Dancing With Your Shadow
It's a glorious sunny day. I'm pleased I decided to come to this part of the earth now: it's so beautiful, it would have been a shame if I couldn't have seen it in the bright sunshine.
Just a day for doing nothing. Barefoot, hands behind my head, staring at the sky, lying on my back.
Would you be surprised if I told you it's a familiar position for me? Heh. Well, to be honest, it's only as familiar as a variety of others. I've never been bothered which role I take, or how.
Why, I hear you ask, am I lying here in a meadow on a gorgeous summer day, thinking about sex? Well, I answer you, I like sex. Who doesn't? Yeah, I enjoy having sex, and I know how to get it when I want it. What the hell could be wrong with that? I know I've certainly never had any complaints; they always seem to enjoy it as much as me. Except one. I'll tell you about him later, even though I'm sure you already know. He's a very special case. Unlike some of the others…
I do remember losing my virginity. I wasn't particularly young, for this day and age; just me and another guy a couple of years older than me. I think he was a bit… unusual, coming to a younger kid like me to have a chance – obviously too uncool to get off with someone his own age. But I don't think I knew that then; I think I felt a bit special that this older guy wanted me. Of course, that first time wasn't all that good, but you don't expect it to be, do you? I knew I had to start somewhere if I wanted it to be good anytime soon. We had to find, heh, pleasure, in any way we could back then. I remember realising I had something other people wanted… and I was prepared to use that to my own advantage.
So the second time, I played the little seducer, pretending I was so much more experienced than I was. Made him assume I was older than I really was – so this wasn't some creepy guy trying to take advantage of a kid. I've never let anyone take advantage of me – I've only ever done things I enjoyed. Must be my natural charm. The few times I haven't enjoyed myself… I charged 'em. Well, I wasn't going to leave without getting anything, was I? Usually I was just out for pleasure, so if I didn't get that, I wanted something to make up for it.
I don't want you to get the wrong impression, though. I'm telling the truth. I didn't let people use my body all over the place; I used them too. No, that sounds wrong. I'll try to explain.
Yeah, I let all sorts of men into my body… but like I say, never solely for their gain. And besides – I wasn't always on the receiving end. Men sort of have two virginities, wouldn't you agree? Heh. Well, I lost my second one not so long after the first – again, made him think I was older than I really was, got him easily on his hands and knees, it was over in a few minutes… Don't know if I ever told him my name. Yes, it was another 'him'. Yes, I've never even kissed a girl. Funny, huh? Well, I suppose since I've been, heh, sexually active, I've always been surrounded by men. Don't know if I'd ever choose a girl over a man; wouldn't like to rule anything out if she was cute enough, but so far the most attractive things I've seen have been of a male persuasion. Heh. Hilde? She's just a good friend. Reminds me too much of myself, if you get my meaning. Strange, strange I know. But normal has never really fitted into my life experience. Piloting a gundam kind of has that effect. But, on the other side of the coin, if I were normal I don't think I could be a gundam pilot. Circular that way. None of us are normal… might be a reason why I found it so easy to carry on just the way I always had. Need some kind of happiness. Heh. First, of course, I met Heero… but… yes, I know you know; he's my special case and I'll deal with him in a moment. But I love all my comrades like brothers. I don't expect you to be surprised when I say I've loved at least some of them in a different way. I got to know Quatre next; yeah, I showed him a few things. Yeah, he was a virgin; but that's not to say he didn't enjoy it. It was strange, though, I'll say that… We only did it once, like with most of my partners I have to admit, and it was good, really good… But afterwards he looked at me kind of funny, and I could tell he wasn't like me…He needed something different. Everyone does; some people like drink and drugs, gambling, cutting… I don't know, I don't understand them! I could never hurt myself that way. I didn't quite understand what it was with Quatre, and I respected him too much to ask, but… We didn't talk about it, and we got on fine. I care about him deeply.
I was with Quatre before we went back to space… Hm, quite a long time before my next encounter. I was getting a little frustrated, I remember. Next chance? Well, it must have been that most romantic of locations, an Oz prison cell. Me and Wufei, just before we both nearly got killed. Again. That time was pretty accidental; like I said, I was pretty frustrated, and he was pretty pretty, and then suddenly we were having sex. Because I was more experienced I let him take me, what with our circumstances and all; but there are ways and means of making anywhere bearable. Good enough for me.
I know, I know, you don't have to tell me. I'm a hedonist, selfish. But I told you before – I've never hurt anyone. And no-one's ever complained. Except…
When me and Heero first met, would it be an understatement to say we didn't get on? Heh. Yes he was ungrateful, yes he was arrogant, yes I was obnoxious, but he was undeniably lovely. I fully intended to make him an offer he couldn't refuse. But, and I never fully knew why, I didn't. Maybe he just annoyed me too much; maybe I was too proud to admit I found this bastard attractive. But things change, and we relied on one another on a lot of occasions, come to think of it. And every time I saw him, I made up my mind to have him sometime.
No big deal.
He was just another guy.
But Heero… he's such a strong person… every time I thought to proposition him he'd look at me with those sure blue eyes and leave, afraid, of what I never really knew.
After the war… after the war, after the war, I would wake up sometimes from dreams of half-remembered feelings got those few times we touched… and I would think of him, and wonder why I never had him, though I offered myself obviously enough.
Funny how some feministically-minded people will say that if a woman sleeps around she's called a slut, but when a man does he's a stud, as if having someone invade your body makes you cheap, but it's okay if you're the one doing the invading.
I think that's a load of crap.
I've always felt like a slut, no matter which role I took. But it doesn't matter to me. I got what I wanted.
And I wanted Heero Yuy!
It was completely by chance that I met him again. His eyes… not so harsh, not so cold. I was not afraid. We walked together, and I knew I still hadn't fulfilled that idle ambition.
I half-wondered why it still preyed on my mind so, but I forgot that thought as I asked him into my home. We talked comfortably and easily; he seemed … pleased he'd seen me. It was easy, then, to slowly lean my face up to his and lightly kiss his lips, feeling him respond warmly. Running my hands over his arms and torso – the feel of his muscular body turning me on in a way I wouldn't have believed. Kisses becoming urgent, superheated, hands stripping of clothing. We stumbled to my bedroom, dizzied with lust; fell onto my bed, his body covering mine, droplets of sweat merging like us…
I seduced him with my mouth; biting at his lips and neck, kissing down his body. I seduced him with my hands; caressing that firm pale flesh till I was sure he was on fire with me. I seduced him with my body; lying on my back, pulling him on top of me. Vaguely I wondered why he had given in now, after resisting me all those times before; this half-thought was pushed aside by the new question of how he had learnt these arts: who taught him to touch me like that? Who showed him how to reduce my body to an empty fire: so much in need of his sex to satisfy my burning, aching desire. So much in need… I would beg…
“Please… Heero…” Gasping, breathless.
His fingers still inside me, careful, delicate: “What, Duo? What?”
“Please…” Louder, more desperate.
He slowly removes his fingers, I'm panting; no waiting! Why is he waiting?
He's above me, an arm either side of my face: his body between my spread thighs, my knees raised; he waits, I saw him before I squeezed my eyes closed and shifted helplessly. So close… I can feel…
Why wait? I'm a slut, why won't he fuck me? I'm offering him this pleasure – and I want it so badly it hurts…
Something, I don't know what, makes me open my eyes. And I look up into his… and I feel like he can see inside me… he can see everything… And he picks himself up off me, and lies on his back next to me on the bed.
“No, Duo.” He pauses for a long time before continuing. “Don't think like that.” He slows his breathing; in a very short while he is utterly unaroused, and totally calm. He's a friend, waking me from my nightmare – but he isn't…
He looks at me and I can't speak at those eyes; he's still so absolutely desirable I'm speechless – but it's his expression that sends through me sensation I can't explain, describe or understand. I can only watch as he gathers his clothes; before he leaves, he gives me a sad sort of smile, and a sad sort of kiss, and I'm rather bemused. His taste lingers; the feel of his body, his hands… All shadows. With some sort of surprised desperation I realise I am still highly aroused; he left me to sit and watch him walk away, and I did, but I can't forget his sensation. Maybe I should… but instead my hands dance over my body, following the ghosts of his touch, stroking myself outside and in, rubbing over those sensitive spots he set alight, until I climax in sparks. But what follows is a strange, uneasy feeling that I've been cheated of something much greater.
I fall asleep and dream again of beauty in blue and white, pleasure in darkness. Damp sheets.
When I go into my living room in the morning there's a piece of paper waiting for me on a stack of papers littering my coffee table. It says:
GET IN TOUCH
in the slim, breathy writing of someone more used to Oriental writing systems.
I stared at the paper like a fool for several minutes before breaking into a wide grin, full of hope. I still had my chance.
At that time I didn't pause to wonder why I felt so happy. I suppose I supposed there was still something undiscovered that I thought I would never find, and I still could have a chance to experience it.
I thought of him often. Something inside me would jump a little at those thoughts, like anticipation. Excitement. I'd get him.
Why did it matter? Why did it matter?
I waited until I was certain where he was, then tentatively, inexplicably nervously, called him, changed my mind, found him face-to-face instead. Easy, with my half-eye following his actions now and then.
“You said get in touch,” I smile at him.
He smiles back… a funny smile, like at a private joke I just reminded him of… It's only a small smile, but it dazzles me with the demonstration of his purity.
Not like me! I think impure thoughts of him.
We walk in silence to my house, again. Inside, he stands against my dining table and I look for a minute, before I walk to him and kiss him, straight, full, on the mouth. Such sensation… Never with anyone else…
Why does this matter? Why is it important?
Why is he here?
His warm mouth, so… giving… Silently still, I take his hand and lead him back in a déjà vu. Shedding clothes even more hastily than before; kisses more desperate, more fervent – he wouldn't get away again! I pulled him on top of me determinedly: somehow the speed and force I'm using is heating my blood and turning me on more than ever. I realise, half-shocked, that I haven't had another partner since last time I saw Heero. He feels even more wonderful than last time; I giggle as I feel our unification approaching, the time when this man, an embodiment of energy I couldn't help but perceive as sexual, will be mine.
He wants me just as much as I want him; again I laugh in triumph…
But then, again… he looks down at me, passion still written in his face… But, just as before… He stares at me for a long, long moment, and I feel an alien desperation set in. No! He can't leave me again! Not like last time… all those times, when I was afraid…
And I'm afraid again – afraid because he's not going to…
He rolls off me and I sit up, that desperation showing through my eyes as he looks into them – I can feel it.
He looks at me deeply, such a look of sorrow in his eyes, and then speaks quietly, words that surprise me.
“Follow your heart.”
I don't understand, such a strange thing to say! I almost laugh till I look back in his eyes… Then I break…
I fall against him and he just holds me and says my name, “Duo,” and I wet his shoulder with my tears. He's amazing, so truly, truly unique… His embrace is addictive, and I cling to him, feeling so strange… Feelings I've never known before… Is this…
Eventually he pulls away, and I see his loveliness again, print this sight in my mind as well as I can… He gives me another of those dazzling little smiles, then… Then, it's just like before. He leans to me and gives me a sweet, sweet kiss that tears my heart; picks up his clothes and walks out my door.
And I put one hand over my face, and used the other to support myself as I wept passionately, tears that shook me to my core. For I loved him, and I couldn't have him; my own stupidity had seen to that. All that time of playing with shadows, when I should have been getting to know the light.
I thought of him for a long, long time, and tried to fit it together in my mind. And in my heart. The heart I hadn't known. The reason for that old fear, the reason for my persistence. Reasons I hadn't recognised.
I loved him.
The reason he denied me a share of his body; the reason he wouldn't take what I offered. If only I had offered him something more…
It was around this time that I saw Quatre again. We embraced warmly; I could feel… something; now I understood it. This was what had been different between him and me. He seemed so… in time. Body and soul. Rhythm.
I had discovered; now I had to learn to control, to balance. To dance!
But I dared not hope it wasn't too late. Heero had given me two chances, and I had failed. Tried to make me realise… and I hadn't.
I love him.
And now… here I am. Aimless, again, idly wondering if my message reached him.
I GOT IN TOUCH.
I don't expect it not to have done; it's more a question of whether he wants to act on it. Watching the beauty of the earth, and understanding it.
When I see someone, out of the corner of my eye, lie down beside me, it doesn't surprise me.
I'm shaking inside; one look and I'll know… One look, and I'll click… but in that look I'll also see him, and his future… my future…
All at once… Together! My heart jumps as my body responds. I see him, I feel it. Everywhere.
What of us? He looks in my eyes, and gives me one kiss, a whisper of lips, soft… Then gone. I look at him, and see that smile.
Relief floods over me, and I reflect his smile. I'm still a little nervous, though. “Why did you come, Heero?”
He still smiles. “For the same reason you did.”
Why did I come? So he could see I've changed. To see if he's willing to offer me one last chance – and this time, I'll give him everything, not just a part of me.
So… he wants that too. Wants to see the difference in me… Maybe he also wants me to fully appreciate the difference in him. So unexpected, my strange teacher.
“Why'd you…” I begin, then decide my question isn't broad enough. I settle for finishing lamely, “Why?”
He half-laughs, and lies back down from where he's been propped on one elbow since our kiss. I turn onto my side and examine his lovely profile. A free man.
We lie in silence for a few moments, feeling the peace. The he speaks, the story from the beginning.
“When I first met you, I didn't really like you. I don't think I really knew why. I think I thought you were too brash, too… noticeable. Which was ironic, considering the way I got myself noticed in a big way on my first day on earth. But yes, I certainly noticed you. And disliked you. Which is why the… tension” he smirks “between us always confused me. When we were together, I began to pick up on… something… then when you started to try to proposition me, I knew you felt it too. But it didn't make sense. You hated me – how could you want to make love with me? But I realised. You didn't want to make love, you wanted to have sex, to fuck… That's why I always ignored you; I could see… you didn't understand sex in terms of emotion, Duo. You followed what your body was telling you, but didn't realise there could be another side. So I kept deflecting you. I thought you had to decide for yourself if there was any other connection between us: not just a source of physical pleasure.
“So when I found you again, I was pleased you seemed to have been thinking of me. Maybe I wasn't just a passing attraction – maybe you'd found the light inside yourself. After the war, I was free, you understand – I knew how much it could mean if we found each other again. During the war, you were afraid of me – but that was my shadow, Duo; I thought maybe you saw through it, and that's why I…” He doesn't finish; leaves me, heart in mouth, hanging, then continues. “When I did see you again, I knew you did see, just like I saw through you when you couldn't even see yourself. That made me…sad. You didn't know it was your shadow-self.” His words cut fear through me, but when he goes on relief blossoms in me like flowers.
“I could see, though – see the seeds in you, still dormant; but you had to realise they were there. Had to learn to let them grow, then use them properly. I still had hope. Hope for this time. This time…” he turns to look at me. “I want to show you…” he sits up and leans into me, and my heart overflows… “how much more it could be… with a lover…” I only have time to notice that he puts the emphasis on “love” before his mouth covers mine and my full heart spills its lightness through my body.. I kiss him really this time, with tenderness and… love… Feelings all over me… feelings I'd had all this time, but refused to recognise.
Why had I done that?
I couldn't see; I was in the dark. I was a shadow.
And now, he's chasing away my darkness, fusing it with his – my – light… His fingers caressing my cheek softly… creating me… harmony… I can feel my body singing too, but that's alright – it's…
Then… then his lips leave mine again… no! I cling to him as he lies down again on his back; I whisper fiercely “No… don't leave me! Not again…”
He smiles up at me again, that purity shooting arrows through me… “I'll never leave you, Duo.”
And I understand what he means. I have a new shadow now – he was there all the time and I never saw him.
I love him.
He pulls me down to him – lip to lip – I'm on all fours straddling him. I can feel his heat as we strip each other, and then we're pressed together, my knee between his, my hands in his hair. This time…I'm not taking, not giving; sharing.
Being inside him is like nothing… It's him, he's magical, he takes me and shines white light through me like a prism. He whispers my name, clean scent surrounding me; slow strokes that meld us together. All before pales into nothing, fades to blackness. He is hot, and beautiful; tastes bitter, of grass and masculinity; touches me sensuously, smoothly over my sensitised flesh. We make love entirely, purely: I revel in seeing his eyes closed, lips parted, entreating me, in whispers, for more, feeling only me, inside…
“I love you…”
Then dawning, coming together, pulled taut by brilliance, spears of luminescence shooting stars through and over us… then, floating feathers. Slowly descending.
Afterwards, we lie together, wrapped round each other, sharing silence together in the fading glow of afternoon. I lay soft kisses in his hair, holding him against my chest as he traces patterns on my skin. Perfection.
Quietly I murmur an observation that seems somehow important. I remember wondering about it the first time…
“You were a virgin, Heero.”
I feel him nod slowly against my chest.
“How did you…” I begin but he silences me with two fingers on my lips.
“I just did what I felt I wanted to do with you,” he says, still quiet, not disturbing the peace. “It was perfect.” The last statement is simple, easy; but it's the most fulfilling thing I've ever heard.
I love him.
We lie together, entwined, as the sinking sun makes shadows play and dance over and around our pale bodies.