NOTE: see part 1
for notes, warnings
+ Part 21
Life with Duo Maxwell had always
been interesting, to say the least, but life with Duo Maxwell in a full
leg cast was just short of a circus, as Heero found out very quickly.
For starters, Duo didn't like to listen to doctor's orders, which came
as no surprise to Heero at all. It's hard to keep a good Gundam pilot
down, he reasoned. But when it got to the point, a few days after returning
home, that Duo stayed on his feet so much that his toes were swollen by
the end of the day, Heero had to take some measures to convince him to
relax. He wound up modifying the living room so that everything Duo could
possible want or need, including the controls to every remote object in
the place and a remote-networked laptop computer, was within reach. The
only thing he could possibly need to get up for was to either go to the
bathroom or get something to eat, and even that had been dealt with somewhat,
as Heero had fashioned a makeshift snack box supply of sorts that Duo
could peruse while he surfed or watched TV. He spoiled him, in no uncertain
terms, but Heero's main concern was that Duo keep his leg up and elevated,
at least for the first month while the most critical healing was going
Then besides having a problem following his doctor's instructions, there
was always Duo's temper that needed dealing with. Occasionally he would
get so annoyed at either himself, his cast, or some other inanimate object
in the house that had made his way impassable that Heero would hear the
man curse mouthfuls from across the condo and immediately know that Duo
had either tripped or collided with something. These verbal outbursts
were usually followed by the sound of whatever the offending object was
being punted across the room like a football, by Duo's casted foot. Luckily,
thus far, it had only been things like Heero's gym bag that had been left
in the living room, and the plastic trash can in the kitchen. When he
kicked the snack box that Heero had been keeping stocked for him, all
he succeeded in doing was creating a big mess as individually packed granola
bars and peanut pouches went flying all over the living room. The coffee
table had actually kicked back, leaving the frustrated man reeling in
pain. He didn't kick anymore furniture after that.
Showering had become another serious problem, since all Duo had was a
shower stall and an especially deep jet tub without a showerhead. Heero
picked up one of those showerheads with the flexible hose from a home
center the kind of head that was screwed onto the spigot on the
tub and that would have worked fine except that once he finally
tried the tub out, Duo realized that the sides were far too tall for him
to maneuver his garbage bag covered cast over, even to let it rest up
on top of the sides. Baths were definitely out.
In the shower stall he fared a little bit better, but wound up having
to hold his leg out of the curtain in order to not allow any water to
drip under the bag and wet the inside of the wrappings. The last thing
he wanted was to need to have the thing cut off and reapplied because
he'd allowed it to get wet. The problem remained though, that he could
only face the water stream, his right leg propped outside the curtain.
Turning around in the shower wasn't an option either.
One afternoon that first weekend, while Duo was fumbling in the shower,
fighting to keep the plastic up since it continually seemed to want to
slide down, Heero could hear him cursing from all the way down in the
living room. They'd gone as far as to tape the bags all the way around
the top of Duo's leg to keep water from leaking in, and still the cast
was getting wet as the tape unstuck after getting wet itself. Medical
grade tape, even. Heero chuckled, shaking his head as he listened to the
tirade going on above him until he heard a loud "thud" from
the living room ceiling and went running, hoping that Duo hadn't slipped
Pushing open the door and bursting into the bathroom, Heero entered the
steam-filled room to find Duo cursing like a sailor and fighting with
the trash bag that by now was getting mangled from Duo's attempts to set
it straight. Seeing Heero come in, Duo looked up, exasperated.
"I can't do this! I can't fucking do this! This goddamn plastic won't
stay in place, I can't do what I need to do, and I've had it! I want to
wash my goddamn hair, and I can't turn around in here to do it, and I
can't get the goddamn plastic to stayinfuckingplace!" Duo's expression
was actually a little comical, to think that all of his fuss was because
of a plastic bag and his cast. He was not amused at the smirk on Heero's
"Can I help?" Heero asked, thinking about how they could get
Duo's hair washed without getting the cast wet.
"Not unless you want to just wash your hair in place of mine, which
"Here, wait a second." Heero went to the bathtub and unscrewed
the flexible handheld showerhead that he'd put on when they thought Duo
would be able to use the tub. "Turn off the water." Duo turned
off the water, then hopped carefully to stand at the back of the shower
stall while Heero leaned in to unscrew the existing showerhead. He replaced
it with the flexible head, then turned to the dripping, half-soaped man
next to him. "Try that." Heero noted Duo's lean, angular form,
his eyes straying to give him a quick once over, and then he realized
that Duo had seen him do it. Heero blushed and pulled himself out of the
shower stall as a smirk appeared over Duo's lips. "Sorry."
"For what?" Duo asked, full well knowing what Heero was apologizing
for. He turned on the water until there was a spray coming from the handheld
head and started to rinse himself off of the soap that was drying on him.
He kept his casted leg outside of the shower stall, causing the curtain
to be partway open. Then putting the handheld into his other hand, he
was able to spray off the back of his head.
Heero sighed. "I should go."
Duo's face fell. "If it's not too much trouble, do you think you
could..." He stopped, not sure if he should even ask, knowing deep
down inside that what he was doing really wasn't fair to Heero. He was
trying to seduce his friend, or at least get him more interested, and
as much as he wanted to do that, part of him realized that it just wasn't
right. If Heero wanted him, he'd say so himself. Maybe. Hopefully.
"What do you need?" Heero asked, trying desperately to pull
himself away from the bathroom and the naked man in the shower. Why he
was trying to get away, he hadn't quite figured out yet, since Duo had,
more or less, admitted that he wanted to be with him. Heero realized that
he was still having a hard time dealing with his own sexuality in the
context of actually being part of a couple. Being with someone. All his
life he'd been a loner, and though he was making great strides to become
the person he really should have been the whole time, sometimes the thought
of closeness still caused alarm. It was as if as much as he wanted to
belong to someone, there was that one part of him that continued to be
cautious, warning him that he shouldn't get attached in that way.
"Iya..." Duo said, deciding he would go for broke, since it
was obvious that Heero was going to need a guiding hand in realizing if
he wanted to develop a relationship, "I was wondering if you could,
ah, help here with rinsing my hair after I get it shampooed. See, this
is lots better, this hose and all, but I still won't be able to reach
all the way back there and get all the shampoo off." There. He'd
He wants me. Heero froze for a moment, thinking about what he should
do. You know what you should do, idiot! Then before he waited long
enough to let Duo think he wasn't interested, Heero walked back into the
bathroom and up to the shower, where he cautiously pulled the curtain
a little further back. He took the showerhead from Duo, who stood himself
in position to have his hair wet by the stream of water while keeping
his leg out of the spray, leaning on the front shower wall for balance,
and his hands shook a little while he did so. When all of the long, chestnut
hair was saturated, he turned off the water and waited for Duo to shampoo
himself, the fragrance of the shampoo filling his nose and making him
want to reach his hands out to help. Why are you fighting yourself?
You're not J's puppet anymore. Stop denying yourself, Heero! Wash his
hair! He wants you to do it! Determined to not let the soldier win
out, eventually he did.
Heero let the showerhead lay in the bottom of the shower, and stepped
closer to gently touch Duo's sudsy hair with his fingers. As soon as they
made contact though, he felt Duo stiffen and stop what he was doing, so
he pulled his hands back. Rubbing his fingers with the foam from the shampoo,
Heero stood embarrassed, letting his eyes drop.
"No, it's OK." Duo said without turning to face him. "Please."
Garnering the courage to try again, Heero stepped close once more, then
let his fingers go back to the long, soapy hair, only this time his touch
was expected, and Duo softened instead. More confident that his advance
was wanted this time, Heero started to massage the shampoo into Duo's
hair, working it slowly into his head, until he was softly scrubbing his
scalp, making more lather. Duo leaned into his touch, letting his head
fall back and closing his eyes, and he released a long, contented sigh.
Heero smiled and kept massaging. He shampooed Duo's hair like that for
nearly ten minutes, both of them sucking up their own pleasure from it
as he did. The heat on Heero's cheeks was equaled only by the feeling
of heat he began to feel in his pants, and in embarrassment he adjusted
his legs to try to hide anything that might be even the slightest bit
visible by the other man.
Switching the water back on and adjusting it for temperature, Heero then
moved the spray up Duo's back and to the ends of his long hair, being
careful of the cast, and he rinsed from the bottom up, until he reached
his head. "Put your head back more," he said, needing to rinse
his scalp but not wanting to spray soap or water into Duo's eyes. Duo
obliged and let his head fall all the way back on his neck, and he kept
his eyes closed as the spray fell on the top of his head, rinsing all
the soap away. Heero rinsed him a few times, until the water ran clear
of any suds, and then turned the water off again. Handing the showerhead
back to Duo, their eyes met, and he smiled shyly before turning and disappearing
out of the bathroom door again, leaving Duo to finish up by himself.
Neither of them mentioned the hair-washing episode, at least not until
two days later when Duo planned on washing his tresses once more. Heero
knew he didn't wash his hair every day, that doing so would cause dryness
in hair that long, and he patiently waited until Duo announced that he
would be taking extra time in the shower to do it again. Then waiting
until the other man had already settled himself in the stall and had the
water going, his casted, plastic bag covered leg sticking out of the partially-opened
curtain, Heero went to Duo's side again where he took the showerhead from
him to help him wash his hair. After that it became a regular routine,
Heero washing Duo's hair for him while he was in the shower, and a routine
that brought them that much closer together.
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