FFF 17: Undercover

a Mobile Suit Gundam Wing fanfiction drabble

Duo resurfaced a little over an hour and half later, fully dressed. Though he was covered from the neck down, including thin gloves that reached up to his mid-forearm, it was clear the clothing had been chosen for him, and it had been hastily assembled. The shirt was different but still long-sleeved, and his combat boots were of the combat variety, not for dancing. He had a tousled look that Heero remembered seeing just after Duo’d woken up and hadn’t had a chance to rebraid his hair. The boss was nowhere to be seen, but Heero didn’t take that as a free pass.

It suddenly occurred to him that this man, this man they’d have to take out at some point in the near future, had almost certainly seen Duo with his hair down, a privilege that had been Heero’s alone before this mission, at least as far as Heero knew. Though it had never been anything but friendly between them—Heero suspected that Duo thought that Heero was asexual, or, at the very least, wholly uninterested—Heero had gone undercover with the long-haired man enough to see his hair down once or twice. It didn’t happen often, despite being in such close quarters for long periods of time, and Heero savored it.

Now, he had to share that with… this guy. He frowned, despite himself.

Duo sauntered over to the bartender near to where Heero was standing. Heero knew that Duo knew where he was and that he was listening closely.

“Gimme something hard on the rocks, will ‘ou?” he asked.

“Christ, man,” the bartender crowed, “how do you talk down the boss like that?”

Duo shrugged amiably. “’e likes me, I guess.” He paused and then continued lecherously, “An’ I like ‘im.” He grinned, and she laughed. She set a rocks glass of dark liquid in front of him and he took it, swirling the alcohol around the ice before taking a tiny sip.

“I gotta head off, love,” he said after a minute of staring at nothing behind her.

“You look tired.”

“You mean I look like shit?” he asked wryly, though there was no menace in it.

She laughed. “I guess, if you want to put it that way.”

“Thanks, hon. That’s just what I needed to hear.”

“Boss is keeping you busy, then?”

“Yeah, more than my beauty sleep allows.” Duo smirked to show he was joking, and the bartender laughed again. He made no move to leave.

“You know, he really is better now that he’s got you,” she said after a minute.

“’ou think so?”

“Yeah, definitely,” she assured him. “He used to be so… much like a pimp.” She said the last word with disgust, and Duo’s face darkened for a second, but he covered it with another sip of his drink. “Now he’s more…” the bartender continued without noticing, “more like a father doting on his children.”

Duo couldn’t help a short bark of laughter, and Heero’s frown deepened. The long-haired man slapped a five on the counter and stood to leave. “Glad to help y’out,” he said.

“It’s on the house, honey,” the bartender said, “you know that. You’re the favorite, after all.” She grinned at him.

He pushed the five toward her and stepped back, “An’ I wanna stay that way, so just consider this a tip. It’s not even really from me, y’know. ‘ere’s more where that came from.” He winked conspiratorially and she blushed, accepting the inferred excuse, and slid the money from the table into her apron pocket. If she noticed that he’d barely touched his drink, she didn’t say anything when she took it from the counter and emptied it into the sink.

“See ‘ou later, love,” he said, pushing away from the bar fully. He turned without waiting for a response and walked past Heero, dropping something on his way by. Heero put a boot over the scrap and watched the other man leave without otherwise moving. After a minute, he stooped and grabbed the paper. He put it in his pocket without looking at it and left the club from a different entrance.

Outside, he walked three blocks before pulling the scrap from his pocket. In Duo’s slanted handwriting, it read: 7TH & WILLIAMS 0330

Heero looked at his watch. It was 3:00 AM. Seventh Ave. and Williams Blvd. were just a few more blocks down, so he took his time, walking out of the way in case someone connected him to the club tonight. (No one would, he knew.)

This post is part of Flash Fiction February.

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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