A/N: This is written as entertainment and a challenge for myself. Inspiration for this one-shot came from the movie "The Hours" and the quote is taken from one of the lines in the movie spoken by one of the female characters. It is a very good movie, and I highly recommend it to anyone.
Disclaimer: I do not own "The Hours" or The Boondocks. I only own the DVD for the movie, "The Hours" and the Season 3 DVD for The Boondocks. Aaron McGruder owns The Boondocks, and it is better that way.
Warning: This is an AU situation. I never worked with The Boondocks in this way, so forgive me. Now, if you have any problems with this, please leave it in a review or a PM.
Reviews help me help you. Do you understand that? I don't either, but I do appreciate reviews and any other form of feedback. Thank you. I hope you enjoy this.
Read. Relish. Review. *I love saying that*
"What does it mean to regret when you have no choice?"
Initially, Huey hadn't prepared for any visitors. It wasn't because he was in a particularly foul mood. On the contrary, he liked to believe that his mood was never truly foul, but instead held a small tinge of sourness that came with what the current society brought to its people. But a part of the reason, about half, was because he hadn't expected any visitors. Another part of the reason, about a half as well, was because, in spite of the substantial population of the apartment dormitory, there was no reason to expect anyone to arrive. The massive number of students who lived on campus and behind the closed gates held no interest for him, and the notion was heavily returned. There were his admirers, both women of various ages and men as well, who tended to follow and stalk him, but it was a Sunday. Sundays were used to catch up on school work, to relive a day that was not spent on Saturday. He knew that he wasn't going to be bothered that day. He knew there was no reason for him to set up, to clean. He knew there was no reason for him to prepare, and he didn't.
A hand was wrapped securely around the doorknob, and blue eyes set on him in a questioning mark, "Are you sure you don't want to come?"
He spoke with a thick, heavy German accent, but his English was spoken with enough clarity that Huey was able to comprehend. He stood by the stove, an old rag wrapped in his hands, and his eyes glared at the stains that spotted over the whiteness. "Yes, I am sure," he said in that final, firm tone of his, "you can go ahead."
The young man, older by three months, frowned a purse frown at him and shook his head. He moved his hand away from the door knob and stomped to the large haired young man, and his eyes sparkled vibrantly in an agitated, fed up way. "No!" He shouted, "You never come out. You never go out. You are good looking boy. Girls likes you. Goes out!"
"Elie, I didn't know you looked at me like that." The barb was ignored, and he rolled his eyes at the stubbornness shown on the man's face.
"I have come to understand my sexuality has been in question, but I am fine with it. As long as women love me, I am happy." He spoke calmly, with an edge of irritation, "But you never goes out. You are only 22 once, and besides, girls likes you. They like you very much."
A piece of brown crust that had rotted on the stove was picked off by his nail. He flicked it into the trash can, "And how would you know of this?" He didn't have to give Elie the attention to imagine his indignant humph and impatient tap of his foot. He could even see his arms fold solidly across his wide chest, and his naturally straight blond hair bouncing softly against the air conditioner. He really didn't want to think of it, he didn't want to think of it all. He would clean the stove, cook a meal, study, and sleep.
He didn't want to think of it at all.
"I knows many women, even professors," a mischievous and perverted glint in his voice told many stories, "and they speak highly of you, Huey Freeman. Take advantage of it."
One last stain. It was rooted in the far left corner of the stove, near the iron rings where the heat would form itself, and he didn't have to reach over to scrub it off. Piece by piece was pulled off the stove and attached to the fabric of the cloth. In the back of his head, Huey continued to hear the words of Elie, but his voice began to soften, mumbled, incomprehensible. It was only when Elie erupted in an impatient growl and shouted that he was a college student and needed to act like a college student that he pulled the words together and turned on him with a resigned anger.
"What should a college student act like?"
"Oh, you knows, occasional partying. Occasional ladies. Occasional fun."
An eyebrow rose, "Occasion partying? That's every night for you. Occasional ladies? That's five days a week, not including the professors you've slept with. Occasional fun? You're always having fun, even when you're not supposed to be."
"That's not fairs, Huey Freeman," he pouted, "I wants to remember ze times."
He moved to the sink and rung the towel until he felt it was dry, "Well yeah, go on remembering, on your own, and make sure not to catch a STD while you're remembering."
It was the harder tone of his voice that told Elie that Huey wasn't going to budge in his stance. His shoulders slumped, and he sighed dejectedly at the hard look his roommate was currently giving him. It was no use. He hadn't expected it, he never did, but he was hopeful that time. He was hopeful that the ever so determined Huey Freeman would let his walls slag, but it came to no use. The young man stood in front him, holding an old wash cloth, hands decked in rubber, cleaning gloves, and a scowl that was too stubborn to falter. Elie sighed, he sighed, and checked his wrist brand. He swore lightly at the time.
"If you do not want to go, I cannot make you." He turned away from him, his wide back moving in quiet dignity, "But you will regret not having fun while you can. One day you will be old and wrinkly, and you will hate your life!"
Huey didn't respond to Elie's outburst, and Elie didn't give him the chance to respond. He hurried out his door, and the evening sky sparkled with growing light from stars like diamonds. He could hear Elie's heavy, loud footsteps descending the stairs rapidly, and he pretended that the didn't hear the loud, heavy swearing falling out his mouth in his native, German tongue. It wasn't his fast moving feet, his heavy swearing, or the frustrated that moved in his thick, blond eyebrows that sealed the deal that he was no longer a problem. When he made it to his car, a priceless BMW that his parents had purchased for him overseas, and Huey heard the final slam of the front door, he sighed a breath of withheld relief. Unlike the front door of his car, Elie had closed the front door of their apartment nicely. Huey kept his eyes locked on the door for several more seconds before turning his view onto the stove, which was a perfect shade of white, the way it should be. He removed the rubber gloves and placed them in the cabinet underneath the sink, and he threw the old cloth into the trash can, now annoyed and frustrated.
He didn't want to think of what Elie said. Elie was hardly ever right when it came to things such as that, life and duty. The words rung true in his head, and Huey couldn't help but a sense of dread as the meanings started to swell and swell. It reminded him of a balloon that was continued being pumped with air; it appeared to be a boil, reaching its bursting point, but not doing so. Red, puffy, and infected, it wouldn't pop, it just wouldn't pop. That was how the words were for Huey; they refused to pop and turn into fragments. They refused to be nothing, and for the majority that was what they were, nothing. Because Elie was clueless in most things, although his grades were exceptional, and he could never fully trust his wisdom.
A half full glass.
That was what he was.
Huey couldn't possibly trust it.
He hadn't prepared for any visitors, didn't need to. He didn't expect them to arrive, didn't want them to. After he threw away the cloth, finished the kitchen, and stared in their relatively small apartment, he nodded his head in satisfaction. Finally, his home was clean, it was livable. He moved inside the narrow, wooden hallway, that had been swept clean by his hands, and traveled to his bedroom door, closing the door behind him. That was where he began to complete several assignments, online and not, that were handed to him by several teachers, who all expected them completed correctly by the end of the week.
That was where he was.
That was where he remained.
A knock. Two knocks. Three knocks. More than one had stirred him away from a slumber that had befallen him once he had finished three out of his many projects. He was in his bed, he was wrapped in his bed sheets, and he used his hair as a pillow. The knocks weren't consistent, but maybe they were. They didn't knock in that constant, solid notion. A knock was heard. It paused briefly as if waiting for someone to answer. Then it started the never ending cycle again, that is, until he answered the door. Huey didn't want to answer the door; he was comfortable where he was, warm in his bed. The knocks were persistence, and their consistence was simply mocking him as he tried to return to sleep.
He rose from his bed in a disgruntled appearance.
His t-shirt was wrinkled.
His eyes spoke a thousand words of slight anger and annoyance.
The muscles inside his body screamed from the seven hours of inactivity. The joints in his body popped in giggles. He went on silent, his hand twisting on the knob itself, and his eyes drowsy from the peaceful sleep. He blamed the tiredness his brain was experiencing for his lack of alertness. It was common of him to check through the peephole before answering a knock, but he was too tired, too out of it, to care. When he opened the door and his gaze went downwards by several inches, it had taken him several moments before it registered in his brain who had been knocking on his door and who he answered the door to.
The young woman was surprised that the door had opened. In her eyes, he could instantly see that she had registered to whom the door belonged to. Her dark eyes widen a little, but she remained firm in her place. It could've been her stance that made his annoyance melt a little into his anger, but he pushed it aside for cordial reasons.
"Ming," the drowsiness wasn't gone, and his voice came out in a croak, "what time is it?"
She stared at him, "Twelve o'clock, on the dot, precisely."
"What the hell are you doing here?" He rubbed his forehead, his thoughts scattering in and out, "What do you want...it's midnight." His vision was coming into view. He could see her in a better light, in spite of the darkness. She was in her night attire, a black t-shirt, short, red pants, and slippers that accompanied the shirt. Her hair was tired into a loose pony tail that curved around her face nicely, but Huey wasn't looking at any of those things. He was too tired, and he really didn't care.
"Elie is not here?"
"He went out."
It was unexplainable why Huey was interested in the reasons, but he was. It could've been because it was midnight, practically a new day. It could've been because he was in a deep slumber only minutes earlier. It could've been because it was Ming who was standing at his front door, in her pajamas, and searching for a floundering womanizer that caught his attention. Whatever the reason. Whatever the cause. It didn't matter, none of it did. Huey was curious as to why Ming would approach his home, searching for someone who was infamous for his...ways.
"I did not know you were his roommate." Slightly, she bowed her head and turned the other way, towards the stair case, "I apologize for the inconvenience."
She moved quickly. Her slippers slid stubbornly against the gravel, and he watched her go from the doorway. His lips quirked, unexplained, and his fingers curled around the frame of the door. He would regret it, he knew he would, but he opened his mouth, ignoring the cries of protest.
"Should I leave a message?"
It was the fifth step she was on. He could still see the top of her head. "We were to study for our test on Friday, an early prep. I should've known he would not arrive, he hardly does."
"Yeah," he scoffed, "that what he does. Surprised you asked him."
"He is one of the best student in Mr. Kaiser's Calculus class." As an added bonus, "Second to me, of course, but that does not matter. I can study on my own." She moved on downwards, her slippers fighting again, and he watched her go with a skeptic's eye. He could open his mouth. He could close his mouth. He could say something. He could say nothing. It didn't make much sense, it never did-not for him, but he did. He opened his mouth. He did say something. She had reached the middle of the stair case, her legs still moving at a brisk pace, when he spoke again to her.
"What period are you in?"
She didn't miss a beat, "I am his two o'clock period. Two to three fifteen. I suspect you are in his class as well."
"Twelve to twelve fifty."
"You meet more than I."
"Three days a week instead of two."
She moved backwards, upwards to the top, and he was able to see her onyx eyes staring into his deeply. "Are you going to be taking the same test as well."
"Professor Kaiser is an excellent instructor, but he is incredibly lazy. All the information I will be testing on Wednesday will be on your Friday exam."
Her eyes narrowed in thought, and she considered the offer he was proposing to her. "Do you often study with other people?"
He shrugged, "It depends on the person."
"Ah," she said flatly, "do I fall into a certain group of people?"
He pushed it all aside. It held no value for him, not anymore. As he stared into her eyes and felt a feeling of defiance, he touched the idea that it did hold some value. It didn't. It really didn't. That was because it happened a long time ago. It happened a very long time ago, when they were children, but they weren't children anymore. When he considered the events, every tiny detail, he realized that they were weren't children, not really, not in their cores.
Truly, he thought over the question. After minutes had passed, "No, no you are not."
"You're in your own group."
She appeared content with that.
It was unanimously decided that they would conduct their study session at Huey's apartment. Ming would've used her own home, which was only a floor under his, but due to complications with her roommate, she found it would be awful to use her home. It wasn't that her apartment was unclean or her roommate wasn't cooperating. It wasn't that. She simply felt that being drunk over the crown of her head, and having over three other people around simply wouldn't do for studying. Their apartment was so tiny. All the apartment complexes behind the closed gates were small on the inside, but for obvious reasons students continued to spend their tuition money partly on them.
Huey and Ming were a part of the majority that did spend their money on it.
It was simply because they couldn't tolerate living in the dorms.
She stepped into his home tentatively; she didn't move her eyes about the room, attempting to gather it all end. Her eyes remained close to the floor, and she carried her things in her arms, "Um...where do you want me to put my stuff?" It wasn't hard to miss that the apartment was in good shape, and it was easy to see that much cleaning had been done.
"You can put in the corner, by the door." His notes were held securely in his grip, and he spread them over on the table that was in the middle of the living room. He sat on the couch, his body sinking slowly, and his eyes were etched with the work ethic that assisted him in his academic achievements. Sheets of loose leaf paper were separated on the table, and he sat patiently on the couch, waiting for her to prepare herself as well. She did just that. In her hands there were many folders, each holding various sheets of paper. She moved to the other end of the couch. Her bottom sunk as well into the soft cushions of the couch, and her hands moved with a swift elegance that was foreign to him. Her papers were neatly placed beside his own, and he watched quietly as her eyes stared emotionlessly at the papers.
He didn't know how long it was before her eyes glossed over with awareness. He didn't count the time, but when she leaned away from the table, her saw that her head nodded in approval.
"Now, let us compare."
Their study session was simple. At the beginning, they compared notes. They pointed out the similarities and differences in how Professor Kaiser explained the details of his lessons, and they discovered that he did differentiate by classes. Ming's notes appeared to be in more detail than Huey's, and it was not because of a lack of attention. The differences were small, not big at all, but they could still see the changes.
"It appears," he began, "to make it simpler, he's-"
"Changed the rules, a bit." Their eyes narrowed on the spot, "We can work with this."
They did work on it. They compared, they wrote, they contrast. It was a process, a difficult process because math is hardly ever simple, but they somehow made it work in their favor. As the hours ticked on, moving away from the dark midnight into a darker early morning, the pair continued to focus on their work. Their focus wavered as time ticked by, turning from midnight to one, from one to two. It was approximately two thirty-five when the decided to take a five minute break, their minds going numb from the extensive studying. Huey was now on the floor, and his hair bounced on the edge of the cough. Ming was curled into fetal position on the couch, and she flung a paper over her head, not caring.
"No, only drained. Insomnia does that to you."
That was that. Ming was the first to rise, and she rose easily and quickly. She stood on the balls of her feet and stretched to the point where the cracks in her toes echoed down the halls. Her fingers pointed in the air, and a relieved moan pressed onto her lips from pressure that had finally be released. She was still wearing her pajama clothing, and her hair was sticking in various places due to her position on the couch. Her legs were unclothed, and as she stretched them as well, moving in various maneuvers that would have made a common man raise his eyebrows, Huey noticed a misshapen scar tracing from her knee down to the middle of her calf. It was a thin scar, and in the right light was hardly visible. Huey's eyes had mastered the technique of seeing beyond the mask years ago.
Ming must have noticed his stares or at least felt them. She made no notion of feeling them, she continued to stretch, playing oblivious.
Huey noticed that as well, "Does it hurt?"
"Does yours hurt?" She bent low to her toes and gave him a side glance, "Does it?"
He didn't move from his spot on the floor, but his eyes did linger on her scar. "They're times when it aches, but nothing serious."
"Then, it is the same with me." She hopped up and down, "It hurt some times, but nothing serious. It is just weaker than it was."
Her eyes glassed over. She stood upright, and her hair swung over her face, shielding half of it. Huey was entering into a battle zone. The look in her eyes, he remembered it, instantly recognized it. Challenging, determined, unending, she wanted to play a game, did she? She wanted to test him, did she? Huey chose his battles wisely, and when he saw a challenge that held significance, there was no turning away or giving the middle finger. With her, it appeared, he could never back away, and it didn't matter whether it was a pity case or not.
Ming saw it in his eyes. His eyes had glassed over as well, and they were edged with a determined hardness that was absent earlier. She saw the challenge, and something inside her, something deep, deep inside her, jolted at the energy swirling in him. Had she remembered that day? Had she remembered the pain she endured? Pain had been forgotten, submersed in a flood of water, and swirled into a vortex that was abandoned in the deserted location of her subconscious. She had forgotten, some of it, but she hadn't forgotten all of it.
Not all of it.
Never all of it.
"I had forgotten that you were his roommate." Her direction was to the kitchen, not him, "Elie always forgets to mention you in our conversations, but when he does...he often belittles you for not joining him in his escapades."
Huey huffed at her words, shaking his head at the ridiculous of them, "He always wants me to join him, always. He needs to learn, that I'll never do it."
"Never?" She sighed "That is a shame, really. I have escorted him to several clubs and parties. They all have been fun." Huey gave her a skeptical look, a look that read through her semi truthful statement, and she chuckled at his bitter, child like expression. "Oh yes, I guess I cannot say fun, but they were enjoyable. People were surprised to see a Chinese woman at the clubs...I was a rarity."
"Reveled in the attention?"
"No, no," she shook her head, "nothing like that, I do not like the attention, not anymore. Ever since...then...attention has not been kind to me." Words were spoken with an indifference that seemed and appeared foreign to her. Flippant, unmoving, Huey had never thought of her as that, but that was how she was, to him, at the time. They were no longer children, and in the twelve years that had passed between them, their volatile relationship had simmered down to an acre of unknown property.
What was this, he was feeling?
Didn't like her going to the club with him.
Didn't show it. He never showed it.
"The worst time was the beginning. Too many people put their entire hopes into a child, let alone a girl, and when I failed, they were visibly upset. I did not blame them, not at all, but the constant interviews exhausted me. Always the same questions...always the cruel jokes...always the hurtful words, it all exhausted me." She moved to the other side of the table and sat there idly while spinning circles on the table using her index fingers. Her legs were on the left side of his, and he watched her speak. He wasn't surprised to see that her face showed no signs of sadness, but he was surprised to see that her face held no bitterness as well.
"Then, if you wanted to stop, why didn't you?" He leaned onto the table, crossing his arms onto it, "You could have stopped."
She looked at him, directly in the eye. Her eyes didn't speak the words for her, and the sternness in her face voiced no challenge. "If it was that easy, I would have. I would have stopped, but Grandfather was so displeased. He could not kill me or send me away, my parents did not allow it, so he had to get creative. He lined me up for interviews, he sold me out to the dogs. He reaped the benefits, the money paid, and in time I returned more than enough money to him than I would have ever done if I had won." She spoke lightly, halfheartedly, as if these parts of her life were insignificant to her. A gust in the wind, that was all it was to her.
She shrugged, "I do not blame them. Pointless if I did. Grandfather had control of everything, but when it came down to it, in my disgrace, they were my stiffest allies. In time...as all things are...wounds are taken care of, never fully healed, but taken care of. People refuse to talk, let it slide in the mud, and you move on. Always move on."
"Is that why you came to Woodcrest," he asked, "to move on?"
"Maybe, maybe not," she chuckled softly, "does it really matter-anymore?" She put her hands to the floor, and she leaned back. "Does it, really, matter?"
"I don't know." He cleared his throat, "Some say yes. Some say no. I ignored you, because I was angry at you. I avoided you, because I despised you. You lied, you cheated, you took advantage of my kindness...to win a stupid kickball game."
Her onyx orbs glared at the accusation, "I did lie, but I did not cheat. I did what I did because that is how I was raised to be. That stupid kickball game gambled your very livelihood, and yet you took it all in stride, still do."
"It was a kickball game, between two, old, rich bastards. You fell into their trap. You weren't important, you were only a pawn." He shook his head, "You felt high and mighty, holding that ball. When you hit Tom Dubois, when you hit my granddad. Then you fell. It happens, to all high and mighty people, and it is because, partly, of mistakes, flaws, and arrogance. When it comes down to it, the core of it all, all high and mighty people are destined to fall, one way or another. That is so...due to being human. Mortals."
"I eat. I breathe. I bathe. I live. I die." She sucked in a cold breath, "Yes, I do, I believe so. Human. Mortal. Cut me, I bleed. Slap me, I bruise. Hit me with a vermillion charged chi kickball and my leg breaks. Makes perfect sense."
"I don't see the humor in it."
"Someone has to."
They didn't return to their studying. They should've, but they didn't. Their minds had fallen of the scale of higher education, and they had dumbed down to a humble, yet challenging atmosphere which they were comfortable in. Huey was the first to move from the table, he went to the kitchen, and he pulled a vintage Chinese tea set from a top cabinet. In the small kettle, he poured water from the sink, and he set it on the stove. Ming moved away from the table as well, and she walked into the kitchen, standing beside him. A curious look was on her face, and her attention bounced from the tea set onto him.
"You like tea?"
"Yes, I do."
"How often do you make it?"
"Not often enough."
She turned her back on the sink and leaned her back on it until she heard a pop. Her gaze was heavy on Huey's body, but for the sake of the tea, he chose to ignore it. Ming was not up to being ignored, and she pushed herself against him, moving her small hips to his side. He told her to stop it, voice firm and hard, but she only tilted her head to the side, and a mischievous smirk touched her lips. Her fingers moved to his, and he didn't flinch or move his away from her touch. He continued on with the tea: fixing, mixing, boiling. She didn't cease in her pursuit; she inched closer and closer, to the point where the tips of their arm hair were touching one another. He sighed, and dropped the tea kettle on the counter once it was hot enough. He gave her a look that told her to back off, but she didn't care for it and inched only closer.
"I have to finish the tea."
"You're disrupting me."
"Fine," she scooted away, but only be a few inches, not much in Huey's standards, "go on, continue your tea."
That he did. He finished it. It didn't take long at. He handed her a small cup, and she received it gracefully, sipping it carefully. He watched her intake it slowly, her brow furrowing together in thought of the taste.
"Herbal," she said, "herbal tea. You like it?"
"I drink it for meditation and training."
Her rubbed the sides of the glass, enjoying the decorations of it, "So, you still train, after all these years?"
"Do you?" He arched an eyebrow, speculative. She turned directly to him, and she gulped the rest of the tea in a rush. Then she placed in on the counter, tipped on the ball of her feet, and she nodded. Her loose ponytail came undone, and scrunchie that held it together fell onto the floor, bouncing and rolling until it came to a full stop at the side of one of the legs of the table.
"So you do still train." He nodded in thought, "For your leg, but you didn't need to go all dramatic on me."
"That was a silly question of you, Huey Freeman. Of course I still train, it helps."
Again, they stared at one another. Mahogany meshed with onyx, and her dark brown curls rolled onto his chest. She moved closer and closer to him, disregarding all boundary limitations, and he allowed her to. He didn't move away from his place, and didn't intend to. When her body pressed against his and her eyes locked onto his, it was instinct that had taken control, and one hand slipped around her waist, pulling her closer into him, and they stared. Just staring into one another eyes, willing the other to break, willing the other to speak. The silence that had befallen them wasn't awful, but it wasn't completely comfortable. In the sense of their hold on the other, they were proud to admit to themselves that their beating hearts had not changed in the slightest. They went on pumping with the same tune, the same beat, no off rhythm, no skipping beats, and they were smug about it, very smug.
Someone had to say something.
Someone had to say a word.
Someone had to break the hold.
Someone had to end it.
Twelve years in the making, and the unsettling feeling hadn't gone away.
They feared it would never go away.
But it had to go, it simply couldn't stay.
"I...," she started off slow but strong, "do not regret."
He opened his mouth to protest, because he had to retort to it, but she stopped him before he could.
"I had no choice. What does it mean to regret when you have no choice? You may think I did, that I always did, but if I had not tried, what would have become of me then?"
No answer, he had no answer for that, but many scenarios flew in his head.
"I never justified it. It was the one question interviewers always asked me, and it always the one question I could never answer. Did I regret? Did I want to take it back? No. Never. I could not, did not tell them that." Her hands fell on his chest, "You must understand that."
Would have died...
Would have killed...
Without kickball, I am nothing.
Sadly, he did understand it. He did understand it, and the tip of his forehead touched hers.
"I never regret. Because it led me here, my image of freedom."
There wasn't any telling what made Huey do what he did. It was unexplainable, but the reasoning was plausible. The small gap that existed between them was closed when he inched his face closer to her, and she did the same. Their lips touched in a soft, attentive way before clinging down hardly onto each other, and he felt his arm wrap tighter around her slim waist. He lifted her off her feet, and he pulled he closer, deeper, into his hold. There weren't thinking; in instances such as the one they were in, people hardly ever did. He felt her curves, she felt his neck, he was strong on her, she was stronger on him.
Instinct, that was all it was.
Pure, young adult instinct.
Their kisses were frantic but silent. They were rushed but skilled. They moaned but not too loudly. His fingers curled into her hair, and her legs wrapped around his mid section. He lifted her on the counter. She nipped his neck. He unclasped her bra. When they were tired of what they were doing, it was Huey who grabbed her body from the counter and lifted her away from the kitchen.
They forgot their math, it would wait.
They forgot their tea, it would freeze.
They forgot their animosity, it didn't matter anymore.
Huey shut his bedroom door behind him, and he made sure it was locked.
The time was ten eleven twenty-five, and they were a tangled mess. It was remarkable they were able to fit into his twin sized mattress comfortably enough without one or the other falling off. His face was in her hair, and his arm was wrapped around her waist. Their hands were entwined into each other's, and they inhaled the scent of the other. They were pleased to say that the scents were enjoyable enough not to be disregarded with disgust.
Especially when sweat and heat were thrown into the mix.
She curled into his embrace deeper, "What time is it?"
"Don't know," he mumbled, "get up and find out."
He wasn't going to rise from his bed, and she knew that. She tugged herself away from him, discomfort in her joints, and she stretched. She searched for a clock that sat on his desk, and she frowned.
"It's going on noon." She looked at him, "We slept too long."
She rolled her eyes and left the room. In his bed, Huey heard her soft footsteps moving across the room, and he heard the rustling of papers being grabbed into her hands. At long last, when he knew he couldn't stay in the bed for much longer, he got up from the bed and walked into the den. Ming moved swiftly. Her hair was unraveled, and there were bags under her eyes. She stacked her papers together and put them into their folders before shoving them into her messenger bag.
"In a hurry?"
"No, not really, I do not feel like explaining this to my roommate when I return."
"You don't have to." He moved to her carefully, not touching her, not exactly, "She's not your mother."
She slung the messenger bag over her shoulder, "I do not fear her, but I do not have the tolerance for her manic questions. I have an essay as well."
"English 390. It's a mixture of American Literature and English Literature." She shifted her messenger bag and slipped on her slippers, "Complicated, but interesting." She said nothing after that and carried the rest of her belongings to the door. The thought of Elie, who was most likely somewhere in the apartment, mingled in their thoughts, but they chose not to worry about him for the moment. He followed her to the door, and she grabbed the door knob and tugged on it. Then, she turned to him, and gave him a soft smile.
"Maybe...we can do this another time, possibly."
His hands were in his pockets, and his face was unreadable. After the events of the early morning, it appeared he had retreated to his original personal. It would've made any other woman upset, it would've made any other woman displeased, it would've made any other woman hurt, but Ming wasn't like any other woman, and her smile only grew softer in his eyes.
He didn't say anything. He didn't say a word.
Maybe they will.
Hopefully, they will.
Ming nodded and turned away from him, opening the door to fresh air, releasing the sweat and heat from his home. She walked away, her slippers fighting with the gravel, and descended the stairs without a second glance. Huey didn't watch her go; he closed the door once she was out of his home, and he turned to his living room and kitchen. For the majority, his living room and kitchen was the same. Papers were around on the table and the floor, his own, and his tea sat on the counter, untouched and cold. He cleaned it up because he really couldn't stand looking at something out of order, and when he went into the kitchen to clean out his tea set. He did that, he did it perfectly, and placed them back in the top left cabinet, shut the door, and sighed.
In the corner of his eye, he saw something.
He saw something red, something cloth like, and he bent low to retrieve it.
It was by the leg of the table, and in the dim light of the kitchen it was hardly seen.
A scrunchie, her scrunchie, the tie that held her hair together.
"She left it behind."
There were several options he had. First, he could have thrown it away. He probably should've, to throw away the proof of it all. Second, he could pretend he didn't see it. He probably should've, to forget it ever happened. Third, well, the third option was an option he hadn't considered, but it was the option he decided to use. The scrunchie was of a soft texture, and it held her scent.
Throw it away, Huey.
Throw it away.
It didn't matter if he kept it or not. It symbolized nothing. So, he put it in a box, inside his room, inside his closet. He didn't open it. He would give it to her later, when she returned, if she returned. There was no debating it, no debating for him, because he knew she would return. It was a horrible habit of hers, returning when not wanted, and then leaving a presence that retained a fierceness that left people yearning for more.
He was one of those people.
He would never tell her that, couldn't give her the satisfaction.
"Yes, I will like that."
Eventually, she would return, and he would wait until she did.
Until that time came, Huey would live his life as he did before. He would pass on by her as if she didn't exist, making sure he gave her a look that only she would recognize. She would return it with a small quirk of her lips. They would be content with the wait and the peace, because they honestly, truly deserved it, he more than her.
They were no longer children, and the animosity between them had simmered into a subtle and comfortable attraction.
They would live with it.
He could live with it.
In the end, that was all that really mattered.
A/N: I like Huey and Ming because of the foe-ness thing, but I see potential, and I know I'm the only one. *Am I?* Before anyone kills me, the middle part is meant to be ambiguous. It is up to you guess what really happened behind the closed door. I'm just having fun with the characters and placing them in different situations, AU situations. Don't take this seriously, I don't have a sequel or anything like that in mind. I would appreciate reviews, and thank you to those who read, reviewed, or alerted any other way.
Funny, I started on this yesterday, last night. I've written over 7,000 words; that is a new record. My fingers hurt.
Take care everyone and have a happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!