Kel: *shivering* I-it's s-so COLD down he-he-here....

Duo: *curls in Heero's lap and purrs contently* Not over here... *grins lazily*

Kel: *eyes the couple* ... *eyes Sephy*

Sephy: *holds up his Fire Materia threateningly* Want me to use _this_ to warm you up?

Kel: *mutters, teeth clattering* N-n-no... *thinks* //How can the middle of April be so blasted COLD?!//


DISCLAIMER: Not mine. If they were mine, I'd be making the episodes, not thinking wistfully about the episodes and writing it all down when I have the chance.
PAIRINGS: 1+2, 3+4, 5+D, approaching R+H
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Just so you know, I don't know shit about making movies. Oh, and I'm in the "I'm going to do cheery first person POV cause I feel really, really lousy" sort of mood. *sigh* Yes, I have dragged myself through depression again. *deadpan* Go me. 2ND AUTHOR'S NOTE: Call me kooky if ya want, but I don't like Marilyn Manson very much. So... Kyuketsuki, you Manson fan you, this is for you. *grins and mutters through her teeth* She is the one suggesting Manson's car, right?

Duo: You would know if you had taken the time to check your e-mail.

Sephy: Now that all of the one's you saved are toodles, what are you going to do? *grins nastily*

Kel: .... *sniff* I don't need you... I don't. You two are just convenient.

Together: Ooh! *slaps each other high-fives* Useless! ^______^

Kel: *head hits the table* ... *sniff* Ouch...




The Professional and the Amateur


/*/|Duo POV|\*\



Yes, I was actually this excited. I don't think I've been that excited in a long time. In fact, I was pretty sure I'd never been as thrilled as I was when I stepped out of Heero's awesome (and most likely expensive) black `64 Lincoln Continental convertible, complete with red interior.

Sweet car.

In any case, I was awed–no, wowed–no, no! Umm... Floored! Yes, I was floored by the sight and hustle and bustle in front of me.

I must have passed that same base we were filming at a dozen times without a second thought. I mean, would you ever guess that one day the place you passed would one day (or has already been) part of a movie? I think not.

I've never actually set foot on the base, although Hilde used to go there and sing for the soldiers when they war was in progress not long ago. After the war the soldiers all got together and sent her this nice little gift–a heart-shaped water globe with an angel watching over two playing children inside. The music was pretty, I remember. I used to listen to it over and over and make up the words I didn't know in my head. It was probably safely tucked into Solo's room as one of his prized possessions for all I knew, because after a while I never saw it again.

Soldiers–those that stayed on base with nothing better to do or no one to go home to–all milled around, though away from a submarine where the scene was being shot. From the gist of it I paretically understood what was going on, but I only had time to memorize my first scene. I hadn't signed anything yet; I think Howard Stiles, the director of this darling development, wanted to see exactly how good I was before handing me anything to sign.

"Don't worry," Heero had said with a small, secretive smile that drove me–or should I say my hormones–into a wild, frenzied party. "Howard and I have complete faith in you."

This coming from the Yale graduate at age eighteen. Or Harvard. It might have been Columbus, but I reluctantly admit that when we were talking about school I was mostly going over the lines in my head. I do remember that he graduated high school at fourteen and spent nearly five years in college.

Back to the soldiers. I really had no problem with them. I stood on the side, watching in quiet enthrallment as five stacked missiles–probably duds, who knows?–were lowered on the deck of the sub for future use. Heero had mentioned that this was an action adventure/romance.

That is, until one by one they started looking at me more. After I while I think they either had my already frail nerves snapping or they were already shot to hell. I don't like much attention, and they were giving me a little too much.

"Isn't that Hilde's cousin?"

"Looks like his picture."

"She always talked about that braid..."

I almost physically slumped in relief. //They knew Hilde,// I thought in ease. If they knew Hilde, they were alright. Hilde had a sixth sense about people, and... well, they seemed like they were really nice to her before.

"Hey, Duo-kun!" I felt an arm slip in the crook of mine and heard the laugh of a familiar, high voice and smelled something like lavender. I didn't even have to wonder to know who had just curled herself onto me before smiling winningly and greeting the bubbly blonde politely.

"Nice to see you again," she chirped with a wide, mischievous smile before she made a nonchalant look around. "Did your family come with you? I'm sure Solo would have loved to see the making of the greatest movie yet."

I smiled at her. I understood why Heero seemed gruffly fond of the wheat blonde girl with the cornflower blue eyes. Within the span of a day she could have a complete stranger wrapped so totally around her finger it wouldn't even be funny.

"No, Solo had school today," I replied with an earnestness to my smile. "Aunt Helen and Hilde were still sleeping off the exhaustion of last night. They haven't been out in a long time, you know."

Looked to me like Relena planned to change that. "Ah. So how are they?"

"Hilde was fine before we left, Relena," Heero said somewhat teasingly as he stepped up to the other side of me, slipping his arm through the bend in my elbow, surrounding me on both sides. "Funny how you managed to drop my sis so quickly, Relena-sama. How... abrupt."

"She's close to being married," Relena shrugged defensively. "I moved to greener pastures a long time ago. Besides, I don't think I could survive another day with Wu giving me the hairy eyeball." She attempted to demonstrate this adorable little act, but I doubted it looked as cute as the real deal.

"Married? Only if he gets the balls, honey." This voice was new, and we all had to do a full 180 to see the newcomer. She wasn't tall, about Heero's height I guess. She had very long, very blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes that must have been her best features. Her forked eyebrows, so much like Trieze Khushrenada's to a farther degree, were by far her strangest and most noticeable trait.

To the side of her stood a very tall French youth with light brown hair piled on one side of his face, covering one clear cut emerald green eye and leaving the other exposed for all to see. He sized me up as I had momentarily done to him, as custom for me, and nodded as if in approval. He didn't say a thing through the entire exchange, but his thoughtful green eyes softened noticeable when landing on the shorter boy beside him.

The blonde boy had hair that matched the color of the girl's hair, and his wide, caring teal eyes were by far more expressive than his companion's. He was lithe, like me, and about the same height. With his friendly smile and posture (though he was leaning very close to the taller boy, like marking who was his and telling me he was Off Limits), I could tell we would be very close friends in the future.

"This must be Duo," the teal eyed angel said softly, smiling brightly as he held out a hand. "Ohaiyo nasai! I'm Quatre Rebarba Winner, Heero's friend and your co-star."

"Duo Maxwell," I said with a cheeky grin, taking his offered hand and giving it a firm shake. "Ohaiyo! The pleasure's all mine."

"I'm sure Heero forgot to mention me," the blonde girl said with an affectionate, teasing grin sent toward the handsome Japanese youth. "I'm Dorothy Catalonia, Heero's stepsister. Nice to finally meet you, but we'll be on opposite sides in the movie."

"He's mentioned a lot about you," I said honestly. "It's nice to meet you, too." I was dull when it came to new, creative greetings, but call me up on the phone and you'll get a whole new surprise...



"Hi, I put the `fun' in dysfunctional," I greeted cheerfully at what must have been three o'clock in the morning. "How can I help you on this delightful Friday morning?"

I heard a quiet chuckle on the other side of the line, and I was immediately pleased when Heero answered, "D-Y-S-F-U... Hn. There is a fun in dysfunctional..."

"Told you," I insisted, glancing at the bright red, glowing numbers on my digital clock. "What's up at three in the morning.... besides you, I mean."

"Truthfully? Trowa and Quatre doing a little more than what it seems in their bedroom." I could distinctly hear a low moan in the background, but I bit my lip and grinned to keep from asking. I would only make myself look and sound blonde. "But I called to remind you about the little screen test and contract signing tomorrow. I just remembered and I had to kick myself for keeping you out so late."

"Do I look like I get that many hours of sleep in a week?" I asked in amazement, cracking a grin when I heard Heero laugh again.

"Are you nervous?"

"Dude, you haven't given me enough time to be nervous," I answered truthfully, grabbing my script and reading over a few lines. "I think the character fits me well, though. It'll be a piece of cake." I paused. "What's this stuff about wheat fields and reaping?"

"Your character's way of speaking military terms. Don't worry too much about it, you'll start to understand the plot as it thickens." I could hear the rustling of the phone as Heero shifted. I think he was trying to block out a particularly loud moan, but I'm sorry to admit he failed. Badly. "Listen, I'll let you go so you can get some sleep, all right?"

"You just don't want me to hear the wonderful healthiness in Trowa and Quatre's relationship," I teased.

He paused. "That wasn't Trowa and Quatre. That was Wufei and Dorothy."

I couldn't help it. I started to laugh, trying to keep quiet by stuffing what I could of my fist in my mouth. It was just too much... "Are you the only one not getting any?"

"Not for long, hopefully." Before I could ask what he even meant by that–as if I couldn't guess!–he murmured a quick good-bye and hung up the phone. I shook my head and followed suit, flipping around and curling into my favorite position.

It wasn't three minutes later before the phone rang again. I blindly reached over and picked it up. "Hi, the word of the week is `legs'. Spread the word," I quipped, having a feeling I knew exactly who it was.

It was.

"Oh, I forgot to tell you," Heero said with a small laugh. "You don't have to wear anything particularly special to the shoot, okay? They'll have plenty of outfits to fit you in, and I'm sure they have your size and an idea of your outfit to fit your `background' in the movie. I'll pick you up at eight. Bye." Click.

"Good morning to you too," I groused to myself playfully, hanging up the phone. It rang immediately.

"Hi, Duo Maxwell here. I'm off marrying Pamela Anderson Lee, but leave your name and number after the beep and I'll get back to you after I achieve reality. Or I won't if I don't like you. Beep!"

It wasn't Heero.

"Hello, this Jada Gold from Channel 8 News. Do you mind if I ask you a few quick questions about your upcoming movie and how you came into the part?"

I froze. "Lady, you do realize that it's three-oh-seven in the morning. Wherever you are, I hope it's pretty early in the morning, too."

I could hear her silent rue over the phone. "I'm so sorry, Mr. Maxwell! I'm out of town, and I meant to do this interview earlier this week..." She sighed regretfully. "I guess I forgot all about time zones."

"We all make mistakes," I soothed, not feeling angry with her at all. "I was wide awake anyway. Heero keeps callin' to remind me in his nickpick way about the shoot tomorrow!" I laughed, showing her it was all okay.

"Shoot," she sighed. "I'll be back by tomorrow. Do you mind if we have a face-to-face interview? I'd really like to ask you a few questions to clear up the confusion among different groups at the opposite end of the same spectrum, if you get my drift."

I hesitated. "Tomorrow? Um..."

"Do you want me to come to your house? If you're too tired to leave–"

"You really don't know where I live, do you?" I laughed softly in the phone when she admitted she didn't even know what I looked like. By the end of the phone conversation I had set up to meet her in a small little diner somewhere uptown. Finally I was able to get some sleep!...

**End Flashback**


"Oi," I felt Heero tap me on the shoulder, bringing me back from my momentary lapse of reality. "You zoned on me. Did you get enough sleep last night?" The teasing hint in his eyes were there, and damn him, it certainly did something for my libido!

"Not really," I rattled with a mocking yawn. "I mean, in between your twenty-seventh early Friday morning phone call to remind me to wear my hair up tight and the twenty-eighth call to remind me to bring a brush and a list of my clothes sizes, I actually had a call from someone who had an excuse for calling at three in the morning."

Heero's friends cracked up, picking on him about coming on a little strong. He shrugged simply. "You were keeping me up. It's not my fault my room's wedged between you four." Nonchalantly he added, "And I do believe it was you who said the only reason I wanted to let you go was because I didn't want you knowing the healthy aspects of Trowa and Quatre's bed life. Or how loud Dorothy actually is in bed..."

The three aforementioned friends cleared their throat and looked away from one another, but especially me. Relena, I noticed, smirked lecherously.

Heero seemed to finally realize I had said something else. Sharp as ever, I see. He mustn't be a morning person... "What moron called you at three o'clock in the morning?" He sounded a little angry. I actually had to give him a look that told all, and I was pretty sure the four of his friends were beginning to laugh again.

"Besides me," he added politely and a little stiff-like, like his own insult didn't compare to him because he was the one that made the comment. He's conceited, all right, and what's worse is he doesn't realize it most of the time.

"Some reported from Channel 8," I answered with a shrug. "She's outta town and coming back today. Apparently she was in a hurry and forgot about time zones." I could see they were all looking at me funny. "What?"

"You set up an appointment with her, didn't you?" I think they all pegged me the type, but Dorothy sounded a little pained at her own question. I nodded slowly.

"Well, yeah, I didn't see any reason not to," I rambled on. "Why? I won't tell her anything about the movie, y'know, I barely understand the script as of yet."

"It's not that, Duo-kun," Quatre replied with a little frown. "I myself found nothing wrong about talking to reporters and interviewers when I first started out... but throw one a bone and the others are calling you and begging for the same interview. You'll get pretty tired of all the attention real fast."

I never really wanted the attention anyway, so I was already pretty much tired of it. I didn't say that, though. "Can't do anything about it now," I quipped cheerfully, although I didn't feel cheerful. "If I cancel than she'll just badmouth me for tryin' to dumb her or something."

"Hey, kid!" Ah. I recognized that voice. I turned a tantalizing grin toward Howard Stiles, who had decided to finally make his appearance among the group of very young actors. With a bat of my long lashes, and made a show of giggling like a ditz.

"Don't you mean `chic'?" I asked guilelessly, taking pleasure in his little blanch and grinning virtuously ear to ear. The four that had joined us not long ago began to snicker a bit, but quieted down.

"Keep it up, smartass," Howard said with a playfully displeased look. He dropped the scowl so fast I had thought I imagined the whole thing. "Get your butt down to makeup and see if they can do anything with you. And have them fit you a wardrobe while your at it. Yuy, show him the way." He turned back to Relena, Quatre, Trowa, and Dorothy. "While those late blockheads are getting ready, I want you four numbskulls to start filming. Time is of the essence, and if you don't get your essence out there you're all going to have to answer to me. Clear?"

"Crystal," four voices echoed before they all departed, laughing.

"Howard's a bit long-winded," Heero whispered to me, though loud enough for Howard to hear. "You'll get used to it sooner or later."

"Long-winded?" Howard questioned loudly. "I'll give you long-winded you pugnacious little pule! Take your boyfriend to makeup or you'll have to deal with Olga again." For some reason that sounded really scary right about then...

Sure enough, Heero made a show of staggering back and gasping as if in betrayal. "Surely you don't hate me that much!"

"Enough to send you to Olga, boy," Howard replied simply. "Now go! Get! Begone you vermin of the set!"

We were already running from the ranting, perhaps just a little crazy director.


I didn't realize how long getting all prettied-up in makeup took. By the time I was finished with the makeup, outfitted, and given advice about how to ignore cameras, microphones, and such, the sun was already setting. Heero said that was good; the scene was shot at night, anyway.

Relena came back from her latest shoot and the stylist immediately began work on her. I looked over my magazine, raising an eyebrow at her blue, expensive looking party dress. Heero made a show of looking at her in disbelief, although I bet he already knew beforehand.

"Relena," he said in mock surprise, "they made you put on a dress?"

"Keep it up, Yuy." The usually chipper girl said moodily, sighing as the blush brush went to work on her cheeks. "Do you have any idea how many times I had to do and redo that scene? If I stand over a hill to watch fireworks fly one more time, it'll be too soon!"

"I thought you did that scene yesterday," Heero mumbled.

"I did," she hissed at her reflection. "Stiles said it wasn't good enough."

"Ahh, you know him," Heero waved it off. "He doesn't do anything halfway. Speaking of which, lets head toward the set." He was addressing me this time, but he smiled at Relena through the mirror. "We'll catch you when you come back to film scene 26, alright?" Yes, ladies and gents, actors make it habit to call the scenes by numbers. It would have been easier on me if they said `the scene with all the explosions and stuff' but that happens a lot in the movie and I doubt it would make things any clearer.

"Alright. Break a leg and don't mess up, Duo-chan," Relena smiled winningly. "This is the last scene of the day, and I plan on going home for a nice, long soak in the hot tub."

"Thinking about Hilde," Heero chirped as he stepped out of the door. I saw Relena blanch and blush, but I just smiled and waved her good- bye.




But his eyes suddenly turned cold, and he whirled around with a gun held steadily in her face. She gasped and stumbled back, hurt and confusion written all over her features...

"You should have stayed out of my way, Rina," he said coldly, squeezing the trigger...

A shot rang out, slamming into the gun-holder's shoulder. He dropped the gun, letting it clatter to the ground as he stumbled in surprise more than anything else. Both turned their attention on the dark figure standing at the end of the sub, both hands holding the gun steady and pointed on the other boy.

The figure raised his head, revealing two amethyst orbs focused on the scene before him. "Call me uncultured," he said in a dry, almost humored tone, "but I don't think that's a proper why of treatin' a lady, pal. Are you alright, miss?"

The former gun-holder's eyes flickered to the gun, and he lunged. The current gun-holder, however, read this move and shot at the gun, knocking the weapon from his reach. He cocked the gun to let out another bullet, this time for the kill, but he hesitated for a brief millisecond.

This gave the girl time to step in front of the injured boy. "No! Don't kill him!" she insisted with a heated glare at the figure. His head jerked up in shock as she turned his back on him and ripped her elegant party dress to tend her attempted murderer's wound.

"How is it," the braided boy murmured to himself, lifting his gun to his ear, blowing a breath of exasperation, "that I always seem to turn out to be the bad guy?"

At that moment, something in the ocean rumbled to the surface. The braided boy gasped and made a quick glance at his watch. "Damn... I must have miscalculated the time..."

And suddenly the Japanese boy was up and running toward the six torpedoes he had set up just for that such occasion...____



"Yahoo!" Relena pumped a fist in the cool night air as Heero finally turned over from his face-first landing in the water, placing his hands behind his head and floating leisurely, sometimes kicking himself into slow circles. "That's a wrap, people! Duo-chan, sign that blasted contract and lets head home!"

I grinned. "You really get a kick out of this, don't you?" All of a sudden she looked down at Heero, who was swimming below behind my back and got a devilish look in her eyes. I knew what that look meant. It meant Heero wanted her to do something, and since I had a feeling it was for me... I turned and looked down, only to see the Japanese hottie smiling innocently at me from the water. Well, that didn't seem so evil–

Two hands planted themselves firmly in my back and shoved...


"YUY!" I sputtered once I surfaced, aware of his laughter echoing Relena's. "PEACECRAFT! I swear you'll get yours!"

//Now to think about just what I should do...//


OWARI chapter eight

Kel: Yes! That's right! I am totally _UN_original! ^__^ The movie Duo and Heero are starring in _is_ a shorter version of Gundam Wing. Two hours and twenty-two minutes of action pact excitement... *sigh* I'm glad Gundam Wing is forty-something episodes long...

Sephy: THAT was the big movie? Ick...

Duo: I like it! Anything to keep my precious Deathscythe in the mix! ^__^

Kel: ^.^v C&C welcome and encouraged!