5-14-2003

Title: #71 About That Kiss...
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat
Story Completed: May 6, 2003
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Friendship, Romance
Pairing: 1+2 Rated: PG
Warnings: AU, OOC, Swearing
Archives: Also at Lev's Lair http://www.gwaddiction.com/levlair/ and at http://calic0cat.freeservers.com/ (my site) and 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 crawled into bed almost reluctantly. He knew that his behaviour ever since they left the shuttleport had been puzzling Heero. He had seen all the surreptitious glances that Heero had been giving him. Had a vague memory of Heero trying to start a conversation during the drive back. He felt rather guilty about the fact that he really didn't have a clue what Heero had been talking about. He knew that he had been - still was - awfully distracted.

But he really didn't know what to say or do. He had been very quiet because he had been trying to decide how to handle this. He really hated to end up disappointing Heero by telling him that he wasn't comfortable with kissing in public. The fact that Heero was even willing to do so was surprising and he thought maybe at least part of his own reaction came from the fact that he was caught so totally off-guard by the request. But that wasn't the only reason he was uncomfortable with it.

'It just - feels wrong. Like something that should be very private is being put on public display... I know I've never liked seeing people getting really carried away in public. Hands down each other's pants or underneath shirts and so on... But I've never really minded seeing other people just kiss... If anything, it seemed kind of sweet. But doing it myself just feels - odd.'

And the fact that he couldn't quite pin down the exact reason for that odd feeling, for that discomfort, was really irritating the hell out of him. The best reason he could come up with was the fact that kissing Heero was too private and special to do in public. That it was something that should be kept just between them. Was it just because their relationship was so new? Or would he always feel this way? Duo didn't know. And he really wasn't sure how the hell to explain this to Heero when he couldn't even seem to explain it to *himself* very clearly. But he was going to have to say *something* because he was definitely making Heero concerned with his behaviour.

'And lying here on your back about as far away from him as you can get without falling off the bed isn't going to help matters any, Maxwell. You're just going to end up making him think that you're mad at him for some reason and then you'll *really* fuck up your relationship. So stop chasing your tail and *say* something, dammit!'

Sighing, Duo rolled onto his side to face Heero. He could barely make out his shape in the dark but it was enough to confirm that Heero was facing him as well. "Heero, I have to tell you something about that kiss..."

At the same time, Heero began to speak, "Duo, I need to talk to you about that kiss..."

They both stopped. After a moment's silence, Duo tried again, "Heero..."

Heero spoke at the same time, "Duo..."

They both stopped again. Duo tried not to snicker but when they started to speak a third time and overlapped each other *again*, he couldn't help it. He just had to laugh. "Go ahead, Heero..." he managed to choke out between snickers. He would just as soon put off his own confession a few more minutes anyway.

"No, go ahead, Duo," Heero insisted.

Duo snickered again, realizing that this wasn't going to get them anywhere either. "Okay, I'll go first," he conceded. Abruptly sobering, he said, "Heero, I'm really sorry but I'm just not comfortable with kissing in public. It felt - wrong. Like we were putting something private on display in front of a bunch of strangers. Maybe when our relationship is more established I'll feel differently but right now I don't think I can do that. I really am sorry, Heero, I..."

A hand against his lips stopped his words. Heero snorted in amusement. "Duo, I was going to say the same thing to you. I really tried but it just felt too uncomfortable. Like you said, kissing seems too private, too intimate to put on public display like that. I thought *you* would be ready for that and I'd be holding our relationship back!"

Duo slid across the bed to hug Heero awkwardly. "God no, Heero. When I talked before about dating and showing our relationship in public, I was just thinking in terms of a little discreet handholding or something. Nothing too major. Hell, I don't care if neither of us is *ever* ready to kiss in public; there's lots of little ways to show affection without having to do something one or both of us are uncomfortable with. I mean, the only people that even need to know that a gesture is one of affection are the two of us. The way you just rest one hand lightly against my back when you want me to know that you're there to support me is a perfect example of that kind of thing even though you started it while we were still just best friends.

"And when I talked about letting people know that we were dating, I really just meant people that we know, our closest friends. Like the guys and Howard and Hilde and Rick. Umm, and I guess probably Relena too 'cause she *is* a good friend but that one might be kind of - awkward..." Duo winced slightly at the thought. Relena didn't really show any clear signs of still being in love with Heero but then she wasn't exactly dating anyone else that he knew of so it was kind of hard to be sure.

Heero snickered suddenly and said, "Hilde's probably going to smack us both and claim she's been waiting for us to figure it out..."

Duo groaned and hid his face against Heero's chest. "Oh god, you're right. She can be *such* a brat... She takes that 'sister' thing *way* too seriously at times; seems to think it gives her the right to be a nosy pain in the ass."

"According to Quatre, that's what real sisters *are*..." Heero observed drily. "And I gather that Trowa would agree since Cathy called Quatre and asked whether she should just go ahead and have Trowa's belongings all shipped to his place since Trowa was always there anyway..."

Duo snorted at the memory. Quatre had laughed as he told them about it but Trowa had turned at least three different shades of red. Then Trowa had got back at Quatre by bringing up the fact that apparently several of *his* sisters had decided that their baby brother might need some help in keeping his still-unofficial boyfriend sufficiently - entertained - so that he would stop making regular trips back to L3 and had sent Quatre a very - interesting - gift basket. A gift basket from an "adult toystore". That was when Quatre had given up and asked Trowa to officially move in with him. Before their sisters got together and came up with something even more embarrassing to prod them into making a commitment.

"Oh shit - I hope Hilde didn't hear about any of that..." Duo moaned. "God only knows what she might come up with if she thinks that we're taking things too slow..."

Heero choked and shuddered at the thought. "We're already living together, though," he pointed out. "She has no way of knowing how fast or slow our relationship is progressing..."

"True," Duo agreed with relief. "We just need to make sure that she knows we *do* have a relationship so she doesn't get any bright ideas about prodding us into one. 'Cause when I think about a few things she's said to me, I think you're right - she's already guessed that we were interested in each other at least." The way that Hilde had worded that offer for Heero to buy into the business came to mind. 'She indirectly compared her relationship with Rick to mine with Heero. And although we're not quite that far along yet...' Duo silently acknowledged that there was no real doubt in his mind that they would eventually be.

With an effort, Duo dragged his thoughts back to their original topic of conversation. "So, public kisses are out, more discreet stuff like handholding is in. Agreed?"

"Agreed," Heero said emphatically.

Duo hesitated slightly, then said, "Umm, so how about we try some of that discreet stuff tomorrow night? Go on an actual date?"

Heero was silent for a moment, then said, "That sounds like a good idea to me."

"Good," Duo answered with a grin. "G'night Heero..."

"Good night, Duo."

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- tbc -