Thirteen

After Duo snapped out of his near catatonia, Heero got them the hell out of that room. Duo was exhausted and emotionally drained. It was two days before he would even talk about it. Sally came to see him, examined him and declared him fit, but entreated him, well begged him, actually, to see a therapist. Duo reluctantly agreed. After he punched Heero in the jaw for forcing him into that dark room."Immersion therapy, my ass!" he declared after Heero told him why he had done it. Sally had balled out the young man quite thoroughly as well. "What you did was foolish, irresponsible and-damn it you're lucky it worked!"


A month later found both agents working together on a case quite amicably; their relationship had resumed its friendly overtones, but there was a new closeness that existed between them, born from a mutual experience of suffering.


Heero was typing intently. Duo stared at his partner, trying to figure out how to say what he wanted to say. Finally he just went over and sat at the edge of Heero's desk. Heero looked up, surprised. "Heero, I never did thank you properly for helping me-before. Thanks, buddy."

"I thought that punch was your thanks."

Duo chuckled. "Still sore over that? Geez, 'Ro, I said I was sorry. You have to admit that it was a rotten trick."

"Hai-but, it worked."

"Yeah? Well, what if it didn't?"

"But it did."

"I realize that. But it might not have."

"But it did."

Duo huffed, exasperated. "D'ya have ta be so single minded?"

"Yes." But it was said with a shy smile, one that Duo had seen before and began wondering about. "Say, buddy, do you think you'd like to, that is, I mean-will you, um........."

"Get to the point, baka."

"Can we-um, can we go out-like as on a date?"

"Yes, we can."

Two months later, Duo and Heero were still dating, falling in love, and true to his word, Heero never let Duo be alone again.