Title: A Night by the Riverfront
Pairings: 1 equals 2
Disclaimer: I don't own or have any claim to Gundam Wing, characters or logos or affiliations. They belong to Sunrise/Bandai. I do not own or have any claim to the Peace Fountain or the Detroit River.
Notes: This is for HostileCrayon because she needs some good old comfort!
Word Count: 2,264
A Night by the Riverfront
"What's wrong?" Heero asked, as he turned the television off and stood from the couch.
Duo grabbed his open duffle bag by the end of Heero's bed and shoved his school shirt roughly into it, catching the button on the zipper. Frustrated, he jammed the white cotton arm sleeve roughly into the duffle and threw the arm strap over his shoulder blade.
"Nothing." Duo huffed as the smiling Relena, who had just entered the bachelor apartment moments before, sat down on the couch looking very pleased with herself. "I've got to go to work."
"You don't start for another hour." Heero stepped toward the angered youth who sat in the hallway with his bag near his side slipping his grey socked feet into his green tennis shoes.
"I like to be early." Duo tightly, and with an exaggerated motion, tied his laces and stood. Dusting the seat of his pants out of habit (for dust was hard to find in Heero's apartment), he reached for the doorknob and twisted it, swinging the door open.
"That's a lie; you're usually late…Duo!" Heero's words were lost in the hallway as Duo's retreating braid whipped around the corner to the elevators. "Come back!"
"What are you doing here?" Duo casually leaned on the door frame of the back loading door of the restaurant where he was a dishwasher. Duo looked around the back parking lot, making it seem as he if was looking for someone in particular. When he couldn't find that someone he lazily made eye-contact with Heero. "Where's her majesty?"
"I'm here to walk you home. I made Relena leave shortly after you left."
"Congratulations." Duo pushed off the door framed and stared down at his dirty work books. He slung his duffle bag on his shoulder and made to push past Heero, but Heero wouldn't move.
"Nothing." This was just not his night. Duo didn't feel like talking about what was pissing him off so much because he wasn't even sure why it made him so angry. So Relena, miss thinks-she's-the-queen-of-the-universe-and-the-only-one-heero-should-ever-spend-any-time-with, showed up right when he was getting comfortable with Heero on the couch. So Heero jumped up to get the door and when he returned didn't sit pressed against Duo like he was before said queen of the universe showed up. That shouldn't be enough to make him this pissed off!
"Look, I've just got a lot of shit on my mind, okay? And I just don't want to talk about it. Especially here." Duo looked over his shoulder at his fellow coworkers who were either punched out and talking around their tiny square lockers, or finishing the last minute clean-up.
Heero had a feeling Duo was upset with him somehow, and he just wanted to make it right. If only he could get Duo to talk to him about what had put him in a foul mood. He wouldn't mind taking a detour on his walk to Duo's orphanage if it meant a little bit of privacy for the two of them.
"Fine. I'll walk you home." Heero backed away from the door, giving Duo room to step down and out of the building.
"Oh, whatever." Duo adjusted the strap of his duffle bag and walked out into the parking lot. He followed Heero who wasn't going their normal route. They walked in silence. Their shoes hitting the pavement and the crickets were the only sounds besides the distant laughter and the hum of cars racing down the street on the far side of the parking lot. Neither boy said a word until Heero and Duo had cleared the long lot and walked through the tiny brush appearing at a small dirt road on the other side. They crossed the road and walked along a chain link fence for a while until they came across an entrance.
"What's been on your mind—"
"Why are we going through the park? It takes longer."
Heero furrowed his brow at Duo as he lead him into the dark and almost deserted park. Normally, during the day, the park was full of wonderful colours with the flowers in bloom and people having picnics or rollerblading by the riverfront. Swimming wasn't permitted due to the terrible undertow, but on some days there were people set up on the other side of the railing with fishing gear and lawn chairs. But at night, it was quiet and peaceful with just a few couples here and there.
"Whatever. It's just…you know, I've been thinking lately. Just about stuff. That's all."
They walked along the winding path, past bushes trimmed in the resemblance of animals, flower baskets and people dancing. Heero was leading him to the riverfront path.
"Obviously this stuff is bothering you or you wouldn't be in such a bad mood."
"Yeah, it's bothering me a little."
"Are you going to tell me what it is?"
"No." Duo looked across the river at a different country as they reached the sidewalk. Littered across the riverfront were those large binoculars that you had to pay to use, but the river wasn't too large and Duo could see the other side clearly. In fact, on a quite night when the river was calm and there was no breeze, if Duo listened hard he could hear someone shouting from the other side.
Currently the American city on the other side of the river was speckled with lights. Business buildings, street cars and street lights, arenas, they all shone brightly back at Duo as he and Heero continued walking in silence for a while.
The tress rustled and a couple on bikes sped past them.
"Is it me?"
"No…yes—no. I dunno. It's Relena more than you."
"Are you going to elaborate?" Heero had figured as much, since it was Relena's presence that caused Duo to leave in such a hurry.
"Look, there's just certain things," Duo began, gesturing wildly, "you think to yourself that you should never say out loud—no matter how much you want to."
"Because they're rude, hurtful, immature and selfish things…you know."
"No, I don't know." Heero looked up, for he had been staring at the brick path the entire way. He could see, around the bend, the Peace Fountain lit with an array of spectacular colours. It gushed up, then fell down a little to have twelve little spouts squirt out the side. It reminded him of a flower. "Tell me."
"Goddamned it, Heero, I don't want to."
"Do you hate me?"
"Never. Why would you think that?"
Heero shrugged. "Is this all that's bothering you then…Relena?"
"No." Duo stopped walking and let his duffle bag slide off his shoulders. Heero could see that he was completely agitated.
"I'm seventeen, right?" Duo sat on park bench next to his duffle. His legs were spread and he just hung his head between them, shaking it. He then looked up and, raking his hands through his bangs, sighed and propped his elbows on his knees and supported his head with his palms. "I'm still living at the orphanage. No one's adopted me; I haven't found a foster home. Nothing. No one wants me. And I know the church doesn't have age restrictions on orphans, but the government does. I was kinda hoping to get adopted, find a home, but I'm turning eighteen soon and then I'll be out of the system…legally an adult. I guess I just wanted to be part of a family; somebody's son, you know?"
"Hn, you just want to belong." Heero took a seat on the cool bench next to Duo. He sat leaning back with one arm stretched along the back of the bench watching Duo.
"Which is why I kinda hate Relena." Duo was still slouched forward, but he turned his head to look Heero in the eyes. "You're all I have, and she's always trying to take you from me."
"She tries, but I have to interest in her. You know that."
"You don't?" Duo sat up now interested in the conversation.
"No. It would be illogical." Heero almost snorted at the thought of it. He had never shown any interest, or given Relena any reason to think he had shown interest in her, and yet she still followed him around in an almost stalking, almost illegal, sort of way. He found her to be sly, demanding, sometimes unfounded in her arguments. He thought her to be naive and overly concerned with appearance and how she was perceived by others.
"It's a bad match. She doesn't attract me in any way physically, mentally or emotionally."
"I get it." Duo slouched again.
"But why would that bother you so much?"
"Don't you get it, Heero?" Duo sat straight again, and this time turned on the bench to face Heero. "You're all I have."
"Hn." Heero nodded. "I get it now."
"Do you really?" Duo's eyes were wide as his head moved slightly from side to side as he spoke.
"Yes." Heero inched toward Duo and took his soft hand into his own. He held it up to his chest and pressed Duo's palm flat against him. "I'm where you belong."
"Huh?" Duo felt a little dazed all of a sudden. He looked from Heero to his hand and realized that Heero understood better than he was giving him credit for, though Duo wouldn't have put it in those words exactly. But he hadn't always been good with words anyway.
"You want the love of a family, but you must know I can't give you that—" Heero let Duo's hand drop.
"But you have, Heero. We're like brothers."
"We're nothing like brothers."
"What? Why?" Heero's cold words hit Duo and he felt as if he had been thrown into the river and had become another victim to the vicious undertow.
"Brothers, Duo, don't fall asleep holding hands." Heero inched toward Duo again, and reached for his braid that hung over his shoulder and down his chest. "Brothers don't wash each other's hair. They don't dance with each other in clubs." Heero let the braid go and was now sitting so close he was practically on top of Duo. "They don't sit on each other's laps and massage each other's backs—"
"What are you getting at, Heero?"
"Brothers don't look at each other the way I look at you. The way I've seen you look at me." Heero was on his knees now, leaning over a very confused looking Duo who seemed to be having a problem processing what Heero was saying.
"What?" Duo's mind felt thick and he was having problems concentrating. He couldn't quite link together what Heero was saying with an appropriate response.
"Baka." Heero nudged Duo's nose with his own, and he heard Duo's breath catch. "We're in love. I'll never be able to fill the void where you're parents love should be, but I love you in other ways Duo Maxwell."
"When did you become such a poet?"
"I'm serious, Duo. I've thought about this for a while. You're my balance. You're my other half, my completion. Somehow I've managed to piss you off tonight and I'm not bringing you back home until you understand that there will be more times when I aggravate you so much you'll want to shake the life out of me—"
"Shh. There will also be times when you aggravate me so much I'll want to stuff that gorgeous braid down your throat. But there will also be times when I'll be there to pick you up and dust you off. I'll be there to wipe the tears from your eyes and hold you when you're cold. And when you're sick I'll make you soup and comb your hair and let you have the remote…" Heero smiled when Duo laughed. "But I'd do anything for you, kill for you, and die for you. I'll never betray you. I'll always love you. Be mine, Duo…please, be mine."
"Heero…" Duo couldn't think of the right way to answer. He bit his lip as tears welled in his eyes and threatened to pour down his face. He was trying to control his breathing because he knew at any minute he was going to start crying. But Heero was waiting for an answer! "Heero…I…" Duo closed his eyes and took in a deep breath.
He would be lying if he said he wasn't surprised by Heero's sudden poetics and romanticism. But he could tell, that under that beautiful and yet slightly awkward speech, Heero was offering Duo the world. He could only think of one way to reply. So he leaned forward and brushed his lips against Heero's lightly before letting out an audible cry. He had wanted to kiss Heero for as long as his passionate heart could remember. So he pressed his lips firmly against the soft and plump lips of Heero, who was still kneeling over him.
Heero raked his fingers into the hair at the base of Duo's head and held it there for support as he ravished Duo's mouth with his lips and tongue. Heero licked Duo's bottom lip and then coaxed his lips apart with his tongue; it was hot and salty from Duo crying. Heero moaned as Duo's tongue responded to his before pulling away slowly.
"Does that answer your question?" Duo asked, smirking.
Heero nodded with a pleasant smile on his face. And he knew that for lifetimes he never lived, and for time that had yet to exist, Duo Maxwell was his.