Author: Dacia

Duoman: Ships in the Night + Part 5

+

When Wufei opened his eyes, the starlight held him spellbound. It was not the stars themselves which affected him so, beautiful thought they might be. It was the glimmer of starlight on the peaceful features of the man whose body was tangled with his own which stole his breath away. Had he ever know true loveliness before he watched starlight sparkle in ginger hair?

Without a sound, he eased himself out from under Treize. As much as he would not have minded remaining in his arms forever, at this moment 'forever' promised to be a much shorter time than it ought to be. His clothes lay scattered over the office. With a little bit of concentrated effort, he found them in the darkness and began to put them on.

"Going somewhere?"

Wufei smiled, unaware of the fact that the starlight made him his own sort of wonder in Treize's watching eyes.

"Gotta be ready to be rescued. Can't go running around in the all together."

Treize pulled himself up to rest on his elbows. "You have great faith in your friends."

The dark-haired man laughed. "You don't know my friends."

His reply was met with a sigh of resignation. "And here I just got used to you unclothed."

"Gods, Treize..."

Wufei crossed to him, kneeling beside the low couch on which he lay and pressing him back down with a lingering kiss.

"You really are too good to be true." He paused a moment, his fingers idly tracing the planes of Treize's perfect features. "He'll use you against me."

"I know."

"Do you regret...?"

"Never."

"I don't suppose I need to tell you what a relief that is."

"Did you ever really doubt?"

"No."

Their quiet moment was shattered by stark light streaming through the now open door.

"And so it begins..." Wufei quickly stood, not before handing Treize his pants, and turned to find Dermail watching them patiently.

"You really do make a charming couple."

"Thank you. I'll make it a point to invite you to the wedding."

Dermail's laugh was of pure enjoyment. "Preventer Chang, you truly are a delight. If circumstances were different... I'd still have to kill you, but I would have more time to savour the pleasure of your company."

"What's your rush?" questioned Wufei. "I have nothing pressing to attend to." He looked back over his shoulder to Treize who was by now at least half dressed. "You?"

"My schedule's wide open."

"That's the thing about dying," spoke Dermail. "It reminds you of your limitations. Never putting off til tomorrow, and so forth."

"Then I suppose there's really nothing more to say."

"Oh, no, Preventer Chang. That is where you are mistaken. I think you'll find you have a great deal more to say."

+

"Duo... Are you sure about this? Heero asked.

"Oh, c'mon, honey bear, we're already trusting him with our lives. What's this on top of that?"

"A whole heck of a lot," spoke Quatre pointedly. "I hesitate to mention this, seeing as how your ego is inflated enough as it is, but your very existence is indescribably special."

Duoman blushed gracefully. "Awww, Kat. You say the sweetest things."

"It's true," agreed Heero. "That is one of the reasons I have kept you a secret. If you were to fall into the wrong hands, the repercussions could be catastrophic."

"Geez, Heero. Don't be such a pill. It's my opinion that Zechs can be considered good hands." He flashed a suggestive smile. "Very good hands. Besides, it's either tell him or tie him up and stick him in a closet. I'm all for bondage, but I'm thinking that we just might need his help."

Heero was all but certain that if he had enough time he could find the faulty logic in that argument but, as he had been repeatedly reminded, time was running short. He could feel Zechs' light blue eyes resting on him inquiringly and sighed. "All right," said Heero. "But if I find that you have somehow abused this information, I will hunt you down and kill you."

Zechs rolled his eyes. "That goes without saying."

It was Quatre, in the end, who began. "Duo isn't... well, he isn't real."

"Of course," nodded Zechs.

"Hey!" objected Duo. "If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, I'm --"

"Justasrealbutdifferent," rushed Quatre. "I know. But I'm trying to make a point here."

"Duo is a holographic simulation," tried Heero.

"That would have been my next guess," smiled Zechs.

"Methinks yon man isn't taking this at all seriously," said Duo. "Is it time for the whole 'seeing is believing' bit?"

"Perhaps it would make things easier." Heero said reluctantly. It was that little voice inside him that said //Damn it. But I don't want to share//, but now, as always, he ignored it.

Duo removed himself from where he was glued to Quatre's side and crossed to Zechs. Taking his hand, he said, "Now you see it..."

And vanished.

"Now you don't," chuckled Quatre.

When Duo reappeared a few heartbeats later, it was to find a very wide-eyed Zechs Merquise who had apparently forgotten how to breathe.

"I don't have much use for it myself," spoke Duo with a grin, "but I have a feeling some air might be a good thing for you right about now."

"You... You're..."

Duo smiled and ran his hand through Zechs', his molecules so separate that they encountered no resistance. "Kind of cool, ne?"

"But... Demo... You're not real."

Heero and Quatre both groaned in tandem at Zechs' remark.

"Damn it all to hell in a green bucket!! What do I have to do to get you guys to realize --" He broke off suddenly, a frightening glimmer sparkling in the depths of his violet eyes. Without another word, he leaned down, capturing Zechs' lips with his own and proceeded to kiss him like there was no tomorrow.

"Ummm..." said Quatre as the kiss deepened, Zechs seemingly having come to the conclusion that Duo's existence was no longer in question.

Heero sat frozen in shock, unable to move a muscle, He felt his pulse quicken as he watched the two long-haired young men move against one another. //This is...// Just as his brain thawed sufficiently to allow him to react, Duo and Zechs broke apart.

Duo's low growl affected every man in the room. "Real enough for you?"

Zechs answered with a growl of his own. "I don't suppose we could spare an hour so that you could demonstrate your reality to me more thoroughly..."

Duo looked quite pleased at the prospect."Sure. I don't see why not."

"Duo..."

The braided youth turned to face Heero, collapsing back into Zechs' lap. "Heero, you are such a party pooper."

"And yet so charming and lovable," he rejoined.

"You're the one who programmed him," laughed Quatre.

"Sometimes I wonder," he replied.

"Hey, hey -- I'm in the room, here. I though we had a rule about not talking about me like I'm inanimate."

"Inanimate, you're not," Zechs' low voice cut in.

"Don't encourage him," warned Quatre. "You'll live to regret it."

The older man's answering grin rivaled Duo's in its wickedness. "I'm counting on it."

There was an edge to Duo's enjoyment of this situation that didn't escape his creator's notice. "It's you, isn't it," he said.

"Not entirely." Duo answered the question as if he'd been expecting it for quite some time and was surprised that it had taken so long for it to be asked. "I'm just a catalyst. I'm... inhibiting his inhibitions."

"How?"

"Skin to skin contact. I leak electricity. You might say I've intoxicated him."

The blonde Arabian sat watching this exchange avidly, comprehension slowly dawning on him. "Is that why..."

"You get so flustered around me, Kat?" finished Duo. "In a manner of speaking. I can't plant ideas in your head. Simply put -- the more intimate the physical contact I have with someone, the harder it gets for them to say 'no' to something they already want."

Quatre sighed. "It's better than nothing, I guess. I was hoping it was all you and no me."

"Would that have made you feel better about your response to me?" Duo asked softly. "To have it all taken out of yours hands like that?"

Quatre stared down at his lap. To say yes would be to negate Duo's existence as a vital, thinking, feeling creature. It would relegate him to be defined as a mere collection of 1's and 0's. And both of them knew it.

"No, Duo, it wouldn't," he said after only a moment's hesitation. He smiled at the happiness he had caused to dance in Duo's violet eyes. "I'll just have to keep telling myself what I have all along -- that you really are irresistible."

"That explains it," murmured Zechs. "As much as I hate to say it, beautiful, I think it might be best if you remained out of reach until all of this is behind us. It was bad enough merely wanting you. Desiring you may very well get me killed."

"Can't have that," agreed Duo as he stood. "Not when I have such great plans for you."

"Plans?"

"Yeah, baby. Plans. Plans involving you, Quatre... and about 75 San Rommell security guards."

"Ooooh," said Quatre. "Kinky."

"But of course, mon petit. As much as you may look like an angel, we all know you're not. Now's your chance to prove it."

"What do you need me to do?"

"Thanks to my inherent... me-ness, getting in won't be as impossible as it should be, but getting out with our hides intact will be another matter altogether. It'd be a heck of a lot more do-able if maybe some of the guards present when we go in are not present when we come out."

"Sounds easy enough," said Quatre with a small nod. "What?" he continued at Zechs' wondering glance. "There's only 75 of them."

Duo laughed. "I don't need to remind you, blondie, that appearances can be deceiving."

He stretched his arms over his head, wiggling his fingers and releasing blue sparks of energy that had built up during his play with Zechs. They hung in the air about him, settling over him gently like glowing snowflakes. Heero's eyes followed the rain of sparks until he found himself drowning in Duo's blissful sigh. With an effort that was almost painful, he returned his wandering thoughts to the matter at hand.

"That takes care of Quatre and Zechs," said Heero. "What about me?"

"You, Heero? You, my beauty, are coming with me."

The braided youth came closer. Heero had only second to wonder if his inability to move was due to Duo or himself before he felt a light touch on his shoulder.

"Or, rather, you're coming in me."

+

It wasn't until the seventh or eighth blow that he began to feel the pain. At each sound of flesh meeting flesh so violently, he felt himself tearing to pieces. The agony of hazel eyes left him breathless and at last he could not help but speak.

"Why are you doing this? You know I won't talk."

Dermail's quiet eyes turned to him. "Yes," he said. "I think I do know. But if anything could get you to break, it would be this." He let his attention be drawn back to the screen where his men were for a moment still over Treize's fallen body. "Maybe I just want to see you cry."

Wufei struggled mindlessly against the ropes holding him secure to the chair, the rough fibers digging deeply enough into his skin at his frantic movements that his wrists were soon torn and bloody. When he spoke, his voice was at a stark contrast to his actions, his words all but lifeless.

"I don't cry."

Dermail nodded. "Not even when Meiran died. But then her death was so quick and painless." He gestured towards the monitor from which they watched a choreography of torment play itself out before them. "His will not be."

Treize let out a low moan, the first to escape his lips, as his captors roughly stripped him bare.

"No..." Wufei's cry was hardly more than a whimper as he realized their intentions. "Please... no..."

He felt Dermail's cold appraising gaze drift over him, clinical and emotionless. "Really, Preventer Chang. You've only just met the man. He may not have worked for me by choice, but there is a reason he is so good at what he does."

Wufei barely heard Dermail's words as Treize began to struggle futilely, his disobedience earning him only a swift jab to his already abused stomach. After a few moments of laboring to free himself, Wufei collapsed back in his chair, his eyes squeezed shut. "Please..."

"Relax, Preventer Chang. There is so much more to come before the final humiliation. Collect yourself." Dermail sat with his hands steepled before him as he absorbed Wufei's impassioned pleas, pleased beyond measure at the results of his experiment. "Interesting..."

+

"Pardon me?"

The astonished query came from Zechs. Heero himself could hardly manage a scandalized blink or two.

"Get your head out of the gutter, blondie." Duo rolled his eyes eloquently. "As much as I covet Heero's affections, he really is as yet too uptight to recognize the fact that making love to me does not fall under the category of taking advantage of me." He smiled sweetly as Heero closed his eyes and let out an abashed groan. "Don't worry, honey. You'll come 'round. What I was suggesting is a way to get you to Wufei without, say, being torn into gooey bits by hostile gunfire. I'll carry you inside me."

Heero laid his embarrassment aside as he began to comprehend just what exactly it was Duo was proposing. "You can do that?"

"I don't see why not. The theory is sound."

"I don't understand," spoke Quatre. "What do you mean?"

Duo crossed his arms, his brow furrowed in concentration as he attempted to find the words to explain what was in reality an unbelievably complicated concept.

"Ever had a peanut M&M [9], Kat?"

"Of course."

"Think of Heero as the peanut and me as the candy coating."

"Oh." The Arabian sat back, his eyes wide. "Oh. I get it. That's so cool."

"Isn't it, though," Duo agreed.

"You've done this before?" questioned Zechs.

"Not exactly, but today seems to be my day for first times. It does, however, mean that our timing will have to be spot on. The amount of energy required to pull this off will be substantial. I'm a little powerhouse, sure, but I won't be able to keep it up for long."

"But won't you simply be... covering him?" wondered Quatre. He had only just gotten used to the whole candy coating idea.

"Not quite. While we're together, we'll be... melded." He laughed at the blonde's confused expression. "Have you ever known anything I do to be simple, Kat? Explaining what will really happen would most likely take the better part of a fortnight, and that's not including the year or so required to get you fluent in particle physics."

"What do I need to know?"

"That's my Heero -- always getting right to it. To put it in a nutshell, my electrical impulses will mimic and supersede your own. You'll feel like a puppet -- following my exact actions. It might be uncomfortable for you to let yourself be guided like that, but don't try to pull away too soon. The connection will be definitively fragile. If you fight me, it'll be broken. While you're inside me --" and he couldn't help but pause to grin at his own phrasing, "-- you'll be able to do what I can do, for a limited time and at a limited level. As long as I have enough power, the environment will see you as it sees me -- as a loose web of energy."

Heero nodded once in understanding. "Sounds imminently unstable."

"And don't you go thinking it won't be," replied Duo quite seriously. "While we're connected, I can protect you. Once we're separate, you're on your own."

"What about the surveillance system?"

His companion's grin was a frightening thing to behold. "What surveillance system? Wing Zero is little more than a series of souped-up video recorders at this point. In the process of breaking into her encrypted systems, I caused her to suffer a major systems scramble -- kind of like a stroke. Right now, she's responding automatically, but is actually about as useful as a talking toaster. [10] Given enough time, obviously someone will notice, which is another reason why time is not on our side, here."

"So what are we waiting for?" said Zechs.

"I love a man who's always ready."

Heero knew he wasn't mistaken this time -- Duo was purring. The problem wasn't the purring itself. Heero might have created Duo, but the braided boy had long ago become his own being, in every sense of the word. He could not put his finger on just when he had ceased to think of Duo as an 'it', but the fact remained that he respected him as a partner as well as a human being, which he undoubtedly was despite his mechanical origins. In the past few months he had come to care for Duo more than anyone else who had ever passed through his life. And that was the problem. A man who did not readily connect with people had no real need of emotions, and Heero had admittedly avoided them on purpose. Emotions were messy, distracting, and painful. But now there was this violet-eyed boy in his life, by his side, making himself irreplaceable and stirring up feelings within him that, quite frankly, disturbed him to no end. It was this thought that prompted him to ask his next question.

"Duo..."

"Yes, Heero?

Those eyes could knock him into next week from across a room. Just being this near to him had caused his blood to surge in his veins until even his fingertips felt warmed. "If being close to you is enough to make grown men cry, what will being inside you do to me?" The images his words inspired literally caused his pupils to dilate.

"Ne, Hee-chan, you worried?"

"Shouldn't I be?

Duo's smile was the warmest he had ever seen it, but it was a chill that ran through him at the sight of it.

"Have I ever misled you, Heero?" Duo didn't expect an answer. He didn't need one. "Then I guess you'll just have to trust me. You are going to be part of me, love. I'll affect you only to the extent that you affect me." He held out his hand to his blue-eyed creator. "Now let's you and me take these gorgeous guys and get this party started right."

+

[9] Who knew M&M's would still be around? Better buy your stock now...
[10] Don't tell my you guys haven't seen 'Red Dwarf', Sha -- what's this world coming to? ^_~

[part 4] [part 6] [back to Dacia's fic]