Disclaimer: This story was written by a fan only for the enjoyment of other fans, without any monetary compensation. Gundam Wing and its characters are registered trademarks of Bandai Entertainment Inc.™ and Sotsu Agency. All rights reserved.
Happy 13x6 day!
No hard feeling... Milliardo snorted. If you've had the guts to actually face me instead of breaking up with me over my answer machine I'd have shown you some hard feelings.
Scowling he massaged the bruised knuckles on his right hand where he had punched the wall in lack of a better target after listening to the message.
Stupid jerk. He downed the rest of his drink, Wild Turkey with just a touch of ice, in one long gulp and slid the empty glass toward the barkeeper.
"Give me another one, Duo." he demanded.
"Perhaps a cup of coffee might be better," a low and smooth voice behind him suggested.
"Who are you; my
father?" With another snort Milliardo turned his head, then did a double
It took the young man's whiskey clouded brain a second or so to remember what that question had been.
"I know that's really none of my business, but if you keep this up you will be feeling twice as bad in the morning." the stranger told him and Milliardo felt the urge to snort again.
"What makes you think I am feeling bad?"
Mister Gorgeous ignored that question, his smile widening just a little, knowingly. "Mind if I join you?" he asked.
"Yeah, sure. Make yourself a home." Milliardo gestured at the leather covered seat next to him and the stranger settled down with a polite nod.
"Thanks." He gestured for the young man behind the bar. "You got coffee or something like it?"
"Something like it," the barkeeper confirmed.
"Could you bring us two cups, freshly brewed."
"Got it," Duo replied. His long, chestnut-colored braid swayed as he turned toward the cappuccino maker. Even as he filled the machine with water and freshly ground coffee his eyes never left the mirror behind the bar.
"By the way my name is Treize, Treize Khushrenada," the tawny-haired man introduced himself, and Milliardo nodded at him.
"Milliardo," he let the word roll from his tongue, his voice deep and velvety soft, as he looked the young man up and down."That's an interesting name. I think, it fits you well."
"Thanks...I guess." Milliardo gave a semi-amused huff and a little smirk.
"Ah, that's much better," the tawny-haired man said, and at Milliardo's puzzled look he added: " That smile suits you far more than the scowl you were wearing earlier."
The young man almost blushed. What the...
Just then Duo turned, setting two large cups of cappuccino topped with tick foam down on the bar. Treize moved one of the cups closer to Milliardo and as the young man reached for it their hands briefly touched.
The moment his fingers brushed against the other man's Milliardo felt something like a tiny surge pass through his body. It felt almost like being zapped by static electricity, only far more pleasant. If Treize had noticed it too he showed no indication. For a moment Milliardo wondered if this could have been the proverbial spark of love; he had never felt anything like it. But then he just grinned wryly and a little embarrassed. Idiot!
The other man raised one slender eyebrow at him.
"Nothing." He just shook his head, then took a sip from his cappuccino, wiping the foam from his lip with the back of his hand.
"So, what happened?" Treize asked after a while. "Bad day?"
"Hmm... you could say that again." Milliardo pressed through his teeth. "I got dumped."
"Ouch!" the older man grimaced. "But it's her loss."
"His loss." Milliardo repeated. "You do realize you walked into a gay bar, right?"
Treize looked around, very slowly. "Yes, now that you mention it."
Milliardo couldn't help but smile, something about the other man made him feel very much at ease. "Come to think of, I don't remember seeing you here before. New to the area?"
"Not really. I was bored and a little lonely tonight so I went out, driving around..."
"Prowling?" Milliardo finished the sentence.
"If that's what you'd like to call it." Treize shrugged vaguely but for just a moment there was a strange flicker in his blue eyes, too brief for the younger man to notice.
Milliardo laughed, earning himself a surprised look and another raised eyebrow.
"Did I say something funny?"
Still laughing, he gestured at his cappuccino cup. "Most 'prowlers' I know would aim to make their prey drunk not trying to sober them up."
"Is that so? Well, I am not like 'most' then, I supposed." Treize gave another shrug.
Oh, you have no idea how right you are.
As Milliardo looked up his eyes met the other man's and he swallowed. He could see his own reflection in those blue orbs and something else that was hard to describe. Quickly he averted his gaze, running his finger over the rim of his cappuccino cup.
That's when Treize noticed his bruised knuckles. One of his eyebrows shot up inquisitively.
"It's not what you might think. I was punching the air when a wall jumped up and right into my fist." Milliardo replied, his voice laced with sarcasm.
The older man clucked his tongue. "Don't you just hate when that happens?" When he reached out to brush his fingers over those bruises Milliardo was struck again by the same sensation he had felt when they first touched, only a lot more intense. A warm feeling settled in the pit of his stomach and he almost shuddered. How is he doing this?
Treize gently grasped Milliardo's fingertips and the warmth in his stomach stared to spread south. His brain felt like he was floating on a soft cloud, and somehow he suspected that wasn't just the Wild Turkey's doing.
"You really should put some ice on those."
Or...you could just keep doing whatever it is you are doing?
At that moment someone bumped him from behind and a voice heavy with alcohol mumbled something that sounded like an apology. The small club was beginning to fill up and even the bar stools that had been empty earlier were now taken.
"Should we go something a little more quiet?" Treize suggested.
"Your place or mine?"
The tawny haired man smiled softly. "I was thinking of something a little closer," he explained, gesturing at an still vacant table in the back of the room.
"Oh," Milliardo suddenly felt sheepish.
"I thought you might want to talk."
And so they did. Or actually Milliardo did most of the talking. Over the next couple hours he told Treize about his boyfriend... ex-boyfriend...and his love-life in general, until it suddenly struck him that he was talking to a virtual stranger. Or maybe it was just that the caffeine in his blood finally was beginning to win the fight with the Wild Turkey.
"Oh geez, you must think I am a total nutcase; talking your ears off like that."
Treize laughed quietly, it was a soft and gentle sound. "Not at all. I find you very interesting, Milliardo and I don't mind listening. In fact I have been told I'm a great listener."
The younger man huffed. "So what are you, a shrink? Am I some kind of 'project' to you?"
"Not exactly, but trust me I can emphasize with how you are feeling right now. Breaking up is never easy. You are hurt and vulnerable, and that brings out my protective instincts, I suppose. Call me old fashioned."
Milliardo huffed again, certain the other man was just being polite and that they would eventually part with the with the all-saying 'Don't call me, I'll call you' line.
Stifling a yawn Milliardo checked his watch. "It's getting late. I think I'll call it a night?"
Treize nodded understandingly. "Work in the morning?"
"Not really. I work from home, if you want to call it that. So I set my own hours."
"I see. May I ask what it is you are doing?"
"Like I said, you can't really call it work." Milliardo gave an almost embarrassed laugh. "I'm currently going through a creative phase you could say. Painting mostly, and some sculpting."
The older man nodded. "That explains it."
"I couldn't help but notice you have delicate hands, perfectly groomed. But there are some calluses as though you are using some kind of tools frequently; a paintbrush or chisel perhaps."
Milliardo laughed again, this time in amusement. "Well done, Sherlock Holmes. But I'm afraid you are only partially right. My roommate has been trying to teach me how to fence. Any idea what that does to your hands."
"Fencing? I thought that had long come out of style."
"He is into martial arts, Tai Chi and that sort of stuff," Milliardo explained.
"Interesting. Well anyway," Treize changed the subject. "Any chance I have seen any of your artwork somewhere?"
"Only if you broke into my apartment without me knowing."
This time it was the older man who laughed, deep and bubbling. "No, I think I'd remember that. Besides, if I would break in, your paintings would probably be the last thing on my mind."
Milliardo could feel his ears burn. He cleared his throat. "Well then, It's really getting late. Thanks for the cappuccinos and thanks for your company. I really enjoyed it."
"It was my pleasure," Treize assured him. "Let me drive you home."
"That's not necessary, really. I'm fine."
"That's what you think, I'm not sure any policeman who might stop you on the way home would agree. You had a pretty bad day already, but spending the rest of the night alone in a cell with a 200 pound guy looking for a new girlfriend would top off everything."
Milliardo swallowed. "Point taken." He rose to his feet, pulling his car key from his pocket as he walked over to the bar.
"Duo, I'm leaving the 'vette' here, can you take care of it for me for the night?"
The young man behind the bar nodded as he put down the cloth he was using to polish some glasses and accepted the keys. "Don't worry, I'll tug her in and give her a good night kiss." he grinned.
It was only a short drive to the apartment complex where Milliardo lived. The high-end luxury building, located mid-town, in one of the most expensive areas was only a few years old and held all the comfort and extravagance one could expect for the price.
Milliardo barely remembered his parents. They were killed in an car accident when he was very young - or so he was told, he didn't remember that part either. But when they died they had left him with a trust fund large enough to live off comfortably for the rest of his life. Once he was old enough he had used some of that money and made some very lucky and lucrative investments.
He had bought one of the two top floor suites about five years ago when they had barely broken ground on the project for a cool seven figures. It turned out to be another one of his lucky investments. From what he heard the other apartment just sold for more than double that.
The place included two large bedrooms - three if you counted the separate guest room he was renting out to a friend - and three full bathrooms, a large living area with open air sunroom, a generous sized kitchen and his studio.
"Nice place," Treize remarked as he pulled his Mercedes into the large secured parking lot.
"Thanks." Milliardo hesitated as he took off his seatbelt. Finally he turned his look to the man in the driver seat. "Would you like to come up?" he asked. "I could show you some of my work...if you promise not to laugh. And I could repay you for the cappuccino and the drive home with a..." he checked his watch. "...very early breakfast. I make some darn good coffee and omelets, or so I have been told."
Treize laughed quietly. "I would like that."
They took the private elevator, accessible only with a special key card, to the top floor.
"Are you sure this will be alright with your roommate?" the older man asked as he watched the sparking city lights through the elevators glass walls.
"Wufei? Ah, don't worry about him. He sleeps like an elephant."
Treize gave another chortle, quiet and amused. "You do realize elephants are very light sleepers?"
"Are they?" Milliardo smirked wryly. "Bad comparative then, I guess."
"Just out of curiosity, why does someone who can afford a place like this need a roommate to begin with?"
"It's not about the money, if that's you mean." the younger man replied. "At least not for me. Wufei needed a place to stay and I wanted someone to look after the place when I leave for the weekend and such. Couldn't have turned out better. He is straight, quiet, keeps to himself and..." Milliardo's lips turned into a smirk. "...doesn't care if I bring strangers home at 3:30 in the morning to show them my studio and feed them omelets and coffee."
"I see. In other words he is the perfect roommate." The amused expression on Treize's face mirrored Milliardo's.
The elevator came to a stop and the doors opened with a soft hissing sound.
The younger man pulled out his keys and led the way. He unlocked the door and stepped into the pleasant coolness of the air-conditioned apartment. Milliardo turned his head, looking back over his shoulder.
"Let me go ahead to turn on the lights in the studio," ... and make sure it is presentable. He had suddenly remembered the last time when Antoine had modeled for him and he ended up having wild sex with him on the studio floor rather than paining him. "You think you can find your way into the living room without me?"
"I'm sure I can
manage." Treize smiled softly, but that smile all but fell from his face
the moment he crossed over the threshold. Suddenly and without any
warning he was hit by something that spread through his body like liquid fire;
hot and painful. He gasped as he jumped back on an inhumanly fast motion.
"Nothing." He somehow managed a smile even as his muscles still spasmed with the last tremors of pain. "Hit my funny bone on the door frame. Not as funny as it sounds."
"Ouch, are you alright?"
"I'm fine," he assured the young man."But perhaps we should postpone our little tour of your studio for some other time. It IS getting late."
"But you are here already, so don't be silly. Come in."
"Are you sure?"
Milliardo nearly rolled his eyes at him. "Would you like a written invitation?"
That would be nice, but I think the simple 'Come in' should suffice. "Very well then?" The tawny-haired man took a careful step forward, bracing himself for another jolt. But it never came. Just as he assumed Milliardo's official 'invitation' had deactivated the wards. Interesting! He smiled; it was the smile of a hungry tiger watching a baby deer play in the evening sun.
"The living room is to the left. Try not to run into any more things." Milliardo called out teasingly as he disappeared down the hall.
"I'll try my best." So if he wasn't the one who put up the protection spell, who did?
Wufei woke with a start and it took him a moment to realize what had roused him. Somebody... Something had triggered one of his protective wards. Shaking his head to drive away the last traces of sleepiness as he jumped up, he reached for the sword hidden in his bed between the frame and the mattress.
Dressed in a pair of sweat pants and a T-shirt - he had fallen asleep watching TV - he dashed out of his bedroom and down the hall only to nearly collide with the tall figure of an...Incubus?!
How did he get in here? My wards should have stopped him cold at the door. Milliardo, you fool!
"Not another step." he demanded. "Not unless you want to end your life right now and here."
"Who are you? His chaperon?" The demon looked almost amused.
"I'm his guardian," he growled and with one swift motion the young man pulled out the curved sword, discarding the scabbard carelessly on the floor. He seized the weapon with both hands, summoning his power, and Nataku's blade started to emit a silvery glow.
The incubus did not seem too impressed. Instead he raised one eyebrow. "What would he need to be guarded from?"
"The likes of you."
There was a little huff. "But you don't even know me."
"I know more than you might think about you and your kind. And I'll be damned if I'll let you get close to him."
"You must be Wufei...Wufei Long, I presume?" the creature said, with special emphasize on the last name.
"It's Chang, but yes I am a member of the Long clan," he replied, his voice laced with sarcasm. "I see you know your guardians, Demon."
"In case you have not noticed, Guardian, I have been invited," the incubus pointed out, an almost complacent smile on his lips.
"Well, consider yourself uninvited." Wufei growled, raising the blade to emphasize his words. "Now leave while you are still in one piece and able to. I won't make this offer a second time."
The demon huffed in a mixture of sarcasm and amusement. "My my... you are quite a ferocious little dragon, aren't you?" He turned on his heels but threw a look back over his shoulder before he left. "Something tells me we haven't seen the last of one another."
Brows knitted into a scowl Wufei watched the Incubus strut toward the elevator. He waited until the doors had closed behind him before he loosened his grip on Nataku. The silver glow faded and he slipped the blade back into its protective sheath with a sigh of relief. That was close.
His hands were shaking and he had to close his eyes to steady himself. He just stood there taking deep, calming breaths until he heard the sound of footstep behind his back. He turned quickly, relieved when he recognized Milliardo in the dim light in the hall.
"Wufei, I didn't realize you were still awake."
He managed a nod, gesturing at the sword in his hand. "I was practicing."
"Geez, you know there is a fine line between dedication and obsession." the other man teased as he walked past him and into the still darkened living room. A surprised frown crossed his face and he flicked on the lights. "Treize, why are you sitting in the..."
His frown deepened. The room was empty. Milliardo turned his head toward his roommate.
"Wufei, have you seen Treize? Tall, ginger-blond, incredibly sexy; looks like he just stepped out of the cover of some hot fashion magazine."
"Maybe." the younger man replied vaguely.
"What do you mean; maybe?"
"He left." Wufei finally admitted.
"Left. As in he went away, walked out of here and took the elevator down."
"I know what it means to leave." Milliardo scowled. "Did he say anything?"
Wufei gave a little shrug. "He mentioned something about having to be somewhere early in the morning and almost forgetting about it."
Kicking the doorframe in a surge of anger Milliardo snorted. "Dumped twice in one day. That has gotta be some kind if record or so."
"It's probably for the best." Wufei offered quietly. "I mean you really didn't know anything about that guy. For all we know he could have been some kind if serial killer."
The other man rolled his eyes. "Wufei, some day we really need to sit down and talk about what that kind of paranoia can do to you," he replied. "Besides, have you ever heard of a serial killer with that kind of body and that those looks?"
"Do I have to say Ted Bundy?"
"Hmm... Point taken," Milliardo mused. "But I don't think even Bundy had an ass like that."
This time it was Wufei's turn to roll his eyes. "Alright, I think I better go to sleep." After I set up a couple extra wards, just in case.
"Yeah, me too." Milliardo agreed, his tone grumpy. "Since sleeping is all I'll be doing tonight anyway. Good night."
As the lights slowly went out in the top floor apartment Treize watched from the inside of his silver Mercedes. He had reclined the passenger seat and made himself comfortable, settling in for a long wait. Although the term long was a relative one for someone who had all the time in the world.
Who... or what are you, my young, fair-haired friend, he mused. It was anything but common for an average human to have a personal guardian by his side, a guardian from the Long clan never the less. But he have had a feeling that Milliardo was not your average mortal from the moment he had walked into that little bar. Or perhaps the young man himself had guided him there to begin with. He had not come across anyone with such a vibrant spirit in a very long time. This is going to be interesting.
Finally the last light in the apartment died. A smile crossed the incubus' face. "Good night, Milliardo," he whispered in his deep and soft voice. "Sweet dreams. And good night to you too, my fierce, little guardian dragon."
Even though Milliardo's invitation was still standing Treize decided that it was wiser to stay out of the apartment, for now. Besides, there were more than one way for an incubus to interact with its prey. Physical contact was, of course, the most enjoyable and satisfying one... But sometimes, one had no choice but to play the hand one had been dealt.
Author's Note: Here is a little teaser for a new story that I am planning on working on soon. Hope you enjoyed.