Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgement Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, tho' they come from the ends of the earth!
----Rudyard Kipling


And Never the Twain Shall Meet

Part I

Heero gazed at his companion blankly. He was bored out of his gourd. Things were at a standstill in the ongoing conflict with OZ forces, and all indications were that the situation wasn't going to change for quite some time - and the empty screen of his laptop stared right back at him. He was seriously considering installing a game or two just to pass the time, but he hated games.

When he had initially sat down it had still been daylight. Now it was completely dark. He blinked at the realization. How long had he been staring at the blank screen? He pulled his eyes away from the only source of light in the room and looked around. He considered himself as a moth for a moment, drawn to that soft bluish glow.

I am not a bug! He stood a bit too quickly realizing that he had been sitting motionless for almost two hours now. He stretched, loosening his taut muscles.

He turned toward his dorm room window and leaned on the sill, peering out to the street one story below him. He deeply breathed in the night air while sounds of the bustling campus below washed over him. He noted a couple involved in a rather animated discussion on the sidewalk below his window, but he couldn't quite make out what was being said. He reached over and closed the lid on his laptop so the hard drive would stop whirring and so the couple below couldn't see him in the window. Then, he listened.

-- "I just don't see why you always have to invite your friend everywhere we go!" The girl stamped her foot in frustration.

-- "Because, he's a lot of fun to be around... and don't try to tell me he isn't. You have just as much fun as I do when he comes along." The boy's deeper voice was quite clear now.

-- "I know... but sometimes... sometimes I just want it to be you... just you and me," the girl pouted, her voice thick with hurt.

Heero could see the boy smile at that while he scuffed his toe at a clump of grass growing through the pavement.

Heero grimaced inside, one cheek of his behind gaining purchase on the narrow windowsill so he could eavesdrop more comfortably. "A lovers' quarrel," he said to himself blandly.

--The tall young man held his arms out... and the pouty faced girl rushed in to hug him. They embraced for what seemed like minutes.

"Hn. That was just too easy."

-- After several eternities, the girl stepped back and looked up at the man standing in front of her. With a sniffle, she swung her beautiful long red hair over one shoulder. Her eyes, now wet with tears, shone brightly under the street lights as she looked up at the man in front of her. "It's not an easy life you've chosen, and you know... you know if mom and dad ever found out, they would disown you."

It was a soft spoken, unthreatening statement. Heero had almost missed it, but the couple now absorbed his attention completely and immediately. Mom and dad found out what?

-- "But they'll never find out... will they?" Heero could see thick muscles tensing under the boy's tank top.

-- The red head grinned and her eyes sparkled... then her features softened, "Not from me little brother... not from me. Wanna go for coffee?!" she asked in a voice that was way too cheerful.

Heero sat with his mouth hanging open as the man offered his arm to his sister and they headed for the corner coffee shop.





He had seen that same boy before in the dorm cafeteria. Heero had first noticed him because of his build. He could only imagine the amount of work it took to get to be that size. Granted, he wasn't too shabby himself, but this boy was positively huge compared to him. He stood at least a half-foot over him and a muscle bulged at every conceivable point on his body.

And now Heero sat, his brow creased in contemplation... That was his sister, not his girlfriend... he's chosen a difficult way of life... his mother and father would disown him if they found out... some guy tags along everywhere they go... that giant was nothing but a big... well a big... sissy!?

Heero winced. He hated that word, and he knew that people had thought the same thing about him and Duo at almost every school they attended. Heero analyzed that for a moment. It was something that couldn't be helped. They had needed to stick very close together and be left alone for reasons only obvious to themselves. Of course, everyone mistook their closeness and solitude for something... different.

They had even played along with that idea on many occasions. Girls - and, yes, even a few boys - found Duo and Heero irresistible which, if left to the natural course of events, would snowball into a writhing mass of screaming hormone filled flesh following them everywhere they went. This turned out to be prohibitively intrusive as far as their duties were concerned. They needed to be left alone to discuss mission plans, so they played into the role of being a couple so people would leave them alone. Of course, they always included the most insistent ones in on their big 'secret'. And those people, for the most part, would take sweet pity on the two and let them be a couple... together, but alone.

Now, without a mission, Heero was relieved that they would not have to play that role this time around. He glanced at the clock. It was twenty past nine and Duo had not yet returned from his night class. Heero remembered Duo saying that it was a class in Physics. He also remembered that Duo hated Physics. He scowled for a moment wondering where he could be... he has never been this late before! With that, Heero flicked on his desk lamp, donned a light jacket, and headed out to meet Duo at the science building.