"Taking the Plunge"

Written By: Raz

Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing.

Author: Raz

Author’s email: razberrycreme@hotmail.com

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: fluff, my stupid humor, AU, bad information on janitors and divers, angst, cheesy title, thinking that janitors are sexy after reading this [haha, I kid, I kid]

Summary: Duo meets Heero, his assistant janitor at the Blake Swimming Arena and they get to know each other.

Notes: Written for The Art of Seduction contest. I was thinking about the movie The Man That I Love/L’Homme que j’aime the entire time XD;

Pairing: 1+2+1

"Taking the Plunge"

“Duo, this is Heero Yuy, your assistant janitor. Heero, this is Duo Maxwell, he’ll be acting as your boss from now on,” Mr. Blake explained, smiling in the anonymously cheerful way he was famous for with all of his employees. Duo was surprised that Mr. Blake had remembered his name at all. Usually the man thought ‘hey, you’ was good enough for the likes of janitors.

It took a minute for Duo to stop reeling from shock and realize that Heero had extended his hand and uttered some pleasantry.

“Oh, er, sorry, nice to meet you, too,” Duo said, taking the hand and wildly stabbing at what Heero might have said. Now that he’d awakened, Heero’s name sounded awfully familiar... Heero drew back he was raising an eyebrow, looking skeptical.

“Duo, he asked if you would show him around.” Mr. Blake’s smile didn’t falter, though the lines around his forehead started to deepen slightly.

“Uh. Right. I meant it would be nice for you to meet all the janitors’ closets, too. Er. This way.” Duo turned on his heel, closing his eyes and and taking in a big breath, relieved that no one could see him.

“Any reason why you’re scrunching your face up like that, sir?” Heero asked, sounding amused.

“You can call me Duo,” Duo automatically said, thinking that Heero didn’t seem to mean the honorific anyway. Scrunching my what, he wondered. Oh. Oh. There were mirrors in that particular hallway. Stupid Duo. He didn’t know why there were mirrors in there, though. In case any swimmers had to check if they needed to pick their swimsuits out of their butts? “Uh, I was just thinking that there’s a lot of tension between us and was trying to...relieve some of it. Erm. Let’s get to know each other better in the future, alright?”

“Of course.”

They walked in silence before Duo stopped suddenly, causing Heero to give him a look of concern.

“...you really want to laugh at me right about now, don’t you?” Duo asked flatly. Heero half-snorted in surprise, shaking his head.

“Only when you make random comments like that,” he replied.

“Oh.” Duo continued down the hallway after that.

“This is the home of immature creatures that participate in the freakily savage act of slapping each other’s asses with wet towels and thinking that this is great fun, also known as the men’s locker room.” Duo took a breath and gestured unenthusiastically inside. “This will be your home for until you break down and cry uncle because I refuse to step inside this place and also because you are now my minion to do with what I please. ‘kay?” He beamed and moved on, not giving Heero a chance to speak. Duo pointed out the numerous janitors’ closets that were located around the building for quick mop-switching access should the need arise.

“Right then, this is the women’s locker room. I used to be able to fool them by using a falsetto and pretending that I was actually a girl but not so much anymore, so I mop this when I’m sure they’re gone, just in case. If I zone in on any female whatsits I will be sure to let you know and we can ogle them together or something. Well, not really since I don’t like female whatsits so more like you will have to ogle them by yourself. Not much in terms of male bonding but it’ll have to do.” Duo swerved into the hallway and opened up his arms, as though embracing the air.

“And this...! Do you have any idea what this is?” Duo asked Heero dramatically. Heero looked around. He was thinking ‘hallway’ but the way Duo said it, it had to be something more interesting. Duo seemed to take his silence as a ‘no’.

“This...is a hallway!”

Heero waited for a moment to see if Duo would go on to say something perhaps like ‘but not just any old hallway...’ or ‘but much more special than any other hallway because...’ but nothing came. In fact, Heero had to jog to catch up with Duo as his boss was already shuffling in direction of what seemed to be the offices.

“It was just a hallway?” Heero asked, bewildered. Duo gave him an odd look.

“Well, yeah. What else could it be? Anyway, this is my office to do janitorial paperwork and shit. Supposed to log in lost and found items, blah blah. Once in awhile I will probably blackmai- er, persuade you to do this for me, since, like I said, you are my minion from now on.” Duo clapped his hands together. “Any questions?” Heero looked thoughtful for a moment.

“What did you mean about ‘to do with what you please’?”

“Er, nothing, I mean, uh. ...please tell me you aren’t going to give me a restraining order or sue me ‘cause it’s not the first time and let me tell you, you won’t want me to keep fifty feet away from you when someone has had an accident on the floor and you need help.” Duo looked nervous.

“Nothing like that. Just wondering.” Duo now looked so relieved that Heero chuckled again. “Then you’ve had it done to you before?”

“Yeah,” Duo replied, and shrugged. Heero waited again, but that was the end of it. He shook his head and followed Duo to the main janitors’ closet. One moment he was chatting your ear off and the next he was as stone faced as a mop in dirty water. This was going to take some getting used to.

Good thing Heero liked a challenge.

-

“No, no, no, that’s not how you mop at all!” Duo mock-reprimanded. “You need to hold base firmly with your right hand and be more versatile with your left! Then you swish about a bit, make sure you’ve gotten the whole of it. You can even use your fingers if you want better control. For the big clean up afterwards, just sort of mop around. Alright?”

Heero wasn’t sure if Duo was serious or not.

“Alright,” he repeated, looking determined. Duo nodded for a bit before he burst out laughing.

“Man! I don’t think anyone’s let me get away with that yet!” He wheezed, clutching his stomach.

“Well, I was going to ask you for a demonstration, but I guess that’s out of the question now,” Heero replied, smirking at Duo’s bent-over form.

Duo swallowed, glancing away. “Uh...well, I think you’ve about got the hang of it. The men’s room is on the right, in case you’ve forgotten, not that I’m saying that you would forget, just that...just that I am blabbing on like an idiot and will go away very fast now.”

Heero raised an eyebrow and let Duo go this time, chuckling as he did his job.

-

“Woo! I am looking forward to some exciting Discovery Channel documentaries and major snackage tonight. You?” Duo said happily, stretching freely as he walked out of the swimming pool facilities with Heero. It was the end of the day, and it hadn’t come too soon, Duo thought. He winced at his wording. He was never going to be able to live down that mop thing...But to give credit where credit was due, Heero had made mopping look damn sexy.

“Oh, yeah, the same,” Heero replied, smirking.

“Dude, you better not be dissing my documentaries. The Undiscovered World of Dolphins and I will kick your ass.”

Heero rolled his eyes, unimpressed. “Is that what made you want to work in The Undiscovered World of Janitors? Discovery Channel?”

“As if! Actually, I used to be a diver.” At Heero’s quick look of surprise Duo laughed. “Yep! As in hand-me-that-Speedo-please, diver. Not Olympic or anything hardcore like that, but I was okay.” Heero kept quiet, silently encouraging Duo to go on.

“What? That’s it. I just...quit one day.” Duo caught Heero looking at him expectantly and shrugged. “And what about you? Saw a commercial on late-night T.V. and couldn’t live without knowing if the joys of the janitors are as amazing as they seem?” Heero laughed.

“Nothing as thrilling as that. Mr. Blake became my step-father recently, and so he got me a job here.” Duo stopped in the middle of his tracks. Fortunately, Heero was getting used to that.

“You’re shitting me.” Duo stared at him, jaw unhinged.

“Oh, no. I think I’ve seen enough of that for today,” Heero responded seriously, a shudder going through him internally.

“You’re the boss’s son?!” Duo demanded, hand raking through his bangs. “Holy- why didn’t you tell me?”

“I didn’t know it was important. And, technically, stepson. I already have a father.” Heero smiled slightly. “Why does it matter?”

“Well, it’s just...” Duo pushed his jaw back together with his own hand, an audible click sounding out. “I dunno, I guess it doesn’t, but...if you’re the boss’s stepson, why did you get a crap job like a janitor?”

“Duo, I think you just insulted yourself,” Heero pointed out. Duo waved it away.

“Answer the question.”

“He said the other positions were full.” Heero rolled his shoulders back, feeling as well as hearing a crack as the tension was released. “I believed him.”

“...right. As if he couldn’t have just bumped someone out of there, or given you some prissy job.” Duo was staring at him suspiciously. Heero stared back.

“Oh, come on, you know I’m only curious. Besides, if we’re going to be work colleagues, we need to trust that we have each other at our backs to tackle anything! Especially if the toilets explode again,” Duo added cheerfully.

“Fine. For the sake of camaraderie and exploding toilets, I’ll tell you.” Heero rolled his eyes. “We don’t really...get on well with each other. My father loves him, but I just don’t see why.” Heero sounded surprised, as though even he wasn’t sure why he was telling Duo. ...either that, or he was still getting over the shock of imagining exploding toilets.

“Your father loves him? Why would he like the guy who took – ohhh. Your father and Mr. Blake are...” Duo’s eyes widened.

“Yes.”

“Wow. And here I’d always thought Mr. Blake was a total homophobe. He’d always acted weirdly around me. Oh, ew! Maybe that’s why! Gross, gross...” Duo looked up at Heero. “No offense.”

“None taken.”

They continued to walk on, both mulling over the new information. When they got to the end of the street, Duo stopped and turned to smile broadly at Heero.

“Well, this is where we shall split our ways! See you tomorrow, Heero, and it’s good to know that we can talk to each other. Later!” He called out, already turning and jogging down the street to the right. Heero waved, blinking in surprise.

It wasn’t any of his business, Heero reminded himself sternly. He went on. What did it matter to him where Duo lived? Duo could get cozy in a trashcan for all that he cared.

Really, he reassured himself.

-

“Good morning, Heero!” Duo said, hand tilting the brim of his janitor’s cap in Heero’s direction. “Lookin’ good!”

“Good morning, and...” Heero looked down at himself, dressed in his janitorial uniform. “Are you making fun of me?”

“Only a little.” Duo snickered. “No, really, if any girls catch you in this they’ll all be flocking to me for a job.”

“If you say so.”

“I do! You make holding a bottle of Lysol look very appealing,” Duo said convincingly.

“Very funny. Don’t worry about me. I’m not attracted to girls anyway.” Heero took out rubber gloves from the closet and put them on his hands, strategically not noticing on purpose that Duo had frozen.

“You...aren’t?” He asked. Heero gave him an apologetic smile.

“No. Does that make you uncomfortable?”

“Hell, no. It gives me hope for the future.” Duo grinned and winked. “C’mon, let’s go, everyone’s prissier in the morning about cleanliness. So what if there’re a few types of fungi growing on the shower walls? Picky, picky, picky...”

Fungi? Heero followed Duo very reluctantly.

-

That night they’d stayed back longer than usual, not because there had been any exceptionally large messes (well, there was that one with the two-year-old’s diaper) but because they’d been...talking.

“Get out. You speak Japanese?” Duo asked, making it sound like Heero had just broke the world record for blowing the biggest gum bubble instead of what he had done.

“Ah, yes. It’s not remarkable. In fact, I know of a small country full of people who know how to do the exact same thing, and better,” Heero replied impressively, dunking his mop in the bucket of water for a cleansing.

“You crack me up. Not.” Duo glared at him. “Why do I get the feeling that you just don’t want to teach me?”

“...because you are a very intuitive person?” Heero offered, squeezing the excess water out.

“Fine, fine, but if I ever come across a samurai and I don’t know how to say ‘don’t eat me, I’m too fattening’ and then die, I hope you will know whose fault it is.”

“...yours for wandering into cannibal samurai territory?”

“No! Yours for not showing me the phrases I want to know!” Duo shouted, mop handle pointed accusingly in Heero’s direction. Heero looked at him.

“Duo, I don’t think knowing how to say ‘damn you’ and ‘wanna fuck’ is going to help in those situations. Well. Maybe the second one, if you find the right kind of cannibal samurai, but most likely not.”

“Stingy bastard,” Duo declared darkly, but Heero spotted the grin on his face.

“Will you give me a raise?” Heero asked.

“Hell, no,” Duo replied, surprised. “Do you need one?”

“No, but who’s the stingy bastard now?” It was with a triumphant air that Heero went on doing his job. Duo stood there for a moment, mouth hanging open.

“...you need to work on your people skills,” he finally grumbled, looking up at the clock. “And it’s time for you to go home, thank you God,” Duo said. “Maybe I’ll see you later if you survive the cannibal samurai that I’m secretly dispatching to your bedroom at night.”

“Oh, really?” Heero put away his things. “Are you going to walk with me tonight and protect me from any cannibal samurai that may attack me?”

“Tempting, but what’s the point if I’m the one who hired them?” Duo grinned. “Nah, I’m going to stay behind tonight. I’ve got some stuff I need to do in the office.” Duo heaved a sigh. “I’d tell the paperwork to bite me, but it’s already caused me so much pain that I decided against it.” Heero shrugged off his disappointment and nodded.

“Alright.”

“Don’t look so glum, chum!” Duo nudged Heero. “Give me your phone number and I’ll call you. We can discuss the religion of turkeys or something.”

“Why?” Heero asked before he’d even thought about how it would sound. Duo leaned back and frowned.

“Just thought you’d want to talk. If you don’t, that’s fi-”

“No, I do!” Heero interrupted fiercely. “Just...didn’t expect you to want to talk to me, too. ...but maybe not about turkey religion.”

“Why not?” Duo was smiling again. “I like talking to you. About turkey religions in particular. Now you can either stand there like an idiot or you can start looking through your purse for a pen and paper.”

“It’s not a purse.” Heero rifled through his not-purse with dignity. “It’s a shoulder bag.”

“Right...” Duo drawled out skeptically as he watched Heero scribble down a few digits and took it when it was offered.

“I used to use it to carry my laptop around for work and school, but now I’m just used to carrying things in it.”

“Whatever you say.” Duo smiled. “Talk to you later.”

“See you tomorrow morning, then, Duo. Try not to ruffle the papers.”

“Ha, ha.” Duo stuck his tongue out. “Very funny. Go away now before I decide to get those papers out and give you massive paper cuts.” Heero chuckled and left. Duo made sure he was gone before he went into the side doors, deciding on a little detour before resigning to his fate.

-

“Damn.” Heero had just stepped outside when he’d realized he’d left his keys out when he’d been looking through his things to find a pen. He turned around and went back into the building. Hopefully Duo wouldn’t be armed with menacing folders full of paperwork. The ends of his mouth tugged upwards at the thought.

Heero could see where he’d left them already and quickly grabbed the keys from the window ledge. Hmm...since he was there, he could say hello again and maybe offer some help. Heero pocketed his key chain and nodded. Sounded good.

Apparently not good enough, as when Heero approached Duo’s office Duo was not there. Heero looked around a little. Perhaps Duo went to the bathroom? And had turned off the lights and locked the door after him, even when there wasn’t anyone there?

Well, besides him, but Duo didn’t know that Heero was there.

Growing more suspicious, Heero walked over to the bathrooms when he heard a splash coming from across the hall. He pushed the doors open and blinked. Someone was climbing up the diving board ladder. Heero frowned. It was well over the time when the pool was closed.

“Hey, you shouldn’t be up there!” Heero said. The person didn’t seem to hear him. He tried again. “Hey-”

Duo?

Duo tested the board twice before jumping off, going into a perfect 360 and then arcing smoothly into the water. He emerged a moment later, treading water as he wiped the water out of his eyes. Duo glanced up and quickly donned a look of surprise.

“Heero, I can explain, I just...Mr. Blake allows me to dive every once in awhile.” Duo swam over to the side of the pool but didn’t get out yet. “Just...for old time’s sake.”

“You’re...very good,” Heero managed to say.

“Thanks.” Was it just Heero’s imagination or did Duo look uncomfortably self-conscious?

He exhaled quickly. “No, you’re...much better than just ‘very good’, Duo. Why didn’t you take this up professionally?” Duo looked even more uncomfortable, and Heero suspected that if he hadn’t already been treading water he would’ve been fidgeting. Duo got out of the pool, grabbing a towel from a nearby rack.

“I just never thought of it, I guess. Why are you back? Did you forget something?” He tried, thinking to change the subject.

“Yeah, my keys. You should consider it. Diving professionally.” Heero looked serious, his mouth set in a determined line. Duo’s eyebrows furrowed together.

“No offense, Heero, but what do you know about diving?”

“A little. My father used to be an Olympic diving coach.” Heero half-smiled at Duo’s impression of lockjaw.

“You – I knew that name sounded familiar! Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I didn’t think it was important.”

“Serves to show how much you know!” Duo exclaimed.” He sat down on one of the lounge chairs that were next to the pool. “Holy shit...” Heero thought about something for a moment.

“You should take lessons with my father.”

“The hell did you just say?” Duo asked, a shaky tone marring his demand.

“He’d give you lessons, Duo! You’re talented! I’d help you pay your fee!” Heero went on doggedly. “It would be a waste not to!”

“Heero, thanks for the thought and all that, but I gotta cry bullshit. An Olympic coach is not going to give a crap about me, and anyways, I don’t think it’s a good idea.” Heero noticed Duo’s face darkening.

“What’s wrong?” He pressed gently. “You can tell me.”

“You’re sweet, but how do I know that?” Duo asked. “We barely know each other!”

“Then it could be time to start,” Heero replied quietly, studying Duo intently.

“You think cornering me is going to make me want to confide in you?” Duo pointed out, shaking his head. “Forget it. It’s late. Go home.”

“I’m not cornering you, I’m trying to help. Why don’t you try me?” Why couldn’t Duo tell him? Did he seem that unapproachable?

Duo looked away from Heero for a long time, a moody look on his face. He finally sighed and turned back to face the other man.

“My best friend died in a diving accident.” Duo smiled bitterly. “So don’t try to ‘help’ me. I have everything I need, and right now all I really want is for you to fuck off.” He stalked off after that, leaving Heero behind, concerned and regretful.

Heero let Duo go into the locker rooms and left soon after, letting Duo have the privacy he needed.

-

Duo didn’t talk to him the next day. Not the day after that, either. Heero let them go by, as he knew that Duo needed some time to calm down before he could apologize. It was what he said to himself, anyways, when he needed the reassurance.

-

After he’d mopped the men’s locker room for the fifth time that hour, Heero decided to give up on their little stalemate. He stalked down the hall that Duo was moping – mopping around in. Duo glanced up and Heero could almost swear that he’d seen a flicker of hope before his expression hardened and he ignored Heero’s presence. Heero didn’t let that stop him.

“I’m sorry, Duo.” Heero stood right in front of Duo and looked him in the eye. “It was out of my place to say things like that. I apologize for being insensitive.” Duo studied him for a moment before half-shrugging nonchalantly.

“Yeah, well, you should be.” He hesitated for a moment, then went on to say, “but I am, too. Didn’t mean to bite your head off, but after the accident I just couldn’t do it anymore, y’know? I didn’t want to go through thinking about Solo anymore, about how he died. Everyone told me to go to therapy, but it just...it wasn’t my thing.” Duo pressed his lips together and slowly breathed out. “Forgive?”

“Only if you forgive me,” Heero replied, a relieved smile making its way onto his lips.

“I must admit I am a generous and kind saint that will let you off the hook this time.” Duo raised his eyebrows. Heero knew he was serious, and nodded.

Now for that other thing that was on his mind...

“I think I should quit here.”

“What?!” Duo gave him a look that made him feel like he’d just become spotted all over and had become a cow. “Over this? I thought we were cool!”

“No, not that.” Heero’s hand seemed to move on its own to comfort Duo, landing softly on Duo’s elbow. “But Mr. Blake doesn’t tolerate office relationships, and I have to tell you...I like you. And if you don’t feel the same way I might also have to quit in order to avoid papercutting cannibal samurai.”

“Uh – I like you, too.” Duo was still giving him that look. Made Heero want to look down and make sure there were indeed, no udders. “But wh- Oh. Oh. You like me like me. That, uh, yeah, complicates things a little.” Duo sat down heavily on the floor. Heero followed suit, crossing his legs Indian-style to brace himself for how Duo would react.

“If you did quit, where would you work?” Duo said slowly, pulling his braid over his shoulder to toy with the end.

“I went in for an interview at a hair salon,” Heero replied hurriedly before Duo had a chance to change his mind. Duo gave him that moo-cow look again and burst out laughing.

“You? A hair stylist? Uh...have you looked in the mirror recently?” Duo reached out and flipped a strand of hair behind Heero’s ear, lingering just slightly with his fingertips.

“I’ll have you know I am very talented in hair styling. Well, I’d be their receptionist, no real hands-on action.” Heero smiled uncertainly, realizing how close they were.

“Good,” Duo said softly. “I might get jealous.” He leaned forward and kissed Heero, chastely once before Heero’s arms tightened around Duo’s waist when Heero didn’t even notice they were already there and Duo’s fingers were caressing the nape of his neck and gripping his arm like a lifeline. It was rough and sweet and good.

And it did make him certain he hadn’t turned into a cow.

-

A few weeks later Duo climbed up the ladder, pleasantly surprised that he didn’t feel the bmp bmp of his heart that usually occurred when he even so much as looked at the diving board. Once he got there, he walked to the edge, and did something a diver should probably never do – he looked over at Heero. He was sitting on the edge of the swimming pool, jeans rolled up and legs dangling in the water, staring up at where Duo was standing. Heero smiled and splashed a little with his feet. Duo would’ve made faces down at him if he wasn’t so sure he’d probably fall off the board.

When Duo had given Heero the news that he wanted to go back to diving – but only as a hobby – Heero had smiled and kissed him and immediately gone off to phone his father to ask for lessons. Duo watched him as he did so, exasperated, but feeling that loved thing creeping onto him. It was nice to know that someone was there for him, placed him number one.

Duo backed up on the board and inhaled. As he quickly ran out to the edge, he thought about all that he’d gone through that year, and what might be laying ahead. He and Heero were just starting out in their relationship, and they were certainly similar enough to make Duo cringe in the thought of their future arguments. But they were different enough for Duo to realize that Heero would always be there to talk it out with him and make sure they were okay, even if Duo acted like a grouch the entire time.

Things would be okay, especially with Heero by his side. Duo just needed to stop worrying and thinking and start doing. And from what he’d seen of Heero’s body when they’d gone swimming together, that last part wouldn’t be so hard. He snickered in his mind. Heero had told him the night before that the first time he’d laid eyes on Duo he’d decided to seduce him, but it had turned out the other way around.

“You had me at ‘I’m a janitor’,” Heero had mooned to him wryly, giving Duo a kiss on the cheek.

Duo kicked him in the shins and said “love you, too”.

But it was true that Heero really had seduced him – mind, body...mostly on the body. He’d known it all along that they were probably meant to be together. Who else could he talk with about his obscure dolphin documentary fetish? But Duo had been kind of...not scared, but more reluctant, he’d decided to call it, to admit to what Heero had been prodding him into admitting very patiently.

He spun around in a tight circle and then unfolded, letting all of the pressure he’d been feeling inside unravel.

All along he’d just needed to take the plunge, Duo decided, and a second later his fingertips neatly broke the surface of the water.

~ * ~

 

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