Heero found it a miracle to be in the restaurant without his clothes rumpled or... absent. The place reminded him of palaces
and a place he'd read about called the Taj Mahal. He felt immediately uncomfortable.
“It's like a mansion,” Duo mumbled, and Heero could tell that he was uncomfortable, too. He stepped a bit closer
to Duo in reassurance and was rewarded with a hundred-watt smile.
Quatre was absolutely ecstatic over the chance to celebrate “their coming together” by extravagant means. Trowa
looked a bit put out, but he still smiled indulgently at his lover.
“Come, I've made a reservation.” Quatre led them to the front door, a massive structure that looked to be made
of marble. It had 3-D stone figures etched in it, little angels miraculously covered by falling scarves and leaves from unknown
sources. Duo carefully touched one as they were all led into the restaurant by a doorman wearing a tux. Thank God he and Duo
had thought to dress up.
The inside was just as luxurious. The entrance was just like those of the Taj Mahal, like those Arabian openings with elaborate
paint around the door. This paint was red and yellow, twirling around each other in mock stripes. Inside were unnecessary
columns like in Rome, spiraled poles and ionic decorations at the top. The columns were unadorned and looked like marble.
Beyond the columns was a huge lobby, the ground also marble and smooth. People walked through, all dressed extravagantly.
Women wore long, slinky dresses, some adorned with boas or gloves. Men were all dressed in tuxedos, most black. Heero's first
thought was, at least we're inconspicuous. Until he realized that all of these people looked at home in their clothes.
He and Duo would stick out despite their clothes. It was a good thing they were with Quatre.
Their steps echoed as they walked through the lobby. Quatre, having not even blinked at the lobby or its decorations (including
a painting that took up the entirety of one wall, showing a picture of a woman holding a baby with men surrounding her and
a dove flying out of a ray of light, guarded by a guard with a forbidding face), was talking about how excited he was to see
the two of them finally together. Trowa was a silent companion at his side.
Heero and Duo shared a look of foreboding.
Heero noted the three cameras that caught the entire area at different intervals. There was only a two second lapse over certain
parts of the lobby. This place was far beyond any restaurant he could ever afford, even if he saved up for the rest of his
“Heero,” Duo murmured in a low voice. Whispers would have spread through this room like wildfire. “Are you
as dead uncomfortable as me?”
Heero nodded, his eyes scanning the Arabian doorway and the lushly carpeted room beyond it. He couldn't find one stain on
that wide red carpet. It almost looked like flowing blood. Hell yes, he was uncomfortable.
“But you're gonna go through with this for Quatre, aren't you?”
Heero heard a touch of worry in Duo's voice and smiled down at him. “Of course.” He couldn't think of one person
who could resist Quatre's bubbly happiness.
Duo smiled tentatively at him. “Still...” And he looked around the room with wide eyes.
Heero couldn't agree more. Quatre had outdone anything they would have dreamed up. The tables were what looked to be actual
wood, deep brown and polished to a glowing shine. The tablecloths were lace, the dishes china. People sipped champagne, napkins
tucked into their shirt fronts. A woman in a sparkling red dress gently patted her lips with an edge of a napkin. The place
was filled with murmurs, but everyone was quiet as a tomb.
Heero felt extremely out of his depth.
They were seated by a lady in a black skirt and waitress top. Quatre sat down automatically when a waiter came up and pulled
out his chair, but Heero tensed when the man came behind him. Quatre hadn't even paused in his monologue about the restaurant
and how it had once been a home. Heero couldn't even imagine that.
Duo looked like he was ready to jump out one of the large, overly fancy windows and run screaming down the streets. After
Menus were placed in front of them. Heero feared the things as soon as he noticed that he didn't recognize the language. It
looked like a dead language – Spanish? French? Latin-based, he was sure.
“Uhmm, Quatre?” Duo, ever the socially braver of the two of them, interrupted Quatre's speech. “What is
Quatre seemed to notice the anxiety on their faces for the first time. He blushed, causing Trowa to chuckle slightly. “Oh.
This restaurant attempts to keep everything... antique. The language is French.”
“And just what the hell is it saying?” Duo asked. Heero laid a hand on his leg, trying to keep that edge of frustration
from digging in deeper into his tone. Duo took a deep breath.
Quatre blinked a few times at them. Heero sighed inwardly; Quatre had figured out how uncomfortable they were. Quatre smiled
widely at them, his blush only a small thing. Apparently he didn't feel guilty about this at all.
Heero and Duo both watched in horror-filled trepidation as Quatre called over a waiter and spoke into his ear. They shared
a look. Trowa chuckled again.
When their seats were pulled out for them, Heero tensed like a spring. Duo did a bit, as well, and seemed as confused as he.
Were they leaving? They hadn't wanted to do that. Now their look was one of worry.
But instead of leaving, they were led into another part of the restaurant. This part was empty of other customers and even
more eerily quiet. Heero looked around with a sense of trepidation. Quatre, on the other hand, beamed at them. “Now
you don't have to worry about irritating those pompous rich people,” he explained. “Be as rowdy and obnoxious
as you like.”
Heero could only stare at Quatre as he took his seat and the waiter left. Duo, however, had no problem snorting a laugh. “Gods,
Quatre, you will never cease to shock the hell out of me.”
Quatre preened at the compliment. “Thank you.”
They actually managed to relax when Quatre informed them that prime ribs were available. Duo remarked that it was probably
the most normal thing they had, and Trowa asked him why he thought squid was a strange meal. That got the two of them started.
Heero smiled indulgently at Duo, glad to see him comfortable. And laughing.
Quatre, too, was beaming at Duo. Quatre looked at Heero and mouthed a few words. Heero felt his heart skip a few beats.
'I haven't heard him laugh in months.'
“Not only squid,” Duo argued, “but slugs and octopus and... what was that other one again, Quatre?”
“Rib of pig?” Quatre asked.
Duo snorted. “No – goat stomach. That was it. Goat stomach. Why the hell would someone eat what another animal
has already begun to digest – and the organ they digest it in?”
“Obviously that organ had to be healthy for the goat,” Trowa pointed out, his face dead serious.
“That's... really fucking nasty.”
Duo's eyes widened as he said that and took a sheepish look around the room. The man at the door acting as... door-watcher,
Heero supposed, was trying ineffectively to hide a smile. Duo's smile was equally sheepish. “Oops.”
The man just shook his head.
“Obviously someone disagrees,” Trowa said blandly, pulling Duo out of his embarrassment by acting blithely, as
if nothing had just occurred.
Duo sneered at him. “You mean those pompous idiots out there? They wouldn't know a good meal if it was smashed into
their uppity little faces.” Duo's face went all worried as he turned to Quatre this time. “Sorry, Qat.”
Quatre got this look of fake affront on his face. “Are you calling me pompous?”
Duo mutely shook his head.
“Oh, I don't know,” Trowa said, seeming to think about it. “You do think yourself better than them, love,”
If Quatre had been a bird, he would have puffed his feathers in affront. “Of course,” Quatre said smoothly. “Because
Duo just snickered.
Heero only watched the three of them tease one another, coming to the conclusion that he simply didn't know how to converse.
His smiles got a bit more awkward. Even now, when the war was over, he found himself the odd one out.
And just like during the war, it was Duo who turned to him, who seemed to instinctively know what he needed.
“Heero, do you know who that lady was in the painting out front?”
It was obvious prodding, since Duo was absolutely certain that it was the Virgin Mary, but Heero was grateful nonetheless.
“If you say it's Mary, I agree with you. I don't know much about religion.”
Duo gave him a look that told him he could've guessed that without Heero's input. Then smiled. “Then who would you guess?”
Heero blew out a breath. “Une on estrogen pills?”
Duo fell out of his chair in a fit of laughter.
“Heero!” Quatre admonished, but he was laughing, too. Trowa hid his smile behind his napkin. The door-watcher
“Imagine Une with a baby!” Duo crowed, trying fruitlessly to right his chair.
The waiter came and took their orders then, quickly coming back with their drinks. The topic moved on to something a bit more
mundane – their getting together.
So Heero told Quatre the same story he had before – that he had needed to see Duo. He felt the blush on his face and
hoped it wasn't as huge as Duo's. It only got worse when they explained the talks they had – which Quatre made them
repeat verbatim. They refused to speak about the times they spent in Duo's bed.
Quatre's questions were endless – were they staying together? How long? Had they done it yet? That one made Duo
and Heero bust into flame, which thrilled Quatre to no end. Trowa got his lover to stop with the interrogation once their
The meal went smoothly, the waiter making minimal appearances. Heero realized halfway through that Quatre sometimes sent warning
glares outside the room they'd entered. Apparently Quatre didn't want anyone coming in and ruining the mood.
If Duo noticed, he didn't comment. But Heero thought he saw Duo's gaze flicker to the door a few times. Heero gently nudged
him and was rewarded with another smile.
It was with regret and a promise to get in touch soon that they parted ways, waving cheerily and garnering contemptuous sniffs
and glares from others who were leaving the restaurant. Duo was feeling ornery enough to flip one guy the bird. Quatre was
still laughing about that when they pulled out of the driveway.
Once heading back to Duo's home, Duo began regaling on the room they'd been in – the tapestries that Quatre had explained,
or tried to explain – most detailing famous battles or rulers or soldiers. Knights. Some man named Alexander the Great
who apparently took over a large part of the left part of the main continent on Earth. The house, Quatre had told them, had
been made in the early 1900's. AD. AD! Heero made a comment about barbarians living in that time, which got Duo into a heated
argument over the term barbarians versus the term evolutionary ancestors.
Duo's cheeks were flushed from excitement and wine, his lips wide in a smile. His eyes were bright. Heero turned off the car
after pulling into Duo's driveway and shut up Duo's rambling with a sound kiss.
Duo wasn't drunk, but he was excited and happy, which worked like alcohol in getting rid of his inhibitions. Heero knew that
well enough, but he was still surprised when Duo leaned in, his lips hungry on Heero's.
The kiss became more than a quiet kiss of love. It was hot. It was fast. It was deep. But while it was fast... it lasted a
long, long time.
They were both panting when they released each other. Duo beat Heero in taking off his seat belt – for once –
and leaned in for another kiss. Heero growled, pulling Duo closer, meshing their groins together. Duo moaned into Heero's
Their clothes were evil restrictions that infuriated Heero. He couldn't feel Duo correctly beneath them, and it was tormenting
him. Duo seemed to feel the same.
“Go get the door,” Duo panted, and Heero understood that Duo needed a moment. He took the keys and gently nipped
Duo's lip before getting out.
It was hell to move, difficult to concentrate. Heero had to focus to get the key in the stupid hole, which irritated him.
His training flew out the window with Duo on his mind. He growled in triumph as he got the door open and immediately worked
to throw off his jacket. He was unbuttoning the cuff links when Duo came in. Instincts went on alert when he caught Duo's
stride out of his peripheral vision. His steps were aggressive, but not in passion.
Heero's eyes caught the anger in Duo's violet orbs a millisecond before he saw the journal in Duo's hand.
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