Title: Green
Author: Flamika
Category: Romance
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Duo's potty mouth, Duo's jealousy, mild shounen-ai, light angst
Pairings: 1+2, 3+4 (implied)
Authors Note: I just realized that green is a really freaky word...
Arc: Domestic Bliss

DEDICATED TO FAFNIR'S FERRET, WHO ACTUALLY DID TRY TO CRAWL UP MY PANT LEG WHEN I WAS AT HER HOUSE ONE DAY! ^_^

Green

"Man, Quatre, that really bites," I sympathized, staring at my friend's worried little face on the vidphone screen. "Sorry to hear about Fifi."

He sighed, narrow shoulders drooping gracefully. "You have NO idea, Duo! She's been missing since lunchtime! We're all so worried..."

"All" probably meant just him and Trowa, I reasoned. "Aw, Q-man, it'll be fine!" I exclaimed cheerfully, adjusting the sleeve of my tank top as it slid off my shoulder. Actually, it was Heero's tank top. Stealing clothes from his closet is one of my favorite pastimes, and he usually doesn't yell at me for "borrowing" his things. As long as I don't touch the green tank tops. NEVER touch the green tank tops. Ever.

"We've been looking for her for a long time now," Quatre fretted, his voice warbling in a hilarious fashion through the crappy speakers in my vidphone. It sounded like he was talking underwater.

"Don't worry about it, dude," I consoled, basically repeating what I had been saying for the last half an hour. "There's only so many places a freaking weasel can hide, you know."

Quatre's thin blonde eyebrows snapped together cutely, and I resisted the urge to smile. Quatre is so hilarious when he's acting indignant. "Fifi is not a weasel, Duo!" he corrected sternly. "She's a ferret and she's running around my mansion somewhere and we can't find her!"

"So tell Trowa to stop letting his pets loose in the house," I said with a shrug. "Last time I went up there, I found a bunny rabbit chewing on the end of my braid."

"Fifi is NOT Trowa's pet," Quatre told me firmly. "She belongs to one of my sisters and we're ferret-sitting for a month and the little bugger keeps getting out of her cage!"

I nearly choked trying to hold my hysterical giggles in. Quatre cracks me up without end. He and Trowa both, actually. In fact, I could practically imagine Trowa peering under beds with his rump up in the air, yelling, "Fifi! Fifi, where are you???" and actually pulling his bangs out of his face so that he could SEE for a change.

Fortunately, just as I was about to let my laughter come bursting out of my mouth, I heard a set of keys being inserted into the front door in the living room. Ah yes, Heero has returned to me! With take-out food, hopefully, since I was REALLY not in the mood to make another UDD at the moment...

"Well, gotta go, Quatre!" I enthused with a smile. "Heero's home and I've gotta go bug the crap outta him like I always do. Tell Trowa I hope he finds his weasel, and oh yeah, don't let Fifi crawl up your pant leg this time!"

Quatre flushed bright red. "Duo! That-"

"Bye, Q-man! Love ya!" I interrupted, planting a big noisy smooch on the vidscreen as Quatre practically squawked his indignation. I severed the connection before my little blond buddy could get on my case about getting the screen of the vidphone even more smudged than it already was. Quatre's such a mother hen sometimes...but never fear! I love him anyways! Bouncing off my bed, barefoot and wearing only a pair of grungy pants and Heero's tank top, I charged into the living room, stomach already growling at the mere POSSIBILITY of Heero having food with him.

"Yo! Heero!" I called as I headed down the hallway, stubbing my toe on the bag that I had sensibly dropped in the middle of the hallway. Goddamn myself. "I really hope you brought home some chow because I'm not-"

At this point, I stumbled into the living room and froze dead in my tracks, my mouth falling open like a demented fish.

Heero wasn't the only one in the living room. He had another guy with him. A really HOT guy. A really hot guy in a Preventers jacket, hands in the pockets of his snug pants as he looked around our apartment with a calculating statement on his face. Heero was busy locking up the door, his laptop tucked underneath one of his arms, just as casual as you please.

Well, I guess I was the only one who was totally blown away by the scene before me! It wasn't everyday Heero brought other people home with him, much less guys THIS fine! I'm bisexual, but I've always been attracted to girls more than guys, though you probably couldn't tell from the way I'm slobbering over Heero all the time, right? As it stands, Mr. Heero Yuy has been the first guy in a long time that I've been THIS madly in love with. I used to have this little crush on Wuffers, but the guy is, unfortunately, as straight as a fucking arrow. What a pity. A waste of deep black eyes and a great ass. Not to mention a charming personality.

But I had to admit, this new guy standing right at home in OUR living room put even Wufei to shame. He was one of those tanned surfer types with light brown hair shot through with streaks of pure gold. His hair was rather longish, but not shaggy enough to be called sloppy (like the mop that passes for Heero's hair). A pair of gorgeous green eyes ringed by dark lashes roamed over our living room until they finally came to rest on stupefied ol' me.

His eyes suddenly narrowed as he looked me up and down, lingering distastefully on everything from my messy bangs to my bare feet, and I received the impression that Hot Guy didn't like me all that much. He practically had lightening shooting from his eyes, like in the cartoons, you know?

And I suddenly realized that I didn't like this guy either. Not one fucking bit. Who cared if he was hot? Just the fact that he was hanging out with MY Heero made my skin crawl. I narrowed my own eyes and drew myself up to my entire height of five feet five inches - YES, I'm still a shortie! Geez, you don't have to rub it in.

"Who are you?" I demanded of Hot Guy, suddenly all too aware of the fact that I looked like the King of Grunge at the moment, and he was standing there all prissy and proper looking.

"I'm Heero's partner," he announced snootily, looking down his nose at me.

WHHAAAT?????!!!!! I knew did NOT just hear him say that!

Heero suddenly walked around Hot Guy, shrugging out of his Preventers jacket and offering me a "hn" as a sorry-ass excuse for a greeting. What he should have said was, "Good evening, Duo. Sorry for bringing this little slut into the apartment. He'll be gone in a few minutes so that we can spend some real quality time together."

Fat chance of that happening, of course.

"So YOU'RE Heero's partner?" I asked skeptically, not bothering to hide the sarcasm in my voice. "Funny, since Heero doesn't HAVE any partners." //Except for me, of course.//

"Well, I'm his CURRENT partner," the hot guy responded, smiling prettily at me, teeth a blinding shade of white. "And just who might YOU be?"

//I live here, fuckrag.//

"Oh, I'm just some guy!" I said cheerfully, flashing him a nice big smile of my own, making sure to show all of my shining teeth (and all the Oreo cookie crumbs I still had caked in them from my little snacktime earlier).

"Duo is my roommate," Heero suddenly spoke up, sounding like he was talking about the goddamn weather, for all the excitement I heard in his voice. The hot guy suddenly reached out and shook my hand. Hard. Guess he thought I didn't NEED my fucking fingers. "Finally, I get to meet the infamous Duo Maxwell!" he exclaimed in this really sickeningly sweet voice.

Infamous?! What the HELL was that supposed to mean?

"My name is Lars," he declared proudly, like he was announcing something great and exciting.

Lars??? His name was fucking *Lars*??? Now, who the HELL names their kid Lars?! Lars...makes me think of Mars...cars...

"So you're Heero's roommate? Zechs was telling me so much about you."

...cars on Mars...Lars going to Mars with a bunch of cars...and no Heero!! Heero stays with ME!!

"He said you were a rather obnoxious individual."

...Lars on Mars with his cars and...what the fuck??!!

"So Zechs said that?" I drawled, folding my arms across his chest and glaring up at the asshole from behind my wall of bangs. "I guess I'll just have to have a little chat with him tomorrow then, won't I?" Oh, and just for the record, Zechs would NEVER call me obnoxious. He knows better. As loopy as he can get sometimes (trying to blow up the Earth! What a freak!), the guy actually DOES value his own life, you know.

And good old Lars just shrugged his perfectly formed shoulders, looking smug and probably thinking that he had me fooled. "Just don't tell him that you heard it from me, friend. He might get his wife to throw me out of the Preventers, which would be SUCH a shame, being that I just found the perfect partner."

I started twitching.

"Heero and I work great together," Lars practically gushed, staring dreamily over at where Heero was booting up his laptop, pretending not to be listening in on our conversation.

I had to bite down on my tongue to keep from letting out long string of cuss words. Who the FUCK did this guy think he was?! He just waltzes into our apartment, oogling Heero right IN FRONT OF ME without even noticing that I, Duo Maxwell, the Almighty God of fucking Death, was not only Heero's REAL partner, but his roommate, his, um, right hand man, and oh yeah, his BEST FUCKING FRIEND!!! Jesus Christ, I was ready to explode! I wouldn't have been surprised if there was steam coming out of my ears and my braid looked like the tail of a pissed-off cat. I just couldn't believe the sheer NERVE of this guy!

"Come over here, Lars," Heero suddenly ordered, taking a seat at the kitchen table, eyes trained on his glowing laptop screen.

"Sure thing, Heero," Lars practically chirped, prancing over to the table and dragging a chair - MY chair - so that he could scoot up so close to Heero that he was practically sitting in his lap. His green eyes were intent on the screen of Heero's laptop, but I could practically HEAR the dirty thoughts running through his mind as he sat there all cozy with Heero, who didn't look the least bit bothered as he started opening the word processing program in his laptop, like he didn't have an oversexed man-slut breathing down his neck.

//Heero!// I wanted to scream. //This guy is totally putting the moves on you!! Can't you see????//

"Alright!" I suddenly exploded, barely resisting the urge to throw a huge hissy fit. "Who are you and what are you doing in my apartment?!"

Lars looked at me as if I were a shitstain on his undies. "Like I TOLD you before, I'm Heero's partner, we worked on a mission together, and now we're going to write a report so could you please...?" He glared at me pointedly instead of finishing his sentence.

I suddenly decided I wanted to be obnoxious. "You want me to help you?" I asked cheerfully, plastering a huge goofy grin on my face. "Suuuuuuuure, I can help you guys!! Anything for a couple of buddies! I'm REALLY good at writing reports!"

"Duo," Heero said sharply, whirling around and pinning me with a dark glare.

I gulped. //Oh shit, here it comes. He's gonna yell at me and I'm gonna be so embarrassed because he's scolding me like a little kid in front of Larsy Marsy over there who's looking really fucking SMUG right now and all I want to do is march over there and slap that look off his pretty little face and I hope Heero doesn't yell at me `cause that...//

"Is that my tank top?" Heero asked shrewdly, eyes fastened on my torso area.

I blinked dumbly for a couple of seconds before recovering my wits. "Oh yeah, it is! Um, sorry about the Oreo cookie stains! I had a little snack earlier."

Lars wrinkled his nose and asked Heero in a stage whisper, "You let him raid your closet?"

"Even if I didn't let him, he'd do it anyways," Heero said disinterestedly as he turned back to his laptop.

//Way to make me look bad, Heero// I thought grumpily.

"How RUDE," Lars uttered in what was supposed to sound like a whisper, but I could tell the little fucker really wanted me to hear what he was saying. And you know what was the worst thing? I couldn't answer him back because I hadn't officially "heard" what he said. So I stood there like a dumbass, watching them ignore me for a while. Then I walked calmly out of the living room, ran into our bedroom, threw myself onto my messy bed, and screamed angrily into my pillow before pummeling it with my fists.

Hey, I never said I was good at keeping my temper. And better to scream and beat up the pillow rather than Lars, right?

Right.

~~~~~~~~~

I was back in the living room ten minutes later. If curiosity could kill ex-Gundam pilots, I would be six feet under by now. But I couldn't just leave those two alone in the living room for such a long period of time! Who knows what could have happened?

Okay, so I was jealous. Totally green with envy. Bite me. I wasn't about to lose Heero to some guy named *Lars*. Over my cold, stiff cadaver. [1]

So I went back to living room. With Da Hoover. Da Hoover is our vacuum cleaner, and it's REALLY powerful. And really loud, too. That's probably why I like it so much. Besides, you've got to have respect for a contraption that can suck up one of Heero's freaky deaky super thick thermal winter socks without even gagging. Now that's power, baby. (Just make sure you never get your braid caught in it. Trust me, that's not fun.)

So I dragged Da Hoover as quietly as I could (yeah right) down the hall and peeked around the corner, not at all happy - nor surprised - with what I saw. Lars now had one arm resting on the back of Heero's chair as he leaned in under the guise of trying to get closer to the screen. What a skank! I've sat next to Heero I don't know how many times when he's on his laptop, and I KNOW that you don't need to be that close to see the goddamn screen! My blood was boiling. I couldn't remember the last time I had been THIS pissed off.

But I put on a mask of happy-go-lucky ignorance as I flounced into the living room - ignoring the surprised look from Lars; Heero, of course, had already known I was there - plugged in Da Hoover, and turned the sucker on.

Did I mention that thing is loud? Seems I had forgotten just how freakin' noisy it could be. But I started vacuuming the goddamn living room, holding the cord in one hand like you see all those people doing on the commercials that go "Hooooooover nobody does it like yoooooouuuuu!" The thing's actually kind of hard to navigate - it's THAT powerful. But navigate it I did, even though it felt like I was going to suck the carpet right off the floor. Though that would have been pretty funny. Especially if Lars went with it.

Okay, I know I was being obnoxious, but I couldn't help myself. Lars may have been great at using subtle methods to show me where I wasn't wanted, but I'm not nearly so eloquent. Unfortunately, though, I have been cursed with the things called manners, and it would probably be rude just to tell the guy to get the fuck out of my apartment. So I had to tell him in a different way...

But, however, my little message was cut short when someone suddenly pulled the plug on the Da Hoover. The vacuum sputtered and coughed for a second before dying, silence once again crashing down on the room. I whirled around to find Heero standing next to the outlet, holding the cord in his hand. He didn't look like a happy camper.

"It's dangerous to pull things out by the plug," I told him, leaning casually on Da Hoover and hoping the stupid thing wouldn't collapse and send me spilling onto the coffee table.

"No more vacuuming," Heero ordered firmly in this I'm-Not-Taking-No-Shit-From-You tone of voice. "We're working."

Ouch, that one stung. Not "*I'm* working". "*We're* working." Damn you, Lars.

"Fine," I said with a shrug and an idiotic grin. I abandoned Da Hoover and started walking into the kitchen. "I guess I'll just go ahead and make dinner."

And make Lars a nice, poisonous, radioactive, super-duper, up the gag factor UDD. A UDD to put all other UDDs to shame...

"No," Heero suddenly said, just as I was about to walk up to the counter and bust out my favorite oven mitts.

I scowled at him, suddenly in a very bad mood. "What the hell do you mean `no'?" I snapped.

"I'm making dinner," he said firmly, staring hard at me.

I wasn't fazed. "And just what the hell is wrong with the shit I cook?"

"It's just that. Shit," Heero told me, being uncharacteristically vicious.

Okay, I walked right into that one, but it still hurt. It also efficiently stole all the words from my mouth.

Heero turned away from me and said to Lars, "Finish up the report while I make dinner."

"Sure thing," Lars said immediately, shooting me this little infuriatingly smug glance as he slid into Heero's seat and started clacking away at the laptop. THE laptop. Heero's laptop. He's never let me touch the damn thing, and here he was letting Lars put his grubby fingers all over the keys! For some reason, that hurt the worst of all.

~~~~~~~~~

Dinner was composed of tasty Japanese food, Lars' triumphant chatter, Heero's one word answers, and my stony silence. I was in a crumby mood. I was feeling so bad that I could barely taste the food that I was slowly shoveling down my throat. I hadn't felt so bummed in a long time, and it wasn't something that I was enjoying. I could have been pissed off at Lars, or Heero...it just didn't matter. What I was feeling really wasn't Lars' fault.

So what if he was a skanky man-slut trying to steal my best friend away from me?

Didn't bother me one bit.

Okay, I'll be serious for little while. The real reason I was feeling bad was because I had had one of those dark epiphanies. Yes, Duo just used a big word like "epiphany." Get over it. But, really, have you ever had one of those? Like when you realize that life just isn't what you wanted it to be and that the ones you care about aren't going to be around forever? I know it sounds sappy, but, hell, I thought Solo and I were going to be best buddies until we were old and wrinkly and crippled...and he's dead as a doornail now. I was also dumb enough to think that I could live in the Maxwell Church forever. I was even sorta kinda thinking about changing my views and becoming a priest...and look what happened. Father Maxwell and Sister Helen burned along with the church.

And here I was living under the delusion that I was the ONLY one attracted to Heero. I mean, it's obvious that the guy is drop-dead gorgeous. I should have realized that one day, someone either too kind-hearted or too stupid wasn't going to be fooled by his forbidding personality and cold eyes. It had never occurred to me that someone else might fall in love with him, and he might actually love them back.

Of course, I'm not talking about fucking *Lars* here. I still didn't like the guy just because he was making passes at Heero, but like I said before, Lars really didn't have much to do with the funk I was in. It was all me and my fucked up emotions.

Bluntly put, I was scared. I didn't want to lose Heero to anyone or anything. I didn't want him to find a new best friend or to forget about his obnoxious roommate. Sure, I knew it wouldn't be Lars who would take Heero away from me. But what about the next person? Or the next person? My whole delusional world seemed so violently unstable all of a sudden. I felt like it was falling apart around my ears.

I let my eyes drift to Heero then. He was sitting like he normally does at dinnertime, his eyes trained on his food. I found that I was suddenly fascinated as he used the chopsticks to lift a piece of chicken to his mouth. He was graceful, but not overly so. I had never seen him drop anything in the entire time I'd known him. I watched as he chewed slowly, mechanically, and I suddenly wondered if he counted how many times he chewed his food. It seemed like something he would do.

Then I suddenly imagined his figure disappearing. No more mechanical chewing. No more chicken teriyaki [2] and rice. No more messy brown hair. No more deep azure eyes. Just me and my UDDs alone at the kitchen table.

It wasn't a good thing to imagine. In fact, it fucking sucked.

+

That evening wasn't my turn to wash the dishes. Usually, if I cook, Heero washes the dishes, and if he cooks, I wash the dishes. And since he had cooked that night, yeah, I got stuck with dish duty. And not only that, the pile of dirty plates was twice as tall since last night had been my night to washes dishes as well, and I had conveniently forgotten all about my filthy little friends waiting for me in the kitchen sink.

Double dish duty. Joy.

So there I was, staring sullenly into the soapy brownish-gray dishwater with the nasty liquid all the way up to my goddamn elbows. Heero was saying goodbye to Lars at the front door, and I could (unfortunately) hear bits and pieces of their conversation as I worked at fulfilling my daily domestic duties like a good little roommate. Lars was talking in this sickeningly cheerful voice, saying that he and Heero should get together and do something sometime. Heero's answering replies were too low for me to hear, but I really didn't care. I didn't have any more energy left to be angry at the way Larsy Marsy the Great Man-slut was gushing over Heero.

I didn't want to be awake anymore, either. Maybe I would finish up the dishes and just go to bed. No TV tonight; it rots your brain, after all. Maybe I'd call Quatre and ask if he caught Fifi the Evil Ferret. No, scratch that idea. Quatre has that uncanny way of noticing when something is wrong with you. Yeah, I would just take a shower and go to sleep... I heard Heero slam the front door and click all the locks shut. A second later, I heard his quiet footfalls as he entered the kitchen, but I couldn't see him since the sink and the kitchen entrance are directly opposite to one another. But I didn't care because I wasn't in the mood to look at his nasty old face at the moment.

"Did you shake Lars' hand?" I suddenly heard myself ask in this weird dull-sounding voice as I scrubbed a plate clean. "It's polite to shake peoples' hands when you meet them or say goodbye to them, you know. Common courtesy and good manners and everything like that."

"I don't shake hands with people," Heero said levelly. "I've only shaken hands with one person in my entire life. Zechs Merquise."

"Hmph," I grunted. I didn't know that Heero had already shaken hands with Zechs. Oh well. Sexy Zechsy. Go figure. But I really didn't give a flying fuck at the moment. All I wanted to do was wash the dishes and go to bed.

Unfortunately, the ex-Spandex Wonder decided to foil my plans again.

I suddenly felt him come up beside me, but despite my surprise, I was determined not to look at him. So I kept on washing the dishes until he - quite unexpectedly - plunged his arm into the soapy water, long fingers fastening around my right wrist in a gentle grip.

What the hell?

I was too stunned to react as he lifted my right arm out of the water and wrapped his fingers around my limp hand, bobbing it up and down. It took me a few Moments of Stupidity to realize that he was shaking my hand, nasty sludgy water and soap bubbles and everything. Damn, this guy totally blows my mind sometimes!

I stared dumbly at our intertwined hands before lifting my eyes imploringly to his. Once again, I had no earthly idea what to say. All I could think about was how his palm was so warm, and I could feel the calluses underneath the skin.

Heero had this odd, affectionate look in his eyes as he gazed at me, a small smile tugging on the corners of his full mouth. And he said, "I thought something was wrong when Lars wanted me to shake his hand, and I realized that I hadn't even shaken the hand of my best friend yet."

Before I could even BEGIN to digest that, Heero suddenly leaned forward and planted a light, feathery kiss on my brow, near the corner of my eye, our mutual bangs sorta blending together for a blissful second or two.

Then he released my hand and walked out of the kitchen.

And I was left there standing dumbly with soap dripping from my hand and the shocks from Heero's kiss still coursing in electric waves through my body.

~fin~

[1] Just another way of saying, "Over my dead body" ^_^
[2] Is this a Japanese dish? I sure hope so... O_O

I just wanted to apologize to anyone who might be named Lars out there. I actually like that name, but I needed a name for him and I remembered that Twister's sadistic older brother on Rocket Power was named Lars...

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