by: Aoe

Strangers in Paradise + Part 9

Quatre looked up from the financial analysis he was trying to focus on at the sound of his bedroom door sliding open.

The Arabian stared in wide-eyed shock at his visitor for a moment, then tossed the papers aside and cleared his throat nervously.

Duo, still standing in the doorway, raised an eyebrow inquiringly. Quatre nodded, and the American stepped inside, closing the door behind him.

They stared at each other in silence for a moment, Duo leaning against the door, Quatre watching him a bit nervously. He felt a phantom echo of pain in his tightly wrapped ribs, three of which were broken. Just as the silence stretched to the point where Quatre felt compelled to say something, anything, just to break the tension, Duo finally spoke.

"I didn't come here to apologize," the braided boy announced. His tone wasn't challenging, he was simply stating a fact.

Quatre sighed softly, dropping his eyes to the comforter pulled up to his waist. "I didn't think you had," he replied softly.

"Just because they're alive, it doesn't change what you did, and what you didn't do," Duo continued calmly, relentlessly.

"I know," Quatre agreed, a sharp stab of pain piercing him at Duo's words.

"Do you?" Duo asked, his tone a bit sharper. "Do you really know it, Quatre? Because this just can't happen again," Duo pressed, stepping away from the door and toward the bed.

Quatre gasped slightly and reflexively cringed at Duo's approach. Duo froze instantly.

"Of course I know," Quatre asserted, when he'd regained his composure, though he continued to stare at his comforter, only observing Duo in his peripheral vision. "I haven't had much else to think about these past couple of days other than... what you said. I know... I... There's no excuse for my behavior," Quatre choked out, the misery that had been building within him since the battle finally clawing it's way up his throat. "I was so...stupid, and thoughtless, and selfish, and they could have died, all because of me " Quatre's confession dissolved into harsh sobs that sent stabbing pain into his chest from his broken ribs. He couldn't stop the tears, though. All he could do was whimper with the pain between gasping breaths.

Oh Allah, I've been such a fool, he continued his self-accusation in his mind. I let jealousy and wounded pride guide my actions, and endangered the lives of those I care about, and the cause I broke my father's heart for... To think I accused Duo, even in my mind, of shallow loyalty! He was right... Oh, father, you were right... I am only a child, and a spoiled and selfish one as well... I betrayed them... all of them...

Quatre slowly became aware of strong arms embracing him lightly. He had curled into a ball, and been gathered into someone's lap, held against a warm, firm chest as a gentle hand stroked his back, mindful of the broken ribs. A soft voice murmured meaningless soothing sounds above his head, which was burrowed beneath the other's chin. It felt so good to be held, to be comforted, when all he had known for days was solitude and misery. Quatre clung desperately, greedily, to the warmth, both physical and emotional, that enveloped him.

Eventually, he realized who was holding him.

With a startled gasp, Quatre pulled away from Duo's embrace, scuttling backwards on the large mattress and jarring his ribs again.

Duo watched him with a frown. "You're going to do more damage than I did if you don't quit shifting your ribs around like that," the American observed.

Quatre stared at Duo, confusion and disbelief warring with hope and longing. He'd hurt Duo, he knew that. He'd done it purposely, taking advantage of their friendship and the insight it had provided him to the American's vulnerability to cut the other boy to the bone. And then he'd turned a willfully blind eye to the damage he'd done. A part of Quatre still wanted to hang onto his righteous anger at the American, but his basic compassionate nature was slowly eroding his moral high ground, drawing him inexorably to the conclusion that most of his anger had been the result of fear and jealousy. What portion of his reaction to Duo's behavior back in the city had been true anger had really been directed at the circumstances and people that had forced Duo to such behavior, to such a life.

Could he... does this mean he understands? He forgives me for what I said? Quatre wondered hopefully.

One look at Duo's dark eyes quashed that idea, however. Duo's eyes were warm on the surface, offering comfort, but beneath... Quatre shivered slightly in physical reaction to the emotional chill he got from Duo.

Duo frowned again at the shiver, and crawled across the huge bed, dragging the blankets up around Quatre's shoulders.

"You don't forgive me," Quatre whispered as Duo fussed with the blankets, half embracing the blond again as he tried to cover him in a sitting position.

Duo turned his head slightly, meeting Quatre's eyes from just a few inches away. "No," Duo agreed, not pulling away. Now that he wasn't weeping hysterically, Quatre found himself having a new and different reaction to the close proximity of Duo's warm, slender body. He desperately tried to keep himself from flushing, guessing by Duo's frown and the sudden warmth in his own cheeks that he had failed.

Duo sat back on his heels, removing one element of tension from the encounter. Quatre took a deep breath and reflected, not for the first time, that he really needed to get laid. Soon.

Pushing that thought aside, he met Duo's empty eyes again, and asked, "Then, why... ?" Quatre waved a hand vaguely, to indicate Duo's presence in the room and his earlier comforting of the Arabian.

Duo shrugged, looking down at the comforter himself, where his fingers idly tugged at a loose thread. "We need you," Duo explained quietly, his voice toneless. "The war's not over, and there are only five of us. We can't afford to lose anybody, even if they've screwed up royally. Even if Heero and Trowa... we all still would have had to work together, you and me and Wufei."

"But you would have hated me," Quatre protested, silently pleading with Duo not to declare that he hated Quatre now.

Duo stared silently at the blanket for a moment, then slowly raised his head, to meet Quatre's worried gaze. The dark violet eyes were like whirlpools of midnight, deep and fathomless and cold. "I never would have forgiven you," Duo said slowly. "I would have gone to any lengths to avoid you, after I beat the crap out of you several times, and when the war was over, you never would have heard from me again." Quatre swallowed nervously at this calm pronouncement. Obviously Duo had done some deep thinking on this subject.

"But I wouldn't have hated you," Duo continued quietly, his dark violet gaze boring into Quatre intently. "No matter how much I wanted to... I couldn't hate you. I can't hate you, Quatre."

A tense silence stretched between them once more. Quatre's tension stemmed from the fact that he was sure there was something behind Duo's words. Something bigger and deeper that, if he could only grasp it, would give him an anchor in the shifting seas of his doubts and responsibilities, his guilt and confusion.

"Why not?" he asked softly.

One side of Duo's mouth lifted in a smirk, and the American suddenly looked far older than his fifteen years. "Me and Wu are going to rescue Heero and Trowa," Duo declared, climbing off the bed and walking to the door. He opened it, then paused to look back over his shoulder at a baffled Quatre still huddled under blankets on the bed. "When you figure that out, though, come find me. Maybe then we'll have something to talk about," Duo added. Then he left, shutting the door silently behind him.

Quatre frowned, absently pushing the blankets off his shoulders. He mulled over the strange little interlude in his mind. Duo didn't forgive him, but didn't hate him. Couldn't hate him. And Quatre ought to know why.

"There's an elephant in the living room," Quatre muttered to himself, reminded of the metaphorical story. Something so big it should leap right out at you, but which had been there so long you never even noticed it, until someone came along and pointed it out. Then it was so blatantly obvious you wondered how you ever could have missed it.

Well, Duo had just wandered into the living room of their relationship and declared thoughtfully, "You know, there's an elephant in here. But I'll let you figure out where." And walked right back out.

Quatre reflected on their relationship, recalling admiration, gratitude, shared grief, shared determination, compassion, irritation, jealousy, fear, concern, anger... but no elephant.

This would take some thought. He settled back against his pillows with a frown.

+

"You should eat," Trowa observed, shoving Heero's tray closer to the Japanese pilot where he sat on the floor, leaning against his cot. Zechs had had a second cot dragged into the cell, but the room was so small that even though the beds were barely wider than the boys who slept fitfully on them, there was hardly any space to move.

Trowa compensated for this, trying to give both Heero and himself space, by making sure they were never on the same level. So since Heero was sitting on the concrete floor, Trowa was sitting on his cot, sipping weak broth from the plastic bowl.

For some reason, they weren't being allowed utensils, breakable plates or bowls, or very hot food. Trowa was amazed they got trays.

Heero glanced down at the tray, his lip curling slightly at the sight of the soup, which Trowa admitted was less than appetizing. The pale yellow broth had a few drops of oil floating on its surface. Still, it was all they had, and they needed to keep their strength up.

"I'm not hungry," Heero muttered flatly, shoving the tray away from him again. The broth sloshed over the side of the bowl, spreading across the tray.

Trowa frowned. He was trying not to be pushy, to give Heero his space to deal with things in his own time, in his own way. But this was the third meal they'd been served since Heero's arrival, and the third time the Japanese boy had refused to eat.

"I don't care if you're hungry," Trowa said. "Eat it anyway."

Heero glared fiercely at the taller pilot... but then grabbed his soup bowl and drained the contents in three large gulps. Some broth spilled around the edges to run down his chin and neck, soaking the front of his tank top, but Trowa judged Heero had probably gotten at least half of the broth down his throat. Heero tossed the bowl carelessly back towards the tray, causing it to clatter loudly.

"Happy?" the Japanese boy snapped, glaring at Trowa again.

Trowa shrugged. "At least I won't have to explain to Duo that you died of starvation before he came to rescue us," Trowa replied. He'd decided the possibility that Duo or any of the others were dead and that there would be no rescue was counterproductive to contemplate. For the moment, it was highly unlikely that he and Heero could escape on their own, so Trowa was operating under the assumption that their friends were coming for them. He just had to hold Heero together until they got here.

Not to mention himself.

"Duo," Heero murmured, his expression draining away to that eerie blankness that unnerved Trowa. He tried to recall how Duo had reacted to that lack of expression, but as usual, any thought of the braided boy got him no further than the window seat back at the mansion, Duo's arms wrapped gently around him, Duo's mouth warm and soft and pliant beneath his own...

Trowa shook himself from the reverie as Heero, eyes still distant, face still blank, crawled up on his cot. Trowa slid to his knees on the floor, stacking their trays, Heero's wet one on top, and their bowls on top of that. He shuffled ungracefully to the cell door on his knees, sliding the trays up to the slot at the bottom. He banged on the slot, and after a moment it slid open, a guard outside removing the trays that Trowa shoved halfway through.

Trowa leaned his back against the wall beside the door, watching Heero stare up at the ceiling over his cot. The conversation they'd just had was probably the most they'd spoken since Zechs brought Heero in. Trowa was sure there were things he ought to be saying or doing, but he just didn't know what they were. He tried to think what might have comforted him when he'd... But that had been so long ago. The first time. All he could think of was wanting to be left alone, not bothered while he walled away the pain and fear and disgust in his mind. But that came later. That was the response he'd developed over time, and he knew without ever having asked or been told that Duo wouldn't approve. And maybe he could see that it wasn't really a very productive way of dealing with things, but... well, it let him function.

From what he knew of Heero, Trowa guessed that this would be the approach the Japanese boy would favor as well. Just put it behind him, try to forget as quickly as possible.

At least, he hoped that was what Heero wanted.

He wished Duo were there.

"Have you ever had good sex?" Heero asked abruptly. Startled from his thoughts, Trowa could only blink in confusion at the other boy for a moment. Heero was propped on one elbow, watching Trowa from his bed.

Trowa frowned, pondering the question. He didn't need to ponder long. "No," he replied flatly.

Heero frowned, sighed, and flopped back down on the mattress, staring up at the ceiling again. After a few minutes of silence, Trowa cleared his throat softly.

"Why do you ask?" Trowa asked reluctantly. He wasn't sure he wanted to have this conversation, but if Heero did...

Heero shrugged, still lying on his back. Trowa wondered if that would be the end of the discussion after all, but after a long silence, Heero said quietly, "Duo."

Trowa frowned. "What about Duo?"

Heero sighed, but sat up, pulling his legs to his chest and resting his chin on his knees. He regarded Trowa with that same flat, blank stare. "I'd never... I mean, when we... Duo was always the one... " Heero's voice trailed off as he frowned, dropping his gaze from Trowa to the ratty gray blanket on his cot.

"You were always on top," Trowa guessed with a sinking feeling. God, I thought it might be better for him, since he wasn't a virgin, but I guess in a way he was... Why would Duo take the subordinate role all the time, though? That doesn't make sense. I would have thought he'd have been on top, at least once, if only to show Heero how to do it... This line of thought soon began to produce visual aids in Trowa's head, so he abruptly yanked his mind away from such contemplation. While he didn't find the images his mind produced as disturbing as he once might have, they still were hardly conducive to clear, logical thinking.

Heero, oblivious to Trowa's internal discomfort, nodded, meeting the outwardly calm green gaze again. He seemed to be waiting for something. Trowa frowned, reviewing the conversation so far in his mind. He asked if I ever had good sex, I said no and asked him why he wanted to know. He said Duo, and when asked for clarification, explained that when they had sex, he was always on top. So what does the one have to do with the other?

Trowa examined the problem from all conceivable angles, but couldn't figure out what Heero was driving at.

"Heero, I just don't understand what you're trying to ask," Trowa prompted slowly. Something in Heero's manner was setting off warning bells in Trowa's mind that he was about to stray into dangerous territory.

Heero looked down at the blanket again. "This... was the first time I ever... had somebody... in me. But Duo always lets me... and I... I mean, I don't tie him down, or anything, but... I know I can be rough. Sometimes, he's had... bruises, and I... " Heero paused, wrapping his arms more tightly around his legs to pull himself into an even more compact ball. Finally, he continued, very quietly, "Is... that what it feels like... for him?"

Oh dear God, Trowa thought bleakly. How in hell do I deal with this? "No, Heero," he said firmly. "Of course it's nothing like that for Duo when he's with you." I don't think. I don't really know any better than you do, and please, God, don't let him realize that...

"You don't know that. You said yourself you'd never had good sex," Heero said flatly.

Shit, Trowa thought irritably.

"Well, yes, I've never had good sex, Heero. But I would assume that Duo considers what you two do together to be good, and I don't see why he would continue to... do it if he didn't enjoy it," Trowa extemporized.

Heero snorted. "Duo's a prostitute, Trowa. I mean, he was a... but anyway, he's had lots of experience with pretending to enjoy unpleasant sex."

Trowa frowned. Now that was an interesting piece of insecurity. "But Heero... he doesn't have to have sex with you. If he didn't like it, I'm sure he would just tell you," Trowa pointed out.

Heero snorted again. "Not if he thinks I want to have sex with him," he murmured wearily.

"How can you think that, Heero?" Trowa asked incredulously. "Duo isn't the sort of person who'd just bend over for you if he didn't want it!" He realized he was getting a bit crude, and his voice had an edge to it.

Heero just shook his head. "You weren't there, when... The first time that we... were together... he said things... " Heero sighed unhappily. "I think... he would do a lot of things he didn't want to, or didn't like, if it was for me. I don't know why, but... he would."

Trowa sighed, rubbing wearily at his forehead. He didn't know what had been said between the two, but obviously Heero very firmly believed what he was saying. He wouldn't get anywhere with this line of reasoning.

"Heero... " he said slowly, looking up at the morose figure curled up on the cot. "Duo... cares about you, very much." He supposed he really shouldn't put words in Duo's mouth, no matter how much more impact the "L" word might have had. "And I know you care very deeply about him, too," he continued.

"I love him," Heero said quietly.

Trowa stared at the Japanese boy in astonishment for a moment. He'd known that, of course, but he hadn't thought Heero would admit it. Frankly, he hadn't been sure Heero even realized or understood the depth of his feelings for Duo. But this was a good thing, wasn't it?

"Well, then, you love him, and he... cares deeply for you, so... when you're together... you're expressing what you feel for each other," Trowa said thoughtfully, working his way through the logic as he spoke. "So how can that be bad?"

Heero scowled. "You can hurt the people you love," he said flatly. "In fact, it's probably easier than hurting the people you don't, because the people you love will let you."

Trowa stared at his cellmate in dismay. What could he say? How could he argue that point?

Heero was right.

But Heero wasn't right about what went on between himself and Duo. Trowa was sure about that. Duo had gotten angry when he'd seen the state Trowa had been reduced to by his encounter with Quatre, but it hadn't been the frustrated anger of a victim.

Duo had put his anger aside, though, to comfort Trowa. Instead of pushing the memory aside, this time, Trowa let it come to his mind, examining it closely. Duo had been so gentle, so careful with him. Never aggressive, never confining, but always... subtly in control. He was the one holding Trowa, he was the one who invited the kiss...

Duo had a way of getting what he wanted.

What he wanted.

"Heero, Duo chose to be with you. He didn't have to do it. He spent months trying to get you to notice him. He wanted you," Trowa argued fervently.

Heero just stared back at him skeptically.

Trowa sighed. "How can I convince you that he likes having sex with you, Heero?" Trowa demanded, beginning to get frustrated. He just wasn't good at this sort of thing! Why did Heero have to be so stubborn?

"Show me it doesn't hurt," Heero answered flatly.

Trowa blinked at him in surprise, drawn up short by this unexpected request. "What? How would I... " Trowa fell silent as he suddenly understood Heero's meaning. "Oh, no," he murmured, shaking his head slowly. "Oh, Heero, I can't. You can't ask me that," he protested.

Heero nodded. "I know," he said simply. Then he sighed and turned his head to the side, resting his cheek on his knees and staring at the wall.

Trowa chewed pensively on his lip. He couldn't do what Heero was asking, he just... couldn't. Sure, he'd told Duo he would think about... something between the three of them, but... he'd thought he'd have time, years, not days... And Heero... Trowa knew, deep down, that if it were Duo making this request, he might not hesitate. Duo would be able to control himself, would be gentle and slow and understanding... which was of course why Duo would never make this request. Duo knew the ins and outs of sexual intercourse better than Trowa probably ever would. While Duo would not have enjoyed what had happened to Heero, he would certainly not react to it by worrying that he tortured and hurt his loving partner.

Heero really was worried about just that, though. It was illogical, irrational, but... well, Heero probably wasn't in the most rational state of mind at the moment. He'd never had sex with anyone but Duo before what the Oz soldiers had done to him, and he'd never been on that end of the experience before at all. Overcritical of himself and very insecure in his relationship with Duo, it was natural that Heero would compare his own clumsy technique to the men who'd used him, and wonder if Duo felt the same helplessness and pain, trapped by Heero's superior strength and Duo's own desire to please Heero just as Heero had been trapped by the manacles that had marked his wrists and ankles.

And Heero was right that the only way he could be convinced he didn't hurt Duo was for someone to show him.

But the only person available was Trowa.

Trowa shivered at the thought.

I don't have to do this, he thought desperately to himself. Duo and the others will come soon, they'll get us out, and then Duo can help Heero. Can show him what he needs to know. It doesn't have to be me... It can't be me...

Even as his mind formed these arguments, though, Trowa's logic refuted them. There was a lot he didn't know or understand about Heero Yuy, but there were some things he understood quite well. Things they had in common.

If Heero continued too much longer with this fear eating away at him, it would solidify into a firm conviction that no amount of affection and gentleness would soften. Duo, just as insecure as Heero in their fledgling relationship, would take Heero's attitude as rejection, and... well, that would pretty much be that. There was simply no explaining things to either of them, sometimes, and Trowa knew words would never bridge this slowly widening gap.

No, words could never be enough.

If he didn't act... Duo would lose Heero. And that would kill a part of the American, Trowa knew. Trowa would do his best to help, but he knew he could probably never repair the damage losing Heero now would do to Duo. In any event, it was a risk he didn't want to take.

And one I don't have to, Trowa thought resolutely, firming his determination.

For Duo. For Heero. For what they have together, what they share with me.

Trowa stood and took the two steps over to Heero's cot, sitting on the edge of the thin mattress.

Heero looked at him in surprise. "Trowa?" he asked in confusion.

Not trusting himself to speak, Trowa instead simply leaned forward, intending to get this over with as quickly as possible. But when his lips met Heero's he didn't feel the panic and revulsion he'd been expecting. As with Duo, he felt only a gentle warmth and contentment.

Heero returned the kiss tentatively, his lips and tongue not as practiced as Duo's but more hesitant. Trowa felt Heero's fingers brush lightly against his side, through his shirt, but the Japanese boy jerked his hand back from the contact he'd made as though shocked.

Trowa broke the kiss, drawing back to study Heero curiously. The dark blue eyes stared back at him, shuttered and empty, the face blank... and Trowa understood, suddenly, that this lack of expression meant Heero was confused, and possibly worried or... even frightened. He wondered at himself for thinking such a thing at first, but...

Of course Heero could be confused and worried and frightened. Heero was just a boy, just like Trowa and Duo and Wufei and even Quatre... Heero was a good soldier, but he had no idea how to deal with emotions. Nothing in his training had given him the tools to handle what had happened to him. He was scared, just as much as Trowa was...

Trowa reached up and gently touched Heero's cheek, observing the nervous flinch when he touched the Japanese boy's skin.

Heero was more afraid of this than Trowa was.

As though that realization had opened floodgates deep within him, Trowa found himself suddenly aware, as he hadn't been even with Duo on the window seat, of the warm body so close to his own. Heero's beautiful features were frozen by fear into that formerly unnerving calm composure, but for the first time, Trowa looked on them with more than aesthetic appreciation.

Heero was as coldly beautiful as a porcelain doll, but that delicate outward appearance overlaid tempered steel beneath. And that steel in turn encompassed an astonishingly innocent, fragile heart. Trowa looked into Heero's dark blue eyes, and felt, for the first time, that he was seeing Heero Yuy, the Heero Yuy that Duo worshipped with his body, heart and soul... and Trowa felt, for the first time, an urge to do the same.

He felt that he had at last discovered what so captivated and obsessed both Relena and Duo about the Japanese pilot. Somehow, sometime, they must both have glimpsed him in such a moment of vulnerability. His beauty transcended the physical in this moment.

Trowa followed his instincts, and pulled Heero gently against him, caressing the Japanese boy's back with his good arm. He'd grown so accustomed to functioning with wounds over the past several weeks that he hardly noticed his body's protests. He'd ignored such wounds before when there was a job to be done.

Trowa pushed Heero down on the bed, straddling the trembling form. Heero's body was firm and warm beneath his own, and Trowa felt his own body begin to react in a way he hadn't thought he ever would. That brought him up short for a moment, as he wondered how this could be happening. This was Heero Yuy, Perfect Soldier!

Then he shoved that thought aside as the meaningless distraction it was. This was Heero, his friend, Duo's lover... and soon to be his lover as well.

"You know, I've never done this before either," Trowa murmured against Heero's neck, between gentle kisses. "But I promise I'll be gentle. If you want me to stop... "

"Don't stop," Heero muttered back, voice slightly strained. Trowa couldn't quite tell if it was good strain or bad strain, but decided he would take Heero at his word and continue.

Trowa was gentle, and very slow. He took his time, learning every inch of Heero's body and every way he could touch the Japanese pilot to bring him pleasure. He began to feel a power he had never imagined existed, watching Heero writhe beneath him, listening to the soft moans his gentle touches provoked.

Eventually, Trowa began teasing Heero with his mouth, deliberately drawing out the foreplay. Heero didn't seem to object, and finally began returning Trowa's attention with gentle, hesitant touches. Heero was not as adept at finding the spots on Trowa's body that made him squirm, but he did stumble across them occasionally by chance. Trowa idly wondered, as he shuddered in reaction to an all too brief caress at the base of his spine, what it would be like with Duo, with his experience. The thought only added to the excitement Trowa was already feeling, from Heero's clumsy but gentle and affectionate caresses.

At last, though, all other thoughts left Trowa's mind and the inevitable could no longer be delayed. He'd done his best to prepare Heero with saliva and his fingers, letting Heero get used to the idea of what he was going to do.

Trowa braced his arms on either side of Heero's head, staring intently down into the dark blue eyes. "You're sure?" he whispered raggedly, straining to keep himself from pressing forward against the tight opening.

Heero nodded vigorously, apparently incapable of words... and smiled.

Trowa froze briefly at the sight. Heero smiling was a rare thing in any event, and for him to do so now... Do you trust me so much, Heero? Do you... care... for me?

"Please," Heero murmured, and Trowa shuddered at the sound, then began slowly pressing inside.

It was the most incredible sensation he'd ever experienced. The tightness, the heat, the feeling of being held within, welcomed within...

Heero groaned loudly beneath him, features tight. Trowa frowned, shifting carefully, trying not to hurt the boy beneath him. He viciously repressed the almost overwhelming urge to forget about Heero and just thrust away against the wonderful hot friction, but...

Somewhere... has to be... know it's there...

Heero's eyes suddenly opened wide in astonishment and he gasped as Trowa finally located the spot inside him that sent a flare of white ecstasy through his mind and body. Heero's hands gripped Trowa's lean hips, grinding the taller boy against him, forcing Trowa deeper inside him.

Trowa groaned in turn at the sensation of Heero's body pressed tightly to his own, the Japanese boy's erection hard and hot, trapped between them.

Trowa shifted his hips slightly, and Heero gasped again, letting go of Trowa and grabbing the blanket beneath them instead as Trowa began to slowly, carefully slide himself in and out, hitting that spot inside with every thrust. Heero's hips began to thrust as well, and Trowa watched the beautiful Japanese boy move, timing his own thrusts to Heero's rhythm, since Heero was obviously too far gone and too inexperienced to synchronize with Trowa.

After that, though, Trowa finally let go of his control, giving himself up to the rhythm and the heat and the friction, and it wasn't too long before they both cried out, nearly in unison, and Heero's seed spilled between them even as Trowa's spilled within Heero.

Trowa collapsed on top of Heero, suddenly aware of the aches and pains of the wounds he'd gotten during the attack. They lay there for a few minutes, holding each other, shuddering and gasping in the aftermath.

Finally, Trowa gathered the strength to roll off of Heero, pressing his back to the wall and propping his head up on one elbow to stare curiously down at the Japanese boy.

Heero stayed on his back with his eyes closed, breathing deeply. He was still smiling slightly.

After a long moment of companionable silence, while Trowa waited in vain for his usual uneasiness about physical contact to resurface, the green-eyed boy asked quietly, "Well? Was that so bad?"

Heero's eyes slitted open, and he stared thoughtfully up at Trowa without turning his head. "No," he said slowly.

Trowa frowned at the uncertainty in Heero's tone. "But?" he asked nervously.

Heero shrugged with one shoulder, turning his head to regard Trowa solemnly. "It could have been a fluke," Heero asserted flatly.

Trowa felt a moment of despair. How could Heero think that, say that? What they'd just shared had been the most incredible, the most wonderful, the most... Trowa's thoughts trailed away into stillness as he stared down at the serious blue eyes regarding him so intently.

"A fluke," Trowa repeated coolly.

Heero nodded. "Yes," he replied, sounding regretful. He sighed and turned back to stare at the ceiling again. "We'll probably have to do it again," he continued fatalistically. "Just to be sure," he added earnestly, looking back at Trowa.

Trowa scowled at the mischievous sparkle almost completely hidden in the depths of the dark blue eyes.

"You're an evil little bastard, Heero Yuy," Trowa declared in mock irritation.

One corner of Heero's mouth lifted in a very familiar smirk. "Tell me you mind," Heero challenged.

Trowa didn't tell him anything of the sort. In fact, there wasn't much conversation at all in the cell for quite some time.

[part 8] [part 10] [back to Aoe's fic]