12-16-2003

Title: #86 - Surprising - Part 2
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat
Story Completed: December 15, 2003
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Friendship, Romance
Pairing: 1x2, 3x4
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. 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. 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 punched the mattress in frustration as Heero, pulling a shirt over his head as he went, headed downstairs to answer the door. 'Dammit, dammit, *dammit*! Of all the goddamn lousy timing...'

Grabbing a pair of boxers, Duo dragged them on then pulled on a pair of jeans but left them unfastened for the moment. Hopefully by the time he needed to go downstairs, doing them up wouldn't be quite so painful. Donning a shirt, he tugged his hair out from under it impatiently and turned to hastily make the bed, fighting to get his emotions and libido both under control. 'So much for my - *our* - plans for the weekend...' he thought miserably. 'And just when things were going so well too...'

They'd been taking things slowly but they'd both been so damn close... Whether it had been the absolute freedom that he'd given Heero or the simple fact that Heero was so busy concentrating on pleasuring *him*, Duo didn't know, but the control training hadn't kicked in yet. They'd tried to keep going after the first ring of the doorbell but the second had been too much. Heero hadn't been able to ignore it; he'd had to go check out the guestroom window and see who was at the door. If it had been Hilde or a neighbour, they probably would have just waited and hoped the person would give up and go away. But they couldn't do that to Quatre and Trowa; it wasn't like they lived nearby and could visit anytime.

'And the damage was already done...' Duo admitted silently. Heero's training had started to kick in with that second ring, that second intrusion of the outside world into the peaceful sanctuary of their room. And then Heero had had to deliberately call on its full force to calm and control himself enough to go down and greet their friends. 'The question is how big a setback is this going to cause him?' Duo wondered grimly, forcing his own breathing into a steadying, calming pattern as he brushed his hair. He had to get *himself* under control before he went downstairs. This was all too damn new to both Heero and himself for them to be comfortable with having anyone guess exactly why they'd taken so long to answer the door.

Steps - Heero's steps - climbed the stairs and entered the guestroom, then crossed the hall to open the door and enter their room. Heero closed the door behind him very, very gently and Duo winced at the tightly controlled expression, the forced calm, on Heero's face. He murmured regretfully, "They're here for the weekend, huh?"

Heero took the brush and set to work removing the last tangles from Duo's hair. "I think so. I - didn't really ask," he admitted. "I was - a bit abrupt. Just needed to get away again." They were both silent for a few moments, then Heero set the brush aside and quickly separated Duo's hair and plaited it quickly and efficiently. Duo handed him an elastic and Heero fastened off the braid. He wrapped his arms around Duo and leaned against his back, chin propped on Duo's shoulder, cheek against Duo's cheek. "I'm sorry," he apologized, voice quiet but intense. "I wanted to make you feel good and I left you hanging again... And now..."

Duo turned his head and kissed Heero firmly but chastely. "Not your fault. The doorbell broke the mood. Next time we tell everyone we're going away, then disconnect the doorbell and turn off the phone ringer before we start anything," he vowed darkly. He was pretty sure that genuinely going away wouldn't work; he didn't think that Heero would be able to let his guard down enough away from home. Their soldier days weren't far enough in the past for that.

He twisted in Heero's arms, wrapping his own around Heero and hugging him tightly. He was pretty sure that this was about as intense as things were going to get for the rest of this weekend; the walls were thin and sound carried throughout the house all too easily. He and Heero were too private to be comfortable with anyone overhearing things that should be strictly between the two of them, no matter how good a friend that person - or those persons - might be.

***

"Hey, Q! Wasn't expecting to see you guys this weekend!"

Duo grinned broadly as he entered the room and went over to exchange a friendly hug with Quatre. He kept the hug very brief and not too tight.

"We - well, more like I, Trowa thought I should call first - wanted to surprise you. It's so rare that I can make it over this way..." Quatre said.

"I hope that this isn't an inconvenient time for a visit," Trowa interjected. "I *told* him that we should call first but he insisted on surprising you."

Duo laughed uneasily, "Well, you definitely caught us by surprise!" He wished fervently that Quatre had listened to Trowa's advice. Even if they'd just called from the shuttleport, at least he and Heero would have had a *little* bit of advance warning.

"But it's - nice - to see you again," Heero added. Duo choked slightly at Heero's words and glared at Heero pointedly. Usually he was the one to turn to humour to lighten the mood but that remark was just a little too painful a reminder of what they'd *hoped* to spend the weekend doing to be as amusing as Heero had probably hoped it would be. "We'll need to pick up a few more groceries. Why don't we all go get them and eat lunch at Mama's?" Heero continued calmly.

"Good idea," Duo agreed. "You're gonna *love* this place, guys..." he said with forced enthusiasm.

"I'm sure we will," Quatre said politely as they all headed out of the room and towards the front door.

***

Duo managed to keep the conversation rolling as they drove towards the market. He'd insisted that Heero drive, both because his car was better suited to carrying four and because it gave Heero an excuse not to talk much as he navigated the very busy streets. Duo knew that Heero was already struggling with his control, trying not to let it slam into place as tightly as it used to yet at the same time use it to hide his frustration and turmoil from the others. Heero wasn't prepared to handle casual conversation on top of that; it would only cause further upset to his equilibrium.

Duo was having his own difficulties staying upbeat and cheerful while keeping his irritation and frustration and worry hidden but he could handle the casual chatter while doing so; he'd had more experience at using conversation as camouflage. 'Not too sure how well it's working, though. I'm afraid Quat's picking up on the tension from both of us... Wonder what sort of explanation he'll come up with for it...'

Nothing even close to the truth, he suspected. And he and Heero weren't comfortable telling the others about the changes in their relationship quite yet. Not after being interrupted like that. They'd briefly discussed that very issue before finally coming downstairs to greet their guests and the mutual decision had been to keep quiet for now, despite their previous intentions to let their friends know what was going on. They were both just a little too sensitive, a little too raw, over this most recent disappointment to handle the inevitable knowing looks and exclamations as their guests realized just why it had taken so long for them to answer the door.

Once they reached the market square and parked, Duo suggested, "Go ahead and take a look around, guys. This is a pretty neat place; there's lots more little shops and stalls than just the grocery type ones.

"Heero and I'll grab a few groceries and meet you over there," he pointed towards Mama Lucia's pasta stall, "for lunch in - oh, say about half - no, better make that three-quarters - of an hour?"

"Why don't you let us help get the groceries?" Quatre volunteered.

Duo shook his head, "Nah, thanks for the offer, Quat, but it'll be just as quick for us to grab stuff ourselves. We know where to go for everything and we know the proprietors of the stalls that we deal with. You guys just go explore and have a little fun for a bit."

"We could at least stay with you and help carry the parcels," Trowa protested.

"Too hard to keep four people together when the place is this busy," Duo responded as people jostled them and slipped through between them. Saturday morning was *not* the best time to be here; the crowds were terrible. He moved fractionally closer to Heero and let their shoulders touch as he shooed the others away, "Go on, have fun. See you over at Mama's in about forty-five minutes or so. If you get there first, just tell her you're waiting for us and she'll get you a table."

It took a few more minutes of arguing but Duo finally convinced the others to go enjoy themselves. He turned a concerned gaze on Heero and steered the two of them over to a relatively calm spot between two stalls. "You're awfully quiet, buddy. You okay Heero?" He turned his body to shield them from the crowd and laced his fingers through Heero's, squeezing gently.

"No," Heero admitted, surprising Duo slightly with his honesty. "I'm disappointed and frustrated and I want *our* weekend back. But..."

"But we don't get to see the guys in person very often and we'd feel like utter heels kicking them out. And embarrassed as hell explaining why," Duo finished for him in a low tone, knowing that Heero was keeping an eye on the others so that he didn't have to worry about them overhearing his words.

Heero nodded and added, "And all of that would probably spoil things anyway."

Duo sighed heavily and agreed. There really wasn't a good solution to this. "We'll just have to make the best of it," he shrugged in resignation. "Quat's intentions were good; unfortunately the timing really sucks." He sighed again. "I just hope that we can manage to get through the rest of the weekend without any *more* surprises."

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- tbc-