Stealing Sweet Dreams
It was a tiny motel, not a very well-kept one. It wasn't exactly seedy, but it was by no means
comfortable. It did, however, smell strongly of disinfectant and other cleaning
products, so apparently it was at least clean. The rooms gave a new definition
to the word 'small', and the only available one was a single room. Still, there
were just the two of them; they could share the bed if they had to. They had
been in worse places, many times.
Heero sat at the tiny table, in a less-than-trustworthy, uncomfortable chair, his
laptop on the table in front of him. He was not looking at the screen. On the
other side of the small room, Duo Maxwell sat wearing only his boxers, brushing
his hair. Heero himself was already done with his nighttime preparations, and
he was waiting, somewhat impatiently, for Maxwell to finish so that they could
turn out the lights and get some sleep.
He felt somehow threatened as he sat there, a vague sense of impending doom, but
he could not attach it to any specific factors. He sat, silent, watching the
brush move in it's long, smooth rhythmic strokes through the gleaming mass.
That incredibly long hair. Such a useless vanity, what a waste of time and
energy. He opened his mouth to say brusquely, "You should cut it all
off," -- and closed it again without a word. What business was it of his,
what Maxwell did with his hair?
Maxwell laid the brush down, and perhaps he felt the weight of Heero's impatient
scrutiny more keenly than usual, for instead of rebraiding it for the night as
he usually did, he looked over and said, "Done. Hit the lights on your way
over here, will you?" And without further comment he climbed under the
covers, taking the side closest to the wall.
Heero had already gotten up as soon as Maxwell finished speaking, reaching for the
light switch, but his mind was still processing the comment. That was odd. He
had figured he still had another five or so minutes to wait, while Maxwell
remade his braid. He frowned to himself. He hadn't been that annoyed, had he?
He wondered if his impatience had shown more than he meant it to. Feeling at a
bit of a loss, he stood in the tiny clear space in the center of the room,
puzzling over it.
"Are you just going to stand there all night?" came the bemused voice. "I
don't bite, Yuy. Jeez. You're freaking me out." He could feel those deep
blue eyes, peering at him in the darkness with wary confusion. He heard more
than saw a hand pat the empty side of the mattress. "Come and get into bed."
Was the faint coaxing note in the tone only his imagination?
'Come into my web, said the spider to the fly.' Startled out of his thoughts, Heero frowned. Where did that come from? He snorted and mentally
smacked himself. Jeez, indeed. He crossed the now dark room and crawled in
beside the other boy.
Damn, he'd forgotten how Maxwell was a restless sleeper. The Deathscythe pilot turned
over, several times, changing his position on the lumpy mattress. Heero hadn't
been kicked outright yet, but it was a near thing, he felt. Maxwell stretched
again, and flopped back against his pillow with a sigh.
"Maxwell, will you hold still."
"Sorry," the other boy muttered. Heero did not reply. At his silence, Maxwell turned to
face the wall -- and Heero choked suddenly as he found himself with a faceful of
"Maxwell!" he growled, clawing his face free and throwing the other pilot's hair at him.
"Why the hell didn't you braid this mess?"
"Because you were sitting there glaring at me already, that's why!" Maxwell snapped
back. "See if I ever care what you think again," he muttered. Sitting
up, he pulled his hair over his shoulder and twisted it several times into a
loose rope. Then he laid down again facing the wall, his back stiff with
frustration and annoyance as he held his hair against him.
Heero restrained a sigh. So much for that. He hadn't really meant to be so obvious
with his impatient stare -- he prided himself normally on doing a good job of
hiding what he was thinking. He'd been sloppy, letting his guard down like
that. This was Maxwell's fault, he was sure of it. He lay on his back and
closed his eyes, exercising his training to put himself to sleep. As he faded
into unconsciousness, a stray thought in his mind identified the scent of
Maxwell's shampoo: the faintest hint of lavender.
In the morning he woke early, as he often did, and found himself laying on his
side. Instantly alert, he held still for a moment... something was not quite
right. Something tickled his nose, and he opened his eyes just a crack -- oh.
Maxwell's hair had gotten away from him again, and was currently pooled on the
bed between them, inches from his nose. He held back a sneeze, and for a
moment, idly watched the highlights glinting on the chestnut strands.
Raising a hand to scratch his nose, he froze, his eyes opening wide. What the hell? Grimacing, suddenly disgusted with
himself, he shook off the handful of Maxwell's hair he'd been... well, it had
been tangled around his hand. He sat up, swinging his feet over the side of the
bed, and shivered suddenly at the rush of cool air on his skin. It had nothing
to do with the silky feeling of light brown hair sliding over his arm as he
He felt Maxwell come awake behind him at his movement, tensing as he took
inventory of his surroundings. Then a half-groan of protest -- at the earliness
of the hour, he supposed -- and rustling as Maxwell curled himself into a ball
and buried his face in his pillow.
Shaking his head, Heero wondered if he would have to drag the Deathscythe pilot out of
bed later. He hoped not. He rubbed his face with his hands, sighing. He felt
alert and rested, and his mind was already tracking the problems and
possiblities of the day ahead. Getting to his feet, he snagged his jeans and
towel and headed for the shower. He did not have to glance behind him to know
what he would see: Maxwell was curled up with his face hidden, denying daylight
for as long as possible. Several inches of his bare back were showing where he
had not bothered to cover it again, and his long loose hair was flung out
behind him, heavy ripples of chestnut and mahogany on the stark white sheets.
"Maxwell, get up," he threw over his shoulder in a sharp tone. "We have a lot
to do today." There was an edge to his voice that had nothing to do with
Maxwell's supposed laziness, and everything to do with the clearness in his
mind of the image he had not seen.
He did not slam the door.