Disclaimers: They ain't mine....

Warning: Um same ones as always?

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Lecture Hall

Wufei leaned against his desk looking out over his students. Pulling his glasses off her crossed his feet. His classes had started looking at him funny along with the other Professor's he didn't wear his customary tweed as often as he used too and if he did it was just the slacks with the vest over his white shirt. Today he'd opted for a black turtle neck sweater and slacks. " Today I have a special assignment for you." He said softly placing the end of his glasses into his mouth. " I want you to write an essay on love. Telling me in your own words what you believe the emotion is. Why you believe that, and why it's so hard to let go.be prepared to debate your findings with me tomorrow. Dismissed."

Silently his class scuttled out.

" Ahh bravo Wufei matters of the heart."

Wufei resisted the urge to smack his head on his desk. " Hello Velvet." He said dryly.

Sweeping blond hair from his eyes Professor Velvet walked into the room. Making himself at home at his desk. Velvet studied Wufei's face intensely for a moment. " Just consider my offer Wufei."

" No."

" You don't even have to be naked! Just sit still and let me paint you." He said pleadingly.

Wufei frowned.

" No."

" Oh please you can pose with the child of Venus you call your boyfriend. He agreed to pose for my class today."

That got Wufei's attention.

" He what?!"

Velvet arched a brow. "He agreed to pose for my classes today.as long as you got at least one of the portraits of course."

Wufei shook his head and chuckled. " That's him not me." He said sliding his glasses back on.

With a sigh Velvet rose to leave. " You wound me so deeply with your words Wufei and even deeper still with your untouchable beauty you could at least allow me to immortalize it so that I may at worship it from afar as I am not allowed to lay my hands upon.."

Wufei rolled his eyes and looked at Velvet over his glasses. " Sure Velvet just remember child of Venus is an untouchable beauty as well. Got me?"

Velvet bowed. " I will not tai-"

" Thank you Professor Kuno. Now leave before I lay my hands on you."

Velvet sighed. " You wound me." He said walking out of the room.

Wufei chuckled again. " Velvet is insane."

" Hiya Wufei!"

Wufei looked up at the doorway and blinked then smiled. " Edwin! How are you?"

Edwin smiled and walked further into the room. " I'm great Pro- I mean Wufei." He blushed.

Wufei nodded. " How goes school?"

" Oh it's great.I just wanted to drop by and see you.and I wondered if-"

" Oi! Wu what'd you say to Velvet he's been all- Oh hi." Duo said with a smile as he went to stand beside Wufei.

Instinctively Wufei wrapped an arm around Duo and placed a light kiss on his cheek.

He missed the hurt look that crossed Edwin's features.

" What-"

"Nothing." Edwin said quickly backing out the room. " Nothing at all."

Tossing Duo a nasty look he left quickly.

Wufei frowned then looked down to where his arm was.then back up to Duo's frowning eyes. Something told him things were not going to be good soon.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Velvet's Class..

Duo.or rather Venus knelt boldly before the class on the little raised stage.he didn't know where Velvet had gotten the giant pink clam shell he was kneeling in and he didn't really want to know either.

" Hold the star higher.Perfect!" Velvet said softly as he walked around the easel's with ease.

Duo was surprised at how easily he could slip into the Venus persona.well he did do it every night when he was with Wufei.

'Woah down boy you're naked people don't need to see that!'

He told himself firmly.even though they probably wouldn't be able to see it anyway with his hair flowing around him as it was and the silly star Velvet was making him hold up. Thank God this was the last class his arm was really starting to hurt.

" That's very good Sarah." He heard Velvet murmur.

Duo tried not to sigh.he liked Velvet admittedly he was a strange man.

" Ahh Perfect let us give the God of beauty his due." Velvet said clapping his hands the rest of the class joined him a moment later.

Duo frowned.yep Velvet was a fry short of a happy meal. Grinning he stood up and took a bow in all his naked glory before bouncing off to the dressing room where his clothes was. Grinning he flicked his hair over his shoulder picking up his pants he started to put them on when a shadow appeared in the doorway.

Looking up Duo smiled thinking it was Velvet the smile faltered slightly when he saw Edwin standing there smiling at him. It wasn't an unpleasant smile indeed it was a very friendly smile but something about it made Duo nervous.

" Hi! Edwin is it?" Duo said grinning.

Edwin nodded still smiling. " Well you remembered congratulation." He said kindly.

Duo's smile faltered again. "Heh. So what's up?" He asked growing more uncomfortable by the minute.

Edwin walked further into the room leaning against the vanity.

" Venus right? "

Yeah but it's Duo actually."

Edwin nodded. " Right I didn't recognize you in Wufei's office.seeing as you were wearing clothes and all. But the second I saw you on the stage just now it clicked."

Duo felt a cold hand grip his chest. " Yeah well."

" So tell me 'Duo' why the Professor? Hm?"

Duo blinked. " W-what do you mean?"

Edwin's smile widened. " Oh come on a prime kept boy candidate such as yourself.why you've left a trail of broken hearts and empty wallets all the way from L2. So why'd you pick the Professor? What's the scheme?"

" There isn't a scheme." Duo said sharply pulling on his shirt.

Edwin snorted. " Oh come on you can tell me? What do you plan to do hm? Screw him until you get bored then take all his stuff and run?"

Duo thought desperately for a comeback but his usually quick mind was abandoning him.

" I'm not like that.Wufe-"

" Oh please the legendary Venus? Those lovely little legs of yours has been around many a man's and sometimes woman's waist."

Duo shook his head and tried to go around him. Edwin's arm shot out in front of him not touching him. " I know who you are. I don't know what you want with the Professor.but I do know he doesn't deserve to get screwed over by a little slut like you." Edwin said his voice still deceptively polite

Duo winced at the term.but he couldn't deny it.he was a slut.he didn't deserve Wufei.he did deserve being abandoned by Heero why not he was just a cheap lay a good one but a cheap lay nonetheless he was nothing.

" So wha-"

" Edwin."

Duo broke out of his thoughts then spotting Wufei standing in the doorway he quickly averted his eyes. He did-

" I would thank you to stay out of my personal affairs." Wufei's voice came calm and even through the room. " Or at very least know what's going on before you make a decision."

" Wu-"

" Please leave. I need to speak to my boyfriend alone."

" B-"

" I believe it would be best to leave Edwin." Velvet's voice came smooth as silk from his spot leaning against the door jab. " He's really upset.you may want to be far away from here in a few seconds.The Sultan has a vicious penalty for those who dare to touch his treasure."

Edwin nodded and left the room swiftly.Once he was gone Wufei immediately grabbed Duo pulling the dazed boy close again.

" He's-"

" Wrong very wrong." Wufei said. Squeezing his lover tighter ignoring the way Duo was shaking his head no. " He knows nothing about you.He only knows what he found out about Venus. He doesn't know Duo Maxwell." Wufei continued in low tones.

" I don't deserve you." Duo said weakly against his neck.

Wufei could hear the tears in his voice. With a little smile he kissed Duo's temple. "No you don't." He whispered back brushing his hair over his shoulder. " You haven't done anything that bad."

The last of Duo's resolve crumbled and he sobbed onto Wufei's shoulder. Squeezing him tighter Wufei added a new person to damn to his list. (1)


Velvet stood watching them a moment longer sharp eyes taking in every detail before him before he walked away leaving the lover's alone.

" Wufei?"

" Hm?"

" What the hell was Velvet talking about?"

" I have no idea."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wufei's apartment


Wufei was getting real tired of his neighbors real fast a dark scowl on his face he lead Duo down the hallway away from Mrs. Kinds.

" Thanks for the cookie's!" He waved at the kindly woman as Wufei pushed him into their apartment. He understood good neighbors and everything but this was ridiculous. " I'll start dinner." Duo said with a weak smile as he headed towards the kitchen.

Wufei nodded still distracted by what had happened that afternoon. He wanted to go after Edwin and.he wasn't sure what exactly he wanted to do to the damn boy but he knew it would be painful.

Turning towards the kitchen Wufei frowned Duo took to hiding in there more and more lately.

" Duo?"

" What do ya think rice and vegetables tonight? I like that idea ok then!" Duo's voice drifted to him from the kitchen.

There was no getting through to him just yet.So with a sigh Wufei settled himself down in front of his computer getting to work on his lecture. He hardly noticed when Duo left the kitchen to change.He did notice however when Duo plopped down in his lap.

" Hello Duo." He said dryly readjusting his arms so he could reach the keyboard. Glancing over his lover he frowned at his choice of clothing.

Since they'd been together Duo had formed a pattern, Wufei noticed. The better his mood the darker his clothing. He was wearing white now.

Stopping his typing Wufei pulled back to look at man currently lounging on his lap like a housecat. Slipping his hand up the loose white shirt Wufei frowned. " Don't let Edwin bother you Duo. I know the truth and you know the truth that's all that matters. Besides I'll-"

Duo pressed his lips to Wufei's cutting off the words effectively. " It-"

" Duo. I love you. That's all there is to it. No matter what anybody says no matter what you say. I-Love-You. Ok?"

Duo blushed and nodded.

" Good now say it with me. Wufei loves me."

Duo rolled his eyes. " Wufei that's so lame."

" That may be but you need to say it." He smirked.

" I'm not saying it."

" Why not?" Wufei asked arching a brow.

This gave Duo pause and then he shook his head. " Because it's goofy."

" It's goofy that I love you?"

Duo's eyes widened. " Oh no that's not it!"

" Then say it." Wufei challenged.

Duo sighed. " Wufei loves me." He said blandly. " It's still lame."

Wufei smirked and kissed Duo's collarbone. " Say it again. And this time look me in the eye when you say it."

Rolling his eyes Duo did what he was bid looking Wufei in the eye he started again. " Wufei lo-" Duo shifted his eyes away slightly but a gentle finger under his chin brought them back.

" In the eye Duo."

" Wufei."

" You can't except it can you." He said flatly.

Duo lowered his eyes again.

" I can't give you everything you deserve until you accept that I can and do love you Duo." He said sharply.

Duo swallowed. " I-"

" Don't.I understand."

Duo nodded turning to look at Wufei again a smile on his lips. " Thanks Wu. " Leaning forward he kissed his lover again. " I'll go save the rice before it burns." He smirked hopping off Wufei's lap.

Wufei watched him go silently for a moment before looking back at his lecture notes. He still had a long way to go but he was getting there step by step.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wufei's office

" No Velvet."

" But Wufei-"

" NO Velvet."

" Hear me out bea-"

" NO Velvet!"

With a sigh Professor Velvet fell back onto the couch clutching his heart. " Oh Wufei how you-"

" Wound me to my very soul." Wufei finished for him with a snort. Velvet had become a lot more persistent about him posing for him as of late.it was really starting to grate his nerves especially with his neighbors giving him tips on positions he and Duo could try he was nearly at his wits end.

" Why are you frowning Wufei those feat-"

" Don't start Velvet I'm not in the mood." Wufei said shifting the newspaper.

" What are you doing with the page of lies anyway?" Velvet asked stretching out on the couch.

" I'm looking for a new apartment." Wufei muttered. " And those of us that live in reality call it a newspaper."

" You say that like it's a good thing."

" Ohhh top floor with a view and a balcony ten minutes from the university." Wufei nodded. " The newspaper is a good thing."

" No I meant reality beautiful one.you say living in it is a good thing."

" That's because it is."

" Why?"

" Because it's real."

" And?"

" It's real nothing else too it. You can't live in a fantasy."

" Ah but why not? A fantasy is much more pleasant than reality.why not stay there even if it's not real."

" Because if everyone lived in a fantasy then nothing in reality would get done."

" But nothing in reality would be as painful if everyone lived in a fantasy.but if everyone lived in a fantasy wouldn't the fantasy become reality? "

" No it would just be an excepted mirror to reality.nothing in reality is without pain.Hmm 1 bedroom 1 bath condo."

" So your saying for things to be real it must hurt?"

" Hai."

" Then I will stick with my fantasy.besides who wants to live in your boring hurtful reality intentionally?" Velvet said waving a hand.

Wufei clamped the pen between his teeth and grinned. " I do." Because Duo's here. He added silently.

"Whatever you say Wufei I must go The Venus awaits."

Rolling his eyes Wufei watched Velvet stroll out of his office.he could admit he was a good-looking man with chin length ash blond hair, sharp almond shaped green eyes.. His peach rose complexion complimented even white teeth. He was a sight to behold tall and slender with all the cunning and grace of a feline. If Duo hadn't come along Wufei would have probably fallen under his spell by now.

"Velvet."

" I know look but never touch." He called over his shoulder as he strode out of the room.

Nodding Wufei smiled.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Velvet's classroom.

Duo was bored again, Velvet had left him alone between classes while he went to 'Bow before the King' which in Velvet language meant a meeting.

Sighing Duo wandered across the empty studio like room moving benches and the like absently. He wished he'd come back soon he didn't like being alone.and Wufei was teaching a class so he couldn't go.

Duo paused in his mental tirade spotting something distinctly out of place in the art studio.a piano. A small smile lit his face as he walked toward it. " Joe." He whispered running his fingers across the dusty keys. He missed Joe.Duo pulled the bench out from under the piano and sat down tapping absently at the keys. Like Joe used to before he'd start playing.Duo's smile widened. His time on L2 in Joe's bar had been one of the best times in his life. He'd met Joe right after the Maxwell church.after * that * happened.

Duo didn't have anywhere to go and hardly anything at the time.Joe had found him sitting outside on the curb looking lost.he'd took him in then gave him food and a place to sleep in exchange for busboy duty.

Duo took the position of course and during the day when no one was there he'd clean tables and watch Joe at his piano.he'd always close his eyes and play this one song everyday and he'd close every night with it.how'd it go again?

Duo tapped at the keys again willing the tune to catch.he couldn't get it right off but the words came immediately to mind. He'd loved it when Joe would sing it back then it was just a pretty song but now it had real meaning he could understand what lay beneath those soft words.Closing his own eyes Duo found himself singing it.

Turn down the lights, turn down the bed
Turn down these voices inside my head
Lay down with me, tell me no lies
Just hold me close, don't patronize - don't patronize me

To his surprise the melody came then soft and low from rusty fingers.


Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark. in these lonely hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't. no you won't
'Cause I can't make you love me. if you don't

I'll close my eyes, then I won't see
The love you don't feel. when you're holding me
Morning will come and I'll do what's right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight


Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these lonely hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't
Ain't no use in tryin' baby.


Duo winded down the song ending it abruptly at the sound of applause. He looked up red faced to where Velvet .and the majority of his 11 o'clock class stood in the room clapping.

Turning never seen before shades of red Duo stood up.

" Oh come now encore!"

Blushing Duo ducked his head and glared at Velvet.

Laughing Velvet walked to his side and lifted his hand kissing the back of it softly. " Beauty and talent how can I resist." He sighed.

" Wufei's katana."

" Good enough." Velvet said dropping the hand. " Now what you my siren you pose for the class."

" That's why I'm here!" He smiled walking to the front of the classroom through the milling students.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wufei's apartment.

Wufei frowned at the computer screen.

" See something you don't like?"

Wufei looked up at the person that spoke.his dream come true. Duo and a hot cup of coffee.ok maybe not a dream Duo in a Garfield night shirt and bear claw slippers with his hair pulled into two ponytails on either side of his head wasn't exactly the stuff wet dreams were made of.but he was still a vision.

With a tired sigh Duo plopped down onto Wufei's lap shoving the cup into unresisting hands.

" You've been at this thing for hours I think it's time to shut it down." Duo suggested.

Wufei sipped the coffee.Of course Duo was right but he couldn't. " I can't Duo I have to get these graded tonight.I should have done it yesterday but I got distracted." He said looking pointedly at Duo who had the grace to blush.

" Point made." He smirked.

Wufei smiled and nuzzled his neck. " But it was a fun distraction.Even though I'm going to get flack for months about those teethmarks on my shoulder."

Duo snickered. " Just marking my territory." He winked.

Wufei arched a brow and took another sip of his coffee. " Hm you'd better get off my lap before I decide to mark mine."

" Ohhh you promise?" Duo purred wiggling slightly.

" Duo!"

" Hehehehehe."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wufei/Maxwell-Living room

Relena set her tea cup down on the table." So he saw the announcement I take it."

Wufei gave the cat a scratch behind the ears. " Yes he did.how could he not it was everywhere.just like the birth of Daniel and then Veronica it was almost like you timed everything to happen just when Duo had pulled himself half-way back something would happen to knock him back down and I'd end up frantically trying to piece him back together."

" I'm sorry."

" You're apologizing to the wrong person. After all if Heero hadn't married you then I wouldn't have Duo."

Relena lowered her eyes to her lap. " If I hadn't."

Wufei arched a brow." If you hadn't what?"

" If I hadn't forced Heero to stay with me he would have gone back to Duo."

" No one can force Heero to do anything he doesn't want to do." Wufei said reasonably.

Relena smiled bitterly. " I did. I begged pleaded anything I could to get him to stay with me a bit longer I-I even." Relena blushed a bright crimson. " I -"

" I get the picture." Wufei said quickly he really didn't want to know.

" And I got him." She said her head still lowered.

" Yes you did.you chose your own fate now you have to live with the results." Wufei said coolly sipping his tea.

















1) Yes I know a lot of people are going Duo would have come up with something smartass to say.that's the old Duo this is a Duo who is slowly picking his life back up and what he's built has just been knocked down by Heero again..and then when he's trying to deny he's hurt about that Edwin throws something else at him he's already shaken by Heero and already doubts himself he isn't likely to get too cocky then is he?