Slush Sucks! (cont)

When we finally broke apart, I felt too light-headed to pull away from the wall - we were both shocked and thrilled. Or that's what I assumed the bright light in Heero's eyes meant.

"You - heard the guy -?"

"Hn," he nodded. For once, I didn't take him to task for the monosyllable.

"Guess we better - make our own entertainment, then, eh?"

"Guess we better..." he growled.

We stood there, inches apart, lips wet and throbbing, and - as far as I was concerned - not just the lips.

I guess I didn't know Heero at all, really. I wondered when the hell we'd ever discussed anything remotely personal, or relating to sex, or love. I couldn't remember anything that would have given me a clue that he'd respond like this. And I was too scared to question it; I didn't like to ask him what he was thinking - of our kissing. Of me. Why he hadn't broken my other limbs for coming on to him like that - why he'd kissed back quite so enthusiastically.

I didn't want to know any of those answers, if it meant that I lost his physical attention for the slightest second.

We didn't say much more, to tell you the truth. We stumbled back to the lounge, but we touched each other all the way; we didn't seem to be able to tear apart, not even for a second. We fell down on to the couch together. We tried to speak; I laughed nervously. Heero just mumbled something. We kissed again... We were beyond anything else.

And so we went to bed

God - sounds so mundane, doesn't it? I mean, for the last few days, that's what we'd been doing with boring regularity - we'd taken our respective painkillers and anti-inflammatories and settled as comfortably as we could.

But that night...

That night we went to the same bed. Heero's bed.

That night, he peeled my clothes off like I was a precious gift. He stroked his hands all over me, like he wanted to saturate my bones with heat; like he wanted to brand me with his possessive fingertips. I'm not a prude, y'know, and he's seen me nude before, I guess, in the gym, in the bathroom... but this was so very different that I felt my whole body blush. He smoothed my flesh like it was silk; he flicked teasingly at the nub of my nipple, until it was so sensitive that I winced. He nibbled softly at my neck and tangled his fingers in my hair. When he slid down beside me, his tongue trailing softly down my skin after him, I genuinely thought I might pass out.

We laughed softly when his plastered hand snagged against the pillowcase. We were both flushed when he ran his hand to my hip, rolling the leg cast lightly to the side, giving him space to kneel between my legs. He touched my cock, then, and I gasped with the shock and the delight. We were a little clumsy, and a little disabled from our injuries, but it didn't matter a jot. Any nagging ache I had from my ankle was gone; and I hadn't even taken my painkillers that night. My mind was totally - ecstatically, gloriously - elsewhere.

I tugged at him, and his own clothes came off; slowly but surely. It wasn't ridiculous seeing him wriggle out of a sock. It wasn't awkward when he gestured for me to unzip his pants for him. It was perfect. It took me nearer to his naked body. Our skin touching all over; our flesh shower-soft and shimmering with heat. Lying together on his bed, suckling at each other, hands grabbing and squeezing gently, and reaching out to touch things that had always been hidden before.

I know that I was entirely biased - but I thought that his body was gorgeous; it was lean, and muscled, and it was different from mine, and yet it was familiar as well. It was astonishing; it was another, living person, spooning against me, clambering carefully over me, touching parts of me that only I had ever touched before.

I felt as if I were drowning in the desire. I thought I might cease to breathe; I might be lost to legend, like a ghostly shipwreck. Like a body sinking into the deep snow outside; deeper and deeper, until the fresh, new fall settled above me, and covered the final traces of my very existence.

I had never felt so fantastic in all my life.


...now...

I reached out to steady myself against the back of a chair. It hurt to wrench my mind back. But never so much as to stay there, in my rose-coloured memories.

Memories suck...

The phone was ringing again.

I coughed loudly, to reclaim my voice from that long-distant time. "What's the betting it's Trowa?" I asked the room in general - just as a joke, of course.

It was Trowa.

"Hey, man, don't say you can't make it either!" I groaned.

"Duo? Is that you? I - " there was a strange slushing noise in the background.

"You calling from the bath, Trow?" I asked, bemused.

"- flooding here -" came his disjointed words. "Apartment in six inches of water - mains burst - icy weather cracked a pipe -" There was commotion behind him, more of the sloshing, some shouted words. "May not -"

"I know," I sighed. "You may not make it tonight."

"Tell - others - OK? Come as soon - " swoosh etc -"gotta go - buckets - Happy New Year!"

I put the phone down, and glared at it like it had a contract out on me.

A floorboard creaked behind me. Heero was pottering about, bringing some books into the room, unpacking some bottles or something on to the shelves.

"You know what, Heero?" My voice sounded rather cracked. And I guess he knew it was a rhetorical question, 'cos he didn't answer me.

"Water sucks, too."


...last year...

Heero and I had been left alone that night - alone, and seeing more of each other than we'd ever imagined we would. More of our naked flesh; more of the touches that made us moan; more of the words that we whispered to each other, making our hands reach wherever we begged for them. He spread me wide, and he caressed me, and he kissed all parts of me.

When he whispered to me that he wanted me, I reached for him to pull him closer. I wanted nothing more than that myself.

It had been incredible! It had been a wild, physically shocking time, which had made me shiver and cry out. I think he was as gentle as he could be; but I was shaken by it - I felt very young, and very adult, all at the same time. He took me - he came into me - and I felt I became a part of him; a melding together. An astonishing closeness that I'd never imagined. When he stroked my cock, to give me pleasure along with him, I lost all control. I bucked in his arms; I whimpered. I shouted out in amazement when I came. I was so consumed by it, that all I was fit for was to clutch him to me, and to rock with him as he climaxed inside me.

He'd cried my name as he did. A gasping, keening sound. A sound of satisfaction; of pure pleasure; of need. I'd never heard such a tone in his voice before.

But then - that was that.

*

I mean - in the morning, I woke up under a tangled blanket, with a glow across my whole body that had nothing to do with the liqueur. My leg felt a bit stiff, and my ass was kinda sore... but the thought of that made my sleepy morning erection twitch eagerly. I rolled over with a huge yawn and stretch, and the momentum of my cast nearly took me right off the bed. I laughed at the joke, and turned to share it with Heero.

But he wasn't there beside me.

When I stumbled up to the bathroom and to look for him, I found him in the dining room, typing on his laptop, hands moving swiftly, eyes glued to the screen. He had several pages marked in the HTML book - he'd been working there for some time. There was a cup of tea by his elbow. A coupla pages of notes under his arm.

I said 'good morning', because what the hell else was I expected to say? But he didn't meet my eyes. I looked at my supposed lover and friend, and watched his long, nimble fingers pause over the keys. I saw his lithe, athletic, fully-clothed body shift with awkwardness on his chair. I saw a faint flush of embarrassment creep up his neck. The neck I'd lapped at the night before; the fingers that had crept inside me; the body that had covered me with warm, sweaty craving.

He barely spoke to me. When he did, it was just to say that the weather was clearing now, and the others would be on their way back soon. He said he had some work he wanted to do. He needed some peace and quiet.

'Peace and quiet', he said. The man who'd pleaded for me; who'd gasped and then groaned as he took me. The man who'd shouted my name out loud as he came

I had no idea what to say.

I mean - I just turned around and went for my wash. Just like a normal morning. Then I got dressed, and I ate breakfast, and I waited for the resort to send round news about the stranded ski-ers. I could hear Heero tapping away in the other room, and I turned the pages of a magazine, and I broke into small pieces inside.

I mean, that's fine, isn't it? It often happens that way. I could understand a quick, exciting one-night stand, the same as anyone else. Just a fuck. Just satisfaction - just physical enjoyment. No strings - no commitment. Happens all the time.

Well - no... that was a lie, wasn't it? I couldn't understand it at all. I'd never had a one-night stand, y'see. I'd never had any sort of stand at all. I'd never had anyone like that - done anything like that - in all my life.

It had been my first time.

Still, Heero wasn't to know that, was he? I had to be very mature about it all. That, or collapse completely.

*

I got through the rest of the holiday, God knows how. The snow had stopped overnight, and the skies were clear and sharp again. The guys came back with tales of sharing tea and rations, and the excitement of the Spirit of Exploration. They acted like they'd been Scott of the Antarctic, all over again! The cabin filled up with discarded ski clothing and continual hot showers; the rush for a decent meal or two, and loud, noisy, happy voices. The resort party was rescheduled for the next night, even as the snow was being cleared away from the paths.

I didn't go; my leg was playing up. That's what I said. Heero went with the others. He looked good in his casual pants and a dark green silk shirt. He wears his clothes with a style and self-confidence that I envy. Quatre tried to persuade me to go as well, but I resisted him easily. He looked at me a little oddly, but he backed off.

Like I've said to myself many times since - I wasn't gonna be able to look at New Year in quite the same way ever again.

I drank the rest of that damn liqueur that night, and made sure I was tucked up in my own bed when they all staggered back, sniggering, and dropping keys, and making exaggerated 'hush' noises. I'm glad they all enjoyed themselves.


...now...

So life went on, after my Big, Intimate Adventure. I mean, let's not be naïve about this - I'm a big boy now, right? And that's how things had to be.

We went back to our normal, daily routines after New Year, and we thanked Quatre for the fabulous holiday, and that's when we all said we must do it again, soon, and the suggestion was made for the next year.

As a group of friends, we all met up as regularly as before, though perhaps I was a little less available than I used to be. I liked to know who was gonna be in the group before I committed myself to any events. I never seemed to be free when there was anything going on round at Heero's apartment.

The funny thing was that he seemed very keen to invite us round; to arrange visits and trips around town. He was far more sociable than he'd ever been before New Year. What sorta irony was that, eh? But I was determined that I wasn't gonna be the immature one. I knew the score. After the first awkwardness on my part, I settled back to a sustainable civility and coolness. Praps I was a little more subdued than before, but that's just growing up, isn't it?

He never made any mention of New Year's Eve at all. I was damn sure that I wasn't going to. There were several times, just after we got back, that he tried to talk to me alone. But I didn't think I could take any more hassle. I made sure there were always other guys around; I deliberately turned conversation openers away. And finally he seemed to give up on it, and we drifted back into polite acquaintanceship.

That sucks too, I guess, eh?

*

I stood by the phone, hand still on the receiver as I'd thumped it back down. The rain was a distant patter on the window - guess it was easing off a bit now.

"Well, Heero, here we are," I said, with a brittle brightness that jarred in the confines of the cabin. "Just us. For New Year. Sucks, eh?"

Heero was standing at my elbow, and it startled me. I hadn't realised he was so close. Damn man creeps like a shadow...

"That phrase is overtired, Duo. One might think that, in your book, everything sucks."

I sighed. I had been pretty rotten company, hadn't I? "Nah, not everything. Just the weather. Just friends who can't make it to be with us."

"It's not anyone's fault..."

"I know. But - d'you think they didn't wanna come?"

He shook his head, impatiently. I watched the thick, dark hair fall over his forehead. "Of course not."

"But then - how come they didn't make better plans? I mean - you made it here, didn't you? So did I... How come they didn't anticipate the weather? I don't remember these problems in getting us all together last year."

He was silent.

Last year...

OK. I guess the time had come to face up to it.

"Look, Heero..." I began, slowly. I was annoyed at how my mouth had dried up instinctively, and my emotions flickered like Christmas lights. I didn't really feel up to Treading Eggshells with the guy who smashed things up in the first place. I'd thought I was well over the whole damn thing... "Let's just get this whole thing clear, though I'm sure it's far from the top of your Things to Discuss List. You don't have to worry, I'm not gonna throw myself at you again. What happened last year, happened and it was great, and that's it, OK? I'm sure you've dated plenty since, and that's fine by me -"

"No, I haven't," he interrupted. His expression was pained. Guess I was embarrassing him, after all.

"What?" I said, quite rudely, but he'd interrupted my prepared speech. I'd had it in waiting for a year, now.

"I haven't dated anyone since. I didn't date much before, you know. I - yes, it was great. I mean - you'll never let me say anything -"

"Too damn right, I won't!" I hissed, and I saw his eyes widen with surprise at my anger. So the great coolness was deserting me at last. But I didn't care, now.

"You don't need any pity or smooth words to get your point across, Heero. I admit I was confused at the time, but I'm fine now, I understand it perfectly. I mean, I've had a year's more experience, haven't I, and 'praps I've dated a bit more myself -"

"Have you?" he interrupted, again.

"No!" I snapped, forgetting the image I was trying to project of the man-about-town. "But I might have, and so I understand that you can have sex without sap; I know -"

"You know nothing!" came the cry. The passion in it astonished me - I was temporarily speechless. I stared at him, seeing the tension in his body, and the fury in his face. He was still the best looking man I'd ever seen. And the only one I'd ever slept with...

"It was - it was more than great, Duo! I - I can't tell you - I keep trying -"

"You froze me out," I said, slowly. Why did he think he had to flatter me with lies, all this time after the event? "I understand that the sex was all you wanted. Don't make me look even more of a fool!"

Don't spoil the tiny, pathetic pleasure I still get from the memory, Heero, I prayed. Don't you dare...

He flushed, then. Totally. His whole face and neck was suffused with a deep red blush. I couldn't believe what I was seeing - he was always so cool. So removed from things. He'd always been that way - except, of course, for that one night.

I was a bit scared of him.

"Anyway, there's no point in hanging around without the others -" I began.

"Forget them!"

There was something about his strangled words that caught my attention. He was acting totally out of character; either there was something seriously wrong, or there was something hidden here, that was only now coming to light. Something he knew, and I didn't.

"Heero - isn't it odd that the others all cried off at such short notice? Like - they hadn't allowed for the weather, like you and I did?"

"Hn -?" He was wary. But whispering things were creeping into my mind, and they were called suspicions.

"You know anything more about that, Heero?"

"Maybe - I do..."

"What?" I spat out. He grimaced.

"Maybe I -"

"Yeah?"

He was very red, still. "Maybe I asked them - not to hurry - just to give me some time..."

"Time? Why? When you were just gonna get stuck with me alone?"

"Maybe - oh for God's sake, Duo!" he groaned. "Maybe I wanted to be stuck with you alone again!"

"And why the hell would that be?" I snapped. Just so's you could catch me cold, miserable, and unawares, Heero? So's you could humiliate me? So's you could take whatever kisses you wanted? Take whatever else you wanted?

"To see you..."

"You see me plenty at home -"

"But not often enough..." he sighed.

"All evening at Trowa's! Just last month -!"

"Not for long enough."

"Christ, Heero!" I exploded. What was he going on about? "What are you trying to say?" I thought I might punch him. I thought that might make me feel better.

Why did I still let myself feel so strongly towards him?

And then he took a step towards me. Suddenly it looked like the punching might be coming from his direction.

"You..." he growled. I opened my mouth, but the glare from his eyes was enough to halt my interruption. "You talk all the damn time, Duo Maxwell, and your mouth is smart and bold, and everything bloody sucks to you, as you love to tell me -"

I gulped. His anger was awesome.

"- but when does anyone else have the chance to tell you something?"

"You told me something already, remember?" I gasped out.

He stared.

"You told me last year... that you needed 'peace and quiet'..." I ground out. I could feel salty drops stinging at the corner of my eyes, and I despised myself for the weakness. "So I'm sorry, but I obviously didn't take the hint -"

"So..." he breathed. "So it is to do with last year."

*

There was a stillness about the room that had nothing to do with the fresh mountain air. I thought I could still hear the hiss of the rain falling outside. I could hear the beating of my aching heart much more clearly.

I though I'd better speak - after all, I'm the one with the smart, bold mouth, aren't I?

"So you've got me here now. Say what you need to. Then we can see how soon we can get home from here."

He bit at his lip. He was only a coupla feet away from me. I'd have moved further away, but I didn't want it to look like I was retreating.

"You want it straight?" he asked, in a low voice.

I swallowed. "Yeah. That's always best, isn't it?"

He took a large breath, like he had a lot to say. I didn't expect that of Heero. I felt that hint of 'scared' again. And wasn't sure what of.

"Last year, I was angry at you for spoiling my holiday. For acting the fool, and injuring both of us. I resented being stuck with you in this very cabin."

"Well, look, I -"

"Shut up," he said to me. I did. "Then I found that I got to know you better - a different you. One that wasn't always loud, and boisterous, and extrovert. That's how I always perceived you before..."

But that's what I found out about you, I thought - a different you...

"I liked you, then. More than I had before." He blushed at the words coming from his mouth. "I - didn't realise how much. It was - enjoyable. Your company... eating together. Reading." His voice sank to almost a whisper. "Braiding your hair. Touching you in the shower."

It was a mirror of my memories. My heart stopped its hammering. Everything stopped, while I hung on his words.

"And then you kissed me - and I kissed you back. I didn't know I could do that. I didn't know how much I wanted to do that. Shit!" He shook his head with impatience. "I don't have the words, Duo!"

"Just say it," I whispered.

"It just happened." He looked up into my face, and his eyes were great pools of misery and shame. "I'm so sorry! I wanted you so badly, and I let it engulf me - I let go of everything. Control - inhibition - respect for you - I let it all go, in the face of my desire. I just wanted to possess you. And you let me! You welcomed me! I couldn't believe it...I knew it was a moment's madness - but I still let it happen."

I felt the shiver down my body. I felt the ghost of his fingers on my hips; his lips running up the inside of my thigh.

"I remember it like it was yesterday," he hissed. "It kills me... and when I try to talk to you about it, you don't want to know. It's me who's not taking the hint, Duo. You despise me - and yet I keep aching for you. I - I'm not used to being so pathetic, I guess."

I stared. I musta looked like a spook, my eyes wide and fixed on his barely moving mouth.

"I know," he stammered. "I know - I acted like it hadn't happened. The 'morning after' - what a cliché, eh? I woke up first, and you were stretched out beside me, and your hand was between my legs, and you were snoring gently on my neck... I was so shocked at what I'd done! I didn't know what to say to you. I didn't know what you'd say to me. I thought - well, I wondered what the others would say if they knew."

"Ohhh, Heero..." I sighed. I stepped towards him. I don't think he noticed.

"Yes," he nodded. "I was embarrassed, I think. That I'd been - God - so wanton! So hot for you...I'd never felt like that in my life. I thought you'd be angry in the light of day. You'd be upset - you'd be embarrassed, too. So I went and found myself something to do. Something normal - so that when you woke, you had the chance to ignore it; to forget it ever happened."

"Why would I do that?" I breathed.

"No, no -" he was shaking his head. His brow was furrowed; he was angry with himself, it seemed. "No - you don't understand! I knew it was the right thing to do! You were so - generous, Duo... you didn't have to take me like that - you should have stopped me - but you were so close to me, and I touched you, and you felt so good ... and then we were in bed, and your mouth was just like everything sweet I ever tasted, and you smelt of morning coffee and shampoo and fresh sheets, and you let me hold you, and open your legs - and I couldn't bear to leave you then..."

"Why did you think you had to?" I breathed again. His torrent of words was so unexpected - so distressed.

"Because I knew you wouldn't feel the same about me -"

"How could you have known that?"

He screwed up his eyes, fiercely. "Stop it, Duo! I thought I wouldn't mind, forgetting it all. If that's what you wanted. And then I knew I was fooling myself - Christ, I knew that within minutes! As soon as I saw you there, a sheet dragging behind you, still sleepy; looking for me. I wanted you just as much as the night before! But I knew I'd messed it all up, and I just had to live with the hurt... and it was all my fault. Because I knew I never really had you..."

I was shaking my head, as well, slowly.

"Duo..." he sighed. "Your face that morning - you were horrified! And you've nagged at me ever since - you've never shown me the same friendship again. I know I made a terrible mistake, and I'm very, very sorry, and that's all I can say. I want you to forgive me now, and perhaps we can be friends again. Before the other guys arrive - before they kick my ass for not making things up with you, like I've been bleating about all year..."

"I was horrified..." I said slowly. "Because the man I made love to had left me; because I wanted to wake up with him, and 'praps do some more sweet-tasting things...but he was back to Mr Geek, acting as if the night before had never happened -"

"No!" he almost shouted. "That wasn't me! I did that for you -!" He stopped. His jaw fell open a little. He stared at me.

"You - never let me speak to you about it..." he started.

"I didn't want salt rubbed in the wound..." I finished.

We both stared. We both took a step forward.

"Duo...You wanted me, too?"

"Uh-huh. But you looked like it had all meant nothing to you..."

He gasped, softly. "I was scared."

"So was I," I smiled, a little sadly.

Another coupla steps nearer.

"Baka!" he snorted.

Me or you? I thought. Or both of us?

He took my arm.

I slid my other one round his waist.

I wondered how long we had before the guys dropped their pretence, and made their way here properly.

I hoped to God it was a long time.

*

We lay beside each other on the couch. We'd kissed rather a lot. The taste of him was just as I remembered - yet different. My lips were numb, but they still reached for him.

"Am I really a baka?" I whispered.

"Sometimes," he replied. His hand stroked at my cheek, and I let it. I wanted it glued there - held there forever like another part of my own body.

He whispered back. "Am I really a geek?"

"Sometimes," I laughed softly.

"That sucks!" he said, suddenly. I jerked back a bit. Did he just say that?

"Yeah," I smiled. Welcome to the real world, Heero, where some things do suck. But only some, I guess. We were both learning.

"Weather sucks..." he mused. He nibbled at my ear.

"Uh-huh."

"Absent friends - that sucks... " His tongue lapped at my neck.

"Hey!" I protested, gently. Let's not get carried away with this, fella!

"I messed it all up," he murmured, as his hands smoothed softly down my sides, teasing at the warm skin under my tee shirt. Then he slid gently on to the floor at my feet - his fingers stroked down my thighs. He pushed firmly at my knees, parting my legs as I sat there.

"Nearly," I sighed. "But I wasn't much damn help, either. It's not a problem now, is it...?" His hands were very, very good...that was the same as I remembered, as well.

"But you must want to say it -" He leant into me, running a slow finger along inside the waistband of my pants.

"Huh?" I murmured. His breath was hot on my waist; his other fingers were ghosting over my crotch. The fabric strained over my responding arousal - my heart was beating too fast for comfort. "To say what?"

"To say - that Heero sucks..."

I opened my mouth to laugh. Then his hand tightened on to the bulge, and teased at the zipper. I swallowed the laugh at once.

The hiss of the zip was incredibly sexy, as he eased it down, and slid his questing hand into the thin cloth of my boxers. I gurgled my approval.

"I certainly hope you do, Heero - I certainly hope you do!"

"Happy New Year, Duo," he whispered, with a low laugh.

But I pressed his head down, impatiently. I wanted his lips somewhere else - now!

*

The slush is still with us - the snow is still only a forecast, and the rain hasn't stopped entirely.

There's very little light in the cabin - but we can find our way in and out of bed in the dark easily enough by now.

Where will Heero and I be next year? you may ask.

That's for me to know and you to guess! I suspect we'll be together, wherever it is. There's a lot of things to make up for in the meantime.

But first I must go out and stand in the rain, just to feel the drops on the skin of my scalp...

It's a brilliant feeling. But then, everything is brilliant now, isn't it?

If slush sucks...

I'm not gonna be the one to say it!

end

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