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Fic: December

By Max

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing

Notes: This is a Heero/Duo story, as if I write anything else :)

It’s the same every December.  As near as I can tell, all of the large events of his childhood happened in months other than December.  We live on L2.Seattle, but the colony is in good shape now and the seasons all have enough light. I even asked him to be tested for vitamin D deficiency, just in case, even though I knew that wasn’t the answer. He’s always better on January 1st.  

It’s like he runs out of energy at the end of the year though. Starting the week before Thanksgiving, which I still think is a ridiculous holiday, continuing to midnight on December 31st,  my husband’s mood sputters like a starving campfire in the wind.

It’s been a decade since either of us did field work, but we both still work for Preventers, but mostly in the support center three days a week, doing trainings and providing support to less experienced agents in the field. I keep trying to get him to go back to school, to find some other passion. Maybe it’s the kind of cases we get in December that sets him off.

I really don’t understand.  Two years ago, I tried to get him to agree to adopting.  I thought maybe if we were a real family. Maybe I picked a bad day to bring it up, but he looked at me with eyes like mud and said that if I wanted kids, I should have married Relena. When he says things like that, I just let it go. This is proof that wisdom is gained through experience.

So there we were, end of the first week in December and he gets a call from Yama, about a bomb  in a mall in Chicago. He’s got the visual up on his data display, limp fingers turning it around, looking at the thing from all angles. His chin resting on his other hand and I can tell without looking that his eyes look like mud.

Bombs are not my thing. They never have been. When he was fifteen, he could convert a base or a bridge to so much rubble with stuff he found at a grocery store.  He was probably crazy then, by some definition. His mind seems to work like exploding confetti, thoughts here, there, swirling through the air, twenty things going on at once, and he still lands a bullseye and runs off cackling. I wasn’t paying enough attention that first  year that I knew him, or the second, or even the third. It, honestly, wasn’t until we’d moved in together that I noticed what December does to him.

Most of the time, he’s got so much energy, he’s sitting up straight or his desk lifted to where he stands, pacing, doodling, reading a book while taking care of whatever it is he’s doing for Preventers, and still chattering at me like I don’t have anything to be doing. That used to annoy me, before I understood that he was getting his work done and just expected me to be able to do three things at once as well. If Duo Maxwell were ambitious, he’d rule the Earthsphere or kill us both trying.

He doesn’t like money though. We actually live on this smaller colony that doesn’t use money.

“Yes. I am fuckin sure. Cut the red wire,” he snapped, head tilted, back hunched over, arm hanging in the air over his data display, caressing the red wire like his arm was held up by a string and he were no more than a puppet. “Do you wanna have Heero’s opinion? Yeah, I’m tellin’ ya, it’s the red wire.”

He toggled the call onto speaker phone and Yama, who was a good agent, if a little by the book, hissed, “But Maxwell, it’s old. This thing has got to be from the wars. It’s been tucked in this mall for... I’ve never seen anything like it! It’s got cannibalized mobile doll parts in it!”

“I have,” Duo said.  “I know you’ll be okay if you cut the red wire.”

Yama’s face filled up the camera, her dark eyes staring at Duo, demanding some kind of reassurance.  “This bomb doesn’t follow any rules! It’s tied into the mall’s systems so we can’t just get it out or contain it! There are seven hundred people in this mall! What if you’re wrong?”

“I’m not wrong, Yama,” Duo said finding some well of patience. “It’s not actually a bomb.”

“Well it fucking looks like a bomb,” Yama snarled, turning the camera back towards the device.

“Yeah. I know what it looks like. Look, the blue wire goes into what looks like the motion sensor, right? So that would be the textbook wire to cut, right?”

She nodded, upper lip between her teeth. “I don’t mean to, you know, insult you. I know you’re the expert on this! I just found it by accident.. I was out shopping and a signature popped up on my data display. I tracked it down. I haven’t even called it in to the local authorities. It’s so old, I thought you’d know what to do, for sure.”

“I do know,” Duo said, sitting up a little straighter. “If you want to disarm it cut the red. If you want to see something spectacular, cut the blue.”

“You mean like death and carnage? If I cut the red one, it’s going to detonate! Is Yuy there?”

“Ya yup,” Duo said, moving out of the way so that Yama could see Heero standing behind him.

Heero tipped his head in greeting. “Yama.”

“Look,” Yama said, turning green from stress, “My mom and my little sister are out there looking for presents and we’re supposed to have lunch. I have to take care of this. Yuy, which wire do I cut?”

And there’s my husband, a quirk of a smile lifting the corner of his mouth, a tiny bit of fireworks starting in those purple eyes, and oh my god, I love him so much that I can’t even breath properly. I love him like the universe doesn’t make sense and it folds back around on itself, and I’m just a small little bird sitting in the palm of his hand. I love him so much that nothing else matters.

And looking at that smile, I know how he knows. That device is something he build. “Cut the blue,” I say, because what he said was something spectacular would happen if she cut the blue and Duo would never risk hurting people. I really want to see something spectacular. I really want to see him smile.

“But Maxwell said cut the red to disarm it,” Yama said, sweating bullets.

“It’s not a bomb,” Heero said, making Duo roll eyes and smirk, “Cut the blue. It’ll be okay. Your family will be okay.”

“What is it then?”

Duo sighed. “If you want to disarm it, cut the red. If you want to see what it is, cut the blue. If Heero had found it, he would have cut the blue. “

“This is true,” Heero agreed.

She covered her face for a moment, breath ragged. “If I die, I am going to haunt you both. Maxwell, how do you know so much about this thing?”

One hand over her eyes, she cut the blue wire.

For several seconds, enough time for her to stop holding her breath, nothing happened.

Duo shrugged. “It’s really old.”

And then the Christmas music sputtered to a stop and the Beatles... Here Comes the Sun started, roaring till it was louder than the Christmas music had been.  Duo leaned towards the camera, grinning brightly now. “Hurry, go take the camera out into the main hall!”

There was an uproar of people in the mall anyway so she was already running out into the main hall.

There were fifteen holographic fifteen year old Duo Maxwell’s dancing around places that had been prominent in the mall years before. The main escalators had moved, so one of them was dancing up and down in mid air.  Then gift cards started raining from the class ceiling, dropped from drones dressed up as Santa and his sleigh.  The crowd realized what they were and then there was a real roar, laughter and people singing along with the Beatles. Then holographic fireworks lit up the mall, tracing an imperfectly drawn red heart and the words “I luv Heero!”

“Oh. My. God.” Heero’s eyes were wide. “Oh. My. God.”

Duo leaned back, smiling like it was January. “Are you mad?”

“No,” Heero said, leaning close enough to kiss him. “That time you asked me to go to the mall, and I stood you up....”
“Yeah,” Duo said, still smiling. “Would it have worked?”

“When I was 15 and still trying to win a war? No.” Their lips brushed against each other again, until Duo nipped Heero’s lip, the light in his eyes definitely more January than December. “Today though, it works very well. I love you too.”

Duo pressed his hand to Heero’s tight abdomen, slid down and hooked fingers under his belt, then turned back to the camera. “Yama, you good now?”

“Duo! These gift cards are worth a lot! There are hundreds of them! How did you?”

“I don’t what yer talkin about,” Duo said, wiggling his eyebrows. “I was just trying to ask Heero out, that’s all. “Those cards are likely the gift of the Romefeller Foundation.”

“That’s like... there’s like a million dollars in gift cards!”

“Wow,” Duo said, smirking, hand still holding not Heero’s belt. “That sounds real impressive. Must be a great tax write off. Ah gotta go now. Try to get one of the blue ones. The blue ones might be worth more. Merry Christmas!” Duo closed the connection and stood up, arms going around Heero’s neck. “And you.. Can we just pretend it’s January?”

Heero kissed him, kissed his jaw, then up to his ear. “Absolutely! I love January.”


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