Damsel in Distress versus the Knight in Shiny Armor
Chapter 6 - Revenge of the Happy Humping Hamster
"You are certain you wish to go through with this madness, Yuy?" Wufei asked with what could only be called abject delight. Heero knew that it was only Wufei's sense of honor that had him asking this question rather than loading Duo on the nearest horse and shipping him off immediately.
"Very well. I will slip a sedative into Maxwell's breakfast. We should have him tied up and ready to go shortly thereafter. I would not suggest that you untie him until you've returned to King Howard and possibly until after the wedding. Maxwell is...uncooperative."
Heero frowned. "That will be unnecessary. I am capable of handing one baka."
Wufei snorted rudely. "If you insist."
"We leave tomorrow morning, after that knight has gone." Heero decidedly did not like that knight.
"Do you plan on informing Sir Bonneville of your intentions toward Maxwell?"
"Negative. He is immaterial."
Wufei grunted. His eyes flicked toward the ceiling where the bathroom was, where hopefully Duo wasn't doing anything he shouldn't be doing, then he fixed his glare on Heero. "Maxwell has been asking for a gun or a crossbow to defend himself with. Whatever you do, do not give Maxwell a weapon. He's bad enough when he's not lethally armed. I fear for all our safety if he has a pistol."
Heero frowned. "Why would the not-princess want a weapon?"
"Apparently he believes that Sir Bonneville will attempt something on him tonight. I have no idea why, Maxwell is the most annoying person here."
"Hn." Heero didn't think that the knight would try anything, other than perhaps to go home. He'd seen that particularly vicious blow to the man's genitals and had been suitably impressed. Rather than using the closed fist, which would have sufficed, the not-princess had chosen a most effective method for delivering a hit. He'd driven the hard, bony heel of his palm directly into the knight's balls. Even trained soldiers threw fisted punches, he'd noted, which were substandard because the very mobile wrist joint was behind the fist, with a pivot point removing some of the power in the blow by acting both as a bit of a shock absorber and a bit as an unstable point. No, the heel of the hand was the best for the situation because the joint was fully flexed for no give and the solid bones in the forearm held little absorption for the blow. That knight hadn't been able to walk straight for a while, which told Heero that the not-princess also had fine form in the delivery as well as the means.
Yes, Duo was turning out to be his kind of princess.
Of course, that knight was something of a problem. Heero furrowed his brow and considered it carefully. While mission parameters made no mention about protocol for dealing with others attempting to rescue the not-princess, he didn't think they fit in with the overall mission objective. After all, he couldn't very well rescue and marry Duo if someone else did it first. Though, it would be reasonable to assume, based on the not-princess's reaction to being manhandled by the knight, that should the knight somehow manage to rescue Duo without Heero doing so first, it was highly unlikely that Duo would agree to marry the knight. You just don't form consensual relationships with people you punch in the balls. At least he didn't think people did that. What if the knight had a cute butt? He did have pecs and they appeared to be in proper working condition.
Bothered by that train of thought, Heero's glower deepened. No. He could not permit the not-princess to view the knight's butt on the slim possibility that it was cute enough to sway Duo's opinion on the knight. He didn't consider himself an expert on male beauty since he had no use for such frivolities, but now that he thought about it, the knight was on the attractive side. He was one of those tall, heavily muscled nordic persons he occasionally saw, mostly naked, on the covers of romance novels that Baron J read when he thought no one was looking. While he personally found the knight somewhat weak in appearance, he was aware that women liked that sort of physique. They must, he was featured on the cover of a literary genre that catered to a strongly female market. Now that he'd thought about it, he'd never noted a person that resembled himself on any of the hundreds of romance novels Baron J kept stashed in a large, cardboard box marked "uranium 214, keep out". Did this mean that he was not aesthetically pleasing to the female market? He didn't know and that irritated him, almost as much as it irritated him that he couldn't tell if his own butt was cute.
Something bit at him, a fact or two that had been dismissed as unimportant, but perhaps wasn't. His glare turned positively blistering when he shuffled the information into the forefront of his brain. The Princess Relena's Art of Courtly Love that he'd dutifully memorized and had subsequently been unable to data dump despite best efforts had mentioned something at the very end that might apply to his situation. "Nothing forbids one woman being loved by two men or one man by two women." At the time, he hadn't understood any of it. Love was an abstract term that the dictionary couldn't satisfactorily define. However, after the intelligence gathered from viewing films last night, Heero had a working definition for the concept. If this Art of Courtly Love was correct, then it was feasible for Duo to be involved in this love business with Heero and the knight at the same time. Unacceptable.
"Yuy, please do not crush my table. These things are difficult to replace."
Startled, Heero relaxed his grip on the edge of the table. "My apologies, Chang."
Wufei frowned. "What has you upset?"
Heero glared and stood up.
"Where are you going?"
"To find Sir Bonneville."
Wufei tapped his chin with a finger and watched Heero thoughtfully. "I thought he was immaterial."
Heero turned the glare on Wufei. "New information has come to light. I must act on it immediately."
That did sound somewhat silly, considering that he hadn't done anything but glare at the table for the last fifteen minutes. The thought of discussing the Art of Courtly Love and that knight's butt with Wufei left a sour taste in his mouth. "It's need-to-know."
Wufei matched him glare for glare. "You have already agreed to take Maxwell away. You cannot change your mind now."
"That is not the issue, Chang. I suggest that you do not interfere."
Wufei growled under his breath, but did not rise to meet the challenge. Satisfied, Heero stalked from the war room.
He found Sir Bonneville on the ramparts, leaning over the battlements and studying the mountains in the moonlight. A quick check proved that the knight was alone on the gangway and that no one was in the bailey below. Heero wasn't sure what he intended to do to the knight just yet. He did not know how to make a man's butt un-cute without cutting it off, which would take too long and was bound to be noticed. He grunted in frustration.
Sir Bonneville immediately stood, cocking a hip, crossing his arms over his chest, and staring moodily at the mountains as if he were plotting how to get Hannibal across the Pyrenees without proper armored personnel carriers. After a moment's contemplation, he turned to Heero with a smile on his face. "Princess, it's--oh, it's you."
"Did the Princess send you, boy? What's the message?"
Heero wiped all expression off his face, slipping comfortably into mission mode. "No message," he said softly.
The knight turned to the mountains again. "Then go away. I'm expecting company."
Heero cracked his knuckles, a slow grin spreading on his lips despite his best efforts to stop it.
A minute later....
Heero inspected his knuckles as he made his way into the castle. They weren't even bruised. "That didn't take long."
Sir Bonneville, had he been conscious, would have disagreed. It had been the most notably longest 45 seconds of his life.
Heero stopped in the bathroom long enough to wash blood and knight bits from his hands. He didn't know if he'd been successful at de-cute-izing that knight's butt, but careful, repeated application of steel toed sneakers certainly couldn't hurt the process. "Never use a weapon on an opponent not equal to the attack." Heero snorted in disgust. If he followed the Princess Relena's Code of Chivalry, he'd never get to punch anyone.
He had just dried his hands on a towel and was heading for his room when a shriek of laughter followed by an extremely irate "It's not that goddamned funny!" pierced the air. The laughter, which came from Quatre, was undaunted. Curious, Heero followed the sound down into the entertainment room. The not-princess was sitting slouched on the back of the couch, his spread feet planted in the cushions, glaring instant death at a his friend, who had fallen from Trowa's lap and was curled up on the floor in what appeared to be a fit of painfully uncontrollable laughter. What made Heero do a bit of a double take was Trowa. He was chuckling and not bothering to hide it.
Duo jerked on his braid. "Dammit Quatre! Quit laughing!"
Quatre said something that sounded vaguely like "I can't" in the middle of his laughter.
"C'mon Tro, sit on your boyfriend or something. This is totally humiliating."
"I don't think so, Duo. I like listening Quatre laugh."
Trowa's chuckle deepened. "That's not a word, Duo. Are you going to go?"
Duo wrapped a throw pillow in one arm and punched it furiously with the other. "Wuffers won't open up the frickin armory."
"You could always have Heero throw him in the moat for you again, princess." Trowa's evil smirk was ruined by a snort of swallowed laughter. Duo roared incoherently in rage. Trowa gave up and sprawled back into the chair, letting the laughter bubble out.
"I can't believe you guys! You're supposed to be on my side! Friends for life and all that shit. What the fuck? I mean what the fuck?!"
"S-sorry D-Duo," Quatre snorted, leaning his back carefully against Trowa's chair, his arms clamped around his middle. "It's j-just s-so d-damned fu-fu-funny. You c-called him the, the," Quatre dissolved into giggles before choking it out, "happy humping ha-ham-hamster!"
"Well hell. He was machine gun humping me and drooling, I couldn't miss it. The guy's hung like a hamster."
Heero frowned. "It's a bad thing to be hung like a hamster?"
Duo leaped to his feet and tottered on the cushions before catching his balance. "Shit Heero! Don't sneak up on people like that. If you scared me out of any inches of hair growth, I'll kick your fuckin' ass!"
"Hey, Heero, you gotta read this!" Quatre said.
Duo's reaction was instant, he jerked, looking utterly horrified. They both leaped for a piece of paper sitting on the edge of the coffee table at the same time. It slid from the table, fluttering the floor. Quatre bodily threw himself on top of it, with Duo landing astride his back and tugging at his hair a moment later.
"Trowa! A little help here!" Quatre gasped, trying to sink an elbow into Duo's gut and missing.
"All right," Trowa said.
"Hey! No fair crying for Tro!" Duo yelped.
"Go Quatre!" Trowa said calmly, then started to clap politely.
Quatre glared around Duo. "I said help!"
"I am helping," Trowa said, then clapped a bit more enthusiastically. He smiled. "Moral support."
"You go, boy!" Trowa called.
Quatre bucked his body, trying to unseat Duo. It would have worked, if Duo hadn't wrapped his arm around Quatre's face and held on. "He's going to rip the letter! Duo, get off!"
Letter? Heero frowned and watched Duo try to wrestle Quatre off of the piece of paper by sheer force of will. He had to give credit where it was due, Quatre might be small, but he was holding Duo off rather well.
"Dammit, Quat! I don't want him to see that!"
"Why not? I thought you didn't like him that--oww! Watch the hair! You jerk!" Quatre swung around wildly, missing Duo's face, but coming up with a fistful of braid.
"And you gotta scream it out in front of him don'tch--ahhh! Not the hair! You asshole! You're supposed to be a fucking pacifist, remember?!" Duo managed to get a semi-firm hold on one of Quatre's flailing arms and tugged it back and behind.
Quatre twisted, breaking his arm free of Duo's hold, then shoving the not-princess off and into Trowa's chair with a hard thump. He jumped to his feet, shaking his fist at Duo, just in case the idiot thought he should get up and continue with the fight. "You're fucking lucky that I am a fucking pacifist or I'd so kick your ass!"
"You and what fucking army?!" Duo bellowed, jumping to his feet. "You couldn't kick yourself, girlie boy!"
"Girlie boy! I'm not the one wearing a dress, princess!"
"You bastard! You take that back!" Duo roared, executing a low tackle to Quatre's midsection and throwing them both onto the couch before flipping on the floor. This time Quatre landed on top.
Quatre grinned. "I'm seme here, does that make me the happy humping hamster?"
Duo glared up at him. "More like the happy humping hippo. You weigh a freaking ton, are you pregnant or something?"
Quatre's face lost all color and he abruptly jerked back, curling on the couch. "How did you know?"
Duo sat up, his jaw dropping in shock. "What?"
"How did you know I was pregnant? It's supposed to be a secret," Quatre whispered.
Heero's brow furrowed. He might not be very informed on interpersonal relationships, but he was fairly certain that in order to become pregnant, one must be female. Or a tree frog when there were no females present. Quatre was not a tree frog.
Trowa slipped from the chair to wrap himself around his koi--the boyfriend, not the fish--and glare at Duo.
"You're shitting me!"
Quatre sniffled. "You might as well know. I'm a hermaphrodite. I have female organs inside and we didn't know it. Then one day," Quatre squeezed his fingers together and leaned against Trowa, "I started throwing up, crying a lot, and wanting to eat fried shrimp with crunchy peanut butter and didn't know why. There was a mixup at the hospital and the doctors accidentally gave me a pregnancy test. It turned up positive."
Duo's jaw dropped and he shook his head.
Quatre's big, blue eyes, watery with unshed tears, pleaded for his friend to understand. Hesitantly, he reached for Duo with his hand, then snatched it back as if afraid that he would be rejected, rejected because somewhere along the line, his lithe yet strong, slim, boy's body had let forth a tiny little egg to be fertilized, to grow into a child that would be the product of a secret, yet sacred love between himself and his koi--the boyfriend, not the fish--and would ultimately be the ultimate expression of their ultimate union with each other. But oh, if the world found out, their lives would become a nightmare instead of a tender dream of daddy, daddy, and baby. So thus, Quatre and Trowa, the lovers who had fate and time stacked against them, held to their precious secret in hopes that they could live a quiet, beautiful life together. Now, though, now that the ever loyal Duo knew, perhaps their friend would be a fierce protector of their burgeoning little family, to be the uncle that he could be.
"Holy shit," Duo breathed.
"Just kidding!" Quatre snickered. "You shoulda seen the look on your face!"
Trowa grinned. "Gotcha."
Duo turned a funny shade of purple before expelling his breath in a loud, wet, obnoxious rush.
Quatre slid from the crouch with all of the grace of an evilly giggling queen and snatched the piece of paper off of the floor. He tossed Duo a triumphant look before handing it to Heero with a flourish. Heero stood there, staring at the back of that letter, desperately wanting to read it, but understanding that doing so would present something of a setback in the marry Duo portion of the mission. Firmly resolved to appropriate the paper later and read it when Duo wasn't looking, Heero held it out to the not-princess. To say this shocked the others was an understatement. Duo was moved to speechlessness and Trowa was moved to mutter a "holy shit" ala Duo.
"Well," Quatre said.
"Fine," Duo hissed, throwing himself onto the couch. He opened up the paper and peered at it. He cleared his throat. Quatre settled back into Trowa's lap with a grin of utter delight.
"My Dearest darling glorious princess," Duo intoned in a whiny falsetto. He looked up. "That's me. I'm the fucking princess, Yuy, and you better not forget it."
Not this again. Heero sighed. "You are male, therefore you are not the princess, Duo."
Duo snorted rudely. He made a few kissy face noises before melodramatically clutching at his chest and moaning like an exuberant Shakespearean actor who always tried, but never quite got the Romeo part. "Your eyes, your beauteous wonderful eyes that I never actually looked at because I was too busy staring at your non-existent rack and your butt because I'm a lowlife pervert who took Relena's Wonder-Wooing Correspondence Course. You want to make more money? Sure! We all do! Just hook up with your eyes, your beauteous wonderful eyes and be King Sweeper!" He snorted again, scratching his head. "The jerk. Let's see, more eyes. They're purple. Violets. Daises. Rosebuds. Lips. Hips. Yada yada. Here we go." He slipped back into the Shakespearean actor posture. "On the battlements this afternoon, looking deep into your eyes, your beauteous wonderful eyes, can we please get more unoriginal here? Anyway, looking into your eyes I could see the unplumbed, not that I know what unplumbed actually means 'cause I'm a moron, depths of desire welling up for me in the passionate blush and your parted, moist lips." Duo curled his lips and shuddered violently. "God, I feel like I've been slobbered on again. Ewww." He cleared his throat again. "Anyway. If that wretched beast--" Duo pointed at Heero. "That would be you. Wretched beast equals Heero Yuy."
Heero frowned. Wretched beast? He had figured out the letter writer's identity with the salutation and had found himself rather displeased with the majority of the contents, barring the "I'm a moron" part, which Heero felt was accurate. However, he hadn't done anything to that knight until after the letter had been written, so there was really no reason for such an insult.
Duo slapped the back of his hand to his forehead in exaggerated angst. "Oh, if that wretched Heero Yuy beast hadn't viciously attacked us, perhaps by now we would have consummated our great love for each other in a most glorious fashion. My ardor, all half inch of it, for your beauteous countenance that I never actually looked at, and your magnificent person, what can I say, I'm a butt boy, cannot be measured because I'm a loser hornball who couldn't get laid in a whorehouse with a thousand dollar bill taped to my forehead. Despite the cowardly attack to my person by that wretched beast, one Heero watch-me-jack-off-my-gun-parts Yuy, I can assure you, my glorious, beauteous fucking princess, that I shall certainly rise to the occasion to prove to you the depths, measurable only by a single millimeter, of my, uh, I really just wanna nail you, but I'll call it love 'cause I think you're too stupid to figure it out."
Jack off gun parts? Had that knight overheard the conversation in the kitchen between Quatre and the not-princess as well? Not good. Heero would have to do something about that.
"This is the really good part, listen to this." Duo was grinning now. "When I valiantly fought my way free of the depths of the moat. Gah. Fought my way free? The idiot dog paddled out of the stupid thing. Anyway, when I valiantly fought my way free of the depths of the moat that vile villain, that would be you again, Yuy, threw me into in a most cowardly fashion, I discovered the token of your favor that made my heart beat with renewed vigor, a delicate token that proves that you feel the same ardor that I do. I shall carry that glorious green camisole close to my heart, against my skin, knowing that you, too, had worn it close to yours. I now know that such an intimate token of your favor is an acceptance of my ardor. Please, meet me tonight upon the battlements where I last held you close to me. Shya, right. Dream on, loser boy. Let us once again embrace and trace the power of our love together. Yours in adoration, Sir Buick Bonneville, your happy humping hamster."
Duo tossed the letter onto the coffee table and collapsed onto the couch. Quatre was laughing again and Trowa was grinning. Heero picked up the letter, scanning it quickly. Only a portion of what Duo had 'read' was actually in the letter, he noted. The "I'm a moron" part had been editorial commentary, he guessed. He compared Duo's speech to the letter's contents and felt his diaphragm jerk. He sternly shoved it down. Relena's Wonder Wooing Correspondence Course. After spending two weeks in her tutelage on the Art of Courtly Love, he could picture her dispensing advice to that knight on how to pick up the not-princess. Heero's lips cracked a small smile that he couldn't push down. Couldn't get laid in a whorehouse. Before he knew it, he was laughing. Happy humping hamster. And he couldn't stop it.
"It's not that funny," Duo grumped, but the glare wouldn't stay on his face.
"Yes, it is," Quatre said beneath his own giggle.
"It was that funny. Particularly Princess Relena's Wonder Wooing Correspondence Course. I had to spend two weeks with the Princess Relena while she taught me the Code of Chivalry and," Heero glowered, "the Art of Courtly Love. I have been unable to remove this information from my memory."
"You spent...." Quatre shook his head. "Why?"
"It took that long to find a white horse that the Princess Relena hadn't applied brown shoe polish to. She had run out and had to use pink when they found Wing."
"Take my advice," Trowa said solemnly, "forget anything Relena told you."
Heero nodded. It was nice to know that someone agreed with his assessment of the Princess Relena's usefulness as a source of information. "I ignore it." Well. Mostly ignored it. He couldn't find anything wrong in the execution of his minor side-mission to make sure that the not-princess did not view that knight's butt. While he thought that the Art of Courtly Love was incorrect at best, it did not pay to leave loose ends on a mission.
Duo grinned. "At least we know that Spandex Boy has a sense of humor, right?"
"Baka," Heero growled.
"That's soldier-ese for uber handsome and fabulously intelligent guy," Duo said sagely.
"It means idiot, Duo," Trowa said.
"I like the other version better." Duo's face slid into a thoughtful expression. "Hey, Heero?"
"Can I borrow one of your guns?"
"C'mon, I promise not to shoot you with it. I gotta go meet up with Chivalry Boy and show him all about my love for him. I think the big gun would be the best one to do it with." Duo's grin turned to something that was a bit chilling. "Shinigami likes to make big things go boom."
"So you did find out that Heero is hung like a horse," Quatre said.
Duo turned an interesting shade of red and stammered incoherently. Heero felt his own cheeks burn a little. He didn't know what he was hung like, but he certainly hoped it wasn't like a hamster. Quatre's eyes took on a little bit of a malicious glint that was completely at odds with is cherubic expression. In light of that, Heero decided that a tactical retreat was in order. "I have to go clean my gun."
"Duo really likes it when you clean your gun, Heero," Quatre said. Trowa snorted. Duo's blush turned neon.
Heero nodded once, curtly. "I enjoy performing preventative maintenance to my weapons as well. Coming Duo?"
"If you're good, Heero," Trowa snickered. He grabbed Quatre's wrist. "Come on, we have places to be."
Heero was fairly certain that had been a sexual innuendo. From Barton, of all people. The man had unplumbed depths. Heero found himself chuckling quietly while he made his way to his quarters.
He'd gotten as far as disassembling the left hand .50AE when Duo hesitantly crept into his quarters. His fingers had jerked reflexively toward the .44 AutoMag before he identified the not-princess by scent again. Shampoo and chocolate.
"Heya, Heero." Duo sounded nervous.
"Hn," he replied.
Duo dropped onto the same stool again, arranging the ripped skirt so he could loll around on comfortably. "What'cha doing?"
He slanted Duo a look from the corner of his eyes and didn't dignify that with a response.
"Right." Duo jerked on his braid and watched Heero's hands work the solvent into various gun bits. "Hey, since you're not really using it right now, would it be okay if I borrowed that little gun over there? It looked all cool and stuff when you pointed it at me last night."
"Chang asked me not to."
Heero picked up the gun oil and the bolt. He twirled it between his fingers a little, listening to the not-princess's breath hitch.
"You're, uh, lubing the, uh, shafty parts again," Duo said.
"Well." Duo sounded nonplused.
Heero hid a grin and settled in to see which way fingers splaying oil over the various shafts in the gun parts excited Duo the most. The Do Not Excite Princesses mission was not going to include Duo. He was slipping the tip of his finger into the barrel and watching Duo wriggle on the stool enough to make it squeal when a thought occurred to him. "What did you mean when you said that you didn't care about my gun's butt, you wanted to--"
Duo slapped his hand over Heero's mouth, cringing. "Ack! Don't say it, Heero! God, I'm embarrassed enough as it is."
Heero pulled the hand away from his mouth, smearing gun oil all over Duo's wrist, and didn't let go. "Why did you say it if you thought my--"
Duo clamped his other hand over Heero's mouth. "Heero!"
Heero put the barrel down carefully and caught Duo's other wrist. "Why do you want to--"
Heero suddenly found himself with a mouthful of not-princess. With no other recourse, Duo had opted to shut him up by sticking his tongue in his mouth. Heero's first instinct was to render the not-princess incapacitated in order to prevent further attack. His second instinct was to wait and see what came of this. Somewhat uncomfortable, he went with the second one, staring into a pair of funny colored eyes that were as wide and panicked as his own. It registered, finally, what was actually happening. Duo was kissing him.
It was their first kiss, a nervous, shy sensuality shared between two beautiful boys who were excited, yes, so excited, yet afraid. Oh yes, one might expect a brief tremor of fear and longing to work its way through the body of one of the boys before he tentatively melted into the strong, yet loving arms of the other while the kiss, their first kiss, slowly deepened into a tender dancing of tongues and tasting and loving desire as they gently begin to explore a burgeoning delight to be found lingering in the hidden depths of a caressing lover's lips and farther, into the shyly growing passion that slowly made its way from the endless regions of two star-crossed souls finally reaching the pinnacle of loneliness to meld eternally with one another in order to finally become lovers united in a love that's--deep breath--destined to bring them the highest heights of happiness.
Heero wasn't thinking that. Neither was Duo. Heero was finding the whole kiss thing odd in that he expected actual movement of some sort, but wasn't sure what or how. He did think that it was a good step toward the marry the princess mission objective. Duo's hormones were shrieking a dirty, rock'n roll, oooh baby! while his stomach was giving an exuberant Bronx cheer. He jerked back before he could throw up. What on earth had possessed him to stop an embarrassing question by doing something even more embarrassing?
Duo jumped to his feet, jerking on his wrists. Heero frowned a little bit, wondering when he could try this kissing business again since Duo seemed disinclined to continue doing so at the present time. Reluctantly, he released the not-princess's wrists. He backed away, offered a nervous smile, then beat a hasty retreat for the door.
The not-princess paused at the door, his hand on the jamb, and looked back over his shoulder.
"Is my..." Heero forced the frown off of his face and pushed down thoughts about kissing techniques. Coward. "...butt cute?"