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

Reasons in a Nutshell + Part 4

Sand in the Works

Saturday was beach day.

Slowly, Howard was learning the routine. Monday night was gym, because when you were 18 you could never get too much exercise, even if you couldn't sit still for a darned minute. Tuesday squash, Wednesday Tae Kwon Do and Thursday more gym, Friday night was movie and pizza night, stairs were for emergencies, and at a pinch you could jump from the fire escape to the roof of the building next door. Sneak into the ventilator shaft, break in through a duct and gallop down the stairs two buildings over like a pair of giggling loons and not two responsible ex-terrorists

But Saturday was beach day.

The beach.


Not that he'd minded the beach, back in the day, but... Howard, adjusted his deck chair, refolded his newspaper and decided that next time, if there ever was a next time, he was going to question the Kid more closely about his definition of fun before he climbed into the car. Porsche. Seemed like the kid had a different car for every day of the week, and never the same one twice. Although Howard was learning to identify them by their colour. Black. No surprise there. However. The beach had its compensations. Like?

"This is the life!!!!" Duo flopped onto his towel liked a beached whale, narrowly missing Howard's leg with his ice cream. "Check out this view huh!" Howard wasn't sure whether he meant the rolling breakers, the sand, the 36D-cup belonging to the girl on the towel next door, or the barely-dressed group playing volleyball ten towels away as if it was still an Olympic sport. Howard's personal vote went to the D-cup, seeing as it was just being removed. He adjusted his glasses. Danged things'd fogged up again. Salt spray. Must be.

"Mm." Heero Yuy sank down next to Duo, hair still wet from the surf. He wasn't, Howard noticed with the eye that wasn't trained on the D-

cup, looking at any of the obvious attractions. "Duo you're burning. Either put on a shirt or pass the sunscreen."

"Oh. Thanks buddy." Duo stretched expansively, the muscles of his back rippling. Devoured his ice cream in two gulps and stretched out on his sandy towel, head on crossed arms while Heero lifted his soggy rope of hair aside. And picked it up again. "Duo what have you done to your hair?!!!" Howard eyed him doubtfully over the paper. The Yuy kid didn't seem like the kind to be giving out hair care tips.

"It's short." But was obviously worried.

Howard blinked. Didn't look short to him. Looked long enough to strangle an elephant. Ends a bit frizzled maybe.

"Oh yeah." Duo knelt up and yanked his braid from Heero's hand, glowering at the end of it. "Forgot about that. Damned truck caught fire when it rolled. Nearly burnt my butt off. Check this out!!" He wriggled to peer over his shoulder. Slid his board shorts down to expose a sea of angry, red skin, and one rounded, white butt cheek.

"No." Heero yanked his shorts back up. Shoved him face down on the towel in one smooth move, ignoring yelps of surprise and kicking legs. "Hey!!" Duo thrashed.

"Get that sunburnt and you'll be sorry." Heero spread sunscreen with military precision, swirls of white on smooth, tanned skin still dappled with droplets of water, then lay down next to Duo, ignoring him.

Sunscreen was a good idea. Howard grabbed a handful. Yuy kid could probably use some too, despite that dark skin. His face was all pink. Howard started re-slathering legs that hadn't seen Earth sunlight for quite a few years now. Then his nose. Nose always seemed to cop it somehow, dammit.

Intent on his nose, Howard almost concertinaed his deck chair when sand suddenly exploded near Duo. Shifted his beer carefully under his chair and relaxed, then noticed that instead of his own spilled soda, the kid had gone for Heero Yuy's arm, pinning him to the towel with fingers that were turning white, while the Yuy kid vibrated under his hand like a beam-cannon gone critical. "Chill buddy." Duo's voice was a tremor of air, adrift on the sea breeze. "A ball. Just a ball that's all." And then suddenly foghorn-loud, as he lunged up to swoop on the ball. "Hey you guys!! Watch it!!"

"Well come play then!!" Pushing forward from the volleyball net, the girl shook her shaggy, brown hair out of her eyes and grinned at Duo, hand fisted on one lean, jutted hip. Eyes startlingly blue in a tanned face. "Come on!"

"Hmm." Duo tossed the ball from hand to hand. Looked from the girl to Heero and back again, his own grin spreading across his face like shockwaves from Ground Zero, in a way that made Howard want to look for a buster rifle. Or a bunker.

"Whaddya say buddy? Wanna play?"

[part 3] [part 5] [back to singles a - k]