* * * * * * * * * *
Duo woke to the sound of running water. He looked around, confused, then all the memories came crashing back to him. The attack, Heero's rescue, the fact that he could stay with his love... he was filled with elation and pain at the same time. Heero wasn't in the chair; but all the stuff was still there, so Duo figured he must be in the bathroom. Duo decided to surprise Heero, so he tried to stand up. Just as he did, he heard the water shut off. He stood up, wincing at the pain in his head and ribs, and tried to steady himself with his good hand. A wave of dizziness swept over him; he grabbed for support. The closest thing was unfortunately the rolling tray; Duo managed to halfway regain his balance before the tray went crashing across the room. Duo slumped half on, half off the bed as the tray crashed into the wall.
Heero heard the crash. He had been using the shower in Duo's bathroom, and was just toweling off when he heard the crash. He wrapped the towel around his waist and was out of the bathroom in an instant, fearing the worst. He rushed to Duo's side, and helped him back into the bed. "What the hell were you doing?" he demanded, afraid for the braided boy.
Duo looked at him apologetically. "I wanted to surprise you," he explained sheepishly. Then he noticed what Heero was, or rather, wasn't wearing. "Mmm, Heero, you look amazing wet and half naked."
Heero caught the towel just as it began to slip, trying to keep Duo from grabbing it. "Duo," he warned, not able to be upset with the longhaired boy.
Duo looked at Heero's body appreciatively, arousal overcoming his dizziness. He lay back on the bed so Heero could see his growing erection through the thin hospital gown. "Heero..." he moaned. "I want you so much..."
"Duo, I have to go to work," Heero explained, unable to take his eyes off the beautiful, aroused boy.
Duo pouted. "I'll miss you, Heero..."
"I'll miss you too, Duo," replied Heero. "I'll come back here right afterwards, I promise!"
Duo stretched carefully, so that the gown outlined his hard cock clearly. "I'll be waiting," he said seductively.
Heero almost groaned as he went back to the bathroom to get dressed. He had an erection to match Duo's and no time to do anything about it. It was going to be a long day....
* * * * * * * * * *
Heero hurried back to Duo's room as soon as school finished. He checked at the nurse's station and was told that Duo was feeling better. He knocked quietly and entered; Duo opened sleepy violet eyes and smiled at him. "Heero..."
Heero sat on the side of the bed, and bent down to gently kiss the lips he wanted so much. Duo kissed back opening his mouth, and wrapped his arms around Heero, pulling him closer. Heero pulled back reluctantly. "How are you feeling?"
Duo smiled. "Better. Sore, but better."
"I'm glad," Heero answered, and pulled out a bundle from behind his back, presenting it to Duo.
Duo gasped. "Heero! Roses! Oh, they're beautiful! Thanks so much. No one has ever given me roses before." He hugged Heero again.
Heero hugged back, inhaling the scent of his love and the roses mixed. "You'd better get used to it."
Heero told him about the day at school, avoiding the fact that the boys who had attacked him had been suspended. Duo told him that the police had come by to get a report.
"Oh, Duo, I'm so sorry that you had to do that on your own," Heero said. He hadn't thought about that possibility.
"It's ok, Heero. It wasn't so bad. I just told them the truth," Duo replied. "They said they would contact me."
Heero smiled; he had forgotten that Duo had gotten this far without him. He truly couldn't remember what it was like before Duo came crashing into his life.
Two days of tests and observation later, Duo was ready to be released. He sat on the edge of his bed, waiting for Heero to arrive, still sore but anxious to get out. He still wasn't sure if he was going back to the orphanage or to Heero's; he was afraid to hope.
A small knock, then Heero came in smiling. "Ready to go," he paused slightly, "home?"
Duo grinned and nodded. "With you?"
Heero smiled. "Yes, they're still overcrowded. What a shame."
Duo would have jumped up and hugged Heero, but he was still on crutches. He settled for saying, "Let's go then!"
"The orphanage director wants to see you as soon as you're able, Duo," Heero said as he gathered up Duo's things.
They arrived at Heero's house without incident. Heero got Duo settled in the guest room over the longhaired boy's complaints.
Duo lay back on the bed, pouting, and said, "You're really going to keep resisting my charms, aren't you, Heero?"
Heero sighed. "I'm going to try, Duo. But, call me a masochist, but I still love it when you try..."
Duo giggled, but he wasn't really up to a full-on seduction right now. "Maybe I'll just rest a bit then..." Within minutes he was asleep.
Heero watched him sleep, overjoyed to have Duo safe, and in his house, where he belonged. He didn't know what the future held, but it felt right to be here with Duo, watching over him. Heero resolved to keep it that way.
* * * * * * * * * *
The next day, Heero brought Duo some work to catch up on. The longhaired boy was feeling better; the dizziness was nearly gone. He still had the crutches, though, and Heero really didn't want him back at the school. It was time to fit in the next piece of the puzzle. Heero had Duo take a comprehensive test, telling him it was a diagnostic test. Duo flew through it easily.
"Duo, do you know what that was?" Heero asked. Duo shook his head. "It was a practice high school exit exam. You got them nearly all right. You could graduate early."
"Really? What do I have to do?" Duo was amazed.
Heero explained that he had to go take the test at the district office the next time it was given, and if he passed as well as he had done on the practice, his diploma would be awarded to him with full honors. "And you won't have to go back to that school at all," Heero finished. His injuries would be a good excuse for it, and hopefully no questions would be asked.
Duo's mind was still working. "If I graduated early, I wouldn't be in school any more," Duo began. Heero knew where this was headed. "That means you wouldn't be my teacher any more, Heero," Duo finished, letting the rest of the statement go unsaid.
Heero nodded. "But you're still a minor, Duo, don't forget that. I'm more than two years older than you, so it's still illegal."
Duo pouted. But he was one step closer to being in Heero's arms.
"Do you feel up to seeing the orphanage director tomorrow, Duo?" Heero asked.
"I suppose," sighed Duo. "I just hope they don't make me go back."
Heero hoped not either, but he knew they had to go. He fixed them dinner, the first time he hadn't just gotten take-out. Duo perched on a stool in the small eat-in kitchen, and they talked as Heero cooked.
Duo had never felt so happy, despite his injuries. They were together, and Heero was cooking for him. They sat in the kitchen and ate... it was almost as if they were a real couple.
Heero looked up in shock as he realized Duo was crying. "What's the matter?"
"Nothing," sniffled Duo. "I'm happy! I want to be here with you like this forever."
"Duo..." whispered Heero, looking at the beautiful boy across from him. He wanted this too, wanted to take care of Duo and protect him... He reached across the table and took Duo's hand in his and squeezed gently. "I'll make it happen. I promise." He didn't know how, but he would manage it. For Duo. He knew that he was hopelessly in love with the violet-eyed boy. He was glad in a way that Duo was still tired and sore, because the longhaired boy wasn't up to his usual teasing. It was a good thing, because Heero wasn't sure he could resist temptation tonight. His heart and his cock both ached for Duo.
The next day, Heero came back from the school; he helped Duo down the stairs and into the car. The motorcycle would have to wait a while. Every time Heero saw that Duo was still in pain, his desire for revenge got that much stronger. Someday, he silently promised Duo.
They arrived at the orphanage. Duo looked with trepidation at the gray building; the last thing he wanted was to have to come back here to live. Heero squeezed his hand briefly, and Duo was comforted. He knew Heero loved him, and that helped immeasurably. He could do this. He nodded and led the way to the director's office.
The director welcomed them in; she looked harried and stressed, but said, "I'm glad you're here, Duo. And Mr. Yuy, it's so good of you to help out."
Heero smiled and cleared off chairs for the two of them. Every available flat surface seemed to be covered in papers or children's toys. The director rummaged around until she found the file she was looking for. "Ok, here we are. Duo. I'm afraid I have some bad news for you." Duo's blood ran cold and Heero could see him grip the edge of the chair. "We're still overcrowded. In fact, if the fire department came in right now. We'd be in serious trouble. We don't have a place for you. We might be able to get you into an emergency shelter, but there's no guarantee. I'm so sorry."
Duo's mouth fell open. That was the bad news? That he had to stay with Heero? He tried not to grin. "I..."
But Heero cut in. "Duo is more than welcome to stay with me, it's no problem. Don't worry about it, Mrs. Evans. In fact, it's not that much longer until Duo turns 18. Is there anything we can do..."
"In fact, there is. Duo can apply to be an emancipated minor. That means he is legally an adult, even though he is not 18. It should be a mere formality at this point, I'm sure the application would be granted. In fact, it would probably be welcomed, to reduce our caseload. But, Duo, you have to be sure. It means no more assistance from the state, medical or otherwise. You would be on your own." The director looked at Duo seriously.
Duo looked at Heero, stunned. He hadn't considered that. Heero smiled; the teacher knew about this option, he had discovered it in his research. In fact, he had asked a lawyer friend of his about it. "I could do that?"
"Sure, Duo, I would have to sign the papers, but that's all. There probably wouldn't even have to be a hearing in your case," Mrs. Evans answered.
Duo tried not to look too eager. "I'll think about it, ma'am. Thanks so much!"
The director rose, and said, "Thanks for coming in, Duo. And thank you, Mr. Yuy, for your help. Duo is a bright young man. I know he'll do well."
They said their goodbyes, and left the building. Duo waited until they were safely out of sight, and stopped at a light. Then he hugged Heero tightly, tears streaming from his eyes. "Did you know about this?"
Heero nodded, hugging Duo with one hand and smiling. "I wasn't sure if the director would agree. But we can file the papers tomorrow."
Duo looked up at Heero, eyes shining. "I love you, Heero!" The last obstacle to their being together was about to disappear.
Continued in part 9