Pretty in Pink
or The Mission That Went Horribly Horribly Wrong (cont)

~*~

Heero leaned against the bathroom door and slid to the floor with a groan, his head in his hands. He could hear them all in the front room laughing -- even Trowa! He had never heard Trowa laugh in his life, and yet he could hear the Heavyarms pilot chuckling softly. Quatre's laughter chimed in with his, and Wufei's partially stifled mirth wasn't much better. Duo, however, was by far the loudest. Laughing so hard, he was crying! And that thumping sound was probably the Deathscythe pilot pounding his fists and legs on the floor. But still, he thought at least Trowa would respect his dignity a little! Not that he had much dignity left...

Falling through the skylight, he had experienced a split- second of panic that comes with a sudden shock, but his battle instincts kicked in and immediately calmed him. He had fallen from greater heights before, and had survived. It was all in how you took the fall. So he looked down to see where he was going to land so he could prepare...

...and saw that he was falling into his worst nightmare.

An open vat of Relena's pink limo paint.

The security guards had helped him crawl out. They then escorted him to the gate. They didn't even bother to search him or question him -- they were laughing too hard.

Getting home was almost as bad. He didn't dare drive his motorcycle back to the safehouse, since a solid pink teenager driving a motorcycle at eleven o'clock at night wasn't exactly the most inconspicuous sight in the world. So he walked, avoiding civilization where he could, and where he couldn't, sneaking as stealthily as a pink Gundam pilot could sneak. Oh, the humiliation...

Well, he couldn't just sit here sulking about it all night. He had to get this stuff off of him.

Standing up and squelching over to stand in front of the sink, he took a deep breath... and looked up into the medicine cabinet mirror.

Oh gods... no wonder he could still hear them laughing out there.

There were no words to describe how ridiculous he looked. He was thoroughly coated in the disgusting pink stuff. He looked like a human-shaped wad of chewed bubblegum. With a mop of stiff pink bristles stuck to his head. Shit. How the hell was he going to get all that paint out of his hair?

Turning on the hot water faucet, he quickly reached under the cupboard and got out the heavy-duty soap -- the kind that he usually used to clean himself up when he was covered in grease and sweat after a long day of doing repairs on Wing. Dumping a generous amount into his palm, he scoured hard at his hands and arms. Several thorough and scrubbed-sore minutes later, he rinsed the pink-tinged suds off under the steaming water...

...and blinked in horror.

He was still pink. The soap had managed to get the sticky semi-dry layer of paint off, but in the two hours that it took him to walk home, the dye had apparently soaked into his skin. And outside, in the living room, Duo and the other pilots were still laughing their heads off.

Well, that clinched it. He was never leaving the bathroom again.

No... no, of course that was ridiculous. There was a war going on, and he couldn't cower in the bathroom just because he looked like he'd been attacked by Barbie-obsessed vandals. But then, he couldn't very well perform missions to peak efficiency in this... condition... either.

There was only one other viable option.

As much as it galled him... he needed help.

He needed someone who could help him find or concoct some sort of substance or cleaner that could get the dye out of his skin. And once that was accomplished, find someone who could actually help him clean the dye from the parts of his body that he couldn't see or reach, like the small of his back, and other hard to reach... places...

Heero froze.

Looking up into the mirror at his oh-so-pink complexion, he saw a strange gleam lighting his eyes, and a small, wicked grin quirking at the corner of his mouth.

"Ninmu ryoukai," he whispered.

He turned to the bathroom door. "Duo!" he shouted. "Come here!"

Outside, the laugher suddenly fell dead silent.

~*~

Duo, tears of hilarity still streaming down his face, looked up at the other pilots from where he lay on the floor. As one, their heads swivelled to look down the hall towards the bathroom door, from which Heero's sharp, demanding call had come. Duo's wide eyes were suddenly filled with a faint gleam of panic. "Oh shit," he said. "Heero's gonna kill me." Wufei nodded, even as he lifted his glasses and wiped away the remains of his own tears of laughter. "Well," he said soberly, "it was nice knowing you, Maxwell."

Duo glared. "Guys, did you even see the look on his face? I'm serious!"

"So am I," Wufei replied, shrugging.

"Don't be silly, Duo," Quatre said. "Heero is *not* going to kill you just for laughing at him."

"That's right," Trowa added. "If that were the case, he'd kill us too. There's no reason for him to single you out."

"Except," Wufei interjected helpfully, "that Duo was laughing the loudest by far."

Quatre looked at him thoughtfully, and nodded. "Hm, good point. Duo, if Heero kills you, can I have your CD collection?" Duo groaned. "I'm about to go to my death, and you guys are making jokes!"

"Who's joking?" Wufei asked, completely straight-faced and thoroughly enjoying himself. Rare was the opportunity that he could turn the tables on his gregarious friend. Between Heero's unexpected state of pink-ness, and Duo's unfounded worry over his own imminent demise, the otherwise dull evening had taken a most entertaining turn. "Look at it this way, Maxwell. At least you'll die laughing."

This statement only served to once again conjure up the memory of Heero the Pink in Duo's mind, and though he fought valiantly, his scowl dissolved under an uncontrollable onslaught of snickers that threatened to develop into full blown belly laughs.

This was no good, Duo realized. If he couldn't reign in his laughter, Heero would kill him for sure. And he really didn't want to die. At least not before he could convince Heero to make out with him first, and that could take ages at the glacial rate he was chipping away at that stone mask!

With a new sense of determination, Duo used every ounce of will he had to swallow his laugher. When he felt he finally had control over himself, he pushed himself to his feet, squared his shoulders, faced the hallway... and immediately burst out laughing at the site of the pink tennis-shoe prints that led into the bathroom.

"He's doomed," Wufei pronounced. Quatre and Trowa nodded in solemn agreement.

"DUO!" Heero's furious voice bellowed from behind the bathroom door. "STOP LAUGHING AND GET YOUR ASS IN HERE NOW!"

Duo blinked. He had never in his life heard Heero sound so mad. It convinced him more than ever that Heero planned to kill him, and almost made him stop laughing. Almost.

"You know," Quatre suggested hesitantly, "you could just run away. What are the chances that he would leave the bathroom to chase after you?"

Wufei shook his head. "Maybe not now. But Maxwell can't hide from him forever."

Duo managed to get his laughter under control enough to throw a glare at Wufei. "Are you sure you don't want my CD collection? You seem awfully eager to see me dead."

"You're the one still laughing, Maxwell. I'm only predicting the inevitable." Wufei leaned down casually to pick his fallen book from the floor and thumbed it open. "But don't worry, I'll write you up an appropriate obituary. 'Duo Maxwell - - Suffered Death at Pink Hands.'"

As expected, Duo almost collapsed to the floor laughing again. Wufei hid his smile behind his book.

"Well," Duo gasped between guffaws, "might as well... get it over with! And you're right, I guess. There are... worse ways... to go!"

With that, he straightened as best he could, and staggered down the hallway, ineffectually doing his best to stifle his laughter with his hands clamped over his mouth.

Undeniably curious, Wufei, Quatre and Trowa watched, wondering exactly what sort of torturous punishment Heero had in mind for Duo.

Duo raised one hand to knock at bathroom, but before he could touch it, the door flew open. A pink hand shot out of the open doorway, grabbed Duo by the front of his shirt, and dragged him inside, slamming the door behind him.

The three pilots in the living room listened with no small surprise as a loud peal of Duo's laughter rang from inside the bathroom.

"I'll teach you to laugh at me!" Heero said, and though his voice was low and threatening, it seemed to resonate through the small safe house.

There was a loud thump.

And then silence.

Followed by more silence.

And even more silence.

The three pilots in the living room glanced at each other in surprise.

"Um...." Quatre cleared his throat nervously. "You don't think...."

"That Yuy actually killed Maxwell?" Wufei snorted, but there was the tiniest hint of uncertainty in his eyes. "Of course not."

The moments of silence stretched into minutes. Trowa glanced at Quatre. "Maybe--"

"We should check to make sure? Good idea!" Quatre said, jumping to his feet and pulling Trowa behind him.

~*~

Duo Maxwell was in heaven.

And he didn't even have to die to get there.

Never in his wildest dreams had he imagined that heaven would be so... pink... and slightly sticky... but hey, he wasn't about to complain. Not that he could anyway, what with Heero's tongue down his throat, especially when he was doing his best to return the favor.

After a few minutes of passionate, tongue tangling bliss, the two boys surfaced for air. Duo was breathless, his eyes closed in rapture, his chest heaving. Slowly, he opened his eyes to see Heero staring at him, with the most adorable look of smirking pleasure on his pink face. And Duo didn't feel the slightest urge to laugh.

"Um..." he said, when he thought he could speak, but it came out a dazed whisper. "I take it that this means you're not going to kill me?"

Heero leaned forward until his lips brushed Duo's ear. "Why should I," he murmured, "when I seem to have found a much better way of shutting you up?"

Duo's eyes widened, and he pushed Heero back to look him in the face. For a moment, his piercing violet gaze searched Heero's expression, as if looking for any hidden meaning or deception in his friend's pink countenance... and then, finding none, the most wicked smile Heero had ever seen lit his face.

"I see," Duo said, his voice soft and teasing. "Well, you might just have to use that method again, since I'm pretty sure I'm going to start laughing at you any moment now."

Heero didn't need to be encouraged twice. But this time, instead of pouncing on Duo in the surprise attack that had caused them to fall on the floor in a tangle of limbs, he came at him slow and gentle.

"You know," Duo said a few minutes later, grinning like a fool. "I think I could almost get used to this whole pink thing you've got going on."

"Don't even joke about that," Heero said. He tried to snarl it, but it came out more as a groan. But then, his blue eyes lit, and his gaze raked across Duo. "In fact," he said slowly, "that reminds me of the reason I called you in here."

Duo blinked. "The... reason?" He looked almost crestfallen. "You mean, this wasn't...."

Heero quickly headed off Duo's train of thought. "I need your help to get all this paint off me."

"Oh." From the disconsolate sound of Duo's voice, Heero could tell he didn't get it.

"You don't understand, Duo. I need your help, because the paint is everywhere."

"Well, I...." Duo blinked again, comprehension dawning in his eyes. He looked at Heero, stupefied. "Eh... everywhere?"

Heero nodded, the corner of his mouth quirking up in a small smirk. "Everywhere," he said throatily, and Duo swallowed, his adam's apple bobbing as his wide eyes threatened to take up his entire face.

"You..." Duo's voice cracked, and he cleared his throat. Heero couldn't help a small chuckle. Turnabout was definitely fair play. "You sure?"

"Well, unless you don't want to help."

As Duo's surprise faded, that slow, wicked grin crawled across his face again. "Heero, you don't know how long I've wanted to show you just what a helpful guy I am."

And before Heero could respond to that, Duo's mouth was covering his in a hot, sweet... and slightly sticky and pink... kiss.

~*~

Quatre frowned, his ear pressed to the bathroom door, and cast Trowa a worried look. "I can't hear a thing," he said. Throwing caution to the wind, keeping concern for his comrades first and foremost in mind, he straightened and pounded on the bathroom door. "Duo? Are you okay?"

There was a small shuffling sound. Then, Heero's muffled, gruff voice came through the door. "Go away, Quatre."

Quatre scowled. "Heero, I order you to open this door at once. If you've actually hurt Duo--" He broke off as the shuffling became more pronounced, and stepped back in alarm as footsteps approached the other side of the door. The door flung open, but instead of Heero's furious pink face, Quatre found himself facing Duo.

Duo, who was looking rather rumpled, with his shirt half unbuttoned and half hanging out of his pants. Duo, who had suspicious splotches of drying pink paint all over his hands and face and chest. Duo, who was grinning like an idiot. And just beyond, sitting on the bathroom floor and glaring at him in annoyance, a very half naked, very pink Heero.

Before Quatre could even register his shock, Duo said, "Look,see,I'mfine,nowgobackandfinishyourmovieorsomething, okay,bye!"

The door slammed again.

Quatre stared at the closed door and blinked several times. Trowa reached over and touched his shoulder. "Want to go and finish up Casablanca?"

"Actually," Quatre said, "I just thought of something better to do." He glanced sideways at Trowa, a small smile on his lips. "Do you happen to know if we have any paint around here?"

Trowa's visible eye widened.

"As long as it's not pink," he answered.

~*~

Owari


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