Title: Can't Help Myself Part 6
Author: Sorceress Fantasia
Pairings: 2/5, 5/S, Solo/2, eventual 1/2 and various others
Warnings: AU, fusion fic, OOC-ness, sappiness at times, some angst, OCs, language
Disclaimer: I tried to lure Duo over to my place with a trail of food, but Heero lured him away with some strawberries and whipped cream. Currently, I'm trying to lose the weight I got from eating all the food Duo didn't eat, so I don't have the time to come up with another plot to get the GW boys. Therefore, I do not own the GW boys or the anime. I own this little ficcy though.
Note: Fusion with a drama serial called 'Meteor Garden', which is actually an adaptation from a manga called Hana Yori Dango. Some names have been changed however.
Thanx to Lily Kalanoa for beta-ing!
"Young master, if you see him holding hands with someone else, what will you do? A: Walk away, B: Confront him about it, or C: Ignore him."
Heero raised an eyebrow at the options he was given. "D: punch the hell out of the other guy."
Butler Jay gulped, grabbing the magazine in front of him harder. It was already scaring him out of his wits that his young master came home flailing some girl's magazine, and demanding him to help him with some sort of quiz. And now he was being temperamental… again. Jay sighed inwardly.
"Young master, there is no such option. You have to choose one of the three options the book gives or the quiz results won't be accurate," he tried tentatively, hoping that he could just bolt.
Heero sighed harshly, clenching his fists. "B then."
The other man nodded, and quickly jotted down his response in the quiz book. Noting that that was the last question, he mentally tabulated the scores and highlighted the column Heero should read for his results of the quiz. Handing it over to Heero, he said, "Young master, read the column I highlighted in yellow. That's your results."
The Japanese boy grabbed it fiercely, and gave Jay a glare as though daring him to read his results. The column was rather wordy, and Heero felt irritated just by looking at the amount of text. But he found himself deeply intrigued when he started reading, especially when he got to the part that stated, rather vehemently, that he was definitely attracted to Duo. For a moment, he paused in his reading and let his mind get used to the idea.
He found himself thinking of Duo, reliving the times when he was around the braided boy. Duo was beautiful, high-spirited, energetic and bold. At the same time, he was the only person who had ever rejected money, a feat especially when Duo's family wasn't all that well off. Heero could just imagine the warmth he would feel when Duo snuggled into his arms, and when Duo closed his eyes for a kiss or even… he blushed inwardly. Oh yeah, his body answered quite clearly that he was definitely attracted to that braided boy.
Heero continued reading, hoping that the book would hide the blush on his face. Then he scowled when the magazine stated that he was bound to chase Duo away from him with his temper and violent tendencies, no matter how much they could be in love. Gnashing his teeth, he slammed the magazine onto the table.
"Young master! Are you okay?" Jay asked.
"This is trash!" Heero yelled, ready to order the servants to toss the magazine away. Then he remembered that it had said that his temper would be his undoing in his relationship with Duo, and he suppressed his anger. "Jay, do I have a very nasty temper?"
Jay gulped again. This was the type of question that everyone in the world hated to answer and would like nothing more than to avoid. But well, this was Heero asking, and one rule of being a butler? Answer your masters, no matter what questions they were. He thought of lying, but he knew that Heero hated liars with a vengeance and he was a bad actor.
"Sometimes, young master," he answered timidly, bracing himself for any punches or kicks that would no doubt, come his way.
But the shower of punches never came. Heero just bit his lips thoughtfully, brows furrowed in concentration. He picked up the magazine again and continued reading. When he got to the part that suggested that he change his image and how he present himself in front of Duo, his eyes took on a determined gleam.
Duo adjusted his book bag on his shoulders and trudged up the stairs. He had a long day ahead of him, and he was not looking forward to Mr. Roberts' classes. Although things had died down very much by now, he was still the victim of W4's red note and that jerk still enjoyed torturing him quite a bit.
And that wasn't the only reason for his sluggishness today. His mind was still, unfortunately, supplying him with images of Sally Po. After seeing her on Relena's magazines, Duo had gone home dejectedly and by some quirk of fate, saw a giant poster of her somewhere. She had been chosen to be an ambassador of sorts (or was that a model for some travel agency?), and that glorious achievement was putting Duo down. Out of sheer curiosity, he had purchased that magazine with Sally as the cover page, and read the cover story. It only served to dishearten him even more. Sally Po was the type of person who achieved straight As for every aspect of her life, academically and otherwise.
How could he ever compare?
Duo sighed, and continued walking on to the library for some research.
He turned. "Oh. Hi, Quatre. Hi, Trowa."
The blonde man offered a genuine smile, leaning against the railing near the stairs. Trowa stayed beside him, using his arms to settle himself onto the metal railing instead.
"Are you rushing off somewhere? If you're not, come join us for a little chat. We were just talking about you, actually," Trowa said.
Duo raised an eyebrow, wondering what were they saying about him. He wasn't too sure if he wanted to know, honestly, knowing how close they were to Heero and that Heero didn't like him. But still, Quatre and Trowa had never done anything to him. Perhaps they were nice people, and might even had wanted to help him but didn't due to Heero's temper and their friendship.
"What about me?"
"About how good you are. I think you are the only person to ever survive in Gundam University after receiving a red note from us. We're stilled amazed by that." Trowa chuckled good-naturedly.
Quatre nodded. "And now that it's been so long, I guess you'll do well here. The pranks are stopping, aren't they?"
"They are," Duo agreed. Then a stray idea hit him, and he asked, "Can I ask you about Sally Po? You guys know her right?"
"Sally? Of course we know her. We grew up together, and because she's a little older than us, she was quite protective of us. Kind of fussing over us like a big sister. Right, Quatre?"
"Definitely. But she was closest to Wufei. Heh, Wufei was a loner during his childhood, even when he was with us. He used to stay in a corner by himself while the three of us were playing. For a while, he was so withdrawn I thought he was autistic. But Sally kept encouraging him to talk and to come join us, and the two of them spent a lot of time together."
"Right. I'm pretty sure Wufei has a crush on her even today. And I guess that he'll do something about it when Sally comes back from France next week," Trowa added casually.
Duo frowned lightly, suppressing his urge to stop listening. "She's coming back next week?"
"She just called us a couple days ago to tell us that. It'll be good to see her again after so long. I bet even Heero's excited about that," Quatre noted, sniggering.
Duo had no idea what to say except to smile along, even though he wasn't feeling too good about the whole thing.
He loved the rooftop for one simple reason: it was his territory and few people ever came up here. Heero thought that the place was too warm, and anywhere he didn't approve of, few dared to venture.
Wufei shook his head. It was such inane ideas that made people lose out on the opportunity to see beautiful things.
Suddenly, his cell phone rang out a familiar tune, and he quickly picked it up.
"Hello, Fei? This is Sally."
He smiled uncontrollably. "Sally? Fei here."
"Just calling to let you know that I'll be back even sooner. I decided to take another flight, so I think I'll be back about a few days earlier. Help me tell the others, okay?"
"Okay. Sally… I've missed you."
Her chuckles were pleasant even through the phone. "I've missed you too, Fei. Well, I've got to go now. See you soon. Bye!"
And the line went silent, but Wufei would not let go. He continued holding onto it like a cherished prize. It had been a long time since he'd seen Sally, and he vaguely reflected on how bland his life was without her. She doted on him so much, taught him so much and perhaps… loved him so much.
He had missed her terribly.
Wufei leapt off the ledge he was sitting on, ready to go back down. He still had lessons actually, and now he was in the mood to go back to class. It didn't matter that he was thirty minutes late. None of the teachers actually cared if he decided to saunter into class late or even if he didn't go at all. Or maybe they were just too intimidated by the idea that his family (along with his friend's families) handed them their paychecks. After all, most of them had heard about a teacher who had been given the boot just two years ago just because she commented offhandedly that she didn't like Heero's attitude in class.
Then the door leading down opened, and Duo popped in. When Duo noticed him, he felt a little smile break out on his face and he waved.
"Hi, Duo. Nice day, isn't it? I'd really like to stay here and chat with you, but I've got lessons so I have to go," Wufei replied almost cheerily. Before bounding down the stairs, he pressed his lips against Duo's forehead. "Bye."
If he had turned back, he would have noticed the blush on Duo's face.
Duo decided that fate didn't like him all that much as he walked up the stairs leading to the rooftop. School was giving him hell, and Wufei's would-be girlfriend was coming back next week. If Sally Po was as ugly as she was rich, maybe he wouldn't feel that bad. Nor that threatened. But Sally was definitely an attractive woman with her light-brown locks and azure eyes. And she had such a dazzling smile!
What's more, Duo mused, he had no right to feel even marginally threatened. He wasn't even Wufei's close friend, much less a love interest.
Suppressing a pout that was threatening to break out on his face, he walked onto the rooftop which had, in recent weeks, turned into his sanctuary. It wasn't like the rest of the school compound was out of bounds to him anymore; like Quatre had said, the pranks were almost over with and he was even able to hold a conversation with W4 without needing to run away. Well, except Heero. That was still an enigma he had not yet solved. Sometimes Heero just plain bullied him, but at other times, he seemed to be just really… nice.
And then there was Wufei, number two enigma of the school population. Probably. But Wufei was slightly easier to understand. At least he thought so. Then again, the Chinese boy seemed to love to prove him wrong.
Duo looked up and smiled widely when he spotted Wufei walking towards him. For now, he didn't care if he found it hard to decipher the reason behind Wufei's every action. They were friends, albeit tentatively, and Duo knew he should be contented already.
"Hi Wufei!" he called out, not expecting anything more than just a small nod. He felt his spirits soaring when Wufei responded with a smile and a wave of his hand. Duo's inner self sighed dreamily. It was amazing how someone's little action could make him so elated.
"Hi, Duo. Nice day, isn't it? I'd really like to stay here and chat with you, but I've got lessons so I have to go."
Was it just him, or was Wufei over the moon? Duo could scarcely imagine what could make him so excited. It had to be really good. Before he could ask, however, he felt a soft pressure against his forehead and the warmth of Wufei's body close to him.
It was cliché to say that his heart stilled and his bolts of electrifying thrills coursed through his body, but it did. Vaguely, he heard Wufei leaving and the door closing behind him, but he wasn't sure. It was too difficult to be aware of his surroundings as he slowly touched the spot where Wufei had kissed him so gently.
Feeling a blush spreading across his face like a blossoming flower, Duo didn't bother to stop himself from grinning goofily.
Quatre and Trowa didn't do anything to hide their astonishment. Their jaws were slack like a gaping alligator, their eyes bigger than a goldfish and they could do nothing but stare. Even Wufei raised an eyebrow as he lay lazily on the grass in one of the school's numerous gardens.
Heero gritted his teeth, but the effect was clearly dampened by the deep blush on his face, which coincidentally matched the colour of the t-shirt he was wearing. It was nothing to boast of, really. The red t-shirt was something he had ordered Jay to get from a departmental store which he would never have thought of entering before. But the quiz had told him to change his image in front of Duo, and this was the easiest way to do it.
He saw no other way out. Still, it was fortunate that he had decided to keep his Versace jeans.
"What?" he asked in frustration.
It took a while for Quatre to regain his composure, better known as screwing up his jaws. "Did you get dumped or something and you're currently in the throes of depression?"
"Then what's with the cheap t-shirt? It looks like it's been to hell and back."
Heero groaned inwardly. "Shut up. Just shut up about it."
"Heero, is that you?"
Heero blinked, recognizing that voice almost instantly. He spun around, and felt a full-fledged grin tugging insistently at his lips.
"Sally! You're back!"
Sally offered a sincere smile, her angelic radiance lighting up those around her almost like the first visage of sunlight piercing through thick grew clouds.
"Heero! Quatre! Trowa!" she called out, her voice honeyed. "I've missed you all! How have all of you been?" Then her eyes settled on the lone figure that had finally stood up from the grass patch he had been sitting on. "Fei? Oh dear, I nearly didn't recognize you! You've grown so tall!"
Wufei gazed at her intently. "Sally…" He said nothing more, and it was as though realization had dawned on him all of a sudden, he retreated into his solitary stance.
But it seemed that all of his friends were too excited by Sally's early return to notice that. Or perhaps they were just too used to Wufei's eccentricity to give it much thought.
"Sally!" We saw the photo you did for the new ambassador position you got! It's so lovely! It really emphasized your neckline," Quatre commented smoothly.
"Yeah," Trowa agreed. "You look fantastic for that shot."
She smiled, knowing that the compliments were heartfelt praises instead of the familiar bootlicking people tried with her to get on her good side and hopefully get something from her. "Thank you. We took a lot of photos that day actually, but we felt that that one was the best. And if you guys think it's that good, it's surely good enough."
Another frown marred Wufei's handsome features like a scar on otherwise unblemished skin. "What's so good about that photo? Sally, don't you think that photo was too sexy?
Heero rolled his eyes. He had seen that photo too; Sally had bared her shoulders for that shot, but that was all. And the photographer had probably thought that she should flaunt her beautiful and flawless neck. Wufei was just being eccentric… again. And perhaps just a tad overprotective, he noted inwardly. It was strangely amusing to see the way Wufei used to cling onto Sally like she were his security blanket, and it was obvious the feelings hadn't changed over the years.
"Admit it, Wufei. You were completely enchanted by the picture; you wouldn't let go of the magazine for days!"
The Chinese boy deigned a reply, and simply folded his arms, looking away. The frown hadn't left his face, however.
"Oh Heero, I nearly forgot. What are you doing, wearing this t-shirt? I almost couldn't recognize you!" Sally asked, clearly perplexed. In her opinion, Heero wearing a cheap t-shirt was like a man refusing water after being trapped in a desert for days.
Amidst Quatre and Trowa's snickers, which Heero's mind registered as evil cackling, he managed to answer despite the redness creeping up his face like a veil. "Can we forget about the t-shirt?"
As the five of them, well four of them since Wufei was ignoring everything around him, continued their light-hearted bantering, no one noticed the lonely shadow that left the tree he had been hiding behind earlier.
Duo sighed. After the day Wufei had planted a gentle kiss on his forehead, he had hoped against all hope that perhaps the Chinese boy actually liked him, or even possibly haboured feelings for him. But once he had laid eyes on Sally Po in person, he could feel his hopes crashing down like the ocean waters beating against the shores.
He had already known just how beautiful she was from the magazine Relena and Dorothy had so helpfully shoved into his face. The perfectly sculptured cheekbones, the fabulous azure eyes that sparkled like water, the sharp nose, the swan neck… There was no doubt to her beauty. Hell, even he had been slightly attracted to the woman when he first saw the magazine cover. But still, the photo did not do her justice. Sally Po was even more magnificent in person; the way she carried herself spelled nothing but grace and elegance. How could he ever hope to compare?
Duo sighed again. Oh well, he knew this was coming. He was the poor little boy who ran amok in the busy market, trying his best to steal a meager apple to feed himself while Sally was the gorgeous princess and Wufei the chivalrous knight. It wasn't even a challenge to guess which two would end up happily ever after. He didn't even come close to the equation, much less be part of it.
Or perhaps he could be the stable boy, looking after the horses in the palace. At least, he was closer to the knight and princess that way. The rest of W4 could be the animals in the stables, he decided haughtily. And suddenly, Duo had a mental image of himself tending to the two horses –one brown with green eyes and one white with a blonde mane- and one jackass which had somehow found its way to the palace stables. It wasn't difficult to tell who was who.
As he laughed quietly to the mental image, he heard someone calling his name and he turned around. Someone was running towards him, and Duo nearly took off but managed to stop himself in time. It was probably a leftover instinct from his number-one-victim-of-pranks-of-all-kinds days earlier.
"Finally! I almost thought… that I had recognized the wrong person!" the newcomer said, panting slightly and his face a little flushed from jogging. Sweeping his dark bangs carelessly, he flashed an impish if worried grin at Duo. "Or have you forgotten me already?"
Duo drew his brows together and bit his lip. Then the grin, something that seemed so distinctive hit him like a truck and he gasped. "Oh my god! Is it you, Solo?"
If it were at all possible, Solo's grin widened, and the trace of worry vanished. He patted his chest, eyes sparkling with confidence and answered, "The one and only! How long has it been, Duo?"
"Since we graduated from secondary school! Man, I never thought I'd see you here! How did you get into Gundam U, anyway?"
Solo's grin turned sheepish as he scratched the back of his head. "Well… dad's got this piece of land my great-grandpa left behind since a really long time ago, and it's just been there gathering dust all these years. But dad suddenly managed to sell it with this exorbitant price tag and he started up his own company. You might have heard of it; Campbell enterprises Inc."
"Campbell Enterprises Inc… After your family name, huh?" Duo asked.
His friend nodded. "I'm not sure about the details but the point is my family's struck it rich. We got this big house and new car… Then dad thought" – he rolled his eyes- "that as the son of a rich man, I should go to a classier school and hopefully, some of the class would rub off on me." He shrugged. "I just transferred here today."
Duo scrunched up his face, and he vaguely wondered if Solo could see the numerous question marks that were floating around his head like in those cartoons. As far as he had remembered, Solo Campbell came from a middle-class family and would sometimes skip lunch to save up. That was some land to have made his family rich. He decided to stop thinking about it.
"Oh, who cares about all that?" He smirked light-heartedly, and gathered his friend into a tight embrace. "Damn but I've missed you!"
"Come, let's talk over lunch! I'm famished!"
Solo raised an eyebrow. "You're always famished. I swear" –he tugged at the chestnut braid trailing behind Duo- "that you're eating double for all this hair!"
The braided boy snatched his hair back and gave it a protective pat. He made a face at Solo.
"I need lots of protein to keep this baby growing healthily, you know? My shampoo and conditioner just ain't enough." His eyes suddenly lit up. "You haven't been to the canteen, have you? C'mon! I'll take you there!"
And the two friends scampered over to the nearest canteen they could find.