Lost In the Blue

Chapter 2
by Kracken


"Awake?" Duo asked in Heero's ear.

Heero blinked eyes and focused on a pair of Preventer trousers. "You did leave!" he began to shout, but an arm around his waist quieted him.

"I'm behind you," Duo told him. "That's Fei."

Heero looked up and saw Wu Fei's uncomfortable expression. "I don't want an explanation," Wu Fei told him quickly. "I think that you should stop... this... whatever it is, though, if you value your careers."

"I don't have a career," Duo snorted, "and Heero was just taking a power nap, so get your mind out of the gutter Chang."

"I'm certain, that the long line of onlookers, has most likely reported their own versions of this incident to Une already," Wu Fei warned.

"Incident?" Duo sounded irritated as Heero levered off of him and managed to stand up. "You sound like we took out a nest of terrorists in our panties."

Heero looked down and saw Duo waving a data stick at Wu Fei. "We spent all night looking for leads. We're about to go out and pursue them."

"Onlookers?" Heero repeated, mind finally catching up to the conversation. He looked beyond Wu Fei to see a secretary peek in as she passed, look startled to see her curious gaze returned with a glare, and hurried on. "I thought that the door was locked?"

"Morning janitor has a key," Duo replied. "He came in to check the office. I couldn't move to lock the door again."

Duo stood and made an impatient gesture at Wu Fei. "We're busy. If you want to complain, wait until we get back."

Heero's mind ticked through their leads and then said, "Welkins, first."

"Military experience," Duo agreed. He checked his watch. "Early, but not too early. Let's ride."

"Perhaps you should check out a flack jacket, Yuy?" Wu Fei suggested acidly.

"Ha, ha, Chang, you're a riot," Duo growled. "It's no wonder that you never learned to be more flexible, Heero, hanging around with people like him."

"Flexible?" Wu Fei retorted, hands clenching and black eyes snapping fire. "It's interesting that so many agents failed to be 'flexible' enough to escape injury partnering with you."

Duo sighed, the anger suddenly leaving him. "I will make sure that Heero doesn't get hurt. I know that he's your best friend and that you're worried about him."

Heero was astonished to see Wu Fei's face blush as he quickly exclaimed, "Your record puts that promise into serious doubt."

"But I'll still make it, all right?" Duo nodded to Heero. "Come on, partner."

"I'm driving," Heero announced as he followed Duo out of the office.

"Why?" Duo wanted to know.

"Because I've had some sleep. You haven't had any," Heero reminded him.

"Good point," Duo agreed.

Heero looked back at Wu Fei briefly and saw the man standing in the door of his office, watching them go with a truly worried expression on his face. "I didn't think that he cared that much."

"Or that you were even friends?" Duo wondered.

"Something like that," Heero replied.

"He keeps himself tight under wraps, but I've seen his softer side," Duo said as they entered an elevator and went down to the car park.

"Softer side?" Heero asked doubtfully. "That man starches his uniforms with Gundanium."

"And you don't?" Duo wondered with a roll of his eyes.

"I'm serious about my job," Heero replied as he pressed ruefully at his wrinkled clothing. "He's..."

"Zealous? Rabid?" Duo interjected and then shrugged and sighed. "When we were dying, because the enemy had cut off our air, and had wanted us to die like rats, he was worried about me. He puts up a good front, but under it all, he's just like everyone else. It's good to have friends like that."

They were quiet as the elevator opened and they walked to Heero's car and then Duo said, as he put his hand on the passenger side door. "I meant what I said to Fei. I won't let you get hurt, if it can be helped."

Heero frowned and replied irritably. "I don't need you to take care of me, Duo. I simply need you to not forget that you do have a partner."

Duo nodded. "Don't leave you behind."

"Don't leave me behind," Heero confirmed. "I'll say it as many times as necessary, even tattoo it on my body, if that will help you to remember."

"Tattoo?" Duo leaned on the car hood and gave Heero a long look. "Where, exactly?"

Heero smirked. "Depends on developments."

"I like you when you're exhausted and not thinking things through," Duo chuckled.

"Maybe I have already thought it through?" Heero threw back and Duo had to blink stupidly as Heero climbed into the driver's seat. He joined Heero a moment later, grinning.


"We sooo fit in, Yuy," Duo grumbled as he sank deeper into the leather seat and stared at the dilapidated house across the street.

"We're drug dealers," Heero announced confidently. "Just like those guys down the block. " He pointed to a red sports car with a group of men hanging around it and talking to the driver through the window.

"That'll get us shot," Duo complained. "We'd be disrespecting their turf. The way that they keep looking this way, though, makes me think that we're pretty safe from that assumption. Black car. License plate that says Yuy. Two guys staring at a house all day long. Perfectly normal for this shitty neighborhood."

"If we were watching for visitors, that would be a valid criticism," Heero told him with a self satisfied smile. "But we're not." He reached down by Duo's feet, sliding a hand between Duo's long legs.

"Hey!" Duo exclaimed, starting with a blush. "I'm not a 'in public' kind of guy, partner!"

Heero froze, confused and then snickered when he understood. He finished his motion and pulled a small case from the floor. Opening it between them, he said, "I'm not either, especially when I'm on the job."

Duo looked even more embarrassed. "Sorry.... so, what's that gadget?"

Heero pulled out a small flat panel and brought it to life with a few touches of his fingertips. Maps appeared on a screen and he pinpointed the location of their suspect. "This will tap into any device sending and receiving. We can listen to the conversation and get the name and address of the people involved."

"Which is completely illegal without proper paperwork and authorization, " Duo pointed out.

"Illegal to use in a court of law," Heero replied primly as he adjusted the device. "And illegal to record or transcribe. It's not illegal to listen, however, to conversations in the free air that we're all allowed to enjoy."

"That sounds like Zechs," Duo snorted. "He's very deadly when it comes to fine print." he went thoughtful and then said, "He's also crap on infiltration missions. He's just too damned big to be sneaky about anything."

"Caught in barbed wire," Heero recalled from the mission report. "He reported that you slipped through a space too small for him to negotiate and left him behind to finish the mission."

"I sound like a complete asshole when you put it that way," Duo sighed. "I guess I was."

Heero could only agree, so he wisely said nothing. They listened to conversations through the day, but none of them were out of the ordinary.

"Not even the flutter of the blinds on the windows," Duo said at last as he stared at the house irritably. "I don't think this guy knows we're here, or even suspects that anyone suspects him of anything. I really didn't want to know that much about his grandmother's gouty leg, either, or his cat with diarrhea and his problems with his girlfriend."

"Agreed," Heero sighed and put away his equipment. "Tarlek is next. We'll get some sleep, tonight, and start fresh in the morning."

"Lazy," Duo replied around a yawn. "We'll meet up at Preventers... say... four a.m.?"

Heero stared at him. Duo noticed and stared back.

"What?" Duo asked dumbly.

"I'm staying the night with you," Heero announced.

Duo blinked. "I didn't think we were that far along, yet. Maybe a dinner date and a kiss, first?"

Heero frowned. "You know what I'm saying."

Duo looked irritable. "All right, so I get it. I'm not to be trusted yet."

"Not in the slightest," Heero agreed.

"I only have a single bed and I'm not sharing," Duo warned. "The couch is like plywood and I haven't used it since I moved in."

"Fine," Heero replied as he started the car. "Directions?"

"The beach," Duo replied.

"Beach?" Heero raised eyebrows. "That's... far."

"And quiet. I'm not all about work, remember?" Duo replied with a smile.

Heero was frowning as he pulled onto the street.

"And you live right under the skirts of Preventers HQ," Duo said in some exasperation. "All work. You and Fei, should just share an apartment instead of being in the same building, you know. Saves a lot of rent money."

Heero glanced at him briefly. "You know where we live?"

"Creep you out?" Duo laughed outright. "Don't worry. I wasn't stalking you. Une said something about it, once. She had to send a driver to get me when my car crapped out. She wanted me closer to hand, than thirty miles and down a stretch of beach. I told her, 'Too bad.' I want to relax, enjoy myself."

There was quiet as Duo leaned into the passenger side door, and tried to get comfortable. "You're still thinking," he complained.

"How do you know that?" Heero wondered.

"You get all... tense," Duo observed. "So, what's up?"

Heero gave a little shrug, slightly embarrassed. "I imagined that you were more... people oriented. That you liked company. Crowds."

"Nope," Duo replied around a yawn. "I'm going to sleep on the way. You'll be okay, staying awake, right?"

Heero gave that careful consideration. "No," he replied honestly.

Duo groaned and straightened in his seat. "I thought that you might say that. Okay, I'll help keep you awake. Let's talk logistics. The mall layout may give us some clue about who we should concentrate on the most."

Heero pulled up his mental map of the mall and they spent the next half hour verbally walking through it. When they finally pulled into a sandy, barren parking lot, Heero couldn't see any homes. The beach was before them, low dunes, brown grasses, and what they could see of the water turning red as the sun dipped behind the horizon.

"Where?" Heero wondered.

"We have to walk a bit." Duo told him with a grin.

They climbed out of the car and took a sandy path between dunes. A crab scuttled out of their way, and that was the only living thing for the entire long walk to where a house on low stilts crouched among the sea oats. It was made of weathered wood and tin and looked as if it had been there for a century or longer. Heero doubted if there were more than two rooms. It was very small.

"What happens in a storm?" Heero wondered as they climbed gray, warped wooden stairs and Duo unlocked the door.

"You leave before it hits," Duo replied with a chuckle as he flicked on a light.

"Electricity," Heero said in relief as he eyed the tidy white, bead board walls and ceiling, the comfortable furnishings, and the small kitchenette tucked into one corner.

"Indoor plumbing, too," Duo assured him. He pointed to the couch. It was gray and plain. It did look hard and uninviting. "You might do better on a chair. The couch came with the place. I bought the chairs."

A single door led into a small bedroom. Computer equipment sprawled over a table and boxes of machinery were stored underneath it and along one wall. "That's where I spend all of my time," Duo told Heero. He yawned again. "Help yourself to the fridge and the snacks. I'm going to sleep."

He stretched and then began pulling off his shirt as he walked into the bedroom. Heero was given a brief view of a long, lean waist, a flat stomach that looked as hard as a rock, tight muscles, and broad, rounded shoulders, before Duo was closing the door.

Heero let out a long breath, feeling his body's immediate response.Not until after the mission, he reminded himself. It was hard believing that was a good idea, though, when he was trying to sleep on a couch, that had obviously been made as a torture device, and knowing that Duo was in a comfortable bed with only a door between them.


"Duo?" Heero sat with coffee in hand, on the couch that had tried to permanently knot his spine, while Duo moved about the kitchenette in white boxer briefs that clung to him like a second skin.

"Hm?" Duo replied as he then yawned and scratched at his messy hair.

"I... well..." Heero watched him bend to pull several something's out of a cupboard, open them and then toss them into a microwave.

Duo glanced at him blearily and then went to pour his own mug of coffee.

"Could you put on something else?" Heero finally managed.

Duo had gone to the front door and opened it. He stared out into the dark, tinge of dawn just blushing over the water and the beach, and sipped at his coffee, as if considering the request seriously. A light breeze, smelling of salt, ruffled his disordered bangs. "Why?" he finally replied.

Duo was as solid as a rock, every muscle finely sculpted, his wide shoulders narrowing down to a lean waist and tantalizing hip bones. The boxer briefs hugged a rounded, and in Heero's opinion, perfect ass. He could feel a rise in his jeans just watching Duo's muscles flex and bunch there as he moved.

"Unless you want to start something....?" Heero asked, finding it hard to explain his difficulty.

Duo looked over his shoulder in surprise and then chuckled as he leaned against the doorframe. "I didn't know that I was that much of a babe first thing in the morning."

Heero looked down into his coffee cup, not wanting to go down that road. He heard Duo sigh and walk back into his bedroom. The sound of cloth rustling came to Heero and then Duo reappeared in his jeans.

"Shirt," Heero said, without looking up.

Duo's laugh was outright, then, but he dutifully returned to the bedroom to snag a t-shirt. "Should I put a bag over my head, too?" he wondered as he returned a second time.

"No," Heero replied shortly and couldn't help a smile.

Duo took things from the microwave and dumped them onto two paper plates. He handed one of the plates to Heero.

"What... What is that?" Heero wondered in distaste as he eyed the 'food' .

"A roll of meat, cheese, and rice," Duo replied. "Good for any meal of the day."

Heero broke his roll in half, handling the hot food carefully. "That doesn't look like meat, cheese, or rice."

"Well processed," Duo chuckled and bit into his. "The flavor is sort of... non denominational."

"What?" Heero frowned in confusion.

"Not committed to any particular flavor," Duo explained.

Heero tentatively bit into his. "You're right," he replied with a grimace. "Do you eat these a lot?"

"All the time," Duo admitted, but then urged, "Eat up. We have to get going."

Heero tried another bite and then handed the plate back to Duo. "You can have mine. I'll eat later."

"Suit yourself," Duo replied and ate them both. When he had tossed the empty plates into the garbage and had another long drink of coffee, he said, "Let's go. We already slept later than I wanted."

"I could have left earlier," Heero muttered. "I hadn't actually been sleeping... much."

Duo looked apologetic as he took their mugs and put them by the sink. "I was a bad host, sorry, but I needed the sleep to be sharp."

"And I didn't?" Heero retorted.

Duo sighed and faced off with him. "Are we going to fight this early?"

"Only if you insist that my part in this isn't as important as yours," Heero replied angrily.

Duo's jaw worked for a moment and then he said,"I'm not going to lie about what I think. Maybe you'll change my opinion?"

It was unexpected honesty and Heero didn't have a reply to it. His anger was gone, that quickly, though his irritation was still in full force. "I thought that I already had," he replied as they left the house and started up the beach. "You must have a high bar to jump."

"You don't?" Duo countered.

"If there is someone else already jumping that bar, I'll step aside for him," Heero replied.

"It's not too high when people's lives are at stake," Duo told him, looking as angry as Heero felt.

"It is too high, when no one can reach it," Heero snapped back, "Including yourself."

They were quiet, the sound of shore birds, surf, and the wind through the sea oats filling the silence between them.

"This morning was nicer when you were ogling my ass," Duo muttered.

"Not just your ass," Heero admitted.

"Sorry," Duo said softly.

"Only about making me angry," Heero replied.

"And now you really see why no one wants to work with Duo Maxwell," Duo said as they reached the car.

"I do," Heero replied as he fished his keys out of his pocket. "Now you just have to like working with me."

"I do," Duo replied.

"Half a lie?" Heero snorted as he unlocked the car.

"Less than half," Duo admitted, "and getting lesser by the day."


"Interesting address," Duo murmured as they pulled up to a dirt road.

"Suspicious address," Heero corrected as he leaned to try and see down the road. It dipped behind a hill, though, covered in trees and tall brush.

Duo shrugged, "Just because a guy wants to live miles out of the city and an almost two hour commute to work?"

"Well, if I had known that there were two Monroe drives, he would have been our first suspect," Heero pointed out.

"We both thought that it was West Monroe, two blocks from the mall, when we looked at the information," Duo replied, "Both of us had a 'case of fail'."

"Our 'cases of fail' get people killed, though," Heero said irritably. "We might have given him enough time to set up another attack."

"Or he might just like the countryside, and we'll only find a few cows and a chicken out here," Duo grunted as he checked his weapon and then motioned for Heero to park where brush would hide the car from the main road.

Heero complied and then shut off the engine as he said,"This isn't like you. Are you feeling all right?"

Duo's jaw worked for a moment and then he admitted, "I can understand a guy not wanting to be where the action is, in the city and so close to work. That's why I live on the beach. I hope that you aren't going to make me suspect number one because of it?"

"Facts, Duo. Empathy only gets in the way. Your reasons are not-"

"I'm not in academy, Heero!" Duo exploded, "Innocent until proven guilty, remember? Don't jump to conclusions. An open mind allows you to process new information without bias. Until we have proof, otherwise, Tarlek just likes the countryside, all right?"

"I wasn't suggesting a swat team deployment," Heero grumbled. "You can't deny that it's much easier to make bombs and carry out illegal actions where no one can closely monitor an area. Coming down on me for acknowledging that is-"

"Ready to sneak up on the guy, or what?" Duo wondered. "If you're going to keep talking...?"

Heero felt a wave of frustration and then he let it go with an exhalation of breath. "Why can't you just admit to over reacting or being wrong?"

"Practice that much, yourself, Heero?" Duo retorted.

Heero sat quietly, hands working on the steering wheel, and then he said firmly. "I'll go alone. When I return, I think we need to talk about our working relationship."

"Again?" Duo snorted and then leaned in to give Heero a surprise kiss. With Heero staring at him with wide eyes, he admitted, "Okay, I over reacted. I'm used to people making bad judgment calls when it comes to my life style. I empathized with Tarlek. Sorry about that."

Heero stared for a moment longer and then fought a smile as he tried to stay professional. "Understood, Agent Maxwell. Let's go."

"Yes, sir, Agent, Yuy," Duo snickered.

Leaving the car behind, they carefully slipped through the trees and brush to approach the house.

"Sensors on the wire," Duo warned as they studied a three strand fence of barbed wire.

"He could just enjoy security," Heero tried.

Duo frowned as he studied the sensors, "Expensive, cutting edge security," he replied.

"Call it in?" Heero asked as he took out his cell.

Duo thought it over and then nodded. "I think so."

Heero made the call, to report their situation, while Duo jumped the sensors and made a gap in the fence.

"He has to know that we're coming," Duo said a they slipped through. "He's an obvious suspect."

"He might be stupid," Heero suggested.

"Those bombs were as first rate as that security system," Duo replied.

"He doesn't have the background for it," Heero pointed out

"That we know about,"Duo said as they crouched in view of the house.

Heero took out binoculars and scanned the yard and the surrounding trees. "I don't like it."

"What?" Duo ground out.

"Something's off." Heero replied.

"Is there some sort of evidence, or is this a 'feeling'?" Duo wondered impatiently.

"Feeling," Heero admitted."Not enough evidence, yet, but what we're getting now is not making sense."

"If he is the bomber," Duo agreed, "He can't hope to hide explosive material enough for a 'sniffer' not to detect. He should be gone, regrouping elsewhere, to get ready for another strike, not waiting for us to show up and arrest him."

"His car is here," Heero pointed out. "He's definitely inside and waiting."

"Which could mean that he isn't our man," Duo argued as he set up a surveillance device.

They waited a long while, but the device picked up only silence from the house.

"He has a wife and an older son," Duo said thoughtfully. "They couldn't all be napping."

"No," Heero agreed and suddenly stood up and left the cover of the bushes.

"Heero? What?" Duo squawked as he scrambled to follow. "What are you doing?"

"Maybe you're rubbing off on me?" Heero replied with a smirk. "Try to keep up."

Heero had his hand on his gun, but it was a loose grip. He was almost completely certain what he was about to find and that it wouldn't be shooting at Preventer agents.


Duo knocked while Heero raised eyebrows. "Just being polite," Duo whispered.

Standing on each side of the door, they waited. When no one answered, Heero nodded, and Duo turned the knob and let the door swing open.

They both entered the house quickly, guns out and nosing for targets. The smell warned them and their stances changed.

"Damn," Heero cursed as he worked his shirt up around his nose. Duo did the same as he went to a window and shoved it open, one handed.

Three corpses were sprawled in a heap in the living room, shot execution style.

"Not our bomber," Duo said through his shirt, "but definitely connected."

"Call it in," Heero ordered. "We should go back out and not disturb the crime scene."

"Well, thank you, Academy Major Yuy," Duo grumbled as he holstered his gun and reached for his cell. "Any more obvious things that you want to say?"

"It's your own fault," Heero complained as they left the house and closed the door behind them.

"My fault?" Duo growled as he tried to make his call. He frowned. "Something's interfering with the cell." He walked away from the building, Heero following. As he watched his phone for reception he asked more irritably, "How is it my fault?"

"You don't often follow procedures," Heero pointed out. "It makes me feel the need to remind you."

"Tell me, you mean?" Duo muttered. "You make it sound like a suggestion, but you're really saying, 'get out of the fucking house and don't contaminate the crime scene on your way out.' Am I right?"

"Yes," Heero replied.

Duo snorted. "Well, that's the honesty I would like from you, partner of mine. If you want me out, say, so. Don't try and make me feel good about it. You won't get out of the argument that way."

"You were going to argue?" Heero wondered.

Duo stopped and then looked at him with a soft smile. "Not that time, but, probably the next. Better get used to it. I mean, if you want to get used to it?" His tone had turned wistful.

Duo made the call without letting Heero reply, turning his back as if he was afraid of seeing the answer in Heero's expression.

Three corpses on their hands and forensics on the way for an examination. Now, wasn't the time. to talk about relationships and Heero wondered why Duo had picked it. It came to him just then, seeing the stiff set to Duo's shoulders, that his partner had defused his emotions about finding an entire family shot to death, by thinking very hard about something else. He had drawn Heero into that distraction right along with him.

Heero sighed as he kept watch on their surroundings and switched gears to consider why the family had been murdered. As Duo ended his call and he half turned towards Heero to say something, the blast from the explosion hit them both hard.

As they staggered, Duo going down on one knee, The house blew outwards, large chunks of concrete flying past them, each one potentially lethal. Heero took them both to the ground, his body instinctively trying to protect Duo.

Everything went still again, the sound of flames licking at the wood of the house, and their own gasping breath, the only sound.

"Shit!" Duo exclaimed shakily. "Are you okay?"

Heero rolled cautiously and sat up. His arm snagged on something. he looked down and found a roofing nail, and part of the roof, attached to his arm. He pulled it out with a sickening slow motioned and then clamped a hand over the puncture hole.

"You?" Heero demanded.

Duo sat up as well, looking over himself. "Good to go. Forensics should be here in ten."

They both stared at the house. Heero said, unnecessarily,"That was aimed at us."

"Yep," Duo agreed softly. "Probably tripped a sensor at the door. This case has turned personal. Maybe it's been personal all along?"

"That would be... paranoid," Heero tried. "It could be a warning to end the investigation."

Duo raked his bangs out of his eyes with a filthy hand."They aren't stupid. I think we already established that."

"I'm not making that sort of judgment call until forensics goes through the rubble," Heero said as he slowly stood with a groan.

"Are you sure you're alright?" Duo demanded as he stood as well.

Heero nodded. "Just scratches and this." he motioned the wounded arm at Duo.

"And you wouldn't have that if you weren't doing something as stupid as trying to keep me from getting hurt," Duo complained.

"Well, it worked," Heero growled back.

"I can take care of myself!" Duo snapped back.

They stared at each other and then Heero let out a sigh and said, "You might as well ask me to stop breathing if you think I'm going to stop caring about you."

Duo opened his mouth to reply and then shut it as forensics drove up to them.

"Later," Heero promised.

"Later," Duo agreed.


"All right?" Duo handed Heero a beer and sat down next to him on the porch of his beach house. The sun was heading towards the horizon, the surf making it's way to shore in lazy rolls.A breeze ruffled Duo's bangs as he looked over at Heero. "Heero?"

Heero grunted as he stared at the palm computer in his lap and took a sip of his beer. His arm was bandaged and he was favoring it. Duo himself had said that he was stiff in the muscles, and he was nursing a headache, but he was otherwise all right. Scratches, in Heero's estimation, didn't need acknowledgement.

Duo was persistent."The doctor told you to watch out for swelling and pain."

"I am," Heero replied distantly.

Duo put his foot on the porch railing, rocking a bit back in his chair. Wearing shorts, he could eye his own scratches critically. Suddenly, he teased out a bit of something, and tossed it aside. "Part of the roof, I think."

Heero started and looked at him then. "Roof?"

"Shrapnel," Duo muttered as he looked for more. "You might have some as well."

Heero did an automatic, mental check, but didn't feel any sharp pains. "I'm all right."

"Yeah?" Duo teased another sliver from his skin. "I didn't feel them. You probably don't either."

There was something in Duo's voice, a softness that was unusual. Heero glanced down at the information on his palm computer and, after a moment, made a decision. He turned it off and then said uncertainly, not really sure about the step he was about to take, "Could you... look for me?"

Duo smiled and his eyes came up to look sideways at Heero. "Sure. We should... do this... inside... on the bed."

"Better access?" Heero wondered and almost couldn't control the tightness of his voice.

"Yeah, good choice of words," Duo replied and managed not to laugh as he stood up and led the way inside.

Heero stopped inside, putting his beer next to Duo's on the kitchen table. With his eyes on them and not Duo, he wondered, "We were going to wait... until after the case. Is this a good idea?"

Duo gave him a wistful look from the doorway of the bedroom. "We almost died, today," he said. "Makes a man want to appreciate life."

Heero frowned. "If that's all this is..."

"No," Duo cut in quickly. "No, it's not. It's much more than that. I think you know that, right?"

Heero smiled, "Yes, I do."

"Good," Duo chuckled.

They both couldn't name it, yet. The emotions were too strong, too new. They were both half afraid, wanting to treat their feelings like fine china that could break at a wrong move.

They undressed awkwardly and Duo brought things from the bathroom that he placed on the bed. Heero eyed them, wondering about certain aspects."Been here before?" he wondered.

"I'm a guy, Heero," Duo replied with a snort, but then, firmly, "Nothing worth mentioning, though. You?"

"Nothing... that far..." Heero replied in embarrassment and nodded at the things that Duo had put on the bed.

"Oh," Duo seemed pleased by that, but then thoughtful. His sex was already at swollen attention, bobbing gently as he climbed onto the bed, his braid snaking along the covers, and his ass flexing with strong muscles as he moved. He settled on his knees and patted the bed. "Come on. I said I would look, and I meant it."

His eyes were appreciating Heero, though, as Heero joined him on the bed. Heero was rock hard and Duo's eyes seemed riveted there, even as he said, huskily, "Uh, on your stomach, first, or... we won't get this done."

Heero reluctantly stretched out on his stomach, his hard on trapped in the covers and not abating even a small bit as Duo's strong fingers began feeling for anything sticking up from Heero's skin.

"Anything... off limits?" Duo wondered and Heero knew that he wasn't talking about the shrapnel.

"Unless you're bringing handcuffs into this... no," Heero answered and tensed as Duo pried something out.

"I mean... well..." Duo was tongue tied and his fingers felt suddenly very warm, as if a blush had managed to reached them. "What do you like?" he finally settled on asking.

"I think you have the experience to know the answer to a question like that," Heero pointed out. "Why don't you tell me what you like and I'll tell you if I like that, or not?"

Duo pulled out another sliver. "Well, the thing is, that there is a big thing that I've never done. Always been the Pitcher, if you know what I mean?"

"The what?" Heero was confused.

"Uh, top?" Duo tried again. "The, uh, dominant?"

"Oh." Heero thought about it as Duo asked him to roll over. His hard on sprang free and slapped against his flat stomach. Duo's eyes were on it again even as his hands searched. Heero tried to imagine Duo... taking him. It was easier to conjure up the image of Duo's hard thighs raised and himself pushing between them into heat.

"I..." Heero licked dry lips as his hand unconsciously moved out and touched Duo's ass. It was as hard as the rest of him, but graced with a roundness that did powerful things to Heero's libido. It wanted in a most definite way. "I think I want..."

Duo took a steadying breath and then admitted, "I couldn't imagine letting someone in that close, that intimately. It messed with all my defenses."

Heero understood that, the need for a soldier to be on alert, to be defensive, to always hold people in a 'possible enemy' category. "We could just skip that, for now?"

"That's not what I want, now" Duo replied with eyes that told Heero how aroused he was at the prospect. "I want you like that," Duo told him. "I need you that close. I almost lost you today. Show me how alive you are, Heero."

If there was more shrapnel, Heero suddenly didn't care. He was rising up to slide a hand behind Duo's neck, bringing him in for a kiss, while his other hand wrapped around Duo's thick erection. He felt Duo's lips move, his breath trying to catch at the feeling of Heero's strong fingers making a very tight sheathe.

When they broke apart, Duo's eyes were searching Heero's, half amused and very much aroused as he said, "People who say Asians are small... are liars."

Heero couldn't help a moment of self conscious pride, but then he heard the hint of anxiousness behind the breathless comment."Will it hurt? I've heard things, but, I don't know. You have to tell me, Duo. I want to do things right."

Duo looked guilty. "I wasn't that careful. I went in too hot, too quick. I was stupid."

Heero frowned and captured Duo's chin, making sure that Duo understood the seriousness of his words, and his conviction behind it. "Don't tell me that you deserved that, as payback for your ignorance. That's not how it works."

Duo shook his head. "No, I meant that I don't know. They hurt. Maybe it just does, like you said?"

Heero tried to think about it logically, but his libido was making that difficult.

"I feel like a five year old," Duo sighed, laying down next to Heero and pressing against him. "We should know all about this. It's stupid."

Heero thought about it and then said, "Duo, if it hurt, then people wouldn't keep doing it."

"Then you don't know much about people," Duo snorted. "Hilde told me once, that if she ever did what they do in pornos, she'd be at a hospital, but people still think that stuff is going on all the time."

Heero thought of his palm computer. "I could do some quick research?"

Duo sighed. "You're making fun of me, aren't you?"

Heero chuckled, deciding that it was funny. "Maybe, we can figure it out?"

"Being genius level Gundam pilots, you mean?" Duo snickered.

"Something like that," Heero agreed softly.

"I trust you," Duo said, and it carried a great deal more meaning, at that moment, than the act that they were contemplating.

"About time," Heero chuckled.

"Don't ruin the moment!" Duo growled and then slid a hand down to Heero's erection and pumped it hard a few times. "I want this. Make it special."

"It's already special," Heero murmured against Duo's neck, and reached for what Duo had left on the bed.

There was a noise. Anyone else might have dismissed it, but it caught Heero's attention instantly. His mind told him, 'Not normal.'

"Gun," Heero whispered, barely a breath.

Duo was already reaching into a side table for it, as quietly as possible, his senses just as sharp as Heero's.

A floor board creaked. "Didn't lock the damned front door," Duo whispered, angry at his own stupidity.

"Window," Heero said as he tossed Duo's pants to him and then grabbed his own.

They didn't bother dressing, as they opened the window, popped the screen, and slipped outside into the sand. Duo kept hold of the gun as they put distance between themselves and the house, moving around to the front under the cover of a clump of sea oats and a low dune.

"Car," Duo whispered as he tugged his cell from his pants pocket and motioned with it into the night.

Heero nodded. They pulled on pants and then Duo slipped into the night while Heero watched Duo's front door. It was open. They hadn't over reacted. Someone was inside, stalking them.

There was a crash of a door being slammed open and hitting a wall. silence and then cursing. Two men came out of the house, then, both of them holding guns with silencers.

"We followed them!" a man growled into a cell phone. "There wasn't any mistake! Fuck, no, they didn't take a walk on the beech! We would have seen them."

"They know we're here!" the other man snapped anxiously. "They're going to off us! We need to scrub this and get the hell out of here."

"Shut up!" the other man snarled, but he was moving quickly off the porch and into the night, the other man following closely behind.

Duo reappeared beside Heero."Mission accomplished."

Duo's cell was now in the would be assassins car. They could track them at their leisure.

"That was personal," Heero whispered angrily as they cautiously went back into the house and grabbed the rest of their clothing and weapons.

Once back outside and using Heero's cell to call Preventers, they made their cautious way to their own car. The men were gone, grooves in the sand showing where they had hurried back onto the road in their own vehicle.

"They have the signal," Heero told Duo as Duo crawled under and around their car with a penlight, checking for explosives. "We can track them easily."

"Clear," Duo announced after long minutes of searching and then stood up, brushing sand off his jeans.

"Duo..." Heero began as they climbed into the car and Heero started the engine.

"I know," Duo replied tightly. "The sex thing was a bad idea. You were right about waiting until this is over. We could have been really in the middle of it and not heard them."

Heero frowned and shook his head as he pulled onto the highway. "No, I wanted to say, that it was good while it lasted. I wish those bastards hadn't interrupted."

Duo grinned. "Yeah, it was hot, wasn't it? Don't worry. We'll make those guys sorry they butted in."



"Very." Duo eyed the police station and then looked at Heero. "What now?"

"Motive?" Heero wondered.

"Professional jealousy?" Duo tried.

"They were going to murder us," Heero pointed out, "They have murdered others and they've run a rather elaborate operation. I can't believe it was all just to get pay back for being Preventers or gundam pilots."

" Well...." Duo thought for a moment and then said, "I'm stumped. Maybe, we should go ask them?"

Heero glared.

"All right," Duo grumbled. "Too easy. We don't want to tip them off that we know where home base is. So, we watch them. Should I get coffee and donuts while you find a place to park?"

"I think we should back off for now," Heero replied. "We'll run some face recognition on the street cameras and see if we can positively ID them."

Duo was tense. Standing next to Heero, tucked into an ally between two old buildings, Heero could feel his desire for action. Pulling back, mentally, was just as obvious. he said tightly, "All right, let's do that. It might gives us some motive clues."

They walked back to their vehicle and climbed in. Duo was quiet as Heero pulled away from the curb. "Change?" Heero asked.

"Hm?" Duo had been staring out of the window. He looked over at Heero in confusion.

"Clothes?" Heero clarified.

Duo picked at his own clothes and grimaced. "I have spare clothes at Preventers."

"I do as well," Heero said, but then asked, the information suddenly sinking in, "You have a locker there?"

Duo snorted. "I work for them, even if it's only on tough cases. I get my self dirty, sometimes."

Duo was still staring down at his clothes pensively long moments later. When Heero glanced at him, and noticed, he asked worriedly, "What's wrong?"

"It's stupid, but I always considered my beach house safe," Duo admitted with a scowl. "I know that's never been true, but still... I'm not sure that I can live there anymore. I'm always going to be jumping at every noise."

Heero understood that kind of paranoia. It had been their life for a long while. "Safety is an illusion," he said.

"Yeah," Duo agreed as he looked out the window again, but there wasn't a rational response to that fact, only a resigned, "I'm going to miss that place." Their paranoia had long ago stopped being rational, when, too often, it had not been a bad thing to have. It had saved their lives often enough.

The next reassurance should have been, how many times is someone likely to try and kill you in your home? But, that also, was something that was very possible in their lives. Nothing was normal or certain, and Heero wondered what it would be like to be one of the million people on Earth who could walk about, and live where they chose, without a single fear of someone trying to separate them from life.

That was a sort of illusion as well, Heero thought, because violence could happen to anyone, but their illusion, at least, was more likely never to be shattered.

Once in the Preventer building, they passed Wu fei in the hall. He gave them a sour once over and asked, "Is this a new type of uniform that I'm unaware of?"

"Beach bum dress," Duo shot back with a grin nd then dared to give Wu fei a clap on the shoulder as he passed him, "Don't worry, Chang, we're changing. We had some excitement out on the dunes. "

Wu Fei's sour look deepened as he skewered Heero with it. "Your off hour entertainments-"

"Case excitement," Heero growled. "Some men attempted to kill us and we managed to tag their car when they ran away."

Wu Fei lifted an eyebrow.

"We followed them and, as soon as we change," Heero assured him, "We'll investigate, to find out who they are."

"We're all work," Duo called back. "You know that."

"I don't know anything such thing," Wu Fei replied. "I can only hope that it's true."

"I feel that we're about to crack this case," Heero told him confidently.

"And no broken bones, head trauma, or dead bodies in Maxwell's wake, yet," Wu Fei replied. "I thought that you and Maxwell might be able to work together."

"Might?" Heero grumbled but Wu Fei was already past him and not willing to pursue the conversation. "I don't remember you saying anything like that."

Heero was hurrying to catch up to Duo, then, but, when they reached the Preventer locker rooms, they both paused with their hands on their lockers and looked at each other.

"What?" Heero asked.

"You first," Duo replied.

There wa silence, other agents moving around them, and then Heero was suddenly close to Duo, with his clothes in his hands. "I just had an image of us showering together," he admitted. "Steam-"

"Pounding water," Duo interjected and swallowed hard.

"Soap all over your body," Heero added.

"Your hands washing me," Duo breathed and pressed his change of clothes to the front of his pants.

They stared at each other again, both of them flushed, and then Heero was turning abruptly away and clearing his throat. "You shower first. I'll... I'll find some towels."

"O-Okay," Duo stammered and Heero heard him moving away.

Heero wiped at his forehead as he fought for control. Focus, he told himself. The case was almost solved. Time for what they both needed, later.


"So, what now?" Duo asked.

"We set up a raid and find the bomb materials," Heero replied.

"And if they were too smart to leave that stuff lying around?" Duo wondered as he pushed the pics and case files of the men around Heero's desk.

"We have mall vid of them casing the stores. We have street vids of them around the mall with a van, after hours, and unloading unknown equipment," Heero replied, going over points, "Stop light, and beach security cameras show them going to your place. We've positively ID them going to the homes of other suspects."

"But nothing showing the smoking gun," Duo complained. "Everything places them, but nothing puts them with their hands on the bombs."

"That's why a raid-" Heero began, but Duo cut him off.

"I totally disagree. They worked for the police department in the Preventer branch. It's very likely that they have operations tagged. They'll know when we move against them."

"If you're suggesting that we not go through channels, then that's where I'll have to disagree," Heero replied. "They may be ex Oz, with an ax to grind with us, but we can't go in there shooting without paperwork and clearance."

Duo sat on the edge of Heero's desk, frowning hard. Heero, seated at the desk, began stacking the photos and notes that they had been making. "How will we explain this to the commander.. to Wu Fei?"

"Asking for a raid, is standard procedure," Heero unnecessarily pointed out, knowing what Duo was really implying.

"A raid consisting of two men," Duo said, confirming Heero's suspicion.

"Two or a hundred, what difference would it make for us to go in by ourselves?" Heero wondered acidly.

"There may be another bomb, like in the last house that we decided to visit," Duo pointed out. "They may have let us see them to set up this very scenario. Do you want a hundred men dying when only two are needed for the job?"

"We will have proper clearance," Heero stressed. "This has to hold up in a court of law."

"And if they do have everything tagged and they are expecting us?" Duo wondered.

"We'll have to take that chance," Heero replied. "It's part of the job."

Duo sighed and suddenly straddled Heero's lap, facing him. With strong arms lax on Heero's shoulders, he was face to face with the man and looking melancholy."It always comes down to dying for the cause, doesn't it?"

"We did sign up for it," Heero insisted. "If you wanted to live another way, there wasn't anyone to stop you. No one is stopping you now. You aren't an official preventer agent. You can leave things with me and I'll finish the case."

Duo cocked his head sideways and his frown deepened. "Are you trying to protect me? To get me to leave the case, just when things might turn suicidal?"

Heero met his eyes levelly and then admitted softly, "I guess that I am."

Duo head butted Heero in the forehead, not hard, but not gently either, and climbed off of his lap, leaving Heero exclaiming in pain and holding his head. "Don't ever try that again," Duo warned him. "Yeah, I made my decision, and, yeah, I'm not going to back down from it, now that things are getting hot. You worry about the legal stuff and I'll worry about carrying the right ammo, all right? Don't worry about me or my choices."

"What?" Heero groaned. "I couldn't hear you through the pain in my head."

Duo chuckled, leaned in, and kissed the red spot where their heads had connected. "Get the paperwork, Heero. We're going in, together."

Heero managed a weak smile as he gathered up their facts. "Is it always going to be like this?" he wondered.

"You wanting paperwork and me wanted guns blazing?" Duo clarified.


"Most likely," Duo replied, "but that makes us perfect for each other."

Heero looked confused. "Perfect? Fighting like cats and dogs?"

"We balance each other out," Duo explained as they headed for the door and Wu Fei's office. "I make sure that you aren't too safe and by the book, and you make sure I'm not too reckless and lawless."

"My part seems harder than yours," Heero complained.

Duo didn't care about the agents passing by as he leaned in and gave Heero a short kiss. "There are benefits that come along with it," he promised.

"Eventually," Heero chuckled.

"Eventually," Duo agreed.

Wu Fei was less than impressed. As he stared at the evidence Heero had put on his desk, he said, "While I don't question your abilities, this is just the sort of scenario that Maxwell concocts to most effectively injure his partners. I thought that you would show more sense, Heero."

"It does make sense," Heero argued. "If they have Preventer channels tagged, then staying small and quick is our best course of action."

"They failed in their murder attempt," Wu Fei pointed out. "What makes you think that they haven't already suspected that they have been found out? They are experts, according to their files. Leaving evidence around would be amateurish."

Duo pointed out,"If they really suspected that we knew who they were, they wouldn't have gone back to their precinct headquarters. Now that would be amateurish. Bomb residue is almost impossible to get rid of completely. Maybe they have the materials hidden somewhere, but it will be on their clothes, on their shoes, even on the floor or furniture they may have touched at their homes. We'll be able to match that residue with our evidence on file."

"And they would know this, as well," Wu Fei grumbled.

"I suspect that they are completely confident in their anonymity," Heero finally interjected before Duo could make a heated reply. "It's the only theory that fits with their actions. That kind of confidence can make a man sloppy."

Wu Fei rubbed at his forehead. "I'll have to clear this with the commander. That won't be easy."

"She trusts your judgment," Heero said.

"I'm not so certain that I trust yours," Wu Fei snapped back. "If you allow your personal attraction to one another, to compromise yourself and this case-"

"That won't happen," Duo retorted. "Heero's too damned hard nosed."

Wu Fei grunted. "That I can believe."


"And the dog came from, where?" Heero wanted to know.

Duo grinned and petted the yellow Labrador. It seemed to grin back and wagged its whole body excitedly."This is officer Dunham's partner. He told me, 'Hurt one hair on Mitch's tail and they'll find you in small pieces... tortured pieces.' I promised that he wouldn't be in any danger."

Heero ran a hand over the dog's head and it looked up at him with happy, liquid eyes. "You lied to him, didn't you?"

"Mitch?" Duo wondered as he fiddled with the dog's collar.

"Dunham," Heero clarified irritably. "What reason did you give as to why he wasn't allowed on the mission with his own partner?"

"Need to know search," Duo replied with self satisfaction. "Orders from the top. Very special duty for a very special Preventer officer."

"So, there wasn't any mention of fitting a camera and mic to Mitch's collar," Heero surmised, "and letting our targets 'adopt' him?"

"None," Duo said, in a crooning, happy voice, to Mitch as he bent and rubbed the dog's ears. "Mitch doesn't mind, do you boy?"

The dog wagged his tail frantically.

"See, Heero?" Duo asked, "Who can resist a dog like that? We'll have the evidence, logistics for our attack, and a count of fire power and man power before we go in."

"The dog will be in the middle of a fire fight," Heero protested.

Duo frowned and became serious. "I know, Heero, but that's his job, just like it's ours."

Heero petted the dog worriedly. "He didn't chose it."

"No, but we don't always get to choose, Heero." Duo sighed. "He's going to keep us from getting killed going in."

"Then you do think that they are waiting for us?"

"It's a strong possibility," Duo replied, and then gave a few hand signs to Mitch. "Work time," he told the dog. "Infiltrate and play nice."

The dog ambled around the corner, as if he perfectly understood what was expected of him, and trotted down the hallway of the apartment building, to the suspect's doorway. He gave a look back at Duo and Duo gave another hand sign. The dog barked.

The door opened and a man looked out, frowning down at the dog. "What the hell?"

Mitch tried to go into the room, but the man blocked him. They did a dance, each trying to outmaneuver the other and then the man was snapping, "Get lost, you dumb dog!"

"What the hell is going on?" another voice demanded and the door opened wider. Mitch took that opportunity to trot into the apartment. Two men stood in the doorway, then, looking dumbfounded.

"Some neighbor's stupid dog," the first man grumbled.

"Well, get him out," the second man ordered angrily and they both went into the apartment.

After several minutes of shouting, Mitch finally trotted out, curses following him, and the door slammed closed after him.

Mitch trotted back to Heero and Duo, tail wagging and looking happy with himself.

"You get a whole bag of doggie treats when we get back to headquarters, Agent Mitch," Duo laughed. "Let's see what you have here."

Duo popped the chip out of Mitch's collar and loaded it into his palm computer. He leaned to show Heero the crazy, jiggling video of the inside of the apartment.

"All right," Heero conceded."It worked and Mitch is in one piece. Now what?"

"We go in and arrest everyone," Duo replied, mystified. "Standard procedure, Yuy."

"No, I meant with Mitch," Heero clarified. "He's search and rescue, not combat."

"Oh, I suppose that we can't leave him in the car?" Duo pondered.

"No," Heero replied firmly.

"Broom closet?"

Heero glared.

Duo thought for a moment and then led the dog down another hallway. Heero followed in exasperation, certain that Duo didn't have a plan. He was surprised when Duo knocked on a random door with children's toys littering the outside, as if a child had just stopped playing there. When the door opened, Duo gave his best smile and flashed his Preventer ID at the woman who stood in the doorway.

"Preventer agent, ma'am, on a mission," Duo explained. "I need to leave Mitch, here," he indicated the dog, "Where it's safe, while I question some suspects. Could you take care of him for a few moments?"

"Doggie!" Excited children's voices exclaimed and two young boys piled on Mitch, hugging and petting him. Mitch was wagging his tail furiously and ready to play.

"I suppose that it would be all right," the woman began, but Duo was already thanking her.

"You're doing a service to law enforcement," he told her, "and it's greatly appreciated." he added, as they began walking back to the apartment, Heero began calling back up, "If you hear any loud noises, please stay inside your home."

Her eyes were wide as she closed the door.

"There," Duo said with pleasure as they went back to their target apartment. "Mitch is safe, and we know what we're facing."

"Don't get cocky," Heero warned. "We need to wait for the-Duo!" Heero protested as Duo went straight to the door.

"We need to wait for backup!" Heero insisted.

"They probably have all channels monitored."Duo said as he waved Heero to the other side of the door, and he took up a position beside it as well. He knocked on the door briskly. "Our only chance of nailing them is surprise." He pulled out his gun and grinned.

"Hello?" Duo called. "Has anyone in there seen my dog? A yellow labrador?"

"Yeah," an irritated voice grumbled as the door popped open. "Damned mutt- Shit!" the last was said as the man caught sight of Duo's gun and Heero's karate chop took him down.

Adrenaline pumping, Heero and Duo both surged into the apartment, avoiding the mounted, high powered gun pointed at the door that looked as if it had been stripped off of an old mobile suit. The suspects had set up a trip wire along with a remote, set to the pulse of the gun, that would trigger explosives on a time delay. Mitch had warned them, though, and the trip had been disconnected until the occupants left the apartment. It looked as if they had been preparing to do that very thing.

A man was just turning from a computer and saying, "Bug out! They're coming!" When he saw Heero and Duo and echoed his companion, "Shit!"

That man went down with a bullet in his arm as he tried to reach for a weapon. Duo was leaping over a chair, that another suspect tossed at him, to land, with the perfection of an acrobat, and disarm the downed man.

It was a kaleidoscope of motion as men all went into action and guns started firing. Heero grunted and swore as a bullet ripped through his pants leg to graze his thigh, while another one cut across his cheek, as he barely reached a man in time. That man was reaching for a detonator, to set off the bombs.

"No, you fucked up bastard!" one of the other suspects was howling, apparently not ready to die for his revenge. He reached the man first and used the butt of his gun to smash into his fellow suspect's face. They went down in a tangle of flailing limbs.

Another suspect ran for the door, bent on escape. Duo tackled him, landing on his back. His handcuffs were out and the man incapacitated in seconds, and then Duo was shoving off of him to nose his gun at the rest of the room.

"All accounted for?" Duo panted, braid swinging as he swung back and forth in search of a target.

Heero was cuffing the fighting men, catching a swinging fist in the arm and swearing as he shouted at them to give up.

Duo edged through the other rooms of the apartment and found nothing else. He checked the bombs and disconnected them with expert ease. Next came the gun. He popped the ammo cartridge and tucked the bulky thing into his belt.

"Clear!" Duo shouted. "Do you need help, damn it?" he shouted at Heero as he saw the man continuing to struggle.

Heero staggered up and snapped, "I have it!"

Duo saw the blood and his eyes went wide. "Status?" he demanded.

Heero touched his face gingerly and then the hole in his pants that was level with certain parts that he was very fond of. "Well, you were nearly a virgin for the rest of your life."

Duo blinked in horror and then in confusion. "What?"

"Well, I'm not going to let anyone else have the honor," Heero growled, still on an adrenaline high.

Duo barked laughter, then. "I wouldn't want it any other way."

"Where the hell is my dog?!" Durham shouted as he came running into the apartment, gun out and flack jacket half on.

"Safe!" Duo said as he held up hands cautiously.

"He'd better be!" Durham snarled, "Where is he? I'm making a report, Maxwell!"

"I wouldn't expect anything else. He's in apartment 11b," Duo sighed and then began directing the incoming agents to watch out for any more traps and to take the suspects into custody.

When the last suspect was taken out, and only agents going over the apartment were left, Heero turned to Duo and said, "When we're done filing reports, and answering charges of taking a preventer K-9 agent for falsified reasons, we need to have some alone time."

"Agreed," Duo said with a soft smile. "We really need to address our problem."

"Problem?" Heero started, frowning. "What problem?"

"My terrible state of virginity," Duo snickered and Heero laughed, too.

"I think that I can take care of that problem in a satisfactory manner," Heero promised.

"I'm counting on it."

"I felt certain that he was going to try for your badge," Heero said as he sat up on pillows on the bed and fiddled with several things in his bare lap.

"Well, Une knew what was important," Duo replied as he locked the door securely and joined Heero on the bed. He sat gingerly. Nude as well, he was fiddling with his braid and looking nervous.

"The dog," Heero snorted. "She did make you read a report, longer than War and Peace, about the expense of training a dog, their important contribution to Preventers, and guidelines for their use."

Duo grimaced. "It can't cover every situation where I might-"

"Chapter four, subparagraph b.3," Heero said from memory, "A canine agent shall not be used in any undercover operation, but fully badged, wearing a bullet proof torso protector, and under the supervision of an agent trained with canine agents."

"The dog volunteered," Duo tried. "He wagged his tail and he went by himself to accomplish his mission."

"That didn't work with Une," Heero chuckled.

"Because she won't see reason," Duo retorted. "That's why I'll never be a full agent with the Preventers. Too many stick up the butt regulations."

They stared at each other, then, and then Duo smiled warmly. "Is this called, 'avoiding the issue in front of us?'."

Heero looked down at his body's response to Duo. "I don't see how we can avoid IT, any longer."

Duo looked down at his own hard on. "I guess not."

Heero leaned to put lube and condoms away. "Duo, we don't have to go that far-"

Duo was leaning and grabbing his wrist, then, very close to Heero, now. "I want to. Show me how it's done."

"I don't want to hurt you, make you feel..." Heero stumbled on the words.

"You won't," Duo replied softly and pushed Heero back into the pillows, kissing him deeply.

It was awkward, at first, both of them unsure, but then desire took over, the need to touch, taste, and then come together, overwhelming any doubts. When Heero slowly pushed into Duo's heat it was while riding on a high of euphoria, a breathless anticipation that made them both groan and strive to come together even closer. Bodies heaved, shifted, and clasped at each other until they couldn't come together another inch.

"Love you," Heero managed thickly and Duo hummed a like response covered by Heero's kiss. "Need... Let me...." he said around their lips, not wanting to break contact, but at the edge of being able to control instinct. Duo's hips raising, just a bit higher was, his go ahead.

Heero made a shallow in and out thrust, muscles trembling with the effort for control. Duo moaned in pleasure.

"More," Duo said, clasping at Heero with strong hands. "It's okay."

Heero wasn't sure if he could trust that, seeing a pinched look on Duo's face that spoke of some discomfort, but, as he forced himself to continue, slow and easy, that pinched look smoothed away to be replaced by one of pure pleasure.

"Good," Duo sighed and then, impatiently, as he pushed back with his hips. "Faster, deeper."

Heero tried to hold the line, tried to control his own body, but a few deeper thrusts into tight warmth had him exploding into orgasm.

"Sorry," he managed after he could breath again, body on top of Duo still and Duo's hard on trapped between them.

Duo chuckled. "If you're going to tell me that you're too old to go a second round....?"

Heero smiled and kissed him. "Give me a minute."

"How about a lifetime?" Duo replied and Heero looked down into his eyes to find that he was very serious.

"I'll take it," Heero replied, just as serious.

He slipped out of Duo, tied and tossed the condom away, and then murmured, as he moved down Duo's body. "I think that I can pass the time, until I'm ready again, productively."

"I hope so," Duo laughed, but then groaned as Heero took him into his mouth and took him over the edge of his own shattering orgasm.

When they were laying, side by side, staring up at the ceiling, and exhausted, Duo asked nervously, "Still want a lifetime, or, now that we've got our jollies shot off, are you having second thoughts?"

"Jollies?" Heero turned to him and caressed Duo's face with his hand. "Making love, Duo. Always making love. This wasn't just about sex. This was about us, at least for me. What about you?"

"A dream come true," Duo admitted as he turned and faced Heero, still being serious. "I'm still going to be impossible to work with, though."

"And I'll still be maddeningly by the book," Heero replied.

"A match made in hell?" Duo wondered.

"Heaven or hell, it's what I want," Heero assured him.

"Me, too," Duo replied and then smirked as his hands wandered down Heero's body. "Ready for round three?"

Heero smirked back. "I am a former Gundam pilot."

"Exceptional, in every way," Duo agreed and pulled Heero into his embrace.


Back to chapter one


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