Poetry by Shoori
Crappy fic by Aoe
Note: Under no circumstances should this fic be taken seriously, or the ending will irritate you.
Warnings: The usual: Yaoi. Lots of OOCness, particularly on the part of Trowa and Heero. The unusual: Lots of amateur poetic analysis. As my roommate the English teacher tells me, whatever meaning you find in a poem is valid, even if the author didn't intend it to be there

Don't read too much into it!

Death is an essential juice

Ugly ships oft manipulate the languid lake

So fiddle long

Loathsome wicked chocolate spring of love

Like some elaborate language

Where milk means codpiece

And summer is torment

Your dress is pink

Vile wench

You deceive me

I loathe you

Trowa walked quietly into the kitchen of the mansion the five pilots were currently staying in, to find Quatre standing in front of the closed refrigerator. The blond boy had his arms crossed over his chest, a cup of tea dangling from one hand, and an intense frown of concentration on his pretty face as he peered at a collection of magnets on the refrigerator door. Trowa stepped closer to the other boy and examined the object of Quatre's study.

Ah yes, that...magnetic poetry set Duo shoplifted from the mall the other day. But what has Quatre so fascinated? Trowa looked at the jumble of words spread across the pristine white door again, and realized that a group had been arranged into lines and phrases, almost as if...

"Someone actually wrote a poem?" he murmured quietly in surprise.

Quatre let out a startled squeak and managed to fling the remainder of his lukewarm tea into Trowa's face. The blond blushed furiously at his dripping lover. "Ah, sorry, Tro-chan, but you startled me," Quatre apologized meekly.

Trowa merely stared back stoically for a moment, then solemnly kissed Quatre on the nose to show that all was forgiven. Quatre smiled happily, but then the sea-blue eyes drifted back towards the refrigerator. "Ano...Tro-chan, since you're here...I wanted to ask...did you write this?" Quatre asked slowly, indicating the magnets with a wave of his hand.

Trowa's visible eyebrow quirked in surprise. "You mean someone really did make up a poem?" he asked again, leaning forward to peer at the jumble of words. It didn't seem to make a great deal of sense, but... He recalled from Literature class that poetry could be very subjective, and words that might seem random and meaningless could conceal some deeper message...

"Yes, and I'm going crazy trying to figure out who did it!" Quatre answered, staring at the poem again as though transfixed. "It seemed so... silly, at first, but... The more I think about it, the more I wonder if whoever put it here was trying to express something," he murmured pensively. The sea-blue eyes flicked briefly to Trowa, and Quatre flushed slightly again. "So it wasn't you who wrote it, then?" he asked.

Trowa frowned and shook his head slightly, finding himself still staring at the words as well. Quatre was right, there was something compelling about the poem. Perhaps the fact that it was a sort of puzzle, the meaning concealed within...

Seized with a sudden determination to get to the bottom of the mystery, Trowa abruptly strode off into the house.

"Trowa?" Quatre called hesitantly after him, but the taller boy just continued to walk away. Quatre shrugged, and after a moment, turned back to the poem.

Five minutes later, the sound of irritated grumbling preceded Wufei into the kitchen. Trowa was right behind him, prodding the Chinese boy forward with a determined stare.

Wufei stalked over to the refrigerator and glowered at the poem, while Quatre considerately moved aside so he could see.

After a moment, Wufei snorted and crossed his arms over his chest. "As if I could be associated with such drivel," he snapped. "Were I to compose poetry, it would be in the traditional and more artistically challenging Haiku format, rather than this... blank verse," he concluded, fairly spitting out the last two words as if they were a curse.

"Well, if it wasn't any of us, then Heero or Duo have to have written it," Quatre mused speculatively.

"Written what?" a cold monotone demanded from the kitchen doorway.

Quatre squeaked again, but thankfully his mug was still empty. Trowa merely gave Heero a long look of consideration. Wufei waved a hand at the refrigerator. "This appalling excuse for poetry," he replied, turning to sneer at the appalling excuse in question. He sneered for a long moment. Then he muttered under his breath, "Although I must admit some of the imagery is interesting... "

Heero walked over to the refrigerator and scowled at the poem. "Duo," he finally declared flatly.

"How can you be sure?" Quatre asked, trying to sip from his empty mug. He frowned at it and went to the stove for a refill.

Heero turned his scowl briefly on Quatre, then decided not to waste it on the blond boy's oblivious back, and instead bestowed it upon a blank-faced Trowa. "Because you said either Duo or I had written it, and I know I didn't," he declared. Everyone nodded in acceptance of this simple logic. Then, surprisingly, Heero added, "And besides, look at the first line. Who else but Duo would write that?"

Quatre returned with a steaming mug. Trowa unobtrusively stepped out of range. "Actually," Quatre admitted, "that line had me half-convinced you had written it, Heero."

Heero scowled at him.

Wufei made a humming noise of consideration. "Yes, I can see that," he mused, rubbing his chin and frowning at the poem. "Also, the pink dress/vile wench lines would be indicative of Yuy... "

"To me, those lines had strongly suggested Duo," Trowa observed.

Heero snorted.

"It's certainly an... unusual composition," Quatre murmured after a moment of silence.

"Yes, one wonders what Maxwell was thinking," Wufei muttered, peering more closely at the poem. "Poetry is a much freer method of self-expression than prose, and yet more oblique to the outside observer. This poem could hold some of Maxwell's deepest secrets and desires... "

Heero's head jerked up ever so slightly at the word 'desires'. He scowled at the poem. "It just looks like gibberish," he declared. Trowa had to agree. Intriguing gibberish, but gibberish nonetheless.

Quatre frowned at them both. "We shouldn't criticize Duo's work when he isn't here to defend it," the blond scolded sternly. "Besides, just because it looks like gibberish, doesn't mean it is... maybe we just don't grasp the meaning behind the words." Quatre looked about to wax rhapsodic about still waters running deep or some such thing, although Trowa decided on reflection that that couldn't be it, because comparing Duo to still water was... well, it wasn't a very good comparison.

But fortunately, or unfortunately, Wufei interrupted before Quatre could get warmed up.

"But we certainly must be able to grasp the meaning," the Chinese boy declared, grabbing a chair from the table and seating himself before the fridge. He stared intently at the jumbled magnets. "We live with Maxwell, we fight beside him, surely we must know him well enough to decipher the meaning of this poem!"

"I'm not so sure about that," Heero grumped, glowering at the Chinese boy. Then Heero muttered something under his breath.

"What was that?" Wufei demanded.

Heero glared for a moment, but no one made any effort to conceal their continued interest. "I said... and don't call me Shirley," he muttered, blushing faintly. "It's a Duo joke," he defended himself against three bewildered stares. "I don't really get it."

"But don't you want to, Heero?" Quatre asked suddenly. Heero and Trowa stared blankly at the Arabian. Wufei was murmuring under his breath about rhythm and meter. "Don't you want to know Duo better? This could be our chance to learn more about him! If we can figure out what this poem means... "

Heero and Trowa both turned their heads back toward the fridge. Wufei had pulled the magnetic notepad off the door and was scrawling rapid notes in Chinese, still talking to himself.

"... know Duo better... " The phrase echoed in Heero's mind, and a determined gleam, or perhaps a lustful gleam, or perhaps a combination of the two, entered his dark eyes. "Mission accepted," he declared.

Quatre smiled happily and turned to study the poem again.

Trowa, having nothing better to do, shrugged and joined the little group.

Death is an essential juice

"Well, I think that's pretty self-explanatory. And predictably perverse," was Heero's opinion.

"What do you mean, perverse?" Quatre wondered vaguely. Trowa sighed and bent over to whisper in Quatre's ear for a moment. "Oh!" Quatre said, startled. He blushed. "Oh, Heero, do you really think that's what he meant?"

Heero just nodded grimly.

Wufei scowled. "Well, while I certainly wouldn't put such crudity past Maxwell, one has to wonder if perhaps we are overlooking a deeper meaning. It could be something as innocuous as an assertion of identity. He calls himself Death, this could be simply his way of decrying his own importance, although we won't go into the implications about his self-esteem if that is the case. I mean, feeling the need to assert his worth in his own poetry... But leaving that aside, there could be more to it still... 'Essential juice' can be taken to mean semen, but it could also imply blood... Death is blood? Death is in the blood, perhaps? A descriptive phrase to explain the connection he feels between himself and death? Or just a more general statement of the human condition, in that death is merely part of the cycle of life?"

"I think you're reading too much into this," Heero muttered. "And I stick to my original analysis."

"You would," Wufei snorted. "Are you even capable of thinking of Maxwell without thinking of "

"Let's just accept this as an assertion of identity and move on to the next line, shall we?" Quatre cut in a bit desperately, as Heero's hand twitched toward his gun and the Japanese and Chinese boys exchanged heated glares.

"Yes, let's," Trowa agreed, manfully repressing a smirk.

Ugly ships oft manipulate the languid lake

"This line baffles me. It doesn't seem to fit the general tone or theme," Wufei murmured, having gotten over his staring match with Heero. "The alliteration is interesting, and the phrase 'languid lake' is very evocative of a peaceful scene, troubled and disrupted by the 'ugly ships'."

Trowa frowned at the Chinese boy. "This line baffles me"? What the hell? This was a side of Wufei Trowa hadn't seen before.

"Do you suppose the ugly ships are Gundams?" Quatre asked hesitantly.

Heero snorted. "He'd never call Deathscythe ugly. But he might mean Oz's mobile suits," the Japanese boy allowed, beginning to get caught up in the analysis against his own will.

"Yes, you may have something there. The 'ugly ships', the enemy, disturb our peace manipulate us yes! I think you've got it, Heero!" Wufei declared happily. Heero let a small, proud smile slip onto his face before he noticed its presence and banished it immediately.

So fiddle long

All four stared at the fridge for a moment.

"Obviously a reference to Quatre," Trowa finally observed flatly.

"Yes, I don't think there's any doubt of that," Wufei agreed.

Trowa and Heero both directed long, cold stares at the blushing, nervous Arabian. Both pairs of narrowed eyes seemed to demand to know what he was doing in Duo's poetry.

"Now, guys," Quatre said hesitantly, holding up his hands, "let's not read too much into this, okay?"

Loathsome wicked chocolate spring of love

Quatre paled as Heero and Trowa's stares went up several notches in intensity.

"Now, this is interesting, because I don't think Duo would apply the phrase 'spring of love' to Quatre," Wufei mused aloud, oblivious to the tension behind him.

"He'd better not," Heero muttered threateningly. Trowa's cold eyes seconded the comment, though for entirely different reasons.

"And then, 'chocolate' is evocative of a darker image than Quatre," Wufei went on.

"Yes, Quatre's more... vanilla," Heero agreed, shooting Trowa a small smirk.

Trowa stiffened slightly at the insult that flew merrily over Quatre's head, and decided to liven things up a little. He had a tremendous amount of respect for Heero as a soldier, but it just might be time for Mr. Perfect to be taken down a peg or two.

"Yes, but what does 'chocolate' refer to in this sense?" Trowa asked with deceptive blandness. "I mean, it could be taken as a reference to Heero's dark hair, and I could see where 'loathsome' and 'wicked' would fit in that case." Trowa paused to collect a glare from Heero, then went on. "But then, hair is an odd attribute to hang a description on... "

"Not necessarily for Maxwell," Wufei pointed out, his strangely softened manner making the joke seem almost affectionate in tone. Heero glowered and Trowa happily seized the opportunity.

"Yes, well, even for Duo, I'm sure there remains that tendency to associate eyes with the soul or essence of a person... and you're the only one of us whose eyes could be described as chocolate, Wufei," Trowa declared mildly.

Wufei's back went ramrod straight and he spun to glare at Trowa. Heero intercepted the glare and challenged it with one of his own.

"And then, of course, the 'loathsome wicked' bit takes on a different meaning... A desire for something... someone... that he knows is wrong? Forbidden fruit?" Trowa bit his lip slightly as Heero growled and Wufei sputtered, wondering if he dared let the next comment slip. Quatre was looking on in horror, awaiting bloodshed, but in the end, Trowa just couldn't resist. "A seducer?" he added innocently.

Not surprisingly, there was blood.

Very surprisingly, it spouted forcefully, and without Heero's assistance, from Wufei's nose.

Heero was glaring hot death at the Chinese boy, who turned resolutely back to the fridge.

"If Duo is attracted to me, I have done nothing to encourage or inspire it," Wufei grated out.

"He isn't attracted to you," Heero snapped angrily. "It's my hair, not your eyes, and that's all there is to it!"

"Ah, so you're loathsome and wicked, then?" Trowa asked lightly. Heero glared at him, but he easily ignored it. "Poor Duo," he murmured sadly, shaking his head.

"I think perhaps you're reading too much into this, Barton," Wufei growled, still staring at the fridge.

"Let's just go on to the next line," Heero snapped. Trowa shrugged in agreement.

Like some elaborate language

"I really think the next three lines go together... "

"I agree, Winner."

Like some elaborate language

Where milk means codpiece

And summer is torment

Quatre's face crumpled slightly, his eyes taking on a suspicious sheen. Trowa watched him nervously, wondering what was bringing on this mood swing.

"That's so sad," Quatre murmured. Wufei turned to look questioningly at the Arabian boy.

"What's your interpretation?" the Chinese boy asked curiously.

Quatre shot a surprised Heero a rather dirty look, and explained. "Well, it seems to me... I mean, if we accept that he's talking about Heero in the last line, then these lines are about a lack of communication and understanding. Like Heero speaks in some kind of code, says one thing and means another... Milk means c-codpiece... Something pure and innocent, like milk, or... or an offering of love, is mistaken for something... dirty and sexual... " Quatre's voice was shaking softly as he spoke, wide eyes shining with sorrow.

Trowa rolled his eyes. "I think you're reading too much into it," he murmured softly. Everyone ignored him. Wufei was frowning thoughtfully at the poem. Heero had crossed his arms defensively over his chest, and looked slightly shell-shocked.

"I didn't make him dirty," Heero muttered defiantly. Quatre gave him an angry look, and Heero glared at the blond. "I didn't!" he snapped.

"And summer...traditionally a time of pleasure and comfort, is torment... Very interesting. Just what have you been doing to him, Yuy?" Wufei asked archly, ignoring Heero's growing fury.

"Poor Duo," Quatre said mournfully.

That was it. Trowa watched with interest as Heero abruptly lost his temper and restraint.

"Poor Duo my ass! He hardly ever even lets me be on top! And I was a damn virgin before him, so quit making me out to be some kind of evil abusive pervert!" Heero yelled at the top of his lungs. He clenched his fists at his sides and glared fiery hatred at his bemused companions. His shoulders and chest heaved as his lungs worked like a bellows, his face flaming with indignation.

"Well. That was way more than I wanted to know," Trowa declared conversationally. Quatre and Wufei stared at Heero in shock. The Japanese boy abruptly realized what he'd just done, and quickly turned his back on the group, the tense muscles of his shoulders nearly vibrating.

"Well... perhaps I was... reading too much into it," Quatre offered hesitantly. Heero's shoulders twitched, but he refused to turn around. "Maybe we should just drop this," the Arabian murmured softly. Trowa was quite ready to agree, but Wufei frowned at Quatre.

"Actually, I find myself quite intrigued," the Chinese boy argued. "Yuy's protests notwithstanding, I think we've uncovered quite a bit of hidden conflict that Maxwell feels about his relationship. I think we should go on."

Quatre shot a nervous glance at Heero's back, but acquiesced with a sigh. "Well, we're nearly done anyway," he muttered.

Your dress is pink

Vile wench

"Um... do we even need to discuss these lines?" Quatre asked after a moment.

Wufei snorted. Trowa rolled his eyes. Heero continued to stand stiffly with his back to the group.

You deceive me

"Now this one... I just don't know," Wufei mused. Trowa frowned.

"What do you mean, Wufei?" Quatre asked, still interested despite Heero's obvious discomfort.

"Well... we know Maxwell takes honesty very seriously. To accuse someone of deception is a serious crime in his estimation. But I don't see how this line can be applied to Relena," Wufei explained.

"Why not?" Quatre asked.

Wufei frowned. "Well, she never has deceived him, has she? I mean, she's always been rather... straightforward about her intentions."

"So then who does it apply to?" Trowa asked, drawn back in against his will.

Wufei's cool gaze shifted slowly to Heero's stiff back.

"Don't even say it," the Japanese boy growled. "I don't lie to him either."

"You have been known to steal parts from his Gundam," Trowa pointed out.

"And you have a tendency to...leave things unsaid. Sort of lying by omission," Quatre added hesitantly.

"But that ignores the structure of the poem," Wufei announced firmly. "He moves directly from the mention of Relena to the accusation of deceit. To me, that implies that he feels Yuy is being untrue to him, or at least untrue to his own feelings."

"WHAT?" Heero demanded, enraged, as he spun to face the others once more. The normally cold, blank face was suffused with rage and the dark blue eyes glittered psychotically. "Omae o korosu," he growled in a dangerously soft voice. Trowa edged a bit closer to the chopping block and the nice, big butcher knife lying next to it. Always better to be safe than sorry with Heero.

"It's just my interpretation, of course," Wufei said conversationally, completely unfazed by Heero's threat. "But really, Yuy. You do obsess on the girl quite a bit for someone who's not interested. It shouldn't surprise you that Duo feels threatened."

"Duo... does not... feel threatened... by Relena," Heero ground out through tightly clenched teeth. A nervous tick had manifested itself at the corner of his left eye, making him appear, if possible, even more deranged.

"Well, that's your opinion, Yuy. But if I were you, that last line would leave me a bit unsettled," Wufei declared with a nasty little smile.

I loathe you

Heero abruptly deflated, staring blankly at the refrigerator.

Trowa sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. Heero now had that look of unemotional determination creeping onto his face that he generally wore when pushing self-destruct buttons. Homicidal to suicidal in the blink of an eye. Only Heero, he thought wearily.

Quatre seemed to have noticed this as well. "Um...I really think we may be reading too much into this poem," the Arabian said softly but firmly.

Wufei snorted indignantly. "Are we, Winner? Or are we simply choosing to turn a blind eye to the suffering that Maxwell endures beneath our very noses? I tell you, this poem is a desperate cry for help! It is the expression of the pain of a young man drowning in death and surrounded by enemies, who even in the bosom of his home, among friends, is being used for sex by a callous bastard who doesn't understand him, and is cheating on him, emotionally if not physically! Injustice!!" Wufei was shouting by the time he reached his conclusion, having risen from his chair to shake an accusatory finger under Heero's nose.

Confused and defensive, Heero stepped back before Wufei's tirade, but his anger soon began to resurface. Quatre hovered nervously, obviously trying to decide if he should get between the two, or just let them fight it out. Of course, the distinct possibility that they would actually kill each other added an interesting element to his dilemma.

Trowa ignored them all, having found an interesting element of his own.

"Actually, Wufei, if we concur with your overall analysis of the rest of the poem, I think the last line might have a different twist," Trowa mused, not noticing how two very tense and angry stares, and one nervous frown came to center on him at his words.

"And what might that be?" Wufei managed to ask calmly.

Trowa frowned, still staring at the poem. "Well... just... suppose it's not Heero that he loathes for treating him like this, but himself for putting up with it?"

Trowa turned around to find three pairs of eyes blinking at him in stunned surprise as everyone considered his words.

"Oi! I'm home!" a loud, cheerful voice called, followed shortly by the slamming of the front door.

All four boys stared at each other, not sure what to do. Duo had left the poem right on the refrigerator for everyone to see, but they still all felt rather like they'd been reading his diary, or pawing through his underwear drawer. The things his simple words had brought to light were startling revelations, and none of them were sure how they should treat the boy now.

Duo walked into the kitchen, whistling merrily. He paused and did a double take inside the door when he found all four of them gathered there.

"Oh, hey, guys! I didn't know you were in here! Didn't you hear me?" he asked brightly, carrying the grocery bag he swung from one hand over to the counter and dropping it there. No one responded, but Duo was accustomed to that sort of thing, and went back to whistling as he pulled a carton of milk out of the bag and walked over to the fridge.

"Noticed you were out of milk this morning, Quatre, so I went out to get some," Duo explained, opening the door and placing the milk on the top shelf. He swung the door shut and frowned at the poem thoughtfully. "Hmmm," he murmured.

All four boys held their breath, waiting to see what Duo would say about the poem.

Duo suddenly reached out and shoved the lines back into the general jumble of words, then quickly picked a bunch of magnets at random and slapped them down in a clear space. A few minutes of giggling and searching for extra words later, Duo straightened up and beamed triumphantly at the new poem.

"God, these things are so fun!" he enthused, grinning brightly at the other four boys. "I love it! Slap down a few random words, and make a poem out of them! Creativity for the short attention span! Check out my new masterpiece," he offered, waving at the fridge before he turned to leave the kitchen, still chuckling to himself. "Yup, just call me Duo Shakespeare," he declared happily as he wandered out the door. He glanced back over his shoulder with another grin for his friends. "Just don't read too much into it, huh, guys?" he advised with a laugh. Then he disappeared around the corner.

Silence reigned in the kitchen for a good five minutes.

"Well, he could have subconsciously "

"Oh, just drop it, Wufei!" Quatre muttered irritably. The blond stalked out of the kitchen, and Trowa followed him quickly. Thank God that was finally over.

Wufei and Heero glared at each other for a moment.

"I loathe you."

"Shut up, Heero."

"Analyze this."

"Kisama."

end

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