Duo stared at the chattering girl in front of him,
trying to force an interested look on his face. Too
much make up, not enough brains, and an incredibly
boring way of speaking – who even knew what the hell
she was talking about? Oh, did he have a way with the
girls, or what?
Well, there did happen to be a scattering of guys in
his ‘Bad Dates’ history, he mused, while staring at
her blankly. But they were mostly few and far between,
for a reason that eluded him. Perhaps it was the way
he was going about things? With the girls, he didn’t
have to go after them, they just came to him. He
grinned slightly, and the girl beamed back at him.
Duo looked down at his plate of half-eaten food. Maybe
he should start raising his standards. But hell, he
wasn’t going to lie, it was so damned simple when
possible dates practically threw themselves at him…
and they always seemed so nice when he decided to ask
them out. But he never seemed to have any luck on
first dates. At all.
Oh, he had thought things were about to change… she
was pretty enough; the fluorescent lights at the club
had been flattering to her. She had laughed at
everything he had said, but now he realised – and boy,
did it hurt – that she hadn’t said more than a word at
that time. Well, she certainly was making up for that
“-was just so amazing, y’know?”
Was it him? Was he not trying hard enough to make any
of his potential relationships work? Or was there
something about him that repelled all the
semi-attractive, intelligent females – strike that,
people – in his part of the world? There had to be
Gods, was she still talking? Duo flashed her a
stunning smile, and she beamed back, as she had done
the last couple of times. Damn it to hell, now, he’d
forgotten her name. What was it? Pansy? Petal? Polly?
“So I was talking to Melissa, and she was all,
‘Petunia, c’mon, I so don’t agree with you!’ but she’s
so wrong, y’know? Y’know?”
Ah. Nice timing. Petunia, then. Duo wasn’t sure, she
seemed more like a Polly to him. Still, if she said
her name was Petunia, then so be it. Then again, he
didn’t really want to be up at the alter saying ‘I
take thee Petunia’, that didn’t sound right. He’d much
rather be saying a name like-
“Duo? C’mon, what do you think?” Damn, her voice was
“Oh, Petunia, of course I agree with you!” He forced
another grin, which seemed to pacify her. Why, oh why
hadn’t he taken that cute blond’s offer?
The guy was cute, he remembered, nice hair, nice smile
– Ah, he remember why he had refused. The guy had
looked too much like Quatre. And he definitely wasn’t
comfortable with the thought of making out with a guy
that looked – and sounded – like his best friend. No,
there was something terribly… wrong, with that image.
Dammit. This was just stupid. He thought back to last
night, when he had first asked her out. He had thought
she was the best person in the whole damn place.
Except… he narrowed his eyes, trying to remember the
person that had caught his eye once…
It was before the ‘blond that looked like Quatre’, and
after Petunia and her friends had latched onto him.
The guy had been about the same age as Duo, he
remembered that. A dark haired, blue-eyed guy that had
watched Duo, as Petunia and her friends surrounded
him. The club had been dark, so Duo couldn’t exactly
remember how the guy looked. But when he had looked
straight into Duo’s eyes, the brunette could have
sworn his heart had jumped straight into his throat.
And no guy - no, no person, had ever made him feel
Well, it was too late now. He hadn’t gone over to ‘Mr.
Blue Eyes’ then, and instead of a possible hot date
with the gorgeous guy, he was stuck with Miss ‘can’t
shut up even to eat’.
Duo glared half-heartedly at Petunia’s hardly touched
plate of food. He didn’t quite understand why some
girls seemed to think men found it appealing when they
ordered the most expensive thing on the menu, only to
end up picking at it and proclaim that they were
‘watching their figure’ and ‘couldn’t simply eat
Just then, his cell phone rang, putting a pause to the
girl’s endless line of speech. There was nothing wrong
with talking, he loved doing it himself, but why did
she have to pick such inane topics to babble about? He
flipped on his phone, whispering a silent thanks to
whoever had decided to call him.
“Hello? Duo speaking!”
“Duo!” He grinned, he could recognise Quat’s voice
anywhere. “Oh, so sorry to interrupt your date, by the
way, how’s it going?”
“Great,” he bit out, and he could almost imagine
“That bad, huh?”
“Oh, yeah,” he smiled slightly at the girl, who was
fidgeting, then told Quatre a quick ‘hold on’ before
looking at her again.
“This might take quite a while, and it’s rather
important. Petunia, if you’d excuse me?”
She giggled – why? It wasn’t even funny! – and nodded
vigorously. He rose from his chair, and made his way
to the outside of the ridiculously expensive
restaurant they were in. As soon as he was safe, he
burst out, “Lord, I could kiss you for calling me,
Quat. How’d you know I’d need saving?”
“Well, you do know that the odds are sort of against
you now, don’t you?”
“Yeah, rub it in, rub it in. So, what’s up?”
“Oh, I’m just checking, you know I’m having a
housewarming next week, right? I’ve finally managed to
clean my new place up enough. I’m guessing that you
won’t be bringing a date.”
Duo grinned. “You guessed right. And you will be
inviting people with brains, right?”
Quatre laughed, the sound breezing through the phone.
“You know, Duo, have you ever thought that if you stop
looking for dates, the right person might just… bump
Duo sighed, an image of cobalt eyes entering his mind.
“Yeah, but if I stop looking, I might miss… the
perfect person, you know? And I’d hate to think I gave
that opportunity up just because I was tired of
“That doesn’t mean that you should pick people that
throw themselves at you – that really doesn’t bode
well for a long-term relationship. As you should very
well know by now.”
Duo fidgeted uncomfortably. “Quat, save the
relationship lecture when I’m not hiding from the
worse date ever. Anyway, how are things going with
your so called Mr. Perfect?” The change of subject was
swift, and either Quatre didn’t notice, or let it
slip. Duo knew very well that ever since he met one
particular Trowa Barton, Quatre would practically jump
at any chance to talk about him.
“Things are great! Trowa is so amazing! Things are
just… well, it’s going really, really well.”
Duo groaned in jest. “You sound like you’ve fallen
head over heels over toes, Quat. I’ve never heard you
quite so… sappy.”
Quatre coughed. “You can judge for yourself - he’ll be
coming to the party too. He said he’d be bringing some
friends of his, too. I haven’t met them, but, well-”
“Any friends of Mr. Perfect are welcome to meet me…”
He could almost hear the smile creep into Quatre’s
voice. “Maybe Trowa has better taste than you.”
Duo laughed obligingly. “He must, he picked you for a
boyfriend, didn’t he?”
Quatre chuckled slightly. “And now I wonder why you
haven’t found the right person. You can be downright
charming when you want to.”
Duo shook his head. “Apparently just not to the right
people, huh. He sighed as a pang of obligation swept
over him. “Guess I’ve gotta go now, Quat.”
“Of course,” Quatre said breezily, “Can’t keep dear
Petunia waiting, now can we?”
Duo groaned. “Now would be a good time to remind me
why I still go on dates?”
“Too much hope, Duo. Too much hope – but a lot of bad
Duo muttered his agreement. “Maybe there’s like a love
curse on me.”
Quatre laughed. “You only wish! I’ll see you tomorrow;
meet you for lunch or something, okay? I’ll give you a
“You do that, Quat.” He listened as the line went
flat, and put away his phone. Time to face the music.
Duo tossed his jacket onto the coat rack as he entered
the apartment, shutting the door behind him. He popped
open a bottle of wine and poured himself a glass,
reclining on the sofa and working out the kinks in his
back. He was alone, of course. He had let the girl
down at the end of the date, kindly, but firmly. He
didn’t want her getting the wrong message and tracking
him down for another date. Duo shuddered. Definitely
not. One date with her was enough to last him a
He sighed, flopping down into the cushions. Letting
his mind wonder, his thoughts drifted once again to
that mysterious guy. Duo could have sworn that the man
hadn’t taken his eyes off Duo once that night… Dammit,
dammit to hell. Maybe his night wouldn’t have ended
this way if he’d only gone up to the guy and talked to
him a little.
Quatre was probably right, he should really stop
dating those fawning girls that always seemed to
gather round him when he went clubbing. Nothing good
ever came out of those dates. But that guy… Duo
shivered. Good vibes just emitted from him.
He took a sip of his glass – he never drank much on
dates, preferring to remain sober, though there had
been moments when it had been tempting to ask for a
couple of shots of vodka and drink his ass off – and
proceeded to check his messages.
There was just one – from Quatre.
“Hey Duo! Decided that since it wasn’t urgent, I
wouldn’t interrupt your time with… Petunia, wasn’t it?
Lunch tomorrow, same time, same place. Let me know if
there’s a problem with that. Bye!”
Duo shook his head. For all that the guy was the best
friend someone could ask for, he was way too chipper.
Then again, he had a great job, and now, a great guy,
so he really had no reason to be anything but that.
Quatre was the eternal optimist, even when back when
they were kids hanging together. Duo could still
remember that one time when Quatre had stepped on
glass. He’d screwed up his tiny face, trying not to
cry, and whispered that at least he hadn’t ruined his
It was… endearing. Stupid, sometimes, but extremely
endearing. Duo grinned.
He closed his eyes, unbuttoned the top two buttons on
his shirt, and tossed back another swallow of wine.
The blue eyes came into his mind again, and he thought
randomly that they seemed to get more gorgeous each
time. He drifted in and out of sleep, and even knowing
that he was going to kick himself later for falling
asleep couldn’t stop him. The lure of sleep, and
perhaps even a dream of those eyes, overcame any other
arguments and lulled him into slumber.
Duo spotted Quatre sitting at the corner of the small
cafe, their usual seat, of course. The blond grinned,
and waved enthusiastically. There was no need to,
there never was, but hey, it was almost like
“Hey,” he said, sliding into the seat opposite Quatre.
“I’m not late, am I?”
“No – I’m early.”
Duo smiled. “I figured. One of these days I’m gonna
actually try to beat you here.”
“Good luck…” They both chuckled, and Duo studied
“So? You’re not having lunch with Mr. Perfect?”
Quatre semi-scowled. “You don’t have to call him that,
he has a name.”
Duo shrugged in apology. “Seems as fitting a name as
any to me.”
Quatre relented. “Fine. But don’t you think he has
such a nice name?
Duo laughed. “Sounds a pretty average name to me, but
then again, I’m not in love with the guy.” He winked,
smirking. “It sounds like Quat’s getting some real
good lovin’, huh?”
Quatre coloured slightly. “I am not!”
“Oh, then don’t worry, Quat, I’m sure you’ll get some
Quatre stuck his tongue out and turned his attention
to his coffee.
Duo grinned, and gestured for the waitress to come
over towards their table.
“You doing anything now?”
Duo looked up from his now-empty plate and shook his
head. “It’s the weekend. I’m all free. Why?”
“I’ve just completed that art project I was working
on. I can’t do without my best critic.”
“You only have to ask.” Duo finished counting out the
tip for their food and put it on the table. “Ready to
Quatre pushed his chair back and grabbed his coat.
They walked leisurely out the café doors, and Duo
followed Quatre as they walked on the sidewalk.
Although Duo had walked past Quatre’s apartment block
many times before, Quatre had refused to let him into
the apartment itself until the blond deemed it worthy
for outside inspection. So when they finally ended up
at the place, and Quatre opened the door, he wasn’t
quite sure what he was expecting.
“Wow,” he muttered. “What have you been doing to this
Quatre beamed. “Nice, huh? Not a bad job, even if I do
say so myself.”
It was quite apparent to Duo what Quatre had been
working so hard to accomplish in the last couple of
weeks. The whole place was impeccable tidy, and
everything seemed to match perfectly with everything
“Trowa helped me to pick out most of the stuff here,”
Quatre mentioned, walking into the room.
Duo followed him in. “What, you trust him to help you,
but not your best, best friend?”
Quatre turned to look at him, and relaxed when he
realised Duo was simply kidding.
“Friendship doesn’t mean you have good taste, Duo.”
“Fine,” Duo conceded, “But you have to realise that
this means that this means I’ll be coming here to
bother you more often.”
Quatre had wandered into one of the back rooms, and he
called back, “We wouldn’t still be friends if I hadn’t
learned to ignore you so well!”
“Hey!” Duo protested.
Duo ambled into the room. “Nice,” he commented,
looking at Quatre’s newest masterpiece.
Some years ago, looking at something that nicely done,
and by Quatre, no less, would have caused his jaw to
drop, but now that he’d gotten used to the fact that
Quatre was a remarkable artist… The shock had faded
somewhat, and there was just appreciation of his
And, all right, a smidgen of jealousy.
The piece of artwork was a swirl of color, and when
viewed from some distance, a shape of a person was
depicted. It gave off a very ethereal image, and Duo
allowed his approval to shine through his eyes.
“Thanks!” Quatre smiled softy as he looked at the
piece of canvas again.
“Are you going to put this in the gallery for sale?”
“No.” A light stain covered Quatre’s cheeks. “I’m
giving it to Trowa.”
Quatre murmured a yes. “He was the inspiration,
Duo ran his fingers lightly across the base of the
canvas, before turning to stare straight at Quatre.
“I’m hoping this Trowa knows how damn lucky he is.”
A ghost of a smile flickered across Quatre’s face.
“He’s not as lucky as I am.”
Duo shook his head. “Hopeless. It’s utterly hopeless.”
“So, it’s good, then? It has your seal of approval?”
Duo laughed. “When has anything done by you not had
“That doesn’t mean it’s not nice to know.” Quatre
gazed at the clock, and swore quietly. Duo rose his
“Shut up,” his friend muttered. “I’m late! I’m
supposed to be at the gallery in five minutes. I’ve
gotta go!” He ran out of the room.
“Have fun!” Duo called. “I guess I’ll be letting
“If you will? Sorry about this, Duo.” Quatre rushed
back in. “You can stop by at the gallery later on if
you want. I’ve got a few new pieces I thought you
might like. Saved them just for you.”
“Thanks, Quat. I’ll be there.”
“Okay, gotta go, bye!”
Quatre flew out the door of the apartment, and Duo
blinked. He turned around, and gazed at the painting,
before shaking his head and snorting.
“Damn, but life would be good if I was in love with
Duo sighed, and walked out of the room.
The both of them had been friends for what seemed like
forever. Quatre had been there for Duo through
everything, and he liked to think that he had returned
But never once had there been a spark of anything but
pure friendship. How perfect it would have been had
there been more.
But there wasn’t, and now Quatre had Trowa, and Duo
Oh, but he wasn’t bitter. Not one bit. He was
perfectly happy for his friend. And of course, he was
willing to wait and bide his time until his perfect
person decided to make an entrance.
Yes, sarcasm was different from lying.
“You better make an appearance soon,” he said out
loud. “You hear me? You better get your butt into my
life soon, or I’m gonna be ma~ad when you do pop up.”
Duo paused, and grinned. “Oh, I guess I could be
persuaded not to be too angry, if you promise to be
extra yummy looking.”
The silence that greeted him was almost mocking, and
the utter absurdity of what he had been doing hit him.
Duo laughed, shook his head in ridicule, and made his
way out of the apartment.
A few blocks down, a brown haired, cobalt eyed man
paused in the middle of typing on his keyboard. When
nothing happened, he shook his head and continued. He
could have sworn he heard something… was he meant to
be somewhere else? Was he late for something?
…Had someone called for him?