Author: Merula
1x2x1. AU.

Californication + Part 6

Heero blinked sleepily at the clock. He'd slept for an hour. No dreams, no nightmares. He looked over his shoulder. Duo was curled around him, fast asleep. Was it his presence that did this?

He looked at the clock again, wondering what time the party was at, not really wanting to go... but at the same time, kind of curious to see what all the fuss was about.

"Heero?" Duo yawned in his ear. "You awake?"

"Sorry," Heero apologized.

"No problem." Duo raised himself up on an elbow and blinked at the clock. "Party isn't for a while. I'm going back to sleep. If you can't feel free to watch TV, or check your email or whatever..." he gestured towards the desk and the laptop.  "Okay?" He kissed Heero's shoulder blade and rolled over. His breathing evened out again.

Heero slid out of bed, grabbing his pants up off the floor and putting them on. His other clothes were not in the bedroom, and he didn't feel like hunting them down quite yet.

He sat down at Duo's desk and turned the laptop on. He knew he owed Sally an email or two. He wondered what he should say. He usually was pretty open with his stepsister- what would she say about his vacation? The movie deal? His whatever-this-was with the screenwriter? He winced internally. She'd have a lot to say, he was sure.

Trying to get his mind off the possibilities, he studied the myriad of post-it notes Duo had stuck around the edges of the desk. Some seemed to be lists, others were reminders and some were just cryptic.

Heero was studying one that read: no longer limited to our imagination, wondering what it referred to, as the computer finally completed its boot up. The wallpaper was a beautiful seaside scene, but it was obscured by tons of files. Duo obviously believed in leaving everything he was working on out on his desktop.

And he was working on a lot.

He scanned the icons, looking for the internet browser, again intrigued by the titles of some of the files.

Really Lame Movie

Stay Frosty

Deliveryman IV

KillZone, theReturn2Death 

ResigWin

LmittoImagine

The last one seemed related to the post it note. Maybe it was a longer explanation? A draft of a screenplay?  Heero struggled with his conscience for a minute. Duo had left the file on the desktop... but it might be private. Heero debated with himself, cast another glance over his shoulder at the still-sleeping screenwriter and then clicked on the file. He'd just look at it, satisfy his curiosity and then check his email. No harm, no foul.

He read the first paragraph and felt a shiver down his spine.  The next paragraph made him hold his breath for a long moment. He checked over his shoulder again. Still asleep.

He read further and forgot about Duo sleeping behind him, forgot about the party, forgot about everything else... He was lost in the story.

Sometime later, a hand landed on his shoulder.

"What are you doing?" Duo's voice snapped Heero out of the world he had inadvertently fallen into. He looked up, annoyed at the interruption.

"Reading." He snapped back, his eyes returning to the screen.

"I didn't say you could!" Duo protested and his hand descended towards the keyboard. Heero grabbed his wrist and pulled Duo down onto his lap, placing his arms around him.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he murmured, his eyes still scanning the text, not truly aware of how rude he was being, only worried that the story would vanish before he could finish it. "Please let me finish. I have to know how this ends..."

Duo swallowed hard.

"It's not finished. Not yet."

Heero pulled his eyes away from the screen and blinked at Duo. "It's not?" His disappointment was evident in his voice and Duo swallowed again. Heero looked at the screen and sighed. Duo squirmed a bit, and Heero finally realized what he had done. He flushed and opened his mouth to apologize.

"What... I mean, did you..." Duo stumbled over the words.

"I'm sorry," Heero apologized, letting Duo go. "I tend to get monofocused at times. I didn't mean to be rude- I just saw the file and since I had seen your post-it, I wanted to know what it was... I was looking for your browser...I'm really sorry. Truly..."

He bit his lip wondering if Duo was going to yell. Or throw him out. Or hit him.

Duo leaned against the desk, head bowed,  his eyes hidden behind his bangs.

"Did you really like it?" He asked in a soft voice.

Heero blinked. "Duo, I was ready to break your fingers if you touched the keyboard. I think that's a yes. It's wonderful. I want to see an end. Are you submitting it for publication?"

Duo shook his head. "No. My last book flopped so badly, who would touch it?"

"But Duo... aren't you going to at least try?"

Duo shook his head again. "It's nothing Heero, really, just a side kind of thing. I shouldn't really be writing it at all- it takes away from my work..."

Heero got to his feet and reached out cautiously, touching Duo's chin, lifting his head up so that he could look him in the eyes.

"Duo- I wish I could write like that. I don't think you should hide this book away. You need to try..." Heero wondered what strings he could pull.

Duo smiled and shrugged. "Maybe when I get it finished. We need to get ready for the party." He leaned forward and brushed his lips over Heero's cheek. "C'mon, let's go look at the invite and see what we need to do for this thing."

He tugged Heero away from the computer, and Heero huffed in frustration.

Well, at least he had a day to talk Duo into finishing the book and submitting it. At the very least, Heero wanted an ending. Even more than that though, he thought that the book should be shared. It was too good to languish on Duo's desktop.

But how could he convince Duo?

[part 5] [part 7] [back to Merula's fic]