Open the Door, a Holiday Series - Halloween
Pairings: 5x2x5, 4x3x4, 1xR, 6x9, HxOC
Warnings: shounen ai (boy x boy relationships), fluff, some OOC
Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing or any of the movie/book/musical characters mentioned in this story.
Summary: There is a Halloween party at Quatre's and Duo is determined to keep his identity a secret, even from his long time crush Wufei. They're in their 20's.
Author's Notes: This is a repost from last Halloween some of you may remember reading. I fixed the grammar mistakes and decided to revise it after recently reading the novel Wickedby Gregory Maguire, a very good novel by the way. Maybe it's just me, but I can see Duo empathizing with Elphaba Thropp aka the Wicked Witch of the West.
Duo rang the doorbell then reached up to adjust his hat.
"You're only going to dislodge your wig, Duo. Leave it be." Hilde scolded.
"I don't want anybody to recognize me. Are you sure my hair is hidden?"
"Yes, I am. And nobody will recognize you."
Duo turned his head slightly and grinned at her or rather 'Dorothy.'
"Don't grin or you'll give yourself away unless you can do an evil grin." Duo tried but knew he was failing when Hilde snickered at him. He stuck his tongue out at her. She was about to retaliate when the door was opened by a tall hairy beast.
"Rashid?" The beast nodded. "Or should I say Chewbacca?"
"Master Quatre insisted everybody dress up for the party."
"Well you look great!" Hilde praised while he assisted her in removing her coat.
"Thank you, Miss Hilde. Shall I take your cloak Duo?"
"No thanks, it's part of my costume. Hey!! How did you know it was me?"
"Pardon me sir, but I recognized your voice and you did arrive with Miss Hilde."
"Oh." Duo hadn't thought of disguising his voice. "Is this better?" he tried to make his voice higher.
"A little." Hilde replied.
"Why didn't you say anything?" He asked as they walked down the large hallway. They could hear music echoing from the ballroom.
"I honestly didn't think about it Duo. I don't understand why it's so important nobody identifies you. It's only another of Quatre's fabulous parties."
"It's a HALLOWEEN party. Does the phrase 'trick or treat' mean anything to you?"
"Let me guess…with an emphasis on the 'trick' right?"
"You got it in one."
"You really think you're going to fool Heero."
"I'm going to try."
"You really are hopeless, Duo."
"Shhh. Don't call me that."
"Sorry, Miss West."
They reached the doors opening into the ballroom and paused a moment to take in the view. The room lights were on dim. Flashing colored lights lit up the dance floor which many people were taking advantage of. A buffet table was lit by orange lights as were the collection of tables and chairs on one side of the room. Unlike Quatre's usual dull formal parties he threw for business reasons, this was a real party for friends and Winner Corp. employees though Duo didn't doubt some of the young man's business associates were also among the crowd. Music blared from the speakers strategically placed throughout the room. Duo had been here yesterday to help set them up. Under the setting, it was hard to see who was who; with everyone in costume it was damn near impossible.
Hilde nodded towards the tables. "They're over there. You should go mingle with the crowd for a while then head in our direction."
"You recognized them already?"
"They're not trying to hide their identities like somebody else I know. Besides, I went shopping with Relena when she went looking for her and Heero's costumes."
"You'll be okay? I did promise your husband I would watch out for you."
"Du…West there are two former Gundam pilots sitting over there. I think I'll be safe."
"All right." Duo kissed her cheek and handed over the stuffed dog that completed Hilde's costume consisting of a blue and white checkered dress, red slippers and pigtails.
As he glimpsed over to the tables he finally caught sight of two of his friends. "Oh my god! What is Heero wearing??!!"
Hilde laughed and said one word, 'Grease,' before being swallowed up by the crowd. Shaking his head, Duo went to find a dance partner among the strange looking strangers.
It was amazing Relena had managed to her fiancé into a costume. Duo was now curious as to what his other friends were disguised at, especially Wufei, but knowing him, it would be as simple as possible if he wore one at all.
An hour later Duo, sweaty from dancing, found his way to where his friends sat at the same table as earlier, not to his surprise. Trowa and Heero didn't care for these large parties and only came because their significant other wanted them to be present. They might dance a few times but for the most part they sat and watched the crowd. Heero once claimed it was to watch for any suspicious activity. Duo had tried not to laugh, but was unsuccessful. It didn't matter much however, since he had gotten use to the 'death glare' a long time ago.
Heero and Relena were just leaving the dance floor. Heero headed for the bar while Relena, in a 1950's outfit complete with poofy blonde hair, took a seat next to her pregnant sister-in-law. Noin was dressed as Scarlet O'Hara, well a seven month pregnant one anyway, and her husband as Rhett Butler. Duo would have to ask how he hid his long hair later… Hilde was nowhere in sight, but Duo had seen Trowa, dressed as a very handsome Han Solo, ask her to dance earlier. They were probably still lost out there in the throng of people. Duo had accounted for all his friends except for Sally and Wufei. Even Lady Une was here, as Lady Galadriel from 'Lord of the Rings.'
Duo made his way to the group and spotting an empty chair, spoke up, literally; his voice was as high as he could get without being too squeaky. "Excuse me. Is this seat taken?"
Zechs was talking to a man at the next table so only two of the three looked up in surprise that someone would intrude on their group when so many empty chairs and tables were everywhere.
Relena was the first to recover. "No, it's not. Please sit." Ever the diplomat, Relena responded politely though Duo saw the questioning look aimed towards Noin. Neither knew who he was and were trying to silently figure out who knew him…her. Perfect.
Other than Rashid, nobody had recognized him and he had even bumped into Quatre earlier. Quatre had come over to the group he was joking with to introduce someone to an investor in the group. Poor guy couldn't even enjoy his own party, even now thinking business. Quatre had looked right at him, but there hadn't been any sign of recognition even when they shook hands. Fortunately, Duo had managed not to smile too much.
"Mr. Winner sure knows how to throw a party, doesn't he?"
"Yes, he does," Noin responded. "Do you know him or are you someone's guest?" Duo was struck with sudden inspiration.
"Oh, I know Mr. Winner. Quite well, if you know what I mean." And he winked at Relena. Noin and Relena couldn't decide if they should be horrified or feel pity for the woman they thought was lying to them. Duo pretended to watch the dance floor while Noin and Relena shared a worried glance. Everyone in their circle knew Quatre would never cheat on Trowa…didn't they?
"Did you know," he turned to face them, "that he has this cute little birthmark that looks like a puppy on his inner left thigh?" That would get them and indeed they looked like they believed him. Just then Noin glanced up and gasped. Duo and Relena looked over to what she saw. Trowa and Hilde were on their way back to the table.
"Maybe you should…" Noin began to whisper to Relena, but fell silent when Duo looked at her in a curious manner.
"Is something wrong Relena?" Duo glanced to his left at the familiar voice and gave Heero his most seductive smile. Maybe it was the green skin or the long, crooked noise, but Heero didn't look impressed.
"Hello, hot stuff. Wanna dance?" Duo couldn't help himself and it wasn't a lie. Heero looked very drool worth in his 1950's bad boy get up – tight white t-shirt with rolled up sleeves, faded jeans, and slicked back hair. Even though he didn't smoke, he had a cigarette box rolled up in his right sleeve as was the style back then. At the same time Duo was admiring Heero, Heero gave him a quick once over. Then he raised an eyebrow.
"Damn," Duo whispered. Heero took the empty seat next to Relena handing her a glass of wine. He had a bottle of water for Noin and two cans of beer under his arm pits. Unnoticed, Zechs had slipped off somewhere so Heero passed the extra over to Duo, who gladly accepted it.
"Trowa!" Relena jumped up from her seat. She received more than one curious glance.
"Yes?" came a voice from behind Duo.
"Um…Rashid was just looking for you," she said lamely. Duo fought back his laughter by taking a swig of his beer. They fell for it. Next they would find Quatre and interrogate him. Heero gave him another unimpressed look. The perfect soldier didn't know what was going on, but he knew it was Duo's doing. Yes, Duo's. Somehow he had recognized him on the spot.
Hilde sat down next to Duo. "We just spoke with him. Apparently that Miss Anders snuck in and was caught taking pictures. They took her camera, but she slipped away. He said to be on the lookout for anyone dressed as a witch." Noin and Relena stared at Duo who smiled at them before taking another sip of his beer.
"Quatre would never…not with that woman!"
Duo felt a hand grasp the back of his chair and he looked up to see Trowa towering over him.
"Do I know you?"
Duo opened his mouth, but Relena cried out first.
"Don't Trowa. Not here. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation!"
"Quatre still loves you. She must have drugged him."
Trowa turned a puzzled expression on the two women, an oddity for him. Duo burst out laughing, unable to keep up the charade any longer.
"Just what have you been telling them Duo?" Heero asked calmly. Duo pouted at Heero for ruining his fun.
"We thought…" Then it really hit them and both of their faces turned bright red. Duo laughed harder. Noin joined in after a moment, but feeling too embarrassed Relena only managed a crooked smile.
"Care to let the rest of us in on the joke?" Hilde asked.
"They thought…I…was…having an… affair with Quatre," Duo managed to say between fits of laughter.
"I'm sorry Trowa. We thought he was a woman and he was bragging about sleeping with Mr. Winner."
"He mentioned Quatre's birthmark on his thigh and I've heard Duo tease Quatre about it before."
"A puppy," Duo added. Trowa only looked at Duo with a raised eyebrow. Damn, but he could keep a straight face! A reason Duo hated playing poker with the tall young man. Trowa turned back to Relena and Noin.
"I feel I should thank you for attempting to intervene, but for future reference, I seriously doubt Quatre would have the energy to keep me and another lover satisfied." Then turning to Duo he said, "It's a rabbit, not a puppy. And tomorrow you're going to tell me how you know about it." Trowa then nodded a goodbye to everyone, and left, most likely to search out his blond husband. There was a moment of silence before Duo tilted back his head and roared with laughter. Trowa didn't say much but when he did, it was usually something interesting.
Hilda laughed along with Duo. Heero only shook his head at his friends' behavior. Relena and Noin appeared to be in shock over this insight in Trowa and Quatre's sex life, but then they hadn't been forced to sleep in the room next to the lovers during college.
After calming, Duo finished his beer and asked Heero how work was going. For the most part, he was Relena's personal bodyguard, but every now and then he would be called in for a mission for the Preventers, where Wufei worked full time. At this time Duo paid little attention to any conversation going on among the three women sitting across from them at the table. He should have been though, considering he had thoroughly embarrassed two of the three. Instead, he was inquiring if Heero had seen Sally or Wufei yet.
"They were here before you and Hilde arrived." There was a hint of surprise in Heero's eyes. Wufei was usually the first person Duo would hassle at these events. He must have figured the young man had already been subjected to Duo's cross-dressing. Duo avoided looking Heero in the eye. He hadn't exactly told anyone of his crush, but he suspected Heero, and Hilda too, had figured it out.
"I must have missed them somehow."
"They were with Lady Une earlier. Then it looked like Sally went to the dance floor." Heero really was paying close attention…. Duo's eyes scanned over the crowded dance floor.
"With Wufei?" The surprise was evident in his voice.
"No. You know Wufei doesn't like to dance, even with Sally." Duo missed whatever look Heero sent his way. He really didn't need his friend's pity tonight.
"Yeah." Sally. The reason Duo would never tell Wufei. He didn't know how close the two were, but he wasn't going to come in-between any happy couples. He had only been joking earlier with Quatre. Though nothing was ever said, everyone believed Wufei and Sally were dating since they spent so much time together outside of work. They just figured Wufei was not the kind to indulge in PDA. Duo had seen Wufei get a strange look in his eyes whenever he saw Tro and Cat being especially affectionate or even Heero and Relena simply holding hands.
With a sigh, Duo gave up his search. "What were their costumes?"
Heero shrugged. "I didn't pay attention." Duo wanted to comment on how impossible that was, but Heero had turned away to speak with Relena. Maybe he wasn't familiar with their chosen character costumes.
"Here they come now. Duo just go along with whatever I say," Hilde demanded. Dumbfounded, Duo nodded his head.
"Sally. Wufei." Relena stood to greet Sally with a hug. Then Sally rushed over to Noin before she could stand and patted the woman's belly.
"Everyone doing okay?" Noin nodded. Sally wasn't a pediatrician, but was fascinated by Noin's pregnancy nonetheless.
"It's about time you came over to visit. Can't you ever take a break from work, Wufei?" Hilde chastised.
"When Winner takes a break, I will." Duo felt like he was melting at the sound of Wufei's voice. But then all of a sudden he felt a wave of nervousness at hearing his voice so close behind him. Duo could feel him staring at the back of his head, but he couldn't bring himself to turn around.
"Oh, where are my manners. Sally, Wufei, this is a friend from school, Elphaba Thropp." Relena gestured to Duo as she introduced him. It would be more plausible if he were Relena's acquaintance rather than Hilde's since Relena knew everybody or so it seemed at times. This must have been part of what they had been discussing earlier, Duo realized, not shoes or the upcoming wedding as he originally thought. Though curious about what else they had in mind for him, he would go along for now.
"Elphaba, this is Dr. Sally Po and Chang, Wufei." Duo rose from his seat and said hello to Sally, who nodded but was more interested in discussing Noin's pregnancy than meeting anyone. She didn't even look at him properly. So he turned to face…the Phantom of the Opera? No wonder he hadn't seen him. Duo had never expected him to actually dress up for the party. A quick glance at Sally and Duo saw she was wearing a fancy ball gown, no doubt Christine, to match with Wufei's Phantom. Did this mean they were officially a couple?
"Ah…hello," Duo spoke in a high pitch. His throat would be sore tomorrow. With the mask, Duo couldn't judge Wufei's reaction.
"Miss Thropp." Wufei bowed ever so slightly then went to take a seat.
'Figures,' Duo thought as he lowered himself to his seat, but an arm on his hand stopped him. He glanced over at Hilde.
"Elphaba was just telling me how much she would like to dance," Relena was saying, "and Sally said you have not danced at all tonight. Wufei would you be a dear and ask Elphaba to dance?"
Duo couldn't keep the hurt from his gaze as he locked eyes with Hilde. This had to be her idea. The other two couldn't have known. It was one thing to try and get him back, but did she have to drag Wufei into this? Sure he did some rotten tricks, but he never hurt anyone. And this would hurt…at least him. First when Wufei refused to dance even if it was a polite refusal, and then when he found out 'Elphaba' was really Duo. Wufei would assume Duo was in on the joke and be angry at him. Not that that in itself was anything new, but to embarrass Wufei in such way would disrupt their shaky friendship and Duo couldn't lose that. He had done it once before and had to suffer two months before Wufei would even speak to him let alone be in the same room as him.
"Hilde," he whispered frantically, but she wasn't listening.
"You'll thank me later. Trust me," she whispered.
"Relena is only…joking…" Duo had turned back around to see Wufei standing beside him. He had removed his mask and now with complete sincerity, he held out his hand to Duo.
"Would you honor me with a dance, Miss Thropp?" Duo froze. He couldn't have heard right, but no…Sally was staring at them, looking as surprised as Duo felt. Duo felt her critical eye sweeping over him. 'Great, now Sally and Wufei both are going to kill me. And Sally is a doctor so she would know what pain could be inflicted without killing a person.'
"Go on Elphaba. Wufei will be a perfect gentleman." Was that a warning note in Relena's voice? Was it for him or Wufei? Duo dared to glance at Sally, but she didn't say a word of protest. Surely she wouldn't want a complete stranger to dance with her boyfriend…but maybe she didn't care. Quatre never cared if Trowa danced with other people, male or female. So Sally wasn't the jealous type…but why not? Wufei never danced with her.
"Go." Hilde elbowed him. Duo took Wufei's hand and felt as if he just had been burned. It must only be in his head because Wufei didn't seem to be affected at all. Duo didn't know why Hilde would be sending him to his death, but…maybe he could get one dance in before Wufei realized it was him. This was as good as any excuse, better perhaps, to spend a few moments in Wufei's arms. Duo let Wufei lead him to the dance floor. He didn't look back.
For once Duo was happy he had never grown very tall as he allowed Wufei to take the lead in the dance. He fit quite nicely against Wufei, maybe only a half inch taller than the other man. It was nearly 11 pm and the music had been toned down. Duo was glad the music was no longer the fast paced club dancing music. It was a more relaxing, and better suited for couples who wanted to talk while dancing. Wufei surprised him again by initiating the conversation, though it was a thankful distraction from the feeling of Wufei's arm around his waist.
"So Miss Thropp was your name a reason for you choosing to come as the wicked witch of the west?"
"You've seen The Wizard of Oz?"
"I have a friend who is obsessed with the novel Wicked. He must have read it at least a dozen times during our college days." Duo blinked. Was Wufei referring to him? Had he reread it that often? It was his favorite novel…still is in fact.
"Did you ever read it or watch The Wizard of Oz?"
"I read the novel once. I was curious about why he found it so fascinating, but I prefer things based more on real life rather than on a fantasy world."
"So why the Phantom?"
"Sally insisted. I wasn't going to dress up at all, but she had picked this up for me and demanded I wear it since she went to the trouble of getting it."
"Is Sally your girlfriend? Shouldn't you be dancing with her?"
"We're not dating." Duo stifled any cry of joy which may have escaped otherwise.
"Why not? She seems like a lovely young woman and she's a doctor. She probably likes you."
"I think she might have at one time, but she's seeing somebody from work."
Duo didn't know what more to say. His throat was sore from talking in a high voice and if he talked too much, he would undoubtedly say something to give himself away. So he fell into a peaceful silence, listening to the music. He closed his eyes and leaned his head on Wufei's shoulder. Duo breathed in the scent he already knew so well from being around Wufei during the war, and later college. He wanted a few minutes to absorb in everything so he would never forget this night. Then he could pretend this was real, his own fantasy world where Wufei loved him and would dance the night away with him.
Luckily Wufei didn't seem too inclined to talk any more than he did and they danced through several slow songs together.
Sometime later the beat picked up, and Duo reluctantly moved away from Wufei's shoulder. He was startled to see Wufei staring at him so intensely. For a split second, he began to panic. 'He knows and he is going to kill me.' But then Wufei leaned over, his eyes closing, and bumped into Duo's fake nose. They both laughed quietly, nervously, and then Wufei leaned over again and brushed Duo's lips with his own.
Duo didn't know if he had died and was in heaven or was going to die as soon as Wufei discovered the truth, but Wufei continued to kiss him softly. Duo no longer cared which one it would turn out to be. Wufei was kissing him! Closing his eyes, Duo lost himself in his fantasy come true. He nipped at Wufei's lips until the other man opened his mouth and allowed Duo to deepen the kiss.
It was over too soon, but they needed to breath. Duo rested his forehead against Wufei's neck, trying to catch his breath.
"I'm sorry. That was rather foreword of me, wasn't it?"
"Please don't be sorry. It was wonderful." Duo was beyond caring if his voice sounded like his own. Wufei had kissed him! And he wanted to be kissed again by Wufei…and again…and everyday for as long as they lived.
"Would you like to be my boyfriend if you're not dating Sally?" The words were out before Duo could take them back. He was only digging his grave deeper.
Okay, Duo hadn't expected an answer, let alone a positive response.
"…but I have to go." Go…what?!
"It's not even midnight yet. Don't we get to be together until midnight?" Wufei laughed softly, but Duo could feel the sound vibrate through his entire body.
"I have to go to work early tomorrow morning. I'll get in contact with you when I get back."
"And how will you do that? I may turn into a pumpkin at midnight for all you know." Another laugh.
"Maybe so, but I still know where to find you."
"If you say so." Duo leaned back and Wufei kissed him briefly before releasing his waist.
"I do. I'll see you when I return, Duo." And then he left the dance floor before his last sentence fully sunk in.
Duo's eyes widened. He knew! Wufei knew…and danced with him…and kissed him… and he said yes to being his boyfriend… This couldn't be real. He probably really would turn into a pumpkin at midnight too.
"Duo?" Quatre stepped in front of him.
"What time is it?"
"Am I dreaming?"
"How much have you had to drink?"
"Heero gave me a beer. Did you see that?" Quatre smiled and led Duo off the dance floor. It was almost time for the unmasking and the dance floor was becoming quite crowded.
"I did and it's about time too."
"You two were getting on everyone's nerves. Some of us were contemplating locking you and Wufei in a closet until you sorted out your feelings for one another."
"You knew? I thought Hilda and Heero knew but…"
"Everyone knew, except for you and Wufei."
"Oh." Quatre bid Duo to sit at an empty table. The others didn't seem to be sitting over here anymore.
"How long are you going to be in a daze?"
"When does Wufei get back?" Duo replied with a grin.
"Your room is made up if you want to turn in for the night."
"Nah. I think I'll hang around here for a bit longer. Have to stay for the unmasking, don't I?"
"Well, I'm glad you had a good night and you and Wufei have finally talked."
"We didn't really talk Cat."
"Maybe not, but at least you both know how feel about each other. It's a start."
"You better get back to your party. I'll be fine. More than fine." Quatre returned his smile then went to the stage where he would announce the unmasking.
"Dance with me." It was currently one o'clock in the morning. Duo had distractedly watched the unmasking and then as the music started up once more, most of the people began filtering out. For the present he was content to watch quietly as his own happiness boiled over. He wouldn't have been able to sleep after what happened only two hours ago so until he did feel sleepy he would just hang out downstairs.
Now it seemed someone had finally approached him after all this time. Duo glanced up to see Hilde standing before him holding out her hand.
"Sure babe." Duo stood and took her hand. As they walked to the dance floor, he noticed she was not as tall as she had been. A glimpsed at her feet revealed that she had taken of her ruby red slippers.
"Mmmm….you promised me a dance when I was helping you put on your costume. I can stand a little longer." Duo pulled her close and she rested her head on his shoulder. They swayed to the slow song now playing; everybody was too tired for anything with a fast beat. Most of the guests had left already and the lights turned up from dim so the cleaning up could begin. Here and there a few people lingered on. Duo saw Heero and Relena sitting close together, speaking quietly to one another at a table. A few of the
maganacs were picking up trash though the real clean-up would be much later in the morning. The caterers, however, were cleaning up the food so it wouldn't spoil.
Sending Hilde spinning out, Duo noticed another couple on the dance floor. Chuckling, he pulled Hilde back to him and pointed them out to her.
"Correct me if I'm wrong – it's been a long time since I last saw Star Wars but I can't recall any scenes where Han Solo makes out with Luke Skywalker."
Hilde swatted his arm. "Leave Trowa and Quatre alone, Duo. Besides," she gave him a knowing look, "it looked like you were getting quite chummy with your dance partner earlier." Duo was glad of the green skin. It hid his blush very well.
"He knew it was me."
"And he kissed you anyway?!" Hilde feigned shock. Duo didn't want to admit he had thought the same thing so didn't respond to her outburst.
"I wonder how he knew."
"Maybe Rashid told him." Duo shook his head. If it had been Hilde, she wouldn't confess so easily. "…does it really matter? You got what you wanted, didn't you?"
"You will never be satisfied will you?"
"When it comes down to it, a kiss doesn't mean all that much. I've kissed you hundreds of times. I even stole a few from Cat when Trowa wasn't looking." Hilde snorted and stopped dancing.
"Maybe he had too much to drink or got caught up in the moment or…" Hilde had thrust a paper into his face.
"A fax came for you about a half hour ago. Quatre asked me to pass it on to you." Duo took the paper, vaguely noticing Hilde walk towards Heero and Relena. He scanned over the message and felt his heartbeat begin to race once more this night. Here was concrete proof he had not dreamed this night.
I'm sorry I took off so suddenly, but I have an undercover mission on the colonies. I will be gone for about three weeks. When I do get back I think we should talk about what we've both been denying for a long time. Until then,