Author: CeeDee
see # 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer

As before this wouldn't be out here if not for the betas Ellimaru and Sakusha, helping intensively in correcting. Thanks, girls!

Future of the Past - #8
Remliel

{(Awakening) Each of us has a different concept of what it means to be awakened. The essence of what we all seek is divine love and freedom from pain and suffering. Remliel is the angelic awakener whose goal is to bring you to Higher Power... consciousness and union with your Eternal self.}

+

"What exactly is the meaning of this?" I asked, carefully, still frozen. I searched the gun with my eyes. The safety was off. Shit. I activated my com.

The grey eyes narrowed, and the barrel of the gun wavered a little. "What does it look like, huh?"

I pursed my lips. "It looks like you're making a mistake. A huge one, by the way." I had to keep him talking until someone showed up. Had he taken Heero down? Was that why he was standing here with a gun in my face? I hadn't heard a shot. Heero wouldn't have gone down easy. Had Heero been surprised? Taken out from behind? But... Wufei was outside, wasn't he? Nobody should have been able to get in here without passing him first. Where was Heero?

"Is that so?" He laughed, short and ugly.

"What's with the gun?" I tipped my head and let a small, feral smile graze my lips. A smile that promised pain and a slow, painful death.

He swallowed, but didn't back down. "I'm going to kill you." He sounded determined.

"That may very well be likely," I replied coldly. "But I'd like to know why." My mind raced. Industrial Espionage? I loosened the grip on the towel and shifted my stance slightly.

Heero appeared inside the doorway behind him. I forced myself not to let my eyes flick in Heero's direction, thankful that my would be killer stood facing me, the door just out of his field of vision. I narrowed my eyes. "C'mon, man, tell me. Who put the hit out on me?"

The barrel of the gun leveled a bit, but was still trained on me. "What?" He sounded confused.

I considered my options. The safety was off, the distance between us was too big for me to grab the barrel. I was fast. But was I fast enough to fling the towel at him, dodge, and disarm him before he could pull the trigger? I doubted it.

"Tell me why." I dropped my voice, sounding a bit husky. "Come on, man. I think I deserve that, at least."

His face changed into a hateful grimace. "He can't have you," he hissed. "Nobody else can have you. We were perfect together. Why couldn't you see that?" His hands trembled, and the gun moved slightly to the right... that was all I needed.

I was surprised over his odd declaration, but instinct - or training - took over. Survival first, questions later.

I let the towel go from my left hand and hurled it at him with my right, while I dodged and grabbed the gun with my left. I pushed the barrel away from me, and twisted the gun out of his hand with a short flick of my wrist. At the same moment, Heero leaped in from behind him, and took him out with a short refined move.

I stared down at an unconscious Steve.

Looking up, I fixed my gaze on Heero and took a step forward. I was right in his face. "Where were you?" I shouted. "Why'd you let him in without patting him down first?"

He looked down at Steve, expression closed. "He's your lover," he said, voice flat.

I took a step back, stunned. I blinked. "He is not."

He made an incoherent sound at that.

I took a deep breath. "And what did ya think...that I'd invite someone in here while we have a sting going on? You'd think me such an idiot, Yuy?"

"I thought..." he began in a low voice, and then trailed off. He looked up at me slowly, brows furrowed, with a vulnerable, lost look in his dark indigo eyes. "I... didn't think," he whispered. Wufei entered the room and Heero backed away from me, sidestepped him and fled the cabin altogether.

+

"Maxwell!" Wufei's bark brought me back to myself from staring wide-eyed after Heero. "Care to explain what this is all about?"

"Uh," I blinked at him. "I... I don't..." I shook my head. "Wufei, you noticed someone coming in here, right?"

"Of course," he said gruffly.

I gnawed at my lower lip. "Did you... did you, too, think I would have..."

He shrugged. "There is gossip, Maxwell. We all heard about," he made a motion with his head to the unconscious bundle on the floor, "you two."

I nodded absently. "But, did'ya think that I..."

"No." He said, firm. "I am able to think rationally." He sighed and turned his head to the empty doorway. "You have to do something about this. Make up your mind. You two have been dancing around each other for so long that it's not funny anymore. Trowa is ready to smack you on the head. You have Quatre ranting on about you two being star-crossed not-lovers. I'm about to smack you on the head," he turned back, smirking, "because Trowa rants to me about Quatre's ranting to him."

"Oh," I looked down, embarrassed. "It's nice to know everybody finds my love life so entertaining."

He snorted.

"Or lack of it," I amended, sighing.

"He won't come out and tell you." Wufei looked thoughtfully. "I think he's afraid."

I stared at him, flabbergasted. "Afraid? Heero?"

He nodded. "He's... I think he feels like he's not worthy."

"Jesus," I gaped, "not worthy? The savior of the world?"

"Look at what you have accomplished in your life, so far," Wufei crossed his arms in front of his chest, "and what he has. I can understand a little of what he feels. We do talk, you know? If you weren't so busy all the time, rushing from one end of the ship to the other, and sat down with us to really talk, you'd know. We all think you have done outstandingly well. We admire your success. Even Quatre. Nobody's helped you. You've done it all by yourself, from scratch no less."

I shook my head. "No, you have it wrong," I protested, "that was all Bethor. He planted all those ideas in my head."

"And Bethor told you what to do with these... ideas?"

"No, but..." I trailed off.

"Helped you to realize these... ideas?"

"No, but..."

"Gave you money, told you to be a good person? A good friend? To help others? Be a selfless jerk? Raised you to be all that?"

I held up a hand. "I'm not a selfless jerk."

He raised an eyebrow.

"Okay. You win. I won't fight with you, although..."

A groan caught our attention. I had all forgotten about Steve. I looked down.

"First things first." Wufei snatched a pair of cuffs from his belt and bent down, securing our target's wrists.

+

After securing Steve, Wufei had hauled him away, satisfied to have this case closed. I met up with him afterwards in the Commander's ‘office' and we gave our report.

Wright leaned back in his chair. "So, it's a past lover thing, jealousy?"

I winced at that. "I wouldn't say lover."

He just looked at me.

"No, really," I protested. "We've been together a few times, alright, but ‘lover'?" I shook my head. "That's not what it was. Just..." I searched for the right word, without sounding too sluttish.

"...Fuck-buddies." Wufei offered, studying the corner of the room, as if there were something interesting to see.

I blushed and shot him a look. "Gee, thanks, bud."

"Welcome." He replied dryly.

"Obviously," the Commander said, looking meaningfully at me, "that's not how he interpreted your... situation."

I sighed. "He knew. He wasn't the... only one." I ducked my head. Somehow, I was extremely uncomfortable discussing my sex-life with Asshole Commander Wright, especially with Wufei right there.

"But, have you ever turned him down before?" Wufei asked. "He obviously snapped after that."

I shook my head, silent. Who'da thought friendly, outgoing Steve would turn out to be this... possessive.

"Well," the Commander said, "Agent Chang, I'll await your written report tomorrow morning. While the prisoner, Mr. ...

"McKarmedy." I offered.

"...right, Mr. McKarmedy, remains in his cell until the next shuttle goes to Earth. He'll have his trial there. Dismissed."

We left the room and Wufei turned down the hallway, going to who knows where without looking back. I shrugged after him. I had to find Heero.

+

I found him in the observation deck.

He sat on the sill of one of the large windows, looking out at the stars, one leg drawn up to his chest, the other steadying himself. I stopped in the door. The sight reminded me of a time on Peacemillion, when he had sat in the exact same position, shortly before the end of the first war.

I crossed the room to stand by him. "I'm sorry," I said quietly.

He turned his head to me with a pained look in his eyes. They still shone with a brilliant, indigo blue. It took my breath away.

"What for?" He asked slowly. "I've let you down. Again." He averted his eyes, and turned his head, to stare out at space once more.

"For yelling at you." I grabbed my braid and nervously played with the tuft. "I've been an asshole. I wanted to talk to you, since... a few weeks, actually, y'know?" I took a deep breath. "I've..." I shook my head and decided on another approach. "Have you thought about what might happen if we're successful against the Xetoins?"

He shrugged. "We go back to Earth."

"Happen to me, I mean."

He tilted his head so I could see his profile, brows furrowed. "What would happen to you?"

I sighed, and touched his shoulder. "Look. Bethor comes from our future. So did my parents."

He nodded.

"When," I paused, to swallow. It was hard to voice my fears out loud. I forced a grin. "If we're successful, and we beat the Xetoins, there will no longer be a need to send anyone back in time. Bethor will stay in the future, its crew will stay in the future... and I will have never been born here, in 179."

Heero whirled his head around to look at me, his expression horrified. "What..." he trailed off, swallowing, "You're serious?"

I nodded. "I'm not sure, but it's a possibility. Once the thread is eliminated...I may not exist...here." I snapped my fingers. "Poof, gone. Bethor, too." I shrugged. "Maybe... maybe you all won't even remember me." I tightened my grip on his shoulder.

He stared at me, eyes glittering suddenly. "No," he choked out, barely audible. Then he twisted his upper body, and flung his arms around my waist, buried his face in my chest.
He was trembling.

I laid my arms around his shoulders and stared out into space over his head. It hurt. The thought of not being here anymore, never seeing him again, was painful. A wrenching sort of pain. I felt as if my stomach would shrink into itself and my heart was being ripped out at the same time. And I knew, now, for sure. I took a deep, shuddering breath. I knew, without doubt, that I was in love with Heero Yuy. Deeply and truly. "I just..." I trailed off and tried again. "Nothing's written in stone..." my voice wavered. I cleared my throat and whispered, "Just... you've got to consider it, ‘Ro."

He shook his head against my chest, still trembling.

"Y'know," I raised a hand, noticing that I was trembling too, and let it glide through his dark mane, exhaling heavily. "I've lost... all the people I truly... loved. They all... died." I squeezed my eyes shut, "I... I don't... want you dying too. Promise me."

He became very still in my arms. Rigid.

I could barely speak, but it needed to be said, "... I wanted to spare you... from that sort of pain." I took a deep breath, "But... it would be too late for that, am I right?"

He took a deep breath and it rattled in his chest. Or was it a groan? His arms tightened around my waist and he let his upraised leg fall down to the floor, shifted around, so that I stood between his legs. I cradled him in my arms. He spread his hands and they slowly slid to the small of my back, then upwards further, until they were on my shoulders. He leaned back slightly, so that he could tilt his head up to look at me.

He had this raw expression on his face. His eyes shone with that enhanced, otherworldly look. A brilliant indigo blue, shining with moisture in the lights. "Yes," he whispered, "way too late."

Then he tugged me down to him, our lips touching, tentatively. It was a shy kiss, just a ghostly touching of lips, so gentle. It was a perfect first kiss ­ tender and respectful, practically reverent ­ like something out of one of those age old G-rated movies from Disney. And as he felt no resistance from me, he did it again. And again.

Simultaneously, we tilted our heads a bit and he began being playful, nipping at my lower lip. He flicked his tongue out to lick my lips before he again ghosted his mouth against mine. Again and again.

I let out a whimper and took our play to the next level. I parted my lips and instantly his mouth opened into mine. I forgot all about aliens, time lapses and Gundams. All that mattered was Heero. I clutched his hair with one hand, his shoulder with the other. I was vaguely aware that he had stood up, his body pressed tightly against mine while we kissed.

Oh, and how we kissed. It made the kiss I had shared with Steve seem like a poor, flat nothing. One of Heero's hands had slid to the nape of my neck, and he cupped my head, tenderly.

He finally broke away, hesitantly, and leaned his forehead against mine. We were both breathing hard. "I wanted this... for such a long time, and now..." His voice was low, hoarse and his hands tightened on my shoulders. He gave me a little shake. "...I don't want ‘could have been', anymore. I don't want to waste anymore time. I don't care what will happen," He licked his lips, "I love you, Duo."

I nodded, helplessly. Our foreheads rubbed and noses bumped. Letting out a breathless little laugh, I leaned back and let my eyes roam over his face, "Same here, ‘Ro. Same here."

Someone cleared their throat from across the room. I craned my head to look back and saw Quatre standing in the doorway, looking smug. "What?" I asked gruffly.

"If that's finally settled," he said, smirking, "we've got Gundams to pilot."

+

I was happy beyond words. Heero had said he loved me. Heero kissed me. It had been fantastic.

I sat in my Gundam, testing the systems, and grinned like a maniac. I whooped and spun the Gundam. It was astonishing how fast we all had adapted to handling the suits again during our holo training. But this, finally, was the real thing. I supposed piloting a Gundam was like riding a bicycle. You never really forgot how.

Now, sitting in my new buddy, it was as if I had never stopped piloting. I felt transported back in time, but for the noticeable improvement of my suit. It was fully redesigned for space now. The cockpit was far more comfortable that the older model had been. My body melted in the seat, it fit like a glove.

The controls were right at my fingertips, but the best upgrade of all was that each Gundam now housed a smaller version of Bethor's AI. Connecting our headsets to our com units made it possible to control the Gundam mentally. It was nothing like Zero system, all of our thoughts were still our own. It brought reaction time down considerably, and every command could be carried out without twitching a muscle.

It only worked through Bethor, but who was I to complain? The chances of getting out of range were minimal, considering that Bethor had been able to communicate with me all the way from Jupiter.

I found it fascinating. If the system was activated, it gave you a sort of double vision effect. The cockpit and the controls were in front of me and at the same time it was as if I was the suit. I saw as if I was the Gundam. I was only too glad I didn't feel the Gundam. It could really suck if ya took a hit like that.

If I weren't already so madly in love with Heero, I would fall in love with my Deathscythe. I chuckled at the thought and looked up.

Space surrounded me and I watched Heero and Quatre test their suits, spinning and turning their Gundams. It was a remarkable sight. The machines seemed so graceful, like... angels.

Heero's face popped on my screen. "Duo? Everything okay?"

"Yeah," I grinned at him, "was just watching."

He nodded. "I didn't realize I missed piloting this much. Not fighting, but piloting."

"Too bad that one comes with the other," I hummed.

"Guys?" Quatre popped up on a second screen. "You having a nice time chatting? Shall we order dessert up here?"

Heero smirked. "Green tea, please."

I had to grin. "Strawberry pie with double whipped cream for me."

"I give," Quatre said, putting up his hands in the air, but his suit did a classic offensive maneuver. "Or not."

"Whoa," I shouted. I knew instinctively what Quatre was up to, and my Gundam reacted to my thoughts, immediately in defensive mode. "You're an insidious rat. Ya didn't think I'd let ya get away with that, huh?"

I brought my scythe up and he dodged, but my system told me I had hit him. Barely, and next to nowhere near fatal, but I had a hit. We had our weapons systems running at only twenty five percent. The system registered the hit, but no damage would actually occur.

"Luck," he screeched, and attacked. I parried and countered, as Heero came at me, too.

"Unfair," I shouted as I did my best to defend myself. Two against one was almost too much. I was hit several times, but overall, I found I did well. I dished out almost as much as I got, to both of them.

Finally the system declared an end to the training session. I was as good as defeated and drenched in sweat. I hadn't moved so much as a muscle, but felt as if I had been put through a grinder. It was a good feeling. Freeing.

"Next time you're gonna get a grilling, Winner," I announced.

He laughed.

"You okay?" Heero asked tentatively.

"Oh, yeah," I smiled at his image on the screen. "A few bolts popped, and the left leg needs adjusting but overall the suit's fantastic. I wish we'd had them during the wars."

He shook his head and grimaced. "I meant you."

"Oh," I ducked my head and tried to hide my goofy grin. "I'm good." I glanced through my sweaty bangs at him and found him staring from the screen. I wasn't used to Heero asking for my wellbeing after a fight. It was nice, though. I tilted my head up and beamed. "Thanks. Go ahead. I'll be in in a minute."

He nodded and the screen went black. I observed him on my screens following Quatre to the ship and took a moment for myself to wind down. Honestly, I was worried about the impending battle. And after.

Time flew by quickly. It would be very soon that we would face off with the Xetoins. After much thought, we had decided to give a few select Maganacs the serum. They all had volunteered willingly. Four of them would be each our backups, should it be needed.

Altogether, we had twenty Mobile Suits and five Gundams against five Xetion ships. It would have to be sufficient. But what awaited us after that? Une seemed to be sure there would be more. Apart from the upcoming fight, our knowledge was limited. We had no more data we could refer to. Even Bethor didn't know what lay ahead. Was that the point where we both... I shuddered. No. I shoved the thought back deep into my mind.

Tomorrow Une would be here again. She had gone earth side, briefly, to attend to Preventer business. There were details to work out with the government representatives. They were slated to return to Earth as well. The observer would stay.

I had yet to ask Heero what Relena had wanted from him. Okay, I didn't really need to know, but I wanted to know. In a very unlike me, jealous sort of way. I snorted.

Relaxing in my seat, I pondered the last point, and worried. Heero was still bunking with me. Would he want to continue what we started on the observation deck? Go further? Now that we had declared ourselves to each other, I felt a little... skittish. Maybe because I never before had to think of an afterwards. I had been clear with all of my former partners that it was only casual.

With Heero... with him, I couldn't think casual. It was just impossible. And that made me nervous, somehow.

I took in a deep breath and decided I had been out here long enough, drifting. I made my way back to the ship, towards the open freight doors. As I passed the shield, I saw them. No less then ten armed Preventers holding Quatre and Heero at gunpoint. And in front of them, Asshole Commander Wright.

I hesitated. Why the hell had nobody warned me? I shook my head and descended, letting my Deathscythe take a few steps into the freight room, and turned the suit to its holding position between Altron and Wing. Taking off my helmet, I raked my hand through my still sweaty bangs. I shut down and secured the system, and put the headset back in its holding compartment before opening the hatch and descended via the cable from the cockpit.

"What's the meaning of this?" I asked sharply.

"You're being arrested for treason, conspiracy and manufacturing of forbidden weapons," the asshole snarled.

"Oh, is that so?" I drawled. I glanced at Heero, who looked expressionless, and Quatre, who looked... annoyed.

"Actually, yes," he replied arrogantly. "As of now, you are relieved of your position as Captain of this ship. I'll be taking over."

I crossed my arms over my chest. "And who, do you fucking think, will be backing you up?"

He pursed his lips. "All conspirators are to be secured in their cabins. I have the approval of the government representatives, after they were told that you built Gundams. This ship now is under control of the Preventers."

I smirked coldly. "What laws do you think you are acting upon?" I activated my com and ordered Bethor to open all the cabins, except Steven McKarmedy's.

He looked as if I had lost my mind. "The laws of the United Earth Sphere, naturally."

I nodded and looked down. Then, slowly, took a few steps, until I stood directly in front of him. I lifted my head and stared at him square in the eye. He shrunk back a fraction. I knew what he saw. A cold smile on my lips and an icy glare. The way I stared at my opponents during the war. A face that promised death. However, now I was not some 15 year old child. The effect was not in vain. He looked... highly disturbed.

"This ship," I started slowly, with a razor sharp voice, "is sovereign. Independent. It never was, is not now, and likely never will be, under the laws of the United Earth Sphere." I was furious that he had the audacity to even try to steal my ship. I raised my voice a notch. "I am the Captain of this ship. No. One. Else. It is my birthright and my inheritance. This ship will not obey you. What I say is the fucking law, here. And what you are doing here is fucking mutiny."

He stared into my eyes, spooked, and I knew they had changed to violet. He opened his mouth to say something, but I waved with a hand, cut him off.

Ignoring the guns aimed at me, I hissed, "You are the one being fucking arrested here."

I ordered Bethor to activate the magnetic lockdown in the freight area. There were clattering sounds as the guns were ripped out of their owner's hands and pulled to the floor. I looked around slowly. They all looked spooked at the sudden loss of their guns.

They certainly thought I had supernatural abilities. "Heero," I asked, "would you please escort Commander Wright out. He is confined to his quarters."

Heero nodded and stepped forward, sweeping a gun up from the floor. He made it look as if he did it with ease, but I knew better. He had yet to train the gun at the commander, instead holding the gun to his side. I'm sure it took a lot of his strength to keep it there. I revoked the magnetic lockdown and he glanced at me, quirking his lips as he passed me by, gesturing the Commander out.

"You will regret this," the Commander ranted, "Une will..." the rest of his words were cut off as the door closed behind them.

I looked at the rest of the Preventers, glancing around unsure and nervous. "Don't get any ideas. You'll regret it. We'll settle this tomorrow. In the meantime, you will get your orders from the next agent in rank; Chang Wufei, I think it is? Dismissed."

"You think that was appropriate?" Quatre came up to me as the agents had left the freight area, and we slowly walked towards the door.

I leaned against the wall and crossed my arms over my chest. "What else could I have done? Why didn't you warn me?"

He shook his head. "They had a dampener. It disabled communication."

I let my head fall with a thump against the wall and closed my eyes. "You could have ordered Bethor to warn me."

He looked astonished. "I... hadn't thought of that. It would have worked despite the dampener?"

I shrugged one shoulder. "It worked when I used it."

He nodded. "I'm still not completely used to the constant connection to the AI," he confessed. "I'm sorry."

"It's okay. We have to work with what we got."

"We have to convince Une tomorrow, about all this," he leaned against the wall beside me, "and the government representatives."

I nodded. "I'd like to know who has ratted on us."

"An agent had overheard a few techs talking. He ran to his commander and they put us under observation, gathering evidence." He looked down at his boots, "You sure you can use this argument? A sovereign, independent ship?"

I sighed. "I can't have them try again. Best to clear the fronts now."

"Okay," he sighed. "I'll contact my lawyers. See what they say."

"I'm sorry I dragged you all into that." I looked at him.

He smiled, put a hand on my shoulder and squeezed gently. "We'd be offended if you hadn't." With that, he pushed up from the wall and left.

+

I hesitated in front of my quarters and took a deep breath. Bethor had confirmed that Heero was already in there. What now? I chuckled softly to myself. I felt like I was on my first date. God. This was ridiculous. We were both grown, experienced men. Nothing to be nervous about, right?

We five had spent most of the evening and night cycle discussing the confrontation with Une and the government representatives tomorrow, no, later today. Quatre's lawyers had responded immediately, researched and gave their recommendations via vid conference a short time ago. We were prepared as best as we could be.

I made a short stop at the freight area and left a few notes for Howard about my Gundam's testing results. And now I was bone tired and just wanted to sleep. But Heero was in there.

I straightened and palmed the pad. Heero was crouched in front of an open drawer. He turned his head as the door opened.

"Hey," I said softly, stepping into the room.

"Hey," he replied, as he closed the drawer and stood. He had already showered. He was in pajama bottoms, his chest bare and hair still damp.

I found my eyes glued to his bare hest. "I..." I yawned. "Sorry."

He chuckled and took a few steps to stand in front of me. He raised a hand to my cheek and his eyes roamed over my face. "You are tired." He stated matter of fact.

"Hmm," I replied and closed my eyes, leaning my head slightly into his hand.

He took me by the shoulder and gave me a little shove. "Go, shower."

I blinked as I stumbled into the bathroom. There were already fresh towels, and a pair of pajamas placed there. I peeled out of my clothes and let them fall to the floor, turned the shower on and stepped under the spray. Tilting my head back, I stood there a few minutes, letting the hot water soak me before I grabbed the shower gel and began to scrub. I loosened my braid and shampooed my hair, turned and closed my eyes and let the water rinse the soap out.

A hand was put on my shoulder, and I let out a startled yelp. Heero stood behind me. He chuckled softly. "Let me help. You're bone tired".

I nodded, and he began to gently scrub my scalp to rinse the shampoo. When he was done, he shut the water off and wrung out my hair. A towel was pressed in my hand and one thrown over my head and he rubbed gently while I slung the one in my hand around my hips. I dared to open an eye. In the bathroom mirror, I could see him standing behind me, a solemn expression on his face, while he rubbed my hair dry.

I had to smile. "Heero?"

"Hmm?"

"You came into the shower with me in it," I stated.

"We've actually showered together, before. In the Gym," he answered, still rubbing my hair.

"Yeah, but..." I began.

"I.. didn't touch you," he said, a little unsure.

He was actually right. He hadn't touched me, but for my hair. I smirked.

"Yeah, but..."

He didn't let me finish, and his hands fell from my hair to his sides. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have... I thought... I assumed..."

"Heero!" I turned and grabbed him with both hands at the shoulders. That I lost the towel in the process came to me much later. "It's okay." I said softly at his distressed expression. "I just wanted to mention that you did it with your pajamas still on." I snatched his waistband and let it plop back. "They're soaked."

He actually looked embarrassed.

"Well," he stammered, "I wasn't sure you..."

I kissed him. Skin touched skin and he shuddered, his arms came around me and our bodies were pressed together. I deepened the kiss. Need was like a volcano erupting. My arms slid around Heero, hands moving up over his back, then downwards, taking the wet pajamas with them. I cupped his firm cheeks while Heero wriggled out of the wet clothing, kicking them away, eagerly responding, while all the time our tongues were battling for dominance.

Heero groaned into my mouth as I ground myself into his hip, our stiff cocks rubbing against each other. I slid my left hand onto his muscled abdomen and upwards, flicking at his nipple. He growled, his hands coming down to my ass, and he lifted me up, carried me to one of the beds and lowered us down gently, still kissing.

We were entwined in a bundle of limbs and tongues and still damp skin. He broke the kiss, nipping his way down my body, kissing over my jaw to my collarbone, down my chest and nibbling at my nipple, his hands roaming over my body. He went further still, nuzzling my bellybutton, and finally settled between my legs, his tongue sweeping slowly in a long wet lick over the underside of my cock.

"Heero..." I only was able to gasp in a groan as he took me in his hot wet mouth and sucked gently. My back arched and I clawed wildly at the sheets, searching for something to hold on to. "Uhhh..."

I felt as if I would spontaneously combust at any moment. Tugging at his hair with one hand, I gripped his shoulder with the other and pulled him up to me for a fierce kiss, grinding my cock, wet with his saliva, against his, up and down, sliding easily and he groaned and clutched at me as if he would never let go.

I wriggled a hand between our bodies and wrapped my hand around our erections. They moved against each other with our frantic grinding. I moaned at the feeling of skin against skin, the movement of powerful muscles against me, and he threw his head back and let out a growl-like sound and shuddered, and came hot and wet over my hand and my belly. I only could look at him, gasping and panting, staring in his eyes. They had changed to a brilliant indigo. He was so beautiful in the moment of his climax.

Heero started to collapse above me, gasping for breath. With one last grind I came against his twitching cock, keening out a low wail as my own climax hit me. My muscles clenched and body shook as hot semen spilled between our bodies and over my hand, mixing with his.

I slumped back and let out a breathless laugh and he lifted his head, grinning goofily at me before he slumped back down, and rolling slightly to his side. He lifted a hand and gently ran his fingers through my hair. I closed my eyes for just a moment.

When I opened them again, I was alone.

"Heero?" I asked quietly and he stuck his head out of the bathroom door, toothbrush in mouth, hair damp from his shower.

"Mornin'," he mumbled between bubbles and I blinked. I couldn't believe I'd fallen asleep.

Leaning up on my elbows, I looked at the clock and groaned. We had overslept. "Shit. We're late!" I exclaimed. It was already ten on the day circle and we had the meeting at ten thirty. I rushed to the bathroom and gave Heero a short kiss in passing as he came out.

"You have time," he declared. "Quatre and Wufei will fill in Une before the meeting, you know that."

"Uh-huh," I answered. It was my turn to mumble through bubbles. I rinsed and spat out. "Y'know, I wanted to see her face."

He chuckled. "Hurry up."

"Aye, sir," I called out as I hopped in the shower, grinning.

+

"Who do you think you are?" One of the representatives called out.

"Well, that's a good question," I replied. "Bethor, who am I?"

"You are Duo Maxwell, Captain, pilot of Deathscythe Hell II. Former pilot of Gundam Deathscythe and Deathscythe Hell. Codename Shingami. Raised as an orphan on the streets of L2, a beggar and thief for six years."

I blinked at that, embarrassed. "Well, you could have left that part out," I muttered under my breath.

Bethor continued, naturally unimpressed. "Born as Nemamiah on April 20, A.C. 180. Offspring of Hope, warrior, suit pilot, crewmember. Fathered by Ambriel, warrior, and my former Captain."

Une whipped her head around, staring at me.

I continued, "Where was I born and raised for the first five years of my life?"

"On this ship."

"Am I a member of the UES?"

"You are a member of my original crew. I have no data that you are an official member of the UES. My collected data confirms humans born on Earth and colonies are members of the UES. You were born in space, near Jupiter. Logic implies the necessity of an official act, as your human parents also were not members of the UES."

"Will you accept the laws of the UES?"

"If they are not contradictory to my mission, yes."

"What if they are contradicting?" I asked.

"I will ignore them."

"Bethor, what is your mission?"

"My mission is to protect the Earth, the colonies and its inhabitants."

"Who gave you this order?"

"Ruler over the Earth, the colonies, and its inhabitants, Treize Krushrenada."

There was a collective gasp.

I continued, "Can this order be revoked?"

"No."

"What if your mission fails?"

"I am to self destruct."

I pursed my lips. "What if I am forcefully removed from here, or die?"

"I would try to defend you. If this should fail, I would have to select a new suitable Captain."

"Would you accept someone provided by the government of the UES?"

"No. I would select a new suitable Captain."

"Who would decide if this person is suitable?"

"I would." Bethor repeated.

"What if the government of the UES is not in agreement with you?"

"I would ignore the government."

I looked around. They bristled at that, and noises of protests were heard. I raised my voice. "Is there someone on board who could replace me? Whom you would accept as a new Captain?"

"Yes."

"Is that person someone other than a former gundam pilot?"

"No."

"Am I, as your Captain, able to influence you on that decision?"

"No."

"Who could?"

"The initiator of that order, Treize Krushrenada."

Again, there were gasps heard.

"How did you choose your first captain? The captain that started this mission."

"As I have chosen you. We merged and I assessed abilities and intentions of the aspirants, matching them to my mission. He was the best suitable out of 834 candidates."

"Were his abilities and intentions different from mine?" I grimaced at this. Of course they were. I was his son, not his clone. "In which way were they?" I added.

"Ambriel was not able to pilot a suit as you are. You are not experienced in commanding a battle ship. Your intentions are similar in the necessary points."

"How do you know that?"

"We merged, and I have monitored you over the last five years."

I nodded and looked around. "You heard the AI. I will fight for you as I have done before and I will give my life for you if it is necessary. But, I will do so under my own conditions. This ship," I raised my arm and made a wide gesture around, "is a small, sovereign colony of its own. It may have been assembled on Earth, but it never stood under the rules of the United Earth Sphere. It doesn't do so now. It is independent. Because where this ship is from, there was no UES. You can't insist of ruling the universe, just because you rule over the UES. The Xetoins are proof of that."

I looked down and closed my eyes briefly, before I took a deep breath and continued. "I claim for me and for this ship independent status. We are not members of the UES. In fact, in accepting my invitation here, you came into foreign territory. Accepted a treaty in a common goal. Defend the Earth. We can work together and compare plans, and decide on the best plan of action. If your plans turn out to be better than mine, I will go with them. But if you further demand to take control, demand to keep your laws, which are contrary to reaching this goal, demand to give up valuable means, the Gundams, for reaching the goal, I will withdraw from this treaty. I will ask you to leave."

There was a deafening silence.

Relena smirked. She finally stood up and addressed her colleagues. "We have heard Mr. Maxwell's point of view. We have heard the AI of this ship. I personally think the statements of the AI are authentic. In the past, Mr. Maxwell here, as well as the other Gundam pilots, have fought to achieve the peace we have now. He has personally saved my life during that time. He has helped to protect that peace during the Dekim affair. His profile, all five of them actually, indicate a strong impulse to prevent suffering of people who cannot defend themselves. A strong opposition against war. Maybe that was what helped them to be successful in the first place."

"That was years ago. People change," someone called out.

"That is true," Relena said. "They grew up and life defined them. But what we have in our reports of Duo Maxwell's life until now," she held up a folder, "proves that not only is this impulse still an important part of his personality, it is a defining factor in his life. For example, rather than focus on amassing greater wealth, he chooses to donate large amounts of money to organizations that help orphaned children and people in need. Or the way he has provided replicators to the colonies for use in churches and orphanages, free of charge, to try to ease the people's suffering."

I felt my ears go hot.

"He," she turned and pointed at me, "has done things we, the government, have handled very poorly. I do not see a man who wants to take over the world. I see a man who helps where he is able to. If the safety of the world is the price for accepting that this ship is a separate state, he is his own government, I'll say we begin to build up diplomatic connections." She looked around and took her seat.

"Besides," Heero stood, "there is a fact you are all missing. I did too." He looked down at me with a sad smile.

I wrapped my arms around myself, feeling suddenly nauseous. I let my chin fell to my chest and hid behind my bangs. He wouldn't...

"This ship and his parents come from a future which, if we are successful, will never be. With our victory, there will no longer be a need to send them back here. He... expects that he will no longer exist here, neither he nor the ship, once the threat is eliminated. And still, he is willing to go through with it." Heero sat back down, and the room fell silent.

I could feel all eyes on me. God, was I embarrassed. Glancing sideways through my bangs I scowled at him. "Uhm," I began, but Une was faster.

"This would be a good moment to consider my requests for a Special Force. A Division of trained agents who would handle threats to peace, such as this one is, independently..."

"Don't change the topic, Une," one of the representatives said. "We have to make a decision here. We will have to decide if this is some big charade, or a good scene play, or a terrible truth. And live with that decision. I admit, it sounds almost too fantastic to be a ploy. The technology I have seen on this ship is too advanced for our time period. Of course, it is possible that Mr. Maxwell here took advantage of the finding of the ship and spun a tale around it and programmed the AI to speak as he wishes."

"I do not lie," I burst out, "ever."

"We don't know that," he said to me, before he continued to his colleagues. "If we ignore a possible threat, it could be fatal. As for the building of the Gundams, there first has to be a decision on whether Mr. Maxwell is to be judged under the laws of the UES or not. If in fact he was not born in the UES, he cannot be made responsible for the violation of the prohibition to assemble Gundams. There is also the fact that he did not do so in the Earth's vicinity."

He spread his hands, "Is he right in his assumption that the UES laws are not valid for him? That would validate that this ship is indeed a sovereign, independent place. Or, does the simple fact that he is human puts him under UES laws," He sighed. "A trial may take place several years from now, and we may not have them. Of course, every lawyer could argue that a judge under the laws of the UES would be prejudiced." He sat down again, and a heated discussion began.

My head swam. I looked up at the other four and was relieved. Quatre stood after a while. I took that as my cue to leave the room as well.

I leaned back against the wall in the hallway and let my head fall back, eyes closed.

"My God, Duo," Quatre said and touching me lightly at the shoulder. "Is that true? Will you..." he made a choked sound.

I let a little, sad smile graze my face. "I don't know, Quat. I don't know what will happen. We'll have to see."

[part 7] [part 9] [back to Singles a - k]