disclaimer: first amendment is my friend. nuff said.

pairings: 1x2 (getting there), 3x4 established
genre: AU
warnings: a bit of language, Duo POV, i made Duo an attorney, perhaps a bit of ooc action

notes: i write in short bursts so it could be completely non sequiter like.

Part 4
by 0083

- The Third Encounter -

The coffee shop was an unassuming affair, just your regular twenty four hour shop with a disgruntled waitress and really awful coffee. It’s rather interesting, really, that I’m at a completely innocuous space with a very.. not so innocuous person.

Heero, he had said. That was his name, but besides that and the fact that he was definitely gorgeous, I knew nothing about this guy. After his invitation for coffee, we had walked to a nearby coffee house without passing another word to each other and had sat down. Now, half an hour and a cup of coffee later, we still hadn’t said anything. That includes me – I’ve not said a damn thing. And I was supposed to be questioning him, finding out about him so that I could get a decent night’s rest.

Instead, it’s nearing three in the morning and I have clammed up like my lips had been crazy glued. No talking, so that meant that we just stared at each other. I assessed him and I’m sure he was doing the same to me. In the brighter light of the coffee house, I could see more of him and judge his outer appearance much better.

He was definitely a good looking guy. Have I mentioned that already? Blue eyes the color of which I cannot quite define.. sharp, angular features.. a very toned body from what I see through his neutral beige shirt and khaki pants.. even though I was still unsure about my attraction to him, at least I could admit that I had good taste. Minutes kept passing by and I could not open my mouth to ask him the questions that I had planned so carefully. It seemed that he was not about to indulge me by telling me about himself either. The first lesson any attorney learns is that when there is nothing to talk about, one must still talk.

If anything, I can do that.

“So.. you want to know my name or what?”

Perhaps that was not the best of openings of mine, but at least I had made a sentence. For some reason, it had disturbed me that he had not insisted on knowing my name as soon as he had introduced himself. Manners dictate that there must be an exchange of names for introductions to be complete and he hand not prompted that of me. It is true that I had not volunteered it like he had his name, but still, that justifies nothing.

In case you didn’t know, I’m babbling.

Back to conversation at hand. Heero’s face did this funny quirk when I asked him the question. He seemed to find it somewhat amusing, I suppose, since I had sounded a bit petulant. Even at my age, I can manage to sound like a child it seems.

“Should I want to know your name?”

The amusement was definitely present in his not very illuminating response, but I did not mind as much as I thought I would. It had been accompanied by this amazing smile so I could let the slight slide. I seem to let many things slide with him and I have known him for less than an hour. Strange, I know.

“You should since you invited me out for coffee and all.”

He smiled again. The slight tilting at the corners, no teeth, lips thinning just a tad. It was amazing how a smile, a single smile, could make me feel like I could become a mellow puddle at his feet. At this guy’s feet. Guy.

Hence, my current problem and quest to find out what this attraction is all about.

Heero, however, did not seem to be struggling with my dilemma. He’s enjoying my confusion and attempts at conversation. I’m amusing him. I am not sure whether I should be flattered or annoyed.

“True,” Heero deigned to reply, “so, what is your name?”

He asked, I should answer. But I suddenly had an urge to let him dangle, to let him wonder about something as simple as my given name. If I was having this conversation with a girl, we would be flirting outrageously and touching indecently. Unfortunately, this was a man before me and he seemed to be flirting with me when I had no such intentions.

At least, I hope I didn’t.

“Don’t feel like telling me your name?”

He sounded mildly disappointed, but I don’t know him that well so I could not just judge his tone. However, it did seem to me that his smile notched down several degrees and his eyes lost a bit of interest. I supposed he thought I was just a tease, which I am by the way since I was a well known player, but for some reason, it did not sit well with me in this instance.

“It’s not that,” I tried to explain which I had never done, “it’s just that well.. I’m not used to.. what I mean is.. oh hell, I’m Duo.”

His smile comes back full force and I am glad that it has. I smile back tentatively, not quite so brightly so that he does not get the wrong idea, but I’m pretty sure that it’s a friendly smile, neither flirty nor formal. I hope he gets the idea that I will not, under any circumstance, go back to his place with him.

“Nice to meet you, Duo. So..”

And here it comes. The inevitable ‘get to know you’ spiel. I should know, I have done it a million times and never have paid attention to the answer. The question would range anywhere from ‘what do you do for a living’ to ‘what is your favorite color.’ Mundane stuff to make small talk until we jump into the sack. Heero here is gearing up to do the small talk so requisite in one night stands. It is rather too bad that there will be no sex after all his work at making conversation since after I’m done talking to him, I will be going home alone to ponder my new information.

“So,” Heero continues through my thought processes, “I’m not sure why you’re here with me.”

That was not expected, but I can think quickly on my feet.

“You invited me for coffee.”

“Yes, I know,” he says, casually waving his right hand in a dismissive gesture, “but you should not have wanted to come. You don’t seem to be the type to go for a guy.”

To say that I was surprised would be a tiny understatement. That was just too unexpected for me to say anything intelligent , so I opted for the puzzled look instead of a response.

“What I’m saying is,” he goes on, completely ignoring my confused face, “that you won’t be sleeping with me tonight.”

Well, I did say that I liked straight forward, but this is a bit too much, even for me. He had read my mind like the proverbial prophet, right down to the last bit. I wonder if I let him continue to talk while I get dumbfounded more by the passing moment, if he will tell me what my motives were for coming out with him.

Of course, he did not disappoint me.

“You have questions for me, I think. So, what are they?”

He said it so damned casually, as if this is the type of conversation he has with every guy he invites out to a coffee house. I was once again speechless because I had come out tonight with the purpose of dissecting him, but had somehow lost control of the situation.

“You’re very observant, aren’t you.”

It was more accusatory than anything, but I could not help it. Usually, it is I who notices things before others and takes advantage. Yet, here I was, sitting across from my dilemma, steadily losing ground.

“I’ve been told that, yes.” Heero answered with yet another quirk of his lips. “And I think you wouldn’t be so annoyed if I had acted clueless about your intentions.”

Whoever this Heero was, he certainly did know how to make a guy like me squirm. It was as if he had set me down on an interrogation table and turned the harsh light at me. Actually, I suppose that was what he was doing since his eyes are quite.. sharp.

“Okay, fine,” I concede with little grace, “I’m just here so I can find out who you are.”

It was not the whole truth, but it was not a lie. I am quite the talent for twisting words into truths without fully revealing the whole meaning.

“You are more than welcome to find out about me. But I think you’re uncomfortable that you’re attracted to me.”

I can feel my left eye twitch and that only happens when I am truly annoyed. He read me like an open book, from my motives to my unwanted attraction to him. All in a space of less than an hour. I got the feeling that he could be laughing at me, but something deep in my heart told me that he was not the type to poke fun at strangers.

“What gave you that idea?”

It is imperative at this stage of the interview that I maintain some semblance of control and dignity. I will not let Heero know that he had read me correctly, for to admit it would be to lose the argument. Never concede, not even when you must.

“Well,” Heero drawled out, “I don’t know. It seemed to me that you ran away a little too quickly last night. And you have been staring for the last half hour at me. Am I wrong?”

How am I supposed to answer that without losing what is left of my tattered dignity? He has my eyes held tightly with his gaze right now, his blues staring straight into my undoubtedly shocked violets. Then I feel anger rising – he must be toying with me. Yes, I did run away last night, but who in their decency points that out so damn bluntly? And sure, I have been staring, but he had been staring right back.

“Forget it.”

I growled that out without my usual charm and got up from the table. I put down what I hoped was enough money to cover that horrid coffee I had drank and grabbed my coat. I had a sense of dignity, damn it and I did not need to sit and listen to the gorgeous but rude Heero mock me.

I ignored him pretty thoroughly as I walked passed him to the door, opening it with a little more force than I should have. What had I been thinking? So I was attracted to a guy. What possessed me to seek him out? What had I expected, that he’d tell me that the attraction was normal, that it was a part of who I was to find men pretty, that what? What the hell had I been searching for?

Of course, that’s when I realized that I had no earthly clue as to why talking to Heero would have solved any of my problems. He did not have the answers as to why I reacted to him the way I had. He definitely could not tell me what my sexuality was. I must say I have been an idiot.

I walked at a brusque pace through the nearly deserted streets, hurrying towards my apartment for some peace of mind. I had not accomplished anything with my impromptu mission for this night, but that was not a problem. I could most definitely solve this problem without Heero’s help. Maybe it was time that I talked to Quatre and Trowa about my newly found confusion.

I was so caught up in my seething self reprimands about the idiocy of the plan that when a hand grabbed my arm, I turned with my fist raised in automatic reflex to deck whoever it was that had dared to put their hand on me. Then I saw who it was that had stopped me and my fist lowered a fraction of an inch.

“What do you want, now? Want to make fun of me some more?”

At my miffed tone, Heero merely smiled. You know, the one that made me feel like a gooey puddle. Even as annoyed as I was at him, it still made something inside of me go soft and weak and I got angrier.

“Wanna let go of me before I deck you?”

It was not an empty threat. I am prone to violence once in a while when pushed to the limits and I know the law well so I can do what I wish without crossing the line. Heero must have caught on to the serious nature of my remark for he did let go.

But then he grabbed my hand, uncurled my fist and shoved a piece of paper in it.

“That’s my phone number. Call me, Duo. I think we have potential.”

Then he walked off, leaving me to stare at him dumbly.

on to part 5

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