Author: June
Rating: Serious R for language, violence and sex
Warnings: this gets pretty dark in places, but there's always hope.
Spoilers: none
Pairings: various
Disclaimer: Don't own much of anything, least of all Gundam Wing and snazzy song lyrics by my favorite bands
Summary: In a city not known for its upstanding moral character, the five G-boys -- all switchblade slinging hustlers -- must become brothers in arms to make it out alive.

Through the Furnace, Unshrinking + Part 1
Wideshot: Heero

Razzle dazzle drazzle drone
Time for this one to come home
Razzle dazzle drazzle die
Time for this one to come alive
And hold my life until I'm ready to use it
Hold my life because I just might lose it
Because I just might lose it

-"Hold My Life" The Replacements

Heero leaned back in his chair and let himself return to his body. He surveyed the situation with a cool, detached eye, ignoring the vague, receding ribbons of pleasure that throbbed around his groin. He couldn't really classify them as pleasure, anyway - not anymore. The man with his head between Heero's legs sat back on his heels and looked up at him with wide appreciative gray eyes. From his position above him, Heero fought back a sneer. He'd woken up too soon. He hated this part; the lust-filled stares, the slack-jawed adoration. He kept his body very still, quelling the literal knee-jerk reaction that would break the john's jaw. The Boss would not approve of that little improvisation.

Piercing blue eyes drilled into the kneeling man's until finally his client shook himself and pulled three twenties from his wallet, handing them to the Japanese man like they were an offering to some higher being. Heero accepted the money without a word of thanks and stood up quickly, buttoning his jeans and straightening his clingy black shirt with easy, automatic movements. His eyes imperceptibly flicked to the young man standing in the doorway connecting the hotel suite bedrooms. The steely control he exerted over his body relaxed slightly at the sight of his best friend and business partner leaning casually against the wall, long thin arms crossed over a narrow chest. Duo grinned at him, a slow smile that spread almost to his eyes. In those violet-blue irises, Heero detected He frowned. His partner shook his head ever so slightly, dismissing Heero's concern. Later, Heero told himself. Right now, Duo was finished and he was finished. That meant they could leave. He stepped away from the man on the floor and towards his friend, slowly letting out his

When the john grabbed him by the ankle, Heero's muscles bunched and coiled with the reflexive need to break the man's wrist. Duo tensed in the doorway, a frown creasing his brow. His jaw clenched tightly, Heero turned back to the man still kneeling on the floor. The john's suit and hair were immaculate. He looked like he belonged in this posh hotel suite, but not on the floor about to beg Heero for...something he didn't want to give. The man's face - now Heero's
lip did curl.

"We're finished here."

"But... I'll pay more. I have money. We can keep going." Heero jerked his foot out of the man's grip just as Duo strode into the room, all lithe and deadly grace.

"Sorry, buddy, but we're busy, busy guys and if you want to see Heero again, just see the Big Boss Man he'll set it up for ya." Duo's smile was demure and sweet, infinitely understanding - and utterly fake. He took Heero's hand in an amicable grip, though his fingers held him like steel bands. "It's been a pleasure. I'm sure we'll see you again real soon."

Heero let his body relax a little, gave it the task of exiting the room. But as they reached the door, the john who'd so recently been with Duo emerged from the bathroom, casually wiping his hands on a hand towel. Heero caught a predatory gleam in the man's dark eyes and instantly mistrusted him. The john on the floor had been obnoxious; this man was dangerous. "Why don't you boys stay awhile. I'm sure your boss'll understand."

Duo's smile didn't falter, but his eyes turned to ice. Only Heero noticed the change in his demeanor. These two tricks did not want to see a pissed-off Duo Maxwell. If they didn't back off in the next ten seconds, they just might.

"Next week, gents. Heero and I have a very important dinner date."

The man on the floor slowly got to his feet, his expression changing from one of embarrassed resignation to hope and lust. He glanced from the other john back to the boys, pale eyes eager.

The two young men stood perfectly still. The john who'd come out of the bathroom stalked closer until he'd thoroughly invaded Heero's get-this-close-and-bones-will-break space. He made a few attempts at grabbing the young man's other wrist, Heero easily avoiding his grasping hands. "I haven't had you yet," the man sneered.

Heero took in a slow deep breath, disguising the war raging in his muscles: break his nose or walk away, break his nose or walk away.

"Like I said, big guy," Duo reminded, still smiling, "Just call the Boss Man and he'll set up some quality time with you and Heero. But we gotta jet. Lots to do today."

"I want him now," the man gritted. His hard features twisted into a cruel smile. Heero's mistrust of this client ratcheted up a few notches to outright loathing. "Don't get me wrong, Duo. You were great, but you wanted it too much. You had too much fun. This guy..." He tried again for Heero's wrist. Duo still held the other. "He looks like he'd put up a fight. Believe me kid, you wouldn't like what I'd- "

Without a word of warning, Heero slammed the heel of his hand into the man's jaw, dropping him like a stone. Beside him, Duo jumped.

"Geez, Ro."

Blood trickled out of the man's mouth. The other john whimpered.

Heero didn't bother to hide his satisfaction as, with a small grin, he pulled Duo out of the suite, letting the door bang shut behind them.

Duo burst out laughing the moment they flew through the doors into the stairwell. He let go of Heero's hand just as the Japanese man leapt over the railing with easy grace and nearly flew down the stares. He turned just in time to see Duo slide down the railing, meter-long braid trailing behind him like a banner, their banner.

"Pretty fuckin' awesome, Ro," he crowed. "Guy never saw it comin'. Thought we'd just go along with it. Well," The hustler landed lightly, coming face-to-face with his partner, their noses centimeters apart. "Neither of us needed that, thank you very much. And you certainly wouldn't have wanted him." His grin faltered and Heero glimpsed the off-ness in his friend's clear gaze. Then the grin reappeared, though a bit grimmer. "I think he's off the client list."

With that, the young man turned and strode away, the usual spring in his step lending him a care-free air that Heero wasn't sure he actually felt. He made a mental note to check Duo for injuries later. He hoped he was just being paranoid and that the shadows around Duo's biceps were just that and not bruises. That john had felt all wrong, and if he'd done something to Duo... He cast his eyes down the slender back and narrow hips. A black tank top clung to his ribs, revealing sharp shoulder blades and the twin tracks of tattoo ink that curved around underneath those shoulder blades, tattoos that matched his own. Black jeans hugged the harsh lines of his pelvic and hip bones, then hung straight to his boots. Heero thought those clothes made him look...taller, more imposing than his 5'7" frame warranted. He looked good. And with that ridiculous braid hanging down to his ass, well, Heero thought he looked dangerously good, too-much-attention good.

For the thousandth time, he wished that he could carry more than just a switchblade on jobs. The fact that they were both barely armed when they met up with tricks made his skin crawl. He had to be able to protect Duo and he couldn't when they were in separate rooms with suspicious characters and no real weapons and no guarantee that...

He shook out his shoulders and calmed his breathing, settling on the fact that Duo didn't look hurt. They'd lived through the day, and that'd have to be good enough for right now. Tonight could be a different story.

[part 2] [back to Singles a-k]