by Dyna Dee
It was a feather touch really, a small, innocent kiss, but it sent a shock of desire through the Prince's body such as he had never experienced before or with as much intensity. He willed himself to pull back, restraining himself from any further touch and opened his eyes to see that Duo's eyes were also open.
"Heero?" he questioned sleepily.
"I'm sorry, Duo. I didn't mean to wake you." Heero whispered as his hand raised to bush some long strands of hair from the other boy's eyes. "How's your head feeling?"
Duo smiled slightly, his eyes half open. "Better. How was your feast?"
"Dull after you left." Heero replied honestly. He reached out and pulled Duo into his arms, leading his head to rest on his shoulder. They lay there contentedly for a few moments before the silence was broken.
"Why did you run out of here this afternoon?"
The boy in his arms stiffened slightly. "I... I was ..... confused." he stammered. "I wanted to go somewhere and think." he replied.
Several moments passed as the Princes' Fourth hesitated to reply. He knew he couldn't lie to the Prince, so taking a deep breath he began. "I...I saw Quatre on.....top of you.....doing.....things."
"Did that scare you?" concern was laced in Heero's voice.
Duo thought about it at the moment and tried to remember why he ran. "No." he replied timidly. "But I didn't understand it, and I felt funny. I haven't' felt like that before."
Heero smiled as he hugged Duo to his chest. "It's a normal reaction to what you saw." he reassured the smaller boy.
"Was what Quatre was doing part of the bonding?"
"Yes, a part." Heero answered. "We need time to get to know each other. Quatre's a very eager learner." he chuckled.
"Is that good?"
"Yes, it is." the princes hands stroked Duo's back reassuringly. "We may be able to bond sooner and easier because of it and also because of his empathic abilities. Then, after a time, it will be your turn to start the bonding process."
Duo's mind was racing with questions about the bonding and what he'd seen earlier. He knew there were things he didn't understand, and felt it was just out of his understanding. He wanted to know, especially since the others did. So without hesitating he asked the one question that came to mind. "Does it hurt, what Quatre was doing? You were both moaning like you were sick or hurt." With his ear against Heero's chest he heard and felt the rumbling of humor at the question.
"No, it doesn't hurt." Heero chuckled as he replied. "It feels very pleasant."
"Hum." was all Duo replied as he thought a moment before speaking. "Will you show me?"
Duo's simple request sent a shiver of lust through the prince. He rolled Duo onto his back and covered his chest with his own. "I shouldn't because it's Quatre's time." He answered and Duo wondered at the huskiness of his voice. "But...." he hesitated for a moment, his eyes desperately searching the trusting ones looking up from beneath him. "Maybe I could just show you a little, to belay your fears, and show you just a small taste of the pleasures we'll share together."
Duo nodded, unsure of what was going to happen, but he trusted the prince implicitly. "Alright." he whispered.
The trust Heero saw reflected in Duo's eyes and his quiet consent melted any resolve the Prince had to hold himself back. He lowered his head and began to softly kiss the boy, slowly and deliberately building the passion between them. As Duo's heartbeat quickened as well as his breathing, Heero moved his hand up to untie the front of his Heart's shirt. Moving the fabric aside, his hand explored the toned and perfect chest. When Duo moaned in response to his touch, the Prince moved one of his legs to slide between Duo's, rubbing his thigh against the boy's groin.
Duo gasped and a shiver rippled through his body. "Heero?" he whispered, his voice a combination of fear and pleasure.
"Is that what you felt earlier?" Heero asked, his voice low with passion as he watched the look of desire and awakening passion cross his love's face.
Duo nodded, unable to speak. Heero smiled knowingly. He wanted this boy now, and it took all his strength of will not to take him completely. With a moan, he collapsed down and plundered the inviting lips again as he climbed fully on top of him, placing himself between his Heart's legs, ignoring the realization that his nightshirt had climbed up to his waist.
Duo received the kiss with equal passion, and gasped into Heero's mouth as the prince's hips ground against him, their mutual aching organs brushing against each other separated only by the fabric of Duo's pants. He reached up and grabbed hold of Heero's shoulders for some sense of stability as his world spun out of control with awakening sensations. "Heero?" His eyes were wide mirrors reflecting his bewilderment and wonder at what was happening to him.
One look into those wondrous orbs and Heero found himself unable to stop. He thrust again, and again, thrilled when Duo's hips lifted in response, acting instinctively to meet his growing passion. "That's it, Duo. That's how you do it." Heero whispered encouragingly against the lips he couldn't stop tasting. They continued their lover's dance of lips and grinding hips until Duo cried out, thrusting one last time, his back arching upward. Heero opened his eyes to see the look of bliss on his Heart's face and then moaned as he felt his own completion come.
They lay against each other, hearts pounding, breath merging, with arms and legs entangled as they held tightly to each other as their bodies calmed.
"Is that.... part of the bonding?" Duo asked in wonder after composing himself.
"It's a start." Heero replied as he carefully rolled off the top of Duo and gave him a quick kiss. "A very good start." Now at the boy's side, the prince pulled the partially braided head onto his shoulder and wrapped his arms around the lithe body, holding him possessively at his side.
After a few moments and as sleep had begun to set in, Heero heard Duo's hesitant voice. "Heero... I.... I'm..... wet..., messy."
"I know." the prince yawned, weariness stealing over him as he lay there sated and content. "I am , too. I'll get us a cloth in a moment." he yawned through the entire last sentence.
Duo lay patiently waiting. His hair was falling loosely around him and the sticky moistness in his pants irritated him. He listened to Heero's slowed breathing and lifted his head to see his eyes were shut, his face relaxed in slumber. He began to squirm, hoping to wake the prince to get the promised cloth. He really didn't like this messiness, he decided. Seeing that his movements didn't rouse Heero from his slumber, he gently eased himself out of the Prince's slacking hold and cautiously removed himself from the bed. He walked barefooted to the dressing table where the wash basin and pitcher were located. After poring water into the basin and wetting the cloth, he unlaced his pants, messy on the inside and out, then took hold of the cloth and cleansed himself. With periodic glances behind him to see if Heero had awakened, he was pleased to see he still slept. After finishing, he stood in a quandary. His pants were still wet and he didn't like the feel of it at all. He looked from the bed to the door and then back again debating with himself. He wanted to go back to his room to change into his night clothes, but Wufei said he was to stay in Heero's room as a precaution from Treize. Truth be told, he didn't want to leave, but his discomfort was urging him to go to his room and change. His eyes then lit on the chest at the end of the bed and he made up his mind.
Heero awoke just before dawn, his mind instantly registering the warmth next to him. Duo, his Heart. He kissed the top of the other boy's head as it nestled against his shoulder, and then quickly became aware of his physical state. With regret he cautiously rose to repair himself. Striking the flint to the candle wick, he set to the task of cleaning himself up. As he finished, he looked to the bed with guilt. He had not intended to fall asleep and leave Duo in the messy state their lovemaking had left them in.
As he drew closer to the bed with the candle stick in hand, he was surprised to see Duo was not wearing the shirt he had worn the previous night, but wore what looked to be one of his nightshirts. Heero smiled with pleasure. He would gladly share anything and everything with the boy who made his heart skip with the briefest of glances or smiles. The prince also recognized the significance of his Heart's action. Duo always accepted anything he gave him with humble gratitude, yet he never once asked for anything. The other Three had approached his Heart with affectionate embraces and kisses, but he never went to any of them, never initiating any affection on his own. He realized Duo could have just left for his own room to change, but instead, he took a nightshirt from his chest and climbed back into bed with him. To Heero it was a sign of his importance to his Heart, that his deep feelings for this boy might just be reciprocated in kind.
With a smile on his face, Heero followed his Heart's example. He quickly donned another nightshirt and crawled back into the warm, inviting bed. Here was no need to rise early today. It was expected that everyone would sleep late after a feast, so the entire castle would come awake later that morning. He pulled the bundle of cloth, warmth, and hair back into his arms and quickly fell back to sleep.
The routine of their daily life began again as soon as the guests began to depart in the days following the feast. Quatre's preparation for bonding continued.
After the passing of several weeks, Duo was awakened from his deep sleep in the middle of the night, by a hand gently shaking his shoulder. "Duo, wake up." Heero's voice called out. The sleepy boy sat up blinking the sleep out of his eyes to see the prince, candle in hand, fully dressed with his cloak on.
"Whatsamatter?" Duo asked, his voice deep and slurring with sleepiness.
"Nothing, but I have a surprise for you. Get dressed and I'll meet you in the hallway."
Duo nodded and flung back the covers to quickly obey the Prince's command, suddenly awake and eager to find out what his surprise would be.
A short while later, he stood outside the dreaded stables. In the torchlight, Heero could see the look of abject fear in Duo's eyes. He took his hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze. "The horses are all shut securely away in their stalls." he reassured the trembling boy. "Not a one can come near you. But my gift for you is in the back of the stable. Do you trust me enough to come with me?"
Duo swallowed with difficulty, and though his eyes still reflected his fear, he nodded his head. "I'll try." he whispered.
"Just keep your eyes on me and know that I'll never let anything or anyone hurt you." Heero stated resolutely. A small stable boy stood at the entrance with a large torch in his hand. Stepping ahead of them, he led the way through the dark stables to the door at the far end where light was spilling out from under the door.
Duo's hand gripped Heero's tightly, the sounds of horses snorting and hooves resettling along with the musky smell made him want to bolt back to his bed. But he'd told Heero that he would try, and he always kept his word. After all, Horace the Horse used to say that a man is only as good as his word, and Duo was determined to be a good man. He would keep his word.
The stable boy opened the door and let the bright torch light flood the darken path. Heero pulled Duo in after him and stood still as they both allowed their eyes to adjust to the brighter room. The braided boy's eyes focused on the scene before them. The man he knew to be the Stable Master, Dermail, knelt down on the straw hewn floor next to a very large bellied horse that lay on her side, breathing heavily. His calloused and wrinkled hand, worn from years of labor, gently caressed her long neck and talked to her softly.
"She's about to deliver." Heero quietly informed him as they stood shoulder to shoulder, their hands firmly clasped. "She's a gentle horse," he added. "and her offspring will be gentle as well."
"She's almost there, Your Highness." the man called back as he felt the belly of the distressed-looking horse.
Over the coarse of the next half hour, Duo watched with a morbid fascination as the foal began to emerge from the back end of the grunting, sweaty horse, the Stable Master helping her all he could. At last, the wet creature was free of it's mother and Dermail took clean pieces of cloth and began to wipe the little one off. He looked up to catch Duo's eye. "Come, help me." he beckoned to the startled boy.
Duo stiffened and looked uncertainly at the Prince, still holding fast to his hand. "Go help." Heero urged, letting go of him. "It's helpless and needs some aid."
With halting steps, the braided boy approached the old man and new foal, his eyes shifting to the larger horse who lay resting behind him. The man's eyes met his and he held out his hand holding a clean cloth. "Wipe him off the best you can, like this." he instructed as his hand moved over the wet, slimy coat.
Duo nodded and knelt by the little horse still lying on the straw. Tentatively at first, he wiped some of the afterbirth from its coat, and gaining some confidence as he continued, he stroked more firmly. As he worked, Dermail went to the mare and helped her to her feet, the mare's grunt and lurch caused panic to course through Duo and he scrambled back away from them.
"She won't hurt you, boy." Dermail informed him with a chuckle. "She just needs to stand to feed her young one. He needs to stand also."
Duo looked in awe as the wobbly legs of the newborn struggled to move its gangly legs out from beneath itself. As its struggle continued, Duo looked up with concern to the older man. "Can we help it up?" he asked.
"It needs to do it for itself." he shook his head. "But if the little fella doesn't rise soon, well give him a hand." Duo nodded his head, not realizing his curiosity was blanketing his fear.
After a while, the foal made several attempts to get it's legs up in front of it. At what seemed like a horribly awkward angel, the foal made its way up with first, a little wobbly lurch onto his front legs and, after resting a moment, its back legs followed. All four human occupants smiled as the newborn succeeded in standing on its own trembling legs then stumbled forward to nudge at his mother's underbelly.
"Come, pet the little guy." Dermail invited Duo, and the boy responded by cautiously stepping forward and reached his hand out to touch the just drying fur. It was soft and brown.
"His coat will be a chestnut color, much like your own hair, young master." the old man's eyes twinkled with affection at the newborn.
Feeling a hand on his shoulder, the prince's Heart turned to smile at Heero. "I've seen kittens and puppies being born," he said in quiet amazement. "But I've never see a creature this large giving birth before."
"He's yours." Heero said smiling.
"W.. w.. what?" The amethyst eyed boy stammered, his jaw dropped in shock.
"The foal. He's to be your mount."
Duo's eyes betrayed his uncertainly. "I... I appreciate the gift, but I don't know if I can ever ride him like you would like me too." he replied nervously.
"Well,..." Heero looked at his Heart thoughtfully. "You can't ride him for a while yet anyway. I would like you to take the next year as he grows to become friends with him. Dermail here assures me that the mare and sire are both gentle minded creatures and that he will train him to obey your commands.
"Thank you." Duo whispered trying to appear pleased, but Heero could see his trepidation. He was determined his Heart would overcome his fear, and set into motion the plan he'd made to see that this objective would be accomplished.
He'd begun by just merely accompanying his Fourth into the stable, and staying in the same room as the mare and her foal. His thinking was that Duo would not be able to resist a helpless newborn and that, with his frequent visits, he would soon learn to trust his future mount and eventually ride by his side, and not in a cart like a woman, child, or an old man.
Over the next few weeks, the snow melted and the beauty that was spring arrived in a welcoming display of nature at her best. The sun shone gloriously bright, and sparkled it's reflection on the moisture laden green hills that surrounded Bronwyn. Duo and Quatre were outfitted for new clothing as they experienced new growth, pleasing both boys immensely. They were both still smaller than the others, and that was expected as they were nearly two years their younger than Heero and the other two, but were too pleased about their new added height to complain.
Spring easily slipped into warm summer days. The five spent the last half of each afternoon as much in the out of doors as they could. Duo still managed to keep them alert to any chance of accidental mischief, but that precarious part of his life seem to taper off greatly as he grew comfortable with his home and his place in it.
The day finally dawned when Heero and Quatre mounted their horses for the place of bonding. The King's Hand was to accompany them to the traditional destination and would stay to protect and officiate as a witness. Quatre, who had been excessively excited for nearly two weeks previous, woke everyone well before dawn so they would be sure to be ready to leave after breakfast.
The blonde's bright eyes and wide smile contrasted greatly with everyone else's droopy eyes and yawns as they said their goodbyes near the stable. He hugged everyone enthusiastically and jumped on his horse, ready for the journey to begin.
"Good luck." Wufei said quietly sardonic as he embraced the prince, not effectively hiding his amused smile.
Trowa embraced him next and chuckled into the prince's ear. "Eat to keep up your strength. I think you're going to need it."
Heero groaned in reply then turned to his Heart. Unlike the other two, Duo looked distressed. Heero drew him into his arms. "It's all right." he said soothing as he stroked the boy's back in a gesture of comfort. "Well be back by the end of the week." he promised.
The braided boy nodded. He felt anxious at their leaving. He'd never spent a day at the castle without Quatre's comforting presence and wondered how he'd do with the other two for company. "Come back safely. I'll miss you." he whispered shyly.
That was all the Prince needed to hear to put a smile on his face and the courage to turn and face the excited, anxious blonde behind him. With another quick squeeze and kiss to his forehead, Heero turned and within moments, they were headed out of the courtyard with Quatre nearly falling of his horse as he turned to enthusiastically wave goodbye.
Even though the other two tried to keep him entertained, or at least busy, the week went by slowly for the Prince's Fourth. The summer days were long, hot, and the moisture laden clouds in the sky lent the air to a humid climate, leaving the three not wanting to do much in the way of physical activity. As the evenings cooled and the three retired to their own rooms, Duo would lie in his bed until the noise of the castle would calm, then he made his way to Heero's room to climb into his bed, deriving a sense of comfort there during the prince's absence. His head rested gently on Heero's pillow and he reveled in the faint scent of the prince as he pulled it close and fell asleep. Each morning Wufei or Trowa would find him there, curled up in the blankets against the fresh morning chill, sleeping contentedly.
The shade of a large oak tree on the hill behind the castle provided some relief from the sun's burning glare and heat and the three boy's stretched shirtless under neath it's sheltering branches. They lay sprawled out lethargically in the late afternoon's warmth, enjoying the slight welcoming breeze as the day cooled slightly. Trowa sat up, suddenly alert. His eyes narrowed before a broad smile flashed on his face. Wufei, who had been lying on his stomach and playing with the tip of Duo's braid, rolled over and grabbed his discarded shirt and vest.
"Duo, wake up!" he gave the slumbering boy next to him a nudge. "They're back."
Those two words were more effective in reviving the dozing boy than a bucket of cold water. He immediately sat up, his smile already in place.
Quatre's smile threatened to split his face in two as he crushed himself to each of the three.
"The bonding went well?" Trowa asked holding the blonde but looking at Heero. The prince raised his eyebrows and smiled. Wufei's grin and chuckle joined in as Quatre stepped out of Trowa's arms.
"I heard that!" he exclaimed in a mock attempt of disapproval, then laughed. Only Duo looked on perplexed and suddenly felt quite left out.
The silent exchange continued as did the changing facial expressions and bouts of laughter. The braided boy stepped back to observe at a distance, the feeling of being ostracized became more acute with each passing moment. After several more moments, he slowly backed out of the room with a frown on his face, his exit unnoticed by the other four who were sharing the joy of their bond with each other.
Not too much longer, the prince turned, his smile still in place to look for his Heart. His smile slowly faded as his eyes searched the room to find the other gone.