3-25-2003

Title: #63 Ohayo gozaimasu
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat
Story Completed: Mar. 25, 2003
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Friendship
Pairing: 1+2
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. Heero 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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Heero lay watching Duo's peacefully slumbering face. Watching and knowing that, when Duo woke and gave him his usual sleepy morning smile, he could give in to the urge to stroke his fingers across his best friend's cheek. Knowing that Duo too was experiencing those urges for something beyond friendship. The same impulses to caress and hold. To kiss...

Last night at the reception had been a rarity for Heero. He never gave in to impulses, yet last night he had given in to two. Choosing first to give in to the impulse to dance with Duo, then following the impulse to *kiss* Duo... He smiled faintly at the memory. As kisses went, he was pretty sure it ranked somewhere in the range of "pitiful". Their noses had bumped and lips had barely had a chance to touch before he'd panicked, apologizing and leaving.

'I was so afraid that I'd screwed up. That I'd ruined our friendship.

'Then so relieved when Duo came after me and made it clear that I wasn't the only one wishing for more... That he was just as afraid of damaging what we already have...' Heero thought.

Relieved too that Duo wasn't in a rush to put a name to what they were feeling. Wasn't in a rush to skip over all the things that usually made up "courtship" and "dating" just because they were best friends and already knew each other so well.

These feelings were all so new and different... And though they did know a *lot* about each other, there were a great many things that had never really come up as "best friends" conversation topics. Things that they would or should need to know before they moved on to becoming lovers.

"Lovers," Heero whispered to himself, barely breathing the word. The thought was wonderful and a bit frightening at the same time. And more than he was ready to think about just yet, he decided. 'Duo was right, we need to take this slow. Close as we are, deep as the trust between us is, I'm not ready to even *think* about being lovers yet...'

The commitment involved was too great to approach lightly or hastily, at least for him. And probably for Duo too. It was one of those things they'd never really discussed. But despite - or perhaps because of - the absence of any sort of legal recognition of same-sex partnerships, Heero felt that becoming lovers was on the same level of commitment. A decision that, once made, there would be no turning back from. Something that he wanted to be very, very sure of before embarking on.

Not that he *wasn't* sure exactly, just... 'Just that it seems almost too good to be true, maybe? That if I move too quickly, the illusion will be broken and I'll wake up with things back the way they were?' Maybe. Heero really didn't know exactly why, only that he didn't want to rush things. Perhaps it was simply that he was going to need time to adjust to the changes in their relationship, much as he had back when Duo was first teaching him what friendship was all about. At least then, Duo had known what he was doing. This time around, they were both in unfamiliar territory. All the more reason to take things slowly.

Besides which, Heero had discovered that he was actually looking forward to dating and kissing and cuddling. To doing all those things that most couples did when they were beginning a relationship. One more little piece of "normal", something that both he and Duo had learned to appreciate, especially because so little of either of their lives had *been* "normal". One more thing separating his life here with Duo from his existence prior to moving to L2.

As Duo stirred, eyelashes fluttering as he slowly woke, Heero pushed his reflective thoughts aside. There would be time enough to think about all those things later. For now, he had something else to occupy his attention. Something he'd been wanting to do for a while now...

Duo's eyes blinked open and he gave Heero a slow, sleepy smile. "Morning, Heero..."

Heero reached out and gently stroked his fingers across the smooth skin over Duo's cheekbone, then down along his jawline, rough with morning stubble. "Good morning, Duo," he responded, suddenly feeling a bit hesitant. Foolish. Awkward. Wondering whether he was assuming too much already.

Last night they hadn't even discussed things any further; had simply sat together, arms around each other, until voices in the garden called Duo back for the newlyweds' departure. Even after leaving the reception, they had made the entire trip home in companionable silence. Had gotten ready for bed with only inconsequential words about locking up and so forth being exchanged. Nothing more had been said about just how slow was "slow" or where or when they would pick things up again.

Heero was abruptly uncertain of his actions and started to draw his hand away. Duo's hand lifted to catch his, holding it in place to press his lips to Heero's wrist.

"Ohayo gozaimasu, Heero," Duo murmured softly.

Suddenly, the hesitancy and awkwardness were gone, replaced by the feeling that this was *right*. Heero smiled slowly and stroked his thumb across Duo's cheek again. 'Very, very *right*.' "Ohayo gozaimasu, Duo."

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Note: I know very, very little Japanese. However, according to what I *do* know, the phrase "ohayo gozaimasu" (usually translated as simply "good morning") carries more weight than the English "good morning". Basically, it's not just an acknowledgement of the other person's existence, it carries the implication that you're happy that their existence is part of your own and you're wishing them continued health throughout the day. Also remember that in "Life with Heero", Duo has spoken Japanese to Heero previously when he's wanted to make a special point of how strongly he feels about something.

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- tbc -