Disclaimer: This is fanfiction based on the characters and universe of Gundam Wing.

Another Version of Events
by Karan Seraph
Chapter 13

Duo looked happy and wide-eyed and even clapped his hands. "You know that one?"

Heero felt himself smile. He had known exactly what he was saying. "I do have 'net access. It is the Star Wars-Princess Bride connection."

"Yeah, we had a movie-show of The Princess Bride, but they only have so many theaters, so it's not around now." Duo sighed. "When I was a kid they told me that if I watched the movies in the order they were released it was an entirely different experience than watching them in the order of the plot."

"Everything before Episode 4 is considered a prequel."

"Yeah, but I watched Phantom Menace first... and man, by the time I got to Episode 4 I swear I wept when Obi Won surrendered himself to the Force rather than strike Anakin or allow that Anakin would have to kill him. That's love, I tell you!"

"You are one of those people."


"That thinks that Jedi Masters and their Padawan must have had physical relationships as well as spiritual."

"Well, I didn't say that... I just said it was love."

"Good. I do not have to kill you then."

"I wouldn't mind a little death."

"Aa... Shinigami, are we flirting?"

Duo laughed. "You kiddin'? We're totally flirting! And you shouldn't call me that. Really."

"If the worst thing I have to look forward to in life is eventually being killed by you then I am not afraid. In fact... it seems fitting you should do it. You could claim my life."

"Shit, have you been reading vampire novels, Heero?"

"Only the one you recommended to me."

"I know I'm screwed in the head," Duo groaned. "I admit, I do tend to get this idea every once in a while that death is romantic, rather, I try to convince myself it is, because really I am so terrified of death, actually with causing it. I think I'm OK with dying myself. And then, sometimes I think I am Death, seriously."

"Death is natural. Nature is beautiful. Therefore natural death is beautiful. As well, heroism is beautiful, and fighting for a worthy cause, so death for a just cause is beautiful. It seems to me that it is only a seemingly untimely or meaningless death that is ugly or feared."

Duo stared. The way his eyes glimmered and his lips were parted just slightly, Heero thought it must be awe. He felt so warm.

"That is what the Romantics would think, anyway," Heero said quietly, "I just happened to read about them today. I thought some of it started to make good sense, but then it all started to sound like Treize." He laughed slightly

"A nut job in my opinion, but definitely a Byronic hero. He was so fuckin' tragic!" loud clowning Duo was back, for the most part.



"Do you... want me as much as I want you?"

Duo's eyes slit and his voice went even lower, "How much do you want me?"

"How much do you?"

"Heero, it must be obvious. I told you, I know exactly how far I am willing to go before I let myself start something with anyone. I didn't dare try to start anything with you, even though I've wanted to for a long time..."

How long, Heero wondered.

"The risks I would have to take always seemed so much greater than the rewards for either of us. I didn't have hope that anything good would come of it. But then..." His eyes were closed, but he smiled slightly and Heero thought it was genuine. "someone told me that I needed to have hope. And then, you were there and I had hope and I knew I was willing to go all the way for you, Heero."

"How long... Duo?"

His eyes opened, slightly and he looked away from the lens. "Can we talk about this another time?"

"Tell me."

Duo shook his head.

"Come over to my place and tell me."

Duo shivered in his seat. "Oooh, don't do that to me."


"Tease me. Tempt me. Heero, you know what will happen if I come over there right now?"

Heero mouthed the word, "What?" his voice was gone.

"I'd use you to get my frustrations out and you'd use me for practice and we'd end up fighting by morning, then you'd be ticked off on your job tomorrow and overlook something important and I'd skip school and make some poor choices." Duo sighed. "I didn't picture it like this. I thought it would work my way. I really did. But it's not that easy. You know? Because it's you."

"But I'm..."

"No, I don't mean, 'you' the way all those other people think of you as a special war hero or something. I mean, the person whose friendship I actually care about and the person I was willing to give up on because I stupidly thought he'd fallen for Relena. That means, there's no way I can just fuck you."

"I don't..." Heero wondered if Duo did mean that the way he thought he meant it.

"Oh, most of me wants that, either way around, the fucking." Duo shook his head, "but it's just not possible. It's a totally different mind set. It just is."

"Duo, come over here, we can just talk."

"Fuck it, Yuy, are you listening to me?" Duo asked loudly. "I'm trying to express my damn feelings to you and you're not listening!"

"I am!" Heero made his voice soft. "Duo, I am listening, but maybe I do not understand yet."

"Exactly," Duo grumbled, "I don't even understand. Everything that happened this weekend, it really messed me up."

"I am sorry," Heero whispered.

"Don't apologize, I'm not mad anymore. The part of it that has messed me up isn't directly your fault anyway. It's me as well. I didn't even realize it before, but it was me." He whispered the rest, as if he didn't want Adin to hear. "You weren't ready for the sex, Heero, but I don't think I was ready for anything but the sex."

"And it's just not possible for you and I to have 'just sex' together, because our past together and our future just doesn't allow for that. I was listening." Heero thought, this means Duo wants something more than 'just sex.' He felt so happy, he had to smile a little.

"Yes. Good to know I am not just talking to the lens. When I saw you the other day, you said you were working some things out? Making amends, like?"


"Well, I guess I'm doing that too, in another way. I don't think we can go back to the way it was, now we both know. And I don't think we can manage not killing each other until we both know that we are both ready. Right? But, if I sound insane right now, please tell me. I feel like this is my first time."

"I will be gentle with you."

Duo laughed. "Yeah, right, gentle like a tsunami!"

Heero smiled. He remembered something from the story Midii had given him. "I shall be like a force of nature. Summer rain if you need it. Tsunami if you need it." Nature was beautiful.

"I need it."

"God's own wind when the time comes," Heero promised.

"You really can give scary speeches."

Heero laughed. "Da."

"Suki da," Duo said quickly.

"I still wish you were here. I would very much like to kiss you."

"Funny thing is, I'm the one thinking I just want to sit drinking tea and tell you how I feel."

"Yes, it does seem logical to get that out of the way before we have all the sex," Heero said in monotone.

"Don't make promises you can't keep."

"I will keep my promises, in time."

"You can be a real smart ass, you know!"

Heero smirked. Especially around Duo.

"So," Duo said. He twirled one of the longer locks of hair, that fell over his cheekbone, about one finger. "We really have a date Friday night."


"This is so... weird. I didn't think it would happen like this for either of us."

"How did you think it would happen?" Heero asked, genuinely curious about Duo's thoughts on this subject.

Duo shrugged. His slack posture and averted gaze said he was still rather uncomfortable with so much confessing of thoughts and feelings. Heero didn't fault him for it. This was tough. It took real courage. He admired Duo for being strong enough to risk being so vulnerable. It scared Heero too. He supposed girls must be very strong to do this all the time.

"I thought," Duo said, "We would have to fight some more and one day there would be a lot of death and blood. And I'd want so badly to believe that I wasn't entirely cold and dead, inside or out. And you'd be there, and we'd both have this angst and then we'd just do it, anywhere, rough and raw and hurting each other."


"The sex would get a little less painful after the first time, because we wouldn't let things get that bad again. We'd just secretly turn to each other sooner. Whenever we had a moment. You fucking me, me fucking you, it didn't matter, so long as we threw ourselves into it and got lost for a while and the sex was intense."


"I never thought we'd live. I never thought we'd be worthy of dates on Friday night or birthday parties or anything remotely normal. We'd just live in some shack with a lot of guns and knives and scare away friends and neighbors when they didn't understand."

"Duo... I have to be honest with you, that sounds very disturbed," Heero said seriously.

Duo laughed sadly. "Tell me about it!" He sighed dramatically and rolled his eyes. Duo's face calmed then and he looked more sincere. "But, you have to understand, those are the kind of thoughts I have sometimes!"

"I know," Heero said calmly, "Sometimes I can imagine very horrible things. Duo, it won't be like that. We don't deserve that. Believe me, I know about the death. You know I know. Still, we are allowed hope. I don't know how it will be, but I hope it will not be as terrible as all that."

"It couldn't be," Duo smiled, "We have a date for tea! How normal is that? God, I feel like I'll die tomorrow. You know, in movies, when some very positive plans for the future are made then there's always a death. You know the soldier that just got engaged is going to die."

Duo was right, that movies were like that. "Survive, Duo. Consider it an order. No one else is allowed to kill you, including yourself. Your life is mine to take. So, you can't die until I say so."

Silence and blinking. Duo grinned then. "That is seriously fucked up! And... I'm just screwed up enough to think that must be the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me!"

"I thought you would like that," Heero said matter-of-factly as he tipped his head toward the lens.

"Well, it's getting a bit late for this schoolboy."


"You want to leave me with some nice thought or torturous question to ponder?"

"How is your fellatio?"


"I do not mean to presume, but if you have done it before... could you tell me was it very difficult to do well at first? Is there anything I could do to not be very bad at it the first time?"

"Oh... you mean you want to do it..." Duo said dreamily. "You can't manage it... auto?"

Heero shook his head. "Auto?" Heero thought about the meanings of that word. It was only short for car because the car was self-driven. "you mean do it to myself?" Heero looked down at his folded legs. "How do you do that?"

"Not everyone can," Duo said plainly and quietly. His eyes had this, far-away look. Duo shook himself. "It's kinda like kissing, but inside out, especially if they're cut. I think it's like kissing in that there are a lot of different ways to do it, but you always use your mouth. You just sorta... suck... and..." He was going away again, picturing it as he spoke. "You know what did it for me, Heero?"


"We were on Peacemillion, before Sally brought you and Wufei to us. Trowa had amnesia then. It was strange. He didn't remember that he'd launched missiles at me ever. He didn't remember that he'd shot Deathscythe to pieces." Duo's voice actually cracked there. He missed his Gundam. "Quatre was so obviously... into him. And Trowa didn't remember everything they had said or done together in the past, though, I think he believed Quatre was someone he had been close to. That's why he was with us. Anyway, I remember Quatre discovered ice cream and cones in the 'café' onboard."

Heero remembered the salvaged restaurant sign that had been in the galley of the space battleship.

"I swear, it was one of the most erotic things I ever saw. Quatre made the three of us ice cream cones and we were just eating them. But the way Quatre gazed at him when he lapped vanilla ice cream... I remember Trowa was looking at Quatre and not eating, and then his ice cream started to melt and run down his hand. Quatre's lips parted all longingly. I think I must have drooled." Duo laughed softly, "and then Trowa moved his tongue from his mouth and lapped cream from his wrist!" Duo shivered. "I was having the hottest little thoughts all the time I was eating that ice cream. I didn't know what I was doing. I was just treating that cone like it was the best thing I'd ever had in my mouth. I think that Trowa sort of tuned in on my thoughts after a while. He was staring. I didn't care. Most of the time he and Quatre were vicariously making out through their ice cream cones and I was watching. I can barely tolerate Trowa. I trust him mostly, but he just... grates my nerves somehow, but I have to admit, he's pretty sexy."

Heero sighed. Duo had such a beautiful expression across his face when he was telling his story. "I've never had ice cream like that?"

Duo shook again. "Are you fucking serious?"

"I think I might have had some ice cream when I was younger, but it might have been in a bowl or pressed into a bar, or those dots."

"You never fuckin' ate an ice cream cone?"

Heero shook his head.

Duo chewed at his lower lip. "Do us a favor, huh?"


"Don't try it until you are with me."

"Ice cream or auto-fellatio?"

"Either, Heero. If you don't mind me helping you with your lessons, that is, I wouldn't mind teaching you about those things."


"Well, the Barnet couch is calling me. I think I know what I am going to dream about. I'll meet you there Friday."

"Yes. Goodnight."

"G'night, Heero."

Heero watched the screen.

"I'm going to disconnect..." Duo warned.


"Good night."


Duo blew a kiss to him and then the screen went blue. Heero disconnected. It was late, considering he had a dummy bomb to complete and he hadn't gotten any training of any kind done that day.

Heero picked up the knife he had been using from his desk and the teddy bear he had picked up when leaving the toy store. He smirked as he stabbed at the back of the toy, approximately where its spine would be were it living. Heero tore the knife down through the seam and stitching. It was a good thing he had decided to use his abilities for Good, because otherwise he was devious enough to do a whole lot of harm.

Hadn't been much of a challenge to sneak a teddy bear onto a shuttlecraft in a Colonial spaceport before.

Approximately twelve hours later Heero was in the administrative offices of the Zee Four Zeros Commercial Spaceport in the uniform of one of their own security staff and escorting at gunpoint a member of their security staff now dressed in the uniform of the hangar crew. Heero reached to his right hand, which held the weapon and pulled a circular sticky badge from the roll around his wrist. He tapped the door of the Port Master's office to place the sticker, well aware of the figure approaching from the opposite end of the hall.

Midii, in a red wig and dressed as an office lady wearing a forged security pass, placed her sticker on the door as well. It also read, 'Lowe Security,' but the text was black and not green, so that they could mark targets that had been reached by two operatives very clearly.

"Open door," Heero hissed at his hostage.

The man opened the door. Inside they found the Port Master shouting to his vidphone, "what do you mean only a smoke bomb? How did paint get splattered on Control's observation window? Is this some kind of...?"

Heero produced his own company ID and the contract authorizing them to test security on the port. "We work for Lowe Security, you're port has just been tested. We planted two dummy bombs and one dummy biological threat. Plus we tagged..."

"Ten here including personnel," Midii said.

"Twenty-four other points that you must consider unsecured." Heero presented his digital pad from inside the jacket he was wearing to the port Master who was still staring at the ID and contract.

"Yes, I knew the test would come at some time. This is all in order. Twenty-four points you say?"

"Some of those may be single points tagged by two operatives, but they must be considered that much more unsecured, as they were reached twice," Midii explained as she removed her wig. "Have your men reported finding the bombs yet, or the dog?"

"You can't just bring...!"

"Dummies," Heero said, "It's in the contract. Containing the same materials as the real thing might, in order to provide your people with a chance to catch them by ordinary means of scanning." He glanced at the watch he was wearing. "The real bombs could have exploded by now."

The Port Master sat down behind his desk. "Two bombs. Twenty-four unsecured points."

"One week from now we will submit the detailed report of our test along with recommendations for improving security. Our initial judgment is that this is not a high risk because only well organized and supplied teams could have done what we simulated. However, we will give you our official opinion and summary in the report next week."

"These stickers were our tags. All places and people we tagged will show the stickers," Midii said, "So you can get some idea now of what needs improvement."

"And green paint," Heero said. "I used firearms loaded with pain capsules for some targets."


"The acrylic panes withstood the paint capsule, but if I had been a real terrorist and chosen some of the explosive and armor piercing ammo available it could have been breeched. This will be in the report."

The Port Master tapped at his vidphone controls. "Chief, it is a security test. You need to know now, but do not inform the others yet. Remain on full alert, but be advised that much of what happened in the last hour was all part of a security test that I authorized. There are now two dummy bombs out there, I expect your teams to find them and bring them to my office. You can tell them we received an anonymous tip, and we will react as if we really have at this point. And there is a dog, I believe."

"A brown-colored Pharaoh Hound placed in your cargo loading area, caged and wearing a jacket that clearly identifies that he is our sick animal decoy," Midii said. She had been the one to place Koi.

The Port Master related this to his security officers. The one Heero had brought in was now seated and looking nervous for his job. Heero removed the outer garments of the appropriated uniform to reveal his own black leggings and turtleneck. "Our usual policy would be, because we are a spaceport that deals with interplanetary flights, to contact Preventers for back up whenever terrorist activity or bombs are suspected."

"I recommend that you test you men by acting as if this were a real situation. Contact Preventers and explain that you are doing a test and wish to have their cooperation in your simulation, if they have agents available. The Director or CO on duty will probably send some agents without telling them it is a simulation. They like to keep the agents on their toes, so to say."

The Port Master made further arrangements. As he already knew of the test and was playing the part of someone listening to the terrorist's demands he took Heero and Midii to the control room to observe with him. Boarding and flights out had been delayed. Flights in had been rerouted where possible. This was standard procedure after any type of explosion had taken place within the hangar.

That was good, Heero thought, otherwise, if they had not gone into their alert status and continued operations the shuttle with the bomb on it might been boarded. Then they would have to account for simulated civilian casualties in their report.

Later the Preventer agents arrived. Even from a distance Heero clearly recognized Wufei and Duo. There was a dog with them, like Koi, but with some white markings. Heero knew that must be Wufei's dog, Meilong. "She can't be trained to sniff out bombs a that age, can she?" Heero asked.


"The dog."

"That training takes time. But maybe the dog is just there to make people think they can sniff out the bombs, as a decoy."

"That would give terrorists some doubts."

"Glad we're really all on the same side," Midii said.

Heero watched Duo ask the port workers downstairs some questions. They gestured toward several shuttles, including the one Heero had placed the bear in. Duo then spoke to Wufei. Wufei spoke to the employees, seemingly giving them some orders, while Duo snuck away.

The paint on the window prevented Heero from seeing Duo entirely.

"He's going to come after me," Heero said.


"He knows it's a test, but that's not why. The bomb has a note on it indicating that it is a decoy being used in a security test and that it should be treated by those who find it as they would a real threat. But since it is not real he can't possibly assume that he would be able to disarm it, so, Duo needs the person who made the bomb in custody in order to keep the most people safe."

"I don't even see him," Midii said, looking out the windows.

"You aren't supposed to." Heero turned to the Port Master. "Clearly security was breeched, but it may be possible your men or the Preventers would be able to track or capture the attackers. In any case, we will be simulating our escape now. Expect the report next week."

Midii was already leaving the control room by its single exit. It hadn't been smart to come in here, Heero thought. Though, if he had breeched the windows, they could have left that way.

"Front exit?" Midii asked.

"Basement. We'd be spotted outside if this was for real."

"But there would be hostages."

"It's a test, Midii! If we take real hostages it'll be all over the news and we'll never get work!"

They started toward the basement levels, taking the stairs, one covering the others descent and then reversing on the next level. Heero switched out the clip in his gun, tranqs for paint caps.

They reached the lowest flight of stairs. This put them on the hangar floor. They would have to go into the hangar and then find an exit down. Fortunately Heero had memorized the floor plans for the port. Heero spoke to Midii in signs, cursing himself silently that he'd never used his way of signing with her before, so she might not understand. Duo would have understood.

That was bad, he was the one hunting them.

"I'm. On point. You. Follow. Door. Left. Left. Right. Down."

"Ryokai," Midii said silently. Heero could lip read in three languages.

Heero went up to the door and checked it's small window. He could see figures in the distance, but not close. Of course, Duo could be pressed to the wall right outside the door.

This door was fairly easy. It was part of a fire escape route and so it was thick enough to use as a shield and opened out from the stairwell. It might have been different on Earth, but here the safest thing to do in the event of a fire was not to go to the street, but to go to the nearest large room with an airlock and brace yourself while you blew the air supply. There couldn't be fire without atmosphere.

Heero put the outside of his left foot against the door. He turned the knob slowly with his gloved left hand until the latch released, then he pushed his foot along the floor to open the door, sliding into a low crouch with his weapon trained on the space against the wall outside on the open side of the door. He did this all very quickly and found no one waiting on that side. Of course, they could be walking around the door.

Heero corrected his position and aim to catch anyone coming around the door as he tipped his head to tell Midii to follow.

She pressed herself into the corner he had just cleared so she might have a chance of covering him. Heero moved into a higher crouch, left hand on the doorknob and moved his gun around the edge of the door as he closed it.

"Clear," Midii whispered very softly, having a better view from her position.

Heero shut the door softly behind, enough that the latch did not catch. That was a risk. Heero took a second to add a sticker to the door.

They continued their stealthy but quick approach to the hatch that led to levels below the streets and hangar. Heero opened the hatch and then knelt over it, aiming his weapon into the darkness below. The gun went in first, then his head, as Heero supported his weight in his lower legs as he bent. Heero took his left hand from a bracing position to catch the edge of the hatchway and then tumbled forward into the hatch and landed in a crouch on his feet.

Heero moved as silently as he was able, which almost completely. He even breathed as slowly and softly as he could. He searched the area around him, everything was dark, except where he was, in the dim rays of light from above. It shouldn't have been this dark in a basement.


Then Heero felt the hit in his right upper arm. He rolled to the floor and into the darkness. Damn Duo's night vision! Heero raised his left hand to his right arm and prodded. Just a rubber riot bullet, but it had hurt. Heero hadn't known it wasn't real. That was the second time Duo had shot his gun arm!

Heero tossed the weapon into his left hand and crept further into the darkness, wanting a wall or something, a direction he didn't have to guard. He saw Midii drop into the room and quickly scramble out of the light. There were shots fired, and in the darkness Heero's eyes detected movement and he tracked.

Midii was toward his right, several meters away. Duo was not very far to his left, and then he disappeared. Heero didn't think he'd gone still that abruptly. He thought there was an obstacle between them.

Midii called to him in Russian. "He's hiding behind a column now. Do you have a shot?"

Heero decided Midii has goggles to help her see. Mistake, if one knew Duo. Heero responded in the same language. "Nyet. Take off the goggles." Heero dove to his left, quickly, knowing he had to reposition if he gave himself away by speaking.

Heero put his back to the column. He could hear the slightest scraping noise behind him. He hoped Midii had taken off the goggles. They would be useless in a second. There were different sounds than Heero expected. Shimatta! Heero called to Midii, "If their shield your eyes keep them on, and don't breathe!"

Heero closed his eyes. The lightness outside his lids said Duo had lit a flare. The clink clank hiss said a gas grenade had landed and deployed within the room. Damn Preventer non-lethal arsenal.

No time to wait.

Heero rolled around the column toward his right, planning to get a shot at Duo or else knock him cold with the butt of the gun. As he was moving Duo got a low kick in, to Heero's shin. He kicked hard enough that it caused Heero to stumble. Heero wasn't going down alone, even if it killed him.

The ended up on the floor, Heero opened his eyes and saw Duo in bright greenish light. He had a gas mask on, but it was clearly Duo. Not that Heero hadn't known from his tactics. There was a knife pressing against Heero's side, between ribs, if he wasn't mistaken. But that was OK, he had a gun at Duo's right temple.

Duo's left hand squeezed Heero's right arm where it was bruised from the riot bullet. Heero's right hand pried at Duo's mask. Heero was on top at least, and strong enough to prevent Duo from lifting a foot or knee against him. But, there was no way to move.


"Checkmate, asshole, I just have to wait for the gas to subdue you," Duo said, voice muffled by the mask.

"It's not checkmate if I take you before you capture the king, asshole," Midii said. She had a small pair of goggles and a small filtration mask. Since it only seemed to be tear gas and not a more severe biochemical agent that was all she needed.

Something hit the wall. Midii cried. Her gun was missing. Heero felt a tug at his hand. His gun was snatched from him by an invisible force and throw to the wall.

Duo relaxed his body except to nudge with the knife. Heero climbed off of him, carefully. Duo backed up to the door behind him. It was the other exit from the room, which he had been guarding. With a hand he beckoned them in after him.

Heero decided the game was up. He followed, touching the bare fingers of his right hand to his left side. His shirt had a small slice in it and Heero's fingers came off his skin slicked with blood.

Duo closed the door when they were all inside. There was ordinary florescent lighting here and the air was clear. Duo pulled off his mask. He looked serious or sad, Heero wasn't absolutely sure. He thought, however Duo looked, he felt annoyed. Somehow Heero was aware of that.

"You play rough," Heero said, showing his bloody fingers. He put both fingers in his mouth and sucked the blood from them.

Duo hesitated, watching Heero's hand. He spoke then, "Write your damn consultant report how you like, say that you escaped somehow, because I'm sure we all understand that we are not reporting what really happened. That was just for you two to know, simulation or not, I am going to defend the Colonies and I will not be captured or killed." He looked at Heero specifically then, "If you really to turn traitor, all deals are off, you know! I am not taking hits for you or anyone and loosing my memories. If you hit me, I'm hitting back!"

"OK," Heero said, trying to laugh disarmingly, but imagining that it just sounded disturbed. "I will put in the report that the attackers escaped but only narrowly because of their chance familiarity with the particular Preventer agent involved and his tactics. And injured. I will say that you injured me twice before I escaped and that you were outnumbered. I am doing this to help make everyone safe by improving security. I am not trying to make you the butt of all the new jokes at Headquarters."

Duo huffed. "No, that'll be you when I tell them about the bomb in the teddy bear. That was so obviously you... and just sick!"

"Midii, remind me to include in the report all the pass codes I was able to get and that in a real attack as opposed to the simulation I could have controlled all their power and air supply."

"He's an ass sometimes," Duo said to Midii.

Heero shoved Duo to the wall and leaned in to kiss him, quickly. The sounds Duo made and his fingers on the back of Heero's neck were only encouraging. Heero felt like he could drink Duo, gulp him down, steal his air, his saliva, his tongue. He didn't care how gross it sounded, because it felt really good.

He had a purpose though, beyond the kissing.

Heero slipped his hands under Duo's Preventer jacket and over the back of his shirt. His fingertips found the gun holstered at the back of his pants, but Heero shied away from it. He found the handcuffs. No, he didn't want those. Duo could escape from those easily. Heero slipped his right hand down over Duo's rear all the way to his thigh.

Duo drew his right leg up, the heel of his boot dragging along the inside of Heero's left leg, the inside of Duo's thigh rubbing Heero's thigh and hip. It felt good. Heero relaxed his jaw as Duo's kisses got hungrier. His whole body felt heavy and hot. He almost lost his mind. He almost considered starting on clothing and having sex right there.

Don't let him get away will teasing you or calling you an ass, Heero told himself. He raked his fingers up from Duo's thigh and over his buttocks. Heero felt the gun at Duo's back come easily into his hand.

Duo's leg pressed Heero forward. He was pressed so close to Duo that he could feel his penis going hard through his pants. Heero felt that he wasn't far behind in being completely aroused. His eyes closed involuntarily as Duo nuzzled at his face and then sucked at his throat.

Heero drew the gun from under Duo's jacket, slowly. Suddenly, he thought, this is wrong. It was like Relena had said. It shouldn't be cool or sexy that he was going to hold a gun on anyone. He'd thought, he could teach Duo a lesson, the colder emotionally repressive side of him, the competitive side, had wanted to take Duo's gun from him so that he would be weak. But now the other part of him just wanted the sex, and Heero was confused. He had only meant to kiss Duo as a distraction, not to get distracted.

"Ah, ah, this one's ammo could kill ya!" Duo whispered.

Heero was then aware of the small caliber handgun in Duo's right hand, tracking toward his head. The leg. Heero felt so stupid. Duo had drawn his leg up to reach the holster hidden beneath his pant leg. Heero drew breath in a hiss and he knew, he absolutely ached with arousal and lust. There was a gun pointed to his head, and he didn't even care, he just wanted to be close to Duo.

"So, are you are screwed up as me, then?" Duo whispered. Heero didn't think he'd ever heard a more sexy sound than that low husky whisper.

Heero's eyes shifted to the side, trying to track the gun. He could just see Duo's hand.

"Huh? Are you about shitting your pants now or are you excited as I am?"

"This is wrong," Heero said quietly.

"Eh? You don't have to tell me about it. You know when you have the gun in your hand you feel more powerful. You know it. Like, when you were a kid, there were big people that could have killed you, but if you had a gun, they backed off. That was good."

Heero shifted his eyes to Duo's face, but he didn't dare move besides that. He had always been around guns for as long as he could remember. There had always been computers and there had always been guns. He had lived with a professional assassin. At first he'd only let Heero clean the weapons, but then he'd trained Heero, and eventually, Heero had shot people. He swallowed and blinked once.

"You know. Willing or not, your mind and body were conditioned. It's not only that, you're probably hypersensitized right now, aware of everything, especially, since it's not just you, but someone has a gun on you."

Heero blinked again, slowly. He flexed slightly, rocking his body into Duo.

"Yeah," Duo whispered, he slipped the barrel of his gun down Heero's face and then down the side of his neck. Heero leaned his head slightly, maybe to be as far as possible from the weapon, maybe to bare more of his neck. "They left us with some serious kinks, didn't they? I kinda want to laugh right now."

Heero did feel a bit giddy. He licked his lips. He smiled.

"Life trained us well, huh? About to die, gun to the head, we'll just cackle madly and not feel fear. Later. Later I'll be sick about it, but right now..."

Heero swallowed again. He moved the barrel of his gun to Duo's lips.

Duo's eyes crossed slightly as he glanced at the gun. "I even left the safety off for ya," He whispered, "I'm telling you, I'll swallow it. Even those bullets could do serious damage to my insides at this range, but I'll take it in if that gets you hot. I know it'd work for me."

It might be exciting. But, Heero could slip up, high and aroused as he felt, it was disorienting. He felt everything intensely, but he wasn't sure he trusted himself or Duo right now.

"Try this one," Duo said. He offered his own weapon as he held it by the barrel. "If you slipup, I'll likely be dead, but at least no one else got me. I guess you'll feel bad, so don't you slip up unless you're prepared to do yourself to. Not that I imagine that's much of a problem for you."

Heero took the gun Duo offered. It felt comfortable in his hand, warm. He wanted to keep it close. Heero closed his eyes. He took in a ragged breath.

Heero took a large step back, breaking the light hold of Duo's leg where it had wrapped around him. Heero aimed each of the guns toward the floor as he slipped the safeties into place. His respiration was out of control, his heart racing.

"Duo," he said.

"I deserve to die!" Duo wailed, sliding down the wall. "I'm not safe around anybody!"

"Duo. You were not alone in feeling everything you described. You were not alone at all." Heero handed both guns back to Duo. "These are yours. You need them to protect the people who can not do it themselves. You are still good at that."

Duo took the guns, quickly returning them to the holsters he wore under jacket and pants. "Heero..."

"I felt it, Duo. I don't like admitting it, but I did. I just thought of something more exciting."

"Yeah, what's that?" Duo asked bitterly.

"I would rather not say just now." Heero looked at Midii. She was standing several meters away, her knees turned inward, her head bowed, her knuckles white from clenching her fists. "Midii...?"

"Are you about through?" she asked in biting tone. "Can we just get out of here now? I feel all dirty and if this was a live sort of mission we'd be surrounded by now because you think the agent cute and he knows all your kinks."

"But..." Heero protested.

"Don't argue this with me. Seducing the enemy agent who is trying to seduce you is such an old trick. You have to be absolutely cold inside if you want to use those tactics, and you know you can't be that cold, especially with him."

"Why did you come here anyway, Duo?" Heero demanded, "Aren't you supposed to be in school? This whole operation was going very well until you showed up. I was doing them a favor by making them feel helpless and unprofessional and our jobs count on this mission going well."

"You don't have to talk down to me just because I still go to High School, there's nothing shameful in getting an education at any pace." Duo said, petting his braid. He grinned. The whole façade was back up. "I just happened to be listening to dispatch and my own shuttle has commercial registry and is parked here, since I do courier work. I called dispatch and volunteered to go. Wufei got sent. He wasn't very happy about that, or realizing that this was all a test."

Midii whined.

"Don't worry, Heero is really good at writing mission reports, meticulous as he is and all. You don't have anything to worry about," Duo assured her. "Just get out of here. I'll go play tolerant and helpful Preventer agent and assure everybody that there are no real threats and that the guns and smoke have all been part of a test. I'll even send your dog out to you."

Heero smiled.

He and Midii made their way through the underground areas until they were beneath the street outside the spaceport. Heero located an access hatch and they climbed up through it onto A Street near 1st Avenue. There was a café across the street from the port, with outdoor seating and a walk-up window. Heero ordered a house coffee. "Do you want anything?" Heero asked Midii as he pulled his cash card from inside a pocket on his belt.

"Double Americano," Midii said.

The barista went to fix their drinks. She returned shortly and Heero passed her the card. "Add a tip. Thank you," Heero said quickly.

Midii seemed to calm once she breathed in the coffee scent of her drink. Heero didn't understand the point of Americanos, Espresso was strong concentrated coffee, and then very hot water was added the shots to make Midii's drink. That amounted to regular coffee in Heero's mind, except maybe the taste was stronger. But, there were blends of coffee that had different tastes.

They got a table near the rail that divided dining area from street. Midii pulled a flask from her bag and dumped a generous amount of clear liquid into her cup. Heero shook his head. Midii snorted a laugh. "I know my tolerance."

Heero shrugged.

"You look as if you've been in a fight," Midii said quietly, stressing 'look.'

Heero picked up a paper napkin from the table and wiped his face and neck.

"Maxwell's a pretty tough opponent."

Heero nodded, looking across the street. He had suspected when doors had seemed to shut or unlock on their own and pushed it to the back of his mind, but now he was sure Duo was telekinetic. He could move things by thinking about it. "I should have planned for that."

"It's not like Maxwell works for the port's security force."

"No. I mean, I should have made some contingency plan for the event that by chance we encountered someone, inside our target, that knew either you or me personally. I hadn't thought it likely, and the probability is still low... Duo has a way of defying probability."

"I'll say."

"But, today's mission should teach us to be that much more careful. What if we were hired to run a security check and it turned out that Trowa or Ursula or Relena was among the people we had to gain information from in our reconnaissance stage or the were the people we had to disable in order to reach our contracted objective?"

"That would be tough. Not only because they would know how we might operate and have an advantage others would not, but Ursula for one has skills you don't even know about. I don't mean she's much of a physical threat. I could overpower her. But, we wouldn't be able to follow her or get information from her very well, let's say that."

"She's special. I felt she was hinting at that when we met and she said she had been placed with a warder as I had. I think you and I will have to share information on this sometime soon. In private."


"He could have killed me. Our skills are different, but even so, it's a pretty close match. I think it's insane that we get into this competitive stuff so much, but we've always done it. Even back before it was all out war, when it was just a few secret OZ facilities rather quietly demolished. 'Whoever takes out the target first wins,' stuff like that. I think it was a contest, how many times we saved each other's lives."

"Yeah, well, you're guys."

Heero didn't think that was much of an excuse. "I think it's insane. I do it, but I think it's insane. It's like those animals that butt heads. Yes... like a contest to decide the alpha male of our pack or something. It's very... hormonal."

"It is entirely hormonal, if you ask me, but what are you going to do, you're eighteen-year-old guys, Heero."

Heero rolled his eyes. "I hate this part of me I think," Heero said. "It's not rational. Humans have that above other animals. We're supposed to be able to reason rather than act solely on instinct. I suppose there is a raw sort of beauty in viewing sex as conquest, but look around."

Midii looked up through the city's haze to the other side of the city hanging above. Heero looked as well.

"That battering, hair-dragging stuff is old. It is sex. It is domination. But it doesn't feel like more than that. It's exciting. Dangerously exciting. I mean, biochemical mind-debilitating single-purposed drive exciting. I want to..." Heero left out the particulars of what he really wanted to do to Duo. He looked across the street and Duo was stooped, patting Koi on the head and pointing across the street. "I want to make love to him."

Midii chuckled. "Really."

"That would be even more exciting. But it requires something that we haven't been able to do yet, not either or us, not yet."

"What's that?" Midii asked, looking across the street herself.



"Do you know, a large part of the human mind is reserved as sort of spare memory for running models? We create models of our world inside our head. I've been going over and over these simulations in my mind. Duo loves me, Duo doesn't love me, Duo desires me, Duo doesn't desire me, I'm on top, Duo's on top. I've gone through a whole lot of combinations. He's right. There's been something missing. It was still missing today. We struggle instead of surrendering. That's just being animals. If we both surrender to each other and our roles in our relationship... that could be love. I'm not sure yet if the love and surrender are part of the same thing or more separate. I am still working on that."

"So, can't you just surrender to him?"

Heero shook his head and watched Koi look one way and then the other before prancing across the street. He smiled. He had taught the dog that. "I don't know if it is truly that easy. It's more than just disarming and saying, 'do what you want to me,' that would still be just sex. I am fairly certain. We have to really believe... really be selfless."

"But, you love him. I know you do from the way you talk. You want so much for him to be happy."

"I think that I love him. But that's the problem. I think. I have feelings, but sometimes, when I am guarded, I push them away and all I do is think. It's a survival level defense mechanism. We all have them. Duo hides. I think."

"Right, I do messed up stuff too. But, you love him. I think he must love you too."

Heero reached over the rail and scratched Koi's head as the dog jumped up onto his hind legs. Heero looked up across the street. Duo was blowing a kiss. Heero smiled and blew a kiss to Duo. "We're close. I wanted to see him swallow a gun barrel and then I thought, it would be even more exciting if I could just make love to him without all the emotional wounds torn open. I stopped for him. But it wasn't good enough, because I shouldn't even have started."

on to chapter 14

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