Disclaimer: Bandai, Sunrise and the Sotsu Agency own Gundam Wing and its characters not me (there is no justice!) but the story is mine!
Pairings: 1+2+1
Warnings: Shounen-ai, sap and very light angst
Spoilers: None really, set after Endless Waltz

by Tai

Duo awoke to the once familiar sound of typing. He smiled as he rolled over in the huge bed to watch Heero as he completed their latest mission report for the Preventers. He was sat at his laptop wearing jeans and a short t-shirt. Heero turned at the movement and smiled at his lover. "Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you." Duo stretched and yawned, "S'okay, I'm just glad you picked paper," he said making the motion of cutting scissors. "Hn, well the sooner I get this report finished, the sooner we get Une off our backs and the sooner we can enjoy some quality vacation time." "Amen to that," Duo agreed, snuggling back down under the covers. The last mission had been a bitch, taken much longer than scheduled and Une had nearly cancelled their holiday. She had relented when they promised her the mission report would be with her first thing today. Duo closed his eyes as the sound of typing resumed. It had been a long time since he had heard that sound off duty as they had made a pact early on in their relationship not to bring work home.

The sound brought memories flooding to the surface of Duo's mind of all the times during the wars when he had listened to Heero typing away, wanting desperately to tell the other pilot how he felt about him but never working up the courage. Then when Heero had disappeared at the end of the Mariemeia incident, Duo had been devastated. He had thrown himself into work by buying a salvage yard and taking on Hilde to help him. He had enjoyed the challenge and it had taken his mind off of what could have possibly happened to one Heero Yuy.

It was about six months later when Duo had decided that he might actually be able to survive life without Heero when Heero had walked into the salvage yard as large as life in Preventer uniform. In true fashion he completely ignored Hilde as he walked up to Duo saying, "We need to talk." Hilde stepped in front of Duo bristling and said, "How dare you! No, how are you, Duo? Sorry I haven't been in touch for six months." Heero's eyes narrowed at her, glittering dangerously but she stood her ground until Duo realising his friend was in danger put his hand on her shoulder and said, "It's okay Hilde, we'll close up early today." She looked up at him for reassurance and then nodded before heading back to the office. Heero's eyes followed her as she left. "It's good to see you buddy," Duo told him, clapping him on the shoulder. Heero refocused his intense gaze back on Duo. Duo swallowed as all the feelings that he had been suppressing for the last six months for the blue-eyed man in front of him span out of control once more. "So you wanna talk, huh?" Duo continued, "Well, there's a coffee bar across the road." He turned to lead the way when he felt Heero's hand on his shoulder and he turned back. "Duo, I am sorry that I didn't contact you earlier but I had some stuff to sort out." Duo smiled at his old friend, "That's okay, you're here now."

Ten minutes later, the two ex-Gundam pilots were sitting at a small table in the coffee bar drinking coffee. "Hilde loves you," Heero said eventually after a few minutes of silence. Duo looked at him surprised, "Yeah, honestly I don't know why she stays. I've told her that to me, she is like the little sister I never had but I guess she keeps hoping she can change my mind." Then he smiled and continued, "But you didn't come all the way to L2 to talk about Hilde, did you?" Heero put his coffee down, "No, I came to see if I could recruit you to the Preventers." Duo shook his head, "Nah, Wufei already asked. I said, 'no'." Heero nodded, "Yes, he told me that when I signed up two weeks ago." Duo looked at him curiously and asked, "So why are you here?" Heero met his gaze, "Because I want you to be my partner." Duo shook his head again, "No, I'm quite happy at the salvage yard and besides you could have anyone you want as your partner, why would you choose me?" "Because in the two weeks I have been with the Preventers I have had five partners signed off for stress. Apparently I can be ..." Still holding Duo's gaze he smiled and Duo's breath caught, "... difficult to work with but we always made a good team so will you consider it?" Duo smiled sadly at the Japanese boy sat in front of him and said, "I'm really sorry, Heero, but I can't." Even being with Heero for this short length of time, Duo realised that he wouldn't be able to cope with working side by side with Heero again and not have him know how he felt.

If it were possible Heero's gaze intensified so it felt to Duo like two blue lamps were boring into his head. Then Heero said, "You still care about me, don't you?" Duo nearly spat the mouthful of coffee he had just taken all over Heero. He managed to swallow the bitter liquid, choking and coughing, "Wh...what did you say?!" Heero replied, "You heard, well?" All the elation Duo had felt at seeing Heero again was beginning to slip away as an icy knot formed in his stomach. He slumped back miserably in his chair as he decided there was no point trying to hide the truth now. "How long have you known?" Duo asked. "I've always known," Heero replied and Duo's worst fears were confirmed. "I see ... so you don't feel the same way," Duo whispered. As soon as he uttered those words, Heero grabbed Duo's hands where they rested on the table and jerked him upright in his chair, saying, "No! You don't see at all!" Duo only had a moment to be surprised by the passion in those words before he felt the caress of soft velvet lips on his own as in a sharp movement Heero pulled him towards the table. "But I don't understand," Duo said pulling away angrily, "If you feel the same way why the hell didn't you tell me back during the Eve wars?" This time Heero looked sadly at Duo, "I couldn't, I couldn't give into my emotions for you Duo. From an early age I have been taught to be the perfect soldier, the perfect weapon," Heero's beautiful face twisted with distaste as he said the word, "Trained to do unspeakable things, things I could only do if I locked my emotions away. That didn't mean that I wasn't able read how other people felt but I couldn't let that interfere with the mission. My tutors also made sure that the adage 'life is cheap' was drilled into me and that I believed that mine was the cheapest of all. Therefore I couldn't let myself believe that I deserved to be with someone like you. Anyway after Mariemeia I had to disappear to work out for myself the value of life, especially my life and that's how I ended up with the Preventers." "Oh Heero ..." Duo said softly but Heero interrupted, "It's in the past now, Duo. All I know is that you complete me in ways I didn't even realise until I left. So will you be my partner not only in the Preventers but in life as well?" Duo's heart leapt as he practically shouted, "Yes!" and launched himself at Heero for a hug nearly upsetting the whole table in the process. Heero laughed as he caught his new partner and Duo decided then and there that he would never tire of hearing that sound.

Duo rolled over in the bed smiling as his memories came to an end. His stomach growled as he looked over at Heero who was smiling back at him and said, "Breakfast?" Heero nodded. So Duo kicked off the covers, rolled out of bed and set about toasting some bagels and putting on fresh coffee. After he had given Heero his breakfast and a big wet lazy 'good morning' kiss, he had a shower. He towel dried his long chestnut hair then pulled on a loose t-shirt and his favourite pair of jeans. Catching sight of his reflection in the mirror he grinned at the blue violet eyes that looked back at him, deciding to leave his hair down to dry rather than tie it back in its customary braid. He walked back into the bedroom and asked Heero, "How much longer?" "About half an hour or so," came the reply. "Okay, I'm gonna explore the beach," Duo told him. Heero looked up and said, "Fine, I'll come and find you when I'm done." Duo smiled and padded bare foot out of the patio doors straight onto the golden sand of the beach. The wind caught his hair and he breathed in the sharp salty air. He glanced up and down the endless beach, which was deserted, and then back at the small beach house that he and Heero were renting for the week, enjoying the feeling of the sand running between his toes. His gaze turned back to the ocean as he listened to the calming sound of the surf. He walked towards the edge of the waves and knelt down on the sand, waiting for Heero. He started planning things that they could do for the rest of the week when he felt a hand on his left shoulder and he was enveloped in a loose caress as Heero knelt down beside him. "Hmm, beautiful," Heero whispered looking out to sea, Duo looked up at him with his intense blue gaze and his unruly mop of brown hair blowing in the wind, "like you," Duo told him. "And you love," Heero replied and kissed him on the tip of the nose before his gaze was drawn back to the ocean. They stayed like that watching the sets roll in on the blue green ocean together as the wind pulled Duo's hair out strand-by-strand and played with it, content in each other's company.

The End
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