But it didn't.
For a whole freaking month and a half, absolutely nothing happened. Now, you're probably thinking that I shouldn't be complaining about that, but a month and a half spent walking around on pins and needles, looking over your shoulder every time you stepped out of the house and staying in that house every day except for when you went to work . . . which I didn't go to anymore, so I guess I'm always in the house. Yeah, not fun.
Hmm . . . let me take that back. It wasn't all that bad, because it gave Zechs and I plenty of time to get to know each other, and since Heero and Wufei were at the mansion a lot, it gave Fei ample time to make some more recordings for me.
So yeah, it was all right, besides the nagging feeling of suspicion and fear in the back of my mind.
At least, it was going alright until someone called the mansion's vid-phone in the kitchen, and I just happened to answer.
I picked up the phone receiver. "Hello? Who's this and what do you want?" I asked with my back to the screen, watching Zechs read the morning paper and sip from a mug of hot chocolate that I'd just made for him---I knew that he loved the stuff, especially with a lot of big marshmallows, thanks to Wufei.
"Oh, now why did you have to answer the phone?" was the whispered reply.
I winced and smacked myself with the phone receiver. Quatre had caller ID, of course, and I should've used it.
"Hello, how are you? I know who you want to speak to, so I'll just---"
"Now hold on a minute!" Relena said sharply. "I'd like a word with you too!"
Zechs raised an eyebrow at me. "Rankin?"
I shook my head. "Okay, what is it? Make it fast," I grumbled into the phone.
"You leave my brother alone! Once your stalker is put behind bars, he'll be coming back to me, do you understand?" Then she squeezed her lips together so tightly that they seemed to disappear into each other.
"Sure, whatever . . ." I rolled my eyes.
"Don't give me that, Duo Maxwell. First you ensnared poor Heero in your web of seduction---"
"In my what?"
"---then this David Rankin man, whom you obviously toyed with and drove insane---"
"Now hold it right there!"
"---and I won't let you have my brother! He is---"
I sighed and gave up. "Zechs, it's for you. Take the phone from me before I do Rankin's work for him."
Zechs was out of his seat and had the phone in his hand in a split second. I wandered away and poured myself some hot chocolate, piling the mug to the rim with marshmallows and sprinkles. I sat at the table and watched as Zechs talked with his sister, not making an effort what so ever to hide the fact that I was listening in on their conversation.
"---not sure, Relena," Zechs was saying softly. "I will stay here until I am no longer needed . . . what? What about what? Relena, I already told you that that was over, and if I come back, that won't be the reason."
From all the way across the kitchen, I heard Relena screech---"IF!"
I sniggered into a marshmallow.
"Yes . . . yes, Relena. No. I'm sure, no, I'm not---yes, I am eating my vegetables."
I laughed as Zechs shook his head warily.
"How is everyone there? Good. Tell them to be on their best behavior. If I hear of any slip ups, I'll . . . of course, but---don't say that. How is . . . Okay, okay, fine. I will later. Yes, I still have the number to the---I appreciate you calling. Uh huh, bye." Zechs hung up the phone, grabbed his mug and chugged down the rest of his hot chocolate like it was Vodka before getting more.
I giggled. "What was that all about?"
He looked at me, one side of his mouth turned up slightly. "Nothing. Just about how you were ensnaring poor, young men with your seductive man charms, and about how I better make sure that I'm not the next one or else I'll end up in a straight jacket, slobbering all over myself and screaming your name."
Oh, screaming my name? I liked that part. "Did she really say that?"
"It was all in her tone."
"Umm. Well, ah, sorry about that. I mean, you being kinda sorta put in the middle. That's not right or fair."
"The world is often not right or fair."
"Of course. It's just that people should do all that they can to make sure it is, right? I mean, ideally, but you know how things go, and how people really are . . ."
". . ." Zechs put down his mug and raised an eyebrow at me. "Am I mistaken . . . or was that the first semi-intelligent conversation that we've ever had?"
I sat up straight in my seat and looked indignant. "Hey! I resent that, and for the record, I would throw this hot chocolate at your face, but I kind of like the shirt you've got on, and it would be a shame to see it destroyed by chocolate stains."
Zechs eyed the mug in my hand warily, and got up from the table anyway. "The others will be back from work soon. Should I go ahead and order the usual?"
"Sure, why not?"
Yes, you may be noticing that he does, indeed, talk to me now. It took some hip swaying, some coy looks, but mostly being just plain old annoying to get him to realize the more that you ignore me, the more I'm gonna bother you. So he finally wised up a couple of weeks ago and now we have conversations. Not with a lot of talking, but conversations nonetheless. Progress, baby.
To be honest, Zechs was becoming an integral part of our little group. Heero didn't really mind his company so much anymore, except when it looked like the blond was getting a little too close to me, Wufei and Zechs seemed to have built some sort of amicable relationship (partly cuz of my little plan) and he got along with Trowa and Q pretty well too.
But there were still some problems between me and him. He wasn't as open with me as he was with the other guys. I mean, it was better, but not as good as it could've or should've been.
I knew why. It's cuz he liked me and didn't want to admit it. Er, at least that's what I like to tell myself.
No, but seriously, I think that he does like me, as in like me like me. Even Quatre, the Great Skeptic, is starting to think so.
Speaking of Quatre . . . here he comes now.
Quatre and Trowa came into the house and joined us in the kitchen. "So, how was your day of not working?" Quatre asked with a grin.
"Oh, you know, no different from a work day," I replied with a wink. "But you'll never guess who called."
Trowa sat down in a chair and propped his feel up on the table, only to have Quatre shove them off. "Why don't you just tell us?"
"No, tell us."
"Where's the fun in that? Just guess!"
"No, why don't you just tell us?" Trowa smirked.
Oh, so he was going to make things difficult, huh? Well, I could go on all day with this if I wanted to. And it would serve him right---
"It was Relena," Zechs said as he took his ear from the phone.
I made a face at him. "Spoilsport. Jeeze, I'm rethinking the no-hot-chocolate-on-the-shirt thing, okay? Better watch out."
He just gave me a super sexy, melt-your-heart, sly smirk. "Don't worry, I will."
Trowa cleared his throat. "Well, what about Relena?"
"Oh! Yeah, well she just called here not too long ago . . . how the hell did she get his number anyway? I thought that it was private? Then again, Rankin got my private number here, but---"
But Relena was practically Queen of the World, so she could probably get any damn phone number that she wanted with one scream to the help. So . . . could she be working with Rankin? Was she really that upset about Heero (if that was the case, she should be after Wufei, not me) and was she really that pissed off that her brother was here with me and not her? Well, the evidence was stacking up against her, wasn't it?
Relena helping Rankin . . . that just made him even more dangerous, now that he had a practically unlimited amount of resources at his finger tips. Damn, not good, not good.
"Duo? Are you okay?" Quatre was asking me, waving a hand in front of my face.
"You were staring off into space. Are you okay?" Quatre, Trowa and Zechs, who was now sitting at the table across from me, were all giving me very concerned looks.
I very well couldn't have just blurted out my suspicions about Relena, since I had no hard evidence and a lot of speculation. "Ah, well, you know me, always, ahhh . . . you know, staring off and drooling and forgetting what I was saying . . . what were we talking about?"
A collective sigh.
"Relena," Trowa supplied as he shook his head. "What did she want?"
"Just to tell me how evil I was, how I wasn't going to ruin Zechs the way I'd ruined Heero and Rankin with my seductive man-powers and such . . ." I fluttered my eyelashes. "Watch out Q, or I'll take Trowa away from you and turn him into a slobbering fool who does nothing but scream my name."
Quatre looked surprised. "Did she say that?"
"No. But . . ."
"It was all in her tone," Zechs and I finished in unison. I began laughing, and Zechs began smirking once again into his mug.
"Does that bother you, Zechs?" Quatre asked, concerned. "Duo, don't tease about his sister, that's not nice."
"No, it is okay. I should talk to her about this. Before it gets out of hand."
I sat back in my seat and stared at the phone. If Relena really was helping Rankin, then maybe it already had.
Sitting around in the mansion all day was really not my ideal way to pass time. While Zechs seemed quite content to stick his nose in a book all day, I wasn't, but having gone through every movie that Quatre and I owned and having re-read every one of my manga at least three times, I was bored out of my mind. So the next morning I found myself lying on the living room floor, flipping through the TV channels for the tenth time while Zechs was reading some junk or other.
Okay. Work wasn't as bad as this. At least I had Quatre that I could mess around with, but here, all I had was the quiet bookworm Zechs Merquise, who wasn't paying me any mind what so ever.
"Zeeeechs . . ." I wined.
"M'booooored . . ."
"Read a book."
"Yes, a set of written, printed, or blank pages fastened along one side and encased between protective covers."
I gave him the finger. "I know what a book is, ding dong."
"Yes, the peal of a bell, or, in this context, slang for an empty headed person or a fool," I replied cheekily. "Look at this, Zechs, there's a carnival going on down at the wharf---"
"Oh, come on! I'll put on one of those kiddies leashes and that way, no one will be able to snatch me away from you!"
"I swear I'll be on best behavior! I swear!" I gave him my best puppy dog eyes and poked out my bottom lip.
He melted. "Fine, but once Trowa and Quatre return. Then we'll go together."
"Hoha! Yes, I love carnivals, all of the lights, the music, the food, the stuffed animals---"
"If you shut up, I'll win one for you."
In a split second my lips were sealed.
When Trowa and Quatre returned from work, they barely had time to step into the doorway before I was hauling them back outside and saying, "Meet me and Zechs down by the wharf. Carnival here we come!"
Let me tell you this---I was honestly considering this outing my first 'date' with Zechs. When we arrived at the wharf, Zechs helped me down from the giant SUV and he grabbed my arm and forced me to link mine in his, probably to that I wouldn't run off or something. Like I would! This arm-linkage brought me insanely close to the man's body, and there was no way that I was going to run from that.
The first thing that Quatre and I did was to make our men win us a giant stuffed animal. We went up to a booth that had this stupid shooting game, where you'd win a big prize if you hit at least eight of the ten targets right in the center. A piece of cake, and in less than a minute, Trowa had gotten eight of them dead center, and Q was the proud owner of a giant fluffy pink and white bunny.
I watched as Zechs took the fake gun and began leveling it. "Now, Daddy, remember our promise. I was quiet for the entire day, and now you have to win me something."
Zechs nodded to me and asked the man in charge, "What do I get if I hit all ten?"
The man was looking at all of us nervously. Understandable, I guess, cuz we were some dangerous dudes. "Ah, look man, you can have whatever you want if you hit 'em all."
"What do you want, Duo?"
These prizes at this booth weren't all that great. I didn't want a bunny or a dog, but . . . I looked around and spotted a something booth over. "I want that, that big ass tiger."
"Okay," Zechs said in a business-like manner and fired the gun ten times, hitting all of the targets in the center.
Quatre and I cheered. I gushed as the dude got the tiger and handed it over to me. "Thank you, Zechs," I said, linking the arm that wasn't holding the stuffed animal in his once again. My first gift from Zechs . . . it would take an army of Gundams to get me to give the thing up, damn it. I saw some kids looking longingly at it, and I just stuck my chin into the air. Mine, okay, all mine?
After Quatre and I were done stuffing our faces with chili dogs and chasing our reflections in the House of Mirrors, we dragged the other men into the Horror House, purely as an excuse to act scared and throw ourselves at them.
Well, it was getting late, and we agreed that it was time to go. Zechs forced me to hand my tiger over to Quatre to put in the back seat of their SUV, because he didn't want it blocking his vision or something. After a few weak protests, I did as he asked and got into his SUV.
We quickly lost Quatre and Trowa in the traffic, and then it began to rain lightly. I got tired of listening to the soft rock on the radio and the pitter patter of the rain drops, so I decided to talk.
"So, did you have a good time?"
"Oh, that's good. Did you . . . ah, did you ever do anything like this with your sister?"
"Oh. Well . . . do you ever say anything other than yes and no?"
I rolled my eyes. "So we're back at this then? The one word answers? I thought we got over that weeeeks ago. What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong, Duo. I'm fine."
This guy was moodier than a chick PMS-ing. Like a hot and cold faucet, he could turn it off, and then on, and then off again, and it was beginning to get on my last nerve. What had I done to tick him off now? "Whatever I did, I'm sorry man, I---"
"That white van has been following us for a while now. I'm going to try to loose it. Hold on."
I gripped onto the edge of the seat as Zechs made a hard and sharp right turn and looked in the rearview mirror as the white van made the exact same move. Oh, hell, it was following us! I made sure that my seat belt was on tight and sat all the way back in my seat.
We sped down the road for a few minutes before making another sharp turn, and this time the van rammed into the back of us, tires squealing as they did their best to stay on the slick roads.
"Fuck," Zechs swore, and I could see why.
Now we were on a lonely stretch of road, with no other cars around. The driver of the van saw this as the perfect opportunity and slammed into the back of us again. Then it pulled into the lane to our left and gave us another shove.
The SUV swerved, Zech's arms straining to keep the car straight, but it wasn't enough. The white van rammed into our side one more time and the SUV lost traction on the wet roads, flying off of the pavement and towards the tree-lined side of the road.
A giant tree was directly in our path, getting closer and closer and then all I heard was the squeal of the tired and the crunch of metal hitting bark and Zechs' cry of pain and bones cracking, and I felt was mind numbing pain starting at my head and coursing down, down through my body and then the pain, the sounds, everything was all gone.
Oh, shit, my head hurt like a Gundam had just sat down on it.
What . . . where was I? What happened?
Oh, yeah, the car I'd been riding in had gone careening into a big ass tree. Just great.
I moaned loudly and, despite the protests of my muscles and bones, sat up and removed my forehead from the airbag, which was red and sticky with what I assumed to be my blood. I looked to my left to see Zechs knocked out cold, head pressing into his airbag and body limp.
I whimpered and began reaching out to him to see if he was okay, when I felt a something cold, round and all too familiar pressing into my right temple. The gun dug even further into my skin and a hand closed around my throat.
"Get out of the fucking car."
It was David Rankin.
Author's Note: Bwahahahaha! I love ending with a bang. Man, I've having a great time with this (cuz I know what's going to happen), how bout you guys? Hehehe . . .
The 'ding dong' part also comes from another Koda Kumi song, just like 'daddy'. I have no idea what she's saying since she's singing in Japanese, so I really have no idea why she busts out with 'ding dong baby' in English in the middle of her song. Haha. Oh, and all definitions came from dictionaryDOTcom, not me.
And let's see if anyone can interpret Zech's conversation with Relena, cuz it's very important . . . (wink) But if you think you know, don't leave it in our review or else you could spoil it for someone else.
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