comments pretty please...
disclaimer: my shrink says that I don't own heero and duo, no matter how
much I want it to be otherwise.
thanks to: yume, who is V. Busy but still madly nifty; and sandra, for
lack of a better nickname ;)
warnings: 1x2 slashness, relena-friendly, au college, makes no sense when
read alone, and gratuitous plug for the Mark Twain House in Hartford,
CT, which is v. nifty.
the included quote is from Mark Twain's _Eve's Diary_
please enjoy it ;)
Trip + Part 7
Being in love sucked.
In fact, Heero decided about the same time that Duo cursed about the stupid
fucking ridiculously low state speed limit of New York for the seventeenth
time, it sucked royally.
Because on the one hand it meant that you got to touch him; on the other
it meant that you hurt every time you weren't touching him. Sure, he got
to see Duo look at him with this certain expression that made his throat
close off and his eyes feel heavy; but he also got to stand there and
feel eviscerated as Duo treated him as nothing more than a friend in front
of Miss Relena Peacecraft. It meant that he could be mad at the boy, and
hurt by him in a thousand small ways, and that he still wanted to, uh,
politely convince the New York legislature to raise the stupid fucking
ridiculously low speed limit. With dynamite, if necessary.
Heero had in the past found explosives to be the most efficient form of
Duo cursed again as a cop entered the traffic just in front of them; looking
over at him, Heero had a flash of panic. I can't do this, he realized
with a sudden sharp shock. I don't know how to be in love with him. Anyone
can make him smile—but I don't know how to make him happy.
And he didn't know how to deal with the feeling that he battled every
time Duo didn't look at him with that world-altering expression.
Behind them Hilde signaled to turn off at the next exit; Heero half listened
to Duo grumble about girls and their bladders and why they couldn't just
fucking pee in a bottle or find a funnel somewhere—
He'd never seen Duo in a bad mood before. He hurt with it; he wanted more
than anything to reach over and touch the other boy, but he didn't. Every
time he started to he remembered how Duo had pulled away from him at Marc's
house that morning; every time he started to he wondered what he would
do if touching Duo was in no way enough.
Being in love, he decided as they got out of the car, really fucking sucked.
"I feel humble a lot, when I look at things like this. Thankfully, it
never lasts long."
Despite the flippant nature of Duo's comment, his gaze as he stared at
the house in front of them was somewhat cowed. Heero followed the other
boy's line of sight; he felt little of that humility. More noticeable
was his long-dormant fashion sense, wondering what the hell a genius like
Mark Twain had been thinking to paint his house such a color.
Hilde was staring off to their left. "There's always the Harriet Beecher
Stowe House, too," she said. "Duo never wants to go there."
"We went once," Duo said mildly. "It was enough."
"Harriet Beecher Stowe was a very important woman," Relena observed mildly.
"That's true, that's true," Duo agreed. "Despite her considerable work
for the abolition movement, she managed to produce pieces like Libyan
Sybil and Uncle Tom's Cabin, thereby establishing stereotypes that outlived
her by decades, maybe centuries."
"She didn't create the stereotypes," Hilde said, obviously not for the
"And at least her house isn't orange," Relena said.
"The true test of genius," Duo said, with that martyred look that meant
that he was about to say something outrageous, "is a lack of fashion sense."
They all swung around and looked at Heero.
"Except in my case," Duo added. He struck the pose a little harder; the
strong lines of his nose and cheeks, the whipping of tendrils of hair
around his smooth skin, the proud tilt of his head— Heero felt his heart
jump a little to the left within his chest.
Being in love sucked ass.
"The entrance is this way," Hilde said, leading the way with the ease
of a repeat visitor. Heero trailed behind the other three— again—and ruminated
on the way that Duo's braid looked, displayed against his black coat-clad
The night before, the man walking in front of him had made him feel things
he hadn't believed were meant for him to feel. Had made him muse in ways
he had never thought he would be reduced to musing in—he remembered clearly
thinking that this was how the butterfly must feel when it was impaled
gloriously on the pin. He snorted at the memory; hell, he wasn't a poet,
nor was meant to be. Was but an attendant lover. . . meant to aid an orgasm
He shook his head and picked up his pace; during the impossibly long car
ride from New Jersey to Hartford, Connecticut, he had had little to do
but think, and he had come to the conclusion that he was thinking too
much. He was resolved in what he wanted: Duo. He was resolved in what
he would offer Duo: everything. He knew his mind. He just had not one
clue as to what was going on in Duo's mind, and until he knew a little
more, he was just going to devote himself to Not Thinking.
After the tour—a fascinating hour long even led by one of the scholars
who was currently working in the House's library—they browsed through
the gift shop lazily. Heero found himself standing with Relena as she
paged restlessly through a book of quotes.
"All men in New York insult you--there seem to be no exceptions. There
are exceptions of course--have been--but they are probably dead.," she
read aloud (Notebook #24, April - Aug. 1885).
"Not a good trip?" Heero asked quietly.
She frowned a little. "Have you ever had a brother?"
He shook his head.
"Sometimes I feel like I'm more Zechs' mother than his sister," Relena
said, and handed him the book absently. He took it. "Milliardo manages
his own life, but Zechs. . . can't seem to do anything. He couldn't find
his own ass with two hands—but he can find the ass of any other man in
Her eyes flitted over Duo, at the other end of the shop.
"Is that why you don't like him?" Heero asked.
"I don't dislike Duo," Relena answered honestly. She sounded tired. "I
just don't trust him."
Heero said nothing.
"And, of course, I'm somewhat jealous of him," Relena said.
"Why?" Heero asked, slightly confused. Relena wasn't Duo, of course, but
she wasn't exactly lacking in any of the qualities he envied in Duo— beauty,
Relena smiled and raised a hand to his face; he started slightly at the
touch of her skin against his own—he was not used to be touched, not even
after the previous night, when Duo had touched him in every way possible—but
let her hand stay there.
At the other end of the store Duo pretended he wasn't watching.
"Because you never came close to looking at me the way you look at him
when you think that nobody is watching," she said, and, raising up on
her tiptoes, dropped a gentle kiss on his lips. "I'm going to wait outside."
Heero found that his thoughts were somewhat. . . disordered. He passed
the book back and forth from hand to hand; it fell open and he read with
a distracted eye:
Love is not a product of
reasonings and statistics. It just comes-- none knows whence--and cannot
- Eve's Diary
On an impulse he bought the book, and went outside to wait with Relena.
The four of them sat on the hill by the house where Mark Twain had once
outlived almost everyone he loved.
"We should go," Hilde said eventually. "Relena's family is expecting us."
She rose and patted Duo lightly on the head. "I'll see you in a week or
so, boy; don't forget to come meet my train. If I don't make it home for
New Year's my family will eviscerate me."
"I only forgot you twice," Duo said, mildly insulted. "I won't do it again."
He reached up and pulled Hilde down onto his lap, and nibbled at her neck.
She laughed and let him. "Stay cool, Hil," he said, standing up with her
and readjusting her scarf.
"You too, baby," she said, and hugged him tightly.
Relena and Heero exchanged slightly embarrassed glances; both of them
knew that they were seeing a friendship that put theirs to shame. Heero
reached out, uncertainly, and returned Relena's stroke on the cheek. "Merry
Christmas," he said.
She smiled back, nodding in that way that never failed to make him feel
like a peasant before a queen, and returned the greeting. "Merry Christmas,
Heero." She rose from the cold ground and turned to Duo. "Have a good
holiday, Duo. Thank you for the escort."
He nodded, somewhat awkwardly; there was no inbred arrogance there, Heero
Hilde and Relena turned to go, but after a second Hilde stopped and turned
back around. "And you two?"
Heero glanced at Duo, then back at the girl.
"Be good to each other. And for god's sake stop acting so skittish around
other people. If you can't relax in front of friends, then when can you?"
Relena, standing beside her, nodded; the two girls took off happily towards
the pink limo o'doom.
It took Duo a minute to be able to speak. "I thought she didn't know."
"Yes. I mean. . . after all that. . . she knew?"
Heero glanced over at him, faintly bemused. "You didn't want her to?"
"No! I mean, it's just that. . . Quatre said she had a thing for you."
Duo stared at the ground. "I was trying to be discreet."
"Is that what you call it?" Heero asked, rising. "Discreet? When you stick
your tongue down my throat at every opportunity and then push me away
as soon as she's within ten feet?"
"I haven't had much practice at being discreet," Duo said. He looked faintly
"I haven't had any at being part of a relationship, but even I. . .."
Heero trailed off. And sat back down.
Duo sat beside him. "I am sorry," he offered. "I just. . .."
They were quiet for a few minutes.
"I don't know what to do with you," Duo said finally. "I know I'm supposed
to know what I'm doing, but I don't."
Heero said nothing.
"It's like—there's this joke. I heard it years ago. I don't remember it,
though; I only remember the punchline."
Heero looked over curiously.
"You know that old song—"I can't help falling in love with you?" There's
a line in it that goes, wise men say, only fools rush in. . .." Duo shrugged.
"So there's this punchline that goes something like `Wise man Zed only
fools Russians.' But I can't remember the joke. I've been looking for
it for years."
"I know what I want with you," Duo said, gesturing a little. "I want that
grand romance shit. I want poetry. I want to wake up beside you every
morning and fuck your brains out every night. I want to wine and dine
you with champagne on Valentine's Day and hold your hair back when you
puke it all up after drinking too much champagne. I want everything. I
just don't exactly know how to get to that point, and I guess I just want
to be there already—to be able to just tell you that I love you and have
everything work out from there."
Heero waited a minute, but Duo seemed to have finished. "What the hell
did that have to do with the joke?"
Duo shrugged, fell back onto the cold winter ground. "I guess it's just
that with you, I know what the punchline should be, but I don't know how
to tell the joke. I don't know. I don't fucking know, okay? I don't know
how to do. . . any of this."
"I don't either," Heero said quietly. "But. . . I want that, too." He
stared out at the parking lot. "So I guess we take it slow, and see where
Duo looked about as enthused at the idea of taking it slow as he, Heero,
did. "I guess," the other boy said with a notable lack of enthusiasm.
Duo nodded and rose again. "Let's get started."
6] [part 8] [back to Zillie's fic]