Disclaimer: I don't own ‘em, don't make money from ‘em. But, like I did with my Barbies, I get to command them to do things I like ‘em to do. Even if they might not want to.

Pairing: 2x1x2 Rated: NC-17
Challenge: Spare Change / Lube buying
Warnings: Yaoi, a bit of a lemon (sort of) - complete tongue in cheek (except Duo's, it's busy elsewhere)

A/N: I must make a note to self to not tell Merellia #1 I'm bored, and #2 I'm hiding from writing on one of my fics. She finds interesting things to distract my attention. This challenge actually came individually. The first, Spare Change, she wanted to see how I could work it into a story. Not too hard to do, but it had a twist - it couldn't be sappish (my usual modus operandi). The second, buy lube, I think came because she'd been reading lemons that morning where the boys always seem to have something on hand. So, I came up with an idea to work the two together. Below is the result. Be warned it's so totally different from anything I've ever done in the GW fandom. Hope you enjoy! Oh, so forgot this - special "snarky" tribute goes to Trixie for her constant use of the word on LJ.

A Pocketful of Change
by Merith

All throughout dinner Duo couldn't sit still. Each time he glanced at his companion, he could feel a vital organ throb, and it wasn't his heart. Heero Yuy had asked him out on a date. Oh he might have said it was only supposed to be dinner, and maybe a movie, but Duo knew the truth. Heero couldn't resist any longer.

Not that they hadn't dated a hundred times before, or that they hadn't become lovers either, but the fact remained that Heero gave in and asked him out on a date. A date with Heero always ended with the two in bed together. Keeping this well-known fact in mind, Duo had dressed with extra care in silky blue boxers. He thought them special because they'd been the only clothing item Heero'd had given him, for one of his birthdays. Or maybe it'd been Christmas. Could have been a Valentine's Day or White Day. Whatever it was, they were ones Heero had picked out especially for him. To match his eyes, so he said.

"Duo," Heero's low seductive voice came from across the table. "Is there something wrong with your chair? You don't seem to find it comfortable." He frowned in a most attractive way.

His eyes glued to the man's mouth as it formed and spoke his name, Duo hadn't realized a question had been asked of him. Belatedly, he breathed a reply, "Huh?" and ran his tongue over his lips dreaming of where and when those hungered for could be touch.

Heero snorted. "I'd ask if you want desert, but I'm not on the menu."

Duo blinked, hearing what he'd said. He raised his eyes and grinned. "Can't blame me, pal. You're the one who's dressed to kill, and buddy, you sure are slaying me."

Those thick, sensual lips curved into a smirk. "And here I was keeping to our agreement." He chuckled as the longhaired man shifted again on his seat. Leaning closer he asked in a soft growl, "So, are you ready to give in, drop this stupid deal, and come home with me?"

Mouth parted, breath coming in short pants, eyes unable to leave the intense blue ones, Duo's brain short-circuited. His ears, so in-tuned to the alluring tones, heard "give in" and "home". His head reacted instantly to what his ears transmitted, and nodded eagerly.

Watching Heero, Duo jumped as the man let out a loud crow of triumph, stood abruptly, and emptied his wallet on the table. Duo read in his wild grin, and even wilder look, that he did not care the money was the last of his cash, and most certainly did not care it could have paid for two nights out on the town. The thought the normally frugal man wanted him badly enough to waste his hard-earned credits made him shiver. Not one to be wasteful himself, Duo rose and pulled Heero quickly from the restaurant.

Thoughtfully pocketing most of the credits bundled on the table, the waiter looked over to the busboy and commented, "One of these days, those two will order more than drinks before they leave." He shook his head with a grin. "The stupid bets they make."

The busboy didn't understand, but cleared the glasses anyway. He stooped to pick up an item half hidden under the table. Holding it up, he asked, "What's this? Is it important, ya think? Should I try to stop them?"

The older man snatched the tube from the young man's hand. A slight blush on his face, he coughed roughly. "Ah, don't concern yourself with this. I'm sure they have plenty more at home."

Scrunching his face up one side, the boy asked, "Is it some kind of styling gel? Is that how that man keeps his hair so tightly braided?"

"No, don't think he uses it on his hair," he murmured and slipped the plastic container in his pocket before hurrying away.

In the parking lot, Heero had Duo pressed against the passenger side door of his car. One hand firmly entwined in the man's hair, the other worked its way past his belt in the back. Duo distance himself far enough to gasp for breath and grin. His eyes lit with a bright sheen hearing his partner groan. His hand had succeeded in untucking Heero's shirt and his thumb had found an eagerly hard nipple waiting for his caress.

"This would be so much better if we were at my place now," Duo whispered, nibbling on Heero's chin. "Let's go before some old lady catches us and calls the cops."

His hand successful, Heero felt the silk material covering his ultimate goal and groaned again. Releasing Duo's hair, he jerked the handle, pulling the car door open and pushing Duo closer. Their hips met and both men gasped with the surprise contact. "Car. Now," Heero commanded, all but thrusting his lover inside.

Though mostly quiet, the ride was anything but boring. The moment the dark-haired man slid into his seat, Duo's hands went to work. He had the man's pants unzipped, and briefs down, exposing his prize.

"Your mission," he mouthed in Heero's ear, his breath hot puffs against his skin. "Is to get us to my apartment without crashing or getting pulled over." His tongue snaked out and lightly caressed the lobe. "Think you can handle that, Yuy?"

Fumbling with his keys, trying to fit the right one in the ignition, Heero croaked, "Affirmative."

"Good." Duo gave him a lingering kiss as the engine roared to life. His fingers glided downward, ghosting over partly exposed skin, and touched the ever-sensitive flesh. Heero pulled out of the parking lot and onto the darkened street; Duo's head disappeared from view.

When the car stopped, Duo gave one last lick, and sat back grinning, cat-like. Heero let out a shaky breath; his hands gripped the steering wheel hard enough to snap it. Duo resisted the urge to climb in his lover's lap, and the hell with going upstairs. His eyes crinkled in amusement. Yeah, the man lusted for him, all right. Allowing one finger to trail down the slickened shaft, he grinned as a shudder ran through Heero's body. Working blindly from long practice, his hands straightened clothing; his mouth covered his lover's hungrily.

"Out," Heero urged, pushing against Duo's shoulders firmly. "I fucking want you now."

Duo chuckled with demonic pleasure. As he climbed out of the car, he commented over his shoulder, "It's so good to see you this relaxed. Giving in, and all." His back turned, he did not see the other man stiffen, nor did he see the sudden glare cast his way.

"Giving ...in?" the deceptively calm query came.

Slinking snarkily to the other side of the car, Duo pulled his lover close. "Uh huh... at the restaurant." His lips lightly traced over the man's neck, his hand pushing aside his shirt collar. "Now that the appetizer has been served, let's go upstairs and have dinner." Lost in planting wet spots on his shoulder, Duo didn't notice Heero had quit responding. When his touch failed to elicit a sound, and the body beneath his talented fingers continued to feel stiff, he angled his head back.

"Heero?" Duo wondered why the man wore a scowl and seemed to want to use his hand in less than an erotic manner.

His eyebrow arching up to his hairline, Heero intoned, "Yes?"

"Uh..." Cringing at losing his vocal abilities at such a time, Duo tried again. "You know, when I kiss you, you're usually supposed to be kissing me back. That's how it works. What's going on?"

"I. didn't. give. in."

Whoa. So wasn't what I expected. Duo gawked, mouth hanging open and all. "But... but... I heard..." his mind frantically replayed the whole restaurant conversation. "Oh fuck, Yuy. Who gives a flying damn who gave in when we're about to have sex? Come on."

Heero let out an amused chuckle. "Distraction from the facts? I didn't give in and I'm not moving until you formally surrender." To emphasize his statement, he crossed his arms over his chest and silently counted. One two three...

"It was a stupid deal anyway. I don't like those bets," Duo groused, arms at his sides. He scraped the cement floor of the parking garage with a toe, his eyes darting about looking anywhere but at his lover. If he looked at the man, he was lost. "Let's just call it a draw and get back to business." Inspiration struck. "You did ask me out. That's against the deal."

"No, it isn't. Asking one or the other over to their home is against the deal. Asking for a date is not an allegory for sex."

Flashing a cheeky grin, the ex-Gundam pilot wiggled his brows. "It is when it's you and me. Since we always have sex after a date. Or during a date. Now that I think about it, a few times even before a date."

"But my intention wasn't to have sex with you. It was only to see you," Heero replied a bit smug, knowing where this was going to lead.

Duo slumped. He knew he wasn't going to win and his only options to give in, or let Heero get back in his car. Either made him a loser and if he was going to lose, he'd do it his way. Drawing himself up with all the dignity he could muster, he announced, "All right. I give." Spinning quickly on his feet, and already heading for the elevator, he tossed over his shoulder, "But I get to top. Otherwise, get in your car." His threat was answered with his lover's quick footsteps.

He felt the man step up close behind him, leaning in until his lips brushed his ear, his hands almost touching his sides. "Dishes at my house, the entire week this time."

"You let me off last time... said something about worth it for the job," Duo snorted, entering the elevator while accidentally running a hand up the other man's leg. He grinned and pushed a button. "For somebody who didn't give in, you're feeling pretty ready."

Duo found himself pressed face first into the elevator wall, Heero's words burned where they landed on his neck, and the man's hands scorched where they touched. "Ready? You tease me all night, your mouth doing things that should be illegal. Fuck Duo, of course I'm ready." Duo felt his growl radiating through his back. "You do the dishes all week, you top all week."

Though he'd given in, the upper hand shifted and taking full advantage of it, Duo arched his back, thrusting his ass into his lover's groin. The gasp it wrought worth giving in to the stupid bet. He knew who won, even if Heero wouldn't admit it. Grinning over his shoulder, he offered smoothly, "Want me to finish that appetizer here?" Without waiting for an answer, he twisted round to face Heero. Oh yeah, the man wanted it. Duo slid to crouch on his knees, his fingers splayed as they ran down the other's body, stopping at the hips. Not even removing clothing, Duo mouthed the bulge, biting through the rough denim, and used his hands to force his lover to mimic sexual rhythm.

"Fuck!" Heero leaned heavily against the wall on one forearm, his other hand grasping the back of Duo's head.

The door slid open seconds after Duo had slipped out from under Heero to stand casually leaning on the wall, if somewhat flushed. The shorthaired man had all but collapsed on his back. Smiling brightly at his neighbor, Duo greeted her, "Evening, Missus Peabody. Hear from your daughter lately?" He felt more than heard Heero's snort of disbelief ruffle the short hairs on his neck. The thought of his lover's disconcerted state nearly caused him to tremble with excitement.

"Duo!" the old lady called with pleasure. "Am I ever glad I ran into you, and yes, I have. Actually, I'll be leaving tonight to go visit her." She tried to peer around him to see the man at his back. "Is this that nice man you've been seeing? Mister You-ey?"

Suppressing a chuckle, he bumped Heero with his elbow. "Yeah, this is Heero." He cast a glance behind him before supplying further, "I think dinner didn't quite agree with him." His jaws worked to keep back the laugh threatening; Heero half growled into his shoulder.

The grandmother figure moved closer and patted the man's arm. "I sure hope you'll feel better soon. Duo has a way of making everybody happy." She beamed at the longhaired man who bent double in a fit of coughing. "Oh dear, are you all right?" She reached for him, wanting to assist.

He waved her off, straightening up. "I'm fine, ma'am. Must have been left over appetizer." His comment earned him a pinch to one cheek. And not the old lady kind. The kind from a highly frustrated lover who couldn't exactly stand straight.

The elevator doors opened, and the blue haired gal stepped out into the hallway on her floor. "You two have fun, and I'll be seeing you, Duo." He wiggled his fingers at her in a little wave, grinning as the doors slid shut again.

"That was close, Yuy. I think we could have given her a heart attack if I'd been any slower."

Heero held himself up with a hand braced against the wall. Duo's floor was next. "We should have gone to my house."

Not giving the old argument more than cursory attention, Duo stared intently at the floor indicator as he replied, "But I like my bed better. And besides, Chuckles laughs at us." He also ignored the glare boring a hole in his back.

"Kokoku does not laugh." Duo made a noise, impatient for the doors to let them off. "You gave her to me. Stupid bird anyway."

Turning slowly around, Duo raised an eyebrow at his lover. "Chuckles is not a stupid bird and you know it. And you needed someone to interact with rattling around that big empty house."

"One does not interact with a parakeet. One merely changes its litter pan, food and water." Duo snorted again, knowing the real truth; he'd caught Heero too many times talking to the bird.

They moved off the elevator and headed down the hall, careful not to touch one another. As Duo unlocked his door, Heero encircled his waist with an arm and aligned their bodies together. His lips touched the exposed skin at his neck. "That big rambling house could use another occupant. The offer still stands."

Leaning back, closing his eyes, Duo let himself be swept away for a moment. "Nah, you know me and suburbia don't get along, Yuy."

"I hardly think Eighth Street is suburbia. Besides, you practically live there now. Just another box or two of your clothes, and you're done." The door opened, and Heero propelled them forward.

Duo turned in his arms, and pushed the door shut, putting force behind his shove. The two crashed into the hard wood door holding each other up. "And give up downtown? I'd miss the action." His mouth kissed his lover's with a ferrous intensity, leaving him little breath to speak.

"Action? I'll show you action..." An animalistic growl ripped from Heero's throat, and Duo grinned maniacally into his mouth. Oh yeah, the man wanted him.

His hands worked to remove clothing even as he felt himself being hauled bodily to his room. Heero's frustration level must be near to intolerable, given he rarely flaunted his extraordinary strength, and even less frequently used it to carry him. With his legs wrapping themselves around his lover's waist, he let his pique go; Heero's way was fastest to what they both wanted.

Dropped unceremoniously onto the bed, he laughed up at Heero, his eyes tracking the man as he clawed at his shirt. A button spun off hitting the far wall in Heero's impatience. Duo jumped to his feet, and batted the lust-induced clumsy hands away. Stripping the shirt off, he tossed it to the floor. Eager fingers tugged on the other's pants, shoving them quickly down. The bared expanse of skin incited him, and he took full advantage playing his lips over the heated surface, paying scarce attention to his own clothing being removed.

Fierce and intense, Heero's hands groped, grasped, and pinched at his now nude flesh. Duo laced their fingers together, forcing his lover to use his mouth only. Mouths moving together, one devouring the other, all other existence ceased; the world narrowed to a set of lips, parrying tongues, mutual sounds and rising excitement.

Breaking away abruptly, Duo maneuvered Heero to the mattress. Hands still entwined, he lowered him to the bed before releasing them. Still standing, Duo panted, trying to catch his breath, and stepped out of his jeans, kicking them away absently, his eyes never leaving his lover. He knelt down and slid his hands over the perfect body, ending between the parted legs. One hand dropped to tug off pants caught at the ankles, the other paid homage to sacred flesh.

"Enough!" Heero demanded, pulling on his braid. "Get the fuck up here or I'm coming down there."

A throaty chuckle muffled, Duo released his suction slowly, enjoying the spasms wracking his lover. With an unexpected action, Heero had seized his waist, pulled him up and around on the bed beneath him.

"Hey, hey," he gasped out, too amused to be annoyed. "Top, remember." His hands clasped Heero's shoulders and pulled him down; their lips met and parted kissing deeply. Duo's lids slid shut, just letting the feel of Heero's touch move him. He growled when Heero backed away.

"Lube?" a breathy whisper.

"Pants pocket." Heero's weight shifted on the bed as he reached for the pair of pants.

Duo licked his lips, the taste of Heero still strong in his mouth even after that kiss. It always amazed him what a little tongue applied the right way would get him where Heero was concerned. A talent he didn't put to waste...

"It's not here."

"Huh," Duo looked to his lover and blinked. Those were his pants, he remembered putting the tube in his pocket, just after brushing his teeth, before leaving. "Check the floor. I'll check the stand." He rolled over, pulling on the drawer, fairly certain he wouldn't find anything there. There were times he hated being right.

"Not on the floor." Heero glared at him. "We should have gone to my place. I don't run out."

Sitting up, Duo tossed a glare of his own. "I didn't run out. I put it in my pants pocket. I know I did."

Heero checked the pockets again. "It's not there. And what are you doing bringing lube with you out to dinner anyway? We were only supposed to have dinner."

"Just call me a fucking Boy Scout, okay. I like to be prepared." Duo rose and stalked to the bathroom, pulling open drawers and slamming cabinet doors. "I've got to have something in here."

"I've got three tubes at home. And I would have put Chuc... Kokoku in the other room." Duo grimaced.

Coming to stand in the doorway, he said, "I don't even have fuckin' hand lotion in this damned place." He snapped his fingers and spun around again. "Be right back." In the kitchen, he frantically opened cupboards, shifted various bottles and boxes. Nothing. On a hunch, he pulled on the refrigerator handle. "Ah, that'll work. Just soften it up some." A grin of victory flashed and held as he marched back to the room.

Heero had flopped himself back against the headboard, one knee drawn up as he idly flipped through a magazine. His eyes went from the small tub to Duo's face. "You've got to be kidding."

Duo looked down at the butter he carried. "What? It'll work."

"I'm not a piece of toast. No. That is not going in or on me." Heero went back to the magazine.

A look born of frustration crossed Duo's face. "Well, how about whipped cream?"

The other's head shot up, interest burning in his eyes. "You have whipped cream?"

Duo looked away. "Nah, I just wondered if you'd be interested."

Heero snorted and nearly ripped the page turning it.

Duo watched him for a moment, hoping he'd change his mind. When it didn't appear to be happening, he dropped the tub and reached for a pair of pants on the floor. "Fine. I'll just run to the drug store and get some." He smirked haughtily. "Seeing as this is downtown, the stores stay open later. Some all night."

Not even looking up, Heero commented, "It's not even nine, Duo, and a drug store, a gas station, a mini-mart and three bars in as many blocks does not the heart of a metropolis make."

Pausing in shoving his feet into his shoes, Duo couldn't come up with a response. Instead, he headed for the door, grabbing his shirt off the corner of the dresser where it'd landed. "Don't start without me," he called. Just before he slammed the front door, he heard Heero shout, "If I wanted to start without you, I wouldn't have asked you on the date!"

He grinned like a maniac riding the elevator down to the apartment building lobby and out onto the street. The drug store was three blocks over. He could be there, the purchase made and back before Heero had the chance to lose interest. His feet hit an easy jog, eating up the cement as he went along.

The drug store was closed. Duo stared at the door feeling oddly betrayed. This was his neighborhood. It was supposed to be lively and active far into the night. What right does a drug store have to close at eight? He looked around and realized the mini-mart up the next block would still be opened. He took off once again in the sidewalk-eating jog.

The small market's overhead lighting gleamed refulgently against the stark white of the floor tiles and box-like walls. Duo blinked several times after entering, trying to adjust from the darkness of the streets. He slipped by the cashier making small talk to a customer leaning negligently against the counter. A quick scan of the aisles, and he found what he was after. The market carried one type, but it'd work. His hand reached for it, his fingers brushing its box...

"Duo? What on Earth are you doing here?" Missus Peabody's voice came from the end of the aisle. Duo's hand changed course and he grabbed the first thing it came across just as the old lady closed in. Her eyes widened when she saw what he held. "Oh. My."

Looking down at his hand, Duo gawked. "Uh, grabbed the wrong thing." He flushed brightly and put the Massengills back. Feminine wash was not what he wanted. His hand closed over a small tin. "Cat food. Yeah, I need cat food."

The woman stared at him perplexed. "When did you get a cat?"

"Uh..." thinking quick, he said in a rush, "I didn't. The cat's Heero's and I, uh, am cat-sitting for him." He grinned at coming up with a good answer.

"Isn't he that nice young man from the elevator?" At Duo's nod, she prattled on, "Don't let the super hear you've got an animal. He'll be mad enough to spit nails." She patted his arm. "You really should get back to your friend. I'm sure he's lonely without you, dear. You make such a cute couple." She patted his cheek, her eyes positively twinkled.

"Yeah, uh... thanks Missus Peabody." Duo ducked his head, hiding the blush.

She moved off down the aisle towards the front of the store. "I'll be off. I leave for my daughter's in a few minutes. You have fun."

"Sure, thanks." Duo watched her place her purchases on the counter before the clerk. When she shuffled out of the store, he grabbed the box; the cat food tin dropped on a shelf. He strolled nonchalantly to the register.

"Hey, dude. Long time no see."

Duo turned. Stifling a groan, he growled, "What do you want Spicoli?" The tall lanky teen grinned, his eyes mysteriously reddened. Duo was certain the kid was bad news on two legs. Certain the kid ran the local pubescent drug cartel, but didn't have proof. What made their not so friendly acquaintanceship worse, the stringy-haired blond had deluded himself into thinking Duo was interested in him and flirted outrageously at every opportunity.

"Whoa, dude. Serious ‘tude. Just want'a know how's it hanging." Duo suppressed the urge to smash a fist to the kid's face as he checked him out. "I see it's hanging pretty gnarly. Getting some tonight. Way to go." Spicoli nodded.

Frowning, Duo glanced down to where the kid's eyes were riveted. He suddenly realized he'd pulled on Heero's jeans, and felt the blood leave his face. In the elevator. He'd sucked Heero's cock though these jeans. These jeans were wet with his saliva. And he stood there holding a large elongated box of sexual lubricant.

Duo withheld the impulse to smack his forehead against the nearest hard object.

Rather than reply, Duo stepped quickly up to the counter. He spotted a small rack holding mints and candies and snagged a pack of gum. He drummed the fingers of one hand on the Formica top and idly glanced at what the other customer's purchases were. The cashier seemed to be taking her time.

He opened the gum, and pushed a stick in his mouth as a hand touched his arm, followed quickly by a whispered voice near his ear. "Yo, dude. Buy me a pack of smokes." The hand slipped the stiffened weight of a bill into his.

Duo glared at the teenager. "Fuck off, Spicoli. I'm not going to support or contribute to your habit." He shoved the paper credit away and turned his back on the kid.

"Will this be all?" the bored cashier asked, not even looking at him.

"Please, dude. I need ‘em."

Shutting out the whining voice behind him, Duo nodded curtly to the woman and pulled Heero's wallet out. He opened the billfold only to find it empty of any cash. His face lost color for a second time in less than five minutes.

"That'll be three forty-five, please." The woman had the box already in the bag.

Duo stared at the woman, willing the flush on his cheeks to go away. Spicoli laughed innocuously. He dug into the front pocket, scrambling for change. Pulling a fistful out, he spread it over the counter and began to count frantically. "Three twenty. Shit!" He shouldn't have opened the gum.

The cashier blinked at him, waiting.

"Uh, can I owe you the twenty-five? I'll bring it to you in a few minutes, okay?" Duo smiled his most winning smile.

The cashier blinked at him. "I cannot do that, sir."

"Well, look, I'm a little short, but I need..." The cashier frowned and started to take the box out of the bag. "No, wait." Duo turned to Spicoli. "Hey, listen man. Can you see your way to loaning me a quarter? I'll ... I'll... shit.."

The teen grinned wickedly. "I believe the words were," he pretended to look thoughtful for a moment. "Oh yeah, 'Fuck off, Maxwell. I'm not going to support or contribute to your habit.'" His grin widened.

"Asshole," Duo muttered. He turned back to the cashier, frowning angrily. "Just the gum, then." He picked up all but the amount for the gum and pocketed the coins.

"Try the gas station. He has all sorts of goodies in the men's."

Duo glared at the teenager. The kid continued to grin at him as he paid for his coke and chocolate bar.

Walking out on the sidewalk, Duo looked up the block. He'd been gone at least fifteen minutes, and he wondered what Heero was doing to keep busy. He licked his lips with the sudden vivid image of the man as he'd seen him last, nude. Yeah, he was going to have to hurry it along. Gas station it was then.

A half-block run up and another block over, Duo wrenched the door open. The attendant raised his head from the newspaper spread on the counter. The man looked him up and down and narrowed his eyes. His mouth twitched minutely. Without a word, he tossed over a large wooden stick with the word "Mens" engraved into its side and a key attached by a short chain. Duo tossed him a grin and dashed outside.

The room smelled strongly of urine, urinal cake, and disinfectant, and the light over the sink was missing bulbs, casting the shoebox room in semi-darkness. Ignoring all else but the gray metal cabinet on the wall, Duo hurried to peer at the labels. Three different types of condoms, a special mood enhancer and an empty slot of lube-tubes. His fist hit the box before he could stop it.

Growling in frustration, Duo marched back to the station's office where he didn't even look at the attendant as he tossed the key on the counter. Spinning on his heels, he headed back outside. He stepped off the concrete ledge, shoving his hands into his pockets.

"Oh thank goodness, Duo!" a now very familiar voice called out.

Forcing a smile on his face, he turned to his elderly neighbor. "Hello again, Missus Peabody."

"Hello yourself, young man. If you wouldn't mind, I have no idea how to work one of these things." Her hands fluttered about the gas pump nozzle.

"Would you like me to fill your tank for you, ma'am?" Duo had reached her by then, and he carefully positioned himself to keep something in front of his crotch.

The old lady's genteel smile made him return a genuine one. "If you wouldn't mind, dear. I'm off to my daughter's, and thought I'd stop now. Don't want to run out of gas." She leaned forward to whisper conspiratorially, "You never know what's going to happen these days."

"Yes, ma'am," Duo replied distractedly, his eyes watching the digits click over as the gas traveled from tank to hose to tank. The auto-shutoff clicked, the nozzle jumped in his hand. He frowned and looked at the readout. It read less than five credits; three litres pumped. He squeezed the handle. It clicked again, not allowing more to pass. Duo recapped the tank, and hung the nozzle back on its hook. Trying not to let his mirth leak out, he stated, "Your tank is full. You're all set to go."

"Thank you so much, dear. I'll just go pay and be on my way." She beamed up at him and tugged on his shirtsleeve. Duo looked confused, but bent closer. With her mouth brushing his ear, she whispered, "Try Clancy's on Park. I hear they have everything in the men's there." She stepped away.

Duo gawked at her, uncertain if he should be shocked or amused. He settled for a grin and a shake of his head as the old lady left, pink cheeked. "Park street, huh. Well, that's another block over and a half block down." Without waiting for the woman's return, he began to trot out of the station's lot and back to the city streets.

Outside Clancy's bar, a row of 'bikes lined up in front. Duo's feet slowed before he reached the entrance. He'd never been inside, but knew of it by reputation. Not the typical biker hangout, it still attracted a little more of the seedier element from the neighborhood. No one was clustered around the door; unusual from the few times he'd seen the place after dark.

Pausing, he looked his clothing over. Black boots, blue jeans, and green T-shirt. They'd have to do. He grabbed the handle and pulled it open.

Thick layers of cigarette smoke rushed towards the opened doorway. Loud clashing music blared from an ancient jukebox. A sharp crack rang out; the cue ball broke a colorful triangle. And everywhere voices were raised. Some spoke of normal everyday events. Others dark and dangerous things Duo tried hard not to hear.

He pushed his way past a couple, clenched together, shuffling somewhat rhythmically in the open space before the door. Sidestepping a hard-faced woman carrying a tray at waist level, Duo spun into the back of a chair. An occupied chair. A hand grabbed his arm.

"Watch the fuck you're doing, boy," a rough voice demanded. Duo's eyes widened. Old and grizzly, the man's face held more scars than a road map held streets.

Delicately extracting his arm from the man's grip, Duo attempted to placate with his free hand. He grinned as he spoke, "Sorry, man. Little crowded tonight."

The man glared around the room before scowling back at Duo. "Don't look it." He ran his eye up and down him before grunting. "Now get out of here before wolf gets ya."

"Sure, buddy. Whatever you say."

Duo moved away quickly, his eyes scanned the bar, looking for signs of the restrooms. Nearly dancing around a constantly shifting and fluid crowd, Duo'd been stepped on twice, his braid pulled more than once, and elbowed often enough his ribs were going to be sore in the morning. At last the sea of the unwashed parted, and gave him clear sight of his goal. He grinned. Get ready Heero. It's going to be soon.

The letters embossed on the plate nailed to the door gleamed in the half-light of the hallway. It called to him. Enticed his senses to run to it. Shangri-la waited just past the ‘Gals', past the phone on the wall, he was almost there.

A hand cupped his ass and a hot, wet mouth descended on his neck.

Jerking away, his fist flying in a sudden backhanded motion, Duo punched the man and put his back against the wall. "What the fuck..." his voice died away as he got a good look at his ...admirer.

Tall, towering closer to seven feet than six, the big bear of a man must have weighed an easy three hundred. Dressed in black biker leathers, his imposing figure blocked the only way out of the short hallway. Duo swallowed hard and tried to think of a way around this mess.

The pseudo giant grinned and wiped the swatch of blood on his lip. "You hit hard for a nancy-boy." He sucked the blood off his hand; his tongue lingered on the skin, his eyes never leaving Duo's. "Come make it easy, pretty boy." He took a step forward.

Lacing his fingers together, Duo cracked his knuckles, the rippling pops loud in the enclosed space. Shaking out his hands, he narrowed his gaze, and lowered his brow. He hadn't spent all that time with Heero without learning the best way to glare. Duo nearly laughed when the big man noticed his antagonistic stance, and took a step back. He watched the tall one reassess him, and dropped his arms lax to his side; his mind already seeking the place it needed to be when he felt outgunned. "They always said, the bigger you are, the harder you fall." He grinned affably at the larger man. "Let's find out if that's true."

The man snarled with an ugly look. "I'm going to enjoy you, little man. Bet your blood taste as sweet as you." He took another step.

Duo fisted his hands, letting the man come another step closer. He had speed and agility on his side. He'd be able to land a double blow, and hope to hell that it'd stun the small elephant enough he'd be able to get around him. Then he didn't care if he had to walk on heads to get out.

"Wolf! Wait!" A shout was heard over the din at the giant man's back.

Keeping his eyes on Duo, the tall man growled over his shoulder, "What the fuck do you want Clancy? I'm busy, can't ya see."

A man, presumably Clancy, approached. "Uh Wolf, I don't think you know who this is." Clancy balled in his hands a not so clean white apron hanging from his waist, his eyes darting from the big man to Duo.

Wolf shifted and looked down at the shorter man. "What the fuck do I care who this is. You know what I like, and he's it. Now get out of here and leave us alone."

Clancy gulped, and looked between the two again. "Well, now, I can't do that, Wolf. See, I promised your mama before she passed away - God rest her soul - I'd make sure you didn't get yourself into a heap of trouble." The man darted a glance at Duo again. "And if you try anything with this boy... er man, you're going to find yourself in a whole heap of trouble."

Duo began to relax a little. Clearly the big man, Wolf, was as puzzled as he was with Clancy's actions and words. He leaned back against the wall, booted feet stuck out in front of him, arms crossed over his chest watching the exchange.

Seeing the change in attitude and stance his prey took, Wolf grunted. "Clancy, shut the fuck up and get your fat ass back behind the bar before I toss you there."

"He's a Gundam Pilot, you meathead. If he doesn't take you down, then one of the other four will. Your carcass will be more worthless than it already is." The man turned with a huff, and stomped back to the bar.

A strange change came over Wolf's demeanor. He shuffled his feet and worked at the hem of his shirt. His head bowed deferentially, he mumbled, "Uh, sorry bout that kid... I didn't know who you was, and all."

Duo frowned. "So, if I'd been someone else, and not a Gundam Pilot, you'd be on me in a minute?" his tone became dangerous. Now that his immediate danger had disappeared, he could afford to push.

"Well, you know, I wouldn't've hurt you. And maybe ... uh ... you would have liked it." he sounded hopeful, glancing up to gage Duo's reaction.

"Don't think so." His lip curled in disgust. He pushed himself off the wall and sauntered up to the big man. Fighting off the urge to forgot being intimidating, he spat out, "If I ever hear of you bullying anyone into having sex with you, one of us Gundam Pilots will be down here paying you a visit." He puffed his chest out. "Got that?"

Wolf nodded quickly.

"Now get the fuck out of my face. I don't want to see you around when I leave." The big man stumbled back, turned and fled, barreling his way through the crowded room.

Duo watched him go, surprised. "Well, that was easy." Shrugging, he flipped his braid over his shoulder and spun on his heel. Next stop, end of the rainbow.

A couple of minutes later, feeling better than he had since Heero'd asked for lube, Duo made his way out of the bar. He nodded a greeting to the bartender, sliding with ease between the crush of bodies. He grinned and returned a wave from one of the girls perched on a stool. Nearly to the door, a hand grabbed his arm. He glared down at the offending appendage.

"Told ya to get out. Wolf's a mean one." The grizzled old biker grinned.

Smiling his first genuine smile since entering the bar, Duo agreed. "That you did, old man. But Wolf discovered not everyone smaller than you'll roll over even if you show teeth and growl."

The air outside smelled as fresh as a meadow when compared to the smoky room he'd just left. Home, Heero and hoochi-coochie waited three blocks to the right, two and a half down, and a half one over. Just thinking about what lay at the end of the line, Duo shuffled his feet in a quick dance move before launching himself into a run. He had wasted enough time. Though he paused in flight when he caught sight of the lamppost. Grin firmly in place, he leapt and caught the post up high. His legs braced stiffly, one arm flung wide, he swung himself around and round the pole, slowly lowering his feet to the ground. Letting out a wild yell that ricocheted on the empty street, he took off at a run once more.

Two blocks from his destination, the sky opened up; rain came down in sheets. Duo slid to a stop and gawked skyward. Must have really pissed someone off royally today. Giving up dodging raindrops since he was soaked already, Duo lowered his head and plowed onward. He pounded past dark closed storefronts and boarded over warehouse buildings. In front of him, a scrawny dog yelped and ducked into a black alleyway. Barely sparing a glance in that direction, Duo began to get that prickly feeling so at home from his life on L2. Maybe Heero was right.

The lobby was empty as Duo squelched his way to the elevator, leaving spreading pools behind as he walked. Absently, he noted the elevator was at garage level and wrung excess water from his braid. His mind buzzed, reminding him of his quest's goal. A smile played about his lips; a gleam flashed in his eyes. Heero had better be prepared. It could have been the lack of oxygen from the manic pace he'd set, but his body hummed; his nerve endings thrummed sending excited pleasure signals to his toes, to his finger tips, and raced back to his brain.

Bouncing on the balls of his feet, Duo had just made up his mind to take the stairs rather than continue to wait for the elevator when the doors slid open. One look at the sole occupant, and he drooped in defeat of the inevitable. Forcing the wavering smile to stay, the squish of each step sounding loud to his ears as he entered the lift, he muttered under his breath, "Sure, why the fuck not."

"My, fancy meeting you yet again." The blue-haired old lady smiled widely, her eyes crinkling in amusement.

"Yes, ma'am. Fancy meeting you again." Duo frowned in puzzlement. "I thought you said you were tonight for your daughter's?"

A look of confusion crossed the woman's face. "But I am," she said, hefting a small bag at her feet. "She lives on the tenth floor."

"Oh," was the only response Duo could provide. He blinked down at the old lady, the absurdity of the situation teasing his sense of humor. Unable to stop, he started chuckling. The sound of his mirth rebounded in the small compartment; his laughter could not be held back.

Missus Peabody smiled indulgently at his display of gaiety. The door opened to Duo's floor, and when he stepped out, she held his arm for a moment. "Go dry yourself off, and get cozy with that handsome young man." She nodded sagely. " You've been far to jumpy all night, and need to learn how to relax more."

Duo stood in the hall smiling bemusedly as the doors slid shut. Right. Get cozy. Just what he planned. He took flight once again, and sprinted down the hall, coming to a halt before his door. Catching his breath, he reached for his keys when memory struck. He wore Heero's pants. His keys were in his jeans. He was locked out. Duo let out a groan.

After the second buzz of the bell, his door jerked open revealing a disheveled looking Heero. Duo's lips trembled with the effort not to laugh. Heero's hair stood up on end, in more disarray than normal. He'd pulled on a pair of sweats Duo had been meaning to throw out for months - the elastic had gave way, and the draw string snapped; Heero held them up in one hand. A red smear on the side of his lip puzzled Duo for a moment, but then the pastry crumbs dusting the man's shirt cleared its identify.

Heero glared. "Laugh and I kick your ass."

"And I love you too, honey," Duo chimed, pushing his lover gently back so he could enter. "Miss me?" He grinned, and licked at the man's mouth, tasting the strawberry flavor. Pop Tart confirmed.

A grunt met his query. "Why'd you ring the bell for? The door wasn't locked." Heero's hand landed on Duo's chest. "And stop that. You're getting me all wet."

Duo pulled back chuckling. He'd been leaning into Heero, kissing his neck; his hair dripped water on his shoulder and chest. "I thought I locked it when I left. And I'm wearing your pants." Heading for the bathroom, he pulled out the small plastic tube he'd gone through hell for and tossed it over his shoulder. "Here's your damned lube. I'm getting out of these clothes." He tugged his shirt off and dropped it. Leaning against the wall, he balanced himself first on one foot and then the other to pull his boots off, and tossed them in the general direction of the closet.

Seeing Heero following behind him, Duo hid his smile as he caught the tube and pocketed it without looking. He ducked into the bathroom when the man frowned; Heero'd picked up the discarded shirt, and held it at arm's length. "What took you so long?" his voice called out.

Duo grunted from the bathroom, and appeared in the open doorway. His hands worked a towel through his now unbound hair, and grinned ruefully from under several stray locks. "The drug store was closed and you only had pocket change."

Heero's brow raised. "So, this is my fault?" Duo snickered. "Speaking of stores, don't you ever go shopping for food? You have nothing to eat in this house. Unless you count old low mien. Or stale delivery pizza." Heero glared without rancor moving past him into the bathroom. "The only items in your refrigerator are condiments and take out containers. And one Coke. I won't even ask what a fifth of Southern Comfort is doing in your freezer. And how you can consider Frosted Pop Tarts food is beyond me."

Duo gave him a defensive look. "Hey, they're strawberry! Besides, what do I need to go shopping for? You always take me out, or I eat at your place." He watched through the curtain of hair as Heero spread his shirt over the shower curtain rod. That job completed, Heero stood in front of him, his warm hands on the front of his jeans. Duo almost forgave him his reluctance to try new and interesting uses with food.

"If that's true, then why don't you move in? Wouldn't it be more efficient to be closer to your main food source?" Heero's breath brushed over his arm; the jeans slid off his hips with a few tugs.

Tossing aside the towel, Duo flipped his hair back and dropped his hands to his lover's shoulders. "But then I'd be stuck doing the dishes." He urged Heero to stand, pulling the unbuttoned shirt down his arms and off.

The soft grunt was lost behind Duo's kiss, the chilled, clammy skin of his back warmed under brisk caresses given. He pulled away to rest his head on Heero's shoulder, and breathing in the scent rising from the hollow of his neck, Duo closed his eyes. His lover's mouth moved down his throat, dropping wet kisses along his exposed flesh. A hand smoothed back his hair. "We can work out a trade agreement for housework," the whisper tickled his ear, followed by lightly tugging teeth on his lobe.

"Just take me to bed for the night, Yuy. We'll argue pros and cons tomorrow." Duo said tiredly and snaked his arms around his neck. Heero's hands slid down to lift him up and pull his legs to wrap around his waist.

With a tender gentleness, Duo's lover lowered him to the mattress and warmed his body with his own. Kisses rained down covering his face not with the heated passion from earlier in the evening, but the softer more loving side of Heero as only he saw. Duo plucked at the waistband of the sweats Heero wore his need no less now than it'd been an hour before.

"A moment," Heero said his voice husky and low. Duo's hands ran small circle patterns over his arms as the man held himself up to fish in his pocket. He pulled the tube out and set it aside before removing the only clothing between them. Duo raised up to place kisses with fervor over Heero's lips, chin and neck. Heero's arm slid under his back, holding him close. A breathy question asked, "Top?"

Duo shook his head between kisses. "Doesn't matter. Just want… you."

A low chuckle blew over his shoulder and Duo felt his lover reach for the tube. Concentrating on the rekindled heat growing stronger, he arched his back, his pelvis thrust upward. Their moans melded and mixed as skin touched skin. A soft snick sounded as the cap flew off somewhere and a tropical scent flooded the immediate area.

"Coconut?" Heero pushed up to look at the tube he held.

Nuzzling his neck, Duo murmured, "Pina colada, actually." He nipped at the muscle standing out.

"Ah, Duo," his lover's tone held a hesitant mixture of emotions. Duo pulled away to peer into his face. "I thought you knew. I'm … well, I'm allergic to coconut." Heero looked apologetic.

Duo flopped back on the pillow. "Well, you don't have to eat it." He struggled to keep the frustration out of his voice.

A fluid play of expressions flowed over his lover's face. Sitting up and swinging his legs over the edge of the bed, Heero said quietly, "It's topical. I get hives."

"Oh," at a loss for words, Duo moved to sit next to him, the heat of the moment dying another death. The silence stretched between them before Duo whispered, "You were right." Heero flashed him a look. "We should have gone to your house."

Heero's smile was warm and his hug gave Duo the reassurance he needed. "If I did, could I get a cat?" At his lover's startled expression, the once self-proclaimed God of Death grinned darkly.

Post author's note: Okay, so there's just a hint of sap… but not so much I think I missed the challenge - right? [smile.gif] Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing this story! I wanted to add a very special thanks to Saro and CleverYoungTheif. For without their late-night chitchat, I never would have realized just what Duo would have in his empty kitchen. For discussions on Pop Tarts, knuckle cracking and old video games (that didn't make it into the story). And always for correcting my horrible grammar!


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