Heero was stretched out on his infirmary bed, on top of the covers. He was shirtless and his right arm was bandaged nearly up to his shoulder. He had gotten burned when his potion toppled over, and the pain made him feel very pissed off. Then there was the fact that another set of his robes was going to be used as rags. Argh.
In the other bed, Wufei sulked. He was curled up, obstinately ignoring the other teenager. His chest was covered with bandages. The only thing that was distracting him from complaining about the pain was thinking angry thoughts about Yuy. He had been getting used to the other teenager as a partner during the last months, and couldn't believe he would do something that stupid and dangerous. And here he'd been starting to like him... what a moron!
Heero was directing angry thoughts at his fellow Slytherins who'd thought it would be fun to throw explosives in his cauldron. He knew that they were aiming for his partner, but still, they should have known better. He would have to get revenge.
The brown haired boy glanced at the Ravenclaw in the other bed, seeing him fingering his bandages, a sulky expression on his face, and winced. He hated his housemates a lot just then. Before today, Chang Wufei didn't even notice him. Now it was worse. He resented him.
Well, maybe it was better in a way, he tried to console himself. At least he had to acknowledge Heero.
The Slytherin sighed, wondering if he should apologize. But the thought barely entered his mind before he rejected it with violence. It wasn't his fault, he didn't see why he should make excuses.
In the other bed, Wufei was slowly acknowledging that he wasn't just angry at his potions partner and his stupid friends for the burn or the loss of good marks. He was angry at himself too. He sighed, a little sadly. He'd almost convinced himself that Heero wasn't like the others Slytherins...
He shifted positions slightly. He wanted to lie on his other side, but he didn't want to have to look at Yuy.
Heero didn't stay in place ten minutes before he began to fidget, getting bored. Abandoning the idea of a nap, he sat up against the headboard, annoyed. He noticed that Wufei had rolled over. But he wasn't even looking at him, so no entertainment on that side.
"... This is only slightly less boring than history lessons," he grumbled in a coldly disgusted tone.
Wufei snorted. "Well, we have you to thank for that."
Heero threw the black-haired teenager a glare. "And how am I responsible for my housemates' stupidity? You think I asked them to throw that stuff in my cauldron?"
"There must have been some reason your cauldron was chosen."
"Yes, because they all love and admire me so much," Heero shot back, rolling his eyes. He crossed his arms over his chest defensively, hiding a wince of pain when his arm protested.
Great, now it was a certainty, Wufei despised him. Fuck. He wanted to leave the infirmary, but Pomfrey would never let him. No use telling her that he didn't feel any poison seeping into his bloodstream.
Wufei gave him a disbelieving look. "So, you're saying that they were picking on you?"
Heero looked away, embarrassed to be considered like the weaker one, the one who got bullied. "Revenge?" he threw back blindly. There was always one thing or another to get revenge for in Slytherin.
Wufei rolled his eyes. "Figures."
"Maybe they were aiming at YOU," Heero answered, frowning.
"As if," Wufei scoffed. He was quiet and reserved, didn't make a fuss as long as no one interfered with his learning. He didn't see why the hell anyone would want to do something like that to him.
Heero snorted. "You don't imagine the number of people you're pissing off, mister know-it-all. You're worse than that Granger girl."
Wufei glared evilly. "That's hardly a reason to do this."
"They must have been bored," Heero answered calmly, sounding unconcerned. As if dismissing Wufei, he flexed his arm slowly, testing.
"... Does it hurt?"
The brown-haired student glanced at Wufei. He nearly threw back a sharp retort, but Wufei seemed... sincere.
"... It's a second-degree acid burn. Of course it hurts," he answered calmly.
... Okay, maybe he could have been more friendly.
The Chinese boy hesitated, then thought 'what the hell' and sat up slowly.
"There's a healing charm I was researching for an assignment last year. It doesn't heal faster, but it numbs pain. Want me to use it?"
Heero blinked, then frowned a little, puzzled. Why would Wufei want to help? He was pissed at him. But the Slytherin decided not to look at the gift horse in the mouth and accepted that chance to grow a little closer to the boy. Wufei wouldn't try to get revenge on him now, he wasn't the type. He could have been a Gryffindor for his sense of honor, if his thirst for knowledge hadn't been even greater.
Wufei sat up at the edge of the bed and reached across the gap between their beds, pointing his wand at Heero's arm.
"Injurus bene medicium vale!"
Heero relaxed a little as the pain receded, and Wufei leaned back against the pillow. "Not bad," the Slytherin agreed.
"You want to do it to me?" Wufei asked, suggesting a truce of sorts.
Heero smirked. 'Oh hell yeah.' "... I don't know..."
"It's a peculiar charm -- it only works when someone else does it to you."
"Hmm. Not that useful, then," the other student commented offhandedly, not responding to his request for help.
Annoyed, the Chinese teen laid back down. He should have known. Damn bunch of selfish jerks.
Heero slid out of his bed and padded closer to get a better look at Wufei's bandaged chest. "Let me see if I remember it right..." He repeated the words, his wand pointed at the bandages.
Wufei doubled up, gasping. Heero started.
"Did I do something wrong?" He really didn't think he had, but he didn't know the spell. A pained moan rose from the Ravenclaw's throat and Heero leaned over him, hiding his worry by a puzzled frown.
"Got you," Wufei answered, flicking Heero's nose. Heero gaped.
Wufei was laughing, his dark eyes twinkling merrily behind those forbidding glasses. Heero began to laugh too.
"You Slytherin!!" He slapped Wufeis shoulder, but not that hard, not wanting to hurt him more, and mock-glared.
"Ow," Wufei gasped, a hand over his bandaged stomach. "Okay, laughing hurts, got that."
"My revenge will hurt a lot more than that," Heero stated in a darkly menacing tone.
Wufei raised an eyebrow. "Yeah?"
"Yeah," Heero answered, nodding firmly, and sat back on his bed.
Wufei smirked. "I'm scared, Yuy."
"You should be," Heero answered, nodding seriously. "I'm very evil, you know."
Wufei looked amused, and not so cold anymore. Heero smirked in satisfaction and, leaning back against the headboard, he deadpanned: "I eat babies for breakfast, you know."
"Of course. Isn't that a requirement of your House?"
"No, that's for tea only. Breakfast is optional."
"Ah, I see," Wufei answered, nodding seriously. He never would have thought that Yuy had a sense of humor. But then he supposed his own sense of humor wasn't very noticeable either.
Heero chuckled softly and laid down on his side, propped up by his pillow, and watched Wufei stretch and try to get comfortable intently. "I don't understand why the hell we can't even go back to our dorms," he added with a sigh. "I would welcome Divination homework just now."
"We're supposedly resting."
Heero snorted. "I'd rest just as well in my own bed."
Wufei sighed. "I certainly wouldn't mind being back in the dorm."
"What, you don't like my company?"
"I suppose you're not the worst person I could be stuck with," Wufei admitted after a moment of thought, and Heero felt vaguely contented.
"Who would be the worst?" he asked with idle curiosity.
"Meiran," Wufei answered without thinking. "Or that moron with the spiky hair that always wants to know if the potion ingredients are poisonous --the one in your house."
Heero blinked. "Meiran? Who's that?" Ex-girlfriend? he hoped not.
"She's in your House? I don't know her," Heero asked, hiding his relief.
"She's in Gryffindor. She's on their quidditch team. Fifth year, like us."
Heero tried to remember. He didn't really follow quidditch, but apart from Cho Chang -- another cousin? --there weren't a lot of people of Chinese descent in the school.
Wufei nodded. "Who would you hate to be stuck in here with? Besides me, of course."
Heero considered the question seriously. "About half of my housemates. About 6/7th of the Gryffindors. All of the first years. ... That Hufflepuff Head Girl. Relena," he added with a grimace.
"The earnest one? Who thinks Houses events stir up dislike?"
"I can imagine. She'd be worse than Meiran; Meiran would at least stop to breathe."
".. It's not why I'd really hate to be cooped up with her."
"Oh?" Wufei didn't see any other reason to dislike Relena. She was a bit naive, sure, but she was a brave girl with very strong beliefs. Even if he didn't share them, he had to respect that.
"She has a crush on me the size of Hogwarts," Heero revealed, his face twisted as if he'd bitten into a lemon.
"Really?" Wufei couldn't help but ask, surprised.
Heero nodded glumly. "Always following me around."
Wufei felt slightly worried. "Do ... Do you like her back?"
"Like her back? 'You're different, Heero. I know you're not like those eeeeeevil Slytherins. Oh! Not that I think Slytherins are inherently evil, but...' "
Wufei had to chuckle.
"I'd rather have sex with Crabble and Goyle. At the same time."
"Ew," protested Wufei, but inside he was grinning.
"Though..." Heero pondered out loud, making a show out of considering the question, "they do look big and beefy. Maybe everything that should be in their higher head..."
"Thank you for that particular mental image."
Heero smirked deviously at Wufei. "My pleasure."
"You're evil," Wufei deadpanned.
Heero's smirk widened. "Why, of course I am."
The Ravenclaw stuck his tongue out at Heero and settled back to sleep resolutely. Heero couldn't help himself. It was just too tempting.
"Is that an insult or a proposition?"
Wufei felt flustered. If he wasn't more than half-sure that Heero was just messing around and wasn't really interested, maybe...
The Chinese boy arched an eyebrow. That wasn't the response he'd been expecting. But then Heero was probably still using deadpan sarcasm. He was still smirking after all.
".. You ever tried telling Relena you don't like her?"
Heero frowned. "I told her a dozen times. She doesn't want to listen. She's sure I've been traumatized in my youth and that's why I'm so cynical, but she can heal me."
"Girls seem to be good at hearing what they want to hear," Wufei answered, sighing. "Were you traumatized in your youth?"
"Hell no. I'm not fucking broken, dammit. I'm a cold and manipulative son of a bitch, that's all."
"And evil. Don't forget that."
Heero smirked slowly. "And evil. Babies taste yummy. Especially roasted when they're still fresh and wriggling."
Wufei smiled back, settling himself more comfortably. "How about stewed?"
"Hmm... loses some of the taste. Now barbequed is very good, if you have the right sauce."
Wufei chuckled, then yawned. It was getting late and the healing had taken more out of him than he'd believed. "... I hope I didn't miss much in herbology this afternoon... My partner never takes good notes. What subjects did you miss?"
"Care of magical creatures," Heero answered, shrugging.
"Oh really? Any idea what you were studying?"
"Don't know, but we're teamed up with Gryffindor, so it's not as if we'd have studied much."
Wufei snorted. "That's right. Your Houses really don't get on, do they?"
Heero made a face. "Are you kidding? Of course not. After all, Gryffindor are inherently good and Slytherin are inherently evil. Gryffindors make good Aurors, Slytherins make good Death Eaters, everyone knows that."
Wufei eyed him curiously. "You're being sarcastic, right? Sometimes it's hard to tell."
Heero gave him a duh-look and Wufei chuckled, relieved.
"A good half of the Gryffindor are nothing else than righteous bastards."
"They're not that bad," Wufei protested halfheartedly.
"They are. They'll never realize that Slytherin are supposed to be cunning and ambitious, but not cruel and even less evil. Stereotypes... Feh."
Wufei nodded, agreeing with him. But then the stereotypes worked both ways.
Suddenly, he frowned. "Ack."
"What?" Heero asked, startled out of his sulking.
"I can't get rid of that horrible mental image you gave me... I'm wondering if that's the reason Malfoy puts up with those two."
Heero sat up in a leap. "EW!!"
"What? It makes sense..."
Heero laughed. "Hm, the idea merits a thorough check. I'll be sure to ask him."
Wufei sat up to look at Heero. Either he was bluffing or... "He'll go nuts."
Heero tried to look innocent. "It's a valid question."
Wufei laughed, impressed. He wasn't bluffing. The guy was insane. He liked him even more than he'd thought he would.
"I'd like to see that."
"I'd ask Crabble and Goyle but it wouldn't be quite as fun. Tomorrow, at noon, you're not studying or anything?"
"I'm not. Why?"
"Bet you I ask in the middle of the grand hall."
He WAS insane, but that was a form of insanity Wufei found quite attractive. "What do you want to bet?"
Heero opened his mouth to answer "your body" but then reconsidered. It wasn't of any use to jeopardize that new understanding.
... Well... He should at least test the waters. "The loser owes the winner one favor? One thing he asks for?"
Wufei looked surprised, and Heero gave him his best wicked gin. "Come on, live dangerously..."
Heero's smirk widened. "Winner can ask for anything at all."
"Well, not anything. Nothing that could get us expelled."
"No other restrictions?"
"Anything else goes."
Heero nodded. "That works," he accepted, amused. "What shall I ask of you, I wonder..."
Wufei chuckled. With a temptation that strong, no self-respecting Slytherin would back down. He doubted Heero would really use him for anything degrading or hurtful, and maybe there was a chance that the boy's teasing really hid what he hoped for.
"Mind if I bring a camera?" Wufei asked.
"Do what you want. You don't mind losing, I hope?"
"If it means seeing Malfoy's reaction in person, I can live with it. Just this once," Wufei said as he did a full body stretch. Heero committed it to memory.
"You better not disappoint, Heero," Wufei was saying.
"Oh, believe me, I won't," the Slytherin answered in a low, purring voice. Wufei looked at Heero out of the corner of his eye. That tone of voice was making his stomach do interesting things.
Heero was close to rubbing his hands in glee. Wufei owing him a favor... Now that was worth a lot.
"You know, Malfoy has a lot of friends. You won't get hurt because of this?"
Heero snorted. "I can take it. They probably won't retaliate directly, so it won't be ten against one. Keeps the mind sharp."
Wufei smiled. Even when he bragged, he was cute. And if his roguish smirks were supposed to be sexy... it was working.
"That's one way to look at it, I suppose."
"He's not challenged enough. He could be interesting to know, under all those layers of pureblood breeding and education," he added, looking at the ceiling thoughtfully. "But he's too used to people crawling."
Wufei nodded. "Remove the overbearing parents too. ...Oh, great."
Wufei was making a face. "You just made me think of Malfoy naked."
Heero blinked. "So what?"
"That was a thought I could have done without, thank you."
Heero decided that it was as good an opening as any to test the waters. "He's a little on the ...willowy side, but not what I'd call ugly."
Wufei considered. ".. I guess not. So you'd like him if he wasn't such a brat?" he asked, biting down on the touch of jealousy.
Heero nodded. "Think so. He's not stupid, just very spoiled. I like people with a sharp mind."
Wufei could have been annoyed, but just then Heero flashed him one of his smirks and he forgot.
"From what I've seen of him, he can also be very vindictive. The pretty outside enough to make up for that?" he asked calmly, flushing a little at what the smirk seemed to mean.
"If he wasn't vindictive," Heero snorted, "he'd be in Hufflepuff."
"True. But then there is a difference between giving back as good as you get, liking to tease and prank, and being cruel. He's hovering pretty close to being cruel sometimes," Wufei said thoughtfully. "Where are you on that scale?"
Heero thought about it. "I don't like needless cruelty. But when people piss me off for any reason, I have no problem being a son of a bitch right back." He paused, then laughed a little. "Not that I can't be cruel to babies without reason. But it's different. They're part of my diet." He was happy when he got a chuckle from Wufei.
Heero didn't know why he was chattering so much. He should stop trying to impress his potions partner or the boy would get annoyed... He guessed it was because he liked Wufei and he was not from his house. There wasn't much of a chance his secrets would be used against him.
"So, what other qualities attract you?" Wufei asked in a light tone, testing the waters cautiously.
Heero looked thoughtful for a few seconds. "Hmm.. I don't like cowards."
Wufei nodded --same here. He rolled onto his stomach to look at Heero.
"Why do you want to know?"
Wufei blushed. Caught. "Just... curiosity, I guess. So...?"
Heero eyed Wufei's blush with interest. "Trying to see if you have a chance?" he asked, sounding like he was joking. He wasn't.
Wufei decided to take a leap of faith. If Heero reacted badly, he could always pretend it was a joke. "Well, actually, I was trying to workout if you'd freak if I kissed you, but yours works too."
Heero nibbled at his lip thoughtfully and looked Wufei up and down with a deliberate slowness that made the Chinese teen squirm.
"No, I don't think I'd freak. I think Pomfrey would, though. She wouldn't like the state of the bed linens tomorrow morning," he added, winking.
Wufei looked away. "I said kiss. Not... that."
Heero laughed, and Wufei's guts twisted in a funny way. "You think if I get my hands on you I'll stop at just one kiss?"
The black-haired teen stared at his companion with barely concealed surprise. "... You like me, huh?.. Or are you just desperate?" he added, using a teasing tone to take the bite out of the remark.
Heero snorted and slid out of his bed, stepping closer to Wufei's.
"I think I kind of like you. As far as an evil being can like anyone, of course." He put his hands on the bed and leaned forward, and felt a happy tingle when Wufei leaned into him.
"I suppose I kind of like you, too," the Ravenclaw admitted detachedly.
Heero lowered his voice. "... A kiss, was it?"
Heero leaned closer.
"One only?" he whispered, staring at Wufei intensely. He looked so serious Wufei had troubles refusing him.
"One," he managed to say in a firm tone.
"Whatever. You'll still owe me one after tomorrow morning."
Wufei's eyebrow arched. "Is that what...?" ... what he would have been asking for anyway? The Chinese boy felt a smile stretch his mouth.
"Maybe I can ask for more than one kiss..." Heero smiled as he brushed Wufei's lips with his own. Wufei kissed back, resting his hands on Heero's shoulders, and he took this as encouragement and leaned closer, slowly deepening the kiss. It was too slow for Wufei, who decided to slide his arms around his neck and pull him closer, and kissed back eagerly. Heero tried to pull back once, thinking that he was coming on too hard, but the Chinese teen glomped onto him, apparently determined that he wasn't going anywhere, and pushed him back onto the bed, all without breaking the kiss. The Slytherin was very pleasantly surprised.
"You said one kiss," he chuckled against the other boy's lips. One of his hands, seemingly on its own, slid down Wufei's chest, rubbing gently.
"One to start with, Slytherin." He sounded so haughty that Heero couldn't help but laugh.
"Are you sure you're in the right house?"
Wufei smirked, running a hand down Heero's side. "I don't like the taste of babies."
"You can eat elderly ladies, too, or kittens," the short-haired boy answered, trying not to gasp and betray his pleasure.
"What about you? Or are we not allowed to taste fellow Slytherins?"
Heero arched an eyebrow. "That is quite another meal. Supper, most likely." He suddenly rolled them over to be on top, pressing the length of his body against Wufei's, and nibbled on his ear. Wufei laughed breathlessly, looking up at the boy holding him down. He didn't even feel his burns anymore, only an increased awareness of Heero's body.
"Cannibalism 101," the Slytherin whispered against his lips, and they were still smiling as they kissed again.
Suddenly, they both froze. They could hear Madam Pomfrey in the other room.
In a second, Heero had jumped out of Wufei's bed and into his own, and Wufei was burrowing under his sheets. On the other bed, Heero curled up to hide his burgeoning erection.
"Damn," the Ravenclaw whispered, making a face, and then the nurse was here and he was flawlessly pretending to be asleep.
Heero hid his grin and watched Pomfrey fuss around the room discretely, impatiently awaiting the moment when she would turn the lights out.
For those who don't know, the Strawberries in the title ... Heero is Ichi, one, and Wufei is Go, five. And Ichigo means strawberry in Japanese, hence 1x5 is "codenamed" Strawberry. I didn't invent this, folks. It all came from those weird Japanese people. ;P