Poles Apart (cont)

"There are public places to do that, much more comfortable and well lit -- bookshops, internet cafes --"

I groaned inside. He really did come from another planet, sometimes.

"Trust you Heero, to miss the point. They're out on a date, that's what! They want to be alone together and this is the nearest they can get."

"A date?" He seemed to be rolling my fierce whisper around in his mouth. I wish he didn't screw up his face like that, it made his hair fall forward on his forehead, which made me want to brush it back. And I wished he'd move his damn knee, or I'd be tempted to put my hand on it. Again.

"Why do they want to be alone together, Duo?"

I stared at him in the darkness.

"Why d'you think? They like each other. Might love each other. So they wanna be private -- they want to touch."

"Touch?"

I lost my temper a little, then. I was under some stress, of course, and WG's gymnastic antics round the pole weren't helping.

"Heero, you can't be that dense!"

I'd whispered too loudly this time. There was a ripple of "Shhh!" from nearby. Someone giggled. I dropped my tone.

"They're horny for each other, OK? This movie is -- well, it's stimulating." Or it is to normal guys and gals, I thought. Like me. I pressed my thighs together painfully, tried to shut out the loud panting from the screen. My hands seemed to have an uncontrollable shake. The guys in front of us had locked mouths together like magnets by now, and all I could do was try and grip on to my popcorn.

Heero's questions were relentless. I only bore with it because it kept me safe from his revenge for a little while longer. He had zero tolerance for clumsy mistakes -- and this one of mine was monumental. And the other benefit was that worrying about staying alive was real good for restraining the lusty friend in my pants.

"I cannot believe these seats are comfortable enough to allow any touching, as you say." He sounded genuinely puzzled. "Are you saying this is a good place to go, to be alone together? The movie house?"

I sighed. "Not as good as your own place. But most of these guys probably don't have that. And going to the movies has its own attraction -- it is kinda exciting --"

"Exciting?"

I deliberately turned my body away from him, and stared fixedly at the screen. The damn erection was returning with renewed enthusiasm.

"It's exciting in its own way. You're surrounded by people, but alone together. The darkness, and the closeness... the sexy movie... well, use your imagination."

Heero, I prayed, don't you dare ask me to elaborate!

+

"Duo, have you done this before? Brought a date to the movies?"

"Yeah."

"And it was good?"

"Yeah...sure."

"Did you come with -- a girl?"

"Yes."

"And other times?"

God, twenty questions or what?

I turned back to him, determined to put an end to this. I don't know what sort of game he was playing, but by now I think I'd rather have chosen to have my toenails pulled out than suffer this embarrassing prying.

"Heero, this is getting on my nerves! I've been to the movies plenty of times, with girls, and -- before you ask in your relentless way -- with guys too. Is that what you want to know?"

But he didn't look remotely apologetic.

"Guys and guys?"

Heero appeared to have arrived from Pluto, fully formed but without any appreciation of modern Earth relationships. I peered at him, suspiciously. Was he kidding me? Or did he genuinely not know what went on?

"Yes, guys and guys. If you want."

"That's OK, is it?"

"Well, sure. Look around when the lights go up -- there are plenty here. Some people might not think it's right. But you can't help the way you feel -- you can't necessarily help the people you fall for."

There was a blessed silence for a while.

Movie update: WG had met the young, innocent brother (YIB) of the club owner and they appeared to have fallen for each other in a big way -- that, or someone had smeared vaseline all over the camera lens by mistake. And the music was a lot lighter. Ahhh -- it was quite cute. I was genuinely distracted for a second.

"Who would you bring to this movie, Duo?" He leaned over this time, and touched my arm.

Ulp. "No-one who appreciated movies, that's for sure." I was trying to be flippant, to relieve the tension.

"But someone you wanted to -- touch. Using your words. To be close to. In the dark."

Oh God. Again.

"Yes, I would."

"But you haven't been out with anyone for months now. I know, because you're always under my feet when I'm trying to work."

"Heero!' I was furious. There were more "shh"s' from round us. "My dating performance is none of your business!"

He looked genuinely puzzled again.

"Why are you angry?"

Damn you! I thought. I couldn't believe I was having this conversation with him. With his hand on my arm. He hadn't taken it off, and if I held my breath and didn't move, p'raps he wouldn't notice, and keep it there. Shameful, eh? I was sickeningly grateful for such a little gesture. And an unintentional one, at that!

"It's not that I wouldn't want to, Heero -- I just don't have anyone special at the moment."

He snorted.

"Impossible!"

Huh?

"You are very attractive. Physically. And lively -- fun to be with, the others say. You always have someone in tow. You act the fool for much of the time, but of course you are not. And people are drawn to you." He sighed very quietly. "I always wondered what you did with them -- this is all very interesting to me."

I stared back. Was he for real?

"Heero, that description's very flattering, but it's not been the case for a while."

"Why? Have you somehow become repulsive now?"

"Hey, no such thing! No, it's my choice..."

"What a strange choice for you to make. I don't understand that."

Nor do I, I growled to myself.

"I mean -- look, Heero, I really like someone, but there's no chance of getting anywhere with hi-- with them. So I haven't felt like being with anyone else. It's kinda -- spoiled me for a while."

Bloody honesty -- it'll be the death of me.

+

Movie update: violins, more vaseline. This must be WG's first chance of true love. Or whatever the director thinks that is. WG and YIB were enjoying the destruction of his innocence, and rolling around on top of the piano in the club. The vaseline seemed to have a cameo part in it all, as well.

I was wincing at the whole thing, now.

I chanced a quick look at Heero. He was watching the screen himself, with a rather glazed expression, as far as I could see. He looked indescribably gorgeous, with the moving lights from the screen bathing his profile in a pale, dancing aura. There was a reflected glint in his eyes. His hand was still on my arm, and it was clenching the cloth of my shirt very slightly. While I was folded all over my seat, he sat upright, in control of his body -- fully self contained. I hated being vulnerable like this in front of him. Even if he didn't fucking notice....

"How do you know?" I saw his lips move with the whisper.

"What?"

"If you have fallen for someone, like you say. If it -- spoils you like that, for anyone else."

I sighed. Didn't I know! I was sitting next to the one who'd done it for me.

"I guess you want to be with them a lot -- even if they drive you nuts. You just keep seeking them out. You think they're the best looking thing since sliced bread. When they touch you -- accidentally or not -- you get one hell of an erection."

Heero coughed. I musta embarrassed him again.

"But it's more than that," I went on. "Yeah... You want to help them. You watch all the time for them to smile, to be happy. You want to give them things. You want to protect them from everything cruel in life. You wanna live for them." I was getting too serious, and my voice was knotting up. "Basically, you think the sun shines out of their ass. I don't expect you to understand."

I slumped down into the seat, thoroughly pissed off. He didn't approve of my colourful language at the best of times. There was a painful ache inside me, and it wasn't 'cos of the damn seats.

Heero's head turned to me, but snapped quickly back, so I couldn't see the expression on his face. He still seemed to be following the movie very closely. His hand slipped away from my arm, and he clutched his popcorn closely to his lap.

I was suddenly, unfairly angry at him. My whisper came out like a venemous hiss.

"Haven't you ever fallen for someone? You can't be that removed from real life!"

What kind of masochistic bastard am I, eh? What the hell did I expect him to say? To confess? Damn, it's not as if I even wanted to hear his answer....

He seemed to sit even more still. He was already like a little buddha. His knee -- damn it -- moved away from mine. And, against all the odds, he answered me.

"Yes I have."

Wow! Who'd have thought it?

"Girl or guy?" Miserable or not, my curiosity has a will of its own!

"Guy." No hesitation there.

Wow again!

"Wanted to hold them? Touch 'em? Kiss them?"

"I -- wanted a friendship, first. But -- yes. Then I wanted to hold -- him..."

Lucky bastard, I thought, consumed with jealousy now.

Still, no reason not to be generous, I scolded myself. Heero needs some romance in his life. This guy just better look after him, that's all, or I'll remove each of his limbs individually with a can opener!

Movie update: The course of true love runs -- as always -- down a rocky crag and into a ravine. WG had been blackmailed by the club owner back into nightly work, and YIB had been led astray by the more experienced dancer (never caught the character's name -- doesn't matter, of course. She's the one with the bush shaved into that attractive shape of -- well, never mind). Last seen, YIB was following his sister into the business, and was serving drinks to WG's clientele dressed in little more than a loincloth. Nice enough legs, I guess.

If I wasn't so depressed, I'd have found it all a laugh.

And, true to form, I couldn't keep my damn mouth shut.

"So if you wanna get physical with him -- why don't you bring him here? The guy you're keen on?"

The answer shocked me.

"I did."

"When?" I knew I was being nosey, but I had to know!

"Today."

"What? You already been to see this shit?"

"Shhh -- " from all around. Someone threw popcorn at my head from the front rows.

"No," Heero replied, quite calmly. "Just this once. I would never have chosen this movie as my date. It's taken your mistake to open my eyes to this sort of thing."

My Date -- what a phrase to come from his mouth! It sounded odd, and it sounded thrilling, all at the same time.

"I don't understand," I bleated. "You brought the guy you fancy to this movie --"

"Yes."

"Although you can't stand the movie --"

"No."

"But you fancy the pants off him --"

"If that's how you describe it. Yes."

"But you've only been to this movie with -- me."

Silence.

Movie update: Who cares?

+

Heero gave a sad little chuckle. The light from the screen caught his profile, and showed that he'd turned his head away from me again.

"I can appreciate irony, Duo. I have been caught out by your mistake. You know my secret, now. My confession."

Uhh?

"I think the sun shines out of your ass, Duo." He grimaced -- guess the words don't come as easy to him.

"Don't joke..." I whispered. My voice was strangely hoarse.

"I'm not joking!" he hissed back, fiercely. "Don't make this any more humiliating than it already is!"

"What do you mean?"

"When I do this --," he said, and placed his hand -- firmly -- on my thigh, "I know I feel good. I know that I want to -- do more. Perhaps you're right, and it's the effect of the movie house; I suspect that it is like some strange psychological return to the womb. And I can appreciate a thrill from the strange anonymity that there is here. But everything else you said -- how you feel about someone you've fallen for -- I feel that too.

"About you."

Oh, God --?

"I want to be with you, Duo -- though you make me crazy most of the time! I want to follow you when you go on a mission, to help you -- I want to read the orders for you when you can't be bothered, share the strategies you keep so inefficiently in your head alone. I want to dress your wounds when you come back. When we're off duty, I want to watch you cook, watch you play basketball. I want to see what you do when you go to clubs. I want to fetch you ice cream whenever you want.

I want to kill anyone who hurts you.

And -- I want to hold you. Again and again. And more.

And I've wanted this for months."

Shit!

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