Disclaimer: I do not own GW and will not make money from this fanfic

Companion piece to[ Unconditional ]
Pairings: 2+1x1, references to other permutations of those same numbers
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: yaoi lemon, profanity, insane nihilism about safe sex

A/N: This fic is for entry in Jana’s 2002 contest, “The Art of Masturbation”. It is also vaguely based on a ficlet of mine. Prior to the setting of this fic, there was a spontaneous 2x1 encounter that was mutually satisfying but not at all romantic. This fic consists of a flashback to that encounter and a follow-up from a few days later. The title comes from the way I see this fic fitting in as an intermediate step in a growing relationship.

by sprite

It had been four days. On Sunday night, he had received his orders to rendezvous with Pilot 02 and destroy the OZ base at Cape Canaveral. It was a key facility, still one of Earth’s major space hubs after over 300 of use. It was also heavily guarded, making for a gut-wrenching battle. Heero and Duo had both almost died. Deathscythe lacked long-range weaponry, and so had to be right up on its targets to destroy them. Those tactics put Duo in the sights of the port’s ground-based artillery altogether too often. The mission was successful, but just barely. They had destroyed their targets, the launch rails for orbital traffic. They had not defeated the defending forces.

Somewhere nearby, there were at least 15 Leos and 10 Cancers scouring for the escaped Gundams. By now, they probably had called in a platoon of Aries from Havana as reinforcements. If OZ followed true to form, they would devote ten days to a dragnet of the area. They would search every airstrip, every cave, every swamp and every junkyard within 500 kilometers of the attack site. Cancers would scour the seafloor. That platoon of Aries would be on full alert, ready to scramble and intercept a fleeing pilot at a moment’s notice. And today was Thursday, the fourth day of the alert. That left six more days for Heero to obsessively monitor OZ’s internal communications and the local news. It meant six more days of taking his knife and his sneakers into the shower with him. It meant six more days to make contingency plans for what would happen if Wing and Deathscythe were found.

Heero didn’t think that the Gundams would be discovered. After the battle Heero and Duo had headed out to the Atlantic Ocean, Wing above the water and Deathscythe below. Each had independently doubled back to the temporary hangar. The space was an unregistered coastal dry dock owned by a drug smuggler. Heero didn’t even pretend to trust him, but the man had his own reasons to hate all forms of authority and would sell loyalty to anyone else for enough money. Moreover, he was very used to hiding from the authorities. The dry dock was barely big enough to house the Gundams and it had been Hell to maneuver them in, especially with battle damage, but it was the safest location within range of their current hideout. This time around, they were in a group home for orphan wards of the state where they were posing as half-brothers.

There was nothing brotherly about what had happened four days ago. Heero had been at the dry dock for an hour already, running system checks on Wing and compiling a parts list for repairs. A large part of what he and Duo were paying for was a promise that few of the smuggler’s men would know the Gundams were there and no one would touch them. As Heero was adding the last few items to his wish list, Duo had brought Deathscythe into the makeshift hangar. The black mecha had to crawl in on “hands” and “knees” and then crouch in a cannonball position in order to fit in the cramped quarters. The cockpit hatch had almost scraped the ground as it opened.

Duo had emerged then and let out a loud yell that could have been anger or celebration, followed by a shout of, “I’m ALIVE! And they’re all DEAD! The God of Death can’t be stopped!” He jumped down to the floor and landed with a substantial thump, then theatrically checked himself over for bullet holes. Heero snorted. Like they could do anything about it if he actually found one.

Duo had jogged over to Heero then. His hair was wild, his shirt was drenched, and his eyes burned with some strange, fearsome fire. He had looked Heero from head to toe before grabbing his chin and saying, “You’re alive, too, aren’t you? God only knows how, but you are.”

Heero had stared back, not understanding his partner’s outburst but not willing to admit he found it unnerving. In his usual monotone he replied simply, “Yes. I am still here.”

Duo had considered him then, quieter, but no less aflame with anger and victory and death. His grip on Heero’s chin slackened and he took a step closer in. “Show me.”

“I’m standing here talking to you. I wouldn’t be doing that I were dead.”

Duo had shaken his head, frustrated. “That’s not what I mean. Show me that you’re really living. Show me that you’re here with me, here like me.” And then Duo had done something that Heero had completely failed to anticipate. He kissed him. It wasn’t deep and forceful, but it wasn’t something Heero could forget or ignore, either.

He had never been kissed before. Now that he had been, he decided that it was nice, even if not quite everything the romantics made it out to be. Was that what Duo had meant by showing him? That he wanted to be shown Heero’s sexual side? Now there was a wholly novel idea. Not that Heero had a sexual side (the hormones were incredibly difficult to ignore at times) but that someone might ask to see it.

“You mean you want sex?”

Duo had pulled back a bit, and chewed his lip. “Well yeah, if you’re OK with that.” He hadn’t been sure what he had expected to happen when he approached Heero like that, but he hadn’t expected him to take it so matter-of-factly. It was either very good news or very bad news, and Duo wasn’t yet sure if he would walk away from this encounter with his vital parts intact.

Heero had considered for a moment. He hadn’t anticipated this particular issue coming up until the end of the war at the earliest. Nor had he anticipated getting so little warning; he was pretty sure that in most cases there was extensive courtship or at least negotiation before a sexual encounter. None of those were reasons to say no, though. Heero was fairly certain that he could become sexually aroused with Duo; his being male would not be a problem. Hands were hands. Lips were lips. Movement and friction didn’t seem to be exclusive to one gender or another. There hadn’t seemed to be any form of protection readily available, but Heero honestly couldn’t make himself care that his chances of dying prematurely might be raised a few more percentage points. Maybe if he had sexual encounters after the war he would care more about being safe, but for now it seemed like putting on a seatbelt before driving off a cliff. And Heero would have been lying if he claimed that he didn’t really want to try it. He felt very . . . curious? Was that the right word for it? Or horny, that might be it. Either way, all the factors were adding up to a “yes”.

There was just one small problem. Heero had known what he would be getting out of this, but he hadn’t been quite sure what Duo was expecting. He hadn’t thought Duo had any romantic notions about a lifetime of commitment. He hadn’t thought Duo meant this as some sort of dominance challenge or intimidation tactic. So if not for those reasons, then why? Duo kept waiting for an answer.

“I think I’m OK with it. But why do you want this?” Heero had asked.

Duo had looked confused. “Whadda ya mean, why? Isn’t being alive a good enough reason to live a little? It really shouldn’t be as complicated as people make it.”

Well, it wasn’t a bad reason, and that had been all Heero was concerned about at the moment. He had raised an eyebrow and said, “It’ll work. So what exactly are we going to do?”

Duo had contemplated him for a minute, toying with the Roman collar of his usual faux-clerical garb. “You haven’t done anything like this before, have you? How about I start and you tell me when to stop?”

Heero had nodded. Duo had started. It was a long time until they stopped, and it wasn’t because Heero called a halt to anything. They had moved from progressively more serious groping to penetrative sex. It had felt really, really good. The experience was more than just the orgasm, Heero thought. It was also about the danger and about the closeness and about finding someone he could trust enough to let go with. At least, that was what it was to Heero. For all he knew, Duo just wanted the neurotransmitter spike that came with coming.

After they had finished and lain on the hangar floor for a few moments, catching their breath, Duo had gotten up to get dressed again. Heero took that to mean the encounter was finished and followed suit. As Heero had bent over to re-lace his shoes Duo had squeezed his ass and smiled, saying, “Man, that felt right. You and me, we’re good together.” Heero had left the dry dock shortly after that, while Duo stayed behind to work on Deathscythe. Neither of them had said anything else about the encounter since. They had a room together at the group home, but Duo hadn’t approached Heero for sex again, nor had either pilot touched the other more than casually.

Heero had had a good while to think about this now, especially in the last several hours while he made further repairs to Wing. He thought he would like to have sex with Duo again. He thought he should say something to Duo about it. But he had no idea what Duo was thinking and he had no idea what to say. At the heart of the matter was the fact that Heero still fundamentally didn’t understand what Duo wanted. Duo had offered sex with no strings attached, had gone to some length to sever any strings. Everything Heero had heard about sexual relationships indicated that it usually didn’t work that way. Wasn’t this supposed to be more formal and defined somehow? Weren’t they supposed to have some title to associate with what happened? “Brothers-in-arms who spontaneously had no-strings-attached sex the other night” was kind of ungainly. “Lovers” was completely out of the question for several reasons; “partners” was pushing it when Heero knew that next month, he would be working with Wufei and Duo with Quatre. “Boyfriends” just sounded silly on so many levels.

Heero really needed to figure this out, but he just didn’t know how to raise the subject without seeming more attached than he was or wanted to be. Here the train was pulling into the station at the group home, and he still hadn’t come up with anything useful. Heero shrugged and resigned himself to not getting an answer today, turning his thoughts in more productive directions. Ten minutes later, he had checked in with the monitor at the gate of the group home and was trekking back to the room he shared with Duo. He came to their room door, noting that it was quiet within and that no light shone from the crack underneath. It was hours too early for Duo to be asleep; he must be off on a mission or somewhere else on the grounds. Dinner sounded good right about now. Maybe Heero would drop off his backpack and go look for Duo in the kitchen. He keyed in the code for their door, swung the door open,

And dropped his backpack from suddenly numb hands.

Duo was in there after all. He was sitting on the edge of his bunk, pants about his knees and erection in hand. He was frozen in mid-stroke, eyes fixed on the door, which he had apparently heard opening. He seemed to relax a minute amount when he recognized Heero, but his eyes stayed narrowed in a challenging glare. It might have been a “come here and let’s see what you can do with this” challenge, or a “laugh now and see just how long I let you live” challenge, or a “want to make something of it, punk” challenge, or even a “what did you interrupt me for” challenge. Heero didn’t like to take missions without knowing the parameters and the objective. He broke eye contact and left the room just as abruptly as he had entered it.

He strode down the hall to the bathroom, wanting to regain a bit of the composure he had dropped on the floor along with his pack. He washed his hands and then splashed water on his face for good measure. He looked up at his reflection in the mirror and asked it, “What the fuck was that?”

As Heero had anticipated, his reflection had no answers. He shrugged back at it and dried his hands on the bottom of his tank top, untrusting of the towels in a shared restroom. Somewhat to his chagrin, he noted that at least part of him knew exactly what it wanted to make of the situation. He casually stroked the bulge forming in his pants, thinking about what it meant to the situation. Yes, some sex would be very welcome about now. Yes, Duo was the best candidate for that, and yes their previous encounter had been very satisfying. But Heero was given to understand that masturbation was usually a private thing, and that most guys would not want to be caught in the act. Maybe Duo had planned to be finished by the time Heero got back. Then again, maybe he had intended for Heero to walk in on him.

Well, Heero was not going to spend the night in the bathroom. He would have to go back to their shared room at some point, and the longer he waited, the more obvious he would make it that he was upset. Whatever Duo had been planning, Heero knew that getting overly upset was not the appropriate reaction. He growled in frustration. His stomach growled back. OK, that wasn’t the most erudite of arguments it could have made, but it was very convincing nonetheless. Hunger and frustration seemed to have gotten the better of his erection, so he left the bathroom in search of the dining area.

The kitchen was closed at the moment, but that was fine for Heero’s purposes. He grabbed a protein bar and a bunch of grapes off the service counter. The former he ate; the latter he decided to save. Now would be a good time to go back. If Duo had been unpleasantly surprised, then he would surely have had enough time by now to take care of the matter and get his pants back on. If Duo had been pleasantly surprised (or not surprised at all) then maybe he wouldn’t have had enough time to get worked up over Heero’s departure. Sometimes the best way was the most direct way. Maybe he should just ask Duo whether coming back for more would be attaching an unwanted string. Worst-case scenario, Duo would only say no and Heero didn’t think it would affect their “professional” ties. His loyalty was first and foremost to his colony; Duo’s status as an ally trumped any potential status he had as a sexual partner and the same was undoubtedly true from Duo’s perspective.

Heero re-keyed the code to open the lock and poked his head inside the door quite a bit more tentatively than he had the last time. Duo was at the mirror rebraiding his hair with his back to the door. He must have seen the reflection or heard Heero’s entrance, though, because he turned to the face other pilot. Duo raised an eyebrow and affected a cocky grin.

“Hey. Welcome back.” He turned back to the mirror as though that was all he had to say.

Heero stepped inside. If Duo was upset over being interrupted, he wasn’t showing it. It wasn’t going to get any easier to ask. Heero shut the door behind him. “Duo, was I supposed to leave or stay when I walked in on you?”

Duo’s reflection in the mirror frowned with disapproval. He continued weaving the locks of his hair together and apparently gathered his thoughts. Heero braced himself for a bad reaction and forged ahead. “I liked what we did the other night. Was that all the deal included, or can there be more?”

Duo finally turned and faced Heero. He shrugged. “Yeah, I guess there can be more. But don’t,” and here his brow tightened and his voice rose, “say ‘supposed to’ like that.”

“What do you mean?” Heero stood his ground.

“I meant it when I said I didn’t want this to be complicated. Just two people enjoying life while we can. You’ve got the same reasons I do for not making this anything more.”

Heero nodded in agreement. “So what’s off limits?”

“No commitment, no obligation, no little pet names, no special expectations.” Duo stepped closer and grabbed the hand where Heero still held a bunch of grapes. He lifted the hand and regarded it. “Separate individuals even though we have a physical connection.” With his other hand, Duo plucked a grape and ate it. Then, he pulled one more from the vine and held it at Heero’s lips. “I don’t expect you to bring me breakfast in bed. I’m not obligated to feed you grapes. But,” he stepped in even closer, “if you want a grape and I want to feed it to you, who’s to stop us?”

Heero parted his lips and the grape slid in. He licked the accompanying finger before giving it a tiny nip. “Then I want more. What can you give me?”

Duo grinned ruefully. “Not everything. I’m feeling kind of . . . spent at the moment. Think I can manage something, though. Take off your shirt and shoes for me?”

Heero set the grapes aside and quickly acquiesced. A minute later, he was standing bare-chested before Duo, who gave a pleased hentai leer and bounced his eyebrows with approval. Duo kicked off his shoes and told Heero, “Go lay on your bed, face up.”

Heero settled in only to be straddled at the hips by Duo. His hands began stroking Heero’s torso. He rubbed the tense muscles of Heero’s shoulders and stroked the flat skin on his belly. One hand stole up to traced the curve of an ear before trailing down Heero’s jaw. Duo was pleased to feel Heero take a deep breath and stiffen beneath him. He continued his massage, adding in occasional tweaks to Heero’s nipples, until Heero was flushed and breathing hard. Duo could feel Heero’s straining erection against his thigh. He took his weight off of Heero’s pelvis and sensuously rubbed their crotches together for a few strokes. Heero closed his eyes and fisted his hands in the covers anticipating more, only to have his eyes fly open when Duo stopped.

Duo swung his leg over Heero’s body so that he was no longer straddling him at all. He ran a hand up Heero’s side, ignoring the glare he was getting and told him, “OK. Now turn over.”

He complied, but the glare only intensified at this turn of events. Though it was kind of pointless since Duo could no longer see it. Duo’s hands had never stopped moving and now they covered new territory, massaging back muscles and tickling at the sensitive points on Heero’s backside. Heero grunted at the change in tactics.

“Why did you stop? I was ready.”

“I wanted to try something different. You wanted to come?” He gently bit at the curve of Heero’s ass.

“Didn’t I just tell you that?”

“You still want to come?”

“Yes, of course. Are you still going to participate, or have you decided it would be more fun to just tease me?”

Duo hummed deeply and traced a finger up Heero’s crack, drawing a violent shiver from his partner. “If you want to come, you’ll need to stroke your cock.”

In reply Heero grunted impatiently. He tried to roll over only to be pinned against the bed by Duo’s forearm. “Not like that. I want you to rub against the bed.”

Heero stopped cold, obviously floored by the suggestion. It was going to take more convincing before he was willing to do that. Fortunately, Duo was up to the task. He removed his arm and bent over to whisper in Heero’s ear.

“You’re here to feel good, right? And you know this will feel good. I’m not going to embarrass you; I just want to watch. It’d be really hot.” His hand crept up Heero’s inner thigh then started lightly brushing the back of his balls. Heero’s hips twitched involuntarily and he couldn’t bite back a quiet groan. Duo blew gently against Heero’s ear. “See? Your body knows what it wants.”

Heero tried to speak, but could seem to find his voice. He cleared his throat and managed to sigh out, “Yeah, OK.” He raised his hips off the bed and rubbed them back in an experimental thrust. A line of pleasurable fire erupted along the length of his cock and a gasp escaped his lips. He raised his hips to start another pass and Duo’s hand slipped between his thighs. Heero thrust against the bed again, this time faster. Yeah, it was pretty undignified, but now that he had started Heero doubted he could stop. Duo’s hand between his thighs was finding sensitive spots that he never knew existed. Heero hastened his strokes, fast approaching the critical point. The sparks set off by Duo’s fingers only fueled the inferno building along the length of his cock. He thrust hard against the bed one more time and surrendered to the feeling. He felt his shorts getting soaked but couldn’t bring himself to care. They were nothing. The heat and the intensity and the passion were everything.

Eventually the last spasms of pleasure faded. Heero drew a deep breath and rolled over to find Duo smiling quite contentedly at him. Duo’s hand found its way to Heero’s belly. His partner let him rest for a minute then asked, “So do you still want to know why, Heero?”

Heero shook his head and a hint of a smile played across his lips. “No, I think I get it. That was its own reason.”

“Right,” Duo nodded, “and next time you have a reason or want to find one?”

Heero really did give a smile then, albeit a tiny one. “Next time, I’ll know where to ask.”


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