Lawless Hearts

Part 7: Topping It Off
by Kracken


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

Lawless Hearts

Topping It Off

The work was back breaking, long, and when we had everything stacked to sort through the next day, I was almost thankful that I was too exhausted to think about other things, like how I was going to deal with Heero in a cramped room now that I knew why my being gay didn't bother him at all.

Just because Heero was gay too, didn't make him a free for all. In fact, our closeness could generate a whole lot of uncomfortableness that his being straight had avoided. We weren't roommates without common ground in the sex department anymore, we now had... potential? I winced inwardly. Not potential, in that something might develop between me and Heero, but potential that one, Duo Maxwell, could end up doing something very, very stupid that might be misunderstood... or, not misunderstood, but rejected with one, Heero Yuy, putting a fist into Duo Maxwell's eye.

He might be gay, but Heero probably had someone. I mean, look at the man; muscled, confident, a Preventer... yeah, he definitely had someone waiting at home for him. Maybe two someone's, maybe three, maybe... maybe I could be number four?

I shook my head sharply and tossed the last part on the list down to where Heero was waiting at the foot of the scrap pile I was standing on. Get done, I told myself, eat, take a shower, make small talk, go to bed. Keep your libido in your pants. It was just too easy to buy into the con, to forget that Heero was only here, with me, because he wanted to nail some bad guys. Okay, bad choice of words. Sure, Heero was being nice to me... and... well... friendly... but that didn't mean he was going to toss the entire operation, change jobs to become a junk man, and live forever after with me in my little shack on L2, with a dog, a cat, a business, and hot, lickety loving on a daily basis.... Okay, concentrate Maxwell... finish work, eat, shower, sleep... finish work, eat, shower, sleep... I really didn't want a punch in the eye.

There was a groan far above me and the light changed subtly. I blinked and looked upward from my perch on top of the scrap pile. The reflectors, that were keeping us boiling hot by catching the rays of the sun, were turning. I watched them in trepidation. Someone high up on the food chain had decided that he'd had enough of warm summer days. That could be good or bad, depending on what he was in the mood for now. I really, really didn't want snow...

The reflectors stopped and I heard a collective cheer from the other yards, hooting and hollering, as the reflectors stopped and the air cooled about twenty degrees. There was even a light breeze. I laughed, whipped off my hat, and stretched out my arms to catch it. It chilled the sweat on my body, but I grinned for all I was worth as the small, loose strands of my hair, fluttered around my face and I felt a moment of pure bliss.

Looking down at last, I caught Heero watching me. I couldn't read that look. He was smiling, but his gaze was very intense, as if he were looking at me and seeing something very, very... interesting? Ridiculous? Embarrassing? I just couldn't figure it out. I shrugged as I half slid, half climbed down to the ground.

"Sorry, just felt good," I mumbled and stared at my feet as I jammed my hat back on.

"You looked..." Heero just stopped talking. I dared to look at him, then, from under the brim of my hat. He was looking away uncertainly. Great! He thought I was a lunatic.

I sighed and tapped the part he was holding. "Put that with the rest and we'll call it a day."

Heero swallowed hard, shifted the part from hand to hand, and then nodded as he walked over to the pile and put it with the right collection of junk.

The metal all around us made noises. The temperature had changed quickly and heated junk was cooling off and contracting. I eyed the sky. Sometimes, that kind of weather change made rain, but I didn't see any. Maybe the god of the temperature control had compensated for that. It was hard to generate the usual hate, though, when I was enjoying cool weather at last.

Heero joined me and we made our way back to the shack. "I call the shower first," Heero said as we climbed the steps of the porch.

"Bastard!" I retorted, shoved my dirty hands in my pockets, and growled, "Okay." I'd always respected 'dibbs'.

"While you shower," Heero offered, "I'll heat up dinner and put it out on the porch. We should enjoy the weather while it lasts."

"Sounds good," I replied, easing up on my irritation. "You're right about enjoying it. We might get weather like this once in a blue moon."

Heero was frowning now as we went into the shack and he began pulling off his filthy tank top on the way to the shower. "I just don't understand why they keep it so damned hot here."

"Maybe the guy in charge likes the power of making us suffer," I snorted as I sat on the edge of the futon and worked off my steel toed shoes. I shrugged. "Or the damn reflectors could be so old they just don't work ninety percent of the time when they try to turn them. Who knows...."

Heero raised eyebrows at the latter. "It would go along with what I've seen so far...."

Heero kicked off his shoes, scattering red/yellow dust on my floor, unzipped his jeans, and dropped them. Yes, he had those gray, button down underwear of his on, but.... My eyes were probably like huge, purple saucers. I really hadn't expected a strip show and I was just too exhausted to hide, and or recover, from the shock all that well. Heero was kicking off his jeans, though, oblivious, as he padded over to the bathroom.

His legs were like muscled works of art, arched, and corded. His skin was scarred here and there, like mine, but it still seemed wonderful to me. His arms were strong and his hands broad. His shoulders were well defined. I could call him slim and wiry, but that made you think of a weak person. Heero was compact manliness; a well honed, perfectly sculpted... and, God! Would you look at his little, rounded ass!

My hands covered and pushed down the sudden rise in my jeans. I swallowed hard and forced myself, and I mean, really forced myself, to turn away. The door closed firmly and the water in the shower went on. I had, maybe, five minutes. No, I'm not ashamed... a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do. I said hello to Mr. Hand in the office, made myself into a post coital, exhausted, Duo Maxwell, cleaned myself up, and was back on the edge of the futon like nothing had happened by the time Heero came back out.

Rubbing his dark hair dry with a towel, Heero said unnecessarily, "Your turn."

No, your turn, I thought irritably as I began undressing in front of him. Well, he was gay! He must have known what the hell he was doing, right? You called people like that teases. I tried not to think that maybe I was so low on his scale of interest, that he hadn't even thought about it. I did have a bit of ego, thank you very much. Heero just didn't seem the kind of guy to dangle himself like that, though... I mean... why tease me if he wasn't... if he didn't want... if I wasn't someone who... Finish work... well, we're past that, eat... no, shower, then eat, then go to bed... I forgot about teasing Heero. I kicked off my jeans and stomped into the bathroom.

Looking myself in the cracked mirror, I tapped my reflection on the forehead. "Stop it!" I whispered very low to myself. Hope peeked up over my shoulder and giggled at me. It wasn't giving up no matter what the odds were against Heero and me getting together... against a guy in a position like Heero's and a lowly scrap guy like me getting together... against someone who had shown zero interest in me during the war and had run after Miss Pacifist getting together... against a cop on a mission and someone one step from jail getting together... Hope grinned, undaunted, ignoring plain logic, plain reality, as I imagined what it would be like... Heero and me rolling around in sheets, naked, crying out, saying... well, whatever the hell people say when they really...

I needed a damned Hope exorcist! I turned the water on cold and gave us both a freezing shower.

When I left the shower, convinced I could face the man without embarrassing myself too much, I found Heero sprawled out asleep on his futon. The food was steaming hot and it looked as if he had been waiting for the heat tabs to do their job.

"Damn," I muttered, feeling somehow cheated.

I gingerly swung Heero's legs up onto the futon and covered him with a blanket. The heat generators turned on at night to keep the temperatures at their settings, but working all day in the heat, and then showering, could chill a person just by dropping their body temperature that fast... okay, so I was making excuses to touch him and tuck him in. Let's get over it.

I took my food and an ice cold soda out onto the porch, sat with my back supported against a porch post, and stared off into the darkness at the blobs that were my inventory, as I ate dinner.

A rat scurried by. My neighbors were shouting at each other, something about engines and rusted fuel cells. There was the sound of metal settling, pinging, and, once in awhile, falling with clatters and klinks, down from their perches. This was peaceful on L2, as quiet and as calm as it ever got. Against that backdrop, I found my mind trying to sort out what had happened to my life in such a short time. It had turned into a runaway train, jumping the tracks of the nose to the grindstone, barely eeking out a living, course that it had been on. Yeah, I was still doing all of those things, but there was a drastic, new, dimension to it all.

To tell the truth, I had been damned lonely. Hilde had filled the evening quiet with chatter and her bright eyed optimism. It had hurt like hell when that optimism had died and I had seen that 'Oh, how I pity you, you sorry bastard,' look on her face as she had told me that she needed new digs, a new man in her life, one actually interested in her, and a future. That last had really hurt. There wasn't any future for Duo Maxwell, those words had implied, nothing to hitch your star to and ride along on. Maxwell's ship was sinking and the rats had jumped off.... another rat skittered by,... well, one rat at least.

No, that wasn't fair. I shoved aside my food and took a long swig of cold soda. It felt good going down, icy and stinging. You couldn't blame a girl for wanting a regular life, for getting tired of scrap splinters and dust down her throat. The city life suited her better. Being away from me, and my Titanic, ditto.

I sat with my arms supported by my knees, head hanging, as I stared at nothing. For the millionth time, I thought of selling my business to my nemesis next door, to scrubbing myself clean, changing my job title, and never getting yellow-red sand up my underwear on a regular basis, again. I thought about cool office buildings, an important name badge, and... what... security forces? Preventers, like Heero? I thought about starched uniforms and a loaded gun at my side. It rode the edge of an adrenalin rush, just thinking about danger, guns, danger, guns.... I stopped that in it's tracks and shifted gears with an effort and another swig of soda. I could vend hotdogs on a street corner. Nothing wrong with that...

I reached down, took a fistful of dirt and rusted metal particles, and let it sift back down through my fingers. It was gritty, hard, and some of it tried to embed itself into my flesh. I know that the thrill of battle, of being on missions, was like a drug I could never see myself really getting over, but... I tried to imagine letting that son of a bitch next door have my business, saw him, in my mind's eye, laughing as he bulldozed down my wall and claimed my stuff, the crap that I had sweated blood over.

"Over my fucking dead body!" I snarled and tossed the rest of the dirt down.

I rubbed my hand on my clean jeans and thought about war paint. It was like a war, except for the part where I couldn't kill my enemies. I had staked out my battle ground and it was an acre of L2 dirt and scrap metal. Losing that war, just didn't seem to be a real choice. It was too much like hanging by my fingernails over a huge, bottomless chasm, and then letting go. I was that sure that I wouldn't ever hit bottom and would never be able to climb up again.

When it came down to it, I suppose, this was my Duo Maxwell proving ground, the place where I proved that I could be something other than an orphan, a stowaway sweeper, and, well, a killer. I know it was a bit messed up, okay, maybe a lot messed up, to put all my hopes on this, as if it was my only shot, but I'd seen a lot of guys take the easy way out after the war, the one that was the alternative to living in a peaceful world they didn't know how to handle. I felt... like... like I could be one of them, all too easily, though, maybe.... deep down... I probably knew I wouldn't. Just the potential scared me, though... scared me enough not to give up... ever... not until this life was pried, forcefully, from my fingers.

"Screw you and go to hell," I told my neighbor and toasted him with the last of my soda. I stood up then, but didn't go back inside. Heero was there, after all, and, even asleep, I was finding it hard to face him.

He was a Preventer agent. He was with me because he wanted to use me. He wanted to put me in danger and endanger my business by dangling me and using my business as a front. I thought of what would happen when he arrested 'who ever he was'. Heero Yuy would get his man, I didn't doubt it. He was that good and It was all about 'when and not 'if'.

Heero could ruin me, whether I helped him or not. He could put me in jail, maybe not on the original charges, but on a shitload of other things. Laws on L2 were numerous, complicated, petty, and just plain stupid. Walking and chewing gum could probably get you a life sentence. Using those laws, Heero could kill me by slow degrees as well, fining me for everything from scrap piles too big, to my toothbrush not being regulation size.

Heero could also just make me disappear.

There were so many ways that I was boxed, locked, and gift wrapped. I mentally practiced facing my fellow junk men and imagining myself telling them that I hadn't known anything about the sting. I could pull it off, maybe, if the guy going to jail was high enough up. All scrap men, deep in their hearts, wanted revenge on every one of those government bastards. That was taking a chance, though, gambling that it wasn't a fellow scrap man. If it was, the others would take me out, either by cutting off my suppliers, my customers, or my legs out from under me, literally...

Logic told me that I should go in there and beat the crap out of Heero. I should have been really pissed. I should have been.... should have wanted to... but I didn't. I could see his blue eyes in my mind, smiling and sparkling at me, his mouth in a little curve that was gentle and... I felt like a traitor to myself, or at least several parts of me were traitors. My eager nether parts were trying to come to attention just imaging Heero sprawled out on the futon in those gray shorts. The other was harder to acknowledge... my heart had never fallen before... at least not for something that was alive. A person shouldn't really count a huge assed Gundam as the love of his life.

I'd poked and prodded at the relationship side of things a couple of times, all with disastrous results. My first crush, a sweeper by the name of Dirk, and yeah, he had looked like a Dirk; blonde, ice blue eyes, and a jaw like a granite monument. Coming on to me in the communal shower was wrong in so many ways, but I'd been fifteen at the time, what the hell had I known about it? All I HAD figured out, at that point, was that I was going to go crazy if I didn't get some relief, and he had been really, really willing to help me out. Didn't get past the hand job before we were discovered. Dirk had been escorted away between my fellow Sweepers and I had never seen him again. The Sweepers had introduced me to magazines then and some practical tips on taking care of... well... myself.

That had gotten me through a war, but, during that time, I had figured out, at least, that I was hot for men, not women. I had kept that a deep dark secret, though. Didn't think my fellow soldiers would be too keen on it, especially in close quarters. By the end of the war, I had managed to 'come out' to Quatre and Trowa, since they had been of the same persuasion, but no one else.

Taking the slide into drugs and drinking, I'd had some chances to experiment again. Being high and drunk, lowers your inhibitions... and your taste. Dry humps and hand jobs behind bars, in bathrooms, and in stranger's rooms hadn't been common, but they had happened. I think I sank my lowest when I gave an on your knees payment to my personal drug dealer when money was short, and let one, older guy stick his hands down my pants and feel me up. Nope, not pretty, not romantic... just sex... just getting off... and just... I shivered. I didn't want to remember any of that stuff. Getting cleaned up had stopped that. The only thing that I could hold up and say, I didn't become that much of a whore, was that I hadn't bent double for anyone. Nobody had actually 'had' Duo Maxwell and... well... I'd never 'had' anyone either. I just couldn't get past that impersonal, still want my shoes and socks on so I can leave right after, mentality. I never ceased feeling like trash afterwards, or like trash had clawed up from the sewer and dumped all over me.

Am I that freakin romantic? I tossed my empty soda can at a pile of scrap and listened to it rattle and roll. Why should I have trouble with what most guys didn't think twice about, what most guys considered 'conquests to be bragged over' ? I didn't want to brag. I wanted to throw up. When it came right down to it, I suppose, I wanted more than just having to change my shorts and being good at excuses to get away from my 'hookups' Maybe it was because of my life, because of the war. I was at a point that most people didn't get to until their thirties. I was ready to settle down, have it all, have... love, a home life, someone to hold and talk to, someone to... I wanted it to mean something, dammit!

I fisted my hair and yanked until it hurt, then I dropped my hands and scowled at nothing. Hilde had gone and done what I had only been dreaming about. She was happy. That was really the root of my anger. Green envy. I wanted that so very badly.

My neighbors finally ended their argument. My thoughts turned to sleep and Heero again. What did I expect? Was I just after him because I was feeling that sorry for myself, that desperate? He had dropped in on me and I had thought he was my enemy. He had proved to be a best friend instead... at least, as far as I knew. I wasn't going to abandon my suspicious nature any time soon.

When I looked at Heero, I saw what could be, well, if I squinted very hard and ignored all the obstacles to that fantasy. I had the feeling it was clouding my better judgment, maybe making me see things in Heero that weren't really there. I wanted to paint a picture of a Heero Yuy who had been secretly wanting me all this time. Reality was, he'd been after Relena Peacecraft.

Maybe we shared an interest in men, but it seemed Heero could switch tracks too. That made my stomach turn. Nothing against bisexuals, but I really didn't want Heero to be one, That really screwed with the fantasy, made his interest in me even more unlikely.

Look at the facts, I told myself. You are two worlds apart. Maybe he thinks you're cute... no, hot... or ... something, but, even if it was more than that.... As hard as I struggled, I couldn't see us with a life together. We were too damned different, from too different rungs of the ladder of life, and expecting...

I pulled on my hair again. "Shut up and go to bed, Maxwell," I ordered myself miserably. "Keep your hands, and your wet dreams, to yourself, and forget about Heero Yuy. He's trouble, outta your class, and he's just using you anyway."

I nice hard slap of reality. Good for you, Maxwell, I told myself. I cracked my knuckles. In the morning, I was going to be professional, aloof, pissy, not drooling over Heero. I was going to let him see just how much I didn't trust him, how much his obvious manipulation hadn't worked, how I wasn't falling for his nice guy act, how I...

"Shit! Who am I kidding?"

I scowled at the point where I imagined Heero sleeping, as if I could glare through walls. Deliberately , I sat down and propped myself up on the post supporting the porch. Curling up and wrapping my arms around my legs, I slept like I had spent my youth sleeping, where ever I could. Maybe a night of being miserable would convince my traitor parts to conform with my bitter, doesn't fall for anyone and their crap, street sense. I couldn't help thinking though, as I drifted of to sleep with a nail head sticking in my gut from the post, that, if Heero had just shown up on my porch without all the Preventer baggage, then there wouldn't have been any reason not to fall for him.




on to Chapter 8

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