9-7-2001

disclaimer: the boys aren't mine. i just play with them for my own entertainment.
title: mercury rising
author: jana
cumulative: NC-17
archive: shinigami&wing http://www.1X2X1.org
warnings: yaoi, AU, light angst, POV in later parts, OOC (depends), citrus in various forms (too long a list to mention)
spoilers: you're kidding....right?
pairings: 2+1, 1X1, 2X2, 2X1 it's heero and duo, folks. do i ever write anything else?!?!
notes: my muses took off on this one. im trying to keep them in character as much as possible given the obvious total rewrite of their pasts. this was *supposed* to be another PWP, but it took on a life of its own and ended up to be fairly long and i'm pretty sure it's not a pwp anymore, but i'm unable to put my finger on exactly what it is. *sweatdrops* it is also the first time i've attempted to write a fic where heero and duo are NOT heero and duo... meaning there was no war and that they grew up having lived relatively normal lives; very much unlike their soldier counterparts. it is also my first attempt at a strict 2X1.

summary: heero and duo are both 20 and in college and it is summertime. they don't know each other.. but they will.

// thoughts //

 

Mercury Rising
Part 3

 

My first encounter with our visitor took place the very night he arrived; within the first hour in fact.

He'd not had time to shop and Cynthia had taken upon herself to extend him an invitation to join us for dinner. I honestly wished she'd spoken with me about it first. I felt uneasy as I made my way downstairs and wondered why she didn't just suggest he order a pizza instead.

In all fairness to Cynthia, she probably needed the interaction. It was just her and I for the past few days and I wasn't much of a conversationalist. I would have to meet him soon enough, if not tonight, then probably during tomorrow's morning swim. Applying logic to the two thoughts I'd just had, I'd decided that since Cynthia would be dining with us, it would probably be better to get it over with tonight.

I also decided that Cynthia was more of an ally than I'd previously given her credit for.

+++++++

When I arrived in the kitchen, he was already there; leaning against the countertop with his arms folded at his mid-section. I'd heard voices as I approached the kitchen but there was only silence as I stepped inside the room. Cynthia briefly introduced us as she continued with last minute dinner preparations.

"Heero this is Duo Maxwell. Duo this is Heero Yuy." she smiled, turning back around to finish her chores.

I smiled politely and Duo offered me his hand. "Hey."

"Hello." I returned, hesitantly shaking it.

He was several inches taller than me and was of a slighter build. His right ear had multiple piercings, each hole filled with a silver loop; gradually increasing in size from the lobe up yet his left had none. What little of his skin that was visible was pale and I looked up to meet his glance; noting his eyes were an odd shade of deep violet-blue. 'So the pool boy doesn't get much sun', I thought; quickly realizing that perhaps he wore sunscreen, which I decided was wise considering all the time he'd be spending out in the sun. I then paused to wonder why I was even thinking along these lines.

"So, our dads went to the same college." he commented.

I nodded and took my usual place at the table and looked over as he seated himself across from me. "Are you from around here?"

He shook his head. "I grew up in Westchester. Live in New York City now."

"Ahh...." I replied. That explained it.

"It's really nice here. I've never been to this part of Pennsylvania before."

"It's quiet." I replied.

"Heero attends Princeton; as both your fathers did." Duo smiled over at Cynthia as she seated herself at the head of the table. "Help yourselves."

I watched as Duo helped himself to salad and pasta, buttering a slice of Italian bread as well. "Everything looks great, Cynthia. Thanks for inviting me."

"No problem." she smiled.

I served myself a small portion of pasta and an even smaller one of salad. Despite the fact that this was one of my favorite meals, I felt awkward and took solace in the fact that Duo's joining us for dinner would be a one time deal.

"Maybe tomorrow you can show Duo around town, Heero. He needs to do some food shopping too."

I cringed and forced a smile as I looked up at Cynthia. "I can draw him a map."

Duo looked over at me, easily reading my reluctance before turning toward Cynthia. "It's okay. I'll find my way around."

I almost felt bad.. almost. I was angry that she had practically volunteered me to give him a tour of the town; once again taking something upon herself that involved me without having asked me first. I had every intention of discussing this with her when we alone.

I pretty much kept quiet during the rest of the meal. I barely listened to what Duo and Cynthia were talking about; though I was aware of the endless chatter. I couldn't help but notice that they had very similar personalities; or at least it seemed that way. They spoke almost as if they'd known each other for years. Their postures were relaxed and their words seemed to flow without forethought.

We'd finished our meal and Cynthia stood to clear the table.

Duo looked around the kitchen and smiled. "Nice place. The guest house is great too."

I nodded. I wasn't being arrogant; it wasn't my house. "You do this sort of thing often?

"Take care of people's pools?" Duo asked. "No. This will be my first go at it."

I inwardly groaned.

Duo continued. "I have a little experience taking care of my own a few years ago though. I'm sure I can handle it."

Cynthia interrupted the short conversation to announce that coffee and dessert were ready. The two spoke at length in between forkfuls; drawing what should have been a 10 minute dessert out into a longer than comfortable event.

I didn't understand how they were able to carry on such conversation when they barely knew one another. I faded into the background; once more tuning out the constant drone that was their voices. The fact that I remained silent seemed to draw attention to me; making me feel even more self-conscious than I already did.

Despite the fact that they'd not called me on my silence; I politely excused myself and returned to my room

++++++

I turned on my stereo and laid on my bed, giving the last hour some thought.

Duo's presence in the house would be minimal. The only time I'd need to come in contact with him was when I was out by the pool. I normally swam for an hour in the morning and another at dusk, but used the area surrounding the pool for reading as well as exercising. I would need to find another area on the grounds that would be suitable for any outdoor activities I planned on engaging in other than swimming. I didn't feel comfortable spending all that time out there with anyone... let alone him.

I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was about him that I didn't like. I had had only one brief encounter with him so far and he certainly hadn't done anything during that time to offend me, but I came away from our first meeting pretty much convinced that he and I just weren't going to get along.

++++++

I'd skipped my evening swim that night and Cynthia questioned me later about it.

"Not swimming tonight?" I wasn't surprised that she noticed. She, probably more than anyone who knew me, was aware of how I functioned and that I rarely deviated from my routine.

"No..."

"Duo?"

I didn't see any reason to lie. "I don't feel uncomfortable around him."

"You two didn't exactly hit it off tonight."

"Hit if off? I don't plan on becoming his friend." I informed her flatly. I was about to continue; intent on telling her how I didn't appreciate her offering my services to Duo when she interrupted me.

"He's going to be here all summer, Heero. You should at least try to be cordial."

I found her logic to be without flaw and offered her a quasi-candid response. "We'll see."

++++++

It had been several days since Duo arrived and I rose at 9:00, as I had every morning since returning back home. It felt almost sinful.. stealing those few extra hours of sleep. I'd taken a shower the night before so I dressed in only my bathing suit and slipped a shirt on. I made my way down to the kitchen and grabbed a glass of orange juice before heading out to the pool.

I entered the gate to find Duo just finishing up and putting the vacuum away. He nodded at me, disappearing behind the cabana with his arms filled with white flexible tubing. I took the opportunity to remove my shirt and dive into the water; swimming my standard 6 laps before resurfacing and finding myself alone.

I made the assumption that Duo had gone back inside the guest house. I really hadn't expected to see him out here; he'd usually finished his morning maintenance long before I arrived. I lifted myself up out of the water and sat on the pools edge, wiping the water and my hair back off of my face.

"I just noticed that you're almost out of chlorine. Is there somewhere special I should go to get more?"

I turned, surprised that I hadn't heard him approaching. "I'm not sure."

He sighed. "Well, do you think you could find out for me?"

I looked up at him. "Cynthia might know." He looked annoyed.

"Fine. I'll go ask her."

I could hear him mumbling under his breath as he made his way toward the house; slamming the gate as he exited the pool area.

At first, I couldn't figure out what it was that I'd said that had irritated him. Perhaps he expected me to ask her; or maybe he thought I was just being uncooperative... which I wasn't. It could have been taken that way I supposed. In either case, I'd pissed him off... at least I think I had.

I gave it no further thought and slid back into the water to finish my morning exercise.

 

tbc....