By TJ Dragonblade
see chapter 1 for warnings, dislcaimer

Notes: The Morning After...some brief but fairly lemony recollections & more of that insidious sap! Alice the humor muse leaves his mark here & there, also...

Lost & Found + Chapter 5

Duo woke unusually early the next morning, gradually becoming aware that something was keeping him much warmer than usual. Opening his eyes at last, he found himself held in the loose embrace of a still-sleeping Wufei; and a warm smile drifted across his features. He blinked drowsily at the pre-dawn light filtering through the gauzy curtains; they had forgotten to close the heavy drapes last night, it seemed. Oh well. There had been more important matters occupying both their minds.

He pushed himself up on one elbow carefully so as not to disturb his lover and looked down at Wufei's beautiful face, peaceful at last while he slept.

Every detail about last night stood out sharp in Duo's mind--the tender thrill of making out on the couch, of being carried into the bedroom and lovingly undressed; the breathless, aching anticipation as Wufei laid him reverently back on the bed; the indescribable perfection of skin against skin and flesh within flesh as Wufei took him; the languid bliss of leaning up to kiss away the tears of pure rapture that fell from Wufei's eyes as they moved together...

Had he imagined that? No, there were faint tearstains lingering still on Wufei's cheeks; and he knew he hadn't imagined the unbearable ecstasy that overtook him as they both reached climax long moments later...

He trailed light fingertips over Wufei's perfect face and ran them gently through the boy's tousled ebony hair; Wufei sighed in his sleep and shifted closer against Duo, arm sliding just a little further around the American's slender waist.

"Did it mean so much to you, Love?" Duo asked softly, eyes still fixed on the leftover traces of tears that showed faintly against the creamy caramel skin. Wufei had actually wept as they made love--Duo was overwhelmed. It had been indescribably beautiful, yes; and glorious and perfect and unimaginably right; and clearly Wufei had felt just as much as he had--perhaps even more, if that was possible.

~My treasure.~ Duo smiled tenderly, fingers absently toying with an errant strand of his lover's hair. ~You are everything to me; I would do anything to make you happy. I don't want to lose you again...~ Unable to help himself, he leaned down and softly kissed his sleeping beauty on those full, luscious lips.

Wufei stirred as Duo drew back, coming gradually awake. Duo watched as wide ebony eyes blinked hazily open and slowly fixed onto him. A soft, sweet smile spread slowly over his lover's sleepy face, and Duo found himself melting again at the sight of it. Only Wufei could ever make him feel this way. He matched the smile with one of his own and laid another kiss to Wufei's willing mouth.

"Good morning, Love," he whispered, (1) still lightly stroking that raven-dark silk that masqueraded as Wufei's hair.

"I feared I had merely dreamt you," Wufei replied softly, reaching up to touch the face of the young man leaning over him. "Never have I been more delighted at being proven wrong." He drew the American gently down to him, resting Duo's head against his chest.

Duo would have been perfectly happy to lie there like that all day, drowsing to the slow, steady rhythm of Wufei's heart, cocooned in the warmth of his lover's embrace; he knew, though, that such contentment could not last.

Sure enough, Wufei tensed and cursed several long moments later.

"What time is it, Duo?"

"'Bout five-thirty," he answered sleepily. "What's wrong, 'Fei?"

"I have to go to work," Wufei muttered, sounding very put out.

Disappointment flooded through Duo. "When?" He wasn't even going to suggest taking the day off--he knew it would be useless. Wufei was a very honor-bound and responsible individual whose sense of duty would not let him take an unscheduled personal holiday for so frivolous a circumstance as staying home to cuddle with his new lover.

"I am scheduled on at six-thirty," Wufei answered, reluctantly disentangling himself from Duo and sitting up. Duo's eyes followed automatically, admiring the way the sheet fell loosely down to his lover's hips, barely covering his lap. He watched as Wufei swung short, muscular legs over the side of the bed and stood, stretching briefly. He couldn't help the slow heat that spread through him as Wufei gathered his pants and began pulling them on; the boy's petite build and well-maintained musculature made for an irresistibly alluring body. Particularly when seen in the nude.

Duo slid out of bed himself and followed Wufei to the bathroom, leaning against the doorframe with his arms loosely folded across his chest. "D'ya hafta go now?" he asked wistfully as Wufei tied his hair back somewhat haphazardly and washed his face.

"Yes, unfortunately," the Chinese youth answered, turning from the sink and toweling dry. "I must shower and change before I report..." His voice died and his expression softened as his eyes fell on Duo's naked form in the doorway.

"You're up early this morning," he said quietly, gaze flickering pointedly down the American's body to pause briefly at his groin before moving back up to his face.

Duo had the decency to blush just the tiniest bit. "Yeah, well, I can't help it--you're too damn sexy, y'know."

Wufei came forward and draped his bare arms around the taller boy's neck, looking up into warm violet eyes. "So this is all for me?" He pressed his hips gently against Duo's rather evident erection and smiled innocently.

Duo's breath caught and his arms found their way around Wufei's waist, pulling the youth closer and holding him tightly. "D'you see anyone else here?"

"No," Wufei breathed, the word lost as Duo's mouth covered his. He gave himself over willingly to that kiss, eyes falling shut, savoring the warmth of the bare body against him and the unique flavor of Duo; it was all he could do to make himself pull away at last.

"I have to go," he murmured, his reluctance quite evident. Much as he hated his job, it was still his duty to report as expected.

Duo didn't release him, kissing a light trail down his neck instead. "Come back tonight?" he requested softly, breath warm against Wufei's skin.

The Chinese youth shivered slightly and nodded. "Yes," he answered; and Duo let go of him with one last lingering touch. "The moment I am off duty."

"Good." Duo flashed one of his old signature mischievous grins. "'Cause otherwise I wouldn'ta let you leave."

Wufei retrieved his shirt, jacket and shoes from the living room, shrugging into them as Duo trailed out after him. Fully dressed though admittedly rumpled, he paused to gaze for another moment at the young man he'd thought never to see again, memorizing everything about him just in case this did turn out to be some elaborate fantasy--the way the morning light played along his pale, naked skin and gleamed off of his disheveled braid, the tender smile that curved his mouth, the unmistakable love and want in those violet eyes...he was too beautiful for words. Wufei stepped up close to the boy again, allowing for one last kiss goodbye; then made himself turn around and walk out the door.

It was one of the most difficult things he'd ever done.

Duo watched him go, his smile fading, and then sighed heavily, running a hand through his tousled bangs.

"Stay up and take a shower or go back to bed?" he muttered, silently debating the merits of each option. "Aw, hell, I'm awake--may as well stay up."

He stayed in the shower for a long while, soaking in the soothing sensation of warm water cascading over his skin, leisurely washing the long masses of chestnut locks. When he finished at last, he took his time over brushing and drying his hair before rebraiding it. Even after all these years, it was still a soothing ritual. He gazed at his reflection in the mirror, twisting the end of the braid between his fingers. Someday it might be too long, he mused. It might become more nuisance than it was worth. Maybe someday he would actually cut it, trim it just a little to a more manageable length...

He snorted. Yeah. Right. The day he let anyone near his hair with any sort of bladed implement and the intention to use it would be the day Heero traded his ever-present laptop for a policeman's uniform and danced through the halls of his office singing 'YMCA'.

Duo dropped his braid and flashed a wicked grin at the mirror. "Damn, you look good," he told himself cheekily, then turned away. He pulled a set of clean clothes from his duffel, letting the towel at his waist fall to the floor as he dressed.

He only had the one bag, seeing no reason to pack heavily on his travels. He had money enough for anything not provided by the hotels he stayed at, thanks to Heero--the King of all Computer Geeks had hacked into OZ's bank accounts before the war ended, setting up five separate untraceable accounts and funneling away quite enough to sustain all the ex-Gundam pilots comfortably through their adaptation into post-war society. Duo had hardly touched his yet, given that he'd been co-running a fairly profitable salvage business most of that time. And now he had the generous sum Hilde had given him in return for full ownership of that business, as well. So he carried very little besides his clothes with him, having no need of much else. In fact, Hilde had been to one to suggest that he pack the sexual necessities. Duo had protested that he wasn't a sex-crazed nympho bent on banging some one-night conquest at every stop on his journey; Hilde had countered that one never knew what might happen and there was nothing wrong with being prepared. In the end, Duo had done as she suggested, still miffed and sure that she was saying 'You need to get laid' without actually saying it; but after last night, he was glad she'd insisted.

Last night. Duo sighed blissfully as memories replayed themselves. Never had he felt more complete than he had with Wufei in his arms, inside of him, kissing him, loving him. His feelings, his need for the boy ran deeper than he'd ever imagined; Duo didn't even want to consider going back to living without him.

Besides which, Wufei needed...something. The lot he'd ended up in was such a far cry from what he deserved--Duo couldn't help the romanticized, fairy-tale image of himself as the white knight come to rescue Wufei from the dungeon life had cast him into. And silly as the notion may have been, it appealed to Duo on a deep-rooted level.

He wanted to rescue Wufei; wanted Wufei to be happy, wanted to be the one to make the boy happy. It was all he had ever wanted, really.

He was going to have to find a way to convince Wufei to come with him when he left. It certainly wouldn't be easy; Wufei was not the type to just up and walk away from his job no matter how much he hated it.

But neither was Duo ever one to back down from a challenge.

And the prize in this case was worth any effort.


(1) No, Virginia, there's no such thing as morning breath in the wonderful world of fanfic land...

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