SPECIAL FEATURE
By fancyfigures
Gundam Wing, 1+2, R-implied
Warnings : None
Disclaimer : Mine? I wish.


Duo wriggled his way along the row of seats, muttering 'Excuse me' like some kind of mantra. His long legs knocked against people's knees and the end of his braid snagged in some young man's coat buttons which made for a rather embarrassing couple of minutes while they untangled him. He couldn't believe how popular this damned movie was, he usually avoided anything remotely 'blockbuster' for this very reason. And what fool came to the movies on Christmas Eve, when every other damned person was out getting a life? Well, Duo Maxwell, that's who, the fool who was now struggling to get to his seat in the dim lighting, trampling on bags of gift shopping, just knowing that when he emerged, he'd find discarded sweet wrappers and the glitter from Christmas novelties stuck all over his suede boots...

He took a deep breath and stepped over the last pair of legs to reach his seat.

There was someone else already there.

"Huh?" Duo frowned. The guy in his seat looked up at him and frowned, too. Duo couldn't help but notice how good-looking he was, dark and lean and with a glowering look. He was just Duo's type... well, he would be if Duo were interested in seeking out his type. Duo reckoned it was so long since he'd had any sort of a decent date that he'd probably forgotten what to do with his type even if it appeared naked before him on a silver tray with an apple in its mouth, trussed hand and foot and with a note tied round its neck asking for him to give it a good fu-

Duo suddenly noticed the glowering look, aimed directly at him. "Excuse me," the dark-haired man said, coldly. "But there are no more spare seats along this row, you need to back out again before you do us all some serious cartilage damage."

Duo raised an eyebrow. What the hell-? "Excuse me, but I'm here for my seat and that's the one you're sitting in. I guess it's you that needs to do the backing out."

The other man stood up, as tall as Duo and now face to irritated face. "I have a ticket."

"Me too," snapped Duo. He waved it triumphantly, just to emphasise the point. "Seat W13."

The guy scrabbled in his pocket and brought out his ticket stub. "W13," he read out. He looked back up at Duo, his glower being replaced with confusion.

They stared at each other for a moment.

"What's up?" hissed a man in a dull-coloured raincoat, sitting on the other side of the interloper. "Will one or other of you sit down? The movie starts in ten minutes."

"It was a gift," said Duo, thoughtfully, more to himself than anyone else. "The ticket was one of those silly Secret Santa gifts. Anonymous. Came through the door."

"
Is this some kind of joke?" growled the other man. "That's what mine was, too. Did you set this up to make a fool of me?"

Duo still stared. The guy was cute when he was angry, though he'd rather have observed him under more comfortable circumstances. His eyes were very blue and very bright, and when he nodded his head sharply like that, the dark hair fell forward and curled over his left eyebrow.

"Are you some kind of idiot?" The guy was getting frustrated. "Are you even listening?"

"Sorry," muttered Duo, hauling his brain up from the depths of his groin. The odds were, of course, totally against him - odds that the guy was gay, that he was free, that he'd have any interest in a dork who was arguing with him in the middle of a row in the movie house. Yeah, so against him that the best thing he could do was turn around and go back home before he added to his extensive collection of Humiliating Experiences...

He found himself standing his ground. "Don't call me an idiot. You're the one in my seat. Maybe it's your moronic joke, not mine. You thought about how this looks to me?"

He was almost immediately ashamed to see that the guy hadn't thought of that. He flushed quite deeply and his expression relaxed at once into concern. "God, I never realised... well, yes, of course you might think that. But this is as much a surprise to me as you. We've both been a victim here. I've no idea how the duplication happened."

There was an urgent hiss from the end of the row and an usher peered along at them. The Raincoat Guy beside them smirked, obviously having called for official help. "What's the problem, guys?" called the usher. "One of you has got to sit down and the other one move along."

The dark haired man put a hand on Duo's arm. "Look, I'll go, it's no problem."

Duo glanced at him. There was a tug of panic in his chest and he knew - for whatever reason - that this mustn't happen. "No," he said, quickly. He had an irresistible urge to smack Raincoat Guy, sitting securely in his Seat of Self-Righteousness. "No, you have the seat and I'll just go and sit on the steps at the side instead -"

"No, you won't," interrupted the usher. "Fire hazard."

"
Huh? I might spontaneously combust?" Duo stared at him, dumbly.

The usher sneered. "If there's a fire, the stairs and exits must be kept clear."

"The rest of us would be obstructed," pitched in Raincoat Guy, nodding smugly. "The rest of us valid ticket holders, that is."

"Yeah, and I know just what obstruction I'd like to pass your way..." the dark-haired man muttered over his shoulder.

Duo smiled, appreciating the support. "We could toss a coin for who stays, who goes," he suggested. "Heads is me, I'm Duo. Tails is for you - ah -?"

"Heero," the man replied. His eyes sparkled briefly, and Duo lost himself admiring them until the usher coughed pointedly. Heero frowned again, shaking his head. "But that's not fair, neither of us should have to give up our evening out because of someone else's mistake. Pity we can't share the ticket - you take the first half of the movie, me the second..."

"Any unnecessary disturbance during the performance will result in ejection," announced Raincoat Guy. He sat back in his seat, crossing his arms. "Didn't you see the sign in the lobby?"

Duo felt Heero's hand on his arm again. "No violence, he's not worth it," Heero murmured. "The blood will make a hell of a mess on your boots."

Duo almost laughed aloud. "In the Christmas spirit of goodwill to all men, you could just sit on my lap," he suggested, with a grin. Then he flushed bright red. I can't believe I just said that! "God, sorry. I guess I'm out of practice with socialising." He groaned inside. Now he looked a social loser as well as a dork. Great.

But Heero was grinning back at him. "Me, too. I need to get out more, or so my friends say. At first I thought this anonymous ticket was a joke by one of them to get me back into circulation. I came along just for the hell of it, really. Christmas isn't much of a time for me."

"You said it," Duo agreed. "It's..." He grimaced, not sure why he felt so out of sorts but in a strangely stimulating way. "It's been a tough year, you see."

Heero nodded, his eyes widening a little. "Me, too. Job? Relationships?"

Duo nodded back. It felt comforting, though he usually struggled to talk about these things. "All of it. Same old. I need to move on, but it doesn't seem that easy."

"You can't rush these things, can you?" murmured Heero.

Duo smiled gently, his body surprisingly warm considering he'd only just come in from the winter air outside. "No. You definitely can't. But life has to go on, right?"

"Right," agreed his new friend. Or that's how he felt to Duo already.

"When you've done with the mutual therapy session, can you just fuck off out of here?" snarled Raincoat Guy.

The lights were dimming and all around them was the rustle of people settling down. The usher switched on his torch and tried to shine it into their eyes. He tutted, loudly.

Duo blinked, hard. His attention was caught by the movie now appearing rather luridly on the wide screen. "Hell..." he began, slowly. "I don't think this movie is what I thought it was. I mean..." The music swelled, and so did the amount of naked flesh on view. There was some kind of nightclub dancing in progress, though the dancers seemed to have forgotten their costumes. And, incidentally, their modesty towards the customers. Right. And this was just the opening credits. "I mean," he coughed, awkwardly. "I thought it was the new secret agent blockbuster. I hadn't realised, just from the title, exactly what it was..."

"From Pole to Pole?" murmured Heero beside him. He, too, was gazing at the screen. With his mouth open. Duo snatched a glace at his mouth. Yeah, even in the dark it was gorgeous. Perhaps more so. "Duo, you're not alone in that," said Heero's mouth, his voice soft with amusement. "I thought it was going to be something to do with Antarctic exploration."

"Looking at that guy's hand burrowing down the back of her ass, that's not a bad assumption," muttered Duo.

"Why are you two losers still hanging around and ruining the movie for the rest of us connoisseurs?" grunted Raincoat Man from his seat below them. "Go jerk yourselves off to Bambi if you like, but just -"

"- fuck off out of here? You said that already." Heero was laughing, and Duo joined in. Other people were turning around and hissing at them - the usher's torch was stabbing into the darkness, a symbol of his indignation and panic.

"He's got a point, though," said Duo. "You want to get out of here and go somewhere else?" He amazed himself with his own daring.

"I'd love to," said Heero, very swiftly, and with another eager flash from those bright eyes. "Somewhere we can find some peace and quiet and introduce ourselves properly. I'd like that."

Duo's heart did that stupid thing with a flip 'n twist that fiction writers never describe quite perfectly enough. "Yeah, me too. I don't think this is quite the movie for getting to know someone better, is it?"

Heero leant against him, whispering into his ear. "Not on a first date, anyway."

Duo felt the blush start very low down his body and stay there, mischievous to a fault. He turned to follow Heero out, still clutching his ticket in a palm that was suddenly rather sweaty - the ticket that had brought him an adventure he'd never envisaged, but he hoped he was going to treasure for a long time.

As they wriggled along the row, panting and giggling following them - both from the screen and the clientele - Heero made sure to bring his heel sharply down on Raincoat Guy's instep. When the guy winced and bent double over his lap, Duo followed up with a knee to the kidneys.

A small victory, maybe, but it was an unnecessary disturbance that Duo reckoned he'd treasure almost as much.


End