THE MORNING AFTER
1x2x1, lime, drabble
“You’re back quickly.”
Heero stood patiently outside the door to the apartment. “Is that a problem?” He peered at the spyhole, though obviously he couldn’t see inside from the hallway.
Duo coughed on the other side of the door. It remained firmly closed. “Yes. No. Maybe.”
“Cover all the bases, why don’t you,” said Heero. He shifted the bag of supplies from his right hand to his left, to ease the weight. “I brought the stuff we need for breakfast.” There was silence from inside Duo’s apartment. Heero frowned. “Unless you have some new, inter-dimensional way of cooking bacon, I’d say it’s pretty tricky to proceed when the cooker’s in your kitchen but the food is out here in the hallway, still in a shopping bag. But hey…”
“All right, all right,” came the snappy answer. “Cut the sarcasm. I suppose you want to come in with it like… right now?”
Heero rolled his eyes. “I’m demanding that way, I guess. Yes. Is something wrong? You were OK when I left you -”
“I’m fine,” Duo’s voice sounded strained. “Of course I am.”
“Of course,” Heero echoed in a murmur. The door remained shut. His gaze roamed over the hallway. A dog was barking in an apartment downstairs. One of the doors further up the hallway had a dent in it as if someone had kicked it in. Another had a child’s bicycle stacked against it. He thought he could smell toast from another room and it made his mouth water.
“You want to go out for breakfast instead?” He listened for any change in Duo’s tone, assuming he could tell that from complete silence, of course.
“No.” A muffled grunt.
“You want me to fetch something different? English muffins? You like those…”
“No! Shit.” The muffled grunt was angry, though Heero suspected it was with itself, not him.
Heero bit his lip and put the bag down on the floor, relaxing his wrist. “Work with me here, Duo. If there’s a problem, tell me. I can go back and sit in the coffee bar until you join me, if you like. Or I can go back to my apartment.” He sighed. “Though I don’t want to, believe me. I want to talk to you some more; have breakfast with you; see you.” He smiled, to himself of course, unless he counted the small spider in a web on the staircase. “I’m damned hungry, too -”
The door swung open abruptly. Heero stared.
Heero ran his gaze down then up Duo’s body, taking in the sleep socks, the crumpled pyjama pants, then the bare torso. By the time his eyes met Duo’s, there was a slight flush on both their cheeks.
“You’re not stupid,” Heero said, as if he were really considering Duo’s self-assessment. “Moody, maybe. Lively; impulsive; volatile…”
Duo frowned even more. “Wise guy. So come back in. I haven’t got dressed or cleared up or anything.”
Heero stepped cautiously into the apartment, closing the door behind him with a firm push. “Why should you clear up? I just went out for food. I wouldn’t have bothered, really, but you only had that out-of-date cereal and no tea.”
Duo shrugged. He was keeping two feet away from Heero as they moved down the corridor towards the kitchen. “Hell, if I’d known I’d be entertaining…” He bit off the sentence, colouring.
Heero smiled. “You were that, definitely.” He reached out a hand to stroke Duo’s arm.
Duo stopped dead. “You’re a witty guy, Heero, but if you joke about this -”
“God, no!” Heero protested. He stopped too. He took his hand away and ran it back through his tousled hair instead. “It’s no joke. I mean, it was fun and exciting, but I’m taking it very seriously.” When Duo peered at him, slightly less warily, he smiled back. “Exciting doesn’t cover it. Inspiring. Awesome. Astounding.”
Duo had started to smile, too. He reached a hand out himself, and fingered the edge of Heero’s thin jacket. “Yeah, right. Like the earth moved for you.”
Heero caught Duo’s shifting gaze. “Yes. It did.”
Duo’s eyes widened. “Not… because we were drunk? Not just for a laugh, or… to experiment?” Heero was frowning now, so he hurried on, “You know how some guys can be. Try it for the sake of getting off. Do it because we were there and horny and a friend’s better than a stranger from the bar. Do it…”
Heero stepped forward and caught Duo’s arm. “None of that. I did it - we did it - because we wanted each other. Didn’t we? I’ve wanted to for a long time. You as a friend is cool, but then there’s the other thing…”
“The other thing?”
Heero coughed. “The way I feel when you wear that blue shirt of yours, or you suck on a Pocky stick, or you hunker down by the TV to find the remote, or you wander about the kitchen making bacon with nothing on but pyjama pants…”
“I can lose the sleep socks,” Duo said quickly. “Watch me.” He was grinning.
Heero’s eyes were brighter than before, though his breath was shallower. “But if you’re having regrets -”
Duo shook his head vigorously, his eyes fixed on Heero’s mouth. “Hell, no. Just thought… you might be. You got up way earlier than I would. And this going for breakfast stuff. It might have been an escape. You might not have bothered to come back…” Heero started to protest, but Duo put his hand over his mouth to stop him. “Doesn’t matter, I’d still have things left here, like the smell of you on the sheets and all your spare change on the floor by my bed. But I had hoped… we might do it again some time.”
Heero grunted into his palm and he took his hand away.
“But I’m back. I didn’t escape.”
Duo bit his lip this time. “No,” he agreed. “I can see that.”
They stared at each other for a moment, smiling fairly inanely. “What about you?” Heero asked. “Was it the same for you? Maybe you’re the one who just wanted something casual, just needed…”
“You,” Duo interrupted. He looked fierce again but it wasn’t one of his hostile expressions, more like a greedy one. “Yeah, the friend thing is great, but I’ve wanted you – like wanted you - for a long time. The way you grin, slowly, and the way those jeans hug your ass, and the way you run your hand back through your hair…”
Heero did the hair gesture again. And grinned, slowly.
Duo started to breathe very heavily. He glanced over towards the bedroom door.
Heero turned them both around and pushed them bodily towards it. “That thing about doing it again some time…”
Duo nodded, and kept nodding. “Yeah. Right. Pity you had to get dressed to go shopping -”
Heero started to shrug out of his jacket and shirt with indecent haste.
“You’re still hungry, though -” Duo mused aloud. His grin was mischievous. Heero slid a hand down inside the pyjama bottoms and squeezed his ass. “OK,” Duo gasped. He twisted his head back to breathe into Heero’s ear, to lick at the lobe. “The cooking can wait, I guess. Stale cereal’s good, too.”
Heero nodded as well, his mouth groping clumsily for Duo’s. “We’ll need the inter-dimensional cookbook anyway.” He pushed none too gently and Duo tumbled back on to the bed, laughing. “The food’s still out in the hallway.”