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Heero walked slowly toward Duo's room, not entirely sure why he was there. Well, he knew why he was there, but he wasn't ready to admit it to himself, let alone anyone else. He told himself he was concerned about the person he had saved; he had clearly been scared into immobility by the fire. Heero was thoroughly confused by the feelings that the thought of Duo evoked in him. Heero had never been sexually attracted to anyone, much less a boy. He never thought much about it. But now, every time he thought about the violet-eyed boy, he was filled by confusing feelings and unfamiliar desires. And a strong desire to protect him. Heero sighed and knocked on the door. The nurse at the desk had said that Duo seemed to be all right, just a bit of smoke inhalation, and he was quite shaken up. He would probably be released tonight. Heero was relieved that he had come tonight, rather than waiting; he might have missed him otherwise. He had to see Duo.
Duo was startled awake by the knock on the door. He had just dozed off, it seemed. He was still rather disoriented; he had woken up as he had been taken out of the ambulance, into the hospital. He almost cried then; where was his angel? Duo was confused by the bright lights and loud noises; slowly awareness crept in. He was alive; he was in a hospital. He had somehow escaped the flames once again. No, not somehow; an angel had saved him, a cobalt-eyed angel with incredible strength. But the angel was gone now, replaced by coldly efficient doctors and nurses.
Soon, he had found himself tucked into bed in this room, empty except for him. He was told that he was lucky to be alive. Duo disagreed, but didn't voice that opinion. Then he was told to rest. He lay back on the bed, thought about the angel and drifted off. He sat up in bed. Who would be here to see him? The nurses didn't knock.
"C-come in," he said, voice hoarse from the smoke, eyes fixed intently on the door.
Heero heard the faint voice inside the room, and hesitated briefly, not entirely sure what he was about to get into. But he was not about to turn back now. He took a deep breath and pushed open the heavy door. Heero's heart was pounding.
Stepping through the door, his eyes scanned the room quickly, noting that the only occupied bed in the room was taken by a longhaired vision with huge violet eyes. Duo. His heart leaped at the sight of the slender boy, safe and sound. And staring back at him.
Duo looked apprehensively at the door as it opened. It was his experience that surprises were generally not good things; he liked to know what was going on around him. Then he stepped through the door, and Duo's heart stood still; it was his angel!
The two boys stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity, looking into each other's eyes.
Heero was face to face with the person who had enchanted him, and now he had no idea what to say. He felt like a stalker or something: excuse me, you don't know me, but I rescued you from a fire. Heero was at a loss for words. All he knew was the boy's name.
Duo stared, dumbfounded, at the vision before him. His angel had come back! Duo had thought he had hallucinated the blue eyes and strong arms that had rescued him. "Angel!" he blurted out without thinking.
"What?" said Heero, thoroughly confused now. Of all the things he had imagined, this wasn't it.
Duo realized he had spoken aloud. "You... you're my angel! From the fire!"
Heero scowled. "I'm not an angel. Are you all right?"
Duo looked crestfallen. "You're not an angel?"
Heero's heart twisted at having caused the look of sadness to cross Duo's beautiful face. "No, just a firefighter. You wouldn't get up, so I had to carry you, and..." Heero realized he was rambling. "Your name is Duo, right?"
Duo was confused now. "You did know my name! I knew it! You came out of the smoke and knew my name and saved me." He dropped his head. "I thought I was dying, I thought you were an angel. Silly, huh? Sorry."
Heero couldn't stand to see Duo so upset. He stepped closer, to the foot of Duo's bed, and said decisively, "No. It's not silly."
Duo looked up at the fierce tone in Heero's voice. He looked even better close up, out of the smoke. He was dressed in form-fitting jeans and a clean white t-shirt that showed off his incredible muscles. Duo managed to smile. "So if you're not an angel, you must have a name. You know mine somehow, so what's yours?"
Heero answered, "Heero."
This made Duo giggle. "Hero? My angel's name is Hero?"
Heero frowned, then was slightly taken aback at the possessive pronoun. "No, it's Heero."
Duo looked at him. "The way you said it sounded different."
Heero answered, "It is. It's Heero. The r is pronounced differently, like a cross between an l and an r."
Duo tried it. "Heero. Is that better?" Heero nodded; Duo actually picked it up very quickly. "Cool. What language is it?"
"Japanese," Heero answered.
Duo frowned at him. "You don't look Japanese."
"I'm half Japanese," Heero explained patiently.
Duo grinned. "You sound like you've explained that a few times in your life."
Heero almost smiled at that. "Yes, I have."
"Sorry for asking, then," Duo said sheepishly. "I have a tendency to run off at the mouth."
Heero was about to reply when he was interrupted by a nurse bustling in. "Mr. Maxwell! I didn't know you had a visitor!"
Duo smiled at the nurse. "This is Heero, my hero." Duo giggled at his intentional pun. "He saved my life."
Heero watched Duo interact with the nurse, realizing that the longhaired boy was one of those people who could instantly charm anyone. The nurse was fawning over him in a maternal way. Then he realized the nurse was speaking to him.
"I remember seeing a news story about you! You're the young firefighter they were going on about," the nurse, Linda according to her nametag, was saying.
Heero was about to reply, to downplay himself, when Duo spoke up. "He's famous?"
The nurse went on, "You haven't heard about him?" Duo shook his head, causing his hair to cascade around him in a manner that Heero found incredibly distracting. "Oh, he's only amazing! The youngest person ever to complete the firefighter training, and he beat all their records for strength and speed to boot. He's like Superman or something, indestructible."
Heero found himself blushing at Linda's gushing account. Then Duo spoke up, "He certainly is amazing," he said softly. Heero forgot all about the nurse and started to get lost in those violet eyes.
Linda suddenly remembered her duty, and said, "Oh, I was going to tell you, the doctor has released you. He says you're ok, just take it easy for a few days for your lungs to clear up. You're free to go!"
Heero, who had been staring at Duo, saw the boy's reaction to those words. Instead of being happy, he seemed upset. Heero frowned.
Duo looked down, embarrassed. "There's a problem with that," he began. "I... sort of don't have anywhere to go. I was... staying in a friend's apartment when the fire broke out."
Heero's heart started to race. This was his chance, his chance to stay close to Duo, to watch over him like he absolutely knew he had to do. Heero had never done anything in his life under impulse before, but he knew what he had to do. His voice almost shook, but he managed to say, before Duo could go on, "You can stay with me."
Duo looked at Heero, stunned. His mouth was hanging open, he was sure of it. But he was so surprised by what his angel, no, Heero, had said, that he couldn't help himself. This amazingly gorgeous boy was offering to... "No, I couldn't," Duo managed to stutter, even though his heart screamed, YES!
Unaware of the undercurrent between the two boys, Linda chirped up, "Sounds like a good idea to me! I think you should take him up on it, Duo."
Heero added, trying not to sound too eager, "Really, it's no problem. I live alone, I've got a spare bedroom, it's not an imposition." Heero realized he was rambling again, and forced himself to shut up before he started begging.
Duo was having an internal conflict himself. He wanted nothing more than to go home with Heero. Something about the other boy made him feel safe and warm inside, which was ridiculous of course. But he couldn't... could he? He felt his resolve waver in the face of that steady cobalt gaze. "Are... are you sure? Maybe just for a few days, until I find another place..." Duo trailed off, mesmerized by the way Heero's face seemed to light up at his words. Could Heero really want... Duo forced himself to stop that line of thinking right there. Heero was just being nice, he probably felt sorry for him, and besides someone as gorgeously masculine as the firefighter had to be straight. Duo had never had good luck, and there was no reason to think it was going to start now. Duo had always been attracted to boys, and had never questioned that part of his psyche. He just didn't feel the need to advertise it, as most of the men he had ever been attracted to were straight. Duo had just figured it was his lot in life to be alone. But Heero had stirred up all these feelings... involuntarily, he flashed back to when Heero had carried him, how good those arms had felt around him, and how badly he wanted to feel them again.
Linda spoke up again, startling both boys who had nearly forgotten she was there. "Well, that's all set then! I'll get those discharge papers." And she hurried out of the room, evidently pleased with herself.
That left the two boys once again staring at each other, not sure how to proceed. Duo suddenly realized something. "Oh, man, I just realized something! All my clothes were back in the apartment! I don't know what happened to the clothes I was wearing," Duo looked down, indicating the thin hospital gown that was his only covering. "I hope you have a car, cause I really don't want to ride the bus this way!" he joked.
Heero pulled his mind back to reality, from contemplation of Duo in and out of the gown, and said. "I have a car. I also brought some clothes for you. They will probably be too big, but..." he trailed off, and offered a bag to Duo. Heero watched amazed as gratitude, and something else, flooded over Duo's expressive face.
"Oh, wow! You're amazing! You did this for me..." Duo seemed unable to finish.
"I figured you might want something clean to wear home, since your hospital visit wasn't exactly planned," Heero said, sounding lame to himself.
Damnit, Duo, get a grip. The guy is just being nice. Can he help it if he looks just like your wettest fantasy and is considerate too? Don't go there... Duo tried to warn himself, but even he could see it was already far too late. Duo was falling, and falling hard.
Heero was concerned by Duo's silence. Had he offended the longhaired boy? He couldn't read Duo's expression. He watched Duo reach into the bag and pull out a white t-shirt and a pair of shorts. "I'm sorry, I grabbed what I had in my locker at the fire station. There wasn't much choice, but at least they're clean."
Duo looked up at Heero and said, "I'm sure they're fine. I don't know how to thank you for... for everything," he finished, and got lost in those eyes again.
"You don't have to. Just let me help," said Heero softly, mesmerized by Duo's expressive eyes, but not sure what they were expressing. He wanted to be sure, sure he wasn't reading anything more into this than there was. The way Duo was looking at him... he wanted to see that look forever.
Realizing he was staring again, Duo said, "Well, I guess I'd better change."
Heero said, "I'll wait outside then."
"No, don't bother, I'll just go in the bathroom," Duo answered, and hopped off the bed. Too quickly. Duo felt the room spin around him; he felt lightheaded and dizzy. Duo realized he hadn't had anything to eat today. But he wasn't about to tell Heero that.
Heero watched Duo jump up, then stop and sway. Instantly, without thought, he rushed to Duo's side.
Duo was grabbing for the bed when he suddenly felt those strong arms around him again, holding him close. Heero's arms were wrapped around his waist, and they were pressed together from the waist up. Duo looked up, into Heero's eyes, and suddenly became very aware that he was naked save for a thin, backless gown. One of Heero's hands was against his bare skin, and he could smell the other boy's clean scent. Duo was very glad that they were only in contact from the waist up, because Heero's proximity had made him instantly rock hard.
Heero felt Duo against him, and felt the other boy's silky smooth skin under his hand. Their faces were inches apart, and Heero found he couldn't breathe. Duo fit in his arms perfectly. They stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity. Heero felt his erection strain against his jeans, demanding. Finally he managed to blurt out, "Are you ok?"
Duo nodded, unable to trust his own voice. He had thought the feeling of Heero holding him earlier was wonderful, but now that he was fully awake to enjoy it, he found he didn't ever want to be let go.
"Are you sure? You looked like you were about to faint," Heero murmured, concerned, not letting go of the longhaired boy.
"Are you trying to make a habit of saving me?" Duo tried to joke, weakly.
"Yes," Heero replied, seriously, and Duo's heart nearly burst. Could he really be this lucky?
Heero could scarcely believe it; the longhaired boy had made no move to remove his arms, and seemed to be content in this position. Could it be? Heero dared to hope.
"Just a bit dizzy," Duo tried to explain, and tried to resist pressing his arousal against the gorgeous boy holding him. He wasn't sure yet.
"Can... can I help you get dressed?" Heero asked tentatively, all the while wanting nothing more than to help him get undressed, and berating himself for his base thoughts.
"No, I think I can manage now," Duo answered, not wanting to have to explain his raging erection. Not noticing the huge bulge in the front of Heero's jeans.
Reluctantly, Heero released Duo, and the longhaired boy made his way to the small bathroom. Heero watched intently as he was treated to tantalizing glimpses of Duo's backside, feeling guilty for watching yet unable to tear his eyes away.
Duo emerged minutes later, thankful for the loose clothing that hid his arousal. Heero smiled; the clothes were much too large for the longhaired boy.
Just then, Linda swept back into the room with a stack of paperwork. Duo had to sign several times, and listen to a stern lecture about taking it easy, then he was free to go.
Continued in part 3