Author: srusse87
Disclaimer: I don't own any part of Gundam Wing.
Warning: Bad language?
Pairing: Well in this it's really 1+2, but I already made clear in the prologue that it was 2x1, or something slightly more complicated.

Author note: I've been working on more of Happily Ever After for ages. I've never had something be so difficult before, the tense refused to settle down, Duo kept slipping out the style I wanted, all inspiration deserted me...but finally here it is.

So I thought a lot about this and about Merith's suggestions. What I wrote is little looks into their lives, moments caught, sometimes the moments that make us bitch but also the reasons that make us stay...in this one, I wanted to bring them together. So basically the prologue was the end and this is the beginning of it all. Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After... Part I

The Ants Come Marching...

The ants were the last straw. I had dealt with the death of my refrigerator that morning with a calm resignation that surprised even me. Especially since my computer was also in the final stages of meltdown. The ants though, which had invaded my apartment, were the final blow to my patience.

It was just one more thing at the end of a long list of things that could be filed under, Duo failing to get his shit together.

Boys don't cry. Instead I punched a hole in the wall next to my refrigerator, hurled a bag of gooey lettuce across the room and kicked the metal folding chair I had been using in the kitchen.

Temper tantrum completed, I set about cleaning up the place all the while swearing under my breath. I knew better than to think positive thoughts. Thinking positively doesn't do shit; a man can't eat on dreams and wishes. I've found that a pessimistic outlook is often the best course when dealing with life. That way if something good does happen it comes as a great and pleasant surprise. If something bad happens you've thought about it already so you're prepared.

Watching Heero blow himself up had just been another Shitty Thing That Happens. Finding out he was alive was a Pleasant Surprise.

So I wasn't terribly surprised when my doorbell rang. I dropped the carton of spoiled milk in the sink, wiped gunk from my hands and ignored the trail of squished ants I left on my trek to the door.

I wasn't sure if finding Heero Yuy standing there, dripping water on the landing was a good thing or a bad thing. I was leaning toward bad thing though when he handed me a slip of paper, "It was on your car. I think it's a parking ticket."

I shut the door in his face. I could only deal with so many crises at a time and my dance card was already full. Of course, he isn't Heero Yuy for nothing and after a moment the door swung open again to reveal him standing there, a slightly disgruntled look on his face. I suppose the fact that the door was unlocked helped as well.

The last I had seen of Heero he had been once again putting his life on the line to save Relena Peacecraft and her precious world peace. I liked Heero, don't get me wrong, in fact I probably liked him a little too much. But the trouble with Heero is that he has the self-preservation instincts of a Lemming. He never thinks about himself and that pisses me off. I mean, every human out there is supposed to be inherently selfish, right? I know I am. And so it really annoys me to find that there is someone out there, someone I know, that is apparently one of the last remaining selfless people on the planet. Though if Heero continued the way he'd been going that wouldn't be the case much longer. That selflessness is tricky business.

I tossed him a towel despite the fact I hadn't invited him in. "If you've come to tell me Relena's gotten herself into more trouble, as God is my witness I will throw your ass out that door."

"Do you win over all the ladies that way?" He peered out at me from under the towel and if I hadn't known better, I could swear the bastard was laughing at me.

I watched him carefully fold the towel up and place it neatly on the back of my ragged sofa, looking around at the same time. Suddenly I remembered the state of my apartment and felt heat rise to my face in embarrassment. Of all the people to show up on all the days, it had to be Mr. Freaking Perfect Yuy.

My home, and I use the term loosely, was basically a dump. I had stumbled away from the last war with nothing more than a duffle bag and my gun. I didn't even have Deathscythe anymore, at Quatre's insistence he'd been destroyed, now nothing more than rubble and space dust. Some days it was easier to hate Quatre than it was to mourn 'Scythe.

This place had been cheap and convenient and was only meant to be a stopover on my way to Bigger and Better things. I'd been here nine months and was no closer to figuring out what I wanted to be when I grew up than I was to knowing Heero's blood type.

"Hey Heero, what's your blood type?" He looked perplexed by the question but just shrugged and told me. "A."

Well that solved at least one of life's great mysteries anyway.

I decided that the best defense was offense so I firmly told myself I wasn't going to bring up the war, my crappy apartment or Relena and plunged right in. "Sorry about the mess, I had to let housekeeping go. What are you doing here anyway? I thought you were headed off into the great blue yonder, princess in hand."

Apparently all communication between brain and mouth had shut down.

I'm not sure why I felt so defensive, Heero's not the type to look down on someone just because their life is currently in the can, but I couldn't seem to help myself. He studied me for a second and I had no idea what he was thinking. Instead of answering my question he suddenly pointed to the floor. "You have ants."

His surprised tone almost set me off into hysterical laughter but I was pretending to be the epitome of cool so I opted for stalking towards the kitchen instead. "I know."

He followed me and paused in the doorway, obviously surveying the disaster the room had become. The guts of my computer were strewn about the table and I had been piling the contents of my broken fridge on every other available space, including the floor. The refrigerator itself was silent, mocking me in its refusal to work.

He scooped a blob of soggy lettuce off the wall and studied it for a moment, obviously puzzled. He opened his mouth as if to speak and I cut him off with a scowl and a sharp shake of my head. "Don't even say it Yuy. I know. I know already."

He offered me another one of those silent looks and then smirked. "I was going to ask, if you had any cinnamon."

There are days I swear the man must have a sense of humor, it's just so warped nobody can follow it. This was one of those times. I stared at him in confusion but pointed to the cupboard above the stove. He walked over and pulled the cinnamon out, juggling it in his hand for a second before looking back at me. "If I get rid of your ants, can I stay?"

Well this was certainly an unexpected turn of events. One moment I'm cleaning stinky freezer gunk off me and the next Heero Yuy is asking to have a sleepover.

"Stay? Like the night? A week?" He fiddled with the jar in his hands, tossing it back and forth and then shrugged, "Don't know."

"I thought you were shacking up with her royal princessness." I was quite pleased my voice only came out slightly sarcastic.

"I passed out after I brought Wing down and found Relena." I nodded at him in encouragement and turned back to the fridge, hauling items out and dropping them on the floor. Where had all this crap come from? I couldn't remember eating Chinese takeout but there was a container of it trying to achieve sapience in the back of the fridge.

"When I woke up I was at her house and she was making arrangements..."

I raised an eyebrow though I didn't look up from my task. Arrangements, huh?

"She wanted me to stay with her, go to school, see a counselor, maybe take a job doing security." He actually sounded a little embarrassed. "I slipped out the window in the middle of the night."

No wonder.

"I tried to sign up with a military unit in China but they wouldn't take me. They said I was too young." Amused, I pulled my head out and looked at him but he wasn't smiling and I realized that to Heero, that hadn't been the least bit funny. I shook my head. Poor solider boy.

He seemed to take my lack of response as encouragement and held up the cinnamon bottle, "So if I make the ants go away, can I stay?"

And wouldn't you know it, the bastard got rid of my ants. Every last one of them.

[ prologue ] [ II ] [back to Singles l - z]