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

Low + Part 9

"He didn't mention this," said Quatre, when Wufei arrived to pick Seb up. "Then again, I wouldn't have let him go with anyone else. He's just getting his things... I hope you've brought plenty of food. We had to stop him dragging the fridge out."

"I'm surprised Sally isn't tagging along in case he gets bitten by a squirrel and needs a tetanus shot," said Duo.

"Oh, she'll turn up."

Wufei was waiting around by his car. That's it, Duo was getting a driving license, prison or no prison and not a functional jeep like Wufei's. A big fucking sports car, and he didn't care how phallic that was. It was nice of Wufei to offer to drive them and all but he wasn't gonna be chauffeured around like a teenage girl by some guy he was kinda sorta trying to date... That probably made him insecure but that was between him and his subconscious.

"Are you all right?" Quatre asked.

"Huh? Yeah."

Seb came catapulting out of the door, Sally behind him carrying his rucksack.

"'Putting this in the car," she said, walking straight past and heading for Wufei.

"Did you go to the bathroom?" Quatre asked Seb.

"Yes," said Seb, reddening slightly.

"Have you packed enough? Warm clothes? Cool clothes? Clean underwear?"

"Yes! God."

Seb fled from any more parental embarrassment, which wasn't a good idea since he ran over to his mother, who tried the good bye kiss on the cheek.

"You have to fuss a little bit," Quatre said. "They pretend they don't like it, but they get all fretful if you don't."

"Yeah, I've had boyfriends like that."

Quatre smiled. "Yes, well, make sure he doesn't get in the way too much. I'm going to say good bye too."

What was with people winking at him? Did they know something he didn't?

+

"Are we together?" Duo asked, when Seb had fallen asleep in the back.

It was a good thing Wufei didn't shock easily, or they might have careered off the road.

"Together?" Wufei said.

"Yeah, I mean, everyone else keeps giving me these hints. Does that mean we are or we're supposed to be or what?"

"No, Duo, we're not."

"I thought it'd be better to just be blunt about it, you know. I'm sick of not knowing what anyone wants."

"I'm not saying that we couldn't be or that I don't want to be, but right now, we're not."

"So what are we? Turn left."

Wufei turned left.

"In that terrible stage where one of us is trying to make something of nothing."

"Oh."

"Don't 'oh' like that. You're very sexy, and if I was in the mood for a gunfight, I'd even say beautiful, but you are a comrade and a friend. I don't want to promise something that isn't going to happen. Do you understand?"

"No, maybe you should draw me a picture book."

"You know I know how intelligent you are, but you have a tendency to be stupid when it comes to relationships."

"What the hell-?"

"You had no idea about Trowa."

"You're lucky you're driving."

"Don't be ridiculous, Duo, you couldn't take me even when you were in shape and you know I'm right. Oh, he was bothered, in that almost imperceptible way that Trowa gets bothered, but he knew he was using you and I can't believe you didn't know it too."

"When the hell did you two get so close?"

"We're not, but Trowa talks to me when he needs someone to be less objective. To his credit, he did try to stop, but he got the impression that you were a lot more invested in it than him. And I suppose a good thing isn't that easy to give up."

"What did you say to him?"

"I said that it was easy misconstrue many of his actions as those of a complete, heartless bastard, but that this must make him a counterweight to all the perfectly decent people in the universe as some sort of extreme protection of the universal balance."

"It didn't do a whole lot of good."

"Probably not. Trowa is far too good at rationalising his actions, and very bad at showing guilt."

"So when can I expect an apology?"

"Never, but he does regret it. Even if you have to hear it from me."

+

They'd found a relatively even patch of grass to pitch the tents on. They'd found a nice little site that was barely booked at all, with public toilets within walking distance and privacy from the trees around them. There was enough space to set the stove up without putting the tent in danger as well. It would have been ideal if Seb wasn't sitting there watching every interaction between Duo and Wufei like it was some kind of sport. And if they hadn't have just had the most uncomfortable journey since the invention of the wheel.

Seb was helping Duo unpack the sleeping bags while Wufei set up the stove.

Fucking great idea, Duo told himself. Damn.

"Who's sharing with who?" Seb asked.

"I'll share the big one with you. Unless you wanna share with Wufei."

He shook his head way too vigorously. "He snores."

"So do I."

"You snore quieter."

"If that's you flirting I'm gonna give you a clip 'round the ear."

"I thought you weren't Roman Catholic," said Wufei, suddenly putting a hand on Duo's shoulder.

Duo turned and grinned at him. "Are you gonna stop making jokes about it if I convert?"

"No. Did you bring matches?"

"Ah. Crap. I knew there was something I forgot."

"I don't suppose you have any? Or a lighter?" Wufei asked Seb.

"No. If my mom caught me even thinking of smoking she'd dissect a cancerous lung in front of me."

"She's lenient. I'd tear out your lungs. I'll see if the shop's still open. If not, no one ate the sandwiches that Quatre made for the journey, and I can drive into town later."

Wufei went off through the trees.

"Right, we'd better put these inside," Duo said, pushing one sleeping bag through the smaller tent flap for Wufei to sort out later as Seb picked up the others.

He joined Seb inside the other tent.

"Wow, I haven't been somewhere like this in forever," he said.

"I went camping with mom and dad last year," Seb said, flattening his sleeping bag against the floor. "It was fun, except dad got food poisoning off my cooking, so I'm not allowed to use the stove on this trip. You need to unpack the torches and stuff in case we need the toilet in the night."

"Yeah, I know. Especially since the sign on the door says those toilets are locked from ten to nine. Good job I brought those empty bottles. But do me a favour and go outside, I don't wanna wake up to that."

"Okay. But where are we going to put the bottles? What if they leak?"

"What exactly did you do last time?"

"We were right next to a toilet. Mom went on this whole thing about not going when you need to go is really bad for men and bullied the site owner into keeping them open all night."

"Hm."

"Your sleeping bag's still bumpy," said Seb, crawling across and smoothing it down for him.

"Oh. Thanks."

Seb sat up and looked him in right in the eye, then pinched his nose in his fingers.

"Hey! What the-?"

Sneaky little bastard, he thought. Blocking his nose so he had to breathe through his mouth and slipping him tongue. He made himself not react as much this time, just took ahold of Seb's shoulders and plucked him off him.

"We spoke about this," Duo said.

"But-"

"Ah-ah. I am way, way, waaaaaaaaay too old for you, okay? I mean, when you're eighteen, cover yourself in whipped cream and turn up on my doorstep, I guarantee I won't step over you. But the thing is, when you're eighteen I'll be thirty-eight."

"It doesn't matter."

"Yes it does."

"Why?"

"We've been over this. If you want old man love, start soliciting."

"But you aren't old!"

"This again. Yes, I really, really am."

"Is it because I'm such a complete non-entity?"

"It's because you're fucking thirteen! And where the hell do you get that you're a non-entity?"

"No one likes me."

"Come on, people like you."

"Then how come nobody wants to speak to me at school except to bully me?"

"Because, school's not a fun place, apparently, but you are likeable. Hell, I like you. Just, not like that, okay?"

"Okay... Well, can I have a real kiss?"

"Shit, no."

"Please? One, and I'll never do anything like that again."

"No... Ever?"

"Never. And I've got way more tricks than that to kiss you."

"I hope you never develop upper body strength."

"Well?"

"This has to be a real promise, not just an, ah, it's Duo, he won't mind if I lie."

"I promise," said Seb, holding up his hands to show none of his fingers were crossed.

"Okay. But for the next ten seconds we're pretending you're eighteen."

"Right. I've just got my driver's license and drank real beer."

"Right..."

Seb sat there expectantly. Okay, okay, just get it over with quickly. He didn't want Wufei walking in the middle of it. He didn't think 'he made me' would be too great an excuse, somehow. A real kiss, okay.

He went for it.

He tasted the metal of Seb's brace and pushed his tongue into the partly open mouth. He'd never kissed anyone who hadn't kissed before, he realised. He pulled Seb into him, arms closing over his back, squeezing someone soft and light rather than solid with muscle. Everyone else had known what they were doing, grabbed him as much as he grabbed them, but Seb's hands touched his waist hesitantly and Duo had to coax his tongue to move with his. It progressed somehow, until it was more than one kiss. Fuck, he thought, pulling away. He'd just made out with a thirteen-year-old. A very cutely blushing thirteen-year-old. He could practically feel the pitchfork up his ass.

"Thank you," Seb said.

"No more, right?" Fuck, he was panting. He was a sick fucking bastard and he was gonna have to hang himself. If Quatre didn't get to it first.

And another problem, when Seb moved off his lap he was going to notice...changes.

Fuck, fuck, fuck.

"Right," said Seb. "Are you okay?"

"I'm gonna go to the can, okay? Can you go and sort out Wufei's sleeping bag?"

"Um, yeah."

He waited until Seb had left, gave him time to get into the other tent and ran for the bathroom. He didn't like to think how the conversation would go if Wufei met him on the way either. And looking at public toilets for a while should calm him down, anyway.

[part 8] [part 10] [back to Singles l - z]