Chapter 3: Behind Door Number Two
Exactly a week after Heero's disastrous date with Trowa finds Duo
knocking on Quatre's door at ten in the morning. When the door
opens, however, it is none other than a half naked Trowa Barton on
the other side. Now Duo has a set of rules he lives by, and high up
on that list is `it never hurts to look,' so he follows this rule to
the exact letter of law, starting at Trowa's large feet and crawling
up the long, sinuous hairless legs to the skimpy vertical striped
boxers, which do nothing to hide his ample assets. Then up the thin
trail of auburn hair from the waistband to the bellybutton, over the
flat stomach, the lean muscular planes of his chest, the angular
shoulders and the clouded green eyes, surrounded by sleep mussed
hair. For a solid minute, Duo stares and has serious regrets about
not picking up Trowa for himself when he first found him. The
things he does for Heero...
After a few seconds of sleepy silence, while Trowa blinks away his
drowsiness, he starts to recognize who's on the doorstep. "Duo?"
"That's me," Duo says brightly. "I came by to see if Quatre wanted
to go out for some coffee, but it looks like he's already had a
snack." This earns Duo an inscrutable look, so he decides to push
his luck and go for broke. "Let me guess, sometime last week a half-
naked Quatre `bumped' into you at the pool. Fast forward a few
minutes, some batted eyelashes and lusty looks, and he's seduced you
in the gym showers. And for the next few days you haven't set foot
back in your apartment, or really left the bed for that matter."
Trowa actually drops his jaw in surprise. "How did you know?"
Duo only grins and shakes his head. "I just know how Quatre works."
The surprise becomes a wince and then a wry smile, as Trowa realizes
just how strategic Quatre had been.
But before he can reply, a door opens somewhere and the blond's
slurred voice fills the apartment. "Trowa," he whines, "forget
breakfast. You promised to show me The Butterfly."
Trowa even starts to pink a bit and clears his throat. "Do you want
me to get Quatre?"
Duo takes pity on the swimmer. "Nah, I'll call him later." Seeing
that Trowa is still rooted to the doorstep, he goes to physically
shoo the man back into the apartment. "Come on, you've got someone
waiting for you in there. Now go nail him into the mattress, you
stud." Duo laughs his head off as he closes the door behind the
stunned man. Poor Trowa never had a chance...
Hours later, Carla's coffeehouse is packed when Duo arrives; he end
up spending a good five minutes searching each of the three main
rooms until he hears Quatre calling him over from a candlelit
corner. Quatre looks, in short, like he's been ravaged by a wild
animal, and apparently loved every minute of it-dazed, fuzzy
expression, disorderly hair, bruising hickies, a private little
"Haven't we been a busy bee," Duo croons in an effort to put some
smidgeon of shame into him.
Quatre feels nothing of the sort; he's actually quite smug. "Well,
I waited two days, and I made sure to ask him about Heero. And
since he was still on the market, well, who am I to pass up a chance
Duo rolls his eyes. "Love my ass; you wanted his hot bod from the
moment you saw him." He gives Quatre a good natured poke. "Looks
like he gave it to you this morning too."
Quatre actually closes his eyes and the far away look on his face
tells Duo that he's in his own private dreamworld that has nothing
to do with lattes and everything to do with lube. "Mmm, three times
to be exact. All that swimming must be great for stamina."
Duo whistles low and has real regrets again. "I'm surprised you can
still sit down."
Quatre considers the comment rather seriously and nods
speculatively. "Me too; what can I say, Trowa's very talented..."
"Right, you can send me my thank you present in the mail. But you
know, there was a reason I stopped by your apartment today; I need
you to help me set up Heero's second date."
Quatre perks up even more, if possible. "Yeah? Who'd you find this
time? Do I know him? Is he cute?"
"Quatre," Duo warns, regretting once again enlisting his help in the
dating department. He'd rather not be inadvertently finding
Quatre's next lay, thank you very much. "Focus, Quat, I need you to
focus. This is for Heero. The guy's name is Wufei Chang; he's a
junior studying political science. And before you ask, yes, he has
an amazing body. He's the head of the school's martial arts
"Ooh, Bruce Lee huh? I love those mysterious silent types."
"Ha, I bet you do. But I learned my lesson after your precious
Trowa; Chang's serious enough, but he's got a huge mouth, which can
only be a plus." Duo gives Quatre a knowing nudge and they both
burst into raucous laugher, earning a sharp look from a nearby
customer, which they utterly ignore. "Actually, the first time I
saw him, he was in the middle of an argument with Sally.
Apparently, her philosophy was `naïve and cowardly.'" At this
point, Quatre grimaces because he knows unpleasantness is
imminent. "Yeah, pretty much my reaction. So Sally tells him that
his view of life is `chauvinistic and simple minded'. Which leads
to this gigantic blowout right in the middle of the hall; I think we
actually drew a crowd for a while, at least until Sally got so
pissed off she threw her mocha at him. Thankfully, it was lukewarm
by this point, but let's just say, if you see Sally in the next few
days, try not to mention Wufei's name."
"So noted. But where do I come in? You set up Heero with Trowa all
by yourself, didn't you?"
"Well yeah, but Heero's being irritatingly evasive whenever I try to
get him to set up a time for another date. I'd have Wufei just call
him, but I know he'll pawn off some excuse. And hell if I'm gonna
lose this bet."
"OK, So what am I doing?"
"You, my man, are going to be bringing Wufei to our meeting point
while I use some clever subterfuge to get Heero there. Of course,
Heero will think this is just some normal outing, but then `bam!' we
surprise him by `bumping' into you and Wufei."
Quatre looks less than impressed by the plan. "What makes you think
Heero won't just deny any knowledge of the date? And what makes you
think Wufei'll be stupid enough to fall for it too, for that matter?"
Duo assumes his wounded dog look. "Aw, man, you gotta trust me.
Wufei, I'm not too sure of, but he seems to be blissfully unaware of
subtlety. And Heero's not mean enough to go tell some random nice
guy to his face that he never had any intention of going out with
"Say you're right, but how're you going to get Heero there?"
"Heh, yeah, I haven't quite gotten that far yet. I'll figure
something out; you just worry about your end. I just need you to
pick up Wufei, distract him for a bit (not that way, you horny
little pervert) and bring him to the meeting place. Just leave
everything else to me." And with this the two spend the evening in
The plan surprisingly comes off without a hitch, which proves, as
Quatre believes afterwards, that the universe must have a horrible
sense of humor. Quatre dutifully picks Wufei up at his apartment.
What Quatre thinks of Wufei-shirtless, struggling with a knotted tie
and wet black hair falling out of his tight ponytail-is completely
unpublishable. Quatre does not know, but would be offended to know
how relieved Wufei is when he realizes this is not his date for the
At the same moment, Duo is pacing back and forth in Heero's living
room. He stops every few seconds to glare at the closed bedroom
door. Then he sighs and continues pacing. After ten minutes or so
Heero makes his grand appearance, frowning, but otherwise immaculate
in a sport coat and button down shirt.
Duo critically appraises Heero, orders him to undo the top two
buttons and wields the lint brush like a weapon. Heero suffers
through this with utter solemnity. "I don't understand why we need
to be dressed up like this."
"Cause we're going to a nice restaurant to celebrate my new
internship. You know I've been after that storyboard job forever.
The least you can do is help me celebrate in style, and that means
we're going to that new fancy Japanese place on Dorset, and damned
if we're gonna drink upscale sake and eat gourmet hand rolls in
ratty t-shirts and jeans. Now...you look great, so let's get a move
on; I've got reservations for 7 sharp."
Fast forward fifteen minutes and Duo spots Quatre and Wufei outside
of Umi from down the street. He speeds up his pace and goes in for
the kill before Heero catches on. "Quatre, Wufei, sorry we're just
a bit late. Here's Heero. Heero Yuy, meet Wufei Chang." Heero is
utterly confused, but Duo can see suspicion growing on his face. "I
apologize Wufei for being so roundabout, but I'm going to a party
with Quatre so I thought it might be easiest to have us all meet up
at once. And Heero here, with his horrible direction, would've
never found this place alone. So without eating into your time
anymore, me and Quatre will leave you guys to enjoy your date."
Heero's suspicion turns into sudden betrayal and he shoots Duo a
venomous glare. Duo only smiles brightly. "Look at that; Heero's
real impatient to be alone with you. Alright, alright, buddy; I'm
going. Enjoy yourselves!"
And with this Duo grabs Quatre's hand and begins a jog down the
street. The last Duo sees of Heero that night is a look of pure
silent fury, which only serves to amuse him even more.
Quatre is thoroughly puzzled, though, when then they arrive in the
lobby of an apartment building some four blocks away. "You're not
staying and watching?"
"Nah, Heero looks like he'd kill me if he spotted me in the crowd.
And you know Sally throws the best parties."
"You mean she has lots of pretty friends who swoon under the Maxwell
"Damn straight; now let's go."
The rest of the night, suffice to say, is somewhat hard to remember,
but what little of it Duo recalls is awesome. He wakes up in
Sally's bed, half dressed and covered in cologne and perfume. Sally
is nowhere to be seen and the nightstand has a few post-its with
phone numbers and one or two suggestive comments.
He spends the rest of the morning matching names and numbers with
the faces he remembers, and by that afternoon, he's standing on
Heero's doorstep, black book full and pizza in hand for Heero as an
apology. On the third unanswered knock, he has a feeling he might
have to throw in the TV guide he stole out of Heero's mailbox that
he was hoping to keep for himself. Finally, after a few more
minutes of industrious knocking (enough to get Heero's neighbor to
open her door and shoot him a dirty look anyway) Heero reluctantly
opens the door. But Duo's entrance is held up short by Heero's body
solidly blocking the way. "What do you want?"
"To say I'm sorry? Oi, here's a pizza before you say anything."
Duo holds out the cardboard box, bringing it up close to Heero's
nose and moving it around in circles in hopes of increasing the
aroma. "It's your favorite-veggie delight with extra cheese. And
I'm throwing in the TV guide for free. All for letting me in."
Heero really considers slamming the door in Duo's face, but his
shoulders droop in resignation, knowing that deep down he has no
choice. But he only steps aside a few inches to show that he`s
letting Duo in out of his generosity and not surrender. "You're not
Duo squeezes through the gap quickly before Heero changes his
mind. "I know, I know." He drops the pizza on the coffee table and
goes to rummage in Heero's fridge for coke or beer. "But you know I
had no choice," he tells Heero. "I couldn't get you to agree to
another date. So I took drastic measures. And don't you dare tell
me you didn't think Wufei was nice on the eyes."
Duo almost runs into Heero as he exits the kitchen, arms full of
chips, dip, coke and barbeque sauce. Heero frowns at his selection
as usual. "You could've at least told me beforehand."
"Yeah right, and watch the magical, passive-aggressive, Heero Yuy
disappearing act? I think not. Anyway, what's done is done,
right? And I promise not to do it again. Scout's honor." This
stops Heero's objection on his lips because Duo always follows
through on his promises, which unfortunately usually come after the
fact. In Heero's silence, Duo senses his momentary victory and
presses his advantage. "So, let's just get to the part where you
tell me what went on and we can avoid the whole `please tell me,
Heero' session we would have otherwise. Good?"
"There's nothing to say."
"Sure there is. Like what you talked about; did you ogle him
without him noticing; did he say anything romantic; where did you
go, need I go on?"
"We had dinner and talked. Then we went for coffee and talked some
more. And then I came home."
Duo expects this type of abbreviated description from Heero, but
still cannot help but feel annoyed. "Heero," he whines, "let's try
the non-Cliff notes version. Let's start with the meal. What did
you specifically talk about?"
"School. Great, Heero. Fine, what about personal stuff? Did he
hit on you?"
"No. He talked a lot about his ex-boyfriend."
"Are you kidding me? I can't believe it, you idiot. You let him
talk all night about Treize?"
"No, about Zechs."
Duo nearly spits out his coke. "Zechs? Who the hell is Zechs?
Wait, wait, wait, wait. That blond straightest-guy-on-the-block
second year grad? God, first the new prof and then his grad
student? What'd Wufei do, sleep with the entire polysci department?"
This is the closest Heero usually comes to a joke, and for some
reason, Duo finds Heero's jokes the funniest things in the world.
He slings an appreciative arm across Heero's shoulders. "Now that
wouldn't surprise me; Wufei looks like he gets what he wants. Even
if is against some big, important university policy. But you're
telling me you spent your entire date talking about his ex? What
was he thinking? What were you thinking?"
Heero shrugs off the contact. "What did it matter? We had dinner;
he wanted to talk so I let him talk."
"No, Heero! You let him talk about how good you look, about what
you like to do on rainy nights, about how much he'd like to kiss the
daylights out of you, anything but his ex."
"It's not like it matters. He only agreed to go out with me so he
wouldn't hurt your feelings."
"That's not the poi...what?!" Duo gapes in silent outrage for a full
minute before he explodes out of his seat. "He agreed to date you
out of pity for me? He felt sorry for me?! That pompous bastard! I
can't believe the nerve of that guy. That scum sucking, stick-up-
Duo continues pacing, scowling at everything around him, and
throwing out invectives against Wufei for the next ten minutes,
until Heero can't stand it anymore. "Just calm down, Duo. Sit...
The command stops Duo in his tracks and he drops onto the couch,
still fuming. "Him! Feeling pity for me, when he has to go seduce
teachers to get some."
"I'm gonna make sure everyone knows what a two-faced, dirty liar he
is. You give me some dirt on him, Heero."
"I won't let it go; you know it. I'll just keep annoying you-pacing
your living room, rummaging through the shelves, channel surfing all
Heero sighs in weariness; Duo has a talent for being exhausting even
when Heero watches from the sidelines. "Fine, alright. He dumped
Zechs because Zechs slept with Treize."
Duo almost chokes again, and bursts into guffawing, maliciously
delighted laughter. "So he couldn't satisfy his man, huh? Just
like a fucking soap opera. How'd he find out? Empty condom
wrapper? Caught them in the act? Incriminating answering machine
"None of the above. Zechs admitted it; he got drunk at a faculty
party and ended up in Treize's bed. Zechs confessed to Wufei
afterwards and asked for forgiveness."
"From that tight-assed bastard? He'd have better luck trying to
squeeze water from stone. No way in hell is Chang gonna take him
"He asked me if he should."
"Ha! I can't believe he's actually considering it. Hell, it must
be love. Or an amazing lay. What'd you tell him?"
"Since Zechs confessed, I said Wufei should at least talk to him."
"Shit, Heero, you really believe that, you big softie? You think
Wufei'll do it?"
Duo just shakes his head in disbelief. Who knew Wufei had a
heart? "Well, hell. It sounds like a great date then. Did you get
a goodnight kiss at least?"
"No, we went for coffee and he saw Treize at the café-"
Duo gives the ceiling a withering stare. "God, it just keeps
getting more fucked up. Let me guess. He went to confront Treize
and had the mother of all fights."
"No. Why would you say that? He had a few words with Trieze and
then told me he needed to go talk to Zechs. And then he left."
"So he just up and ran? Gee, I sure know how to pick em, don't I?
He talks about that honor shit all the time and he goes and abandons
you. I can't believe he put you through that, Heero. I thought
he'd be perfect."
"It's not your fault. Just forget about it." Apparently, Heero
already has, because Duo can hear the telltale whine of his laptop
coming to life. Knowing the conversation is effectively over once
the notebook boots up, Duo eagerly digs into the pizza and beer,
frustration momentarily forgotten.