Another Version of Events
by Karan Seraph
Maybe every alien culture had a version of Swedish Meatballs, but
most cultures within the Earth Sphere probably had some version of
chicken and rice. Heero was not certain where the version he and Duo
made had originated, but it tasted decent enough, and filled his
stomach with no ill side-effects whatsoever. Even knowing they
worked well together in some areas, Heero had been skeptical about
cooking with Duo, but everything had worked out well. Their
kitchen's size and layout was such that they did not get in each
other's way, but could also easily hold conversation and pass things
across the room without stepping away from a workspace. The cork
flooring kept their feet from getting very tired as they stood
cooking, and the smooth concrete countertops were easy to keep clean.
They ate sitting at the kotatsu, with the two dogs watching. Duo
gave Nu a bit of chicken from his bowl, and Heero gave Duo some
advice on how to care for dogs.
Duo took the dishes to the kitchen and Heero loaded the dishwasher,
which functioned flawlessly. Heero and Duo both went to the
temporary bedroom to dress, having worn their variously acquired
hotel robes to eat.
Wearing clothing they could move comfortably in, they started
sorting through the boxes, crates and furnishings piled in the
living room. They talked as they worked. Duo had eccentric thought
patterns, if his thoughts could be said to make patterns and he was
more impulsive; he was like this with piloting, or building models,
or cooking, and he was like this with decorating.
Some of Duo's vision was rather average. He enjoyed watching movies
and television programs and voiced his wish to have a large monitor,
with the latest technological advancements, to put in the living
room. Very many people had such wants. Duo did not want to put the
television over the fireplace, though it would have fit, because he
felt the slight degree increase in smoke deposits made the area an
undesirable location for a high tech device. Heero could understand
that. Duo did not want the television to cover the window either,
though Heero pointed out that some people installed roll-down
screens for projection systems over windows. Duo said projection
systems were lossy and covering the window with a black-out screen
was a security risk. Heero had to agree with that. There were only
the two walls in the room, unless one considered mounting the
monitor within the entryway or the dining room. So, Duo suggested
putting the monitor in the corner; they could tool its mounts to
hang the monitor in the corner between the window and fireplace.
That was not completely unheard of, so Heero agreed to the plan.
Of course, this plan meant that they would place the sofa they would
obtain on a diagonal, facing the monitor, allowing viewing of the
fireplace or window, in the center of the room, leaving space behind
for a console table and traffic to flow between table and the built-
in cabinets that partitioned the living room from dining room.
"The sofa in the apartment was mine, but I let Hilde keep it", Duo
said. "There were a lot of things that seemed pointless to transport
to Earth, so I told her that she could use them or sell them as she
wanted, use the money for the baby if she sells them. I don't think
we should get a sleeper, but we should look for one of those couches
that has a square shape and removable back cushions, so it can be
used as a bed if needed. I brought the slipcover with me. We should
paint the walls red."
Heero looked at the walls. The portions not covered by wood were
painted an off-white shade. Red was not Heero's favorite color, but
he had watched many home improvement shows on educational channels
and he knew that Ursula had used red as an accent color in his
apartment. This room was at the south of the house and the walls
flowed around the hearth as well as the kitchen. Red did not seem an
entirely wrong choice. "Red is OK, but not in any other rooms,
unless it is an accent only. I know some online sites that sell
modern furniture and I think they will have couches with the sort of
squared shape and clean lines that will work for this room. I could
look for one."
"OK, I guess, but we could have looked for a vintage one."
"I do not think that a sofa in good condition in that style would be
much less expensive used."
"It might be if the upholstery is ugly. The couch I left Hilde is
butt ugly without the slipcover."
"A new couch would be better. I would not want to sleep on a used
mattress. We can look for hard furnishings that are used."
They began listing some hard furnishings they would need, like
occasional tables, or as Duo suggested, things that could function
as tables, like old trunks and stacks of suitcases or salvaged
hospital carts or similar industrial equipment.
They would probably end up with strange salvaged furnishings in
every room, Heero thought. Sometime, when the rooms were all
constructed, and walls were painted, Heero would have to carefully
consider placement of art. He owned some paintings, a poster and a
few small statues. Duo had many posters, various framed art and such
things as gargoyles. Heero had never realized Duo collected
gargoyles, demons and guardian beasts.
They stayed awake, sorting and talking about their plans for each
room, until they were both quite tired. Duo went right to their bed
and crashed, still in his clothing. Heero went to the bathroom,
brushed his teeth, got undressed, and then went to bed.
Saturdays on Earth in areas populated by Americans were nice,
because so many people kept it as a day of rest, not so many as took
Sundays, but then, some took both days as their weekend. It was
different in the Colonies, or other parts of Earth. In some areas,
children had to be woken for classes on Saturday. It was nice to be
able to sleep in and not be woken by the sounds of hammers and
machinery. Nice to think there would be a few more days like this,
during this weekend.
Heero was alone in bed when he woke. It would have been nicer to
wake with Duo there, he thought. Duo was not in the same room,
though Koi was lying on Heero's feet.
Heero pulled his feet from Koi and the sheets and got up to look for
Duo. He could hear voices and thought Duo must be watching
He was standing in the dining room, at the so-called breakfast bar
attached to the kitchen, eating cereal and milk and watching
something animated on a mobile computer. When he saw Duo there,
Heero understood that they really did need furniture. He had a place
to sleep and he had his computer. So long as the kitchen functioned
and the bathroom was left fairly clean, Heero could live in the
house during construction. Duo's lifestyle was being disrupted.
Duo was used to working hard for long periods of time and then
crashing. He had done it while working on his mobile suits, while
going to school, while in the war, and probably, in some respects,
before that. To survive, Duo needed a safe place to hole up when he
was not able to stay awake any longer, but to be happy, he needed
more than a warm nest behind walls. Duo needed to vege and flop and
lounge, and they did not really have furnishings conducive to such
things, and the furnishings they did have were not arranged with Duo
Heero's pet had specific needs. If Heero did not meet them, he was
certain Duo would not last until Wednesday here, if he did that
long, before he announced that he was going to stay with someone
They were on Earth now, Duo could not easily go to Relena's, or
Adin's or Wufei's, or Hilde's. It was Duo's decision to move to
Earth, so he could go to school and better himself and become a
suitable father figure, but Heero knew it would not be easy for Duo
to adjust. Heero had also grown up in the Colonies, but he had also
spent more time living on Earth than Duo had, and had already
adjusted to many things.
In a few weeks, Duo would have places to run off to. He might
announce he was going to school and staying with a new friend there.
He might stay on base with the Preventers, if he did not want to be
at the house with Heero; but now, he had no where else to go, and
even if Duo did love Heero and their house, Heero did not imagine
Duo felt entirely comfortable.
Duo needed to believe he had somewhere to run, even if he had no
reason to want to run.
"Morning", Heero said.
"Ohayo!" Heero excused that, because Duo was watching a program in
Japanese, and Duo was the sort of person who would speak to a person
in three languages regardless of their ethnic origins. Heero excused
a lot of things Duo did, which he would not have excused for others.
"Be right back." Heero returned to the bedroom. He took his
deodorant, from the trunk he used as a temporary closet, and swiped
some under each arm. He pulled on a tee and then a pair of jeans and
then sat to put on sock and boots. He went to the hall to retrieve
his satchel and took his mobile from it. Heero then joined Duo at
the counter and opened his computer, first to check and quickly
answer messages, and then to access a local daily.
The classified pages had ads posted for various flea markets, estate
sales and yard sales. As Heero expected, there were some scheduled
for that day. "Do you need to watch those shows, or can you tape
"I do not need to watch them, but sitting around on a Saturday
watching cartoons is beneficial to my mental well being, can it
wait, whatever you need?"
"I have you. Remember? I just thought you might like to actually sit
Duo looked away from the screen, toward Heero. "Huh?"
"If you get washed up and changed, there is a flea market we can go
to and some yard sales. I would still like to order a new couch, but
if we have luck, we can find at least one chair today, and maybe
some other things we need. Maybe we can find some of the new things
I would like available for in-store pick-up."
Duo frowned. "We are still without a vehicle."
"I thought we would borrow the flatbed without permission. They
transport the machinery on it and it is still parked in the yard."
"Steal a flatbed from our contractor?"
"We would bring it back, it would really just be `driving a vehicle
without being properly identified as a known driver on its insurance
"And who would drive?"
"I will leave that to you."
Duo smiled. He took up his bowl and started to walk around the
counter to the kitchen, but he turned back and spoke to
Heero. "Thanks", he said. Just `thanks' and then he was slurping the
last dregs of milk and rinsing the bowl before loading the
dishwasher; Duo had spoken so seriously that Heero wondered if the
thanks was only for letting him drive.
Heero had not meant for Duo to know that the impulsive decision to
buy furniture today was for his sake. Heero had faith in Duo, enough
to know with certainty he would have stayed in the house with him
these two weeks before school started however bored and stressed he
got, but he still wished to spare Duo the week and a half of
insanity that would come from the sudden change in lifestyle.
"If I drive, you can plot the best course through all the yard sales
that will enable us to spend as much time at each, given their
scheduled hours and limited selections. I could have decided on some
"You wanted to drive," Heero said plainly.
Duo grinned at him over the counter. "Of course, and you wanted to
plan things out."
"It is the most logical division of tasks."
"Yeah, but that time, you didn't do it because it was logical.
That's why I said thanks. Mainly."
"I will be happy too if we get some furniture and make these few
rooms as comfortable as possible." That was true, but Heero had made
his decision out of consideration for Duo, and Duo knew it. He knew,
and he was saying he appreciated it, without really saying it. Heero
"See if you can find some cash, while I get some clothes."
Heero answered only with a nod. They were ready soon, nondescript
casual garments on, with hats and sunglasses, dogs harnessed and
leashed, route in the process of being plotted, cash on hand, and
Heero told Duo the location of their first stop, and as the city was
new to Duo as well, told him what streets to take to get
there. "Remember", Heero said, "We are shopping for furniture. No
clothes or toys or old movies."
The first stop was within their same neighborhood, a few streets and
intersections away. The house looked as if it had been remodeled and
added to often over at least a hundred years. The yard was neat,
with a small lawn, nearly covered now by tables, boxes and
furniture, beds of shrubs and two spruce trees disturbing the
sidewalk with their roots. Two cars and an SUV were in the drive,
priced for sale with soap. Signs posted on the mailbox post and on
pickets near the sidewalk advertised a moving sale.
The truck, or the way they looked, or something must have made them
marks, because the pair of homeowners were soon grinning at them and
asking if they planned to buy enough to load their truck, or if they
had no other vehicle.
"I looked at this house when it was on the market", Duo
admitted. "Where are you moving?"
Heero smiled, Duo had avoided answering their questions rather
skillfully, he thought.
"What a charming accent! Are you from the Colonies?" the woman
asked. Heero thought she looked like a grandmother, or like a woman
that would be cast as someone's American grandmother in a movie,
because she had graying hair and a rather rounded figure. Granny had
just used Duo's tactic against him.
Duo lifted an arm to touch his braid and laughed. "I am an American
Colonial, how can you tell? Watch a lot of the satellite educational
"The Colonies have the best game shows, and we are going to be
moving there. Which side is it, Hon?"
"That'd be Side Three. They call it, don't they?" the old man
asked. "I think. I know it's the only one we can never view from
Earth, because it's the other side of the Moon." He continued,
seeming to speak to Heero, though Heero did not understand
why, "Property values and rent are fairly inexpensive there now, but
we have a feeling that area is going to show economic regrowth soon,
because the rent and COL there will draw businesses to move there,
which will create jobs."
"It's safe", the old woman said, "Did you know it is the cluster
with the lowest incidence of collisions to the exterior with natural
or man-made objects?"
"All the problems there are internal", Duo warbled.
"Yes, only so many problems as a regular city."
Heero felt his face twinge, as if he had developed a tic. He wanted
to explain how Side Three was not really safer than any other
cluster of Colonies, only fortunate to not have had as many
collisions as others, yet, but he felt this would not be the best
way to encourage Earthlings to sell him furniture at a fair price.
Duo laughed again. "It is a big truck, isn't it? We're looking for
furniture actually. We just moved from the Colonies, and I'm sure
you know, moving furniture by shuttle is not really cost effective,
unless it's priceless furniture to begin with, like antiques made of
exotic wood you plan to sell there."
The couple welcomed them to look around at the furniture and then
went to talk to some others who were also shopping in their yard.
Duo whispered to Heero then, "With sales of this type, you can't
really afford to comparison shop or gamble that you'll find
something better later. If something seems relatively functional and
pleasing and the price is fair, you just buy it and move on to the
next sale, because speed matters when every minute you spend
haggling, others are already picking over the best stuff at the next
Heero said that he supposed Duo must be correct. They looked over
the furniture quickly and negotiated a price for a stainless steel
accented maple console table, which they agreed would look well
behind the sort of couch Heero meant to purchase.
They secured the table to the flatbed, got the dogs back into the
cab, and navigated their way to the next sale.
At the third sale, in a part of the city populated by apartment
homes and condominiums only 40 years old, which had likely been
built in a cycle of urban renewal after older buildings on the site,
unworthy of historical preservation, had been demolished, they
Heero looked to Duo and found him looking back, and then they both
looked again, through the windshield, to the street. "They are not
reporters", Heero said. "A crew from one of those home improvement
"Didn't they mention anything about it in the ad?"
"They must have, only I did not recognize the catch phrase was also
the name of a program. Do you want to leave?"
Duo shrugged. "It's like one of those shows where they organize and
decorate rooms in your house, provided you part with your favorite
collectibles and junk ratted away just incase you'll use it one day?"
"Won't hurt to take a quick look, just remember we're looking for
"I know that", Heero said, and he meant it, for he had been the one
to suggest they shop for furniture today, and he had done it for
Duo, but then he saw the Heavy Sixer gleaming dully upon a neatly
arranged table display of old video game systems.
"We have enough", Duo told him, reading his mind. "They have a
drafting table over there we might actually use in the office."
Koi tugged on leash and harness, wanting to investigate the pile of
Heero did not move from the spot, though he knew Duo could use a
drafting table, after leaving his with Hilde. "Duo."
"You have any game systems?" asked a friendly, but also hesitant
man. Heero knew with certainty that this man's wife had demanded he
reduce the size of his collection to those pieces that were most
valuable and fit within a designated and tidy display area.
Heero glanced sidewise toward Duo. If he outright lied, he would not
be able to negotiate a price based on expert knowledge later, but if
he revealed the extent of his knowledge, the seller would certainly
know how much Heero desired some of these pieces and stay at his
higher prices. Heero shifted his gaze back to the middle-aged man
beside him, not that the seller could notice the movement behind
Heero's slightly mirrored sunglasses.
"There's a camera right on us", Duo whispered.
"I have a few different game systems." Heero forced a laugh. "That
is always the way, no? You need to buy another to get that one game
that is not multi-platform. I do not have these old ones, though.
Are they even compatible with current monitors?" He made himself
laugh again. "Is that one there from the 40s? I do not recognize it,
but it looks like devices I have seen from that era."
"The Atari? No…"
"Oh, is it one of those 2800s? Is that what they were called?"
The man twitched slightly and stared fixedly at Heero. Heero smiled
weakly. He feared his act had been a little too clever. Similar
devices actually had been marketed briefly in Japan as the Twenty-
Eight-Hundred, and so his supposed stab seemed suspiciously just off
target enough to be very knowledgeable. Perhaps he should have said
"It's the Atari Video Computer System model CX-2600, Sunnydale
version, made in the States, for one year only, before production
moved overseas, known to collectors as the `Heavy Sixer' because it
is significantly greater in weight than those 2600s that were
produced overseas, or the four-switch 2600a, due to it's thick
plastic casing and level of internal RF shielding."
That was much of what Heero had memorized about the device, except
the description of the casing and associated text labels which gave
points of comparison with similar devices with which to identify the
original 2600. It had the particular faux woodgrain and yellow paint
against black plastic color scheme, appropriate logos, rounded trim
on the front, six chrome-like switches labeled in yellow or red that
made it a `sixer' and thick plastic casing. Heero shrugged, casually
picked up the device and glanced at the dry, fading text label. It
had the appropriate phrases, and Heero knew someone who had
maintained a freely available online registry of such devices with
serial codes and known history of ownership and maintenance, so if
he purchased it, he would soon know if it had been worth it, as the
serial number was legible. It felt about the correct weight. "But,
does it work?" he asked, setting the device back on the table amid
The camera crew and host of the program were now looking on with
interest, interested in the drama that may or may not ensue when the
man attempted to sell off the devices he had likely fought placing
in the `sell' pile.
"It works so far as I know. It was part of my grandfather's
collection; I only kept it on display. It was old when he had it. It
dates from One-Nine-Seven Seven Old Calendar," the seller said,
using the current manner of naming years, "So, it's antique by at
least a hundred years."
"Come on, I want to go look at that drafting table," Duo said
loudly, "We have enough game machines and computers at the house."
"It might be interesting to have, if it works", Heero said,
realizing that Duo was not really protesting, but communicating his
agreement to drop the `only looking for furnishings' rule by helping
Heero in negotiations.
"Yeah, if the old piece of junk works. What did they use inside
those things back then? Transistors or vacuum tubes or something?"
he laughed. "You probably couldn't find the tools to fix it if you
needed to, and for all any of us know, the machine could have been
refurbished three times over before it came into their family. Kinda
ruins the collectible value, if the paints been touched up and the
circuitry swapped out. It's only good for playing then, and that's
if you have al the controllers, games and power cords you'll need."
"I have the original controllers and power supply, and if you like,
I'll throw in some converters to make it play-ready! I even have the
"Really?" Duo asked.
Heero tried not to look ecstatic.
"I guess the box does make it a bit more collectible", Duo
admitted, "But some of these other systems look newer, like they
might actually have games available."
"I have lots of game discs and carts," the seller said, pointing out
the plastic crates just beneath the table.
The crew's director was pointing out that the seller's wife was
about to make a sale on some used bedroom furniture.
"I'll give you a fair price on anything you want from this table,"
the seller said. "If I get more sales than my wife, she lets me keep
the second Heavy-Sixer."
"Five-hundred Esdees for all of this, the systems on the table, all
the controllers and cables you have for sale, and the carts and
discs as well."
"Five fuckin' hundred SD?" Duo demanded.
Heero remained calm and waited, only moving to draw Koi away from a
child carrying a bag of M&Ms.
"Five-hundred. OK," the seller said. It was a steal. Heero knew it
and so did his seller. But assuring that he would keep his own Heavy
Sixer, unless his wife somehow collected over 500 Sphere Dollars for
decade-old bedroom furniture and clothing, more than made up for the
"And twenty-five for the drafting table, unless your wife has found
a buyer for it", Duo offered.
"Thirty, unless you have a chair for it. I could go to forty-five
with a chair."
"There is a chair. It is on the ground, in two parts, rises and
"Forty-five then," Duo said calmly. Heero supposed he had started
with a rather low bid. Heero could tell at a glance the table was
not only functional but professional quality.
Heero counted out the bills and soon after they had loaded, table,
chair and boxes of game systems on the truck.
They stopped at several more yard sales, a downtown flea market as
it was winding down for the day, a salvage yard and one contemporary
furniture store, before taking the truck home. As Duo had allowed
Heero the games, Heero did not object when Duo included in their
purchases a few personal accessories, such as an antique gentleman's
walking stick and a silver cigarette case, even knowing that Duo did
not smoke, and that few Americans on Earth or in the Colonies did.
The evening was spent dining on delivered pizza, which was not
exactly New York, California, Chicago, or Asian style, but tasty for
something that was made in carefully controlled steps by a corporate
franchise, and arranging furnishings and boxes.
That night, they decided, without discussion, that they were not
going to have sex. Without a word, Heero understood and was in
agreement with Duo's apparent decision. They merely undressed, went
to bed, in the same bed, in their shared house, and lay awake for a
while watching an old horror movie since termed a classic. When the
movie was ended, they slept.
Sunday morning was another matter. It felt good to be waking up in
their house, in a bed with Duo, again. They had a previously
established understanding that each had permission to wake the other
by initiating certain levels of sexual contact even as their lover
Heero woke, vaguely aware that he had just been dreaming, but unable
to recall the images or sensations of the dream, though he suspected
Duo had been involved and likely in sexual context. Rolling and
finding Duo's dick hard, Heero initiated contact, specifically, he
put his tongue to Duo's dick. Duo moaned slightly but did not seem
to wake, and after a few more experimental laps, while he kept his
eyes raised to Duo's face for any reaction, Heero brought his lips
to Duo's dick. Only when he began to suck in earnest did it seem Duo
woke fully. Duo's right hand rose from the bed surface of the
mattress and pressed against the back of Heero's head. A moment
later Duo stretched his body, his back arched and then his pelvis
followed in shifting its angle, his knees rose and then fell, his
toes pointed, and then his entire body went limp and relaxed as Duo
spoke. "Mornin' noon or night, Baby."
Heero saw Duo's eyes open slowly and look down over his body; their
eyes met. Heero tried something clever with his tongue. Duo hissed
and smiled and tilted his head back.
Heero continued. Tasting, licking, sucking, blowing, tongue
twirling. Duo encouraged, "Oh, God, Don't stop", "Yeah, Heero!" and
such things. Heero felt high to hear him. He had grown beyond
inability to feel pleasure without being assured he was able to
please a partner, but knowing he pleased Duo still made him soar. It
was like flying, like defeating all enemies, except without the
knowledge that there would be death involved. It felt as good as
being a child and beating a video game. A single pleasure-filled
moan and `access granted' glowed in Heero's mind.
He loved Duo so much. He was beautiful, even looking at him
strangely foreshortened in this reclining position, Heero found
himself thinking that he had never truly realized before how
attractively shaped Duo's jaw was. It was so good to feel Duo's warm
skin against his arms and fingers, and to be trusted to take Duo's
dick in his mouth, to hear Duo's half-controlled breaths, and even
to smell him.
And the thing that really got to Heero, was the knowledge that he
needed only, command, request, hint, or look in precise manner and
Duo would do the same to him.
Sometimes turn-based was a really good thing. Not that Heero
wouldn't love a session of real-time, sweaty, fully interactive love
making, especially with multiple camera angles.
He shifted his eyes sideways to the mirror they had left propped
near the bed and thought that to anyone watching, he must look
gorgeous and relaxed lying between Duo's legs. Heero shifted his
gaze back to Duo quickly. He knew Duo loved to see Heero's eyes look
up at him from this position, and Heero would have to admit, he
really got hot seeing Duo in a similar position.
Heero swallowed the cum when it came. He did not really enjoy the
swallowing or taste itself, but as they had forgone barriers and he
was able to do it, he did, because he just dislike the alternative
of spitting based on principle. Besides, he thought Duo's face
shifted to an impressed expression when he Heero do it, if his face
was not too twisted with pleasure to register the shift.
Heero sat up and watched Duo prop himself up on elbows. He was
grinning. "I wanna go to the bathroom", he said.
Heero went as well. They took turns using the toilet and brushing
their teeth at the sink. When Duo finished brushing his teeth, being
second at the sink, Heero put his hands to Duo's neck. He considered
Duo's complete relaxation, in a hold that could easily threaten
vertebrae and blood supply to the brain, and then drew him very
gently into a kiss. He tasted mostly of toothpaste, which was the
same brand Heero used, though Heero did not think this had been the
case in previous months. He had not borrowed Heero's toothpaste, but
begun buying the same brand for himself. Maybe, Heero thought, Duo
had wanted to remember how Heero tasted. The thought made Heero want
to kiss Duo even more.
"Daisuki", Heero said.
Duo laughed softly and swatted at a fine thread of saliva strung
between their lips. Otherwise, Heero could tell he was pleased.
Heero found it irksome when people peppered their speech with
foreign phrases despite the existence of perfectly appropriate
phrases in their own language or a previously established common
language of fluency, but he tended to forgive this fault in Duo. Duo
was simply a different person and he was, not only to Heero, very
disarming and full of charms, and he could get away with wearing
kilts or kimonos and he could get away with the speech-peppering,
and he could even make Heero want to share useful phrases with him,
because he looked so entertained when Heero used them.
"We have only done two rooms so far", Heero said, with exaggerated
"Wanna do it in here?"
Heero looked about the room, considering. He could feel Duo's hands
against his back. The bath was clean right now, and it would not be
like having sex in a public toilet or bath facility, still, much as
he was liking the idea of sex, he was not convinced he wanted to
include this room. They were young, and sometimes one orgasm became
foreplay for the next; he was certain Duo was interested, and he
knew absolutely he was. "Not really sure about the location.
Thinking that sex in bathrooms seems hot and kinky when you see it
in a movie or read about it, but realistically…"
"Some bathrooms are better for sex than others", Duo agreed. He
pressed his hands to Heero's back even as he stepped in toward him.
Heero turned his head back toward Duo and took a moment to press his
lips to Duo's chest, over the sternum and then the clavicle. Then,
he looked up. "Still not certain about `it', but I will make out
with you in the bath if you are interested."
Duo grinned madly in reply.
Heero even made the water cooler than he liked, just for Duo. It was
still warm enough to make Heero feel relaxed. Bathing did that for
him, though he did not associate it with any childhood experience.
It was not the very first time Heero had been in the same bath as
Duo, but now, he recalled those times he had thought himself plagued
by anxiety and flashback and had found hot water and a hotel bathtub
had eased his mind, and he recalled also the strange dreams and
unfulfilled sexual desires that had been cause of anxiety, and he
knew he had been waiting for this moment for a long time. Even
without completing installation of security devices, Heero felt very
safe in this house; the location eased him as much as the bath. He
was in a safe place with someone that he trusted completely.
Heero felt sure of himself and he was perhaps aware that he
expressed this with his actions. His hold on Duo was firm, and his
touch, of hands and lips, full of assurance. If he had not been
certain before, he would have known then it was love, but of course,
he had realized he loved Duo long before. It was now reassurance.
It was apparent that Duo realized Heero's feelings, or felt
something similar, because he halted his kisses and put his arms
about Heero's shoulders in a gentle embrace. Heero put his head to
Duo's shoulder and closed his eyes. He was never going to regret
this new living arrangement. If they fought, if they had trouble, it
would only take an embrace in this house and they would have peace
again. Even if there was something they had disagreed violently
about, one moment like this would at the least bring about a true
while they worked out their difference.
It seemed a long time they held each other in the water without
speaking, but the water had not yet grown cold by the time
relaxation gave way to arousal. Heero was aware of Duo's erection
against his abdomen only a split-second before he felt his cock rise
to touch Duo's balls.
Duo called his name and Heero tightened his hold on Duo
slightly. "Right here, or in another room?" Duo asked.
"We have never had sex submerged in water", Heero said
quietly. "Have…do you think it causes any more or less soreness?"
"I want to go down on you", Duo whispered as he drew his body a
small distance from Heero.
Heero wanted to say something, but suddenly, he saw bathing servants
posed around his bath and all he could do was shiver and moan.
"Let me do it for you, Master."
Master. Heero made his eyes focus on Duo. He was already on his
hands and knees in their large tile bath. The water lapped at his
"You…you cannot forget to breathe!" Heero commanded.
"I am not the one who has trouble breathing."
"You know you'd already been dragged from the water when the
Alliance soldiers found you and took you to that medical facility."
For a second, Duo seemed hesitant, as if he was not sure himself why
he had said that.
Heero had not thought about that before, but he realized that he did
believe it was very likely there had been only just enough time for
Duo to dive, drag him from the water and breathe life into him
before the soldiers responded to the torpedo launch and gunfire. "I
know", Heero told him; he meant `thank you'.
Duo smiled and then ducked beneath the water.
There was a moment, just a moment, in which Heero felt unsafe. He
did not know what to do with his hands, and he wondered when Duo
would come up for air, but then he felt Duo's lips on his cock, and
it was such a familiar sensation then that it was as comforting as
it was pleasurable or arousing. Heero put his hands to the sides of
the basin, rather than put any pressure on Duo, that would inhibit
his ability to rise for a breath.
The act was fascinating. There was not only the movement of lips or
tongue, but a drawing of water over his cock. Heero had thought,
somehow, that Duo's lips would simply seal out water and preserve
air, but Duo flirted with watery death. Heero could not make himself
lift Duo or ask him to stop.
When Duo came up for air, Heero felt certain he looked as short of
breath, the way he panted in anticipation of continued pleasure. Duo
looked at Heero's face and then went under again. Duo-chan was going
to deserve some long slow reward up against a wall for this, Heero
thought. He did not only suck on Heero's cock, but massaged his
Heero felt the approach of climax. Soon he would experience a body-
twitching, mind-numbing orgasm; he was certain of it. It was coming…
Heero saw Duo rise as if for a breath, choking. He forgot everything
else and reacted quickly and near-completely on instinct. He rose
onto his knees, grabbed Duo, lifted him from the water and then,
with an arm beneath Duo's arms and braced across his chest, struck
Duo in the beck with the palm of his hand to encourage the expulsion
of water from his lungs.
Duo coughed and struggled for breath, then expelled water from his
mouth, and finally took a shallow breath.
Heero drew Duo close and hugged him tightly, listened for every next
"Finish. I'll finish."
Heero did not loose Duo. "Can you think seeing you nearly drowned is
sexy?" Heero asked fiercely.
"I just. Heero. I'll start again."
"No," Heero said softly, "we are even now. Let's go get dry. I will
brush your hair."
Duo looked away and shrugged. It was obvious he was unhappy, but
they were done with the bath; Heero was done with it. They would
Duo threw his comb and brush to the new sofa and then sat with an
audible huff to allow Heero to comb his hair. Heero sighed and began
combing. He understood that Duo was upset, but he did not fully
Heero tried not to think on it too much and sat combing tangles from
Duo's hair. The ends were combed smooth easily, but there were the
tangles above to work down and out of the hair, and the locks always
seemed most thoroughly tangled at Duo's neck, even when he had
attempted to keep it neatly braided. There was probably good
scientific cause for this, being it was the part of the hair where
it transitioned from being kept close to the head to having free
movement. That section of the hair rubbed against Duo's clothing and
furniture more than others. Sometimes, Heero really wondered why Duo
had kept his hair long. He could have just gotten a tattoo if he
wanted a mark of distinction.
Heero thought about that. Duo seemed interested in body modification
so far as piercings were concerned, but his reasons for the
piercings could be related to their continued sensual nature and
function. A tattoo only hurt once, and afterward offered only visual
Heero had instructed that tattoos were foolishly gotten things for
someone with a life like his, but he had been a child assassin then.
For a moment Heero stopped the otherwise automatic movement of his
hands and comb. He was aware just then how strange it might sound to
other people, or disturbing, to say `child assassin'.
He could get a tattoo if he wanted. It need not have anything to do
with a gang affiliation or curious and painful rites of manhood. He
could do it just because there was no reason not to. He no longer
had anonymity to protect. He had no missions that were of life or
death importance. He did not have to fear someone would track him
down or identify him based on a sighting of ink on his skin.
Heero had no idea where the tattoo would be or what form it might
take, but he thought maybe he wanted to have one. Not a whole suit,
or even a sleeve, just a little one, where most people would not
see, so he could know it was there, just because there was no one to
say he could not have it.
Heero's hands stopped again, because Duo stopped them. He had
allowed dUo to take him by surprise; he was surprised to see Duo
looking at him, when his back had been turned a moment ago. Duo
released Heero's hands, but only so that he could rest weight on
Heero's thigh. His thumb slipped beneath the towel Heero wore. He
stared, and then inclined forward.
"No, Duo", Heero said.
"What?" Duo hissed.
"I mean…you do not have to."
"Are you saying I can't?"
Heero shook his head, only slightly. It was not that he was against
such contact, but he did feel uncomfortable, because he believed Duo
was still fixated on this `finishing' and Heero had really meant for
Duo to not feel obligated. "No. Not that you can't ever, just that I
really meant you do not have to do this."
"Do what?" He was angry. No special abilities involved. He sounded
angry. His eyes looked angry. It hurt. It made Heero want to hurt
someone back. If he were completely calm and thought about it, he
would not wish to hurt anyone, but sometimes, Duo could just get on
"Finish. It's over. It was good enough, and then it was interrupted
and now I do not really feel interested, so we can do it some other
For several moments, Duo just looked at him. Heero tried to know
what he was thinking, but he could not get the information in any
usable fashion. Duo's eyes seemed to get softer, and then cold
again. The lids lowered so that his eyes were slit, but it was not a
sexy look, not remotely. "You really think I'm some sad, submissive
little thing that only want to get you off out of some fucking
mental need? Some dependence or like guilt or obligation?"
Better say no, Heero thought. The answer really was no, he thought,
but Duo's voice was that `I'm your lover and I'm yelling at you to
ask a question and you better tell me what I want to hear or I'll
make you suffer, buddy' voice. "No."
"'No'? Really? You sure? `Cause you're kinda acting like I'm some
sad case with no mind or desire of my own!"
Was he? Shit. Was he? Sure, there was the `pet' thing, but he did
not really believe Duo existed only to serve him or be cared for.
Duo was a very capable person. He was his own man and…shit. Heero
knew he had totally screwed up somewhere, but he knew he had not
really meant it. "I…" Heero started.
"Fucking Jesus Christ, Heero! You were really only thinking about
yourself!" Duo got up from the couch and paced over the floor a
little, looked at Heero, paced, and then yelled some more. "Fuck!
There were two of us in there! Just because it all crawled back up
on you and you resigned yourself to things being `over' doesn't mean
I couldn't still be interested. Did you even think that maybe I
wanted to do it? Maybe I just thought you were hot."
He was right. "I am sorry", Heero said quietly, but he was not
certain Duo heard him at first, because he was still yelling.
"You do know? You know, don't you?" But, Heero did not so much feel
he was being yelled at then.
Duo shook his head and came back toward the couch and then stooped
in front of Heero. "You said you were sorry? Just like that?"
"You were right. I did not realize I was wrong, but now I do. You
"Forget it. It's OK."
"But, you were right. I was thinking of how I felt. I was…scared."
Duo shook his head again. "Yeah, yeah, I got that, but I mean, I
just got why you were thinking that way. I think…" He did seem
hesitant, but Heero was not entirely sure yet what Duo was getting
at now, he seemed very unimpressed that Heero had apologized. "I
didn't mean to choke, Heero, but me wanting to continue had nothing
to do with obligation. I just wanted you. You understand? You…"
"What is it?"
"Heero, it doesn't even sound right if I say `beautiful'. You know I
do love ya, but I could love you and just be your friend, right?"
"It's not that wanting you has nothing to do with love, but…you're
"You're so fuckin' hot!"
"Oh." He forgot that sometimes. Heero put his fingers to Duo's cheek
and leaned forward for a kiss.
"You are so hot."
They kissed. That was hot. "Is it OK now? It was great how you woke
me up, but I want more. You want it too. I know. You don't have to
stop of hold back. I'm OK."
Heero kissed Duo once more, softly.
"Just because I say `master' it doesn't mean…"
"I know. You were right. I did get scared when you were the one who
stopped breathing, and I forget sometimes that I can be desirable."
"Fuckin' let me remind you already." Duo climbed up into Heero's
lap. "I could remind you all day."
"That is my concern, Duo-chan," Heero said, ducking out of a
kiss. "You told me yourself to remind you, yesterday, that you had a
lot of work to do today. We got that drum at the salvage yard just
so you could build a real barbeque. You said…"
"Yeah, but it was my work, so I can change my mind and decide I'd
rather roll around with you all day."
Heero laughed, mainly to relieve tension, because Duo was getting to
him. "But that is no different from me deciding I am no longer
interested and forgetting that you can be interested too. What if I
really was looking forward to our holiday traditions, even if they
are only traditions you told me about?"
Duo hesitated and frowned.
"What if I'm really interested in fucking?"
"You still have work to do."
"You're pissing me off, Yuy. Don't make me switch on you!"
Heero laughed. It was amusement that time. He had every confidence
that Duo could be a domineering sex partner, but he was certain Duo
would not find him very submissive.
"Fuck it then!" Duo got up from the couch, disengaging himself from
Heero at the same time. "Are you trying to test whether I can live
Duo flashed his eyes toward Heero. He was not happy.
"Come back down here", Heero said, nicely.
"Duo-chan, Come back. I need you to tell me something."
Duo did not move, but when Heero took his hand, he did not make any
attempt to draw it away.
"What's that word?"
"I cannot remember. What's that word?"
"For the couch."
Heero pulled Duo down toward him. "The word for what we'll do to the
couch that has never been done to it before."
"Better be `fuck on it'!"
Heero laughed. "Come on. I bet you know. What they do to new
shuttles, with the bottle."
Duo cackled madly. "We're going to christen the couch are we?"
Heero nodded emphatically.
"Not with a bottle?"
Duo grinned. "I really do love you."
"We do not need to roll around together all day, but it is only
right we kiss and make up."
"So what I need right now!"
"Aa, just another moment. I want to go get some things. A moment.
They are things you will like."
Heero left the room to get the things, and when he returned, he sat
and presented his pillow book to Duo. "Some of the positions include
use of chairs or couches."
Duo grinned again and began to flip through the book. "I get to
"Yes. You pick the position."
"Or several, but I will not guarantee I will get to each of them."
Duo smiled as he continued looking at the pictures. Every page
showed boys drawn by Shizen. "I think you hold the record for the
shortest and longest time it took someone to come for me."
"I would have hated to see someone else's initials beside the high
score," Heero said flatly.
Duo turned his head and grinned. "No worry, I think you wiped out
everyone else's scores on this machine."
Heero felt happy. He knew that he usually did not like being
reminded that Duo had any past lovers, though he knew they existed,
but somehow, the fact that Duo understood about the initials was
such a good thing, if silly, that Heero did not care if `everyone
else' was mentioned.
Duo showed Heero the page. "That is good to start, but maybe
something else to finish." The drawing showed the partners facing
each other, the one receiving seated in the other's lap.
Duo insinuated himself into Heero's lap. "Did we ever…? After that
time, did we ever do it on the couch?"
Heero knew the time he meant, he could not forget such a bad memory.
He did not think they had ever tried the couch again, except for
sleeping or maybe making out. "I think we always moved to a bed
"Let's make this couch different. Do it that way, the way I wanted
it then." Heero remembered. Facing each other, the receiving partner
on his back with his legs drawn up. He gave a nod and then offered
Duo the lube.
Heero wanted as few bad memories in this house as possible. If they
fought, they had to also make up.