Author: Maldoror
Genre: Humour, fluff - IE: NOT SERIOUS!
Pairings: 1x2! Yes, I still write those!
Rated: PG15 for language, mentions of yaoi
Feedback: Please! Particularly what you like/don't like about the fic.
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing belongs to its owners (Bandai, Sunset, and a whole host of others, none of which are me) and I'm not making any money off of them. Not a single peanut

Warnings: Language, yaoi hints, and I have a bit of fun with the stonyfaced!Heero concept. Gomen.

Since CYT went and wrote a 1x5 fluff piece, I just had to turn the world on its head and write a 1x2 in return, right? ^_^  This is FLUFF! Yes, I wrote fluff! (I think it's fluff. Nobody gets killed or shot, that counts as fluff, right?) Anyway, this is for the GWA Fluff contest.

This is Duo's POV. He may not be an entirely reliable narrator.

Nil By Mouth

"Hiya, Doc! Hey, we're off on a mission in less than twenty-four hours. Do you have time for one last patient tonight? Real quick? Won't have an opportunity tomorrow."

Doctor August looks up at me and smiles, which wouldn't be the reaction of any other dentist at that request. But Doc August works for the Preventers, in our clinic. He knows all about mission imperatives and working late. It's seven o'clock and normal dentists are enjoying their martinis while watching the golf balls fly, but our doc is still at his desk. I just know he'll say 'yes', because he likes me and he doesn't actually realize I'm not the patient.

I wait until his 'Sure, Duo, if you have a problem we need to get it checked out before the mission' statement before I reach over and drag the dead weight that is Heero into the doorframe.

"Oh?! Oh, it's Heero who's the patient," there's a notable drop in enthusiasm all around. Doctor August has had Heero in for dental work before.

Heero glowers. No surprise there.

"He's been not complaining, very stoically and stubbornly, about a toothache for the past two weeks," I explain, as I brace myself against the doorframe and manage to shove a scowling Heero into the office. The doc retreats behind his desk instinctively, then forces himself out again, with a smile as fake as the set of dentures on display near the door.

"He feels pain when he drinks something cold or hot, or when he bites down too hard. Or when he grinds his teeth. Like he's doing right now," I continue.

Heero and I have been partners for several years now - yeah, in all meanings of the word. Despite our history, it goes without saying that he didn't actually mention anything about a toothache, even to me. It'd take an electron microscope and image enhancement software to discern the tiny flinch when he drinks his tea or water. But I have eyes sharper than that when it comes to Heero. I gotta, you know. There's a fraction of a millimetre difference between the twitch in his eyebrow that says 'I am about to lose my temper; Duo, please get all civilian personnel into a shelter now' and the twitch that says 'hey, Duo, want to give the rabbits and weasels a run for their money?"

I'm exaggerating, I know; it's a bad habit of mine, but it's so much fun. There are actually a lot of differences between those two looks I mentioned. His trigger finger is twitching in the first case, and something else is twitching in the second.

I lever myself against the wall and shove Heero into the dentist's operating room. The doc doesn't look surprised by this reluctance; he's put away the smile and is following us with a look of glassy- eyed resignation. He's seen it all before. In our job, dental work is frequent.

It's not like Heero's afraid of a little pain. This guy sets his own bones and applies his own stitches (he says I do them ragged). The only reason Heero didn't take care of this tooth problem himself with a pair of pliers from our toolbox is because that could lead to infection. He is careful about his health. But as long as it's minor (ie, he's not dying from it) he'd wait until the last possible moment to have this problem looked at - probably in the hope the damn tooth will fall out all by itself - rather than go see someone in a white lab coat, with the smell of antiseptic around him, waving drugs and drills around. It's a perfectly understandable ingrained reaction. The Doc doesn't look like he appreciates that fact, however.

Heero sits down on the long and narrow chair, as relaxed and breezy as a rod of Gundanium, and I lower the backrest myself while he points his deadly scowl at the opposite wall. I don't lower it too far though; Heero gets unpredictable when he's perpendicular in tense situations. The doc will just have to be a bit flexible to get the drill into his patient's mouth.

"So. Heero. Ah, what seems to be the problem?"

"It's in the upper right quadrant," I answer yet again. No, Heero didn't tell me; get real. I performed my own, ah, tests, involving an ice-cub and a rather sloppy kiss. I'm not going into the details with the doc though; he's got enough on his mind.

You'll note that Heero is still not saying anything. The only way I got him anywhere near the clinic was by waving the spectre of massive infection, toxic shock, coma and death interfering with our upcoming mission. He finally let me persuade him, but he doesn't have to like it.

The doc hums and haws and tries to look professional while standing three metres away. I can't blame him. Heero has decided he's furious about this weakness in his own body and is giving the air in front of his nose one of his worst scowl - the one he saves only for himself and his own failings, but the doc don't know that, see.

Actually, the doc should feel honoured. The fact that Heero is showing how pissed he is indicates he trusts the old crumb, and he even sorta likes him, in his own rather special way. Otherwise the doc would only get the mask, and he'd be blissfully oblivious to the fact that Heero is watching his every move and ready to flatten him at the slightest suspicious twitch.

The doc gives me a searching look; I realize he still remembers Heero's very first visit, three years ago. I hasten to reassure him: "Oh, don't worry, doc, I disarmed him. And I patted him down thoroughly just to make sure."

The doc tries not to look too relieved and walks forward to go pick up a few instruments without turning his back on his dangerous patient, who's started to grind his teeth again.

I grab a stool and take up my usual place, right next to my partner. Nah, I don't actually think Heero will get violent with our ol' doc. But I think it reassures them both to have me around. It reduces the chances of something going wrong.

"Cheer up, Ro!" I pat him on the shoulder roughly, making the hydraulics of the dentist's chair squeak. "It won't take too long," the doc will make sure of that, "and if you're good, I'll give you a cookie afterwards."

Heero scowls at me. No, that doesn't actually give you a good idea of the effect that has. Wufei scowls at me all the time and I barely notice. I should say: Heero tenses, a dangerous semi-tension that indicates muscles bunching for an attack without stiffening so much it would hamper a lethal strike, and he slowly turns his head and looks at me with eyes that are considerably less friendly than a gun's muzzle and just about as deadly.

In the background the doc drops something, but I just smirk. Heero's scowls are impressive but I know he won't hurt me, so that takes a lot of the sting out. His tension has affected his performance, actually; I don't rate this scowl at more than a 7.4. Tops.

The doc inches forward with the tiny napkin. He puts it down carefully in Heero's lap - I mentioned the doc knows the drill, right? - and Heero fastens it around his neck by himself. I pat it down for him in a motherly fashion, he does the glare thing again - 7.9, he's relaxing -  I smirk...all normal in the Maxwell-Yuy household.

Doctor August sits down with a pick, a mirror and an air of resignation. The tail end of the glare is turned on him, and he sits there, frozen, until I cough. I can't blame him, you know. Heero looks fierce even when he smiles - even when he's so dazed with sex he's drooling. It's the wide, dark blue eyes/thick dark eyebrow combination. You know some people have naturally smiling faces and some people look like they have a stick shoved up their ass even when they're relaxed (I'm not naming names here)? Well, Heero's face is built along the lines of 'I am about three seconds away from killing you, you may beg now'.

Now, don't go thinking ol' doc is a shrinking violet! He takes care of all sorts in Preventers. Doc August used to work for the Alliance medical corp, like Sally. He's had to work with people trained to be trigger-reflex killers, or hyped up on the aggression serums OZ was testing, or just naturally mean mothers who didn't like people with drills coming anywhere near their body. I even heard he used to do Lady Une's check ups during her worst period! ('Ah, my lady, and how are you two today?') Damn, the guy has probably more balls than I do! He's actually not all that afraid in this case - not now that he knows Heero is gun-free; he's just very, very cautious.

He waits, giving Heero time to carefully examine his instruments and get used to his proximity. When the threat level in the air has returned to a mere DefCon 3, he leans forward minutely.

"Right, Heero. Please open wide."

I glance down at Heero. His mouth is open. If you're lucky you could slip a stamp in there, and you might even get it out again.

"Wider, buddy," I mutter, patting him on the shoulder. He glowers a bit but opens up.

He's got nice lips. Did I mention that before? I admire them for a few seconds before I realize that nothing else is happening. I glance at the doc who looks at me beseechingly. But I'm still too distracted by the thought of Heero's lips - and open mouth, and tongue and all that - to figure out what he needs, so he has to do his own dirty work.

"A bit wider than that, Heero, please," he mutters.

Heero's natural glare suddenly becomes more personal. Apparently he considers this quite sufficient and he's wondering about the dentist's competence. Doctor August stoically upholds the look and waits. Finally Heero opens wide. The mirror and pick are similar to the ones I use when I disarm a bomb, and the doc inserts them just as carefully into Heero's mouth and starts probing.

"Heero, please tell me when I reach a sensitive area," he says. Normally a dentist can tell from a patient's flinch when he hits a cavity, but you could hit Heero in the teeth with a sledgehammer and he wouldn't say `ow'. He'd reduce you to your component atoms, but he wouldn't say `ow'.

A bit of scraping and poking, and Heero grunts, very reluctantly, and glares at the doc as if daring him to use this weakness against him. With his mouth wide open as if to bite, he looks even scarier than usual, but the doc stays stoically at his post. He's got experience to toughen him up. The guy does my teeth - but of course, I'm completely cool and suave and relaxed about it. Don't believe what you might hear to the contrary. I didn't mean to bite the hygienist's fingers that time; I was just trying to joke with her, because she was visibly rather intimidated by my reputation, although in retrospect telling someone a joke when they have their fingers in your mouth - never mind. The doc does Wufei's teeth too, and he still does Une's, though, granted, she no longer has the power to have him dragged outside and shot if he nicks her gums. Oh, there's no denying the man's got grit though.

"Ah, I see it. Yes, it's the upper right second bicuspid, the one that was broken last September. The crown must have gotten knocked loose recently, and there's some decay in the revealed area. I'll fix that up for you."

The doc doesn't take an X-ray to confirm and see how deep it is. Heero and I get way too many of those in the aftermath of our more exciting missions anyway. He goes and gets the tools ready instead. He'll dig around until he hits the end of the cavity and that'll be that.

I can feel Heero tense beneath the fingers I have on his shoulder. The doc sits back down on his stool with the anaesthetic spray - that is, most people would assume it's anaesthetic spray. But Heero and I were brought up to think of paranoia as a healthy lifestyle choice. We both extend a hand towards the doc at the same time. Heero glares at me - this is his risk, I shouldn't be involved. I glare back - I'm his partner and lover and I have his back during our most arduous missions, it's my right to take this risk for him. The doc cuts out the glare contest by spraying the local on the inside of my wrist. He's done this before, when I was in the chair. I'm not as paranoid as Heero, but I won't let even a genial old soul like Doc August put any kinda drug in my mouth without testing it first.

The spray is cold, then very cold, then a patch of my skin disappears from my sensory input. I judge that the spray is indeed anaesthetic and that the dosage is correct, and I nod. The ol' doc leans towards Heero, and all this without batting an eye. Did I mention this guy is great? Preventers pay him an obscene amount of money because he's the only guy they know who'd put up with us.

Heero looks very unhappy - well, to my eyes - when the spray goes in and starts to numb his jaw, lips and gums. He should just be thankful we're not a hundred years ago when they still used needles, or five hundred years ago where the barber would use the pliers after he'd scratched his crotch with them. Doctor August uses the latest in laser equipment and dental alloys by contrast; clean, efficient, and safe. Heero's fingers are still making grooves in the armrests, uneasy about letting anyone put anything in his mouth and tinker around where he can't see. I'm sure they change those armrests after every one of his check-ups.

I try to take his mind off things by kidding around a bit; well actually, to be perfectly honest, there's something about having Heero with his mouth stuck open and unable to verbally retaliate that brings out the worst in me. Besides, Heero Yuy may well be the hottest-looking bloke on the planet, but no one looks good with his mouth wide open around a drill. After two minutes of drilling - mine and the dentist's - Heero's started to make some alarming growling noises deep in his chest, and the doc has a worn look, like he's wondering if it wouldn't be easier and more relaxing to become a dental vet for the zoo's tigers. So I knock off the funnies, for the good of Peace and Humanity. I start going through the logistics of our trip tomorrow, the bits that aren't classified. When I learned how much paperwork and trouble it was to move a small, professional body of ten men around the planet, I was rather glad to have been a kick-ass Gundam pilot during the war, rather than, say, a general like Treize. Why he had any hair left by the time Wufee spitted him on a beam sabre is a mystery to me...The details are boring, but Heero stops growling and pays attention, and the doc finishes his repairs in peace.

Finally, after half an hour, Heero is able to close his mouth, rinse, and of course dribble all over the place because his lip is asleep. I laugh, he growls, the doc sighs, and things are back to normal.

"Please come back tomorrow morning before the mission if you notice any pain," the doc is relaxing now that the worst is over. Heero stomps out of the dental room into the main clinic, and I'm left nodding to the doc's instructions.

"Oh, by the way, Heero?" The doc follows his patient into the reception area, reading some information in Heero's medical folder while inserting the details of today's procedure. "I see you have a general health check-up soon, with Doctor Masters."

Heero merely grunts. But this is pretty normal for someone with a jaw full of anaesthetic.

"And you too, Duo."

"Sure, Doc, we don't miss those. Don't worry."

"While you're at it - I'm sure Masters will mention it, but we have a special health drive this semester."

Last 'health drive' was to get people to eat right. Heero does all the cooking at our place, so I passed with flying colours. Good thing Doctor Masters hadn't asked me how well I ate during my childhood though. It would have taken days to coax him out from under his desk.

"You're both quite young, but you were exposed to a lot of space radiation, so I think you should mention it to the doctor, and make sure-"

"Yeah, yeah, we know we have to be careful. What's the health drive?"

The doc leans in between us and pats a poster on the wall.

'Has Your Prostate Met A Friendly Doctor Lately? Please ask your health practitioner about prostate checks-' I didn't read the rest, I was already a heaving wreck of hysterical laughter.

Of course, Heero didn't get the funny side of it at all; he's glaring at ol' Doc August as if the guy had propositioned him in a public restroom. The doc back-pedals at an impressive clip; he's by the door, with his coat in one hand and Heero's medical file still in the other, in about two seconds flat.

"Ah well good see you at your next dental check-up now excuse me I have some friends waiting for me at the golf course-" the door closes on the end of that breathless strung-out sentence.

I laugh again at the look on Heero's face and he glares at me grumpily. Apparently he does not appreciate the fact that my prostrate might be meeting any friendly doctor in the near future. His glower is causing the receptionist's plants to wilt on her desk a few feet away. I drag him out, still chuckling like a loon, and head towards the car park with a small storm cloud in tow.

Heero's got no reason to worry about anyone even flirting with me. Doctor Masters may be younger than Doc August, but he's married, with a whole bunch of rugrats whose pictures have colonized his desk. I'm sure there's plenty of other guys and gals who would love a chance to try their luck with the handsome, dashing, hot package that is Duo Maxwell, but something like animal instinct apparently  stops them in time.

You see, you can tell just by looking at him that Heero Yuy is not the type to get jealous.

He gets even.

Which probably explains why I've not had any other suitors in all my young adulthood to date.

Wufei insists that it's because I'm loud, brash, annoying, prone to wild exaggerations, burp and scratch in mixed company, pick my toenails with my butterfly knife and build tiny bombs in the basement as a hobby, but even he admits that Heero Yuy would form a considerable discouragement in his own right. Anyway, he's one to talk. We fight and bunk together on missions. I know what Wuffee looks like before he's showered, shaved, waxed his hair into place, and had his first three morning cups of coffee. Not a pretty sight, I tell you, not a pretty sight.

Heero has his hands in his jacket pockets and his shoulders hunched in the bodily equivalent of a growl. I walk beside him in silence. I know Heero won't talk while the anaesthetic will mash up his words; he doesn't like showing a weakness, even to me. I'm not looking forward to an evening of grumpy silence instead of our usual banter; I'll miss Heero's dry, sarcastic comments about our politicians while we watch the late edition news or his retaliations when I tease him about his cooking tonight.

I wonder if he's still a bit cross with me.

As we walk, I lean over and nudge his shoulder with mine, causing him to sidestep a bit.

Men are great communicators. That little gesture meant: 'Hey, you ass, don't be like that. We both know the chances of that tooth getting worse during the mission were minute, but it wasn't going to get better, either! And I don't like to know you're in pain, even something so tiny, `cause I like ya, ya big ape, probably more than I should.'

Heero doesn't look at me, or even grunt. But one step later, his shoulder bumps into mine, sending me staggering.

Translation: 'Same here. And you're the ape.'

We make it to the car before all this touchy-feely stuff degenerates into a shoving match. A silent staring contest for the right to drive wields surprising results: Heero backs down before we even really get started. I hide a smile as I get behind the wheel. He's acting grumpy, but he's actually rather happy I was with him tonight, and that I don't mind being involved with a guy who treats a trip to the dentist like it's a date with the Spanish Inquisition.

Pff, he's being a dumbass.

Sure, he's an irritable trigger-happy pain in the ass with killer reflexes that make things awkward for him in normal, non-threatening situations, but do you think I care? When God was handing out 'normal', I was playing cards with the Devil and cheating for all I was worth. I poke the bundle of deadliness I'm happy to call my own in the ribs and then quickly start the car before he can retaliate. Heero growls at the foul through the anaesthesia, but his lips are twitching into a smile.

Let's get one thing straight: Heero's my pain in the ass.

And no-one's gonna be checking out his prostrate but me!


That poster, with 'has your prostate met a friendly doctor lately?', is something I saw in my own GP clinic. The waiting room was full of people and I nearly choked to avoid exploding into fits of hentai laughter.

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