Author: Rae
Genre: Romance/Lemon/Angst (mild)
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: This kind of bounces from person to person. No lemon (please don't kill me) and no real action. This just kind of goes out to show the different developmental stages of the different relationships, and... Duo finally gets part of his earlier wish.
Feedback: Much appreciated and adored. I even expect it from some people *winks at Suzume*
Disclaimer: Don't own Duo, Heero, Wufei, Zechs, Milliardo (yeah, I know), Treize, Colonel Une, Noin, Relena, Quatre, Trowa, Sally, Hilde, Sylvia, Otto, G, J, O, H, S, Cathy, the Ringmaster, the lions, Walker, the mechanics, Alex, Mueller, Lady Une, Tuberov, Marshal Noventa, Mrs. Noventa, Darlian, Mrs. Darlian, Dorothy, or me, so there.
Summary: Heero and Duo spend a little down time -not- having sex, while the world returns to a normal only considered normal in fan fiction *grins*
Note: My beta is still MIA. So, I've read and reread this, but no promises. I'm hoping that she's okay, but I haven't heard -anything- from her. Somehow, I don't think it's personal, so I'll keep her in my thoughts and I hope that you do the same.

Contact at Pub in a Tub + Part 8

Wufei should have locked the door. To preserve his honor and what was left of his sanity, he should have slipped the bolt into place and shoved a chair under the knob so that seductive, older men could not enter his apartment uninvited. Failing that, he should have locked the door -after- Treize made his way inside.

If he had just spared a moment for logic, he wouldn't be sitting across from the glowering, blonde ex-boyfriend of his new lover. Instead, he would have been in his bedroom asleep, or better yet, learning the nuances and sensitivities of Treize's body.

Milliardo sniffled into a Kleenex as Treize rubbed his back sympathetically. When the blonde had shown up earlier that day, Treize had been quick to show him out the door, so that they could return to bed, but when he showed up a second time and broke into tears, tears that Wufei still thought were faked, Treize had ushered him -in- the door. In to -Wufei's- apartment, no less.

Wufei still thought it odd that Milliardo had known where to find Treize when the older man wasn't in his apartment.

He wanted to feel put out and angry, but he was mesmerized by the interplay between the two men. Milliardo was whispering through his tears and all Wufei heard was a bunch of mumbled, nonsensical words, but every few minutes, Treize would make a comment that seemed suitable to Milliardo, as if he were following the whole thing the same as a normal conversation.

Despite his attentiveness to Mil, Treize was also careful not to ignore Wufei. While the blonde garbled unintelligibly, the ginger- haired man would look up and smile at Wufei, making it even harder to stay mad at him as he offered his ex comfort.

After what seemed like an eternity, but was probably only an hour, the blonde's tears subsided. With a suddenness that seemed odd when compared to his earlier misery, he turned and glomped onto Treize. "I'm so sorry to impose on you guys, but I didn't know where else to turn!"

Wufei rolled his eyes, but Treize returned the hug and continued to smooth Mil's back. "What happened to Otto?" he asked quietly. The blonde stiffened, but only for a second before he sniffled piteously.

"We're fighting. He said that Walker was no good for me, but I wouldn't listen. He was right, though. Otto always is." He sounded disgruntled to Wufei, but the ginger-haired man seemed to be buying the whole thing.

Wufei sighed and shifted in his chair, earning him a small smile from Treize. The dark-haired man raised an eyebrow and tried to look as stern as he could, but Milliardo squeezed Treize tighter, drawing the older man's attention back to himself.

+

Duo stretched languidly and smiled when his toes brushed against a hair-covered leg. Heero was snoring softly, lying on his back next to Duo with his arm around the braided man's shoulders. Duo was resting on his right side; his body curved around Heero's, his arm over Heero's chest.

It was nice, waking up in the middle of the night to find Heero slumbering peacefully. It was definitely a feeling that Duo could become accustomed to very quickly. It would be more difficult to wake alone from that point on. If nothing came of it, if weeks from that day Heero decided it was over, there would be nothing more than the memories that Duo could gleam.

The thought was depressing, but Duo had to consider all possibilities. While they seemed to be compatible at the moment, they had yet to actually do anything more than sleep together. The only conversation that they'd had at that point that Duo considered even remotely important had been cut short by Duo.

Sitting at the table with Heero, watching the other man's eyes as he considered everything, Duo had been struck with a deep, gut- wrenching fear. He was afraid that if Heero had a chance to actually see it through, he would accept Duo's offer of an out; and if Heero accepted, Duo was very afraid that nothing would ever be enough again.

He moved his leg so that it was over-top of Heero's and let his head rest on the other man's shoulder. He couldn't stop the sad little sigh that escaped his lips, nor was he prepared for Heero to ask, "What was that for?"

"That was because I'm an optimistic pessimist," he said cryptically. "Don't worry about it, babe."

"Hn," Heero grunted. His body was still lax, making Duo wonder how long he had been awake without him knowing it. "Elaborate."

Duo resisted the urge to roll his eyes at the command while he complied, "I was just trying to figure out how long it would take before you're ready to wrap my braid around my neck." Again, he left much unsaid, but this time Heero didn't ask him to say more.

They lapsed back into a silence that was neither comfortable nor uneasy. Heero's hand began to drift lazily up and down Duo's side, his nails grazing the skin lightly enough that Duo squirmed and giggled.

"Stop tickling," he ordered, trying not to laugh. A nail scratched an inch above his hip and his hips bucked in response to the contact with that little area of sensitivity. "Are you ready for another round?"

He waited for Heero to agree, or to take him up on the blatant invitation in his voice, but the other man pulled his arm away and got out of bed. Duo sat up, his eyes wide as he watched Heero rummage through his closet in the dark shadows of the poorly lit room. Duo couldn't see what he was looking for or the outfit he eventually decided on, but he knew that that probably wasn't a good sign. Having sex refused in order to get dressed could -not- be a good thing.

"Heero?" His voice was quiet and contained, hiding much of his uncertainty. Heero's arm jerked behind his back and Duo blinked when he felt something land on the bed. He reached out and lifted the material, identifying it as a pair of pants shortly before another article of clothing landed in his lap.

"Get dressed." If Duo thought that he was good at keeping his voice emotionless, he figured that Heero had to be a master.

He got out of bed and pulled the pants on. Heero hadn't provided underwear, but it wasn't the first time he'd gone without. The shirt was a T-shirt that slipped over his head. They adorned the clothing without turning the light on, and then Duo was handed a pair of sandals that he put on his feet. They fit okay, but were a little loose on his feet. Heero's feet were bigger than his.

"Where are we going?" he asked as he watched Heero's dim form bend in the shadows to put on another pair of shoes.

"You'll see," Heero responded. He grabbed Duo's hand and pulled him from the bedroom, and then from the apartment. He walked briskly, as if he had to be someplace soon.

Duo expected to be lead to the waiting car, but Heero led him past it. They kept to the sidewalk, and Duo was grateful that Heero lived in a better section of town than he; there was no space for shadows between the lampposts, something that made walking in his neighborhood dangerous.

Two blocks and they turned to the right, then right again and then Heero turned left. Duo blinked in the sudden brightening of light, then snickered softly as he was led the rest of the way to a twenty- four hour supermarket.

Heero released his hand in the lobby and retrieved a grocery cart from the rows lined up inside. He glanced at Duo, his eyes intense. "We talk. We shop, we talk, and we don't have sex." A young girl, having walked in behind them, seemed to stumble as he said that.

Duo grinned, his eyes taking on an excited gleam. "Deal."

+

Tayles laughed excitedly as yet another pair of guys approached them. She had to say that as odd as Dorothy's idea of entertainment was, it was amusing. They were currently stationed in their fourth club of the night and seated side by side at the bar. They were both turned to the dance floor and resting back against the bar as they scanned the forms.

Periodically, a man or two would notice them and come over to flirt. Dorothy would lead them on for several minutes, eventually leading Tayles into flirting with the men. When it became apparent that the men were certain enough of their victory that they invited the women to leave with them, Dorothy would reply coolly that the only person either would be leaving with would be each other.

To Tayles initial surprise, but growing pleasure, she would follow that by leaning over and kissing her date. Thoroughly. Mind- numbingly thorough. By the third bar, Tayles was ready to take their fun and games back to her apartment above the Pub in a Tub, but her split-browed flirt wouldn't hear of leaving the party scene until the hour of closing.

Which meant that they had an hour and a half more of her game before they got to the real fun. Tayles couldn't wait.

+

They started in the produce section. Heero moved slowly up and down the lines of fresh fruits and vegetables, Duo in tow. First stop: tomatoes. Heero squeezed, sniffed, and studied nearly the entire stock before settling on one small, 'perfect' specimen. That routine was repeated with the cantaloupe, apples, oranges, zucchinis, star fruit, parsnips, turnips, cucumbers (at which point Duo had to stifle a laugh at seeing Heero lift the oblong object to his face), and apricots.

They ended up with one of each.

Next, they walked up and down the aisles of canned and boxed foods, Heero's eyes quickly searching through and dismissing items. Duo spent the first conversation-less half hour observing his lover and filing away expressions and gestures that Heero made while they shopped.

It wasn't until aisle five, the cereal aisle, that Heero stopped and turned to Duo. "Talk."

"Huh?" Duo asked stupidly, before his brain caught up with him. He smiled sheepishly and stuffed his hands into the back pockets of the pants he was wearing. "I don't know what to talk about," he admitted.

Heero shrugged as if he hadn't thought that far, either. "About anything, I guess. If we were living together and knew everything about each other, what would you talk about?"

"I haven't a clue. I would say work, but that would be redundant, since-"

"It wouldn't," Heero cut in. "We won't see each other every day and I won't know a lot about the individual projects you have. You're just another employee, as far as work is concerned."

"Ow," Duo mumbled under his breath. He didn't really need a reminder as to his worth.

Heero glanced at him, took his hand, and started walking again. "You may be a valuable employee, Duo, but I can not treat you any differently than I would any other person who worked under me. I - won't- treat you any differently at work."

"Except when you ravish me in your office," the braided man pointed out with a smirk. Heero was holding his hand in public at one o- clock in the morning. He didn't know if it was the fact that he was tired that was making him feel giddy, or if it was the contact.

"Except when I ravish you in my office," Heero agreed. He let go of the cart to pull a box of bran flakes from a shelf, his hold on Duo never slipping. Duo grinned, until it dawned on him that Heero was picking food for himself. It was like a slap in the face, another sign that what they had was only temporary. He took a deep breath, reminding himself that Heero had just agreed that he'd still be ravishing Duo in his office, which was a sure sign that he meant for things to continue.

With a sudden decision, he took the box from Heero and sat it back on the shelf and replaced it with a box of his own favorite. "This is better. Not as good for you, but at least it has taste."

"Bran flakes have 'taste'," Heero said. However, he placed Duo's cereal in the cart and left his choice where it was. They moved onto the next aisle: baking goods. Heero started to move past the boxes of cake and brownie mixes, but Duo stopped to drool over several of them and effectively stopped Heero's progress.

"Brownies. Cream cheese brownie, double-fudge, frosted, walnuts, chocolate chips... " He licked his lips, and then looked at Heero with a grin. "I have a sweet tooth, sorry. We can go." He started to tug Heero back down the aisle, but the other man managed to stay planted in place as he picked up a box and read the instructions on the back.

"This doesn't look too hard to make," he said, more to himself than to Duo. It joined the cereal in the cart. Duo's grin widened and he practically skipped as they left that aisle and continued shopping.

+

Wufei sighed happily when the door to his apartment shut. At some point in time, Treize had called some guy named 'Otto' to come and get Milliardo, though neither Mil or Wufei knew that he had made the call.

When the other man had rang the bell, Wufei had been only slightly surprised to see the blonde rush past him into the other man's arms. Treize winked at him when he turned to see how he would take it.

"I'm sorry," Treize said, sitting regally on the couch where he had been while Otto and Milliardo left. "I should have known that this morning wouldn't be the end of it. Heero is more than a little occupied with Maxwell. I should have had the foresight to realize that he would not be in the mood to cuddle an ex-lover."

"Of course not," Wufei said coldly. He glared at his 'guest', trying to ignore the stirrings of anticipation that started in his stomach and spread to his groin.

Blue eyes gleamed with humor as Treize's lips curved upwards. "You're beautiful when you're angry."

"You're annoying when you're smug," returned Wufei, though his voice lacked much of the heat to make it convincing.

"You're incredibly sexy when you glare."

Wufei raised an eyebrow, and then smirked. "I'm even sexier when I'm satisfied."

"Yes, you are," Treize agreed as the black-eyed man rose to his feet in a fluid motions.

+

By the time they got to the front of the store to check out, their cart was full and Duo was ready to dance a jig. Half of the items in the cart had been picked up after he had mentioned liking them, and several had even been purchased only after receiving his approval. He was feeling really good about everything again.

The cashier, a smiling, overly cheerful woman with frizzy blonde hair and buckteeth, grinned at them as they slowly unloaded their cart. "Good evening... actually, I guess I should say 'good morning'!" She laughed and started to check their order. Heero and Duo looked at each other, and Duo shrugged and rolled his eyes.

"So, are you guys coming or going?" she asked.

"Going," Duo replied with equal cheer, thinking to himself that they sure weren't 'coming'. He snickered, but shook his head when Heero looked at him questioningly.

"Ah," she replied, as if that answered everything. Suddenly, she stopped ringing the order and held up the box of lube that Heero had chosen. "We have the store brand of this on sale for about half the price, and you can get it for sensitive skin, too."

There was a long silence as both men simply stared at her while she smiled back happily, holding the box up while she waited for them to say something.

+

Tayles reached blindly behind her for the door to her room, cursing her luck that she had shut it before she left that evening. It would have been a small matter to open it if her lips and body weren't molded to Dorothy's in a heated kiss.

Finally, she managed to grasp the knob and stumble into the middle of her bedroom, Dorothy's arms wrapping more firmly around her waist to hold their balance. While her hands were busy, Tayles slipped her fingers in the waistband of Dorothy's skirt and began to pry her shirt loose, giggling loudly when Dorothy broke the kiss to suck on her neck.

+

The walk back to the apartment was awkward. Duo was almost miffed when they got outside and he remembered that they didn't have a car to put the food in, but Heero looked at him and said simply that he hadn't thought they'd be getting much, but he hadn't wanted to refuse Duo anything.

That pretty much cinched everything and Duo kept his grumbling to himself as he helped lug their bags the four blocks to Heero's apartment, then up the stairs to the apartment.

They took care of the food together, giving Duo a chance to reacquaint himself with Heero's kitchen. As they worked, he vocally compared his kitchen to Heero's. Heero finished first and Duo had just finished putting the foodstuffs away when warm arms wrapped around his torso and drew him back against Heero's body.

He sighed happily and covered Heero's hands with his as he waited for the other man to make a sexual overture that would end up with them back in bed, using their new tube of store brand lube.

The overture never came. Heero simply held him while they stood in his kitchen, his head eventually coming to rest on Duo's shoulder as they stood together.

+

[part 7] [part 9] [back to the Singles page]