Lawless Hearts

Part 19:Belling the Dragon
by Kracken

Hah! Made it through another hurricane! ^_^
*hugs everyone*


Disclaimer :I don't own this and I don't make any money off of this.
Warning: Male/male sex, graphic, language, violence,

Lawless Hearts

Belling the Dragon

"Chang Wu Fei, I need to talk to you," I said as I approached the man.

Dressed only in a loose pair of white pants, Wu Fei finished a martial arts move and then stood and regarded me with an arrogant eye. "Awake before eight? It must be important."

He didn't respect me. I suddenly knew that nothing I could say was going to carry any weight with him as long as that was true. I went almost toe to toe with him and demanded, "Okay, give me your list." It was early, too damned early, and the 'god of the weather controls' had decided on a blistering hot morning. My temper had been simmering as soon as I had left the coolness of my shack and Heero sleeping in my bed.

"List?" Wu Fei sized me up; messed up hair in a half braid, wrinkled blue t-shirt, and blue jeans."I suppose you are speaking of my assessment of you as a person... or would you like my assessment of your ability to perform as an agent on this assignment?"

He was so cool, standing there half dressed, every hair in place, posture perfect. He wasn't taller than I was, at least not by much, but the way he held himself, he seemed much larger and intimidating. When you live on the streets, like I had, you get used to that look, the one that says you aren't as good as everyone else. Maybe I wasn't immune to it, but I could shrug it off.

"Both," I dared.

He raised a dark eyebrow and crossed arms over his bare chest. "All right. It is clear that you think very little of the law. You chose to live in an area that is filled with like minded individuals. You were caught on the verge of selling military contraband. Your past begins on the street and leads to service on a sweeper ship, known for their criminal activities stealing ships for salvage. I will credit you, that you deviated from that path to become a Gundam Pilot and a war hero, but that credit is small considering that, afterward, you returned to your previous life of living among criminal elements. My lack of confidence in your ability to perform as an agent, stems from the latter. It is clear that you haven't kept up your training and that you don't honor the laws that we are trying to enforce. You made it clear that you joining us, not to save lives by taking a known weapons contraband dealer off the street, but because you have a dislike for the leaders of L2. This lack of morality leads me to conclude that, when things become dangerous, you will either give away our operation or run. There is also the matter of your fraternization with Yuy. Normal procedures dictate that I should take him out of the field at once, and you as well. Unfortunately, the circumstances make that impossible. I require Yuy's expertise. I require your position here as a scrap dealer. I have confidence that Yuy will perform when called upon to do his duty as it pertains to this operation. I am not as certain that he will do his duty where it concerns you. Because of this, I have asked for undercover backup. They will be close by to deal with you if you should decide to betray us."

Maybe he expected me to blow up, throw a fist at him, or at least shout a cuss word. Instead, I grunted. After all, though it was blunt, stark , and not very pretty.... Wu Fei hadn't said a damned thing that wasn't right... well, except one thing. I wanted to give myself an award for keeping my temper as I replied evenly, "I would never, NEVER, betray you. I might decide against finishing it if it looks like my skin is on the line, but I've never sold anyone out, and I never will."

Wu Fei regarded me coldly, as if his dark eyes could bore a hole straight down to my soul. I felt flayed and opened up, laid bare by that appraisal. I met it square on, though, and never flinched.

Wu Fei suddenly took up a fighting stance. "I need to know your level of skill. A few brief passes."

I blinked stupidly. I felt like I'd passed a test with an A+, when I thought I was getting a D-.I looked at him, my eyes automatically sizing him up and putting him in the master category. A few passes. I didn't think anything was wrong with that. I wasn't angry like the last time. I didn't have to be afraid of it turning into something ugly. A few passes.... "Okay."

I was a natural. I had this sense of things. It's hard to explain. I knew just how things, and people, balanced, just where they had weaknesses and strengths. Looking at Wu Fei, I noticed him favoring his left foot very, very slightly and I noticed a shoulder that was slower to move than the other one, probably both from working on the scrap piles the previous day. It was easy to step forward and counter Wu Fei's rapid moves. When I stepped back again, he was looking surprised.

"Told you," I said flippantly. "I don't need to practice."

I expected him to ask for more passes. I expected him to get annoyed. That damned man never did what I expected him too. He relaxed and made a little grunt.

"I will meditate now," Wu Fei informed me. "When I am done, meet me by the last scrap pile and we will finish it. Then I will be able to accurately complete your accounts and judge how to proceed."

I made face. "That's about an hour, I suppose. Waking Heero up this early..."

Wu Fei actually relaxed enough to grimace. "Yes, I am aware of that. Sometimes, I think it was a mistake to insist he stop taking medication for that."

I started. "You told him to stop?"

"Those types of drugs can have long term effects." Wu Fei began to turn away, but he said, over his shoulder, "Now that you are together, I will expect you to take their place."

He was giving me something and I wasn't sure why. I couldn't help being greedy and I wondered if I had gone too far when I asked, "Are you pissed, that Heero wants to be with me?"

Wu Fei snorted. "It was inevitable,"he told me, "The man keeps your picture on his desk, by his bunk in the Preventer barracks, and in his wallet...When I saw that you also had a photo of him, I concluded that only your mutual stubbornness, lack of self esteem, and independence, had been keeping you apart. Being suddenly confronted with each other, and forced to join in a mission together, it was inevitable that you both discover that you have ... a mutual attraction."

I bristled, "Lack of self esteem?"

Wu Fei turned back to give me an impatient look as he said, "It was obvious during the war that you were dedicated to the cause and that you were properly aware that Heero Yuy was as well and that he was..."

"Out of my class?" I offered with a glare.

Wu Fei gave a short nod and then looked puzzled. "For some strange reason, Heero Yuy was of the same mind about himself concerning his unworthiness to be with you. This attitude persisted after the war."

Well, well, Wu Fei the psychologist.... "Sounds like you thought about this for a long time."

He raised an eyebrow. "Yuy and I are partners. We are friends. His well being is a concern of mine. "

"Friends. " I grunted, thinking about that, trying to imagine them kicking back with a beer and confiding in one another. The image just wouldn't come.

Wu Fei became suddenly intense. "As his friend, I must insist that you don't interfere with his execution of this mission. Your... relationship, endangers him."

"You aren't going to insist that we stay separate?" I wondered, "That we stop-"

"I don't ask the wind to stop blowing," Wu Fei told me acidly. "You've proven that you have some honor, now prove to me that you have sense and that you understand how Yuy's feeling for you can cause him to make mistakes."

"I do understand that!" I retorted, "I'm not stupid, Wu Fei. " And then as his words sunk in. "I proved that I have honor? When was that?"

Wu Fei snorted and turned away again. "You defeated my moves earlier, yet you didn't take advantage and harm me."

I hadn't even considered hurting him, and I could have. I rubbed at the back of my neck and felt sheepish. By the time I realized that I hadn't tore into him about the undercover agents, he was inside his shack and closing the door. Later, I decided. We had managed to find a bit of peaceful ground. I didn't want to piss on it with an argument just then.

I walked back to my shack, yawning, wondering how I was going to wake up Heero when all I wanted to do was curl up beside him and got to bed again. I cocked an eye at the bright reflectors overhead and sighed. I pumped myself up with the knowledge that we were on the last pile of scrap, that we had reached the light at the end of the tunnel, and that, maybe, my business was about to get straightened out. Hope perched on my shoulder, patting me and grinning happily as it told me how my business was going to be saved, but a smaller demon, with a sharp, hot spike, was jabbing my pride and letting me know that Chang Wu Fei and his organization and accounting skills, were going to be mainly responsible for it. I wanted to feel less like a loser, really I did, and it wasn't happening.

I found Heero still sleeping, stretched out on his stomach, wearing only a pair of shorts. His face was hidden from me, turned away from the light coming through the curtains. I had a nice view of his long, lean body, his tight, flowing muscles, and a slight show of hip where his shorts had slipped down along with the blanket. There were a few freckles right where his shoulder rolled into his shoulder blade and a scars crisscrossed his otherwise smooth, hairless skin. He didn't have as many as I had, but his looked like they had been far more serious wounds. I remembered how many times he had put himself in danger, how he had self destructed, how he had always been in the thick of every mission and battle. It was hard to square that image of the past with the man who was now sleeping in my bed, the one who spoke softly, smiled warmly, ate junk food as a guilty pleasure, and... loved me.

I picked up Heero's discarded jeans, pilfered his wallet from the hip pocket, and looked inside. Computer cards to unknown things, a few receipts, a few cryptic notes, and some loose credits. Disappointed, I began shoving it back, but then paused and looked closer. I found a small slit tucked under a fold of the wallet. Searching carefully, I slid out a very small picture. It was of me and looked as if it had been cut out of some larger photo. I looked like I was laughing. It really wasn't very flattering. I blushed hot and slid it back.

Putting everything back, I let his jeans drop to the floor and then climbed onto the bed. I straddled Heero's hips and bent down. I had it in my mind to say something in his ear to wake him up, but I was still pissed about... a lot of things... and Heero was just too convenient. I didn't have any outlet, couldn't let myself rant and rage like I wanted to. I couldn't even put into words how really crappy I felt. Maybe it sounds crazy, but... It seemed wrong to love Heero when everything he stood for, everything that had happened to me lately, had been because of him, his organization, his mission. He made me happy, he made my toes curl, he made me want to wrap around him and never let the hell go, but I couldn't square that with how I was feeling. I bit him, hard, right on the shoulder; angry, possessive, punishing, wanting.... so many things wrapped up in teeth grinding into skin. I tasted blood before I realized that I had gone too far. My next clue was when Heero whipped around and clocked me with his fist. Soldiers and reflexes. I had them too. I was jerking backwards instantly, taking out some of the force of that blind swing. It still connected, though, and I still ended up sprawled on the floor.

"Duo?! What the-" I heard Heero sit up, knowing that he was stunned, still half asleep, still trying to figure out what had happened.

I gingerly touched my jaw and felt the growing lump there as I tried not to pass out The room shimmered in and out of focus.

Heero found the bite. "Duo? Why did you do that?" and then, as he finally put everything together, "Gods! Are you all right? Did I hurt you?"

Hands were on me, then; gentle, concerned. I really didn't deserve it. I'd asked for that punch. I think I felt better, though, well, despite the terrible, throbbing, pain in my jaw and where the back of my head had connected with the floor. A little release of my pent up frustrations had recalibrated my mood and put my mind back in the cross hairs. I don't think a psychologist would recommend it though, as a therapy, but I'm just guessing here.

I sat up and Heero supported me, sitting down beside me on the floor. Blood was trickling very slowly down his shoulder. I blinked to clear my eyes and said stupidly, "Jeez, Heero! I'm so sorry! You're bleeding! I just... I..." Okay, I'll give a hundred credits to anyone who can explain biting someone that badly and make it into a good thing... or at least make it mean something less than what it did. I'd punched him, fought with him, and now I had bit him until he bled. I was in the abusive lover category now and stepping another rung down the loser ladder.

I stood up abruptly and tried to walk away from it all. I didn't know what to say. Heero grabbed my pants leg and wouldn't let go. He sat silently until I dared look down at him. He was frowning darkly. "Do you know what your problem is?" he asked seriously.

I crossed my arms over my chest and fisted my hands tightly, bracing myself for the 'kick to the curb'.I wouldn't put up with my crap, why should he?

"Do you?" Heero persisted, wanting to know that I was paying attention.

"Yeah," I said. "I'm an asshole."

Heero blinked and then he said, "You hold it all inside of you. You hold it in until it builds and builds... until it finally explodes."

"What?" I wondered. "What am I holding inside?"

"Anger... hate... disappointment..." Heero gave a tug and I sat down again heavily, still holding myself tight."We don't have Gundams to destroy things, to vent. We have to talk now, you have to admit what you're feeling."

Feelings... I made a face. "I'm not very good at talking about things like that."

"Neither am I," Heero replied. His hand clasped mine and he looked down at them as he said, "I don't mean, open up and tell me something personal... I meant, shout at me if you want to, tell me how mad you are, tell me how you hate all of this.. Tell me how pissed off you are at me."

"Are you sure?" My voice sounded shaky. I pulled myself together and managed a rough laugh. "I've bottled up a whole lot of crap, Heero. It could take a lot of shouting to get it all out."

Heero touched his shoulder and then looked at his blood covered fingers. "It's better than being bitten... or getting hit." He looked at me with worry. "Do you think this needs stitches?"

I snorted. "Baby... it's just a flesh wound. What happened to the guy who used to set his own leg?"

"I'm tougher after I have my coffee," Heero smirked.

The pain growing behind my eyes was more than stress, it was caffeine withdraw. I turned and fetched us both coffee. We moved to the bed, then, and I sipped at mine one handed while I dabbed at the bite on Heero's shoulder with a peroxide soaked rag.

Heero winced. "Your cleaning flesh, not getting grease off of an engine part," he complained.

Guilt stabbed me again. "Sorry."

I finished and put the rag aside to cradle my coffee in both hands. The bleeding had stopped but it was still ugly looking.

Heero rooted around for a shirt. He pulled a red one from the duffel and put it on. It was wrinkled and it was mine. "You'll get blood on it," I protested.

Heero eyed me. "and?"

I chewed on my lip as he dropped his shorts and pulled on his jeans. "You have a truce until after I drink my coffee," I grunted and he laughed as he picked his own coffee back up and settled to drink it.

"What the hell do you see in me?" I wondered suddenly.

"That's not much of a truce," Heero said in surprise.

"I meant, a truce about the shouting part," I clarified.

"Oh...." Heero's blue eyes turned warm and the look he gave me...If I could have taken it all back and bitten myself, I would have. What the hell makes me do things like that? It was just nuts and so... I was curious to hear his reply. "I didn't make you talk about 'feelings'."

He had a point. I looked him over. "Doesn't have to be about feelings," I told him."You're damned handsome, sexy as hell, great in bed, and...I... I just want to be with you."

Heero blushed, but his smile grew even warmer. "Same here, but..."

"Yeah?" I wondered suspiciously.

"You're like a jet fuel fire," Heero said and his eyes sparkled. "You always have been, especially in battle. I... I like that."

So, he was nuts too. He liked the screwed up, hotheaded, loud mouthed person that was Duo Maxwell.

"And your ass is perfect," Heero suddenly added with a smirk.

I shoved at him, laughing, and he rocked under the force, laughing too. We finished our coffee and I stood up. "Get on your shoes, Yuy. Wu Fei expects us to be at the last scrap pile in a few minutes. I gave you as much time as I could."

Heero sighed and put on his work boots. When he was ready, we both left the shack. I paused on the porch and he looked at me curiously.

"Truce is over," I told him. "Are you sure you want to do this?"

Heero nodded, but he pointed towards my scrap yard neighbor. "Remember our cover though."

"I think I can manage that," I replied. I thought for a moment and then stepped off the porch and shouted, "You think you can just walk the hell into MY scrap yard and tell me what to do?! Let me tell you, I was running scrap before I sat in a Gundam and nobody does scrap like Duo Maxwell! Goddam eat my food, goddam live in my shack, move your damned relative in, try to run my business for me....!" Heero raised eyebrows, but he listened dutifully as he followed me to the scrap pile. I was feeling better and better with every stinging word I delivered and I was just getting warmed up too. I just hoped that he would still love me afterward.

see Kracken's original, published yaoi fiction, The Angel Within, at under Kracken
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