Rattlesnakes + Part 6 (cont)

+

Trowa was actually working. It wasn't as bad as he thought it would be. Except he was itching to get it done. There were too damn many forms to fill out, and he kept getting emails reminding him of his deadlines. He didn't need to be reminded of his deadlines. He wasn't stupid, or deficient. He could keep track of them himself.

It wasn't a good day for Duo to visit, but Duo didn't ask before sitting down in Trowa's cube.

"God, this morning has fuckin' sucked!" Duo leaned back in the thin chair, pushing the plastic back with his shoulders so that his head was almost touching the cubical wall. "I just cannot believe how fucking stupid people are!"

Trowa eyed the open documents he had on his computer, the forms covering his desk, and the stacks of standard procedure manuals on the floor. "Yeah?" He didn't want to be rude, but he had work to do, and he wasn't sure he had time for Duo right then.

"I got fucking evicted. Fucking landlord went and fucking evicted me!" Duo glared at Trowa, his arms crossed over his chest.

Trowa blinked, his hands nervously moving away from his keyboard.

"I got home this morning to change and shit, and my fucking door has this orange notice on it. So, I went to go talk to fuckin' Jack about it, and he wouldn't even open the fuckin' door to talk to me, he just yelled at me from behind his fuckin' door that I had to leave or he'd call the fuckin' cops on him. So I get to work late, didn't even have time for a fuckin' shower, and I have to go straight to legal. Fuckin' jackasses tell me that the eviction is perfectly legal, and I don't have any fuckin' recourse. So that's it. I'm fucked." Duo racked his hand through his bangs, and Trowa noticed that his hands were shaking a little.

Trowa shook his head in something that probably appeared to be disbelief.

"So then I go to the fuckin' relocation department, cuz I have to be out of my place by fuckin' Friday. They tell me that housing is tight right now, but they can get me a new place in about four or five months. In the meantime, they tell me, they can put me up in a motel. Not a hotel, mind you. Oh, no, not for the fuckin' junkie Gundam pilot, no, no, they can put me up in a motel. For five fuckin' months!!" Duo's voice had risen to the point where, in combination with his language, he now officially constituted an office disturbance, but Trowa certainly couldn't care less about disturbing his lazy co-workers, so he didn't say anything.

He did think that Duo looked rather pretty with his cheeks pinked and his eyes blazing, but he thought that in the back part of his mind that wasn't in control of his reactions.

"I have three fuckin' days, no one will help me fight this shit, no one will help me find a place to move, and the best they can offer me is a fuckin' motel. Some fuckin' human resources department we got, huh?"

Trowa knew this was the point where he was supposed to speak, because Duo was glaring at him rather pointedly. "Why are you being evicted?"

Duo rolled his eyes, a dramatic motion completed by tossing his hands in the air. "Oh, some fuckin' nonsense about fuckin' breach of contract. My fuckin' nosy neighbor has called the cops on us somethin' like five times, so now that legally makes me a disturbance to the building, and they can fuckin' legally evict me. Bastards."

The word 'us' seemed to Trowa to loom rather largely in that sentence, so he let his eyes drift over Duo's shoulder, his expression blank.

"I don't know what they fuckin' expect me to do. I don't know what I'm supposed to do with all my shit. I can't fuckin' afford to put myself up in a motel for five months, and pay for some storage place for my shit, too. I mean, I can unload a lot of it, but if I were getting another place, I would just need more shit. It's a fuckin' nuisance, man. And this kind of crap would never happen in the colonies, let me tell you. People mind their own shit in the colonies. You don't fuckin' call the cops on your neighbors unless they're killing each other, and you don't evict people and put 'em out on the street without givin' a fuck about what they're gonna do just because of a little noise. I'm hardly ever at home anyway! Fuckin' prick next door, let me tell ya, in the war, he wouldn't have lasted ten minutes with me, that's for damn sure..."

Duo had worked himself up into such an impressive lather, it seemed a shame to disturb him by interjecting, but Trowa did have a lot of work to do, so he didn't want to postpone. "You could stay with me."

For a moment, Duo was just silent, still glaring at Trowa's recyclables bin. Then he seemed to drain away, all the rage and bitterness slipping away, washing off of him. When he was clean of all the bile, he turned his wide, guileless eyes to Trowa.

"I... I didn't come here to, you know, beg or fish for an offer or anything, you know?" Duo seemed actually meek, which was a strange look on him.

Trowa shrugged one shoulder. "I have plenty of room. I have a spare bedroom, even. For your stuff, or whatever."

Duo shifted in his chair, leaning forward. "Well, I mean... I mean, I appreciate that, I do, but, well, isn't that kind of a big step?" The uncertainty made Duo seem even paler.

Trowa leaned back in his chair, and he picked up a pencil to tap on his thigh. "I'm just suggesting an alternative. It's no big deal."

Duo rubbed his palms up and down his legs. "Well... If you don't mind... I guess it could be, I dunno, fate or something." Duo looked up at Trowa guiltily, hopeful.

Trowa attempted to smile. Sighing, he nodded briefly. "I think it would work out well."

Frankly, the idea appealed to him more and more with each passing second. Duo would live with him. They would sleep in the same bed every night, and eat together every morning and night. They would take the same bus to and from work, and they would go to therapy together and go home together. Duo would watch tv and listen to music, and make Trowa do things.

It was a good idea.

Duo smiled shyly. It was such an appealing expression, Trowa wished they had time for a coffee break. "Well... Tro, if you're sure... and you don't mind... Well, I think that would be, you know, the best thing that's happened to me all fuckin' day."

Now it was easy for Trowa to smile. Duo nodded to himself several times, and then he leaned forward quickly, kissing Trowa chastely on the lips. "Thanks, Tro. You're a lifesaver, you know?"

Trowa sighed, content.

"I gotta run. I called my boss, but I haven't even been there, yet. I'm gonna catch so much fuckin' hell for this... I'll prolly be working late, but I'll come by your place, then, and we can, you know, talk and stuff." Duo stood up awkwardly, fidgeting a little as he did. "Thanks, Tro."

Trowa nodded, putting his pencil back down on his desk.

Everyone avoided him all day at work, which made it possible to finish all his forms before the deadlines, despite the constant email reminders.

All in all, he had to say, it was a good day.

+

Trowa washed down the countertops in his kitchen. He didn't have the slightest clue why he was doing this. He had been cleaning his apartment all day. Both he and Duo had taken the day off of work to move Duo in. They had been forced to tell Dr. Clarkson about their plan yesterday when he had mentioned that Duo had been evicted. Dr. Clarkson had been very interested in the idea of the two of them living together, and had asked far too many pointed questions about their sleeping arrangements.

Duo had been right. They never should have let him know that they were lovers.

After therapy, Trowa had wanted to help Duo pack, but Duo had been resistant, and eventually he explained to Trowa that he needed Heero's help to move, because he had to borrow Heero's car to take things to Goodwill and to get everything else over to Trowa's.

Trowa didn't sleep at all last night, and had cleaned the whole apartment in an attempt to prevent any possible thoughts about what Heero and Duo were doing on their last night in Duo's apartment.

He had wanted to be the one to give Duo's apartment a send-off.

Duo was supposed to be coming by today to move in with all of his things, but it was already past noon, and Trowa hadn't heard from Duo yet. He would be worried, except he knew that Duo was with Heero.

Instead, he contemplated cutting. Since it would be much harder after Duo moved in, anyway.

He had finished in the kitchen, several times, and was standing in the hallway that lead to the bathroom, when the door started to open. He had given Duo his key already, so he knew who it was.

He didn't move to go to the door. He waited to hear Duo's voice.

"Tro! Hey, Tro! C'mon, man, give me a hand, willya?"

Trowa moved sullenly, his feet feeling heavy. Duo was pushing the door open with his rump, while holding a large box and pushing another box with his feet. Trowa opened the door for Duo, watching with curiosity as Duo managed to shove and carry three large boxes in with him.

Duo grinned at Trowa. "Honey, I'm home."

Trowa shook his head, trying to feign amusement. Duo looked haggard, from the puffiness of his eyes to the way his braid look frayed. His exhaustion spilled out of every pore on his flesh. Trowa felt like he should want to comfort and soothe Duo, but he couldn't work up to that reaction. He was still worn out from cleaning all night and being bitter.

He just wanted the moving to be done.

"I got rid of most of the furniture last night, but I have some shelves and things like that. I figured I didn't need a bed or a couch. Heero got a truck from Relena's convoy, and we got most of the stuff here. Heero's down with the truck. Let's just shove this junk in and get it all up here. I'm already sick to death of moving."

Trowa couldn't agree more. He didn't really want to go down and work with Heero to get Duo's things, but he didn't really have a choice.

Heero was indeed in front of his building, in the back of a small truck looking utterly disgusted. Heero was wearing tight jeans and a t-shirt that could have been painted on, with the sleeves rolled up. His hair looked slick and styled, and Trowa had the definite impression that Heero was the only one of the three of them to get any sleep last night.

Heero shoved boxes and crates and shelves at them, but he made no move to get out of the truck, nor did he attempt to communicate with either of them. Duo and Trowa made six trips up to Trowa's apartment, and each time they filled the elevator to capacity. Trowa's apartment was beginning to look very crowded.

When Heero was tossing the last box at Duo, he grunted and muttered something. Heero jumped out of the truck, pulling the door shut as he went, and got in the cab. Duo caught up with Trowa and headed to the elevator again.

Sighing, Duo hit the button for their floor. "Heero's gone to get rid of the truck, and then he's gonna get some shit from his place that's mine. And that'll be all of it. Damn, this moving shit is a pain in the ass. Fuckin' eviction..."

Trowa digested the information carefully, painfully aware of a drop of sweat working its way down his temple. He hated sweating. It was dirty. The only thing that could make sweating worthwhile was exhilaration, and there was none of that in moving boxes and such from one place to another.

"Did you have lunch?"

Duo was looking at him, and Trowa was reminded why he had thought this was such a good idea. Duo's eyes were so expressive and clear. Trowa thought about the question. "No." He hadn't even had breakfast. Or dinner last night.

Duo nodded, weary. "Yeah, me neither. Let's order something. Delivery. I want food to come to the door."

Trowa agreed silently.

They pushed the boxes out of the way while they waited for the pizza to come to the door. Mostly, they just shoved everything into the empty spare bedroom, to be sorted another day. Trowa had not known what to do with the spare bedroom when he had first occupied the apartment, so the only furnishings were a futon and a small end table, with a lamp on it. Duo's things filled up the room quickly.

Duo had also brought a small chest of draws for his clothes, which fit nicely into a corner of Trowa's bedroom... which was now Trowa and Duo's bedroom.

They didn't bother unpacking Duo's clothes. They had done enough.

Trowa sat down on the couch and allowed Duo to lie down, Duo's head in Trowa's lap and his feet over the edge of the couch. Duo fidgeted and stretched, getting comfortable. Trowa found his fingers slipping into Duo's hair, very much against his will.

It wasn't fair of Duo to be so attractive and desirable,

When the buzzer for the door rang, neither moved. Trowa remained motionless until Duo sighed and got up, moving like an eighty-seven year old man. He fumbled for a minute, trying to find the right button to answer the call on the unfamiliar panel. "It's about damn time, we're starving."

"Just buzz me in, already." Heero's nasal grunt sounded more annoyed than normal.

Duo sighed, and leaned on the buzzer for far longer than necessary. He turned, a bit ashamed, to face Trowa, though his eyes stayed down on the carpet. "He's just gonna drop off some stuff, some cds and shit like that. Shouldn't take more than a minute."

Trowa didn't respond, or move to get up until the knock on the door heralded Heero's entrance. He stood up slowly and went to the door deliberately, getting there before Duo could stop him.

Trowa held the door open enough to see that it was, in fact, Heero standing there. He did not open it any further right away, just taking a moment to look Heero over.

Heero sneered at Trowa, and pushed his way past.

"Good, that's the last of it, then," Duo nervously stepped forward, trying to stand in between Heero and Trowa, but not managing it perfectly, "I'll take that and..."

Heero dropped the box intentionally. The sound of cracking and breaking shook Duo, sending him reeling back.

"So," Heero nearly growled, looking at everything but Duo and Trowa, "this is where you live. Small. Don't the Preventors pay you better than this?"

Trowa shrugged, noncommittally. "I spend most of my money on classic pornography. I think of it as an investment."

Duo couldn't help laughing out loud at that, which earned him a hateful glare from Heero. He turned away from Heero and kept chuckling to himself.

Heero grunted. "I guess that's it, then." His words were rather pointedly directed at Duo.

Duo kept his back to Heero, but he stopped laughing. "Yeah."

Heero crossed his arms over his chest and cast disdainful eyes over Trowa. "You are a fool. After everything I've done for you today, you should get me a drink."

Duo's back stiffened, and then he went quickly to the kitchen.

Trowa leaned against the wall next to the door, and lowered his chin so that he could glare at Heero from the relative privacy granted by his bangs.

Heero didn't look at Trowa at all, but he did speak to him, in a low rumble. "He'll come back to me, you know. You're just a diversion. He is mine."

"He's not a possession, Heero." Trowa responded in the same low voice, not wanting Duo to hear their conversation either.

Heero snorted, smiling viciously at Trowa. "Yes he is. He is my possession. You can't give him what he needs, and you damn well know it."

Trowa didn't have time to respond, because Duo came back just then, shoving a pop can at Heero. "This is what we have. Now that you've politely broken all my stuff, why don't you go back and help Relena organize her nail polish?"

Heero opened the can with a grunt, and downed half of it right there. Trowa was pretty sure Heero was posing as he drank on purpose, but Duo wasn't even looking at him.

Duo's eyes were fixed on his own shoes.

Heero left without any further discourse. Trowa closed the door rather firmly behind him.

Duo clearly wanted to make some sort of joke after Heero was gone, but he wasn't up for it, and anyway, the pizza guy buzzed just then.

Trowa paid for the pizza, but when he was done the transaction, Duo had already gone to the bedroom, laying flat on his back across the bed.

Sitting down next to Duo, Trowa allowed himself, for the first time, to appreciate the fact that he and Duo were now living together.

"Hungry?"

"Tired," Duo responded, and he sounded it.

Trowa nodded, and put his head down next to Duo's belly.

Trowa's hand drifted over to Duo's body, slipping under Duo's shirt, pushing the material up before spreading out over Duo's skin. He pushed himself a bit closer, and let his lips touch the bare skin of Duo's flank. He slowly opened Duo's pants, taking his time.

Duo sighed, and arched his back a little in response to Trowa's ministrations.

Trowa pulled the zipper down, and let his hand push further down Duo's pants, running down the skin of Duo's leg, pushing Duo's pants down a little, drawing Duo's boxers down with the pants. He brought his hand back up, and tangled his index finger in the hair of Duo's crotch.

When Duo started to speak, his voice sounded foreign.

"I told him that it was over... that I couldn't see him anymore."

Trowa did not speak. He did not know what to say. He cupped his hand under Duo's balls, and fondled them gently.

"I... I didn't know... I couldn't think... I couldn't live with you, and leave to go be with him, so I told him..."

Trowa knew that he needed to say something, but he didn't have anything to say. Instead, he lifted his head and put his mouth on Duo's cock.

Duo moaned, and writhed on the bed.

Duo's cock grew big, and the vein running up its length pulsed with heat. Trowa slipped his lips over the head, and let his tongue and his mouth speak for him.

Duo groaned in response, and his limbs spread out over the bed haphazardly.

Trowa consumed Duo, taking long, pleasurable moments to express his feelings over what Duo had told him. He hummed his contentment down Duo's length, and Duo screamed for him in reply.

They ate the cold pizza on their bed naked, and stayed in bed, entangled in each other, long into Saturday.

Trowa did not think about what Heero had said, even though he knew that what Heero had provided for Duo was not something he was prepared to supply. He did not think about it every minute of the day, all weekend long.

On Monday, the box that Heero had dropped was still exactly where it had landed when they left for work together.

+

The music was turned all the way up again. Trowa lived in a corner apartment, and the only neighbor who he shared a wall with was deaf. When Duo learned that, he went out of his way to be noisy as much as possible. Trowa didn't mind. Much. He liked Duo's taste in music. Mostly.

Work had been long and brutal. There were constantly people who were supposed to be important coming in, calling meeting, and railing about deadlines. Trowa had a headache.

He wanted to make love to Duo.

It didn't seem like an unreasonable thing to want. Looking at Duo dancing in his boxers in the kitchen as he fussed over the stove, it seemed like a perfectly natural thing to want. Duo's braid swung back and forth as his head bobbed from one side to the other, and Trowa was immobile with desire.

He continued to watch Duo for several minutes. He cleared his throat a few times, but he didn't manage to get Duo's attention, and he could not form the words with his throat to jar Duo from his dance.

It was only when Duo landed after a particularly athletic turn and ended up facing him that Duo realized that Trowa was there.

"Tro!" Duo's smile was a bit wide as he jumped over to Trowa. "You're supposed to call out, 'honey, I'm home!' when you get in the door. Silly Tro." Duo leaned up on his toes to kiss Trowa teasingly in the corner of Trowa's mouth.

Trowa bit back a sigh. Duo was still mostly lucid. He didn't know how Duo managed to drink as much as he did, but it wasn't something he was prepared to enter a conflict over. Duo was his own person; he would determine for himself how much he should drink.

Duo took Trowa's arm and dragged him into the kitchen. "I was makin' dinner. Do you ever get the urge to cook... just for no reason at all, just to cook? Anyway, I made potstickers. Well, I tried to... I dunno how well it worked. Here, test for me."

Duo picked up a set of chopsticks, and picked up a single item from the wok. He held it up for Trowa, cupping his other hand underneath. Trowa opened his mouth warily, but he didn't want to discourage Duo, so he tried to hide his unease by closing his eyes. Duo sighed softly, and placed the end of the potsticker in Trowa's mouth.

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