Damsel in Distress versus the Knight in Shiny Armor
Chapter 3 - Mystery Science Theater GW
After an impromptu wrestling match between the not-princess and Wufei over a disk that Duo had brought from his private collection, Wufei slid a rented DVD into the player. He didn't bother explaining to Heero why a run-down old castle in the nth century had early 21st century state-of-the-art electronics. Heero didn't bother to wonder why, for that matter.
"If it were up to Duo, all we'd watch is porn," Quatre explained, settling down in a big armchair with Trowa and a large bowl of popcorn.
Duo threw himself into one corner of the couch. "Man, Dabney Does Dallas is tons better than that stupid movie. More educational, too."
Wufei gave Duo a death glare, then sat down in a wing chair and picked up the remote. "We are here to learn about marriage, not improbable sexual escapades."
Duo tossed his right leg along the couch and picked up a bowl full of candy. "Yeah, but Dabney is hung like a horse."
Wufei gasped, the same disapproving expression on his face that Dorothy wore when she looked at King Howard. Well, perhaps not the same. There was something inimitably evil about Dorothy's disapproval, Heero had noted during the two week torture session with Princess Relena. Wufei appeared to just be shocked.
"So is Tro--er, Duo!" Quatre shot an embarrassed look at Trowa, who closed the one eye that Heero could see.
Heero frowned. "What does 'hung like a horse' mean?"
Duo gave a disgusted snort. "It means he has a big cock."
A large male chicken? What was so appealing about having a large chicken? Heero's frown deepened. "A big rooster?"
Duo snorted again, this time in laughter. "No! A big penis. C'mon Tro, whip it out and show Spandex Boy what hung like a horse is."
"Duo!" Quatre looked utterly scandalized. Trowa just appeared to be faintly amused.
"Of course," Duo said, giving Wufei and Heero a calculating look, "you know what they say about Asians. You guys should really defend your honor."
Wufei frowned. "Absolutely not, Maxwell."
"Defend my honor?" Heero was confused. Princess Relena had mentioned marrying him in place of the not-princess in order to 'defend her honor,' was it the same thing?
"Ignore him, Yuy. It's his perversion speaking," Wufei ordered.
Duo sniffed like a pampered princess. "I'll just have to assume that it's true then, Wu-man. You have a small penis."
Wufei wasn't overly impressed. "What did you tell me the other day? Oh yes, whatever cranks your tractor, Maxwell."
"Of course, it didn't look that small last time I snuck into the bathroom." Duo's thoughtful tone took on an innocent, helpful cant. "Do you ever play with it, Wuffee? Poor, little guy looked so lonely. I'd be more than hap--oh shit!"
Wufei sprang across the coffee table like an uncoiling dragon. Duo slipped over the back of the couch, yanking his braid out of the way before Wufei could grab him, and pelted toward the door and into the empty war room, shrieking. Wufei turned the miss into an acrobatic handspring and raced after him. Shocked, Heero looked at Trowa for explanation, but he just shrugged. A few moments later the shriek abruptly ended with a loud splash.
Quatre sighed. "He's never fast enough in that dress. Don't start the movie until I let him back in."
Trowa offered Heero his almost-smile. "Duo's not that much of a slut. He just likes to annoy Wufei."
A very smug Chang Wufei ghosted into the room and settled himself in his chair.
Slut. Heero had heard that one before. Baron J said that a slut was a sexually promiscuous woman. For some reason it annoyed him to think of the not-princess as a sexually promiscuous not-princess, female or not. It was nonsense. The not-princess's sexual proclivities were unimportant to the mission. Still, Trowa was as near an ally as he'd ever had, so he would allay his fears. "Baron J said that I will marry the princess even if he weighs nine hundred pounds and has slept with everyone between here and Crete twice."
Trowa's almost-smile froze. "I, um, see. Do you always do what Baron J tells you to?"
"Affirmative. He is my commanding officer; it is my duty to follow his orders."
"What is he getting out of this, um, mission?"
"Once I have retrieved and married the not-princess, Baron J will get King Howard's kingdom, half now and half when King Howard dies."
Trowa was frowning. Almost.
"And what do you get out of this mission, Yuy?" Wufei asked.
Heero looked at Wufei. "Completion of the mission."
Quatre slipped into the room and crawled back into Trowa's lap, making himself perfectly comfortable with a wiggle of his hips.
"But--" Wufei shook his head. "Never mind, Yuy."
Heero frowned, but decided against pursuing the matter. Something told him that this wasn't a conversation he wanted to get into.
The not-princess flounced into the room, sniffing loudly and sticking his nose in the air when he pranced past Wufei. He had exchanged the wet dress in favor of a small, mostly thread-bare, bath towel that he held to his waist negligently. He was still damp, the water from the moat creating a glorious sheen on the bare skin of his chest that flickered blue in the light from the television. He looked like a male underwear model fresh from a shower. Unfortunately, he smelled like a wet dog fresh from the moat.
"Maxwell, go bathe!"
Duo flopped onto the couch, studiously unconcerned about what sorts of naughty bits such activities displayed. "I did, Wuffers. You threw me in the moat. Remember? I wanna watch the movie. Hey, Tro, did you stick in Dabney Does Dallas while I distracted the prude?"
Trowa didn't reply.
Wufei threw a death glare in the not-princess's direction, then hit a button on the remote.
"Oh my fuckin' god, that's an ugly bitch!" Duo shrieked when the camera panned down from a city-scape into a car.
Heero privately agreed, but kept his mouth shut and his face impassive.
"Okay, I'm into the Greek, but the Fat and the Wedding can take a hike," Duo said. "Greek rocks! Holy shit, that sweater looks like hell on her."
Heero forced himself to concentrate on the movie. It was titled My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It did not sound as if it would be fruitful for intelligence gathering as neither he nor the not-princess were big, fat, or Greek. The narrator was going on and on about being Greek, married, and part of a big family. He did not see how this applied to his situation.
"If nagging was an Olympic sport, my Aunt Voula would have a gold medal!" Duo shouted. "Wuffee is Aunt Voula!" He jiggled on the couch and twisted his body in ways that would have hurt any other human being with a functional spine. "Whoa, get a load of the silicone on that chick."
"Silicone?" Heero wondered if Duo was referring to the lubricant or microchips.
"No way those tits are real."
"They might be real," Quatre offered. "She could be wearing a pushup bra. Hey, if you wore a pushup bra, you could fill out the dress better."
"I'd fill out a thong better, see?" Duo flipped the towel open to prove it. "He's not bad. He could use a better haircut. Nice smile."
Heero's eyes flicked from the towel to the screen.
"Maxwell, shut up!" Wufei didn't appear as disgruntled as he sounded.
"Duo will talk through the whole movie," Quatre explained.
"I will not! C'mon, be honest Quat, would you fuck Haircut Boy?"
Quatre snuggled into Trowa again. "No."
"Yeah, forgot, you're all wrapped up in cyclops."
"Ha ha." Quatre stuck his tongue out at Duo, then threw a pillow at him.
Duo shrieked, pointing at the screen and covering his eyes. "I could have lived my entire life without seeing that!"
Privately, Heero had to agree. He had spent enough time waiting while the Princess Relena had gone through her toilette, that he'd entertained himself by wondering exactly what it was that she did when she said she was going to "pretty herself up". He hadn't been able to tell the difference between the pre-prettied-up Relena and the post-prettied-up Relena. Watching the woman on the television doing just that was rather like watching Baron J crack a smile. Scary. What on Earth was she sticking in her eyes?
"At least the results were worth it," Quatre said, eventually.
Duo snorted. "Anything would be an improvement."
Wufei glared at the screen. "Onnas."
Heero didn't even bat an eye because everyone knows that not only do you pluralize Japanese nouns by adding an -s to the end, but Chinese persons habitually speak Japanese.
Duo grinned. "Hey, Wu-babe, if you hate onnas so much, how can you be straight?"
"Shut up, Maxwell!"
"Hey, I'm just saying. You're always onna this and onna that like they were a bunch of rats gnawing on your ass, but you completely freaked out when you found out I was a guy after you kissed me. Hell, you won't even skinny dip in the moat with us."
"No one skinny dips in the moat with you, Maxwell. You're the only one stupid enough to swim in a moat full of fish with your worm hanging out."
The grin on the not-princess's face gave Heero the distinctly uncomfortable sensation that Duo had done something that someone wouldn't like.
On the screen, Haircut Boy was doing a bizarre duck walk ritual in front of the window belonging to the place of business that the onna now worked for. Heero thought that this was not only ridiculous, but dangerous as Haircut Boy was not paying attention to his surroundings. Not paying attention to one's surroundings was the quickest way Heero know how to get killed. Not necessarily by a diminutive elderly woman wielding a large, white bag with a ferocity that would make a warrior proud. Heero made a note not to duck walk in front of windows in order to catch an onna's attention. If he were to be defeated in battle, it certainly wouldn't be by an old lady with a purse. Dignity wasn't mission essential, but it was preferable to the alternative.
The not-princess had bounded to his feet as soon as Haircut Boy had bumped into the old lady. "Whoohoo! You go grandma! It's Muhammad Old Lady! Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee! Kick his ass! Make him get a haircut! And he's down for the count! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new world champion!"
Finally, a metaphorical reference he actually understood. Unfortunately, it was funny and a bubble of laughter threatened to break out. Heero swallowed it and forced his expression to remain impassive, as a good soldier should. Wufei covered his mouth with his hand and pretended to glare at the screen. Trowa snorted a little, smothering it in the laughing blonde in his lap.
Duo flopped back onto the couch, frowning at Heero. "What, did your spandex strangle your sense of humor along with your dick?"
Heero glared at the screen. He might not have known exactly what a dick was, but the reference was still clear.
"I'm not marrying him!" Duo glared at the television.
Heero was getting sick of hearing that. What was so wrong with him anyway? He kept his irritation from showing up on his face and impassively watched the two characters flirting behind a desk. "I will laugh when you say something that is actually funny."
The not-princess's mouth flopped open and, for once, nothing came out.
Heero decided that it was a little disturbing how satisfying that actually was. Still, he couldn't resist adding, so there would be no mistake, "My dick is in proper working order."
The not-princess was suddenly very interested. "No kidding? Can we have a demonstration?"
"No." Heero turned his attention to the movie and pointedly ignored Duo. He could feel the not-princess's eyes boring into him and resolved not to pay any attention to it. The movie required his concentration, anyway. He didn't completely understand all of the social dynamics involved, but he was beginning to get an understanding of marriage that made his stomach clench.
"Awww, that's so sweet, isn't it, Trowa?" Quatre smiled.
Haircut Boy, looking mostly undressed, was lounging on top of the onna and they were exchanging smiles that Heero instinctively knew were "romantic" in the romance sense, not "romantic" in the impractical sense. Princess Relena would like this movie. Heero did not. Of course, he wasn't fond of entertainment that didn't involve the use of guns.
I love you, Haircut Boy said. And I love you, the onna said. Then he asked her to marry him. She said yes, and then laughed, and then cried, and then they kissed.
Heero looked around, going for casual. Quatre had the same smile on his face that Haircut Boy had and he was leaning more firmly into Trowa, if that were possible. Trowa's eye was closed, though the other might be open, and the rest of his face was hidden in Quatre's hair. Wufei was staring at the screen with a pinched look on his face, as if the entire thing annoyed the hell out of him. Duo was glaring at him, as if the marry question were entirely and purposefully Heero's fault. That was unreasonable.
"I'm not marrying you," the not-princess snapped, then shoved candy into his mouth.
Why? Why do you love me? the onna whispered on-screen. Because I came alive when I met you, Haircut Boy whispered back.
The not-princess's glare turned into something that belonged on a combat soldier that had just gotten a sucking chest wound from a 9 mm parabellum and he took it out on the screen. Heero frowned and turned his attention back to the screen as well. He decided that Duo with a sucking chest wound from a 9 mm parabellum was a very disagreeable idea. If he couldn't shoot the not-princess, no one else was permitted to, either.
After the onna's family tortured Haircut Boy--something Haircut Boy took with remarkably better humor than Heero himself would have done--the marry part happened. The wedding. The onna dressed up in a white gown and veil affair that vaguely resembled the tears and dirt ensemble Duo had been wearing earlier. Haircut Boy wore a suit of sorts. It was impractical for any military use, but it was far more serviceable than the dress. The onna's father led her down a long aisle surrounded by spectators and handed her off to Haircut Boy. A priest spoke for a while, and then they were led in a circle, their first steps as man and wife.
Heero watched as the family gathered in a ceremonial hall of some sort and celebrated the recent wedding while he considered this wedding thing carefully. The onna and Haircut Boy had stood in front of the priest and the gathering to become married. Marriage wasn't just a legal contract. The dictionary had stated that it was a contract for a consensual relationship. Did that mean that the not-princess had to agree to marry him? If so, how would this affect the outcome of the mission? Duo had already explicitly stated that he would not marry him. Five times verbally and once with a punch. This could present a problem. He would have to do more research.
Not-Princess Duo beat Wufei to the DVD player, which led to another scuffle on the floor, which led to another long and impressive listing of methods that Wufei intended to use to kill Duo. Heero diligently noted some of the more useful ones. Wufei eventually won while Duo eventually lost his towel. If Heero were any judge, he'd say the boy did it on purpose. Wufei shrieked, as the princesses were wont to do, and turned a funny shade of red before slapping Duo with his towel. He shoved himself to his feet, carefully placing one on the still-prone Duo's braid, near the head. Ignoring the yowling boy, thrashing around to get loose, Wufei leisurely swapped disks in the player, then sauntered to the chair and sat in it with all the dignity of an offended cat.
Sleepless in Seattle turned out to be another onna and Haircut Boy story. This onna was prettier, but her voice was irritating. The Princess Relena would probably sound like her when she grew up. Haircut Boy was in dire need of a haircut, according to Duo, even worse than the previous Haircut Boy. The characters had names, but for some reason, Heero thought it was easier to simply call them onna and Haircut Boy. In addition to Haircut Boy, there was Walter. Not Walter, Walter. From Duo's sniggering, Heero guessed that he didn't know that "Walter" meant "warrior". There was also a deceased wife belonging to Haircut Boy, and a child.
Heero's eyes landed on the not-princess. During the Greek Wedding movie, he had alternated between wisecracks and innuendoes involving the word Greek--at least Heero thought they were innuendoes, he couldn't particularly tell because he didn't understand the Greek reference. He had only made a few comments about this Haircut Boy's hairdo and some noises over Walter's name. Quatre didn't appear to notice his friend's quiet, he was too busy making out with Trowa's neck.
"Pecs and a cute butt, huh?" Duo grinned slyly at Wufei. "Hey Wuffers, howse my butt?"
"Do not call me that. Your butt is easily kicked, Maxwell."
"So you have been looking at my butt!"
Wufei gave him a dirty look. "I have been trying to throw your butt out of this castle for 18 months, 12 days, and 17 hours."
"I knew it! You've been looking at my butt!" Duo grinned. Wufei snarled something unprintable (even for a potentially NC-17 story) and glared at the screen.
If women were interested in pecs and a cute butt, then it followed that princesses would be as well. They were supposed to be female. Heero knew he had pecs, everyone with a chest had pecs, so that was half of the problem solved. He had a butt, everyone with a lower torso had a butt. He just didn't know if it was cute. How did one gauge cuteness in a butt? How did he make his butt cute if it wasn't? He watched the not-princess out of the corner of his eyes. Duo was sucking on sort of a candy thing and watching the onna and her friend watch a movie in the movie. The onna was trying to choose between Walter and Haircut Boy, whom she had never met. Of course, if she'd never met Haircut Boy, how could she judge if he had a cute butt?
Was his butt cute?
He added a new parameter to the mission: find out what women want in order to marry. He watched Duo scratch his head and then eat another piece of candy. Amend the parameter: find out what not-princesses want in order to marry. He had a feeling that this wouldn't be easy.
He shifted his weight on the couch, to see if he could feel out the contours of his butt without being obvious about it.
Dammit, was his butt cute or not?