hm... more. ^____^ ugh, those who care... i need to work on "misreality". it's driving me crazy. but meanwhile, i've coughed up more of this.lord, i've been listening to two-mix for the last like..... 5 hours. or something.
it's pretty sappy. i keep having to shove the plot along with the conversation pieces (only one in here) but i try for as much sap as possible. i was going for a lemon... but i dropped it in favor of sweet-ness moments. ^___________^ gomen?
hm... let's see if anyone catches onto something in this part, though...
(lol, if you do, e-mail me privately about it. i wanna leave everyone else in suspense. *grins*)


-----Find Me----- [19/30-esque]


Iria finally decided to be responsible and drove off with Fatima and Dalilah to shop for some food to fill Heero's kitchen. Heero merely gave them a look. 'They better get me things I eat'.

Duo, meanwhile, was taking every opportunity to brush up against Heero, giggling slightly or blushing every time he did, reminding Heero of a schoolgirl. Throughout, his train of words was going nonstop, only intermingled with Quatre's excited speech.

Heero and Trowa merely basked in their lovers' presences.

Quatre and Duo were going through memories, discussing the changes in San Francisco since Duo had been there last, things they'd done meanwhile - light things, like movies they'd seen - and any new foods they'd tried. Duo certainly outmatched Quatre in that last category; he claimed to have tried nearly all the ethnic foods in New York City. While there was a boasting tone in his voice, there was a sad recollection in his eyes that made his friends believe him and made Heero pull him closer, firmly.

Duo smiled sunnily at the touch; as if he were 5 years old and Heero had offered him a gift. His eyes shone as Heero wrapped both arms around Duo's waist, tucked Duo between his legs and rested his chin lightly on Duo's shoulder. If that wasn't blatant cuddling, Duo wasn't sure what was.

Of course Trowa and Quatre were doing their share of trying-to-be-subtle-but-not-quite-managing cuddling. They'd locked hands a while back, and Trowa was absently drawing designs on the back of Quatre's hand with his thumb, eliciting quiet giggles and random squeals of "That tickles!" from his lover.

The door barged open the they all froze, looking guilty. Iria peeped over two paper bags. "What? You gave me the key, Heero, remember? Wanna help? More bags in the car." She turned and made her way to the kitchen, where she deposited all perishables into the refrigerator and began organizing the remainder of the food into the cabinets. Delilah came up with two more bags and Iria took them from her.

"Fatima volunteered to watch the car," Delilah reported, with a mock-scowl creasing her brow. "Now I'm making her come up with the bags." The four boys took the hint and started out the door.

They stopped in front of Iria's car and gaped at the contents. "Does she think we're facing a 2-year famine?" Heero finally queried of Fatima.

"No, she just remembers Duo's eating habits and figures that Quatre and Trowa will be over a lot too," Delilah answered from behind them. Each of the boys picked up two bags, Fatima picked up the last - after a pointed glare from her sister - and Dalilah locked the car. They all trooped up together and set their bags in the kitchen, where Iria went to work shoving them where they should be. With another pointed glare, Dalilah and Fatima were helping.

Heero was amazed at how much food was going into his small refrigerator. Amusedly, he thought, 'Trowa and Quatre better come over often; or else that food is going to spoil. Duo can't possibly eat that much.'

"Want dinner?" Fatima chirped. Right on cue, Duo's and Quatre's stomachs grumbled. Everyone laughed. "I'll take that as a yes," Fatima giggled. "Okay, we'll make you guys dinner, but just this once. Continue socializing," she added, waving her hand at them.

They continued to talk but soon wonderful smells were permeating from the kitchen and every once in a while someone would trail off in a train of thought, just smelling the food. Finally Iria and Dalilah looked up simultaneously to see four hungry boys watching their and Fatima's every move.

"Hungry much?" Iria teased. "Set the table, boys. Heero, I know you don't normally expect company-"

"We can set up in the living room," Heero offered. "There's the big coffee table."

Iria thought for a moment. "Sure, then. Just bring a whole bunch of pot holders and what-have-you's and lay them on that glass. I don't want to ruin it with something spilt or something too hot."

Heero obeyed and they were soon busy scurrying from the kitchen to the living room and back, carrying dishes, cups, silverware, and the like.

When dinner was served, Duo nearly swooned. Iria had remembered several favorites of his, including an apple pie she'd bought at the last moment. Set on the table was simple fare of ramen - and a lot of it - in the large pot, apple pie for Duo (and anyone else who wanted it, if Duo was willing to share, Iria reasoned), and chicken fingers. Fun food.

Quatre and Duo battled with their chicken fingers, causing their lovers to exchange glances, roll eyes, and ignore them.

"Hah! I beat yours!" Duo crowed moments before stuffing the chicken into his mouth.

Quatre ate his and grabbed another one. "En garde!"

"Did they ever grow up?" Fatima asked the ceiling.

"It's not going to answer you, you know," Trowa noted, spooning up some soup.

Fatima raised an eyebrow at him. "Huh?"

"The ceiling. It's not going to answer you," Trowa said, with a light smirk.

Fatima decided not to reply.


Once their guests had finally left - and Duo was fed - they finally settled down and watched each other warily.

"It's really okay I'm staying here?" Duo pressed.

Heero had thrown himself down on a couch, one foot on the floor, the other leg stretched out, head on the armrest, arms spread. He'd been facing the ceiling but he turned his head and sat up at the question. "It's really okay."

"Okay." Duo didn't know what to attribute his nervousness to - Bella and Quatre always said he had a 'loud' personality - except maybe a wish to please. For once, he voluntarily wanted to please somebody, and he felt not quite in control of the situation.

Then he realized Heero was watching him intently. "What's wrong?"

Duo flashed a wide grin and replied cheerily, "Nothing. Just thinking."

Heero reached out and pulled Duo next to him, holding his wrist. When Duo awkwardly fell onto the couch, Heero pulled him close again, slowly. Duo, pleased, curled up as close to Heero as possible.

Duo nearly purred as Heero's fingers played with the end of his braid, fraying it and collecting it together, tangling and untangling his fingers with it. Deftly, Heero pulled out the hair tie, tossing it onto the coffee table, and ran his hand through the silken length. With the other hand, he gently grasped Duo's chin and turned his face to his. Then, slowly, he lowered his lips to Duo's and lay a feathery kiss on Duo's waiting pout.

It was Duo who first ran his tongue along the length of Heero's bottom lip, pleading entrance. With a blissful sigh, Heero parted his lips and reached his tongue out to touch Duo's. They let their lips and tongues slide between, dart within, and rest lightly on those of the other. Heero's hand was stroking Duo's face, touching the wispy bangs, tracing the closed eyes, following the cheekbones down to the lips.

"I - I'm s-so glad I can stay with you," Duo stammered as he pulled away gently. His luminous violet eyes were open and vulnerable.

"I'm so glad you want to stay with me," Heero returned, with badly concealed emotion. Both hands reached up to cup Duo's face. "Duo... I love you."

"Love you," Duo echoed in a broken whisper. Then he surged back up and let his emotions pour into a deep kiss that left Heero breathless. Heero, startled, froze for a moment before kissing back just as fervently.

Trowa couldn't help but fidget nervously as his best friend and his lover met for the first time. He would practically feel Heero's cool gaze on Quatre, appraising him, and Quatre doing the same in return, the businessman's smile on his face. Heero didn't bother smiling.

Finally Quatre stuck out his hand. "Hi, I'm Quatre Winner. You must be Heero Yuy. Pleased to meet you."

Heero shook the proffered hand, saying simply, "Just Heero."

"All right, then, Heero. I'm just Quat-"

"For God's sake, you guys," Trowa finally burst out. "Neither of you bite; I know both of you well enough to know that neither are dangerous; Quatre knows we can't tell anything about what we do, Heero; Heero knows I love you, Quatre... Doesn't that at least bring you a step above strangers?"

Both Quatre and Heero stared at him slack-jawed.


Shaking their heads, Quatre and Heero eyed each other again.

"Okay..." Quatre began just as Heero murmured, "Anou..."

Trowa snickered.

Both other boys glared at him momentarily.

"Uh, hi," Quatre finally said. He smiled a little less formally. "Wel-" He was interrupted by a water balloon, happily supplied to Trowa by Rasid. Another splattered on Heero. They exchanged glances as Rasid and Trowa turned evil smiles at them.

"Count of three, run at them," Heero murmured under his breath. Quatre smirked and gave a small nod. "One, two, three." The two charged, splattering the water balloons in Trowa's and Rasid's hands, effectively dousing them all.

Laughing, Quatre turned and surveyed the floor of his solarium, giggling at the puddle. He glanced up at Heero, grinning.

Heero grinned back.

Duo's hands came up and rested on Heero's stomach, comfortably. Then he let his hands circle Heero's hips, pulling his arms around his lover, pulling them even closer. Slightly surprised, Heero blinked and realized Duo was straddling his legs, looking at him with a pitifully nervous gaze. As if he didn't want to do anything wrong. Heero felt the same way.

He let Duo's hands caress the small of his back as he himself began to kiss Duo's face and neck, absently playing with the flowing hair. Reverently, Heero lifted up the mass of chestnut and let it fall in wisps, tickling Duo's neck. Duo giggled a little, and Heero smiled.

It was Heero's turn to be nervous as he trailed his fingertips down Duo's back, tripping over the edge of the pants, settling right above the pockets.

"Please touch me, Heero." Duo voice was breathy and pleading. Heero felt a surge of heat flow between his legs as he pulled Duo closer, pressing them against each other. He let his fingers slide down further, then pull forward to trail down Duo's thighs, all the while leaving teasing kisses on Duo's collarbone.

"If you don't want me to," Heero began, speaking in small pants. Duo shoved his hips forward in answer.

"Please, Heero. I want you."

Softly. "You don't owe me anything."

"Dammit!" Duo cried, leaning down to deliver a fierce kiss. Breaking, he said quietly, "This isn't about owing, Heero. This is about needing." The last words were low, filled with desire.

Heero's own eyes were darkened with lust as he abruptly clasped his lover in his arms and rose, beginning to walk towards the bedroom. "You haven't seen my room yet," he murmured.

"Can't think of a better time to see it," Duo purred, holding on. "Is it nice?"

"I think so."

"Ooh." Duo approved of the decor of the room, but he barely gave it a glance as Heero gently lay him on the soft bed. Sinking in, he peered up, somehow resembling a cat, his eyes smugly sweet.

Heero crawled up to hold himself above Duo, taking in the sight below him. One hand reached out to caress the boy's cheek, and he was delighted to see Duo close his eyes and rub into the caress. Holding himself up with the other hand, Heero lowered himself just enough to brush his lips across Duo's, making his snap his eyes opened, pleased, mouth silently asking for more.

"Do you really want this?" Heero said softly.

"I want you." Duo reached up and deftly pulled Heero down, until they'd reversed positions. Heero laughed was low, and amused. And pleased.

They kissed again, tongues carelessly circling and flicking, hands lazily memorizing the other's body. Duo tugged impatiently at Heero's shirt; Heero broke the kiss for a moment to pull it over his head. His lover took the opportunity to divest himself of the same garment, then began attacking Heero's bare chest with sweet, prolonged, and teasing kisses. One hand toyed with a nipple, the other hand making it's way lower.

Heero reached down and pulled up Duo's face, surveying it solemnly. "I want to make sure... you're doing this for you," he said finally. "Not for me."

"I'm doing it for you... because I want to," Duo answered. "Because I want you. I want to please you," he finished, his voice a little rough.

"This isn't supposed to be for me," Heero insisted. "I don't want to make you do something you... you don't feel from your heart."

"I do," Duo whispered. He lowered his head onto Heero's chest and just lay there, closing his eyes and breathing in Heero's unique scent. Heero wrapped his arms around the lithe boy, smiling at the smell of berries lightly wafting from Duo's hair. They lay like that for a while, ignoring the minutes ticking by, supremely happy.


No answer.


Again, nothing.

Quatre sighed, frustratedly. Heero had dutifully followed Trowa's and Quatre's advice and left the office to come visit Quatre, but he wasn't saying anything. On the contrary: he was staring out the window dazedly, ignoring everything around him.

"Heero, please," Quatre pleaded. "I know what happened; Trowa told me before he left what he was going to do. Do you understand he was doing it for you, not to hurt you?"

Heero finally said something. With a small nod, he whispered, "Aa."

'Well, I suppose this could be making progress. We've gone from complete silence to one-syllable answers', Quatre thought to himself. 'It's something. Albeit nothing much.'

Glancing down at his hands, Heero took a deep breath. "I understand what he was doing for me," Heero said softly. "And I'm very grateful. It's just..." he trailed off, turning an earring around, holding it firmly between two fingers.

Quatre nodded understandingly, gently. "I see."

"And I'm glad it's over with," Heero added. "It's just... not settling very well on me."

"I'm not surprised," Quatre said soothingly. "It's not something you should be able to digest very well or very quickly, Heero. I'm very sorry it had to come to thi-"



"Could you... could we not talk about it?"

"Of course."

Duo didn't realize he'd fallen asleep until he woke up. It was reasonable. They'd landed in San Francisco in the late afternoon, stayed with Quatre for a while, and gone shopping. They'd gotten to Heero's apartment around 9:30 PM. No wonder they'd fallen asleep.

He peered around to see that he was lying in Heero's bed, alone. The spot next to him wasn't entirely cold, so that meant Heero hadn't been gone for very long. The blankets were tucked up to his chin and he was dressed in only boxers. Duo flushed slightly, realizing that last one.

Biting his lip anxiously, he wondered where Heero was.

"Awake?" came a soft voice from the doorway. Duo turned his head to see Heero standing there easily, also in boxers. Smiling, Duo nodded and pulled a hand up to the top of the blanket to wave.

Heero smiled back and waved over. Pulling the blankets up, he slipped in and curled up close to Duo. "It's quarter of 11; do you want to sleep in longer?" he teased.

Duo swatted him playfully. "Sorry, I like my beauty sleep." Laughing in gentle tones, Heero again scooped up Duo in his arms and pulled them both out of the bed. He began walking towards the door when Duo queried, "Where're we going?"

"To the kitchen. I assume you want breakfast."

Duo nodded enthusiastically, causing more laughter from Heero. "Thought so." Walking into the kitchen, he reached out to flick on the light switch. He set Duo down in a chair and went to peer into the refrigerator. "Anything specific you want?"

"What do you have?"

Heero turned around and opened a cupboard door. "Some cereal. Come and see if you like anything here. I can make eggs, and - if you're willing to wait a bit - some French toast. Or we could go out for breakfast," he finished, turning to look at Duo.


Dial tone.



"Jess! Hey, babe."

"Hey doll. What's up?"

"Nothing, you?"

"Er wants to set up a meeting. Should we risk it?"

"Yeah, sure. When, where. Who to bring?"

"Bring Alex. And anyone else in town you want to bring."

"When and where?"

A slightly labored pause. "At the old place."

Breathing. "You sure? You been back there since?"

"No, but it should be good."

"Well, okay, babe. If you say so. Time?"

"10 should be good. Tomorrow night."

"There's an alley behind there. Wanna meet at the north end of the alley?"

"All right." Pause. "You've been back."

Awkwardly, "Yeah. Had to go back. They did a messy job of it. Knocked out a whole block."

"I know. Heard it on the news. Doesn't matter."

"Wiped out a school, I think."

"Killed my father."

"Yeah." Pause, this time almost apologetic. "Hey, babe, it's gonna be okay. We'll get him back."

Resigned sigh. "I know. It's just... different."

"Yeah, I know. Mental hug, babe."

A giggle. "Mental hug back, doll. Thanks."

"No prob. So, tomorrow night, 10, north end of alley at 194 West 58th Street?"

"Right. Bring Alex. Eryn'll shit in her pants."

Laughter. "All right. Will do."

"Be careful."

"I know. You find 'em yet?"

"Nope, we're working on it. Hard to find 'em, though. Why don't we know that much about Op S?"

"They're good. Damned good. Too good."



Pensive. "Why didn't Mordaux go after them?"

"Word on the street is they did."

"...Would they join with us?"

The silence managed to sound shocked. "That... would be a kick ass idea. I don't know how well Heero might take to it."

"So? It's not like he runs the thing, right?"

"Don't think so."

"Find out, then."

Warm laughter. "Babe, you're a genius."

"Thanks, doll," dryly. "First time you've said that. First time for everything, huh?"

"Yeah." She could feel the smile. "Hey, I gotta go."

"Yeah, me too. Talk to you tomorrow, okay?"

"Bye, babe."

"Bye, doll."

Back to Part 18

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