10-7-2002

TITLE: The Matchmaker
by Dev-Aki Basaa

PAIRING: 1+2+1, R+1
RATING: PG
CATEGORY: Shounen-ai, romance
FEEDBACK: oh yes, please! dev_aki_jediknight@yahoo.com
ARCHIVE: GW Addiction, DHML, Shinigami & Wing, Moments of Rapture
WARNING: none
DISCLAIMER: Bandai and Sunrise own all. The story, however, is mine.
SUMMARY: Duo tries to play Matchmaker between Heero and Relena. Heero has something else in mind.
NOTES: Takes place post-EW
AUTHOR NOTES: I did it again >_<;; Relena gets the short end of the stick again - though, it's a much kinder scenario than some that I've played with. Beta credits go to Sharon – thank you, Sharon! All mistake are mine, thank you ^_^

~~~~~

Heero closed the door to Preventers' South conference room behind him as he walked into the dimly lit room. He glanced around, shrugging his jacket tighter over his shoulders with a tug on either side of his collar. He was surprised to find himself alone. The note Duo had left on his desk specifically said to meet him here. Not that Duo had signed it, but after being partnered with him countless times since they both joined Preventers a year ago, Heero could easily tell his handwriting - or, more accurately, he struggled to decipher anything written by Duo. His scrawl was so atrocious and unique, anyone would recognize his penmanship instantly. Such as it was.

So when Heero had determined that the pencil scratchings actually formed the words, 'Heero, come to the South conference room, ASAP, it's important', he didn't waste even the time to wonder why Duo would leave him such a note. Or why he would want to meet all the way over on the south side of Headquarters.

Heero walked deeper into the conference room and, for a moment, considered raising the lights to a higher degree of brightness, but then ultimately dismissed the thought. The dim lights gave the room a soft orange glow that he found to be rather calming and comfortable. The lights here were not unlike the lighting Duo had in the front room of his flat. And Heero always felt peaceful there when he visited. That thought alone made him smile.

He had just placed his hand on the back of a conference table chair, intending on pulling it out and settling in to wait, when he heard the click of a door. He glanced back towards the door he'd entered through - expecting that if Duo was meeting him here, he'd have come the same route as Heero. Only, that wasn't the door that was opening - it was the one on the far wall, the one that exited towards the admin offices of HQ. Why would Duo be coming from there? Heero felt suddenly tense - was there something wrong? Did Duo get some kind of reprimand?

But it was not Duo that walked into the room - not Duo bathed in the soft glow of dim lights. It was Relena.

"Heero," she said, as she closed the door behind her. She didn't sound surprised to find him there. She was dressed in one of her more casual suits with a flared skirt and a large bow at her neck. He'd seen it on her before and thought that she looked pretty, in a 'perfect' sort of way - like a doll in a shop. But the light pink of her clothes clashed with the orange-ish lighting of the room, and Heero found himself grimacing in response. Her coloring was all wrong for the room. He then mentally laughed at himself for even noticing such a thing. It almost seemed absurd of him - if he hadn't already thought how Duo seemed to glow in a room lit like this, how it complimented him so. Relena belonged in her brilliant spotlight, in more ways than one.

"Relena," Heero said, adding a simple nod of his head in greeting. He sought out the collar of his jacket again and tugged it even tighter across the back of his neck. He had a sinking suspicion of what was taking place. It wouldn't be the first time.

Relena's smile broadened and she brushed back the few stands of hair that draped over her shoulder. "Duo told me you'd be here," she said, her gaze softening on him.

No, it wasn't the first time. But, dammit, it would be the last.

Heero gave Relena another nod of his head.

"My apologies, Relena, but I can't stay. I have some very important business to take care of."

She instantly looked crest-fallen. There was a part of him that hated to disappoint her, that still strove to protect her from all things. But what she hoped for was doomed to failure - he could not give her that which he'd already given to someone else.

Relena began as if to say something, but Heero didn't give her the chance. He apologized again and then swept out of the conference room as quickly as a breeze. The strength of the door shutting behind him probably even ruffled her skirt.

Heero paced the long headquarters' halls, in search of the tell-tale braid. No room escaped his scrutiny. Duo's office was empty; neither Trowa nor Wufei had seen him; the cafeteria was closed at this hour; and he wasn't in the gym or the pool. He even made a cursory check of the admin offices, just in case Duo was waiting somewhere for Relena to tell him how the set-up had gone.

It was on his second pass of the North hall that a glint of gold through the windows caught his eye. The bright late-afternoon sun had reflected off of Duo's earring - a new acquisition he took great pride in - and the brilliant light had stopped Heero cold, causing a bustling secretary to crash into him. He apologized to her as she rushed past him and he caught just a smidgen of her mumblings about the strangeness of some of the agents. But Heero quickly dismissed her and turned back towards the windows again, finding his quarry. He was in the courtyard, helping with a training session for new cadets, his face split wide by a boisterous laugh that couldn't be heard from inside, but Heero knew all too well the heartiness and joy such a sound carried - especially when it was Duo's laugh.

Heero darted out the nearest exit and marched down the sidewalk toward Duo, the wind rustling his hair and making it fly into his eyes, stinging them terribly. He squinted against the whipping strands as well as the glare of the high sun. He took a quick moment to curse that sunglasses were not regulation.

Heero saw the other agent, who was helping with the exercise, give Duo a pointed nod alerting him to his approaching company - the man's expression was quite grave and when Duo turned around and saw Heero, his grin faded right away. It was only then that Heero realized he probably looked as if he was scowling, his face scrunched up from his flying hair and the bright sun.

"Um, hey, Heero." Duo gave a little wave, then quickly shoved his hands in the pockets of his slacks. He looked guilty as hell, and Heero had to wonder if he'd done something more than try to set up a 'chance' meeting between him and Relena. If he pushed him, could he get him to confess to any number of sly tricks and coercions? Perhaps, but that wasn't why he was here.

He stopped in front of Duo, yet didn't speak. He knew he wouldn't have to wait long - Duo was always quick to break the silence.

"So, um," Duo began, tilting his head so his bangs fluttered across his forehead, yet out of his eyes. It caused him to be looking up at Heero though his lashes, his eyes closed slightly. It gave Heero a start for the way that look caused a flutter in his stomach. "Anything interesting happen this afternoon?" Duo finished.

Heero sighed to himself. There was a part of him that considered just saying, 'no, nothing of any importance happened today,' playing along and yet not. Yes, he'd spoiled the plans, but that response would allow for more plans another day. This had to end - even if he didn't like the ultimate outcome. Somewhere inside him a voice piped up and said, 'Enough! Go for it."

So, taking a deep breath, Heero went right for the target. "Why do you keep pushing me towards Relena?"

For a moment, Duo seemed to consider just playing dumb. The old, 'I don't know what you're talking about,' routine. But much to Heero's relief, he appeared to dismiss that idea and shrugged instead.

"She's a nice girl," he answered. "I just want you to be happy."

But Heero noticed the sadness to that statement - as if he'd resigned himself to the prospect that Relena would make Heero happy. He had to wonder what brought Duo to that conclusion anyway? Had Relena convinced him of this?

"What makes you think I'd be happy with her?"

Duo looked at him as if he was an idiot. He spread his hands and his response sounded like he was explaining the most basic of facts. "She loves you, it's so obvious."

Is that all? "But I don't love her."

Duo smiled then, but as before, there was a touch of sadness to the expression. He sighed and reached out to rest his right hand on Heero's shoulder. "Heero, I'm just doing what I thought was best for my friend." The wind caught his braid, whipping it wildly behind him. Strands of red-gold glinted in the sunlight and made his hair shimmer. Duo gestured with the hand he'd placed on Heero's shoulder, making a sort of vague motion towards space. "You've been so focused on the wars, you probably don't realize..."

Dammit! Heero cut him off. "I know what love is, Duo, don't assume otherwise."

Duo paused for a long moment after, his face frozen in a sort of blank regard of Heero. He looked as though he didn’t know how to continue, uncertain of Heero's response. But then he shrugged again, as before, shoving his hand back into his pocket and letting his gaze fall towards the ground.

"I'm sorry," he said, kicking the toe of his boot into the dirt and digging up a stone. With another kick, he sent it rolling into the surrounding grass. "You just deserve some happiness, you know?"

That little voice returned to the fore of Heero's mind as he watched Duo's downcast face.

'Enough. Go for it.'

And so, without much thought, he reached out and brushed his fingers against Duo's right cheek and was rewarded with a startled gasp. He let his fingers linger, just barely touching Duo's skin as Duo slowly raised his head and met his gaze. Duo's eyes were wide with shock and Heero hoped it was because of how he was looking at him. He hoped his gaze was softened towards Duo, as Relena's had been towards him earlier.

"So I deserve happiness? What about you?" Heero asked him, his fingers gently caressing his face, reveling in the warmth of his cheek. "Don't you deserve happiness?"

Duo almost seemed too shocked to respond with words. He began shaking his head slightly; Heero's fingers brushing more across his skin, before his answer came out in a whisper. "I'm not worthy..."

At hearing just the beginning of what Duo was going to say, Heero reached forward even more and fully cupped Duo's face, his fingers touching his newly pierced ear. The strength and intent of the motion seemed to cut Duo off again and Heero knew the moment - the perfect moment - was upon him.

"Let me be the judge of that," he told him as he drew Duo closer to him, tightening his fingers to tip Duo's head just enough. He saw Duo's eyes slip closed before their lips even touched. Yes, Duo had wanted and waited for this as much as he had. They'd been fools to delay this long.

Heero kissed him deeply, lingering on the sweet taste of Duo, of his sun-warmed lips and the very soft rumblings of a moan. As they slowly parted, their breath mingling and eyes opening again, Heero knew he needn't say anything more. They now both understood from where they each could find their happiness.

The moment continued to be so utterly perfect, their gazes locked in understanding and awakening passion; their lips already yearning towards the other for another kiss.

The sudden applause, though, broke through the façade of solitude. They were still standing outside in the courtyard and it seemed like the whole damn HQ had stopped to watch them kiss.

Heero heard a cat-call that sounded suspiciously like Trowa.

He was surprised when Duo crushed against him, ducking his head in embarrassment, but then delighted when he also took his hand. Heero squeezed his fingers tightly, entwining them with Duo's, and caught his gaze when Duo looked back up.

"Let's find some privacy, huh?" Duo said, his eyes sparkling and reminding Heero of sunlight on the ocean. He nodded his response and let Duo lead him back up the sidewalk he'd marched down before and back into the North hall. The secretary he'd crashed into earlier had the broadest grin on her face as they passed and kept any comments about strange agents to herself this time.

As Heero glanced back down the hall behind them, he caught sight of Relena. She was leaning against a corridor junction, her arms folded loosely around her waist. From a distance, she almost looked as though she was grinning at him, a look of understanding on her face. He sincerely hoped he was correct about that. He hoped that she now knew why these set-ups she and Duo planned always ended so badly. He hoped she would understand completely - because one day he'd like to credit her with being the one to bring him and Duo together.

A matchmaker should get her commendation.

 

The End