Pairings: None yet
Warnings: AU. Not too much to say right now.
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing is not mine. Everything else is. Everything.
+ Part 8
"What? I'm not moving."
"You've got a camera in front of your face. You're looking straight at me. With a magnified lens. You, of all people, should be able to tell that I'm not moving."
"Your leg. It's moving. Stop."
It had been going on for hours. One hour, twenty-three minutes, and seventeen seconds, Duo calculated after looking at the clock. Close enough.
To be fair, he wasn't really moving. It was just a twitch that Duo developed when he was nervous. It usually went away when he did something but being forced to stand absolutely still was not only keeping it alive, it seemed to be aggravating it too.
"If you'd just stop moving we'd be done."
"I'm. Not. Moving. I'm not moving!"
"Your leg. Look at your leg."
"I thought you didn't want me to move." Got you there, To~ri. It was rather childish, but Duo enjoyed his little comeback. When he had signed up for this with Quatre R.W. he had thought he might get to know his roommate better. Instead he was starting to despise him. Why couldn't he just take the godamned pictures and get over it. Who the hell cared about a little leg twitch? Apparently Trowa Barton.
"If you'd just keep it still…" At least Trowa was more vocal when he was working. Not that he'd said anything nice, or even conversational. It was all ‘Move here,' and, ‘put your left hand here,' and-
‘Don't move! Don't move! Don't Move! DON'T MOVE!' Duo fumed. "Why don't you don't move yourself!," he spat. Then he realized how stupid that sounded. Trowa looked a little stunned. Duo put a hand over his face and inhaled deeply, in and then out.
"Look," he said, and he took his hand off his face. "We're roommates," and he ran the same hand through his hair. "Which means we're going to be living together, for a little while at least." In MY apartment Duo added mentally as he looked up; he was talking to the ceiling now. "So I know I've got my issues with you, and I'm sure you have your issues with me, but let's try to be civil to each other, for sanity's sake?" He was ready to look at Trowa so he did. Trowa looked back at him. "See…look." God, he was sounding stupider by the minute. "I'll tell you one thing that's annoying me about you, and you tell me one that's annoying you about me. I'll go first; the one-word sentences. Now you." Trowa tilted his head a little to one side and crossed his left leg over his right.
"I don't have any issues with you. I just assumed that you were moody."
Duo sucked in a huge breath of air through his nose as he clapped his hand back over his face. In and out. This was not working. He needed a break.
"I'm going to take a nap. Wake me if anything important happens." And he left Trowa's room still breathing through his hand. In and out.
When he woke up he had a headache. A middle-sized headache somewhere in between a minor inconvenience and a skullsplitter. He figured that the headache was probably due to the tense shoot he had had with Trowa--and here he had to look at the clock--three hours and twenty-seven minutes ago. He didn't hate Trowa, He really didn't; he didn't hate anybody. But it was getting so hard to keep telling himself that.
If only he hadn't needed a roommate. If only he had money. If only he wasn't an orphan.
If fucking only!
He couldn't take the tension; he punched the wall. Just once. Just once, to let some of it out. His hand stung now, and there was a gray mark on the wall where his knuckles had really connected, but besides that he felt much better.
Quatre pays for him? For all of his everything?
This was not helping his stress. And judging by past experience talking to Trowa wouldn't help either. What he really wanted to do was scream and kick things, but it probably would be bad for his furniture and he probably would only feel worse afterwards. Maybe if he went into the kitchen and made himself something--anything. So he got out of bed, even though he really, really didn't want to.
Trowa wasn't in his room when Duo passed it, which was good. Trowa was in the kitchen when Duo got there, which was bad. Trowa was standing in Duo's kitchen, holding a kettle in one hand and a mug the other. Duo could just spy the little green tag hanging out of the mug that identified its contents as Duo's favorite tea.
‘My favorite tea…he's making my favorite tea.' Duo almost covered his face with his hand but he couldn't summon up the energy. Trowa was making his favorite tea. This day was getting better and better.
"Tea?" Trowa brandished the kettle at him in what Duo was sure was an act of aggression. It didn't matter that Trowa was offering him something.
Offering to serve me my own tea. But he said, "Sure, Thanks," and Trowa took another mug and teabag down from the cupboard.
"Did you sleep well?"
Trying to be friendly is he? Well I'm having none of it. But he said, "Fine," and watched as Trowa poured the hot water into each cup. He wasn't spilling any of it. Show off.
"Quatre came by while you were sleeping to see how things were going. I didn't think it was important."
Well you could've asked! Pretentious asshole. But he said, "Oh," and took the mug of tea that Trowa was handing him and watched as Trowa put the kettle away.
Could've asked if I wanted sugar! Could've asked if I wanted milk! Inconsiderate bastard. Trowa turned to the refrigerator.
"No, thank you." Doesn't he know that sugar and milk dilute the taste? Doesn't he know ANYTHING? Stupid idiot. Trowa took a sip of his tea. Doesn't even know when his tea's properly steeped. He waited for seven seconds and then took a sip of his own tea. Ah, much better. As he inhaled the smoke from the hot tea he thought about his new roommate. Had taking on a roommate been such a good idea? It had seemed so at the time. But Trowa…everything he did, everything he said grated on Duo's last nerve and ricocheted around in his head until he wanted to scream and throttle him. Maybe moving into the dorms would have been better. But he needed this space and he just couldn't give it up. He inhaled some more and tried to dismiss all the thoughts in his brain. It felt wonderfully peaceful now. Was Trowa really so bad?
Duo shook his head vigorously back and forth suddenly and a couple of drops of tea sloshed out of the mug and dripped onto his bare feet. He was feeling awfully moody. Self, take a note. Remind myself not to let me take midday naps anymore. Bad for the health of myself; I mean me. Ugh. He yawned and looked at the clock. It wasn't late enough to go to bed for the night and his self helpfully reminded him that a nap was out. Just when he had decided to play a good old-fashioned game of solitaire he heard someone call out his name. Trowa, obviously.
"Coming," He called, although he didn't know why he called it since he was only about two feet away from Trowa's room. Trowa was adjusting his tripod again. Oh no.
"Quatre had an idea about shooting you when I told him how things were going." Great, just great. Just what I need--more headache time; and just when I thought I had gotten rid of it too. "He suggested I take motion shots of you. You are very animated; it might help bring more of your personality into the photo. And it would be less tense for both of us." Duo wasn't sure about it but he also had nothing else to do. Resigning himself to another headache he trudged into Trowa's room and was about to set his mug down on Trowa's antique table when he was interrupted by Trowa's baritone, "Don't." Great, he's touchy about his furniture too. "I want to shoot you just as you are, with the mug." With a sideways glare at Trowa he walked out in front of the camera. With the mug.
"Okay Mr. Photographer, shoot me." He stood his stillest and tried to look his most professional.
"Don't try to stand still. Just act naturally." Duo blinked once. Okay. I can do that.
And he did.
The pictures came out marvelously.
"Ooh, my word! Exquisite! And look at this one! And this one!" Quatre was looking through the prints oohing and ahhing and handling them like they were priceless. "Duo, you look stunning in this one, I love your shoulder posture--and your fingers! Look at the way the steam outlines your face in this one--here have a look," and he pulled Duo over to look at one print in particular. It was the Sunday of the next week and they were sitting in the same café poring over the recently developed prints of Duo's photo shoot. Trowa had taken a whole week to develop them because he had been busy with school and other models. But the results were fabulous. They, being Trowa and Quatre, had never had an ‘action model' before. Quatre dubbed him the ‘action model' because all of the pictures had some kind of movement in them. Sometimes it was slight, like a twitching finger or eyebrow; other times it was a sweeping arm or a turning head. Quatre loved it, and Duo thought it looked pretty neat too. Even Trowa was impressed.
"So what do you think Duo?" Along with his winning smile Quatre had a special look that he gave people when he wanted them to agree with him. He would raise his eyebrows slightly and opened his eyes a little wider than was natural for him. Then he would lean forward and keep his mouth in as neutral a position as he could while he pouted a little. It never failed. Except on Duo. And that was mostly because Duo wasn't looking at him.
"I look pretty good," Duo was looking at the last picture Trowa had taken, "for a picture that's only of my left eyebrow, anyways."
Trowa took the picture from Duo and studied it for a second. Then he laid it gently on the table face down and took a long pull from his glass of water-through a straw. "Not my best work." They all laughed. Duo decided then that he didn't hate Trowa as much as he had last week. He was at least, Duo could now say truthfully, a decent guy. He had made Duo's favorite tea everyday for the last week so that when Duo came home, no matter what time it was, there was always a hot cup of tea waiting for him. That was, until Duo had told him that the tea with the green tags was his favorite, at which point Trowa had started buying his own tea and just left the kettle on for Duo. Duo had had to take the catbox out of the shower every time he wanted to use it, but Trowa emptied it every day so that it never stank too much. He didn't make too much noise and he had paid his half of the rent on time. If Duo had had to pick one thing about Trowa that he was still uncomfortable with it would have been the fact that Trowa's strange friends were always coming in and going out. He may have agreed to live with Trowa but he had not agreed to live with his friends, who incidentally all seemed to moonlight as his models. Duo thought that if he told Trowa this he would stop letting his friends in but Duo didn't think that would be fair. He could live with it, especially since he had installed the sliding screen doors and put a latch on his that could be locked from the inside. The screens were flimsy, and somewhat opaque, and it might have been a false sense of security, but at least it was *some* sense of security.
And the kittens couldn't be more entertaining. They ran all around, looked for warm hiding places, played with each other, climbed on anything that could be climbed on (including Duo), and chatted with anyone who stopped to talk to them. Duo had had quite a few meaningful conversations with them over the past week where he had discovered that they were very attentive listeners and could give profound and helpful advice. He thought they were better than a telephone and a TV set. He didn't stop to think that he was talking to cats.
In the week that they had been living together Duo had gotten used to Trowa. He wouldn't go so far as to say they were best buddies, or even good friends, but they were at least amiable acquaintances, which would do for now. Which was part of the reason why when Quatre gathered up the pictures and suggested that some of them were art show potential Duo didn't object. Or why when Quatre suggested that Duo accompany them to the show that Trowa had up now Duo agreed.
The other part of it was probably that Duo wasn't really listening to what Quatre was saying.
"So, I'll pick you two up at around 2:00 then?" Duo nodded absently. "Duo, are you listening."
"No, not really. Sorry, what did you say?" Duo tried to put on one of Quatre's convincing looks and only half-succeeded. Quatre demonstrated how to do it properly.
"I asked if 2:00 was a good time for me to pick up you and Trowa to go to the photo exhibition."
"That's fine, okay." Duo still wasn't really listening. He had a lot of brain cells he needed to employ, and he could only spare so many to listen to Quatre.
"2:00 it is. Dress casual, but stylishly please. Trowa will know." Trowa nodded. Quatre folded his napkin on the table and stood. "We'll it's been a ball, as usual, but I have to run. See you next week!" And he walked briskly away, waving to the two of them still sitting at the table.
"2:00?" Trowa nodded. "Next Sunday?" And nodded again. "With you and Quatre?" And again. "Okay. But you have to make dinner then." Trowa blinked. That didn't make any sense. But he nodded anyway.
[part 9] [back to
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