see chapter 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer
+ Chapter 2
It was just a wedding, even
if the guest list included every politician in the Earth Sphere, and all
their hangers-on. CEO's of every major corporation, too; all jockeying
for some advantage by being there, being seen. Another overdone social
event used to promote someone's political agenda, instead of a private
celebration of love and fidelity; just a ripe carcass for the press vultures
to pick. Zechs suspected he was a hopeless cynic to feel that way about
his own sister's wedding. He supposed she'd felt it necessary to do it
The bride was triumphant, the groom looked resigned, and the best man
looked absolutely lost to the perceptive observer. Zechs had escorted
the bride down the aisle, 'given her away,' said the appropriate words
at the appropriate time; had looked every inch the Prince that he was,
and hated almost every minute of it. He'd stared at the best man during
the ceremony; watching Duo as he stood at attention in his stylish tux,
positively radiating tension if you knew what to look for, and Zechs did.
Zechs was able to look as much as he wanted at Duo for once, while everyone
else's attention was focused on the star of this production, the bride.
Zechs admired the one thing that made the whole occasion bearable. Duo.
He'd been intrigued from the moment they'd been introduced at one of the
many parties given for the couple. No, he'd been intrigued before they
were introduced; he'd been mesmerized since they'd actually met. Zechs
had wanted to meet the pilot of Deathscythe but had thought of it as a
novelty. He'd wondered if Maxwell would live up to his reputation as a
hard living party boy or if it was just so much hype. The way his own
image was portrayed and manipulated by the pack of rabid wolves called
Once Zechs had seen Duo, met him, he'd been captivated. Maxwell was neither
a demon, nor the god of death; he wasn't even the grinning, joking, fearless
Preventer agent featured in the news vids. He was more attractive in person,
the vids didn't do him justice, couldn't catch the quality of him. Lean,
wiry, hard muscled; even with the long auburn braid that danced behind
him, he was most definitely male. But it was something almost intangible,
indefinable, that drew Zechs in and completely captured him.
Duo was like a bright, shining light. At least that's how Zechs saw him.
Shy, with a sharp intelligence, and a dry, self-deprecating wit; he was
smart, funny, and though he tried to hide it, in a great deal of pain.
The vulnerability of the infamous Shinigami, who hid it behind a smile
and a joke completely undid Zechs. He didn't think anyone else noticed
how hurt Duo was; except his best friend and the cause of all the damage,
Heero. Well, Relena knew of course; she'd been the one to tell Zechs.
When the introductions had been made, he'd looked down into Duo's oddly
coloured eyes and been graced with a shy smile, not the brash grin he'd
expected. Zechs took Duo's extended hand to shake it; it was warm, his
grasp was firm, the palm and fingers slightly calloused. Zechs held onto
Duo's hand and felt himself slide right over the edge of interest into
Zechs had stood there, trapping Duo's hand in his own, staring with what
he expected was a stupefied grin until Duo had removed his hand, murmured
some vague pleasantry, and turned away. Zechs just stared and realized
that he was in serious lust with a man he'd only just met. Zechs followed
Duo with his eyes as he walked across the room, hypnotized by the cinnamon
braid that just brushed the swelling curves of that tantalizing ass.
"Brother dear, you are drooling." The laughter in Relena's voice snapped
him back to the present.
"Nonsense. And mind your own business." There was no point in arguing;
he'd been caught fair and square. He found he didn't even care, much.
"He's in love with Heero, you know." That short statement was electrifying;
the implications even more so.
"What?" was the best he could do in way of response.
"Duo. He's in love with Heero. This has all been very difficult for him."
Relena took his arm and guided him into a quiet corner as she spoke.
"Does Heero know and how do you know?" Zechs choked out, surprised at
Relena's information and pleased to have this bit of information about
Duo. Pleased to know he had a chance with Duo.
"Yes, Heero does, and I'm not stupid, you know. Anyone with two eyes can
see it." Relena sounded genuinely regretful. "He's Heero's best friend
but for Heero that's all it can be. If he'd been able to love Duo that
way, I'd never have had a chance."
"And why are you telling me all this?" He'd asked cautiously.
"I love Heero. Heero cares for Duo, it hurts him that Duo is sad and he
can't fix it." Relena sighed. "It's more in the way of a warning actually."
"A warning?" He really had to stop repeating things, he sounded like a
"I saw how you looked at Duo. Heero would be very
if Duo were
.upset in any way." Relena watched him carefully as she
"Thank you for thinking I'm that sort." Zechs managed to spit out.
"Now, now, Milliardo." Relena smiled. "I never thought any such thing.
I just wanted you to be aware of how things are. I'm very fond of you
and it would pain me if Heero felt compelled to take you apart."
Relena winked to show that she was joking. At least he thought that's
what she was doing. She continued, "Just have a care how you proceed,
Milliardo." Then she'd presented a smooth cheek to be kissed before she
left him standing there, bemused and bewildered.
It hadn't taken him long to pull himself back together and look for Duo.
He'd tracked him to a small alcove away from the noise of the party. Zechs
resisted the urge to simply press Duo against the wall and kiss him; his
hormones seemed to be a war with his common sense.
He made small talk and thought about his hands slowly unbuttoning Duo's
shirt and slipping inside that shirt to caress Duo's pale, smooth skin;
he invited Duo for drinks the next evening and thought about slowly stripping
Duo out of his snug slacks exposing creamy flesh; he suggested dinner
while imagining Duo naked and writhing under him on a table top. When
Duo said he'd had a long day and excused himself it was all Zechs could
do not to throw the man over his shoulder and carry him off to his bed.
Zechs went back to the party and had much too much champagne. His dreams
were filled with Duo and all the things he wanted to do to him; with him.
Morning came with a hangover and an invitation to join his sister for
breakfast. Where, much to his surprise, they were joined, not by Yuy but
by Duo Maxwell. Zechs' headache was overruled by his libido. Duo looked
pale and tired but smiled as he said good morning. Zechs forgot his headache
and was enchanted.
Relena was charming and worked hard to put Duo at ease. Knowing what he
did about Duo's feelings for Heero, Zechs was captivated by Duo's sweetly
smiling response to Relena's conversation. He almost didn't believe Relena's
claim that Duo had feelings for Heero. Duo smiled and flirted gently with
Relena until Zechs was almost
Half way through breakfast a waiter brought a message for Relena, who
read it, made a slight face, and announced that she was 'so very sorry'
but she had 'business to attend to' and was gone, almost before Duo and
Zechs could find their feet. Zechs was delighted by this piece of good
fortune; Duo didn't look quite as pleased and immediately tried to excuse
"I'm really not very hungry. I didn't want to hurt Relena's feelings but
I think I'm going back to my room. I'm kind of tired." Duo made his speech
without looking at Zechs but Zechs had no intention of letting him escape.
"You're just going to abandon me?" Zechs asked, counting on Duo's innate
good manners. That earned him another twenty minutes of Duo's company
and an opportunity to ask Duo to dinner. Duo refused and the dance began;
Zechs suggested, Duo refused; Zechs asked, Duo declined. It didn't matter
to Zechs; he had no plans to give up and no intent of accepting defeat.
He wanted Duo Maxwell and that want was escalating with every encounter.
By the time the rehearsal dinner rolled around even Zechs was beginning
to doubt. Duo had refused drinks, dinner, walks in the moonlit garden.
But, he'd stopped hiding from Zechs and had even blushed when Zechs complimented
him. Duo stopped flinching when Zechs touched him and Zechs touched him
as often as possible. Zechs had never been so thoroughly and completely
refused or so completely and thoroughly enthralled. It was more than lust
Zechs had begun to realize.
The rehearsal seemed almost too much for Duo. Zechs noted the stiff set
of his shoulders; the almost palpable tension that radiated from the man.
Zechs almost felt guilty for wanting to take advantage of Duo's distress
'all's fair in love and war' he told himself. So after the practice, after
the dinner, after he'd watched Duo reduced to a jangling mass of nerves
by the imminent and undeniable fact of Heero's impending nuptials, he'd
pressed his advantage.
Duo had started his usual subtle, easy slide out of the room; Zechs knew
from keeping him under observation all week that Duo would find a quiet
corner, a place to hide until he could gracefully take his leave of the
festivities. Zechs had stalked him like the predator he was, looking for
By now Zechs had realized that it was more than hormones, more than attraction,
more than lust. He was in love and losing Duo was simply not an option.
He would pursue Duo until Duo accepted him. Zechs caught up with Duo as
he disappeared into a small alcove and followed him into its dim interior.
"Are you leaving already, Duo?" Zechs stepped closer and noted that Duo
had to work to keep from twitching. Duo answered without turning around.
"Yeah, I'm tired, you know. Got to be up early tomorrow." Duo was edging
towards the door, Zechs moved with him, and Duo turned to face him.
"What do you want?" Duo's voice was wary and he sounded tired.
Zechs moved in, leaned towards Duo. "Let me show you the gardens? Some
fresh air will do you good. I promise to be a perfect gentleman." Duo
stepped back; hitting the wall Zechs had been maneuvering him towards.
Zechs bracketed Duo's head with his hands, moving until his face was a
scant few inches from Duo's. Eyes widened but Duo didn't blink, didn't
appear to be breathing, the pulse in his neck visible even in the low
light of the alcove.
"Have a drink before you go?" Zechs breathed softly across Duo's cheek.
"Dance with me?" All suggestions Zechs had made repeatedly and all suggestions
that had been refused. He leaned closer and spoke, almost against Duo's
mouth. "Kiss me," as he brushed his lips across Duo's; he was unprepared
for Duo's response.
[ch. 3] [back to BleedToBlue's