By: Sintari
see part 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer

Tangled Up in Blue + Part 4
Things We Never Say

The heart has reasons that reason knows nothing of.
Blaise Pascal, Mathematician


Quatre was used to Duo leaving his side soon after they stepped into Tangle. But the prey he usually stalked was some beautiful newcomer, not Hilde. It didn't take Quatre long to spot the huge chalkboard sign above the bar and then all the pieces fell into place.

"You named a drink after me." Duo was flexing his hands, a sign of extreme annoyance that Quatre knew well. "Who told you that you could name a drink after me?"

All three of them involuntarily glanced up at the glaring red letters. "The DUO MAX get a little taste of the hottest bastard in Solomon."

"You did, Duo!" The blue-haired bartender's face was turning pink and she seemed a little flustered at his outburst.

"I was high!"

"Well, how was I supposed to know that?"

"Because you're a bartender at Tangle! You know what high looks like. Now take it down!" Duo demanded.

"I couldn't, it's been our best seller tonight. Everybody wants a little piece of you, Duo." Quatre admired the fact that Hilde had had the foresight to say just the right thing. Duo was rolling his eyes now instead of cracking his knuckles.

"Well, you did call me a bastard. I appreciate the sentiment... Maybe you can keep it just for the night?"

"We'll see," Hilde smiled.

The fate of the Duo Max was soon sealed when a slender man with long dark hair and Mayan features tapped on the bar and, looking deliberately into Duo's eyes, said huskily, "I'll have a Duo Max." Quatre smiled at his friend's luck and left them whispering together at the bar.

He tried to decide whether to join Wufei on the dance floor or not. It was so rare that his formidable Chinese friend danced with anyone that he didn't want to ruin the moment. On the other hand, he felt an almost protective urge to gauge the intentions of the small, blue-eyed blonde who was shimmying suggestively against his friend's crotch. Quatre raised an eyebrow. Wufei caught his eye, reddening a little. He'd been at Tangle for five minutes and had already caught two of his friends blushing. Wufei started to excuse himself from his companion and so he and Quatre ended up having a long-distance conversation of hand gestures that ended up translating to something like:

"I'll come have a drink with you."

"You most certainly will not! You'll dance!"

"But..."

"No buts! He's hot! Take him home!"

Quatre turned around to go back to the bar and get a drink and nearly bumped into Otto. An Otto who had apparently been dancing behind him long enough to work up a sweat.

"You look good enough to eat, Quatre."

"Otto, I..."

Otto was hugging his waist now, eager fingers entwining in the belt loops of his blue jeans.

Quatre disentangled himself and put two hands up in order to preserve his personal space. The nearest dancing couple looked at them interestedly.

"Look, Otto, we have to talk. I'm sorry if I led you on. But I'm really not interested in anything more than..."

"A one night stand?" Otto said acidly. "Oh, make that two nights. Is that it? I'm only good enough for you when other plans fall through? Where is Duo Maxwell tonight, anyway?"

Duo had been practically plastered to the member of the Mayan pantheon at the bar. But, even though he was across the room, his eyes flicked to Quatre like they did a million unconscious times each night. Hilde, who had been enjoying the spectacle at the bar, followed his gaze. They both saw Otto talking animatedly to a Quatre who still had two hands defensively in front of him. Duo knew that look. His best friend was politely but firmly turning Otto down. And from Otto's angry hand gestures, he was having none of it.

"This is getting out of hand," Duo growled. "I gotta go, sorry." Hilde shrugged at the Mayan-featured man who morosely gulped the rest of his Duo Max.

The crowd parted for Duo, and Quatre suddenly found the space between him and Otto filled with his very pissed off best friend.

"What the fuck part of 'no you can't grope me in the bathroom' don't you understand, asshole?" Duo had entered the space between Otto and Quatre so fast that his braid hadn't even had time to settle on his back. His violet eyes had narrowed, and there was a relaxed, almost feral look on his face. Like he was willing to take this as far as it could go, and he would be sure to enjoy it.

Otto was drunk. His eyes were red and he was swaying a little unsteadily on his feet even though he and Quatre had stopped dancing minutes ago. Drunk or no, he managed to raise himself to full height and go nose-to-nose with the braided man.

"This is between your friend and me! Everybody knows you don't want him so I don't see how you have any say in the matter."

Otto didn't even see the punch coming. In his drunken state, the blow, which had connected soundly with his left cheekbone, was enough to send him crashing to the dance floor.

Duo flexed his right hand a couple of times. "I'd forgotten how much throwing a punch hurts your fist," he said conversationally to Quatre.

Quatre, after remembering how to close his mouth, rubbed the bridge of his nose exasperatedly. "What the fuck did you do that for? I was handling it, Duo. Christ, you could go to jail. You could..."

Duo cut him off with a firm kiss to the lips. After a long minute, they broke apart and grinned at one another. A bouncer, by order of Hilde, had already dragged Otto away. Sometimes it paid to be so well known that you had a drink named after you. Duo put an arm around Quatre's waist and pressed their bodies together, moving both of them in time to the music.

"What about Montezuma over there?"

"Montezuma was Aztec. Haven't you been reading your National Geographics?"

"Sheesh! Yes! Why does everybody keep bringing that up lately?"

They danced together wordlessly for a few more minutes. Duo's hands replaced Otto's in Quatre's belt loops and the blonde leaned into the touch. Duo's mouth was against his ear, his hair. Hot breath seared him like a desert wind. For as long as they had known one another, Duo had always been hot to the touch.

A whisper into his hair. "You know I love you, Quatre. Right?" It was always a question with Duo. Do you know I love you? Do you remember? Have I treated you too badly and made you forget?

Do you still love me?

"I know. I love you, too." Quatre looked up to find Duo looking down at him. There was no narcotic glitter in his eyes, no teasing sparkle. It was just Duo. The boy the man Quatre had loved for over half his life.

The song changed to something faster, but neither felt the particular urge to let go or to pick up the pace.

"I'm sorry about what Otto said." Quatre wasn't sure why he felt the need to apologize. What Otto had said was technically true. But nobody had ever actually dared to put it into words in front of both of them before.

Duo hugged Quatre tighter for a second. Then he shrugged, flashing Quatre a charming smile. "That bastard? He was so drunk I couldn't understand a word out of his mouth."

Quatre exhaled and nodded. That said and understood between them, they danced together for the rest of the night.

[part 3] [part 5] [back to Singles l - z]