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Unacknowledged Missions

Red Jester


The huddled form shivered and pulled the black coat tighter to its body. A comically large hood hid the figures features, giving it an animosity which kept passer-by's gazes from lingering to long. One kind man dropped a handful of change in front of the figure as he passed, without ever seeming to look in its direction. When he was a full block away, the form bent from where it was leaning against the brick-walled building and scooped up the abandoned change. A dark haired boy in a green tank top passed by as the figure was counting the change, causing it to push off the wall and fall into step beside the boy.

"Duo, why are you wearing that ridiculous hood?"

The figure pushed back the hood to reveal smiling violet eyes. "Why are you wearing spandex this late in the fall? Heero, it's freezing!"

"Hn." Was the Japanese boy's only response.

"Hey!" Duo skipped twice and then began digging in his pocket. "While you were checking that place out, I made 47 cents!"

Heero stopped to stare dubiously at hit partner's handful of change. "47 cents?! Duo, you were supposed to be on lookout! That bank is owned by one of Oz's major financial supporters! It has more security than… than…"

"Than Trowa's secret stash of hairspray?" Duo offered helpfully.

Heero threw up his arms in exasperation and began walking again. "Don't you ever take anything seriously?"

Duo scuffed a rock with the tow of his black boot and plastered an enormous grin on his face. "Do you ever not take something seriously"

Heero grunted. "Stop answering all of my questions with questions. It's annoying."

"But that's what you love about me, ne Heero?" The American grinned into his partner's death glare.

"Omae o korosu."

* * *

Their current hideout was a small, rundown house nestled claustrophobically between two other identical shacks. As the two boys reached the door, Heero raised a hand to knock, but Duo pushed past him, opened the door, and walked in with an obnoxiously loud, "Konnichiwa, minna-san!"

Heero sighed and entered the house in the shadow of Duo's performance. Trowa looked up from where he was lounging on a beat-up couch reading a magazine and made a welcoming gesture with his hand before returning to his reading.

A light tenor voice floated into the room from somewhere in the building and was followed by a loud crash. "Hello, Duo! I just… whoops." Another crash followed by a "fiddle-sticks" entered the room as Duo walked over and flopped down in a chair across from Trowa.

Heero stood by the door looking angry, lost, and amused at the same time. The American took one look at him and began laughing only to almost fall out of his chair a moment later when Quatre made his way into the room. The blonde boy was covered in flour, some tan substance, and had strings of red goo hanging from his hair. "You two are just in time." He said, clapping the flour from his hands as he looked at Heero and Duo. "I just finished making dinner."

Duo looked incredulously at the smaller boy. "What did you make?"

"Peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches!" the boy stated proudly.

The other three boys sweatdropped, then Trowa shrugged as Quatre turned to go back into the kitchen and got up to follow him. Duo and Heero made eye-contact and then followed the other two boys toward their dinner.

* * *

The four boys stared intently at each other across the beat-up table; their finished meal long forgotten. "So we go in tomorrow?" Trowa's voice was barely above a whisper, held down by the gravity of their conversation.

Heero nodded. "If everything goes alright, you and I should be in and out in about 15 minutes. All we have to do is find the computer files listing Oz's future projects, copy them, and get out undetected."

Duo sat up from where he'd slouched down in his chair. "You're leaving me behind?!" He hissed, "Why don't I get to have any fun?"

The Japanese boy turned to his partner, ignoring his complaint. "The target and his family will be at a party tomorrow evening. Duo, it's your job to keep track of them."

The American crossed his arms over his chest and mumbled, "Great. Babysitting."

"Quatre, you'll guard the house, just in case they get past Duo."

The blonde boy nodded and turned to Trowa, giving him an unsure smile. "This should be easy, ne?"

Trowa barely hesitated before he returned the nod.

* * *

The door to their room shut behind Duo with a quiet "click," and he turned to see Heero glaring at him.

"What?" The American asked defensively, fully aware of the reason for the look.

The Japanese boy crossed his arms over his chest. "Why do you have to make things so difficult?" He asked, his expression neutral.

Duo walked over to his bed, sat down, and began untying his boots. "I'm not trying to." He said, giving up on the knotted laces and looking up a Heero. "I just think I should be going in there instead of Trowa. I'm better with computers."

Heero didn't move. "That's what I'm for. I need Trowa there because he's more familiar with Oz's systems." He saw a hurt expression flash quickly across Duo's face and it dawned on him that this had nothing to do with the mission.

It had been two weeks since the American blurted out his confession in a cramped dorm room, and everything had been awkward since. Heero wasn't sure what was wrong, except that neither of them knew what to do next.

"Duo," The Japanese boy started, taking a step toward the boy on the bed. "You know I want you in there, but we need someone to follow them. If they showed up unexpectedly and we were still in there, it would be all over. I trust you."

Duo stood up and walked over to stand in from of his partner. "I'll buy that." He said, grinning and taking one step closer.

Heero could feel the heat radiating from Duo's body as he reached his hand up to place it on the other boy's cheek. His face was mere centimeters from the American's when there was a loud knock on the door.

Duo took a step back, the mood broken, and turned to the door as Heero dropped his hand to his side.

Trowa stuck his head in and looked from one boy to the other, his eyes finally resting on Heero's neutral face. "We need to go over some technical stuff tomorrow morning."

Heero simply nodded, and Trowa disappeared, shutting the door quietly.

The two boys left in the room stared at the door for a moment longer before switching their gazes back to each other. "We should probably get to sleep." Duo said, his voice barely above a whisper.


Neither boy moved.

After an eternity, Duo took a hesitant stop back, as though breaking free of a tether. With the first step taken, Duo moved more freely the rest of the way across the room to sink down on his bed, kicking off his boots without bothering with the laces.

Heero turned his back on the American to walk to his own bed with a sigh. What are we doing wrong

* * *

Trowa walked silently up the where Quatre was staring out the window of their bedroom and wrapped his arms around the smaller boy's waist from behind.

The blonde boy sighed and leaned back against his warmth, savoring the comfort before he spoke. "You'll be careful tomorrow?"

Trowa tightened his arms slightly. "Of course. And you?"

Quatre giggled and squirmed around in Trowa's arms until he was facing him, their bodies pressed tightly together. "I always am."

Trowa leaned down to touch a lingering kiss to the smaller boy's lips.

Breaking out of the circle of his arms, Quatre took the taller boy's hand and began leading him to one of the two beds in the room. "Come on, it's getting late and I still have some things planned for tonight."

Trowa chuckled and followed the eager boy without restraint.

* * *

Duo shifted his weight and glared at the well-lit mansion across the street. The target's family had just arrived, and Duo was ready for the mission to be over. From where he was sitting on an uncomfortable plastic bench, he could see the black car the family had arrived in perfectly. All he had to do was keep his eye on that car.

The American looked up at the sign next to him which proudly proclaimed "Bus Stop" and snorted. The bus only came through this area once an hour since most of the residents had their own chauffeurs as well as cars. I should be long gone before the next one comes. Duo thought, checking his watch. 8:13. Heero and Trowa should be entering the house right now. The boy sighed and put his hands behind his head, leaning back to glance up at the stars. This is going to be a boring night.

* * *

The lock on the back door popped open with a nearly silent "click" just before the door itself swung open. Heero walked confidently in and was followed like a shadow by Trowa, who shut the door silently. Both boys looked around the dark room and immediately determined it to be the kitchen. Before they could do anything, they had to find the man's computer.

Heero took off with a determined walk and pushed through one of two doors and entered the living room. After quickly scanning the room and not seeing a computer, he walked powerfully toward one of three doors. Trowa followed silently, hoping the Japanese boy knew what he was doing.

After passing through seven more rooms, Heero pushed through a door and stopped suddenly, causing a surprised Trowa to smack into him. Heero, however, didn't even notice. "What the…" He hissed.

Trowa looked over his shoulder and sucked in a breath. They were back in the kitchen.

* * *

Quatre crouched silently in the bushes next to the driveway of the target's mansion surrounded by equipment. The portable radio on his left was for Duo, and the one on his right was for Heero and Trowa. Hopefully, he thought, I won't need to use either of them until Heero and Trowa are out. The Arabian boy's eyes softened as his lover's name entered his mind. How can we celebrated after the mission tonight? There will be a meeting with Heero and Duo as soon as we bet back, but after that…

* * *

Duo, lost in his thoughts, didn't notice as the girl walked up and sat on the bench next to him. After a few seconds, she cleared her throat and Duo jumped, startled into reality.

"Hi." She said quietly.

The American boy looked over at her and, mission instincts kicking in, classified her as about 16 and middle-class. "Hi." He returned, turning his head so he was facing forward again and hoping she wouldn't press for a conversation.

She did. "When does the next bus come?"

"Uh…" Duo checked his watch without looking at her. "About 35 minutes." It's 8:25 already. I should be hearing from Quatre soon.

"So, what school do you go to?"

Duo started, having already forgotten the girl was there. "What?"

"What school do you go to?" She asked again patiently with her eyes glued to Duo.

"Ummm… what school?" Duo looked around. Kuso. What schools does this city have? "Uh, you know... the uh… the high school."

The girl smiled and leaned back a little more on the bench. "If you don't want to tell me, you don't have to. I was just wondering because I've never seen you before."

"Oh." Duo's eyes were glued to the mansion across the street.

The two sat in silence for a few minutes until suddenly the girl asked, "Do you have a girlfriend?"

* * *

Trowa pushed past a stunned Heero and took the lead. As soon as Heero saw the other boy walking for the door, he began to follow, still trying to figure out how they'd ended up right where they started.

After passing through five completely unfamiliar, computer-less rooms, the two boys stopped in front of a stairway. Trowa glanced at his watch. 8:20. They were running way behind. He started up the ornate staircase with Heero following closely behind him. Upon reaching the top, he saw three directions he could choose and, moving on a whim, he went right.

Five minutes and six rooms later, it was Heero's turn to bump into Trowa. "Don't tell me." He muttered, shoving past the other boy to glare disapprovingly at a familiar set of stairs. "Come on." He said, taking off for the only door they hadn't gone through yet.

* * *

Quatre checked his watch, starting to get worried. Should he have heard from them by now, or was he just being paranoid? He glanced up at the silent house, feeling helpless despite the equipment surround him.

* * *

Duo turned to look at the girl, "Do I have what?!"

"Do you have a girlfriend?" The girl asked innocently. "I can't imagine that you wouldn't."

The American debated how to answer the question and settled for the safest one. "Yes."

"Is she pretty?"

The girl sounded genuinely interested and Duo chuckled. Heero could be considered 'pretty.' "Of course." He answered, wondering what Heero would say if he told him that. "Do you have a boyfriend?" He heard himself asking before he could stop.

"Yeah." The girl answered excitedly. "I just came from his house."

Duo found himself smiling. The girl's excitement was infectious.

She added wistfully, "His parents are out of town so he fixed me a candle light dinner, and then we made love on a blanket in the gardens behind his house." She sighed, "It was my first time."

Duo swallowed hard, shocked by the girl's honesty and trying to ignore an obvious pang of jealousy. What he wouldn't give to get Heero alone for a couple of undisturbed hours. He shook his head slightly. I had him alone last night, and what did I do? Nothing. Not even a kiss. Why didn't I just go for it? He wondered. I guess I'm just worried he won't be interested. Who knows if the perfect soldier is equipped with a sex drive.


"Nani?" Duo asked, pulled out of his thoughts by the end of the girl's question.

"Have you and your girlfriend done it yet?"

He answered without thinking. "No."

"Doesn't she want to?"

How could the girl ask such personal questions with such an innocent look on her face? "I don't know. I haven't asked him… her." Duo corrected quickly.

"Oh." The girl paused. "You should. You know, most girls are more interested in sex than guys seem to think."

Duo paused, slightly confused, then said, "Uh, thanks." He looked down at his watch. 8:47. It was getting late. Duo looked up to where the target's car was parked and blinked. He stared for a moment and then blinked again. The car was gone.

He jumped up from the bench. "Excuse me." He said to the girl, already running to get out of hearing distance. As he rounded the corner he pulled a portable radio out of his jacket and switched it on. "Quatre, the car is gone."

He heard the blonde boy fumbling with the radio and then hear him ask, accompanied by static, "When did it leave?"

Duo winced. "Sometime within the last twenty minutes."

He was answered by only static for a few breaths before he heard Quatre say quietly, "Okay. I'll tell Heero and Trowa. Over."

Duo shoved the radio back into his coat, feeling guilt well up inside him. *If they showed up unexpectedly and we were still in there, it would be all over. I trust you.*

"Shit." Duo said, already running for the stolen motorcycle he'd stashed in some bushes a block away.

* * *

Heero's fingers flew over the keyboard until a window opened up with the words "Access Denied" flashing at him. Silently, he began breaking the system apart with Trowa whispering and pointing when he got stuck. After a tense 15 minutes, Heero's fingers stopped moving and the file they were looking for shone at them, lighting up their faces with a sickly glow in the otherwise dark room.

Suddenly, the radio Trowa was carrying crackled to life, causing both boys to jump. "Trowa, Heero… Duo just told me the car left sometime between 20 minutes ago and now. How much more time do you need?"

"Not much." Heero mumbled, fingers already beginning to dance over the keyboard again.

Trowa grabbed the radio and pressed the talk button. "Not much. Tell us when they get here."

Quatre's high voice sounded concerned. "Try to be out of there by then."

"Of coarse." Trowa answered quietly. Then, louder, "Out."

* * *

Quatre set the radio back down, Trowa's voice still echoing in his ears. Every muscle was strung tight in his body, his eyes pasted to the road, hoping they wouldn't see anything.

He waited.

Both radios were silent.

He waited.

Suddenly, he saw headlights a little ways down the road. He grabbed Trowa and Heero's radio and began talking. "There's a dark car coming up the road."

"Almost done." The voice that answered was dead. The Arabian couldn't tell through the static whether Heero or Trowa had answered him.

As the car drew closed, a loud engine joined its softer one and Quatre saw a single headlight approaching from behind. "The car's almost here." He said into the radio, but received no response from the rushing boys in the mansion.

The single headlight resolved itself into a motorcycle as it began to pass the car which was slowing down for the driveway where Quatre was waiting. "What the…" Quatre mumbled into the radio, to nervous to put it down.

When it was about half-way past the car, the driver of the motorcycle slammed on the brakes. The vehicle was having no trouble stopping until the driver jerked the handlebars, causing the bike to veer in front of the car and skid a few feet on its side.

"Oh!" Quatre said sharply into the radio, watching the car jerk to a stop and the driver fly out the door as soon as it was stopped. He had to force himself not to jump up and help the black clad figure pinned between the motorcycle and the pavement.

"What?" Trowa's voice was strained so much that even the static couldn’t cover it.

"Duo just bought you some time. GO!" Quatre whispered harshly, his eyes glued to the scene in the road. The target and his wife were pulling the motorcycle off Duo and helping him shakily to his feet. He heard Heero's voice in the background say, "We're done. Let's go." Followed by Trowa's in the foreground saying, "We're on our way out."

Quatre nodded stiffly, not even realizing his lover couldn’t see him. His eyes were on Duo, who was trying to reassure the target and his wife that they didn't need to call an ambulance. He was having a hard time since one leg of his pants was shredded from the pavement and he was holding his right arm close to his body.

Quatre, sure that this was the stupidest thing he'd ever done, shoved the radios into his coat and popped up from the bushes; walking determinedly toward the group in the street. Luckily, no one noticed him until he was out in the street and could have come from anywhere.

Duo looked at him with shock at first and then amusement. He clapped the blonde boy on his shoulder with his good arm, pasting a disarming smile on his face. "This is a friend of mine." He said cheerfully to the couple, trying to put everyone at ease including himself. "He doesn't live far from here. We can just walk over to his place. I'll be fine."

"Yeah." Quatre added, trying to match Duo's confidence but not quite succeeding. "Let's go." The Arabian bent to pick up the motorcycle and hefted it to an upright position. He and Duo turned their backs on the target and began walking the motorcycle to where they were supposed to meet Heero and Trowa.

* * *

The four boys' were once again sitting around the beat-up table in the small house. The only one smiling was Duo. Quatre's eyes were flitting from one person to another, while Trowa and Heero were staring into space. The blonde pilot sighed. "So, what exactly went wrong?"

Heero's eyes focused, and he looked at Quatre. "Nothing went wrong. We copied the files and got out without being detected. Mission accomplished."

Duo chuckled. "I agree with Heero. The only injuries were a couple scrapes and bruises, and the mission was accomplished. Let's go to bed." He said, pushing back his chair and standing up.

Quatre's jaw dropped as the American walked away and Heero got up to follow him.

* * *

"What kind of meeting was that?" Quatre asked from where he was nestled comfortably next to Trowa in their bed. "I want to know how Duo missed the car leaving."

Trowa chuckled. "Looks like you may never find out."

Quatre grunted and wrapped his arms around Trowa's. "What took you and Heero so long? I thought it was supposed to be a 15 minute job."

Trowa hesitated before saying sheepishly, "We got lost."

The smaller boy craned his head around to see if Trowa was joking and, when he realized he wasn't, Quatre giggled. "No wonder Heero didn't want to talk about it."

Trowa kissed the smaller boy's jaw line softly and Quatre invited more by rolling onto his back and allowing Trowa to slide on top of him. Their lips met once gently, and then a second time more passionately. Trowa leaned down to kiss his lover's collar bone, and Quatre sighed. "I love you." The Arabian mumbled.

The taller boy made a trail of kisses up to Quatre's ear before he replied in a whisper, "You keep me sane."

* * *

"What went wrong, Duo?"

Heero's voice was as neutral as his face, but the American pilot knew he was angry from his tense stance. "Nothing went wrong, remember?" He kept his tone jovial in hopes that he could keep Heero from getting lost in his anger.

"I'm serious, Duo. How could you have been oblivious for 20 minutes? Did you go to dinner or something?"

Duo winced at his harsh tone. *I trust you.* Not anymore. Duo thought, then said out loud, "Someone was distracting me. She wouldn't stop talking and I didn't want to seem too suspicious."

Heero's face hardened. "The next time you're in there, I'll give you the same consideration."

Duo opened his mouth to speak, but as his partner's words slapped him in the face he closed it again. He'd expected Heero to be angry, but that was going a little too far. Insinuation that Duo had lost track of the target on purpose. Duo felt an anger akin to Heero's rising inside him and lost what little control he had over his tongue. "Next time I'm in there? Next time I put my life on the line, you mean. Do you think I crashed my motorcycle in front of a moving car because I didn't care if you got caught or not?" Duo's voice cracked and he bit his lip to keep from crying. "I'm sorry, Heero, I really am, but do you know what was really distracting me? You were. You weren't even there and you were still screwing with my head. Do you remember when I told you I loved you? I still do, but I'm starting to wonder where you stand." Duo's eyes were filled with violet fire, making the moisture almost invisible. Almost.

Heero had stood motionless through the American's tirade until he hit the end like a freight train hitting a brick wall. Or maybe the train hit Heero. The Japanese boy crossed the space between them in two long strides, pulling the American harshly into his arms when he reached him.

They stood motionless for close to a minute, clinging to each other with confusion and anger. Eventually, Duo sniffled. "I didn't mean it."

Heero shook his head, unable to see his partner's face, and took a hold of the American's braid. "No. You're right, Duo. I'm sorry. It was a mistake." He paused, "This whole day has been one big mistake."

"I agree." Duo mumbled, beginning to trace patterns on his partner's back with his fingers. He heard Heero sigh, but after a few breaths the Japanese boy began to pull away. "Wha…" Duo's statement was cut off when Heero pressed his lips firmly to his.

The Japanese boy pulled back after only a second, wanting to check his partner's reaction. When he opened his eyes, Duo was beaming at him. "More." Was all he said before pulling Heero in for something a little more demanding.

Heero felt Duo's tongue running along his lips almost instantly and opened his mouth to the inevitable. As he fought with Duo's tongue, the Japanese boy dropped the braid and moved his hands down to rest at the American's lower back, not sure how far the other boy was intending to go.

The two boys pulled reluctantly apart before they suffocated and stared at each other questioningly for a moment. Before the pause could grow stale, Duo cocked his head, "Don't you think the bed would be more comfortable?" He asked, his voice lowered.

Heero kissed the American again and led him to his bed with the kiss, afraid if he broke contact Duo would change his mind. When they reached the bed, Heero sat down, pulling the other boy onto him so he was straddling his hips.

Duo groaned into his partner's kiss as he felt hands gripping his ass and pulling him closer. Bringing his hands up under Heero's green tanktop, the American retaliated and began running his hands over the well-muscled torso he found there. Heero's hands and mouth immediately left him and Duo opened his mouth to complain until he saw the other boy's intent.

Heero's green tanktop was on the floor before Duo could even pull his hands from the other boy's heated flesh. Heero's hands were at the American's side in an instant, running up and down once before they took hold of the cloth of his shirt. He pulled the garment up and Duo wriggled out of it, grinning like a maniac.

"I think I've been waiting for this since I met you." He whispered, holding Heero's eyes with his own.

The Japanese boy paused a moment in thought before laying back on the bed. Pulling Duo with him, he hissed when he felt their heated flesh touch.

As their mouths were brought back into action Heero moved his hands down and started to undo Duo's pants, fully prepared to stop if the American asked. The braided boy's only response, however, was to lift his hips to give Heero better access.

Heero began pushing the American's pants and boxers down his slender hips but, due to the position of the boys, they wouldn't go very far. Heero growled and rolled over so the other boy was on the bottom.

Duo chuckled at the position change. "I always figured you for a seme." Before his partner could answer, Duo locked their lips. He was surprised when Heero broke the kiss almost instantly and began trailing his mouth down the American's jaw and neck. Before Duo's mind could even comprehend what was happening, Heero attached his mouth to one of his already hardening nipples.

Duo gasped, threw his head back and closed his eyes, letting the feelings washing over him push all coherent thoughts from his mind. Heero tilted his head so he could see his partner's face and abandoned his chest in favor of the flat expanse of his stomach when Duo opened his eyes again.

Heero's tongue circled his bellybutton and then ran along the edge of Duo's sagging pants. The long-haired boy's breath was coming in short gasps, quickened by the anticipation. The Japanese boy looked up at his partner with an expression Duo had never seen before, but certainly hoped he would see again. Heero tucked his thumbs under the waistband of the American's pants and boxers and pulled them down and off. As the cloth slid down his legs, something between a gasp and a cry escaped Duo's mouth and Heero looked up sharply. The American's brows were knit tightly together and the look of near ecstasy had been replaced by a grimace.

Duo opened his eyes and forced a smile. "Like I said, a couple scrapes and bruises."

Heero looked down at his partner's leg where his pants had been shredded and felt a sudden and intense protectiveness for the boy beneath him. The side of his leg, though no longer bleeding, looked incredibly painful. Heero looked back up at his partner, concerns playing in his eyes. "I'm sorry, Duo. I didn't realize…"

A genuine grin spread across Duo's face. "Heero Yuy making two apologies in one night?" He paused, "Apologies are all well and good, but I'd feel a lot better if you just went back to what you were doing."

The corners of Heero's mouth turned up slightly and he lowered his head to where Duo was standing at attention. He flicked the tip with his tongue first, watching his partner bite his lip, before taking it in his mouth. This time, Duo's cry was purely from pleasure and Heero felt no small amount of pride for causing it as he swirled his tongue around Duo's length.

After a minute or so, Heero felt hands grasping at the side of his head and pushing him away. He looked up quizzically at his partner.

"I want you with me on this one."

Heero raised an eyebrow and paused, giving Duo a chance to back out if he'd suggested something he wasn't really ready for. The American just watched him, however, waiting for Heero to do something. The Japanese boy complied and got off his partner to quickly shed his remaining clothing.

Heero bent down to kiss the boy below him passionately on the lips before turning his attention lower once more. He hooked Duo's legs over his shoulders, positioned himself at Duo's entrance and then looked up to make eye contact. Duo gave a slight nod to show he was ready, and Heero pushed slowly in.

He felt the boy under him tense as he entered and stopped to give him time to adjust. When Duo began to relax again, Heero pushed in the rest of the way. Duo groaned and reached up to pull his partner's lips to his own.

Heero started a maddeningly slow rhythm, and Duo sighed into his mouth. Sneaking a free hand between their bodies, the Japanese boy began to pump Duo, reveling in the little sounds the American made. Heero himself, however, was silent as he began to quicken the pace, nearing the edge of a precipice.

He felt Duo stiffen beneath him and the boy yelled his name, the sound echoing off the walls of the room. Hearing that and feeling Duo tighten around him pushed Heero over the edge. His vision blurred for a moment and he fell on top of Duo, breathing hard.

The two boys lay there for a few moments, catching their breath and finding themselves again.


The Japanese boy didn't move and didn't open his eyes. "Hn?"

Duo's voice was wistful. "As comfortable as I am, I think we should clean up before we fall asleep."

Heero became aware of the wet substance trapped between their bodies and slowly got off of his partner, missing the warmth of his body immediately. He reached over the edge of the bed and grabbed the first thing he found, his green tanktop, to wipe up the mess.

Duo chuckled, "I hope you weren't planning on to wear that tomorrow."

Heero smiled in response and Duo felt his chest swell with pride. He smiled. A real smile. Thank you, God.

When Heero was finished cleaning up, he grabbed the blankets from the end of the bed and pulled them over himself and Duo as he lay down on his back next to the other boy. Duo sighed and rolled onto his stomach, laying his head on the Japanese boy's chest.

They lay there for a long time and, just when Duo thought the other boy had fallen asleep, Heero opened his eyes to look at him. The two gazed at each other for a moment until Heero reached out a hand to take hold of Duo's left wrist, wrapping his fingers around it to cover the light scars there. This done, the Japanese boy closed his eyes once more, and Duo heard his breathing slow as sleep took over.

The American lay gazing at his partner's sleeping face and felt a smile tugging at his lips. He was so gentle. I know he thought it was my first time. Maybe it was his. Duo closed his eyes to ponder this and was lulled into sleep by his partner's even breathing beneath him.

* O * W * A * R * I *

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