by: Sunhawk

Deceptions (cont)

It required little more than the tilting of my face to bring my lips to meet his, then I forgot about the God-awful day I'd had; it was all washed away in the face of our slowly rising desire.

He broke the kiss, pulling me tight against his chest and his voice was a husky groan. "Make love with me tonight?"

"Yes... " I sighed. "Please... make me forgot... everything." There was so damn much to forget.

He led me toward 'my' room and I'm not sure if it was an unconscious attempt to yield to me the... home court, or if it were simply the fact that it was closer.

We undressed each other with slow precision, fingers barely brushing across exposed skin. It was going to be one of those nights. One of those times that we made up for the frenzied speed of our first experience together. When we make love like this, he can make me feel so... cherished. Almost... deserving. I needed that tonight.

When the clothes were gone we just stood in the dim light and he traced gentle fingers over my face, down my arms. "You've... come so far," he whispered, his voice thick with unnamable emotion. "I'm not afraid of your... breaking in my hands when I touch you any more."

His eyes were roaming over me, alight with warmth and something that felt very like pride. It made the blood rush to my face.

"I'm not made of glass," I told him and he smiled.

"No... you aren't. Not anymore."

He stepped away to the bed then, drawing me down with him. We curled around each other and just lay trading unhurried caresses. It was... very unlike how we usually made love; there was no rush of heated desire. No frantic grasping after completion. There was love behind the soft brush of hands. Tenderness in the butterfly kisses that graced warm flesh.

Whispered endearments. Murmured proclamations of love. Gifts of tender words of devotion.

"... you are my heart... "

"... love you... "

"... believe in me... "

"... always... in all ways... "

"... so beautiful... "

"... my strength... "

"... my joy... "

"... love me... please... "

Time might very well have stopped. Passions started to rise. Our touches began to have a higher purpose and Heero rose above me, his eyes fever bright, his voice growing husky with longing.

"Duo... I want forever," he whispered. "Promise me... forever."

It shook me to hear him asking for that in a voice so full of... need. A need so much deeper than this moment's hunger of the flesh. It made me want that too... and more.

"For always, love," I gasped, heart threatening to falter under the onslaught of raw emotion. "You are my soul's home."

He moaned and claimed my lips in a sudden flare of passion, "Duo... my Duo... "

Our bodies were moving of their own accord, hands stroking, teeth grazing, tongues sliding. Breath was a symphony of gasping pants.

He suddenly broke away and looked down at me with a glittering intensity in his eyes. I whimpered my displeasure and reached for him but he stilled my hands with words that seemed spawned by some deep, unanswered yearning.

"I want to... I need to... " he hesitated, looking into my eyes as though he could read my thoughts there. "I want more... I want to seal forever."

Somehow, I knew what he was asking for, and I'm ashamed to admit that it sent a shiver of fear through me. We'd never done... that. Had never taken that last giant step together. We'd never discussed it, but I knew he wanted it, knew he wanted that ultimate act of love to happen between us. But... it scared me.

I had seen too many things in my youth. Seen more of that kind of thing than a child ever should. I knew the pain and suffering that it could cause and I had shied away from it. Had denied it to him all these months. Emotion roiled in my heart. Fear. Guilt. Resignation. And I saw him read it all in my eyes.

"I want you to take me," he breathed softly, stilling the tumult of thoughts and stopping my heart in my chest. "Please?"

I didn't know what to say. It was meant to reassure, this sudden offering to do the... receiving, but the idea of my inadvertently hurting him frightened me even more than the idea of my own pain. My eyes must have been as wide as saucers and he smiled down at me.

"I want this," he told me simply. "Before you leave me... I need this."

I shook my head in denial, "I'm not leaving."

His smile became melancholy. "You are... and you aren't. I understand that." His fingers brushed over my cheek, swept my hair from my eyes, stroked over my lips. "Please?"

I didn't know how to deny him.

He bent to kiss me again when he saw in my eyes that I would give him what he wanted and there was a new... tremulous fire in it.

Positions were inverted, bodies were shifted, oil was applied. It was happening almost too fast and I found myself trembling as we settled against each other. He lay under me, his legs wrapped around me with the most erotic expression of anticipation on his face. I looked down at him, his face so full of love and... joy. I was lost in those wide blue eyes, frozen in time and place, poised to enter him and unable to move. Every primal instinct I owned was telling me to thrust my hips forward. I was throbbing with the need to bury myself in him. But every memory I had of my days on the street told me that this way led to screaming... bleeding. I had seen the young street kids who had opted to sell the one thing they owned. I had seen them... after.

He murmured encouragement. I whimpered my doubt.

He was arched beneath me, his weight on his shoulders and with a sudden flexing of his back he took the decision out of my hands. I don"t know where he got the leverage.

He... enveloped me. Swallowed me. I had expected it to be a difficult thing to penetrate into this tight, secret part of his body. My limited experience told me it was an unnatural thing. Told me that it would be painful for him. It was anything but. It wrenched an impassioned cry from me that he echoed with a deep-throated groan.

It was a velvet sliding into incredible heat. I saw a hundred things wash across his face... but no pain. Joy. Completion. Triumph. Pleasure. But not pain.

He drew me into him, pulled me in tight until ages old instinct took control of my body and I pushed forward. Wanting more. Needing deeper. I began to shiver and closed my eyes, unable to do more than feel.

"Don't hide," he soothed gently. "Open your eyes and look at me," he entreated. "Look at... us."

I did as he bade and met his searing gaze; I was lost in him. Body and soul.

"Do you feel that?" he whispered, his voice that deep, throaty one. "You're in me. You're a part of me."

I was shivering in earnest now, body still pushing against his, trying to achieve a deeper union. If I could have crawled completely inside him I would have done it. I couldn't get enough... I wanted more.

"We're one body," he sighed, his eyes locked with mine. "I can feel you pulsing... I can feel your heartbeat... inside me."

The minute he said it, I felt it... our hearts, completely syncopated, beating together in a hard rhythm... and I was feeling it... from within. It drew my eyes down to look where we were joined together.

"You're inside me... you're a part of me. Duo... give me forever!"

His words swept over me like a silken caress, sending prickles of gooseflesh up my arms and across my shoulders. It crept down my spine and pooled in my groin, turning my trembling into a wracking shiver. I wanted to close my eyes and flee this overpowering rush of intimacy, but I couldn't tear my eyes away from him... away from us.

My body still strove to push further into his taut, moist heat despite the fact that I was completely seated within. He was pushing back against me as though he wanted more than I was able to give. One of us whimpered.

My breath was coming in sporadic gasps, and suddenly he... shifted. Arched. Flexed. I'll never be sure just what he did, but it was as though we achieved that one more blessed, infinitesimal bit of contact... of depth. It was as though I hit a switch somewhere inside him. His back bowed up, his head arched back and with a sudden, guttural scream... he came.

I couldn't take me eyes off him. Lost in the bliss of the most incredible orgasm I'd ever seen him experience... he was beautiful.

His body clenched and tightened around me, milking me to the rhythm of his pounding heart. I was lost... completely lost.

I felt like I was fracturing into a million pieces. I was coming apart and his eyes gazing up at me, so full of trust and love, seemed the only thing that kept me anchored there. My completion overtook me, boiled through my veins like a firestorm, exploding from my body and filling his. I cried out with the sheer power of it; unable to bear the intensity of the feelings coursing through me.

I am unused to involuntary sounds. It goes against all the ingrained instincts of my youth. My pain... and my pleasure come cloaked in stillness, in silence. This ripped sound up from somewhere deep inside me, incoherent cries of pure release. It frightened me to have my control so completely abandon me.

"Heero?" I sobbed, seeking an anchor, and his face shone with the light of a victory hard won.

"I'm here, love," his voice whispered across my over-heated skin, his fingers coming to brush in its wake. Coaxing the last of the tension from me, drawing me down into the shelter of his embrace. "Come here to me," he breathed and I let myself fall.

Wrapped in his arms, I lay against his chest and tried to still the mad pounding of my heart; tried to will it to keep rhythm with his. I could have wept with loss as I felt the cadence of our joining begin to wan... felt his heart calm faster than mine did until his was beating not in rhythm, but in counter-point. I began to doubt the truth of it; perhaps I had imagined it? Its absence was a tangible thing. His chest was wet and I didn't know how it had gotten that way.

Calloused fingers stroked across my cheeks, wiping at something.

"I'm here," he told me again and all I could do was nod my head and hang on.

In the other room, the music had come round and round again and I heard that song that had somehow... suddenly become 'our' song, '... just flood my darkness with your light... '

"Let me be your light," he sighed and I let it all go. Gave in to the trembling. Gave in to the swirl of emotion. Gave in to his comfort.

"How do you... " I murmured against his broad, strong shoulder, "always seem to know how to put things right?"

His kisses fell like rain against my hair, across my temple, down my cheek. The gentle ghost of spent passion.

"I would put the world right for you, if I could," he told me, his fingers stroking intricate designs over my skin. "Will you talk to me now... please?"

I sighed, not really wanting to think in that moment, much less renew the argument. But I had promised him that we would have this out tonight. "I'm sorry, Heero. I swear I was going to tell you about it when we got home tonight... I wasn't trying to keep it from you."

"I don't mean that," he frowned. "I want you to tell me what's been bothering you."

I twisted to bury my face in his shoulder and heaved another sigh. "I don't really know... just tired, I guess."

His arms came tight around me and suddenly he was rolling us over, so that I was flat on my back and he was hovering over me. "Something is eating away at you... I can see it... Wufei can see it... " his fingers brushed over my face again, wiping at suspicious moisture. "They all can see it. I thought we were supposed to be partners? Why can't you share this with me?"

I blinked up at him in surprise. They all could see it? Was I really that easy to read? "Heero... I just feel like my life is... so... out of control. I... don't... " I struggled for words that didn't want to come clear in my head. "I'm tired... I don't know what to do... "

"I don't understand," he soothed softly, but somehow, suddenly I didn't want to be soothed.

"I'm gonna lose my ship if I can't get the hell back to work!" I blurted, the fears unexpectedly seeming to be scrambling over each other to be the first to escape my suddenly inadequate defenses. "My reputation is shot; I can't get any decent offers! You know what this job is? A fucking exotic pet delivery! A stupid scut job!" I bit it off in mid rant and shoved down hard on the rising misery.

It was his turn to blink in surprise, but it quickly turned to a frown as he saw me struggling for control of my emotions. Emotions he was struggling to make me give in to. One of us sighed.

"Talk to me," he pleaded. "Don't shut me out. Let me help make this right too."

"It's my mess," I smiled up at him wanly, reaching to brush knuckles across his cheek. "You can't fix everything."

His frown deepened, "I have savings, I won't let you lose... "

"No," I stopped him. "If I can't get work... if I can't get decent enough jobs to keep myself going, then what the hell is the point? I might as well sell the ship and be done with it."

He looked vaguely... horrified. "But Duo... your ship... it's so important to you... "

I laughed. Sharply, suddenly, and there was the harsh edge of hysteria in it. "Then it'll be another damn thing in a long line of important things that I couldn't fucking hang on to!" I cried and had to turn my head and close my eyes to scrabble after the fraying edge of some semblance of command over myself.

Where had that come from? It was one of those ugly moments of insight that sometimes rear their heads when I least expect it. Was that what was driving this morass of depression I couldn't seem to get my ass pulled out of? That ages old fear of losing something else that was mine?

I tried to think about ocelots. I tried to think about launch preparations. Tried starting course calculations. He wasn't having any of it. His hand turned my face back toward his, "Duo... stop that. Look at me."

He had to repeat it before I opened my eyes to blink up at him. I saw a glimmer of understanding in his soft expression. It sent a shiver up my spine; we were dancing around those things that I had told him in my fever dream of near death. I hated this dance. I never knew how much he really understood. Wasn't sure just what he really knew and what he was guessing.

"Damn it, Duo," he whispered. "Stop bottling these things up. There are so many things we haven't talked through... you haven't dealt with what happened to you yet. You just keep pushing it aside... "

"I deal with it every fucking day, Yuy!" I snapped, thinking about those God forsaken hours and hours of therapy and exercise that ruled my life.

"Only the physical part. You won't face what's in here," he whispered, his fingers reaching to touch the center of my forehead. "You won't talk about the accident... you need to open up and talk to somebody about what happened... "

"Stop pushing me!" I yelled and found myself trying to escape his embrace, but he always was stronger than me, even before my trip to the belt, and I stayed right where he wanted me.

"I can't!" he burst out, his own control starting to unravel. "I was willing to wait... I was willing to let you come at this in your own time, but you've upped the stakes! You're getting ready to go back out there... on your own and I'm... " the harshness of his voice was suddenly gone and the last word came out on a mere breath, too soft to hear.

I stared up at him and could see it in his eyes when I bothered to look. He was afraid... more than just afraid.

"You're not the only one who lives with the fear of losing things," he murmured and his fingers when they brushed my cheek were trembling.

"Oh Heero... " I sighed and reached to pull him down against my chest, curling my arms around him and holding on tight. "I'm so sorry... I don't mean to upset you so damn much... . I really don't."

He chuckled darkly and his breath washed across my chest in a heavy sigh. "I'm the one who is supposed to be doing the comforting here."

"I have to go back out there," I told him softly. "I don't know any other way to face it... except to just go face it down."

"Let me go with you," he blurted.

"Then I wouldn't be facing anything... I'd just be leaning on you," I had to tell him, but was touched by the offer all the same.

"Then lean on me," he said, his voice dejected. "That's what I'm here for."

"No," I told him resolutely. "That's a... crippled relationship. We deserve more than that."

He had no immediate answer, only shifted his body to lie closer to me, twining his legs with mine, working his arms under and around me.

"I'm here too," I murmured, stroking my fingers carefully through his sweat-damp hair.

He just rested against me for a time and we listened to the faint music from the other room, suddenly aware of it again in the quiet.

'... Like the sea,
There's a love too deep to show,
Took a storm before my love flowed for you.
C'est le vie.'

I felt him stiffen slightly and I couldn't help a soft chuckle. "Seems to be a night for irony, isn't it love?"

He only grunted and we listened through the end of the song before he spoke again.

"You know," he murmured at long last, his fingers finding the end of my braid. "I got the holy hell beat out of me after you left tonight."

My heart was hit with a jolt of fear before my brain engaged, informing me that I had just fully verified that he was totally without bodily injury.

"Verbally," he amended, threading the tuft of hair at the end of my braid through his fingers. "Quatre says I'm being over protective and I have to give you more space."

He was still, except for the gentle flicking of my hair, waiting for some sort of response from me.

I didn't quite know what to tell him, I agreed whole-heartedly but I doubted that was what he wanted to hear. "You have developed some mother-hen tendencies," I ventured.

He sighed, his hand tightening on my braid. "You do understand how very close you came... don't you?"

To dying. On that job.

"Yes, Heero," I told him. "I don't remember much... but I'm well aware of the fact that I almost died."

He shivered convulsively and his arms tightened around my chest again. "You weren't coherent for most of it," he whispered huskily. "I couldn't get your fever down... the antibiotics weren't touching the infection. Toward the end... I cut the ship's temperature down so far you could see your damn breath." He was silent for a minute, thinking back. "You went into convulsions once. I thought... I was sure I'd lost you."

"You never told me that," I whispered softly, stroking my knuckles up and down his back. I imagined him, aboard a ship he wasn't familiar with, out between the planets. Days away from help and struggling all alone through a nightmare that probably looked like it only had one end. It was a mental image that served to dull the edge of my resentment over his protective hovering.

He didn't seem to hear me, lost in memory. "It was like a... punishment for... for reaching for you," he sighed, so softly I had to hold my breath to hear him. "All those years I kept my desire for you a secret and everything was fine. Then... I dared to tell you... I dared try to touch you and... and you almost... " his voice was getting thick. "Like some damn God with a sick sense of humor was letting me have five minutes of heaven just to rip it out of my arms!"

"Oh Heero... " I groaned. "You don't understand... things weren't fine. I've been so damn lonely... out there; all by myself... "

"Then why go back?" he pounced, raising his head from my chest to look imploringly at me. "Why leave?"

I smiled at him. "Because it's what I do... what I am, but now I have someplace to come back to. Someone to come back to." I took his face between my hands, "I'm not leaving you. I'm just taking on a job."

He pulled away and laid his head back on my chest, turning his face away from me. "Tell that to my heart," he grumbled.

"I'll tell it to whatever body part you want me to," I snapped. "But it's your damn hard head that's refusing to listen!"

He pulled away from me, rolling off and turning his back to me. "God damn it!' he snapped. "I'm... I'm... "

"Scared?" I supplied softly and spooned in behind him. "Me too." I felt him stiffen under my arm and knew I'd hit the nail firmly on the head. "But I love you and that's all I need. The rest will work itself out."

He was quiet so long, I started feeling sleepy. "Just remember; you promised me forever."

"So now we're married?" I teased drowsily.

"If I could make it so," he told me huskily.

It served to wipe away the lethargy that had tried to claim me. "Heero?" I breathed. "What are you saying?"

He turned his head so he could see me out of the corner of his eye. "If there was a legal way in hell... I would marry you in a heartbeat."

"No shit?" I blurted, feeling instantly bad for the... poor choice of words. But it finally made him smile.

"You have such a romantic turn of phrase," he murmured in wry amusement.

"Yes," I said.

"What?" he frowned in confusion.

"I'll marry you," I yawned and tugged on his arm. "Now turn over here so I can get comfortable."

"Duo," he sighed. "You know that same sex couples can't... "

"Trying to back out of the proposal?" I grinned and squirmed in next to him once I had him turned over, pillowing my head on his shoulder.

"Of course not... " he began, frowning at me in obvious bewilderment.

"Good," I cut him off. "Then it's settled. We're married. Now shut up and go to sleep."

There was a long moment of silence.

"I'm not changing my name to Heero Maxwell," he grumbled.

"Well, I'm certainly not changing mine to Duo Yuy," I returned.

"We could hyphenate it."

"We could leave well enough alone."

He smiled down at me and bent to kiss the end of my nose, but then his eyes clouded and he sighed heavily. "You're doing it again," he accused.

Changing the subject. Altering the course of the conversation. Duck and cover.

I briefly considered playing dumb but decided against it. "I'm just tired, Heero," I told him. "Please... no more tonight? I'm done in." Now there was an understatement, I felt like I was coming off an out of control, emotional roller-coaster ride.

"All right, love," he conceded and kissed me lightly.

I tried to snuggle down for sleep and made an irritating discovery. "Damn it... this day just keeps getting better and better," I growled.

"Duo?" Heero looked concerned. "What's wrong?"

I levered myself up. "We have managed to turn my entire bed into one big wet spot."

In the end, we abandoned my room all together, going to clean ourselves up, then retreating to his bed for the night. I don't know about him, but I was hours falling asleep.

He doesn't use an alarm; he has some sort of damn internal atomic clock that he sets with a mere thought. When I woke in the morning he was gone to work. I was a little surprised and just a little bit relieved; I needed some damn breathing room.

I lay in his room for a while, reveling in his lingering scent on the sheets and staring at his ceiling. Married. I chuckled to myself, not the whole thing with the rings and the flowers and the tuxedos. It was just a... promise... a pledge of the rest of our lives. A conscious offer of fidelity, of commitment. It was what Heero had seemed to need, something to hold onto while I was away. It hadn't been a difficult thing to offer him, hell; I'd felt married since... since...

Since we'd made love for the first time, ok? Shut up about it. I'd never been... intimate with another human being before, and that had been... a big deal to me. It had brought home just how badly I didn't want to go back to my old life, the way I'd been living. Out there... alone.

So why was I in such a big hurry to get my ass back out there? Alone? Two reasons. Because it scared me spitless and I've always had to grab on and kiss my fears right between the eyes. And because Heero deserved to be partnered to a... person... a fully functioning, healthy, self-sufficient person. Not this... crippled, frightened, broken man that had taken up residence in his apartment. Even I'm bright enough to understand that a relationship based on my dependency would eventually collapse under its own weight.

I'm a salvage man. A spacer. A ship owner and a pilot. Time I got back to it. I started with a shower and then went to strip my bed. My whole freakin' room smelled like sex and I ended up with a stupid grin on my face for most of the next half hour. I gathered the dirty clothes together with the sheets and stuffed them into the big duffle bag we used to haul things down to the laundry room. I very pointedly made sure some of my own clothes were mixed in with his. I wouldn't have time to do the washing today, but Heero would do it while I was gone, I had no doubt.

When I went for a quick bite of breakfast, I found a note on the kitchen table, I imagined him sitting here struggling with the wording.

'It would be nice to know your schedule. Please don't leave without calling me. I can come home early if you're leaving today. Love, your husband.'

I was grinning like an idiot again. I wondered, not for the first damn time, just how freaking far he could push his superiors. He seemed to make up his own hours, seemed to bend his job to suit his needs.

I was tempted to look in the trash can to see just how many times he had written that note before he had found just the proper... neutral wording to suit himself. But hell, he probably wrote it out in his head until it was perfect before committing it to paper only once. The 'it would be nice' was the gentlest of reprimands, tempered by the teasing 'your husband' signature. He really does try so hard sometimes.

I ate one of the ration bars I had squirreled away in the back of the cupboard, opened a bottle of soda, took a couple of swallows and deliberately put it back in the fridge for later. Then I added a couple of things to the grocery list on the front of said refrigerator, things that I ate but Heero didn't. My partner needed some reassuring.

I fetched my laptop to the couch and sat down to send my itinerary off to Heero's Preventor's e-mail address, adding a small note that managed to combine the words 'forever', 'sexy' and 'sushi' to decent effect.

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