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

Another Version of Events
by Karan Seraph
Chapter 35

Remember the scene in which Lando Calrissian is leading Han and the others through Cloud City and as the door opens to the dining room they see Darth Vader sitting at the head of the table, Christie had said. Heero remembered. In this scenario he was to be like Vader, the threatening individual lurking in ambush. Christie was to lead Duo to the bedroom under false pretenses and betray her friend by opening the door as Lando had Han. Well, it should not be quite that severe a betrayal; Heero hoped it was more a happy surprise.

No carbonite, though some restraints might be involved. They might have something of the torture Han had experienced before being led to the freezing chamber. Nothing that would leave permanent marks or cause very much physical pain, only enough to rid Duo of his recent overwhelming guilt.

Heero heard the door buzzer and knew Duo had arrived. He resisted the urge to peer around the edge of the door and instead arranged himself in the armchair as Christie had suggested. Heero wasn't sure how he felt about the clothes Christie had advised him to wear. After trying blue jeans, the vinyl pants and a pair of tuxedo pants Christie had declared that a pair of OZ uniform pants might have the desired effect. Heero had refused to wear the full uniform and so he wore only the boots and a white tank besides the pants. Heero did not feel comfortable all in white for some reason, but Christie swore it was the new black, so far as looking naughty or sexy was concerned.

Heero heard Christie telling Duo about the hardware she wanted him to help her install in the bedroom. Christie normally worked out of a club or a studio and occasionally in a clients home; she was doing them a favor in letting Duo and Heero meet here for the surprise session. Duo must have been a good friend. Probably more than a friend, Heero thought darkly.

Heero concentrated on making his expression blank as the door opened. Duo flinched just barely as he saw Heero. Christie put her hands to his back and pushed Duo into the room. He stumbled forward, laughing disarmingly. "What's up?" he asked then dropped his toolbox lightly to the floor.

Heero lifted his left hand and offered the hardcopy of their contract. He watched Duo take the paper and his playfully lifted brow. Duo's expression turned from amused to serious as he read text printed on the plastic sheet.

"This was..." Duo started, "When you talked about a special punishment...?"

"You have to decide on your own if you will sign the contract, Duo," Heero said flatly.

Duo reached into one of the many pockets in his skirt and retrieved a pen. He signed quickly.

Duo understood their agreement and was willing to participate. Heero had hoped they would get at least this far.

As soon as he had signed Duo tossed the pen and paper to Christie's metal canopy bed and leaned himself over the chair and Heero. In the seconds Duo hovered over him so many thoughts rushed through Heero's mind. He thought the lust was returning. He looked at Duo's grin and knew this Duo was in a dangerously comfortable state in which he though only about the sex, and if his mouth opened he would never speak softly in antiquated Japanese.

Did Heero care that it might sometimes be just sex between them? He saw himself not caring. He saw himself returning that grin and possessing Duo. He saw himself force awe into Duo's expression with a knife. It was a path. One path they might take or might have taken.

Was Heero over his hang-ups? He imagined them dressed up for Prom. Heero was wearing his new outfit, very antique and Western in style to impress Duo. He did everything to impress Duo. And then Duo spoke and said Heero was not enough for him. He needed more. Heero did not want to take that path any longer.

Heero saw himself grabbing Duo's hair, kissing him, giving Duo such a look that he understood. He pictured Duo obediently opening Heero's pants. He imagined the feel of Duo's mouth on him and when Heero pictured their actions it was very clear there was passion between them.

It was not what they did that mattered, not ultimately. It was how they approached each other that mattered. He had gone down on Duo because he thought it would please Duo and he had let Duo do the same to him because he thought it would please Duo and both felt wrong and submissive now, though neither was inherently so. Wrong because it was a level of sacrifice Duo really did not desire of him and Heero lost himself entirely when he acted in that way. Submissive because Heero own needs had been lost denied completely.

That was not what Heero pictured as he sat in the chair staring into Duo's eyes. Heero felt bathed in lust, if that was what this feeling was. He felt there was tremendous passion between them both. Neither of them was entirely lost or submissive or even domineering, because they both surrendered to the same whole. They both took pleasure in every action.

This was what Trowa and Quatre had tried to tell Heero about. If one was entirely submissive all of the time so that they failed to value themselves and their own will then that was emotionally unhealthy, but if one surrendered to a whole as another did the same and took on a submissive role when their partner needed it and their partner took on whatever role was needed, then that was love.

Heero had been learning, he had thought there had been breakthroughs before. There had been some surrender. This would be more.

Heero saw just how they should do it. It should be like Tuesday. Heero would feel that both of them pleasure him, and Duo would feel that same way. Mutual and mutual. He wanted to kiss Duo. He wanted to remind Duo that he was loved. But Heero knew there was a better way. He must show Duo.

He would show Duo that he knew what Duo needed. He would do what Duo needed him to do. Duo would feel better. Duo would feel loved and then, Duo would be able to do what Heero needed.

Heero did need. Duo could give him what he needed.

He really hoped Duo got enough of what he needed today. Heero really needed Duo today.

Christie cleared her throat, telling Heero he was taking too long. At least, she thought so. He was paying for her advice and assistance... when he asked for it. Heero glared over Duo's shoulder at her. Christie pouted and slowly removed her robe, revealing a slinky dress and corset above it.

Heero met her gaze as he lifted a hand to grasp Duo's jaw. Duo could not move closer to Heero and he would not dare move away. He would remain where Heero wanted him.

"You did something. You made decisions and people were hurt. You believe you did wrong."

Heero shifted his eyes to watch Duo's reaction. Duo looked back at Heero, silently.

"You feel guilty." Heero teased at kissing Duo. His lips came within millimeters of Duo's skin, first one side of his face and then the other. "You feel like you should hurt more. You believe you deserve the pain and that you must be punished for your sins."

Duo hissed a breath and blinked once slowly. Christie had suggested that 'sin' would be effective with Duo and Heero had suspected she was correct. They were both right.

"You need to be punished," Heero whispered, breath touching Duo's quivering lips.

Another slow blink. Heero was not only teasing Duo by almost kissing him; he was teasing himself. He thought it felt sort of good.

"I promised that I would give you what you need."

Blink. Duo's eyes... Heero thought that in general eyes were not the first part of a person he noticed, even when he was only cataloging details for a file in his mind... there were many attractive details in Duo's file but his eyes had always seemed special to Heero. Ai. Aiiro. Aishado. Heero smirked. Aiyoku.

Heero's voice sounded thick when he heard himself speak, "Only so much pain as you deserve. Only what you earn by your actions."

"Yes," Duo said.

"Christie is here by my order. I am punishing you, even if it is not my hand."

"I understand," Duo rasped.

"You do not need to fear. I will punish you. I will keep you safe."

"I know." Duo smiled, a little.

Heero put weight into Duo's jaw, pushing him gently backward, and suddenly enough to cause him to stumble. "You smell like rocket fuel. I want you to take a bath."

"Will you wash me?"

Christie opened the door to her bathroom on cue and they all were able to see the nude dark-skinned woman there. "She will be your bathing servant."

"What?" Duo protested.

"You only need to know that I trust her to do the job I am paying her to do and that 'give Duo a bath' is not code for anything other than making sure you are clean. Her hands will not touch you, only the cloths and sponges. You should not touch her either, she might report you to her guild."

Duo's eyes widened at that. Heero knew very well that Dauphine was a prostitute. Convenient as it was, her story checked out. She was one of L Street's weekend girls and the rest of the week she was selling English formal wear in the upscale New London shop, where Heero had met her. As long as there was no sex involved within their present jurisdiction Dauphine was not opposed to earning some extra money by being a nude and seductive companion. Their conversation had started when she asked Heero if his hotel had communal baths and if he wanted a back scrubber.

After Heero had gotten over wondering whether he should be outraged or flattered at being propositioned her story had become clear and it had occurred to him that she could help him with Duo.

"Go, Duo-chan. And do not talk to her, except to say whether you believe you are clean or not."

Duo huffed, but he went into the bathroom. Dauphine bowed to Heero and then closed the door.

Perhaps it was cruel. Heero knew that Dauphine might be very tempting to Duo. Heero was fairly certain that Duo knew that Heero possessed this information. The more time they spent together the more Heero had opportunity to catalog where Duo's eyes strayed. Besides the category of At Least Partly Asian Men That Exhibit dyed Hair and/or Fashionable Clothing that Heero seemed to fit into, Duo often seemed to notice Voluptuous Dark-Skinned Women of Some African Ancestry.

Duo must also be shocked that Heero would want anyone else to bathe with Duo. Heero had surprised himself when he thought of it. It was true that he wanted to be in the bath with Duo.

"You are certain you need my help?" Christie asked at a whisper.

"Hn?" Heero was looking at the door, as if he might suddenly be able to see through it and glimpse Duo.

"I think... if I did not understand how people can seem changed when with the right dom, I might not believe that was Duo. He was totally obedient to you."

"I did explain our arrangement in brief."

Christie nodded, Heero saw it in the periphery of his field of vision. "Well you said 'pet' and that had certain connotations in my mind. There are different levels and approaches..."

Heero turned and regarded Christie. "Professionally you come across many people with their own definitions of slave, sub, pet, etc. I would expect you must feel out what clients want and need from observation as much as listening."


"It was not my intention to mislead by using a word that others of a particular lifestyle claim for themselves."

"I got that... it's just... Duo communicated that he disagreed and then still did as you told him. I have seen him agreeable, but only when what he is told to do sounds like a good idea to him. He's very, 'Don't tred on me!'"

Heero smirked. "He does seem very American to me, right down to his xenophilia. That is just why the bondage works for him, I think. You must understand it better than I do. He normally claims every freedom possible and looks out for himself very well..."

"I know the type. He would remain just as tough and capable of taking care of himself if left alone, but he does wish someone would take care of him."

"And not leave. Bondage works, and threatening to leave him alone. Right now the punishment is important, but not really pain. The pain is only good for him if he understands it is punishment. He is not a masochist, just Catholic."

Christie laughed. Maybe she was Catholic or knew of their beliefs about sin.

The bathroom door opened. Dauphine set a basket outside the door, bowed her head and then closed the door again.

Heero got up from the chair and went to the basket. He picked it up and walked toward Christie's bed. Duo's clothes and accessories were in the basket, including pins pulled out of his hair and the many assorted contents of his skirt pockets. Heero found the entire set of blue velvet bondage gear had been on Duo's person or in his pockets.

"Must be love," Christie said as she saw Heero lay out the brightly colored restraints.

Heero shrugged. It was, but he was not absolutely certain yet that love was enough.

Heero busied himself with an inventory of Duo's effects until the bath was done.

Dauphine opened the door again. Duo walked out slowly, a small red towel barely covering his crotch. Heero found the modesty surprising, even considering the two women present. He imagined that Duo would have been proud to show his body. And, Heero wanted to be able to see all of him.

Heero lifted his eyes and saw Duo's hair was combed, though still loose and damp. The expression on his face was likely resentment. Duo did not like Heero exhibiting control in front of the others.

Heero's lips curled slightly. "Come here."

Duo walked to the side of the bed where Heero still stood. Heero picked up the collar first. Duo lifted his chin to allow Heero to fit the collar easily.

"There is my Duo-chan. Pretend they are not here. You can take the towel off."

Duo's eyes begged for something, perhaps to get things over with. They had not even started. Heero did not want Duo to feel wounded, though. When he lifted the belt to fasten it about Duo's waist Heero allowed their lips to connect.

"How long?" Duo whispered just before his lips grabbed at Heero's.

Heero calculated quickly as he secured the belt buckle. Duo's lips were dry but, it was still a good kiss. Dryness could be fixed, and smelling the vanilla and clove scented shampoo in Duo's hair made up for everything. Heero had come to associate the smell with Duo and now found it so intensely erotic that bakeries could leave him aroused.

"Fifty-nine point seven five hours," Heero whispered finally, the amount of time since they had last kissed, as Heero was seeing Duo off to school.


Heero understood the non-verbal communication more than anything else. He felt the same as Duo. It would be sad if Duo was punished without even a kiss in greeting. At this stage, living with this set timeline for their present relationship, two days was too long a wait.

Heero reached behind his back for the wrist cuffs. He felt Duo's hands also reaching behind his back. Heero managed to fasten each cuff on one of Duo's wrist, blindly, while Duo groped at his buttocks and sucked at his mouth. Heero was proud of the feat and smirked as Duo was kissing him.

The towel fell as Heero groped for the basket and then for the lip balm.

"Onegai, Baby," Duo hissed. It would have sounded ridiculous to Heero if anyone else said that to him. From Duo it was only tempting.

"Later," Heero promised. He put the side of his hands to Duo's chest and pressed him away from his own body. Heero noted Duo's disappointed expression as he collected balm on a finger. Heero gazed at Duo seriously. "Take your punishment without crying out very much and afterward..."

Duo grinned.

Heero spread the balm heavily onto his own lips. Vanilla. "I will tend your wounds and do all the things you like as reward..." Duo tipped his head to invite a kiss. Heero touched the side of one finger to Duo's lips. "Actually, I think I have very particular ideas about what I want to do to you later... but you will like my ideas."

Duo rolled his eyes, head still tipped. "Kuchisaki dake," he warbled.

Heero smiled, understanding that Duo was not so much disregarding his promise as he was asking for a kiss by making a pun. He could have made the point more directly in English if he had used a phrase like 'lip service.' Service to Duo's lips was what Heero had in mind. He kissed Duo's lips several times, lightly, smudging balm across his own lips as well as Duo's.

"Hey... what makes you think I would cry out?" Duo asked.

"You might cry a little. It will sting."

"I can take it like a man."

Heero felt a definite smirk. "You can do that later, Duo-chan. You are allowed to shed a few tears or cry out while receiving your punishment..."

Duo made a skeptical sound.

"Because I want you to think about the bad things you have done."


"Heero picked up the ankle cuffs from the bed. "Need this," Heero finished for Duo. He slipped down between the bed and Duo to fasten the cuffs with their bells to Duo's ankles. Afterward Heero nipped at Duo's right hipbone as he straightened. He had wanted to take Duo's dick in his mouth and suck on it until it was entirely hard. Lately Heero had been having very specific fantasies about sex without need for precautions.

There was some chance Heero could have that with Duo. Slightly less a chance than that he might have it by the end of the next week. It was frustrating, waiting. And Duo teased him, whether he planned it or not, by hinting that he already had given up on all other partners without saying so to Heero.

Heero licked his lips as discreetly as he could, tasted vanilla. "At the foot of the bed," he told Duo.

Heero saw Duo turn toward the foot of the bed where Christie stood checking her equipment. Dauphine was behind her, dressed and waiting. Duo rolled his shoulders and then sauntered around the bedpost to the foot. There was no large footboard on Christie's lightly-draped bed, just a low railing between the posts that kept the box from slipping.

Heero gave a nod to Christie, telling her to go ahead and put Duo in restraints. He escorted Dauphine from the bedroom. In Christie's front room Heero stooped to his satchel and opened a pocket. "Was he any trouble?" Heero asked.

"He looked, but that was all. I gave him a sensual bath as you requested. He combed his own hair."

Heero smiled, thinking that he had guessed correctly she was the type Duo might look at. He took some cash from the pocket and stood. "Esdees, as agreed." Heero counted the bills with their intricate design in blue ink and various holographs and then offered the billfold to Dauphine.

Dauphine took the money without counting it herself and tucked the fold inside her shirt. She bowed slightly then. "Please contact me through L Street if you have any need of my services, Yuy-sama."

"Aa..." Dauphine had not bowed when they met the day before, at all, so Heero guessed someone from The Family had coached her. Likely she had felt obligated or safe in reporting to her immediate superiors that he had hired her. "Domo," Heero said quickly, not wanting to be entirely rude. It was just that wary as he was for deadly threats he could be caught off guard in social situations by unexpected use of Japanese, particularly when it was not used for lack of another common language.

As soon as Heero saw Dauphine to the door he hurried to the bedroom. As he arrived Christie was just finishing the process of restraining Duo. "Remember, you are Heero's prisoner. He ordered me to bring you in."

Duo scoffed. "Guess we're both free of responsibility for what happens here. How's that feel, Christie?"

"You just added a lash to your punishment for taunting my proxy, Duo-chan, and you are responsible for that," Heero said coldly.


"You are responsible for being here. You did things that you feel very guilty about and you need punishment to get over your guilt so that you can function well enough to make amends with your life. How's that feel, Shinigami?"

Duo sank. The restraints, short, somewhat elastic cords between Duo's own bonds and the rails and posts of the metal bed, kept Duo from falling. If his own weight was not supported by his legs then he would hang from his wrists. His wrist cuffs were secured to the canopy rail over the foot of the bed and the cuffs themselves would keep his wrists from being strained.

Heero gave Christie a signal and she began physical punishment. She used a wooden paddle to strike Duo's buttocks.

Duo arched in attempt to escape the strike, but escape was impossible. The paddle smacked against flesh quite audibly, but Duo made no other sound.

Heero growled. He motioned for Christie to standby and stepped up beside Duo, grabbing a handful of hair. "Focus, Duo. I am doing this all for you because you showed me you needed it. If you went on feeling guilty you might have really caused someone to be hurt, maybe yourself. Remember, you are not allowed to hurt yourself so long as I am around. I can judge much more objectively than you can, whether you deserve punishment. You can cry, Duo-chan, but you can not flinch!"

Duo said nothing but exhaled in something like a snort.

Christie gave Heero a look that he understood to mean that Duo felt unsettled yet and would probably feel better if the continued the punishment. Heero lifted a finger to ask for another moment; he did not doubt Christie was correct. Heero parted Duo's hair and pushed each half over his shoulders to bare his back to Christie. Heero then stepped back and nodded to Christie.

"Heero says no flinching, so if you flinch I add a lash, understood?"

"Yeah," Duo groaned.

"Answer: 'Hai, Christi-sama!'"

"Hai, Christi-sama!"

Christie spanked Duo again. This time he braced himself, did not flinch and still made no sound.

Heero stepped further back to watch. He had seen fighting, but not a beating like this, not first-hand. Christie had excellent follow through, that was, she did not focus her strength on hitting Duo's body but focused on a point beyond Duo, so that her implements struck Duo's skin forcefully.

Duo had to be feeling pain. Restrained and bare-skinned, with smacks like that, his skin should be stinging. A few more strikes and his flesh would be sore. The skin would redden and feel hot to the touch. It would be extremely sensitive.

Christie was right about Duo settling down. After some number of spankings Duo did not flinch or joke. After more he seemed almost at ease, resigned as it were. His eyes closed but were not screwed up. Duo's hands loosely grasped the cord attached to each wrist cuff. His body rode the strikes, swaying forward, but never flinching from receiving the spank.

Heero questioned Christie with a glance. She nodded and so he knew he could do what he wished. He spoke to Duo. "You feel better."

"Hai, Heero-sensei," Duo said, his voice betraying only a small strain.

"Why do you feel better?"


"Because I am getting the punishment I deserve."

Not a lie, exactly. "You are telling me what you know and not what you really feel. You need quite a bit more punishment yet."

"Hai, Heero-sensei, I deserve more punishment."

"Then relax. You brought yourself here, into my power, but now I am in control and you can not fight me."

"I don't want to fight you, Baby," Duo whispered. Another spank left him gasping to regain his breath.

Christie posed a question with her eyes. Should Duo speak? Should I accuse him of particular offenses?

Heero shook his head. "Duo can speak, if he feels able, I have nothing against it, so long as he does not taunt you or me or question the arrangement at this stage."

"Do you understand that, Duo?" Christie asked.

"Hai..." A spank at that moment kept him from talking.

"Duo, think about the things you have done. That is what I think you should do. One should think on their sins during penance, ne?"

Duo groaned out a hai. Heero smirked at his own use of religious terms. A little research could become a large advantage, he thought.

Shortly Christie made a series of gestures and questioned with her gaze again. She wanted to know if she should switch implements or the targeted area of Duo's body. Heero thought a change would be advisable. They did not want Duo injured, just punished... and his skin was looking red. Heero gave a nod to Christie.

"Duo," she called, "Heero indicates we should switch implements and supports my choice of crop or whip. Do you trust yourself to be still as well as my skill, or do you want the cock and ballocks strapped in place?"

Duo hung heavily in his restraints as Christie hung the paddle on the wall. "Strap please... Christi-sama."

Christie walked to a trunk within the bedroom, possibly in Duo's field of vision. Heero moved between then and saw Christie lift what seemed a length of leather. "Shall I put it on?" she mouthed.

"I don't know how," Heero answered silently.

"Watch and learn." She walked around Duo so that Heero could turn and see what she did. He saw Duo move away from her as far as he could when he turned.

"Please, tell Christi-sama you will do it, Heero."

"Duo," Christie scolded.

Duo turned his head and looked at Heero, desperately. His lashes were wet.


No dampness on his face but the lashes were wet. He looked horrified.

"Heero, please. You said I could talk, and I'm not questioning the arrangement... I just trust you to do it."

"I am sure Christie is qualified."

"Maybe he's afraid he'll enjoy it," Christie said.

Duo heaved a sigh and closed his eyes. His face flushed so hotly that Heero saw it redden. He was not sure if it was anger or desire or humiliation. "Goddamnit, you can't mess with me like this. Tell me to think on all my pain and then leave me hanging while you hesitate over this shit. If you want Christie feeling me up, go on, tell her to do it, Heero!"

Humiliation, and it was turning to anger. Heero smacked Duo's face once, quickly but with only a fraction of his strength. Heero glanced downward only for a second before he focused on Duo's eyes. "Christie, put on gloves and then strap him as quickly and gently as you can. Duo, everything is part of your penance, you need to trust me completely."

"I'm sorry."

"Yes you are. You were the only one afraid it might be something sexual. I do not care if you remember how good she made you feel before. I don't care if you remember anyone at all. Right now you are mine. You should be more afraid of what I can make you feel in front of Christie."

"I'm sorry," Duo said again.

He could make Duo feel so very much. He would have fun doing it. Duo Maxwell, naked bound and centimeters away. "I could leave you hanging. I could do anything I want."

Duo moaned.

Heero cupped a hand beneath Duo's balls and leaned in so that the soft skin beneath his arm touched Duo's dick.

"Oh shit."

"I could tease you and just leave... then come back to tease you some more."

"Oh, please..."

"Now?" Christie asked. She snapped her second glove against her wrist.

"Now," Heero said, then quickly turned and took several steps away. He wanted to look, but it was better he did not look at Duo at all. Heero wanted him so much. He was envisioning much grabbing and biting and fucking. Heero knew he had to wait and so the vision only made him uncomfortable.

At least Duo would be roughly as tortured as Heero was, plus feeling the pain of the punishments Christie dealt him. That was good.

"You might as fucking well put nipple clamps on me too, ya know?"

Heero smiled to himself. "Not this time, but I will make a note of that for future reference, Duo-chan," Heero called.

He sat down in the armchair and watched Christie strike the backs of Duo's thighs with a crop. She clearly wielded it with skill, but even so, Heero could see how it was a good idea Duo's balls were pulled forward. With his legs spread, it might have happened that they were hit by accident, and that would have been the wrong sort of pain.

Heero tried to concentrate on the mechanics and remain objective, but it was Duo he was looking at. It was Duo's body that had caused Heero to go from feeling rather asexual to this. They called it therapy to distinguish the work done from that prostitutes did, but for some people prostitutes restored mental health or a marriage as well as any sort of therapist. And this was sexual. It was physical and mental torment designed to create emotional release and Heero supposed it was not always sexual for everyone, but it might often be.

One could get off on this, as they say.

Those were Duo's legs, spread in a wide stance and being struck with a crop designed for urging horses to perform. He had very long legs, rather muscular and well-shaped long legs. He could run away with those legs, or operate Gundam cockpit pedals, kick the shit out of someone, or just wrap them around Heero's body. Though he still wore the cast Duo did not appear to favor either leg.

Duo's ass... Heero told himself not to look, but he did. It was just as muscular, yet there was an attractive amount of softness to the shape, as if the slight bit of fat Duo carried on his frame was stored entirely in that area.

His hair swayed with the strikes, swinging forward and away from his body and then slapping back down against Duo's torso and thighs. It was that long.

His eyes were open. Heero could not see Duo's eyes, except as the movement of his lashes in profile. That was enough to tell him that Duo had his eyes open now, as if planning his escape, or perhaps looking for something to focus on to distract him from the pain of memories and punishment.

Duo's arms were raised, and his hands hung above his head. He was so free of scars. Heero knew that his own body healed quickly and so wounds did not often scar unless they had been long left untended to or been otherwise aggravated, still he was aware of having quite a number of them. They were all minor, except for the one on his upper left arm; that wound had been aggravated and reopened several times.

Duo's skin was gorgeous, Heero thought. That L2 space baby pallor wasn't for everyone, but Heero considered it something alike to exotic. No scars that Heero could notice, just a scattering of freckles across the shoulders. Heero imagined that Duo had never had freckles until he had gone to Earth.

Heero pictured Duo on Howard's Sweeper barge, working under the Sun's rays as they were refracted by Earth's atmosphere. Probably not shirtless, but he might have worn a tank top, until he realized those rays would burn his skin. When Heero recalled what Duo had looked like then, he thought him beautiful. He had never noticed it at the time, but it must have been true.

Heero had been different then, but now part of him wished he had not spent that night betraying Duo by stealing parts from his Gundam. He wondered how things would have been if he had trusted Duo and suggested they take parts from one Gundam to repair the other in time to complete the mission that had come in. Then, Duo might have agreed. They would have finished the work sooner. And when Duo asked Heero if he was going to sleep Heero could have found a bunk or hammock close to Duo's.

Maybe then Heero could have looked at Duo as he fell asleep and noticed that he was beautiful. Surely to his fifteen-year-old eyes Duo at fifteen should have looked highly attractive, if Heero thought him so now.

Maybe Heero could have gotten onto a bunk with Duo and rubbed lotion on his sunburned shoulders.

Heero blinked slowly. He was getting much too distracted. Hormones were a bitch, as Duo might say. Eighteen. If he was normal at all, how many more years would he feel driven like this? It was probably good he had been young and asexual during the wars, it wouldn't have done him much good to be dueling Zechs and to suddenly ponder how cute Duo had looked in gym clothes. ZERO might have driven him entirely insane, as opposed to mostly, if he had been more focused on Duo than on fighting.

Trowa and Quatre had not handled ZERO well.

Heero stood up. "Christie, you will leave the room with me now."

Christie stopped the punishment and turned her head sharply to Heero. She gave a slight nod, but questioned with her gaze.

Heero moved to the door. Christie moved past and then Heero shut the door after them both, leaving Duo alone in the bedroom. Christie relaxed on one of her couches; Heero remained standing, left hand on his hip, considering.

"He is internalizing," Christie volunteered.

"He often does... as much as he talks."

"Yes, he doesn't actually give away his true feelings."

"But he will not tell a lie," Heero said, laughing softly afterward. This whole event was not going as he expected or planned, exactly. Of course, Heero had very little practical experience in relating to an individual who claimed to derive benefit from bondage and punishment. Heero still did not truly understand why someone who had been a prisoner at least five times before the age of seventeen would feel that way, but he believed that Duo felt the way he said he did.

Heero wanted to go back to pampering his pet. To be honest, he rather liked Duo in some form of bondage, more than he would have hoped to like it before they had ever tried it. Light forms of punishment could keep him amused or excited.

"Maybe I should do it," Heero said.

"You can, but you told me that you did not feel skilled enough to do it without hurting Duo."

"Yes," Heero agreed. That was his fear, but, was it like him to succumb to fear? Where Duo was concerned any one of his emotions could overwhelm him; fear was an emotion. Heero also feared that arranging these punishments was enforcing Duo's idea that he was at fault, and Heero did not honestly believe Duo was at fault. He had been in command and Heero knew that a good commander could feel regret and responsibility when their men died, but Duo was only responsible for sending Gibson over to the shuttle. So many variables had been involved, no one could say that Duo's decision had been flawed. His doctors probably felt some sort of regret.

This was all an experiment. The trial. If something did not turn out well, there was always the next date. Heero was planning that one out in his mind yet. It depended on how mobile Duo could be over the weekend, as Heero's plan involved more travel than activity and conceivably they could work the hours they were in transit.

"Could you show me how to use that, on a person?" Heero asked, indicating the crop Christie had resting across her knees.

"Sure." She stood and handed the crop to Heero. He gauged its weight as he held the crop and listened to Christie explain what parts of the human anatomy were best targeted with this implement and how it should be held. She described her manner of follow-through and how the looped end should strike the skin.

Heero practiced on the furniture and then on Christie's leg. There was a satisfying zinging sound, as with some swords, if Heero swung the crop through the air fast enough. Christie also explained that striking ones own boot with the crop produced an intimidating sound and image. Heero tried hitting his boot and then aimed at Christie's leg again.

"Not quite that hard!"

"Superhuman strength," Heero said quickly, then deciding Christie did not really need to guess why that might be true he added, "High resistance cyclotron training before the war." That was true, but Heero was certain that his body could not have been trained to be so strong without a genetic advantage.


Heero tried smacking his calf, it gave him some idea of the relation between his effort and the pain inflicted, but since the angle of his swing was so different Heero did not think the results were accurate.

"There are rumors about the Gundam pilots being engineered."

"I have heard them," Heero said casually. This much he was willing to state in public: "I would likely not tell you if I was, but the truth is that three of us were orphaned very young and the other two come from powerful and secretive clans so we can not know the full conditions of our conceptions and anyone who might have known is likely dead."

"We should get back to Duo."

It had been nearly five minutes, Heero thought. That was long enough. Heero walked to the bedroom door.

"So, is the sex normal?"

Heero froze still. Why did young women constantly inquire about his sex life?

"I just wondered. I mean, all the reports say that normal people couldn't handle the stress of piloting a Gundam mobile suit. Test pilots have had seizures and heart attacks. I think it would be natural to wonder what sort of lover one of you might be."

Heero had gotten the impression before that Christie and Duo had been lovers, or sex partners at least. Then, he realized, what people really wondered was what sex was like between two people who were both more than human. Heero thought of an answer that sounded witty enough and smiled. "Duo did call me 'god' more than once." He turned his head to look over his shoulder and smiled his most innocent smile.

He saw Christie's eyes widen and track down his body.

Heero did not understand women, but some days he felt like he could get any one of them to have sex with him if he should want that. Truthfully, he found it easier to socialize with females, even though they did confuse him most of the time. There were probably biological reasons for that. They were more social as a whole than males were, or at least, they were the ones willing to help Heero learn to be normal and deal with emotional issues.

He did seem to have a great number of female friends that he was not the slightest bit attracted to. He had noticed that some of them were pretty or had developed rather large breasts over the past three years, but it was not the sort of noticing that led to feeling excited or aroused.

Heero made a mental note to consider his gender preferences more thoroughly then opened the bedroom door.

The room looked the same, but Heero immediately felt something was wrong. Duo was still securely restrained at the foot of Christie's bed. He was alone. Trembling. Duo's body was trembling.

It could have been cold, a reaction of his body to the beating, outward display of an intense emotion, likely several other causes. That feeling that something was wrong was still in Heero's mind. He realized then that it was the empathy. He had not been aware of Duo's feelings earlier, but right now, this wrongness was coming from Duo.

Had the punishment not had the desired effect? Was this the sort of emotional release they aimed for? No, it could not be this.

Heero turned to the door. "Give me a while alone with him," Heero said simply to Christie. She obeyed quickly and Heero wondered as the door closed if he had worn a very cold expression on his face when he had spoken to her.

Heero stepped up behind Duo. He reached around Duo to toss the crop on the bed and demonstrate that he was disarming. Heero wrapped his arms around Duo then, slowly, so that Duo knew it was not an attack. He put his palms against Duo's abdomen and the trembling moved through Duo's body and into his.

Heero tightened the embrace so that his chest was to Duo's back. He did not feel cold. It was good to have Duo close, though the trembling and obvious negative emotion made Heero sad. The physical contact made the connection greater. Heero thought the information that came to him was more clear or detailed.

He felt fear and guilt, but now, intense relief at being touched.

Was this just a part of the normal response to punishment? Was this evidence that leaving Duo bound and alone for five minutes was cathartic for him, or was he hurting even more than when he had come into the room?

Heero closed his eyes and really tried to know what Duo was feeling.

He had been alone. He had doubted that Heero would return. He had feared no one would return. Heero got the impression that Duo had, irrationally, envisioned Christie and Heero being murdered in the next room while he was unable to come to their aid.

Duo had tried to escape. With that had come the guilt as he realized he was disobeying Heero and disappointing Heero by not trusting him to return.

Duo had not been able to escape. Duo, who had been prisoner many times and had escaped captivity many times, had not been able to get himself free this time. That had been terrifying for him.

Heero was not sure what he should do. That Duo had realized he really was unable to escape, when he had probably half-believed it before might be good. Duo certainly indicated the bondage worked for him, and Heero thought real bondage should have more of that good emotional effect than symbolic bondage. Should it not?

He did not like Duo to feel like this, in any case.

But asking Duo if he thought they should stop would in itself stop this scene from being played out, as Heero would be surrendering all the control he presently held over Duo.

Heero thought the best thing to do would be to retain the control and keep Duo in bondage while assuring him in some way that he was not alone now. He would see how Duo responded and perhaps decide to conclude things quickly, if Duo continued to seem unwell.

Heero rubbed his left cheek against the back of Duo's right shoulder. He did have it in him to be precisely as cold and commanding as Duo needed, only Heero suspected that part of him came along with a few other character traits that weren't as useful outside of war and which he would rather repress.

This was the problem now. Heero loved Duo and had a healthy amount of lust for him. He could express how he felt just enough. There was still that worry that all his training had left him useless for anything but war. He had hit Relena. He had held guns on Duo, and knives.

How much cruelty and domineering could Heero dredge up without forgetting it was just a game?

He could dredge it all up. He'd known this before Duo arrived. He did not really need Christie. Heero had just been afraid he would not be able to rely on his kindness to save their relationship if he took on this role for Duo.

"Duo-chan, I want you to tell me that you will come away with me this weekend no matter how you end up feeling about me today."


"Promise me that you will come with me Saturday morning. You can bring work to do during the trip. Promise me now."

"Is that a order?" Duo asked. He sounded better already. Playful.

"If you do not truly and freely agree then the appropriate action is to say nothing. I want you to promise you will go with me where I will take you, regardless of what I am about to do."

"What are you going to do?" The fear tingeing Duo's voice sounded real.

"Promise!" Heero dropped his arms, stepped back and spanked Duo's already sore flesh with the flat of his hand.

"I promise!" Duo shouted. "I promise I'll go wherever you want."

Heero walked around Duo and putting a hand on the canopy rail pulled himself up onto the bed. Heero pushed some of the assorted litter on the bed away from his path and then dropped into a crouch facing Duo.

Duo could not reach Heero if he tried. He tried, but all Duo could do was lean toward him. Heero had calculated Duo's strength and the elasticity of his bonds in positioning himself.

"I am the bad guy here."


"You know I usually do not take prisoners," Heero said flatly, staring hard at Duo's face.


"In general they are more liability than asset." Heero leaned forward and lapped once at Duo's lips. One taste and then Heero stared at Duo as distantly as before. "You seem useful."

Duo stared back, quietly.

"I treat prisoners fairly. I only hurt them if they do not give me everything I want."

Duo's eyes seemed to quiver; it was the skin around the eyes that Heero saw moving. "What do you want from me?"


"I could give you at least a couple seconds of that." He was joking, but it was nervous joking.

"Could you?" Heero asked simply.

Duo had to concede that he could not move and so he could not do anything unless Heero allowed it. "No. Not now."

"You are helpless. I do not need you in the restraints. I could control you without them, easily." This was probably true in a very real way, but it was as much true to the roles they were playing. "In fact, if you do not give me what I want I might release some of these bonds, and then you would know how truly helpless you are."

"What do you want?"

Heero did not answer the question. "I could do anything I want to you. I do not require your consent."

Duo looked down, at something.

Heero dropped to the mattress and slid his legs over the foot of the bed. If Duo leaned in he could press against Heero, but that was about all he could do. Heero released the strap from about Duo's genitals. Duo moaned as his dick rose against his body and his balls dropped. The manner in which Christie had bound him had kept him hard and uncomfortable.

It would be kind to let him relax now, though he had been tortured for quite a while already. Heero slipped to the floor and crouched between Duo's legs and the bed. Duo might try to knee or kick, but the resistance on his bonds wouldn't allow him to attack.

"Don't," Duo pleaded. Heero thought it had the sound of pleading.

"Helpless." Heero lifted his right hand to Duo's balls and massaged gently; the torture in this was not in causing pain.

"God, no."

Heero exhaled onto Duo's dick. Warm moist air tainted with Heero's life touched Duo's skin. "I could risk your health."

"Heero, please."

"You want me to risk your health," Heero said flatly. "Maybe you think your immune system is strong, but are you sure? I know I could always afford inoculations, but I heard that some people where you lived had problems with that."

"Shut up!"

on to chapter 36

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