Duo isn't gay; Heero is.
AU-Duo and Heero are best friends. Duo has a girlfriend who is steering him toward matrimony. Heero begins dating when he realizes that his infatuation with Duo will always be in vain.
1x2-you'll see /2xH/ 3x4/ 5x?
Again my fascination with the get-together genre.
"Hi-DMax? Hi, my name is Della and I am a first time caller."
Duo rolled his eyes, thankful that the caller could not see him through the microphone. "What can I do for you, Della?"
"Well-I was just wondering, my boyfriend Fre-er, F. seems a bit distant lately. I mean we get along okay, especially where the sex is involved," she paused and Duo figured she must be embarrassed, "but I don't know-I, I ," another pause, this one tremulous as if she were on the verge of tears, "I think he's cheating on me. He just doesn't put the effort into our relationship that I do."
There was the sound of sniffling over the airwaves. Duo sighed. "I hate to say this, Della, but I host a sports talk show-not an advice show. I'm sorry. If you have a question about basketball?" He cringed, aware of how callous that sounded. Della wailed in anguish babbling on about her boyfriend troubles and how now she felt like a complete idiot having called a sports show instead of a lovelorn advice show.
"So what did you tell the poor girl?" Heero asked as he stirred honey into a steaming cup of black tea. Heero had recently discovered a sweet tooth and had taken to sweetening unexpected things, so the tea was fairly normal.
"Well, since she did not want to discuss the latest basketball scores I told her the only thing I could: to dump the guy. It sounded as if he was going to dump her so the least she could do is beat him to the punch."
Heero looked up at him, surprised. "Really? Interesting advice."
"Huh, the way I see it, when two people get together, it isn't always a mutual feeling. I mean, you might like each other, even have some things in common but that doesn't mean you're going to end up together, does it?"
Heero appeared to be considering what Duo said. "Yes, but there is attraction, affection, no?"
"Of course-at least the attraction part. Affection might be more elusive."
"Hmm, I don't think I'd want to date someone I did not feel affection for." He sighed, already tiring of the subject. For Heero, the topics of attraction and affection were uncomfortable when discussing them with Duo Maxwell, the object of his unrequited affection. Heero had fallen in love with Duo shortly after they met. But Duo was straight. It did not stop them from being best friends and Duo had no clue about how Heero really felt.
"Of course not," Duo was saying, "there has to be attraction, and I guess some affection. But sometimes it's just one-sided, ya know? And that's what tells me it isn't right. I have seen so many people-at work, in passing, when I went to school, who were heartbroken over a relationship. What I told that girl on the radio was just the truth-the guy probably wasn't into her."
"But if you wait around for the perfect relationship you could miss out," Heero said, somewhat distracted.
Duo grinned. "I know. I'm just having fun."
"With Hilde?" Heero wondered.
Duo shrugged. "Hilde is special, we have a lot of chemistry, but I dunno," he trailed off not entirely sure what they were talking about anymore. "I care about her, more than any other girl I've known."
Heero knew that Duo did indeed care for the cute, perky brunette. He was very protective of her, but Hilde could hold her own.
"I have to go," Heero suddenly announced. Duo looked up from the movie section of the newspaper, surprised. It was Thursday and as was their weekly custom they met at the coffee shop near the radio station where Duo worked. They would have coffee and tea, Heero would have a bagel with cream cheese and Duo usually had a bear claw and when they were done they would hang out: hit a movie, go shoot some pool, get pizza, whatever.
Duo always kept Thursdays open for Heero, because Friday and Saturday nights were for girlfriends, or in his case, Hilde. "What do you mean, you have to go? It's Thursday," he said unnecessarily. Heero at least looked apologetic. "I know and I'm sorry, but I have a, well it's kind of..."
"What?" Duo demanded. Heero grinned sheepishly. "I have a sort of, date."
"A-date?" Duo blinked, looking a little deer caught in the headlights-ish. "Since when do you have a date?"
"Now? I really do have to go, Duo. Sorry. I'll make it up to you, promise."
"But," was all he managed to get out as he watched his friend dash out of the coffee shop.
Duo rolled of of Hilde, panting. "Whew! That was a good one. Okay for you, Hillie?" Hilde rolled her eyes. "Very romantic, Duo."
"What? I'm trying to be attentive."
"Well, you don't have to make it so, so-casual!"
Hilde frowned at him. Sometimes Duo could be such a dope. "Yes, you were. I'm your girlfriend, you know."
"Yeah," Duo said, feeling his throat constrict a little. Hilde sat up and pulled her nightshirt back on. Duo grinned at the sight of Snoopy with a bullet hole in his ear. Hilde designed it herself-no floral nighties for her. That was one of the things he liked most about Hilde, that she wasn't a girlie girl. At the moment what she was was annoyed. Duo leaned over and kissed her softly. "Sorry Hil-I guess my way of expressing how much I like being with you wasn't romantic."
"What's with you tonight, anyway? You've been in a mood. And why are you here? I thought you were supposed to hang out with Heero tonight?"
He sat up and now he was frowning. "I know. He had a date tonight."
"Did he? That's great!" Hilde had been hoping for this for a while. She did not dislike Heero, really, but she did wish he and Duo would spend less time together. She was trying to gently steer Duo in the direction of a deeper commitment. To be blunt, she wanted to marry Duo. She was going to turn twenty-two in May and she wanted to get her life in order. Heero was sort of an obstacle because Duo was constantly seeking him out to do things with. His excuse was that Heero needed a good friend, since that kooky guardian of his, J, had socialized him so weirdly. He insisted on including Heero on some of their outings; supposedly to try and give him exposure to other people. It hadn't worked too well so far; Heero Yuy was somewhat shy.
Hilde moved closer to Duo and snuggled into his side. "Duo one of these days we're going to have to discuss our future plans."
"Well, c'mon are you planning on dating me forever?"
"That sounds great."
Hilde sat up and punched his arm. "Ow! What the hell didja do that for?" Duo rubbed his arm. What a lousy way to end an evening. Hilde scowled at him. "I pulled that punch, you big baby!"
"You're stronger than you think. Anyway-we've discussed this. I'm not sure I'm ready to get married yet."
"So you keep saying. We have been serious for over nine months. I want to get married." She suddenly looked troubled. "You love me, don't you?"
"Of course I do! Oh, Hillie-if I was ever going to marry someone it'd be you. I just don't know right now."
Hilde sighed. She would have to drop it now. She knew Duo well enough that nagging would only make him dig his heels in.
Duo tested his coffee and found it still too hot to do more than take the minutest sip. Heero was supposed to meet him this evening. Last week he had been too busy at work to really catch up with his friend. He didn't even know how Heero's "date" turned out.
"Why are you grimacing?"
"Huh?" He blinked up at Heero in surprise. It was seldom that anyone could sneak up on him but Heero was usually the only one who could. "Hey, Heero. How've ya been?"
"Good, Duo." Heero smiled. He was used to the fact that Duo did not answer or acknowledge questions sometimes. Heero sat down with his coffee shop usual. "I heard your show today. You really think that Huey Dobbs should be thrown out of football?"
"Hey, man, he was habitually abusing steroids, so everything he did was accomplished through enhancers. Ruins the sport for everyone else, I mean, what would the outcome of the Sabers games have been if he wasn't on them? He totally fucked up."
Heero held his hands up in surrender. "Okay, okay. You win. Sorry I brought it up."
Duo tasted his coffee again. Better. "So-uh, how did that date that you ditched me for go?"
"It went really well. I really like Cal."
Duo grimaced slightly. "Cal?"
Heero ignored the look and the tone Duo was giving him. "Yes. Short for Calvin. We saw a movie-you know that new one with Jet Adams?"
Duo sighed. He knew the one all right and he loved space adventure movies. He'd thought that he and Heero would go see it together. He could barely hide his disappointment. Heero studied him intently, sensing that his friend was upset. "Is something wrong, Duo?"
"Oh. Okay. Are you sure? You seem upset about something."
"I guess I just thought we were supposed to see that movie, that's all."
"Oh. I'm sorry. We can still see it-I don't mind; Cal and I didn't watch much of it," he said with a shy grin. Duo's eyes went wide. "I really did not need to know that."
They played a few rounds of pool instead at their favorite haunt, a sports bar called the End Zone. Duo did not feel like seeing the movie now, it had a taint to it, like hand me downs. After a few minutes of Heero extolling Cal, short for Calvin's virtues, Duo's mood soured considerably and he decided to call it a night, much to Heero's puzzlement.
"Go, go, go!" Duo yelled out to the wing man with the puck. The L3 Penguins were ahead three to two and the defense from the L2 Puffins was on. The hockey player swung his stick. The puck slid in to the goal and the arena went wild. "Yes! YES!" Duo yelled out enthusiastically. Quatre sat beside him, nose in an e-reader. Duo looked over at his second best friend. "Aw Quat-ya gotta read at a hockey game?"
The sandy-haired Arab favored him with an arch look. "I believe I told you for," he mimed counting on his fingers, "eight thousand, four hundred and twenty-three times, that I do not enjoy violent sports such as a hockey fight."
"Game-Quat, a hockey game."
Quatre snorted elegantly. "Says you. There have been six fights already and it's only the first half!"
Duo sighed. "Period, not half. There are three periods, Quatre."
"Heh. Not in my world-twenty-nine sisters, remember?"
Duo chuckled. Heero was supposed to have been at the game with him tonight but he called Duo earlier at the radio station to beg off, saying vaguely that "something" had come up. Duo had been irritated at the time; Heero was ditching him a lot lately.
There was a break in between periods so Duo and Quatre went to the concession stand for a beer. Quatre looked around dubiously. "Do they have wine here?"
Duo rolled his eyes. He should have known better than to invite his well-bred friend to a sports event. "No, Quat-just beer."
"Ah. Okay then."
Duo ordered two Lagrange Special brews. I should've invited Trowa instead.
"You should have invited Trowa instead," Quatre said smiling as though he had read Duo's mind. Duo knew from a rational point of view that his friend's empathy was all about feeling the feelings, but sometimes...Quatre could be downright spooky. He took a long swig of his beer. "How is your better half, anyway?"
Trowa was Quatre's lover and Duo's third best friend. He had no problem with two of his best friends being gay and involved, on the contrary Duo recognized that they were perfect for each other. It pleased him because he introduced them at a media party.
The Barton-Bloom Circus that was managed by Trowa and his sister, Catherine Bloom was invited along with several sports teams in an effort to celebrate "Bodies in Motion" week. For Trowa, meeting Quatre had been life-altering. They began dating shortly after and now were domestic partners. All thanks to Duo.
"Sorry for dragging you out tonight, buddy. I know this isn't your scene. Thanks for coming anyway."
"What did happen to Heero, anyway?" Quatre asked. He knew that Heero was Duo's hanging out buddy of choice, even over Trowa. Duo shrugged. "He said something came up. I just don't get it, I mean he keeps bailing on me lately. I'm starting to think maybe he doesn't want to hang out with me any more."
"Why do you think that is?" Quatre rubbed his chest absently, feeling the dull ache of Duo's hurt.
"He met a guy."
"Yeah-some chump named 'Cal' short for Calvin."
"You see what?" Duo's irritation was evident in his tone. Quatre shrugged. "Heero has been alone for a while now. Um-didn't you tell me that he recently came out to you?"
"Yeah, but I don't see what that has to do with anything."
"No-it's just that he is probably beginning to feel less shy about it, starting to test the waters, so to speak. It's a good thing really."
"Not to me it isn't. How does he know he can trust this guy? He could get hurt ya know."
"Well, that's true of any romantic relationship."
"Well, a pal shouldn't ditch a pal for a date with some, some, dweeb!"
"Don't you sometimes cancel on him to do things with Hilde?"
"That's different. Hilde is my girlfriend."
"I don't see the difference, Duo."
"There just is. It's time to get back-second period's starting," he grumbled.
"Duo-are you even listening to me?"
"Huh? Sorry, Hil. What were you saying?"
Hilde frowned. Duo was off in space again. This was happening more and more of late. "I wanted to know when you were planning on taking your vacation this year."
This question raised the hairs on his neck. "I haven't given it much thought, Hillie-babe. Why?"
"I want to plan ahead. I thought we could go somewhere together. Oh, Duo, don't you want to go somewhere romantic-an island paradise where we can soak up the sun and drink rum punch by the poolside?"
"You obviously have something in mind," Duo said dryly. They had never taken a vacation before. Sure they had done the bed and breakfast weekend thing once or twice, but now she was bucking for a whole week and it set Duo's teeth on edge. Hilde was leaning more and more toward marriage and Duo was not ready. At all.
Slim, strong arms encircled his waist. "C'mon Du-bear, it'd be such fun." Hilde began kissing his neck and shoulders. He relaxed into her embrace. He wasn't about to agree, but who was he to turn down hidden agenda sex?
Heero paced his apartment. He wondered for the hundredth time how he had made such a mess of things.
There was a knock on the door. At last, Heero sighed in relief as he went to open the front door. Chang Wufei entered looking at Heero with a critical eye. "What's up Yuy? I was studying some Chinese prose that I plan on reciting at the next open mic."
"I-I have made a mess of things, Wufei."
"You know how I feel about Duo?"
Chang sighed and took a seat on the couch. This again. "Yes, Yuy, I am painfully aware."
"Well-I took your advice, and now look!"
"Wait, you took my advice about what exactly?"
"To move on and forget about Duo!"
Chang nodded, recalling that conversation months ago. "It was good advice, Yuy, I stand by it. So what is the problem?"
"The problem," Heero ground out, rather agitated, "is that I started dating."
"Huh, that does not sound problematic to me. Dating is a positive step forward."
Heero rubbed his eyes wearily. "It is a problem. I have been dating this guy Calvin hoping that Duo would miss our outings together and maybe, maybe he would see me in a different light."
Wufei shook his head ruefully. "You know that Duo is straight-why do you keep torturing yourself?"
"I can't help how I feel, Wufei. That's not even the worst of it."
"No-Cal is very interested in me. He wants commitment. He wants more physical intimacy than we've already had."
"Forgive me, but-just what the hell is wrong with that? Okay, maybe the commitment part is a bit much, but why not be more intimate? You're not made of stone, Heero."
Heero's expression softened at his friend's use of his first name. It was times like this that reminded him of just what a good friend Wufei really was, under the gruff, seemingly unfeeling exterior. But sympathy was not what he wanted or needed. He needed advice. "I don't want to be more intimate with Cal. I don't really like him that much."
"I see. Well, then just stop seeing him."
"I can't do that."
"Well, it would, I think it would hurt his feelings."
"Sometimes that is inevitable. Better to let him down easy now. If you continue he may become more attached and then it will hurt him even more when you finally break it off."
Heero chewed his lip as he considered this. He did not want to hurt Cal, that was very true. He also did not want to keep seeing him. But what could he do? He compared Cal to Duo all the time, in his head, of course. Duo was wittier, more compassionate, smarter, more fun to hang around with. If only Duo were gay. Heero's life would be perfect.
"I guess you're right, Wufei. I have to break it off."
"It's the decent thing to do, Yuy. Let's watch the game, eh?"
It was almost nine o'clock and Duo was annoyed. Heero was supposed to have met him at The End Zone an hour ago. His vidphone was on mailcall, irritating him further. He climbed the staircase leading up to Heero's fourth floor apartment quickly, long cinnamon braid swinging wildly as he took the steps nearly two at a time. When he arrived at the fourth floor service door he opened it slowly, trying to recover his breath. Either I'm out of shape or I'm just too damn mad. A door creaked open. It was Heero's door. When he heard two voices Duo retreated to just inside the door so he could eavesdrop. Unfortunately he could not really hear anything, but what he saw made his heart ache and stomach clench: a tall, dark haired man was kissing Heero. Then he made his way to the elevator and when it opened he disappeared into it.
Duo closed his eyes. Heero was serious about this guy. He kept brushing him off to be with Cal, short for Calvin and Duo was surprised by how much that hurt. You don't ditch your friends for dates.
Later that evening Duo went to Hilde's with a bouquet of daisies. She was pretty sore at him for balking on the vacation idea. He managed to smooth it over with her and as usual they made up between the sheets. But Duo left her place that night feeling miserable and the stupid thing was that he did not even really know why.
"Hilde, I said drop it-I mean it." Duo was in a bad mood. It was Saturday night, his normal night out with his girlfriend. Hilde cooked all his favorites, including a whole homemade apple pie, complete with vanilla ice cream. Then they watched a couple of vids-some ancient BC thing called My Big Fat Greek Wedding and an alleged comedy called Father of the Bride. There were bridal brochures scattered on her coffee table. Hilde was as subtle as a brick.
Hilde stood across from Duo, hands on her hips, never a good thing. She could scrap like a linebacker when she wanted to and generally Duo avoided confrontation.
He guessed it was due to his upbringing at Saint Jerome's, a Catholic boarding school/ orphanage. Children were either dumped there by parents too busy to be bothered or were flat out abandoned; had no family to take them in. Duo wasn't a rich diplomat's child, he was the latter. All his life he depended upon one person, himself. He learned not to antagonize the bigger kids if he wanted to stay out of the infirmary. But sometimes, his big mouth would write checks his body couldn't cash. Tonight was one of those big-mouthed nights.
Before he knew what was happening he laid into Hilde, accusing her of trying to manipulate him into marriage, called her scheming, duplicitous, deranged and a host of unflattering names.
His tirade came to an end when his jaw met her bony-knuckled fist. He landed on his ass in the middle of her living room floor and she ran off to her bedroom in tears.
Damn it, damn it, he lamented as he picked himself off the floor and headed toward the bedroom.
"Go away, Duo!" Hilde cried out tearfully.
"Aw, c'mon, Hillie-babe..."
"Don't call me that!"
"But, Hill-Hilde, come on babe, I'm sorry. Really."
"Go to hell!"
Eventually, but not now. "Honey, please. I was just in a bad mood. Let me in so I can show you how sorry I am. Please, babe."
He heard some scuffling. It sounded like she was opening dresser drawers or something. This was ridiculous. In the past three months these fights had been on the rise. He cared for Hilde a great deal, but the drama was wearing him down. Not to mention the fact that he really, really did not want to get married. Why couldn't she leave it alone and be happy with what they had?
The door opened a crack. Duo took it as an invitation. Hilde was sitting on her bed, wearing a red tee that had a picture of a cow with a circle and a slash through it. Her no bull shirt. That usually meant she wanted to talk. Once again, subtle as a brick.
"Why are you in a bad mood?"
"Huh?" Duo hadn't expected her to ask that, he thought she was going to bring up the marriage thing.
"You said you were in a bad mood. Why?"
Duo shrugged. "I guess it's this Heero thing."
"You mean, how he's been spending less time with you so he can date?"
"But it's a good thing, Duo. I mean, obviously Heero is growing up. People do that you know," she said wryly. Truthfully, she had been absolutely thrilled that Heero was dating. Guys who hung out regularly did not make good husbands-they were emotionally immature.
"Hilde, if you are implying that I need to grow up, I can assure you that my time on the streets, before the orphanage did that for me, don't worry. I just guess I miss hanging out with my best friend. Is that so wrong?" Duo wasn't stupid, he knew that Hilde resented the time he spent with Heero, but that was too bad. Heero was a true friend, despite this Cal situation and good friends were hard to find-you kept good friends.
"No," she sighed, "it's not wrong. But people do move on-like Heero seems to; you don't want him to be alone his whole life, do you?"
"He's not alone-he's got friends," Duo said. He's got me.
Hilde smiled. "Let's not spend our time talking about Heero when we can be making up."
Duo was used to the quick change of subject, and Hilde's mercurial moods. So he went with it.
"Get out," Hilde's voice ordered him coldly. Duo stared at her stupefied. What the fuck was going on? "Wha-Hilde, I don't..."
"Out!" Hilde gathered the bed covers tightly around her body. When Duo didn't move fast enough she kicked at him, causing him to fall out of bed, naked. "What the hell is the matter?"
Hilde eyed him and said caustically, "You figure it out-and don't call me until you do. Just get out! Now!"
"She kicked you out? Just like that?"
"Just like that. I don't know what she's so mad about."
Heero stirred his coffee. He'd been rather surprised when Duo called on what was traditionally girlfriend time, as named by his friend.
It occurred to him that they hadn't been seeing each other much, but then he'd been preoccupied with figuring out the best way to let Cal down gently and end their relationship. He had begun to have second thoughts, though. The guy wasn't that bad really and hell, at least he could get sex out of a relationship with him-he did have needs, after all.
In the end he couldn't go through with it. He might be a freak, but he wanted to care about someone before he made love, and he wanted it to be making love.
"Hey, Duo, you want to get out of here-see a movie?"
Duo smiled. It felt like old times, him and his best bud, hanging. "What's playing?"
Heero grinned. "Jet Adams-I could see that again."
"Yeah, sure, buddy."
A couple of weeks passed and Duo still hadn't called Hilde. She had told him not to, until he'd figured out what he'd done. He racked his brain but couldn't figure it out. They had fought, sure, but then they had made up in their usual way, frantic sex. Nothing unusual there. What had set her off?
And Duo's other problem wasn't solved either. He was reluctant to tell Heero how he felt about being ditched so often for this Calvin guy. He knew how dumb it sounded, how selfish. He knew logically that Heero had a right to a personal, romantic life, but he could not help feel put out; Heero was his friend, dammit. Sometimes he found himself wishing Heero was a chick-except for the being a guy thing, they had a good thing going. The thought made him chuckle.
The phone rang, scattering his thoughts. "Sports line, can I help you?"
"Hilde! Hey, how are you?"
"Obviously waiting for you to figure things out was a bust. Meet me at Mario's tonight for dinner?"
"Okay, babe-sounds good. I've missed you."
Hilde's reply was the soft click of the phone. Shit. Duo was dismayed. Hilde was not usually so abrupt. She was still angry and Duo still had no clue why.
Mario's was a little hole in the wall Italian restaurant that Duo and Hilde discovered early on in their relationship. The decor was cheesy: red and white checked tablecloths, wine bottles hung about the place, covered in a rainbow of wax. But the food was excellent.
Duo walked in, nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Hilde was already there seated at a small table in the back, watching him, emotionless. He tried a smile. "Hey."
"Hi, Duo. Sit down-don't make me stare up at you." Her voice was strained.
He gave her an odd look. "Okay," he said as he took the seat opposite her. He looked at her, appraising her. She looked weary. Beautiful, still, but weary. He hated to think that it might be because of him. He tried a little small talk . "I sure am hungry-maybe I'll try the chicken carbonara tonight."
"Duo-why haven't you called me?"
He grimaced. She wanted to get right to it. "It's like you said on the phone before," he replied, unable to lie, "I haven't figured it out yet."
Hilde rested her head against her hand. "I know-I was just trying to give you another chance."
"Chance? For what?"
"I don't know," she said tiredly. She huffed a breath. When something needed saying Hilde said it, that was just the kind of person she was. "Duo, we're wasting our time here. I'm breaking up with you."
Duo's eyes widened in dismay. "What? Come on, Hil-I know we've had our problems but we always work them out."
"That's just it Duo-we have problems. Love is not supposed to be this hard. I want things that you don't. If it was right we'd both be on the same page, but we're not. It has been good sometimes-I don't regret being with you, but, let's stop kidding ourselves, okay?"
"I don't know what to say," Duo said quietly, eyes downcast. He stared at his worn sneakers unseeingly, for the blur his tears were causing. Hilde reached over and gently caressed his hand. "Breaking up is sad Duo. I'm probably going to go home and cry and eat a gallon of ice cream. You can't really say that you love me, can you?"
"I do love you," he said hoarsely.
"Yeah-but you're not in love with me."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means, Duo, that when we were together that last time, when we were making love, you called out the wrong name at the end."
"What? I-there isn't another girl, Hil."
She sighed heavily. "I know that. You called out Heero's name."
Hilde left Duo, sitting catatonic at the restaurant where they had their first date.
Duo surveyed his apartment. It resembled the fallout of a cyclone. Or was it a tornado? Same difference, he figured. The surrounding mess was the result of his and Hilde's breakup, or more specifically, the cause of the breakup.
He bent to pick up papers strewn about in his maelstrom. The lamp was a goner-he was going to have to replace it and it wasn't even his, it came with the apartment. It had been two days of this willful destruction after his ill-fated dinner with Hilde at Mario's. Two days of denial, anger and incredulity. Now he was just worn out.
It was crazy. He could not remember saying anything intelligible in the throes of orgasm, much less Heero's name-god, he choked on the thought every time it tried to formulate in his brain. What did this mean? He wasn't gay. He wasn't.
He thought back to the last couple of days. Right before Hilde called him at work he's had the humorous thought that Heero would make an ideal girlfriend. Not that he was feminine in any way, but because they got along so well, enjoyed so many of the same things. But not the sex thing, he thought frantically. Never that.
So why then had he been so, yes, jealous, of Calvin? He told himself it was just that the guy was bogarting Heero, making him keep less and less company with his friends, okay so Duo was his best friend and as far as he knew Heero's only other friends were that Chinese guy, Chang and that ditzy blonde, Relena Pacemaker-er, whatever.
No, there had to be another rational, and in no way was he gay, explanation for that outburst with Hilde.
Duo looked around the apartment again, resolve to clean it up dissolving like sugar in hot tea. The hell with this, he thought as he grabbed his jacket.
He was going to see Heero.
Heero had fallen asleep on his couch watching a hockey game when the pounding on his front door reached the level where it could very well register on the Richter scale. He rubbed his eyes groggily and went to answer it, grumbling. "Hold on a minute-before you break the door down!" Wrenching it open he was surprised to see Duo standing in the doorway in mid-knock. "Duo?" he said confusion writ on his handsome features, "what the hell?"
"H-h-hey, Heero," Duo stuttered uncharacteristically, "c-can I come in?"
Heero stepped to one side and Duo entered.
"Where have you been-I have been calling you."
Duo turned away to avoid Heero's scrutiny. He decided to go with the truth. "Hilde broke up with me."
Heero sat down heavily on the sofa. "Oh, wow. Uh-I'm sorry, Duo."
Duo plopped down next to him. "Yeah."
"Do you want to, uh, talk about it?"
That forced a short laugh out of Duo. "No offense, buddy, but talking is not your strong point."
Heero frowned. Here he was trying to comfort his friend and he was being insulted? "I have improved at interpersonal communications," he said defensively. "Cal says I've come a long way in the last few weeks."
The mention of the interloper made Duo see red. "Is that so? What else does ole' Cal, short for Calvin have to say, now that he's such an expert on you?"
What? "What? Duo, I get the feeling that you don't like Cal which is pretty ridiculous since you've never even met. What is your problem? I mean, I would think that you'd be all upset about Hilde and all but instead you're all in my face about my, uh-friend."
Huh. He was getting better at communicating.
That was it. All the months of fights with Hilde, Heero ditching him for another guy, all his anxieties and insecurities floated to the top and exploded from his mouth. "I'm in your face? I'm in your face, pal-you don't even know what that is like! I got my girlfriend-well, ex-girlfriend badgering me to get married, leaving all kinds of bride magazines and hints and bribing me with sex and she doesn't listen when I say I don't want to get married, and then you keep dumping me for some stupid bastard, and I have to do things without my best friend and wonder if maybe you don't even want to be my friend and I'm afraid this loser is going to take you away from me and I don't even know why it hurts so much, but it does. And then Hilde and I get into a fight and the makeup sex apparently leads to me calling out the wrong name and she's so pissed she breaks up with me, but I don't even care," he paused to take a breath; Heero watching him wide-eyed and stunned, "I just realized that Hilde has the characteristics of the one I really want. She has dark, short hair, can knock out a two-hundred pound man with a single punch. Oh, my god..." he trailed off, sinking to his knees, then to the floor.
Heero knelt on the floor beside him, not knowing what to do and trying to make sense of Duo's jumbled tirade. One thing stood out.
"Duo?" he said in a cautious voice akin to someone trying to gentle a wild animal, "whose name did you call out?"
Duo mumbled something that even with Heero's excellent sense of hearing was inaudible. "Say again?"
"You," he croaked out miserably. "I called your name out, I called your name out during sex, with a woman."
Heero rocked back, startled, landing on his ass on the floor. "What," he whispered in disbelief.
"Hilde's been my substitute for you, all along," Duo said wonderingly, ignoring Heero.
"Duo," Heero breathed. "Just-Duo."
Not knowing what else to do, Heero got up and went into the kitchen leaving Duo and his catharsis on the living room floor. When he returned he had two bottles of beer and handed one to Duo who reached for it automatically. Duo downed half the drink gratefully. He turned violet eyes upward to look into Heero's deep blue ones. "I'm sorry for unloading all this crap on you Heero. I guess, I guess I sort of snapped," he said, scratching the side of his face in a nervous manner.
Heero snorted. He gestured to Duo with his beer bottle. "You really hate Calvin, don't you?"
Duo smirked. "I don't know him, like you said."
"He's not so bad-you might like him, you know." Heero barely concealed the smirk threatening to take over his face.
"Don't get carried away," Duo smirked back. Then his expression became serious. "What now?"
"For starters, why don't you stand-you're giving me a neck ache."
Duo rose to his feet. He and Heero were facing each other and for the first time Duo allowed himself to look at his friend, to really see him. Almost the same height he looked Heero in the eyes, blue eyes the color of the deep sea; they were beautiful. His face was handsome with even features and a trace of Japanese heritage. He was slim and muscular, but in a nice healthy-looking way. His hair was a deep brown hue that remained untamed. He had the sudden urge to reach out and run his fingers through Heero's bangs. He shook his head. Holy Hannah, how had he not noticed these things before?
He had always liked Heero's company, had always found his quiet, introspective personality intriguing along with Heero's subtle sense of humor.
Uncomfortable with Duo's staring and the long, now awkward silence, Heero fidgeted. "What is it-why do you keep staring at me like that?"
Duo colored slightly, but did not look away. "I just-it's like I'm seeing you in a whole new way. Do you mind?"
Heero smiled. He really had no idea. "I don't mind at all."
Duo moved closer. "Yeah? What about Calvin?"
"What about him? We broke up a while ago. He wasn't really my type."
"Oh." Duo moved closer still. "That's good. Um, what is your type?"
At that Heero burst out laughing; he couldn't help himself, really he couldn't. After pining over his oblivious friend, this was a hilarious development. Duo was watching him, worried expression marring his chiseled features. Heero did not need anyone to point out everything there was to like about Duo: his fair good looks, those beautiful jewel-like eyes, his good humor, that crazy braid. It was hard for him to process that Duo was admitting that not only was he not as straight as he originally had thought, but unless Heero had suffered a head injury and was now hallucinating, he was also admitting to an attraction.
Perhaps he was delirious.
But Duo was here and he was standing so close, close enough for Heero to scent his mild cologne and the slight odor of his nervous perspiration, the two mingling intoxicatingly. If that was a word.
"Heero," Duo said, nerves on edge, "say something."
"I don't know what to say. Oh, well except for-you are my type, Duo, you've always been my type but I didn't know how to tell you. I was afraid I'd lose you as a friend. Hey-I guess I did know what to say," Heero chuckled.
Duo joined him. "I guess so." Heero's assertion finally registered along with other clues he had either missed in the past or flat out ignored: Heero was attracted to him. Duo's smile grew. There was only one thing left to do-test the waters, find out if his Freudian slip really meant something.
"Heero, kiss me."
Heero swooped in without thinking twice. Their lips met and Duo's eyes closed reflexively as he let himself feel Heero's mouth against his. He was struck by the rightness of it, the way Heero kissed with just enough pressure, enough nibbling, enough tongue, god, was he really thinking that!
Their bodies pressed closer together as the kiss deepened and Duo's arms slid around Heero's neck as Heero's arms closed around his waist.
He moaned as they continued kissing, stunned by the desire the contact stirred up in him. He could feel the evidence of Heero's arousal against his hip and he shifted so that his arousal met Heero's. The groan Heero let out pleased him greatly.
Breaking slightly apart Duo looked into Heero's eyes, which were a little dazed, pupils dilated. "I guess that answers that question."
"Hmm? What question?"
"Whether or not I could feel more than friendship for you."
Duo bumped his groin with his own. "Whaddaya think?"
"I think this conversation should continue in the bedroom."
Clothes were shed quickly and they joined in bed frantically, touching and kissing with lips, tongue and hands. Heero kissed his way down a writhing Duo's body, trying to memorize what he liked best. When he giggled from the sensation of Heero's tongue on his navel, Heero made a point to remember it; the arched back when he tongued his balls was added to the catalogue of things he would do to Duo again and again.
Duo was no slouch, his newfound attraction led him to tease and caress Heero in ways that evidently pleased the stoic young man. He could admit to himself now that the thought of Heero with someone else was unacceptable. It was Duo who kissed Heero from head to toe, Duo who made him shudder when his mouth took his arousal in, Duo who kissed those delectable lips. It was going to be Duo from now on and no one else.
Their mutual climaxes were shattering and accompanied by exuberant moans and shouts.
Duo was wrapped in Heero's strong arms. Heero kissed him lazily, growing sleepier by the second.
"Are you okay, Duo?" Heero yawned. Their worlds just collided and were rocked, but Duo still was coming out of a long-time relationship. Part of him feared that maybe this was some sort of rebound reaction. Not to mention the finding of Duo's inner gayness.
"I feel great, 'Ro. I really do. I have never felt the feeling of right so strongly before in my life."
"Oh, yeah. Hilde told me that if we were really meant for one another we'd be on the same page, and I realized that she was absolutely right. We are on the same page, aren't we, 'Ro?"
"I think so. It's funny how we didn't know it before. Are you going to stay the night?"
"I'd like to-if you are okay with it."
"Oh-in that case, how about staying-forever?"
Duo chuckled. The question did not panic him in any way, not like when Hilde brought up marriage. No, this felt like a homecoming; for the first time in his life Duo felt that he was where he was meant to be, with the one he was meant to be with. "Sounds good."