by Aqua

A Soldier's Distraction

He was a distraction.

That was all that he was. Something that kept Heero from being able to focus completely on the tasks at hand. It didn't matter if he was doing it on purpose, or simply catching Heero's attention by being in the same room. He was still a distraction, and distractions should be taken care of.

Destroyed.

Cursing, Heero shook his head. Even if he wanted to, really wanted to, he wouldn't be able to get rid of this particular person without causing a lot of problems for himself and others.

After all, Duo Maxwell was still a Gundam pilot.

+

Heero rolled over on his bed, finding it disturbingly difficult to sleep. Usually, he could just turn his body on and off when he wanted to, getting in the necessary hours of sleep for him to be able to function at top efficiency. However, tonight, he hadn't been able to shut off his mind. He'd been tossing and turning for almost three hours. Sleep had abandoned him completely, despite how heavy his eyelids were beginning to feel.

He was human, after all.

He didn't know if he was surprised or not with the discovery.

Sitting up, Heero looked across the room to where the other bed was sitting against the far wall. Upon the mattress, twisted in his blankets, was Duo. Snoring loudly, limbs spread in every which direction, his bound braid coiling like a cat's tail around his left arm. He looked like such an ordinary young boy that, for a moment, Heero could pretend that even he, himself, was no more than this boy's friend and school mate.

Then his eyes fell upon the gun almost hidden under Duo's pillow. The same type of gun that was hidden under his own, where it would be easily accessible if it were needed. Soldiers, even in the confines of their private bedroom. Even in their dreams.

Duo gave a snort, mumbled something, and turned yet again. He rolled onto his side, one arm dangling from the bed as the other was trapped under his body.

Heero shook his head and stood. This particular school was high risk. They were in an soldier-training school. Richard Academy was one of the best Earth schools, when it came to training young men into soldiers. It was also one of the biggest suppliers of soldiers to the Oz army. The two of them had smuggled their way in with fake records and identities, two out of four hundred new recruits. It had been almost surprisingly easy to get in.

However, they weren't stupid enough to think that they were in no danger. Their instructors were not stupid and they'd been told in the mission report that there was a high chance of being caught before they could get the information they had come for. Both of them had to pretend to be ordinary boys trying to fight in a man's war. It would of been easy, if both hadn't been trained at a young age. It was hard to forget that they already knew how to shoot a gun, how to punch at just the right angle to snap a man's neck, how to maneuver a mobile suit. Often, they'd had to invent stories to cover for a talent that an ordinary boy wouldn't have.

Such as their first time on the shooting range. Without thinking, Heero had shot the human-shaped targets with perfect shots. It was a reflex for him not to miss. When the others had turned toward him, Duo had laughed and slung an arm around his shoulder.

"Guess those years of hunting with your uncle payed off, Koishiro!" Duo had exclaimed.

His accuracy explained, the others had cone back to what they were doing. They missed the sharp look that Duo gave him and the subtle kick to his shin. Going along with the story, Heero continued to hit the targets almost perfectly, then only a little above average for the moving targets. Still, he held the second highest score because of that, Duo next to him in line and a student named Jare Lorac holding first place with only three more perfect scores than Heero himself.

After that swift reminder that he wasn't already supposed to be a trained soldier, Heero had allowed his instincts to slip. He still among the top students, but he'd been careful to make a few mistakes here and there. Things that he normally wouldn't let slip by him, he allowed to do so. Knowledge he shouldn't have in academics, he kept to himself. When it came to physical fighting, he did his best to let others gain the upper hand over him on occasion. It was difficult for both himself and for Duo, but they managed to get through it well enough.

If only Duo weren't such a damned distraction all the time!

Heero had noticed, even before coming to the school, that he was allowing Duo to become closer to him than was strictly necessary. However, since being forced to act like 'a regular teenager' who was Duo's best friend, Heero had noticed actions and thoughts slipping into his daily routine that hadn't been there before. Often, when he should of been studying, he found his eyes taking in every detail of the youth across the room instead of the words in his book. During class, he should of been listening and watching the teacher. Instead, he was counting how many times Duo would play with his hair. It was rather entertaining during the boring classes. He would grab the tip, bite on it, realize what he was doing, and let the end of his braid go. Then, five minutes later, he would grab it again.

Heero was supposed to be paying attention to the schedule of the people in the building, learning the best time to be able to break into the office of the head teacher (principal, he reminded himself, this was an American school) and hack into his computer. He was supposed to figure out an efficient way to work the unique computer system so he could download the necessary information and get back out without anyone knowing he'd been in there in the first place.

They had been here for three days, and Heero had learned squat.

Well, not entirely. He'd learned that Duo slept in boxers, hated coffee, read an alarming amount of shoujo comics, made friends easier with girls than boys, talked in his sleep, sometimes walked in his sleep (usually to the bathroom, since they had a private one connected to the room by a door), liked catsup on almost everything he ate, and sang with his hairbrush as a microphone when he thought Heero wasn't paying attention.

It was getting ridiculous.

He was either going to have to get down to business, or abort this mission.

Or get rid of Duo.

Walking toward the other's bed, Heero contemplated the third option. Duo was a good soldier when one got right down to it, but he was not inexpendable. His loud mouth often got him into trouble, and anyone who happened to be working with him at the time. He had a trusting nature toward people that was bound to get him into serious danger, and he was completely impractical right down to the chain of his braid. So what if he could wield Deathscythe Hell like a master? It would be more productive for Heero if this particular Gundam pilot were out of his way.

Leaning forward, Heero easily slipped the gun out from under Duo's pillow. The other boy didn't even twitch, going on snoring.

Heero shook his head and scowled. If Duo had been on this mission alone, anyone could of come into the room and killed him without any trouble. He wasn't the least bit on guard, and had even left his weapon in view.

Pointing the barrel of the gun at the slumbering face of his partner, Heero stood for several long moments of silence, not moving. Then, slowly, he lowered the gun to his side. His eyes slipped closed, and Heero sighed.

"Why not just shoot me and get it over with?"

Heero's eyes snapped open, and he found himself staring at a pair of indigo ones, fully awake, watching him. There was no accusation, no fear or even anger. There was just a simple expression of almost detached curiousity. Duo didn't seem the least bit surprised to wake and find Heero standing over him with a gun in his hand.

"Heero. Why not just shoot me?" Duo questioned again.

Snorting, Heero tossed the gun onto Duo's bed. "Idiot. You shouldn't be so unaware of the danger around you." He turned and made his way back to his own bed. He could feel Duo's eyes on his back, watching him closely.

"I was aware. I knew perfectly well that you reached over me and took my gun. I was just wondering if you would actually kill me, or if you would change your mind again," Duo stated.

"Again?" Heero snapped before he could stop himself.

Duo gave him a small grin, his eyes glimmering in the moonlight. "I know perfectly well that you hate me. I don't completely understand why, although you've made it clear that you dislike my manner of doing things. I also know perfectly well that you've had opportunities to 'dispose' of me, but have not. I don't really understand this either," he admitted.

Laying down, Heero looked up at the ceiling, his head resting on his arms. He didn't say anything. After a few moments, he heard Duo getting to his feet and walking toward his bed, his footfalls almost silent were it not for the fact that he disrupted a pile of comic books along the way and they fell to the floor with a flutter of pages. Still, he refused to turn and look at the other pilot. He felt confused, more from Duo's words than anything else. If he knew that Heero wanted to get him out of the way, then why had Duo continued to work with him?

"Maybe it's because you want to kill me that we work so well together. You may not have noticed, but our missions are most successful when it is the two of us working together. Probably the reason why we end up being sent on the same missions so often," Duo commented.

"I don't want to kill you," Heero admitted reluctantly.

Duo laughed, sitting on the edge of the bed. "I know," he replied.

Unwillingly, Heero felt his gaze shift to the face of the other. Duo had sat, but he was still moving, until he was laying next to Heero's body, his head resting on Heero's bare chest. It was a slow movement, but Heero still felt shock work though his body. He felt his muscles tense despite the fact he didn't move, his heart pounding in his ears.

"You're a distraction," he stated, his tone as cold and final as he could muster it to be.

Duo's hair felt like silk against his skin, his body as warm as Heero's was cold. Again, Duo laughed softly. "I know that, too," he replied. "I want to be."

"Want to be?" Heero replied, his tone harsh.

Shifting, Duo looked up at him, a hand reaching up to touch Heero's face. His fingers were barely callused from using a gun and piloting Deathscythe Hell's controls. The tips felt warm against his face.

"Perhaps, I need to be. A distraction for you. Without me to distract you, what would there be for you?" Duo replied.

"The war. My missions. My reason for being here in the first place," Heero replied.

Duo shook his head, his expression sad. "Those things are not for you. Those are the things that need you, not things that you need. Without them, you are Heero Yuy. With them, you are a soldier. Despite the times we live in and our chosen role in life, you still need to be Heero Yuy on occasion," he replied.

"You've done it on purpose? Distracting me, so I can be Heero Yuy?"

"Yah. It doesn't always work, but when it does, it's great. Seeing you smile on occasion, seeing you walk without the weight of the world on your shoulders. Seeing you joking around, drinking, playing sports, whatever it is. Seeing you like the human that you are. I like to do my best to see that version of you whenever possible."

"I'm still a soldier, no matter what."

"Yes, but can't you be a soldier and a human at the same time?"

Heero fell silent, feeling as though he were drowning in Duo. In his eyes, his words, his confessions and his suggestion. Drowning in the emotion he could see in Duo's expression, something he had never seen on another's face before. Not directed at him, anyway. It left him feeling bare, naked, and vulnerable like he had never been before. It left his body trembling and his breathing coming in heavy gasps, as though his lungs had forgotten how to work properly. He had never felt this before, and was afraid for the first time in his life.

He felt Duo lean down once again, wondered when he had closed his eyes, then felt a gentle pressure against his mouth. His eyes snapped open, and he found himself staring into Duo's own eyes. The other boy was kissing him, softly, with next to no pressure, allowing him time to adjust, time to relax or pull away or do whatever he was going to do.

With a groan and a mental snap of whatever it was that had held him back this long, Heero's arms wrapped around Duo's slender body, his lips parting to deepen the kiss. He inhaled sharply, and smelt only Duo's musky scent. Felt only Duo's arms wrapped around him, the warmth against his body, the pleasant pressure that teased his lips and tongue.

Perhaps, he was human. And, perhaps, he did need a distraction after all.

Owari

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