- The Twenty-Third Encounter -
Apparently, it is a law of the universe that trouble
comes in packs, like ravenous wolves or cigarettes.
Not only did I ruin my sense of security with my
brother, I think I managed to completely annihilate
any chance Heero had of having a semblance of good
cheer for his new year’s. Sure, I never identified
myself to the woman on the phone and hung up like my
phone was on fire, but my intelligent brain and I came
up with some interesting conclusions.
First, that woman was most likely Relena. Second, she
most likely did something awful to Heero. Third, he
is never, ever going to speak to me again.
Around three in the morning, I went home. Wufei
insisted that I stay over after seeing the stricken
look on my face after the ill fated phone call, but I
had to get out. My friends fell all over themselves
trying to tell me that I had done nothing wrong, but
that did not erase the fact that I had just outed
Heero to his fiancée over the phone.
Quatre and Trowa reluctantly dropped me off and let me
bully them into leaving me completely alone. I had to
think about what had happened so far. Well, let me
see.. I had alienated my only brother, I had ignored
Heero for about a week therefore driving him insane
with worry and I had just blurted out all sorts of
personal business to an unknown woman probably named
Relena. So much for starting the new year off on a
I finally did check all the voicemails that had
accumulated during my time of depressed apathy and
found that I had forty two messages. Most of them
from Heero, but none from Solo. Go figure, I suppose.
I had one from my mom wishing me a happy holidays
from the cruise and from the sounds of it, she had not
heard about my recent case of boyfriend acquirement
from Solo. However, it seemed that Heero had not
called after my midnight call to his cell. I
wondered, therefore, had he received a scathing tongue
lashing from Relena or had she opted not to mention
that some strange man had called to proclaim his love
and his need for kisses?
I shudder to wonder about it.
When the clock on my mantle blinked four in the
morning, I decided to get ready for bed. After all, I
had spent most of the week brooding about the sorry
state of my life and it had definitely taken a toll on
me. Then, just when I had gotten back to feeling
something other than sorry for myself thanks to my
friends, I had to do something that backfired badly
enough for me to want to wander back into the pit of
Mentally berating and beating myself up for my earlier
blunder, I meandered towards my bedroom dressed only
in my pants. I thought about hanging up my shirt and
suit jacket, but I was too damned tired for all those
niceties. So it was no wonder that I got cranky when
there was a knock on my door.
I swore rather savagely as I walked to the door, ready
to tear the head off whoever was there on the other
side. I had two people in mind, first being Quatre
and second being Trowa. I knew they had left too
damned easily when I had ushered them off earlier.
“Quat,” I said as I unlocked the door and opened it,
“go home for Christ’s sake! I don’t need your babying
Well.. slap me twice and call me Susie.
There he was, just on the other side of my door,
standing in my hallway with his hair mussed from the
wind and his cheeks slightly red from the chill. He
was wearing a grayish sweat shirt that might have been
black at one point, well fitting jeans and a leather
jacket the color of his hair. He looked so damned
good, especially after I had studiously avoided him
for so long.
“Hi. Thought I’d.. drop by?”
I can feel a silly grin forming at the corners of my
mouth. There he was, my boyfriend, standing there so
hesitantly. His eyes were drinking me in as if he had
missed me as much as I had missed him, his hands
twitching as if he wanted to hold me as much as I
wanted to hold him.
Oh, god, what had possessed me to ignore this man?
Idiocy, that’s what, and well.. justifiable
depression, but really, I had no excuse.
“Come in, okay?” I hear myself say as I step aside in
a welcoming gesture. My eyes are so filled with Heero
that I almost miss the fact that he is holding a
“I got your message, Duo. And you look great without
a shirt. So..”
That’s all I get to hear and ponder before Heero
latches his lips to mine and propels me backwards into
my apartment. My brain shuts down immediately
thereafter, only able to process the one needy fact
that I finally have Heero with me. His lips were as I
remembered them, the indescribable sweetness mingled
with tingly passion.
We part to catch our breath and I notice that the door
is shut and we are standing in the middle of my living
room. It’s a wonder that I did not trip over any of
my furniture during our blind foray into the room.
“I’ve missed you, love.”
I smile a bit goofily and put my hand on his cheek in
a gesture of comforted content. The week of
depression had miraculously evaporated at the touch of
his lips and I forgot for a moment that I had been
miserable, that he had been worried sick. However, I
did not forget that he had a suitcase with him which
was still gripped in his left hand rather tightly or
that I had most likely caused the said suitcase to be
“Uh, so,” I begin, guilt faintly coloring my voice,
“not that I’m not ecstatic to see you, but.. did
Relena toss you out or something?”
At that point, Heero puts down his suitcase and we sit
down on the sofa in unison. He has a slightly
chagrined look on his face colored at the edges by
embarrassment and I can only imagine what might have
occurred between him and Relena.
“Well,” Heero says softly, “there was a bit of..
“Yeah, I bet. I’m really sorry about that phone call.
And I’m more than sorry about how I behaved.. you
know, after Christmas. Which, by the way, went
absolutely horribly, thanks for asking.”
Perhaps I have not completely erased my bitter
depression, if my snipey comment is of any indication.
But thankfully, Heero is the understanding,
“I’m sorry I did not call on Christmas. I didn’t want
to burden you any more than you already were. And
please, don’t apologize to me, Duo. I understand why
you avoided me. I was much worse when I came out. I
think my friends almost sent out a search party for me
before I got my head together. And don’t be sorry
about the phone call. It made me happy.”
I raise my eyebrows at him, conveying just how much I
did not believe him. Had I not just caused a major
catastrophe in his life?
“Heero, let me get this straight,” I say, still a bit
skeptical about his reaction, “you’re happy that I
blurted out your big secret to Relena who is on her
last legs of being alive.”
“No, not that,” he says in horrified surprise, “the
message made me happy, that you loved me and that you
wanted to kiss me. How I got the message, though..
but don’t worry. Relena is fine, I mean, healthy.
She didn’t have a relapse or anything.”
“So she’s just incredibly, flaming pissed at you.”
“I’d say murderous rage would be more apt for her
We sat in silence for a while, each of us
contemplating our lives as it was currently. We were
both in horrendous messes, me and my brother being on
the non-talking terms and Heero’s non-fiancee ready to
put a hit out on him. I have to say, ever since we
tread into each other’s lives, there has been nothing
“Hey, Heero,” I sigh out, “do you get the feeling that
our lives are beginning to resemble a badly written
Mexican soap opera?”
I get a chuckle from him and an arm around my
shoulders as he pulls me closer.
“Yes, only not in Spanish.”
“Good,” I mumble as I burrow my head into his
shoulder, “because I don’t know Spanish.”
“Aren’t you going to ask me about the suitcase?”
Heero says in a whispery voice as I edge closer to
him. I suppose I should ask, but I feel so content
being snuggled that I don’t want to deal with certain
things right now. I do know, though, that if we don’t
straighten out certain things now, it would eat away
at me until I did something stupid again.
“Relena kick you out for real?”
“Yes and no.”
I peer up at him through my eyelashes at his
noncommittal response. I know he can see the
questions dancing around in my head, so I need not
voice them out loud. Good thing too because I don’t
think I could have vocalized them very well.
“You see,” he explains, “she is very unhappy with me
and I am unhappy with her. She demanded to know who
the.. uh, person was on the line..”
“I bet she called me something worse than that,” I cut
in rather smoothly.
“Oh, she called you and me many things that I cannot
repeat due to their violent and adult content. That
is beside the point, though. She accused me of being
dishonest with her.”
“Wait,” I pipe up, indignant for him, “how could she
say that? I mean, you were only there to keep her
from dropping dead.”
“I knew that, her family knew that, but I honestly
don’t think she knew that. I think she really thought
I loved her.”
“Oh. That makes this whole situation even sadder than
it already is.”
The explanation went on after that, with me
interjecting every once in a while with a pithy yet
relevant wise crack. To summarize, Heero told me that
she screamed at him a fair bit about being a lying cad
and refusing to stay with him if he was only there out
of some twisted sense of duty and pity. He, in turn,
told her that he was quite gay and that he had a
boyfriend. She told him to get out, he agreed and
voila, here Heero was with a lightly packed suitcase.
Talk about an ugly situation.
“So she knows now,” I say, unable to keep the happy
tone out of my voice, “so you can be totally open.
You don’t have to worry! Oh hell, you’re here with a
suitcase, practically all moved in.”
“Yeah,” he says, but a little too slowly, “only that..
did I ever mention that Relena’s last name is
Peacecraft. I recall that name. I’m good with names,
it is part of my trade after all, remembering
multitudes of names. I ponder silently and try to
place the name. Then it hits me.
“Oh shit, isn’t your friend Milliardo’s last name
“Now you see the dilemma as it truly is,” he says
calmly, “because they’re siblings. And I think
Milliardo may castrate me for this one.”
“That’s not even fair,” I say, unbelievably incensed,
“he met me! And I know that he liked me! Oh, and I
know he thought you and I made a good couple. So what
the hell can be his problem?”
“A possible dead or comatose sister?”
Okay, Heero had a point there. But still.
“Heero, do you think we’re doomed or something? It
seems like every time we dig our way out of a problem,
another problem even bigger and messier comes along to
fuck with us.”
God, do I sound tired and defeated. And you know,
maybe I am. How am I supposed to keep up with all
these developments? Heero had been in my life for a
few months now, not even a solid year and our few
months have been fraught with more problems than an
international trade agreement. Not to mention, we
have so far managed to damage our relations with
families and friends just by being with each other.
“Sometimes,” I say when Heero says nothing, “I think
this can’t possibly be worth all this trouble. I
mean, hell, we haven’t even had sex or anything and
already we’re neck deep in ungodly amounts of shit.”
I can feel Heero tightening his hold around me, his
arms banding around my shoulders and waist in an
unmistakable hold of possession.
“Well,” he says, his voice shaking with an emotion I
cannot quite define, “if it’s sex you’re worried
about, we can fix that. But whatever the case,
whatever the problems, I happen to think you’re worth
Ah, damn. How could I have forgotten about that
talent Heero has for making me feel gooey and mushy
“Fine,” I say gracelessly, “as much as I think about
all these things, I will say that you’re worth it,
too. All I have to do is look at you, you sneaky
“Oh, it turns me on when you call me pet names.”
With that, some of the worried tension and my
defeatist attitude melts away and we laugh. It’s good
to laugh with the person you love, when you can feel
the laugh rumbling out of his chest like a low grade
“So, Relena knows you’re gay.”
“And your brother certainly knows.”
“Neither of them are taking it too well, are they.”
We nod in agreement and shrug our shoulders. Yes,
there are problems, but as with all problems, they
must be taken on one at a time, step by step. No use
worrying needlessly and endlessly about them. It is
rather amazing how much clearer I think when Heero’s
around. Well, at least about certain things.
“So,” Heero says after we stop laughing, “make any new
“No, I don’t do resolutions. I never keep them
anyway. But I did come to some conclusions.”
“Yep. I’m not gay.”
That got me a weird look from Heero and I had to keep
the laughter from making a reentrance. Good gracious,
how to explain..
“See, Heero, being gay is.. what, being homosexual,
liking the men, right?”
I get a bemused nod and I take that as an agreement as
“And being heterosexual, being straight, is liking the
Another bemused nod. So far, so good, I guess.
“And finally, being bisexual is the liking of all
genders, sort of non-discriminatory when you think
about it, really.”
“And your point is?”
I ruffle his hair playfully and give him a small peck
on his nose. He looks confused and a bit pissed which
only adds to his adorableness at this point in time.
“Point being,” I say, “as I am right now, I don’t like
men, I don’t like women, I just like you. In fact, I
love you. So, as logic goes, I’m not homosexual,
heterosexual or bisexual. I’d say I’m..
That gets me a short moment of silence before I am
tackled onto my back and kissed thoroughly. And I
mean thorough, as in his lips and tongue did not miss
a single millimeter of my mouth. It drove anything
resembling coherent thought out of my head.
“You,” Heero whispers into my lips, “are
indescribable. Utterly special.”
He retreats a little so that we can look into each
other’s eyes and he smiles gently at me. I can feel
my heart stutter and skip a beat. I’m telling you,
it’s a delicious feeling.
“We’ll get Solo, Relena and Milliardo to see that we
belong together and that it is right.”
Heero said it with such conviction that it made my own
resolve strengthen. Maybe we won’t get them to see
anything other than how they want to see us, but we
were not going to give up on each other just because
of that possibility.
“Happy new year, Heero.”
“Happy new year, Duo.”
We sealed it with a kiss and I hope, oh god do I hope,
that we can make it work with everyone involved.