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fic - back in town [haven] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
fic - back in town [haven]
Title:  Back in Town
Series:  Moments of Haven
Summary:  Ding dong, the x'mas arc is dead!  Yay, my boys are back in town. *snugs* Ironically, I was glad to be out of that wretched arc because it meant I could go back to writing short fluffy little things, and yet here this is, another long, rambly thing.

Back in Town
A Moment of Haven

They dropped their bags to the floor with twin heartfelt sighs.  Duo waited anxiously while Heero turned and secured the front door behind him.  "So, that's it, right?"

Heero finished his task and turned to meet his partner's eye briefly before surveying their domain.  All seemed in order, though they'd need to air the place out and check up on the house plants.  "Aa."

"We're home?"



The firm decisiveness with which that was uttered was Heero's only clue that Duo was about to do something.  He found his lips smothered quite thoroughly, the momentum of it carrying him willingly to the wall, where Duo used the leverage to his advantage, getting in a few good grinds before releasing him from the kiss.

Duo leaned back with a sound of contentment, though he did not go so far as to require the unhooking of his fingers from Heero's belt loops.  "God, I've been wanting to do that forever."

"Nothing was stopping you from doing that earlier," Heero noted mildly.  Not that he had been complaining.  But they'd had plenty of alone time while at the lodge with the others, and plenty of opportunities taken advantage of, and Heero did so like accuracy.

"Yeah, but now we don't have to worry about anyone knocking on the door or walking in on us or sticking their noses where they don't belong.  Now I'm free to molest you without having to look over my shoulder all the time."  The expression on his face was nothing short of glee.

Heero pushed them away from the wall.  "Well, molest me in the kitchen, then.  I need some water."

It wasn't clear just who decided their hands should be joined during their quest for something to drink, but they ended up that way somehow, anyway.  When they crossed the threshold, Duo drew them up short to fling his arms wide in welcome, bringing Heero along for the ride.  "Hello, kitchen!"

"Miss it much?"  Heero's words were dry, but he obediently held his hand aloft for as long as Duo wished it.

Since their hands were conveniently elevated, Duo tried to spin Heero around as he pulled him close, but Heero's cooperation only went so far.  He stepped into place himself, settling against Heero's chest while his free arm went around Heero's waist.  "Home sweet home.  Mm, I like the way that sounds."  He grinned for a few seconds, savoring the taste of the words before moving on.  "Relena didn't make us dance for her this year."

Heero danced them over to the cabinet where the glasses were.

"Single-minded, aren't you?"

"The sooner you let me get a drink of water, the sooner we can get back to this cuddling thing."

"Ooh, now there's some incentive I can get behind."

Heero fetched two glasses and danced them two steps over to the filtered water spigot.  "Relena wasn't interested in watching us dance this year."

"The mattress mambo, maybe, or the horizontal tango?  Ugh."  He accepted a glass with a slight nod of thanks.

Heero filled his own and took a sip before continuing.  "...I assume you're referring to sex."

"Uh, yeah.  What else were you thinking?"  It was difficult to figure out sometimes, whether Duo just knew an excess of regional colloquialisms, or Heero just didn't know enough common ones.

"Just making sure.  I thought of snakes at first, but that's a mamba, not a mambo."

Duo could learn something new every day, talking to him.  He snickered.  "Well, there's sort of some 'snakes' involved..."

Heero cast him a puzzled blink over the rim of his glass.  It resolved itself after a few seconds.  Not what he'd had in mind.  "Ah.  Can we move on now?"

"Sure."  There were plenty of other people's behaviors to analyze.  "When did we become everyone's sex therapists, anyway?"

"Since we became the ones closest to having sex, I suppose."

They were in a relationship, and suddenly they were experts on the matter?  Maybe they were all just finally getting to 'that age'.  How fortunate their minds hadn't been similarly occupied during the war.  "So we're the ones that put sex on everyone's minds?  Can we not do that next time?"

"I'm not making sure everyone else is closer to having sex than we are, next time."

"I think I'd need therapy, if that were the case."  Either they'd be taking a very long time to get to the good part, or else all of the others would suddenly be more advanced than they were.  Neither was acceptable.  Hopefully, both were unlikely.  "No, wait, I think I'd blame it all on you.  You'd need therapy."

Heero had his doubts about the probability of that.  He may have been the more obviously conservative of the two, but he didn't have any objections to moving forward.  As long as they went in order.  Skipping important steps only led to trouble down the line.  "We're talking about a hypothetical situation, right?"

"Of course."

"Good.  Then I don't have to hit you."

"Hey, what?"  He pulled back from Heero with an amiably miffed expression, but didn't disconnect.  His arm slipped from around Heero's waist, but his fingers caught in Heero's waistband.  The momentum of his retreat pulled Heero into him.  They bumped, and once Duo remembered that that hadn't been the purpose of the move, he pushed Heero away again.  "Unfair."

Heero's eyes dropped briefly to the fingers hanging off his pants, then came back up to grace his partner with a dubious look.  "Really."

"Sure!"  And while he was certain he could get his snogs without having to apologize, he felt that compromise was one of the cores of a good relationship.  "Um, okay, here's an alternate theory: I'll blame it on Trowa.  How about that?"

The tilt of Heero's eyebrow became more severe.  "He tends to come up at the strangest times, Duo."

"No, it makes sense, actually.  Trust me."

Both of his eyebrows were needed to convey the proper sense of incredulity.

The silent statement was blithely ignored.  "He may have weirded me out the most, just because he didn't say anything."

Trowa said plenty.  He just didn't say them in Duo-speak.  "Didn't we want people not to say anything?"

"Yeah, sure, but not when they're giving us weird looks.  That just gets creepy.  Did you ever find out what was on his mind?"

Sort of, yes, but telling Duo about it wouldn't make him like Trowa any better.  He summarized.  "We made people think, Duo.  We opened their minds to the possibilities.  He was just thinking.  That's all."

"Yeah, well, next time he can do it without the creepiness."  Duo had always known that he was the crusty kind, never thinking that relationships were something for someone like him.  When the heck had the others gotten that way, too?  "Did you ever find out what was up between him and Quatre that one night?"

"Of course not."  The best theory he had for finding out for sure involved getting Quatre drunk again, and that wasn't something he wanted to encourage.

"It must have been something he said, 'cuz I'm thinking that if something had actually happened, Quatre would've been a hell of a lot more embarrassed.  And given what was on his mind -- namely, us, and/or sex and/or relationships -- I'm gonna guess it was something I really wanted to listen in on."

As much as he had enjoyed the company of the others, he was looking forward to it getting back to being just him and Duo.  Life seemed so much simpler that way.  "You keep wanting Quatre to stop conjecturing on our love life, and yet you continue to do the same to him."

"Only to get him to stop.  'Cuz he started it!"

"That's not a very good excuse."

"'Reasons' are supposed to be good.  'Excuses' don't have to be.  Are you well-watered yet?" he continued before Heero could chastise him, setting his own glass down on the counter.  It wasn't quite empty yet, but it was close enough.  "'Cuz I really want to get back to this cuddling thing."

Heero eyed the lack of space between them critically.  "I didn't think we'd stopped."

Duo decided there needed to be more lack of space and tugged him closer.  Close enough to hook his chin around Heero's neck and settle in comfortably.  When Heero refilled his glass of water, he stifled an exasperated sound.  Before he could find some other way to vent, Heero started guiding them toward the living room.  Their joint coordination was fine, but Duo made sure there was plenty of bumping and rubbing, and maybe even a little nibbling, and miraculously they traveled without collision into any other objects.  As they bypassed their sofa, he pouted.  He'd been looking forward to a reunion with that sofa.  A solid, non-treacherous sofa it was, disinclined toward tumbling them off and giving away their personal information.  "How did we get so... gay?"

Heero would have paused to cast him a curious look, had he the vantage point from which to do so.  "What do you mean?"

It wasn't just the others that had been made to think.  "I mean... I always thought I'd dig something with a pair of boobs, but look at us.  We're snuggling.  Shamelessly.  Shamelessly snuggling.  And you're a guy."

"I'm glad you've noticed."  They reached the shelf where their house plants lived.  He released Duo to check up on them, which didn't change anything much since Duo wasn't going anywhere.

"Ooh, good plan," Duo murmured when he heard Heero refilling the water reservoir.  They typically watered their plants the old fashioned way, but the contraption they had built to drip water to their plants when they were out of town was not the most convenient thing to take down, clean up, and put away.  They could wait a little while before taking care of it.  Snuggling came first.  Shameless snuggling.  No, wait, he'd been in the middle of something.  He pulled back enough to look Heero in the eye.  "Since when do I like guys?"

"Since you met me."

Finally Duo let loose one of his arms around Heero so he could punch him on the shoulder.

"What, isn't it true?"

"Well... yeah... but that's so unfair and out of context."

His response was an unrepentent smile.

"I think you're hot," he grumbled accusingly, smacking him on the shoulder again.  "I like touching you, and kissing you, and maybe there are still parts of the whole sex thing that are kind of weird to me, but I'm looking forward to it not being weird!"  He looked left, right, then whispered loudly.  "I want to have sex with you!"

"Glad to hear that."

The smack migrated down to Heero's hip, almost but not quite transforming into a slap of the butt.  "I feel hoodwinked, Heero!  Duped!  Tricked!  Fooled!  Played!"

"I get the point.  Played by whom, exactly?"

"I don't know!  My hormones?  Ol' man Murphy?"  By his own expectations, probably, which made it smart even more.  "For a little while there, I was a member of the majority.  Do you know how unusual that is?  I had the chance to like girls, just like most of the other guys out there, and I blew it!  Minoritied again!"

After the obligatory blank look while he attempted to follow Duo's line of logic, Heero's expression betrayed a tentative concern.  "...Did I blow something for you?"

Duo was distracted for a moment by the thought of Heero blowing something wonderful, but then he remembered the current context.  "No, get that look off your face."  It didn't go away fast enough for his liking, so Duo kissed it off.  "I'm just... doing my thing.  Ignore me.  I wouldn't take this back for all the majorities in the world."

"So you're... okay?"

"Of course I'm okay.  I'm more than okay.  Silly teacup," he murmured into another kiss before pulling them over to the sofa.  He laid down on his side, and pulled Heero down next to him.  "It's just been a while since I freaked out about this.  No big deal.  Exaggerations aside, though, I still think it's weird.  Maybe not like Quatre thinks it's weird, but still.  He just thinks it's weird that it's *us* together.  I just think it's weird that it's us... *together*.  I never thought..."

Heero adjusted the pillow underneath his head a little, as much as he could given their close quarters.  "Is this a rant about relationships in general, or just relationships with another man?"

"I don't know," he huffed, refraining from adding a roll of the eyes.  Why did Heero assume he had any idea what he was talking about?  "A little of both, I guess.  I guess if I were with a chick, though, I'd... well, she'd be the one snuggling me."

There was a distinct pause as Heero weighed those words.  "If you're concerned about... about being feminized because of this, then..."  His eyes dropped to the fingers that were toying with his shirt.  "Well... I'm not concerned about that sort of thing, so..."

Heat made a lazy migration up to his face as Duo realized what Heero was volunteering for.  "Not really what I was talking about, but, uh... anyway," he continued firmly, if hastily, deciding that that wasn't really something they would have to think about for at least a little while yet, so could that flush please go away?  He didn't know if he was man enough to give it up like that, and he didn't want to know.  Not yet.  He wasn't sure what he wanted the answer to be.  "I mean that... I dunno.  Girls are different.  We're guys.  We've gotta be manly for them.  Or something.  I'd probably be anti-snuggle because of some macho thing.  With you, though... I think I gave that up a long time ago."

"Gave what up?" Heero asked cautiously.

"All the guy posturing and stuff.  Way back in that stupid school.  I kinda stuck with it back in the beginning, but it got clear rather quickly that that kind of thing was completely lost on you, so it obviously wasn't worth the effort, so..."  He finally noticed that he was probably going to wear a hole in Heero's shirt if he kept up his twiddling, so he stopped.  His hand was still for only a few seconds before it decided to try to number the bumps of Heero's abs.  "You know, I don't *always* enjoy bashing my head against that brick wall with your name on it."

"I'm glad.  It isn't *always* amusing watching you do that."

He chuckled.  "You're such a son of a bitch."

So he had said on many occasions prior, and would no doubt continue to say in the future.  This did not particularly bother Heero.  He watched Duo watching his fingers frolick for a while before closing his eyes in contentment.  Duo was a solid, warm presence by his side, and had truly been on to something when he'd mentioned not having to worry about anyone else walking in on them.

"Maybe I'm just horny."

Reluctantly, he opened his eyes.  "Huh?"

"What do you think?"  Duo drummed his fingers thoughtfully on Heero's chest, now that he had his attention.  "But it'd be like a low-level sort of horny.  'Cuz girls snuggle.  Guys get horny, right?"

"If you say so."  He shut his eyes again.

Duo did not take this as a sign of disinterest.  "Yeah, so maybe I'm just low-level horny.  Like, I just want to touch you all the time.  That's sexy, right?  Kinda horny?  And, well, if touching, and maybe a few kisses here and there, just happens to look an awful lot like snuggling, well, that's not my fault."



He dared to crack his eyes open again and found a bright and innocent expression looking back at him.  Duo appeared pleased by this rationalization.  "Never mind."

Duo smiled after Heero's eyes went back into hiding.  He thought the reasoning was sound.  He did like touching Heero all over, for any reason or no reason at all.  In fact, he decided to touch him right now.  Touch him 'more', that is.  He was already snug against Heero's side, shoulder to toes.  Had one leg on top of Heero's, too.  Had to take advantage of the coziness of a sofa, after all.

He brushed his fingers through Heero's bangs, straightening them up a little.  That brought his attention to Heero's face.  Yup, he really was a good-looking guy.  There was no harm in thinking that, right?  Duo could admit that some girls were good-looking, too.  It was a different kind of good-looking, though.  Girls looked pretty, and Heero looked... like Heero.  That goddamn martyr complex summed up by the faint crease on a strong brow.  That bizarro sense of humor showing up on the right corner of his mouth.  That light scar usually hidden by his hair, evidence of past struggles.  And when his eyes were open, that focus that Heero put into everything.  Of course he wanted to touch it.  Feel it.  Know it.  That wasn't snuggling, or horniness.  That was intimacy.

"They say that kids that didn't grow up in a touchy-feely environment sometimes end up compensating for it when they get older," he said softly.  He knew Heero wasn't asleep, but he waited for a twitch of attention in Heero's expression before continuing.  "Do you think that's true?"

"You can't 'catch up' on all the touching that you missed, Duo."  One of his hands shifted to find Duo's and squeeze.

"Yeah, I guess.  Maybe I'd enjoy it more, though?  Or... maybe I just appreciate it more?"  His fingers trailed unabashedly down the side of Heero's face before the rest of him decided to make itself more comfortable.  It wasn't a snuggle; it was an attempt to achieve more full body contact, and to do so at ease.

He eyed the length of Heero's body, and noted the proportions.  Heero had been a gangly fifteen-year-old.  Kind of awkward-looking in some ways, not that the same couldn't have been said of Duo at that time.  The more recent version of that body presented a nicely refined feature set.  It was still as transfixing as ever to watch it move, spring into action, stretch luxuriously, prepare dinner, and all the other thousand and one things a body did during the day.  Some guys drooled over their motorcycles and their power tools.  Some guys drooled over their computers and their gadgets.  It was perfectly alright for Duo to drool over his Heero.  And occasionally a power tool or gadget or two, perhaps.

He let out a puff of breath too lazy to become a chuckle.  "You think I'm being silly, don't you?"

The answer was calm and immediate.  "I think you're worrying about things that don't have to be worried about.  It feels good, and there don't seem to be any negative side effects, except perhaps a tendency to fall asleep and get out of bed every day a little later than we used to."  Heero's eyes blinked open as he pulled Duo down to him.  The better to aim his mouth with.  He found Duo's lips, the angle of his jaw, the spot beneath his ear.  "An acceptable trade-off, I think.  Just enjoy it, now that you have it.  It isn't about making up for what you didn't get before.  It's about enjoying each other, one moment at a time."

"Glad to see I'm not the only one that's mildly horny."  Duo smiled, head tilting automatically for better access.  "Only you make it seem more horny to me.  Unfair."

"Just want to touch you."  He cupped Duo's cheek with one hand, and found a few other parts of their bodies that could benefit from closer contact besides.  "Check."

Indeed.  He shut out his vision and enjoyed the fact that he could still know that Heero was there, how he was situated, how he was feeling.  So much information at his fingertips.  "Maybe it's just because we're physical people.  We like what we can put our hands on--"

"Maybe we're just human, Duo."  Information now on the tip of his tongue.  Maybe not the most useful of data, to know how Heero was tasting, but hey, no knowledge was ever wasted.  Once they were done with their intellectual exchange, Heero sighed happily.  "I like being human."

Duo echoed that sigh, though it sounded more like he was trying to catch his breath.  Once more oxygen found its way to his brain, he managed to process Heero's sentiment, and grinned.  "I thought humans were flawed?"

Heero shrugged with one shoulder.  "Nothing's perfect."

He laughed, and indulged in some more of humanity's physical nature.  Between attention-grabbing kisses, he spared a thought for other things.  Heero.  Himself.  Their relationship.  What direction to swish his tongue next.  How they had changed.  Or had the relationship changed them?  Sofas.  Friends.  Beauty.  Humanity.  Sexuality.

He pulled away.  "Shit, I'm starting to sound like Ami, aren't I?  'But why do you like kissing *Duo*?'"  He did a very poor imitation of a young girl, which was probably a good thing.

Heero frowned, not something he'd been expecting to do in the near future, and corrected him sternly.  "'But *why* do you like kissing Duo?'"  He did not even try to imitate a young girl.  "Big difference."

"What has Quatre done to me?" Duo mock-wailed.  His eyes widened, and he shifted his grip to clutch the front of Heero's shirt dramatically.  "He's turned me into a little girl!  Argh!"

No, sometimes Duo could do that all by himself.  "Well, if a little girl can finally accept why I like kissing you, surely you can accept it, too."

"Of course!  I'm still going to do something evil to Quatre, though!"  He shook Heero lightly in emphasis.

"We've already made him question his whole lack of a love life."  Quatre had already been questioning his lack of a life in general.  Carrying on their own love life while in front of him had almost been insult to injury.  "What more did you want to do to him?"

"I'll think of something!  And there won't be any little-girl about it!"  His expression turned scheming for a few dangerous seconds.  Then he noticed that his hands were still crushing the front of Heero's shirt, and he offered a quick smile of apology before smoothing out the wrinkles.  It was amazing how running his hands over Heero's chest could distract him from thoughts of revenge.  He paid special attention to smoothing the wrinkle that went right over Heero's nipple.  In the meantime, the rest of his mind wandered off again, and when it finally moseyed back into port, it came back with strange friends.  "Girls have nipples, too."

"You don't say."

"But they're different from guy nipples."


"It's not like I'm fixated on them or something."  He realized that his finger idly rubbing the bump beneath Heero's shirt was undermining his position, so he hastily removed it.  "But, well, I mean, they're just so *there*!  And... and just 'cuz girls have 'em doesn't mean... because I'm not saying that... really, it's like... like... you know, I'm not sure I know where I'm going with this."

He wasn't the only one.  "...I think you're trying to tell me that... that you're gay?"  Not exactly the surprise that sort of statement normally was.

"Am I?  That doesn't seem quite right."  He laid his head down on the cushion to give the matter some serious thought, and the moment he got comfortable, he sprang back up again.  "Oh, I get it.  No, I'm trying to say you're not a girl."

Heero looked for answers on the uninformative ceiling.  "I think we've been over this already."

"Have we?  No, no, see, before, I said you were a guy.  Now I'm saying you're not a girl."

After an exhaustive search, Heero concluded that there was nothing helpful to be found on the surface above them.  A glance at Duo's face yielded no clues as well.  "And the difference is...?"

"That it's not like I think you're just a really flat girl or something."

"I never thought you did.  Did you think you did?"

"Well, no..."  He wasn't certain how that would work anyway.  Heero would be more than just a really flat girl.  He'd be, well, sort of grumpy, to say the least.  "But I was wondering how we got so gay, wasn't I?"

"Gay, Duo.  Not gender confused."

"Wait, so I guess I'm confirming the gay thing now?"  That wasn't quite how he'd started this conversation out.  He frowned, very unsure of where this whole thing was going.  "But... argh.  I'm not gender confused.  I'm just confused."

"Aren't you used to that by now?"

"Oh, shut up."  He smacked Heero on the shoulder.  Heero elbowed him lightly in the gut, and warned him to subside by squeezing their entwined legs together.  Duo took that as a challenge and extricated his legs with a little bit of competitive footsie.  Maybe he cheated with a little gentle shoving and some sneaky tickles, but he felt he deserved some spoils anyway, and he pondered how best to claim them as he straddled Heero's hips.  Surely Heero deserved some punishment for his implications.  Of course he knew the differences between boys and girls.  External and internal plumbing.  Round and curvy versus...  "Oh my god, what if you had man-breasts?  Then what would I be?"

Heero did not consider himself fortunate that he knew what Duo was talking about, thanks to some past conversation.  That removed his option to inquire and hopefully derail this conversation.  "Then you would be in love with a fat man, Duo.  Or possibly a very devoted bodybuilder."

"Girls are round.  I don't think I like round.  But what if you were round?  I mean, not to say that I wouldn't still love you if you got fat all of a sudden, or, you know, if you were a girl, but... would I still be as gay if you were round?"

He definitely wouldn't be gay if Heero were a girl, and beyond that, Heero wanted to ponder no further.  "...I'm going to take a nap now.  Why don't you talk to yourself for a little bit?"

"I don't love you for your body, after all.  I shouldn't still be obligated to find you sexy, right?"  He asked, but he expected and received no answer.  He smiled widely, now that Heero's eyes were closed, but suppressed the laugh.  Heero was fun to play with.  And he almost always played back.  It was kind of strange, really.  It was probably that bizarro optimism of his, or maybe stubborness, or maybe it was a work ethic or perseverance or something, as if the conversation would eventually make sense, if only he stuck with it long enough.  The guy had a lot of faith.  It was one of his more endearing traits.

Heero was right.  Figuring out this whole sexuality thing was a bummer.  Duo thought maybe he'd just proclaim himself a heerophiliac and be done with it.  That didn't make him any less curious, though.  He cupped his hands generously over Heero's chest, hovering just above the surface and wondering how the feel of it would differ from the firm planes of Heero's body.

"Please stop that."

He glanced up to Heero's face.  His eyes were still closed.  "Stop what?"

"Picturing me with a pair of breasts."  And then those eyes opened to pin him with a steady look.

"I didn't think you'd mind," Duo answered innocently.  "Body being just a body and all."

It wasn't important, no, but it did reflect where he had been through life, and he certainly hadn't ever been there.  He eyed the alterations to his chest critically.  "They wouldn't be nearly so large."

Duo snickered.  "Oh?"  He adjusted the curvature of his hands accordingly.  "More like this?"

Heero squashed his hands flat against his chest.  "I think I like this best."

"I think I like this best, too."  He could imagine how breasts might be attractive, if he were in the right mood.  But then there would be something soft underneath his hands.  There was a time and a place for soft.  He ended up in that time and place surprisingly often, he thought, only Heero managed to be soft for him then.  Soft inside, where it mattered, only hard still in other places, where it mattered, where it comforted and reassured him.  Yeah, Heero was just right.  Maybe Heero would be just right as a girl, too, but it didn't matter.  Either way, he was just right.  He realized he was smiling, and he self-consciously expanded it into a grin.  "I think dicks are easier to play with than boobs."

He won a chuckle.  "Laziness, is it?"

A mischievous shrug.  "Well, I do like more dicks than boobs.  I'm rather fond of my own."  He palmed himself between the legs and gave a suggestive twitch of his hips.  A thoughtful look passed over his face before he scooted back a little, enough to give himself an unobstructed view of Heero's crotch.  His other hand decided to move in and annex the area.  "Hm.  I guess there's room in my heart for two."

Heero absently told his hips that now was not the appropriate time to try to arch upward while he occupied himself with bestowing a tolerantly amused look upon his partner.  "I think you're the most absurd person I've ever met."

"Lucky for me, you love me for my body."  He winked, and squeezed both his hands for good measure.

"It's cute that you think you're so hot, Duo."

Well, good lord, anyone would feel hot and sexy when Heero Yuy looked at them like that.  Guy wasn't even trying, either.  "Hey, I said I thought you were hot!  The least you could do is return the favor!"  He moved his hands and tucked them under his armpits in retaliation.  Mean people didn't deserve to be groped.

"I don't think that's how this works."

"You're bad for my self-esteem, Heero."

"I don't love you for your body, and I'm not obligated to find you sexy.  Lucky for you, your looks aren't the reason I want to touch you."  He reached out to bring Duo into a more comfortable range.  Duo did not resist nearly as much as he had intended to, which allowed Heero the opportunity to slide his fingers into the hair at the base of Duo's loose ponytail and draw him closer still.  "Not why I want to kiss you."  His lips moved lazily across Duo's cheek and up near his ear, where he could murmur his words directly.  "Not why I want to have sex with you."  He paused once more to add physical reinforcement to those lines for greater effect, returning his attention to Duo's utterly compliant mouth.  Upon verifying thoroughly that Duo had gotten the message, he pulled back and smiled lopsidedly.  "That being said, though, you're very easy on the eyes."

Duo blinked fuzzily at him.  What the hell was Heero going on about...?  Waitaminute.  He blinked again, and remembered what had started this interlude.  It inspired a pout and a light slap up the side of Heero's head.  "Bastard."

Heero smiled lazily, and went back to his nap.

And a sleepy bastard at that.  And if there was one thing that Duo was relieved hadn't changed about their relationship, it was that he was still allowed to call Heero all sorts of names.  He would have choked on his own tongue if he'd been restricted to 'honey' and 'sweetie' and 'dear'.  Good lord, how did normal people survive their relationships?  So maybe there were some advantages to straddling that stupid fuzzy line between brotherly love and romantic love.  Straddling was good.

Hmm.  Maybe he ought to stop straddling Heero for the moment.  The poor guy was trying to get some rest.  He shifted his weight and wiggled his way back into the space between Heero and the back of the sofa.

"Mm, stop displacing all the cushions."  Not that their earlier exertions hadn't shifted a few things around.  He'd be pushing everything back into order at the first good opportunity.

"Sofa's not all that big, you know."  Decent size for sitting, but not so good for fitting two people lying down.  They'd picked it up on sale, after the one they'd inherited with the house had started giving in to its wear and tear.  Maybe it was time to get another one, one that could fit their new lifestyle needs.  Not unlike that new-ish mattress they had upstairs now.  Only without the argument that had gone with it.  "That... that 'thingie'.  At the lodge.  That was nice.  Oh, what was it called... ottoman?  No, that's the other little thingie.  The chaise?  Yeah, that was it.  That was nice.  Maybe we oughta get one of those."

"Where would we put it?"

A promising answer.  Heero hadn't said anything about not being interested in the idea.  He could no doubt also see the merit of having a bed-like sofa thingie downstairs, and in particular, near the fireplace.  "We could probably do it.  If we arranged things right.  And got the right sofa-chaise set or whatever you call 'em.  You know, just... um.  Well.  That depends on whether or not it's okay to have to climb over it... Dangit, I hate it when reality intrudes on a nice idea, don't you?"


"There really is no reason for such a small space, and usually filled by only two people, too, to have such a big thingie anyway.  Phooie.  Maybe the other room?  'Course, it's small, too, but we could jiggle things around better to make it work in there.  But then there'd be a TV and no fireplace, and what fun would that be?  Hmm.  Well, we could always go back to the good ol' pillows on the rug thing.  That worked out pretty well, didn't it?"  He turned his head in Heero's direction, hoping for a smug expression or something at how the last go at it had turned out, but all he got was closed eyes and maybe the faintest of pleased smiles.  "Am I putting you to sleep with all my absurdities?"

"Yes."  There was no trace of his prior fuzzy mumbling in the response.

"Ouch!  Will the abuse never stop?"

His smile turned up a notch.  "Your little absurdities make me feel like everything's doing alright in the world.  That makes me want to close my eyes and just enjoy it."

He could say things like that and make them sound like the absolute best plan in the world.  Heero was relentless in achieving what he set out to do, but when he was between goals, he had certainly learned how to take a deep breath and recharge.  The guy had earned a nap or two.  Though he could be awfully chatty while he was napping, so obviously he wasn't truly napping.  Recharging it was, then.  Duo remembered a long trip or two where Heero had recharged while someone he trusted was at the helm, but this time, Heero had been driving, and life had been so much easier when they could set their Gundams on auto-pilot and doze off for a bit.

It used to be practicality.  A guy had to rest when he could, in case he ran into some time when he couldn't.  And now, though a little bit of that mentality still clung to them, they could do it just because it was an exceedingly pleasant way to pass the time, tucked away snugly in their little safe haven.  "Don't ever get into a relationship with Relena."

The murmured words sliced quickly into Heero's awareness and he snapped his eyes open.  "What?"  First Trowa, and now Relena?  "Of course--"

"Not that I'm accusing you of cheating or anything," Duo cut him off, hasty, but quiet as he talked in the direction of Heero's chest.  "Just... I could see it.  Well, imagine it, I mean, in a theoretical kind of way.  And it wouldn't be pretty.  I don't think.  'Cuz... you've got that... that... that *thing* you do with her.  I wouldn't really call it 'macho', but... damn, I could see you never... never showing weakness in front of her.  Never getting a chance to stand down.  Never getting to take a nap.  That'd just hurt to watch."

Heero pushed down his initial reaction and forced himself to work through the line of logic that would have brought Duo to where he was now.  It laughed as it slipped through his mental fingers, but after a few tries, he nailed it down.  He stared curiously at it.  "I... could see that, too.  You're probably right."  He took a hold of Duo's hand and squeezed.  "What is life without nap-time?"

Duo snorted softly to hide a moment of fondness before he raised his eyes.  "It'd be... ummm.  Really... you know.  Non-nappy."

"Ooh, brilliant answer."

"Oh, shut up."

Their mutually goofy smiles could only lead to kissing.  And their mutual desire for an uninterrupted snogging session could only lead to someone ringing their doorbell.

They both twitched, but Duo made sure his hands on Yuy's cheeks kept a firm grip.  "I didn't hear anything, did you?" he mumbled incoherently against the side of Heero's mouth.

Heero almost agreed.  Almost, except the annoying part of his mind that just wouldn't shut up poked him grumpily until he took action.  He grudgingly pried Duo's hands off his face and sighed.  "I'll get it."

Duo pouted, but let him go, allowing himself only a moment to run his fingers through Heero's hair once to straighten it up before spreading out to occupy the space that Heero had now vacated.

If it was some solicitor, he was going to get chased off by one, maybe two, glaring ex-Gundam pilots, but Heero had the feeling he wasn't going to get so lucky.  The timing seemed too coincident to be mere random chance, and indeed, he was unsurprised when he looked through the peephole and spied their neighbor.  He shook the hair out of his eyes and put on a pleasant expression before he opened the door.  "Hello, Ami."

She waved cheerfully at him.  "Heero-niichan!  Yay, you're home."

"Indeed."  There was a somewhat droll undertone there that probably shouldn't have been there.

"Did you have a good time?"

"Yes, we did."

Luckily, her enthusiasm kept him from having to elaborate.  "We saw you guys pull in and Mom thought we should invite you over for dinner since your fridge is probably empty and no, it's not a problem at all, I think she just missed you or something, dinner's in an hour, don't be late, and she looks forward to seeing you."

Heero blinked.

"You'll come, right?"

He blinked again.  "We have a choice?"

She giggled.  "Yay, I'll go tell Mom you're coming.  Don't be late!"  She waved good-bye and trotted off with the good news.

Duo materialized behind him, pushed the front door closed, and slid his arms around Heero's waist.  "Yay?"

"Yay," he echoed dryly.

"Well, at least we get free food."

And it was true that their fridge had been emptied of perishables before they'd departed for their vacation.  They'd have to go shopping tomorrow.  Heero looked down at the bags they'd left by the stairs.  "We should probably start the laundry."

Duo nuzzled him behind the ear.  "That can wait."

"What for?"

"Well, if we put it off, we can have fresh-out-of-the-dryer stuff when we go to sleep?"

"That sounds like my excuse, not yours."

True.  Though Duo did like it just as much as Heero did.  He just didn't admit it so easily, which left him with the real reason he had suggested it.  He sighed.  "You realize that, the moment we start doing that, and hanging out with the neighbors and stuff, our vacation's officially over, right?"

He hadn't, until Duo mentioned it.  That may have explained his willingness to give in to that warm and fluffy feeling on the sofa.  "It has to end sometime," he answered softly.

"Not for another hour."  Duo's hands shifted suggestively.

"We can't be late," he pointed out reluctantly.  It wasn't as if they had to jump back into real action any time soon.  Their seminars didn't start for another two weeks.  Until then, they would have plenty of time to themselves.  But for whatever reason, this particular time right now seemed more special to them.

"We won't be late.  Disappointing people would be a terrible way to end our vacation.  So we won't be late."  He licked the edge of Heero's ear teasingly.

"We should at least take a minute to decide what to tell them."

Okay, he could spare one minute for a practical concern or two.  "We're not telling them our friends found out about us."

"She can't ask about us with Ami in the room.  She doesn't know Ami knows."

"God, still?"  His little laugh was a hot puff of breath into Heero's ear.  "We're not teaching the kid to lie or something, are we?"

"She doesn't have anything to lie about.  We responsible adults are always careful not to bring it up in front of her."

'Responsible adults' was a scary phrase, one he wanted no part of.  Unfortunately, he probably didn't get a choice in the matter.  "It's really no wonder that kids think responsible adults are stupid."

"I don't think I ever met a 'responsible' adult that I thought was stupid because they were trying to coddle me."  Coddling, no.  Stupid, yes.

"Yeah..."  He trailed off contemplatively.  "Say... I don't want you jumping to any conclusions here, but... I was wondering.  Last week.  When I joked about... okay, I know I promised I'd never say the words again, but you know, when I joked about you wanting to do right by me and... a kid.  You... reacted more strongly than I thought you would to that.  I'm not even sure what part it was that was so weird, but... I dunno, I was wondering... if there's something I don't know?"

Heero rested a light hand upon the arms around his waist, but it was several seconds before he replied.  "I just don't think people like us should be responsible for bringing children into this world."

It was clear that there was nothing more forthcoming after that.  Duo let it drop with a quiet, "Okay," then squeezed and shifted gears.  "So.  How should we spend the last bit of our vacation?"

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