Four Letter Words (cont)

+

Dinner had been - interesting!

It had been less of a minefield than I'd thought. While Duo was cooking some pasta, I was able to lose myself in a report I'd conveniently resurrected on the laptop. Screens don't ask for conversation - monosyllabic or otherwise.

"It's done!" announced Duo, gleefully. He had a mischievous smirk as he dished up. "Want some more?"

"Yes, pl- yes, I will," I replied. I had a strong suspicion that he was trying to catch me out. After all, wasn't that what I was going to do myself? The sooner he slipped up, the sooner we could stop this nonsense.

"Good," I murmured through a large mouthful. I was surprised - he didn't often cook for me, as we had very different tastes. I was rather fussy, I suppose. This had been a long time in the preparation, but it looked very promising. "Hot. Rich." I wanted to ask what the flavour was, but for the moment I couldn't phrase it in four letter words.

"Ta!" he grinned. "Duo - cook of the year!"

"Not just yet," I gargled, as a large lump of solid herb surfaced, and stuck in my throat.

He just laughed. As usual. "Say what you want, Heero! Don't be shy!" He obviously hoped that I'd burst out and complain at him. Again, as usual.

But tonight was different, wasn't it?

+

We'd moved out of the kitchen and into the lounge. The evening was wearing on slowly. Cautiously. Like our behaviour.

"TV?" he muttered, ignoring my preferences as he reached to turn on. I stood up, intending to go back to the report, in another room.

"No," he called, in a low but firm voice. "Stay here. With me, yeah? Stay near. Let's talk." He grinned.

Oh God, I thought. But if he could string sufficient words together, I must be able to do better.

"Want some beer?" he asked, almost carelessly. We'd already had a couple, trying to find something to occupy us while we scrambled conversation together.

"Yes," I replied. I was weaning myself off the 'please' and 'thank you' that I always considered so civilised. But too long-lettered for this evening! He flipped the ring pull of a can, accidentally spraying us both with the froth. I jumped.

"Hey! It's wet!"

For that second, I nearly had him!

"Sorr-" he began, automatically. And then I could almost see the cogs moving in his mind, as he totted up the letters involved in an apology. And he clamped his lips shut on the word.

He stared me out. A flash of challenge in his eyes. Daring me to call him out. He hadn't finished the word. I wasn't too sure of the ridiculous rules. I hesitated - and lost the advantage.

"Me too!" he laughed. "Need a wash!"

He saw my face fall, the frustration in my expression.

"Too bad, Heero! Not so easy, eh? To trip me up. To fool me!"

"I don't want to fool you -" I began.

"Yeah, yeah," he waved the pretence away. "Look at that!"

We both swung round to gaze at the wrestling match he'd zipped the TV on at. A guy in latex red briefs had hoisted a guy with dreadlocks and a blue dragon painted on his face up into the air, and as we watched, he flung him with a roar out of the ring. He flew over the heads of the front row, and fell in a crashing pile in the aisle.

"Ouch!" we both cried, together.

We turned to each other, and grinned. His eyes were shining. I felt surprisingly relaxed. It was one of those really good moments that you want to hold on to, just for a few seconds. Just so that you can savour it.

"Your kind of show?" he asked. "Keep it on?"

"No..." I said, slowly. And I smiled again. "It's crap!"

Duo raised an eyebrow. "Heero, are you OK? What a very Duo word!"

"Yes, I know. But it is crap!"

"True," he laughed. It was a full laugh, a proper Duo-laugh. It was glorious, and I knew it was bringing the answering smile to my own face.

I was more than a little surprised to find that I was enjoying this game!

+

But the pressure mounted again. We sparred with our strange, truncated sentences for at least another hour. Sometimes we sank to mere grunts, barely syllables. How many times could you say, "Want some beer?" More than once, I was worried that I was drinking a little more than I usually did, just from the tension. I tried to tempt Duo to talk at his usual pace, teasing the words out of him. He tried to provoke me into annoyance or frustration, so that I'd lapse back into my normal speech.

We were still at stalemate. Still both holding our position.

The wrestling was over - and a sitcom, and a game show - and we were watching some old film in black and white that neither of us had any interest in. The room was in semi darkness because neither of us had found the right words yet to ask which light we should turn on!

Duo lay across the couch by now, leaving me the armchair. He'd thrown off the shirt he'd put on to go out earlier; he was back in his vest. And he was gorgeous. He'd dragged one arm up behind his head, to support him as he stared at the flickering screen, and the vest had ridden up above his hip. He'd changed into sweats for the evening, and they were tugged down in the same place. I could see the dark shadow of his bone, under skin that shone very slightly in the half light. His legs were carelessly wrapped over and under the cushions. I looked over as often as I dared, and I saw myself wrapped just where those cushions were. With Duo's strong, long limbs tangled around mine. With my head resting on his chest. My mouth just a fraction away from where his shoulder joined his neck in a dimpled hollow. I could just lick those warm creases...

He sighed, rather loudly.

"You want to stop the game?" I hissed. "You find it a bore?"

"No!" he snapped back. "I'm fine!"

I caught him looking at his watch. Then over at me. A strange look on his face again, a bit like the one at breakfast. I wasn't sure that I welcomed it. Perhaps he was a little drunk, too.

"Lost date, Duo?" I murmured. The thought of him missing out on a date with someone else - just to suffer a stupid game with me! - was distinctly painful. I wrenched it firmly across my mind. I must have some kind of a masochistic streak.

"No," he replied, surprising me. He didn't usually discuss his social life with me. "You the same?"

The laugh escaped me before I could stop it. It sounded rather harsh in the quiet room, and Duo flinched. "No, not me. No date. Fine by me." I shrugged rather obviously. Had to get the message through, didn't I? I didn't need his sympathy.

He sighed again. This whole childish game seemed to have made him uncharacteristically introspective.

"Not for me, Heero. Not fine by me, I mean. I miss it."

"Miss what -?"

"I miss it all. Like it all. To hold. Hug. Talk. Kiss..."

I felt the creeping warmth around my memory and - inevitably - around my groin.

"Like it all," he repeated, rather dreamily. His eyes were hooded by his drooping lids. The tip of his tongue licked quickly and sweetly at his lower lip. The sight of him was killing me.

I didn't trust my voice at first. But the disorientation seemed to have made me rather bold. Rash. Whatever. My mouth opened, and I spouted out some rather more revealing words.

"I - also like it, Duo."

His head snapped up, to stare at me. He was appraising me, I think. He glanced at the blonde heroine on the screen, simpering up at the hero, and my eyes followed his. God knows what we were watching, but it was far from the Coen brothers. His bright eyes flashed back at me, his head dipped to the side, questioning. The look was almost sly, but I guess I mistook it.

"Your type, Heero?"

"Her?"

"Yeah."

I swallowed, hard. "No."

The hero was swinging in through a broken window, inevitably seeking to save the world. A smirk appeared at the edge of Duo's mouth.

"And him, Heero - is he your type?"

I flushed. It was clear to me, very suddenly, that Duo knew that I liked guys. Probably had done, all along. What did this all mean?

"Not him. Just a hunk. Too - too -" I struggled to think of a word that wouldn't incriminate me. But a word that would explain.

"I know," he said, softly. "Same for me."

The stunned silence that settled around us was palpable.

+

"Heero..."

"Yes?"

"That time - last week..."

"What time?" OK, so it should be which time, but this whole exercise was stretching the grammatical boundaries, wasn't it? And anyway - who was being deliberately obtuse now?

Duo flushed at my harshness. A high, pink slash to his cheeks. It was impossibly tasty. I wanted to smooth it away. I think my hand even started to rise, but I dragged it down quickly.

"You know what time. With the TV. The TV box. You and me - on the mat."

"And -?" I scowled. I was surprised to find that it hurt me to discuss it so coolly with him.

"It felt good."

This time, my scowl was from pure amazement. Speechlessness, even. He snuck a look up and saw my eyes open, very wide. A grin started to crawl over his face.

"It felt very good. The kiss." He must have seen me shiver! 'And you?"

"Me?" I whispered.

His grin was relentless. "I want to find out, Heero. Now I have you here. To find out how it felt to you. Good? Yuck?"

Is that a word? I thought dreamily. Was I going to challenge it?

"Is this a joke, Duo?"

"No!" he said, suddenly angry now. The grin had gone. "It's true! I don't lie! It was damn good - you were damn good -"

"I was?"

"- for a guy," he smiled again. His eyes were mischievous now. He seemed to have moved to the end of the couch when I was watching the TV. He was leaning over the arm. He was a mere touch away from me, and I felt rather vulnerable.

"You like guys?" I said abruptly, but very pleased with my bravery. Somehow it seemed easier with this strange language that we were using.

"I like you..." he whispered.

"It's - news to me -" I stuttered.

"Yeah..." he drawled. "I - not sure, y'see. Not then. But now -"

"Now?" I said, weakly. His hand was swinging gently over the arm of the couch. The fingers had just brushed my thigh.

"This is a good idea, yeah? This game? I want to talk to you, Heero. But you just -" he was struggling with words. I thought I might catch him out now. Just when I wasn't sure that I wanted to.

"You don't talk to me," he grumbled at last. "You yell. You snap. Mock me."

"I don't mean it..." I whispered.

He shrugged, good-naturedly enough. "I'm a pain in the ass, I know! But now I have you here. You have to sit with me. Had some beer - got you in a good mood. Yeah?" He blushed a bit - like he was embarrassed at being so manipulative. "I want to hear what you say, Heero. I want to see what you do. When I tell you."

I stared at him, still astonished. Genuinely nervous of what might come next. I don't think he'd ever had this effect on me before.

"Tell me... ?"

"Yeah. That I like you. That I want you. And you want me, eh?"

"I - I -" I spluttered, rather pathetically. His expression wavered with insecurity for a second, but when he tried to pull back his hand, I grabbed out at it, like a drowning man.

"Yes! Yes, I do want you!"

We grinned inanely at each other for a few seconds.

+

"Heero..."

"Yes?"

"Come here."

I couldn't think of any words for a reply, so I just obeyed. I moved over to the couch, and sat beside him. He put his arm up and slid his hand behind my neck. His fingers burned on my skin. I saw him take in a deep breath.

"Come here..." he hissed. "I want a kiss."

I sucked in my own breath - it felt hot in my throat. My heart was pounding at double speed.

"Your kiss," he grinned. "OK?"

"Very OK..." I said, hoarsely.

His mouth came at mine rather abruptly. Rather hungrily. But I wasn't complaining - I was grabbing at his shoulders myself, pulling him as close to me as I dared.

His lips were soft and then hard - they tasted of the odd-flavoured pasta, and the beer we'd drunk. And they tasted of Duo - a laughing, musical, confectionary-flavoured taste. They melded into mine, and I drank from him, I ate from him. I couldn't get enough of him.

His mouth resisted my tongue for only a second, then he gave a gulp in the back of his throat, and opened it to take me in.

"Ahh.. Duo..." I moaned. I met his tongue and we licked at each other, plunged happily in and out of the crevices of our mouths, crushing lips and teeth, and only coming up for air when I felt his chest start to heave for want of breath.

"God, Heero -" he gasped, sinking back a little into the couch. "That kiss was fucki -" He stopped. He looked warily at me. I sat there beside him, panting. I wasn't in any sort of a mood to call him on a potential seven-letter word. But the challenge was still on, wasn't it?

"OK..." he breathed, starting again. "Fuck, that was so good! You kiss like a pro! You have lots of guys?"

I was fascinated by the sweat on his upper lip; the moisture trail at the tip of his tongue - at the swollen plumpness of his lips. I reached out to touch his mouth with my fingertips, and he gave the slightest of moans. I tugged gently at the lower lip, exposing his even white teeth.

"No," I shook my head impatiently. I didn't want to talk about my love life, or lack of it. Just wanted to do some more kissing! 'Just you. No one else."

"Wow..." he gasped. Looking at me with a new kind of reverence. I had no time for any of that.

"More..." I hissed. I dipped my head to the side, flickered my tongue out on to his neck. He flinched, and he bared it instinctively. I pressed my lips to the soft, tasty skin there. Suckled gently, feeling his pulse speed up under my touch.

"Yes, more - OK - sure -" He was gabbling, and shuddering underneath me, so I guessed I was having the right effect on him. I tugged his head round to face me again, and covered his mouth with mine.

Like another memorable night a week ago, the TV was all but forgotten.

+

It was quite dark now. The TV sound had been muted, more by accident than design, as we rolled over the remote control. The picture stayed on, as we were too distracted to attend to it, but it had drifted from any particular channel, and was just a flickering whiteness in the background. We were draped together on the couch, temporarily resting from our passion. Or perhaps it was just recharging its batteries. I know that every time his arm brushed against my side, it set off alarms in every nerve. I know that my fingers were pressed gently against the bare skin of his hip, and he wasn't pushing them away. I was terrified of moving too much in case he broke away from me.

I felt his breath at my ear, and I knew that he was feeling the stirrings again. Just like me. I turned my head to him, sliding up to taste him again. Eagerly.

He looked down at me with a look that was hot with desire; and twisted with some amusement. Even as I felt the lust surge through me, I felt the pain of insecurity accompany it. This was all too new - too strange! Too fantastic...

"It's OK, Heero," his voice cut in, soft but firm. "It's good... it's fine. Can't find a word..."

"Don't need to say -" my voice was rather strangled. My tongue was lapping gently at his neck again, and I could feel the goose bumps rising to meet me.

"I do," he replied. "You do. We will need to talk. But not now..."

"Did you do all this -" I gasped," - the game - just to talk to me?"

He grinned - I could taste the creases around his wide mouth as I licked his cheeks.

"Not just that! But I got it to work, eh? And this as well..."

He grasped my hair, tugged my face round to his. The only sounds were panting and gasping as we kissed some more, and it was getting a little more heated.

"Why me?" I whispered. I wanted to meld my body against his - become one. I wanted everything I could get, before I woke up and found this was another of my sad, unsatisfying, but painfully technicolor dreams.

"You are - a hell of a guy -" he moaned, as I pinched at his flesh.

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