Beginning to Live

Author: Sharon
Pairing: 1x2x1 implied
Rating: PG (implied sexual relationship)
Warnings: This is the first fiction I've written -- ever.
Disclaimer: The guys belong to Bandai/Sotsu/Sunrise.
Notes: Thank you to DC Logan for the beta.

Beginning to Live

Heero's gone.

Oh, it's not what you might think. He hasn't cleared out of our apartment or anything. He's just away on another high profile government security job. As much as we might have liked to fade away from sight after the wars, it just wasn't possible. Well, let's be realistic here, it might have been possible for me, Duo Maxwell, to just quietly exit stage left, but not for Heero Yuy. He never wanted to be known as the man who saved the Earth, but we don't always get what we want.

Besides, what we did get was worth all of the fighting and destruction during the war, and the media attention afterwards. We got what we need. We got each other.

When you're fighting a war and you think your world is about to end, you sometimes say things you normally wouldn't let out under threat of the worst torture imaginable. When I thought I was staring into those unbelievably blue eyes for the last time, I couldn't stop myself from telling him just how much they meant to me. How much he meant to me. I never expected him to say anything back. I figured, hey, he usually ignores me most of the time, why should this be any different? Instead he looked at me with those very same eyes that had been haunting my dreams, and he told me to survive. For him. For us.

Who could refuse an order like that, especially when it's given by the man who saved the Earth -- twice?

Yeah, I should be jealous that he gets all of the credit for pulling off that amazing accomplishment on not one, but two separate occasions, yet I'm not. I'm more proud than anything else. Proud that my best friend and partner was brave enough -- and strong enough -- and just a little insane enough -- to face nearly impossible odds, defeat the bad guys and live to talk about it.

I fought with him, at his side, through thick and thin. I know that he couldn't have done all that without the help of his fellow Gundam pilots. The rest of the world may not know how crucial we other guys were in ending both wars, but we know. More importantly, I know. And I know just how much I mattered. To him. And I still do, though it's been a rough road to travel to get to this point in our relationship.

We all had issues after the war that we had to deal with. Mine were no harder than his -- just different. We kept in touch infrequently, granting each other the space we both needed to work things out. There was always an unspoken promise between us though that when the time was right, we'd give "us" a shot. I didn't survive the wars because I wanted to save the world. I did it because I wanted to save Heero Yuy. And I wanted him to save me.

And he did, in typical Heero Yuy fashion, by being one of the most stubborn and persuasive people I know.

My post-war battles were against mundane things like depression, and a general lack of direction in my life. I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I grew up way too fast. I tried a number of jobs, with Hilde at the junkyard, with Howard and the Sweepers, but nothing could match the thrill of piloting Deathscythe in life-or-death situations. My life lacked adventure, so when I heard about a new government-funded deep space salvage operation I figured that'd be just the ticket. I might have left too, if I hadn't accidentally bumped into Heero, working on the project's security team. He convinced me to stay. He promised me all the danger and excitement I could possibly desire to have in my life.

He was right.

Life with Heero is the greatest adventure I could have hoped for.

After the war, Heero just naturally ended up working for the coalition government that was trying to put the lives of people both on Earth and in space back on a more stable course. The guys in power made Heero an offer he couldn't resist. They took him on board, gave him a new set of orders to follow and let him do what he does best: accomplish the impossible. At first he wasn't very comfortable with his new peacetime role, but over time he grew into it. If Heero's anything, he's adaptable. And resourceful. And just a little bit scary. It's amazing how convenient that forceful glare of his can be to make people do what he wants.

Hey, he convinced me, and I'm not the easiest person to sway when I get an idea lodged into my thick skull. It's just a lucky thing for both of us that Heero's so persuasive. He got me to quit my promising new job, cancel my plans to leave Earth, and stay over at his place for the weekend. All with the force of his devastating gaze. I swear he can see down into my very soul sometimes.

Especially now that I believe again that I have one. How else could I be this blessed?

It wasn't long before I found myself living with Heero full-time. And not just as close friends. When Heero puts his mind to something, he usually gets what he wants. It's a good thing for me that what he wanted was one Duo Maxwell, and that I wanted him back every bit as much.

Yeah, we've got "that" kind of relationship. I'm sure the media would be thrilled to break that story. Not that we've kept it a secret from anyone. We just haven't felt ready to share the information with the entire universe yet. I can just see the headlines: "Savior of the World in Illicit Love Affair." Or worse. "Heero is Queer-o." No thanks. It's enough that we know, and our friends know, and we have the support of the people we care about.

Most of all, we have each other. Through the good times and the bad, we know the other will be there.

It's not always easy. They say the good things in life never are. Put two very different people together and you've got to expect them to have some problems. How was I supposed to know that if the phone rings while he's working I should go into the bedroom to talk? Or that he doesn't like me to hang his shirts on metal hangars because they stretch the material too much? Or that he's ticklish on the back of his arms?

But we're learning all of those things about each other; what makes the other happy, or angry or so turned on that we can barely make it to our bedroom in time. It may take a lifetime, but I can't imagine any better way to spend the rest of my life. Our lives. Together.

I've done more than just survive, thanks to Heero.

I've begun to live.

The End

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