see part 1 for notes, warnings, disclaimer
+ Part 6
No work, Duo told himself as he automatically headed for the back room.
No work until he felt fully able to concentrate. He was going to have
to do something else engrossing enough to provide stress relief. He tried
another few levels of Space Wrappers but it wasn't the same. His mind
kept wandering somehow.
Wufei. Shit. Stupid Trowa and his stupid novelty underpants that Cathy
bought him for Christmas, and his stupid ability to look dignified in
them. And he was gonna have to have a red-faced all round lunch break.
And he wondered what they'd have done to him this time. Made him glad
he hadn't gone to school. And he was up to level four already. He crashed
the spaceship. It was just as well he didn't suffer from PTSD. That obviously
wasn't going to hold his attention, so he looked for a book, but it had
been a while since he'd had time to read anything, so naturally there
weren't any. What he needed was a hobby. Maybe he'd write an autobiography,
Wufei had talked about it once. It was a good plan, really. He couldn't
be a Preventer forever. Although, knowing Wufei, he'd have both his arms
and legs blown off and he'd still be taking down peace threats and serious
criminals with his teeth. Of course, whatever he wrote now tended to sound
like an engineering manual but someone somewhere had to like that.
He couldn't draw for a discount Vostok MU9, so that ruled out a whole
other set of activities. If only he still had someone he could force to
give him blow jobs. Well, okay, ask. Okay, trade-
Not that Trowa got it fair. Duo couldn't deep throat, after all.
And he wasn't gonna think about that, 'cause that'd just make him horny
Speaking of which, he called Wufei, but he wasn't in. Thereby killing
another way to pass the time. He probably could hack back into St. Matthew's
and probably right into their surveillance, but there was probably a shower
room somewhere and he didn't want that on his conscience.
Finally, he gave in and washed Trowa's underwear, gathered up the rest
of Trowa's stuff and shoved it all in a bag. He checked the website for
circus times, and the location. Luckily, it wasn't too far, and by the
time he'd travelled, Trowa's act should be just about finished.
It meant a train ride, though. God, he hated trains. He amused himself
by counting sheep and chimneys, if amused was really the word. He didn't
get travel sick or anything, it was just the sensation of moving form
one point to another and being grounded. And it was so slow too. Maybe
he should get a car, but then he'd have to fake a birth certificate and
all sorts of illegal stuff. Then if he got caught, he'd have to break
out of jail and it was a hell of a lot of trouble just because he missed
He walked the rest of the way from his stop. He could probably do with
the exercise and it wasn't that far anyway.
He headed for the group of trailers at the back of the pavilion. The lack
of queues outside told him that the show had started, so he didn't bother
knocking on Trowa and Cathy's trailer. The one with the big gold star
painted on it. He walked in through the back way, right past the guy standing
there, who gave him a little wave.
He peered through the curtains on the far side. Ah, the knife-throwing
act. That was something probably unique to this circus. Cathy actually
threw the knives. Other people might miss it, let their eyes be
led where the showman wanted them to be led,, but he could tell what was
trickery and what was real. He watched the knife leave her hand and pin
Trowa's sleeve to the board. Shame he wasn't wearing the green outfit,
Duo thought, the one with just the straps on the top half. That outfit
was a wet dream in itself, especially when he let him take off the trousers
and push him onto the trailer's bed in only the straps...
Okay. Enough of that.
The audience were doing their thing, which rose in tempo as Cathy ran
out of knives and released Trowa. They took a bow with their hands joined,
no wonder people thought they were a couple, to cheers and headed Duo's
Cathy spotted him first and tackled him with a hug.
"Duo!" she said. "How are you?"
"Great! How are you? You're looking gorgeous as always!"
She rolled her eyes at him. "I am not. I look like a meringue," she said,
tossing the layered yellow skirt. "It's you who's looking too pretty for
your own good. How'd you get skin like that? Honestly, not a wrinkle in
"Shut up. You don't look a day over eighteen."
"Tell that to my thighs."
Trowa appeared behind her. "The annual who's wrinklier competition?" he
Cathy quickly looked at both of them, not hiding the trepidation very
"I brought your stuff," Duo said.
"Thanks," he said. "Bring it in..."
Cathy had made herself scarce by the time they reached the trailer. Trowa
took off his half-mask and deposited beside the little basket of flowers
that Cathy always replenished. Daffoils today. He dumped the bag beside
it, unzipped it an started unpacking his crap.
"You didn't need to do this," he said, folding the underwear, then placing
the odds and ends on top. Duo surveyed the razor, old toothbrush, belt
and pooping clown keychain that he suddenly remembered giving him.
"Yeah, you probably could've survived without them," said Duo. "I didn't
want you to think I was maliciously withholding your stuff..."
"I have a set of nailclippers and a pair of socks that you left here once.
You don't think I'm maliciously withholding those, do you?"
"Consider them a really crappy gift."
"Drink?" Trowa asked.
"Nah, I'm not staying."
Trowa sat on the table, facing him. He had to look sexy as well, even
in those stupid pants.
"It was the most sensible thing to do," he said.
"Hey, I only came to give you that. I don't want to get into a discussion
"No you didn't."
"You're the empath now?"
"That may be a valid argument if what you had brought had been my insulin."
"Of course it just sounds like an excuse when you put it like that..."
"Duo. What do you know about me?"
"You like coffee..."
"So do the majority of the population."
"You have a mole under your armpit, you're allergic to the banana-flavoured
lube, you don't close your eyes when you come, you get aggressive if I
wriggle off you in the middle of spitting it, even more if I do it so
I can get on top, but I have proof that's not specific to you, so...You
weren't too happy when I tried the hot coffee trick either..."
"It was too hot."
"And you..." Duo ran through the rest of what he was going to say. "Shit.
It's all sex stuff."
"And I couldn't tell you much more about you."
Duo stared at him. Shit. Why did he have to be dressed up like a clown?
It was like having that big rabbit tell him this. "You're right. 'Course
you are. I just... I miss you, all right?"
Trowa gave a nod. "But you could do that with anybody."
"I know... But..."
"But you're incredibly self-deluded. You complained enough about my only
staying overnight, and kicking you out first thing in the morning when
you were here. Now you've built it into something it wasn't. Duo, in the
long term, this is better."
"Don't be like that."
"I'm sorry. Would you like to fight?"
"It would show me you haven't got it all worked out at least. How long
were you planning to dump me for anyway?"
"About a year."
"Huh? Why did it take you so long?"
"It was largely that I was afraid of this."
"You were afraid of this? Of what?"
"Maybe it's an overreaction to you, and whoever made you a clown's got
a hell of a sense of humour, but we mortals tend to get upset when someone
out of the blue-"
"Because you were walking around oblivious to the way you were investing
so much in someone who saw you as little more than a walking fuck."
"And I wouldn't have liked to share that revelation with you," said Trowa.
"Right," said Duo. "Right."
Seb was already on his doorstep by the time he got home.
"It's only five to," Duo said, checking his watch before he unlocked the
"He did it again," said Seb, scowling at the ground.
"Yes, and then he did it again when he was coming out of French. He wasn't
even with his friends that time."
"Huh. So you've got an admirer?"
"Maybe he's only trying to freak me out," Seb said, following him into
"Nah. He wants you. What do you want to eat?"
"Why would he? And what have you got?"
"You're seriously asking why would he? I've got chicken things and potato
things. Well, they'll be mostly chicken anyway."
"Yes, and okay."
"You look cuddly."
"I look bony."
"I didn't mean that sort of cuddly. You look soft, like you'd be nice
to cuddle. And you've got a cute face."
Seb blushed, squeaked something and ran into the living room.
They petty much stayed silent all the way through lunch. Every time Duo
said anything, Seb stuttered for about five minutes straight, then got
too embarrassed to say what he was going to say. And when he'd ate everything,
which didn't take long, he ran off again stuttering something about homework.
Great, Duo thought. Now he was a walking fuck who scared children.
[part 5] [part 7] [back
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