by Blue Soaring
see part 1 for warnings, disclaimers

Falling Sideways + Part Two

Monday couldn't come soon enough for Duo. He was dying to move forward with the plan. The morning classes dragged on and on as Duo sat impatiently in his seat. He'd made plans with Heero to 'sneak' out to the ponderosa tree for lunch.

Finally, the bell sounded and Duo quickly gathered up his books. Just as he stood up to go, Dorothy came up beside him.

"You're even more fidgety than usual, Duo. What's got you so worked up?" she said, readjusting her backpack.

"That class was as dull as watching bread mold," Duo said, hooking his fingers through the belt loops of his jeans.

"Have you seen Heero since the party?" Dorothy asked, quickly switching the line of conversation.

"Yep, I slept at his house Saturday night. Why?"

"Relena mentioned something about plans for the break," Dorothy said, a bit too quickly.

Duo almost grinned. She was fishing for dirt on him and Heero. "What kinda plans?" he asked, unable to resist.

"A party, I think," she said. "Relena wanted some help in planning it."

"Oh, well, I'll be seeing Heero today, you want me to mention it to him?"

"Yes, please." She glanced at the door. "I'll see you later."

"Sure thing, Dorothy. Later." Duo headed out the door, delighted with their progress. Dorothy was beyond suspicious that there really was something going on. Trowa too, probably. The others hadn't shown any signs, but it was still early yet.

He crossed the lush grassy lawn, making his way to the tiny grove of trees. The ponderosa loomed large above him as he wove in through the trees. Heero was already there, sitting on his coat and leaning against the trunk.

"We've got Dorothy," Duo said, grinning.

"How do you know?" Heero asked, scooting over a little so Duo could sit beside him.

Taking the invitation, Duo sat, his leg brushing against Heero's. "Just the way she seemed to be acting after class. I think she was digging for dirt on us."

"Trowa is suspicious as well." The Japanese boy rooted around in his knapsack, taking out his lunch, which consisted of another salad, a juice box and some kind of muffin. He cracked open a packet of dressing and poured it over the salad. "The others haven't noticed yet."

"It's early, we just started this," Duo said, stealing a lettuce leaf. "Mmmm, cesar, yummy." He licked his lips, getting the last bit of dressing.

Heero watched him, then realizing that he was staring, said, "Have you thought of anything else that we could do?"

"Well, I was thinking we should go for coffee. There's a café near Scoops, it's got that whole dim an' sexy ambiance thing happening. Looks like a good spot for a date."

"I think you should take me out this time," Heero said, the corner of his mouth quirking up.

Duo gave him a look. Suddenly, his face changed, softening. He bent his head down, looking up at Heero through his eyelashes. "Heero," he breathed, "would you please go out on a date with me tomorrow night?" He smiled slightly, leaning forward and putting his hand on Heero's knee.

Heero blinked. Then he blinked again.

"Please?" Duo said, adding a very small, almost undetectable pout.

Gathering himself back together, Heero said, "Alright."

"Now, see?" Duo said, his expression returning to normal as he moved to get out his own lunch. "That wasn't so bad. Dating me is fun."

"Maybe," Heero replied. "But you're buying." He took a drink from his juice box, looking at Duo out of the corner of his eye.

"Aw, shit. Dating YOU is a pain in the ass, Heero Yuy."

"Maybe."

+

The Coffee Cup, while not having a very imaginative name, was a pleasant and relaxing place. Outside, it didn't look like much. Inside, however, it was lit with the soft glow of candles and a few lamps. The tables were a rich mahogany brown, gleaming in the dim light. The chairs were comfortable and soft, with padded armrests and gently curving backs. Plants and small trees were spread around, a small fireplace unlit in the corner and a tinkling fountain set in the center of the room. Soft music played, the speakers hidden.

"I don't even know if I LIKE most of this stuff," Duo said, staring at the menu. "But this is kinda nice, isn't it? I like it. Maybe I can get something besides coffee."

"You're having coffee," Heero said, not looking up from his menu.

"What?"

"You wanted to go on a coffee date, you're having coffee," Heero said again.

"Yes sir," Duo said, his eyes sparkling.

They were tucked away in a little corner; a large tree that Duo insisted was an orange tree leaning above them. A waiter arrived a short time later, taking both their orders and delivering them fairly quickly.

Duo took an experimental sip. "Not bad," he said, taking another taste. "Okay, so I like café mocha. How's yours?" He licked a bit of whipped cream from the corner of his mouth.

Taking a tiny sip and swallowing slowly, Heero waited a moment to answer. "Powerful," he finally said, his voice a little hoarse.

"What did you order?" Duo was trying hard to not laugh. It was a losing battle.

Heero shot him an annoyed look. "You ordered it."

"That'll be a problem if we come here again. I don't remember what it is."

"How is this going to contribute to our plan?" Heero asked.

"Maybe I just wanted to go for coffee," Duo said, taking another sip.

Heero's face went flat.

"I figure someone's bound to see us and think we're out on a date. Word gets around. And if it doesn't, at least we got some good coffee," the longhaired boy explained.

Eyes flickering to his own barely touched mug, Heero gave him a pointed look.

"Oh, here, try this," Duo said, shoving his mug at Heero.

Heero did, and was pleasantly surprised. "You're right, this is good," he said, cradling the mug in his hands and stealing another taste.

"Hey, don't drink it all," Duo protested. "That's my whipped cream you're stuffing in your face!"

Heero glanced down at the mug, which made his eyes cross a little. Duo grinned at him, reaching out to take back his drink. Heero held on long enough to have another mouthful, then reluctantly let him take it back.

"Yeah, s'right. My coffee, Yuy, mine," Duo said teasingly.

Heero gave him a half-hearted glare. Suddenly, his hand shot out and he scooped up a bit of the whipped cream, smearing it on Duo's nose and across his cheek. He smiled smugly. Giving his finger an appraising glance, he shrugged to himself and stuck it in his mouth, licking the cream off.

Duo was looking at him with a shocked expression.

Heero's smile got a little bigger, and he quirked an eyebrow at the other boy questioningly.

"I can't believe you just did that. You . . . you molested my whipped cream," Duo said, leveling his own version of a glare at his friend. The effect was ruined by the smear of white trailing across his face.

Heero carefully wiped the small smile from his lips and solemnly handed Duo a napkin. The corners of his mouth twitched with the effort of not grinning as Duo grabbed the napkin and cleaned the mess off his face.

"You know what gets me?" Duo said mournfully, staring at the napkin. "That's a horrible waste of good whipped cream."

Despite his best efforts, Heero couldn't hold back the laugh that managed to escape.

"Oh, Dorothy said something today when I was talking to her, right before lunch," Duo said, ignoring Heero's quiet laughter. "Relena's throwing a party during the break, on Friday. And I think it's just what we need to clinch this thing."

"We have three days before break," Heero commented.

"Yep." Duo moved closer to Heero, leaning across the little table. "I think we should get caught at the party."

"Caught," Heero echoed. Duo's eyes really were a vibrant shade.

"Uh huh. I think we should arrange it so someone - I think it should be Relena," Duo added without explanation, "sees us in a compromising situation."

"Compromising situation," Heero echoed again. Very vivid flashes of 'compromising situations' stampeded through his mind.

"Heero, man, you sound like a parrot. Stay on the same wavelength, here. We won't really be doing anything, of course, but it'll look like we are. We should keep it so only one or two people actually SEE though. I'm not a total exhibitionist."

Abruptly, the pictures in Heero's brain took a decidedly different turn. "You're part exhibitionist," he said in what he hoped was a doubtful voice.

"I told you dating me was going to be fun," Duo said with a wink and a smile.

+

That night, long after Duo had gone home, Heero sat in the living room, a book open on his lap as he stared vacantly at the window. While he may have looked like he had entered some sort of stasis, his brain was operating at a fabulous rate.

He was thinking of Duo much more often than usual. The braided boy was in his thoughts regularly, this much was true, and he was, after all, his best friend. Right now, for example, Heero was replaying the night over and over in his mind, watching the shock emerge on Duo's face and smiling a little at the memory.

Heero was having fun. Mock-dating his best friend was fun. Gradually, Duo's face appeared in his mind's eye, wearing that same expression he had used Monday under the ponderosa.

Head tilted to the side, warm chestnut hair falling about a slim face and pale neck. The warmth of a hand on his leg. Violet-blue eyes sparkling, peering up at him through lowered lashes. Lips curved up in a sultry smile, a little moist and parted slightly as a low, husky voice breathed a single word . . .

Heero's eyes shot open. His book tumbled to the floor, forgotten. He was breathing rapidly as he tried to gather his scattered wits about him. Looking around, his eyes found the large grandfather clock that sat in his living room. It was one a.m. He'd fallen asleep; he'd fallen asleep and dreamed about Duo.

A little shaken, Heero slowly got to his feet and retrieved his novel. And adamantly refused to dwell on what had happened next in the dream.

+

Wednesday afternoon, Relena met Duo in the hallway during the class change.

"Hello, Duo" she said, a smile on her face and her eyes shining. "Are you and Heero certain you're coming to my party tomorrow?"

"Wouldn't miss it," he replied, mirroring her smile.

"Perfect!" Then her expression clouded slightly and she peered intently at Duo's face. "That's odd, I never noticed before. What color are your eyes, Duo?"

"Heero tells me they're blue-violet."

"Heero said that?" Surprise registered on her face.

"Yeah, he should know, too. He sees them often enough."

After that, Relena excused herself quickly, darting off to speak hurriedly with Hilde before classes began.

Thursday morning dawned clear and bright. Heero looked around absently, enjoying the relative quiet of the early day. Ahead, he saw the lone figure of Duo waiting for him at the curb.

"It's working," Duo said happily. "Tomorrow's gonna be perfect."

The situation had progressed and Heero did his best to ignore his increasing preoccupation with Duo. They had agreed to tone it down before the party, returning to their usual habit of meeting off and on during the day. Duo had taken to touching him frequently, brushing his hand or leg when it really wasn't necessary.

Dorothy and Relena were wearing twin smug looks with rising frequency. Trowa had stopped narrowing his eyes every time the braided boy touched Heero, now barely giving it a second glance. Quatre, Wufei and Hilde were involved in many hushed conversations, which usually ended with Quatre beaming at both Heero and Duo every time he saw them and Hilde getting an odd gleam in her eyes. Wufei, for the most part, simply snorted and went around as if nothing had changed.

Heero grunted noncommittally. "We'll see."

"Have faith in me, Heero," Duo said. "See, I've got it all figured out."

Friday, as they walked home from school, Duo was oddly quiet.

"You're thinking," Heero said.

"Wha . . . ? Oh, yeah. Thinking 'bout tonight."

"What about tonight?"

"I'm wondering if we can pull this off."

"You're having doubts now?" Now, Heero thought pointedly, was not the time to have doubts.

"I don't doubt we've got everyone convinced we're together. Geez, even Wufei's got it figured out."

Heero remained quiet, waiting for Duo to explain.

"I was just thinking . . ."

Exasperation was not an emotion Heero experienced frequently, but he was heading in that direction now.

"You should kiss me."

Heero blinked. He'd heard that wrong. "Now?" he asked, his pulse rate speeding up for some reason. It definitely couldn't be that he was nervous.

"No, not now," Duo said. "At the party. Nothing involving tongue. Just a small kiss."

"Decide when we get to the party," Heero said, relieved that his voice came out normal.

"Right," Duo agreed.

And that was the end of that conversation. At least, it was the end of the spoken conversation. Heero replayed it over and over in his head once he and Duo had parted company. Duo was heading home to get ready; he and Heero would arrive about forty minutes into the festivities.

Standing in front of his mirror hours later, Heero was still thinking about it. 'It' being kissing Duo. He thought about having his lips pressed to Duo's. He thought about burying his hands in Duo's soft hair. He thought about having his body pushed firmly against Duo's. He thought about plunging his tongue deep into Duo's mouth. He thought about checking himself into the psychiatric ward of St. Gabriel's.

Shaking himself out of his self-imposed daze, he checked over his outfit one last time. Duo had picked it out; it was the only way Heero would have ever stuck himself in dark red pants. Curious, he had glanced at the tag, trying to figure out what they were made of. He abandoned that quest as soon as he had seen that, whatever it was actually called, it consisted of an impossible blend of about seven different materials that felt nothing at all like it should have. They were soft to the touch and as tight as hell. It defied logic. Anything that tight should have been as hard as a beetle's carapace. The shirt was simple, black in color with three-quarter length sleeves and a low v-neck. It fit snugly, but not uncomfortably so. He added the same silver chain and black boots he had worn last weekend.

When he met Duo for the party, his thoughts hadn't changed much. And then he found himself paying much too much attention to what Duo was wearing. More specifically, how Duo was wearing it.

He was wearing straight-legged pants. Very snug leather pants with laces across the front that wound around his waist and trailed about halfway down the side of his leg. Silver accents set off the utter blackness of them. His shirt was webbed, long sleeves dropping passed his hands and cut in a wide flare that draped towards the ground. Underneath he wore a thin, sheer shirt that barely concealed his pale skin. A deep red choker with a black stone dangling in the hallow of his throat encircled his neck.

Heero stared. Then he blinked. Then he stared some more.

"Hiya, Heero," Duo said, leaning far in over the bathroom sink and staring at his reflection. He dabbed something near the corner of his eye and then turned around to face his friend. "What do you think?" he asked, gesturing at his face.

Wondering why his mouth was suddenly dry, Heero asked, "What is it?"

"It's black kohl. Neat, huh? Damn sexy, too," Duo laughed. "Here, sit down." He pointed at the toilet seat and closed the door.

Heero sat on the seat cover, giving Duo an inquiring look.

"I'm gonna put some on you, too," Duo explained.

"Why?" Heero's eyes narrowed.

"Because it looks good, now clam it and tip your head up." Duo leaned over him, putting his face very close to Heero's. "Don't blink," he warned as he touched Heero's chin lightly to keep his head still.

Duo smelled like warm sandalwood and Satsuma. Heero blinked.

"Heero!" Duo said. "I just told you NOT to do that."

Heero glared.

"Don't do that, either." Duo blew a bit of hair up from his face. "This isn't working, the angle's all wrong," he mumbled, mostly to himself. He stared at Heero for a minute, then kicked the Japanese boy's legs together and plopped down on his lap. "There, that's better," Duo said, "now don't move, blink or glare. Stop breathing if you have to."

Heero had already done that when Duo had sat on his legs. Confused as to what he should do with his arms, Heero let them dangle by his sides. That was awkward. He went to cross them, but with Duo sitting on him like he was, that was awkward too. Eventually, he rested them lightly on Duo's thighs. His friend was staring at his face with a look of concentration and made no sign that he even noticed the warmth of Heero's hands on him.

"There," Duo said after several minutes. "That looks good." He scooted back off of Heero's lap and motioned towards the mirror.

Getting to his feet, Heero looked at his reflection. Duo had highlighted the edges of his eyelids, the line growing thicker and curving up near the outside corners. Only half of his bottom lid was traced, meeting the lop line and giving Heero's almond shaped eyes a slanted look. He had to admit, it did look amazingly sultry.

Duo capped the eyeliner and tossed it back on the counter. Glancing around, he nabbed a small tube of gloss, dabbing a bit on his lips. "Well, that's it. Let's go," he said, dropping the tube beside the kohl pencil.

And they went.

+

[cont]