Author: Clary Sage
see chap. 1 for warnings, disclaimers, notes

Fate + Chapter Three

"Just a perfect day, you made me forget myself. I thought I was someone else, someone good."
- Lou Reed, Perfect Day

Relena set down the cooler by the front door and yelled up the stairs. "Come on Duo! Time to go!"

The boy came flying down the stairs clad in a pair of cut offs and a t-shirt, and bounced to a stop in front of her. "I'm ready, I just need to go get my fishing pole and gear down at the dock."

"Ok, but try not to get distracted. I'm already waiting for Mil to finish his hair. Why doesn't he just cut it all off?" Her voice took on a plaintive tone as she raised it to yell the question back up the stairs.

"Aw come on sis, it's his vanity." Duo grinned at his sister, wiggling his own braid as an example of such vanity. Then he turned, and headed through the kitchen to the back porch. He could hear Relena yell up the stairs again as he opened the back door. The sun was bright already and the day promised to be hot. Duo admired the porch and then walked across it, pleased to note the paint was already dry.

His feet crushed the lush green grass as he made his way across the lawn towards the dock. Reaching the small storage unit resting at the head of the dock, he opened it and began pulling out what he might need for the trip. Two fishing poles, an empty tin can, some spare hooks. He turned to look back at the house then froze as he caught sight of Heero Yuy standing on the dock next door. The strange boy was standing stock-still and gazing up the hill at Duo's back porch. The wind ruffled his already eternally mussed hair and he turned and looked at Duo.

They stared at one another for a long moment across the small patch of water and rock. Then Heero smiled. "I like your porch."

Duo couldn't help himself; he smiled one of his most charming smiles at him and walked closer to that side of the dock, calling back over the water. "What are you doing today?"

Heero's smile faltered and he glanced back up the hill at his house. "I have to finish unpacking, I start summer classes on Monday."

"Oh." Duo tried to keep smiling but failed, and to Heero it seemed as if the sun had suddenly become hidden behind the clouds. "Well, I guess I'll see you around then?" Duo asked.

Heero grit his teeth, he knew he shouldn't do this, but just couldn't seem to stop himself. "Duo?" The other boy turned around again, fishing poles in hand. "Where are you going? I... I might be able to leave for a little while." The sun seemed to come back out as Duo smiled again.

"It's a picnic at Lake Talin, we'll be gone most of the day." He frowned as he realized this would probably make the other boy not want to go. He's got unpacking to do; he wouldn't want to go on a silly picnic.

Heero froze as Duo once more lost his smile. Why don't I want him to stop smiling? This is ridiculous. He forced himself not to think of all the unpacking he would have to do tomorrow instead of the relaxing he'd hope to have. "I think it's ok, can you wait while I go get changed? Should I bring anything?"

Duo suddenly grinned and turned to race back up the lawn yelling behind him. "Just bring yourself! Meet me in five minutes at my front door!"

Heero stood on the dock for a few moments, watching the beautiful boy run up the steep incline, his braid like a banner behind him. He shook his head and looked back up at his own house, then trudged up the hill to get some shorts on. He knew with a certainty his parents wouldn't miss him. If they even noticed he was gone.


"No, no. Not like that. Haven't you ever been fishing before?" Duo grimaced and took off the mangled worm, tossing it into the water and grabbing a fresh one. "Like this. See?" The worm wiggled feebly on the hook and Heero did his best not to flinch when Duo handed him the rod again. He smiled weakly at Duo and cast the line far out over the lake, then watched in horror as the worm flew off for a third time.

Sighing, Duo grabbed another worm and waited for the line to be drawn in again. Heero eyed the wriggling thing with loathing. "Duo, it's ok. I think I've had enough fishing." He finished reeling in his line and placed the rod to one side. His eyes closed as the sun shone bright on the water in front of them, and Duo watched him silently.

"Heero?" The other boy's eyes opened and he looked at Duo expectantly. For a moment, the boy with the braid lost track of what he was going to ask and merely stared into Heero's endless blue eyes. "Yes?"

Duo shook his head and tried not to blush. "I was just wondering if you ever play chess."

"I know how. But I haven't played in a while." His gaze returned to the water and he didn't go on. Duo fidgeted and looked around. Getting Heero to have a conversation longer than a few sentences had been next to impossible. And Duo was just about ready to give up.

"Can we swim here?" It took a moment for the question to register, and then Duo smiled.

"Yeah." Dragging in his line Duo set it aside and stood up. "The water's kind of cold, but it feels good." He stripped off his t-shirt and waited for Heero to do the same. The other boy stood for a moment, eyes fixed on Duo, and then he took his shirt off and stepped towards the water.

Dipping a toe in, he glared at the water as if it were something foul. "Duo, this water feels like it's below freezing." Duo grinned and stepped ankle deep into the ice-cold lake. Heero chuckled when he started to shiver.

"This is supposed to feel good?" Heero raised a skeptical eyebrow and stepped in beside Duo, gritting his teeth as his feet became instantly numb from the chill water.

"Give it a minute, you'll get so numb you won't feel the cold." Duo flinched as he moved deeper into the water. He grinned again and said over his shoulder. "It's not so bad."

"Watch out for the mackerel!" Duo tried to turn at the loud yell and suddenly lost his balance. A sheet of icy water sprayed Heero as the longhaired boy went down with a splash. Milliard stood for a moment taking in the scene, then slowly collapsed on the bank and began to laugh.

Duo stood up, glaring at his brother, then shivered violently. "It is that bad." He said deadpan as he was able through his chattering teeth.

Heero was standing near the bank gasping; so much water had hit him he might as well have gone down with Duo. "I'm freezing." He said through clenched teeth.

Milliard managed to stop laughing and wiped the hair from his eyes. "I came to ask if you were hungry yet. Oh Duo, the look on your face was priceless." He started chuckling again.

"You have the worst sense of humor sometimes Mil." Duo flicked his wet bangs back from his face and stalked towards the shore. Heero was already out of the water and putting his shirt on.

"Did you find them Milliard?" Relena came through the trees and stood for a moment. Taking in the sight of her elder brother on the ground and the two very wet, shivering boys. "I guess you did find them then. Come on guys, there are some towels in the car." She beamed at them and then turned to help Milliard up. "One of these days Mil, he's going to get you back for these little jokes of yours." She said in a low voice.

"Sure sis, but it's worth it now." He laughed and linked arms with his sister as they followed the dripping boys back towards the picnic area.


The back seat of the tiny car was cramped, Heero decided. Duo shifted, and his bare leg brushed against Heero again. Definitely not enough space in this little car. It was an hour and a half trip home, and after only a half hour Duo had managed to brush against him exactly five times. He'd been keeping track. He knew Duo wasn't doing it on purpose. At least he didn't think it was being done on purpose. He peered out of the corner of his eye at the other boy and wondered what he was thinking about. For the last fifteen minutes, Duo had done nothing but stare out the window and sigh. Heero was hard pressed to ask him what was bothering him, he wasn't used to talking to people. For too many years now he'd kept to himself, avoided company. He'd never had time to make any friends. Moving from place to place the way he had most of his life hadn't left him with very many opportunities for such things.

Another sigh and Heero gave up, he had to ask or he'd wind up throttling Duo. Beautiful or no, the boy was starting to get on his nerves with all that sighing.

"What's wrong Duo?" Milliard asked from the front seat, where he'd been fiddling with the stereo and annoying the hell out of Relena.

"Nothing." Duo looked at Heero and seemed as if he wanted to ask something, then he faced the window and sighed again. He looked back over his shoulder when he felt a tentative tap.

Heero frowned for a moment then asked in his softly accented voice. "What's wrong?"

"I... What are you doing tomorrow?" Duo didn't even realize he was biting his lip as he watched Heero, waiting for an answer.

"I have to finish unpacking tomorrow." Heero felt bad as soon as he said it. It was the truth, he did have to unpack and get ready for school. But he still felt a pang of guilt for making Duo get that look in his eyes. "Maybe, you could help?" He asked, hoping this would bring that light back to Duo's eyes, and it did.

Duo turned away from the window and smiled, his violet eyes shining as he started to pour out questions. "Sure, I'll help. I don't have any work tomorrow. How much stuff do you have left to unpack? Will your parents be home? What time do you want me to be over?"

Heero held up a hand to pause Duo. "There's a room full of boxes to unpack, my parents flew out about three hours ago for Japan, and you can come over whenever you wake up and feel like it." His face didn't change once as he replied. Though Duo could have sworn, he saw a hardening in Heero's eyes when he mentioned his parents.

"Then I'll be over early so we can get it done faster. What time do you usually get up?" He said, wanting to ask why Heero had come with him if his parents were leaving that day.

"Five a.m., but you can sleep in if you'd like. I don't want to drag you from bed so early if your not used to it."

"I'll be there at five then. You do have the coffee maker unpacked don't you?"

Heero couldn't help but smile as Duo grinned at him. "No, but I'll show you the box its in."

[chap. 2] [chap. 4] [back to Clary Sage's fic]