In one of the bedrooms, however, a slightly unusual reunion was taking place.
Not unusual was the fact that Duo had immediately stripped his lover bare and ravaged him quite thoroughly, sending Heero, grinning like a very pleased madman, in search of ibuprofen. Now the Japanese pilot was equally happily sitting and brushing out the long chestnut waves of hair he loved as Duo sat less relaxed than usual by the procedure.
This one activity, so cherished and very nearly sacred to the pair, was one of the few constants in their world. When they lived from day-to-day and moved without notice, there was little that they took with them for personal possessions and that included comfort objects, so Duo's hair filled that role for them both at times like this.
As the brush moved rhythmically, Heero felt concerned when Duo's bare back remained stiff and his focus seemed to be outside their room. "What're you thinking about, Duo?" he asked quietly as he drew the brush down careful not to scratch his love's skin.
"I'm glad you're home, koi," Duo said yet again as if repeating the sentiment might alleviate the fear that had clutched his heart at Wufei's unexpected reaction to Trowa being delayed, a fear that simply would not leave him.
Heero stopped what he was doing with a sigh. "I know that, I meant, what are you *really* thinking about, koi? You're a million miles away right now and that's just not like you at a time like this."
Duo sighed sadly and turned his head to kiss his lover's lips apologetically. "Sorry, Heero, but I'm worried about Wufei and Trowa. I never once thought about needing to warn Wu that these kinds of delays happen, but in all honesty, I didn't think you'd come back without Tro."
Both young men knew full well that this level of concern for a fellow Gundam pilot might have seemed unreasonable, but they both felt that the current situation was truly unique to the circle's usual circumstances. Trowa was more than capable and they knew it, however, Wufei's apparent lapse into depression overshadowed almost everything else at this point.
Shaking his head in annoyance, Heero offered, "I know, neither did I. I shouldn't have left the base without knowing where he was and what was going on, but there's no point in assuming the worst until we know more."
"Yeah," the American sighed, "That's what I keep trying to tell myself, but I'm having a hard time thinking how to keep Wu from letting this get to him so much. What he's been through lately is bad enough, but while you were gone something else seemed to be going on that I'm not quite sure about yet and its got me worried."
"Wait a minute," Heero said and gently turned the violet-eyed boy to face him. "What're you talking about, Duo? Did Quatre pull some stupid stunt I need to know about?"
"No, nothing like that, Heero," Duo shook his head, sending loose strands of hair to fly about them, caressing their naked skin gently as it fluttered back into place.
"It happened last night. You see, I ended up sleeping in bed with him since he seemed to be uneasy with Trowa gone, and, uh-oh," he stopped and glanced at Heero, surprised and pleased to see no indication that this upset the other boy. Blinking in relief he smiled at himself, "Geez, what was I worrying over there? You're not going to get jealous after all we've been through lately, I'm all nerve endings here!"
"Apparently you are and I'm sure that there's nothing for me to be jealous of, koi," Heero agreed easily. "You care about Wufei and he's damned lucky to have such a good friend in his corner. Or did you forget the whole thing where I barely kept you from killing Quatre for hurting him the way he did?"
"Me?!" Duo chuckled, "I thought we *both* wanted to kill blondie at the time, but that's over and done with. Let me tell you what happened, okay?"
"Sure," Heero nodded and then listened as Duo told him of the discussion they'd had about sex as well as Duo's fears that Wufei might have been sexually victimized at some point in his life, possibly hurt by something as drastic as rape.
A dark, closed look covered Heero's face at this revelation and he silently weighed the possibilities for himself. Knowing more than the other pilots of the types of depredations a war could bring out of people, Heero was grateful for once to Doctor J for some of the otherwise more questionable training he had received growing up to be the "perfect weapon".
The bizarre man had felt it was necessary to educate his pupil in the myriad forms of torture that he might encounter. Even though he had never actually committed such atrocities against the boy, something Duo had wondered about at times, the scientist had been quite thorough in telling Heero the ins and outs of things like rape as well as giving him a few techniques for surviving them. Heero had never thought he'd find himself wondering if this had been done to one of his friends, but now that the question had been raised it was unavoidable to see that this was possible.
With an angry growl, Heero pushed the thoughts aside and said simply, "Duo, look, I'm glad you told me this. The other day, Trowa told me he's worried about something similar, but until he gets back, let's not mention anything about this to Wufei, okay?"
Already worried, this frightened the Deathscythe pilot as Duo immediately realized that Heero had not stated that he felt Duo was worrying for no reason.
In a hushed voice, Duo remarked sadly, "So, it really *is* possible that Wu was raped, huh? Damn! No wonder the poor guy's afraid of sex. Shit, Heero, what're we gonna do about this?" He looked to his strong lover in hopes of a ready solution but none was available.
With equal sadness and regret that he'd ever left the OZ base without the one person who might have been able to get the truth out of the Chinese boy, Heero answered, "We're not going to do anything right now, Duo. Let's hope that Trowa gets back here ASAP and then we can take it from there. But if he's not back by morning, we're going to need to keep watch on Wufei or he's apt to do something stupid like go into that base looking for him and get himself captured doing it. He's still injured and he'd never convince them that he's just another OZ flunky with those stitches on his face like that."
Duo's shoulders sagged in defeat as he nodded, "Yeah, we'll have to be careful all right. But if Trowa *isn't* back soon, I swear, one of *us* will go in after him! Wufei's been through enough shit to last a lifetime at this point and until we find out the truth about the rest of this, I'm not going to be able to rest easy."
"Nani?" Heero looked at him oddly, "Wufei getting beaten up by Quatre's not that drastic. What do you really mean, koi?"
Duo sighed unhappily, he hated to even stop and put it all together, but he did. "Face it, Heero, Wu's had some pretty bad shit come his way in this life. Even though he was just a little kid, he was married and widowed before he ever even became a Gundam pilot. There was that shit with Khushrenada. His entire colony self-destructed in front of him and that had to hurt him pretty badly even if he never complained about it. The war's not been easy on any of us and the crap with Q-Ball most recently. If we know all this, but he's still hiding something, it's just gotta be something bad!"
Violet eyes tracked back to the closed bedroom door and gained the far-off look they'd held earlier as Duo sighed sadly.
"Nope," he shook his head firmly, "I won't be able to sleep a wink tonight if Tro's not back."
"Oh?" Heero teased gently as he leaned in to nip at his lover's exposed neck in an effort to distract him from the issues they'd already agreed they could do little or nothing about. He was worried, too, but wanted to give his lover something else to think about.
"Even if I try to wear you out?" Heero breathed out in a low suggestive voice. "You think I can't get you to sleep if I really want to?"
Duo's eyes narrowed in mock-anger as he looked at Heero's unusually teasing grin, he knew that his lover was simply trying to help him get past the helplessness they both felt over the situation with their two friends and he did appreciate it. "What kind of push-over do you think I am, Yuy? Think you can just offer me your body and I'll forget all about the rest of the world?"
"Yeah," Heero smirked, "it's always worked before, baka, why not now?"
Duo grinned before lunging at him, bringing them down together in a pile of loose hair and bare skin, "No reason, I just wanted to make sure before I jumped your bones again, that's all. At the rate this's going, I'm going to have to send Q-Ball out for more ibuprofen before dinner!"
"The hell you say!" Heero answered and flipped them both over, laying on top of the wonderful boy who regarded him with grateful eyes. With a sexy little snarl, he added, "Unless of course *you* need some after I screw you senseless, Duo!"
"Eep!" Duo exclaimed happily and then found his mouth way too busy with other activities to speak much more.
The afternoon passed more easily for the couple once they agreed that the issues they faced were indeed serious, but that they would wait for Trowa's return, spending the intermediate time together engaged in their own preferred form of relaxation.
Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.
End Notes for Parts 17, 18 and 19:
Dedications: This posting run is dedicated to all sorts of cool people and
nifty stuff! The following friends in the "Hall of Fame" are particularly way
cool and almost all of them got notes from me today! Even with a lousy
headache, Fei kept telling me that it was an injustice to not answer my mail!
What a slave driver, ne?
[smiles at Wufei who frowns that Enigma hardly EVER allows the "classic
rants" to enter anything, but he smiles when the Disco Ball arrives to bathe
our honorees with glimmers and shimmers as befit true super stars like
We now salute the following wonderful folks---
Shea Maxwell, Kayo, Danielle, Trixie (stops to wave at her and hope school is
more fun soon), AJ from NZ (who lives an interesting life), Starlight (aka
Duo's Death Angel and isn't she cute? I just adore the girl from Oklahoma!),
SkyLark, d-huron (who *is* writing more "Silent Justice" ASAP, right, Dan?!? <
grins happily>) Mahtob, Ashkara, SteeloSong (who has yet another kick-ass
sexy story running and I didn't get a chance to read it yet! ), Rubious, Liz, bearilou, Dim,
Nazzarri, and who knows how many others?!?! And, of course! No such list is
complete without the delightful Kimmie and Ryoko!!!