1x2x1, 3+4, sap, fluff, humour.
Written for kebzero to help ease his forthcoming flight!
Quatre nudged at Heero’s arm. “Is that them?”
scowled. “The flight isn’t due in for
another fifteen minutes, and they’ve still got baggage control to get
through.” He pulled back from the
Arrivals barrier – Quatre had nearly tipped him over in his enthusiasm. He scoured the latest batch of passengers
coming through Customs Control but it appeared to be a combination of school
children – in full uniform – and a group of Morris dancers from
Quatre sighed theatrically. “I can’t help but worry, Heero. After all that trouble with checking in the luggage at the departure airport…”
Heero tensed slightly. “Duo was concerned about his cases. When they asked if anyone might have had access to his luggage without his knowledge, it was only natural –“
“ – to open the whole lot and start repacking?” Quatre frowned. “Three times? It’s a wonder anyone else got checked in at all. And then, after all that delay, I took the call from Trowa in the departure lounge with fifteen minutes to go –“
“Seventeen,” corrected Heero, but under his breath.
“ - when they were both meant to be there, but there was no sign of Duo, despite having only just popped off - so he said - for a quick visit to the rest room.”
“You worry too much.” Heero had pushed to the back of his mind the vision of Trowa running the length and breadth of the airport, the minutes to embarkation ticking away and the announcer’s voice growing in urgency as she asked – again and again - for the final passengers on Flight BA23 to report to the departure gate. “Duo turned left outside the toilets when he should have turned right. It’s an easy mistake. Trowa found him in time, didn’t he?”
Quatre grimaced. “At Gate 3, when they were due at 33. I mean, they’re both very fit, but they had to race the moving travelator to get there.” He peered at his cell phone as if willing it to ring. “How do we know if there was any further trouble on the flight? Duo is no frequent flyer – in fact, he’s been worrying me about the flight information for weeks beforehand…”
“Me too,” said Heero, then wished he hadn’t when Quatre turned large, blue, anguished eyes on him.
There was another flurry of passengers arriving and Quatre’s cell phone bleeped a couple of bars of the ‘Friends’ theme. Heero rolled his eyes.
Quatre was reading a text message. His eyes were getting – if that were possible – even wider. “There’s a problem with Duo coming off the ‘plane,” he said. “They had to forcibly remove several packets of boiled sweets he was eating on the flight because too many of the wrappers got stuck in the folds of the life jacket, and then they confiscated some of his books too, and he’s demanding them back.”
“Books? What’s the problem with him carrying a couple of paperbacks?” Heero could feel his hackles rising on Duo’s behalf. “It’s a long flight, he’s entitled to have something to read –“
“There were twenty seven of them,” sighed Quatre, still reading. “He said he wanted to be prepared. The airline is thinking of starting up a lending library. They couldn’t all fit in the overhead locker and then one fell out into the trolley full of chicken supreme…”
Quatre read some more and whistled. “Seems the word ‘yaoi’ may have been a new one for some of the cabin staff. They went through every one of the books – Trowa thinks some of them may have been sneaked away into the galley, and not just to wipe off the chicken sauce - then someone became suspicious because there were so many other books about mecha. They searched Duo.” He coughed, awkwardly. “Well, they tried to. There’s some further problem about a steward’s pants, some miniature bottles of gin and a box full of designer after shave.”
Heero briefly closed his eyes. “Are they through Customs yet?”
Quatre’s phone bleeped again. This time it was the theme from ‘Happy Days’. “Yes, they’re through. But…”
Heero tried to swallow down the indigestible lump of tension in his throat. “But -?”
“Trowa can’t get Duo out of the rest room. Something about changing his clothes. Something about wanting to make a good first impression when he comes through into the Arrivals hall.”
Heero stared at him, his eyes more eloquent than growling could ever be.
“Four times.” Quatre shrugged apologetically. “Trowa says they’re the last ones out of the baggage hall, Duo is on his fifth change of clothes and there’s a small queue of airline stewards watching and whistling every time he peels his shirt off and his jeans slip to his hips.”
Heero grabbed the cell phone. Quatre wondered whether steam coming out of someone’s ears was just a comic convention or whether it might really happen. Then something caught the corner of his eye and he grabbed Heero’s arm. “Here they are!”
They turned to see their friends coming through, the final passengers from the morning’s flight arrivals. Trowa looked pale, his lips pursed. It looked like his shirt was splattered with something like the sauce from a tray of chicken supreme.
Beside him trotted Duo. His face was even paler than Trowa’s, and he was surrounded by three Security men, two cleaners, and a woman with a metal detector in her hand. And that was without counting the five stewards scampering behind him, laughing and calling out for Duo’s phone number, and demanding the name both of his hairdresser and the gym where he so obviously worked out.
Quatre gave a sympathetic wave to his partner and then glanced at Heero. The man was like a rod beside him, his fists clenched, his eyes glaring at Duo.
“It was just nerves,” Quatre hissed in Heero’s ear. “He was nervous about the flight.”
Heero wasn’t listening. He stepped forward to the barrier. Duo caught sight of him. He flushed and stopped. The Security people fell over each other’s heels.
Quatre watched his friends carefully, trying to remember the number of the best law firm in this city and whether his family had donated generously enough to the Police Department last year.
“Duo,” Heero said. That was all. The flush on Duo’s face seemed to be contagious: there was a similar blush of colour of Heero’s cheeks.
Duo gazed back. “Heero.” He dropped his bags and moved towards the man at the barrier. No-one followed him. “I’ve been looking forward to this for so long.” He shrugged, ruefully. “I didn’t want to mess it up. I wanted our meeting to be the very best.”
“It is,” said Heero. His voice was surprisingly husky. “It is the best.” He reached out and took Duo’s hand. “You are the best. Nothing else matters. Whatever you wear, whatever chaos you cause. You're you. You're the very best.”
Quatre was gaping at the strangely soft tone to Heero’s voice. The woman with the metal detector sighed loudly, and one of the Security men clapped spontaneously. One steward turned to his companion and hissed,”I told you he’d be taken, with boxer shorts like that.”
Heero led Duo around the barrier, leaving Quatre and a long-suffering Trowa to placate the airport staff accordingly. “And just what boxer shorts are those?”
Duo grinned. “The black ones. But you like them, right?”
Heero gazed into the bright blue eyes, and tightened his hold on the strong, lean arm. He nodded.
“I do indeed,” he murmured, his lips moving slowly towards Duo’s. Duo gasped once, then met him half way. Heero’s words were swallowed up in warmth and the taste of blackcurrant boiled sweets
“Welcome,” was his final whisper.