Author: Mi
Pairings: None yet
Rating: G
Warnings: AU. Not too much to say right now.
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing is not mine. Everything else is.

Spotlight + Part 4

On Wednesday afternoon, when he had decided to call Trowa, he went out and bought a folding screen. It was a Japanese style screen made of opaque white rice paper and unfinished pine.

On Wednesday night Duo had arranged and rearranged his furniture trying to figure out how his small apartment could accommodate two people.

On Thursday he hadn't come up with any especially brilliant configurations even though he'd thought all day. He'd even mentioned his problem to Marjorie and they'd sat together in the surveillance room before their shifts trying to come up with new and creative ways to arrange Duo's furniture. Nothing seemed to be working.

Finally, on Friday, during his visual art class he had a stroke of genius. It happened while he was studying a picture of a purple triangle inscribed in a green circle. He ran all the way home after school to see if it would work.

‘Thank God I have so many bookshelves.' He thought as he rode up to the 15th floor.

+

When Trowa came over on Friday night Duo had divided the main room of his studio into two smaller rooms using bookcases and the new folding screen. When he showed them to Trowa he apologized that the rooms didn't have doors yet but he promised that he'd go out and buy some sliding screens that would give them both a little more privacy.

Trowa shrugged and asked him if he was Japanese.

"No." Duo looked puzzled. "Why, do I look it?"

"No. The screen is Japanese, so are the lanterns. You are going to buy screen doors."

"No, I'm not Japanese." Duo smiled a little bit. "The screens and lanterns are just the cheapest furniture I could find. I hope you don't mind." Duo was talking to Trowa but he was looking at the kittens that were sitting on Trowa's shoulders.

Trowa shrugged. "They'll behave."

Duo was unconvinced but kept showing Trowa the apartment. He really needed the extra money.

In addition to the folding screen Duo had bought two paper lanterns, one for each of them. They hung in the middle of each room and were visible over the tops of the bookshelves.

"This is my room." Duo led Trowa into the room farthest from the door. "It's not too fancy but it's home." Duo smiled at Trowa again, hoping that he wasn't too put off by the Spartan furnishings. Against the far wall was Duo's bed, a plain pine loft frame with a mattress on top and a single rail to keep the occupant from falling out. Underneath it was an equally plain pine desk with a small lamp, a couple of books, and Duo's laptop. On the floor beside the bed and desk there was a bamboo mat, a tall plant, and a blue beanbag chair. There was also a window to the right of Duo's bed with bamboo shades and a variety of clocks on the windowsill.

"And this would be your room." Duo led Trowa into the other bedroom. It had no bed, no desk, and no window. There was a mat on the floor, identical to the one in Duo's room, and a plant in the corner. "I'm sorry about the window but there's only the one in the whole apartment." Duo did his best to look apologetic. It wasn't that he didn't feel sorry, but people often had a hard time reading him. Trowa either didn't notice his efforts, or he didn't care. Duo plowed on anyway. "So I got this; I hope it helps." Duo went into the closet, which was in the front hallway across from Trowa's room, and brought out a large painting.

It was a picture window; that is, it was a picture of a window, complete with drawn up blinds and windowsill.

"I wasn't sure what kind of view you'd like and this one looked nice enough...." Duo shrugged. The window looked out onto a street scene. There were boys playing in the gutter and a woman, presumably their mother, leaning out of a window and yelling. There was another woman carrying groceries and leading a small dog on a leash and a man running after her yelling and waving a wallet. Trowa smiled.

"It's a very...creative touch." Duo thanked him and inwardly he was relieved that Trowa had finally smiled. He had begun to think that maybe the man was missing some of the muscles in his face.

"I have an extra set of blinds, and you can put a shelf under it to make it look more realistic, if you like," Duo offered, "but I'm afraid it won't let in any light." Trowa shrugged. It seemed like a different shrug to Duo; rather than saying 'I could care less what you're saying right now' it seemed to say 'That's okay, I appreciate your effort.'

After the bedrooms Duo showed him the kitchen.

"I've got a conventional oven-convection-with stove, as well as a microwave, a refrigerator, a food processor, and a blender." Duo smiled, "You'll find that I like to blend things." Duo opened each of the cabinets one by one and showed Trowa their contents. "I also have a good number of pots and pans and a wide selection of kitchen knives. There really aren't that many dishes; if you want to bring your own that's fine." Duo turned around to face him. "If you haven't noticed already however, I don't have a dishwasher, so if you do bring your own dishes you'll have to wash them yourself." Trowa nodded. "I do most of my own cooking, and I'll cook for you if you want, but you have to chip in for the groceries."

Next they went to the bathroom.

"There's a bathtub and shower, toilet, and sink. I assume you have your own toiletries." Trowa nodded and Duo pointed to the bathtub. "I was thinking that you could keep the litter in there. I won't mind taking it out when I shower so long as it's clean." Duo looked Trowa right in the eye, trying to make it clear that he had no intentions of cleaning the litterbox. Trowa nodded.

"Well that's it. I keep the place clean myself but I guess we'd have to work out some way of cleaning the apartment. And we'd split the rent, fifty fifty." They had discussed the rent over the phone, but Duo wanted to make sure that the terms were crystal clear. He was, after all, only accepting a roommate because he needed help with the rent.

"Fifty fifty." Trowa assented, nodding his head.

"So, when do you want to move in?"

"Tomorrow." Duo started.

"Tomorrow? Don't you, uh, have other apartments to look at?"

"No."

"Have to give notice at the college?"

"No."

"Well, uh, you need to find someone to help you move, right?"

"My friends will help me move."

"Uh." Duo really wasn't ready for a roommate, not just yet. He needed time to adjust. He needed personal space. He looked at the floor. He needed money.

"I guess I'll see you tomorrow then?"

"I'll be over at two."

"I won't be here. I have to go to work. I'll...I'll leave you a key with the doorman, okay? Trowa Barton, right?"

"Right."

Duo fidgeted. He wasn't sure he liked the idea of Trowa coming over when he wasn't there but he supposed that he would have to get used to it. Better start now. "I'll be back around six fourteen. I usually make dinner and then leave for my night shift around eight thirty four. I'll see if I can get you a key made." He showed Trowa to the door and shook his hand.

"Tomorrow then." Trowa nodded.

"Tomorrow."

After he closed the door Duo went into his new room and sat down hard on his beanbag chair.

‘What am I doing? I'm about to move in with a guy whose entire vocabulary consists of shrugs, nods, and repeating what I say.' He looked at the ceiling. ‘Think of it this way: it's either he moves in or I move out.' Duo blew out all of the air in his lungs. He'd better get started on that extra calculus homework; he had work tomorrow.

+

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