- The Twentieth Encounter -
I have had sex with god knows how many women, but I
have never actually slept with them. I did not
cuddle, I did not stick around after the act, there
was no such thing as spending the night. All that
stuff was really personal and private, so I had never
had the urge to do it with any of my female
Therefore, when I woke up early on Monday on my couch
with Heero draped on me, I was utterly surprised. At
first, I couldn’t recall how and why we were sleeping
on my couch, together, entwined, you get the picture,
then I remembered that he had decided to stay with me.
That sent a whole army of warm and fuzzy feelings
tingling up my spine and I just watched him sleep for
To be honest, I have not actually seen someone sleep
in a long time, especially not this close. Heero’s
head was on my chest, his hair tousled and tangled
about his head, snarling on the buttons of my shirt.
I felt him breathe softly, his chest impressing into
mine with every little breath. I saw the rosy glow on
his cheek, the way his hand grasped loosely at my
braid that lay near his face.. it was all very sweet.
Until I noticed that he was drooling. On my braid.
In an instant, I was up and out of the couch, cradling
my sodden hair with a horrified whimper in my throat.
In my haste to protect my braid, I dropped Heero onto
the floor in an ungraceful lump, waking him up in the
rudest and the most unpleasant way possible. But damn
it, this is my hair we’re talking about!
“Ow..” Heero says in the way of a morning greeting,
“if this is how you wake up every morning, I’m not
sleeping with you again.”
He raises his head and stares at me rather balefully,
like him ending up on the floor face first was my
“You not sleep with me!” I reply, absolutely
incredulous, “it should be me saying that to you!
Look what you did! See?”
At that point, I crouched in front of Heero’s still
prone form and shoved my wet, droopy braid into his
face, wagging it around like a battle flag.
“It’s icky! And wet! I thought you loved me!”
Heero just lay there, staring hypnotically at my hair
being waved around his face, his eyes following the
movement side to side. At first, he looked confused,
as if he had no idea what I was talking about, then
suddenly, it was as if he had an epiphany.
“Oh, did I do that to your hair?”
“I don’t see anyone else around here who slept on me
the entire night, do you?”
“If it wasn’t me, I hope he’s gone by now.”
The utter incredulousness of the situation renders me
speechless. I take stock of the morning and realize
that this is absolutely silly. Here I am, twitching
my hair at my boyfriend whom I tossed onto the floor.
Sure, I had good reasons for everything, but that did
not make this situation any less silly.
“Well,” Heero grunts as he picks himself up off the
floor, “I don’t know about you, but I have some crazy
people waiting for me at work.”
Oh, yes, it is a Monday and I have my own set of
crazies awaiting my arrival.
“If I didn’t have work, I’d take the time to really
make you sorry.”
My voice promised retribution at a later date, very
ominous and dire, but it only made Heero smile bigger.
“I wait for the day.”
I snarl not too pleasantly and look over at the clock
on the mantle. It was only six thirty in the morning
and I did not need to be at work for yet another two
and a half hours. No wonder I was feeling snappish,
it was way too early in the morning.
“Get going, Heero, isn’t Relena waiting for you?”
Perhaps that was not the right thing to say for
Heero’s face went from smiling at me to frowning
deeply in a moment’s time. I think, despite my
apparent nasty nature early in the morning, he was
enjoying our first morning together. He had been
bantering with me, smiling the whole time, as if he
had been waiting for this moment for a long time. I’m
pretty sure that it was not exactly what he imagined
it would be, what with getting tossed off the couch
and all, but still, I think he was loving it.
Until now, anyway.
“Right,” he replies, his voice lower and more serious,
“I purposefully forgot about her last night. Now I
have to go home to change and explain where I was all
I shake my head as I extend my hand to help him stand.
I give him a pinched look, my eyes clearly conveying
just what I thought of that.
“Heero, you are so fucking whipped.”
“I know,” he replies without rancor, “and it makes me
ill, more than it makes you mad. I have to fix this
“Absolutely,” I say in good cheer, “and I’ll make some
reservations at the hospital. You and I can have beds
next to each other. Oh, and I’m sure Relena and Solo
will bring us lovely gifts for putting us in there.”
“You’re taking this awfully well.”
“I have already condemned myself for Christmas Eve. I
On that note, I leaned into Heero and gave him a
chaste good morning kiss which also served as a good
bye kiss. When he tried to deepen it, I backed away
and playfully pushed him towards the door.
“Heero, I love you, but there is no way I’m letting
you kiss me like that before the brushing of the teeth
“What,” he says as he smiles once again, “can’t brave
a bit of morning breath for love?”
“I do have my sensibilities.”
He laughed, gave me a wave and stepped out of the
door, wrinkly clothes and jacket in hand. I stared at
the closed door with a goofy smile for a bit, then got
myself together to step into the shower. After all, I
still had Heero’s soggy germs incubating in my hair.
When I got to work, I was early due to the fact that I
had gotten up before the sun had risen, but I didn’t
mind it one bit even though it was a Monday. I was in
a fairly good mood, having woken entangled with Heero,
and was ready to face the day with a smile and a
twinkle. Well, that did not last very long.
Around lunch time, I actually realized that it was
only two days before Christmas Eve and my anxiety
level climbed up several notches. Sure, it had been
easy enough to forget with Heero calming my naturally
high strung self, but by myself, at work no less, it
was easy for my imagination to run wild at the
potential disaster of the future. I tried many things
to get my mind off the impending dinner, from working
very hard to surfing the internet for Heero’s
presents. Let us just say that nothing really worked
and I was a wreck by the end of the day.
The next day, I fared no better as the anxious tension
within me rose yet another level. My co-workers
noticed that I seemed more nervous than usual and gave
me sympathetic nods, chalking my strangeness up to the
holiday blues. My secretary took extra care to make
sure that I ate and made meetings on time. The only
times that I felt the tension drain was when Heero or
my friends called me at the office to take my mind off
things and even those did not last very long.
I suppose it is fair to say that when I woke up on the
day of Christams Eve, I was ready to bury myself
beneath a large pile of blankets with no plans of
Oh, but there were many things to do, so I had to get
up and force myself through it all. I had to set up
the dinner, clean up the apartment, call Quatre and
Trowa to wish them a merry holiday, run over to Wufei
and Meiran’s for a drink before they ran off to a
family dinner and call Heero to clear up some minor
time changes in the day.
There were many details that I tended to during the
day, enough so that I had not the time to really think
about what was about to happen. That reality crash
landed on my face when my brother arrived.
Around four in the afternoon, just as the sky was
beginning to show signs of dimming, there was a
distinct knock on my door. A tap, tap and rest then a
tap. My brother had arrived and it was about to
“Little man!” My brother greets me with enthusiasm as
he hugs me breathless, “it’s good to see you again.”
I nod, hoping that the look on my face is inviting,
not sickly, and usher him into the apartment. Solo
follows, hefting his small duffel at his side, and
whistles as he steps into my home.
“Man, Duo, did you get a new entertainment center?”
“Yeah,” I reply, thankful for some mindless chatter,
“I picked up the system last May. Pretty cool, isn’t
We talk about electronics and other manly things as I
lead him to my spare room. There was nothing but work
there, computer desk and piles of papers taking up all
available space, but it was the only space I had in
which Solo could drop his things off. After all, we
had guests coming and I couldn’t have him setting up
shop in the living room like he always did.
After settling Solo into the room, we stepped out into
the living room to finish setting up for the dinner.
I had five places set as per the number of people to
show up for this dinner party, and Solo asked me who
they were. To anyone else, it would seem an innocuous
question, but in my current state of mind, it was like
he had asked me something else entirely.
“Uh,” I hesitate, not truly knowing what to say,
“Heero, Zechs and Noin.”
I figure that name giving was the safest course to go
about it. I was hoping to introduce Heero to him as
my boyfriend when there were witnesses around. Call
me paranoid, but I really didn’t want to tell Solo
when we were all alone.
Thankfully, Solo just nodded and went about bringing
out the food from the kitchen. I guess he thought
they were just friends of mine and had no real desire
to know about them before he met them. That was a
good thing, for Heero was a dangerous topic and I had
no idea who Zechs and Noin were.
Time ticked by as Solo and I puttered around, my
brother seeming relaxed and I getting wound tighter as
each second passed. By the time I heard the knock at
the door, I was ready to pass out from all the self
“Hey, your friends are here, little man.”
So they are.
I opened the door and the first face I see is Heero’s,
smiling a bit weakly but happily. Behind him were two
people I assume are his friends and they were eyeing
“Why don’t you come in.”
If I look as bad as I sound, Solo may not need to kill
me. I just may pass onto the next world on my own.
Three somber faced people stepped in, Heero tossing me
a look of barely concealed concern and the other two
nodding at me somewhat sympathetically. I suppose
Heero told his friends about what was about to happen
to their Christmas Eve. After all, how fair is it to
invite people to a Christmas Eve dinner without
letting them know of all the pertinent facts?
“Hey!” my brother breaks into the unseen tension
cheerfully, “I’m Solo, Duo’s older brother. You guys
must me his friends, huh?”
I was about to garner up my courage and spill it all
out, but I was beaten by one of Heero’s friends, a guy
with long, platinum blond hair and ice blue eyes in an
impeccably tailored suit.
“Yes, yes we are,” he says, his voice smooth and
cultured, “I’m Milliardo Peacecraft and this lovely
young lady is my fiancée, Lucrecia.”
As the three of them exchange handshakes and
pleasantries, I wonder about the introduction. I
thought Heero’s friends’ names were Zechs and Noin.
Had he brought the wrong set of people?
“Please call me Lucy,” says the lovely dark haired
woman, “and don’t pick up on Heero’s habits and call
me Noin! It’s rather annoying.”
“Yes, that’s correct,” Milliardo breaks in with a
laugh, “and don’t call me Zechs either. It’s a silly
nickname left over from college.”
There was a round of laughter, a definite sign that
Milliardo, Lucy and Solo were getting along famously,
while Heero and I stood slightly off to the side and
watched the show with a pleasant surprise.
“Heero,” I say in a low whisper to avoid being heard
by anyone else, “maybe this evening won’t be so bad?”
“I hope so,” Heero says in an equally low voice,
“because those two really want to get to know you.”
Just then, Solo turned and came walking towards us
with Milliardo and Lucy in tow. My large living room
suddenly seemed very tiny and I was beginning to feel
“So, you’re Heero, right? I’m Solo.”
Okay, very friendly and open, so I’m guessing that
Milliardo and Lucy did not tell my brother that Heero
was more than just a friend.
“Yes, hello,” I hear Heero reply with a bit of a
tremor, “how are you?”
Trite greetings, banal small talk, boring questions.
Usually, I truly hate those things, but right now, I
was hoping it could go on for a long while. But then
again, everyone had been introduced already and it
wasn’t as if Solo was asking me what my relationship
to Heero was. I mean, is it truly necessary to jump
in now and say ‘by the way, brother, did I mention
Heero’s my boyfriend?’
I conclude that it isn’t and so without having
revealed the nature of Heero and my relationship to
Solo, the five of us sit down for dinner. The meal is
almost pleasant, with all of us talking about
something or another and I think that maybe, just
maybe, Christmas Eve has been salvaged and I have
managed to escape the doom.
Right, and there really is a Santa.
“So, little man,” Solo says as we nibble on the
dessert, “where is that lady you are dating? You two
make up yet?”
I don’t think Solo noticed, but everyone at the table
suddenly tenses up at the question, most notably me
and Heero. I could no longer think to escape me
telling Solo. It was now or never.
“Well,” I say, noting that my voice is not its usual
pitch, “there’s this issue..”
Solo grimaces a little and wags his fork at me in an
“Little man, don’t tell me you did not apologize.”
“No, no, “ I say, panic close to the surface, “I did,
we’re all good now.”
“And..” Solo trails off in an indication that I should
pick up the story.
“And..” I pause, taking a long drink out of my wine
glass, “and.. you’re sitting next to him.”
For a long moment, Solo looks confused. He first
stares at Heero who is sitting next to him by the way,
shakes his head and stares at Lucy. Lucy frantically
shakes her head in a negative which is echoed by
Milliardo and Solo’s eyes switch back to me, then to
Heero, then to me.
That goes on for a while and then understanding
suddenly dawns in Solo’s eyes.
The chair Solo had been occupying gets knocked over as
he stands suddenly, his hands on the table and his
face a study of incredulous disbelief. Everyone
freezes like deer caught in a head light and I bravely
face my brother with a wan smile.
“Say hello to my boyfriend, Heero, Solo.”