by Cassima
see part 1 for warnings

28 Days + Part 4

He found Wu sitting on a small rock on the cliff overlooking the ocean, staring out at the water. The sun was low in the sky, and the orange-pink light reflecting from the waves gave the Chinese boy's skin a tone more brilliantly golden than usual. The boy was pensive, and his glare aimed at the water rivaled even stoic Heero's frown.

Duo just stood a few feet behind him, feeling the breeze tease the material of his t-shirt and cut at his legs through his jeans. The salty smell of the sea had a soporific effect on him, and he struggled to think of what to say, and finally settled for his first instinct.

"I'm sorry."

Wufei didn't respond for a moment, and when he did, he didn't turn to look at Duo. "I know."

Duo's face was sad. "I really thought they were going to kill me on sight."

The other still didn't move. "I know."

"Relena had to survive. She's too important to the peace of the world to die right now."

"I know."

"The messages--I just wanted to say goodbye."

"I know."

Duo struggled past the rock that had lodged itself in his throat. "Wu, are you okay?"

"Am I okay?" the other boy mused, and Duo suddenly realized how angry Wufei was. "Am I okay? Let's think for a moment, Maxwell. My best friend disappears for a month, and suddenly I get a message from him via the girlfriend of his crush that says he sacrificed his life for world peace. I discover that's a lie, concoct a plan to break him out, and all he can say is 'sorry'." He stood and turned to face the American pilot. "So, Maxwell, am I okay?" His eyes were blazing, and he moved towards Duo like a tiger approaching prey. "Am I okay, Maxwell?!"

"I'm thinking 'no'," Duo said quietly, trying to break the tension.

"Damn you, Duo!" His fist shot out, striking at Duo's face, but the Deathscythe pilot grabbed his wrist and stepped out of the path of the blow. "You idiot," Wufei yelled, and Duo just pulled his friend close into a hug. "Damn you," Wufei began to sob, to his own embarrassment. "I was so scared..."

"Shh," he comforted, wrapping his arms around Wufei and holding him tight. He could feel the other boy's hot tears on his neck and soaking his shirt, and he rubbed his back, beginning to cry himself. If Wu could cry, maybe it wasn't so weak... "It's okay," he murmured through his own tears, "I'm okay now, we're all safe." The words weren't important; neither boy was paying attention to them.

Wufei's arms clung to him, reminiscent of a vice, his hands holding fistfuls of Duo's shirt. "I was so scared," he whispered again and again. "I was so scared."

They rocked back and forth in the breeze until the tears had subsided, and then they just stood there in the dying light, holding each other, feeling the warmth of the other body in the cool sea air.

"When I first saw you--Relena," Wufei finally murmured into his neck, "I thought something was wrong. It wasn't until she called me Wufei that I knew for sure it wasn't you. She just kept calling me 'Wufei' over and over and over, and I just got so mad. I thought... I didn't know... and you disappeared on the mission all month... you said you'd be back in a week or two... I thought, maybe..."

Duo pressed the side of his face more firmly into the glossy, black hair. "I'm sorry," he said again.

"I know," the other repeated, but the words were calmer, the anger gone. Picking his head up from Duo's shoulder, he looked at the other boy with black-brown eyes a little reddened from crying.

Duo's irises were ringed with red, too, and he lifted one of his hands to smooth away a small strand of hair too short to fit in Wufei's ponytail.

"I liked your hair better before," Wufei said, rubbing a lock of ash-blond hair through his fingers.

"I'll never get it out," he said back, eyes darkening a little again.

"We'll wash as much out as possible," Wufei returned quietly, "and then we'll dye it back." He moved his fingers through the free length. Duo looked so different with his hair free, never mind dyed and cut. "It'll grow."

Duo nodded, and they were quiet again for a while, just basking in the glow of the setting sun. "If Oujo-san does her job right, the war is over," he finally whispered.

"Peace will be nice," Wufei returned just as quietly. "What are you going to do?"

"I don't know," Duo breathed.

Leaning forward the few inches, Wufei brushed his lips against Duo's once, twice, three times before the kiss caught, and then their warm lips were gliding together in the chill of the night and the wind coming in off the ocean, and they didn't even realize when the kiss deepened. It was a very easy kiss, the passion lazily winding its way around them stealthily until they were bound together, intertwined, and it didn't matter anymore that it was actually getting quite cold outside, and that the sun was almost completely hidden behind the horizon, because they were making their own heat. The kiss, so mild and tender at first, heated with the dimming of the light until it was an inferno, and it didn't hurt that their hands were moving everywhere--friction!--and all they could think of was how wonderful everything was.

One of Duo's hands had ventured under Wufei's white jacket and even the tank top, and then up his back, delighting in the warm, smooth skin stretched over the bones and muscles. The other hand was cupping his head, holding it closer and possibly at a better angle to devour his mouth. His fingers, however, could hardly restrain from combing through the silky hair, and he groaned into the other's mouth, "Wu-chan..."

"Duo," Wufei responded in a delirious moan, but didn't pause the kiss. His left hand had settled quite happily to the base of Duo's neck, fingers tangled in the free hair, lightly massaging his scalp. His right hand, however, the more daring, had traveled farther south than Duo's hip and kept rubbing from his lower back down to the curve of his butt and back up again, and down, and up, until Duo could scarcely do anything but make happy noises and kiss Wufei like his life depended on it. Everywhere Wu's hands touched came alive suddenly with burning tingles and a wonderful searing feeling that made him feel imprinted with Wufei, and he knew this was right. It was what he'd always dreamed of, this feeling of unity and passion.

Finally, they paused to pant, leaning on each other, hands stilling but not retreating.

"You sure?" Wufei asked when he could speak. His eyes were black, the intensity of his feelings clearly displayed.

"You were married," Duo said breathlessly, wondrously. Those eyes were hypnotic, and he noticed the different shades of black and dark brown Wu's eyes could turn. "To a woman."

"Arranged."

"Oh. Yeah. You?"

"Yes. For keeps, right?"

"God, yes. Same?"

"Of course."

And then, Duo's stomach spoke up in a loud, gurgling voice.

Both of the boys began to laugh. "Sorry, Wu-chan." Duo said sheepishly. "It's been a few days since I had any real food... and before that we had cold canned stuff, which was crap. What time is it?"

Wufei lifted his left hand from its comfortable perch on Duo's bottom to see his watch, and squinted in the fading light. "Quarter to seven," he replied, and dropped his hand back.

"Q promised dinner at seven-thirty," the American replied, "so we still have some time."

"You need a shower," Wufei told him, and reluctantly let go so they could walk in. His hand found Duo's however, and they didn't have to sever their connection.

"I do," Duo admitted, too tired to make a joke. "Wanna come?"

It would have taken a better man than Chang Wufei to forego that offer.

+

It was suddenly exhilarating, and Wufei knew he was giving Duo disgustingly silly lovey-dovey looks, but Duo didn't seem to mind. He was even giving a few of them back. His lips were curved into a smile, and his eyes were dark and soft, but still brilliant, still teasing.

He turned around to turn on the water, so that the water began to spray down gently behind them in the tub.

"Wu-chan," Duo said, and, yeah, that was annoying, but not quite so annoying as the Chinese boy liked to pretend it was--not that he'd let anyone else get away with it. Anyone else would get the shit beat out of 'em.

He turned, saw that teasing smile again, and couldn't resist giving Duo a deep kiss; the other tasted addictive, indescribable. He practically came out of it humming. With a shy smile to convey how perfect he felt--sure, he was half-hard and certain parts of him were begging to be touched again, but this was Duo--he put his hands on Duo's sides and gave him a little squeeze.

Duo flinched, and Wufei flinched in response, automatically stepping back and pulling his hands away as if burned. "What?"

Duo shook his head and gave him an apologetic look, and Wufei suddenly thought it was a hell of a time for Duo to change his mind--but, no, that indescribable feeling was still there behind the apology, deep in his violet eyes. Wufei wondered how he'd ever missed it before; it wasn't a new emotion when the American pilot was looking at him.

Then he frowned, and very gently lifted the edge of the t-shirt, peeling it up and over Duo's head. His expression softened to sympathy, and he dropped to one knee to examine Duo's stomach. A giant bruise covered the expanse, dark and painful looking. He ghosted his fingers over it. Oh, Duo...

He hadn't realized he'd said it aloud until he felt Duo's fingers lifting his chin. "It wasn't so bad." His smile was small, but so gentle, so sincere. "Not bad at all. I've had much worse."

"I'm sorry," Wufei whispered, and allowed himself to be pulled up into a hug.

"Sh," Duo responded, and Wufei frowned at the lone bruise on his shoulder, far from the others and livid black-purple against the pale skin. "Heero," came the answer to the unasked question.

Wufei frowned again. It wasn't right.

"No more of that," Duo scolded gently. "The water's getting cold." His fingers moved to the white collar on Wufei's jacket and began to undo the buttons. "'Sides, Wu-chan, I wanna see your hot body."

He could feel his face burning--probably his neck, too, if the way Duo was giggling was any clue. "Maxwell!"

"What, you don't have a hot body?" Duo asked mischievously, the sparkle in his eye distinctly devilish as he finished the last button and ran his hands down Wufei's arms to remove the jacket. His fingers deftly worked the hair tie out of the short ponytail. "Well, I think you do." He pulled off the tank top, and moved his hands down to the drawstring on his pants.

Suddenly spurred into action--though still flushing like mad--Wufei's fingers fumbled with the button on Duo's jeans, and then the zipper, and then Duo was pulling off his pants and underwear, and he was doing the same for him. With one last "come hither" look, Duo hopped in the tub.

Wufei didn't have to be asked twice.

There definitely was some groping going on--they were both painfully hard after a few minutes of the shower--but they spent most of the time washing Duo's hair, shampooing and rinsing and repeating until they couldn't stand it anymore, and Duo threw Wufei against the wall.

"Duo!" Wufei gasped, though the pleased tone in his voice ruined the reproach. The water pounded down on them, and their fingers slid around the slick skin teasingly. Unlike the earlier kiss on the cliff, this encounter wasn't slow at all, and only mildly gentle. Wufei bumped Duo on the hip with his erection, poking him a couple times with it to be sure this wasn't another dream, that, yes, Duo was here, and yes, they really were doing this.

"You have the best body, Wu-chan" Duo told him, and licked a nipple. "Not too thin, but not over-muscled."

Wufei just whimpered and trickled his fingers around the curve of Duo's ass.

"With your hair down," Duo continued between kisses, "you look incredibly sexy."

Wufei thrust involuntarily against his lover. "Duo, please..."

In response, Duo moved back up to his lips and kissed him on the mouth, hard and short. "Do you want to...?"

Wufei shook his head. Duo was injured. "You're hurt..."

"I'm not breakable!" the boy protested.

The Chinese man compromised. "In me."

Duo began to kiss him again, evidently agreeing to the bargain, and his fingers trailed down to Wu's ass. Slowly, carefully, he began to work a finger in, while still mapping the inside of the other boy's mouth with his tongue. The water rained down on them, still hot and blessedly gentle. Wufei reached over to the edge of the tub and grabbed the bottle of conditioner.

One finger, two, and Wufei was propped up against the wall, legs spread, Duo's tongue mated to the inside of his mouth; he was never letting go. He was ready, damn it, and the third finger felt great but he was ready for Duo now. He could feel Duo's strong arms supporting him, and so he lifted his legs and wrapped them around Duo's waist, careful of the bruise, but Duo didn't even wince, so he figured he was doing it right, doing something right, and then, all of the sudden, he could feel Duo slipping in and, God, it was bigger than three fingers--

It was splitting him in two--

But then it was perfect, despite the pain that suddenly flared, despite the oddity of it all, and they both stood there, panting, adjusting, while the water beat down on their joined, overheated flesh.

When Duo began to move, Wufei didn't know how he'd ever gotten along without him, without this. With every thrust he made, Duo moaned a little: "Wu-chan! ...Wu! ...Wu..." Wufei wanted to hold Duo inside him; he whispered Duo's name and clung tightly to him, and this sex was strange, yes, but this was Duo, and he trusted Duo with this.

When they both came, they lowered themselves to the floor of the tub and lay there while the hot water--Quatre must have the biggest damn water heater money could buy; evidently this was something he and Trowa did often and he planned accordingly when making safe house arrangements, because what else would you need one this big for?--rushed down on their bodies, rinsing away the physical evidence of their coupling.

"Wo ai ni, Duo," Wufei finally whispered, holding him.

"Love you, too, Wu," Duo said back, and they finished washing off in silence.

+

It was seven-thirty-eight before Quatre and Trowa finished with the salad course, and, incidentally, about that same time that Duo and Wufei came down to the table. Duo's hair was darker than before, closer to his original color but still slightly blonde, and back in a braid. The braid itself wasn't nearly as long as it used to be, but it was long enough. They were both showing signs of coming straight from the shower.

"I," Duo declared, practically falling into his chair, "am starved."

"You're always starved," Wufei responded, taking the seat next to him, but the tone was one of affection rather than disapproval.

"I'm a growing boy," the Deathscythe pilot protested. "Besides, I haven't had a good meal in a month."

"Relena told me all about the Twinkies," Wufei said.

Duo groaned. "I'll never eat those monstrosities again."

"'Monstrosities'?" Quatre asked. What an un-Duo-like word!

The boy groaned again. "It's all Oujo-san's fault. Wu-chan, save me!"

"You're beyond saving, Maxwell," Wufei said with a hint of smugness, buttering a roll. "Justice!"

"Beyond saving!" Duo wailed. "Wu-chan! You're horrible!" He batted his eyelashes. "You won't even try?"

"I might be persuaded..."

"A-ano..." Quatre stuttered, and the two looked over at him. "You two... are you...?"

"Watch out, Q," Duo snickered, seizing Wufei's hand like a prize. "It's the end of the world! Wu-chan got some!"

"Duo!" Wufei sputtered, turning a bright red and yanking his hand away.

"He's a little shy," Duo told the stunned Trowa and Quatre in a confidential tone.

"Maxwell, I am not shy!" he protested.

"Prove it," Duo shot back, cheeks dimpling like crazy.

"No!" Wufei snapped. "Eat your dinner, Maxwell."

"Spoil sport," Duo said cheerfully, and began to eat. Quatre's servants began to bring out the main course, and the blond boy's eyes widened at the amount of food Duo consumed.

"Duo, you're going to make yourself sick," Quatre warned.

"Am not!" the boy contested. "Just gotta feed the beast." He patted his stomach happily. "You know, a piece of chocolate cake would really hit the spot..."

Quatre looked at his friend oddly for a moment before smiling. "Of course, Duo."

It was half-way between the dessert course before anyone realized Duo was practically sleeping in his plate of cake crumbs.

"Duo," Wufei said quietly, putting a hand on the other's shoulder--carefully, though, because it was the bruised one.

"Hm?" Duo responded, looking up blearily.

"Time for bed," he said gently, pulling him up.

"Hm," Duo hummed, and smiled.

"Oh, but first," Wufei said quietly, glancing over at Quatre. And then, leaning over, he brushed a light kiss over Duo's lips.

Quatre blushed a little, and so did Wufei, but Trowa just watched quietly. Duo gave a sleepy smile and swung his arm around Wufei. "Night, Quatre, Trowa." They were all the way out of the room and at the foot of the stairs before Quatre heard Duo's last sentence:

"By the way, Q--nice water heater. I didn't know they came that big. Didja have to special order it?"

Even Trowa blushed at that.

[part 3] [epilogue] [back Cassima's fic]