The Lost Soldiers Series #11 (cont)
The Point

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Duo cupped the woman's breasts and sank his nose into her cleavage. She giggled as she boldly put a hand on his crotch and rubbed. "You're beautiful," Karen murmured into Duo's ear and nipped the lobe. "I wanted you since I first saw you."

She was so soft against him, Duo thought, so delicate seeming, but hot to the touch. A distinct, female scent was coming to him. He breathed it in, expecting it to give him the same reaction that he had felt with Zechs, a strong, sudden need and all encompassing possessiveness that told him, 'Here was his mate'. When nothing happened, Duo felt panic begin to set in.

Karen felt something change. She pushed Duo flat onto his back in the soft loam of the garden and climbed on top. She kept her face pressed close to his and then ground her pelvis against his... well, he didn't have an erection, Duo thought, panicking some more, and her erotic movements weren't even making him begin one.

"What's wrong, baby?" Karen asked petulantly. "Don't be nervous. This can't be your first time, can it?" Duo didn't say anything his face turning twenty shades of red and glad of the dim light. She smiled against his cheek. "It is, isn't it?" she purred now and said, "Don't worry, Mr. Maxwell, I'll get your flag to fly."

Karen began a slow rubbing movement of her body as she moved lower and lower, until she reached Duo's pelvis. When expert hands began unzipping Duo's fly, he found himself grabbing Karen's hands and pulling them away.

"I-I..." Duo fumbled for the words he didn't want to speak. Karen moved off of him and reclaimed her hands. She was frowning now.

"You're gay, aren't you?" Karen said bitingly. "Are you just playing with me then? Did Zechs not give you what you wanted? Did you think old Karen would get your pip squeak dick off instead?"

Karen stood up, hands on hips. "I thought maybe we could get something going," she continued icily. "I thought maybe we could hook up and we could both take advantage of Zechs while we had some fun together. I guess I should have known, with that long hair of yours, that you were getting some from Zechs as well as taking his money."

"I - " Duo didn't know what to say. He was too shocked.

Karen swayed to one hip and gave Duo a long, pointed look. "I could teach you to go both ways. Maybe you're just shy tonight? We could still have some fun, stay in that nice bungalow, and milk Zechs for all he's worth. You just keep batting those purple eyes at him and I'll teach you how to play the game to the hilt."

Duo found his tongue at last. "Go the fuck away."

Karen was very quiet and then she said cuttingly, "At least I CAN fuck," and then she was walking away and Duo was left sitting with his insides turning into an anguished knot.

"How embarrassing," Wu Fei's voice said out of the darkness.

Duo stiffened and then jumped to his feet as both Wu Fei and Heero came out into the dim light. "What the - " Duo stopped, surprised to see Wu Fei, but completely shocked to see Heero. "What's going on?" he wondered in a small, sickly voice.

"Gibson said that you were out here 'entertaining a lady'," Wu Fei replied, saying the word, 'lady', with more derision than he gave 'entertaining'.

"And you wanted to join in?" Duo demanded, ready to sink into the ground in embarrassment.

Wu Fei crossed arms over his chest, paused for emphasis, and then replied, "It didn't seem that there was going to be anything to join in."

"What do you want?!" Duo demanded, measuring out each word furiously. "And what are you doing here, Heero?"

Wu Fei slid eyes at the impassive Heero. "This pathetic creature is who you think is worthy to share your life?"

Heero's jaw clenched.

"Look at him," Wu Fei continued viciously. "Rolling in the dirt with whores. He didn't even know that we were here. We could have killed the both of them. He isn't a soldier. He isn't disciplined. He's a weak onna who can't even defend himself against you. Look at him, crouching over his pains." Duo was hunched over his injuries. "He doesn't even care about honor or self respect. He lets us see where his weakness is."

Heero said nothing. Wu Fei became desperate for some response, some sign that he was making headway.

"Tell me, Heero Yuy," Wu Fei demanded. "Tell me why you want this weak thing in your apartment, in your life."

Heero's jaw clenched. He stared at Duo, narrowing eyes at him. Duo stared back, remembering Heero's violence, remembering that this man had almost, casually raped him as if it were necessary and right. Duo was suddenly afraid. He didn't know what was going on between Heero and Wu Fei, but he suddenly wanted as far away from them both as possible.

"My life is empty," Heero said at last, as if it were dragged from deep within him. "Duo fills that emptiness. Explain to me why that's so."

Duo started, amazed. What was Heero trying to say, that he loved him? Was he gay? Duo remembered the many women in Heero's life, the loud, almost animal sounds that had come from his room when he had brought them home. It didn't fit and Duo was confused.

Wu Fei sighed. He knew what to say now. Heero was his. "Heero, humans need companionship. You are lonely, that's all. Duo relieves that need for companionship in you the same way you need relief from sexual tension. You could get the same result from a cat or a dog." Wu Fei faced Heero, blocking his view of Duo as he continued, "You focused on Duo as your solution, because you are single minded and he solved your problem. As for taking it to such an extreme as following him all the way here to 'reclaim' him, I think that has more to do with your grudge against Zechs and your pride. If you hadn't been so blinded by your anger that he had taken something away that belonged to you, you would have stopped this nonsense long ago and found another solution for your loneliness."

"That is logical," Heero grated.

"Yeah," Duo said nervously. "Logical. Can I go now and leave you two - "

Heero drew his gun. Duo froze, wide eyed. Wu Fei dared and gripped the barrel. Heero turned his gaze to him, as Wu Fei had hoped.

"Do you love him?" Wu Fei asked, point blank. "Is that why you can't give him up?"

Heero sneered. "I should shoot you for suggesting that."

Wu Fei smiled. "I'm glad to know that you haven't lost your senses entirely," he pushed the gun down. "Let the braided fool go. Forget about him. He is ruining you, can't you see that? Get a pet, Heero, and refocus on your career and on yourself."

"A pet doesn't talk," Heero snapped back. "I require conversation."

"Really?" Duo couldn't help saying, startled. "You actually liked me babbling all day long?"

"It filled the silence," Heero replied, obviously hating that weakness and wishing he could root it out of himself somehow.

Wu Fei straightened, giving Heero his best, arrogant expression. "I am able to speak, intelligently. I am able to work side by side with you, perfecting us both. I don't require emotions or weak displays of friendship. I am the perfect companion for you. You will accept me, now, and you will transfer to the Sanq Kingdom Preventer office so that we may work in tandem."

Heero flicked eyes from Duo to Wu Fei and Duo suddenly felt like an object of scorn, as if Heero had finally snapped out of whatever possessed mood he had been in and, like Zechs, had remembered what an undesirable, waste of space, low life Duo really was.

"Acknowledged," Heero said curtly as he holstered his gun. "And accepted"

Wu Fei bowed. As simply as that and then they were both walking away into the night as if Duo no longer existed.

Duo stared after them, blinked, and then fell to his knees and began pummeling the dirt and dead leaves with both his fists. When he was done venting his anger and his frustration, exhausted and aching, he sat back on his heels and tried to decide what to do. It didn't take long. It was obvious. He would simply do what he had always done when life ran him over and then backed up for good measure. He would run and leave it all behind.

Panting, Duo heaved himself back to his feet and made his slow way back to his bungalow. The pain ate at him with every step. He stopped more than once to simply lean against a convenient tree and brace himself for the next few yards.

At last, Duo stumbled through the door of his bungalow. He shouted for servants, but none came. Cursing that they were gone when he actually needed them for once, Duo steeled himself and made it to his bedroom. In the soft light of a lamp, Zechs sat on the end of his bed, a bundle of purple hyacinths on his knees and handsome face dark and pensive.

"What are you doing here?!" Duo demanded as he leaned against the door frame hugging his ribs.

Zechs scowled. "I came to apologize, but Gibson told me that you were tumbling one of the servant girls in the bushes."

"Isn't that what low class street trash does?" Duo snarled back, really hating Gibson. "Isn't that what you expected?"

Zechs' jaw clenched, but his blue eyes were steady and determined. "I came to apologize," he repeated.

"I think you meant what you said," Duo replied. "Why should you apologize for telling me the truth?"

Zechs almost retorted, but then his nostrils flared and he made an effort not to. He said quietly. "You were angry at me too. What were you thinking that you didn't say to me? Aristocratic bastard? Relena's poodle? Oz scum?"

Duo stared and then he laughed sarcastically. Zechs didn't join in.

"Maybe you're right," Duo said. "Maybe I was thinking that. Maybe we both weren't honest about how we felt about each other."

Zechs nodded. "I am an aristocratic bastard. I am Relena's poodle. I won't admit to being Oz scum though."

Duo was quiet and then he said, surprising himself, "I am a street rat from L2 and… I guess I am a tease. I knew what you wanted when you offered me dinner. I thought I could handle the situation, though, and keep it friendly. I guess moving onto the floor, and sprawling on a bunch of expensive pillows, wasn't the way to go about that when you have dinner with a gay man."

"No, it wasn't," Zechs replied. "But it was unforgivable of me to get so upset, to call you such names. I am sorry. It was just the suddenness of the rejection. I thought... I thought there was something..."

Duo straightened uncomfortably and looked away as he said self deprecatingly. "You're better off not getting mixed up with me anyway, Zechs. I'm a screw up. I can't get my life right. Nobody wants me around for long."

"Not even Karen?" Zechs asked.

Duo blushed deep red. "Gibson was wrong. We didn't do anything, so don't get mad about me getting under your servant girl's skirts."

Zechs let out a breath of relief he hoped wasn't noticeable. He put the flowers aside on the bed. "What are you going to do now?"

"Pack up and go," Duo replied. "What else?"

Zechs tensed again. "That's not what I meant. I meant, do you intend to bathe? You have dirt and leaves all over you."

Duo looked confused. "I guess I should." He grimaced. "Wouldn't want to look like a bum, even though I am one."

Duo made his way into the bathroom and shut the door. He locked it for good measure and then leaned against the sink. Zechs hadn't said anything to his last statement.

If more than two people think you're worthless, Duo thought, then it must be true. He showered, trying to wash away the dirt and the disappointment in himself. One he managed, but the other was sinking its claws deep.

Duo dressed in the black pants and black shirt that he had discarded earlier for the fancy suit that Gibson had brought him. He felt more comfortable in his own clothes, in his own skin, Duo thought sourly. He had never fit in there, dressing so finely and living in luxury. It was time to go back where he belonged, where it didn't matter to anyone whether he was a failure or not, because everyone there was one too. L2 still had a place for him, he was sure.

Duo went back into the bedroom, grabbed up his box from where he had placed it in a corner, and began putting into it the few things that were really his. He didn't look at Zechs when the man said, "I want to talk to you."

"What's there to say?" Duo wondered sharply.

"Duo...."

Duo picked up his box and held it against him, not only against his aching ribs, but against his aching heart as well. "What is it? Spit it out. I have to go."

"Don't you care for me at all?" Zechs wondered softly.

"Care?" Duo echoed bitterly. "What do I even know about you?"

There was an awkward silence and then Zechs said. "I think you're hiding."

Duo refused to meet Zechs' eyes. He edged towards the door, feeling panic rising. He didn't want to have this conversation. He didn't want anyone, even himself finding out...

"I heard, somewhere, that you never lie," Zechs said. "So, Duo Maxwell. Tell me that you don't care for me."

Duo lowered his head and hid behind his drying bangs. His braid fell forward and looped on top of the box in his hands. He stared at it, giving himself something to focus on. "Of course I d - "

"Will you go that far?" Zechs retorted, cutting him off. "Will you go that far to keep hiding from yourself?"

Duo swallowed hard. "What do you feel for me?" he demanded. "Can you tell me? I think you already did back at your estate house. I think - "

"I love you, Duo." Zechs said it quickly, a feint against a frontal assault.

"I'm not gay!" Duo retorted, panting, face flushing, not believing what he was hearing. Zechs didn't just say... he couldn't have... no one loved him... No one could love him! He felt his heart constricting in his chest.

"Look at me," Zechs ordered in a strong, commanding voice. "If you look at me, and you still say that you don't feel anything, then you're right, you're not gay, Duo. I'll let you go. I'll let you walk out that door. I'll never bother you again."

The thought of Zechs doing that hurt. Duo closed his eyes tight against that loss, that heart rending thought, that he might never see Zechs again.

"LOOK AT ME!" Zechs snarled.

Duo looked and promptly dropped his box. It hit the floor hard at his feet. Zechs was stretched out nude on the bed, white skin, white hair, ice-blue eyes glowing against the darker cover. The purple hyacinths were strewn all around him. He was the most beautiful creature Duo had ever seen. His reaction was instant. As his eyes traveled over Zechs' body, his own responded strongly.

Zechs gave a ghost of a smile, but he wasn't hoping yet. He reached down his long waist and touched his own arousal. He stroked it and lifted it, squeezing the tip. His eyes never left Duo's.

Duo shivered. He was riveted. All the women he had tried to bed had done nothing for him. Not once had he ever responded. Instead, he had felt at a loss, awkward, and wrong. He had never responded to them like he was responding to Zechs. It was all very clear suddenly and Duo couldn't deny it any longer. He wanted Zechs. Body and mind were in complete agreement.

"What do I do?" Duo asked in a very frightened voice.

"Come here," Zechs ordered, keeping his voice firm and confident. "I'll show you."

Duo was drawn by that confidence. He was floundering. He needed guidance. A strong hand. Someone to put his crumbling world back together again. He walked to the bed with leaden feet. When he was standing beside it, looking down at Zechs' languid body, he felt a shiver overtake him again and his body responded so strongly it was painful.

Zechs rose up onto his knees, his erection bobbing at attention. Duo's eyes were riveted to it. He licked his suddenly dry lips. "We don't have to do anything," Zechs told him, but Duo could hear the need in Zechs' tone. "We can just talk about this."

Duo began unbuttoning his shirt nervously. "I-I don't think I can talk any more. I think I have to - have to do something about this."

"All right, but you can say stop at any time and I will," Zechs assured him.

Duo was glad for that reassurance. He was feeling the bite of panic underneath his desire. It would be so easy to turn and run, so easy to forget that he had ever reacted this way to another man. And then what? His mind mocked. He couldn't be with women. Karen had proved that. Duo imagined a lifetime of celibacy stretching out before him. He winced. He couldn't live that way either. If he had to fall, if he had to do... it, then doing it with Zechs wasn't a bad way to lose his virginity.

Duo laughed. It was bordering on hysterical. Zechs raised a white eyebrow, but Duo shook his head, not wanting to share the thought. He pushed down his pants and slipped shoes and pants off. Standing naked, wounded, bruised, thin, and unlovely, he didn't think he was worth Zechs' time. His erection was only at half-mast, uncertain now and embarrassed, certainly nothing to inspire awe. He was glad that Zechs didn't reach for him or do something crude.

Duo gingerly sat on the edge of the bed, crushing flowers. "'K... what now?"

Zechs smiled. "Relax, for one. I'm not going to bite you. We'll take this slow and see what happens."

"Why?" Duo asked abruptly.

Zechs blinked. "Why what?"

Duo swallowed again and played with a flower. "Why do you want me? I'm - I'm not much to look at. I'm all messed up."

Duo looked up in time to see a smile as warm as the sun form on Zechs' face. It came to Duo then, that he had rarely ever seen Zechs smile. "Don't you know?" Zechs asked as if Duo were being dense. "You're beautiful."

Duo snorted. "I'm a guy! I'm handsome."

"Beautiful," Zechs insisted and Duo jumped and shivered when he ran a long finger along Duo's thigh. "I wanted you the moment I saw you."

Duo snorted again, but his voice trembled as he joked weakly, "You must have taken too many shocks in your Gundam."

Zechs' hand snaked around Duo's waist. The touch of his warm skin seemed to seep down to Duo's very soul. He felt again, just as he had when they had first kissed, that 'soul meeting soul' feeling. It overwhelmed him and he didn't protest when Zechs pulled him down and pressed their bodies together.

"Let me show you," Zechs whispered in Duo's ear. "How wonderful it can be."

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