INTRODUCTION -- UPDATES -- ROMANCE ARCHIVE -- LEMON ARCHIVE -- 2002 CONTEST ARCHIVE

Pairing: 1+2
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: shonen-ai, romance, sexual innuendo, some language.
Summary: When actions speak louder than words

Of Men and Fish
by DaMoyre


It was a bright, sunny day. The sea was calm. A perfect day to fish. Within a few minutes, I got my first bite, and I knew right away that I had baited a big one. I could tell by how heavy it felt, by the strong jerks to the line. But despite my best efforts to reel it in, I was unable to pull it out of the water.

I did manage to catch a glimpse of its head, and by the looks of it, the fish was more than just big. It was...colossal! I couldn't remember ever catching anything that size.

I struggled with the fishing pole, but the more I tried pulling the fish out, the harder it seemed. The fish started flopping and splashing in the water, trying to break free. But this was *my* dinner, and there was no way in hell I was letting this baby off the hook. Literally.

I was going to need help if I didn't want to tip over the boat and dive head first into the cool seawater. So I called Heero's name.

Repeatedly.

There was no response.

As I continued to struggle with my finned friend, I began to get a little desperate. I yelled and yelled, but Heero didn't seem to hear me. It looked like the only ones around where the fish and me. I don't know why, but it occurred to me those could be the lyrics to a song: 'There's no one home, just me and the fish.'

And now the fish was getting frantic too, pulling harder and faster, trying to escape. In a matter of seconds I wouldn't be able to hold it anymore. The muscles in my arms were getting tired; my hands were getting cut and blistered by the fishing pole. Suddenly, the line broke and I watched with frustration as the sea washed away all my hard work.

Now I wouldn't be able to tell Heero that I'd caught the biggest trout ever!

"That wasn't a trout," I heard Heero's voice. "That was a carp."

I was ready to argue with him, explain that there wasn't much difference between a carp and a trout. Because a fish is a fish! And how was he so sure of what kind of fish I'd caught, when he had not even seen it? Most important, why hadn't he helped me to bring it out!

I turned around only to see that I was alone on the boat. There was nothing but water surrounding me, and the fish was gone.

I could faintly hear Heero's voice, reciting what seemed to be the characteristics of a trout. But I couldn't see him.

"Trout live mostly in fresh water."

Water, I couldn't stop thinking of the water. I was completely surrounded by it. A sea, a lake, a river... I had no place to go.

And Heero wouldn't stop telling me about fish. Carps and trout, and many other kinds. But I couldn't see him anywhere. I could only hear his voice.

Heero...

Heero?

Where the hell was Heero?

I woke up with a start and realized that I was in my room. My hand wandered over to Heero's side, only to find a cold empty spot. I groaned and turned on my side. The last few days had been so busy and stressful, I was glad we'd finally have some time off. Long hours of work at the office always resulted in strange dreams.

I half-opened my eyes and looked over at the alarm clock, which clearly indicated the insane hour of three o'clock in the morning. I shook my head and curled up in the blankets. Not that I should have been surprised. It was a habit of Heero's to wake up in the middle of the night and roam around the place for a while. He'd come back to bed sometime before sunrise. I'd gotten so used to his nocturnal wanderings, that most of the time I didn't even notice he was gone. I'd only notice the time of his return.

I'd come to love that time of the morning, sometime between four and five, when I'd feel his weight on the mattress. Without thinking, I'd turn into his warmth. I was never fully awake during that time, but lingering somewhere between consciousness and sleep. Later, I'd feel his lips on my cheek, his hands on my body. That was my wake-up call. And I'd be up and ready in no time.

Getting out of bed and actually ready for work usually took a little longer.

After our morning ritual, we'd get a quick shower, sometimes together, for the most part separately. Unless I managed to tempt Heero and bring him in the shower for a second round.

Just thinking about it was making me hard.

And I had no one to take care of my needs. Unless, of course, I got out of bed and went searching for my insomniac boyfriend.

I knew he liked to get up and check on the news, start preparing his reports, and whatever else he did on that damn laptop, but you'd think he'd break the routine at least on the weekends. Especially this weekend, when we had four days off due to some peace conference in the colonies. Une had decided to give us a break and take other agents with her. She'd thought we could use the rest. And she was right, but apparently, Heero didn't understand what the word *break* meant.

But tempting as the idea of bringing Heero back to bed might have sounded, it wasn't enough for me to get up at such early hours. Especially not when the blankets felt so warm around me, and the bed was more comfortable than ever. In a couple hours, Heero would be back, and I knew he'd take care of me then...

The sole thought of that made me shiver, and I felt a certain pal of mine stirring under the covers.

In the meantime, I'd have to settle for second best.

Without opening my eyes, I reached out with my hand until I found what I was looking for.

Nice and soft.

Check.

Good to cuddle and hug.

Check.

I curled next to it, burrowing my face in it, taking little whiffs of Heero's scent. There was nothing in the world I liked better than the smell of his skin, his hair. But in times of need, like this one, his pillow was a nice consolation prize.

It didn't take too long before I drifted back to sleep. And I dreamed about Heero's perfect hands and mouth.


"Wake up." His voice managed to cut through the fog of my dreams, but it sounded too far away to be real. Like the time with the fish...

"Get up," I heard his voice again, and this time he pulled the covers away from my body. A cold draft touched my naked back and legs, and I immediately curled into a ball.

"Duo..." I felt the tips of his fingers on my back, tracing a zigzagged line along my spine.

I opened my eyes slowly and glanced at our clock. Six thirty. Heero was later than ever getting back in bed; and from the looks of it, he wasn't really planning to. He was dressed in jeans and a black tank top, which looked strangely familiar. He'd definitely stolen that from my closet.

"Do you know what time it is?" I grumbled. "Get back in bed."

"No. We have to go."

"Go...where?" I turned on my stomach and stretched out my arms and legs. Then I covered my head with his pillow. "You go," I mumbled. "And give me back the blankets..."

"Get up," he said again, and this time his words were accompanied by a slight smack on my ass.

That woke me up.

"Hey!" I yelped. "Isn't it a little too early to start with the kinky games? Let's hold the spankings till after 10 AM, please."

"I...planned something, Duo. Please." He almost begged, and there was nothing in this world I could deny that boy. Not even giving up my sacred sleep on the weekends.

I turned on my side and moved the pillow away from my face. "All I gotta say is, this better be good."

I sat on the bed and rubbed my eyes for a few moments. When I looked up I noticed Heero Yuy still standing by, with a very amused expression on his face.

"Some of us just aren't morning people, you know!" I said, not suppressing a big yawn.

"I'll wait for you in the car," he said, and I could almost hear the smirk in his voice. Oh, but he would definitely pay for this!

I dragged myself out of bed as fast as I could, which means I was possibly moving faster than a tortoise. I picked up some jeans and a T-shirt. Trying to brush out my hair and braiding it again would take too long, so I put on a cap instead.

I was outside a few minutes later, and Heero was waiting by the car. I walked over to him, thinking that we would probably have to stop by for coffee, but before I could say anything, he was handing me a mug.

"Cream. Three sugars," he said.

I held the warm mug in my hands and smiled. "So efficient!"

"I try." Heero shrugged, and I couldn't help thinking that even the most simple of gestures looked sexy on him. The way his shoulders rose a little, and then dropped, his head slightly tilted, the sharp line of his jaw. God, he was so fucking beautiful! And when his eyes met mine...

I kissed him.

I held the mug with one hand, the other wrapped around his neck, and before he could even respond, my tongue was seeking and searching deep inside his mouth. He nibbled on my lips, and I felt his arms circle my waist. I figured this was a good time to pull away without making things too complicated. I had not gotten my morning quickie, and the longer we kept at this, the harder it was going to get...

Breaking away from him, that is.

The hood of the car was already looking quite inviting, as was the backseat, for that matter. But I was pretty sure he would not want to give it a go in the parking lot. At least not in broad daylight. He was no longer as rigid and proper as he'd been when we'd first met, I assure you; I'd taken care of that. But he still had his limits. Being arrested for indecent exposure was definitely one of them.

"Good morning," he said, a little breathless.

"Not yet." I kissed him again, this time just a quick peck on the lips. "Coffee." And I took that first sip that tasted great, but not better than him.

"Ah." he nodded, and gently pushed me inside the car.

I have to say, I was quite happy in the passenger's seat, with my window rolled down, breathing in the morning breeze. It was early summer, and the mornings were still cool with remnants of spring. I reclined the seat just a bit and silently sipped on my coffee.

The city looked very different on a weekend morning. There was no traffic on the road, and the streets were relatively empty, except for a few cyclists, and some people jogging here and there. I had never been able to work out early in the morning, as I seemed to get most of my energy in the late afternoon and early evening.

Approximately a year ago, Heero had taken over martial arts instruction, and with Wufei's help, ran a pretty good program at the Preventer's headquarters. This had allowed him to make a few modifications to his exercise routine, and now he divided it in two. He practiced martial arts in the morning, and whenever possible, we met at the gym after work, for endurance, weight lifting, and combat.

The arrangement had worked out pretty well, specially because our work schedules didn't always agree, and unexpected assignments might keep us apart for days at a time. This was our way of spending time together, without neglecting our training.

Still looking out the window, I realized we were heading out of the city. Heero had taken a few extra turns, driving through back streets, many which I didn't even recognize. We were now on the highway.

I looked over at him and rubbed his arm. He looked so intense as he drove, his full attention on the road. "Where are we going?" It was the first thing I'd said since we'd hit the road, and we had been driving for at least forty-five minutes. Now that I was fully awake, the curiosity was completely gnawing at me.

"You will see."

Uh-oh.

Short sentences and no definite answers. This was not a good sign. Granted, Heero was not particularly good with elaboration, but when asked a question, he usually gave a straightforward answer. An evasive response could only indicate one thing...

"This is a surprise, then?"

"Maybe," he said, not turning away from the road.

"Tell me!" I insisted, knowing all along that any attempts to convince Heero Yuy to spoil a surprise would be null.

"No."

"I'll give you a blowjob!"

He snorted. "You won't, if I don't tell you..."

"That's right, I won't!" I crossed my arms defiantly.

"Okay," he said.

"Okay, you'll tell me?" I grinned.

He shook his head. "Okay. No blowjob."

I frowned.

Great. So that one hadn't worked. I'd have to go for something a little more drastic. "Well, fine. Then no sex for a week! I'll force you into celibacy!"

This time he laughed. Hard. And under different circumstances, it would have been a delight. I loved his laughter, and always wished he would do it more often. It was dry, but it still made him seem more real, less stoic. It made his eyes light up, and the features on his face soften. More than anything, his laugh was fucking sexy.

"Fine," he said, and continued laughing.

Bastard!

I could probably threaten to burn our place down, and he still wouldn't talk. "You're really not going to tell me?"

"No."

"I want to know!"

"Sorry," he said simply, ignoring all my further complaints, threats, and bribes.


About three hours later, the horizon was no longer sky meeting arid land; it had been replaced by a body of placid water. It was blue meeting blue, under bright beams of sunshine. At first, I wasn't really sure if it was a river or lake. Soon, however, the smell of salt and sea breeze gave our location away.

We drove a while longer, and passed a few little fishing towns. I couldn't tear my eyes away from the boats, and the toasted faces of the villagers. I looked down at my arm and realized that my skin was not only pale, but white as paper when compared to the rich color these people had achieved, living by the sea.

On the other hand, I wasn't really keen on skin cancer, so I assumed being a recluse at the Preventer's Headquarters for most part of the year was actually a good thing. Still, this other life, this simple civilian life by the ocean looked rather inviting. And it made me think that this was not a possibility I'd discard...in the future.

Future.

It was almost fascinating, how my perspective of life had changed over the years; how I could allow myself to muse about things I'd have never thought of before, when surviving was my main objective, and the only thing that mattered was the present. I'd lived day by day. There had never been time to think of the past, and the concept of 'tomorrow' didn't exist.

And here I was now, thinking of possibilities, such as wearing Howard-style Hawaiian shirts and becoming a beach bum, or a fisherman.

And that's when it hit me. "We're here to fish!"

"Hai." Heero nodded.

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"Now you know." His lips curved slightly. "You said you wanted to fish."

I couldn't even remember when I had last mentioned that I wanted to fish. One of the guys at work was really into fishing, and he'd bring pictures of his fishing trips to the office. It looked like fun, and it was definitely something I wanted to try at some point. "This is great!"

Heero nodded. "I thought you might enjoy the trip."

"Thank you!" I leaned over and kissed his cheek.

We continued driving for another thirty-minutes or so, until we'd left the last little town behind and there was nothing around us but the sandy road we followed.

Heero drove a few more miles and eventually, we came upon an isolated cabin, not far from the shore. It was raised upon a wooden platform, about three feet high. I imagined when the tide was high, the water came very close to the house.

"We're here," he said, and parked the car. "Come." He motioned for me to follow, and we walked around, to the back of the cabin.

There was a little boat, tied to a pole and covered with a tarp. And the tarp was covered in sand, weeds, and branches that had been blown by the wind and landed there.

"I never knew you had a boat," I said with curiosity. "And you never told me about this place either." I pointed to the cabin and stood on my toes to peek through the window.

"It's empty," Heero said. "There's nothing there."

It was obvious no one had been in there for a long time. The glass was dirty, foggy, and covered in sand, just like everything else. "We should go in anyway, just to see--"

"It's not mine," he added.

I felt my eyes widen. I knew I wasn't exactly a model citizen, but my days of stealing and breaking into private property were long gone. And here I'd always thought *I* had been the one to corrupt the boy! Obviously, he had a couple bad habits of his own. Not that I should have been surprised. After all, he *had* stolen parts of my Gundam before.

"We should go, Heero."

"It's okay. It's Trowa's." He looked at me for a moment, and probably decided that his answer was not good enough, so he elaborated, "Trowa said I could use it. Anytime."

No one had seen nor heard from Trowa in at least four years. He'd gone back to the circus after defeating Dekim Barton, and seemed to be doing well. Then, one good day, he'd packed up and disappeared. I remembered getting a call from Catherine, late at night, asking if I had seen him, or if I knew where to find him. She'd called Wufei, Quatre, Une, and just about every single person who'd ever known him or spoken to him in the past. Quatre had promised Catherine to find him, and had looked for him practically everywhere. But his search had given no results. Trowa had completely fallen off the face of the Earth.

Heero had already been missing for about a year. There were two missing Gundam pilots. And I can't say that a couple interesting, but unfounded, conclusions didn't cross my mind. Heero and Trowa had been eliminated, and maybe Quatre, Wufei, and I were the next targets of this conspiracy.

Perhaps they had been captured by mad scientists, who were running tests on them that would eventually lead to great discoveries in science. Hell, for all we knew, they had shacked up somewhere and did not want to be bothered by anyone; they had decided to hide from the world.

But I had been wrong on all counts. Heero was back, and we still had no word of Trowa.

Quatre had ceased the search, at Heero's request. He had convinced all of us that it was better to drop it, because it was obvious Trowa did not want to be found. It would be better to respect his wishes. Catherine had not been happy, but she had resigned herself to the fact.

"Heero," I said, finally recovering from the mild shock. "Do you know where he is?"

"No," he said. "I don't think he has been here...in a long time."

"Oh..." I looked at him for a moment and nodded.

Heero and Trowa had been good friends. During the first war, they had spent a considerable amount of time together. Trowa had saved his life. I knew there was a certain loyalty between them, as there usually is among friends. But I also knew Heero wouldn't conceal important information about Trowa's whereabouts from his sister.

"You must be hungry," Heero said.

I nodded. "Now that you mention it..."

With all the excitement of the ride and the surprise, I had lost track of time. It was nearing lunchtime, and except for the coffee, we had skipped breakfast altogether.

"We'll get the boat later," Heero said. He began walking towards the car, and I followed.

He opened the trunk to reveal a basket full of fruit and sweet breads, a cooler with water, juice, cheese, and sandwiches. I also noticed fishing poles and bait. He'd planned everything so carefully.

I helped him set up, and in a few minutes, everything was ready for us to eat. We were having a picnic on the beach! I wanted to laugh at the sole notion. We had the picnic basket, the fruit, and the blanket. To make this scene complete, we were missing flowers, violin music, and candles. Though admittedly, trying to keep candles lit on the beach might have been a problem.

Wine would have been a nice touch, too.

This was our first time together at the beach. At least, it was the first time since we had become a "we," and when I wasn't pointing a gun at him, trying to defend a damsel in distress. That first meeting hadn't gone too well. But now we were here again. It was one of life's perfect ironies that over the course of the years I had gone from wanting to shoot him down, to sharing a meal, and everything else with him.

I watched him sitting across from me, with his water bottle slightly raised, ready to drink. He looked as though he were proposing a toast. This whole thing was ridiculously romantic, and I would have laughed in his face, were it not for the fact that I was completely reduced to mush.

What fucking planet was this guy from, and what the hell had he done to me? It was the only explanation I could find. I had been abducted by an alien, who had seduced me with supernatural powers, and he had me wrapped around his finger with a fucking red satin bow.

And I was totally okay with that.


By midday, we started to feel the heat. Pushing the boat over to the sea had not exactly helped us keep cool. I could feel my bangs sticking to my forehead, and my head was starting to itch under the cap. Heero looked a little flushed, drops of sweat trickling down his forehead, his hair mussed and wind-blown. I loved watching him hard at work. And I have to admit, he looked rather good in my black tanktop. The dark color made the blue of his eyes ever more intense. He really had me going there. Hard to resist a beautiful man all covered in sweat.

I wanted to taste him; I wanted to taste the combination of sea breeze and sweat on his skin. And I would have tried something, except that we had all the fishing equipment and the boat ready to go. We were there to fish, after all.

I flipped the cap off and wiped the sweat from my forehead with the back of my hand. The sea was calm, and we sat on the boat, enjoying the soft rock of the water, the sound of the waves softly splashing, rising and breaking at the shore. I held my fishing pole with one hand, patiently waiting for something to bite, and noticed that Heero was doing the same thing, except he was using both hands.

"You know," I said, breaking our comfortable silence, "I *had* been thinking about fishing for a while."

"I know." Heero nodded. "You've been dreaming about it."

"I have?"

"You talk in your sleep."

I leaned over and kissed him softly. "I hope I haven't said anything too compromising," I said playfully.

"I can keep secrets," he said.

Fishing had not turned out to be as easy as it had been in my dreams. It took us nearly an hour to catch anything. Heero brought up a medium-sized fish that would be our dinner later that evening. About ten minutes later, I caught something too. And it wasn't too long before Heero brought up another fish, though it had not been as big as the first one.

Frankly, I'd had enough fishing for one day. I wanted to go for a swim and relax for the rest of the day. Heero agreed. We went back to the shore, to leave our fish and our clothes.


After our swim, we returned Trowa's boat to the place where we'd found it. It would probably be a long time before anyone took it out to sea again. Heero used his water bottle to rinse the salt out of my hair. My braid came undone, and I let his fingers and the wind brush through it.

I watched him made dinner. He cleaned out the fish and started a fire, without accepting any help. He insisted this was his special treat for me. He brought dried fruit and nuts from the car, and we snacked on that until our fish was ready.

And during all these, I couldn't tear my eyes away from him. I couldn't stop watching him, thinking about how much I enjoyed being around him, how much a day like today meant to me.

I wanted to say, 'I love you,' the words I had been afraid to speak for so long. But my breath caught in my throat, and I thought my heart was going to come out of my chest. Frustrated by my inability to speak, I sighed. I'd never had any problems speaking my mind, why then, was it so difficult now?

It had taken me years to come to terms with these feelings, to be completely convinced that this was how I felt. It sounded ridiculous, but I was madly in love, just like in those pathetic romance novels Hilde usually mocked.

It was still hard to believe that Heero and I had gotten to where we were now by mere accident...

A few years ago, I got injured during a Preventer's mission. Once I was discharged from the hospital, I refused to hire a nurse to help me at home, but Heero came over everyday to check on me. I tried to keep him away, telling him I didn't really need any help, but the man is stubborn as they come.

To make things easier, I told him he could stay over at my apartment instead of traveling halfway across the city from the Preventer's office, and then back to his place every night. The arrangement was supposed to last a few days, but soon it became weeks. Before we knew it, he'd stopped sleeping on the couch and started sharing my bed. And honestly, I didn't mind one bit. I had been pining over him for quite a while. He nursed me back to health better than any doctor or medicine could have. Though I'm sure some of the positions in my new Japanese therapy would not have been approved by my chiropractor.

Three years later, we were still living together.

Ever since, Heero Yuy had been on a mission to grant me every secret wish, every desire. He had done nothing but surprised me with how carefully he paid attention to everything I said. He remembered even the most diminutive details of our conversations.

When he found out about my fascination with the moon, he took me away, (in a manner that I'd most accurately describe as kidnapping!) and drove to the mountains. He insisted the sky would be clearer there, and our view of the moon much better. A few days later he showed up with a telescope set that must have cost him at least three paychecks. We repeated our trips to the mountains every few weeks, to observe the moon and the stars.

Eventually, I didn't know which one of us was more obsessed with the stellar bodies. Heero became completely enthralled with constellations. And believe me, when Heero Yuy fixates on something, it can be a dangerous thing. He would breathe, eat, and sleep stars. I began to wonder if he'd cross the line and start making predictions. Then he could reconsider his undercover-agent-bodyguard-hacker-extraordinaire position with the Preventers and become a full-time astrologist, complete with a daily column of "Ask Heero and the Stars."

As it turned out, after a few months, he'd already learned everything there was to know about stars, and memorized every imaginable statistic. Something else caught his attention then, and I no longer had to share the telescope.

Later, he traveled with me to L2 to do charity work, and with more than a little help from Relena and Quatre, we managed to benefit a few hundred orphans. Our fundraiser gave us enough money to build a new home for children, in the name of Father Maxwell.

Those were just some of the highlights. But there were other things, many other little things here and there that meant just as much as the big ones. Like the way he made sure there was always a pot of fresh coffee in the mornings, even though he never drank any; and how he always managed to surprise me with a hidden note under the pillow, in my drawer, or on the fridge when he was sent away on emergency missions.

Of course, that last one was probably the result of my throwing all his stuff out of our place when he disappeared without notice for over four weeks. While he was supposed to be home on vacation, I should mention. And Une, always so helpful, did not have the courtesy to inform me he had been called back on duty. Not that I had asked, mind you. It would have been pretty embarrassing to ask my boss if she knew where I could find my live-in lover.

I'll never forget the day he came back. He sat outside my door like a lost puppy, unable to enter with his old key after I'd changed the locks. He looked so crestfallen, and I felt like the biggest jerk when he explained the whole thing.

Hey, a guy can make mistakes! And what was I supposed to think, when I came home and found him gone, his laptop missing, as well as some of his clothes? The disappearing act would not have been a new one for Heero Yuy. He'd done it for about two years after the second war, and it was Wufei who found him, and later managed to persuade him to join the Preventers. I definitely owed Wufei one.

But that was so long ago, and I no longer felt all the insecurities that my relationship with Heero had brought into my life. I was no longer afraid of waking up one morning to find him gone.

I knew that I wanted to speak the words, because the time was finally right. I took a deep breath and swallowed hard.

"I love you," I finally managed, and my heart began thudding harder.

I couldn't believe what had just come out of my mouth. Of course, it was true. I never lie. But I'd never thought that someday this would happen to me, because roaming around the miserable streets of L2, you don't grow up thinking that you're going to find Mrs. Right, -- Mr. in this case -- fall in love, and live happily ever after.

It was happening.

I leaned back against him, and watched the fire burning.

"Ah." Heero sighed.

I felt his warm lips on my neck, trailing a line of soft, yet ardent, kisses all the way to my shoulder. His arms crossed over my chest, hugging me tight. And we sat on the beach for a while, watching the sunset and eating grilled fish.

Heero didn't speak again, but I already knew what I needed to know.


The End
INTRODUCTION -- UPDATES -- ROMANCE ARCHIVE -- LEMON ARCHIVE -- 2002 CONTEST ARCHIVE
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