Author: Maldoror
Genre: Er...one shot? Humour, touch of angst I suppose.
Pairings: 1x2x1
Rated: R, for suggestiveness more than actual graphic humping
Warnings: Bitchy Relena...and frayed nerves. That's all I can think of.
Spoilers: None
Feedback: Please! Particularly what you like/don't like about the fic.
Disclaimer:Gundam Wing belongs to its owners (Bandai, Sunset, and a whole host of others, none of which are me) and I'm not making any money off of them. Not a single peanut.

AN: This fic is a gift for - and inspired by - Dacia, from Raygun/Little Piece of GW, who's just come back online after moving. Welcome back!

Moving

Anger flared, words flew like punches. Both men could kill with their bare hands, so better words than fists, but that didn't make the confrontation any less tense, or painful.

"I'm warning you, Yuy..." Duo's words were soft and menacing. "Don't do this." He held Jerry to him gently, protecting him with his body. If that were possible against a provoked Heero Yuy.

"Maxwell..." The eyes gleamed - oh, Heero had gotten the hang of emotions now. It had taken him a few years and an instruction manual, but he'd gotten it. Duo felt a shudder go through him.

"No. Me and Jerry - we're an item! Get used to it! You touch him again, Yuy, and I'll kick your ass!"

There was a terrible silence. The gauntlet lay between them. Duo's arms tightened protectively around Jerry.

"Duo!" Oops. He was saying 'Duo' in that tired, exasperated way that made Duo's proud name just become 'Oh, duh!' in reverse. "Duo, do you have to be so dramatic about everything? What possible use could we have for a small, stuffed reptile!"

"He's an alligator, not a reptile, and he's Jerry!" Duo shot back. Jerry's stuffing creaked in his arms and he released his hold a little bit. "And he's memory!"

"Memo-"

"He's important to me, Yuy! Where Jerry goes, I go!"

"I was about to put him in the dumpster."

"Fine! Won't be the first time I've lived in one!"

That had been low; he saw Heero flinch and lose some of his anger - which had been the point but Duo still felt low. So far the fight had been more stress relief than anything, but now he really felt like he'd landed a punch, and his boyfriend had been on the receiving end. Duo didn't particularly mind his background, but he knew that Heero - who had enough of his own childhood demons to give a psychiatrist the screaming wiggins - had been horrified at what Duo had told him of L2, and tried hard not to remind him of it.

Heero was silent for a few seconds. The words kept running around Duo's head - I'm sorry, we're both tired, let's just forget it, you're right, I can throw it away - but he said nothing.

"Very well. Pack it in the odds and ends crate." Heero probably hadn't meant to stress the 'odds' part of that sentence; he was still pretty new to humour, it kind of snuck up on him. Duo wished he could laugh. He felt empty as he packed Jerry away.

Tired. They'd been packing up Duo's things for the last twelve hours. The physical exhaustion wasn't too much of a problem, not for Gundam pilots. But they were on the washed-out edge of an emotional flash flood, and really in no mood for the extremely disrupting and disturbing experience that was moving off-planet.

Fuck Relena...the words were just tired now, they had lost their venom hours ago. That she'd had her lovely little heart set on Heero - fine. Hey, Duo loved the guy too, he could relate! That she'd waited five, long, frustrating years for him to slowly thaw - been there, done that too, sweetheart! He'd grant her that it must have been upsetting, walking into Heero's bedroom - stupid to have forgotten she had a spare key - to find her unrequited love with his face in the pillow and Duo above him and, well, in him, just at that interesting point when you finished sliding fully in, that lovely little moment of stillness before the ache of desire and the heat and pressure just drove you to- packing Jerry, concentrate on packing Jerry. No time for a hard-on right now.

Unfortunately - in Duo's point of view - the shock hadn't killed her. It had made her vindictive though. Twenty four hours later, Duo had found himself with a form from his boss saying that his skills as a Preventer were no longer needed in Sanq, he was to report for duty tomorrow in L3, where he'd be posted 'for the foreseeable future'. Wow, how did that happen? Then Yuy had apparently ended up in front of Relena; she sat behind her desk, and gave him the old 'him or me' option. Well, that didn't take long to answer, now, did it. Twenty minutes later, Heero was in front of his palace-appointed apartment with orders to remove himself from the premises ASAP. Heero had shown up with a moving truck in front of his lover's house just as Duo was ranting about all this to Wufei over the phone. Heero had come in, said he was all packed and ready to leave; did Duo want to move in with him on L3 - yes or no? It was about as romantic as a census. Duo had just stood there - phone in one hand, jaw in the other - until Wufei had shouted at him over the line to say Yes already and start talking details; Earth to Colony calls were expensive and apparently Duo had now even more work for Wufei to do and details to sort out.

Wufei was coming through like a true friend - insuring Heero would have a job on L3 with the Preventers, and that Duo had a bit more time than one measly day to get there. He was also getting them a place to stay. The truck was outside, crates had been purchased, The Packing had begun and Duo was just about to shoot himself, Heero and probably Jerry as well - and not forgetting Relena - if it would just end his misery.

The furniture had to go - the skip outside was already half full. Colony transports were expensive. Wufei had used the G-grapevine, and a Winner Cargo Haulage ship was all ready to take them and their things to L3 without too much fuss, but only the contents of the one container. Duo, running around like a cat with its tail on fire, glanced out the window a few times. Each time, the small truck looked smaller and smaller and the amount of things he wanted to take was getting bigger and bigger.

They'd worked through the night, throwing out what had to be, stacking the salvageable for the local charity shops. And sorting through Duo's things. They'd taken a break at around three in the morning. Heero finally removed his dress pants and rumpled shirt - with some relish, as he realized he'd never had to wear them again. He took a shower while Duo made them a snack. Jeans and a sweatshirt were produced from one of two duffel bags Heero had brought in from the truck; one had his spare clothing and the other -from the clunk when he'd put it down - his weaponry. Organized, even in the midst of all this chaos. And armed to the teeth even in peacetime, but then that was just Heero.

Duo remembered eating a snack at four in the morning - five hours ago - staring at each other over the counter and grinning timorously as they realized that they were doing it, breaking free of the obligations they had here, moving in together, they were going to actually live as a couple...it had been like a three week honeymoon, all rolled up into ten minutes and two ham sandwiches. Then it was back to work again. Duo packing the crates and Heero, with his overbearing strength, taking them out to the truck.

Five years they'd been in Sanq. Duo had ended up here after a few months working for Hilde, when he realized that he missed his friends - particularly Heero - and that pretending that it wasn't so was stupid. You couldn't sweep all they'd been through together under the rug and forget about it.

"What..." Heero didn't even finish the question, just stared at the object in his hand.

"It's a plasma lamp. It's an antique." Duo could already hear himself growing defensive. He stared at the thing, exhausted. No. If Heero wanted to throw that away...Duo just wouldn't have the moral or mental strength to argue.

He'd have to rely on his stubborn bloody-mindedness instead.

"Duo...why do you have so much-...stuff?" Heero had been about to say junk, Duo just knew it, but even the perfect soldier knew the better part of valour.

"I just do," Duo muttered, taking the lamp from Heero and putting it away in one of the numerous 'Odds and ends' boxes. Heero, with the soldier's usual attention to details, had been carefully writing the contents on the boxes, with a big 'Duo' underlined on each lid as he closed them.

Duo was perfectly ready to admit that, when it came to shopping, he had the restraint, common sense and forbearance of a stunned magpie. He was ready to admit it to himself. Not to Heero though.

He glared at the next object in Heero's hands. Okay, so maybe a twenty-two-year-old hard-assed Preventer looked a bit silly, assembling spaceship models, but dammit-

Duo found himself muttering: "Having money to buy things...and a place to put them...it's kinda..."

Heero didn't say anything. This time, Duo wasn't trying to manipulate him into keeping his collection of Leo reproductions, or Jerry. Over the hours, as tempers shortened and the reality of the situation set in, Duo had run out of defences and reasons to use them. This was...Heero. They'd not been lovers for that long - three months and counting, baby! - but in a way, they had been since they met, since they realized that, despite outward differences, they shared more between the two of them then any other person on earth and in space, bar three others. And they trusted each other. Trust...Duo had thought he'd buried that - along with friendship, affection, love - a long time ago. He trusted Heero with these kinds of things, the weaknesses and desires he normally hid from others lest they be exploited. He trusted Heero to help him pack all his stuff; to show Heero what was the froth he'd acquired and could shed, and what was the core, the illustration of what made Duo Maxwell tick.

That didn't mean it was easy. I run and hide, that motto was more than skin deep. He felt strangely violated every time Heero opened a cupboard. And then, asking him to choose...Duo tended to run and hide from himself too. For example, he never thought about all this 'trust' shit, and 'illustrations of what made him tick' nonsense! Goddamn, moving was a pain in the ass. You had to strip yourself down to the bare bones and Duo had spent a lot of time padding himself up.

He shook himself, and realized Heero was putting the models away carefully into boxes.

"You can toss those. They're a dime a dozen in most stores," he said brusquely.

"That's okay, they're light, and they don't take up that much room." Heero carefully covered a Mars Cargo Ship with bubble wrap.

"Don't patronize me, Yuy!" Duo snapped, whatever restraint he had with his boyfriend long eroded by fatigue, too many decisions, and the slight panic of so much change right at his doorstep.

"You don't want them?"

Duo grabbed his braid and gave it a yank, as if forcefully turning his own head to look at Heero. Who was kneeling next to the crate, examining the Space Pirate Spinet with something like...oh, he was hard to read, even now, but Duo knew him well. Heero was...intrigued. And...well-...Duo wasn't great at all this emotional shit either, but it was just obvious from the way Heero was holding the model and tilting it back and forth, catching the details of Duo's paintwork, that he'd never held a toy before, bar that stupid teddy bear he'd given Relena.

"Well, if there's room..." Duo found himself muttering. "I spent a lot of time on them. Some of them aren't even finished." There was the slightest question there. Maybe they could...yeah, he could see himself and Heero working on those together. In their house. Where they would be both living. Together. In the same rooms. Sharing the same bed. Hot damn...

One thing was certain. If an Oz squadron fully suited up came bursting into his house right now, Duo would fight them to the death with his bare hands to avoid them taking away his models, or the slightly wistful smile that had ghosted over Heero's face for a second as he packed the Sweeper Dragster away.

Too bad he hadn't felt the same crush over Jerry. But then, you had to have been there. You had to have been in that souk; the treasures of the orient had been spread before them, and the war just behind them, and Duo had realized he had a future, one that wasn't centered around fighting anymore. He was eyeing greedily things an L2 orphan had never possessed. You had to be Duo to know about the slight...prickle that Quatre's knowing look had sparked - too understanding but not understanding enough. Blondie's generous gesture - "Let's get a souvenir! Tell you what. Choose anything here, anything at all, I'll have it sent with you when you leave for L2! A parting gift." He'd been looking at the sparkly, shining things. Duo had never had a sparkly, shining thing. Everything in L2 was eroded and dull. He'd had a big, violent thing though - his buddy, Deathscythe, more than enough to make up for a life-time of Christmases.

You had to be the street rat who'd become the God of Death to understand why he turned away from those sparkly, shining things he'd been eyeing so greedily, to point to a five-cred tourist piece hanging from the shop's rafter and say: "I'll take that! I think I'll call it Jerry!"

Jerry wasn't just a stuffed alligator. He was the look on Quatre's face as he realized Duo couldn't be tamed, not even by his own wants or origins.

"Well, that's the attic done-" he realised he was talking to himself. Heero had taken the crate out to the van, after carefully writing 'Duo', underlined, and Odds and Ends underneath it on the lid. Duo suspiciously stuck a nose out of the window, to make sure that crate, containing Jerry, ended up in the truck and not the skip. Heero disappeared into the truck, and then came out empty-handed pretty damn quickly; the small moving truck was already more than three quarters full, Duo guessed. He turned and looked around him; there was still the spare room and the basement to do. A soundless screech twisted his lips.

"Duo?"

"Heero...just how good is Relena's security now that you're gone?"

"Baka. Come on, we need to be gone in twelve hours."

"Fuck..."

---

"All my children will be called Wufei!" Duo generously announced.

"Since you're gay, I feel quite safe that I won't have any of your brats named after me," Wufei calmly replied. "Here, this is the key to the back door, front door, mailbox, this is the garage opener and this is my phone number while I'm here."

"Thank you for coming in person," Heero told him, sincerely.

"Yuy, Une herself would have been here to lay out the welcome mat if she could, now that you've agreed to work for us. Besides..." the old Wufei wouldn't have added that small word, indicating that he'd have done all this and more even if he wasn't a Preventer; just because he was a friend. The old Wufei would have killed Duo for the enthusiastic hug that followed, so it was a good thing they'd all matured a bit.

"Get off, Maxwell! I expect you at the office the day after tomorrow, both of you. But...I'll be by tomorrow afternoon. I've visited this colony a few times, I know some of the nicer places, I'll show you around."

"Thanks, Wufei." Duo grinned, and then collapsed into Heero's arms as the door closed behind their friend. "God, I'm dead. When do we have to bring back the truck?"

"Tomorrow afternoon and we are not unpacking before we have a good eight hours sleep," Heero said severely, then swung Duo up into his arms - the latter only protesting mildly through his exhaustion - and carried him to the bedroom of the bungalow. It wasn't the kind of house Duo would have chosen - not much room to put things - but it would do. It'd better, because Duo was never moving ever again. He'd still be here at the age of eighty nine, hopefully in bed with Heero, and dozens of cats, since that's what old people seemed to collect.

"You're talking nonsense again," Heero informed him as he threw him down on the bed - another huge advantage of the place was that it was partially furnished. Bless Wufei! Duo was definitely going to have to have children just so he could call a couple of them 'Wufei'.

"And how were you planning on doing that?" Heero inquired, taking his shoes off, then slipping Duo's boots off as well.

"Find myself a nice L3 babe and have a litter of twelve, of course!"

"Uh-huh. And where do I figure in all that?"

"You're the guy who's going to have to fuck me into the mattress to make me forget about that clever plan!"

"...now?"

"You tired, Yuy?" Duo slowly raised himself onto his elbows, and twisted his body seductively against the sheets that someone - who was a good deal less stand-offish and grouchy than he had been during the war - had thoughtfully put on the bed. No covers, but then again, this was Wufei they were talking about. He probably didn't want to look like he was getting soft, either. Might as well expect pillow-mints and a doily.

"Well..." Heero stretched, slowly. Back muscles curved and writhed beneath his sweatshirt. "Three days ago, you were plugging away at my ass, and Relena was screaming like an air-raid siren -"

"I did kinda stop when she started screaming, you know."

"We've slept three hours on the shuttle over here, and the rest of the time has been spent organizing the move, stopping our respective rents and bills, setting up forwarding addresses, warning the guys, sorting through and packing your stuff, carting away junk, saying goodbye, flying out into space..." Heero turned and crawled up the length of the bed, lithe and powerful. "Driving the van through the colony peak hour traffic, fending off Wufei's well-meaning comments about Relena-...I don't know..." Heero was on all fours over Duo. "I thought you might be a bit tired." His voice was serious, concerned. The little smile hovering over his lips was not. It looked like Jerry's.

"That's fighting talk, Yuy..." Duo murmured, sliding his arms around the strong neck.

"You gonna do anything about it, Maxwell?"

It should have been a glorious honey-moon fuck, baptizing the house and all. But it lasted fifteen minutes and ended in a fit of hysterical laughter when Duo's legs gave out just as Heero was coming inside him, and everything ended up in a sticky, tangled muddle in the sheets poor Wufei had so carefully laid out so they could have a good night's sleep on arrival. Duo curled up in the mess, still chuckling, against Heero's warm chest, listening to the thump of his heart and letting his fingers play over his small smile. There wouldn't be any getting up early tomorrow to get dressed in last night's clothes and return to an empty house before work. No more empty houses...hell, Duo didn't even feel the need to bring in his stuff. Well, maybe just a little bit - it felt weird to go to sleep without the Gundam action figures lined up on a dresser protecting his sleep, or his CDs playing, or his favourite pillow beneath him, or the earth-and-Lagrange-point model hanging from the ceiling...

He'd get it all in tomorrow - probably after more negotiations and lost tempers with Heero - but for now...he nestled against his lover and went to sleep.

---

Moving in wasn't as hard as moving out. He'd been pared down to the bone; he could fit into a mouse hole by now, Duo thought moodily. Still tired. Still soul-worn, from digging up five years worth of roots. He'd never had many roots before - and those he'd had had been torn out and left him raw and bleeding. He never realized how painful it was, even if you extricated yourself gently, and went on to something better. He'd miss the little deli where he bought takeout and where Mrs Azamar treated him like her long-lost son, after so many visits. He'd miss the office where he'd made friends - they were probably having his going away party right about now. Fuck Relena. Hey, the venom was back! Good, he was recovering.

He'd miss his neighbours, the Ingrams and their kids. Even the bratty one, Jason. He'd miss the local cinema, where he'd hang out with his mates on Saturday, before going to the bar and shooting pool. He'd miss the pool hall; hell, he'd not had time to say goodbye, they'd think he'd died or something.

He'd miss that little cranny in the park near the bridge where he kissed Heero for the first time.

He'd miss his doctor, good ol' Molstein, who assured him that Heero's instinctive punch hadn't in fact broken his jaw, and that a bit less talking for a couple of days would do him good anyway.

He'd miss the small restaurant where Heero - pale, nervous, obviously worn down to the bone with emotions he wasn't used to - had taken him two months later, to make up, or so Duo had thought at the time.

He'd miss those quaint little Sanq alleyways they'd wandered through afterwards, where Duo had told himself he could do this, he could bury his feelings for Heero, because he'd missed his best friend too much, and just walking like that, with him, together, felt so right, so...good, like giving in to those little temptations in the shops and bringing home something you'd wanted since you were a kid but knew you could never have. Even if it wasn't the great prize; even if it wasn't quite the wondrous sparkly shining things you wanted as a kid, because you'd grown up and learned to compromise, and that took out some of the sparkle.

He'd miss the couch - now in a charity shop - where Heero had blurted out-...well, he'd miss that goddamn couch. And the carpet, where they'd ended up. And the bed, where they'd ended up a bit later. And the kitchen table, once or twice, come to think of it.

Duo found himself grinning sadly - if that was possible - and contemplating the vastness of the now-empty truck.

Empty...truck...

Oh. Fuck.

"Heero?!" Panic was well and good now! They were- God, they were thousands of miles from earth now! What- How-

"What is it?!" Heero came galloping up, staring wildly around, hand on the back of his jeans, though Duo was pretty sure he wasn't wearing a gun this early in the morning. No weaponry before lunch.

"Your stuff! We forgot your stuff!" Duo choked, staring at the empty container. He'd been keeping a careful eye on the boxes, to make sure his stuff went where it was supposed to. Box after box with 'Duo' written on it and carefully underlined. And somewhere on Earth, forgotten next to his apartment, or on the docking bay, or somewhere, would be the boxes with 'Heero' written on them. Duo had assumed they were safely in the truck before Heero had even started putting Duo's boxes in! How on earth were they going to get them here?!

"What? What are you talking about?" Heero was staring at him, wide-eyed, and glancing at the back of the truck. Which, Duo made sure with another sharp look, was well and truly empty of any boxes, much less those with 'Heero' written on them.

"Your stuff, moron! It's not here! All the boxes were mine!"

"My stuff is there, Duo." Heero gestured behind him, scowling slightly. "Don't get so excited."

Duo stared behind Heero. He was pretty quick. It didn't take him long to figure out that no, Heero wasn't referring to a huge pile of boxes somehow mounted with a shielding device, he was talking about the two duffle bags on the sidewalk he'd previously removed from the truck's cab.

"That's...all..."

Heero glanced back at the two bags, as if surprised at the stunned tone in Duo's voice. He didn't seem to find anything surprising there.

"But...." Duo shook himself and stared at his lover. "Don't you have...anything?"

"I've got that." Heero was looking bewildered.

"You got a duffel of spare clothes and a bag full of guns," Duo said slowly because he just had to hear it out loud and Heero was obviously not going to oblige.

"Guns?" Heero blinked. "I've only got my Luger. Wufei told me I could get what I needed from the Preventer armoury. I left my hardware with Relena's guards."

Duo's eyes strayed to the bag he'd assumed contained Heero's tools of the trade, from the way it had clunked when he'd carried it, and the very careful way he'd put it down on the floor in Duo's house.

"That's my personal things," Heero explained, in a slightly guarded voice, as if he was afraid that J or Odin or God would pop up and yell at him for having something that belonged to him.

Duo found himself walking towards the duffel. He didn't actually need to open it. He knew exactly what was in there. But he was the kind of guy who just had to say the things out loud, and open the bag, and buy Jerry. That was just the way he was.

And this was just the way Heero was. Life packed up in two bags, spares clothes and...and the few odds and ends that Duo had given him over the years, particularly these past three months, when Duo had become a regular inhabitant in the apartment Heero lived in before. The only things that weren't his gifts was an album Trowa had put together and sent them all, of the five of them and their friends he'd visited in his wanderings; a tanto which Wufei had given Heero one day; and a bundle of letters that Quatre, who always preferred writing to email, had sent over the years. The only thing that surprised Duo was the teddy bear. He didn't' have to ask; Relena had probably thrown it at him or something. Her loss. She could have had a friend for life - she might realize her mistake, and try to make up, eventually. And Heero would be friendly, and talk to her, and send her cards at Christmas. But that teddy bear, once thrown away, wasn't ever going to come back. That's why you hung on to things like that.

"You...don't have much stuff," Duo finally said, a bit weakly.

Heero snorted. "I have twenty two boxes full. More than enough to fill the house." There was the slightest hesitation there. Like an entreaty.

Duo remembered Heero on that couch. Grabbing onto him and holding tight, as if Duo were his lifeline in a perpetual fall; the one thing he wanted in a lifetime of obligations; his sparkly, shining thing.

"Sure you do," Duo agreed, and grinned. He slipped his arm around his lover's waist, turning towards their new home, their new start, and good riddance to the old. They'd kept what mattered, after all, and left the useless stuff behind where it belonged. "Sure you do."

"Except for Jerry. That stuffed alligator is all yours."

"Hmf."

Owari

Dedication: For Dacia, who just moved interstate, and may be scarred for life as a result. And for my parents, who had a few weeks to move from the US to France with a babe in arms. And for me and my husband, who moved from France to the UK, then UK to Canada, proving that we are, at heart, masochists. To all of you who had to uproot yourselves and fling yourselves into the great unknown. Don't lose your sparkly, shining things.

[back to Maldoror's fic]