This was in response to the GW 500 challenge community on livejournal. The topic for the week was "flattery."

Title: Close Call
Author: Beck
Pairing: 2xR
Rating: G
Warnings: None really. I always wanted to write a 2xR and I guess this was my chance to actually do so, yes, this is my first to write them.
Word Count: 539

The sounds of shuffled footsteps stopped as Duo turned to see the person who was beside him, hunched over, her chest heaving with deep breaths. Knowing that he was watching her, she glanced up at him.

"How much farther to safety?"

Pulling a locator device out of the small bag, he estimated the distance. "About another 3 miles give or take."

Relena couldn't help but actually groan at their predicament as she held onto her arm; the attack had taken them by surprise. "I'm really getting tired of the places I'm staying at getting blown up, especially while I'm inside them." She sighed lazily. "I'm getting too old for this stuff."

Duo walked over to where she was, taking in her battered self. Her hair had come loose from her ponytail and was in disarray while soot streaks and dried blood marred parts of her face and neck. He knew he wasn't in the best of shape either but he could deal with it and besides, he wasn't trying to travel on a sprained knee and cut up arm...cut up arm? Damn, why hadn't she said anything before?

Deciding that now was not the time to scold he simply rummaged around in his pack. Pulling out some antiseptic and gauze, he began tending to her wound, all the while giving her a once over; sure she looked rough now, but her natural elegance still shined through. Feeling the need to lighten her mood, he tilted her chin forcing her to look up at him.

"Hey, if you're old, what's that make me, grandma?" He winked at her, his tone and smile both ornery.

"That's some flattery!"

Always loving her inner fire, he smiled even more. "You're beautiful when you're angry." It took her by surprise when he punctuated his statement with a gentle kiss to her forehead, his thumb swiping a bit of soot from her cheek.

Her eyes wide and mouth gaping, he took that chance of distraction to turn his back to her, crouching down a bit. He didn't want to fully face her if she was going to yell at him.

"Get on."

"What?" Then it hit her that he was offering to carry her on his back. "I can't do that, you're injured yourself too you know."

He shrugged it off. "Not really, just tired, but I'm use to it and I'll live, now get on." She huffed as she took him up on his offer and carefully placed her arms around his neck. "First you tease me, now you're ordering me around."

"Who's teasing? You are beautiful." Duo lifted her like it was nothing to him to have her weighing him down. Then as she was about to question his comment, she felt a slight pat on her bottom.

She slapped his back lightly. "Don't dare say that was an accident."

Duo conceded. "Ya got me princess. Now, be a good girl and I'll think about asking you out on a date."

He was delightfully surprised to feel her mouth to his ear. "Well, be a good boy and I'll think about saying yes."

"Sounds like a plan." He retorted happily, his pace steady, though he felt as if he was walking on air.


On an added note. To those that enjoyed my 3x11 "No Regrets", check out my profile section to a link that my friend Anna wrote for me. It's what happened the night before my fic, which does contain 3x11 smut!!!! (hence why I am not posting it here). The title for that is "How the best memories are made."