Shinigami's Lover Arc 2

Part 5: Mental
by Kracken

Disclaimer: I don't own them and I don't make any money off of them.
Warnings: Male/Male sex, graphic, NCS flashbacks, violence, language

"Duo?" Heero was talking to a stiff back as Duo stalked away from him, tossed off his uniform jacket, and made his way through their house with Soda in tow.

Opening the back door, Duo purposefully closed it behind him, a definite signal to Heero that he wanted to be alone. Heero knew better than to breach that warning. In his mind's eye, Duo could see him settling in a chair in the kitchen to wait for him to return. That was Heero, ever patient... ever stubborn... ever pig headed, Duo thought angrily.

Duo froze and his hand searched for a weapon he didn't have. He relaxed in the next moment when he saw that it was Mr.Hulitt coming out of the kennel followed by the five puppies. Duo had promised to get rid of two, but he hadn't found the right people to take them yet, or so he had told himself. The fact was, that he had become too attached to them.

"Home at last," Mr. Hulitt said as Duo was surrounded by wriggling puppies.

Used to Mr. Hulitt now, Soda only gave puppies and intruder a bored look. Duo was more alert, still cautious around the old man. He knew that he always would be. Duo's violent childhood had taken away his trust in men and not any amount of time or therapy could erase his fear completely. Mr. Hulitt understood. He kept himself separated by a few paces and kept his hands lax and open where Duo could see them.

"Didn't go well?" Mr. Hulitt wondered when Duo remained silent.

"That's an understatement," Duo replied and couldn't help his anger and frustration leaking into his tone.

Mr. Hulitt scratched his head and shrugged. "Well, it was nice taking care of the puppies for one day."

Duo narrowed his amethyst eyes. "Sir?"

Mr. Hulitt's eyes twinkled in his dark, wrinkled face. "Well, the proof is in the pudding," he said. "Guess you weren't ready for the 'real' world yet. Don't worry, you're still a kid. Maybe you should use your time to educate yourself a bit more, go back to high school..."

"School?" Duo raised eyebrows in disbelief at the suggestion. "What do you think I would learn?"

"Do you think you know everything?" Hulitt chuckled. "You're only seventeen. Certainly you've seen the bad side of life, but that doesn't teach everything you need to know. Doesn't teach you to clean out your gutters, or that privacy fences need waterproofing every so many months, or that friendships are harder to keep when you don't have a war to keep you occupied."

Duo almost didn't follow Hulitt's wandering conversation, but then several points hit home. He looked back over his shoulder and saw Heero leaning against the back doorjamb, watching him and Mr. Hulitt talk with a sad, intense expression.

"Oh," Duo said. Heero seemed so very young just then. They were just kids playing house, both of them so sure of what they thought they knew. Heero was only doing what he had been taught, isolating a threat, Duo, and securing a safe perimeter, the house and yard. "I-I guess we both have some things to learn. He always seems so-"

"Damned confident," Hulitt chuckled and Duo looked back at him and saw his twinkling eyes. "If you have troubles, make it up," Hulitt told him. "Figure it out. Work together. Both of you have some learning to do, so cut Heero some slack."

Duo nodded and then he smiled fiercely at Hulitt. "You're right about that, but you're wrong if you think I'm not going back to work tomorrow."

Hulitt chuckled, "No, I'm not. I knew you would go back all along. You're a stubborn one. You're the type who will see it through no matter what. I was only teasing about the dogs, trying to get a rise out of you."


"Bottling things up isn't good, ever," Hulitt replied as he headed for the gate. "Let it out and get it over with, then you can get to the business of patching it up and sorting out the problem." He waved absently towards the house, slightly gruff to hide embarrassment, "Left some food for you. Didn't think you skinny boys would have time to eat after both of you working today. Clean the pans and get them back to me, you hear?"

"I hear," Duo sighed and then, "Thanks."

"Yeah, yeah," Hulitt muttered.

Duo closed the gate behind Hulitt and locked it, smiling warmly. When he turned, he already knew that Heero was close by because of Soda's casual prick of ears. He met Heero's searching eyes. "Dinner's getting cold. Mr. Hulitt left us some food."

"I saw," Heero replied softly. "Duo... I'm sorry about today. It could have been better. I embarrassed you."

"I'm not mad any more," Duo replied, reassuring him. "I still want to talk about it, though, after dinner. We need to really discuss this and not just... react." Duo held out his hand and Heero gently took it. "We're just a couple of kids, still," Duo told him as they walked back to the house with the puppies playing around their feet. "We aren't going to get this relationship/ growing up business right in a day."

They cleaned up, changed into jeans and shirts, and sat informally in the kitchen as they ate the casserole dish that Mr. Hulitt had made them. The puppies were sleeping in a pile at Duo's feet, bellies distended with dinner. Soda was sitting at the back door, ears cocking back and forth as the conversation passed over the table from Heero to Duo.

"We're not going to see each other at work from now on," Duo said as he finished the last bite. Heero snagged the bowl away from him as he reached for more. Duo didn't argue. He settled back in his chair and rubbed the puppies' backs with his bare feet. "I don't think that you can stop worrying about me. Sally assigned Kit to keep an eye on me. Unlike you, she doesn't hover and wonder what I'm going to do every second of the day. She lets me do my job."

"I agree," Heero said as he stacked his dishes and carefully placed his silverware on top.

Duo blinked. "You agree?"

Heero nodded. "Today... I not only embarrassed you, I also embarrassed myself. I was very unprofessional and I gave a bad impression of you to Sally. You did do well. Your work was excellent. Your supervisors told me so. Kit reported to Sally that, though you were less than formal to Grange, you were quick to correct yourself."

Duo leaned his chin on one fist and sighed. "That guy didn't like me. I think he thought that I was putting some moves on Kit."

"Moves?" Heero asked, confused.

"That I was competing for her affections," Duo clarified. That brought something else to mind and Duo wasn't sure that he wanted an answer to his suspicions. Never one to back down even when he was afraid, Duo asked his question anyway. "Heero, both Kit and Grange didn't seem to know that I was your boyfriend. In fact, Kit was under the impression that you and Wu Fei were an item."

"An item? Dating?" Heero asked. When Duo nodded, Heero looked down at his empty dinnerware and nervously arranged them into a neater stack. "We were living together while you were at the institute."

Duo searched Heero's face, trying to figure out what the man was thinking. "A year is a long time. Maybe I would understand if you and Wu Fei had a couple of friendly comfort nights."

Heero looked up, shocked. "That's not the way it was!" he exclaimed, indignant. He calmed himself and then continued. "We did talk a great deal. I was lonely. It wasn't sexual though, ever. I'm not attracted to Wu Fei."

"You know," Duo said pensively, "Most people have a picture of their loved one on their desk at work. I wonder, if I went to your office, if mine would be there?"

"It's not," Heero replied softly and then met Duo's eyes. "I didn't talk about you to anyone. I didn't want them asking questions about you. As a Preventer, I'm not allowed to lie to officers or on paper work. I felt... I was hoping that you could work as a Preventer as well, when you were released from the Institute. I didn't want empty speculation souring everyone against you before you had a chance to be there in the flesh, to let them see what kind of person you truly are."

"Sally didn't know where I was either, did she?" Duo asked. "Does she even know now?"

"She knows," Heero replied as he stood and carried his dishes to the sink, "but only lately. She agreed to hire you with all the information on file, Duo. She wasn't coerced by half truths."

"That's good to know," Duo sighed. "So, what made you change your mind?"


"About me being competent enough to join the Preventers?" Duo clarified.

Heero turned and faced Duo, leaning back against the sink and crossing his arms tightly over his chest. His eyes flicked to Soda and then down to the floor. "I had hopes for greater progress."

"In a year?" Duo snorted derisively. "Did you think that all of those years of misery could be deleted with one year of therapy? Please tell me that you didn't?"

Heero was quiet and then he shrugged, "I will admit that I did. I was overly optimistic."

"And now you're making me suffer because of that over optimism," Duo ground out and stood up. He carried his dishes to the sink and ran water over them. Over the noise of the faucet Duo continued, "You're looking at me now and making judgments about my competence because I didn't measure up to your expectations. You're using the wrong yard stick, Heero"

"When you lived here, and didn't seem to want to join the Preventers, I was glad. I didn't want to confront you with my doubts," Heero explained.

Duo sighed and then he began washing Mr. Hulitt's plastic containers. "Do you know me at all, Heero? Did you really think that, once I had rested and acclimated myself to being a citizen again, that I would be happy turning into a mushroom in this house?"

Heero slowly reached out and hesitantly took hold of the end of Duo's braid. He brought that end up to his lips and kissed it. Continuing to hold it lightly, he said, "I DO know you. I did know that you would want to try and work. I tried to think of arguments against it and alternatives before now, but I knew that you wouldn't agree to any of them."

"So you avoided the situation," Duo finished. Putting the dishes on the drying rack, he paced, his braid pulling out of Heero's loose grasp and swinging slightly behind him. Soda watched him, curious.. so did Heero.

Duo finally confronted Heero, hands on hips and expression very serious. "Tomorrow," he said, "my picture goes on your desk. People are going to know I'm with you. If you can't handle that, if you're ashamed of having a nut case for a lover, then we have something else to talk about."

"I'm not ashamed of you," Heero protested angrily. "I gave you my reasons."

"Well, you don't have them anymore, so...," Duo trailed off expectantly.

"Your picture will be front and center first thing tomorrow morning," Heero promised with intensity.

"Good," Duo replied and found a smile. "And yours is going to be on mine." He chuckled. "I think Kit will be disappointed."

Heero frowned. "Why is that?"

"I think she had designs on me," Duo teased and laughed outright when Heero suddenly looked jealous. He reached out and caressed Heero's face with a masculine gesture of one hand. "Don't worry, Baby, she never had a chance."

Heero still looked unsure. Duo frowned and leaned close to look in his face, very serious. "What?" Heero asked.

"An insecure, Heero Yuy, is something I rarely get to see," Duo replied. "I don't think I like it. Maybe I should reassure you about my preference in a man?"

Heero heard the warning alarm go off in his heart. He smiled gently and didn't take the bait. "You are very beautiful and intelligent. I am very fortunate to have you as my lover. I won't forget that, ever. You could have anyone you wanted, Duo, man or woman."

"But I wouldn't love them," Duo countered. "They wouldn't mean anything to me. When I'm with you, I feel like a part of me that's been missing most of my life is suddenly with me again and making me whole. Do you think that I would get that with Kit, or anyone else? Being with them would just be sex and .... you know I can't do THAT!"

"I feel the same way about you," Heero replied and put his heart in his voice. "I don't wish anyone else, ever, Duo, so don't get jealous of Wu Fei either. He is not the other half of me, you are."

Duo smiled. "I know. You know. Let's stop adding to our problems." He took Heero's hand. "Hulitt can have his containers in the morning. "Let's go upstairs."

The puppies all gathered around their feet, panting and looking expectant. Duo chuckled and ruffled their ears. "No, Duo," Heero said firmly. "Outside where they belong. We agreed, remember?"

Duo sighed. "Yes, I remember. So much for spontaneity." He opened the back door. "Come on guys!"

It was dark, but there was a full moon and a sprinkling of stars. The puppies whined their disapproval, but they obediently went into the kennel. After closing the gate after them, Duo turned and saw Heero standing very close, head tilted up as he stared at the stars.

Duo linked an arm into Heero's and looked up as well as he said, "During the war, I used to look up at the moon and wonder what you were doing."

Hero glanced down at Duo. "You did?"

Duo nodded. "You made a pretty big first impression."

"I thought that you would be furious," Heero told him as he stared up at the stars again. "I did steal parts off of your Gundam."

"I think I was more in awe of your determination and resourcefulness," Duo replied. "When you're a street orphan, you learn to appreciate that in a person."

Heero frowned and looked uncomfortable. Duo laughed at him.

"I know, Heero, that you thought that I was a complete idiot," Duo leaned against Heero's warmth. "I babbled when I was around you, because I couldn't think straight. I couldn't figure you out or why you were effecting me so much."

"Still," Heero replied, not denying it, "I felt something then, too. You were beautiful even then, but it was something else. I just 'connected' with you completely. It upset me greatly at first, but I couldn't keep denying it. It was too strong."

Duo went distant. "I never thought that I would ever 'want' anyone in any way. That confused me the most, that I could so quickly go from being absolutely certain that I would remain alone my entire life, to wanting you no matter what ."

"You will never be alone again, while I live, and while you wish me to be by your side," Heero whispered. "Believe that."

"I do," Duo replied. He rubbed his face against Heero's arm, smelled his scent, drank in the presence of the man he loved, and gained the confidence to suddenly shift his weight and pull Heero down to the grass with him.

Heero let Duo take the initiative, surprised and leashing his eagerness as Duo slipped his shirt upwards and began suckling his nipples. Heero panted and lay on his back, the soft grass a cushion as Duo stretched out on top of him, a warm weight with tormenting lips.

"Love," Heero breathed and closed his eyes as Duo's hands began unfastening his jeans.

"Love," Duo replied softly. "All right?"

"Yesss, " Heero sighed as Duo's hand slid into his briefs and slowly took hold of his erection. Heero took hold of Duo's braid, as gently as he could, his proof that it was Duo who was with him and not dark figures from the past. So too Duo needed reassurance. Duo watched Heero's face, smelled his scent, gained even more confidence as Heero kept still and didn't reach for him. He was in control, in command, yet watchful for Heero's slightest protestation.

They moved together, neither of them sure enough to take off their clothes, yet eager to explore other, safer avenues. Duo's hand teased. When he straddled one of Heero's legs, his lips still suckling madly on Heero's nipples, Heero moved his leg to rub up against Duo's obvious hardness. Their motions became needy, frantic, their moans and kisses hot and passionate.

"Love you!" Heero moaned and shuddered as he spurted cum into Duo's hand.

"Love you, too!" Duo hissed back and then his face scrunched up and his body convulsed as he came as well.

They lay together for a long while afterwards, Heero on his back with Duo tucked into the curve of his arm, both of them staring up at the stars.

"I miss that," Duo said softly.

"Being in Space?" Heero wondered.

Duo nodded. "Earth is nice, but there's something about Space that stay's with you and calls you back. I'd like to visit it again... someday. I love the house. I love you. I want to love my new job. I want to enjoy that for awhile, get it to where there's some sort of harmony. Once we have that, though, can we go into Space for a little while?"

Heero kissed the top of Duo's head. "You said, 'we'. I was afraid-"

"Of course it's 'we'," Duo snorted. "I'm not taking off anywhere by myself. Besides being madly in love with you, I'd miss that hot body of yours too."

Heero pulled on Duo's braid in mock punishment and Duo yelped and laughed. He quieted after a moment and then propped himself on one elbow to look into Heero's shadowed face. "Tomorrow, let's work on that 'harmony' aspect of our lives without you being over protective and jealous, okay?"

"All right," Heero agreed and then, "You really think I'm desirable physically?"

Duo laughed, "Yes, I do!" He stood and then reached down to help Heero to his feet. "And you know you are, so don't play stupid, Yuy."

Heero smiled. "I just like hearing you say it." He zipped his jeans and made a face. "We need to clean up."

"Shower?" Duo asked innocently.

Heero didn't miss his sly sideways look. Heero nodded and then smiled as he followed Duo back into the house. This was not the Duo he had known in the war, not the man who would kill at a wrong look. He made love out on the lawn and suggested showers that were more than showers. He didn't kill innocent neighbors who happened to surprise him in the yard. He didn't harm men who were obviously threatening him in cafeterias. Duo had changed. He had spent a year battling his insanity and it was time, Heero thought, that he acknowledged Duo's success and stop waiting for disaster to happen. Things would be different at work the next day, he vowed to himself, he would allow Duo his much needed independence.

Go to Part 6: Testing Shinigami

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