Author: pyrzm
see ch. 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer

Broken Warriors + Chapter 25
Indian Summer

They landed in Boston, spent the night in a hotel there, and then drove down to the Cape in a rented SUV. Massachusetts was surprisingly warm and sunny in mid-September, a weather pattern Duo said was called "Indian summer" though he didn't know why. The sky was a flawless turquoise over a silver blue sea. Beaches and white dunes tufted with long grasses made a pale demarcation between the two. The Cape had once been a long hook of land jutting into the Atlantic to embrace and shelter a huge bay. A massive storm in 10 AC had melted away the end of the hook and several towns. Now it was more like a hitchhiker's abbreviated thumb, capped with the recreational harbor city of New Provincetown. The house they were to live in lay fifteen miles south of it.

Duo drove, pointing out places of interest to Heero as they followed the highway around the inner curve of the Cape. The towns here were old, many dating back to the early history of settlement in this part of Earth. Whalers and fishermen had founded them, Duo explained. The towns were pretty and quite modern now--Sagamore, Sandwich, Yarmouthport. Turning north up the remaining stump of the hook, they passed through Eastham, the last of the pre-storm towns. In between these larger towns were little sprinklings of settlement-"wide places in the road"-Duo called them. Most were hardly more than a store and a gas station at an intersection, with a scattering of small modest houses on the landward side, and rows of expensive summer condos or beach houses on the waterfront. Here and there unmarked roads disappeared among the grassy dunes. Their destination lay along one of these. The natural beauty of the place appealed to him, and the remoteness satisfied old instincts.

Heero was still jetlagged and tired, and longed for his former resilience. He felt much healthier than he had a week ago, but his body was still a troublesome stranger, tiring out at odd moments, and letting him down. He wouldn't trust this body in a fight. Peacetime or not, this all left him with a nagging sense of anxiety.

The long ride gave him time to think. Duo was bright and cheerful now, with no sign of the dark mood Heero had seen during the shuttle flight, or the strange, desperate intensity that had precipitated the violent sex aboard the shuttle.

Heero wasn't comfortable with what had happened. When the hormones had subsided, Heero realized that Duo had purposefully egged him into spanking and then roughly fucking him. It had obviously been what Duo thought he'd needed, but Heero had been left depressed. Lying there in that ridiculous Arabian Nights bed, sticky and aching and sated, he'd felt guilty, convinced that in fulfilling Duo's need for pain and punishment, he'd ultimately failed his lover. And himself. All this time he'd been angry at Trowa for what sounded like a careful, caring application of discipline, then Heero had simply lost control. In retrospect, he had to admit that he was unhappy with Duo for once again manipulating him.

It didn't help at all that Duo had been happy, affectionate, and very attentive to Heero's needs since then, including a very intense but much gentler bout of lovemaking in the Boston hotel last night. Heero's body had responded to his lover's advances as readily as always, but he felt cautious, too, and on guard. Duo had made no objection when Heero, concerned at the wear and tear on Duo's
Body, kept things to caresses and sixty-nine. He'd come shouting Heero's name, then cuddled happily against him and gone to sleep. Heero had enjoyed it, too, but lay awake for a long time, trying to sort out his own nagging unease.

Duo wasn't completely stable. If he'd had any doubts about that, they were gone. Not that this changed Heero's feelings for him-quite the opposite, in fact. It only strengthened his determination to care for and protect his beautiful lover. But he was aware of feeling something else, too, something he had trouble defining. Fear, he admitted now. But of what?

//Failing him again.// Staring out at the passing dunes, he finally put his finger on it. He'd failed before, in his own survival mission, and in how he'd left his friends, and Duo. Everyone had suffered because he'd misjudged his own appropriate course of action. Heero glanced over at Duo, who was humming off key with the radio, and recommitted himself to "Mission Duo." He would work to make sure Duo knew he could depend on him, lean on him if need be, but for love and support, not violence. He knew he couldn't change him overnight; two years of therapy with Batoosingh hadn't worked, either. So he had to find some way to prove to Duo that he could to pull him back to safety. Until such time as the mission was completed, he accepted that Duo might sometimes need the old, unhealthy outlets but those beatings or spankings or whatever they should be termed would be administered at Heero's discretion, not Duo's.

The question was, how was he to implement his new mission? What was missing in Duo's life that sent him into those tailspins, and how could Heero defuse that? He pondered this, defining the relationship in question.

He and Duo were friends and sex partners. Duo called him "lover." They had a history of sorts, but one punctuated by long absences, war, and other violence.

Both of them had grown up with deprivation, even cruelty. It had made Heero hard and closed off, but Duo seemed determined to overcome it, to touch others and be connected.

Connection. That seemed a good focus. How could he help Duo feel more connected to him? In this, he admitted, he was at a distinct disadvantage. Duo understood normal human interaction better than he ever had. Heero's background was limited mostly to what he'd read or seen in movies. "Follow your feelings," Odin Lowe had told him, but that had been the closet thing to a real human relationship Heero had ever had, such as it had been, and Lowe had abandoned him before teaching him how to follow his own advice.

He considered Relena. She's wanted a relationship with him, seen something worth wanting in him before he'd even met Duo. Why? He'd never given her the slightest encouragment, yet she'd tracked him like a shark scenting blood! He'd spared her life, even let her force him into dancing, but never felt anything more than a sense of duty to her. He had followed his feelings, not killing her time and again, but it hadn't made him love her. Duo, on the other hand, he'd had some stir of feelings for almost as soon as he'd laid eyes on him, and even getting shot by him hadn't quelled them. Only his sense of mission and duty had made him bury them deep and cold in his heart.

That left him with Quatre and Trowa. Perhaps he could take that relatinship as his model, though Trowa was the only one he could begin to identify with. Yet now that he knew him better, he realized that the reserved, green-eyed young man exuded tremendous sexuality in his own quiet way. Heero had no idea how he did that, much less how to emulate it. He sighed, and Duo gave him a questioning glance.

"Tired?"

"A bit." The magnitude of the task emerging in Heero's mind left him feeling overwhelmed. The consequence of failure was too dire to contemplate, but where to even start?

"Well, hang in there. We're almost there. Just one more stop." They reached a little hamlet called Buck Harbor and Duo pulled off at a roadside grocery store to pick up the last minute provisions they'd ordered ahead online.

The shopkeeper, a thin, middle-aged woman named Kelly, greeted Duo with a smile and a hug. "I figured you'd be back!" she exclaimed, her voice thick with a coastal accent. "You're looking real good, too."

"Hey, love'll do that to ya!" Duo announced, seemingly unconcerned by the other locals watching curiously around the end of the aisle. "This is Heero. Guess you probably saw us on TV, huh?"

"Hard to miss you. It was all over the news." The look she gave Heero, keeping silent guard by the front door, was less warm. It was an appraising look, Heero thought, and a bit suspicious. 'Protective,' he added mentally. This woman liked Duo very much and wasn't certain Heero's presence was a good thing. "Good to meet you, Mr. Yuy. Hope you boys have a nice visit here."

Duo shot him a 'be nice!' look and Heero gave her a curt nod. "I understand it is very private."

"Don't you worry yourself none 'bout that. We get all sorts of famous people here on the Cape, but we know how to mind our own business and not talk to those nosy reporters. You'll be left alone here. Just watch yourselves up in Provincetown. It's mostly tourists there, Sunday sailors and summer folk and their fancy yachts. That's where they'll catch up with you."

"That's the local's nice way of saying New Provincetown is paparazzi heaven," said Duo, poking through a carton of fresh produce. "It's also one of the top gay vacation spots on the east coast. After the way you outted us in Madrid, we'll probably end up on the local paparazzi hit list. But hey, can't help it if the world finds us too fascinating, right?" He chuckled, hefting the carton.

"Hn." Heero picked up the box of dairy products and followed him out to the car. So this was a risky location, after all. Then again, the others had lived in the media spotlight for years now, and nothing bad had happened to them because of it. He had to stop thinking like a terrorist. All the same, he was on alert as they set off on the last leg of their drive.

A few miles later, Duo turned down a nondescript narrow track marked with nothing more than a small sign stating that it was a private drive. He made a point of showing Heero the security monitors hidden at intervals behind grass hummocks and clumps of wild beach rose. The road wound to the right and crested a large dune, and suddenly the sky and sea lay spread out before them in a glittering, golden hued panorama. A large, weathered house above a long curve of white beach.

"Home at last!" Duo announced, and Heero heard genuine warmth in his voice. This was a place Duo had been before, one where he'd been happy.

Heero soon saw why Duo would react that way. He'd never cared much where he stayed, so long as it was secure and reasonably habitable, but the moment he laid eyes on the pseudo-Victorian "cottage", standing lonely among the white, grass-tufted dunes above the silver green bay, it felt like somewhere he wanted to be. It was an odd-looking place, like something out of a movie, with its weathered shingled walls, rambling porch, tall windows, white gingerbread trim, and conical tower. He'd spent his life moving from one temporary location and clandestine operation to another. "Safe houses": only now did he see the irony of that term. None of them had been safe, and certainly nowhere he'd even thought of relaxing. His time in the Sanque Kingdom after the war had been no different, and then--homeless.

'Why here?' he wondered as he and Duo carried in their bags and the groceries. Why would a Japanese-descended, ex-assassin, displaced colonial feel so immediately at home in such a place? Perhaps because he was here with Duo, alone at last? But he'd been in places with Duo before, but none had ever given him an instant impression of peace and refuge that seemed to have little to do with the state-of-the-art security installations.

On some level, he still distrusted such feelings. One couldn't be a certain way for a lifetime and just change. Perhaps he was still mentally ill, as well as physically compromised?

Even so, he found himself oddly excited as Duo showed him around the place. The floors were polished honey pine, carpeted here and there with dark red Persian rugs. The woodwork was the same golden tone, and the wainscoting in the hallways. The large, high ceilinged living room had a stone fireplace and two walls of built in bookcases filled with books and decorative items. Colorful artwork brightened the walls, and brilliant, jewel-toned upholstery on the comfortable furniture. Like most of the principle rooms of the house, it faced out over the bay, and was bathed in the dancing play of light. None of the furnishings looked Arabian, but it still reminded Heero of the shuttle bedroom. Quatre's family favored rich colors and fabrics, and luxurious surroundings. No wonder Duo had liked it here.

The kitchen was cavernous, designed for a cadre of servants to look after flocks of Raberba kin and their guests. There was a large dining room next to it, with French doors opening onto the porch. A nicely appointed library had another fireplace, and a rounded out corner where the base of the tower intersected. A curved window seat was built in to it, and lined with cushions.

This floor also had several guest rooms, and a large old-fashioned bathroom with reproduction 1920's fittings, right down to a white claw foot tub and ruddy-varnished matchstick wainscoting.

One of the downstairs rooms was already converted into an impressive fitness room and sparring dojo. Climbing a curving staircase to the second floor, he found the upstairs tower room outfitted with state of the art computer hookups and a serviceable workstation. There was even a selection of computer games that had been Heero's favorites during the war; leave it to Quatre to remember such things.

"I think Kat means for us to use the master bedroom!" Duo laughed, pulling Heero into a huge suite overlooking the sea. A king-sized bed with a colorful blue and green velvet quilt dominated the room, along with a whitewashed brick fireplace. The walls were painted a soft white and hung with artwork and fabric hangings that mirrored the colors of the sky and sea outside. A bowl of beach roses scented the room, mingling with the sea air coming in through the curtains. A master bath was visible through a far door, and Heero caught a glimpse of another large claw foot tub, and a shelf above it filled with colorful candles of various sizes and heights.

Heero looked it over with an appraising, mission-oriented eye and something else fell into place. The room was carefully arranged to foster intimacy, and perhaps sex. Even Heero felt it, in the sudden rush of warmth to his groin and a flutter in his belly. The bed was large, the textures and colors carefully orchestrated to appeal to the senses. It invited him to throw Duo down on it and roll him around. The bathtub was the same, far too large if simple hygiene was the only goal, not to mention the careful proximity of the candles in a room adequately equipped with electric lighting. Even the golden, late afternoon light seemed planned, in the way it caught Duo, showing off the highlights in his braid and the rich color of his eyes.

Intrigued, he ran a finger down Duo's arm and saw those eyes widen. Without a word, Duo came into his arms and gave him a deep, open-mouthed, tongue-darting kiss that promised more. Heero held him, cataloging the new information.

Romance. Sensuality. Hn.

Courtship! That was the element lacking. They'd completely skipped any semblance of that social interaction, leaping from being fellow soldiers to sex without any preamble. The same thing had happened in the silo that night. One minute they were two young soldiers in a bad situation, the next they'd been dry humping like jackrabbits. Had it been too fast, too simplistic? If Duo was still feeling sad or scared enough to need what he'd needed on the flight, even from Heero, then something was missing.

If only he had a better grounding in what to do! He could shoot almost any weapon, drive almost any vehicle, kill a man in dozens of silent, efficient ways, and--according to Duo--fuck very well. But how to make Duo feel loved and protected out of bed?

Heero combed his memory for the few references he had. He thought of how Trowa and Quatre touched each other, and the few movies featuring romance he'd been forced to sit through at one time or another. Stepping back, he caught Duo's hand and drew him out into the hallway. Then, taking a deep breath, he scooped his surprised friend up in his arms and staggered back through the doorway to the bed. His strength held out just long enough to deposit him there without looking too winded.

Laughing, Duo pulled him down and rolled on top. "Showing off, are we?"

"Yes." Heero kissed him again, then gazed into his eyes. "You are even more beautiful than usual in this light. It makes me feel like protecting you and always being here with you--"

The speech, delivered in his usual guarded monotone, didn't have quite the effect he'd hoped. Duo stared down at him for a moment and began to laugh. Not just a chuckle or a giggle, either, but hard, rolling belly laughs that shook the bed.

"What the hell's gotten into you?" he demanded, getting his breath at last. He was grinning, and didn't seem at all offended, but it was not a reaction that spoke of feeling romantic or cherished and safe.

Heero sighed again, defaulted to familiar, and ran his hands down Duo's back to his butt, cupping those firm cheeks through the denim. "I love you. I want to show you that I do."

"You do, baby! Every time I look at you, every time you touch me, I know that." Duo kissed him again, long and hot. Duo was good at this sort of thing. With just those few heartfelt words and a kiss, he made Heero feel very aroused and very cherished and safe. But Heero didn't see the same emotions in Duo's eyes. There was still a question there, just behind the lust and affection.

This required more research. The computer in the next room should suffice. When he moved to get up, however, Duo had other ideas.

"Where do you think you're going, lover?" he purred, holding Heero in place with one hand, and reaching down to stroke Heero's semi hard cock through his jeans with the other. "You're not going to go all Rhett Butler on me, then leave, are ya?"

Heero didn't recognize the reference, but assumed it had something to do with him carrying Duo. Despite the somewhat dominate action on his part, Duo seemed to be taking control of the situation. Heero's body responded, even as his mission mind floundered. "I won't leave, Duo. What would you like to do?"

"I'd like to christen this bed with you, baby!" The purr was fast becoming a growl of lust. "My butt's still kinda sore from the other day, but if you wanted to give it another try yourself, well . . ."

He let the question hang between them, gauging Heero's reaction. Duo had only taken the top position once so far, but Heero knew that previous to their relationship, it had been his chosen role. Heero had been surprised at his own enjoyment of it at the time, but had attributed that to the heat of the moment and necessity. He hadn't given the matter adequate thought since, to know if he wanted to assume the bottom role again. Looking up into those passion-heated eyes now, darkened from violet to near storm purple in the failing light, and feeling the heat and lust radiating from the lean body pressing down on his, Heero's body decided it was time to establish another data point. Clutching Duo's ass in both hands, he ground his now hard erection up against Duo's. "Fuck me, Duo."

He heard the gratifying catch in Duo's breath, saw the color rise in his cheeks. "Oh, yeah!" The low, harsh tone stiffened Heero's already hard cock and raised the hair on his arms and neck.

Duo kissed him again, then none too gently bit his way down Heero's neck. Shoving Heero's shirt up under his arms, he kissed and nibbled his way down to his belt, pulled it open, and wrestled the jeans down as far as Heero's knees. Planting a hand firmly in the middle of Heero's chest, he held him still for a rough, sloppy blowjob, slurping and sucking noisily in a way that made Heero moan and arch under the onslaught. Just when he felt the first tightening in his balls, however, Duo flipped him over, pulled him up on his knees and paused.

Head cradled on his arms, Heero willed himself to relax, expecting a hard fuck, payback for the roughness on the plane. Instead, he felt gentle fingers tickle down his back and over his buttocks, teasing and arousing without any roughness at all. Then Duo was kissing his way down the same path, lapping and laving his tongue down the cleft of Heero's ass, skirting playfully around his opening, and then lots of wet, sloppy tongue kissing over the super sensitive skin behind his balls. When Heero was shivering and moaning, cool slicked fingers penetrated him, stretching and preparing with loving care, then the blunt, well slicked head of Duo's cock, opening and filling him from behind.

And once again, it was exactly what Heero wanted. Every slow, lazy thrust sent waves of pleasure all over his body. Pushing himself up on his arms, he rocked back, taking Duo deeper and deeper, loving the moans and gasps and crooning obscenities this wrested from his lover's lips.

"Oh, Heero! O fuck, you're sooooooo good! So hot. So tight! Damn, you're good to me. I love you, Heero, love you so much!"

"I love you, Duo!" Heero managed, dangerously close to a sob as he felt himself tipping over the delicious edge of climax, not even needing a hand on his cock to come in a glorious burst of sensation. It broke over him like a wave on the beach outside, but one made of the pure golden sunlight. It took his breath way, and then gave it back in a long, breathy groan of ecstasy. "Duo! Yes, Duo!"

And then Duo was coming in a sudden flurry of rapid, hard driving thrusts that sent Heero into a gasping secondary orgasm.

They collapsed together, rolling away from the already cooling puddle of Heero's cum, soaking into the velvet and silk spread.

'Probably should have pulled that back,' Heero thought, but couldn't muster too much concern. His shirt was still rucked up under his armpits, his jeans tangled around his feet. Duo had shucked off his own clothes at some point and lay naked and glowing and utterly relaxed against Heero, humming softly under his breath as they both drifted.

Had that been romantic? Heero wasn't sure, but thought it might have been, even if it hadn't turned out exactly as he'd intended. It was a start, anyway.

The evening breeze turned cold. He managed to get them both under the covers, but left the window open, enjoying the crisp ocean scent. He dozed off, woke later to find the room bright with moonlight. That was romantic, too. He would take advantage of that tomorrow night. Then sleep took him in earnest and he sank happily, Duo warm and solid and real and his beside him.

Tomorrow he would begin his research in earnest.

[chap. 24] [chap. 26] [back to pyrzm's fic]