The Cost

Chapter 8:Rising
by Kracken


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

The Cost


"Heero," Duo pushed at the sleeping man beside him.

Heero blinked open bleary eyes, already asking, before he was fully awake, "Pain? I'll get your pills..."

"No!" Duo retorted and clutched Heero's sleep shirt to keep him in bed.

"What's wrong, Duo?" Heero asked in concern.

"Nothing," Duo hissed. "Just shut up for a minute and..." He took hold of Heero's hand and pulled it down to rest on an obvious erection.

"Duo," Heero breathed in surprise.

Duo grinned in the dark as he rubbed Heero's hand on it. "We shouldn't waste a good thing here."

Heero was under the blankets almost at once, tunneling down, he positioned himself to advantage. "Don't get nervous," he warned Duo. "That'll..."

"Don't make me think about it," Duo growled. "Just... just do something with that. It's been too damned long."

They tried. Heero was awkward and uncertain, obviously nervous and not sure of his ability to please. Desire was there, though, and his mouth and tongue were eager to taste and play. Duo shivered with sensation, sighing and moaning as he curled up his hands and toes, fear of his body failing pushed under his strong need. When he came it was weak, but the orgasm tightened muscles and shifted still healing bones. He ended up curled on his side, panting through pain, while Heero hovered over him anxiously.

"I hurt you," Heero said in anguish. "I tried to be careful. I'm sorry, Duo."

"Not you," Duo managed as he held his hands to his pelvis and hip joints and tried to knead out the spasms. "Just this damned wreck of a body. Don't be sorry, because it was worth it."

Heero lay beside him, afraid to touch, but Duo curled into him. After a minute, he gave in and asked for his pills. Hero reached over to the side table to retrieve the bottle and Duo took them with shaking hands. Clinging together afterward, they both waited tensely for them to take effect.

"You know," Duo said, his hands running up and down Heero's strong back. "Once these start working, I can turn and you can... you know... I won't feel anything and you'll have a good time."

"I'll hurt you," Heero growled. "Whether you feel it or not, you will be hurt. That's not what I call a 'good time'."

"Maybe I'll like it?" Duo argued, his fingers turning into claws as he gripped at Heero. "I just want you in me, okay, so we can be a real couple."

"We are a real couple," Heero retorted. "That fact isn't based on whether I can put it in you, or not. Next your going to start saying I'm the man and you're the woman."

Duo snickered. "More like, 'my turn', if I could manage it. Nobody's being 'the girl' here, Heero. Sex is important, and we both know what kind of sex we like. Your not getting any of what you like. Hand jobs and blow jobs aren't going to satisfy you forever."

Heero wrapped and unwrapped Duo's braid around his hand, over and over again, as he tried to put into words how he felt. At last, he sighed. "This isn't about sex, Duo, it' about you feeling as if we aren't a couple, because you're injured."

Duo went sour and tense. "Say it, Heero. I'm a cripple. Injured means I'll get better."

"Duo, you're insulting me," Heero told him angrily. "You're saying I'm shallow."

"I'm saying you're human," Duo snapped back and then let out a long breath. "Okay... Let's drop this.We should be celebrating. We'll call it, 'Duo got it up day'."

Heero suddenly laughed and kissed him, letting him evade the argument entirely. "What will we do to celebrate?" He wondered.

Duo grinned. "That's easy. We'll celebrate by re-enacting the famous event."

Heero's hand slid down between them. "That I would definitely like to do."

"So, I have a fan club?" Duo snorted as he flipped through several letters and small gifts.

"The vid shows did a small piece on the 'Gundam pilot hero," Quatre told him with a soft smile. "You have admirers and people who are grateful."

Duo shook his head, bemused. While Heero and Quatre watched, Duo opened up one of the small packages. A key chain, with a kitten clutching a 'number one' felt pillow, tumbled out of white tissue. Duo turned it over in his hands, chuckling a little, and then attached it to his wheelchair.

"I don't know what to say," Duo said as he hunched in his chair in embarrassment. "I just did what needed doing."

Quatre snorted. "False modesty doesn't fit you very well."

Duo grinned. "Okay, so I think I'm hot stuff. I gave enough. I think I deserve it."

"You do," Heero agreed. He put hands to Duo's wheelchair. "Ready to go?"

Duo brushed his hands off. "I need to do that myself or I'll get lazy. And, yeah, I guess I am ready to check out Preventers again." He smoothed hands over his dress clothes to make sure that everything was in order while Quatre checked his braces and made sure that he was secure in his chair. The oxygen tank was a small one now and Duo was needing it less and less. It tucked into a case now, with the mask close to Duo's hand.

"Time to roll," Duo said, hiding his nervousness but not fooling either of his companions.

The van and the lift were gifts from Quatre. Though Duo would have like to refuse them, he knew that they were things that could allow him to drive himself in the near future. The van driver's seat had even been modified to acommidate a handicapped driver. Duo could have let it make him angry, this seeming proof that Quatre still didn't believe that he would walk again, but his taste of freedom with Wu Fei had given him a longing for more. Refusing would have been another type of self inflicted injury.

As they drove, Duo tried to relax, tried not to imagine what would happen if he couldn't manage even the small jobs that Une had lined up for him. His inactive status had been changed to active restricted duty, but that 'restricted duty' was more in line with dusting the furniture and had nothing to do with real Preventer work. Heero had given him the speech about how each job was necessary and supportive of the whole, but filing, collating, and waiting for information to download to systems didn't take skill. It was a concession to a one time war hero, maybe even a concession to the agent that he had been; a damned good one.

"Stop it," Quatre growled as he leaned forward in the back seat. "I can hear you thinking. This isn't charity."

Duo didn't argue. He didn't want to believe that it was charity. He wanted to go back to work too badly. When they pulled into the Preventer parking garage, Duo took a deep breath, steadying himself. Heero gave him a loving look that barely managed to hide his concern. "I'm okay, Heero," Duo assured him. "I promised you that I would take it easy and call you if anything went wrong."

Wu Fei and Trowa were waiting for them at the entrance. Duo felt uncomfortable with the escort. "Look, I appreciate the support, guys, but... go have coffee, or get back to work. I want to do this on my own."

Trowa nodded and turned to go, respecting his wishes, but the other three were hesitant. Wu Fei gave Duo a measuring look as he said, "You know my extension. I expect to hear from you in thirty minutes, Maxwell."

"Okay, Nanny Fei," Duo snickered with a roll of his eyes.

Wu Fei looked indignant, but he clasped Duo's shoulder before turning to go.

"That leaves you two," Duo growled as he looked from one side to the other at Quatre and Heero."All I have to do is roll this chair down three corridors and sit in an office, with a woman who's very capable of calling you for help if anything goes wrong. I have to have one physical by Sally Po, who's going to be very insulted to think that you don't trust her."

Heero kept frowning, but Quatre chuckled. "All right, Duo. Point taken." He took hold of Heero's elbow. "Stand down soldier," he told Heero sternly. "Our mission, until Duo calls us, is to have coffee and breakfast in the Preventer mess hall."

Heero gave him an irritated look and then bent to give Duo a small kiss on the cheek. "I'll be waiting," he felt the need to say.

"I'm counting on that," Duo replied, meaning more than either of them were saying.

Duo rolled down the hall and was glad when neither of them followed. It was strange to be alone. He couldn't recall the last time that he had been separated from his constant nurses and companions. It felt almost liberating, yet a bit lonely too.

People stared, trying not to stare. Some recognized him, but they seemed too stunned by his appearance to even greet him. They all had wide eyes. He gave them acknowledgment quietly, pointing towards Une's office as an explanation for his inability to stay and talk. The truth was, that he didn't want to stay and talk when they were so obviously shocked.

Une's secretary started and stood up when she saw him enter the office. Looking at him, she blinked rapidly, and then said uncertainly, "Commander Une's expecting you, Agent Maxwell. Do you... need help?"

Duo snorted, hiding his irritation. "To go through a door?"

She blushed, "Of course not, sir. I'm sorry..."

"Thanks for the offer anyway," Duo told her, suddenly sympathizing with her. In her shoes, he wouldn't have known how to deal with himself either.

Duo rolled to the door, opened it, and then rolled into Une's office. He stopped before her very large desk. She was going over some papers intently and said nothing, not even raising her eyes. Duo figited for several minutes, but knew better than to interrupt her. At last she pushed the file aside and folded her hands in front of her. She looked over her round glasses at him.

"Ready to get back to work, Maxwell?" Une asked.

Duo couldn't gage her mood. He decided to be truthful. "I can't do much."

"I didn't offer much," she said in a clipped tone. "In fact, I'll fire you the first moment that I find that you're doing anything more than the work you are assigned. Is that clear? Even with that promise, you'll still need to clear Po's physical. What I really wish to know, is will you be content in this line of work? I don't need a resentful, dissatisfied agent under my command."

Duo appreciate her straight from the hip way of dealing with him. It told him that she was expecting him to do his job, that it wasn't being given to him as a token position. "If I can do more later?" he wondered.

"If Po clears you for more duties, then I'll abide by her expert medical decision and assign you to other duties," Une promised him. She took the file folder, with accompanying tags, and badges, and slid them to Duo. "You aren't cleared for weapons. I don't expect you to carry any in your duties here."

Duo raised eyebrows incredulously, but then he gritted his teeth and nodded. "Okay, so I go without a weapon."

"Why don't I believe that?" Une shot back. "We carry weapons like a second skin, you and I, but I need you to follow orders and leave yours behind. As a clerk, you aren't cleared for one. If one of our sensors picks one up on your person, you'll see jail time. Understand?"

Duo grimaced and slowly pulled aside his jacket to reveal his under arm holster. "Want this now?"

"You aren't employed yet," Une replied, looking grimly amused. "I'll give you a reprieve until your first day of work."

"Thanks," Duo grumbled. "So, do I go check in with Sally now?"

"Yes, she's expecting you," Une replied as she stood and went to hold the door open for him. As Duo rolled through she said, "It's good to have you back again, agent Maxwell."

That made Duo smile. Halfway to Sally's medical offices, he called Wu Fei first and then Heero on his cell phone. Wu Fei was pleased, but Heero still sounded worried.

"No one's bothering me," Duo assured him, "and it's smooth going all the way there."

Heero growled," I'm not worried about your getting there, I'm worried that you won't pass her medical test. She knows you too well, Duo. She won't let you rejoin Preventers if she finds the slightest reason not to."

"She won't find anything," Duo reassured him. "Now, let me get this done. I'll call you afterward."

Duo ended his call and pocketed his cell phone as he rolled into medical.

Sally was very thorough, doing all the testing herself.

"You're trying to find something," Duo finally accused after the first hour of tests. Sitting, naked, on the exam table, he had been waiting a long time while she stared hard at xrays of his legs at a lighted table.

"Amazing," she muttered and then turned to him. "You actually ran and saved a child on these legs?"

Duo shrugged. "I don't remember much, except that it hurt like hell. The kid's mother says I ran like an arrow of God, whatever that means."

"Damned fast," Sally grunted. "And you can't stand now?"

"I'm not supposed to try," Duo grumbled. "Doctor's orders. He's worried about permanent damage if I put weight on everything too soon."

"Over cautious," Sally muttered and turned to look at the xrays again. "You are an amazing healer. I saw this same kind of healing when I had Heero under my medical supervision. I wonder if you were chosen by Doctor G because of this particular ability?"

Duo shook his head, expression going dark. "He wanted a young kid with his bones not set yet. They take Gundam stresses better than adults. He also thought that I was ruthless enough, and didn't have anything to live for. It takes a certain kind of suicidal personality to fight effectively in a war."

Sally frowned. "I might have to revise the psyche test you took earlier if you're admitting to being suicidal, you realize?

Duo smiled. "I have something to live for now. I'm not suicidal anymore."

"That's good," Sally said as she stood and faced him, "because I'm clearing you for duty. Welcome back to Preventers, Agent Maxwell."

She shook Duo's hand gingerly and then laughed as he took it more firmly.

"Better call Heero, " she suggested. "He's already called four times." When Duo frowned she snorted, "Come on, you can't really blame him? This is an important day for you. Why don't you go let him be apart of that?"

Duo's eyes widened. "I guess I've been too busy trying to get rid of my 'nurses'. I didn't think-"
"Most men don't," she pointed out sourly. "Now, get dressed, and we'll put you back in your chair. Then you can go celebrate."

"Thank you," Duo told her, becoming serious.

"I know you need this," she replied as she handed him his clothes. She couldn't help looking his body up and down as he took them from her. Too thin, scarred, and covered in the braces that he needed to hold his body together, he looked worn to the bone. "Duo, promise me you'll take it easy?"

"I will if you stop ogling me," he snickered. "I thought you were supposed to be a professional?"

She blushed. "Devil."

"A smart devil," Duo told her as he slipped on his shirt with wincing effort. "I won't mess this up."




On to Chapter nine

Back to chapter seven

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