Duo was caught up in one of his favorite daydreams--Odin Lowe, Jr., lead singer of the band Gundanium, was pulling him onstage, completely concealed in shadows--when a knock on the door nearly made him jump out of his skin.
He catapulted off his bed and called, "Coming!" Trying frantically to remember what was supposed to be happening that day, he scrambled to the door and threw it open. He unconsciously straightened his clothes as the dean looked at him disapprovingly, then turned his attention to the youth standing beside the wrinkled old man, consequently almost missing the Dean's words as he stared at the other boy.
"Duo Maxwell, this is Heero Yuy, your roommate." He ushered the dark-haired boy inside and turned to go, calling back over his shoulder, "Oh, and Maxwell, if I get one more complain about loud music..." his voice faded as he walked down the hall and turned the corner.
"Ummm, hi. Don't mind that old wind bag." Duo forced himself to look away from Heero, sternly telling himself that staring was impolite, no matter how hot the object of the stare was. Tight, faded jeans left only a little to the imagination, the dark green tank top left even less. Duo had a very good imagination. Piercing gray-blue eyes were half-hidden under unruly dark brown bangs that fell across his face in a careless manner.
After Duo looked away, it took him a moment to realize Heero had been staring back.
He heard movement and watched silently as the slender teen walked farther into the room, giving Duo a great view of his denim-covered rear.
The longhaired boy was slightly disappointed when his new roommate turned back around and hefted his suitcase. "Where should I put this?"
Duo didn't answer for a moment, thoughts wandering. Why does his voice sound so...familiar? "Uh, I guess over there," he gestured. "That bed is yours, the dresser on that wall is yours, and we can share the closet and the desk, okay?"
Heero made a sound of acceptance and silently set about unpacking. Duo sat on his bed and tried not to watch too openly.
"So, where'd you come from?" Duo asked, still trying to figure out who the gorgeous Japanese boy's voice reminded him of.
"Really? I was there two weeks ago for a Gundanium concert. Ever heard of 'em?"
Something flashed in the cobalt eyes that would have been a cringe had it been allowed to reach the rest of his face.
"You've never heard of them?" Duo asked again with a tinge of disbelief coloring his voice. "You really haven't? Their lead singer is the guy who's never been seen...whenever he's onstage he's behind the band in the shadows." Noticing he more or less had his new roommate's attention, he continued on about his favorite topic of conversation.
"Rumors have been flying around ever since the band started to get popular. Some say he's disfigured, just ugly, really a girl...it's pathetic. It never once crosses their minds that maybe he just wants a life without fans mobbing him everywhere he goes."
"You seem to have thought about it a lot," Heero commented dryly, folding yet another green tank top and putting it in a drawer. It was just his luck to be put in a room with a fan...though the beautiful youth did have his reason for staying hidden correct.
"Nah, it's just common sense. Would you want people following you around screaming your name everywhere you went?" It appeared to be a rhetorical question, because Duo continued before Heero could answer. "I've got the only CD they've ever made. It has songs sung by all the other band members, too, which is really cool 'cause normally lead singers tend to be the only ones people pay any attention to...and hey, thanks for listening to me babble on and on about a band you've never heard of." Duo flashed a charming grin at the dark-haired boy. I wonder which way he swings...
Heero blinked and smiled slightly. He certainly is...blunt...and attractive.
A bell sounded in the hallway and Duo glanced at the clock. "Whoa, six already? D'ya wanna go and get some dinner in the cafeteria?"
They ambled down the hallway, Duo disappointed that he had to walk either beside or in front of Heero because only he knew where to go.
When Duo turned and led him into the cafeteria, it was as if someone had suddenly turned the volume up on an invisible speaker as loud as it could go. And, rising above the din was one shrill female voice calling "Duo!"
"There's Hilde," Duo told him, pointing across a mass of people. He held out his hand to Heero, who looked at it dubiously. "C'mon, I don't bite. You gotta hang on if you actually want to get over there in one piece."
Not waiting for response, Duo grabbed Heero's hand and they plunged into the crowd.
Thirty seconds later, they emerged on the other side and began maneuvering around tables until they reached one where a girl with short, dark hair sat with a boy with sandy blond hair and brown eyes.
Duo plunked down in a chair across from them, pulling Heero down with him.
"Hey guys! This is Heero Yuy, he just moved here from Sanq."
"So you have the...er, privilege...of rooming with Duo, do you? Poor kid," the other boy chuckled. "I'm Solo, that's Hilde." The girl smiled at him, then went back to staring avidly at Duo.
"Whose turn is it to get the food?" Hilde piped up, looking from Solo to Duo.
"Duo did it Monday, I did it Tuesday, you did it Wednesday..." they both turned to Duo. "Crap," the longhaired boy muttered, pushing back from the table and disappearing into the crowd.
"Ever heard of Gundanium?" Hilde queried innocently, eyes sparkling.
Solo snorted and poked Hilde in the side, causing the shorthaired girl to squeal and flinch away. "It doesn't matter. Duo would have talked his ear off about it either way. Right?"
Heero chuckled softly and nodded.
Solo grinned. "You'll learn to tune him out eventually. Once he gets going on it, it takes him a while to shut up."
"I don't mind."
Hilde and Solo regarded him with surprise, but let the matter drop.
"Where'd you move from again?"
"Didn't go too far, didja?"
"Why'd you move?" Hilde put in, shooting a glare at Solo, who ignored her.
"Oh. D'ya like it here?"
"We'll see if you say that in a few days after you're so sick of hearing about Odin Lowe--"
"Junior," Hilde inserted.
"Junior and Gundanium you want to scream," Solo finished, then glance sideways at Hilde and added, "At least Duo's never tried to climb up onstage like some people."
"Solo!" Hilde screeched, lunging at the brown-eyed boy.
Unnoticed by the squabbling pair, Duo slid back into his seat with four plastic containers stacked on top of each other. He set one in front of each of them, then leaned over and whispered in Heero's ear. "What set them off?"
Heero tried to ignore the way Duo's nearness sent little shivers down his spine and murmured, "Something about climbing onstage during a concert..."
Duo blinked, then burst out laughing, drawing his two friends' attention away from their fight.
Hilde looked indignant as she demanded what was so funny.
The American teen abruptly sobered and said in a deadpan voice, "Nothing."
Solo started to laugh quietly as Hilde sputtered for a few seconds, then resolutely began ignoring her longhaired friend.
Duo grinned, then went about feeding his face...but he made devouring food at an alarming rate look almost...delicate.
Heero forced himself to look away and focus on his own meal, sternly reminding himself that he'd be leaving soon and couldn't get involved with anyone, even if Duo was interested in him.
* * *
Heero came back from rehearsal to find Duo lying on his bed with just a pair of boxers and his headphones on. It seemed like Duo never stopped listening to that thrice-damned music disc. His luminous indigo eyes were closed, the tempting lips softly singing along to what Heero suspected was "Flying Away," which seemed to be his roommate's favorite song. Only--
"As I descend towards the burnt up earth,
the morning sun shines."
He knew the English translations?! Normally I would find that disturbing...with him...I feel flattered.
We are looking for a fifth member...and he can sing...quite well...Zechs, Treize, and that Relena girl didn't have what it takes to live out of hotel rooms for months at a time. He might. He just might.
Taking care to close the door with more than his normal force, Heero flung his backpack onto the bed and collapsed next to it.
Quieting his thoughts, he shoved the books off the bed and curled up in a ball, facing the window. Wufei had been ranting about his obvious preoccupation during their rehearsal and it had given him a splitting headache, as usual. He vaguely heard Duo removing his headphones and getting up from his bed, then felt the bed dip beside him.
"Rough day?" Duo asked quietly. He didn't know exactly what Heero did after school...just that his friend either came back in an abnormally good mood or complaining--not that he actually complained--of a headache.
Heero rolled onto his back, his side coming into contact with Duo's leg. Duo seemed to have a sixth sense when it came to his needs--some of them, anyway. The chestnut-haired boy got up and tipped a pill from the extra-strength Tylenol bottle into his palm and quickly poured a glass of water, then offered them to Heero.
Heero almost laughed as he took them. Trowa, Quatre, Wufei, and Rasid--the man in charge of security--had been worried about his decision to attend a local school while they were in town, but the truth of the matter was that Duo took better care of him than anyone every had, and he seemed to really care about his cobalt-eyed roommate...it was an odd feeling.
Heero handed the glass back to Duo, who set it gently on the floor beside the bed and pulled Heero's head into his scantily clad lap, unmindful of his nearly nude state. His slender fingers began to rub lightly at Heero's temples.
Heero's eyes closed as he felt the tension start to dissipate under those soothing fingers.
A murmured, puzzling "Don't want to go," were Heero's only words as he slipped into a peaceful sleep, head still cradled in Duo's lap.
* * *
"...so I was just wondering if you wanted to go with me to see what I'm talking about," Duo brandished two concert tickets in Heero's face.
"Duo...I can't..." I have to sing. The chestnut-haired teen's face fell.
"Oh," he said sadly, trying not to sound disappointed.
"I would if I could, Duo," Heero said lamely, unable to think of a real excuse.
"Don't worry 'bout it...I'll get Hilde to go with me...or I'll sell the extra ticket. The concert's already sold out." Duo was slightly happier because Heero had said he would have gone...but he had really wanted to go with Heero, even I it was just so he could let himself believe that Heero liked him as more than a friend. I'm better off pining after Odin...at least I can acknowledge that's he's unreachable and unobtainable.
* * *
Minutes before the concert started, Quatre pulled Heero off to one side. "So, which one is he?"
Heero didn't have to ask who 'he" was. He had already spotted the only boy in the audience that had a meter long braid.
Heero gingerly pulled back a curtain and peeked out onto the darkened stage and the mass of humanity beyond it. He pointed with a black gloved hand to the boy in the sixth row, center stage, with an empty seat to his right. Rasid and his guards were very strict about keeping concert-goers in their appropriate seats.
He must have really wanted me to go.
Quatre whistled at his side. "Wow, Heero...he's...wow."
Heero nodded absently. "I know."
"Who are we looking at?" a curious voice spoke from behind them.
"Duo," the blond whispered, then giggled. "Right there, Wufei."
"I can see why you've been preoccupied, Yuy."
Heero knew he was blushing and hoped the darkness hid it.
"What are you guys doing?" Trowa asked as he wrapped his arms around Quatre's shoulders from behind.
"Sixth row, center stage," Quatre told him, twisting around to give the taller young man a kiss on the cheek.
Trowa looked and made a sound of appreciation. "And that is?"
"Duo," Heero replied shortly as he shoved everyone back. "Stop gawking at him."
"Getting possessive, are we, Yuy?"
"None of your damn business."
Wufei smirked and walked out onstage with Quatre and Trowa. Whistles and cheers thundered from the excited crowd.
When they closed with "Flying Away," Heero found himself staring at Duo's enraptured expression and singing with more feeling than he had in a long time.
* * *
"Man, Heero, I really wish you coulda been there...it had to be one of their best concerts yet! Quatre--he's the keyboard guy that sings like a girl" --Heero suppressed a snicker-- "said Odin was working on a new song. I have mentioned that he writes all the songs the group plays, haven't I?"
"It really sucks, though, that their next concert is going to be on L1. No way I can get there to hear it live.
The dark-haired singer fought back a smirk. You'd be surprised, Duo.
"You coming down to dinner?" Duo asked, unable to keep the hopefulness that shone through his voice at bay.
Duo flashed him a somewhat stunned but radiant smile. "Great! I just hope they're serving something edible."
Heero laughed quietly and helped Duo to his feet, leading him past the desk to the door.
"He~ero, what's this?" Duo scooped up a few sheets of what looked like a musical composition.
Heero snatched it away and tried his best to look embarrassed.
"Nothing," he muttered.
"Nothing, huh? What's the 'nothing' for?"
"My music appreciation teacher gave us the assignment of writing a song and singing it in front of the class..."
"But?" Duo prompted, quickly scanning over the Japanese lyrics.
"I can't sing in front of people." It wasn't a lie. It just wasn't the whole truth. "Mr. Zaharico said if I could find someone to sing it for me it would be all right, but I don't know anyone--"
"I could!" Duo blurted, then clapped his free hand to his mouth. "Um...ah...er, if you can't find anyone else..."
The longhaired boy shrugged, blushing slightly. "Sure. When's it due?"
"Three weeks from now. I'm done writing it." Three was a good number. Not too many so that having it written already seemed absurd, not too few to arouse Duo's suspicions with the utter lack of other music apprec. students running around frantically trying to complete the assignment.
"'Kay...that'll be enough time. C'mon, I'm starved!" The music fluttered back to the desk as Duo dragged his roommate out the door.
* * *
Heero walked into the room feeling quite smug with himself for talking everyone into hanging around for a few days so he could put his plan into action. Well...he had basically threatened not to sing if they didn't stay for a few days. But, the end result had been what he wanted, so why did the means he had gotten it by matter?
Duo was sitting cross-legged on the bed with "Wild Wing Boys" in his lap, humming to himself. He glanced up when Heero came in and sat on the edge of the bed, next to the indigo-eyed youth.
"I think I've got it," Duo told him, smiling brightly.
Heero gave him a small smile in return. "Sing it."
Duo cleared his throat nervously and took a few deep breaths, then began to sing.
The Japanese teen watched Duo, complete under the longhaired boy's spell, leaving no doubt in his mind that Duo would be Gundanium's fifth member. He offhandedly noticed Duo wasn't looking at the music at all; he had it memorized.
He also noted Duo even sang "wild wing boys" with a Japanese accent, causing "wild" to sound like "wide."
When he finished, he looked at Heero, apprehensively awaiting his reaction.
"Duo...that was..." So good I can't say it...it makes me want to keep you to myself for forever so only I can hear you sing.
When he got no further response, Duo nervously added, "Good? Bad? You'll never be able to hear again?" He began to fidget nervously as Heero merely sat there and looked at him, an unreadable expression on his beautiful face.
"Heero! Say something!"
Heero blinked and was silent. Duo felt like sinking through the floor. I thought I did all right...
Heero finally regained control of his voice. "Duo that was" --Duo cringed-- "perfect."
Duo nearly fell off the bed. "Umm...thanks...isn't that going a bit far?"
Heero shook his head.
Duo came incredibly close to impersonating a tomato.
"It really was, Duo. If I could get a tape of the music--I can--could you sing it with that?"
* * *
The next day after school, Heero disappeared and didn't come back to their room until ten p.m., narrowly missing a patrolling dorm mother.
Duo all but pounced on him. "Hi!" he chirped, sounding like an excited five-year-old.
Heero produced a CD from somewhere and held it between two fingers, a smug expression vaguely touching his features.
Duo looked at it. "And how exactly did you manage to get that?"
"That," Heero elegantly inserted the CD into the CD player and pressed 'play', "is for me to know." The music started.
The music went on by itself for a few moments, then Duo began to sing softly, getting a feel for his accompaniment, unwittingly bringing Heero completely under his thrall.
I'll have to get over this once he joins us... Heero realized absently, but right then, he didn't care.
When the song ended, Duo nodded thoughtfully and then glanced at Heero and raised an eyebrow. "Are you going to make a habit of never commenting after I sing?"
The Japanese boy looked at him and smiled. "Maybe."
Duo laughed and sat down on his bed, looking up at Heero. "Hey, that reminds me, Solo told me about this new club opening, like, a block away tomorrow and there's supposed to be a 'well-known band' coming for the opening."
Thank you, Solo. "And...?"
"I was just wondering if you wanted to go."
Heero lifted his shoulders in a miniscule shrug. "Sure. What time?"
"Uh, I dunno...eight?"
"I'll have to meet you there."
"No, wait inside. I'll find you."
* * *
"Master Odin, I really don't think it would be wise to--"
"Rasid." Heero stopped the big man in his proverbial tracks. "I am going to go out there to find Duo so he won't think that I've stood him up. I'll be back in time to get started."
The Japanese boy was gone before the security manager could respond.
Heero slipped unnoticed through a throng of people near the stage, moving steadily towards the bar of the new club, Whitefang. Duo was seated at the bar, absently toying with his drink. He barely glanced up as the empty seat next to him was taken, but did a double take when he realized it was Heero.
"Hey, Heero!" he grinned, looking much more cheerful than he had moments ago.
"Duo, something came up. I'll be back later."
"Oh. Okay." He sighed, any traces of happiness gone. "See you later, then." His attention turned back to his untouched drink.
On a sudden impulse, Heero leaned towards Duo and tilted Duo's face towards him so they were almost nose to nose. Duo's indigo eyes were impossibly wide.
Heero couldn't control his smirk as he moved even closer, but bypassed the tempting lips that were agonizingly close.
"Get close to the stage," he murmured in Duo's ear, feeling Duo's rapid breaths through the material of his black, long-sleeved shirt.
He pulled back and started away, casting one last glance back over his shoulder at the longhaired boy and winking solemnly.
Lithely making his way back through the crowd of people, he was backstage once again in a matter of moments, aware he grinning like an idiot, but knowing he couldn't control it. The dark-haired singer peered out into the club, noting that Duo was slowly weaving his way towards the stage, causing the Japanese teen's grin to grow wider. When he turned back around the other group members were behind him.
"Uh oh," Quatre squeaked and dodged behind Trowa, who backed up a few steps. Wufei ducked behind a speaker. They knew a grinning Heero meant one of two things. A.) the world was coming to an end, or B.) something was about to fall apart courtesy of Heero's bizarre sense of humor. Neither was a particularly promising prospect.
"Let's start. Remember the order of the songs...after 'Love is a Shooting Star' Quatre calls Duo up."
They all nodded mutely and went to take their places onstage while the club's owner, Canns, announced the "mystery band" was going to start their performance.
Duo looked curiously at the stage as the curtain was drawn up, then gasped out loud when he recognized the people on stage. He nearly fainted dead away with the opening chords of "In My Words Alone" were played.
While he greatly enjoyed the music and cheered the loudest out of everyone in the Whitefang, he wished Heero would get back soon.
He got--one of--the shocks of his young life when Quatre, after a few songs had been played, requested, "Duo Maxwell, please come on stage." At the surge of people attempting to pass themselves off as the longhaired boy, Trowa added dryly, "We know what he looks like."
Duo stood immobile, too stunned to move.
"Uh, Duo? Trowa, Wufei, could you guys get him up here?"
The indigo-eyed youth looked blankly up at the outstretched hands until someone shoved him forward. Wufei and Trowa pulled him onstage then started to laugh quietly at his dumbfounded expression.
"Sure knows how to pick 'em, doesn't he?" Wufei asked Trowa after switching his mike off.
Trowa switched his off as well as he told Duo, "Just sing 'Wild Wing Boys'. You'll get an explanation backstage."
"Um...okay...okay!" He gave a decisive nod and took the microphone a stagehand held out to him.
They resumed their places as Quatre introduced Duo to the crowd.
"Duo is a student at St. Gabriel's, some of you here might know him. At Gundanium's last concert, I announced that Odin was working on a new song...it's done." He smiled and gave the signal to start.
In his nervous, bewildered state, Duo didn't hear Quatre's words; it was as if someone had made it impossible for Duo to understand actual words and let him only hear the noise. Resolutely pushing his uneasiness aside, Duo sang the best he ever had, forcing himself to believe Heero would somehow be able to hear him wherever he had disappeared to. At the electric guitar solo, he grinned and glanced back in the shadows of the stage where he could see faint glimpses of silver as Odin himself played.
As the final "take off" died in the air, the club erupted in enthusiastic applause, whistles and cat calls came from every angle as Duo bowed elaborately, still grinning.
"G'night everyone!" Quatre called as the curtains closed.
Duo's grin faded and the bewildered expression came back to his face. "Does someone wanna explain what in hell's going on here?"
"Odin will explain. He's probably backstage already."
Duo's eyes bugged out. "I get to meet him!?"
Quatre started laughing so hard he had to lean on Trowa to stay upright, which failed to improve Duo's incredibly confused state.
Duo let himself be led to where a familiar figure stood with his back to the approaching quartet, holding a black and silver guitar and arguing with an older man twice his size.
Why is Heero backstage holding Odin's guitar? Am I going insane? I must be...
"Why do I get the feeling that I'm just going to get more confused as the night goes on?" Duo asked no one in particular.
"Heero!" Quatre called, "Come over here and stop arguing with Rasid!"
Heero turned, cobalt met surprised indigo.
"What the hell is going on?" Duo wailed, looking imploringly at the stoic ceiling as Heero walked over to them after handing the guitar to a stagehand.
"Duo, meet Odin Lowe, Jr., otherwise known as Heero Yuy to his friends."
Duo blacked out.
* * *
The first thing Duo heard was Heero/Odin calling Wufei several unflattering terms, presumably for his abrupt introduction of a roommate Duo had thought he'd known.
His next thought was of the realization his head was laying on something warm and hard (not that, hentais...) with muscle. A little moan escaped his lips as he forced his eyes open.
"Duo?" The chestnut-haired teen focused on warm, cobalt blue eyes. "I'm sorry. Wufei did that rather abruptly."
Duo sat up, ignoring the blood rushing to his head. "Oh my god...oh my god..." He buried his face in his hands, painfully aware he was beet red. He heard Heero--Odin, whoever he was--stand up and there was the sound of feet shuffling away as everyone close by vacated the area.
Heero crouched down next to Duo and awkwardly tapped him on the shoulder to gain his attention. An indigo eye peered between a crack in Duo's fingers.
"Duo..." Heero sighed and sat down on the hard wood floor next to his friend, almost close enough that they touched.
"You...you really are him, aren't you?"
I've been sharing a room with Odin Lowe, Jr., for a month...I...I'm totally screwed. I'll never see him again after tonight.
"Heero...Odin...whoever you are...I...I'll miss you."
"Duo, I--we--want you to come with us."
Duo blinked and raised his head to stare into Heero's eyes. "Huh?"
In the background, someone started snickering loudly.
"We want you to be the fifth member of Gundanium."
"...Me? Why me?! Are you out of your mind?! I'm just a nobody from a prep school that--"
"Shut up, Duo," Heero growled. "Either you come with us on tour, or I'll stay with you here and Gundanium will never be heard from again."
"You are nuts," Duo mumbled, shaking his head. "Or maybe I am."
"So? Duo, please..."
"Heero, why would you quit Gundanium to stay at St. Gabriel's?"
"Maybe I'm not making myself clear..." Heero calmly reached over and grabbed Duo's chin, forcing the American boy to look at him. "I don't give a shit about St. Gabriel's. I want to stay with you. And if that's at St. Gabriel's, so be it." He pressed forward a few inches and brushed his lips against Duo's gently, then pulled back, still grasping Duo's chin.
He just kissed me. Odin Lowe Jr. just kissed me. He wants to stay with ME. He kissed me. He's sitting there waiting for my answer. He kissed me. Stuff like this never happens to me. He kissed me. I must have had a few too many drinks. He kissed me.
"Duo?" Did I read him incorrectly? I thought he wanted me, too...gods, was I wrong?
The saddened quality in Heero's voice brought Duo back the to the present and made him decide he wasn't dreaming or lying on the floor near the bar. He launched himself as best he could at Heero, knocking him flat on his back. Using both hands, he pinned Heero's shoulders down and bent over the stunned singer. "Are you really, really sure about this, Heero? After I get my hands on you, you aren't gonna get rid of me anytime in the next century." He glanced down at his hands. "Whoops, too late. You're stuck with me."
Duo slowly lowered himself until his head was resting on Heero's chest, then inched his way up and kissed the side of the other's neck to his jaw line, slowly driving Heero insane.
"So..." Heero said huskily, dragging his thoughts back to what really mattered at the moment. "Are you coming with me, or am I going with you?"
Duo's grin went unseen as he nuzzled Heero's neck, hands running along the hard muscle of Heero's chest. "I guess I'll 'come' with you."
Return to Reiko-chan's Dirty Books