When Duo saw the car drive down the path and park in front of the little house, it was dawn already. He jumped up, letting the covers he had been nestled in fall on the steps in front of the door without a thought, and ran to the vehicle, his initial relief already fading. He didn't see Heero in the car.
He got to the car just as Wufei was stepping outside. The Chinese boy glanced up at him and put his finger across his lips to shush him.
"Heero's sleeping in the backseat."
"What happened?" Duo asked, still worried but not frantic anymore. He was relieved by the fact that Wufei didn't seem overly concerned, but bothered by the fact that Heero would be sleeping the mission off. It didn't compute. Heero was usually the last to go to sleep, he couldn't not be vigilant. To go to sleep in an unsafe place was against his habits.
"He took a hit to the head and some bruising to his ribs…" Wufei informed him quietly. "No concussion, I checked, so he laid down to rest his ribs. He fell asleep after one or two hours on the road."
Duo nodded, absorbing the information. A corner of his brain noted the strange way Wufei was talking about the Wing pilot, the unusual little something in his voice, but his concern for the Japanese boy was too insistent to worry about it just now. He'd analyze things later. For now, Heero had been hurt. Ok, not much compared to what he could take, but knowing that his lover could take serious injuries well didn't mean that Duo didn't care when it did happen.
He opened the door to the backseat as quietly as he could. Heero was on his side, against the back of the seat, his arms tucked close to his body, his legs bent up, and half covered by the cover he was laying on; it made him look small and vulnerable. It was frightening.
"Heero?" Duo whispered, at the same time he saw the boy's eyelids flutter.
Heero opened an eye and glanced at him. Duo felt relieved. He looked sleepy and tired, but his irises didn't have that glazed, not-totally-there look they had when he was in severe pain or totally out of it.
"You're home, love. How's the ribs?"
Heero sat up, wincing discreetly.
"Still sore," he grunted while pushing himself out of the vehicle to sit with his feet outside. He had to lean on the front seat for a second; he had gotten up too fast and was now slightly dizzy. Heero berated himself when he saw Duo's concerned face. The boy was worried, he should have hid his little troubles better than that…
"Oh, no, you don't, Yuy," Duo growled when he saw the messy-haired boy's face go carefully neutral. "Don't hide how you're feeling, I'd rather have some warning before I have to pick you up from the floor, ok?"
Heero sighed and gave a rueful, barely-there smile. Smiling down at him, Duo brushed his hair out of his face softly, tenderly.
"Hey, Wu?" Duo called, intending on asking for help.
The Chinese boy had been waiting out of the car, a few feet away. Duo felt guilty that he had not even asked if he had been injured too, even if it was obvious that Heero's bruised ribs was the most serious thing between the both of them or Wufei wouldn't have been driving.
"Yes?" prompted the boy, looking toward them.
"You ok, Wufei?"
"Yes," answered the black-haired boy curtly, shrugging, as if dismissing the notion that he could have not been.
"Good. Then, could you get the medical supplies ready in the living room? I'm going to take Heero there."
"I can walk," the brown-haired boy said testily.
"I don't give a rat's ass if you can walk, you're hurt so I'm not letting you. That's all. Deal with it."
"Duo, I can…" the Japanese boy tried to protest.
"I said I knew you could walk. I said I wanted to help you. You don't like me carrying you? Or do you think I'm too weak for that?" the braided teen asked, firing his questions too fast for Heero to answer.
"You're going to carry me?!"
"I am. Wanna make something out of it? You afraid that I'll drop you? You think I'm too weak to bear your weight, is that it?"
"No, Duo, I know you can lift my weight and more, but…"
Duo grinned. Heero understood that he'd been had.
"Then there is no problem. C'mere."
With a lengthy sigh, Heero slid to the edge of the seat and let Duo carefully embrace him.
"Arms around my neck, love."
Heero complied in silence, and felt Duo's arms tighten and press him against his lover's torso. Obediently, he let his legs be guided around Duo's hips, and crossed his ankles over his butt. Duo's arms were tight around his hips, not putting any pressure on his ribs, and preventing him from touching the ground. With a grunt, the braided boy straightened up, made sure his hold on the short haired boy was secure, then began to walk back to the house.
Heero snorted. He had to admit that it felt kind of nice, being carried by Duo, his strong arms around him, but still, he was not at all used to being so much in someone else's power. Duo could take him anywhere, put him anywhere, could just throw him down and hurt him, or keep him prisoner… And he couldn't even see where they were going. Damnit. Ok, he knew that he could trust Duo, but still, he had absolutely no measure of control over what was happening to him while he was being moved around like this.
But this was Duo. Sighing, he let the tension flow from his muscles and tried to get comfortable for the short trip to the living room.
He had to admit that being helpless was kind of …interesting. Usually he was the one to carry Duo around, to use his strength ; he forgot sometimes that Duo, too, was very strong for a teenager, because Duo usually didn't use it on him. Heero did, sometimes, never hurting him but physically restraining him or blocking him, even manhandling him sometimes. Roles reversal… hmm.
Must test that at a later date. For now he was too tired to be horny.
He chuckled. It was all Duo's influence, that, to think about sex when there were other things to attend to, even when he wasn't in the mood. But he no longer needed hormones to justify his attraction to Deathscythe's deadly and fiery master. It was Duo, and it was Duo with him, and that was enough justification for that sort of thoughts. Anytime, anywhere, it didn't matter.
He pressed a little kiss to the base of Duo's neck, and after a nearly imperceptible faltering in the braided boy's steps, felt his arms tighten minutely around him in answer.
Gently, the braided boy sat him down on a chair, beside the living room table. Wufei was busying himself with getting the medical supplies sorted out. He glanced up at Heero, then lowered his eyes again on the gauze he was unwrapping, guilt written all over his face. Heero suddenly felt like swearing.
"If you don't want me to move, then get me a glass of water," he grunted with just a touch of grouchiness, hoping that Duo wouldn't question the errand's justification. But Duo gave him a puzzled glance before leaving, and Heero knew that he had failed at hiding the fact that he wanted the braided boy to leave for a short while more than he wanted water.
"Wufei," Heero whispered.
"Hmm?" The boy didn't even look up from his task, just lifted an eyebrow to indicate that he was listening.
"Look at me, you thick-headed moron," Heero hissed, startling Wufei into staring at him. He could hear the hiss of the tap of water in the kitchen. There wasn't much time left.
"Not your fault I was hurt, and the rest never happened as far as I'm concerned. So stop looking like someone skinned your kitten."
Wufei opened his mouth to answer just as Duo was coming back from the kitchen. He closed it with a nearly audible snap, and lowered his eyes again.
"Ok, guys, want to tell me what happened?" Duo asked.
"It's over, Duo, it's nothing," Heero said.
"I'd rather not for now," Wufei mumbled at exactly the same time.
Duo's eyes went from one to the other, but he chose to not question them just then and to take care of Heero first.
Taking hold of the cream for bruises that Wufei was giving him, he began to massage it into Heero's side, in silence, puzzling over his lovers' behavior. He noted that Wufei hadn't offered to do it himself. Afraid to be pushed away by Heero? Heero himself was glaring at Wufei, and Wufei was looking at the table, busying himself with small things not to look too much like he was avoiding his eyes.
"Going to bandage your ribs, 'Ro. Wu, help me to keep his arms high, I don't think he should contract those muscles just now."
Glaring, Heero reached out, beginning to lift his arms. Before he could pull on a muscle, Wufei took hold of his elbow and walked behind his chair to be able to hold it without getting in Duo's way. The braided boy began to bandage the boy's torso, making sure that the band was tight enough to maintain the ribs if they decided that they were broken all the way, but not so tight that it didn't let him breathe comfortably.
He had to change places with Wufei to tuck the ends of the cloth at Heero's back. Wufei stepped in front of Heero, still clasping his elbows, still looking away. Duo gave them a worried glance before busying himself with the bandage.
A yelp from Wufei made him jump and stare, puzzled.
"Are you finished already, Duo?" Heero asked in a neutral tone.
"Err, nope, not yet," the braided boy answered, kneeling to access he area he was working on more easily.
Out of Duo's line of sight, Heero slid his knee higher between Wufei's thighs, his face as unexpressive as ever, his fingers tightening on the Chinese boy's biceps to prevent him from stepping out of reach. Wufei's face was turning a pretty scarlet.
"Something the matter, Wufei?" asked the Japanese teen in a detached voice.
Wufei's eyes were bulging out of his head. Heero's knee was nearly up to his crotch now. He squeezed his thighs together to prevent it from going higher, totally embarrassed.
Heero's knee fell just as Duo was putting the finishing touch to the bandage and standing up, and when the braided boy stepped around the chair to face his short-haired lover, the messy-haired boy's position was totally innocent once again.
"No, nothing," Wufei stammered. He felt so totally out of balance, it wasn't even funny. Who knew Yuy could be that sort of …minx? He let Heero's elbows go in a hurry.
"I'm going in the kitchen, if you don't need me anymore…"
"You hungry Wu? I made something already," the braided boy said. "Not as if I had something else to do while you were away… Want something, Heero?" he asked, walking past Wufei to the kitchen.
"Just a sandwich if you have that, Duo," the short haired boy answered.
"I have it! Wu, sit down, I'm taking the food to you in a second!"
The Chinese boy sat down gingerly, eyeing Heero in a suspicious way, in case the boy decided to jump on him any second and… what? ravage him? He blushed and bit his lower lip, flustered.
Duo came back with the food and they began to eat, the braided boy wolfing down twice as much food as the two who had been on the mission. He hadn't eaten anything since the second they had left, and with his fast metabolism, that wasn't something he should do.
Wufei kept glancing at Heero all along the meal, worried that he was going to do something outrageous again, but the boy didn't even acknowledge his presence or Duo's, just ate, his face serious and inexpressive.
Until the moment Wufei took his glass of water and began to drink.
And then, there was a sock-covered foot on his crotch, pressed snugly against him. The water came back up through his nose. His coughing fit lasted for at least ten minutes, and Duo had to give him light pats on the back, looking worried.
"Wu? What happened? You ok?"
"I'm ok," he managed to answer. "Just went down the wrong pipe." He glared at Yuy venomously. The boy was eating his sandwich as if he didn't have a care in the world… and as if his toes weren't wriggling against Wufei's belly!
Giving him a suspicious look, Duo sat down on his chair and began to eat once again. His brain was working fast to understand what was happening in front of him, but he was having difficulty. What he had managed to find out was that Wufei looked reluctant to look at or touch Heero… as if… ashamed? And that Heero looked indifferent… But he had wanted to speak to Wufei alone! What had happened? And why had Wufei begun to glare at Heero once again if he had been ashamed before? Heero hadn't done or said anything at all to make him change his mind…
…that Duo had seen.
He caught a glimpse of Wufei's hand sliding under the table. The boy was trying to keep his face neutral, but he was becoming redder by the minute and that cute little vein on his temple was beginning to pulse wildly. And Heero was too carefully not looking at him.
And Wufei's hand was in his lap, his shoulder muscles moving as if he was trying to push back something…
Duo gaped at Heero, astonished. He COULDN'T be doing what Duo thought he was doing! It was just his dirty mind!
He was ready to plunge under the table to verify that he was wrong, ready to look like a fool in front of his innocent lovers just to make sure that his world wasn't dancing the samba on its axis, but Heero caught his eyes and winked discretely at him, his face still as neutral as ever. Wufei was now death-glaring at his own lap.
Duo excused himself as innocently as he could and ran to the little pilot's room to laugh his ass off out of earshot.
"Get your foot off my lap, Yuy," Wufei hissed as soon as Duo was out of earshot.
The Japanese boy abandoned his sandwich and turned to face him, his eyes intense.
"Why?" Heero asked, pressing his foot against Wufei's crotch a little bit more.
"Yuy…!!" the Chinese boy growled, ready to fling the offending foot off his lap.
"You're going to hurt my ribs if you make me move too fast," Heero informed him calmly.
Heero smirked and didn't answer. His toes began to clench and uncurl, tickling Wufei's belly, gripping the cloth and dragging it lower, less than an inch at a time, maddeningly, tantalizingly slow. His big toe brushed against the first black hairs of the dark line travelling up toward Wufei's bellybutton.
"Heero… Why are you…"
Wufei barely managed to nod. Heero's foot was now changing angle, and his heel was now pressing in his sensitive inner thigh, the balls of his foot and his toes going up and down on Wufei's involuntarily hardening member.
"It may just be because I feel like it, you know," Heero mused, his foot leaving Wufei's crotch to trail a toe along the inside of his thigh.
"Stop it, damn it!!" Wufei barked, slapping the travelling foot away. Heero managed to keep his balance, and smirked at Wufei who was half standing up, one fist on the table, and glaring at him for all he was worth.
"You're insufferable, Yuy!"
"Really?" drawled the boy, one of his fingers tracing his own jaw before stopping against his lower lip, directing attention on it. He licked at his lips, slowly, amused when Wufei snorted with anger and turned his back on him.
"If you weren't injured I would punch you, Yuy," Wufei hissed, glaring over his shoulder.
Heero smirked some more, and calmly returned to his sandwich.
"Not hungry anymore?"
"A certain person managed to spoil my appetite."
"Sure doesn't look like it," Heero commented, glancing at Wufei's crotch, where the pants were still slightly but noticeably tented.
"Me… Me…? You want me so much that you're stuttering? Oh, 'Fei…" he added in a long, dreamy sigh, ironically parodying a romantic maiden.
"Yuy, you're gonna get it this time!!!" the Chinese boy shouted.
"Oh, yeah, give it to me," he leered back.
Wufei screamed a torrent of insults in Chinese and stalked out of the room, slamming the door behind him, visibly in serious need to leave before he gave a beating to an injured man.
Two seconds later Duo came back, blinking. "Where has Wufei gone?" he asked bewildered.
"No idea," Heero answered innocently, calmly finishing his sandwich.
Duo snorted, not buying it, and sat down at Heero's side.
"Yeah, and no idea either why he tried to break down the door I guess… Ok, now, tell me about what's going on, Heero," he asked, his grin vanishing.
The Japanese boy took the time to finish his sandwich before he answered, giving himself time to think about how he was going to explain so he wouldn't give too much detail, but still be explicit enough that Duo would get what was going on.
"Before we left, Wufei was tense and he got snappish at me, you know how he is. It's no big deal, but still, we were a little pissed at each other during the mission. And then I had to redirect the attention of the guards on me to prevent him from getting caught."
"That how you got hurt?" Duo asked, neutrally. For Heero to admit he had been a little pissed, he had to have been in a rage, and when Heero was in a rage, it was either the volcano or the ice prince. Wufei was still alive and in one piece and the town two miles away from the factory wasn't blown up to hell and back so it had been the ice prince. Which meant he had been less pissed than just plain hurt. But he would never complain about it, and didn't seem like he still felt hurt, so Duo refused to take a side in this.
"Yeah. But it was my own damn fault for not being more cautious. I showed him that I wasn't angry at him anymore, and the injury wasn't his responsibility to begin with, but he's still not back from his guilt trip yet," added Heero with a snort.
Duo snickered. "Back from his guilt trip indeed. Where did you learn to talk like that, with those sorts of expressions?"
"In Duoland. It's a strange land from which you never quite come back," Heero smirked.
Duo blinked. "Idiot!!" he laughed, giving his lover a mock-punch in the shoulder. "Gods, what's gotten into you?… no wait, don't answer that, I don't wanna know, " he added hurriedly. "So tell me, was it just my perverted mind or were you really playing footsie with him?"
Heero glanced dispassionately at Duo, totally neutral. Duo's jaw hit the table. If he hadn't been pretty sure that it was impossible, he would have sworn that there was a disembodied foot now resting in his lap, because Heero's expression made it just unbelievable that he was anywhere near concerned by the appearance of said foot in said place.
"And you call me a tease. Wow. So, what's your reason for antagonizing Wufei to death?"
"I'm trying to be annoying enough that he forgets to feel guilty to jump for my throat," he said matter-of-fact.
"Or for your ass," added Duo with a snicker, shooting back his answer by pure force of habit.
"I wish," Heero answered without thinking.
And then, hearing what he had said, he totally froze.
"Can I watch if he does?" the braided boy asked, batting his lashes innocently at his boyfriend to get past the awkward moment.
"Duo!" Heero protested, before beginning to smirk widely. "Hmm… If you're here when he does, you can even join in. If you arrive later, well, at least wait until I'm sure he's not going to run…"
Duo's grin grew to an impossible size. He was not the only hormones-crazed pervert amongst the three of them finally. "Damn, now I know that I neglected you. You're not that horny, usually."
"You didn't," protested Heero. "Neglect me I mean. I just… I do feel attracted to him, you know. It's not just random sexual need, it's…"
"You're lusting after him?"
Heero blushed and shrugged.
"Hey, I can understand that, I am too. He sure is hot…"
Heero shrugged again and had a small, lopsided grin. "Doesn't help that I have something of a hair fetish…" he muttered, biting his lower lip.
"I have an Asian men fetish, so it's ok," Duo snickered. "No, seriously, Heero, it's totally ok if you feel desire for him. I certainly won't get jealous. Now if you said that you were actively lusting after… let's say, Quatre or Trowa, there, we would have a problem," he added, grinning.
Heero gave him a withering glare. "You're not in any danger from that side," he said grimacing.
Laughing, Duo kissed him on the cheek then got up, stretching. "So I need to find occasions for you to be alone with Fei, then? Hmm..."
Heero smirked. He should have known that Duo would help with that one mission. It involved perverting Wufei after all.
"Hentai..." he muttered, shaking his head.
"And proud to be!" answered the longhaired boy, winking at him. "HEY FEI!!!! GOING TO SHOWER, NEED YOU TO TAKE CARE OF HEERO!!!"
And before the answer could come, he had dashed off to the bathroom.
Wufei burst into the living room three seconds later, but by then it was too late.
"He's in the bathroom," Heero informed him, aloof.
The Chinese boy glowered at him for a brief moment before turning half-away, as if he couldn't decide whether or not to stay.
"I want to go to bed."
"Duo will skin me if I walk alone," Heero answered without any emotion apparent in his voice.
Wufei had a long annoyed sigh. "Promise you won't feel me up and we'll see what I can do, Yuy."
Heero snorted. "Afraid?"
The Chinese boy glared at him. "Like hell! I'm willing to help, but if you begin pawing at me, I'll let you fall in the middle of the damn room."
Heero smirked, hiding it behind his hand.
He acted totally innocent for half of the short walk, and then Wufei felt his hand slide lower on his back and stopped, glaring.
"Yuy... You are sure you really want my help?" he hissed, annoyed.
"Whose fault is it that I need it?" asked the Japanese teen in a distracted voice.
Wufei froze. Lowering his head, he began to help Heero to the bed once again, not even protesting when the short-haired boy's arm slid to the small of his back and his hand caught Wufei's hip.
He lowered him to the bed-nest slowly, not looking at him. Heero laid down with a sigh... then caught Wufei's collar and tugged as hard as he could, pushing his hip with his other hand to make him lose his balance. Wufei fell nose first, and had to put a hand just above Heero's head not to fall on him, crushing him... a hand that Heero quickly jostled away, making the Chinese boy roll over him and onto the mattress. When the world stopped moving, Wufei was sprawled on his back on the bed-nest and Heero was laying on his chest, one leg between his and his arms solidly planted on his shoulders and around his head.
"What the hell...!"
The Chinese boy was going to push him back, but he caught the barely perceptible wince of pain Heero was trying to hide. The Japanese boy had strained his side with that stupid move. Wufei's resolve to get away faltered.
"It was not you fault that I needed help, but now that I have it, I intend to make full use of it..." Heero smirked.
"You've started calling me Yuy again," Heero remarked, suddenly totally serious, and a little sad.
"I...I... I'm sorry! Oh gods I'm sorry, I didn't even realize, I..."
"Hey, calm down, it was just something I noticed..." Heero whispered, caressing his shoulder gently. "Wufei... Stop feeling so guilty, ok?"
"I can't," the Chinese boy admitted, turning his face away.
Heero had a long suffering sigh.
"Well, then, if you think you did me wrong... Then you owe me."
Unsure of where he was going with that reasoning, Wufei nodded carefully.
"Then you just have to pay me back for a while, and then, your debt will be paid and you won't have to feel guilty again."
"I guess so..." the black-haired teenager whispered.
"I'm not going to run around for a while. You'll just have to run around for me. Is that ok?"
Wufei thought about it, then nodded slowly. It didn't seem enough, but... Heero would not ask for more. He would just have to be really, really nice to him for a while, and hopefully after a while Wufei would feel that he had compensated for his meanness earlier.
"And I get to use you as a pillow when I want."
"You're comfy, 'Fei," Duo smirked, suddenly leaning over the couch's back to bend over them, making them jump. "And you rock at playing furniture. Just admit it."
He was wet, his unbound hair dripping, and if they could judge by the upper half of his body that dangled over the back of the couch, naked. The Asian twosome blinked.
"I thought you were showering, Duo," Heero asked after a few seconds of ogling.
"Forgot to take the new shampoo bottle, the other was empty... which is funny, because I could have sworn that there was still some in it yesterday," he added playfully, mock-glaring at his lovers.
"I used it. Sorry," he grouched, unwilling to admit that he liked to use Duo's things, to help him to remember that now he could do it without giving himself away.
"Oh, it's ok, Wu, just messing with you. But I must warn you that 'Ro there finds the stuff highly addictive," he added, wearing a cross between a grin and a smirk.
Heero smirked, and just on cue, bent to sniff at Wufei's hair, brushing his cheek against the other boy's.
"Scent's still there..." he purred after a while.
... 'purred?!' thought Wufei, worriedly opening his eyes wide. Damn it, he couldn't get used to that new, purring, flirting Heero. It was just plain disturbing! It messed with his sense of reality. Cold cyborg-like guys shouldn't be allowed to act sexy.
Laughing, probably at his flabbergasted face, Duo danced away and grabbed the new bottle of shampoo before returning to the bathroom, dripping water everywhere. Heero followed him with his eyes until they heard the door of the bathroom slam shut, and Wufei grumbled.
"Why did you have an eyeful and I didn't?" protested the Chinese boy in an attempt to put some humor in the situation.
"Let me think... It may be because I'm sprawled all over you," the messy-haired boy smirked, staring at him right in the eye.
Wufei snarled at him. "Move," he growled at the boy.
"No," Heero answered calmly, nuzzling his ear. He buried his face in the crook of Wufei's shoulder and sighed, inhaling the smell, searching for the faint traces of shampoo.
"Ok. Heero. Move."
"Good night, Wufei."
"Hee... MMPHHH!! hnnn..."
Heero licked his lips, smirked at Wufei who was still trying to uncross his eyes, and put his face back where it had been, his nose brushing against the black-haired boy's ear.
Duo finally got out of the shower, half an hour later, humming a song that was running around in his head and rubbing at his hair with a towel along with the song's rhythm. He quieted when he approached the bed. There was no movement and no sign that they were awake, he didn't want to bother his lovers.
Noon already, and he was beginning to feel really, really sleepy. And he hadn't done anything, really, apart from waiting for them all night long. After a mission, they must have been exhausted.
In silence, he lowered the blinds and went to close the door to the kitchen, which let past enough light to bother the two other pilots. Abandoning the towel on a radiator, he walked to the couch, the only sound in the room being the legs of his pajama pants brushing against his skin.
Heero was sprawled on Wufei's torso, sleeping peacefully. Duo could see his bangs fluttering slightly with each soft exhale of breath. He didn't seem to be in pain, and Duo admitted that maybe, he had been a tad too hyper-protective. But Heero had already, so many times, aggravated one of his injuries by refusing to admit that it was serious, that Duo had been forced to take the opposite stand and treat every bruise like a life-threatening wound. Because there might be a time where he was right, and he wouldn't be able to know it before it was too late, because Wing's pilot was just too plain stubborn to complain.
Smiling softly at his Japanese lover, Duo sat down on the bed and crawled close to him, his smile widening when Heero, still asleep, instinctively reached out with an open hand for him.
He bend over Heero to take a look at Wufei's face.
"Help me to move him away, please," mouthed the Chinese boy, adding a pitiful look for the effect.
Laughing as silently as he could, Duo shook his head no. Then, he deliberately looked away to be able to say that he hadn't seen Wufei's frantic request for help, nestling against the two boys.
"Night, Heero-love, night Fei-love," he whispered, and closed his eyes.
He heard a long-suffering sigh from Wufei, then nothing at all. But he never really knew if it was because Wufei had stopped trying to escape or if it was because he had fallen asleep.
But then, he didn't really care.
Over the two weeks and a half it took for Heero's ribs –definitely cracked – to heal entirely, Duo and Wufei gradually went into a full-blown contest. Wufei's pride had demanded that he take care of Heero to stop nagging him. Duo had wanted to coddle his usually too hard-working lover. And so...
... the contest began.
They would be seated on the couch, watching the TV. Heero would shift to get a more comfortable position. Wufei would, totally randomly, bring him a cushion to get installed more comfortably.
Duo would then bring him a cover for his bare legs, and tuck it with care. Wufei would snort and act as if he didn't even see it.
Approximately ten to twenty minutes later, Wufei would get up to search for a pullover for Heero, who seemed to be so cold with his bare shoulders.
"I got you dessert," would say Duo.
"You forgot to bring him a spoon, Duo," Wufei would say. And Wufei would bring the spoon.
Duo's fingers would itch with the barely restrained urge to feed Heero himself, just to outdo Wufei.
Good thing he never tried. Heero would have bitten them off.
"I made you lunch, Heero."
"I made something he can actually EAT, Duo-love," Wufei would answer, perfectly polite.
The platter of food prepared by Duo would then mysteriously end all over Wufei. While Wufei would be ranting, something would mysteriously happen to HIS platter, rendering it inedible. Meanwhile, Heero would be calling the closest pizzeria with a long-suffering sigh.
Things would end in the bathroom, where they would all be trying to clean each other and themselves off without getting in each other's way, laughing the incident off, and innocently pawing at each other –but without actually doing anything, since attempting anything even slightly acrobatic on wet tiles was the only thing which his caretakers agreed not to let him try, not even to win points.
Which would leave Heero hungry, cold, and with a hard-on. He was glad they didn't decide to put him to bed and play alone, though. Injured or not, for that one he'd have torn out their flesh with his teeth and eaten it.
Luckily that had only happened once.
Heero himself was busy hesitating between being annoyed at them because they barely let him breathe, or being amused because they were actually more concentrated on trying to outdo each other than on being nice to him.
On the plus side, he had been getting fantastic back rubs and massages from Wufei and lots of nookie from Duo.
He was still pretty relieved when they decided to let him off the hook. He had been beginning to think that being left without any care was preferable to being taken care of too much. Next time he would go to a hospital, even with all the bad memories. Even being tied down to a table by Sally and playing human guinea pig was preferable than having Wufei AND Duo for nurses.
And so, slowly, things got back to normal.
Well, what passed for normal amongst the three of them, anyway.
Wufei started, and nearly tore out his fingers with the tool he was using on his bike.
He was in the garage, taking care of the engine, something he had neglected for quite a long time now in favor of devoting himself to Heero's care. Now that Duo had decided that Heero could once again move around like he wanted, provided he didn't do anything dangerous like climb his Gundam without a security harness in case he slid off and fell – using a harness was something that to his knowledge none of the pilots had ever done – Wufei had a little more time to himself.
The Chinese boy stretched his arms and back, glancing at his watch in passing, and gasped. It was evening now, and he hadn't even realized!
Dropping the tool into its box, he decided to continue another day. He had been away from his lovers long enough.
And he had to admit, he was intrigued as to where the shout had come from –well, not who it had come from, since it had clearly been Duo's voice. Furthermore, if he heard Heero scream "YES!", he would not really need to be told why. He didn't know many things that could make Heero scream, and most of them were very ... private – Anyway!! He was wondering why Duo had shouted, yes, that was what he wondered, not what it would take to make Heero shout like that. Not at all.
He was only wondering what Duo had done. Yes, that was it.
He didn't have to walk far, because the moment he opened the back door to walk in the kitchen, Duo nearly ran him over, having apparently been rushing outside at the same time as he had been coming in. They bumped into each other, and Wufei had to grab the door to keep from sprawling on the ground. He managed to stabilize Duo too, but it was a close call.
"Hey, Wu! Just the one I was searching for!" Duo exclaimed a second before he could ask where the braided boy had been going in such a hurry.
"What do you want now, Maxwell?" Wufei asked, lifting his chin in a superior way, his eyes glinting amusedly.
"Oi! So now I'm back to being Maxwell? You're a bastard, you know that?"
Wufei smirked in his trademark way. Just like the Chinese teen had intended, Duo's eyes softened from their mock-angry glaring to a contemplative look.
"But a sexy bastard... Hmm. I guess I can forgive that," he added, leaning forward to press against Wufei and stealing a quick kiss.
Chuckling, Wufei pushed him back in the kitchen and closed the door behind him.
"What did you want?"
"Oh, Fei-love..." Duo whispered, his voice turning low and seductive without warning.
"Should I begin running now?" Wufei asked, his tone ironic enough to cut through stone.
Duo punched him in the shoulder. "Bastard. I think it's gonna be my new nickname for you. Anyway. There's a movie on TV tonight. We're watching it," he added, his tone playfully commanding.
"If I don't want to?"
"You'll want to. It's historical!"
Wufei lifted a surprised eyebrow. Since when did Duo like historical movies? He found them annoying as hell.
"It's about a wrongfully enslaved General, betrayed by the Emperor's son, whose family gets killed, who's forced to kill against his will, and his fight for freedom and revenge in Ancient Rome."
The Chinese boy blinked. "You're going to tell me that you want to watch a movie that talks about something like that?"
Duo had an impish grin.
"Of course, it helps that they're fighting half naked and all oiled up for more than half of the movie and that the Emperor has the hots for the hero."
"I should have known," he muttered.
"I'm taking care of the snacks, you go get Heero!" and with that, Duo shooed him out of the kitchen and into the living room where the messy-haired boy was typing away, so engrossed in his computer that he didn't even look up.
Wufei gazed after the boy for a while, letting his thoughts drift. They had been so silly with that competition over Heero's care, but it had made him feel better to authorize Duo to sidetrack him, less tense. It had been good not to take it too seriously. Plus it had been revenge for Heero's teasing the other day.
Heero was now totally healthy again, exactly like he was before... and Wufei's way of seeing him had been totally changed. Taking care of him had broken down the last barriers the Chinese teen had used to protect himself from getting attached, had destroyed for certain the image of the Invincible Soldier that Wufei had believed for so long was all there was to Yuy. Now he knew that Heero had a wicked sense of humor, was capable of teasing someone to death without batting an eyelash, cuddled in his sleep, had a love/hate relationship with long hair, especially when he inhaled it while sleeping, and blushed a lovely soft pink if you covered him with a blanked when he was cold.
Sure, he was also coldly aggressive when you pissed him off, lashed out with deadly accuracy when provoked, and was totally obsessed with his hacking contests with other computer-addict geeks all over the world to the point he could go days without eating, and he would probably never be able to make a meal that took in consideration the taste more than the nutritional balance or to leave something lying on the ground without his fingers itching to straighten up what he perceived at mess, but...
But he was a person now. Not an archetype. Not an ideal.
And currently, he was engrossed in one of his online things. Wufei stepped behind him to glance at the screen; he was hacking in a random computer, probably just for fun.
"Tssst," Wufei smirked, slapping the screen down, nearly catching the boy's fingers with it.
Heero tensed and Wufei couldn't help grinning when he heard him growl. The Japanese pilot turned to face him, glaring for all he was worth.
"Tell me that it's bad for my health and die," Heero announced in a voice whose calm was only an appearance.
"The master of our lives decided that we were watching TV tonight," Wufei informed him with a smirk, biting his cheeks not to burst out laughing. Heero had heard the 'It's bad for your health' spiel so many times in the two previous weeks that he was now allergic to anything that sounded even slightly like it. "And I know that you weren't doing anything mission-related. Finish it fast or Duo will drag you away himself..."
Heero sighed. The Chinese boy patted his shoulder, a gesture that was laced with less sympathy than it was with amusement.
"Poor Max, snack for lions..." Duo mumbled, blindly reaching in the chips bowl to munch on something some more. The lions had made him remember about his own stomach.
His hand continued to search for a few minutes, his eyes glued to the screen, but finally the stressful moment ended and he was able to glance at his target. No wonder he hadn't found anything, the bowl was empty.
Sliding over the couch's armrest, he padded toward the kitchen in silence on his bare feet, trying not to disturb his lovers. It was at least the seventh trip to the kitchen he had made, and so he had finally lost his place between the both of them for a place on the kitchen's side, when they had become annoyed enough with his moving around. Wufei was now in the middle, arms crossed over his chest, but Duo was proud to see that his back had finally begun to follow the curve of the cushions and that he didn't sit so ramrod straight anymore. Heero was leaning against the armrest on Wufei's other side, one knee propped up. He glanced at Duo when he saw him leave, and Duo came back toward him in silence, trying not to disturb the Chinese pilot.
"Want something?" Duo whispered.
"Water please," Heero answered in kind.
"Ok. Make sure he doesn't take my place," Duo added jokingly, pointing at Wufei, before leaving for the kitchen.
He began to rummage in the cupboards, still trying to stay silent. Apparently he had been more right than he had thought when he had believed that Wufei would like the story. He was totally engrossed in it. So engrossed that when Duo had burst out laughing after hearing the immortal line "You sold me queer giraffes!" he had made the poor chestnut-haired boy eat a cushion –without even looking away from the screen. Apparently, Wufei hadn't found the sentence that funny. Or maybe it was the fact that Duo's guffaws prevented him from hearing the rest of the scene...
Back in the living room, Heero was shifting positions. He had been sitting on his leg too long and now, he barely felt it anymore. He unfolded it and folded the other in its place, mirroring the position he had been in before.
Just a problem with the position, he thought with annoyance. When he had been leaning on his other side, he had had the couch's armrest to rest against, but the cushions were too soft and would not bear his weight well on this side... He would probably fall in the dip Wufei's weight made, or would have to bend uncomfortably to avoid it... And he was missing details of the movie with his tries to find a comfortable position.
He glanced at Wufei, and thought, what the hell.
Totally engrossed in the movie, Wufei didn't even notice at first when he felt Heero lean against his shoulder. He even moved around a little to accommodate him, and leaned back on him when Heero's arm went to rest around his shoulders.
It wasn't before Duo came back with his snacks and a bottle of water and stopped a few feet away, as if surprised, that he figured that something was... not wrong, but not usual either.
Chuckling softly, Duo deposited his game on the table and slid over the couch's armrest.
"After all, it always comes in threes," he mused.
"What are you talking about?" Heero asked.
"This thing that says that if I leave you alone in the living room, I must come back to find you getting snuggly with each other."
Wufei blushed, realizing with a new accuracy the presence of Heero's arm around his shoulders and of their sides pressing in each other's.
"At least, this time, you're not sucking each other's tonsils out..." he added, smirking at them.
Wufei made a noise that could be considered anything in the scale between a grunt and a chuckle, and turned back to the TV, hoping that no one saw his cheeks turn pink.
Heero smirked and turned around on the couch to face the other Asian teen.
"Well, shall we?"
Puzzled, Wufei turned to face him, his confusion fast giving way to surprise and a little something else that made his heart accelerate without really understanding why.
"Traditions are important after all," the short-haired boy added with a smirk.
Wufei would have answered something, except that his brain seemed to have decided to take a vacation just then. When Heero leaned closed, he didn't react at all, apart from his eyes opening wider and wider for each centimeter closed.
Heero stopped his advance when he could feel Wufei's breath on his face, and stared at his eyes, asking in silence. But the Chinese teen was still too surprised to react, either by closing the distance or turning away.
Chuckling, Duo slid his hand in Wufei's hair and pushed his head forward. The Chinese boy didn't have the time to protest; Heero's lips were over his.
This time it was slower, and not as competitive. Just lips, really, nothing too deep. But it was good, too, and the black-haired boy relaxed and kissed back, sighing with pleasure in Heero's mouth when Duo's hand in his hair slid downward and caressed his nape.
Disengaging, Heero smirked at Duo over Wufei's shoulder, and the braided boy winked at him. Then, together, the two blue-eyed pilots turned to face the screen, ignoring Wufei completely.
"I thought you wanted to see the movie, oh bastard-mine?" Duo asked innocently.
Grunting something indiscernible but probably insulting, Wufei grabbed his lovers by the neck and dragged them against him. Duo chuckled again, and slid his arm around Wufei's waist.
"You admit it, you're great at being furniture," he whispered in his lover's ear.
Heero playfully swatted at Duo's thigh. "Silence, I'm trying to follow the movie here..."
Relaxing, the three of them got back to being absorbed in the gladiator's adventures, cuddling as if it was the most natural thing the three of them had ever done.
[WTT 5][WTT 7]