pairings: 1+2/1x2, 3x4, 5+S, 6x9
warnings: AU, violence, yaoi, NC17

summary: Set among the sex and politics of the Roman Empire. Heero Yuy, a Captain in the Roman Legion, acquires Sylvan bandit/mercenary Duo in an unusual manner. How will Duo cope with being a slave and moving to the biggest city in the world? Off the battlefield, Heero is a discontented aristocrat with mysterious origins. Duo shines with talents no one expected, and falls for the Captain with no heart to give him. In short, an epic romp through ancient Rome with the cast of Gundam Wing.

Chapter XXX
by Granate

Heero woke feeling good. He breathed deeply and rolled over. For the first time in his life, he expected someone to be there, but all that met his eyes was an empty bed. He sat up, alarmed. Last night with Duo hadn't been just another fantasy, he was sure of it. When he caught sight of the collar on the table by the bed, he panicked and old fears took hold. He threw something on and ran out of the room. Duo's clothes and sandals were gone from the next room.

"Duo?!" he shouted, bolting down the stairs so fast he almost lost his balance. "Duo!" he yelled again, running to the peristyle garden. The table there was bare. He was about to sprint out the front door when he heard Duo's voice.

"What?" Duo said from the kitchen doorway. He was wiping a knife with a rag. "Gods, you sound like the house is on fire or something!"

"Duo!" Heero exclaimed in relief and sunk into a chair. "There you are!"

"Of course I'm here, where else would I be?" Duo asked, setting the knife on the counter and coming into the garden.

"No where, I guess. It's just that without the collar... Never mind, it's nothing, Duo," Heero said.

"Wait a minute," Duo frowned. "You thought that I'd run away, didn't you? You thought that I had run away because you took the collar off!" He had the powerful urge to beat Heero's thick skull with the dishrag until something got through.

Heero cringed to himself. Now that he heard it out loud, it sounded pretty stupid.

"I don't believe this!" Duo said crossly. "How could you think something like that! After last night, you think I'd run away?!"

Heero was at a loss to explain. He received a good whack on the shoulder with the dishrag.

"You come charging down here like it's the end of the world without even thinking first!" Duo continued to scold him. "Look at you, you didn't even put any clothes on! Were you going to run around the streets like that?" He gestured at Heero, who had just sort of wrapped a rumpled loincloth around himself. Duo was treated to the sight of a lot of thigh and even a little bit of dark hair. He was trying very hard not to stare and failing. He gave Heero another smack with the towel, just for that.

"I'm sorry. You're right, I was being stupid," Heero said, plucking the 'weapon' out of Duo's hand. "Forgive me?"

Duo sighed and leaned over the chair, bracing his palms on both armrests. He kissed Heero good morning the way he'd been wanting to since he got up this morning - hell, since he moved into this house practically. Heero kissed him back, hands coming to his cheeks.

"What do I have to do to convince you?" Duo asked when he broke the kiss.

Heero didn't even have to think about it. "Nothing, you've already done everything. I was just being paranoid and not thinking straight," he fumbled.

"You're forgiven already," Duo said softly and stopped him with another kiss.

"From now on, stay until I wake up," Heero said.

Duo's heart quickened at Heero's expectation that they would sleep together from now on. "I don't know, I don't want Baltus and Mona to think you're," he straightened up and lowered his voice, "playing favorites."

"I am playing favorites," Heero said matter-of-factly.

Duo laughed despite himself.

"I don't care if they know or what they think. Please stay with me until I wake up. Or at least wake me before you leave," Heero continued.

"All right," Duo agreed. "Now go upstairs and put some real clothes on," he said, turning away. He was finding it nearly impossible not to straddle Heero right there in that chair.

Luckily for Duo's self-restraint, Heero got up and went upstairs. Up in his room, he dressed himself and straightened up the room a bit. The collar caught his attention and he picked it up. Duo would not be needing this anymore. He looked at it one last time before putting it and the key away in a box in his storage closet. 'Property of Captain Heero Winner Yuy,' it read. Last night, Duo had said he belonged to Heero because he wanted to. It was a beautiful sentiment and Heero had no doubt that Duo meant it, he'd proven it time and again. However, it was not as simple as that. There were still legal issues at stake here that could end up being complicated. Would Duo demand they renegotiate his manumission? How were they going to handle payments for services? Could they continue on like they had been? These were all issues Heero did not want to deal with. He wished that Duo would just be his forever, but he was certain Duo would still want his freedom someday. Heero did not want to think about that day.

He put the collar away and went back down to the garden for breakfast. Duo had the table set and a nice meal waiting. He sat and Duo served the food.

"How do you feel this morning?" Heero asked, stealing glances at Duo across the table.

"Not bad," Duo answered. He was sore, but he didn't want to make Heero feel bad about it. "Though, we might have to find other ways to amuse ourselves tonight, if you know what I mean," he admitted.

"Oh, ah, of course," Heero fumbled uncertainly. "Would you like... Greek lessons instead?" he offered.

"No, Heero, I meant we could do other sex things," Duo grinned

Heero wasn't entirely sure what Duo meant by that, but he hoped it meant Duo would still sleep with him even if they couldn't have sex.

"Unless 'Greek Lessons' is some sex act I don't know about!" Duo laughed. With a name like that, it very well could be. Heero gave him a weak smile that was obviously uncomfortable, so he changed the subject to something safer. "What's the plan for today?" he asked, laying a slice of cheese on a hunk of bread before taking a bite.

"I have business with my father for most of the day," Heero informed him. "There's a dinner with his associates in the evening."

"Do I get to come?" Duo asked after swallowing the bread.

"I won't need an attendant for this one," Heero said regrettably. "I wish you could come, though. I'd even let you play some music - anything to make this dinner less boring. Some of my father's partners are so stodgy."

"So you're gonna be gone all day?" Duo asked, looking glum.

"Yes, but tomorrow should be more free. We could go to the palestra," Heero offered.

"As long as you don't over do it," Duo said. "You're still healing."

"I'm feeling fine," Heero retorted.

"Yeah, you seem pretty energetic," Duo grinned and watched as Heero shifted in his seat. Why did he seem embarrassed?

It was quiet for a moment as they ate and Duo thought Heero was definitely mulling something over. "Spit it out, Heero," he prompted as he cut up a piece of fruit.

"I was thinking about whether last night changes anything about our... situation," Heero said carefully.

"Well, I don't suppose you want to just free me?" Duo said with a hopeful grin.

"I can't just free you, Duo, it doesn't work that way. It would look strange," Heero told him. "Besides, there are a lot of complications that go along with that."

"Yeah, I know," Duo laughed weakly, "I was just kidding! I knew that!" It really had been mostly a joke, he knew Heero would never agree to that, but Duo couldn't help still feeling a little disappointed. He thought having a relationship with Heero would be so much easier if he were free, but Heero obviously didn't see things that way. Heero was right, too, there was always bureaucratic bullshit to navigate and societal standards to be concerned about. Besides, Duo had decided a long time ago that he could work with the current situation.

"Well then, wanna know what I think?" Duo asked as he speared a piece of fruit with his fork and ate it.

Heero nodded.

Duo chewed before saying anything. He'd thought about this issue all morning and he had come to a conclusion he was satisfied with. "I'm not sleeping with you for favors and I'd be insulted if you paid me for it, so it doesn't change anything at all, really. I'm still going to work for you and earn my freedom," he said.

"Sounds acceptable," Heero said. He did wish that he could make Duo happy enough to not desire freedom so much, but the status quo was fine with him, too.

"I'll just consider sleeping with you a perk of the job," Duo added with another grin and Heero gave him a look like he didn't know how to respond to that.

After breakfast, Duo cleaned up and Heero went to his office to gather whatever he needed to bring for the day. He collected a few scrolls and tablets into a satchel and threw it over his shoulder. He passed by the peristyle on his way to the corridor to the main house.

"I'm going now," he said as Duo came over to him.

"Ok, see you tonight," Duo replied.

"It might be late."

"I'll wait up," Duo smiled.

"Ok, bye," Heero said abruptly and turned to leave.

"Hey," Duo said and grabbed his sleeve.

Heero turned back and Duo slid a hand behind the back of his neck to hold him still for a brief yet thorough kiss. "Bye," Duo said when he released Heero.

The dark-haired man turned to the corridor again and, almost immediately, turned back around and took Duo by the shoulders. He kissed Duo, pulling him close as his hands roamed downwards. One settled on the small of Duo's back and the other closed around his thick rope of hair. Duo pushed his tongue into Heero's mouth and Heero followed suit.

Finally Heero pushed him away and held him at arm's length. "Bye," he said again before ducking into the hallway.

The kiss left a smile plastered on Duo's face all morning. Mona, of course, noticed as they cleaned the formal dining room.

"Finally happened, hm?" she asked with a matronly smile as she polished the silver.

"What do you mean, 'finally'?" Duo chuckled.

"You just keep him happy," Mona instructed before going back to the silver.

Duo just kept smiling and took a bag of trash out. Keeping Heero happy was indeed his goal, it was more important than anything he wanted for himself. He wanted freedom, and that had already gotten a firm rejection, as expected. He also wanted the chance to be on top in bed. He was quite experienced with it and he would make sure Heero liked it. But a slave didn't fuck the master, and that was that. As sympathetic to slaves and equal-minded as Heero thought himself to be, or was thought to be by others, their relationship was NOT equal. Duo was willing to bet that it hadn't even crossed his mind to allow Duo to fuck him. He had even refused his superiors!

Heero seemed pretty inexperienced with sex to start with, so Duo wasn't going to bother bringing this up yet. Heero would need some time to let the idea occur to him and, besides, Duo was enjoying things the way they were for now. These concerns could wait. He had known Heero's shortcomings well before he'd gotten into this relationship, and accepted them long ago. Eventually, he would earn his freedom. Eventually, he would press the issue of equality in the bedroom. Little by little, they would work out the things that needed to be worked out, and until then he would happily take Heero any way he could get him.

Duo had plenty of chores for the afternoon, but he was bored by the evening. The horses were shiny, the tack was clean, the house was swept, the cellar was stocked, the puppies were sleeping, and the gear was ready for the palestra tomorrow. There was really not much to do, so Duo dug out the supplies Domiodes had given him and practiced drawing.

Heero had never had such a difficult time keeping his mind on work. He had been in business meetings all day with his father and brother and the representatives of another large, well-to-do family. Some businesses and properties had changed hands today and now they were celebrating and relaxing at a small party. Heero very much wanted to go home, but he was obligated to be there until his father decided it was time to leave. At least the food was good, he thought. There was nice music, too, but it was just a couple of instruments, not a big performance like Duo would have put together. There were no funny limericks or romantic ballads.

"What has been with you all day?" Quatre broke into his thoughts.

Heero had not heard his brother approach. "Nothing," he lied.

"I can tell you are having a difficult time focusing, are you not feeling well?" Quatre asked.

"Maybe that's it," Heero said, at a loss for his own explanation.

Quatre smothered a smile. His brother was actually admitting to not feeling well, which meant he had to be using that as an excuse for something else - something he wanted to admit to even less. Besides, the look on Heero's face was not one that looked ill at all. Quatre thought maybe he should report to Trowa that he had won the betting pool after all.

"Maybe you should go home," Quatre said sympathetically. "It hasn't even been a week since the Equus October. You took quite a beating," he added.

"Thank you for reminding me," Heero returned flatly.

"Why don't you go home?" Quatre suggested. "I'll tell father and everyone you weren't feeling well, they'll understand."

It only took a second for Heero to decide that the blow to his pride was worth going home early. He thanked his brother and slipped out of the party. It was late evening, and other young men were just beginning their nighttime carousing, but Heero hurried home. His house was mostly dark but he found Duo at a table in the peristyle, with the chiminea and a brazier to keep him warm.

"You're home!" Duo exclaimed and got up from his chair.

"Got out as soon as I could," Heero told him. "What are you working on?"

"Just drawing, nothing much," Duo answered as he flipped the tablet shut. He turned to Heero with a smile. "Welcome home," he said before kissing Heero.

Since just about the first day Duo had been in this house, Heero had thought a kiss would go perfectly with Duo's customarily chipper greetings, and he was right. If he had to pick a word to describe how he was feeling right now, it would probably be 'elated,' which was certainly not a feeling he could say he felt very often.

"Should I douse this so we can go upstairs?" Duo asked when they finally parted.

"Ah, yes," Heero swallowed, taking a moment to get passed the implications of 'upstairs' and understand that Duo was talking about the fire. Duo snuffed out both fires and led Heero to the stairs by the hand. They discovered that trying to kiss and climb stairs at the same time didn't work out all that efficiently, but they eventually made it to Heero's bedroom. There were a few lamps lit and the bed had fresh linens and crisply folded blankets. Tonight was a stark contrast to the nights Heero would climb the stairs alone to his dark, empty room, only to change clothes and fall asleep.

Heero began to remove his clothes but Duo stopped his hands and unwound the long toga for him. Duo moved to fold it and put it away as Heero took his shoes off. Last night had had a thrilling kind of urgency, but Duo was going to take his time tonight. He was not going to let himself get so distracted by what was under Heero's loincloth this time. The rest of Heero's body was not something to be ignored, and he was determined to make up for neglecting it last night.

As soon as Duo turned back, Heero hauled him onto the bed. He laughed as he returned Heero's very zealous kisses. He would slow things down eventually, but at the moment, he was enjoying kissing Heero too much. Though it was clear that Heero didn't have a lot of experience with kissing, it was not because his kisses were childish or amateurish. He was a man, clearly, and the kind who went after what he wanted with a kind of fanatical dedication. He was no different in the bedroom and, rough or gentle, that was always how Duo imagined he would be.

Heero backed off momentarily and moved down the bed. He took hold of one of Duo's feet and unbuckled his sandal.

"You'll be here every night from now on?" Heero asked as if that was still up for debate somehow.

"Yes, unless you tell me not to be," Duo answered as Heero slipped his sandal off and let it fall to the floor.

Heero smirked. "I don't see that happening," he said and moved to take care of the other shoe.

"Well, if you want more sleep or something," Duo mumbled, words almost failing him as he watched Heero's careful attention to his foot. Removing shoes was something slaves did for their masters and not the other way around. Heero's only response was to kiss his ankle and set his bare foot down. Duo quickly got to his knees and they met in a feverish kiss.

He unfastened Heero's tunic and helped him out of it. Heero all but tore Duo's in a rush to get it out of his way. Duo was getting very aroused and when Heero's palm slid up his thigh, he almost forgot his vow. He had ideas of his own, however, and pushed Heero down onto his back and threw a leg over him, straddling his thighs and pinning him to the bed.

"Wait, slow down, I want to look at you," Duo said, sitting up.

"Look at me?" Heero asked, squirming just a bit.

"I know it seems like I've looked at you a lot lately, putting medicine on you every day," Duo said with a grin, "but I didn't get to touch you."

Heero didn't say anything as Duo's hands explored his chest and shoulders. He had never felt this good with anyone before. Even when Duo put his hand in a perfectly innocuous place, like on his side, Heero felt his body react. Duo had mentioned the time he spent putting medicine on Heero and this was what Heero had wanted all those times.

"You're so beautiful," Duo murmured and bent to lay kisses over his collarbones and down his sternum. Heero twisted and groaned under him, closing his eyes as if it were too much as he kissed slowly down Heero's stomach. Duo stopped and Heero opened his eyes.

"Heero, can I ask you something personal?" Duo asked, sitting up.

"Go ahead," Heero said, catching his breath.

"I was just wondering what kind of previous experience you have with sex," Duo said gently. "You know about mine, so maybe you could share with me."

Heero's expression went from dazed to uncomfortable. It took a moment before he said anything. "Only with women, in brothels here in the city," Heero answered. "It was only a few times and very... uh, standard."

It made Duo sad that Heero seemed ashamed. He got the feeling that Heero's minimal experiences were not good ones somehow, and Duo intended to amend whatever unpleasantness lie in Heero's past. Last night had proven Duo's speculation that Heero had incredible potential as a lover and that was the side of Heero he was going to encourage. He leaned down and gave Heero a long kiss. Heero's arms came around his back and found his braid.

Duo pulled away and sat up again with a feline smile. He pulled his braid around front and slowly unraveled it, letting his hair fall free over his shoulders and down his back. It was long enough for the ends to tickle Heero's hips and thighs.

"Duo," Heero ground out as his hands encircled and grasped at Duo's waist. Warm lips returned to his stomach, carefully avoiding his injury and working their way down to play with his navel.

"Ever had oral sex?" Duo asked against his skin, enjoying the way Heero's powerful abdominal muscles flexed and trembled.

"Oral?" Heero asked as if he didn't understand.

"Mm hm," Duo hummed as his lips grazed over Heero's hip bones. He looked up and met Heero's blue eyes. "Every time I had you laid out on this bed, I wanted to do this to you," he said heatedly. He untied Heero's loincloth and peeled it aside, exposing his very hard, damp erection. His own cock leapt at what he was about to do. He'd fantasized about sucking Heero's cock, but now that he had it in front of him the desire to do it was even greater. He swallowed and wet his lips.

"Duo, don't!" Heero gasped and stopped him just before his lips touched the head.

"What?" Duo asked in disbelief, looking up again.

"Don't use your mouth, it's..." Heero struggled.

"It's what?" Duo asked, utterly confused.

"You shouldn't do that, it's not right," Heero tried to say.

"You don't want me to suck your dick?" Duo asked, still failing to understand.

Heero faltered a little at his coarse language. "No," he managed to say, "no, it's not something people should do."

"Oh, Heero!" Duo laughed and grinned at him. "I don't know what kind of silly taboos you people have, but trust me, people do this all the time and it feels really good!"

"I don't think - "

"You gotta believe me," Duo cut him off, "I've never done it to a man, but I've gotten it before, and I know you'll like it!"

Heero thought to protest again but all thought was stopped by a warm, wet tongue stroking his balls. "Oh," he exhaled mindlessly. He clutched blindly at the sheets as Duo licked up the underside of his cock and then took the head between his lips. He could only utter incoherent syllables as Duo sucked up and down his length twice. Duo teased the foreskin with his tongue and briefly released Heero's cock to carefully slide the delicate skin down with his fingers.

Heero gasped sharply as Duo sucked on the very sensitive head of his cock. He had never even fantasized about being pleasured in this way; it wasn't something people were supposed to do. It was wrong and unmasculine to take a passive role like this and let someone else take control, but it felt so good he didn't want it to stop. It was different from sex, but good in its own way. Duo's mouth was hot and so wet, and he knew just how to use it. It felt like Duo was trying to take the whole length in his mouth. Heero looked down at the head between his legs, and the long, shining hair spilling over his skin and the bed, and had to clamp his eyes shut. It was too much.

Duo was enjoying himself. Having received plenty of oral sex, he had a very good idea of what felt good. He was a little frustrated that he couldn't get the entire thing into his mouth, but he remembered sometimes it took several tries to accomplish this. He would need to practice, and from what he could tell, Heero would probably be willing. Heero's body rocked reflexively into his mouth and strangled sounds escaped his clenched jaw. His fingers clawed over the sheets and twined through Duo's loose hair.

"Stop, Duo, I'm going to come," he groaned helplessly. "Stop, or I'll - " he broke off as Duo sped up. A hand cupped his balls and Heero's control shattered. He thrust hard up into Duo's mouth and shuddered almost violently as he came, pulling on Duo's hair and giving a broken shout.

When he opened his eyes, Duo was still sitting between his legs, grinning at him and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

"I'm sorry!" Heero grimaced, sitting up. "I couldn't stop myself! I'm sorry! I tried to warn you!"

"It's ok, you were supposed to do that!" Duo assured him. "I just swallowed it, it's no problem." He took a long drink from a cup of water on the table nearby.

"You... swallowed it?" Heero asked distastefully.

Duo set the cup down and pushed Heero onto his back again. He gave Heero a long kiss and Heero thought he could taste himself in Duo's mouth. Heero didn't know what he thought of that, he was a still little confused by the whole thing.

"So, are we sexual deviants now?" Duo grinned wickedly.

"Yes, I think we must be," Heero replied, head still spinning.

"Am I barbarian?" Duo teased, nipping at Heero's bottom lip.


Duo kissed him again and rubbed against his thigh just a little, reminding Heero that he was still hard. Heero's hands slid up his thighs and untied his loincloth. Duo hummed in his mouth and he wrapped his hands around Duo's very rigid cock. Duo began to move into his hands, but Heero impulsively flipped them over. Duo's eyes lit up and Heero knew he was doing the right thing. He was not entirely comfortable with the idea of having genitals in his mouth, but this was Duo and if there was ever someone he would do this for, it was Duo. He was the one who had made Duo so sore they couldn't have sex tonight, so Duo deserved to get something he wanted.

He looked down at the body he'd spent months just staring at. He had Duo where he had always wanted, willingly under him, gladly letting him do anything and touch him anywhere. His jealous hands wanted to know Duo's body the way his eyes did and they finally got their way. When his hands were satisfied, he bent to kiss Duo's skin, his lips lingering at the lighter band where the collar had been. Duo's soft noises of enjoyment filled him with courage as he kissed down his chest and stomach.

"I... apologize if I'm not good at this," Heero swallowed, not allowing himself second thoughts.

"Oh, Heero," Duo nearly laughed, "it's not gonna take much, trust me!" Duo's flushed face was smiling and his skin was damp with sweat. His cock was straining upwards and practically begging for attention. Heero could tell he was close to orgasm and was determined to bring him the rest of the way. The swollen head of Duo's cock stretched through the foreskin and Heero gently pushed the skin the rest of the way down. He licked his lips and pressed his tongue to the head of Duo's cock.

Duo gasped out his name as Heero followed his tongue with his lips. He sucked on the tip and then down the shaft as far as he could go. He slid his mouth up and down, mimicking Duo's technique. He felt very clumsy with it, but Duo was not at all reserved about telling him how good it felt, which was all the incentive Heero needed to keep trying. He suddenly thought maybe he should have been more like that when Duo did it to him, maybe he shouldn't have tried so hard to hold back. Duo's vocalizations were incentive enough, but Heero didn't mind the vantage point from down here, either. He could watch Duo as he writhed and arched in front of him.

"Please, touch," Duo begged with hitched breath. A hand wrapped around the base of his cock and the other gently held his balls. Duo looked down at Heero's dark, messy hair between his legs and it was hotter than any of his fantasies. He caught sight of brilliant blue eyes looking up at him and his body jerked. "Heero!" he cried out and clawed at Heero's arms and wrists as he came.

Heero tried to be ready for the streams of come resulting from Duo's orgasm, but didn't know how to swallow fast enough. He choked on the liquid and on Duo's cock when it was thrust further into his throat. He wanted to retreat, but Duo was shooting again and he tried to hold on until Duo was through. Most of the fluid escaped his lips and dribbled down onto Duo's skin and hair. He pulled away as soon as Duo went still, wiping his mouth and coughing a little.

Duo moaned happily and stretched on the bed. Heero liked the way he looked right after he came, skin bright and pink, hair everywhere, expression somewhat dazed but completely sated. Duo propped himself up on his elbows, adoring smile on his face. "Aw, you weren't ready for that, huh?" he chuckled. "Sorry about that."

Embarrassed, Heero tried to suppress it but coughed a couple more times. "I was ready, I just..." he trailed off, not finding the words to continue.

"Are you ok?" Duo asked, sitting up all the way and resting his hands on Heero's shoulders. "Was it that bad?" he frowned, worried. He grabbed the cup of water and passed it to Heero.

Heero finished it and wiped his mouth again. He looked down at the soiled sheets. "No, it's just I..." he tried to explain again. "I couldn't do it right."

"Oh, Heero, you don't have to worry about that your first time!" Duo laughed, almost giddy with relief. "You did great, it felt amazing. Just as long as I didn't scare you into not wanting to try it again!"

"No, I think I would try it again," Heero decided. It didn't taste as bad as he feared, and even though he didn't really know what to do with the impressive length and width, having Duo's hard cock in his mouth didn't make him feel used or emasculated. It made his jaw hurt a little, but he liked the view of Duo's body and he liked that Duo liked it so much. Mostly, it fed his possessive side. Duo trusted him to put his mouth on his cock. No one else was allowed to touch Duo, but he was welcome to put his hands and mouth where ever he wished. Duo wanted it to be him making him feel good. Maybe he could get to like to Duo's barbarian sex acts.

Yup, you read correctly: oral sex was taboo to the Romans. They had very different views on sex than we do currently. without getting into it too much, men were very concerned about active and passive roles. Allowing someone to perform oral sex on you was 'passive' and therefore effeminate, and to perform oral sex, while 'active', was a distasteful thought. Although, I suspect it was 'taboo' like anal sex is taboo today - society says it's wrong but plenty of people still do it. ;)

Manumission - "manumit" is the term for freeing slaves (in case anyone was wondering).

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