Thanks, Quatre [ or ] The Ambiguously Gay Duo
by Kai Foster
"Oi, Heero, do you wanna do something tonight?"
I looked up from my place on the couch and saw Duo standing with his hands on his hips. He looked cute like that.
"I'm reading." I buried my nose back in my book.
"UGH! You are absolutely no fun. It would be nice if we could go out sometimes. You know, to a place where people dance and drink and hang out..."
I stayed quiet. I didn't want to talk about going out. If Duo wanted to go out on his own, that was fine. At least I wouldn't have to look at him get mobbed by other people who would certainly notice his allure as much as I did, and would probably be a lot less reluctant to show it.
Yes, it was true. I had a thing for Duo. I supposed I always had. I figured that made me gay, but I hadn't given much thought to it during the war. It wasn't until after that I started thinking about the fact that while I had always found Duo's hair pretty, I had never thought that about, say, Relena's. I thought Dorothy's hair was pretty, but I never had an urge to touch it. Duo's, on the other hand, I was always wanting to grab. I liked Trowa's eyes, but it was because green is my favourite colour. I also noticed that I started liking purple things a lot more, even though I was indifferent to the colour before. As for purple and hair, Noin was friendly and I liked her. But I never wanted to hug her, no matter how nice she was to me. I wanted to hug Duo even when he wasn't around.
So I figured I liked Duo, and that I was a boy and so was he, and that I was gay. Big deal. It wasn't like I would do anything about it anyway, even if my heart did flutter a bit when Duo asked if I wanted to find a place with him because everyone else had paired up after the war.
Trowa and Quatre were gay. I didn't like them. Not like that.
That's how I knew I *loved* Duo. Because, even after I had decided that I would never approach him, he still held the place he always had in my heart.
I talked to Quatre and Trowa about it. "He's not even gay. He runs around with Hilde."
"Heero, that doesn't mean crap and you know it. There are plenty of signs that Duo might like guys..." Quatre pulled at the blonde goatee on his chin. Yup. It had been that long that little Quatre was growing facial hair. I had lived with Duo for three years then, and loved him more than ever.
"Actually, I don't think Duo cares about gender at all. I think it's the soul that matters to him. Hell, it could be a panda that he fell in love with and he would make it work," Trowa said, with only the slightest of smirks while Quatre rolled his eyes.
I told you a lot of time had gone by.
"That's a visual I didn't need," Quatre said with mock crossness. "So Heero, are you going to ask him? You said you never see him with anyone, except Hilde. And I know she and he aren't together. So what could you lose?"
I looked him square in the eye. "My best friend."
He threw up his hands. "You're sooo serious! Look, we're going to work this out tomorrow. Come out to lunch with us and we'll work out a plan. I'll send Duo plant shopping for me, so he won't be in the way at all."
Who would have ever guessed that Duo was a plant lover? He made Quatre promise that if he ever wanted greenery for his huge house that he would let Duo choose it. I knew for a fact that Quatre had way too many plants as a result of his generosity and Duo's passion. They had to build a greenhouse, even.
At any rate, now that I had said something, Quatre would never let it go. Unfortunately, that had happened the very afternoon before the evening that found Duo hounding me about not having any fun. Which meant that I would have to meet up with our former team strategist the next day, and there was no way out of it.
"Earth to Heero."
I pretended not to hear him and he huffed off into the living room to watch some stupid program like "The Man Show" or "Saturday Night Live," I supposed.
I was right. Soon enough I heard the theme song to his favourite sketch on SNL, "The Ambiguosly Gay Duo." What irony.
* * * * *
The next morning found me sitting on an open air patio at Quatre's home. The prince was sitting across from me and looking at me intensely.
"Now, Heero, we are going to find out. Between the three of us," here he gestured to Trowa, "there are three opinions. I think he's gay, you think he's straight, and my sick and twisted lover here thinks he's beastialist." Trowa winked.
I laughed. "This is funny, considering the show he was watching last night." I had to tell someone. "It was called 'The Ambiguously Gay Duo.' Boy, does that fit the bill here."
They laughed, and I felt better. Quatre grinned.
"So, Mission AGD this is," and he held out a thumb. I swear there was a swirl on it.
"Okay. First thing. We need to find out if he is gay. Then we need to make Heero admit his feelings for him."
"But, koi, what if he isn't gay? It's hard to tell because he's so immodest and friendly, too." Trowa asked, knowing full well what Quatre would say.
"I didn't plan for failure for a reason."
I rolled my eyes.
"Okay, Heero. You're going to need to do a few things..."
* * * * *
I stood in my bathroom that night and shuddered. Quatre had a point about Duo's possible sexual orientation. Duo owned a lot of makeup for someone who was supposed to be straight. Of course, he wasn't really supposed to be anything. He never let on. That's why I was standing here in this situation in the first place.
I swallowed and took a deep breath. "Duo?"
From his room, "Yeah, Heero?"
"I need some help."
I could hear him get off his bed and flop a magazine down. "Did you run out of toilet paper again? I swear I just put some in there..."
"No, Baka! I need you to help me with this...this..." I turned toward the door as I looked for the right word. I didn't need to, though, as he was standing right there when I turned with the object in question in hand.
His eyes couldn't have gotten any bigger if he was Malcolm McDowell in that old Kubrick film. But that guy's eyes were nowhere near as beautiful as Duo's. "...Okay..."
He made his way the rest of the distance into the bathroom and put his hands on my shoulders. My heart raced, but he was only pushing me to sit down on the toilet seat.
"So what brought this on, Heero?" Duo asked as he took the pencil from me and uncapped it.
I couldn't think of a good reason. Way to go, Quatre. "Uh, just felt like it?"
He was busy pulling out a sharpener and didn't pay much attention to my answer. There's rhetoric for you. "I haven't used this for so long...it looks horrible on me, this colour. You must have a natural talent for colours, to have picked out kohl, Heero. It's perfect for you." I smiled, and he smiled back. That didn't count, though. He smiled at everyone.
"Now let's see..." He started playing with my eyes, brushing his fingers over them. Did he normally do that to himself? I couldn't remember. "You have lovely lashes, Heero."
My heart skipped a beat. Of course, he could be complimenting me in the tradition of your typical hairstylist. I mean, for gods sakes, he was putting makeup on me. It was so hard to tell.
He began running the pencil over my eyelids, but I could hear him sighing in frustration. "The light in here sucks." And with that he climbed, facing me, onto my lap. He looked at me. "I'll get at you better this way."
Oh, he was getting at me all right. I just hoped my lower anatomy would behave itself. At least well enough that he wouldn't notice anything. He was so close, and so adorable, his tongue coming halfway out of his mouth as he concentrated. Is that cliche? I don't know. But it was cute.
"There you go," he said, backing off my lap. I almost thought of it as my greatest loss. Would he have climbed on just anyone that way? "Look at yourself, Heero."
He pulled on my hand to stand me up. My heart was fluttering. I thought, at the rate it was going, that it was going to propel itself right out of my chest. He pushed me in front of the mirror.
"You're beautiful." Had I said that out loud? No, it was him, telling me. He thought I was beautiful? I looked at my reflection. My eyes were darkly rimmed and huge. I liked it, but maybe only because he'd done it?
He thought I was beautiful? Of course, it was his handiwork. I didn't think he was stuck up, though. So I dared to hope...
"Well, that's that. I'm going to start dinner. Anything you want, let me know," he said as he headed out the door.
So much for that.
* * * * *
I called on the Arabian Prince of Love the next day.
"He climbed on your lap?" he practically squealed at me. I could hear Trowa in the background.
"He is awfully friendly. Hasn't he sat on your lap before, Little One?" Quatre hissed in a low voice for him to never mind that.
"Okay, fine. We still aren't sure. So let's try something else. Heero, come over. We need to get you outfitted..."
I was cringing as I hung up the phone.
* * * * *
Later that afternoon I trudged home, bags full of what Quatre deemed to be acceptably provocative clothing under my arm. I hoped Duo wouldn't see me as I smuggled it to my room.
Luck was on my side. He was watching television. I snuck past, but wasn't able to escape the fact that he was watching that stupid show again.
"...they are gay! We will prove it!"
Damned mad scientist. Made me think of Quatre, almost.
Which reminded me. I headed up to my room, where I pulled some of the clothes out of the bags. I looked at it with disdain. Quatre thought I could wear this? I would rip that patch of hair off his chin and suffer Trowa's wrath before I would get into some of this stuff. But I had Duo to think about.
I pulled out a pair of black leather pants that didn't seem too obtrusive. Sure, they laced up the sides, but the amount of skin they showed was far less than some of the other stuff. I mean, there was a pair of pants in there without a crotch, and while I did hope someday that Duo and I would be on that level, I knew it wasn't the right time.
After wrestling with the pants,, I found a black vest to go with them. Leather, naturally. And this actually closed, only showing a bit of chest and my arms. So far, so good.
I went into the bathroom and put on the eyeliner the way Duo had the night before. Quatre hadn't told me to, but I was feeling adventurous. Then I went back to my room and found a pair of knee high boots. They were the only black leather shoes, and there was no way in hell I would, or could, wear those spike heels. Where the hell did Quatre get this stuff, anyway?
Then I thought about it, and decided I didn't want to know. Besides, it was almost dinner time, and I needed to make my appearance.
* * * * *
Duo was just finishing up dinner when I entered the kitchen. He didn't turn around as he spoke. "I hope lemon chicken is okay. I was going to make a meatloaf, but the odds are against me..." He laughed and finished dishing up the plates. I mived to stand behind my chair and wait until we could sit down together, as was my custom.
He turned, a plate in each hand, and looked fairly stunned from what I could gauge. "Wow, Heero. You look...really nice." I smiled a little bit. Hopefully, he wasn't being sarcastic. His voice cut through my thoughts again. "What brought *this* on? And I see you're wearing the makeup. Looks very good."
So he had noticed. My heart soared.
"The pants need to be laced a little tighter. You have such good legs, and tight lacing will accentuate that." He put my plate down in front of me, then sat down to his own. "I'll help you after dinner." I was getting excited at the prospect, so I was glad it was time to sit down. Maybe Quatre was right?
"You know, Hilde has a pair of pants like that. They seem to look good on you compact, muscled types."
I almost choked.
* * * * *
While Duo did the dishes I made an emergency connection to Quatre.
"He only noticed them for their fashion qualities!" I wailed. It was bad, if I was wailing.
"Well, fashion is a concern to many homosexual men. That's good!" he exclaimed.
"He didn't notice *me* though! And he compared me to Hilde in them!"
"Hilde has a pair of those?" he mused. "Ugh..."
"Quatre! That isn't the issue here!"
"All right. Time for Plan...what is this now, D?" I could hear Trowa in the not-too-distant background.
"C, then. Operation Drop-the-Towel."
* * * * *
I was coming out of the shower, just like he told me to. And I was waiting, just like he told me to. And I waited for nearly twenty minutes, shivering and sopping wet, like he told me to.
"It will look better if you're dripping. And make sure you bump into him. That's imperative," Quatre had instructed me. So there I was.
Finally Duo came down the hall. I could hear him rummage in the linen closet for a blanket or something, then he was at the bathroom door. I swung it open and ran smack into him.
The towel dropped.
Of course, I was too busy staring at his undone hair to take notice of anything else.
"OI! Gomen, Heero! Here, let me get that for you!" He grabbed the towel and handed it to me while turning his head. "I didn't even see you!" He was red, that much I could see. "I'll...uhhh...see you in the morning. I'm sorry!" he said again as he rushed into his room.
My head dropped. That was it. If he *was* gay, it wasn't me he was interested in. I headed to my room, towel hanging from my hand. It didn't matter anymore.
* * * * *
The next morning I called Quatre and told him I quit. "He doesn't like me! He had so many opportunities and just...just ignored me! So I'm out." I was laying on my back on my bed, staring at the ceiling and trying not to cry. I was humiliated.
Thank gods Quatre didn't push. He apologized profusely for putting me in that situation. I didn't really listen. He didn't *sound* sorry, anyway.
After I hung up the phone, I sighed and turned on my side. "Here's to quiescent romance, my love. My Duo. My beautiful, ambiguously gay Duo." I wasn't sure why I was waxing poetic all of a sudden. And I didn't care.
"You love me?"
I flipped over and stared at the door in disbelief. Murphey's Law had decreed that I wouldn't notice the door opening, even though my ears could pick up a damned cockroach outside.
He asked it again. "You love me?"
I figured that lying would be pointless. "Yeah. And you're either straight or have it for someone else. Now, I want to wallow in self-pity, if you don't mind." I rolled back over.
In an instant, he was behind me, his arm around my waist, hand stroking my hair. I all but stopped breathing. "I do mind, in fact," he said softly. "Considering the fact that there's nothing to pity yourself over." He pulled on my shoulder until I was lying on my back, looking up at his face. "You don't know how long I've wondered the very same things about you," he said. "And how I'd given up. And how I'd had a hard time holding it in. And how hard it has been to control myself with what was obviously your teasing. And how I'm not wasting a second more of our precious time." And he bent down and kissed me. He took my breath away.
When we broke apart he smiled. "Don't look so shocked. You're a very lovable person, Heero. Unless you won't have me," and he started to pull away.
Honestly, I didn't know I could move that fast. But my hand was on the back of his head, crushing his lips to mine again.
"So it worked," I murmered when we came up for air. He snuggled into my shoulder.
"Quatre's plan to find out if you were gay. Operation ADG. We got the name from that sketch you like. He's still quite the strategist." I tangled my hand in his hair.
"So *that's* what all the experimentation--- and towel dropping--- was all about!" he laughed.
"You could tell," I stated sheepishly.
'Well, not at first, but the towel dropping gave it away. Quatre used that on Trowa, you know." I could believe it.
"By the way, Heero," he said as we cuddled, "they already knew."
"That I was gay. And that I wanted you."
"I'm going to kill them." He laughed. It sounded like bells. And as embarrassed and semi-angry and ecstatic as I was, there was only one other thought on my mind besides how happy I was to be with Duo.