Author: Rae
Warning: Same as before, you'll see it no more. This thing is becoming more like a soap opera every day. Due to some appreciated questions and comments from several people (you know who you are! *waves*), this will be about eight parts total; unless someone brings up something else that I miss. UNBETAED.
Feedback: Please? Pretty please? With sugar and lilacs on top? (I'm out of cherries, for unexplainable reasons *blushes*). Porscha is my new best friend and muse, and my beta reader fell down the stairs. Be afraid; be very afraid.
Disclaimer: Don't own it, them, or me, so there.
Summary: Aw... poor Duo and Heero. This takes place later in the day. I don't know how they got back to bed with Duo asleep and Heero in a weakened condition (I turned my back for two seconds, two SECONDS, and they were back in bed, so it's beyond me).

Contact at Pub in a Tub + Part 7

Duo woke up first, which wasn't surprising, considering how weak Heero had seemed the day before. What did faze him a little was to find himself back in bed. He couldn't imagine Heero managing it, but he didn't remember getting there under his own steam, so either he had sleepwalked, or Heero had mustered the strength from somewhere. He stretched lazily, conscious of the man lying nearby. He shifted, turning on the bed so that he lay on his side, his head supported by his hand, his elbow against the mattress. Heero was sprawled across the rest of the bed, taking up most of the remaining space on the king-size mattress. His head was turned from Duo, one hand entangled in the sheets just inches from touching the braided man.

Violet eyes scanned the unruly hair, the ear and line of jaw that he could see, then trailed down the neck, over the shoulders, down the naked torso, resting briefly where a two fingers were tucked into the top of the pajama pants, before finishing his visual exploration down the long legs, to where the feet were turned with the toes pointing towards each other.

A soft smile graced his lips as he gently touched the hand close-by, his fingers gently tracing a pattern on the palm. He followed the lines of the palm and studied them, trying to draw from a distant memory which line was the `love' line. He gave him and simply rested his hand in Heero's, hooking his thumb around Heero's in a gentle grip.

The other man mumbled something and kicked out with one leg. He didn't seem to be trying to hit Duo, which was good since he missed. His other leg shifted to follow, and then he was lying on his side, facing Duo. His brows were furrowed and he seemed to be in the middle of an unpleasant dream.

With a soft chuckle, Duo let go of Heero's hand and touched the other man's face, gently smoothing his eyebrows before tracing a finger over his bottom lip. Heero's mouth opened slightly, moist heat wrapping around the tip of Duo's finger as he breathed heavily. His body seemed to relax, and he slipped deeper into slumber even as Duo's body woke up more fully, bringing with it the beginning of arousal and the first stirrings of hunger.

He slipped quietly out of bed, leaving Heero to sleep peacefully while he searched the kitchen for `edible' food. He found several containers of tofu, rice, bran, and soy, but nothing that he would even consider putting in his mouth. He found soy and rice milk in the refrigerator, along with a large stock of fresh fruits and vegetables.

"No meat, no cheese, no real milk, no pop, no corn flakes, no canned soup, no instant noodles or frozen dinners. What in the world does this man live on?" He shut the last cupboard with a disgusted sigh. Any other man, and the contents of that kitchen would have been enough to send him running.

Then again, any other man, and he wouldn't have still been in the kitchen.

A quick call to the nearest take-out place solved the dilemma of food and a call to Quatre guaranteed that the situation at work was handled. In the time that he knew it would take for the food to arrive, he took a quick shower, re-braided his hair, and borrowed a pair of black pajama bottoms, choosing to go commando instead of borrowing underwear or wearing his own again without washing them. He found a small washer-cum-dryer in a small, closet-size room and had just shut the lid on his clothes when the door rang. Assuming that his food had arrived, he answered the door without checking the peephole, and then wished that he hadn't been so hasty.

"Well, well. I must say, Heero has chosen well," Dorothy's eyes swept him languidly, one forked brow quirking admiration.

"Too bad you're not my type," Duo said shortly. He was tempted to shut the door in her face, but the deliveryman was coming up the walk, and he would have had to sacrifice his food. He shoved money into the poor man's hands and then pushed him back towards the stairs. His intention was to shut the door before Dorothy had a chance to make any announcements that could ruin his good mood, but she entered the apartment while he was busy.

He shut the door with a snarl, turning to glare at his... Heero's unwelcome guest. He placed the food on the coffee table and promptly forgot about it as she studied the apartment. "Hm. Still clean and somewhat stylish; I guess you haven't been here long?" She turned to him with a frosty smile.

"Listen here, wench," he borrowed the term from Tayles, "I don't like you, and you obviously don't like me-"

She cut him off. "But I do, Duo. I happen to be very fond of you. I believe that you could be a good influence on Heero. Goodness knows that he needs someone in his life to make it more interesting."

He opened his mouth and then shut it stupidly, not knowing what to say. She didn't go on, giving him time to shake his head and resettle his thoughts before he tried speaking again. "I'm a little confused. You don't hate me?"

"No, I don't," she answered calmly, sitting down in a chair and reclining comfortably. He took the seat opposite her, on the couch, and tried to come up with something else to say. "I have known Heero for three years, and in all that time, the only thing I have ever seen him do is work, evade Relena's attempts at seduction, and sleep with her brother."

Duo scratched his head, shook it, and then looked at her helplessly. She sighed and smiled slightly, her face softening.

"Relena has been after Heero since the first time she saw him. About two years ago, she was slightly put off because she found out that he had slept with her brother. As far as I can tell, it was a short affair, a small fling compared to the on-again, off-again relationship that Milliardo had with Treize."

"He slept with her brother?" She nodded. He hissed a breath through his teeth. "Ouch. But that didn't make her leave him alone permanently?"

"It didn't turn into anything, as I'm sure you've noticed. She simply decided that he was using her brother as substitution and used that as an excuse to up her level of attack. She's spent the last couple of years trying to convince him that one incident didn't make him gay, and that he still belonged with her."

"Um, she failed?" He chuckled slightly. "She was here earlier, but she didn't seem to want to be here."

"She's over her crush, I think. It would be hard to maintain her obsession after seeing the way you two look at each other." She glanced at him pointedly, seeing the confusion and flash of hope on his face. "It's obvious, even if not to you, that he cares. You'd have to understand more about Heero and his short thing with Mil."

He nodded, seeing the wisdom behind her words. "I don't suppose you'd be willing to fill in the details?" he asked. She shook her head. "Thought not." A second passed before a thought struck him and he raised an eyebrow, looking at her skeptically. "What are you doing here?"

She grimaced, looking pained. "I came to warn Heero, but I guess I'll just warn you and run. Milliardo is having a fight with his boyfriend of the moment, and I think he might head this way for consolation sex. He has a nasty habit of sleeping with ex-boyfriends when he`s on the rebound. Treize is otherwise occupied with your cute friend and he probably figures that Heero is still single."

He rolled his eyes and collapsed against the couch, not quite catching all of her words. "This day just gets better and better, doesn't it?" He watched as she stood up and smoothed the wrinkles out of her skirt. "You're not even going to stay to help out if he does show up?"

"Let's just say that I have a gut feeling that something really bad is going to happen and I'd rather not be around to see what it is, okay? Anyway, I have a date in," she looked at her watch, "three hours. I don't think your bartender would appreciate my tardiness."

"Thanks for not helping much," he said derisively. She just laughed at him and left. He closed his eyes and glanced at his watch, realizing for the first time that the day was gone. It was almost seven in the evening; he had been asleep for a long time.

He gathered up the take-out and went into the kitchen. There were no paper plates or throwaway, plastic silverware, so he settled on a chipped glass plate and a metal fork. He had just settled at the table to eat when another knock sounded on the door. He sighed and stared longingly at his food, then stood up with determination.

The door flew open under his hand and he glared at the interloper. Blue eyes stared back at him, surrounded by a glossy fall of platinum hair and a handsome face. "You're not Heero," the other man stated, tilting his head to the side in a considering fashion. Obviously, he hadn't expected another man to answer the door. "Who are you?"

Duo sighed in an aggravated fashion and blew a breath upwards, through his teeth, making his bangs move. "I'm the idiot who couldn't stay away. You?"

One blonde eyebrow rose. "I'm the boyfriend."

"Huh," Duo replied. He settled against the doorjamb, effectively blocking the other man's way inside. "Funny. According to Dorothy, you're the ex-boyfriend. Somehow, I find her assessment to be more truthful, since I've spent most of the last four days having sex with your supposed `boyfriend`," he said bluntly.

Milliard's brows dropped into a frown. "You've what?" His voice was chilling, his eyes narrowing until they were slits. Duo would have been intimidated, but he wasn't going to let anything get to him until he had a chance to talk to Heero.

He blinked and suddenly the blonde was grinning in a friendly way, extending one hand for Duo to shake. Duo stared at it as the other man spoke.

"I'm Milliardo Peacecraft, Relena's brother. If you know him, you probably know her," he said congenially. Duo nodded stupidly, for the second time that day feeling confused.

"Duo Maxwell, and yeah, I've met her." He placed his hand into Milliard's, straightening from the doorway. The blonde man pulled him slightly closer and tilted his head, giving Duo a coy look.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Duo, but as I'm sure you know, it would be really awkward to have Heero's ex and his current in the same apartment with him, so," he jerked Duo's arm and sent the braided man flying into the railing that kept him from falling to the pavement below. When Duo turned back around, the door to the apartment was shut and locked.

He blinked, staring at the rather bare-looking door. Then he sighed and sat down, settling back against the railing as comfortably as he could get wearing nothing but silk pajama bottoms and a hair- tie. "This day keeps getting better and better," he said for the second time that day, wishing he hadn't gotten out of bed.

+

Duo didn't know what he expected to happen, but he was fairly certain that having the door opened and Milliardo flying towards him wasn't at the top of his list of possible scenes. He barely threw himself to the side before Milliardo impacted with the railing, stumbling over the spot where Duo had been just seconds before. He looked up to find Heero leaning weakly against the doorframe, breathing heavily and looking extremely pissed. His gaze shifted to Duo and his expression softened a little, but not much. "You, in." He pointed to Duo and then jerked his thumb to indicate his apartment. Then he pointed at Milliard. "You, stay out."

Duo sat up straight, crossed his arms over his chest, and said, "no." Milliardo and Heero both turned to stare at him incredulously. "For all you know, I could be very comfortable, sitting in on the cold concrete in front of your apartment wearing nothing but a thin pair of pants. I might like the idea of spending half the night out here half-naked. But you wouldn't know, would you?"

Milliardo took a step back from him, even though he was still sitting on the ground, eyeing him curiously.

"You could ask me to come back inside. I might like to come back inside, but if you order me around like I'm ten, I'm going to sit here and act like I'm a ten-year-old throwing a tantrum."

Heero started at him, a confused frown on his face. Milliardo walked quickly between them, looking from one to the other before he leaned towards Heero and said with a conspiratory wink, "I think you two need to talk."

Heero grunted in reply, his eyes still fixed on Duo, who was staring back with an equal intensity. "Is there something you forgot to complain about earlier?" asked Heero. Duo stared at him for a moment, surprised by the blunt coldness in his voice, before Dorothy's advice came back to him.

"Yeah, I did," he said, standing up. He stepped closer and reached out, tapping Heero's chest with a finger. "I am not a sex-toy, and I'm not a child, therefore, my relationships should not be reduced to sex and being talked down to or ordered about. Understood?"

There was a considering pause before Heero nodded and agreed.

"Good. Now, I have food that's waiting for me in the kitchen that is probably cold by now, so you can find yourself something to eat while I warm it up, and we can sit down and hold our first real discussion, okay?"

+

[cont]