by: Kracken
Disclaimer:Donít own them and Donít make any money off of this. If anyone is selling these fanfiction stories, I donít have any knowledge of it, really I donít.
Warnings: Male/Male sex, graphic, Violence, language. Ass kicking.

Crossing Paths + Part 29

Someone was nuzzling between his shoulder blades. Duo twitched and opened his eyes, remembering a prison and sadistic guards. When he saw the peeling paint wall and the plain table with a closed laptop, he oriented himself and recalled... Duo blushed furiously.

A broad hand was brushing over one nipple. It tweaked it and Duo let out a yelp as Heero chuckled, deep and sensual. "It took you long enough to wake up."

Duo blinked at the dim light coming in from around the corners of a blanket over the window. "What time is it?" he mumbled, unwilling to move from the nest of sheets and blankets that had made up their bed on the floor.

"Mid afternoon," Heero replied. "You needed the sleep. I think you need more, but you also need to eat."

Duoís tight stomach agreed. He shifted and then winced as his lower body responded with a few twinges. Instead of frowning, Duo blushed even more and then developed a very wide, very foolish grin. "We really did it, didnít we?"

"Hurt?" Heero asked in concern. "I tried to be gentle, but..."

Duo turned on his back and Heero propped himself on one elbow, looking down at him with a warm expression, chocolate hair a tousled mess in his face. "I didnít exactly stop you," Duo replied. He reached up and caressed Heeroís face. "I didnít let you go slower, when you probably should have. Doing it twice more was probably a bad idea as well."

Heero smirked. His eyes gentled and he leaned down and whispered. "You are so beautiful, Duo. Itís like a happy dream. Iíve wanted us to be here, like this, since we first met."

"On the floor?" Duo laughed jokingly. He looked over at the bed. "Quatre is going to have a fit when he sees that wet mattress. What are you going to tell him?"

Heero suddenly frowned, a thought occurring to him. "Do you want me to make up a story? If you donít want the others to know..."

Duo became serious as well, thinking about what it might mean for Heero. "I donít mind. Iím an orphan from L2 with a very bad reputation. Being Heero Yuyís lover is a step up in the world. You, on the other hand, might not want people knowing that youíre associating with someone with a reputation like mine. Getting your face plastered over every paper and vid screen is a distinct possibility. Letting the guys know is only a small part of it, Heero."

Heeroís eyes went soft with love. He kissed Duo on the lips and then said with determination, "We donít have to watch vid shows or read papers. What people think of me has never mattered, Duo. Iím concerned with you, with me, with our happiness. Once we get free of Earth and our troubles, they can say what they like. Secretly, theyíll be envying me."

Duo stared, astonished, and then he pulled Heero against him and tried not to weep. He clung to Heeroís bare body and Heero responded, wrapping strong arms around him and holding him lovingly. "When you say things like that, I believe you," Duo murmured against Heeroís chest, "though I donít know why you should think that way about me."

Heero rolled onto his back and Duo was suddenly sitting on top of him, straddling his waist. His tangled, loose hair draped down over Heeroís body as Duo splayed his small hands over Heeroís chest and looked down at him. Heero reached up and caressed Duoís face with both hands. "Let my eyes be your mirror, Duo. Donít doubt me or my vision of you."

Duo swallowed hard and could only nod in reply, overcome with emotion.

Heero played with Duoís hair for a moment and then he looked uncomfortable. Duo was suddenly put aside and Heero was climbing to his feet. He had an obvious erection as he stood among the bedclothes on the floor.

"I think I need to think about other things and get you something to eat," Heero said apologetically.

Duo stared at Heeroís muscled body with its arousal. As the man dressed, taking his time tucking himself into his black jeans, Duo felt the urge to stop him, to reach out and... Duo sighed and curled up in his blankets. He was sore and exhausted. He needed to rest, to eat, and to recover from his prison stay. "That sounds good," he told Heero, but then admitted, "I know I shouldnít have started stuff between us last night, as worn out as I was, but...," He grinned up at Heero. "It was damned worth it!" When Heero smiled and chuckled in return, Duo added more seriously, "It would have been worth anything, Heero. Anything."

Heero nodded, going sober as well. "Yes, anything," he agreed with passion, but then looked pained. "I wish that we had more time."

"Weíll have the time," Duo promised him vehemently, "as soon as we get rid of a few obstacles."

"We will get rid of them," Heero replied determinedly. He bent over and seized Duoís lips with his own. When he finally broke the kiss, he said, "Now that I know how very sweet you are, nothing will stand in the way of my loving you and having you for the rest of my life."

"I feel the same way about you," Duo agreed and then smiled as he made himself more comfortable in the blankets. He yawned, "but, for now, I need more sleep and to eat. After that, you can debrief me and we can-" Duo scowled in mock anger at Heeroís raised eyebrow. "I meant you can tell me whatís been going on since Iíve been locked up!" He thought for a moment and then grinned. "But, of course, debriefing during the debriefing might be interesting too."

Heero laughed as he opened the bedroom door to leave. He found Quatre standing outside, balancing a tray of food and raising a hand to knock. The blonde Arabian froze with wide, blue eyes, waiting for Heero to take his hand off of his gun before saying, "Duo needs to eat, Heero, and so do you."

Heero blinked and then nodded as he stepped aside. Duo pulled the blankets up under his chin in trepidation as Quatre stepped into the room and then stopped in consternation. He took in the fact that Duo was on the floor with blankets and pillows and then turned his attention to the bed and saw the bare, soaked mattress. His face turned bright red as he stammered, "D-Duo! Whatís..." Quatre stopped mid sentence, unable to go on. He clutched the tray close to his body uncertainly.

Duo was embarrassed as well. He retreated nervously into humor. "I couldnít sleep last night so, ah, well, me and Heero had a Ďmeeting of the mindsí, you might say."

Quatre blinked. "We could hear," he said, "and I guessed when you didnít come down for dinner. Iím- Iím glad that you and Heero were able to... " He blushed deeper and then came to what was bothering him abruptly. "W-What happened to the mattress?"

Duo picked at the blankets. "Uh, well, Heero kind of pulled me out of the tub. He was a bit... over enthusiastic and... God, Quatre! Can I just eat? Sorry about the mattress and all, but youíre making me feel like I just got caught by the decency police!"

Quatre shook himself and put the tray on the floor near Duo. He smiled apologetically as he crouched, but he still looked nervous as he said, "Itís your business, Duo, sorry. Iím not judging you. " He frowned at Heero as he continued, "I donít approve of the timing, you were exhausted, but I saw a long time ago that you and Heero were attracted to one another." He looked Duo over and his smile grew warm. "You do look better than last night. Youíre glowing. Love will do that."

Duo looked away uncomfortably. "Quatre!" he protested and then looked at Heero and saw Heeroís loving expression directed at him. Duo grinned back. "Yeah, love will do that," he affirmed to Quatre, remembering why he and Heero had made love to begin with. Life was too uncertain to hold back. The same went for holding back words out of shyness or embarrassment.

Quatre straightened and his expression turned stern, "Eat and rest today," he ordered Duo with a tone that wasnít going to accept argument. He turned that stern expression on Heero, "and you make sure that he does, Yuy." He began to leave, but then stopped and stared at the mattress. "You had better take that outside to dry in the sun. Expect the others to laugh at you. Duo was..., " Quatre stammered as he blushed, "Duo was rather loud last night, so they know what went on, Iím afraid."

Duo was mortified, a hand to his mouth as he watched Quatre leave. He looked at Heero as the man sat cross legged beside him and began looking through the food Quatre had brought. Slowly, Duo lowered his hand and Heero put a glass of juice into it. "I-I, " Duo began, swallowed, and then looked both bitter and unsure. "This is stuff I should have gone through when I was sixteen, dammit!"

"Weíll pay them back for that," Heero assured him, "Together."


"Looks like theyíre going to the same party," Duo said as he stared at the print outs. "Encryption codes galore. They donít want anyone knowing about it, thatís for sure."

Wu Fei frowned. "Theyíre afraid, obviously. Both groups are probably wondering where weíll strike and whom. We now have a vendetta against both the Peacecrafts and Santoroís group."

Trowa had a mercenaryís perspective. He looked at the correspondence, his beard making him look inscrutable. He stroked it with slender fingers as he said, "Itís possible that they are joining forces, putting aside their differences in order to protect themselves."

Quatre frowned. "Relena Peacecraft joining forces with killers? After trying to expose them for so long, I canít believe that."

"She put Duo in jail," Heero growled. "She dangled him and threatened him to gain our cooperation."

Duo frowned. "To be fair, Zechs did try to make things more comfortable for me." His face went tight, "Still, a cell is a cell, and solitary, with some rat bastard guards for company, is not a pleasant experience."

Heero draped an arm around Duoís shoulders and pulled him into a tight embrace. Standing in the small office of the safe house, maps, readouts, and electronic equipment everywhere, there was hardly enough room for the ex pilots to stand around the small, round table at the center. Duo was acutely aware of their eyes on him at such close range and he looked at his feet nervously. Quatre and Trowa wouldnít judge, and Wu Fei had made it already clear that their relationship didnít matter to him, yet Duo still felt a flush on his cheeks and felt shy.

"It could be," Wu Fei suddenly said, and all eyes shifted to him, "that one is pursuing the other. Prey and predator. It could be that our defection and Duoís rescue has set the stage for factions to grow desperate and act prematurely before we strike."

Heero nodded, "Santoro has control of government troops, but not all of them. If we attack him, he can call on them to protect him and he can condemn us. If we attack Relena it will be the same result. That depends, of course, on whether we attack in stealth or full frontal. Since both parties are unsure how we will act, it is logical that they will make their positions more secure to protect themselves better. Relena will naturally leave a capitol thatís hard to defend and retreat to a safe bunker until we have made our move, defeated Santoro, or been defeated ourselves. Santoro will only have the option of trying to overthrow Relena and therefore gain military control over installations.

"So, if he is going after Relena and Zechs," Duo surmised with a dangerous gin, "then perhaps we should join the party?"

"Save Relena?" Quatre wondered.

"Yeah!" Duo replied. "What better way to get our good names back than to save the day and get rid of Santoro? Thatís what weíre good at, right?"

Heero smiled. "Right. Gentlemen?" he asked the others.

Wu Fei was thoughtful, staring down at the papers on the table. "It could go very wrong. We donít have Gundams any longer. If they have time to bring troops against us-"

"Be optimistic, Wu Fei!" Duo urged.

Wu Fei glared. "I simply wish us to be more prepared."

Duo sighed impatiently. "You canít prepare for everything. Sometimes, you just have to wing it."

"Wing it," Wu Fei repeated, "How appropriate since itís your wings that we are trying to recover, your ability to go into space."

"Iím with you," Trowa said to Duo. "I donít know much about politics, but I do understand loyalty and the need to eliminate an enemy."

"Thatís right," Quatre said. "Which is why I will be attending the Ďpartyí as well. I want to help you, Duo, but itís personal too. Santoro will turn to us after he has gained his revenge on you, I think, and Relena canít be trusted not to use us as she used you once youíre no longer available for her schemes."

"Fei?" Duo asked. "In or out? You can go back to Sally and reading your books, if you want to."

Wu Fei scowled. "It isnít necessary to accuse me of being a coward," he growled in a tone they remembered from the war. "I am not weak. I wonít hide behind books and a woman when there is justice to administer. I am with you."

"Then letís get ready," Heero said, suddenly settling into soldier mode. "Quatre, you coordinate."

Quatre raised eyebrows, always astonished when he was given command. The man had the ability though, and he didnít avoid the duty. "I need infiltration here and here," he said as he pulled a map from a stack and began pointing out key positions. "I need this road set with radio detonator bombs, and blinds set up at this point..."

Duo watched their eager faces. Adrenalin was already making their skin flush with excitement. It never went away, Duo thought; the taste for danger. They might hate killing and war, but they couldnít deny that they all had something inside of them that made them who they were, that made them the best of the best, that made them willingly throw themselves into the fray.

"Iíll take care of the detonators," Duo spoke up. Everyone froze and stared at him. Heeroís arm around him tightened. Duo stepped away, bristling. "Iím going to do my part! What I do best is piloting and making things go boom! The job is mine!"

Quatre studied him minutely and then nodded, "Iíll give you the timetable. Youíll be solo. I need Heero to do drops and conditions are rough. A storm is coming from the East, but we canít wait. understood?"

"Understood," Duo replied. His eyes sparkled. "I can do this," he assured Quatre.

Quatre didnít smile, but he nodded. "I know you can, Duo."


"Not a good time, Lover!" Duo shouted into the cell phone.

On a secure channel, the voice on the other end was familiar and worried. "Report, Duo? Whatís your situation?"

"Ninety five percent complete!" Duo shouted back. "Now let me finish!"

The phone slipped from Duoís fingers and it plunged into the water below him. "Shit!" he swore.

Hanging by his knees from the struts of a low bridge, Duo squinted at the detonator bomb he was trying to secure. The storm was making everything dark and whipping the water below him so that it sprayed him with ice cold droplets. He was shivering convulsively, making his job even harder, but he was determined to finish and to do the job flawlessly. The last detonators had to be placed in very difficult positions and they had taken up a good deal of his time already.

Duoís coat kept him dry, but he couldnít wear gloves and do the delicate work. His braid was trailing down as well, the very tip touching the rushing river and slowly becoming soaked. Duo felt as if he were freezing to death. He comforted himself with thoughts of revenge and Heeroís warm arms afterwards.

"Come on, come on!" Duo growled as he secured the bomb with ties and then made sure the transmitter was working properly. He saw a row of green lights appear on the deviceís monitor and he breathed sigh of relief.

Swinging, Duo caught a strut with his hands and swung up to a sitting position. Perched above the dark, roiling water below, he rubbed his freezing hands together briskly and then pulled gloves out of his pocket and gratefully slipped them on. It was then that the sky ripped open and the storm rushed down full force. Lightning flashed and Duo wished that he could stay where he was. He knew that the timetable wouldnít allow it. He had walked into the area, knowing that a vehicle would be easier to pick up on a radar if anyone was keeping watch over the road. Walking back the five miles to where he had left his car wasnít something Duo wanted to contemplate, yet it was necessary.

Duo braced himself for the cold rain, made sure the straps of his small pack were secure, and then climbed up onto the bridge. He immediately began a quick jog, but the rain stung and his braid became a dead weight down his back, chilling him to the bone. He was forced to slow to a walk not far from the bridge. He was still not in optimum condition for any endurance test, but he couldnít take it slow. He walked as quickly as he could manage, knee joints protesting and his body groaning under the onslaught of the Storm.

When a car pulled up along side him, Duo swore. He forced a smile as the man driving the car rolled down a window and showed a swarthy face and a look of concern. "Hey, kid!" The man shouted above the pounding rain. "Whatíre you doing out in this? Get in and Iíll give you a ride."

Duo couldnít refuse. That would have looked even more suspicious. He climbed into the warm car and closed the door, breathing a sigh of relief as his body slumped and shivered against leather upholstery, dripping with water. "Thanks, man!" Duo exclaimed with chattering teeth. "Car broke down and I tried to walk for help. Didnít realize there was nothing nearby, so I was walking back thinking Iíd try the other direction." It sounded just foolish enough to be true.

The man was large. He was wearing a black overcoat and his hands on the steering wheel were large and tense. He had a sharp, Asian look to his face, but his mouth was a cruel line and his dark eyes were flat, both belying his pleasant voice. His crew cut, dark hair gave him a military appearance and Duo was suddenly wary, especially when the man looked him over minutely as if he were a piece of meat.

"Not much too you," the man suddenly said. "Pretty eyes, but youíre pretty ugly everywhere else. I like a lot more baby fat."

Duo blinked. "You think Iím ugly?"

The man frowned. "I was hoping for better pickings. Country lads are usually so hardy. I can see your bones in your neck. Youíre absolutely hideous!" The man sighed as he pulled the car over to the shoulder of the road, put the car in park, and then turned to Duo. "Just take off your pants. Iím not interested in seeing the rest of you."

Duo raised an eyebrow. "You really think Iím ugly?"

The man was puzzled. "Are you so concerned with vanity when someone is about to rape you?"

"If you had a chance in hell, I might be," Duo replied with a shrug.

The man chuckled darkly. "Youíre hardly a match for me boy!"

"Ah, see, youíve made two mistakes now," Duo replied seriously. "One, that Iím a boy." Duoís hand shot under his jacket, pulled out a gun, and fired point blank. Blood splattered over the car and himself. He flinched, but hardly paused as he finished, "Youíre second mistake was in thinking that Iím ugly. I have it on very good authority that Iím absolutely beautiful!"

The man mouthed something in shock, but no words came out as he slumped onto the seat, very dead. Duo felt a wave of sickness, but he shoved it down deep. Holstering his gun, he stepped out into the rain and let it wash the blood from him in a pounding torrent. After sickness and blood were gone, Duo put the car in drive, put the manís foot on the gas, and awkwardly guided the car towards the nearby river. Watching it roll into the dark, rushing depths, Duo spat aside, refusing to feel guilt for someone like that. If things didnít go as planned, and his bombs blew up more than a bridge and vehicles, then he would have a more valid reason to be both horrified and guilt ridden.

Duo checked his watch and swore. He was off schedule. Quatre had padded it, making allowances for Duoís long walk, the possibility of a storm, and Duoís reduced strength, but no one had counted on Duo running into a rapist and he had taken longer than expected to plant the bombs.

"Shit!í Duo swore and began to jog again. He had to make the time up somehow, even if it meant pushing himself over the limit. Without his cell phone, the others wouldnít know that his detonators were in place. He had to reach his car and its radio as quickly as possible.