+ Part 8
against cracked windows, cold wind creeping through rattletrap wooden
frames. Duo shivered.
Run duck hide scramble run squirm dodge run hide
Dark...they can't find you in the dark...can't grab you hit you make
you hurt ...can't see them either...quiet too quiet...where are they?...scared
don't cry don't cry so scared don't cry they'll hear you find you hurt
you if you cry...
Hear them....closer...where? can't see can't see don't cry...no...go
away please go away please don't hurt please don't make me cry
Duo clawed his way to consciousness, trying to escape the nightmare.
It hunted him down, dragged at him with hard, merciless hands. "No..."
He thrashed as he tried to push the hands away from him. Too strong.
Always too strong.
But there had been someone...someone strong who hadn't hurt him. Someone
who might help him. A powerful body, but so gentle. Who was it? His
terror-soaked mind grasped for the memory. A name coalesced, and he
reached for it desperately.
Heero jerked back from Duo's quaking body as though he'd been shot.
The name burned through him, radiating pain from its point of entry
somewhere near his heart.
Duo tossed and whimpered again. His moans grew louder and Heero clapped
a hand over Duo's mouth, silencing him. With his other hand, he pressed
Duo's shoulder to the floor in an attempt to still his flailing. Restraining
him had the opposite effect, though, and Duo's struggles increased,
his cries a keening wail behind the gag of Heero's hand.
"Duo!" Heero shook Duo's shoulder. "Duo, wake up!" He shook harder,
his fingers digging into the boy's flesh.
Violet eyes snapped open. They held no recognition, only helpless horror.
"Be quiet." Heero growled, refusing to relax his grip. His conditioning
screamed at him to choke the life out of the boy before he alerted their
enemies. He ignored the order despite the panic that blossomed in his
belly at his disobedience. "Shut up, damn it! I don't want to have to
Heero didn't realize he'd said the words aloud, but their effect on
Duo was dramatic. His body went limp as he ceased fighting; the frightened
wailing stopped. Relieved, Heero released the boy, but Duo's childish
whisper chilled him.
"Won't cry. I promise." The boy swallowed, his huge eyes fixed on Heero,
pleading for something the Japanese pilot could only dimly imagine.
His first impulse was to slap Duo into awareness. But the tight, stricken
face, expecting to be hurt but desperately hoping for something else,
stopped him. Awkwardly, he stroked Duo's cheek, startled to find it
damp. In a voice he hoped was soothing, he said quietly, "It's all right,
Duo. It's Heero. I'm not going to hurt you."
The boy blinked. "H-heero?"
"Hn." Embarrassed by his ministrations and thoroughly confused by his
own response to Duo's nightmare, he pulled his hand away. "Are you..."
All right? Afraid? "...awake?"
Duo nodded. He sat up, wincing as he forced his cold-stiffened body
to move. How much of his dream did Duo remember? Judging from his pinched
mouth and haunted eyes, he recalled far too much of it.
Did he remember calling for Treize?
Duo leaned back against the wall. The thin metal gave slightly under
the pressure from his shoulders and he squirmed a little to find a more
comfortable position. The shed was as frigid as a meat locker, and Heero
knew from experience how cold intensified every ache until even a bruise
was agony. Treize might have treated his prisoner well, but he doubted
the guards had been as kind. Duo hugged his chest, shivering violently.
One hand clutched the end of his braid, like a child clinging to a favorite
toy for security. With a force that rocked him, Heero was suddenly aware
of how small and lost-how vulnerable-Duo seemed.
He reached a tentative hand toward the boy. If ever someone needed to
be touched, it was Duo. But Duo had cried out for Treize. What good
would his offer of comfort do? Heero let his hand drop back to his side.
The movement must have caught Duo's attention. He looked up, his eyes
tired, wary. "So you didn't kill me after all."
"It's no longer necessary." Heero clenched his fists. The look in Duo's
eyes hurt. And he didn't have a clue what to do about it.
"Thanks a hell of a lot, pal. Damn glad to hear my death is 'no longer
necessary.' I can sleep at night now." Liar. Perfect Soldier chalked
up another "mission accomplished," but guess who got the bad dreams?
Nothing else, no other explanation offered. Heero had battered down
his defenses, leaving him open and scalding like a half-healed burn,
and it was nothing more to him than the fucking mission.
"You really know how to win friends and influence people, y'know that?"
Duo tried to still the tremors that rippled through his body, aftershocks
of his nightmare. How many months would it be this time before he was
able to push the memories back into their box?
He rested his head on his knees. God, what had he been thinking, going
to bed with an OZ officer? But Treize didn't seem like an OZ officer,
not once he took off that uniform. Duo couldn't forget the way Treize
had touched him when he thought he was still sleeping, as if he were
one of those expensive antiques the Colonel collected, something that
might break if it weren't treated very carefully. Like he was something
Why couldn't Heero ever treat him like that?
No use asking that now. He could forget that. Not that Heero had wanted
him in the first place, but he sure as hell wouldn't be interested in
Treize Khushrenada's leftovers.
Duo stole a look at Heero. The other pilot sat on a crate, one knee
drawn up under his chin, hands clasped around his leg. He liked Heero's
hands. The first time he'd realized that was back when they had just
come to Earth, and he helped Heero repair Wing. Or rather, he watched
Heero repair Wing, because Heero flatly refused every gesture of friendship
Duo made. So Duo had been reduced to studying him, chattering artlessly-mostly
to himself-and becoming fascinated by a pair of square, capable hands.
Even then, he'd wondered what it would feel like to have those hands
touching him. That night, and most nights afterward, he'd fantasized
about Heero handling his body as skillfully as he handled his tools.
Screw that. He'd blown that fantasy to hell, and all because, as Heero
had pointed out, he thought with his dick.
Must be nice to be like Heero, at least sometimes. Now, for instance.
It would make everything a lot easier if his feelings had an on-off
switch. If he could say, "Wanting you is no longer necessary." But that
would be pretty much like saying, "Breathing is no longer necessary."
Convenient, but untrue. Too bad, though, that his training had been
so different from Heero's, no lessons on eliminating "inefficient" emotions.
Lucky Heero. He didn't have to feel anything he didn't want to.
Heero Yuy was afraid.
He'd never met an enemy who frightened him. Enemies existed only as
data points in a constant equation of destruction. His own death didn't
scare him. He'd lost that fear so long ago he no longer remembered ever
possessing it. His training had even eradicated a human being's only
two instinctive fears.
So why did Duo Maxwell terrify him?
He tried analyzing the problem. Duo's piloting skills equaled his own,
but he was capable of human error like any pilot. Physically, the other
boy could not match his own engineered strength. He might be smaller
and faster, but Heero's greater endurance cancelled any advantage there.
His mind was as quick as Heero's, but he lacked discipline. What frightened
A long, brown braid that Duo refused to part with, despite its impracticality.
A pair of wide, blue-violet eyes that couldn't conceal the pain or fear
that hid behind a clown's mask. A cock-eyed grin that somehow managed
to be both foolish and sweet at once. A slender, pale body shrouded
under the false chastity of a priest's garments. Heero had no shield
against those weapons.
No blow from an enemy had injured him like hearing Duo call Treize's
name. But Duo looked so miserable, huddled there on the floor. And that,
Heero discovered, hurt even more.
"Duo," he began hesitantly, his voice husky with fear. "Do you want
to go back to Treize?"
Duo jumped at the sudden sound. "Huh?"
Heero felt as though he had his hand on his Gundam's self-detonation
button. "If you want to return to him, I won't stop you."
"Why would I want to go back to Treize?" Duo blanched. The confusion
in his face changed to sickened realization, a wound that cut far too
deep for anger. "You really do think I'm OZ's whore, don't you?"
"No!" The denial burst from Heero with a force that startled him.
Duo snorted in obvious disbelief.
"I regret calling you...what I called you." He couldn't say the words.
He couldn't be responsible for that wounded, anguished look, not again.
Why had it never occurred to him that Duo had his own scars? But it
"You regret?" Duo laughed, although it sounded more like he was choking.
"I didn't think you made mistakes."
"I make plenty of mistakes."
"Yeah?" Duo stretched out, crossed his arms over his chest. "Name one."
"Field Marshall Noventa."
Duo winced. "That one doesn't count. You...we were tricked." He avoided
Heero's eyes, apparently remembering that he had just slept with the
man who had duped them into killing the Alliance leaders. "Try again."
"What do you mean, me?"
"I don't know what to do with you. How to treat you. I only know that
everything I do is wrong."
Duo's eyes widened.
"I know I hurt you. I can't even say I didn't mean to, because I did.
But I'm sorry." Wasn't Duo going to say anything? Heero found himself
talking to fill the empty space between them. "I can't make it better.
I can't change what I did to you, any more than I can change what those
men did to you. I can't do anything about the past."
Heero stared at the wall of the shed, a spot beyond the other boy's
shoulder. Looking anyplace was easier than looking in Duo's eyes. He
would lose himself in those eyes. "I'm not sure what I want, Duo. But
I can tell you what I don't want. I don't want to hurt you any more.
I don't want you to be afraid of me. I don't want you to come on to
me because you want a warm bed to sleep in." As he spoke, his desire
slowly clarified and he struggled to put his nebulous need into words.
"I want you to come to me because you want to. Not because you need
to. Not because there's no one else to take you. Not for any reason
except that you want me."
Duo felt like someone had punched him in the stomach. "You want to say
Duo frowned, looking Heero up and down. "Looks like Heero Yuy. Same
charming smile, same well-groomed appearance. Sure doesn't talk like
Heero Yuy, though. Must be an imposter. Yep, has to be, because I just
heard this guy admit he makes mistakes."
Run duck hide scramble run squirm dodge run hide
Ah, hell. Sometimes Heero didn't understand a damn thing about people
and sometimes he understood way too much. "Yeah, old habits die hard."
"Does it help?" Dark...they can't find you in the dark
"Sometimes. Sometimes not. It's worth a try, though."
"I wish you wouldn't hide from me."
"Wish I could trust you enough not to have to." Shit. That wasn't at
all what he meant to say. But Heero's unexpected honesty had startled
him. And since when did he engage his brain before his mouth anyway?
Duo suddenly felt embarrassed. Damn it, this was Heero, for God's sake,
and this scene was starting to play like something from a cheesy old
movie. "You want to tell me what's going on? I thought I knew you, and
this sure as hell doesn't sound like you."
Heero looked at him. No, not exactly at him. Sort of in his general
direction. Was Heero embarrassed, too? No way. Couldn't be. Could it?
"What's going on is that I can't function efficiently without you. I
made foolish errors, maybe fatal ones. We aren't out of this yet. I've
lied to myself about my motives and jeopardized the mission because
of it. I can't ignore you or what you do. I-I appear to need you, Duo."
It wasn't the most romantic declaration, but this was Heero, after all.
Not quite what he'd fantasized about hearing, but maybe as close as
he'd ever get. "I guess if you can need me, I can trust you. A little."
He flashed his generous grin and was shocked to see Heero smile briefly
"I'll take that. For now."
Heero moved a step closer. Duo realized a split second before it happened
what Heero meant to do, but pure shock held him motionless. Heero kissed
him, hard. His arms, all wiry muscle under the stolen OZ uniform, anchored
them together. His questing tongue parted the smaller boy's lips and
ignited a slow burn that spread through Duo's arms and legs.
Duo melted against him with a tiny mewl that a startled Heero felt as
much as heard. He would have been less surprised if Duo had punched
him, even though the braided pilot had agreed to trust him. A little.
How far would a little trust take him? Tentatively, Heero ran his hands
over Duo's taut, lean arms even as his tongue drew more kittenish noises
from the boy. When his cautious explorations met with no resistance,
he grew more bold, sliding one hand under the long braid, brushing his
fingers across the back of Duo's neck. He smiled into the kiss as he
felt the willow-slim body in his arms shiver, and he allowed his hands
to roam down to the small of the boy's back.
Duo's body responded eagerly, as if he were hungry for more. He pushed
their hips together, and Heero could feel the hard mound of his erection
through the layers of their stolen clothing. Heero's grip still welded
them together, and Duo began to run his hands along his partner's back,
mimicking the rough caresses he'd received.
Heero felt his control slipping. He meant to go slow for Duo, but his
resolve rapidly deteriorated under those persistent hands. He grasped
one of the boy's wrists, stopping his greedy fondling. "No," he told
himself, growling his frustration in a low moan. Whatever it took, he
refused to hurt his Duo again.
Duo's body shuddered with beggared desire, but his mind knew only the
steely grip on his arm. He knew what would come next, and he closed
his eyes, dreading it. Not the act, the hurried coupling, frantic with
heat; he could lose himself in the sex, no problem. But after... They
despised him when he enjoyed it and hated him when he didn't. And then
they left, and he was alone again. Always.
Heero only wanted to use him. He said he needed Duo, but what did that
mean? He was no different than the others.
Need and grief wrestled for possession of his fantasy. How long had
he dreamed of being more to a lover than just a body to be used and
forgotten once the craving had been satisfied? But look at him, humping
up to Heero like a dog in heat, willing to spread for anyone who whistled.
He couldn't blame Heero for treating him this way. He'd asked for it.
Still...just once. Just once he'd like to have been something more than
a convenience. With a stifled sob, he gave up his dream and surrendered
Heero pulled back at the sound of Duo's choked cry. "What's wrong? Did
I do something wrong?"
Duo shook his head. "No, no. It's all right...not your fault."
So why did Duo seem as though he were about to shatter into tiny bits?
Heero released the boy's wrist and raised his hand to the chestnut head
tucked against his shoulder. Tenderness sat uneasily on him, but he
stroked the soft hair with clumsy gentleness. The feeling that he held
something infinitely precious overwhelmed him, and he pulled Duo close
in a sheltering, protective embrace.
"Hn. I thought you promised to trust me." He tilted the heart-shaped
face, lightly brushing his thumb across a dark bruise. "When we get
out of here, I'm going to make you forget about him."
"Does this mean you like me?"
Heero frowned. Always the joke, even now. But something in those amethyst
eyes made him realize Duo wasn't joking. Heero's answer mattered.
"Baka. Of course."
Duo said nothing but snaked his hand behind Heero's head and pulled
his face close. He closed his eyes and hesitantly, almost shyly, offered
his mouth to be kissed. Heero accepted, the velvet of Duo's lips warming
under his own. Keeping his own eyes open, he watched the nuances of
Duo's face as the kiss deepened. His partner's forehead creased as though
he worried. Heero cupped his hand over Duo's cheek and nudged the pliant
mouth open with his tongue, languidly stroking his other hand along
Duo's spine. Slowly, the tension in the other boy's face eased. He nuzzled
against Heero's hand like a cat demanding affection from its master.
Heero pressed his palm flat against the small of Duo's back, pushing
them together. He worked his thigh between Duo's legs, groaning himself
as the smaller boy rubbed his erection against his leg. Gripping Duo's
buttocks in a possessive, agonizing vice, he sought friction against
his own hardness. Duo panted softly next to his ear, his hands clutching
at Heero's sleeves as their clothes thwarted his efforts to meld their
bodies closer. The braided pilot whimpered in frustration. He moved
faster against Heero's thigh, but the heavy cloth of his coveralls prevented
him from achieving his goal.
"Shit...Heero..." Duo squirmed against him, nearly sobbing with disappointment.
"What? What do you want me to do?" Heero looked into the half-lidded
eyes, glazed with yearning.
"Anything. Touch me...please..."
Heero shifted, turning Duo with a roughness that betrayed his determination
to be gentle. He drew Duo close to him until the round little backside
fit against him, then draped Duo's leg over his own. This time, Duo
didn't fight him. Instead, he grasped one of Heero's hands, pushed it
between his legs. Heero needed no more encouragement. He cupped his
hand over the quivering length of Duo's erection, his fingers searching
out the head of the boy's cock through the barrier of clothing, rubbing
it with his thumb. With his palm, he applied pressure to the shaft,
stroking feverishly, losing himself in the challenge of making the boy
squirm and cry out for more.
Duo jerked against his hand, flinging his head back against Heero's
shoulder. "God...don't stop...."
Heero gritted his teeth, vowing to make the other boy come before he
took his own release.
The door of the shed slid open, bathing the two young men in sunlight.
A tall man stood silhouetted against the pale winter morning. Duo gasped
as Heero's hand tightened on him involuntarily. Heero quickly pulled
his hand away and moved Duo off his lap as the man chuckled.
"Well." The rich, cultured voice rumbled in amusement. "I'm pleased
to see the two of you have resolved your differences."
[part 7] [part 9] [back
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