Crossing Paths + Part 23 (cont)

"Think so?" Duo asked skeptically and then caught himself before bitterness blossomed. He throttled it down and grinned. "I guess I am getting back into shape, courtesy of bastard Milliardo Peacecraft's exercise retreat."

Heero grudgingly replied. "He did help you. He was probably harder on you, and attained far more results, than I would have in his place."

"Why is that?" Duo wondered

Heero shrugged slightly and told the truth. "I love you too much to watch you suffer."

That statement made Duo think. "We should watch him," he said.

Heero tentatively reached out and very carefully encircled Duo's waist with his arm. When Duo didn't protest, he slowly brought Duo up against his side. It was very odd, Duo thought, it was as if they were made to fit together perfectly. He was comfortable against Heero's long waist and rounded shoulder. "I've never stopped watching him," Heero admitted.

Duo looked up into Heero's face. Heero looked back. They studied each other silently, each of them trying to figure out how they felt. Duo couldn't even describe to himself why it was both mentally awkward and desirable at the same time to be so close to Heero. He supposed it was because they both had so much baggage, so many unresolved problems, present and future. They both were where they had always longed to be, he supposed, but it didn't make it any easier knowing that. There was still a large question hovering in the air and Duo couldn't help but ask it.

"What now?"

Heero went pensive, his grip tightening a bit. "I want to continue our relationship."

Duo gave him a small punch on the arm. Heero flinched as Duo retorted, "I know that! I meant everything else."

Heero frowned. "Our next move must be executed flawlessly. Once we begin to move again, then discovery becomes a greater possibility. They haven't ceased searching for you and your leg locator is still far too active at too great a distance."

Duo blinked. "You know that I didn't get it removed?"

Heero fished a chain out from under his shirt. He showed Duo a round disk, with an electronic compass and range finder, hanging from it. "I knew it was a possibility that removing the locator would fail, so I took the time to register the signal before leaving you with Milliardo. I partly tracked your position once I knew where to narrow my search."

"I suddenly feel like a rabbit out in the open with the foxes close by," Duo replied anxiously. "I guess I was pretty lucky that no one else found me."

"Very lucky," Heero replied.

"You must have some plan," Duo prompted then. "You didn't come all this way to sit with me."

Heero's eyes warmed. "That would have been enough reason."

"But not with things as they are and I know Heero Yuy better than that," Duo retorted. "Now, are you going to tell me what's going on with the other guys and where you think we should go next?"

Heero composed himself, mind coming to order and his next words as precise as a mission report. "We reached Ariella Satellite and found it partially dismantled and open to space. We made repairs, restoring life support and gravity, and settled Quatre's people there.

He and Trowa remained to organize teams for further repairs and intended to make covert runs for supplies. Quatre was also drawing up plans to petition the government and was making coded contacts to representatives on your behalf when I left. Wu Fei is on Earth. We will be joining him soon."

"Where?" Duo wondered.

"Classified," Heero replied. "It is a secured site and only I will have the area's location until we reach it."

"Your trust is heartwarming, as always," Duo said sarcastically, stiffening a little in Heero's grip. Heero's thumb rubbed along his arm gently, an apology that wasn't an apology. Heero knew how to run a covert operation. "Sorry," Duo growled and then, "When do we leave?"

"I came to ascertain your ability to endure high G maneuvers in case of trouble," Heero told him. Again he studied Duo. "And to see if you were capable of carrying out an infiltration operation. That operation must be carried out before we meet with Wu Fei."

Duo frowned. "What? What's that have to do-"

"There is information in a government computer system that might help your case against the corrupt individuals who hurt you," Heero explained. "Computer hacking and stealth infiltration are your specialties. If you are able, I think you would be the best candidate for the mission."

"Where would I have to get this information from?" Duo asked eagerly. He felt a thrill of adrenalin, eyes sparkling as he thought of having the chance to face that kind of danger, that kind of thrill again. He knew that he should have felt guilty and ashamed. Usually, his job had been to infiltrate and plant bombs, destroying people and buildings for the cause of the colonists, but Duo couldn't help the excitement, the eager anticipation he felt at the thought of doing it one more time. At least this time, he soothed his conscience, he could
make certain that no one died for what he obtained.

"I have the plans and location on computer. You'll be briefed on the way," Heero explained. His smile held some of the same excitement that Duo was feeling. "First, though, I have to check on your condition. When you feel able, I'll run you through some exercise routines."

Duo turned on the bed to face Heero. "Okay, that's the mission and the objective," he said and grabbed hold of Heero's hands hard in his. He glared at Heero and Heero looked confused until Duo said sternly, "Now, Heero Yuy, I think we need to get some things straight."

"I'm listening," Heero replied seriously.

"You're not my commanding officer," Duo told him. "I've been out of commission for a long time and it was right for you to take command during that time. Now, I'm back and, though I still have some work to do getting up to full strength, I can damn well haul my own butt around and make my own decisions, k?"

"Understood," Heero replied calmly.

"Any time I start whining and feeling sorry for myself, you have permission to tell me what a complete moron/ piece of shit I am," Duo continued.

"Understood," Heero repeated with a grim smile.

"If you try to push or pull me around, and rip my damned clothes, like you did before, and I'll knock you on your ass!"

"Understood," Heero repeated yet again, his dark blue eyes almost glowing under his dark bangs.

Duo licked nervous lips. "I may be a virgin," he finished with blush, "but that doesn't mean that I don't know how to 'do it', or that I don't want to do it, or that you need to be the guy with the pants in this little relationship." Heero was looking confused again, so Duo decided to give him an example. He grabbed Heero's chin hard and pulled the man's lips against his.

Duo wasn't prepared for Heero's response. He was suddenly on his back with Heero on top. The man was sliding hot hands under his robe, pushing an obvious erection against Duo's groin. Hungry lips devoured Duo's and then sucked and lapped at his neck. Duo swallowed hard as fingers squeezed and played with his nipples. He choked, hoarse and almost frightened, as Heero displayed an intense need, a bridled passion that had been wanting for too long.

The man was going to have him then and there, thinking somehow that Duo's small kiss had been permission given.

"I-I didn't think that mission planning was-was such a turn on for you," Duo managed to say. His voice turned into a squeak when Heero's fingers began sliding down towards his navel and what lay below that.

"H-Heero," Duo protested at last, all bravado suddenly gone.

Heero was losing himself in a young man's libido, a sexual need that was strong, stronger than the slight excitement and warmth that Duo was feeling in response. Heero wasn't holding back. Duo was a man after all, not a blushing virgin girl. They were both strong and trained soldiers. They both should have the same urge to have pleasure, a young man's pleasure that was all about release and nothing about regret.

"Heero!" Duo said more strongly and his hands gripped Heero's arms hard, knowing that he couldn't force Heero off, but hoping simply to get the man's attention before it was too late, before he began to feel raped instead of loved.

Heero stopped so suddenly that Duo caught his breath. The man's passion filled expression, his half closed eyes, and his swollen lips, were poised above Duo as Heero's mind tried to overcome libido. Heero's hips flexed and Duo felt his hard erection push against him, as if the man was making a silent plea.

"I-I'm not ready yet," Duo admitted and felt small enough to crawl through a crack in the floor. "I didn't mean.... I wasn't... It was just a kiss. This... I wish I was ready, but... I'm not." He tried to make excuses, "Zechs is right out there somewhere, listening maybe. We're on the verge of starting a mission, of running into danger. I haven't..." All of it was the truth, but not the truth of how he felt and why. "I want a better place to do this," he finished lamely.

Heero fell sideways onto the bed and let out a very long breath. Duo was surprised when Heero gathered him into his arms and held him gently, nuzzling Duo's neck and hair. He didn't say the obvious, that Duo, physically, was still a budding fifteen year old and not ready for the intense passion of Heero who was physically far older and more experienced. Instead, he said simply, "You want the romance. David was the same way."

It hurt to be compared to an ex lover, but Duo couldn't hate a dead man for having given Heero that insight. Duo replied in acute embarrassment. "I can't be like you. A kiss is just a kiss, Heero, until I say it's otherwise okay? If I decide to go further... yeah, I need it slow and I need to be ready, not taken like an Oz fortress at dusk in a full frontal assault."

Heero kissed the nape of his neck. "I want you," he replied, "I want you so badly it hurts. I thought, when you kissed me, that you had returned to normal, that you were needing me as much as I needed you. I told you before that I would wait, that we should wait, until it was the right time, the right mood, the right place. I still believe that, but, it was hard to remember it when your lips touched mine."

Duo remembered his own sexual abandon where Zechs was concerned that night so long ago at Quatre's party. He tried to remember what it had felt like, that burning need that he knew needed an outlet, any outlet, even with a man he hadn't particularly liked. Duo had a feeling that, if he had gone through with it, he might have felt disgusted with himself, but not sorry that he had relieved the need. He remembered it being that strong, that all encompassing. Knowing that Heero was feeling that molten fire below the belt, that need to get off no matter what, Duo wondered if Heero really understood Duo's lack of response.

"Thanks, Heero, for stopping," Duo said.

"I love you. I don't want to hurt you or make you have sex when... when you don't feel capable," Heero replied. He took a breath and then said, "If you want to try again, slower this time, I could check the perimeter to make certain that we're safe, lock the door, make it a place where you feel comfortable enough to-"

Needing romance had seemed a much better way to put it, Duo thought sourly. Impotence was a harder to deal with, yet closer to the truth. "We don't have time for foreplay or for getting me 'in the mood' even if I can be gotten 'in the mood', " Duo grumbled as he sat up. He turned to Heero and looked down at him. Why couldn't that handsome, lust starved face, do more for him than make him tingle and feel warm? Where was the fire that he should have felt, that would have let him crawl under Heero's clothes and beg the man to 'do' him? Mentally, Duo wanted that and he almost considered saying to Hell with what his body wanted, or didn't want, and doing it anyway. He could fake an orgasm, he was sure, if Heero didn't look too close.

As if reading his thoughts, Heero said softly. "Don't."

Duo blinked, ashamed. When Heero drew him down and positioned him so that he was lying on top of the man's body, Duo couldn't find the will to refuse. Heero smoothed hands along his sides, his back, and simply kissed him.

"It isn't all about sex, Duo," Heero told him.

"I had a dream about you," Duo murmured. "I was hot for you in the dream. I came. Why can't I do that when you're really here?"

Heero's hands paused and then continued their slow motions. "A dream is different from reality," he said. "We need to go slow because you feel anxious. We need to have the right place and the right time, so that you can relax and not have stress interfere."

"Let me know when all of that happens," Duo replied bleakly.

Heero smiled against his face and then kissed him again as he said, "Don't worry. I will."


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