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

Broken Warriors + Chapter 35
Firm Hand

The websites Quatre sent were helpful. The mechanics of the act were not complicated. With Heero's extensive background in torture and interrogation techniques, most of what he read was familiar ground. He knew where and how to strike a human body without inflicting damage to bones or organs. He knew what parts were the most susceptible to pain. The connection between pain and endorphins was something he knew from first hand experience. No, what most mystified him, as much so after he'd done the reading as before, was why anyone would purposefully seek out such treatment in the name of pleasure. That he did not get at all.

So he studied most closely the information dealing with the psychology of masochism. It was a complex thing, and highly subjective from one individual to another. It was important that he determine whether Duo actually felt he needed to be punished for some wrongdoing, real or imagined, or if it was simply the experience of being helpless, or if the pain was what he craved, and the hormone rush.

If he had been working out of pure mission mode, he'd have contacted Trowa for primary source background regarding his target. The unresolved sexual tension between them made that impossible. Instead, he emailed Quatre, and received a detailed report of what 04 had observed from the outside. Quatre had not participated in the actual administration of the punishment, or witnessed it. Apparently Duo had been embarrassed about it, and kept it between Trowa and himself.

Heero was relieved that Quatre had not been directly involved. It bothered him that Trowa had been; it was something the two of them would have to at least discuss to achieve full resolution between them and he was not looking forward to that. But the relationship he had with Quatre remained pure. That was how he thought of it; pure.

He was beginning to wonder if he had a "thing" for Quatre. He did not particularly want to have sex with him, but whenever he thought of the little blond, he got a very pleasant, warm feeling. The kiss they'd shared during the drunken game had been good, something he valued in memory. The fact that Quatre could feel his concern across the distance to a space colony, and desired comfort from him when sad also made him feel good. He was looking forward to seeing him in person again in a few days. He thought he might even be able to initiate a hug, as requested.

In the meantime, however, he must focus on calming and reassuring an increasingly withdrawn Duo.

He researched quickly and was ready to proceed within forty eight hours of his initial email conversation with Quatre. According to Quatre, Trowa had always conducted his sessions with Duo in the evening, and before that Duo had sought out his rough strangers at night. So Heero spent that day and the next making his plans and keeping one eye on Duo has he moped around the house and puttered in his studio. The only action he took before nightfall was to reminded Duo of his meds each morning, and check through the day to see if he took them.

He didn't.

Heero didn't own any leather pants. After a light and rather quiet supper in the kitchen, he went upstairs and changed into his black jeans and the tight black tank he'd worn to the club. He put on the Dolchi belt, too, but left his feet bare. He looked at himself in the mirror when he was done, trying to imagine Duo's response. He looked 'dangerous', he supposed, the way Duo liked, but his dour expression was due mostly to discomfort with his mission. He was not currently sexually aroused at the prospect of what lay ahead. He was not, in sexual terms, a sadist. He was glad of that. The idea of being turned on by hurting Duo repulsed him. No, this was a mission, a job that needed doing for Duo's sake. He would do his best. It was not important that he enjoy it. Securing the long thong bracelet around his left wrist, he collected Duo's medicine bottles from the bathroom and went downstairs.

Duo was in the living room, curled up with a magazine on the couch. The night was chilly and he;d built a fire in the fireplace while Heero was upstairs. The room was very cozy, a safe-feeling place. Duo had been working most of the day, and still had on the bleach spotted, paint streaked jeans and a faded green tee shirt that looked as if it had belonged to someone several sizes larger originally. He was barefoot, toenails still shiny silver from their anniversary date. As always, he looked incredibly beautiful. If not for the mission, Heero would have simply sat down with him and held him, or pulled those long, pretty feet into his lap and rubbed them until Duo got turned on or dozed off. Either outcome would have been fine.

The mermaid mask Duo had given him caught Heero's eye as he crossed the room and his heart sank even lower than it already was. He didn't want to do this. He almost wished he'd agreed to leave this sort of thing to Trowa, but of course, he couldn't do that. Not if he meant to be the lover Duo needed. And not if he hoped to remain friends with Trowa.

'Do it for Duo, not to Duo,' Quatre had advised. Heero clung to those words and attempted to observe Duo over with an objective eye.

He looked up as Heero came into the room, took in what he was wearing, and smiled. But Heero also saw how tired and drained he was. A week of poor eating and sleeping and too much time shut away in the studio had already leached away some of the healthy color he'd picked up on the beach.

"Baby, you didn't say anything about going out tonight."

"We are not." Heero placed the three pill bottles in a row on the edge of the coffee table in front of Duo. "I counted. You have not been taking these as you should, even though I reminded you."

Duo's eyes widened a little. Wary? A hint of fear? Disbelief? "Really? Yeah, I guess maybe I forgot, with work and all--"

"What was our agreement?" Heero kept his tone neutral.

Duo sighed and laid the magazine aside. "That I wouldn't give any excuses, I know. But jeeze, Heero, with the masks and all--"

"More excuses. You violated our agreement. Stand up and give me your hands."

Duo's eyebrows shot up. Disbelief was definitely the primary expression now, but he did as Heero asked. "Uh, Heero?"

Heero slowly unwound the long braided thong from his wrist, then held out his hands for Duo's. To his amazement and somewhat to his dismay, Duo immediately hung his head and held out his hands, crossed at the wrists. He understood, and wanted the punishment he thought was to come. Heero was more convinced than ever that this had been Duo's aim all along.

Heero bound his wrists without comment, then tilted Duo's chin up, making him look at him. "Did you do this to test me?"

Duo averted his eyes. "Maybe, a little."

"Is that why you played the radio so loud at night, hoping I'd wake up and be angry with you?"


"You're not sure?"

Duo shrugged, looking ashamed.

"You have been very restless and uneasy this week. Are you frightened of something?"

A nod.


A shrug.

Heero lifted Duo's chin a little higher, guiding those evasive eyes back to his. "You are feeling unbalanced, unsure. Why?"

Another shrug.

"Duo, if you think I am going to punish you for such childish behavior as the radio, you are mistaken. That would be like rewarding you for it. That would only reeinforce in your tendancy for self-destructive actions, especially the medication lapses. I don't like it that you try to manipulate me that way. If you continue with such behavior, I will simply ignore it, except for the medication issue. Until further notice, I would prefer it if you take your pills under my observation. Is this acceptable?"

No orders. No threats. Duo had the option to refuse or rebel. He didn't. Instead, he nodded, looking even more miserable. Heero saw how his fingers twitched, how he flexed against the tightly wrapped thong around his wrists. Heero suspected that the feeling of being bound was giving him some sort of comfort.

"We are agreed then. You will not try to manipulate me again?"

"I won't, Heero. I'm sorry."

Heero stroked his cheek. "I've seen your psych file, Duo. I've spoken with Quatre about what you needed from Trowa. I'm prepared to give you that in a safe and controlled manner any time you need it, but only if you are honest and tell me, instead of forcing me to lose control the way you did on the shuttle flight. You might have felt better afterwards, but I didn't. I felt very bad about it.

Tears welled in Duo's eyes as he sank slowly to his knees and bowed his head. "I'm sorry! I'm a sick, twisted fuck-up, a selfish--"

Heero caught him by the braid, hoisted him back to his feet and said firmly, but with no anger, "Stop that right now. I know your condition and understand what motivated you. I do not think you were trying to hurt me intentionally. I'm simply explaining to you why I will not participate in that sort of mind game with you. Tell me, why did you do that, instead of simply telling me what you needed?"

"Why do you think?" Duo shot back, a momentary flash of irritation driving the beaten look from his eyes. Heero was glad to see some of the normal Duo in that glare and waited patiently for him to go on. "Jesus, Heero, it was hard enough to ask Tro, and he's been in the scene with me for two years! What was I supposed to say to you? I was dying inside that I even needed it. I hate it that I can't control these feelings! I feel like an alcoholic who can't stop drinking, even though he knows it'll kill him!"

"It is a compulsion."

"Sure, yeah, that's as good a name for it as anything."

"And what Trowa did for you, under controlled circumstance; this met your need equally well as being seriously injured by a stranger in a sex club?"

Duo looked away again. "It was better. He--he was really good to me after, took care of me and brought me down gently. And then he and Kat--" He broke off, voice unsteady.

"You would sleep with them afterwards, with them holding you."

Duo nodded. "Are you mad?"

"No." A little jealous, maybe, but they were about to fix that. "I will--" He hesitated. He felt so damn silly using the word out loud! "I will spank you when you need it, but I will never, ever strike you to punish you. That would be abusive, for one thing, but mostly because I want an equal for a lover, not a bad little boy. If my lover needs me to restrain and--treat him a certain way, to give him that emotional release, then I will do it. But only on my terms."

He'd rehearsed this carefully all day, hoping it was the right mix; a demand for responsibility on Duo's part, but making it clear that Duo could let go safely, with Heero firmly in charge.

To his relief, Duo gave him a rather shame-faced but grateful nod.

"Very well, then. I'm going to go get you a glass of water and watch you take your pills. What comes next is neither a punishment nor a reward. It is simply something you need to feel better. Are we absolutely clear on that?"


"Good. Have your pants off by the time I get back. Leave the shirt."

Alone in the kitchen, Heero braced his hands on the edge of the sink and fought to remain calm. "Do it for him," he muttered, feeling a little ill.

Duo was ready when he came back, standing nervously by the couch in nothing but the faded green tee-shirt. It came down over his hips, and Heero could tell by the way it hung in the front that Duo was not sexually excited by this. Heero made a mental note of that. This didn't seem to be about sex.

Duo's hair was still braided and Heero left it that way, in order to avoid any connection in Duo's mind between this and the sexual connotations Heero had with his hair. Heero wasn't sure he could handle any sexual overtones in conjunction with this. He'd just have to see how he felt after they got past this first difficult part.

He counted out Duo's evening dose of meds and placed them in Duo's hand, then gave him the glass of water. Duo swallowed the pills and Heero gave him an approving kiss. "Thank you. It scares me when you stop taking them. I want you happy and healthy, and with me my whole life. You'll do that for me, won't you?"

Duo was blinking back tears again. "Yes, Heero. I'm sorry!"

Heero put his arms around him and held him for a moment, stroking his back. "We'll work on that together." He stroked lower, past the hem of the shirt to that smooth, round bare backside. Duo shivered against him and Heero felt the bound hands trapped between their bodies flexing against their bonds again.

"Do you still need this?" Heero whispered against his ear. "I could just tie you up on the bed, instead."

"After," Duo murmured against his shoulder. "Whatever you want, how ever you want, afterwards. But please? Can we do this? Please?"

The pleading whisper sent a pang though Heero's heart. Heero held him by the shoulders and stepped back. "Then you must tell me what you need, Duo. Show me that you can ask."

Duo sank slowly to his knees at Heero's feet again, but looked him in the eye all the while. "I need you to spank me hard, Heero. I need you to drive me over the edge, until I give out. My safe words are 'blue sky' if I need you to pause, or if I need to tell you something, and 'starfish' if I can't take anymore. I promise I will use them if I need to. I promise I won't let you really harm me."

That was the right answer. Heero bent and kissed him, then sat down in the middle of the couch. "Across my lap."

Duo crawled over and draped himself across Heero's knees, hands resting on the floor by Heero's feet. Heero adjusted the bindings, tying the hands securely with slack between them, then put one bare foot on the slack, holding Duo's hands firmly down. Then he pulled his other leg in closer to the couch, raising that knee and Duo's ass with it, leaving him head down, ass high. He stroked Duo's braid, and then moved it aside and stroked his back through the tee shirt, then traced the edge of the hem, letting Duo know how it rode up in this position, leaving his ass exposed. Gradually, he moved his hand, still stroking, over those pale, firm cheeks, "waking the flesh" as one of the articles had put it. He stroked Duo's bottom and the backs of his thighs, silently showing Duo where he would be concentrating his efforts. That fair skin was already flushing a faint pink.


Duo nodded, then tensed as Heero raised his hand.

The first smack and Duo's hitching gasp sounded much too loud in the quiet room, making Heero wish he'd put on some music. Next time.

He gave Duo nine more measured, moderately hard slaps on the fleshy parts of his backside and paused, giving the safe word a chance. But Duo stayed silent, almost relaxed across his lap.

Ten more, harder this time, and lower, aiming for the soft flesh just under the curve of the buttocks, very sensitive according to Quatre and the articles. Duo grew tense and began to let out little gasps.

Ten more, spread out from his butt to just above his knees, and Heero could make out the long red marks left by his fingers.

"Blue sky."

Heero rested his hand on Duo's back, letting him know he'd stopped.

"Harder, faster, and concentrate on my ass," Duo whispered. "Don't stop until I ask you."

"Copy that. Ready?"


Heero did as he asked, but kept count. After five Duos began to make noise, and after eight he began to struggle, pulling against the pressure of Heero's foot across the wrist binding. At eighteen he began to whimper and yelp and by twenty three he was sobbing and struggling harder. Heero set a mental limit of forty and continued, hitting a little harder.

Duo began to thrash in earnest, but Heero angled his knee so he couldn't fall off.

At forty he paused.

"No!" Duo sobbed. "Please-Almost--"

Quatre had said something about Duo going limp at a certain point. Heero refocused on the sensitive under curve again and went faster and harder, hoping to drive him to that break point. Duo convulsed, crying and really fighting to free his hands, but Heero kept him pinned, raining down blows with his open palm. His hand was starting to hurt now. He could also feel Duo's erection now, hard against his leg.

Duo let out a loud, anguished cry and collapsed, heading hanging down, arms and legs limp. Heero kept going, not letting up, and finally heard a hoarse, tearful "Starfish!"

Heero allowed himself a moment's stillness, relieved. Then he pulled Duo around into his arms and carried him to the guestroom down the hall where he'd made up the bed earlier. He'd told himself at the time that he didn't trust his newly returned strength enough to attempt carrying Duo up the stairs, but was honest enough with himself now to know that he didn't want to associate this evening's activities with the bed they'd shared so lovingly.

Duo was too far gone to notice. He pressed his tear streaked face into the curve of Heero's neck, bound hands fisted in the front of Heero's black shirt, murmuring "Thank you, baby. Just right! Thank you!"

Heero climbed onto the bed and untied Duo's hands, then cradled him in his arms, stroking his hair and arms and bare hip as Duo clung to him. He calmed quickly, but he was still panting a little, and his cock was hard and erect. Heero ignored that for now and instead loosened the braid and combed it free with his fingers, then ran his fingers through it close to Duo's scalp.

"I love you, Duo."

"Love--you! Thank you--so much."

"Feel better?"


"Good. Remember our deal. Ask me properly next time, and I'll do that whenever you need me to."

Duo answered with a heartfelt kiss and snuggled closer. "Got me horney, too, baby."

Heero still had serious reservations about sex in this context. His initial plan had been to wait until the following morning to initiate anything. But the feeling of Duo so relaxed against him, high on endorphins--literally glowing and smiling that dreamy-looking smile-- made Heero waver in his resolve. It also occurred to him that Duo, by his own account, had never had sex with anyone else afterwards. Heero was the first. That excited him more than he liked to admit.

He dropped his hand to Duo's lap and stroked the weeping erection there. Duo moaned and rocked up into his hand. "You want me, little mermaid?"

"Always! Please, Heero. I'd love it, love you in me now."

Heero moved Duo off his lap and onto his back, with a pillow under his head and two under his hips. Duo stretched his arms over his head and let out a sexy little moan, knowing this position let Heero thrust in very deep.

Heero undressed quickly, hands shaking a little, then knelt between those wide spread legs. He traced the insides of Duo's thighs with light caresses, and then bent and kissed the same path up to that hot, heavy sac. Duo groaned more deeply as Heero nuzzled and licked his balls, then tongued his way down to the red, mottled curve of his ass. His ass and the backs of his thighs were very red and hot to the touch. Now that Heero's passion was beginning to rise, the heat of it excited him a little. He'd done that.

Heero didn't touch Duo's cock, not yet. Finding the lube he'd left ready on the nightstand just in case, he prepared Duo's tight opening and then pressed his lover's legs back, bracing Duo's feet against his shoulders so that his ass was lifted and exposed.

"Oh yeah!" Duo rolled his head against the pillow and stretched his arms, pressing his hands to the headboard. "So ready, baby! Make me yours, all yours!"

No one else had ever heard those words, thought Heero, and not at a moment like this.

That knowledge, and the exceptional warmth of Duo's reddened flesh against his thighs sent a spiked erotic blast through Heero, forcing a pounding, almost painful wave of desire up his own stiffened cock. Coating it quickly, he sank slowly into Duo's tight passage, watching as his cock disappeared into his lover's body. Duo's beautiful mouth opened in a silent cry of pleasure and pain as he lifted his hips against the assault, taking Heero even deeper.

Heero leaned over him and caught Duo's wrists in a tight grip over his head, pinning them and ravishing that gasping mouth with his own as he thrust once, twice, three times. Duo's muffled gasps and the way he locked his ankles behind Heero's neck told Heero that he was hitting that deep, sweet spot already.

He thrust again, harder, and mouthed his way down Duo's neck to his left armpit and then up the corded muscle of his straining left arm. Trapped, half crushed, Duo cried out and writhed against him, welcoming every onslaught of mouth and cock. Heero had to resist the urge to sink his teeth into the tight flesh under his lips. Rearing back, he clutched the backs of Duo's thighs, pushing them forward again and leaning into his thrusts now, driving harder and faster toward his own impending climax.

Duo was screaming now, not in pain, but in ecstasy. "Yes! Yeah, give it to me! So good, fucking good! Heero, Heero, HEEROOOOOOOOOO!"

Heero grabbed Duo's cock, fisted it roughly and Duo came crying his name. His hot ejaculations hit Heero in the chest, right over his heart.

"DUO!" Heero came so hard his vision went white and all he knew was the feeling of slamming into the tightness around his cock. Teeth clenched, head thrown back, lips peeled back in an animal grimace, he rode wave after wave of orgasm. His slowly vision cleared and he saw Duo again, gazing blissfully, almost worshipfully up at him.

"Heero, baby, c'mere," he panted, holding his arms up.

Heero fell willingly into those arms and pulled Duo onto his side and close to his heart, stroking his hair and holding, holding . . .

"Not so tight," Duo squeaked, but it was more of a laugh than a complaint. "Those workouts are really doing the trick. I think you cracked a rib."

"Sorry, sorry, sorry," Heero panted, still not fully in control of his limbs.

"No problem. I'm still flying. And my ass is all tingly! So good, baby!"

"Copy that." Heero mentally explored how he felt about having sex after spanking Duo. At the moment, the answer was 'very fucking fine!'

They came down slowly together. Heero shifted onto his back, lifting Duo's head to rest on his shoulder and pulling Duo's arm cross his chest. Holding him close with infinite care and tenderness, he whispered, "That's what I will give you if you ask me."

"Oh god! Yes, thank you! I promise," Duo murmured, hugging him.

"No mind games or acting out. No being naughty."

Duo stiffened slightly, then let out an explosive, sputtering giggle against Heero's chest. "Naughty? Did you actually call me naughty?"

"Quatre's term," Heero muttered, blushing.

Duo was helplessly giggling now. "No, I like it. Seriously! Hearing you say that? Oh man, we gotta find some way to work more 'naughtiness' into our love life." He really lost it now, shaking against Heero's side.

Heero found himself joining in. It was sort of a sexy word when Duo said it. It sounded very--naughty.

When they'd both finally calmed down again, Heero stroked Duo's shoulder and asked, "Now, can you tell me why you were feeling so bad? What you couldn't tell me before?"

Duo was quiet for a moment, and then nodded. "OK, here it is. I love you, right? More than anyone else in the world."


"You believe that. Really believe?"

"Of course. You wouldn't lie to me."

"No I wouldn't. Not about that or anything else. But not telling you something feels kinda like lying, too, but I don't want to tell you because it might hurt you or change the way you feel about me."

"Duo, it's all right. I've seen how you've been these past few days and I'm fairly certain I know the reason. But I think you need to tell me. So just say it. I'm not going anywhere and I won't stop loving you."

Duo looked up at last, eyes wide and dark with emotion, the fear and yearning in them making him look much younger than he was. "Promise?"

"Yes, I promise," Heero assured him, kissing him on the forehead.

"It's just, you get jealous sometimes, y'know? And this is about Trowa and Kat."

"I figured as much. Go on."

"Yeah. OK. Heero, I love you, and if you don't want me just, y'know, messing and playing around with Tro and Kat anymore, I won't. But---Oh, hell, Heero." There was a definite quaver creeping into his voice again, and a tear slipped down his cheek. "That doesn't stop me from still wanting to! It was nice. I really liked sleeping with them and dog piling with them and getting Kat to paint my toenails and--- Shit. Shit! I know how jealous you get and I don't want to hurt you but if I wasn't honest it would just eat at me and with them coming here and--"

"Duo, stop. Look at me."

Duo swallowed and wiped at his cheek.

"Do you think they'd let me sleep with the three of you? Can I be in the pile and be close to them, too?"

Duo blinked up at him, surprise replacing some of the fear.

"We did a little of that in Madrid, remember?" Heero reminded him. "You and Quatre with me on the couch, and that game, and sleeping together, all four of us that night? I liked that, Duo. I really did. If that's the sort of thing you're talking about--" He paused, blushing again as he remembered what it felt like to hug Quatre, and the way Trowa had surrendered to his kiss. That was just messing around, right? "Well, then I'd sort of like to try it. That is, if the rest of you don't mind. I haven't talked to them about it yet."

"They'll love it!" Duo scrambled up on his knees beside Heero, beaming with delight. "They'll have no problem with it, Heero, I just know it. Well, except for that thing with Trowa."

"Yes, that could complicate matters. I don't know what to do about that, Duo. Quatre even asked if I'd be willing to have sex with him if you and he said it was OK, but I didn't think that was--"

"He said what?" Those expressive eyes were full of disbelief and the beginnings of outrage now. "I for one say it is abso-fucking-lutly not OK for you to do anything of the fucking kind!"

Heero tried not to smile. It was nice to have someone else being jealous about him for a change. "It was a hypothetical question, Duo. Quatre doesn't want that, either, any more than you or I do. He was crying when he asked me. He wants to help Trowa, but that would hurt him terribly and I've already said I won't do that to him. But if I'd said yes, I think he'd have asked me to, even if it tore his own heart out."

Duo drew his legs up and wrapped his arms around them, frowning. "Yeah, he would, the little martyr. I don't know what the fuck is wrong with Trowa. But neither does Tro and it's killing him."

"Quatre is worried that it will affect Trowa's ability to perform his circus acts, perhaps even create an unsafe situation."

"So it's a choice between you screwing Trowa or him becoming sawdust hash? Not much of a choice."

"Neither one is an acceptable option," Heero drew Duo back down beside him and propped his head up on one hand.

Duo frowned to himself for a moment. "Do you remember those tests Sally gave us, right after the truce?"

"Yes. Intelligence and aptitude."

"And types of intelligence. Quatre got hold of the reports a while ago. Have you seen the results on everyone?"

"No just my own."

"Right. Well, aside from all of us having higher than average I.Q.s-you and Quatre were the highest, in case you were wondering-- we were all different on the types. You and Kat both had high logical intelligence, but his interpersonal scores were really high and yours were-well, they weren't.


"I rest my case. I, on the other hand, had a really high verbal intelligence score, and spatial reasoning-hence my phenonmenal pilotings skills." He grinned.

"That might also account for your skill with the mask making."

"Maybe. Wufei has high logic, but even higher intrapersonal scores, which makes him really driven to excell on his own terms, and a general arrogant pain in the ass. Not that I don't like the guy, but you gotta admit, he's about as flexible as a steel bar."

"And Trowa?"

"That's what I was coming to. He scored high in spatial, but really, really high in what they called body intelligence. The guy literally learns through his body, though action, touching, physical contact, working with his hands. You know how he is; not much of a talker, but the way he moves? No mystery why he ended up piloting a Gundam and doing circus work. Hey, maybe that explains why he's all over Kat all the time, too. Not that Q-ball complains, believe me! But maybe that's why he's focused on you the way he is."

"Body intelligence? Perhaps." Heero pondered this a moment. "Tell me more about messing around. What are the acceptable parameters?"

"Parameters? Yeah, I guess there are rules. I just never had to spell 'em out to anyone before."

"Please try. You know how I am."

Duo chuckled and snuggled closer. "You're 'body intelligence' was pretty high, too, as I recall. No problems there."

"With you. But not with others. Please, how does this sort of interaction work?"

"OK, here goes. You never, ever go for the goodies." He cupped a hand over Heero's limp cock. "That's rule number one. That is always out of bounds for messing around and don't let anyone tell you different. Start feeling each other up that way and you're playing a whole different game."

"No genital contact. Check. What about the ass?"

"Penetration of any sort is off limits. But just general grab ass? Weeelllll, that's kinda a gray area. Depends on the circumstances, who you're with, how drunk everyone is. For now with the guys, let's call it off limits."

"Ass off limits. Check."

"Foot rubbing is legal, but it's pretty intimate. Not something you go for until you're really comfortable with someone. If you do end up there, keep the hands below the knee. Above the knee and below the belt is no man's land."

"Check. And above the belt?"

"Well, if you're ever messing around with a girl, assuming I don't kill her first, boobs are off limits unless she tells you otherwise and if she does, you're probably heading for sex. No boobs for you, my man. With guys, chest rubbing is OK. Nipples are intimate. Sucking nipples or fingers is the same as sex, so don't go there. No toe sucking, either."

"Check. And no gets to brush your hair but me. That's intimate."

"Copy that. I'll warn the others." Duo grinned and scratched his head. "Jeeze, this all seems kinda complicated when you try to talk about it. Mostly you just know, y'know? The rest is pretty much up for grabs, so long as the other guy's OK with it. Back rubs, tickling, snuggling, hugs; that's all good messing around. Sleeping together is OK, so long as everyone has their goodies covered. Oh, and this is legal with Tro and Kat, too."

Duo leaned over as if to kiss Heero on the belly, but instead pressed his lips to it and blew hard, making a loud, ripping, farting noise that tickled as much as it shocked.

Heero doubled over and grabbed him, wresting him down on the bed. "What the hell was that?" But he was laughing in spite of the outrage just committed on his person and dignity.

Duo was laughing almost too hard to answer. "I--I dunno the--ha, oh don't tickle-- Heero! Don't know the technical term. Just know it's fun! Kat practically pisses himself when you do that to him."

Pulling a Shinigami, he twisted out of Heero's grasp, flipped and pinned him with one lightning fast toss and did it again.

Heero started to yell but ended up cackling helplessly as Duo blew another obnoxious blast against his side as he tried to struggle away. "Stop! No! Agghhhhhh!" Duo got in one more before Heero got loose and fell off the side of the bed. "Do that again, Maxwell, and I will never spank you again!"

Duo fell back on the bed, hands raised in surrender. "No, not that! Deal! Jeeze, Yuy, you're a mean bastard after mind blowing sex, ain't ya!"

Heero pounced, flipped him, and delivered a stinging volley of slaps to Duo's already red and somewhat bruised ass. "You would do well to keep that in mind, Maxwell."

Duo squirmed and laughed helplessly underneath him, then shrieked as Heero successfully blew one of those noisy, nameless attacks on the side of his neck. "Ah, no! Stop!"

"Can't take it, Maxwell?"

"Ah, I get it!" Duo gasped, fighting for breath. "Maxwell is my 'Boy, you are in deep shit' name, right?"

"Copy that."

"I think I like it better when I'm your mermaid."

Heero loosened his grip and kissed him. "Always my mermaid."

When they'd settled down again, Heero hugged him close and asked, "So, are you really feeling better now?"

Duo nodded. "Still kinda nervous about the whole Trowa thing, 'cause I really don't see what we can do to fix it. But yeah, better overall. Thanks, Heero. You're the best.

"When Quatre and I talked the other night, I said we should just wait and see what happens. With four people involved, there are just too many variables to predict or even plan. Are you OK with that?"

"Yeah, so long as--Well, yeah."

So long as you don't fuck Trowa, Heero guessed. There had to be some other solution. One that wouldn't pull the four of them apart just as he was beginning to feel accepted among them again.

[chap. 34] [chap. 36] [back to pyrzm's fic]