pairings: 1x2, 3x4
warning: i may have inserted sap
disclaimer: gw is not mine.
+ Part 8
-The Seventh Encounter-
If someone had told me a week ago that I would be at a party thrown in
the honor of my friend with alcohol flowing like water, I would have said
'let the good times roll', not 'let me be the designated driver.'
How times change.
Wufei's party was a rollicking success, mostly because we were too busy
laughing at him. His wife, a petite and charming lady with a vicious temper
named Meiran, was a joy to meet, regaling us with the tale of how the
two ended up married without having ever set eyes on each other while
Wufei interjected with his objections.
I don't know why, but I think those two were made for each other.
I laughed a lot, drank little and tried my damnest to enjoy myself, but
Heero kept popping into my thoughts. It did not help when Quatre asked
me if Heero and I had a good time after they had left. I was forced to
answer in the affirmative and grinned to hide the sick emotional roller
coaster that question had caused. Shortly thereafter, Trowa had to go
and ruin my short lived victory by asking about Heero as well. Then Wufei
had joined in, wanting to know who this Heero was, how we had met, what
kind of person he was, and so went on the line of questioning.
I don't know how I answered all their questions without breaking down
I so wanted to tell them about the turmoil within.
But I wore a brave face and partied out with them, even playing my usual
part of the flirty drunk when I did not drink much nor flirt with my usual
flair. My heart was not in the party scene as much as I wanted to and
I felt guilty for being such a stick in the mud at Wufei's party.
The night wore on and my friends had a great time, trading stories and
other silly anecdotes about what had occurred in the two years that we
were apart. Wufei told us interesting stories about China, what he had
felt in his native country, how embarrassed he had been that his language
skills had been so poor and how he had accidentally pissed off a militia
officer by hitting on his wife.
Quatre and Trowa in turn told Wufei about the time I had gone dancing
on a bar table, shaking my little booty at the passers-by and getting
dollars shoved down my pants. In revenge, I told Wufei how he had missed
out when I had walked in on them in the coat room of one of Quatre's sister's
Even if it felt a bit forced, I did laugh, I did enjoy. But at the end
of the night, walking home in the dark by myself, I had to admit that
I wished for Heero's presence so he could have laughed with us.
I checked my watch and saw it ticking away near four in the morning. I
knew I should go home and sleep, but Heero's rejection and my intense
need to apologize kept haunting me. I argued with myself for a while,
trying to convince myself that calling Heero at this hour, even if it
was in apology, would be in grave error.
Somehow, I lost the argument with myself and found myself digging Heero's
number out of my wallet. It was right next to my Mastercard slot, folded
as neatly as the day I had put it there.
Next came my cell phone and I stood in the middle of the street in the
wee hours of the night, staring at the bright green display of my phone
for a while. To call or not to call was not the question, but I still
In the end, I dialed in Heero's number and pushed send before I could
The phone rang and rang over the line and by the fifth ring, I should
have hung up because who in their right mind would be up at this hour?
I was probably disturbing his sleep, making him bury his head into the
pillow to ignore the incessant ringing.
My finger was on the 'end' button of my phone when there was a voice.
It sounded amazingly awake, if a bit annoyed. I think that I had hoped
he would not pick up so I could have left a message or something, but
he had answered. I should speak, but as it seemed the case with Heero,
my voice refused to cooperate.
"Look," came the even more annoyed voice, "I don't know
who you are, I don't recognize your number on my caller I.D., and it's
four in the morning."
"Uh.." was all I could manage. I worked desperately to untangle
my tongue before Heero hung up on me.
Now, how the hell had he recognized my voice from that one guttural sound?
Or was it that he couldn't think of anyone who would have the balls to
call him at this ungodly hour?
Can I possibly say anything more inane?
"It's late, Duo."
Maybe it was the static on the line, but he sounded less than joyous to
hear from me. Oh, who am I kidding. I'm just lucky he hasn't hung up on
"I know, Heero," I say, my voice having made its come-back,
"but I wanted to say that I was sorry, you know, for what happened
Apologizing to him was easier than I had thought, maybe because I knew
I had been dead wrong to have said those awful things to him. Once I said
it though, I suddenly felt a hundred times better, almost as if my body
recognized that I had done the right thing.
"Oh. I see."
That's not a bad response, really, considering that it is four in the
morning and I had called right out of the blue after making him feel horrible.
I did not expect more and now I was ready to call it a night. I had done
what needed to be done.
"So.. yeah, I'm sorry. I didn't mean the things I said. I hope we
can talk when there's daylight out or something."
There it was, my apology in full, my explanation and my expression of
want. I had made no admission except the apology , of course, since I
had no such courage to admit to Heero that I liked him.
I had just barely admitted it to myself not too long ago anyway, and as
they say, one step at a time.
"Sorry to have disturbed you. I guess you want to go back to sleep
now, so I'll just hang up, okay? Later, Heero."
That, my friends, is a good, clean closing. Or it would have been if Heero
had not responded.
"I wasn't sleeping."
I briefly wonder what he could have been doing at this hour if he was
not asleep, but it passes in favor of being glad that I had not awoken
"Apology accepted. Thank you."
He is a generous guy, thanking me for an apology that he deserved. I feel
a smile creeping onto my face.
"And if you don't have anything better to do, I would like to see
you. Right about now. Why wait for the daylight?"
Had I been a lesser man, I would have said no. If I was still holding
a grudge for his rejection earlier, I would have said no. But I wasn't
any of those things.
It is amazing what a few sentences can do to mend things between people.
In a space of a couple of minutes, Heero had gone from feeling less than
charitable towards me to feeling as if he should see me immediately. I,
in turn, had turned my emotional turmoil into something infinitely more
pleasant. I am glad that I called.
"Are you anywhere near that coffee shop we went to?"
I know exactly where he is implying and I reply that yes, I am near that
vicinity. To be honest, I was about fourteen blocks off, but that's near
"Then I'll see you there in fifteen minutes."
He hung up without saying bye, but this time, I didn't mind. I would be
seeing him shortly anyway and I realize that for the first time, the prospect
of seeing Heero did not fill me with dread but with something else entirely.
I won't say that I ran to that coffee house, but it was a near thing.
When I got there, Heero wasn't there waiting for me, but I had made a
fairly mad dash so it was excusable. I sat at the exact table we had sat
in before and ordered some disgusting coffee from the same disgruntled
I think when I checked my watch to see that I had been waiting for half
an hour was about when I started feeling like I had been rejected for
the second time.
Am I the kind of guy who waits when someone isn't coming? Hell, no.
I pushed myself away from the table, trying to ignore the bitter taste
in my mouth which I knew was not the coffee. I had apologized and he had
accepted. It had been Heero who had invited me out. Whatever I did earlier,
I did not deserve to sit in a coffee house by myself at five in the morning.
I was about to grab my coat to leave when the door opened and Heero walked
in. He has impeccable timing.
"I'm sorry I'm late."
Tonight must be the designated night for apologies.
"Yeah, well, it's okay."
I don't forgive this easily usually, but the relief that overtook me when
I saw him walking in spoke in my stead. I knew he wouldn't be as cruel
or petty as to stand me up. Okay, I had doubts, but I'm sure if I search
deep within my heart or whatever organ that is responsible for emotions,
I would say that I knew he wouldn't let me sit here, waiting for him.
Heero sat in the chair across from me and I made a smooth transition from
grabbing my coat to a sitting position. He ordered a coffee, I ordered
another, and we just looked at each other for a while.
I do believe that I'm getting used to this kind of silent staring exchange
We didn't talk about anything earth shattering or anything intellectual.
We just sat and made small talk, discussing such important affairs as
the weather, the strange behavioral patterns of night shift waitresses
and our favorite television shows.
We talked for hours and if I was asked just what we had talked about,
I might say that I don't clearly recall. But from what I remember, I found
out he had a sense of humor that bordered on cynical and he found out
that I had a penchant for dirty jokes. He told me of a time when he was
in college and I told him an equally insane story about my life as a collegiate.
We talked of so many things, but not once did I feel the uncomfortable
nausea in my stomach.
Some time during this long conversation, I began to feel a seeping warmth.
I saw once again how attractive he was, but more than that, I saw how
beautiful he was in more than just a purely physical sense. I think I
finally saw what I was supposed to have seen all along.
When we mutually decided that it was time to go, I realized that we had
talked, I mean really talked, unhindered by such things as my doubts and
confusion or his observations and analysis. We had talked as if we were
friends, as if we were close. We had never noticed how time passed or
that the waitress changed on us half way through. We hadn't seen how the
lights changed outside or how the menu was changed from late night to
From the outside, our interaction may have looked like a quiet moment
between two people, just talking and drinking coffee in the brightening
From the inside, however, it was so much more than that.
Outside the coffee shop as we parted ways, we did not hug. We did not
even shake hands. Instead, we stood apart, stared at each other and smiled.
We did it for a long while, almost long enough for others to notice, but
we couldn't seem to stop.
I am Duo Maxwell who has had countless sexual relations with god knows
how many people, and that moment of non-touching and smiling was the most
intimate moment of my life to date.
Our eyes finally relinquished each other and we did eventually walk away,
but there was no good-bye this time either. Instead of the trite farewell
most people exchange, Heero opted to be different.
"Duo Maxwell," he said as we got farther from each other, "I
knew from the start that you were special. Do you believe me?"
Then he turned a corner, disallowing me a turn to respond to him. Had
he not turned, had he stood still for a moment, he might have heard that
yes, I believe you.
[part 9] [back to 0083's