Warnings: Oh. My. God. First, just Duo in the shower, being kind of bummed. Then, an orgy of epic proportions. Probably the most explicit lemon scene I have ever written.
by: Shoori

Marking it Down to Learning + Chapter 4
There's No Place Like Home

Duo sighed in relief as he firmly closed the door to their living quarters behind him, taking off the dirty cap and throwing it heedlessly on the floor. He forced himself to relax, made himself untense his muscles, toed off his shoes and threw his jacket and his torn shirt on top of the hat.

He groaned softly, feeling his muscles protest as he stretched.

A shower. He needed a nice, long, hot shower.

He headed down one of the corridors, intent on a shower in the biggest bathroom, at the end of the hallway. The shower "stall" in that bathroom was made of marble, and was bigger than some apartments in the cruddy American city he'd spent the last two days in.

The thought of his last "mission" made him scowl, and he felt the muscles in his back and shoulders tense right back up again.


He really needed that shower.

As he strode purposefully down the hallway, the sounds pouring out of one of the bedrooms caught his attention. He felt the scowl fade away, replaced by a reluctant grin.

What a fun place this was to live. Whenever you came home, whether it was just from a trip to the corner store or a two-day undercover assignment on another continent, you were sure to find somebody screwing.

He slowed down, moving soundlessly toward the slightly open door. He eased himself up to the opening, and peered through.

For a moment, he couldn't see much but an upraised, bare backside that he immediately identified as Heero's. Damn. No wonder that man wore spandex - it would indeed be a shame to hide an ass like that.

The Japanese man was growling deep in his throat, as he did when he was particularly excited. He moved, sliding down the bed, running his mouth down along the body spread beneath him, and Duo felt his body immediately react to the sight of that body.

Trowa's long, slim, supple body was splayed, wide-open, on the bed. His arms were pulled up high above his head, fastened together and to one of the spindles in the headboard by a pair of shining handcuffs. His long, finely muscled legs were pulled wide apart, each fastened to a post in the footboard. Heero had tucked a few firm pillows beneath his lower back, elevating him, openly displaying his most intimate areas. At the moment, he was rock-hard, his arousal quivering with need. And just to complete the utter decadence of the picture, a white cloth was tied around the tall man's eyes, heightening his vulnerability and underlining his own lack of control.

He was moaning almost continuously, trying to thrust his hips up, trying to establish some kind of contact. But Heero was kneeling between his legs, and, though Duo couldn't clearly see his face, he knew exactly the predatory smile that curved the Japanese man's lips as he stared down at his bound prey.

Duo's own arousal throbbed, and he shifted his weight to his other foot, preparing to forego the shower and go join in the bedroom fun. But then he remembered his activities of the past few days, and the places he'd been hanging out, and reluctantly realized that he wasn't going to bring any pleasantness to the mix at the moment. He had to wash.

He tore his eyes away from the enticing view, and hurried down the hall toward the bathroom, all thoughts of a long, luxurious soak under the pounding jets vanished form his mind. He needed to make this as quick as possible!

As he moved, he heard a high-pitched shriek from Trowa. Apparently Heero had finally decided to touch him. Duo just hoped he didn't finish and untie him before he was done with his shower.

The American hurried into the bathroom, hastily pulling off the rest of his clothes as he went. He turned the water on and quickly unraveled his braid as it heated up, wrinkling his nose at the stale-beer-and-smoke smell that washed over him as he shook out the long waves around him.

Bars could be fun... but they definitely had their disadvantages.

Not that any of the bars he'd been to in the past few days had been much fun.

Duo grimaced at the memory as he stepped into the shower, working the streams of hot water through his long hair, allowing it to rinse the worst of the odors away down the drain.

He'd spent two days in one of the biggest, most corrupt cities in the entire world. He hadn't slept in all that time, except for the couple of hours in the plane on the way over and back. But the flights hadn't been that long - for once, Une decided to spring for tickets for the much-faster supersonic airlines. Mighty big of her.

Duo scowled as he thought of Une. Some fantastic cover story she'd thought up. First of all, she'd given him documents identifying him as "Tyrone." If there was anyone on the planet who looked less like a Tyrone than he did... well, it was Quatre. But he was definitely no Tyrone, and that had made his job that much more difficult.

Then, the story she had thought up was that he was a purveyor of prostitutes, looking to move his "business" into the city. Just like that. He, Tyrone, was packing his stable of whores and moving north. Because that's what short, braided pimps named Tyrone did a lot.

What a moron. Now he remembered why he and Quatre usually cooked up his undercover stories on their own. Une was far too forthright to think of a good undercover story. Plus, she had about as much street experience and common sense as Marie Antoinette.

But this time, Quatre had been busy, and he'd been in a hurry, and he'd thought that after about eight years of operation the Preventers would be able to cook up a decent cover story.

Maybe they could. Maybe Une was just yanking his chain. Duo scowled, considering this idea, as he poured a huge pool of shampoo into one palm. It would be just like her. Une usually picked the most inconvenient times to decide to play her little payback games. And this trip had been a long-shot in the first place - it was unlikely that a total unknown was going to be able to stroll into the city and get any useful information on and organization as top-secret as the Order seemed to be - so she might have decided that this would be as good an opportunity as any for her to have a little fun with him.

That was it. He was fucking listing everything he purchased for the next six months as a business expense, and insisting that she personally audit every line when it got refused.

And he was buying lube with his company credit card. Lots of lube. Cherry-flavored lube. The kind that got hot when you blew on it.

Duo determinedly began working the shampoo into his long hair. He started at the roots, working up a thick lather before he began to spread the soap outward toward the ends of his hair.

He just wanted to wash the past few days away. They hadn't been that bad, really - he'd only gotten in a few fights, and he'd gotten out of them with virtually no damage to himself. He didn't feel that it was his best performance, though. He'd had to push things a little bit, in order to establish an identity for himself in the short period of time that he'd been there. And his cover was so crappy that that had created a lot of unnecessary difficulties for him.

He hadn't gotten anything concrete about the Order. He hadn't expected to, though. And actually, he thought, his mood brightening a bit, he'd managed to get a little more than he'd expected to. Some of the street codes prevalent on L2 had been running in that city, too, so that had opened a few doors for him. He'd bought drinks, generously but not lavishly, and his ability to find the line between being too stingy, which was rude, and being too ostentatious, which would have marked him as an amateur or a cop, had also helped to convince a few people that it was at least possible that he was who he said he was.

Tyrone. Fancy man extraordinaire.

Duo snorted. Tyrone. Why hadn't she just bought him a pinky ring and painted, "Shoot me, I'm stupid," on the back of his jacket?

But still... not entirely wasted time. He was now totally certain that the outfit existed, and that some branch of it operated in the city he'd visited.

He'd managed to work the word into the conversation, two sentences in a row. He'd done that twice, over the course of an hour's conversation.

Clumsy. Way too heavy-handed. But it had worked.

The second time he'd made the repetition, he'd been careful to be looking casually away from the man he was speaking to, watching people drift in and out of the seedy little bar he was sitting in. But he had very good peripheral vision, and he'd seen the brief tightening of the other man's mouth, the almost imperceptible narrowing of his eyes.

Oh, the guy was good. But Duo had been ferreting out secrets and hiding things on his own ever since he could remember. He knew all the signs.

When the man had gotten up barely twenty minutes later, it only confirmed Duo's hunch that the man knew more than he was saying.

And when he'd been jumped by five guys with knives while he was trying to tail the mystery man from the bar, that hunch solidified into a certainty.

Even outnumbered five to one, it wasn't much of a fight. They should have used guns. They hadn't, and it had gone badly for them, but by the time Duo had finished with them, the guy from the bar was gone.

Which meant that he did know something about the Order. Probably, he was involved with it, and fairly high up, too, if his little honor guard indicated anything.

And now he knew that Tyrone, pretty little procurer that he was, was on to the Order.

That made it imperative that Tyrone go back to the big, bad city. Duo sighed. The last thing that he wanted to do was to go back to that shithole of a city, and hang out some more in its less attractive neighborhoods. But if he completely disappeared from view after appearing so suddenly in the first place, that would be highly suspicious. It might spook the Order enough that it would pull back, eliminate any people they felt were knowledge dangers, relocate a few areas and do a little "shuffling" among their upper levels. At this point, it would be the height of stupid to jeopardize the investigation like that. They had little enough information about this Order. If they spooked them now, it might be years before they could break in.

Duo sighed in irritation as he stepped back under the showerhead and began the long, laborious process of rinsing the shampoo out of his hair. After the Fab Five's aborted attack, it would make sense for Mack-Daddy Tyrone to drop out of sight for a few days. But it wouldn't do at all for him to permanently disappear.

Damn Une! He'd better get a damn impressive bonus for this.

Because he didn't want to go back. Duo felt his irritation slip away, replaced by the bleakness he'd been trying to keep at bay. He got a lot of undercover jobs, wandering through random cities, connecting with the rougher element in their environment.

He was good at it. When he had a half-way fucking convincing cover story, he was pretty good at getting people to trust him. It was this skill that made him a very valuable commodity for the Preventers. He brought them information that they - earnest, shiny-faced little cops that they were - would never have had a chance in hell of getting from anyone themselves, if they'd promised them total immunity, a million dollars, and a fuck in the bargain. People would talk to him, though - on some level, they recognized him as some kind of kin. The same experiences had branded them in the same places, and they recognized each other's scars, shown only in the shadows that they would never quite be able to banish in their eyes. Like called to like, and the street and its people called to Duo. He was known by half-a-dozen different names in as many cities, and it was his work that had provided the information necessary to solve four of the Preventers' last six major cases.

He was damn good at it. But he hated it.

He hated going back there, back onto the streets. He'd promised himself once that if he ever got out, he'd never, ever go back. He'd have a home and a family of his own, and a job and money, and he'd never go there again.

Well, he had a home, and sort of a family, in a way... He even had a job, and honest job at that, and money enough of his own squirreled away in various unnamed accounts to take care of himself for several lifetimes. He had everything he'd thought he need to keep him away from the streets.

But all those things drove him back there. His job required him to go there. And to protect his home and his relationship with the people he shared it with, he had to go there. He had to be a functioning, contributing member of the unit. He had to use what skills he had to hold onto the niche he'd carved for himself in the world, and that meant using his knowledge of the street.

So, he returned again and again to the streets, to keep himself off them.

Ah, irony.


Duo groaned aloud as he filled his palm with conditioner and worked it through his finally-clean hair.

Why even bother to think about it? he demanded of himself as he stepped back beneath the water, grabbing a bar of soap and determinedly lathering his skin as he allowed the conditioner to rinse out of his hair. It wasn't like he was going back to the street forever - he was just a visitor, really, almost a tourist. Just... taking a trip.

The Ghetto Guide. The Slum Safari. The Crime Cruise.

It was awful. Every time he was there, the hopeless seemed a little more downtrodden, the poor even more stricken, the sick and evil that much more twisted.

Sights that used to be familiar - a woman openly flaunting herself on the corner, an old man huddled in rags and cardboard in an alley, the cries of someone being beaten or attacked - seemed horrible, frightening, terrible. The idea that people could live that way - that he could have lived that way - made him sick.

At the same time... some long-buried part of him wanted to be part of the pulse that made up the life of the street. He wondered if the whore free-lanced, or if someone owned her and her corner. He wanted to know the bartenders in every joint, know which street belonged to which hustler, which dealer controlled which territory.

Which dealer.

Maybe that was the worst part. Every time he went back, it got harder and harder to resist the siren call of the substances which had once ruled him, body and soul. He'd turned his back on them once. It had nearly killed him, and he'd sworn that never again would anything have such a hold over him. But they called to him all the time, the memories lured him. Not the memories of waking up, sick and shaking in his own vomit, trembling for more... But the moment after the first hit, the first shot... when it ran wild and free and powerful through his very blood...

That was one hell of a rush.

Very few things matched it.

Flying was close.

Sex was actually better.

But the war was over and his Gundam was gone, and not even he could fuck all day... so there were still moments when the remembered sensations tormented him.

But he could resist them. He never had any problem, never had any real desire to resume his old habits... except when he was on the streets. Then, when he knew that it was so prevalent, so available... then it was hard.

He couldn't go back there. If he were ever there for real, not just for a job... He wouldn't last a week before he'd be back to what he'd been before. He just wasn't strong enough.

But he wasn't back there forever. He was here. He'd be here.