Title: 5 Dates With Duo - Part 2
Author: Lady Archer
Pairing: 1 + 2
Warnings: Fluff that is sometimes deep fluff and climaxes into limey fluff and then fades off into sap/aw-inducing fluff. Post-war
Disclaimer: They ain't mine.
Feedback: I'd love it. Pretty please?

5 Dates With Duo: Date Two - Cathy's Coffee Café

Taking a deep, calming breath, Heero picked up the small piece of paper where he had written the following in his neat, precise handwriting:

Day: Saturday
Time: 4:00
Destination: Unknown
Dress Code: Unknown
Relationship status: Unknown


Disappointed that he was still so lacking in information, he debated calling Duo again. Duo had been pretty irritated when he had called the second time demanding to know what he should wear, making it very clear that he was going to be pissed if he had to get changed again when Duo arrived. Duo, of course, had not only refused, but also had twisted Heero's words and thoughts around so that by the end of the conversation Heero had been under the impression that he had called Duo with the intentions of talking about a press conference that had been on TV earlier that day.

And now it was 3:48, and Heero could no longer put off the terrible ordeal of trying to guess where Duo was going to take him and dressing appropriately. After 4 minutes of more stress then he should ever experience in front of his closet, he finally said to himself, `to hell with this,' and decided on a neutral t-shirt and jeans. The only thing for certain was that he was not going to change.

At 3:57 he left his apartment and walked downstairs, and at exactly 4:01 a sleek, black car pulled over in front of him, a smiling Duo in the driver's seat. Hopping out of the car, Duo strolled over to Heero, gave him a quick hug, and then turned around and gestured grandly to the car.

"Well? What do you think? Isn't it awesome?"

Heero had to admit it was a very nice car. He admired it for a few seconds. "Yes, it is a very nice, a nice...what is it?" Duo's grin widened, and he looked very pleased with himself. His tone begging of compliments, he said, "What do you think? It's my own invention, you know."

Of that, Heero had no doubt. On closer inspection underneath the generous coat of black paint he could detect the parts of at least twenty different cars.

Heero continued to inspect it with a critical eye for a few minutes. "It...certainly is interesting," he said at last.

Duo huffed, seeming mildly insulted. "It runs fine, if you're worried I'm gonna kill you," he snapped.

Heero looked surprised. "Of course it runs," he commented, "you made it."

Duo blinked, and then his expression turned very smug.

"So, where are we going?" Heero asked, ready to be told to march right back upstairs to get changed and just as ready to flat out refuse to do so.

"Not telling."

Heero sighed in annoyance. "What's the point in not telling me?" he demanded to know.

"I'm just trying to make things a little more fun for you, Yuy," Duo said cheekily.

"No, you're trying to kill me with stress."

"That too," Duo admitted, and then opened the car door for Heero.

Knowing he was fighting a losing battle, Heero got inside and waited for Duo to hop into the driver's seat. Duo started the car and Heero was even more impressed with how smoothly the car ran. For a while there was silence except for the radio.

"Excited?" Duo asked casually after they had been driving for a few minutes.

"I still can't believe I'm doing this," was the muttered response.

"Please, you were looking forward to it, weren't you?"

Heero looked out at the road, and instead of answering decided to try his luck again. "Where are we going?"

Duo sighed. "That's all you're concerned about, isn't it? I'm only telling you this because gray hairs would not look good on you. We're going to Cathy's Coffee Café; it's about 10 minutes from here. I discovered it a few days ago when I had breakfast there.

Heero stared at Duo. "We're going to a coffee shop?"

"Yup."

"A coffee shop?"

"Uh-huh."

"A coffee shop?"

"Heero, I ain't saying it again."

"I've been worrying all week about this stupid promise and we're going to a coffee shop?!"

"What did you think?" Duo asked, stopping at a red light and turning around to fully look at Heero. Suddenly a knowing light entered Duo's eyes. "Oh...I know! You thought we were going dancing or something, didn't you?" A slight flush to Heero's cheeks betrayed him.

"So what?" he growled defensively. "It's the kind of thing you'd drag me to."

Duo laughed. "Heero, man, what am I going to do with you? We're just going to have a cup of coffee, is all."

He watched with amusement as the tension noticeably drained from the Japanese man. "Besides, everyone knows dancing is on the fourth date."

Heero was instantly on guard again. "Says who?" he demanded.

Duo rolled his eyes. "Me, of course. Oh, and by the way, wear something comfortable on our fourth date because we're going dancing."

Heero growled something unintelligible and more likely than not uncomplimentary.

"Don't be so sour! I'm telling you where we're going and what to wear so you should be thrilled! That is, of course, if we have a fourth date."

Choosing to ignore the idea of dancing, Heero said, "So a basketball game and a cup of coffee? That's what you came up with for our dates?"

"I thought you would be happy. I'm giving you two easy runs!"

"I suppose..."

"You don't have to go out with me, you know. Just back out anytime."

"I didn't say that," Heero grumbled.

"Besides, this date's only for an hour, anyway."

 

Heero stared at Duo. "An hour?"

"Uh-huh. You only have to put up with me for one hour today, aren't you happy?"

"An hour."

"This echo thing is getting pretty irritating," Duo remarked.

"Why an hour?"

"Because I said so. Besides, who wants to stay in a coffee shop for more than an hour? I thought you'd be pleased that this date is such an easy run."

Heero considered this, and they were silent for the rest of the ride, listening to the radio.

They arrived at a small, quaint store that proclaimed in bright neon lights, `Cathy's Coffee Café.' Stepping inside, they were greeted by a tall, pretty girl.

"Hello, my name's Liz. Welcome to Cathy's Coffee Café," she said cheerily.

"Table for two, sugar," Duo said, grinning, and she picked up two menus. Seeing with alarm the look she was giving Duo, Heero wrapped a possessive arm around the boy's waist, and was amused to actually see the girl's hopes shatter in her eyes. Duo gave him an amused look and didn't comment.

They sat down, and studied the menus. Another waitress came by and they ordered, Heero a coffee, black, no sugar, and Duo a triple latté.

Duo leaned back in the booth and regarded Heero silently for a few seconds. "So, Heero, what've been up to these past years with no war?"

"I joined the Preventers," he said. "But you knew that."

"Yeah, so how's it going? What's it like?"

"Busy," he said. Duo rolled his eyes. Hailing over their waitress, he ordered a glass of ice water.

"Okay, we're going to do this again, 'k? And every time you talk to me in less then two sentences, I'm going to kick you, and if I hear even one one-syllable response from you I'm going to splash my water into your face. Got it?"

"Yes," Heero said, and then seeing Duo raise his newly acquired cup of water towards him he hastily added, "I understand the boundaries you've set. I agree to your terms."

Laughing loudly, Duo took a sip of his drink and grinned. "Good boy," he commented, knowing it would piss Heero off, and knowing that if Heero wanted to yell at him he was going to have to think of two sentences with which to do it.

"Now, how is it going at the Preventers?"

Heero paused, and Duo waited expectantly. "It is going very well," he said slowly. "At first, all I did was prevent assassination attempts. After the war dissenters were going all out to take out key public figures. For a while after that I did security systems work, and now I do not have too much of a regular agenda."

Duo looked beside himself with delight at such a long response. "I knew a guy named Rick who tried out for the Preventers a few months ago. He said that the guy who evaluates all the newcomers is a real bastard, doesn't miss a thing, and that everyone calls him 'The Taskmaster' behind his back. Do you know who the guy is?"

Heero coughed uncomfortably. "That would be me," he said, and then quickly added, "I...do not take it easy on any new recruits, I suppose."

Duo's eyebrows shot up, and then he burst into laughter. "That's you? The things he said you said..." Duo trailed off into stunned laughter.

Heero tried to be mad, but instead he found himself loving Duo's rich, deep laughter, and he found himself wondering how he could get Duo to laugh like this all the time.

"What about you?" Heero asked. "What are you doing?" "You're never going to believe it," Duo said.

"Are you going to tell me?" Heero asked. Duo paused, and then kicked Heero in the shin when he didn't hear a second sentence. Heero glared at Duo, but Duo just shrugged.

"You agreed to the terms." Heero snorted. "Anyway, so after the war I didn't really know what to think or what I was going to do with my life, so I went back to school!" Heero was surprised.

"Really. I did not know. Uh, what did you study?"

Duo grinned and continued, "Yeah, so I went back for two whole years, and I got degrees in science and business. I'm really glad I did. I mean, I can fly a Gundam better than practically the entire population of the Earthsphere, but I'll be damned if I know anything about anything else. And it was totally government paid, too."

"I almost went back to school," Heero admitted, "But I found that J's training made schoolwork too tedious."

"I'm not surprised, Mr. Perfect Solider. I bet you could have helped me with my multiple calculus no problem. I had hell in that class."

Heero smirked. "Probably. But what about the last year? That only accounts for two of the three years I have not seen you."

"I put that education to damn good use, Heero. I'm a businessman now! I wear a suit and everything. I even own a tie! Can you believe it? If there is one thing I never thought I'd own, it's a tie."

"I do not own a tie," Heero said. Duo kicked him.

"I do stuff in salvage, mostly. There's just millions of tons of metals and scrap that went into those damned mobile suits, and I'm overseeing contracts that are making a lot of more practical stuff with it."

"Are you happy? Not that you went to school, but now?"

"Considering I had envisioned myself dead, either six feet under of blown to bits, by now, you could say I'm pretty pleased!"

"Three years is a long time, Duo. Why haven't you contacted me since the end of the war?"

Duo sighed. "I was waiting for you to contact me, Yuy. I didn't want to come to you and then...find you weren't ready or didn't remember or some shit."

"You didn't contact anyone?"

Duo kicked him and said, "Oh, I talked to lots of our old war buddies. I talk to Quat all the time, and I have contracts with Hilde and her salvage business, and I hang out with Howard sometimes."

Heero frowned. "I have talked with Quatre. He never mentioned you."

Duo grinned. "That's because I told him not to."

"Why would you tell him that? I would have...I would have liked to talked to you."

"I already told you. It's because I wanted you to be sure you...wanted to talk to me when I talked to you."

"Now you are contradicting yourself," Heero pointed out. "It was you who contacted me in the first place."

Duo looked slightly sheepish. "Yeah, I did, didn't I?"

"Yes, you did. Why did you contact me?"

"Well, it happened when I was on L4, and I was visiting a contract of mine. I was in the hanger where they dismantle the suits, and it was pretty early so not too many people were there, and I...tripped."

Heero raised his eyebrows. "You tripped. A trained Gundam pilot tripped on what?"

"Yeah, I know. It was a wrench."

"You tripped yourself on a wrench," Heero stated, and then winced slightly when Duo kicked him again. His shins were starting to hurt.

"I know. I really didn't want to tell you this, kind of embarrassing, you know. But anyway, as I was lying there really dazed with the wrench I tripped over and at least two nails digging into my back, all I could think of was how much I wanted you to be there lying on that cold, hard floor next to me."

Heero was silent, staring at Duo, and Duo stared into his coffee mug. "Really," Heero said at last. Without hesitation or a glance up from his mug Duo took his glass of water and splashed the entire cup full on Heero.

Heero's mouth dropped open and he stared wide-eyed, water dripping down his face and soaking him, at Duo who calmly ordered another glass of water from their dumbfounded waitress. Several people had gone silent to stare at them.

"Yeah," Duo continued casually, "so when someone finally came in the hanger and found me lying there and helped me up and all I couldn't help but thinking how you were the first thing I thought of when I was half-unconscious there, and I got your number from Quat and called you up without thinking. You don't know how relieved I was when you didn't pick up the phone, man."

"I see," Heero said, absently wiping some water from his brow. "I'm glad you called, Duo," and his tone was very serious.

Duo chuckled slightly. "I suppose I was so worried because I just couldn't, and I really hate to admit this, mind you, but I couldn't get the image out of my head that I was going to show up at your apartment door and come inside to see little Peacecraft-Yuys bouncing on your knee."

Duo blushed slightly, and stared out the window, and they were both silent picturing the scene. Heero shuddered slightly, and it wasn't due to a very damp shirt.

"How's Relena doing, anyway?" Duo asked, emphasizing each of the syllables in the girl's name.

"Relena? How should I know?"
Duo grinned.

"Good answer, Yuy. But seriously, you don't ever talk to her?" Duo pressed on, seeming very anxious for an answer. "You don't like her or anything?"

"I used to like Relena," Heero said quietly, and Duo looked up sharply, alarmed. "I thought I was going to be with her forever. She asked me to stay with her, once, right after the war, but I turned her down. She never asked me again."

"Do you love her?" Duo asked softly.

Heero stared at Duo, and he decided on the truth. "I did," Heero said, and Duo forgot to kick him.

Duo looked intently at Heero for a long, awkward moment. "Care to expand on that?" he managed to say.

"I did," Heero said, still quietly. "And now I don't. Because I realized that I never did." This silence stretched even longer than the first.

"Fair enough, Yuy," Duo said at last, and the subject was closed.

"Duo? Are you happy with your life?" Heero asked, changing the subject much to the relief of both of them.

"Didn't we already go through this? I'm alive and I wear a tie. I'm ecstatic."

"Then I suppose you're not missing anything?" Heero was trying to say something, but he wasn't sure he wanted an answer. "Your life is...complete."

"Yeah, I guess. I ­ oh." Duo's eyes widened and Heero would've seen a light bulb click on over Duo's head if he hadn't been staring at the tabletop. Duo gently covered the hand that was holding Heero's mug with his own. "I mean it was complete as of a few weeks ago when you answered my call."

Heero looked up and their eyes locked.

"Heero, seriously, you don't have anything to be self-conscious about, buddy. If anything, I'm dying over here waiting for you to tell me this was a terrible idea and you're over whatever illness you were down with when you accepted."

Heero smiled slightly. "That was really sappy, Duo." Duo kicked him in the shins, and it wasn't because Heero only spoke one sentence.

"Man, this is getting a little heavy, but I kind of wanted to get it out of the way, I suppose."

Heero nodded, and they talked for a little while longer about inconsequential topics, and Heero's shins acquired a few more bruises.

"Well, Yuy, ready to go?" Duo said.

Heero raised his eyebrows. "Now?" Duo promptly poured his entire cup of ice water over Heero's head.

Heero growled, looking ready to kill, Duo quickly said, "Yup. It's been an hour. It is exactly 60 minutes since we walked in here, and I promised you a one-hour long date. It's time to go." Throwing down some money on the tabletop Duo leaped out of his seat just as Heero reached out to strangle him.

"Come on, Yuy, calm down. Now come on, let's go."

Taking a deep, calming breath, Heero nodded and followed Duo out. As he walked out, he noticed Liz admiring Duo from behind and glared at her until she paled and turned away. Duo looked back at Heero and raised an eyebrow.

"Everything okay?"

Heero nodded and quickly caught up with Duo. They got into his car and Duo drove them back to Heero's apartment.

On the drive back, Heero said, "I can't believe you had me worried over a coffee shop. I can't even believe that I'm doing this." He did not say, however, that this meant he wasn't going to continue.

Duo laughed, and didn't say anything. They arrived at Heero's building, and Duo walked Heero back up to his apartment. They stopped right outside his door.

"Bye," Heero said, and smirked when Duo automatically reached for a glass of water that wasn't there. Duo grinned, accepting the slight.

Duo laid a quick kiss on Heero's cheek ­ much, much, much too quick a kiss, in Heero's opinion ­ before backing up.

"So? Are we on for a third date, Yuy?"

Heero shrugged, affecting a look of indifference. "Sure. Why not?"

Duo smiled and turned to go but Heero stopped him. "Where are we going?"

Duo sighed in loud exasperation. "Seriously, Heero, I'm beginning to think you're stupid or something. Do you think I'm going to tell you? Because I'm not. Actually, I was planning on telling you, but now that you asked me you're just going to have to suffer."

"You were not going to tell me," Heero stated.

Duo grinned. "I said I was planning to. I might've, I probably wouldn't have, but I might've. You, however, have just blown your slim chance at a stress-free week."

Heero glared, and Duo turned around again with the same intention of leaving. Without thinking Heero reached out and grabbed the long braid that brushed Duo's thighs and rubbed it softly between his fingers. Duo stared at Heero, who blushed once he realized what he had done.

"I'll see you next Saturday," Duo said firmly, and then left. Heero opened his fist, allowing the braid to snake out of his grasp. He watched Duo leave, and was overcome with a sudden desperation for Duo to stay.

"I realized I never loved Relena," Heero said to no one what he had intended to say earlier, "because I hadn't known what love was until I realized that I love you."

It was going to be a damn long week.

[part 1] [part 3] [back to the Singles page]