see part 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer
in a Nutshell +
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.
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!"
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.
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
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 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.
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...
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!"
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.
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.
After the washing up.
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