Another Version of Events
by Karan Seraph
Duo had selected of all things Gonin Team: The Movie: Super Gonin
Space Force. The Characters and Mech had been slightly redesigned,
or rather, those responsible for the animation had more accurately
captured Shizen's original characters designs and the pilots had all
acquired new mecha through some plot point of the movie, so that the
scenes all looked quite different from the television series or the
various original video releases. Duo proceeded to explain to Heero
the movie plot, with its extensive use of flashbacks to time periods
before during and after the TV series, and what Heero should know
and consider absolutely canon if he was going to converse with
anyone about Gonin Team.
Heero pretended to only half listen. He always listened to Duo,
though he sometimes found it advantageous to pretend he did not. He
said, "mm", and "aa", and continued playing with Duo's hair.
Duo owned various brushes and combs, but Heero was using the wooden
pet brush on his hair, smoothing it, and separating it into two
sections. Duo had already seen the baubles Heero had removed from
the box containing his schoolgirl costume, so he likely knew Heero
planned on giving him pigtails.
Heero saved all of the costumes and kept them neatly boxed along
with all the related undergarments, accessories and cosmetics.
Duo was still talking, saying something about the character Blaec
not actually being seen eating or drinking a lot in the series, or
in the movie, but for some reason in fanfics, he was often portrayed
as eating a lot or in large portions, and this was thus
"Aa", Heero said and continued brushing the left section of Duo's
hair. He knew that Duo would not wish to be caught dead wearing
pigtails in public, but this was partly why Heero had decided on
this style. The other factors included that the style seemed easy
enough to create and that it seemed something so very cute that
Heero would be amused to see it on his pet. He really was impressed
that Duo sat still and allowed him to arrange his hair.
Heero considered that the sensation of the hair brushing, occasional
pulls and tangles aside, was soothing or pleasurable to Duo. Yet, he
was decided that the well behaved stillness had more to do with the
fact that Heero had provided tasks and entertainment to keep Duo
occupied and in one place. He had told Duo that his current domestic
chore should be inventorying all their combined collection, which
was mainly Duos, of restraints, implements of pleasure or punishment
and sundry sex toys and afterward cleaning all the toys as per
manufacturer recommendations and then sorting the collection into
logical categories and putting them away in plastic boxes they had
emptied in unpacking. Duo was also to wash the plastic containers as
well and find a suitable temporary location for the boxes, until
their new bedroom was constructed.
Duo was working, but slowly, because as he looked at each item Heero
had helped him draw together from the various boxes, crates, bags
and trunks they had packed in, he invariably had some anecdote to
tell or some comment to make. Heero did not mind the slowness, as it
only gave him more time sitting with Duo, doing nothing stressful at
"And Captain Pike was named after a fish too, only you see, not all
the alien characters were named after fish in one language.
Sometimes people debate the system online, but it's like, if you
take a French word and transliterate into Japanese and then
retransliterate into English subtitles or whatever, it might not
even look like the French word anymore, but all the alien characters
are named for fish in some way."
"Captain Pike was a Start Trek Character as well."
"Yes. I believe he was Kirk's predecessor."
"Oh. People used to write fanfiction about that series a long time
ago, didn't they?"
"Well, I only vaguely know of the series, that it was roughly
contemporary with Star Wars, but I've heard girls say `as old as
"Kirk and Spock? Seriously?"
"I'm telling you, it has nothing to do with canon. They don't even
need canon hints to want to pair characters in smutty fanfics."
Heero laughed. "But, it does not seem logical…"
"But Spock…" What would be the logic in it. Well, he was half human,
so he did not always have so much control over his emotions as he
seemed, but still…there were so many available females for Kirk to
have that there was no logical reason to do it only for his sake.
And if It was for Spock's sake…? Maybe if he was undergoing Pon
Farr, but then it would have nothing to do with logic and…hmmn. It
just did not seem logical, unless Spock liked being bottom. Spock
liked getting fucked. Heero laughed.
"Christ! Are you thinking about these Kirk and Spock guys?"
"Sorry." Heero swept Duo's hair up into his other hand to begin the
"I bought this one for you", Duo said.
Heero looked over Duo's shoulder and saw the silicon dildo in his
hand. "You did?"
"You don't remember?" Duo sounded disappointed.
"I remember there was an occasion where you used one, two actually,
but I do not remember a purchase."
Duo sighed. "That's this one. I bought two different sizes, when you
were not with me, before we went to Paris. I bought them special, in
case you would let me use them, and you did."
"Oh. Do you think we should separate the ones that have been used on
me from the others?"
"All the ones I have are for use on me, not on others."
"You said some were gifts."
"I did say that", Duo answered slowly.
"Why would they buy you sex toys to use on yourself?"
"Because, they didn't."
"They bought them to use on you?"
"You can't really want to know about this."
"Duo. Duo-chan, I am aware that you had friends with various
privileges and you had sex partners and dumbfucks and I even have
understood from your clues that you had a few older wealthier
companions who gave you presents in exchange for your time. I know.
If I am asking, it is all right to talk about it. I do not wish to
learn their names, but thus far, I think I have learned the names of
three or four people you previously had sex with, so as long as you
try to be respectful in the way you give your answers, I will deal
with the information well enough."
Duo made some annoyed sound, but it might have been for the way
Heero snapped the bauble closed around his pigtail, as much as the
words. "Although many kinds of sex toys can be cleaned and shared,
it is safest not to share, and I preferred not to share, and so if I
was seeing someone who was interested in playing with toys, I told
them they would have to buy one just for me and let me keep it, or I
would not play. So, that is why I have so many. I used them with
"Were a lot of them women?"
"But if it was a guy, could he not just fuck you himself? Why would
he need the toy?"
"It's not really so much need. Sometimes it's more about the
control, or stretching up without having to use fingers, or about
watching. Some of these people, I mean, particular ones, I…"
"Well, I was just going to say…maybe it's OK to tell you this,
because maybe it is important for you to know. I mean, not about the
lovers or who bought me gifts, but…you see, I had different ways of
meeting people, and some I just randomly met at a club while
dancing, and some was in a way guild related, and some amount I met
going to fetish events and clubs. You know, at some point, I
realized that the bondage worked and some amount of pain or
punishment worked, and I basically experimented with that for a
"You went to fetish clubs."
"Yeah, and though Hilde could be amused with some light bondage play
and smacking around, she's not really a devotee, if you will. So, it
wasn't like I showed up with a partner. I was young and infamous and
pretty and looking to be dominated, so I was pretty popular. I mean,
there's people who won't play with you if they think you are new or
untrained, but there's others who get off on training new subs as
well. Anyway, a lot of this collection is really from that time,
from those same partners. So, I guess the answer to your question
before, is that the usual dumbfucks didn't use the toys at all, male
or female. It was, for me anyway, mostly a fetish thing. I learned a
lot of games and tricks then, Heero. Some of it, you have never
tried or maybe thought of. If you wanted to know, I would tell you,
because I am yours now. It's OK if you don't want to know. It's not
like I need to do all those things, but if you were interested, I
probably could tell you a lot that I have not told you yet."
"Was Christie there?"
"Yes, but I did not meet her there. I met her through other guild
associates, but she did tell me how to find some of the events."
"Did she train you?"
"Yes. She was one of those who trained me. Well, I should probably
say, tried. I would take punishments and restraint well enough, but
I never actually gained discipline. I never actually became very
submissive to anyone, and in fact I ended up playing Dom to certain
people. I was good practice for Christie, because she was still in
training to be a professional Dominatrix, when I first met her. I
would let her try out all the various implements on me."
"And then you fucked her?"
"Duo, I do not think I really control you. I think that you like me
and so you control yourself willingly when I am the one making
"Well, that's all control ever is, as far as submission goes, isn't
it? Otherwise, it's not that they're submitting, it's just that they
are being forced. There is a big difference, although it may appear
subtle to some. I submit to you. Sometimes, your reason to chose to
submit could be a kind of fear, but that didn't happen with me,
well, except for the fear of disappointing, but you know what I
"You did not actually fear the beatings."
"Yeah. So, does it matter if I submit because I like you more or
because you are more or less forceful or because you know me better
and how I think? I submit to you and I don't to others."
"I understand, but then, do you need punishment really?"
"That is for you to decide. If you want me to submit more or in a
different way than I have already, or if I do not perform a task to
your satisfaction, you must communicate to me that you are
disappointed and unsatisfied."
"But if I only tell you, will you want to change?"
"Sometimes scolding is enough. Heero, if you don't think it should
be physical, it doesn't have to me. I mean, a lot of people are
against beating their children, but they'll still send them alone to
their room or sit them on a step or in a corner and feel OK. Which
is worse? Being smacked around a bit, or being isolated in some way?"
"That depends on the one who is being punished and their experience."
"Isolation does seem punishment to you, but it is very harsh for
you. It is, something you fear very much, and for anyone to use
isolation regularly to control you, without serious consideration
and sound psychological theory might damage you. You feared torture
and imprisonment, but gradually, you are dealing with those fears. A
physical punishment is almost like a reward for you. It still hurts,
but psychologically, it is comforting."
"Because pain, when given as punishment, is part of a known control
system, and if one believes in the system and in the one controlling
that system, than even the punishment is comforting, because they
are reminded that there is someone or some force there that holds
control. The one who is punished is comforted by the punishment,
even as they understand that it is punishment for disobedience or
failure. If pain is give without known reason or without system of
control, then it is just pain. Even torture as a prisoner of war
comes under some known system of control. The prisoner understands
why it happens."
"And to have someone suggest that it was pointless and unnecessary
Heero had suggested that before. He snapped the bauble around the
right pigtail and was finished arranging Duo's hair. "Duo. I need to
leave you alone for a little while."
"What?" There was already stress in his voice.
"I understand very well that the physical punishment allows you to
let go and feel better, and if you feel comforted by that, I can
give you that for any reason I want, but as serious punishment, it
does not work that well. Restraint punishes you more. Isolation will
punish you even more than restraint. You are so good to me and so I
often give you rewards and pamper you, but you know that sometimes
you misbehave and deserve punishment. It is not right to simply take
away punishment because you are good later. The punishment and
reward are separate. I am going to leave you alone for a while. I
will make it easy this time. You can keep the movie on and I will
not put you in further restraints. All you have to do is stay in
this room by yourself. I will leave, I will take the phones and I
will keep the dogs out. If you try to leave, if you use the computer
for anything other than watching the movie, if you take down your
hair, I will come up with a more severe punishment for you.
"Do you understand?"
"It's not right!"
"Do you understand the rules I have made for you?"
Duo's brow furrowed. "Yes", he said.
"I will return when your punishment is over, and then we can do
things together again."
"Heero", he whispered.
Heero shook his head. He gathered up the phones and called the dogs,
and left as he had promised.
Duo watched him go, and when Heero closed the doors between the
dining room and the addition, he reached to the wall and switched
off the lights so that in the bedroom Duo would only see a
reflection on the panes of glass in the doors.
Heero then sat down in the living room and waited. Fairly soon Duo
switched off the lights in the bedroom, in an attempt to see Heero
through the glass, but Heero lay down behind the arm of the couch
and ignored him.
Maybe five minutes, Heero thought. He should not be gone too long,
but then, he wanted to be gone long enough that Duo felt punished.
For a normal person being in that room alone for five minutes would
probably be fun. It was not like Heero had left him in an empty
cell. But knowing that it was intended as punishment would punish
Duo. It was the knowledge that would do it.
When Heero returned to the bedroom five minutes later it was lit
only by the glow of the monitor. He could see Duo lying on his side,
watching the movie. Duo had found ever piece of his blue velvet
bondage gear and put it on, and he was clutching Bomb Bear to his
chest. For a moment, just as Heero opened the door, he could still
hear Duo reciting the lines of dialogue from the movie, which he had
He really did fear being alone. He had programmed a companion to
speak to him when he was otherwise alone in his software lab. He had
taken Nu with him when he went to the garage. He most always carried
his phone with him. He was very social and physically affectionate.
Duo really hated being alone. Heero thought it was going to be good
if he could teach Duo to overcome his fear. He did not wish to be
cruel, but if he had to use all his persuasion to make Duo face his
fear a little at a time, he would. Duo would be better for it.
"I am back", Heero said. "Give Nu a hug, he missed you." Heero
nudged the Husky toward Duo.
Duo sat slowly and dropped the bear to his lap, so that it hid his
dick, and put his arms around the dog when it came to him. He put
his face to Nu's furry neck and whispered to the dog. "Good Boy,"
Heero heard him say, "did ya miss me? It's OK. I'm here."
Heero went to the bed, still naked himself, and sat at Duo's back.
He touched his fingertips to Duo's shoulder and Duo arched then went
still. "I am proud of you", Heero said. "You took your punishment
well. It is over now. I am here."
Duo did not move.
Heero kissed his shoulder then. "Duo."
He would do anything. He would do anything Heero wanted if it
involved touching. Heero decided, he better not abuse this knowledge
or condition. His plan involved an entire night of working toward
peeks of pleasure, with short breaks in between, culminating in
really amazing sex. "I am not sorry. I punished you because you
needed it. I am here now."
Duo's breathing was irregular, like he was aroused. Heero slipped a
hand around Duo's waist and between his legs and confirmed his
suspicion. How many times today, Heero wondered. He rolled his thumb
over the head of Duo's dick.
"Duo, please massage my feet." Heero shifted position to wrap his
left leg around Duo and thus offer his foot, without asking Duo to
move. "I will massage you next, if you like."
"I sorted all the toys," Duo said, but he began to rub Heero's foot.
"I am going to get rid of most of them", Heero said.
"Save the inventory list for me. If you are good, I will buy you all
new toys. If you know some reliable brands or suppliers, please add
those notes to the inventory. That would be helpful information."
Heero lay his cheek to Duo's back and wrapped his arms about Duo's
chest. Duo gave excellent foot rubs. "I love you!" Heero said.
"Yes, Heero", Duo said, and then he laughed. When Heero heard that
laugh, he knew this was the same Duo he had always known. He was not
broken or demoralized, not permanently or severely anyway. He was
only submitting because he chose to. After all the competition, Duo
just chose to be the one to surrender; Heero loved him so much.
"You are so cute in pigtails!"
"If you so much as answer your phone with me in the background…" Duo
Heero snaked his hand up Duo's body and gave the ring through his
right nipple a tug. "You will choose not to submit to my will and
force me to punish you again?"
"Heero." That tone was not submissive at all.
He almost called him `Duo-chan' bought thought better of it. "Duo.
Duo, I was teasing. I take our arrangement and all its bonds of
trust seriously. I would never attempt to truly harm you, because I
do love you and I want you to be happy, too. I do not even want
anyone else to see. It is just for me."
Duo's voice was soft again; no Shinigami coldness of space. "I am
happy, just not about the possibility of any of the guys seeing me
like this." He took one hand from Heero's foot to swat the rightmost
pigtail. He whispered then. "It is OK for you to do it."
"That feels so good!" Heero told Duo, and was certain that Duo would
understand, he did not only mean the way he rubbed his foot. Not
really saying it enabled them both to save face a bit, and not
openly admit how pathetically sappy they were.
It was not that emotions were bad, everyone had them, but maybe it
was just that even though he had been told it was good to act on
one's emotions, he could not rid himself of all the other
instruction and cultural examples in his life that said otherwise.
Emotions are not bad, everyone has them, but do not show them
carelessly, or you will be considered weak.
"Duo, did you know I meant not only the way my foot felt."
"I knew", Duo said quickly.
"You can tell me anything, Heero." He loosed Heero's left foot and
reached back for the right, and as he did, his left hand rubbed
Heero's left thigh and knee in a way that was much more comforting
than sexual. Heero was grateful for it. "You do remember? Just
because I am your wonderfully submissive live-in boyfriend, does not
mean that you lost your best buddy. I'm still that guy too, you
know, with the spilling guts when sober."
Heero smiled at the way Duo said it, but he knew. "Do you…or rather,
I mean, I think that there was a period of time when `Battle
fatigue' described exactly how I felt, and maybe I have PTSD or
something like it…"
"Yeah, and? I take anti-depressants. So what."
"Well, I was not trying to say that having a disorder was good or
bad or anyone's fault. Only, it is true. I have something going on
inside me that maybe was not there all my life, that maybe grew with
all the fighting and killing."
"You do", Duo said quietly, "I know. I've seen it. How can I help
you right now?"
"Do I…? You see, I have to ask you, because I am not certain I can
always judge this objectively. Do I have or I mean, express too much
or too little emotion?"
Duo was silent for a moment and his thumbs dug into the sole of
Heero's right foot particularly forcefully; Heero suspected Duo was
smiling and suppressing laughter. He supposed he appreciated that
Duo chose not to express his amusement. Heero knew it sounded like a
stupid question, but he only asked because he did not know.
"Heero, I don't think I can just make some quantitative judgment
there. I don't think that with emotions it's exactly a too much/too
little thing. It's more when and how. It's if you do express what
matters in some way. But, though I took on psych class and read some
books about affective disorders, I'm not really an expert. I mean,
maybe what you are really asking, or wondering is if the amount you
express emotions is seen as strong or weak, and that's one of those
things that is relative to the context and cultural background of
those involved. I believe you are a strong person. I mean, apart
from being able to bend steal bars and even small pieces of
gundanium with only a sprained wrist as result, you have strength of
"That strength that you have is even greater than your physical
strength. You are a good person, and even if, like any person, you
can be led along some dark path for a while and cause pain, or make
mistakes and generally cause `human error', you have the ability and
strength to recognize that you have erred and then seek out your own
punishment, or atonement. You are a person who understands that
sometimes the strongest thing you can do is fight, sometimes the
very strongest thing you can do is surrender, and other times the
strongest thing you can do is admit that you cannot succeed alone
and to ask for help.
"Heero, if you told me aloud in public every five minutes that you
loved me, you would still be that strong person. If you kissed me in
front of someone, or glomped Quatre one day or if you wear a skirt,
or worry that the dogs do not have enough water, you will still be
strong and good."
Heero felt like his insides were being squeezed and the pressure was
forcing liquid to well in his eyes.
"And if anyone ever denied that you were strong and good or tried to
attack you, I would defend you, if it means I fight, or I stand and
take a beating, I would defend you, always!"
Heero blinked rapidly and saw the blurry shape of Duo turn. He felt
Duo shift in his arms and then he felt Duo's arms wrap around him.
No sniffling or blubbering, but Heero could not help the tears. Duo
had made him cry; he had felt the full force of what he had only
acknowledged as the truth before. Duo absolutely loved him. Duo knew
him, and he loved him. A long clove-scented pigtail fell against his
face as he embraced Duo.
"I love you so much." Heero was certain his voice resonated with all
Duo's did. "Heero."
"I love you", Heero whispered.
Duo clutched Heero all the more strongly. His words rasped from a
tightened throat. "Heero. I never thought I could have someone with
me, like this. Every time I felt loved…"
"I need this", Duo said, and though the sounds qualified as sobbing,
Heero still thought him strong. "God, Heero, I need this. I need
"It's because we are human", Heero said quietly. He lifted his hands
to feel for the baubles holding Duo's hair and let it down. "It is
OK. We are human. We both needed to feel loved, and since we do not
have big families living to love us, we have to give each other a
lot of love."
Duo put a slight distance between them and sat before Heero, with
his head bowed, his hands on Heero's arms. "Heero, if you were not
acting yourself, if I ever suspected a disorder controlled you,
instead of you controlling the disorder, I would do something to
help you or get you help. I know you would do the same for me."
"I would", Heero whispered.
"This is not like that." He raised his head slightly and moved his
right hand slowly, to touch his fingers to Heero's face, where it
was wet with tears. "You really love me."
"You really love me."
Duo kissed him. It was strange. That was, Heero decided, because
rather than the usual love mixed with a righteous amount of lust, it
was just the love. Heero smiled at Duo as they parted and then
returned the kiss. All the love.
"Baby," Duo said, his voice no longer quite so overwhelmed by
emotion, but still expressing a great deal of fondness, "if you want
to do sappy shit and tell me you love me forty-eight times a day,
I'll handle it, could probably use it after the life I've had, but
if you want to just glare and say, `hn' and let me translate to know
you love me, that's kewl, too."
"I know", Duo said, and in Han Solo fashion, that also meant, `I
"Duo, would you like to go outside with me?"
"Well," Heero started, and hesitated because he had not expected
Duo's response, "on Earth, you can go outside to get fresh air."
Duo laughed. "I guess you can."
Heero touched his tear-streaked face. "I need some fresh air, and we
do have a yard."
"OK. You wanna get dressed?"
"We have a fence, but some clothing would probably be a good idea."
"Yeah. You and I know the kind of technology they have in the
Colonies. They could get photos of us frolicking naked in the yard
before Earth Paparazzi managed to get past the
"If parties with such technology were really interested in getting
nude pictures of us, we would have us much to fear from Earth-
launched drone planes and orbital imaging satellites. I was more
concerned with neighbors being offended should they see us from one
of the higher windows on their house."
"Right." Duo laughed.
Heero had an impulse to wear something of Duo's, so he left their
bed and went to the area taken over by Duo's wardrobe. He found one
of Duo's long black skirts, as he apparently owned a number of them,
and pulled it on, as Duo watched, confused.
Duo shrugged and then looked through Heero's clothing. Apart from
the mainstays of his wardrobe, which included things Heero believed
versatile and classic, such as jeans, solid color tees, dark slacks
and athletic gear for athletic activity, he did have a few articles
of clothing he had collected during his travels, and Duo found one.
The pink t-shirt with illustration of art deco buildings and palm
trees with the name `Miami' on it was snug on him, but somehow, on
Duo, it looked purposeful fashion statement rather than just too
small. Heero retaliated by pulling on his Flying Monks gym shirt,
which had been Duo's, as it was old enough to fit as snugly on his
body. After that, Duo could not very well out do him, because
Heero's pants did not fit him. Duo wore some of his own that seemed
to be made as pajama pants; Heero had not seen them before.
"Maybe I could order a garment rack."
"No, I'll handle it", Duo said, meaning, Heero thought, that he
realized he had told Heero he would take care of getting vehicles
for the move to Earth, and that he knew buying them in parts and not
having completed one yet was an inconvenience. Heero had never owned
a car or any vehicle before. He had not really considered any of the
mobile suits, even the Gundams as belonging to him, only that he was
the designated pilot of each for a time. It was only inconvenient
because they had a house and were discovering that two people did
need a lot of things to live comfortably.
They would survive, but it would be convenient to have a vehicle to
drive downtown and some small kitchen appliances and a place to hang
clothing, other than the very small closet accessible from the hall.
They had two bedrooms with closets, but these were partially
demolished as walls and closets had to be repositioned to
accommodate the new stairs to the second floor addition.
Heero stepped into an old pair of boots without socks and went to
the door that led to the backyard. Duo called to Nu before
following. Heero only patted his leg and Koi came to his side.
The area immediately behind the house was not very pleasant to look
at, what landscaping had remained from previous owners had been
uprooted or at the least strained by the presence of machinery,
construction stockpiles and ladders abandoned for the weekend. The
temporary cover of tarp and plastic sheeting over the stripped
section of the house fluttered slightly in a breeze coming off the
nearby lake, or off the ocean less than a mile to the west. It was
hard to say exactly, as the air always smelled something of the sea.
Sea and evergreens.
The wooded parts of the yard were untouched by construction. It had
rained once already since the pavers had completed the drive and
basketball court, so there was no obvious sign of new construction
there, except for the ribbon of black asphalt running into the woods
and through to the second entrance to the double lot the house and
garage were built on. Heero had been away for the rain.
He wanted the construction to be completed, though he knew it would
take some months, and then he wanted to see it rain through the
windows, from inside the house. He wanted to see it snow. He hoped
it would snow, though rain was said to be more common for the area.
The mountains visible over the roof of plastic sheeting, to the
east, had snowcaps even in summer.
"I'm going to learn to climb trees!"
Heero laughed. "In your spare time?"
"Eventually", Duo insisted. "Once the house is finished, I guess
we'll have landscaping to do."
Heero nodded. He saw the dogs chase each other playfully into the
trees. "Maybe we will have the estate just as we like it by the time
you graduate from university."
"Yeah, and maybe I'll have my kid running around here when he's on
break from school. We might need to invest in a tree house."
"Yeah, a little secret base built up in a tree for kids to play in."
"Probably is. I hear kids love them."
"Maybe we should have a tree house now, just for us."
Duo grinned. "Sure, and maybe an outdoor hot tub, and a gazebo and a
tea house and a patio out behind the garage for barbequing and some
dog houses and, I don't know, a firing range."
"There might be zoning against a firing range."
"Hell, I'll soundproof a section of the garage."
"I might like that."
"Yeah. We'll just have to keep everything locked up."
"I will never feel rich again."
Duo snorted, his way of communicating disbelief.
"I know that I did end up owning some things of value and
businesses, but it takes a lot of money to keep those businesses
operating. So much goes back into them."
"Yeah, but are you telling me you don't get some fat auto deposit
into your account at least once a month and a good amount of money
whenever you and Midii complete one of your assignments?"
"Well, I do, but let's remember, I also have a share in a mortgage,
and construction contracts to settle, and now it seems many future
construction contracts. And there are regular bills and taxes
related to owning and operating this property, and I need to set
aside money to take you away on holidays and buy you gifts and just
"Vacations, and I am sharing in paying all those bills and stuff,
I'll buy you gifts."
"No doubt, you are turning out to be an excellent boyfriend, but,
let us understand something, I know you will have a child in the
future, and even if her pride leads her to insist she does not need
you, Hilde will certainly realize that even if she does not `need'
you she can `use' your financial assistance. Besides, you are going
to be paying off student loans. Duo, it was true that I felt I would
not be `rich', but if I can afford to pay a larger portion of some
bills in some months, then I can. And before you insist on fair
sharing, let's consider that your work and school will not only
leave you with all sorts of incidental and commuting costs, but it
will take you away from the house a lot of the time. It is our
house, so the mortgage payment should be halved, but you really will
not be consuming 50 percent of the food or electricity or water.
And, you should let me pay a larger share of our vacation costs,
because I want to."
"Why'd you complain about not feeling rich and then go say I should
let you spend money on me?"
"I-I am sorry. That might have sounded manipulative, like a `guilt
trip'. I really was not intending it that way."
"Look, I don't want to just agree. If there's some particular month
where I can't cover a payment for something, then I'll ask you about
helping me, until I pay you back, and if you have to decline, I'll
ask someone else. I don't have problems with asking for money.
Sometimes, it's just what you have to do. I lost that kind of pride
a long time ago, and don't really miss it. Still, I'm no deadbeat. I
pay as much as I can when I have the money, and finagle the rest of
the time. I don't want us to suddenly have fights about money
because we started sharing a house. I got loans for the house and
school, but that only means I have to pay later. You don't know that
I won't be able to. I might do something before then to make a lot
of money. And I do work."
"You do. Two jobs even. I will just do my best to manage my assets
wisely so I can cover my share of expenses. But, you should let me
pay for vacations. It can be like dating rules."
"Sure, but maybe sometime I'll pay for a vacation."
"OK, but then you have to plan it and invite me to join you."
"Glad we worked that out."
Duo breathed deeply. "The air does seem fresher here."
"I bet if we hid behind the right trees the neighbors could not even
"That is a possibility."
"I would like to just nail you to a tree one time."
Heero smiled. "You want to get nailed."
"Oh, I'd love a repeat of that, but at least once, I'd like to do it
Heero nodded slowly, thoughtfully. "I might give you that
opportunity, in the future. I will definitely keep that desire of
yours in mind. It would not be like the park. There is wild flora
and fauna here. Insects."
"Yeah, but other people do it, out in nature. Don't you want to try?"
"In the future. I was thinking of the bed tonight."
"Bed would be good."
"So, wash up, have a nice dinner, and then go back to bed?"
"Ya know… we could probably play a video game after dinner, and then
go to bed."
Heero smiled, a lot. "I almost finished setting things up. If I help
you start fixing dinner, then you can finish, while I set up the
game systems! Then after dinner we can play."
"And after we play, we can play!"
"Mm, I was thinking slow and deep with you all trussed up."
"Could you wait to talk dirty until after dinner?"
Heero gave Duo a sidelong glare. "Who was it who spoke of nailing me
to a tree?"
Duo looked shocked, and then very happy, because he knew Heero had
liked his idea.
Heero smiled at him. "Let's get the dogs and go inside."
"Koi! Nu! Come on Boys! Faster you get here, the faster your Daddy
Oh yes, thought Heero, Duo was going to make a great father.
That night, after their lengthy lovemaking session, Duo failed to
take Heero's well-meant advice, or even his own, and went to the
garage to work, rather than take a bath, get some sleep, or wait
fifteen minutes for Heero to be awake enough to give him the massage
he had promised earlier.
Heero was annoyed that Duo left the bed to work, so even though he
knew Duo was stubborn enough not to stop working until he finished
his project and helping him would enable Duo to get to sleep faster,
Heero decided he would just go to sleep and do what he could for Duo
in the morning. Maybe Duo would learn that making a custom barbeque
grill from salvaged scrap metal was not a life or death mission.
The dogs went with Duo, both of them. Koi was Heero's dog, but Heero
was aware that Koi was either a forgiving or masochistic animal,
illogical as either option sounded, and perhaps even understood that
his Master wished for Duo's well being, and sometimes would put
himself close to Duo, if he sensed Duo needed help. It was actually
a bad sign if Koi made himself Duo's shadow, like spotting vultures
circling. Duo was likely going to need help.
Heero slept, had one nightmare that he was aware of, though he did
not remember the details when he woke, only that there had been
something bad he had not been able to prevent, and put himself back
to sleep. He cursed himself and Duo and Koi as well, that he had to
lie in the dark and count himself to sleep, fearing that some vision
of death would take his mind again.
Heero woke in the morning, having slept a total of seven hours. He
thought about the type of clothing he might wear to meet neighbors,
put together an outfit, and then went to the bathroom to wash.
Heero felt much better after washing and bathing, and after
dressing, he called Duo's phone. It rang several times and then
Heero heard Duo's voice shout over background noise of metal on
metal and bass-heavy music. "I'm almost done! I'll send the dogs
out, all right?"
"Come in soon and get some rest."
Heero went to the front door. He stepped out onto the steps, under
the arbor. The vines growing over it would need tending when the
construction equipment had been moved. He saw one of the doors open
and the dogs pad out onto the drive. If Duo was there, Heero had not
He called to the dogs and they came to him. Heero pet them both and
looked them over, deciding he would give the dogs a bath.
Heero changed out of his casual party outfit into another, so he
would not later show up smelling of dog. Koi was accustomed to
showering, but Nu was not and Heero had to restrain the dog on his
leash in order to wash him. Heero toweled the dogs dry and realized
Duo had not done the laundry.
Heero gathered all their dirty laundry, including the bed sheets
used up until that morning and put it in a plastic crate near the
When he had finished brushing out Koi and Nu's fur, Heero freshened
up, changed into his party outfit again, and went to the kitchen. He
supposed that whether Duo finished the grill or not, assuming the
grill was what he was working on, they should have something to
bring to their hosts. If Duo did finish the grill, they would need
suitable meat to barbeque.
Heero brought his mobile into the kitchen and stood doing research
as he contemplated food he might prepare for a cook out. A search
for `authentic barbeque recipe' brought up a google of hits,
including `authentic Thai barbeque', `authentic Carolina
barbeque', `authentic Texas barbeque', `authentic Argentinean
barbeque', `authentic Jamaican barbeque' and so on. Heero scanned
the recipes and then went to the online grocery service he had used
before. He selected the items that had most frequently or notably
appeared in barbeque sauce recipes and a selection of cuts of meat
that seemed affordable and commonly barbequed. They had various bags
of charcoal and wood pellets for grilling and barbequing and some
were even on sale, so Heero selected some of the charcoal and wood
There was a loud motorized sound coming from the back of the house
and Heero peered through the window to see Duo brandishing a chain
saw over the pile of trunks and branches they had cleared for the
sake of the house. Heero laughed softly to himself. "You had better
let me see you enjoy Labor Day, Maxwell, or I will really make you
feel sorry for leaving me alone in bed."
Heero went through the check out and noted the time the goods would
be delivered. He would have to call and say they would arrive after
the start of the party. Heero completed his shopping and then went
to the living room to find the cook out invitation. He called
Mitchie's number using his phone and hoped it was not too early to
call a neighbor on a holiday. Then he thought that the hosts of a
party probably had to be awake early to make preparations.
It was not Mitchie that answered the phone. The broader woman, as
Mitchie was quite slender, said, "Hello."
"Hello. This is Heero. I received an invitation from Mitchie."
She turned from the lens. He heard her say, "It's Heero calling",
though her voice was muffled slightly by the fact that vidphone mics
were designed to pick up speak directed toward them. "Do you need to
speak with her?" she asked Heero then.
"It is about the cook out. Are you Candy?"
"Yeah." She laughed, but did not really sound highly amused. "I
didn't say, did I. I am Candy. Nice to meet you."
"A pleasure", Heero said automatically. "I just wanted to call to
say that Duo and I plan on attending, but we may not arrive until 3
or sometime shortly after that, if that is acceptable."
"Oh, sure, sure. We would be glad to have you. We are doing things
very open house and some people will arrive early on for lunch and
leave and others will not arrive until later and have dinner. We
will probably have some kind of desserts later."
"Thank you for the information. Can you tell me if there is anything
we can bring?"
"Anything he can bring?" Candy asked Mitchie.
Mitchie appeared on the small screen, similar in coloring to Candy,
with light skin, but dark hair and eyes, only smaller, more slender,
and with different enough facial features that they definitely
seemed lovers and not relatives. "We are preparing plenty of food
ourselves, but if you want to bring a dessert or snack or you are
particular about what you eat and want to be sure to have something
you can eat, then please bring whatever you like. Trisha is
vegetarian so she always brings some veggie burgers, though we try
to accommodate all our friends and neighbors if we can."
"Thank you. Perhaps we will bring something. See you later."
"Bye," Mitchie said.
The noise outside had stopped and Heero saw Duo carrying some wood
toward the garage. Perhaps he really had finished constructing a
grill of some kind.
Heero spent the later part of the morning in the kitchen making rice
balls to take to the cook out. At approximately 11:20 am Duo walked
in the front door, staggered to the couch and flopped down. He said
something that sounded like, "was gonna builda t'chamber S`ker,
Buddha got tired an' builda wood-burn'grill instead." Heero went to
the living room to ask Duo what he was talking about, but he was
Heero completed preparations on the rice balls and washed his hands.
He went to the bedroom then and picked out an outfit for Duo to
wear. He suspected Duo might complain about this, but he would have
a limited amount of time to get ready before they had to leave the
While Duo slept, Heero took a trash bag into the bedroom and put
into it all the sex toys he did not wish Duo to keep. Heero picked
out a few things he wanted them to keep. Some of these were things
Duo had made himself that had not been designed as restraints, there
were some wooden massagers that Heero was certain he could use to
give Duo new anecdotes, and then a small selection of the leather or
hair implements, such as cats, crops, floggers and the like. Heero
decided to keep the small number of implements of torture because he
had learned that Duo had purchased these himself and that they were
of such a make and quality that they were expensive to acquire or
replace. The restraints, masks and related items all went into the
trash bag with the various dildos, no matter their quality or
condition. Heero did leave Duo the various lengths of cord, ribbon
and scarves he sometimes used as restraints, because they were such
common items and Heero had already used some several times, but
Heero did empty Bomb Bear of all the expired or nearly expired
prophylactics he could find, as well as some containers of lube that
just looked old or nearly used up.
In the time remaining, Heero did his best to straighten up the
bedroom, but their large amount of clothes and personal items still
caused it to look cluttered. He did put clean sheets on the bed.
At 2:16 the grocery delivery arrived. Heero supervised the unpacking
and then saw the delivery person out. He woke Duo at 2:30pm.
"No", Duo said.
"Wake up. It is almost time to go see the neighbors." Heero gave Duo
a shove and then as he saw Duo wake and open his eyes, he offered
the pills and bottled water. Duo accepted the water and then went to
the bathroom, where he would find the clothes Heero had selected
Heero harnessed and leashed the dogs and packed the foodstuffs they
would take to the neighbors in one of the plastic packing boxes,
except for the meat. Duo was out of the shower and dressed by 2:45.
He nearly tripped over the trash bag of sex toys in the dining room
and looked dazed when Heero asked if he had in fact finished a grill
and did he want to decide what meat to cook on it. Heero had to
repeat his question.
"Uh, I wasn't even thinking", Duo admitted, realizing that they
would not have had anything to cook if Heero had not bought
something. "Ribs, I guess."
"Do you need charcoal or wood chips for it?"
"Wood chips might be good. The way I built it, I could use charcoal
along with wood pellets to get the smoky flavor, or I could actually
put wood in it. I think I'm going to build a separate firebox
sometime and rig valves or something, so I can convert to a 2
chamber smoker instead of just the grill."
This information was so outside of Heero's area of knowledge that he
simply nodded dumbly. He understood what a grill was and that they
used various sources of heat or flame, but he was not more
knowledgeable than that.
Heero put the ribs into the box as Duo went back into the bedroom.
He changed his jewelry and found his sunglasses. He wore the
motorcycle boots, black jeans and band tee that Heero had chosen,
but he also wore one blue velvet bondage cuff on his left wrist, and
the Dartmoor Claddagh, which he would remove only for such tasks
that might dirty or damage the ring and return to his finger
afterward. Heero touched the ring hanging from the chain around his
"You really did get rid of most of it", Duo said.
Heero realized he meant the sex toys. "Yes. I did decide to get rid
of them. You should still clean and neatly store the things that
remain, when you get a chance. You should take the trash bag out for
pick up tomorrow, early in the morning. And, there is the laundry to
do. I collected it for you."
"I'll get to that tonight", Duo sighed.
"You could have taken the muscle relaxers."
"I'm OK, Heero. Maybe a bit tired…"
"I was not happy that you left last night and did not come to bed.
It is not the same as you being away at school or at work. You were
here, but you chose not to sleep with me, and even though I
understand that in theory, sometimes people need space, we had
already discussed that you could build a grill in the future."
"I wouldn't have been able to sleep. When I get a plan in my head
like that, I need to go work. I didn't do it to get away from you."
"But you still did it."
"Did you wake up? During the night?"
"I don't know why Koi follows me sometimes." Duo turned then and
spoke as if to Koi. "He knows I think he's the devil. He was whining
at me the whole night." He spoke to Hero again. "If I have to get up
and do something…sometimes I just do that, Heero…I'll make sure Koi
stays with you."
"That would be better."
"So, you mean to buy me new toys?"
"Some. If you are good. If you need them."
"You took all the dicks."
"Well, I need at least one. It's part of my routine, when I can't
see you for a few days. You knew that."
"I understand. I have not yet located a reputable supplier of such
toys or supplies in Sitka, if there is one here. I thought that I
would give you a loaded cash card so you could pick something out
when you go to school. You should be able to find more than one
store to shop at in San Francisco, and you will be going through
there often now." Though neither Stanford or New Edwards were in San
Francisco proper, they were closely located to the city, and Duo
would often go through one of the airports there.
"Ready to go meet the neighbors?"
Duo grinned. He was ready to show them all the artifice that people
thought was Duo Maxwell. Heero could no object. He was nervous about
meeting a lot of normal suburban Earthlings and attending one of
their social functions.