So Feel it, Don't Fight it, Go with the Flow
by merith and [ misanagi ]
A joint is rolled and Duo passes it off to Quatre. The Princess is holding it delicately, and Duo gives him a lopsided smile. Trowa is sitting close to Quatre, and though Trowa is looking down, Duo catches the glimpses he's making in Quatre's direction. Duo looks Quatre over again, and even knowing there's more to the pretty boy than designer shirts, he wonders what Trowa sees.
Duo tosses over his lighter and it's the kah sound of blowing wind that pulls his attention. Behind Quatre, and a little off to the side, Wufei has his back facing them. Like a prepackaged snack, his anger is instant and ready - add water and stir. Duo's hand is balling into a fist, words are readied to fire but then... he sees the looks Wufei is giving over his shoulder. The anger fades back into the shadows; the guy will join in soon enough.
"Where's Heero?" he asks, looking to Quatre for the answer.
Quatre has just taken a hit, and whether it's the strength of the weed, the smoke, or his lack of experience, he is coughing and waving a hand in front of his face. Trowa is leaning toward Quatre and Wufei inches closer. When no more than a shrug answers his question, Duo rolls to his feet.
At the front of the library, Heero is still sitting at his table. He hasn't looked around, doesn't show an interest in what the others are doing - at least, not that Duo can tell. Duo glances over his shoulder, and sees that Wufei is now sitting on Quatre's other side. Smoking with the jock isn't high on his list of wants, but it could be interesting. He almost turns back to rejoin the group. But...
Heero isn't like those nerds he's known, the ones who tuck tail and scamper away if he looks at them. The ones who hide in their lockers or swerve out of his way. Heero isn't even like the bold nerds whose lips curl as the usual names are whispered to each other. Duo has always ignored them, or found a hard surface for their heads to meet.
Heero is different from those others and Duo is walking toward him.
With his eyes firmly trained on the still blank paper over the desk, Heero tries not to listen, not to pay attention to the soft sounds coming from the back of the room. There's a sweet smell filling the air and Heero wonders, just for a moment, what it would be like to inhale that smell. What would it do?
And then he realizes... the smoke - the weed - smells faintly like Duo.
There is a trace of that sweet smell on Duo's scent, hiding behind the cigarette and other little odors Heero hasn't quite placed yet.
Heero might not really know Duo but now he knows a bit; he's figured out a piece of the puzzle. He feels a sense of accomplishment that's usually only achieved when reaches a new level on his videogame... accomplishment and happiness.
The smell is getting stronger and Heero's nose begins to tickle. He sniffles, brushes his nose with the back of his hand and picks up his pencil.
Then he notices all the other subtle smells, and knows Duo is no longer in the back of the room. His scent is coming closer.
When Heero doesn't turn around, even if Duo's boots are making enough noise, Duo sits on Quatre's abandoned chair, deliberately sliding it close. He sits in mimic of Heero, feet together and flat on the ground, back straight and hands on the table's surface, staring straight ahead. From the corner of his eyes, Duo sees that Heero is frowning and he almost laughs at the little-boy expression.
"So," he starts off, picking up Quatre's pencil and beginning to sketch on the paper. "You ever smoke? Light up a doob?"
Heero is shifting in his seat, now and Duo glances over at him. Yeah, total virgin. Duo is grinning slightly, adds a broader stroke to the vee in the Van Halen symbol.
"It's cool if you don't want to get high." Heero still hasn't looked at him. He turns his paper and begins another logo, Def Leppard this time.
His father wouldn't approve of him getting high. That's what hooligans do. Does he want to destroy his future? Maybe he does. He didn't ask for that future anyway.
He glances at Duo's paper, and before he even knows what he's doing, he's whispering "What do you want, what do you want." He doesn't sing the words but speaks them, with no inflection in his tone. He catches himself before he can say the next verse. Maybe Duo will think he's actually asking a question. No one would expect Heero to know the words of Rock of Ages anyway.
Frowning, Heero shifts his eyes back to his own paper. Truthfully, he does want to know what Duo wants.
At the first whispering words of the lyrics, Duo stops his doodling. Heero's voice dies away, and Duo is grinning with a smirk of lips. He adds a bold stroke, darkening lines and throws a little bass Heero's way. "I want rock-n-roll, yes, I do."
His eyes flick over to see Heero's reaction and his grin falters a little when there isn't one. It is only when Heero let's go the held breath he knows. Long live rock-n-roll, he writes in bold script under the sharp angles of the logo.
"The Willy's MA was one of the first Jeeps ever built," he says as though picking up a dropped conversation. "Came off the line in 1940, just in time for the war." The O in his Ozzy doesn't look quite right and Duo erases one edge. "It was a piece of shit, though and they had to remake 'em."
He turns to look at Heero for the first time since sitting down. "Your CJ ain't that bad."
Duo's eyes feel heavy, demanding attention, so Heero turns to him. "It was the ignition switch." He says, surprised at how easy it is to admit that Duo was right. However, he still needs to swallow hard before he can say, "Thank you."
Usually, Heero would lower his head back to his paper and simply ignore Duo - Duo and his friendly grin - but instead, he keeps speaking. "It's still broken," he says. Pauses and fixes his eyes on Duo. "I can't fix it. I failed."
He has failed in more ways than one, which is why he is sitting here, in detention, and seriously contemplating getting high with four boys that until this morning were practically strangers. "Does it help?" He remembers Duo's earlier words. "Does lighting up a doob help?"
At Heero's question, Duo's world stills, his grin freezes and all he sees are Heero's eyes staring at him.
Duo doesn't realize he's spoken aloud, even at a bare whisper until he sees Heero's eyes shift to his mouth. Duo swallows and drops his gaze to the paper, to the world of rock and thinks its motto. The grin is back, and he bobs his head to some foreign tune he doesn't quite hear.
"Hell yeah," he says. "Even if you're a failure, you don't care."
He feels the spasm run up his neck and twitch high on his left cheek. The paper thins under his pencil strokes, splits graphite heavy and Duo throws the pencil across the room, not even seeing it land.
"Shit doesn't matter any more."
The word failure stings, even if Duo is saying it with that carefree expression, even if Duo probably didn't mean to hurt. But then something changes in Duo's face, so fast that if he hadn't been looking, Heero would have missed it.
He follows the trajectory of the pencil, until it lands by a bookcase and rolls under it. Turning his eyes back to Duo, Heero sees Duo's grin is back. He watches it closely and how it doesn't really reach Duo's eyes.
"It looks like shit still matters," Heero says slowly. Using his fingers, Heero rolls his pencil on Duo's direction. "Some of it is easily replaced."
The pencil comes to a stop by the cuff of his hand and Duo stares at it for a moment only.
Some things are easily replaced.
How well he knows; the parade of one man after another, the use of one drug after another, one city to the next. The new isn't always better, just different. Heero hasn't a clue. At least, not yet. Duo's hand covers the sheet of paper, his fingers draw inward and the page crumples.
"Some things aren't worth replacing," he says grinning at Heero. "But fuck that, man." He slides the chair back and stands, looking over his shoulder at the others. "Let's go party."
Heero looks between the blank paper and the crumpled one and then looks up at Duo. "I've never partied before." He's never smoked before, never been in detention, never been anything less than what is expected of him. Until now. Today, little by little, the pressures he's dealt with his whole life are feeling less heavy, and now Duo is offering him a way to let them go, if only momentarily.
The chair scrapes back and Heero stands up. He looks toward the back of the room for the first time since everyone went there. Yesterday Heero wouldn't do this, but today Duo's offer is welcome, and he's not turning it down.
He takes a couple of steps, looks back and Duo and says, "I might need your help again."