by: Kracken
Disclaimer:I don't own them and i don't make any money off of this.
Warning: Angst, guys having sex with guys, violence, graphic, things blowing up, language.

Support a starving artist, buy Kracken's book, The Storm, at amazon.com under Della Boynton. Throws roses at everyone who already did. (Owwww! that hurt! take the thorns off next time!)

After The Rain series + Part 8
Red Glare

Duo landed an elbow into Heero's rock hard gut. Knowing how little effect that would have, he used the sharp point of that elbow to shove Heero back and off balance. Whirling, Duo landed a boot into Heero's chin and then danced backwards, ignoring the throbbing of his leg and arm. Heero staggered, but his eyes only blinked, as he adjusted for slight dizziness and faced Duo again, poised and ready to attack.

Duo held up his hands, grinning. "Good enough?"

Heero left off his battle stance and stood, relaxed, as relaxed as a panther prepared to spring at any moment. He nodded once. "You are ready to join me on the mission," he agreed.

"All right!" Duo crowed, grinning from ear to ear and rubbing his hands together gleefully. "I can't wait to get Deathscythe back! When do we leave?"

Heero picked up a hand towel from a bench and wiped sweat from his face. In a small garden at the back of the house, hidden well from above by trellises and overhanging trees, he hadn't pulled his moves with Duo. He was pleased that the pilot had recovered quickly, the advanced medical treatment worth all the trouble and danger he had risked to gain it for him, but something prickled on the edges of that pleasure. It puzzled Heero. It was slight worry and an infinitesimal amount of disappointment. The worry seemed to be tied to the danger aspect of the salvage mission, but the disappointment had a more disturbing source. Something in Heero didn't want Duo's down time to end. Cleared for active duty, Duo Maxwell would be off fighting the war again, and Heero would go back to working solo, their paths crossing seldom, if at all. The gathering of all the pilots in one safe house was an odd moment in time, not likely to be repeated. It was too dangerous.

"As soon as possible," Heero replied, "The others are leaving the safe house. Wu Fei will be making strikes on an African Mobile suit factory and Trowa and Quatre will be working together to destroy a shipping depot. As soon as we accomplish our mission of retrieving Deathscythe, we will have to take it to a place where it can be repaired without notice. Quatre will coordinate his network to acquire us just such a place. You'll be on your own then. I have to return to our previous mission and finish the job."

Duo looked worried as he plopped down on a wooden bench and brushed his chestnut bangs out of his face. "I'm all for getting Deathscythe and having time to bring him back up to speed, but that Oz plant wasn't a walk in the park, Heero. You were given me as a partner for a reason. It's a two man job."

"Getting Deathscythe operational is your main priority," Heero felt it unnecessary to say. It was obvious. Another course of action was unthinkable. It was also obvious that Duo was trying to think of one.

"Where will you make your base of operations?" Duo asked.

"Classified," Heero replied curtly. "If you are captured and interrogated, such information given to the enemy might result in mission failure and my capture as well."

"Yeah, I can see that," Duo replied, "but maybe you can see that letting me know your whereabouts, and keeping in contact with me or the others, might help you accomplish your mission if you run into trouble. We could come to help you."

"Trouble...," Heero echoed with a frown.

Duo arched an eyebrow mockingly, "Trouble, as in all that trouble that you caused in the first attempt. If I hadn't been there to save your ass-"

"If you had not been there, there wouldn't have been 'trouble'," Heero snapped back.

"You were snooping into my business!" Duo snarled and stood up, facing Heero squarely with hands on hips. "Talk about hot dogging...! We had everything in our hands and you threw it away so that you could find out something about me. You don't trust me, you don't trust the others, and I don't think you even trust yourself, Yuy! You need someone to watch your back, someone who'll save you when your insufferable self image of perfection loses some shine!"

"Finding out about your past was necessary," Heero grated, hands going into fists. "If you had been allied with Oz, if you had been ready to tag me back to the other pilots-"

"I don't think that was the reason at all!" Duo accused, eyes narrowing and face becoming suspicious.

Heero was confused. His anger tied itself into knots and he didn't know how to reply to such a strange accusation. He stared and his stare seemed to confirm, in Duo's mind, that his guess was right.

Duo said clearly and carefully. "I think you wanted to know more about me because you're 'interested'."

"Interested?" Heero echoed, even more confused now.

"As in 'has the hots'," Duo clarified and edged closer, almost nose to nose with Heero. "You do, don't you?"

"I don't understand," Heero replied.

"I think you do," Duo said with a wink and then leaned in and kissed Heero full on the lips, tongue sliding in past startled lips and filling Heero's mouth with warmth.

Heero felt an electric shock of amazement shoot through him. He shivered, unable to react, unable to stop a wonderful heat building in his groin that had a direct connection to that warm tongue filling his mouth. He wanted it to end, he didn't want it to end. His hands began to reach out, but Duo's were already sliding around his slim waist and pulling him in close. Duo smirked against his lips, devilish, sexy smile on Shinigami's impish face so close to his own. When those hands cupped his ass cheeks and jerked him roughly against a swelling in Duo's pants, Heero involuntarily parted his knees to allow him between them. They staggered. Duo held him up.

"Naughty, Heero Yuy," Duo breathed around his kiss as he retrieved his tongue, and then that tongue did a dance along Heero's lips before Duo sucked them into his mouth.

Heero suddenly, 'wanted'. That reaction tangled with his confusion. He had never 'wanted' like that before. The pain had never let him get so far. It was the confusion, Heero knew, that was keeping it at bay, but that was short lived, as he knew it would be. As soon as Heero's thoughts came together and the 'need' and reaction to Duo crystallized, his mind understood what was happening.

The pain lanced through Heero. He couldn't help a shriek as he recoiled, instinct making him try to escape the pain, even though it was inside of his head. The pain climbed to an unbearable height and then Heero mercifully blacked out, Duo's frantic voice shouting at him unintelligible words.

+

Someone was humming.... classical music. Quatre, Heero's mind deduced as he climbed back out of the darkness and found himself in his own room lying on his bed. He kept his eyes closed, letting that soothing hum be the back drop for his critical self examination.

Body; bruises, headache, and a slight disorientation easily compensated for. Mind; stable and under control. Situation..... It was hard to consider that when such thoughts had put him in that bed to begin with. He settled, instead, for reaffirming certain truths to himself. Duo Maxwell was a pilot and a soldier in the war. He was NOT a friend. He was NOT a companion in any way. He was a tool, a weapon, for Heero to wield when the need arose. Duo's sexual promiscuity and unpredictability had effected Heero's performance. He wouldn't allow it to do so again. After Deathscythe was secured, Heero determined to avoid Duo Maxwell thereafter. Once he filed his report to Dr. J, Heero was certain that the Doctor would understand and not try to pair him with such a volatile personality again.

"You're awake," Quatre said softly and Heero wondered how he had known. Heero had been very still, not even his breathing giving him away. The insightful Arabian sounded patient. "You don't have to pretend with me, Heero. I'm not your enemy."

Heero opened his eyes and slid them sideways. Quatre was sitting in a chair by the bed, soft, blue eyes smiling into Heero's eyes. "I don't require your assistance," Heero replied hoarsely.

"No?" Quatre seemed dubious. "You had, what Duo described, as a seizure of some sort. Are they routine occurrences?"

"No," Heero replied. "When they do occur, they are not debilitating." He sat up and pushed the blankets aside. He wasn't wearing anything, but he wasn't self conscious.

"Heero...," Quatre pursed his lips, not sure how much questioning Heero would tolerate. "It worries me that you and Duo are going on this salvage mission. Duo isn't as well as he would like everyone to believe and you... if you were to have one of these seizures at a critical point in the mission...":

"It won't occur again," Heero replied grimly. "I have eliminated the cause."

Quatre frowned. "What would that be?"

Heero stood up in one fluid motion and reached for his clothes. He ignored aches, pains, and the dizziness. It was crucial that he readjust his mission plan at once to keep contact with Duo to a minimum. "Classified," Heero replied absently to Quatre and went to a side table where his laptop computer was waiting for him. Opening it up, he ignored Quatre as if he had ceased to exist.

Quatre stood and sighed. "All right, I can see that you think that you know what you're doing. I'll go reassure Duo that you're okay."

Heero frowned. "Why?"

Quatre raised golden eyebrows. "You had a seizure at his feet, Heero. He doesn't know why. If I can't explain to him the reason, then at least I can reassure him that it wasn't his fault. He was very upset."

"Assure him that I will be ready to go on the mission as planned," Heero threw over his shoulder as he booted up his plan on the laptop.

"That wasn't what he was worried about, Heero," Quatre explained. "He was worried about you."

Heero felt a slight bite of surprise and an odd, pleasant feeling, and then he shut both off brutally. "Inform Duo that I am fit for the mission," Heero replied without emotion. A dismissal. When Quatre sighed and complied, closing the door behind him, Heero gave his full attention to his mission plan, reworking it to the point where his participation was almost nonexistent.

+

"Headache again?"

Duo groaned at Quatre. Stretched out on his bed, his face was hidden behind a cool, wet cloth. "If you open those curtains, I'll shoot you dead, Quat!"

Quatre took his hands from the curtains and turned to return to Duo's bedside. He looked down at Deathscythe's pilot and sighed. "You and Heero are both too stubborn. You aren't ready to go on any missions. We still don't know why you're having these headaches and Heero..."

"I can function with a headache, Quat, but I'm with you about Heero." Duo said thoughtfully, "He looked like he was in a lot of pain and then he just passed out."

"You weren't very clear on what the two of you were doing before that happened," Quatre pointed out.

Duo shrugged and then winced as the motion jogged his aching head. "We fought. I proved to Heero that I was ready to go get Deathscythe. He agreed. I... well, I guess I teased him. He's such a freakin' stone face. I wanted a reaction, any kind of reaction out of him, so I told him he was hot for me and I... well, I laid one on his lips. He was," Duo licked his own lips at the memory, "surprised. I think he was even warming up to the idea. I didn't think he was gay or bi, but, sometimes you never can tell about a guy. Just when I thought there was a normal, randy teenager under that stone, cold soldier exterior, he had that seizure. Scared the shit out of me, I can tell you!"

Quatre frowned. "He said that he had them before and not to worry about it. He said that he was ready for the mission."

"Like hell!" Duo retorted. He removed the cloth and rubbed his forehead, his amethyst eyes regarding Quatre. "After he botched the last mission, he had a seizure too. It didn't seem to me that it was controllable. Is Heero trying to tell you that they are?"

"Yes," Quatre replied, "Though he didn't explain why or even what caused them."

Duo considered what he knew. "Well, it seemed that he had a seizure after he botched the mission. This last seizure was after I, uhm, rubbed up against him and gave him a taste of my tongue."

"Duo!" Quatre protested, shocked.

Duo scowled. "Don't pretend to be prudish, Quatre! I know that you and Trowa are doing more than just looking at each other. My room is next to yours, remember? It sounded like he brought the circus to your room a few times."

Quatre blushed. "That's private!"

"Then stop making so much noise that I can't help hearing when you cum, Quat! I'm still trying to figure out why I hear that part after I hear Trowa leave."

Quatre blushed even more. "If you're trying to shame me, might I remind you that you have more to be ashamed about. As I recall, you managed to deflower half of my servant girls in our last safe house!"

Duo smiled. "I was gentle."

"It seems like you're trying to do the same to the Maganacs," Quatre growled. "Be careful or Rashid will have you gelded. The younger men are like sons to him."

Duo frowned uncomfortably at the notion, instinctively crossing his legs. "This is killing my head and we've left the subject completely," he complained. "You screw. I screw a lot. We don't need to talk about that. Let's get back to talking about Heero Yuy."

Quatre crossed his arms over his chest. "We WERE talking about him. I think you were suggesting that stress might bring on a seizure? Stress from failing? Sexual stress? That doesn't follow. He's been in very dangerous, volatile situations and never had a problem."

Duo put the cool towel back over his face, letting out a long breath. "Doesn't make sense, I know, but there has to be something tying the two incidences together. I just have to think about what that was. If Heero says he can control it, then there must a be a trigger, a trigger he can avoid."

Quatre replied carefully, not sure how Duo would react, "I know a common factor in those two incidences. A common factor that Heero hasn't had to deal with before."

Duo pulled off the wet rag and looked at Quatre in surprise. "What's that?"

"You," Quatre replied.

[part 7] [part 9] [back to Kracken's fic]