I hate the month of February. <pouts> It is the black hole of months. It's cold, and dreary, and snowy, and bleak, and.... worst of all... it's the month that contains St. Valentine's Day. I HATE Valentine's Day with an unholy dark passion.

Bob: That's 'cause she doesn't have a significant other, folks... At least not in RL...

Shut up, you. No need to rub it in. Anyway, February is the most hated of months. And the dreaded hellish holiday even falls on a Monday this year... It doesn't get much crueler, does it? It occured to me that I needed something with which to distract myself.

Bob: That's where I come in.

Yes, indeed, Bob, he of the nice ass, has come to my assistance, with a challenge for my writing skills.

Bob: <smirks> I told her to use Valentine's Day, a bottle of champagne, a box of chocolates, and a dozen red roses as creatively as possible in as many different ficcies as possible before V-day.

Ninmu ryoukai, as Heero says. I'm going to be churning out fics as much as classes and the other minor distractions of eating and sleeping allow. They're all going to take place an indeterminate time after the war ends, in my own special little AU. Each fic takes place independently of every other fic and has no effect outside its own sphere.

Bob: Here's the warning now. AU, possible OOC, sap, yaoi, lemons, and angst (what's V-day without angst?) will occur at random. You have been duly warned. Now, Em-san, get started!

He's such a slave driver... <sweatdrops>

Lys ap Adin


Valentine's Day: Fic the First (1x2)



"You wanna know why I'm leaving? It's because I can't live like this anymore, damn it! I can't keep giving myself to a lover who only gives me half of himself. Make up your mind, Heero. Which one of us do you really want? I don't wanna share you anymore. Look me up if you ever figure out what you really want."

Heero leaned back in his seat on the shuttle, remembering the last time Duo had spoken to him, how angry he had been as he tossed various items into a duffel bag. How set his violet eyes had been, every trace of laughter absent. How sad he had looked when Heero couldn't seem to understand what his point was. How he had just gone away... leaving Heero to stare, dumbfounded by his lover's flight.

He sighed mentally. In the months that had passed since Duo had left him, he'd had more than enough time to think things over... to take a look at what his life had become since the end of the war. He had stayed at Relena's side, lending her the support she had desired from him, but he had also maintained his discreet relationship with Duo. It had seemed like the best of both worlds at the time... a respectable life for all appearances, and Duo to keep his bed warm at night.

And then Duo had grown tired of being used. Had told him to make a choice between Relena's world and his world. And, in order to force Heero into deciding who was most important in his life, Duo had left.

And when he went, he took all the brightness in Heero's life with him.

He'd denied it at first, too proud to admit that he needed the braided baka to make him laugh. Too angry at being deserted to admit how much he missed his partner's presence. Too much a soldier to allow emotions into the picture.

At first he'd told himself that Duo would be back, all smiles and jokes and laughing violet eyes, his burst of peevishness past and every transgression forgiven. Then the days turned to weeks, turned to months, and there was no sign of his lover's return.

And Duo's absence began to gnaw at him. He didn't have Duo's apartment as a refuge from all the formalities of Relena's political activities. He didn't have a wealth of chestnut hair to stroke at night, its fragrance wrapped around him as he drifted to sleep. He didn't have Duo's wild irreverence to make him smile... no one else could make him *really* smile...

Pride finally bowed to defeat. He needed his violet-eyed lover, much more than he'd ever realized. Heero just hoped he hadn't realized the truth too late as he explained to Relena that he felt she was ready to stand alone. And now, sitting on the shuttle to L2, he wondered what he should say to Duo, after all the time apart.


*I hate this holiday,* Duo thought wearily, walking home from his job in the scrap yard. *Geez, what part of "No thanks, I'm not interested" don't people understand?* He stared at the dozen roses that one overzealous young lady had insisted he take from her. *God, I wonder how much money she blew on these...*

"Hey, looks like somebody likes you." The teasing voice broke into his revery. Duo glanced up at Hirde's smiling face.

"I hate Valentine's Day," he sighed. "Of all the stupid holidays to have survived the centuries, this has got to be the worst of them."

She looked sympathetic, yet somehow faintly amused. "Thinking about him again, huh?"

Duo smiled sardonically. "It's been long enough... why can't I just get over him?"

Hirde touched his shoulder gently. "You'll get over him when you're ready to get over him, Duo... Until then..." She shrugged, smiling faintly. "Trade you the roses for a box of chocolates."

Duo brightened immensely. "Chocolate? You're giving away chocolate?"

"Yeah, that creep from a couple streets over gave 'em to me, and I sure don't want to eat anything *he'd* give me." Hirde shuddered fastidiously. "Besides, I prefer roses."

"It's a deal..." Duo surrendered his bouquet for a large, heart-shaped red foil box. "So, got a hot date tonight?"

"I'm going dancing," she replied, eyes sparkling.

"Anybody I know?" he asked, already unwrapping the chocolates.

"No, not yet, but you'll like him, I'm sure of it. But I've got to go, I have to get ready soon. See you later, Duo!" Waving, Hirde hurried off.

Grinning, Duo finished the walk home, savoring the chocolates as he went. The guy bothering Hirde may have been a creep, but he was a creep with good taste. *Sounds like she's really gone on the guy she's going out with tonight... Good for her.*

It had been a long day, not only working, but in keeping his normal smile on his face. Valentine's Day was hell on the people who didn't have someone to share it with, that was for damn sure... and he just couldn't keep Heero from his thoughts on this day. Not that he ever stopped thinking about him for very long.

*Y'know what would be really nice? Going home, opening the door, and finding Heero sitting on the couch with dinner already made.* Duo had to chuckle a little at the thought of Heero playing housewife. It wasn't ever likely to happen. Besides, there wasn't much in his refrigerator beyond a jar of mayonaise and half a jug of expired milk. Even if Heero dropped out of the sky, dressed in an apron and ready to cook up a storm, he wouldn't find much to work with.

Duo waved at his landlady as he walked up the steps to his apartment, and fumbled around for his key. Unlocking the door, he entered his small, bare apartment, and stopped in disbelief.

He may not have been wearing an apron, and he may not have cooked a dinner, but Heero was sitting on his couch.

They stared at each other for a minute, Duo shocked into speechlessness, and Heero busy drinking in the sight of the braided man's lean body.

"Duo," Heero said softly.

"Oi, Heero, how'd you get in here? You scared the hell out of me, man!" Duo scolded, retreating into his manic jester's mask because it was just too soon to deal with all the things Heero sitting on his couch might mean.

"I let myself in... Sorry." Heero shifted uncomfortably on the couch, looking distinctly like someone who didn't quite know what to say next.

"It's okay, I don't mind..." Duo grinned, and walked into the kitchen, tossing his box of chocolates on the table. "Hey, whaddaya want for dinner? It's your choice of takeout." Picking up a sheaf of well-worn carryout menus, he handed them to Heero, who had stood and followed him into the kitchen.

"No real food?" Heero questioned, taking refuge in the mundane.

Duo laughed. "Me? Eat real food? You ought to know me better than that, Heero."

Heero made a noncommital sound and made a pretence of leafing through the fanned menus. "Pizza," he said briefly, handing the stack back to Duo. "Thick crust, pepperoni, extra extra cheese."

Duo turned away quickly, to hide the emotion in his eyes. *He still remembers...* "Okay, will do!"

Heero sat at the table as Duo bounced away to order the pizza. *Now what do I do?* His glance fell across the box of chocolates, and a feeling of dread knotted his stomach. "Who're the chocolates from?" he asked, masking concern with indifference.

"Oh, Hirde traded me... she didn't want them, and I didn't want the roses somebody gave me," Duo shrugged.

Heero released a breath he hadn't realized he was holding. "Aa."

"The pizza's gonna be here in about half an hour." Duo hesitated and then took a seat as well. "Want a piece of chocolate?" He pushed the box over to Heero without waiting for an answer.

In silence, Heero ate a piece of chocolate-covered nougat as Duo chattered about inconsequential things: the weather, life on L2, his job, Hirde's luck with men... He avoided asking Heero why he had come to L2.

Duo practically bolted out of his seat when the delivery boy knocked on the door, and returned bearing the pizza box. "Damn, does this smell good or what?" he asked, handing it to Heero. "Now, let me see if I've got anything to drink around here..."

Heero started to protest as Duo walked over to the refrigerator, but stopped as he pulled the door open.

Duo stared into the refrigerator for a long moment, and then he blinked. "Heero, why is there a bottle of champagne sitting in my fridge?"

"I... put it there."

Duo looked at him, violet eyes befuddled. "Why?"

"Because... it seemed like a good place to store it."

Duo took a deep, cleansing breath. Getting Heero to talk was a real bitch sometimes. "And why did you have a bottle of champagne?"

"Because Relena gave it to me when she found out where I was going."

And sometimes he could be amazingly forthcoming... when he felt like it.

Duo just looked at Heero. There were too many ways to interpret Heero's answer, so he just waited for Heero to continue... Was he *blushing*?!

Heero silently cursed his cheeks. How dare they betray him on such an important mission as this one? "It was... a going-away present."

"You left Relena?" The unspoken "Why?" hung heavily in the air.

Heero looked down at the pizza that he still held. "Yes... I've been doing some thinking, Duo, about what you said to me when you left..."

Duo closed the refrigerator and returned to his seat. "And?" he prompted.

"I'm sorry... I treated you like I did..." Heero glanced up at Duo. "And I'd like you to give me a second chance."

"You have a lot to make up for, you know," Duo said seriously.

Heero's eyes flickered away. "I know."

"But champagne and my favorite pizza is a good start." Duo grinned at Heero's almost visible relief. "What's your next step?"

Heero smirked, and showed him instead of telling him.




<blinks> Hm... That wasn't exactly how I had meant to do it, but... <shrugs and sighs> Ficcies have a way of running off whither they will. So. Comments? Criticisms? Any feedback at all, I'm always glad to hear it.