ANOTHER COUNTRY

1=2, light lime

For link_worshiper’s birthday

 

 

Duo stopped suddenly on the corner, right on the edge of the sidewalk.  Behind him, Heero ran into his heels with a ‘whoof’.

 

“What’s up?  Why’d you stop walking so suddenly?”

 

Duo peered up at the street name, then across the junction where three busy roads met.  Distinctive red buses zipped across in front of unfamiliar stores; people in raincoats scurried past.  Children in a school party crossing the road shrieked and laughed and stabbed at the legs of their teacher with their play-sized umbrellas.

 

“Nothing,” said Duo, distractedly.  He hauled his backpack off and started to rummage inside it.

 

Heero bit his lip.  The weather had deteriorated as the day went on and now the air was cold and damp.  It’d rain soon – he’d never been wrong in anticipating such things.  A couple of passing businessmen nudged into him, and a dog sniffed at his ankles until the owner tugged on the lead to pull it away.  “We’re lost, right?”

 

Duo gave a grunt of protest.  “Nah.  Just need to reorient myself.”  He pulled out a very creased map and started to open it out.

 

“All day I’ve been trailing around behind your ass and now, on the way back to the hotel, you get us lost.”  Heero knew he sounded petulant, but that was how his legs and feet felt, just at this minute.  He was tired out.  He wanted a bath; he wanted supper.  He wanted to relax and sit next to Duo somewhere that wasn’t on a vehicle shuddering through traffic or in amongst herds of gabbling tourists or on a hard bench that left abandoned bubble gum on his pants when he stood up again.  He wanted to talk to Duo about the places they’d seen, to assimilate them, to review them - and then, just maybe, after that, if they weren’t too tired…

 

“We’re not lost.”  Duo snorted, but he peered closely at the map.  “And you’ve loved this day in the city, haven’t you?”

 

Heero grimaced, considering a diplomatic answer.  A couple of joggers came running by, their headphones plugged in tightly and their faces pink and sweating under tight towelling headbands.  He drew Duo back away from the roadside and into a store doorway, saving him from the pumping arms with inches to spare. 

 

Duo was still struggling with the map and didn’t seem to notice how near he’d been to bodily harm.  He crouched down and balanced it on his knees.  “We just need to turn right at the lights.”  He stabbed the upper right edge with a finger.  “We’re here.”

 

Heero frowned down at the paper flapping in the cold wind.  “It’s upside down.”

 

Duo growled back, but he peered more closely, then twisted the map around.  “Whatever.” 

 

He stood up.  Just at that moment a bus rolled past, so close to the kerb that it sprayed up the rain water from earlier.  A child shrieked; a kid in a hoodie cursed in a rather colourful language.  Heero hauled Duo back even further to avoid it and pulled him up very close.

 

Duo stared into Heero’s eyes, watching himself reflected in the pupils.  “Well?” he murmured.

 

Heero was puzzled.  “There’s a larger map by the station, we can check it out there -”

 

“No, stupid.”  Duo ran his hand along Heero’s collar, then fingered it, thoughtfully.  “I mean about loving the day in the city.  Sightseeing.  Trailing around behind my ass all day.”

 

Heero stared back.  He started to smile.  Duo’s face was mottled pink from the wind and his hair was tangled over one ear.  There was a small drop of tomato sauce on the edge of his chin, left over from their hurried lunch.

 

“I’ve loved it,” he said, nodding, and he meant it.  He slipped a hand down to Duo’s waist and stroked at his hip.  “Especially the ass bit.”

 

“Pervert.”  Duo grinned, because offense was the very last thing he was going to take at any comments like that from Heero.  “There’s still a lot more to see, you know.”

 

“Of your ass?” murmured Heero. 

 

Duo frowned with mock puzzlement.  “It’s not in the guide book.”

 

“Should be.”  Heero hooked a finger in Duo’s belt loop and tugged him even closer.  “Page 1.  Right next to the museums and the theatres and the historical monuments.”

 

“Next to the Crown jewels?” grinned Duo.  He nudged up against Heero, rubbing their crotches together.  A taxi cab hooted from the other side of the road and a couple of people came rushing out of the store, pushing past them. A group of foreign students milled around the entrance, moving chaotically in the other direction.  The two guys were jostled between them all for a few seconds.

 

Duo took advantage of the distraction to plant a quick, sloppy kiss on Heero’s neck.  “Come and see my Crown jewels,” he hissed in Heero’s ear.  “Unless you’ve had enough touristing for the day…”

 

Heero grabbed his hand and pulled him sharply out from the store doorway and away from the traffic lights.  In the direction of left.

 

“Heero?” 

 

“It’s this way,” he muttered.  Like he needed a map to tell him where he was at any time.  What he’d needed earlier was for Duo to enjoy organizing the day.  What he’d needed then was for Duo and him to have a great day, in a great city, seeing the sights.  However, what he needed now

 

“You wanna grab some supper at the hotel?” gasped Duo, stumbling along behind him at a fair pace.  “A bath?  My ass?”

 

“Yes,” smiled Heero.  “Whatever.”