Marking it Down to Learning + Chapter 12 (cont)
Old Business

"I still miss him," Zechs said flatly. He wasn't looking at Wufei, he was staring at the damned table again, but Wufei could still see the misery on his face. "I miss him every day. I think about him all the time. How could I ever want anyone else, when I still want... "

He trailed off again, but his meaning was clear.

He wanted Treize, and noone else.

But Treize was dead.

Wufei bowed his head, acknowledging the other man's pain.

"The whole war... I went through all of that so that it would end, and we would be together," Zechs continued. "But then... he died." The blond stopped his face tensing, and when he spoke, it was in a harsh whisper. "He died."

Wufei winced. Treize had died by his hand. He was the one who'd caused Zechs this pain.

"He knew he would die," Zechs revealed unexpectedly. His lip curled slightly. "He left me a letter. Une gave it to me, after the Eve Wars. He... knew he wouldn't survive the war." Zechs' fist clenched. "Damn him. He knew, and he let me do all that... he let me waste the little time we had, and... "

"Zechs." Wufei reached out and touched the other man's arm, not moving back even when Zechs flinched away from the contact. "Zechs... you need to let him go."

Zechs stared at him through haunted blue eyes. "I can't," he whispered. "I... don't want anyone else. I can't even think of anyone as a... " He shrugged, frustrated. "As a replacement."

"You can't replace him," Wufei acknowledged softly. "But... he's gone, Zechs. You can't bring him back."

Zechs looked away. "I won't go searching for someone to take his place," he maintained stubbornly.

Wufei sighed. He stared pensively at the other man for a moment. Zechs was one of the most obstinate people he'd ever known, and considering the company that he kept, that was saying a lot. Once he had an idea in that shining platinum head, it would never vacate.

He never would go searching for another lover, an act that he would see as a betrayal of Treize's memory.

How this melodrama would have irritated the other man. Wufei could see the scornful expression in Treize's cornflower blue eyes as clearly as if the other man was standing beside him.

He'd have liked it. But it would still have irritated him.

However, the problem remained. Zechs would not look for companionship.

But perhaps...

"Well... " he said aloud. "What if someone else comes to you?" he mused softly.

Zechs stared suspiciously at him. Resolutely, Wufei pushed himself out of the booth and looked expectantly at the other man. Zechs frowned at the abruptness of the seeming dismissal, but he threw a few bills on the table and rose as well.

Wufei turned his back, and left the bar, exiting into the sumptuous lobby of the apartment building. There, he startled Zechs by turning left toward the elevators, instead of right to exit to the street.

"Where are you going?" Zechs demanded as he caught up to the slighter Chinese man by the elevators.

"To your apartment," Wufei replied calmly, watching the lights above the elevator change as the machine moved down toward their floor.

Wufei could feel Zechs' suspicious glare on him as he watched for the elevator.

"Why?" the older man finally demanded.

Wufei looked at him calmly, and smiled. "I'm seducing you," he replied simply.

Zechs stared at him, his mouth open, a rather idiotic expression on his handsome face. "What the hell do you mean, you're... "

Wufei raised a hand, silencing him as the elevator doors opened. He stepped through the doors, and Zechs reluctantly followed him. The blond nodded curtly at the elevator man, who greeted him enthusiastically as he punched in the security code for the blond man's floor.

The attendant continued to chat amicably, and Wufei felt Zechs' irritation rise as he was forced to make polite small-talk with the man. Shortly, they reached Zechs' floor, and Wufei nodded politely at the man as they stepped off.

He inclined his head in one direction, silently asking Zechs if his apartment lay that way. Zechs nodded, then scowled in irritation. "No," he said aloud. "We're not going to my apartment."

"Well, there only seem to be two in that direction," Wufei noted mildly. "I'll figure out which is yours. Process of elimination."

"You need to leave," Zechs announced, his tones clipped.

Wufei shook his head. "You're not being very flattering," he told the other man.

"You're not... " Zechs pinkened. "You're not seducing me," he blurted out.

"Not yet," Wufei agreed. "I didn't think you'd like me to in front of the elevator man. He'd probably notify the Scoop. But if you want me to start here... "

Zechs made a noise of frustration, and stamped over to one of the heavy white doors down the short corridor he'd indicated to Wufei.

The Chinese man followed him, looking around appreciatively as he entered the apartment after Zechs. It didn't appear to be as big as the rooms he shared with the others, but it was certainly a good deal of space for one person.

"Now," Zechs said shortly. "I appreciate the offer, Wufei, but I don't want... "

"You don't want me?" Wufei interrupted, raising a brow in surprise. "That's certainly a change."

Zechs flushed again. "I did once," he admitted, "but... "

"But you're determined to sacrifice all your own desires and your own happiness on the altar of Treize?" Wufei speculated, a bit cruelly.

The flush disappeared from Zechs' cheeks, and he reeled back slightly. Wufei moved to him, following the blond as he retreated across the room. "I'm sorry, Zechs," he apologized. "I don't mean to hurt you. But you can't continue like this. You have to let some people near you, or you'll never have any peace."

"I don't need anything," Zechs insisted, his voice sounding slightly strained. "I just want to be left alone, and... "

"You've been alone too much," Wufei corrected. "You need people. You need to be touched," he continued softly, reaching out to run his hand over the blond's cheek.

Zechs started, pulling away, but Wufei continued to move after him. "I knew Treize too," he reminded the other man. "He loved being worshipped, but I doubt that this is what he wanted for you."

"Wufei... Please. Just... leave. I don't want... "

"Yes, you do," Wufei corrected firmly.

"This isn't right," Zechs insisted. "You're... with others now, and... "

Wufei hesitated briefly. "That's all right," he told the other man softly.

"I won't allow you to be unfaithful... "

Wufei laughed. "Zechs, there are five of us," he said mildly. "We're hardly monogamous."

"This is different," the blond insisted stubbornly.

"You're right," Wufei conceded, nodding. "But it is not wrong."

The older man jumped, startled, as his back connected with the wall. Wufei took advantage of his momentary lack of attentiveness, and pressed up close to him, placing his hands on the wall beside Zechs' head, imprisoning him in place as he rubbed his lower body deliberately against the blond's.

He couldn't help from smirking when he felt Zechs' hardness through his pants. Deny it as he may, the other man wanted him.

"Wufei... please," Zechs whispered, staring at him. Their faces were bare inches away, and Wufei could see the ring of darker blue that surrounded the sea of icy blue, as well as he could see the confused anguish emanating from the other man. "I haven't touched anyone since Treize died... "

"Since... that's eight years, Zechs," Wufei managed, stunned by this admission. "He's been gone for eight years... "

"Please," Zechs whispered. "I don't want... but I can't help... "

Wufei sighed. He'd hoped that the other man would give in before it came to this.

"I want you, Zechs," he said directly. "We have... unfinished business between us. You need to resolve that, and you need to resolve your memories of Treize, before you can go on."

"I don't want to go on," Zechs whispered. He closed his eyes, and Wufei saw his face contract as though in pain. "There's nothing to go on to, Wufei. I don't want to lose you, and him... "

"Zechs... you haven't had either of us in eight years," Wufei reminded him as gently as he could.

The pale blue eyes opened, and Wufei stared into them, amazed by the naked turmoil they revealed. He had never seen Zechs this unguarded. Never.

"But... I haven't fully lost you either. And that's all I have, Wufei. Please... " the other man pleaded.

Wufei shook his head slowly. "I'm not letting you be alone with the past anymore, Zechs," he said firmly. "That would be a poor repayment for what you've done for me."

"But... "

Wufei moved forward, and cut the other man's protests off with his lips. Zechs tried to pull away, then suddenly gave up the fight. His body went slack, and Wufei took advantage of the moment to deepen the kiss, sliding his tongue between Zechs' lips, shivering at the remembered taste of the older man's mouth.

Slowly, Zechs returned the caress, his hands moving up Wufei's arms to tightly clench his shoulders. His response became more and more intense, until they were battling for control of the kiss.

Wufei felt light-headed as he enthusiastically participated in this well-remembered, passionate battle. It had never been easy with Zechs. It had always been a fight, a duel, a war... but it had been one that was impossible to lose.

A growl rose slowly from Zechs' throat, and he began to push Wufei back slowly, his lips never leaving the shorter man's. Wufei resisted the movement, but allowed himself to be slowly pushed backward until he fell onto the sofa.

Zechs was on him a moment later, and Wufei groaned at the feeling of the other man's body on top of his. Zechs was trembling with need, and Wufei took pity on him, tugging his shirt open and running his hands over the hard, bare skin beneath it.

The blond cried out softly, pulling his mouth away from Wufei's. The Chinese man pushed him up, and rose with him, and they kissed again as they tore each other's clothes from their bodies. They tumbled to the floor, missing the couch entirely in their haste, and Wufei cried out as Zechs closed trembling fingers around his erection.

"God! Zechs!" he cried, arching his hips toward the other man's touch.

Zechs didn't reply, but his heavy breathing betrayed his own excitement. Wufei opened his eyes as the other man pulled his legs apart, and he felt Zechs kneel between his parted thighs.

He caught his breath at the sight of Zechs. Long blond hair rippled down behind him, as the blond stared down at him through blue eyes fogged with passion. His finely shaped lips were parted, and he was breathing deeply. His broad shoulders, muscled chest and arms bragged of power, even as they trembled with the effort it was costing him to maintain control.

He couldn't make him wait any longer.

"Please, Zechs," he moaned. "Take me. I want you. I need you... "

The blond moaned softly at the words. "Wufei... " he managed thickly. "I don't have... "

The Chinese man groaned softly. He sat up, not bringing his legs together, and bent down, smoothly taking the blond's erection in his mouth.

He grinned as Zechs' startled, aroused cry rent the air.

Flexibility was a great thing. Martial arts training came in so handy.

He ran his mouth over the trembling organ, tasting and teasing it even as he wet it, helping to lubricate it for smoother entry into his own body.

When he was satisfied, he lay back, spreading his legs even wider.

"Now, Zechs," he demanded. "Take me now!"

With a low cry of surrender, the blond complied, grasping his hips and entering him in one swift thrust. Wufei cried out, slight pain spearing through him.

Zechs stopped, gasping, allowing the smaller man to adjust around his considerable length.

Wufei rocked back and forth, slowly, and the pain diminished, leaving only hot, burning pleasure in its wake.

"More, Zechs," he pleaded. "Please... give me more."

"Wufei... I can't... I won't be able to stop... "

"Don't," the Chinese man ordered huskily. "I want it, Zechs. I want you... hard and hot and fast and... "

The rest of his words were lost in a grunt as Zechs slammed into him again. The blond cried out, and Wufei heard in the sound the last of Zechs' iron control disappearing. Then, he couldn't think, couldn't do anything but feel as the blond thrust in and out of him, pounding into him almost fiercely, pushing again and again against the spot inside him that brought him the most pleasure.

Wufei lifted his legs and wrapped them tightly around the other man's waist, his fingers digging into the blond's muscled back as his mouth moved to blindly capture the blond's.

Zechs kissed him back almost painfully, his tongue thrusting masterfully into his mouth in time with his lower body's thrusts into Wufei's passage.

Wufei felt that he was being pushed along the path of pleasure, ridden harder and harder toward the ultimate end... he couldn't control the movement, couldn't do anything except fall, and allow Zechs to carry him... as he finally accepted that, finally surrendered, white hot pleasure overtook him. He rode the wave higher and higher until he finally reached the top. He tore his mouth away from the blond's and screamed Zechs' name as he felt himself climax fiercely, and at almost the same moment, he felt Zechs' passion explode inside of him.

The blond collapsed heavily on top of him, pressing deep and hard inside him one more time as he emptied himself inside of Wufei. The Chinese man wrapped his arms securely around the bigger blond, holding him tightly as they panted together, slowly descending from the height they had helped each other attain.

They lay there silently for a long time. Wufei raised his head, finally, and looked down at Zechs. The blond's head rested against his shoulder, and his eyes were closed peacefully, but his face wore an expression of abject misery.

Wufei sighed softly, and leaned down to softly brush a kiss against the other man's lips.

Zechs' eyes opened slowly, and Wufei winced at the loss and pain and guilt he saw in them.

"Wufei... I'm sorry," he whispered. "I didn't mean to... "

"Don't be sorry," Wufei whispered. "I'm not. At least," he amended, "I'm only sorry that you're hurt... "

Zechs pushed himself up. "Don't... worry about it," he said austerely. "I'll be all right." There was an awkward silence, then they both spoke at once.

"I understand that it's late, and you... "

"Where's your bedroom?"

Zechs stared at him in amazement. "My... what?" he asked slowly.

Wufei smiled gently at him. "Did you think I would go?" he asked. He shook his head. "I'm not leaving you now, Zechs," he promised softly.

He stared, amazed, as tears gathered in the other man's blue eyes.

"I'm not going," he promised again, leaning forward to wrap the other man in a gentle hug.

"But... "

"That's not what friends do," Wufei told him softly, leaning back to stare at the blond. Zechs stared back at him, a wealth of desperate, unspoken questions in his eyes.

"Besides," Wufei added, trying to add some lightness to the situation, "it's not that late."

Zechs stared at him for a moment, then his gaze drifted down the Chinese man's body. His eyes lingered on Wufei's groin, and Wufei felt a stirring of interest between his legs as the blond continued to stare at him. The blue eyes traveled slowly back up his body, and Wufei was amazed to see that the blond was smiling faintly, though the shadows remained behind his eyes.

"Not that late at all," Zechs agreed slowly, and the smile widened.

It was, Wufei decided as Zechs led him to his large bedroom and pressed him down into the soft mattress, a very good start.

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