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. i'm 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 6



I'd accepted Cynthia's offer to watch a movie she'd rented with her. I found that for the most part, her taste in films was nothing like mine, but I was in the mood for something light and hoped she hadn't chosen a romance of any type. At 7:40 we seated ourselves in the den; her on the couch and I in the overstuffed armchair.

"So what did you end up renting tonight?"

"Being John Malkovich. [4] Have you heard of it?"

I nodded. I'd heard of it, but knew little of the plot. "Only by name."


The first hour of the movie was.... odd.

I didn't understand what it was about the movies namesake that caused the frenzy of people wanting to get inside his head. I totally ignored the premise that a hidden doorway could achieve such a thing.

Cynthia put the movie on pause. "You want something to drink?"

I nodded and stood, following her into the kitchen. I dug around in the cabinets looking for a snack while she got us each a can of Pepsi from the fridge. We were about to leave the room when Duo came in carrying a large glass bowl. "Hey... you mind if I borrow some ice?"

"Take as much as you need." Cynthia told him on her way out.

I basically ignored him; still feeling bad about our earlier encounter and besides.... he had clearly been drinking.

"Still haven't changed your mind?" he asked, winking at me.

I shook my head.

Cynthia re-entered the kitchen and judging by her comment; must have heard overheard our last exchange; hopefully not while eavesdropping, but it wouldn't have surprised me. "We're watching a movie. I'll send him back when it's over."

I stared at her in surprise.

"What?" she asked.

Duo smiled and winked at me again. "Cool!"

I waited until he left and turned toward Cynthia.

"You don't have to stay for long. Who knows.. you might even enjoy yourself."

I sighed. I didn't stand a chance with the two of them against me and I think that deep down inside I wanted to go. I recalled Duo's earlier disappointment at my second refusal and how pleased he seemed just now by Cynthia's unwanted push. "Fine."


The movie ended about 40 minutes later. It didn't leave me with any clear emotion; I didn't like it or hate it. It did leave me with something to think about regarding Duo though; which seemed to be happening a lot lately. It made the idea of joining his get together seem a little less like a chore.

Several minutes later, I rose from the chair without being asked. "I guess I'll head back for a while."

Cynthia smiled. "Try to enjoy yourself, Heero."

I nodded and left; more than a bit nervous as I stepped onto the path that lead to the guest house.


Halfway there, I could make out the music even through the closed door and windows. It was Filter's "Title of Record" Track 10..... one of my favorites. I concentrated on the lyrics of the song instead of my racing pulse. I approached the door and reached out to ring the bell. I could hear voices from inside, though not what they were saying. The next thing I knew it opened and Duo was on the other side. "Heero! Come on in." I smiled and entered.

The music was quite loud and there were about 7 other guys just hanging out in the dimly lit living room/dining room area.

The main living area of the guest house looked somehow different tonight. It took me a minute to ascertain that Duo had rearranged the furniture. The changes, while not drastic affected the entire feel of the space. It was a pleasant variation.

Duo closed the door behind us and he put his arm around my shoulder in a friendly gesture. "Hey everybody. This is Heero." I could smell the alcohol on his breath.

He removed his arm and pulled me by hand around the room, introducing me to his friends one by one. I was slightly relieved by their appearance, easing part of my reluctance in that I'd not wanted to stand out. After meeting them all, I understood that Duo was clearly the most artistic in the bunch. He had taken off the over shirt he had on earlier and his entire midsection was now bare to just below his navel; highlighting the tiny ring there.

He left me seated on the couch with what I determined to be his best friend... or at least the closest thing to it in the room. Jay was fairly easy going and after about 10 minutes I finally relaxed and opened up enough to say more than five words at a time.

Duo flitted in and out of the three rooms, barely a blur as he hurried by. I was in the middle of a conversation with Jay when he plopped himself down on the couch next to me. Jay politely excused himself and I turned toward Duo. "I need to sit down a while." he told me with a smile.

"You've been running around a lot." I had been watching him but was sure he hadn't noticed. I was discreet.

"Yeah. I rarely enjoy parties when I'm the one throwing them."

I agreed with his statement. Though I had never done such a thing, I had witnessed it many times.

"You want anything, Heero? A soda, a sandwich... a beer?" I understood and appreciated that he was trying to make me feel more comfortable and wondered if he was aware of how nervous I was.

He pulled me up from the couch and dragged me into the kitchen. "Have a piece of the sub." he suggested. "It's really good."

I took a paper plate and placed a thin slice of the huge sandwich on it.

"Beer?" he asked from the fridge.

"No thanks. I don't drink."

He smiled and opened the brown bottle, drinking half of it down at once. "Soda?"

I nodded and he handed me a can of Pepsi. I opened it and took a sip, setting it down on the counter behind me and looking over at him. "You have a nice group of friends."

He smiled. "Thanks. Different than you thought?"

I nodded, feeling bad that I had pre-judged them... and Duo as well.

He seemed to read my thoughts. "I take very little at face value, Heero. Tends to put me in some interesting situations. I find that for the most part nothing is as it seems. " He set his beer down on the counter and leaned back against it with his both palms resting on its edge. "I was probably about 5 when I figured that out, though I don't think I understood that it applied to everything until I was 10."

I just looked at him.

"Umm. sorry.. I seem to get all philosophical when I've had a few beers."

I'd been witness to that phenomenon as well; once again not having experienced it personally. I looked at him quizzically.

"I'm not drunk if that's what you're thinking."

"I'm not thinking anything. You can do as you please."

"Gee... thanks, Heero. I feel much better now that I have your permission."

He'd surprised me. He looked angry now. "I didn't mean it like that."

He turned to leave. "Whatever..."

Again with the whatever. I'd grown to hate that word.... especially when he said it.


I fought my strong desire to leave. It would only prove that Duo's indirect comments about me were correct; that I sheltered myself from things that didn't fit into my little world. I seated myself on the couch again and Jay sat down beside me. "So Duo tells me you are a CSci Major...."

The conversation went on for a while. I asked Jay about his major and we talked about what little I knew of engineering. I then realized that I didn't even know what Duo was majoring in.... and I knew why I didn't know. I'd never asked.... hell, we'd hardly even talked... and I knew why that was as well.

I excused myself and headed for the bathroom. I'd just turned the corner in the hallway and I stopped dead in my tracks. Duo had one of his "friends" pinned up against the wall and the two were involved in some pretty heavy making out.

I think I may have gasped cause Duo turned toward me and opened his eyes; breaking off the kiss. I pretty much high-tailed it back down the hallway, through the living room and headed straight for the front door. I was glad that he didn't come after me, though I feared he might. I was embarrassed.... very embarrassed.

I practically ran back to the house and took a moment to compose myself in the kitchen before entering the den. Cynthia turned toward me. "Well?" she asked. "How was it?"

"Interesting. Duo has a nice group of friends."

// What else could I say? //

"I'm going upstairs now."

And I did.


I closed the door to my room and sat on the edge of my bed; trying to sort out exactly what I was feeling. I made a mental list. Humiliation was pretty high up there. It wasn't something I expected to see. It was something that should not have been done in public.

I felt something else too. I'm pretty sure it was jealousy. It wasn't an emotion I was used to... but I was sure that was what it was.

Duo was kissing that guy..... and I wanted it to be me.

I laid down on my bed and turned off the lights; falling asleep in a matter of minutes.


[4] heero's views on 'being john malkovich' are pretty much my own.... i really didn't get it *sweatdrops*