Disclaimer: Don't own anything Gundam Wing, only wish I did (sigh!)

Rating: PG - NC-17
Pairing: 1x2, 3x4, 5x?
Warnings (general): angst, OOC, AU, yaoi, violence, language

The Scepter
Part 7
by Heartfelt

Heero looked into Duo's eyes. "You came back?" At Duo's nod, he asked softly, "Why?"

Duo rose gracefully from the chair and slowly walked to the bed. He sat next to Heero and lowered his eyes as a blush suffused his cheeks. He finally looked up at Heero and licked his suddenly dry lips, eyes full of naked desire and fear of rejection. He replied in a whisper.

"Someone had to help you take off your jacket."

Heero felt his breath catch in his throat, understanding the true meaning behind Duo's words. He went fully hard at the thought of what Duo was offering.

"Are you sure?" Heero's spoke quietly, for if this was only a dream, he didn't want to disturb it.

Seeing the desire and longing in Heero's eyes gave Duo confidence. His lips quirked in a mischievous smile.

"Well, I'm sure you'd be uncomfortable sleeping all night in your clothes."

Heero laughed and some of the tension was dispelled. He reached out and took Duo by the shoulders. Slowly he pulled Duo to him and covered his mouth in a gentle kiss.

Duo sighed at the feel of Heero's lips against his. He pressed against Heero, deepening the kiss. Taking the initiative, he ran his tongue over Heero's lips, seeking entrance. Heero complied with the request and they both groaned as they devoured each other.

Duo suddenly needed there to be less clothing between them. He backed away, breaking their kiss. Before Heero could protest, he took Heero's hands and pulled him to his feet so that they stood together by the bed. Duo's fingers, made nimble with practice and need, made short work of Heero's jacket. He tugged the jacket off of Heero's shoulders and arms and threw it carelessly onto the chair he'd recently vacated.

Heero stood motionless, his desire flaming hotter at Duo's aggressiveness. He remained still only with effort as Duo removed his shirt, brushing teasing hands against Heero's hot skin. Duo tossed Heero's shirt on the floor, lust spoiling his aim for the chair. Duo knelt in front of Heero to relieve him of his leggings. Heero obligingly stepped free of them.

When Duo straightened, though still on his knees, he found himself face-to-face with Heero's fully erect member. He had a sudden urgent need to taste Heero, to see if Heero would be as delicious as he had imagined. Duo licked his lips and leaned closer to his goal. Inches away, he paused and looked at Heero with slightly wicked eyes.

Heero thought he could die happily at the sight of Duo's sensuous mouth hovering so near his aching erection. Moments later, however, he was glad he still lived when Duo closed that final distance and touched his soft lips to the turgid flesh.

Duo reveled in the helpless moan that came from Heero when he kissed him. Wanting more, Duo repeated the gesture, this time with his tongue, running it along Heero's impressive length. Heero moaned louder. Smiling, Duo went in for the kill.

Heero's lips parted in a soundless gasp as Duo took him completely into his warm mouth. That feeling was nothing, however, to the sensation that moved through him when he managed to open his eyes and see himself disappearing between Duo's luscious lips.

Duo had done this before with the many travelers the gypsies had sold him to for a night. But it had always been done most unwillingly. Now, however, he applied himself to Heero's manhood with a genuine enthusiasm born of love and a sincere desire to please. His efforts were more than rewarded as Heero let out more sexy groans and buried his hands in Duo's hair.

Heero felt himself approaching something that he didn't want to reach just yet, not without Duo. He placed his hands on either side of Duo's face and pulled him away. As Duo looked up at him questioningly, Heero took him by the arms and pulled him to his feet. Duo's questions were answered when Heero pulled him in for a searing kiss.

Duo felt so hot he thought he might ignite. Therefore, he was extremely grateful when Heero pulled his tunic over his head. His temperature increased, however, when Heero bent down and placed his warm, firm lips on the newly bared flesh of Duo's toned chest. Duo let out a helpless moan of his own when Heero's lips unerringly found a pebbled nipple. Apparently liking Duo's reaction to his foray, Heero teased first one then the other of Duo's nipples with his lips and hands until Duo thought he might scream.

Not wanting this to end too quickly, Duo reluctantly pushed away. Gasping for air, he quickly divested himself of his own leggings. Heero and Duo stood for a moment looking at each other, marveling in each other's perfection. Then Duo reached behind his back and released the tie at the end of his braid.

Duo's decision to grow his hair long was due to his aunts. They'd told him how his mother had had lovely long hair the same color as his. They'd told him that his mother was beautiful and kind, sweet yet brave, so in honor of her, he had never cut his hair. However, for the sake of convenience, he almost never took his hair down expect to wash it.

Now, Duo wanted Heero to see him without any pretense or disguise. So he freed the heavy fall of chestnut and waited anxiously for Heero's reaction. He wasn't disappointed in the least.

Heero stared, completely transfixed. He'd often imagined what Duo would look like with his incredible hair released from its usual braid, but his musings came nowhere near the reality. Duo was transformed into a fey creature of almost ethereal beauty. Heero slowly reached a hand out towards him to make certain he was real and not a figment of Heero's fevered mind.

Duo was immeasurably touched by the look of awe on Heero's face. He took the proffered hand and placed it against his cheek. Then he turned his head and placed a tender kiss in the center of Heero's palm. Heero reacted by pulling Duo against him and kissing him senseless.

They somehow found themselves lying on the bed, Duo laying on top of Heero. Some of Duo's silken hair trailed against Heero's skin making his body tighten more. Their matching erections rubbed against one other and they both moaned in response. Duo began to move on top of Heero to maximize the sensation. A sound of pure need issued from Heero's throat as Duo tortured him.

Soon Heero decided it was time for revenge. He flipped them so that he lay on top of Duo. He worked his way down the writhing, moaning boy beneath him with his hands, lips, and tongue. When he reached Duo's dripping erection, he didn't hesitate as he took Duo into his mouth.

Duo raised off of the bed as he let out a cry. Heero gently pushed him down with one strong hand and began torturing one of Duo's nipples, never releasing the treasure in his mouth. Duo's mind was an incoherent jumble of sensation as he dug his hands into the pillow beneath his head. He could barely breath, let alone think, as Heero slowly tormented him.

Before long Duo wanted more. In all of his time with the gypsies, he never thought he would someday say the words that now spilled effortlessly from him.

"Heero, I need you inside me. *NOW*!"

Heero released Duo from his mouth as those agonized words penetrated his lust fogged mind. He felt his already engorged arousal go even harder. With a growl, he raised up over Duo and captured his mouth again. After a fevered moment, he pulled away.

"I don't want to hurt you. Tell me what to do."

Duo tried to catch his breath. "Do you have any oil?"

Heero shot a glance towards his bedside night table and Duo followed his eyes. A small bottle of oil sat there. Duo reached out and picked it up. Curious, he looked at the label. One eyebrow lifted in amusement as he looked up at Heero with a quirky grin. Heero shrugged nonchalantly, unconcerned that Duo had discovered his penchant for scented bath oils.

Duo removed the stopper from the bottle and covered both of his hands with the musk-scented fluid. 'This is what Heero always smells like,' he groaned as the heavenly yet manly scent surrounded him. Biting his lip to keep his body under some sort of control, he took Heero's right hand in his. He lovingly covered Heero's long fingers with the slippery oil. Then he looked up into Heero's eyes.

"You have to prepare me," he said softly. He lifted his head so he could whisper instructions in Heero's ear. Heero's eyebrows lifted in surprise but at Duo's encouraging look, he proceeded.

Coating Heero's rock-hard member with the remainder of the oil, Duo closed his eyes and sighed at the feel of one of Heero's long capable fingers invading his tight entrance. It had been quite awhile for him so there was some initial discomfort. It quickly disappeared and turned to delight as he fell a second finger join the first. But when Duo felt a third finger enter him, he let out a scream of exquisite pleasure as Heero brushed again his hidden center of pleasure.

Heero was very much enjoying the sight, sound, and feel of Duo as he slowly stretched the beautiful young man. However, when Duo let out an erotic scream of ecstasy, Heero nearly came then and there. Deciding he had to get inside Duo immediately or die trying, he removed his fingers and positioned himself at Duo's tight entrance.

Duo whimpered in protest at the sudden absence of Heero's fingers but his moaned turned into a shout as he felt Heero's more than ample manhood slowly penetrating him. Duo's breath stilled in his throat and his mouth opened in a silent scream as Heero entered him inch by glorious inch. Finally, he was in completely to the hilt.

Heero's eyes closed and his head fell forward as he groaned at the feel of Duo's tight warmth surrounding him. He had an overwhelming urge to withdraw and reenter that almost unbearable heat again and again. But he was still afraid that he might hurt Duo so he waited. He opened his eyes and looked at Duo's flushed face, waiting for a sign that he was ready.

Duo gasped, taking in a greedy lungful of air after having gone so long without. The breathtaking feeling of being utterly filled by the man who he loved more than his own life almost drove him over the edge. Gradually he noticed that Heero was still. Duo wanted Heero to move, to fill him over and over. He shifted his hips and pressed against Heero, whimpering in need.

Heero took Duo's movement as the sign he had been waiting for. He withdrew slightly from that warm haven and slowly reentered. Duo moaned and wrapped his legs around Heero's hips. Heero repeated the small movement and Duo tightened his legs in an attempt to urge Heero into more aggressive motions.

Heero continued his short, slow, shallow strokes until Duo thought he would go insane. "Please, Heero," he moaned. Heero sped up slightly, deepening his penetration and hitting Duo again on that hidden spot. "*Yes*," Duo cried. "That's it! *Harder*!"

Heero gradually increased the movements until he was thrusting almost violently against Duo. Duo's cries had turned into continuous shouts. The sounds egged Heero on.

Duo's only thought was '*more*!' He felt himself drawing near to the edge of something wondrous. "Please," he whimpered, hardly knowing what he begged for.

Heero somehow knew. He reached between them and took Duo's aching member in his hand, pumping it with long, firm strokes.

Duo let out a wordless cry as he fell off of the edge into a shimmering oblivion. He released his passion into Heero's straining hand.

Heero saw and heard Duo's climax. That, combined with the feel of Duo tightening rhythmically around him, brought Heero to his own violent culmination. He release his own fulfillment into Duo's welcoming depths. For a moment their shouts melded into a chorus of ecstasy, then faded as Heero collapsed against his love.

Duo held onto Heero's shoulders as sanity slowly returned. He had never known something like that could possibly exist outside of heaven. He wrapped his arms around the beautiful young man, both of them shuddering with delicious aftershocks. Duo said a silent pray of thanks to whatever deities were obviously looking out for him.

Heero finally found the strength to move. Afraid he was crushing Duo, he tried to lift himself up. Duo tightened his hold, loving the feeling of Heero's weight against him and not wanting Heero to leave.

Pleased but determined to not smother Duo, Heero smiled as he managed to extricate himself from Duo's hold and rolled off of him. Sharing Duo's need to remain near, however, he immediately reached out and pulled Duo to him. Duo sighed happily as he snuggled against Heero, wrapping an arm around Heero's chest, a leg around one of his, and laying his head on Heero's broad shoulder.

They lay silently for a long moment, simply enjoying the aftermath. Then Heero lifted his free hand and brushed some stray hairs away from Duo's face.

"Tell me about yourself," he said softly.

Duo tensed slightly. "What do you want to know," he asked carefully without raising his head.

"Everything," Heero replied.

Duo sighed. He was reluctant to tell Heero the sad, sordid story of his life, but he was unable to refuse Heero anything. Duo snuggled his head on Heero's shoulder so as not to have to look Heero in the eye. Clearing his throat, he began.

"From the earliest I remember, Hilde and I were raised by our aunts, Aunt Martha and Aunt Rose. I'm not sure what happened to our parents. The aunts always became so sad when we asked that, eventually, we just didn't ask anymore."

"What happened to them?" Heero murmured the question against Duo's forehead.

"They died when we were four. They were working in a bakery in some village. I can't remember which one. Hilde and I usually went to work with them. We were allowed to play in the yard out back as long as we didn't disturb the customers. One day, we wanted to play in the pond that was on the other side of the village. Normally, the aunts would never have let us go. But for some reason, that day they did ..."

Duo trailed off. Heero hugged him a bit tighter, feeling that Duo was about the relate one of the more tragic moments of his past.

Duo swallowed the tears that threatened. It had been a long time since he'd thought about his dear aunts, but telling Heero the story somehow made their deaths seem fresh.

"That day, there was a fire at the bakery. No one could ever explain how it started or why no one was able to get out. The bakery was only one room. They should have been able to get out."

Heero wiped away a tear that ran down Duo's cheek. Duo smiled. Feeling bolstered by Heero's tender gesture he continued.

"So, Hilde and I returned from the pond to find our aunts dead. The village was relatively poor and no one was willing to take care of a couple of rambunctious four-year olds. So we were left to fend for ourselves.

"One day, a traveling band of gypsies came to the village. It was about three weeks after the aunts had died and Hilde and I were starving. We thought that the gypsies wouldn't miss a bit of bread, so we tried to steal some.

"Let's just say, we were very bad thieves. We were caught almost right away by the leader of the band, no less. I told Hilde to run and I, only four at the time, let me remind you, stood toe to toe with this grown man who was at least five feet taller and four stone heavier."

Heero smiled at the image as Duo chuckled.

"It was pretty ridiculous. But the leader was impressed with me. He said that I had courage to try to steal from as great a gypsy leader as he so obviously was. He offered to let Hilde and I stay with the band as long as we earned our keep.

So that's how we came to live with the traveling gypsy band. They weren't bad to us. They taught us many things. Hilde is a wonderful cook, whenever we have enough food to cook. She can sew as well as any seamstress anywhere. She also has a way with plants that would make even *your* wonderful gardeners jealous."

Duo paused so Heero prompted, "What did they teach you?"

Duo licked his lips and remained silent for a full minute. Finally, he answered.

"They taught me about herbs as well. They also taught me how to steal properly." Duo took a breath. "They taught me how to fight, which is the skill I'm *most* grateful for ... " Duo trailed off again.

Heero urged him on with a whisper, "What else did they teach you?"

Duo felt an almost overpowering urge to leave Heero's room and even Hane altogether rather than answer Heero's question. He didn't want to see the look of disgust that would undoubtedly come into Heero's eyes when he related what else he learned with the gypsies. But Heero took Duo's chin with gentle fingers and tilted his head up so that he looked into Duo's eyes. Duo felt his heart constrict at the love and acceptance he saw there.

"What else," Heero prompted again.

"They taught me to dance," Duo whispered.

Heero's brow furrowed in puzzlement. "What's so bad about that?" He bent to kiss Duo on the lips. "I love the way you dance," he whispered.

Duo closed his eyes at the gentle caress. He took a deep breath and decided to be candid, consequences be damned.

"It's not that I learned to dance, it's why. Hilde was supposed to be the one to learn since girls are usually taught. We were about thirteen-years old then. At first I was all for it. Hilde has always been very graceful and I thought she would be a wonderful dancer. But then I found out *why* they wanted her to learn."

"Why," Heero asked.

Duo took another deep breath and lowered his eyes, unable to look at Heero.

"They said that she was old enough to really start earning her keep. She wasn't as good of a pickpocket or lock pick as I was so she wasn't able to bring in much revenue other than with the herbs she sometimes sold. They wanted to teach her to dance so that she could entice the travelers who would sometimes stay with the gypsies to sleep with her and to pay for it."

Heero felt his jaw clench at the thought of an innocent young girl being carelessly turned into a prostitute. Then his stomach clenched as he realized where Duo was going with this tale.

Duo felt Heero tense and closed his eyes in despair. 'Soon, he'll throw me out of here.' Duo unconsciously tightened his hold on Heero, as if to prevent that from happening.

"When I found why they were teaching her to dance, I objected emphatically. I told the leader of the band that there was no way in hell I would ever allow my cousin, whom I'd sworn to protect with my life if necessary, to become a whore for them. I was only thirteen and the leader was still over a foot taller and a stone heavier. He just laughed. He said that he still enjoyed my spunk but that this was about money so Hilde would learn.

"I challenged him to a fight. I said that if I won, Hilde wouldn't have to sell herself. He asked what about if he won. I said that I didn't plan to lose. He laughed again and shook his head. 'I'm sorry, Duo,' he said, 'but we must have some income from you two. It costs us too much to take care of you. If I win, Hilde will be taught to dance for travelers, but if you win,' he said, 'you will be taught in her place.'"

Heero closed his eyes in dismay as his suspicions were confirmed.

Duo went on without pause. "Apparently there is quite a market out there for young boys. The leader said that my unusual hair and eyes would only increase the price that I could fetch. So we fought. I'd learned to use long knives pretty well. The leader was also an excellent fighter with a sword, but I was determined. Through sheer luck, I won."

Duo swallowed to moisten his suddenly parched throat. Heero hadn't said a word. Waiting for the inevitable, Duo continued.

"So they taught me to dance like you saw me do that first night. And I was sold to a traveler for the night for the first time when I was fourteen."

Duo pushed himself up and turned his back to Heero.

"I'll go on back to my room. Thank you for helping me rescue Hilde."

Duo struggled to choke back impending tears.

"I won't bother you anymore," he whispered.

Before he could slide off of the bed, a strong hand shot out and grasped his arm. Duo turned to look at the hand holding him. Then he slowly completed his turn to look back at the beautiful prince lying on the bed.

Heero's eyes held a hint of anger, but none was directed towards Duo. Rather, he silently cursed the bastard who had done this to the boy he loved.

"Duo," he began, "how could you think that I would blame you for anything that happened to you while you were growing up? How could you think that I would even care?"

Heero pulled Duo back onto the bed, where he belong. He turned so that he was leaning over the wide-eyed boy.

"I love you, Duo. Nothing will *ever* change that. What you've been through and survived only makes me love you more." That said, Heero leaned in for a sweet but passionate kiss.

Duo's eyes closed as he felt his heart beating faster in his chest and tears stinging behind his lids. He wondered how he ever gotten so lucky as to find Heero. Deciding to leave the question for a more opportune time, Duo wrapped his arms around Heero and gave himself up to Heero's kiss. All too soon for Duo, Heero pulled back. Duo whimpered in protest but Heero shook his head.

"No, you need to sleep. That potion you gave me made me feel as though I'd had a full night's rest but you had no such relief. It's been a trying day for both of us. Let's sleep now. We have all of our tomorrows ahead of us."

Heero regained his original position and pulled Duo to him so that he lay tucked against him as before. Duo turned to place a kiss on Heero's chest and closed his eyes. Physically and emotionally drained, he was soon fast asleep.

Heero, still awake due to the potion, tilted his head down to look at his soulmate. He could still hardly believe that Duo was actually here with him. Unable to resist, Heero lifted his hand to brush aside some silken chestnut strands that had fallen across Duo's right shoulder.

Something caught his eye. Careful not to disturb Duo, Heero lifted his head and saw that Duo had an unusual tattoo on the back of his right shoulder. Heero couldn't make out the design in the low light. He resolved to ask Duo about it later. He lay his head back on the pillow and turned to place one last kiss on Duo's forehead. Closing his eyes, he too slowly drifted off into a peaceful slumber.

on to part 8

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