+ Part 3 (cont)
The waitress came to see them,
looking like she was still waking up. Duo smiled up at her, and she got
all rosy. Trowa wondered if he could smile at someone like that, but decided
quickly that it would probably take a lot of effort.
Duo ordered a Guinness, and Trowa ordered a lemonade. The girl wandered
off, sticking her pencil in apron distractedly, so it took her several
tries to get it to stay. Duo groaned and stretched out over the table,
his long arms pushing across the table so that the network of fingers
he had intertwined nearly touched Trowa. "Man, my back is killing me today!
I guess I should have stretched out after our workout yesterday!"
Trowa felt an alien stab of guilt, which left an unpleasant look on his
"Don't be," Duo smirked up at Trowa, his arms still stretched out over
the table. "I had more fun yesterday than I had with my best orgasm. I
always wanted to run away and join the circus, but it never came to L2
when I was a kid."
Trowa fidgeted in his chair, his blood unsettled. "Me too."
Duo sat up again, slouching in his seat. "So, yesterday was good for you,
too." His voice was sexy and suggestive.
Trowa blinked, and his eyes went down to his fingertips curling around
the edge of the tabletop. "Yes, but I was talking about wanting to run
away to the circus."
"Ach, at least you did get a chance to eventually. What a rush, man. That
so is flying." Duo scratched the back of his head, making his braid twitch.
Trowa's lips twitched in what might have turned into a grin. "I know."
The waitress came to the table, carrying the drinks precariously. Duo's
eyes were suddenly riveted to the flow of creamy stout jiggling over the
rim of his glass. His face blanked out, and for a moment, Trowa thought
Duo might stab the waitress with his blunt knife.
Instead, as soon as she got close to the table, Duo reached out and took
the glass from her in a parody of gentility. He put it down carefully,
his eyes riveted to the rim and the creamy top of his stout.
"So, honeys, what'll ya have?" She grinned at Duo as if she had not just
threatened the sanctity of his Guinness.
Trowa spoke up first, ordering a soup and small salad. He didn't look
at the waitress, and he spoke exactly loudly enough, by his estimation,
to be heard. When she asked him to repeat what he said, he pursed his
lips and furrowed his brow, offended by her lack of respect for his estimation
of her hearing.
Duo ordered a grilled cheese sandwich, and substituted French fries for
the potato chips.She sloughed off again, walking without picking up her
Duo sighed, dragging his finger through the stiff creamy foam of the stout.
He made a little smiley face, licking his finger when he was done. Trowa
found the action of Duo's finger pulling out of his mouth slowly to be
Their conversation, or lack thereof, had eased through their continued
interactions into a pattern that each man was comfortable with; Duo did
not feel an overwhelming need to stay upbeat, as he knew that Trowa found
that annoying, and Trowa did not feel an overwhelming need to feel guilty
about not contributing to the small talk. Trowa did ask Duo what he was
working on, which enabled Duo to fill the space in time between sips of
his stout, which was disappearing rather quickly considering it wasn't
The atmosphere of the bar and the established nature of the discourse
conspired to make Trowa relax. He even leaned back in his chair, and crossed
his legs. It was odd; usually, working days lingered through the hours
like a guest you wish would leave but can't quite extricate. This quiet
lunch was unsettlingly lackadaisical.
Their food came, and Trowa stirred his soup dispassionately, watching
the whorls in the thick liquid. He even raised the spoon to his lips gingerly,
actually enjoying the heat of it next to his lips.
He nearly dropped his spoon when the disturbing ringing began, and he
glared at Duo, disgruntled as if he were being woken by an alarm.
Duo had to check a few pockets before he was able to find his cell phone.
He opened it, and checked the incoming number before answering. Trowa
noticed that he seemed to connect the call rather reluctantly, and that
Duo's face seemed to be snarling.
"What? ...No, I can't... Well, I'm at lunch. ...Yeah, normal people eat,
you know... No, that won't... I'm at the Abbey, but... This isn't... But
why do you... Fine, do whatever the hell you want, you're going to anyway."
It's not possible to slam a cell phone to disconnect, but from the force
with which Duo pressed the button, it was clear that he was trying to
do just that. He regarded his meal with the same forlorn _expression a
child gives a recalcitrant vegetable that stubbornly refuses to eat itself.
Trowa sipped his soup, and waited patiently for Duo to tell him the Heero
"So, three guesses who that was, and your first two don't count." Duo
picked up his Guinness, and drank it straight to the bottom, signaling
the waitress before he was even done drinking.
Trowa put his soupspoon down in the soup. "Should I go?"
"Hell no!" Duo looked at Trowa like a kitten had just leapt from his mouth.
"Heero wants to get away from Relena and Une for an hour, so he's coming
to see me. Lucky me. But you don't get off the hook that easily, mister.
Heero's no obstacle for anything we're doing."
Trowa pondered what Duo just said and how he said it long enough for the
waitress to come and bring Duo another Guinness. Duo did the same thing
again, tracing a pattern in the creamy foam and licking his finger clean
before sipping it.
It was a nice habit.
Duo had picked his sandwich apart almost entirely when Heero stormed into
the bar. He was wearing a navy blazer, with a green polo shirt under it.
Trowa thought that he looked like a kid in a play pretending to be an
adult, but he kept that observation to himself, stabbing a tomato wedge
and biting off the end of it as Heero reached the table.
"You're drinking?" Heero pulled up a chair as he sneered at Duo. "Lush."
"Nice to see you, too, Heero. You look nice; Relena dressing you again?"
Duo smiled cheerfully at Heero, and it underscored to Trowa how much happier
Duo looked when he was not smiling at him.
Heero sighed, aggravated. "Where were you yesterday?"
"Why?" Duo went into a defensive posture immediately, shoving his shoulder
in Heero's direction.
"I went by your place, but you weren't home. I thought Sunday was your
detox day." Heero grabbed a fry from Duo's plate, acting as if he were
saving it from the horror of being eaten by Duo.
Duo grinned. "Tro and I went flying."
Heero glared at Duo sharply. "You're not serious." There wasn't even a
hint of a question in his voice.
"Completely," Duo replied blithely. Heero narrowed his eyes, looking from
Duo's grin to Trowa's disinterest. "You aren't enough of a fuck up to
jeopardize any chance you might have of getting your license back,
"Aw, Heero, I didn't know you cared." Duo pulled a fry out of Heero's
thieving fingers, slipping it between his lips in a slow tease.
Heero's eyes were fixated on Duo's lips and his fingers as Duo cleaned
them off thoroughly. There was a nakedness to Heero's attention to Duo
that made Trowa feel like a voyeur. Shifting in his chair, Trowa focused
on his salad, pretending that he was at another table entirely.
"Tell me you weren't screwing up again." Heero's voice was even and annoyingly
patronizing, though there was something in his posture that suggested
a hint of real concern as well.
Duo rolled his eyes, massaging his neck, irritated. "Tro and I went to
visit some circus friends of his, and we went on the trapeze."
Heero's eyes stayed on Duo for several heartbeats until they shifted deliberately
to Trowa. "Spent the day with the freaks and geeks, hm?"
"No, those acts aren't allowed anymore." Trowa calmly lifted a cucumber
slice to his mouth. "It's inhumane to the animals."
Duo laughed softly, his eyes sparkling, watching Trowa. Trowa found himself
smiling just a little in response.
Heero critically observed one then the other. "If you two are in therapy
every week, how come you're both still so crazy? Isn't the doctor any
"God, I hope we never find out." Duo shivered, and Trowa had an image
of Dr. Clarkson touching Duo's skin, which made his stomach lurch.
"What?" Heero looked at Duo, confusion clouding his eyes.
"Nothing," Duo shook his head, "private joke."
Heero picked up a piece of Duo's sandwich glumly. "Whatever."
The waitress came by a moment later to ask Heero if he wanted anything.
He glared at her as he scoffed at her offer of food or beverage, picking
up Duo's Guinness as she walked away, to Duo's consternation.
Lunch at that point was an effort to Trowa, and with Duo and Heero eating
off the same plate and drinking out of the same glass, the meal did not
stretch out. Heero put money on the table for Duo, walking away after
he did to evade any possible offer of thanks from Duo.
They walked back to Preventors' HQ leadenly, and Trowa kept his eyes on
the way the sunlight reflected on the sidewalk. Duo pulled out another
cigarette, ignoring Heero's judgmental sneer, and he managed to get through
two whole cigarettes by the time they reached the corner closest to Trowa's
Duo smiled at Trowa as he prepared to say goodbye, a small hint of regret
in the way he shrugged his shoulders as he did. Trowa turned up one corner
of his mouth in response. Heero grabbed Duo's braid and gave it a sharp
tug. Trowa frowned at the mistreatment of Duo's hair, his eyes narrowing
"Come with me to the store. I need to get some supplies for Relena." Heero
managed to ask a question and make it sound more like a dare.
Duo pulled his hair out of Heero's grasp. "I have to get back to work,
"You can stay late, right."
Trowa glared at Heero's petulance.
Duo rolled his eyes. "Like I don't have enough trouble with my boss!"
"What does he care? You do your work. Anyway, you need to shake off the
beer smell, and I need your help. Let's go." Heero turned and started
walking, completely sure that Duo would follow him.
Duo sighed, turning to Trowa. "I'll talk to you later, right?"
Trowa nodded, his _expression softening. Duo smiled brightly in response,
leaning up quickly to kiss Trowa's cheek. The impression of his lips on
Trowa's flesh felt electrified.
Duo caught up to Heero, who had stopped in his tracks. Heero kept watching
Trowa with the same accusing glance even after Duo passed him.
That afternoon, Trowa reorganized the files on his hard drive, finding
new and inventive ways to be sure that not even he would be able to untangle
the web of files later. The image of Heero and Duo sharing a lunch so
seamlessly warred with the image of Heero pulling on Duo's braid and biting
him, until all of Trowa's thoughts were so jumbled, they refused to come
After that, minesweeper was easy.
It was Thursday again, and again they were sitting on Dr. Clarkson's couch,
and again Trowa had his arm around Duo. It would almost be routine by
now, but Trowa found the experience of holding Duo to be so refined that
it was never the same.
Duo was wearing greenish-brown cargo pants that were too big for him and
a t-shirt that was too small, and had been slashed open across the front,
revealing Duo's chest tantalizingly. He sat so that his back was up against
Trowa's body, and his legs were tucked under him. Trowa had his arm across
Duo's chest so that he could touch the skin available from the hole.
Dr. Clarkson was asking Duo about Heero, again, and Duo was purposefully
misunderstanding his questions. Trowa wasn't paying close attention. Dr.
Clarkson wanted to know if Duo knew what he wanted from his relationship
with Heero. Trowa frowned, and put his chin on Duo's shoulder.
He liked the way that Duo's hair felt against his cheek, and the scent
of Duo. Duo was so slim... Trowa almost worried about it. Duo wasn't using
anymore, so Trowa thought that he should be gaining weight, but maybe
not. Maybe that wasn't how it worked. And certainly Trowa wasn't the person
to complain about someone else's eating habits. However, as a result,
Duo fit snuggly in his arms. It felt like a fit, like he was made to be
there, in Trowa's embrace.
Trowa knew that it was an emotional artifact of a physical pleasure; a
person naturally felt like the person in their bed was the person who
was meant to be there. It was a self-defense mechanism to maintain one's
dignity. People were reluctant to admit they were just being whorish.
But Trowa wasn't even sleeping with Duo yet. There were two things there
that bothered Trowa. One, he had a sense that he should be sleeping
with Duo, that if Heero wasn't around, they would have already had sex.
Heero acted territorial enough whenever he was around; surely that meant
that Duo was fair game, open to a scavenger's attention if the predator
that had captured him got distracted?
The second thing that bothered him was the assumption that they would
have sex at some point. As if it were on the calendar, and they just hadn't
gotten to it. Trowa enjoyed touching Duo, he enjoyed the kissing, but
he was limited to the confines of this couch, and he was uncertain about
when he had admitted to himself that he even wanted something like
this with Duo, and that there might be a possibility that it wouldn't
Lots of things that are only scheduled get canceled after all.
Trowa's arm snaked down lower and he put his hand over Duo's belly.
The problem was simple; Heero Yuy was currently in a position that Trowa
desired. But, Heero was clearly not performing his role satisfactorily,
or else Duo wouldn't dismiss the importance of Heero in his life. So,
Heero was not an obstacle. Wasn't that what Duo had said?
Duo had also asked Trowa why they hadn't kissed. Implying that it was
something that he had anticipated.
So, there was no problem.
Trowa's hand slipped down to Duo's hip.
Dr. Clarkson was rambling about something; Trowa only knew this because
Duo was arching his back, pushing against Trowa's frame with more force.
The therapist was getting distracted. But he was still talking.
Trowa filtered his voice out, and thought more about his problem.
There was a problem, because he knew that he and Duo were not going
to be having sex tonight. Or anytime in the foreseeable future. He wanted
to have sex with Duo. Duo did not appear to be offering any objection
to the plan. There should be no problem.
Duo rearranged himself so he had one foot on the couch, and his leg was
up, his knee knocking on the back of the couch. As a result, Duo's legs
were spread wide apart, and his groin was completely open.
It seemed utterly natural for Trowa's hand to slip into the join between
Duo's legs, and cover his groin with his palm. His heart started to pound
in his chest, and Trowa could hear his pulse in his ears. Duo was breathing
harder next to him, and with each heaving inhalation, his back was pushing
against Trowa's chest.
The problem was that Trowa had never initiated a sexual encounter before;
in fact, his experience was extremely limited. He had a few fumbling encounters
with Quatre, none of which lead anywhere, and a couple of random events,
usually with people who had come to the circus. He knew how to accept
an invitation, but he did not know how to offer one.
His hand began to move over Duo's crotch, kneading the flesh slightly.
Duo responded with a moan that sent electricity up and down Trowa's spine,
enervating every nerve in his body. Duo's body was twisting next to his,
and Duo's mouth was suddenly attacking his.
His hand did not move from its chosen position, but he had to rearrange
himself to make room for Duo.
Duo's hands were on his neck, Duo's fingertips pressing into Trowa's skin,
tracing the line of his jugular and jaw. Duo's tongue tickled his palette,
and Trowa felt his appetite surge.
Duo was under him now, his hand still on Duo's crotch, still kneading,
and the flesh under his fingers was no longer pliant. Duo was hard, and
aching, if the noises he was making were any indication, and Trowa now
knew quite certainly that Duo was loud in bed.
The thought drove Trowa just a little mad, and he pushed his whole body
against Duo. Their bodies lined up, and Trowa realized belatedly that
he was hard, too, and that his tightly compacted erection was rubbing
against Duo's thigh. Duo's hands pulled out Trowa's shirttails, and his
hands were now covering Trowa's flesh, one slipping back to try to explore
the possibility of access to Trowa's ass.
Trowa used his teeth to gently pull on Duo's lips. Duo's eyes were half-lidded,
and his braid was dragging onto the floor. Trowa had a very strong mental
image of Duo's naked body under his, and he shuddered, putting his face
against Duo's neck as he tried to restrain his body's impulses. Duo ran
his hand up and down Trowa's spine, his other hand soothing the muscles
in the back of Trowa's neck, and he was whispering nonsense in Trowa's
ear, a soothing sound that could have been words if Trowa's brain was
functioning well enough to interpret them.
The bell rang.
Trowa put his elbows down on the couch and pushed himself up a bit. Duo
wasn't as ready to give up contact, and he placed feathery kisses on Trowa's
chin and jaw, until he settled back, as contented as a kitten who had
made off with a mouthful of food from the table.
Dr. Clarkson was panting, and the two men on the couch ignored him completely.
Getting up off the couch hurt a little, as a thousand little needs begged
Trowa to stay put and feast. Duo sat up slowly, pulling his braid forward
with a grin. He toyed with the end of it between his legs, and Trowa couldn't
resist giving the tuft at the end a little flick.
They stood up slowly, forcibly relaxing their muscles as they did, trying
to beat down the residual of their session through force of will. Dr.
Clarkson couldn't meet their eyes as he handed them their forms, his downed
eyes only making the bulge in his pants more noticeable. Duo sneered at
him with disgust as he ripped his form out of the doctor's hand.
They loafed to the elevator. Neither was able to move quickly, and the
lingering pace suited their foggy perceptions. Duo pushed the button,
leaning his whole body in so his finger cracked, it was so extended.
Trowa enjoyed the burn of desire in his body; it made him feel alive,
like he was actually awake and participating in the day. When he thought
of the tease of pleasure tickling his nerves as just an appetizer, he
could feel his heart pounding again. It was good to be excited about someone
Duo pushed the button for the lobby as well, casually leaning against
the wall of the elevator. He watched Trowa from the corner of his eye,
his body loose and his lips curling mischievously. "Hey Tro."
Trowa raised an eyebrow at Duo.
"You give good therapy."
The smirk on Duo's face opened up into a dazzling smile as Trowa responded
to what Duo said. He moved with Duo as the doors opened. As they were
walking out of the lobby, he replied quickly, under his breath, "I'm good
at a lot of things."
Duo laughed out loud, his mirth echoing off the marble floors of the lobby.
When they got outside, Duo stopped to get a cigarette as always, but this
time he jokingly offered Trowa one as well. The rest of the evening seemed
to be protracted cool down, as Duo followed Trowa home, and they ate Chinese
take out. Duo left early, joking that the only entertainment in Trowa's
apartment was pornographic.
The way he wiggled his eyebrows when he said that made Trowa think that
he wasn't referring to movies.
After Duo left, Trowa washed his dishes very carefully, scrubbing each
surface several times, and rinsing each dish long enough to drown the
porcelain. He then took a long, hot shower, moving the washcloth over
his body in slow motion, marveling at the suds.
He sat at the window watching the alley for only a little while before
he got restless, and he climbed into bed. He closed his eyes, and imagined
things about Duo that made him feel lethargic, and eventually, he was
surprised to wake up and see the morning light shining in the window.
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