"It's almost time."
"Time for what?" inquired Heero.
Duo smiled but didn't answer, just continued through the woods to a destination only he knew. Heero huffed in annoyance, but followed anyway. He still didn't know why he let Duo talk him into doing the strangest things. Or rather, he didn't want to admit why, not to himself and certainly not to Duo.
"We're here!" Duo announced as they passed into a small clearing.
"Here where?" Heero asked, looking around the peaceful but unremarkable clearing.
"At the doorway." Duo replied. It was a strange answer, since there was no door in sight, but at least it was an answer.
"The Doorway between worlds," seeing his confusion, Duo elaborated. "Tonight is Halloween, Saimhain, the Day of the Dead. On this night the veil between this world and the next is thinnest. And at some places, where the veil's already thin, a door opens between the two. This is such a place."
Heero wanted to laugh, but he knew Duo was serious about this. The look of anticipation on his face proved that he believed, even if Heero didn't. And Heero was loath to do anything to spoil this moment.
"So why are we here?" he asked, still unsure what was going on. Duo pulled his braid forward, playing with the tip. It was hard to tell in the meager lighting, but Heero thought he might be blushing. Duo finally let his braid go, took a deep breath, and looked up.
"I've wanted to tell you something, for the longest time. But I didn't know how." He paused, reaching again for his braid, but stopped short. After another deep breath be continued. "I love you Heero. I have for a long time, but I... I was afraid if I told you it'd ruin our friendship. I tried to hide it, tried to forget but... but I couldn't."
The world froze, as if waiting along with Duo for his response. Heero couldn't move, was shocked immobile and silent. He knew he had to say something, that every passing moment of silence had to be agonizing for Duo. But he just couldn't move, too afraid to shatter the dream this surely was. A movement out of the corner of his eye, the slightest shift of a shadow startled a gasp out of Heero. The world moved again and it was still there, still real.
Heero stepped forward, gathering Duo into his arms. Duo latched onto him tightly, his breath rushing out in relief. Heero tried to form words, to tell Duo how much he loved him but breath would not come. So he held Duo, tightly as he could, trying to breath past the joy tightening his chest. Finally, he pulled back so he could look Duo in the eyes, letting him see the love in his eyes.
"God, Duo. I love you too. So much." He pressed his hand to Duo's cheek; traced the edge of his smile with his thumb. Then, carefully, slowly, he leaned in, following the path of his thumb with his lips. The kiss was gentle, slow, the barest brush of lip to lip.
"I've wanted to do that for so long," Heero murmured, leaning his forehead against Duo's. The love and joy in his eyes was enough to steal his breath again, so he just held on determined to brand this moment in his memory.
Heero had no idea how long they stood like that, or would have stayed, but another slide of shadow caught his eye. He turned, concerned, but saw nothing. Looking back at Duo he almost forgot his worry, but couldn't completely ignore it.
"Duo, why did you bring me all the way out here to tell me?" Catching more movement, he turned, but again there was nothing but shadows. Duo laughed softly and took his hand.
"I didn't bring you out here to tell you, I could of done that anywhere." Duo squeezed his hand, turned him toward the center of the clearing. There was more movement now. Heero tried to see past the shadows, to see what was there but couldn't. Because, he realized, the shadows were what was moving. He turned to Duo, too stunned to speak once more. "I brought you here to meet my family."