Disclaimer: Property of Matsuri Akino, with intense gratitude.

A/N: Sort-of sequel to 'Ditz'. Heavily altered 15 Minute Ficlet... which really shouldn't be called that, as this took days.


"I really cannot thank you enough," Dee was saying with gritted teeth as he helped Vesca onto the second landing. They were on their way to Vesca's dorm room. "How silly of me, to leave my keys behind like that."

He probably was regretting it now, thought Vesca with a slightly inebriated grin. Serve him right for bein' so absent-minded. "Might not think so in a minute," he chortled, perhaps louder than he had intended, and then swore much louder as his own key refused to align with its lock. Dee sighed loudly, an impatient, feminine sound of exasperation, and slipped forward carefully to take the key from Vesca's hand without upsetting the American's balance. He smelled like smoke from the party, and spice and musk and soap and sugar; eight kinds of perfect, Vesca thought, somewhat dazedly, and then swore again as the door (he had been leaning on it) swung inward away from his arm. Dee let out a little squeak as they both spilled forward - the arm he had thrown over his shoulders in an attempt to keep Vesca upright was his undoing.

They lay there, sprawled face-down on the carpet, for a few minutes, and then Vesca started to giggle. He lay there clutching his stomach as Dee, agitated, kicked the door closed with one tiny, slippered foot. He glared as best he could; one eye visible behind the now-mess of his hair, the rest of his face mashed into Vesca's none-too-clean carpet.

"What, may I ask, is so terribly amusing?" He demanded frostily, forcing himself upright with one elbow. The glare might have had more effect if he hadn't looked so ruffled, his hair going all the wrong way and sticking out at odd angles. Vesca laughed even harder at the picture he made. "Vesca," Dee began warningly, and the he lifted his arm off the Chinese man's shoulders as he rolled backward to clutch at his aching stomach. Dee took the opportunity to push himself primly to his knees and rearrange his hair and clothing. Though he still looked rumpled, his damn makeup was still quite perfect. On some level or other, Vesca thought that was really annoying.

"You have had too much to drink," Dee decided with a pretty glare. Vesca scowled right back, though most of his ire was directed at the flawlessness of the makeup.

"Dee, I tolja before I didn't wanna listen t'yer squawkin'!" He sat up too suddenly, winced, and then growled as Dee smirked an I-told-you-so smirk with his perfect, vivid, pinky-purple lips. Mauve? Did you call that colour mauve?

"I assure you, Howell, I have never squawked once in my entire life," Dee said confidently, rising to his feet in a smooth, perfect motion that made Vesca's eyes water. People shouldn't be able to do things like that, he decided angrily. Look so good when they'd just fallen over, smell so nice when they'd been surrounded by smoke and booze all night - it didn't make sense, dammit, and happily bereft of the voice of reason with this much alcohol in his bloodstream, Vesca was going to do something about it.

Dee, halfway through a long, complex and entirely pointless sentence about the pitfalls of humanity, was very surprised when Vesca suddenly launched himself at Dee's legs and brought them both crashing back to the ground. He was even more surprised to find himself trapped beneath the other man, and positively struck dumb to discover that he was being kissed, quite forcefully, upon the mouth.

Vesca pulled back just enough, and Dee really did begin squawking this time, but the blond man was distracted again by the persistent perfection of Dee's lipstick. (Had to be lipstick. Had to be. Lips just weren't made that colour.) He pressed himself forward again, lips on Dee's with bruising force, determined to smudge that damn colour all over Dee's chin. Weight on his elbows, feeling skin and not silk through a rip in his jeans as Dee's dress rode slowly up his thigh. He was struggling, trying to get away, but it was a weak struggle, an unconvincing sort of squirm, and as Vesca's mouth left Dee's lips and wandered away up his jaw (entirely of its own accord), the hands with their long nails tightened; they weren't pushing him away any more, they were pulling him closer - those helpless little gasps didn't sound very much like squawking at all any more, and then Vesca was kissing him, really kissing him, open-mouthed and gasping, grinding, that damn lipstick won't be perfect for long, pressing lips and tongue and teeth against Dee's skin just to hear the noises he made, pressing an earlobe with a tiny amber stud between his lips and tracing its edge with the tip of his tongue as Dee's warm hands clutched at the small of his back.

Vesca pulled back just far enough to watch, observing with pride, glee, the flush that had suffused the Chinese man's cheeks and throat, the swollen lips, the glazed expression, the violet eyes behind their fluttered closed lashes swivelling suddenly to look at him and the hand on his lower back slithering suddenly upward, touching the back of his neck, tangling in his hair and pulling him down for another kiss, another kiss, sweet God, and Vesca jerked away as though he had been slapped, feeling suddenly more sober than he recalled feeling his entire life. He scrambled backward until his ass hit the door, and then he sat there pressed against it, one hand on his mouth, the other trembling slightly with the pressure it was exerting on the wall, wondering why - no, denying; it had not felt good, it was disgusting, what in God's name had Sal put in those hors d'ouvres--

And Dee laughed, a low, bitter sound, and Vesca's thoughts stopped as though they'd hit an oncoming train.

The dark-haired man sat up slowly, seeming to strengthen like vapour condensing swiftly into form, and Vesca stared, uncomprehending. The lipstick, which had seemed so important a moment ago, remained unsmudged, but that didn't seem to matter when he looked at that face - at the flawless mask and the cold smile that had fallen effortlessly back over Dee's features.

"What's the matter, Howell? Regained your senses?" Vesca realised that no cocktail, no matter how purple, could match the ice in Dee's eyes with his hair veiling the outer thirds of his face almost perfectly, mauve lips upturned almost cruelly. "How predictable."

Vesca stared at the other man, feeling lost. Dee'd always been the flippant, cheerful one with hints of mischief dwelling in the depths of his eyes; it had always been Vesca's job to look forbidding, to act frightening and bad-tempered, but that wasn't what was happening here. What was happening here was Vesca was trapped by Dee's coldly angry eyes, and he was fucking frightened of the emotion that he saw there.

It wasn't hate. It was nothing so tame as hate.

"I'm sorry." It was the first thing that spilled from his lips, and it was absolutely true. "Fuck, I'm sorry. I don't know what the fuck I was just thinking--"

Dee's eyes narrowed. "Of course you don't." He stood in one fluid movement, the silk garment that had been pushed halfway up his thigh rushing down his legs like water until it hung smooth and even about his ankles. His lips pressed firmly in a disapproving line as he made for Vesca, and the door.

Vesca shuffled to the side, some part of his mind realising that he was blocking the door, and muttered, "Yeah. Sorry." He was never fucking drinking again, that's how sorry he was. But suddenly there was a vice-like grip on his arm and Dee was hauling him close, furious eyes mere inches from his own, edged in pale scarlet that bled away into pristine white as naturally as variegation on a leaf.

"I do not want you to be sorry." Dee hissed viciously, and dropped the American back onto his floor, an impressive distance from where he had initially been sprawled. Vesca heard the door open and close with identical soft clicks and, if he strained his hearing, the pad of feet down the hallway.

Walking away. But that was stupid. There was nowhere he could go. He didn't have keys.

Fuck, thought Vesca again, with feeling. He stared morosely up at a ceiling that had just begun to spin again; repayment for living the last few minutes on borrowed sobriety. His thoughts were moving without him in a whirlwind rush; he let them. But out of the spinning, circling, confusion of hastily assembled, rapid-fire thoughts, one made it through to his consciousness. One made it through.

"I do not want you to be sorry."


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A/N: Incoherent. Absolutely disqualified from the fifteen-minute terms. But let me know what you thought of it anyway, please.