Sudden Impulse + Part 9 (cont)

*

"I want you, Duo."

I know, I know, my body nodded to him...

"No," he murmured in my ear, as if I'd said it aloud. "Not just the sex..."

That's all I know! the sorry part of me wanted to cry. That's what I'm good at - what I understand. If we move beyond that - what fucking success do I have with relationships?

"The sex has distracted us, hasn't it? But it's a disturbance beyond that..."

"Is that how you see me?" I laughed, lightly. Trying for that insouciant air, that I normally do so well. "I'm disturbing as well?"

He laughed out loud, and I was shocked with how harsh it sounded. His chest shook against mine - his hands tightened on me, in case I drew away. "I have no control here, Duo! But I've always been used to being in control; I've always been the one people deferred to. It's what I do - it's what I am!

"I'm adrift, Duo! I have been for as long as I've known you. The ropes slipped their knots that very first time, though I'd never have admitted it. That first time, when the danger was no longer entirely mine ... I couldn't put it into words - I don't do that. That's what I kept saying to myself. But I was consumed with the need I had, to have you again. To hold you - to fuck you - just to see you again. I saw you with your friends, and not with me - I saw you laugh, and walk away, and argue with me, and touch me where I didn't ask -"

I couldn't recognise the Heero I knew. Or - let's face it - thought I knew. Strange, intimate words were tumbling out of him, and into my ear and my neck, but the breath was warm, so it must be real, mustn't it? The hands on my waist were the ones that had lifted me on and off the kitchen table. The lips that blossomed at my cheek were the ones that had kissed me, and teased at my nipples under the sheets in the dark...

It was Heero - and it wasn't. And my whole body welcomed it.

The low voice thrilled as always - but it was less than entirely steady. "You've taught me many things, Duo. Whether you meant to or not - and whether I was willing to learn or not. I'm learning to be angry - to be desperate. To be unsure...To question myself. To open my mouth to talk, not just to demand..." He sighed. "It's my turn to say what I want, yes? I want you." His lips whispered over my forehead, and I felt my face turning up to him. "I want your body - I want to be inside you. Every night. I want your hair loose and spread over my skin. I want your hands teasing at my thighs; I want your generous mouth over my cock, drinking me."

He was almost kissing me; almost. There was a millimetre of hot, charged breath between our mouths. I wanted him so badly that my heart had stopped and was tapping its watch, waiting for connection.

"When I eat, I want you. When I walk, I want you. When I smile, when I dress, when I wash - I want you. When I breathe..."

"Shit..." I gasped. "When you learn to talk, you talk, y'know?"

He ignored me. Or rather - he kissed me. Just with his lips; firm, moist, plump lips, that pressed his need into mine, and breathed his desire through my body.

I kissed back - I took it further. I pressed my tongue to the sides of his mouth; I lapped at him until he opened his lips, and I slid in. Who was in control now? No-fucking-one, I sighed to myself. He tasted of tension and anger and sweet, sweet lust, but underneath it all he tasted of Heero. Pure man. Pure proud, arrogant, newly-lyrical man.

"What does it mean, Duo?" he murmured. His tongue responded; he thrust into my mouth, and his fingers tightened fiercely on my arms. I felt the stirring hardness in his groin, through the soft cloth of the sweats. Christ, those were the days, eh? "Tell me what you really think of all this..."

I drew back, licking at the delicious taste of his saliva that lingered on my tongue. I trailed a hand on his chest - I couldn't resist the touch of that warm flesh any more. He shivered.

"It's the best thing I've ever had, Heero."

"So -"

"And maybe the worst as well..."

He looked startled. "Isn't that what we've been saying? It needn't be. We can just do what we want -"

I smiled a little. "I can't do impulse any more, Heero. Look where it's got me!"

"You - did -"

"Yeah." I sounded rueful. "Damn, it was great! But now I'm fucked, in all senses of the word. It'll take me months to get over it again." It was, 'praps, an attempt at a joke. 'Praps I meant it.

He was tension personified again - I felt his body straighten, and his hands lift off me. "Why do you need to?"

He didn't understand, of course. "What do you think, Heero? Don't you see where we are this morning? There's a dead boy in the next room, and a psychotic maniac out there, looking to destroy both you and your livelihood. You're a man with a life and a persona I never knew existed - and I'm just fucking worn out with turning it all over in my head, and finding I'm not what I thought, either. You think we can just roll back into bed, and things are gonna trip along the same way as ever?"

"What do you want, then?" he asked again. With more than a note of frustration. "Do you want me to abandon it all? Do you want to take it all to the cops and bring it all down around me, and see me -"

"What?" My voice was gentle, and it asked him to finish his thought. His face screwed up with confusion.

"I won't ask that," I said. I put my fingers to his face, and traced the worry line across his forehead. His hair brushed my skin - his breath huffed against my wrist.

His face changed, then. He seemed to draw himself up, and the cool mask slipped efficiently back over his features. He was, again, the Heero Yuy I had met that first time - the man who had nodded to me, oh so slightly, and lifted a glass in invitation. The man who owned the place. Who owned a lot of things. But not me.

And he knew it.

"You said you wanted to get out of this life, Duo. Perhaps I do, too."

I gaped. But he wasn't looking for my agreement, or even my sympathy. He was just stating his case.

"I want the chance to be different. Now I've met you. Isn't that what you wanted for yourself?"

"I - " I blathered. "I - yes, I guess so. "

"I want out, Duo."

God, it sounded so simple, the words oozing from his mouth! Heero was a man who'd rarely been refused anything in his life. A man whose confidence and personal charisma might well make anything happen.

"Heero - I said I won't ask that. And do you think it'd be that easy? How would you do it? To become Mr Ordinary, like me...Would you drop it all? Bankrupt yourself? Sell your businesses? Let Shad take over? I don't see that happening, somehow... and there's still the little matter of Kai's death, and our own little contribution in the bedroom. There are too many things coming out in the open now - way beyond just us."

"Shad..."

"Yeah. Shad. He mustn't be left free, Heero. The killing's got to stop - there's got to be some end to this."

"Yes, I know. And you, Duo?"

"Me?"

"You said it - there's more to this than just us, isn't there? This whole night - the crazed child... the reminders of your own previous life..."

"Yeah," I sighed. "There's a hell of a lot more to this than just us."

"You won't ask me to change... not even when I want to be with you..."

I hushed him, with my fingers on his lips. Damn, they were rich pastures...

"I want to be with you as well. But I got things to do - to sort out."

He stared at me. There was the ripple of something on the heavy flesh of his mouth; my fingers stroked it away.

"So what will you do, Heero?"

He swallowed - I felt the soft vibration in his throat. "I think that's up to you, now, isn't it?"

To me? But I knew what he meant.

"Ahh, Duo...Come here..." It was his pleading voice again, and I just knew I wasn't gonna be refusing that...He was moving back towards me. I was leaning towards him. He held out a hand, and I raised mine to match it.

"What do you want?" he whispered, yet again.

"What are you offering?" I murmured. I let a smile slide across my face.

He smiled as well, then, and shrugged. "According to you, I have nothing to offer you, Duo."

Ahh... "No, that's not true," I replied. My fingers spread slightly, and reached for his; five fingertips touched five others, and pressed gently together. It was an electric feeling - the current ran swiftly and shockingly through my veins. Our fingers slid slowly down, and interlocked. His palm was slightly sweaty.

"You have so much to offer - and so much that I want. That I need," I whispered.

"But -?"

"But I can't take you up on it."

*

I went back into the bedroom, and stared at the mess.

At the boy lying bleeding on the floor. I stared at the wound for a long time, and knew that the flow had stopped, and the glistening had started to coagulate into a dark, maroon stain.

It reminded me of Wufei.

I knew now that it wasn't my fault that Wufei died. He was still dead, of course - and the pain still wrenched at me. But some of the terrible guilt had eased. I'd been part of the world that had killed him - but it hadn't been my hand that had harmed him. It hadn't been my order that had sent Baz to kill him; it hadn't been my negligence that had led him to that spot, that night.

His words were still clear to me; his cool wisdom - his unassuming friendship. His desire to help others; and not in some insincere, sanctimonious way.

His steady belief that I could be better.

And I knew so clearly now, what my way should be.

*

I came back into the lounge, and Heero was still standing. But he looked steady on his feet now. Actually, he looked damn gorgeous, as ever. He'd slipped a thin tee-shirt on, of some satin fabric; dark blue. He looked respectably dressed, and yet I could see the movement of muscles under the cloth - the hint of erect nipples, that made him look erotically half-naked. He'd run a hand through his hair, and the dark locks curled back over his ears. He displayed a casual elegance that I'd never seen anyone else do so well.

I knew who he was, now. I knew some of what he'd done. I knew less of lots of other things. I knew I'd told him how I felt about him - and he'd returned the compliment. I didn't think he was gonna lie to me so much any more.

Part of me didn't mind either way. I had my truth. And, anyway - what did it matter now?

I drew a deep breath, but I wasn't afraid. Just needed to bring things back under control. "I must call the cops now, Heero."

A flash in those eyes. He'd obviously been thinking things through as well, while I was out of the room. "Yes. I know that."

"I have things I gotta tell 'em..."

He inclined his head, in that way he had. The curls behind his ears slipped out to caress his face. His eyes were hooded.

"And if I tell 'em about Kai - and Shad, and Baz...which I will...well, there's no way, Heero, that it won't come back on you. We both know that, don't we? Even if the murders can be pinned to poor, stupid Baz. Even if they catch Shad - especially if they catch Shad. I can't see him going down without dragging everyone else with him. Even me, perhaps..."

"I know."

Damn man, I thought. Now is not the time to return to monosyllabic conversation...

"Is that what you want, Duo?"

This was so fucking difficult... "I want to tell them. I want to get myself clear, at last. But - I don't want you as part of it." Was that selfish of me? Was that even possible?

"So, Heero - like I said - what'll you do?"

He pursed his lips. I leaned, involuntarily, towards them. He looked like he'd been making decisions as well.

"Give me a couple of hours. Just two. Before you call. To allow me to arrange things."

"The gun?" I asked.

He shook his head. "It's not registered anywhere."

"This apartment?"

The answering smile was slight, but it was there. "It's not in my name. It wouldn't be traced back to me."

I laughed lightly. "You're a non-person, aren't you, Heero?"

He was silent. The chill spread slowly across my body.

"You're gonna run, aren't you? You're gonna go away, so they won't find you -"

His eyes met mine, and the dark chasms were hiding both fear and decision. "There are too many things that would drag me into it, Duo. If you open even one of those avenues with the police, it will rebound on me and mine. I would resist it - I would make a case for my own personal innocence, and I'd win it, perhaps. But I can't afford to be gathered up in it all now. Shad is still loose, and can do too much damage - and the businesses here are too vulnerable. With Kai's death, there'll be confusion and lost direction; someone of the family needs to hang on to what we can. But we're all vulnerable - and dangerously so. This family has enemies inside and outside the law. I need to work on salvaging what I can - but not from here. I would take my turn as the scapegoat."

"Your work here - your life -"

He shrugged, very lightly. Though I knew he wasn't really careless of it all. "It must be left for a while. There's no other choice. There are some people I can trust - I'll make what arangements I can."

"Will there be anything left to come back to -?"

His eyes flashed. "I don't want to tell you anything about that, Duo. Do you understand?"

Yeah, I did. He didn't want me to know anything that might incriminate me. Or 'praps he just meant that there wasn't gonna be anything left for him to return to. Or 'praps he wasn't gonna return...

Fuck.

"They'll come after you -"

"The police?" He shook his head slightly. "I don't think so. Or not for long. There's not enough I can give them, to make it worth the resources. They want Kai, and his organisation - and they want the murderers. They'll have that. You'll make sure of that. And if they do come after me - well, I won't be easy to find."

"If they can't find you, Heero - neither will I. Will I?"

He stared at me. "No, you won't."

I ached.

"Come with me, Duo."

"What?"

He stepped forward, and although I tensed, I let him take hold of me again.

"Come with me."

I mean - people describe some of the defining moments of their life as the hardest thing they've ever faced, don't they? The most painful decision they've ever made; the most heart-wrenching choice they've ever taken.

I mean - it's just shit, really, isn't it? To be in that position...

And I was.

"No, Heero."

His hands, tight on me. His knee, brushing mine. The whole smell of him; the remembered taste.

"I must stay here."

*

It seemed very easy now, to explain. To put into words; the way that I was gonna be now.

"It's my promise, Heero, y'see. My promise to myself and to Wufei." A promise bound by a wound.

"I'm gonna accept the past. And then lose it! I'm moving on - but properly this time. I'll accept the great friends that I have - treasure 'em. Let them help me with all those issues - all my baggage. Accept -" I met his eyes. "Accept relationships, if they come along.

"I wanted to live up to what he wanted - what Wufei thought I was capable of. What I deserved. But I've been taking the line of least resistance for years - constantly pitching below standard; doing only enough to get by. So as not to be noticed.

"My past was always with me - that's where I thought I belonged. I couldn't see anyone could ever forget it. I couldn't seem to forget it myself.

"So that's how I'm gonna be now!" My voice was jarringly bright in the silent room. "I'm gonna make my own choices, and ask myself exactly what I want - and I'll live it properly. Set the slate clean. Build up some respect for the guy I'm waking up with each morning. Start again with some more realistic goals. And they'll be mine; and they'll be honest.

"And my choice is to stay here. To do what needs to be done to stop this mess before it gets worse. You know that, though, don't you?"

He stood like a statue. Only the hitch of his breath, and the pulse in his throat showed me that he was listening.

"it's - it's partly to do with you, Heero, y'know? Meeting you - finding you. And that's what makes it so bad. So fucking bad...

"I want this new me, Heero." My voice had raised. "But I don't - Heero, I don't wanna do this for what it does to us."

When he spoke, the sound rippled round me like I was in some kinda deprivation tank; I could barely make out coherent words. I hadn't realised how tightly I was holding on to my senses.

"I won't lie to you anymore, Duo."

"Sure, I know..."

He was trying to tell me something again, with his eyes; I could only see misery, and it was depressing me beyond anything else. Shit, I thought I might cry or something - that'd be a great start to a better me, eh?

"So - maybe I'll stay here with you."

"No!" I almost shouted, which startled us both. What would they do to him? Where would he end up then? "I don't want that for you -!"

Our eyes musta looked the same anguish; the same realisation. It just wasn't an option.

"No, of course not..." he whispered.

"Good." I sounded shaky, even on the single word.

"But - I would; do you know that -?"

"Yeah. I know..."

*

It was a coupla minutes later. The talking was sort of drying up. There wasn't much more to be said, was there? Well - nothing that would make anything any more cheerful.

Heero appeared back in the lounge - he'd been to the bedroom to pack a few things.

"You OK with this, Duo?"

"With letting you get away?" I laughed, like it was a great big, daring joke. "Yeah - I'm OK with it. There'll be enough from me to keep 'em occupied without the aiding and abetting as well...I mean, it's not like I'm Mr K himself, is it?"

We stared at each other. We'd cleared up a lot of stuff between us, hadn't we? I didn't blame him for anything done in his cousin's name; he didn't despise me for coming to him from out the gutter. We just had all this baggage...

Yeah, I thought; it was heavy, and it was complex, but if we didn't move on, it was gonna bury us both.

This was the best way to come clean. To start afresh.

"I - don't want to get away, Duo. From you..."

"Yeah... I know."

He dropped the bag and came over to me. I thought I should probably run - really fast, and in the opposite direction, but I didn't. I didn't want to. He took hold of me, shifting his body against me, and I felt his hand brush against my cheek.

"I must call them, Heero."

"Sure." His voice was like silk; it was like a hot shower on a cold day; it was pure, unadulterated pleasure. "Just give me a little time, OK?"

He kissed me again, then. He reached an arm around my back, and tugged harder at my waist, and I folded into him like melted chocolate. We were warm, and the taste of him was poignantly sweet. His mouth was firm and demanding, and I was happy to surrender to it. I wrapped my arms round his neck, and traced the pattern of his hair at the nape; remembering it within my fingerprints. His hand slid up and down my hair, wrapping strands around the fingers, and tugging almost playfully, directing my mouth against his whenever it tried to shift away elsewhere. Our tongues were very fierce - very hungry.

I touched the soft silky top, and slid my hand up underneath. He felt rich and exotic, and the flesh wrinkled gently under my touch. My fingers travelled round to his back, and then down to his waist. I caressed gently along the waistband - he'd changed into casual pants, and they hugged him around his hips. I felt him draw in his breath; felt him press his body closer to mine, so that I had to wriggle to rest my swelling cock against the side of his, rather than full on.

"No?" he murmured. His hips moved so slightly that only I would have realised what they were asking. I moved back, adjusting myself to the side again.

"No..."

He smiled. "Sure..."

He did his own investigation; his own memory game. He ran his lips down my neck until I thought I had no more blood left in my body except the amount that was engorged in my groin area. He traced the profile of my face; he ran hands down my sides and hips, and would have run them round to ass and my inner thighs if I hadn't stopped him. A man can only stand so much sensory ecstasy -

"I won't see you again, Duo. Touch you."

"Argue with me..." I whispered. Lame fucking joke.

"No," he agreed. "That neither."

He pulled away from me abruptly - we were both suffering from flushed faces, and painfully aroused cocks. He slung the bag over his shoulder, and we both made our way to the door to leave. I wouldn't call the police from here. I didn't know what Heero was gonna do in the way of 'arrangements', but we both needed to leave this place far behind.

At the door, he paused. He turned to me and placed a single finger on my mouth. He ran it gently from one side to the other. When it lingered there a little longer, I slipped my tongue out to moisten my lips, and I kissed the tip of it.

He shuddered.

And then he left, striding up the corridor to take the lift, and to go fuck knows where.

*

I can't tell you where I went for those two hours, because I can't remember. I think I probably gave Heero much longer. But as the sun was getting stronger, and the morning was turning out its joggers and early rising workaholics, I found myself walking in the park. I paused by a public phone kiosk. Must be time, I thought.

Time to turn into Mr Honest Citizen.

I called my apartment first, and I can't describe the relief when it was Trow who answered. I mean, I'm mad about that blond guy as well, but Trow... he's something else, isn't he?

"You OK, Duo?" He never asked where - who - what -

"No," I said, quickly. "But I'm not hurt. Trow -"

"Yes?"

"Will you call that friend in Vice - set up a meeting for me?"

I heard his sharp breath. Then he let it out again. I just knew that he knew - or at the least, he empathised. "Sure. Soon as you like. If that's what you want."

"Yeah, it is. And T -"

"Yes?"

I tried not to sound too pathetic. "Will ya come and pick me up?"

I told him where I was, and he was there in minutes. The guy would see me now, he said. If I was up to it. He looked at my bleak eyes and my white face, and his expression said that, personally, he didn't think I was. But I had him drive me down to the station.

Bless him, he waited until I was done, sat quietly in an outside office. Called his work, and squared it with them to take time off. Then he watched me through the window, as I talked. As I shifted awkwardly on my chair - raised my voice a coupla times. And when he thought they'd had enough of me, and he knew they weren't gonna hold me, he walked straight into the office where I was and collected me.

And took me home.

I had no regrets about the whole thing, y'know.

Just a huge, fucking pain in my chest where I used to have something that pumped blood round my body.

*

I'd told the police lotsa things, of course. Well, almost. I gave 'em names, and information about Kai's organisation, and plenty of detail on Shad. I saw guys through the partitions at headquarters, scrambling into jackets, and loading guns, and barking down telephones. It was most amusing to see 'em leaping into action like that, on my say so.

I didn't tell 'em anything about the previous night at Heero's apartment. Somehow I didn't think it would add much. Well - that was my expert opinion. When they probed into Kai's world, and Shad's murky little cesspit, there'd be plenty to lead back to Heero - if they wanted to follow that up as well. Let 'em work a bit for that.

They found Baz's body within the hour - it was rolled in mud and refuse, and wedged down behind the dumpsters at the back of the local hamburger joint. No evidence left of where he might have actually died. Caused all sortsa Health and Safety issues for a month or more. That made me smile a bit - just a bit. After the rats had been round him, there was still enough left to give good DNA samples 'n all; last I heard, he was being fitted up against four murders across state, including Wufei's and Kai's, and they were still counting.

The greater shock came when they found Shad. Two days later. He was staked out in one of the kids' playgrounds. Literally staked - with ropes around his wrists and ankles, tied to the equipment. There'd been an anonymous tip-off to the police, so's no little kid would go bounding in there the next day and be the first to find him. I thought that very considerate.

He'd been gagged and suffocated, and then stabbed - many, many times. By many different hands, it seemed. Adult hands - and little, kids' hands. Lots of cuts - deep, shallow; hard; weak. Musta taken place over hours, in all. Lots of kids had motive for that. I wondered if they'd all travelled from Kai's city - or whether they'd sent their welcome proxies to do the job. That musta taken some serious 'arrangement', I thought.

That nice girl Anna at the police library told me that the force piled into Kai's empire like it was a day out at the beach - full of enthusiasm and zeal and packed lunches. Trowa's contact told him that there was no particular evidence that led back to this city, though they'd be investigating the family connection; especially since Shad had been found here. Had been operating here. I wished 'em luck with that. Not.

The Yuy empire seemed to fold back into itself, without fuss. There were no stories of major commercial crashes; no high-profile arrests. A coupla businesses that had never been secure, nor entirely honest, had closed down; Club Underground was under new management. The stories about Mr Y had fizzled to nothing more than street fiction.

Like I said; I told the police lotsa things.

I told T and Q everything else.

Sudden impulses seemed a long way away. A very long way away.

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