by: Kracken
Disclaimer: I don't own them and I don't make any money off of them.
Warnings: Male/Male sex, graphic, language, violence

Tin Soldiers series + Part 1
Got Ya

The sun shone in my face, bright and obnoxious. I struggled against it's prying rays, squeezing my eyes shut and slamming my pillow over my head. It's the pillow that reminded me of last night. It had HIS scent on it, cheap liquor and stale cigarettes. Shit! I pried an eye open and peeked out from under the concealment of the pillow.

The space next to me was empty, blankets thrown back, and an impression of a body still there for me to see. The nightstand beyond that, next to that side of the bed, held two empty glasses, an ashtray full of cigarette butts, and a bottle of something ...

"You, Duo Maxwell, are a first class idiot!" I said to myself viciously as I did a push up off the bed and tossed the pillow away from me.

I stalked to the long, narrow, window, threw back the half open curtain, and leaned against the sun warmed surface to stare down at the busy street below. I didn't care that I was nude. I didn't care that everyone and God could see me. All I cared about was seeing that red sports car out front gone. It was and I sighed with relief as I thrust away from the glass and glared at nothing very hard.

That glaring at nothing didn't last long and I was forced to confront the leftovers of having made a very bad decision. There were three condoms on the floor, all of them used. A tube of lube was hiding among the sheets. An undershirt, not mine, was tumbled over a chair. The room smelled of HIM, was claimed by him through these discarded items of his conquest and the pain in my backside. He had left, without a word, grinning that grin of his, probably, and eager to tell someone at work how he had ... I grunted, yeah, right! How many people could he tell that he had humped Duo Maxwell, Preventer extraordinaire? I could think of three. One of them wouldn't care and the other two would be disappointed in me, right before they smashed HIS face in for talking trash about me.

I'm not a slut, by the way, so stop thinking that right now. I'm picky as hell and probably not many people even know I'm gay. I AM a guy though, and for guys, losing one's virginity is something you do early on and are damned proud of it when you do. Sometimes, I do take a roll in the sheets when someone strikes my fancy and I can't say I'm sorry about any of them. This guy though.... He was WRONG, yeah, spelled with capitol letters, and I couldn't help thinking that last night was going to come back to bite me in the ass.

Why was he so wrong, you ask? I don't have to think hard about that one. Making out with your partner on a stake out is a standard joke on any force, but no one really expects two professionals to do it. I guess I wasn't very professional last night, and neither was he.

I want to completely blame myself, but it's hard. Gerald Filmore is sex on two legs. Strong...big... dark.. chiseled chin... steely blue eyes... rakish, dark hair... shoulders that are wide and rounded... an ass that... well, you get the picture. A wet dream's dream, basically. When a guy like that breathes sweet stuff into your ear and sticks a hand down your pants, you suddenly forget all about that 'professionals don't do that sort of thing' business. At least we just groped until our shift was over and I took him back to my place. Bad boy, Duo, right? Yeah, well, I guess my brain wasn't the one doing the thinking last night.

I cleaned up, threw everything into the garbage, including his undershirt. I did find a note then, tucked under the ashtray. I won't tell you what it said. It was pretty damned crude and appreciative of a certain skill I had prided myself on up until that moment. He made it seem like a prostitute's trick and I wondered if I could ever do it again without remembering how sick to my stomach I felt just then.

No, Duo Maxwell did not feel very proud of himself at the moment and it was hard for me to take the vid clip out of the drawer where I had guiltily placed it last night. I caressed it, grimacing.

"Sorry about that, Heero," I said softly, "but you didn't need to see that last night."

I took the vid clip and set it at the center of the tiny table that was tucked into my bare bones kitchen. There were two chairs there, but the second one never seemed to get any use. I made a strong pot of coffee, slathered a copious amount of cream cheese onto a stale bagel, and then, steaming coffee mug in one hand and a plate of breakfast in the other, I sat in front of the vid clip.

It was hard to turn it on. I felt guilt and even a bit of fear, as if the image contained within the clip was going to judge me and judge me harshly. Stupid, isn't it? Okay, you're thinking 'crazy', I know, but it gets even better. Wait for it.

I finally turn on the clip, my hands sweaty, and up pops the three D image of Heero Yuy. I remember the day I took it. Stealthy. That's my middle name when I want it to be. I snuck up on that perfect, hunk of teenager, the one I had been, at the time, tossing and turning in my Gundam in absolute lust and love over, and found him... well, he'd been sitting on the foot of his Gundam looking, for once, absolutely calm and relaxed. Dressed in that tight spandex, and wearing that awful green shirt, he had been leaning forward, chin on fist, elbow propped on one knee, staring off into space with those deep, intense, blue eyes. He had looked as if he were thinking about something... maybe thinking of something pleasant for once. Handsome. My dreams in the flesh. I couldn't resist. I snapped the photo and here it is, still my most prized possession. Heh, that doesn't sound so crazy, but, like I said, it gets better.

I'm twenty two now, a career man. Sure I wandered aimlessly for awhile, working stupid jobs, lacking any real goal or motivation, until Sally Po called me up one day and told me that she had a sticky situation on her hands that required the skills of a certain Duo Maxwell. I completed the mission without a hitch and found my calling at the same time. I have a reputation now, 'The Can Do MAN'. Think it's impossible? Maxwell will get it done for you. Yet... here I was, doing what I did every morning... hell, doing what I did every night too after work, talking and having a weird relationship with a vid clip with the image of Heero Yuy on it.

Freaked now? Tell me about it! I'm twenty two. He's fifteen in the picture. How sick is THAT? Knowing he wasn't fifteen now, where ever he was, didn't make me feel any more comfortable about it, let me tell you. Sometimes, I consider destroying the thing and getting a pet, or a real live in lover, but it's always only for a second, before horror sets in at the very thought of never seeing those intense eyes again, never seeing that soft expression, never seeing the small upturn of one side of his mouth... Yeah, I've had years to stare at the thing. I probably know every zit and mole on his body by now.

"Morning, Heero." I toast the picture with my coffee mug and make small talk, No, not about last night. I don't want him to know about that, remember? He listens, just like he always does, and that ghost of a smile looks like it's for me. I feel better, just like I always do, and I come away from the conversation feeling like I can handle one more day of catching the bad guys. I even think I can face a guy I'd rather never see again.

Finishing my breakfast, I throw the dishes into the sink, get dressed, tighten my tie, grab my car keys, and then turn off the vid clip, but not without a, "See you tonight, honey."

Go ahead and say it. Who can blame you... but, ya know, who can blame me? I've had a pretty screwed up life. Everyone I ever cared about died and I can't seem to find anyone to hang around me for long now, least not anyone I care a lot about. Why not have a little vid clip teddy bear that never ages, never gets worn out, or loses it's fuzz? Okay, I could have said lover, but I won't go that far. I'll fool myself instead and say 'teddy bear'. I feel less like a loser then... though it's splitting hairs pretty damned close.

I take a last look around the apartment, wrinkle my nose at the smell of HIM still lingering in the air, and then go, but not without the same regret I have every day; that I don't dare take Heero with me and leave that damned vid clip on all the time. That WOULD be just plain nuts , so I just won't go there.


"Long haired freak!"

'Asshole"

"Freak!"

"Is that all ya got?"

"Just give me the damned two dollars!"

"Just give me the damned hot dog!"

We faced off just like we did every day at lunch time, me and Freddy the street vendor; gnarly goat of a Hungarian in a pair of shorts and a sweaty, greasy undershirt. His one good eye squinted at me sourly as he slapped together my hot dog; chili, relish, ketchup, and hot sauce. He hated homosexuals and he knew I was one, but he also grudgingly liked me as a person, too, and he couldn't quite reconcile the two, so we had our little ritual exchange where I got a hot dog and he got to listen to a few of my jokes and have my big grin brighten his day a bit. The barrage of insults was just to keep everything in the manhood department kosher for poor old Freddy. He didn't really mean them... at least I didn't think he did.

As I turned away and followed my bemused companion, who had witnessed Freddy's brand of 'customer service' before, to a nearby park bench, we were shadowed by nervous security guards. My companion was not just anyone, and he was definitely not the type of man to grab a hot dog from some dubious merchant on the side of the road. Quatre Winner was my friend though and he knew that having lunch with me meant grabbing a bite on the cheap. I made good money, but he knew I was saving for better things.

Ah, you're confused aren't you? Did you think I was satisfied with my life? Rewind to me getting up after having been screwed stupid by a guy I shouldn't have touched with a ten foot 'bad idea' stick. Did you also miss the part where my main squeeze is a vid clip of a fifteen year old crush? Yeah, things have not been going well on the domestic side of my life. I had been saving up with some wild idea of retiring obscenely young and lounging on an Earth beach in front of my own bungalow... Okay, I'm young enough to still have wild, 'panty raid' and 'toga party' type dreams, so sue me. Now, especially after reflecting on last night, I had a different dream entirely... and no, I'm not going to tell you what it is yet. I'm still trying to figure out a good way to explain it so that it doesn't sound completely crazy. That may take awhile.

Quatre sat primly on the bench and stared with big blue eyes at my hot dog. "That looks..."

"Terrible, I know, and it would probably taste awful to you, too," I said with a grin, "But I happen to think it is heaven on a bun."

"It's going to eat out your stomach," Quatre warned jokingly and then looked around him. "I don't know why you insist on getting food from that man and sitting here. It's not very relaxing."

I glanced around. I really hadn't noticed the area. It had a few trees and a few benches, but it was too close to the busy road and the choking fumes to really be pleasant. "We can go back to my office, if you want to." I suggested.

Quatre smiled. "No, this is fine," he replied politely.

He looked out of place in his expensive suit. His blonde hair was still bright and his eyes were still wide and innocent looking, but his face had settled into more masculine planes and angles, and his lips were usually set in a firmer line now. He was the head of the Winner family, its only male heir, and he had an important position in Relena Peacecraft's government. He was also an advisor to the Preventers and he had his own office in the organization's main complex. It was hard to square that important man with the one that I knew only as the pilot of Sandrock and my war time buddy. Sitting beside me, I could smell some overly spicy cologne on Quatre and I could see a pimple just under his chin. Defects; the things that made him a man just like me. I always looked for them when we hooked up for one reason or another, so that I wouldn't start seeing him as someone I didn't belong with. When you're a street child like me, from the slums of L2, thoughts like that come easy and often.

"Well?" I prompted when Quatre seemed reluctant to go on. There was a code, I suppose, that was uniquely a part of where Quatre had been raised. Polite conversation first, a meal second, and then business last. I only had an hour for lunch. "What did you want to see me about, Qat?"

Quatre blushed and clasped his hands together as if he were about to offer a prayer. "I wish that I could have waited until a more appropriate time to ask you this, but I have associates eager for your answer."

I set aside my hot dog, put hands behind my head, sinking back into the bench in a relaxed pose. I grinned at Quatre. "Shoot."

"This would be outside of Preventer channels," Quatre began.

"Of course," I replied. "Otherwise we'd be in Sally Po's office talking about this. What I want to know is, why are we out here on a park bench talking about it? It can't be anything top secret, right?"

Quatre smiled and shook his head, picking at something on his sleeve. "I have a job for you."

"Yes?"

"It's on Earth," Quatre said, and yes, I was hoping with every molecule in my body for him to say, "In a sleepy coastal city near the Sanq Kingdom." It took me a moment to realize that he HAD said it. Of course, it was just too much to hope that a bungalow on the beach would come with the job, but he was close. "I can provide you with an apartment, a vehicle, and a modest expense account."

"Near the water?" I asked. Okay, so I dared to be pushy when it came to having my dreams fulfilled.

"If you like, it can be on the beach," Quatre replied agreeably. He looked mildly amused. "I didn't know that you liked the water."

"That time that I spent floating around on Howard's barge on Earth, gave me a chance to fall in love with the ocean," I told him. "I always wanted to go back and be near it again."

Quatre chuckled. "Not on it? I can get you a house boat."

I shook my head, no, and laughed as well. "I like my feet on land when I go to sleep, thank you very much. The shore is close enough to the water for me."

Quatre nodded, understanding that, but then he said, "Well, would you like to know what the job is now?"

"I've been waiting, Qat."

Quatre chuckled and loosened his tie as he turned and leaned close to me. It looked like we were sharing a lover's secret. His guards were probably getting nervous and embarrassed.

"I'm forming up an elite group," Quatre said. "I have experts in all fields training them. Well, in all fields, but one, and that's really the most important one if they are to be effective."

"Infiltration," I guessed and was intrigued. "Why not just use the Preventers?"

Quatre looked troubled and he glanced around us to make certain that no one was close enough to hear. "The Preventers has become a large, diverse organization. Security breaches have become common. There are groups that still don't acknowledge the peace or Relena Peacecraft's leadership. We've been able to police them with the Preventer forces, but some of them have gone deeply underground and they have been strangely one step ahead of us."

"So, you're going outside of regular channels to do this," I guessed and felt a thrill. I had always hated regimented authority. Though I had basked in my position with the Preventers as resident Gundam Hero slash agent extraordinaire, the day to day grind, and being forced to wear a uniform, had bothered me a lot.

"I'm your man!" I said without hesitation. "When do I start and do you have plane tickets ready?"

Quatre blinked, but he then nodded and looked sympathetic. "I suspected that you weren't very happy here, Duo. Perhaps this will give you a chance to meet new people and to..." yeah, he went on and on about starting a new life and meeting new people, but my main reaction was, 'Oh, shit! He saw me go home with Gerald Filmore!' I wanted to sink through the wooden slats of the bench. I know my face was red. Quatre was so cultured and so... so... well, above screwing people for the sake of screwing. I was too, for the most part, but I'm sure he wasn't aware of that after seeing me sniffing after Agent Loser.

"Duo...," Quatre said gently and I came back to myself to see him very close, his spicy cologne overwhelming me and his big blue eyes so soft and warm right before my face. He patted my hand. "We all make mistakes."

You might think that was pretty damned condescending, or that he was treating me like a bad little kid, but, well, hell, I deserved it and then some. "I'm not making THAT one again, " I said and he nodded, relieved. We understood each other. Quatre was a good friend.

Quatre handed me a book of tickets, an envelope with instructions, and a credit card. "Everything is on the Winner account, but," He waggled his finger warningly, even though he softened it with a joking smile, "Don't take advantage of it, all right? Be at your destination by the end of this month."

"Will do!" I said as I grabbed the things from him and picked up my hot dog. I checked my watch and stood up. "Gotta go. Lunch time's almost over. Thanks for giving me the job, Quatre."

"You're one of the best," Quatre replied as he stood as well and smoothed his clothes with slim hands. "Who else would I ask to train people who I want to be the best as well?"

"Aw, shucks!" I laughed, "You're going to give me a swelled head."

"But it's the truth," Quatre replied with a laugh, "and you know it too, Duo."

I grinned, "Yeah, I do," I replied cheekily. "See ya around, Qat!"

"Yes, you will," Quatre replied, as if it were a solemn promise, and turned to join his nervous guards.

A new life, I thought to myself in amazement, delivered nice and neat in under an hour. How quickly life changed, but I was all too familiar with that. My life had been full of drastic changes from birth.

"We're going to the beach, Heero," I whispered. "I hope you like sand and surf."

Don't look at me that way! I was joking! I don't really think vid clips have personal preferences, okay?

A place on the beach. Quatre had just given me one of my dreams on a silver platter. Now I didn't have to keep saving my money to pay for that other life changing idea I had come up with. What? You want to know what it was? Hm, well, it's seems pretty stupid now that I think about it, but what young guy doesn't dream of a penthouse on L4 with a view of the most decadent fun spot on Earth or in Space? Hey, I am a red blooded, hormone overloaded young guy. Partying every night, and seeing an endless stream of scantily clad guys in the spas and resorts, just seemed a pretty damned good retirement idea to me. I guess I have to put both feet on the ground though and settle for a working version of that dream based in reality, still, not too shabby, not too shabby at all.

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