Author: Justkat2790
see part 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer

Reasons in a Nutshell + Part 3

Fussing

On Howard's second day on Earth, everyone slept in.

Possibly due to the discomfort of a cosy but rather short couch. Possibly, due to unscheduled excursions in the depths of night. Or maybe just the weather. Earth was like that.

Heero Yuy dragged himself from warm and comforting, violet-tinted dreams, back to the colder reality of his own, rather too-spacious bed, and leapt up, with no reason to dawdle, regaining the living room just in time to see Duo Maxwell roll face-first off the couch in a tangle of covers.

"Guhhh...my back!"

Duo groaned. Surged upright from all fours and kicked the sheet loose, stretching the abused back theatrically,

"Hmph. Your own fault." Heero was unsympathetic, but came over to knead his shoulders. Traps, rhomboids, then knuckles drifting lower, digging into the thick pads of muscle bracketing Duo's spine. The backs of Heero's fingers against bed-warmed cloth... "It's only for a few days."

"Hm...dunno." Duo was non-committal. "Ooooh." And suddenly, uninterested in Howard. "Ooh! Just there. Don't stop! That's niiice buddy. I must've really overdone it yesterday. Mmm..." His head drooped forward, shoulders lax beneath Heero's hands. T-shirt riding up to reveal lightly tanned skin and a gentle swell of buttock encased in smiley-face boxers. "Mmmm...oh. Oh yeah. Howie didn't actually say but...ah heck... That's him now. I'll ask him later 'k?" He shifted under Heero's fingers. "Mmmm...more..."

Heero took his hands away, face slightly pink. Duo smelled warm. Vaguely sweaty and obscurely fragrant, and Heero stepped back, spinning on his heel and heading for the kitchen. "Get ready! You slept in!"

"Aww... Hee-er-o-o-o..."

+++

Guided by noise, Howard found them in the kitchen; Heero buried face first in the refrigerator, Duo behind the toaster with his tongue sticking out at Heero's back.

"Meanie."

Howard blinked. Doubted that the toaster would protect the kid overmuch from the wrath of Heero Yuy, but figured that that was his problem, and headed for the coffeepot. Changed his mind, and tacked around Heero to the fridge.

Meanwhile, back at the bench, the Yuy kid was making sandwiches like he was being tested on it. Wholegrain bread. Ham. Salad. No butter. No salt. No tomato?

"No tomato on mine! Makes the bread soggy!" Duo slid a filled bowl towards Heero, who ignored him. Fielded the bowl with the hand that wasn't arranging squared leaves of lettuce on bread and continued to ignore Duo as Duo dodged around Howard, leaving a plate of toast and a pat on the shoulder in his wake. "There you go Howie. Marmalade. Right?"

Marmalade. Dang. Well if that didn't beat all... Touched, Howard inspected his toast. Selected a piece, then abandoned it for the comforting coldness of glass as the kid motored away. And dived headfirst into a big old, wooden cupboard across the living room, scattering stuff from here to teatime. Hauled out an enormous, squashy, cardboard box, and up-ended it onto the floor, in a muddle of roller whatsits, plastic MacDonalds toys, hand weights, and...stuff. Kid'd lost something for sure.

"Aha!!!"

Looked like he'd found it. A bullet proof vest. Howard dissected his toast into neat squares.

The Yuy kid was eying the box over Duo's shoulder. "Duo...tell me your gun's not in that thing. If it is I'll have to shoot you with it."

"Heero..." Duo looked at him reprovingly. "...this cupboard doesn't lock. My gun's in your foot locker. You know..." He blinked at him innocently. "...in your wardrobe."

"But you don't have a key!!!"

Safe in the kitchen, Howard choked on his drink. Tried to pretend that he'd meant to, sternly scrutinising a small piece of toast. Decided to make toast fingers. Cut the crusts off.

"Mmm. Anyway..." Duo wrestled the vest on, struggling to drag his hair out from underneath it. "Gaah! I hate this thing! Stupid... tight... uncomfortable..."

Heero hoisted his backpack, eyes narrowed. "Where's your sling?"

"Don't need it. Doc'll check me over this morning before we go out. Stupid vest. Stupid... stiff... awkward... khaki..."

Heero batted his hands away. Extracted his braid, flipped it over one shoulder and tightened the Velcro straps. "Stops you getting hurt."

"But it makes me look fat!"

"What??"

Duo batted his eyelashes. Howard stared in fascinated silence, toast abandoned.

"Duo you look ..." Heero stopped, and spun on his heel, heading for the door. "I'm going."

"Hey! Wait for me!"

Duo darted back into the kitchen and grabbed his backpack from the bench. "See ya Howie!!" Paused to blink at the beer nestled in Howard's hand. "Isn't it a bit... Oh... Oi!!! Heero!"

"What!" Through gritted teeth.

"We on for squash tonight??'

"Yes!! Good-bye Duo!!!" Footsteps receded down the hall.

"Wait!!!" Duo pushed past the table, knocking over a chair on his way. "Sorry Howie. It'll be kind of a late dinner tonight." He dodged around the couch. "Nine-ish?" Swooped cushionwards for a baseball cap atop the neat pile of blankets. "Gotta go. I'm dropping Heero off." He was almost at the door. "See ya!!!" And the door slammed.

Howard blinked in the deafening silence. Stood up, wondering where he could get a newspaper. He should've asked Duo, excepting the kid'd scarpered like a bat out of hell.

"Aww heck!"

And scarpered back. Dang. Kid had a voice like a foghorn when he wasn't sneaking around. Howard scraped his toast into the bin, listening. If Duo had forgotten something, the Yuy kid'd strangle him with that braid for sure. But the voices scurried past the doorway.

"Heero! This way! Quick!!"

Faintly, he heard the sound of scampering footsteps, then the heavy fire-escape door. A dog barking.

Damn kid. Howard grinned, ruefully. And checked the refrigerator. Carrot. No beetroot or wheatgrass. Looked like he was shopping while he was out.

He sighed.

After the washing up.

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