|This fic bit my ass
about a month and a half ago and hasn't let go since. It was written as
part of Sunhawk's "Embrace Your Cliché Month," in which
we, as writers, decided to embrace all the wonderful fannish, clichéd
fic traits that we like to call "guilty pleasures." Some of us
decided we'd had it with being told what did and did not make good fic.
We simply believe that writing and reading fic should be fun. And I've been
having a blast with this fic. ^_^
Pairings: 1x2, past 6x2, Rx1, 6x5, 3x4
Rating: NC-17 overall
Warnings: AU, Cheesy romance novel-ish, bitchy!Relena (because I haven't
done one in years), lemons, bad attempts at humor
Notes: For Sunhawk's "Embrace Your Cliché Month." Inspired
by all the trashy romance novels I've been reading lately.
Medallion : Part the First
Of Monkey Suits and Museums
Duo Maxwell was bored. And
a bored Duo Maxwell was a dangerous Duo Maxwell.
Duo snorted to himself, tugging incessantly at the collar of his monkey
suit. He was about as dangerous as a fruit fly. And about as annoying,
according to his hostess. Duo sighed. He hadn't wanted to come to Relena's
fancy little shindig, but Zechs had wheedled and cajoled until Duo gave
up and agreed to put on a suit and come.
And then the bastard had the nerve to disappear to god-knows-where with
his current lover-du-jour, leaving him at the mercy of his sister's high
falutin' friends. Or rather flunkies. He didn't believe this many people
could actually like the bi... woman. He firmly believed they only tolerated
her because she was one of them - high class and old money.
And there he was, a fish out of water.
Raising his glass, he quickly drained the contents, wincing at the bitter
taste of the amber liquid. He coughed as the bubbles tried to escape out
his nose, which only caused him to inhale some of the five-hundred-a-bottle
champagne, which in turn sent him into near convulsions and made his eyes
water as he struggled not to drown at Relena's party. Really, there were
better places he'd rather try to commit suicide.
He set the glass down on the nearest surface, cursing as he accidentally
knocked it over reaching for his handkerchief. He managed to catch it
before it tumbled off the table and he set it down more carefully this
"My brother was kind enough to invite you, so I would appreciate
it if you didn't break all the family's good crystal while you are here,"
a snide, girly voice said from behind him.
Duo choked back a groan before turning to face his hostess. "Good
evening, Miss Relena," he said, trying to keep his displeasure out
of his voice.
The woman sniffed. Somehow, with it stuck in the air, she still managed
to look down her nose at him. Duo wondered how she managed not to get
a crick in her neck.
"Do you know where my brother is?" Relena asked, looking around
as if Duo had managed to stuff Zechs into a potted plant just to spite
her. Duo took the opportunity to snag another, full glass from a passing
waiter." The Carmichaels would like to have a word with him before
Duo swirled the liquid in his glass in an attempt to look sophisticated.
"With any luck, he's upstairs now, getting laid."
Duo hadn't been aware at just how fast Relena's face could go from fashionably
death-pale to bright beet red.
"Mr. Maxwell!" Duo winced; there was emphasis on 'Mr.' "I
would appreciate it if you would not use such vulgar language in
Duo shrugged. "You asked."
"Furthermore..." Oh, goodie. She wasn't done. "...my brother
is a Peacecraft. He does not, as you would put it, 'get laid.'"
Duo smiled into his bubbly. "Bet that's news to him."
"He would not besmirch the Peacecraft name by having some tawdry
affair - during my party, no less -- with some tramp he barely
knows. Peacecrafts wait until marriage to indulge in ... in ... bedroom
acts. He would not sully his future bride by behaving in such manner!"
Duo wondered if he ought to tell Relena that he and Zechs had spent most
of their college days fucking like bunnies. But then he thought better
of it. Outing one's best friend to one's sister during one's sister's
Social Event of the Season was probably not considered kosher.
"How about I go find him for you, Miss Relena? I'm sure he's just
been... sidetracked by one of your other guests."
Relena immediately perked up, as if please to be out of Duo's presence.
And she probably was. All Duo could say was the feeling was mutual. "Yes,
that is a splendid idea."
Duo nodded, throwing back the rest of his champagne. He coughed again.
Relena wrinkled her nose distastefully. "Just to remind you, there
are security cameras covering every inch of this house, so try not to
steal anything will you? Have a nice evening."
Duo swore, watching as Relena flounced away, her pink ball gown flapping
at her heels. He didn't care if it was in poor taste to murder one's hostess
at her own party... the woman had some seriously shitty bad karma coming.
He set the crystal glass down before he squeezed it so hard he broke the
damn thing. Not that he cared about the glass, he just didn't want to
spend the night picking tiny shards out of his hand.
"Fuck this," he whispered as he slipped out of the ballroom.
Despite the promise he'd made to Zechs, he wasn't going to stick around
and be talked to like he was nothing but street trash. Sure, he came from
a humbler background, but just because he wore a rented suit didn't make
him less of a person. He was so out of there - just as soon as he could
find a phone to call a cab.
The Peacecraft "house" was a frickin' maze. With expensive art
and antique furniture, it was more like wandering through a museum than
a house. He knew Zechs hated the pretentiousness of it all, but the man
had grown up there, and he still felt some kind of duty to make an appearance
every now and again.
Duo knew where Zechs' room was -- finding it was another matter altogether.
The handful of times Zechs had managed to drag him home with him, for
one occasion or another, they'd spent the better part of their time in
Zechs' room in Zechs' bed, rather than exploring Wayne Manor, as Duo liked
to call it.
Ah, the good old days. Before he and Zechs realized they made better friends
than lovers. Still, Zechs had taught him a lot and had been Duo's first
-- and thus far only -- lover after admitting his sexuality to his older
roommate. He didn't begrudge his friend his new lovers. He knew Zechs
had had a hard life, despite the silver spoon lodged in his throat. Or
maybe because of it. Being the only son of an ancient, noble lineage was
hard enough to live up to. Being the only son of an ancient, noble lineage
AND gay... well, that was a whole different kettle of monkeys.
He turned a corner, cursing under his breath when he realized that not
only was he in the wrong corridor, he was the wrong wing. Then he cursed
out loud just to hear the obscenity echo off the vaulted roof. The portrait
of some old Peacecraft ancestor frowned down his nose at him. Duo stuck
out his tongue. At least he could tell where Relena got it from.
Abandoning his search for God's Blond Gift, Duo tried the first door he
came to, hoping there would be a phone inside so he could call a taxi
and get home. For the first time that night, he got lucky. Maybe not as
lucky as Zechs was getting at the moment, but the phone on the desk inside
the room offered him his first ray of hope of the evening.
The study was obviously Relena's private office. Everything was pink.
If it wasn't pink, it was mauve. Duo felt dirty just being in the room.
He quickly crossed the room to pick up the -- pink -- phone and called
the local cab company. Assured that there would be a cab at the Peacecraft
front door in twenty to thirty minutes, Duo flopped down in the -- pink
-- chair and closed his eyes.
It didn't help. He could still see Relena looking at him as if he were
a piece of gum that had dared to stick itself to her shoe. The woman positively
hated him and greatly disapproved of his friendship with her brother.
She thought he was a bad influence on Zechs. Truth was, Zechs had been
a bad influence on Duo. He'd been a straight-A engineering student at
the University until Zechs had moved in. After that, his grades had slipped
-- slightly -- when Duo started spending more time in bed with Zechs than
with his biochemistry homework. He smiled to himself. Who needed textbooks
when he and Zechs were making some sweet biochemistry of their own?
He shifted uncomfortably in the chair, not wanting to relive the past,
at least, not when he was in no place to do something about it. Though,
that would serve Relena right. He grinned and imagined Relena's pleasantly
shocked look on her face when she sat down at her desk only to find her
-- pink -- blotter stained and sticky from her nemesis jacking off to
dirty thoughts about her brother. But he gave that thought up. There wasn't
time, and besides, he really didn't care to be caught in flagrante delicto
on video tape.
His hands tightened on the arms of Relena's chair. Fuck. The idea that
she thought of him as no better than a common thief galled him. He had
never stolen anything in his life -- except for a box of condoms when
he was thirteen on a dare -- but to actually say it to his face... Damn
that woman. Maybe he ought to take something of hers anyway. Just to show
her he could. Something of value. Something to rub her nose in her expensive
security system. He could take something that belonged to her, and mail
it back in a couple of days, anonymously of course, though she'd have
no doubt as to who had taken it, and suggest she ought to upgrade her
system as it was obviously lacking.
Maybe he could even take pictures of whatever it was he took, in different
locations around the city, then send it back with a T-shirt that read,
"I got had by Duo Maxwell and all I got was this lousy shirt."
Or maybe not, but still. It was the principle of the thing.
He looked around, searching for something small enough to slip under his
jacket, but important enough that she'd notice it was missing. The gold
pen set perhaps? Nah, those were probably a dime a dozen to her. Or maybe
the little -- pink -- lady statue on the stand near the door. But it looked
fragile and he didn't want to actually break it.
His eyes lit on a small velvet box sitting on the corner of her desk.
Getting up out of the chair, he moved to sit on the edge of the desk,
looking around to make sure there was no security camera in the room.
He couldn't see one, and he hoped Relena didn't really have hidden cameras
all over the house. He lifted the lid of the box and peered inside.
A silver coin lay nestled on a pillow of silk. It looked old. Older than
old. Ancient even. He slid it out of the box, surprised at how heavy it
was. There was a figure on one side, but Duo didn't want to take the time
to study it, just in case Relena sent someone looking for him. He slipped
it into his sleeve and replaced the lid on the box.
The coin was perfect. It obviously meant a lot to Relena if she kept it
on her desk, but with any luck, she wouldn't open the box for a few days
-- long enough for him to keep it for a while before sending it back.
Maybe he'd do the picture thing after all. Some frat buddies of his had
done the same thing to a garden gnome owned by the cranky old lady across
the street. After the gnome was returned -- wearing a EuroDisney T-shirt
-- the old lady had become less cranky, almost pleasant even. Though Duo
doubted seriously that would endear him to Relena, he just wanted to bring
that haughty attitude down a notch.
He still had about fifteen minutes until his taxi arrived, but he decided
it would be best to leave the scene of the crime as quickly as possible.
That and the pink was starting to give him a migraine. And it might take
him that long to find the damn front entrance.
He left the room, closing the door to the study behind him. He waved cheerily
to the portrait on his way down the corridor. The portrait seemed to be
staring incriminatingly at his sleeve. Duo gave him the finger.
He'd have to remember to call Zechs in the morning to tell him he'd gotten
home okay and wasn't buried in an unmarked grave in the backyard. And
pry some details out of him about that cute Chinese guy he'd disappeared
with. He wasn't sure he'd tell him about the coin though. Zechs did try
to keep the peace between his best friend and his sister as best he could.
He skipped down the hall, whistling and ignoring the disdainful looks
he got from some of Relena's guests. He doubted he would ever step foot
in Wayne Manor again after this incident, but he wasn't weeping at the
loss. He bid a fond farewell to Relena's butler as he retrieved his jacket
from the coat room. Zechs would just have to find someone else to drag
to these parties in the future. He was, at last, done with monkey suits
[part 2] [back to Caroline's