By: Kracken
Disclaimer don't own them and I don't make any money off of this.
Warning:Male/male sex, graphic, language, violence, swimsuits...

Dragon's Home + Part 7
Guard

Duo was the first to take a shower, once they returned to the cabin, while Wu Fei emptied the bags containing their lunch onto the table. Heero, a towel draped over his shoulders and his drying hair a tangle in his eyes, leaned against the kitchen counter and waited for his turn in the bathroom.

Wu Fei felt tense and didn't like the fact that he was waiting for Heero to make another inappropriate advance towards him. He finally broke the silence, feeling embarrassed but determined that he wasn't going to leave it as an issue between them. "I understand why you... approached me when we were in the kitchen alone before. I understand that I... was acting dishonorably towards Duo and that you were... making a point. How ever..."

Heero shifted and Wu Fei dared to look at him. Heero was looking uncomfortable. "It wasn't a warning," he said and then looked at a loss for words. "You don't threaten my relationship with Duo." He struggled, frowning, and then looked towards the bathroom when there was the sound of the water being turned off. He changed subjects abruptly, "Chang... about tonight. Duo has done this before, when he feels... inadequate. I would like you to accompany us, to help keep Duo from being... destructive."

"Destructive?" Wu Fei repeated, alarmed and suddenly not caring that Heero had failed to explain his advances towards him. "How destru-"

"Who's next?" Duo asked cheerfully as he came back into the main room drying his wet hair and dressed in only a pair of jeans.

Wu Fei went silent and Heero pushed away from the counter. "I am." He passed Duo and lightly ran a hand along his lover's arm before going into the bathroom. Duo looked after him and then eyed Wu Fei suspiciously.

"Talking about me again?" Duo wondered.

"He's concerned," Wu Fei admitted.

Duo frowned and sat down. He opened up a drink bottle and took a long swig before he said, "I'm a big boy, you know?" Which sounded belligerent enough to validate Heero's concern.

Wu Fei sat down opposite Duo and opened his food container. He looked at the meal dubiously as he said, "You're frustrated. You need an outlet."

"I need to blow some steam," Duo agreed as he unrolled the paper from his sandwich. "Usually, in a place like this, it takes about a minute, sometimes less, to get in a nice fistfight. All I have to do is drape my arm over Heero's shoulder and grin."

Wu Fei eyed him and saw that Duo was already grinning with a fierce glow that usually came with the start of an adrenaline rush. "I won't be going along. I have other plans," Wu Fei told him quietly as he picked up a fork and began eating his food.

"It's a lot of fun, Chang," Duo wheedled. "You don't have to fight, if you don't want to, but... where's your sense of justice? I do wait until they attack us first. They have it coming to them."

"It doesn't bother you to force Heero into these fights?" Wu Fei wondered acidly.

Duo sat back in his chair, regarding Wu Fei. "I've never forced Heero to fight."

"He's supposed to let you fight alone?"Wu Fei grimaced at the chicken and wondered how old it had been before it had been fried and put into his rice. It was very tough."Heero wouldn't do that."

Duo checked under the bun of his sandwich, seemed satisfied that he had been given what he had ordered, and then began to eat it. He said around a mouthful, "Heero knows I can take care of myself."

Wu Fei made an exasperated sound, "Duo, if Heero informed you that he was going out into a strange place, to start a fight, and that you didn't have to attend the event, would you stay behind, unconcerned for him?"

Duo put down his sandwich, thoughtful. "No, I guess not."

"Has Heero ever stayed behind?" Wu Fei wondered.

Duo wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and replied, "No." His frown deepened. "Are you saying that he doesn't think I can handle myself in a fight?"

Wu Fei narrowed eyes at Duo. "You are being dense. You love each other. You don't want to see anything happen to each other. You wouldn't let Heero go alone. He won't let you go alone."

"I wouldn't let you go alone either," Duo pointed out.

Wu Fei blinked, surprised, but then he asked, "Is that because you don't think I can handle myself in a fight?"

Duo thought that through. "No," he replied." I would want to watch your back, though, just in case."

"So...?" Wu Fei asked patiently.

"So... we all love each other?" Duo smirked.

Wu Fei leaned forward and gave Duo's forehead a slight smack with the heel of his hand. When he sat back down, Duo was laughing at him. "Impossible," Wu Fei growled, realizing that Duo had been pretending ignorance all along.

Duo sobered then and replied more seriously. "Sometimes... I just gotta, Wu Fei. I don't know why. I feel bad that I get Heero mixed up in it too, but-"

"Misery loves company," Wu Fei cut in."You're not sorry at all. In fact, you would very much like to include me as well."

"Okay, I'm screwed up," Duo sighed dejectedly. He moved his sandwich around thoughtfully and then asked, curiosity getting the better of him, "If you're not coming, what are you doing tonight?"

Wu Fei heard Heero finish his shower. He tried to look intent on his meal and inscrutable as he replied, "There is a small hill not far from here. I intend to climb it."

Duo was suddenly concerned. "At night? What's the difficulty level?"

"To reach the point that I wish, the difficulty level is high," Wu Fei replied.

Duo's concern turned to alarm. "What's up there that you want to see so badly?"

Wu Fei shrugged. "It's a secret."

There was silence on the other side of the table and then Duo said, "You fucker."

Wu Fei smiled. "I don't know what you mean."

"Yes, you do," Duo growled and stood up as Hero came into the room, combing his unruly hair with his fingers, and wearing a pair of dark shorts and a t-shirt. "Heero, eat your lunch," Duo told the man. "Looks like we have to outfit for a climb tonight."

Heero was interested at once, his dark blue eyes glittering with anticipation.

Duo gave him an indulgent look, "Yes, there will be mission stats, supply lists, and logistic maps. Just what you love. Get us some info on ..." He turned to Wu Fei. "What's the hill called?"

Wu Fei smiled. "It's a secret."

Duo blinked and then grinned, liking spontaneity. Heero was immediately out of his element, though, and frowning. Wu Fei rescued him before he had a chance to try to veto the adventure and start an argument with Duo.

"There is a trail, but it's steep and rarely attempted," Wu Fei explained. "There won't be any man made lights. The climb is estimated to take three hours."

Duo and Heero exchanged looks and Wu Fei saw the team work they were famous for go into action. They didn't argue. Both had strengths, both had weaknesses. Together, they were a single force... but a force with a flaw. Wu Fei saw it very clearly and wondered that he had never noticed it before. They had been lucky, he concluded, lucky that a mission hadn't exploited a glaring problem with their seemingly flawless relationship.

Heero planned and implemented based on the facts, when there was time. When there wasn't, when something took them by surprise, Duo improvised and gave orders, which Heero followed and implemented. Heero did ask appropriate questions; wanting mission parameters, wanting a supply list, wanting Duo's fly by the seat of his pants plan to form itself into something he could understand and accept. It forced Duo to consider his plan more, to not make it quite so impulsive, but it was still heavily one sided and guesswork. Heero would follow Duo's plan, regardless, and Duo would follow Heero's plan, when he had the time to make one, as well. They trusted each other too much, trusted their combined expertise without question. They were lacking objectivity.

Wu Fei stopped their involved plans and told them, "Eat lunch and I will tell you what we'll need. Duo..." He eyed the man, "this is a climb up a hill, not an assault on Barge."

Duo grinned, apologetic. "I'd go with nothing but a hand gun, but Heero needs something to do."

Wu Fei was very sure that, without Heero's input, Duo would have done just that."We will need energy bars, water, a blanket, and some warm jackets,"Wu Fei relented and stressed, "Nothing else."

Heero nodded and Wu Fei knew that he would be taking care of the supplies, but then he asked, "What is our goal?"

"It's a secret," Duo replied for Wu Fei, sounding impish. Heero didn't like that, but he looked at Wu Fei and Wu Fei was surprised to see trust there. "You won't be disappointed," he told Heero, but deep down, he hoped that were true.

Wu Fei availed himself of the shower while the other two ate and talked about the climb. Standing in the steam and enjoying the hot water, he went over his plan in his mind. It was a twofold plan. It would, hopefully, work off some of Duo's emotional turmoil, and also give Duo and Heero a view of their relationship that they might not have been aware of. Much like the revelation in the kitchen, it was something that had the possibility to hurt or harm them depending on how they received it.

Finishing his shower, Wu Fei dressed in shorts and a shirt and went back into the kitchen. Heero was sitting alone, poking a fork into his lunch and not looking very pleased with it Wu Fei took out the bread, along with some ham and cheese, and asked, "Would you like a sandwich? I couldn't finish eating my food. It was too..."

"Terrible," Heero finished, making a face as he pushed his lunch away from him. "I would like a sandwich, but only ham, please."

Wu Fei nodded and then began preparing them. "Where did Duo go?" he asked.

"Outside. His hair dries better in the air, " Heero replied.

Wu Fei finished the sandwiches and then sat down, sliding Heero's sandwich towards him on a plate. Wu Fei chose his words carefully. "I need your assistance, Heero." Heero had picked up his sandwich. He held it poised, raising an eyebrow as Wu Fei continued, "I need you to convince Duo to leave his weapon here."

Heero snorted and took a bite of his sandwich. He chewed, swallowed, and then replied, "That would require force and restraints."

Wu Fei saw his jaw tensing and he knew just how much it effected Heero to have Duo carrying his weapon everywhere with him. This was a man who wanted peace and all that came with it. When he stopped being a Preventer agent at the end of the day, he wanted to clock out and go home, leave violence, missions, and weapons at the door.

"It requires only one thing," Wu Fei corrected him."It requires that you ask him."

"Wu Fei...," Heero began, unsure, but Wu Fei was firm.

"Have you ever asked him to leave it behind?" When Heero shook his head, Wu Fei said, "Of course not. You're a soldier. You understand... too much, perhaps. You're not helping by allowing him to continue in his actions. He knows you don't like it, but you have to... insist."

"This climb," Heero asked. "Is the goal to force Duo to walk without a weapon?"

Wu Fei replied, "No, but I spoke the truth when I told Duo that it was a secret. It's an enjoyable secret, though. It will help with your problems, Heero."

Heero's eyes did something. They warmed. Wu Fei stared into their depths and felt... He stood abruptly, flustered, as he stammered, "I will go to my room... I-I need to rest before we leave."

"Chang..." Heero began and then sighed, as Wu Fei hurried to escape a feeling that he refused to acknowledge. He almost had his bedroom door closed, when he heard Heero say quietly, "Damn."

Wu Fei meditated seated on his bed, trying to find his calm center, trying to understand the feelings within himself. He heard Heero pacing. Heard Duo return. Heard their voices going back and forth. He tried to shut them out, but they were at his center, both of them, eating away at his resolve and unearthing feelings that were far from honorable, far from moral, and completely unattainable for the head of the Dragon Clan. It helped to shut off his confusion by reminding himself of his future, of the fact that he was not a simple, young man, but someone with the weight of responsibility and clan about to settle on his shoulders. He could not have Duo Maxwell, ever. He could not hope to attain even a small piece of what Duo shared with Heero. Wu Fei was committed, sealed, destined to leave them and their lives behind. He was not free to follow his desires, in their world or in his own.

Their conversation came to him again and he tried to listen, but their voices were too soft. For once, they were talking to each other equally and Wu Fei supposed they were discussing the climb. When he heard his own name, spoken loudly, he started, but the rest of the conversation faded again and he was left to wonder if they were discussing his abrupt departure from Heero's presence. His face grew hot.

There was a knock on the door. "Chang?" Duo's voice called lightly.

Wu Fei answered the door reluctantly. He found Duo standing uncertainly on the outside of his room. "Can we talk?" Duo asked.

Wu Fei nodded and began to leave his room. Duo stopped him.

"In your room," Duo pleaded.

Wu Fei tried to see past him, tried to see Heero, but Duo was blocking his view entirely. "All right," Wu Fei agreed and then backed into his room to allow Duo to enter.

Duo crossed the room, pulling the curtain closed on the window before sitting on the bed. "Close the door."

Wu Fei replied without thinking, before he could realize that his words would reveal too much about his thoughts, "I'd rather not."

Duo snorted, perhaps taking it as a joke, as he sat back on his hands. "Wu Fei, cut it out and close the door. Heero knows why I'm in here. He asked me to come and talk to you."

Wu Fei slowly closed the door, but he didn't approach the bed. He was sure that Duo was unaware that the pose that he had adopted was extremely provocative. He looked almost sultry and it would have been easy to interpret his body language as inviting. Legs sprawled wide, the mound between his legs open to Wu Fei's view, his slim waist made a sleek curve to wide, rounded shoulders and strong arms. His head was tilted forward, his large eyes regarding Wu Fei in amused exasperation as the sun, coming through a window, turned his hair into a fiery trail of cinnamon.

"Heero requested...," Wu Fei floundered.

"Yeah," Duo huffed and blew air through his bangs. "You know he's not good at explaining himself. Well..." Duo paused and narrowed eyes. "This is harder than I thought. You're just not the kind of guy... I mean..." He sighed, regrouped, and said, "Look, maybe I should just explain about me and Heero. I grew up on the streets and he grew up with lunatics. We both don't have what you might consider.... uh... morals." He sat up and rubbed a hand up and down one arm nervously. "What I want to say is...We didn't learn polite society when it comes to..." He stopped and stared at Wu Fei. "He stood abruptly. "Yeah, I can see why you left the room when Heero wanted to talk about this. This is too freakin hard." He stood and started for the door and Wu Fei was all too willing to let him go, not sure he wanted to know what Duo had been trying to explain to him.

Duo paused, though, chewing over something, and then said suddenly, "I don't mind, okay? So... well...Just remember that next time you... Heero... I'm leaving now." Duo ducked through the door as if he was expecting incoming missiles. "We're ready for the climb when you are."

Heero had requested that Duo... Wu Fei closed the door firmly behind Duo and then turned away from it, on the edge of knowing, but also firmly refusing to go over into full understanding. His mind filled his attempt at not thinking with the feel of Heero pressing against him, mounting him and showing, not dominance, he now suspected, but real desire? And didn't he return that desire? Hadn't he let Heero...

Duo's words came to him; his _expression, his nervousness, and his embarrassment. Duo had given his approval. Heero had given his approval as well... but why? What were they trying to say to him? What did they think of each other that they felt the need to make such offers? It seemed clear proof that their relationship was becoming more fractured, more uncertain for them both. It was almost as if they were giving up, allowing each other the freedom to choose someone else. Wu Fei tried very hard not to think of that someone as himself. They needed this climb, he thought. They needed for it to reconnect them, to give them hope, for their sakes' and his.

[part 6] [part 8] [back to Kracken's fic]