Author: Octavius
(Gritty NC-17 for sexuality 2x1 )

Gritty Romance and fanon nose-thumbing. yeah.
Special thanks to ixnos for beta and awkward scene help.

The Temperate Zone + Part 1

They have to stop in Nairobi to wait out one of the immense sandstorms spreading out from the Sahara. Duo complains about the "fucking impassible region of Northern Africa," and sand in general. Heero don't say anything and instead begins to calculate the quickest trajectory over Chad, Niger, and Algeria. They have to meet Quatre at the Gibraltar base in a week -mission time 23:00 hours. Duo should know that.

In the East part of the city they manage to rent a room which is basically metal siding nailed over the skin and bones frame of wood beams and cement blocks. Before he agrees to pay he has to go in and press the studs with the heels of his hands, tap the nail heads with a fingernail, and test out the house. In the end he brushes his knuckles against one of the sheet metal sides -the one that looked as if it had been torn from the side of a Coca Cola stand. It's the coldest most unyielding thing he's felt since the last time he touched his gundam.

He gives the landlord 450 extra Kenyan shillings not to talk.

"Well, we've managed to find ourselves quite the shithole," Duo says when he comes through the door, but he doesn't complain and stashes his bag carefully under the milk crates they'd been using as chairs. There's no electricity, and in order for them to run the computers and crappy plastic fan, they have to run a line from the street lamp through a hole in the siding and into the house. They can only do this at night or they risk being caught by the police or the neighbors. So when they finish for the night Heero has to go out and wind out the cable and Duo teases the lamp wires back together. There's no light inside the shack so its pitch black except for the fine moth glow under the door.

There aren't even enough malaria pills for both of them. So they split them up and take one every other day. But even though all standing water evaporates in the space of an hour, it still gets to him. Heero wakes up in the middle of the night feverish and shaky for the first time in years.

By the end of the second day they've managed to steal a car battery and rig it up to power the computers on low and at night the fan. Duo does all the wiring himself: sparking the frosty green acid crust at the negative feed just for the hell of it. Heero's altering Wing's schematics when he glances over and shivers not at the blue sizzle, but the way Duo licks the edge of his thumb where he's been burned.

There was an influx of refugees from former Pakistan a few years back so it's a little easier for Duo and him to walk around the city, but they still draw notice. They all have foraged papers saying they're so-and-so from China, Romania, Uzbekistan, a medical student, an engineer -Duo even has one that says he's a Peace Core worker which he finds immensely funny- but it's still not a good idea for them to go outside. They will draw too much attention. When Heero tries to reiterate this to Duo he snorts and says, "Well we can't really blend in with the natives now can we. At least not with your fucking awful sense of humor."

A little while later he comes back with 2 gallon bucket (the kind people keep paint and bleach in) filled to the brim with water. Heero's standing in the shelter of the doorway and Duo sort of pushes him in -forearm on his chest- then shuts the door behind himself.

There aren't many showers or places to wash in the little complex. There's grass in the back with some great flat bricks, but mostly there's some pipes a few blocks down that tend to work most of the time. Heero hasn't bathed in days, but then he's had worse. So he's a little surprised when Duo hands him a strip of towel and pulls his shirt off over his head. It's humid inside the little shack, so humid it feels like breathing underwater, but he knows this has absolutely nothing to do with the sweat that breaks out on his neck and flat stomach as Duo brushes elbows with him over and over both their knees braced on the bucket.

On the 4th day he looks out one of the holes in the metal siding sees the reds, blacks and yellows of the landlord's chickens, the grainy mercury of the water pump, and the deep hollow places of cinder blocks that nothing will fill.

That night Duo punches him in the shoulder and tells him to "Move the hell over." Turning to look at him, Heero can only see a sliver of tan shoulder and rib like some disembodied man stepping out of the dark, but it's enough. So much more than enough, that his hand is clenched in a fist until morning so he can't touch himself.

On the 5th day, Duo calls him a "fucking coward chicken." He spars with him on the dirt floor, in about 12x13 feet of space. Duo fights by keeping his hands up in a guard around his face until the last second, then letting them drop and punches him in the shoulder, elbow, kidney. Both of them stopped wearing shirts days ago and each time Heero brushes against him he can feel Duo's sweat on his shoulders, neck, elbows -warm- the way blood wells up from a cut. There's dust everywhere. Inside his mouth. The soles of his feet are coated. When Duo cuts a sharp jab to his throat Heero coughs once, then spits on him before sitting up and breaking his nose with a lazy flick of his wrist.

"Fuck," Duo says then laughs.

Heero's about to stop here and get the medkit when Duo slams a fist into the side of his jaw and he can feel the way the bones pop against each other. Suddenly he's right up in his face inches from his mouth. Duo's wiped most of the blood off with the back of his hand and he realizes he must have dodged, because besides a spectacular nose bleed and split lip he's mostly okay. Heero's about to close his hand over the trachea and end this when Duo makes the winning move. His knee comes up and traces the inside of his thigh. The most vulnerable part of him laid open.

"Jesus, would you just-" Duo has to cross his elbows and arms across his collarbones to hold him back against the wall. He pushes Heero back so hard his head bangs against the siding and he swears he's going to fucking kill him when Duo spits out, "Christ, you're so, so-. Just let me, please, just-."

Then he brushes Heero's hair back from his face one-handed, and scrapes his mouth down his jawbone, kisses his hairline. Duo tongues his navel and licks downward rolling Heero's shorts down in abrupt, worshipful movements, everything underneath damp and sweat slick. He presses his face into the crook of his hip until Heero can feel the bridge of his nose and inhales, drags his tongue all the way up from his calf muscle to the edge of his pubic hair. He pulls back for a moment gasping, wipes a salty flow of blood from his upper lip where it had started to dry and cake up. When Duo puts his mouth on his cock, he thinks about shorting out like the lamp circuit, thinks about the blue sizzle heat of the battery in his hands.

In the end he looks down at his naked legs and sees a smear of red on his inside thigh. Duo wipes his mouth on the back of his hand and comes away with mostly blood then goes outside to spit and take a piss against the side of the shed. When he comes back inside he crouches down next to him and rubs his knuckles in the dirt. Heero's head is turned to the side so he can rest his forehead against the cold waves of aluminum.

In the dark they're so close, he's like one of his fever-dreams and so hot it's cloying. Duo smells like sharp edges and salt. Heero's never smelled a razor blade, but he'd imagine it would be something like this.

+++

A/N: I sorta wanted to do an unromanticised version of the mission-hook-up fic. I've actually been to Nairobi, Kenya and I am not just making things up. I have nothing against Nairobi and in fact the Kenyan people are some of the nicest I've met. The countries mentioned in this fic were chosen randomly and have no political connections of any kind (except china, they have a treaty thingy with kenya). This might actually warrent 3 parts.

[part 2] [back to Singles l - z]