3-22-2003

Title: #60 Waiting
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat
Story Completed: Mar. 22, 2003
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Friendship
Pairing: None yet
Rated: PG
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: See earlier fics for notes on the arc as a whole. Feedback is appreciated.

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Duo stifled a yawn. It had been a long day today - hell, it had been a long *week* - what with running around helping Hilde with the last preparations for the wedding and getting the paperwork done for Rick and Heero buying into the business. And now, sitting through Rick's bachelor party. He was just glad that Rick's best man had showed a little common sense - or perhaps an instinct for self-preservation would be more accurate - by *not* hiring a stripper - Hilde had threatened dire things if she found out that there *had* been one.

And it was a good thing that the bachelor party was being held several days before the wedding rather than the night before - most of the attendees were *not* going to be very bright and cheery in the morning considering how much they were drinking. He'd only had a couple of beers himself - hadn't quite finished the second one yet - and he thought Heero might still be nursing his first one. Neither of them liked the loss of control that came with drinking too much alcohol. Something that practically everyone else there *was* doing. 'Well except Arnold, Howard, and a couple of others who'll look after getting everybody else dumped someplace to sleep it off,' Duo added silently, watching as a couple of Sweepers half-carried someone who'd obviously had *more* than enough to drink out of the party.

Duo shook his head in response to the offer of another beer. Two was going to be the limit, he decided. He leaned back in his chair and stole a sideways glance at Heero. He really couldn't afford to risk even a slight loss of control right now.

Things between Heero and himself had been getting increasingly awkward lately. While he'd been dealing with childhood memories and nightmares, he hadn't had any trouble keeping his mind out of forbidden territory. But now that things had settled down, that was no longer the case. More and more often, those thoughts that were well outside of "best friend" territory were creeping in. And to top it off, he was starting to wonder whether Heero was having the same problem. There had been a couple of occasions he'd almost thought maybe Heero was actually going to...

But he hadn't.

'If I could be *sure* that I wasn't imagining things...' Duo thought, taking another very tiny sip of his beer.

*If* he could be sure. But he wasn't.

Duo had started trying to go to bed either well before Heero so that he'd be asleep when Heero came to bed or later than Heero so that *Heero* would already be asleep because even *that* was beginning to create some awkward moments. While they used to sleep spooned together a lot of the time, now they tended to at least start out back-to-back instead. There were certain things that they just didn't mention, that they simply pretended not to notice, thanks to an agreement made way back during the war when they first started sharing a bed to help keep away the nightmares. That agreement still held - but the frequency with which it was being called into play was definitely increasing, where he was concerned at least. Duo was just extremely glad that he didn't tend to talk in his sleep.

Duo watched out of the corner of his eye as Heero turned down another beer. He knew Heero was acting at least a little differently around him lately, but he couldn't be sure whether Heero was sensing and responding to Duo's feelings of awkwardness or whether Heero was going through the same thing himself. He just wished he could be sure...

But even if he *was* sure, would he actually do anything? 'No, even then I think it would be better to wait,' Duo decided reluctantly. The last thing he wanted to do was misread Heero or crowd him into something he either didn't want or wasn't ready for. And if Heero wasn't ready to make the first move, then it was probably best to wait. And Duo really wasn't too sure that he wasn't imagining the whole thing anyway. He sighed in resignation. No matter how many times he thought this through, he came up with the same damn answer. Wait. He had to just wait and see what happened.

Not that he was entirely sure what he *wanted* to happen. If they *did* try taking their relationship to a different level, to something beyond friendship - and Duo wasn't ready to start labelling that "something" just yet - then they ran the very real risk of damaging or wrecking their friendship in the process. But then again, the growing awkwardness between them had the potential to do the same thing. There really was no easy answer to the problem. All he could do was wait and see.

He hated waiting.

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- tbc -