Author: Anria Lalumin
Disclaimer: I own a dysfunctional computer that's falling apart, a pile of dirty laundry and a wind chime that was a gift from a well-meaning friend so I can't throw it out even if it is hideous. Trust me, you don't want any of them.
Warnings: ANGST. Hehe, I'm torturing Duo! Yaoi, little bit o' grapefruity citrus type stuffs, eensie bit of humour, and Duo-torture. Oh wait, I already said that. . . .
Pairings: 1x3, 4x5, 2+1, 2+3 for now.

Thinking About Forever + Part 6

Both Trowa and Heero had planned on talking to Duo further that week, but it seemed like Lady Luck was not on their side. Problems cropped up out of nowhere: important mission reports and criminal warrants went missing, only to be found some hours later in some lower-level secretary's office while she'd been doing filing; the computer systems crashed three times; a couple who worked together in the same office had a rather noisy break-up and set the rest of them on edge for the whole week.

So the two lovers were counting their lucky stars when Quatre announced he wanted to have a party for the five of them, to celebrate the end of an awful week. Duo smirked down the vidphone at the blond boy when told of what had occurred, saying that 'Wasn't it just the Maxwell luck that I picked this week to get off work?'

Quatre had responded with, "I thought the Maxwell luck was bad luck. Like Murphy's Law."

Duo had grinned. "Yup! So it's the Maxwell luck that I wasn't there to enjoy myself -- and give Une an apoplexy!"

"Duo, that joke wasn't even worth a groan."

Duo had just laughed and told him he'd be there.

So that Saturday Duo was waiting outside Quatre's apartment for the little blond to come unlock the door. That's what you get for having a party with Mr Paranoid and the Suspicious, Duo thought wryly to himself. Eventually, after much swearing that drifted through the door, and Quatre yelling to Heero that 'not all of us can bend steel or open a lock after you're through with it, you know, so next time would you be a little kinder to the poor lock', the door was finally opened.

"Phew!" Quatre blew his messy blond bangs out of his face, then grinned up -- way up -- at his friend. "Sorry about that. Heero's on a macho streak."

"Am not," the man in question called through to the hallway.

Duo looked quizzically at Quatre. "Is he drunk?"

"If he's not yet, he will be soon," was the cheerful reply.

"Ah." The braided American bounced his way into the apartment, leaving Quatre to lock the door and mutter under his breath 'now THIS is the proper way to lock the damn door, Yuy' and try not to snicker.

"Hey guys! Having fun? Y'know, Heero, if you didn't want me to come you just had to say so. You didn't have to mangle Q's lock." Duo pouted, pretending to be hurt, and threw himself on the couch beside Wufei, taking his beer out of his hand. "Thanks, Wuffers!"

"Maxwell! First of all, my name is not 'Wuffers', and second of all, that's my beer!"

"It is?" Duo looked at it curiously. "Looks like mine now." He grinned at his friend, then swallowed what was left in the can.

Surveying the room left Duo suppressing a giggle. Trowa looked fine; he was seated on the far end of the other couch, one long, jean-clad leg crossed over the other and eyeing his lover warily through his curtain of bangs. He had a glass in his hand, rather than a can, and Duo could see it was mostly full.

Wufei was fine, as well; besides turning red and sputtering about Duo's 'miscarriage of justice', that is. It seemed Quatre had managed to talk him into wearing something other than his traditional white clothes from his clan or his Preventers uniform, so now the Chinese boy was actually looking quite attractive in a pair of black tailored slacks and a cream shirt. Duo didn't think he'd had more than one can of beer so far, and he'd just finished that off for him. Quatre was obviously fine, besides swearing repeatedly at the lock -- and having had the good sense not to wear the pink shirt and vest. Q-bean looked much better in blue, Duo reflected.

Heero, on the other hand. . . .

Well, like Quatre said, if he wasn't drunk yet, he would be soon.

. . . but lego?

"Hey, Q!" Duo called out to the hallway. "Did you give Heero the lego, or did he bring it himself?"

"I have no idea where he found it," Quatre replied, making his way into the room, "but it was here in this apartment. I think the previous owners must have left it."

Duo grinned at him. "Ah, well, at least we know he's doing something constructive with his time."

"Duo," the man in question said, not slurring despite the fact he'd apparently fallen off the end of the couch and was now having difficulty sitting upright.

"Yeah, Hee-chan?"

"Don't call me that. And that wasn't funny."

"Oh? You tell a joke then," Duo said, sensing a chance to see whether or not a drunk Heero -- which he'd never previously encountered -- was more fun than a sober Heero.

"Hn. How did the blonde burn her ear?"

Duo blinked. Okay. . . . Humour him. "I don't know, Hee-chan," he said, "how did the blonde burn her ear?"

"She was ironing and the phone rang," he said flatly, as though relating someone's death.

Duo stared.

Wufei stared.

Quatre stared.

Trowa stared . . . okay, nothing new there.

Duo said, "You know, Heero, that was actually pretty funny." And promptly collapsed into giggles.

"Who would've thought it?" Wufei said. "He has a sense of humour."

"Oh? And you do, too, I suppose?"

"Of course!"

"Then how come I'm the only one laughing?"

"I don't laugh," Trowa said, and took a sip of his drink.

Duo turned to Quatre, who was still standing, staring at Heero. "Aw, Q, don't tell me you're offended by blonde jokes?"

Quatre blinked and seemed to shake himself out of it. "Oh, no, of course not," he said. "It's just. . . ."

"Where's the beer?" the American pilot interrupted.

"In the kitchen. I'll show you." Trowa unfolded his legs and stood, not waiting for Duo to reply before making his way into the kitchen.

"Hey, thanks, Tro! I need a drink to calm me down after that. . . ." his voice trailed off as the door swung shut.

There was silence in the room for a moment.

Then, "Look! Lego Wing!"

Quatre covered his eyes and groaned. "This is going to be a long night," he sighed, then made a beeline for the kitchen. "I need a beer."

Wufei frowned after him, then called, "But you don't drink!"

"So this is a good time to start!"

+

Four hours later:

"Okay, Hee~ro's turn!" Duo said, slurring more than slightly and feeling wonderfully drunk.

"Whaddaya pick?"

"Dare," the boy said, still not slurring and having even more trouble staying upright.

The former terrorists that had been feared throughout the Earth Sphere were currently involved in a modified game of Truth or Dare. It involved everyone having to have either a dare or a question from every other person in the room, with a shot of . . . whatever they were drinking . . . afterwards. They had to have twice the number of shots if they failed.

"Hokay!" Duo said, then slumped back against the foot of the couch, thinking. They had all migrated to the floor -- it appeared to be a lot safer that way.

After a long, silent moment, Wufei poked Duo in the ribs. He woke up with a yelp.

"Jeezus, Wu-man, I was jus' thinkin'!"

Wufei snickered, then tipped his can up over his mouth. When nothing came out, he frowned at it. "I need more beer," he announced, then stood up, wobbled, took a step and tripped. Quatre caught him, giggling.

"I'll come help," he said, and the two staggered their way into the kitchen.

Trowa was giggling quietly on the floor, Heero resting between his legs and going cross-eyed from staring at the bottle in his hands. Quatre had stocked up with a great supply of alcoholic beverages for this one occasion, it seemed.

Heero tried to glare at Duo, and ended up glaring at the tip of his nose. "The dare," he growled. Being drunk hadn't made him any more congenial.

"Um . . . hokay! I fink I goddit!"

It took a moment for that to be translated as 'I think I got it'.

"Then what, baka?"

"You gotta run 'round the room like yousa birdy! Tweet, tweet!" Duo fell over backwards laughing, apparently very amused at the thought of Heero flapping his arms and going 'tweet'.

"Ninmu ryoukai," Heero pronounced slowly and carefully, then stood equally slowly and carefully, Trowa's hands on his butt most likely being one of the only things keeping him from falling down. He drew in a deep breath, raised his arms, and charged.

Or tried to.

What he ended up doing was tripping over Trowa's ankle and landing flat on his face on the floor. A muffled sound came from the vicinity of his face, buried in the carpet; "Tweet?"

Duo was rolling around on the floor in hysterics. "Hokay, tha's goo' 'nough," he slurred ('Okay, that's good enough'), leaving the still-giggling Trowa to gather his lover into his arms from his sprawl on the floor. He rolled onto his back and upended his can over his face, mouth open and expecting more beer. Nothing came out, so he stuck his tongue out in case some drops had decided to take a detour. Nope, still nothing.

"Nee' more beer," he said, and got himself to his feet. Unlike the rest of the pilots (minus Trowa, who hadn't moved since he'd started drinking), Duo knew he was far better at walking when drunk than they were. He just couldn't control his speech patterns.

Duo was in a good mood. He had his friends all around him, he was completely shit-faced, and there was more beer in the kitchen. Yes, life was good.

What happened next sent his mood plunging to rock bottom.

Opening the door he looked up to see Quatre leaning against the table, Wufei pressed snugly in front of him. They were kissing, but it wasn't the simple fact that they were kissing that sent his mood plunging down, it was the way they were kissing.

Quatre's hands were curled up to cup Wufei's face, one of the other's hands twining in his hair and the other arm around his waist. This wasn't a sort of 'I'm-horny-you're-cute-we-need-a-room-now' kiss, it went far deeper than that. Even completely drunk, it was a 'You're-beautiful-I-love-you' kiss. Barely any tongue, soft and slow and sweet, passion there but secondary.

And it caused a savage sting of jealousy to shoot through Duo, not because he wanted either one of them particularly, but because no one had ever kissed him like that. No one had ever cared enough to kiss him like that.

He swung around sharply, grin gone, just having to get away from that sight and the feelings it stirred.

What he got was worse.

Heero was once again nestled back against Trowa's chest, the other's arms snugly around his waist. They were murmuring to each other softly, Trowa nuzzling the Japanese man's cheek. Heero had a soft smile on his face, as did Trowa, both fairly radiating contentment and happiness. It was like a sucker-punch to the stomach.

Duo suddenly found it hard to breathe, pain in his chest constricting and blocking out the evening's drunken happiness. It hurt. It hurt to see Quatre and Wufei sharing something no one had ever thought to give to him. It hurt to see the two people he cared about the most -- loved the most -- in the world completely happy and content with no need for him. It was selfish, but it hurt. It hurt that he, the most social of all his friends, was the one left alone. That they'd all found people to be with, people to love, and had left him standing there and staring at them in envy, knowing with a certainty that was buried deep in his bones that he didn't have that and he was likely to never have that.

It hurt.

He couldn't stand to be in the room with them any longer. It felt like the walls were closing in, like there wasn't enough air to breathe, like someone had placed a steel band around his chest and was tightening it and tightening it and tightening it until the pain was too much, it was too much, it wasn't supposed to hurt like this --

Duo suddenly focused on one thing of the scene in front of him. Heero's hand was resting on top of Trowa's arm, the fingertips slowly stroking back and forth across his lover's wrist. In response, Trowa's arms tightened, holding the other man possessively close. And all Duo could see was those fingers, still moving so gently, so softly across that skin, when all he wanted was for those arms to be around him and for those fingers to be touching him like that, so gentle, so loving -- But they weren't. And they never would.

I have to get out.

Duo bolted for the door, shoving his feet into his boots without bothering with the laces, grabbed his jacket and yanked open the locks. He could hear Quatre calling out to him, worry in his voice, but he had the locks undone and was running away before the Arabian could get anywhere near him to ask him what was wrong.

He ran all the way home.

[part 5] [part 7] [back to Anria's fic]