author: trixie
disclaimer: i don't own either duo or trowa, more's the pity. they don't give me any money, either, which i think shows poor taste on their part.
summary: Duo reflects on the path of his desire, and life. (GW, Duo/Trowa, some Duo/Heero, BDSMish)
notes: Dacia requested this of me, and who am i to deny such a lovely and talented webmistress? no one, that's who. ^_~ i also feel like noting, however, that i was thinking of alex a lot while writing this, heh. this isn't... really my kink, but i've seen it done well, oddly enough, usually in the Star Wars slash fandom, so i s'pose those were the examples i was trying to live up to.

Cartography

Sunlight was stretched across the room in a narrow bar of clear light, reaching up to touch his nose. He'd been awake for over an hour now, tracking the movement of the shadows. His body ached all over, leaving him feeling old and weak and deliciously exerted. He'd have to get up soon. Breakfast would be ready.

He turned over slowly to lay face down on the bed. He had no pillow of his own anymore. He put his forearms flat on the bed on either side of his head, and waited for the strength to lift himself up. There were at least a hundred different places where he ached from the effort of it, but the pain burned through his body too slowly, leaving him with the aftertaste of pleasure, but not the pleasure itself. He cracked his knuckles as hard as he could to get back some of his pain.

He put his bare feet on the cold floorboards, and paused to let the chill lance through him.

*

Heero's arms circled him loosely, gently, too damn gently. He felt frantic, anxious. He couldn't begin to name his desires, but he could feel his frustration welling. He tried to claw at Heero, tried to drag them down, but Heero caught them.

"Slow down," Heero sighed. "Slow down. Stop rushing. I don't want to hurt you."

Duo grunted with exasperation. He was about to beg. Faster, harder, more, now, please...

Heero held his arms down on the bed, pinning him in position. Duo nearly purred with relief, like he could feel the tension bleeding away from him. Heero stared down into Duo's eyes, his own clear, naive eyes filled with wonder.

"You are so beautiful."

Duo nearly pouted. What difference did that make? Heero's lips barely ghosted over his, a touch so brief it could barely be called a touch. Duo's body was on fire, and he needed more heat. This cool, tender loving was going to drive him mad with dissatisfaction.

*

He turned on the water, the rush of it against the tub a soothing sound. He let it run for a minute before plugging it up. He didn't have the strength for a shower, nor the patience for a bath, but a bath would be better for him, anyway. He pulled the regular items down from the medicine cabinet as he waited for the tub to fill. Anaseptic, iodine, cooling salve, anal cream, and bandages. He didn't think he had any open wounds, but he sometimes found them while he washed himself.

He tested his anus before pulling down an enema kit. He was still too sore. He would have to explain, perhaps, but there was no point in injuring himself; then he would definitely be out of commission.

Still, he wanted to be as clean as possible, so he added some bath salts to the water, swirling his hand through the warm water to dissolve them.

He loved the smell of lavender and vanilla in the morning. It soothed his every ache just right.

*

Duo let himself be dragged through the station. It wasn't like he could move his legs anyway. He felt like laughing.

He couldn't keep his head up, so he let his body hang limp in his captors' grip, just watching the floor tiles stream past him. He probably had a concussion. Bruised ribs, if not broken. Deep contusions. Master O had liked the hard gut punches, but he had been judicious. He had spread out his blows so they fell evenly over Duo's body, saving Duo from any ruptures or internal bleeding. But still, Duo's whole body throbbed with aches. He could feel his face swelling.

He hadn't cried out. Hadn't begged for it to stop. Had almost whimpered when the rain of fists had ended, actually. There was a numbness in his arms now that he wished he could replace with the pain.

It was crazy! No one liked to be beat up. He didn't like to be beat up. He didn't. He didn't think... It was perverse, and strange. He was, thank whatever evil dieties were in control of him, too weak to react, but he could feel it.

He'd look up into Master O's eyes, and saw it. The gleam. For a moment there, just for a moment, he'd wanted Master O to...

But that was insane. He didn't like to be beaten. No one did. No one was... aroused by violence. He couldn't work it out. But he'd seen it in Master O's eyes, the gleam, the palpable desire, like he'd found something he'd been lacking for so long.

A punch bag. A whooping boy. Duo wanted to laugh, but it hurt too much to breathe.

They dumped him in the middle of the floor of the cell. Wu Fei was in the shadows, watching him with wide, admiring eyes. Heero was at his side, worried, his invisible hands intangibly tending to Duo's injuries. He couldn't feel Heero at all. Didn't want to look at him.

He was going to laugh, first chance he got. He wanted Master O back.

*

He lowered himself into the water slowly, so he wouldn't splash. He hadn't put any towels out around the bath, because that would have been cheating. He sank down until he could recline, stretching his body out in the warmth. It had hurt to hold his arms up over his head long enough to tie his hair up, but he hadn't wanted to take the time to wash it and dry it.

Besides, it wasn't his hair to wash and dry anymore.

He took the fine washcloth, and poured the liquid soap into it. He ran it over his limbs, not even bothering to let it lather first. He coated himself with the soap, slipping gently in and out of the water to rinse. It hurt to lift his leg up to wash it, but it was good to stretch out. He poured more soap into the cloth, and lifted his leg again, running his hand all the way down to his ass, to cover himself in the viscous liquid.

As he stretched and unwound, all his aches and pains flared up before fading away quietly. It was like the aftertaste of an exquisite dessert, wafting up to taunt the tongue with its delicatable flavor long after the treat has been consumed.

*

There was a spark.

His heart raced as he flipped through the pictures on the miniviewer. Wu Fei was entranced by the images, having completely forgotten his ire. Trowa was forgiven as far as he was concerned. His actions were dismissed in light of his gift.

But Duo didn't see anything but the spark. The oh so slight curling up of the lip in the right corner of his mouth. The way he licked his lips as he pulled away. And the spark in his green eyes, so deadly vibrant when seen up close...

Trowa had a mean left hook, and he damn well knew it. But he'd also known exactly how hard to hit to get the right reaction from Duo, while still being able to transfer the data. Duo had appreciated his... control.

And Trowa had seen that.

They had shared something, although Duo was afraid to consider what.

There had been a spark, though.

*

He stood up slowly, keeping himself in the middle of the bath. He drained away the water while still standing there, wet and naked, and then he rinsed himself and the tub down using the spray head. He picked a towel off the stack, and dried himself off before stepping out of the tub.

He turned around to check over his handiwork. There were a few drops of water here and there, and a few places where the tile was misted. He wouldn't pat them down, though. If he was deficient in his service, then that would be dealt with, but there was no point covering up.

That would be no fun for either of them.

When he was sufficiently dry, he took down his hair, and moved over to stand in front of the full length mirror to begin his daily rituals. A long black mark curling around his side from his back caught his attention, and he turned to look at it. His eyes widened, and he pulled his hair to the side so he could really see his back.

Six long marks stretched from one side of his back to the other. He could feel them, of course, but he hadn't known quite what to expect of them. They were fresh, so dark they looked almost black, with highly defined edges.

His heart thumped, and he stared at his marred flesh. The bathroom suddenly felt hot.

*

Heero had passed him off to Trowa. Had said "take care of him for me." Maybe it didn't mean anything. Maybe it did. Duo regained consciousness about halfway to the cell. Heero threw a vicious right hook, and he hadn't spared anything. Through the sparkle that hazed his vision, Duo searched for Heero. His blood was pumping hard, and he felt very alive.

Trowa dropped him full weight on the floor, like a sack of worthless potatoes. He knelt down in front of Duo, his green eyes shining. He leaned in very close, knowing full well that Duo was too breathless to move.

"If I just had five spare minutes, I would fuck you raw right here."

Duo nearly passed out with excitement. How he wished for just five minutes...!

Maybe Heero hadn't meant anything by it. Maybe he had. But that was the last time they ever saw Heero. Not that it would have mattered, really. They stood no less than five feet apart on a hill while they watched their alter egos burn, Quatre between them like some sort of chaperone. Trowa spoke, his voice flat and dead. Duo didn't smile, but he offered Trowa something else.

It was settled between them just like that, without a word or a gesture. Just an understanding, and spark. Duo fulfilled his obligations to Hilde, and Trowa finished his run in the circus with Catherine, and then they met up with each other, and that was that.

Duo didn't miss wearing short sleeves, since he never had before anyway. He didn't mind the proprietory way that Trowa circled around him. It reminded him, oddly enough, of Solo keeping watch of his brood.

And he hardly ever thought about it, really.

*

He dropped the towel, and examined his skin. Each bruise was a mark, a memory. A promise. He ran his hands down his chest, over the rings of metal Trowa had inserted in his nipples, over the burn from the candle wax last week, over the small cuts from the hunting knife two nights ago, over the ring of metal in his belly button that Trowa liked so much, down into the curls between his legs. There were bruises on his legs, too, and on his feet, because he liked it when Trowa slammed down on him sometimes. Around his ankles, and his wrists, there were red marks from the restraints he always tied too tight. He ran his fingers over his wrists, calling the pain up from under his skin. There was a hand-shaped mark on his ass, only slightly blurred, because Trowa had remarkable aim and control.

Somewhere in the back of his head, he was seeing this through someone else's eyes. Heero's, perhaps. Seeing it as something different from what it was. But his heart knew how to feel, even if his mind was only just seeing it.

Quatre had asked him, in a tight, almost petulant voice, if he was in love with Trowa, but that had been months ago, and he hadn't understood.

He smiled, drawing his fingers through his hair so it fell over his claimed skin like a translucent veil.

"Admiring yourself?" Trowa raised an eyebrow, his arms crossed over his chest, a suggestion of a smile playing with his mouth. "Hm." He ambled over behind Duo, laying his outstretched hands on Duo's abused skin. "Can't really blame you, of course. You are so beautiful."

Duo smiled, looking into Trowa's eyes in the mirror. He covered Trowa's hand with his, intertwining their fingers. "I was just thinking."

"Oh?"

"I think... I'm starting to think that I get off on pain." It sounded fairly stupid when he just said it like that, but he believed that Trowa would understand. He pressed his back against Trowa's flank, and felt Trowa's arms surround him.

"You're starting to think this, eh?" Trowa murmured into Duo's neck. He circled Duo's belly button with his thumb, idly tracing the cuts with his finger. "You know... that I would never hurt you."

It was a question layered into a statement, and for some reason, it pleased Duo immensely. He turned in Trowa's arms, and leaned up to kiss his lips. "I trust you."

When Trowa smiled a genuine smile, he was captivatingly handsome. When his eyes shone and sparkled, he was utterly breathtaking. When he grabbed Duo with that fervor and passion, it was exhilarating. So Duo didn't feel weak for swooning in his lover's arms, but he simply relaxed into Trowa's grip and let him take control.

~*~

end

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[ note: and it's mine, alllll mine... ]