2-19-2003

Title: #41 Unbirthday
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat <calic0cat@fastmail.fm>
Story Completed: Feb. 19, 2003
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Fluff, Domestic, Friendship
Pairing: None yet
Rated: PG
Warnings: AU, OOC, Swearing
Archives: At Mediaminer.org under Calic0cat. Anyone with archive permission for my other fics can help themselves; anyone else, please ask.
Disclaimer: Duo and Heero and the rest of the GW gang aren't mine. This story is. Nuff said.

Notes: The arc begins between one and two years after Endless Waltz. Duo POV in this story.

'Thinking'
"Speaking"
************ Time passing or scene change

Author's Notes: Muses come up with some strange, strange ideas sometimes... See earlier fics for notes on the arc as a whole. Feedback is appreciated.

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Duo stepped away from the car to grab a rag from the workbench. As he wiped the grease off of his hands, he watched Heero make a few more adjustments under the hood. There wasn't much left to finish in this restoration job. By the end of the weekend, they should be taking Heero's car out for a test drive. He just had to convince Heero that it *was* his car.

They'd finally finished work on the motorcycles last weekend. Once the bikes had made it through a successful test run, they'd posted them up for sale. By the end of the next day, they had three inquiries on them. By the middle of the week, the bikes were sold - at the asking price, no less - and on their way to their new owner. He'd been a bit sorry to see them go; riding the bikes on the test track of a local racing team had been a real blast. But they couldn't keep *everything* they restored. Though he was determined that Heero *would* be keeping this car.

"Change your mind yet?" Duo asked as Heero lowered the hood and carefully polished his fingerprints off the top of it.

Heero looked at him and raised one eyebrow. "Duo, I am *not* letting you give me this car. It's too valuable."

"Heero, it's not got *that* much money tied up in it," Duo said, exasperated. "The junk value on the original body wasn't much and the parts weren't all *that* bad either. Virtually all the value of the car comes from the hours spent working on it. Most of which was *your* time."

"You've put in a lot of hours on it too," Heero pointed out.

"Hell, Heero, I don't care about that. We had fun working on it together - who cares how many hours it took!"

Heero looked from Duo to the car again. Sensing that Heero was close to giving in, Duo moved to stand beside him and nudged him in the ribs. "Take it, Heero. You know you want to."

Shaking his head, Heero said, "You know that we could get a hell of a good price for this..."

"Are you trying to tell me that you *want* to sell it?"

With a sigh, Heero offered, "Let me pay for the parts at least."

Duo grinned. Victory! "Deal. Just call it an unbirthday present," he snickered.

"A *what*?"

"You know, an unbirthday present." Seeing no trace of recognition in Heero's confused gaze, Duo added, "Like in _Alice in Wonderland_? The book by Lewis Carroll?"

Heero shook his head.

"Aw, come on Heero, I *know* you've heard of _Alice in Wonderland_ before... We had to watch the damn movie in one of the schools we hid out at!"

Heero said, "I don't remember..."

"Well, guess we'll have to refresh your memory, then," Duo grinned. He was pretty sure that he remembered the exact version they'd watched back then. There shouldn't be any problem finding it at one of the online rental places.

***

Duo flopped down in the beanbag chair while Heero sprawled on the couch. 'God, it's weird seeing him do things like that... Not that long ago, he'd have sat perfectly upright, feet flat on the floor, back straight, through the whole thing... Weird, but weird in a good way...' Duo thought.

After the first ten minutes or so of the movie, Heero said, "Oh yes, I remember now." Twisting around to look at Duo, he said, "You got kicked out of class partway through because you kept laughing..."

"Yep! Man, did you ever read me the riot act afterwards, too. Told me to stop drawing so much attention to myself, that I was a 'danger to the mission'."

"What was so damn funny anyway?" Heero demanded.

Duo snickered at the memory. "Who does Alice remind you of?"

Heero turned back towards the screen and watched for a few more minutes. "I don't know..."

"Oh come on, Heero! Pretty young blonde... getting mixed up in things she doesn't really understand..."

Disbelievingly, Heero exclaimed, "Relena?!"

"Mm-hmm... And once I thought of that, I kept matching *other* characters up with people I knew..."

For a while, the only sound came from the movie playing on the television. Finally, Heero said, "I'm almost afraid to ask. Who did you match up with who?"

"Well, Une just *had* to be the Queen of Hearts - all that 'off with their heads' bit just fit her *so* perfectly..."

Heero choked on a laugh. "Okay, I can see it..."

"So Treize, of course, had to be the king..."

"The Mad Hatter?"

Duo grinned, "G of course!"

"I'm going to regret asking this, I'm sure, but - who did you match me up with?"

Eep. Duo measured the distance from his chair to either door. Would it be better to head for the hall door and either upstairs or outside, or through the kitchen to the back door and the yard?

"Duo..." Heero swung his legs to the floor and narrowed his eyes. "You're taking too long to answer that... Who did you match me up with?"

"Well, we hadn't known each other all that long yet then..." Duo said with a weak grin.

"Now I *know* I'm going to regret this... *Who?*"

"The White Rabbit," Duo mumbled quickly.

"*What?!*"

"Well, you were always going on and on about 'the mission' and *he* was always going on and on about being late for 'a very important date'... And Alice was forever chasing him all over the place and I already said that Alice was Relena..." Duo explained rapidly, preparing to make a run for it.

"The White Rabbit?!"

Duo decided that he wasn't quite sure what that particular expression on Heero's face meant, but he didn't think he wanted to find out. He bolted for the hall door, figuring he'd go hang out at Wong's for an hour or so. He didn't make it very far.

"Heero, cut it out!" Duo protested breathlessly. It wasn't fair! He was ticklish and Heero wasn't. Between laughs, he gasped out, "Okay, okay, uncle! Enough!"

Heero quit tickling and sat back on his heels. "The White Rabbit," he repeated disgustedly, throwing a glare at the movie still playing on the television. As the scene flickered and changed, Heero started to smirk.

Duo sat up on the floor, still trying to catch his breath and clutching his aching sides. Heero was *way* too good at tickle-torture.

"Well, if *I'm* the White Rabbit, I guess that makes *you* the Cheshire Cat," Heero observed with a snort of laughter. "Always showing up in strange places when he's least expected, grinning all the time, acting very odd..."

Duo choked, "What?! The Cheshire Cat is probably the most fucking annoying character in the whole damn thing!"

"Precisely," Heero smirked.

Duo tried to work up a little righteous indignation, but he just couldn't. The whole thing was just too ridiculous. He had to give in and laugh instead. 'The Cheshire Cat - hmph.'