Disclaimer: I don't own them and i don't make any money off of them.
Warnings: Guys suggesting sex with guys. Graphic. Violence. Language.
Support a starving artist, buy Kracken's book, The Storm, under Della
Boynton at amazon.com. To all of you who did, thank you! Big Hugs and
The Rain series + Part 9
"I did kick you with my rubber soled boots. Are you sure it's not
"Yes, it is, or yes, you know it isn't?"
"What does that mean, exactly?"
"We hike from here."
"Really? You said all of that with one disgruntled sigh?"
Duo grinned as he shoved open the door of the transport and climbed out.
Heero had driven it off the road and into a stand of pine trees. It was
well hidden, but Heero was still breaking branches, placing them about
the transport, and trying to do a better job.
"They'll turn brown and someone will notice," Duo pointed out,
even though he began to help as well.
"You won't be gone that long," Heero replied. "Stick to
the mission plan that I set out for you, and take Deathscythe to the hanger
Quatre has set up for you West of here. You have the coordinates memorized;
"Yessss," Duo replied sarcastically as he finished with the
branches and then pulled his pack out of the cab of the truck. They were
both dressed in green and brown camouflage, but Duo was wearing dark sunglasses
with a military cap hiding features Heero thought far too recognizable.
His long braid was tucked into the back of his uniform, the lump under
his clothing hidden by the pack he slung onto his shoulder. A good disguise
for someone trying to pass for an Oz soldier scouting a forest. A lousy
disguise for a slim, young man, with a memorable impish face and two unique
"What'chya lookin' at, Yuy?" Duo wondered with a smirk. "I
don't think I have time for another bump and grind, but, maybe, after
the mission we could-"
"There won't be any more contact between us," Heero stated coldly
and turned away. That statement was met with unusual silence. He looked
over his shoulder and saw Duo staring at him with a frown. Some pained
emotion was quickly smoothed out and Duo lifted his happy- go- lucky mask
"Your loss, Heero, " Duo retorted. "There are a lot of
perks that come with being Duo Maxwell's buddy."
"I work alone," Heero replied and hefted his own pack. He began
to walk away, but Duo's startled voice stopped him.
"Where are you going?"
Heero said tightly. "You will complete your mission alone. Most of
the Oz patrols have pulled out of the area. You are skilled at stealth.
I don't believe that you will have any trouble retrieving Deathscythe.
I have my mission to return to and complete."
"Duo?" Heero snapped impatiently. It was happening again, that
feeling of not wanting to be separated from Duo, of worrying about him,
of not wanting the loneliness and silence back in his life. He throttled
Duo was struggling to admit something, but masculine pride was getting
in the way. He finally said, "I was planning on you coming along
and giving me a hand."
"What led you to believe that I would be accompanying you?"
Duo sounded angry now. "I don't know, maybe all the planning and
personal time you put into the mission! Maybe that was stupid of me, assuming
"Are you saying that you are not competent to accomplish the mission
alone?" Heero interrupted, cutting to the quick.
Duo hissed angrily but then he was forced to admit, "Yeah, I have
to. I was in my deathbed not too long ago, Yuy! You can't expect me to
go running up and down big rocks like a damn mountain goat, carrying a
pack weighed down by tools and parts, and not need help!"
Heero turned and closed the few steps between them. He glared into Duo's
eyes. "You compromised this mission by giving me false information!
If you are unfit, there isn't any choice but to scrub the mission and
return to base of operations."
"Unless you go with me and help me," Duo corrected. "How
long can it take, Heero? A few hours hike and we're there! I'll get Deathscythe
operational and you can leave me after that. I'll make hamburger out of
anyone that gets in my way."
"No, unacceptable!" Heero seethed.
Duo blinked. "Is it?" he wondered. "Why?" he pressed
harder, sensing a sudden vulnerability in Heero and wondering what it
was. "Explain your reasoning."
Heero couldn't without giving up personal information. His training wouldn't
allow that. "We are incompatible," was as much as he could divulge.
Duo narrowed his eyes. "You don't like me, is that what you're saying?"
"That isn't a mission consideration," Heero retorted.
"Good," Duo replied, "because I wouldn't believe you if
you told me that you didn't like me. You're as cold as a rock in space,
Yuy, but I can still tell you like being around me."
"My likes and dislikes aren't-"
"-a consideration," Duo finished. "Ah- hah! Then you aren't
denying it." He grinned. "That's okay, Heero, I like you too,
a lot, as a matter of fact. I don't know why either, because you certainly
aren't Mr. Personality and you aren't my type. I like willing and able,
not cold and impossible to get." He held out his hands, as if inviting
Heero closer. He looked a bit embarrassed and Heero realized that Duo
was telling the truth and, while he said that he didn't lie, he was more
likely to evade a question than offer the truth. "See?" Duo
continued. "I can admit that I find you likable. Can't you do the
same for me?"
"No," Heero growled. "This conversation doesn't serve a
purpose. Your inability to carry out the mission should be the topic."
Duo sighed and dropped his hands. "Okay, fishy, if that's the way
you want it," he winked, "but both of us know you spread your
legs for me."
Heero felt the bite of anger. He almost raised a fist, wanting to plow
it into Duo's smug face. He held himself back with an effort. Duo had
managed to hit something sensitive deep inside of him and it hurt. It
was Duo's attitude, his cheep treatment of that moment in the garden when
Heero had felt something strong between them, something he didn't yet
understand, but that he felt strangely protective of, that bothered him,
hurt him, and made him angry.
"It's not important!" Heero growled and knew he was saying it
to himself. "Stop thinking about it. Stop talking about it. Focus
on the mission. The mission is everything. Bodily weakness is not to be
tolerated. Emotions are a liability. I am a weapon. Duo Maxwell is only
"Huh?" Duo was looking pale and startled, eyes wide. He blinked
and then sucked in a long breath before saying, "Geez! What was all
of that? Are you such a fanatic to the cause that you don't get that the
ends don't justify the means? Or didn't the people who brainwashed you
get it? I'm not a 'tool'. You're not a 'weapon'. We may have to sacrifice
our lives so that the colonies and Earth can have freedom and peace, but
I at least am not willing to sacrifice my humanity too. I'm Duo Maxwell,
a living, breathing, feeling person. I bleed red blood, I feel pain, and
I have a lot of emotions. I still get the job done, Yuy, and it doesn't
get in my way of blowing up Oz ass. " Duo hitched his pack up on
his shoulder, "I'm sorry I wasn't straight with you about my physical
condition. I guess I'm just a proud, inefficient, frail human who wants
his big toy back. So, I need your help. I promise not to grope you or
inflict you with my friendship, if that's the way you want it, but we
have to do this together, okay?"
Heero much preferred an angry Duo to the friendly one. It made him angry
in return and eliminated the danger of unwanted reactions and emotions.
He still had to wonder how Duo was able to shake his perfect control.
The pain had always been a deterrent. It had made him a sexual and emotional
eunuch. That Duo could reach him, make him feel things, make his body
and mind ignore the threat of that hellish agony, by simply smiling, by
simply being friendly... but he couldn't think about that, couldn't wonder
why, couldn't solve the mystery without courting the pain again. It was
better to be angry and not analyze why an imp faced young man with purple
eyes could shake the very foundation of his training as if it had all
been built on sand.
Heero nodded curtly, still scowling darkly, still allowing himself to
be angry at the position he had been forced into, of escorting a weak
Duo to reclaim a Gundam he, perhaps, wasn't fit to pilot.
Duo recaptured his grin, but it was edged. He was still angry too, but
unwilling to show it. He was used to men and women falling at his feet
and falling under the spell of his charm without fail. Heero had rebuffed
him in the worst way and he was stung and floundering. He didn't like
someone stripping him of his humanity with a few words and stripping his
h- . Duo froze on that thought. He was thinking, heart as well, but was
unwilling to follow through with it. He cut it off and buried it. Heero
had been just another chance for a conquest, another willing body in his
stable, another fuck, pure and simple, right? It was a lie, but Duo didn't
have any compunction about lying to himself.
"Well?" Duo prompted, "Go with me and make sure I get my
Gundam out safely, or go about your business and take the chance that
I'll collapse in the forest, get captured by Oz patrols, and spill my
guts about where Deathscythe is."
Heero's hand twitched to his gun, but he didn't draw it. Duo's face tightened,
knowing what that motion meant. Heero was ready to kill to keep him silent,
but he was more willing to suffer Duo's dangerous presence and make sure
his mission was successful.
Duo forced a grin and turned to begin walking into the forest. Heero followed
without a word. Duo's grin became less forced and he relaxed. "Polyester
socks? Maybe they made you pass out?"
"I wasn't wearing polyester socks," Heero replied, confused
that Duo was returning to their earlier topic, as if the entire conversation
afterwards had not occurred.
"Neither was I," Duo admitted thoughtfully.
Maddening, Heero thought, and wondered if Duo was mad. "Why did you
draw that conclusion then?" he wondered.
"Well, you won't tell me the real reason you had a fit and passed
out," Duo explained, "Even though you know what caused it. I
thought, if I irritated you enough with stupid guesses, you would crack
and just tell me."
"Then why reveal your plan?" Heero wondered, even more confused.
"Because I just decided that it would be far more irritating to let
you in on the plan," Duo chuckled. "So... bright sunlight?"
"There wasn't any," Heero replied.
"That's right, there wasn't," Duo agreed. "How about-"
"You're plan isn't going to work," Heero interrupted irritably.
"I won't reveal any information about myself to you."
Duo glanced back over his shoulder, grin genuine now. "You already
"Explain?" Heero demanded sharply.
"You say you don't want to be with me, but here you are," Duo
explained. "You say I'm just a tool, but, if you really thought that,
you wouldn't be replying to my stupid conversation. You have some feelings
inside of you Heero as much as you try to deny it."
"I'm not denying it," Heero replied, "but I can't allow
them to effect me in any way."
"Did they give you a choice?" Duo asked in a voice heavy with
sympathy and some small horror.
"Choice?" Heero echoed.
"Did they come up to you and say, 'Hey, Heero, do you mind stripping
away everything that makes life worth living to be our Gundam pilot?'
or did they just do it?" Duo wondered.
"There wasn't a choice," Heero replied and then said noting
at all, refusing to listen or be drawn into any more of Duo's conversation.
It made him angry, Duo's words, but it wasn't Duo his anger was directed
at. There were better targets, targets from his past and his present,
the men who had molded him into what he was now.
Duo was rubbing at his forehead. Heero noticed it, as he noticed everything
with machine like precision. He suffered from the headaches still, Heero
surmised and began to wonder if the doctors had purposely made a mistake
that would kill the pilot of Deathscythe slowly. Darkly, Heero appreciated
that kind of stealth, but again worry gnawed at his subconscious. Logically
he thought that the war couldn't afford losing a Gundam pilot, but losing
Duo in general twisted Heero's gut unpleasantly. It made his anger grow
and still it wasn't directed at Duo, but at a group of doctors. Heero
felt the reward feeling kick in, flooding his system in response to the
anger, but it wasn't indulgent. Too much anger could jeopardize a mission
Duo made the hike to Deathscythe without trouble, but he was sweating
and flushed. The camouflaged Gundam made him grin and he patted a gundanium
leg affectionately, but he was also sitting down and putting his head
in his hands.
"J-Just give me a few minutes, k, Heero?" Duo breathed through
what must have been great pain.
Heero nodded as he began to unpack Duo's tools and parts, laying them
out in a methodical manner and making an inventory. When he was done,
looking up, he saw that Duo had fallen asleep sitting up, his face very
pale and beaded with sweat.
Heero straightened and slowly reached out to touch Duo's skin. It was
clammy and Duo didn't react. Duo was a soldier. He should have reacted,
should have at least drawn a weapon. He hadn't just gone to sleep, Heero
surmised. He had fainted.
Mission failure. Heero throttled that realization and refused to accept
it. Duo would rest and wake up, ready to pilot Deathscythe. He simply
needed time. meanwhile, Heero could make the Gundam fit for travel.
Stretching Duo out on the ground on a bed of dead leaves, Heero found
himself brushing Duo's sweating bangs away from his face. Relaxed, Duo
looked very young. He had a few scars, one especially under his wide lips.
War related or something from his childhood? Heero touched it, smoothing
a finger along it's tiny surface. Duo shivered under that touch, but he
didn't wake up.
Heero withdrew his hand, suddenly curious about Duo's past. He wanted
to know more about Duo and it wasn't just for mission purposes. The pilot
intrigued him with his knowledge of people, his stealth, his wiles, and
his ability to manipulate others, Heero especially. It was only right
that Heero wonder at what life training had given Duo those skills, wasn't
it? if Duo died, then all of that information would be lost to him. The
mystery that was Duo Maxwell would never be solved and Heero found that
he very much wanted to solve it.
"Don't die," Heero whispered, ignoring the threat of pain in
his own head. He mollified it by leaving Duo to work on Deathscythe, but
his thoughts didn't leave with his body.
8] [part 10] [back
to Kracken's fic]