Disclaimers: Heero, Duo, Trowa and anyone else I mentioned from the GW show belong to Sunrise and Ban Dai and all those people--not me! I really wish they did, but they donít, so I borrow them once in a while. The song from chapter 1 was ďHeroĒ by Chad Kroeger and Joesy Scott, off the Spiderman soundtrack. The song from chapter 2 was ďTNT for the BrainĒ by Enigma, from the album Le Roi est Mort, Vive le Roi! The last song is ďAlegriaĒ by Cirque do Soleil, from the soundtrack of the show by the same name.

Pairing: 1X2
Warnings: yaoi, angst, lemon

Note: Let it be known to all ye who would read this story, that it contains yaoi, ie boys kissing boys, and in the next chapter lemon, meaning boys having graphic sex with boys. If this is something you arenít comfortable with, please do not waste my time and yours with flames, but turn around and go elsewhere. To all others: Enjoy.

Chapter 2
by INK

Smell your skin
Feel your breath
You on my side
I couldnít resist
I hope Iíll understand someday
Whatís the meaning of this crazy game
It is real
And pure
T.N.T for the brain

A shower was mandatory. There was no question. I spent all day in the waiting room of the local hospital, head in my hands, shirtless and covered in somebody elseís blood. It was work getting him there and it was work getting back to our hotel room. There was no way around it. I was filthy.

I didnít want to. Iíve always hated it, the sensation of washing away all the shields and barriers carefully put in place, and the sight that greets me in the mirror when I step out from the water--naked, vulnerable. But clean is clean, and I had no intention of stinking. Trowa went first, then Duo, and now itís my turn to stand under the spray.

There is no shampoo left, for rather obvious reasons--soap works just as well, for my purposes. With the spray at my back, I stare down at my chest, where Duoís blood has dried red as fresh welts across my skin, proof of where his touch burned me. I donít want to wash it off. I donít want to ever forget it. But a drop of water trickles over my shoulder, marring the abstract design, and I sigh, taking up the soap and washing the rest of it away.

I clean myself quickly, ignoring the fogged mirror as I reach for one of the folded towels and rub it over my body. With the shower off, I can hear the voices of my companions, muffled through the door, one calm, one frustrated. I pull on the same jeans, and a clean shirt finds its way over my head, sticking to my back where I havenít dried it properly. I throw back a glass of cold water, run a hand through my hair, and step out into the rest of the room.

I run into Trowa before I can take three steps. Heís pulling on a jacket, and regards me with cool green eyes. "You might want to give him some of help," he tells me, pointing down the miniscule hallway towards the small bedroom. "Heís having trouble with his hair."

Vaguely, I hear Duo curse.

Trowaís lips quirk in a tiny smile as he steps past me and opens the door. "I got called to the base for a full report and new briefing, so I wonít be back until late. Keep an eye on Duo." I nod, and he walks into the hall and closes the door behind him with a click.

Duo looks up the moment I walk into his line of vision. I acknowledge him with a nod, and he looks over me with half-scepticism, half-amusement. When I say nothing, he smirks, and turns away from me to return his attention to the mirror.

I watch him from my place in the doorway. Heís wearing only a too-big pair of sweatpants, which I recognize as Trowaís, and they lie around his ankles in folds. His hair, now mostly dry, is about half-brushed, and falls like silk over his back. My eyes sweep down his wiry arms, his pale, slender torso, flinching as I notice the wound on the left shoulder, unbandaged but roughly stitched. He fumbles with the hairbrush in his good hand, the other lifting a handful of it off his back.

I heave a defeated sigh, and walk over to stand behind him, taking the brush from his hands and attacking the strands myself. Duo frowns thoughtfully at me in the mirror as I work, a weird, analytical look that Iím not used to seeing on his face.

"You ok, Heero?" he asks finally.

I nod, and continue brushing. He winces as I pull at a particularly stubborn knot, and I ease my ministrations slightly. Relaxing, he leans forward onto his hands on the dresser, forcing me to step closer to reach his hair.

"Youíre awful quiet."

I would have thought that was a given. "Arenít I always?"

He grins at me then, an expression so achingly familiar that my breath actually catches in my throat and Iím forced to look away. "Look, Duo--" Words have never been my forte. "IÖ Iím sorry I never noticed your shoulder. ItÖ must have hurt."

He half shrugs. "No big deal. Better my shoulder than your lungs, ne?"

I bite my lip, not bothering to try and formulate an answer. "What did they do to you, anyway? I would have thought youíd be in the hospital for days."

"Just stitched up the shoulder, far as I know. I was still out then." He pushes a lock of hair over his shoulder to display a wound alongside his neck, twin to the one glaring so harshly at me.

I pull the brush down the fall of hair, mesmerized by the easy slide of it through the strands. "And your hand?"

He stands straight again, bumping into me, and holds up the wrapped appendage. "Well, the bone was finished," he tells me, "and they grafted skin for the back of it, though Iím not sure from where. The bone they replaced with surgical steel, I think." He flexes his fingers experimentally. "So I should set off every metal detector I ever go through from now on."


"No, not really." He blinks, and I mentally kick myself for the overall stupid-effect his presence is having on me. "I donít know. Maybe. I was just kidding."

I yank on a knot, and he swears. "I know." The words sound hard in my mouth. He freezes as I gently touch the stitches in his shoulder. "Do they hurt?"

A pause, before he falls back into his specified role. "Probíly should," he admits. "But then, thereís enough morphine in my blood to knock out a small horse, so I wouldnít be surprised if Iím just too high to notice."

"Hn." I look at his eyes in the mirror, and sure enough, the pupils are dilated so that only the purple-blue rings around his irises are still visible. Iím surprised heís still standing, though I shouldnít be. It would take a lot more than that to slow Duo down for any length of time. He flashes his stupid grin and hands me a hair elastic.

I braid his hair tightly, working slowly down the golden-brown length of it, not letting a single strand escape my fingers. The wound on his shoulder is no small distraction, it keeps grabbing my attention, my hands faltering as my stomach turns over at the gruesome mess of dried blood and black thread. More than once, I have to go back over parts of his braid which were tangled by my quaking hands.

"That was meant for me," I finally whisper, my eyes locked on his broken flesh

Duoís happy-go-lucky expression fades to a wry grin. "It was meant for whoever got in its way first, whether that was me, you, or the President. That guy wasnít shooting at anything in particular." His face hardens further as he balls his hands into fists at his sides, any hint of the joker gone. "Damn it all to hell! It was meant to kill! That idiot didnít know who we were--we could have been his own men!--and he would have killed you! Or me!" He slumps slightly, rubbing his forehead with his good hand. "Iím so sick of war. So goddamned sick of it! Jesus, I thought I was done with fighting when I came here. But it follows meÖ"

He trails off weakly, staring helplessly at me through the mirror. Somehow, the internal warring emotions in me render my face that much more stoic, freezing my body as I argue with myself over the responses I could give. I expect him to look away first, but he holds my eyes with his until Iím the one trying to avoid his gaze. Instead, I focus on finishing his braid.

"Why do you still do it, Heero?" he finally asks, voice reduced to an almost childlike whisper. "Why do you still fight? And carry that stupid gun around with you? Why?"

I meet his eyes, sad, purple things through the glass. His expression shifts slightly, just enough to change the subject, and he asks again.


Because it follows me, too. Because I was made a soldier, and no matter where I go, war will find me. Because I canít just sit there and watch the world fall apart. Because if I donít, Iíll have to deal with other things. Like you.

What do you want from me?

I finally give the safest answer I can come up with.

"Thereís a lot of things, these days--" I tie off the end of his braid deftly. "--That I do, without knowing why."

His head snaps up and I take a step away from him, dropping his hair. Another step, until my legs collide with the edge of one of the beds. Duoís eyes narrow at me in the mirror. That answer will not be good enough.

I fall into a sitting position on the bed with a sigh, even as Duo turns to face me. He wants me to tell him everything. I want to tell him everything. But how can I?

Slowly, I raise my head and look at him. Really look at him, like Iíve wanted to do since we got back from the hospital. Moving from the top of his head down, I drag my eyes over his almost-dry hair, braided tightly and gleaming rich brown in the light of the lamp. Itís a bit longer than I remember, almost to his knees, but his messy bangs havenít changed. The eyes hidden behind them are the same indigo-purple, albeit dark from the painkillers, a look that renders him looking weirdly young and open, for all heís been through. His nose is the same, small and upturned like a dolls, and the soft lips beneath, lips meant for pouting or kissing, are set in a determined, challenging line.

I draw my gaze lower, eyeing the slender but strong column of his neck, lingering in the hollow of his throat. Farther still, over pale, hard shoulders and ivory-skinned chest, marred only by the ugly gash beside his neck. He looks so young, even at nineteen--the years of malnutrition as a child have taken their toll, and he has changed little, physically, since I first met him.

A willowy, almost feminine torso, countered by subtly defined muscle. I can see them move beneath his skin as he steps towards me, and stand out when he stops, tense. The sweats, those damnable, too-big sweats, hang dangerously loose on his narrow hips, low enough that I know, without a shadow of doubt, thatís heís not wearing anything underneath.

Unconsciously, my hand tightens around a fistful of bedclothes.

So this is what Iíve become, a battlefield for the emotions warring for control of my body. The soldier in me, the role drilled into my very being since childhood, disciplined, hard and cold, is slowly losing. Losing to the more human side of me, the side that wants to reach out and touch Duoís hair, to press my face against it, to take him in my arms and kiss him again, to rediscover the taste I found not a day ago, and lost so soon.

And even as that side wins, it is losing to the boy in front of me.

I want to tell you everything. But how can I?

How can I tell him of the terrible happy shock that tore through me when I first found him sitting on the stool in the tiny office? It surprised me then and it surprises me now, to think of it. I had never in a million years thought I would run into him there, had hoped not to at all, for fear of what my reaction would be. But I could not help the jolt of sweet longing that burned at my soul to see him there.

How can I tell him of the fierce protectiveness that gripped me when I realized the toll his imprisonment had taken on him? That protectiveness drove me nearly all day--it had aimed my gun and pulled the trigger in the dark, it put strength in my arms to lift us both out of the charred building--and it had smouldered in the back of my head through to the evening, waiting in the hospital. A desperate wish to push past the door marked "authorized personnel only" and see to patching him up myself, if only so I could be sure that the job had been done right.

How can I explain the staggering rush of relief that took me when at last he stumbled out of those doors, stunned, but alive and no longer bleeding? It had buckled my knees even as I shot to my feet, threatening to render me as helpless as he had been when we first carried him into the crowded emergency room.

And how can I possibly put into words the desperate, insane hunger that has flowed in my blood, increasing with each beat of my heart, since his half-conscious eyes opened to mine, and he smiled under me, on his back on the roof? A smile of such trust, such surrender--which I have no doubt he would have held back if he had been thinking--it had sent a bolt of raw emotion through me, and it was that which made me drop down and press my lips to his.

And now Duo stands but one or two feet away from me, half-naked, and so tantalizingly determined to know my mind. That hunger rules my every thought, now, reminding me constantly--of his presence, of the fact that Trowa wonít be back for hours and Iíd been left alone with him, of the aura of thermal energy around his body, warming my own. I want so desperately to touch him, to feel him, to know himÖ

How can I tell him, when I donít understand it myself?

He takes a step closer to me, and I scoot backwards along the covers, avoiding him. "Duo, I--" Why canít he speak Japanese, this would be so much easier in JapaneseÖ

He frowns and holds my gaze, moving closer still, until Iím afraid to breathe. At this range, I can smell his own breath, sweet like a babyís, the result of his completely empty stomach. I crane my neck to look at him standing over me, and watch the expressions play over his face. Confused, frustrated, calculating. Working on a strange whim, I reach out and brush my fingers down his braid, which hangs over his shoulder. A smile touches his lips.

How can I? How can I? My voice is broken and rough. "IÖ I want--"

He kisses me.

For all that has passed between us, it is gentle, tender almost. From Duo, anyway--he holds my face between his palms, lips soft over mine, barely touching. I am having a slightly harder time, my hands full of bedclothes, shaking with suppressed desire. I will myself to relax, to enjoy the kiss, but heís so close to meÖ

My control snaps when he parts his lips. I let go of the sheets with one hand to clasp the back of his neck, and force his mouth open. He moves closer, letting his own fingers stray into my hair, while I slide my hand heavily down his back to meet my other at the base of his spine. Without food or blood on my tongue, I am struck with the unhindered taste of the boy in my arms, and it is enough to make my head spin.

Duo pulls away from me, gasping in a breath, but he seals his mouth over mine again before I have time to protest. I tighten my arms around his body, pulling his chest against me. He searches my mouth with his tongue, and somehow manages to wring a low sound out of me, finding it in the back of my throat and drawing it out from between my lips. It surprises me far more than it does him, forcing me to realize the situation--and acknowledge the fact that if I donít push him away now, I never will.

His hands tighten on my hair as I try to pull back. Itís hard--very hard, especially with his encouragement. For a moment, I let myself drown in him, let all though flee my mind as he runs his fingers over the nape of my neck, sending tiny shocks of desire through me. But if Iím distracted, there is at least one part of my body that is paying very close attention.

I wrench away from his mouth with some difficulty, but only far enough to bury my face in his shoulder and try to catch my breath. Duo presses his nose to my hair, toying with the ends of it. He isnít helping, but I canít bring myself to push him back. Instead, I cling to him, as though he, the source of my problems, is also my anchor.

He whispers my name, quiet and pleading.

Oh Jesus. The sound of his voice goes straight from my ear to my groin, and I bite my lip hard, my hands tightening reflexively on his skin. "Duo," I manage, rasping into his neck. If I canít tell him everything, I can at least be honest about this. ďI want you."

He is silent for a long moment, considering the consequences of his answer. I feel awful, deadly afraid he will reject me even now, hit me, yell at meÖ But he kisses my forehead softly, pushes my bangs out of my face. His eyes were dark before, but lust has made them black--what breath I have regained catches in my throat. "I know."

If he has any thoughts about going slow, he must give them up in about three seconds, because I pull him back to me and kiss him with such hunger it even scares me. He buries his fingers in my hair and moans quietly against my lips. The admission is enough for me, and I grasp his waiste and pull him roughly to me.

Somehow understanding my unspoken demand, Duo climbs into my lap, bracing one knee on either side of my hips, effectively bringing the entire length of his torso flush with mine. Itís a weird feeling, as though even as I get the contact I crave, that contact only makes the fire burn brighter in my head, only makes my hunger that much more so. I hold him tightly and kiss him entirely without artistry, without anything but terrible, painful desire.

He runs his fingers down my neck and slowly under the back of my collar. I gasp against his mouth, and break away from him to press my lips to his cheek, the underside of his jaw, the side of his neck. Duoís breath stirs my hair as he fights to retain it, and I slowly run my tongue over the tendon under his ear, tasting the strong line from hairline to collarbone. I havenít a clue what Iím doing--indeed, Iím working entirely on instinct, any coherent thought having vanished long ago--but I seem to be doing it well. He lets out a strangled sound as I fasten my mouth to the hollow at the base of his throat, his fingernails biting the skin under my shirt.

Duoís chest heaves just below my mouth, and the movement catches my attention. I move down, slouching a little to reach the skin under his collarbone. He arches against me, lips moving in a soundless litany, hands tightening on my neck to hold me in place. I explore the ivory flesh by scent and taste, and my hands slide around his waist to run lightly over his ribcage.

Itís crazy. Beyond crazy. Never in my life have I felt so wholly focused on one thing, so completely directed to a task. Itís as if Iíll die if I lose the sound of Duoís short breaths, the feeling of his hands on my back, his skin under my lips and fingers. I suppose it should upset me, but my mind refuses to waste time contemplating anything other than its current occupation. I nip at his flesh, relishing the sharp breath he draws, and the moan as I smooth the sting with the tip of my tongue.

His hands dance down my back and find their way under the hem of my shirt. The touch electrifies me, enough that I have to stop what Iím doing for a moment. Duo seizes the chance, grasps the bottom of the garment, and smoothly pulls it over my head. As he tosses the shirt away, I pull him to me, and nearly die at the touch of his bare skin to mine.

Bending his head downwards, Duo kisses me roughly, raking his nails over my shoulders and down the front of my body. It forces a low moan out of me, and my hands tighten their grip on his upper arms. He shifts forward on his knees as his hands work around to the small of my back, bringing our lower bodies together. Satisfied with my instinctual reaction--being to hold him there firmly--he smiles against my lips, and begins to gently rock in my lap.

Itís a good thing Iím already sitting down, because that would have made me fall over--as it is, I freeze for a long moment before copying his rocking, growling as I become aware of the state of his body, proof of his lust mirroring mine. His hands grapple on my back as he moves against me, delicious friction that sends jolt after jolt of half-pleasure, half-pain shooting through my body.

Duo groans into the kiss when I yank him closer. Seemingly affecting himself as much as me with his motions, he breaks away from my mouth and rocks harder, breathing harshly in my ear. With his lips out of reach, I kiss his neck instead, his ear, his jaw line, his collarboneÖ and one of my hands creeps under the waistband of his sweats.

He has me on my back before I can take another breath. Startled, my eyes snap open as he crawls up my body, managing to process a single picture of his face before he lays insistent claim to my mouth. I return his efforts with equal fervour, holding the back of his head with one hand and his body with the other, my hips lifting off the bed in a desperate plea for contact. He grins as he pulls away, sensing my need--and ignoring it. Instead, he shifts downward, laying a trail of hot, open-mouthed kisses down my body.

If my explorations were instinct, for my own pleasure as much as his, Duoís are quite the opposite. They are purposeful, deliberate actions, designed to illicit a specific response. Which they do. Oh, they do. Let no one mistake me for silent, he wrings a symphony of sounds out of me: gasps, moans, pleas--me, pleading!--until Iím sure my heart will stop from wanting him. From needing him.

He stops very suddenly, and it takes me several moments to come out of the spell heís cast on me. I open my eyes, willing my breathing to slow, and focus dazedly on Duo. Heís staring up at me from around my navel, eyes dark and fiery. I prop myself up on one elbow, letting my free hand dance over his face, and whisper him name. His fingers flex against my skin, digging into my lower abdomen and slowly trailing southward until they rest on the button of my jeans. Itís a question. An entreaty. And that needs an answer.

"Please." If the words canít say it well enough, the rough, broken timbre of my voice should give me away. "Please. Donít stop."

Slowly, very slowly, Duoís fingers undo the button and slide the zipper down. He watches me the whole time, for any sign he should stop or leave altogether. His face is strangely unreadable. I stare back at him unsteadily, my mind reeling in its half-second of sanity. I feel as though I should scream as he slips his hands under the waistband and lowers the heavy fabric over my hips--from needing his touch, or from the weird terror I know is ridiculous but canít help feeling. He lets his fingertips slide over my legs as he pulls the jeans off meÖ just enough pressure to drive me crazy. And just enough to make me forget completely about the fear.

I fall back to the bed and close my eyes, clenching and unclenching my hands at my sides, shaking with anticipation. I can feel Duoís warm breath on my stomach, his hands brushing over my hips and up my sides as he resumes his task. The jeans lie forgotten on the floor, my boxers tangled in the legs. He presses his palm flat on my sternum, letting it rest there for a long moment, while his other supports him over me. I lick my lips nervously, opening my eyes again. He is staring at me with such intensity it hurts. Very suddenly, I find myself wanting to crawl under the covers and hide my body from his heated inspection. Iím naked under his gaze, and it feels like he can see right through me.

As though he can hear my thoughts, Duo darts up swiftly, draping himself over me and placing a soothing kiss against my mouth. The hand on my chest moves, tracing the centreline of my torso downwards. I freeze under his touch, arching against him, but he ardently refuses to release my lips. His fingers pause again just below my navel, asking. Please. Donít stop. Please. I moan softly into the kiss, shifting impatiently, and he pulls away from me, at the same instant sliding his hand the final few inches.

My perception cracks slightly.

There is experience in that touch. Experience and skill, as Duo brings me dangerously close to release before pulling away, only to bring me back again. He kisses me softly, the gentle sensation only driving me crazier as I clutch at his shoulders and press up against his hand. He keeps me on a knife-edge, not letting me fall either way. So distracted am I, writhing and gasping, that I donít even notice when he breaks the kiss and lifts momentarily off me, motions never faltering. For a fraction of a second, he is gone, and a breath rushes out of my lungs. But I donít have time to recover, because the hand is instantly replaced--by his mouth.

Perception shatters.

My hands fall away to the bed, my head against the pillows, my hips rock upwards. I donít even know Iím making noise until Duo clamps his hand over my mouth, effectively hushing my tirade. Please, pleaseÖ The word has become a mantra. So close. So close it hurts. Oh my God--

No. I shove him away without giving myself a chance to think about it. This is for Duo as well. I haul him up and kiss him hard, tasting my own passion on his tongue, forerunner to the release. His own arousal is rigid against my hip, a goad to my determination, and I grasp him around the waist and roll on top of him.

His eyes snap open in surprise, and the same analytical look reappears on his face--though now it is mixed with amusement and desire. He grins at me, and pulls me down for a deep kiss, sliding his hands down my sides. I stop him, press his wrists to the bed, and bite his lower lip. He gasps, and pulls back as far as the mattress below him will allow, watching me curiously. I press my lips to his neck, and let my hands travel down his back until they reach his pants. Duo wraps his arms around my shoulders, whispering words I canít quite make out, but get the gist of. Growling against his skin, I grab a fistful of the waistband and rip the things impatiently off his body.

Even in the desperate, starving state Iím in, I have to stop and stare at him. Oh, he is gorgeous, his creamy white skin, flawless and smooth, mocking the garish colours of the comforter he lies on. I touch his stomach, my eyes wide and breath slow and heavy in wonder, levering myself off him with the other arm to run my fingers over the sharp, protruding bone at his hip, down his thigh. Beauty glows in a warm aura around his body. It almost makes me forget my own situation, almost makes me want to just lie there and look at him forever.


Duo tightens his arms around my shoulders, sliding one down my back to pull my hips down. The result has us pressed together, bare skin to bare skin, the entire length of our bodies. He catches my sharp groan in his mouth and holds me against him firmly, rocking up. Itís almost leisurely, the way heís touching me, and kissing me, but for the growing tension between us, the need. I attack his mouth and touch him everywhere I can reach. Our exchange gradually becomes more heated, frantic, until weíre so close that surely our skin is the only thing keeping us from melting completely together. I kiss him hungrily, and entwine our legs together.

It is a heady experience, being with Duo like this, flesh to flesh. To have all that incessant, perpetual energy that defines him all completely focused on me. Itís unlike anything I could have imagined, anything I have felt before, and ever hope to feel again.

I have no practise in this art, and whether or not I have talent is not for me to say. For that, the concept of preparation escapes me entirely--all I want is him. And Duo, it seems, is beyond caring. In my inexperience, I let him guide me, and he moves both our bodies until Iím exactly where I need to be. I freeze, actually, unsure and unwilling to do anything wrong--but he presses up against me and grips my hips, pulling me forward.

I have to fight very hard not to scream as he pulls me inside him. Iím sure Iíll die, or at least faint from the sheer, painfully intense sensations crashing through me. I break away from Duoís mouth with a strangled moan, my eyes screwed shut in concentration. I refuse to do anything until he tells me to. I refuseÖ But, God, I want to.

The sound of his gasping breaths captures my attention, and I open my eyes to look into his face. He is staring past me unfocusedly, biting his bottom lip, his hands clutching at my shoulders. A single tear trickles out of the corner of his eye and over his temple. No. No! I wonít cause Duo pain.

"Iíve hurt you." I try to withdraw from him, but he holds me there. Gives a tiny shake of his head.

"Itís fine," he manages.


"ShhhÖ" His arms and legs wrap around me, and he stops all my other protests with his lips. I let his mouth distract me for the time being, rather thanÖ other parts of him. He remains still for a long moment, allowing me to simply kiss him while he adjusts to me. I strain to hold my body perfectly motionless.

And then he moves.

A jolt of pleasure as raw and heated as a lightning bolt tears through my body. My eyes snap open and I jerk, the movement only setting off another shock. A word--maybe a curse, maybe a plea--pushes itself out of me, and Duo swallows the sound before moving again, tilting his hips slightly, just enough to create friction. His whole body tightens around mine.

He breaks the kiss with a husky moan. "HeeroÖ" The word is punctuated by another rock upwards. "Please--HeeroÖ"

But my brain is so beyond functioning that I just remain frozen, staring at him, completely poleaxed.

His fingers dig sharply into my back, and he nips at my neck. His voice comes out low and desperate. "Heero, please!"


So I do. I surrender.

Surrender to him, surrender to myself, surrender to the nightÖ From somewhere deep inside me, I find a rhythm, something akin to the beating of my heart, or the booming of ancient drum. I let that rhythm guide me, and it moves me against him, inside him, with him, in a simple, primitive dance as old as time itself. It pounds in my ears and through my body, and pulses in the minimal space between us.

The dance continues for an unknown period of time--a breath, an hour, a day?--I couldnít tell you. But there is something building, in the pit of my stomach, at the base of my spine. Something just beyond my reach. The danceís tempo increases, its music the intake and exhalation of air, the rough echoing friction of colliding bodies, the low and guttural sounds uttered without thought into the night. Something, something wonderfulÖ

I open my eyes, and see Duo. His eyes are half-closed, head thrown back against the pillow, mouth open in pleasure. Quiet, husky sounds colour his every breath. He is the image of beauty. Of perfection. I will never forget that sight.

One final beat. And then the world turns white.

There is no way to describe it, the feeling of such a release. There are no words in any mortal language that do it justice. I could say it was every battle-high, every burst of delighted laughter, every dazzling smile, every loving and heartfelt word, everything that ever felt good--and it would not be enough. I could say it was the ultimate fusion of two minds, bodies and souls--and it would not be enough. I could say it was the first step towards heaven, the first understanding of paradise--and it would not be enough. I could try to name it pleasure, bliss, or ecstacy--and it would not be nearly enough.

I can sayÖ I can say--it is as though I have lived my whole life handicapped, as though since birth I have nursed a steadily bleeding wound, a severely broken bone, a painful debilitation that refuses to heal. I have grown up with it, never known anything else except it, accepted it and functioned despite it, until I even forget that there is a reality without it.

And in this moment, in Duoís arms, the pain is lifted from me.

Thatís what itís like.

Duo--oh God, DuoÖ

It should last for ever, this moment. To touch heaven only to have that glimpse torn from me. But end it must, and so I slowly come to, finding myself completely entangled with Duo, exhausted.

So I am left with but a memory of that ecstasy--but here, now, this is almost betterÖ With my face against Duoís hair, his hands moving slowly on my back, our bodies close and still intimately joined. There is a satisfied, quietly happy glow to the air, warming my bare skin which is chilled with sweat. After having sharedÖ thatÖ to be so close to him and able to simply lie in his arms is almost better than the passion.

Nothing lasts forever.

I push myself up to look at his face, the action breaking the contact point between us. There are words, words that need saying--but I donít know them, and Duo says nothing. The one time I need him to speak, he merely gazes up at me, purple eyes searching my own, and remains uncharacteristically silent.

The silence is palpable. Thick. It presses like deep water. His name forces out of me in a questioning breath. "Duo--"

He hushes me with a thumb over my mouth. His bad hand, I notice, as the bandages scrape my cheek and his fingers curl into my hair. The gesture scorches with painful reverence, and I part my lips, touching the digit with the tip of my tongue.

He snatches his hand back like itís been burned, sinking away from me into the pillows, and a look of something between anguish and fear flashes across his face. Worried, I push his bangs off his forehead, trying to see his eyes. They soften slightly, then, for me. I let my hand rest there, just on his hairline, as it did this morning, a moment before I kissed him for the first time. It seems like years ago, but at the same time I can still taste his blood. Duo gazes up, and almost smiles. So beautiful.

He pulls me down to lie beside him and I comply, wrapping my arms around him and holding him close. The warm glow still hangs in the air, but there is another presence around us: A tiny but noticeable thundercloud formed of questions, doubt and tears. Not mine.


I tighten my grip around his shoulders, nearly missing his muffled gasp of pain as the wound on his back pulls. There will always be questions. I know he will ask them. And I will answer them all.

I will tell him everything.

I will.

Sleep will be some time in coming.

If thereís no pain
Rules are still the same
Iím with you, just lead me
Iím ready to play
Donít be scared, and have no fear
I will show you what it means
What you feel is insane
It is love, and not a game
T.N.T. for the brain

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