Pairings: None yet
Warnings: AU. Not too much to say right now. This should be the longest
part so far.
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing is not mine. Everything else is.
+ Part 3
Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday Duo got up at exactly 8:07 AM. He took a shower, toweled off, and braided his hair. Today was Tuesday and as Duo was braiding his hair he thought about what he should wear. He was supposed to meet his potential roommate at lunch today and he didn't want to look like a slob.
On the other hand, it was his apartment.
He opted for a yellow cotton shirt with two buttons at the throat and a pair of slate-gray slacks. He wore his old worn-out sneakers and his gold cross was tucked safely into his shirt and brushed his chest as he moved. He made his toast, drank his orange juice, and headed out at 8:36 AM for the bus stop.
Lunch today was meatloaf, and Duo had already eaten half of his when Prof. Kerigg sat down at his table.
"Terribly sorry for being so late Duo," he apologized, "a student kept me after class."
"That's okay." Duo hadn't had meatloaf in a while and was doing his very best to enjoy it. That meant ignoring as many unnecessary distractions as possible. Prof. Kerigg's excuse qualified as an unnecessary distraction.
"Trowa is buying his lunch, so he should be over in just a few minutes."
"Didn't I tell you on the phone yesterday? Your new roommate, the one you requested last week. His name is Trowa."
What kind of name is that? But Duo didn't say that. It would have been impolite and taken time away from his meatloaf.
"I think you'll like him Duo. He's a little on the quiet side, but I didn't think you'd want someone living with you who made a racket all the time. He's honest and I trust him. He's babysat for Sam a couple of times and Sam likes him. Just don't be offended if he seems a bit curt."
Duo ate the last bite of meatloaf and nodded. He closed his eyes to fully savor the taste, and then swallowed and looked at Prof. Kerigg.
"You've got a spot on your shirt; right on the collar, left side."
Prof. Kerigg looked up at him, startled and a little embarrassed. "Right. Sorry" He scrubbed at the dark red stain and only succeeded in making it into a large pink splotch. He was just putting down his napkin when he became aware of the bottle of seltzer that someone was handing him from behind.
"Here. This'll help."
"Ah, Trowa, there you are. Thank you." Prof. Kerigg stood up and motioned to Duo. "Trowa, this is Duo. Duo, Trowa." They shook hands. Duo smiled at Trowa. Trowa nodded.
Trowa was tall, but not so tall that he looked like a giant next to Duo. Duo estimated that Trowa had two to four inches on him, which wasn't so bad. He was a brunette, like Duo, but his hair was lighter than Duo's and much shorter. Where Duo's hair was at least three feet long and tied back in a braid Trowa's hair only hung as far as his chin and only some of it was tied back, into a rat's tail at the back of his neck. The hair that hung in front of his face was so full of gel that Duo was sure it was solid and it was pulled to one side so only one of Trowa's eyes was visible-the right one.
He wore a dark blue dress shirt tucked neatly into a pair of white pants with dark blue pinstripes. He had brown dress shoes on and when Duo had shaken his hand he had noticed that Trowa wore a square ring on the pinkie of his left hand that looked like it was made out of steel. Duo thought that someone must be running around after him pressing his pants and shirt as he moved, because he didn't see how anyone could be wearing clothes that were that neat and clean.
Duo thought that Trowa would have looked exactly like a model from a magazine except for two things.
The first one was his cat. It was a light orange color with dark orange fuzzy stripes running across its body and white paws.
It looked more like a kitten, Duo thought.
It was sitting on his head.
The cat, no definitely a kitten, was sitting on top of Trowa's head and batting at the solid mass of hair that hung over half of Trowa's face. Trowa seemed entirely unfazed.
The second, and for Duo much more disturbing, exception was Trowa's other cat. It was also a kitten but its only similarity to the cat that sat on Trowa's head was that it too had white paws. Aside from that it was a light black color all over and was sitting straight up on Trowa's right shoulder looking at Duo.
"I thought that you only had one cat." Duo looked pointedly at Prof. Kerigg.
"You were mistaken." Trowa had a deep voice, but not as deep as Duo had expected. A dark broody looking guy like him should have a deep ass voice, Duo thought.
Prof. Kerigg looked slightly uncomfortable. "Right. Trowa, why don't you sit down? Duo, I'm sorry if I misled you, Trowa seems to have two cats. I hope that doesn't cut him out of the running."
Duo laughed, a nervous little laugh. "Since he's the only guy in the running I think he's pretty safe for now professor." He looked over at Trowa who had started eating his sandwich. It looked like it consisted mainly of mozzarella cheese with some dried tomatoes and lettuce on top. Duo was a little miffed that Trowa had completely bypassed the meatloaf. "So, what are your cats named?"
Trowa looked up at him. "This one," he indicated the orange kitten playing with his bangs "is Andy. This one," he patted the black kitten on his shoulder, "is Melee."
Duo reached out a hand as if to shake with the cats. "It's a pleasure to meet both of you." Duo decided that the cat topic was safe; he decided to go with it. "How old are they? And where did you get them?"
"Ten weeks. A friend." Trowa stared intently at Duo as he talked. It was making Duo uncomfortable.
"One of the other students at Stokely's cat recently had a litter that she couldn't keep and Trowa was gracious enough to adopt these two. They've only recently been separated from their mother." Prof. Kerigg was making attempts to keep the conversation alive but his efforts were going unrewarded.
"So they're brothers? They don't look much alike." Duo commented.
"Yes." No one seemed to have anything to say. Prof. Kerigg was eating his lunch very slowly. At least he got the meatloaf, Duo thought. Decent people get the meatloaf. He looked at Trowa who was just finishing his sandwich. As he was trying to think of something interesting to say Trowa looked at him.
"Where do you live?"
"Uh, 124 West 12th Street, between fifth and sixth." Duo tried to smile, "It's only five or ten minutes from here by bus, twenty five or so if you walk."
"You have a studio?"
"Yeah, but it's pretty big." Duo started to feel like he was the one being interviewed, instead of the other way around.
"Does your building allow pets?"
"I think so. The woman next door has had a dog ever since I moved in and no one's ever made an issue of it."
"Do you have a kitchen?" Duo brightened up. He loved his kitchen. He used it all the time.
"Yes, I have a fully functional kitchen; I love it; I use it all the time." Trowa nodded and looked at his watch.
"I apologize but I must go." They all stood up and Trowa shook hand with Prof. Kerigg. Then he turned to Duo. "Thank you for your time. Please call me. I would like to see your apartment." Trowa took a silver card case and pen out of his breast pocket and wrote his name and phone number on a blank white card before handing it to Duo. Duo was just reaching out to shake his hand when the orange cat reached a little too far over and fell off of Trowa's head and onto his empty plate. It let out a little surprised meow as it fell and knocked Trowa's bottle of seltzer over when it landed, soaking itself. Duo couldn't keep from laughing out loud and Prof. Kerigg chuckled a little. Trowa's face was completely stoic as the kitten fell, and remained stoic as he picked it up by its scruff and deposited it on his empty shoulder across from its brother.
"Nice to meet you." Duo offered, a little miffed that Trowa hadn't so much as smiled. Trowa nodded before picking up his empty plate and leaving the cafeteria. Prof. Kerigg smiled at Duo.
"Right, so what did you think?" Duo quirked an eyebrow at him.
"Is that the best you could come up with?" Prof. Kerigg shifted a little in his seat.
"He was perfectly nice, Duo."
"Do you know anyone with a little more…I don't know, personality?" Duo offered.
"I told you he didn't talk much."
"He barely strung two words together! I felt like I was applying to be his roommate, instead of the other way around!"
"I told you that I'm not a matchmaking service Duo. Trowa's a great student, and he's really quite pleasant once you get past the initial uncomfortable feeling. I think you should have him over to look at the apartment." Prof. Kerigg stopped to eat the last of his meatloaf. Besides being habitually late for lunch he always ate very slowly, and didn't finish until long after Duo had cleaned his own plate. "If for no other reason than that he has a pair of lovely kitties."
"Well there is that." Duo smiled. The cats were very sweet, although he wasn't sure he wanted to live in the same house with a cat named ‘Melee.' Maybe it was one of those opposite names, where the owner named the cat the exact opposite of what it acted like. At least he hoped so.
Prof. Kerigg began to push his remaining food around his plate and arrange his silverware in the way that meant he was ready to leave. "At least consider him Duo. I'll see you tomorrow in class then?" Duo nodded and indicated that he would stay a little longer. "Right, have a pleasant day Duo."
When Prof. Kerigg had left the cafeteria Duo took out the card that Trowa had given him. It was plain white except for the name and phone number: "Trowa Barton" and underneath, "363-9052" in dark blue pen that might've been the exact same color as Trowa's shirt and the pinstripes on his pants. Duo had expected Trowa's handwriting to be neat and orderly, like his clothes had been, but instead it was uneven and scrawled and the words sloped down a little bit towards the end of the lines. Interesting.
Duo pocketed the card and stood up to clean up his dishes before leaving
the cafeteria to finish his calculus homework.
[part 4] [back to
the Singles page]