Title: It Was Your Hair
Author: Sybil Rowan
Pairing(s)/Characters: 004+002, (Albert/ Jet)
Summary: Albert tells Jet what attracted him; the problem is that it was the same thing that attracted him to Hilde. This is a turning point for their relationship.
Warnings: Yaoi relationship, but nothing graphic.
Author's Notes: Just a simple, light romance.
Disclaimer: Cyborg 009 is owned by Shotaro Ishinomori.
Beta Reader: My wonderful husband, WingedPanter73, who was kind enough to break his 'non-yaoi' clause for me.
Date: March 2, 2009 (2:54pm)
Word Count: 1,547
"This is horrible! I hate this," Jet snarled at the sponge in his right hand. Albert chuckled and held up a caulking gun. He looked over to Jet and laughed outright. The New Yorker cyborg had dressed in his favorite 'Sex Pistols' tee-shirt and cut off jeans. The outfit was splattered in bleach now.
Albert's eyes traveled to Jet's exposed legs; he saw them so rarely. Even when they were intimate with each other, the lights stayed off. The legs were similar in appearance to Albert's right arm up to the point of Jet's mid-thighs. Albert looked away when Jet shot him an irritated look.
"Want to trade?" Albert asked to defray the awkward moment.
"Not on your life. This all sucks. Why are we here anyway?"
"It's an abandoned house. No one will figure out we're hiding out here. This is a good thing," Albert said, giving him a lopsided smile.
"Yeah, but it's so small, only four bedrooms. It's like living on the streets again. You find an abandoned house, crowd into a few rooms, and sleep on top of one another."
"Charming," Albert said dryly before starting to apply caulk to the tiles again. Jet started to scrub the other end of the bathtub again.
"It wasn't all bad. We had some fun times," Jet insisted. Albert watched him out of the corner of his eye. Jet scrubbed a little more and then sat on the edge of the bathtub. Albert chuckled at Jet's furrowed brow, he was biting his lower lip.
"You look like you're dying to ask something."
"You never talk about your life before, Heinrich. I mean... I never hear you slip into any type of fond memories," Jet said.
"You don't talk a great deal about your past either," Albert pointed out. Jet's lips twisted into a wry smirk.
"I hate when you do that!"
"Turn things back on you? It's my only defense," Albert said, forcing himself to not laugh again at Jet's sour expression.
"Ohhh you... why do I bother?"
"You tell me. You were the first one to make a move."
"Yeah, well, you could have said no. I mean, you had a fiancé in your life before. I didn't really think I was your type."
"Loud American?" Albert asked. Jet glared.
"A guy," Jet snapped. Albert noticed there was a slight flush to Jet's cheeks; the New Yorker's expression grew serious. He wouldn't quite meet Albert's eyes. "Come on and quit playing around. Tell me what it was that changed your mind."
"You really don't want to know," Albert said flatly. He turned back to his caulking, hoping Jet would drop it.
"You said that before. It's been months now and I feel like I don't know much more about you then before. You don't even really want the others to know about us. I really need to know what's on your mind."
"You are right, I do owe you that. So what's something you want to know?" Albert asked. Jet looked thunderstruck as he let the sponge fall to the bottom of the bathtub. Jet recovered and gave Albert a sly smile.
"Okay, why did you decided to finally hook up with me?"
Albert took a deep breath, sat on the opposite corner of the bathtub, and set aside his caulking gun. If he told the truth, Jet would most likely want to discontinue their relationship. Albert also knew he couldn't keep Jet in a casual relationship any longer. Either way he chose he could loose Jet and he knew he didn't want that.
"What caught my attention? It was your hair. You have red hair," Albert answered simply. Jet gave him a raised eyebrow, he was baffled. "You've always had my attention because you have the same hair color she had."
"You mean your fiancé?"
"That's right. I couldn't help but notice it. It reminded me so much of her," Albert explained, watching Jet's face to see what he was thinking. Jet's body language was stiff and his face was impassive.
"So I'm some sort of substitute? Go fu..."
Albert grabbed Jet's wrists and yanked him back down before he bolted out of the bathroom. Jet's struggled to jerk his hands back while he glared at Albert.
"Listen to what I said. I said that your hair reminded me of her. It's what drew my attention to you at first. I found out rather quickly that you are nothing at all like her. If I am sleeping with you, it's because of who you are. You no longer remind me of her because you have a quick temper and are very sarcastic. You're also cynical and too stubborn. She wasn't like that at all."
"If I'm such a miserable..."
"Uh... will you listen? There are things about you that remind me of her besides your hair: your sharp wit, your sense of humor, your driving sense of justice, and your unflinching integrity and loyalty. You love life and freedom so much that you can't abide being locked in a cage. Every fiber of you screams to rebel and breath free. So did she. That's why she was willing to risk death to leave East Berlin." Albert gently let go of Jet's wrists. They both slowly relaxed.
"You still love her, don't you?"
"I always will, but she is a part of my past. You are someone entirely different from her, but your best qualities you share with her. Those qualities are the things I fell in love with," Albert said.
Jet was silent for several minutes; he looked utterly deflated. His face was full of sadness and he wouldn't quite meet Albert's pure, white eyes. He finally jerked his head up to look at Albert, there was some sort of pride Jet had worked up now. "She sounds like a saint. And then to have you still in love with her is..."
Albert jerked his head back and gave him a scrutinizing look. "I wasn't talking about her when I said, 'Those qualities are the things I fell in love with.' I was talking about you. I was talking about falling in love with your best qualities."
"Yes. I was talking about you. The here and now."
"But I thought you didn't feel that way about me. Why did you want to keep our relationship a secret?"
"Because it had a casual tone up until now. I didn't want the same pressure Joe and Frances have with a publicly acknowledged relationship if what we had was just a fling. It would have been very awkward in such a small group as ours. Especially, since we have to travel together. I wanted to give you the chance to back away if you needed to. You're so spirited that I knew you would feel nervous if you felt obligated to stay with me."
Jet let out a dry chuckle and slumped forward, elbows on knees. He gave Albert a lopsided smile and said, "You really are good."
"There is still time to back out. After all, you were just lamenting how much I frustrate you a few minutes ago. Or you could say that you return my feelings and then we could move on to a more serious relationship. It would be easier than trying to sneak around the others."
"I've wanted this for a long time," Jet whispered and leaned forwards towards Albert who's hands slid up Jet's arms. They both paused when they heard a clang outside the door and a muffled fight between Chang-Ko and Great Britain. "Aw screw them."
Albert drew Jet into his arms and ran his fingertips over the bright scarlet hair. He twined a lock around one of his metallic fingers. He carefully released the tight coil and let it fly free.
"Hey! What's going on in here?" Great Britain said with a sing-song to his voice.
Jet and Albert parted and gave each other crafty smirks. Albert turned to Great Britain and sighed. "I was about to make out with him until you ruined the moment."
"What? Since when have you two...."
"I think you better leave, GB," Jet warned the gaping British cyborg. GB finally crossed his arms, gave them a sour look, and raised an eyebrow.
"First Joe and Frances, now this? I really need to find a lady-friend so I have an excuse to goof off!"
Albert and Jet looked at each other. Albert was a little surprised by Great Britain's casual treatment of the news by turning it into stress-relieving, friendly teasing. They both started to laugh. Finally, Jet took his foot and slammed the door shut on GB. Albert shook his head and slid closer to Jet.
"Now where were we?"