by Kracken

Disclaimer: Don't own them and don't make any money off of them. Warning: Male/Male sex, language, sexual descriptions and situations.


Disclaimer: I don't own them and I don't make any money off of it.
Warning: Male/male relationship. Relena.

Relena finds out fic. It's all Sunhawk's fault. ^_^


"What's happened to Heero?!" Relena was out of her chair and fearfully rushing toward Duo. "He's never not come to work."

The tall, old butler derailed her rush, by gingerly taking her elbow and blocking her progress. "Miss Relena, everything is all right," the man soothed. "This gentleman says that Mr. Yuy was suddenly called to testify against the man who attacked you two months ago. He sends his apologies and assures you that he will return to escort you at One p.m. at the latest."

Relena calmed visibly and then looked embarrassed. She smoothed her coat and hair and then drew herself up in a very formal stance. Cooly she approached Duo and extended a pale hand. "I'm sorry, Agent...?"

Standing looking stunned, Duo recovered, put on a friendly grin and lightly shook her hand. "Duo Maxwell. Heero is really sorry about not being able to come. He takes his position with you very seriously and he was very upset with the court. Putting that man, who attacked you with the acid bottle, in jail, was very important, though. He put two of your aids in the hospital, and could have seriously hurt you, if Heero hadn't stopped him from using the entire bottle. That man needs to be put behind bars for a long time."

"I agree and I understand," Relena replied. "Heero shouldn't worry. I'm not a child and I can do without him for a short time." Her eyes swept Duo up and down, his tall, lanky form in his Preventer uniform, and his cinnamon hair, a tangle of bangs in his purple eyes. He looked like an overgrown imp, all cheeks and smile, but there was a firm, steady, seriousness to his eyes that countered that first impression. "You must be someone he trusts implicitly. I know that I can do the same."

Duo laughed and rubbed the back of his neck. "Well, after an hour review of how I'm supposed to guard you every moment of your day, I can only say, I hope I don't have to follow you into the ladies room, too, because Heero was a little fuzzy about that."

Relena laughed. "That I can manage myself, thank you."

Duo's grin widened. Relena liked him. She loved Heero, but his dark, brooding nature, and his long silences could be wearing every day. Duo sparkled with a good humored, bad boy, aura, and the room seemed to brighten and make room for him as he backed away and motioned towards the door, a surprisingly long braid of hair swaying at his back as he moved. "Shall we go, Miss Relena?"

Relena dimpled. "Yes, let's."

Heero had been Relena's shadow, offering conversation only when she initiated it. Duo couldn't seem to stop talking and he was anything, but a shadow. He was the center of attention as they moved from duty to meeting, to function. People smiled at him, caught up in his playful jokes and banter. He seemed unfamiliar with wealth, or the higher aspects of government, and was wide eyed many times at the posh elegance of the palace and the complicated etiquette of simply greeting someone or sitting down to a meeting.

They were allowed some refreshment in an outer room, and a few minutes to rest and collect themselves before the next round of meetings. Duo stood back respectfully, but Relena motioned him to take a cool drink and she led him into an alcove for some privacy.

"I can see why Heero trusts you," Relena told him as they settled on a stone bench under a window filled with vines and flowers. "You're very good."

Duo shrugged and blushed as if embarrassed. "Well, he knows that I get how important you are to the peace. Not many people do any more. They think it's all laws and good will, not sacrifice and people smoothing the way and keeping factions in line."

Relena was blushing now, and she ducked her eyes as she fiddle with the stem of her goblet. "Heero takes my position too seriously, sometimes. There are others just as important now. The peace is too important to leave to chance and the fortunes of figure heads like myself."

Duo gave her a sideways look. "Hey, now! Nobody does it like you, and you know it." He smiled and winked. "I'm really glad I saved you from Heero that night, or all the things we fought for would have fallen apart."

Relena blinked confused.

Duo laughed. "Well, I have gotten older, but have I changed that much?" He flicked his long braid at her. "I was one of the Gundam pilots."

Relena blushed deeply. "I'm so sorry! Of course I know who you are! I feel like a fool."

Duo shrugged. "Well, I've been keeping a very low profile, so it's been years since the papers have been graced with my ugly mug."

Relena tried to see the boyish, full cheeked face she remembered from the war. Duo's face was still cheeky, but it was smoothed into more masculine lines now and his jaw wasn't the baby roundness of youth, but a firm curve that made his wide lips more balanced than they had been. He wasn't ugly, not in any way.

"Now I know why Heero trusts you," Relena said.

"That and other things," Duo hedged carefully, but then he was taking a sip of his drink and deciding not to elaborate.

"Do you know Heero well?" Relena wondered. She had never seen Heero interact with her staff except on a very professional basis. She had always wondered if Heero was any different away from work. Did he have friends? Did he do the things that young men did? Did he have a life outside of being her shadow day in and day out?

"We're roommates," Duo replied, again in that careful tone.

Relena thought that she knew the cause. She dimpled and put a hand on Duo's. "Don't worry, I won't ask you to reveal any deep dark secrets."

Duo gave an exaggerated sigh of relief, "Thank you, Miss Relena."

"It's just that I really know so little about Heero," she said and felt a little sad. She had always hoped to get closer to Heero, but he had been too good at shutting her, and everyone else, out and doing nothing but what duty required. Once she had even suggested a psychologist, but Heero's angry look had kept her from pursuing it further. "He's so focused on his duty," she added . "I worry about him."

Duo smiled and put aside his drink, "Look, Miss Relena, Heero went for a long time thinking he was nothing, just a weapon that bad people passed from person to person and used. At some point during the war, he was finally all by himself and he was free to make his own decisions. He did all right in the end , but he didn't exactly have a moral compass to follow. He did some bad things and he's haunted by them. It makes him broody and he feels like he owes society some payback. That's why he gives his all for his position with you and not with the Preventers full time. You represent the good and he wants to protect that with every fiber of his being. He's happy doing that, so don't worry about him."

"But...," Relena felt her heart constricting. Duo was wrong, wasn't he? She wasn't just a standard for Heero's guilt? He did guard her because he cared about her? "That isn't any sort of life."

Duo sighed and it wasn't in a joking fashion this time. "I've been working on him, but the truth of the matter is, that I think you keep him sane. He really needs to atone. If you weren't around, I think he might do something... well, crazy."

"He needs a psychologist," Relena said and felt even more strongly about it.

"Oh, I did get him to see one," Duo assured her. "We both go twice a month. Heero scowls and gets told about self worth and living a guilt free life and I get to talk about my need to cover everything up and associate with guilt ridden, workaholic, men." He scratched his head and looked puzzled. "I don't see that it's changed either one of us though."

Relena caught his eye and Duo laughed.

"More serious than you wanted?" Duo wondered.

"More information that I thought you were willing to give me," Relena replied seriously.

Duo looked uncomfortable. "Well, maybe I needed to talk about it, just as much as you do? Heero can be very..."

"Challenging?" Relena furnished. "He's worse than throwing stones into a bottomless pit. I try to get him to talk to me, to open up, but he says as little as possible and only asks what's next on the agenda."

Duo's mouth quirked. "Well, I get more out of him than that. He relaxes at home. Still doesn't tell me much about what's going on in that head of his, of course, but he has other ways of talking."

"What ways?" Relena was smiling, thinking silly things, but she was caught off guard by Duo's wistful smile and his faraway look.

"Duo?" Heero chose that moment to appear, looking flustered and flushed, as if he had been running. Dressed in a dark three piece suit, he was straightening his tie, and smoothing his chocolate hair, as he slowed and saw that everything was all right. His eyes never left Duo and, for a moment, Relena felt as if she didn't exist as Heero asked. "No trouble?"

Duo grinned at him. "No, not a bit, so stop worrying."

Finally, Heero turned to Relena. "I'm very sorry, Relena. I'll make certain this doesn't happen again."

His voice had changed and Relena felt a cold weight settle on her heart. He sounded formal, concerned, yet, not the same kind of concern that he had directed at Duo. Heero hadn't rushed into the room for her, Relena realized, he had been worried about Duo in the dangerous position as her escort.

"I'm fine and Duo was very charming and experienced," Relena told him, just as formal and stiffly polite."I wasn't anxious for one moment."

Heero was relaxing, pulling himself back into the man she knew, her shadow; a man who gave her nothing but his duty and his life if need be.

"Heero, why don't you stay here for a moment while I go to the ladies' room?" Relena suggested. She needed to think, to pull her roiling emotions together. She had always hoped for something more to develop between them, thinking that time would relax the soldier and allow the real Heero to emerge, a man who might love her.

"Of course, Relena," Heero replied with a little correct bow, the same one her other servants gave her.

"You're not going to follow her?" Duo joked as Relena walked away.

"Duo," Heero growled.

"You need to relax, Heero," Duo said. "She's good at taking care of herself, you know?"

"Just like you?" Heero wondered and there was a tenderness to his voice that made Relena duck behind a column and peer back at them.

"Heero, you worry too much," Duo was retorting, but Relena saw Heero lean forward and silence him with a deep kiss.

"Not enough. I can't lose you, little baka," Heero said, not pulling back, but staying close enough to ghost more kisses on Duo's lips. Heero's dark blue eyes were alive with... love, Relena realized and felt tears in her eyes. Here was the Heero that she had hoped to see one day, the man that she had hoped would grow to love her. Duo had seen him already, though, saw this Heero every day when his job was done and he returned home.

"You've got a job," Duo said, stepping back, regretfully "and I'm going to distract you right into the nearest closet if we don't stop now. See you at home, baby."

"Goodbye, love," Heero replied and let him go. "Careful on the drive back to Preventers."

Duo rolled his eyes as he walked away. "Yes, dear!" he mocked. "Geez! Heero, someday you're going to get over this need to over protective everyone."

Relena came back in, smoothing her dress and putting on her best politician's face. She nodded to Duo and couldn't trust her voice. When she faced Heero, she had already decided something very important. Things couldn't stay the way they were. She had felt how wrong it was for some time. She had to change their relationship. It couldn't be love, she couldn't wait any longer for that, but it could be something almost as important, something she owed this man who protected her at such a cost to himself and the man he loved. She owed him friendship.

"You look like you ran the entire way from the courthouse, Heero," Relena said, trying on a smile and taking his hand in hers. "Lets get you a drink and something to eat before the next meeting."

Heero looked startled.

Relena dimpled. "You're supposed to say, 'That sounds good, Relena.'," she told him.

Heero looked unsure, but he replied, "All right, I am thirsty, Miss Relena."

"Call me Relena when we're not in some stuffy meeting," Relena corrected him. "Come on now, we don't have much time."

There was something in Heero's face beside the dark, broody correctness Relena was used to seeing. There was the faintest of smiles there. Maybe it was enough, simply being friends, when that friendship could accomplish that much, Relena thought, and pulled Heero toward the food service.

"We really should get together," Relena told Heero as she handed him a small plate. "I had no idea that you and Duo were a couple. I'd like to get to know him better, all right?"

Heero blushed, looked uncomfortable, and then he looked hopeful. "I would like that," he replied and Relena saw his genuine smile.

The End

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