8-10-2000

And Never the Twain Shall Meet
Part V

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Duo woke with a start. It was one of those awakenings where one thinks they've overslept for something important like work or school, so Duo already had his bare feet on the chilly floor before he realized he had nothing of import to attend to today. He shook his head to clear the fog, his long, shimmering, unbraided hair flowing about his bare shoulders. He glanced at the clock. Ten thirty in the morning. The room was still dark and he could hear rain. Duo stood and walked to the window, pulling back the heavy drapery that kept the room in cool darkness. It was pouring, the skies dark and menacing. The heat and humidity of the last couple of days had finally given way to the torrents of rain that fell outside his window. He smiled. Duo liked it when Mother Nature showed a little of her dangerous side. As he sighed and turned away, the light from the window illuminated the bed across the room from his.

Heero was tossing and turning in his sleep, throwing his head to and fro. As Duo released the curtain, the room fell into darkness again. As his eyes readjusted, he walked over to Heero's bed and watched him in the poor illumination. Heero was still having the nightmares. He had spoken of them on occasion. Duo recalled a few nights that they where so bad, Heero did not want to go back to sleep. He always sat on the edge of Duo's bed talking, as much as Heero dare talk, for hours in the darkness. Duo had enjoyed listening to him... it was so rare.

Heero's restlessness was becoming more violent and, for a moment, Duo considered waking him. No, he had learned the hard way not to wake him when he was in this state. Heero had actually knocked him out cold once when he lashed out in his disoriented haze. Heero apologized for days for doing it and he didn't want the boy going through the guilt of that scene again... so he let him toss, knowing he would wake himself up at any moment.

As if on cue, Heero sat bolt upright, staring wide eyed at the wall at the foot of his bed, sweating and shaking violently. Duo took a step back. It took Heero a few moments to realize when and where he was. He blinked and his eyes softened. As he looked around the darkened room, his eyes fell upon Duo, standing there in nothing but his briefs, his hair, and a smile. Heero threw himself face down back onto the bed. "What are you looking at?"

Duo grinned and walked back to the drapes and threw them open, letting the gray light from outside pour into the room. "Good morning, sunshine!" Duo emoted with exuberance.

Heero groaned, burying his face in his pillow.

Duo ran over and tore all the covers from Heero's bed. Heero gasped as room's cool air hit his thighs and back.

"Wake up, sleepy head!" Duo sang.

Heero glared at him, "Give me my damn covers!"

Duo could tell when Heero was mad... he could also tell when Heero was just trying to act like he was mad. Heero was a bad actor. "Nope. Get your tired ass out of bed... now!"

"Duo, if you know what's good for you, you'll give me back my covers... now!"

"Uh-uh.." Duo shook his head, still smiling. He was definitely enjoying the view. Heero's cotton clad bottom was in plain sight.

"I'm cold, Duo!"

"SO?!"

Heero made a sound of exasperation. Fine, I'll just have to get them myself... and what he sees... he sees. He rolled and stood in on smooth motion.

Duo gasped, his wide eyes glued to Heero's midriff.

Heero was standing there with a morning erection that wouldn't quit, his briefs threatening to tear, and a half-smile that said 'You asked for it!'

"Ohmygod," Duo managed to squeak. He back-peddled across his bed, pulling his own covers over himself as if they would protect him.

Heero approached him menacingly, that evil curl still on his lips. As he stood at he edge of Duo's bed, he held out his hands. "Are you going to give me my covers now..." Heero wiggled his fingers, "... or do I have to take them from you?" Oh, yes... he was in quite a mood this morning.

Duo, still staring, without even stopping to think, hurled the covers at Heero.

Heero bowed politely. "Thank you." He turned as though he were going to walk back to his own bed. Instead, he sat on the edge of Duo's bed, covering his lap with the covers he held.

Duo looked at Heero's bare muscular back for a long time. He could see Heero was breathing quite heavily. Suddenly Heero was gone... and so were Duo's covers. He curled up in a ball, his back against the wall next to his own bed. "Heero, that's not fair!" he squealed.

Heero jumped onto his own bed with all the covers they owned and looked at Duo. "Ahem... what's good for the goose..." Heero caught himself. What he hadn't anticipated was the effect all of this would have on Duo... and what an effect it had. Duo sat there, his knees pulled up against his chest, very obviously trying to hide the same problem that he himself was experiencing. Oh... geez...

Duo blushed deeply.

Heero flung Duo's covers back across the room.

Duo covered himself. He was ashamed, but at the same time he was so turned on, he felt like he would faint.

They both had the same thought... What the hell just happened here?!

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Trowa snuggled sleepily against the warmth next to him. It was a sure warmth... a constant warmth. Something he hoped to wake up to all the days of his life. He spooned his body against that warmth. It filled his senses... his soul. His nose burrowed into the blonde's hair... the fragrance making him even more light headed in his groggy state. He sighed contentedly as the smaller body pushed back into his embrace.

Quatre was wide awake. He had been thinking about the events of the previous evening. Those two are in for one hell of ride. If they make it through, they'll be the most... complete couple in the world. If they don't... they'll probably end up killing each other. I have to... we have to help them get through this. His lover's sigh broke his train of thought and he smiled.

A gentle elbow in the ribs caused Trowa to grunt. "What did you do that for?" he asked, the hurt evident in his voice.

"We have to meet Duo and Heero for lunch in an hour." Quatre tried to sit up but Trowa's steely arm was wrapped tightly around his waist. Quatre giggled.

"You are not going anywhere, little man." Trowa growled.

Quatre grabbed Trowa's hand and moved it down to where his thighs met. "Little man?"

Trowa snorted, "Ok... big man..." Trowa leaned up on his elbow as he rolled Quatre onto his back and looked down at the beautiful boy that lay next to him. "... now I am certain you are not going anywhere... not in your present condition, anyway." He leaned forward and kissed Quatre passionately. When he pulled back, Quatre's eyes remained closed, his lips beckoning. "Guess we better hurry - we've got that lunch to go to, you know," he said softly... teasingly.

Quatre grabbed him around the neck and pulled Trowa back to him, looking hungrily into his eyes. "We've got a half-hour before we absolutely have to get out of bed." Quatre panted.

"That was easy." Trowa grinned evilly.

"Only with you, my love... only with you."

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Heero's stomach growled loudly as he looked at the timepiece above the cafeteria doors. Eleven forty-five... where the hell are they? I'm hungry! No sooner had he finished the thought, than the two boys came walking around the corner, both grinning widely.

"Good morning." Quatre sang as sweet as a bird.

Duo knew instantly what had made them late. Quatre was positively fluttering... and Trowa looked like a large cat that had just consumed a prize pheasant. Duo imagined if Trowa coughed at that moment, feathers would come flying out of his mouth.

Poor Heero just didn't know any better. "What kept you guys?"

Quatre and Trowa looked at each other and smiled as Duo fell into a fit of embarrassed giggles.

Heero looked to where Duo sat laughing on the steps leading to the cafeteria. He didn't understand. "What the hell's so funny?"

It was the other two boys' turn to start laughing now.

Heero looked back at them, utterly confused. "Are you all taking the same medication?"

Duo stood and placed a hand on Heero's shoulder, drawing the dark haired boy's eyes into his own. "No, Heero..." Duo glanced at Quatre and Trowa, "... but I wish we were."

Now Heero understood. "Ohhhhhh." He said softly, fully comprehending everything that had just been said. As he reran the conversation through his mind he began smiling slightly; he could see the humor in it. Then he got to Duo's last statement and blushed deeply. Concentrating on the floor, he moved past Duo toward the cafeteria doors... still smiling.

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Lunch was mostly small talk. Occasionally someone would make a joke or allude to something that had happened last night.

Heero sat quietly next to Duo and listened to them talk. Last night. A lot happened last night... Duo studying... Duo's friend... our fight... me tearing down a wall or two... me and Duo... Trowa and Quatre... the news of the cease-fire... Heero gasped.

The other three gave him a concerned look.

"Heero?" Trowa asked.

Heero shook his head. "I failed to mention to the two of you that there is a cease-fire in effect until further notice. Plans for peace negotiations are in the works."

Quatre and Trowa stared at him... dumbfounded.

Duo played with his food. The silence was lasting just a bit too long. When he looked up, Trowa and Quatre were still watching Heero intently. The worry was clear on both of their faces. Heero had already gone back to eating.

A sharp elbow in the ribs made him look up at Duo. Duo motioned with his head toward the other boys. Heero looked at them trying to decipher why they looked at him like that... then it dawned on him. "I'm... ok with it, guys. Duo and I had... a talk last night. I understand that I can't let OZ run the rest of my life. Besides..." his eyes sparkled, "... Duo won't let me."

The expression on their faces changed to that of relief. Duo, however, was looking a bit concerned now. "You know, you were having nightmares again this morning."

Heero blanched. "Umm... yeah... can we talk about that later?" He looked nervously around the table.

"Heero, you've talked about them before in front of us..." Quatre interjected, "... why so sheepish all of a sudden?"

Heero exploded. "I just don't want to talk about it right now, ok!?"

Everyone stared at Heero in shock as he angrily pushed himself away from the table and stormed out of the cafeteria, leaving his half-eaten meal behind.

Trowa looked to Duo for answers. "What the hell was that all about?"

Duo shrugged, palms face up. "I wish I knew. He's been really moody since early last night."

"After what you told us about last night, I can see why. Duo, this is difficult for him. When he acts like this, it's probably best to just give him some space for a while."

"How long of a while?" Duo couldn't stand the thought of being away from Heero right now.

"A couple of hours..." Trowa shrugged, "... it really depends on the situation though. He may be ok to talk to by the time you get back to the room."

Duo relaxed a bit. He could handle a couple of hours... he hoped. "I just don't understand why he reacted like that. He's never been overly sensitive about talking about the nightmares before..."

Quatre's face lit up. "Maybe it wasn't a nightmare." He said it as though it were a secret.

Duo and Trowa looked intently at Quatre... and waited.

Duo couldn't wait anymore. "Well! What then?!"

Quatre shrugged. Duo rolled his eyes and made an exasperated sound. Quatre continued. "I don't know! I can't read his mind either, Duo..." he said defensively, "...but it only makes sense that it wasn't a nightmare. You were right when you said he had never reacted that way to talking about them before. Why would he react that way now? Whatever it was, he is very sensitive about it. Be gentle with him, Duo."

Duo nodded. He would take the advice seriously. He understood that the two friends that sat across from him had already faced most of the stumbling blocks in their relationship. Quatre sure as hell sounded like he knew what he was talking about. Duo suddenly realized he had failed to ask them a very important question. "How long have you two been... ahhh... you know... together?"

"Almost two years," Trowa answered matter-of-factly.

Duo almost came out of his chair. "Two years!? You've kept this a secret for almost two years!? Geez! How can you stand it!? I want to stand up right here in the middle of everyone and say, 'Hey everyone, Duo loves Heero!' and I don't even know if Heero loves Duo yet! You should have at least said something to me in that time! I would have understood even if Heero wouldn't have! You should have trusted me..."

Trowa pointed one long finger at Duo. "Now you just wait one damn minute! Trust is implicit between all of us. If it weren't for the trust we have in one another, none of us would be having this conversation because we would all be dead by now. Quatre and I never covered it up - we just never got affectionate in front of anyone. Still, it was obvious, and you know it. You just never wanted to say anything because you were afraid that you would be ashamed of us if it turned out to be true. I feel no shame about how I feel about Quatre and if someone cares to ask, then I'm not going to deny it. But I figure, if you're not mature enough to ask, then you're sure as hell not mature enough to hear the answer."

Quatre reached a hand under the table and squeezed Trowa's thigh as if to say - That's enough, he gets it now.

Duo's eyes teared as he stared open-mouthed at Trowa. The boy's tirade hit home. Trowa was absolutely correct in his assessment but it hurt like hell to hear it being said. He looked at his plate and lay his fork down, afraid to say anything more right now.

"It's not all going to be fun and games, Duo..." Quatre spoke softly, soothingly. "... but I'm sure you've realized that already. Standing up in a crowded room and declaring your love is fine and dandy - I have wanted to do the same for two years now; however, you need to be prepared to face how other people will react. Sure, some will be happy for you and some couldn't care less... others will be embarrassed or ashamed and some... will hate you."

Duo's head flew up. Wet, surprised eyes stared at Quatre in disbelief. "Hate me?"

"Yes... hate you... for loving another human being." Quatre said it like he couldn't believe it himself, shaking his head. "Injustice and hatred are not indigenous to those employed by OZ."

Duo couldn't imagine himself being hated by anyone... except maybe Relena Peacecraft. "I don't know, guys... I can't hold my feelings in like that. My head would explode if I didn't have at least someone to talk to for two years. You know I can't keep my mouth shut for too long."

"Well, we aren't going to let that happen, are we, Trowa?"

Trowa shook his head, the deep friendship he held for Duo once again evident in his expression. "Anytime you need to talk, Duo...."

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Back at the door to his room, Duo hesitated to enter for quite some time. He paced back and forth trying to figure out what he was going to say to Heero. He was definitely upset about something to do with the dreams, but he couldn't for the life of him figure out what. Should I ask him why he got so mad? Should I tell him off? Should I just pretend like nothing happened? Should I...

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Back in the room, Heero paced back and forth trying to figure out what he was going to say to Duo. I shouldn't have gotten so upset. Should I tell him about the dream? Should I apologize? Should I make up something? Should I just pretend like nothing happened? Should I...

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Without having made a decision, Duo reached for the door to open it... and it flew open on its own, startling him. Heero stood across the threshold, obviously surprised to see him standing there.

The two boys looked at each other for a long moment.

Suddenly, Heero reached out and pulled Duo into the room. Heero locked the door behind them. He looked everywhere he could except directly at Duo.

Duo finally broke the uncomfortable silence. "Are you ok, Heero?"

"Yes..." He met Duo's concerned eyes. He found it too difficult to not tell the truth. "No." Heero confessed as he sat heavily on the edge of his bed and ran both of his hands through his hair.

Duo sat next to other pilot and placed a comforting arm around his shoulders. "If you don't want to talk about it, Heero, you d...."

"It was you!" Heero suddenly blurted out.

Duo pulled away a bit, still keeping his arm around Heero, and looked at him curiously. "Huh?"

Heero puffed his cheeks as he slowly exhaled, trying to calm himself. "The dream this morning... it was about you." There, I said it!

"Heero, what happened in the dream? Was I taken prisoner? Was I killed? What?"

Heero groaned and fell back onto the bed, breaking contact with Duo's arm and throwing his own arm over his face.

Duo waited for an answer.

"..."

"What!?" Duo was truly concerned. If Heero had dreamed of his death he wanted to know about it, now!

Heero kept his eyes covered with his arm. Maybe if I don't look at him... "It was nothing like that Duo." Heero uncovered his eyes to find Duo leaning on one hand looking down at him. He reached up and, with the back of his hand, caressed Duo's cheek. "The dream... it was... just... me... and you. Together."

Duo could feel his ears get hot. He thought he understood what Heero meant now, but he wanted to make certain. "You mean... together-together?"

Heero nodded in affirmation as he looked deeply into the eyes of the angel that hovered above him.

Duo, for once, was speechless. He stared blankly at Heero as he tried to process the information.

Heero had expected some reaction. He had expected Duo to laugh or make a joke or some smart ass remark.

He didn't expect Duo lie down next to him on the bed with his cheek resting on his chest.

He didn't expect Duo to start caressing his bare arm with such long delicate fingers.

He didn't expect his heart to start racing... his breathing to become labored... the room to start spinning... It's just like the dream... only real this time. Heero sighed. Such a soft touch. Such a warm, delicate touch. Chills ran up and down the side of his body that the arm was attached to. He unconsciously began stroking Duo's back with the hand where Duo lay curled against him.

Duo was surprised. He would have thought Heero would push him away. He could hear Heero's heart pounding in his chest. He could feel the chill bumps rise on Heero's arm as he lightly traced out intricate patterns. He heard Heero sigh and he smiled. Then he felt Heero's warm hand against his back, lightly massaging, stroking. Much more gentle than I imagined. I had half expected a cold, steely touch... but there is tenderness in you, Heero... I always knew. Duo moved his roaming fingers to Heero's shoulder and neck. He raised his head to look up at Heero and found him looking back, eyes glazed over with contentment and barely contained desire. He moved up a bit and placed a kiss on Heero's neck.

Heero gasped. He couldn't take it anymore. His hand came off of Duo's back and moved gently onto the back of Duo's head. Duo looked frightened... or was it anticipation? He didn't know or care right then. He had been wanting this all night and all day... they both had wanted it. Heero moved his mouth toward Duo's. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. Their lips lightly touched...

... And Duo lost control. All the passion... all the caring... all the love... he couldn't hold it back anymore. He grabbed Heero's face it his hands and pulled theirs lips together in their first blissful kiss. Duo was lost... he could feel a slight resistance in Heero... but he couldn't let go... he would never let go!

... And finally, Heero relaxed. He found himself floating... he felt more giddy than a whole bottle of Quatre's finest could have induced... he felt light headed... he felt free... he felt embraced by the warmth of the spirit of the being with whom he shared this moment... he felt faint... his heart pounded in his chest... he felt a rush of adrenaline... his mouth was on fire... he felt like a drowning man who had suddenly discovered he could breath water... he felt hot... he felt desire.... he felt as though his very being were being absorbed... he felt his cold restless spirit calm... he suddenly realized... he wasn't breathing...

Heero managed to push Duo away as he gasped for air. Not opening his eyes, his head fell back on the bed. He could hear the blood roaring in his ears. His lips were tingling. His whole body was on fire. As he recovered, he finally opened his eyes to see the angel smiling down at him.

"Whoa! That was... whoa!" Heero said breathlessly.

"Mmmm... it sure was."

Heero looked at him with mock seriousness, "Duo, you must tell me before you do that again."

"Fine... Heero, I am going to kiss you... again."

The warning didn't help. Duo was insistently trying to get between his lips. He parted them slightly, only intending to allow a minor intrusion. It didn't happen that way. Duo was everywhere in his mouth. He slowly caressed his lips, his teeth, his tongue, and when Duo started licking at the roof of his mouth, he thought he would come to pieces. Then his arms, oh! Duo's long arms! He could swear they were wrapped twice around him... embracing him... and his hands... caressing his back and shoulders... such warmth... so gentle... and finally... Duo pulled him in so there bodies touched... "Mmmmm....Mm, Mm, Mmmmmmmm..." Heero swooned. He felt Duo's fire... the light... the passion for life... the passion... for him. And, in that moment, Heero was undone.

Three soft knocks were heard at the door along with Quatre's gentle voice. "Are you guys awake?"

... And in mid-kiss, they both started laughing.