In the Barrio
I was lost, and I knew it. Being tired didn't help either. I leaned against the street sign and tried to read the washed out ink on the napkin again, wondering what the hell I was doing in this part of town while most of the sane world still slept. Still unable to make out the letters behind the ink smudged from an unfortunately placement of a beer mug, I gave it up and put it back in my pocket.
"A bit lost ain't 'cha?"
The inquiry sounded friendly enough, but the neighborhood wasn't known to be gentle. I looked over the voice's owner, trying to determine if the man held any threat. At my scrutiny, the man grinned and jerked his chin upwards before turning in a slow circle. "What makes you think I'm lost?" Not liking the ridicule in his actions.
He let out a light snort and shook his head. "‘Cause, pal, no man in this place would dare wear pink." The man eyed me with some amusement.
I flushed, forgetting I'd left the club for home, and home to here without changing clothes. "Okay, so I'm lost," I admitted in defeat.
The man nodded once and stuck out a hand. "Duo Maxwell, at your service sir." His grin was back.
Taking his in mine almost automatically, I responded, "Quatre, Quatre Winner."
"Well, Quatre, where to? What's down in the Barrio you had to see so badly at seven in the morning?" Duo had dropped my hand, and stared at me curiously.
I flushed again and looked away. There was no way I'd tell this stranger why I was standing there.
"Ah, I see," he murmured lowly. "Did you get her name?" I looked at him in shock. "Oh, his name, then."
My hand twitched, barely touching the pocket containing the address. "Trowa. He said his name is Trowa."
Duo nodded again. "Do you have any idea where he lives?"
I pulled out the napkin and showed it to him reluctantly. "I think it says Charusal. But I can't make out the numbers at all."
He peered at it closely, brows puckered together in concentration. "It could be, or Charleston, or even Cramer. Probably not that one though. The house numbers don't go up that high." He grinned brightly. "Tell you what, I've got to meet my guy for breakfast. Why don't you tag along? After that, I can help you search."
Put the way he did, I couldn't refuse. As we walked he asked questions about Trowa. What he looked like, what he wore. I was embarrassed to say, I couldn't remember much about him. We'd talked for hours, but all I could really say was he had green eyes. His laugh, the feel of his hand on my thigh and the way he'd whispered biting commentary about other club patrons, I recalled in perfect detail. The color of his shirt, how tall he stood, not even how he looked mattered. He just was.
We stopped outside the café, and feeling a little more than foolish, I told him, "You probably think I'm an idiot, coming all the way down here to find someone I don't know and can't even describe." I couldn't look at him, but watched as a car stuttered to life across the street. "I probably didn't even register with him."
"Then why'd he give you his address?" Duo was opening the door, waving me inside. "Besides, if I didn't love the shit out of Heero, I'd be all over you." He laughed and stepped around me as I gawked. "Oh great! Heero brought 'Nash with him." Duo nudged my shoulder. "You'll like Barton, and he can help us. He knows most everyone in the Barrio."
I hurried to catch up, amused at the way my new friend called out to half the wait staff before sliding into a booth at the back and giving a lingering kiss to the man sitting there. I assumed he was Duo's guy and waited for an introduction before sitting.
At the quiet chuckle, I turned to the booth's other occupant and found myself lost for the second time that morning. Trowa looked up at my inarticulate sound, I found welcome, warmth and something more in those green eyes of his.