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

Plastic Toothpicks! + Part 3

"Your hair is a mess," WuFei observed, holding up the bedraggled braid in front of its owner.

"Fuck," he muttered unhappily. That was the only thing he really hated about his hair, other than the heat. Long hair tangled into a clump of knots far too easily. "I hope I don't have to cut the band out again."

"I don't think you will," WuFei murmured, reluctant to let the plait go. He idly wondered if Duo would take his hair out with him in the room. In all the years that they had known each other, WuFei had never seen his friend with his hair down. It was always pulled back from his face in one way or other; in fact, he was almost certain the only person who had ever seen the American without some sort of hair accessory, other than his parents, perhaps, was Hilde. "Do you need me to help you?"

Duo began fidgeting again. He really never felt comfortable with his hair down around anyone. But then again, he knew that he was going to have to give some trust in order for WuFei to fully understand the scope of what he was talking about earlier. "Yeah, please," he whispered after a few minutes.

WuFei nodded and stood to search for a brush. As he did, Duo stripped of his shirt and wrapped a towel around his shoulders. WuFei had already changed into a spare pair of threadbare sweatpants and a t-shirt, having a few pairs over at the Maxwell house for cases like this. After a few moments of kicking aside a pile of clothes, rummaging over the top of Duo's desk, and combing the floor with his eyes, he finally found the brush on the back of the beat-up recliner on the corner. "Why don't you change first, okay?" he offered the long-haired boy. "It'll be warmer."

"It's already too warm," Duo complained good-naturedly, but quickly stripped out of his sodden clothing, leaving to toss it in the laundry hamper at the end of the hall and returning. "You just wanted to get me naked, didn't you?" he teased, trying desperately to keep the situation the same as it had always been, but it felt strange to make the comment now that he was aware of WuFei's knowledge.

WuFei blinked. "But I've seen you naked... " he started, then trailed off. It was difficult to come to terms with the situation, particularly now that he wasn't certain whether Duo was teasing or not. "Just get some clothes on, dipshit." He grabbed at the towel the blue-eyed teen had around his waist, tugged it off and expertly snapped the fabric against his friend's backside.

"You're so good to me, `Fei," Duo commented dryly, resisting the urge to scratch at the area that had been hit.

"Duo... "

"I'm getting dressed already!" the American chortled. His laughter was forced, as was his smile, but he had to stop WuFei before he said something Serious. He knew the tone of the other boy's voice and he couldn't deal with something like that while he was naked; he felt vulnerable enough at the moment. He pulled on a pair of boxers and a tank top, then plopped unceremoniously onto the bed next to WuFei.

"You're going to need to sit up," WuFei commented in a voice just above a whisper.

"Yeah. Just a sec, `kay?" Duo requested. He shut the blinds and locked his bedroom door. He didn't want anyone to see this. He wasn't even sure he wanted WuFei to see this. But he had agreed to his friend's help and he wasn't about to back out if it.

"Your parents trust you with me behind a locked door?" the Chinese boy asked. It was supposed to be a joke, but he was a bit dismayed; Duo told his parents *everything*. They certainly had to know what was going on with the situation!

"Are you kidding?" Duo snorted, sitting back on the bed again. "My parents love you! They'd be thrilled if they knew... were awake... at least I hope they're just asleep. Ew."

"Idiot," WuFei chuckled, bopping the pale boy in the top of the head with the brush in his grasp. "Do you want me to undo it, too?"

Duo froze. This was going to be beyond awkward. "Um... sure," he finally answered.

WuFei took a deep breath and let it out slowly. This was going to be a big step for them both and he knew it. No one touched Duo's hair. Any girl that even brushed against it while flirting tended to lose her chance with him. Hell, Heero, who had been around Duo since the first day of pre-school, and had always outweighed the smaller boy, found himself kissing dirt in the school yard when he pulled the American's hair. WuFei was beginning to wonder if Hilde had even ever touched Duo's hair. Reaching forward, he picked up the rope of hair once again. That stopped him in his tracks once more. Again! He'd done it just a while earlier... with no reprimands...

"Is this okay?" he whispered.

"Yeah," Duo breathed. "I trust you, `Fei. You know that, right?"

Sloe eyes closed. "Yes, Duo. I know you do." That confession had almost hurt. He understood the underlying meaning of the boy's words and he was afraid that after all had been said and done, he still wouldn't be able to care for Duo that way. He carefully pulled the band away from the slightly dripping clump of hair at the bottom of the braid.

Taking care not to pull or break any of the burnished copper strands, he untangled the plait, then took a moment to stare in shock. He realized that Duo's hair was long; it had to have been to be down to the other boy's hips in the first place, but when it was lying there like a trio of wet snakes, it was amazing. Duo glanced worriedly over his shoulder for a moment and was obviously calmed by the uncertain smile WuFei gave him. "I never thought you had so much of this," he admitted out loud, glancing back down.

"It's really a bitch to wash," Duo explained, shaking his head lightly. "Takes forever to dry and the tangles are a total pain."

"But you'll never cut it," WuFei told him with a small smile, attacking the first soggy coil of hair with the brush as gingerly as possible.

"Damn straight," he agreed with a nod. That pulled slightly on his hair and he winced, but kept quiet.

"It suits you," the Chinese boy stated simply, beginning to brush again. They stayed that way for several minutes; WuFei brushing at Duo's hair and Duo trying not to freak out. Eventually, the smaller boy relaxed and began to enjoy the good job his friend was doing. A few minutes later, the American was nearly moaning, his eyes closed lightly, barely keeping himself upright.

"Gaaawd, you're good at that," Duo drawled, leaning back against the more solid frame of the boy behind him.

"Thank you, but you'll tangle it all if you lean back any more," WuFei chided gently, giving his friend a nudge with his shoulder.

Duo nodded and sat upright again, trying to make his body stop reacting to the fact that the first person to touch his hair in years... nine, to be exact, was the object of his desire, affection and sleepless nights. He squirmed slightly, attempting to stifle his erection by thinking of the most disturbing images possile. ::Mr. Kushrenada in a tutu... Mueller in a g-string... Mrs. Kushrenada in a g-string... shit... wrong thought... :: As soon as the mental image of Anne Kushrenada, the Economics teacher in nothing but a scant pair of panties entered his mind, Duo's cock sprng to life against his wishes.

"Duo, are you okay?" WuFei questioned from behind him. He leaned forward and rested his chin on the shorter boy's shoulder and couldn't help but see the object of Duo's distress. "Anyone I know?" he asked, arching a coal-black eyebrow.

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," he sighed.

"It can't be that bad," WuFei said, cocking his head to the side. "It's not like you're thinking of Dr. Johanssen, are you?"

The thought of the ancient Biology teacher with the creepy glasses and bionic left hand made the blue-eyed teen's hard on shrivel. "Ugh... fuck no. Thanks, though." He grinned and blushed a little. "I *was* thinking of Mrs. K in a g-string..." Mr. Happy sprang back to life immediately. "Dammit... "

"If that's what's getting you off and you've got a thing for me, I don't know if I should be insulted or not," WuFei snorted. Granted, the young woman was pleasant enough to look at, if one thought about it... there were rumors of several students developing crushes on her at first sight, in fact. However, once you were within the confines of her classroom, she turned into a dominating bitch from hell who demanded excellence of all her students and didn't take any excuses.

"Well, you could always make me forget about her, you know... " Duo teased, wiggling his eyebrows.

WuFei considered his words. It was very probable that Duo was joking again, but there was a sharp pang of... *jealousy* over the thought that someone like that woman could elicit a reaction that he was supposed to be giving. It certainly couldn't hurt to see if he could be at all comfortable with the possibility, either... after all, he had wondered what it would be like to do things with another boy after having Hilde's bombshell dropped on him. He had a less-reluctant interest in sex to begin with, as he was a sixteen-year-old boy full of horomones and questions. Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad. Just a kiss, maybe. Duo was his best friend and who better to give one's first real kiss to? He never did like counting the forced kiss in the coatroom from Meilan when they were in first grade together... even after her death, he couldn't find a way to make the memory pleasant.

"That would depend on you letting me," he said, speaking against the hot skin of Duo's neck. He could feel the other boy's pulse beating; how it sped up when he let his lips brush over the area just slightly without realizing it until it was too late. Until Duo was struggling to sit forward. "Duo... ?" Maybe he had been joking after all.

"Man, I'm only gonna tell you this once," the long-haired boy half-snapped, crawling over to light a cigarette, back against the headboard, pulling his knees up to his chest, eyeing WuFei warily. Smoke floated out of his mouth and around him as he spoke. "Don't ever fucking do that again if you ain't gonna back it up, `Fei. I honestly don't have that much control."

"I planned on it," WuFei admitted, growing frustrated. "I just thought maybe I could kiss you or something... "

Duo began choking on a lungful of smoke, his eyes wide. "Are you serious?" he hacked, nearly dropping the cigarette on the bedspread. "Don't make jokes about shit like that... not now... please... "

"I'm not joking," he insisted. "If you don't want me to, then say so, but don't make me keep guessing about what you want. I can't read your mind and I thought this was something you wanted... dammit, you're confusing me and... "

Suddenly, Duo's mouth was on his and he fell back, taking the slight boy with him, hair pooling around them like a curtain. He tasted ash and a lingering hint of that mess he called `swamp water'. There was a slight bit of tobacco smoke left in Duo's lungs and he inhaled it by accident. He pulled away and coughed a bit; Duo sat up immediately and wound up pressing a hand over his own hair and yelping in pain.

"'Fei... I'm sorry, man... " he half-sobbed. "Shit... I fucked up... "

"Duo." The Chinese boy coughed and shook his head. "You just had some smoke... "

"Maybe this was a bad idea," Duo chattered nervously, gathering up his hair that had begun to dry considerably. "Thanks for everything, though... the help with my hair and shit... "

"Duo... "

"I think you can probably unlock the door on your own, there shouldn't be any trouble with it."

"Duo!"

The American's mouth snapped shut and his wide eyes focussed on the boy across the bed from him. He was still a bit wary of the situation, but he knew the tone of voice; WuFei wanted to say something and he knew to shut up and listen. "Yeah?"

WuFei crawled across the bed to where Duo was once again huddled against the wall. "It was an accident. I didn't know I would be shotgunning some of your smoke, is all."

"Oh." Duo felt like an idiot and tried to keep from squirming under the black gaze before him. He nearly stopped breathing when WuFei's hands trailed up to rest on his shoulders. "Well, this is a little more like I thought it would be, anyway."

The dark-haired boy smiled slightly. "How did you imagine it?"

He sighed, blushing furiously. "Well, you were definitely supposed to be the one in charge," he admitted.

WuFei blinked. That was a new one. He'd always imagined that Duo would be the more aggressive partner in any relationship; the cobalt-eyed boy was always very careful about control. For a moment, it sent a strange feeling of pleasure and even a little surge of sexual energy through him. "You wanted me to kiss you?"

"Kinda," he murmured, looking away. "It's just be neat to have someone like you in charge."

WuFei nodded and pulled Duo forward a bit. "Like this, you mean?" he questioned, tilting the shorter boy's chin upward and taking the kiss, just like Duo had done before. He was a bit uncomfortable with the thought of being the aggressor, but once he felt the braided boy melt against him slightly, it was as though a dam had burst and he claimed the slightly parted lips hard.

Duo whimpered against the onslaught on WuFei's kiss and moaned outright when he felt the stronger boy's arms slip behind him, pulling him up and against the darker teen's body. Being flush against the Chinese boy set his blood on fire and his cock sprang to life, nudging at the slender body before him. This was definitely more intense than he'd thought it would be. Granted, he'd kissed a few people before; Hilde when they were in seventh grade at one random dance or other... there was also the game of spin the bottle at Quatre's eleventh birthday where he kissed the blond's older sister Poppy.

Slowly, after what seemed to be an eternity, their lips parted slightly and everything was silent. Duo was certain he could hear his next-door neighbor, the guitarist for a local blues band playing and singing a Melissa Etheridge song with her windows open to the night. He'd fallen asleep to her music on more than one occasion, but hearing that music at the moment was just too ironic. Hie eyes flitted up to meet WuFei's in a bit of surprise when Elektra's voice carried over a moment's respite in the wind and rain.

"Caught in your eyes, lost in your name... I will never be the same... "

"I couldn't have said it better myself," WuFei murmured, his cheeks flushing slightly. That was an admission he'd wanted to save, but the moment was just too right for him to not say it. Things would definitely never be the same between them and how things ended up may very well change their friendship forever. Was he ready for that change? Was Duo ready for it? There was a lot to consider and even more to be prepared to deal with if the answer was yes.

But for the moment, he answered the other boy's silent question with a soft smile and a gentle brush of his lips over Duo's. "I think we could try... if you're okay with it."

end

+

[1] This is a personal joke between my friend (whom WuFei is based on) and myself from one of the nights where this may have happened, if I hadn't been chickenshit. *nods* The excerpt was from, of all things, when he finally got around to signing my yearbook, several months late. I'm not telling you guys what all was written in it, as there were a few other old jokes involved, but the line this was taken from was as follows: Just think: A year from now, we'll all look back on this and say, "plastic toothpicks!" Yes, as it has been stated, this man has a very, very bizare sense of humor.

[part 2] [back to Singles a-k]