fic: Santa Clarita - The Value of Us - 2/?

The Value of Us - 2/?

       by Pink Whirlwind

Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing, but I do use the boys in ways that were probably neither intended nor foreseen by their original creators.

As they left the airport, Heero’s trajectory moved slowly closer and closer to Duo until their shoulders brushed every few steps. Before they reached the car, their hands locked together with as much cohesion as any air lock ever held.

Sandy made a visible effort not to notice, casually keeping his back to the boys, giving normalacy a chance to take hold again.  "So did you have a nice flight?"

"I found it satisfying,” Heero said, a slight smile on his face, pride over Duo’s retaking of the other plane swelling up something he might have called a soul, but even as he thought it, he knew he only selected that word because using the word would please Duo.

“It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be,” Duo said, the spring in his step picking up, “An’ I thought pickin Heero up from the airport was gonna be loads o’fun, but this was even better. I gotta fly an improvised airborne mech and I didn’t die.” Duo snickered. “Did ya see my ascent, Sandy?”

“A feat which you will be discrete about," Sandy nearly growled, thoughts of retirement like a carosel in his mind as he spun around and lost all sense of normalacy and order in the world.  “You have no idea how illegal that was or how dangerous!” Sandy’s voice rose as he spoke, eyes on fire, a stubby finger pointing at Duo accusingly, “YOU COULD HAVE DIED! YOU COULD HAVE CAUSED UNKNOWN HAVOC! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW WORRIED I WAS ABOUT YOU!? DO YOU EVEN CARE THAT I THOUGHT I MIGHT HAVE A HEART ATTACK!? Do you KNOW what Martha would have DONE to me if anything had happened to you?”

Duo’s shoulders slumped and Heero was sure his love compressed at least three cm, just standing there being smaller. Thin lips bunched up and violet eyes glared for a moment, before dropping to start at the ground. He didn’t make a sound.

During the wars, there had been a group mission where Duo had taken an extrodinary risk to save a small group of civilian contractors. The risk did not imperil the mission and only slightly raised the risks for Wufei and Heero. The explosion at their meeting place afterwards though had been like Chinese demons laid seige to the Vatican. Everyone of them knew that Duo was in the ‘wrong’ that he’d done something he shouldn’t have done, but for ever word of reprimand, there had been two of rebuttal and in the end Heero had carried Duo bodily away from the conflict. After that, Heero had watched that streak of unbending self-righteousness that Duo carried. It was a dangerous streak. At the time, Heero had know that his respect for authority was, perhaps, too strong, but Duo’s was too small, to the point that there was almost a distrust of every other person. Things had changed.

And then the soft edged man had arms around Duo, hugging him like he was a teddy bear and all Duo did was just relax and take it.  If there had been the slightest tension in Duo’s body, that probably would have come out worse for Sandy. Yelling was one thing. Heero understood wanting to yell at Duo. Touching was another thing, even if he understood that real good too. Heero’s fingers tensed, arched into effective claws. His teeth hummed with unvoiced growl.

“Duo, for god’s sake! You have so much to live for! So many people love you! Do you know how devastated we’d all be if we lost you?”

After another moment, Duo wiggled a little. “Yeah, yeah, come on, let’me go afore Heero gets jealous,” Duo teased.

Sandy jumped back, cheeks colored. “NO! I would NEVER!”

It was the oddest feeling, this rose colored warmth purring inside Heero’s chest. His lips twisted, completely against his will, and the effort to keep a straight face made his eyes tickle like he was going to cry.  The logic and cateloging part of his mind rushed to find a lable and category for this feeling. It wasn’t like his feelings for Duo which he still classified as a mild form of insanity, tolerable, but still a little dangerous. This was softer and extremely less risky. He didn’t want to have sex with Sandy.. .in fact, as he thought it through, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to perform if he had to, even for a mission, unless the mission involve saving Duo somehow, but mostly because of this feeling. Perversely, the feeling wasn’t one of dislike or in any way negative.

He realized that Duo was watching him intensely, which sent another rush of feelings, complicated and pleasant through him. Duo made the world safe, gave the world definition and meaning.  Duo’s attention meant Duo’s help and presence and Heero didn’t have to figure everything out, because Duo would make everything okay.

“Yeah. Adorable ain’t he,” Duo said, reaching out for Heero’s hand again. “Sandy, yeah, I do know. I feel like shit about stressin ya, but think how bad ya’d feel life all those folk had died and we were crawling with feds who had some idea that they wanted to blame me an’ Heero  and then they started lookin at Martha and Jo more and well, yeah, that’d be a worse feeling than what’s already over, ne? Come on! Barbeque!” Duo threw a fist into the air, to emphasis the joy of having food near at hand. “There’ll be sushi and tofu too,” he promised.

Sandy sank back against the car, his head tipping back to look at the sky.  “I’m not sure you’re human.”

“Yeah, yeah, me neither, but I’m a hungry spacer and you kept tellin me I’m a growin boy! It’s a high calorie expenditure day!”

Another flush of color washed over Sandy’s face. “I’m never going to make it to retirement.”

Heero blinked. Flying a barely calibrated mecha made of a suit, some gutted out controllers and scavaged fuel cells took a lot of muscle work, a lot of strength and concentration, hence it burned a lot of calories. Now Duo had a sexual kink involving various forms of transport equipment, but he didn’t think Sandy would. That would be statistaclly unlikely and if mech ...

“Don’t over think it, ‘Ro. Come on, Sandy. You gonna drive or do I get to?”

“I’M driving,” Sandy snapped. “Which of you is sitting in front.”

Heero’s groan was barely audible. “If I drive, you can be sure we won’t do anything ‘innapproriate’ on the way home.” Duo grinned, a bright and intentionally adorable grin.

“Fine, fine. I’ll sit in back then. No speeding. No tickets.”

“It would be much more difficult if we got pulled over,” Heero said, worry pulling his eyebrows together. They weren’t supposed to have fake identifications, so he didn’t know what insanity was going on... that Duo’s parole officer would let him drive... the parole officer’s car.

Heero felt the very slight tweek of a headache coming on. He glared at Sandy, prompting a flinch back in the man and asked, “Is he blackmailing you?”

Duo’s eyebrows drew together for a moment, then he started bouncing. “OH oh! Heero, ‘Ro! Man! You ain’t got an actual driver’s license yet! Look!” Duo was still bouncing as he pulled a black fabric wallet from his pocket and pulled out a shiny and legal looking Wyoming State ID. “See? Look! It’s all for real and legal and everything! I am so no black mailing him! He’s a better man than that! Look! Isn’t it great!”

Heero took it, gave it a good study to see if he could determine if it were actually forged in some way. Duo was very, very good at forged documents. “Did you actually determine yoru birthday?”

“Oh hell no, ‘Ro,” Duo said, holding out his hand for the keys. “That’s the day we met, but like with the right year to make me 17.”

“I am not sure you are 17,” Heero admitted, smiling softly, blue eyes watching Duo. There were moments when he felt like it was just the two of them.

“I know,” Duo said with a wink, Sandy’s keys bouncing in his palm. “I’m so mature!” He threw his arms around Heero again, hugging tight. “I’m so glad you’re here! You’re gonna love Wyoming!”

Once they were in the car, seat belts on, the radio station pre-turned to a station that played traditional Japanese music, Sandy confessed, “He did try to blackmail me. He’s lucky I’m not the kind to take advantage of him.”

Duo kept his eyes on the road as they easily slide into the slight traffic. Both hands on the wheel, he was relaxed, but the high energy was only slightly tamped down. The changes in Duo were... extensive and caused a background thread of worry in Heero. Maybe they were drugging his lover, by a lot. Maybe they had committed some kind of brainwashing and torture? Electroshock therapy? Maybe they were some kind of cult?

“Well, it was really more like bribery,” Sandy ammened. “So, Mr. Yuy, are you also a car enthusiast?”

“No. I think it would be socially approriate for you to call me Heero.”

“If that’s what you prefer.”

“I don’t care. What did Duo attempt to bribe you with, if I may ask?”

“That’s not really all that socially approriate,” Sandy shot back.

“Nah, it’s okay. I don’t keep nothing from Heero,” Duo said, shooting them neatly onto the freeway. “I made a medicine for his wife, but I gave it to him without coming to terms. He was just trying to do what he thought was right.”

“All of his demands were reasonable anyway.”

“Duo. Are they drugging you?”

“I don’t think so,” Duo said. “It’s possible, but if they are, it ain’t hurtin me.”

“You... trust them?”

“Yeah. Strange, ain’t it.”

“Ee. Daijoubu desu ka?”

“Daijobu desu.”

“English.”

“He just want to know if I was really okay, and I said I was. We might talk a bit. We’re not plotin nothing bad, okay?”

“There will be time for you two to wander off and talk to your hearts’ content.  For now... tell me more about you two. Tell me about the first time you met?”

“He shot me.”

“I shot him.”

“Okay, Japanese seems fine for a little while. “

“Sugoi desu yo!”

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