A Gundam Wing Story: Obligations aka One Plus Two
Duo Maxwell, fearless pilot of Gundam Deathscythe Hell, sat in a chair facing the window, eyes staring straight ahead with a look of ache and longing as he slowly brushed his loosened and slightly damp hair. Rain slashed short-lived patterns against the windowpane, providing a backdrop to what Duo's for once unguarded violet eyes were focused on -- Heero Yuy's reflection in the glass.
His partner was seated at the small dresser table of the hotel room that they were currently sharing, his entire being narrowed through those deep cobalt eyes to focus on the flickering screen of his ever-present laptop. Now and then, his fingers would fly into motion, working tirelessly away at whatever it was he always worked at. Occasionally, he blinked. At no time did he seem to notice the existence of the sad-eyed figure behind him, who was watching him via the window as intently as he was watching his computer screen.
Duo sighed quietly and stopped his brushing motions. Even knowing that it was a stupid gesture, he lifted his hand and laid his fingertips against the reflected cheek of his partner, the object of his one-sided affections, and imagined himself touching the real thing. Tracing the smooth cold jawline before him, the lonely boy wished fervently but hopelessly that Heero could return his love. But he knew that the cold pilot of Wing Zero could never do so.
Duo allowed a single tear to slide down his face, even as the sky wept for him outside.
Rainy tears dropped out of the heavens; thunderous moans echoed across the span of Duo's heart. And jagged bolts of snot jumped from cloud to cloud, occasionally hitting the ground.
Heero Yuy grumbled internally as he caught himself once again studying the reflection on his laptop monitor of the long-haired boy behind him. He forcefully dragged his mind back to the mission report that he was typing, but a few moments later, he again found his attention straying to the reflected shadow of Duo Maxwell.
The lithe, graceful boy sat in a chair facing the window. Fresh out of the shower, he wore only boxer shorts and an aura of steam as he brushed out his endless chestnut hair. Heero couldn't see his face, but he could easily imagine Duo's glittering violet eyes. Everything about Duo--
+ ahem I'm sure we all know where this is going, so let's fast forward through this stuff, shall we? Here we go... +
Love was a weakness. Even friendship was a weakness. Any sort of emotional attachment not only interfered with efficient operation during a mission, it also inhibited--
+ A little more... +
Duo sighed again as he started to braid his hair.
Heero had Relena already, who was rich and powerful and, well, not that bad-looking either. How could a street rat like himself ever--
+ A little more... +
And even if he were allowed as a soldier to love, why would the smiling pilot of Deathscythe Hell ever want him? Duo may call himself the God of Death, but he was really the most--
+ A little more... +
Duo sighed softly. He wished he could tell--
+ A little more... +
Heero sighed and--
+ A little more... +
+ Okaaaaay, a lot more, then. +
"DUO!!" Heero moaned as he came for the sixth time that night. He gasped, clutching Duo's sweatsoaked body and--
+ OOOOOPS!! Rewind+
Both pilots' angst-ridden thoughts were interrupted by a chirping call emitted from Heero's laptop. Instantly, Duo was at his partner's side.
+ That's better... +
"A mission?" Duo asked.
"Hn." Heero scrolled quickly through the mission statement, then closed it down and deleted it. He turned to Duo. "We've been assigned to assassinate an OZ general. Information on his identity and appearance will be sent to our hotel room."
"Sounds easy enough. Where should we do the job?"
"At a night club," was Heero's immediate reply.
"Why? Aren't there too many witnesses that way?"
Heero shrugged. "We have to do it at a night club. It's part of the mission statement. And we have to go as a couple."
"Part of the mission statement."
Duo thought rapidly. "Um, okay. So one of us has to dress up as a girl."
"Why?" It was Heero's turn to ask. "The mission statement does not specify that we go in as a man and a woman. We could go as a gay couple," he pointed out.
"No, we can't."
"Because one of us has to cross-dress."
"Because we have to."
"That's the way things are."
Duo rolled his eyes. "Heero, don't you read any fanfics? One of us has to put on a dress, or else the fans will kill us."
Heero blinked once. "Ryoukai."
In view of this important occasion, Duo let his hair down and sprayed it liberally with silver glitter, creating a nimbus of hazy light around him that was at once appealing and flirtatiously concealing. Nearly knee-length, his hair almost brushed the tops of his shiny high-heeled leather boots.
Sheer, black, fishnet pantyhose, woven with a generous sparkling of small silver stars, led up to a tight silver mini-skirt that just barely covered the essentials. His upper body, bolstered by a padded and steel-enforced lace-woven brassierre, was encased in a skin-tight sleeveless leather black vest, a-jingle with polished zippers. A spiked choker and a pair of silver bracelets on each wrist completed his outfit.
Duo smiled in satisfaction at his reflection in the large floor-length mirror hanging in the entranceway to the hotel room. His disguise was perfect. Just right for a wild girl on a wild night out on the town with her date. No one, much less a bumbling OZ general, could ever tell that he was actually a dangerous gundam pilot. Now all he needed was some make-up.
Duo frowned at his reflection. "Heero," he called, turning to his roommate and partner. "Do you think I should use the Baraccuda Blue eye-liner or the Jupiter Sunset Purple?"
"Wait a minute," Heero called back. "First help me fasten the back of this dress."
When Heero and Duo arrived at the night club, they caused quite a stir. It wasn't everyday that a pair of gorgeous young women arrived at the door, dressed fit to kill everything with eyes and a thing between the legs. Everywhere they went, temperatures rose and noses bled. Sweat and drool mixed together on the floor as they passed, and they were followed by the sound of popping bones as people craned their necks to get one last look at the stunning pair. Collective sighs of appreciation and disappointment swelled in their wake.
Everyone agreed that it was really too bad that they were lesbian.
Duo peered through the crowd of people, cursing as his heels caught at the carpet for what felt like the billionth time. "Where is the damn guy?" he whispered irritably to Heero. They'd searched the whole place twice over already and had caught no sign of him.
Heero, having no apparent problems with his pencil heels, turned his head calmly from side to side, sweeping the club with practiced eyes. "Not here," he said finally. He straightened the hem of his red sequined dress and continued towards the other end of the club, where the loudest music was currently playing for the patrons on the dance floor there.
"Hell, that's good to know," Duo grumbled, stumbling after him.
They hadn't been able to decide who was going to be the one going female. Duo had better claim because of his long hair and large liquid eyes, but Heero claimed novelty on his side. After nearly an hour of verbal contest, still unable to come to a decision -- and not willing to alienate any fans -- they'd finally done the practical thing and settled for going both as women.
Duo was beginning to regret that decision. Not, he amended, that he objected to seeing the object of his desires in a getup worthy of entering a nosebleed contest. Heero in a dress was surprisingly appealing, considering the fact that normally, he practically screamed MALE to Duo. Love is strange, Duo mused dreamily. But it definitely isn't blind! In fact, sometimes, it was downright visual to the extreme...
The drooling, lust-struck boy's thoughts were rudely cut off by a distinctly uncomfortable kink in the nether regions, reminding Duo of just why he didn't like cross-dressing. Duo surreptitiously pulled at his pantyhose. It obviously wasn't designed with a male crotch in mind, because he was getting damned uncomfortable down there. "Dammit, Heero!" he swore quietly. "How do you stand this stuff?"
The Wing pilot shrugged. "It's not too different from spandex."
Before Duo could properly mull that thought over, an iron grip closed around his wrist and displaced him five feet to the right with alarming and unbalancing suddenness. "What the hell are you doing?!" he yelled, just as he stumbled, listed dangerously, and slammed face-first into somebody's back.
Somebody's very solid back.
"Shid! I dingk I brode my dose," Duo mumbled, reeling back and pinching his abused olfactory organ gingerly.
"Hey, jerk! You made me spill my drink!"
Duo looked up at the voice to see... somebody's stomach. "Um?" he squeaked, looking up some more, and then some more, until he finally reached a beefy glowering face glaring down at him from somewhere in the stratosphere. "Uh, can I help you, mister?"
"You," a finger that looked about the diameter of his big toe pointed at his face, "made me spill my drink."
"Oh, gosh, uh, sir, uh, I'm real sorry 'bout that. You know, I've been so clumsy lately, because, you know, I just had surgery for a lost liver and I'm really weak and all, and I've had dizzy spells since I was a kid, 'cause, you know, I don't have enough mercury in my blood or something..." Duo babbled, trying to back away.
A hand shot out and clamped firmly on his shoulder. "You're going to pay," the giant said, bending down to sneer at his unfortunate quarry.
All of a sudden, however, the sneer turned into a look of surprise. "Hey, you're a lady!"
"Um..." Duo wasn't quite sure how to reply to that.
"A real pretty lady." The surprise on the tremendous face turned into a smile of pure demented evil. "Say, I have an idea. Why don't you pay for that drink with something besides cash..."
"Hey, hold on just a minute!" Duo exclaimed indignantly. "What kind of, uh, girl do you think I am?"
Completely ignoring his protests, the large man swooped Duo up in his arms and deposited him roughly onto a nearby barstool. The man leered in his face and grabbed a full hank of Duo's long hair, keeping him anchored to his seat. Duo could only stare in panic as his assaulter, still wearing that frighteningly evil grin, whipped out a fat wallet from his back jeans pocket. "Look!" the man crowed, flipping open the wallet to reveal an impossibly long row of photos in a plastic photo holder that dangled to the ground (a considerable feat, considering the man's height) and then looped back up. Duo peered closer -- and screamed.
"Baby pictures!" he gasped in horror.
"Yup, eighty-four of 'em, missy. And you being a lady and all, you ought to appreciate them, right? Now this first one here's my boy at fifteen days old..."
"AHHHHHHHHH!" Duo pulled his hair free from the man's grip, jumped off the stool, and tried to make a break for it, but the man reached out with speed only a sadistic father could possess and snagged the back of Duo's dress.
"Hey, now, you got to stay and see aaaall the pictures!"
"Over my dead body!"
The man seemed to consider for a moment. Then he shrugged. "Okay."
"What?!!" Before Duo could make any action, however, something flashed to his right, and then a large blunt object struck heavily against his assaulter's head. The huge man's eyes rolled back, and he fell with a loud thud to the floor.
Unfortunately for Duo, he hadn't let go of the back of the pilot-in-drag's dress before going out cold. Duo was pulled down with him to the floor, winding up sprawled on the floor next to the man in an ungainly clatter of bracelets, zippers, and sparkling hair. He blinked upward in a dizzy haze to see Heero scowling furiously at his weapon.
"Damn, reached into the wrong alternate plane..." the Wing pilot mumbled to himself. He shrugged and tossed the large wooden mallet unconcernedly over his shoulder, where it blinked in midair and vanished back into the depths of Hammer-Space.
Duo, meanwhile, was still on the ground, happily drowning in ecstasy.
Oh my gosh, Heero had saved him! From a fate worse than death. Could it be that the cold Wing pilot actually held feelings for him? Could he possibly have been jealous? And protective? Duo's heart reeled joyously. Maybe there was hope after all!
"Stop getting distracted by other people," Heero admonished, kicking the unconscious giant out of the way and walking over to Duo's side. He gestured with his chin towards the front doorway of the club. "I just saw the target come in."
Duo's heart plummeted once more, and he sighed. "Which way did he go?" he asked, disentangling himself (at length) from his unconscious captor and standing up. Spying the strip of baby pictures in the man's other hand, he shuddered and pointedly kept his gaze focused away from them and on his partner instead.
"Toward the dance floor," Heero answered him. "He was headed our way."
That explained why Heero had dragged him to the side back there. Even in disguise, there was a chance of being recognized. "So now what?"
"Now we need an excuse to get near him."
"Well, you said he headed for the dance floor, right?"
"Weeeeell, here's a wild idea: Let's go dance!"
Heero seemed to consider this obvious notion for an inordinate amount of time, but he finally nodded in agreement. "Let's go."
What's wrong with me? Heero growled to himself, as he followed Duo towards the music. The floor was already vibrating with the beat.
Why did I hesitate when Duo suggested that we dance? Heero wondered in irritation, as he swept away another curious and lecherous hand from his posterior.
Why can't I concentrate on my missions anymore? This is all Duo's fault! I would never hesitate this much if it weren't for the fact that I can't keep my mind off of him. His eyes, his mouth, his voice, his hair... His muscled chest and his tight--
"Asshole!" he heard Duo shout. "Keep your perverted hands to yourself!" Snapping his fantasy-hazed eyes to the front, he saw another lecherous jerk being crushed into the ground by Duo's high-heeled leather boots.
Good, he thought. Then he frowned at himself for caring about what happened to his long-haired partner, or what happened to presumptuous jerks who happened to lay a finger on his partner. He should be busy worrying about the mission, not worrying about what happened to soldiers who worried about what happened to their partners who happened to get hit on by random perverts and didn't at all seem to worry about what happened to the soldiers who happened to worry about what happened to them.
"Don't get distracted," he growled to Duo as he brushed past.
"Yeah, yeah..." he heard Duo mutter from behind him.
Heero stalked his way to the dance floor, stalked his way to the middle of it, then turned a sharp about-face just in time to have Duo run into him.
"Geez, Heero!" Duo shouted. "That's the second time in ten minutes that I've gotten my nose shoved into my skull."
"Shut up and dance," Heero snapped, upset at himself for causing hurt to Duo. And upset for being upset at upsetting his partner's mood.
"Okay, already," Duo mumbled.
Heero forced himself to ignore the cute pout on his face, focusing instead on the dancers around him. He'd never been to a club before and wasn't certain as to the conventional dance steps here. Fortunately, he was a keen observer. He started to imitate the movements of those around him, at the same time keeping an eye out for the target. He didn't spot him, but when he turned back, he did get a fine view of his partner.
Duo was dancing. In his leather vest and silver mini-skirt and flying silver-starred tresses, he was dancing.
And it was the most mind-shattering, brain-boggling, goddam awful sight Heero had ever seen.
With a grunt, he stepped forward and seized Duo's arm, forcing him to stop his mad gyrations. "What the hell are you doing?" he growled in a whisper.
"What's it look like? I was dancing."
"I don't know what that was, but it definitely wasn't dancing." Heero glanced around cautiously, frowning. "You're sure to draw attention looking like that."
"It wasn't that bad!"
"You looked like Dr. J drunk and with a broken hip."
"Shut up, Duo. A good soldier accepts his own weaknesses."
"Fine. Then teach me."
"Teach me how to dance."
"A good soldier tries to overcome his weaknesses. And the perfect soldier would help his partner if doing so would facilitate the mission." Duo stared defiantly at him.
Heero glared back for all of two seconds. He couldn't stand that look. He couldn't stand standing here and staring at his partner standing across from him with a look on his face that made Heero want to shrink right where he was standing rather than continue to stand that stare.
"All right. So what do you want to learn?" Besides how to keep a beat, Heero added mentally.
Duo looked utterly shocked, but recovered quickly. "Well, since we're supposed to be a couple, just teach me something that two people madly in love with each other would do." He leered suggestively.
"Very well." Heero stepped up closer to his partner, ignoring the sudden constriction in his chest as he did so. "Here, now just do as I show you..."
Duo sagged in Heero's arm. He was in heaven. He had died and for some inexplicable reason had gone to heaven instead of the firey land down under.
Heero was dancing with him! He was dancing with Heero! He couldn't believe that his bold and utterly transparent attempt had worked! Who would have thought that Heero would really agree to teach him how to dance?
And now they were holding each other and moving together, and he could feel Heero's hands, and Heero's body, and ouch Heero's feet, but he didn't care because he could also feel Heero's warm breath brushing by his ear. It was wonderful. Was this what it felt like to be loved?
It wasn't until Duo noticed people staring at them and snickering that he began to wonder if something wasn't quite right with how he was dancing. Maybe he hadn't learned it quite well enough after all? Anxiously, he studied his own movements, compared them to Heero's, then compared them to those around him. What was wrong?
Finally, he figured it out.
"Heero," he whispered, trying not to draw further attention to themselves. "Why are we dancing the waltz?"
Heero shrugged and spun him out for a full turn, then swept him back into the circle of his arms. They started a promenade down the edge of the dance floor. "Isn't this what 'two people madly in love with each other' do?"
"Well..." Heero pulled him back into a dip, and, staring up into those endless blue eyes, all Duo could say was, "...yeah..."
Suddenly, he was dropped heavily onto his back. "Oof! What?"
"Target," Heero said, his face once more that clipped and cold soldier face. He gestured curtly with his right hand and seized something out of thin air, pointing it somewhere over Duo's shoulder as the Deathscythe pilot scrambled to his feet.
Then he stopped and stared. "What the... Again?" Angrily, Heero threw the wooden mallet in his hand to the floor, then gestured again. Another mallet appeared out of apparently nowhere. It quickly joined its brother on the floor. "What's going on here?" Heero raged. He gestured, and yet again, a large wooden mallet, perfect for nailing nearby perverts on the head but useless against an OZ general fifteen meters away, appeared in his bewildered hand.
Duo, meanwhile, had also caught sight of their target: He was a short, balding Caucasian man, with crooked teeth, sitting in one of the booths off to the side of the dance floor, surrounded by several enthusiastic female "attendants." A tall wine glass full of some alcoholic beverage stood in front of him, out of which he occasionally took a hearty gulp.
"Leave this one to me, Heero," Duo said, grinning at Heero's continued efforts to retrieve his hidden weapon. With a dramatic sweep of his own hand, Duo conjured out of thin air a shiny black handgun, fully loaded and primed for action. Taking careful aim, he squeezed off a single shot, then stood back to view the results.
The bullet from his gun zinged over the general's head, hitting a bullet-proof plate of glass behind him, then bouncing back to ricochet off of a nearby chairleg. It shot upward, bounced back and forth among the disco lights until it lost its momentum, fell down to bounce once more off of a passing waiter's tray, and landed precisely in the unsuspecting general's drink.
The general lifted his glass and took a large swallow, then turned back to his "companions," opening his mouth to say something suitably lewd. He stopped in mid-action, and, eyes bulging, grasped his throat with his hands. "Inconceivable!" he cried out, before he swayed a bit and slumped onto the table, dead.
"Shinigami takes another victim," Duo announced, chuckling. The general's female escorts sighed at another lost client, quietly split up the contents of the deceased man's wallet, and left the table. Other guests merely shrugged and continued their business. They were all used to it. Being extras in a GWing fic accustomed you to such events.
Duo turned back with a satisfied smirk to his partner. He burst out laughing when he saw the dress-clad boy standing knee-deep in wooden mallets of all sizes. "Heero, planning to open a new shop with those?"
Heero glared at him, then snapped his fingers. The mallets immediately disappeared back to whence they came. "You finished off the target?" he asked gruffly.
"Of course, Heero. While you were busy playing with your toys."
Heero growled something unintelligible -- probably also unprintable -- and crossed his arms. He glanced at the dead OZ general sprawled across the empty table. "Good shot," he said, grudgingly.
Duo raised an eyebrow, surprised at the compliment. He grinned and sauntered toward his partner. "What, did you think it was an accident that I didn't hit something vital on you when we first met?" he said smugly.
Or rather, that's what he meant to say, just before he tripped over his heels again and went sprawling to the ground with a yell. "YAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!" His gun flew away from him, winked once, and disappeared into another dimension just as Duo's face hit the floor. My nose! Duo thought in despair.
But somehow, the floor wasn't as hard as it ought to be. Come to think of it, it wasn't as flat as it ought to be either. Confused, Duo twisted his neck around so he could look up.
Blue eyes, relieved and seemingly a bit puzzled, stared down at him.
Duo gasped. Heero had caught him. Heero had saved him. Again. Tears welled up in Duo's eyes and he threw himself into the arms of the savior of his much-abused nose. "Oh, Heero, I love you!!"
Heero hugged him back. "I love you, too, Duo... But aren't we supposed to go through some more angst before we declare our love for each other?"
"Yes," Duo sobbed. He sat up and rubbed his face clean. "But damn, Heero, this fic is getting too long and I can just hear the fans screaming for us to get on with it, already!"
Heero's face fell slightly. "Is that the only reason you told me that you love me? To fulfill your obligations to the fans?"
Duo flushed. "Well, that, and also the fact that... I meant it..."
Apparently finding this answer to be much more satisfactory, Heero cupped Duo's face in his hands and whispered, "I meant it, too," before kissing his beloved, long and hard.
And they lived happily ever after.
Well, not quite, since there's still a war going on and all, but close enough.
"How come I wasn't ever able to get my handgun out?"
Duo snickered. "Because you keep it in Spandex-Space, you idiot. And you weren't wearing any."
Heero blinked. "Oh. Then where were you keeping yours?"
Duo whispered something.
Duo repeated it.
Heero was silent for a moment. Then, "I didn't know there was such a thing as Pantyhose-Space... But why did I keep getting wooden mallets instead?"
"Default weapon for a gorgeous-person-in-a-dress, I suppose."
"Hm, interesting theory... I wonder if--"
"Shut up and get us home, already."