Disclaimer: I don't own them and I don't make any money off of them.
Warnings: Male/Male sex, graphic, language, violence
Soldiers series + Part 3
Stir It Up
So, I had my day of doing nothing.
I was young, it was a beach, there were scantily clad bodies everywhere,
and everything went on the Winner account. It should have been a recipe
for instant bliss. Instead, I found myself haunting my new home, working
on my mountain of empty soda cans, and seeing how many places delivered
to a bungalow on the beach. I interspersed that with sleeping and staring
off into space thinking about... well, you know who. I couldn't get Mr.
Sullen's blue eyes out of my thoughts no matter how distracting the scenery
outside my window was.
"You are such a dumbshit!" I pinched my arm hard to punish my own stupidity.
Pacing the small living space in my shorts, and a tee shirt that barely
covered me to the navel, I stopped in front of the one mirror; a full
length job nailed to the back of the bathroom door. I glared at my reflection.
Long legs, wiry build, nice, rounded shoulders, an ass that wouldn't quit,
and a face... well, I didn't have to be vain about that. Enough people
have told me that I'm pretty damned handsome.
"I can have anyone."
Yeah, I was talking to the room. Can we say, 'Duo Maxwell has issues?'
Well, you spend a lot of time alone and see if you don't start talking
to your four walls too. What was stupid about that, though, was that I
didn't have to be alone. I'm funny. I'm charming. I'm handsome. I'm a
good friend. I'm the kind of guy anyone would want to hang out with. If
I had wanted it, I could have had a long list of parties and get togethers
on my itinerary. Like that word? 'Itinerary?' I picked it up from Quatre.
Of course, I had to look it up to see what it meant. Why can't the guy
just say 'calendar' or 'schedule' like everyone else? Oh, okay, I'm straying
from the subject. Let's get back to why my life is so sorry assed lonely.
It's pretty simple, really, I'm not just a friendly smile and a good hand
shaker. I'm an ex terrorist. I've killed more people than you probably
see on a city street in a week. If you don't think that leaves some marks,
or that it doesn't get you a reputation, I've got news for you! Being
introduced as, Mr. Maxwell, one of the Gundam pilots who fought in the
war, is almost always followed up by people making a wide space around
you and asking about their coats and car keys. Partying with a killer
is not usually on anyone's itinerary ... sorry, I just love using that
So, my schedule is pretty much open. I get other ex soldiers who want
to rub elbows from time to time, but they always want to trade war stories
and I try and stay clear of that shit. Then you have freaks who think
it's thrilling to be around someone as 'dangerous' as me. I get the' my
skin is crawling' feeling pretty quick. I do get people who honestly don't
think about the past, and just take me for what I am, but they are pretty
few and far between. I laid a couple, made friends out of some more, but
I always managed to say or do something, eventually, that made the hair
stand up on the heads of those innocent souls. They never stayed around
long after that. I can't blame them either. When you think you're friends
with a happy go lucky cat, and you suddenly have the wool over your eyes
yanked off to reveal the bloody tiger underneath, you tend to start thinking
about getting away from the big claws.
So, 'normal' people were out as potential friends. That left only the
people I had fought a war with. That carried it's own kind of baggage.
We were friends, we had 'get togethers' but we didn't stay together long.
Quatre was the one closest to me, with Trowa, of course, being a close
second... though, I have to say, what he thinks of me is some kind of
deep dark secret, because he hardly talks and he has a smile that could
mean just freaking ANYTHING. I used to think it was a 'cat with cream'
kind of smile, and who wouldn't be smiling like that if they were getting
some on a regular basis with the most important man in space and on Earth?
The richest guy anywhere? A guy who really, really loved him? I guess
I sort of respected Trowa for not taking advantage of that. He stayed
with his circus, doing special assignments for the Preventers only once
in awhile. I never saw him do anything flashy money wise. I don't think
I could have been that pure. I'd like to think that I had it in me, but...
Well, let's not go there. I have enough to think about without examining
my morals too. Back to my friends...
Wu Fei is a nice guy, a bit up tight, a bit of a temper, but, on the whole,
not a bad guy at all. I used to wonder why the doctors had chosen maladjusted,
fifteen year old, homosexuals for Gundam pilots, but, after meeting Wu
Fei, my intricate theories on the subject had been blasted into space
dust. Wu Fei's a complicated personality and, for awhile, he didn't have
eyes for anyone but his Gundam. After we destroyed them, though, he turned
into a different kind of guy. He went back to school, became a bit of
a scholar, dabbled in special forces, and hooked up with Sally Po and
married. Yeah, she's a bit older than him, but not by much, and I think
having her and the three kids did a lot towards getting him at least to
the outskirts of 'normal'. That's more than I can say for the rest of
us. A circus clown, a Preventer Agent daredevil, and a man who owns just
about EVERYTHING don't even flirt with 'normal' I'm afraid.
You're probably thinking, 'What about Heero?', but there is a reason why
I left ole' Heero out. I wasn't sure just what he'd been doing all this
time. Military ops, most likely, because the guy could never stop from
riding the edge during the war. I couldn't see him punching a nine to
five clock, selling insurance, now. A guy like that wouldn't have jumped
at Quatre's offer anyway.
Yeah, I know, I've been happily deluding myself all of this time about
what Heero was like. I probably shouldn't try to pretend to be an expert
now. He'd found me groping and being groped by that beach bum, forget
that I tried to remember that I wasn't a slut after the fact. Heero was
probably thinking some pretty shitty things about me right now. Maybe
he'd had some false notion of what I was like too and he'd had his bubble
bust as rudely as I had? It would explain the attitude he had copped,
the one that had burned off a few layers of my self esteem and had burned
my illusions about him to a crisp.
"Bet you're lonely too," I said to the angry image of Heero in my head.
"You didn't even try and keep us guys as friends. You just went off and
did your own thing. Maybe, now, you get that we're all there is for each
other? Maybe that's why you decided on this assignment? Maybe you wanted
to start a new life just like me?" I studied the angry face in my memory
and then I groaned and threw myself face down on the bed, running smack
dab into a possibility that I didn't want to acknowledge. Maybe Heero
really WAS an asshole.
I decided that my next impression wasn't going to be a bad one. If Heero
Yuy was going to decide that I wasn't worth the air I was breathing, then
it was going to be because he was a jerk, not because of anything I was
going to do. Quatre had said not to mind him, that Heero's opinion wasn't
going to change his mind about having me on staff, but... I couldn't help
wondering about that. In a situation where lives depended on me being
able to do my job right, I couldn't see Quatre not being cautious, not
second guessing his decision if someone like Heero had something negative
I remember Heero being a perfectionist during the war. The guy never cut
himself any slack. I'd seen what he was capable of when he had thought
that he hadn't completed a mission. It sent a chill up my spine even now,
remembering how he had jumped from a high building and simply fallen,
trying to commit suicide for his failure. I think that the only thing
that had stopped him that day, had been Relena Peacecraft screaming his
name, reminding him of his larger mission, the one where he had pledged
himself to defend peace. I was glad, then, that I'd saved that silly girl's
life, if for nothing more than to have a voice that could screech loud
enough where a falling man, six floors down, could hear.
If a man like Heero voiced an opinion that Duo Maxwell was an idiot, who
not only couldn't control himself, but had been unable to defend himself
against one untrained beach boy, then people were going to listen, even
if they did have trouble believing it. I couldn't help being pissed off
about that. Here I had thought that training the men would be the hard
part. I hadn't planned on having to prove myself on top of it, or having
to deal with the military version of 'office politics'. Quatre was going
to be between a rock and a hard place. He couldn't afford to lose either
Heero or me, so he was going to have to listen to Heero, and make Heero
feel that his opinion was valued, while not piling on me and letting me
know that Heero's opinion was full of shit. Okay, Quatre WOULDN'T think
that last part, but I'm mad enough to want to keep calling Heero every
damned thing in the book. Does it make me feel better? Hell no! It just
keeps twisting that razor point of disappointment right into my gut.
So, I didn't spend my last hours of free time basking in the sun and trying
to convince my body to change its internal clock, I spent it, instead,
worrying about what I was going to wear the next day and practicing what
I was going to say to Heero in the mirror. Pretty damned pathetic, right?
I really did need to find things to say, though, that didn't sound like
melodramatic soap opera spiel. I kept hearing a whine in my voice, hurt,
pure and simple, and an accusing tone that sounded as if I was a jilted
lover demanding... But, God! I really did feel that way! As much as it
makes me sound like a dumb ass, I was hurting and I did feel like a devoted
lover that had suddenly gotten a crack across the face. Even though it
had all been in my mind, and it wasn't Heero's fault that I had built
my personal life around a vid image, I still couldn't help that overwhelming
sense of betrayal. That feeling kept me awake for most of the night.
When morning came at last, I rolled out of bed and tried to convince myself
that I knew what I was doing. I pulled on my black dress pants, a white,
button down shirt, and my black ankle boots. I slung my briefcase over
one shoulder, a black leather satchel that contained a sandwich for lunch,
change for soda, a few video games, a couple of pens, and a pad of paper
that was covered with far more random doodles than any real information,
and then checked my look in the mirror one more time. Okay, I'll have
to admit right now that I'd done the 'mirror check' so many times that
morning that I was ready to check myself into a psych ward for obsessive
compulsive behavior. I was that determined to make a better impression.
As I looked myself over, promising myself irritably that this was THE
last time, I couldn't help thinking, 'You look like a damned geek.' I
did. A handsome geek, but still a geek. That particular look didn't suit
me at all. I liked casual clothes, jeans with holes at the knees, t-shirts
with band logos and smart assed sayings, boots, cargo shorts, and tanks.
Right then, I looked like I belonged in school. 'Sorry, I didn't get my
calculus homework done, Sister Mary Margeritte, the dog ate it.' I was
a kickass Gundam pilot, dammit! I unbuttoned the top of my shirt and changed
my boots to the silver ones with the gunmetal buckles. They looked almost
like army boots, over large with steel toes. They made me look edgy. I
grinned at my reflection. Screw geekdom.
There was a firm knock on my door. I refused to check my look again, took
a deep breath, and went to open it. There, in the doorway, stood Heero
Yuy dressed in a black and white business suit and dark sunglasses. His
car keys were fisted in one hand and he gave me a slow, measuring look
up and down.
"I'm here to drive you to the installation," Heero announced with a coldness
that could have made an iceberg shiver.
I had only one thought, 'Aw! Shit!' and I realized that I wasn't ready
for this at all.
Say something intelligent, Maxwell, I shouted inwardly at myself. Instead,
I found myself stammering, "Uh, okay, but... " I stopped, not sure how
to make sentences suddenly. It was the dark sunglasses, I decided numbly,
they covered up the only part of Heero that could have given me some hint
of how he was feeling towards me. His face wasn't any help at all. It
was like sanded stone; completely blank. I searched for something, some
clue, needing something to tell me where I stood with this man.
"Do you have an objection?" Heero prompted and I felt my face go hot.
"Quatre told me that you didn't have a car. If you've made other arrangements
"No," I managed to get out and then found something to say. "I'm just
surprised that he sent you instead of one of his thousands of staff members."
"I was given a place down the beach from yours by Quatre, " Heero explained.
"I am a more logical choice than sending a man all the way from the installation."
"Uh, yeah, I can understand that," I replied nervously and then kicked
myself, hard, mentally, right in the ass. This wasn't going well. If I
didn't find something to say that sounded more intelligent than vacuum,
then my second impression was going to be worse than my first... You can
shut up now, I KNOW there isn't much that could be worse than the first
impression, but I'm trying to forget about that, okay?
Heero checked his watch. "We need to go. We have exactly twenty minutes
to reach the installation before Quatre's meeting begins."
I mentally checked my internal map and raised an eyebrow. "That's cutting
it close. If there's traffic, we're screwed." I mentally winced. Great
going, Maxwell! Start off by chewing out the guy you're trying to impress.
I didn't think that stone could manage to look more stone like or that
blank could have an even blanker expression, but Heero managed it. His
cold voice said, "I have allowed for variables, but if you continue to
waste time, then we will be late."
"Oh, okay, sorry about that. Let's get going then." I hid behind a stream
of words, one tripping over the other, as I hitched my satchel higher
on my shoulder and motioned Heero to lead the way to his car. I imagined
a glare from behind those dark sunglasses of Heero's before he turned
and walked briskly along a pebble walkway to a paved area where the residents
of the small, beach community parked.
Shit! Shit! Shit! I swore at myself, get a grip. He's just a guy like
you. He brushes his teeth. He eats, drinks, takes a dump, and wears....
I studied the line that showed against the material of his pants. Heero
Yuy wears briefs. Imagining him without the pants, standing in his briefs,
I felt an instant hard on. Could it get any worse? Apparently it had.
I let my satchel drop and clasped it against the front of my pants. This
could NOT be happening to me! Heero was treating me like a complete waste
of space, acting like a total asshole, and doing a really good imitation
of deep freeze. Nothing about that man should have made a rocket in my
When we reached Heero's car, I saw that it was a very expensive, very
sleek, model. What else? It seemed that Heero had picked up a sense of
style. Remembering his penchant for lime green tank tops and spandex during
the war, and his unwillingness to even comb his hair, I had to wonder
what had motivated him to change... yeah, even as I was wondering how
to make Mr. Excitable in my pants calm down.
As I opened the passenger side door and slipped inside, I quickly looked
at the contents of Heero's car before Heero could walk around it and get
into the driver's seat. Computer, of course. Space link, double of course.
Cds... alternative... I read the titles over again. It was all loud, experimental,
on the cutting edge music. I blinked. I had heard some of the bands by
complete accident. I wouldn't have listened willingly to that kind of
stuff on my own. Seeing that Heero liked it, confused me... yeah, even
more than I already was. For some reason, I had pictured him... well,
not liking music at all. I'd never heard him listen to any... or do anything
else for pleasure come to think of it.
Heero got in and I pretended complete innocence with my satchel in my
lap, congratulating myself on losing an uncomfortable bulge, while he
started up the car and pulled out of the parking lot. Unfortunately, I
had congratulated myself too soon. You gotta know that young guys get
erections just watching paint dry. I was older though, dammit, and I expect
a bit more control out of myself, especially in such a very tense situation.
Other guys understand, really they do, but when a guy is with another
guy, and one of them gets excited, the other one has to wonder what he's
getting excited about. If one guy is straight, then he's pretty much hoping
it isn't because of him. Depending on the level of the straight guy's
tolerance for the homosexual part of that scenario, one can expect said
homosexual to get anything from an uncomfortable look to a full blown
punch in the face. Not sure about Heero's feelings about guys like me,
I wasn't going to lift up my satchel and let Heero see that Mr. Excitable
was now going crazy over the scent of his after shave.
Women's perfume makes me ill. It's always cloying, perfumey, or musky,
and it's geared toward exciting a whole 'nother set of sexual urges than
what I've got. Men's cologne and aftershave, on the other hand, is another
thing entirely. The scent is rich, sexy, masculine, and complete sensory
candy to my hormones. I found myself shifting uncomfortably in my black,
leather chair and trying to see Heero out of the corner of my eye while
I pretended to look at the scenery passing by. The combination of the
smell of cologne, black leather, pressed, business suit, and Heero's extremely
handsome looks, was enough to make me feel like one huge arousal.
'You are such a dumbass!' the little voice inside of my head sneered,
only it wasn't that little right then. I knew Heero was so far out of
my reach, he might as well have been on Mars colony. I had no chance,
now way, with Mr. Freeze. I was going to be lucky if I even developed
a working relationship with the man. Even that was going to get blown
out of the water if I didn't stop staring at the way his blue eyes caught
the light like sun on deep water and the way his broad, strong hands gripped
the leather covered steering wheel.
"So, I heard that you were working for Relena Peacecraft at one point,"
I said, desperate for anything to distract myself as I rolled down the
window and took a lung full of fresh salt laden, air. Letting it out and
catching the scent of dead fish, I wrinkled my nose gratefully and added,
"I guess that didn't work out for you." When I turned my head to see Heero's
expression, I caught his glance at me.
Heero's eyes were Goddamn laser beams! I could feel them burn my skin
off right through his sunglasses as he replied almost viciously, "That
is none of your business." He went back to staring ahead at the road,
but his hands on the steering wheel were tense and white.
I went cold. I had the feeling that my life had just been spared. I had
stepped on a Heero Yuy land mine, a big one, and lived to tell about it.
I remembered to breathe and sank a bit in my seat. Well, I didn't have
to worry about that second impression anymore, or my erection for that
matter. It had gone as cold and cringing as the rest of me. Good work,
Maxwell, I said to myself, go get your first prize for being able to stick
the biggest foot in your damn mouth.
[part 4] [back to