The pilot of Wing Gundam and Gundam Shenlon glared at each other again as if they were about to gun each other down. Sparks crackled almost visibly along the line of their locked gazes, a battle of wills. Never on the battlefield had they displayed such fierce, barely-checked willingness to fight. An explosive word from either boy would set them at each other's throats... again.
"Do you have... " Wufei began, enunciating his words with determined precision, "... any sixes?"
Heero's mouth quirked, his eyes never leaving Wufei's. "Go fish," he uttered, his voice rock-steady.
"Ha ha!" Quatre crowed. "Down the hatch, Wufei!"
Wufei spat out a lyrical curse, marred only by a slight slur, and picked up one of the shotglasses in the center of the table, downing it in one gulp. Then he groped for a card from the pile.
"Yay Wufei!" Duo cheered him on, clutching his hand of cards possessively to his chest. "Way to go! Didn't know you had it in you, ya boozehound!"
Wufei glared at him and examined his cards, his eyes crossing.
At the end of the round, during which Trowa was forced to down another shot, but Duo and Quatre escaped unscathed, Heero emitted a slight hiccup and placed down a pair of sixes.
Wufei started up out of his chair in outrage. "Yuy! You dishonorable cur! You had a pair of sixes all along!" He wove on his feet, then lurched forward, fist upraised.
Heero sprang to his feet, giving him a glare fit to kill. "I did not!" Then he glanced down at the table, and Quatre and Duo were set off in a giggling fit when they saw the look that crossed his face. "Uh. . .so I did."
"I will punish you for your lie!" Wufei lunged, scattering cards everywhere. The two pilots began to brawl.
"I didn't see it!" Heero yelled. "I was too busy trying to stare you down!"
"Guys, stop it!" Quatre pleaded, looking in dismay at his beautiful Fushigi Yuugi deck, splayed all over the table and floor. "You've been fighting all night!"
"Especially since they got drunk," Duo added.
"Stop or I'll cry!" Quatre threatened.
Heero and Wufei paused, fists cocked and ready to deliver punches, and Quatre sniffed at them, a big, glittering teardrop glistening at the corner of his eye. "Please?" he sniffed, big eyes glittering. "If I cry, Trowa will get mad, and he's less drunk than either of you so he's got a better chance at beating you up... "
Trowa nodded solemnly, fixing them with an earnest look.
Reluctantly the troublemakers separated, returning to their seats and giving each other another voltage-charged glare. Duo started sifting through the cards.
"I just know there's a naked Miaka pic in here somewhere... " he muttered.
"Well, now what do we do?" Quatre inquired plaintively. "You guys made a mess of my cards. If you ripped or tore any of them... "
"You're rich enough to buy a new deck," Trowa reminded him.
Quatre brightened. "Oh yeah! ... Ne, Trowa, you're the greatest!" He got off his seat, wavering and nearly falling until the pilot of Gundam Heavyarms steadied him, then he crawled into Trowa's lap.
"How 'bout we tell stories until we pass out?" Duo suggested, blinking huge eyes.
"That's no fun," Quatre pouted. "You'd start talking and then we'd never shut you up."
"Hey!" Duo protested. "I think that's unfair! Heero, did you hear the way Quatre was just slandering me? He's supposed to be our host! All I did was make a little suggestion, and here Quatre goes insulting me - "
Casually Heero reached out and crammed the end of Duo's braid into his mouth, silencing him.
Quatre clapped. "Thank you Heero! Now, where were we... ?" He snuggled back against Trowa, who put an arm around him.
"How about 'first' stories?" Trowa suggested. "Like the first time you ever got in a fight, or the first time you... uh, tamed a lion. . ." He was obviously stuck for ideas.
"Or the first time I piloted my Nataku - " Wufei put in, eyes alight.
"That's boring!" Quatre responded, a little petulantly. Then he brightened. "How about first kiss stories?" He cuddled Trowa, who looked relieved that the golden-haired pilot hadn't suggested anything more explicit.
Duo pulled his braid out of his mouth, tossing it over his shoulder. "That's a good idea!" he said eagerly. Then his face fell. "But I've never been kissed."
Trowa and Quatre boggled at him. Even Wufei looked surprised. Heero just sat there, toying with a shotglass.
"You HAVEN'T!?" Quatre gasped, eyes bugging out. "But Duo... as talkative as you are, you should be pretty good with your tongue by now..."
"Quatre," Trowa admonished him lightly, while Duo turned a solid shade of red and tried to slide underneath the table.
"What a waste!" Quatre mourned loudly, while Duo's face went through the entire color spectrum. "I'll bet he'd be a damned good kisser!"
"And I'm not?" Trowa murmured, lips nearly touching Quatre's ear. Wufei and Duo goggled at this display of public indecency.
"I have it!" Quatre exclaimed happily. "I know what we should play! Whoever wins gets to give Duo his first kiss!"
Duo sat bolt upright, jaw unhinging to the table. "WHAT!?" he sputtered, waving his hands around wildly.
"I object," Wufei protested. "I don't want to play that game."
"What game?" Heero interjected, cocking his head slightly.
"Huh?" Quatre looked dumbfounded. "I just said... "
"Quatre, you didn't pick a game," Trowa reminded him. "You just said what the winner would get."
Duo was making strangling noises. "There isn't going to be any game at all!"
Quatre tilted his head to the side, putting a finger to his lips as he considered. "Hmm... we have cards, so we could play bridge... "
"Not enough people," Trowa objected. "Wufei won't play, and Duo can't because he's the prize."
"We could drag-race our Gundams... " he put forth eagerly, eyes lighting up.
"Absolutely NOT!" Wufei declared adamantly, visions of his Goddess dancing in his eyes.
"How 'bout charades - "
"Can you imagine Heero playing charades?" Trowa lifted an eyebrow. "He's about as expressive as... as eloquent as... "
Heero glared stonily.
Quatre giggled. "Ye-ep. Guess you're right."
"Guys, I think this is a really bad idea, I mean, I shouldn't have opened my mouth - c'mon, we're all drunk and we're gonna regret this in the morning... " Duo babbled, looking around frantically.
"Duo," Trowa said calmly, "be quiet."
"I don't suppose anyone would play Strip Twister... " Quatre said hopefully.
"NO!" the other four boys chorused grimly.
"I GOT IT!!" Quatre yelled suddenly, his eyes lighting up. "Who can make Wufei's nose bleed first! That's the game!"
"Nonononononono!" Wufei chanted frantically, eyes turning to enormous saucers.
Trowa considered it. "Okay."
"And the winner," Quatre continued happily, "gets locked up in that closet over there for fifteen minutes with Duo!"
"You've got to be kidding me!" Duo exclaimed, eyes wide. He got up to run and a hand grasped his braid swiftly, Duo's running stride snapping it taut behind him. Duo collapsed to the floor and Heero gave him the evil eyeball, hand wrapped around the end of his hair.
"You're not going anywhere."
Duo just lay on the floor and clutched his scalp, protests grown feeble.
Heero shot a glance over at Wufei, who was cringing and looking as if he entertained similar thoughts of flight. "You try it, I'll do the same to you."
Quatre pushed himself off Trowa's lap, looking speculative. "Hmm. . .what would make Wufei's nose bleed?"
Trowa looked thoughtful, then rummaged around in the ice chest next to the playing card table where they kept the beer and wine coolers. It was mostly empty, but he found a popsicle. He fixed poor Wufei with a spearhead stare and unwrapped the popsicle, beginning to lick it.
Quatre started playing with his clothes, trying to catch Wufei's eyes as he pulled his shirt up teasingly, then fumbled slowly and seductively with the buttons.
Trowa's tongue moved caressingly over the popsicle. Wufei looked nauseous and started to sweat, then he boggled as Quatre pushed the shirt over one shoulder, shooting a coy look at him.
"Someone... save me... " he squeaked, looking faint.
Heero looked over at the other two boys, then released his grip on Duo's braid, marched around the table, squared his shoulders, took a deep breath, and...
Punched Wufei in the nose.
Wufei dropped to the floor like a felled tree, twin gouts of crimson blood spraying from his nose.
"There. He's bleeding," Heero announced, dusting off his hands. "I won."
They all stared in shock at the fallen Wufei, bleeding quietly on the floor, then at Heero, who folded his arms over his chest and stared back. Duo gulped.
"No fair!" Quatre wailed. "He didn't play by the rules!" He pulled his shirt back up.
Trowa shrugged, tossing the popsicle back in the cooler. "He did make his nose bleed," he pointed out. "That's the only rule there was."
Duo got up, looking like a cornered animal ready to bolt, and Quatre and Trowa grabbed hold of him, dragging him over to the closet. Somehow, they manhandled him through the door, shoving it closed behind him. He heard a click as the lock was engaged.
"Haven't you forgotten something?" he heard Heero's voice ask dryly, muffled.
"Oops!" Quatre giggled. "Sorry."
A few seconds later the door was unlocked and Heero stepped into the closet. Trowa and Quatre were giggling hysterically as they shoved it closed again, locking it once more.
Duo stared over at Heero, his heart rabbiting like mad in his chest. He could just barely make out the other boy's features in the dusky darkness that enclosed them. The closet was awfully small... Heero was so close to him, there couldn't have been more than an inch or two of space between their bodies.
"Um... Heero, I thought you weren't playing," Duo began nervously, mouth dry. An anxious feeling gripped his chest tightly, even more smothering than the close quarters of the closet. He bit his lip, heart pounding, and rubbed his palms anxiously against his pants. For some reason they were sweating.
"I never said that," Heero replied, a glint of - something - in his eye.
Duo began to babble. He wasn't even entirely sure what he said. "You don't have to do it if you don't want to - I mean, I know this whole thing is just because we're drunk and Quatre suggested something stupid and everyone went along and I know you wouldn't ever want me when you could probably have Relena even though she's a Peacecraft and really rich and everything, and if we weren't drunk you probably wouldn't be in here anyway - " Duo ran off at the mouth, discovering somewhere along the way that, although he was hugely nervous, a large part of the anxiety was that he actually wanted Heero to kiss him.
He was afraid of being kissed. He was afraid of not being kissed.
"Duo," Heero growled, his intense eyes only inches away.
"Eh?" Duo stared back, pausing for breath, eyes wide.
Heero moved forward and Duo was frozen in shock, ohmygod he's going to do it, and warm, soft lips were on his. Duo closed his eyes, a little frown puckering his brows as his mind raced and he concentrated on the sensation.
Heero's lips were firm but soft at the same time. Duo discovered that he liked being kissed. Then Heero's hands were closing over his arms, pulling him closer, and Duo surrendered to the warm, shivery achy tingle racing up his midsection and tried to kiss him back.
When at last Heero pulled his face away, Duo was trembling. He opened his eyes to meet Heero's steady gaze.
"I thought - "
Heero kissed him again, lips closing over Duo's bottom lip, tugging on it and Duo gasped a little. Heero's lips nudged the gap wider, and Duo stiffened as the wet tip of a tongue darted under his top lip. He pulled away first this time.
"But Relena - "
Heero crushed his lips under his mouth, and Duo felt like he was drowning. He closed his eyes and opened his mouth to Heero's onslaught, sliding his arms around the Japanese pilot's waist and clinging tightly, because he wanted to be closer to him, and because his knees were getting weak.
"Heero, why - " He tried again, when they pulled away once more.
Heero released his arms, working his hands under Duo's shirt. "Duo," he breathed against the American pilot's neck, and Duo shivered, fingers digging into Heero's lower back. "You talk too damned much!"
At this, Duo let go of all his concerns. When Heero's mouth moved to meet him again, this time he responded with abandon, opening his lips as Heero's tongue sought entrance, shuddering and pulling him closer as Heero's hands moved under his shirt, roaming over his skin and turning it to molten fire.
Heero's fingers were just seeking to brush over a nipple when suddenly the closet door flew open. They froze.
"Woo-hoo!" Quatre cheered, clapping in admiration and appreciation. "Time's up!"
"Looks like a good one," Trowa observed. Quatre pouted.
"Better than our first kiss?"
"Of course not," the pilot of Gundam Heavyarms assured him.
Wufei still lay in the background where Heero had felled him, eyes spiraling in dazed, psychedelic circles with his nose still streaming blood.
Heero reached out, grasped the doorknob firmly, and dragged the door shut.
As Heero's lips lowered to his once more, Duo could hear catcalls and cheering through the door. He blocked them out and closed his eyes, the better to respond to Heero's first of many kisses.