Disclaimer:Don't own them, don't make any money off of this.
Warnings: Male/Male sex, graphic, language, violence, NCS Flashbacks
Disclaimer:Don’t own them and don’t make any money off of this.
Warnings:Male/male sex, Graphic, violence, Language, NCS flashbacks
Shinigami’s Lover Series II
Sequel to Reflections
“Maxwell... smiling... that can’t be good,” Wu Fei grumbled from the front seat as he drove them home.
“We NEED our own car, Heero,” Duo growled, but he couldn’t stop smiling.
“Yes, you do,” Wu Fei agreed. “I’d like to relax on my way home, not get more wound up.”
“I’ve been missing your smile,” Heero said, pleased, yet still managing to look as cautious as Wu Fei. During the war, Duo’s smile had been a mask over a dangerous edge. It wasn’t necessarily an indicator that he was happy.
“It was a good day, “ Duo replied, reassuring them both, and then leaned back in his seat and stared out of the window, continuing to smile.
Wu Fei glanced at Duo in his rear view mirror and Heero turned to study his lover more closely. Duo noticed and glanced from one man to the other before he grinned and looked out of the window again, exclaiming, “What?! Can’t I have a good day?”
“I hope it wasn’t at anyone else’s expense? I remember your penchant for revenge and your practical jokes,” Wu Fei grumbled, but his face had lightened in its expression and he almost looked glad.
“So?” Heero prompted impatiently.
Duo shrugged. “Everything went right, that’s all.” His grin turned into a satisfied smirk. “I CAN play well with others, Heero, and I did. I think they were a little scared of me at first; the big, bad Gundam pilot, but we were a team today and it felt good.”
Heero’s relief was noticeable. He sat back in his seat, relaxing. “That’s good news, Duo. You know that I was worried. Part of the worry was that they would remember that you were once a Gundam pilot and hate or be afraid of you.”
Duo’s grin faded and he grew thoughtful. “Did you two have problems like that?”
Surprisingly, it was Wu Fei who spoke first, “It was difficult learning to follow Preventer rules, and working with others that I considered, at the time, inferior to myself. They were wary of me and my abilities. I wasn’t accepted... I still feel a certain isolation still.”
Heero nodded, agreeing. “I feel it too. We’re very skilled. We have a great deal of experience. We’re at a level that our fellow agents will probably never reach.
It sets us apart.”
Duo lips quirked. “You two...” He hesitated, tried to find a better way to say it, and then decided that there just wasn’t any, “You’re both stuck up.”
“Hn?” Heero grunted, as if Duo had slapped him.
“Maxwell!” Wu Fei warned angrily.
“It’s true!” Duo retorted. Soda, strapped in the front seat, became alert at Duo’s raised voice and cocked ears at him questioningly.
Wu Fei eyed Soda. “Maxwell,” he demanded tightly, “Bring your dog to order and please don’t make him nervous with shouting.”
“He knows you, Wu Fei,“ Duo chuckled. “He’s used to our arguments.”
“Animals are animals,” Wu Fei intoned knowledgeably. “They are NOT predictable.
“And how would you know?” Duo wondered. “I bet that you don’t even have a goldfish at home.”
“I don’t have the time for a pet,” Wu Fei replied stiffly and then blinked and growled, “You are changing the subject! You have accused us of being ‘stuck up’. I would like to know why you think such a thing.”
“Oh, come on!” Duo replied evasively. “It’s pretty obvious that you two don’t mingle with everyone else. You work together in a private office. You used to live together. You did things together. I bet you both don’t have any friends... am I right?” When they were both silent, Duo sighed and went on, “It’s no wonder people thought that you two were lovers.”
“What?!” Heero and Wu Fei both snapped at the same time and then Heero growled. “Tell me all about this... rumor."
“No,” Duo replied. “It’s stupid and it wouldn’t have had any legs if you two hadn’t isolated yourselves from the people you work with. I realized something today, and I wonder why you two haven’t realized it too when you were training.”
“We didn’t train in the conventional sense, not with other agents,” Wu Fei growled. “We went almost straight into doing cases. We both thought that training was redundant and we were both needed so much that there wasn’t a great deal of time to learn procedures.”
Duo’s eyes had gone wide and then he went thoughtful again. “So, you isolated yourselves and you never really learned to work with the other agents.” He looked from Heero to Wu Fei and said, “That’s not only stuck up, that’s damned dangerous.”
“What did you realize, Duo?” Heero asked. When Duo looked at him blankly, he said, “You told us that you realized something today while you were training. What was it?”
Duo smiled. “Something you two would benefit a lot from learning.”
“And that is?” Wu Fei demanded impatiently.
“That it’s much better to be a team,” Duo replied, “working together and knowing each others strengths and weaknesses. Alone, a man is easily eliminated. A team is stronger and harder to defeat.” He smiled. “Remember from the war? Quatre had taught us that very same thing and we listened and made a team, for a short while. It DID work and it was better than going at it alone.”
“You’re going somewhere with this, aren’t you?” Heero wondered suspiciously.
Duo nodded and grinned. “How about a little training, guys?”
Wu Fei’s dark eyes widened and then he snorted. “You can’t be serious? We have a lot of important work to do. We can’t take time for nonsense.”
“Nonsense?” Duo was surprised. “I thought you’d be the last person to not want to improve himself.”
Wu Fei scoffed, “You haven’t seen us in action, Maxwell. You don’t know the level of our expertise.”
“When you work together, I’m sure it’s first rate,” Duo agreed, “But how many times do you work with the other agents? I bet you tell them to get out of your way and leave it to you, right?”
Heero frowned and then nodded, “You’re right. I suppose our level of training makes us... reserved when it comes to working with the other agents.”
“Reserved?” Duo chuckled. “Like I said, ‘stuck up.’ I’m sure the other agents see it that way too.”
“You suggest training with you and the other recruits?” Heero wondered and he sounded skeptical about that idea.
“Maybe a little,” Duo replied, “But you should really train with the guys you have to work with. It’ll be at least a year before they take the training wheels off of us enough to work on cases at your level. I’ve seen the more experienced agents on the field. They don’t stop training, you realize? They have to keep their edge and stay in shape. Aside from the gym, I’ve never seen you two outside with everyone else.”
“What?” Duo demanded irritably.
“Keep this up and you’ll be managing Preventer affairs in no time,” Heero replied.
Duo grinned. “Do you think Sally will like that; crazy Maxwell dictating Preventer policies?”
“I don’t believe that she would,” Wu Fei said sourly.
“Oh, come on, Wu Fei!” Duo complained. “You know I’m making sense or you wouldn’t be so irritated. In the war, if you didn’t stop once in awhile and check out your Gundam, you were taking the chance of it giving out in battle. This is the same thing. When I was going through the obstacle course, I could have made it by myself, but I thought, what happens when I do get to the goal first? If it were a mission, I could be outnumbered, outgunned, out foxed with no one to save my ass. Leaving the others behind, not trusting them to back me up, was stupid, so I didn’t do it. We didn’t make it in record time, but we made it to the goal together and in a hell of a lot better shape then if I had worn myself out and maybe injured myself doing it alone.”
“We have, thankfully, arrived at your home,” Wu Fei growled as he pulled into their driveway, “Now I don’t have to listen to the rest of this ridiculous conversation. Everyone get out and give me back my peaceful solitude.”
Heero opened the door and went to let Soda out. Duo leaned over the front seat and said to Wu Fei seriously, “You know I’m right, Wu Fei.”
Wu Fei frowned, but he didn’t deny it. As Duo slid out of the car, Duo paused and said, “Tomorrow, right? You’re coming for dinner?”
“Dinner?” Heero echoed, startled, “You invited Wu Fei to dinner? Are you sure, Duo?”
“Of course I am,” Duo assured him. “I think we have things all straightened out now. There’s no reason that a friend can’t come over.” He gave Heero an irritated look, “Stop being so careful, Heero. I won’t hurt him!”
“You couldn’t, “ Wu Fei assured him confidently. “We haven’t been together for several years though, Maxwell,” he added in Heero’s defense. “Whatever truce I had with your high strung hair trigger is most likely gone. Heero has every right to be cautious.”
“We did have breakfast this morning,” Duo reminded him.
“True,” Wu Fei agreed, “And that is why I shall agree to dinner. You seemed... much improved.”
Duo’s eyes went wide and his mouth fell open a little. He shut it and then looked from Heero to Wu Fei. “This is a dream, right?” Heero smirked in amusement and Wu Fei looked annoyed. “Okay, okay!” Duo chuckled, “I’ll take any compliments I can get from you, Wu Fei. “ He turned to Heero. “It’s okay, right, Heero? I didn’t really ask you if Wu Fei could come to dinner.”
Some strong emotion filled Heero’s face. “It’s all right with me,” he said after a moment. “As long as he cooks.”
Wu Fei put on a superior air. “Of course I will cook. I will not subject myself to either your or Maxwell’s attempt at food preparation. I want to avoid any trips to an emergency room.”
“Ha, Ha!” Duo mocked. “I thought that you wanted some solitude, Wu Fei?” He waved broadly. “See you later.”
Wu Fei grunted and then pulled out of the driveway. As Heero and Duo walked to the front door, Duo asked, “So, what was that LOOK all about, Heero?”
Heero snorted in amusement and then he looked softly into Duo’s eyes, “I’ve been so nervous and afraid for you, but you’re doing better than I could ever have imagined. Talking about dinner guests and work... I just didn’t think that we would come so far in so soon.”
Duo was truthful as Heero opened the door and they entered the house. “Don’t get cocky, Heero. You know I’ll never be a hundred percent and regression is a given.”
Heero looked concerned. “Has anything happened during your training? If it was going to show up, I would have thought...”
Duo winced and turned away, “I won’t say things have been easy, but I have been managing. Nobody is dead yet, right? I think I’m dealing.”
“The lack of dead bodies isn’t always a clear sign that you’re ‘dealing’,” Heero replied worriedly.
“I did good today, Heero, don’t spoil it, okay?” Duo begged. “Let’s go back to you being amazed and proud of me all right?”
Heero nodded and then he did seem to settle his shoulders as if he were casting off his worry. As they went through the kitchen and into the back yard, Heero wondered, “What do you want to do this weekend? I don’t think my case will extend into it. We could go somewhere... relax.”
Duo eyed the gray clouds and shivered against a chill breeze. “Let me think about it. It doesn’t look like the weather’s going to be that good.”
“One thing you do have to learn,” Heero told Duo as Duo let the puppies out of their kennel, “Is that you need to relax and enjoy yourself when you can despite the weather. As agents, we’ll both be logging in long hours.”
Duo nodded as he reached down and rubbed and patted the excited puppies. He touched one of the white puppies thoughtfully. That puppy had just the right personality for what he had in mind. With a little training... “We could just stay home and crash in front of the fire,” Duo suggested. “That’s something enjoyable. I’d rather spend time with you than go somewhere in the rain and cold.”
Heero smiled. “I think I would like that too.” His eyes narrowed and he took a slip of paper from the fence. Duo saw it as well and groaned. “Well, maybe we can’t spend time in front of a fire,” Heero said regretfully, “but we can be together as we trim tree trunks, rake leaves, scrub the kitchen floor, unclog-”
“I get the picture,” Duo grumbled as he sat down and pulled puppies into his lap. “I may be rethinking the whole ‘hired help’ issue. Maybe it won’t be such a bad thing. I don’t see, if we’re both working long hours, how we’ll ever have time to relax unless we get someone to do these damned jobs for us.”
Heero nodded agreement.
Duo suddenly chuckled. Heero looked at him with a raised eyebrow and Duo explained, “I just never imagined, when I was wandering the streets of L2, that I would end up in a place like this and contemplating hired help. It’s just... surreal.”
Heero turned thoughtful and then he asked carefully. “Are you happy? Is this the kind of life that you want? Sometimes... dreams don’t make good reality.”
Duo reached out a hand and Heero took it gently and sat down with him. The puppies lounged in their laps as if they were exhausted. “You’ve asked me that a couple of times, Heero, and the answer is still the same. This is everything that I’ve always wanted, “ Duo assured him. “Don’t doubt that because I’m having some trouble adjusting.” He gave Heero a keen look. “What about you, though? I get the feeling that you’d rather be in the city in an apartment and not having to worry about all of this.”
Heero shrugged. “I’ve never needed much. I’m rather spartan in my ways, you know that, but...” He looked around them. “This does take getting used to, but I don’t think I would want it any other way. Help would be good though. I’m glad that you are considering it. I want to spend as much time as possible with you and not while we pound nails in a loose picket fence.”
Duo laughed as he stood up and stretched. Suddenly pulling his tie loose, he whipped it off, yelling “Shinigami, the fix it man! Have Scythe, will fix!”
Heero laughed and stood as well, reaching out and taking Duo’s hand again. “There’s another job I’d rather have Shinigami doing than fixing fences.”
Duo smirked. “Oh? Do I get paid extra?” He had spoken without thought, but his own words caught up to him and he went pale and still, eyes suddenly unfocusing as he was shocked by random memories of his life as a prostitute.
Heero let go of his hand abruptly and stepped back as he said, quickly and calmly, “You can only cook noodles. If I have you cook dinner, I don’t see why I should pay extra.”
Duo didn’t seem to hear him at first and then his mind came back from the terrible place where it had slipped to as it realized that they weren’t talking about sex. The memories tangled and then dissipated as Duo’s mind shifted tracks, narrowly avoiding an episode. “Cooking is hard,” he whispered, and then stronger, “So, of course, I get double for it.” He laughed. It sounded forced, but his color came back as he led the way back inside the house, the puppies and Soda following excitedly.
Heero let out a relieved breath and followed. Living with Duo was a dream
come true, he thought, but living with Shinigami was a little bit of hell on