By : Sunhawk

Conversations (cont)

Something made him think it through, maybe the look in my eyes, maybe just the natural flow of the logic. I saw the moment when that spark of happiness dimmed just a bit as he put it together and understood that here was a thing we could never share.

"Oh God," he whispered, his voice thick with the sudden shift in the tide of mixed emotions. "If I'd ever had any hope... If I'd only known... I wouldn't..."

I panicked, ok? I all but slapped my hands over his mouth to shut him up. "Don't!" I yelped and the surprised look on his face made it impossible for me to look at him and continue. I rolled out from under him and curled up near the edge of the bed. I was afraid if I could see his eyes, I'd see a truth there I didn't want to know. "Heero... please, I don't want to know who, you understand? I know this is stupid... I know I had no claim on you and I'm not trying to say that I'm angry over it," I floundered, wondering if he half knew what I was saying. I told you talking about sex wasn't easy. "I can't know who it was... I feel so damn clumsy when we're together... I couldn't... I don't know that I would ever be able to face them... if I know them... If..." Well, wasn't this just awkward as hell?

His hand found my shoulder and he pulled until he forced me over. I still couldn't meet his eyes and gave serious consideration to jumping up and running to lock myself in the bathroom. He put a hand under my chin and dragged my face around until we were eye to eye. I cringed.

"It was nobody you know," he stated, voice steady and gaze unflinching. "It wasn't anybody you are ever going to run into."

We just blinked at each other for a second while I let that sink in. The only thought running through my head was, Oh thank God!

"I'm sorry," I whispered, voice little more than a breath. "I... try not to think about it, but it's not easy."

He smiled a twisted little smile, part self-deprecation and part reassurance. "I'm the one who's sorry. I can't tell you what it does to me inside... knowing that my hand is the only one..." his damn eyes welled up for a second and he had to take a breath before going on. "I am so very sorry I can't give that to you. If I'd ever dared to dream of this day, I'd have waited for you."

I didn't know what to say to that. Couldn't voice how much it cut at me sometimes that he had experienced these things with someone else. Though, I suppose it was as much the fact that I hadn't as he had. It was just one more thing that left me feeling as though we weren't on level ground. I wasn't exactly a blushing, naïve innocent when Heero and I had gotten together, you don't grow up on L2 without learning a thing or two. But it was all second hand knowledge, and while I had understood the mechanics, I had not understood the feelings until I'd been there myself. It just made it more awkward for me, knowing that whatever we did together, he had done before. I could only thank God that my worst fear had not come to pass. I had privately been terrified that Heero'd had some sort of relationship with one of the guys, or another Preventor. I don't think I could ever have faced them again if it had been. I couldn't begin to tell him how relieved I was that this faceless 'other person' was someone I would never have to meet.

He was looking at me with a strange little _expression that bordered on perplexed and I couldn't help asking, "What are you contemplating so damn hard?"

"I just," he began, rather sheepishly, "always imagined you... I mean, you were always so outgoing. And during the war you seemed so... knowledgeable. I just assumed..."

I raised an eyebrow. "You imagined I was what; some kind of sex maniac?"

He looked startled. "No! Of course not," he blurted and I think I rather surprised him because it didn't seem like he meant to say the next part. "I just used to have these... nightmares about you with other people..." He finally noticed the grin and realized I was teasing. He shut up just a little too late to stop the admission.

I propped myself up on one elbow and looked at him. "Oh, you did?" I grinned. "You thought about me that much all that time ago?"

I was still teasing, but the look on his face went rather melancholy. "Every day," he whispered and reached up to brush gentle fingertips over my face. "Sometimes... at night, I still wake up and have to touch you, just to prove to myself you're really here."

I couldn't answer that. I thought my damn heart had crawled up my throat and was about to burst. I'm not altogether sure if I leaned down or he rose to find me, but we were suddenly melded together in a kiss that threatened to ignite the sheets, and it was a long while before we bothered to worry about getting out of bed for something as inconsequential as dinner.

We were both left in one of those weird touchy-feely moods where we couldn't seem to keep our hands off each other. We didn't bother to get completely dressed again, pulling on pants and padding around the apartment barefoot. He cooked while I set the table and I spent most of the time while he was standing at the stove with my arms around his waist and my head on his shoulder, watching him work. We ate out of each other's fingers until we were snickering helplessly at our own antics. Then it was his turn to stand behind me while I did the dishes, only he didn't just stand. That got stopped when I almost broke a plate.

When the last dish was stacked in the drainer, he turned me around and backed me against the counter, stealing a kiss and smiling at me. "Do you have any idea how damn sexy you are?"

I blinked at him and felt a blush starting somewhere around the vicinity of my toes. "Heero..." I murmured, wanting him to stop, understanding that this was prompted by my comments earlier about feeling so inexperienced next to him.

But he was not to be deterred. "Hush," he commanded gently, touching a finger to my lips. "You are, and you should know it. You are handsome and desirable and half the women at Preventors headquarters were falling all over themselves trying to figure out how to meet you, the minute you came to work there."

The blush was turning into something that was starting to be physically uncomfortable and I squirmed under his gaze. It was a sweet gesture I suppose, but I just wanted the words to stop. You can call a duck a swan all you want... but it would still be just a battered old, scarred ex-Spacer duck.

He seemed a little amused by my flushed condition, and couldn't stop touching my face. "God... how can you not know how striking you are? You turn heads everywhere we go."

I could feel my eyes widening, could feel my shoulders hunching, but couldn't quite seem to stop myself. I just wanted to disappear. "Don't be ridiculous..." I mumbled, feeling my hands curling closed and wanting to crawl into my pockets.

There was a look in Heero's eyes that could only be described as unhappy. "Don't, love... don't do that," he sighed and caught my hands in his own. "I'm sorry; I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable. But I mean it... you are so damn beautiful. You can make me want you just walking through the room."

I snorted softly and tried to free my fingers, but he was turning my hands and brought them up to gently kiss my palms. I stared hard, watching carefully to make sure I kept them relaxed. Then he took my right hand in both of his and brought it to rest against his chest, smoothing my hand across his skin. I hissed in surprise and tried to jerk away, but he wouldn't let me.

"Stop it!" he commanded, his eyes dark and sorrowful. "I want you to stop being afraid to touch me with your scars, Duo. I don't care... I don't even see them anymore."

I continued to stare at where my hand was touching him, trying to pull free. "Damn it, Heero... I could hurt you! Let go!"

He blinked at me in surprise, holding us very still but not freeing me. "What do you mean?" he asked softly.

I couldn't help scowling, not much liking to talk about my damn defects. "I can't... I don't feel things very well," I floundered, and wished I could turn time back about a half an hour. This was taking a twist that wasn't much to my taste.

He lifted my hand from his chest then, holding it in his and carefully began to stroke over the scars with his fingers. I could see it, but the touch was so feather light that there was just... nothing.

I frowned, hating this, and grumbled. "I can't feel that, Heero."

The movement of his hand over mine hesitated and then resumed. I could see he was increasing the firmness of his touch. "I feel a pressure... that's all." I wondered idly if a blush could get stuck. Could you turn so damn red that you couldn't turn back?

"Duo-love," he chided gently, his hands stilling. "It's more than that and you know it. I've seen you handle eggs without any problem."

I refused to look up at him, staring at our hands instead. "I could hurt you," I said again, not able to completely erase the strange, petulant tone in my voice.

"Never," he murmured softly and lifted my hand up again to kiss my fingertips. "Touch me... touch my face. I want to feel your hand on my cheek."

A sound escaped me that was somewhere between surprise and dismay. The statement made me meet his gaze and I saw nothing there but trust and belief. I shivered.

"Touch me," he said again, more firmly, and freed my hand.

I swallowed and tried to calm my pounding heart, but it did little good. My hand, there at the edge of my own vision, hovering in space, was trembling.

"Please, Heero," I managed through a throat gone dry.

"It's all right," he soothed, his need for this small thing shining in those midnight eyes of his.

I wanted to do this for him. It seemed such an inconsequential thing, a simple touch. But there was something, somewhere deep in my heart that did not want to let those scars touch him. Those ugly, wicked scars. Those scars that told the world how badly I had messed up that night. Those scars that were my punishment for letting Jensen kill that girl. For almost killing Quatre myself. It wasn't right.

The trembling was taking over my whole body and I just couldn't understand it. Heero had touched my hands before. Hell... it wasn't possible that I hadn't inadvertently touched him at some time or other. But, somehow, his forcing the issue was making it almost impossible for my fingers to close those last few inches. I was trying... but... it just didn't seem right.

"Touch me," he said on a breath, his voice steady and warm, encouraging me with relentless calm.

"Please don't make me..." a voice begged, whimpering softly. "Please, Heero..." I wondered who had spoken. I couldn't stop shaking. This wasn't right. This was not right.

"Yes it is," Heero said; voice a gentle siren's call. "Please, love... for me?"

I watched my hand finally stir, my trembling fingers moving of their own volition and brushing across his cheek. I couldn't seem to remember how to breathe.

"That's it," he told me, triumph plain to hear in his voice. "You're not hurting... I won't let you hurt me."

That hand, that alien hand with its ugly scars stroked over his face again, tracing his jaw line and cupping his cheek. His eyes fell closed with the sound of an almost erotic moan. "Yes," he coaxed.

Then my knees buckled and I went down like a sack of pole-axed potatoes. Heero couldn't stop it, and just went down with me. What the hell?

So I ended up in Heero's lap on the damn kitchen floor, shaking uncontrollably, wrapped so tight in his arms that I couldn't have gotten up if my life had depended on it. He was murmuring soft reassurances and I was just trying to get my head around what had just happened. Somewhere down in my gut, it was in me to cry, but most of the rest of me was still trying to figure out exactly why that would be.

"I'm sorry," Heero was whispering to me, his one hand stroking over my hair, the other holding me tight against him. "You need to let go of this... you need to get past it. Your hands aren't that bad, Duo. Very few people even notice the scars unless they're pointed out."

I opened my mouth to tell him that he didn't understand, I didn't care what they looked like, I didn't care what people thought, but all I managed was, "I..." and it stuttered and caught in my throat, and I knew if I tried to go on, those tears were going to win, so I just shut my mouth again.

"Oh God, love," he sighed and brushed a kiss across my forehead. "You've let this eat at you until it's so deep you don't even see what you're doing. You never even think about it until you touch another person."

My hands curled closed and drew in tight to my chest, in a defensive posture that was as old as the scars. "Q...Quatre..." I choked out and his arms tightened around me.

"You know better than that," he scolded gently. "Quatre doesn't react to your scars; he reacts to the guilt that you went through all that pain to save his life. He had a hard time dealing with the fact that you made that sacrifice without a second thought. None of us handled it well. We... we weren't sure we could have done the same, had we been in your place." He tried to tilt my head up so that he could see my face but I fought him and he didn't push the point. There was a sigh and then, "We were in awe of what you did, Duo. Every one of us."

I frowned, where he couldn't see it anyway. I'd never understood their insistence about that. Did none of them get the part where the whole bloody mess was my fault to begin with? How could the fact that it was my mistake that put Quatre in danger in the first place, keep escaping them?

"Damn it, Duo," he murmured when I didn't speak. "I've never seen you break anything. I've never seen you harm anyone. Can't you see that? This isn't about you being afraid of hurting me."

Then just what the hell is it about, I wanted to shout at him. You know so damn much... tell me what this pain is all about.

I dared to uncurl my fingers and looked down at the strange landscape that was the palms of my own hands. I thought about the night that I had deliberately shoved those hands into the fire over and over again, desperately trying to reach Quatre before the whole damn building blew up around us. I thought about the hideous pain. I thought about the months of healing. I thought about the night right after, when I had dreamed that I had been held and cherished, and I remembered waking to find myself alone. I remembered the squad breaking up not long after that, and being left to the tender mercies of Dr. G's clinical medics. I remembered going back to the fighting long before I should have, because being alone is harder to deal with in a crowd.

Out of the corner of my mind's eye, I saw a hamster shuffle up. He looked vaguely oriental and walked with a slow limp, leaning on a little cane. He looked terribly old. He patted my foot with a venerable air and produced a little sign, etched in careful script that said, 'It's not about hurting him... it's about hurting yourself.' Then he bowed and faded away.

Well fuck. Hope he didn't show up very often... he rather hit below the belt.

I looked again at the scars that traced over my hands and suddenly understood. It wasn't about the physical damage... it wasn't about the fire or that mission. It was about waking up from that drugged fever dream and believing that I was all alone in the world... again. And knowing that I had reached out for the last time. Those scars were my reminder that I was meant to be alone and that it wasn't right for me to dare think otherwise. I flashed abruptly on that long gone painting from the long gone room from hell aboard my long gone ship, and I understood it for the first time. The painting with my hands charred to blackened bone and the guys all with their backs to me. It was my head trying to explain to me that I would always have to take care of myself, because there was no one else to watch my back.

You thought I was trembling before? Should have seen me then. I was suddenly so cold I couldn't get close enough to Heero, and shaking so hard I didn't trust myself to speak.

Heero gathered me close; though I could tell he didn't half understand what was going on. "I'm here," he soothed. "I'm right here, baby."

I wanted to laugh, but knew where that would lead and it took me another minute before I could manage, "Tell me?"

He let out with a tiny little sound of relief and was suddenly kissing everything he could reach. "Yes... oh yes; I love you. More than anything. I'm right here... I'll always be right here."

There was more, all things I needed to hear, and he just held me and talked to me until the urge to weep passed and the trembling faded away.

It was late, I wasn't sure how it had gotten that way, and he took us off to bed then, thinking to fetch an extra blanket. He would have tucked me in and coddled me like I was sick, if I would have let him, and it was a temptation that had to be fought. A terrible temptation to just close my eyes and let the little kid who lived in the back of my head come out and curl up in his arms, to be kissed and comforted. But I sent the little kid off to bed with a glass of water when Heero came toward me with the sweats I sometimes sleep in.

"No," I sighed, reached for him. "I want to feel you... skin to skin, tonight."

His soft smile was a beautiful thing to behold. He shed the last of his clothes and we crawled into bed together, wrapping round each other, twining and holding on tight. It wasn't long before I knew we'd be making love again. That light was in his eyes when he looked at me, that flame kindled from his protectiveness that sometimes flared so hot it was frightening.

It started slow, gentle and unhurried. Simple touches and caresses, the soft brush of lips, the ghosting of fingertips... of undamaged knuckles. I saw a flash of disappointment in his eyes and I knew he wanted my hands moving over him, but it was too hard to force that still, I wasn't ready. He let it go and I was grateful... the mood would have been lost had he pushed me.

Our touches were becoming more heated, our bodies were starting to respond on their own, straining toward the edge of need. Movement had not yet found that rhythm, but the urge for completion was right there within our grasp... that moment when it stopped being about the pleasures of the journey and became all about the final destination.

"Touch me... the way you did," I heard my voice moan out and I'm not sure which of us was the more surprised.

He lifted his head and looked at me long and hard. I could see him wrestling with his own desires, could see his doubts. "Are you sure?" he made himself ask, and it only cemented my trust in letting him do this.

"Yeah," I panted and forced myself to shift, offering him access. That fire rose in his eyes and he was reaching blindly for the bottle of lotion. I shivered, but he didn't see.

He squeezed the lotion out into his palm, warming it with his hands and he looked back at me. "Let me... let me take it a bit farther?" he whispered then, his voice thick with emotion I wasn't sure I could name.

I blinked at him, caught for a moment in the past, not sure of what he was asking. Suddenly not sure of what I was asking.

"Not that far," he was quick to soothe, seeing the look in my eyes. "Nothing more than touching. I swear."

I hesitated only a moment more and then nodded. I wasn't sure. I wasn't sure at all, but I needed to give him something. Needed to try and overcome my own fears and believe in the trust I had for him. Because it was still there despite everything we'd been through and I wanted to show him that... wanted to reassure him everything was all right between us.

He dipped his head back to resume suckling at a nipple, his hands nudged my legs further apart and then there was that touch. That touch that had thrown my world off its axis, had made me want things I didn't think I ever would. Made my body twitch and buck, made my legs shiver and brought mewling sound from my throat.

He stroked and swirled his fingers around my entrance, nothing more than he'd done in the shower and it made me shiver and writhe every bit as much as it had the last time. I fisted my hands in the sheets and let my eyes fall closed, lost in the sensations he was giving me. I could feel his excitement, could hear his quickened breath, and knew beyond a doubt how much he wanted this... how much he wanted me. It made me feel badly, for denying him something he obviously craved so much. It made my heart swell thinking about the patience he'd shown me, understanding that he would back off even now, if I so much as said 'stop'. I opened my eyes to look at him, where he lay beside me, and the passion etched on his face made me envision him, suddenly, lying between my legs. Made me imagine him moving above me. I shivered hard and his hands slowed.

"All right?" he whispered and I managed a tight nod.

"Y...yes," I told him and it was on my tongue to ask him. Hell... to beg him. But there was still a part of my head that couldn't stop seeing... things I didn't want to think about right then. And I knew he wouldn't have anyway. He'd already promised not to go that far, and I knew he wouldn't break that trust.

"Relax," he sighed, his breath tickling my belly. "You need to relax."

His fingers were moving again, suddenly feeling wetter, slicker... and it seemed his angle changed. I let my eyes fall closed and concentrated on not fighting him, not fighting this strange intrusion. I felt his fingers gently probing, sweeping back and forth in a gesture designed to open me, and I think I forgot to breathe waiting for it to happen, waiting for him to enter me.

Then he swallowed my cock to the balls and I gasped in shock, body arching into his touch, mind short-circuited entirely.

He claims he's no good at this, because he has trouble letting me come in his mouth... but my God, the depth he can manage. I felt him swallowing around me, his throat working to draw me in, even as he pulled away, and I threw back my head, biting down on a silent groan. He drew slowly back until only the head of my cock was caught gently in his teeth and then he stilled... waiting for me to feel it. Waiting for me to notice.

I drew in a startled breath as I suddenly realized, and when I did, he began slowly to move inside me. My body tightened, and I cried out at the strange, strange feel of it. "Oh God... Heero," I moaned, and managed to focus on him for a second, long enough to see the blaze of pure desire lighting his face, but then he swallowed me again and I couldn't see anything more.

[back] [cont] [back to Sunhawk's fic]