6-6-2004

Title: #95 Communications Restored - Part 2
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat <calic0cat@fastmail.fm>
Story Completed: June 6, 2004
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Friendship, Romance
Pairing: 1x2
Rated: R
Warnings: OOC, Swearing, Non-explicit Lemon
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.
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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"Would you like butter on your popcorn?"

"Uh, no, thanks," Duo told the girl at the snackbar. He hadn't even needed to check with Heero before answering the query. Whatever that so-called "butter" really was - other than the colour, it bore a distinctly disturbing similarity to used motor oil - it definitely wasn't something either of them wanted on their popcorn. He accepted the tub of popcorn from her while Heero paid for their snack. 'Not that we *need* anything else after the terrific meal that we had... but a trip to the theatre just wouldn't be complete without popcorn...'

And popcorn, of course, meant that pop was required as well. Duo grinned faintly as Heero stuck a straw in the single serving that he'd purchased. Sharing the popcorn and pop was just one of those little "couples" things that made this very definitely a date rather than just two friends spending the evening together.

Duo had been pleasantly surprised when Heero had suggested dinner at Santini's followed by a movie. The clear indication that Heero was feeling more comfortable about getting their relationship back on track was very welcome. 'I wasn't sure how long it might take him to be ready to pick things up again, let alone move forward. I was prepared to give him as much time as he needed but it's good to know that the wait may not be all that long...' There was no rush - they were building what they hoped would be a lifelong relationship - but that didn't change the fact that progress, no matter how slight, felt very, very good.

Heero chose seats at the back of the theatre and off to one side, over the entrance hall. 'Not as good for viewing the movie but a little less public...' Duo realized as they settled in to watch the film. They'd opted for a new semi-historical movie about the early days of space exploration, despite the fact that they hadn't seen any reviews of it yet. The only other show that had sounded even vaguely interesting was an action-packed thriller. But most action movies were just too damn annoying; the stunts and fights were usually so contrived and poorly executed that the only amusement involved in watching the film lay in poking fun at it - an activity best saved for home viewing.

The reason that Heero had picked seats with the greatest privacy possible became clear partway through the film when sturdy, calloused fingers intercepted Duo's hand on its way to the popcorn. Duo squeezed Heero's hand briefly in acceptance and let Heero guide their joined hands to rest on the armrest between them. In the darkness of the theatre's back corner, something so discreet was highly unlikely to draw anyone's attention.

'We're not ashamed of our relationship. And it's not like we're particularly concerned about negative reactions,' Duo thought, 'though we're certainly well aware of the lingering prejudices against same-sex couples and the dangers that those prejudices can lead to. But this - us as a couple - is very personal and private. And that's equally true about displays of affection between us. Maybe someday, when our relationship is less new, more well-established, we'll be comfortable with displaying it more openly...'

Maybe.

But in any case, moments like these - fingers entwined between them in the dark, free hands bumping when they both reached for the popcorn at the same time, legs brushing in the cramped aisle - held their own allure. Even if the movie they were watching *did* have absolutely lousy special effects, a dry-as-dust plot, and a soundtrack that sounded like it was recorded in somebody's basement.

***

Unlocking the front door and holding it open, Duo commented, "Okay, so the movie was awful but the company certainly wasn't."

Heero gave an amused snort at the remark and shook his head as he entered the house. "Duo..."

Duo gave in and snickered too. "C'mon, Heero, it may be corny as all hell but it's true." He shoved the door closed and locked it behind him. "Besides, we *both* agreed on the movie; it's not your fault it was a dud. And dinner was terrific. It was a great date."

"*Was*? Who says it's over?" Heero called over his shoulder as he headed into the livingroom.

"It's not?" Duo followed him, a little surprised - albeit pleasantly so - at the implication.

"No. Not unless you want to skip dessert. And, of course, the 'making-out-on-the-couch' part of the date..."

"Oh, well, in that case - nope, the date's definitely not over," Duo agreed readily. He wasn't about to turn either of those offers down.

"I'll bring dessert in there," Heero said, continuing on into the kitchen.

"Okay." Seating himself on the couch, Duo closed his eyes and listened to the sounds coming from the kitchen. The cabinet containing bowls opened with a distinctive squeak of complaint from one door hinge. A drawer slid open and closed with a slight rattle from the cutlery it contained. Then the refrigerator's freezer compartment opened and closed. Duo opened his eyes and grinned, guessing that ice cream was about to make a repeat appearance. Sharing a serving of ice cream had turned into somewhat of a tradition with them; it was a fun way to start a make-out session.

A few short minutes later, Heero joined Duo on the couch, the bowl in his hand confirming Duo's guess. A single spoon sat amongst the scoops of chocolate crackle ice cream. Duo's grin widened. Heero observed blandly, "Don't want to have to wash any extra dishes tonight, do we?"

"Nope. Wouldn't want to have to wash *two* bowls and spoons..." Duo teased. "Guess we'll just have to share."

"Yes, I guess we will..." Heero said as he scooped up a spoonful of the chocolatey treat.

Duo leaned forward slightly in anticipation, only to sputter, "Hey!" in mock indignation as Heero took the first bite for himself.

Heero smirked. "I had to make sure it tasted okay."

"Uh huh. Good excuse, buddy. So does it?"

"I'm not sure. Maybe you should try," Heero invited. "Close your eyes."

Expecting to feel the cold metal of the spoon nudge his mouth open, Duo instead found warm lips pressed to his and an ice-cream-chilled tongue flicking between them. The kiss was brief and playful but when it ended, he could indeed faintly taste chocolate. Opening his eyes, he met Heero's slightly hesitant and questioning gaze.

"Well?" Heero asked. "What do you think?" Duo realized that Heero wasn't talking about the taste of the ice cream. He was checking to make sure that Duo was ready to put the past week behind them and move on.

'He wants to know if I'm ready to pick up where we left off... Hey, if he's ready, I sure am...'

Licking his lips, Duo said, "Hmm. Think I need another taste to be sure." He took the spoon from Heero and took a bite of ice cream. "I dunno," he observed thoughtfully, shifting a bit closer to Heero. "Maybe you'd better try it too." He quite pointedly kept the spoon, inclining his body towards Heero instead.

Heero took the invitation, kissing him again, this time a bit longer. When they separated, Heero murmured, "I think we're going to need more taste tests..."

Duo smiled and handed him the spoon. "Sounds good to me."

As the ice cream in the bowl slowly dwindled, the kisses gradually became less playful and more intense. Until at some point, the ice cream ceased to play a role. The kisses deepened and became more urgent. Tongues probed. Teeth nipped and nibbled. Hands wandered, stroking and groping. Fingers threaded through hair that was somehow loosened from its confinement.

In a tiny corner of his mind, Duo retained just enough rational thought to remember to let Heero take the lead. Even when Heero guided him down to lie stretched out on his back, he resisted the temptation to drag Heero fully on top of him. His only protest was a reminder of "Ow - hair!" when a carelessly placed arm resulted in a sharp tug on his scalp.

"Sorry," Heero apologized, moving the offending limb. "Lift up a minute," he instructed, holding out a hand to Duo. Using the offered hand for leverage, Duo obeyed. Heero carefully gathered the long hair with his other hand, sweeping it up to hang off the end of the couch, safely out of the way. "Okay," he said.

Duo laid back again, feeling a bit awkward after the interruption. Perched on the edge of the couch, Heero bent to press their lips together tenderly, coaxing him to relax and go with the flow. It took a few minutes for things to build back to the point they were at before but the heat gradually returned to their kisses. Heero's hands drifted lower on Duo's body, unfastening clothing and tugging it out of the way. Cool air met heated skin. Instinctively reaching to reciprocate the action, Duo became abruptly aware that he couldn't. Heero had slid off of the couch and was kneeling beside it. "Heero? Aren't you..."

Heero shook his head slightly. "Let me do this for you..."

Hearing the pleading note in Heero's voice, Duo couldn't bring himself to refuse, despite his preference that this be mutual. 'I told him he was in control, told him that whatever he wanted was okay...'

Duo nodded, just once. "Okay."

Then Heero's lips were pressed to his in a brief, distracted kiss and Heero's hands were on him, tentative and a little awkward. Heero pulled back from the kiss, monitoring Duo's reactions closely. A slightly uncomfortable angle was adjusted; a too-light touch firmed. Heero's hands lost their hesitancy and became more confident as Duo responded to their actions.

But despite the rising desire, Duo felt a pang of regret that their first time would be so one-sided, though Heero's intent concentration on his reactions let him hope that Heero was at least getting *something* out of this. It felt a bit strange to be the subject of such intense scrutiny. To be exposed and vulnerable while Heero was still clothed.

His growing discomfort must have been visible because Heero distracted him quite effectively. A deep, heated kiss eased Duo's growing self-consciousness, letting him surrender to the moment.

To Heero.

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