Warnings: None really, mild cursing, m/m lip-action, shonen ai, sappy, sappy, sappy, maybe PG-13.
Disclaimer: In my dreams, and only there, are they mine. I make no money off these feeble attempts at literature. Nor is infringement of the legal owners' rights intended.
Notes: Heero POV, set c. AC202/203.

And the Wind, It Whispers
by BadMomma

Poetic. That's what he says I am, personally I don't think so. No. More specifically -- I know I'm not. I looked it up and as far as I'm concerned, I definitely do not qualify for the title. According to the latest version of the New American Heritage Dictionary to be poetic is to show the feelings or sensibility of a poet; to evoke, by writing or expression, an emotional response and to illuminate aspects of the emotional and perceptual worlds inexpressible in factual writings; possessing the peculiar beauties of poetry. Definitely not me. A bit off center, probably. A little crazy, most likely. But days like today make me think about it. Make me remember all those moments I've told him about, the moments that make him call me poetic.

Today is perfect for one of those moments and I know, without a doubt, it will happen again. The sun is shining. There's an almost constant breeze. The leaves are swaying gently on their branches, as if the wind were a huge invisible hand running through them. Hair and shirts and daisy-print dresses are being pulled back and forth, dancing at the command of the wind. A force that has often spoken to me.

* * * * * AC195 * * * * *

"It's pretty obvious to anyone that you're the bad guy here. Are you alright lady?"

Son of a bitch, who is this guy. Relena rushes to my side to see if I'm alright. My injuries don't matter, I need to finish what I started. I'll get the gun back and get rid of them both. I lunge for it. He shoots me again!

"Don't over do it, remember you're injured."

"Stop it! What do you want to shoot him for?"

I'm down, but not out. My shoulder and thigh are burning like the fires of hell, but if I do this right I should be able to reach the torpedoes before he realizes what I'm doing. I can barely tell where he's standing because her blue dress is swirling between us.

"Hey wait a minute." She's trying to dress my wounds. I look for a way to accomplish my mission. "Great, how come I end up as the bad guy here?"

Tough luck, buddy, for some odd reason this girl likes me.

A commotion draws her attention. "What in the world is that?"

I hear him tell her to look away. There's a near-blinding flash of light. I take my chance.

"Ya haven't had enough?" He's shooting at me again, the gun-crazy psycho. I make it to the torpedoes.

"It's my mobile suit!" I yell, as if that makes any difference to him. I jam the firing mechanism and we fly through the air.

"What're you doing you fool?"

My suit, no -- there's two of them -- the suits break the surface of the water as the torpedoes race to meet them. "Finally everything is finished. Mission complete."

"Noooooo!" His scream rips its way through the thundering in my ears as I fall to the water, expecting the end.

Before I lose consciousness, the wind whispers to me..

You'll meet again.

"Time out. Oi! You little monsters, I said time out! Off! Off I say!" He stands heaving a breath, a pillar of manliness -- perhaps childishness would be more appropriate. There are at least two little monsters attached to each leg, one hanging from an arm, another tugging on his shirt. He's in heaven.

He flashes me his widest grin and a triumphant victory sign with his free hand, all the while trying to remain standing. "Oi, back off a minute guys, I need a moment." He throws his hands out to his sides, creating an imaginary barrier as his little monsters release him.

"What's wrong Mister Duo?" That's Eric, the spokesman for the 4 to 6 group. We have to introduce him to Relena, he'll make a great politician when he grows up.

He heaves another breath and waves off the concern. "It's nothin' little man, just gotta fix the 'do." He begins to rebraid the wealth of silk that flows from his head. "Hey and I thought I told'ya no Mister for me? I'm just Duo to you guys."

"But Misto Duo, Sisto Wageena sai we hafta call oda peepo Misto and Mam" That one's Emily, only just turned five but quickly climbing the ranks of authority to be Eric's second in command. Another protégé for our friend.

"Ah, I see." He nods sagely. "But let me let'cha in on a little secret." He ties off the end of the braid and crouches down, waving them all closer while looking around conspiratorially, "I'm not really OLD. I'm just BIG. There's a difference you know, being old and being big. So." he conspicuously looks around again "since I'm not old you don't have to call me 'mister'. Just don't tell anybody OK? Cause if they figure it out they'll make me move in with you guys and." That earns him a chorus of yays and giggling and lots of hopping. "Un, un, un. If that happens Heero and I won't be able to bring you treats anymore. Right Heero?" He looks over with -- if at all possible -- an even wider grin.

All attention turns to me now, hope clearly written on their faces. If it weren't for the fact that I'm still holding a soundly sleeping Lacey, I think they would have rushed me to get either confirmation or denial. I nod, slowly but clearly. The crowd is not so enthusiastic anymore. A few of the younger ones are now clasping their hands over their mouths, hiding their tiny o-shaped lips, little bodies twisting slightly as their gazes travel from one to the other of us.

"Tell ya what." He waves them closer again and they begin to whisper. The older ones wisely look around to make sure they're not being monitored before they crowd a little closer too.

* * * * * AC201 * * * * *

He hops up on the porch railing in front of me and stretches like a cat - cracking his back in the process. He's been working in the yard all afternoon and has streaks of dark soil on his shorts, t-shirt and face from just below the bangs to the corner of his jaw. The Summer is making a last ditch effort to remind us of it's power, but the heat is tempered by the impending Fall's breezes.

"Think I'm gonna call Money-bags now. It should be about 9 o'clock L4 time, even a big-boss like him should be in, don't you think. You gonna come and say hello?" He takes a long drink from the cooler of water we have out on the porch.

"Duo, you know he hates it when you call him Money-bags. Why do you insist on doing it?" I take the offered cooler and quench my thirst as well.

"Cause it makes him blush." He flashes me a devilish grin. "And plus, Heero, if you can't tease your friends about how much money they've got who're you gonna tease. I can't go doing that at Relena's parties. Those old fogies'd have a coronary and where, may I ask, would that leave the Princess of Peace?"

As I muse over the ubiquitous, and questionable, titles he's bestowed upon all of us a small garden shovel materializes from his back pocket and he brings it to his mouth like a microphone. 'We interrupt this program to bring you this late breaking news: The esteemed Senator from Farfegnuggen died of a massive heart attack at the Charity Banquet held this evening by Vice Foreign Minister Relena Dorlin. Witnesses state that a dashing young man had recently been seen in the vicinity discussing their fortunes with several of the Senators in attendance. More details as the story develops!'

I playfully thwack him with a left-over piece of hose from the project I'd been working on, but can't help laughing at the absurdities he comes up with.

"Ouchies! You don't haf'ta get abusive you know, I'm in serious danger of some head trauma here." He rubs dramatically at the 'injured' area.

"Well then stop fooling around." I tell him, then shoot him a questioning glance. "Weren't you gonna call Quatre?" I turn back to cleaning up the mess I've made.

"Yeah, yeah. just having a little fun first." He stands but doesn't move towards the door yet. "Hey, Heero, you don't think he'll mind, do ya? I mean, this isn't the first time I've asked for help for the Sisters, but it' ll probably be a lot more involved and. expensive. I mean the whole idea is to have his company fund these little 'outings' things for like. I don't know. forever, maybe. You think he'll go for that?"

Hn. Still so unsure of yourself and how strongly your friends support you and your causes. Especially Quatre, the man never could turn down one of Duo 's heartfelt requests. "Knowing Quatre, no he won't mind. Remember, he's been to the home and he's very impressed with what the nuns are doing for those kids. And if you ask nicely I'm sure he can help you word your proposal to Relena for the next time we see her. Maybe we can get her to present it to some of those corporate 'fogies' she knows. You never know, Duo, your dream might become a reality."

"Yeah, that'd be pretty cool, huh? Big companies all over the world and the colonies footing the bill, one Saturday a month, it'd really make a difference in those kids lives. I mean, think about it Heero, if Q can start the ball rolling in the colonies and Relena can convince some people planet-side, it could spread like wild-fire. There'd be orphanages and youth centers getting help all over the place."

His eyes have gone wide with imaginings, sight focused inward. Big plans. Plans that would provide hundreds of children a life better than the one he had. A life full of hope for those whose families have little to offer them or who have no families at all. I approach him and use the edge of my shirt to wipe away the sweat and soil still evident on his face as the wind helps move his hair out of the way.

I squeeze his shoulder lightly in a show of support. "Why don't you go call Quatre. I'm gonna finish cleaning up out here and I'll be there in a minute."

He graces me with a genuine smile and a brief nod. "Good idea. Thanks babe and uh, don't take too long, OK." He brushes a kiss along my cheek and heads for the nearest vid-phone.

I store the tools in the shed and head back to join my lover, my best friend, my happiness, my hope. But before I reach the door, I turn to acknowledge it; because the wind, it reminds me.

Your salvation.

I hear someone approaching from behind, probably one of the staff come to retrieve us.

"Hey Heero."

I look over my shoulder to acknowledge her presence. "Hi Jenny, is it time already?"

"Nah, just came to check on you guys. Make sure you're doing OK. Who'd he tire out today?" Standing just behind me she peers over my shoulder to see who Duo's latest victim is. "Aw, poor Lacey, guess she just can't keep up with him yet."

"Hmm, not yet. Give her a little time though, she'll be matching him step for step soon enough."

She nods her concurrence. It usually takes the newest members of the age group a few weeks to get used to his stamina. The youngest ones always get tired and fall asleep on their first few outings with him. By the third or fourth outing, they're ready. As for my role in all this, I'm the resident cradle. When they get tired and start rubbing their eyes; I get to carry them until they've replenished their energy.

Howls of glee pull our attention back to the small crowd assembled a few feet away. Duo has risen from the group like a phoenix reborn, children dangling from his limbs, others lying at his feet unable to control their laughter. He swings them around, drops them to the ground; tickles, teases and tackles them.

"What exactly are we playing today?" Jenny squats beside me and moves to relieve me of my charge.

"Some combination of freeze tag, hot potato and. uh. rugby? I suppose." She stands and settles Lacey in her arms. I follow her lead and stretch muscles that have gone stiff from sitting too long in the same position. "How long do we have?"

We forego eye contact to watch the scene unfolding before us, a sight so full of joy and beauty it cannot easily be ignored.

"Well, Sister Regina wants to be back before sunset. We need about an hour to feed them, half an hour for the potty-stop and to get them on the bus and half an hour to get home. So. about 30 minutes more, can you manage it?"

Can I manage it? Hn, as if she needs to ask. "Nimnu ryuokai." I have my plan in place as I step out of the shade I'd been enjoying.

"At the picnic tables down by the shore, Heero. See ya' there." I wave over my shoulder, not bothering to look back.

"All right guys." I announce as I approach the group still rolling around on the ground. "Five minutes before we head out. Dinner's being served."

I hear a quietly inquiring 'Five mintues?' from behind me.

Shock runs through the group before the groaning and pleading begins. "Aw, that's not enough time Mr. Heero!" "No fair! We're not done playin' yet!" "But we're having too much fun." "I doen wanna go now Misto Eewo." "I'm not hungry Mr. Heero, is it OK if I stay here and play with Duo."

They are latching themselves on to me now in an attempt to sway me, make me change my mind, but I have yet to hear the clinching argument. I'm waiting for it, waiting.

"Aw c'mon Heero, we were havin' so much fun!" Since he is now free of all but one little monster, his hands go automatically to his hips and he pouts -- oh, and he pouts with the best of them. "Hee~ro, do we really haf'ta go now? It feels like we just got here!"

The others, surrounding me or hanging from whatever part of me they can reach, jump on the band wagon. They are hopping up and down with almost enough force to make me lose my balance. A disjointed chorus of 'please' fills the air. I feign resistance. I wait, just a little longer, until all the puppy dog eyes have made their appearances. The blue-violet ones do me in. I capitulate.

"OK guys, fifteen minutes. But no more!" I say with conviction.

"Yay!" "Aw-wight Misto Eewo" "Woohoo!" "C'mon Mist. uh, c'mon Duo, let's play"

I catch what appears to be a quiet chuckle behind me and I wonder, did Jenny stick around to listen to this or is the wind now laughing at me? Before I figure it out they've abandoned me and are tackling him to the ground again. Before he goes down he winks at me. The charade is on.

Fifteen minutes will pass before I make the next departure announcement. Additional pleas for more time will follow, requiring a slightly longer period of negotiation. It will end in me granting an additional 'five minutes'. In reality five minutes will stretch to ten before I make my last stand. Followed by a not-so-hasty retreat which will require a good five minutes to organize.

I retreat to my place in the shade. To watch. And to remember.

* * * * * AC196 * * * * *

"There's no way we can catch that." I shoot a glance at you from the corner of my eye. "They're heading for the space port." You confirm what I already suspect. The air gusts again and without turning I see your braid swinging behind us, your bangs fluttering across the binoculars. "Seem to be in an awful rush for somebody trying to get to earth?"

Have you not made the connection yet or is it just wishful thinking? "That's because they're trying to escape."

You pull the binoculars down, eyes going wide, and turn to me. "Escape?" Your full attention is on me now. "Then why'd they even bother to take over this place?"

"Hn." You're not stupid, Duo, you just don't want to admit what might be happening here.

"C'mon Heero. Remember, she is Treize's daughter after all."

Why is it so much easier to accept that what's happening is only because of her connection to Treize. This isn't his style, anyway.

"I'm more concerned about the man known as Dekim. I remember the name Dekim Barton from somewhere."

Somewhere, yeah right. I still can't look at you though. It hurts too much to consider the possibilities.

"They can't be serious! They're really planning to go ahead with Operation Meteor?"

The helicopter's well out of visual range. They are definitely heading to the space port. I finally look at you. I need you to understand that I must do this. "Yeah, but I'll do all I can to stop them."

You, on the other hand, don't have to. I don't want you to come with me. What am I thinking? You'd no sooner leave me on my own in this, than I would you.

The artificial wind gusts past the rooftop we stand on. Now whipping furiously at our clothes, pulling at our hair. I still. The wind is trying to catch my attention, but right now I cannot afford to listen to it.

Leaning back against the railing, posture defeated, you close your eyes. As you run your hands over your face I hear you mumble "God it's hopeless, it' ll never end."

"Maybe not." I acknowledge, I know how you feel. I don't want to keep doing this either. "But you know what we need to do next."

Almost as one, actions that are still second nature us, we turn to leave. We head for the only place left where we can stop this atrocity. As I walk behind you I wonder if we will always end up in the middle of these situations. I wonder if I can afford to let you risk everything again. As we exit the rooftop the wind finally catches my attention.

Together, you can do it.

We're walking them back to the picnic area. Duo in the lead like the Pied Piper of Hamlin and me bringing up the rear, making sure no one falls behind. They're singing a song I've never heard about some kid called John Jacob something-or-another. I don't quite understand it all and it doesn't help that our little ones can only manage to garble the chorus, or at least what I think is the chorus since it's what they keep repeating. The only thing I know for sure is that it apparently requires everyone to walk -- or march as the case may be -- in a snake like pattern. At this rate, we'll have traveled three times the distance between here and the picnic tables, but I guess it's worth it. They're all so content to just sing off-key and at the top of their lungs, wave their arms around and laugh at the impossibility of pronouncing this kid's name.

Ever since he got Winner Enterprises to fund these monthly outings for the Sisters of Mercy, he has been happier than I thought possible. I occasionally catch his eye when he turns to encourage the kids to sing even louder by waving his arms around, like a conductor before his orchestra. Happy doesn't begin to explain the look in his eyes; he radiates joy, peace, hope and something I can't begin to describe.

We finally make it to the tables and all thoughts of John whatever-his-name-is disappear as they see the food set out for them. A mad dash for their feast ensues. He waits for me to catch up and grabs hold of a belt loop, pulling me close to his side. "Sooooooo. did'ja have fun today?"

I throw an arm over his shoulder and tug playfully at him. "Of course, I always do. It's fun to watch you play with the kids. You're great with them."

"You are too, ya' know. Sister Claire says she's never seen anyone as gentle with the little ones as you are. You'd make a great dad, Heero." He tugs at my belt loop again and beams a megawatt smile, he seems so very proud of me. It never ceases to amaze me how he takes such great pride at the little things I do.

"I'm just being extra careful, that's all," I lean in close to his ear and whisper the same confession I've made before. "I'm afraid I might break them." He laughs, a loud and raucous laugh, then pulls me over to help our little ones settle in. They only have an hour to finish their meals and where our little band of miscreants is concerned, that will take a great deal of effort to accomplish.

Our little ones. The 4 to 6 group. In the two years that we've been volunteering at Mercy House, where the Sisters run a 30-bed group home and it's adjacent school, we've always had this age group. At first I thought they'd randomly been assigned to us -- or we to them, just the luck of the draw; but I learned not too long ago from one of the nuns that Duo had specifically requested to work with children in this age-group. It didn't make sense to me, he's studying to become a secondary school teacher and I figured he would have asked to work with older kids. It would afford him some practical experience that would be invaluable later on when he goes for a job in his field. When I'd asked him about it not long after learning the truth, he just shrugged and tried to play it off, saying he figured they'd be more fun than the older kids and more susceptible, 'easier to corrupt in the ways of silliness' he'd said. Later that night as we were getting ready for bed he told me the real reason.

He had been about that age when he'd been taken in by the Maxwell Church Orphanage, a time that holds some of his best and worst childhood memories. He said he wanted to honor Father Maxwell and Sister Helen, by doing for these kids what they had done for him. He said working and playing with the children that age made him feel like he was in their presence and that they finally approved of what he was doing.

I watch him now as he moves from one of them to the other and I wonder if he honestly believes that his work here is the only thing his beloved priest and nun have to be proud of.

* * * * * AC195 * * * * *

"Attention Oz, I never would have imagined that you people could be so incredibly foolish, the space colonies have no intention of fighting Oz, this is my personal battle that I'm staging against you.

"So the rebel is finally showing his face."

I stare at the image on my screen, words leave my lips like a curse. "Doctor J".

All my comm channels are open and the chatter is non-stop; Duo wanting to know who he is, Quatre already figuring his importance to one of us. He continues to speak and inwardly I dread what I know is coming. In the core of my being I know and fear it, though I allow no outward sign.

"In your eyes, inhumane moves such as attacking the colonies is just, if that's what it takes for you to come out victorious, right? Then I have no choice but to surrender."

"Very well, your surrender is accepted, abandon your gundams immediately!"

She is such a fool, he'll never let them have my gundam. But I am already moving to accomplish the inevitable. My friends. can I even call them that, we hardly got a chance to know each other. Except Duo, he is my friend, or at least he tried to be. What a wasted effort on his part.

I leave the security of the cockpit and step out onto the open platform. I can still here the comm channels crackling with voices. I hear Zechs Marquise as he sees one of us, me, for the first time. "A boy! The gundam pilot is nothing more than a little boy."

"I surrender, but I will not hand over the gundams. I repeat, **I** surrender, but I will not hand over the gundams."

This is it then, it ends here. The wind is strangely silent for the first time since I came to the planet. "Mission accepted." Perhaps it has nothing more to say to me.

Heat, pain and oozing blood are all I feel. I cannot hear a thing, I can barely see though my eyes are wide open. My thoughts fade in and out around me. I can't think clearly. I feel myself being lifted. I am suspended in mid air, a white behemoth before me. Suddenly I am lying on my side, cold metal surrounding my skin while heat and the distinct smell of a mobile suit after a battle dissipate around me. Somehow I'm moving, but not. The wind is whipping through my hair, thundering in my newly regained hearing but today it is not whispering. It feels like the wind is screaming, whether at me or some other target I cannot tell, but it is screaming. Definitely screaming.

There is still hope.

We stand at the edge of the parking lot, waving at the departing bus. Hugs and kisses for the children and polite farewells for the staff have already been exchanged. The children of Mercy House and their watchful keepers are on their way home.

He turns to me when they are at the far side of the lot and cocks his head in the direction of the picnic tables. "Shall we go supervise?"

Some local high-schoolers were enlisted for today's clean up duty. Community Service hours are a wonderful thing. In addition to their regular volunteers, like Duo and myself, every month a different group helps out with the home's outing, making it easier on the Sisters and the staff. These volunteer groups' duties revolve mostly around the food and drink, hence the clean up is left to them as well. Since we live on the opposite side of the park from the Home, we've agreed to oversee the clean up so no one from the staff has to stay behind.

As we walk back I catch him eyeing me playfully and shoot him a questioning glance. "Yes?"

He giggles -- yes giggles -- apparently the giddiness of hanging around little children all day hasn't worn off yet. "Big chief Fists of Steel, dress'um up in war paint?" He pitches his voice in the style of those very old, very bad, Cowboys and Indians movies.

I answer in the same tone when I see a rather distinct, almost complete mustard handprint he points out on my white t-shirt. "No, Has Long Tail and Runs Mouth, seems young brave used chief's shirt as napkin." I survey his clothes and notice that he is worse off than me.

"Apparently all young braves and squaws in messy mood today." He motions to several different spots on his clothing. "Not-so-big chief also have what look like war paint. Must visit brother-river to cleanse himself before entering teepee tonight."

"Aa." I revert to my normal tone. This Indian-speak, as he calls it, gets annoying fast. "You definitely need a trip to 'brother-river'." I wrinkle my nose at him and he laughs, punching me lightly in the arm. I'm about to ask if he wants to pick up some take out on the way home or go out for dinner later when his phone rings.

"Hello? . Speaking. . Oh, hey Ben, yeah, how's it going? ." His stride slows as he becomes immersed in talk of his current Psych project.

I leave him to his call and approach the teenagers who are almost done cleaning up. Within minutes the area is spotless and I help them tow the large trash bags to the dumpster. Thanking them for their help, I dismiss them for the evening.

As I return to the picnic area I find him lying invitingly atop one of the many tables; eyes closed, braid dangling off the side, arms cradling his head, knees bent, feet propped on the very edge of the table. I stand just between his feet and rest my shoulders against his knees. "Everything alright?" I ask and begin to massage his calves.

"Mm-hm, never better." He locks his ankles behind me and pulls me closer.

With his calves now out of reach I move to rub the outside of his thighs from knee to hip, "What did Ben want?"

"Oh, just to move our study group up a coupl'a hours tomorrow, says he's got a hot date he needs time to get ready for."

"So, I get you back earlier than usual tomorrow?"

"Yup." He rolls his head to the side and looks at me. "Got any ideas what you're gonna do with me for those extra hours?"

I grin. "Anything your heart desires."

He levers himself into a sitting position, settling his hands over mine. "I wouldn't mind if you did that all day, you know."

"Your wish is my command." I smile at him as I lean in to press our mouths together.

His whole body shudders as we break the kiss. His hands run up and down the length of my arms, legs flexing minutely behind me. "Can I make a wish now?" he whispers, slipping his arms around my waist and bringing our upper bodies closer.

"Of course." I kiss his chin. "What do you want?" His hands are teasing up my back and the chill I feel run through me has nothing to do with the breeze.

"I want" he kisses me slowly, "for you" he breathes against my lips and grabs me by the shoulders, "to sit" he turns me, still in the circle of his legs "right here" he settles me on the edge of the table, "until I get back". He places a last wet kiss at the back of my neck and growls low in his throat as his legs relinquish their hold on me. Before leaving me bereft of his warmth he mumbles into my hair, "God I love you!"

I make to turn and follow his progress but he growls back at me. "Don't move!"

I feign indignation in the form of a raised eyebrow, his only answer is a wicked laugh as he jogs off in the direction of the parking lot. I lean back on my hands and close my eyes; enjoying the warmth of the waning day and the gentle breezes. My body still tingles from the brief expressions of his love and I wonder how I ever got so lucky?

* * * * * AC200 * * * * *

He pulls into a space about half a block from my apartment. As he puts the car in park I ask the same question that I always ask. "Can you stay the night?"

"Mm, love to," he shakes his head, "but I've got class tomorrow morning and work right after. Maybe tomorrow?" He turns off the ignition, leans over and kisses me. It is strong, lingering and promising. It doesn't feel like a goodnight kiss to me. I think he just needs a little convincing.

"I'll lend you a shirt and some underwear. You could swing by your apartment after class and change before going to work." We kiss again. A little more enthusiastically this time.

"Lend me some underwear, huh? You know that's not a big problem for me," his eyes take on a mischievous sparkle, "I occasionally go without." His hand is playing with the hair at the base of my skull, twisting it with his fingers. His eyes search mine for a minute before he pulls me in for another searing kiss and for a moment I wonder what the hell we're still doing sitting in the car, but he pulls back. "Unfortunately that won't help much. Home is not exactly on the way between school and work." His breath is scorching my ear where he whispers his reasoning. The temperature inside the car is rising. "I really need to go home tonight."

I nuzzle his neck and try to think of some other way around this. I don't want to sleep alone tonight. I don't EVER want to sleep alone anymore, his warm presence next to me in bed or curled up on the sofa has become an addiction; but too often that's not how things are working out for us. "Duo."

"Mmm, Heero please, don't make this any harder than it has to be. You don't know how much I want to." his words trail off and suddenly we're kissing again. My hand works its way under his jacket and inside his shirt, rubbing at his side and hip. We both shiver at the touch. The heat between us is escalating and I notice that the windows are starting to fog up. He groans and grabs my wrist, stopping the motion of my hand, breaking the kiss with a heaving breath. "Damn Heero, you need to get out of this car right now. I can NOT miss another class this week." Actions contradict words as he drops his head to my shoulder and takes a deep breath, our hands drop to his thigh. "It's. it's not that I WANT to go home." Encouraged by his words I try to slide my hand up the inside of his thigh but the grip on me will not budge.

"Then stay with me." I nuzzle his neck and ear, I can't believe we're actually making out in this stupid car when my apartment is a few hundred feet away. "Stay." I entreat again. We start kissing once more and I think I might be turning the tide. Our hands resume their tentative explorations. My hand, now free again from his grip, returns to its previous activities, running along his skin, nails scraping lightly in their passage. One of his hands has made its way to my face, stroking my cheek momentarily before questing over my jaw, past my ear, into the hair at the back of my head, holding me in place. His other hand has fisted the front of my shirt. My body screams its elation, thinking I have finally won.

"No." He whispers. "Not tonight. I can't". He heaves breathy words as lips and tongues part only to meet again. "I want to, good God in heaven how I want to." He takes one last, long, sensual, exploratory trip into my soul through my mouth and then pushes back with the hand at my chest.

We sit and we stare at each other for a good long time, trying to regulate our breathing. He's right, he can't stay. He has commitments and I shouldn't pressure him into compromising them again. Finally I nod, still a little winded and more than a little wound up. I cover the hand on my chest with one of my own. "I'm sorry, you're right. I know it isn't convenient. It's just I." I falter.

I what? I'm at a complete loss for words and they were never my strong suit to begin with. I can't seem to sleep well without you. I can't stand the thought of not being with you. I want to spend every free moment I have and a few not-so-free ones basking in your presence.

His hand turning under mine brings me back to the present, his fingers work their way between mine but don't move from where they rest against my body. "I know, love, I.. I think I know." He leans his head against the back of the seat and just looks at me. "Man this is killing me. If I could, Heero, I swear I'd take you home with me right now, but my roommates. we have that no-overnight-guest rule. So. tomorrow. Alright?"

"OK, tomorrow." I concede. "Pack a bag." I plead. "Spend the rest of the week here, all the way through to Monday." He nods, an encouraging smile on his face. "Great, Duo, that'll be great." I lean forward with the intention of stealing one last kiss, but his hand stills my movement.

"I think we've done enough of that for now. Any more of that and we might end up spending the night out here in the car." He gives me a little shove with the hand still at my chest. "Goodnight Heero."

I smile and bring his hand up to my lips, I give him a warm, lingering kiss on the back of it while fumbling blindly for the door handle. I want to look at him for as long as I can; burn this particular view of him into my memory so I can access it again later. I succeed in opening the door and back out of the seat. I crouch on the curb, my eyes still locked with his.

"I love you. You know that, right?" Our hands are sliding from each other's grasp.

I nod. "Aa, love you too." At last our fingertips part company as I stand to close the door. I pull my jacket closed around me, it suddenly seems much colder than it should be. Of course that could just be the loss of his presence. I run my fingers down the car window, wishing it was his face and not some cold glass. I step back, shoving my hands in my pockets when he turns to start up the engine. With one last look over my shoulder I head for my apartment. My cold and empty apartment.

Moments later I imagine that I hear the sound of his car door opening, that I hear him call my name; but my mind logically points out that the engine is still running and he is just waiting for me to disappear into the building before pulling away from the curb. It must be the wind, it loves to torture me sometimes. But I hear my name again and without thinking I turn toward it.

He is standing by the driver's side door, looking at me with a hopeful expression. "Heero?" He calls again. I turn fully and take a step back in his direction. "Would you. do you." He shakes his head in frustration, covering his face with one hand. When the hand moves away I see determination in his eyes.

"My lease with these guys ends in three months, at the end of this semester. I don't want to reup with them, I want to live with you. I want us to move in together. I don't want to spend another night without you by my side or wake up to another empty bed. I want you Heero, for as long as you'll have me. We've been dating long enough now and it's not like we have to wait for someone's permission or a white wedding or something. So do you want to? Move in together, live with me?"

It takes me a moment to process the information that has just rushed from the lips I adore. In a flash I'm back at his side, crushing his body to mine.

"Yes." I kiss him. "Yes!" I kiss him again. "God yes!" I try to steal the very breath from his being because I cannot think of anything else I want more in my life.

As I lose myself in another sweltering kiss, I hear a whisper on the wind.

At last.

He is modeling for me the clean t-shirt he found in the trunk of our car. At first guess, I'd say it doesn't belong to either of us. The shirt is about two sizes too big for him, the neck so wide it almost slips off one shoulder. When he's done displaying the clean shirt, he holds out something else for my inspection.

"What's that?"

"A little something I picked up just for today." He shakes loose what turns out to be a blanket. "A beach blanket. We are technically at a beach; see the shore line there and the water just beyond." I nod as he points out these rather obvious landmarks and it becomes clear what we'll be doing. "I figured we could hang out for a little while, maybe watch the sun set, before heading home. Whad'dya say?"

I hop off the table and walk toward him. "Ryuoukai." I grab his hand and pull him along with me as he rolls his eyes at my answer.

Together, we make our way onto the sand. We lay out our blanket and he removes his shoes, placing them at the corners. "Wanna go for a little walk?"

I forego taking off my shoes, but mockingly bow for him. "As you wish, my liege."

"O~oh, my liege is it? Then will you rub my back a bit before we go for a walk?"

"Of course." I oblige. "Before, during, after a walk; whatever makes you happy."

"Man, you're in a sappy mood today." He kisses me quickly and plops himself down, pulling me along with him. "C'mere lover boy." I sit behind him, legs on either side of his hips and begin working from his lower back up. An ongoing chorus of 'ooh', 'ah', 'right there' and 'oh harder' join the rhythmic sound of the crashing waves.

As I work my way higher I shift up onto my knees to make working the muscles easier. I go to move his braid out of the way but decide I'd rather set it free. I want to see those silken strands dancing on the wind. Wild and carefree, like the one I love. He turns to smile at me, knowing how much I love to see his hair loose.

He breaks the silence with a quiet question. "You wanna know what really makes me happy, Heero?"

"Mmhmm." I answer absently, running my fingers through the loose strands and marveling at their beauty.

He searches my gaze for a moment before answering, "Being here, with you." A blush rises on his cheeks and he quickly turns his gaze back to the water, pursing his lips. "Shit, now I'm getting all mushy, it must be contagious."

My hands still on his shoulders, I bend around his right side to capture that adorable pout in a kiss, conveying as much love as I can with just my lips. Pulling away slightly we rub noses for a moment. When his eyes open again they stare lovingly into mine; suddenly I can't resist the urge to tease him.

I kiss him quickly one more time and pull back a little further. "Don't worry," I lean back in to whisper in his ear, "I've got just the cure for that." A small 'oh' escapes him, thinking he knows what I'm going to suggest. "Mmhm, a good dose of laundry and vacuuming will clear that case of mushiness right up. We've got plenty of that at home."

He looks at me in shock for a minute then breaks into snickers, I'm not usually the one who makes that kind of remark. "Good, good. That was good." He nods appreciatively. "Not very poetic, but good none the less." He laughs a little harder as we both turn our gazes back to the crashing waves.

"I told you I wasn't poetic." I reply sardonically.

"Un-huhn, and the wind talks to whom exactly?" He snickers for a moment before quieting. Still staring out at the waves he speaks again, this time more seriously. "I love you. You know that, right?"

"Aa. Love you, too."

"Good, that's good" he mumbles and leans into me slightly. After a while I settle back onto the blanket behind him and pull it up at the corners to cover both of us. The wind is getting more playful as the sun and the temperature drop. We watch in comfortable silence as the day finally turns to night.

With some regret I realize we'll have to leave here soon, the park closes half an hour after sunset. We have very little time left to enjoy this today. But we have the rest of our lives together to relive and reenact this moment.

And the wind, it whispers.


The End
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