Author: Mi
Pairings: None yet
Rating: G
Warnings: AU. Some shounen-ai
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing is not mine. Everything else is. Everything.

Spotlight + Part 12

Seven o'clock and nowhere to go.

Actually, that was a lie.

Duo tapped his foot lightly against the doorframe and twiddled his thumbs a little.

7:01

Heero was late, and Duo took that as an excuse to be rude to him when he arrived. What kind of a guy forced you to go on a date with him and then showed up late?

"He's only one minute late."

7:02

"Two minutes late."

For a second Duo thought that his conscience was talking to him, and he wondered why his conscience liked Heero. Then he realized that it was only Trowa.

"What? Oh, I hadn't even noticed." Trowa snorted. He was busy developing his film in the bathroom. Duo knew because the whole apartment reeked of chemicals. Unfortunately the bathroom was close enough to the front door that they could carry on a conversation quite easily. Everything in their little apartment was close to everything else.

"Of course you noticed. You notice everything time-related." This time it was Duo's turn to snort.

"I do not." Either Trowa choose to ignore that comment or he hadn't heard, but Duo suspected it was the former; Trowa had excellent hearing. In any case, the next thing that came out of the bathroom was:

"He'll be a few minutes late. It's his style."

"Figures." Duo heard some shifting from the bathroom and guessed that Trowa was probably taking the film out of the tank; it was making that particular clinking noise. Duo's hearing wasn't too shabby either.

"You know," Trowa's voice rose over the clinking, "he's not such a bad guy. I've known him for a long time; he's not as much of an asshole as you think he is. He's really quite sweet, deep down." Duo checked the clock again.

7:05

"All of a sudden you're Mr. Talkative? If he's so nice why was he such an asshole to me at dinner? Why does he keep calling me at all hours of the night? Why did he-" At that point Duo stopped, because he realized that while Trowa was his roommate and might even be slowly becoming his friend, he didn't want to mention the fact that Heero had kissed him just yet. It still felt awkward to him. Duo decided to steer towards a safer topic. "If he's such a sweet guy on the inside why doesn't Quatre like him?" The clinking stopped for a second, and Duo could hear the zipping of the film unrolling a little louder than usual.

"Quatre has his own issues and insecurities and he has a hard time dealing with Heero. Just because they don't-" The buzzer chose that moment to buzz and Duo glared at it so that it would know it had chosen the absolute worst moment and should shut up until a more opportune moment arose, but it kept right on buzzing anyway. He went to answer it, fuming and planning its messy demise.

"Hello?"

"..."

"...Hello?"

"Hel-lo. Let me up precious, would you." Duo sighed but pressed the ‘up' button anyway.

"It had to be you." He grumbled.

"Be polite!" Trowa yelled from the bath/film room.

"Yes mother!" Duo maturely yelled back. Before he could think of anything else equally mature to yell at the bathroom door, the doorbell rang. In the short time it took him to go from the bathroom to the door Duo imagined all of the nasty and rude things that he could say to Heero about his lateness, his undoubtedly scruffy appearance, his late-night calling, and a whole host of other things. When he opened the door they all dissipated save one.

"You're late."

Heero looked him over and then straight in the eye.

"You look terrible."

With what little thought Duo had given to what Heero might look like on their ‘date' he had created in his mind an outfit that could be described entirely by the words ‘bad' and ‘black.' Perhaps he would be wearing black jeans and a black muscle shirt, some cloth ties around his wrists, and a bandanna around his forehead. Undoubtedly he would have a dog collar and barbed wire somewhere on his body. Maybe he'd even have a dagger or a cross. Not for one minute had he imagined the Heero that was standing in his doorway insulting his appearance.

To be fair, Duo hadn't been completely wrong about Heero's appearance; he was dressed mostly in black, and for that Duo gave himself credit. Apart from that, however, nothing matched Duo's metal picture of date-Heero. His shoes were black spats; leather, and polished so much that Duo could not only see his own reflection in them, but the reflection of the rest of his apartment too. Over his shoes he wore a pair of neatly pressed black slacks that looked like they had just come off of the ironing board. Tucked into these was an equally well-pressed white button-down shirt and covering where the slacks and shirt met was a modest black cummerbund. At the neck he wore a white ruffled cravat that blended perfectly into his shirt, which was topped off by a little black bowtie. Over this was a black vest, cut low with a single pocket out of which hung a gold chain. Duo mind supplied the gold pocket-watch that was most probably affixed to the end of it. As if all this wasn't enough Heero was holding in one white-gloved hand his jacket, black of course, which was no less than a tailcoat with a red carnation tucked neatly into the front breast pocket. Topping off the ensemble was a tall black top hat that rested slightly to one side. It was the only evidence of sloppiness or carelessness in the entire ensemble, which was perfectly tailored and outfitted, right down to the gold cufflinks and the single perfect diamond stud glinting in Heero's left ear. Looking him over once again, Duo admitted that even the hat, at its jaunty angle, seemed to fit and wasn't really messy at all. In comparison Duo felt a little embarrassed in his washed-out blue jeans and gray T-shirt. Heero cleared his throat.

"As I just said, rather uncouthly I apologize, your attire does not suit our particular outing this evening. If you would be so good as to return to your chamber and don some more appropriate dressings, sir, I should be most obliged." He paused and gave Duo a particularly lascivious look, showing Duo some of the Heero that he was used to and oddly making Duo more comfortable. "Unless of course, you require my assistance. In that case I would be most happy to help you...re-costume." Duo blinked and then scowled.

"No thanks. I'll do it myself. Just...wait there, I'll be right back." Heero smirked at Duo's retreating back

"Of course."

+

When Heero showed up in tails Duo was surprised but a little bit wary. After he had changed into the nicest outfit he could put together in 10 minutes (Black formal shoes, black slacks, white shirt, black tie, and black dinner coat) he expected that they would walk to wherever they were going and the date would proceed relatively normally. When they stepped outside and a footman ushered them into a carriage complete with driver and four white horses, Duo started to become a bit dazed. After they arrived at what could only be described as a ball the entire situation became completely surreal.

"Heero..."

"Yes my good sir?"

"Where are we? Is this like some warped Cinderella story where you take me to the ball and we dance until midnight, when my clothes turn to rags and I run away?" After he said it he realized how stupid it sounded. Heero seemed amused, like usual. Even though he was all dressed up and his speech was refined he still had the same creepy facial expressions.

"Not quite, my good sir. Admittedly there is a carriage, and the attire may seem fantastical to some, and there will be dancing," and Heero smiled that smile of his, "but apart from that this evening is to be quite non-Cinderella in nature. For one thing, you are far from a scullery maid and I am far from a prince."

"You got that right..." Duo muttered; he couldn't help it. Heero pretended not to notice. It didn't matter at any rate, because they were being helped out of their carriage and Heero was taking his arm and they were walking up the steps into the grand ballroom and...

There was definitely dancing.

Duo had never seen such dancing. Men and women, women and women, men and men, all moving and spinning and staying still across the vast room. There seemed to be someone in every possible state of motion, and some in several at once. Women were spinning in gowns that probably cost more than Duo would ever make in his entire life. Men were being served champagne in crystal glasses by waiters who moved with as much grace and poise and the dancers on the floor. Never had Duo seen so many people in one place. And everyone seemed to be enjoying his or herself. Duo's plan to be rude and sulk all night was appealing to him less and les. After all, it would be rude not to have fun when everyone else was having such a good time. And Heero had already surprised him three times that night. It wouldn't hurt to let him have a couple of dances free of bad attitude. That and the fact that Heero was ‘gently' pulling Duo out onto the dance floor so hard that Duo was surprised his arm didn't separate from the rest of his body.

"Ready to dance, my lovely?" And for once Duo decided he would smile.

"Sure"

+

They danced quite a bit that night, and Duo had to admit afterwards that it wasn't all that bad. He had thought, wrongly for the umpteenth time that night, that Heero would be a bad dancer-at least at all the traditional dances-but he was perfect and he made Duo feel like an amateur, which in truth he was. They danced for about three hours in total, mostly lively dances, but when the music turned slow Heero had insisted that they stay on the floor. Duo had tried to come up with a reason, any reason, to stop, ranging from,

"We look ridiculous-two guys dancing slow together?"

"There are plenty of other same-sex couples out."

To,

"Oh Heero, my leg's all cramped up-mind if we take a break?"

"I'll support you, just lean onto me."

To,

"Oh my god! Look Heero-it's an elephant! Get out of the way, quick!"

"We're not going, Duo."

In the end he resigned himself to dancing the slow dances with Heero Yuy. It was only three or four in total and he didn't have to like it.

On the way home in the carriage Duo fell asleep and to his dismay he awoke to find himself resting against one Heero Yuy, who was looking out the window with a very pleased expression on his face. Duo rolled his eyes and snorted-after he had moved to the opposite side of the carriage of course.

When they finally arrived at Duo and Trowa's apartment it was 12:56:26 AM and Duo was dead tired. He almost didn't have the energy to get himself out of the carriage and upstairs but he managed to find the initiative straightaway when Heero offered to carry him. Of course Heero followed him out to the door of his building, and when Duo started to unlock the door he put one hand on his shoulder and said,

"My good sir, for a night such as this, can I not beg one kiss, to carry with me home and into my dreams?" Duo pretended to think about it for a moment and then looked Heero straight in the eye and said,

"No." And before Heero could open his mouth again he continued with, "It was a very nice evening Heero, and I admit that I wasn't bored the entire time either. I hope that you had fun and I also hope that this means that you won't be calling me all the time now. Bye." And before Heero could figure out a way to invite himself upstairs, Duo had opened his door and closed it behind him.

Waiting for the elevator Duo couldn't help stealing one look back at the door to see if Heero had left or not. He hadn't, and when Duo turned around he took off his hat and bowed low to Duo, smiling as he did it. Then he schooled his face into its most neutral expression and blew Duo a kiss. Finally he turned around, boarded his carriage, and drove off.

The whole thing was ridiculously absurd, but Duo couldn't help finding it a little bit touching. Just then a clock somewhere chimed midnight and Duo smiled.

Perhaps it was a little like Cinderella after all.

+

"So how was your date?"

"Good."

"Where did you go?"

"Dancing."

"Was it fun?"

"Sure."

"Are you going out again?"

"No."

"Really?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Well, there's a message on the answering machine, I think you should listen to it."

"Okay..."

"Hi, you've reached the home of Duo Maxwell and Trowa Barton. We're not home right now, so please leave a message at the tone and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. Beep!-Lovely, thank you for a most wonderful evening. How is next Friday for you? I'll be around at 7:00, and wear something...friendly. Missing you and pining until our next encounter."

"Well?"

"Heero!"

+

[part 11] [part 13] [back to Singles l -z]