To Rest Easy
"...this is getting old."
Heero hit his pillow in a way that seemed more like a martial arts move than a fluffing of downs. "What is?"
"This!" Duo gestured to the dorm room in general. "We move to a new area, hide the Gundams, find the nearest no-questions-asked boarding school, sign up - and wait."
"Plan," Heero corrected, stepping out of his jeans.
With a snort, Duo did the same. "Right. All we need to do is pinpoint the Alliance bases, go in, blow what does or does not move up, and leave. What's to plan?"
Heero pulled the sheets on his bed aside. "You know it isn't that simple."
"Yeah..." Duo sighed. He wrestled out of his T-shirt, his cross tapping his chest on the downfall. He shot a glance across the room, but Heero was already in bed, his back turned and cover pulled shoulder-height, barely exposing the straps of his tank-top. "Night, Heero."
"Night..." Heero muttered back, waiting for the sounds of settlement to cease. For a moment, he thought he'd get the fixed hours of sleep he'd planned for. Instead, every time he came close to shutting down for the night, his honed senses triggered at the sound of Duo shifting in his bed, turning one way and then another, his breaths, his occasionally resigned exhales. Five minutes of quiet lulled Heero into a false sense of security, his eyelids suddenly wide open as Duo rolled over on his back yet again. Heero turned to send him a glare, first checking the alarm clock, verifying half an hour wasted. "Duo..."
Duo kicked at the sheets, scratched his belly. "...I hate these humid nights..."
"Just sleep..." Heero said with a sullen voice, grinding his cheek to his pillow, fatigue letting itself be known.
"I'm trying, damn it!" Duo said aloud. "It's not that easy."
"...slept in this morning."
"Hey, I had a big dinner! Had to let the food sink in, know what I mean?"
A low growl was all the reply Duo got.
"...I'm thirsty," he stated.
"There's water in the tap," Heero muttered.
Duo folded his arms behind his head and stared up at the ceiling, not that he saw much in the dark room. "I don't like the taste. I think they put something in the water here."
"Count sheep or something," Heero growled, clasping his hand at the edge of his pillow.
Duo shook his head. "Doesn't work. I am sleepy, but it's just too hot to sleep."
"Then lose the covers."
"Then it'll be too cold."
Resisting the urge to scream, Heero ground his face into his pillow, his fist nearly tearing a chunk of the casing off.
"Hey... mind if I open the window?"
"Anything," Heero muttered, "Anything, as long as you just go. To. Sleep."
"Sure thing," Duo promised.
Fast feet across the floor, the clasps undone, the creak of the wooden frame, the gentle, warm breeze, and then the walk back. Heero rolled over to face the wall again, once more waiting for Duo to settle down - and finally have it happen. No big sounds, only the faint, erratic breaths, the odd movement... In the near silence of the night, Heero allowed himself to relax, at last.
And that's when he heard them.
One, two, a hundred - it didn't matter. The sound was deafening, and the more he tried not to think of it, the more his ears focused on that subtle, soul-rending sound. Heero knew it was all in his mind, but the noise kept growing louder and louder.
Break point followed.
He tossed the sheets aside, sat up, rubbed his right elbow. In the dim ambient light courtesy of the lamp post outside their window, he saw the back of his partner, the young man obviously asleep, judging by the sharp, sudden snore he produced. Heero drilled a scowl into Duo's neck, then made up his mind. He got to his feet, shuffled his way across the room, knelt down at Duo's bedside and leaned in. "Duo... Duo, you awake?" he whispered at first.
No answer was forthcoming.
He hadn't expected one. He stood up, took aim - and planted the flat of his foot to Duo's butt, just hard enough. "You awake now?" Heero asked, full volume.
Grumpy and disoriented, Duo rolled over to glare back, growling "...the hell?"
"I can't sleep," the offender stated.
Duo rubbed his eyes, then the bridge of his nose. "...you woke me up just to tell me that?"
Heero nodded his head towards the window. "The crickets are driving me nuts."
With a scoff, Duo muttered "I'd say you already are."
"Duo, I'm closing the window," Heero warned, then put it into effect.
"Wha- Hey, then I can't sleep!"
"You will," came the statement.
"What, you threatening me now, pal?" At Heero's stern look on his return approach, Duo raised his fists, ready to rumble. "I can take you down, you know."
Heero stopped just out of range. "Scoot over," he said. Five seconds of detente later saw an added "Please?"
Hesitantly, Duo dropped his guard and moved his back against the wall.
Before Duo could react, Heero grabbed the covers and tossed them to the floor.
Heero proceeded to crawl into Duo's bed and coaxed him to lie back down. He moved the necklace out of the way and rested his head to Duo's chest, put one leg across Duo's, slid his elbow against Duo's belly and gently clamped on to Duo's biceps. He took a deep breath, and relaxed. He felt tentative fingers brush his waist. The sound of Duo's biorhythm made a fine replacement for the crickets... if only... "Your heart's beating faster."
"Yeah, well - that kinda sorta happens when your boyfriend suddenly decides to snuggle with you."
Heero let go one short chuckle, and touched his lips to Duo's skin. "Night, Duo..." he muttered, closing his eyes.
Moving his trapped arm down to settle his palm at Heero's hip, Duo strengthened the hold just a little, wanting him close. Duo blessed the soft mattress, affording some of that appreciation to his lover as well, for wanting to keep him warm. It was better than the covers, Duo reasoned. He brushed Heero's bangs out of the way, landed a soft kiss to Heero's forehead. "...night, 'ro," he mumbled, settling down, and to his surprise he soon drifted peaceably into sleep.