Chapter Seven
by Apollymi 

Series: GundamW, Sailormoon
Genre: Crossover, Romance, Supernatural
Main Pairing: Duo/Usagi/Heero
Word Count: 2,828
Disclaimers: I own nothing but the idea.

He wasn't too sure what to expect the next morning. To be fair, he felt somewhat awkward already, and he was the only one awake yet. In and of itself, though, that was not too unusual: he was frequently awake before Duo, and Usagi didn't seem the type to be up early. In fact, she had somehow seemed more the opposite, but that was just an initial impression.

Then again, he had only really woken up because he was too warm. It had set off warning bells in his unconscious mind, dragging him from his surprisingly pleasant dreams. That, by itself, was fairly odd. It was unusual. If it wasn't the dreams of doom to come, then it was memories coming back to visit him, few of which were pleasant enough to recall.

The last thing he was able to clearly recall from the night before was Usagi holding open the door for them to join her in her room. He vaguely recalled the three of them talking - Duo and Usagi more so than him, of course - though he couldn't exactly remember what was said, just that it was friendly and congenial. That may not have been exactly the right phrase, but at least there hadn't been yelling or anything.

Of course, the conversation had included a highly sanitized version of their roles in the wars, if he was recalling correctly. He seemed to remember her talking about what she had come to know since she had woken up with no memory.

It really should have bothered him a lot more than it was to not have a clear and exact recalling of last night. He was still waiting for the frustration and annoyance to rise, because it wasn't here yet. If nothing else, he was more bemused than anything - and that was unusual too.

But no, he definitely had woken up because he was too hot. He had a vague recollection that, when they first had started talking, he had been sitting on the edge of the bed closest to the outside door. He was certain of that: it was a habit he had held onto the strongest from before, making sure he had a clear path to an exit.

Somehow, though, right now he was finding himself to be stuck between the two of them, between Duo and Usagi. No wonder he had woken up hot: the pair of them together made quite the furnace. He couldn't exactly say he was complaining, not without lying - and that was something he tried to avoid where he could, thanks to Duo and his often repeated wartime motto - but there was no way this wasn't going to end up going badly, probably for him.

Still, he was going to enjoy it while it lasted, not that he saw where he had too many other options. There wasn't really any good way to get out from between the two of them, as wrapped around him as they were, without hurting one of them to get free. He wasn't about to do that, not in this lifetime, not if he could help it. Duo had an arm wrapped around his chest, pulling the American in close to his side, and a leg tossed carelessly over his own; apparently, in sleep, Duo resembled nothing more than a particularly clingy octopus. Usagi had tucked herself neatly into his other side, though her blonde hair had apparently escaped its odd hairstyle during the night and was threatening to take over the rest of the bed. The pair's hair was going to be an issue if the three of them kept this up.

The three of them? Who was he kidding? He didn't foresee this... arrangement lasting much beyond one of them waking up, much less going further into the future than that. He didn't need any kind of abilities or dreams of the future to see that. It just wasn't going to happen. It wasn't going to last, so yes, he might as well enjoy the feeling while it lasted, for however long it lasted. An hour?

Maybe less. He didn't think he had moved all that much, but at his side, he could feel Usagi starting to stir. He probably had a few moments' leeway there; she hadn't seemed like the type to wake up quickly. As for Duo, it wasn't so much a stirring as a minute change in his breathing that was almost impossible to put into words; it wasn't anything most people would have noticed, but he had known Duo a long time and these were instincts that had been trained into them, either by the wars or their lives before them.

So he wasn't too surprised to hear a quiet "Hey" from one side only a minute or two after hearing Duo wake up, the word barely louder than their breathing.

"Hey," he offered back.

"Guess we passed out in here."

Any second now, Duo was going to either tell some kind of a joke and leave or start yelling at him for enjoying this way too much and leave or... or... His mind, never overly creative to begin with, refused to provide him with an alternative worse than or even equal to Duo leaving him.

It might have been just as well, though, since Duo seemed to be perfectly content to settle back into his pillow. "At least the storm finally stopped," he commented around a large yawn. "That's a good thing: means Usagi's happy. So we don't have to worry about her freaking out or anything." Duo yawned again before turning dark indigo eyes on him. "Or are you handling the freaking out enough for all of us, Heero?"

"What?" It was probably a testament to how much of his training he'd held onto that his voice was completely level while the rest was indeed freaking out.

The smile Duo aimed his way was small and perhaps a little sad and sheepish. "Give me some credit: I think, after this long, I know you well enough to tell when something is bothering you. Right now, something is, and this," he gestured with one hand to the room at large and the bed the three of them were sharing in particular, "is the best bet for what it could be right now." Duo tried the grin again, with no better luck than before. "So are you going to start freaking out on me--on us?"

Maybe it was the intimate atmosphere, but he actually couldn't help the choked sound that escaped him, no more than he could stop himself from whispering, "You don't mean that, Duo."

"Let me be the judge of what I do and don't mean. What do you think I don't mean, anyway?" The other man's voice was calm, perhaps even coaxing, and maybe that was why he was able to give voice to the words he had once silently sworn to keep only to himself.

"You don't mean 'us,' Duo, not with someone like me." He spoke so softly that even he could barely hear his own words. Maybe Duo wouldn't be able to at all, but he somehow didn't think that would be the case, given the heavy silence of the room. "The things I've done..."

"My hands aren't exactly clean either, you know, Heero," Duo commented. "As for 'someone like you'... I would love to be an 'us' with someone like you."

"He's not the only one," a tired voice put in from behind him. And now his humiliation was complete. "I'll second that."

Usagi looked exhausted, concerned, and wrecked--but both compassion (or pity, he thought deprecatingly) and something else, something he had only ever seen previously from Duo, warmed her eyes.

As wonderful as hearing all of this was, as absolutely heavenly as the situation held the possibility of being, there was just no way he could wrap his mind around this being for real. Never in his life had anything this good ever turned out to be real, and the thought of having and losing this hurt worse than any physical injury in his life ever had. So instead of agreeing to the thing he wanted most, he shook his head and doggedly persisted, "You don't mean that, either of you."

From one side, he could hear Duo heave a heavy sigh, full of disappointment that tore at Heero's heart. From his other side, Usagi let out a less than ladylike harrumph of annoyance, even going so far as to cross her arms over her chest and pout. The completely overdone expression on her face startled a laugh out of Duo, and she responded in turn with a grin of her own.

As if by some unspoken arrangement, the two of them allowed their eyes to meet over Heero. A huge conversation seemed to pass silently between them in mere seconds, before they exchanged nods and tight, determined grins. Finally, Duo leaned over to drop a quick, utterly chaste, and yet completely mind-blowing kiss on his lips. "I guess we'll just have to change your mind then, Heero."

He could already feel himself beginning another automatic denial when Usagi copied Duo: kissing him briefly then leaning back with a confident grin. "Don't underestimate us, Heero-kun."

"And don't pretend you know what we want either." Duo sounded every bit as resolute as Usagi looked, but he didn't dare risk looking at the other man. Not now.

"We see something different when we look at you," Usagi slowly offered, "than you see when you look in the mirror."

Frankly, Duo couldn't think of a single other time--or even if one had ever occurred--where Heero had beat a retreat quite that fast in all the time he had known the man. It may have only been to the bathroom to claim first shower, but it was a quick withdrawal nonetheless. When Heero got back, though, he was going to make sure not to mention it again. It would be for the best all around, after all.

Somehow, he even got the feeling he wouldn't have to say anything to Usagi on the matter to keep her silent as well. He got the feeling she wasn't the kind of person to bring something up just to embarrass someone. Truth be told, he like that about her, quite a bit in fact. His first loyalty was to Heero, though, and...


Her voice pulled him out of his thoughts and back to the present. And they were still sitting on opposite sides of the king-sized bed that had originally been hers. Well, if she wasn't saying anything about it, he wasn't going to either. "Yeah?" he answered.

"I hope I'm not stepping on your toes or anything with Heero-kun." It seemed she was having a hard time saying what she was trying to, and so she was focusing on where her hands were clenched around the white sheet instead. "I don't want to push in where I'm not wanted or needed or anything. I heard some of what you two were saying in the car yesterday, and..."She trailed off, shrugging helplessly.

"Heero and I aren't together, Usagi," he stated plainly. No matter that...

"But you want the two of you to be together." Okay, now that was weird: her finishing his thought like that. "I just... I like you both very much, even if I haven't known either of you very long. If you're not interested in me..." she shifted awkwardly, clearly embarrassed, her grip on the sheets tightening, but she pressed on anyway, "or in girls in general, I'll back--"

"Usagi?" he cut into the ramble before it got truly out of hand. "I can't--and I'm not going to try to--speak for Heero here, but I'm... flexible." And it was easier to say stuff like this when you weren't meeting the eyes of the person you were talking to. He took a second to be certain he could still hear Heero in the shower then continued. "I've loved Heero for a long time, though, even if he doesn't notice it."

Bright blue eyes flashed up to meet his, wide with something he couldn't--didn't dare--put a name to. "No, Duo-kun, that's not right. I think it's not that he doesn't notice but that he doesn't believe."

And that... made sense. It tallied with everything he knew about Heero, what he had be able to glean over the years, however measly the amount of information might be. He found himself nodding in agreement. "That sounds like Heero."

Speaking of Heero, this was an abnormally long time for him to be in the shower. Usually it was less than five minutes, but this morning was pushing seven so far. Duo would give it another five or so, but then he was going to go check on the other man. Regardless, they needed to be winding down this particular thread of conversation.

"Would you like me to back off, Duo-kun?" While she was clearly still embarrassed, Usagi was now determinedly meeting his eyes.

He gave it all of half a minute's thought before he made up his mind. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he found he had already done so, but the realization was perhaps a little bit surprising to him. After all these years of pursuing Heero, albeit in slow motion, it was especially a bit of a shock.

"Don't you dare back off, Usagi," he found himself saying with a wink. On a whim, he leaned across the bed to lightly kiss her cheek. "It's going to take both of us to lure Heero out of his shell."

The smile she sent him could have lit up a room and was just the faintest bit mischievous. "You're on, Duo-kun."

As the water finally cut off, the thought occurred to Duo that Heero was going to have no idea what hit him.

It looked like his earlier premonition was correct, Heero thought to himself bemusedly: when the two of them teamed up on him, he was going to have no chance whatsoever. He had come out of the restroom from his shower, taking care to get dressed while in there, and the pair of them was still sitting on the bed talking, thick as thieves.

He had done some quick picking up while Duo and Usagi were showering, Duo in the room that had started off as theirs and Usagi in the one that had been hers, the same shower he had used, which he was resolutely not thinking about, instead focusing on this task.

Keeping all traces of himself in the room to a bare minimum was still an ingrained habit, though perhaps he was just fastidious by nature--something that would prove much needed with those two--but at least he had finally trained himself out of the habit of wiping down for fingerprints. It just no longer seemed necessary.

The water shut off in first one shower then the other, and a few minutes later, they both emerged. To some private surprise, both had left their long hair down to try. He had entertained more than a few private fantasies regarding Duo's hair over the years; now it looked like he might have to expand on them.

Usagi took a seat on a corner of the bed, rubbing a towel vigorously through her hair to dry it. "Are we staying here a while, or are we planning on heading out some time soon?"

Duo was already working on braiding his hair, even with it still wet. "We only paid for the one night. I don't think we have any actual plans, though--or at least I don't. Heero?"

He managed a shrug. "No plans here." Surprisingly, he even managed to sound nonchalant about it. He did not give voice to his preference to stay on the move until he knew for a fact they were safe. Duo already knew about it, after all, and had probably taken that information into account already.

"So why don't we head out of here, but then find a place to hole up in the next town we stop in?" Duo offered as he tied off his braid with a dark-colored hair band.

Usagi offered a grin. "Works by me. Just give me ten minutes to pack and maybe five to pull my hair up, and I'll be ready."

A tiny, rebellious part of him almost volunteered to help out. Then again, his part was already taken care of, so maybe he could watch, if nothing else... if Usagi didn't think him too much of a pervert for it. Then again, after this morning...

He had no idea where he stood with either of them, but he was hoping he would get to enjoy finding out... if that feeling of doom, so recently returned, didn't interfere in any way.

01 July 2012

I put off posting this until I had the chapter following it completed. Sorry for the delay.

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