1-4-2003

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Title: #8 So Much More
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat <calic0cat@fastmail.fm>
Story Completed: Jan. 4, 2003
Genre: Angst, Friendship
Pairing: None yet
Rated: PG-13
Warnings: AU, OOC, Swearing
Archives: At Mediaminer.org under Calic0cat. Anyone with archive permission for my other fics can help themselves; anyone else, please ask.
Disclaimer: Duo and Heero and the rest of the GW gang aren't mine. This story is. Nuff said.

Notes: The arc begins between one and two years after Endless Waltz. Duo POV in this story.

'Thinking'
"Speaking"
************ Time passing or scene change

Author's Notes: This is part of an arc of stories. I don't know for sure how many stories there will be or how often I'll be posting them. The length of each story in the arc will vary, anywhere from ficlet to multi-part. Warnings will vary from story to story as well, as will the genre. Pairings will probably eventually make their way in, but it will be quite a while since the first half dozen or so stories are drafted out and there's no real indication of pairings in them as of yet. Feedback is appreciated.

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Duo stopped outside the door and took a deep breath. 'Calm. I have to remain calm,' he told himself firmly as he opened the door.

"Umm, Duo? I could use your help clearing these damn chibis off my laptop," Heero called almost before Duo got through the doorway.

Bounding up the stairs and into the guestroom, Duo discovered a novel sight. A decidedly sheepish Heero waited patiently in front of his laptop, another chair pulled up beside his. Biting his tongue to keep a rash comment from slipping out - he had been decidedly pissed off ever since his watchdog program messaged him earlier that day - Duo silently sat down and started typing. A few minutes later, the dancing chibis were gone and the laptop once again usable.

"How did you know?" Heero asked quietly.

"Oh gee, I don't know," Duo said sarcastically. "Maybe the way you had every damn gun you own out and torn apart for cleaning over the past few days. Maybe the way you spent half the evening sitting and staring at that photo of Odin you pulled from old police files. Or maybe the way you've been muttering Odin's name and crying out in your sleep for the last few nights. Could have been any of those things, I suppose."

Jumping out of the chair, Duo stalked halfway across the room, fighting to keep his temper under control. Abruptly, he spun and returned to the desk in a rush, yanking Heero right out of his chair and shaking him by his shoulders as he spoke. "Dammit Heero, don't you even think about doing something so incredibly stupid, you hear me?! You are capable of so much more than just being a fuckin' leech-on-society's-backside assassin! If you start down that road now, there won't be any turning back. Every job you do will make you just a little more dead inside till there's nothing left of Heero at all, only the cold-blooded killer! You might as well just pick up one of those fuckin' guns and blow your own damn heart out right now as turn assassin! You are so much more than just a killer! Do you hear me?!"

Heero's eyes had gone wider with every word Duo said and every shake he gave him. Suddenly, Heero brought his own arms up and threw them around Duo, pulling them together in a tight hug. "Arigatou, Duo," he whispered. "Thank you for caring. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for being my friend. My best friend. And thank you for stopping me from making the biggest mistake of my life."

"At least you damn well know it fuckin' would have been," Duo muttered, still seething with emotion. Pulling back just enough to meet Heero's suspiciously moist eyes, he said earnestly, "Heero, I don't care how long it takes for you to find a job that you're comfortable with. Having you here with me is more than worth the cost of a few lousy groceries or a slightly higher utility bill. What good's a house if you're all alone? It can't be much of a home unless there's somebody there to share it with you. Have patience and a little faith, buddy. We'll find something that's just right for you sooner or later. In the meantime, I'll put the word out, see if I can find something short-term. If it was just a temporary thing, it wouldn't matter so much if it wasn't really your kind of job, right?"

Heero nodded slightly in response, prompting Duo to tighten the hug again and press an impulsive kiss to the slightly shorter teen's forehead before breaking away from the hug. "So, what's for supper, or did you get around to starting anything yet?" Duo asked, ignoring the startled look Heero was giving him. "If you haven't, I thought maybe we could go play a little one on one then pick up takeout from Wong's on the way back. Sound good to you?"

"H-hai," Heero stuttered, following Duo out of the room. "Basketball and takeout sounds good."

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