by Zillie
Warnings: New Jersey. New Jersey bashing. Karaoke. Songs, filked. Only half betaed (one put the okay stamp on it but I hadn't the patience to wait for the other because I'm very, very impatient and also buzzed on sugar)
The song "I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" does not belong to me which is a good thing as I can never remember how to spell hippopotamus off the top of my head. It is an incredibly funny song, in large part becuase of the way it is sung; I strongly encourage you to download it and have a listen to the singer's voice. The real lyrics to it can be found at Lyrics to the real song: http://www.geocities.com/merrystar3/allysongs/IWantAHippoForXmas.htm
thanks to: Yumeko-chan and Saako-aku, my betatachi.
dedicated to: (though this seems a bit arrogant, so *blushingly* dedicated to) Dacia, because she's sweeter than bee pollen and as bright as a buttercup. enjoy!

Road Trip + Part 5

They crossed over the Delaware Memorial Bridge and headed for New Jersey, stopping at the first possible place.

"Ah," Hilde said, unfolding herself from Duo's car and stretching. "The 'Garden' State. New Jersey." She looked around. "I don't see any gardens. You see any gardens, Heero?"

He saw a rest area in all its concrete glory; it was, after all, the New Jersey Turnpike. "Hn. No."

"Me neither," she said. "Whatever happened to truth in advertising? We could sue!" She laughed at the expression on his face.

Duo bounced over, followed by a more sedate Relena. "Lovely, lovely New Jersey!" he sang. "Is that a pink plastic flamingo I see?"

"New Jersey has more lawn ornaments per capita than any other state," Hilde told the two sane members of the party seriously. She grabbed Relena's arm. "C'mon. If I don't pee soon-well-it won't be pretty. You guys coming?"

"I'm good," Duo said, leaning against Shinigami; Heero shrugged and followed suit. "Bring back drinks!" Duo yelled after the hurrying girl. She waved in acknowledgement and disappeared with Relena into the wonder that was a New Jersey rest stop. As soon as they were inside Duo stuck his hands down Heero's pants.

Heero gasped; the other boy's hands, as they tucked themselves into the waist of his pants, were cold. Duo used his grip to pull him closer. "I want to touch you," he said. Heero didn't know what to say; he had a feeling he blushed. "Not like that," Duo growled, letting his mouth come to rest just a millimeter away from Heero's throat. "I mean, yeah. I want to fuck you. But I want to touch you, too." As if to illustrated he laid his hands against the flat plains of Heero's hips, sliding them easily down into the top of his pants. It was all Heero could do not to grab them and push them down, or stand on his tiptoes-anything to get Duo's hand's just an inch or two lower. But then, he reflected, the chill of the other boy's skin against his making his mind go blurry, how many times had he longed for even half of this? He leaned forward and pressed his lips to Duo's.

The other boy smiled against his mouth, and turned the contact into a kiss. His hands went up, running lovingly over the bumps and curves of Heero's muscular chest; the Japanese boy flexed his muscles, just a little bit, so that Duo would notice his defined musculature.

"You feel so good," Duo said softly, and somehow the simple words said more to Heero than the most eloquent poetry ever could. "I want to bend down, right this second, and I want to kiss you here, in this little hollow by your hip. I want to run my hands down your back-I want to feel the knobs in your spine and the small of your back and the skin on your ass. I want to lean forward-like this-and taste you here, on your neck. You taste so good, Heero." He pressed a little closer. "And while I'm on my knees I want to taste you. . . right here, where I've got my hand. Yeah-right about your knee. And right here-your bellybutton. And right here, too-the bellybutton neighborhood, you see." He brushed his hand over the indentation in Heero's stomach again. "I want to taste every part of you, and I want to suck the life out of you, and I want to fuck it back into you again."

Heero drew a ragged breath. "If that's your way of asking me out, the answer is yes."

Duo laughed, the action blowing air against his neck where Duo once more rested his head. "A date, huh? Should I bring flowers? Have you home by midnight?"

"Yeah," Heero said. "Midnight three days later." He worked his fingers into the braided hair on the back of Duo's head and pulled the other boy's mouth to his.

When he pulled back the other boy looked dazed. "I might have to stop being so mean to New Jersey, if good things like this can happen here."

"Maybe," Heero said, and caught sight of Hilde emerging from the rest stop. "Here they come."

Duo, looking like he'd just been shot, stepped back quickly. His body protested the loss of Duo, touching it. He told it to shut up; they could mourn together later. Either that or make up for it.

"You ready for a picnic?" Duo asked brightly, bouncing over to Shinigami's trunk. The Black Volkswagen of Death opened obligingly, revealing a cooler that had been shoved into an already overfull hold. "Mii always puts together the nicest stuff; mostly because I sit there and guide her while she does it."

Wordlessly, Heero stepped forward and lifted the cooler out. He headed for a nearby picnic table, for some reason deserted. He guessed that maybe December in New Jersey was not, for most people, the ideal setting for a picnic. But he had just been kissed by Duo Maxwell; it would take more than the dismal weather to make him unhappy.

Hilde set down an armload of drinks.

"Where's Rena?" Duo asked.

The girl raised an eyebrow at the abbreviation, but said nothing. "Her cell phone went off in the middle of the bathroom; she stopped to call someone back. She said to go ahead with the eating and the drinking."

Duo, who was busily unwrapping something or other, paused for a second, as if to consider the idea of waiting for Relena. "If she doesn't mind," he said politely, and then tore into a wrap.

Hilde smacked him. "You have no manners!"

He grinned, mouth wide open-and displaying a lovely mash of food.

"Freak," she said without heat, and turned to Heero. "I didn't know what to get you to drink, so I got you a coke, and some water, and some juice."

He thanked her and perused the selections. "I don't drink caffeine," he explained as he handed the coke back, "but I appreciate the juice." In truth he'd pick a good cran-raspberry over apple any day, but when he said things like that people tended to get a little huffy.

"Don't drink caffeine?" Duo asked, mouth dropping.

"You do realize that caffeine is Duo's staple food?" Hilde asked with a laugh.

"That's really cool," Duo said, his admiration obvious. "I mean. . . wasn't that hard to give up?"

"Not really," Heero shrugged, taking a sip of his apple juice. After spending multiple months in the desert-giving up even a roof over your head and a reliable supply of fresh water-giving up coffee had been a joke. "I was never particularly addicted to it in the first place."

"So that's no coffee," Hilde said. "No coke or pepsi or mountain dew or almost any soda except, like, sprite-"

"I don't drink carbonated drinks, either," Heero said.

Duo set down his mega-sized root beer. "No soda?"

"It's bad for your lungs and especially your teeth," Heero said.

"But you don't eat chocolate." Hilde sounded horrified. "It's got caffeine in it."

Heero shrugged again. "I-"

"Let me guess," Duo said, leaning forward, his eyes fixed on Heero's face as if there was nothing else in the world worthy of his interest. "You're not a sugar junkie."

He wouldn't have phrased it precisely that way, but "Close enough."

"So what do you drink? Tea?"

"Teas without caffeine. Water. Juice, though nutritionists advise that you dilute all your juice. You should, ideally, make it half water-otherwise it can be too strong. Apple juice, for example," he motioned to the bottle Hilde had brought him, "is highly acidic and can have an adverse affect on your dental health. Undiluted juices are especially undesirable for young children."

Hilde was staring at the apple juice. "Dude. Last summer, when I was in England, I drank sooo much apple juice. It tastes better there."

"I've never had a cavity," Duo said, peeling his lips back and running his teeth along them suggestively. He seemed to be inviting Heero to do the same thing; Heero began to calculate the best angle at which to leap over the picnic table.

"Hi!" Relena said brightly. She was tapping her cell phone against her leg and looking a bit worried.

Duo sat up, all airs of seduction slipping away with an alarming speed. "Hey."

"Who was that?" Hilde asked, motioning towards the phone with her head.

"My brother, Zechs." She sat down, sighed a bit. "I have to go through the city."

"New York?" Heero asked dubiously. That was not part of the optimal route, not at this time of day.

"Yeah. I have to pick up some stuff or something-I don't know." She sounded utterly cross, and rather frustrated. "He is the most irresponsible person in the world. I swear. And he's something of a slut." She accepted a bottle of water Hilde handed to her and twisted off the top with unnecessary and uncharacteristic roughness. "I just don't get how Mill and Zechs can be identical, and born only seventeen minutes apart, and so completely different."

Duo reached over and rubbed her shoulder; she started a bit but said nothing.

Hilde frowned at her best friend, and then smiled encouragingly at Relena. "It's not like going through New York is a big deal."

Duo's hand froze.

"Actually. . . I was thinking I might meet you guys tonight," the blonde girl said slowly. "If you wouldn't mind. I-I'd rather deal with Zechs one on one."

Heero wondered why Duo looked so relieved.

After fending off more of Hilde's protests and some of his own concerns-for her safety-Relena took off. Heero frowned as he watched her walk away; she looked awfully tired.

"She worries too much," Hilde said softly. "Bout her family name and all that crap."

Staring after the pink BMW as it sped back onto the Turnpike, Heero thought he envied her that.

Duo placed his hands flat on the table. "That's really cool, though."

"Hmm?" Hilde asked, turning back to him.

"Just, y'know. Having her family and worrying about them and missing out on The Green Door to ride to her brother's rescue." He shrugged. "I always thought it would be cool to have siblings. Like that."

Hilde cocked her head to the side.

"Me, too."

They both looked over at him; Heero fought to not be embarrassed. If Duo could say it so frankly, so could he.

"I always wanted siblings, too," he said. Quietly, but audibly.

"Hee-chan," and somehow this time Heero didn't mind it at all, "if you have any siblings, I really don't think the world could handle it."

And, right there, right in public, right in front of Hilde and everyone else on the New Jersey Turnpike, Duo Maxwell leaned across the table and kissed Heero Yuy.

+

"The door's red."

Duo laughed as he shut his car door behind him. "Yep."

"Why is it called the Green Door when the door is red?" Heero asked dubiously. The place looked like a dive.

"Maybe the owner's color-blind," Hilde offered.

"Maybe there was an accident in the paint factory," Duo grinned.

"Maybe it's meant to evoke a Christmassy feeling," Hilde mused.

"Maybe," Duo rebutted, "it's meant to point out that our perceptions of color are internal and that the color I'm seeing as red right now might be the same color that you see as green; and to remind us that color is not something intrinsic to an object but rather a product of how the light hits it. We don't see the color itself-just the light reflecting off of it."

Heero was not entirely sure how accurate that was but he let it got.

Hilde was regarding Duo. "That wasn't bad. Maybe you should try it."

"Try it?" Heero repeated.

Duo grinned at him as he reached for Heero's hand. "The owner." He slid one finger in between Heero's in a slow and, Heero realized, somewhat arousing penetration. "He won't tell anyone what's going on with the door color scheme." He slid another finger in, letting it catch slightly on the skin between Heero's fingers before pulling it back and thrusting it again into the space. With another finger he rubbed the pad of the speechless boy's palm. Heero was reminded of the time he'd seen a small baby examine its toes; it had devoted its entire attention to those ten digits. The baby's mother had proudly announced that her son had just discovered his toes; Heero had smiled politely but privately thought that was a bit of a pathetic thing to be so excited about. As Duo slipped another finger into his hand, he silently apologized to that baby; discovering your toes before you were a year old was certainly more impressive than really realizing you had fingers at the age of nineteen.

He swayed a little closer to Duo.

"I'm going inside," Hilde said, her voice not quite strained, not quite jolly, but somewhere in between.

Duo raised their now completely linked hands and pressed a kiss to Heero's. "We're coming to."

"I noticed," she grumbled.

"Coming inside, you hentai," Duo said, but neither he nor Heero had yet moved.

Hilde hissed a sigh and stomped toward the door.

Duo had that half smile back on his face as he slowly pulled his hand from Heero's. "See you inside," he said.

+

[cont]