Disclaimer: The Gundam boys are only mine to play with in my head!

Pairing: 1x2
Rating: NC-17
Genre: AU, hurt/comfort, angst
Warning: Borderline non-con (don't let that scare you away!)
Please note: This is not a WIP, but it will be posted in installments as time permits. I've spent a year writing this and it's now complete. Yay! I will post a couple of chapters each week. Thanks for your patience!

Summary: Heero Yuy is a genetically altered weapon in a top secret project. When his behavior becomes erratic, his handlers propose an unorthodox solution. Is the cure more than they bargained for?

The Variable
Part 18
by Artemis

After a night of swimming and fucking they returned to Heero's quarters just before dawn. Duo barely had the energy to slip off his bathrobe before collapsing on the bed. He was exhausted, but every inch of his body was satisfied. He shouldn't be this happy, but he wiggled his toes as he stretched out next to Heero's nakedness and fell fast asleep.

Four hours later with the sun peeking through the blinds, Duo woke to the sound of the shower. He rolled over to confirm that the bed was empty next to him. How had Heero found the energy to pull himself from bed when Duo could barely lift his head to read the time on the clock? Heero's unceasing energy was probably a blend of his youthfulness, dedication, and the marvel of science. Duo ran his hand over the crumpled sheet where Heero had lain. There was still a trace of warmth, enough to ignite Duo's mind to all they had shared at the swimming pool. To that honest, earnest moment that had been the most perfect of his life.

The water shut off and moments later, Heero was standing in the doorway rubbing a towel vigorously over his skin.

Duo raised himself onto his elbows to get a better view of Heero's naked body. "Why are you up so early?"

"It's nearly nine. But I didn't mean to wake you."

"Is nine late for you? Even after last night?"

Heero grinned. "I'd rather be in bed with you, but I have an appointment with Doctor Po."

"Geez, you never get a break. What's it this time... a post-mission check?"

"Partly. And you're right, I don't get much free time, but that never mattered before."

"And it does now?"

Heero nodded as he walked over to the bed. "You know it does."

The close proximity made Duo's pulse race. He inhaled the shower freshness of Heero's body. "You sure you've got to run-off like this?"

Putting a knee on the bed and leaning over, Heero brushed his lips against Duo's. "I'll be back around noon."

The touch was warm and deepened into a kiss when Duo's hand slid up Heero's arm to touch his face. He wanted Heero - his body, his mind, all he could get, but a romp was not meant to be this morning.

"I have to go," Heero said, pulling back from the kiss. "We'll have the rest of the day and night to do whatever we want."

The memory of Heero sucking him off sent a jolt to Duo's groin. He had to suppress a moan as Heero stepped away from the bed. But the heat of Heero's gaze told Duo that this brief separation wouldn't be easy for him either. Things kept changing for them, growing deeper and more meaningful, and in the process becoming more complicated. No look, no touch, no words would ever be simple again, as if meeting Heero's eyes across the fountain had been child's play. The chains that kept Duo here had faded from view. It had become much easier to forget his bonds while opening up to the very real feelings he had for Heero.

Heero wasn't dressed and out the door more than three minutes when the bedside phone rang. Duo stared at it like it was a bomb, something dangerous not to be touched, but at its continuous ringing he reached over to answer it.


"Duo? This is Lucrezia. How are you?"

"Uh... fine. And you?" He was still sleepy, but certainly Miss Noin hadn't called to ask about him?

"Is Heero there?"

"Nope, just left. Said he had an appointment with the Doc. A check-up, I guess."

"It's his yearly examination. I'll let Sally know he's on his way."

"If he's late you can blame me. We had a late night." Duo snickered.

"Say no more, I understand."

"Hey, what's with the exam when he's monitored all the time?"

"It's his yearly, birthday exam and it's very thorough. No stone left unturned, as they say."

Duo blinked. "Did you say birthday exam?"

"Yes. The yearly exam is always held on Heero's birthday, or as close to it as possible. It's not the way I'd want to spend my birthday, but it seems to make sense to the medical staff that monitors his health... Duo? Are you still there?"

"Uh... yeah." He had drifted off hearing that it was Heero's birthday. Why hadn't anyone told him? Then again, why would they? But shouldn't Heero have said something? "How old is he?"


Almost exactly a year younger, Duo thought. "Will there be a party?"

"No. But there are always well wishes, and he's generally given the day off to do as he likes. He's never wanted anything else. Heero's a very private young man."

He supposed that it made sense that Heero wouldn't like a fuss, but it still bothered Duo that there was no party for the guy who was the so-called "heart" of the Project. Maybe a private man needed a private party?

"Miss Noin, how long will the examination take?"

"About three hours."

Duo looked at the clock. Heero had said he would be back around noon. "Do you think Heero would like a cake?"

"I think anything you did, Heero would like."

Duo smiled. "Got any good cake recipes?"

"Well, my mother always made a wonderful Black Forest cake for special occasions. It's chocolate with cherries."

"Could you get me the recipe and the ingredients in the next hour?"

Noin laughed. "You can count on it. Is there anything else you'll need... party games, perhaps?"

Duo's eyes widened as his mind went into the gutter. Miss Noin wasn't making a sexual innuendo, and he and Heero didn't need any help in that department, but a game would bring something different to the celebration. "Yeah, I know just the thing..."

~ ~ ~

It was nearly ten minutes past nine o'clock when Heero stepped into Doctor Po's office suite. Her assistant, Miss Noin, was just hanging up the phone and looked up at him and giggled. He blinked. Had she actually giggled at him?

"Good morning, Heero. You're expected. Go on in."

"Thank you."

He was late and it made him jumpy, because he had never been late for anything in his life. The reason was all too clear. It had taken every ounce of his willpower to climb out of bed. Duo had been so warm curled by his side, and so beautiful in his early morning sleep. Thoughts of their lovemaking the night before had tempted him to wake Duo and start again. But today there was a schedule to keep and he was nothing if not dutiful.

With long strides he walked into the doctor's office. She was busy at her desk, as always, but acknowledged him as soon as he entered the room.

"Good morning and happy birthday."

"Thank you." He sat in his usual chair and waited as the doctor came around her desk to sit in the accompanying chair across from him.

"As you know, we begin each yearly examination with a brief session here, and then you'll complete your physical in the medical facility. Shall we begin by talking about how you and Duo are getting along?"

A hundred things raced through Heero's mind. How should he answer that question? Most of what he was feeling for Duo was still so new to him that he couldn't put it into words.

"You're hesitating," Sally said, leaning forward slightly. "Is everything all right?"

Heero nodded. "Yes. Things are good between us."

"I'm glad. Is there anything in particular you would like to talk about... pertaining to Duo?"

Just hearing his lover's name made Heero's heart beat harder. He was glad that the doctor wasn't sitting next to her bio data reader to notice the change. Weeks ago he could have explained the physical change in biological terms, but now he had a different understanding. His heart beat faster, because it was beating for Duo.

"I wish I'd never brought Duo into this," he said, his mind flashing on the confession he had made in the early morning hours. Seeing Duo in his mind's eye, he revealed more. "And yet I've never felt happiness like this before. It's like I can't imagine what life would be like without him."

"And how are these conflicting emotions making you feel?"

He gritted his teeth. He didn't like this psychiatric dance. She already knew the answer. Why did she need to ask the question?

"I was selfish to choose Duo. What gave me the right to do that?"

"To do what exactly, Heero?"

His hands curled into fists. He wouldn't go down this path with her.

"Doctor, your program is a success. Let's leave it at that."

She blinked. They had come to crossroads many times in their conversations. He was stubborn and she was patient. Eventually he would tell her what she wanted to know, but not today.

They spent the remainder of their time discussing his bio readings, and then made their way to the medical clinic for dozens of tests. Treize was there to observe a few of the tests and to extend hearty birthday congratulations.

"You don't look a day over nineteen," Treize said, shaking Heero's hand.

"I'm exactly one day older than nineteen."

"Well, there you have it." Treize chuckled and looked to the staff grouped around the next test, the treadmill.

Heero was being prepared for a stress test, but was taking a moment to speak with the head of the Project.

"I'm sure you have plans for the rest of the day, but I hope you won't mind if I have my personal chef prepare you and Duo a very special dinner for this evening."

Treize was known for his generosity, but to include Duo in this gift pleased Heero greatly. "Thank you."

"Good. I'll ask that it be delivered at eight."

Treize nodded and turned on his heel with military precision. He was gone from the room before Heero could think to ask what the menu would be. Well, he had a feeling that Duo would like being surprised. He stepped onto the treadmill and smiled.

"You seem rather cheerful going into this test," the medical assistant said.

"It's not the test that I'm thinking about." Heero's mind raced back to Duo, but this time he kept his smile to himself.

The testing seemed to take longer than usual, but when he looked to the clock he saw that he was mistaken. He was anxious to return to his quarters to be with Duo, but careful not to let those feelings effect the tests. He didn't want anyone suggesting that his performance was less than perfect and subsequently pointing a finger at the liaison program.

After the examination was complete, the staff toasted his birthday with fruit smoothies. It was the same every year, but this time Heero felt the sincerity of the ritual. It made him wonder if he had been too aloof in the past. Why hadn't he tried to connect with these people, his team, more? He shook the thoughts off as he was released to enjoy the day. He was impatient to return to his lover's side, but tempered that desire with a steady gait.

It was twelve minutes past twelve when he stepped into his quarters. The apartment smelled like a bakery. Duo had been busy while he was away.


Not surprisingly, Duo's answer came from the direction of the kitchen. "Yep! In here!"

The brightness in Duo's tone warmed Heero to the core. How had he gotten so lucky? He walked toward the kitchen, the smell of baked goods growing stronger and the heat of the oven greeting him as he stepped into the room.

Duo was standing at the kitchen table spreading chocolate frosting on a cake. He was wearing a white t-shirt, shorts, a red apron, and frosting on his hands and face.

"What are you doing?" Heero asked as he joined Duo at the table, kissing him and then licking a bit of frosting from his cheek.

"I made a cake for you! Happy birthday!"

Heero blinked. "You did this... for me?"

Duo's smile was radiant. "Didn't know I could bake, did you?"

"How'd you know it was my birthday?"

"Miss Noin let it slip. You'd swear it was a State secret. It's not like you're old enough to need to lie about your age."

"That's not why I didn't mention it."

"No? Well, my guess would be that you don't like people fussing over you."

Heero nodded. That was right. It made him uncomfortable. How was Duo able to understand these things when he was just beginning to understand them himself?

Duo dipped a finger into the frosting bowl and raised it to Heero's lips. "Go on. Have a taste."

Heero licked the finger and then sucked it into his mouth, absorbing the taste of dark chocolate and salt from Duo's skin. Damn that was the best frosting he'd ever had.

Duo pulled his finger out and groaned softly. "Well?"

"Fuck that's good."

"That's what I was hoping you'd say. Would you like a piece?"

I'd like a piece of your ass, Heero thought, even though he knew Duo was referring to the cake. "Yeah, but I haven't eaten yet today."

"Hmm, what would you be like on a sugar high?" Duo chuckled and then flitted over to the refrigerator. "How about I make you a sandwich?"

"That'd be great, thanks." Heero sat down, feeling oddly dazed. He was certain it wasn't from lack of food. He'd gone without eating for long periods of time before. No, this feeling that wrapped itself around him was something different. It was warm and light and he was sure it had everything to do with Duo. He watched Duo prepare their lunch, delighted by his every move, and enchanted by the sing-song nature of his chatter.

"They put you through the wringer again today, Heero?" Duo asked as he bent over to put the lettuce back in the crisper.

"No worse than usual." What a spectacular view, Heero thought.

When Duo stood up he caught Heero's eyes. "Your thoughts gone south already?"

Heero grinned. "Today was the first time I had trouble concentrating on the tests. I kept thinking of you."

Duo set the container of sliced roast beef on the counter and slowly walked towards Heero. He stopped as his barefeet touched the tips of Heero's brown leather shoes.

"Seems we've both had a concentration problem today." Duo nodded back over his shoulder to the flour and chocolate-covered counter. "This is cake number two."

"What happened to cake number one?" Heero asked, licking his lips as he looked up the length of Duo's body.

"I put it in the oven to bake and thought I had time for a shower... but the shower ran a little long."

Heero swallowed hard and his groin stirred. "Are you saying---"

"Yep," Duo said, nodding. "I was thinking of you."

There was no holding back after an admission like that. Heero ran his hands up the backs of Duo's thighs, feeling the fine hair on his skin. His hands settled on that round, tight ass and he pulled Duo toward him, between his legs.

Duo reached over and dipped his fingers into the frosting once again, bringing them to Heero's lips. Heero accepted the offering, licking each finger with care and thoroughness. All the while his cock was hardening and his mind tumbling toward need. Fingers clean, Heero stood, his body brushing against Duo's. They were eye-to-eye, locked in an intense gaze.

"Do me anyway you like, birthday boy."

Heero all but growled as he watched Duo hook his thumbs into his shorts and tug them down over his ass and off completely. His erection tented the apron, and Heero knew instantly what he wanted. He untied the apron, letting it fall to the floor, and scooped two fingers full of frosting to rub over Duo's cock.

Duo cried out in pleasure. "What are you doing? It's your birthday."

"And I want to make it as special for you as you have for me," Heero said, sitting down again. "I want to suck you, and taste you and the frosting you made for my birthday."

Duo's hands went to Heero's shoulders to steady himself, and a pink blush colored his cheeks. "Fuck."

Heero grinned and lowered his head to Duo's cock. At first he ran his tongue along the length of it, enjoying the mix of chocolate and maleness. When he had tortured Duo long enough he sucked him into his mouth, moaning as he did. He enjoyed the hard length like he would a fudge sicle, licking Duo up and sucking him down. It didn't take long to bring Duo off, to have him climaxing down his throat.

He caught Duo in his lap and wrapped his arms around him as Duo breathed heavily against his hair. It took several minutes for Duo to regain his wits, and Heero was immensely proud of his work.

"You didn't have to---"

"Shhh," Heero said, covering Duo's mouth in a kiss.

He was achingly hard and ready for round two, his round, but willed himself to patience. He wasn't sure when it had happened, but somewhere in the course of the last few days he had stopped thinking about only his own needs. The most unexpected side effect was that looking after Duo's needs was intensely satisfying.

Duo reached down to the bulge in Heero's trousers, rubbing it firmly. "Tell me what you want," he whispered into his ear.

A shiver raced through Heero's body. There were so many things he wanted from Duo, and somehow, slowly, he seemed to be getting each one. "Bend over for me."

Duo grinned and slid off his lap, grabbing the cooking oil from the counter and setting it on the table. Then he bent over the table, his pert little ass in the air.

Heero stood and poured the oil onto two fingers while Duo looked at him over his shoulder. Duo had the most expressive eyes and right now they were filled with desire. He slid two fingers over one of Duo's round cheeks and then inside, stroking him slowly, bringing him back to a hungry state. But it was too much to ask that he be patient. He pulled the fingers out and efficiently unfastened his trousers and pulled out his cock, rubbing oil onto it. He was so fucking hard and ready to take Duo that he didn't have a second to spare.

Duo had eagerly spread his legs, bent before him and seductively caressed one ass cheek with his hand. Damn, Duo should've been in the movies. He pressed the tip of his cock to Duo's opening and slid all the way inside, drawing a long moan from his lover. He shuddered at how deliciously tight and hot Duo was around him. It was impossible to remain still with Duo wriggling for action. Heero chuckled and drove in, pulled out, and drove back inside Duo, making each and every thrust a claim.

The kitchen was unbearably hot from the oven, the sunlight streaming in through the skylight, and the heat of their bodies, but it didn't slow them down. They fucked hard and fast and when Heero felt the first glimmer of orgasm nestling at the base of his cock he reached over and dipped his fingers into the frosting, letting Duo suck his fingers into his mouth. It was more than enough to send him over the edge, coming inside Duo as he thrust hard as many more times as he could before pulling Duo onto the floor with him. They landed in a heap, bodies overheated and gasping for breath.

Somehow, long minutes later, they found the strength to make their way into the shower. Together they cooled and cleaned off, laughing and touching each other with care and familiarity. Dressed in fresh clothes they enjoyed the sandwiches in the loft and two pieces of Black Forest cake each. Heero had never been happier.

on to part 19

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