Author: UtopiaDoesn'tExist
see part 1 for notes, warnings, disclaimer

Low + Part 17

Duo stood up.

"Dad," Seb said. "It was just kissing."

"Was it just kissing?" Quatre asked.

Duo shook his head. "We didn't have sex."

"Is that supposed to make it better? That you left my son's virginity intact? My thirteen-year-old son."

"No."

Duo wondered why Quatre was hesitating. He'd expected a broken jaw at least five minutes ago. Maybe he was still in denial.

"Dad, I asked him to," Seb said desperately.

"So you did?" Quatre said.

So Duo was wrong, way, way wrong. Quatre wasn't in denial. He was in that far-gone anger that looked a lot like calm until someone got their skull stoved in with a clawhammer. Or in this case, a fist buried in their stomach so hard that the combination of pain and being winded made Duo want to curl up on the floor. But he'd never been like that. So he took the next couple of blows as well, and hoped he wouldn't vomit.

"Duo, stop letting me punch you," Quatre said.

"Why don't you just stop punching him?" said Seb. "You could both talk it out."

He always had been a dirty fighter, so as soon as Quatre turned to look at his son, Duo's knee was in his crotch. He watched Quatre's face crease with the same dirty satisfaction that so many street fights had given him. Yes, he'd done wrong. But Quatre was a child killer and a terrorist, not to mention that whole colony thing. He'd done his share of bad things. Besides, he hadn't raped Seb, he hadn't fucked him. And he was just a little bitter about the stomach punching.

Of course, that wasn't going to be the end of it.

Quatre grabbed and pretty much launched Duo into the bench, cracking his hip against the edge. Duo pushed both palms against it, hoisted himself up and kicked Quatre in the chest, ignoring the sting. He'd forced Quatre a little way back, maybe even broken a rib, but a broken rib had never stopped a Gundam pilot before. Quatre just came right back, sending Duo up onto the bench to avoid every grasp and swing. Which would have been okay if he'd managed to grab onto the cupboard above him and swing himself down in time, but Quatre yanked his leg, sending one knee into the hard surface and probably pulling a muscle in the other leg.

Never mind. It was negligent pain, he's suffered it all before.

Then again, that was nearly twenty years ago. He jumped down from the bench, landed on two unsteady legs, and had to roll out of the way of Quatre. Now, why hadn't OZ enlisted a load of angry dads?

"Dad!" Seb had dashed between them, and nearly gotten pummelled.

"I can go round you, or throw you into the other room," said Quatre, though he'd been successfully stopped.

"Just leave him alone! This is all my fault anyway. And I don't want you to hurt him or him to hurt you."

"Seb," Duo said. "Just get out of the way and let us finish. There isn't anything else he can do. The police won't be any help. There's not a jail on Earth or the colonies that could hold me, and he knows it. He's right."

"No he isn't! Dad, what do you think he did to me? Nothing that I didn't want to do and he wouldn't do some of the things he wanted to do. It's not like I'm so innocent that I didn't know what it meant."

"Neglecting the twenty year age difference," said Quatre. "It's entirely unjustified for me to beat Duo to within an inch of his life, but the fact is that he knows it's wrong, and that you can't grasp that concept shows that you are too immature for him to be doing anything with you."

Quatre proceeded to lift Seb by the armpits. "Dad... Please leave Duo alone. Please? You look scary when you pull that face. Dad?"

Seb was deposited in the living room, and the door closed on him.

"Come on, Quatre," Duo said. "If you're so untarnished."

"You know that that has nothing to do with this. Do you really think that you'll matter that much to him when he's twenty? Do you think you'd be proud if any of your childhood crushes had went that far? Or would you regret doing too much when you were so young?"

"Bull, Quatre. If a gorgeous thirteen-year-old girl kept coming onto you and coming onto you, trying to kiss you, tricking you into kissing her, you'd find it hard to resist, right?"

"No. Couldn't you have found an eighteen-year-old to have a fling with if you were feeling that insecure about not being a young and pretty ex-pilot anymore?"

"That's not what is was about."

"Then what was it about, Duo? How can you possibly even consider doing anything with someone his age?"

"Because I'm a fucking bastard, okay? Jesus, Quatre, do you really think I have an excuse?"

"I was hoping so, yes."

"I..." Duo decided there was absolutely nothing he could say that would make this any better, and he was quite likely to make it worse, so he shrugged.

"You'll never see him again. He won't even be able to think about sneaking out without me finding out about it. And I never want to see you again either."

"What? You're not even gonna break my legs?"

"What would be the point? That, you can stand."

+

Duo had expected the phone call, really. If Wufei hadn't been so busy it would probably have come a lot earlier.

"I have to admire how well you covered it up," Wufei said bleakly.

"Weren't you married when you were thirteen?"

"That's hardly the same."

"I'm sorry."

"I know. And I wish this wasn't a situation where sorry will never be enough."

"Christ, Wufei-"

"The only redeeming thing is that I know you never do anything simply out of lust. It's just a shame you're so bad at identifying your feelings. And that you couldn't wait three years."

"I know. Shit. I'm so sorry."

"I had a good time with you."

"Yeah... Me too."

+

If only he'd moved a couple of months earlier, Duo thought, sealing another cardboard box. He'd move onto the living room next, and then he'd be done and out of here in a couple of days. Back to L2, where he'd really feel comfortable. Where he belonged.

He paused, irritated, as the phone rang. Every time it was an evangelist or a salesman, and he answered it every time.

"Hello," said Trowa.

"What d'you want?"

"I've been teaching Seb the joys of old-fashioned phones. In particular, the lack of a person's face and ways to muffle or change the voice."

"And?"

"And I'm sending one to your new address."

"And?"

"You know what I mean. Seb will be able to phone you, without Quatre knowing. Even use the vidphone when he's here. Since you won't even be on the same planet, I can do that with a clear conscience."

"As if you've ever done anything with a clean conscience."

Trowa grinned, it was even scarier than his crafted Shinigami smile. "It's better if he knows where you are, so when Quatre can't do anything to prevent it, he can come and find you."

"Why all the effort?"

"Because I owe you. And because we're friends."

THE END

[part 16] [back to Singles l - z]