of Love + Part 5 (cont)
Duo looked in at Zechs, studiously
reading in the next room, his long platinum hair falling forward over
the documents. He wouldn't disturb him. He would head down to the library
for a book and be back within the hour to enjoy his lover fully.
Duo slipped out of the suite and headed down the marble halls in search
of the library. If he remembered correctly it was on the second floor
next to one of the large meeting rooms. There were three hundred rooms
in the palace and Duo had seen only about a third of them and, being as
distracted as he had been, he wasn't quite sure where he had seen what.
After about twenty minutes of peeking inside doors, Duo finally found
the library. He gasped at its beauty in the evening light, the moon illuminating
its book lined walls with a bluish hue.
He stepped inside and closed the door behind him, and then walked over
to a large desk to turn on a lamp. The room now played more in shadows
as the lamplight only reached several feet. Duo turned and gazed at the
wall of books before him. How would he ever find what he was looking for?
He scanned their spines, tilting his head to read the horizontal titles,
his braid sliding on his back with the motion. There was a wealth of information
here, everything from poetry and art history to autobiographies and encyclopedias
of flora and fauna.
He remembered Zechs that day in Mr. Brentwood's bookshop, holding a copy
of a rare botanical guide. He had wanted to kill Zechs then, put him back
in the grave he had crawled out of, but now he shivered at the thought.
Zechs was a good man. He was generous and kind and had made Duo whole
The creak of old leather startled Duo out of his silent reverie. He turned
and peered into the shadows.
"Who's there?" he asked, the hair on the back of his neck standing on
From out of a large, leather chair rose a figure of slender, but muscular
build. "It's me, Duo," the familiar voice said.
"Heero," Duo said, in a shocked whisper.
"You always did know where to find me," Heero said, stepping into the
lamplight to reveal himself fully. He was dressed casually in a white
shirt, jeans and tennis shoes, and his relaxed demeanor made it appear
he had been there for some time.
Duo stepped back, shaken to have run into his ex-lover. "I wasn't looking
for you," he said, defensively.
"Really?" Heero asked, his eyes intense. "But I'm sure you remember that
I spent every evening in Quatre's study."
"That was a long time ago," Duo said, making a move to leave, but Heero
blocked his way, holding out his arms wide to prevent him from passing.
"I've sat here many evenings remembering those weeks in Arabia," Heero
Duo took a half step back. To hear Heero speak of their time together
sent a spike of warmth through him, coloring his cheeks. This wasn't a
good idea, being here alone with Heero, and having those impossibly dark
blue eyes staring at him, challenging him. He tried to get by again, but
Heero stood firm. Then Heero moved forward, prompting Duo to back up against
"I've missed you," Heero said sweetly, putting his arms on either side
of Duo and grabbing onto the shelves to trap the other boy to the spot.
"You said that before," Duo said, panicked by this closeness.
"And I'll keep saying it until you believe me," Heero replied.
Duo shook his head. "How can I? You left me there..." Choking up, Duo
turned his face away.
The emotional response surprised Heero into pulling back slightly. He
had been getting so much venom that he hadn't expected this. He dropped
his arms to his sides.
"I admit... I made a mistake," he said, hesitantly. It wasn't easy for
Heero Yuy to admit failure, but he knew it was important to do so now.
Duo's eyes widened as he looked back at Heero. He couldn't believe his
"The Perfect Solider is apologizing?" Duo asked with a snort, trying to
regain his hard edge.
"Yes. And you know better than anyone that I'm not perfect," Heero said,
locking his gaze once again with Duo's. "I never expected things would
turn out like this," he admitted. "I hadn't considered how it would be...
No, Duo thought as the words swirled in his head. His breath was coming
harder now as he realized Heero was saying all the right things.
"It'll take time," Heero continued, inching closer again until he was
sure Duo could feel his breath ghosting his skin. "But I'm going to do
whatever it takes to regain your trust."
Duo pressed himself flatter against the bookshelves, his eyes wide like
"How?" he asked, wetting his lips with his tongue. Heero was standing
Heero's eyes focused on the moistened lips. Everything about Duo was coming
back to him in waves. The how and why he had left suddenly didn't make
sense anymore. Duo was so beautiful, so strong, and yet in this moment
so vulnerable. They had made a good team. They had been perfect lovers.
"I'd like to start with this..." Heero said, leaning in and taking Duo's
lips in a kiss.
In shock, Duo accepted the kiss, his eyes falling shut as he tasted the
lips he had missed with a desperate ache. Heero was enchanting tonight
and after all these months felt just the same... no, better. Heero's lips
were warm and soft and the touch made Duo tingle with deeply buried memories.
Those memories enticed him to wrap his arms about Heero's narrow waist.
Heero put his arms around Duo as well, pulling the other boy to him as
he took the kiss deeper. He wanted to convey so much in this kiss. He
wanted to bleed his apology into Duo and promise that he would put things
The kiss went on, and Duo wanted to live in this moment forever. It felt
as if he was in a dream... it had to be a dream being in Heero's arms
again. But if this was a dream, then what was the reality?
Zechs, Duo thought with a start.
His eyes popped open. He had to get a grip on himself. He pulled out of
the kiss, breathing heavily, and pushing Heero away with a hard shove.
Heero stumbled back.
"Bastard," Duo said, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. He was
shaking. How could Heero have done this to him? Transporting him back
to a time when they had been lovers.
This time Duo pushed past Heero and made for the door.
"I realized something in the months we've been apart," Heero said, speaking
quickly in the hope of stopping Duo's retreat. "I knew there was something
special between us, but I never understood what I was feeling..."
Duo was at the door, throwing it open.
"I love you," Heero said, his heart pounding hard.
Duo froze in the doorway. The very breath knocked out of him by those
words. God, it seemed he had been waiting forever to hear those three
little words from Heero. And now that he had, he didn't know what to do.
But he was just as guilty of caution, pride, and youthful nonchalance.
He had never told Heero of his love either.
With effort, Duo turned to face him, his eyes filled with brimming tears.
But those tears and those quivering lips were a result of the war within.
Duo's mind was telling him that Heero was playing games and that this
was a trick, while his heart thumped with hope for the boy he had never
wanted to be parted from.
When at last he spoke, his voice was shaky. "W-why... why couldn't you
have told me that before?" Duo asked, hanging onto the doorjamb for support.
"I didn't understand what I was feeling back then," Heero said, his tone
pleading, but firm. "But I know now, and I want you back. We can make
it work this time."
They stared at each other for seconds, neither saying a word. It was as
if a great chasm lay between them and Heero had just thrown a line over.
The rope had snagged on a tree branch, but hadn't anchored securely, and
any strong wind might dislodge it... and then they would be miles apart
Heero had spent the first couple of months in Sank intermittently thinking
about Duo and pushing the memories aside. But instead of his memories
fading over time they had strengthened, and Heero came to understand what
a fool he had been. In his arrogance he had pushed away the best thing
that had ever happened to him. With this realization came the biggest
realization of all... that all those indescribable feelings he had been
wrestling with had been love forming and taking hold.
Now he hung on the silence between them, watching Duo intently, knowing
the other boy was processing what he had said. He had lost Duo's trust
and he knew it would be an uphill battle to regain it. But it was a battle
Heero was willing to fight, a mission he heartily accepted.
Even though Duo was reluctant, no, downright stubborn about letting him
back in, that kiss had told Heero all he needed to know. It was a little-known
secret that Heero could read Duo's emotions by the intensity and enthusiasm
of his kisses. And that kiss had proven, without a doubt, that Duo had
not only missed him, but that he still had a soft place in his heart for
His loud-mouthed former lover might try to hide his true feelings behind
snide remarks and stern looks, but the truth had shown in his kiss. Zechs
or no, Heero had the proof in that kiss. Duo still wanted him.
And so, when Duo finally broke their gaze and hurried from the room, Heero
let him go. Hope was now his ally.
When Duo came to a stop on the third floor landing, he doubled over, trying
to catch his breath. A flicker of déja vu returned his thoughts to the
night in Arabia when he had raced from Heero into the house. Back then,
Heero had seemed devoid of feeling and anxious to be rid of him. Now,
as Heero had said, things had changed.
"He loves me," Duo said, trying to wrap his mind and heart around the
words and their true meaning.
He stood upright and touched his lips with the tips of his fingers. That
kiss... that kiss had felt like a homecoming.
He looked back down the marble stairs and smiled shakily. The warmth that
had settled in his cheeks earlier now covered his entire body. Heero loved
him and wanted him back. The proposition was so fantastic, so unexpected
that it made Duo laugh. The impossible had happened... Heero Yuy loved
"I must be imagining things," Duo said, shaking his head as though clearing
Despite still feeling the tingle of lips and hands on his body, Duo half-believed
that he had been sleep walking and his mind had played a trick on him.
Or was that wishful thinking? Yes, this encounter had been real... all
too real. And now Duo's mind and heart became painfully aware of the fact
that there were two men who loved him.
The giddy laughter stopped abruptly. As flattering as it was to have two
very handsome men vying for his attention, Duo knew this could not end
well. Someone would be hurt.
"Zechs..." he said, looking toward their shared suite.
The last thing he wanted was to hurt Zechs. Though a former enemy, Zechs
had persevered and won Duo's affection. And he had picked up the pieces
of Duo's shattered love life. It still amazed him how Zechs had overcome
the barriers the war had placed before them. He was an honorable, gentle
and beautiful man.
And I think I've come to love him, Duo thought with tears again brimming
in his eyes.
It suddenly occurred to Duo that although Heero and Zechs had confessed
their love for him, he had been unable to tell them his deepest, truest
feelings. He sighed, realizing he had a lot of hard thinking to do. And
so, instead of returning directly to his suite, he trod down the corridor
to an elegant bench at the end of the hall. Beneath a large window accented
by azure draperies, Duo sat on a cushioned bench and looked out onto the
cloudless night sky. It was the kind of night made for lovers, but which
lover did Duo want?
His thoughts went back to Heero, his first love. Heero had turned his
world upside down, fought by his side, and melted him into a puddle of
goo with every kiss. Heero had been a hard battle won, and a continual
challenge, but somehow they had connected and found a balance. There was
something to be said for first loves, but could the magic and intensity
they had shared so many months before be recaptured? And was that what
this was about regaining the past? Or making a future?
Wufei had once counseled Duo to live in the moment, and to expect change
with every breath. Had so much changed in six months that a relationship
with Heero was no longer a possibility?
"What am I thinking?" Duo asked himself aloud. How can I even consider
a relationship with Heero again? I'm with Zechs...
Just then, Duo heard the click of a door opening. He looked up to see
Zechs stepping into the corridor. The man cut an impressive figure against
the empty, but ornate hallway. This was his home. This was where he belonged.
It was as if the palace itself was brighter for his presence.
Zechs was still dressed in his white Sankian uniform, save for the burgundy
tie and gem encrusted pin at his throat. Those had been removed shortly
after beginning the tedious review of documents.
The Sankian heir looked both ways down the hall before spotting Duo on
the bench. He smiled and then walked toward his lover.
"I was worried when I found you had gone," Zechs said. He came to stand
before Duo, noting the look of concentration on his lover's face. "Have
you been sitting here all this time?"
"No," Duo said, softly. With Zechs standing over him, wearing the official
uniform of the Peacecraft family, Duo suddenly felt the inequality of
their positions. In Boston they had been equals, but here... how could
they ever be that again?
Duo's head tilted back, his eyes traveling up Zechs's tall form to his
eyes. "I wanted to do research... on the Sank Kingdom."
Zechs grinned, pleased at Duo's initiative. "Then you were in the library?
You never fail to surprise me," he said and bent to kiss Duo's lips.
Duo accepted the kiss eagerly, hoping desperately that nothing had changed.
That the kiss he had shared with Heero hadn't been as mind blowing as
he had thought in that moment. When Zechs began to pull back, Duo took
his hand and pulled him in again, deepening the kiss, trying to cleanse
himself of what he had done.
Zechs's free hand came up to cup Duo's face as he pressed for entrance.
When Duo's lips parted, they both groaned as their tongues met and intertwined.
Soon, Duo was on his feet, standing and being held in Zechs's arms. What
had started as a sweet kiss of approval for Duo's efforts had turned passionate
and inappropriate for public halls.
At last, Zechs broke away, his eyes dilated and body aroused. "I believe
we have a special night planned," he said in that deep, velvet voice.
Duo gulped at the predatory look in Zechs's blue eyes. They had planned
a bit of a re-enactment of their time in Boston, and certainly that look
was a reminder of their very first sexual encounter.
"Uh... yeah," Duo said, suddenly shy and unsure of himself.
Zechs narrowed his gaze. One minute Duo was all fire and temptation and
the next he was meek as a mouse. Could it have something to do with the
serious look that had covered his face when he had first found him on
"Is everything all right, Baby?" Zechs asked.
Duo nodded. "Sure," he said and then whisked past Zechs in a blur of motion,
braid flying behind him. He looked back over his shoulder at his stunned
lover. "What are ya' waiting for?" he called and then ducked inside their
Zechs shook his head and gave a low chuckle, walking at a dignified pace
back to their room. As he was about to step across the threshold, he got
the feeling he was being watched and turned to look down the hall. There,
on the stairs, he thought he saw a man... or was it just a shadow from
the columns? He took a step back into the hall and squinted, but by the
time his eyes adjusted to the dim light the shadowy figure was gone. Or
had it been there at all?
Retreating, quickly and silently back down the stairs, Heero's blood pulsed
in his ears. This was madness, wanting Duo this way. Wanting him so much
that he would spy on his private moments.
And he had nearly been caught. Zechs's instincts were good and it was
obvious he had sensed his presence, but Heero had been fast. He was sure
that Zechs had not seen him.
So what game was Duo playing? Kissing him with vigor and then fleeing
to his current lover to fulfill his passions? The image burned in Heero's
eyes and in his belly. He had never been so sure of anything or anyone
since his mission to free the colonies. Then why was Duo hesitating to
come to him?
"Because he doesn't want to hurt Zechs," Heero said in realization.
He didn't like to think about it, but he had put Duo in a terrible situation.
He had created a triangle. One of them was going to get hurt, and after
witnessing the way Duo had just kissed Zechs, Heero felt the ominous gnaw
of rejection roil inside him.