Warnings: AU, yaoi, heavy lime
Dedication: This fic is in response to a request/challenge on the LJ group gw_synergy, requested by Mephisto Waltz based off of her picture (seen above). It's only my second 3x2 fic, so this should be interesting.. ^.^; It was supposed to be a one-shot, but I suddenly got so many random ideas for this fic. XD; Hope you like it, MW. ^_^
(P.S.- the G-boys are a little older here than they are in the show; about twenty or twenty-one at the most)

Chapter 1

    "Hey, Tro!"
    The slender acrobat leaned back from where he was digging in the fridge to see through the small kitchen's doorway. He could see two long legs dangling over the edge of the couch in the den, booted feet swinging idly. The rest of his friend was hidden from view. "What?"
    "Did you hear about the Jade Dragon? It was on the news this morning."
    Trowa paused as he thought, running the name over in his head. "I think I heard something on the radio," he said at last, nabbing two cans of cold coffee and nudging the fridge door shut with his knee. He headed into the den where his partner was lying on the couch, eyes glued to the laptop on his stomach. "Some old Chinese treasure being donated to the city museum, right?"
    Duo reached up absently to take the offered coffee, popping the can lid without ever taking his eyes from the news site he was perusing. "Yeah. Seems it's a pretty big deal. The curator's showing it off tonight to the city big-wigs, along with some of their other new doo-dads." His mouth curved in the beginnings of a familiar grinch grin that Trowa had come to know well in the nearly two years he had been working with the other man. The grin that foretold much mischief and mayhem. Amethyst eyes shifted upwards to regard the slightly taller man, and Duo's face broke out in a full-fledged wicked grin. "Feel up to a little fun tonight?"
    Trowa arched a brow over the can of coffee as he raised it for a sip, gazing down at his partner in crime calmly. He noted the way Duo's grin made his eyes sparkle with a hint of malicious glee, like a kid about to wreck chaos in the toy store.
    He gave a little one-shouldered shrug, his tone indifferent. "Sure." In fact, he was a little desperate to get out of the house. They hadn't had a 'job' in almost a month, and it was making Duo a little stir crazy- while secretly Trowa was going quite insane himself. Lately being in such close proximity to the long-haired baka was starting to put a strain on his self control. Silently he offered up a prayer of thanks for the poker face he had perfected in his childhood. It kept him from slipping up; kept Duo from seeing what was going on behind cool jade eyes.

    He'd run into Duo two years ago in Paris. Two master thieves caught in the act by each other. He still remembered the look of complete surprise on the other boy's face as they had found themselves suddenly facing across the room from a prized ivory statue in the city's enormous museum, separated by lines of laser alarms set over the floor. Privately, Trowa had been impressed. The museum's security was nothing to laugh at, and he'd thought himself the only one capable of getting this far without tripping a single alarm. He was also impressed- though he'd tried quickly to squash the thought -by the way the boy's leather one-piece thief outfit had fit his wiry body like a second skin. Obviously the other young man had thought the same as far as thieving abilities were confirmed; an instant later his lips had curved in the hint of a rueful smile, a silent congratulations on getting so far.
    Trowa had been the one to actually get the statue; a few flips and leaps and he'd landed lightly beside the case, avoiding all the lasers smoothly. Duo had given a low impressed whistle from the other side of the room that Trowa had studiously ignored as he carefully retrieved his prize from its case.
    He'd turned in time to see a smirk on the other boy's face- and the foot he was thrusting forward into the lasers, setting off the alarms and shattering the silence.
    Evidently Duo was a sore loser.
    Trowa had just barely managed to get out with the statue, and had assumed the strange boy had either been captured or disappeared.
    A few months later they'd encountered each other in a grocery store in Italy. They stared at each other like startled cats before Duo had finally offered that rueful grin again and extended his hand. "So we meet again, Mr. Acrobat. I'm Duo Maxwell, master thief," he'd said without a hint of modesty.
    They'd ended up working together as partners in crime, moving from city to city and making museum directors quake in their shoes at the thought of them ever visiting. They had become fast friends, strangely enough. Trowa had assumed they would have a difficult time getting along simply because of the clash in personalities. Where Duo was loud, bluntly honest, and had no problem with laying his emotions out for everyone to see, Trowa was just the opposite: reserved, quiet, and careful to keep the majority of his emotions in check behind his carefully constructed poker face.
    He was fond of the other boy, however, amused by his antics and his brutal honesty; his jokes and his hysterical laughter. It had taken him a little while to get used to the little thief's spontaneous displays of affection, but... they fit. They worked well together, and they had become close.
    Almost too close.
    Trowa lowered his eyes to his coffee can, only half listening as Duo started talking excitedly about the museum's security and the coveted Jade Dragon. They'd moved to Tokyo four months ago, and had settled comfortably enough. But he'd found himself watching his partner more and more often out of the corner of his eye in the past half year; thinking about him more than was healthy, and letting his mask slip unconsciously to offer a small smile whenever Duo grinned at him in such a wild manner.
    He was, he admitted to himself with resignation, experiencing feelings other than friendship for his braided partner. The real trick was keeping Duo from finding out. He knew of Duo's fondness for pretty girls; giving up his secret meant giving up their partnership.

    Duo was looking up at him strangely, and Trowa shook himself out of his deep thoughts, quickly trying to remember the last thing his partner had said.
    He gave up. "What?"
    Duo snorted, taking a swig from his coffee. "Damn, you're spacey today. You OK, man? I asked if you were sure you wanted to give this a shot."
    Trowa frowned slightly. He'd already said 'sure'. Damn. Duo must have said something concerning the difficulty of getting this particular item. Duo read the slight confusion on his face; he gave a loud sigh, gesturing towards the laptop on his stomach. "Recap for those who were in la-la land: this is Quatre Winner's museum."
    That got Trowa's attention. Quatre Raberbra Winner was a name well-known to anyone interested in treasure or antiques. The young man was rich, powerful, and had a love for the arts. He was the owner of several theaters and libraries, but he was also the curator for one of Tokyo's biggest and most lavish museums. An art thief's dream and nightmare all rolled into one. A dream because of the many treasures it housed...
    A nightmare because the infamous Heero Yuy was its chief of security.
    Heero Yuy was the bane of any crook's existance. A former mercenary in the war, he'd become a tough-as-nails cop when peace had descended five years ago. He was famous for always getting his man. And for having a twitchy trigger finger. When his friend Quatre had offered him a job as chief of security at his precious museum after a few near-raids from various thieves, he'd accepted. Thanks to him, the security measures on the building were top-notch. One might as well try to break into Fort Knox. Trowa stared down at his partner with an arched brow. He knew Duo was cocky and always loved to push his talents to their limits, but this... this was Mission Impossible.
    Duo grinned at his look of disbelief, stretching like a cat. Trowa very carefully did not look at the way it caused his shirt to hitch up and flash a few inches of abs and flat stomach. Duo's habit of wearing clothes that were a size too small for him was not, Trowa had decided months ago, good for his withering self control.
    "Come on, we gotta at least try," Duo cajoled. "If we pull this off, we'll go down in crooked history, man!"
    "And if we fail, we get to rot in prison for about a decade or two," Trowa pointed out dryly.
    Duo scoffed, waving a hand carelessly. "Pfft! I haven't gotten thrown in the slammer yet, and I've been stealing shit since I was a kid."
    "I have," Trowa reminded him quietly, and the grin slid from Duo's face. Trowa's face was carefully emotionless, hiding the inner cringe at the memory. He'd been caught before- nearly five years ago. He'd only been held for two years, getting out on good conduct; he'd been much more cautious since then. The job with the ivory statue was supposed to be his last one. He'd told himself he would stop after that.
    Then he'd met Duo. And Duo was right- they'd never been caught, even if there had been a few close calls, mostly in the beginning when they'd still been getting used to working together.
    "Oh, yeah. Sorry, man," Duo said meekly, looking honestly apologetic. He offered a slight grin, his eyes understanding. "You don't have to take this one if you don't want."
    Trowa started to nod, then stopped, eyes narrowing slightly in suspicion. "If I don't want to take it? Don't tell me you're going to try anyway?"
    Duo flashed an evil smile that was all the answer the other boy needed. He swallowed a groan and resisted the impulse to bury his face in his hands. "Duo," he said in near exasperation, "you can't take something like this on by yourself."
    Duo pouted. "Sure I can! I'm not going to pass up a chance like this! I've been passing up too many chances lately." He trailed off, averting his gaze, suddenly very interested in his laptop. Trowa wondered what he meant by that, but shook it off. He had to talk his friend out of this suicide mission.
    "Duo, you know who's going to be guarding that Dragon tonight, right?" Trowa crossed his arms over his chest, staring down at his partner. "If the name 'Heero Yuy' doesn't make you even contemplate the idea of moving cross-country, you haven't heard enough about him."
    Duo's lip curled a little. "Feh! I know all about the famous Yuy the One Man Army. He doesn't scare me." When Trowa only continued to stare at him, he gave a weak little shrug. "Ok," he muttered, "maybe the idea of meeting the guy face to face makes me a little nervous. So what? We're master thieves! We're supposed to live on the edge and all that!" His eyes were gleaming, and Trowa could tell he was already jumping ahead of himself, imagining his glorious victory against Winner, Yuy, and his host of security guards and traps. Trowa closed his eyes and gave a hopeless shake of his head. He knew that look. Nothing could convince his partner not to go, now. He was stuck on the idea, and if Trowa had learned one thing in his two years working with the man, it was that Duo Maxwell was stubborn as hell. Telling him he couldn't have something only made Duo want it more.
    He let his breath out in a quiet sigh. "Wakatta. But we'd better come up with a solid plan if we have any hope of getting out of this with our skin intact."
    Duo's grin lit up his face. "Of course!"


    Quatre Winner stood with his hands clasped behind his back, watching as the workers pried open the cart containing the precious jade statue, using crowbars to wrench the wood open. Heero was standing beside him, arms crossed over his chest as he watched, his face stony. Anyone who didn't know the young man well might have assumed he was angry over something, but Quatre knew it was simply a soldier's mask his friend had picked up in the war and wore when he was on duty. Quatre had managed to help the man relax a little over time once peace had descended, but the ex-soldier still had a steely grip on his emotions and expressions and could lock them away at will.
    "Already finished setting up the security for tonight?" Quatre inquired, watching as the protective wrapping was carefully pulled from the statue.
    Heero's eyes flicked around instinctively as he spoke, always on the lookout for danger or mishaps. "Almost. I wanted to watch the unloading; make sure no one was foolish enough to try something when it arrived."
    Quatre gave a small smile at the brusque answer. "I see. Ah..." His smile widened in appreciation as the newest addition to his museum was finally uncovered and visible. He lowered his hands to his sides and walked over eagerly with Heero behind him. The workers very carefully heaved the heavy dragon statue onto its pedestal, grunting and sweating under the weight. Once it was in place, Quatre stepped forward and lifted a hand as if to stroke the magnificent piece, his hand hovering just by it as if he didn't dare mar it with his touch.
    "So beautiful," he breathed, his eyes shining. "The pictures I saw don't do it justice."
    Heero had turned slightly, his movement announcing someone's arrival; Quatre noted the sudden tense lines in his friend's shoulders that indicated it was a stranger, and turned curiously. He smiled brightly as his guest came striding up, accompanied by one of the museum's security guards.
    "Chang Wufei," Quatre greeted warmly, walking up and offering his hand. "I am deeply honored at this donation."
    He felt Heero come up behind him, and could imagine the slightly suspicious stare he must be submitting their guest to. It was a scrutiny that made most people uneasy, but evidently Chang Wufei was made of sterner stuff. He barely even glanced Heero's way as he took Quatre's offered hand in a brief but firm handshake.
    He was dressed in a traditional Chinese overcoat, pants, and slippers. His ebony hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail, accenting his high cheekbones and fierce dark eyes. He looked competent, professional, and a little distant. The aloofness didn't faze Quatre; it was to be expected from the leader of one of the strongest and wealthiest clans in China. Wufei was by rumor a proud, almost scornful young man with few friends and a somewhat thorny attitude, but Quatre was more than willing to look past that due to the man's generous donation of one of his family's treasures.
    "It was only taking up space," Wufei said shortly in response to Quatre's honest thanks. "And I've heard of the rumors concerning the security of your museum."
    "Yes." Quatre smiled, nodding and stepping aside to gesture to the silent man behind him. "Thanks to this man. Chang Wufei, this is my friend Heero Yuy. He's the chief of security for the museum."
    Heero wasn't in the habit of shaking hands, and perhaps Wufei wasn't, either, because he didn't offer his own hand. The guard inclined his head slightly in greeting, and Wufei gave a brief nod of acknowledgement, studying him with sharp eyes. "So this is the infamous Heero Yuy, who strikes fear in the hearts of the world's filthiest lowlifes," he quoted with only the hint of a sneer. He met Heero's intense stare dead-on, his mouth curving slightly in a smile that was just this side of challenging. Heero's eyes narrowed slightly, and he shifted his weight instinctively.
    "You fight?" he asked bluntly. Quatre started to stammer in surprise and apology, but Wufei's cold smile only widened a little.
    "My clan is made up of warriors," he said as if it should be something obvious, lifting his chin in a defensive, proud gesture. Heero's eyes flicked away from his gaze to take in the rest of him in a quick assessment, but the flowing clothes were too loose to give away just how fit the other man was. Quatre recognized the inspection with an internal sigh. Everytime Heero ran across someone strong, he always sized them up that way as if considering just how quickly he could take them down.
    Heero met Wufei's gaze again, and his own mouth tightened a little in the barest shadow of his own version of a mirthless smile. Whether it was in acknowledgement or scorn, Quatre couldn't decipher, but whatever silent conversation the two warriors were having ended abruptly when Wufei- apparently satisfied by something Quatre couldn't grasp -turned his attention back on the young curator.
    "I would like to stay here tonight," he said to the blond. "I'm leaving tomorrow, but I would rest easier after seeing that the Jade Dragon is safe here."
    "It would be my pleasure," Quatre assured him. "However, that is actually a decision for Heero to make. He can be very picky about his security, and he does know best."
    Heero thought about it for a minute, studying the clan leader with his neutral soldier's face on, then gave a nod. "Very well. If.." that challenging smile teased at his lips again, his eyes like hard gems, "..you don't get in our way, that is."
    Wufei gave a little sniff, his expression disdainful as he looked at the guard out of the corner of his eye. He didn't bother to give him a response; with a parting nod to Quatre, he strode back out. The security guard who'd escorted him in started to follow him, but Heero waved him off. "We can watch him on camera," he said briskly. "He doesn't need a guard trailing after him. He doesn't seem to have any ulterior motives. He's a guest here."
    Quatre was looking at him strangely, and Heero offered him a scowl at the long look. "What?" he snapped.
    "He's just a little shellshocked, I'll bet," the other guard chuckled, reaching up to push a few stray hairs from his face. When Heero redirected his glare to the taller man, he merely smirked. Treize Kushrenada always enjoyed the opportunity to push his superior's buttons. "Well, you can't blame him," he admonished. "I'm a little surprised myself. You rarely trust others so easily. And yet it's like you two became buddies in five minutes." His tone turned teasing. "Should I be jealous?"
    Heero's lip curled. Quatre coughed to hide a smile. Sometimes he almost felt sorry for Treize. The older man had been trying to get on Heero's good side- and in his pants -since he'd first started working as a security guard at the museum three months ago. He had the hots for the stone-faced chief of security, and didn't bother to keep it a secret. He was used to getting whoever he wanted. Too bad Heero was a little on the slow side when it came to romance; he had been completely clueless that Treize was hitting on him until in a moment of frustration the tall man had asked Heero if he was ever going to be interested in a casual fuck or if he was just wasting his time.
    Quatre had pulled his friend aside after that and carefully explained to the flabbergasted man that 1) pulling a gun on Treize at that time was perhaps a bit much, and 2) Treize had been flirting with him for months. That had certainly startled the other man, but only for a little while. His reactions to Treize's advances still remained the same: annoyed, brisk, and a little scornful. Treize, who was notoriously persistant and stubborn, picked right back up where he'd stopped. He'd declared he wouldn't cease his pursuit of the man until Heero either shot him, found himself a significant other, or accepted his offer.
    So far Treize was shit out of luck on all accounts. On one hand Quatre couldn't help but admire the man's stubborn persistance. On the other, he felt a little sorry for him. Heero was not interested in a flashy peacock like Treize Kushrenada, never mind the fact that not even Quatre- his closest friend -had any idea as to what Heero's sexual preference really was.
    "That young man was fairly attractive," Treize admitted, glancing over his shoulder in the direction Wufei had gone and missing the way Heero's eyes narrowed in impatient annoyance. "Too bad his clothes were so baggy. Didn't get to see what the rest of him looks like. Still, I'm going to be hurt if you'd consider a cold fish like that when I'm right here." He offered the glowering ex-soldier a suggestive smirk.
    "He's my honored guest," Quatre said seriously to Treize before Heero could think of a death threat frightening enough to make his suitor retreat. "I want Chang Wufei treated with respect. This is a family heirloom he's offering; it stands to reason he's anxious to make sure it's going to be safe here. Especially tonight, when it's been so publicized."
    Heero turned his attention off of Treize, dismissing the teasing abruptly at the mention of work. "I've doubled the security measures," he grunted. "That statue isn't going anywhere."
    Quatre nodded in approval. "Good. That's what I want to hear." He turned to admire the statue once more; Heero took that as a dismissal and strode out with Treize close on his heels. He tuned out the man's cultured voice, frowning to himself as he went over in his head all the things left to do before he could relax even a smidgeon for the party tonight.
    Heero Yuy was always ready for anything.


    Later that afternoon as the two partners ate a quick lunch over the plans and blueprints they'd spread all over every available kitchen surface, Duo had to resist the urge to slam his head into the table.
    He glowered at his friend over his salami sandwich. Trowa, a floor plan in one hand, a piece of cheese in the other, was absorbed in studying the museum's layout, and didn't notice. Duo took a vicious bite of his sandwich. Could a guy get any more clueless?
    Duo Maxwell had been crushing after his partner for the better part of a year.
    Not that Trowa himself had bothered to take notice, Duo thought sourly, watching the way elegant fingers flipped one corner of the blueprints down to get a glimpse of the other side. Jade eyes never left the paper as the other man raised his cheese to nibble at it almost absently. Duo ducked his head a little- a habit he'd picked up recently when it came to observing his partner -to hide his eyes under the brim of his favorite hat, watching his friend as discreetly as he could.
    So far all his subtle hints and attempts at flirting had failed miserably. If he didn't know Trowa so well, he'd just throw caution to the winds and jump him. But that would only startle the other boy off, and Duo Maxwell was not one to lose a prize due to poor planning on his part.
    Maybe Trowa was straight, after all.
    Duo took a large bite of his sandwich to choke off his sigh, glaring at the table accusingly. Hell, he wasn't sure what to think anymore. He'd listened to his intuition- his "gaydar" -but by Trowa's reactions- or lack thereof -he might as well be asexual. At least he didn't have to harbor suspicions of Trowa being castrated or anything. He'd caught a glimpse of the willowy young man a few times in the shower or getting dressed and damn.
    Duo used his bread to discreetly mop up his drool at the memories. Of course, it wasn't just Trowa's body he wanted, which only made this all so much more frustrating. If he'd just been interested in a roll in the hay, he could've banged a random guy and gotten over it.
    But Duo wanted Trowa Barton body, mind, and heart. His mouth twisted into a little mirthless smile of self-disgust as he stared blankly at the wall, sandwich forgotten. Tough luck, Maxwell, he chided himself. It's been two years. If Tro hasn't shown any interest yet, you are piss outta luck.
    Duo blinked rapidly, focusing on his partner across the table. Trowa was arching a brow at him in puzzlement, and Duo hastily slapped a big grin on his face to cover up his expression. "What's up?"
    Trowa looked at him strangely for another moment before pointing out, "You look pretty out of it. Are you sure you're up to this tonight?"
    "Of course!" Duo scoffed. As he grinned at his teammate across the table, he had a rush of determination. "Tonight we'll show that tough-as-nails cop Yuy who's boss!" And, he added to himself, we'll see if there's any hope for you and me. His smile grew a little predatory. Trowa, assuming it was a grin meant for the authorities, gave a little snort of amusement and returned to his blueprints.


Author's Notes: *cough* I promised MW no bastardizing, and hadn't planned on it anyway, but you'll have to excuse my pokes at Treize. He irritates the bejeezus out of me. @_@

Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
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