Wweb of Betrayal

Chapter 11:

By: Dyna Dee

Disclaimer: I don't own any part of Gundam Wing, and I only borrow its characters to fuel my imagination, with no profit or gain other than the pleasure of writing.

Warnings: yaoi, mild language, angst, talk of past NCS, lemon. Relena lover's won't care for this fic.


Part 11

An Innocent Betrayal

Duo's mind reluctantly crawled towards consciousness even as his stomach churned and a feeling of nauseousness coursed through him.

"Come back to us Mr. Barton." a female voice spoke through the drugged induced fog that clouded his mind. "Come on Denver. Time to wake up. Open your eyes." she sing-songed in an irritatingly pleasant voice.

Slowly his heavy eyelids lifted and he immediately squinted against the brightness of the room and at the blurry blob leaning over him consisting of pastel blues and pinks and topped by a white ball with a dark spot on top.

"There we go." the voice cooed happily. It was then he realized he was looking at the woman who kept speaking to him.

Still groggy and blinking his eyes in order to focus on the woman gazing down at him from the side of his bed, Duo had to force him mind think about where he was, and a sense panic began to set in. Had he been captured? Where was his gundam? Was this an Oz hospital?

"Good afternoon, Denver." she greeted him warmly. "The surgery went very well," she told him, recognizing the state of confusion many people experienced coming out of the anaesthetic. She quickly and efficiently wrapped a blood pressure cuff around his upper arm and proceeded to tighten it, then looked at her watch.

Denver, he thought. Who the hell was Denver?

"If your vitals check out and you feel more yourself, we'll have you discharged within the hour, alright?"

He looked at her as if she were from another planet and wondered what in blazes was she talking about. His eyes blinked again as he willed them to focus, and as his vision began to clear, he once again looked at the woman with a better idea of what he'd seen when he first opened his eyes. She was wearing pale blue scrubs with roses printed all over the top and his mind registered that she was a nurse. She was short, middle aged, with dark brown hair and an overly plump figure that filled out every inch of her uniform. He couldn't recall in his fuzzy state ever having seen her before, but she sure was friendly.

"Now remember, it's very important that you not speak at all for a month." she said, and her words instantly brought him back to the present with sharp clarity. He remembered where he was and why. Nodding his head he let her know he understood.

"Feeling better now?" she asked, seeing him calm, his eyes less frantic. He brought his right hand up and rubbed his stomach in response. It was hollow from lack of food and felt really upset.

"That's pretty typical." she answered, interpreting his actions correctly. "I'll let you rest here a few moments to let it settle. Here," she place a straw at his mouth. "It's just water to rinse your mouth out with."

He sip at the liquid carefully, swished the contents throughout of his mouth, then spit the entire contents out into a plastic dish she placed under his chin. He was relieved to get the medicine taste and fuzziness out of his mouth.

"Your friends are anxious to see you." the nurse chuckled as she took away the small basin. "In fact, they've been dogging all the nurses on the floor trying to get information on your condition. I think they're about to barge in here any moment." she added in an amused tone and gave her patient a wink. "Would you like to see them now or after your stomach has settled?"

/Now./ he moved his lips in the hope she could read them, then winced and brought his hand up to clutch at his throat in response to the pain when he tried to swallow.

"Yes, I know it hurts," she said sympathetically in reaction to his movements, then suddenly produced a tool in her hands. "Open." she commanded, and he readily complied as a thermometer with a plastic shield on it was placed under his tongue. With that in his mouth, she then continued talking. "The doctor did have several tools down your throat, so it's going to be sore for a day or two." She then removed the foreign object from his mouth. "But remember that pain as incentive for not talking. If you do talk before it's time, you might very well have to go through this again."

His face scrunched up in reaction to her warning. There was no way he wanted to do this again. His throat felt like it was on fire, but the pressure he'd felt there for the last two years was finally, blessedly gone.

True to the recovery nurses word, the recuperating young man was wheeled out of the hospital in a chair pushed by Trowa to the car Wufei had waiting at the curb. Quatre held his elbow as he eased him out of the wheelchair and aided him towards the vehicle.

"Feel like lunch?" the blond asked as Duo climbed into the front seat of the car while Wufei held the door open for him, then shut it securely when he was seated. He shook his head. The nausea he'd felt had diminished slightly, but still remained enough to make any kind of food unappealing, and the thought of swallowing......

"A milk shake or ice cream?" Wufei asked with a look of concern on his face as he sat in the driver's seat next to him.

Duo touched his throat and winced, showing them his throat hurt too much to contemplate swallowing anything at all.

"You're too thin already Duo." Trowa spoke up from the back seat as he ans Quatre took their places. Wufei started the car and began to move out of the parking lot as seat belts snapped into place. "You can't afford to skip any meals or chance losing any of the weight you've gained." He reminded him. "Sally said if you lose more than three pounds she'll put you into the hospital until you gain it back."

Duo's head snapped around to look wide eyed at Trowa, sitting directly behind Wufei. Silently he mouthed his reply. //No. Way. I....won't....go.//

Trowa and Quatre looked at their friend in astonishment.

"What? What did he say?" Wufei asked, knowing something had just happened and he missed it by having his eyes on the road and traffic.

"I'd say our silent friend here has a bit of his old stubbornness returning." Trowa told him with a growing smile. "He just told us he won't go to the hospital."

Wufei looked to his side to see Duo sitting with is arms folded and a look of

obstinacy set on his face. It certainly wasn't a look they'd seen since his return but it definitely was an expression the Duo of old wore often. Wufei smiled and looked back at his friends through the rearview mirror to see them grinning as well. Another part of the Duo they knew was coming back. It was as if layer by layer the frightened stranger who'd come home in the guise of being Duo was slowly melting away to reveal the real person they knew and missed, hidden deep inside those layers for protection.

"I was just warning you Duo" Trowa spoke up again, his voice more gentle. "That you'll need to eat something tonight. You already missed breakfast due to the anaesthetic, and now lunch. You'll have to eat something tonight just to keep your weight from slipping."

The young man in question nodded his head as a frown of worry grew on his face. He didn't want his friends to be unhappy with him if he didn't or couldn't eat something when they told him to. Since his release from the penal colony he'd been so afraid that he'd do something wrong, that somehow he'd mess up or make the people he cared for most turn away from him again. He had rationalized, during the desperate days, weeks and months of fear and loneliness in prison, that he must have done something wrong in order for his friends to turn away from him as they had, to abandon him when he'd done nothing, at least in his memory, to deserve it. At first, upon his release, he found himself almost paralyzed with fear that he would do something wrong. Sometimes that fear made it difficult to do anything at all but to let others lead him. He did recognized, however, that this was the same fear that led him to let the prison guards take care of him as if her were a child. At times he felt like a beaten and abused child that needed caring for. They had been kind to him when he felt bereft of all kindness and caring in that hellish prison and he had soaked it up in the brief time he spent under their watchful care in the infirmary once each week. But that was in the past. His friends had all pledged themselves to keep him safe. He had them all and Heero back in his life again, and somehow, the fear that had paralyzed his actions in the past was beginning to dissipate. He wasn't quite as fearful as before, but he was still overly cautious to do nothing that would get him in trouble.

Quatre, seeing the frown and thoughtful look on Duo's face, misinterpreted the reason for it. "Don't worry Duo," The blond spoke up cheerfully. "we'll make sure your dinner is something soft and tasty."

As Wufei merged the car into heavier traffic, Quatre took out his cell phone and dialed a number. "Quatre Winner for Heero Yuy please." he said politely. "Yes, I'll hold."

Duo turned completely around in his seat to look at the blond with a look of anticipation on his face.

Quatre smiled in reassurance at him and put his hand up as his call was answered. "Hello, Heero." he said in a pleased tone. "How are you?" he asked.


"I'm fine thanks, we all are. In fact," he continued in a conversational tone. "I wanted to let you know that the outing we spoke of last night went very well. Wish you could have joined us for a short time for a game or two, but I know how busy you are. I never knew bowling could be so fun." His blue eyes sparkled with amusement at the tale he was weaving as a cover for their true conversation. "Yes, we were treated very well and with excellent results. A successful outing all the way around."

Duo readjusted his seat belt to turn his body around and lean slightly over the back of his seat. The look in the blue/violet eyes seemed to plead with the Arabian to say more. Quatre couldn't resist the look, and leaned closer to the front seat so he could move the phone between he and Duo so the American could hear Heero's voice.

"Oh, and thanks for coming to the poker game last night." Quatre continued. "It's been a long time since we've done something together. Feels like old times, doesn't it? WE" he put emphasis on the word and raised his eyebrows to Duo, "Missed you a lot and WE want to see you as soon as you can arrange it."

*Pause* "Soccer game on Friday?" the blond repeated Heero's suggestion. "Sure, we can either meet at my hotel room to watch it or at Trowa's place." *Pause*

"Let me ask Mrs. L., I know Trowa doesn't like to leave her alone for too long, especially at night. *Pause* Alright. I'll call you tonight after I've cleared the time with everyone else. Yes......, goodbye Heero."

The blond looked up at the anxiously waiting American. "Well Duo, he couldn't say much because the phones are most likely tapped, but he did say that he loves you more than life itself and wants to worship your body by making wild and passionate love to you several times a day."

Duo's breath was audibly sucked in, his eyes went wide and his cheeks turned a bright pink.

"Well, at least that's what I think "Hn", "Ah", and "I see" mean." Quatre finished his teasing with a large grin growing on his face.

Duo released his seat belt and half crawled over the seat to smack the blond on the side of his head with his right hand while Wufei and Trowa laughed at the exchange between the two, a scene so much like their teasing in the past.

"Seat belt Duo." Trowa said after finally composing himself, wiping the moisture from his eyes. It felt good to laugh again in the company of his friends.

Each day that went by seemed to hold more meaning and purpose for the recovering American. He lived each day in anticipation of his infrequent visits from Heero, who tried through Quatre's invitations to break away from Relena with a bogus reason to visit the house at least twice a week. And as a result of these visits, the old bonds of friendship that the five had once shared were not only being recovered, but were growing into a protective brotherhood.

Quatre announced his plans for buying a modest home several blocks away from Mrs. L.'s home, to which all of the former pilots were invited to frequent once he made the deal and settled in.

Wufei and Trowa continued to take care of the silent young man who was slowly becoming more and more the Duo they'd known in the past and each day became more secure. Yet they found that he was still suffered many moments of insecurity, fear and doubts triggered by the slightest change in their routine or new situations that they slowly tried to eased him into with their support. The day the UPS man came with a large box for Mrs. L. sent Duo into hiding in the deeper recesses of the coat closet. The man was large and so was the box. It took a half hour after the man left to convince Duo that he had gone. They could only assume that the man's size or appearance reminded Duo of someone he'd rather forget.

The post-operative check two weeks after the surgery confirmed the larynx was till open and a slight vocal test showed the vocal folds were free of their former constriction. Duo was strongly admonished to not speak for another two weeks until another examination confirmed the area to be still intact. The doctor then informed him that even after that time had passed and if all was as it should be, he would have to content himself with whispering for a while until he could begin physical therapy with a speech therapist to strengthen the long unused vocal chords slowly in order to avoid any further or permanent damage to them.

Cheered by the news, the four young men, once the most deadly and feared soldiers on the Earth, left the doctor's office and were busy making plans for an afternoon outing in celebration of the good news. So intent were they on each other and their conversation, that they failed to notice an elderly gentleman wearing grey dress slacks, a beige shirt covered by a dark green cardigan. A proper hat sat on top of the old man's grey-haired head. He stood just inside the lobby of the clinic, waiting for his car to be brought around. But the old man's eyes did not fail to recognize the four. No, he had always prided himself on his recall of people, faces and places. He was about to call out to the four, but they moved too quickly by him, laughing and planning a trip across town to a specialty shop that sold ice cream.

His eyes squinted as he looked at the smallest of the four, a thin but attractive brunet with thick, straight hair that fell just past his shoulders and walking with a decided limp. As he briefly focused on the face of that young man, he recognized him as Duo Maxwell, pilot 02 of the gundam Deathscythe.

His bushy grey eyebrows drew together as he leaned heavily on his cane, shifting his stiff stance. He hobbled closer to the front window of the clinic to watch the four walk retreat down the street in what appeared to be a protective circle around the limping boy. I didn't read that he'd been released from that penal colony, he thought to himself. He'd always taken prided in keeping up to date with Miss Relena as well as her friends and allies. I'll have to ask her when this happened, he decided, then looked up to smile as the white limo that was his ride back to the palace pulled up to the curb. He looked at it, thinking fondly of the girl who offered such amenities to him as he slowly but with purpose moved towards the building's exit. He was retired now from service to Miss Relena, but she gave him a place to live in the palace and always took very good care of him, her Pagan, she called him affectionately.

A week later, Duo tapped on the face of his new watch as he pointedly looked at Wufei sitting across from him in the living room. "I know he's late, Duo." Wufei sighed for the tenth time as he lowered the evening paper. "Maybe something came up."

The violet eyes rolled upward with exasperation, but with some of his strength returned, the former Deathscythe pilot couldn't contain the anxious feeling in his gut. He pulled himself up to his feet and began to pace in front of the couch, limping severely today from the ache in his left leg.

"Trowa!" Wufei yelled loudly towards the stair case. The sound of footsteps followed the call and feet were heard descending the stairs as Trowa came half way down, dressed in his robe, to look into the living room.

"He's agitated and pacing," Wufei reported, pointing to the person in question. "Are you really going to leave me here all night with him like this? Do we have any sedatives?"

Trowa watched as Duo spun around, put his hands on his hips, then stomped his right foot, and losing some of his balance in the process and wobbled a bit. But through it all he glared unhappily at Wufei. A moment after he'd felt he'd gotten his message across that he didn't like what his friend had said, he turned to face Trowa, lifted his watch and tapped on the glass.

"Heero's late." Wufei translated, trying hard not to smile at Duo's weak attempt at being angry. It was good to see him expressing emotions other than fear and apprehension.

"I'm sure he's alright, Duo." Trowa rushed to ease his friend's state of disquiet. "He'll get here as soon as he can. He's probably still getting flack from Relena from being caught by a photographer in that gay club."

Duo's frown deepened.

"We've been through this before Duo." Trowa told him, again. "Heero was testing Relena's hold on him as well as how far he could go before she gets ugly."

Duo unhappily limped back to the couch threw himself down onto it, then blew a puff of hair up through his bangs. The pictures in the tabloid had shown the Vice Foreign Minister's husband in a close conversation with an extremely handsome blond man in a gay bar, a place he never would have frequented in the past. The bold headline declared, While Relena's Away Did Heero Turn Gay? The whole incident had left Duo feeling insecure and upset even though he'd been informed that Heero was going to attempt testing Relena's limits.

It was observed by his friends that Relena's Public Relations Department was quick to put a spin on the rising scandal, announcing that her husband was concerned about how gay citizens living and working within Sanq were being treated, especially since several of his close friends were of that sexual orientation. He'd entered the bar with the intentions of speaking to the clientele in regards to that subject and the picture had been taken and used out of context with what he was really doing there.

After that announcement, Heero had been seen and photographed by the press with a happily smiling Relena on his arm at several private and public functions. Her efforts had not been in vain as it appeared that the public at large had been duped again by the queen of charades, accepting her side of the story. At a brief, hastily set up meeting with Wufei in the back garden of the palace, Heero related to him that he had learned what he set out to when he'd entered the club; he'd found his limit as to how far he could push her. Relena had made his life pure hell that week with threats to everyone and everything he held dear if he ever pulled a stunt like that again.

Having been shown the newspaper the morning after Heero's visit to the bar, Duo had stared at the picture with eyes widening in shock just before he ripped the front page to shreds. Trowa and Wufei rushed to explain the picture, but Duo withdrew into himself and limped angrily up to his bedroom where he crawled under the covers and held them tightly around himself. He stayed there until Mrs. L., in her motherly fashion, finally lured him out of his fabricated cocoon for lunch. That had been four days ago, and the last two scheduled meetings with Heero had been canceled at the last minute. Duo had become sulky and lacked a proper appetite since then.

When Quatre once again arranged for a bogus excuse for Heero to escape the palace, requesting Heero shoot pool with Wufei while he and Trowa went out, Duo had perked up. As the time grew closer, he visibly became more excited and Wufei kept his fingers crossed that Heero wouldn't be forced to cancel and disappoint Duo again.

"I'll call." Wufei offered, and pulled his cell phone from his belt and quickly dialed the memorized number. "Chang Wufei for Heero Yuy." he announced to whoever answered on the other end. "He did." he nodded and looked down at his wrist watch. "Very well, thank you." he finished the call and turned off the phone.

"He left ten minutes ago." he looked up to Duo. "He should be here in about five minutes."

The sigh of relief coming from the long haired young man was audible. He sat back in the corner of the couch and brought his stockinged feet up and pushed them between the cushions, tucking them under the middle cushion. This was an old habit he'd had since they'd first met during the first war, and Wufei was determined to break him of it. But not for a while yet, he resolved to himself, because somehow the position brought the American some strange measure of comfort.

Seeing things had been settled down once again, Trowa returned upstairs to finish dressing for his evening out with Quatre.

Mrs. L came out of the kitchen with a tray of warm brownies and two tall glasses of milk. "Are you sure you two will be alright here alone?" she asked as she placed the snack on the coffee table, her face wrinkled with worry as well as age as she gazed at the two quiet men. "I don't have to go out if you need me to stay." she offered.

Wufei gave her an indulgent yet warm smile. "I'm sure we'll be fine for a couple of hours, Mrs. L." he replied.

She looked skeptical of his answer as her eyes moved to take in Duo's look of petulance. "What's the matter, Poppet?" she asked him tenderly as she moved towards the unhappy young man. She bent over from behind the end of the couch to give him a gentle hug from behind and kissed the top of his head.

"Heero's late." Wufei answered.

"Oh, I'm sure he'll be here soon." she said with a comforting pat to the slender shoulder, the soft look she gave him showed her real affection for the silent young man she'd been taking such tender care of.

Then looking back to Wufei, she smiled with almost equal affection. "I left the number of my friend's house in case you should need me." she told him. "Otherwise, her husband will drive me home around eleven thirty." She then moved to the chair near the front entry and picked up the sweater she'd put there earlier.

A knock sounded on the door and Duo jumped to his feet, dislodging the cushion from the couch with his feet in the process. He hobbled quickly to the door. Both Wufei and Mrs. L. noticed his limp seemed more pronounced this evening and wondered if it was getting worse. With Duo's health recovering it wouldn't be long before he underwent reconstructive surgery to his limbs. Sally had said when he gained five more pounds they should begin with either the leg, or arm, doing one at a time. Wufei and Mrs. L. continued to watch Duo as his inner sense of caution took over his need to open the door. The still silent young man stood behind the wooden door, chain secured, and inched it open just a crack to peer out of it.

"Hello Duo." Quatre's voice came from behind the door. Duo's shoulders slumped in reaction to his disappointment, but he unfastened the chain and stepped back to open the door enough to allow the blond to enter.

Quatre came in and shut the door behind him and frowned as he took in Duo's disappointed face. He then turned to find the reason for it. "Where's Heero?" he asked, knowing their apparently missing friend was scheduled to spend the evening with Duo and Wufei while he and Trowa went out together.

"Late!" Wufei answered rather sharply, wondering if he'd be answering that same question all night long. "And Mr. Pouty here is sulking."

Duo's imitation of Heero's death glare was nicely performed for the Chinese man's benefit.

"He's going to be talking soon, Wufei," Quatre reminded him with a twitching smile. "and I think we all remember Duo's voice is very formidable when he's angry."

"So?" Wufei look so unimpressed.

"So, don't tick off Shinigami." Quatre warned with a chuckle. "If I remember right, he also has a very long memory."

Wufei shook his head in resignation. "In that case, we're all pretty much in trouble." he replied.

The Heero impression and a nod from Duo confirmed Quatre's statement before the long haired young man turned completely and limped back to the couch, his face clouded with worry.

"Hey!" Trowa's voice proceeded him down the stairs. Those below turned to see him come down wearing black dress slacks and a dark green dress shirt that brought out the vibrant color of his eyes.

Quatre smiled brightly at his lover and again his heart swelled with the emotions this man alone caused to stir within his being.

Trowa, for his part, looked as if he were enchanted all over again by the blond man in the foyer, dressed also in black pleated slacks with a dark blue silk shirt. Trowa managed to tear his eyes away long enough to see Mrs. L was ready to leave with them as they drove into the city. He frowned as he looked around the room. "Heero still isn't here?" he asked.

Wufei and Duo both shook their heads. "Do you want us to wait?" the auburn haired man asked.

"I'm certainly capable of tending one silent baka." Wufei answered in a slightly indignant tone.

Trowa momentarily studied both of his friends, seeing neither one was in the best of moods. "Alright." he said a bit hesitantly. "We'll go. I'll probably be late, so don't wait up for me."

"I'll be home around eleven thirty." Mrs. L. added as she picked up her purse resting on the same chair her sweater had been moments before.

"Have a good time." Wufei said to the three making their way to the front door.

Trowa put his hand on the door nob and opened it to find Heero standing there with his hand poised to knock.

"Just in time." Quatre beamed a smiled at the newly arrived, knowing Duo would now be placated.

Heero no more than stepped over the threshold when Duo was there in front of him, his arms wrapping around the surprised but delighted man.

"I missed you, too." Heero said softly as his lips moved against the silky chestnut colored hair and his arms wrapped around the slender body.

Duo released his hold and stepped back, giving Heero a frown as he tapped his raised watch.

Confused, the dark haired man looked to Trowa for an interpretation. "You're late and he was worried." he told him.

"Relena." Heero said darkly, the pleasant expression on his face was replaced with an angry frown. He reached his hands forward to catch Duo's hands and held onto them as he spoke. "Since the bar incident she's given me nothing but grief." he explained. "I fully expected her to bar my leaving tonight as she has the last two times, but she just called me into her office, laid out a new set of rules with barely veiled threats, and then told me to have a good time." His frown deepened as the thought out loud, "She's never said that to me before."

"Maybe she was having a weak moment." Wufei offered n explanation.

"I don't know." Heero sighed. "She's only civil to me in public anymore."

"Guilt, maybe?" Quatre guessed.

The Japanese man shrugged and pulled Duo forward to put his arm around his shoulders, holding him close to his side in a posture of possessiveness. "Whatever it was," he continued. "I just want forget about it. I have to be back by eleven thirty, so I want to use this time wisely."

"We better go." Quatre interrupted, looking at his watch. "Our reservation is for eight and we'll barely make it if we don't leave now."

"Alright." Trowa offered his arm to Mrs. L. "We'll see you later then." he smiled and gave a knowing look towards Wufei. He'd earlier instructed his friend to be a chaperone for the other two. Duo was improving, but he was still emotionally unsteady, and the last thing he needed was to jump back into a relationship with Heero, especially a physically intimate one. Wufei was not thrilled at the assignment, but agreed with the reasons.

The door closed after the three exited, and the young men remaining sat on the couch; Heero on the opposite corner of Wufei with Duo tucked securely under his arm.

The t.v. remote was given to Duo where it stayed for only fifteen minutes before Wufei rudely and unexpectedly jerked it out of his hands, complaining about the continuous channel surfing. They mutually decided on the classic tale of Horatio Hornblower and slowly ate the plate of brownies as they watched the heroic young Englishman save the Indefatigable from a fiery collision.

Engrossed in the movie, Wufei hadn't noticed exactly when the other two began lip-locking, but he was acutely aware when Heero lifted Duo up off the couch and placed him on his lap facing in the direction of the Chinese man. Duo put his head on Heero's shoulder and sighed contentedly. It wasn't long after that when the sounds of kissing returned and his eyes widened as he observed Heero's hand begin to massage Duo's thigh, then slowly work its way up to his hip.

"Enough!" he said sharply, causing the other two to jump apart looking, one of them looking scared and the other looking angry.

After a moment, Heero found his voice. "Three's a crowd, Wufei." he stated, the tone of his voice was low and husky.

"And two alone are trouble, Heero." he snapped back.

Duo held himself tightly to Heero's by gripping his shirt in his right fist and looking at Wufei warily, old fears rising again as a result of the angry tone to his voice.

"It's not like we haven't done this before." the former Wing pilot reminded him.

Wufei leveled a glare at the Japanese man. "He's not ready Heero." he told him, deciding to just speak plainly, yet calmed his voice when he recognized the fear in Duo's eyes. "You saw the file." he looked knowingly at Heero and let the words hang in the air between them. They were now all painfully aware of what had happened to their friend in the Penal Colony.

Ebony eyes watched as Heero gently pulled the smaller man away from him, just enough so they could look at each other. The cobalt blue eyes softened and Heero's hand came up to touch Duo's face softly. "I was pushing it, wasn't I?" he asked, with a gentleness Wufei had never seen before.

Duo looked uncomfortable for a moment, then gave a slight, hesitant nod.

"I'm sorry." Heero whispered. It was then that Wufei began to see what Duo had seen in Heero enough to fall in love with him, and when he had lost him, why he tried to take his own life. Heero's normally placid, cold demeanor melted before his eyes. The tenderness and love he felt for the smaller man on his lap, held tenderly in his arms, was openly displayed. Arrogance was replaced by humility; determination into adoration. The Chinese man now had no doubt in his mind as to Heero's true feelings for Duo; his love was clearly written on his face and apparent in his tender actions.

Duo leaned forward and placed his lips on Hero's, letting his love know he wasn't rejecting him, or afraid of him, he just wasn't ready to be intimate yet.

After a few more moments of locked lips, Wufei cleared his throat, loudly. "I don't want to have to break you guys up, but I will." he threatened.

Duo sat back and mouthed something silently to Heero, then turned to give a devilish grin to Wufei.

"He says you're just jealous." Heero translated with a matching grin of his own and one raised eyebrow.

Wufei merely rolled his eyes and huffed in exasperation. It was totally unexpected when, in the next moment, he found himself with a lap full of Duo who promptly kissed him on the cheek before throwing his arms around his neck, giving him a spontaneous hug. After getting over the shock of his friend's action, Wufei brought his arms around and patted Duo's back, giving Heero an indulgent smile as the blue-eyed man continued to smirk at him.

Then as quickly as he had come, Duo was gone and back on Heero's lap. But his time he was dangling a small, black elastic band between his thumb and forefinger. It was only then that Wufei realized the slight man had expertly taken his hair fastener from out of his hair. He blinked in amazement; he hadn't even felt it.

"Why you." he narrowed his eyes in a playful challenge at the teaser while pushing his black hair back behind his ears. "If you think I'm going to chase you around the house with Yuy on your side, you've got another thing coming." he told the imp smiling stupidly at him, obviously quite pleased with his little prank. We'll, thought Wufei, far be it from me to take away his fun. But he did have a self-preservation switch in his mind warning of Heero's possessiveness. Tackling Duo would not be seen in a good light by the other man. Best to ignore the temptation. "Besides," he continued as he looked towards the t.v. "we're missing the show."

He turned his attention back to the large screen, trying to ignore the two, at least until he felt a ping of pain on the side of his head. Looking down at the couch cushion, he could see his hair tie laying on the couch next to him, it having been shot and bounced off his head to rest there.

Duo stood from off of Heero's lap, his eyes sparkling as he took a couple of precautionary steps back, ready to run if he had to.

"I take it back." Wufei said calmly, then looked to Heero instead of the rubber band attacker. "Keep him occupied.....within limits."

"Gladly." Heero beamed a brilliant smile, and with a fluid motion, he leapt from his sitting position on the couch, over the arm rest to stand in front of his lover. He immediately grabbed hold of Duo and kissed him soundly before dragging him, unprotesting, back to the couch to hold him firmly in his arms as they tried to watch the rest of Horatio's adventures.

On to Chapter twelve

Back to Chapter ten


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