By: Lyssira
Disclaimer: Haven't you heard? I don't own them! Isn't that just shocking?
Warnings: Yaoi. Implied Citrus. Angst. Spoilers.
Pairings: 1x2/2x1

Night on Peacemillion

The tiny shuttle boarded Peacemillion, dwarfed by the massive size of the salvage vessel. In the first hold, the little ship was not alone, surrounded by many smaller aircraft and some mobile suits. It was in the second hold, however, that the rebel's true weapons lay, not only their firepower but their inspiration, their symbols. The Gundams.

Heero watched with unfeeling eyes as his suit joined the others, set up next to Deathscythe Hell. The black Gundam was an intimidating sight, even with Wing Zero so close by. There was something unnatural about it, making it different from the average machine. The glowing green eyes almost seemed alive and aware, watching him from the cool shell of a MS. And what it symbolized was clear enough. This suit was meant to be death.

"Heero! Wufei!" the familiar cheerful tenor belonging to Quatre echoed through the hold, chasing away Heero's contemplations of the black suit. He looked again. Just a Gundam, though they could never be called normal. Whatever he had seen was gone.

"Hm?" he and the Altron pilot chorused, neither accustomed to using words or greetings.

"So you made it without getting shot to pieces," another voice said, death's unlikely guardian with his sparkling violet eyes and yard-long braid.

Duo. It's been a while...He looks good. Better than when I last saw him. I suppose that's a relief, considering what kind of shape he was in then. Heero watched the other boy out of one eye, more focused on what Wufei and Quatre were saying. Trowa was also approaching, lagging behind the other two.

"Do you mind if I stay a while?" the Chinese pilot asked quietly, recalling his earlier incident with the Zero system.

Just because I'm supposed to work with them, that doesn't mean they'll accept me.

His expression serious, Quatre glanced up. " Stay as long as you like. I'm just glad to have you all visiting with us," he smiled, softly, welcoming them with and without words. He moved off to talk with Wufei, starting to tell him more about Peacemillion. Trowa bypassed them all, heading for Howard and Heavyarms. That suit...it was strangely familiar.

Heero leaned against the consol, not meeting the others' eyes. They still weren't a team, not yet. Gundam pilots were loners by nature. Even Quatre. Familiar black boots approached, giving him enough warning to turn away from the boisterous American.

"So you brought that troublesome suit with you? You'd have to be insane to pilot that thing," Duo's grin vanished as he regarded Zero. That thing's evil. And dangerous. There are limits man shouldn't push. And that's one of them!

"I'm not asking -you- to pilot it," Heero growled. He watched with a great deal of annoyance as the other boy's expression turned indignant.

Can't he just go away? I'd almost forgotten how irritating he is. "You piloted it!" Duo hissed, giving Heero a doubtful look, "In that case...."

Heero cut him off abruptly. Somewhere, he didn't want Duo to finish that sentence. " I can handle that suit. I have experience from piloting Epyon which has the same system on it," he reassured him, watching out of the corner of one Prussian blue eye as the braided pilot's face changed from shocked to horrified. Evidently, he'd heard of the Epyon.

"Epyon?!?! You mean the one Zechs was on? What were you doing piloting that thing?" His tone was almost accusing, as if Heero betrayed them somehow by using that demon of a suit. Then, he sighed, giving up,"Ack! I almost forgot what you're like. You're about as far from normal as they come!" With that, Duo strode off, heading in the direction of the bridge. He wanted to get one final data report before attempting a meal and some shut-eye.

He didn't notice Heero watching him leave, torn between following and staying.

I'm not normal. But neither are you. Or any of us.

+

On Peacemillion, whether one is a favorite pilot or a lowly janitor, sleep was caught when it could be. Even before the war, workers on the salvage vessel rested in strange intervals and even stranger places. So Howard installed bunks and lounges all over the massive ship, not just in one localized point. People could rest almost anywhere, be it in engineering or outside the food court. This was one of the many things Duo loved about this ship, besides the fact he'd practically been raised there. Besides the fact, it was one of the few places he could rest undisturbed with no worries of OZ or White Fang or the even the average robber. For the Deathscythe pilot, now nestled on one couch in one of the many lounges, Peacemillion was safe.

For the time being, Howard had designated this particular lounge, just outside the Gundam's hold, for himself and his fellow pilots. They didn't need antsy warriors pacing all over the ship, wearing themselves out. Here they could rest and recuperate in time for the next battle. Duo nestled farther into the overstuffed cushions. Yes, sleep would be very good. The door slid open before he could drift off though, light framing the intruder. Heero.

Sanc did him good... Duo noted, studying the not-so-scrawny form and the darkened skin. His comrade didn't appear to be as half-starved as usual. Though, it was obvious, from dark circles, he should be getting more sleep.

"Hey, bud! Grab a bunk, get some rest!" he called out cheerfully, grinning wider despite the way Heero narrowed his eyes whenever he saw the braided pilot.

He can hate me as much as he wants...but he's getting some rest, whether he likes it or not!

"I don't need any rest," Heero growled, making his words ludicrous though his very tone. A well-aimed paperclip would probably knock him out now.

"Listen, champ, you'll be in some awful shape tomorrow if you don't get some down time now. I know from experience, okay? Just lie down and close your eyes," Duo replied, gesturing at the couch opposite his occupied one. He wanted Heero where he could keep an eye on him.

I don't trust him not to push himself too much. Whether he wants to believe it or not, the guy is mortal. And mortals need rest.

"What about you? You haven't been sleeping. I can tell. Take your own damn advice before you dish it out," Heero growled, studying the sprawled form lecturing him.

Still slender, if not skinny. And pale. But he seems all right despite being more exhausted than me.

"Jeez...someone's grumpy. And I don't <<yawn>> have to take my own <<yawn>> advice. Death doesn't need sleep, <<yawn>> remember?" Duo smiled slightly, covering his mouth with one hand.

"Hm," the Wing pilot murmured, than reached into one cabinet, tossing a blanket in the other boy's direction. Duo caught it automatically, like he had the gun Heero had thrown him all those months ago in the OZ prison.

"Thanks bud. G'night!" Duo chirped before immediately plunging into sleep. Or that's how it seemed. In reality, he was watching Heero carefully through his lashes. His comrade stood and watched him for several moments before settling down as he'd been ordered. The couch springs barely creaked under his slight weight and he curled up in a ball at the end, like a cat. Soon Heero was in dreamland, the Deathscythe pilot not far behind.

+

Like every night, nightmares and memories of battle woke the Wing pilot from his slumber, sometime around 2:00 A.M. Around him, Quatre and Trowa lay sprawled on the bunk in the far corner, while Duo remained on the opposite couch. Wufei had not yet put in an appearance, no doubt obsessing over his "Nataku."

Occasionally I wonder if he's crazier than I am.

Groaning quietly, Heero sat up, stretching. He'd learned from past experience that he would not be sleeping again for a while yet. Better to pass the time with something to do. And analyzing his comrades was something easy for him to do, something he was used to.

Except him. I don't understand him as well as I do Quatre or Trowa. But he seems to know me. What I'm thinking. What I'm doing. How is it he reads me so easily? Narrowing blue eyes regarded the black-clad boy, whose braid trailed on the ground at the moment.

Slipping like a shadow from where he stood, Heero laid the silky rope of hair next to its owner, becoming wary only when Duo seemed to stir a little.

I suppose it's not surprising that I'm not the only who suffers from dreams..Hm.

One long-fingered hand reached out to snag his wrist as he turned. "What the hell are you doing?" Duo hissed.

"Hm. You're awake after all," the Japanese boy replied quietly, not answering the question deliberately.

What was I doing? Trying to figure you out. I don't trust someone I can't read. Like Relena...

"You're not the only one with soldier's training, you know. And since I doubt you're going to answer my question, my training's telling me to mind my business and go back to sleep."

"Fine," Heero grunted, turning away again, not noticing the one violet eye that remained cracked open.

"Unless, you needed something, Heero?"

The Wing pilot twitched visibly.

Dammit, he is annoying!

"No? You sure?" Duo sat up, fully now, contemplating the tense youth in front of him.

"I'm fine. Go back to sleep," that familiar monotone replied, dull and uncaring as ever.

"I think...." Duo whispered, trying not to disturb the slumbering Arabian or Trowa, "I think you're lying."

The next he knew, there was a hand at the base of his skull, keeping him where he was, as his lips were pressed to Heero's. He shifted a little, wondering if he should pull away, instead deepening the embrace into something more than a quick peck on the lips. When that happened, Duo wasn't sure if he wanted to pull away. New sensations were washing over him and he discovered that he was enjoying this. And so, it seemed, did the Japanese boy. Soon, though, air became scarce, and the two yanked apart from each other, gasping for breath.

"What...?" Duo trailed off, eyes darkening with confusion.

"I..."Heero stared at his hands, as if he didn't recognize them.

When did I lose control? he wondered. In his logical mind, that impulse, and those following it, didn't make any sense. Nothing made sense. What was going on?

I'm attracted...to Duo? Or...maybe I... the two boys mirrored each other, both uncertain.

Yet in war, uncertainty must be short lived if one is to survive. And they became entangled in each other's arms again, quickly. The more they touched, the more that their hesitations left them. And feelings became definite, growing real in the darkness, what they'd been pushing aside most of their lives taking root. Neither boy got much sleep in those next few hours before morning. But they gained something else, something infinite
ly more precious and rare during that first night on Peacemillion.

The End

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