Warnings And Disclaimer:
I don't own Gundam Wing, and anyone who reads this should be aware of
that fact at all times.
This fic contains: One AU Romance, yaoi, 1x2/2x1, 1+2/2+1, several other
pairings as well, sexual acts of one kind of or another- kissing, hugging,
love, etc, sap most likely, mild angst, yuri, and about 20 chapters
+ Chapter One
"People are strange when
you're a stranger."
-The Doors, People Are Strange
Duo Maxwell was just a little bit crazy. Or so many people said. It was
that long braid he always wore. The way his feet barely seemed to touch
down when he walked along Main Street. It was the way he would pause and
stare into space while waiting for the single light to change at the center
of town. The way he smiled when he thought no one else was around. But
most of all it was that your average person didn't know a thing about
He stood on the emerald green lawn and stared at his creation. His eyes
were half closed against the strong noonday sun, and one paint-spattered
hand was raised to shield against it. The sunlight bounced off the coat
of white paint on the eaves of the old house, making it appear as if it
had a halo. Duo grinned at the effect and admired his handiwork.
The back porch had been sanded down, the windows covered, and all the
furniture moved off to one side of the lawn. Now the carved beams and
old planking were painted a fine enameled black, reflecting the sun and
sea hazily within their depths. A bucket of paint stood beside the steps
leading down to the lawn. Several rollers and brushes lying next to it,
drying fast in the sun.
The house faced the bay a high white fence surrounding the sloping backyard.
Strong wooden beams and brick making up most of its exterior façade.
Rose bushes and lilacs ran along the sides of the house and ivy crawled
over the roof. The wide back porch was sheltered by the oak trees on either
side of it, a footpath leading from the back steps all the way down to
stained dock resting low over the waters of the bay.
Duo wiped his brow and let the breeze off the ocean cool him down. It
had turned out not too bad he mused. It made the porch look like a hole
in a cloud, storms hiding just behind it. He shook his head at the image
and smiled. He had to get ready for work and his brother would be home
anytime now. Duo hoped he wouldn't mind this exotic paint job as much
as he'd minded the last one.
He grinned at the memory. He hadn't known there was a city ordinance against
painting your house differently then your neighbors. But then most people
around the small town of Retrind didn't paint the front of their houses
with pinstripes of black and white either.
After that little escapade, and several months' worth of planning down
the drain, Duo had carefully studied up on exactly what was allowed in
the small town.
Three weeks spent down at City Hall, and too much vending machine food
later; Duo had concluded that not a great deal had been left out of the
rules and regulations. But loopholes were a specialty of the stubborn
young man, and he had eventually found one that would let him do something
to the old house.
Normally there would have been nothing strange about the house. It had
light blue paint, and white trim like most of the small houses up and
down the street. The screen door needed to be repaired; the windows needed
to be replaced.
After studying what could be done in the town, Duo had realized that as
long as none of his neighbors could see it, and it wasn't visible from
the street, he could paint whatever he desired. Easier said than done.
The front of the house was visible to all. The back porch however, only
had the occasional fisherman or seagull staring at it. Duo finished dipping
his brushes in the turpentine and rinsed them with the hose. He straightened
and turned to admire the porch again. The breeze ruffled his long sun
streaked bangs and blew his shirt away from his body, sending cool air
racing along his spine. He sighed and carried the paint soaked rollers
to the garbage can beside the house, then went back to make sure everything
was cleaned up.
The brushes lay glistening on the lawn, the paint bucket stood at the
foot of the freshly painted stairs. Small spatters of paint littered the
grass around the edges of the porch, but nothing else appeared to have
"It's not as bad as the pinstripes were. But are you sure it's legal?"
Duo turned and grinned up at his brother. Milliard Peacecraft was actually
Duo's cousin on his mother's side. After being orphaned at the age of
seven Duo had gone to live with the only relatives he had left. Sasha
Peacecraft hadn't been thrilled with the idea of having to raise another
child. But after her widowed, sister Helen had died in a car accident,
she'd had no choice but raise the small, solemn boy that wound up under
her care and guardianship. It'd taken many years before Duo had gotten
over the deaths of his parents, Milliard having been the one to take him
under wing and coax the boy into life again after the fateful accident.
Duo had grown up idolizing his cousin, eventually coming to think of the
older boy more as a brother then anything.
Duo narrowed amethyst eyes at his brother and wondered if he was serious
or teasing. It was hard to tell sometimes. The tall blond man had an often-odd
sense of humor, and delighted in teasing his younger cousin.
"I carefully checked all the laws this damned town has. I asked Mr. Mac
down at the store what he thought, and then I went and asked the Hindles
next-door and the Garks across the street. All of them said that they
thought it would be ok. So yes it's legal enough, and doesn't it look
great?" He broke off and smiled at the shiny black porch.
"Wonderful. Just one question?" Milliard grinned at Duo and then turned
and headed back into the house his voice trailing behind him. "What are
you going to tell Rel?"
"Shit." Of all the things Duo had considered while he bought the paint,
sanded the porch, and planned, he had never once thought of what his sister
would say. Relena Peacecraft was as unlike her brother and cousin as she
could be. After their parents had divorced, she had stayed to live with
their father, while Milliard had chosen to live with their mother. Upon
their father's untimely death, Relena had moved into the boarding school
owned by grandmother Peacecraft, a stern old woman with a very firm idea
of how proper young girls were raised. Three years later Relena graduated
and moved to America. A studious, quiet young lady, with a stern upbringing
and a shy smile. Duo had been the one to bring an interest into her life
after so many years of being forced into a rigid set of code. His innocence,
delight in life, and wide violet eyes coaxing Relena into being one of
his biggest supporters and admirers.
And now Rel was on her way home from the University for the weekend, sure
to arrive at any time, and the back porch was a black hole. Duo shook
his head and went around the side of the house, grabbing the brushes and
paint bucket on his way. Well, maybe she wouldn't notice it. A smile etched
his heart shaped face at the thought. And pigs could do a jig. Relena
never missed a trick and he knew it.
Duo opened the shed, and put the brushes on nails that had been hammered
inside for just that purpose. He grabbed the cover for the paint bucket,
banging the lid down hard so it wouldn't leak, and headed towards the
front porch. The back needed to dry for a while before anything could
be moved onto it, but Duo had plans for the old wooden furniture and didn't
mind the wait.
The screen door slammed as he entered the foyer and took off his paint
encrusted shoes. At least Rel couldn't bitch at him for messing up the
inside of the house, he reasoned as he threw the shoes beside the door.
Heading towards the bathroom for a shower, he detoured to the kitchen
and watched his brother for a moment. Milliard was in the process of making
lunch, his long blond hair pulled back and hidden under a chefs hat with
the phrase 'Don't touch the cook.' printed on the back of it. He turned
to face the door and gestured towards the countertop as Duo came in.
"Hey! You made lunch? What a fabulous guy." Duo snagged a sandwich from
the counter and began wolfing it down while trying to take off one sock
with his toes. "Any idea when Rel's getting here? I promised Mr. Mac I'd
take over for John today, poor guy has the flu." Duo succeeded in sliding
off both socks without using his hands, then sat at the kitchen table
shoving the socks under his chair with one foot.
"She shouldn't be here until later this evening, at least that's what
she said when she called yesterday. When do you think you'll be home from
"Aw, Mr. Mac figured it would be just a few hours. It's dead right now
so he doesn't need much help. Find out if you got that commission yet?"
Milliard had gone into a partnership with his long time friend Treize
recently, both men deciding years ago that they had a mutual interest
in the same field. The result was a growing business and a solid friendship,
and now they were becoming well known as men with new ideas and bright
"Treize arrived at the hotel yesterday and has yet to meet with the committee.
But we'll get accepted. We're the best in the industry after all." Milliard
smiled at his brother and began putting away the sandwich fixings and
cleaning up the counter. "Have you met the new neighbors yet?"
"No, the one house around us I didn't ask about the porch. Hope they don't
mind whoever they are. So, have you met them yet?" Duo finished his sandwich
and went to the sink to wash his hands, staring out the window at the
trees lining the other side of the fence.
"One of them, apparently it's a family of three. But the boy I met informed
me that most of the time his parents would be traveling, and he'd be the
only one there throughout the year. He also mentioned his parents are
diplomats, and that he'll be staying here and commuting to and from the
college in Harperville." Milliard gave Duo a significant look, which the
longhaired boy did his best to ignore.
"I told you Mil, I don't want to go until I know why I'm going. I need
to have a reason to be there. I can't just go and study, not knowing what
I want to do with my life." Duo picked up his socks and headed for the
door. "I'm going to go take a shower and go to work. Thanks for the lunch
bro, I owe you."
"Anytime Duo. And don't worry kid, I understand about the college thing,
and you know mom said you could take a year to decide. Oh, one more thing,"
He suddenly grinned at his cousin and arched one platinum eyebrow, "When
did you dye your hair black?"
"What?" Duo turned around and looked at his braid, then groaned as he
realized it looked like it had been dipped in the paint bucket, several
times. "This is going to take forever to get out. Can you call Mr. Mac
for me and tell him I'm running a bit late?" He sighed and began marching
resolutely towards the bathroom.
"Sure thing, don't forget to scrap those clothes, Relena will pitch a
fit if you leave them in the hamper you know."
"Yeah, yeah." Duo waved a hand behind him and turned to go upstairs.
Work was the usual affair of cleaning shelves and waiting on the few customers
that came in and needed help. Mr. Mac bustled about, taking stock and
keeping an eye on the front. His gaze fell on Duo occasionally, but never
for very long. The boy had an excellent work sense, and never did a job
halfway. Much to the delight of the aging Mr. Mac, who on no account had
ever had a helper so keen to work and do the job right.
"How'd the paint work out Duo? Any of the neighbors complain yet?" Duo
stood near the counter rearranging a display of tools, his black pants
and clean white t-shirt matching the short black apron around his waist.
He turned to look at the old man and smiled. "No one's complained yet,
though I don't know how the new neighbors will feel. Haven't met them
yet." He shrugged and pulled at the tip of his braid. "You don't think
they'll mind do you? They can see part of our backyard, but I don't think
our porch is visible to them unless they stand down near their dock."
"Ah, it should be ok lad. Don't fret." The bells on the door chimed and
Mr. Mac waved Duo off to go wait on the customer. The old man smiled at
the retreating back of the boy, and then went to help a woman who was
staring helplessly at shelf full of screws.
Duo paused at the door and stared at the boy who'd entered. He was nearly
the same height as Duo and had strangely exotic features. Duo got the
impression of wind tousled hair and high cheekbones before the boy turned
to face him fully.
"May I help you?" Duo asked, putting on his most winning smile. The boy
glanced at him quickly before fixing his eyes beyond Duo's left shoulder
and glaring. Duo turned around and looked behind himself. No one was there.
A low, slightly accented voice startled him and he turned back to look
at the boy again.
"Where do you keep your warning signs?" The strange boy was still staring
beyond Duo's shoulder, though his eyes flickered briefly to watch Duo's
"Warning signs? What kind do you need?" Duo cocked his head to one side
and gave a lopsided grin. "Got a big dog maybe?" His eyes lit up as the
other boy nodded. "What kind?"
"A Doberman. Where are the signs again?" Realizing that the boy wasn't
going to volunteer any more information, Duo led him back through the
store towards the section that held the various warning signs. Gesturing
at the rack of neatly organized signs, he pointed out the dog warnings.
"If you need anymore help just yell. My name's Duo." The other boy nodded
and turned to look at the signs, dismissing Duo without further acknowledgment.
Cold guy, but nice eyes, Duo thought as he turned and headed towards the
Mr. Mac was ringing up a woman with six boxes of nails and a single hammer.
"Now just make sure you be careful with that hammer, and I'm sure everything
will be fine." The frazzled woman smiled at the old man and took her change,
grabbing up her bag and waving as she left the store. "Thanks Mr. Mac,
I hope your right."
"I don't think it's going to get much busier Duo. You can go home now
if you want. Is your sister coming up this weekend?" Mr. Mac's face crinkled
up in a smile as he asked after Relena, his eyes twinkling.
"Yeah, Milliard said she might not like the porch." Duo stuck his hands
in his pockets and shuffled his feet for a moment then looked at his boss.
"You think she'll like it?"
"Duo, of course she will. She likes everything you do."
"She didn't like it when I painted her car."
"You painted it without asking her Duo, and you painted it pink."
"It's her favorite color. I thought she'd like that."
Mr. Mac laughed and patted the boy's shoulder. "You knew it would drive
her crazy. Don't think you can fool me young man. Now go take off your
apron and head home. You've got the weekend off, so make the most of it.
And tell Relena I asked after her."
"No problem Mr. Mac. Oh, there's still a customer in back, quiet guy.
He's looking through the warning signs." Duo started untying his apron
as he headed towards the back. He passed the other boy on his way, noticing
that he held not one, but four signs. Duo shook his head and entered the
wide swinging doors that led to the storage area. He hung his apron on
one of the pegs behind the doors and grabbed his backpack, then clocked
out and checked his card. Overtime meant more money, and more money meant
new supplies for his plans for the rest of the porch. He smiled to himself
and swung through the doors again. Waving a final goodbye to Mr. Mac,
he held the front door for the dark haired boy. The strange boy glared
at him and then stalked out.
Duo shrugged and began walking towards home, his backpack banging against
his spine as he jumped over a few puddles left over from the last rain.
His thoughts turned to his further plans for the house. As long as Relena
didn't mind the porch, he reasoned, he could get away with almost anything.
He thrust his hands into his pockets and let his legs stretch into a longer
stride. Duo was startled when he heard that strangely accented voice again,
this time from beside him.
"Thank you for your help."
Surprised, Duo turned and smiled at the boy from the hardware store. "Hey,
glad I could be of service." He stood there for a moment waiting for something
further, but the boy once again seemed to dismiss him, glaring across
the street. Duo frowned slightly then shrugged, and turning, began to
walk along the cracked sidewalk again. The other boy stayed next to him
and began walking as well.
They walked along together quietly for a few minutes. Duo mulling over
his painting ideas and wondering why the boy was walking with him but
not talking. Finally as they reached his street Duo stopped and faced
the silent boy. "You know my name. What's yours?"
Duo noticed again that the boy had the most amazing deep blue eyes. They
look just the sky when it storms at night he thought, briefly wondering
if he could make that color into paint and maybe do the back porch furniture
in it. Then he grimaced at his own thoughts and was brought back to reality
as the boy finally answered.
"Heero Yuy." He held out his hand and Duo shook it. "I just moved in next
to this weird house down the street. Someone painted the back porch black
and I can see it when I turn to look at our house from the dock. I didn't
know such things were allowed here." He gave Duo a quizzical look.
Duo felt his heart sink as he realized what Heero was talking about. And
most importantly whose house the boy was referring to. This was going
to be interesting to explain he decided, very interesting.
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