5-25-2003

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Title: #73 "Sore wa... himitsu desu" - Part 1
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat <calic0cat@fastmail.fm>
Story Completed: May 25, 2003
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Friendship, Romance
Pairing: 1+2
Rated: G
Warnings: AU, OOC
Archives: At Lev's Lair http://www.gwaddiction.com/levlair/ and at http://calic0cat.freeservers.com/ (my site) and at Mediaminer.org under Calic0cat. Anyone with archive permission for my other fics can help themselves.
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 finished showering and went back to the bedroom to change. He raised one eyebrow in slight surprise at the jeans and T-shirt that Duo had laid out for him to wear. Somehow, he'd thought Duo would have something more formal in mind for their first date. Someplace fancy to eat followed by - well, followed by something, probably a play or a movie. Jeans and a T-shirt told him that at least the first part of his expectation was wrong.

As he got dressed, Heero could hear Duo moving around downstairs, opening the door to the basement, then closing it again a few minutes later and going outside. He puzzled a bit over what Duo was doing and what it had to do with their date. When Duo had asked him whether he wanted to know exactly what the plans were for the evening or whether he'd be okay with it being a surprise, he'd thought that the surprise sounded kind of fun. But part of him still wished that he had a precise plan for the evening; some bits of training were harder to lose than others.

"All set Heero?" Duo asked, looking up to where Heero stood at the top of the stairs. Heero nodded in response and started down the stairs. "Good, then let's go," Duo said with a grin, holding the door open and motioning Heero to go ahead. "An evening of fun awaits!"

Heero gave Duo a quick smile in return before exiting the house. Despite the small part of him that wanted an exact schedule for the evening, he was genuinely looking forward to this. Heero trusted Duo not to knowingly put him in a situation he would be uncomfortable with and Duo knew him well enough that he was unlikely to do so inadvertently either. And that made the mystery date a pleasant surprise rather than something that would make him tense. He could hardly wait to see what Duo had in store for them...

***

"Pizza?" Heero grinned as they climbed out of the car. Okay, that was a long way from the formal kind of dinner he'd originally thought would go with a first date. And a lot more fun and relaxing than a formal meal would have been too.

"I figured we hadn't had it for a long while so it would make a nice treat," Duo shrugged. "Especially since the last time we had it was when we took the kids..."

"Which is probably why we haven't had it since," Heero snickered. "We needed time to recover from the trauma and stop associating the word 'pizza' with people dressed up as furry rodents..."

Duo laughed and promised, "No furry rodents in this pizza place. Way better pizza too."

"It would have to be," Heero said with a shudder. The pizza at that other place had been awful. More like greasy cardboard than pizza in fact.

He followed Duo towards the pizzeria's entrance, trying not to snicker when Duo held the door open for him and motioned him through with a flourish and a grin. Heero looked around curiously, noting that although there were a few families dining in the restaurant, the majority of the customers were couples or small groups. Despite a small cluster of people waiting for tables, they were seated immediately since Duo had made a reservation earlier. The pizzeria was well-lit but the lights weren't glaringly bright. And the checkered tablecloths on the tables raised the place a bit above the standard chain pizza parlour.

"I couldn't remember whether I'd brought you here before or not," Duo commented, "but I'm guessing not judging by the way you're checking the place out."

"No, I haven't been here," Heero confirmed. "But I think you brought a pizza home from here one time before; the name sounds familiar..." And while "Calabria Pizzeria" might not be the most creative name for a pizza parlour, it wasn't nearly as common as the ubiquitous "Franco's" and "Marco's" that existed in most cities, so it was unlikely that he'd heard the name in reference to some other pizza place.

"Could be," Duo agreed. "It was closed for a couple of months around six months or so ago while they renovated and it's nicer now than before. Used to be a bit dark in here and - well, kind of tacky - lots of red velvet-look curtains hiding the wood panelling, gilt-covered ornamental stuff all over the place. The food was good - so takeout was okay - but the decor and the lighting..." Duo shook his head and made a face. "Well, let's just say that I like the new look better."

Heero nodded in agreement. Dark restaurants always made him wonder what they were hiding - dirty floors, faded upholstery, poor quality food... Places that had better lighting seemed more inviting just because it was clear that they were clean and neat. The fact that you could get a good look at what you were eating didn't exactly hurt either.

By the time they worked out their pizza toppings - Heero gave up his anchovies in exchange for Duo giving up his pineapple since both items left their flavour behind even if they were picked off - Heero had put aside all thought of where they were going next and was just enjoying being with Duo. There weren't exactly a lot of differences so far between just going out together as friends and a "date" really. But there were a few. Like Duo's feet pressing up against his own under the table rather than each of them having their feet tucked back out of the other's way. They weren't playing footsie or anything; their feet were just touching, one of Duo's on either side of one of his. 'One of those subtle things that Duo mentioned before... Nothing that most people would even notice - they'd have to be peeking under the table for one thing, and even then it wouldn't be clear that this meant anything more than that we both wanted to stretch our legs out a bit...'

And of course there was the whole question of whether to order garlic bread as an appetizer or not. Duo pointed out in a low tone, "If we both intend to eat it, it really shouldn't matter. And since we weren't planning on kissing in public anyway, it's sort of a moot point. We can always brush our teeth first once we get home if either of us actually cares..."

Heero snickered slightly at the thought, 'As if a little garlicky breath would stop us from kissing anyway...' He replied simply, "True. Let's get it with cheese then; we both like it that way."

"Sure. And share a pitcher of pop?"

"Sounds good." 'Just like everything has been so far...'

***

Over the course of the meal, Heero was surprised just how often Duo managed to find opportunities for the kind of discreet things he'd talked about sticking to in public. Fingers touching just a little more and lingering just a little longer than necessary as they passed the pitcher of pop back and forth. Legs brushing against each other under the table. Nothing noticeable to others, nothing that couldn't be dismissed as simply casual contact if someone did notice it, but all things that the look in Duo's eyes told him meant more than that. And most importantly, nothing that made either him or Duo the least bit uncomfortable.

The conversation wasn't a whole lot different from other times that they'd eaten out together either. A little light discussion of a few things to do with the business, some speculation over how long it would take Hilde to notice the changes in their relationship once she got back from her honeymoon, a little debate over whether or not they wanted to attend the peace memorial ceremonies that Relena had invited them to.

That particular subject they finally left up in the air. They wouldn't mind the trip to Earth; wouldn't mind the chance to see Relena and Wufei, probably Quatre and Trowa as well, along with some of their other friends and acquaintances. But neither of them was too sure that they wanted to get caught up in the inevitable publicity surrounding the event. And they were even less certain that they wanted to take part in the ceremony to honour those involved in the war. So the decision of whether or not to go was going to require a little more thought followed by some more discussion before they were prepared to give Relena an answer to the invitation. Though with everyone in one spot like that, it would be a good opportunity to let the others know about the changes in their relationship...

From there they moved on to lighter topics. Like sports and the latest books that they'd each read and what old favourite movies they had in mind for their next all-day video watching marathon. The meal flew by and Heero was surprised to realize just how long they'd been sitting there talking and eating.

"So, your curiosity killing you yet about where we're headed next?" Duo asked with a grin as he waved for the waitress to bring the bill.

Heero shook his head. "No. I've been enjoying myself too much to really think about it," he admitted readily.

Duo's grin softened into a smile. "Good. I just wanted tonight to be fun. No pressure for either of us to do anything other than just be ourselves and enjoy each other's company."

"You've succeeded - so far at least," Heero responded. "But now that you've brought up the subject, I am curious as to where we're going now..."

As they rose from the table, leaving payment and tip behind, Duo smirked at Heero and said smugly, "You'll just have to wait and see..." He snickered, then wagged one finger at Heero and intoned in a fairly decent Xellos imitation, "Sore wa... himitsu desu."

Heero rolled his eyes, gave Duo's braid a light tug, and groaned in mock-dismay, "I never should have introduced you to that series..."

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Xellos, the mysterious trickster priest from Slayers NEXT and Slayers TRY, is famous (infamous?) for using this phrase. Roughly translated, "Sore wa... himitsu desu" means "That is... a secret."

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