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

Low + Part 3

Duo tore up another sheet of paper, crumpled up the next, realised that one was also blank and took his rage out on the wastepaper basket. When he finished kicking it around, he dropped to the floor to pick up the scattered paper.

"FuckinggoddamstupidbastarddesignsstupidgodammemptybrainI'llputsomeelectrodesinmyearand..."

He kicked the righted wastepaper basket again, and stamped on the spillage a bit.

"IfIevertrytoworkwhenI'mnotinthemoodagainsomeonebetterkickmyassandtellmetogetsomesleep."

He tidied up. Again. And forced himself to breathe.

All right, all right, he'd take a couple of days break. Just until he didn't feel like blowing things up.

He closed the door on his work room before any more innocent receptacles had to suffer. Ah crap, he thought, as he entered the kitchen. There was a group of dead mice around a chewed hole in his bag 'o' death. They caused his stomach to growl improbably as he bagged them and threw them in the outside trash. With a bit of difficulty, he washed his hands over the rising pile of dishes, and caught his watch.

Shit, shit, shit. Lunchtime. Hadn't he said he'd pick Seb up? Okay, the school had to be within walking distance.

Back on the website, a quick check of the map and he was running out the door. He arrived out of breath, which surprised him a little. Sure, he hadn't done his daily run for a couple of weeks but that didn't mean everything could go to hell.

Something like a large, blonde bullet pelted toward him

"There's been a bit of a mix-up," Seb said, as Wufei appeared behind him.

"They asked me to pick him up," he said. "Apparently it's only a half-day to day, for studying or something, and Quatre's going to be in a meeting until the early hours. If he's lucky."

"There's a test tomorrow," said Seb. "So they gave us the afternoon off. I forgot to tell you about it, sorry."

Duo raised an eyebrow at Wufei. "You're babysitting? You actually managed to get a day off and that's what you're doing?"

"Yes," said Wufei.

"Right. Well, why don't we all come back to mine and have lunch before you go? I haven't seen you properly in a while."

+

Duo admired the view as he took Wufei's long coat. He may not have been wearing his Preventers' uniform, but the cut of those jeans and the places where his sweater clung, and then wrinkled away from the muscles underneath... Seb walked into the kitchen, oblivious.

"I'm beginning to think you brought us here on false pretences," said Wufei, looking around it.

"No, there's..." Duo opened the fridge, and retched at the smell of sulphur. "Okay, no eggs. And that lettuce looks a bit iffy, but we can have...and the bread's a bit mouldy...Uh, but that ham looks salvageable." He inspected it. "Okay, it doesn't."

Wufei's eyes strayed to the bag of rat poison, now accompanied by another mouse corpse. Christ. Why were mice so stupid?

Duo clapped his hand over Seb's eyes as he followed their gazes.

"Let's go out for lunch," Wufei said. "My treat."

Seb tried to peel Duo's fingers from his eyes.

"Hey, I'm the one who promised lunch," Duo said. "Let me buy it."

"This doesn't look like the kitchen of someone I would trust to buy food."

"I just haven't had any time, okay? Let me pay."

"I can afford it, Duo."

"So can I."

"What's so bad that I can't see it?" Seb asked, now trying to splay Duo's fingers so he could peer through them.

Duo's eyes fixed on the dead mouse. His stomach growled again. He wished it'd stop doing that.

"We could split it?" Wufei suggested.

"Fine."

"Can we get pizza?" Seb asked, realising that there was no way he was going to get Duo to uncover his eyes.

"Ugh. No," said Duo.

"You don't like fast food either?" said Seb. "That's sick!"

"We could go to the Italian round the corner," said Duo. "He can get pizza, I can get pasta, you can get whatever you wanna get."

Wufei's eyes lingered on the mouse. "I'd hate to think about the alternative," he said, with a smirk. It shouldn't be possibly for an expression to be simultaneously infuriating and sexy, but apparently so.

"What's your kitchen like?" Duo asked, steering Seb out of his. "All the plates stacked all neatly in the cupboards, not a fork in the spoon drawer or a spoon in the fork drawer, everything in the fridge in those little plastic packets, grouped by colour and food group..."

"Actually, I subsist mainly on microwave meals," Wufei said. "At least it avoids the dish pile-up."

"So what couldn't I see?" Seb asked, when Duo released him.

"I left my porn stash out," said Duo. Seb promptly blushed.

+

Duo tried to stop himself looking, he really did. But if Wufei wasn't trying to be suggestive, he shouldn't be letting the spaghetti pass his lips like that, or licking the little bits of sauce that landed on his bottom lip. Seb on the other hand was eating his pepperoni pizza in a way that probably overthrew a couple of years of etiquette lessons. Okay, he'd focus on that. There couldn't be anything singularly less arousing. Well, maybe the Doctors doing a nude can-can, but he hoped never to have that nightmare again.

The restaurant was a nice little place. Not a dive by any means, but not so fancy that he felt the need to scratch his armpits, burp and generally lower the tone.

Christ, Seb went through food like a little bulldozer. Duo remembered when he had a fast metabolism, and he hadn't had to check every morning to see if his belly had rounded on him overnight.

"Good pizza?" he asked.

Seb nodded enthusiastically, continuing to demolish the last slice.

"I take it it's good spaghetti," Duo said, turning to see Wufei slurp another strand. Agh. There was more sauce, the tip of Wufei's tongue darted out to catch it. He had no right to do something so indecent in public.

Duo moved his fork around his pasta. Weird, he had been starving but after a couple of bites his appetite was just gone.

"Maybe they serve mice?" Wufei said.

Duo gave him his best glare. He just smiled at him.

"Why would you want mice?" Seb asked, there was sauce on quite a lot of the lower half of his face too, but somehow it didn't have the same effect.

"Acquired taste," said Duo, picking up his napkin and cleaning Seb up.

"I could've done that myself, you know," he said.

"Yeah, but then we'd have that whole annoying rigmarole of pointing to where the sauce is and then you'd wipe the wrong place and we'd be at it all day. Hey Wufei, you've got some on your face too."

Wufei leaned forward to give him better access. Hm. Duo used his finger to wipe the nonexistent sauce of Wufei's bottom lip. He thought he was exercising considerable restraint not to use his tongue.

Ack. What the hell was wrong with him? His hormones were going crazy. Must be the lack of Trowa ass, he told himself, and looked back at Seb who was scowling at them.

"I'll go and get the bill, shall I?" said Wufei.

Seb watched Wufei until he was out of earshot.

"Duo, are you gay?" he asked.

"Huh?"

Crap, was he being that obvious? That settled it, he was officially pathetic. He was a pathetic, horny, dumped loser who was throwing himself at anyone he could get his hands. He was a pathetic, horny, dumped loser who should probably answer the question.

"Well, yeah."

"How do you know?" Seb asked.

"What?"

"How can you...you know, be sure?"

Now, how to put this, considering who he was talking to. Ah screw it, the kid was thirteen. He'd probably heard every sporting euphemism ever created.

"I like sleeping with men," he said.

Seb blushed deeper than he'd ever seen him. "But, um, before that. How did you know then?"

"Oh, I did the whole confused thing, and then I finally worked up the nerve, and kissed Quatre. I figured he would be the least likely to tear off my lips. But, of course, he was straight."

Seb looked a little distressed at that.

"Oh right," Duo said. "I mean, I wasn't attracted to your dad or anything, I was just curious. And I'd never even think of doing that again. Um, yeah, but it didn't exactly disgust me, so..."

He was pretty sure they had matching blushes by the time Wufei came back. He passed a curious look over them, but didn't say anything. And he let Duo pay for his half without complaint. Under other circumstances, Duo might have tried to invite him back to his, but it wasn't like they could do much with Seb there, and hadn't he said something about a test.

"We'd better be going," Wufei said, outside the restaurant. "I'd like to do this again, next time I manage to get a break."

"Definitely," Duo grinned. "I'll even tidy up my house in preparation."

"But aren't you going to be coming here?" Seb asked.

Agh. Shoo, Duo thought.

"I'm hoping Wufei won't object to coming back to mine afterwards," he said.

"Not at all," Wufei said, a faintly amused smile on his face. "I'll look forward to it."

Duo could've jumped him right there. Damn you, Seb, he thought, and damned him again as they said their goodbyes and he couldn't even give him a quick grope.

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