"Woohoo!" Heero heard a shrill cry coming from the field outside the
safehouse. 'What is that baka up to now?' he grumbled to himself.
Reluctantly, he got up from his desk, where he'd been pecking away at his
laptop, and went over to the window. What he saw hardly surprised him, after
almost two months of being stuck in the house with Duo while waiting for an
assignment. He'd come to expect the braided pilot's quirky behavior.
Shinigami was acting anything but dead at the moment, wearing nothing but
his combat boots and his trademark black pants, hair unbound, running
through the field of daisies. The wind was blowing his mane in all
directions, and the butterflies he was chasing were trying desperately not
to become ensnared in it. 'Great,' thought Heero. 'Combing that hair out is
a mission I'm liable not to accept.'
He watched as Duo almost caught up with one of the ill-fated beasts, then
promptly fell flat on his face, having tripped over something that Heero
figured probably wasn't there in the first place. Hair was the last thing
Heero saw before Duo was completely hidden by the tall grass and flowers.
Then, a hand emerged, waving, and Heero heard Duo yell, "I'm okay, for
anyone who's watching!" and begin to giggle.
"Hn." Heero turned back to his laptop, and began cracking yet another of
Oz's "dummy codes." There sure wasn't anything better to do, what with that
crazy baka outside and Heero not really interested in other sorts of
amusements anyway. Until...'How did he know that I was watching him?'
"Oh HEE-CHAN!! I'm home!" Duo said in a sing-song voice, coming in the front
door. He was unaware of Heero watching him from the top of the stairs as he
steered himself towards the kitchen for a drink. He went to the refrigerator
and pulled out a carton of chocolate milk. "Ah, that's the stuff," he sighed
happily, and proceeded to gulp it straight from the carton.
"And just what do you think you're doing?" a voice from the kitchen doorway
asked. A startled Duo coughed, spilling milk all over his face, and sending
some out of his nose in the process. He was a sight, standing there in the
kitchen, milk streaming down his face, his hair tangled and full of grass
from his romp, bewildered at the fact that Heero had spoken an entire
sentence to him without being badgered into it.
That sight would linger in Heero's mind, even as he turned to go back to his
room, a shadow of a smirk on his face.
"I'm going out," Heero announced gruffly, coming into the living room, where
Duo was watching one of those old movies he was so stuck on. He looked up in
surprise. Heero never went anywhere. He certainly wasn't dressed to go
anywhere important---he was still in his jeans and green tank top with a
"Where?" asked Duo, confused, one popcorn-filled hand poised halfway to his
"Nowhere special. I should be back in about an hour or so. There are some
things I need to get," he said, making his way to the door. "Don't get into
any trouble while I'm gone."
"Sure thing, Hee-chan!" Duo grinned. He was still curious, but would let it
slide. He had more important things to do, like concentrate on his movie.
When Heero got back, Duo was sound asleep on the couch, sprawled every which
way. 'Perfect,' thought Heero. He sat down on the floor a few feet away, and
quietly opened the bag he'd brought in. He pulled out a spiral bound book
and some pencils and leaned up against the armchair. After studying Duo for
a while, he began to sketch.
The next morning, Heero got out of bed and, taking the sketchbook from
beneath his pillow, locked it in the top drawer of his desk. He was tired
from all the work he'd done the night before and wanted to stay in bed, but
he didn't want Duo, who'd stayed on the couch all night, to wonder. And he
certainly didn't want to knock the book out from under the pillow and chance
Duo finding it. Not yet, anyway.
"Good morning, Hee-chan!" Duo chirped cheerfully from the kitchen. Heero
thought he looked strange, because instead of his usual black attire he was
clad in denim overalls and nothing else. He smiled up at Heero from the
lunch he was packing and stated excitedly, "I'm going to go fishing in the
pond on the other side of the field. Wanna come?" he asked hopefully.
"I have work."
"Work, schmirk. What could you possibly be doing now? There isn't any work!
No missions, no nothing!"
"I said I'm busy."
"Suit yourself. But don't come crying to me when you get so intolerably
bored stuffed up in here." And with that, Duo grabbed his lunch and stalked
out the door. His absence didn't last long, though. Sticking his head back
in sheepishly, he asked, "Do we have a fishing pole?"
Heero watched Duo from the branches of a tree a ways away. He didn't want
the baka knowing he'd followed him. In his lap sat his sketchbook and
pencils, which he was putting to good use. 'It's so much easier to draw him
while he's holding still,' thought Heero exasperatedly. Unfortunately, that
was a luxury he would never know. Duo had already fallen in twice, and when
he wasn't in the water he was singing and prancing around the spot he'd
chosen to fish from. Still, Heero couldn't help but smile inwardly. Those
antics were priceless, and he was recording them for all eternity. He
chuckled to himself, thinking about Duo's reaction if he ever (gods forbid
it) found the book, which was already almost full. He'd have to get another
one, and soon.
"Wow! Did I have a day! You'll never guess----" Duo stopped short when he
saw Heero laying on the couch, passed out. 'HE must have had a day,' Duo
thought sarcastically. 'What could he possibly have been doing in this
boring house?' He then caught sight of a large book with a green cover on
the floor next to the couch. 'Ah-ha! So there's that thing he's been
guarding for the past few days. Wonder what's in it...?' Duo picked up the
book and plunked down in the armchair. He opened the book and nearly dropped
it, shocked by what he saw.
HIM. It was him. And a lot of him, at that. There he was, fishing, and
coming out of the pond soaking wet, and sleeping on the couch. Him, stuffing
his face, braiding his hair, burning his toast, scratching his head in
confusion. (Now, when did I ever look like that?) But the most startling one
of all was one towards the back. It was obviously drawn from memory, as it
seemed to have more detail, more precision than did the others, which were
still awfully good, he had to admit. But this one, it---it took his breath
away. He saw himself come to life on the paper in front of him, running,
arms outstretched, hair sailing behind him, laughing into the wind.
"How did he---I didn't know he could---" Duo was practically speechless.
Heero had captured him in nearly every state that was Duo, exclusively
Duo...and that's what the drawing toward the back was titled. "Exclusively
Heero smiled inwardly, continuing to feign sleep. At last, he had found a
way to tell him.