Ch. 10 ~ "Earning an Education"

An hour later the four of them were gathered in the boys' room. Aubrey and Penny were huddled together on the edge of Wufei's bed, clutching forgotten glasses of water while Heero and Wufei sat on the other bed, staring at them and wracking their brains for an explanation.

Finally Heero decided to get the obvious part over with. "You can't tell anyone what you saw today," he said. Penny jumped a little, startled out of her daze after such a long silence. "Not your friends, the teachers here, and not your family."

"Why not?" Aubrey's voice quavered just the slightest as she stared at Heero with wide eyes. "Who ARE you? Who were those men? You're not really students, are you?"

"That's classifi--"

Wufei elbowed him into silence. "We are students," he said firmly. "We're here to get an education, the same as you."

"Students don't get into gunfights in bookstores!" Aubrey retorted, voice rising.

"Wh-what are you going to do to us?" Penny whimpered.

"Nothing," Wufei said impatiently, ignoring Heero's sidelong glance. "Just keep your mouths shut."

"And if we don't?" Aubrey lifted her chin defiantly, but Heero could see how hard she was shaking.

Wufei scowled. "Then we'll have to leave and start the semester all over somewhere else." The girls blinked. "Since that would be an enormous pain in the ass, it'd be easier for everyone involved if you just kept this incident to yourselves."

There was a knock at the door, and Penny jumped again. Wufei went to answer it, revealing the RA just outside. "Hey, your aunt's here," he said, jerking his thumb over his shoulder.

Heero rose to his feet in surprise as Une stepped inside.

"Hello, boys." She smiled at them, then at the girls. "Blown your cover already, I see."

Wufei hastily shut the door behind her, looking from her to the girls. "They were --"

"Well, there's no helping it, I suppose," she sighed, clapping her hands together. She seated herself at Wufei's desk and smiled reassuringly once more. "I'm sure they must have been pretty confused. You ladies of course understand, though, why it's so important that these gentlemen not have their identities compromised?"

Aubrey and Penny exchanged a quick, nervous glance. "But... we don't know who they are."

"You mean they haven't explained?" She shook her head in reproach. "The cat's already out of the bag. You two deserve an explanation."

Heero tensed.

Une indicated them both with a wave of her hand, handing her badge over to Aubrey. "Heero and Wufei here are volunteers in a ground breaking new campus security policy being tested by the government. It's happening-- discreetly --in schools all across the country." Heero felt his eyebrows jump up.

"Campus security?" Aubrey repeated skeptically, inspecting the badge thoroughly.

"They're volunteer rookie cops and security guards, mostly," Une said almost dismissively. "Young enough to fit in as well as benefit from an education while maintaining the security of the campus. It's an undercover job. They blend in with the other students and make sure there isn't anything illegal going on behind the backs of the faculty. By gaining the trust of the other students, they're much more likely to find out about any shady business."

"Like... like narc cops?" Penny guess tentatively.

Une smiled broadly. "Very much like that, yes. Except that these two really are getting class credits as well. They're here for your safety, and everyone else's. It's a new policy that's being implemented after those school shootings two years ago. They're the good guys, I promise you."

Aubrey glanced anxiously towards Heero. "Then.. then those men at the bookstore..."

Une waved the issue away airily. "Oh, that was just a case they'd been a part of long before they were assigned here. They insisted on being the ones to wrap it up, and since they were so close anyway..." She clasped her hands in her lap, gazing at the girls solemnly. "But do you understand why it's imperative that no one at school knows who they really are? Even the faculty cannot know. Teachers aren't saints either, you know. Heero and Wufei are watching them, as well. If it becomes public knowledge that they're here, all their work will be for naught. We probably won't even be able to relocate them; after word spreads, the entire mission will be blown in schools across the country."

Aubrey handed back the badge, expression impossible to read. Penny, however, looked relieved. "This explains so much," she said. "And while it was pretty scary, I... I think it could be a good policy. I remember hearing about those shootings on the news. Personally I feel better knowing they're here to look after us."

"So is that why you really told me to stay away from Heero?" Aubrey asked suddenly, frowning at Wufei. "To protect his cover?"

Wufei's jaw twitched. He refused to look at Heero when the other man sent him a questioning look. "...Yes."

She flicked Heero a hopeful look. "So... now that I already know, will you still object if we go on a date?" Une blinked, then grinned at Heero.

Wufei crossed his arms across his chest and scowled at the wall. "No," he muttered.

"I would," Heero interrupted bluntly. Everyone sent him a startled look.

"What?" Aubrey was trying-- and failing --not to look offended. "Why not?"

Perhaps honesty would lay the matter to rest. He shrugged one shoulder. "I don't think I'm even interested in women. I'm not sure I ever was. I just hadn't really thought about it until that night at the restaurant." He could feel Wufei's eyes boring into him, but couldn't quite work up the courage to look at him.

Une gave a huff of annoyance and got to her feet. "Great. Thanks for nothing, Yuy. Now I owe Maxwell fifty bucks." Ignoring his stupefied stare, she beamed at the girls once more. "Well, I'm sorry you had to go through such a harrowing experience. Can I trust you to keep their secret?" They nodded numbly. "Splendid. Boys, do try to be more careful in the future. Have a nice weekend!" She flicked Wufei a sly look, earning a weak scowl in return, and then she was gone.

There was an uncomfortable silence.

Finally Aubrey cleared her throat and got to her feet. "Well... this has all been a lot to take in," she admitted slowly. "And I guess we should leave you two to... talk." She smirked at Wufei briefly, and quickly ushered Penny out of the room.

Heero got up and reached under his bed, tugging out his suitcase. Wufei watched in confusion, then frowned when Heero began gathering his things from the bedside table and packing them. "What the hell are you doing?"

"I'll ask the RA if he can swap my room with Trowa's," Heero explained, unable to meet the other boy's penetrating gaze.

"What the hell for?"

Heero moved past him and began pulling his clothes out of the dresser. "I don't want you to feel uncomfortable sharing a room with me. Aubrey warned me that if you found out--"

"Found out?" Wufei arched a brow. "Be specific, Yuy. I think I have a right to hear this."

Heero kept all his concentration stubbornly on his laundry and his tone as clinical as possible as he filled his arms with folded shirts. "If my research and reactions to it are any indication, I seem to find the male form pleasing. Which also explains why I've always reacted so oddly to your presence. While I can understand how it would be inadvisable for us to continue rooming together, I hope on a professional level we can still--" He turned away from the dresser and nearly bumped into Wufei, who was suddenly alarmingly close and glaring at him with a mixture of impatience and amusement.

"Christ, Yuy, there are rocks that are less dense than you."


Wufei took the clothes from his arms and tossed them carelessly aside. Heero started to voice a protest, and choked on it as strong fingers caught his shoulders. Wufei's face was inches away, his mouth twitching in a barely concealed smile. "Somehow, I think I'll manage to get over the fact that you find me attractive."

Heero frowned. "I don't think you should have to get ov--"

"Sarcasm is, as ever, lost on you," Wufei observed drolly. Then he put his mouth against Heero's.

It was a good thing he'd already divested Heero of his clean clothes, Heero thought numbly, because he most certainly would have dropped anything he'd been holding at the moment, whether it was a bomb or a stack of laundry. As it was, he found himself frozen, hands hovering in the air on either side of Wufei, breath frozen in his lungs. Wufei hesitated for a moment, as if testing to make sure he wouldn't catch a fist in the face for his bold move, then slipped one hand up Heero's neck and buried his fingers in his hair. Heero felt himself shudder. It felt like wherever Wufei's fingers touched, little electric sparks were dancing just under his skin. Then Wufei kissed him again, and he found himself clumsily trying to reciprocate, his hands reaching out of their own accord to latch onto a strong waist.

Suddenly it was even more clumsy, but it was desperate, too. Wufei's mouth was almost frighteningly aggressive, and Heero found his back digging into the dresser with Wufei flat up against him, which was veryveryinteresting, and he was struggling to breathe through his nose and figure out just what he was supposed to be doing with his lips and his hands--

And then his brain stopped babbling so much and his body started cooperating, and he was practically crushing Wufei to him. But Wufei didn't seem to mind, because now both his hands were tangled in Heero's hair, and he was kissing the breath right out of him, and Heero was hoping fervently that he would never never stop. This was fifty times better than staring at black and white photos, he decided hazily, and then groaned right into Wufei's mouth as he became sharply aware of just how good it felt when Wufei's hips moved against his just so.

"W-wait," he gasped, pulling away reluctantly. He felt hot all over, and was finding it hard to catch his breath. His pants were painfully tight, and he had to resist the urge to pull Wufei's hips up against his own again. "What are we-- I mean, what do you want...?" He trailed off helplessly, a kernel of panic in his gut. He didn't know what to do. He squeezed his eyes shut as Wufei's mouth latched onto his throat, scattering his thoughts once more.

"I don't want to be able to walk tomorrow," Wufei gasped against his skin, barely audible.

Heero didn't know what that meant, but he decided he really liked how rough Wufei's voice sounded when he said it. Then Wufei was dragging him forward, and they stumbled across the room. The springs in Wufei's mattress squeaked loudly as they tumbled to the bed, and for a few minutes things were very carnal and near-violent. Wufei had somehow landed on top, and was rubbing up against him in a way that made it hard to remember how to breathe. Heero's hands were latched onto his hips in desperate encouragement, and when Wufei's tongue slipped past his teeth, he thought he might lose it right then. Wufei's hands seemed to be everywhere at once, grasping and dragging; a bottled-up want finally let loose. For just a moment a single lucid thought floated through Heero's mind-- How long had Wufei wanted to do this? Then Wufei ground against him hard, and a bomb went off.

When Heero could see straight again, he found himself staring dazedly up at the ceiling, chest heaving for air. Wufei was laying on top of him, shuddering slightly after his own release. "...Sorry," he finally croaked, reaching up to push errant strands of hair out of his face. He propped himself up on his elbows so he could see Heero's face. "This wasn't exactly how I pictured it happening."

Heero's hands flexed on his arms briefly in reassurance. He was not about to complain. "Why didn't you tell me?" he muttered, his own voice a bit hoarse.

Wufei laughed breathlessly. "And risk having you break my arm in three places? No one was sure if you even knew anything concrete about sex, never mind your, ah, preference. Duo kept insisting I had a shot, though, and-- as you found out with his stupid radio prank --has been trying to play the not-so-subtle matchmaker for the past year."

Suddenly Duo's odd remarks and flabbergasted reaction to Heero's phonecalls was starting to make a lot more sense. Heero glowered up at the ceiling, annoyed at his own obliviousness. "He could have saved everyone a lot of trouble if he'd just been straightforward," he grumbled.

Wufei's chuckle reverberated against his own chest. "He said it was something you had to figure out on your own. And again, he wasn't sure how favorably you'd react. Face it, Yuy; if someone had tried to force the idea on you, you wouldn't have known how to take it. As frustrating as it was to watch, it was something you had to approach and identify on your own."

"Hm." As reluctant as he was to agree, the logic was fairly sound. Heero shifted his gaze so he was looking right at the other man, feeling an uneasy frown twitch at his lips. "I still don't know anything about this."

"Books and internet porn can only teach you so much," Wufei drawled.

Heero ignored that. "I'm not even sure what happens now."

"You mean right now?" Wufei shifted until he could slide a hand down the front of Heero's pants. A wicked smile crept across his face, unlike anything Heero had seen on him before. "Well, we can always experiment a bit and see what happens," he mused.

Heero was having a difficult time forming a coherent thought. "I meant... in the foreseeable... future," he gasped, arching slightly as Wufei's hand began pulling at him.

"This sort of thing isn't something you really plan, Yuy," Wufei murmured, mouth brushing against Heero's jaw. "It's something you just kind of... go with. You go with your instincts and your emotions. Thinking just gets in the way." He hesitated, hand stilling, and lifted his head to look down at Heero. For the briefest instant something like doubt flickered across his face. "Not to say that rushing into anything is a good idea. Things can get ugly if you're not even a little sure."

Heero hesitated, studying his face in silence. He thought about Wufei's sharp dry wit; his ofttimes amusingly short temper; the way he could lie on his bed and lose himself in books; the way he moved in battle-- quick and fierce as a blade. He'd spent years fighting back-to-back with the man, learning the various habits and personality quirks of a man most people were too intimidated to get to know. He tried to imagine having free reign to touch that lithe body whenever it pleased him; of sharing a room, even a bed, indefinitely. Wufei's fleeting but smug little smiles on a daily basis. He reached up and gripped Wufei's skull in one strong hand. "The prospect is a little terrifying," he admitted bluntly, and tightened his grip when Wufei started to pull instinctively away. "But... Duo and Relena are always telling me they wish I could be 'happy', and this seems to be the one chance I might ever get at achieving that, providing we don't kill each other eventually."

Wufei was clearly caught off guard; his face flushed bright red, and he ducked his head down swiftly in an attempt to hide it, his voice an embarrassed growl. "Sap, from you, Yuy? I think temperatures just dropped below freezing in hell."

Heero frowned, a little confused. "Was that the wrong thing to say? I don't know how else to--"

"No," Wufei mumbled, face still down but ears beet-red. His fingers tightened convulsively on Heero's shirt, then relaxed slightly. "No, for once, your brutal honesty gets you brownie points instead of a black eye."

Heero felt his mouth pulling into a small but rare smile. "I think I foresee lots of both."

"No doubt." Wufei finally looked up again, composure restored, and offered a quick smirk. "Now about me not being able to sit comfortably in class tomorrow..."

Heero wasn't sure exactly what he meant by that, but as Wufei claimed his mouth once more, he decided he was more than willing to find out.


~One week later~

Lesa jostled Trowa with her elbow, unable to bite back a wide grin. "Aren't they cute?" she muttered out of the side of her mouth, indicating the pair waiting for them in the beat-down but secluded gazebo where Wufei tended to sharpen his sword. "Looks like Duo was right." She laughed outright at Trowa's shellshocked expression. "Oh, come on. Heero can't have been the only oblivious one. Didn't you at least suspect?"

"No, I think I can say with a hundred percent certainty that I did not see this coming," Trowa dead-panned. He shook his head minutely. "Though I think now I know why they've been shutting themselves in their room every afternoon after class."

"And why Wufei turned down that mission the other day," Lesa added impishly.

Trowa winced. "I don't want to think about it."

Wufei had spotted them, and was drawing away from Heero, looking slightly flushed but completely unconcerned at having been caught kissing his partner in broad daylight. Lesa dimpled at him as she and Trowa stepped into the gazebo. "Sorry to interrupt," she teased. "But I had further details about last week's mission that I thought Yuy would like to hear." She reached out impulsively and twined her fingers through Trowa's, leaning against his arm slightly. He jumped the tiniest bit, startled by the unexpected PDA, but didn't pull away. Her smile broadened, and she noted with interest that though Heero's eyebrows shot up, there was no sign of surprise on Wufei's passive face. "You said that the mission was blown because the shooter recognized you."

Heero nodded. "He called me by name. I assumed we met during the war or on a previous mission, though I don't remember him."

"Right the first time. Ex-Oz officer. He probably barely blipped on your radar, figuratively speaking. He was stationed on Barge." She glanced at Trowa. "Trowa says you were held as a POW there for a short time."

Wufei snorted. "If I had a quarter for every grudge-wielding ex-soldier I've stumbled across since joining the Preventers, I'd have a house in the Bahamas by now." Heero frowned, then seemed to make a conscious decision not to take him literally.

"Colonel Une seems sure that despite your cover being compromised, you should still be able to stay at this school." Lesa cocked her head to the side, studying them seriously. "It's a little leap of faith, but do you think your classmates will keep your secret?"

Heero nodded reluctantly. "They haven't brought it up again," he admitted. "And no one else suspects. Une's ruse worked."

"It wasn't a bad idea, you know," Lesa pointed out. "So long as you're here, there's no harm in keeping an eye on the students and faculty. Especially since I'm sure those girls will go to you first if they suspect something dangerous is brewing on campus." She cleared her throat, sending Heero a significant look. "So, have you told Duo yet?"

Heero stared back. "He isn't a Preventer."

Wufei's eyes rolled skyward. "About us, moron."

"Oh. No, Wufei won't let me."

Lesa laughed. "But don't you think he deserves to know? I mean, he even used me to play his little matchmaking games."

Wufei scowled. "I don't feel like dealing with his inevitable smug and 'helpful' reaction. He'll find out eventually, one way or another. Until then, I could do without the 'I told you so' dance."

"You could have told me," Trowa said suddenly.

Heero glanced his way. "It wasn't any of your business, and neither of us were sure how you'd react."

"It's not as if you were eager to put your own dalliances on display," Wufei pointed out. "For the same reasons, I'm sure."

"Fair enough," Trowa allowed. He paused thoughtfully for a moment, then chose to take advantage of the situation. "Then I want Fridays off." Lesa shot him a quick, surprised look.

Heero was at a loss. "What?"

"He means he doesn't want to take any missions that pop up on a Friday," Wufei translated, eyeing Trowa shrewdly. "Fine. And we aren't interested in Saturdays."

Heero looked at him. "Why not?"

"Date night, silly," Lesa said a touch absently, clinging to Trowa with delight.

Heero blinked.

Wufei turned his eyes towards the school meaningfully. "If there's nothing else..."

"No, that's it." Lesa grinned, tugging Trowa away. "Enjoy your little sanctuary."

"What did she mean by that?" Heero asked as he watched them walk away, hands still linked. "By 'sanctuary'?"

Wufei snorted quietly, propping his elbows on the back of the bench. "They can hold hands or kiss wherever they please; especially now that they aren't hiding it from us. We don't have the same luxury. But no one comes all the way out to this gazebo anymore."

Heero turned to look at him with a frown of faint surprise. "Why don't we?"

Wufei opened his mouth and shut it again, thrown off for a moment. "What do you mean why? Obviously two men--"

"This has nothing to do with a mission, and clearly it doesn't bother our immediate coworkers," Heero said stubbornly. "What exactly are we hiding?"

Wufei stared at him for a long moment. "Are you suggesting we walk across campus holding hands?" he asked dryly.

Heero frowned again. "If you want," he said uncertainly. "I don't see any reason to make a spectacle of things-- I don't understand why anyone does. But it clearly doesn't bother Trowa and Lesa to be open about their relationship, so I don't understand any further need to keep ours a secret, either."

"Because you're naive," Wufei retorted, looking away from him. But his ears were faintly pink. After a few moments he got to his feet. "Come on," he said briskly. "I have a physics test to study for."

Still a little puzzled, Heero rose and followed him down the path that led to the more trafficked areas of the campus grounds. He'd clearly said something wrong again, he mused. He had become increasingly aware over the past few weeks just how little he knew about sexual and romantic relationships between people. Sometimes Wufei was patient with him; other times Heero's stumbles could lead to confusing, rough-edged feelings and shouting matches. Still, it seemed he had a lot more to learn. Public displays of affection seemed commonplace with other couples, but he could certainly see how his lover might find them trite or even embarrassing. Heero shrugged it off mentally. Wufei hadn't thrown his arms up in disgust and left him yet. That was worth something. The important thing, Wufei had said firmly after Heero's latest fuck-up in the emotional department, was that he was trying. So long as Heero could deal with Wufei's fits of temper, Wufei could learn to be understanding of Heero's emotional blockage. Relationships of any sort were built on trust and patience, he'd explained; what had helped keep their friendship alive before would be paramount in keeping them together now.

So if Wufei didn't want to be seen kissing Heero in public or anything like that, Heero could accept that. He was beginning to realize that there were an almost alarming amount of compromises he was willing to reach in order to keep Wufei at his side.

He almost jumped out of his skin when hesitant fingers slipped across his palm and curled around his hand. He looked towards Wufei quickly, but the other man was staring straight ahead, scowling faintly, his cheeks reddening despite his attempt to hide it.

"Compromise," Duo had said once after having yet another friendly gesture unintentionally rebuffed, "is a two-way street, Heero. But if it's worth it, then it's worth it. It's as simple as that. Hopefully you'll get that some day."

Heero had only just begun to understand this during his time at school. He had come to notice that there were a surprising amount of things in interpersonal relationships that, once he'd experienced, he was reluctant to give up. He had assumed Wufei viewed such things with borderline contempt; after all, he had not gone out of his way to make friends of any sort, and had for the most part refused to do anything he had not thought of first.

And yet his warm hand was pressed against Heero's own. They passed several students; some stared, others barely seemed to notice. Heero flexed his fingers so he was gripping Wufei's hand more firmly. It was odd how such a simple physical gesture made him feel.

School, he thought with a thread of amusement, was turning out to be much more educational than he'd anticipated.


Author's notes:
Uhhhhhhhhyeah, so I hit a wall with my novel and suddenly had the random urge to work on a fic again. Then I felt horrible when I realized I'd stopped cold with this one when it was thiiiis close to the end. I'm so sorry ;_;
*darts off*

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