Another Version of Events
by Karan Seraph
Heero went from black dreamless sleep to conscious panic in the space
of a second. In that second, his mind cataloged a series of sensations:
his feet touched a floor, he was either dizzy or actually inclined slightly
forward, something was bracing his arms to his sides, a hand was moving
down his bare thigh, something made of cloth fell against his legs. All
his reflexes said resitance; his heart pounded.
"It's me. Heero. No one is hurting you."
Duo, he thought. His heart was still racing, his eyes finally snapped
open. Heero could see a toilet directly in front of him. His pants and
underwear were about his ankles. Duo's left arm was across his chest.
He was maybe 50% certain this was his recent hotel room. "What is
"Heero. It's Duo. You are speaking in Russian. Do you know?"
He tried again to process the language, "Report."
"Do you have to go?"
"Why am I restrained?"
"Can you stand?"
That caused some hesitation. Heero had thought he was standing, but now
he realized, that although the balls of his feet touched the tile below,
he was not actually supporting his own weight. He had no idea how he had
gotten into the bathroom. Maybe Duo had carried him from somewhere while
he was unconscious. His brain struggled to know what time it was. He remembered
partying the night before, if it had been the night before. And though
the memory was slightly more hazy, he knew he had returned to the hotel.
Heero took a deep breath in and out through the nose. "I have to
"Can you stand?"
"Free my arms."
Duo first loosed his grip on Heero's right arm. Heero could feel
both of Duo's hands on his chest then, supporting his weight. He
did sway, but with his right arm freed, and then the left, he was able
to brace himself on the wall behind the toilet. Duo did not seem to be
"You are right there."
"We're not done yet."
Heero closed his eyes. Duo was not leaving. It was a struggle, but he
relaxed enough to let the urine fall in the toilet.
"You gonna shake?"
"I can do it!" Heero growled, eyes open.
"Done? Wash hands then brush teeth."
Heero felt very uncomfortable. This situation was in some way uncomfortable.
It was like prison, or a space pirate vessel. And Duo was never going
to learn about the stray thought he just had. What was going on? What
had Duo being doing with his unconscious self that brought him to wake
up in front of the toilet? When he had lost control? When he drank so
much. When, then, had Duo assumed control? That was still unclear.
"Would you stop! It's like I can hear the drives spinning!"
Duo warbled. "Just wash your hands and brush your teeth."
Heero straightened and found he could stand. He stepped out of his pants
carefully and then sidestepped to the sink. He lifted the hotel bar soap
in his left hand, tipped the faucet control with his right and then lathered
and scrubbed his hands. Heero replaced the soap in its indent and then
rinsed. He let the water run and opened the zip bag his toothbrush was
in. Duo offered some toothpaste. It was not their usual brand.
"Live dangerously," Duo advised.
That was often the problem. Heero took the offered toothpaste and then
began brushing his teeth, starting with the outside of the uppers on the
right. He watched Duo from the corners of his eyes and saw him step out
of the bathroom. Heero could see the interior of the hotel room. It did
seem to be his. Koi and Nu were both there, fighting playfully over a
rope toy. "What time is it?" Heero asked around his toothbrush.
He started on the inside of the uppers.
"Just finish brushing." Duo was tapping at his phone. He
was fully dressed, so Heero thought it likely he had slept, then Duo had
arrived from the airport, and it was probably still morning. Duo still
had shoes on. Maybe he had picked Heero up from the bed right after letting
himself in. The curtains were still closed, so Heero could not tell by
the amount of sunlight. Koi seemed playful and was not whining or pawing,
so Heero wondered if Duo had actually arrived, coaxed Koi to leave with
him quietly, taken the dogs for a walk, and then returned to carry Heero
into the bathroom. And why the hell had he not woken Heero and then asked
if he needed help into the bathroom?
Chaos. Mysterious ways.
Heero rushed over the lower teeth and then scrubbed vigorously at his
tongue. He could see Duo was removing his shoes and socks. "Spit
Heero bowed forward, spit in the sink and cupped his hand under the flow
of water to fill it. Heero sucked the water from his hand, swished and
spit again. Duo palmed something from his luggage and then walked toward
Duo came close and leaned in toward Heero, put his right hand to Heero's
left shoulder. Heero thought Duo might actually be smelling him and inclined
back a bit. "I'll let you get a shower afterward."
"First," he said, and then produced a translucent bag containing
some pill bottles. He took his hand from Heero to open the bag. He brought
out a bottle of OTC painkillers and flashed the label at Heero. He pressed
the heel of his palm on the top to open and soon poured out a single pill
into his left hand. The bottle was closed quickly and then Duo held the
pill between two fingers, just in front of Heero's face. "Notice
the identifying markings."
"Not drugging me, then?"
Duo pulled a bottle of water from behind his back. Heero guessed he had
tucked it into his waistband when Heero had not been paying attention,
which had been most of the morning, apparently. "The ease in which
I could have had your unconscious ass frightens me," Duo said, as
if it was a casual thing to say. He pushed the pill toward Heero. Heero
took it in his fingers, and then put it in his mouth. He noted the water
bottle was the brand in the hotel vending machines and the cap was intact.
He opened the bottle and swallowed the pill and several gulps of water.
"And this. It's a vitamin." Duo flashed a second bottle.
It was not really just a vitamin, but Heero did not believe Duo had lied,
either. It was more correctly a multivitamin with herbal additives that
probably said 'detox naturally' or 'energy' or
'men's health' in the ad. Heero took it with several
more gulps of water.
"This one's mine," Duo said. It was his prescription
bottle. Heero passed the water to Duo and watched him drink. Duo quickly
packed the various pills in the little bag. Heero watched as he tossed
the bag across the room to his pile of luggage. He turned and opened his
"Come on what?"
"Let me carry you."
"I can walk."
Heero could see what he wanted. Duo expected him to hop up and wrap his
legs around him and hold onto him and the whole thing. "I do not
"Fine then, walk to the bed and lie down."
"Why?" Sometimes, now, it was really like they had to fight
to see who was top and Heero did not want to just give in. "And
"You don't want to go back to bed? Fine. Get dressed. I'll
take you out in the bright sunlight, with morning traffic, walk seven
blocks, maybe find some lightly cooked scrambled eggs or a street vendor
hot dog for breakfast."
Duo had him. Heero walked to the bed, crawled across and rolled into
the hollow in the blankets he'd left during the night. He was comfortable.
The mattress was not too soft or firm. The room was pleasantly dim. It
was warmer in the bed than standing in the bathroom. Heero closed his
eyes. It probably was a high quality mattress; he did not even feel Duo
climb onto the bed. He only knew when he heard the proximity of his voice.
"Hey, gotta test your faculties."
"Do you know where you are?"
"Our hotel room in the Chandler in New York."
"What year and month is it?"
"How many fingers am I holding up."
"Zero," Heero answered without opening his eyes.
"I just figured you would pick zero to be difficult."
"OK. Who is the current President, then?"
"President of what?"
Duo laughed softly. "I figure you're coherent enough to legally
Heero smiled. "Just because I am grateful you were too honorable
to take advantage of me while drunk and unconscious does not mean I'll
let you have my ass now."
"Who says I want your ass, today?"
Heero snorted. Eyes still closed, he reached for Duo. He could feel him
at less than an arm's length. His fingers found Duo's neck,
and part of a braid, and then Duo's right shoulder covered in thin
fabric. Heero cracked opened his eyes. Duo's body was reclined perpendicular
to his. "Take off your clothes."
"Say you'll throw them in the fire."
"No, I say for you to take off your clothes and throw them in the
fire," Heero said, asserting his roll as Wolf rather than Red.
"That mean you want some of this?" Duo asked, lifting the
hem of his tee over his abs.
Duo pushed himself up from the bed. He lifted his arms, grabbed the back
of his collar and pulled his shirt quickly overhead. He gave a look to
Heero, all heat, and then popped the button on his waistband. Heero watched
the denim and skin slide against each other. He felt a little pinch of
arousal. He saw the red bikini brief slip past Duo's thighs and
felt a sharp twinge. Duo's dick bobbed up, half-hard and Heero felt
"Duo," he whispered, "Turn your back over this way."
"Oh, no, no." Duo grinned down at him. "I am so filing
spooning with you away for later use, but not this time. I want your cock,
but I want top."
"Fine," Heero agreed quickly.
Duo scooted a little closer and planted his right hand on Heero's
other side, so that he had Heero a little trapped. "Take it easy
for a bit."
"Do not be a girl. I missed you."
Duo chuckled. He lowered himself, body still perpendicular to Heero,
right elbow at Heero's left side. His eyes looked right into Heero's
eyes. "Baby, don't be an ass. Who is going to have fun if
I'm tight and you're only half hard? Relax, OK?"
He wanted. Heero understood what Duo meant about the physical mechanics
of it all, but he just wanted. Duo's cheek slid against Heero's
jaw. A moment passed and Duo's lips lightly grazed his throat. "I
want," Heero said.
"You know I am not a tease," Duo whispered, "so just
trust me to make this good for both of us."
He did. Heero looked up through half-slit eyes and saw Duo's face
close and out of focus. "I love you." The words flowed out,
unplanned, but Heero felt they were true. Sometimes 'Baka'
or 'I know' or 'you drive' meant 'I love
you'. Right now, 'I love you' meant a lot of things,
expressing among them gratitude.
Duo's lips pressed against his. Duo's tongue slipped into
his mouth. Mentally, Heero was completely relaxed. He could feel love
and lust spiking. There was the warmth in his chest and the core of heat
somewhat lower. There was no saying 'half hard'.
Right then, Heero became aware that his hands were unrestrained. He did
not have to wait for permission. No one was telling him what to do. He
lifted his arms from the bed. His left hand found Duo's right arm
and followed it over the muscular dips and bulges to Duo's neck,
and then settled with finger's wound in the hair at the back of
Duo's head, near the base of his skull. His right hand first came
to Duo's chest.
Heero placed the flat of his hand left of center upon Duo's chest
and felt for the beat of his heart. It was steady and rapid. Heero spread
his fingers and traced the shape of Duo's pecs. Much as he liked
parts below the waist, as his fingers moved, Heero was consumed by thoughts
and memories of enjoying Duo's particular upper body broadness and
firmness. Maybe Heero liked it because Duo's regular style of dress
really was rather modest. A series of images of Duo in school uniforms
and clerical garb flashed within his mind. There had been only a few arm-baring
tanks glimpsed in locker rooms, and things like fishnet only in recent
Heero gave the ring through Duo's left nipple a tug, and then rolled
his thumb over the nipple. The kisses became hungrier, faster and wetter.
Heero did not know what he wanted more: to tear his mouth from Duo so
he could suck at his adam's apple or to command Duo to sit on his
cock now so he could watch the movement of his muscles as Duo rode it.
Heero tossed his head, sucked in a breath through the mouth and then
nuzzled Duo's jaw out of the way so he could suck at his throat.
Even as Heero went for Duo's throat, his right hand glided over
Duo's abs toward his dick.
Heero's palm pressed against the head of Duo's dick. "Oh,
God, yes!" Duo called out.
"Enough of this. Sit on me now," Heero growled at his ear.
"Fuck, I thought I'd have to be gentle and do most of the
work..." Because Duo thought Heero was that badly hungover.
"I recover quickly."
"Yeah, ya do!" Duo shifted position, getting up onto his
knees and then straddling Heero's thighs. For a split second Heero
questioned the position, and then remembered his mental list of things
Duo did to be prepared to be fucked without prior stretching.
"Do you want to do it, or just to watch me?"
"I'd like to do it. I just wanted to look at ya a bit."
"Maybe should have had me paint my nails." Heero licked at
his right index finger and then drew it down his chest and stomach and
finished by rolling his fingertip about the head of his cock. He looked
up and found Duo staring back at him, eyes dark.
"Can you get it? It's under there," Duo said very quietly.
That was nice, because that tone said something to Heero about how far
gone Duo was into this scene of theirs. That voice meant things like contented,
pleasured and satisfied, and they had not even gotten to either of them
fucking the other yet.
Heero reached beneath the pillow Duo's eyes had indicated. For
a moment, he thought he was wrong, or would not be able to reach far enough,
but then he felt the fur and realized he was meant to find the entire
bear, not just one small tube or packet. The pillow fell over, but Heero
was able to pull the bear free. He held it over his chest and opened the
back to reveal the contents Bomb Bear was guarding. Looking, Heero thought
Duo had gone shopping somewhere without him. Rather, he knew Duo had at
least once, but was just a little surprised when the first container that
came into hand did not seem to be any sort of lubricant, but a desensitizer.
Some bottles said 'hot' or 'cold'.
"Uh, it's the one that says 'platinum' or something
on it," Duo said quickly, "I kinda meant the rest, I mean,
just if we wanted to spice things up another time. It's Trowa's
Heero found the correct container and dumped the rest, with the bear,
at his side. "Caliente."
"You too!" Duo said, grinning as he took the lube from Heero.
Could not very well ruin the moment with promise of kinky hot sex in
the future. Heero lay back and watched Duo warm the lube between his fingers.
He put both hands to Heero's cock and gave a few light pumps and
twirls to slather the lube. It felt amazing. Heero had been wanting this
contact for a few days now. Sometimes it sounded funny in his brain to
admit he masturbated more since finding a lover, but it was true. Still,
it was always best to actually have Duo.
Duo swiped an additional quantity of lube over the head; the touch was
so light Heero barely felt it. The anticipation made him ache. Duo crawled
forward on hands and knees and then lowered his body. His head bowed to
kiss Heero's mouth, his dick fell against Heero's abdomen.
Duo's ass pushed back until Heero could feel his cock settle in
the crack between Duo's buttocks. He wanted badly to just grab Duo's
hips and fuck him hard, but Heero knew that was not the way to make it
feel best for both of them. Instead, he clenched his fists in the bedsheets.
"Heero. Baby. You want to work my dick, or would you rather watch?"
"Which had you planned?"
It felt like Duo was happy to be asked the question. "You just
lying back and watching."
Duo looked down, right into his eyes. "I have a set of restraints
that will do a pretty good job of holding you, but I'll accept your
word. Say you'll let me take care of everything. Say you won't
touch me with your hands until after I cum."
"Tell me what happens if I fail."
"I won't touch you or hold you for the rest of the day."
Heero dug his fingertips into the sheets. "Ryokai. Ride my cock.
Touch yourself. I want to see."
"My what big eyes you have," Duo whispered.
Heero wanted to say 'thank you', but he said, "All
the better to watch you discover pleasure with, My Dear."
"Sick freak," Duo said very quietly, but again that meant
'I love you'. Heero watched as Duo rose up onto his knees.
He could feel Duo's ass wriggled against his cock. He could see
Duo's hips shift from side to side. Really, Heero liked the hips
very much, as well. He lifted his gaze and was not disappointed. Duo rolled
his head slowly, eyes barely open. His left hand swept his braid forward;
it undulated against his chest. His right hand gave a tug at the ring
through the closest nipple, and then slipped behind Duo's back.
Heero felt that hand touch his cock. "My what a big cock you have."
"All the better to fill you with, Mon Cher."
Heero looked down again. He could see Duo's left hand cupped about
his own balls, almost as if to drawn them out of Heero's view. Duo's
thigh's framed a window through which Heero could see his own cock
standing. He could feel Duo's asshole pressing against the head.
He could see the strain and shift in Duo's muscles. The long thighs
supported his weight as he leaned back. The lean torso maintained Duo's
balance and inclined posture. Heero had a thought that he might enjoy
licking Duo all over. He might really want to loll his tongue all over
Duo's abs. He might want to lap at Duo's chest. He might want
to twirl his tongue about nipples, and navel and the pit of Duo's
Heero gasped as he felt the sphincter close around his cock. The head
was in Duo, smooth muscle contracting against it. Heero let a breath out
slowly through his nose. "Feels tight."
"It's good," Duo said slowly, "Oh, yeah! I just
gotta take it slow."
Heero said nothing, and watched. Duo's right hand came forward
and touched his lips. His eyes closed. Duo sucked his index finger into
his mouth and then touched the moist finger to his left nipple. Heero
watched the finger play, circling, flicking, rubbing. He was aware of
lower movement and looked down and saw Duo's left hand pumping his
Heero wished the headboard had bars he could grasp, but it was entirely
Heero felt the muscle about his cock relax and then contract again. He
saw Duo sink. He could see much less of the shaft of his own cock through
that small window. There was a sheen of sweat along Duo's thighs.
"You look so hot."
"Talk to me some more."
"Sometimes I just want to cum all over you!"
Duo took it all in. There was no window. Heero's cock felt buried
in Duo's ass. Duo's legs looked relaxed and his weight rested
mainly on Heero's pelvis. Duo smiled, arched his back and wiggled
to see if there was more to take, but there was not.
"Aaaa, feels tight still."
"Mm, tight should feel good for you."
Duo smiled, did another slow roll of his head and then reached overhead
and with his arms hanging above him, shifted weight from Heero into his
legs, and rose up, only to push his weight down again, quickly. The mattress
rebounded upward, pushing Heero into Duo again. Duo was bouncing, using
the spring of the mattress to enhance the in and out of cock in ass.
It felt good, but Heero could tell Duo had hoped for a mattress with
more spring. He leaned forward shortly, planting his hands either side
of Heero's shoulders, and looking down at him as he rocked back
"Haa," Heero breathed, "this is good. For me. It's
Duo had an absolutely gorgeous expression upon his face, as if he was
saying he was glad to go through the physical effort to bring them both
to climax. Heero had seen it before. He had probably made a face like
that for Duo. It was not quite the face that said Duo was feeling as sharp
a pleasure as he needed to cum.
Heero looked down. He could see the rippling of muscle everywhere as
Duo rocked. He could see Duo's dick sliding against his body: the
head just reaching Heero's chest when Duo pulled up, and touching
Heero's belly when Duo pushed back.
"I gotta," Duo said.
"Go for it!" Heero encouraged. "Close. I am already..."
Duo drew himself up. He shifted the position of his knees slightly and
then arched his back. His hair fell back, and his chin was lifted. Duo
held his dick in his right hand and the left rose overhead as a counterbalance.
It was just fucking beautiful, like pictures and video Heero had seen
of bronco riders.
"There! Yes! Aah! God!"
Heero felt like all of his being was within the space of his cock. His
shoulders pressed into the mattress, his hands clenched, his buttocks
clenched together and his hips bucked up off the bed. He called out some
"Yes! Fuck! God!"
Heero bucked and kept his eyes on Duo. Other times had been good, great,
outstanding, but Heero was just feeling this was one of those especially
great experiences. Duo was just riding him. He was just fucking riding
him. There was little tightness now. Just a firm, easy in and out, up
and down. Whatever interior part his head was hitting, it was good for
Duo. They claimed Heero had a high ratio when he was in control, but Duo
seemed to be doing an excellent job of pleasuring himself on Heero's
Duo's face looked all screwed up, like he was going to cum, and
his hand was just pumping so fast. Heero thought they came about the same
time, but as soon as the orgasm took him and threw his soul around and
made his body burn like a machine falling uncontrolled into the atmosphere,
he became completely unaware of what Duo was doing for at least ten seconds,
so he could never be sure.
When Heero was able to really look at Duo again, he was still feeling
good, funky, and quite grateful, so, though Duo had cum glistening in
his hair and a sort of fragile, undone expression on his face, Heero thought
he was just beautiful. Heero felt a sort of half-pleasurable pinch and
realized his cock was still in Duo. He watched Duo shiver at the little
"Say I can touch you."
"Oh, God, please!" Duo literally collapsed upon Heero. His
chest pressed Heero's chest. Their legs tangled together. Duo dug
his hands beneath Heero's shoulders. Heero lifted his hands and
put them to Duo's back. Duo's entire body felt covered in
sweat, but it was good, because he had done what he had promised. He had
worked to make the sex good for both of them.
Duo let out a deep slow breath. Heero could hear the sigh, and feel the
warm breath on his neck. Duo's body relaxed and felt even heavier
atop Heero's body. Heero held him tighter. He pushed his fingertips
into the small of Duo's back.
"Yeah, there. That feels so good."
"Did you even sleep last night?" Heero asked. He continued
applying perpendicular pressure to Duo's back. Duo had arrived this
morning and flown his own jet, and considering the time difference, he
would have left late at night Pacific Time and lost some hours.
"I did not want you to worry about me flying without sleep, so
I slept before coming here. Guess I missed the party. I got a few text
messages, from you and some others. Did you really run into yaks?"
"No. There was nothing to do with organized crime. It was just
we sort of met with some members of a heavily armed Korean street car
racing club. There was no trouble. I bought them some drinks, I think."
"Mm. I think maybe the only times we both drank at the same time
were when we went out to nightclubs or the teahouse."
"That sounds correct."
"Not a complaint, I was just thinking out loud."
"So, we are actually missing part of the con."
"Yeah, but we needed this."
"Thank you." Heero pressed a quick kiss to Duo's cheek.
"A few more minutes? I just feel like holding onto you for a bit."
"No complaint. I do not mind at all if you want to hold me. I like
it. I like your arms."
"I like you, too; I mean the way your body feels."
Heero kept his left hand on Duo's back and moved his right hand
to stroke Duo's arm. He really did like the way it felt. He moved
his fingertips lightly up and down the outside of Duo's left arm.
Maybe it felt good for Duo, too.
"What do you think?"
"I'm sorry." Duo lifted his head and kissed Heero's
face. Heero could feel his smile. Duo nuzzled back down and whispered
at Heero's left ear. "I didn't mean it to come out that
way. I meant, I was just thinking."
"Aa. What were you thinking about?"
"It's been over six months since we started dating."
"Yes. Failed attempt was on an 8th. Trial date period began on
the 15th after that 8th. We were officially a couple by the next 12th.
We decided to live together about two months after that. We will have
been in the house three months this coming Wednesday. You decided we needed
chaos just over a month ago. It is your birthday on Tuesday."
Heero felt Duo shake with laughter, even as he heard it. "I don't
think it's one of those age crises, I just wanted to say maybe that
I notice how you've changed." There was no laughter left in
his voice. "When we first started out, you did not really even know
what you wanted. I think you just had this idea that I was special because
we shared experiences in the war and maybe you could trust me enough and
I was pretty enough that I could be someone you could let yourself have
sex with. And don't interrupt yet! Now, I really believe that you
know things about yourself and your wants that you did not even know back
then, and I believe that it's me you want and that you honestly
do love me. I like it, Heero. I just wanted to say it, I guess, that I
can see how you've grown and I'm glad that you didn't
grow away from me. I'm not exactly the guy I was then either, and
I'm not sure how much I still have to grow, but I really still believe
I love you and I want to be with you and if you said you wanted it, I
would still marry you."
"No 'but'?" Heero whispered.
"No 'buts'! I just felt like I should say that to you."
Heero thought that Duo seemed sad, but then he decided that Duo was just
afraid Heero would not appreciate his feelings, or need to express them
at this moment. Heero kissed Duo's shoulder. He loved those freckles,
too. "You are right. Even this week I realized things about myself
I did not know before. No regrets that you are the one taking this journey
with me, Lover. You can say whatever you need, to me. Remember. Spilling
guts while sober."
"Do you really want to cum all over me sometimes?" Duo asked,
lifting his head to view Heero's expression. The laughter was back
in Duo's voice.
"Aa. I meant that. I guess it looks pretty degrading in porn, but
I just thought you looked so hot, I wanted to do it, like putting an offering
on your altar."
Duo laughed. "All right, sounds pretty kewl when you put it that
way. I'll let you do it, if you want. What else?"
"What do you mean?"
"What do you want to do this weekend?"
"I thought the point of coming to New York was to attend the con,
but you seem pretty unconcerned about missing it."
"Oh, we're going! Sure they sneak in a few good events to
reward people who picked up badges the night before, but a lot of the
first day is waiting in lines. I figure we'll show up in the afternoon
and stay until things close down late tonight. Anyway, Saturday is the
big day." Duo grinned down at Heero. "I'm not going
to waist the opportunities presented by ritzy hotel rooms or NYC either.
I love our vacations. You don't have a secret file anymore of all
the stuff you need to say or do?"
"Guess you're proud just of that?"
Heero made a slight nod. "Am, actually. But, I was thinking, earlier,
I just wanted to lick you all over. Maybe I am even feeling like a rim
job. Oh, and I want to take some photos. Nude. Artfully lit. With the
head cut off."
Heero smiled and shook his head. "You know I mean your head out
of frame. I just want to take pictures of your body and muscles."
"And go to a gallery?"
Heero smiled, because Duo understood the connection between the photos
and the gallery invitation. "Sometime this weekend I'll tell
you about it."
"Ya know what else?"
"I want to fuck you. I want to spoon up to you under the covers,
like when we're going to bed or when we first wake up. Like, almost
"OK, I will let you know, but even if you are playing out your
stealthy fantasy, you are not going to fuck me with spit alone. There
will proper lubricant of some sort involved."
"Of course! Who said it was any kind of fantasy?" Mock innocence.
"I just knew. Now, get off. We should get a shower and head over
to the con soon."
Duo rolled off, toward the middle of the bed, and sat there, looking
at Heero. Heero pushed himself up. He could drink some water, but otherwise,
he really felt very good.
"I don't really want to try to be chaotic."
"I see," Heero said slowly. That little speech before had
been preparation for this, whether Duo realized he had planned it or not.
"I don't think you need it. I thought at the time you did,
and I would do it for you. Now, I just want to be me."
"I am not going to argue, because I think you are right. We are
both a lot more sure of things now. It has been half a year. If we have
difficulties, we will work it out."
"It's really OK?"
Heero nodded and made a conscious effort to smile for Duo. He reached
across the bed and put his hand in Duo's. "Yes. We are together... in
a relationship. That can mean whatever we need or want it to mean. I am
happy we were able to form a structure that helped us get this far, but
maybe it really is time to work without a net, completely. Chaos done
apurpose is not really chaos anyway, it becomes an orderly construct,
so, that was structure also."
Duo squeezed Heero's hand. Heero understood the message. His Duo
was truly a strong person, but he greatly feared loss. He had experienced
loss many times. It was painful.
"I will wash you if you wash me?" Heero offered.
It was just washing, but when they got out of the shower, Duo asked Heero
if he wanted to take any photos before he got dried or dressed. Heero
chewed his lower lip, nodded and went to get the camera. Heero was not
sure how the pics would turn out. Even having the little monitor on the
camera, he did not trust his ability to make a photograph look any more
art than snapshot. He captured a lot, because he figured that this was
the way professionals did it. He remembered when watching Cerise; she
had taken many photos, to use a few of the best.
"Can I get some of you?" Duo asked. Heero had not expected
the request, but as soon as he heard it, he wondered why he had not expected
it. It seemed fair, so he passed the camera to Duo and then stood still.
Duo did not capture the image immediately, but stood looking at Heero
and walking around him and looking up at the overhead lighting fixture.
"Stand like when the Director tells you to be at ease, but you still
look all formal."
Heero remembered. He placed his feet a shoulder's width apart,
stood straight and folded his hands just behind his back. Duo walked around
him then, capturing Heero from all the various angles. The clicking stopped
after a while, and Heero dropped his hands and turned. Duo was scrolling
through the thumbnails to check his work. Heero noted he was smiling.
"I can dress?" Heero asked.
"Yeah. I got it." Whatever it was, Duo was still admiring
Heero decided on his velvet jeans, a white button-down and his new green
sweater. He wore a thick pair of athletic socks and an old pair of military
boots. He was going for comfortable and practical, as they would be walking
a lot and it was cool outdoors, but might be heated inside, but Duo still
sang out, "Fashion plate," as he walked by.
Duo did not really appear to dress with comfort of practicality in mind.
He was wearing the outfit Sake had made for him that made him look like
a sort of Chinese Sith Lord, with tall, many-buckled platform boots. Heero
glared on account of the boot's added height, but nothing happened.
Duo just bounced around unaffected, talking about need to carry things
acquired in the vendors room versus the discomfort of carrying a bag all
"We can take one bag for both our things and take turns carrying
it," Heero suggested.
"We need to pack light."
"I just need my pad, phone, ID and a small amount of cash, plus
a baggie of food for Koi, and Koi's papers."
"Don't you have some meishi or business cards?"
"Hn." Heero was getting anxious to get to the pop culture
convention and see what it was like. He remembered the girls had asked
him about it last night, before he was completely drunk off his ass, and
he had said he thought it was probably like the movie shows, multiplied
by at least twenty, but with a much higher ratio of otaku and geeks to
kewl kids. He was not really expecting to find clients, or at least not
clients for his pet business. "Maybe for L Street."
Duo laughed. "Do they hook you up with cards? On Earth people still
use cards. I get them while at school."
"I have some." Name cards of any sort were not so popular
in the Colonies. It was much more important to have an impressive sig
file. "I do understand the concept of convention, and Ursula asked
me the same question, it is just I do not see what I have to market to
this particular crowd."
Duo seemed almost ready. His backpack was on the bed, open, and he was
dressed. He seemed to be waiting to confirm that the photos had uploaded
to his computer so he could put the camera in the backpack. He took a
little metal case from inside the backpack and flipped out a card. He
handed it to Heero two-handed. Heero rolled his eyes and too the card
in his right hand, putting his thumb right over Duo's name. "Fuck
you," Duo said, with a sort of sad laughter underlying the words.
It was a stylish two-sided English and German card for Duo Maxwell owner/operator
of Maxwell Technologies listing specialties in AI programming, communications
systems, and mobile suit and robotics design, along with contact information.
"Why is it German?"
"In case any MIT kids came down for the con. MIT kids think German
"What do you want to do with MIT kids?"
Duo shrugged. "Be better than them, I guess... I mean, cooperate
in synergistic teambuilding for the advancement of mutual exchange and
Heero could not even bring himself to laugh. "Recruiting. You could
just participate in a job fair."
"Those are so boring!"
"If you were there, it could not be boring. Come on, let's
Duo hummed a wordless agreement, but then spent at least a minute checking
over his person and backpack for things he thought he would need.
The Javitz Center was on the west side of the city. As they approached,
they could see a string of taxis dropping off fares along the concourse
and lines of people. Duo made a sort of shrug to say that he was right
that there would still be a wait at this time of day, but also that he
did not really mind waiting in line now. Heero had known of the option
to pick up registration badges the night before, but Duo would not have
arrived in time. Security measures dictated that each person collect only
their own badge, or badges for minors they were escorting, with minors
present, and so even if Heero could have avoided the line, Duo would still
have to be here waiting without him, and Heero did not want that.
There were some people already in their cosplay costumes, waiting in
line. Heero had only witnessed mass cosplaying live once, at the Movie
Shows and this event really did remind him of that night. First Kiss.
"That was the best and worst night ever," Duo said. His voice
was soft, but there was a brilliant wide smile on his face. Heero was
sure it was genuine. It was not the false grin of joking when depressed
or the malevolent grin of mischief intended. This was warmer, and came
with accompanying gaze.
Heero did not even question how Duo knew. That he knew was satisfying
"Hey, if you see any Sashimi, let me know. I need to get pics for
Heero knew that Midii and Hilde still saw a lot of each other, but Hilde
did not want to travel between Earth and the Colonies while pregnant,
and Midii was here with Ursula. Hilde had probably asked Midii to get
her some photos and souvenirs, but asked or not, Duo would also be looking
for things Hilde would like. There was always going to be a relationship
there, and it probably would have existed regardless of their having a
child. They had other important shared experiences.
A group of younger teenagers filed into line behind them and several
seconds later they were able to move forward a couple meters. There was
a bit of glare and reflection, but through the glass, Heero could see
into the interior concourse. Velvet ropes and staffers were placed to
keep the registration line separate from those already in attendance.
It looked quite crowded already and vendors at the small booths and kiosks
were barking to the crowd.
"And you've never been to one of these?" Heero asked.
Heero chuckled awkwardly. The line alone was an attraction. A lot of
groups wore tees advertising their store, club, or fanatically maintained
fan database for a television show that had not aired in a hundred years.
Sometimes it was really hard to tell if someone wore a costume or was
just wearing their club gear. Even when people were in street clothes
Heero saw they often had a phone accessory or hat or bag that indicated
they were a fan of a particular game or movie.
A short distance ahead in line there were some recognizable Jedi characters
calling out to two bunny girls just getting out of a cab and asking to
take their picture. Beyond them, a man dressed up as the spokescharacter
for a phone network was posing for a pair of tattooed, pierced parents
and their toddler dressed in a magical girl battle costume. The line moved
again. Hero had to tug at Koi's harness to distract him from the
group of furries passing by.
"Do you think there will be Batman?"
"Probably several," Duo replied. He was half distracted himself
by the chirp of incoming text messages on his phone. "Sake says
Ursula and she are at booth in hall 3A."
"I wonder if Shizen and Sake had to go to different areas."
"Honestly, I'm not sure how they assign the space. I was
talking to Shizen and Midori about it when we made the plans, since they've
been to events like this. I think the major vendors, like publishers and
studios and distributors and such are separate from small business and
individual artists. I think also there is a separate space for fanclub
"I did check out the Bad Apple Fest site. Two large areas for cosplay
events, two large movie theaters, twelve video rooms, twenty rooms for
panels and workshops, one live performance theater, and an obscene about
of floorspace dedicated to vendors, artists, and clubs."
"And there's people-watching in the halls!"
"That is so."
"How about you? Anything you want to see? Or a character you want
to see cosplayed?"
Heero's lips parted, but he did not say anything. The answer came
into his mind, but he did not feel confident about admitting there were
a couple of characters he wished to see cosplayed. He shook his head,
"Not that I can think of now. What should I help you look for? The
Commandatrix is the one with blue skin, and pointy ears and short black
"Yeah, her costume differs a bit from the series, to the movie,
to the new live-action version. I wonder if many people cosplay Prince
"I did not really understand about him," Heero admitted.
"He was a major villain in the movie, but I did not really understand
his motivation and the way the Team reacted to him."
"Because you never saw the series in its entirety."
"But I thought you or Hilde said once that Channa is not even in
the original series and he's... what's it called? A Sue?"
"A lot of the fandom likes to call him a Sue, because he has many
of the classical traits, but no character invented by the legitimate creators
of a series can be a Sue, even if you really really want them to be. Anyway,
the thing with the Prince is that you're supposed to infer that
he was conceived during the time Blaec was a prisoner and grew quickly
on account of his half-alien physiology. And he hates Akairo for taking
Blaec away and breaking up his family, though he claims not to have any
love for Blaec."
"But Blaec and Aka-chan are not even supposed to be canonically
"I know! But they don't have to actually be canonically fucking
for anyone to blame Akairo, because he was the one who rescued Blaec when
the aliens had him prisoner. So he's not canonically 'home
wrecker' in the step-father sense, just the number one hero on the
team that is Blaec's 'other family'."
"But... they do not even say absolutely that Channa is Blaec's
son, just that Channa was conceived during the time Blaec was a prisoner
and that Channa's mother may have had access to Blaec during that
"Yeah, but he doesn't look fully alien, like Koi, so who
else would it be?"
"Maybe I would understand better if I saw the series, but it always
seemed strange that the movie was so focused on some kid trying to take
over the world because they lacked a father figure to discipline them
and were being manipulated by the old king that adopted them."
"Yeah, but what can you do? It is official. I mean, Darth Vader
is kick ass, but Anakin's a tool. What are ya gonna do about it?"
Heero's phone chirped. He quickly lifted the headset and flipped
it over the top of his right ear. He fingered the button to talk. "Yuy."
"Heero." It was Claudia, Heero could tell immediately by
her voice. "Where are you? I have not seen you yet this morning.
Are you in a costume?"
"No costume. Duo and I are still in line for registration."
"Only just got here. Bit of a late start."
Claudia was repeating what Heero had just said, presumably for Johnny.
"Oh, well, do you want to meet up, then? When you get through registration?
Johnny and I have mainly been going between video rooms and visiting a
"We can meet up," Heero said slowly, as he glanced to see
if there was in fact acceptable to Duo.
"Midii?" Duo mouthed silently.
Heero mimed smoking. "Johnny will probably enjoy Duo's company
at the con more than either of ours, so I am certain we can all meet,
but if there is something in particular one of us wants to see... "
Heero saw Duo relax and shrug, which meant he was OK with the plan. For
all they had in common, Duo and Midii were at best neutral or falsely
pleasant when around each other. Claudia on the other hand seemed to entertain
Duo nearly as much as Johnny.
"Do you want to set a meeting place? How should we recognize you?"
"I am not in costume... I said."
"But are you not a little famous?"
"Aa, the trick is to look so much like my self that no one believes
I am me. I will wear a hat and glasses if I seem in danger of being mobbed."
"Johnny is dressed as a pirate."
"I will look out for him. Let's meet at the third floor food
court. Duo and I want to stop in and see Sake in the artist area."
"Line's moving again," Duo called.
"It looks like we are going to get inside the building now,"
Heero told Claudia.
"Maybe you will still be in line a little while. Call me when you
are coming upstairs."
"The dogs are not allowed."
Heero disconnected his call. "They are. I have their papers."
"That's Koi," the second security guard hissed.
"It's OK. That one's Koi."
"The real one?"
Heero was confused. The two security guards definitely seemed more interested
in his dog than in him, as if Koi were a celebrity in his own right.
The first guard stooped and studied Koi. "You really have papers
on him? He seems so calm. I thought he would be more on guard or something."
"I have them," Heero answered slowly.
"He's really pretty well known on Earth, huh?" Duo
"Yes, Sir," the second guard answered.
"One of those people Koi located in the wreckage was actually from
"That's right," the first guard replied, "Rose
Kennedy. And one of the Emergency Workers they pulled out after her had
recently emigrated from Earth. Former NYFD."
"I remember," Heero whispered.
The first guard stood again. He looked at Heero. It felt strange. It
was not like the hero worship that came with saving the world from falling
objects from space. It was as if the man were trying to decide for himself
how much he did or could respect Heero.
"A lot of news agencies on Earth picked up the wire about a particular
sight hound locating multiple survivors," Duo said.
The second guard nodded. "I'll radio ahead to the registration
supervisor and let them know we have two helper animals. Be sure you're
given passes to attach to their collars."
"Thanks a lot!" Duo said sincerely.
Heero felt Duo's hand on his left arm and moved. He could hear
the people in line behind them asking what the hold up was all about.
"Yeah, but I was never sure that you didn't. They have photos
of you and Koi in Paris, with all the Preventers about. He's got
a little bit of a fan club."
"And the Men at New Edwards took photos. And there was one photo
including Koi with the Homo interview."
"I have you to thank for giving him to me."
"Pazhálusta." It made Heero smile.