Mud-spattered Kisses (cont)

When I finally stopped, my fuzzy brain working enough to take stock of my surroundings, I was in front of Relena's house. If it could be called that. More like a mansion, if you asked me. I don't know how long I'd been standing there when the front door banged open and Relena came running out with an umbrella over her head.

"Duo! What are you doing?! It's pouring," she said, stressing her words in a way she only did when she was worried. I shrugged, but I couldn't form the words to reply. Her hand latched onto my arm and she was tugging me up the walk to her house, dragging me inside; sopping cloths, muddy boots and all. Her parents were obviously away at work.

"Here," she said, leading me across the hardwood floor to a closet. She took out a towel and pushed it forcefully into my hands. I automatically wiped at my arms, but my clothes were beyond help. "Ugh..." she muttered, chewing slightly on her lower lip. "Go into Daddy's office and take off your clothes. I'll go borrow something from his room and we can stick your things in the drier," she rattled off, giving me a push in the direction of the office when I didn't respond.

I did as she said, stripping down to my boxers and balling my clothes up in my hands. I didn't drop them; I didn't want to ruin their perfect wooden floors. By the time Relena came back I was shivering, my teeth clattering as the cold air hit my damp skin. She made a tiny sound in the back of her throat at the sight of me and thrust the dry clothes into my hands, taking the soggy ones and leaving the room hurriedly. She was such a virgin. It was terribly adorable, or would have been if I had bothered to notice at the time.

I slipped mechanically into the clothes she'd handed me -- a navy blue t-shirt that was at least two sizes too big and pants that I couldn't get to stay on my hips, but I didn't think it mattered since the shirt fell to my knees. Her father was not a small man. He was almost full-blooded German. Which explains why Relena is so good with the language, my mind noted inanely.

I stepped out of the room and found Relena waiting in front of the stairs that lead to the bedroom area of the house. She turned when she saw me, climbing the stairs like she expected me to follow. So, I did. I allowed myself to be lead into her bedroom and sat down on her bed. I allowed her to fuss and hover over me as she tried to find out what was wrong. Until -- "Alright, Duo. Explain," she demanded in the tone I'd dubbed her 'lawyer tone'. It was hard to deny her anything when she used that tone. No, you were too busy being worried about the prompt removal of your balls to even think about denying.

I looked up at her, and then looked back down at my lap. "My mother's dead," I said, with a dreaded finality, like just because I'd finally said it out loud it was true.

"Oh..." her pretty blue eyes widened and she sat down on the bed next to me. "Duo, I'm sorry," she offered, wrapping her arms around my shoulders and it was like something inside of me broke.

I buried my face in her neck, my words muffled by her warm flesh. "That's the thing, 'Lena, I'm not. I'm not sorry she's dead," her arms tightened briefly and I think I'd started crying but I wasn't sure. It was like I was completely numb. "I'm not sorry, I can't be. What kind of person does that make me? That I don't feel at least remotely sad that my mother is dead?

"But she was never there, 'Lena, she wasn't really my mother... I didn't know her, but I should feel at least something. God! Am I even human?" Her hand moved soothingly over my back and she was murmuring little soothing words as I sobbed silently against her, babbling my life's story. And what a sorry life it was...

"Obviously you do feel something, Duo," she whispered finally, his hand never ceasing its calming circles. "Otherwise you wouldn't be here. You do feel something, even if it's only anger. Anger is an emotion, too, and sometimes it's the only one that works." We sat like that; the only noises passing between us were our heartbeats and my hitching breaths. Then the door opened.

"‘Lena, I'm done fixing your Sega. It should --" Heero. My face lifted from Relena's neck in time to see Heero storming toward us, a murderous expression in his eyes. He grabbed me by the collar of my borrowed shirt and pulled me off of the bed, his fist flying at my face.

"Heero!" Relena shouted as his hand impacted with my cheek, sending my head snapping back sharply on my neck. Then he suddenly dropped me and I landed on my ass with a carpeted thud. I looked up to see Relena holding onto Heero's wrist, her nails biting visibly into his flesh. "What do you think you're doing?!" she shouted and Heero turned shocked blue eyes to her.

"I could ask you the same thing, 'Lena! He was practically --"

"What? He was practically what? What right do you think you have, acting like that, Heero Yuy?"

"I'm your brother!" he roared back at her and I blinked. Whoa, step back... What? Brother?!

"Not by blood and that still gives you absolutely no right what-so-ever to beat my friends up!"

"Damn it, Relena, he was...you were --"

"I was comforting him, his mother just died." Heero's mouth snapped shut audibly and he turned to look at me where I remained sprawled on the floor, most likely just noticing how red my eyes probably were. All I could notice was that my jaw had begun to ache. "I don't understand why you hate him, Heero. I just don't," Relena was saying and I almost snorted. She could be so blind about some things.

I decided to stand then. "I should go," I winced at the hoarse sound of my own voice and avoided looking at Heero as I walked through the doorway. He was staring at me, his eyes tracking my every movement and I could feel it like fire burning into my skin.

"Duo, wait," Relena followed rushed me down the stairs. "You need your clothes, they should be dry by now." I nodded and waited as she disappeared down a hallway, reappearing with my baggy jeans and black T-shirt. I walked back to the office and changed clothes, handing her her father's things when I came out again. I couldn't help but notice that Heero was standing at the top of the stairwell, looking rather lost.

I turned and left the house. It had stopped raining. I still wasn't sorry.

***

"Duo, are you paying attention?"

I looked up from the German book and looked at Relena with a smirk. "Ja, klar!"

Relena grinned back, "Good, then you'd have heard me when I said that we're through for the day." I blinked. She tilted her head knowingly, "Oh, you didn't? Well, we are. I have to go to dinner with Daddy and one of his associates. Do you need a ride home?" she offered tentatively and I cringed at the thought of her seeing the rats'-nest I lived in.

"Nah, you go on. I'm going to stay here and read for a bit." Here being the school library. She accepted that and picked up her books.

"I'll see you tomorrow, okay?" I nodded and she was gone. I leaned back in the stiffest chair in existence -- I swear, only schools can issue their like -- and thought.

Ever since That Afternoon as my mind had titled it, Heero had been going out of his way to be kind to me. Someone would trip me in the hall and he'd be there to help me up. My books would fall out of my locker and, suddenly, there he was helping me pick them up. It was almost as if he was stalking me. A guy could get used to that, I tell you. But I didn't forgive him yet, even though I understood completely why he had acted that way. I didn't want him to go back to either ignoring my existence or hating me once I did. Foolish? Maybe; but what can I say?

A voice over the intercom announced that the school was locking up for the day and that everyone should leave but I really didn't feel like going home. I didn't want to see Bill; I didn't want to have to look at his filth or the tiny apartment. For one night, I just didn't want to. I was in one of the closeted study rooms in the back of the library. No one would notice if I didn't walk out because they probably didn't know I was still in here. All the lights but a few central ones suddenly extinguished, proving my theory. They'd locked down and I was here for the night, blissfully alone.

Or I thought I was until I heard a loud thud and an equally loud curse in an all-too-familiar voice coming from the main library. I stood quickly, pushing myself away from the desk and opening the door to the study-closet. My hand groped on the wall beside me for where I knew the light switches to be, turning them on with a fumble.

I stared. Widened yet slanted dark-blue eyes stared back from beneath a fall of shaggy brown hair. I blinked.

"Are you stalking me?" I asked incredulously, voicing my thoughts from earlier. Heero's eyebrows drew together in confusion.

"Why would I... No. I was in the bathroom and the intercom obviously doesn't work in there, otherwise I wouldn't be here," he glared up at the offending gray box on the wall.

"Why are you here?" I wondered and he turned his glare to me.

"'Lena was supposed to give me a ride home, I was waiting for her when I had to...go. Obviously she didn't see fit to wait for me."

That didn't sound right. I knew Relena wouldn't forget about him...hm...

"So, why have you been following me around, Heero?" I crossed my arms over my chest and leaned a hip against one of the bookshelves, waiting for him to answer.

He continued to glare. "I judged you wrongly and I didn't know how else to apologize."

"Well...you did overreact, but I can forgive you," I said congenially, finally giving in despite my inner protests.

"Over... Your face was buried in her neck and you were making these...noises! How was I supposed to react?"

I sighed slightly, "I know what you think you saw but I wasn't doing anything like that."

"I know."

"And do you know why?"

"Because your mother..."

"No! Because I'm gay," I shouted, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. Well, everyone else in the damn school knew it...

"...What?"

"Gay!" I repeated. "As in, G-A-Y, gay!" He stared blankly at me for a moment and I threw my hands into the hair. "Oh, screw it!" I stalked toward him and grabbed his face, forcing him to stay still as I pressed my lips to his. He didn't move. Which could have been a good thing and could have been a bad thing. My lungs gave out before I could tell and I had to come up for air. He was looking at me with these hooded eyes, dark blue orbs glittering behind his lids. I couldn't tell whether that was an "I'm going to kill you" glitter or a "kiss me again" glitter, but I trudged onward anyway. I let go of his face.

"See? Gay. Like, boys get me hot. Got it?"

"Duo?" his voice was dangerously soft.

"Hm?" I squeaked, fearing the worst.

"Shut up." And he was kissing me, not just an innocent press of lips together, either. His tongue was prying my lips apart and delving within, drinking from my mouth like someone who'd been in a desert for months and was just reintroduced to water. I let out a soft moan and he pulled back.

"You're..?" I mumbled.

"Yeah," he nodded.

"When?" my voice was kind of fuzzy, a mix of shock and pleasure.

Heero snorted. "Since puberty; when I learned what sex was." He backed away from me, turning.

"Hey! You can't just kiss me and leave!" I was slightly offended, mostly amused.

He stopped, "You kissed me first," he returned, sounding extremely mature. Right.

"Yeah and I didn't leave."

"I have to get home. You should, too."

"Nope!" I said, but I finally walked toward him and we unlocked the door to the library. We ended up jumping the gate of the student parking lot, which was no simple task considering it was raining again. I fell to my knees when my feet impacted with the concrete beneath the fence, causing mud to fly up toward my face. Heero landed behind me, managing to stay on his feet, and he offered me a hand to help me up.

"Tha --" he cut me off by jerking me toward him and giving me another, hot, lovely kiss. "Mmm..." Mud-spattered kisses with your former nemesis...what could be better?

He pulled his lips away and rested his forehead against mine. "If you're not going home, where are you going?" he practically demanded.

"Dunno, I think I'll just wander around for a while. I'll get there eventually..." I trailed off at the look in his eyes.

"No."

"What? Who gave you the right --"

"No," he repeated and grabbed my arm, forcing me to follow him with a surprisingly gentle grip.

"Where..." but I stopped. It really didn't matter. Sure, it was sudden, but Heero wasn't exactly the most...subtle person. I think we had reached an understanding. A very sudden, very intense, very nice understanding.

And that was one of the best understandings of my life.

end

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1. Yes, a skort. mwahaha! 1990s fashion was evil, no?

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