the computer. Maybe I could hack them.

Oh, I hear you screaming with laughter, and you're right. Heero is the computer whiz, not me, but, hey, it was worth a try. Now I'd just have to get a few hours alone with the computer. I would much rather have had a few hours alone with Heero -- and a pair of handcuffs, a bottle of fudge sauce and a couple of cans of whipped cream and a cherry complete with stem to hold it in place. I figured I'd need the handcuffs to keep him under control until I could show him he liked it and the rest because I wanted to eat a banana split made with Heero's. I thought he very well might kill me regardless of what I did, so I might was well do something I really wanted to do in case I didn't get another chance.

Dinner that night was the best. The school had a special chef in from one of the local restaurants making sushi for the students. Now, I'll admit, normally the thought of raw fish turns my stomach, but if it's done perfect, I can really go for sushi. I got the chef to give me a sliver of tuna to sample. I tasted it, ready to be sick, then closed my eyes and sighed. I was in sushi Heaven. After I returned to the real world, I told him it was the best I'd ever tasted and I wanted some of everything and was going to recommend him to any of my friends who were looking for a sushi caterer. He loaded my plate. Don't let anyone tell you that flattery -- and an offer of good word-of-mouth -- doesn't work, especially with chefs. No, I didn't have any friends who needed a sushi caterer. But if I had, I would have recommended him.

I think I surprised Heero that night. He was finished with his rice and steamed vegetables -- he was starting one of his little vegetarian kicks again -- long before I swallowed the last delicious bite. I can only think of two things in the world that I love more than perfect sushi. Sex -- with Heero, of course -- and Heero Yuy showing me how much he aishiterus me -- not necessarily in that order. The first always involves the second, be he can do the second from the far side of a crowded room with us both dressed in tuxedos and no one the wiser.

Sushi was the best thing I got that night. We went back to the room and worked on homework. And I waited impatiently for my chance.

+

My chance came a month later when he went off on another secret mission. This time I tailed him for twenty blocks before he stopped, looked right at me and shook his head. He slipped into a knot of people. I knew I'd lost him. At least he hadn't killed me. Maybe he'd treat it as a game -- a challenge to prove he could elude me. I thought that might interest him and it would make it more fun for me. I always love a good game of chase, especially when the quarry is Heero. My pursuit foiled, I went back to the room and sat down at the computer and started looking for Heero's mission logs.

Heero and I think very differently. I am a free spirit, thoughts running a thousand ways at once. Yeah, I know. You'd already guessed that. Heero has this hard, hierarchical way of thinking about stuff. Everything is neat and structured and fits into its little pigeon hole. I guess if you think that way, it makes sense to you.

So, you probably won't be surprised when I tell you I was overwhelmed by the two dozen subdirectories in his personal directory. I mean, I know what subdirectories are, but I only had three at the time -- homework, games and miscellaneous. I could find anything in less than two minutes with my little filing system. And the way he named them. God, please. I guess he spent too much time working with geeky computer systems because none of the names were more than five characters -- and I'm talking romaji, not kanji.

I figured, what the Hell, I had three days to find the mission logs before he got back. I looked in the first subdirectory on the list "aot". The next level contained directories named with strings of numbers -- 19501, 19502, blah blah blah. It took me a few minutes to figure out that they were years and months. I told you his mind is weird.

Well, Duo Maxwell is not someone to be defeated by something as simple as obscurity. Not when his mind is set on finding out something about the most important guy in his life. I printed the whole directory listing. Thirty pages. Man, did he have a lot of shit on the computer.

I started searching through them, trying to guess what the cryptic names meant. There was one, hwk, that I decided was homework because it had eng and chem and jap and other abbreviated class names underneath it. I marked it off. After about three hours, I was down to a half-dozen candidates, one of which I was pretty sure about. I started with it. Of course, the files were encrypted. Never let anyone tell you Heero Yuy is anything but utterly thorough in everything he does -- including aishiteru and lust.

So now you're thinking I was out of luck. Wrong. Heero made one tiny little mistake. Yes. I know that surprises you, but I never said he was perfect -- just close. About a year before, some 12-year-old whiz kid had used a "freeware" password cracker to break into an "unnamed investment firm" and steal over half a billion credits in fractional cents. I had been fascinated with the story because the kid stole so much money and I had thought for a while that I could duplicate his feat. I gave up on that after about a week -- I couldn't even find the program on the Net -- but I remembered its name. When I saw it in Heero's directories I did what I usually do and took a chance. I was, once again, a lucky son-of-a-bitch.

I paused my pursuit to get dinner and do homework and get a shower and... It was late before I finished. I played with the program a bit but I knew I wasn't going to get anywhere with it that night. I went to bed. A good night's sleep and a fresh approach in the morning might help.

I was wrong. It took most of the next day to figure out how to point the program to a file to crack -- no password cracker has ever been designed for a novice -- and about two hours for it to crack the password on the file I thought might be last month's mission logs. Fortunately, Heero wasn't using military-grade encryption. I read some of my favorite yaoi doujinshi to keep my mind off the wait -- and released some of that tension I mentioned before -- several times. Yeah. When you run around horny for weeks on end, you recover quickly.

I was debating which yaoi to pull next when the computer dinged. I ran over to it and, hot damn! It was last month's mission logs. My grin faded as I read it, though. For one thing, Heero's mission logs are some of the most absolutely boring reading material in the world. Where I would say, "I sliced through a Leo with the thermal scythe. It exploded with a satisfying kaboom. Then I turned and..." , Heero said, "14:28:43 -- Dispatched Leo with beam sabre," followed by a precise geometric description of where he'd hit it, right down to angles and distances from key features. Considering that he usually wiped out at least thirty on any given mission... Yeah. Not pretty. By the end of the log, the occasional, "<time> -- Dispatched Aires with vulcan cannon, blah blah blah," was almost exciting.

And that was the other problem. I reached the end of the log and there was no mention of the secret mission. I scanned through again and found the spot in that perfect chronological order where it should have been. There was nothing. No indication there had ever been anything. I set the cracker on four files at once -- the other two months with mysterious dings and two months when I remembered he'd gone on a mission he wouldn't talk about.

It was time for dinner again, and I was hungry. I'd worked through lunch. Yes, I was serious about this. After all the usual stuff, I went to bed with another doujinshi and thoughts of Heero to keep me company. The files should be done in the morning.

The next day I found those missions were missing too. It took me a few hours to go through them and figure out all the dates and match them up with my memory. By the time I was done, it was afternoon. I had time for one more file. I picked a month that gave me a run of five months and waited. At about the same time of the month, there was a blank spot. I couldn't remember if he'd gone on a mission then or not, but I was pretty sure he had.

I was tired. My head hurt from staring at the computer screen and thinking in weird ways for three days straight. I still haven't figured out how he can do that. Heero would be back within the hour. I grabbed the directory listing. I'd already scribbled down the passwords next to each file. For good measure, I added the dates of the missions in each file I'd read and the dates of the secret missions I thought were missing, then shut down the computer and stashed the printout in one of my doujinshi boxes under the bed.

I knew that was a safe place. He hated my doujinshi. Notice I use past tense there. Now, about once every month or two he brings home a yaoi lemon and leaves it on the bed for me to find. I know I positively bounce when I see them because Heero doesn't mess around with anything tamer than "obliterates virginity at thirty yards". Some of them show things even I have never heard of before -- yeah, really. They're always so much fun to read. Together, of course. You don't think I'd waste time reading them without him.

About fifteen mintues later, Heero came back. He looked beat. He glared at me briefly, then got his shower stuff together and left. Need I mention that his smell came in with him? I was glad I had relieved that tension earlier because now it came back with a vengeance.

Another ten minutes and he returned from his shower, combed, dressed, and said, "It's time for dinner."

So it was. We went to the--

Uh. Yeah. I'll finish this later. Heero's standing at the door, naked. Except for a bottle of fudge sauce and a can of whipped cream he's holding in front of his crotch. The tease. He knows how I love having just a little bit hidden.

+

[cont]