Title: Count Me In ch 1/11
Category: Romance, a little drama and angst here and there.
Overall Rating: NC-17 or M
Overall Warnings: Yaoi, yuri, lemons, limes, foul language, and other things that may make you grin or retch. Fluff at some point I am sure.
Spoilers: None as far as I know unless you have not seen the series.
Main pairing: 1x2x1 (or 12 depending on comm or ML)
Background pairings: 34, RxH, mention of 5xS, past 1xR and 2xH.
Notes: Fic beta read by Adaina. Would also like to thank HostileCrayon, Danse, and Natea for all taking a look at it. Written for The Vault's Spring Fling Contest but the contest was cancelled.
Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing or any of the characters within. This disclaimer applies to this and all future chapters. Chapter title belongs to Bonnie Raitt.
Summary: Who knew that something that was supposed to be temporary and pretend could turn out to feel so real and permanent?
Chapter One – Lovers Kept Under Covers
"Madison. Manson. Mapper. Mardsen. Massey. Maxwell, Duo. Maxwell… Hilde?" Duo had been in search of the Massey file, which he grabbed. Seeing his own file, along with a file on his wife of two years was an added bonus. His curiosity piqued, Duo grabbed Hilde's file and opened it. Papers, papers, and more papers. He was about to put it back when a pile of regulation-sized photos fell to the floor. Duo set the Massey file on the dusty floor as he started to pick up the photos. He sat down and started to flip idly through the photos until he saw a set of them that made him gasp. He never knew he could actually be this shocked.
They weren't what he expected. Not pictures of Hilde working or of he and Hilde doing various things. No, it could not be that innocent. Of course they were sensitive pictures that held sensitive information, they could not be anything else.
They were pictures of Hilde with the current Vice Foreign Minister of the United Earth Sphere. They were pictures of Hilde with the wife of his partner and best friend. Those people were one and the same.
They were pictures of Hilde Maxwell, his wife, with Relena Peacecraft-Yuy.
The first ones seemed innocent: a walk in the gardens at Relena's estate. Then there were ones of the two of them holding hands in a dark nightclub. But the ones after that had him shaking his head. They were taken through the unshielded window of a hotel suite in this very city. Relena was lying on a lush bed wearing only a small blue nightgown. Hilde was standing slightly to the side of her next to the bed wearing only her birthday suit. The following photos were only able to capture the two bodies entangled on the bed. The photographer must have stopped taking photos at that point, having gotten the information they were seeking.
Duo grabbed the Massey file and the photos and stood up.
"Hilde? And Relena?" Duo was almost speechless. He could not stop the mental images provided by his brain. He tucked the pictures into his jacket and left the room with the Massey file in hand. There was only one person he could talk to about this, and that person was the only one who really needed to know right now. They would get through this; they always got through whatever was thrown at them.
Heero Yuy looked up when Duo walked in the door, arching an eyebrow when it was closed and locked. Duo threw the file Heero knew he had been searching for on the desk, and then threw a pile of photos on Heero's desk. Then he plopped down in a chair and leaned back to watch.
Heero flipped through the pictures without expression or words. He almost looked like he had been expecting his wife to sleep with another woman. Like it was normal. But then again, Duo knew Heero was rarely surprised by anything. He always looked like that.
"Hilde and Relena are having an affair," Heero stated calmly. He knew he sounded cold, but he did not care at this point.
"Thank you Captain Oblivious, Master of the Obvious!" Duo threw his hands up in the air and started to pace like a caged tiger.
"For how long?" Heero asked softly, "Hilde only moved to Earth right before you married her. That was two years ago."
"It had to have been after that at least. They never had a chance to meet each other during the war. It wasn't until after, at that victory celebration thing that Relena and Hilde even met or laid eyes on each other," Duo still paced while trying to figure it out.
"We were fifteen then. Then there was that year before the Mariemaia incident. We joined Preventer's when we were seventeen. You and I went on that mission to L2 when we were twenty. Hilde came to Earth right after that. I had been married to Relena for a year by that point. You married Hilde soon after that," Heero paused to think, "About three months after your wedding we left for that extended mission on L1, remember? We told the girls to call each other if they got lonely, right?"
Duo looked at Heero in abject horror, "Shit! Maybe that long ago? Do ya think?"
"We have no real way to tell. Who took these pictures?" Heero looked at the back of the pictures for the signature code. Then he looked it up on the computer, "Hendrickson from surveillance. Come on," Heero picked up the pictures and motioned for Duo to follow him.
The surveillance manager pointed out the short and stocky man that could only be Hendrickson. His hair was the color of mud, and as the pilots approached Duo could see the man had eyes that matched.
Hendrickson's only job was to fish out threats and report them. That's why he was surprised as hell when Captains Yuy and Maxwell asked him to join them in the nearby conference room. He gulped when the door was closed and locked. Neither one of these agents were known to have much patience or much mercy when it came to incompetence, and he wondered what he had done to make them angry.
"Sit Hendrickson," Heero commanded, "We have a situation that we need more information on."
Hendrickson knew better than to disobey a direct order from a former gundam pilot. He sat down and waited for the questions. He nearly jumped when Captain Maxwell slammed a pile of photographs down in front of him. He recognized the pictures of course. Colonel Une had been curious as to what the Vice Foreign Minister was doing on her spare time. What he had found was that she was having a bit of fun with a good looking girl. When Hendrickson remembered that Relena Peacecraft-Yuy was married to the man leaning on the wall across from him he gulped again. Agent Yuy was only slightly more deadly than Agent Maxwell. He noticed that the pair of angry young men were waiting for him to begin his tale.
"I was asked to tail Mrs. Peacecraft-Yuy to determine what she was doing in her spare time. I do not know who the young lady in the pictures is, but Colonel Une assured me the girl is no threat to the Vice Foreign Minister. She seemed highly amused by the photos. They entered the hotel you see there separately and left the same way. I stopped taking pictures before they got too lewd, but they did go all the way. Who is the dark haired girl? Colonel Une never did tell me," Hendrickson looked like he was completely unaware of what he had just said.
"My. Wife!" Duo growled slowly and deliberately. Hendrickson paled considerably under Duo's wrathful gaze.
"Get out," Heero dismissed him. Hendrickson scurried out of the room like a rat, and Heero closed the door as he left. Heero stared patiently at the still-pacing Duo and then took out his phone. He dialed a number and waited.
"Nora. Heero here, let me speak with Relena please," a pause, then, "Relena. I wish to have dinner with the Maxwells at Narukami's tonight. Will seven be acceptable? All right then. No, I will make the reservations myself. See you later," Heero closed his phone and turned back to Duo.
"What was that about?" Duo asked.
"Confronting them on neutral ground," Heero told him before dialing another number and putting the phone to his ear, "Yes, I would like a table for four at seven o'clock this evening. Name? Heero Yuy. Yes, that Heero Yuy. All set then? Thanks."
"Amazing the weight that name carries now, huh?" Duo asked sympathetically.
"Call Hilde, tell her to meet us at the restaurant at seven," Heero ignored Duo's question and walked out of the room. Duo presumed he was walking back to their shared office and the work he had been doing prior to this upset.
Duo dialed the phone in his hand and put it to his ear, "Hilde babe? Meet me and the Yuy's at Narukami's at seven, okay? Yeah, love you too," Duo had never said words that felt more weighted. Did she still love him?
Heero looked up as Duo walked into the room and closed the door. Duo stared at his partner after he had plunked down in his office chair. Heero returned the stare for a bit before speaking.
"Are we going to stay with them?" he asked.
"We can show them the photos. Then we can ask if they're in love. If they are in love, well, that's it for me. I can't stay with someone who's in love with someone else. I don't think you can either. Is this our fault?" Duo asked, shaking his head slightly.
"We're gone a lot. They knew that when they married us. Men like us really have no room for women who are outside our profession. Look at Wufei: he and Sally have been living together for two years now and are working on their second child. They handle it fine. But then again, Sally has been a soldier for as long as we can remember. She understands the hours and all the baggage that comes with being an agent. Hilde and Relena needed us around and we couldn't be that for them. I don't think we have any right to be surprised or upset," Duo was amazed that Heero could even think in those terms.
"Sometimes you surprise me, Heero. When did you get so deep about relationships?"
"Duo, there's a lot you do not know about me," Heero smirked.
"I'm not upset, and that's the worst part. I should be upset, and I'm not! Maybe part of me knew it was too good to be true. Maybe part of me knew it would not last, I guess. I felt a little distance between us, but I just chalked it up to how much I've been away lately. So, what do we do, just step aside?" Duo leaned his head on one hand and blinked slowly.
"I don't know that it will be that easy. Relena is a very public person. If it came out that she was the one cheating, it would be very bad for her political position. The people do not like a cheater. She has a reputation to maintain. But you're right I can't be with her if she loves Hilde. But, if I were to fall out of love with her, public opinion would not waver. They would hate me and be sympathetic to Relena, insuring her position. I could care less what they think of me," Heero shrugged.
"Well," Heero could see the gears in Duo's head working, "What if Heero Yuy fell in love with his longtime partner and best friend?"
"Well, Hilde would move in with Relena, and you would need a place to stay. Why don't you move in with me?" Duo asked.
"We could pretend to be having an affair. Hilde would leave to move in with Relena, and you could move in with me. I know you have never been big on the whole mansion way of living," Heero snorted in agreement, "And that way they can be together without anyone suspecting anything. Two women supporting each other after a devastating breakup would not attract much attention," Duo spelled it out, and Heero was impressed to find out that it made perfect sense for once.
"Are we seriously talking about losing our wives like it is some kind of mission?" Heero asked the braided man.
"I didn't know that being separated would come to us so easily," Heero pointed out.
"Neither did I," Duo's thoughts and feelings were sparring within him. His brain was telling him that he should be … something. Mad? Sad? Betrayed? Depressed? But his feelings were telling him that he was none of those things. His feelings were telling him that this was right, and that it had been a long time coming. He knew then that they were doing the right thing.
They told Quatre and Trowa about it, of course. The two fellow agents were further removed from field work than Heero and Duo, but they all still tried to have lunch together at least once a week. Quatre volunteered to go to Heero and Relena's estate while they were out to dinner so that he could gather a lot of Heero's personal belongings. Heero gave him the pass keys and a list of the things he would be needing. They agreed to meet up at the same hotel Hilde and Relena had used for their trysts at about ten o'clock that evening.
After a shower in the locker room of the HQ and a change into the nice clothing they both kept in their lockers for occasions such as this Heero and Duo climbed into Heero's SUV and sped towards their dinner destination.
The outside architecture of Narukami's resembled a traditional Shinto shrine that could still be found in ancient parts of what used to be the Far East. But the inside was a blend of eastern and western interior design influences with comfortable leather chairs and bamboo floors. Wooden fountains of every shape and size were scattered throughout the restaurant, lending a musical tinkling to the air, mixing with the soft music that was piped in through hidden speakers. Heero and Duo approached the sleek front counter and waited for the host to acknowledge them.
"Welcome to Narukami's, can I help you?" the portly man glanced negligently at them and fiddled with the reservation list in front of him. It could take months sometimes to get a reservation at this restaurant, but being the husband of the Vice Foreign Minister always carried some weight. It certainly had earlier in the day when Heero had made this reservation.
"Table for four at seven, name is Heero Yuy," Heero informed the man.
"Ah yes, Mr. Yuy! Follow Alisha over there, she will take you to your table," Alisha was a slim girl with nice hips. Her black skirt swished around her ankles as she walked in tall black heels. Duo winced in sympathy for her poor feet. Not that he had ever worn heels, but still, damn those shoes looked like they hurt!
Instead of sitting across from each other like they normally did, Heero and Duo sat next to each other. It would be best to give off the impression that they were already together when Hilde and Relena finally showed up. The cocktail waitress came by and they both ordered the same kind of Japanese beer. As they sipped the beer quietly they awaited the arrival of their soon-to-be ex wives.
When Heero saw Duo's eyes grow nervous he knew that at least Hilde had arrived. He turned around in his seat and saw that Relena had arrived with her. Both men stood and greeted their wives politely. Relena looked regal in her royal blue suit, and Hilde looked more than nice in a little red dress.
Things stayed relatively quiet during their courses of yellowfin and unagi. By the time they had finished the last of the sushi rolls Relena and Hilde had just about had enough of the silence.
"Well," Relena cleared her throat, "what's the special occasion?"
"We have something to tell you that you will not like at all," Duo told them softly so the patrons could not hear them, "and we needed neutral ground to avoid a scene."
Heero reached for Duo's hand and pretended like he could not hear Relena gasp and place her hand over her mouth, "Duo and I are having an affair. I'm going to move in with him. In exchange, we would appreciate it if Hilde could move in with you, Relena."
"How long has this been going on?" Hilde asked, her face a little red.
"About six months," Duo volunteered. He and Heero had never decided on a time frame, but it sounded right to Duo.
"Well, I just do not know what to say!" Relena was talking softly but passionately, "You cheated on me, Heero Yuy?"
"I'm sorry Relena. But we were always gone, always together, and sometimes things like these happen. I hope that we can find a way to all get along after this. I still love you Relena, and I always will in some way. But I'm following my feelings. I want to be with Duo," Heero kept his face straight throughout the entire speech, and Duo was amazed at the control.
Hilde's jaw kept opening and closing, like she could not figure out what to say. Finally Duo spoke for her, "I know, I know. I am not supposed to lie. But, I just couldn't find it in my heart to tell you. I want you to be happy, Hilde. And I don't think I can make you happy anymore. I'm sorry."
He was sorry. Duo was sorry he had not seen the truth sooner. Duo was sorry he could not make his marriage work. Duo was sorry Heero was having to go through this too. But he would not back down. This was for the best.
"I think we should go. Hilde, we'll be out of the house for the night, to give you time to get your things. Relena really does have a large mansion, there should be plenty of room for you there. Quatre is already taking care of getting my things. Please, Relena, have the lawyer draw up the divorce papers as soon as possible. Hilde, I would advise you to do the same thing," and with that Heero rose, helping Duo up like any dutiful boyfriend would. They left without a backwards glance, leaving Mrs. Peacecraft-Yuy with the exorbitant bill. Duo reasoned that it would help her alleviate some of her guilt.
Once the men had left the restaurant Relena and Hilde just stared at each other.
"What was that?" Hilde asked, confused.
"I think that our husbands just left us, and it was their faults," Relena frowned slightly. Something was off. What is was she did not know.
"They were the ones having an affair?" Hilde asked.
"Apparently. I have not been around enough to really think about anything Heero has been doing," Relena gave Hilde a fond smile and grabbed her hand, "But look at it this way, we can be together now, and we did not have to dirty our hands to do it."
"Yeah, we can be together. I'm going to live in your mansion! With you!" Hilde was all of a sudden excited. She had loved Duo at one time, but it was hard to love someone who was never around. Relena was her present and her future, and that future looked wide open.