NOTE: see part 1
for notes, warnings
+ Part 22
It was one week to the day
before Duo was to have his cast removed and Heero lay in bed in the wee
hours of the morning, unable to sleep. His mind was restless, as it had
been since Duo had scheduled the appointment for the cast removal. It
signaled an end to an era and a time for a decision. Would he go back
to Relena's place?
Seven weeks seemed to have passed like lightening, and Heero found himself
suffering from not only indecision, but from loss as well -- a
loss that he hadn't yet even experienced, nor did he have to if he decided
to accept Duo's offer to be a permanent roommate. He didn't know if it
was the right thing to do, though, since in all the time that he'd been
there, they hadn't had any other conversations like the one they had while
Duo was in the hospital. Yes, there had been and continued to be the hair-washing
thing, but Heero didn't want to just assume that because he was helping
Duo wash his hair, that it meant anything other than what it was. Moron!
Of course it's more than that! You're just too afraid to act on it, because
you love him and you won't admit it to yourself! Sighing, Heero stared
at the ceiling as daylight slowly crept into the room.
It wasn't until he heard Duo moving around in the other bedroom across
the hall that his attention was drawn to the back of his bedroom door.
He could hear the man thumping around with his cast -- he'd taken
to hopping more now than using the crutches since he no longer felt pain
if he used the leg -- and he went about his bathroom business, then
made his way downstairs. It seemed awful early for Duo to be up, but Heero
just dismissed it an tried to get a few more winks of sleep before having
to get up for work. The crash that came from the kitchen had him abruptly
sitting up in bed though, and he quickly rose and trotted down the stairs
in just his underwear to see what the problem was.
Standing in the doorway to the kitchen, Heero found Duo in the midst of
a pile of pots that had fallen from the cabinet shelf as Duo had attempted
to get out a frying pan.
"Is everything OK? I heard a crash."
Duo sighed with annoyance. "Fine. Sorry I got you out of bed so early."
The kitchen clock read five-fifteen. "Just trying to make us some
breakfast before you head off, but the frying pan got hooked on the other
pot, and I tried to lean over to get it out and near lost my balance."
"What are you doing up so early? I don't have to be in until
nine," Heero said, helping Duo pick up the pots that had fallen,
littering the kitchen floor.
"No? Everything OK?"
Duo stood and straightened. "I haven't been able to get my appointment
next week off my mind."
That makes two of us. Smiling, Heero agreed. "Going to be weird to
have that thing off, I'd guess. But it will be great."
"No, that's not what I mean. Yeah, I can't wait to get
it off, but that's not what's bugging me."
Heero stopped and just stood. "Then what is?"
"I --" Duo began solemnly. "Heero, have you given any thought to
staying?" His eyes were bright and hopeful as they captured Heero's. "I
don't want you to leave."
Sighing, Heero admitted that he'd been up thinking about the same
thing, and hadn't come to any conclusion about what to do about it.
"Just what, Heero?" Duo said with noticeable annoyance in his
tone. "I don't want you to feel you have to stay if you don't
really want to stay...but you do want to stay. Don't you?" His
question was less of a question than it was a confirming statement and
Heero knew it.
"I don't know what I want, Duo," Heero said, and the crack
in his voice was audible. You DO know what you want to do, you're
too afraid to make the decision! "I..."
"I know what you want better than you do, Heero." Duo put the
frying pan in his hand up on the stove burner and turned to face his friend
with a perturbed expression. "Can I assist you in making your decision?"
Raising an eyebrow, Heero said, "Umm, I suppose." The next thing
he knew, his lips were being devoured by Duo's, the longhaired man
holding him with both hands by the sides of his head, forcing him into
a hold and bearing down on him, attacking him with the most breathtaking
kiss he'd ever imagined possible. At first he was taken off guard
and Heero tried to fight, but once his mind registered what was happening,
he let himself be kissed. He let his lips be parted and Duo's toothpaste-minted
tongue enter his mouth, exploring his warm depth, causing his head to
spin and his stomach to turn. He let Duo sweep him off his feet standing
right there in the kitchen, making him dizzy with the pent-up passion
that was flowing through both of them. Then before it was all over, Heero
joined in and kissed back, finally answering the call that had been sent
out to him.
Roughly pushing the two of them apart, out of breath and gulping air,
Duo stared deep into Heero's eyes with a look of annoyed accomplishment.
That sly little smirk of his graced his thin lips. "There. Think
about that for a while and let me know."
Heero went through the rest of his day in a blur. His lips had burned
with Duo's fire for hours after the kiss in the kitchen, and his
gut was in turmoil like he'd never experienced in his young life.
This must really be what love is like. They never did make breakfast,
Heero disappearing in a daze to take an early shower while Duo clamored
back upstairs to lie on his bed thinking. When he was washed up and dressed,
Heero just grabbed his laptop case and jogged down the flight of stairs.
He left for the morning without saying goodbye, so he never did notice
the smirk that was still on Duo's face, he being able to sense the
tension that he'd caused in Heero with that one, albeit very hot,
kiss. He was going to be two hours early to work, but in the state of
mind he was in, he needed the time to think anyway.
By ten that morning he'd been through three cups of coffee from the
shop across the street and had absently perused a few surveillance reports,
his mind flooded with thoughts from that morning instead. That kiss had
been...wonderful. There was nothing else to call it. It had left him floating
inches above the floor and his heart pounding in his chest with excitement
and anticipation. He was positive now, that this intoxicating emotion
was what Duo had been warning him of all along. He hadn't felt the
slightest tingle when Relena had kissed him twice, yet Duo managed to
stir him up just with his eyes. A kiss from Duo surged through him like
lightening, awakening parts of him that he never realized even existed.
For the first time in his life, Heero lusted after someone. That kiss,
that one magical kiss, had cut through him like a burning blade and settled
right in his groin, a sensation that no other person had yet caused in
him. Not even Relena, as beautiful as she was and as delicious as she
smelled. It just didn't affect him the way Duo did.
No sooner than he'd thought of her did Heero's video phone ring
-- it was Relena. She was dressed for a meeting or luncheon, done
up nicely with makeup and her hair up, and she smiled at him. She really
was beautiful, Heero thought, but no matter how much he might try, he
didn't think there was any way for him to convince himself that he
should be with her. As guilty as that made him feel, he contemplated why
it was that he even should feel guilty about that -- after all, people
are people -- you can't "make" someone like you. Forcing
a smile to hide the question in his mind, Heero greeted the girl.
"Good morning, Heero," the Foreign Minister said, smiling brightly
and trying to put on her best show for him. She'd been especially
thoughtful and accommodating toward him since he'd been staying with
"Good morning, Relena."
"I understand you're reading over the reports from yesterday's
surveillance?" There had been some upheaval again in the L5 cluster
and Preventer units were once more keeping a close eye on a few key "troublemakers."
"Doing that as we speak." Heero smiled, realizing that she could
see through its fakeness.
"So, how are things going at Duo's?"
"He's doing much better, thanks." Shifting in his chair,
Heero's eyes got a little hard. Relena knew how to push his buttons,
he realized, and it seemed as though these days, though she probably didn't
mean anything by it, she would frequently revert to seeing him squirm
by bringing up Duo. Maybe it was her realization that she didn't
stand a chance with him, or it was just plain jealousy, but no matter
what it was, she never failed to make it known that she was still dissatisfied
with the way things had progressed between them. She never came right
out and said anything to him, but the subtle innuendoes were enough to
drive Heero crazy with guilt.
"It's been a while now. When does the cast come off?" Relena
asked this time, prying for whatever information she could get.
Sucking in a deep breath, Hero answered, "The cast will be off a
week from today. It's been seven weeks already."
"Wow, how time flies," she said with a false expression of glee
on her face. "Well, I guess that means you'll be back home in
a week then, doesn't it? I'll have your room freshened before
you get back."
Heero closed his eyes for a moment, his heart rate increasing slightly
at the sound of her words. What the hellis it with today? "Relena,
I..." he faltered.
"I'm sorry, what was that?"
He looked her straight in the eyes and said it. "Relena, I'm
going to stay. I'm going to move in with Duo."
As she went to speak, Relena's mouth opened, then closed again, silently.
"I'm sorry, Relena. I need to thank you for all the hospitality
you've shown me, and all the help you've given me, and you know
I'll always be your friend..."
Relena chuckled. "It's OK, Heero. I didn't think you were
going to live here forever." Her face smiled cordially at him, but
her eyes told a different story.
Heero was momentarily saddened. He'd hurt her through no fault of
his own. "I'm so sorry, Relena."
Hiding her disappointment as best she could, Relena looked away from the
screen to gather herself. "Heero, please. You have to do what's
right for you. I know that. I can't say I won't miss having
you at the mansion, but you'll always be welcome there, should you
ever desire to come back."
"I appreciate that," Heero said, then let his eyes drop, ashamed.
"OK then. I really need to get going, but let me know when you'll
be by for the remainder of your things? Or if you prefer, I can send them
to Duo's place for you?"
"No, I'll be around to get them. No need to send anyone. Probably
over the weekend, if that's alright." Looking up to meet her
eyes again, Heero offered the peace offering of a little smile, and Relena
could not help but to smile back.
"That'll be fine, Heero. I'll see you later." With
that the call terminated from Relena's end.
For a few minutes Heero sat, unmoving, and contemplated what had just
happened. Then sighing, he shook his head and smiled to himself, a great
pressure having been lifted off his shoulders. He'd made a major
decision -- a decision that would influence his own happiness and
nothing more -- he was going to stay with Duo. Though his mind was
confused, his heart rejoiced.
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