see part 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer
the Furnace, Unshrinking + Part 26
A drink to the last of us
Raise a glass
To all our friends
A toast to the knives
The knives in our hands
Here's where it ends
- Idatel "The Well"
He rubbed his eyes sleepily and took a large swallow of his coffee, blinking
at his flat mates as they clustered together in their cluttered living
room, talking softly and excitedly. It was about three in the morning
and Quatre had not been expecting the brisk shake of his shoulders that
had roused him from sleep. He hadn't expected Trowa's somber green eyes
so close to his, or the whispered, "It's started."
He sat in the armchair, legs drawn up to his chest, coffee resting on
one knee. He watched as Trowa carefully stitched up the gash on Heero's
cheek, one more scar to mark dark skin. The dark-haired hustler did not
flinch as the needle pierced his skin, but kept his eyes hooded, relaying
the events of the evening. Duo sat beside him, nearly vibrating with nerves.
Quatre didn't think the large mug of coffee resting on the table was really
necessary for him. Wufei sat at the far end of the couch, clutching a
cup of tea to his chest with one hand, resting his head in the other.
He massaged his temples and swallowed convulsively. He didn't look particularly
pleased to be there on the couch. He glanced at the front door every few
Quatre didn't want to hear the details of his two friends' evening any
more than Wufei wanted Heero to tell them. But he had to admit, it was
an exciting tale, one filled with loud music, tight costumes, villainous
clients and heroic deeds. If he had been about a year younger and hadn't
known any of the four young men around him, he might have liked to have
seen it from a safe distance.
Judging by Wufei's pained expression, the things they had done were not
heroic or righteous. The slightly older and definitely wiser Quatre knew
that tonight had been grisly and unspeakably dangerous. He was willing
to bet the sex was pretty amazing, however, judging again by Wufei's fierce
blush as Heero gave a brief, perfunctory rundown of that part of the evening.
Quatre's scarred mouth twisted in a small smile as Duo pumped Heero for
details that, with a quick glance at Wufei squirming at the other end
of the couch, he refused to give.
He looked around their small flat and sighed into his mug. The floor was
littered with cloths, books, scraps of art, and CDs, all of it Duo's.
By the time Trowa had awoken him, Heero, Duo and Wufei had their emergency
duffel bags waiting in the living room. They had the fake IDs, passports,
and Visas they'd made arrangements for months ago. They had their switchblades
and a few other choice weapons. Heero even had his gun - much as he disliked
it. They had sleeping bags and a change of clothes. They were all ready
to go, except Duo appeared to be having a crisis about the rest of his
"But, Heero, I've never had stuff before. All my books and music..."
"It's replaceable. You can't take it with you."
His attention returned to the conversation swirling around him when he
realized that they'd actually begun to discuss what they would all do
now that six men were dead, two by Heero's hand - now that Heero had finally
decided that he and Trowa would make their move.
"Wufei and I need to leave immediately. We're only endangering our lives
and yours by staying here. Duo will come with us." There was no question
about this. Even though Duo hadn't been on the job, even though he'd done
nothing to warrant running away, he would not be left behind. Quatre thought
that it would probably be safer for him if he stayed. Or he did until
Heero spoke again. "Even though he wasn't involved tonight, Gael would
use him to bring us back here." He didn't look at Duo as he spoke these
words. "Gael has never liked Duo, and without me or Chang here, he would-"
His throat closed on that sentence. And the subject was dropped. Duo would
be going with Heero and Wufei.
"We'll hide out until the worst of the commotion dies down. That's where
both of you come in." Quatre met Heero's dark eyes and kept his expression
blank. "You both should make every effort to sever ties with us. Establish
distance between us so that Gael doesn't question you too closely. We're
not telling you where we'll be so you couldn't tell him even if you wanted
to. But learn all you can about Gael's search efforts for us, specifically
who he goes to in the police department. Who is he relying on to find
us? I've already chosen a contact at the station; she seems clean, but
I've got to be sure that when we go public with everything we've gathered
that it will actually see the light of day and that we won't end up dead."
That could have been the most Quatre had heard Heero ever say in one go.
"Will you do this?"
Trowa nodded immediately. This was old hat for him. He'd been hip deep
in Gael's business for months now. Quatre felt a thrill of fear go through
him. He glanced at his best friend and swallowed hard. Trowa had been
guarded and reticent around Quatre since they'd found out about his illness
and its cause. And for the most part, Quatre had been grateful for the
space. When he'd started working his new job, he hadn't wanted Trowa hovering
and questioning him about his safety and his health and when was he going
to start treatment and did he need any help planning any of his jobs and-
But Trowa hadn't said any of those things or offered any help. He'd backed
off as soon as Quatre had shoved him away that first night he'd come home.
But he'd not vanished. He appeared and disappeared like some apparition,
by Quatre's side when loneliness and exhaustion and fear crept into the
boy's heart and body; gone when he turned to look for him. They still
played music together, still went for long runs through the park. Trowa
stressed the need for Quatre to maintain his physical health as well as
his nutrition, so the Frenchman often cooked for Quatre, though they did
not often eat together. He was there and he was not. Quatre was comforted
by his elusive presence. And he did not ask for more; he didn't think
he could handle it, not until they escaped Gael's Family and ran some
place safe, away from the violence of his new job, away from the danger
of Trowa's. When he could rest and go in for treatment and recover his
health and Trowa could be free from the Family and his obligations to
Heero's escape plan, then perhaps they could pick up where they left off.
And that had been a good place, he remembered with a small smile. A chilly
bedroom and a warm body beneath him, shuddering and gasping his name as
they hastily touched each other. His smile got a little bigger at the
He looked up sharply when he realized four sets of eyes were watching
him, waiting for his answer. "What was the question?" he asked fuzzily.
Duo snorted and Wufei rolled his eyes. Heero smirked and repeated himself.
"Will you help us by helping Trowa find out who Gael relies on within
"Oh, right." He shook his head quickly to clear it. "Of course. But, Heero,
how long do you think we'll need to hang around while you three hide out?"
"No more than a week. Probably less. You'll be given plenty of warning."
"And we're just supposed to act normal?"
Heero hesitated, sensing something in Quatre's tone that made him uneasy.
"As normal as possible. I really don't think you want Gael sniffing around
here too much. And you don't want him interrogating you."
"Certainly not," Quatre replied calmly. "It's just that I have a job this
week. I have to find this girl, who apparently looks a lot like me, who
does what I do for some other boss in this town, and who either needs
to be brought to Gael for god knows what reason or killed if she won't
go." Silence hung heavily for a moment. "So that's what I have to do on
Wednesday while you three are on vacation." Wufei raised an eyebrow and
suddenly looked a whole lot more interested in the conversation. Duo chewed
nervously on his lower lip; Trowa looked down at his hands and Heero's
face hardened into a mask of determination. "I'd appreciate it if Trowa
and I could be out of here sooner rather than later, for my sake and for
this girl who I'd really rather not murder."
"Quatre, I'll do my best, but I just think that-"
"Hsst!" All eyes turned to Wufei, who had his head tilted to the side,
eyes closed in concentration. When he opened them, Quatre felt the hair
on his arms stand up. "They're coming. I can hear them."
London calling to
the faraway towns
Now war is declared - and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls
London calling, now don't look to us
Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain't got no swing
'Cept for the reign of that truncheon thing
The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear
Cause London is burning and I, I live by the river
- The Clash
Since he'd positioned himself closest to the door, he heard it first -
the heavy tread of booted feet attempting to be silent, cursing the fact
that there was no elevator in the building and that they had to get to
the sixth floor on foot. He stood abruptly, glad to interrupt the escalating
tension between Heero and Quatre. "We have to go now," he said firmly.
They all looked up at him, startled, until Heero quickly rose to his feet.
Duo glanced around the room at the familiar lines of their home and at
his belongings strewn about the floor.
Wufei stepped into his shoes and quickly tied the laces. "Yes. We have
maybe twenty seconds."
Heero tossed his bag over his shoulder and pulled a thick cap over his
wild hair. "Let's go, Duo."
Quatre and Trowa were on their feet, looking like they wanted to run,
too. Wufei didn't blame them. Duo stood up. "But I'm not ready. I mean
- is this really it? We're never coming back-"
"Come on, Duo," they both growled, grabbing him by the arms and
lifting him over the back of the couch.
Duo sputtered in protest but quickly got his feet under him and then shook
off the hands dragging him toward his bag and then the fire escape. "I
can walk," he snapped.
"Then do it," they both said, their voices again in sync. Heero cast a
sidelong glance at Wufei, but the dragon kept his expression blank. Wufei
quickly returned his gaze to Duo as his lover shrugged into his lined
hooded sweatshirt, leaving the braid inside. He then pulled a cap over
his hair and fingerless gloves over his hands. He bent down to pick up
the skateboard Heero had found for him.
"Save it, Heero," he said lightly. "I'm not leaving it."
Quatre suddenly took two quick steps toward the door, throwing dagger
in hand. "Would you three go already?" They could all hear footsteps now
and a heavy sense of impending violence fell on Wufei's heart. After what
he'd witnessed a few short hours ago, the thought of another fight didn't
arouse much enthusiasm. Quatre turned to look at them, blue eyes bright.
"Go!" he hissed.
Heero nodded quickly. "Stall them for as long as you can." Then they filed
silently into the kitchen. Wufei threw open the window out to the fire
escape and stepped through onto the cold metal stairway. Immediately buffeted
about by harsh winter wind, he ducked low and went down a few steps clinging
to the rail. He watched as Duo and then Heero climbed out after him, Heero
shutting the window behind them both, just as they heard Quatre let in
the men pounding at the door. Almost immediately they heard voices in
their home, Trowa and Quatre's rising to meet them, indignant and annoyed.
"So glad you're here... they all ran out of here hours ago... in such
a rush... no they didn't say where they were going... I hope you find
them... honestly, they've been like strangers lately... we haven't had
much to do with..."
They huddled together in the shadows for a few moments, getting their
bearings and scanning the streets below them, half-listening to the heated
conversation inside the flat. Duo took hold of Wufei's arm and squeezed
once, his eyes wide with excitement. Wufei offered a small smile in return,
mindful of the sharp words they'd exchanged earlier, but also caught up
in the rush of near- freedom. They were so close.
"Down. Now," Heero whispered.
The soft rubber soles of their shoes made very little sound as they descended,
though Wufei had to look up every few steps to assure himself that Duo
was still there, because his feet made no sound at all. Above them, their
kitchen window slammed open and voices shouted. "Search the roof! They
may be hiding up there." The three hustlers froze as eight men emerged
onto the fire escape and began to climb upward. Pressing themselves into
the shadows, they held their breath and waited. Wufei found Duo's arm
stretched protectively across his chest, holding him back and keeping
him still. He succeeded in not being annoyed by this only because, as
he looked down, he saw the streets teaming with Muscle and his heart thudded
to a halt. He nudged Duo with an elbow in his ribs and the two looked
down, then back up at each other. Wufei's brow creased with worry and
Duo gave him a small nervous smile that the dragon took to mean many things
rolled into one, mainly, "We're going to have to fight our way out of
this one, aren't we; please don't die doing it - I'd be very upset; I'm
glad we're here together, even if 'here' means doing this," and finally,
"Make sure you save some for me." Duo's shadowy violet eyes were lit up
with anticipation as they turned upward to meet Heero's gaze. Wufei thought
he saw a similar look pass between them. Then Heero reached around Duo
and shoved Wufei's arm downward, jerking his chin toward the street.
"Go," he mouthed.
Wufei swallowed and nodded, vaulting over the railing and drawing his
sword in one smooth motion. He landed silently, knees bending to absorb
the impact. He knew Duo and Heero were behind him because suddenly the
men leaning against their cars as well as those patrolling the rest of
the city block froze, looking at him in surprise, but also behind him.
Many began to approach, slowly and carefully, gazes darting between his
sword and his eyes.
"Hey, the Boss only wants to talk to you. We're not looking for a fight."
In spite of his exhaustion and the fact that he'd already witnessed plenty
of violence that night, Wufei felt his senses ignite with the promise
of more. He felt Heero's breath in his ear. "Head to the south. We'll
meet up Downtown."
He nodded once and took off running.
Dodge back, spin, half a step forward, thrust, turn, thrust, block. Wufei
let his years of training take over as he fought off the men who'd surrounded
him. His blood sang in his veins and his limbs hummed as he cut his way
free, sword flickering in the dim light of the street lamps. His body
knew this fight even if his mind was still screaming at him that he was
heavily outnumbered, that while he knew how to fight, he'd only really
ever sparred before. Only once had he fought with lethal intent, when
he'd been defending Meiran's honor. Even the massacre earlier that night
had not really been his fight. He'd been pinned for most of it. Heero'd
done the dirty work. Wufei was a fighter, but not a killer.
At least that's what his brain was trying to get him to believe. But his
body and his heart knew this fight and so he let his muscles guide him.
He spun again, blocking a heavy blow on his forearm. His bones groaned,
the limb going numb, and he took a step back under the force of it. Sensing
another's approach, he kicked out behind him and felt his foot connect
with an attacker's gut.
He went down under a large man, skillfully tackled to the ground, but
the Muscle never stood a chance as Wufei flicked open his switchblade,
burying it in his throat and ripping outward. But now he was on the ground
and the remaining bodyguards took advantage of the opening. He kicked
and snarled and bit and then suddenly stilled as he heard the unmistakable
sound of a skateboard running over the cracks in the sidewalk. He grinned
lopsidedly around a split lip as the men clutching his sweatshirt were
scattered by a lithe body shooting through their midst. Wufei ducked as
Duo shot overhead. His lover landed a few paces away and then turned back,
kicking his board up into his hand and using it like a cricket bat, knocking
aside two more of Wufei's assailants. He was grinning like a fool and
Wufei found himself mirroring his expression. He flipped back to his feet,
and sliding his sword back into its scabbard, he went after the remaining
men, foot scything out in a vicious arc, snapping one man's head to the
side. His fist closed and he backhanded another. Then he watched in surprised
admiration as Duo -- using the Japanese short sword that he'd only ever
seen out of its scabbard once or twice for polishing -- attacked with
frightening speed. His blade gleamed as he dodged between the two remaining
men, his body seeming to flicker in and out of existence as he ran circles
around their attackers, moving faster than they could see. They were on
the ground in seconds, bleeding or unconscious, but not critically wounded.
Duo grabbed his arm and dragged him down the street. "Come on, lover,"
he said a bit breathlessly. "We've gotta meet Ro Downtown."
"Where did you learn to use that sword? I've only ever seen you-"
They started running with long easy strides, as though they were taking
a jog along their usual route. "Well, Wu, sometimes it pays to sleep around."
"You had sex with someone in exchange for lessons?"
Duo shoved his shoulder and he almost stumbled. When he met Duo's eyes,
he met a mask of forced humor. "Hooker, hello?" Then Duo lengthened his
stride and pulled ahead of him.
Head still ringing, blood still pumping furiously, Wufei ran, brain coldly
tallying his body count. At least five. Perhaps more. He heard hesitant
footsteps behind them and he turned to see a few of Gael's muscle pursuing
them, holding various injured body parts as they went. "We have to get
off this street," Wufei gasped out just as Duo jerked him to the right,
down an alley.
Wufei's lungs burned in the frozen air and he was pretty much numb from
the waist down, but they ran until he saw the scattered lights of Downtown
spread out before him. It was a maze of abandoned warehouses and office
buildings, many with broken windows, many housing dozens of homeless kids.
Windows flickered with dim light, probably barrel fires. Wufei shivered
and glanced sidelong at his companion. Duo took in a deep breath and turned
a cruel grin on him. "Welcome home, Wu. Ro and I'll give you the tour
tomorrow, but you won't see the old factory he and I grew up in 'cause
it's a pile of rubble over there." He gestured vaguely toward an inky
space of darkness to the east.
Wufei found himself nodding, feet rooted to the sidewalk. How could they
have lived here for years on end? How could they possibly have survived?
"You... really grew up here?" he said softly.
Duo, now halfway across the street, turned back and swept his arm wide,
encompassing all of Downtown. "You want real freedom? This is where you
go." His face was twisted in that ugly grin again. "Freedom to live how
you want, freedom to die without anyone giving a shit." Wufei rarely saw
this side of Duo, his darkness as well as his unflinching acceptance of
all that he'd been through in his short lifetime. He started forward,
needing to stand by Duo in his memories, to meet them head-on.
He saw the car the same time Duo did, the moment its headlights cast the
braided hustler in blinding white, lighting up his dark clothing and making
his pale skin glow.
The car hit him, tossing him up onto the hood, before Wufei could shout
his useless warning,. The skateboard flew into the air and skittered loudly
on the sidewalk. Wufei stood frozen as Duo rolled up against the windshield
and then slid off onto the pavement, body limp, voice silent. He heard
a hoarse shout behind him and turned in a daze to see Heero running toward
them, eyes wide in fear. Swallowing thickly, he turned back to the accident
scene. The car was black and, stepping out of it were four men. They picked
Duo up off the pavement and moved to put him in the back seat. Wufei couldn't
understand why they would want to do that. They should call an ambulance,
not put him in the-
"Chang! What are you- Don't let them take him!" Heero's panicked words
jerked him out of his daze and he felt the numbness spreading outward
from his chest vanish. His sword came free from its scabbard in one swift
motion and he stepped off the curb. One of the men spotted him and came
forward, raising a gun.
"Come quietly, Chang. We'll patch him up. He's just unconscious. Just
put away that sword and come with us."
Wufei's lip curled and he answered the man's request, ducking low and
then surging upward, blade glinting red in the dim light. The gun flew
from dead fingers and air rattled noisily through exposed vocal chords.
Wufei didn't pause as the man fell. He leapt onto the hood of the car
and then somersaulted off, blade slicing through the next man. The third
managed to fire a shot and Wufei's sword arm suddenly burned. Switching
his blade to his left hand, he shoved his elbow into the man's gut, then
quickly drove upward, breaking his nose. The man fell backwards and Wufei
mechanically finished him off, his brain filled with static. He looked
up in time to see Heero taking out the last man, kicking out his knees,
blocking an elbow aimed at his middle, then drawing his serrated blade
quickly across the man's throat.
They pulled Duo from the car without a word to each other. Heero cradled
his best friend's head in his lap while Wufei felt for broken bones. Miraculously
there were none. There wasn't even any blood. "I- don't think he's hurt,
Heero. But his back... I can't tell." He leaned in close and touched his
lover's face, smoothing hair and street dirt from his skin. He felt soft
breath on his hand when he held it over the young man's mouth. He pulled
open Duo's eyelids and found that the street lamp above them caused the
pupil to dilate like it should. "We probably shouldn't move him." Heero
grunted, dark eyes never leaving Duo's face. "But we can't stay here.
We just killed four people." They glanced up when sirens started up in
the distance. "People do live here," Wufei said, mostly to himself, looking
up at the dark buildings surrounding them. Even though the neighborhood
was on the edge of Downtown, families still lived there. "Someone must
have called the police."
He looked down to see Heero vigorously rubbing Duo's cold hands, then
gently slapping his cheek. He called his best friend's name softly, begging
him to wake up. Wufei took Duo's other hand and began to do the same,
glancing up when he heard the sirens getting closer.
Then shadowy eyelids blinked rapidly and fluttered open. Wufei let out
the breath he was holding, and he heard Heero huff a small laugh.
"Jesus Christ, Duo," Heero breathed. "How the hell did you get hit by
a fucking car? What were you..."
Duo smiled up at him, eyes a bit unfocused and Wufei saw Heero's sharp
features soften into a more gentle expression. "Hey, babe," he whispered.
"I was just restin' my eyes for a minute. No big."
Heero hiccupped another laugh. "I saw you get hit, Duo. It looked bad."
Duo blinking slowly and shook his head. "Nah. Wu was with me. I was safe."
He started to sit up, but Heero pressed him gently back into his lap.
"Hey, where is Wu? He was right-"
"I'm here," he murmured, squeezing the chilly fingers he still held.
Dazed violet eyes briefly focused on him. "There you are, lover. Would
you tell Heero to let me up? We've gotta get off the street. Can't you
hear those sirens getting closer?"
Wufei froze at Duo's words and before he could stop himself, he raised
his gaze to meet Heero's eyes. But his partner was very carefully not
looking at him and his face was blank. Forcing his body into motion, Wufei
took one of Duo's arms, and waited for Heero to take the other. "I think
we can move him," the dragon said softly. Heero nodded sharply and the
partners hoisted their friend to his feet, each draping an arm over their
shoulders. Bending to pick up the skateboard as he went, Wufei looked
back at the four bodies on the street. His count was up to eight now,
and they probably wouldn't be the last. As lights began to flash in the
windows of apartment buildings and store fronts, they disappeared into
the crumbling warehouse district, Heero leading them as surely as though
he'd lived there his entire life.
As they walked, Heero and Wufei spoke softly, asking Duo questions, trying
to keep him awake and alert. Even at such a soft volume, their voices
echoed in the empty spaces between factories and warehouses. And every
time Duo stumbled, the sound of crumbling pavement mocked them with their
inability to stay silent. Wufei could see Heero growing increasingly uneasy,
and he knew it had everything to do with the experience he'd related to
Wufei earlier that night. He knew his partner was remembering the sound
of children predators' feet shuffling through the cluttered crumbling
streets. On more than one occasion, Wufei found himself glancing quickly
over his shoulder, just to be sure that there in fact was no one behind
them. He hoped that their ragged state did not make them targets. He hoped
that any eyes watching them could plainly see his sword strapped across
his back and that the gun on Heero's hip glinted in the occasional street
Sometimes Duo answered their questions. Mostly he mumbled 'yes' or 'no.'
Then, as Heero murmured that they were nearing their destination, Duo
lifted his head and turned to his oldest friend, placing a gentle kiss
on his jaw. Wufei instantly flushed and looked away, but he couldn't block
out what was said.
"You shoulda seen Wu fighting tonight. He was bloody brilliant - took
out these two thugs like they were nothin'. You'd think Gael would hire
better bodyguards." He paused. "Actually, I think Wu's just that good.
He was like...like a moving painting or something."
Heero's mouth twisted in a small smile as he looked at Wufei over Duo's
head. "I know what Chang can do." Heero held his gaze for an uncomfortable
stretch. "I've seen him. Though I think moving artwork is a bit of an
exaggeration." Wufei found himself smiling in return.
"Well, you'll forgive the guy who's just had a run in with a two-ton metal
box. My metaphors might be a little off." Wufei found his smile getting
wider. He realized that Heero was watching him smile with a strange, considering
tilt to his lips. Wufei looked away first.
Duo withdrew again after that brief conversation and the friends made
the rest of the trek in silence, finally stopping to rest against the
dilapidated brick wall of a huge factory. Heero ducked out from under
Duo's arm and drew his blade, turning towards the side entrance to the
building. The door hung on its hinges and swung gently back and forth
in the brisk wind.
"Heero, wait," Duo mumbled, managing with Wufei's help to right himself
and stand away from the wall. "You can't go in there alone. Take Wu to
watch your back."
"I'm not leaving you alone."
"Then we'll all go."
"I'm just making sure the building's safe. It won't take long."
"The whole thing?" Wufei hissed, glancing upward at the looming wall.
"That'll take an hour at least."
Next to him, Duo shook his head. "Most kids like the smaller buildings
'cause they're easier to claim and defend, not so many hiding places.
They stay out of places like this for the most part. It should be pretty
easy to figure out whether this one's occupied. But you shouldn't go in
there alone, Ro."
Heero was already pulling open the ruined door and stepping inside. "I'll
be fine. If I don't come out in fifteen minutes, run."
Wufei tensed, but Duo weakly squeezed his arm. "Don't worry. I always
take his instructions as the opposite of what he really wants. We wait
ten minutes and then we go after him." Wufei nodded, slightly confused,
then jumped when Duo's knees buckled. "I have to sit down now," he whispered.
Wufei helped him into a sitting position, pushing his knees up to his
chest, trapping as much heat over his heart as possible. Then he stood
quickly and scoured the area for any signs of movement. He felt a small
tug on his pant leg and looked back to Duo, finding him shivering and
ghostly pale in the near darkness. "Sit with me for a minute, lover. My
legs are made of jelly and I'm fucking freezing."
Wufei quickly obeyed and knelt in front of Duo's hunched and shivering
body. He rubbed the young man's arms and then his thighs, trying to massage
life and warmth into his limbs. The words were out of his mouth before
he could yank them back. "You said that in front of Heero."
"Said what," came the tired response.
"Before, when you woke up. You called me... you said 'lover' in front
He got a raised eyebrow in reply. "I did?" Wufei nodded. "Damn. Guess
our secret's out." Sleepy violet eyes rose to meet his. "Is that bad?"
Wufei looked away quickly, then up to the night sky. Clouds hung heavily
over them; it looked like snow. The first hints of dawn lent the air a
lighter blue tint. It'd been a very long night. "I- don't know, actually."
"I think I'm glad he knows. He probably already knew."
Wufei nodded and again started rubbing Duo's arms and legs. "Everything's
different now. After tonight, it got all fucked up."
"Hey, Wu?" The dragon paused and met his lover's shadow-filled eyes. "After
your wild and crazy sex night with Heero, do you still like me? Boring,
can't-get-out-of-the-way-of-a-moving car, Duo Maxwell?"
Wufei heard tired humor and tangible insecurity in Duo's voice - simultaneous
confidence and hesitance. The many layers of Duo's emotions had fascinated
him from the very beginning. Only recently had he grown to love them.
He leaned forward over Duo's drawn-up knees and kissed his chapped lips.
"If only you were boring," he said with a smirk.
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