Cupcake of Death
Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing, alas.
Warnings: War time, Duo is hurt and depressed, kind and gentle Heero. These two might be in my Dangerous Valentines arc, so someday they become lovers, devoted lovers.
The parking lot was dark. Duo didn't care if there was ever sunlight again. He wasn't going to see it. Collar turned up on his coat, shoulders hunched, he limped from where the bus had let him off. One of his fingers was dislocated. He needed to fix it, but he didn't want to. He would and he knew it was only going to get worse the longer the swelling went on.
It could wait though. Making it up the stairs to the apartment he was sharing with Heero hurt. With every step, every ache, words came back to him.
He ought to be glad. The guards hadn't recognized him. They thought he was a whore, a street whore. They hadn't wanted him that way. He hadn't wanted them probably worse than they hadn't wanted him. What they had wanted was to prove that they were badder and stronger than he was.
Considering that he'd just planted surveillance equipment in multiple key locations on their base, he didn't want to leave bodies around to make anyone suspicious... so he begged. One of his eyes was so black it won't open. His side hurt. His leg hurt so badly he had to pause half way up the stairs to get the nerve to go up the rest of the way. The finger... that was just the cherry. One of the bastards had deliberately pulled it until he screamed that he was a dirty street whore.
In a couple weeks, when they had the data they wanted, Duo was going to show them that he way, way worse than a whore. A whore wasn't going to kill them into little bitty bits. But... he was dirty. He was a street shit. He was worthless. No one gave a shit what happened to him. He was alone. His death wasn't going to bother anyone except for whoever had to clean it up. Tears had way too much salt in them.
Finally he made it to the top of the stairs, struggled to get his key out, let himself in and just wanted to lay down. Maybe Heero won't be home to see him so ... ruined. Maybe he was going to be that lucky.
The key turned. The door opened. The scent of warmed up beef stew rations hit him like temptation from the devil. "Heero?"
"Eh." Heero said. The only light on in the small studio came from the kitchen, where Heero had been, and was now making an aura around him. "You like beef, don't you?"
Duo closed the door behind him, quiet as a rat stealing bread. His left hand rested painfully in his pocket. Head down, hiding the black eye, he said, "Yeah."
"I heard you coming up the stairs."
"Sorry," Duo growled and limped towards the tiny bathroom. They'd blacked out the window, so they could turn the light on without sharing with the neighbors.
Duo left the door open. It creaked when moved and there was no point. He could stare at the ruin of his face without Heero caring. God, he looked awful. His mouth looked like he'd had an allergic reaction, probably to the blood that was drying from the bloody nose or to the the busted lips that actually caused the swelling. With the back of his hand he fought against the tears running down, stinging over scrapes where his face had hit the pavement.
The very last thing he expected was to see Heero step up behind him. For a moment they both studied Duo's face in the decrepit hotel mirror, then Duo's chin dropped to his chest.
Heero's hand came up under his chin, lifted his face until they were both looking in the mirror again. "You did good."
Duo blinked, more tears fell. "Why?"
"You succeed in your mission and you are here alive."
Heero's steady gaze never waved, no emotion, no condemnation, no revulsion touched those blue eyes.
"They made me say I was a dirty street whore. I don't lie, Heero."
"Are you a dirty street whore?"
"Maybe," Duo whispered.
Heero's strong hand reached into Duo's pocket to his injured hand. Duo hissed in pain, but Heero's other arm blocked his exit. "Let me look."
"I can take care of myself!"
"We both know that," Heero said firmly as he guided Duo around so he was sitting on the toilet.
Duo didn't fight as Heero pulled his hand out, considered it. He peeled his green shirt over his head. "It's clean. Bite down."
"Shit. Do we have to?"
"It'll only be worse tomorrow."
Duo grunted and shoved shirt in his mouth. He looked away.
With one hand Heero held his hand firmly, but gently. With the other he jerked the finger back into place.
Duo woke up on the bed. It hadn't been his turn to sleep on the small single bed. Oddly, he felt a lot better. "Heero?"
"I iced your face and gave you pain killers."
Duo rolled onto his side, flexed his fingers. The swelling was gone, even if it was a little sore still. "I passed out."
"You eat that beef stew?"
Heero kept typing on the program he was writing. After a bit, Duo sat up, decided not to question why he was naked. He trusted Heero. If he were sore in places he hadn't been, he really wouldn't care. His jaw moved back and forth, thinking, watching Heero. It took him a few minutes to find the word he was looking for. Beautiful.
Those blue eyes turned on him watching him with an openness, no threats, just an open interest. "You should eat."
"Because I need you to be strong."
Duo pushed himself up, still favoring his tortured hand, not at all surprised that he wasn't sore in any new places. The bowl of stew was in the small refrigerator. There was also a small cupcake, a black cupcake. Duo took both out, shoved the stew in the microwave. The cupcake was frosted in black, a small red heart on the top. He leaned against the door frame, held the cupcake up. "Death cake?"
"Yesterday was the 730th day since I met you. It is customary in America to buy gifts of love for those you love on anniversaries. You are American. I am honoring your customs."
Blue and violet eyes locked as Duo very slowly licked black frosting and the little heart into his mouth. Heero's mouth flicked into the very tiniest of smiles, the first smile Duo had ever seen from him. Duo grinned brilliantly as suddenly the world was full of light.
It was the best cupcake he'd ever had.
It was as close as a kiss as he was likely to get.