Story:               THE OTHER SIDE

Author:             FancyFigures (fancyfigures@hotmail.com)

Disclaimer:        I don’t own ‘em, wish I did, just enjoy writing about ‘em for free etc

Pairings:           1x2

Category:          Romance, angst (some)

Warnings:         Yaoi, lemon

Spoilers:           None

Notes:              The relationship between Duo and Heero has never been so confused.  Duo feels isolated; but Heero’s control of things is also slipping.  Only the night time brings them the chance to work these issues through.

 

Thanks, Sharon, for the picture as perfect inspiration.

Thanks, nitid, for the ‘sleepwalking’ idea, though I never used the whole bunny.

 

 

***

 

 

The mission had been a total disaster. 

 

An uncommon shambles.  A succession of unforced errors and unstable equipment; no-one’s fault in particular, but that didn’t ease the pain of the command to Abort.

 

Duo gave the command.

 

He wasn’t to blame, in any specific way.  The explosive charges in his pack failed, one after another – a batch that had obviously snuck through quality control, and took their first real test in action.  Where they failed, spectacularly, to ignite.  There was no way the team could continue, when Duo had failed to blow the door to the arms cache – it meant that they were hopelessly outgunned; that the chances of success were totally compromised.

 

When Duo’s tight voice came over the radio, this wasn’t known to the others, who were in position, waiting in agonised suspense for the final word.  All they heard was “Abort Mission!  Abort Mission!  Unable to pursue.”

 

Even then, in retreat, Heero had turned back, to continue on into the compound, and only the intervention of the others brought him out.  ‘Intervention’ – that meant that he was forcibly dragged away from the smoking corridor, because he raged and struggled to return there, and no-one could make him see reason.  One of his own grenades had brought down a wall behind them, and he’d been temporarily stunned by the blast – it had allowed them to pull him out with them without further protest.  There had been frenzied, confused messages on the radios; sudden shouts and ragged gunfire as they dodged the ambushes on the way out.  Wufei had been injured in the leg, and Trowa had half carried him back to the jeep.  Quatre had covered them well with two armfuls of what weaponry they had left, and the jeep had spun on three full tyres and the fourth rapidly deflating from a sniper’s shot, back out of the compound and into the relative safety of the surrounding woods. 

  

Then Duo had appeared, surrounded by clouds of dust and grenade smoke, and had been swung up into the jeep beside them.  There’d still been no time for explanations, and anyway, he’d just gone on and on about whether Heero was OK, seeing him lying in the back of the jeep, covered in dust and still half conscious.  Finally, Trowa had dragged the ranting pilot into the passenger seat beside him, to help him navigate their way out of the dense forestry.

 

They had made a sorry journey back to base from there.

 

 

***

 

 

The report had been made, the conclusions drawn.  The mission was a failure.  There was no chance of a second attempt at sabotage – the enemy were all too aware of their involvement, now. 

 

Maybe another time. 

 

Maybe another team.

 

Wufei was recovering well enough in a safe hospital.  Trowa and Quatre were ordered back to remove all evidence of the team’s presence in their previous safe houses.  The trail would soon be cold.  They’d soon be secure again.

 

But the taste of failure was harsh and bitter.  The mood in the new safe house was subdued to the point of depression.  They’d found this bolthole at short notice – they had to settle for few facilities, even fewer luxuries.  Two sparse floors.  Most of the rooms were unfurnished.  But the pilots seemed to think it appropriate.  If they’d been celebrating a success – yes, they’d have wanted TV and a well stocked kitchen, and even beds, rather than bedrolls on the bare floor!  But this was just somewhere to lick the wounds, and to brood on the lessons learned.

 

 

***

 

The morning’s conference was lacklustre.  Quatre and Trowa were leaving that day – they would be gone for a few days, or however long it took to cover their traces since the initiation of this mission.  Wufei was to be left at the hospital until he was mobile again.  Duo and Heero would lie low in the house, apart from sourcing provisions for them all, for the hopefully short time they’d be there.

 

The tension had always been there, of course, because these were trained professionals, with a fierce and possessive pride in their work.  They did not take failure lightly.  All of them were dealing with this in their own way.  But it took Duo to bring it to a head, as soon as he turned to Heero.

 

“Are you OK now, Heero?  Dammit, fella, I’m sorry it all went apeshit, I was just so glad to hear you got out in time – “

 

The air was charged with a sudden, dark anger.  Quatre sensed it, and winced.  Trowa lifted his head, somehow aware of the breaking crisis.  Heero wheeled round, and his hand shot out, grabbing Duo’s upper arm.  It was a death grip; it was vicious, it was unrelenting.  Duo grimaced, but made no sound.  He’d count the bruises later.

 

“Why didn’t you test the charges before you went?”

 

“What?”  Duo was genuinely startled.  “Like there was time? We were called with only six hours’ notice, remember – “

 

“Six hours, that should have been spent in preparation, and not chattering, or checking your wardrobe –“

 

“What the fuck -?” snapped Duo.  “I spent as much time preparing as anyone!  It’s not my fault the damn charges were a crap batch –“

 

“Always the argument!” hissed Heero.  “And always the excuses –“

 

“Not an excuse, goddamit -!”

 

“The mission failed.  We have lost a golden opportunity to put the enemy’s plans back by a month or more.  They are searching for us as we speak, to counterattack.  We were all at risk of personal danger – we still are.  Wufei is out of action for weeks.  What excuses could you offer up that would compensate for all that?”

 

“You bastard!” Duo’s reply was spat out.  “You gotta problem with me, you just come out and say it –“

 

“That’s what I’m doing, isn’t it?” growled Heero.  “And it’s not just me with the problem – what you do affects the whole team.  Lets down the whole team…”

 

“Heero, that’s enough!” came a cry from Quatre.  “We don’t blame Duo for what happened –“

 

“But you do!” hissed Duo, eyes still locked on Heero.

 

Heero stared back.  “You draw your own conclusions.  You know your own work.”

 

“Christ, you are so damn perfect yourself, aren’t you?” yelled Duo.  “They’d never have dared fail for you, would they, oh God of Perfect Electronics -!”

 

“Pathetic excuses,” Heero sneered.

 

“Pathetic, my ass!” came back Duo.  He couldn’t think of anything more effective; he was too angry.

 

They glared at each other, chests heaving with anger and passion.

 

Then Heero left the room.  Not before they all saw every inch of him shaking with tension.

 

 

***

 

 

“He was injured as well, Duo,” came Quatre’s quiet voice.  Duo had been hiding in the kitchen, but obviously not well enough.  Damn house was too small!

 

“The only injury there, is to his gargantuan, fucking pride!” hissed Duo.  He didn’t need the blond’s soothing words now.  He was nursing his anger, and he was savouring it.

 

“No, to his nerve centres,” replied Quatre, calmly.  “That last grenade was too close for comfort.  He lost consciousness for several minutes.  The doctor says to watch, to see if there are any adverse reactions – if he acts against his normal instincts.”

 

“Angry, aggressive, anally retentive, fucking rude – looks like his normal instincts to me!”

 

“Yeah…” sighed Quatre.  “I’m not sure how we will know.  He won’t let anyone near enough to examine him.  God knows why he ran back into the compound after the call to Abort.”

 

My call to Abort,” winced Duo. “Guess he thought he could carry the whole damn mission on his own – didn’t need his inept, useless staff to help out.  If you want a mission done well, only the omnipotent Heero Yuy can do it for you!”

 

“I don’t think that was the reason…” But Quatre didn’t sound convinced either way.

 

Duo looked up at him through his untidy hair.  He’d had no interest in his appearance for several days now.  Sometimes the misery felt like it was soaking through his bones.

“D’you blame me, Quatre?  ‘Praps I should’ve checked all of the charges, not just a selection…”

 

“There was no time,” said Quatre.  “I’m not just saying it; I agree with you.  It was bad luck, that’s all.  I don’t understand Heero’s reaction to you, I admit.  It seems – extreme.  I’m worried about him.  But he’s – well, he’s –“

 

“He’s part of the team, right?  And you always say we have to work out a compromise amongst us.”

 

“Everyone must speak their mind, Duo,” said the quiet blond.  “It doesn’t always make for easy times.”

 

He turned to leave, because he and Trowa had work to do, and soon.  They were all still exhausted, else he might have tried to arbitrate between the two partners a little longer.  But then, Heero had already frozen him out when he’d tried with him.

 

“Quatre –?” Duo was turned away from him, and his voice was a little muffled.  “He lost consciousness, you say?”

 

“Yes, for a minute or so.  There might have been concussion.  But it seems he’s recovered well.”

 

“Like I fucking care,” muttered Duo.

 

Quatre sighed, and left.

 

 

***

 

 

The days dragged by.  Occasional radio messages assured them that Quatre and Trowa were successfully working their way back, but it was taking far longer than expected.  The enemy had patrols out, trying to track back the team to their source.  The two agents had to avoid them, whilst clearing out anywhere they’d ever stayed; any equipment they’d ever used.

 

Heero and Duo didn’t seem able – or willing - to mend the rift between them.

 

They converted the third upstairs room into a lounge of sorts, leaving the downstairs for the kitchen and another room to store and maintain their equipment and provisions.  Heero worked on his laptop down there, while Duo set himself up in the upstairs lounge, and kicked and cajoled an old palmtop for his reports and workings.  Though there were few of those.

 

They took meals separately.  They split the day into individual watches, by mutual consent, so that they were rarely together.  The only time they connected was at night, when they slept in the same room.  Somehow, neither of them seemed to think it appropriate to move into the other room, where Trowa and Quatre had bunked down, even though those two were absent.  They found an instinctive way round it by going to bed at deliberately different times.  Whoever went first, the other would find some suddenly critical job to do until his team-mate was asleep.  And for when they did sleep, Heero had set up the mattresses at extreme ends of the room – enforcing a private space for himself that Duo was more than happy to copy.

 

They were both upstairs this night, though it seemed to be Heero’s turn to sleep first – he paused in the doorway of the lounge, hearing a crackle from the radio that Duo had brought upstairs, trying out the reception.  Duo had his back to him.

 

“News?” came his terse comment.  His expression was a scowl.

 

“I’m astounded, as always, by your fluent conversation, Heero!” Duo snapped back, startled.  He’d been fiddling with the radio to pass the time, and he flicked the off switch guiltily.  “If there was any fucking news at all, I’d have called you –“

 

“I’m astounded, as always, by your fluent swearing, Duo!” hissed Heero in return.

 

“You want the Pope’s speech, you get him on the fucking team!” growled Duo.

 

“Maybe his performance would be more reliable –“

 

“And maybe you’d have issues with God his-fucking-self!” came Duo’s sharp rejoinder, and he whirled round to glare at the other boy.

 

The sight of Heero seemed to affect him in a strange way.  His mouth opened to snap some more, then it closed again quickly.  Heero stood there, perfectly still, staring at him, with a towel over one shoulder, obviously on his way to the very basic shower room.  Duo’s eyes ranged swiftly over his tousled hair, his naked chest.  The way the sweat pants hung very slightly down at his waist.

 

“Looking for something, Maxwell?”  He must have known that would infuriate Duo.  It always did, when he used his surname in that scathing tone of voice.

 

“Yeah, maybe.  Maybe a human being.  But I can’t see it anywhere here.  Just some fucking superior being who thinks we should all be like him!”

 

Heero flushed.  “We all have to live with ourselves, Maxwell.  If you can’t hack it –“

 

“Oh, I can hack it all right.  It’s living with you I find such a pain the ass!”  Duo seemed to be struggling with some inner feelings.  He swallowed harshly, and although there was a whole room between them, he leaned towards Heero menacingly.

 

“I’ve tried for a hell of a long time to find the other side of Mr Perfect, because I always thought there’d be one there.  The human side.  The tolerant side.  The side of a friend.  But this dead time has given me a perfect opportunity to find out how wrong I was.  There’s just not one there!  What we see is what we get with you, eh?”

 

He turned away quickly, not seeing the reaction on Heero’s face.

 

“You live with that, Yuy.”

 

***

 

Duo sat at the window, nursing his hot coffee.  Well, cold coffee now.  He’d sat for over an hour, he reckoned, though he’d left his watch somewhere else in the apartment, and he was damned if he’d go searching and run into Heero again.  He’d abandoned the radio – it was silent.  The palmtop had decided on a go-slow, so he’d shut that off as well.  There was a long window seat in the room, and he’d draped himself over it, feet up on the end.  About the only furniture around, it seemed – there was a bookcase in the hall, a table and chairs and a basic gas stove in the kitchen, and bare boards across the whole of this top floor.  But he could settle reasonably comfortably on the seat, and he had a view out over the back service road and fields beyond.  They were well secluded here.  There was very little external noise.

 

Fucking brilliant place, he thought brutally, for a little session of introspection.

 

He meant to wait for Heero to sleep, then he’d follow –  settle down on the well-travelled bedroll; try to make the best of the plain surroundings.  He didn’t usually have a problem, even sleeping on the floor.  But for some reason tonight, he was still delaying it. 

 

Must be my natural aversion to sharing a room with Mr Perfect Fucking Everything, he thought.  Didn’t even snore, for God’s sake!

 

Mr Perfect Planner.  Mr Never-Yield Yuy, he thought, rolling phrases absentmindedly around in his restless brain.  Mr Efficient Firearms.  Mr Cheery Charges….

 

His mind wandered a little, to the earlier vision of Heero at the door…. Mr Pretty Perfect Physique.  Mr Pert Little Nipples.  Mr Soft Shadow at the Base of his Neck…

 

Oh Christ, he groaned to himself.  Not that old bunch of dreams!  No future in them, that was for sure.  He’d rather cut off his left arm and testicle than let that take a hold of his nights again!

 

He sat there as the night grew darker outside, with the empty room behind him, where the unfamiliar bare boards creaked their weary comment at the end of the day.  He was replaying the fiasco of the mission again and again in his head.  Remembering the sick feeling in his gut as he ran through charge after charge, with nothing doing.  As he heard the urgent voices on the radio for his call to go ahead.  As he heard the distant gunfire of the troops piling into the compound, soon to be on their asses, as sure as night follows day…

 

And to think he’d been worried about that bastard Heero!   As he’d dodged his way out of the basement that day, he’d heard the sudden, late explosion; he’d felt sick with the worry that one of the guys may have been hurt.  He’d felt an even more shocking loss of control at the thought of it being Heero.  And then the sight of him, white and half conscious in the jeep, not knowing how badly he’d been hurt.

 

Fuck him! thought Duo, fiercely.  Like I care!  He’s made it clear what he thinks of me!  I guess he’s always thought that, even when the missions were successful.  He probably thought he was carrying me all this time.  We’re no team at all, eh?  Just Mr Yuy’s personal – and entirely dispensable – retinue!

 

And then his nerves snapped suddenly to attention, though he never moved a muscle to advertise the fact.

 

Someone was in the room with him.

 

“Heero?”

 

“Hn.”

 

He relaxed a little.  Only a little.  Had the damn man come back to beat up on him again, night as well as day, all over some stupid, crappy little charges –?

 

But Heero wasn’t saying anything.  In fact, he was so long silent that Duo turned to see where he was and what he was doing.

 

He stood at the doorway, mostly in shadow.

 

Duo felt a strange, almost painful tug at his chest as he looked at him.  He was dressed again in his sweats, his hair still a little damp from his earlier shower.  He wore no vest – the one thing that could be said for this house was that it was fairly warm inside.  He didn’t seem to mind Duo’s staring, which was the first thing that jarred. 

 

“What is it then?” said Duo, grudgingly.  “D’you need something?  There’s no food left except what we had for supper and a coupla tea bags –“

 

“Where are the others?”

 

Heero had stepped a little way into the room, but Duo was rather shocked to see that his step was hesitant.  He suddenly wondered if Heero had been hurt more than they all thought.

 

“What’s up, man?  They’ve gone to clear up the mess, remember?”  My mess, he thought bitterly.  Almost daring Heero to make the comment.

 

But he didn’t.

 

“Where are they?” he repeated, and he stepped further in.  He stood, looking round him, almost bemused.

 

Duo felt the anger rising – didn’t the bloody man listen to him?  “Christ, Heero, I just said, didn’t I?  And what do you want them for?”

 

“I’m on the other side, Duo.  They have to help me get back.”

 

“What are you talking about?  What other side?”  He laughed, to try to lighten the strange mood, but it just sounded manic in the bare room. “The only side I know is here, and you’re here too.  We’re both here in this shitty little hovel, trying to lie low until we get the all-clear.  You’re eating dry rations, drinking cold coffee, and beating me up about my inefficiency – all the hardships you love to embrace, eh?”

 

“I need them to get me back.”

 

What’s up with him? thought Duo.  For once, he didn’t think that Heero was deliberately provoking him.  It was like he wasn’t really awake at all.

 

Is that it? Duo suddenly realised.  Is he sleepwalking?

 

Spooky…!

 

“Heero, can’t I help?”

 

He raised a little from his seat at the window, as if to reach to Heero, and he was amazed at the sudden flinch that met him.  Heero seemed to shrink away, seemed to grow paler in the dim light.

 

Duo bit his lip.  And then he sank gently back into place, as if he’d never moved.

 

“OK, I’m just sitting here, right?  Nothing else.  But the others may not be back for days.  You’ve only got me, fella.”

 

“You can’t help, Duo.”

 

“Why not?”

 

Heero looked at him with astonishment.  For that sudden, blinding second, his large, deep blue eyes were fully aware of Duo.  Duo felt like they searched down through his face, down into his body – into his soul.  He shivered, instinctively.

 

Did Heero’s look scare him?  Or was there something in those alien eyes that was more basic – more physical?  More hungry, perhaps?  Duo was thrilled and shocked at the same time.  This wasn’t real, he had to remind himself!  Heero was away in a NeverNever Land somewhere; Heero would never see him that way.  In a possessive, lustful way!  Duo’s common sense would fight that suspicion – he would deny that dream.  But his body – less innocent, more desperate – responded.

 

He watched, fascinated like a rabbit watches a snake, as Heero lifted a hand and pointed his fingers towards Duo, as if to touch him.  To touch his cheek.  He was too far away – he couldn’t reach.  Or else he thought better of it.  The hand fell back to his side.

 

Duo had forgotten he’d asked a question in the first place.  Heero’s reply was a sharp slice through the confused ache of his thoughts; and it kick-started his breathing again.

 

“You’re the last person to help, Duo!  Because you’re here on the other side as well.  With me.”

 

And he turned and left the room.

 

***

 

Duo sat at the wooden table in the cold, silent light of seven am, trying to muster up some enthusiasm for dry toast and muesli, and wondering how Heero would be at breakfast.

 

The issue never arose.

 

He gradually knew, even without looking, that he was alone in the house.  When he got up wearily, and padded upstairs to the bedroom, it was confirmed.  All that was there was the neatly folded bedroll, next to his untidy tumble of cloth.  No Heero.  He’d thought the guy had gone back upstairs for a shower, leaving the kitchen free for Duo.  But it looked like Heero had slipped out of the house altogether.

 

Duo wondered if Heero remembered anything of the night before.  It was a measure of his upset that he’d not left any note; they were meant to tell each other if they left the building, but relations had obviously deteriorated so badly that even Heero was ignoring basic security guidelines.

 

Duo felt like crying; felt like a damn fool.

 

Damned if he was going to let the Perfect Fucking Soldier get to him like this!

 

He pulled on a jacket and went out.

 

***

 

Duo arrived back at the house at supper time, and, inevitably, they argued again.

 

“You didn’t leave any message, any notification as to where you were going.”

 

“Neither did you!” snapped Duo.

 

Heero shrugged.  “If you had waited another couple of minutes, I would have been back.  I –“ he paused, briefly, “ – I went out only to check the back access.  You were asleep when I went.  Soundly.”

 

“So it’s all right for you to go AWOL, without a word?  But not me?”  Duo persisted.  He knew why he was goading Heero – what he expected him to say.  Wanted him to say, perhaps.

 

And he did.

 

“You cannot be trusted alone at the moment.”

 

What?”

 

“You are – erratic,” replied Heero.  There was an odd timbre to his voice.  “You are disturbed, as a result of the mission failure.  I – suggested that I supervise you, while the others are away.”

 

Supervise me? You patronising shit…” hissed Duo.  How could he talk about him like this?  Hadn’t they worked together for months?  Supported each other?  One mistake, and the whole damn thing was shown up for the sham it was!

 

“I have to consider at all times the security of the mission; support of the team –“

 

“Some fucking team this is!” yelled Duo.  His hand slammed down on the table and he wrenched himself to his feet.

 

Heero flinched.  And Duo left the room, leaving an untouched supper plate vibrating on the table behind him.

 

 

***

 

 

Two more days dragged by.

 

Duo sat at his window seat, as he had for the last few nights, waiting for Heero to fall asleep.  It had become the routine now, for Heero to retire first – it was taken as read that Duo would choose to sit up, brooding, on his own.  They had almost ceased to communicate normally. And to be honest, Duo welcomed the time alone.  His mind wouldn’t give him rest, he was far from sleepy.  And he was comfortable enough in his loose shirt and jeans, well fed for a change, as Heero had – grudgingly – cooked enough for them both.  He was ignoring the seat by now, just hopping up on to the sill instead, dangling a bare foot down on to the slightly moth-eaten padding below.  And the depression sat with him.

 

He wondered when the others would be back and he could be excused from this miserable, fucking duty.  He wondered what other jobs were open to a failed, ex-Gundam pilot.  He wondered how long it took to cultivate a taste for cold coffee.  He wondered why he didn’t just bring his bedroll in here and leave Mr Cold Streak of Steel to his sanctimonious sleep alone….

 

And then Heero was there again.

 

The other Heero.  The sleepwalking one.  Duo could see immediately – the glaze to his eyes, the unnatural stillness in his limbs.

 

The one he couldn’t really be so angry with.

 

Heero paced softly across the room to stand beside him.  He didn’t sit down on the window seat.  He didn’t look at Duo.  He just stared fixedly out through the window, out into the dark.  Duo was damn sure there was nothing to see.  It was the back of the building – there was nothing but a neglected service alley, and a drab little yard.

 

Duo gazed at him, openly.  As in the previous time, Heero didn’t seem to mind.  He looked very young tonight, just an ordinary teenaged man, in brushed cotton jeans and a loose T shirt.  No socks, no boots.  Cute, thought Duo, rather sadly.  Not that he’d ever say it aloud.  What a weird thing this was, this contrast within a single man!  By day, he was learning to hate Heero.  A man he used to admire – no, much more than that, though he knew what he really thought had to be a deeply held secret.  And it was clear that Heero already hated him in return.  But by night – well, this guy before him was something else, wasn’t he?  The failure of the mission was forgotten.  The other guys were barely referred to.  They were alone, and it was all decidedly disorientating.

 

OK, Duo thought, shaking himself out of his reverie.  I’m the only conscious one here, yeah?  Better rise to the occasion.  What do I know about sleepwalkers?  Often a symptom of some inner troubles, something disturbing the person.. mustn’t be woken suddenly… need to be watched in case they harm themselves…

 

How ironic, he thought, remembering Heero’s words from earlier in the week – that the supervisor becomes the supervised!

 

But Heero seemed in full use of all his faculties, apart from a slight tinge of uncertainty.  And judging by the other night, some weird speech patterns!

 

Maybe he could persuade him back to sleep…

 

“Hi, Heero.  What’s up?”  His voice was gentle, he was almost surprised to hear it out loud.

 

“I have to get back.  I need help to get back.”

 

“Why do you have to get back, Heero?  Isn’t it OK here, on the – other side?”

 

“It’s dangerous.”

 

Wha -?” Duo was suddenly aware how vulnerable he was, sitting – unarmed! - at an open window, gazing aimlessly out on to what might be the perfect camouflage for undercover soldiers – the perfect, deserted access for a surprise attack –

 

Was that what Heero had been checking out the other morning?

 

“It’s dangerous with you here, Duo.  I must get back.”

 

“With me?”  Duo sighed to himself.  This was some kind of weird dream Heero was having!  “Why the hell should it be dangerous with me?  We’re on the same side, remember?”

 

“No…”  Heero’s expression grew darker.  He still didn’t look at Duo, but the long-haired boy could feel the waves of emotion flooding out from him, waves of anger, and – was that fear?

 

“I can’t let anyone know…”

 

“Know what, Heero?”  God, groaned Duo to himself, can’t you give me something more than these cryptic moans to work on?  He reached for another gulp of his habitual cup of cold coffee.

 

“Know about you.”

 

Duo stilled suddenly, the mug half raised to his lips.  Was this a return to the earlier arguments?  Even in his sleep, for God’s sake?

 

“Know what about me?”  His voice, had Heero taken any note, was colder now.

 

“What I feel about you.”

 

“And that is -?”

 

Heero didn’t reply.  He turned his body to face Duo, and for the first time tonight, his eyes locked on to the other boy’s.  The pupils were dilated – they were wide and wild, but they were focussing totally on Duo now.  No question.  He leaned slightly forward, and Duo realised for the first time how close he’d actually come. 

 

Just before he would have lost his balance, Heero pressed one knee on to the window seat and regained his position.

 

Still he gazed into Duo’s face.  Duo felt the same strange adrenalin surges through his body as he had before – the same emotional greed surrounding Heero’s search.  He stared back, feeling the return of that fascination; the locked gaze between them.  He felt very uncomfortable with it – for all kinds of unexpressed and unrecognisable reasons.  And for some rather more familiar ones.

 

“Heero, what are you trying to sa -?”

 

The sentence was never finished.  Heero’s left hand rose slowly and smoothly from his side, and rested gently on Duo’s cheek.  The thumb teased at the corner of his mouth; tugged at the lower lip as if it sought to coax it open.  As Duo sat, stunned, unmoving, the right hand came to join it, until Heero’s long, strong fingers held the American boy’s shocked face tightly between them.

 

“Uhh… Heero… I …”  Duo’s stammering faded away.

 

Heero gave no sign that he heard a single syllable.  He sighed, once.  It was like a surrender.

 

“This is what I feel about you, Maxwell.”

 

He leaned even further forward, holding Duo carefully and firmly, and he kissed him.

 

***

 

Duo knew in that moment that he must be sleepwalking himself.  He knew that there was no other fucking way this could be happening!  He would never have admitted to anyone how much he wanted this.  How much he’d dreamed about this!  So – by some miracle, he’d not been mistaken in the messages that Heero’s unconscious body had been giving him…

 

And he forgot about denying them.  He willingly turned his face up to the other boy.  Slipped his free hand behind Heero’s neck, to feel his warm skin.  To touch him in return.

 

Heero’s lips were cool and, at first, almost clinical; but there was warm breath behind them, and as he melded to Duo’s full, soft mouth, his softened as well, and began to move.  To explore.  To press, insistently, against the other boy’s.

 

Heero’s eyes had slipped half closed, but Duo kept his wide open.  He wanted to savour every moment of this astonishing event!  He opened his mouth, and was thrilled to feel Heero’s tongue press on in.  No hesitation; no nervousness.   He knew what he wanted, and he took it.  And Duo gave; very happily.

 

He was aware of the mug falling carelessly to the floor and rolling away.  He didn’t care if there had been any liquid left in it.  He didn’t care about anything except holding this beautiful man to him and ravaging his mouth.  Even if he was in his sleep!

 

The kissing became more passionate; more relentless.  Duo felt a nip at his lower lip, and he sucked in his breath at the leap of reaction in his groin.  His hands reached to take hold of Heero’s shoulders; to bring him even closer.  He felt the strength in the spare muscles – felt the fever in the flesh.  He moaned into Heero’s mouth, felt the answering wet heat; the persistent tongue and lips.

 

And then, just as he was slipping his tingling body off the seat, looking to tug Heero down with him, the dark haired boy paused.  His mouth plucked away from Duo’s – Duo reached for it shamelessly, but the perfect pleasure centre had left him.  Heero turned slightly and leant back against the wall, still only an arm’s length away.  Duo couldn’t see his full expression – but he could see his chest heaving, as he struggled to regain his breath.

 

Duo hauled in several deep breaths of his own, trying to calm his racing heart.  He failed.

 

“You – wanna talk about this, Heero?  I mean – this is a helluva shock to me as well…I mean, don’t think this isn’t fantastic, but – “ he groaned.  He stretched his fingertips out – ran them down Heero’s tense, unresponsive arm.   ‘No – strike that!  It is fantastic!  You wanna go again?”

 

He never expected Heero to laugh at his sorry little joke.  Though he never expected he would ignore him entirely.

 

“Duo, I thought you hadn’t escaped.  I thought you were taken.  Or hurt.”

 

Wha -?  When?”  Duo’s body was cooling, though he gazed at Heero, still enthralled.  Where was the guy now?

 

“Abort Mission, you said.  There was no way you’d call that, not unless you’d been taken.  Or injured.”

 

The mission!  We’re back to the mission, Duo sighed to himself.  But he wasn’t gonna argue tonight.  Not while his nerves still quivered; while his lips were still deliriously numb.

 

“Ahhh – sure.  Normally, of course I wouldn’t.  But I didn’t see what else to do, when the damn walls still stood, and there were five thousand fucking troops on our tail –“  It still hurt to talk about it, he found.  But perhaps that was what he should do more of.  Exorcise the whole damn thing…

 

But Heero wasn’t listening to any reply Duo made.  His own voice was low, but tight.  That can’t be right, thought Duo – he sounds scared.

 

“Abort Mission!  You’re hurt!  I must help you!”

 

“Heero, what are you saying?  Is that why you went back in?  Jeez – was it because you thought I was in there, hurt or something?’ “

 

To save me? Duo thought, shocked to the core.  Why should Heero do that? 

 

“You won’t look after yourself, Maxwell.  I have to do it.”

 

“You fucking don’t!” snapped Duo.  “I don’t need you –“

 

“But I need you!” gasped Heero.

 

There was a shocked silence.

 

Heero spoke first - his voice had dropped to a whisper.  “You see now why we must never be on the other side together.  Or the control will be lost completely.  The danger must be contained. The others will help me back…”

 

He forced himself upright, away from the wall.  He never looked at Duo.

 

“They must!”

 

Duo reached for him, but he’d turned again and was moving slowly out of the room.  His shoulders were the perfect advertisement for a walking defeat.

 

Duo sat in the silence and the deepening darkness for another hour, touching at his lips; replaying every second of Heero’s words.  The unconscious Heero.

 

He could make no sense of it at all.

 

 

***

 

The next day was very humid, there was no air con, and they’d run out of coffee.  Breakfast was its usual tense affair.

 

There was no way that Heero even remembered what he’d said the night before – let alone wanted to discuss it further!  Duo met with a man who couldn’t be further from the emotional, sensual one he’d spent an hour with in the dark.

 

They argued as a matter of course.  Duo was missing his caffeine and yelled at Heero because he’d taken the radio to bits, and they lost reception for a precious few hours while Heero fixed it.  Heero yelled back at him because it was only because Duo had been fiddling with it that it’d needed repair in the first place.

 

In the afternoon, Duo spent a ridiculously long time shopping for coffee, and Heero pored over Gundam electrical diagrams back at the house.  There was no update from the others.  Both Heero and Duo thought they’d missed it while the radio was out of action – and both privately blamed the other.

 

But despite all this, Duo spent the evening sitting in the window, praying for Heero to return.  The alternative one.

 

And he did.

 

***

 

It must have been past midnight when Heero came walking into the room.  There was only moonlight through the window.  There were no shades – no cover.  The night was still sticky, and Heero wore only his sweats.  Duo himself had only shorts and a vest on.

 

His breath caught, as soon as the goose bumps up his spine alerted him to another presence.

 

“Heero…” he murmured, as welcome.

 

Heero didn’t answer.  Despite waiting for him, Duo was still a little shocked when he moved very swiftly and quietly to the window, and put his hand on Duo’s shoulder.

 

“We’re still here, Duo.  They haven’t taken me back yet.”

 

Duo tried to tear his eyes away from Heero’s bare skin – from the shine the moonlight bathed him in.  He stood well – tall, and confidently. His shoulders were back; the muscles flexed across a well developed chest and strong upper arms.  Duo found himself drawn irresistibly to the flat stomach; the soft, shadowy dip of his navel.  Christ… he thought.  One kiss and I’m jelly…

 

“Uhh – no, I guess not.  How d’you feel about that, Heero?”

 

Heero seemed far more assertive tonight.  Duo felt a hand on his chin, and his head was tilted up to face the other boy.  He was about to joke – weakly – that this was a rather rough start to another kiss, when he fell into the darkness that was Heero’s eyes.  A deep, alien darkness, that was a world away from wakefulness; and yet was full of a desire that was very alive.  And burning.

 

“I – I enjoyed you, Duo.  I enjoyed the kiss.”

 

“Yeah…” Duo gasped.  “Like – so did I, Heero –“

 

He realised that Heero was tugging at his vest.  There was the soft sound of fabric rustling and stretching – he moved his arms up instinctively.  Heero pulled the cloth up over his shoulders and the loose garment fell softly down on to the floor beside them.

 

“Heero – Jeez, what are you -?”

 

Duo swallowed whatever protest that might have followed, because Heero’s hands slid purposefully down, and then he was rolling one of Duo’s nipples around in his fingers – slowly; thoughtfully; tortuously.  Duo lay back against the window frame, panting.  Heero leant slowly back into him, and his mouth was back on Duo’s skin, lapping at his neck – suckling at the pulse.  Licking into the hollows where the flesh ran into his broad shoulders.  

 

Duo was in sensory heaven.  He’d never have imagined the man could be so fucking good at this!  When had he ever seen Heero with anyone?  Seen any evidence of dating?  Of practice?  Christ, he’d always chatted happily about his own experiences; well, chatted to the others, of course, not to Heero.  Heero had always been so dismissive – so – his words were escaping him as the excitement surged through him; Heero had slipped slightly down his body and was gently nibbling the wrinkled, erect nub.

 

He could feel the warmth from Heero’s dusky skin – it touched on his own stomach and hips as the dark head lapped between his neck and nipples.  Duo could feel the other nipple spring up in excitement to join its mate.  He could also feel something else springing up, that was a lot larger, hotter and ultimately more satisfying.

 

He groaned.  He’d kept this particular dream so hidden in his consciousness that he’d never have believed it could happen.  Heero was a colleague – Heero wasn’t interested in anything more.  Heero would have knocked him across the room if he’d ever made a move on him.  Heero thought he was an incompetent fool … this had all been part of Duo’s mantra for so many months that it’d become second nature.  Especially in these last few, miserable weeks.

 

And now?  When Heero himself was blowing every one of those assumptions out of the water?

 

Should he stop him?  What the hell was Heero gonna think in the morning if he remembered this behaviour?

 

Should you hell -! hissed his body, in tortured lust.  He’s old enough to do what he wants – he’s under some kinda influence, but it’s not your fault, is it?  He’d not do this if he didn’t want to.

 

Duo’s mind almost blacked out at that thought.  That Heero wanted him.  He leaned back.  There was a God, after all….

 

Heero’s mouth was back up, demanding the taste of his in return, pressing his tongue in, searching for Duo’s; insisting on attention. 

 

“It’s good, isn’t it, Duo?” he moaned

 

“Christ, yeah!”  Duo cursed the fact he sounded so goddamn eager, but the taste of Heero in his mouth, and the touch of his fingers and tongue on his skin was pushing him steadily – and willingly – over the edge.  “If you need it – I mean – I’m here…”

 

Heero paused, and Duo nearly wept.  What had he said to stop him?  But Heero’s hand remained at his neck – his tongue teased thoughtfully at the corner of Duo’s mouth. 

 

“I need you, Duo.  I want you.  I’ve always wanted you!”

 

Duo gaped.  “Always -?”  But Heero was – as before – ignoring his responses.  He continued to speak, in a soft monotone.  The most amazing words – in a slightly disembodied way.

 

“But I can’t let you know that, do you see?  You’ll despise me.  You already do – I can’t take any more of it.  I don’t know how to talk to you.  I’m in pain because of you all the time, and what may happen to you, and how you hate me.  I can’t communicate anything to you – I mustn’t! 

 

“It’s a weakness, Duo.  My weakness.  I’ll bear it alone.  That’s the best thing.”

 

“God, no…” Duo tried to butt in.  Heero had put both hands to his chest now; he was massaging the muscles firmly, caressingly.  Like he was gloating over treasure; like he was trying to memorise a beautiful landscape.  Across the skin, out to Duo’s sides; firmly up along his outer arms, across his shoulders; then back down the inner arms and in on to the chest, to shadow his hammering heart.  Duo’s own hands fell to his sides; he felt completely helpless.  And it was fantastic!

 

“And still you carry on in the most dangerous way – you don’t care for yourself – for the fact that someone else cares if you live or die.  That if the worst happened, someone else’s life would be a little more dead without you.”

 

Heero’s hands were at the waistband of the straining shorts.  He was declaring some astounding kind of affection, and at the same time he was teasing open the button of Duo’s clothes.  Like he couldn’t wait to touch him!  Duo wondered if either of them had been taking any hallucinogenic recently – how else could he find explanation for this?

 

“I couldn’t let you die in there, Duo!  You had no weapons – no charges left.  They were coming… I wouldn’t leave without you…”

 

Duo could feel one of Heero’s hands on his skin.  It was cool and determined, and it was sliding down into his loosened shorts.  Duo lay back again, wishing he’d put on some underwear, then thanking God he hadn’t, when Heero’s firm fingers closed around his cock.

 

“Yes –“ he gasped.  “Christ, yes please, Heero –“

 

And those fingers – the ones he’d seen strip and reassemble a gun in seconds; the ones he’d seen unravel wires and disarm an enemy explosive with seconds to spare; the ones that had only days ago gripped his arm with a furious touch that had left bruises – yes, those very fingers were caressing his cock, and tugging at it, and teasing the moistened skin up and down its aching, swollen shaft.

 

Duo whimpered.

 

I’m dangerous, eh?”

 

Heero ignored the pathetic attempt at a joke.  “Yes…” he hissed.  He seemed to be concentrating very heavily on stroking Duo’s balls.  His tongue slipped out and licked his lips.  Duo felt his cock leap in response.  “You are a major danger to me, here on the other side.  If I lose control in this, I don’t see how I can continue in the team.”

 

“Hell, no… it’s not gonna come to that, fella…” moaned Duo.  “Christ, they need you more ‘n they need me …”  Heero’s other hand was teasing a nipple again – the two bodies were slipping down on to the window seat, Heero falling gently on top of Duo’s heaving chest, bare skin to bare skin.  “God, shit, don’t stop…!”

 

Heero didn’t.  He wriggled to try and get more comfortable; the friction on Duo’s groin making him groan.  Heero’s hand was back down inside the shorts, Duo was trying to push them down his legs.  Heero’s touch was firm, and rhythmic - and relentless.  Duo had rarely felt so deliciously vulnerable.

 

“This feeling I have for you – it’s dangerous!  It will destroy me – in your eyes, and in my own.  I won’t let it show.  I can’t let it show!  I must keep away from you.  If I can get back, I can control it again.  I can control everything again!”

 

Heero’s words spoke of keeping away; his actions contradicted.  Duo wondered which one was the stronger instinct…

 

And then Heero stopped speaking, because he was concentrating on shifting his knees on to the floor beside the seat, and he needed his mouth free to go down on Duo’s desperate, throbbing cock.

 

Like, of course! thought Duo, almost hysterical with excitement.

 

He had never felt such exquisite ecstasy – never been savoured in quite this way before!  Heero moved very slowly, yet very firmly, and gave all the time in the world to the caressing of the hot, velvety flesh that reached out for him.  His tongue was everywhere – lapping at Duo’s balls, licking the hidden, sensitive area between them and his ass; then it was teasing into the slit of his cock, and tempting out more of the pre-cum, lathering it all over the shaft so that he moved that much more easily when Heero’s mouth returned – as it kept returning – to its succulent worship of him.

 

Duo wasn’t able to speak.  He wasn’t able to think, God dammit!

 

He was coming – he knew it.  And he’d never been less in control of the whole event!  Even if he’d wanted to stop it – why the hell would he want that?  But perhaps to delay it; to make the most of it – Heero’s mouth wouldn’t have let him.  It reacted to the swelling, to the sudden increase in the organ’s pulse, to the promise of explosion that shifted in Duo’s balls.  Heero’s hand took firm hold of the tightening sac, and his mouth sucked all the harder.

 

Heero -!” yelled Duo.  “My sweet – God – Jesus - !”  His body wrenched up from the seat, his hands clutched hard into Heero’s hair.  His back was arched, his legs straining unsuccessfully against the narrow base, as he fought for purchase.  And his release came despite anything he might do, anything he wanted; it swept through him like a storm, dragging the cries from his throat and pouring out his seed into Heero’s tightly squeezing mouth.

 

The room was considerably more humid now.

 

Heero stood, and stretched himself out.  He wiped his mouth with a mixture of satisfaction and interest.  “I like your taste, Duo.”

 

Duo stared at him, his body in complete shutdown.

 

“But I must sleep now.  I should be ready to get back as soon as I can.“

 

He turned and walked out of the room. This time his bearing was noticeably straighter.

 

 

***

 

 

What could Duo say, to justify his actions?  Only that the whole situation was totally outside of his experience – and that he was being swept along with it.

 

There were more nights.  Heero walked every night.  Walked to Duo.

 

And Duo would be waiting, and he’d confirm to Heero that the others still hadn’t returned, and that they were still here together on the ‘other side’. 

 

And then he and Heero would sink into a delicious, and increasingly passionate session, peeling each other’s clothes off, discovering new and tasty areas of their bodies.  Kissing and touching and grasping… desperate for each other.  Full of words of lust and desire and admiration and care – full of need and amusement and near-obsession.  It was like there were months of want being let loose – months of inhibition and repressed attraction. 

 

In my case, thought Duo, that’s the stark, cruel truth.  For him, the secret was out.  He had no defence against this willing, rapacious Heero.  The one he’d only dreamed of discovering.

 

 

***

 

He had woken in the small hours of the morning and found himself alone on his mattress.  He was naked.  A soft, regular breathing in the background told him that Heero was asleep on his pallet, at the other side of the room.  On Duo’s bed, the sheet around him was heavily crumpled – because only hours ago, Heero had laid beside him, and they’d kissed and fondled, and brought each other to ever more fantastic climaxes.  Just with hands and mouths – they seemed instinctively to hold back from going any further.  Duo didn’t know if Heero was a virgin – Heero had never asked him if he were.  He just revelled in Heero’s warm, smooth skin – his tight muscles, the curves of his hips and his buttocks as he massaged him; the soft dark curls that tickled his nose when he was sucking up tight to Heero’s groin; the path of Heero’s fingertips along his back as he clutched him; Heero’s grip in his long hair as he forced long, strong strokes up and down his cock.

 

His own exhausted cock stirred sleepily at the memory.

 

Where had Heero developed this incredible sexual confidence?  Duo had had a few lovers, sure.  But nothing very serious.  And nothing that had prepared him for this.

 

What the hell is going on? he sighed to himself, rolling over on to his back.  He felt the lump under him as he lay on his sleep shorts; thin, warm and still sticky with cum.   He cursed, and rolled them out on to the floor.  He’d never had such an intense time!  Just a week’s worth of nights had brought him to his proverbial knees – both actually and emotionally.  He spent the nights begging for Heero to make him come, and the days in a blur caused by sexual exhaustion, and lack of sleep from worrying about it.

 

And during those days, he and Heero steered their way around each other with the short temper and sarcasm that had become routine.  Heero was working on developing a new circuit board; Duo busied himself with creating mission scenarios.  They were angry strangers to each other.

 

I’m having some kind of an affair, Duo thought.  One hell of a strange affair with an absent boy!  He doesn’t hear what I say – he doesn’t answer half my questions.  He drives my body wild, and he talks about wanting me, and needing me.  And then he gets up and leaves me to sleep alone, and next morning ignores me like a particularly annoying little kid.

 

He thought a lot about it, in these hours when he was alone.  When he couldn’t settle back to sleep.  When he just listened to Heero’s breathing; sometimes watching his sleeping form until his eyes ached.  After their sessions, Heero slept like he was drugged.  Peaceful and deep.

 

Duo felt that he needed to make sense of it all.  He was having a dream of a time, but it wasn’t his dream, was it?  He’d somehow hijacked Heero’s.  This was more than he could ever have wanted; but it wasn’t right in some essential way.

 

He didn’t think they could go on like this.  Knew they wouldn’t.

 

He just wasn’t sure what else would be left when they stopped.

 

 

***

 

 

The others returned in the small hours of the morning.  It had been a difficult time, but they hadn’t been discovered, and they had left enough confusion and false trails behind them to throw off their pursuit.  Wufei was recovering well, came the news; he’d be out of hospital in another week. They’d leave the house then.

 

Quatre had spoken briefly to Heero, and Duo assumed that the conversation had been confined to an update on the damage limitation exercise.  He knew that when Quatre wanted more of a chat, he came to Duo.  He needed to relax, himself, and Duo was usually the guy for that.

 

They nursed hot chocolate together – Duo foreswore his coffee for an evening.

 

“Heero seems perfectly recovered, doesn’t he?  Was it – very bad, while we were gone?”  Quatre was genuinely worried.  He had rarely seen the two of them so hostile, and had actually expressed concern that they were being left alone together.  Not quite the ‘supervision’ that Heero had suggested.  “Haven’t you two resolved your differences?”

 

Duo shrugged.  “I’m not losing sleep over it.”  Stupid phrase, he thought, when that was exactly what he was doing!

 

Quatre looked at him closely, but obviously didn’t see anything to concern him.  Or else his usually heightened perception was swamped by his weariness and the hot, sweet fumes of the chocolate.

 

“Well, some time apart will be good for you both.  Allow us all to relax, to regroup.”

 

“Apart?”

 

“Yes.  Heero has a solo mission, he goes back to headquarters tomorrow to get instructions.”

 

Duo stared, rather too long.

 

“He say anything about leaving, Quat?  Going someplace else?  Like – well – another side, or something?”

 

“No…” said Quatre.  “He seemed very keen to hear if there had been any orders received – though when I told him he had a solo mission, he didn’t look so enthusiastic.  Rather contradictory, I thought.”  He looked up at Duo, quizzically.  “Is there some problem?  Has he been showing strange behaviour after all?”

 

Duo hoped to God his face wasn’t blushing.  He knew that other, hidden parts of his body were.

 

“Ahh… no.  Sure, he’s fine.  We’re both fine.  Yeah – it’s all been fine.”

 

“Duo…” murmured Trowa, appearing at Quatre’s shoulder.  “Spending time with Heero appears to have condensed your usual vocabulary.”

 

Duo gave him a cheery enough finger.

 

Trowa laughed.  “Yeah – you’re definitely fine!”

 

“Quatre – what about me?  Mission plans?”

 

“You…”

 

Duo felt the chill.

 

“Christ, am I being pushed out?”

 

“No, no!”

 

“Yes, yes…” sighed Duo.

 

“We’re just waiting for the orders, Duo.  Don’t be paranoid.  The rest of us may not be needed for a while.  Enjoy the rest, eh?”

 

“Just ‘cos I’m not paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me…” muttered Duo.  He didn’t know whether to believe the guys or not.  His head told him the explanation was plausible.  His wounded pride said it was a line they were spinning.  That he wouldn’t be called for the next mission.  Nor the next.  Nor…

 

“We’re behind you, Duo,” murmured Quatre, feeling the agony from the young man like a physical shudder.  “You must trust us.  We’ll still be a team.  Won’t we?”

 

“Yeah…” said Duo, a little absently.  He needed to get outta there, fast.

 

 

***

 

 

The night was darker than before.  Quatre was going to visit Wufei in hospital, and stay over; Trowa was dismantling and – hopefully, finally – fixing the radio.  He had headphones on.  He would not allow anyone to disturb him; Duo knew how he liked to work.  There was going to be no other company in the house for him tonight.

 

He sat at the window and wondered, as before.  Wondered what would happen now, to him as a pilot.  He was being forced into some kind of garden leave, he was sure of it.  There’d be some kind of debriefing, probably some retraining.  Possibly some suspension of a kind.  He wanted to be back in the team!  He wouldn’t accept suspension, he knew that.  If they didn’t take him as he was, as a committed, fully serving member of the team, they wouldn’t fucking need to take him at all!

 

He felt Heero at his shoulder before he saw him.  The man that he was thinking of as his Heero now.

 

“Last night here, man,” he sighed.  “You’ll be off God knows where tomorrow, and I’m into the cage, to cool off.”  He wondered if Heero would still sleepwalk, once he was out of this bizarre scenario.  Once he’d put the disaster of this mission behind him.  And the man who’d brought it down on him.

 

And then he felt Heero’s hand on his shoulder, very tight, pulling him round.  His body’s immediate reaction was to fold himself into the embrace, like he had in previous nights.  His mind told him that had to stop.  He pulled away from Heero’s hand.

 

“Heero – no.  You’re – they’re gonna get you back, OK?  Everyone’s back now – we can all get back to normal.  Doesn’t that make you feel better, fella?”

 

“Duo, I don’t want to go back,” came the soft reply.

 

“You don’t know what you’re saying…”

 

“Duo, I need you.”

 

“Ahhh…” When Duo spoke again, his voice was hoarse, and rather bitter.  “And, of course, that’s the problem, isn’t it?  Because I need you, as well, Heero Yuy.”  I need you like I need air, came the rushing, consuming thought.  Like I need laughter.  Like I need a mission; a purpose in life.  And now I can confess to it, he thought, a little sadly.  When you’re about to leave.  When even while you’re still here, you’re not really here, when you’re just a walking dream. 

 

“You don’t listen to me, so you’ll never really know it.  You’re not really here with me at all, are you?  This is a – glorious – diversion.  But the pathetic thing is that while you’ll eventually wake up from it – I won’t.

 

“You’re my dream, Heero.  Not just a wet dream, that I’ve been taking advantage of until the morning comes.  The morning, with all its sickening, depressing reality.   No, you’re more than that, and always have been.  You’re my heart’s dream as well.”

 

He laughed, harshly, his back still to the silent Heero.

 

“Christ, I love you, Heero!  Mad, isn’t it?  Thanks for these last days, anyway.  It’s more than I ever thought I’d have…”

 

He was almost surprised when Heero replied – surprised that he was still there.

 

“I must help you,” replied Heero, doggedly.  Which wasn’t really a reply, anyway.  “Then I’ll think about getting back to the other side.”

 

Duo sighed with frustration, and the pain that he’d admitted to himself.  That remained his, and his alone. 

 

“Help me, then,” he said, his voice low and harsh with the desire that was rising up in him again.  How could he say he didn’t welcome it?  His heart raced.  “You know how to do that, in the only way we’ve got.  Kiss me, and take me to bed.”

 

One last time would be OK, surely?

 

What a fucking mess he’d got himself into!

 

 

***

 

 

Duo was tugged gently away from the window, back up the corridor, on towards the bedrooms.  He’d padded this way with a willing Heero plenty of times now.  He knew what to expect – his cock was pumping with anticipation already.  He didn’t really worry about being seen, or heard.  There were no noises from anywhere else, apart from the occasional screech of static from the room downstairs where Trowa worked.  Besides, it was late into the night, now – when Trowa finally emerged, he would be surprised at the time, which had obviously passed him by while he worked.  He would expect to find the others asleep, and take himself to bed.  The building was old; the walls were thick and almost soundproof.

 

Suddenly, there was the most horrific noise – like a scream, like a wail from the very heart of a creature.  A tortured creature!  It tore through the house as a thin, piercing screech, shattering the quiet night air, and then ceasing just as sharply, leaving nothing but the hum of awful vibration in its wake.

 

The two boys halted outside the door of their room, shocked through.

 

“What the fuck’s that?  An attack -?” gasped Duo.

 

“There’s no-one there,” said Heero, at his elbow.   His voice sounded shaken.  His hand had fallen from Duo’s arm.  “I check every couple of hours, Duo.  I have to protect you.  I can’t let you get into danger like that again –“

 

“Hush!” Duo hissed.  He darted back into the lounge, to the window; to look out on the back of the house.

 

There was a yell from one of the other houses that backed on to the service road – someone had thrown the window open.  “Shut up, you fuckin’ bloody cats!  I’m gonna strip the skin off your fuckin’, fightin’ backs and slice the rest o’ you up for fish food –“

 

“Cats fighting,” sighed Duo.  He moved back out into the corridor again.  He was relieved, but it had shaken him – his nerves were stretched to the limit.  He looked across at Heero.  Started walking back towards him, and the promise of his warm, enclosing embrace.

 

Heero shuddered.  It passed through the whole of his body.  A breath came from his mouth like a deep, gasping sigh.  His pupils dilated, then shrank again.  His head turned rapidly to one side then back, and his mouth opened, as if he’d seen something and wanted to shout about it.  But he remained silent.  His face was half in the shadow of the landing.

 

Duo would have been worried for him, if he hadn’t been experiencing his own kind of vision.  The noise had brought certain memories back; memories of the failed mission.  It all flashed through his head in seconds, like life must do for a drowning man.  The shock and panic – the explosions – the frenzied escape.  It was as if he could smell the cordite; as if he were back there in person; as if he could see Heero lying in the jeep, white and still –

 

He felt as if he’d been slapped over the head for his continuing stupidity.  Get a grip of yourself! shouted his inner self.  What stupid game are you playing here?

 

“This is all a farce, isn’t it?” he cried, pulling up sharply, still a foot away.  He stared at Heero, searching for some kind of response that would help him understand.  “You may not recognise, it but I do!  We can’t keep doing this!  Look at the state of us both!  The mission’s over, right?  But somehow you’re still stuck in that loop, Heero.  And so, goddamit, am I!  And it’s running us both ragged.  We’ve got to realise that it was a fuck-up, and it was my fault, and now we gotta move on!”

 

“I thought you were hurt,” came the strange, monotonous reply.  Well, not so strange – Duo should be getting used to the surreal Heero by now.  His arm was taken, and he was drawn back to the bedroom door.  Duo didn’t resist, but that was because his mind was whirling around other issues.  His head was shaking, slowly.

 

“Yeah, and I thought I’d blown you up, fella!” he was almost shouting.  ‘That my failure had killed you!  I thought you were dead or dying.  I’ve never felt so bad in my fucking life!  I love you – I’ve loved you for fucking ages – but I nearly killed you!  Why do you have anything to do with me?  You despise me in real life – remember?  I’m a useless, unreliable disaster zone… “

 

“We’re even, then.”  Heero’s voice came close to Duo’s ear, his breath was hot and demanding.  “My last grenade went well wide – I wasn’t concentrating.  We nearly killed each other that day.  It’s OK, Duo.   It’s fine by me.  Come into the bedroom,” he murmured.  “Come and lay down with me.”  His voice was seductive; so very tempting.  He tugged the hesitant boy into the room, sliding the door shut gently behind them, like he had many times before.  Lying back on his thin mattress; pulling Duo with him.

 

Duo turned his head to take Heero’s mouth on his, to welcome the possession.

 

And he paused.

 

What had Heero just said?  Had he just replied?  Like, normally?  And what was that unusual glow in his eyes, here in the lust-filled, sex-perfumed half darkness?

 

“Heero -?”

 

“Kiss me,’ came the whispered reply.  “Touch me.  I want it all, tonight.  Touch me, Duo.  Let’s fuck…”

 

Duo gasped.  His cock throbbed in reply, but he forced out words as well.  “Heero, d’you know what’s going on?  Are you asleep, man – or awake?”

 

“Hn…” Heero was ignoring him, he was lapping at his neck, he was tugging at his braid. “Let’s go all the way, Duo… show me what to do… I want you, Duo…”

 

Duo stretched his neck back instinctively, baring himself for the sharp, erotic little nips.  He felt a hand slide between his legs, nudging them apart.  The fingers had flipped the button of his jeans; were fumbling for the zip.  The bottom of his vest was being rolled firmly up his chest.  Every nerve in his body strained for more of that touch. 

 

But he pushed the hand away.

 

“No – answer me! You may be the greatest thing I ever touched – dammit, you are! - but I ain’t gonna fuck anyone who isn’t on the same planet as me!”

 

 

***

 

 

Heero stilled.  He sat back from Duo, pushing himself up on his knees, and leaning back on his heels.  He seemed to hear his own panting for the first time; he brought his breathing slowly back under control.  He pushed tangled hair out of his face, and he sighed.

 

“I am awake now.”

 

“Goddamn…” breathed Duo.  He stared into Heero’s face, trying to read his expression.  Yeah - he could see it now!  The eyes were the key – Heero’s eyes were back to the cold, hard sea that he saw in the daylight.  Not the wide, blue, soft pools that he bathed in at night.  He couldn’t believe how sick that made him feel – the sense of loss.  The uncertainty of how Heero would talk to him next.   

 

Perhaps he’d just kill him outright.

 

“You’re awake, then.  For how long?”

 

“Long enough.”

 

Yeah, that’s a typically sparse Heero answer, thought Duo, bitterly.  He’s back to normal all right.

 

He sat upright on the mattress as well, legs tucked under him, but with his back to Heero, as he wondered what the hell to do.  He still had the most painful, fucking erection this side of Oz, but the chance of this Heero giving him a hand with it was as likely as Hell freezing over.  Which it may still do.

 

“Um… how d’you feel?  D’you know you’ve been – sleepwalking tonight?”

 

“I feel fine,” came the soft answer.  “And not just tonight, I think.”

 

Fuck, thought Duo.  Here comes retribution!

 

“Do you – know what you’ve been doing?  Why you’ve been doing it?”

 

He felt Heero settle back down on the bedding.  He didn’t seem to be moving away.  Or throwing Duo out.  Or showing any of the reactions of disgust or fury that Duo had expected, when his consciousness returned.

 

“I can only think it was the concussion from the explosion.  I have felt fine during the day –“  He paused;  Duo had visibly winced.  “But at night, it must have returned to disturb me.”

 

That’s one word for it, thought Duo.  “And now -?”

 

“And now, perhaps, it’s passing.  The cat fight – that was such a shock that I think it woke me.  I feel no worse for it.  I feel – quite refreshed, actually.”  There was the hint of some emotion in Heero’s voice that Duo couldn’t identify.

 

“That’s good then, yeah?”

 

“Good… yes,” murmured Heero.

 

Duo knew he should get up now and leave the room.  He was sat on Heero’s bed with his jeans undone, his dick the size and consistency of a small oak tree, and Heero’s saliva still warming his lips.  He’d been here before, but that was in an alternative, surreal world.  And that time was over now.  It had to be, didn’t it?  He looked over at his own mattress, like a million miles away on the other side of the room; just as Heero had insisted, when they moved in.  And still did, in the daylight hours.

 

Duo swallowed back a gasp – more like a sob.  Never to have Heero’s mouth on his again; never to feel his hands on his skin – his eagerness; his passion.  To return to the scornful Heero – full time.  Duo could feel the nausea rising.

 

He stood, abruptly.  He was shocked when Heero moved swiftly to stand as well, and he felt a hand grasp his wrist, tightly.

 

“Don’t go.”

 

“Look – “ blustered Duo.  “If you want explanations – ‘praps apologies, I dunno – ask me tomorrow!  I – if you have any compassion at all for me, let it wait.  I can’t – I can’t talk about it now.”

 

“I don’t want you to talk about it.”  The grip was fierce, and Duo didn’t want to get into some kind of ridiculous wrestling match to pull free.  That’s what he told himself.  Not that he was savouring – painfully – the last touch of Heero on his body.  The strong fingers pressing at his pulse; the heavy breaths only a foot away from his face.  He kept his head turned away.

 

“Don’t fuck me about, Heero!  Let me go.”

 

“Wait…”

 

Duo went on the attack.  “So let’s talk about it then, shall we?  What am I doing in this room with you, on your bed, eh?  Looks like you were fully aware of what was going on, ever since we arrived at the door.  Why’d you still lead me on?  Why was I here, with your tongue in my mouth and your hands up my shirt, and me none the wiser that the whole thing was a sham?  What sort of cruel revenge is that?”

 

“No revenge!” said Heero, quickly.  He looked taken aback at Duo’s vehemence.  At his pained words.   “No sham!  I wanted it!”

 

“Don’t be such an asshole!” snapped Duo.  He’d turned to face Heero now, whose hand was still gripping him.  “You’re the guy who hates my guts, remember?  The guy who thinks I blew the last mission – who thinks I can’t be trusted to take a piss on his own without supervision!  You’re not the guy who’s been kissing me, and holding me, and spouting all sorts of ridiculous sap –“ And getting it in return, he thought, in anguish.  Yeah – sliding his way into my heart and peeling it open like a fucking orange!  And who’s left with the pith?

 

Duo’s voice faltered, and his eyes were shining suspiciously.  “You’re not my Heero.  Not any more.”

 

“Duo…”

 

Duo felt the tug to his wrist and made a half-hearted attempt to resist it.  But he knew it’d make no difference; he was never as strong as Heero in one-to-one.  And that’s what it was – a one-to-one; a very intimate one.

 

Heero kissed him.  Hard.

 

 

***

 

 

Duo realised what was happening with the small fraction of his brain that was objective – not the 99% of his body that responded eagerly.  The 99% that opened his mouth and returned the kiss, and whose hand took hold of Heero’s waist like it belonged there.

 

No – the small fraction was shocked, and the small fraction noticed the difference in Heero’s kissing.  The lips - the perfect, plump, firm lips – were the same, of course.  But the boy behind them was different.  There wasn’t the same aggression or confidence – Duo would have known the difference, even in the dark; even if he couldn’t smell and taste the delicious body crushed up against him.

 

It was still damn good!

 

But what did it all fucking mean?

 

They broke for air, gasping.  Duo dragged his eyelids open, because they’d drifted together in a deep, sensual sleepiness.  He caught the surprise in Heero’s eyes – and his fingers reaching tentatively to his lips.  As if he wasn’t sure what he’d just done.

 

“I – wanted it,” Heero whispered.

 

“Sure tasted like it…” murmured Duo.  Things weren’t rolling out as he’d thought.  But what was the awakened Heero playing at?

 

“What do you remember, Heero – since the mission?”

 

“What do you mean -?  The mission plans – my injuries.  The others clearing our tracks.  Arguing with you…”

 

“No,” sighed Duo.  “I meant from your sleepwalking each night.”

 

“Hn.  What do I remember now, you mean?  I would say - most of it.”

 

They stared at each other for a long while, as the thoughts ebbed and flowed in their minds.

 

Fuck, thought Duo.

 

“And you ain’t gonna kill me?”

 

“Why should I?  I – I’m the one who’s been confused.  Who has acted irrationally.  I – I appear to have been operating as two different people –“  He saw the flash of pain dart across Duo’s face, then the door slammed shut on it.  “But now…”

 

“Now?” whispered Duo, when he couldn’t bear the hesitation any longer.

 

“Now the two lives seem to be tangled up in my mind.  They – seem to have come together.  I – I can’t recognise my whole self.”

 

“Look, Heero – I realise you must be feeling pretty mixed up at the moment.  I’d better go.  You’ve not been well, fella…”

 

“No!” Heero said, quite sharply.  “Stay!  I want you to stay!  I’ve realised that…”

 

“What?”

 

Heero reached out for him; tugged gently at his collar.  Duo could feel his breathing in his chest, very heavy and very ragged, and he didn’t seem to be able to tear himself away from the other boy.  And at the moment, he didn’t care which Heero it was!  He just wanted another touch of that rich, succulent, not-so-hesitant mouth…

 

“I’ve realised I know how you feel – how good you taste.  That I want to touch you.  That I already have – many times.  And I want to again.  To hold you.”

 

The kiss this time was far more gentle.  It reminded Duo of the first night; when Heero had been strange and a little distant, and then he’d taken Duo’s face and he’d kissed it.  He did that again, now, but this time with his new touch, and his new wonderment.

 

But Duo pushed away.  His face was twisted in a mixture of distress and anger – probably at himself.

 

“This ain’t you, Heero.  Not really.  I don’t understand what the hell is happening here, but I think I’ve strayed just one fucking step too far from reality now.  Jeez – you don’t turn from vicious critic to ardent lover overnight now, do you?”

 

“But I already have,” came the low reply.  Heero still had a hand raised, to touch out at Duo’s side.  There were only inches between them.  You stupid bastard! scorned Duo’s aching libido. You want him – he’ll take you.  You gonna turn that down?

 

“But that was because you were – I dunno what you’d call it – under the influence.  Not yourself.  Away with the fairies.  Whatever.”  Shut up!  Shut up! he yelled inside at his inner voices.  He can’t be mine!  It’s all a hideous mistake, and he’ll realise that in a minute, and then my limbs will be systematically removed from my body, and my internal organs ripped out for fun -

 

“You didn’t refuse me then.”  Heero sounded uncertain.

 

“Yeah – make me feel like scum, why don’t you?  Like I took advantage of you!  I guess I did, as well.  I was weak – and you were damn persuasive.  I always knew it wouldn’t last, once you were back to normal.”

 

“Would you want it to?  To last?  Would you still love me?”

 

“Love - ?  I -?  Shit…”

 

“You – didn’t mean it?”  Heero looked stricken. 

 

How had he remembered that? thought Duo, shocked and suddenly scared.  When had he taken in those words?  He’d only ever said it when he thought Heero was still in his sleepwalking world.  He’d never have confessed it to a conscious, truly interactive Heero!  Christ, it was something stupid that he’d moaned into Heero’s open mouth; into his warm, pulsing neck; shouted out into the humid air of the bedroom as Heero held his hips and caressed his cock with his hot, greedy mouth until he came with a gulping, bucking ecstasy…

 

Suddenly, Heero held him tightly, hand at his neck, twisted into his braid.  “Now you’re fucking me about, Duo!  I know you said it – I know you felt it!  I don’t know how I know – “  His face was reddening, as if he was struggling with his feelings, and wasn’t winning.  “It’s as if it’s all through a dark, grimy window – but I’m sure I’m right -!”

 

“Get off, you dickhead, you’re hurting –“

 

Did you mean it?”  Heero yelled.  Duo stared into his eyes, furious, trying to prise the stronger boy’s fingers off his own, quickly bruising skin.  And then he saw anger there, and fear, and a terrible, deep uncertainty.  That, more than anything, made him finally appreciate this new – other – Heero. 

 

“Yeah,” he replied, quietly.  He went suddenly still in Heero’s grasp.  “Yeah, I did.  I do.  Love you, that is.  Like it’s gonna do me any good…”

 

Heero gave a deep sigh, as if he’d been holding it in for hours.  As if he was finally claiming some life-saving oxygen that had been denied him.  He let go of Duo, swiftly.  Stepped back, and lifted his hands as if in surrender.  “Then help me let these feelings in!  They’re different.  They’re wild!  They’re coming from inside me, and I recognise them from dreams.  But I’ve fought them back for months – I’ve repressed it all.”  He laughed, bitterly.  “After all, it made me a better soldier.  It made me an automaton.  It made life easier to bear, because I could never have you.  Because I knew you hated me.”

 

“Nah…”

 

“Yes!” snapped Heero.  A flash of the old, aggressive team-mate.

 

Duo bit his lip.  “Praps I did, sometimes.  Dunno why I let you get to me so easily…”

 

“It’s the same for me,” said Heero, hoarsely.  “I feel as if I’ve been watching myself, from some weird, removed place.  My mind has been asleep while my body has been walking the house.  I’ve seen myself acting in a way I’d never have believed.  In a way that was so unlike my waking persona that I barely recognised it.  But I wanted it…

 

“Is this for real, Heero?”

 

Heero was still distracted; still examining himself and his actions.  “I’ve been thinking about my reactions to you.  Why I was so angry with you.  God, I’m sorry about that, Duo, the way I’ve been towards you.  It’s like it was years ago.  It’s like I would open my mouth, but the words that came out were the complete opposite of what I really thought about you…”

 

Duo reached out and took his hand.  Pressed the palm to his lips.  It was sweaty.  His quiet words had a thread of sad mischief in them. “Thought enough about me to go down on me ten times or so… to let me suck on your balls a coupla nights back…”

 

Heero flushed. 

 

“You – you do remember that, Heero?”  Duo was briefly worried.

 

“Yes,” he smiled, gently.  Sounded rather amazed.

 

“What do you remember from that night?  The mission?”

 

“Does it matter?” Heero murmured.  “I said I was sorry I persecuted you about it –“

 

“It matters.  Tell me.”

 

Heero swallowed.  “I remember that I thought you were in trouble – that I wanted above all else to save you, to help you.  That I was so angry with you for risking your life.”

 

“Angry?  Yeah…that was fucking obvious!”

 

But Heero’s eyes blazed at Duo’s weary reply.  “Angry that I might lose you and I’d never said anything to you to make things right!  Realised how damn unhappy I was – what a shit my life was.  I can’t remember ever being that angry in my life!  And – and everything was black after that.”

 

“The grenade…”

 

“Yes, I think so.  That could have killed us all.  Us both.  I - wasn’t thinking straight.”

 

It was a hell of an admission for Heero to make – Duo knew that.

 

“It gave you concussion, Heero.  Led to this - abnormal behaviour -”

 

“Yes.  No!”  Heero seemed very frustrated.  He turned away from Duo for a moment, and the long-haired boy could see his shoulders shaking with his effort to gain control of himself.  “I – suppose that it would seem abnormal to you.  To anyone who works with me.  And especially after the way I was towards you after the mission.  You would have been – surprised at my subsequent behaviour.  The touching – the kissing.  The intimacy – the words…  He took a deep breath.

 

Duo could see a dark flush starting at Heero’s neck.  It looked very warm to him.  I would have been ‘surprised’…he thought.  Mr Understatement.  He wanted to tug down the top of Heero’s shirt and suck at that warm, blood-filled flesh…

 

“I don’t want it to be abnormal.  I mean – I believe it’s a part of me that I have been repressing.  A little – exaggerated, let’s say, but only because of the concentration of all my other behaviours into my daily life.  The concussion – the effect on me has been for me to find these repressed desires.  To – become aware of them –“

 

“To let ‘em out,” added Duo, bluntly.  Heero turned to face him.  The flush had spread over most of his face.

 

“They say that your subconscious comes out in your sleep,” he said, softly.  They were both thinking about what they’d been doing in the dark hours of the night over the last week or so.  Duo felt his jeans tighten even further.  He saw a spark in Heero’s eyes – a disturbing stone dropped into the cold sea.

 

“To have been your Heero – that’s what you said, wasn’t it?  It has been - a revelation to me, Duo.  I knew who I was before that mission.  I wasn’t happy – but I knew who I was; how to behave.  Now I’m something else.  Somebody else.  Would you want that Heero?”

 

Duo was aware that he had taken steps towards Heero.  That he was scared – that he was still confused.  Guilty, perhaps.  Horny, definitely.  But the steps were towards Heero, not away.

 

“Yo, Mr Psychoanalyst.  You know more about these things than I do.  Y’understand I’m cautious of this – ah – change in circumstances…”

 

“But you’d want me?”

 

“Yeah…”  Duo’s smile was slow, but it was spreading widely.  He felt Heero’s eyes on his mouth, watching it.  “I’d want you.  I do want you.  Bits of me more than others!”

 

“That’s good enough for me.”  Heero was moving, too, and also towards the other boy.  Whatever words they were exchanging, their bodies were making their own decisions.  Two, three clumsy steps and they were up against each other, and the kissing had started again.  Duo had his arm round Heero’s body, pushing the fabric of his shirt aside impatiently – reaching to touch the tight, muscled skin of his waist.  Heero’s mouth had opened to take Duo’s tongue, and he was pressing back against the hot, impatient lips, running a hand around the back of Duo’s head, to keep them clamped together.

 

He broke for a second, as they gulped air, and Duo’s fingers massaged his torso.  He whispered, ”So - am I on the same planet now?”

 

“‘What?” groaned Duo.  His thoughts were fierce and animalistic - Stop talking – put that fucking tongue back in my mouth -!

 

‘You said you wouldn’t fuck anyone not on the same planet as you.  Can we fuck now?”

 

Duo felt that he had to draw breath as well.  And to laugh!  Which fantasy world had he dropped into now?  “Christ!  You don’t do subtlety, do you, Heero?  Is that what you want – as you are now?  Don’t wanna rush you into anything –“

 

Heero didn’t answer, and perhaps Duo was glad now for his more characteristic silence.  Because he reached to Duo’s hips and pushed sharply down at them – forcing him to bend his knees instinctively, and to lose his balance so that he landed down on the mattress, hand splayed out to catch his fall.  And Heero was down beside him as quickly, also on his knees, and still kissing.

 

Duo let him moan softly into his mouth.  He let him peel his shirt up and over his head.  He let him push him down further, so that he lay back, sprawled on the thin covering.  And when Heero leaned over him, and started on his zip again, he relaxed into the delicious sensation of Heero’s fingers inside the cloth of his jeans, tugging them down.  Stroking the naked flesh of his thighs.  The touch was hesitant, but sensual.  And growing – very rapidly – in confidence.  Duo was glad – again – that he’d abandoned boxers.  Then he abandoned sensible thought as well.

 

 

***

 

Heero slid out of his pants more smoothly than any guy had the right to do.  The shirt was rolled off his shoulders just as quickly.  Duo tried to get a good look at him – it was one of the most gorgeous sights of his life, Heero’s naked body, and although he’d spent hours licking and kissing and worshipping it, he couldn’t see he’d ever tire of it – but Heero kept him pinned down underneath him.

 

A hand cupped firmly over his aching balls, and his swelling cock leapt to attention.  This had happened before – he’d surrendered before to this firm touch, and these demanding fingers.  It had always been glorious.  But this time it was with the conscious Heero – the real one.

 

“Uhh…” groaned Duo, because he really couldn’t make any sound more intelligible than that.  Not with the pads of Heero’s fingers kneading his balls – not with the naked Heero down on all fours between his outstretched legs, his greedy tongue lapping at the soft skin behind the protesting sac.  It sure felt as good as before!  And what the hell was he doing now?  He was marking the soft, inner skin of Duo’s thighs with a suckling, nibbling motion.  The noise alone made Duo ten degrees hotter.  The muscles of his thighs shook with tension.

 

“Heero – this sure is under the category of exaggerated behaviour!   This is – God, yesss, right there! – this is what your night time guy was doing!”  A wet, sucking sound accompanied Heero plunging his fingers in and out of his mouth, trails of saliva following the tips as they drew out each time.  Duo watched, fascinated.

 

“So maybe that guy was more me than I believed,” came the muffled reply.  “Are you complaining, Duo?  You’ve not complained before…”

 

Duo groaned again, because now Heero’s fingers were damp and warm, and they were tickling down between the cheeks of his ass.  Ghosting over the hole – teasing the puckered skin.  Duo felt himself blossom slightly under the touch.  His breath caught in anticipation, but he leaned slightly against Heero’s hand to encourage him.

 

“You wanna fuck me?”

 

“I want to – make love to you.”

 

“Same thing…” Duo ground out through gritted teeth.  If he leaned a little more to the right, wouldn’t that middle finger be forced to slide in…?

 

“No – it’s not, I think.”

 

Damn him, thought Duo.  That’s the sensible Heero speaking.  Not the horny one!  But he’d be honest with both.  “No – it’s not, I agree.  I guess I just wanted to try and save some face here, fella.  Having made a dick of myself already, declaring love ‘n all…”

 

The finger was there, and it was – oh Gods! gasped Duo under his breath – pressing into him!  He felt the invasion deep inside him; firm, probing.  He tried so hard not to clench his entrance round it, but nature defeated him.  And Heero didn’t seem to mind – his breath was more ragged now.  There was fresh sweat on his arm where it lay against Duo’s hip.

 

“It’s not as if we’ve done any dating, Heero…”

 

“Don’t you think we’ve done our courting already?  Even if it was in my sleep?  The words?  The actions?”

 

“Yeah…I guess we have,” gulped Duo.  Another finger had penetrated him, and he was wriggling to try to get his legs wider around Heero’s body.  He could feel his hips bucking in rhythm with the fingers – straining to reach the boy who was tormenting him like this.  He moaned, his words cracking in pieces as they came out of his mouth.

 

“Do it, Heero – for God’s sake!  Else I’ll be spewing the lot all over the sheet again, and I wanna come all over you –“

 

Heero slipped his fingers out gently, and Duo whimpered a little.  He watched with some amazement as Heero took hold of his ankles and spread his legs.  Wide.

 

Ohh God, Heero – “

 

Heero’s cock reared large and glistening and predatory in front of him.  A towering shaft in amongst dark, nestling curls.  Every nerve in Duo’s body cried out, most of them in need of it.

Duo had licked this guy – sucked this cock.  He didn’t think he’d ever appreciated its size; its glory.  Dammit, he thought with a frisson of fear – never thought I’d be taking it up inside me, did I?

 

“You want to go on, Duo?  I want you – very badly…”

 

“Can see that –“ gurgled Duo.

 

“- but I don’t want you to feel awkward about it.”

 

“Not – feeling – awkward –“ grunted Duo.  He wriggled again.  “Feeling damn, fucking desperate, Heero!  Do it, already!  I want you – I’ve wanted you ever since you used to wear those damn stupid spandex shorts…”

 

“Need – lube –“  Heero’s breath was very short now.  His fingers were pinching at Duo’s thighs – pushing them further and further apart.  Gazing at the vision that awaited him.

 

Duo couldn’t have told him when he’d bought the tube – or why he’d held on to it, when there’d been fuck all love life in his life for the last six months or more! - but he gestured over to his wash bag, so that Heero could find it there.  And watched, panting, as Heero squeezed it over his hand.  It was shaking.  Then he started to smooth the gel, gently, up and down his cock.  His eyes half closed, he settled back on his haunches; his movements became caressing.  He groaned.

 

“Hey, fella!” called Duo, softly.  “Don’t start without me -!”

 

Heero’s eyes flashed open and he smiled.  It was like the sun breaking out from a cloud.  Without another word, he reached for Duo’s entrance, and pressed his slippery fingers in and around again – stretching it gently.  Reaching for Duo’s nerve ends.  As the braided boy arched and moaned, he took his cock in his other hand, and brought it up to the widening pucker.  Slowly – but not so slowly that he slipped past it – he started to push in.

 

There was resistance – Duo couldn’t help it, he winced, and for a second, Heero paused.  But Duo nodded him on, biting his lip.  Heero felt the soft, hot channel clench around him as he pushed further and further in, the lube easing his way.  Until he was seated in there fully, hips up against Duo’s groin, his balls tight and super-sensitive against Duo’s ass.

 

Yes…” whispered Duo.  Go, Heero…”

 

Heero went.  He was losing his concentration even as he withdrew slowly for the first time, and then plunged back in.  To see Duo moan and jerk underneath him was an added stimulus.  He took a firmer hold on the mattress below them, and he thrust again.  And again.  He would never have believed it could be so fantastic!  Duo braced his feet against Heero’s thighs, arched his back, and thrust back up against him.

 

“Gonna – come, Heero – I – make me, dammit!”

 

Heero took his weight on one hand, and reached to Duo’s straining cock.  It throbbed in his hand – it was damp with pre-cum, and more was leaking out.  It looked like it was crying for Heero’s attention.  He gave it.  He pumped again, and then again, in the same rhythm as he thrust into Duo’s body, and for a few, blissful seconds, their groans melded into a strange, erotic harmony.  Then Duo’s eyes opened wide and shocked, and his mouth searched for a yell that he couldn’t vocalise, and he came – streams spurted out of him, over Heero’s hand, over his chest, even over Heero’s chest as well.

 

Heero had to let go of him – he needed the support of both arms, his chest was already bowed down against Duo’s.  Duo reached up and grasped him round the neck, tugging him even further down, for a kiss full of grateful, nonsensical, mind-blown words and hot tongue.  The movement brought him even deeper into Duo, and his control abandoned him.  He unintentionally bit into Duo’s lip, grunting with the waves of pleasure that shook him, and his hips slammed one more time up tight against the other boy’s prone body.  Duo felt the shudder that ran through his body – the shake and swelling of his orgasm inside him.  He held him tight, and he rode it with him.

 

They relaxed and fell down on to the mattress still like that, clutched together.  A single body mass, limbs entwined, Heero still seated deep inside Duo.  Like they didn’t dare let go of each other.  Like they didn’t want to.

 

 

***

 

It was an early hour of the morning, and Duo had been awake for some time.  His arm was tight over Heero’s naked chest, as if he might try to escape.  The surprise of finding Heero still beside him when he’d woken was a delight he was going to savour.

 

Heero stirred, murmuring something that sounded like “more… so good …”

 

Duo smirked.  Looked like Heero’s dreams were as erotic as his had been!

 

And then Heero was awake, and staring into his eyes, which were widening even as he realised.

 

“Hey, Heero…”  His voice was soft.

 

“Hey,” Heero mumbled, still sleepy.  He yawned and stretched, and the sheet slid from his body.  Duo gazed at the glorious sight of every naked, gleaming muscle as it tightened and relaxed with Heero’s movement.

 

Shit… thought Duo.  Like – how are we gonna explain this to everyone?

 

“Are you all right?”  asked Heero.  Uncertain again.

 

“Shit, yes!  Never felt so deliciously and comprehensively fucked in my life!” grinned Duo.  “But… nervous, y’know?  How we gonna be today, Heero?  I don’t know who you are now.  You may have woken up the heartless shit who blames me for everything.  Or the hot bod who’s just fucked me into next week, well past Thursday.  God, I am so confused!”

 

“Don’t be,” sighed Heero.  He traced round Duo’s mouth with a hot, damp thumb.  “I think that I’m both.  I think that I always was.   I – don’t appear to have balanced my life in any measured way.  The exaggeration had been in my daily life as well.  An isolated, miserable daily life – if I’d taken time to analyse it.  There was a crisis waiting to happen, Duo.”

 

“Too much talk…” mumbled Duo.  “Guess if I’m gonna love you, I’m gonna love all of ‘em.  The whole damn family of Heeros.  Though I like the one with the big dick and the hot, sweaty kisses best –“

 

He was close to Heero, laid like this, face to face.  He was pleased to see that the eyes had it, as always.  The soft pools were back in Heero’s eyes – but without the strange disorientation that the sleepwalking had added.

 

The dream without the sleep! Duo thought, with a leap of excitement and joy.

 

“Fuck me again,” he hissed.  “From behind.  I want you, Heero.”  Before the other, slightly shocked boy could respond, Duo twisted on the mattress, and pulled himself up to all fours, ass pointing towards Heero.  He felt the eager hands on his hips – the heat of Heero’s awakening groin against the flesh.  He felt his cheeks spread, the gasp of desire from Heero as he probed at him.  The slight trickle of cum that leaked out down his legs – the legacy of collapsing to sleep too soon.

 

The lube had never left the bedding beside them – a miracle they’d never rolled on to it and squeezed it all out.  Heero was quick and proficient with it, and Duo moaned as he entered him again.  He bucked with the feeling; the tightness was back and heightened every thrust.

 

He let his head fall, and he saw Heero’s hand beneath him, fiercely jerking him off.  He saw his cock swell, felt the throbbing start low in his groin, and then the cum burst out over the sheet below.  His legs shook, his hips banged back against Heero, and he heard the dark-haired boy’s groan.  Even as he braced his arms to take the pressure, he felt Heero’s hardest thrust, and the climax rocked through their joined bodies.  Heero jerked against him, keening quietly, and his seed pumped gloriously up into him again.

 

Duo didn’t even bother to turn over this time, as he collapsed back down, though he knew he’d snore if he fell asleep on his stomach.  Like – who was gonna care?

 

 

***

 

 

“You’re away today – on a solo mission.”  Duo had been promising himself he wouldn’t bring this up.  Then his mouth opened, and it spilled out.

 

“I won’t go.  Not without you.”  Heero’s voice was perfectly calm, as his hand stroked across Duo’s thigh.  “It will benefit from another operative.  Do you want to know the details?  I’ve checked out the plan myself.”

 

I bet you have, smiled Duo to himself, a little sadly.  Heero was still a complex creature.  Cum drying on his chest and groin, but still a mission plan at his fingertips.  Yo

 

“That may be the case, but it won’t be me.  I’m a fuck–up, remember?  I’m likely on report already –“

 

“No!” said Heero, sharply.  Duo felt the tension shoot through his body – his hand stilled on its way up along Duo’s hip.

 

“You don’t have to fucking protect me, Heero.  I never took you for a sentimental type –“

 

“No,” Heero repeated, firmly.  He pulled himself upright until he was sitting.  Duo looked up at him, but his face was shrouded for the moment.

 

“That’s not sentiment, Duo.  Quatre spoke to me, earlier last night.  He insisted that I examine the mission report and the preliminary project plan with him.  Several times. Your behaviour was correct, in the circumstances.  Even - the decision to abort.”  He felt Duo’s tension, now, and his slight, awkward shift on the sheets.  “The defective charges were more widespread than we thought – so much so, that we would never have succeeded if we’d continued.  Even the ones that I carried - there were only a few that worked.  I was – I was lucky that mine worked, in the same way that yours didn’t.”

 

Duo rolled some words around in his mouth but they got stuck behind his teeth.  He tried to examine how he felt about such an astonishing admission from Mr Perfect.  Yeah, he’d just banged him senseless, but he was still Heero, wasn’t he?  He’d never known Heero’s name and the word ‘luck’ to co-exist in a sentence before.  Where a mission was concerned, Heero took no prisoners – on either side.

 

“Didn’t you spend your six hour prep in checking them all, then?”

 

He could see Heero’s face now, as the light of dawn through the bedroom window was creeping up to greet them; and it was scowling.  He struggled to push out the words.  Quatre must have really given it to him!

 

‘Aborting the mission was the only intellectually viable decision to be made.”

 

“So it doesn’t count that I knew it in my water as well -?”

 

Heero continued to ignore his flippancy.  “You are officially clear of any blame.  You’re commended, actually, for taking a difficult decision on behalf of the team.”

 

Shit…”

 

And now Heero let his body relax, and he rolled back over, to take hold of Duo’s arms.  “I can’t change the last few days.  I deeply regret them, though.  I allowed my personal feelings to override my sense – and even before the mission had been properly evaluated.  I – “  he flushed a little, but his pride made him continue, whilst holding Duo’s wary gaze.  “Even before the others returned, I had disciplined myself to check the remaining charges.  To examine my own supply.  I – I had a hunch that there may have been more to the situation than just bad luck on your part.”

 

Hunch, thought Duo.   There was another of those non-co-existing words.

 

“But you’ve been setting up those electrical charts –“

 

“No, I haven’t,” replied Heero.  “Well, I have, but I finished them sooner than I let you know.  Then I spent time on the reports, and the equipment in the store.”

 

“You sly bastard,” murmured Duo.

 

Heero made a small, quiet sound of protest.  “Quatre didn’t need to argue it with me.  I was already arriving at the same conclusion myself.  But – it was good for me to hear his viewpoint.  His – opinion, of my behaviour.”

 

“Mr Not-so-Perfect, eh?” murmured Duo.

 

“I never pretended to be that, Duo –“

 

“But you reckon you need another operative on this mission, then?”  Duo persisted, rather slyly.

 

“I didn’t say that!  I could easily manage - not need –“ growled Heero, ready for an argument.  Then he felt the lips at his neck, and the fingers running down his spine, teasing at the crack of his ass.

 

“Yes…” he amended.  He bit back a gasp, in case it distracted Duo’s continuing caresses.  “I need you.  I won’t go without you.”

 

“And I won’t come without you -!”

 

Before Heero could protest at the tasteless joke, there was a chuckle, and a hand rolled him over on the bed.

 

He felt the hot mouth at his groin, and he decided to let the protest go.

 

 

***

 

It was almost time to start the day.  They’d drowsed, made love, drowsed again.  Several times.  Duo had stopped counting when his sore ass begged for mercy.  It didn’t get it.  Must have used a language neither of them chose to understand.

 

“What’s all the Other Side stuff, Heero?”

 

“Hn?”

 

“You’d go on about it a lot – when you were sleepwalking.  That you were on the other side – and you had to get back.”

 

‘I don’t know,’ Heero replied.  He seemed genuinely puzzled.  ‘Is that what I said?

 

Duo watched him.  The events of the last week spun past him, like the stories said happened to drowning people.  That was happening a lot to him, wasn’t it?  He was drowning, all right.  Drowning in Heero’s taste, in his touch, in his very essence…

 

I said it!” he gasped, pulling back suddenly.

 

“What?”

 

I’m the one, I was going on about you, how there had to be the Other Side to you, but I’d never found it yet!”

 

Heero sighed.  He needed more sleep, and then he could take Duo again.  Or try something else… his legs reached out slowly and carefully, to fold over Duo’s.  An instinctive gesture, to keep him near.  ”I don’t understand –“

 

“I always said you were too controlled, too retentive -  I was looking for the human side of you.  I – we argued about it.”

 

“The human side,” mused Heero.

 

“Yeah.”

 

“You found it,” he whispered.  He looked almost relieved – like an answer had been provided on a question that had eHe

been really troubling him.  “And it feels good.  It’s where we should obviously both be.  On my side.”

 

“On your other side,” mumbled Duo, feeling the pressure of Heero’s damp, soft cock against his thigh again.

 

“On my best side!” concluded Heero.  His heart was beating too quickly again.  But before he could discuss with Duo what they should do before breakfast, he heard the long-haired boy’s low, sexy laugh, and surrendered to the weight of his body as he rolled back on to him.

 

“So – we need two operatives on this mission, don’t we?”

 

“Yes –“ grunted Heero, the breath knocked out of him temporarily.  He had no intention of arguing anything with Duo at the moment.  Duo was his lover at last – Duo was his friend and team-mate.  Duo had wrenched the sensual side of him out into the open; he was made vulnerable; he was intimate in the most revealing way.  And he was devouring every glorious minute of it that he could.

 

Meanwhile, Duo smirked.  Duo kissed.  Duo rubbed his cock provocatively against Heero’s.  Duo drove him cruelly, compulsively, wonderfully wild!

 

And Duo now lay spread out on the sheet, legs wide and inviting; eyelids half closed with hot, heavy desire.  And fingers that stroked at his own cock, drawing Heero’s fascinated gaze further and further in with each touch.  And then beckoned, cheekily, to him.

 

“Hey Heero…I reckon there’s time to check your charges again, isn’t there?”

 

Heero winced at the humour, as he was expected to.  And he sank willingly back down beside him.

 

 

 

 

End