Disclaimer:I don't own them and I don't make any money off of this.
Warning: Male/male sex, graphic, violence, language
and Soldiers series + Part 12
Milliardo eyed the tower of
tableware and condiment holders in trepidation. Duo was talking animatedly,
his hands gesturing even as he grabbed a hold of whatever was in reach
and added it to his tower. Milliardo was sharply reminded that Duo was
a pilot, his hand eye coordination, and sense of balance, perfect even
when accomplishing such a strange pastime.
"So, there we were, me and Heero, fresh out of a war, and not one idea
between us about what we were going to do," Duo was saying. "The government
wanted to forget about us and, after the celebrations and award ceremonies,
so did most everyone else. We were broke, clueless how to do the simplest
things that constituted the daily grind for most people, and pretty unwilling
to fall back on our skills to provide us with what we needed. Sure, either
one of us could have hacked a system and dumped a fortune into our accounts,
or forged the papers necessary to get us any job we wanted, but... I guess
we wanted a fresh start, a chance to prove that we could be something
other than killers. " Duo's mouth quirked self deprecatingly. "Didn't
work, mostly. We have our reputations, just like you, and interviewing
for a regular paying job usually started and ended with, 'What makes you
think our company needs a terrorist on the payroll?' or 'I don't think
we need anyone to pilot a Gundam here, sir.' Nobody believed that we could
be anything but soldiers and, after a few 'incidences' and 'failures',
me and Heero began to think so too. The Preventers seemed the logical
choice. Too bad your sister, Relena, pulled rank and had Heero assigned
to her guard detail right away. Heero had thought that he was helping
us out by accepting the assignment, even though neither of us had really
liked it. We had bills to pay, though, and we both liked eating on a regular
Milliardo knew the story after that and knew why Duo didn't continue with
it. "I'm sorry," Milliardo said, not knowing what else to say to break
up the long silence.
Duo shrugged, though his face had grown pensive. "Who the hell can see
the future? It wasn't anyone's fault, what happened, except maybe mine
for not watching my own back." Another pause and then he quirked a smile
and brightened, his eyes sparkling as he looked past his tower to Milliardo.
The sudden change in mood startled Milliardo. He had seen it before, that
mental trick of Duo's that seemed to allow him to turn his memories and
moods on and off at will.
"Your turn," Duo said simply.
Milliardo stared. They had long ago eaten their lunch, the empty plates
set aside. The food had been good, just as Duo had promised. Milliardo
had ordered only a salad and tea, but Duo's hamburger had been large and
Duo had convinced him to try a few bites. Duo had also coaxed Milliardo
into trying his cheesy potatoes. Milliardo had enjoyed them so much that
he had eaten half of the serving, though most of the enjoyment had come
from watching Duo eat his share. The potatoes had been long and fat and
the cheese sauce had been thick and gooey. Watching Duo put a potato into
his mouth, suck the cheese off expertly with relish, and then suck the
potato into his mouth to eat it, had made Milliardo's pants uncomfortably
Milliardo glanced at his watch. "We need to get back," he replied nervously.
Duo gave him a long, searching look. "If you aren't willing to talk, if
you don't want me to know anything about you, then we don't have anything
Milliardo looked at Duo's too wise face. "Have you dated so much that
you know that for a fact?"
Duo looked uncomfortable and his eyes left Milliardo and stared with concentration
at his tower. "I'm not a virgin hermit, if that's what you want to know,
but I haven't dated a lot either. When you live on the street, when you
have to depend on people to watch your back, you learn who you can trust
and who you can't. Guys who never say anything about themselves are usually
the ones you have to watch out for. They're hiding something or doing
something wrong that they don't want you to know about. Usually, the thing
they are hiding, is that they're just using you."
Milliardo's jaw clenched and then released. He let out a long breath and
then said, "After the war, I thought that it would be best if I stayed
far away from Earth. I went to Mars colony with Noin. She had hopes for
me, and I have to admit that I didn't disillusion her by telling her my
true nature. I needed someone to be with me. I really couldn't face being
alone, even though I knew I deserved that, and more, after what..." Milliardo
swallowed. "Well, Noin soon discovered that we were not going to become
a couple in any sense. We separated and I returned to Earth and the Sanq
kingdom. Relena was a good sister to me and she provided me with a place
of my own. Little by little, I ventured out of my self imposed solitude
to test the mood of the people. I didn't find forgiveness, but I did,
finally, sense that I wasn't going to be executed by angry mobs. I was
tolerated, for my position and relationship with Relena for the most part.
When Sally Po came to the Sanq Kingdom to inspect security for Relena,
she took me aside and spoke with me about joining the Preventers. I was
more than eager. Being 'tolerated' in one's own homeland is not a pleasant
Duo nodded, head cocked a little to one side. He had stopped stacking
and Milliardo noted that placing another object on the tower would have
definitely made it tumble. Duo peered at Milliardo from behind its shelter
as if he were finding comfort in it, and Milliardo found himself wishing
for a tower of his own. He wasn't the type of man to air his life in a
public place, or to reveal it to people even in private, for that matter.
He had certainly never told anyone how he had felt about his treatment
by the people of his own country. He suspected that he had never talked
about it before, because he couldn't help feeling that he didn't have
the right to complain about any treatment he received.
"Thank you," Duo said softly.
Milliardo was confused.
"For trusting me," Duo clarified and smiled.
Milliardo met his eyes steadily. "I think that you've more than proven
to me that I can. You have a strong sense of duty and honor."
Duo's mouth quirked. "So do you. Maybe that's what draws us together?
We have very different backgrounds, but we both give every ounce of ourselves
for what we believe in."
Milliardo nodded. "I did find it... strange that I was drawn to you. We
do seem so different. My reluctance to become involved had a great deal
to do with my confusion on that matter."
Duo sipped his soda and looked at Milliardo over the rim of his glass.
His eyes were clearly saying, 'That's not all and you know it.' but he
refrained from saying it. They had found common ground and Duo wasn't
about to make it a quagmire by delving deeper than they were ready for.
Duo's cell phone beeped. He pulled it out of his pocket with a sigh and
said without asking who was on the other end of the call, "We're just
about to leave, Heero. Relax." He listened for a moment and then smiled
softly, "I know. I know. I'll be careful. You know Mil will be watching
my back. I know you trust him, so, be patient and make sure you eat YOUR
lunch. I don't wanna hear your stomach growling for the rest of the day."
Another pause and then Duo chuckled and hung up his phone. He looked up
at Milliardo apologetically. "I hope that you want to get used to that?"
"Having Heero Yuy as your shadow?" Milliardo clarified and couldn't help
feeling a sharp pang of jealousy. Duo's _expression had been so warm and...
loving? Milliardo didn't want to think that last, but he couldn't help
Duo's smile faded and he suddenly looked pensive as he said, "Our close
relationship pretty much sunk all the efforts I made to have a love life.
It's hard for people to understand." He looked at Milliardo closely, trying
to guess what he was thinking. "I know that look," he said at last. He
stirred his soda with his straw and then let it go abruptly. "Maybe we
should get back?"
"Why aren't you lovers?" Milliardo asked bluntly, wanting to know, wanting
it plain between them. "You are so close. You live together. You work
together. You don't like to be out of each other's sight. I see your _expression
when you talk to him. What keeps you from taking the last step? Why should
I not think that your closeness to another man won't compromise what ever
relationship we attempt?"
Duo had been in the process of rising from his seat. He sat down again
with a thump and lifted one cinnamon eyebrow. "Just when I think you're
shy... Okay, you want it straight? Me and Heero tried, okay? We climbed
into bed with each other and both of us had our first time together. We
screwed for about a week and then realized that that's all it was going
to be, just screwing. He didn't enjoy it. He didn't want it. He didn't
find me a turn on. I was a complete turn off sexually. Once we sorted
out that two guys CAN be that close and NOT want to be lovers, we ended
up where we are right now. We are the closest of friends, end of story.
Heero is NOT your competition and never will be."
Milliardo digested those words and found more questions that needed answers.
Like Duo though, he refrained. They couldn't work through everything in
one hour in a restaurant. "I understand," Milliardo said and it sounded
like an inadequate, and a somewhat disingenuous, response, but Duo seemed
willing to accept it for what it was.
Duo tossed some credits onto the table for the tip and the bill and stood
up, stretching and smiling again. "I feel like I've had a work out."
Milliardo replaced some of the credits with his own and slid half of Duo's
back to him. Duo took them with a chuckle, saying, "I could argue, since
I'm the one that suggested this place, but I think I've figured out that
we're both stubborn. It might make us late. "
Milliardo smiled, some of the tension leaving him. Duo's humor was always
good for that. It was a true gift, Milliardo thought. It was then that
he saw a man standing at the open front door suddenly turn and leave.
Milliardo's tension instantly returned, his soldier's senses going on
the alert, even as his mind tried to reason with it. This wasn't the war,
it said, he didn't need to be suspicious of every one. Milliardo Peacecraft
and an ex Gundam pilot were worth a few stares. He should have been used
"You saw him too?" Duo asked under his breath and Milliardo looked down
into Duo's concerned eyes.
"Yes," Milliardo replied, "but we shouldn't be so suspicious."
"Don't let Heero ever hear you say that," Duo warned and it was only half
a joke. "We aren't like everyone else and you know it. We have to be careful."
"He may have been a reporter," Milliardo suggested. "I think someone would
pay good money to know that the brother of Relena Peacecraft had gone
to a simple restaurant with a young man." He studied Duo as Duo realized
the implications of that, the potential of having his picture plastered
and labeled with unflattering gossip on every newsstand. "I hope that
you can get used to that?" Milliardo asked, repeating Duo's words to him.
Duo didn't answer immediately and that let Milliardo know that his reply
wasn't a reflexive denial. "I used to feel sorry for Trowa," Duo said,
"I've seen his face on the front of a few papers, because of his relationship
with Quatre Winner. I always wondered how I'd handle it. I guess I'm going
to find out." It was an admission of how much he was interested in Milliardo
and Milliardo felt a sudden warmth, an affirmation that his own interest
wasn't in vain.
"Just in case he turns out NOT to be a reporter, and he wants our livers
raw," Duo said with a humorous wrinkle of his nose, "I'll stay left and
you stay right."
Milliardo nodded, understanding. Duo wanted to be certain that they knew
each other's positions to avoid accidentally hurting each other if they
suddenly found themselves attacked. At that moment, Milliardo was hoping
that it was just a nosy reporter with a vid camera. He didn't want that
moment to be marred by violence and, he thought at a deeper level, he
didn't want Heero's trust in him, his willingness to allow Duo out of
his sight to go with him, to turn out to be a mistake. Milliardo didn't
relish pursuing any relationship with Duo under the intense blue eyes
of that man.
A clear shot to the car, that's all Milliardo wished for as they went
through the door of the restaurant. He tensed when he saw a van parked
beside it, blocking it neatly from view. There was a wall on the other
side of the car as well. A perfect screen to keep anyone from seeing if-
"I know," Duo said self deprecatingly. "I shouldn't have parked near the
wall. I know better. It's too easy to block a car in that position."
Milliardo replied, his eyes scanning the parking lot, "This is peacetime.
You are supposed to be free of having to think about such things."
Duo looked up at him and gave a snort. "I think the only real 'peace'
is in heaven, Mil, and I'm not ready to die just yet to have it, so I'll
kick myself instead and promise to be more paranoid next time."
"We could call for a cab and avoid this," Milliardo offered.
Duo laughed, "We're the police, Mil. If there is going to be trouble-"
"If we are going to be the cause of that trouble, then we should stop
it before it starts," Milliardo pointed out. "That's part of our jobs
Duo's _expression firmed and he suddenly went from being a 'date' to being
a Preventer agent in a heartbeat. It told Milliardo that he was taking
the situation at a worse case scenario. "Your orders, sir?"
Milliardo reached under his coat and took off the safety on his gun. He
raised eyebrows as Duo checked two places on his own body and then touched
his wrists, letting Milliardo know that he carried knives as well under
his long sleeved uniform.
"If we are going to be attacked, then they are already watching us," Milliardo
said. "Tactics would be useless."
"Frontal assault?" Duo wondered without a hint of fear.
"Yes, but we still need to catch them off guard," Milliardo replied. "I
want you to loudly reassure me that I'm being paranoid and act the fool
as we walk up to your car. Walk wide of the van. Keep several paces from
me and slightly ahead so that you have a clear shot."
"Roger that," Duo said without question. "Any other orders?"
Milliardo checked his watch and replied sourly, "I don't want to be late
Duo laughed. "Roger that too, sir."
"Go, Maxwell," Milliardo ordered briskly and made a move as if he were
returning to the restaurant.
"Oh, come on, Mil!" Duo said loudly. "You are such a worry wart! This
is peacetime! We're as safe as a ship in dry dock! If you keep worrying
like this, you're gonna die young man! You gotta relax like me and have
Milliardo turned, still looking reluctant, and it wasn't all faked.
"Mil!" Duo drawled. "Come on! We're gonna be late and Sally Po's gonna
chew us out! Nothing's wrong!"
Duo was grinning and waving for Milliardo to follow him. He looked and
sounded like a fool, playing his part with his usual outgoing flair. Milliardo
made a show of giving in and following him, his mind working on a dozen
different outcomes and backup strategies, as they made their way across
the parking lot.
"I told you that they had good food," Duo was saying as he moved to the
left, covering up the action with the hyper gesturing of his hands and
his attempts to turn and look at Milliardo as he talked. "You have to
try the ribs next time though. The spices they use are just the best and
the meat just melts in your mouth! Frankie in the kitchen, he's a good
friend of mine, he'll treat you right if I tell him too. It'll be the
best you have ever had!"
Milliardo couldn't hold up his end of the conversation, so he nodded to
whatever Duo was saying, and hoped that it was enough. His heart was thudding
in his chest as they approached the van. Instinct told him that he was
right, that it was a trap, and one he knew he had to trip in order to
take the perpetrators into custody. Knowing what his duty was, though,
and putting Duo into harm's way, was turning out to be harder than Milliardo
imagined. Milliardo's heart was arguing with his head and trying to force
him to stop and to tell Duo that they needed to avoid the confrontation.
His head had ample ammunition to counter it. Milliardo knew that if they
didn't trip the trap, some unsuspecting citizen might. If someone was
waiting on a hair trigger on the other side of that van, then it was possible
that they would shoot at any target that presented itself. Milliardo couldn't
let that happen.
The logic of that argument should have been enough to silence Milliardo's
reluctance, but it didn't. As he watched Duo slip hands under his uniform
and pull out his guns, preparing to be the first to enter the line of
fire, Milliardo felt a chill travel up his spine. When Duo grinned and
winked at him, his face flushed with the thrill of action, and stepped
past the van, it was all Milliardo could do not to reach out and make
Milliardo was three steps behind Duo, knowing that he had to give the
man room to fire and to avoid whatever was on the other side of the van.
That precaution proved well founded when they were attacked instantly.
Duo was able to duck easily without tangling with Milliardo and avoid
a long board that cut the air where his head had been. Milliardo stumbled
back to avoid the same board as it followed through in it's deadly arc.
"You're going down, you and that murdering bastard!" a voice shouted.
Milliardo saw a burly man, with his face twisted in an _expression of
pure hate, rush Duo, but Duo was already straightening from his crouch.
He kicked out, sinking his booted foot into his attacker. That man fell,
and Duo aimed his two guns at the group of men standing just past their
"Freeze!" Duo shouted. "One move and I'll-"
The men rushed forward. Milliardo saw an _expression on Duo's face, a
moment where he lost it, perhaps going back in time to that other place,
that other confrontation where he had been beaten and tortured almost
to death. Duo took a shuddering breath and then fired his guns.
Milliardo gritted his teeth in trepidation as he aimed along the barrel
of his own gun, but then noted with relief that Duo's bullets had struck
legs and arms and not vital organs. The young man was in control of himself.
This wasn't going to be a massacre.
Milliardo fired his own gun twice before he realized that the men weren't
going to stop. That startled Milliardo. He had thought that they would
either panic and run or give up at the first blaze of gun fire. When he
saw the pure hate for him in their eyes, Milliardo understood then. Their
hatred for him was so great that they were willing to die to reach him.
"Sir?!" Duo shouted, asking to use deadly force.
"No!" Milliardo shouted back and that was all that he could manage to
say before he was forced to holster his gun and defend himself. Their
attackers weren't trained or well armed. All were dressed in the blue
uniform of government service workers. As Milliardo took his man down
with a sweep of one arm, to deflect the man's fist, and a hard karate
kick to the man's genitals, he surmised that the man who had glared at
them in the restaurant doorway had gone back to his place of work and
rounded up these men, bringing them back and setting up his trap. What
they had in common, why so many men who worked at the same job had such
an intense hatred of Milliardo, was something he needed to investigate
Milliardo took out another man, slamming the heel of his hand up under
the man's chin. That man dropped, unconscious, but the other men stepped
over him and kept advancing. Milliardo dropped back a few steps to position
himself for a defense, but just then, Duo came rushing by him. The small,
wiry man was a devastating whirlwind. His feet landed bone crunching blows
into their attackers. He spun and jumped, as if he were on springs, to
chop and punch at them. The men fell, blood splattering and cries filling
the air. Soon, there was no one standing but Milliardo and Duo.
Duo pulled out his cell phone then and called for a police patrol. He
and Milliardo waited for them to arrive, alert and weapons ready, making
certain that the wounded men didn't try and renew the fight. When the
patrol arrived, shocked at the damage and amazed that two lone men had
caused it, it was Milliardo's reputation and rank that made quick work
of the arrest and allowed Duo and himself to leave the scene without wading
through reports and paperwork.
Driving back to headquarters, Milliardo knew that they were both still
on an adrenalin high. Looking over at Duo in the driver's seat, Milliardo
could see that Duo's color was up and that his eyes were sparkling. He
was grinning and, at that moment, he looked wild and passionate. Milliardo
knew that the echo of it was in his own face.
When Duo glanced at Milliardo, the young man's smile turned warm and affectionate.
It was almost the same smile that he had given to Heero when he had talked
on the phone with the man, but it ran much deeper than that, much warmer.
Milliardo had a feeling, perhaps sensing some excitement and uncertainty
in Duo, that he had never given that particular smile to anyone else.
Duo pulled into the parking garage of Preventer Headquarters and found
a parking space. Turning off the engine, he turned to Milliardo and began
to say something. Without thought, Milliardo reached out and hooked a
hand behind Duo's neck. His fingers felt the soft nape of Duo's cinnamon
colored hair as he pulled Duo to him. Their lips met and it felt like
being struck by lightning, a force so strong that Milliardo felt as if
it were searing him to the bone, as he hungrily plundered Duo's mouth
with his own.
Duo hung in his grip and Milliardo felt him tremble, but Duo's arm slid
around Milliardo's waist and pulled him closer, giving Milliardo his permission
to continue. The kiss seemed to last an eternity and neither one of them,
it seemed, wanted it to end. For once, Milliardo didn't consider consequences.
He let the future twist in the breeze as he discovered the other half
of his soul in Duo Maxwell. Before that moment, Milliardo would have scoffed
at such a patently ridiculous notion, but nothing else adequately explained
the powerful feeling he was having just then.
Milliardo broke the kiss at last and stared into Duo's eyes. They were
soft wells of amethyst and they searched Milliardo's blue eyes for something,
Duo's expression very serious. "I think...," Duo said in a whisper, "that
I've fallen hard for you, Mil."
Milliardo knew what Duo wanted, knew what he was searching for. Milliardo
replied in the same whisper, as if it were a great secret between them,
"That's good, because I feel the same way about you, Duo."
[part 13] [back to