Warning/s: None as yet.
Summary: Wufei appears at Heero's apartment one evening, dripping wet with nothing but a wrench in his hand. Seven days, of startling confessions, the surfacing of long-buried feelings, and confused emotions abound. [Part 4/?, prequels to be found here.]
A/N: What can I say? It's the revival of yet another old fic! ;p The first half of this chapter was written a good year ago, so I had to spend some time getting back into the mood and pace. I hope I did it. Link to the prequels can be found in the summary.
Heero awoke in one second flat, his breathing regular and his left hand already surreptitiously halfway to the hidden gun tucked between the side of the mattress and the bed frame before he realized just who was sitting on the corner of his bed. Wufei didn't turn to look at him, but the barest shift in the Chinese Preventer's seated position told Heero that Wufei knew he was awake.
Wufei's hair was wet, probably from a morning shower, and come to think of it, what time was it anyway? Heero sat up, glancing at the luminous numbers on the clock that he'd literally hammered to the bedside table. He'd thrown too many clocks onto the ground in automatic reaction whenever an alarm had gone off, war-time instincts still on edge, muscle memory still in the land of grenades and shells and bullets. This clock was lasting the longest yet.
“The sun should be coming up anytime,” Wufei's voice was languid, and Heero turned his attention reluctantly to the other man's profile. Strangely, parts of his memory of last night seemed to be fuzzy, as though he'd experienced it in a dream...but the one thing he remembered with distinct clarity was that he'd agreed to spend seven days with Wufei, and from then on...from then on...
“Do you want to take a walk?”
The small apartment that Heero had purchased, while having the primary advantage of being close to the workplace, also had the benefits of being a stone's throw from a little strip of beach. Not many people went there; Heero knew, he'd checked out the surroundings thoroughly before he'd decided on the place. While still in the city, the location was on the very perimeter of the town center, and the beach was farther out still, away from the main roads and railway lines.
And something was nagging at Heero, discomforting him.
It all felt too normal. Too simple, this acceptance of Wufei's presence. Relena had convinced him quite thoroughly at the end of their failed relationship that emotions were complex things, and yet somehow, this waking up, seeing Wufei in his room, on his bed, idly spinning that ridiculous wrench around in between strong slender fingers...all this seemed strangely natural. Something about this whole situation...was he really awake, in his apartment, contemplating whether or not to accept the rather abrupt offer of a walk by the seaside? Heero couldn't wrap his mind around it.
“Alright,” he answered carefully after a moment, when he realized that Wufei was still waiting for an answer. The nonchalant tone obviously hadn't worked; Wufei's shoulders had slumped just a fraction, and Heero realized that his wariness must have been obvious despite the fact that he'd tried to mask it.
“Alright,” he tried again, hoping that the word sounded less uncertain. He swung his feet swiftly over the side of his bed. What else to say? “I'll go get ready.”
Five minutes later, they were downstairs and walking through the private gateway for residents.
Wufei by his side was a shadowy, looming weight at the farthermost edge of Heero's vision. The awkwardness between them didn't seem to have faded with the passing minutes. It didn't help that there were two distinct camps in Heero's head, fighting for all they were worth even as he tried to quiet himself mentally, gather the shreds of his usual clear-headed equilibrium.
Wufei was too close.
Wufei smelled nice...
Wufei was acting different.
—hell, Heero was acting different...
Wufei shouldn't be here.
It was good—strange, but good—having Wufei here, where Heero could see him, keep an eye on him, wonder about the things he wanted to say to him...
And there had to be something very wrong about the line of thought right there.
“Who am I to you, Heero?”
His toes touched sand, and Heero's mind stuttered to a halt at the same time.
Wufei didn't stop, or look back at Heero; the Chinese man continued walking forward in a leisurely stroll, dark damp hair blown back in the slightest by the sea breeze, as indifferent as if he'd never spoken at all, making Heero wonder, in a sudden frown of paranoia, if he was starting to hear things.
Who am I to you, Heero?
An echo, ringing louder than ever in his ears. Heero mentally shook the words off, irritated and confused.
Wufei came to a stop at the very edge of the receding tide, before kicking off his boots to the side. Latching onto the first tangible subject, a distraction from his wild and jumbled thoughts, Heero found himself staring at Wufei's feet, which were incredibly small for a man, slender and well-shaped, with a high arch that left vaguely disjointed footprints in the wet sand. Heero hesitated for a moment, then bent and peeled off his own Preventer-issue shoes. He backtracked a few steps to set the shoes a way off further up the beach, and then, legs feeling strangely leaden, he walked back to join Wufei.
“Sometimes, Heero, I feel that I don't know you at all,” Wufei's voice was neutral, with a barely perceptible hint of dry amusement that made Heero's eyes narrow. The words were slightly muffled by the carrying wind, with Wufei turned away, glancing up at the reddening clouds. “Most times, I tell myself I know you, but then I realize that all I know about you is how to analyze why and how you do what you do. I've made up reasons and personality traits and habits for you in my head, but I don't even know your favorite color. Do you have a favorite color, Heero?”
Though it had been years since the war had ended, there were still the fair share of Preventer staff and population alike who continued to regard Heero Yuy as the Perfect Soldier: emotionless and single-minded as a powerful weapon had to be. Some days, those days when he woke up and the skies were gray overhead, with a cold drizzle falling, those days, Heero wondered if what was said about him had been true, whether it remained true now, and whether it would stay true for as long as he lived. Wufei's question was incongruous enough without it being addressed to him...
But then, the sky wasn't overcast today. Not like those days.
So he ventured to think about it carefully, going through in his mind the few personal possessions he owned, and then mentally flashing a color chart through his head and cataloging what they made him feel, before coming up with the tentative answer: “Blue.”
“Blue...deep sea blue?”
Falling down, and down. Blue churning to white, fading to black. Fathomless depths. Unbearable pressure in his ears, on his body, pressing him back against a hard leather seat. The sound of maniacal, hysterical laughter—his own—and his hands, a death grip, seizing hard on the controls as the lights on the screen fizzled into black. One by one, extinguishing his existence...
Heero shook his head sharply, definitively. “No.” And then, feeling some elaboration was expected of him by way of Wufei's thoughtful glance, shrugged helplessly and bit out, “Something lighter. Light blue.”
Wufei smiled. It was a soft smile, a slow smile, and Heero could only see it out of the corner of his eye because something inexplicable was immobilizing his limbs and refusing to turn fully to Wufei for something as silly as better seeing the other man smile. But there was something about Wufei's smile, rare and warm, and Heero didn't have to turn to see it better anyway, because he knew it was there. It brought an answering ease to his heart, made him relax, and his fingers unconsciously unclench.
Then Wufei was walking around, stopping in front of him, facing him, hands coming up cautiously, palms open—“Kill him now!” the child soldier howled, screaming and beating on Heero's numb body. When Heero didn't budge, didn't even blink, too conflicted with his demons warring in his head, he felt Wufei's warm hands settle on either of his face, and heard Wufei whispering, “May I?”
He was so tired. And so cold. He'd been that way for a long, long time.
His fingers twitched—the muscles in his arms spasmed at the hard, jerky action—and then he closed his eyes and bowed his head.
If—if you want.
If you don't mind.
Heero wasn't sure if he'd said that last part aloud, but then it didn't matter, because Wufei's lips were dry and soft and comforting, and Wufei's touch on his skin was heated and sure, and Heero didn't want to think anymore.