2-1-2003

Title: #27 He Knows the Bestest Games...
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Domestic, Friendship, Sap
Pairing: None yet
Rated: PG-13
Warnings: AU, OOC, Swearing
Archives: Also at Mediaminer.org under Calic0cat.
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. The arc *will* eventually be Shonen ai/Yaoi - but there's only one faintly implied pairing prior to Fic #23. Feedback is appreciated.

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Duo grinned at the sight of Jennie's car parked outside the office building. Hopefully, she had the kids with her. He hadn't seen them in at least a couple of months. He caught up to her just as she was about to enter the building.

"Hey, Jennie - long time no see!" he exclaimed. "Are Beth and Donnie with you?"

"Hi Duo," she answered. "They're here. The babysitter let me down *again* and I had to get Hilde to watch them for the afternoon. They'll be pretty cranky by now I imagine, but I'm sure they'll be happy to see you again. Beth's forever after me to braid her hair since you did it that one time! But she's never satisfied with the job I do. Says I pull too hard."

Duo laughed. "Well, I've had lots of practice..."

Duo automatically swung by Heero's office while Jennie continued on to Hilde's.

"Hmm, they're not here," Jennie said in surprise.

Frozen in the doorway of Heero's office, Duo told her softly, "I've found them. C'mere."

Looking through the doorway, Duo recognized the small Hoberman sphere that usually resided on his own desk sitting on the corner of Heero's. A whole fleet of paper airplanes littered the floor of the office. An entire zoo of origami animals covered the tops of the filing cabinets and most of Heero's desk. As for Heero himself...

A soft smile tugged at Duo's lips as he viewed Heero's newest addition to his job description. Living couch. Heero was seated in his office chair with his feet propped up on the open drawer of a filing cabinet. Two small forms were contentedly sleeping curled up in his lap, one head pillowed on each shoulder. Heero's own eyes were closed, though they opened immediately at the soft gasp from the children's mother.

Abruptly recalling that he had the digital camera with him for the quote job, Duo hurriedly pulled it out and snapped a few pictures, ignoring the glare Heero directed at him in response. 'This is just too sweet to pass up,' he thought.

Heero's glare shifted to a different target as Duo and Jennie were joined in the doorway by Hilde. She made the mistake of giggling at the sight before her, prompting Heero to mouth a silent "Omae o korosu, Hilde" to go along with his glare.

Slipping past Duo, Jennie entered the office and knelt down by Heero's chair. Gently shaking the nearest shoulder, she said softly, "Beth, honey, wake up. Mommy's here now. Time to go home."

Stirring slightly, the little girl blinked sleepily. "Mommy? This is Duo's friend, Heero. He knows the bestest games... He can make animals out of paper!"

Duo struggled not to laugh as Heero's cheeks flushed at Beth's enthusiastic endorsement.

"'N' he knows how to braid hair, too! He braids nice like Duo. He doesn't pull too hard like you do, Mommy. You should have him show you how to do it right." Beth nodded energetically, wide awake now.

The emphatic tone of his sister's voice finally woke Donnie. He opened his eyes, said crankily, "Tired. Go *'way*" and snuggled more firmly against Heero's shoulder.

Jennie laughed. "Come on, kids, we need to go home and I think Heero needs to go home now too."

Beth wriggled off of Heero's lap and quickly started to gather up airplanes and animals. "Heero said I could *keep* these," she told her mother firmly.

With one child off his lap, Heero swung his feet to the ground and stood, cradling the little boy in his arms. "Would you like me to carry him to the car for you?" he asked Jennie softly.

"If you don't mind," she said with a smile. "He doesn't seem to want to wake up so he might as well sleep all the way home."

It didn't take long to get Jennie and the kids settled in their car and on their way. The instant they pulled out of the driveway, Heero spun around to face Hilde. "*YOU*" he started, pointing at her.

"Now Heero," she said hastily, hiding beyond Duo. "I didn't have anyone else to watch them! I knew you wouldn't let them wander off and get hurt or anything... Besides, wasn't that a nicer way to spend the afternoon than filling out forms would have been?"

Heero gave her a half-hearted scowl and a "Hn". Stalking back towards the building, he stopped partway there and said, "Next time - ask" before vanishing into the office.

"You deliberately left Heero to watch two small children?" Duo asked Hilde in disbelief. "Who are you and what did you do with the Hilde who doesn't like Heero?"

"I didn't have any choice!" she protested. Then she slumped a bit and admitted, "Well, okay, so I *could* have pulled somebody in from the yard, I guess. But I knew Heero wouldn't let anything happen to them and I wasn't sure I could trust anybody else not to get distracted and lose track of one of them. They can be a real handful sometimes."

Duo grinned happily. "So you've decided he's not such a terrible person after all, huh? Huh?" He poked Hilde in the ribs when she didn't answer right away.

"Oh fine, yes, I'll admit it. Heero's an okay guy," she muttered under her breath.

"Hah! Told you so!" Duo crowed triumphantly. As he dodged the half-hearted swat that Hilde directed at him, he couldn't help but think how shocked the other guys would be if they could see the pictures he took of Heero holding the sleeping kids. 'You've come a helluva long way, buddy. A *helluva* long way...'

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- tbc -