by Blue Soaring
There was something hot against my skin, pulsing with every breath I took.
It spread, trailing through me and melding with the ache in my groin. I
groaned, shifted and felt softness against my cheek. I took a deep breath,
smelling rain and the burning focused into the three separate points of Duo'
s marks. My eyes flew open and I gasped. My body felt too heavy to move; I
looked around as best I could, not recognizing my surroundings. I saw
nothing but the bed I lay on and the darkness beyond. It was hard to think,
my head felt like it was stuffed full of cotton. Lying still, I waited for
the heaviness in my limbs to fade.
"Are you finally awake?" Duo's voice was near, coming from above me. I
glanced up and realized that my head was resting in his lap, his thumb
gently stroking my cheek. The weight I felt had gradually subsided, and I
tried to move again but his hands were on my shoulders, holding me there.
"What did you do?"
"Brought you here, nothing more," he said softly, sending an involuntary
shiver through me.
"Let me up." His voice was like a double-edged sword; I both loved and
hated the effect it had on me.
Duo sighed, but moved his hands. I sat up and half-crawled, half-scooted
away from him. It wasn't a graceful move, but it got me where I wanted to
be. The distance between us was superficial and we both knew it. Still, it
made me feel marginally better and the burning of the marks lessened. I
could think clearly again.
"You make everything so difficult, Heero," he said, leaning back against the
I grunted at him. "I make everything difficult," I repeated, letting the
sarcasm show in my voice. "Just what do you think you're doing, if not
making things difficult?"
Duo stretched his legs out, crossing them at the ankles. He watched me
silently, his face beautiful but blank. It was like staring at a statue,
something to admire, but too flawless to be real. I sat there and glowered
at him, seething in annoyance.
"If you're asking me to change what happened, to make everything disappear,
I can't," he said, meeting my eyes. "You called me and I came, you offered
and I received."
"You're lying to yourself, and you know it. I'll accept that blame, but it
won't change a thing," he said, cutting me off. I fell silent under his
gaze, burning now not with power, but with truth.
I wanted to ask why; why me, why everything, but I already knew the answer.
I couldn't explain it, I barely understood it, and I still didn't accept it.
The important question was, what was I going to do about it? I didn't think
I'd just be able to forget Duo, that would be impossible. But I couldn't
forget myself, either. I wouldn't give in to him, and I didn't think I
could keep him away. I was stuck and couldn't think of a way to save
myself. I'd never liked the idea of fate. It was almost ironic.
"What are you so desperately thinking about?" Duo's voice cut through my
"What to do about you," I said shortly.
He raised both of his eyebrows, his expression mildly surprised and curious.
It softened his face and made him seem more real, less perfect. "And?"
"You're a self-assured, controlling bastard." I was repeating myself.
"I've been called much worse."
I could imagine, I'd called him worse in my own mind quite recently.
"But I don't want to control you."
That made me stop and blink. I looked at him through narrowed eyes.
"If I just wanted to own you, Heero, I'd have done it long ago." He shifted
on the bed, piling the pillows behind him instead of leaning on the
headboard. "And that's not arrogance, it's the simple truth. It's part of
who - what - I am."
"That's a matter of opinion."
He smiled, quick and easy. Genuine. "So, what do you do now?"
I was struck speechless and tried to keep my face from showing it. It was a
losing battle. "What?" I asked.
"Will you ignore what's happened or let me show you more?"
"Duo," I started, a warning tone in my voice.
He shook his head slightly. "I mean to show you what you've already gained,
not force you further."
I gave him a doubting look. "What choice do I have?"
"Yes or no, it's your choice, and yours only."
"And I'm supposed to trust you." I felt my resolve wavering under my own
damned curiosity. I'd be left always wondering if I denied him now.
"I give you my word."
"That's not enough."
"Please," he said.
The please caught me off guard. I looked at him, tried to see behind his
eyes to what he was thinking. "What do you want to show me?" I asked,
letting the suspicion creep into my voice.
"The night," he said with eager light swirling among the colors of his eyes.
- - - - - - - - -
The sky above me rolled in upon itself, roiling in the great black dome.
The cold moon was hidden, as were the stars, but the world outside was still
bright. The winds curled around me, toying with my hair and clothes. It
was cooler now, I still smelled rain on the air, felt the dampness in the
wind. The chill in the air was a welcome change.
Duo stood beside me, his hair blown back by a gust to leave his face
unobstructed. His eyes seemed darker without the hair to distract from
them. He was smiling, truly happy to be standing outside in the dark with
the storm threatening. It was infectious when he laughed as the wind
"Everything is so alive at night," he said, not turning to me. "You can
hear the world's heart beat, feel it pound under your feet."
I looked at him out of the corner of my eye. I felt nothing but the wind.
I wasn't sure I wanted to feel anything else. "I don't hear anything."
"Heero." He turned to face me. "You've heard it before. I know you have.
You told me as much." His expression was reproachful.
I let out a short sigh. "I don't know what you want me to do."
"Do what you did before."
I looked away from him, out at the city lights. Everything was so bright,
like it was brought too sharply into focus. We were standing in the wooded
park, and it was just us and the night. I peered into the trees, searching
the shadows. I thought I saw movement, but a closer look revealed nothing.
I had no idea what I had done before that let me feel what Duo was talking
about. It had just happened. I was about to tell him as much when I caught
the same movement again, a white smudge in the dark. It was a man, walking
along the path and headed towards us. I glanced at Duo; he didn't seem to
have noticed. He was watching me expectantly.
The smell of spices, something nearly smoky that was foreign and unique
wafted through the air. The man had broken the line of trees and I could
clearly see his clothes, the Asian features of his face, despite the
distance between us. Duo's eyes flicked to him, then back to me. I had no
idea what was going on.
The man in white moved steadily closer, unconcerned with the two of us
standing in the middle of his path. He didn't seem to take note of us at
all. Five feet away, and the smell grew stronger. Two feet, and I could
taste it like something warm and thick on my tongue. Then he passed close
between us and the world slowed down, time crawling by.
His hair, raven black, darker than the sky above us, was loose. Straight
and close to shoulder-length, it flowed out behind him in the wind, almost
brushing my face he was that near to me. Eyes as black as the hair were
focused straight ahead, startlingly vivid. His skin looked almost bronze
where shadows fell across him, a paler gold in the light. It was then that
I knew the smell in the air was him, was the scent of his skin. I could
taste him in my mouth, and he was oblivious to it all.
I stared at Duo as the man moved out of my line of sight, and he was
smiling. I turned my eyes away from him and I focused on the world beyond.
I could feel it now, the ebb and flow around me, the ponderous turning of
the world, the pulsing life under me. I felt life stretching for miles and
miles on every side.
There were insects darting through the air. A squirrel nearby perched
motionless in a tree. There was a dog at the edge of the park, and further
beyond that, men and women, some hurrying and some not, through the streets.
I kept moving further and further away until I felt like I would spread
myself too thin and be lost on the wind.
Duo's voice uttering my name brought me back. He was standing behind me,
murmuring into my ear, his hands a warm weight on my arms. I blinked,
gasped and leaned back into him, my legs suddenly to weak to hold me. The
throbbing heartbeat of the world lessened, becoming white noise in the
"You move through this all the time?" I asked and my voice came out a little
"Once the sun has gone, yes." He rubbed his hands along the length of my
arms, trying to comfort me, I think. It reminded me of the power in the
wind last night, soothing and gentle.
"Why? How . . . how is it so . . . ." I paused, searching for a word. My
brain didn't want to cooperate; I felt blackness nipping at the corners of
my vision. "Intense?"
"I can feel it because I'm not really a part of it. Most of the time, I
move outside of it." His tone should have been longing to match the
wistful-sounding words as he said them, but it wasn't. "When you are a part
of something from the very beginning throughout your existence, you tend to
not notice it. I feel the world beating, animate and alive, because I am
I had time to mutter, "Shit," before the darkness ate my sight and swallowed
- - - - - - - - -
My first thought when I came to was that I had to stop passing out. I was
losing huge chunks of time and it was beginning to severely annoy me. My
second thought was of how I was getting from place to place and then back
again. Logic dictated that Duo was carrying me around, and that really did
aggravate me. Firstly because I wasn't conscious to enjoy it, and secondly
because I actually had that first thought.
I felt a smile on my lips, amused despite myself at the circles my mind was
going in. I sat up slowly, scrubbing my hands over my face. I was still
wearing my clothes from last night, so he had at least resisted the urge to
strip me. I had a quick moment of conflicting feelings about that before I
snorted and pushed it to the back of my mind. A glance at the clock told me
it was just past three in the afternoon. Saturday afternoon, if I hadn't
lost another full day somewhere.
A week had gone by since I had first encountered Duo.
I wondered again what I was going to do. Last night had confirmed it; I
couldn't abandon the . . . power I'd tasted, and I wouldn't simply surrender
myself. I still didn't know what option number three was, I'd find out
sooner or later. Duo would show up again, of that I had no doubt. What he
would do once he did show up, though . . . I wasn't that surprised to
discover I was more than a little eager to find that out, too. Despite
everything, I still wanted Duo to fulfill his promise, and I knew the price.
I'd heard an old saying along those lines, once. If I pay thee not in gold
. . . .
I got up, showered and went over - and then over again - what was happening
to me. Everything I had encountered up to this point insisted that vampires
wanted one of two things of a human: blood or possession. Blood I didn't
seem to have much of a problem with, there was glaring evidence of that on
my skin. Being reduced to a possession was much more debatable. Yet, Duo
had said, more than once, that he didn't want to simply own me, and he'd
already gotten my blood. I knew what he wanted from me next, and I was
perilously close to giving it to him, but beyond that, I was lost.
I sat down on the couch, clad in pajama pants and steaming coffee mug in
hand. I was waiting again. It seemed like I spent every day now waiting
for night to finally arrive, some days more anxiously than others. I was
different, irreversibly changed. The phone rang, shrill and sudden. I
jumped, nearly spilling my coffee. I set the mug down and walked quickly to
the phone, wincing as it rung again. I turned the volume down as I picked
up the receiver and said, "Hello?"
There was a short pause, then, "Hello, Heero."
I slumped back against the wall, free hand flat against it. Duo's voice was
soft, flowing across the line and sounding as if he were there, in person.
It was ridiculous. Telephone wires shouldn't be able to convey that sound.
"Duo," I said by way of greeting. Of all the things that had happened, this
one struck me as the strangest. A vampire using a telephone. It seemed too
. . . normal. My sense of normal was becoming skewed. "What do you want?"
"That was a harsh greeting."
I grunted. He remained silent.
"Well?" I pressed, my nearly non-existent patience running out.
"I'd like to invite you to visit me."
"What?" I blurted.
He heaved a long sigh. "I'm inviting you to my home."
"You're not gifted at phone conversations, either," he said. "I'd like to
see you, Heero, without trudging through the city all night."
"Why your place?" I couldn't wrap my brain around the concept of Duo
casually inviting me over to his . . . residence. It just didn't work. It
was like inviting me on a date. I started to laugh quietly. If Duo ever
invited me out for drinks, I knew what was on the menu.
"Heero?" His tone was questioning, bewildered almost. It made me laugh a
little louder. "Are you alright?" he asked, and I thought I heard something
like concern in his voice.
"Fine," I said, regaining my control after the uncharacteristic outburst. I
felt more laughter trying to claw its way out of my throat, but choked it
back down. "So, why your place?"
"You've already been here," he said.
I paused. So that was where I had woken up the first time last night. I
wracked my memory, trying to picture something besides the bed I had lain
on, and found nothing. And Duo was doing a wonderful job of avoiding the
"Alright," I said. "Give me directions."
There was the sound of Duo catching his breath on the line. I don't think
he expected me to agree, and truthfully, neither had I. My curiosity always
seemed to get the better of me. It was a major fault.
He gave me directions, and I copied them down, then read them back to him.
"What time should I be there?" I asked.
That reminded me . . . . "Aren't you supposed to be . . . sleeping right
He laughed quietly, and it was my turn for my breath to catch. "No, not
necessarily. I usually wake in the afternoon, I don't like morning."
That was one way of phrasing it, but it didn't tell me as much as I had
hoped. "Alright," I said again. "I'll . . . see you then."
Duo said goodbye, and I hung up. I stared at nothing for several minutes,
trying to absorb what had just happened. I suddenly wanted to call him back
and tell him no. I could have found his phone number if I looked hard
enough. I was afraid, and full of nervous anticipation. I groaned softly
and went back to the living room, my coffee still sitting in the middle of
the table, steaming away. I ended up curling up in one corner of the couch,
mug cradled in my hands and staring at the drawn curtains. I didn't open
them any longer, the light was too bright. Time passed, and I tried to
figure out the mess that was my life.
Hours later, I was standing in front of my closet, hauling on a pair of
plain dark pants and a deep green, short-sleeved shirt. The material was
tight, but not uncomfortably so, and it left the marks on both my arm and
neck bare. I'd chosen a shirt that hid them first, and when I realized, I
changed. I felt cowardly hiding behind thin material, so now I was almost
flaunting the wounds. Just another kind of foolish. I buttoned the pants
and reached for my watch.
The light that seeped between my bedroom curtains changed, brightening. I
saw it in the mirror seconds before I felt something huge and blistering
smash through me. Suddenly I was on my knees, screaming, my heart pounding
in my chest like it would burst from my body. The pain was like scorching
flame, burning into me, searing my skin until my nerves were raw and naked.
My eyes were clenched shut, tears running down my cheeks. I screamed until
I couldn't draw breath any longer, and I ground my teeth together, screaming
my pain inside my head. And then it was finished, and I could breath again.
I collapsed, taking great gasps of air. The pain faded, becoming a memory,
and all I was left with was the ache in my jaw from clenched teeth.
I lay still for what seemed like eternity, then slowly, I rose. I swiped a
hand over my face, then walked on unsteady legs to the bathroom. I washed
the tears from my skin and avoided looking in the mirror. Then I sank to
the floor, leaning against the door jamb. I was in shock. Mild shock, I
told myself. It was a distant, muffled feeling, like I was detached from my
body and the world.
The pain of sunset was steadily getting worse. This time . . . this time,
it was like . . . .
I slammed my fist into the floor, snarling in frustrated rage. I shoved
myself to my feet and finished getting ready, raking a brush quickly through
my hair and retrieving the watch from where it had fallen to the floor. I
called a taxi service, grabbed my keys and left. I had planned on using
public transport, but now I hadn't the patience to wait. I was going to see
The city flashed by, and I barely registered where we were going. I had the
directions tucked into my pocket, and the driver had to use them twice. We
went deeper into the city than I had ever bothered to venture before.
"You sure this is where you wanna be?" he asked, peering out the window at
the building in front of us.
It was a blank, dark building. Plain . . . no, ugly. Nothing like the
person who was supposed to own it. I stepped out of the car and paid the
driver. Right now, I wasn't at all sure this is where I wanted to be, but
here I was.
"Yeah," I told him, turning away. I felt a drop of wetness on my face, then
another on my hand. The sidewalk was slowly becoming peppered with dark wet
He grunted something under his breath, then drove away. I looked up at the
building, my face set, and headed around to the side, where Duo had told me
there was a door. I searched the blank wall for several moments before I
saw it. Without asking myself again if this was an intelligent idea, since
I was fairly certain of the answer, I grasped the handle and pulled. The
air behind me grew colder as the rain started falling harder. I listened to
the heavy sound of it hitting the ground. In front of me, there was a soft
glow of light, showing two sets of stairs; one leading up, the other, down.
I went down. The symbolizism wasn't lost on me.
Another door lay at the bottom, and I pushed that one open as well. It was
darker here, the light a different color than the usual yellowish glow of
electricity. I glanced around, seeking the source, and only found a small
table lamp. The room was decorated in stark black and white, with shades of
gray. The carpet was pure white, the furniture that I could see, which
included a wide couch, two overstuffed chairs and the low, square coffee
table that the lamp sat on, were solid black. I swept my gaze over the room
again, this time catching a smaller table, also black wood, with a tiny
winged statue and a telephone on it. There were three doorways, the one I
was standing in and two more, one on the far side and the other a few feet
away, set back in a niche.
I stepped fully into the room, letting the door close softly behind me. I
resisted the irrational urge to slam the door shut.
"This is as far as I go, Duo," I said. "Where are you?"
I heard him moving around, and he materialized in the doorway not far from
me. He looked at me and smiled. It looked genuine, not the carefully
composed smile I was so used to seeing before. He started walking towards
me, a greeting on his lips.
"It's getting worse," I snapped at him, not bothering to hide my anger.
His smile faltered and he slowed. "What is?"
"You know what I'm talking about," I said, raking a hand through my hair.
"When the sun sets and I-" I stopped short, catching the expression on his
"You feel it, yes, I know," he said. His face had gone blank. A perfect,
beautiful blank statue.
"But not like that, not before!" I said. I knew I wasn't making it clearer,
but that fear had finally caught up with me and it was quickly turning from
rage to panic. "It's worse. It hurt before, but now it's worse. I can't
breathe through the pain." Belatedly I realized that I had slumped back
against the door, using it for support.
Suddenly, Duo was beside me, holding me in his arms. I stiffened, but he
didn't pull away. His hair was loose and fell around us. It brushed over
my hand and I curled a lock around my finger without thinking. He was
speaking, and I couldn't hear him over the rushing in my ears. I looked up
at him blankly and said, "What?"
He stopped short, mouth open and in mid-sentence. "Can you hear me?" he ask
I nodded. I could hear him now. "Reverse it," I said, annoyed that my
voice sounded panicked. I was scared, that much was true, but I didn't want
to sound so frantic. "Stop it, keep it from getting worse."
Duo looked at me, his eyes wary. "I can't reverse it."
"Duo!" I shouted at him.
He shook his head slowly. "I can't, I told you I couldn't. But . . . I can
I stopped breathing for a second, then straightened. Duo's arms fell away.
"What do you mean?" I didn't trust how he had phrased it. "Just keep it
from getting worse?" I didn't want to experience that everyday. I couldn't
die every time the sun set, and that's exactly what it felt like.
Duo's face closed down, hiding his thoughts completely from me.
I scowled at him, crossing my arms over my chest. That was not what I
wanted to hear, especially if it was the truth.
He sighed, turning away from me and walking into the room. "I said I wanted
I hoped that he wasn't referring to sex. I couldn't handle a sex talk right
"I didn't mean simply in a sexual way, though I want to have you, touch you
and know you're mine, just as much." He settled down on the couch, long
legs stretched out in front of him and hands loosely clasped over his
I noticed for the first time that his black pants were impossibly tight, the
line so smooth that I knew there was nothing under them but him. The shirt
was red, a deep, dark blood red, and completely sheer. I saw glimpses of
his skin through the cloth. He shifted, turning his head to face me, and my
gaze got caught on the sight of the sculpted curve of his chest and the dark
aureoles of his nipples. My mouth had filled as he spoke, and I swallowed
loudly. I wondered if he could hear it. I really couldn't handle the sex
"I don't belong to anyone," I said. "I won't be reduced to your
"You already own me, Heero." His eyes seemed to darken, and I took an
involuntary step into the room, towards him. "Is it so much to ask that you
share yourself with me?"
I concentrated on not moving closer to him and didn't bother to answer.
"You seduced me, calling me in the night, heating my blood with your voice,
and I am not allowed to return the favor?"
I shook my head, having to try twice before my voice would work. "I didn't
ask for this."
"I am asking," he replied. He moved again, kneeling sideways on the couch
now with one foot still firmly on the floor. He held his hand out to me.
"I want to have you with me, be able to touch your body, taste your skin."
God, any god, help me, I wanted it. I wanted to take his hand and let him
pull me down beside him, hoping that he'd never let go. I wanted to fall on
him like some ravening animal and see what kind of sounds I could wrench
from his throat. My body ached with it, my skin felt too small, too tight
to contain me. I could feel my blood pulsing through my veins, heart
pounding. Something stirred within me, and I could hear it asking me again
why I refused the power and the pleasure. And I couldn't think of a single
reason for why not any more.
I started walking, hands still fisted at my sides. He watched me warily,
holding himself perfectly still as if expecting me to turn and bolt from the
room if he so much as twitched. I slid my hand into his, a brush of skin.
He was warm, no . . . hot. His fingers closed slowly over mine and he
looked up at me, his expression raw and open. I saw disbelieving relief in
his face, and fear. Fear that I would turn away and reject him again, and
that was something I just couldn't bring myself to do. Partly because of
him, but mostly for myself. Selfish, greedy hypocritical bastard that I am,
I couldn't bear the thought of not having him. It had taken me this long to
Duo watched me, not speaking. He drew me down in front of him until I sat
on the cushions. His gaze dropped to where my hand was enclosed by his,
then carefully released his grip. He trailed his fingers up over my arm and
cupped my cheek, his eyes following the same path.
I swallowed again, and my breath caught. My body pulsed with anticipation,
I could feel my clothes rubbing against my cock, already full and throbbing.
My skin where he touched me seemed to flare with sensation, and I felt the
velvet caress of power breathing through me.
"Duo," I said, my voice deep and rough in my own ears. "I want . . . ."
He shook his head again, silencing me, and rubbed his thumb over my lips.
His own voice was rough when he spoke. "Do you know what you're about to
I had a quick flash of irritation through the haze of hormones raging
through my blood. Of course I knew. I opened my mouth to tell him so.
"No, do you truly know what you're about to ask?" He brought his other hand
up, trapping my face between his palms. "You'll never be the same, it will
all change once and then never change again."
I drew my eyebrows together, trying to tear my gaze away from his lips. I
was mesmerized, watching them. "You've already - I've already changed, I
can't go back now."
"No," he said. "You can't." Then he covered my lips with his.