Part the Eighth: A Close Shave
They ordered room service, enough for four, as Heero still had a
tremendous appetite. They watched a little TV and played cards (not
poker) until midnight. Duo had called ahead for a cab and they found
it waiting for them when they went downstairs just a few minutes
Duo watched the mostly empty streets fly by as they drove through the
city to the suburbs where his apartment was located. He chewed on his
fingernails, hoping he wasn't making a mistake and endangering Heero.
Not that he was in any physical danger - well, mortal danger at
least - but he wanted to keep Relena's grubby little lying paws off
Heero until he was free of her. It had become a personal vendetta for
him, though the thought of anyone else putting their grubby little
paws on Heero sent him into a silent rage as well.
He glanced at Heero out of the corner of his eye and shyly let his
hand slide over to rest on top of Heero's. Heero turned from where
he'd been looking out of the window, startled as he looked down at
their joined hands. He smiled at Duo, squeezed his hand and turned to
look out at the city once more. It was amazing how much better he
felt from just that simple contact.
It took just over forty-five minutes to get to his apartment, even
with traffic being scarce. Duo winced as he paid the driver and asked
him to wait across the street for them. The driver nodded and let
them out about a block from Duo's apartment building. He didn't want
to be quite so obvious about arriving at his own front door. He had
his braid tucked down the back of his shirt and made Heero wear a
cap. Not the best of disguises, but he was hoping just to fool anyone
who might be watching just for a little bit so he could grab his
He shivered in the chilly night air, blowing onto his fingers to keep
them warm. He knew he should have just went to the clothing store
he'd found with Heero and bought something new, but he didn't want
to. He was tired of being put out by Relena, and he wanted the
familiarity of his own clothes and his old, but warm jacket.
They crossed the street and Duo was about to point out his building
when he saw a familiar figure leaning against the stone railing that
went up the steps and into the building.
"Shit!" Duo grabbed Heero's arm and pulled him into an alley between
two buildings. He pushed Heero against the brick wall, motioning him
to be quiet. He took a deep breath and peered around the corner...
He swore again, grabbed Heero's arm and took off running down the
alley. He could hear the man screaming at them to stop and the whine
of a radio before Duo led Heero out into another street.
"Who was that?" Heero asked, looking over his shoulder as he ran.
"Th-that was Alex," Duo panted as he led Heero down the street and
onto a side street. "One of Relena's goons." He jerked Heero up a set
of steps and into a small park-like area. They ran for the playground
equipment; Duo all but pushing Heero into a crawl tube shaped like a
giant caterpillar. It was a tight fit, and Duo found himself pressed
up against Heero's chest as he drew his legs inside.
The only sound for a long moment was the sound of their breathing, as
each tried to regain his breath. "Shit, shit, shit," Duo mumbled,
huddling closer to Heero as it was damn cold in the tube. "I figured
it was a given she'd be having my place watched. I didn't think she'd
have someone sitting outside my fucking front door!"
Heero wrapped an arm around him, pulling him closer. He laid a finger
on Duo's lips.
Duo stopped breathing. He strained to hear anything. He heard the
muffled thump of footsteps close by and he clutched his hands in
Heero's shirt as his heart pounded in his ears so loud, he was sure
whoever was outside could hear it.
The footsteps paused. Duo heard a muffled curse and the sound of a
cell phone being flipped open.
"It's me." Duo recognized Alex's voice. "They were here. No. I lost
them in the park. Headed for Poirot Street I think. No! Look I...
They saw me first!" The voice gradually faded as Alex moved away. Duo
let out the breath he'd been holding.
"That was close," Heero whispered. Duo shivered at the sensation of
the man's breath against his ear. He breathed in raggedly, clutching
tighter to Heero, just for warmth he told himself as he shivered in
the cold tube. He heard Heero's breath catch in his throat, and his
shivering increased. Or he thought it had until Duo moved his hand to
Heero's shoulder and realized the other man was trembling.
"Heero? I think it's okay. You can relax."
Heero shook his head, and the trembling increased. "N-no. It's not
that. I..." He bit off what he was about to say with effort. Duo
started to panic.
"Heero? God... what's wrong? Are you cold?"
"N-no. Not cold. I just... too long... I need..."
Duo wrapped his arms securely around Heero, pulling him close,
rubbing his back in what he hoped was a soothing manner. "Tell me
what you need."
Heero went still. Duo pulled back, and though it was dark in the
tube, he could see the glint of Heero's eyes. Then Heero's lips were
on his, and his cry of surprised protest was swallowed as Heero
coaxed his mouth open and slid his tongue along Duo's.
Duo went limp. The taste of Heero overwhelmed his senses. The arm
that had been wrapped around Heero fell bonelessly to his side. Heero
took advantage of Duo's surrender and pulled him closer, strong arms
holding him tight in the dark. Duo's head swam as he moved his tongue
against Heero's, sighing softly into the other man's mouth. He
shivered, though whether it was from the heat of Heero's kiss or the
cold metal under his ass, he wasn't sure.
The kiss lasted for what seemed like hours, but breathing became a
necessity and Duo reluctantly pulled away, gasping for air. Heero was
panting equally as hard. Duo groaned at the thought of anything on
Heero being hard. He fought his treacherous body for control. His
body put up a good fight - if Duo had let it, his body would have had
Heero pinned against the curve of the tube and stripped him bare
despite the temperature. It was the fear of freezing his nuts off
that made him push Heero gently away.
"I... I think he's gone. We should go before we freeze to death." He
peered at Heero through the darkness. "Are you all right?"
He heard Heero draw in a deep, shuddering breath. "I am better now.
Duo crawled out of the tube first, offering his hand to Heero to help
him up. The blue light of a security lamp filtered through the trees.
Duo narrowed his eyes and peered at Heero's face. "Are you sure
you're okay? You look a little pale," he remarked, feeling worried.
Heero shook his head. "It's the light. And I am chilled."
Duo sighed, wrapping his arms around himself. "I guess we'll just go
back to the hotel. I'll worry about clothing later."
Heero pulled him close, wrapping his arms around him again. "You
don't have to worry about clothes, you know," he whispered, his voice
husky in Duo's ear.
Duo blushed. "S-stop that, Heero."
Duo closed his eyes, fighting with his body once more. "You... you
"I am happy with what I have."
Duo couldn't find the words to answer him. He felt as though he were
being torn apart, his mind at war with his body... and his heart, he
realized. He trembled.
Heero took his arm. "Come on. Let's get you out of the cold."
They'd found a pay phone and called a cab to take them back to the
hotel. Duo shivered the whole way back, though he really couldn't
tell if it was from the change in the weather. Heero was looking a
little pale himself, so Duo sent him into the bathroom for a nice,
hot, relaxing soak in the Jacuzzi bath while he grabbed the phone and
He had to redial four times before the blond answered his cell phone.
"Jesus, Zechs. I dialed a million times. What the hell were you
doing? Wait. Nevermind. I don't want to know."
"No, it's the tooth fairy. I want my tutu back."
"It's at the cleaners. I'll have it to you by next Tuesday," Zechs
replied with a yawn.
"Was that a yawn? Shit, were you actually sleeping?"
"No, I'm on my third cup of coffee, trying to wake up. Jet lag is a
"Jet lag?" Duo paused. "Wait a minute. Where the hell are you?"
"Paris?" Duo took the phone away from his ear and blinked
at. "Paris... France?"
"No, Paris, Kentucky. The men are right purty even if they don't have
most of their teeth." There was a pause. "Though, now that I think
about it, that might be to their advantage."
"What the hell are you doing in Paris?" Duo asked, incredulous.
"Pastry conference. It's a big thing. Had it booked for months and I
couldn't back out."
"But... I need you here!"
"Incubus can't satisfy you? Damn... though you always were the
insatiable one," Zechs replied. Duo could hear him sip what he
assumed was coffee.
"Shut up, éclair for brains. Your sister's goon almost caught us
tonight." Duo quickly gave him a rundown on the night's events.
"You sure he didn't follow you back to the hotel?" Zechs asked. Duo
could hear the worry in his voice. The big lug might have been one
giant, walking set of hormones, but it warmed Duo's heart to know
Zechs cared for him.
"No. We lost him. But damn, I didn't think she'd have someone waiting
outside my door. She's nuts!" He sat down heavily on the
bed. "Christ, listen to us. We sound as if we're running for our
lives here. Do you think we've just blown this whole thing out of
"No. My sister, she can be wildly unpredictable in her actions. She's
not dangerous, but she can make your life miserable, Duo. Heero's
too. Just stay out of her hair while you have Heero. Then, when your
month is up. Hide the medallion, or give it to someone whom Relena
will never find."
Duo's heart clenched at the thought of giving Heero to someone else.
He didn't want to do that, didn't want to let him go. He dropped his
head into his free hand. He was so in trouble.
"Okay. We'll just stay here. But I have a problem. I need warmer
"I'm surprised you need clothes at all."
"Zechs. Will you get your mind out of the gutter?"
"Why? It's warm and all my friends are here. Why don't you just go
out and buy something new?"
"Because I don't want something new. I want what's mine. I like
what's mine!" he snapped, then sighed. "Look, I'm sorry. I just want
my own clothes is all."
"Hm. I think I may have an idea. Sit tight for now. I'll send someone
for you tomorrow night."
Duo hesitated. "Is that wise?"
"It'll be someone I trust. I promise you, Duo."
"Okay. Thanks, Zechs. You know I... well, you know I love you."
"I know. I love you, too." Zechs paused then. "Look, Duo. I'm sorry
things between us..."
"You don't have to say it," Duo interrupted. "I'm not. We were wrong
for each other, in that way. I love you much better as my friend."
"Thanks, Duo. You don't know how much that means to me."
"I think I do. Hurry home, okay?"
"I'll be back by the end of the week. Be careful."
They said their good-byes and hung up. Duo looked at the phone a
little wistfully, then decided to chase Heero from the bathroom so he
could have a turn at the Jacuzzi.
The next evening found Heero sitting on the floor in front of the
couch, watching old reruns of "Dallas" and eating a bowl of french
fries ordered from room service. Duo sat behind him, sipping a
milkshake and trying to keep his fingers from wandering off his lap
and into Heero's hair. The damn things seemed to have minds of their
There was a knock on the door. Both Duo and Heero tensed. Throwing
Heero a look, Duo got up and quickly crossed the room to the door. He
peered through the peephole, frowning when he didn't recognize the
man on the other side.
The man knocked again. Duo turned to Heero and shrugged. Heero stood.
"Oh come on! I can see the shadow of your feet under the door! Open
up" the man on the other side called out.
Duo looked down at his feet and hastily took a step back. "Who are
"My name is Wufei. I was at the Peacecraft party with you a couple of
weeks ago. Zechs sent me."
Duo narrowed his eyes and stepped back to the peephole. "Turn around."
"Just do it."
Shaking his head and muttering something under his breath, the man
turned. Duo's eyes dropped and widened in appreciation. He'd only
seen the Asian man Zechs had disappeared with that night from behind.
But he never forgot a delicious looking ass. He stepped back and
unbolted the door, letting the man in.
"Sorry for the suspicion," he said as he stepped aside to allow the
other man entrance. "It's been kind of a crazy couple of weeks."
A large but soft garbage sack was shoved into his chest, sending Duo
stumbling back a step to crash against the wall. Heero was up in a
flash, but Duo stepped in front of him before he could reach Wufei
and rip his arms off or tear off some other part of his body.
"Heero! Down, boy. Jeez." Duo turned back to Wufei. "Not very
friendly, are you?"
Wufei crossed his arms in front of his chest. "Sorry," he muttered,
not looking at Duo.
Duo glanced at Heero who was still looking murderous and shrugged.
"I take it you didn't exactly, ah... volunteer for this," Duo said as
he hefted the bag that he assumed contained his clothes before he set
it down. Damn, but they were going to be wrinkled.
Wufei sniffed. "No." He looked back at Duo. "But how would you feel
if your boyfriend called you from god-knows-where and told you to get
the key of his *ex*-lover's apartment, which he handily keeps on his
own keyring, pack some clothes and bring them to one of the nicest
hotels in the city?"
Duo blinked. "Wha... did you think he was here? With me?" He blinked
again. "Did you just say boyfriend?"
Wufei shrugged. "No, I didn't really think he was here. But... he
talks about you all the time. Don't you think that's a little unusual
for someone who is supposed to be an ex?"
"I... I don't know. Zechs is the only "ex" I've ever had. But go back
to the part about the boyfriend."
Wufei huffed. "He left me a voice mail two days ago, spinning some
bullshit about having to rush off to Paris to attend a conference on
pastry. Then last night... no, early this morning - real early, I
might add - he calls and tells me to go get your clothes." He shook
his head. "Is this some kind of weird break-up ritual of his or
"Uh, Zechs is a pastry chef and he is in Paris. I called him last
night," Duo replied, feeling confused. "Look, about the boyfriend
"A pastry chef? I thought he owned that French place on 3rd. La
"He does. But he has a manager to run the place. He prefers working
"Oh. Well... I haven't had a chance to see him at work yet." He
shifted on his feet and looked at Heero with an eye of
appreciation. "And since you're here with *him*, I guess he isn't
still seeing you behind my back."
"Zechs and I haven't been together like that since college. We're
just friends now." He paused. "How... how long have you two been
"Just a month. I asked to go with him to his sister's party because I
wanted to meet you." He averted his eyes again. "But I didn't have
the courage after I saw you in person."
"Wait... you were scared... of me?" His eyes widened so far he felt
they might burst out of their sockets. "You really like him!"
The man stiffened and blushed. "I do. But... how do I compete with
Duo took Wufei's arm and patted it as he led the man to the
couch. "There's nothing to compete against. Zechs is my best friend
and I... I'm with... someone else." For only two more weeks, he
"Be that as it may... well, maybe you can help me." He turned eager
eyes on Duo. "I like him. A lot. Maybe more than I should at this
point. It's just... he hasn't been exactly... I can't really tell...
if he likes me in return."
Duo snorted. "He's still seeing you after a month. That should be
your indicator right there." At Wufei's confused look, Duo
continued. "I was 'with' Zechs on and off for about a year in
college. Before that, and since then, the longest he's ever seen of
the same person is about three days. And since you're still around,
there must be something in you that he likes."
Wufei looked slightly panicked. "But what do I do? How do I keep him?"
Duo shook his head. "I'm not really the one to be asking that, but...
my advice is to just be yourself. You know of his family history,
right?" At Wufei's nod of affirmation, Duo said, "Too many people
want to get close to him because he's a prince. Or would have been.
Or for his money or position. Those kind of people he'll play with
before dropping them like last week's newspaper in the recycling bin.
Just see him for who he is, not what he is."
"I don't care about any of that," Wufei replied with a conviction
that let Duo know he was sincere.
"Then you're on the right track," Duo smiled at him. He looked up at
Heero who was standing protectively behind him. "This is Heero, by
the way. Why don't we order some more food and the three of us can
get to know each other. Maybe I can give you a little advice on
dating Tall, Pale and Blond."
Wufei was silent for only a moment. "I think I'd like that. Thank