Another Preventers' staff meeting had disintegrated into thin air. Those damn petty arguments. That was the third this week. How was it those two were partnered on so many missions? It was a wonder they could catch any bad guys at all the way they bickered around the office.
Slam! The door to the adjacent office closed with gusto, startling Trowa and Quatre.
"I think he does it on purpose."
"What's that, Tro?" Quatre asked, looking up from clearing the conference room table.
"Heero. He uses red ink to mark up Duo's mission reports just to get a rise out of him."
"Why would he do that? They're friends, aren't they?"
"Maybe you should go in there... just in case." Quatre tapped the loose papers to straighten them.
"In case of what?"
"I don't know," Quatre said, looking down at his wristwatch. "Oh, gosh, I'm late for my meeting with Une." He kissed a finger and held it up to Trowa, "Gotta go." As he headed for the door he turned back and added, "We wouldn't want them to hurt each other."
"Right," Trowa said, scratching behind his ear. He supposed they were capable of that.
He knew that Duo and Heero had never seen eye-to-eye on things. Not during the war, and certainly not after. But in recent months, Trowa had seen those little differences intensify as though someone had taken a magnifying glass and was holding it over them… grossly enlarging the trivial into the obscene.
Trowa stepped into the corridor, staring at the closed office door just feet away. Things had gotten real quiet once that door had slammed shut behind them. Maybe Heero had choked Duo... or Duo had knocked Heero unconscious with a chair? Either way, it was probably best he investigated, if for no other reason than to make his sweet Quatre happy.
With a sigh he reached for the doorknob and slowly turned. Good, it wasn't locked. He pushed the door open and peeked inside, not wanting to get winged by a flying stapler or trash bin, but to his surprise the room was quiet, painfully quiet. He held his breath. Had Heero and Duo finally killed one another? Or maybe they had left the room without his notice?
"Guys?" Trowa asked, tentatively.
With no reply, he stepped back and was about to close the door when he heard the creak of leather and a low... moan? He swallowed hard. Damn, they had gone and done it. One of them was hurt.
Trowa stepped into the room fully and looked around. It was then that he noticed the high-backed chair behind the desk was moving, ever so slightly. It was turned to the window and now that he focused on it he could see that it was rocking. He stepped closer and just as he was about to call out again he heard another moan.
Okay, now that did not sound like someone in pain. It sounded like... his mouth dropped open with the realization. No, it couldn't be. He crept toward the desk, toward the rocking, creaking, moaning chair, and his eyes widened with shock as he took a peek. Heero was kneeling between Duo's legs, sucking him off.
Trowa's mouth snapped shut, his cheeks burning with the discovery and the embarrassment of intruding on this very private moment. He backed away, quietly slipping from the room and into the busy corridor. People stepped around him, greeting him, looking at him oddly, wondering at his flushed and somewhat dazed appearance.
"You all right, Agent Barton?" asked one of the secretaries as she rushed past.
He nodded, but couldn't get the image out of his mind. Duo’s head thrown back, his hands buried in the muss of Heero’s hair, and Heero’s head bobbing up and down… In a million years he would have never guessed those two would get together. Not the way they competed against each other. They were friends, no doubt about it, but lovers? Until today, he would have said no, and even laid odds against it.
He could see Duo going for it. The guy liked taking chances and saw hard-headed people as a challenge---and Heero was definitely that. But Heero, when... how? Trowa shook his head. The guy was all work and no play... or so he had thought. Now it seemed Heero included blow jobs in his work responsibilities.
Trowa blew out a breath, stirring his long bangs. Quatre's gonna flip when he hears this...
+ + +
Quatre was just coming out of Une's office as Trowa came off the elevator.
"Got a minute?" he asked, watching his lover hand a file to Une's secretary.
"Sure, Tro. What's up?"
"We can talk on the elevator," Trowa said, ushering Quatre inside and making sure no one joined them.
Once the door closed he relayed the sucking, moaning, coming truth of what he had seen.
"What?!" Quatre exclaimed. "You must've gotten it wrong. Maybe Duo was injured..."
"I think I know a blow job when I see one, babe," Trowa said, letting his hand brush Quatre's cheek.
The boy leaned into the touch, but then turned away.
"What is it?" Trowa asked, unused to his lover pulling away from him.
"If they're together... I should've known," he said, holding his hand over his heart and looking up with wide, worried eyes.
Trowa smiled, shaking his head. "I'm sure they didn't want us to know. Maybe that's why they've been arguing around us... to hide their true feelings."
That made Quatre feel better and he nodded. "That makes sense. All that animosity clouded any other feelings I might have picked up on."
The elevator door opened on their floor. When they walked down the hall they noticed the door to the office Heero and Duo had been using was now ajar.
"I'm going to find Duo and have a serious talk with him."
Trowa patted Quatre's arm and grinned. "Okay, but meddling in other people's affairs isn't always a good thing."
"I won't be meddling," Quatre said, self-assured, and headed down the hall in search of his friend.
Moments later, he found Duo in the break room, sipping hot coffee.
"Hey, buddy!" Duo said, looking up from his mug.
"Hi, Duo," Quatre said, scrutinizing his friend for clues of his tryst.
Duo looked Quatre over in response. "What? Don't tell me I got mustard on me?" he asked, now looking down at his Preventers' shirt and tie. "That hotdog I had for lunch was dripping all over the place."
"Hotdog? Does Heero know you call him that?"
"Huh?" Duo asked, perplexed.
"Isn't there something you want to tell me, Duo?" Quatre asked, his eyes plaintive.
Duo set his mug on the counter. "Was there a report I was supposed to get to you? 'Cause if there was, I totally forgot..."
"Are we still best friends?" Quatre blurted out. Suddenly, he felt like he hardly knew Duo. How could Duo have kept this from him? This was huge!
"Well, of course we are, buddy," Duo said with a smile. Now Duo was looking at Quatre closer. "Is something wrong? Did you have a fight with Trowa?"
Quatre sighed. "Trowa and I are just fine. It's you and Heero I want to know about."
"Me... and Heero?" Duo asked with a gulp.
"Why didn't you tell me you were seeing him?"
Duo's mouth opened to respond and then shut, and then opened again, but not a word came out. With those big aqua eyes staring back at him he just didn't know what to say.
"I see," Quatre said, disappointed. "You're not denying it, so I'll take that as an affirmation. Why wouldn't you tell me, your best friend, that you're dating Heero?"
Duo blinked. That was a slap in the face. "Okay, you got me there," he said, lowering his eyes. "Heero and me... well, we didn't want anyone to know." He looked up again. "At least not right away. Just in case things didn't work out."
"So, how long were you going to wait to tell us?"
"Hadn't thought about it. We started up on that undercover mission in Moscow..."
"That was three months ago!" Quatre exclaimed, horrified this wonderful news had been concealed from him for that long. "You've been dating all this time and you couldn't tell me?"
"I wouldn't call it dating, exactly," Duo said, picking up his mug and taking another sip. "We've just been... well you know... having a bit of fun."
Quatre's eyes widened. "No, I don't think I know. You're seeing each other, aren't you?"
"Yeah, we see each other. Here at work, on missions..."
"And you go out after work, right?"
Duo cocked his head, his face pensive. "Nope, can't say that we have."
Quatre gave a little chuckle. "Don't be silly. You must've gone out sometime for dinner or a movie... or a walk in the park."
"Nope, nope and nope," Duo said, giving that crooked grin that meant he was quite pleased with himself.
"You mean you're fooling around with Heero, but he's never taken you out to dinner?"
"Yep," Duo said, taking a step toward the door. "Sorry, Q, I gotta be going. Have a report to re-write..."
"Duo, wait," Quatre said, the wheels in his mind spinning.
Could it be that Duo and Heero didn't know how to date? That with the war and their training, no one had set the example for them? Quatre knew about dating. He had enough sisters to see the custom first hand many times over. But perhaps Heero and Duo had no concept of courting? Maybe all they had to go on was their attraction to one another? And at seventeen they were letting their hormones dictate their relationship.
"Would you and Heero like to join us for dinner tonight? Now that we know you're a couple, you don't have to hide it from us, and it'd be fun for the four of us to get together," Quatre said, hoping Duo would take the bait.
"Dinner, huh? I guess I could ask Heero."
"Great. Be at our place at eight o'clock," Quatre said, smiling.
+ + +
The doorbell rang at ten minutes to eight.
"Quatre, can you get that?" Trowa called from the kitchen where he was just about to drop freshly made pasta into boiling water.
"Sure, Tro!" Quatre called from the dining room as he finished lighting the candles.
He blew out the match and rushed to answer the door. It was Duo. He looked at the boy and then around the front porch, "Where's Heero?"
"Hello to you, too," Duo said, with a smirk and stepped inside.
"Sorry," Quatre said, as he took Duo's jacket. "I guess I expected you to come together."
Duo shrugged as he looked around the apartment. It had only been a couple of weeks since his last visit, but Quatre was always making adjustments to the place... a painting, a hanging fern, a newly upholstered sofa set.
"Hi, Duo," Trowa called from the kitchen.
"Hey!" Duo called back. "Smells good whatever you're working on in there!"
"It's Spaghetti a la Barton," Trowa said, with his head poking out the kitchen door.
"Damn, this must be one special dinner for you to be making that," Duo grinned.
"By orders of Quatre it certainly is," Trowa said with a laugh.
Quatre wagged a finger at Trowa and made a face as though he was insulted, but laughed, too. "I'll use any excuse to get him to make it," he whispered to Duo.
"Sounds good to me," Duo said, plopping down on the couch and watching Quatre hang his coat in the closet.
"So where is Heero?" Quatre asked, as he sat down next to Duo.
"He said he'd be here," Duo said with another shrug.
Quatre sighed. "But the point was for you to come together." Obviously Duo didn't have any understanding of what it meant to be a couple. Well, tonight he would learn by example.
"Oh." Duo reached for a chocolate in a bowl on the coffee table. "I see you finally got those posters framed from your trip to Paris."
Quatre looked over to the far wall and smiled. He and Trowa had gone to Paris earlier that spring to mark their second anniversary as a couple. Trowa had bought both posters to commemorate that beautiful weekend--one of the Eiffel Tower and the other a view of the River Seine.
"Those were our favorite parts of the city. It's such a beautiful place, Duo. You and Heero should go there sometime."
Duo chuckled. "Yeah, maybe someday."
Quatre leaned closer to his friend. "So tell me about you two. I've been missing out since you've been keeping this from me for so long."
"I should've told you," Duo admitted. "And there were plenty of times when I wanted to..."
"I know," Quatre said, smiling sweetly. It hadn't taken him long to forgive Duo this slight in their friendship. "So tell me now. What's Heero like as a boyfriend? Is he good to you?"
"What's so funny?"
"Just sounded funny you calling Heero my boyfriend." Duo shook his head.
"Well that's what he is," Quatre affirmed.
"Yeah, I guess."
"Of course he's your boyfriend. You're in a relationship..."
"That must be Heero," Quatre said, smiling. "Do you want to get it?"
Duo shook his head. "Nah, it's your place."
Quatre got up and answered the door, letting Heero in with a bright smile. "Hi, Heero. Duo's here already."
Heero nodded to Duo as he came in, and Duo responded with a simple, "Hey."
"Working late tonight, I see," Quatre said, noting Heero was still wearing his Preventers' uniform.
"Intelligence picked up on chatter in the Siberia quadrant," Heero said as he sat down on the couch.
Quatre frowned. Heero had sat a cushion apart from Duo and they hadn't even exchanged a kiss... or a handshake!
"The weapons ring again?" Duo asked, his features turning serious.
"Hn. A shipment of colony space parts went missing today. I think it's connected," Heero explained.
"I hope you don't mind me saying, but it's certainly nice seeing you two getting along," Quatre interjected.
Duo smiled. "You mean the arguing? Well, it’s partly for show."
"Only partly?" Quatre asked, concerned.
"Our methods of accomplishing a task are different. It can cause friction... especially for Duo," Heero answered.
"Oh, now it's my problem?" Duo bristled. "I'm not the one marking up people's reports in red ink."
"Okay, guys. I get it," Quatre said, offering the bowl of chocolates to Duo to distract him. He then noticed Heero looking at his watch. "Will you be needing to get back?"
"Not likely. Une will probably send one of the junior units to investigate the Siberia activity."
Just then Trowa came in from the kitchen, a large salad bowl in his arms. "Hi, Heero. Nice to see you could make it."
Heero nodded. "You do the cooking?"
"Only on special occasions," Trowa said with a smile.
"I guess finding out about the two of us is considered a special occasion around here," Duo said.
"That's right. Now let's eat." Quatre gestured for them to head into the dining room. He watched then as Heero got up from the couch and held out his hand to Duo who fairly blushed. When Duo stood, Heero leaned forward and whispered something in his ear. Quatre beamed. He had been thinking that Trowa had imagined the office tryst, but now he could see the evidence of a relationship. They had just needed to get comfortable before making a public show of affection.
Duo caught Quatre staring at them and blushed again. "How did you find out about us anyway?" he asked, as they headed into the dining room.
“Tro, I think you’d better explain this…”
"Sure. It was after this morning's meeting...," Trowa began, setting the salad down and watching as Quatre put Duo and Heero on one side of the table and he and Quatre on the other side. "Quatre was concerned that the two of you might hurt each other. That was some argument you had in the staff meeting, so I was sent in to check on you."
"Sent in?" Duo asked as he sat down.
"Let's suffice to say I saw enough to leave no doubt as to the nature of your relationship," Trowa finished with a smile.
"You saw us... in the office?" Duo asked with an embarrassed gulp.
"Very stealthy." Heero was impressed that they hadn't noticed the intrusion.
"I didn't want to disturb you before you'd... finished."
"Wow," Duo said, reaching for the breadsticks. "I can't believe you saw that."
"I'm glad I did, otherwise I wouldn't have believed you two are together. Sorry, Heero, I know you're my best friend and all, but I didn't think you'd ever take time to date."
"It doesn't take much time," Heero said, flatly.
Quatre raised an eyebrow, finding that remark extremely odd. "You must mean that it's so enjoyable that time passes quickly when you're together."
"Yeah, when you're messing around, time sure does fly!" Duo said, giving Heero a nudge.
Quatre's eyes widened and he shot Trowa a look that said, "help!"
"Uh... but it's more than just 'messing around', right?" Trowa asked, scooping salad onto their plates. "Even though it's obvious you're physically attracted to one another."
"The physical is part of it," Heero affirmed.
"Yes, physical attraction is important in a relationship, but there has to be more," Quatre said, sagely. "For instance, what is it that you like about Duo?"
"He's got a tight ass," Heero said, winking at Duo.
Duo laughed and winked back.
Quatre shot up from his chair, making it wobble precariously for a second. His face was bright pink. "Duo, would you help me in the kitchen?"
"Sure, buddy," Duo answered, looking at the others briefly and then following his friend into the other room.
When they were in the kitchen with the door securely closed behind them, Quatre grabbed Duo by the arms and gave him a firm shake. "What are you doing?"
"I dunno. Helping you?" Duo answered, stunned by Quatre's demonstrativeness.
"I thought you two were dating---fooling around a little on the side, making out, giving each other blow jobs. Now I find out you're letting him... letting him... do more than that!"
"Are you talking about sex? Well, hell yeah, I'd let Heero fuck me any day. He's a great lay..."
"But how can you let him..."
"Fuck me?" Duo asked, filling in the blank that Quatre seemed too embarrassed to say. "What's the big deal, Quatre? Don't you and Trowa sleep together?"
"Yes, of course we do, but our relationship is about more than just sex. We've made a commitment to each other and I certainly would never let him..."
"Fuck," Duo said, nearly busting into giggles.
Quatre sighed. "Right, I wouldn't let Trowa do that without doing other things, too."
"Yeah, and so does Heero. He's got this amazing thing he does with his tongue..."
"I mean, niceties," Quatre said, his frustration growing. "Such as making dinner or going for a walk... or taking me to Paris! Trowa planned that entire weekend. It was wonderful. And since you're obviously the bottom in this relationship, you've got to know that you're making it far too easy for Heero. Tops need to work for that right. You can't just give it away!"
Duo blinked. He hadn't thought of it that way. All he knew was that he was attracted to Heero and had been for a long time.
"Tell me... has he ever been to your apartment?" Quatre asked, looking for any indication of dating practices.
"Yeah, sure. Once or twice a week he comes by and we make out on the couch for a while..."
"Back up a second. What do you do before you make out?"
"I hang up his coat."
"Sometimes I get him something to drink. Then we sit on the couch and neck, and when we get too hot and bothered from that I take him into the bedroom and he nails my ass," Duo said with a wicked grin.
"Dear Allah!" Quatre put his hand to his forehead and gripped the edge of the counter with the other one for support.
"What is it? Are you okay?" Duo was starting to worry. He'd never seen Quatre so dramatic.
"You're giving it away!" Quatre exclaimed. He moved to the sink and moistened a towel to dab across his forehead.
"You are looking a bit warm..."
"You're letting him have his way," Quatre repeated, his voice now sounding wary.
"If I didn't know better, I'd say you were calling me an easy fuck. But you wouldn't do that, now would you, buddy?"
"Not in so many words, no," Quatre said, standing up straight again. "Tell me this... Does he stay the night at least?"
"Well, no. He stays for a bit after... but then he leaves."
"Okay, now I'm saying it. You're definitely an easy fuck."
"Hey!" Duo protested, putting his hands on his hips.
"Think about it, Duo. What kind of a relationship do you want with Heero?"
"If you're asking if I want to live with him like you do with Trowa, I don't think I’m ready for that," Duo said, thoughtfully. "I just know I want him."
"And you've got him, now how about making something more of it than just sex? Thank Allah, Heero isn't the type to use you and walk away."
Duo scratched his head. "You really think I've been going about this all wrong?"
"I do," Quatre said, nodding.
"Well, how am I supposed to do it differently?"
"Don't worry, I'll teach you the art of dating, and the art of 'topping from the bottom'."
+ + +
"What do you suppose is taking them so long?" Heero asked, staring at the closed door.
"If I know Quatre, he's giving Duo an earful about giving it away." Trowa was already half way done eating his salad.
"It?" Heero asked.
Heero raised an eyebrow. "Duo's enjoying 'it' just as much as I am."
"I'm sure he is. But that's not what Quatre is concerned about."
"What then?" Heero asked.
"He's telling him how to play the game. To put out only when he's in the 'mood.'" Trowa used his fingers to visually add the quotes.
"I'm not following."
Trowa wasn't surprised. Heero was not the kind of guy to play games. But games had rules, and Heero was good at following rules... maybe even those pertaining to love and sex.
"Okay, I'll spell it out for you. You see, making this dinner tonight got me up to bat, and if this evening goes well I just might hit a home run later."
Heero's eyes widened slightly. "You mean you'll get sex."
"Now you're catching on."
"I never knew Quatre was so 'moody'," Heero said, imitating Trowa's use of the quotes.
"Just your classic pushy bottom. He likes to get his itch scratched as much as I like to scratch it, and pleasing him in other ways increases my odds of a good scratch."
"Not really. It can be as simple as telling him how nice he looks in his new shirt, or making the bed in the morning."
"Or taking him to Paris," Heero said with a smile.
Trowa grinned. "It took me months to plan and save for that trip, but the payoff was huge---three days of mind-blowing sex. Damn, I wish we had an anniversary every month!"
They laughed as two tops basking in the glory of topdom.
"It's a good thing, Duo's not that complicated," Heero said, confidently. "He's as eager as I am when it comes to sex."
"You mean, he was. I guarantee you when he walks through that door your days of unfettered access will have come to an abrupt end."
"Just like that?"
Trowa nodded. "Quatre can be very persuasive."
Not thirty seconds later, Duo and Quatre came back into the room carrying the main course and a look of determination on their faces.
Trowa glanced at Heero and nodded ever so slightly as if to say, "See."
Dinner went off without a hitch. The conversation turned to neutral territory---the weather, Lady Une's latest hairdo, and the barking dog next door. It wasn't until their focus turned to the cheesecake Quatre had made for dessert that the conversation got back on track with the business of Heero and Duo's relationship.
"Quatre's helped me outline a plan for our first date." Duo took a piece of paper from his shirt pocket.
Heero's brow furrowed. This did not sound good.
"Normally we'd decide this together, of course," Duo said, nodding to Heero, "but since neither of us has done this before I asked Quatre to write down some suggestions."
"And?" Heero asked, curious despite his trepidation.
"Well, here," Duo said, placing the sheet of notebook paper on the table between them so they could review it together.
Heero quickly scanned the itemized list as though it was an order for groceries. "We're going to do all this? It's a bit much for one date, don't you think?"
Duo chuckled. "They're just suggestions... it's like ordering a la carte at a restaurant. We can pick and choose which ones we want to try."
The look of concentration on Heero's face belied the fact that he was curious, even excited, about this date thing. He enjoyed being with Duo and he could understand the benefits of learning him better... in ways other than sex. But that was just it. Sex was not included as an option on the list.
"Just a point of clarification," Heero said, clearing his throat and pointing to the sheet of white paper. "There are no extra curricular activities listed here."
"That's right," Quatre said, lifting his chin as if ready to do battle. "There's no sex on the first date."
"But we've already had sex," Heero said, plainly. "What's the point of withholding it now?"
"To force you two to get to know each other better. It's all in the art of dating. And if you play along nicely, Duo may just let you get to second base by the third date."
"May just...?" Now Heero's cheeks were turning pink. He was not happy. He turned to Duo and looked him straight in the eye. "Is this the way you want it? To date the Quatre way?"
Duo nodded timidly, though he was a bit unsure himself. "I'd like to try it, yeah."
"Are you unhappy with the way things are between us?"
"No, of course not. I'm having a good time, but...," Duo said, hesitating. He really wasn't sure what he wanted from Heero, but it was perfectly clear he didn't know how to go about getting anything other than sex. "Let’s give this a try."
Heero wasn't sure he understood. He was closer to Duo than he'd been to anyone in his life. They had shared the war experience, partnered in Preventers, and had recently become physically intimate and now Duo was changing the rules. But Heero would give it a try for Duo's sake.
"So when's our big date?" he asked with a conciliatory grin.
Everyone laughed, relieved that Heero was on board with the plan.
+ + +
Duo slipped from his bubble bath into a towel and padded down the hall to his bedroom. It had been a long time since he had indulged in a bath, but Quatre had insisted he try a scented bath "bomb" to prepare him for his first true date with Heero. Duo had shrugged as Quatre handed over the bath crystals shaped like a baseball, only agreeing to use it because of the cool name. It couldn't be too sissy if it was called a bomb, right?
"You'll smell so good he'll want to eat you up," Quatre had said with a chuckle.
"But you said there's no sex on the first date," Duo responded, confused.
"That's right, but you want to keep him interested, don't you?"
Duo had rolled his eyes and walked away. Maybe dating the Quatre way wasn't the best idea. In addition to the bath bomb, Quatre had given him an itinerary for the big night based on the items Duo and Heero had check marked on the original list, and a list of possible conversation topics.
Trowa had delivered an identical itinerary and a personalized list of conversation topics to Heero, and then surprised his friend with an unlikely confession. It seemed that Trowa envied Heero and Duo's "easy" relationship and hoped, for Heero's sake, that Duo would come to his senses soon. With that bit of information, Heero decided to keep it to himself that he rather hoped Duo would enjoy giving this dating thing a try.
With his clothes laid out on his bed for the evening, Duo dried himself off and proceeded to dress. He did smell good, but didn't that just complicate the situation? If Heero liked the way he smelled, maybe even got turned on by it, wasn't that teasing? And wasn't that a little too much like playing a game?
The game of love, Quatre had called it, but Duo wasn't sure he liked the sound of that. He wanted to be straightforward with Heero, and not play games. That was one of the things he liked about his relationship with Heero. They were physically attracted and acted on it. What could be simpler and more wholesome than that? Well, after talking to Quatre, he had learned that it wasn't wholesome at all, especially if you were "giving it away."
Now dressed in blue jeans, a denim jacket, white t-shirt and black leather boots, Duo took one last look at himself in the mirror, tightened the hair tie on his braid, and headed into the living room to wait for his date. Heero was actually coming to his apartment, not for sex, but to pick him up to go to dinner. It boggled the mind.
At precisely, half past seven, there was a knock at the door. Duo felt his heart beat a little faster. This was it. He went to the door, opened it and smiled. There stood a freshly showered Heero, with hair still damp at the nape of his neck, and dressed in a crisp blue shirt, black jeans and shoes, and holding a bouquet of orange and yellow daisies.
"Hi, Duo," he said, with the tiniest, almost non-existent grin. He was obviously uncomfortable and perhaps a bit nervous.
"Hi," Duo said back, smiling even brighter now. "Wow, you brought me flowers."
Heero handed over the bouquet. "I hope you like daisies."
"You bet." Duo stepped back, letting Heero into the apartment. "Did Quatre suggest these?"
"He recommended candy. But don't tell him I deviated from the plan or he might not let us have a second date."
Duo chuckled. "Well, I'm sure there's room for some deviation."
"Then how about a kiss?" Heero asked, blushing. He had never asked Duo for a kiss before.
"Yeah, I'd like that," Duo said, leaning in and closing his eyes expectantly.
Heero planted a reserved, yet sweet kiss on his lips, and then retreated.
Duo opened his eyes and smiled. The kiss was exhilarating for all its brevity. "I'll just put these in water and we can be on our way."
He didn't have a vase, but a tall water glass would do. Setting the flowers in the glass, Duo smiled and shook his head, imagining Heero choosing them. It was beyond comprehension. He hadn't known Heero capable of such a thing.
Back in the living room, he set the flowers on an end table and then nodded for them to go.
"You smell good," Heero said, getting a good whiff as Duo preceded him out the door.
"Thanks," Duo said, smiling. "I don't usually go for scented stuff."
"I like it. Toasted almond, right?"
"Right." Score one for Quatre.
Heero's car was waiting out front of the building. They hopped in and drove to one of Duo's favorite lunch hangouts---The Spot drive-in. Though the itinerary had not specified a dinner location, because Duo had emphatically left that up to Heero, he was surprised by the choice.
"Got a hankerin' for a cheesy fry, huh, Heero?" Duo snickered.
"I know you like this place," Heero said as he pulled the car into one of the open parking spaces. "And if we're going to do everything on that list, we'd better eat fast."
Duo chuckled. "Sounds like you have things under control." He peeked through the windshield at the menu board. He always deliberated his choice, but in the end ordered the same thing as usual. "I'll have a chili dog with onions... oh, wait, better hold the onions," he said and winked at Heero. "A large fry, and a frozen Coke."
Heero nodded, rolled down his window and called the order in using the speaker box. For himself he ordered a Spot burger with everything, fries and lemonade.
In just a few minutes, their meals were brought by a girl in a bikini top, shorts and tennis shoes. She looked frazzled by the sudden influx of customers, but remained cheerful. "Here ya' go, Honey," she said, placing the tray on the driver's side window, and taking the money.
Duo had insisted they go "Dutch" treat tonight, a little trick Quatre had taught him in order to keep the playing field level.
"Mmm, love their chili dogs," Duo said, taking his first bite.
"How often do you eat here?" Heero asked, popping a few fries into his mouth and washing them down with his lemonade.
"Oh, about once a week. I'd come more often, but you know how crazy things get at Headquarters," he said and then winced. Quatre had told him specifically not to talk about work. That was the kiss of death for a date. "I also go to the Little Bear Diner when I can," he said, changing the subject quickly. "They've got great..."
"Swedish pancakes," Heero answered for him and smiled.
Duo smiled, too. "Yeah, so you've eaten there?"
"Occasionally for breakfast, but pancakes are good for lunch, too."
"And dinner," Duo said, taking a long sip of his frozen drink. "Gee, this is kind of fun."
Heero nodded. "Surprising, isn't it?"
Duo laughed. "Yeah, I hate to say it, but it is. I didn't know what to think of this whole thing. I mean when Quatre suggested we do things differently, it made me a little mad... him meddling like that."
"And now you think it's a good thing?" Heero asked.
"Well, so far I do."
They finished eating their meals, had the waitress remove the tray, and were on their way again. Next stop, Hanson's Mini Golf.
+ + +
"Just pick one already," Heero said, leaning on his miniature golf club.
"It's gotta be just right." Duo swung the fifteenth club he'd taken off the rack. "Ah, now this one's got great balance. The weight's just right."
Heero rolled his eyes.
"You won't be laughing when I kick your ass!" Duo said with glee.
Heero grinned to himself. He had always secretly enjoyed Duo's competitive side. It fired something in him to have Duo push him, test him as he did.
At the first hole, Duo bowed dramatically and let Heero go first. "I don't want to embarrass you right off the bat," he said with a smirk.
Heero gave him a look and then set his red golf ball down. He'd never played mini golf before, but how difficult could it be? He stood to the side of the ball, with his club in position, and glanced up at the obstacle between him and the first hole. It was a windmill, its blades turning slowly and alternately blocking the opening through which his ball needed to pass.
Child's play, he mused. Taking a second to calculate the speed of the blades, and the distance his ball needed to travel, he hit the ball and watched it easily pass through the opening and straight into the hole---a hole in one. He raised his eyes to Duo.
"Beginner's luck," Duo said, walking up to the tee and shooing Heero aside.
Heero shook his head. He hoped the creators of this mini golf park had something more challenging waiting for him.
Duo hit his ball, easily sneaking past the windmill's blades, and also dropping in for a hole in one.
Thankfully the game did become more challenging. For the third hole, the player had to hit his ball up a curving ramp that arched over a goldfish pond. From there he had to zig-zag his way through a topiary garden to his final destination. By the fifth hole, Heero had to admit that Duo had the advantage. Okay, so it wasn't as easy as it looked. There was some secret to the way you had to hit the ball... and it had nothing to do with velocity, trajectory or timing.
"What's your secret?" Heero finally asked as he looked over the scorecard. Duo was up by four strokes.
"It's all in the way you move," Duo said, grinning and taking the scorecard back.
"No, really," Heero said, following Duo to the next hole. "There must be some trick."
Duo turned to him. "Oh, because I'm beating the pants off you, there must be a trick to it?"
"That's not what I meant. It's just that I can't see how..."
"I can possibly beat you?" Duo finished.
"Not at all. But some of those putts... defy the law of physics."
"This is mini golf, Heero, not rocket science."
"Then show me," Heero said.
The look was so hopeful that Duo couldn't help but grin. Heero really wanted his help. "Okay, but as my beautiful assistant you have to swear to never reveal my trade secrets."
Heero smiled. "Gladly."
On the tee for the sixth hole--the Temple of the Low Lands--Duo placed Heero's ball on the ground and then stood behind him, gently laying his hands on Heero's hips and moving him into position.
"Now, clear your thoughts and become one with the ball," Duo whispered in his ear.
Heero looked over his shoulder. "What?"
"Okay, I'm only joking," Duo admitted, grinning. "Turn back around."
After another appraising look, Heero turned back to face his ball. Duo's hands rested lightly on his hips, almost too lightly.
"You need to relax. Your body's way too tense. This is a game, remember?" Duo asked, now pressing his hands more heavily on Heero's hips, jostling them a bit. He chuckled in Heero's ear, wondering at how strange they must look. "That's better... relax. When you think about hitting the ball, think about moving your hips with your swing. Be fluid with your swing." Duo pushed on Heero's hips now, encouraging them to move, to sway as though he was following through on a swing like a professional golfer. "Nice," Duo said, keeping the hips in motion.
Heero gulped. This was nice, damn nice. He was becoming aroused. "Okay, now can I hit the ball?"
"Not yet," Duo said, leaning in closer, until his front bumped against Heero's behind. "Let me help you with your grip," he said, taking his hands off the hips and putting them over Heero's on the club.
"Trust me, Heero. You'll be making another hole in one in no time."
"I thought that wasn't a possibility for at least several dates."
"Huh?" Duo asked.
Heero let go of his club and turned in Duo's arms, wrapping his arms about the other boy's waist. "The lesson's over," Heero said, diving onto Duo's lips, and kissing him hard, not giving a damn about the next group behind them.
Bright blue eyes as wide as saucers stared back at Heero, but soon closed, lost in the kiss. It was a familiar passion, sparking them to action and making the kiss urgent and deep. But at last Duo pulled away with a gasp, his eyes wide once again.
"Man, are you trying to suck the life out of me?"
Heero looked rather smug. "You started it."
Duo couldn't help a chuckle. "I guess you're right about that. It's just all this closeness and no..."
"Sex," Heero said, his deep blue eyes reflecting the heat of that kiss.
"Yeah, sex," Duo agreed.
They stared at one another wondering what to do next. They were on a schedule, they had agreed to this date, but now their hormones were coloring everything red with passion.
"What do you wanna do?" Duo asked, afraid if left to his own devices he would be hauling Heero off into the mini pagoda for a quickie.
Heero hesitated to answer. His body was telling him to take Duo home and fuck him, to sate his physical desire for Duo, but his heart was telling him they ought to give this date a chance. There was something really nice about just spending time together and discovering what they had in common other than wanting to do the horizontal tango between the sheets.
"Let's stick to the plan," Heero said, finally.
"Really?" Duo asked, the surprise showing on his face. The way he and Heero had been getting it on the last few months, he would have never imagined that Heero would choose mini golf over sex.
"It's one date. We should give it a chance," Heero clarified.
Duo smiled. "You're on!"
After a few more holes of mini golf, Heero conceded his defeat. Duo graciously bought him a soda out of the vending machine on their way back to the car.
"It wasn't so bad," Duo said, trying hard not to gloat over his seven stroke lead. "With a little practice you'll get that hip action down, no problem."
Just because Heero had agreed to continue with the date, instead of forgoing it for an evening of sex, didn't mean that he had stopped thinking about sex. Duo seemed oblivious to that fact, hence his reference to "hip action." With any luck, Duo would leave off explaining the benefits of a good pelvic thrust.
Next on the itinerary was a trip into town for a double dip cone at the Old Fashioned Ice Cream Shoppe, and then a walk down Main Street. They were surprised at how many couples did this, but easily followed the example and held hands while they window shopped. They talked about nothing in particular, pointing out clothing or furniture they liked, and laughing at the bizarre window displays. It was so normal, and came so naturally to be like this, that they each wondered silently why they hadn't done this before. Maybe it was as simple as not knowing how.
They were having such a good time on Main Street, hanging out and being a couple, that they opted to stay longer and skip the last stop on their date---the video arcade. At eleven o'clock, Heero drove Duo home.
Sitting in the car in front of Duo's apartment building, the two became very quiet. It was the end of a very nice evening, but exactly how to end it wasn't clear to them now. Each one had read on the itinerary that a kiss was appropriate, but as they looked into each other's eyes, each warred with the idea of keeping it to just one kiss.
"Well, this turned out a lot better than I thought it would," Duo said, needing to fill the silence.
"What did you think would happen?" Heero asked, his brow tightening.
"I dunno... a complete disaster," Duo answered, grinning.
"So several hours later, and no disaster... does that mean you enjoyed yourself?"
"Hell, yeah," Duo said, his grin broadening. "How 'bout you?"
"I have to admit to being skeptical myself, but I had a good time."
"Then you'll go out with me again?" Duo asked, blinking big eyes at his lover.
"I'd like that," Heero said, reaching for Duo's hand. He liked it very much that Duo had asked him out for a second date.
They leaned toward one another, slowly, almost tentatively, still wondering about how to handle this goodnight kiss. Then their lips touched, pressing together until their mouths parted. Duo's mind flashed on their first kiss in that Moscow alleyway, remembering the exhilaration and relief of it, and how it had ignited the passionate relationship to follow. And this kiss was no less intense. It quickly heated, and they were soon feeding on each other's mouths, and steaming up the car's windows.
When Heero's hand slipped from Duo's neck to rub Duo's growing hardness, Duo moaned, but then pulled back. "No, Heero..." he said, and then quickly dove in for more, kissing Heero even harder.
Heero didn't retreat, finding Duo's protest weak. His hand continued rubbing the hardness and pulling more moans from the other boy. Then he unfastened the button and went for the zipper...
"No," Duo said again, this time bringing his hand down to cover Heero's just as it was about to dip inside his jeans. "That's second base," he said, panting as he looked with flushed cheeks at his partner.
"Second base?" Heero asked. He still didn't understand the baseball references.
"Yeah. What would you think of me if I let you get to second base on the first date?"
Heero blinked. There was a slightly amused tone in Duo's voice, and frustration, too.
"This is crazy. We've already been to second base... and third and fourth..."
"You mean home," Duo corrected.
"There's no fourth base. It's called home."
Heero raised an eyebrow, trying hard to control the urge to shut Duo up by taking him in his arms and having his way with him.
"Look, this isn't easy for me, either," Duo said, empathizing with Heero's frustration. "But like you said earlier, let's give this thing a chance, and maybe by the third date you can go to second base."
Duo smiled. "All right. Definitely."
"That's better," Heero said and smiled in return. "Now, would you like me to walk you to your door, Mr. Maxwell?"
"Yes, thank you. That would be lovely."
They both laughed, finding the rules of dating awkward at best.
Heero escorted Duo up to his apartment on the third floor. Duo inserted the key into the lock and then turned to Heero, before going inside.
"I really did have a great time tonight," he said, his heart pounding. Damn, but he wanted to ask Heero inside...
"I did, too," Heero said, taking Duo's braid and weaving it through his fingers. "So when are you available for date number two?"
Duo swallowed at the intimacy of that touch. No one touched his braid---no one, but Heero. "Is tomorrow night too soon?" he asked.
"Not soon enough," Heero said with a grin.
"Good," Duo said, and then leaned over and kissed Heero lovingly on the lips. When he finished, he pulled back slightly and said, "until tomorrow."
"Tomorrow," Heero said, and then released the braid and watched Duo go inside and close the door behind him.
With the door closed, they each blew out a breath---all frustration and sexual energy. And then they each leaned against the door, separated by only two inches of hollowed steel, gathering their thoughts and calming their bodies.
Lock the door, Duo, or I'm coming in, Heero thought as he pressed his forehead to the door, and touched the doorknob with his hand. If Duo had let that kiss linger a second longer....
With the click of the deadbolt, Heero straightened and took a deep breath. "Until tomorrow," he whispered, and then left.
Inside, Duo stared at the flowers on the end table. He had forgotten them, but now couldn't understand how. They were so sweet, and Heero was so sweet to give them--a symbol of their first date.
He touched the petals with his fingers. "A guy could get used to this."