by Bronze Tigress

Peaches (cont)

Zechs checks the street signs again. Three more blocks until the specified pickup zone, but he is, clearly, already in the right District. At the stoplight, he pulls out the slip of paper and triple-checks it to make sure he has the details correct. A redhead with a thing for peach ice cream who is charging an exorbitant rate. Well, that's just dandy. Zechs has no idea what the going rate is, let alone an exorbitant one. Two blocks to go; maybe he should start checking early, just in case - and he might get a better idea of what the going rates are that way, too. He slows the sleek black Porsche convertible down to a crawl -cruising speed - and hits the button to put the top down. What, exactly, this particular task had to do with his work as a Preventer, he hasn't the foggiest idea, and he has the distinct feeling that someone, somewhere, is playing a colossal joke on him by passing him this as an assignment.

The first girl in the next block - still a block too early but what the hell - could possibly be mistaken for a redhead, if one were slightly colour blind. Zechs takes a deep breath as the auburn-haired woman approaches the car, leans provocatively over the door, and gives him her spiel. He notes the figure - not terribly much, he decides, then says, "And... what do you think of peaches?"

She blows a bubble, then tucks the gum back into her cheek and drawls, "Costs ya extra for kinky shit, and you buy 'em."

"Ah, sorry to have troubled you, then. I guess it is a bit cold for ice cream. Good day," Zechs says with a nod, and shifts the car back into gear, as the girl straightens up with a look on her face that clearly reads "weirdo". He drives slowly on down the block.

Zechs repeats the same performance again before the end of that block, and once on the next - now into the pickup zone, he notes - with similar prices and results. He sees nothing remotely close to red hair on the third block at all. Three blocks, and three strikes. He sighs. Then his eyes widen as he sees the figure leaning up against the wall of the building on the next corner, almost exactly in the centre of the designated zone. Butt-length brassy dyed-red hair tied up in a high ponytail, wearing a skimpy black leather outfit and tattered fishnets, one hip thrust out to the side, small chest pushed forward as if to make it seem bigger. If this assignment is a joke, he decides, at least the scenery is worth looking at.

Zechs slows the car to a stop at the curb beside the devastating vision, and watches as she pushes off the wall and sways seductively over to lean on the doorframe. "Well, well," a husky deep alto voice purrs, "a white knight on a shiny black charger. You were looking to take a girl for a ride someplace, maybe?" Her vivid blue eyes sparkle, and there is something very familiar about the face that Zechs can't quite place.

"Maybe so," he replies, grasping firm control over his voice and hormones, and unconsciously running his fingers up and down the gear shift. "What do you think about peaches? I seem to be having a hard time finding someone who shares my enjoyment of them."

"Peaches? I love peaches, but - aren't you gonna see if you can afford me, first?" She names a figure that is easily ten times the highest rate he's been quoted yet. "And that's for just the afternoon, but if you're willing to meet my price, there's not much I can't do for you," she states, with a saucy wink, implying much.

Zechs whistles. "Well, darling, at that rate, I'd hate to see what you charge extra for using ice cream," he says.

She smirks, then stands up, opens the door, and leans in over the seat. "Ice cream? For ice cream I give a big discount, boyfriend." She licks her lips suggestively, and then turns to sit on the edge of the passenger seat, pulls perfect legs in after, and closes the door behind herself. "So, Zechsy," she remarks in a clear voice suddenly two registers lower, "gonna take me home now?" Bright blue eyes flash with mirth as Zechs nearly stalls the engine in surprise, but then he gets the car in gear and pulls out from the sidewalk to drive away.

"Lieber Gott in Himmel," Zechs manages, the voice and face finally coalescing in his mind. Reaching blindly for the dash, he hits the button that puts the roof and windows up automatically, giving himself a moment to get his voice under control. Then he chokes out, "Duo? Does Chang know you do this on the side?"

Duo laughs lightly, then answers, "I'm only doing this today, and yes, he knows. He needed backup for a meet-and-greet, and this was the costume of the day. Thanks for the lift, by the way."

"You're quite welcome. I think."

"You think?"

Zechs lifts an eyebrow. "I get sent out to pick up one of my two favourite wet dreams made flesh, and not only is it half an illusion, but he's already taken. God," he pronounces, "is an iron."(1)

Duo raises an eyebrow at Zechs' choice of such an ancient quote to describe the apparent irony of the situation, but doesn't comment. Right now, he just wants to go home and...

A few awkward, silent moments later, Duo clears his throat. "You know, there's a reason I priced myself out of the ballpark - aside from the fact that I'm very, very good at what I do."

"And that would be?"

"I don't lie, Zechs. I'm just lucky nobody came along who felt like ponying up that much. However, seeing as I'm here, and I did offer you a substantial rate cut..."

Zechs nearly stalls the car again, as he processes that. "Ah..." Desperately searching for a different topic of conversation, he settles on the mission's pickup line. "How about we just stop for ice cream on the way back, instead? I'd really hate to end up on the wrong side of the Dragon, mission or no."

"Really? Cool! Ice cream is a good thing, even if 'Fei can't handle it."

Zechs smiles. "Really, Duo." A brief pause, before, "He can't?"

"Lactose intolerant."

"Ah. Here," Zechs pulls off suddenly into a small parking lot. "Stay put, I'll be right back." And he disappears into what looks to be a small Italian deli. Five minutes later, Zechs is bending long legs to swivel back into his seat, handing a small paper bag to Duo. "Hold these, would you?"

Duo, curious, opens the top of the bag to take a peek inside. "Chocolate for you, hmm?"

"Sally tells me it's better than sex, although I'm not sure I'd go quite that far. Then again, it's the best I'm likely to get at the moment, so I'll have to settle."

Duo blinks. "I thought your girlfriend just got back?"

"In her dreams," Zechs snorts.

"Oh?"

"Not my type."

"Ah."

"Here we are," Zechs says a minute later, pulling into the residents' parking lot. Zechs is out of the car almost before it stops and coming around, pocketing the keys and taking his jacket off as he does so, to open the passenger door for Duo. He slips the jacket over bare shoulders, gently lifting the mass of brassy hair free once the fabric settles. That done, he bends to hit the autolock, straightens, and shuts the door. Taking the bag with the ice cream and Duo's elbow, Zechs escorts him gently into the building and down the hallway.

Duo knocks lightly, and after a moment, Wufei opens the door, letting it swing wide and leaning casually up against the frame to look at the two. "Ah, delivery, thank you. I've been expecting one of these," he says with a wolfish grin. It goes very well with the loose hair and the tight, faded jeans that are his only clothing.

Zechs stares, entranced, for a moment, until Wufei clears his throat. Blushing, he turns his attention to extracting Duo's tub from the bag, and excuses himself to take his own home before it melts. He strides off just a little bit stiffly, and perhaps more quickly than absolutely necessary. Wufei looks after him, an amused glint in his dark eyes, from where he is posed.

Duo sounds both curious and amused as he asks, "What?"

"Oh," Wufei replies, "I do believe you were right about him; he seemed to be enjoying the view."

"Well, now I know who both of his favourite fantasies are," Duo grins, and steps up closer to the door. "But, he's right, this is going to melt if we keep standing around in the hallway - and I can think of some much better uses for it than dripping it on the carpet out here. Besides, I'm kinda hungry." His voice shifts to the same throaty alto tone he was using all afternoon, and he bends close to murmur in Wufei's ear, "And you, sweetheart, look good enough to eat just like that." Duo steps past Wufei, passing close enough to 'accidentally' brush against the front of Wufei's jeans, eliciting a gasp. Once inside he bends over, straight-legged, to unbuckle the straps of the shoes so that he can step down out of them. When he turns to hang Zechs' jacket on a spare hook, he finds himself face to face with Wufei, who is standing barely inches from him.

Wufei smirks at him, and reaches up with one hand to drag Duo's face to his for a deep, possessive kiss that leaves them both a little breathless when they part. "And... just what were these 'other uses' you had in mind, my little tiger lily?"

Duo shivers. Wufei's voice has dropped into the pure liquid silken tone that generally only makes an appearance in their bedroom, when he has something particularly pleasurable in mind. He swallows, then holds the carton up, and takes a good look at it. His eyes widen marginally. "Well, well... I guess I can share this after all. This isn't ice cream; it's a sorbet - just fruit in it."

"And how were you planning to not share it, before, if I may be so bold as to ask?"

"Um... well, you put it on, and then you lick it off..."

"Ah. I thought that was what the peaches were for? Or perhaps the warm caramel syrup?" The corners of Wufei's mouth quirk up in a teasing smile, and he runs a finger down the little zipper on the front of Duo's halter top. "I suppose we could skip dinner and go straight to dessert, just this once..." He runs the finger down across bare skin to the waistband of the tight little skirt, and hooks it just barely over the edge, teasing the skin behind the leather. "Unless you have some objections to being dessert?"

Wufei's finger dips in, glides, and comes back up and then he tugs just a little, bringing Duo's hips just that much closer to him. That hand traces back around Duo's waist to his rear, sliding down over the curves there and pulling Duo's hips flush against his own. The other, meanwhile, lightly pushes the carton aside, then slips around behind Duo's head again. Wufei threads his fingers through Duo's hair and pulls him in for another kiss.

When he releases his lover this time, Wufei smirks, then turns him by one shoulder to get a good look at the living room, plucks the small tub of sorbet from suddenly lax fingers, and walks over to where the low table has been moved to one side. He pops the lid off the frozen confection, then tucks the carton into the bed of ice beside the plate of fine slices of peach.

Beside the tray of ice, a small chafing dish has been set up, and Wufei dips a finger experimentally into the substance being heated. He smiles, bringing the caramel-coated finger to his lips, and flicks his tongue out to lick a small drip, dragging it slowly up the full length of the finger. He pauses briefly at the top before sucking the finger slowly into his mouth, puckering his lips around it. Ignoring the small intake of breath from Duo, he turns, finger still held between pursed lips, and walks into the kitchen. Once there, he fetches a spoon and brings it back to the table, laying it down between the two dishes with the other items already lying there, before turning to look Duo up and down appraisingly one more time.

"I am debating between saving Dorothy's lovely costume, and asking you what part of it absolutely has to come off," Wufei announces in a conversational tone. Duo raises an eyebrow. "I know perfectly well that you are no woman," Wufei continues, "nor would I have you be one, but... you make a stunning example like that." He shrugs one shoulder in an eloquent gesture of confusion.

Duo raises the other eyebrow. "The fishnets turn you on, huh? Well, unfortunately for that, pretty much everything but the skirt has to come off. The padding went on over top of the T-bar, and not only was that a little tight to begin with to keep things, uh, tucked in, but it's been riding up my tail all afternoon. It's starting to get pretty uncomfortable in front too, by the way. And I really should take this makeup and dirt off before we get started. I'll be right back, okay?" He steps carefully and a little awkwardly - not quite used to being on flat feet again - to the bathroom. Wufei shrugs, undoes the jeans, slips them down off his hips, and tosses them towards the door. Then he sits down on the floor by the table and waits. He isn't there very long.

Wufei looks up as the door clicks open again, and takes in the show as his lover appears. Duo has scrubbed his face clean and stripped the tattered stockings and street grime off his legs, but the rest of the costume remains. The skirt hangs a little looser on his hips than before, although the front is not so flat. The brief zippered halter top seems looser as well. Duo raises one arm to pull the elastic band from his hair, letting it spill freely about his shoulders and shaking his head a little to let it settle. Wufei watches, mesmerized, as Duo brings that hand to the zipper at his collar, and pulls it slowly downwards until he reaches the separating clasp at the bottom. It takes both hands to undo that, and he slides the front of the shirt open, draws it back off his shoulders, and finally lets it slip right off. It falls to the floor behind him as he steps into the living room.

Duo stops at the edge of the sheeted area, hair loose and naked but for the leather skirt, bathed in the indirect golden afternoon sunshine that filters through the light curtains. His hands rise to cross over his chest in what might be considered, under other circumstances, as a gesture of modesty. Then he rocks his head sideways once, twice, letting a lock of hair fall forwards on each side, across his chest, and then raises both arms up behind his neck and stretches. There is something different about the pose he takes this time, however, for all its overt similarity to his usual proud high-elbowed stance. Perhaps it is the soft way he lets his head fall over to one side, eyes half-lidded, or the way he rocks those black-clad hips out to the side and tips them slightly backwards, rather than letting them jut forward as is his wont. The effect, even without any artifice, is undeniably feminine.

Wufei draws a sharp breath, and unfolds himself from his spot on the floor, rising to stalk like the tiger towards his partner. A small rumbling growl rises in his throat. Duo stands, frozen in place, as Wufei comes up to him. One golden hand slips behind Duo's head, bringing him down to kiss, while the other slides around behind his waist, fingers splaying at the small of Duo's back and jerking his hips forwards to meet Wufei's, drawing their bodies together from knees to mid-chest. As the kiss deepens, both Wufei's hands move to the zipper at the back of Duo's skirt, one hand holding the trailing ends of his hair clear as the other works the slide down, then comes back to unfasten the button. Undone, the skirt is still held up by the press of their bodies, until Wufei rocks his hips back and shoves the leather down and off. Barrier gone, Wufei brings their hips back together, his arousal pressing insistently against Duo's body, and he grinds up against his lover even as he breaks their kiss to bury his head in the crook of Duo's shoulder, sucking and nipping at the slightly raised muscle there. The growl is a little louder, now.

Duo catches his breath, and then chuckles, softly, kindly. "Someone's in a hurry today, hmm? Don't worry, Tiger, I'm gonna take care of this for you." Gently, he brings one arm up between them, forcing just enough space that he can sink down, pressing kisses to bronze skin as he goes, until he is kneeling before Wufei. When he stops, head level with Wufei's hips, his knees are tucked between feet automatically set further apart for balance, and his hands are set, one holding Wufei's hips lightly in place, the other splayed across the saddle of his back. His fingers rest just barely above the tight muscles of that perfect ass. Duo pauses to look up, licks his lips, quickly takes in the glaze of desire that is washed over every part of Wufei that he can see, and gets right to the point.

Wufei gasps, shudders, and then moans as Duo's mouth descends over his erection with none of their usual preamble or teasing. He drops his hands under the curtain of hair to rest lightly on Duo's shoulders, just enough to anchor himself, and braces his legs against the pleasure rocking between them. Duo's movements are nearly as urgent as Wufei's own need is, sucking firmly and sliding quickly along the throbbing length in his mouth and throat. Finally, sensing some imminent change, Duo moves the restraining hand off Wufei's hip, letting it slip down to stroke the spot just behind the tightening balls. Both hands press lightly, and Duo stops moving himself, wordlessly urging Wufei to set his own pace. With a renewed growl, Wufei does just that, unleashing all the power and need he has held in check in half a dozen last forceful thrusts into willing, pliant heat. He roars his completion, burying himself deep as Duo swallows automatically that which is too far back in his throat to feel or taste. Then Wufei moves again, jerking with aftershocks once, twice, and again, before taking a faltering step back. Duo gently eases himself backwards as well, swirling his tongue around before pressing it upwards one last time to milk the last taste out, even as he draws in a much-needed breath.

It is only Duo's arm, still wrapped around his hips, that keeps Wufei on his feet. Duo is quick to lend him another arm on his way down as he sinks to his knees, and then draws him in to a warm hug. Duo nuzzles a kiss into ebony silk and murmurs, "Better now, yes? Edge gone?"

Wufei nods, and draws a shaky breath, before whispering, "_Aiya_, what you do to me, Duo."(2)

Duo only hugs Wufei tighter and kisses his cheek, smiling triumphantly to himself. "Don't you dare try to apologize to me, now, Wufei," Duo warns, voice gentle. "Let me revel in my accomplishment a little first, hmm? It's not so easy to turn a Dragon into a Tiger.(3) And besides," he continues, "we've still got a good long evening ahead of us; I'm sure you'll more than repay the favour - especially now that you'll be able to concentrate better." He kisses Wufei then, a soft, almost chaste kiss, lips barely open, and puts all the love he has to give into it. Wufei returns the kiss, just as softly, and then drops his head against Duo's shoulder and nods. "So," Duo asks, tone curious, "how long has that been coming on?"

Wufei actually flushes a little, before admitting, "Since you left this afternoon."

Duo grins, cheerfully, and teases, "Uh, huh. Fishnets turn you on."

"No, Duo," Wufei corrects him gently. "You do. Now," he stands and pulls Duo up with him, and backs towards the centre of the room. "I believe I promised you a story about Dukes and peaches..."

++

(1) "If a person who indulges in gluttony is a glutton, and a person who commits felony is a felon, then God is an Iron. Or else He's the dumbest designer that ever lived." (Spider Robinson, Mindkiller)

(2) _Aiya_ translates as approximately equivalent to "damn" or "good Lord!", and the characters are given as meaning a surprised expression of surprise

(3) Assorted sources give the Dragon credit for wisdom and a focus on the good of all parties, where the Tiger, the king of the jungle, tends to focus only on his own strength and pride. Duo is, quite rightly, a little bit proud to have made Wufei lose his much-practiced self-control.

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