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Heero’s fists curled into tight balls as blood flushed his face.  His scowl was menacing as he stared down at the unconscious figure in front of him.  Blood trickled from the cut at the corner of the boys’ mouth.  Blind rage surged through Heero’s body, making him shake.  Quatre dropped to his knees next to the boy, checking the side of his cheek that was already starting to bruise.  Trowa stood in front of Heero, blocking any further attempt on Duo’s life.

 “Don’t make me hurt you, Trowa.”  Heero’s voice was calm and even as he spoke at the green eyed pilot.

 “That won’t be necessary, as long as you don’t move another step.”  Trowa’s eyes met Heero’s icy glare unwavering.

 “This is none of you’re damn business, Barton.  You and Quatre should stay out of this.”  Heero scowled as he took another step towards Duo.

 In a flash of sky and green leaves that Heero last remembered seeing, Trowa punched him clean out.  Even Heero had his weaknesses when rage and emotion blinded him.  He also never thought Trowa would really swing.  He was wrong.  He woke up a few minutes later, lying on his back on the stone path where he had attacked Duo, with Trowa sitting beside him.

 “Have you regained your senses yet, Yuy?” His voice was pleasant.

 “Hn.”  Heero rubbed his jaw and took a few deep breaths.  “Where’s Duo?”

 “Quatre took him back to our place.  You were out of line.”  Trowa’s voice only hinted of agitation from the confrontation he interrupted.

 “You don’t know anything about it.”  Heero stood quietly brushing the grass and leaves from his shirt.

 “I know that you don’t have all the information.”  Trowa said flatly as he tossed the brown paper bag to him.

 “Huh?”  Heero’s face began to flush as anger pricked the back of his neck.  He caught the bag and held it, without looking at the contents.

 “I also know that for the first time, Heero you experienced jealousy and didn’t deal with it very well at all.”  Trowa didn’t get up and spoke quite plainly to Heero, who’s confusion screamed from his entire being.

 “Jealous?  Of what?”  Heero’s mind raced back to the scene he had caused moments before.  Then to the events that led him to the confrontation.

 He had gone out early that evening wondering why for the first time in weeks, Duo had not returned to their dorm room after his Algebra and Trigonometry class, to meet with him before dinner.  They usually walked across campus to collect their other three comrades to join them, the quickest way being through the small shady glen in the center of the school.  But today he was over twenty minutes late, so Heero decided to look for him.

 Baka, probably is being held after class for spouting off about the uselessness of mathematics.  Still, it’s strange for him to run this late.

 He strolled through campus watching students hurry off to class, or lingering around the fountain, when his eyes drifted to a very familiar, very late, braided pilot standing next to one of the library buildings’ tall white pillars.  He was having a quiet conversation with another young man, with dark, neatly trimmed hair, and gray-green eyes, color like a storm that was about to blow out to sea. He was well dressed, and practically drooling over Duo’s charm and bright violet eyes.  Heero’s stomach tightened up in a knot upon seeing the friendly exchange and he cursed himself at the thoughts plaguing his mind.

 What do I care who he talks with, or when?  If he wants to chat, instead of having dinner…so? He should know better than to draw attention to himself, not that he could help it. Who is that?  Like the Earth can’t help moving around the sun. Damn.  Damn him to hell.  Fine, he can eat alone.

 Heero stalked away from the pair, brooding over his pride and finding himself at Trowa and Quatre’s place.  They had been waiting, and after stopping along the way to get Wufei, the four pilots had a pleasant dinner, not far from campus.  Heero didn’t have much of an appetite, his mind still racing about the lack of a certain loud, obnoxious, person at dinner, and decided to head back to campus early.  He had walked through the east side of the campus for a change of scenery, the night being cool and clear.  The fresh air and smell of damp leaves quieted his stirring thoughts, when something caught his eye.  He saw Duo slip into one of the dorm buildings belonging to upperclassmen and a few married couples.  He had no business being on this side of the campus, and it immediately set Heero’s wheels to turning.

 What the hell is he doing?  Who could he possible be meeting on this side of the campus, as if I really had to guess.  It’s probably nothing.  It’s just not like him to be so secretive.  He’s too obvious.  Still…

 Heero crept down the well-lit hallway and paused before the door in front of him.  He had followed Duo’s cheerful voice and music-like laughter to this one and concentrated on the conversation going on behind the door.

“No, it’s perfect.  I love it!  How did you know?”  Duo’s voice was clear and his enthusiasm resonated from the space inside.

The other mans’ voice was low, too low for Heero to hear what he was saying, and Heero swore under his breath as he heard them moving towards the door.  He quickly snuck back down the hallway and into the shadows outside the building undetected.

Duo appeared from the building and made his way back toward their building.  Heero cut through the glen to get there before him, to put on the appearance he had been there all along.  He had only just managed to get into the room and to his desk, when Duo opened the door and crept silently into the room.

“Duo.”  Heero put his mask firmly in place, not turning from his laptop.

“Heero?  It’s late, I thought you might be sleeping.”  Duo’s voice sounded a little nervous as he set about tucking something under his bed, and unloading his bag and jacket in the chair.

“You missed dinner.”

“Yeah.  I…uh…I wasn’t hungry and had some stuff to do.”  He went into the bathroom and began his nightly routine of brushing teeth and hair before changing and getting into bed.

Heero shut off the laptop and strolled to his bed.  Removing his shorts and shirt, he got into bed watching for Duo to cross the room.  He never missed the nightly opportunity to see Duo with his beautiful hair undone and his smooth, muscular form, slip into bed.  Shortly thereafter falling into a light sleep.

The next morning, Duo was gone before Heero woke.

What?  He doesn’t have class ‘til nine.    Heero no baka.  What the hell is he up to?
Heero went to his classes, completely distracted, and failed to see Duo at any point throughout the course of the day.  He met Wufei for lunch, but didn’t mention the braided magician.  It was very unlike anyone to elude Heero’s attention, and it made him increasingly irritated as the day progressed.

“I’ll see you later then, Heero.”

“Yeah.  Whatever, later, Wufei.”

Heero didn’t listen at all to any part of the conversation he had with the Wufei.  His mind distracted on what duo could hide from him, a master of detection.  Whatever it was it was simple enough to figure out.

Before dinner, Heero went back to the room and directly to Duo’s bed, pulling a paper bag out from underneath.  Inside was a woolen knit sweater, dark gray with flecks of white and a card that read ‘for my love’.  The sweater smelled slightly of musk, and was soft and warm.  Stuffing it back into the bag and storming from the room, he set out to find the cause for his anger and suffering, the reason for the pain in is heart, for the truth in a pair of violet eyes.

Coming to the glen and seeing Trowa and Quatre up ahead of him with Duo, did not prevent him from charging up to Duo.  Dropping the paper bag, he grabbed him around the collar with both hands.  He had shoved Quatre out of the way and was shaking the braided pilot while cursing at him.  A very shocked Quatre stumbled into Trowa, who instinctively caught the blonde boy before he fell.  Duo just stood there like a deer in headlights allowing himself to be shaken like a rag doll.

“Heero!  What’s wrong with you?”  Duo gasped as he tried to shove Heero off.

Trowa stepped between them and separated the two, glaring at Heero with startling green eyes.

“I found this under your bed!”  Heero hissed at him.

Duo’s face went from shock, then confusion, to anger in about thirty seconds.  “What the fuck were you doing snooping around under my bed?  Funny, I don’t remember there being a mission plan under there.”  Duo felt the blood rush to his face, as tears threatened to fly from his huge eyes.

“I suppose your love left it there for you.”  Heero’s words were cold and his eyes were hard and cruel.  “I saw you talking with him yesterday, and I followed you to his room after dinner last night.”

“You what?”  Duo paused, mind racing, heart breaking.  “Fuck you, you…” Duo didn’t get the chance to finish, as Heero's fist came flying up making contact with the boy sending him crashing to the ground.  Violet eyes full of tears finally let loose and streamed down hot cheeks as the taste of blood filled his mouth.  He started to get up when blackness overtook him.


“I also know that for the first time, Heero, you experienced jealousy and didn’t deal with it very well at all.”  Trowa’s words flashed into his head, his anger gone he thought about what just transpired.

Quatre and Duo had gone back to Trowa’s dorm.  Heero looked up at the trees above him, then to the spot where he had hit Duo, a little smudge of blood, its dried copper color on the pavement.

“The gift in the bag was for you.” Trowa stood up and picked up the paper bag at Heero’s feet.  He opened it and handed the sweater to Heero who stood dumbfounded.  “Duo was planning on giving it to you later tonight.  We were all going to come over to celebrate your birthday.”

“My birthday?”  Heero stuttered.

“Duo knew that you didn’t know when it was, so he planned to make today your birthday and from now on.  We all agreed it was a nice idea.”  Trowa shook his head slightly.  “It was going to be difficult for Duo to tell you how he felt about you, so the birthday idea was a good way to do it.  He met this guy, who’s wife sewed stuff in his trig class, and had her make it for you.  I hope I don’t have to explain the card to you as well.”

Heero’s head reeled.  What have I done? I’ve lost him.

“It’s just a suggestion, but I think you should go and talk to him.”  Trowa headed off in the direction of the dorms leaving Heero in the cold breeze of the glen.  Night was descending quickly and faint stars where beginning to appear.

Back in their room, Quatre was holding the ice bag to Duo’s jaw, as Duo nervously played with the end of his long braid.  His eyes were red rimmed and misty, but his bottom lip was firm in it’s pout.

“Duo, is there anything I can do?”  Quatre’s concern written all over his face.

“How could he think that I…I would just shack up with some guy I barely knew?  I thought he knew me better…I…I thought he…” His voice trailed off as he bit his sore lip.

“I don’t know what came over him.  He’s been under a lot of pressure lately, and maybe he just snapped.  Jealousy does that to people, I know.”  Quatre was reassuring.

“Jealous?  Of what?  How could he not know that I…” He stopped when he raised sad eyes to the figure in the doorway.

“Duo?”  Heero’s face was solemn as he stood in the doorway.  Trowa stood in the hallway and waited for his koi to politely excuse himself from the room.

“Duo…I’m…forgive me?”  Heero’s voice was barely a whisper.

A tear slid down Duo’s bruised cheek as he blinked back the moisture in his eyes.  “Heero, I can’t understand how you think that for one minute I would run off with anyone I don’t even know.  How you could think that, I…I just…”

“Duo, please, I will not make any excuses.  What I did was so wrong.  I saw you with that guy, then I found the bag and the card, and I snapped.  I thought I had lost you to someone else.  Now…I’m afraid I lost you because of myself.”

“Heero.  I trust you more than anyone I have ever known, and you hurt me.  You hurt me because you didn’t trust me.”  Duo’s voice was shaky with sadness and tears slipped from his eyes regardless of how hard he fought them.

“Duo…I…I understand.”  He turned and started to leave when he felt Duo’s hand grab his arm.

“I wasn’t finished.”  He looked into the deep blue eyes, filled with torment and smiled softly.  “Trust is earned, and you need to earn mine back.  But love is blind and given freely, without recourse, and I still give mine to you.”

Heero was astonished at Duo’s endless capability of forgiveness and understanding of him.  He trembled slightly at Duo’s touch and shut his eyes for a few moments.  He took a deep breath and let it out very slowly.  “I will never hurt you again, I swear it.”  Heero held the boy to him in a soft embrace.  He then followed Duo to Quatre’s bed, and held the ice to his face, brushing the locks of hair from his eyes, and kissing him softly.  They sat for a long time talking softly.



“Next time, I’ll knock you on your ass.”

“There won’t be a next time koi, and you can still knock me on my ass.”

Quatre and Trowa returned shortly after with Wufei in tow, carrying the small cake and candles.  With a look of confusion, Wufei turned to his two comrades upon seeing Duo and Heero.

“Did I miss something, again?  I knew there was reason you sent me for the cake.”

Quatre started to giggle, as Duo laughed out loud.

Trowa smiled warmly and put a hand on Heero’s shoulder.  “Happy Birthday, Yuy.”

“And many more.”  Added Duo.

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