by Bronze Tigress

Peaches (cont)

Wufei backs towards the centre of the room, drawing Duo with him. He smirks, "And look, we have practical aids, even." Leading Duo onto the sheets that have been spread out, he pulls him down to the floor, so that both men are kneeling. Wufei kisses his lover again, indulging in a lazy, possessive exploration of Duo's mouth. His hands, meanwhile, pull the temporarily redheaded man's body flush with his own before beginning their own lazy, possessive explorations. It is now Duo's turn to groan as Wufei breaks the kiss and backs up a little.

"Come, then, love. I need you to lie down for me here," Wufei says as he shifts around to Duo's side. He catches up Duo's hair with one hand, and urges him gently to lie down with the other. Duo responds quickly, catching up his own hair to keep it clear and sinking gracefully to the floor. Wufei takes advantage of now free hands to grab one of the small cushions lying nearby, slipping it neatly under Duo's head as he descends. "For what I have in mind to work," Wufei continues, "you will need to keep still, and listen quietly. In fact, were you anyone else, I would be asking how you felt about having your wrists bound."

A small flicker of apprehension crosses Duo's face at the thought of being restrained; the associations built on various past experiences are not pleasant. Wufei has already considered the matter however, and quickly drops a small kiss on Duo's lips to forestall any outburst. "But," he murmurs, even before sitting back up, "I know better. So I have an alternative in mind. Give me your hands?" Duo blinks, and considers, then somewhat hesitantly lifts them up to put into Wufei's. "Good. Now, turn them back to back, and lace your fingers together, like a zipper." Duo's expression has become curious by now as he experimentally makes the suggested motions.

Wufei's voice is full of warm encouragement as he asks, "Now, do you think you can keep them that way for me?" Duo nods, realizing that this is to be a test of his own will. He can, obviously, let go at any moment, yet the implication is that whatever is to come depends on his being able to keep his hands linked. Wufei smiles warmly. "Good, that will work just as well - and I think the rewards will prove to be... worthwhile. Now, hands up? Good, very good, Duo." Something deep inside Duo's chest bursts into glorious warmth at the wonder that is in Wufei's hands as he gently - so carefully - presses Duo's linked fingers back to rest on the floor above his head, then strokes softly down his arms, then his sides, and the outsides of his thighs down to his knees, which he lifts enough that Duo must put his feet down on the floor, and his back is pressed flat to the floor as well.

When he sits back on his heels again, it is all Wufei can do to catch his breath to praise the vision before him. "You are so beautiful, Duo, laid out like this - like some precious offering to the gods of love and passion..." He shakes his head, when Duo makes as if to protest, and kisses him reverently before turning to the table behind him to pick up the small tub of sorbet and the spoon. He pokes experimentally at the top, and apparently satisfied, turns back to Duo. Wufei pauses for a moment to collect his thoughts, and then begins to speak.

"A very long time ago, the Duke Ling of Wei took a lover, a Viscount whose name was Mizi Xia." A single scoop of the sorbet descends, seemingly headed for Duo's mouth, but coming to a halt above his chin instead. Duo's eyes, which had been tracking the spoon's approach, cross as it comes to a stop and then flutter closed at the first touch of the chilled spoon. The back of the spoon traces a cool line down Duo's chin, and throat, and rests for a moment at the hollow of his collarbones. Blue eyes pop open to lock with black ones, and a small hiss of surprise escapes as the sensations register. Fingers tighten their grasp on each other, lest this be over before it even begins.

"At that time," Wufei continues, "it was forbidden for anyone to use the Duke's carriage without his permission. Now, Mizi was a favourite of the court, and a highly-place noble." The spoon turns over. A small shiver is ignored, as is the almost-squirm that is quickly stilled. "Even so, he was required to obey the laws of the land, and the penalty for such use was loss of one's feet." The cool, damp sorbet slides, leaving slick trails of sticky peach-scented slush in a twisting pattern across Duo's chest as Wufei almost absentmindedly draws out kanji that relate to the story - the Duke's name and Mizi's, the _fa_ of law, and the _zu_ of a foot. Another scoop of sorbet fills the now-empty spoon, and Wufei continues his tale.

"One evening, however, a messenger came, breathless from running, with the news that Mizi's mother was taken ill and lay dying. Without a second thought, he ran out, jumped into the Duke's carriage, and sped off." More kanji, and this time the _dao_ of a knife cuts across the earlier _zu_. Another scoop of sorbet. "When the Duke found out, however, instead of sending Mizi to be punished, he praised him, saying, 'what a devoted son, to risk his feet in order to attend his sick mother' - for you must understand, that to honour, obey, and care for one's parents is a virtue above all others in Chinese society." Kanji for forgiveness and filial duty wander down onto the skin of Duo's belly, eliciting another small hiss and squirm.

"Later on, when summer had come, the Duke and his lover were strolling through the royal orchard." More sorbet traces its shivery path across Duo's skin, following a meandering path from one stiffly attentive nipple to the other, seeking out any still-clear patches of skin. "There were peaches there, and Mizi saw one that had ripened early. He picked it, and biting into it, found it sweet." This time, the spoonful of sorbet traces Duo's lips until he opens them to receive it. "Pleased, Mizi offered the rest to the Duke, who was touched by the gesture and praised him for it." Wufei turns, setting the container back into the ice, and laying the spoon down on the saucer. He picks up, instead, the bowl of caramel and the brush, before turning back, and dropping a single feather-light kiss on now peach-flavoured lips.

"But time passed, as it will, and the Viscount's beauty began to fade, and the Duke's love began to wane." The brush is dipped into the caramel, and tested against the inside of Wufei's wrist, before he begins writing again, in swift, sure, swirling strokes. "As often happened, Mizi was accused of a crime, although he had done nothing unusual. But the duke, rather than excusing or praising him, said, 'That man? He once stole a ride in my carriage, and even dared to give me a peach he had eaten half of!'" The kanji trace liquid heat that cools quickly against chill sorbet, fiery trails that leave Duo panting. "But it is not the Duke's passing desires that remain with us, it is Mizi's offering to his love that we remember. Ever since then, when my people speak of the love between two men, one of the names they use is _fen tao_, which means 'dividing the peach,' and another refers to 'the pleasures of the bitten peach.'" One final swirling set of kanji finishes the tale.(1)

"But you see, Duo, part of the problem? So, we will share this peach from the beginning." At this, Wufei turns towards the table again, rising to his knees as he does so. He replaces the caramel and brush, and takes up the small dish from its resting place. It is evident that Wufei spent some time preparing for this story, as the slices of peach are perfect, and barely thick enough to keep from bending under their own weight. With delicate fingers, he lifts one out, and then, just as delicately, brushes it across Duo's lips. Duo, obligingly, parts his lips, tongue flicking forwards to lick at the juice on them. Wufei seizes the opportunity to slip half the slice into Duo's mouth, leaning in quickly to catch the other half between his own lips.

The kiss is the briefest brush of lips on lips that the two have shared in some time, but the small noise of startlement Duo makes is quickly replaced by a pleased hum as the taste and sensation register. The tiny morsel barely requires chewing before it slides smoothly down Duo's throat, and he lets his eyelids drift shut as Wufei picks up the next slice to repeat the process. Each new slice is a separate new sort of tease; the slivers of peach trace damp patterns over Duo's lips, and their liquid slide down his throat serve only to make him wish there were more there. The featherlight kisses, too, merely incite him further. Duo nearly cries out in surprise when, instead of yet another slice of peach, Wufei uses his own considerably warmer tongue to trace his lips, and this kiss is allowed to become considerably deeper as their tongues tangle together.

"Hmmm. And now you taste of peaches, lovely one," Wufei hums, pleased, as the kiss breaks. He reaches behind himself to put the dish on the table, then turns back, surveying his handiwork. "It rather looks like someone has made a mess of the rest of you, however." Wufei tucks a soft wing of jet silk behind his ear as he bends to lick at the hollow of Duo's throat. Duo gasps, squirms, and twists his fingers together; a small moan of delight is quickly bitten back, but his breath comes in small panting exhalations. "Mmm, yes, definitely tastes of peaches," Wufei comments, before bending once again to begin licking Duo clean, like the tiger he has so recently been named.

If the chill of the sorbet being spread had raised shivers, if the swirl of the warm caramel-laden brush had sent streaks of pale fire rippling across Duo's skin, those are as nothing compared to the jolts of electricity that spark across Duo's nerves in the wake of Wufei's tongue. It is an effort to keep from moving, from crying out as Wufei's tongue flicks across a taut nipple, or drags its way across his collarbone, or dances up his sternum. He tosses his head, eyes dropping shut, and moans helplessly as Wufei works his way down, carefully bathing every trace of caramel and peach away. It is almost too much. Wufei's tongue travels further down, heading for Duo's stirring erection, which is already pulsing softly with each rapid heartbeat. Wufei takes one tentative lick up the length of it, and Duo whines and swivels his hips upwards, pleading for more.

And then Wufei sits back on his heels, shaking his head sadly. "Oh, no, this will not do at all."

Duo's eyes, which had dropped closed the better to appreciate the tongue-bathing, fly open, and he stares, incredulous, at Wufei.

Before he can verbally protest, however, Wufei is explaining himself. "Not enough peach flavouring, you see," and he turns to the table to correct that perceived flaw. A spoonful of cool, but melting, sorbet is dropped onto the base of his lover's erection, where it slides down to nestle in the small hollow between his balls. Several more small spoonfuls follow, trailing up the length of Duo's shaft. "There. Now, what else have we... Ah!" A drizzle of warmth follows the coolness, caramel dropping in a thin stream from the brush in intricate swirls. A small clank, then, and Wufei's tongue returns to its previous task, sampling the new flavour. "Mmmm. Much better," Wufei purrs, and sets to work licking up the rest of the sorbet.

When the bulk of the sweet mess is gone, Wufei begins taking longer licks, alternating with little sucking kisses. Duo gasps, writhes, and moans softly under the careful ministrations. He whines when, once again, Wufei stops, and comments, seemingly to himself, "Decisions, decisions... Do I finish this off now and find out what kind of filling it has, or," Wufei pauses, and pulls Duo's knee up with one hand. A slick finger moves against his entrance, as Wufei continues, "do I save that for later? Or perhaps," he says, as the finger slips in and rocks, "I should just succumb to temptation and do both..." Wufei's mouth comes down over Duo's erection again, alternately sucking and taking long licks, as if it were a popsicle in danger of dripping on a too-warm day. His fingers rock and thrust inside Duo's ass in the same rhythm, and Duo gasps as he squirms against the pillow and his self-imposed bonds.

Duo is close - so close - when Wufei lifts his head and almost casually remarks, "The story is finished, Duo. And I want to hear you scream for me," before dropping back to his task. As if the words have unlocked his lips - and perhaps they have - Duo moans as the sucking and stroking resume, crying out with each thrust, and moments later he is shouting out his release. Wufei catches it all, and takes one last, hard suck. Quickly, before the stars have cleared from behind Duo's eyes, Wufei is flipping him over, onto hands and knees with his chest down and ass raised high, and then he is sliding home in one smooth motion. He begins moving immediately, in smooth even strokes that match the rhythm he had been using, keeping Duo from falling out of the aftershocks. Each thrust drags another trembling, gasping cry of ecstasy from Duo's lips, and Wufei cannot hold out for long. Soon, much sooner than he would have thought possible, he is coming again, hands tightening around Duo's waist, hips slamming through their last few thrusts, and the roar of the tiger sounds once more, echoing in two throats.

Wufei collapses against Duo's back, forehead pressed between his love's shoulder blades, arms wrapping around his chest and waist, holding on as if to keep from drowning. A long moment passes, counted out in gradually slowing heartbeats and ragged breathing, before Wufei turns his head, rubbing his cheek against Duo's spine. "Ah, me. Even when you give me control, I have none around you." There is a slightly rueful tone to Wufei's voice as he says it, and he gives Duo a quick squeeze before straightening and moving to pull away.

Duo is having none of it, however. "Oh, no, you don't, Wufei. I am not letting you do that to yourself again, do you hear me?" He waits only long enough for Wufei to get clear before he sits back on his heels, and turns to look at his now slightly confused lover. "You had more than enough control to get the job at hand done. And speaking of which," he lifts his hands, fingers still linked, "I think you were right. That was definitely worthwhile. At least, from my end of things. And it certainly sounded like you enjoyed it, yes?" Wufei nods. Almost absently he catches one wrist, running a finger from his free hand down Duo's twined ones, the same way he had done for the zipper of the little black top. Duo gladly takes the hint, letting his hands fall apart at the light touch, and then shaking his hands gently. "Then that's all you need, right?"

Wufei, however, looks less certain. Duo shuffles forwards a little awkwardly on his knees, and puts his hands on Wufei's shoulders, looking directly into coffee-coloured eyes and holding them in his gaze. "Wufei. You don't have to be in control all the time. Truly. And quite frankly, if I couldn't make you lose control at least some of the time, what does that say about me?" Wufei blinks, a little bit startled at that thought, and Duo presses his advantage. "Christ, 'Fei - you put me through that," he says, lifting one hand and waving it vaguely, "and then you act like it wasn't good enough somehow? Jesus. Any better and it'd kill me - and I don't mean that the way you've probably heard it as pillow talk! God..." Plainly frustrated at his lack of words, Duo sinks his face into the hand he has been waving for emphasis.

"_Ai ren_, I... Duo."(2) Wufei gently moves the hand away, and tilts his beloved's face up to meet those blue eyes with his own. "It was intended as a compliment, love."

"Not if you're going to put yourself down to do it, it isn't. Wufei, haven't we gone over the bit where you're already perfect enough times yet? And the bit where if anyone should be having an inferiority complex and feeling unworthy it's me, not you? She's dead, Fei, you don't have to prove anything to her or her memory any more, except that you are a good man. And you've more than proven yourself to me already. I could never hope to be anymmmph!!!" Wufei's movement is so swift that Duo doesn't even see it; he is in Wufei's arms, words being stolen with a kiss, before he can complete the thought in his own head, much less speak it aloud.

It is not until the stiffness of surprise, and the subsequent struggle to continue speaking, both melt into sweet surrender that Wufei releases his lover's lips. He tugs Duo down so that they can lie on the floor together, face to face, legs twined together, and arms around each other. "If I am not allowed to put myself down, then neither are you," he explains, feathering his fingers through Duo's bangs. "I could not have done what you did today - even had I dared appear in that... costume. Think on that before you say the next word about your misspent youth."

Duo chuckles softly at the oddly genteel description of his miserable childhood, and nods his agreement. "Alright, D-baby, you've got a point. So what's this really about? Having to play Saitoshi's game?"

Wufei nods.

"Figured as much. Drives you crazy, not being able to predict the next move, doesn't it? How did you ever manage to fight new opponents?"

A short bark of laughter is his reply, followed by, "You are correct, as usual. Still. I do not like this; it is not merely a sparring match or competition, and too many lives besides my own are at stake. Too many others can - no, will - get hurt if I fail, and may well even if I succeed. And there is nothing I can do to change that."

"I know, 'Fei, I know. I don't like it either, and I'm just as worried about Liuli as you are. Maybe more; I wish I didn't have as much of an idea of what she's going through with him right now as I do. We're going to make all that suffering count for something, though, okay? We're going to beat this monster at his own game, right?" Wufei nods, more certain this time. "That means playing it for long enough to get him, though. So let's make every meeting count for as much as we can. And next time? Can I get a costume that doesn't involve heels that high?"

Wufei suppresses a snicker at that last request, and jokes back, "That depends; are you going to wear the fishnets again?"

"Wufei!" Duo bats playfully at his lover, then leans in for a kiss, which gradually deepens. As it continues, Duo is the one who rolls Wufei over onto his back and reaches for the spoon. "Shall we review why not being in control can be a good thing?" he asks, a wicked smile on his face.

+

Two mornings later, Dorothy's home vidphone rings. Looking somewhat harried, and in a hurry to get out the door to get to the office on time to start work for the day, she nearly lets the machine take a message, but some instinct prompts her to pick up.

"Dor'thy? Oh, good, you haven't left yet. Listen, is the stubble supposed to itch like this?"

Dorothy smiles brightly as she quickly provides a solution to the problem, and is laughing softly to herself all the way in to the office at the rather stricken look on Duo's face.

~Owari~

++

(1) A tale from the Spring and Fall period (722-481 BC); the love of Wei Ling Gong (534-493 BC) for Mizi Xia was reported by Han Feizi. Wufei's retelling is modelled after a version found at www.androphile.org, as are the approximate translations of their ranks, although this was not the sole source for the story.

(2) _ai ren_ - translated variously as beloved/sweetheart/lover/spouse from the Chinese

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