It was the smell that woke him. Acrid, burning, very close. It did not take but a moment to clear his aching head, but he did not open his eyes. Instead, he took in what he could of his surroundings and condition before he let on that he was conscious. He was bound and lying on his side. His wrists were tied in front of him, and he felt shackles on his ankles. He could hear whispers and people quietly stirring. His men, he concluded. He heard the occasional shout and horse whiny, but it sounded farther away.
Concentrating on his body, he felt scrapes, bruises, and one particularly deep gash on his thigh, but overall he was in good shape. He could recall receiving the gash on his thigh. The world had gone black shortly after, and he'd expected that he was dead, not merely knocked out to wake up a prisoner. If he could find a knife or a dagger, suicide might make up for some of the shame. Dying in battle protecting his kingdom was the most honorable way to die and he had failed not only to protect, but to die.
The Hawk People had fallen. They had grown indolent after so many centuries of peace and were unprepared for the bloodthirsty barbarians that had invaded during the night. The Hawk People knew no enemies, and Heero knew not who their attackers were, or why. From their language and dress, he surmised them to be southern peoples. A cold fear spiked through him. Could they be the murderous Scythe Clan of legend? Old soldiers told tales of brutal nomadic clans from the south, who attacked by surprise, pillaging and burning whole cities in a night. They stole horses, precious metals, liquor, and took prisoners for the slave trade in the east.
Heero opened his eyes. He and a group of his men were in a wooden corral much like one horses might be kept in. They were situated in a camp of great tents made of skin stretched over wooden frames. From the terrain, he knew the camp was not far outside the city, but there was no one left to come after the prisoners.
"Commander, you're awake!" a man next to him exclaimed. He found his second in command sitting by his side.
"Solus," Heero said, his voice gravely, "How many of us?"
"Only about twenty from our phalanx, sir. I don't know how many other soldiers or how many civilians," the older man answered.
Heero bit back a groan. Twenty of his fifty-five had survived? They were the elite squadron, the best and the strongest. He could only imagine the decimation the other units must have suffered.
"How long was I asleep?" he asked, moving to sit up.
"It's after midday now," Solus told him, "They must have hit you quite hard, you've got a large bump on your head, sir."
Heero tried to ignore the fatherly, concerned tone of the older man, and surveyed his troops. Some of the men seemed in decent health like him, others had bloody, uncleaned wounds, and a few lay unconscious. All were bound in the same manner as he; many were gagged.
"If any man makes too much of a disturbance, a big guy with a mallet comes in and knocks him out," Solus said when he noticed the Commander looking at the unconscious men. "We tried calling this morning to determine how many of us there are in the camp, but they gagged anybody who did so. I suspect some of them know northern languages," Solus finished.
Heero tried not to let his disappointment show on his face. They were bound, they had no idea how many of their citizens were in the camp, and there were no weapons in sight. Means for escape looked nearly impossible.
He pushed himself up and the other men came to talk with him. He did not tell them that he believed their captors to be the Scythe Clan and that they would most likely be sold into slavery. He watched tensely all day as the workers about the camp built large wagons and organized to move their spoils.
The next morning, the guards opened the gate and entered. They wore armor and carried spears and shields. A few more Scythian soldiers entered and kicked any who were sleeping until they woke. Heero bristled at the treatment of his men. He noticed one who stood back in the doorway. This man wore no armor and was shirtless in the northern cold. A long sword of an unfamiliar style was hilted at his belt, and he had a marking adorning his left cheek just under his eye. Many of the barbarians Heero had seen bore these markings, each of them unique. The man's arms were crossed over his chest as he watched the proceedings with an impassive face. Heero knew immediately - this one must be their leader.
When Heero's men were all standing and watching their captors wearily, the man in the doorway entered. Heero felt like a coil tightening, and was about to spring forward when he felt Solus' heavy hand on his arm.
"The Elite Guard of the Hawk People, the best of the best," the man said in a coarsely accented version of their northern language. "The strongest of you will be sacrificed."
There were some murmurs of alarm among the men.
"Who is the leader here?" the bare-chested man demanded. There were more murmurs of confusion among the men.
"Come forward!" he ordered said when no one answered his question.
Heero was about to move when Solus grabbed his arm. "No, sir!" he hissed desperately.
The Scythian leader nodded and one of the guards seized the nearest man, holding a knife to his throat.
"Could a captain of the noble Hawk Guard allow one of his men to die in his place?" the Scythian man challenged. Heero felt his hard cobalt eyes fall directly on him and linger.
"Our Commander is dead!" the man held by the guard cried, "Go ahead and take me."
"No!" Heero shouted, but Solus quickly moved in front of him.
"I am the Commander," Solus said as he moved to the front.
The guard pushed the other man away and put his knife to Solus' throat.
"This is your leader?" the Scythian warrior asked, "This is the man who will be sacrificed?" Again, Heero felt as if he were being addressed personally.
The knife cut a shallow line into Solus' throat, drawing blood. Heero could take no more.
"Release him!" he shouted, pushing his way through the men, "I am the Commander of this squadron."
"No, Commander!" a few of the men gasped. The Scythian leader looked smug. Solus was knocked out with a hit to the back of the head and thrown back to the men. Heero took his place under the dagger without looking back.
The bare-chested man gave orders in an unfamiliar language and then turned and marched away. His long chestnut ponytail streamed down his back, falling to his waist. Some locks were braided, others beaded or wrapped, and the rest was free and swaying as he walked. Heero was jerked back to the reality his own fate as he was roughly pulled away by the guards.
His shackles left him with little range of motion, so they dragged him across the camp and into one of the great tents. This one had steam rising out of the opening in the top. The guards moved the flaps back and pushed him inside. It was intensely hot inside the tent and resembled some sort of mobile bathhouse. Water was heated in a great vat and poured down a pipe into smaller tubs. Heero could see how the great vat might be deconstructed for transportation. Men and women tended the fire and cut plants to drop into the vat.
A man approached them and spoke to his captors in their language. The man called others over and they ripped away the remnants of Heero's once fine clothing. He cried out in surprised protest but stopped when he felt the point of the blade at his throat again. They cut the cloth away so that he didn't have to be untied, and when they had finished, they disposed of all it in the fires. Once naked, he was pulled over to a tub. When he refused to get inside, he was simply lifted and dropped in.
The water was hot but it did not burn his skin like he thought it would. He had been half expecting to be boiled alive, but instead, he was scrubbed clean by two women who even washed his hair. He was pulled out of the tub again when they were finished with him and briskly dried off. He was offered no clothes before he was pushed into a chair and another woman tended to his wounds. She cleaned his scratches efficiently and swabbed on a stinking ointment that stung sharply. Heero did not flinch or move and she smirked at him slightly. She cleaned the ugly gash on his leg and then used a fine needle and thread to sew it closed. She carefully smoothed the sewn edges with her fingers and then spread on a paste that quickly hardened.
He wondered why such great care was taken to his health. He bitterly thought that maybe their heathen gods wanted him in good shape for the sacrifice. At least this kind of death consoled him a little. Only the ritual suicide could fully restore his honor after such a defeat, but he felt he was doing the right thing by dying for his men.
A girl flanked by two more women approached with a bundle. The guards remained ever vigilant should Heero try to hurt any of their people.
He caught the girl staring at him, and she blushed. He glowered as the bundle was unrolled. First he was pulled out of the chair and wrapped with a scant loincloth, and then fit with pants of a sort he had never seen before. The cloth was a deep blue and cut so that the hips and crotch were open. The white loincloth could clearly be seen, as well as the sides of his hips and buttocks. This hardly counted as clothing, he thought with disgust.
The Scythian guards shoved him back into the chair and a woman tipped his head back. He just looked up at her defiantly until she leaned over him and brought a black brush down to his eyes. He blinked and jerked his head away. She chided him in her language and held him by the chin. She was stronger than any woman he knew, but he still managed to move his head away. She sighed and asked one of the guards to hold his head as she painted thin lines on his eyes, right at the lashes. Heero was incensed. Only women wore such embellishments!
The crisp, cold air came as a shock when he was led back outside, but before the chill could sink in fully, he was quickly ducked into yet another tent. It was smaller, with only a few men inside, and he did not recognize most of the instruments inside. His gut tightened.
He was to be tortured, then. The two guards each held one of his arms as his wrists were cut loose. He let them think he wasn't going to struggle before jerking free in one swift move. He kicked one guard in the groin and shoved the other away so he could reach for the nearest weapon. It happened to be a chair, so he made the best of it. He felled the other guard with a crack over the head and smashed the nearest tables, sending workers scattering.
Two more armored guards rushed in, but he was able to fend them off with the hardwood chair. The tent flap opened again and the Scythian leader entered, looking supremely annoyed. He drew his sword and regarded the prisoner. Heero brandished his make-shift weapon and tried to circle around him, but the warrior wouldn't let him get anywhere near the door.
The longhaired man attacked him and he fended blows with the chair, swinging it powerfully at his opponent when he got an opening. The other man was limber and able to dodge the bulky weapon. His sword sliced through the wood with every blow until Heero was left with just the chairback. He knew he was losing. In a last-ditch effort, he threw the rest of the chair at the Scythian and scrambled to the tent wall, trying to escape underneath it.
He heard a smooth chuckle and felt the sword at the back of his neck. "Stand," he was ordered. He stood slowly and turned, trying not to allow them to see his chest to heaving from the exertion. The other guards had joined them, looking furious. Their chief, however, looked amused.
"I expect something like this from you," he said with a mocking smirk, "I would not have respected you if you had not tried, but really, a chair?" He then barked orders to his men and they seized Heero, dragging him to a narrow, man-sized table. They forced him to lie on his back and then fastened his wrists under the table and tied his ankle cuffs to either corner.
There was a table of needles nearby. He steeled his mind and prepared his body. He would not break under torture. What could they possibly want? They'd already destroyed the city and he had no useful information for them anyway. Perhaps they tortured for entertainment. A man came forward and picked up a thin needle. He opened what looked like an inkpot and leaned over Heero. An assistant swabbed his right pectoral with a tingling liquid and stepped back. The Scythian leader stood a few feet away, arms crossed over his muscled chest, just observing silently.
The man dipped his needle into the ink and pushed it slowly into Heero's skin. He figured this must be how they applied the markings to their faces. They were marking him with the ink. He struggled, causing the man with the needle to back off. He stopped when a guard put a spear-tip to his throat and was forced to stay still as the needle man bent over him again. Nearly every return of the needle drew a little blood. The spear remained at his neck, keeping him from moving. His mind fumed. He did not want this mark.
The Scythian leader stayed the entire time, his face unreadable. When the man with the needle finally put it down, he looked to the leader. The man nodded positively and said something. The needle man cleaned up and another man came to Heero's side. This one had a tray of larger needles and small metal rings. It was at that moment that Heero noticed the rings adorning the Scythian warrior's left nipple and all the way up his ears. He looked at the worker, who was cleaning a thicker, hollow needle. He began to squirm, but the guard jabbed him with the spear. Much to his humiliation, his nipple was prodded and tweaked until hard. Heero refused to cry out when the needle pierced it lengthwise and the ring was slid through and fastened with a red glass bead. He looked down and saw the ink marking on his pec and the silver ring. It looked monstrous and unnatural to him. His skin ached and his abused nipple throbbed with pain.
His wrists were cut free again so he could be forced up and escorted to the center of the camp. They bound his wrists behind him and then tied his arms together in an intricate combination that completely restricted his movement. He struggled as they fit him with a thick collar. The collar and one ankle were then tied to a stake in the ground, like an animal.
The guards retreated back to other posts and he was left alone there, on a patch of what was left of summer's green grass. He was staked outside of a small tent, and the camp seemed to move around him. He wore practically nothing besides the scowl, and his skin was chilled all over. His stomach chose this moment to add to his misery, turning and painfully reminding him that he hadn't eaten in over a day.
He wondered what more he would endure before they killed him. He hated both the ring and the ink marking - they reminded him of the barbarian leader. Heero's marking was exactly the same as the one decorating the man's cheek. Lacking anything else in range, he angrily kicked at the stake with his free leg.
Heero was left there as the sun started going down and the air cooled even more. The camp was quieting and men were finishing up their work before it became dark. More fires were being lit for light and warmth. A guard entered the small tent nearby, and the tent glowed with the fire he lit inside. The Scythian leader strode past Heero, ignoring him, and went into the tent.
The Commander watched the fire in that tent burn late into the night before it finally went dark. Heero knew then that he was to be left outside for the night. When he grew tired, he lay down and curled into ball the best he could to conserve heat. He did not manage to sleep much before the workers started stirring just before dawn. He was shivering and exhausted but he got to his feet before anyone saw him.
A fire lit the tent a short while later and the man emerged after dawn. Today he wore his long hair loose around his bare shoulders. He stopped by the door and observed Heero with a raffish smile. While the guards seemed weary of the Hawk Commander, the Scythe leader came very near. Heero felt he was being mocked.
"You survived," the man observed casually. Heero glared at him, thinking of all the terrible things he would like to befall this man, his ancestors, and any progeny he may have.
"Good for you," the man said encouragingly before walking away. Heero continued to glare angrily after him.
Heero was left staked down for the morning and into midday. He remained standing, the soldier in him refusing to give in to his exhaustion. The winter sun was weak, but warmed him enough to make the cold air tolerable. He would stand like this until they came to take him away
He watched the leader enter the tent flanked by two guards. Only a short while later, the two guards came back out of the tent and called over two more before marching over to Heero. Three held spears against his throat as the other knelt to untie his leg. The ankle cuff remained, but he was relieved the collar came off. They also cut the ropes around his arms and wrists. It surprised him that they checked his wrists for rubs or injuries.
Unbound but under heavy watch, he was led inside the tent where his wrists were fit with wide leather cuffs which were coupled by a short leather strap. The guards secured his cuffs to a rope, the other end of which was wrapped around a thick post in the center that seemed to hold the tent up. A voice from one side of the room caught his attention. It was the longhaired man, excusing the guards. He was seated at a table, writing, and did not look up as he waved them out.
He continued to ignore Heero, so the Hawk Commander took a moment to look around the tent. His eye was drawn first to a cot covered in lush furs. He had survived outside in the cold, but despite himself, Heero felt a longing to bury himself in those furs. There were chests against the walls, the desk the man was seated at, and two standing braziers with open flames providing warmth.
The captive thought desperately about trying to escape. He tested his leather bonds, twisting and pulling. They seemed like the kind of thing he could have gotten out of if he were at his full strength, however he could only win slight give from the leather. His ankles had been unshackled and the rope that held his wrists to the pole was long enough to allow some movement. There was nothing within reach, but he thought perhaps he could knock the whole post down, taking the tent with it. In the confusion, he might be able to escape.
"The braziers would catch the whole thing on fire, we both die probably."
Heero's head snapped around and he found the Scythian leader standing not far away, watching him calmly. The man must have understood his will to escape. He looked amused again. Heero glared at him darkly, earning a small chuckle. Then it was silent as the man moved across the tent to the bed. He drew a dagger from the folds and then turned to observe his captive.
"You are wondering what will be done with you," the Scythian guessed.
That was exactly what he had been thinking. Heero refused to answer and the man smirked.
"You do not speak, but you understand me, I am sure. I know what you are thinking all the time," he said, "If I were tied to that pole, I would be thinking of pushing it down and escaping. If I were prisoner, I would be wondering what was to become of me. You and I are two of the same."
Heero snorted out loud. Impossible. He could think of no similarities between himself and the barbarian murderer.
"No, we are very alike," the warrior continued, "We are leaders of men, you and I. What is your name?"
Heero remained silent. The other man chuckled at this.
"I should have known you would not say," he sighed, "I am called Duo, I am the leader of this band. To become leader, I had to kill the old chief, and to remain in control, I must kill all who challenge me. See here?" He pointed to the mark on his cheek. "It means my name, and that I am leader, and how many I have killed."
Heero's eyes flicked up to his face momentarily before he tore them away.
"You had no tattoos," the man continued, "I wonder if your position as leader was earned, or given to you."
Again, Heero declined to answer.
"The Hawk People do not tattoo, maybe," Duo shrugged then, "No pierce either. My people pierce and decorate themselves. We are the Scythe Clan."
Heero heard the pride in that statement and nearly growled out loud.
"You train your men, and uphold laws of your land. You protect your peoples. I am right? You do this? You are honored and hold the highest of rank. That is how I am, too. For many years, since I was young, my clan suffered. Oppressed, starving, sick. I vow to grow strong and kill all who ruled us, and I did. I restored honor and pride to my people. I brought them wealth and glory like in the old days."
Heero bit his tongue to stop himself from shouting at the man. What honor was there in attacking peaceful kingdoms and stealing their wealth?
"We ride and we take. We are the strong. That has always been our way," the man shrugged as if he'd heard Heero's thoughts.
It doesn't have to be, Heero thought bitterly. Old ways could be broken and new ones forged.
"So maybe you see now how we are the same. We fight for our people. We are the bravest. We are the strongest. I remember you from the battle. You killed so many of my men and took so few injuries. You were quite a lot of trouble to subdue. I knew we were two of a kind."
Heero continued his refusal to admit anything of the sort.
"Now, if you will excuse me, Commander," the Scythian grinned mockingly, "I have work to attend to."
Duo exited the tent then and Heero scowled after him. How infuriating. The man had said all that and still not told the prisoner what as to be done with him. Heero tried not to be impressed with the Scythian's grasp of the northern language. Now alone, he gave in a little and leaned on the post wearily. He rested his mind and relaxed his body while he could. He had to be ready for anything the barbarians might do to him. He knew that he might be fighting for his life.
His eyes blinked open and he stood up straight again just before the tent flaps opened and the Scythe Clan leader entered, followed by a servant. Heero would see that it was getting dark out now, the sun almost completely set. His mouth watered when he caught sight of what the servant carried and his hunger returned to him full force. A large tray of steaming food and drink was set on a small table and the servant left.
He heard splashing and looked over to find the longhaired man washing his hands and face in a basin of water. He dried himself and then wove his hair into a simple plait down his back. He turned to Heero when he had finished. He regarded the Commander and then laughed heartily.
"You still do not know why you are here," he said. Heero looked back at him sullenly. "I can read it on your face. You still have not figured it out," the man said with a laugh.
The Scythian came nearer to speak to him.
"It is like this," the warrior explained, "Always when I conquer, I take the strongest as my slave, but not to lie with. I lame them so they can no longer fight, but you…"
Heero's eyes widened with realization as the man's eyes raked over his body. Under that intense gaze, his heart pounded and his skin caught fire. He was sure that in his entire life, he had never been looked at in such a way. He vainly tried to will his body back under his control, yet it responded immediately to the Scythian.
"I could not injure you," the Duo continued, "I had you decorated and brought here."
Heero had to look away as Duo came closer still and said in a hushed voice, "No slave has seen my bed before. You understand me? Yes, you know what I want from you now."
Heero kept his eyes averted and refused to answer. The Scythian was so close, he could easily have kicked him. He willed his leg to strike out, but his body did not move. He felt the warmth of the man's hand on his abdomen.
"You tremble," the Scythian observed softly.
Heero tried to move away and found himself backed up against the post.
"Why?" the man pressed, "Too cold in here for your liking?" He reached for Heero's skin again and one touch betrayed that it was not from cold.
"Is it from fear? No, I think not. You do not know fear. Then why do you shudder at my touch?"
Again, Heero felt he was being mocked. He side-stepped around the post to get away from the warrior's overwhelming presence. He refused to admit why his body quivered the way it did when Duo was near. The man stepped up to him again and seemed amused as Heero continued moving around the post to escape him. He agreeably followed Heero around the post. The rope was not very long, and soon he wrapped it around the pole as far as it could go and his back was forced flush against it, arms trapped above his head.
The Scythian fairly grinned at this. Heero let his head fall back against the post and closed his eyes as the man advanced.
"Open your eyes," the man whispered and Heero did. He found the warrior only inches away, cobalt eyes glowing. He touched the side of Heero's chest that didn't hurt and Heero let a small noise escape.
He squirmed as the hand slid down his stomach and over the thin loincloth covering his groin. He was hardening completely against his will, and he caught a feral smirk when the Scythian discovered this.
The hand withdrew suddenly and Heero let out the breath he'd been holding as the Scythian backed off.
"How could I be so rude?" Duo asked jovially as he moved across the room, "You must be hungry." His tone made Heero acutely aware that he was being played with. He struggled to clear his head. The Scythian man went to the tray and lifted the whole table, bringing it nearer to Heero, who was watching and leaning heavily on the pole.
"Here, come back around," the longhaired man said, gently guiding Heero around the post so he had more freedom to move. The man took all silverware and other possibly dangerous objects off the tray and deposited them into a trunk. "Cannot let you have those, you understand," he said with an apologetic smile, "Maybe someday I will be able to trust you."
He returned to the tray and poured steaming liquid into two cups. He handed one cup to his prisoner and said, "Look, no poison," and drank from his own.
Heero was only human, and he had not been given any water in a day. He very much needed the fluid and gulped it down, but it annoyed him still. He didn't know what drink it was, and it didn't taste all that good, but he was very thirsty and his hunger was coming back to him. He held the cup out and it was refilled and handed back. He drank deeply again.
"It is boiled with plants," the Scythian explained, "Good for the body." He took the cup and gave Heero the breast of the fowl that was on the plate. Heero tore into it, skin and all. In more polite company, he would have been ashamed at his ravenous behavior, but the barbarian smiled and watched him, using his hands to eat his own portion.
They shared the rest of the food and Duo cleaned up afterward. He summoned for someone to remove the tray and made a few more arrangements in his language before the men left. He went to the desk and fiddled with papers and maps for some time. Heero felt much restored after eating and was again thinking of a way to possibly escape.
He had not thought of one by the time the Scythian stood and stored his papers. He cleaned up the desk and then stretched his arms mightily over his head.
"Perhaps you will tell me your name now," he said conversationally to Heero, who ignored him.
"Listen to me," he said firmly, "You are tattooed with my mark. It means you are mine. I watched the way you fight, and I knew you are the strongest. You are beautiful too. You are mine now."
Heero shuddered again at those possessive words and hoped the other man did not see. The longhaired man stepped closer again, nearly touching Heero's exposed body.
"You are mine," he repeated as he reached out and stroked Heero's hair, "I want to know your name, but if you will not tell me, I will give you a new one." His hand moved to Heero's jaw and neck, the possessiveness evident in his touch as well. "I want you with me always. I do not want to have to lame you, but if you fight me, I will."
Heero struggled with himself to hold still. He gasped when he felt the other man's hips meet his roughly. He tilted his face up and panted slightly in the effort to keep from moving against the other man. The Scythian leaned into his neck.
"I want to take you," he said thickly, "I do not want to have to force you, but I will."
If Heero had let himself speak, he might have begged for the man's hands upon him, so he bit his lip instead. The warrior moved away again, leaving Heero reeling. What was happening to him? He was forgetting who he was and where he came from.
Duo stood back and studied Heero, who blinked back sullenly. The man narrowed his eyes and Heero could tell he was arguing with himself. He went around the room, collecting all spare weapons, and locked them in the trunk. Then he pulled a dagger from his belt and approached Heero.
This was his chance. Heero looked around quickly for a weapon. He would not give in to this. If the Scythian was going to cut him free, he was going to escape. He was Heero Yuy, Elite Commander of the proud Hawk People, he was no one's pet or pleasure slave. The foolish Scythian cut the rope that tied his wrists to the pole and he faked submission. He stood docilely with his hands still cuffed in front and then suddenly bolted and ripped a horizontal pole down from the tent frame. He swung savagely at his captor, who dodged and then pried a pole down for himself.
He growled angrily at Heero, who attacked him in attempt to get to the door. He parried Heero's two-handed blows with one hand and held the dagger in the other still. Heero stupidly left himself open and received a kick to the stomach that sent him reeling back. Duo landed a blow to his hands, knocking the weapon from them, and was at his throat with the dagger before Heero could scramble away. Both men were breathing hard and glaring at each other
"I should have known you would not be so tame," the Scythian hissed, grabbing Heero by the hair and dragging him back to the center post. Heero found himself lashed directly to the post by his wrists, facing it with his arms stretched above his head. The man stalked around the tent, repaired the tent frame, and then blew out candles and doused the braziers. In the dark, Heero could hear him remove his pants and crawl into the bed.
Heero's eyes adjusted so that he could see more than shadows. He pulled at his wrists, but there was absolutely no slack. With the fires out, the tent began to cool. It was going to be a long, uncomfortable night. He fought with his bonds again, using his entire body weight to twist and wrench the ropes. The leather and ropes dug into his skin, but he did not stop. He stepped back and tried to pull the post toward him with all his strength.
"Could you not try to escape quietly?" the man on the bed complained.
Heero ignored him and redoubled his efforts.
Heero did not.
"Stop it!" Duo ordered. Heero saw him angrily throw the covers back and rise from the bed. He jerked desperately at his bindings. "Just stop it!" Duo growled, coming up behind Heero and grabbing his forearm.
Heero went still when he felt Duo's body lean into his. The man's breath raised goosebumps on the back of his neck.
Duo's hand slid up to Heero's wrists and he lowered his voice to a whisper. "You'll rub them raw, stop struggling." His other hand crept around Heero's stomach. "Stop trying to get away," Duo whispered as he nipped the sensitive skin of Heero's neck, making the other man gasp.
The Scythian took his captive by the shoulders and turned him around to that his wrists were crossed in their ropes and his back was to the post. Duo's hands came to Heero's face and he leaned in and kissed him thoroughly. Heero's mouth responded of its own volition, hungrily devouring and being devoured at the same time. His mind, the only part of him that objected to this, was silenced as the touch of the man's tongue sent a hot coil of desire cracking through his body like a whip. There was metal through his tongue as well.
Heero fairly hummed into his mouth, consumed with the pleasure of the warm, powerful body against his. He could feel every plane of that body, from the hard nipples, to jutting hipbones, to smooth thighs. Duo's arms came around his back and he continued to lay claim to Heero's mouth. Heero could feel his erection jutting into the thin loincloth. His moan for more was lost in Duo's mouth.
Heero had never felt such need in all his life. Duo pulled his lips away, leaving Heero to moan shamelessly as a hot tongue traveled slowly down to the unadorned nipple. Duo sucked and nibbled at it, coaxing involuntary noises from the man tied in front of him. He moved to the tender nipple with the ring and touched it with the tip of his tongue, playing with it gently. Heero hissed in pain, but did not wish him to stop.
Duo's mouth returned to his neck as he hastily ripped the loincloth away and groped for Heero's swollen arousal. Heero gasped out in surprise at how quickly he found it and started pumping. He could feel the full length of Duo's erection against his skin. Something was different, he thought through his haze. He looked down and saw a glint of metal at the tip. There was a ring through the head of his cock.
Duo slid down to his knees before the bewildered Commander, kissing and licking down his torso as he did. Heero struggled vainly in his bonds. His head fell back hard against the wooden post when he felt hands on his hips and Duo's hot mouth enclose his entire shaft. He groaned loudly as Duo sucked him and teased him with his mouth and the metal stud through his tongue. It did not last nearly long enough before Duo removed his mouth and stood again.
"Turn around," Duo whispered lustily as he maneuvered Heero's hips around. Heero turned his back to Duo, and let the deft hands guide him to arch his back and raise his ass up. Without the loincloth, his buttocks were bare and he felt warm fingers kneading into them. He moaned and closed his eyes. One wet finger pushed its way past the tight opening and into his depths. He gripped the post in front of him. He felt subjected, owned, taken. He gasped sharply when the finger brushed over a nub inside him. He pushed back against it, moving until it brushed the spot again and waves of rapture crashed over him.
He heard but did not process the sound of Duo spitting into his hand as the finger inside him stroked relentlessly. Only when it was gone was he aware of anything else. He panted and leaned heavily on the post. His body tightened like a bowstring when he felt Duo gently spreading his buttocks. He felt the tip, and the metal there, bumping against his entrance and pushing until finally it was admitted. He bit his lip as he was slowly stretched and filled, the feeling of being owned amplified with every inch.
Duo moaned when finally he was fully inside, but did not move. Heero did feel pain, but it did not take away from the pleasure. He rocked against Duo in attempt to feel the shockwaves brought by that certain spot. Duo took his hint and began to move inside. He rolled his hips in circles and then pulled out only to drive in again. He bit and kissed Heero's neck and shoulder as he began to fuck him. Mindless cries escaped from Heero with every plunge of Duo's hips.
Heero felt Duo's hands clawing at his naked hips as the man drove them to a feverish pace. Heero rocked and writhed under him, helping them both to rise to their climax. Heero hit it first when an unsteady hand reached around and began to pump his still-wet erection. He shouted and came in Duo's hand, and Duo spent himself in Heero's tight body after a few more deep thrusts.
Heero felt he could barely stand, but willingly bore Duo's weight when the man leaned his cheek against Heero's shoulder. He closed his eyes blissfully. Duo hummed contently and let his hands smooth over Heero's chest and stomach. When finally his strength returned, he carefully pulled out and moved away. Heero's eyes opened when the source of his warmth vanished. He saw the glint of a blade and then his arms were free of the pole. Duo led him to the bed by his cuffed wrists and pulled him into the furs.
Heero woke when the bed shifted slightly. It was not yet light; he was warm and comfortable, buried under the fur with Duo. He was lying on his side with the other man spooned behind him, holding his waist securely. Panic swept through him and he instantly moved away. Duo sighed and rolled over without waking. Heero scrambled to stand up, only to find how shaky his legs were. He felt liquid trickle down his thighs and he staggered to the washbasin to clean himself up.
The word seared his mind as he scrubbed his face. He was a traitor. He had accepted kindness. He had eaten his fill while his men and the civilians starved. He had readily given over his body. He had willingly surrendered himself to the enemy. He closed his eyes and leaned heavily on the sinkstand. He was a disgrace. He'd sold his integrity for pleasure, and by the Gods, he would do it again.
Simply ending his miserable life was no longer adequate atonement. The shame was too great. The dishonor came not from what had been done to him, but how he had responded to it. To enjoy subjugation, to feel gratitude to the one who manipulated him so easily… These were things he had always been taught were wrong. He had believed it. He still believed it. Didn't he? He pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes, thinking. He had never felt so confused in his entire life.
He was marked. Forever. One look in the mirror told him that, but he felt a difference in his mind as well. He could never go back. Heero Yuy was dead, sacrificed just as his troops feared. However, his sacrifice wasn't going to save them. He had failed and he needed to do something to make it up to his people. If killing himself wasn't the answer, then he would have to think of another way to save them.
He caught Duo's reflection in the mirror and studied him for a long moment. Where would he keep the dagger?
Duo jerked awake when he felt the dagger snatched from beneath his pillow. He bolted upright ready to fight, but found no blade threatening his throat. He looked up to find his captive perched on the edge of the bed with the blade at his own neck. This was not the way he wanted to wake up with his beautiful new slave.
"No!" he cried, scrambling over to wrestle the dagger away. The prisoner dodged him and held up a hand before speaking, his low voice wavering and tight.
"I am Heero Yuy of the Hawk People, Commander of the Elite Squadron. In my land, ritual suicide is the only way to atone for such a dishonor as I have suffered by failing and being taken captive. I could kill myself right now - "
Duo began to move, but the man held up his hand again.
" - But I would rather strike a bargain," he finished. Duo sat back, only somewhat relieved. So, the beauty had a voice after all. Well, he'd made noises the night before, all kinds of them, but he hadn't spoken at all. He had a name, too. Heero Yuy.
"Continue," he bade the soldier through clenched teeth. Duo couldn't deny that seeing the blade at that throat set him on edge. Just where was this little stunt going? He cursed himself for being so obvious about where he hid the dagger. He listened and tried not to let himself be distracted by the fact that Heero still wore the pants but lacked a loincloth to cover himself.
"The other option is that I will stay with you," the prisoner said, "I will turn over my allegiance to you, and only you. I will take no part in the plundering of the Scythe Clan, but I will become your own personal guardian. My terms are that you will free all civilians and what is left of my men. My men shall be given horses and a bag of gold each so that they may aid in rebuilding the kingdom. While we are camped here, I will be kept out of sight. They think I am dead, and the Heero Yuy they knew is dead. It is better for them not to know what has become of me. Finally, the Scythe Clan will not return to the lands of the Hawk People as long as I am alive. If I learn that attacks are planned, I will kill you and everyone I can until I am dead. Is this acceptable to you? The alternative is that I die now."
Duo brooded over the terms in silence. Damn it all, this captive had figured out how important he was to Duo. He was as smart and shrewd as he was strong, definitely a man to have on your side. Duo knew this Heero Yuy was serious about killing himself, and he didn't want to see that, but he couldn't give up all his other prisoners. As much as he was a man known to indulge his desires, he was also a man with responsibilities and ambition.
"In your terms, you only leave me with soldiers that aren't yours as prisoners," he said, "I need captives to sell. I will free the women, children, and all your men."
"My men, the women, children, and half the civilian men," Heero bargained.
Duo thought about this, though he must have though too long, for the captive drew some of his own blood to remind Duo how serious he was. "Stop!" the Scythian nearly shrieked. Heero did, and Duo told him, "That is acceptable if I keep all the horses."
Heero nodded solemnly. "Accepted."
"I want to clarify one point," Duo said, "As my personal guardian, you will also share my bed."
Heero nodded slowly again. "But not as your slave," he said.
Duo raised his eyebrows. Wasn't this one just full of surprises. He liked that.
"You can put the dagger down, you have yourself a deal," Duo agreed, "You will stay here, your men will be freed with one bag of gold each, along with the women, the children, and half of the civilian men. You will travel with me, sleep with me, protect me, and the Scythe Clan will not set foot in the land of the Hawk People ever again."
Heero handed him the dagger and held out his bound wrists. "A sign of trust," he said nodding to cuffs. Duo understood and cut the leather strap that held the cuffs together. He believed Heero Yuy to be a man of his word, yet he was not about to let his guard down after all of the Hawk Commander's escape attempts.
Heero then took the dagger back and threw it, sinking it into the pole he had been tied to the night before. He crawled over the bed to Duo. The gleam of lust was unmistakable in his eyes and Duo's body responded to it instantly. This was clearly not another escape attempt. The Scythian leaned up and was met by a hungry kiss.
"Seal the deal," Heero whispered roughly as he pushed Duo onto his back and climbed on top of him.
Duo struggled under him. "What?" he frowned. The northerner felt stronger after a night's rest.
"Seal the bargain," the Hawk Commander said slowly before kissing his lips and cutting off all protest. Duo could feel the other man's growing arousal as he pressed his hips down. He relaxed under Heero's body and enjoyed the attentions of his mouth.
"You better make this worth 120 captives," Duo growled when Heero kissed down his throat. The other just smirked as he caught the nipple ring with his tongue and deftly tugged at it. Duo grunted and threw his head back.
"You have much metal," Heero observed.
"Yes, increases… aaaahhh! Sensation," Duo answered in broken gasps.
"I saw more metal down here," Heero said as he moved his attention lower.
Duo moaned as he felt the tip of the other man's tongue curiously touch the head of his cock. Heero licked it and then sealed his lips around the crown. He slid down the shaft and swirled his tongue about, exploring the feeling of Duo's cock in his mouth. Duo thrusted shallowly into his mouth and seized a fistful of Heero's dark hair. Heero made some muffled noises of surprise and held his hips down. Duo could not help it, he laughed out loud. Sounded like someone didn't get a lot of practice. He made up for it in diligence, however, and all laughter was forgotten as one of Heero's hands sought Duo's balls and the other pushed his legs wider.
Heero's name spilled from the Scythian's lips, and he felt his new guardian intensify his efforts in response. Duo gasped and rocked when Heero used his tongue to move the ring around. Duo's mind spun. No lover had ever held such astonishing power over him. There was nothing they could do that Duo had not already done with previous lovers, but it felt different with Heero, exceptional somehow.
Heero so easily robbed him of his control. He had done it last night when Duo had gotten up to end his struggling. Duo had had no thoughts of sex when he had gotten out of bed; he had meant more to punish the captive for interrupting his sleep. Just being that near to Heero had made him lose his mind. Heero had done it again this morning and he was doing it right now. No one else could make him release 120 captives; no one else could keep him on his back, moaning and writhing helplessly.
When Heero stopped sucking, he growled and tightened his grip on the man's hair, but Heero snatched his wrist and pinned it over his head. Duo's first reaction was indignation, but he could not contest once the man's weight covered him fully again. Couldn't contest or didn't want to. No one else could make him forget the difference. Heero wiped it all from his mind with a bruising kiss.
His eyes blinked open again when Heero broke the kiss and sat up. Duo watched his supple body shift. Heero appeared wholly unaware of how very erotic he was. Duo was surprised at his own lack of protest when the other man reached for his braided rope of hair and neglected to ask before untying it. Heero freed his locks and ran his fingers through the strands, seemingly enrapt.
Heero smoothed the hair back onto the pillows with one hand and leaned on his other arm as he moved to lie over Duo again. Duo leaned up to kiss him and thrust his hips up to meet the other man's. Heero growled when they made contact and reached down to pull one of Duo's knees up around his waist. Duo had to close his eyes and look away when Heero sucked on one of his fingers. Momentarily, that finger was at Duo's entrance, impatiently pushing inside. Duo allowed the preparation, groaning as Heero added a second and then a third finger.
The fingers retreated and Heero lubed himself in the same unceremonious manner that Duo had the night before. Duo brought his other knee up, as it looked like Heero wanted to fuck him on his back. He felt Heero grip his thigh and position himself.
Duo gasped sharply when Heero buried himself with one deep thrust. He muttered obscenities in his own language and glared at Heero, who smirked and kissed him. When Heero pulled away, he leaned up and brought his knees under him. He held Duo's hips up firmly in front of him and began fucking him. Duo's thighs rested against Heero's chest and he bent his knees over Heero's shoulders. He could not reach Heero to touch him, so he threw his hands over is head gave in to his longings. He completely lost himself in Heero's iron grip and when he felt he was getting close, he reached down to take himself in hand.
"Oh, Duo…" he heard Heero moan. He opened his eyes to find Heero's stare locked on his hand as he pleasured himself. He arched his back off the bed and stroked himself for Heero to watch.
"Come on, Heero, finish me," he groaned and the other man immediately sped his movements. Heero fucked him harder and faster until he reached a mind-blowing peak, coating his hand and chest with hot come. The aftershocks shook him as he felt Heero finally yield to orgasm.
Duo had no words. He could not even think as Heero shakily let his legs fall to the bed and pulled out. He inhaled deeply to make sure he was still breathing and distantly felt the other man collapsed next to him. For several moments, the only sound in the tent was them trying to catch their breath, until Heero rolled to face Duo. Heero touched his cheek and Duo closed his eyes, letting Heero guide their lips together in a languid kiss. Heero released him to prop himself up on one arm and lean over Duo. He bent his head down to lick some of the come off of Duo's chest and their eyes locked.
Oh yes, Duo thought, this was going to be worth way more than 120 captives.
The position in that final lemon was actually inspired by yet another of Stacy's pics, this one called "Closer" and found right above
Captive!Heero's pic, actually. That one, unlike the scene above, is 2x1.