Disclaimer:I don't own them and I don't make any money off of them.
Warnings: Male/male sex, graphic, language, violence
An hour later, Duo was sitting at his desk with his coat drying on the back of his chair. His hair was drying as well and remembering that it liked to hang in his face rather than defy gravity. His newspaper was open to the ads for rental apartments. Candies and wrappers made a pile to his left. He slowly picked out a lemon candy, unwrapped it, and popped it into his mouth while he stared at the person sitting in front of his desk. She was a frail looking old woman. Dressed prim and proper, she was still trying to rock a style that had been popular in the 1950s. She fit in well with the decor of the building.
Duo was supposed to be taking the old woman’s statement, but his notepad had very little on it and his hand, poised with a pen, hadn’t moved in a long while. His eyes had become glazed and his mouth was set in a thin line. He was a study in patience, but it was clear he was about to reach the end of it.
Wufei was working at his own desk. He glanced over periodically with an expression of concern as if he was afraid Duo might try to hurt the old woman. It made the situation that much more irritating. He hadn’t intended on taking the woman’s complaint. She had wandered through the continuing chaos, tottering around gang members, drug addicts, and alleged prostitutes as if his desk was her loadstone. She had ignored Duo’s amethyst glare, sat down, and began talking with firm confidence that was at odds with the confusing information she was trying to convey.
“The thief looked like Jamie, Harold’s son.”
Duo blinked, unprepared for actual information. He raised his pen from its lazy sideways position. “Who’s Jamie?”
The old woman looked confused, her brow furrowed.
“I see him in the hallways of our apartment building, mostly.”
Duo sighed and made a circular doodle on his notepad.
“Harold or Jamie?”
The old woman made a motion with one finger like a conductor in front of an orchestra and nodded. “Harold.” She was wearing a wedding and engagement ring encrusted with diamonds. They hung loosely on her boney finger.
Duo waited, finishing his candy and making more circles on his notepad. Nothing more seemed to be forthcoming from the old woman.
“And who is Harold, exactly?”
The old woman clutched her blue, macrame purse with both hands and said in exasperation, “Jamie’s father! I’ve already told you that.”
Duo scowled and sipped at his cooling coffee. The old woman squinted as she read what was written on the mug. She huffed and looked offended.
“I don’t like you, Detective Maxwell. Is there someone else I can talk to?”
Duo put down his mug. He plastered on a fake smile and turned to Wufei. He asked in a pleasant tone, “Wufei? Do you mind taking Mrs. Angelino’s complaint?”
Duo turned back to the old woman. “Officer Wufei is one of our best. He’ll get to the bottom of… whatever you’re complaining about.”
Wufei stood up like a spring being released. As if the woman was his own grandmother, he gently guided her to the chair in front of his desk and helped her sit. When she was settled, he sat in his chair and poised a pen over his notepad. He looked like her complaint was the most important event in his day. Duo had never been able to master the art of dealing with the public. He really didn’t want to. It was the hard cases that interested him, not finding lost keys and noise complaints.
Duo sifted through the case files in his overfull IN box. He pulled out one, opened it up on his messy desk and peered at the corresponding file he had long ago opened on his computer. He was allowed to read for a few minutes before he became aware that someone was standing in front of his desk. He hunched behind his computer, trying to ignore the person and hide, but they didn’t go away. Finally, Duo looked up with a glare, ready to repel another assault on his time.
An Asian looking man with a mess of chocolate hair and a dead-eye set of deep blue eyes stood stiffly in front of him. The man was dressed in a plain, brown business suit and his just as bland expression didn’t give Duo any clue whether he was about to launch into a complaint or compliment him on his… Duo couldn’t think of anything that warranted a compliment at the moment. The only thing Duo could ascertain was that the man was ‘packing heat’ and was probably a detective, not a civilian.
“Detective Heero Yuy, I’ve been assigned as your partner.” His voice was as flat as his expression. He seemed to be trying to excel at rigid blandness. He wasn’t bad looking, Duo thought, and it was obvious he spent time at the gym.
“My last partner was a woman,” Duo said and then felt a moment of ‘fuck you world, especially Captain Merquise’ as he added bluntly, “I like working with women because they don’t usually mind that I’m gay. I hope that won’t be a problem for you? I promise not to give unexpected blowjobs, all right?”
Yuy didn’t even blink at his crudeness.
Duo stared at him, nonplussed by his inability to get a reaction and vent at the same time. He felt immature and that pissed him off even more. He said acidly, “I only have a few rules; show up on time, take lots of notes when I talk, and try to keep up. If you’re gun happy, you can go back where you came from. My name is Duo, but I don’t do Jack Bauer. We’re solving cases, not getting in the line of fire.”
Yuy’s non-expression cracked briefly. His dark brows drew together a miniscule fraction, expressing his confusion, before smoothing out again.
Duo was incredulous. “Jack Bauer–Are you telling me you don’t know who that is? Jack Bauer–24–lots of shooting–forget it.”
Duo held up the file from his desk.
“This is our case, Yuy. The Chief wouldn’t let me work anything serious until I had a partner, so we’re behind and we have to play catch up. I’ll fill you in on all the facts as we drive–you can drive, right? I don’t unless absolutely necessary. If you saw me drive, you would thank me for that decision.”
Yuy took out his car keys and dangled them where Duo could see them. They were hanging from an old scuffed piece of metal by a few links of chain.
Duo looked Yuy up and down as he stood up and took his still damp coat from the back of his chair. “You don’t talk much, do you?”
Yuy didn’t reply.
Duo shrugged into his coat as he came around his desk. As they began to walk out of the station he muttered, “That’s good, because I like to do all the talking.”
The fast food drive through was bumper to bumper. When they finally drove up to order in Yuy’s plain, white car, Duo was starving and irritable. He leaned over Yuy in the driver seat and squinted at the menu.
“Three breakfast burritos, one hash brown, one cinnamon mega bun with extra cream cheese, and a large coffee. You want anything Heero?”
Yuy frowned and shook his head. Duo stared at him for a beat, wondering how he could resist the urge of a fast food breakfast, and then sat back in his seat with a shrug. “Just a warning; I’m not sharing.”
Yuy pulled up to the next window. Duo dug into his wallet for money and handed it to him. He passed it to the waiting woman leaning out of the window.
“You didn’t get close enough,” Duo pointed out.
Yuy didn’t respond. He had revealed a part of his personality to Duo as clearly as if he had filled out a psychological exam. Risk takers pulled up close to the drive through window. Cautious people left space, afraid of scratching their car. That didn’t make Duo happy. He needed someone to follow him into any situation and have his back. He didn’t need someone to hang back and question his every move. That had been his last partner’s problem. She had transferred after only a few months, disgusted with Duo’s methodology, his compulsiveness and his weird nature. The drinking hadn’t endeared him to her either.
“Thank you. Second window, please.”
Yuy drove up the pick-up window. Duo put his wallet into his pocket, making the woman, leaning out of the window with his bag of food and drink, wait. She popped gum and sighed.
“Sorry.” Duo leaned over Yuy and grabbed his food and drink, maneuvering with difficulty in the tight space of the car. Yuy made an uncomfortable sound and looked annoyed as Duo settled back in his seat.
The server said, “Thank you, have a great day!” with the same tone as someone giving an insult.
Duo grunted sourly, “Not likely.”
Yuy pulled the car back onto the street.
Duo put his coffee in a cup holder and then rummaged through his bag of food. Yuy’s silence was deafening. Duo paused and looked at him sideways. His expression was flat, his eyes studying the road ahead as if he was taking the final on an exam. His car was perfectly clean. He hadn’t added anything to a basic dealer package, not even a GPS. It looked as if he had driven it off the lot that morning before coming to work. Again, it was another indication of someone who wasn’t a risk taker. He didn’t change norms to suite himself. That meant he was probably by the book. Duo didn’t like that one bit.
“You really don’t talk much, do you?”
Yuy didn’t reply and his expression didn’t change. He continued to watch the road.
As he pulled food from his bag and began unwrapping a burrito, Duo said, “I see my reputation precedes me. You’re pissed you were assigned as my partner, aren’t you? I get that. I’m famous for solving hard cases, but people think I’m a lunatic and an asshole. I have a folder in psych that’s as thick as a dictionary.”
Yuy glanced at Duo with a puzzled, clueless expression. He returned to watching the road as if whatever puzzled him wasn’t something he wanted to investigate further, whatever Duo was saying was unimportant, or– The third reason seemed unlikely, but Duo had to ask. “You do know who I am, don’t you?”
Yuy shook his head slightly. Duo stared.
“You mean there is some corner of this city where people haven’t ridiculed me, wanted to end my career, or aren’t in awe of my incredible record of solved cases?”
Yuy said nothing. His silence was beginning to grate on Duo’s nerves. His silences said more than speaking, but Duo wasn’t sure he was reading him right. Duo was comfortable with anger and contempt. He wasn’t sure what to do when someone didn’t care at all.
Duo bit into his burrito and tasted peppers. He had forgotten to ask for them to be left out. He swallowed his bite with difficulty and then began methodically picking out the peppers from the rest of the burrito and leaving them in a pile on the wrapper.
“Well, don’t go googling me now to find out my record. All the stories are false... except the one about the moose stampede and the midget, er, little person. I didn’t have any choice in either situation.”
Yuy frowned slightly.
Duo said in annoyance, “You’re judging. Don’t judge. Your job is to take notes and walk behind me. When I ask, you read them back to me. If shit goes down... run. I’ll be running ahead of you. Like I said, I don’t do Jack Bauer. You can google him, just so you know what I mean.”
Duo began eating his de-peppered burritos with gusto. It might have been better if their first case was simply a fact checking walk-through. Unfortunately, Duo knew that Merquise was wrong. There was more to the case than a simple dog attack. Odd facts that didn’t fall into their neat narrative screamed out from the file as if the victim still had a voice. Duo hoped Yuy lasted long enough to solve it. He really hated taking his own notes.