10-18-2000

well. since i just had a nice argument/conversation with my sister about my fic, i may as well enlighten you to a few things i've decided will happen, etc. he's NOT a bastard, dammit. according to my sister, duo's a bastard. *i* disagree... he's just a confused soul. so if you guys are touchy about reading fics where duo *might might MIGHT* with the SLIGHTEST chance (*glares at my sister*) be a bastard (:::rolls eyes:::) dammit, i guess you can't read this. it HAS a plot. the plot hasn't DEVELOPED yet. grr. really, anyone want a little sister? 8th grade, quite intelligent, loves gw too...? err, anyways. so. it's not ending at the lemon, let's just say that. i have a nice complex plot planned out. :::nods::: uhh... anything else? i don't remember. those were the important things. grr, she was pissing me off. anyways. on to part 5 of the fic.

 

Find Me - Part 5/?

 

"Trowa here," came the voice immediately, once connection had been established. The screen flickered on nanoseconds later. "Hello, Heero."

Heero nodded something signifying a 'hello'.

"What happened today?" Trowa's voice was slightly amused.

His friend in response stared off into the distance for a moment. "How much would a prostitute cost, do you know?" he asked, seemingly going off on a complete non sequitur.

To his credit, Trowa didn't even blink. "Depends. Anywhere from 200 to well over a thousand credits per hour. They *are* expensive, you know. And depends on how good they are."

"Something tells me he's one of the best," Heero replied wryly. "For the night?"

Trowa shrugged. "I'm not sure. You'll have to ask. Most people don't take a prostitute for the whole night, you see."

With a nod, Heero closed his eyes and began to think. "Trowa, how much money do I have in this vacation account?"

"Just for this vacation? 45,000 credits." Trowa smirked. "Commander Treize likes us to vacation in style, does he not?"

Heero returned the smirk. "Certainly." He leaned back luxuriously into the plush chair, his gaze wandering upwards. "Did you know the ceiling fan in here is gold plated?" he remarked conversationally. "For the price I'm paying here, it's very nice."

"If you'd given him half the chance, Commander Treize would have ordered a suite in the richest hotel in 5th avenue, you know."

"Hai. But a suite is too big to be in alone."

Abruptly, Heero leaned forward again and snapped his eyes to the floor. Trowa winced. The last thing he'd wanted was to bring Heero's mind back to Wufei. In fact, that was probably the only reason he was condoning this prostitute business. Normally Trowa would have cautioned Heero to be wary of someone who sold their body on the streets. In this circumstance, however, he'd encourage Heero to take up drag racing or learning how to set oneself on fire without burning oneself if only either option would make Heero forget his ex-boyfriend.

Trowa nodded absently. "Are you going out tonight?"

Heero didn't answer for a moment. Look at the floor. Close eyes. Try not to think of him, think of something else. Raised and opened his eyes; looked at Trowa through the screen.

"Hai."

Typically, Trowa rolled his eyes. "Hai," he muttered. "I can speak Japanese too. Hai. Baka. Gomen." He threw his hands up in mock despair. "Heero! I speak *ENGLISH*!"

His near-shout actually made Heero levitate. It was the first time in a while he'd heard Trowa yell. Trowa's lips curled into a smile as Heero's eyes widened for a moment. They both began to laugh simultaneously.

"Gomen," Heero teased his comrade.

"Gomen yourself," Trowa retorted. "You're not sorry." He thought for a moment. "Did you call for anything besides asking *me*, of all people, how much a prostitute would cost?"

"You knew," Heero answered blithely.

Trowa glared with the one eye unhidden by the bang. Heero smiled sweetly.

Trowa threw him a raspberry.

Startled, Heero raised an eyebrow at him, clearly alarmed. "Trowa," he began slowly. "Are you okay?"

And startling him further, Trowa began to giggle.

"Trowa?"

To which Trowa replied with a full laugh, complete with smile wrinkles around his eyes. Heero watched him placidly, waiting for him to finish and explain what the hell he was on.

"So-sorry," Trowa tried to stop laughing. He even had to wipe a tear out of his eye. "I'm just thinking of the instance I went through that would enlighten me to pricings of prostitutes."

Heero raised an eyebrow again.

 

-----*

"Dorothy said I had a mission, sir," Trowa said to a lounging Treize. He delicately seated himself on the arm of a chair.

"Mm-hm." Trieze reached over his desk and picked up a folder. He reached out and handed it to Trowa, who opened it and leafed through it. "Just you. There's a list of people in there, and we're not sure yet which one's the one. Go through them however you want," he drawled. "Time limit, though; you've got 6 weeks. Shouldn't be that bad." Treize elegantly stood up and walked to the bookshelf in his office. It was filled with beautiful volumes, often bound in leather and strands of gold color. He perused the shelves for a moment, while Trowa waited patiently.

"Here." Trowa focused on the thin paperback the commander held out to him. After a moment, he reached out and took it. "It's a brief psychology analysis on certain types of people. Brief because I didn't want you spending 4 of your 6 weeks struggling through a huge technical book." Treize smiled fleetingly.

Trowa stood, understanding the dismissal for what it was. "Thank you," he said, in his ever soft voice.

Treize nodded. "Go check with the Lady for your funds. She should have them ready by now. The potentials are all based in Boston; I've arranged a flight for you tomorrow at noon."

Nodding his thanks, Trowa stood, gave a slight bow and left the room in the direction of Lady Une's office."

 

"Have a mission?" Heero asked without turning his head. Trowa had come into their office to gather a few things and call his boyfriend.

"Mm-hm." Rapid-fire dialing; ringing. "Hello, this is Trowa. May I speak to Quatre?" The flunky on the line nodded and within moments, Trowa was connected. "Quatre?"

"Let me guess," the lithe blond made a face. "You have a mission?"

"Yes, I do," Trowa said softly. It had the soundings of an old, affectionate argument, which it was. "I'll be gone for about 6 weeks and I'm not sure how easily I could contact you."

Quatre nodded understanding. "I love you, Trowa."

"I love you, Quatre."

"And I don't need to t-"

"I'll be careful," Trowa promised. "Can I come to your place right now? I'm not leaving until tomorrow noon."

Heero, who had been watching the exchange out of the corner of his eye, smirked as Quatre's face lit up. "Sure, Trowa! That would be wonderful!" Heero could barely hide his fond smile.

Trowa clicked off after a few more loving words and a promise to be there in 10 minutes.

"Unless you're planning on going faster than a typical jet plane, it will take you more than 10 minutes to get from here to the Winner Estate," Heero pointed out, again not facing Trowa.

"I can drive fast."

Heero didn't comment.

*-----

 

"Remember I had to find one out of a list that I was supposed to kill?" Trowa said. Heero nodded silently. "One was a prostitute." Trowa snickered again, remembering. Heero began to laugh too, understanding where this was going. "I spent 3 or 4 nights with him and about a week with various friends of his before I figured he was my target."

This resulted in a full out laugh from Heero. "I remember you telling me about that," he grinned.

Trowa laughed himself. "I remember having to explain to Commander Treize how I came back in 2 weeks, having spent nearly 30,000 credits. Pricey nights," he snickered again.

Heero laughed again and let it simmer down to a sigh of contentment. True, their memories weren't always pleasant, but memories of any sort were always nice in some way. It let a person reflect on who they were and what they had come through to become who there are.

'I can laugh about these things but I am fully aware that any one of these episodes could have had a tragic ending with either I or Trowa dying. Or perhaps some other comrade of mine. It's only because we're skilled and damned lucky that we've made it this long alive.'

 

Duo fell into his bed with an exaggerated sigh. His door closed and locked, he finally let himself grasp the cross under his collar again.

"Father," he murmured. "Forgive a sinner. Forgive a sinner who has no other life but to sin. My Lord, forgive me for everything I have done, am doing, and will do. In selling my body I am slowly selling my soul and I pray you buy it back for me."

There was a light rap at the door. Probably Bella. Duo didn't get up or answer; whoever it was would get the hint.

"Lord, lead me in the direction I am to go. I am always lost and blinded, but I know your eternal guidance will some day lead me to the light, whenever you deem it right. Lord, I wait for you to guide me and meanwhile, daily, I try to resist the temptation of sin." He clenched his eyes shut tightly, belying the tears threatening to fall.

"Father," he rasped. "Forgive me. Tonight, I must work. Tonight, I sin again."

He opened his eyes and let the tears freely fall. The cross was gently dropped back into his shirt.

 

"Quatre says hello," Trowa said distractedly at one point. He moved out of pickup range for a moment, and Heero could hear murmurs and he sighed, leaning back again. Trowa was back nearly immediately.

"Tell him I say hello," Heero answered blandly.

Trowa tonelessly relayed the message. Another murmur, and Trowa smiled slightly. "He says you should visit sometime."

Heero smiled slightly, himself. "Quatre," he said slightly louder so Quatre could hear. "You're very kind for inviting me but I'm sure you and Trowa have enough to do to amuse yourselves." He simpered and almost laughed as Trowa flushed. He was certainly Quatre, too, was coloring at the words.

"Thank you, Heero," Trowa muttered.

"Welcome." A smile. Smile returned.

"Are you going to meet the boy tonight?" Trowa changed the subject.

This time it was Heero's turn to redden slightly. Trowa laughed, having anticipated the reaction. "I - I guess so," was the slow answer. "Hai, I guess I am."

Trowa contemplated this for a moment. "He sounds like a nice boy; nice, with a handful of skeletons in his closet. Heero," he said, more seriously, "I... -" Trowa paused, trying to find a tactful way to say this. There really wasn't any. "I know you're still hurt by Wufei. But please don't throw yourself at this boy just because he's thrown yourself at you. Enjoy yourself. Don't get yourself hurt again."

Heero was touched that Trowa would verbally indicate the level of comradeship they shared. Their best-friendship was generally a tacit agreement; sometimes, though, things like this came up. Both boys were kind and caring at heart, but neither was very adept at expressing these sides of themselves, with lovers or with friends. Quatre understood that. Wufei had understood that...

"And dress appropriately," Trowa finished with a lighter remark.

Heero let his lips curl up into a soft smile. "Hai."

 

Duo let Bella come in. "Hey, Bella!" he said cheerily. "Come on and help me find something to wear!"

"You could dress in rags and you'd still get him," Bella pointed out, laughing at her friends antics. Duo was being hyperactive again, plowing through his wardrobe - not very extensive, but sufficient - with the air of a tiger staking out its prey.

"No, not this. Maybe this. Wait no, 'cos I wanna wear thi- nah. This is better, don't you think? Or maybe this. With this. But then I can't wear those boots, and I *love* those boots so maybe this- wait no. Th- ARGH!" Duo went rapid-fire through his clothing, throwing questions at Bella and not waiting for answers. She didn't even bother trying.

Finally Duo pulled out a light gray, loose, translucent shirt. It looked like it had been spun from spiders' webs and felt equally soft. Duo loved it. In addition to that was a pair of soft stretchy dark blue pants. The only thing holding it up was the elasticity. Again, a favorite of Duo's.

"And then the boots," Bella said. At her words, Duo pulled on shoes resembling combat boots. Bella had giggled when he'd first brought them home, fished out almost new from an alleyway. Since then he'd worn them down considerably but they were still very wearable.

His best friend looked at him critically. "Duo," she finally said. "If I put eye shadow and mascara on you, you'd look like a girl."

Duo glared at her playfully. "Thanks."

She grinned. "You would. Just telling you the truth."

With a mock groan, Duo rolled his eyes and fell onto his couch. "Wonderful. Thank you, God, I look like a girl."

Michelle poked her head into Duo's room. "Who looks like a girl? Duo? Duo, you always have, always will."

Duo gave her the benefit of his glare. It lasted for about 4 seconds before he burst into his normal laughter. His normal mask.

"All right. I've gotta do my hair." He whisked a brush off the nearby table and nearly yanked the dark blue ponytail holder out of his hair. In contrast, he gently brushed his hair, fondly letting each lock untangle and shine.

Michelle came in, traipsed into his bathroom, and nabbed some mousse for herself. "Duo, I'm borrowing your mousse," she called out.

"Woah," Bella yelled, making her way over the bathroom. "Me too." The two girls fussed in front of his dingy little mirror - but a mirror, nevertheless, and therefore to be valued - while Duo fought with his hair. Slowly but surely, he was winning.

Finally, Duo began to braid his hair, a process which always cramped his arms and his shoulders, no matter how many times he'd done it. He'd never get used to it.

"Ready for him?" Michelle said to Duo, as she came out of the bathroom. She was closely followed by Bella, who was still running a few fingers lightly through her hair.

Duo flashed her his biggest, albeit fakest, grin. "Sure I am." His eyes, though, betrayed the slightest bit of sadness. Both Bella and Michelle noticed, but neither mentioned anything. If he didn't want to talk about it, they weren't going to press the issue.

 

Heero found himself nervously retracing his path from the night before. His total recall told him exactly where to turn and where to go straight, but the rest of him was nigh trembling. Both from the cold and from the nervousness, he presumed.

A little before midnight found him entering the red light zone. People were taking their positions on various street corners and under lamplights. He knew which lamplight Duo would be under.

Almost trying to prolong the time before seeing him, Heero let his eyes wander everywhere but that street corner. Finally, feeling Duo's violet eyes on him, Heero reluctantly looked across the street.

The gaze he received was almost mocking, but also feral and inviting. Heero took a moment to control himself. He was an assassin, damn it! Things like this shouldn't faze him. In a matter of moments, he had his reactions down to nil. Back to being the silent, emotionless nighttime killer. Then he crossed the street.

 

Having caught sight of Heero, Duo quickly turned to look at Bella. He gave her a sad, significant look, and she nodded understanding.

 

Heero found himself slowly walking across the road. His face was firmly placed in its mask of cold, heartlessness. And he reached the streetlamp and carefully looked Duo over, from head to toe.

Inside, he shivered in anticipation. Outside, he acted like he was supposed to: observing whether it was good enough to pay for.

Duo knew exactly what Heero was doing.

The nighttime and the darkness hugged him like a familiar coat. He didn't feel the cold anymore; it was his nightly companion. The banter, shouting, and murmurs of his fellow prostitutes was the typical background noise. His silky pants whispered against his legs. The outfit may have indicated a girl, but the formlessness of the pants at the crotch firmly indicated his gender.

Heero looked into the violet eyes.

 

Duo shivered deliciously. It was going to be tonight. Tonight he could be with the beautiful boy who could be no older than he. The boy who looked like he'd seem the world several times over, and who seemed just as cold and precise about reality as he.

They always wanted to seduce him. He always ended up seducing them.

One hand luxuriously went up to his hair, looking for all the world like he was looking sexy. Which he was, but there was another motive.

Lockpicks? Check.

Mint? Check.

Stick of gum? Check.

Knife? Check.

Condom? Nope, doesn't matter. If they didn't have one, they wouldn't use it anyways, so there was no point keeping one. Bella did anyways, though. It was an endearing, although vain, attempt at a show of innocence that no longer existed among them all.

All right. All clear.

 

Staring into those violet pools made Heero nearly dizzy, almost losing control of his mask. He quickly averted his eyes. Slightly. Only enough so he wasn't looking directly into them.

Those nearby began to slide away slowly, subtly. Joe was watching from a darkened corner. That in itself was enough to send some scurrying to another block, another streetlamp. To find someone else.

Heero could practically feel himself branded "Duo's Property".

He slowly walked closer until they were millimeters apart. Duo froze slightly, his face still 'come hither'-esque and sultry. Heero leaned forward until his mouth was at Duo's ear. "Come with me."

And came the breathy reply that made tremors run down Heero's spine: "Gladly, lover. Lead the way."

 

Back to Part 4

On to Part 6