Behind Door Number One
I hate laundry duty, I really do. Sure, the washing machine does the hard part, and the drying rack takes care of the next part, but then there's fluffing and ironing and folding and - well, you get the picture.
Hilde's delicates are a whole different matter - but a chore is a chore. I suppose it's still better than trying to suck the fuzzy dust bunnies living under the couch down a vacuum cleaner's long throat. I'm through with killing the almost innocent.
I was just about finished for the evening, though. I had delivered one pile in Hilde's room, another at my own, leaving the bottom of the basket for Heero. Now, the blue plastic tub was pretty darn big, and it didn't really balance well on one knee. Therefore, I didn't have a chance to knock. Instead, I pushed the door open with the front of the basket, thankful the door was ajar. "Heero, fresh laundry for you."
He was resting on his bed, reading a book - one he scrambled to put away in his nightstand drawer. I might have thought enough of it to ask, if I hadn't caught sight of the thing on the wall behind him, over his head - namely, a poster. A huge poster of me, basically half-naked. 'Sexy' was back to haunt me, and not quite as discretely as I had once suspected.
My jaw dropped, as did the basket, thumping against the floor and partly rolling over. "What the f- Heero?!"
He got to his feet, glanced once to the nightstand, then gave me a smirk. The bastard was actually enjoying my outrage. "It's only some decoration. I thought the wall looked bland, so I put up something I liked..."
Palming my face, I counted quickly to ten and well beyond, not wanting to throw a bigger hissy fit than I already had. I decided to turn and walk away without a word.
I got as far as the first part, confronted with my restless self in the 'sleepyhead' picture.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Only without the basket this time. The first poster was a fleeting memory.
I spun on my heel and glared at Heero, wanting to reach out, grab him and give him a good shake. "What is that doing here?!" I exclaimed, pointing at the offending picture.
His smirk persevered. "I couldn't resist... You look too cute in it."
As if calling me cute wasn't enough of an insult to my macho sensibilities, he had the very image I absolutely hated blown up on a poster. I gnashed my teeth, closed my eyes in a long, hard blink. "But I deleted that image!" I cried out, suddenly remembering.
Heero nodded. "Yes - but you forgot to empty the recycle bin."
"The what?" I glanced over towards his workdesk as I realized. Again, I covered my eyes with my palm, rubbing my temples. "D'oh..."
Heero's door had slid halfway close while we argued. I'm not sure whether it's because of the colony spin or a slight lean in the foundation of the house that, but all the doors are like that.
Not that it mattered. I was about to head off, again thinking silence was the best answer, given that the bastard undoubtedly kept copies. Calm negotiations later might work, brute force and rage right now would not.
And thus, I noticed a third poster in the shadows. Fearing the worst, I approached and hurriedly closed the door to get a good look. From behind, I heard Heero scramble after me. If anything, that convinced me it had to be bad.
And it wasn't.
The two of us on the living room couch, him braiding my hair. Last week resurfaced. I remembered how meticulous he'd been about it, how careful he'd been not to tug the hairbrush, how methodically he had woven the coarse strands together. He's good at it, I admit that.
...had I really smiled like that?
I caught a glimpse of Heero's expression next, and felt a faint pang in my chest. Why did he have to look like that? I mean, I could guess why, but... Was I only leading him on by letting him stay? Or, was it something else with his presence - something I hadn't even known I wanted?
I must have been staring at the poster intently, given how I didn't notice Heero approach from behind until his warm breath brushed against my neck, and his arms went around my waist, pulling me back against his chest.
I don't know why I didn't react right away - why I didn't wrestle free and take a punch at him.
His chin rested against my shoulder. "Hilde said we look cute together..." he all but whispered.
To that, I had no answer.
Not until his lips touched my cheek. "Have you ever wondered what it feels like to kiss another guy?"
At that, I tensed up and struggled free, meeting only token resistance. I paused only to give him a quick stare, then retreated out of the room, well aware that he was smirking.
To hell with the posters - he could keep them. The real me, however, he wouldn't get quite so easily.
His question rooted itself in the back of my mind, though.