"Thousand words"

Written By: ExecutiveShrimp

Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing, it belongs to Bandai, Sotsu and associated parties. Written for pleasure not profit.

Rating: NC 17

Warnings: AU, angst, fluff, Lemon, OOC

Pairings: 2x1

Summary: Duo and Heero have to share a dorm room in college and they become best friends. When they discover that neither has time for, nor interest in a girlfriend, they explore a friends with benefits relationship. But sex never remains uncomplicated.

" Thousand words"

Five

I have had a lot of post-alcoholic-intake-doozies in the past, but each time I think 'surely it can't get any worse', it does just that and there is nothing to do but accept the ripe smell of my own vomit and the cold of the bathroom tile as I kneel in front of the toilet seat. That is, if I even make it to the bathroom.

That time I did. I didn't think I was ever quite that fast, might have broken land-speed records on the way as I dashed from our upstairs bedroom to the downstairs bathroom, located annoyingly far in situations like that. As always, I promised myself "I'm never drinking again" and then flushed the latest batch of repeat-dinner.

"Dude," an amused voice said from the doorway.

I slowly turned my head, fearing that any sudden movements would just nauseate me more, with undesired results. I spotted Nash with nothing short of a gloat on his face, leaning against the doorpost, dressed only in loose pajama bottoms.

"You don't look so hot," he commented, barely containing explosive laughter.

"Your empathy is much appreciated," I croaked in response, slowly turning my body and setting my ass down on the floor, I stayed close to the toilet.

"Well, excuse me that my morning spirit was somewhat dampened when I went down for breakfast and this stench hit my nostrils." He demonstratively pinched his nose shut and made a face. "Where's the misses? Isn't he supposed to hold your hair back in situations like this?" He asked with nasally voice as he kept his fingers pinched over his nose.

"In bed?"

He shook his head. "Not there."

I shrugged and relaxed against the bathroom wall, feeling my stomach settle down. "Then he's probably out for his morning run."

"It's unnatural. That guy is not normal."

"Who is?" I wondered quasi-philosophically. "Wait," I focused my gaze back on Nash, heavily hooded by a deep frown, "Am I having a stroke or is your hair blue?"

He let go of his nose and used both hands to smooth the wayward strands of his electric blue hair. "Did it last night, you like it?"

"Oh, so that's the blue stuff I saw in the sink. Thought someone might have killed a smurf..."

"I would never do that. Subject it to cruel and unusual torture maybe, but not kill." He flashed me a smirk. "But you don't like it?" He touched his hair again.

"I don't know, I like it as much as I liked it fire engine red or duckling yellow I suppose."

"Or baby pink?" He reminded me with a crooked grin.

"No," I retorted dryly. "I actually like this less than the pink, it was a good color on you." I chuckled but it evolved into a cough and prompted me to kneel in front of the toilet again, but my stomach was empty and all I got were aching, dry coughs.

"You make it so easy to dislike you..." he commented.

"Do you mind? Can't a guy dry-heave in peace anymore?"

"You mind sharing the events that lead up to this unfortunate, intimate encounter between you and the world's most unhygienic bathroom? I mean, the date on the last cleaning schedule is October of last year..."

I coughed more. "Thanks for that," I managed.

"Come on, tell me. You puking means one of two things. Either your night went extraordinarily magnificent or epically apocalyptic. Spill."

I glared at him. "I think I just did." I nodded back at the toilet.

Nash rolled his eyes. "I need words, not chunks of yesterday's lunch."

I stumbled to my feet and opened the water faucet, washing my hands, rinsing my mouth and then repeatedly splashing water in my face. "You're disgusting," I informed him, but accepted the hand towel he held out to me. "Besides, what's with the curiosity?"

Nash shrugged innocently. "No reason, just doing a follow-up, considering I'm the one who pointed you to the club. From my experience, the girls there are always super hot. Did you see someone you liked?"

"I thought I did," an exotic face came to mind, tanned skin, dark, almond shaped eyes and glossy hair. Ayana, I remembered, after an embarrassing search for her name. "It didn't really turn out the way I had expected it would." I wasn't just referring to Hilde's emotional interruption. The night played through my head and I distinctly remembered feeling a sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction, even as the beautiful Ayana was dancing seductively with me, giving off signals I knew well and knew what to do with. But I didn't do what I thought I would and I suspected that even without Hilde barging in, the night would not have gone according to plan.

At my contemplative silence, Nash persisted: "Someone ruined it for you?"

Someone not something? How did he jump to that conclusion? I frowned and snapped my head to look at him suspiciously. "What do you mean?" A sudden question popped up in my head: How did Hilde find me at that club? To write it off as a coincidence was too much of a stretch. An image flashed before me. Hilde had been wearing old jeans and a baggy university T-shirt that I knew her to often prefer as nightwear. She was not dressed for a night out. It dawned on me that Relena hadn't been either, who was definitely not the kind of girl to go out looking anything less than perfectly groomed and dressed. Her hair was even messy, how could he not have noticed that?

"Dude?"

"Hilde showed up," I said, to gauge his reaction.

Nash didn't look surprised in the least, as suspected.

I closed the distance between us and gave him a rough push against his chest. He tripped over the threshold of the bathroom and fell on his ass in the carpeted hallway. I accusingly pointed down out at him as I stood over him. "You told Hilde where Heero and I had gone! You probably talked her into coming after me. That's why you're digging for details? To get a laugh out of it?" I spat.

Nash started laughing sheepishly, holding up his hands in surrender. "Come on man, it was just some innocent messing about!"

"Unbelievable! Let me guess: your idea of making this year memorable?"

He crawled back to create a safe distance and then rose to his feet. "It was just a joke man, I thought that I might even be doing you a favor in the process. What the fuck happened?"

"What the fuck do you think happened? Only two options right? Extraordinarily magnificent or epically apocalyptic. I'll give you a hint: it wasn't the former!" If I were a cartoon character smoke would be coming out of my ears and I would have long dropped an oversized anvil on his stupidly blue head.

Of course, always there to talk sense into me, Heero appeared, as if he knew I was about to get myself into trouble. He stood in the doorway of the front door, lifting up his headphones that blasted loud, indiscriminate music and he simply called my name, a slight tone of surprise in his voice as he raised his eyebrows at the strange tableau he had walked in on.

I was about to reach out and grab a handful of Nash's T-shirt, to hold him in place while I would let my fists do the talking, but Heero distracted me. Seeing him, I almost felt embarrassed for acting so rashly, so childishly. By the time I looked back Nash was gone and I turned in time to see him cowering out the back door, barefoot. He may be sensible enough to be momentarily intimated by me, but I knew he would make no apologies for his actions, nor experience any guilt. There wouldn't be justice, only the fear that he would just pull another stunt like that. I glared at Heero, my outer-body-conscience, who casually walked further into the hall. He held on to the banister of the winding staircase as he stretched his legs, holding his feet by the ankle and pulling them up to his ass. For whatever reason, it was distracting.

I shook my head. "You should have let me punch him at least once," I grumbled, feeling deflated at having my prey escape my wrath.

He rolled his eyes and started upstairs.

I followed him, needing someone to exercise my frustration on.

Once in our room, he started undressing, matter-of-factly reminding me: "You were the one who thought he was a good guy, underneath all the crap. You defended him."

"Well, you don't really feel like standing up for someone when your knee deep in their crap."

"So what did he do?" He opened the closet for a towel and a fresh set of clothes.

"He told Hilde where we went, I suspect he did nothing short of sending her after me, Hilde is a lot of thing, but she is not a drama queen, she doesn't generally make a scene like that. I should have known it was too big of a coincidence that they just ran into us," I grumbled. "You don't seem surprised," I observed with a frown.

"Should I be surprised that Nash ill-advisedly interfered with someone-else's life?" Even with his back turned towards me, I could exactly envision the expression he would have on his face.

"Guess not..."

"Did you puke on my bed?" Heero suddenly asked over his shoulder, very much annoyed, scrunching up his face as he sniffed the air.

"No!"

"Well, it stinks in here."

"Oh, that's me. I think I got some on my pants." At one point I remembered stupidly wiping my mouth with my hand, realizing my mistake I had quickly wiped my palm over my pant leg, before continuing to vomit.

He looked at me with a disgusted face, slightly frustrated too. We've had this discussion. He thought I shouldn't drink, because time and again it has been proven that I did not hold my liquor well. We didn't even pretend to agree to disagree. We had broken it down to a glare on his behalf, and me rolling my eyes. Most of the time.

"Please hold the judgment mister I'll-have-a-glass-of-water," I spat when he held the disapproving glare inappropriately long.

"Still, my sheets better be changed by the end of the day. And you are going to wash them."

"Yes, mother."

He looked back at me and deadpanned: "I really don't get what everyone sees in you. You are not nearly the Casanova everyone takes you for."

My eyes narrowed. 'Casanova' rung in my ears. He had called me that before. When? Our little marital argument forgotten, I ran through the memories that survived the onslaught of alcohol, narrowing it down to late last night, which was still mostly a blur to me after I successfully drowned my sorrows, if only momentarily. I wondered: "What happened last night? You know, after the temporary - alcohol induced - insanity set in?"

Heero first turned his back to me again to slip out of his underwear and tie a towel around his waist. Upon completion of the task he turned back to me - he, too, had forgotten we were arguing - and asked cryptically in response: "Why? What does it matter?"

"You called me Casanova last night too, I was just curious." Seeing as I could use a shower myself, I maneuvered past him to reach the closet and got a towel myself. We usually stuck to a bathroom schedule, but it was still relatively early - ungodly early in the universe of college men on a Saturday morning - so I was confident both bathrooms would be unoccupied.

"Nothing unusual, you just get handsy when your drunk, I may have made some Casanova-remark in response to that," Heero dryly commented, then could no longer contain his comical expression. "It's really quite funny. You know, until you get pukey."

I ignored his little sidebar and blurted: "Handsy?" Surely that didn't mean what I thought it meant...

"Yes, handsy and... uhm... emotionally verbal. You even proposed to me after that rave last spring break."

His smirking mouth kept moving, surely sharing with me the exact kind of information that I would generally find highly amusing, more so if it referred to someone else's drunken stupor, but I could handle a healthy dose self-mockery. Still, I held my hands up and interrupted what was undoubtedly a memorable anecdote and asked him again: "Handsy?" I felt a shiver go down my spine and goosebumps spread across my arms when the skin on my chest remembered the feel of warm breath.

What the fuck happened?

Heero, correctly interpreting the rampage of disturbing thoughts going through me, was quick to exclaim: "Oh God no!" Then he laughed, a little uncomfortably at first, but he relaxed. "Trust me, I kept your hands away from any area that would be grounds for a law-suit. Or murder." He joked dryly. He snorted and then started for the door.

Not reassured yet, I grabbed his arm and pulled him back into our small dorm room, closing the door after suspiciously looking up and down the hall. "I need you to tell me what happened precisely," I emphasized the last word. "Or else I might go crazy thinking up all the worrisome alternatives you have left me with."

Heero seemed to grow impatient with me, probably thinking to himself that if I would just stop drinking, he wouldn't have had to go through that embarrassing conversation with me. "When you're drunk you just have the habit of being physical, I don't know how else to put it. And I just happen to be there, because I have to drag your drunk ass home each time." He finished with a wise-ass grin.

"You don't get it, I need a step-by-step narration of what happened last night. This is going to drive me insane," I ended with a desperate whisper.

Heero adamantly objected.

But he never stood a chance. I bugged him like only I could, pressing buttons of which only I was aware they existed. His expression became increasingly annoyed until it finally broke past his lips, leaving a red hue on his cheeks.

"You tried to kiss me!"

"The fuck!" was my immediate reaction.

"Look, nothing happened," he tried to appease, "I handled it. I know how to handle you when you're stinking drunk. Over the course of nearly three and a half years, I've certainly done it often enough to have gained adequate experience."

This was all baffling to me. Very little of the experiences I had had under the extreme influence of alcohol ever returned to me. Blissfully so, apparently. Could you blame a guy for being shocked and curious? I had to know more. "So what? This is like a normal occurrence, me trying to kiss you?"

He rolled his eyes, really uncomfortable now. "No, typically it's just you basically hanging off me, firing off the usual speech of why nobody loves you and then you get into this whole thing of telling me you love me. And sometimes your hands wander or you lean in a little. It's annoying really." He tried to alleviate the situation with a forced smile, but I wasn't having it.

"Wandering hands? Leaning in?" To say I was shocked was a gross understatement.

"I really don't want to get into all of this. It's pointless. You're not yourself when you drink. That is why I hate it when you do."

"'Wine gives a man nothing, it only puts in motion what had been locked up in frost.' Samuel Johnson said that."

Heero groaned. "You and your fucking electives. What are you even saying? That you want to kiss me?" He tried to laugh it off, but the sound betrayed his nervousness and the awkwardness of the situation.

"Shit! Of course not man, I'm not a homo!" I defended fiercely, even though Heero was just paraphrasing what I had inadvertently been saying. Something that I didn't want to say, didn't even want to think about and hadn't, until just then.

Heero sighed. "From what I can tell, alcohol just makes people do stupid stuff, without it meaning anything. Look, maybe you didn't lean in to kiss me, maybe you just lost balance. And maybe that's why you get so physical, to hold on to something." He trailed off, not really invested in the argument, it came out unconvinced. He looked at me with a frown. "I'm really surprised at you," his tone was... disappointed. "I thought it would have just made you laugh, why are you taking this so seriously?" More quietly, he continued: "I wasn't trying to mock you or anything, if that's what the problem is."

That added guilt to the flabbergasted. The feeling grounded me. "I know. I'm sorry, dude. You're right, it's just stupid. It's funny really."

"Right." Heero agreed and dared a smile to lift me up.

"Right." I mirrored, though lacking conviction.

He gave me a playful punch against my shoulder and then announced he would be taking a shower and then he left me alone, alone with my thought. I was all geared up to head to the bathroom myself, but I needed some space and all of a sudden I was uncomfortable with the sight of Heero's bare chest and the knowledge that he was nude underneath the low-riding towel and it didn't seem right following him downstairs.

The news had come as a shock to me. A strike to my pride. As I calmed down, I realized how much I had overreacted, but still couldn't shake the uneasy feeling. I didn't for a second believe that it meant anything serious, like that I was secretly in love with Heero; all kinds of gay feelings closeted up inside me or something. It was just strange to be made aware that in contrast with the difficulty that I had to be intimate with girls, it was so easy to be - inappropriately - intimate with Heero.

Maybe we had gotten too close and it was getting to me, the guys called him my wife after all. Or maybe Heero's insane sexual mojo, that attracted all kinds of girls, had an effect on me to. Neither gave me any peace of mind, so I pushed both thoughts aside and decided to trust Heero's judgment, I usually did. If he had been dealing with this behavior for years and he was never bothered by it, then how could it possibly be anything to get worked up about? I supposed it really didn't mean anything. And both Heero and I aren't very good with words, a lot probably got lost in translation and if I would remember the instances, it would probably make me laugh. After all, when Nash got drunk, he climbed on tables and danced with his jeans pulled down his ass cheeks and had the other guys stuff dollar bills into the front of his pants. None of us ever thought anything of that. I guessed I had just been looking for a different kind of drama, to replace the drama I had had with Hilde, which was just too much, too confusing for me to deal with.

I went downstairs and knocked on the locked door of the second bathroom, where I heard the shower running.

"Occupied! I'll try to hurry!" Heero called back from under the spray, thinking it was someone needing to use the bathroom.

"No, Heero it's me!" I paused, leaning my head against the door, feeling silly now for the way I had reacted. "I just wanted to apologize for being such a humorless dick!"

"That's an apology three years too late! But I'll take it!"

I chuckled. "Thanks, asshole!" I pushed off the door, feeling better, and disappeared into the first bathroom for a leisure shower, to wash all of last night off me. By the time I was done and got back upstairs, Heero had left for the day. Studying, meeting up with the other members of the chess club and later in the day Trowa would pick him up and they would drive to the lake for some freestyle training. They always did that when an important swim meet was drawing near. I knew he wouldn't be home till I would have to start work at the on campus bar.

I looked forward to the evening, I thoroughly enjoyed my job there. Fridays and Saturdays were the Senior days, only seniors, aged twenty-one and older, were allowed in, meaning we could serve alcohol, as opposed to the other evenings, when the younger crowd prohibited alcohol service and I was forced to mixing shirley temples and pouring coca cola and 7-up. Needless to say, the weekends were a lot more fun.

After changing the sheets on Heero's bed, I settled in for a day of mild studying, something that I quickly grew bored with and abandoned for the benefit of some online porn - my usual Saturday afternoon treat - and then falling asleep to the screaming and guitar abuse of a rock concert on DVD, my laptop still sitting atop me as I drifted off. After a quick, two day old take-out meal - I had to fight a junior for the biggest slice - I headed to work, dressed in my bartender 'uniform': black slacks and a black button-up shirt.

It was still early. The atmosphere reminiscent of a saloon in the old west. Students sitting in clusters at the tables, talking quietly, nursing a beer, looking up at, and discussing, every newcomer that would walk through the doors. I was happy to spot Obie behind the bar, I was always happy realizing we would share a shift.

"Hey man." We bumped our fists together in our usual greeting.

"What's up, man? Where were you yesterday, you know I don't like to work with Martin, he's no good on the weekend shift."

I shrugged, not particularly apologetic. I was mostly the one to get stuck with Martin, during the weekdays. It was fine with me to share the misery. "Went out, with Heero."

"Well, duh. So what, dinner and a movie?" He laughed as he evaded my right hook.

"To a club in Jameston. A straight club, might I add, before you make a pun." I lined up glasses in preparation for the expected Saturday crowd and rearranged the alcohol bottles on the back wall that got put in the wrong place by Martin the day before, making it for difficult for us to find specific spirits.

"Any hot girls I should know of?"

"Yeah, her name is Jenny, it says so on the inside of that corny wedding ring of yours," I deadpanned, hiding a smirk from him.

Obie chuckled, but argued: "Don't knock it man. At least I don't have to troll clubs anymore or invest in a relationship that isn't going to work out. Or go to bed with someone and realize the next day that she's not that pretty when I'm sober."

I sighed and slowly nodded. "You're right. To be honest, I'm jealous." I was surprised by my own honesty.

Obie looked at me with wide eyes, his hand became motionless around the wine glass he had been rubbing dry. "You?"

"Yeah, so what?"

He shrugged. "Well, excuse me, but aren't you the guy that has dated nearly every girl in this school, all very short-lived relationships? That's not so much looking for true love as it is a catch-and-release program. I mean girl, after girl, after girl, after girl-"

"I get it," I interrupted him.

"Alright. Just know that they see it too."

"They?"

"The girls. One of them maybe the one you are looking for. They see it too, they know you are a player. Sure, they think that they can change you, but they don't see you as the guy who is... looking. Maybe that is why you attract girls that are gone after a week or two. Because the real great catches, the ones you wouldn't throw back, aren't drawn in by that reputation."

"Hm." A deep frown formed as I thought that over. "You really think so?"

He continued to dry the glass. "Yeah, maybe. I'm no expert, but Jenny said that she only started to notice me after I had given up on reeling in cheerleaders." He looked up with a crooked smile.

"Hm, idiotic fishing references aside, that's a very interesting point."

"Look, don't put too much stock in what in I say, I don't want to be responsible for anything going awry. What do I know anyway? It just seems logical to me that the girls that are really looking for something serious, looking for a proper, nice guy, aren't drawn to a guy that recycles girls. I mean, just look at Heero."

Hearing his name in the context surprised me. "What do you mean?"

Obie snorted. "Well, you know about the thing he has going on in the library, right?"

"Since recently, yeah," I admitted, curious where this was going.

He looked a little hesitant, aware of how close Heero and I were, he was obviously afraid of offending Heero and consequently angering me, but he decided to confide in me, in a low whisper: "Jenny says some of the girls who have heard of it are really horrible about it. Not to his face of course, who would dare? But behind his back. They're calling him a slut. One of them even talked to principal Andrews about it. Of course he doesn't feel inclined to do anything, thankfully, probably thought it was funny. But they presented it as a public health issue. That's pretty serious man. No one but Relena really likes him. He's been here over three years and has never dated."

"He doesn't want to date," I defended, still processing the news that people had been calling Heero a slut. It really angered me.

"What, he doesn't want to find love? He wants to be alone?" Obie questioned skeptically.

"He's busy."

"Good thing then, I guess. Because a guy who treats sex as something that casual, might scare off precisely that one girl who would be right for him."

To break the heavy conversation, I joked: "God, you've been married for only a few weeks and you've already gone soft and sappy."

Obie didn't laugh, having found love himself had apparently made him deeply aware of the importance of it. To see to his friends potentially screw up the chance to find someone to love seemed to genuinely concern him.

The first loud group of students came through the door, ending our conversation. I was busy all through the night, serving people drinks and lightheartedly flirting with some girls, making them laugh and blush, prying more drinks and tips out of them. At the end of the evening I had two of my teammates who had come for a game of pool, safely escort them back to their dorm rooms and called a cab for a guy that had been sitting by himself at a corner table with ten empty shot glasses in front of him, hoping the cab driver could recognize an address in his slurred speech.

I had been too busy to give my talk with Obie too much thought, but on the stroll back to dorm building B, it replayed in my head. I didn't know if he was right, but I could not deny the obvious logic. It reaffirmed the realization that I remembered having the night before. That the whole casual sex thing with a different girl every time wasn't for me. It didn't make me feel good about myself and, understandably, it didn't make girls feel good about me either. Heero should probably be made aware of this fact as well, even though he insisted he wasn't even interested in girls. Certainly he didn't want a couple of girls calling him names behind his back? I wished Obie had told me who they were, so that I could go talk some sense into them. But he probably didn't know, and it was probably for the best anyway, such a thing could only escalate from bad to worse.

It did leave me with somewhat of an issue though. Of course technically I could live without sex, but what guy of my age would voluntarily chose to do so? Sex, if done right, was fun and relaxing and after my brief attempt at a human biology elective the first year, I was convinced it was necessary for a healthy mental balance. But even though I was genuinely disinterested in a romantic relationship at the time, after having been broken by Hilde, and being more invested in having a carefree, fun - last - year with Heero, picking up girls in clubs wasn't as easy as I thought it was. It was easy to do - without wanting to blow smoke up my own ass, I could safely judge I was quite a good-looking guy - but it wasn't easy to be at peace with. I wasn't sure if I was disappointed in this character development, or proud of it. I supposed it didn't really matter but Obie's words kept resounding. I didn't want people to think of me as a player, or worse still, a slut. My father always said that college forms a person and maybe there was some truth to this. And if that were the case, I was adamant not to mold myself into that guy, that would scare off the one person I had always been looking for. That one person that would finally make me love and make me feel loved.

It was all very confusing and discouraging.

I found Heero sound asleep in his lower bunk, the sheets kicked away from him, his arms above his head, the fingers of one hand still loosely gripping a lock of messy hair that he must have been playing with when he fell asleep. I changed into my nightwear as quietly as possible, constantly checking to make sure that I hadn't awoken him. When my slacks slipped off the back of my desk chair and fell to the floor - rattling belt-buckle and all - I looked back to see his eyes had opened, moonlit blue orbs stared at me, a little confused at first.

"What time is it?" He asked tiredly, rubbing his eyes.

"Don't worry, it's late, not nearly time to wake up. Go back to sleep," I urged in soft voice. "Sorry," I added, realizing that going back to sleep wasn't an easy command to obey after being rudely awoken in the dead of night.

"It's okay. How was work?"

"It was just peachy, lovebird," I joked, the awkwardness of before forgotten.

He let out a low, tired chuckle.

"How's Trowa doing?" I asked as I finished getting changed.

"Still can't beat me, so his day sucked," he said with a smirk. "Other than that, he is fine, darling."

I smiled, climbing up to my top bunk. "Sorry I woke you. Go back to sleep. Goodnight, pumpkin."

I settled under the covers, shifting a couple of times to make myself more comfortable. I wasn't really tired, despite the hour; I had been drinking Red Bull all night to keep up with the demanding crowd at the bar. I closed my eyes, trying to force it.

"Goodnight, honey," was Heero belated, mumbled response, already half back to sleep.

My eyes flew open, my body suddenly tense.

I wouldn't find sleep during what remained of the night. Not because of the Red Bull. But because of a single, simple thing:

An idea.

'FWB'.


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tbc

Chapter 6

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