Author: Kracken
Main: 5x2
side: 1xRelena, 1x2, 3x4, 6xNoinx12, Sallyx5xOC, HildexOC

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


Fatalistic + Part 1
Opposites Attract

Why? As I watch Duo Maxwell on the other side of the conference table, making a small chain out of Une's paper clips and clearly not paying attention, I can't answer that question; the reason for my odd attraction to him . I'm not alone, of course, they all find him charming, even Heero, who has little patience for such a personality as Duo's in any other situation. Why do we all make this exception for him? What is there about him that makes a man smile instead of curse and wish him gone?

His eyes are odd, over large and hinting at indigo at times. They slide up from his project, the briefest flicker, that takes note of my regard, and then they are veiled behind lashes the color of his hair, another no man's land that's either brown, or cinnamon, or deepest chocolate depending on the light. Wide shoulders, slim waist, long legs, and hands as common as any mechanic's; blunt, stubby, grease forever buried in the worling pattern of his skin, they worked competently on his chain. He has a face like a devil's imp, all rounded cheek and snub nose, but it's changing, growing sleeker, becoming more the man that he will be all too soon.

I'm the one not paying attention to Une's debriefing, now, and I don't even care. I was there, after all, and the report is mine. It's much more interesting noting that Duo has a small mole just under his chin.I'm the last of the Dragon Clan. I should consider myself bound by duty to ignore my preferences, have as many children as possible, and save the remnants of my family. I'm a scholar, though, and had been one long before I had ever climbed into the seat of a gundam. My mind all too easily cast off those chains. I would not be a link in a long dead anachronism, a dynasty that didn't have any place in a world of elected officials, paper wars, and all too real ones.I was as free as any man to pursue what my heart and body longed for... yet I could still question that attraction, still wonder if it was correct, and still, almost, wish that I would find that attraction for someone more reasonable.

The meeting ended. We all gathered our things and stood as Une moved around the table, departing and looking as if she thought that she had exercised a complete waste of time. Duo grinned at Heero, leaning close to say something that I didn't hear. Heero smirked and nodded and then was gone, following Une. Duo stayed behind long enough to toss his chain of paper clips onto the table near the dispenser where they belonged. His eyes swept up to study me, though, intelligent and thoughtful in his regard.

"Regulations suck," Duo said with a grunt. "These meetings are a waste."

Immature, crude at times, irreverent of many things, undisciplined. My mind tried to latch onto these truths about Duo Maxwell as I noticed how his thick braid swayed as he moved, a heavy rope that begged a hand to take hold of it... if it dared. I wasn't so foolish.

"An organization needs regulations," I found myself saying, nonsense really, because I didn't want to say what was truly on my mind.

Duo gave me a fish eye and then shrugged. "Whatever." and then he was gone, footsteps echoing down the long corridor back into Headquarters. If he had stayed to say something, or to give me a chance to say something, the opportunity had been squandered.

Picking up Duo's paper clip chain, I could feel the warmth of his hand still on it. What could I have said? There are things a man knows, things he hears, and things that come to him casually from others. I didn't really know much about Duo Maxwell personally. I had heard, from reliable sources, that he lived alone and that he had once had trouble with his cat. Rumor was more rampant in it's information. Duo was with Heero, with Hilde, with Sally, with Milliardo, with James in weapons, with... he was gay, he was straight, he was celibate, he was... well, none of it was worthy of confirmation. Simply put, I wasn't certain that any advances on my part would be welcome, that personal relationships with fellow agents were wise, or whether I really wanted to take such a step with a man who was so clearly wrong for me.

I carefully undid the chain and placed the paper clips back into their holder. I had a temper, a finely honed sense of honor, and a need for complete discipline where it concerned my body. I didn't like weakness. I didn't like foolishness. I could be as wild and as reckless as Maxwell, at times, but I much preferred to plan and execute both my missions and my life with more thought. I hated cats. I hated long hair on a man. I hated snub noses. I most certainly hated crudeness. Why, then, did I find myself attracted to a man who had all of those faults, and more? It wasn't sex, that was easily remedied, it was something more, something far deeper, something so compelling that ignoring it was almost painful.

"Foolishness," I growled under my breath, even as my hand reached out and took one paper clip back. I rubbed it between my fingers and then placed it in my pocket as I went back to work.Kracken

+

A mission with Maxwell isn't the terrible thing that one might imagine. When Yuy makes a third, it can be a perfect balance. Yuy has the strength and determination. Maxwell has the brains and the technical know how. I have the fire under a cool steadiness that makes me the leader. Together we rarely fail, and this mission wasn't any exception.

I had learned heavy lessons during the war. I wasn't a hothead, anymore, throwing myself into the path of death with nothing to lose, except a life that I had not cherished then. I was older, now, more concerned with doing my duty with honor and the least loss of life. It was my mission to make certain that my more volatile companions didn't forget that the goal didn't always merit the risks. Pulling them back from blowing a target to the next solar system had ignited my notorious temper, but hadn't made me lose my ability to reason with them and to bring them down from their adrenaline high.

Maxwell was a damned handsome man when he was flushed with excitement. I found myself watching him as Yuy drove us out of our target zone, the crippled ruin of the illegal weapons factory, sending smoke up above the treetops, and our fellow agents taking prisoners. It will sound conceited, but we were an elite force, not expected to stay for mundane clean up duties.

"What?" Duo finally said and I blinked stupidly as he grinned at me.

"You were slow on that last charge deployment," I said, covering my slip.

Duo's grin didn't falter and he gave a small shrug, "Says you. I say it went perfect."

It had, but I didn't admit that. I forced my eyes forward and saw Yuy looking at me thoughtfully in the rear view mirror. He seemed puzzled, but I didn't credit him with realizing my attraction for his partner. His eyes quickly went back to the road after that, but I caught the barest hint of a smile on his face.

So it went. We worked together on occasion, but mostly I was a loner, hearing about their missions second and third hand. Our paths would cross in the commissary, in monthly meetings, or in the hallways, but never on a social level. My attraction to Maxwell seemed an even larger mystery when I took that into consideration. When had I managed to find myself thinking about the man in a more serious way? The greater question was, what did I intend to do about it?

I thought about dinner dates, a friendly meeting where I might reveal how I felt, but that quickly regressed when I considered how very little I knew about Duo, and how very little my attraction appealed to me on many different levels. It almost seemed better to suffer than to think about that live wire in my home, living a life with me, when all I desired was quiet contemplation and harmony.

"Staring again," Duo pointed out with a snicker. "You must be really pissed at me, but..." He considered my expression and then shrugged once again. "You are just weird, Chang. I can't figure you out. If you want to say something, just say it."

"I did say something," I growled growled back and turned to glare out of the car window.

"Yeah, my timing..." Duo chuckled and then scratched at his scalp. "Pull over, Heero. Let's get a room so I can shower and get some sleep. Driving all night would just suck too much."

Heero tensed and I saw him shift uncomfortably, as if he were embarrassed by something. Duo seemed to know what that was. He reached forward and clapped Heero on the shoulder. "I get dibs on the shower first,"he announced, "so I can work off some of my extra juice."

I felt my face turn red, even while I felt angry for his crude manner and my too obvious reaction to it. Adrenalin made a man need release very badly. Duo's implication was clear. It wasn't just a desire to be clean that made him want to stop for the night.

Duo laughed as if he was sharing a joke with himself. I saw Heero's hands work on the steering wheel, probably as disgusted as I was, but he did pull over at the nearest opportunity, into the parking lot of a rather plain motel.

We settled on one room with two beds, though I was left out of that decision. Duo was in the shower, and behind a locked door, before Heero and I had tossed our gear onto one of the beds. He stared at that door with an unreadable expression, winced, and then stretched out on his back on the bed, with our gear at his feet.

"Don't ask," Heero said to the ceiling.

"I...," I stopped, deciding against saying anything, and then sat on the bed that I had intended to claim for my own.

"A mistake... a bad one," Heero clarified. "One that isn't happening ever again."

"I wasn't asking for the details," I snapped, though I could guess well enough what he meant.

"He thinks it's funny," Heero decided to continue. "I just want to forget it."

"I didn't ask, Yuy," I stressed and turned my shoulder to him, hating that tense feeling in my gut and a vivid imagination that was all too willing to paint the scene for me. An adrenaline hyped team, fresh off a mission, and young enough to take what was available.... and regret it later.

"Just so you know," Heero finished, "if he wants the bathroom first, let him have it."

Duo came out again, all too soon, drying himself off and completely naked. Unashamed and relaxed, he began fishing clothes out of a duffel while I tore my eyes away. Yuy rolled off the bed and took the bathroom next, leaving me alone to deal with my embarrassment and... desire.

"Seems to me that you're just a freakin perfectionist," Duo was saying, as if we had never stopped the conversation in the car. He slipped an overlarge, white shirt over his head. I knew that because I could see him in the dresser mirror. My back was turned to him, my eyes riveted on that reflection despite my best efforts not to look.

The shirt hiked as he bent over to pull up a worn pair of jeans. I had a very clear view of a perfect ass and what hung between muscular legs. There was a scar along the backside of his thigh. I tried my best to concentrate on that, wondering how he had come by it. It looked as if it had been caused by a knife blade, but I couldn't imagine a fight that would allow an opening to allow it.

"A job's done, it's done," Duo said as he snapped and zipped up his jeans. He threw himself on the bed, belly down, and legs swinging in the air. His bare feet were large and masculine. I had expected them to be as thin as the rest of him. "You want too much... watchacallit... finesse." He said the word with a smirk and I wondered where he had heard it. His vocabulary was much plainer. Not that it was an indication of his intelligence, on the contrary, but he didn't spend much energy on it.

"You're saying that it's all right to be sloppy?" I managed at last.

I finally rolled over, regaining control over the lower part of me, but still keeping cautiously to my stomach as well. Duo looked like a teenager again. Hair sleek and wet, big shirt draped about long arms, and jeans hugging slim, legs, he seemed ready to study for a final exam than a man who headed up high level missions. I could very easily see Heero falling into the trap, needing and having someone looking like Duo all too willing to take the tumble with him.

"Sloppy?" Duo chewed over that for a moment and then snorted. "If I was sloppy, I'd be dead."

Which was the truth of the matter, but there was another truth as well.

"If you don't care about your timing, about the strength of your charges, about the force of your attack, then people die unnecessarily," I reminded him.

"Just the bad people," he shot back obstinately, as he snagged the phone and began calling what passed for room service in that small hotel.

"Fast food!" Duo shouted at the still closed bathroom door. "That's all they got!"

"Chicken anything, tea, no sugar!" Heero called back.

Duo rolled eyes at me, the phone cradled against his ear. "Salad, chicken, water, right?"

He was right, but I wasn't certain how. I nodded and Duo confirmed that order and added his own. It surprised me again. "Water, and an order of anything you got that isn't fried. Got it? Good"

Duo hung up the phone. When he saw my puzzled look, he shrugged. "My stomach's not the greatest," he explained. "It hates greasy crap."

"How did you know what I wanted?" I asked, needing to know.

Duo snickered. "Body's a temple, right? I didn't think that you'd want anything but clean living food."

Heero came out of the bathroom with a grim expression. Duo flopped onto his back, hands behind his head, and couldn't help grinning as he asked the room in general. "Threesome anyone?"

Heero went red with anger and choked as he began to snarl at Duo, but Duo blocked it by bursting into laughter and pointing at Heero. Heero tried to hold his anger and then suddenly burst out laughing as well. I was disgusted, not able to share in such a crude joke, that smacked of a private thing that had happened between them.

"Sorry, Fei," Duo said suddenly and I blinked at him. He looked serious as he said, "It's just a stupid thing me and Heero did once. I can't help laughing about it. We were young and pretty stupid. I didn't mean to gross you out."

It was an apology, or sorts, but I was finding it hard to accept it. I was struggling with the bite of jealousy and I was realizing that it had more power than my outrage at his crudeness. I could only bow my head and say nothing, but the joking stopped, and the evening turned more tolerable. We ate as companions and then went to bed. It was more understandable when Heero sought to share my bed instead of Duo's, and I felt better about it as well. I didn't want him with Duo, even sharing a bed as a fellow agent.

[part 2] [back to Kracken's fic]