When One Door Closes
by Dyna Dee
Jim opened the door at his knock, smiling broadly. The tall blond looked good dressed in straight-leg denim jeans and a white button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. Duo quickly dismissed the image that flashed through his mind of Heero dressed in a similar manner. The taller man happily ushered him into his condo, took his jacket and laid a welcoming kiss on him that promised a great night to come.
The wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen had his empty stomach churning with anticipation of a good, home-cooked meal. With an arm around his waist, the artist led him to the small dinning table, which was already set for two and lit by candles. He could tell Jim had gone all out for their supposedly simple meal at home.
"Wow!" he said, admiring the table. "Special occasion?"
"I can only hope," the artist with a wink and teasing grin.
The blond pulled out the chair for him, indicating where he wanted Duo to sit, then excused himself to the kitchen to get the food. The braided man was relieved that the other man hadn't pushed the chair in for him. He wasn't a woman nor a submissive kind of guy and wasn't about to be treated like one. Jim returned with a bowl filled with some kind of pasta dish that had a light, sweet tomato sauce flavored with bacon, onion, garlic and spices. He also presented a fresh salad, French bread and sweet corn. Everything tasted wonderful. During the meal Jim's stockinged foot often stray, becoming intimately friendly with Duo's legs and upper thighs, wordlessly indicating that the blond was hoping things would progress further between them tonight.
They retired to the sofa to eat their dessert with a cup of coffee, sitting side by side. Duo had eaten flan before, but couldn't say it was his favorite dessert. He'd have been happy to have something more simple, like a bowl of ice cream or some popcorn.
After they finished, Jim suggested they watch a movie. Duo was a bit surprised that his date turned on gay porn, but he wasn't about to state any objection and risk being called a prude, so he said nothing. Jim's lips soon found his neck and then his hands began to explore Duo's body as soon as the two men on the screen began to undress each other. Their frank sexual talk about what they wanted to do to each other seemed to make Jim bolder. Duo's own body responded to the sights and sounds in front of him, not to mention Jim's hands moving gently but with confidence under his shirt. As warm lips moved up along his jaw, he couldn't help but breathe in the heady scent of blond man. No doubt about it, with just a hint of musk cologne mixed with his natural scent, Jim smelled fantastic.
It wasn't long before they were into a heated make-out session, with shirts removed and pants undone. "Let's move this to the bedroom," Jim whispered in his ear. Duo nodded and let the artist pull him up from the sofa and lead him by the hand to his bedroom.
The bedroom door was left open to allow the light from the hallway to spill into the room. Once inside, Jim turned and began to remove Duo's pants. With slightly shaky hands he did the same for the taller man until the both of them were standing naked in front of each other. Gazing at each other, Duo found himself a bit disappointed that Jim's cock, which was fully erect and looking needy for attention, wasn't as large as he imagined he would be. For some reason he equated tall in statue with also being well endowed. He hid his disappointment by smiling at the blond in an approving way, knowing how important it was for a man to feel adequate in that department. Although Duo knew he wasn't large in stature, he was somewhat blessed to sport a decent woody. Jim licked his lips with either anticipation or envy then reached forward and grabbed hold of Duo, pulling him close to his chest and tumbled them together onto the bed, their lips and hips joining together in a rather delicious way.
They hadn't spoken about positions, but Duo decided since Jim was probably more experienced than he was at sleeping with other men, and given that they were in his bed, he'd let Jim top. To be honest, it was pretty good. They both experienced a good measure of satisfaction from their first romp, yet a moment after the blond pulled out of him, Duo felt a rush of disappointment. He tried to hide it and believed he'd succeeded when Jim fell down beside him, pulling him into his arms at the same time.
"That was wonderful," the blond whispered raggedly as he caught his breath. "Thank you."
Duo hummed into his shoulder, hoping Jim would believe he was beyond words to describe what a wonderful lover he was. The other man must have sensed something was wrong, for his next words were those of encouragement. "As we learn more about each other's bodies, sex together will get better and better. We can even get creative, which adds to the fun."
As the blond shifted to take off the used condom, an alarm went off in Duo's head. "What do you mean by creative?" he asked warily as Jim turned back to him and took him back into his arms, his hands immediately moving down to cup both cheeks of his slightly aching bottom. The artist's fingers slipped down the crevice between his cheeks to swirl around his tender opening, as if he had plans to invade there again.
"Oh, nothing to worry about," Jim assured him, kissing his forehead. "I've learned that a little play in the bedroom can liven up a relationship."
Duo relaxed a bit. He'd had a lot of fun between the sheets with Heero, but they hadn't been into kinky stuff. Neither of them liked being tied up nor did they like anything that made them feel degraded, probably a result of being prisoners of war. Duo decided to wait and see what Jim had in mind, and if he tried something he didn't like, he wouldn't hesitate to tell him no.
A long finger slipped into him again and began to tease and stretch the entrance. "You were so tight," Jim whispered into his ear. "I can't wait to take you again."
Duo let his own hand wander to the same place on Jim's body, and he couldn't help but notice a slight flinch from the other man as he similarly teased his entrance. "I think it's my turn to do the taking," he said with a teasing smile.
Jim leaned back, his mood turning somber while his blue eyes studied Duo's face. In a serious tone he stated, "I'm, not a bottom, Duo."
"What?" He blinked at that statement.
"I'm strictly a top. I thought you understood that."
"You've never been a bottom? Ever?" Duo sounded as incredulous as he felt.
"Oh, I tried it once and hated it. I'm definitely a top."
Duo blinked again, rather stupidly he was afraid, trying to comprehend how he should take such a stance. "Well I'm not a total bottom," he told the other man. "My previous lover and I took turns. I just assumed that was part of being in a relationship, the give and take."
Jim smiled fondly at him, as if he were a child and touched his nose with his finger. "Not to worry, my pretty boy. I can make that lovely cock of yours happy enough, but other than my mouth, it won't be going inside of me."
Duo instinctively pulled out of the other man's grasp and sat up, startled by his pronouncement and insulted by being called "pretty boy". Jim's indulgent smile wavered slightly. "Duo, don't let this upset you. I promise you'll be satisfied every time we have sex."
Satisfied? Maybe I'll manage to find release, he thought. But happy about being the bottom every time? Not a chance in hell. "What makes you think I want to be a permanent bottom?" he asked over his shoulder.
"It's obvious. Just look at you, Duo." Jim's eyes wandered up and down his naked back with obvious admiration. "You're not only gorgeous but also boyishly slender, petite even. You're also younger than me by nearly a decade. You've been hurt in the past and it's obvious you look to me to guide you, to take care of you. And believe me, Duo, I do know how to take care of a man."
Duo could only stare at the other man with shock reverberating through him. Petite! Sure, he wasn't considered tall, especially compared to Jim's height of six foot something, but he was anything but frail and helpless. He paused a moment to consider what Jim had suggested, that he'd been attracted to the older man for the very things he'd just stated. Sure, he was drawn to strong men, always had been. He'd been in the company of strong males for most of his life so he felt naturally comfortable in their company. Also, knowing he could be headstrong and stubborn as a mule, he instinctively sought out someone equally strong who could deal with those traits and dish a bit of it back to him. He certainly wasn't drawn to another man's strengths because of a need to be taken care of or protected, as Jim had suggested. Strength. From their very first meeting it was strength that had attracted him to the mysterious gundam pilot he'd later come to know as Heero Yuy. Sure, the boy from L1 had been drool worthy attractive even as a teenager, but it wasn't just his looks that had Duo fixated on the other boy and questioning his sexuality back then. The main draw had been Heero's incredible strength. Not only could he bend steel bars with his bare hands, but he also had nerves of gundanium, doing what needed to be done without hesitation and looking death squarely in the eye numerous times and giving it the finger. Heero's unwavering dedication and resolve to win the war was as much a turn on as his deep blue eyes were the first time Duo caught them watching him as he undressed in the locker room of one of the schools they'd stayed in.
An ache began go grow within his chest as memories of the past, of Heero, returned. Damn but I miss him. After experiencing the kind of attraction he'd had for his former lover, which quickly turned into a love that was at times overwhelming, could he really settle for anything less? Compared to what he'd felt for Heero, could he go through the rest of his life settling for a shadow of what he'd once had? Did he really want to be with someone who wanted to treat him as if he were weak and incapable of standing on his own, of not being able to make care for himself? Did he want a lover who always took the lead when they had sex? I don't fuck'n think so.
"Listen, Jim, I'm not sure I'm alright with this."
The artist's hand landed on his knee and slowly moved up his thigh, no doubt trying to distract him. "Just give it some time, Duo. I'm sure we can work things out."
He wasn't in the mood to go another round with Jim, and at the back of his mind he wished he'd answered Quatre's phone call. Despite the obvious downturn in his mood, Jim remained persistent and used his talented hands and lips to prove the artist did indeed know how to arouse and satisfy another man, moving sensuously across Duo's body until he began to respond again. As pleasure began to build, as well as the need for release, Duo wondered if he was being hasty in wanting to end things between them. Maybe Jim was right and with time they could work things out.
The experienced blond was apparently trying to appease him when he laid down on the bed, resting on his back, and maneuvering Duo to sit on his pelvis. As their bodies joined together once again, Jim let him take charge, allowing him to set the pace this time.
Completion, Duo found, was a bit more difficult to achieve the second time around, having spent themselves not too much earlier. He closed his eyes, setting a steady yet unrushed pace, picturing in his mind a night years ago in a position almost identical to the one he found himself in now. His hands had been planted on a strong, warm and brown-skinned chest, while the moans and grunts he heard came from lips that had promised happiness after the war was over and if they somehow survived. The hand that sought to bring him to completion was not soft from wielding a paintbrush, but strong and calloused from piloting a gundam. He bit his lower lip in an effort not to cry out Heero's name as he found finally his release.
Unfortunately, moments after he'd come that sense of disappointment filled Duo once again. And on top of that came a feeling of guilt for having imagined Heero in Jim's place. What's wrong with me? he asked himself as he slumped down onto Jim's sweaty and slightly heaving chest.
A rumble of amusement sounded under his ear. "Ah, this is going to be great," Jim sighed, sounding utterly pleased and content. "We're compatible in so many ways. Stay the night?" His hand had slipped from Duo's waist to cup his bottom again, sending the message that Jim wanted more from him, not right at that moment, of course, but probably in the morning. A sudden and desperate urge to get up and run hit the braided man like a ton of bricks.
"I can't," he said abruptly, hoping he sounded a bit regretful as he slipped away from Jim, wrinkling his nose at the heavy smell of sex that lingered on his body. "I've got an early morning appointment with a vendor. Maybe another night."
Jim rose up on an elbow and watched as he fumbled around for his clothing. The squishy feeling of the heavy coat of lube between his butt cheeks was uncomfortable, but he wasn't about to make a detour to the bathroom when all he wanted was to get the hell out of there.
"You're sure I just can't set my alarm early? That way we could start the day out right."
"I'm not exactly a morning person," Duo said over his shoulder, which was true, but it never stopped him from doing what he had to or, in the past, from having a romp with Heero before work, but he wasn't about to give the other man that bit of information.
"Can we get together tomorrow night?"
Duo shook his head and was grateful for a legitimate excuse. "My boss asked me to have dinner with his family after work. I think we'll have to wait until next weekend to see each other again."
"Duo, are you alright? I didn't hurt you, did I?" Jim asked with concern as he slid out of the bed just as Duo pulled up his pants.
Before the artist could approach him, he hurried out of the bedroom and began an anxious search for his shirt. Spotting a corner of it peeking out from beneath the coffee table he snatched it up and began the search for a missing sock and replied rather distractedly, "No, you didn't hurt me. I just..." He wasn't sure how to explain his rush to get out of there. Should he come out and tell the other man he was dissatisfied with the sex they'd just had... both times? Duo wasn't at all sure it had been Jim's fault. In fact, he was willing to acknowledge that a good part of the problem was his. How would the artist take it if he confessed that this was the first time he'd let someone take him since Heero, that he'd compared him to his ex-lover and found him lacking in every way? If a guy told him something like that after having sex he'd probably feel humiliated or angry. So for the sake of Jim's pride, he fudged on the truth. "I just think that we might have moved a bit too fast."
"But you enjoyed what we did, right?" Jim came to him and pulled Duo into his arms and began to pat the back of his head in a manner that was probably meant to be comforting. Unfortunately, Duo felt as if Jim was treating him like a child, not a man, which didn't help the situation one bit.
"I still feel odd," Duo confessed, pushing his way out of the taller man's embrace. "We don't know each other very well and yet we've had sex."
Jim looked down at him, wearing an expression of disbelief. "Are you a prude, Duo? Come on, we're guys with healthy sex drives. It's not unusual for gay men to hook up on the first date. I could almost believe that you've had very little experience."
"Oh I've got experience all right," he answered darkly. With only a few exceptions, encounters after the break up and his travels, Duo's sexual experience had been with Heero, and they hadn't exactly been slackers when it came to having sex. Still, he wondered what Jim would say if he told him about his past, the parts of his life that made him feel much older than what his appearance indicated, and that death and destruction had followed him like a dark shadow for most of his childhood. No, he would keep those unsavory tidbits to himself. Given the chance, he couldn't imagine Jim or any of his acquaintances in Park City being able to understand him or his past, his life having been so different in contrast to almost everyone he'd met in the hillside hamlet. Even his own therapist was having trouble believing half the things he'd confessed to doing in some of his more productive sessions.
"Listen, Jim. I'm not sure about this. I'm not comfortable with the idea of being just a bottom. Like I said before, my former lover and I took turns. I believe that give and take is a part of a healthy relationship."
The question came unbidden into his mind, what exactly had been so "healthy" about his relationship with Heero? In their last year together they argued and snipped at each other all the time and sometimes even struck out in anger. After such disagreeable moments, they both felt remorseful and made love like there was no tomorrow. Their relationship might not have been idyllic, but he and Heero had been passionate in everything they did, good and bad. Passion, he suddenly decided, was what was missing with Jim. Granted, he had felt want, need and a good portion of lust, but there had been no passion, at least on his part.
Jim was perceptive enough to tell he was anxious to get out of there. Holding him loosely in his arms, the artist looked down and into his eyes as he softly began to argue his case. "I'm sorry, Duo, but I'm not going to waver on this. I'm older than you and have had enough experience to know what works for me and what doesn't. I can only promise you that I'll do everything in my power to make sure you're satisfied, in and out of bed. Just give us a try. I can tell that something didn't sit well with you tonight, but maybe your expectations were too high. You have to believe me that not every first time is great. It takes time, communication and some experimenting to learn how to please a lover. Please, don't give up on us before we have a chance to work things out."
Jim's argument made sense. Duo had expected sex with the other man to be as wonderful as it had been with Heero, and he had been disappointed when it wasn't. Maybe he had expected too much. One thing he knew for certain, however, was that he didn't want to spend his life as a bottom. He honestly didn't mind giving himself to Heero, knowing the favor would be returned, if not that night then in the near future.
Thoughts of his former lover and memories of their love making once again began to flood his mind with haunting images of Heero poised over him, his strong, naked body pressed against his own with words of possession tumbling from his lips as they brushed against heated skin. No, there was no reluctance on his part when Heero wanted to take the top position. The image of Heero lying beneath him, completely exposed to him and with eyes filled with passion as he willingly urged him to join their bodies together, flashed in his mind and nearly took his breath away as he stood in Jim's loose embrace. He remembered every detail of that wonderfully fit body, strong and yet pliant to his will and desire. He could see in his mind's eye Heero's face, flushed with passion, lips red from being thoroughly kissed and his eyes simmering pools of desire. Dammit, he wanted that again, the kind of love that made you feel both lost and found, that made everything and everyone else pale in comparison. There was no doubt about it, what he and Heero once had was something very special. It was just too damn bad it didn't last.
Shaking himself out of his daydreaming, Duo firmly reminded himself that, sure, parts of his relationship with Heero had been pure and utter bliss, at times giving him more than he'd ever dreamed possible. And then there were the other unpleasant moments: the arguments, name calling and accusations that made their lives together pure hell. Maybe something so good at the beginning just wasn't meant to last, and that's why he was here, half a planet away from his former lover and friends, trying to figure out what to do next. Why couldn't he feel for Jim even a fraction of what he'd felt for Heero? Could the other man be right, that it might just take some time to get used to each other, to learn what it took to ignite each others' passions?
Duo recalled how he and Heero had eyed each other as potential fuck buddies for some time after their first confrontational meeting. He smiled, thinking about how awkward and clumsy they'd been at their first attempt to have sex, both of them overly anxious to touch each other and find release for their pent up frustrations. But even on their first fumbling try he'd felt more passion and a deep soul connection with Heero than he'd ever experienced with another person. Those memories and emotions, all tied up with the man he couldn't quite let go of, his first love, far surpassed what he'd felt that evening with Jim, the self-proclaimed man of experience.
"Call me," Duo told the man holding him, deciding to give himself time to think things over. If he should act rashly now, he might be making a mistake in tossing a seemingly good guy off because their first attempt at having sex wasn't all that great. "We'll work out something for next weekend." He'd give Jim's theory a chance. Out of the bedroom the good looking artist was a gentleman, smart, talented and easy to be around. He definitely reminded him of Quatre, who could make anyone feel at ease moments after meeting him.
Lifting his chin, Jim took advantage of the angle to give him a tender kiss before he stepped back and said, "I'll call you."
It was after midnight when he returned to his apartment, and his conscience instantly went into guilt mode after seeing the red blinking light on his answering machine. Checking his watch he realized Quatre would probably have gone to the office already. He walked to the machine and noted there was just the one message before he hit the play button.
The gist of Quatre's message was that he was afraid that Duo had misunderstood the reason why Heero had moved out. His friend stated that he didn't want to go into it on the message machine, but hoped he'd return his call the moment he got in. Quatre's last bit of advice was, "I can't really tell you what to do regarding Jim, Duo, but I do think it would be a mistake to share the most intimate act with someone you don't love. Heero tried it, and I can't say he's any happier than he was before. He's in therapy again, trying to work through some of his problems. Maybe you should talk to your therapist before you jump into bed with someone who's almost a complete stranger. What do you two have in common? Does he know about your past? You should go into every relationship being honest about who and what you were and are now. Do you feel comfortable letting Jim know everything about you? Call me, Duo. I think we need to talk." He then rattled off his cell phone number which the American hastily wrote down on the back of his telephone bill.
After taking a quick shower, he went to bed, deciding to call Quatre in the morning after he had time to answer for himself some of the questions his friend had asked. Could he be honest with the artist about his past? And what the hell did they have in common other than living in the same area and wanting to connect with someone? Was he really over Heero, or at least enough to make a start with someone else? An answer to his questions came the moment he woke up the next morning with ejaculate in his boxers and Heero's name on his lips.