To say that I was brought up differently does not express what truly happened. The more accurate description would be to say that I was trained early on to be a soldier. I was shown that feelings and emotions do not have a place on the battlefield when your enemies will not show you the same. Since the war has been over, I have learned a lot, but I am still a soldier. When presented with a problem or with something that I do not understand, I still approach it like a soldier.
. . .
“Hey Heero, don’t shoot! I brought the movie.” A smile graces my lips as I lean around the doorway of the kitchen to see Duo bent over laughing at his joke.
I have never given him a key to my apartment and yet he has always managed to gain entry. I used to think that he would do this to challenge me into making my security measures tighter, but have recently come to the conclusion that it is a way of him proving his friendship to me. That no matter how I try to lock him out, he will always find a way inside my defenses.
“Hn.” I respond, know that he is waiting for my part of the script. For the last two years he has shown up at my apartment on Friday nights with a movie and we have followed the same script each time.
“Always the talkative one I see. Do shut up for a moment and allow someone else to get a word in edgewise would you.” He flings back with a big smile.
The doorbell can be heard announcing the arrival of the pizza and shortly after finds us sitting on the coach with pizza and a beer each watching some action movie Duo picked out.
“You should get a pet Heero.” Duo turns to me during a scene involving mass destruction by use of dynamite.
“A pet? What would I do with a pet?” I don't understand the desire for animals in small apartments.
“It would give you something to talk to while you sit in front of your laptop working everyday.” I am told around a yawn.
“So would a plant.” I don’t think I have what Duo has explained to me as a green thumb. When he told me that, it took me forever to find out what a green thumb meant.
“Just think about it.” He tells me as he closes his eyes.
I wait a few more moments and am rewarded for my patients when I hear Duo’s breathing even out into sleep. Getting up I place our dishes and bottles on the coffee table for later and slowly maneuver his body so that he is laying more comfortable on the coach. Picking up the blanket off of the back, I carefully cover him up and then stand there looking down at him.
For the first time I realize how much he has changed since the wars. Since receiving regular meals, he’s grown at least six inches and he has lost that thin look that only comes from lack of nourishment. His face has lost any trace of baby fat and his features become more adult.
I shake my head and wonder why I am thinking this way. Quatre recently told me that he feels Duo cares deeply for me, but I am unsure. With a last glance, I head to my room and boot up my computer. Duo’s mention of having a pet is something that had never crossed my mind. I wasn’t sure if the concept appealed to me or not.
Pulling up a search page I type in the word pet, falling back on old standards of when not understanding something, research. Reading through what I have found causes me to smile and to start to formulate a plan.
And that is why I find myself standing where I am exactly one week later. I have gathered all of the supplies that were listed that I would need for a new pet except for one. Once I can figure out how this machine works I can head home.
“May I help you sir?” I look up to see a young girl wearing the green apron stamped with the pet store logo smiling at me.
I hate admitting defeat, but know that I need assistance before leaving the store. “I’m not sure how to get what I want from the machine.”
“Okay, I can show you.” She seems eager to please and starts pushing buttons on the screen. “What would you like it to say?”
I hand over my carefully written out note and she pushes a few more buttons before the finished product is presented to me. “Here you go sir, just present this slip to the cashier and that is all.”
Entering my apartment later, I glance at the clock and realize I have twenty minutes to get everything set up. Calling Duo, I ask him to come over and get to work preparing everything.
Exactly twenty minutes later, I hear Duo enter the apartment. “Heero?”
“Thanks for coming over early tonight Duo. I know you don’t usually show up until later for our movie night but I had something that I wanted to show you.” I tell him as I enter the living room and see him standing there. I’m nervous. I don’t know how he will react to what I have done.
“Hey sure. No problem.”
“Last week you mentioned that I should get a pet and after careful consideration and research, I decided that you were right. I have tried to learn how to do things that normal people do and there is still a lot for me to learn. I think that a pet would help me to learn these things.” I find that this is harder than I thought that it would be. I’m showing signs of classic nervousness and I’m not sure how to handle it.
“That’s really great Heero. What kind of pet have you decided to get? Do you need help picking one out? I know this great pet store down the street.” By this time, Duo is practically jumping up and down and I offer up a small smile at his excitement.
“No Duo, I have already decided on what I want and have obtained all of the supplies that I found that I would need.” I’m not sure how he will react to what I have to say next, so instead, I decide to show him.
Opening my hand I offer him what has been nestled in my palm the entire time. He takes it and slowly reads what it has to say. He’s not looking up and I can’t discern what his expression is.
“Heero?” There is a slight shake to his voice and I am afraid that I have done things wrong.
“I will understand if I have upset you. I guess that I misunderstood the signs and should have given it more time for me to learn about people…” Fingers on my lips stop me from talking and I look up to see him staring at me with what I can only hope is understanding shinning back from within his eyes.
Removing his fingers he leans forward and touches his lips to mine. I can’t say that it is a kiss, but more like a whisper. I lean forward the last few centimeters, wrapping my arms around him, and press my lips to his. Leaning back, we stare into each others eyes and give one another a small smile.
He places the object on the desk as we walk by and into the other room so that I can show him what other supplies I have bought and I glance down at it. It is sitting so innocently on the notes that I had made during my research. A simple collar tag reading ‘Duo Maxwell, Property of Heero Yuy’ lay on top of the definition.
Pet: an object of affection, a person especially loved or indulged; a favorite, kept as a pet, particularly cherished or indulged, expression or showing affection, being a favorite.
I think that description matches my Duo-pet perfectly.