title: Hidden Eyes
fandom: Gundam Wing
characters/pairings: Heero/Duo, Trowa, Relena
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: Heero is entranced, but he needs to see past the mask...
notes: for sarolynne, on fic_on_demand. whee.

Roses surrounded them, filling the air with their scent. Wine flowed like water through the guests, and the room got louder with their revelry. It was Relena's eighteenth birthday, and people had come from ten countries, all dressed for the Masquerade to end all masquerades.

Heero stood uncomfortably in the shadows, swirling his wine around in his goblet moodily. He was here to protect Relena, and her father's interests, but he disliked parties, especially ones where everyone was in masks. The princess has asked him to dance a few times, but he shepherded her off to a more suitable partner with great ease, and now she had forgotten about her bodyguard.

He genuinely liked and respected the Princess, but he didn't understand her. She had lived her life in gilded rooms, far away from the pain and misery of war, which had been his companions since birth. He wanted to be more like her, to have more of her optimism, but at the same time, he felt like he had to keep his distance to keep her clean.

"Such a long face," a deep airy voice sighed. "I'm surprised you found a mask to cover it."

Heero turned abruptly to see a smooth, porcelain mask, decorated with shining, black stones. He couldn't immediately discern if the person was male or female. The figure was swathed in a long, black, silk robe with a white collar, and had long, brown hair tied back in a thick braid. The lips were thin, and slightly pinked. Heero glared, and turned away. "I'm not wearing a mask."

A musical laugh, the kind that made just about anyone who heard it want to laugh along. Heero narrowed his eyes at the intruder. "How unfortunate! To be stuck with such a face!"

Heero stared straight ahead and pointedly said nothing.

The stranger sidled up to Heero. "Dance with me, horse face."

Heero glared at the mask before him, wanting to rip it away viciously. "I don't dance."

"Mm," the stranger hummed, disagreeing. The stranger's body slipped right against Heero's, an arm snaking around Heero's waist. The stranger put his...Heero was fairly sure it was a he now... face against Heero's neck, and he purred. "I think you'll dance with me..." He leaned up, and kissed the corner of Heero's lips.

Heero felt his face get hot, a cold sweat breaking out on his back. He turned to face the porcelain eyes, but they were gone, nothing more than a swish of black silk in the swirling skirts that covered the dance floor.

He was gone, and so were Heero's keys. He didn't feel them being lifted, but he could feel their absence. Heero swore under his breath, and took off after the stranger, following the braid and the trail of silk. Music swelled around him, and the crush of dancers nearly threw him to the ground. All around him, people laughed and drank, and at the edges of the dance floor, girls with masks firmly in place lifted their skirts for the questing hands of their dance partners. Somewhere in that swirl of baroque sounds and heady laughter, he lost his figure in black.

It was no matter. He knew where he was headed.

He escaped the crowd, slipping past couples in dark corners, and he ran up the turret, using a secret passageway to get to the cell at the top before his prey.

Should have, at any rate, but as Heero got to the top step, he saw a slim figure jump off the side, and his mystery man in black still pulling the keys out of the door. With a growl, he leapt after the figure in black, slamming him against the wall before he could jump away.

The man in black laughed, wheezing as he regained his breath. "Told you... you would... dance with me."

Heero snarled and ripped the porcelain mask off the man's face, smashing it into dust against the stone floor. He wasn't prepared for the bright, blue-violet eyes he loved so well, but now that he saw them, he felt stupid for not recognizing him. "Duo...! What... Why...?"

Duo smiled at him sadly. "If I were really the master thief I used to be, I'd steal you away from your princess, and take you back to where you once belonged."

Duo had come to free Trowa. Heero couldn't object, really, as he had tried to plead with Relena to free the other man, but Duo had come to save him. What did that mean? Heero didn't want to know. He simply buried his hand in the back of Duo's hair, and pulled him in for a long, deep kiss. Their bodies had once fit together perfectly, and they had danced together night after night, even as the cloud of war tried to choke all the life out of them. They had danced in the face of the devil himself, and they had lived through it all.

They broke away, gasping, and Duo's eyes were clouded with regret. "I... have to go... Heero..." Duo pulled away from Heero's arms slowly, lingeringly.

Heero tried to clutch Duo's sleeves as they slipped away from him, but he lacked the strength to hold Duo back, knowing what fate would befall him were he to be captured. He watched as Duo leapt off the turret, the same way Trowa had earlier. He stepped closer to look over the edge, running his hand over the keys Duo had somehow gotten back into his pocket.

He sighed, and whispered into the darkness, "Come steal me back soon, beloved."