Rattlesnakes + Part 6 (cont)

Trowa bit down, and just let the heat dissipate through his mouth before he began to chew.

It wasn't an entirely pleasant treat.

Trowa opened his eyes, and smiled softly at Duo, who beamed in response. Duo started to sing as he turned back to the wok, and Trowa's eyes fell on the half-empty tumbler of vodka next to the plate of done potstickers.

Trowa went back to the bedroom, and changed his clothes slowly. Duo would be done cooking by the time that he got out again, and they would eat. They would sit on the couch together, and Duo would make Trowa listen to some music or watch some movie or tv. Trowa would put his arm around Duo, and Duo would put his head on Trowa's shoulder. Later, they would have sex in the bed.

It hadn't taken them long to establish a rhythm.

Trowa went directly to the living room, keeping his eyes straight ahead to avoid any eye contact that might encourage Duo to talk to him. Duo had rearranged the settings on his vidphone as soon as he could, setting up the caller id and message box. Trowa had never cared that much for either feature, as he only ever really heard from Quatre or Catherine. He certainly didn't encourage people at work to call him.

But Duo got more calls, irregularly, but with a high enough frequency to warrant the use of extras. Trowa did enjoy scrolling through the list of callers, just to see how few of them Duo actually bothered to return. It didn't surprise Trowa, for instance, that Duo faithfully returned all of Howard's calls as soon as he could, but rarely ever picked up, much less returned, Hilde's calls.

Trowa was aware of some left over feelings on Duo's end for Hilde, but he couldn't identify what they were. Duo could be remarkably elusive when he wanted to be.

Frowning, Trowa stared at the caller id log. He called up the menu that showed outgoing calls. His frown deepened.

Duo came out of the kitchen, whistling and swaying his hips. It hadn't taken Trowa long to learn the various stages of Duo's drunkenness. Trowa wasn't sure if it was because Duo had left work early, or because he had had just been drinking hard, but Duo was about as drunk as he got right now.

Duo bumped into Trowa purposefully, grinning broadly. "I finished. Come sit down and I'll feed you dinner."

Trowa did not resist. He sat in the middle of the couch, and Duo straddled his waist, holding the plate perfectly level as he did. Duo's smile attempted to become seductive, but the drunkenness interfered with it. "Open wide..." Duo held a potsticker out, moving it in circles as a mother does for a baby.

Sighing just a little, Trowa opened his mouth, and let Duo feed him. Duo smiled, and for a moment he looked really beautiful. Then he slurped up a potsticker himself.

Clearing his throat delicately, Trowa raised an eyebrow at Duo. "Heero called today."

Duo did not appear to react to that, but Trowa knew well enough to know better. "Yeah." Duo held out another potsticker, and Trowa obediently ate it.

"Twelve times."

"Yeah," Duo shrugged, slurping up another potsticker quickly.

Trowa opened his mouth in anticipation of Duo's fingers. He swallowed the potsticker quickly, and cocked his head to the side, looking at Duo passively. "You called him back."

Duo smiled too brightly, and wiggled his eyebrows. "Jealous?"


Duo sagged.

"I'm concerned." Trowa carefully kept the emotion out of his voice.

Duo pushed a potsticker around the plate in a circle, sopping up more of the sauce. "Yeah."

"You ok?"

Duo shrugged, and ate another potsticker sullenly.

Trowa wondered if maybe Heero's call was to blame for Duo's drinking tonight, but he didn't want to ask. It was too obvious a question. He took the plate and set it aside. Carefully holding Duo's waist, Trowa started to nip at Duo's neck.

Duo sighed, and reclined his head back. "You have a nice apartment, Tro."

"It's ours, now." Trowa spoke softly against Duo's skin, and he hoped that Duo heard him. He never felt like this place belonged to him, so he saw no reason why Duo could not make it more a home than he had.

Duo pushed his hips against Trowa's lap. "You're nice, Tro."

Trowa kissed Duo's lips gently and slowly.

Duo giggled, an oddly masculine sound, and threw his arms around Trowa's neck. "You're too nice for me, Tro, but I'm glad you don't know it."

Trowa sighed, and leaned back against the couch. He was glad to get back to their routine.


It wasn't that late yet. There was still plenty of time to enjoy the moment. It turned out to be one of Duo's better ideas.

Tuesday night wouldn't seem like a good night to go out, but Duo knew the club, knew the crowd, and knew that Tuesday was a far better day to go out than most. There was a really good dj who had the music pumping in an electronic, primal rhythm, there was enough room to move around, it didn't take that long to get a drink, it wasn't that smoky, and he got to watch Duo cavort in his low-slung leather pants and mid-drift baring white long-sleeved t-shirt.

This was definitely one of Duo's better ideas. Trowa didn't even feel that out of place in his tight jeans and black turtleneck.

Trowa sipped a martini while Duo slithered over the dance floor. This was much better than another night of watching Duo fidget and fuss, pacing distractedly from one room to the other. It wasn't easy to adjust to living with someone, and Trowa knew that it had been several weeks since Duo had seen Heero, who was gone with Relena to L3 for an economic convention.

Duo no longer spent any time with Heero at all, really, now that he was living with Trowa, just as he had said, but he did seem to take a masochistic pleasure in calling up Heero for a dose of verbal abuse. Trowa did not understand it or like it, but it wasn't his business. Duo was no child.

Children did not put their hand between their legs as they danced with their backs to some stranger who was clearly going to be disappointed when they left the dance floor alone. Trowa smirked, and took a long, slow sip as he caught Duo's eyes.

Duo was having a good time. Trowa was too, though he wasn't going to show it until he got Duo home again. Duo liked to dance more than Trowa did, but it was fine, because Trowa liked to watch, too.

It was a very good idea, Trowa thought.

Trowa turned to order another drink. He had never had this much to drink in his life, but he had slowly been acclimating his system to alcohol since Duo had moved in. It was just easier to have a drink with his lover than to watch Duo get drunk while being stone sober himself. There was a nervous college-aged man at the bar next to him, who kept swirling his drink in his glass, so that some slipped out and spilled on the bar from time to time. His back was to the dance floor, but he kept looking over his shoulder, his small, dark eyes darting around erratically.

He looked at Trowa as Trowa waited for another martini. The bartender here was a lot better than Duo was at pouring a martini. The shaker moved almost too fast for the eye in his practiced hands. It was a pleasure to watch. The young man leaned over, his eyes darting out over the dance floor, and he smiled at Trowa uncertainly. "I guess you don't like to dance much."

Trowa shrugged. He didn't like being coerced into conversation. He preferred to talk to people only when there was cause to. He greatly preferred to be left alone.

The young man had not noticed Trowa's reticence. "It's a good crowd I think. I mean, lots of people."

Trowa raised an eyebrow, and paid the bartender, generously tipping.

"So, what about you? You come here often?" The young man's eyes settled on Trowa, a hint of fear coloring them.

Trowa shook his head once, raising the glass to his lips with precise care.

The young man nodded vigorously, and rubbed his hands over his arms. "Yeah, me neither. I don't go out a lot. I hate crowds. But my boyfriend dumped me, and there aren't that many places to meet people... Not on Earth, anyway. I hear it's completely different in the colonies. In the colonies, people don't judge people. That's what I heard, but it's probably not like that, not really. What do you think? You ever been to the colonies?"

Trowa did not want to continue this conversation. He wanted to finish his drink and join Duo on the dance floor. Maybe make a trip to the bathrooms. With a dismissive sigh, and replied shortly, "People are more laid back on the colonies. Find out for yourself."

He turned back to the dance floor, his eyes scanning for Duo. The young man was staring at him with stunned apprehension. "You... you really think so? I'd like to, you know, I want to transfer there next year, but my father... Well, my mom died in the war, and my father says..."

Trowa interrupted him with derision. "I know what your father says. I've heard it before. Go, or stay, whatever." He couldn't find Duo. He stood up to walk around a little to get a better view of the whole club.

He had only turned his back for a second.

He was contemplating getting worried when someone jumped on his back, their long arms trailing over Trowa's chest decadently.

Trowa stumbled forward two steps, and then latched on to Duo's arms.

"Got you!" Duo exclaimed from far too close to Trowa's ears. "You're mine now."

Trowa felt himself grin, which was unexpected. "Am I? And what do you intend?"

"Ooooh, nothin' but evil, I'm afraid. I'm quite a demon, you know." Duo rubbed against Trowa's back as he snickered, brushing his cheek against the back of Trowa's neck.

Trowa turned around, holding Duo's arms so that Duo would remain still. "I know."

Duo grinned sloppily. "You know." Duo surged forward, and sucked Trowa into a kiss.

Trowa frowned as Duo led him onto the dance floor. Duo was frantic and wild, haphazardly gyrating and bumping into Trowa. Trowa did his best to keep his hands on Duo, but Duo was a dervish.

They got back to the bathrooms, but Duo was sweating hard, and he could barely keep breathing. It was going to take too long to get Duo hard, anyway. Duo brought Trowa off with his hands, and then laughed like a hyena when he wiped his hand on the stall door.

They took a cab back to their apartment. Duo kept trying to put his hands in Trowa's pants. It would have been pleasant if Duo could have stopped laughing for five seconds. Trowa was developing a headache.

Trowa was low on cash when they were leaving the cab, and Duo insisted that Trowa fish through his pockets for money. Duo put his hands on his head and pushed his hips out, and invited Trowa to try his luck.

When the cab driver decided to leave without the rest of his fare rather than watch Trowa paw Duo for the money, Duo actually fell onto the sidewalk, he was laughing so hard.

Trowa had to restrain Duo from singing 'The Sound of Music' in the elevator by putting his hand over Duo's mouth. Duo decided to take that opportunity to suck and lick Trowa's palm.

It was deeply annoying to be being turned on by someone who wasn't cogent enough to get it up in return.

Duo tripped on the way to the door to their apartment, and fell flat on his face. This was so amusing, he started to laugh loudly enough to wake their nearly deaf next-door neighbor. Not relishing another eviction, Trowa lifted Duo up bodily and hauled him into their apartment.

Trowa was irritated, and frustrated. He wanted to go to bed.

Duo thought that was a great idea. He pulled off his shirt in a tragic mockery of seduction, and crawled over Trowa like a monkey.

"Troooo..." Duo cooed, still giggling a little, "wanna take me for a spin? C'mon... let me rev you up, babe..." Duo bit Trowa's ear a bit harder than necessary.

Trowa grunted, annoyed with himself for being aroused by Duo's clumsiness.

Duo rubbed his face against Trowa's like a cat. "Mm, Tro..." Duo's arms moved to hold Trowa, and his fingers dug into Trowa's sweater, as if trying to break through to the skin. "Tro, you always taste so good, Tro... And you smell good, too. I like to lick your cock..."

Trowa groaned, and leaned back against the headboard, feeling moderately put out by all of this, but not willing to bring it to an end.

"You smell best of all when you are sweatin', you know that? Like a fuckin' opiate, man, you are a head rush..." Duo writhed in Trowa's arms sinuously, pushing his hands down Trowa's tight jeans.

Trowa found himself sucking on Duo's neck absently, because it was right in front of his mouth and he liked to suck right there anyway.

"Tro... I don't think we should have had burritos for dinner."

It took Trowa a full seventeen seconds to comprehend what Duo was saying, and then he was carefully leading Duo to the bathroom with all due dispatch.

One advantage to the braid was that it meant that Trowa didn't have to hold Duo's hair as he knelt before the toilet. Trowa made sure that Duo was all right where he was, and then he started to run some cool water. He put the washcloth under the water, and listened as the sound of the water rushing down the drain partially washed away the sound of Duo hacking and emptying his stomach.

Trowa turned off the water when Duo seemed to take a break, and he wrung the washcloth out thoroughly.

Duo was clutching the edges of the toilet with both hands, his head bent down and his shoulders heaving. Trowa knelt down next to Duo, and pulled Duo's shoulders back gently. He flushed the toilet, sucking away the odor, and he wiped Duo's face and mouth with the cloth. Duo looked dazed, his eyes unfocused and his body shivering. Trowa leaned closer to Duo, sharing his body heat.

"Sorry, Tro."

Trowa shook his head and shrugged his shoulders, meaning to say not to worry about it.

"Not exactly the perfect end to the evening, is it? Sitting on the bathroom floor, instead of being in bed..."

Trowa brushed the cloth down Duo's face, dismissively.

"You tried to kill yourself in a bathroom."

It was a statement and a question at the same time, so Trowa forced himself to speak in response. "Yes."

Duo stared at the tile, forlorn. "That's why you don't like bathrooms much."

That was definitely a statement, so Trowa felt no urge to reply.

"What was it like? What did it feel like?"

Trowa stared straight ahead, willfully seeing nothing. "Cold."

Duo shivered, and huddled closer to Trowa. "I'm sorry," he said, his voice dripping with self-contempt, "You don't deserve this. You shouldn't be stuck with someone like me."

Trowa considered the words and tone before answering. "I don't mind."

Duo sighed, and pressed his face to Trowa's chest. "I'm sorry."

Trowa frowned, wondering at Duo's apologies. He kissed the top of Duo's head, leaving his nose next to the sweaty chestnut hair for just a moment. "You ok? Want to go back to bed?"

Duo sighed, closed his eyes, and nodded once.

Trowa put Duo to bed, and put the trashcan next to Duo's side of the bed. He got into his pajamas, and sat on the bed next to Duo.

It occurred to him to unwind Duo's hair from the braid while he was asleep, but he didn't have the energy. He fell asleep on top of the blanket, his hand next to Duo on the bed.

When Duo first tried to pry his eyes open, he was aware only of a queasy, pounding pain all over his body. He felt too dizzy and too sick to even try to move, and he was asleep again within a minute.

Later, the light from the window made it impossible for him to keep his eyes closed. Blinking and huddling himself into a ball, Duo peered out, finding Trowa sitting in the window.

Trowa was watching him, his hands wrapped around a coffee mug.

Duo blinked several times, and groaned.

Trowa watched Duo for another moment, and then unfolded himself from his position in the window. He knelt down on the floor next to Duo, and pushed a glass of water closer to Duo. "How are you feeling?"

Duo groaned, and tried to hide under the covers.

Trowa nodded. "I called us both in. I thought we could spend the day in bed."

Duo snorted and then groaned. "I don't know what you had in mind exactly, Tro, but I'm pretty sure I'm not up for it..."

Trowa stiffened a little, and made a dismissive noise from his nose. "I was going to read. I don't envy you. I've always heard that an ecstasy hangover was the worst."

Duo seemed frozen for a moment. "I just wanted to feel good."

Trowa nodded, and pushed the glass of water closer to Duo. "I'm not judging you."

Duo sighed. "Why not? Everyone else does."

Trowa narrowed his eyes. He would have pointed out that Heero was not everyone, but he couldn't. He leaned over and kissed Duo's brow gently, pushing Duo's bangs aside with careful fingers. Duo opened his eyes slowly.

After several moments' contemplation, Duo took the glass of water and sipped it.

Trowa got into bed next to Duo, and got his book out. Duo drank most of the glass of water, and eventually gave into the need to go to the bathroom. He refilled his glass while he was up, and then fell into bed like he was a ton of bricks dropped from high above.

Duo fidgeted, sighing, until he finally stilled. Trowa watched Duo as much as he read his book, dividing his attention between his bedmate and the words on the page with exact equality. He was so intent on completing both tasks that he was taken completely by surprise when Duo spoke.

"What are you reading?"

"The Stranger."

Duo grinned, looking more like his normal self. "Ah, sweet, comforting nihilism."

Trowa felt one corner of his lips turning up. He tried to discourage it.

"Read to me."

Trowa blinked. "I've never read to anyone before."

Duo wiggled over, and put his head in Trowa's lap. "It's been a long time since anyone has read to me."

Trowa put his hand on Duo's head, running it over Duo's messy hair lazily. He began to read, finding himself lingering over the words as he concentrated on the enunciation. The words became larger than their placement on the page, and the collective connotation of the gathered phrases loomed ephemerally before them.

Trowa expected Duo to fall asleep to the sound of his voice, but on the contrary, the other man's eyes became ever clearer and brighter, until Duo set the book aside, and placed his dry lips against the skin he exposed at Trowa's belly. Duo undressed them without preamble, and Trowa let Duo push him to his back.

Duo entered into him slowly, Duo's hands soft against Trowa's skin, Trowa's leg hooked absently over Duo's shoulder as they pressed their bodies together. It was slow, and long, and torturously pleasurable. Trowa closed his eyes and arched his back, feeling like the sand on the beach on a stormy day at high tide.

When it was over, Duo arranged them so that he was resting in the wet spot, and he cleaned Trowa patiently with his tongue. Words were spoken, but Trowa wasn't interested. He didn't need to know that his sweat dressed him perfectly, or that his body was a miracle.

He only needed Duo's hand in his own, Duo's leg between his own, and Duo's breath on his body.

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