Disclaimer: Don't own them and don't make any money off of this.
Warnings: In this and future stories in this arc, Male/Male sex, attempted non consensual sex, graphic, violence, language, drugs, post traumatic war syndrome, Gundam boys being maladjusted (weirdly so, not violently so) hm, I think I'm over explaining....
Buy Kracken's book, The Storm, under Della Boynton at amazon.com . For those of you who already have, thank you, thank you! It keeps Kracken in coffee so she can stay up all night and write fics. ^_^
About chaptering: Kracken has a system... anyone seen On Golden Pond? No? (sweatdrops) The characters in the arc stay the same, but there are several stories within the same arc, (in this one many), so chaptering would really get confusing.
^_^; Kracken is rambling because Kracken is still very sick... Sometimes I write my best and most inspired stuff when I feel my worst though. I hope that's the case this time...
Standing in the shower, Duo bowed his head and let the hot spray wash over him. His eyes were open, hands running soap over his body in lazy motions, touching a long, thin torso, ribs to count, hip bones that were sharp and angled with small globes for a butt, long legs like sticks, large feet, knobby elbows, long fingered hands, and lastly, the part of himself that had been of little interest to him now, but was suddenly the focus of all his attention, small and limp below his navel.
Duo took the soap lower and let his hands play over that relaxed bit of flesh, let the soap, the warm water, and his long fingers stroke it and bring it to attention. Not so small now, but unsure of how it compared to others, Duo wondered, if Heero were to see it, what he would think. Whether Heero was gay, straight, or bi, he would have an opinion, Duo was sure. Heero would have a reaction whether favorable or unfavorable.
Duo tried to be objective and couldn't. He felt a flush of uncertainty and he went limp under an onslaught of doubt about his ability to be desirable. That didn't help his self esteem and he found himself deciding against a long shower, eager to leave the scene of his inability to please even himself, behind.
After drying off, Duo quickly slipped into an over large, white shirt and a pair of blue pajama bottoms with a drawstring at the top, unconsciously trying to hide his body from himself, as he made his way to the gel bed and slowly climbed onto it. Relaxing on his stomach, head nestled in a flat pillow, his gravity and exercise stressed muscles groaned in relief as his mind reached out for the forgetfulness of sleep, hoping to find a better place in dreams, one where Duo Maxwell wasn't such a failure.
The opening and closing of a drawer alerted Duo that he wasn't alone. He wasn't sure how long he had been sleeping, but, as he opened his eyes and tried to focus, he suddenly wondered if he had actually woken up. In front of him, not three feet away, Duo found himself staring at Heero's naked ass. He had a perfect view between the ex-Gundam pilot's legs and the tantalizing flesh hanging there.
Heero was bent over as he searched through his borrowed drawer for clothes. Not finding what he wanted right away, Duo was given time to start fantasizing, and to grow very warm, before Heero straightened again with a black tee shirt in his hands and some cotton briefs. Duo watched him dress, watched the slide of muscle under bronze skin and the perfect grace, almost like a dancer's, as Heero stood on one foot and then the other to slip on the briefs. Shrugging into the tee shirt, Heero ran a hand through his unruly chocolate hair and then turned his head to regard Duo in an unsurprised fashion, as if he had known that Duo was watching all along.
"Sore?" Heero asked in a tone that didn't give any indication of his mood or thoughts.
"Sore?" Duo echoed in confusion as he felt embarrassment sting him from head to toe. He began to sit up, but Heero motioned him not to. Duo agreed with him when the agonizing pain of overworked muscles shot along every nerve. He groaned, "Yeah, real sore!" and felt pathetic.
Heero didn't bother to put on the comfortable pair of jeans he had chosen from the drawer. He left them on the dresser, and, to Duo's shock, he climbed onto the bed, negotiated the give of the gel mattress, and then straddled Duo's lower hips.
"H-Heero!" Duo croaked, not sure what to think or what to say as his heart began hammering wildly.
"The message, remember?" Heero reminded him as his hands slid up under Duo's loose shirt. "I told you that your muscles would be stiff and sore and that I would give you a massage to help you."
"Oh, uh, right," Duo stammered as he turned his face towards the pillow to hide his anxiety and his confusion. "Just surprised me, that's all. Uh, okay, you can go ahead with that." It sounded stupid in his own ears. Duo couldn't keep his face from burning or his mind from thinking about where a massage could lead to.
It wasn't going to lead to anything, Duo firmly told himself. Heero had clearly taken on the persona of a trainer. He was as unconcerned about straddling Duo's hips half dressed as he was about having been bent over, completely nude, in front of Duo earlier. His hands weren't erotic or suggestive. They kneaded tight muscles in a business like fashion. When Duo glanced behind him, hoping to catch a glimpse on Heero's face of what the man was thinking, he felt disappointment, mingled with slight relief, to see that Heero's face was blank, only a small crease of concentration between his blue eyes indicating anything other than perfect professionalism.
Duo wondered at his feeling of relief, but he didn't need to analyze it long. Heero was almost larger than life, the subject of a fantasy that had haunted Duo for many years. It was almost frightening to consider that it might become more than just fantasy, that Heero might be making overtures, intending to turn a simple massage into a seduction.
Duo found himself concentrating on Heero's hands, closing his eyes to heighten his awareness in an attempt to, maybe, catch Heero off guard, catch him revealing his intentions with the motions of his hands. It was ridiculous and so very needy, Duo thought, but he couldn't stop from doing it and he couldn't stop from hoping, fear or no fear, that Heero's hands would stray, would soften and caress, would reveal that Heero was interested in Duo at a deeper level.
At first, it was pain as Heero worked Duo's knotted joints loose, and then it was pleasure and Duo couldn't help a few moans uttered behind gritted teeth. Heero's hands, calloused at the tips and along their palms, gripped and kneaded for what seemed like forever and then they became very gentle, smoothing over Duo's back, feeling delicately along the knobs of Duo's spine and neck. Duo suddenly became aware of Heero's crotch pressed against his ass as Heero's hands stilled and pressed flat along Duo's spine.
"I'm bisexual," Duo said so suddenly that he surprised himself. He hid his face in his pillow, mortified, waiting for a violent reaction from Heero.
"I know," Heero said simply.
Duo stiffened, confused and then growing suspicious and angry. "You do? You seem to know a Hell of a lot about me, Heero. Are you a stalker or something? I think you need to explain yourself!"
Heero shrugged and Duo could feel it through his hands on his back. "I needed to know everything about you before I approached you about this position as an operative. There was surveillance. I did have to research your files. You clearly stated, in your medical records, that you are a non practicing bisexual."
"You even know I'm a virgin?!" Duo suddenly squirmed out from under Heero and backed up until he touched the head board, ignoring the renewed pang of strained muscles, knees drawn up defensively and amethyst eyes snapping with temper.
Heero mistook his response for embarrassment, "It isn't unusual to be sexually stimulated by a massage. You shouldn't be alarmed by it or feel that I might be offended."
"I am alarmed that you put your perfect paws into my personal life without my permission!" Duo snarled. "What gave you the right?"
Heero's face went very intense as he replied, "People's lives are at stake. That gave me the right. I can't afford to make a mistake in my choice." Heero didn't look comfortable with it. He added, as if half in apology and half in some frustration, "Much of your file was code protected, as you've already found out. I couldn't access the files pertaining to your 'judgment of confinement'."
Duo went bitter as Heero moved off of the bed and went to take his pants from the dresser. As the man pulled them on, Duo replied, "I know what reason they gave in my file to keep me grounded. Acts of aggression, they called it."
"Against whom?" Heero wondered with lifted eyebrows as he turned back to the bed and zipped his pants. It seemed too much like an 'after the sex' scene and Duo didn't like it. He felt vulnerable, almost taken advantage of, though he knew that wasn't true. Heero would have had to have been actually making sexual overtures for that feeling to be valid.
"I don't want to talk about it," Duo replied shortly. His over large shirt was slipping off one bony shoulder, his pants were two sizes too large. He was swimming in his clothes, feeling childlike and at a disadvantage in front of the strong, competent looking Heero. Remembering those broad hands touching his bony spine, Duo flushed.
Something within Duo's body set off an alarm. At once, as if anger, embarrassment, and frustration at Heero had never occurred, Duo shoved loose strands of hair from his face as he forced himself to leave the bed. Padding barefoot out of the bedroom and into the kitchen, he refused to groan or limp as his body shrugged off Heero's earlier ministrations and began to knot up again.
Duo started a pot of coffee. As it perked, he reached up into a cabinet and took out six bottles of pills. Lining them up along the kitchen counter, he opened each one and took out one pill. Meticulously placing each pill in front of the corresponding bottle, Duo stared for a long moment, reassuring himself that he had each one accounted for. He was aware of Heero standing in the doorway of the kitchen, watching him, but Duo didn't care. It was time, his body had set off an alarm, and he had to take those pills.
"Duo," Heero began, but the stiffening of Duo's back and his low growl, made Heero fall silent.
The coffee finished perking. Duo poured himself a steaming cup. One by one, with the greatest attention, Duo picked each pill up and swallowed it, taking a sip of coffee to wash it down each time. When the last one was ingested, Duo stared at the counter, making sure he hadn't missed any. Satisfied at last, he closed each bottle and put them back in their exact places in the cabinet.
"Have you ever tried not taking them, Duo?" Heero wondered, finally breaking the silence.
Duo turned, relaxed now, coffee cup in his hands and a slight, depressed smile on his face. "Taking what?" he felt half asleep, Heero's words not making much sense.
Heero frowned. "Your pills. Have you ever tried not taking your pills?"
Duo frowned back. "I don't remember." He felt disturbed by the very idea. Not take his pills? "Why ask?"
Heero formed a strange 'stumped' expression on his face. It was like a computer suddenly being filled with illogical entries. Duo didn't compute. "It doesn't fit your personality profile to be so obedient of authority figures," Heero replied carefully, "I posed the question because you were just now taking your pills and you seemed unusually diligent in that execution."
Duo felt a moment of anxiety, the same anxiety he had felt when Heero had suggested taking some of his medication and testing it. "I have to take them," he replied. "I don't remember being ' diligent' though. I just tossed them down with my coffee, didn't even think about it. As for taking them at all not fitting my personality profile, well, you don't know me, Heero. You never did, ya know?"
Duo walked past him, padding barefoot into the living room, coffee cradled in his two hands as he settled into his favorite, overstuffed chair. Heero followed, still frowning, still looking stumped.
Duo felt a flair of irritation. "Look, Yuy, just because I let you sit on my ass and feel me up on my back, doesn't mean I'm going to let you put me under a microscope! If you're going to analyze me every time I take a shit, then you can pack your bags and shoot yourself back into space!"
"The massage wasn't a sexual overture of any kind," Heero told Duo.
"Yeah, I know," Duo replied in a small, angry voice and ducked his face so that he was staring into his coffee and hidden by his chestnut bangs.
Heero was quiet and then he said, "I don't like mysteries. I feel the need to always have correct information. It was a necessary requirement during the war and the uprising, and it is a requirement of my position now. I did not mean to offend you by this aspect of my training."
"Hey!" Duo said with a smile that was only half sarcastic, "an apology! I don't remember the last time anyone bothered to give me one of those sincerely."
Heero sat in a chair nearby. Duo expected him to sit ramrod straight, prepared for action. Instead, Heero slid back and put one foot up, balancing it on the opposite knee and bracing it with his hands. He was barefoot as well and he had masculine feet, wide, but strong, like a dancer's. He looked comfortable, relaxed, even friendly, though his face remained as unreadable as ever.
"I'm not used to trusting people," Duo admitted as he looked down and took a sip of his coffee. The familiar haze of the drugs was taking hold. Anger dissipated and Duo was left with calm.
"You shouldn't," Heero replied. "The people who are ordering your life at the moment don't have your well being as a priority."
Duo shrugged despondently. "You're not telling me anything new."
Heero was quiet for a full minute and then he said, as if he were speaking against his better judgment. "I am worried about you, Duo."
Duo looked up, startled. "Huh?" The sound encompassed all of Duo's incredulity.
Heero looked pain, a twitch near one eye, a thinning of his lips briefly. "I have emotions, Duo. I can care about someone."
Duo felt guilty then. "It's just...," he tried to explain. "You never show that you do, or you didn't during the war. You used to say having 'attachments', allowing oneself to get emotionally invested in people or a cause, made for a poor soldier."
"It does," Heero admitted, "but it doesn't mean that I didn't have them anyway."
"Oh," Duo put his cup aside and leaned forward towards Heero, his shirt hanging open and showing his narrow chest and his small, pink nipples, as he asked earnestly, "Were you 'attached' to me during the war?"
Duo felt a shiver go over him as he saw a small blush of color on each of Heero's cheeks. The man was staring at him, as if he were fighting against something that wouldn't allow him to respond. He licked nervous lips and then opened them to begin to speak, but then, his eyes flicked down to Duo's shirt and the bare expanse of Duo's naked chest. Duo could see his mind change gears abruptly. He frowned and then met Duo's eyes. Whatever he had been about to say was replaced with, "Duo, where's your cross?"
Duo blinked, confused. "What cross?"
Wu Fei: Now go to bed you foolish onna!
Kracken: Good idea. You stay and beta it for me, K?
Wu Fei: I will, now go!
Kracken stumbles off in a sick daze.
Wu Fei: (uploads fic without correcting and then shuts off computer) Bah! Beta reading is for the weak!
See! It's Wu Fei's fault if there are typos!