The opulent room had never looked better to Heero. The solitary confinement cell followed by weeks in the infirmary had left him feeling
more than a little claustrophobic, odd for someone who used to virtually live in the tight confines of a Gundam cockpit, but the
magnificent room was wonderful. Sensing Duo's hesitation, Heero gently kissed their intertwined fingers, then let go of his hand and, like
a child who had never seen such a wonder, went over and threw himself onto the king-sized bed happily. This finally brought a laugh
from Duo who had been so unusually quiet.
"Ne, koibito?" Heero grinned at the ceiling, "What's so funny? Never see a guy glad to have something other than a cot to lay on
before?" Teasing now came easily to Heero. He had spent hours with Jack playing cards, arguing over politics and discussing
professional sports, discussing what they wished life could be like, just about anything the two thought of. Heero and Jack had become
close friends and even though it was going to take the rest of the team time to get past the beginning of that relationship as one of an
adversarial nature, he was confident in himself once more.
Slowly, Duo stepped closer and sat on the edge of the bed. "So, Heero," he began shyly, looking for the words to say whatever it was
he couldn't put into words. "I'm glad you're free again. It was, well, difficult for awhile there, wasn't it?"
"Duo," Heero sighed huskily and gently ran a hand down the beautiful chestnut braid. "My beautiful Duo. I've missed you so terribly
much. But there's something bothering you, isn't there, love? I've looked forward to being with you again for so long and yet you seem
distant. What's wrong?" Cobalt-blue eyes looked deeply into violet eyes that seemed to shimmer with uncertainty.
"Heero, things have changed for me." Duo looked down and stared at his hands rather than meet Heero's gaze. "I've been undergoing
therapy and am on some drugs now that seem to have helped me regain my sanity for the first time in years. But I'm very worried about
you and I'm worried about whether there is a future together for the two of *us* any longer."
Heero, shocked, felt like he'd been stabbed through the heart and the knife twisted.
"Koi, you confuse me." He admitted. "While I am glad that you are getting help you feel that you need, why should anything that's
happened change our plans?"
Duo still wouldn't look Heero in the eyes. "Heero, please. I know how brave you are and I know how well you conceal pain, but aren't
you at all worried about our being, well, intimate with one another again? After what happened to you at the hands of those terrible men,
how can you be the least bit attracted to *me* any more?" Finally the truth of the issue was at hand and in all honesty, Heero was glad
to have it out in the open.
"How much do you know about what happened, Duo?" Heero asked calmly.
The quiet tone surprised Duo enough that he finally raised his eyes once more and he gazed into Heero's face. "I watched the tape," he
said flatly. Then continued with difficulty. "I watched it over a dozen times and each time it ripped another piece of my own soul out. I
know I never told you what had happened to me when those OZ bastards had me, and what happened to me lasted longer and there
were a lot more of them, but still. You, well, you were hurt unexpectedly and viciously, Heero." His voice was pleading but even Duo
wasn't certain what he was pleading for.
"I was a prisoner of war; these things happen." Bitter self-hatred laced the tones, but he refused to stop. "I forced myself to accept it by
simply denying it and when I found out about what happened to you it was as if it were happening to me all over again. I was finally
forced to face that I had been violently tortured and raped repeatedly for days on end more than a year ago and I'm a survivor of those
atrocities. You were never responsible for all those nights I cried after we had sex. The memories burned through me whenever I felt
you penetrate me and it was all I could do to keep from fighting back in terror. I felt so guilty, I felt as if I should simply be glad to have
you in my arms once more, even though I had concealed the fact that I was dirty; worse than a whore, used and discarded. For a long
time I hated Wufei for keeping me alive; I felt only death would cleanse me. But you never said anything about the scars and I was
certain you knew what had happened but chose not to discuss it; surely you of all people would never have missed how disfigured I'd
become. I finally got past the fear and was able to truly make love with you again, instead of just having sex with you, but it took a long
Duo's eyes had shimmered with unshed tears earlier, but now they slowly seeped out, sliding down his cheeks. "How can you possibly
want to be with me now, so soon after what was done to you? Don't you know how much those memories are going to hurt you and in
turn hurt me knowing we now share a pain I wish neither of us had ever known?"
The eloquence of Duo's statement gave Heero pause. Yes, he had thought about this before, quite a bit actually. It hadn't been until that
horrible day Duo almost died in his arms on the street that he even *knew* his lover had been raped and tortured. How had he, a
trained observer, missed the fact that such a drastic thing had happened to his own lover? Thankfully, no one had clarified this
misunderstanding to Duo before now or things would probably be even worse. Heero considered telling him the truth about his own
failure to see how badly hurt his fey lover had been so long ago; perhaps even admit he was totally unaware that the boy he loved dearly
had even been raped, but decided against it. He desperately needed Duo with him at that moment.
Selfishly, he decided to tell him the truth later, but now he desperately needed to feel the physical comfort of making love to Duo once
more, even if it was only in a limited fashion. Unfortunately, this decision would wreck havoc later.
Heero sat up and reached both arms around Duo's chest leaning him back against the pillows beside him, careful not to move too
suddenly or frighten his distraught lover any further. Now, after so much pain had been revealed, he hoped his plans would be enough
for both of them. He turned onto his side facing Duo who, curious, did the same leaving them laying side by side staring into one
"I still love you, Duo. Nothing anyone could ever do to *me* or to *you* could change that." Heero's voice was low, soft, gentle as he
professed his own heart's desires. "Yes, I'm afraid, but I need you. I'm afraid of the memories and I'm even more afraid of hurting you
because you never had the chance to tell me what had been done to you and so I could never help you heal. But, I know what will help
*me* heal and that is, simply, you. That is, if you are willing."
Open, sincere, and fragile for once in his life, Heero reminded Duo of a butterfly spreading its wings for the first time, radiant and filled
with wonder. "Do you still love me, Duo?"
"Yes, Heero, you know that I do." Duo stated this yet wondered deep within if he even knew what 'love' was anymore. "But I'm still
"Then, trust me, please, koibito?" Heero gently kissed his love on the lips, the briefest of contacts yet filled with electricity and passion.
"Let me at least hold you and kiss you for now. Actually, it is too soon for me to even make love properly, I've got scars that haven't
healed, yet I need to feel your warmth. I need to feel your body next to mine once more. Please, tonight of all nights, let me at least
show you how much I still love you?"
A deep sigh left Duo's throat as he decided there was only one thing to do, try to make the man who had saved his life and who he may
or may not still love happy, even if the very thought of sexual relations with another man repulsed him now. Forcing these disturbing
thoughts aside, he tried to place himself where he had been emotionally before all of the damned secrets had come to light. Duo forced
himself to relax completely against his lover and murmured, "Yes, koibito. Yes." Lips melded together and they began a dance of patient
Heero reached up slowly and began to unbutton the shirt Duo was wearing; almost immediately, Duo pulled away to turn off the light.
He did *not* want Heero to see his chest or the wounds he could still feel emotionally should his face betray his deception. The clothes
he had on were different from anything Heero had ever seen him wear before, but right now he didn't care. He simply wanted the
clothes gone. As Duo began unbuttoning Heero's shirt in turn, the seduction continued as Duo recited a poem he was now quite fond of
"How do I love thee?"
Duo nibbled gently on Heero's lips and down to his neck.
"Let me count the ways."
Slipping the shirt off his shoulders, he placed tender kisses onto his lover's bare chest, warm and sultry, rubbing his back with firm
"I love thee to the depth and breath and height"
Carefully unbuckling Heero's jeans and easing them off his slender hips, Duo began to caress the warm flesh of his hips and thighs,
noticing how aroused his lover already was in spite of the injury that had not healed yet.
"My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight;"
Duo returned his fingers' attentions to Heero's nipples, eliciting a low moan of pleasure. Surprised, Duo realized he, too, had become
hard; he was aching with a need that he knew would go unfulfilled yet he surprisingly seemed to desire in spite of what Smith had
worked so hard to convince him to believe.
"For the ends of Being and ideal Grace."
Gently, the braid was unraveled and he took his own hair and used it to sensuously brush gently down the solid planes of muscle on
Heero's chest and stomach, bringing forth small sounds of pleasure, making both erections twitch in excitement.
"I love thee with the breath,"
Kissing Heero deeply, their tongues intertwining, Duo's long fingers reached down his back pulling him tighter against his own body
which Heero had efficiently stripped without missing a beat, he firmly ground their hips together.
"Smiles, tears, of all my life!"
Smiling enticingly, Duo began to gently brush his chestnut mane across Heero's straining manhood, even though the scars from the rape
were plain to see in the faint light and obviously ruled out any more aggressive contact, yet the stimulation of all of the rest of it was
enough. A low, long groan of desire escaped Heero's throat sending shivers of excitement through his partner.
"---And, if God choose,"
Duo moved his lips down his beloved's chest, kissing and nibbling as he went to tickle gently the tiny indentation of his navel. Again
Heero writhed beneath him and Duo placed his hands firmly on his hips to still the other boy's movements and then moved his talented
mouth farther down.
"I shall love thee better after death."
Licking his lips predatorily, Duo very carefully began to lick Heero's dripping arousal, hearing his lover moaning in pure joy. Heero was
immobilized by the pleasure and could do nothing in return at this point but simply lay there and marvel at his great good fortune in
having such a tender soul-mate. Darting out, Duo's tongue lapped at the sweet droplet that hung suspended at Heero's tip, then slid his
tongue sensuously against the sensitive slit eliciting a near shout of anticipation. After gently licking up and down its length, Duo wrapped
his tongue around Heero's manhood, caressing it with the smooth/rough surface of his tongue, then he began sucking it. He was careful
to avoid the area of injury, and spent time pleasuring his lover deeply before he took him over the edge of bliss and his mouth was filled
with the salty sweet taste of Heero's seed, once more confirming how deeply he felt about him. Confused though Duo Maxwell was, he
still felt the stirrings of love or at least lust for Heero Yuy, their connection ran too deep to be completely overwritten by one evil man's
Duo, torn between his innermost feelings and the programming he had been subjected to, felt lost and alone in his torment.
Finally, he nestled his head against Heero's stomach and hugged him around his hips and waist. With a sigh, he reached down to where
the comforter had been thrown to get it out of the way, and he pulled its warmth up around the two of them. Without even realizing he
was doing it, he snuggled once more into the joining of Heero's neck and shoulder.
Half asleep from the sheer joy of being intimately reunited with his love, Heero mumbled out, "Ai shiteru, Duo. It has been so long since
I have felt this good, thank you, my love. You are the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me. But, koi," his voice was
concerned even as he yawned in sated pleasure, "Can I not show you my love as well?"
Duo quieted him with a kiss that still tasted faintly of himself, "You just did, Heero. You just did."
Yet, deep within himself, Duo knew there were other reasons this hadn't gone farther. //Now things are different for me, Heero, I wish I
could tell you that, but not now. Not yet.// Duo listened as Heero's breathing slowed to that of peaceful sleep. //You and I have both
been through the fires of Hell. I knew you would want, no, *need* this form of reassurance and so I gave it even if I didn't want to. But
how much of the love I just professed was the truth? I used to say that I never lied. Too bad that isn't true anymore.//
Rising carefully to avoid waking Heero, Duo slid his clothes back on and quietly left the room. Behind him, eternally observant
cobalt-blue eyes watched him leave. //What is wrong, koibito? Why do you run from me? From *us*? Am I really that horrible after
Though only meters apart, two young men, each absorbed in his own thoughts and doubts, quietly cried in confusion. If they had been
light-years apart it would have felt no more distant.
(1) Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnet 43