Heero lay in the dark, inexplicably awake at - '3 am,' he made out, squinting at the bedside clock. He turned his eyes back towards the ceiling, trying to determine what had roused him from his exhausted slumber. Long moments passed and Heero was beginning to think he'd awakened for no reason when a sound cut through the darkness. Looking in the direction of the noise, he could barely discern his husband's outline in the faint light from the digital clock.
Duo moaned again, but Heero was uncertain as to the quality of the sound. Was it simply an innocent murmur of sleep or something more sinister? Suddenly the braided man yelled, conveying a sense of fear and pain. A warding arm was thrown, nearly hitting Heero in the face before he managed to catch it in mid-swing. He reached over with a free hand to turn on the bedside lamp then turned back to his frightened lover.
"Duo!" Heero grasped the sleeping man's shoulder and attempted to shake him back to consciousness. "Koi, wake up."
The nightmare was unwilling to relinquish its victim without a struggle. This time Duo whimpered and Heero found the childish sound even more disturbing than the previous fearful shout. Heero shook the shoulder in his grasp with increased vigor, determined to release his lover from his distress.
"Duo, wake up! Please!" Then, experiencing a moment of inspiration, Heero murmured soothingly, "You're safe now. He can't hurt you anymore."
The reassuring words reached through the fog of slumber. Duo awoke abruptly, gasping for air and looking towards Heero with terrified amethyst eyes. He blinked, momentarily confused by his sudden reversion to consciousness. Then the tormenting images flashed through his mind and he dove, trembling, into his husband's waiting arms.
Heero held the other man tightly, rubbing a hand in comforting circles on his sweat-covered back. Placing a kiss on the chestnut crown, he whispered, "Daijoubu desu. It's alright. It was only a nightmare."
Duo closed his eyes and shook his head, tears escaping from beneath his shuttering lids. It had been years since he'd been haunted by the past, having found strength and serenity in Heero's love for him. But the way they'd found Laura - in the midst of an attempted rape - and hearing her bravely relate the traumatic events of her heartbreaking past had reawakened his own, old, inner demons.
"No, Heero. It wasn't a nightmare. Not at all." The time had come to burden his lover yet again with his past; the one memory he'd withheld, unable to deal with the shame even with Heero's help. "Reality is always worse than some imagined horror," Duo said with grim surety.
Knowing that he was in for a horrific tale, Heero took a steadying breath and offered his loving support.
"Tell me," he whispered, holding his shujin closer.
Twelve-year-old Duo stood on the L2 street corner, shivering in his skimpy outfit. The obscenely short-shorts and cropped halter-top barely covered his skinny body. Duo had been out of the hospital for three days following his initiation into the realm of sex at Smoke's cruel hand. The bruises from the ugly blonde's assault had not yet healed but Smoke declared Duo fit enough to begin the long process of paying him back for the 'kindness' of feeding and sheltering the young boy, not to mention the medical bills from his hospital stay.
Duo glanced over to the man sitting patiently in a nearby car. Bob, introduced to the boy as Smoke's enforcer, was there to make sure that Duo didn't run. Shuddering as a particularly gusty breeze buffeted him, the longhaired boy wrapped his arms around himself.
Down the street, he saw a young woman - or perhaps she'd been young once before life had aged her with its harshness - approach a car that had pulled up in front of her. The woman leaned down, making sure that she bared as much cleavage as possible. After a brief exchange with the vehicle's driver, the woman sauntered around to the passenger's side and step inside.
Duo watched the car drive off, praying silently that no one would come for him. But, as the young boy was rapidly learning, prayers are only answered when you don't really need them to be. He watched a dirty, black sedan approach with a fatalism that would soon come to define his outlook on life. The car stopped and the window lowered, revealing a large man with dirty, brown hair and a gaze that bespoke both stupidity and meanness.
Duo looked away as the man stared at him expectantly. He looked over towards Bob, quickly calculating his chances of successfully escaping both the john and the enforcer. The boy tensed, preparing to flee when a stab of pain from a half-healed broken rib laid to rest his plans for escape. Resigned, Duo stepped to the car window and leaned over, imitating the prostitute down the street. Lacking breasts, the effect wasn't quite the same, but the man leered, appreciative of the effort.
"Hey, kid. You're a pretty, little thing, aren't you? You got something good for me?"
Duo blinked, uncertain of how he should respond. Afraid that too many words would just betray his nervousness, he settled for, "Yeah."
The man was satisfied with the reply and jerked his head towards the passenger's seat. Obeying the unspoken summons, Duo walked around to the indicated door, wondering what horrible thing he must have done in a previous life to be punished like this. The man drove off without further comment. Duo glanced in the side view mirror, strangely comforted by the sight of Bob following discretely behind.
The man pulled up to a seedy motel, the kind of place where the manager wouldn't think twice about a grown man renting a room accompanied by a scantily dressed child. The room was obtained without fuss and Duo followed the man to the assigned door, fear and memories of his recent experience with Smoke clawing at his belly like a wild thing trying to escape.
The man opened the door and stepped in, realizing belatedly that his companion hadn't entered with him. He looked over his shoulder to see the pale boy still standing in the hallway, his youthful features twisted with panic. Unmoved by the boy's struggle, the man grabbed the kid by a skinny arm and dragged him into the room. Locking the door, the man turned to examine his prize.
Duo felt his skin crawl as the man's slimy glance traveled over him, taking in his legs - long for his age - and the way his braided hair reached down nearly to his lower back. The man met Duo eyes, clearly pleased by what he saw.
"Yeah, you'll do real nice." The man yanked off his stained t-shirt and reached for his belt buckle, prompting Duo to make a final plea of desperation.
"Please, just let me go, huh?" Duo looked at the man with his best puppy-dog expression, a face that had never failed to win the priest and nun who'd run the orphanage to his side. However, those idyllic days were long past and the man was unfazed.
"Let you go?! Hell, kid, I'm not 'letting you go' until I've gotten some of that sweet, little ass of yours. And if you're any good, I might even pay ya."
The man continued to remove his clothes, unaware of the light that died in the boy's eyes. Duo watched the man undress, fighting the urge to gag at the sight and smell of his pale, flabby body. Finally naked, the man looked up at the boy, rubbing his rather large manhood to hardness. Deciding to make the boy assist in the process, the man jerked his head, indicating that the boy should move closer.
"Come here, kid. I've got something for ya."
Duo moved closer to the man, his hesitation evident in every step. Dissatisfied with the boy's less than enthusiastic compliance, the man grabbed the child's skinny arm, dragging him forward.
"Down," the man commanded.
Duo blinked up at him, amethyst eyes filled with confusion at the order. The man growled and placed a meaty hand on the boy's head. Duo moaned in protest as he found himself being pushed roughly to his knees. Trying desperately to ignore the pale cock waving in his face, he looked up as best he could under the restraining hand, wondering what horrific thing awaited him.
The man looked down at the kneeling boy, the submissive posture causing his arousal to increase. "Yeah, that's good," he grated, continuing to stroke himself. Nearly shivering with anticipation, the man voiced his desire.
"Now, be a good boy and open wide for daddy."
Understanding shot through Duo's mind like a poisoned arrow, widening his eyes with shock and leaving him feeling weak with nausea. He pressed his lips together, swearing to himself that nothing could ever make him fulfill the disgusting request.
The man noted the look of utter resistance stamped on the boy's youthful features. Shaking the boy's head with his still restricting hand, the man growled, "Open up, I said, you little bitch!" Duo's defiance continued so the man employed a simple solution. Releasing his cock, he used the freed hand to pinch the boy's pert nose closed.
Duo immediately realized his peril but was helpless. He needed to breath and soon his mouth opened with a gasp, desperately seeking air. But instead of much needed oxygen, Duo found his mouth filled with the man's thick cock.
Satisfied, the man released the boy's nose and used both hands to hold the child's head in place. A lustful bliss filled him as he thrust into the boy's virgin throat. At first, he was able to ignore the frantic choking sounds coming from the kid, but the irritating noises were beginning to spoil his mood. He looked down at his captive as the boy made a particularly harsh retching sound.
"Hey, you puke on me, kid, and, I swear, I'll beat the shit out of you!"
Duo tried valiantly to control his gag reflex, fearing that, in his injured state, he'd never survive another pounding like the one delivered so recently by Smoke. Squeezing his eyes shut and concentrating on breathing through his nose, Duo managed to stem his impending nausea. The notion that he could bite down on the disgusting piece of flesh battering his throat never occurred to him in his state of shock. Rather, some evil voice whispered in his ear that he deserved this treatment, that he owed Smoke, that he should have perished with others at the orphanage. A single tear, the last he would shed for nearly eight years, traveled slowly down his cheek.
Pleased with the boy's response to his threat, the man continued his thrusting. First, he'd see how well the kid could swallow then he'd attack his tight rear end. Thinking about all the ways he could use the boy quickly took the man over the edge.
Duo's mind was filled with images of a picnic he'd taken a couple of years ago with the priest and nun along with several other children. It had been a beautiful day, the sun shining, the birds singing, and bees buzzing gently past their ears. The Father had called it a day blessed by God and Duo had believed him without reservation.
Well, if that had been a day of God, this was surely a night fashioned in the pits of Hell. It was all he could do to disregard the repulsive slab of flesh pounding against his throat. Discovering that it was easier to bear if he thought about happier times from his past, Duo was turning to another pleasant memory when the man began making peculiar noises. Suddenly, his mouth was filled with a vile, viscous fluid. His entire body rebelled and he vomited in violent response.
The man was enjoying the sensation of release when he found his privates covered in puke. Disgusted, he pushed the boy to the floor and snatched the cover from the bed to wipe off the mess.
"You little shithead!" he shouted. The boy was still heaving, although there was nothing left in his stomach to bring up. The man growled and reached for his clothes. He pulled his wallet from his pants' pocket and pulled out a $50 bill.
"I did manage to get off before you puked so here, take this," he grated, throwing the money on the floor in front of the boy. He finished dressing and left the boy alone, shuddering on the floor.
Duo struggled to catch his breath, his sore stomach feeling as though it had turned inside out. The door opened again and he looked up sharply, fearing that the man had returned to fuck him like he'd threatened. Instead, Bob silently entered the room and looked down at the boy. The large man saw the money and bent down to pick it up. Noting the denomination of the bill, he grunted and pocketed the cash.
"Get better at giving blowjobs. You should be able to get $600 for a deep-throat and a fuck." With that sage advice, Bob left. Duo stared after him for a moment, feeling as though he was being swallowed relentlessly by a pit of quicksand. He let the last memory of his life in the orphanage fade away, knowing that those days were gone forever.
With dry eyes, Duo picked himself up off of the floor. He straightened his clothes and went to the bathroom to rinse the taste of cum and vomit from his tongue. He checked his appearance, not noticing the dull, almost dead look in his formerly bright amethyst gaze. Satisfied, he left the room to return to his street corner post. He passed the front desk, never making eye contact with the desk clerk.
After all, only humans looked other humans in the eye and he certainly wasn't that anymore. No, he was only trash to be used. Let them use you and then you get paid. The better you are, the more you get. Duo decided then and there to improve his skills until he could give the best blowjobs and the best fucks of any of his whorish peers. Then, maybe oneday, he could make enough money to leave the streets forever.
"And I did get better, didn't I? I deep-throat better than anyone, don't I, Heero?"
Lost in the past, Duo wasn't immediately aware of the arms around him, of the chest he was pressed against, or of the young man crying silently into his hair. Finally, an agonized sob returned the longhaired man to the present. He looked up and saw the anguished tears pouring down his husband's face. Feeling a blinding flash of self-loathing, Duo reached up a hand to Heero's wet cheek.
"Please, koi, don't cry." Duo sat up to take Heero into his arms, reversing their positions of comforter and comforted. "It was a long time ago. You saved me from all of that. It was you! Please..." Duo's own eyes began to burn as Heero continued to quietly weep. Reaching for the inner-strength he'd temporarily abandoned, he forced the tears away. He'd spent long enough indulging himself with pointless memories. Now he had to be strong - strong for Laura, strong for Heero, and strong for himself. He held his husband tighter as he cried.
Heero's mind was filled with previous instances of lovemaking. All those times Duo had gone down on him, had his shujin been reminded of his painful past? Had he caused his beautiful lover pain?
"Duo, I'm s-sorry! Forgive me... onegai..."
For a moment, Duo was confused by the apology. Then he realized what was going through Heero's mind. Duo gasped and backed away so he could look into his husband's eyes.
"Heero, no! No! Not you. I love doing it with you. I love you! Please, koi! Don't think that, ever!"
Tortured dark-blue eyes gazed into loving amethyst, the reassuring message slowly seeping past the self-loathing and doubt. Heero tightened his hold around the other man and buried his face into the other's graceful neck.
"I swear to you, Laura will never know that life. I swear!"
Duo rubbed a calming hand up and down his lover's back before pulling him down until they lay entwined upon the bed. "I know," he replied with complete confidence, knowing that Heero would keep his promise no matter what and that he himself would do everything in his power to ensure the girl's happiness.