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Doors...and Other Mysteries

Kateri Marie


Duo was quiet.

Not only was this an unheard of event, but a somewhat miraculous one at that.

Heero eyed his partner warily as the car sped down the road at Duo's usual breakneck speed. Usually he would be exasperatedly telling Duo to shut up, with a baka on the end for good measure. But tonight, there was no need and Heero found it amazingly unsettling.

He couldn't figure it out. There was no good reason for Duo to be so quiet.
::Mission: figure out what's wrong with Duo. First tactic: direct.::

"Duo, daijobu?" he cocked his eyebrow as he questioned his partner.

"Yeah." Duo grunted an affirmative as he took another corner at a speed that should have left the muffler behind. The look in his eyes dared Heero to ask just one more question.

But Heero hadn't been Duo's partner for so long without learning a tactic or two to deal with the mercurial American. He knew better than to challenge that look. ::He was fine before the mission.:: Heero thought. ::Something must have happened during it::

Carefully, blue eyes narrowed as Heero pulled up the mission before him. He could see no irregularities. They had infiltrated the OZ stronghold, hacked into the systems and retrieved the information. Towards the end, they had to deal with some guards but that had been expected and planned for. Duo had fought towards a laundry shout but Heero had been cornered by a window. It hadn't been a problem and the two had met back at the car like they'd planned.

::There's nothing in there that should have disturbed him.:: Heero
thought, brow furrowing just slightly into his normal glare. ::This is going to require further work.:: He glanced back over at his partner and considered again. ::After we return to base.::
Wufei, Trowa and Quatre took one look at Duo's face when the two returned to the safehouse and promptly decided that going out for the evening was a wonderful idea, as was not coming back till morning, or whenever the ashes cooled.

For a moment, Heero almost envied them the choice. The look on Duo's face... certainly wasn't encouraging. Nor was the eerie silence the braided boy was emitting. Heero fought back a shudder; it had been a long time since something had managed to rattle him.

He listened for a moment as Duo stormed around the kitchen, wincing as plates cracked and glasses shattered in protest of the rough treatment. He approached the doorway cautiously, fully expecting things to be flying through the air.

But the American had delegated himself to a small portion of the counter, his arm moving furiously through the air as he concocted a sandwich of some sort.

Heero backed out again as he saw the flash of a knife amidst flying pieces lettuce and lunchmeat. ::Mission postponed.:: He thought. ::He'll be more reasonable after he's eaten.:: He assuaged the perfect soldier's voice hurriedly, still hearing the dull 'chop chop' as the knife impacted with the cutting board. ::Definitely after he's... eaten.::

::It appears safe.:: Heero glanced at Duo's face as he approached
cautiously from behind. ::Safer at least. Mission resumed.:: He set his face in a stone like mask of neutrality as he stealthily made his way to his partner's side.

Duo was standing by the window in his bedroom, his hand splayed over the glass, brow knit in concentration, a scowl permeating his visage. He didn't move as Heero approached though Heero made sure he wasn't surprised. But still, he made no sound.

"Duo?" Heero asked, his voice held as carefully in control as his face.
"What's wrong?" He would have taken on any  mission, ANY mission, rather than do this, now. He had no clue how to deal with his own emotions, much less the emotions of his mercurial and lunatic partner. But he was Duo's partner. And Duo was... Duo, engraved on his heart without Heero even knowing it. He had no
choice but to try.

"What's wrong?" Duo hissed softly, the intensity of his voice about equal with a nuclear explosion. He turned with a perfectly measured movement and his violet eyes narrowed at Heero, looking frighteningly hard. "What's wrong?"

"Hai." Heero offered, bracing himself for whatever might come. He
expected an explosion, or at the very least for Duo to lash out, and he prepared himself to withstand a blow.

But Duo didn't strike him, or even lift a hand. Rather the braided boy's head cocked, said braid swinging in a low arc at his back. "You want to know what's wrong..." His voice was mildly louder, the intensity increasing exponentially and his breath shuddered as he drew it in, control obviously ragged.

Heero blinked. Even in the very climax of battle, he'd never heard the other boy sound so... frightening. He found himself without even a grunt for a response.

Duo advanced, taking a mild sadistic pleasure when he saw Heero's muscles twitch, demanding that the Japanese boy give in to common sense for a change and get the hell out. But Heero had never been one for common sense and he stood his ground, barely.

But Duo passed him by, close enough that Heero could feel the coiled muscles, waiting... waiting for their chance. He stalked over to the door and closed it with a resounding slam then turned back to Heero.

Heero blinked again. But said nothing. Duo was not acting... Well, Duo never acted logical but this was out there even for him. He cocked his head in question and stared into the unyielding amaryllis eyes.

"Do you see this?" Duo waved a hand at the door, his voice still in that frightening low intense mode that would have made most OZ soldiers run home to their mothers.

Heero nodded cautiously, taking a single step forward.

"What is this?" There was a languid dormancy in Duo's eyes that made Heero's skin crawl in fear.. or anticipation. He couldn't tell which.

"A door." He offered, more and more confused by his partner's actions.

"Yes," Duo nodded, but the pleased smile on his face was NOT reassuring in any way, shape, or form. "A door." He reached over and grasped the handle, opening the door with a flourish. "Open door." Duo stepped through the doorway with one fluid movement. "You go through a door."

He repeated the action, going in and out of the door, several times, while Heero ran through the symptoms of insanity in his head.

Then Duo looked back at Heero, with eyes disturbingly narrowed, like a preying cat's. "Do you understand this concept?"

"Hai." Heero repeated once more, his own eyes furrowing slightly.

In two rapid steps, Duo's face was within an inch of Heero's and his eyes flashed as he shouted, "Then why the hell did I watch you jump out the damn window?!" His eyes blazed and snapped, almost daring Heero to answer.

"It was strategically correct." Heero responded, wondering why it
bothered Duo so very much.

Duo's eyes bulged; wrong answer. He pressed his face closer so that their noses bumped together roughly. "NOT OUT OF THE FOURTEENTH FLOOR IT ISN'T!!!!!!" He backed off slightly, gulping a breath of air, more than ready to start again.

"Why does it bother you?" Heero cut him off with the soft question, his ears still ringing from the sheer volume of the words. "The mission was completed successfully."

"Successfully?" The tendons on Duo's neck jumped as if in response to the vehemence of his words, or in protest of the strain. "I'll show you 'successfully'," He muttered under his breath, a split second before he pounced.

Heero's hands sprang up in automatic defense, only to be filled with an armful of braided baka, as the other pilot slammed into him, tumbling them both back onto a bed before proceeding to thoroughly investigate Heero's mouth. ::What is the phrase he uses...:: Heero dimly wondered as every last sense was driven forcefully from his head. ::"Kissing the daylights out of someone"?::

Then Duo pulled his head up, eyes still blazing, this time with hints of joy dawning. "If you ever.. and I repeat ever do that again..."

Heero didn't even wait for him to finish the sentence. "Shut up, baka." Then he surged up to reclaim the too tempting lips making a mental note to jump out of windows more often.

::Ninmu ryoukai. ::

The End

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