3-29-2003

Title: #64 So Weird and So Right
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat <calic0cat@fastmail.fm>
Story Completed: Mar. 29, 2003
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Friendship, Romance
Pairing: 1+2
Rated: PG
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: See earlier fics for notes on the arc as a whole. Feedback is appreciated.

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Duo lay curled against Heero, one arm wrapped over him and his head resting on Heero's arm near his shoulder. Heero's arm lay over his side, hand occasionally running lightly up and down his back, sliding the fabric of his T-shirt against his skin. "S'pose we should get up... Must be pretty late..."

He grinned slightly as Heero mumbled back, "What's the rush? Don't have anyplace we have to be today..."

"True..." Duo answered. The smile that hadn't left his face all morning became a bit quizzical as he said, "You know, I've spent the last few months telling myself not to even think about this, that you're my best friend and this - cuddling for no particular reason not because of a nightmare, touching because it feels good not just for comfort, all that kind of stuff - was all forbidden territory. It just seems so surreal to be just lying here together like this now..." His voice trailed off for a moment. "How can something feel so weird and so right at the same time?" he said wonderingly.

Heero gave a quiet snort, answering, "I don't know, but it does feel right, doesn't it?"

"Mm-hmm..." Duo murmured. He remained where he was, enjoying the feeling of simply being this close to Heero without it being in the aftermath of a nightmare. Enjoying the contact and being very, very glad that Heero had given in to the impulse to kiss him last night. Not that it had been much of a kiss - Heero had caught him off-guard and he hadn't even had a chance to respond to it before Heero panicked and took off. But it had been that first solid indication of Heero's feelings that he'd needed in order to let his own feelings show. Even if they hadn't gotten around to repeating it yet.

And wouldn't until after they'd got up and brushed their teeth, he decided, considering how thoroughly scuzzy his mouth felt. He didn't particularly want to try kissing Heero while he had a severe case of morning breath.

Duo sighed and tightened the arm he had over Heero for a moment. "Think it really is time to get up," he said reluctantly. "Since it's kinda late for breakfast, do you want lunch or should I fix something like French toast with bacon and eggs or something?"

"How about you fix the French toast and I'll do the bacon and eggs," Heero offered. "Then we can share the cleanup."

"Okay," Duo agreed. Today was his turn to cook and Heero's for dishes but it wasn't unusual for them to end up sharing both tasks instead. 'Wonder if half the reason we've been sharing the jobs so much lately is because we'd both figured out how often we managed to touch while working together in that tiny little kitchen?'

Probably, he decided as he sat up and slid out of bed. It was for him anyway. Even if he'd been trying not to admit it even to himself. It would be nice not having to find excuses to touch Heero. As they each gathered up clothes and headed off to the two separate bathrooms, Duo slid an arm around Heero and gave him a quick one-armed hug. "Meet you in the kitchen in a few," he said.

"Okay." Heero started down the stairs, then stopped and turned back to ask, "Leave your hair down?"

Duo gave him a startled look that turned to a smile. "Mostly," he agreed. Apparently that was good enough, since Heero just smiled back and turned to continue down the steps.

'Should have realized he'd want me to leave it down. He's been brushing it for me practically every day lately. One of those hints that maybe he'd like more too that I just couldn't quite let myself believe...' Duo very briefly considered leaving his hair completely down, but just trying to do so while brushing his teeth was enough to change his mind. 'It'd need washing before I was done breakfast,' he thought disgustedly as he held a few toothpaste-coated strands under the tap to rinse them off. This was one of the reasons that he hardly ever left it down. Long hair could be a major pain at times.

Not that he'd ever hack it off for such a minor reason. He still missed those eight inches he had cut off, despite the fact that he felt like it was the right thing to do, both at the time and now. He wasn't overly fond of the thought of wearing only the front part pulled back, it seemed kind of girly to him, but it was about the only practical way to grant Heero's request and still keep his hair from driving him nuts by getting in his way constantly. 'Oh well, not like I'll be going anywhere with it like this. Heero knows damn well that I don't ever leave my hair down in public.' A quirk that was part practicality - loose hair became more tangled and was more prone to accidental pulling and damage - and part something else entirely. 'Part psychological crap to do with privacy and intimacy and vulnerability and a whole shitload of other nonsense that's no less real for the fact that it doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense,' Duo thought wryly. The practical factor was the only thing that really kept him from leaving his hair down at home, though. And if Heero liked it down, well, he'd just have to come up with a few
ways to make that less impractical.

After a quick try at braiding just the front bits and pulling them back, Duo decided that other than the entertainment value - he looked like he was trying to imitate Relena's wartime hairstyle - that was just not a real option. Instead, he simply pulled the front sections back loosely and fastened them together with an elastic. He made a face at his image in the mirror. Maybe it wasn't quite as girly-looking as he'd thought it would be. But it was definitely going to take some getting used to.

'Like a lot of other things,' he thought as he headed downstairs and into the kitchen. Heero had already set the table and had the bacon and eggs out and ready to cook. Duo gathered his own supplies together and they slid into their usual kitchen-sharing routine easily. Something that Duo was very thankful for. He'd been a little concerned that their new awareness of each other's - well, interest, for lack of a better word - might leave them both a bit ill-at-ease when following their normal routine. 'And that would have really sucked. Every minute we're together can't be about "exploring" our new relationship or our friendship will end up suffering. We have to make sure to spend some time just doing our usual sort of things together - cooking, sparring, playing basketball, and so on - as well as trying out the new things like cuddling and kissing.'

And that was exactly why he didn't come downstairs and break up the routine by kissing Heero. He'd wait. Sometime today, the right opportunity would come up. Duo grinned slightly to himself, thinking, 'I'll make sure of that.'