+ Part 2 (cont)
There was a long pause. Trowa
wasn't sure what the expression on Quatre's face was; he was almost curious
enough to attempt a peak.
"Duo? Duo Maxwell?"
"Who else?" Trowa's brow furrowed in annoyance. He didn't like circular
"But... Duo? I don't even... I doubt he'd know anything about L2 policies,
Quatre was being condescending again. Trowa knew he didn't mean to be,
he just honestly didn't know when he was being a little prick. It was
an upbringing thing, Trowa assumed. It never bothered him, normally, but
for some reason, the fact that Quatre was looking down his nose at Duo
rankled a little. He didn't bother to analyze why that might be; he just
chalked it up to a vague sense of class-consciousness, and ignored it.
"Besides, I don't think... well, that is, I've heard that Duo..."
"I've been seeing him. You should talk to him. I'm sure he'd like that."
Trowa knew that he was leading Quatre to believe things that weren't true,
but he was also being honest, even if not rigorously so, and he was enjoying
the look he imagined to be on Quatre's face too much to care.
The pause lengthened, and Trowa released his grip on his cuffs so that
he could try to pull up the ugly brown carpet again.
"You've been... *seeing* *Duo*? Duo *Maxwell*?"
The sheer incredulity in Quatre's voice made Trowa smile to himself. "Sure."
Quatre sputtered. Actually sputtered. Trowa hadn't enjoyed a conversation
so much in years. Years and years.
"He used to run a business in L2, with Hilde. A salvage business." What
had happened with that, anyway? Why was Duo with the Preventors? Trowa
frowned a little, but kept it out of his voice. He realized that he and
Duo were not close, but he was surprised that he didn't know this about
the other man. "He must know some things."
Quatre choked a little. "That *may* be, but I don't think he would have
any contacts that WEI would be interested in." Trowa narrowed his eyes,
finding his hand balled up into a fist on top of the carpet. "At any rate,
he certainly doesn't have a good reputation, if you know what I mean.
There are... *rumors* about how he has spent the last few years."
Trowa started gripping his cuffs again. He spoke gruffly, and far too
low for Quatre to hear. "There are *rumors* about me, too... Better hope
no one finds out you talk to me, either, then..."
"I have to go, Quatre."
"Oh, but I haven't told you the funniest story about Abdul yet! See, he
had to get..."
"I'm sorry. Bye." Trowa switched the 'phone off from the floor, and continued
to sit, and let the darkness settle around him. It took a long time for
him to unwind enough to let go of his cuffs. He thought about the knives
in the kitchen. Then he tried to think about something else. He tried
to think about putting in a disk, but the thought of watching porn made
him physically ill, which made him think about going into the bathroom,
which made him think about razor blades, which made him think about falling
down in the bathroom in Catherine's trailer on L1, and the smell of blood,
and then he thought about Catherine finding him there, and the guilt made
him get up and fix himself something to eat.
He didn't bother to turn on any lights, so the only time he could really
see what he was doing was when he opened the refrigerator door. He made
a sandwich with ham and peanut butter. As an afterthought, he poured himself
a glass of milk. He took the sandwich and the milk out to the living room,
and ate in darkness on the couch.
He thought about Catherine more, which produced enough guilt for him to
finish the whole sandwich and to empty his glass. She worried about him
so much; she had so much reason to worry. She had been so good to him
ever since he first met him, even when she never had reason to be nice.
She treated him like the younger brother she had lost, and encouraged
him to treat her like the older sister he had never had.
When he thought about her, and how she worried, the smell of blood was
so thick, he could barely breathe.
If he called her, it would make her night. She would be so happy to see
him reaching out to her like that. He should call her. Tell her he was
thinking about her. He emailed her from work often, but it wasn't the
same. When he couldn't hear her voice, he couldn't imagine her expression
all that well. He needed to hear her voice.
He got up, and brushed the crumbs off his pants. He turned on the vidphone,
and stared at the blue screen, waiting for vocal prompts.
"Find number - Maxwell, Duo."
The machine when through a search, and then produced seven results from
the surrounding eight area codes, and a prompt for if the search needed
to be widened. Trowa recognized Duo's address, so he selected that number,
had it filed in his personal directory, and then dialed. Stepping carefully
out of the line of the camera's eye, he waited.
Trowa examined his fingernails, even though it was hard to do by the light
of the 'phone. "Duo."
"Trowa? Is that you?"
"Well, where the fuck are you?"
"Well, damn it, step where I can see you, or hang up. I'm not fucking
talking to your damn wall."
Trowa had to repress the desire to smirk. It was a physically involving
task to move the two steps away from the wall and in front of the 'phone.
He hoped Duo appreciated his effort. "Duo."
"Tro." Duo smiled, relaxing. He looked worn out, like he'd just been working
out, or something. Trowa could also tell from the way Duo smiled that
he had been drinking. "Well, there you are. What's up?"
"Why are you with the Preventors?"
Duo blinked. "Um, you called me up to ask me that?"
"Ah. Another exciting night at Casa de Barton, eh?"
Trowa enjoyed the way Duo's eyes crinkled when he teased. "Of course."
"Well, great. But... well, that's kind of a long, boring story."
Trowa didn't believe that for a second.
"Let me ask you something first. What happened with you and Q?"
"You don't have to answer if you don't want to. I was just wondering."
"It's ok. You don't have to tell me."
"I just did."
Duo cocked his head in confusion. "Huh?"
Trowa shrugged. "Nothing happened. The wars ended, we went our separate
ways... He called me from time to time, but that was it... And then he
got married." Trowa had a harder time shrugging this time.
"Oh." Duo sounded truly disappointed. "That's too bad. I always thought..."
"Me too." Trowa hadn't planned on saying that. He certainly didn't plan
on sounding so bitter. "I thought he was going to save me." Trowa picked
at his thumbnail, his whole face bent down so that all Duo could see was
Duo smiled. "Quatre in cape, to the rescue, huh? Those damn superheroes
never pan out, do they?"
Trowa looked up at Duo slowly, reassured when he saw that Duo wasn't teasing.
Then, he thought about it.
"You didn't answer my question."
Duo laughed, and it was a comforting sound. "I'm slippery like that, Tro."
Duo winked, and it looked a little saucy. Trowa's lips turned up just
a little bit. "See you tomorrow, eh?"
Trowa shook his head, and switched off the phone. He wandered into the
bedroom, and sat in the window.
He decided that he wasn't looking forward to therapy, but it wouldn't
hurt to make sure his nice pants were pressed.
The woman in the cube next to his started the morning with an emotional
crisis. She spent the whole morning telling her terrible story of woe
to anyone unfortunate enough to cross her path, calling every friend and
relative she knew, and bursting into tears a total of four times.
Trowa could feel his head throbbing with every melodramatic screech, so
he took off at eleven for lunch, and didn't bother to go back before therapy.
Daytime television was like a forgotten treat. The sheer wastefulness
of it all attracted Trowa, so he spent the whole time sitting on his couch,
staring at his tv. He missed the bus, and spent most of the time before
the next bus pondering whether he should call for a cab, call the doctor's
office to say he would be late, call Duo to tell him he would be late,
or just wait. When the bus came, the whole question seemed mostly moot.
For some reason, the bus was as packed as it would be at rush hour, so
Trowa had to stand in the aisle. He didn't mind that, but there were a
group of teenaged girls who kept pointing at him and giggling, all blushing
and winking at him. He stared out the window and tried to ignore them,
but they made him feel so self-conscious, he got off the bus two stops
All in all, the session was nearly half over before Trowa turned the brass
doorknob to step in, and neither Duo nor Dr. Clarkson looked very happy.
Trowa slipped in silently, but the other two men were staring at him all
the same. He didn't bother to make an excuse for himself, or apologize,
but he did nod slightly at Dr. Clarkson in greeting. Before he sat down,
he took a moment to really look Duo over.
He was a sight to behold.
Duo's braid was pulled forward, and he was toying with the end as he glared
at Trowa. He wore a black ribbed tank top that probably would have fit
him perfectly when he was ten. The bottom of the shirt just barely touched
the top of his faded black jeans, which were unbuttoned and folded down
at the waist, and torn in the thighs and the knees. He wore sport sandals,
which made the whole outfit and look so casually sexy it was nearly unbearably.
Trowa slipped right next to Duo on the couch, putting his arm around the
other man and offering him a haven. Duo glared at Trowa for a moment longer
before cuddling up to him, his hand snaking out to play with Trowa's tie,
his braid still in his hand so that the rope of hair was draped half over
The weight of the hair was impressive, and so enticing that Trowa had
to reach out and caress the plaits reverently. Duo smirked at Trowa from
under his bangs, and put his head on Trowa's shoulder.
Dr. Clarkson cleared his throat, his narrowed eyes fixed on Trowa and
the hand that was moving over Duo's braid. "So nice of you to join us,
Trowa smirked, running his hand down Duo's side. "I hope I haven't missed
anything." If his tone of voice didn't clearly indicate what he was missing,
his nose dipping into Duo's hair as he arms closed around Duo left no
room for interpretation.
Dr. Clarkson's left eye twitched
involuntarily. "I see you two are getting along well." It was a leading
Duo grinned. "You were right, doc," Duo purred as he flung his legs over
Trowa's. "Some things are more fun in pairs."
Trowa sighed silently, and brought Duo closer. Duo tilted his head to
look up at him, and Trowa was suddenly awash in guilt. He and Duo were
in this together, now, and he had abandoned his partner.
Trowa's lips touched Duo's neck, and he begged for forgiveness. Duo arched
his neck as he accepted Trowa's supplication. Trowa slowly opened his
lips, and let his tongue nip out to quickly taste Duo's skin. Duo sighed
in appreciation. Trowa wasn't satisfied though. He had grievously erred.
He needed to make reparations.
Trowa's nose brushed against Duo's ear lobe gently, and he breathed heavily
through his nose so that Duo could feel it. His hand slipped to Duo's
waist to trace the top of Duo's pants, letting his fingertips linger over
the smooth, tight skin of Duo's abdomen. Duo's body thrilled at the touches,
and he turned to face Trowa fully.
They looked at each other for a moment, their eyes flirting. When they
moved together to kiss, Trowa felt Duo's forgiveness in the tender brush
of lips, emboldening him to ask for more. Their mouths opened together,
moving together, and then Trowa invaded Duo's mouth with his tongue.
The sensation of taste overwrought Trowa, and he felt his hands moving
over Duo's skin only dimly. He didn't realize that his eyes had closed
until he opened them again, and when he saw Duo's face, so close to his
own, Duo's eyes partially closed as if he were in enthralled, Trowa felt
a small fire in his belly that he had completely forgotten, so that he
felt like he was discovering arousal once again.
Duo's body was liquid, molding to Trowa's as they pressed against each
other. Trowa's hand was under Duo's shirt, running up and down Duo's back.
Duo had one hand at the back of Trowa's neck, tugging at the short hairs
at the hairline, and the other hand had unbuttoned a few of Trowa's buttons
in the middle of his shirt, and was now exploring Trowa's chest. Trowa
found himself heaving for air, but loath to separate from Duo.
Their noses touched, and Duo rested his forehead on Trowa's. All Trowa
could see was the deep depths of Duo's eyes, which seemed both blue and
violet. They had a quality that entranced, and made Trowa want to stare
into Duo's eyes until his own dried up and fell out.
His hand was on Duo's thigh, and as he stared into Duo's eyes, he thought
about Duo's dick. His own was hot and confined uncomfortably, but he was
almost enjoying the delicate pain of being aroused in tight pants. His
hand moved on Duo's thigh, inching closer and closer to his groin. Thinking
about Duo's dick only led to more thought about Duo's dick, and more tightness
in his pants, and more heat, which was like being set on fire after being
left in the tundra for your entire life.
Trowa's hand stopped on the joint of Duo's leg and hip, his fingers splayed.
He thought that his fingers were just a layer or two of fabric from Duo's
dick and balls. He pulled Duo's face closer and kissed him again, sucking
hard on Duo's lips.
The doctor's clipboard and papers fell to the floor, ignored by everyone
in the room. Only the ting of the timer signaling the end of the session
pierced the concentration of the three men.
Duo and Trowa relaxed their grips on each other, but stayed on the couch
in each other's arms. Dr. Clarkson pulled his hand away from his crotch
as if he might get away with it, and cleared his throat enough times to
bring up a lung.
Duo sighed, and stretched his legs out lazily. "Hey, doc, before you sign
our forms, would ya mind using some wet wipes? Ya know, for sanitary purposes."
Trowa chuckled silently, and leaned into Duo. The image of Duo's dick
was still stuck in his head, and he was enjoying the hazy sensation of
unfulfilled passion that was blearily working its way through his circulatory
system. He had no desire to move anytime soon.
But Duo got up, pushing against Trowa's shoulders to leverage his way
out of Trowa's lap, and then it wasn't as warm anymore. Dr. Clarkson kept
his eyes down as he handed them their reviews. Trowa stood and stretched
He was enjoying a rare good day.
Duo was waiting for him by the elevator, his trench pulled tightly around
his body. They stepped into the elevator together. Trowa stepped to the
side, and pushed the button for the lobby. Duo went to lean against the
back wall. Duo watched Trowa pleasantly.
"The first half of that session was the worst. You do have a way of...
passing the time."
Trowa didn't turn at Duo's teasing tone, but he did look over his shoulder
so Duo could see his smile. "I enjoyed it."
"Mm." Duo tilted his head, and his braid slipped over his shoulder. Trowa
remembered the feeling of the rope of hair over his chest, and his flesh
tingled at the memory. "We should have *more* therapy."
"My place or yours?"
There was a definite flirt in that question, but Trowa knew better than
to think that Duo was offering more than dinner. They exited the building,
and Trowa waited while Duo lit his cigarette. The thick, fragrant smell
of it burned Trowa's nostrils in a homey way. "Yours." Trowa nodded in
the direction of Duo's bus.