"Let machinery fake my place, who has time to chase. Digital is where it is. Love can always be replaced. Welcome to my consciousness. Welcome to our race. Everything is never quite enough."
Everything (is never quite enough) - Diop, Wasis
Three days later we were long gone from Puppy or more rightly Aura as we'd taken to calling it. It had become a giant planet, the combined mass of both merging into something monstrous in form. I was left with a feeling of melancholy, as if in the birth of one planet, I'd lost a part of myself. What bothered me, was I just couldn't seem to figure out what was missing. So I lay in front of a port, staring listlessly at my palm while everyone else slept. Or at least I thought everyone was asleep.
My eyes were tracing the scar-like pattern left on my palm, that never ending circle which supposedly the universe itself had gifted me with. *This* universe at any rate. Or were they all really the same? Connected in some way we never saw. Invisible loops that swung like chains between them.
I'd been doing entirely too much thinking in the past few days, and my temples were starting to pound with yet another headache from it. I didn't want to be this way, avoiding everyone, focusing only on the turbulence inside. It was with near joy that I heard a sound from the hallway outside. The room I was sitting in was a small chamber, just a resting area really, a port along one side, and walls everywhere else. The sound had pricked my ears, a soft pattering, like bare feet.
My eyes turned to look even as I listened intently for a few breathless moments. Nothing, just the soft almost inaudible hum of machinery. Of course, when I turned my attention back to the port, I heard it again. Not louder, nor longer, just another delicate tread of naked feet. I started to feel apprehensive, worry clouding my eyes as I stared into the blank hallway from my perch. Slowly I climbed down from beside the port, easing my way towards the door.
I stopped, a few feet from the door, hand raised to brace against the wall. I didn't recognize the whispering voice, and yet, it sounded familiar, something I knew I should know. I was afraid to look into the hallway, frozen. I didn't know what would be there, and knowing just how bizarre space could be; I almost didn't want to know. And then it came again, slightly louder.
Trepidation weighing me down, I peered around the doorframe, ready to leap back in a moment. My body became motionless as I saw what was facing me, who was facing me. He looked the same, so much like home. So familiar it ached. "Chang..."
Why do I have such a weak constitution?
"Hey, Duo? Come on, wake up, please?"
Someone was slapping my cheek lightly, and my eyes fluttered with it. "Stop..."
Light hit my eyes, and I squinted for a moment, growing accustomed to it. "Heero?"
"Yeah, I found you passed out in the hallway. Wondered why you hadn't come to bed yet." His face looked anxious, steelshift eyes searching my features. "I was worried."
"I saw Chang, he was here." I sat up slowly and carefully; my head still ached.
"Duo..." his hand went to my face, "you know that's impossible."
"No, he was here." I leaned against his shoulder as he unconsciously helped me up. I was still in the corridor. I wondered how long I'd been lying there before Heero found me. Minutes? Hours? There was no way of truly knowing.
"Heero, he was...naked, why would he have been naked?" I leaned against him as we began walking back towards our sleeping quarters. I still felt groggy, unstable.
"That sounds like a personal issue to me."
I turned to see him smiling slightly, lips twisted in a smirk. "Oh, kajacrap." I shook my head at him, tugging at his arm. "It wasn't like that."
"What was it like then?" We turned, stepping through a doorway and into our room. The bed was messy, an indent where Heero's head had been.
For a long minute, I didn't respond, staring blankly at the bed, wishing I'd been in it with him. But lately it'd become almost painful, sleeping with him and not being able to touch him. "It was eerie."
I sighed, sitting on the edge of the unmade bed; slowly taking my boots off, the metal flooring was too cold for me most of the time. I'd found I didn't like running around barefoot as much as everyone else seemed to.
"How so?" his face was set in an expression of polite interest. Lips still sporting that slight smirk. I felt like kissing him and smacking him, the only thing stopping me for the moment, my indecision as to which to do first.
"Because Heero, I *know* he couldn't be here either. But I saw him, just as I'm seeing you now. He was there, standing in front of me, in the hall, naked." I spat out the last word, meeting his eyes with a glare. "Ok?"
They narrowed, becoming silver slits. "That is strange. Why..." he trailed off, merely sitting quietly while I finished undressing.
"I know, and me being myself, I fainted at the sight. Shinalp." I slid under the covers, dragging him across the bed towards me. "I'm such an idiot." My mouth moved towards his without thinking, and I stopped. An inch away, noses nearly brushing.
"Duo..." he sighed, and I felt my chest clench, my gut churning.
"I hate this." And it came out like a curse, something vile tasting and dark.
"I know, I do too." His voice was strained.
My eyes turned from his, angry that I couldn't have what I wanted. I settled for resting my head against his shoulder, staring up at the ceiling. My fingers had wound through the bedclothes, twisting them in my frustration. Heero shifted, pulling me closer, an arm wrapping around my waist, fingers soft against my skin. He sighed, ruffling the hair spilling against my cheek. "Have you talked to him?"
"Of course," I snapped, biting my tongue as soon as the words escaped, sounding too harsh in the semi-darkness.
"And?" his face nuzzled against my neck, heating my skin. I squirmed, wanting it, wanting it so badly, and knowing we'd have to stop. My fist clenched around a wad of sheets.
"I don't know, I don't know what it will do to him. It doesn't exactly hurt him; it's just...dangerous. And not just to him, it could hurt us all, Heero. I could dissolve everything with one wrong move."
"You wouldn't though."
"But you wouldn't, you might have the power, and the ability. But you would stop yourself in the end."
"I talked to Bell too." He said softly, the hand resting against my stomach curving slightly.
That surprised me, and I wondered what they'd talked about. Heero hadn't really taken much of a liking to Bell, I thought it had something to do with, well, the fact that except for coloring we were twins. I think it made him uncomfortable, our alikeness. "And?"
"He said that this energy you use, is drawn from everything around you. But that in the end, it can only be you who can decide how it's used. Even if it seems accidental," he paused, tracing one of my wings with a fingertip, "you thought of it, energy into mass. You gave it shape."
He was making sense so far, repeating what Bell had already told me, and yet, it seemed different hearing it from Heero. Like I'd missed something before. "Say that again?"
"You gave it shape?" he questioned, leaning up on an elbow and staring down at me. I wondered what he saw, whether it was tinged in blue or maybe silvery hues.
"So...what if I gave it a nightmare's shape? What if it was," I swallowed hard at the thought, "horrible?"
"Do you think you would truly create something so awful?"
"I don't know," I felt like groaning, crying, so frustrated with everything. "I don't know what's inside of me, Heero. I just don't know." I heard the unmistakable sound of the sheets tearing and sat up, pushing them off. "Death," I drew in a shuddering breath, "everything I love could die by my own hand, and...and though I might not want to do it, though I may not have thought of it really, it could happen. And I wouldn't be able to bring you back."
"Duo," he tried to interrupt, but I'd already pictured it, and I knew it could happen. So clearly inside my mind I saw him dead, nothing, no way to bring him back. I'd be empty without him. So soon, I'd only just met him, and it seemed like years had passed. Maybe they had.
"I love you." I whispered, and it fell into the room like a rock. I thought I'd see concentric circles pool up from it, whisper through the air above us.
"But? What? Some twisted part of you wants to see me dead. That part of you that hates me for letting them put the Klishana in you. The part that hates the lies I told."
"No...yes..." and it was true, some part of me did hate him. But did it want to see him dead? "I don't know."
"I don't think it's big enough." He said at last, fingers brushing lightly back and forth across my stomach, one inching to circle my belly button. "I don't think you have enough hate in you," he poked gently into the little indent as if for emphasis. "Bell said, that you were looking to blame someone, but I think most of all, you just keep blaming yourself."
"Then why can't I stop?"
"Because, you can't forgive yourself for something that you're not even at fault over."
"I hate when you make sense."
"You're hating a lot of things lately."
"Blame it on unrelieved lust."
"I'd rather do something else about that." And his hand stilled, resting against my skin. Mentally I willed it lower, sighing when it did just that. Easing downwards until it lay just above what was rapidly becoming an erection. It paused, one finger tapping against my lower abdomen, waiting.
My stomach was tying itself into rough knots, toes curling, fingers clenching and unclenching. This was temptation, a yearning to feel what I knew I couldn't have. This was a nightmare, a burning need to want. "We can't,"
"Oh?" his hand feathered softly back and forth across my skin, chill bumps rising in its wake.
I shivered, trying to unclench my jaw, force myself to say it again. But I couldn't. "I want," I sighed out, turning into him, curling my arms and wings around him in a total embrace.
"I know," his mouth cruised over my neck, ghosted across my jaw, sought out my lips. "But don't worry," and he bestowed a soft kiss on the corner of my mouth, "you," another one, this time nibbling at my bottom lip, "can't hurt," his tongue swiped out, leaving me breathless, "that,"
"Oh enough!" and I let out a helpless laugh, pushing him away slightly, staring into those silvery eyes.
"Which you love," he concluded never the less, grinning at me across the 3 inches that separated our faces. Then he leaned close again, and I felt his hand finish its descent downwards, his fingers sliding into place around my arousal, just holding lightly. "You want?"
Again, I warred with myself. I wanted so badly to be touched by him. "Yeah,"
His hand tightened, beginning that motion that I knew could possibly end in death. Who knew that sex would be so closely tied with it? My hips thrust forward eagerly, my mouth opening only to meet his and open wider, taste each corner of it. But the war still went on, doubts flaying me. It was only with the approach of orgasm that the energy would peak. Could I control it, when I myself would be so out of control?
I forgot for a time that I had to think, my body taking over. It at least, had no questions or battles ranging inside of it. All it knew was that Heero's touch was soothing, exciting, and everywhere. My fingers were coursing over his skin, drawing bands in it, sliding hard over its textures and shapes. Every minute that passed was bringing me closer, and I could feel my mind leeching away.
It had to end, it had to stop, but it was like plummeting from a cliff with no wings. There was nothing I could do to halt it. Nothing I wanted to do. I hadn't even realized my hand had wrapped around Heero to return the favor, until he moaned quietly, biting my shoulder, warmth spilling over my knuckles. And suddenly it was there, the wetwiring in my skin glowing with it, my wings lighting with that blue fire. My mind was falling too, following my body. "No!" I pushed him away, my body flying backwards, through the bulwark behind.
It seemed to happen in slow motion, my hand still wet with his release, my body still straining with my own. Everything seemed to slow, time dripping from an hourglass. His eyes were opening, seemingly taking hours, and as at last the blank depths of silver met my own eyes, I was through the wall. Flying past it, walls flitting through me or I through them. Rooms, machinery, it didn't matter. I was a ghost pushing through it all.
When at last I stopped, it was to crash against something at my back. My eyes closing, body shaking, tremors running through every inch of it.
My eyes were closed, flickers of blue crossing my lids. My body ached, muscles sore from tensing so hard. I brought back the recent memories, flying through the ship, throwing myself using the building energy of impending orgasm. It was better than the alternative; I hadn't hurt anyone that way. But now, I wondered where I was.
I was loath to open my eyes and see for myself. But despite my fervent wishes they opened, slowly focusing on my own outstretched hand. It was still wet, fingers curled slightly. I adjusted my vision, moving my gaze to what my hand was resting on. It wasn't part of the ship, the floor a dead blue, like the crystal when it wasn't glowing. Though the wetwiring beneath my skin still glowed, lighting the chamber I was in.
I lay where I was, unmoving except for my eyes. My head tilted, gaze crossing over blank dull blue, moving above, noting the low ceiling. It was just like what Puppy had trapped me in, before Bell had come out. Only the color was different. My eyes latched onto my hand again, noticing for the first time, that it wasn't only the wetwiring that glowed.
The white scar-like circle on my right palm was glowing softly, only not blue. It was golden, like the butterflies had been, like the entity on Puppy's mate. I lay, staring at it, mind drifting. The chamber swam in and out of my vision, my focus only on that glowing golden circle. It seemed too, to drift in and away. As if swimming through rippling water.
My concentration flowed with it, as if it was hypnotizing me. Dragging me down its circling form to its center, pulling me inside of it. It filled my vision, blackness flickering at the edges. Images appeared, vague at first, then, slowly, gradually solidifying. It was space.
Cold, lonely, space. Black and soft, huge and empty. And yet filled with life, with energies and patterns. It swirled gently, the stars and planets twisting slowly, and my vision backed away. A further view and I could see what it was. A never-ending concentric circle, twisting forever into itself. Creating and dying and creating over and over again, endlessly. A mass of light would spin towards the center of it, like water down a drain and it didn't matter, as more filled its place. Galaxies would convulse and turn, blacking and dying out and it didn't matter, there was always more.
Slowly my eyes came back into focus, sliding up a long black well, clearing at long last. In front of me still lay my open palm, the glow gone from it. Leaving behind a faint golden tinge before becoming once more the white of scar tissue.
Something bumped my hand, and my fingers twitched releasing my gaze. I lay as if dead, exhausted. Fingers wrapped around my hand, slithered in-between my own, clasped them tightly. I sighed, gripping them back, and pulled. Not surprised to see that the coloring of the hand, and the wrist that followed was a whitish-blue.
Bell seeped through the flooring as if melting into existence, his body coming to rest beside my own, lying in front of me. His eyes met mine, serious and concerned. But he remained wordless, merely reaching out a hand, gently petting my cheek. His fingers were chilled, feeling like his skin looked, icy almost.
My eyes closed, and I lay there, just feeling those fingers brush against my skin, push the hair from my forehead, trace the lines of my eyebrows. It was soothing, like a mother with a sleepless child. Ceaseless caressing, love in a touch. His lips met my forehead, soft as an electric butterfly. Without thinking, I tilted my face, our mouths meeting as if they were meant to. My right hand was still clasped with his hand, my left moving to cup his face. It was such a tender kiss, tears stinging behind my closed eyelids. Perhaps, I had forgotten something after all. I'd forgotten that Bell was a part of me, not just inside me, or outside of me, but actually me. Yet so luridly different from myself, an alien mind merged with my insignificant human mind.
My tongue crept out, sliding along his lips, tasting, finding it as familiar as my own flesh. Because it was. His lips parted, and our tongues met, sliding along each other, moving and twining, separating only to meet again. It was my taste, my flavor, like kissing a mirror, a duplicate of me. For a crazy moment I wondered whether his tongue was blue too, or pink like my own. His fingers trailed down my cheek, sliding along my jaw, cold digits coming to rest against the pulse in my neck, beating with it. The same heartbeat.
A long sigh of breath whispered into our mingled mouths, filtered between us. Minutes passed lazily, lust not really a part of this strange moment. It was merely, a touch, warmth, an understanding perhaps. Eventually it rolled to a stop, our mouths separating, foreheads meeting. We lay on our sides, wrapped around each other, the fingers of our hands woven together. "Don't throw yourself away," he whispered, lips brushing mine as he spoke.
My eyes remained closed, briefly I met his mouth again, laying a gentle kiss against it. "Where are we?"
"Inside Khali's outer hull," he pulled me closer, moving my head to his shoulder, his hand going to the small of my back. "I threw up a barrier, you were almost outside."
"Almost outside? You mean..."
"Yes, you'd almost pushed through into space. You wanted to die. You would have died." His fingers tensed, the tips of them pushing into my skin. "I would rather die, then have you do that."
"Can you die?" his shoulder was warm beneath my face, soft and pliable skin, I nipped at it lightly.
"Yes, if I have to." his voice lowered an octave, his hand once more stilling against me.
"You have a choice?" the idea intrigued me, there had never been a choice in death, or so I'd always thought.
"There is always a choice, Duo. Death is just another option."
"And what options do I have?"
"This one," he said, and I realized we were slowly sinking, drifting through the floor like mist.
His arms tightened, becoming bands of steel around my body, and then released, tension flowing away. My eyes slowly opened.
Heero lay in front of me, his arms loosely clasping my waist, his eyes closed, breathing deep and even with sleep. My hand went to his face, stroking one of those high cheekbones, tracing the bone structure. His lashes flicked, eyes twitching beneath them, and they opened.
Blue eyes met my own, soft sapphire.
"Yes?" he sounded sleepy, dreams still tying him to oblivion.
I wiggled my hand in front of his eyes, and they opened wide, disbelief filling them. "Wha-"
"Bell?" and in my mind I heard a tinkle of laughter, like a crystal being struck softly. His voice seemed far away, chimes ringing in a sunlit field.
"Another option," the whispered words came from Heero's lips, and he looked surprised, trying to stare at his own mouth, or so it seemed. "What the-"
"Bell is inside of you, I don't know how." But I realized even as I said it that I knew why. And I knew why we'd kissed, why we'd touched. He'd been trying to see if I would be willing. "I can touch you this way, I don't know how. Heero," the universe felt lighter around me suddenly, my soul lifting.
"Duo," his voice caught, blue eyes filling, "I can see you."
And when our mouths met, I could taste his tears
Transpod: A dimensional traveling device. The transpod will transport human mass within any area that contains another transpod. The time taken for each journey will always be exactly 10 nanoseconds, as time is folded as well as matter to create no ripple within the dimensions.
Slosta: A drink created from organic matter grown on Jilad, the Slosta is filled with nutrients that heighten awareness and energize.
CR chips: Two microchips implanted behind the ears, the connectors that allow a direct linkage to the VR modules.
Shinalp: A form of cursing, Shinalp is somewhat akin to saying "shit" or "ah shit"
Kajacrap: The Kaja is a life form located on the planet Neskin, a large beast known to produce huge amounts of feces. The phrase kajacrap is akin to saying "Bullshit"
Fliogan Warriors: The Fliogan is a race that attaches metallic wings to their young while they are still being formed within the incubators. The wings are partially organic, fusing with the young so as to become part of their bodies. This warrior race is known to be extremely high tech, and very vicious, most normal humans will not go near them, as they are known to kill without reason. Very little is known of the Fliogan or their ways.
Feed Tubes: Connectors that feed information and nutrients to any life form connected to any long-term device.
Lavablue 6: The planet on which the society of Fliogan reside at this time.
Levels: Technological knowledge is rated by level; most societies only have an average of 30 levels. The common level of most humans is 5, techmaster levels tend to be higher and in the upper ranges.
Steelshift: 1 of over a million different charted elements, Steelshift is partially organic, allowing it to be integrated with human DNA, testing is still in experimental stages, most distinguished users of this element are the Fliogan.
Slipshot Diskwings: A style of wing known to be common among the Fliogan, Slipshot defines the integration of movable parts, Diskwing is the style of the small circular patterns of metal that form the wings of Fliogan.
Contract: A contract is a more binding way to say, "Promise or swear?"
Optilenses: Cyber optic lenses, which can be used during a VR program only.
Creos: The original form of the name Christ has changed with the passage of time, modern form of the word when used as a curse is Creos.
Orstras: A plant matter grown in dark caves on the planet of Trinition, considered a delicacy on most planets, the plant is dark purple with small white bells that can be plucked and cooked. The taste is said to be sweet and delicate.
Realtime Call: The difference between a realtime call and a regular call is in the distance, all realtime calls infer off planet residence of the caller, communications run at high speeds, face to face talking is still difficult between planets.
What is your task: This is the way most people will ask what your job is, what career you're in.
Crèche Technician: Most people are born to the incubators and raised in crèches, the technicians help care for the many children being raised in such places.
Grower: The still forming body of a child within the incubator, a delicate time that must be carefully overseen to prevent accidents. A grower is usually designated as a child in a womb-like state. Between -1 to -9 months, or the time a child would be inside of a mother's body.
Youlin: A manmade mammalian life form, these animals are specifically created to improve the technology behind cloning. Most tests are performed with a small VR module; with which the creatures are filled with the only knowledge they know, as the Youlin is created with a blank slate for a mind.
A Set: A group of Growers that have reached maturity.
Trance state: Every few months of a citizen's life is recorded during REM cycles, the consciousness is stored within a neural processor called a memory chip. Occasionally when one wishes to know another, an exchange of such chips may occur.
Wetwiring: circuitry and modifications that can be installed within the human body without harming it.
The System: There are 3 levels of the system. The first is that which take cares of the minor systems such as basic maintenance, the second level controls techmaster training, medical facilities, and knowledge. The final level of the system controls all other functions between worlds; each detail is observed, and stored within it.
Klishana: A crystal found during an expedition of exploration, it is not only organic, but sentient as well.
Pinalr: A vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked, it is said to be an acquired taste due to its strange fleshy texture and nutty flavor.
Guplit: A type of fruit grown on many planets, it is small and covered in tiny spikes which make it needful to be carefully eaten. It is said to taste rather sour, with a hint of sweetness.
Fermented Hisle Juice: A type of fruit also grown on many planets, it can be juiced and distilled to form a mild form of alcoholic beverage.
Brean-scalpel: a surgical instrument designed for a bloodless opening and closing of tissues, often used for personal bodily modifications.
Inverse Star: Very rarely when a star starts its death throes, it will turn in upon itself and feed off of its own energy, creating a new form for itself.
If you would like a definition for something not listed here just ask! ^_^