guestimate is now at 15 parts.. depends on my mood.. but thats the minimum.. oi... another huge pwp ^_^;;;

anyway, here is part 10.. a break in the action for some much needed chat.

heero: we need chat?
jana: shhh... if i say you do.. you do!!


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 10


The following evening during dinner, Duo invited me over and I'd accepted without giving it a second thought.

We left Cynthia to clear the dinner table and he followed me upstairs and into my room. I had left my computer on while I ate as I was in the middle of dowloading a particularly large file. I wanted to see if it had finished or if I needed to reinitiate the download. I sat at my desk and Duo stood behind me looking over my shoulder.

I probably should have been nervous with him up here in my room and standing so close to me, but I gave myself the mental advantage seeing as we were on my home turf... not that the guest house wasn't.

The file was only 85% complete after and hour and half. I missed the T1 line I had back in Princeton and jotted myself down a note to call for cable access in the morning and stuck the post-it on the wall beside my computer.

"What are you downloading?"

It turned to look up at him. "A graphics program. GIMP." [5]

"Nice proggie." He smiled.

"So I've heard. Have you ever used it?"

"Fooled around with it a bit. What do you need it for?"

I explained to him what it was I was working on and that I wanted to play around and design a few characters.

My artistic talents were almost non-existant, but I knew enough to be able to draw and save something resembling a human; which was all I needed to do to incorporate and test them in the game. He seemed to be interersted in what I was working on even if he thought my idea for the game was daft. [6]

"You are making a game based on what?" It was so easy to tell what he was thinking by his animated disbelief.

"A future world where mankind has colonized outerspace." [7]

"Yeah... I got that part. It was the rest that confused me."

"The gundams?"

"Uhh. yeah.. those."

"They are huge machines made of gundamium alloy. They will be very useful tools in fighting the war that has broken out in After Colony 195." I stated it as if it was fact and turned to looked up at him.

He rolled his eyes up into his head. "OoooooKay then!

I ignored his remark and gave him a brief description of the 5 machines I'd envisioned and the five young boys who would pilot them. I had a good deal of the storyline worked out in my head and he just let me ramble on about it until I concluded my monologue. He finally admitted that he thought it sounded like a pretty cool idea and volunteered to help me with some of the graphics. I accepted his offer.

I figured now might be a good time to ask him what he was going to school for. I already knew from speaking with his friend Jay that they both attended The Cooper Union; and that the curriculum there was extremely limited. I ventured a guess rather than come right out and ask.

"You majoring in art?"

He chuckled. "I wish. Architecture."

"Ahhh..." I didn't know much about the field, but living in Princeton these past few years had made me more aware of the hidden but noble art; the influence of Michael Graves [8] quite prominent around town.

We discussed his schooling in more detail while waiting to complete the file transfer. He'd seated himself on the edge of my bed and I'd positioned my chair so that we faced one another. I tried to focus on what he was saying but I was too distracted by the fact that we were finally having a normal conversation with one another.


I didn't know what to expect when we got back to the guest house as Duo hadn't mentioned anything about what he had planned for the evening. I actually hoped that we would continue the discussion we'd started in my room. The little information he'd reluctantly divulged regarding himself had peaked my curiousity and there was a lot more I wanted to learn out about him.

We entered the living space and he seated himself on the couch. "So, you really are a computer geek."

I chuckled at the characterization; it wasn't inaccurate. "Yes." I sat in the chair across from him.

"It fits you." he noted. I took a minute to try to determine why he'd come to that conclusion. He continued. "Cynthia told me that you were an only child."

I smiled. "Yeah. What else did she tell you?" I shifted in my seat and brought the calf of my left leg to rest on my right knee. "Hope she didn't give any of my dark secrets away." I joked.

"Dark secrets, huh?" he winked. "She didn't mention those."

"She did tell you that I was anti-social though."

"She didn't have to. I kinda figured that one out on my own." He stood and looked down at me. "I'm going to have a beer. You want one?"

"I don't..."

"I know, you don't drink. I was just being polite. Can I get you something else?"

I shook my head and watched him disappear into the kitchen. I relaxed back into the chair and put my feet up on the coffee table; crossing my legs at my ankles.

He smiled at me when he re-entered the living area. "Make yourself at home." I hoped it didn't bother him that I already had.

"Cynthia didn't tell me anything about you." It seemed like a good way to approach the topic. I still wasn't sure how much she'd told him about me; nor if she'd volunteered the information or if Duo had asked her about me. I felt like I was at a tremendous disadvantage here.

I should have expected his response. I couldn't have predicted the seriousness of his tone though. "What is it that you want to know?"

I started by asking him about his family; if he had any siblings. His answer surprised me; as did his inference that he wasn't close with any of them. He didn't say it in so many words, but I got the general feeling that he didn't feel very accepted. I pressed on to determine if my suspicions were true; his sharp glance and abrupt change of the subject told me they were and that it was something he wasn't willing to talk about.

"Do your parents take off every summer?"

Now it was my turn to be on the defensive. "Pretty much."

He must have read something in the tone of my voice. "It bothers you."

It did to a certain extent; or at least it had.... I was used to it. "Not really."

There was an awkward silence.

"Cynthia is a pretty cool person."

I nodded and took his observation as a continuation of the converstation rather than him trying to direct it elsewhere. I think he understood that Cynthia was more like family to me than the one I actually had; I also got the sense that talking about her made him realize his loss that much more.

I'd changed the topic to something else that we may or may not have had in common; music. Like myself, he'd grown up surrounded by classical music and I wasn't surprised that he retained his love for it; it wasn't something that one grew out of.

Our discussions from that point on were kept light and they covered a wide range of subjects. We spoke at length about several topics; engaging in more than one fairly heated debate over the next few hours. All in all; they told me less about him than the things he didn't say during the first ten minutes of our encounter.



[5] GIMP: GNU image manipulation program. a fairly large and complicated cross-platform freeware graphics program. it was originally designed for linux and can be downloaded at http://www.gimp.org

[6] *huggles steelsong and blows in her ear*

[7] i really hope i don't need to explain this......

[8] michael graves is a reknowned architect who lives in princeton, nj and teaches at princeton university. not be technical here at all, he has designed some fairly outrageous buildings (including the swan and dolphin hotels in disney world) and everyday household objects as well.