Disclaimer: See all the others; status unchanged.

Pairing: 1x2 (over all), mention of 3x2, 4x2, 3x4x2, 5x2, 6x2, 6x9x2 (yes, Duo gets around)
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: Yaoi, het, lime, AU, language, bits of fluff, angst and humor.

AN: Written for [ the Vault's Spring Songfic Challenge 2005 ]. Song/Lyrics recited after the fic.

Making Your Mind Up
by kebzero

Duo closed his lips around the straw and sucked hard. Only when he reached air did he stop and glance towards the doors. Another freshly forged couple was leaving, and the place was definitely thinning out. Other than himself, the moping mophead nursing a drink at the other end of the bar, two visibly sloshed guys snogging in the far corner and the fairly sober quartet finishing up their game of pool, only Ralph remained. Of course, he'd be the last to leave, being the owner and barkeep of the establishment.

Closing time was not far away. Soon, he'd have to muster the strength and balance to shuffle out under the streetlights and make his way back to his small flat and the big, empty bed waiting there. He hadn't had enough to get a decent hangover, but he still planned on sleeping in, since it was already well into Sunday. Monday morning it would be back to the working grind again - not that that would stop him from swinging by a night or two before next weekend. Ralph's place was a good hangout, it usually kept a relaxed atmosphere. He'd gotten to know a good number of people here, some far better than others.

The booze didn't cost too much, either.

Duo looked down in his empty glass, studying the last sliver of melting ice and leftover fruit. Promptly, he picked up the ornamental umbrella, folded it together and used the sharp end as a makeshift toothpick. The remnants of a cocktail berry had bothered his tongue for the last three swipes of his teeth, and the need to do something about it was too pressing to resist. It wasn't as if anyone would notice, anyway - tonight had not been a lucky one. Then again, he hadn't made an effort to find someone to go home with.

"Is this seat taken?"

Toothpick still jammed at the corner of his mouth, Duo turned to look, saw the mophead, mustered half a smile. "Does it look that way?"

The man nodded, ran his hand through his unruly dark brown bangs and sat down. He smiled as Duo hurriedly removed the umbrella and tossed it back in the glass. For a moment, they simply sat there. When the man put an elbow to the counter and his chin in his palm, smiling at Duo, his object of observation ran short of patience.

"Fine... why are you here? What made you come all the way here from the other end of the bar?"

"You're beautiful, did you know that?"

Snort, lopsided grin. "I'm not that drunk, buster. Don't make me deck you. I'm still reasonably sure I'd manage to hit you if I took a swing."

"Will you accept good-looking?"

Duo tilted his head, gave mophead a glance. "You need to work on your moves, pal. You're not as smooth as you think." Duo sighed, let go of the straw and pushed the glass further in on the counter. "Ralph put you up to this, didn't he?"

Heero shrugged. "He might have... suggested... I go keep you company, since we're the only single people left tonight." He straightened up, looked over in the corner. "I sure hope those two plan on going home soon. I don't feel like watching them for much longer." From the pool table, loud cursing could be heard. "Sounds like the game is over, too. That leaves us." He turned to Duo again, cocked his head and smirked. "So... Do you come here often?"

Soft, exhausted chuckle going to sigh. "I'm sorry, but I'm so not in the mood for that right now, Heero."

At that, the man visibly perked up. "You remember my name?"

Duo nodded, signalled Ralph for another drink, got a nod. "Yeah, I remember you... We've talked a few times, back when you used to come here. This is the first time I've seen you here in over a month, though."

"I'm surprised you noticed, Duo."

Flagged brow, grin. "So, I'm not the only one remembering names."

Heero grinned back.

"Where have you been?"

Shrug. "I've been keeping really busy lately - a long business trip. Six weeks on the road. Just got back two days ago. Decided to come here once I had caught up on my sleep." He paused to look deep in Duo's eyes, then away again. "It was a pleasant surprise to see at least one familiar face here." Chuckle. "Well, other than Ralph, that is."

Grin, eventually smoothed away. "Home to stay this time?"

Chin in palm again. "For a while."

Duo nodded. "Good for you."

Ralph came over, slid Duo his new drink, removed the empty glass without a word, but with a wink. Duo was tempted to flick him a one-digit salute, but settled for a roll of eyes.

Heero watched the bartender leave, waited until he was out of immediate hearing range again. "You know... I'm surprised you actually noticed my absence..."

Duo snorted, put the straw in his mouth and took a small sip. "When you become a regular, you start to take note of how people come and go."

The doors creaked open, and the couple from the corner made their unsteady way outside, hands in each others' back pockets. Heero smirked. "Or who they go to come with."

Duo laughed aloud at that, earning glances from the direction of the pool table. He never noticed. "Right..."

"I meant it, you know."

"Meant what?"

"That you're beautiful." He reached to rub a spot at the back of his neck. "This is embarrassing, but... I've been looking your way all night..."

Duo raised a brow in suspicion, closed his lips around the straw for another fortifier. He had a feeling he was going to need it. "It's the braid, right? I get a lot of attention because of that..."

Heero reached for the tip of Duo's braid, but stopped a handbreadth short, catching Duo's soft glare. "May I?"

Hesitantly, Duo shrugged. "No tugging."

He need not have worried. Heero picked up the tip, lifted it up, smoothed his thumb from the hairband and out amongst the ends of the long, woven strands. "It certainly is an eye catcher..." Then, without the slightest ceremony, he let it slip out of his hand. "But that's only a small part of you. I find everything about you attractive."

Duo gave him a lopsided smile. "I think you'd have had better luck with the 'come here often' line..."

A flash of sullen came across Heero's face. "It's the truth."

Duo sighed. "Look... Heero, you seem like a nice guy, and you definitely have the looks, but I'm not in the mood for a playmate tonight, okay? I'm still getting over the last one - several last ones, come to think of it."

Brief twitch of right eye. "Oh?"

Slowly, Duo spun his glass in circles before he finally took another large sip of it, then sighed again. "I had a bad streak while you were gone... If you'd come by lately, you'd probably have heard all about it - or just witnessed it directly." He groaned. "Damn, I've been such an idiot..."

Silence filled the room - especially as the pool players broke up and left one by one, the winner last out the door, counting his bills, giving Ralph a final wave and grin. Heero signalled Ralph for a refill of his usual. He had a feeling he'd be here with Duo for a while longer, if Ralph would let them. Closing time was almost upon them.

Ralph hadn't run his bar for several years without picking up on unfolding situations, though. He delivered Heero's order and went back to washing glasses and stowing away bottles at the far end of the room. Heero waited until he was reasonably sure the bartender wasn't eavesdropping. "But I wasn't," he told Duo.


"I wasn't here, so... Care to tell me what happened?"

Duo cocked his head to one side, frowned softly at Heero. "Give me one good reason I should tell you."

Heero returned a smile that could melt ice. "Because I asked? Because I'm willing to listen to whatever you want to say? Because I'm here for you, now and always?" He dared a smirk. "Because I still remember the faces of the various people you went home with more than six weeks ago, and how jealous I was of them?" Ignoring the flash of surprise and indignation on Duo's face, he pushed on. "I was a regular at this place long before you, Duo."

Duo's mouth remained open for a few seconds, no words emerging. At length, he returned to his drink, soon sipping air again. He sighed. "Fine, then," he answered, a bit testy. "I'll tell you the whole story - but if you end up hearing things you wish you hadn't, don't blame me for it, okay?"

Heero nodded.

Duo tilted his empty glass. "Oh, and you're buying the drinks. This could take a while, and my throat dries up easily."

Heero chuckled at that, and once more called for Ralph's attention. He made sure Ralph put Duo's order on his tab. Again, they waited until the bartender was at a safe distance. Of course, with the bar empty for but the three of them, they both knew he'd have to clink the glasses rather loudly not to catch a sentence or two along the way.

Duo didn't care all that much. Ralph was the sort of guy that heard everything, but told next to nothing - unless he saw a need for it, like with sending Heero his way rather than take on the job as a confession booth himself. Duo took a deep, calming breath. "First, there was Wufei. He wandered in here a few nights after the last time you were here. He's a handsome guy. Asian-looking - part Chinese, I think. He has long, black hair that he keeps in a tight ponytail, and that night he wore loose white pants and a matching coat. He caught quite a few eyes as he came in - he stood out, in a classy sort of way, if you know what I mean. His face, though... He looked like he'd just sucked on a lemon, and headed straight for the bar. It was clear enough that he was miserable about something and that he was there to drown his sorrows, not to look for some fun. None of the usual easies cared to bother him."

"...but you...?"

Duo gave Heero's shoulder a push. "Hey, I'm not an easy, okay?"

Half a smirk. "I've seen you leave this place with a dozen different people on a dozen separate occasions..."

Duo's grin was in grim contrast with the ire showing in his eyes. "Oh? You have a point?"

Heero shook his head, smirk spreading. "None whatsoever."

After studying him for a minute, Duo took hold of his glass. "Good - 'cause if you had, that would have been the end of this story."

Heero nodded, raised his own glass for an impromptu toast. They drank.

"Wufei came back the next night, looking just as bitter. Most people avoided him. A few tried to talk to him, but he brushed them off. It was a Saturday night, and I was bored. Still hadn't found a playmate for the night, so I figured I'd have some fun with him for a while. Really didn't expect to get any further than the others, but... Somewhere down the road, he broke out in a smile..." Duo sighed, smiled. "I was a goner then. The bastard knew it too. Turned out he was drinking to forget. He'd just broken up with his boyfriend. Now, that's usually the biggest 'run away fast' sign anyone can give me, but I stayed. I had nothing better to do that night, anyway. I'm glad I stayed."

"What did you say to make him smile?"

Duo shrugged. "Heck if I remember... Probably some lame joke I'd saved up. I recall telling him he looked bitter. Wufei resented that, and promised he'd prove me wrong about that. It took a while, but he definitely did that... See, Wufei... well, he likes to take things slow..."

Heero nodded all sage-like, his mien riddled with hints of disappointment and foregone conclusions. "Ah... So, you finally found someone to go steady with..."

Duo laughed out aloud at that. A brief jingle of glasses from the far side of the room. Heero caught a glance of Ralph shaking his head and resuming his duties. "Uh - no, that's not what I meant," Duo hastily explained. "Heck, I thought you knew me better than that - or my reputation, at least. Uh-uh, no, I meant - he liked it slow in bed."

Heero's face gained a bit of color, but lost little in sadness. "Oh..."

Duo didn't really notice, looking onto the cabinets behind the bar as he went on. "Fuck, Wufei was good at that... The way he teased me forever... the way he eased himself inside... the way he thrust into me real slow... God, it was torture." Flash of leer. "Best fucking torture ever."

Deadpan. "Sounds like you liked the guy."

Duo gave Heero a grin. "Hey, I warned you I'd tell you things you didn't want to hear."

Caught off-guard, it took a few seconds for Heero to shake his head and muster a faint smile. "No, that's okay. Please - go on."

Duo cocked his head, studied Heero's face for a moment. "Okay, then... Wufei and I... well, we lasted a bit over two weeks. That's pretty good for me. Not my personal best in relationships, but close enough. Wufei is a really nice, down to earth guy once you get to know him - and like I told you, the sex was amazing..." Quick sigh and sip. "That's where it all went wrong, too."

Seconds of silence passed. Heero took a swig of his own beverage, waited for Duo to continue. At length, he asked "What happened?"

"Well..." Duo began, slowly rotating his glass, sloshing the fluids inside back and forth, drowning the berry. "We'd gone way past foreplay. I was on my hands and knees, hard as rock and about to collapse into the mattress given the way he was plastered against my backside, driving me nuts with those slow and shallow thrusts of his... It was good... right up until he blurted out a name that wasn't mine."

Heero failed to hide a grin. "Uh-oh..."

Duo snorted, pushed the straw aside and gulped down half of the remainder, along with the tiny fruit. "Damn right. I tell you, that took the mood right outta me. Wufei didn't even notice - I mean, he was back whispering my name again right after, it had just been a stupid slip - but that didn't stop me from going limp."

Soft chuckle.

Glare to match. "It's not funny..." Duo thought it over, eased up. "Okay, fine - so it is, looking back on it... I still let him finish up, though. Didn't take long, he was close. After he'd rolled off and kissed me soundly, and his hand fumbled towards my crotch - that's when I told him." Weak laughter. "You should have seen his face. I've never seen anyone blush that badly, or proceed to stumble on his own words as efficiently as Wufei did. The poor guy tried to apologize, of course... Heck, I could probably have forgiven him for the slip. I'm a pretty tolerant kind of guy."

Heero snorted, not entirely in agreement. "As long as they're male, and to your liking physically..." he muttered, adding but a whisper of "...and not me."

"Could be..." Duo mumbled back, missing the last few words. "Anyway, Wufei's little oopsie made it clear enough he still had it bad for his ex. Don't know why it pissed me off - I mean, I had pretty much known he was on the rebound when we met up here." A sigh. "I should have paid more respect to the warning signs, I guess..."

Heero nodded, definitely agreeing this time. "But then you wouldn't have had the great sex," he added playfully.

Duo chuckled. "Damn right. Wufei was good in bed." He cocked his head, gave Heero a sweeping glance. "Not that I haven't had better, or might find someone to top that too..." He sighed, studied the cabinets again. "Well, we ended up talking a lot that night. That's what he really needed, I think - guidance. A shoulder to lean on. Cry on. Some comfort. It was... too much for me to deal with. I chose the easy way out - gave him a few pointers as to where he fucked up with his ex, based on what he told me. Told him to run off after that guy of his again - Trey, or something like that. I left his place for the last time that morning. Still miss the way Wufei made scrambled eggs. Think he used some special oriental seasoning or something."

As Duo paused for another sip, Heero looked deep into his own glass. "You... don't stay for breakfast often, do you?"

Duo studied him for a moment, not sure what to make of the question, finally shrugging it off. "It depends. Half the time, we end up at my place. It usually comes down to whether his place or mine is closer."

"Oh..." Heero contemplated a follow-up, but Duo decided to continue his tale.

"I've only seen Wufei once since then - down on Maple Street a few days ago. He was walking next to a really tall guy, probably a few years older than us. Good looking fellow, but his fashion style pales compared to Wufei's. I mean, that flashy jacket the Trey guy wore made him look like some aristocrat from hundreds of years ago - and I doubt they were heading for a costume party. Nice and tight dress pants, though. They didn't notice me, thank God... That would have been awkward."

Heero nodded, downed the last of his drink, tapped the counter to get Ralph's attention. They got their refill, but Ralph made a show of tapping his watch as he went back to the dishes. Heero and Duo acknowledged that, but didn't feel rushed to leave just yet. "So, after Wufei..." Heero begun, leaving the question in the open.

Duo raised his glass. "I drowned my sorrows, of course." Grin. "Didn't take long, I'm a carefree kind of guy. I flirted around a bit, made out a couple of times, got a few drinks, bought some... Nothing too serious, I was just having fun. Didn't feel like shagging anyone for a while - not until Quatre strolled in the door one day."


Eager nod. "Yeah. Funny name, I know. Never got around to asking him how he got it."

"Duo is a pretty funny name, too..."

Chuckle. "Oh yeah? And Heero isn't?"

Quick shrug, smile.

"Anyway, Quatre... He's a young guy, about a foot shorter than me. Deliciously blond and blue-eyed." Snicker. "Well, blue-green eyes, really. His behavior was almost pure blue-eyed, though - at least that first night. He stumbled in here like a lost, little lamb, reeking 'virgin' from a mile away. I think most of us picked up on that. You should have seen the guy - he was all nerves, really tense. Got a fortifier from Ralph, and didn't let go of it until it was empty." Pause for a swig. "One or two of the guys made a pass at him, but none of them stayed around. Quatre didn't really brush them off, he just... didn't know how to act, I guess."

Heero nursed his drink, looking at the brim of his glass. "So... you kindly decided to educate him?"

Big grin, palm to shoulder. "You know me so well, Heero." Heero glanced longingly at the hand as it slipped off of him. "Yeah, I took him under my wing that night - and then back to my flat. Took a bit of coaxing, but he came willingly." Shrug, spin of glass. "Sure, he wasn't exactly practiced, and I had to show him how to do a lot of things - but he was a good student with a cute face and a damn nice bod." Brief laugh. "I loved to squeeze his buns and watch him yelp - that was just too cute. 'course... I loved the lost look on his face as he pushed inside me that first time even more..."

Heero's grip on his glass tightened.

Duo trailed out in a sigh. "Fuck, he was energetic for such a little guy. He was new at it, sure, but a quick learner - and a damn eager beaver. I swear - that first time it felt like I was making love to a jackhammer."

With some effort, Heero unclenched his hand and laughed. "You're kidding me..."

Duo merely shrugged, bit at his straw. "Told you, he was real hyper - at least that first time. He learned to take it easy after a while." Deep sip.

Heero watched him drink, slowly shaking his own glass. "Why do I get the feeling you and Quatre didn't last either?"

Faint smile. "Well, we did. For a few weeks, at least. Some really nice weeks." Sigh. "I felt years younger when I was around Quatre... I mean, he was sweet, if a bit doting - and very commanding when he wanted to be. I'm not that fond of leather, but when he showed up with some... costumes, wanting to experiment, I just couldn't say no." Brief chuckle. "For a while there, I honestly saw myself growing old with him - it could have been a fun life." Duo pushed the straw aside, took a deep gulp, clearing his throat afterwards.

"...but Quatre didn't see it the same way?"

Duo turned to look at Heero, tilted his head. "Actually, I think he started to - right up until Trowa entered the picture."

Heero's brows closed in on each other. "Trowa?"

Slow nod. "Trowa. Tall, skinny guy. Handsome face, half obscured by overgrown brown bangs. That was my first impression of the guy when he came in those doors. Learned soon enough that green jumper of his covered pretty decent muscles - and that those big shoes of his made all the vertical difference between us. He can't have had more than an inch on me." Afterthought, grin bordering on leer. "At least in height."

"Oh?" Heero downed all but the bottom of his glass.

Duo snickered at his expression. "Okay, I'm jumping ahead of things here... Anyway - I was here at the bar, as usual, enjoying my usual, waiting for Quatre to come back from work, when Trowa sailed up next to me. He sat down, started hitting on me - he had some decent lines, and I was bored, so I flirted back a bit. Nothing serious - I was with Quatre after all, and like I said earlier, after just a week with blondie I was thinking of making it more than just a string of good fucks."

"...and then Quatre walked in, accused you of cheating and dumped you?"

Half a smirk. "That could easily have happened, if I hadn't already told Quatre that I like to flirt, even when I'm with someone. We hadn't exactly promised each other exclusivity - and that was probably a good thing. See, when Quatre finally showed up, I thought he'd react like you suggested, or at least be a bit upset with me for not brushing Trowa off right away." Sigh. "He didn't, though. He came in, started talking to me and froze when he saw I wasn't alone. For a while he just stood there, mouth half agape, looking Trowa over. Trowa flashed him the same seductive smile he'd used on me, stood up and walked away."

"Finally realized you weren't alone, huh?"

Duo shook his head. "Nah - I'd already told him I was waiting for someone earlier. He'd insisted that I'd been waiting for him. I swear, if I hadn't been with Quatre at the time, I'd have gone home with Trowa long before blondie finally showed up. Of course, Trowa wasn't deterred that easily - I noticed how he brushed against Quatre's arm - and how he cautiously palmed Quatre's ass as he walked past. Quatre's face turned an interesting shade of pink right after."

Faint chuckle. "Sounds like an aggressive fellow..."

Grin in agreement. "Yeah, but he didn't even have to be... Sure, he was a wolf, but I think both Quatre and me were willing to follow him to the slaughter by then."

Cautiously raised brow. "Or his bed?"

Duo nodded. "That too. I mean, that night, Quatre and I got our drinks and had an good evening, walked home to his place, had decent sex - but I knew Quatre wasn't entirely with me that night. I probably wasn't all there for him, either." He paused, finished his drink. "We had a long talk in the morning. Funny how we were both in agreement."

Heero put aside his own glass, not feeling thirsty. He raised his hand to signal for Ralph again, but Duo touched his elbow, shaking his head. Heero relaxed again, waited for Duo to continue, eventually running out of patience. "So... Did you break up?"

"Hm? Oh - no. We realized... Well, the following evening, we came back here, glad to find Trowa alone. To be perfectly honest, I think he was waiting for us, almost as if he knew we'd come for him - knew we'd ask him for a threesome."

At that, Heero grabbed his drink and downed the last of it. Waste not, want not, and all that.

Duo merely grinned at the brief show. "Trowa, Quatre and me..." Leer. "We didn't waste much time. We headed back to Quatre's place - his apartment was the closest - and went for it."

Almost a bit too hopeful, Heero asked "And then something went wrong?"

Leer sustained. "Oh, I wouldn't say that... That first time, I rolled over on my back, and Quatre turned middle-man. I prefer to bottom anyway, and I'd thought it'd be really sexy to watch them both fuck me, but... After Quatre came in between my legs, I finally got to see Trowa entirely naked." Sigh. "Damn if I didn't regret letting Quatre play center field then..."

Heero raised a brow.

Grin. "Ever heard that phrase about dogs and their masters looking alike?"

Curt nod.

"Yeah - well, I think the same theory applies to a cock and the guy it's attached to. See, Trowa's cock was deliciously long and thin, much like the guy himself."

Momentarily at a loss for words, Heero finally gathered a faint smirk and a comeback. "...but nicely muscled and with a big bang?"

Duo laughing aloud was a good reward. "Yeah, something like that, I guess. Anyway, Quatre found out the hard way - the good way. Never saw, only felt. God, you should have seen the guy's face. Pure ecstasy. Watching them fuck me, feeling them fuck me... Well, that wasn't bad either - but when I saw them move together against and into me, I just knew..." Duo tipped his empty glass over, looked at the sheen on the bottom. Long seconds passed.

"Knew what?" Heero finally ventured.

"...that they were made for each other. That I was just... an extra body in the bed."

With a sympathetic smile, Heero reached out to place his hand on Duo's shoulder.

Duo glanced at it, tried smiling back. "Hell, I make it sound worse than it was..." He covered Heero's hand with his palm, then slowly brushed it off. "Still enjoyed myself for a while. That first time... Quatre lost it first, but that wasn't unexpected. That I pretty much begged Trowa to fuck me right after Quatre had rolled off to the side probably doesn't surprise you either..."

Soft snort. "You do seem to spread your legs for anyone with a pretty face or a big cock..."

Quirky look, none to mellow punch to Heero's shoulder, despite smile. "Watch it, man..."

Grin. "Sorry."

Duo nodded, took to studying his glass again. "I know they say it's not what you got, but what you do with it that counts. I tend to agree with that, but this guy... Hell, Trowa didn't even have to make an effort to hit the sweet spot!"

"...I'll take your word for it."

Chuckle. "As you couldn't tear him apart from Quatre with a crowbar now, you'd better."

Things fell quiet for a bit again. "So... There was only that one time you..."

Duo shook his head, smirking. "Heck, no. I didn't leave that quickly. They didn't pick up on what I did right away, so the three of us had a fun week together. We switched positions many times - the last time, I even topped both of them. That's when I realized it was time to go. Until then, they had never neglected me in any way - but that time, Quatre was entirely focused on Trowa. I'm not even sure if Trowa even noticed me ramming into him, the way he set his own pace between me and Quatre..."

Heero hesitated in asking, but did anyway. "...are you bitter?"

Shrugging, Duo put his glass upright on the counter again. "Nah, can't say I am - or was. Like I said, I figured it would end like that early on. They didn't push me away, not consciously - it was only at the height of things that last time that I strayed from their focus. I knew if I stayed, they'd love me as much as I loved them. I knew we'd have lots of fun together - in bed and out of it." Soft chuckle. "I know I've pretty much only described their bed qualities, but they're pretty nice guys, both of them."

"So, you didn't always have sex?"

Laughter. "We had to fill the rest periods with something, didn't we?"

Heero merely smirked.

Duo shook his head. "No, not bitter. I still see them from time to time. Think we'll stay friends. They stop by here occasionally too. I'm pretty sure they'd take me back if I asked, but... I'd just feel like their fuckbuddy." Glance to Heero. "Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but I started wanting something more permanent than that."

"You did?"

Nod, sigh. "Yeah..."

"...so, that's what you're drinking to forget? Both of them, and this Wufei guy?"

Duo nodded. "Well, not forget... I don't have any regrets, not now... See, I've already done the rebound thing."

Heero straightened up at that implication. "There's more?"

Lopsided grin. "Ah-huh... I've been lonely while you were gone, Heero." Not giving Heero a chance to respond beyond his 'o' shaped mouth, Duo pressed on. "I was here, of course, enjoying my usual, sulking and staring into the cabinets. Wasn't in the mood for flirting, so I mostly brushed off those who hit on me... Until he came up to me."

Heero felt a dread in his stomach. "He?"

Nod. "Yeah... Another tall guy, with really long light blonde hair - almost white, actually. Not as long as mine, but he kept all of it loose as a waterfall. Looked like something out of a dream. He chatted me up, and I was eating out of his hand before I knew what struck me. He had a really good way with words, that guy..." Chuckle. "And with a name like that, how could I refuse him?"

Heero gave Duo a puzzled look.

Smirk. "His name was Zechs. Know a word that sounds almost like that?"

Disbelief. "That was his name?"

Duo nodded. "Yeah... I didn't believe it either, not until he showed me his driver's license. Zechs Merquise..." Duo shook his head. "Zechs had to have known I was on the rebound, but he didn't care. It wasn't like I did, either. The guy is a bit older than us, but not much. He has the looks, and he definitely had the right words back then. When he asked me to follow him home, I did it without a second thought."

Heero traced Duo's index finger as it made random doodles on the bar counter. "So... You had sex with Zechs..."

Weak chuckle. "sounds so corny when said like that, doesn't it?" Sigh. "Yeah... He lived up to his name, too. He's a talker - kept whispering a mix of dirty and sweet words in my ear, against my skin, wherever his lips went... The bastard knew just where to touch me too - it was like he knew all my sensitive spots intuitively." Sheepish grin. "He got me vocal too. That was a first for me - I tend to like my lovemaking frantic, but quiet, if you know what I mean. Heck, I almost screamed at times, it was so good... Looking back, I wish I hadn't."

Meant as a joke, Heero asked "What, did the neighbors rush in?"

Duo hesitated in answering, his cheeks starting to flush.

Heero almost gaped. "You're kidding me..."

Duo shook his head. "Not really... See, Zechs didn't take the time to tell me, but he wasn't living alone. He shared a flat with someone. His roomie came back while we were... busy. I don't know if she waited until we quieted down again, or whether she rushed in the moment she got back, but... That was fucking embarrassing. Only glad Zechs was more embarrassed than me."

Wry smile. "She?"

Blush complete, Duo sunk together just a bit more. "Yeah... Lu. Her full name is Lucrezia Noin - Zechs always calls her Noin, but she told me to call her Lu."

"Why do I get the feeling that wasn't the first thing she told you?"

Soft chuckle. "You're right about that... See, she and Zechs had this on-again, off-again sort of relationship going. Both had separate social lives, but seemed to want the other to wait at home for them, or something. Fuck, I felt I'd ended up smack in the middle of a domestic dispute, playing the role of the seductive tramp. They fought - which was a strange sight in and of itself - Zechs didn't bother put on clothes or dry my cum off his belly, he just walked around with her and kept up their shouting match. There was no way I could get to my clothes and sneak away either, so I stayed in his bed, covering myself with the blankets. Things calmed down after a while, though. I got the impression they'd been through this sort of thing before."

Quiet descended again, short of the rattling of the glasses Ralph put away. "...and that brings us up to date?"

Duo shook his head. "Not quite... See, Noin was nothing if not flexible..."

Heero raised a brow.

Defensive grin. "Hey, had to stay to make sure they opened their eyes for each other, right?"

"...you've never struck me as quite that much of a philantropist, Duo..."

Snicker. "Gee, thanks... But you're right. Zechs, Lu and I... Well, I've already told you I liked Zechs."

Nod. "At least in bed."

Shrug. "He wasn't that bad out of bed, either..."

Questioning look.

Big grin. "Lu was the one who conned me into staying. As I'm sure you've picked up, I'm very much gay. Don't have much interest in women."

Smirk. "The thought has crossed my mind..."

"Yeah... Well, Noin is pretty good looking, for a woman. She also makes up for the difference with... other means."

Heero tilted his head, waiting for an explanation.

Duo found Heero's expression amusing. "Toys. She's into kinky toys, big time. Her cabinet was full of the stuff - including some pretty impressive strap-ons and dildos. I got the distinct feeling Zechs had been at her mercy long before I ended up in the same position."

"You mean... she fucked you?"

Slow nod. "Yeah... Among other things. Think she really got off on fucking me while I sucked Zechs off. Hell, the three of us had lots of fun. They're a pretty open-minded couple - and a hell of a kinky one." Grin. "Not that I had many complaints. The few times I had qualms, they listened, and we did something else instead." Quick sigh. "Knew there was no future there, though. I ended up staying at their place for a long weekend, being their plaything - not that I didn't play them right back. Left them with more than a few hints to match up for good. Saw them down on Grover's Avenue last week, holding hands. I think I gave them the right push, while I had my fun."

Heero simply shook his head.

"And that brings us up to date, I think... Me back here, drinking to cheer myself up, to forget I can't ever seem to find someone to make anything permanent with - not that I've been looking all that hard. I've just been... hopeful, I think."

"The age of armor is long since passed, Duo."

Duo's mouth curled to a wry grin. He gave Heero a glance. "Is it? What about you, then? Didn't you come to rescue me from my boredom and sulking?"

Snort. "I'm no knight, Duo."

"Just a knave out for a conquest?"

Smirk. "Perhaps... if you submit willingly."

Duo shook his head. "Don't think I'm drunk enough for that, Heero... Besides, I think I'm growing cautious in my old age..."

Huff. "You're not a day past twenty-five yet."

"Age isn't just biological. I feel old..."

"You've certainly gathered a lot of experience..."

Duo gave Heero a look for that muttered remark, but let it slide. He sighed. "Heero, I'm not dumb... or blind. I know you're interested in me, and for more than just a quickie."


Flash of grin. "If eyefucking counts, I've been yours more times than anyone else's - and that doesn't even include tonight..."

Heero nodded. "You're right - I want you. I've wanted you for a long time, Duo. I tried hitting on you many times before I left on that trip - but you always blew me off."

Duo stared at his glass, reached for it. "Yeah, I did..." Slow spins. "Wasn't sure what I wanted, I guess... You didn't seem my type that first time, or the time after that... Thought you were cute the third time you stumbled through an opening line. Remembered your name by the fourth..."

"If you find it so easy to bed others, why not me?"

Quick glance. "I'm not that easy, Heero. I know I don't always make the best of choices, but my mistakes are my own, not something to be judged by others - and definitely not you." He shook his head. "I just... now, more than ever, I want to know what I'm getting myself into before I'm in it - know what I mean?"

Snort. "What, feel a need to inspect the goods before making a commitment?"

Slow chuckle. "Something like that, maybe..."

Heero nodded, grabbed Duo's glass out of his hands, put it aside along with his own, reached down to take off his shoes.


Not stopping to explain, Heero stood up, climbed up on his chair, then on the bar counter, closed his eyes to concentrate for but a minute to find some inner song, some inner rhythm. He started to sway his hips, the rest of his body falling in line to the deep throbbing sound in his mind's ear. He closed his eyes again, reached for his shirt collar, undid one button, then another.

Caught between surprise at Heero's sudden move, and mild shock realising what it looked like, Duo struggled to find adequate words. In the end, what came out was an inquisitive "Heero, what the fuck-"

His words trailed off as one button after another fell, revealing more and more of Heero's smooth chest. Half undone, Heero instead reached for his hips, rocked to the beat a few more times, shifted to make a thrust or two forward, still in synch with his music. His hands slipped towards his crotch, undid the top button, fingered his zipper.

Before the pants could drop, Duo brought him out of the trance-like state though, grabbing a hold of his wrists, Duo's trembling grip enough to make Heero open his eyes again and look down at Duo defiantly. "Heero, what the hell are you doing?" Quick headshake. "No, scratch that - what the hell are you thinking?!"

Firm look. "If this is the only way you'll go out with me, so be it. I'll do whatever it takes to get you to make up your mind about me. If I have to strip in front of you to boost my chances, I'll do it. I like you, Duo. I like you a lot, not just the way you look. I'm not doing this for your body." Half a smirk. "Not just your body."

Duo glanced over to Ralph, whom was evidently doing his best not to notice Heero's little show. Ralph was not much of an actor, and there was a limit to the things he'd seen happen in his own bar. No doubt, this would go down as one of the stranger incidents.

Heero forcefully sat down on the edge of the bar, directly in front of Duo, turned Duo's wristlock to a mutual one. "Duo, you always seem to measure a man by his cock. How can you judge me if you don't give me a chance?"

"Heero, I do not-"

Glare. "Then why do you always ignore me, but go home with anyone else who strikes your fancy? What'll it take, Duo?"

He sighed. "You don't understand..."

"Make up your mind, Duo. I know you love flirting, and teasing, and I sure as hell have gotten enough of both from you in the past - but I want more than that, and I don't mean just sex. I want you, Duo. I want you, and not just for a night."

"I know..."

"Look, I understand you've had some rough spots in your love life recently, and I'm sorry about that. If you want, we can take it real slow - start fresh over coffee tomorrow, or something - anything. Please, Duo - give me a chance?"

When Duo finally looked him in the eye, Heero wasn't sure whether to call it a triumph or a defeat. There was regret in those eyes, a sadness he couldn't quite figure. "Heero... I have taken note of you. I told you, I'm not dumb or blind... I know you have more than a little crush on me. Back then, I figured... Heck, I liked you, I really did - but you always hit on me. Every damn night, you'd make a move eventually." Grin. "Not exactly the smoothest, but honest ones. I guess... eventually, I started taking you for granted, absentmindedly decided to save taking you home for a rainy day - some day I really needed someone who loved me, not just someone who'd make love to me." Sigh. "And then... you were gone."

Heero paused, taking this in. "My business trip..."

Duo slowly nodded.

"But what's to say that rainy day isn't today?"

Sigh into smile. Duo's grip on his wrists tightened momentarily. "You're right about that."

Heero pulled at his hands, made Duo face him again. "Then tell me. What do I have to say or do to make you give me a chance? What must I do to get you to come home with me, and not someone else? Anyone else? If you're just planning to keep me hanging on forever, tell me now, Duo. When will you make up your mind about me?"

Soft smile. "Heero... My mind was made up the moment you sat down here today - the moment you agreed to hear me out. I'm sorry to put you through that, 'cause I imagine me being fucked by someone else wasn't what you wanted to hear about - but I have a past. That was just my recent one. If you can't handle that much, how could you handle me?"

"...and your judgement?"

Chuckle. "I told you - you passed when you sat down and asked me again. Yeah, I'm willing to take you home with me tonight, but... I don't want to roll over and find an empty side of the bed - got me?"

Heero nodded. "I want something more than a single night, too. A lot more."

Slow sigh. "That sounds good... We have to start somewhere, though."

Pause. "Duo?"


"We could go to my place..." Heero tentatively suggested. "That way you'd be sure I wouldn't be gone in the morning - worst case, I'd be in the kitchen, making you breakfast. Scrambled eggs, after the secret Yuy family recipe."

Weak snicker. "Heero, if you take me home with you, I might not ever want to leave..."

Heero laughed, feeling more light-headed than ever. "God, I hope so..." He scooted off the counter, leant in against Duo, his shirt slipping off one shoulder. He tilted his head, and ever so slowly, their lips met, a graze at first, then again, firmer. He struggled not to smile as he felt Duo kiss him back. At the fifth, they pulled apart again. Heero wrinkled his nose, having smelled Duo's breath. "You're drunk..."

Duo gave Heero his best grin, reached up to cup his cheek. "So are you, hot lips... I'm not that drunk, though..." With some effort, he slid off his chair, stumbled to stand. "Care to support me all the way back to your bed now?"

Slinging Duo's arm across his shoulder, giving the man the same half-embrace in return, Heero took a tentative step forward, making sure Duo was with him. "If you're going to rate me tonight... I'm not sure I'll be able to perform all that well..."

Duo chuckled, used his free hand to play with Heero's undone shirt buttons, once or twice brushing his fingers against Heero's chest. He tried buttoning the shirt back up single-handed, partially successful. "That's okay, Heero. For tonight, we'll just sleep it off. I think... being close to you is good enough for a start." Grin. "You'll get a chance to prove yourself soon, though - count on it."

Heero gave a quiet laugh at that, guided them towards the door. "My place isn't far - just a block or so. Think you can last that long?"

Snort. "I'll have you know I've stumbled my way home when almost dead drunk. That's five blocks."

Grin, fade to serious. "Duo?"


"One more thing... I might not have Wufei's slow moves, or Quatre's zeal, or Trowa's endowment, or Zechs gift with words, or Noin's gadgetry... but I will do anything for you."

"Oh? What if I told you to clean my place up?"

He tightened his grip of Duo's shoulder. "Until I've seen it, I'll decline to answer that one - but somehow, I suspect you could use help with that..."

Snicker. "You have no idea..."

Heero licked his lips, unsure whether to say it or not until the words rolled off his tongue. "I'll gladly help you move..."

Duo turned his head to give Heero a glance, taking the statement in. He grinned again. "Don't get carried away, Heero. One day at a time, okay? Prove to me we'll last more than a week or two, and then we'll talk co-habitat. Okay?"

Heero leant in as best he could to plant a kiss on Duo's cheek. That they almost fell because of it didn't seem to matter. As Duo reached for the door handle, Heero looked over his shoulder. "Bye, Ralph - put the drinks on my tab, okay?"

Nod. "Sure thing - hey, you two take it easy now, okay?" Ralph grinned, tossed the dishtowel over his shoulder. "I didn't play matchmaker tonight for nothing."

Heero and Duo shared a look, grinned at each other. Duo looked over his shoulder. "Easy? You ought to know I like things hard, Ralph..." He quickly slipped his hand down from the closing shirt gap to Heero's crotch, cupped the bulge briefly and grinned wide at Heero's slight gasp. Duo chuckled. "Yeah, I think there's potential here..."

Heero grunted, slid his hand down from Duo's shoulder to his hip, then down to paw his ass, scooping the man out the door.

Tonight was already one he'd never forget.

Tomorrow looked even more promising.

AN: This would be UK's victorious contribution to ESC in 1981. There's no gayer songs than those Eurovision Song Contest spawns - short perhaps of boyband songs and disco... ...maybe. ;-)

...and I swear, they're singing 'thrust', not 'trust'.

Song: Making Your Mind
Artist: Bucks Fizz (lyrics approximated)

You've got to speed it up
And then you've got to slow it down
'Cause if you believe that a love can hit the top
You've got to play around
And soon you will find
That there comes a time
For making your mind up

You've got to turn it up
And then you've got to put it out
You've got to be sure that it's something
Everybody's gonna talk about
Before you decide that the time's arrived
For making your mind up

Don't let your indecision
Take you from behind
Trust your inner vision
Don't let others change your mind

And now you've really got to burn it up
And make another fly by night
Get a run for your money and take a chance
That it'll turn out right
And when you can see how it's got to be
You're making your mind up

And try to look as if you don't care less
But if you wanna see some more
Bending the rules of the game
Will let you find the one you're looking for
And then you can show
That you think you know
You're making your mind up

Don't let your indecision
Take you from behind
Trust your inner vision
Don't let others change your mind

And now you've really got to speed it up
And then you've got to slow it down
'Cause if you believe that a love can hit the top
You've got to play around
And soon you will find that there comes a time
For making your mind up

And now you've really got to speed it up
(Speed it up)
And then you've got to slow it down
(Slow it down)
'Cause if you believe that a love can hit the top
You've got to play around
But soon you will find that there comes a time
For making your mind up
For making your mind up
For making your mind up
For making your mind up


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