The camera clicked on, pointing into the interior of the huge, well-equipped garage shared by the five ex-pilots, but there was no narration to begin with. The image slowly shifted across the various sleek and gleaming vehicles parked inside, lingering for an extra couple of seconds on the deep red convertible Heero had been working on when Duo started fiming him for his episode of the 'documentary'.
The Duo may occasionally laugh at the other members of his group for what he calls their 'obsession with metal fetish objects', Heero's voice said abruptly and without any preliminaries, but that doesn't stop him from helping whenever someone has a maintenance job to do that requires three or more hands. He also tends to keep the vehicle-related jokes fairly low-key and inoffensive, and has never played a practical joke involving the cars. This is probably partly because the Duo is careful not to pull anything that might endanger things his friends genuinely care about... and, probably, partly because of these.
The camera image swung to one side and steadied again, showing three brilliantly chromed and polished motorcycles.
The Duo is just as obsessed with 'shiny metal noisemakers' as the rest of us, Heero said smugly. His are just smaller than ours... Wufei also has a motorcycle, but it's only a conveyance, not a 'fetish object'. The Duo has selected classic examples of each of what he considers the three basic 'breeds' of bike-- cruising, sprint and off-road-- restored them to perfect condition, and then tuned the engines into something that would make their designers break down and cry out of feelings of sheer inadequacy.
Anybody who's only been exposed to the Duo in a public situation has only seen one side of him, Heero's voice said quietly. The camera angle was low to the ground, sliding along the side of the house towards the corner. When people who aren't his intimate friends are around, the Duo plays the brainless braided baka to perfection, filling any pause in conversation with jokes, inane chatter, and 'no-shit-there-I-was' stories. --That's his name for them, not mine, he added dryly, lowering his voice as he got closer to the corner of the house and slowed down. Of course, he talks a lot of the time at home as well, but the subject matter is often more serious and he displays intelligent, well-thought-out opinions. And then there are times like this.
The camera inched around the corner, dropped a bit to get line of sight under a sheltering bush, and steadied, pointing at a wide shady tree across the lawn. Duo was lying on his back underneath it, sprawled comfortably on a blanket with a stack of books next to him, reading.
This is a good illustration of just how intelligent the Duo is, Heero whispered. The Duo reads anything he can get his hands on, but it's not because he isn't picky; it's because he'd run out of reading material if he restricted himself to 'good' books. He has very high standards for what he considers 'good', too. He reads a lot of nonfiction, mostly history, philosophy, and hard science, remembers what he reads, and has won an amazing amount of arguments by quoting obscure texts in what other people have, until then, considered their area of expertise.
There was a pause, and then a faint chuckle.
The Duo often tells the rest of us-- er, his group-- that they're extremely intelligent. Some day we'll get him to believe that we're in awe of his brains...
The Duo can sleep through loud music, TV shows, thunderstorms, and any amount of conversation as long as the voices are familiar, Heero said as the camera adjusted its light levels and focussed on a moonlit treetrunk at close range, but if you open the door of whatever room he's in, he will wake up, no matter how quietly you do it. Luckily, he sleeps with the window open at this time of year.
The camera swung around, away from the tree, and it became immediately obvious that Heero was even higher off the ground than Duo had been when he filmed Wufei, about to climb into a window on the top floor of the house. He managed it easily, too, despite having only one hand free, and a minute later was standing next to the bed.
Duo was lying on his stomach, covers pushed down and puddling around his waist, braid draped across one shoulder and looped around his wrist. Heero waited a moment, until the camera had adjusted properly to the reduced light levels, and then zoomed in on his peacefully sleeping face.
The Duo at rest, he said softly, a slight tremor in his voice hinting at a suppressed chuckle. Apart from when he's absorbed in a really good book-- or using his mouth for something else-- this is the only time you can be reasonably sure the Duo will be quiet. Sleep also gives us a rare opportunity to see the Duo when he's staying still. Nobody can say that the Duo isn't attractive, he mused, slowly panning along the length of Duo's back, but sometimes he's bouncing so fast from one thing to another that it's difficult to get a good look.
The Duo once told me, 'Never miss an opportunity'...
A hand reached into shot and slowly stroked down Duo's spine, sliding the sheet down further and briefly cupping his rear before moving back up to brush hair out of his face and trace the line of his jaw. Duo sighed, lips curving into a smile as he stretched, and then the picture abruptly spun as the camera dropped to the floor next to the bed. It showed a beautifully clear shot of a worn bunny slipper for a moment, and then everything went dark as Heero's shirt landed on top of it.
"Mmmh... Heero?" Duo's voice said drowsily. "What-- oh... Heero..."
The camera had just managed to boost its light levels far enough to show pale moonlight shining through the cloth covering it when the shadow of a hand descended.
On to Episode 4
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