title: House Rules
fandom: Gundam Wing
characters/pairings: Heero/Duo
rating: G
warnings: gambling
summary: Duo makes a bet.
notes: for Merith, in response to her request for Heero/Duo with the phrase "Let it ride!" ^_~

"I can't believe we're actually going in here," Heero grumbled.

Duo sighed. He'd been listening to Heero bitch for a good half hour now, and he was damned sick of it. "Hey, you said it was my choice, and this is my choice." Duo beamed. Before them was the glittering glass door of the Lucky 7 Casino, not the flashiest or the most elaborate casino on the strip, but known for being a gambler's casino. Duo had been dreaming of this day ever since he was little, and he learned the tricks of the trade on the street. A mission to Las Vegas was heaven-sent, as far as he was concerned.

Heero scowled. "This is ridiculous. Duo, you're smarter than this. You know the house always wins. The odds are against you. It's a waste of money."

"Heero," Duo sighed, "this is precisely why no one takes a statistician gambling. Look, I'm not looking to get rich. I'm looking to have fun! And besides, I'm not some rube. I'm not going to play slots or anything. I want to sit at the tables, sip a martini, and play!"

This did not seem to have any affect on Heero's attitude. "You're going to regret it when you come out of there penniless. And don't expect me to pay for food and useless memorabilia crap for the way home."

"I'm not that dumb, Heero." Duo was starting to get annoyed. What was the point of being here if he was just going to be such a spoil-sport. "You don't have to come with me. I'm a big boy, I can make it back to the hotel by myself. Why don't you just run along and figure out actuarial tables or whatever you do for fun."

Heero shoved his hands in his pockets, and directed his glare to the sidewalk. "I said we'd do whatever, and I will. I just think this is stupid."

"Whatever," Duo sighed. He smirked. He loved it when he got good ideas. "Tell you what, let me teach you the fun of gambling. Let's make a bet, ok? I say I'm coming out of there with more money than I'm taking in. If I'm wrong, and you're right about everything in the universe, all hail Heero, I'll cover all the paperwork for the next two months."

Heero perked up. He hated paperwork, even more than most agents. Writing had never been his strong suit, and the endless stream of forms and files that needed to be completed drove him nuts. "And if you're right, and I'm the most boring oaf on the planet, all hail Duo?"

Duo smirked. "If I win, you have to kiss me."

The very corner of Heero's lips turned up on the right. "You're on."

Duo's eyes blazed. "Let's get it on!"

Drinks sparkled under the colored lights. People rushed back and forth, exuberant from too much alcohol. Money was exchanged for chips in a silent ritual that everyone seemed to know, and performed casually. Cards flew over green felt, and dealers' hands swept over the tables, picking up chips with long curved sticks and laying out the next round with clinical speed. Over on the other side of the room, the constant clamor of the slots, with their flashing lights and clanging bells, provided rhythmic accompaniment to the oily jazz trio playing on the peeling glittered stage.

Duo rolled the dice around in his hand, sizing up the table before his throw. A captive audience of scavengers placed chips down, taking their piece of his toss. It was his third roll. He'd spent a good hour dabbling in poker and blackjack, going from table to table, starting at the low-ante tables and working his way up, until he had a sizable stack of chips. Made a few more stacks making conservative bets at the roulette wheel. Now he was at the pinnacle of betting pleasure - the craps table, and he was the main roller. He'd gathered quite a crowd, partially from his dashing charisma, partially from his dramatic flair, but mostly because of the money.

He had made $750 so far, and he was putting it all on the table. Right now, he had $1500 staked on his toss.

Heero stood at Duo's elbow, just out of the circle of wide-eyed well-wishers, a constant presence at Duo's side. He watched with bated breath as Duo prepared to roll. Everything was hinging on this toss. Literally, everything.

Duo winked at Heero, and let the dice go. A seven. A chorus of 'ooohs!' and 'aaaahs!' followed, with some staccato curses from the people who had bet against him, or had lost.

Everyone's eyes turned to Duo, who took a moment to relish the attention. "You know what? Let it ride!" He threw his hand up, as if signaling the cheer that accompanied his decision. Heero panicked.

He grabbed Duo's elbow, and pulled him back an inch so they could talk. Duo's adoring audience was too busy placing their bets to notice. The smart money was going against the shooter, and it was piling up.

"Duo, are you crazy?! Look how much you've won, and you're going to risk it all? Be reasonable!"

Duo just laughed. "Heero, my man, I said I was going to teach you about gambling, and here it is. It's not about the winning, man, it's about making the bet. Having the cajones to put it all out there and just trust in fate."

"Fate?!" Heero hissed. "Do you know how much money you're talking about here? This is everything you've got! Think about it! The only way for you to win is to get a seven or eleven! The chances of that happening are 22.22%!"

"Forget it, man!" Duo laughed. "Jeez, anyone'd think you wanted to lose our bet! Just relax!"

Heero stood mystified as Duo took the dice again. He rolled them between his fingers, his tongue poking out between his lips as he sized up the table. He winked at the buxom blonde in rhinestones next to him, and tossed them out casually.

Heero's stomach flipped; he couldn't look.

Stars must have been shining above them, but you couldn't see anything but neon from the street. They walked side by side, their shoulders touching, making their way back to the hotel. Duo was grinning like a Cheshire cat, and would occasionally just burst out laughing.

Heero kept his eyes ahead of him, and his hands in his pocket.

Even their hotel was busy, the lobby as bright as daylight, and the bar filled to capacity. A swing band was playing in the second floor lounge, and the beat of the music and feet on the floor was audible, even in the elevators. They slid smoothly up to the 39th floor.

Duo pulled his check out of his pocket. "Heero, just look at it. No one's ever given me this much money before! Told ya we'd have fun."

Heero nodded solemnly.

Duo watched Heero slyly from the corner of his eye. "And I still haven't collected all my chips yet..."

Heero stepped forward casually, and stopped the elevator. "How about now?"

Duo blinked. He'd expected Heero to grumble, maybe blush and stammer, if he was lucky. He'd expected Heero to just lean in and try to grab a quick peck on the cheek, and then he was going to turn and steal a taste of Heero's mouth. But Heero looked... predatory. Duo swallowed hard, and grinned. "I'm ready if you are."

Heero smirked, and Duo felt his heart drop to his knees. "Oh, I'm ready." Heero stalked in closer, standing nose to nose with Duo. He lifted his hand, and buried his fingers in Duo's hair at the back of his neck. "Told you," Heero sighed. He raised his other hand, cradling Duo's face, running his thumb over Duo's bottom lip. Duo's eyes bulged out, and he felt weak in the knees. His lips parted for Heero's thumb as he went numb from shock. "House always wins."

Heero covered Duo's mouth with his own, separating his lips with his tongue. He pressed his body against Duo, holding Duo's head steady with his hands. At first, Duo didn't even remember to close his eyes, so Heero didn't, either.

The sound of their lips touching lulled Duo back into reality. He raised his arms to hang onto Heero's waist as Heero consumed him with his kiss. When the need for air finally parted them, Heero dropped his arms to hold onto Duo, pulling him closer.

They watched each other pant, each smiling slowly.

"Told ya we'd have fun," Duo teased, brushing his nose against Heero's. That earned him a sharp grunt, Heero's equivalent to a belly laugh.

Duo loved winning.