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Damsel in Distress versus the Knight in Shiny Armor
Chapter 4 - Cleaning Your Gun By Candlelight
by Muffie

The dictionary was no help at all. It said that cute was either impertinent, dainty, or straining for effect. He had no idea how to adequately apply any of those definitions to anyone's butt, let alone his own. Heero slammed the book shut in frustration, earning a look from Trowa. They were in the war room again, all three of them ignoring the moaning and bow-chicka-wow-wow-ing coming from the television in the other room. Trowa tested the edge of his blade with his thumb, then happily went back to sharpening it. Wufei grunted to himself, then turned the page in a book.

"Oh my god!" Quatre squealed from the other room. "How did he fit that whole thing in his mouth?!"

"Talent, Quat, sheer, unadulterated talent," Duo replied smugly.

"Oh shut up, it's not like you did anything."

Fit what in his mouth? Considering the "oh fuck, yeah suck it, baby" dialogue, Heero figured that he didn't particularly want to know. He knew what porn was. He'd seen the glazed, drooling faces of Baron J's troops when they watched the stuff and decided that effective soldiers did not watch porn. Trowa frowned and oiled his whetstone. Wufei glowered at his book as if it had just insulted his family through the past ten generations. Heero tried to decide which one of them would be the better one to ask about the cute status of his butt.

Duo suddenly laughed, the sound bouncing through the silent war room. "He looks like a collie that just got hit by a truck when he does that!"

Quatre snorted. "Is that supposed to be orgasmic ecstasy?"

"Ooh! Oooh! Oh! Oh! Woof!" Duo proceeded to moan with enough melodrama to make a soap opera star melt with envy.

Quatre laughed and Trowa actually smiled. "Duo you freak! Knock it off. Oh my god what are you doing?!"

Duo started grunting, loudly.

This only made Quatre's laughter rise in volume. "Doesn't that hurt?"

"Not really. It's not that hard to do if you practice and I'm kinda limber."

Heero and Trowa stared unabashedly at the wall, as if they could see through it. Even Wufei sent a guilty glance at the doorway. Whatever it was, Duo had apparently stopped doing it because the laughter died off and the moaning was replaced with badly acted dialogue about finding a good bar to pick up guys. Trowa slid the whetstone along the blade again, Wufei returned to his book, and Heero opened the dictionary to see what it had to say about orgasmic.

"Hey, Duo, how come you don't like Heero?"

Heero froze, his finger hovering over the word orchid.

"Spandex Boy?"

"Yeah. He seems kind of nice. A little weird, but nice. He reminds me of Trowa." Even Heero could pick out the smile in Quatre's voice.

Someone on the television exclaimed over the size of Dabney's love muscle. Love muscle?

Duo--Heero just knew it was Duo--bounced along the couch hard enough to be heard over Dabney's moaning. "Think he's hung like Tro?"

Heero made a mental note of the not-princess's interest in the size of his.... Why did he suddenly feel like blushing?

"Well, he does wear spandex. It wouldn't be too hard to figure it out."

"Heh. Heh. You said hard."

Quatre laughed again. "Hard. Hard. Hard."

Duo's laughter joined him. "Slut."

"You wish. C'mon. How come you don't like him? He's kind of cute."

Heero thought that was a bit promising. He was kind of cute, did that mean that his butt was kind of cute as well? Was it possible to go from kind of cute to all the way cute? If so, how could he apply that to his butt?

"Doesn't matter. G sent him. He probably promised half the kingdom or something." Duo sniffed. "Which is stupid, I'm first born. You marry me and you get the whole kingdom anyway. Whattaya say, wanna shack up?"

Quatre laughed again. "I like him. He's different from the others."

"Stupid, you mean. He doesn't even know what marry is."

Heero glared at the dictionary.

Duo sighed loud enough to drown out the scream bouquet of "suck me" coming from the television. "Quit looking at me like that, Q. God, okay. He's not stupid."

"You like him!"

"Quatre! Ssshhh!"

"You do!"

"What, are we going to giggle like fangirls and moon over bishies now?"

Quatre snorted. "Touchy, touchy. Stick it back in your towel, Maxwell."

Fangirls? Bishies? Heero flipped the dictionary over to F.

"I wonder if he's gonna try to kill the dragon," Duo said. Heero couldn't tell if the not-princess was happy or disgusted by that thought.

"Hey, don't look so glum. He hasn't spouted poetic odes to your beauty and compared your eyes to glowing amethyst orbs of jeweled delight so he probably won't do something that stupid."

There was nothing in the dictionary about fangirls. He glanced at Wufei, who was attempting to pretend that he had more interest in his book than he did eavesdropping on the conversation. No, Wufei probably didn't know what a fangirl was either. Trowa had moved on to a different knife with the whetstone. He had the same sort of expression on his face as he did when he was watching Quatre. Perhaps he knew what a fangirl was.

"At least he doesn't think I'm a girl." Duo didn't sound particularly happy about that.

"I knew you liked him!"

"Shut up!"

"Make me!"

"You asked for it Q-bert. I'm gonna toast your ass!"

"Ha! Not before I kick yours."

"No running for Trowa!" Somehow this shriek came out sounding more manly and less Princess Relena-y. It was followed by a loud thump and then the crash of something hitting the floor. Quatre bellowed like a wounded bull moose and a flurry of thumps and grunts echoed into the war room. Wufei sucked in a breath of pure disapproval, looking as if he'd just swallowed a dung beetle covered in wasabi.

Trowa genuinely smiled. "Duo is going to lose this one."

"What's a fangirl?" Heero asked, keeping his voice just as quiet.

A few of hours later....

Heero slipped into his room, oddly satisfied with the results of his late night reconnaissance mission. There were no other princesses in the castle, just the five of them and four horses. If he had to marry someone with all that romantic stuff those two movies implied that marry meant, the not-princess would suit him far more than a princess. At least the not-princess didn't annoy him and he threw a mean right hook. Perhaps he could even be trained to make a decent soldier. Heero could definitely manage and use a soldier prudently. The not-princess might have been skinny, but his display this evening proved that he had adequate musculature for a soldier's job. Additionally, there was the incident where he'd been thrown over the ramparts and had climbed back up, in a dress no less. Heero personally didn't know many soldiers who had the strength and tenacity to do that. Muscles were important to a soldier. Of course, this brought him back to the matter of his butt. Was it cute?

He sat down at the desk and lit the candles. It might have been considered odd by some that a castle with a jacuzzi tub for three and a home theater system didn't have electric lights in the rooms, but Heero didn't think so. He didn't notice, he was too busy piling his pistols on the desk, nevermind that there was no really logical explanation for possessing pistols in the Dark Ages. He pulled the two IMI Desert Eagle .50AEs from his bag and set them down. He opened up his cleaning kit and spread the stuff out in exact order for the most efficient use. Even though it left him feeling utterly naked, he pulled the Colt King Cobra, .357 magnum thank you very much, from its home against his lower back and set it beside the .50AEs. Just for security purposes, he yanked the .44 magnum AutoMag (Dirty Harry, as Baron J erroneously liked to call it, even though anyone with eyes could tell that Dirty Harry had used a Smith & Wesson Model 29) from a pocket in his bag and slapped the clip into it. He set it off to the side, within easy reach, though he didn't anticipate trouble. He felt that the other occupants of the castle were sufficiently friendly to be considered allies.

He popped the clips out of the .50AEs and set them safely off to the side then pulled back the slides to check the chambers. The Colt was a simpler matter, revolvers always were. He snapped the cylinder out, pushed the ejector rod, and then lined up the six little .357 magnum rounds up next to the .50AE clips like perfect soldiers. He set the revolver aside and disassembled his right hand .50AE. There was something eminently soothing about stripping a weapon down and cleaning it. The scent of gun oil had always reminded him of base, the closest thing he had to a home. It bespoke of quiet times, when one had the peace to maintain one's weapon. Picking up the wire brush, he added a couple of drops of solvent and slipped the bristles into the gas cylinder, a small hole in the butt of the slide.

He obviously had to ask someone if his butt was cute since he was unable to ascertain this on his own. Wufei seemed educated enough to be a fair judge.

Dropping the brush, he picked up the .44 AutoMag and pointed it at the door, tracking a dark shape with his ears. It froze. He identified it as the Not-Princess Duo more by the abundance of shampoo and candy smell than by the small "eep!"

"Hey, easy there, Heero," Duo said, stepping out of the shadows and putting his hands up. "I'm mostly harmless. Don't panic. I'm a frood who really knows where my towel is, please don't shoot me."

Of course he knew where his towel was, he was still wearing it. Heero narrowed his eyes dangerously. He found such expressions to be effective intimidation tactics. "What do you want?"

Duo grinned. "Talk. Just to have a little chat, you know? I figured that you might be still awake after your seriously thorough, midnight stroll through the castle anyway. I'm impressed, by the way, I didn't think to check inside of Tro's underwear drawer. I should have. Who'da thought Forelock wore stuff like that under his pants? Well, other than Quat."

The unwavering, business end of the .44 AutoMag did not move its aim from the center of the not-princess's distinctly naked chest. "You like to talk," Heero observed.

"Yeah. I like talking. It's okay if you want to put the gun away, you know. I won't mind. Though, I seriously got to wonder if you're compensating for something with that thing."

Heero noticed that while the not-princess's words were missish, the tone was unwaveringly calm and so was the body. He'd seen experienced soldiers quavering in voice and deed when confronted by a cocked .44 AutoMag. The not-princess was full of surprises. He made a note to ask him what he thought of the Princess Relena's Code of Chivalry. Pointing the pistol upwards, he gently lowered the hammer with his thumb and set the pistol on the desk.

"Whatcha doing?" the not-princess asked, dragging a stool up to the corner of the desk away from the .44 AutoMag, and dropping onto it.

"I am performing preventative maintenance on my weapons."


Heero picked up the wire brush and inserted it into the small hole of the gas cylinder again. "I'm cleaning my guns."

"Romantic," Duo muttered.

"I disagree. Maintaining my weapons is a highly practical activity."

Duo sighed loudly. "That's not what I meant."

"Hn." He set the wire brush aside and wiped out the gas cylinder with a q-tip.

"So, how long have you been a knight?"

"Five days." He soaked a q-tip with solvent and gave the gas cylinder another good swipe for good measure. He ran it through the nooks and crannies in the slide.

"Five days. Five days!" Duo moaned, covering his eyes with his braid. "Why in the hell did G send me a knight who has only been a knight for five days? The last guy had been a knight for years and years and he got eaten almost right away. Barbequed and flame-broiled with a side of french fries. His squire was from Nice. You know, he wrote sonnets to my eyes before he left. The knight not the squire. The squire spent most of the time hiding in the stable from Wuffers."

"Hn," Heero said, setting the slide aside and picking up the piston. He used a fresh q-tip soaked with solvent on it.

"Are you going to write sonnets about my eyes?"


"Why the hell not? Am I not good enough or something? I've got news for ya, buck-o, I've been one of People Magazine's top 50 most beautiful people for the last three years running. I beat out half the Victoria's Secret chicks for it, too, and I didn't have to show anyone my boxers to do it."

"What purpose would a sonnet serve?" He put the piston aside and picked up the recoil and spring rods. He checked them over carefully. They hadn't picked up any real dirt since the last cleaning, so he set them aside in favor of the long, thin barrel. He used the wire brush again, carefully checking down the barrel for burrs and dirt. It was clean, but the inside of a barrel can never be too clean.

"Purpose? It's poetry. Knights are supposed to spout poetry to princesses."

"You are not a princess."

"I am so the fucking princess!" Duo bellowed.

"You're male."

Duo grunted, curling up on himself with a disgusted expression on his face. "That doesn't mean I'm not a fucking princess."

"Yes it does." He put the barrel aside for the blocky frame. He poked at it with the brush and with q-tips. It wasn't filthy as if he'd fired the pistol, but it had picked up some dirt from the bag and holster. "Do you want me to spout poetry to you?"

"Do I look like I want you to recite poetry to me?"

Heero paused, flicking his eyes at Duo's towel. "You look like a frood who really knows where his towel is."

The not-princess's jaw dropped open again, and then he snorted on the laugh he tried to hold back. "You do have a sense of humor!"

"Hn." He twisted the frame in his hands and noticed the butt of the handgrip. He wondered if the .50AE's butt was cute and if so, was his butt as cute or not as cute as the .50AE's butt. He briefly considered asking the not-princess, since it was his preferences on butt-cuteness that mattered, but decided against it. He was cleaning his gun and didn't want to be disturbed by something he wasn't sure of.

"You don't talk much."

"No." He put the frame aside and picked up the long, cylindrical bolt.

"Why does your horse have pink hearts on it? It looks like something my stupid sister would do."

"The Princess Relena did do it."


Heero gently swiped the bolt with solvent. "She did not want me to rescue you."

"Why not?"

"I don't know."

Duo sighed again, yanking on his braid. "She wanted you for herself, didn't she. She's always been the perfect fucking princess. You know that she actually likes pink? How can anyone like pink? When I have nightmares, they're full of pink stuff and my sister's voice. My sister's voice was designed by hell itself to torture people. She even likes the stupid princess dream bedroom set. It's got pink hearts on it. I spray painted mine."

Heero picked up his soft rag and applied a little gun oil since the bolt required a light coating. If he were held at gunpoint and forced to admit it, he would have to say that applying lubricant to his gun was he favorite activity after shooting his gun. There was something incredibly satisfying about massaging oil into the metal parts. He rolled the bolt into the cloth, gently pushing his thumbs along the length of shaft.

Duo suddenly froze next to him. "What are you doing?"

"Lubricating the bolt."

"Lu-lu--" Duo shook himself. "Lubricating?"

Heero frowned at the not-princess, but he wasn't paying any attention. His eyes were glued to the slow, rhythmic motions of Heero's fingers working over the bolt. "Yes. Weapons require lubrication in order to keep them in proper working order. They have several movable parts that rub and slide against each other when the weapon is fired. In order to prevent misfires or damage, the parts must be properly lubricated."

"I, uh, see." Was the not-princess blushing? Odd.

Heero inspected the bolt, then set it aside, satisfied with the light sheen of oil reflecting from the brassy surface in the candlelight. He picked up the frame, tenderly running the rag over the metal with slow, sweeping motions of his fingers. Duo sucked in a funny sounding breath, catching Heero's attention again. The not-princess was staring at Heero's fingers, his mouth a little open and his eyes wide. Deftly twisting the frame in his hands, Heero spread the oil lightly over the metal surfaces, then used his pinky or a q-tip to ease a light coating into the nooks. He inspected the frame closely, bringing it up to his face. If asked, he would have said that it was so he could check for damage more carefully, but it was mostly because he really liked the smell of freshly rubbed gun oil.

With a small, regretful sigh, he put the frame down and picked up the barrel. He liked to take his time with the barrel. Along with the gas cylinder, the barrel was the biggest potential problem for a misfire and when your life depended on your weapon being in proper working order, you took good care of it. He glanced at Duo who appeared to be very interested in the maintenance of a .50AE.

He slid a cotton pad into the eye of a barrel tool and gave it a generous supply of gun oil. He slipped the pad into the barrel and twirled it rapidly in his fingers, first with the rifling, then against it, then with it. He rocked it in and out of the barrel, plunging the tool all the way through, then pulling it almost all of the way out. He slowed the in and out, putting pressure along one side with the tool, rubbing the cotton pad along the length of the barrel's insides, nudging the ridges of the rifling. He plunged the tool back in, until the cotton almost peeked out of the other side, then pulled it back slowly, against another section of the barrel and fresh parts of the rifling.

"What part is that?" Duo whispered, licking his lips.

"The barrel."

"You're lubricating the inside of the barrel?"

"Yes. It keeps the round moving smoothly through the barrel and prevents damage to the inside."

"Oh," Duo all but moaned. "That's," he took a deep breath, "uh, interesting."

In went the tool, thrusting into the depths of the barrel only to be slowly pulled back out.

Duo squirmed a little on the stool. Heero had already noted his tendency to be in near-constant motion, so he didn't find this alarming, just different.

The tool slid all the way home again, then retreated along the length of the barrel.

Duo moaned softly, deep in his throat. He sounded almost like one of those men on the porno, only better. More real.

Heero watched Duo from the corners of his eyes. He pushed the tool through the barrel, slowly this time. Duo licked his lips. He pulled it back, just as slowly. Duo's nostrils flared. He pushed the tool through the barrel a last time, using short, jerking movements. Duo moaned again, this time a bit louder. He picked up the rag and worked the oil into the length of the barrel's shaft, feeling every bump and dip, with his fingers. Duo's mouth opened a bit and his breathing quickened. It was odd, but his fingers were quivering, just a bit, when he set the barrel aside.

Spreading the rag over his palm, he poured gun oil on it, still watching Duo watch his hands. He picked up the piston and wrapped his fingers around, in his fist. Holding one end firmly with his other hand, he twisted the piston one way, then the other, sliding it back and forth in within the confines of his hand. The not-princess seemed to find this motion incredibly fascinating. Heero added a little more wrist action, to exaggerate the twirling and the thrusting inside of his fist and was rewarded with a low groan from the not-princess. He put the piston down, a bit more unsteadily than such an activity warranted, and ignored the oil that dripped onto the desk. Heero missed the slide in his first attempt to pick it up, then slapped it into his rag and oil covered palm.

The slide was thicker and longer than the other parts were. It was squared on the bottom and slightly rounded on the top. One end was slightly curved, like a butt, and the other end flared around the opening where the barrel went. Wrapped in his oil coated fist, Heero suddenly thought that the slide was a little bit obscene. Not obscene in a Baron J in the shower obscene, but obscene in a Duo in the shower obscene. He pushed the full length of the slide through the tight cavern of his oiled fist and watched the not-princess's eyes widen. He pulled the slide back through his hand and watched Duo suck in a sharp breath. He twisted the slide in his palm, pushing it through his closed fingers, even though it was beyond all hope to give the thing an even coating of oil this way. Duo bit his bottom lip, sucking on it. Oh.

Duo looked up suddenly, his eyes locking on Heero's. "Do you, um, like lubricating your gun?"

Heero's glanced at the slide he was slowly working through his clenched fist, then back at the not-princess. "Yes."

Duo's eyes dilated, until the black pupil dominated. "I, uh, see," he squeaked. He dropped his gaze again, staring intently at the slide slipping in and out of Heero's fingers. "Kinda warm in here, huh?"


"Not much of a conversationalist. Well, I can see that you're, um, busy, so I'll just be coming. I mean going. That's a really, really nice, um, gun you got there."

Heero frowned. The not-princess seemed uncharacteristically nervous and his voice was unsteady. If he were warm as well, that could present a problem. "Are you well?"

Duo jerked. "What?"

"You seem to be ill." Yes, the not-princess's eyes were bright, his cheeks were flushed, and he was shivering a little.


"If you are sick, you should rest."

"You just had sex with your gun and you're asking me if I'm sick?"

Heero's frown deepened. "I was cleaning my gun."

"By candlelight? With a ton of lube?"



Heero didn't know what to say to that, so he put the slide down and picked up the frame, instinctively palming the grip.

"Well, I gotta go. Glad we could have this, uh, chat." Duo bounced, but not as enthusiastically as he usually did, across the room to the door.


The not-princess paused in the doorway, looking over his shoulder.

"Is my... " Heero wiped the glare off of his face before it got there. Coward. "...gun's butt cute?"

on to chapter 5

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