Author: UtopiaDoesn'tExist
Rating: R
Pairings: 2x3x2, 4xS, 2+OC, 2x5x2
Summary: Duo's life is in that mundane disorder that life occasionally seems to get in and trying to sort it out is proving counterproductive.
Warnings: Yaoi, angst, of the mild guilt and 'argh' variety, shota.
Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing, I just do terrible things to it. And also, I don't know if there ever was a film called 'Razors', but any similarities are pure coincidence.

Low + Part 1

The ceiling was too well-painted. There should be more than shadows on it. There should be cobwebs or patches where the newer white didn't quite cover the older white.

"You awake?" Duo asked.

"Yes," said Trowa.

Maybe he should paint it again, just so it looked less like that. Less clinical.

"How long've you been awake?"

And the bread in the cupboard was probably stale by now. He'd need to get some more.

"Long enough to know you haven't slept."

"You know me, I sleep like a rabbit. Streets. Wars. It kinda makes you like that."

And when was the last time he washed the dishes? Christ, he hadn't been able to see the sink last week...

"I don't want to know you," said Trowa.

+

He'd been right about the dishes and the bread. Stupid housework. He had better things to do with his weekend. Like avoid Une's clammy hands trying to enlist him, repair the fridge, finalise the blueprints for that new ultrasilent silencer, then try and come up with a consumable coolant that could lower body temperature enough to keep the body out of range of all the thermal weaponry he'd been perfecting. Hey, even if he wasn't gonna join the Preventers, he may as well let Une pay him enough for his technology to keep him comfortable.

Well, he supposed it wasn't urgent. He really needed to start timetabling stuff, set up clearer boundaries between what he wanted to do and what he needed to do.

"Is this rat poison?" said Trowa, pushing the little plastic tub on the bench.

"Hey! I don't have rats! It works on mice too."

Trowa scowled disapprovingly at him. He'd showered and fully dressed somehow in the time it had taken Duo to assess his kitchen.

"Would OZ soldier poison have bothered you so much?"

"No. It would have made my life a lot easier. Mice never started an oppressive regime."

"You don't know that. They're enslaving the cockroaches right now. And I, I am starting the cockroach emancipation movement."

"Stop killing the mice, Duo."

"They crap in my drawers!"

"This carries a death sentence?"

"Well, if you did it, let's assume I wouldn't be happy."

Trowa picked up the plastic tub and went elsewhere. Duo went back to trying to unglue the plates from each other. They shoulda made mobile suits outta dried-on bolognaise.

"Aren't you at least disturbed by the inevitability of it?" said Trowa, depositing an empty plastic tub on the bench. It didn't really matter anyway, he had an industrial-sized bag of the stuff in his cupboard.

Duo added more washing-up liquid and sank his arm elbow-deep in the sink.

"Why would I get disturbed by what's inevitable?" he said. "We fucked occasionally. it's not like I'm losing a live-in lover."

"Two years isn't occasionally."

"Yeah, but every month or so is."

Duo dragged his eyes away from the sudsy dishes to look at Trowa, who dropped his key on the bench with a clink.

"I shouldn't have gave you that either," Duo said, scraping more coagulated food with his nails. "We're stupid, right? I mean, were we even friends?"

"I thought so. Eventually."

"That's good at least. And this is too, I suppose. I mean, I know I'm not in love and at least now I know that you're not, so we don't have to have a big emotional dilemma. And we don't have to watch this rot even more while we stick our fingers in our ears and sing 'lalaalaaalaa'-"

"Sorry."

"I thought it was inevitable."

"Right..."

Trowa's head bobbed forward enough to make their lips nearly touch, then he seemed to think better of it. Duo took his hand firmly in his and dragged him into a hug.

"See ya..." he said.

+

Duo peeled his face form the blueprints and tried to rub away the drool, until his ears adjusted to the sound that had woken him up. Ugh. Ringing phone.

Crap, he thought, and ran for it. He just knew it was gonna stop as soon as he reached it and he was gonna have to-

He slammed his palm into the 'accept call' button.

"Duo?"

"Hi, Quatre."

"You have ink all over your face."

"Meh," he said, trying to rub it off.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, why?"

"You don't normally sleep during the day."

"I was just resting my eyes!"

"For a couple of hours, by the looks of you."

"You shut up. Are you okay?"

"Yes, well, I hate to call you up just to get something I want, but...are you busy?"

"No more than usual."

"So yes?"

"Depends what you want..."

"A babysitter? I can't convince any of the ones I know to do it at such short notice, and I don't want to try anyone I haven't vetted. I really don't mind if you can't, but..."

"Sally's not on call tonight."

Quatre blushed. "Yes. I really don't mind-"

"Nah. 'Course I'll do it."

Quatre sagged visibly with relief. "Thank you so much," he said. "I owe you. Really."

"Yeah, don't even think of paying. And you'd better not get a wink of sleep tonight."

He blushed again, but grinned. "Thank you again. I hope he's not too much trouble."

"Nah. Seb loves me."

"He wasn't a teenager last time you saw him."

"Hey, I'm Shinigami, I can deal with a teenager."

"Well, they do have this way of being sweet and likeable when they're not with their parents."

"Okay, well, I'm gonna get rid of the more hazardous stuff around here, before he comes, you exercise that libido of yours, right?"

"I think Sally will tear out something vital if I answer that," he said. "Thanks. Again. Bye."

+

God, when was the last time he saw him? It was before Trowa, way before it, he'd been about ten. And ten-year-olds were way easier to impress than thirteen-year-olds. Christ, he was holing himself up. When was the last time he'd seen any of them in person, except Trowa. Around the same time, wasn't it? Shit.

He finished hiding all the knives he'd had lying around the place, then went to lock the room where he kept all the heavy-duty stiff and original blueprints. On second thought, he'd probably need more than that. This was Quatre's kid after all, and he'd been spending more than enough time with Heero and Wufei from what he'd heard.

He was considering soldering the door shut when the doorbell rang. Ah well, the lock was gonna hafta do. Hopefully the kid wasn't gonna bring explosives or lockpicks anyway.

"Hi," said Seb, when he opened the door to him. "I brought Razors, not actual razors, and popcorn, and chocolate raisins and did you know they'd started making pockey again? Some retro company picked up the idea."

Duo nodded as the list went on, and tried not to get a cavity thinking about it. Seb looked...Different obviously, but he wasn't meant to look this kind of different. Last time he'd seen him he'd been as cute as those weird plastic things they mass-marketed in Japan. He still had Quatre's fluffy blonde hair and huge brown eyes from somewhere, but they had arranged themselves in a way that was...It was bad cute. Bad cute. He thought he wasn't gonna have to worry about girls and stuff until at least another couple of years.

"Are you okay?" Seb asked.

"Yeah...So what kind of razors do you have?"

"It's a film. Seen the trailers?"

Trailers...? Man, when did he last watch TV? This was getting stupid.

"Can we watch it?" Seb asked hopefully.

"Yeah. TV's through here."

Seb grinned, revealing a silver brace.

Bad cute, again.

"Whoa, what's that?" Seb said, when they entered the sitting room.

"It's kinda hard to give it a name," said Duo. "It's a combination vidphone, TV, radio, disc player, fax machine, home security system, alarm clock and computer. What it lacks in discretion it makes up for in versatility."

"Um..."

"What do you mean, um? It rocks."

"Oh, yes, it does. It rocks. Sorry."

"Damn right. Now, where's that disc?"

Seb handed it over.

"Hey. This is an eighteen."

"Well, I've already had the Talk, horror film violence doesn't use real human organs, nor harm the actors, and I'm not afraid of the dark."

Seb slumped onto the sofa and started rummaging around in his bag. Duo examined his TV/fax/disc player...his contraption and tried to remember which slot was which. He took a chance on the left one, it turned out good.

"Want some gummy bears? Cola bottles? Popcorn? Pockey?" Seb asked, as he joined him.

"Too sweet," Duo said. "Don't suppose you've got any carrot sticks in there?"

"You don't like pockey?"

"I don't morally object to it, just hate the way sweet stuff makes your teeth all grainy."

Seb shrugged and tucked into the popcorn. The film seemed to be about some weird loner-type man who slashed people up with, and here's where the title was inspired, razors. He caught Seb hiding his face behind a cushion a couple of times when he thought he wasn't looking. Ah, he thought. Quatre and Sally don't normally let you watch this kind of stuff. Sneaky little bastard.

Some bleached blonde chick was screaming on the screen. Obviously she'd never had to see her own acting.

Seb jumped about a foot when the inevitable razor-clutching hand appeared.

Duo found he tuned out after that. In retrospect he'd have been better off watching the film. His thoughts were full of brown bangs and green eyes. That solid acrobats' body stretching and twisting or curling into a weirdly protective ball on the sofa. He snapped out of it to see an obviously frightened thirteen-year-old sitting in what he couldn't help but think of as Trowa's space and the credits rolling. Yeah, Trowa was even agile enough to stretch into places where he wasn't.

"You look unimpressed," Seb said, putting the cushion down guiltily.

"There are scarier films than that."

"Like what?"

"That one with the big pink bunny and all the little birds."

"Happy Easter Adventures?"

"It's an eight foot bunny. What's not to be scared of?"

"It gives Easter eggs to small children."

"There's something sinister about that rabbit..."

Seb smiled, a hint of that silver brace again. "So if the enemy general had dressed up as a big pink rabbit?"

"I suspect that Treize did."

"The enemy leader, right?"

"Yeah, until he died, then Zechs went crazy-"

"Who's Zechs?"

Before he could tell himself that telling stories about the days of yore was the defining activity of middle age, he'd launched into the whole saga, with Seb occasionally making incredulous comments like 'you had to rescue Heero?' and 'you actually got captured?'.

"Didn't your dad tell you about all that?" he said, after he'd got to 'and Heero saves the world. Again.'

"He doesn't think I should be exposed to violence. The danger of history repeating itself and everything. What he doesn't know is I can barely lift my book bag and I can't even hit the gym wall with a basketball. Even when I'm standing two steps away."

"Ah. So how is school anyway?"

"It's okay. Mostly. I don't like science, though. I understand it, usually, but it just seems a bit...cold."

"Cold, huh?" Duo thought about the hundreds upon hundreds of gun blueprints he had stacked in the back room.

"Did dad really build Heero's Gundam?"

"Yep."

"And go crazy."

"Ask Heero about it, I wasn't there."

"What was it like inside a Gundam?"

"They give you a hell of a crick in your neck when you sleep in them. And your ass goes to sleep after about an hour."

"But wasn't it cool?"

"Some of it was cool. The rest of it was ass-cramp and concussions."

Duo caught a glimpse of his watch.

"Holy crap! It's 3 A.M.! Your dad, or your mom, or both of them, are gonna kill me! You can have the bed. Sofa's comfy enough for me."

"Um, okay..."

Seb gave the dark passage to the bathroom and bedroom a stricken glance. Obviously he did not have the same policies about lying.

"Actually," Duo said. "I'll share the bed with you. I confess. I'm scared of the dark."

[part 2] [back to Singles l - z]