Coffee + Part Six (cont)
"Maybe later," I
said blandly, eliciting a strangled laugh from Duo and a cough from Trowa.
"Duo, would you mind if I was a few minutes late?"
"Sure thing," Duo said, doing his best impression of a happy
person. "Don't be too long-Kimmie's been taking your shift but she
wants to get home."
"I won't," I said, smiling at Trowa. "Shall we head around
the block? I'd like to talk with you..."
Trowa grumbled. "I don't see why Duo wouldn't let you go out for
lunch. You're far too good to be working for him-business manager! You
could run the place."
"Not like Duo could," I said. "Anyway, he'd give me the
time, if it wasn't for Kimmie. She was on duty last night as well, its
not fair to expect her to be on shift all this morning."
A cup of coffee was agreed upon as a suitable compromise.
"What did you go see your father for?" Trowa asked. "I
thought you didn't talk much."
"I needed advice," I said. "On Duo." I stirred my
coffee slowly. "You may have noticed he has feelings for me..."
Trowa's eyes glinted. "Did he tell you this?"
"Yes-after I asked him," I said. "Duo didn't want me to
Trowa's expression plainly stated 'I bet he didn't.' I ignored him and
"Well, given that he is such a good friend, I think it only fair
that we resolve this quickly. Sally said she thought it was about time
we sat down and had a serious talk about where we want this relationship
to go. I think you know that I'm ready to commit."
"Commit?" Trowa asked faintly.
I nodded. "We have been going out a very long time now, but we've
never really discussed it-except to say that you weren't ready for me
to move in with you yet." I sipped my coffee. "I'm not pushing
you on that, but I do think you should know that I'm in for the long haul."
"The long haul?"
I proceeded to elaborate.
"-so once we get a place of our own, I was thinking we could invite
Cathy over for tea at least once a week-she can't feel as though she's
being left behind-and maybe my father on alternate weekends--"
"Excuse me, Quatre. I'm sorry, but I have to go."
I blinked. I wasn't even halfway throught yet. "But-"
"This is all so sudden. I need time to think about this."
"Oh," I said, disappointed. I hadn't even got to tell him about
the interior decorators I'd looked in to. "Well, phone me tonight?"
I sighed as he left. That hadn't been quite the reaction I'd been hoping
And he hadn't kissed me.
Disgruntled, I glanced at my watch and-
--realised the coffee break had lasted approximately an hour.
"Duo!" I burst into the kitchen, panting. "I am so sorry!"
"I guess we can cancel the search party then," Lloyd quipped.
"Hey, Q. Grab an apron-we have a party of twelve just being served
now," Duo said, balancing several meals precariously as he left the
I followed suit. I was pleased to see that Hilde was also waiting on tables,
meaning that Duo hadn't been left totally understaffed.
"Thanks a lot for helping," I told her, as we headed back to
the kitchen with dishes.
"Not a problem," she said. "I stopped by to see Duo, and-chicken
foccacia no tomato, soup of the day, table 8!-somehow got conscripted.
I don't mind-was it an emergency?"
"Kind of," I said. "Trowa and I had to talk about where
our relationship is going."
"Well, I hope it works out well," Hilde said. "Where's
this pasta going?"
It was with heartfelt relief that I collapsed onto the sofa that night.
"What a day!"
" You didn't have to do the cleaning yourself," Duo said. "I
don't mind helping. It's my job after all."
"No," I said. "You all had to cover for me while I was
talking to Trowa, I wanted to make it up to you guys."
"That's a nice thought, Quatre." Duo handed me a plate. "Tuna
lasagne. There's more in the fridge if you want it."
"Has Trowa rung?" I asked.
I forwned. It was pretty late-but we hadn't really set a time. Maybe I
should phone him once I'd finished eating? If he hadn't already rung by
I ended up ringing.
"Hi Cathy," I said. "Is Trowa there?"
"I'm sorry, Quatre. He's not here at the moment."
"Oh, okay. Do you know when he'll be back?"
"I'm afraid I don't." Was it just me, or did Cathy sound awkward?
I asked her to tell him I called then hung up. I didn't like this-
"Get up, Q. We're going out."
I blinked. "Huh?"
Duo was standing in front of me, holding my coat. "We're going out."
"But-I didn't know we had plans-" I said, as Duo shoved the
coat into my hands.
"Well, we do now," Duo said. "Come on, get your butt off
the couch. We're going to have some fun, if it kills us." As I looked
dubious, he gestured to the sofa. "Come on, do you want to sit here
watching old episodes of Charmed and eating ice-cream?"
I looked down at my bowl. After the fifth helping, orange-ripple was losing
"But this is the eipsode where Phoebe and Cole get together!"
"Right, that's it!" Duo hauled me off the sofa. "We have
to get you out of here before any more damage is done!"
I smiled half-heartedly as Duo bullied me into my coat and the car.
"Where are we going?"
"Ice-skating," Duo said. "Take this left."
Sally and Wufei were waiting at the rink.
"I see you were able to dislodge him without too much difficulty,"
"I didn't need the crowbar after all," Duo agreed. "It
was a good thought though."
"Hey!" I said indignantly. "I'm not that bad."
"Sure Quatre. You've only been attached to that couch for a fortnight
Sally gave me a sympathetic smile. "Do I need to lecture you on the
need for social and recreational activity?"
"No," I said fervently, remembering the lecture on the evils
of repression. "I'll take your word for it."
"Fast learner, isn't he?" Duo remarked to Wufei. Sally chased
them both all the way to the rink.
I had the advantage of numerous holidays in Switzerland, Wufei was fairly
athletic and had a good sense of balance, so we fared pretty well. Duo
and Sally had neither.
"Do me a favour," Duo said, as we pulled him off the ice for
what had to be the fiftieth time. "Next time I want to go ice-skating,
shoot me first."
"And me second," Sally groaned. "I don't want to even think
about how many bruises I'm going to have-"
"There's hot chocolate in the car, if you want it," Duo said.
"Let's try this again," Wufei said, taking Duo's arm. "One
foot at a time-slowly does it-left then right-"
Sally patted my shoulder. "You wouldn't mind towing me in the direction
of the side? At the rate I'm going, I'd get there faster crawling-"
"I wasn't even aware that Duo had made hot chocolate," I said,
as we gathered the thermoses from the car. "I wonder how long he'd
been planning this?"
"He rang us last night and we decided that if you weren't showing
signs of activity, we would force you to go out and do something fun,"
Sally said. "So, what's the matter Quatre? Trowa again?"
I sighed. "I had the talk with him, like you suggested. It didn't
go as well as I'd hoped... but Trowa said he needed time to think about
it and that he'd get back to me."
"That's good," Sally said. "Decisions like these can't
be made in an instant. How long ago was this?"
"Two weeks?" Sally stopped and stared at me. "Quatre, I
think you have a problem."
"I guess you're right," I said, sitting on the curb next to
the parked car. "I mean, he should have rung by now-even if he hadn't
made a decision just to let me know what was happening. But I don't see
why he'd just... drop me like that. I thought he really cared about me.
He was so attentive to me the last week or so we were together-"
"Think about that," Sally said. "Really attentive-was he
like that through your entire relationship?"
"Well he was at the start," I said. "And then, just as
I thought things were going to go further he became almost distant-but
once I started the cooking course he seemed to be all interested in me
"Interested... because you seemed not to be?" Sally suggested.
"What do you mean?"
"Ever heard of the phrase not in love, but in love with love?"
Sally said sympathetically. "It sounds as though Trowa has serious
problems with commitment. He was interested in the challenge you posed,
but once the thrill of the chase was gone-"
"So was he," I sighed.
Sally hugged me. "I'm sorry Quatre. You seem to have the worst luck
"Tell me about it," I sighed. "Wait-if Trowa was only interested
in me as a challenge, why was he suddenly all over me that one week?"
"Did you by any chance give him any reason to think that you might
not be totally enamoured with him that week?" Sally asked.
"Duo said I shouldn't ring him-" I said. "Oh. So, Duo knew?"
"He suspected," Sally said. "He was hoping he wasn't right,
that's why he asked me to talk to you tonight."
"I see," I said. "So he wouldn't have to?"
"Nothing of the sort," Sally said. "Duo wanted my opinion-he
wanted to be sure that he was reading the situation correctly. Look, we're
your friends Quatre-all any of us want is for you to be happy. Now, we'd
better get back to the rink before that boyfriend of mine accuses us of
drinking all the hot chocolate."
I followed slowly. I had a lot to think about.
"Oh, no! Duo! What happened?" Sally demanded, drawing me from
I looked up to see Duo sitting on one of the seats by the rink, Wufei
beside him, watching as one of the skating rink staff bound Duo's right
"I had a rather interesting crash," Duo said.
"Into the wall at high speed," Wufei said. "He managed
to bring me down while doing it too."
"Oh dear. Does it hurt?" Sally fussed over Duo.
"From what I can tell its only a sprain," the staff member said,
tying off the bandage. "Try not to use this hand as much as possible
for the next few days."
"I'm okay, Sally, really. It's just a sprain," Duo said.
"Are you sure you don't want to go home?"
"We can't go home! The real fun is just about to start!" Duo
I raised an eyebrow at Wufei. He shrugged, obviously just as mystified.
As if on cue the lights dimmed and a strobe light was lowered.
"Get ready folks! It's time for Disco on Ice!"
Duo and I squealed at the opening song. "Burn Baby Burn! Disco Inferno!"
Despite Wufei's protests ("I was tricked! He didn't say anything
about Quatre music!") we joined other skaters on the rink for a game
of musical chairs, on skates. When the music stopped, everyone had to
skate to the nearest corner. A bottle was then spun, all the skaters in
the corner it landed on eliminated. Last one left got a spot prize.
Wufei was fully occupied in keeping Sally from falling over, I found myself
helping Duo round the rink.
"Isn't this fun?" Duo said, wobbling wildly as we left our corner.
"Cool music, skating-what more could you wish for?"
"Balance?" I said drily as he toppled over.
"Oh heck," Duo said, as the music died.
There was no way we could have got to a corner in time. We were disqualified
and I helped Duo to the seats.
"I'm sorry, Q," Duo said. "You're a good skater, you could
I was more concerned with the way he held his hand. "Duo, how badly
hurt is your hand?"
"It's only sore when I-ow-move it," Duo said. "I'm fine
I was dubious. "Are you sure?"
"Of course I'm sure! It's my hand, isn't it?" Duo waved it happily.
I was ready to catch him. "I think we need to sit down," I said
Duo didn't protest as I guided us towards the seats. "I'm really
sorry about this, Q. I wanted you to have a fun night out."
"I am having fun," I said.
The lights dimmed as the game of musical corners continued. A new song
blared from the speakers.
"Now you can tell by the way I use my walk I'm a woman's man, no
time to talk. Music loud and women warm-"
"Stayin Alive," Duo sighed wistfully. "You should be out
there, this is one of your favourite songs."
I stopped. "Still thinking about me?"
"Well, someone has to," Duo tried a nonchalant shrug. "I
just want to see you happy."
Happy-that's what Sally had said.
"You're a good friend, Duo," I told him. "But you don't
have to worry about me. I'll be fine. Now," I took his shoulder firmly.
"I'm taking you home and you're not arguing with me. You shouldn't
be out here with a hurt hand, you know."
Duo had the good sense not to argue with me.
It was my turn to look after Duo. I'd woken up early so I could practice
making scrambled eggs before he woke up. Just as I'd finished the third
lot, Duo wandered into the kitchen in tousled pyjamas and sleep rumpled
"Good morning!" I chirped. "Just in time for breakfast!"
He looked from me to the saucepan in incredulity. "You cooked? Voluntarily?"
"Sit down," I said. "Let me get you a plate."
"You didn't need to go to all this trouble," Duo said as he
gingerly poked the food set in front of him.
"Of course I did!" I said. "With your hand as it is, there's
no way you should cook. I already phoned Lloyd and told him-the kitchen
staff are confident they can manage without us for the next few days."
"Without us?" Duo said. "What will you be doing?"
"Taking care of you," I informed him. "Let me cut up your
toast for you."
Once Duo's toast was in handy bite sized pieces, I gave him the fork.
"So what do you want to do today?" I asked him.
"I don't have anything in mind," Duo said. "After all,
I was thinking of going to work-"
"In that case," I said. "May I make a suggestion?"
Duo froze as I seated myself on his lap.
"What... ," he whispered, as I leant into him. "What are
"You're the psychology student," I told him. "You figure
it out." And then I kissed him.
"Wow-" Duo murmured as we broke apart. "Wait-are you sure
about this, Q?"
"Absolutely," I said. "You like me-I like you, neither
of us have boyfriends-Unless you're no longer interested-"
I was rather abruptly hauled down for another kiss. This one was passionate,
if a little rough, and left me gasping for breath at the end of that.
"That answers that," I murmured rather shakily, leaning in for
another kiss, but Duo stopped me.
"Q-if we do this it has to be for the right reasons, otherwise we're
better off just staying friends-"
That was enough to stop me. "Duo-I have thought about this. A lot
actually-I'm sure of this. I-" I poked him in the chest. "Want
Duo smiled, a very attractive shade of pink creeping over his cheeks.
"Well, can't argue with that."
"So we're together then? It's official?"
"I guess it is."
We grinned shyly at eachother. For all the effort it took getting us to
this point, neither of us really knew what to do next. I noticed Duo's
untouched meal on the table. "You haven't had your breakfast-"
"Ah, tell you what, Q," Duo suggested hastily. "Why don't
we just makeout now, and worry about that later?"
[part 5] [back]
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