Author: Ravengirl
see part 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimers

[ ] = Duo's direct thought

The Last Beautiful Girl + Part 2

I let him move in. What the hell else was I gonna do? Yeah, I can really see myself sayin', 'No Heero, you can't stay with me, 'cause I've wanted to jump you since I shot you almost six years ago, and if I'm around you constantly, I'm scared shitless I will.' Uh-huh. Riiiiiight.

So he set his precious lap-top up in my guest room, slid his Sig into the bedside table, and went out to conquer the cyber-world of Southern California. Ninmu ryokai.

Me, I went back to doing my part-time bodyguard-to-visiting-stars kinda thing. Out here, I'm a minor celebrity all by myself, and it tickles those Hollywood twinks to have one of the 'Gundam Five' lookin' out for their asses. Hey, don't look at me like that, it pays the bills! Housing in SD ain't cheap, boys and girls.

Heero started free-lancing for a bunch of cutting-edge techies and doing security systems on the side. What can I say? Nobody does it better than the guy who used to regularly dismantle the damn things. Musta paid pretty well, too, because my house started getting regular upgrades - like a spa - and my mortgage was going bye-bye at a frightening rate.

Oh, I tried to argue with Mr. I-have-a-mission Yuy. Duo Maxwell takes handouts from no one. But he just gave me his 'target acquired' stare that always makes me feel like a duck on a las-rifle range and informed me that since he was living on the premises, paying rent, and intended to keep doing so, he had the right to implement changes to the property that did not interfere with, or violate, the building code. Quote, end quote.

The bastard then proceeded to draw up a rental contract - with me as landlord -- and send it to a lawyer to have it okayed as far as legal ramifications went. After that, he bushwhacked me on a Sunday when I was still half asleep and made me read the damn thing through before signing on the dotted line. I was beginning to feel like an innocent bystander in the middle of a hostile take-over... stay out of the way of the nice Gundam and you won't get hurt.

Heero informed me that it was for my own good.

"You're too generous with your resources, Maxwell. Your next tenant could clean you out."

"But I'm not going to have a next tenant," I protested. "I mean, seriously, man, I do okay on my own."

His face closed up immediately, and I wanted to kick myself repeatedly as I felt his withdrawal. He'd been here for five months and we still hadn't talked about Relena or the last three years. Not for lack of my trying, but if Heero doesn't want to talk about something, you darn well don't talk about it. That bitch had done a real number on him, and sometimes he'd get this look on his face that made me want to hop a shuttle to Sanq just to kick her ass.

"Hee-man, you know I'm happy you're here, right? If you weren't, who'd make me eat those nasty bran muffins? Or the leafy green stuff? You're good for me, babe."

I slung a friendly arm around his shoulders and he looked at me out of those huge, deep-ocean eyes and I wanted to kiss him until we both needed artificial respiration. I mentally smacked myself upside the brain.

Bad Duo. Baaaaaad Duo. No lusting after the beautiful, straight-as- an-arrow Perfect Soldier. He will drop-kick your ass into the next county.

I was about to remove myself from the danger zone when his hand touched my back. Then his arm slid cautiously around my waist and he was leaning against me -- just slightly, like he was unsure how I'd react.

How did I react? My damn throat closed up and I wanted to bawl like a girly-man. This was the first time since I'd met him that Heero had responded to my overtures in any way other than 'Shut-up baka' or 'Omae o korosu'. I wished I had La Peacecraft in front of me so I could do my 'nyah-nyah, loser' dance all over her pink ass.

We stood like that for long minutes and it was perfect. Heero's basically the same height as me, and we fit together like... well, we fit. Of course, I was getting a monster erection just feeling him against me like that, but I manfully did my best to ignore it and prayed he wouldn't notice.

Finally, he moved away, and I let him go, even though it was the last thing I wanted to do.

"Thank you, Duo. I mean it. I... when I left Sanq, I didn't know where else to go. I hope I haven't screwed up your life too badly."

"Heero no baka." I snorted. "Can the pity party, dude, you gotta know I love seeing your ugly mug every morning. Just like old times. At least you get your own room now, huh?"

An odd expression flitted across his features, but it was gone before I could nail it down and the Spandex Warrior, scourge of nasty mildew and evil dustbunnies, was back.

"We've already wasted enough time with this nonsense. The yard needs mowing and the spa has to be cleaned. Your choice."

"Oh, maaaannn, Heero, it's Sunday," I whined. "Can't we do this some other time... like next century?"

"Lawn. Weeds. March."

I followed him out into the bright California sun, pissing and moaning the whole way, delight a secret, rising effervescence inside me. Heero liked living with me. Heero liked me. Heero was staying.

Life was good.

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