One second he was asleep; the next, he was awake. That's how it always was, it's what his body had been trained to do since childhood. Those critical seconds between sleep and wakefulness could be a matter of life or death to a street brat like himself. The ten-thousand dollar question was, what had woke him up?
A body shifting behind him provided the answer to his question. That, of course, lead to the question who was he in bed with? And, why the hell was he aching so miserably?
Memories slowly filtered through his mind. Thanatos. The demon girl. Oneesan. Healing Heero, bringing him back from the dead really. No wonder he was so tired then.
He sighed and made himself relax. It was an easier decision to make than it was to accomplish. The body beside him shifted, waking bit by bit. God, he was not looking forward to explaining all this, especially since he only barely understood most of it himself. Well, if nothing else, maybe he could fast-talk his way out of...
"You awake?" Heero's voice asked, still a bit sleep-slurred and very, very close.
He debated for a split second on not answering but then relented. It was Heero after all; he probably long since knew. "Yeah, more or less." He rolled over onto his side to find Heero still on his stomach, looking oddly content to lie cuddled up on the pillow, eyes closed. "Thank you for staying, Heero."
The faintest beginnings of a smile tugged at the corners of Heero's lips. "You're welcome. Are you feeling better now?"
He took quiet stock of himself: the wound on his shoulder was closed, he no longer felt shaky, and he wasn't cold anymore. "Yeah, I'm better."
He frowned in thought. "It's kinda hard to put into words." One dark blue eye opened in a clear 'Tell me now' stare. "It's like... my energy was stretched too thin."
"Trying to support the two of us with the distance," Heero hazarded. He nodded. "So Usagi bringing me in here..."
"I don't know. Made the link less stretched, I guess. I don't really know how else to describe it."
"It makes a kind of sense like that." Heero's eye slipped closed again, and he snorted softly. "If one has known you as long as I have."
"Hey," he bit a pout out of his voice, poking Heero's shoulder lightly, "that's not funny. I don't make fun of you when you're laid up, Hee-chan!"
"'Hee-chan'?" Heero opened his eyes again, rolling up on his side as well to face him. "Duo, you've been around Usagi too much."
An uncharacteristically somber look fell over Duo's face. "Just so you know, I'm not giving up on her, Hee-chan. Not for you, not for anyone."
"Neither am I." He frowned. "So what now what do we do?"
There was silence for a long moment, then Duo snickered, earning him a small glare. "Morrigan said we should share her." He glanced over at Heero, who merely looked speculative. "Don't tell me you're actually considering it?!?"
"You must have or you wouldn't have mentioned it."
He felt heat infuse his face, but he refused to look away. "Y-yeah, well, that's me. I'm the weird one, remember? I'm supposed to think about stuff like that."
"All the same, do you see another solution?" Slowly, Duo shook his head no. "Then..."
"What exactly did you have in mind?" Duo cut in. "I mean, there are several ways we can take this."
"How do you want to take it?"
He sent Heero a dirty look. "I want you to quit answering a question with a question. It's annoying." Heero smirked, and he pouted in return, sitting stiffly up and crossing his arms over his chest. "Fine. How do I want to take it?!?" He sighed loudly, already losing some of his steam. "I know what I think I want, but I don't wanna piss you off if I suggest it?"
"You're thinking of something like a... menage a trois, aren't you?" Heero asked, his voice low and revealing nothing about what he might be thinking.
For a long second, he cursed his decision never to tell a lie and wondering if this would be a good time to start. "The thought did cross my mind a time or twenty," he admitted, bracing himself for the punch he knew was coming. When it didn't come though, he reopened eyes he didn't remember wincing shut to stare at Heero blankly. "You're not pissed?"
"Why would I be?"
"I - I dunno. Just seems like something you'd get pissed about." He paused. "And I'd hate to lose my best friend because of something dumb, you know."
"Does this seem dumb to you?"
He pouted slightly, more amused and relieved than anything else. "You're doing it again, answering with questions." He continued to stare, suspicion now leaking into his gaze. "What're you thinking?"
There was silence for a long moment. "That... this might not be such a bad idea. If... if you think we could make it work," he got out hesitantly.
It was so unlike Heero to be nervous enough to stutter that he had to smile. "We'll make it work," he stated confidently, keeping his boast as soft as possible though; this would not be an opportune time for someone to bust in wondering what was going on after all. He fought the idea for a second then gave in to brush his lips against Heero's in a feather-light kiss before pulling back quickly. "See?" he continued. "Nothing to worry about."
"Always so confident." The observation was without bite and very soft-spoke for Heero.
"Someone has to be." He paused, nibbling on his lower lip thoughtfully. "So, are we good with this?"
"We're good with it, but... we probably shouldn't tell Usagi yet."
He nodded. "Not till this is over. Who knows what's coming our way next?"
10 June 2003
Who knows indeed? *smirk*
Well, chapter thirty-three is finally out at long last. Sorry for the delay. I am suffering from a major loss of creative energies. -.-;;
Anyway, all new changes and challenges are coming in the next few chapters. Hope our characters - and everyone else - are ready!