The Cost

Chapter 14:Unfailing

work in progress

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


"You have to come back," Tango told him. Standing in Duo's doorway, the young man looked determined.

"I'm still not on active duty," Duo replied as he smoothed hands over his wheelchair wheels. "Une won't let me back until my physical next week."

"She wants us to deploy with Morrison," Tango told him angrily. "That man's a first rate asshole. She told us, do our job, or find another one."

"She's right," Duo snapped back and the young man looked startled. "It isn't about what you want and Une's not stupid," Duo continued. "She wouldn't put a man, who's not qualified, in a field command."

"He doesn't know us!" Tango protested, looking desperate. "That can get men killed, not knowing their abilities. We weren't even allowed a few training runs."

"Must be serious then," Duo replied, frowning and looking back at Heero, who was standing behind his wheelchair. "Une knows better than to buck procedure, so she must need this operation completed pronto."

"When do you deploy?" Heero asked.

"Tomorrow evening," Tango replied, looking at Heero respectfully. He looked intimidated, standing in the presence of a man with Heero's reputation and hero status."We ship out at and take a two thousand mile air ride to drop off."

"And you want Commander Maxwell to head your team?" Heero looked, not only incredulous, but angry as well. "That's simply not possible!"

Duo rolled away from them both, shoulders hunched. "Transports are wicked on healthy people," he muttered, mind going over the logistics and playing out several scenarios, before he shook his head and said, "No, I'm sorry, Tango, but I'd be useless to you by the time we reached drop off. Add to that, a pod drop to get me in position and..."

"You could remote from Headquarters," Tango suggested in frustration.

"If we were in space, maybe" Duo growled, "Not in this atmospheric soup on Earth. I won't take a chance that a long range feed will get dropped at a critical moment. Short range, I could at least send a second out into the field with my orders."

Tango balled his hands into fists. "Sir, I can't tell you the details of my mission unless you sign on to it, but I can tell you that we've never been assigned to anything like it before. We're all inexperienced rookies, here, and I can assure you, that only someone who knows us inside and out can get us all through it."

Heero's hand squeezed Duo's shoulder. "Don't you goddam let him talk you into this. You're going to be cleared for walking exercises next month. Don't ruin that by risking yet another injury."

Duo grimaced, "Walk? That's a laugh and you know it. They're allowing me to put minimal pressure on each joint to test their soundness. Then I'll keep doing that for a month until they up the pressure a slight bit for another month, and so on until something breaks or I finally get on my fucking feet."

Tango was suddenly in front of Duo again. Ignoring Heero's angry growl, he bent to be at Duo's level, eye to eye, and very intense."You're fucking worried about walking. I'm fucking worried about men's lives. What counts the most here?" He gave Duo's chair a small shove. Duo stopped it expertly. "You're good in that chair. Maybe you can't run into the field, guns blazin', but you can sure as hell still command a team. That's a lot more than a dead man can do."

"Une won't clear me for duty," Duo insisted, voice low and dangerous.

"When's that mattered to someone like you?" Tango wanted to know sarcastically.

They stared at one another for a very long time and then Duo shivered all over and bit out, "Heero's my second. He gives you an order, you better fucking jump, got that asshole?"

Tango grinned and straightened. "Yes, sir!" he saluted smartly. "We take off at 1800 hours. I'll inform the team."

"Duo..." Heero protested, but it was weak, knowing that Duo had made his decision, had weighed himself against men's lives, and come up short.

"I want everyone on the tarmac one hour before take off," Duo ordered sharply. "I want full inspection. I'll call Une and have the mission specs downloaded to me here."

"Yes, sir!" Tango replied.

"Now get the hell out!" Duo snarled. Tango saluted him again and was gone. Heero slammed the door behind him and then confronted Duo.

"Tell me how you think you're going to come out of this in one piece?" Heero demanded.

Duo smiled wanly, reached out, and took hold of Heero's hand. He pressed it to his cheek and closed his eyes tightly. "We've always been about saving the world, Heero. I can't stop now, can you?"

"I'm not on active duty, either," Heero reminded him. "I quit. Une won't let me second the mission, even if she allowed you to command it."

"You'll be more than second," Duo told him. "You're going to be in command. She won't say no if that's the plan. I'll just go along with some nifty shock absorbers, an oxygen mask, and take the position of moral support."

Heero relaxed visibly, but not completely. "You'll still be taking a very long trip on a transport and taking a pod ship to the target area. Anything can happen."

"Heero," Duo said as he clasped Heero's hand in both of his and looked at him earnestly. "I nearly choked to death in our own home, because I burned soup and almost couldn't get to my oxygen tank in time. The God of Death is every where, love."

Heero replied softly. "I thought you were the God of Death?"

"When I was younger," Duo replied as he let Heero go and turned to wheel toward a closet full of his gear. "Now I'm just trying to avoid him, like everyone else."

"I don't think this is a good idea," Heero murmured into Duo's ear. Pressed up against Duo's back, he couldn't hide the contrariness of his erection.

"As long as you take it easy, there won't be a problem," Duo softly replied.

"You're being pessimistic," Heero growled, but his hand was sliding around Duo and taking hold of the hard heat he found there.

"How do you figure?" Duo said through a groan of pleasure.

"You want to do this, just in case things go wrong," Heero replied. "If this mission hurts you again, you think we won't have another chance."

"Maybe," Duo growled back, "And maybe I'm just tired of being horny and wanting you?"

"We can do other things beside this," Heero reminded him, but he was already rubbing between the cleft of Duo's ass with his dripping hard on.

"We've been doing them," Duo shot back. "We both want more than that. We both need... a good fuck."

"Romantic," Heero chuckled.

"I think it is," Duo replied as he put a hand over Heero's hand. He moved up and down on his erection, guiding Heero to hold on tighter.

"I don't want a fuck," Heero told him as he began to tease open Duo's entrance. "I want to make love to you. I want to be in you, loving you. I don't want to hurt you."

"I want this," Duo assured him, "I want to be with you... It might be our only chance."

Heero kissed his shoulder. "Relax," he said. "Open to me. Don't push back. Tell me if there's pain."

Duo chuckled nervously. "There has to be, you know that."

"No, there doesn't," Heero assured him.

"No?" Duo echoed hopefully.

"No," Heero said again, more firmly.

Heero slicked himself well and made certain that Duo was more than ready for him. Sliding into Duo's heat was wonderful, slow torture. Duo panted, scrunched his face up, and Heero kissed his shoulder again, stilling his push inward.

"Feels..." Duo's face relaxed and his hand tightened on Heero's, the one still around his erection. "Fantastic," Duo finished. "Keep going."

Heero chuckled, breathed hot breath into Duo's ear, and seated himself fully. He growled, sucked an earlobe, and then began to move out again, sliding from flesh slicked, hot, and tight. Pushing back in once more, Duo came in a spurt over their combined hands. Duo shuddered and groaned. A few more, slow movements, and Heero came as well, careful not to clutch at Duo or bear into him with any weight.

Relaxing together afterward, Duo smiled up at the ceiling broadly. Heero smoothed a hand along his cheek. "All right?"

"Yeah," Duo replied, but then looked questioningly at Heero. "I know it wasn't much for you..."

Heero smiled and then kissed Duo. Looking into his eyes warmly, he said, "I was with you. There's nothing better than that."

Duo snickered. "You're getting sappy, love."

"That's bad?" Heero wondered.

"Maybe not," Duo sighed and then grew serious. "I'm glad we had this."

"So am I, but I'm not as pessimistic as you are," Heero told him.

Duo blinked at him, confused. "We've changed places, somehow. How did that happen?"

Heero gave his braid a small tug and stretched out on his back. "I know, without a doubt, that you won't be doing anything to cause you any injury. That's the source of my optimism."

Duo frowned. "I'm going to be on a transport plane and dropped to the mission point. There's lots of room for disaster."

"Trust me," Heero replied. "There's a very good reason why Une allowed this mission."

Duo scowled at him. "I wondered why she agreed so quickly. I didn't think anything would make her that desperate. Wanna tell me what you've got planned?"

Heero smiled. "No."

Duo's scowled deepened. "What do you mean, no? It's my damned mission."

"This is our time. I don't want to spend it arguing," Heero told him as he reached and pulled the blankets up around them.

"Meaning, that you know I'll argue," Duo retorted and tried to turn to confront him. Heero held him down easily, though, and nuzzled his neck. "You can stop that," Duo protested irritably. The nuzzle turned to kisses. "You won't distract me like that, Heero! I wanna know, now, wh-" Duo felt the soft stroke of Heero's tongue. "Okay, maybe later... we'll... talk..." He turned to kiss Heero and Heero did manage to make him think of other things.


"You have got to be kidding!" Duo swore as Heero pushed him, in his wheelchair, into the maw of the transport plane, engines roaring all around them and a chill wind whipping up their backs. Wu Fei was waiting, giving them both a small, curt bow. Trowa gave them a nod from where he stood by the jump seats. Quatre was finishing strapping their packs into position with the squad's gear.

"We will be your hands," Wu Fei told Duo as they maneuvered Duo into a seat they had rigged to absorb as many shocks as possible. "We will make sure that this mission is a success without any injury to you."

"Une must have been thrilled," Duo shot back. "All five Gundam pilots back together again for her mission."

"Air mask," Heero urged as he positioned the oxygen tank. "Everyone will be ready to take your orders, Duo. This is still your show."

"You really know how to save a guy's pride, don't you?" Duo retorted, but he gave Heero a kiss before he slipped on his mask. Heero had made sure that there was ample baggage between Duo and his squad. They wouldn't see him at his worst during the trip. That could be a two edged sword, though, Duo realized. The short mission check and briefing on the ground wouldn't be enough to psyche his people up for what they had to do. At some point, he would have to risk himself to walk the line and check their status. His well meaning friends couldn't interfere with that, and he hoped that they realized it.

The plane lurched forward and the warning lights and sirens told them to find their seats. Duo couldn't help the adrenaline rush, especially when he heard some of his squad shout in excitement."We're going to kick ass!!!" One man shouted and Duo realized that the voice belonged to Tango.

Duo exchanged looks with Heero. They both knew that they had to keep Tango under control. A natural leader, he was being asked to follow the orders of five people, now, not just Duo. If he broke at a critical moment, and tried to lead on his own, it might mean mission failure in a very bad way.

Duo closed his eyes, the vibrations of the plane around him making his bones ache despite the special seat. He had to be sure, sharp, and ready with answers. He couldn't let someone else seem to be in command, conflicting with his orders. Heero leading the mission was discarded. He would stay second, but Duo had to call the shots.

Duo pulled off the mask, gave everyone of his friends a level look and barked, "My mission!"

Quatre frowned and looked concerned and Heero's hand tightened on Duo's hand, but, one by one, they nodded in agreement. No second guessing him. No coddling him and taking decisions out of his hands. They would all obey him.



On to Chapter fifteen

Back to chapter Thirteen

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