davroskr (davroskr) wrote,

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Common Ground - the rest of the Prologue

Quickest update ever.  Whoo.  Some days, it's totally worth going to work.  I'm not happy with it yet, but my new resolution is to obsess less and "publish" more.
Updated warnings: 5x13/13x5, possible 13x6x5, kink, angst, sap.

Wufei raised an eyebrow, not entirely sure whether the double entendre was intended or not.  Well, that wasn't the entire truth; all he needed to do was take another glance at the amused eyes, which were eagerly awaiting his reaction.  Some men, he decided, really couldn't help themselves.  Duo had been known to flirt with potted plants, for example.  "The serving sizes are small," he agreed blandly, drawing his hand back.  "But I haven't even had my wine."

"Of course.  How rude of me."  Treize took a roll, and settled back.  Wufei decided that he looked like a large version of a house cat, lying under a tree and watching the bird feeder.  "So tell me, Mr. Chang, about yourself."

Wufei took a sip.  He was no wine expert, but the flavor was simultaneously delicate and powerful.  He nodded his appreciation, taking another sip.  "I'm not sure there's anything very interesting to tell.  Like most people, I came to San Francisco from somewhere much smaller.  I did the usual menial jobs, scraping together enough here and there for the exorbitant cost of living."  He shrugged.  "You see?  Very boring."

"And what sort of work are you doing now?"

That was always the $80,000 question.  "I'm a researcher."

"Indeed?  That hardly sounds menial to me.  You work at one of the universities, then?"

Wufei grinned.  He couldn't help it.  "Ah, no, I'm more freelance.  You'd be surprised how many people have questions about the past, or even events in the present, but don't have the time or research skills to find out themselves."

"You mean geneology, that sort of thing?"

"Among other things," Wufei said.  "It's challenging work, although not very interesting to talk about, I'm afraid."  It was definitely time to find another topic.  "What about yourself?  You don't strike me as a California native, either."

"My ancestors were Russian by birth, but my family has always done a fair bit of traveling.  I grew up in a dozen towns and cities around Europe - and New York.  But I've been here for a number of years.  There's something quite remarkable about the city."

"Yes," Wufei agreed. "Sally thinks it's the weather.  She believes that hard winters make people crazy."

"On behalf of my ancestors, I object - although come to think of it, we do have a little more madness than most families."  Treize glanced at Wufei's glass.  "Are you done?  I hate to rush you, but if I don't eat something soon, I may have to storm the kitchen."

"Then let's go."  Wufei stood, feeling the sudden rush.  Two glasses of wine on an empty stomach - very smart.  "Can you drive?  Because I shouldn't right now."

Treize smiled at him.  "Tipsy?"

"A little.  Some food is probably a good idea."

"Excellent.  I know a place with excellent pasta."

Wufei nodded his agreement.  Treize paid, over his protests, and walking out the door, he was suddenly certain that it couldn't be this easy - surely David would show up, or Treize's date, or something would go wrong.  Because this was shaping up to be a real date, and Wufei pretty much never made it through those without something going dreadfully wrong.

Despite his dire predictions, they ended up in a tiny restaurant not too far away.  The food was excellent, but the company even better.  Despite Treize's unabashed flirting, he was clever and an excellent conversationalist.  He wasn't sure if it was the ease of conversation or the additional glass of wine, but the evening seemed to melt together, until he was being dropped off next to his non-descript car in the empty parking lot.  The evening was chilly, and Treize stood beside him as he fumbled with his keys. 

"Thank you for tonight," Treize said, and Wufei glanced up.  "I would suggest a nightcap at my place, but you wouldn't accept, would you?"

"No," Wufei said honestly.  He was already beginning to go over the evening, trying to remember what he'd said, and how embarassing it might be in the morning, when the haze of alcohol and warm smiles had worn off.  "Not even if you really just meant a nightcap."

Treize laughed ruefully.  "Will you give me your number, then?"

Wufei hesitated.  "I don't think that would be a good idea."

"Really?"  Treize seemed taken aback.  "I thought you were having a good time."

"I was."  Wufei rubbed his forehead.  "Look, it's complicated.  I don't . . ."  He sighed, trying to think of a way to explain.  "I don't date," he managed.  "It doesn't work out well."

"I see."

Wufei shook his head.  "I doubt it.  I'm not sure I understand.  Look, I think you're -"

"Shhh."  Treize touched his lips firmly.  "No need to give me the whole speech."

"Oh."  Wufei felt slightly stupid.  "Good.  Well."

"I was more or less going to ignore it, anyway."  Wufei frowned.  If there was one thing he hated, it was people who assumed he didn't really know what he wanted.  Sally did it all the time, and it made him crazy.  Treize bent down, cradling Wufei's jaw in one hand, the other still held against his mouth.  Treize smiled.  "I have no intentions of dating you, Wufei.  Dating is for children and silly adults."  The low, husky purr and the cool fingers were triggering sexual responses so strong that Wufei nearly let himself go.  "So meet me for lunch Tuesday."

This was such a bad idea.  This man was dangerous - perhaps not slit-your-throat-with-a-knife dangerous, but something just as bad.  Wufei had had enough experience to know that he needed to shake off the hand, get in his car, and drive off.  He didn't need to know exactly what kind of danger he was sensing, or why some circuit in Wufei's brain was translating that as sexual attraction.  He didn't date, and certainly not arrogant, wealthy, brilliant, flirtateous men, which was why Wufei found himself saying, "All right.  Lunch." 

"Good.  Tres Portales, perhaps?  Around one?"  It was a small, inexpensive place, with excellent food.  Wufei nodded, feeling dazed.  Treize smiled sympathetically.  "Don't worry.  I promise to restrain myself."

From what? Wufei almost asked, and then thought better of it.  "It's not a date," he said. 

"Of course not.  We'll just be good friends."  This was said without a hint of joking, but Wufei was sure that Treize was laughing.  He pulled himself away, got in his car numbly, and drove home. 

Duo was, of course, still awake, and waved vaguely from where he perched, poring over a sheaf of photographs spread across the kitchen table.  Wufei grunted a good night, retreating.  He showered, changed, and got into bed, where he lay awake for a long time, still feeling the phantom fingers brushing his lips.
Tags: 13x5
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