Disclaimers:  I do not own Gundam Wing or any of its characters.

Notes:  Duo and Heero take the kids to dinner and then it’s off to Quatre’s estate where an unfortunate accident occurs.



Young Hearts



Part Thirteen


Duo sighed in agitation.  “What do you MEAN the shake machine is broken?”  

The chirpy blonde cashier just smiled apologetically.  “I'm sorry sir, but the Assistant Manager forgot to order the mixes, and we
have to wait until the next shipment comes in.  Is there anything else you would like?”

“Yes.”  Duo sighed again.  He had gotten his heart set on giving his clone his first taste of chocolate today.  It didn’t look like it
was going to happen, not now anyway.  He smiled down at Chibi-Duo.  “Sorry about that.”

Chibi-Duo smiled back.  “It’s okay, Daddy.  There’s gonna be a next time, right?”

“You betcha!”  Duo said, ruffling the boy’s bangs.  He turned back to the now-surprised cashier to give his order.  They had
gotten it straight on the ride over here.  “Okay then . . . you ready?”

The cashier smiled and raised a finger so that it was poised over the screen.  “Whenever you are.”  She replied.

Duo nodded and was really grateful that he had a photographic memory.  He took a breath before relaying his order to the
cashier.  “We want . . . One Nugget Happy Meal with one of every dipping sauce, one Hamburger Happy Meal, two
Cheeseburger Happy Meals, a salad, a water cup, and a Number 1 Super Sized with extra cheese.  This will be for here.”  He
smiled at the girl.  “Catch all that?”

The girl nodded.  “Yes, sir.  That was four Happy Meals: One nugget with all the sauces, one hamburger, two cheeseburger.  
One salad, one water, and one Super Sized Big Mac Meal with extra cheese.”  She handed the cups over and pointed to the
beverage machine.  “Beverages are over there.”

Duo grinned.  “You did well, and you were a great sport about me complaining.”

The girl brightened even more.  “Thank you, sir.  And might I say that you have an excellent son?  Many children would have
started screaming when they learned there would be no shakes for them.”

Duo smiled, not letting the girl in on the truth . . . his clone had simply never had chocolate before in his life.  He didn’t know
what he was missing, hence he didn’t complain when he couldn’t have it.  After a short wait, they had their food.  Heero got the
drinks, while Duo and Chibi-Duo carried the trays of food over to where Odin was keeping a seat for them.  The girls followed
Duo.

The kids took their seats and Heero and Duo started handing out the food and drinks.  There was the Nugget Happy Meal with
all the sauces for Chibi-Duo, along with a Coke to drink.  Odin was having a plain Hamburger Happy Meal with water to drink.  
Heero was having the salad.  The girls got the Cheeseburger Happy Meals with diet drinks and Duo had the Super Sized Big Mac
Meal.  Once all the food was given to the right people, Duo and Heero took their seats.

Chibi-Duo opened his Happy Meal.  Reaching in, he blinked as he pulled out the toy surprise from inside.  “You mean this place
just GIVES kids toys?  JUST for eating the food?”  He asked, his tone one of shock.

Duo smiled and nodded.  “Yup.”

Chibi-Duo smiled widely, setting his toy aside and pulling out his food.  He set his dipping sauces in a line, opening all of them.  
He started eating, slowly, apparently savoring each and every taste.  Duo wasn’t so languid though.  He packed his food away
rather quickly, finishing it all before Heero had finished his salad, with the exception of his drink, which he sipped at slowly.

Chibi-Duo looked up at Heero.  “You want one?”  He asked, holding a nugget that was covered in honey up to Heero’s lips.  “Go
ahead, try it.”

Heero smirked, then took a bite of the nugget.  “It is quite good.”  Heero commented, while Chibi-Duo just giggled and finished
off the remainder of the nugget.

Duo blinked, biting into his bottom lip as he watched a dollop of honey get swiped off of Heero’s bottom lip by a slow lick of
the young man’s tongue.  What an enticing sight, Duo thought, his jaw dropping open.  Naughty little thoughts were swarming
through his mind.  He wondered what it would be like to have licked that off  of Heero himself, his dirty mind coming up with
pictures of Heero nude and covered in honey.

Duo shook his head, grabbing his Coke and taking a long drink.  He stopped those distracting thoughts, not wanting to get a
hard-on and have to explain it to Heero or any of the kids.  That would be quite embarrassing.  Besides, Heero didn’t like him like
that . . . there was probably no chance of getting Heero to let him lick honey off of his beautiful body.  With a sigh, he drank his
Coke, wishing it could have been different between them.


*****


Heero closed the trunk firmly and followed Duo inside the large house.  He had to admit . . . Quatre’s estate was a great place
for the children.  There was plenty of room for them to run around.  He watched as Duo crouched down in front of the four
clones that had been left in their care.  The two girls stayed where they were, while Chibi-Duo ran off . . . yanking Odin by the
hand behind him.  Heero felt his lips quirk at the sight and wondered if things would have been different between Duo and
himself had they known each other as children.

“What’s the problem?”  Heero asked, wondering why the girls had stayed when the boys had not.

Duo turned and smiled at him.  “No problem.  I told the kids they could explore.  These two little ladies are a bit sleepy, though.”

Heero nodded.  The girls did look rather tired.  “There are two more bags in the back seat.  You get them and I’ll lead the girls to
one of the rooms.”  He watched Duo walk toward the car . . . and was briefly captivated by the gentle swaying of the chestnut
braid, before shaking his head to clear the errant thoughts away.

“Come on, let’s see if we can find a bedroom.”  Heero said, taking hold of either girl’s hand, leading them further into the house.

It took a moment of searching, but they eventually found a furnished bedroom.  Many of the rooms were empty, although they
looked as if there had been furniture within them very recently, within the past day or so.  He found a bedroom with two twin
beds inside.  Within five minutes, Duo bounded into the room with a couple bags in hand.  

“Okay, I got nightclothes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and a change of clothes for you to wear tomorrow.”  Duo announced,
setting the two bags down.  “We’ll sort everything else out in the morning.”

“Thank you.”  The girls chimed in near-unison.

Heero watched as the two of them took the bags and hurried into the bathroom adjoining the bedroom.  They were quite cute, he
thought . . . nice as children.  He idly wondered if Relena would end up the same as her elder-self.  He turned to Duo.  “I think
Relena should be informed of her clone.”  He stated.

Duo nodded.  “Zechs and Noin as well.  Perhaps they’ll take in their clones and treat him like family.”  Duo said, shrugging.  
“We can only hope for the best in this situation . . . they might not want children at this point, but someone’s gotta take care of
the little guys and girls.”


*****


Chibi-Duo wandered around aimlessly, not knowing exactly what to look for.  He had never been in a house so big.  It was
HUGE . . . he wondered how many people could live in here, how many families.  The whole gang as well as the Maxwell
Church orphans could probably reside here with no trouble.  That Quatre guy must be loaded with money.

Behind him, Odin was following.  Chibi-Duo looked back, smirking when he saw the kid was looking around with just as much
awe as he was.  Unlike earlier today, Odin was showing a lot more emotion on his face.  Maybe Chibi-Duo’s personality was
rubbing off on him.  He hoped so.  It would be nice to have a friend to play with in this place.

Chibi-Duo reached up, turning the knob of a door.  He stepped through, suddenly finding himself outside, his eyes going wide as
he looked around.  “Wow!”  He gasped, running forward a few steps.  Water, lots of it, just sitting there in the center of the
ground  Chibi-Duo wondered what it was for, and why the ground was sunken in like this and covered in tiles.  Maybe it was
some kind of odd collecting place . . . kinda like the tubs Sister Helen had Chibi-Duo put out whenever it rained.

Chibi-Duo considered this, walking around the edge of the water.  He didn’t want to get too close, not wanting to fall in . . . he
didn’t know how to swim, never came across a large enough stash of water to learn either.  Chibi-Duo looked up, his brow
furrowing when he found some strange board protruding over the edge of the water.  What the heck was that for?  

He leaned forward, only meaning to get a closer look at it.  However, with new shoes and a wet floor, it was quite easy to slip,
and Chibi-Duo soon found himself off balance.  He tried to grab onto that board, to stop himself from falling, but his hand
slipped.  With a splash, Chibi-Duo found himself choking on foul tasting water.  Icy needles pricked at his skin, sending shivers
through his small body as he fought to get to the surface.  Finally, he managed it, but he couldn’t stay up . . . he didn’t know
how to.  He panicked, opening his mouth and letting out a harsh scream . . . only to end up swallowing a mouthful of water as
he was pulled under again.


*****

Heero looked up in bewilderment, after having tucked Une’s clone in for the night.  “Did you hear that?”  He asked.  “It sounded
like a splash.”

Duo frowned and tilted his head, stepping back from the bed where Lena was now resting.  The two of them stepped out into
the hallway, closing the door behind them, listening and waiting for the earlier sound that Heero had heard.  

Heero watched as a look of horror crossed Duo’s face when the sound was repeated, followed by sounds of distress.  “Oh my
God!  THE KIDS!”  Duo yelled.  He turned and ran down the hallway at what had to be his top speed.

Heero followed his friend, freezing when he ran outside and saw both Odin and Chibi-Duo in the pool.  It looked as if Odin was
trying to help the other boy out, but Chibi-Duo was obviously panicking.  As soon as he was close enough, Duo jumped into the
pool.  There had been no other choice . . . due to the struggling of Chibi-Duo, both boys were out of reach.  

Heero turned and ran back into the house, grabbing a number of towels from the bags of stuff they had purchased that day.  
Then he ran pack to the pool.  Heero watched as Duo pushed the two boys to the closest ledge.  He rushed over and helped pull
Chibi-Duo out first, then his own clone.  Heero quickly stripped the two shivering boys of their clothes and wrapped them in the
dry towels.

“We g-gotta g-get ‘em inside.”  Duo stuttered, gathering the wet clothes while obviously trying to hide his shivering.

Heero nodded once and decided to work quickly.  Something told him that Duo wouldn’t see to his own needs until the boys
were tucked into bed and safe.  The group had split up and the rest of them wouldn’t arrive until later . . . so they had their
choices of rooms.  Heero picked up his own clone, allowing Duo to carry the other and hurried back into the house.  He decided
to check the rooms around the one the girls were in.  Luckily it didn’t take long to find one that had twin beds in it . . . he
declined using the one he had found with the full-size bed, deciding to allow Duo the use of that one.

“Do I even want to know how you both ended up in the pool?”  Heero asked, setting Odin down on the bed and rubbing the
towel over his small body vigorously.

Duo’s clone spoke softly.  “So th-that’s what it is.  I d-didn’t know what it was, so I w-wanted to g-get a c-closer l-look.”  He
ducked his head, while Duo dried him off.  “I’m s-sorry!  I g-guess you’re g-gonna send me t-to an orphanage now.”

Heero took a second towel and wrapped it around Chibi-Duo’s head.  “No.  We’re not going to send you to an orphanage.  Duo
promised you that he wouldn’t.  He doesn’t lie.”  He turned to his own clone and quirked an eye.

The child understood the silently spoken question perfectly.  “I c-couldn’t let the b-baka drown.  I woulda g-got him out on my
own, b-but his struggles g-got us in the middle.”  He said.

Heero nodded.  “Duo, get them dry . . . I’ll go and get pajamas for them to wear.”  He said, rising from his seat and heading out
of the room.  He paused at the door and looked back, frowning when he saw Duo.  The braided ex-pilot was chattering up a
storm to hide the chattering of his teeth.  He was cold and needed to get warm as well.  Heero decided to tend to his partner
after the children were settled in bed.

Heero went down and looked through the bags near the door.  Eventually he found two pairs of pajamas, one for Odin and the
other for Chibi-Duo.  While he was there, he grabbed another towel, tossing it over his shoulder.  Then he returned to the
bedroom where he had left Duo and the boys.

Carefully, he got the children dressed into the clean pajamas, after having torn the price tags off of them.  Then he set both Odin
and Chibi-Duo in the same bed.  A twin size was large enough for the two of them.  Plus it would help them to get warmer
faster if they shared body heat with each other.  When they had both laid down, Heero pulled the blanket up to cover them,
tucking the edges in around their bodies.

Duo spoke up suddenly.  “D-Do you g-guys w-wanna hear a s-story?”  He asked.

Chibi-Duo bit his lip.  “Um . . . maybe tomorrow.  You gotta g-get outta them wet clothes.”

Heero saw that the boy had a wistful look on his young face.  He felt proud of the child.  It was obvious that Chibi-Duo did
want to hear a story, but Duo needed to get warmed up.  Heero nodded in approval when Chibi-Duo looked at him.

Duo gave his clone a shaky smile and gently ran his fingers through Chibi-Duo’s wispy bangs before he bounded out the door.  
Heero had an almost unbearable urge to brush his fingers through his own clone’s bangs, seeing the contented expression that
the simple act had left on Chibi-Duo’s young face.

“You can . . . if you want to.”  Odin said, as if reading Heero’s thoughts.  “I don’t mind.”

Heero blinked and then gave into the urge, not missing the tiny smile on the child’s face.  He nodded once and stood up.  “Good
night.”  He said, then turned to leave the room.  He looked back once, nearly smiling as he watched Chibi-Duo snuggle up
against Odin’s body, both the children safe in bed.  Then Heero turned off the light and left the room.

He stopped when he was outside.  Duo was sitting on the floor in the hallway, trying to get his clothes off, but not having much
success due to limbs that weren’t working properly.  Heero knelt beside his partner.  “Can you walk?”  He asked.

Duo shook his head.  “N-No . . . I d-don’t think s-so.”

Heero nodded, scooping Duo into his arms.  He carried the shivering young man to the room with the full size bed.  He set Duo
down on his feet, then quickly stripped him of his clothes, scowling at the deep purplish tinge Duo’s lips and fingernail beds had
taken.  He pulled the towel he had grabbed earlier and used it to dry Duo’s body somewhat, then he wrapped it around Duo’s
braid, allowing it to soak up the moisture.

Heero pulled back the quilt on the bed and guided Duo to lie down.  After covering Duo, Heero quickly stripped his own clothes
off and got into bed, knowing that his own body heat would warm Duo faster.  He did keep his boxers on though, not wanting
to seem as if he were making amorous advances when they were not wanted.

When Heero pulled Duo against him, Duo chuckled softly . . . obviously not really aware of what he was saying.  “M-Man . . .
of all the t-times I d-dreamed of b-being in your arms . . . n-never d-dreamed it’d b-be like th-this.”  He said.  

Heero shook his head at Duo’s unconscious flirting.  He knew that Duo didn’t mean what he was saying.  Duo didn’t care about
Heero in that way.  This had just been another of his jests.  Even when in this condition he made jokes.  “Baka.”  He said,
frowning.  He was concerned . . . Duo was like ice against him.

Duo snorted and curled closer to Heero’s warmth.  “Th-thanks . . . l-love you t-too.”  He said, his voice trailing off until he fell
into sleep.  

Heero frowned, feeling an ache in his heart as Duo said those words.  Too bad Duo hadn’t truly meant it.  Sometimes the young
man’s jokes left Heero yearning for actual affection from him, although he knew that it would never happen.  Duo just didn’t
care about him in that way.  “Hn, baka.”  Heero whispered, watching Duo sleep for a few moments.  There was nothing more
he could do for the braided youth, so Heero closed his eyes and fell asleep, mentally telling himself to awaken in two hours to
check on Duo’s progress.



To Be Continued . . .