Story: POLES APART
WINNER 4th PLACE: Moments of Rapture 2003 Contest, 'Heero & Duo go on a Date'
Author: FancyFigures
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em, wish I did, just enjoy writing about 'em for free etc
Pairings: 1x2
Category: POV, romance
Warnings: Yaoi, lime
Spoilers: None

Notes: Duo realises that he's badly misjudged this Saturday night out. For all sorts of reasons!

Feedback: If you liked it, please let me know!

Poles Apart

Oh God! I thought.

I stood at the entrance to Screen 9 of the local movie house, clutching a giant soda and an even more giant popcorn, and I stared at the publicity poster. With complete disbelief.

It couldn't be! Could it?

Behind me, the people were milling in, and I was gonna be swept in with them in a minute, whether I liked it or not. It was only five minutes to 'curtain up' -- as usual, I'd taken far too long to get ready to come out.

And then he was there beside me, carrying a far more modest supply of refreshments, and he was propelling me forward.

"Don't dawdle, Duo. We need to get a good seat. At the back is best, the seats are higher up. Near the middle..."

I allowed myself to be manhandled inside, and pushed up the steps. My mouth tried to open a couple of times, but nothing came out.

I was petrified -- in all senses of the word.

But I tried. I tried to get through to him, as soon as we were sat down, well away from anyone else, crammed far up in the auditorium, sat under the movie window itself.

"Ahh -- Heero --"

"Hn."

"I think I messed up. This is not the place for us to be."

"Is the movie not showing?"

"Ah -- yes, it is, but --"

"Then sit still and be quiet. I'm not going to all this trouble, just for you to talk all the way through."

I tried, didn't I?

The lights went down, there was a ripple of laughter and rustling of sweet papers, and the trailers swung into action.

I always like that bit -- when the lights first go down. When you know everything's about to start. And this evening I had the same feeling -- a thrill of excitement. I was just very afraid that it was nothing to do with the movie and everything to do with the company -- sat beside Heero in the dark and the warm.

I've had many bad ideas in my life, and I think I was beginning to realise that this could be one of the worst.

Heero was restless for the main program to begin, I guess. He kept shifting his legs apart so that his knee pressed against my thigh. I kept moving away. It's not as if there wasn't plenty of leg room in those seats, though both of us are tall guys.

The movie's opening titles started to roll.

I sank down in my seat. I was gonna die. And soon.

'POLES APART -- the Director's Cut.'

Soaring music. Opening scene; a club. A dark club. A club where the dancers seemed to wear very little clothing. Musta been a well heated club.

Enter the hero, or whatever. Cop or private dick, judging by the raincoat. Club owner came to greet him -- a gorgeous woman, not the usual grizzly heavy that I meet whenever I frequent a club. They seemed to be more than business acquaintances -- she snaked her arm around him and they were kissing hello... oops, tongues involved, and plenty of it! More like hello, hello...!

+

There was silence in the seat beside me for at least ten minutes, and I felt Heero tense up. I stuffed a handful of popcorn in, because I wasn't sure when a broken neck would let me eat again. Or maybe I could use the cover of the darkness to make a quick and desperate break for the door.

Or not.

"Duo..."

He was whispering, but we were well secluded at the back, I didn't think we'd disturb anyone. For various reasons, which I knew would soon become obvious to Heero.

"I'm almost afraid to ask, Duo...."

So don't, I prayed. Oh shit.

"But is this the movie you told me about?"

"Um -- no. I made a mistake."

"A mistake?" Even the whisper was cold. Cold as a blade. Which is what he'd slice me up with, I was sure.

"I guess I read the paper too quickly -- mixed up the screen numbers -- whatever."

"Hn."

"I thought that with the name 'n all -- you know."

"But the subject matter isn't -- what I expected."

"Um -- no." Fear of his wrath made me less than articulate.

Heero shifted in his seat. He was looking around. There were plenty of people in tonight, sat in small clusters around the room. Mainly in twos.

"What's it about, then, Duo? You said it was about the struggle to conquer the South Pole..."

Oh God.

"You said that the paper described it as an all action drama, showing -- what was it? -- the triumph of man's persistence over the natural world, and the desire for new territories --"

Oh God. I'd made it up, hadn't I? I'd just seen a title that I thought might appeal to him, and as there was no crit attached, I'd used my initiative. He's usually such a social recluse, I'd been keen to encourage him out from behind that damn laptop screen, and out into the real world. I thought going to the movies on a wet Saturday evening would be a great idea.

Like it was turning out that way!

"What's it about, then, Duo?"

I searched my mind for the least provocative blurb on the publicity poster.

"It's a tender romance, Heero". And that was a little stretching of the truth. In lurid red lettering, the poster had declared "A wayward girl searches for true love after suffering (for over 90 minutes, I groaned to myself) the disgrace and physical struggle of a city lap dancing club and its gangland clientele...."

"No spectacular Antarctic scenes?"

"No..."

"No exploration?"

Noo, not like he means, anyway.

"Nothing like that?"

"I doubt it," I hissed.

I dragged my eyes back to the screen. Anywhere, rather than face the Death Glare. Here was the movie update: Wayward girl (WG) was being coached in the latest dance moves, which involved taking off her clothes and draping herself over her instructor. And her fellow pupil, it seemed. Several fellow pupils, all very well endowed babes. The background music was full of bass, and noisy. Lucky it was, 'cos there was very little dialogue to speak of.

But plenty of sniggering from pockets of the audience.

"Oh, Duo.."

+

How did I get myself in this mess? It's not that I wanted particularly to go with Heero to the movies. No -- strike that. I'd love to, but not the same way that he would. And I did go with him, sometimes. But only when one of the others was with us.

I suppose I pushed it all forward a bit too eagerly. I thought he'd like a movie full of dour men struggling across wasted landscapes, with nothing but huskies for company. The occasional avalanche, or cracking ice floe, and I thought he'd be in heaven! Nice, stereotyped characterisation, and let the scenery talk for itself. Then plenty of anoraks talking in the foyer afterwards about the mechanics of the SFX and arguing about the authenticity of the survival techniques.

Yeah -- not my particular idea of a good Saturday night movie, but I was willing to sit through it for the sake of improving Heero's social life. I expected all the others to, as well.

And then all the others seemed to be busy. Funny, eh? I wanted to cry off as well, but it seemed mean for me to refuse to keep him company. I mean, it was only a movie, wasn't it? I could grab a nap if I got bored.

And the other issue -- the problem of being on my own with Heero at the movies -- well, I'd cope with that somehow, wouldn't I? I was a mature man -- sometimes. Or maybe I'd grown out of the hugely, ridiculously horny feeling that swamped me whenever those lights dimmed, and the screen stretched to its full capacity.

And even if I hadn't, I was with my best friend, wasn't it? It just wasn't appropriate. I could sit on it.

Yeah, right.

He was still quiet beside me, eyes ranging around.

"D'you wanna go, Heero? I'm sorry --"

"No. We've paid -- I've paid for tickets."

Ouch! Just 'cos I forgot my wallet again! No need to kick a man when he's down!

"Is it, perhaps, critically acclaimed? One of those cult movies you're always on about?"

I sank even lower in my seat.

"Dunno."

"Duo?" he said, warningly. He knew I wouldn't lie to him.

"OK, I meant no. Not that I know of."

I could see his eyes staring at me in the dark, while the WG panted all over the screen. He has fabulous eyes. Big, bright blue, vivid irises that I could drown in --

"But plenty of people are here."

"Yeah, well, it doesn't have to win awards for people to want to see it." What do critics know, I've often said. "It's just personal taste, isn't it."

"Is this yours?"

Ulp.

"No, Heero, not really."

Silence again.

Movie update: WG had escaped (probably temporarily, 'cos there was still 70 minutes to go) and had run from the club out into the dark, damp night. There appeared to be a few seedy characters out and about, so obviously she wouldn't avoid them like the plague, but would throw herself on to their mercies and probably have to start panting and wailing again. Oh yes, there she went, up against a dumpster with some guy -- no, round the side of the dumpster -- OK then, she'd abandoned the dumpster and was enjoying the back of his truck instead.

Like, I've seen plenty of movies like this before. What healthy eighteen year old hasn't?

Except for Heero Yuy, I guess.

+

The dimly lit screen just increased the stifling feeling that was growing in my throat. That, and the moaning from the actors.

Help, I thought, to no-one in particular. It's dark, the temperature's still rising, and his knee's still pressing. Help!

There was a guy and his girl about four rows in front of us, and they were snogging for America. If he got any more of her face into his mouth she'd be a circus freak.

Just jealous, hissed my evil little mind.

Crap, I replied bravely. I said I was coping with that, didn't I?

But I'm not, of course.

You might have guessed it -- I've had a crush on Heero since before Noah built his ark, and I've known it was hopeless since five minutes after that.

He's gorgeous (have I already said that?). He's strong, and wiry, and he moves like a dream. No wasted movement, all fluid and efficiency. Deep, angry eyes and soft hair just made to run a hand through.

And it's not just physical attraction. He's singleminded, and loyal to us all, and he can be relied on totally. He's the sort of guy I want for my friend. For ever. He's a damn fine pilot -- probably as good as me, though I won't admit it aloud, I have an image to protect.

And that's all I am -- image. Happy-go-lucky, easygoing Duo. The total antithesis of Heero, the Perfect Soldier. That's why I know I have zero chance of him responding. He tolerates me, he scorns me. Whatever. What he doesn't do is want me as anything more.

Hell, I don't even know what he'd want to date -- he may prefer tall, beautiful, pneumatic blonde girls like WG, rather than tall, cheeky, annoying brunette guys. Like me.

Whatever, I was in frustrated misery most of the time.

"They all seem to be couples, Duo."

"Uh-huh."

"They also seem to be missing large parts of the movie."

Duh!

"But I suppose that the plot doesn't need much concentration, does it?"

Plot? I thought, amazed. He's worrying about the plot?

I looked round, too. The clutches of couples around the movie house had melded into mere blobs, as silhouettes with two heads -- partly because of the darkness, but mainly because they were snuggling into each other now. I could see the odd movement of a head on a shoulder -- the occasional hand thrown up to tug at hair and pull a companion's face closer. Every time WG groaned in some guy's clutches, I could see a ripple in the audience -- of amusement, of lust, of sympathy; whatever.

Oh Heero!

I was in some discomfort now. I could smell Heero's unique scent next to me. Soap, engine oil and pure sex. I wished I'd worn looser pants, 'cos something was pressing up inside them and we both know it wasn't my wallet.

I was just so totally humiliated! I'd brought Heero, the man I strove daily to impress, to a corny porn movie; to a movie house full of horny kids who were just using it as an excuse to get out of the house and get their hands on their just as lusty girl/boyfriends. And I -- I, who should have known better -- had the most enormous, aching erection I'd had since puberty!

I was in a horrible mess of misery and fear. And with a healthy dollop of frustration to make it all ten times worse.

Movie update: WG had been brought back to the club and was befriended by the more experienced dancer. More experienced in all sorts of ways, it seemed. Ways that involved athletic gyrations that I didn't think were possible outside of a yoga class. Still, under her tuition, WG had improved her dance technique considerably, and was starting to lose even more inhibitions.

I frowned, and tried to look at it all dispassionately.

+

"Are you watching it?"

Heero was whispering to me again. He seemed to have forgotten to be angry with me for a while. I wasn't sure whether to be grateful, or to be fearful of the reason why. Praps he was just biding his time until things were really dark, and he could throttle me.

"No, Heero. I'm just -- um -- just keeping one eye on it, I guess."

I swallowed, trying to calm my raging libido.

"Why do people come, then? They waste money on a seat, then don't watch the movie. And why this movie? It's obviously of poor technical quality...."

Duh.

"Ahh, Heero, it probably wouldn't matter what the movie was, to be honest. They want to go out together, that's why most of 'em are here."

[cont] [back to Fancy Figures' fic]