Trick or Treat
by Dyna Dee
At the ring of the doorbell Duo pulled himself up from of his comfortable sofa for what had to be at least the twenty-fifth time that evening. A quick glance at the clock on the mantle confirmed it was a few minutes before nine o'clock. He would turn off his front porch light after this last, straggling trick-or-treater and Halloween would officially be over.
He picked up the near empty bowl of treats on the table by the entry and sighed with regret as he moved to open the door. Tonight would have been much better if he and Heero hadn't gotten into an argument two days ago. Even though his boyfriend had thought Halloween to be a silly and very strange occasion, they'd originally planned on spending the spooky night together. He'd even gotten Heero to agree to putting on a mask and popping out of the bushes in the front of his house to give the older trick-or-treaters a bit of a fright. They'd have shared a pizza instead of the day-old deli sandwich he'd pulled out of the refrigerator, as well as popcorn and soda instead of the stale peanuts and lukewarm beer he'd sampled over the past two hours he'd spent answering the persistent ring of his doorbell.
Opening the door for what he hoped was the last time that night, Duo automatically looked down, expecting some little tyke dressed up as a fairy princess or vampire. Instead, his eyes met a large pair of black shoes--very much like the kind agents working for Preventers were required to wear. His eyes slowly traveled up a pair of long, good-looking legs which were partially encased in white knee-length socks. Moving his gaze upward, he discovered a pair of brown shorts that disappeared into an exaggeratedly wide and squat, rectangular white shirt, complete with a stubby red necktie. Above the shirt was a large, dimpled foam square bearing a recognizable face, consisting of a pointy nose and a silly grin. Cut out of the foam were two holes set inside the cartoon-ishly, large and wide eyes, and from those openings he spied two familiar, deep-blue eyes that returned his stare.
"Trick or treat," the nearly six foot tall Sponge Bob Square Pants said in a voice much too deep for the recognizable cartoon character.
"Heero?" Duo had imagined that if and when he could coerce his boyfriend of two months into wearing a costume, Heero would have chosen to be a vampire, samurai or even a pharaoh for Halloween; but Sponge Bob?
Heero held out a plastic bag, which happened to advertise the Classic Comics and Villains Costume Store on both sides. "Trick or Treat," said the man behind the sponge-like mask stated with a grin in his voice, obviously making an attempt at being flirtatious.
Leaning against the doorframe, Duo took one candy bar from the bowl and carelessly tossed it into the open and obviously empty bag. "Treat, now scram."
He didn't know what game Heero was playing, but he was still smarting from their argument and didn't feel like going along with it. He stepped back, intending to shut the door, only to find Heero pushing his way in. By the warning in Heero's eyes, he could tell that another confrontation was about to begin. Resigning himself to another argument, since he doubted he could push Heero out the door again, Duo shut the door and turned out the front porch light. Without a word he went back into the living room, put the near empty candy bowl back on the table and resumed his former, still warm seat. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Heero had followed him into the room and was standing at the other end of the sofa.
"Can we talk?"
"What's to talk about?" Duo said as calmly as possible. "You made yourself perfectly clear on Thursday."
"Duo. Don't be this way."
"What? I shouldn't be hurt that you don't want to move in with me?" The whole disagreement they'd had less than thirty-six hours ago was fresh in his mind and still smarting. "We've been dating for a while now, Heero, and I think it's time we take the next step. That you don't want to tells me you have reservations about our relationship. Do you want to break up with me?" He really didn't want to know the answer to that question, but he couldn't help himself from asking it, seeing that it was the very thing he'd been stewing over since he'd stormed out of Heero's apartment.
"I just don't think we're ready for that step, Duo. We've only been dating for two months. What's the hurry?"
"Hurry?" Duo didn't know if it was his anger or exasperation that was fueling his rising emotions. "We've done everything together since that night you first kissed me. Hell, we slept together after the fourth date, and have been going back and forth between my house and your apartment since then. We spend all our free time together and things are going good, so why the hell don't you want to live with me?"
Heero felt rather ridiculous having this serious conversation while wearing a classic cartoon character's costume, and he no doubt looked even sillier when he tried to run his fingers through his hair and his hand met with foam instead. If Duo hadn't been so upset, they both would probably have laughed at his unusual blunder.
The man inside the costume sighed, and then turned to seriously reply to question and hurt. "Living together is a big commitment, one I don't want to take lightly or just to see if we can work things out."
"I know it's a big step, Heero," Duo answered with a roll of his eyes. "Is it that you don't trust me? That you think I'm too fickle to make and keep a commitment?"
"No!" the costumed man answered firmly. "I think once you set your mind to do something you'll stick to it to the end."
"Then what is it? Come on, man. Help me to understand why you think this is such a bad idea." Duo stood up and moved closer, thinking that if nothing else worked he might shake some sense into the man he was pretty damn sure he couldn't live without.
Now only a foot apart, the air between the two of them seemed filled with tension, or perhaps it was anticipation. "I think until we can be truly honest with each other that it's not a good idea to commit ourselves any further," Heero stated, his manner seemed firm but in his eyes there was a hint of insecurity.
To suggest he was anything but honest made Duo even more upset. "Are you really questioning my honesty? I've never lied to you, Heero, and suggesting that I did is downright insulting."
"I didn't say anything about lying," Heero countered.
That took the wind out of Duo's angry sails. Running a hand along the length of his braid hanging over his right shoulder, he said, "Then you're going to have to spell this out for me, Heero. I don't know what the hell you're talking about."
This time it was Heero who took a half step closer so that only inches separated their faces. "Since we began seeing each other, you haven't once told me how you feel... about me. I'm well aware that you desire me, that you like sex, but is that all there is to our relationship?"
Duo's knees felt weak, and he more or less stumbled back to the sofa and fell down onto it, his shocked gaze never leaving Heero's face. "Is that what you think?" he gasped. "That I only want you to move in with me for the convenience of having sex?"
A look of sadness overtook Heero's blue eyes. "Like I said, you've never really come out and said anything about your feelings for me. I can only make assumptions from your actions."
Duo felt stunned and was frantically trying to get his mind wrapped around what Heero was saying. He dry-washed his face with his hands, wondering miserably how things got messed up so quickly. When he finally looked up, Heero, still dressed as Sponge Bob, was kneeling in front of him, their eyes were at the same level now as his boyfriend waited for him to respond.
"I'm sorry," he began, feeling terrible that Heero hadn't understood the depth of his feelings for him. "I guess I always thought you knew how I felt. I never dreamed you'd believe I only wanted a physical relationship with no emotional strings attached."
"Wait. Let me finish," Duo interrupted, desperately needing to set things right. Leaning forward and slipping both hands inside the eye openings in the costume to cradle Heero's face, he looked the other man in the eyes and said, "I love you, Heero. I think I've loved you for years, but for one reason or another I kept it to myself, afraid that by voicing my feelings I'd risk losing you."
Heero's eyes closed for only a moment, and a sigh of relief floated in the air between them. When he opened his eyes again, there was something different, something warm and wonderful reflected in those deep-blue depths as he said in a soft voice, "And I love you. More than I have words to say." He leaned forward, pulled down the small slit set just above Sponge Bob's nose, opening the spongy face enough for his lips to lock with his lover's.
The kiss began with a gentle touch that quickly flared into a hot and passion-filled one– or rather, as much passion as the sponge costume that separated them allowed. And soon Duo found himself on his back with the other man looming over him. Now that the anger had passed and the warmth of those three words had filled him, he found his sense of humor returning and he could smile again. That smile quickly turned to laughter, for Heero Yuy, former pilot of the gundam Wing Zero, who saved the Earth not once but twice, was looming over him dressed as a very unsexy Sponge Bob Square Pants.
"Much as I admire your creativity, Heero, you can lose the costume now."
Heero sat back rather awkwardly with a slight frown marring his handsome face. "Easier said than done," he grumbled, tugging at the foam head that encased his entire head and upper body.
Duo couldn't help laughing at him. "Why Sponge Bob?"
Heero rolled his eyes. "It was the only costume in my size that remained by the time I got to the store, around six o'clock this evening. I thought showing up here in a costume might get me through your front door, though I initially wanted to come as a vampire and offer to suck your...ah... neck, or Spiderman, wanting to spin a web around your heart."
Duo blinked, wondering when Heero had turned into a such a romantic. "I appreciate the effort, but you know I'd never turn you away, Heero. Well, not without a damn good reason."
"Maybe we could solve any further communication problems if you gave me a key to your house. Then I could let myself in even if you're angry with me."
Duo's eyes widened at the implication. "You mean it, Heero? You'll move in with me?"
"Nothing will keep me from being with you now that I know how you feel."
Sweeping his gaze down Heero's attire, Duo grinned and one cinnamon eyebrow rose as he asked, "Nothing? Then how the hell do we get you out of that thing?"
While crafty fingers began to search for the elusive fasteners that kept Heero a prisoner within the costume, the braided man continued in a sultry voice, "I have to tell you, though, that for some reason those damn stockings and shorts are a real turn on. I really do appreciate your doing this, but right now Sponge Bob is the only thing keeping me from completely ravishing you."
The next morning, looking a bit worn at the edges and feeling more than a little embarrassed, Heero returned the rented costume as promised. As expected, he lost his deposit and had to pay for a replacement after the clerk held up the torn and tattered remnants of the unrecognizable Sponge Bob Square Pants costume and declared it a total loss. When the man demanded to know what had happened to it, Heero merely shrugged. "The hidden zipper got stuck," he answered. The truth was, his lover had basically torn the costume off of his body order to get to him. Despite the cost and slight embarrassment, Heero wore a satisfied smile as he returned to his car. Sixty credits and a slight scolding by the shop's owner was a small price to pay in exchange for the memorable night he'd spent with his very enthusiastic lover.
Next Halloween? It had many possibilities, especially if he stuck to the classic cartoon characters Duo was overly found of. He could be Batman and Duo his sidekick, Robin. Or maybe the Lone Ranger with his trusty companion Tonto. Bullwinkle and Rocky; Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny. Sylvester and Tweety bird. His smile widened at the mental image of Duo in a feathery bird costume, his lovely, long legs sheathed in yellow tights. Perfect. Halloween might just be his new favorite day of the year.