10-3-2005

Title: #105 Preparation - Part 6
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat <calic0cat@fastmail.fm>
Story Completed: October 3, 2005
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Friendship, Romance, Domestic, Drama
Pairing: 1x2x1
Rated: FRM (Fan Rated suitable for Mature persons)
Warnings: Language (Coarse Language, Profanity), Lemon Archives: At my site http://www.calic0cat.net and 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.

Author's Notes: This is an open-ended arc focussing on Duo and Heero's lives together, starting about two years after Endless Waltz. The length of each story in the arc will vary, anywhere from ficlet to multi-part. Warnings, rating, genre, and POV will vary from story to story as well. The arc as a whole will probably never truly "end", but the smaller plot arcs within it will.

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

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"So. What'll it be tonight? Pizza, Chinese, Mexican..." Duo prompted as he slid into the car. Pulling the door shut, he gave Heero a questioning look.

Heero turned the key in the ignition before answering, "After a whole week of takeout, I'd really rather just fix something at home, but the fridge is pretty bare. We're out of bread, too."

Takeout was a lot less effort than cooking after putting in a long day of hard physical labour at the yard, but Duo had to admit that he, too, was getting kind of tired of it. He thought for a moment. "No, there should be half a loaf in the freezer; I froze part of what I got while you were gone for the Tanaka meetings so it wouldn't spoil before it got used up. I'm pretty sure we've still got a partial block of cheese, and there should be some canned soup... Grilled cheese sandwiches and soup sound okay to you?"

"Is that an offer?"

Despite his own exhaustion, Duo had to grin faintly at the wistful query. Coming from Heero, that was as good as an outright request. Normally, they'd share the task, since they were both tired, but if Heero needed a break badly enough to hint, then handling it by himself wouldn't be a big deal. Soup and sandwiches weren't exactly haute cuisine, after all. "Yeah, sure. You'll have time for a nice, relaxing shower while I get it ready." That way, by the time that they ate and he washed the dishes, the hot water heater would have had enough time to replenish itself.

"In that case, soup and grilled cheese sandwiches sound great."

***

"Here you go. Tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich." Duo set the bowl and plate on the table in front of Heero as he spoke. "Found part of a bag of chips in the freezer, too, if you want some. Think it's been in there for quite a while, but..." He shrugged as he removed a clip from the folded-over end of the bag before tossing the open bag on the table. Chips stored in the freezer stayed pretty fresh for months, so he figured that these ones would still be edible.

"Thanks."

Duo observed carefully as Heero reached for the bag. He'd noticed on the way home that something seemed a little off in the way that Heero was moving. Noting the way that Heero absently rubbed his shoulder now, Duo shook his head, his suspicion confirmed. "You want me to massage that for you when we're done eating?" he asked as he seated himself.

Heero gave him a blank look. "Hmm?"

"Your shoulder's bothering you, isn't it? You want me to massage it for you later?" Maybe Heero hadn't consciously noticed yet, but his bad shoulder was obviously flaring up again, thanks to all the heavy lifting he'd been doing. He was getting better about not *deliberately* ignoring pain, but the subconscious effects of longtime habits were hard to break.

Stretching cautiously, Heero winced slightly as he rotated his arm. "Dammit." He sighed heavily. "Yeah, I guess so. I hadn't noticed before, but it's starting to get a little stiff and sore." He sighed again. "Sorry."

Duo nudged Heero's foot under the table. "Hey, we both shoulda realized that all the liftin' was likely to make it act up, and taken a few precautions sooner. But we didn't, so we'll just have to deal."

Heero nodded in resignation. "It isn't too bad, so I don't think I need to ice it; massage should be enough for now."

"Okay." Silently, Duo added, 'Massage, and rest. No more heavy lifting for Heero, or that shoulder will end up really fucked up. Which is one damn good reason to go along with Rick's suggestion and cut our losses on the shed inventory; it'd be impossible to get Heero to sideline himself for the whole week, and there's no way we're going to find anything that's worth him risking serious injury.'

It was actually a bit of a relief to have a good reason to agree to cut their losses on the inventory. He'd been tempted to agree the moment that Rick made his suggestion, but he'd held back because he hadn't been sure that he was evaluating the situation fairly. Sure, he'd felt a little guilty about potentially junking some salvageable goods, but that hadn't been the main reason for his hesitation. He'd hesitated because it had seemed like maybe he was a little *too* eager to call it quits and - purely incidentally - get his personal time back. Particularly when Hilde had been so dead-set against the idea. So, he'd suggested the compromise, figuring that, at the very least, it would give him another day to think things over. Well, now he didn't need that extra day to make up his mind; his vote was in favour of cutting their losses. Since Rick had made his position clear, and Heero had indicated his own inclination to wrap things up, that left Hilde as the only dissenter.

Hopefully, one more day spent on the inventory would be enough to convince her too. A unanimous decision by all four partners would be a lot less unpleasant than outvoting one would be.

***

Dishes done, and his own shower taken care of, Duo gathered up the massage supplies. Instead of going downstairs to set up the massage mat on the basement floor as usual, he headed for the bedroom. It would be a little more awkward to work with Heero lying on the bed, so the massage might not be quite as effective, but if Heero got relaxed and sleepy, he could just stay put and doze off instead of having to move afterwards. It was pretty early to be thinking about going to sleep, but Duo figured that they were both too tired to do anything else anyway.

Besides, just cuddling up and dozing together had felt pretty damn good this morning; he couldn't think of a better way to spend their evening.

Well, okay, maybe he *could* think of a better way, but, under the circumstances, he didn't think it was a very likely option. They were both exhausted, and between that and Heero's sore shoulder, conditions weren't exactly great for attempting a little mutual stress-relief.

'Not that I'd refuse if the opportunity did happen to... uh, "come up",' Duo thought wryly as he entered the bedroom to find Heero already sprawled face-down across the towel-covered bed, naked and waiting for his massage.

"Hey." Duo nudged Heero's foot gently. "You awake?" The only response was a sleepy, inarticulate mumble, so he bumped Heero's foot a little more insistently.

There were certain basic precautions that they both always had to keep in mind, and exercising reasonable caution when doing something that could potentially be instinctively interpreted as threatening ranked right up there. It was one thing to slide into bed and peacefully doze off beside a sleeping Heero; it was a different story entirely to climb on the bed, straddle him, and basically put his hands around Heero's neck, without making damn sure that Heero was awake and aware of what he was doing.

Standing outside of lethal strike range when waking him up was also basic common sense. Heero didn't wake up swinging very often, but it did happen occasionally.

"Heero? You ready for that massage?" Duo asked, nudging Heero's foot once more. Just as he decided to let Heero sleep, and forget about the massage for now, Heero finally stirred.

"Sorry, guess I dozed off," Heero mumbled sleepily, propping himself up on one elbow.

"No problem," Duo shrugged. "How's the shoulder? You still want a massage?"

"Mm-hmm. It's not too bad, but it's definitely sore."

"Okay." Climbing onto the bed, Duo straddled Heero's hips and poured a little of the warmed massage oil onto his back. He started off with a light touch, gently working the oil into Heero's skin. Gradually, he increased the pressure, kneading Heero's neck, shoulder, and arm muscles, then moving on to his back muscles as well. Slowly but surely, tense muscles eased, and Heero's involuntary grunts of discomfort lessened.

"Hey, you want me to keep going?" Duo inquired hesitantly as he worked his way lower. He wouldn't have needed to ask back when they were just friends but, with the new dimensions of their relationship, the massage had the potential to take on overtones that weren't strictly therapeutic. Especially since they were on the bed, Heero was naked, and he was clad only in boxers. Much as Duo might have *intended* the massage to be non-sexual in nature, his body was naturally reacting to the situation, and massaging Heero's butt wasn't exactly going to help matters.

"Mm-hmm..."

"Okay, but fair warning... I'm kinda, uh, *reacting*, here..."

The body beneath Duo shook as Heero chuckled and remarked drily, "I kind of, uh, *noticed*." Twisting his head to look over his shoulder, he asked, "You want a little help dealing with that, uh, 'reaction'?"

Face heating with embarrassment, Duo swatted Heero's butt lightly. "Smartass."

The whole bed shook as Heero laughed harder. Giving up on the massage, Duo dropped to the mattress and stretched out facing Heero. Heero shifted onto his side, still chuckling. Duo shut him up in the most pleasant way possible, kissing him firmly.

As their bodies pressed together, Duo quickly realized that he wasn't the only one affected by the massage. Pulling back from the kiss, he teased gently, "Hmm, seems like I wasn't the only one 'reacting'. Think a little mutual help is in order?" Making the suggestion was kind of borderline since he'd given Heero control over the progression of their physical relationship but, since they *had* been discussing it before this whole hell week began, he was hoping that Heero wouldn't feel like he was being pressured into taking the next step.

Heero hesitated, his face flushing darkly. "Not... exactly..."

Duo raised his eyebrows in inquiry. "Got something else in mind?" He skinned out of his boxers and dropped them off the side of the bed. "Hey, anything you want to try's fine by me."

Shifting closer, Heero brought their hips together, then reached down and wrapped one broad hand around both of their cocks. His grip was a bit awkward, and Duo started to put one hand down to help. He stopped immediately as Heero requested, "Not this time, please?"

Duo instantly redirected his hand over Heero's side and slid it reassuringly along his back; he wasn't about to do anything that might disrupt the moment. Meeting Heero's eyes, he asked, "This okay?"

Evidently it was, because Heero responded by leaning forward to kiss him again. They kissed deeply, tongues stroking one another as Heero's hand stroked them both. Pressure built, peaked, and, finally, explosively, released, hips jerking and bodies arching as first one, then the other, flooded the space between them with wet heat.

Clinging together in the aftermath, gasping for air, Duo pretended not to notice just how hard Heero was shaking, or that the face pressed against his collarbone was damp with more than sweat. He wasn't about to risk embarrassing Heero when he'd finally managed to let go of his control for a few brief minutes. Duo knew that a single, fragile, success didn't mean that Heero's problem was completely gone - they would undoubtedly be dealing with it for a long time to come - but it was a start.

A good one.

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