* * * * * * * * * * *
Duo was up at dawn the next day, worrying about what to bring; would it be
presumptuous to bring a toothbrush? He decided to throw it in anyway. He
threw a few articles of clothing in his backpack, along of course with his
precious sketchpad. Drawing was his secret passion; besides Heero anyway. No
one else knew about his drawings; he thought they weren't very good. He was
fascinated by computer animation; he was sure he could be good at it if he
only could take some classes. But his parents would just laugh at him, like
they would at his sketches. He had already drawn a few pictures of Heero,
from the pictures he had seen; but now he wanted to draw a real picture of
him, now that they had met in person. He looked forward to the train ride,
hoping that drawing Heero would help him sit still for the duration of the
Heero waited nervously in the huge train station. He had located the exit
through which Duo would come, and now he had only his confused thoughts to
keep him company. What did he feel for the longhaired boy? He couldn't be in
love with him, could he? They had just met! He had done without intense
emotions for most of his life; why did this have to happen now? He tried to
deride himself for his foolishness, but he sheepishly found he had a grin on
his face as people started to emerge from the door. It seemed his body knew
what to do, it was just his mind that was objecting. For once, he ignored
what his mind wanted him to do, and just concentrated on the excitement he
felt about seeing Duo again. It had been less than 24 hours, but he had felt
that he had left a part of himself behind yesterday when he had driven away.
His heart leapt as he caught sight of the longhaired boy, dressed in
low-slung, faded jeans and a black t-shirt, hair cascading over his shoulders
and backpack slung across one shoulder. He felt suddenly complete again, and
knew for sure he was lost.
Duo tried not to run as he exited the train; maybe Heero wasn't even there
yet. He tried to walk, tried not to anxiously scan the crowd for the
beautiful boy he longed to see. He had drawn the picture of Heero he had
wanted to draw, but as he saw the gorgeous boy standing waiting for him, he
knew that a simple sketch could never do that beauty justice. Heero wore
black jeans this time, and a blue silk shirt that matched his eyes. Duo's
heart ached as he looked at the other boy, and he knew then and there that he
was hopelessly in love.
Their eyes met, and they smiled at each other. Duo walked forward, and Heero
moved to meet him. The crowd moved around them as they stopped in the middle
of the room, oblivious to all else. Neither wanted to break the silence, but
finally Heero said, "This is going to sound silly, but... I missed you so
Duo's face broke into a wider grin and he said, "I missed you too!" And he
hugged Heero tightly, clinging as if he never wanted to let go. Which he
Heero hugged Duo back, and he couldn't get enough of the feeling of the lithe
boy in his arms. Duo smelled wonderful, and his long hair swept around them
both. Heero held Duo, and tried not to let his body react to the beauty of
the boy. When he felt himself start to harden from the feel of Duo against
him, he pulled back reluctantly. He didn't want to rush it with Duo. Though
he wanted nothing more than to make love to Duo all night long, he knew how
innocent the other boy was. He wanted, no, needed, to keep Duo separate from
his life, and its sleaziness. If Treize knew about Duo... Heero didn't even
want to think about what his manger would do if he thought he was seeing
someone romantically. Anything that threatened his star, and his fortune,
would be eliminated, and quickly.
Duo was enjoying the hug, but he too needed to pull back before he started
begging Heero to take him right here. That would not only be embarrassing but
would give Heero the completely wrong impression, that he was like all the
others. And Duo would not let that happen. He would have to try to just be
Heero's friend. He wasn't sure exactly what Heero felt for him, and he was
too frightened to ask. The kiss yesterday had been incredible, but now he was
The two boys stared at each other for another long second, then Heero said,
"Ready to go?"
Oh boy, am I ever, thought Duo, but he said, "Sure! Where are we headed?"
"There's this great little caf� on the beach I thought you might like,"
"Sounds great!" Duo answered, and followed Heero out to his car. "Cool!" he
exclaimed when Heero opened the passenger door of a black Acura NSX and held
it open for him.
Duo went on about how great the car was as the made their way to the caf�.
Heero smiled as he watched Duo. He loved the way the longhaired boy enjoyed
everything to the fullest. He loved watching Duo. He loved Duo. Oh shit.
Duo had been to LA before, but didn't know it well. Heero found a parking
place, and once again opened the door for Duo. Duo tried not to swoon at
Heero's gentlemanly gestures. He could get used to this.
They walked to the restaurant, and agreed on a table outside. The weather was
beautiful as usual. The place was very casual, and Heero and Duo were
enjoying themselves, just getting to know each other, when a shadow fell
across the table and Heero heard a familiarly slimy voice. "Why, hello,
Heero. Fancy meeting you here."
Heero's blood turned to ice as he looked up into Treize's cold blue eyes. The
man appeared to be smiling, but Heero could read the older man like a bad
book, and Treize was furious. He had obviously been following Heero. Heero
should have known that his manager wouldn't let him have a normal life, ever.
As long as he could still make money off of Heero, he wouldn't leave him
Treize smirked down at his wayward little porn star. When he had followed
Heero yesterday, and watched the two boys kiss, he had been livid with anger.
No one messed with his moneymaker, no one. But then he had watched Heero
leave, and decided that all was well. For the moment. Suddenly, Heero's
cheerful demeanor lately made sense. That, and his evasiveness. But, judging
from the kiss he had seen, that was all they had done. How sweet. "Heero, you
haven't introduced me to your pretty friend," he said, deliberately letting
his eyes roam over the longhaired boy. Jailbait, definitely; Heero had good
taste at least. Long hair wasn't in at the moment, but the boy was gorgeous,
flawless skin and huge eyes making him look even younger.
Heero's blood boiled as he saw what Treize was doing; practically undressing
Duo and taking pictures of him already. Or worse. He knew that Treize liked
his boys young, and he seemed to like long hair. He wondered with a sinking
feeling what he had just gotten Duo into. He had to play this one carefully.
"This is Duo," he said with as little emotion as possible.
Duo twisted in his chair to stare up at the ginger-haired man. This must be
Heero's manager. He tried not to prejudge the man; but Treize made him feel
unclean, just by the way he was looking at him. It wasn't that the man was
unattractive; it was something about him. "Hello," he offered warily.
Treize seated himself at the small table, taking Duo's hand and holding it in
both of his. "Duo, pleased to meet you," he oozed, smiling at the boy and
studiously ignoring the glare Heero was shooting him. "You certainly are an
attractive young man. Photogenic, too, I'll bet."
Duo was about to reply when Heero interrupted. "We were having a private
lunch, Treize. Have you been following me again?"
Treize managed to look wounded. "Heero! You know that was all a
misunderstanding," he soothed. "So are you two an item, Heero? Is there
anything I should know about your relationship? Anything that affects my
Heero knew damn well what Treize was getting at, but wouldn't give him the
satisfaction of rising to the bait. The next words hurt him, but he had to
say it. He just hoped he would have the chance to explain to Duo before the
longhaired boy decided he hated him. If Treize suspected anything was going
on between the two of them, he would make his life a living hell. Heero was
surprised he hadn't fitted him with a chastity belt. Not to mention what he
would do to Duo... Heero wouldn't allow it. Just a bit longer, and he would
get away from Treize. But in the meantime, "We're just friends." He couldn't
bear to look at Duo, to see the hurt he had probably put on that beautiful
Duo looked with shock at the cobalt-eyed boy. Not that he had expected Heero
to profess his love for Duo to his manager, but...those dry words had hurt
him. Friends? Was that all they were? A small part of his mind tried to tell
him that maybe Heero was just saying that for Treize's benefit. But the rest
of him, with his low self-esteem, believed the words Heero had spoken. He
felt like a cold knife had pierced him. He saw Treize looking at him for
confirmation, and he forced himself to nod, acknowledging the words. "Yes,
that's right. We're just friends."
Treize watched the boys' faces; what they weren't saying was so much more
telling than what they were saying. He could read their teenage emotions like
an open book; they had fallen for each other, but hadn't admitted it yet. So
far, so good; making Heero say that they were just friends had driven a wedge
between them already. He was sure he could use this situation, and the boys'
emotions, to his advantage; playing one off the other so he got everything he
wanted. He tried not to smile with glee as he planned his next move. He
would get his auction, and more; he just had to make his moves right. And he
would get the other things he wanted as well; two tight little asses instead
of one. He fired off the opening volley. Knowing the longhaired boy would
refuse at first, he asked, "Well, Duo, would you like to be as famous as
Duo looked at him in shock and Heero nearly broke his glass in his anger.
Treize tried to look innocent. "What? It's not like it's hard work, is it,
Heero? I take care of my models. And no one touches them that I don't
approve. Why don't you come and watch Heero work tonight? You can see how
innocent it all really is."
Heero would have laughed outright if he hadn't been so angry. Treize was so
obvious. But after he had undoubtedly upset Duo by saying they were just
friends, how could he convince the other boy that this was a bad idea? "I
don't think Duo is interested, Treize."
Duo glared at Heero. How dare he speak for him? After all, they were just
friends. He started to speak, but Treize interrupted smoothly.
"Don't answer just yet!" he said, knowing that the first step in getting
someone to say yes is not letting them say no. "Just think about it. Don't
tell me you're not curious..." he trailed off, watching Duo's face, seeing if
he was pushing too far. He could read the doubt there, and he knew he was
playing it just right.
"Well, maybe a bit," allowed Duo, avoiding Heero's furious gaze. Heero had
hurt him, and he wanted to strike back.
Treize grinned triumphantly. "Well, that's easily done! Come and watch the
photo shoot tonight. You can see what it's all about! Then we'll talk."
Duo nodded, still unsure. "I guess it wouldn't hurt..."
Heero sat silently, knowing anything he said would be taken badly. He would
keep his mouth shut until he could figure out what to do about the situation.
Treize stood up. "Well, I guess I'll leave you two alone then," he said
smoothly, certain he had played both boys perfectly. "I'll see you both
later. It was a pleasure to meet you, Duo." With a mock bow, he was gone, his
The two boys were silent for a long moment. Heero thought furiously about
what to say, and Duo studied his plate intently.
"Duo," began Heero. He had to say something. "I'm sorry, I should have told
you about Treize. He must have followed me. He's very controlling. I...
didn't know what to say. If he had thought..." Heero trailed off, unsure of
how to phrase what he hadn't put into words before. "If he had thought there
was anything between us, I don't know what he would have done. It would have
been bad. He is obsessed with the auction."
Duo considered Heero's words. They could be taken several ways. He wanted to
forgive Heero, he really did... and he could see why Heero would have to lie
to his manager, but he wasn't exactly saying he had lied. He decided to try
the neutral approach as well. "No problem, Heero. I understand. Do you mind
that I come and watch the photo shoot?"
Heero sighed. Duo hadn't understood what Heero was saying, perhaps
deliberately. He should have been more clear. But what if he was wrong about
the way Duo felt for him? Heero had low self-esteem too, and the business he
was in certainly didn't help. He spoke before he had thought his words
through. "Why would I mind? It's nothing you haven't seen before." He
regretted the words the instant they left his mouth; he could see their
instant effect on the longhaired boy. Treize had done his job with
Duo's face crumpled as he was bluntly reminded of the fact that Heero was a
boy who showed off his body for money, and that was why he was here. Did
Heero think that of him, that that was all Duo was after? That all Duo saw in
Heero was sex? It seemed that way. Even though he wanted to cry, he answered,
"I guess so. I'm glad you're ok with it."
They sat in silence then, each boy berating himself for his words, and
wondering how they could fix it. Both boys marveling at how beautiful the
other was, and wondering why life was so complicated. Why couldn't they just
be together, simply together? It was as if the world was conspiring to keep
them apart. Or so it felt.
Continued in part 9