Author: Bane's Desire
see chao. 1 for warnings, disclaimer

A Grudging Seduction: Chapter Six
Who's Seducing Whom

The next time Duo woke up he found himself in a small, unfamiliar bedroom containing two twin beds, one immaculately made up, the corners folded tightly, and the one in which he was neatly tucked into. There was also a small desk resting between the beds that sat under the windowsill of the one window in the room. On top of it was a familiar looking, open laptop. The object of Heero's obsession was on, but the blue screen displayed only diaphanous bubbles floating from the bottom of the top of the screen, obviously a screen saver. Duo had to wonder at Heero's choice, thinking that with his experiences with the ocean on his arrival on Earth, that it would be the last thing he'd want to be reminded of. Knowing that the dedicated Wing pilot would never leave his laptop running if he planned on being gone for long, Duo reasoned Heero was close by and would return shortly.

Without thinking, he moved his right arm to rub his gummed eyes, and instantly the stinging pain he'd felt back in the dorm room after waking up came back with a vengeance, reminding him pointedly of why he was in bed. "Great," he huffed. He noticed that he was still wearing the gi Wufei and Trowa had put on him despite his protests, and right now he dreaded the idea of taking the loose cotton garment off. He could feel that some of the material was pulling uncomfortably against his hip and thigh, most likely stuck to his skin. 'That's going to hurt like hell,' he told himself.

He lay still and quiet, wondering where everyone was and where this place was located that he'd been moved to while he slept. The nausea that he was feeling and the bad taste in his mouth was evidence that he'd been heavily drugged.

Searching his clouded memories, he recalled seeing glimpses of his ripped-up side, scraped raw from the tumble off the motorcycle onto dirt and grass, remembering how heinous his body looked. A painful shudder went up his spine just thinking about it. Only Shinigami knew how much he'd tried to avoid that crash, but Heero's body had lurched so quickly to the right side of the bike that he'd been surprised by it. He clearly remembered grappling with the dead weight of Heero's body to gain some purchase on it to keep him from falling. Trying to haul Heero back up to safety and his own weakness and wounds, caused him to lose temporary control of the powerful motorcycle. He'd veered sharply to the left, over corrected to the right, and somehow managed to make it to the soft shoulder of the road before the motorcycle folded under them. "Damn that hurt," he said to himself, knowing it could have been so much worse if he hadn't managed to drastically slow the speeding bike while he'd continued his efforts to shield Heero's slack body with his own.

Getting to the dorm room had taken all his remaining strength and energy. He was fairly certain that it was adrenaline alone that got the both of them there. He'd managed, despite his injuries, to get the bike off the ground and on its kick stand, then hauled Heero up onto the seat, placing his body before his own so he could keep a firm hold of him. Only then did he start the motorcycle again and proceeded at a more moderate speed towards the school. One block away from their dorm, he ditched the bike near the motorcycle shop they'd stolen it from, leaving it wiped clean from finger prints or traces of blood.

He wasn't quite sure how he managed it, but he successfully hauled Heero the short distance to their dorm room, carrying him over his shoulder, and except for his limp, it was in the exact same manner as Heero had taken him out of the base they'd escaped from. He remembered having random thoughts flitting through his mind at the time, and one particularly humorous one was that, in the shadow of the night, he imagined himself looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, limping heavily with a big lump over his shoulder.

He'd successfully snuck into the dorm, past the rooms of unaware, sleeping students and into their own room where he put Heero on his bed, then had the presence of mind to call Wufei on Heero's cell phone and asked him to come as soon as possible to help them. With the assurance that the other pilot was on his way, he collapsed onto his bed and welcomed the darkness that had been closing in on his vision since the fall off the bike. From that point, on everything was pretty much a blur.

He looked at the made bed and computer again. Hero must be alright if he was out of bed and the room, he thought. Shit, Heero. How the hell was he supposed to befriend or attract Heero when he was such a physical mess? "Pathetic," he called himself and closed his eyes. He ached all over and was feeling hungry and thirsty, but he'd be damned if he was going to try and get out of the bed. He figured he'd just wait a bit and Heero was bound to return to his computer.

Not ten minutes passed before his prediction came true and Heero opened the door and entered the bedroom. His eyes instantly met Duo's and he nodded his head in greeting.

"Hey," Duo said, his voice low and thick. "Could you get me some water?"

Without a word spoken, Heero left the room and the door open, allowing Duo to trace his movements to the bathroom where came the sound of water running. He returned a moment later with a tall glass of water in his hand and approached the bed. "Can you sit up?" he asked.

Duo held out his left hand. "Give me a hand up, but slowly please." Heero put the glass of water down on the nearby desk and held out his left hand, obviously favoring his right wounded shoulder. It was a painful process but the task was efficiently accomplished.

Heero sat on the edge of the bed and reached again for the glass and handed it to him. He remained where he was as he watched Duo drink the cool liquid down to the last drop. "More?"

"In a bit. I'm going to have to use the toilet soon but I don't want to rush having to move. A race to the john is definitely not on the cards at the moment."

"Do you need a pain pill?"

"Not yet."

Slowly, Duo eased himself back down to rest against his pillow. "Where are the others?"

"Gone. Missions."

Duo raised an eyebrow. "So it's just you and me?"

Heero nodded, and Duo noticed a strange, inscrutable look in his eyes. "I've been put in charge of your recovery."

"How's your shoulder?" Duo rushed to ask, letting his eyes look over the t-shirt covered shoulder, knowing it would be bandaged and probably smarting. He'd watched in a daze as Wufei dug the bullet out of the other pilot's shoulder blade, and just the thought of it now made his stomach clench and his body involuntarily shudder.

"It's at fifty percent," Heero replied, not telling Duo much.

"What about food?"

"The others left plenty in the kitchen. Are you hungry?"

"Ravenous." A tired grin rose on Duo's face. It was easier to think about food than the pain burning all along his right side and the pulsing throb emanating from his left thigh. At the moment he couldn't tell which one was worse, so he'd concentrate on food instead of his discomfort.

Heero put his hand on his forehead, it's coolness a welcome touch. "You have a low-grade fever, which is to be expected. Some acetaminophen will take care of that." He removed his hand though his eyes never left Duo's face. "I'll fix you some supper and help you to the bathroom before you eat, then give you your medication."

"Thanks, man. I owe you." Duo yawned widely. Heero stared at him for a moment with the same unusual expression on his face he'd worn earlier, but it quickly turned to the nondescript one Duo was more familiar with. Standing, he pulled the blankets up to the wounded boy's shoulders and without further word, turned and left the room.

Duo sighed as the door was quietly shut. Maybe it was possible to make use of this situation after all, he thought. Perhaps he could get closer to Heero, since it was only the two of them in the safehouse. He could try to flirt, though he reminded himself that he really didn't know how to flirt with a guy as opposed to a girl. Was it the same or different? he wondered. With another large yawn threatening to split his face, he became acutely aware of how hungry he really was and his stomach backed up that thought as it growled loudly in complaint. He'd have to think about getting closer to Heero in a little bit, after he'd gotten some food inside of him and took the dreaded painful trip to the can.

Three days passed before Duo felt well enough to venture out of his bed on his own. His first destination was the shower. His only excursions from the bedroom since he first woke up in the new safehouse had been to the bathroom, with Heero's help, so he had to learn second hand from Wing's pilot of the specifications of the place they were temporarily housed in. Heero described it as a townhouse in the middle of a busy, mid-sized city. They shared a common-wall with the neighbors to their right, which meant they had to keep the sounds in the rooms downstairs quiet. With just the two of them in the house, they'd have no problems in that department. The rented place had three bedrooms, all upstairs, and one and a half bathrooms.

He wasn't sure how many days it had been since he'd washed his hair, but Duo could definitely feel the need for it and was looking forward to the luxury of a shower. Yet after one look in the mirror at his reflection, his intentions faltered at the sight of his wounds. He took a good look at his tattered but healing right side, then pulled out the waistband of his boxers to take a look at the more painful areas of his right hip and thigh. The first night in this safehouse Heero had to wet down and peel off the cotton gi where it had stuck to his skin. Though he was a mass of scabs, he could see patches of brighter red where the material had melded with the open and raw wounds and had torn away his skin's first attempt at trying to heal as Heero undressed him. "Well aren't you attractive?" He said to himself with a voice dripping with sarcasm as he righted his boxers.

"I think you look better than you did four days ago," Heero said. Unaware of the other boy's arrival, the unexpected sound of his voice startled Duo and caused his breath to catch in his throat. He watched through the mirror as Heero came to stand behind him and looked over his shoulder and into the mirror at his reflection. The braided boy could feel the heat radiating from Heero's body, sensing the other pilot was standing well within his personal space. He realized that this moment provided the opportunity he'd been looking for during the last two days. Now all he needed was the courage to do what his mission called for.

"How can you stand looking at me?" he asked Heero, his eyes fixed on the other boy's deep blue eyes reflecting back at him. "I'm downright hideous."

Duo flinched slightly but quickly steadied himself as Heero brought his right hand up and pushed back several strands of his loose and messy hair from his shoulder. It then moved upward to stroke Duo's cheek. "You look fine, Duo, especially when you consider what you've been through."

Surprisingly enough, Heero's touch was gentle and Duo paused to wonder if anyone had ever touched him with such tenderness before. He closed his eyes, trying to remember and such experience and was shocked to find himself leaning into the touch. 'What the hell?' he thought to himself. His eyes flew open to see Heero still studying him from the reflection of the mirror. He quickly looked away and could feel himself blushing.

"I need a shower, Heero, but I'm not sure if it's worth the pain. I'm gonna go nuts if I don't get my hair washed soon."

The Wing Gundam pilot looked to the tub/shower unit behind him, then back to the damaged body. "I've got an idea, if you'll let me help you," he said.

Duo waited a moment before nodding and swallowed hard. He tried to tell himself it was no big deal. He'd showered in the locker rooms with Heero in the schools they'd attended, after playing sports. They'd dressed and undressed countless times in the same room, but all of a sudden he felt unusually body shy, which he knew was absolutely ridiculous. Heero had been tending his wounds with only a towel strategically placed to provide him some modesty.

He watched the other pilot through the mirror, his hands gripping the edges of the sink to keep himself standing as Heero turned and bent over the bathtub to start the shower, adjusting the temperature of the water until it was at an acceptable setting. He adjusted the nozzle of the shower, pointing it down sharply so that the water's spray fell only on the front area of the tub. Then opening the back of the curtain, he turned around to his injured comrade. "We need to get your boxers off," Heero said without blinking an eye.

Since peeling off the gi that first night in the safehouse, Duo opted to wear only his boxers, especially when he got out of bed. He needed to preserve some sense of modesty but knew that air was needed to help his skin heal more quickly. So at the moment he was more than fully aware that there was less than a yard of material that separated him from being clothed and totally naked. He gave a weak smile to the boy in the mirror then carefully hooked his thumbs into the waistband of his cotton boxers. He managed to pull them out and down to the top of his thighs before he stopped, not able to bend any further.

"I'll finish it," Heero offered, and again, Duo's skin twitched as deft fingers lifted the elastic away from his skin and eased the material down and off his legs. "Can you step over the edge of the bathtub?" Heero asked, turning Duo to face it.

He nodded, blushing furiously, and held onto Heero's proffered left arm as he brought his wounded left leg up and eased it painfully over the edge of the tub, paused to steady himself, then brought his raw and scabbing right leg in. Once both feet were inside the bathing space, Heero told him to turn and put his hands up against the back of the shower wall while he got ready. Duo could only imagine what 'ready' meant.

He could hear Heero moving about behind him, then felt warm water gently falling over his shoulder and stream down his back. He looked over his shoulder to see the other boy filling up a tall drinking glass with water from the showerhead, then brought it up to pour it down his back again. He closed his eyes and tried to relax, but it was pretty damn hard. He couldn't keep his mind off of every move the boy behind him made. At first, Heero avoided his healing skin as much as possible, but after a while he insisted that it needed to be cleansed as well.

With his body and long hair thoroughly wet, Heero reached for the shampoo and began to work up a lather on the heavy brown mass. The angle he was working at was extremely awkward and, finding it inefficient and his clothing getting wet, he changed tactics. Drying his hands on a nearby towel, he then quickly removed his clothing to stand just as nude as Duo was. He then climbed into the shower and resumed his work.

Duo, leaning heavily and half asleep against the shower wall with his eyes closed, was unaware of Heero's state of nakedness as he stood behind him, washing his hair. He moaned his pleasure at having his scalp thoroughly massaged. "God, that feels so good," he moaned. It was all too soon that he felt cup after cup of warm water being poured over his head in an effort to eliminate the soap from his mass of hair. He was so thoroughly relaxed by Heero's ministrations that he didn't react adversely to the soaped washcloth that was pressed against the healthy skin of his back, moved to his left shoulder and arm, then over his hip and down his legs. He tensed, however, as Heero slowly drew the cloth up his body once again, coming around to the front of his body and moved against his hip bone, stomach and chest.

"You're too thin," Heero said in a low voice.

"I'm just like every other half-starved kid that survived L-2," Duo replied in a tired voice. His mind focused on the cloth as it moved across his chest, rubbing against his nipples. Was Heero making a move on him? Or was he just being his usual thorough self? Whatever his motives, it felt incredibly good and Duo uttered a soft moan, then swallowed it, horrified at his reaction. Suddenly, the washcloth was removed and a bar of soap tapped against his right hand resting on the shower wall.

"Here," Heero said, his voice husky. "Wash yourself."

Knowing he was blushing because his face and ears were suddenly very hot, Duo took the bar to lather his hand and returned the soap to the other boy. He then washed his private areas, careful not to stimulate himself in any way so that his nether regions wouldn't react. "Okay," he whispered when he'd finished. He saw Heero's hand reach around his waist with the cup filled with water. He watched it tilt and felt the slow, warm tickle of water being poured against his flat stomach and slide over the soaped area below. 'It shouldn't feel this good,' he thought to himself. Heero repeated the rinsing two more times then began to gently wring out the long mass of hair by twisting it in his hands.

"Turn around so I can wash your face." The gentle command was breathed on Duo's bare shoulder, causing him to shudder and his body to get goose bumps. "Cold?"

Duo nodded, then slowly turned when Heero's hands gently prodded his shoulder to his right. The long haired man blinked in surprise at what was in front of him; Heero was as naked as he was. "Why are you in here?" he asked stupidly.

"Bathing you. My clothes were getting wet and this seemed more efficient."

Logic, Duo thought. Heero was just being logical, not making sexual advances.

"Close your eyes," the cobalt eyed boy ordered, and Duo complied, though somewhat reluctantly. Instead of a wash cloth being applied to his face and neck, wet and calloused hands touched his skin. Unbelievably gentle fingers pressed against every centimeter of his forehead, eyelids, nose, cheeks and chin, then down and up his neck, taking their time as if memorizing the smooth surface. Duo found himself in a trance-like state, his body swaying slightly to the tantalizing touches he'd never experienced before. The hint of Heero's breath brushing his lips was the only warning he had before lips, tentative in their touch, brushed against his mouth. Although it wasn't totally unexpected, his reaction to it was. He found himself canting his head to the right and shyly returning the kiss. In the back of his mind he noted that the kiss wasn't aggressive or demanding, as he would have expected from the Perfect Soldier, but quite the opposite. Heero's kiss was soft, questioning and tender. Duo had no idea as to how long their lip to lip contact lasted, but it suddenly came to an abrupt end when he opened his eyes and pulled back with a slight, mortified gasp.

Heero's eyes opened as well and studied his face, then slowly moved downward and a faint smile graced his lips. Duo followed the other boy's gaze and it fell on his own semi-erect state.

"Oh god," he moaned, embarrassed as hell. Then he noticed Heero was in a similarly affected state. Before he could catch himself, he backed up, hitting the cold shower wall behind him.

"What's wrong?" Heero asked, grabbing his right arm to steady him.

He was blowing it and he knew it. He just didn't know if he could do this, mission orders be damned. He was straight; wasn't he? He shouldn't be reacting like this from a simple kiss from another boy. It was then that his mission came back to him in the form of Dr. J's voice, speaking to him in perfect detail. "You are to gain his affections and attachment, and if he shows a sexual interest in you, you are to encourage and succumb to him. Bind him to you with your affections and with your friendship, give him something to live for. If he kills himself before the war is over, our chances for success are almost nil." He looked up to see Heero frowning at him, and if he didn't know better, he would think the other boy was... worried.

"I'm sorry, Heero," he said, his voice quiet but rushed. "I... I've just never done anything like this before." He hoped his explanation was close enough to the truth to be believable.

Heero's left eyebrow rose skeptically. "You've never kissed anyone before?"

Duo looked over Heero's shoulder at the showerhead and water spraying out wastefully from it while he avoided the other boy's eyes and wondered if he could evade his questions. Lying never did sit well with him, so he would have to be as truthful as he could without giving up his mission instructions. "I've never kissed a guy before, not to mention doing it while being naked and in a shower." He closed his eyes, embarrassed. "I'm surprised that I enjoyed it, especially since my body still aches all over."

Slowly, Heero's hand came up to brush his left cheek with the back of his fingers, causing the blue-violet eyes to open again. "I obviously enjoyed it too," he replied. He moved closer to continue where he'd left off moments before, but stopped as Duo's hand, planted firmly on his chest, kept him from advancing further.

"I'm in no shape for anything right now, Heero, and this is all new to me. Can we take things slow, discover how we really feel about each other?"

Heero's dark eyebrows drew together as he considered the request. "You want more than just a physical relationship." The words didn't come out as a question, but more as an unfamiliar concept being held up, analyzed and thoroughly dissected. Then unexpectedly, he nodded, coming to some type of a conclusion, and the dark blue eyes, glinting with an emotion Duo knew he hadn't seen there before, met his own. "That's acceptable. I think I want that too."

Giving him a shaky smile, Duo shivered again, this time it was from the cold. Heero saw it and moved them out of the bathtub, turned off the water, and carefully toweled off Duo and then himself.

The whole shower incident left the long haired boy feeling worn out. He sat on the edge of his bed with his eyes closed, a towel wrapped loosely over his hips with his damp hair slung over his bare left shoulder. In his limp hand, laying open on his lap, was his hairbrush, and he wondered how in the world he was going to find the strength to brush out the tangles.

A soft touch to his hand caused him to open his eyes to see Heero, dressed in sweat pants and a tee-shirt standing in front of him. "Need some help?"

Nodding, he gave the brush up into Heero's more than capable hands and waited as the other boy climbed up on the bed and situated himself behind him. Soon the long, slow and rhythmic brushing through his thick hair was both soothing and pleasant. "Besides myself, only one other person has ever brushed my hair," he said sleepily, the image of the older and sweet woman that had been Sister Helen came to his mind, accompanied by the sadness and longing he always experienced with the memory.

"Then I thank you for the privilege," Heero said sincerely, sensing whatever Duo was remembering was deeply personal. "I hope you'll tell me about that other person sometime, when you're feeling better."

Duo reached back with his left hand, stopping the movement of the hand holding the brush so that he could turn and look the Japanese boy in the eyes. As a rule, the five pilots never spoke too much about their pasts, finding the present more than enough to deal with. "Do you really mean that, Heero? You really want to know about my past?"

Heero looked as if he were thinking if over for a moment, then nodded. "It would be an honor. And if you'd like, I'll tell you of my past also."

"Yeah, I'd like that," Duo said, dropping his hand so that Heero could continue with the brushing of his hair. He closed his eyes and lost himself in the wonderful sensation of someone brushing his hair. He sensed that he and Heero were beginning to build a bridge of trust with each other, one that went past just being comrades, and maybe, with that as a starting point, they could be real friends and confidants. It had been a long time since he felt he could trust someone enough to be open with them about his past, and strangely enough, he found himself looking forward to it, even though dredging up parts of his life up was always painful. It would be nice to share his burdens with someone as strong as Heero Yuy.

A short time after that thought drifted through his mind, he dozed off, completely missing the tender act of Heero guiding his slack body down to the mattress to rest properly on his bed, then covering him up with the blankets and leaving him with a soft kiss on his cheek.

[ch. 5] [ch. 7] [back to Singles a - k]