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

Another Version of Events
by Karan Seraph
Chapter 96

Heero had taken a security consulting job that came up short notice and which required him to stay for more than a week in Miami, so when he returned home October Sixth, a Friday, he had already heard Duo's rant on the phone about finding out that Trowa was his new partner in Preventers and that Quatre and Trowa had both known beforehand, without telling him, but he had not expected to find one of them in bed with Duo.

The New Chaos, as he now called it, had only begun when Heero had taken the job, and so he and Duo had not seen each other in a week and a half. Heero had expected something unexpected, but not someone else in bed with his lover. It was Quatre, in khakis and a snug retro tee, looking like someone who played a college student on an American TV drama.

Heero dropped his bags to the floor gently, Koi had come in with him, Quatre looked pleased to see the animal, and Nu was beside the bed lying on Heero's racing jacket, so Duo had obviously picked him up from the MacDonald family. "Trying to convince me to go three-way part of the New Chaos, Duo-chan?"

"You can't call me Duo-chan so easily."

"Yes I can. Believe it means whatever you want. This region has enjoyed right to Free Speech for a long time; I can say what I like. Break up with me, if you do not like it."

Duo laughed as Heero sat on the bed, putting Quatre between them, for it was a joke when Heero suggested they break up. It seemed an effective way to stop Duo from arguing certain points. Constant pet or not, Heero did not want to give up use of `Duo-chan'.

"Nu is getting hair on my jacket."

"Not even a kiss hello?"

"I did just find you in bed with another man", Heero said as he removed his sandals. A few days in Miami and he had bought them, and a few garments, rather than fight the humidity.

"We were waiting for you," Quatre said. He leaned into Heero's arm and kissed his cheek. There was nothing remotely sexual about it. It only felt like being kissed by someone who was a friend, a intimate friend perhaps, but still an individual in the friend zone. Heero was certain it was the same way between Duo and Quatre.

"So, Quatre, when are you going to show us how big your cock is?"

Duo gasped and threw himself against the bed and howled with laughter. Quatre's pale skin went intensely red. Heero smirked, winked at Quatre, then moved past him to get to Duo. He did not stop laughing until he felt Heero's weight on him, and then he still took a minute to catch his breath. Heero watched and smiled. "I like when you laugh at my jokes."

"Some make it easier than others. Hello. Welcome home."

"Good to be home." Heero kissed Duo once, quickly, no tongue. "One day together this week, one bedroom, and you bring a houseguest home? You really are trying to challenge me these days."

"Guess what I found out this week!"

"You are dying to tell me."

"I am! MaxTech got accepted to demonstrate live tests of our Tinman for reps of the government's MCP and some Colonial Representative of L4 offered to put up the representatives and MaxTech personnel at their compound in the Middle East West District!" All in one breath, of course.

"That would be Quatre."

"That would be me", Quatre agreed.

"So, it means Relena will be there, and whoever gets assigned to guard her, maybe Wufei, and Hilde will meet us…you can come right? I'm getting out of classes, since it's work related and Trowa got us leave to go; he's already the favorite of our CO." Heero had heard all about Colonel Bell already. Duo was convinced that he was a `leather queen'. Trowa had thus far made no comment on the subject other than to indicate he did not care what his CO's preferences were, fashion or otherwise, but he did know his new partner was some `goth boy', and they were always bisexual. This had offended Duo on `so many levels' and he refused to say what Trowa was, because `you know, Trowa will kill me'. Heero responded that only he was allowed to kill Duo, and this had pacified Duo very well. "You can come, right? No work?"

"I can join you. The consultation is completed, payment transferred. I will have a job later this month in New York."

"But you said that was around the end of the month, right?"

Heero folded his arms over Duo's chest and nodded.

"So, we'll all have party time at Quatre's!"

"Yes, if you promise not to argue with Trowa too much!"

"I have to razz him a little."

"If they kill each other, we can finally be alone together, Heero."

Heero turned and smiled at Quatre. "We would rule the world."

"Oi, why can't you `rule the world' with me."

Heero slipped his hands either side of Duo and pressed his cheek to his chest to hug him. "Because you and I will always be underdogs and take on loosing battles together."

"You can take on loosing battles with Quatre!"

"That is just it, the way Heero and I are, we would work too smoothly together and forget to be each other's conscience and so we would take over the world, by any means."

"And stylishly", Heero added.

"But of course. It is probably best for the world you love Duo." Quatre reclined then, leaning back on his elbows and turning his head to look at Heero and Duo, lying together. "It is a lovely house. I was saying to Duo it was charming."

"That's code for small. All Quatre's houses are bigger than this one."

"Duo, it is only two houses."

"When is the test and when do we leave?"

"The actual test is Tuesday, so we'll leave tomorrow, get there maybe…"

"It is a long flight from here and my jet will need to make at least one fuel stop, but we will also head west. We should get there Saturday night."

"So we'll have two days to do fun stuff and then the tests and then we'll get a flight home. I'll need to use those days to catch up on schoolwork, but I'll be here with you. Then I have to report to the base over the weekend for work, and back to usual on the Sixteenth."

"Plans for the rest of today?"

"I talked to Ester, Gory and Jen last night and since Friday isn't a school night for them, I made plans for us to go on a hike. Quatre wants to meet them. I know Barb and Cia are not coming, but it's possible Pete or Jan will come along." Those were all the kids Heero liked best.

"Any surface mail while I was away."

"Yeah, you got a package from Midii. The rest was junk or bills."

"I thought we opted to receive everything net-only without paper copies."

"Yeah, gotta save the forests. You can look at them and see what happened, if you want. Maybe the command wasn't processed correctly." He spoke to Quatre. "All this forest here is Tongass National Forest. Ester says that a long time ago all the pacific northwest coast of America was temperate rainforests and it's a pretty rare ecosystem, otherwise found on the other side of the world in New Zealand and Tasmania and such. She says most people here now are very environmentally conscious and probably are many generations back."

"I think it may be possible that you learn to appreciate how ecology works when you live in a place where all the ecosystems are contrived. You appreciate how complex and fragile a system can be if more is taken than is returned to the system. Does she say many people on Earth do not respect the land?"

"I doubt it is like that", Heero said, "It is usually a matter of people believing an industry, perhaps logging for example, will feed their family and not knowing another way to survive. It does not have to do anything with a forest. Sometimes an area is over-fished because so many people come to rely on the fishing industry in one area that there are not enough fish left to sustain a viable breeding population. For those reasons, to benefit people and the plants and animals, there must be legislation to govern use of natural resources. Sometimes people differ in their opinion on how these resources should be governed." Heero then got up to look for clothes he could hike in.

"Yes. Where I live now, there are often questions of whether drilling, irrigation, or desalination plants will benefit more than they cause harm. Some people say God did not intend people to live in deep dessert and it is wrong to risk harm to coastal waters to bring fresh water into the desert, or wrong to interrupt the course of wadi or rivers, that it may flood or drought others who previously relied on the water, in bringing water farther into the desert. Then, others say god gave us intelligence and dominion over the earth and so we should use all our technology in using these resources to benefit as many as possible, even if a smaller number suffer."

"It is always about god?"


"It really is? But don't you find that difficult? I know it is not like that here. Just counting our closest neighbors it is already diverse. Two families are Catholic, one Buddhist, one Jewish, One Heiwa and the Fosters are Christian, Episcopal, I think."

"Who is Heiwa?"

"The MacDonalds. Didn't you know?"

"They have a church in Sitka?"

"No, but the College gives them space for meetings. Moira brought Marcus into the Church, she had been involved a long time and he decided to start going with her. He said he was Christian but non- practicing before that. It's big in LA, Heiwa is, so Moira was introduced to it by other actors."

"I know. Heiwa Church was founded in Los Angeles."

"That is the Church that is sort of like Christian Buddhism?" Quatre asked.

"Sort of", Heero agreed. "There are a lot of members on the west coast of North America now and in the Colonies where immigrants are from this area. That is how I know of it, because my neighbors in the Colonies were members."

"Popular on College Campuses, at least in California. It's not that they recruit exactly, it's more like the age group of college students is one that naturally is looking for their own path, maybe different from their family's and that Heiwa Churchers like to discuss their faith and correct misconceptions once it does come up in conversation."

"In the Middle East there is currently a resurgence of some Hindu sects that has many Muslims worried for their children, but there, I think it is also not a matter of evangelism but of the age group looking to try something new."

"Not going to start worshiping multiple gods are you?"

"No." Quatre laughed.

"But really… I know there are Christians that live in that area, but it is overwhelmingly Muslim, right, and everyone mixes religion with politics."


"So, how is that? I mean, if someone believes that something is wrong in their religion, then they have to vote for a law to follow their religion, and even though they have democracy, it's really like Islam rules most of that region."

"Well, true, but there are divisions within Islam and so we still have the same level of campaigning and lobbying as any western District."

"Right, right, but what I'm saying is, say you want to buy a lot of porn or be with a guy or something like that."

Quatre laughed.

"And that offends Allah and all? So, it's completely against the law."

"Technically, sort of…"

"What's with `sort of'?"

"Well, I could not marry a man, in Islam, but I could have a lover who was a man, I just would not make it obvious to the community, and they would pretend not to see, so long as I did other things that were good for the community. That is the way much of the earth was for many years, Duo. It is not something that is strange, or peculiar to Islam. Christianity is basically the same way."

"Yeah, but I could marry Heero in any civil court as well as a number of churches here."

"If I agreed."

Duo waved his hand at Heero as if to say this was irrelevant.

"I could marry… a man, if I wanted. I could go do it in the Colonies. It simply would not be recognized by certain people, but whether Allah would recognize the union or approve is a matter of personal faith, and I am actually not quite decided on that matter, though I pray to be."

"You really do?" Duo's voice had changed, gone very soft. Heero recognized it as his concerned and kindly tone.

"You are both my friends. You know I am very attracted to someone who is a man. I love him." Quatre shook his head. "Even knowing that, I cannot say that I know we can have some form of relationship that is permanent or that I would marry him. I am truly uncertain about that, but I do truly wish to be certain about it."

"I know Trowa does not care about things like marriage", Heero told Quatre.

"Yes. I know. It's true. He simply does not care about vows and recognition except between the two concerned. So, it has become a little more than dating now. We are definitely not seeing other people."

"So, no hanging out with musicians and actors and all that?"

"I can still party, I am just not supposed to have sex with them."

"Were you before?" Heero asked.

"It greatly depends on how you define `sex'."

"Are you serious? I really thought you saved yourself for Trowa!"

"I thought so, too."

"I did, I mean, you both know I had a strong emotional attachment to him since we were children. I greatly desired him."

"You actually told me you were a virgin", Heero said firmly.

"Yes, and I thought so, but…" Quatre looked sad. "Trowa disagrees."

"How can he disagree?"

"Because I did things which might be considered by some physically intimate and there were a few times in which the activity was… arousing and led to… climax, even though there was no penetration or even skin-to-skin contact, in that area of the body."

"Oh. I don't know. I don't think I'd count that, but I guess some people could."

"Quatre", Heero said, "You seem sad and before you wee with Trowa, when you talked about being a virgin and getting to be with him, I think you were happy. It is not for Duo or me to decide whether your past activity indicated you were a virgin or not. That is something for you and Trowa to understand together. I do love Trowa, and it is not even the same way that I love you or Duo, but I feel like I need to tell you that he has problems. We all have problems, but he has specific ones and… he hurt you. I do not mean physically. I do not know about that, but, he hurt your feelings. I can tell. It is likely he did not even mean to do it…"

"I know. He did not mean it. It is just the way he feels. It cannot help for me to say his feelings are wrong…"

"Oh yes it can! Fuck! If someone is mentally ill, you can tell them their feelings are wrong. You can't say that they don't really have those feelings, but you can sure as hell say the feelings are caused by misunderstanding or illness or chemical imbalance and therefore it is wrong to act on them."

"But maybe he was right."

"If he needs to make you seem dirty or more experienced to be with you…"

"Duo, stop. This will not help Quatre."

"Heero, you know…"

"Stop, Duo-chan, I mean it. We cannot help them, because we are their friends. We cannot take sides. Even if you think one is right… it would be like one of them choosing only to believe or trust one of us completely. I do not want it to be like I am only allowed to have Trowa and you are only allowed to have Quatre. I want to feel like I can be friends with Quatre too, and you should feel like you can trust Trowa completely and also have his trust, because you are his partner now."

"Quatre, Heero is right, I guess, but I can say that I definitely wasn't a virgin before I got with Heero; he was seconds away from catching me with other people, probably…"


"He doesn't like to hear about it. He doesn't really like that I was with other people, even before him. Whatever he thinks the reason was: promiscuity as a symptom of a larger mental disorder, my just liking the sex, my need for all forms of human contact, whatever the reason, that doesn't matter. Neither of us can change what happened, and I don't think in most cases I want to change the order of events. The important thing is that I am with him now. You should try to make Trowa understand, that even if you were with a hundred people and did every act there is to do and shared every bodily fluid, he's the one you want now and you love him."

"Quatre, maybe a safer thing would be to believe that even if you or Trowa did love someone before and did have sex before, that it is still possible for things to be like new between you. You still will need to learn all about each other's preferences and learn each other's bodies, so it will be new and special, even if there were others in the past."

"Yes. I believe that", Quatre said.

"My way would have worked too."

"And then if Trowa ever decided or admitted that he had loved a past sex partner he would have become hurt, thinking that Quatre was not the first all over again."

"Huh? Who did Trowa love?"

"It is none of your business if you do not already know. I do love you, even if you had sex partners and lovers before me. All of that cannot make me stop loving you and did not prevent me from starting. Sometimes it does bother me to think about it, but that is a very tiny pain against all the good."

"Sometimes I have these thoughts like, you can't really choose me without knowing what it's like to be with someone else, like how can you know what good is like without knowing any evil."

Quatre laughed. "I am sorry Duo. I do love you."

"Duo, if I cheated now, you would feel hurt, I am sure of it. It would not make you feel happy that I wanted to come back knowing now how special and great a lover you are. It seems a logical idea, but love is emotional, not logical, and so it does not work that way. I just choose to be with you and no one else because that is the action, or expression of my feelings."

"I know you do… I just meant I have weird thoughts like that sometimes, not that I really want you to go have sex with other people."

"OK. I was not planning on it."

"So, you definitely didn't cheat while you spent a week at a famous gay club?"

"It was not even open for business yet, the renovations were barely completed. I did get to see their dancers at practice, though. I told you that on the phone. And yes, no cheating. I did not even get hit on. Some people did ask me about you and the interview, though."

"I read it", Quatre said, "I thought it was all… well some parts were sweet, but just that you seemed like the couple that I know, like yourselves. Sometimes you see celebrity interviews and wonder if the people are truly being themselves or saying what their publicist suggested."

"Our interview was edited slightly", Duo offered, "but the answers were all honest."

"I know, that's what I meant. I thought it was great that you decided to do the interview and control what the media portrayed to some extent."

"Wish you could do the same?"

"Wish perhaps, but do not plan to. It is, I mean, I respect you both, but you are not me, and I am not just like either of you. I meant what I said about people doing what a community might consider sinful in a secretive private way. That is just the way it is. Everyone has their public face and platform, and then they have a life behind closed doors. The way my sisters act and dress inside the house is not at all how they act in public, and they already are publicly very liberal women, truly Colonials, even though some have moved to Earth or married men from Earth."

"Huh, so, like, you can have a lover in private, as long as you don't tell everyone about the relationship?"

"It is basically like that, not only with regard to homosexuality, with many things. With, porn, as you mentioned. As long as you are not caught trafficking it, if you do get it and keep it in your house, it is acceptable. Everyone has some. Some men have mistresses as well as wives, and people pretend not to see, so long as the man and woman involved are as discreet as they can be."

"But don't you ever want to go out on a date with Trowa?"

"I do go out on dates, but it can always be assumed he is only my friend and that I do not have sex with him. I know, especially after what you did, with the interview, it may be difficult for you to understand. I am not ashamed, I simply feel like this is enough for now. It is all right this way, though I am aware there are other ways. I think Trowa feels the same. He is very private, not only about me, about everything."

"It is their right to decide to be public or not. I think the difference is that the media chose to go with stories about me that mainly focused on speculation regarding whom I was in a relationship with, whether they thought it was Duo, Relena or even Midii. You appear in the media certainly, but the stories are varied. Some do speculate about your relationships, but they also speculate on your business and what your sisters are doing, if you approve of them, if they approve of you, and so on. Even if there was a story that you and Trowa were together, it would be one in such a number of stories, many of which contradict each other already, that the story would not be seen as evidence in itself that either of you were homosexual or together."

"I think I am more `bi'", Quatre said.

Heero shrugged. "I used to not want to not want to tell anyone. And I know what you meant, because it was not a matter of shame, it was more a matter of… of having everyone know my desires when there was a still a doubt in my mind at that time whether I would achieve these desires, or be able to keep what I attained. Then I started to feel more secure, and I found I was able to be less private then and even show affection in public."

"It does seem more appealing than public rejection."

Even though that seemed a joke at Heero's expense, he very much wanted to draw Duo into an embrace and hold onto him a while. It was so courageous to throw your arms about people in public and risk as public rejection.

"I'll go call the others while you finish getting dressed." Duo got up from the bed and walked from the bedroom quickly, saying they should be home from school now.

Heero wondered if Duo was purposely putting distance between them, but then, maybe it really was out of respect for Quatre. Heero did not need to be told Quatre could sense emotions; he knew.

"Can you control it?" Heero asked while Duo was in the other room.

"For the most part." He knew what Heero was talking about, maybe because he could read Heero's mind, or just because it was a subject of which he was often conscious.

"How much?"

"Well, if I was a room away and you and Duo had sex, for example, I would likely be aware of everything. I would probably try to block it out, but if I was asleep I would read subconsciously, and if I was awake and trying to block, it might not work while you were both so close, in distance and emotionally to me, that is. Also, if there are no other people in the area, it would make everything you did seem to come in clearer."

"And if you were aware of everything, would it bother you?"

"The true answer is no. I have been aware of the ability for years. Have I told you before? I have tuned into so many things that should have seemed shocking or difficult, I have become accustomed to it. I might be disappointed if it was not a positive experience."

"I do remember we spoke about it briefly in the past. I remember you could pick up Trowa's emotions when we were in that hotel…"

"One reason I am glad we do have sex now, even if things are not perfect. Being near him and sensing his frustration was difficult for me."

"I am not aware of knowing the feelings or thoughts of other people, besides Duo, except for a few occasions."

"It is possible you do, but you are doing it so effortlessly that you only think yourself perceptive and are unaware how you knew if someone was trustworthy or not."

"Perhaps. Would you enjoy it?"

Quatre smiled, but did not look at Heero directly. "If it was a positive experience, I absolutely would enjoy it."

"Do you feel it is right or wrong to do it?"

"No. It is, with me, with someone like me, natural."

"Does Duo know?"

"Can you tell?"

"Sometimes I think he actually is able to block me now. I suspect he is avoiding contact with me now, but I do not know if it is out of consideration for you, or just to torture me."

"Things changed between you."

"Yes. It is like competition, but not…it does not feel like antagonism."

"To love you need to be able to surrender, but it does not mean people who are in love cannot enjoy challenging each other."

"I think… the thing that I needed, that was once missing, was the emotional surrender. It was the ability to truly risk pain and rejection and invest in another for emotional satisfaction. If that makes sense. And we achieved that. We stopped trying to be sexy or seduce each other, and just loved each other. But then, I think, for a while we did not try to challenge each other very much. I was, at least, secure, as I said, able to risk more and show affection more and not fear rejection, but maybe I did fear changing things or asking for what I wanted, if I knew what it was, because I still felt insecurity. And, I think I faced it one day."

"You realized you were insecure."

"I do not think I really did recognize the problem, but Duo was able to see it after a while, and he realized what I needed to change, without me having to explain."

"And that is that you liked that Duo was so different from you and that he challenged you and you could challenge him."

"Yes. And that kind of challenge is not wrong, the kind of…when you are not really trying to win and make the other person lose, but you are challenging them because dealing with that challenge will help them learn or be creative or know that you respect them and care. He said he had been making things easy for me, but I do not think those months were easy."

"Is it easy now?"

"No. No, but I am happy, at least for now, I feel happy. I am always wondering how we will express how we feel the next day and what he is planning, but I enjoy trying to figure him out, and I enjoy the idea of making challenges for him. Maybe I always was attracted to him because he did not seem to fit the order of things. I was thinking from the start, `what side is he on?', `why is he shooting me?', `is he missing major organs on purpose or a bad shot?', `why does he care about Relena?', `does he know her at all?', `why is he staying around to save me?'."

"You like him just because he is hard to understand?"

"No, but that is what attracted me to him first, on the most primitive level that makes one not count another as irrelevant or unimportant or expendable. Then I got to understand him and knew all the good things about him. And, he is pretty."

"That is always a bonus."

"Yes. He is a genius, Quatre, like you, but in a different way. And I will never figure him out entirely, because it is not possible. I can learn more and more about him, and there will always be something that will leave me puzzled, or he will change. Quatre, he will change, and I will have to figure things out again."

"Other people are complex and dynamic."

"Yes, and maybe I would enjoy knowing them, but Duo is complex and dynamic and he… he loves me back."

"I think he may be nearly obsessed with hacking at your mind for weaknesses."

Heero laughed.

"He really… you are very special to him, and I cannot even claim to know all the reasons why, but I know it. He loved you before you knew you loved him."

"I know. He told me. He also would have let me be with someone else if he believed that was what I wanted or needed to be happy. I know, he loves me very much, very selflessly. I truly appreciate that."

"It is nice to visit with you." Quatre laughed softly.

Heero understood.

Duo had spoken to Jan on the phone and said that they should go over to the Tyler-Martin house to pick up her and Pete, Ester and Gory would meet them behind the High School, where they regularly met with friends after classes let out. Jan and Pete had come home to change first.

Gary had designed his family's house, which had been built on the land after they had purchased it and an older house upon it, which had fallen into serious disrepair. The current house was asymmetrical in design, with brick facing, a garage behind the house, and double doors at the main entrance.

Gary was also the one who answered the door. "Hello Boys, come on in, Jan and Pete will be down soon. Is this a friend of yours?"

"Quatre Winner", Heero said. "This is Mr. Tyler-Martin, Gary."

"Nice to meet you", Quatre said.

Gary gave a nod and held the door open so they could walk inside. They went down some steps to a sort of great room where there were chairs and sofas enough to seat the large family plus a few guests.

"Is Shelly at home now?" Heero asked. He had never been inside the house before, but he suspected to find Shelly looking at him from behind a counter and offering a drink.

"She is out doing the grocery shopping with our housekeeper. I have the home office, so I can telecommute when we do not have client meetings." That sounded like a normal arrangement for suburban families on Earth, Heero thought. Many families in current television shows had such arrangements; it meant the parents were able to work and also to be involved with their children, which made more opportunities for amusing interaction between them.

"This is a nice house, Gary", Duo said brightly.

"I designed it… have not seen you for several weeks. Can I offer you some sodas? How are things going?"

"Fine. I am fine. No soda."

"Might I trouble you for some water?" Quatre asked.

"No trouble. Duo."

"Just some water. Thanks."

Gary went into the adjacent kitchen, at which time Cia appeared at the top of the stairs holding a mobile phone to her ear and seeming to look directly at Quatre.

"I forgot."

"Forgot what?" Duo asked.

"That Jen, Cia and Barb are those type of girls that put photos of celebrities on their walls and have crushes and…"

"And what?"

"Like Quatre."

"Oh my!"

"That's like something you should have told me before I told them Quatre was with us!"

"I forgot, I mean, it did not seem important, and then I did not know Quatre would be here, and then between learning of the plans for the hike and now I just forgot."

Gary came back with two glasses of ice water. Quatre and Duo took them with thanks.

"You were a Gundam pilot as well?"


"You are all friends?"

"Yeah," Duo said. He was looking up the stairs.

"I read that interview you gave."

"Oh?" Heero asked.

"Some of my children are close to your age, but they are not really as mature as either of you. Do you understand?"

Duo made an annoyed sound.

Heero thought he did understand. There was something similar in the way a man spoke to an enemy being interrogated, a potential baby- sitter or a potential boyfriend for his child. The man asserted his authority. Gary just wanted them to understand that they needed to take care with his children. "I understand", Heero said, "Our plans for the day are only to go on a hike. Duo and I drink rarely and we would not do so in the company of such younger people and neither of us even smokes, and we are honest, but we are really not interested in telling everyone our most intimate secrets. I enjoy speaking to Jan and Pete sometimes, because we have some common interests and I like to hear about their normal adolescent lives and problems, which are so different from my experiences. Jan is very intelligent and seems mainly interested in having someone to listen to her who is not more interested in dating her sister and Pete is really kewl and a talented skater and maybe it is good for him to be around other young men who are not his brothers. I understand we will see your son, Gory, today, but honestly, it is mainly because he is often with Ester MacDonald, and Ester has been friendly to us and we like to return the favor."

"And if Cia and the Fosters join us, I just want you to know, Quatre will let them down easy. Most of those stories about him are only partly true and he's interested in someone else now, only we're not at liberty to say who."

Quatre nodded.

Gary nodded. "Jan packed a cooler with some water and sports drink. I see you all have hats and suitable footwear. You are traveling in a group, so the bears should stay away."

"Bears?" Quatre asked.

"Yeah, there are Brown Bears in the area. Isn't that kewl? Actual wild animals!"

Jan and Pete came downstairs, followed by Cia. "I am going to, Jan said it was OK."

Jan frowned.

"It is all right with me, but you need to go put on some more sensible shoes and cover your hair."

"Sensible shoes?"

Gary gave Cia a look. She immediately turned and went back up the stairs, muttering something about lumberjacks and comfortable shoes.

Heero handed Jan a disc. "Here is that game I talked to you about, I just got it."

"War of the Dracul!"

"Isn't that game already on your Christmas list?" Gary asked.

"But, uh, Heero is just letting me borrow his. I still need the game." Jan smiled. "I'll go get the cooler!" She ran through the dining room and into the kitchen.

As soon as Jan returned, they went outside to wait for Cia. While they waited in the front yard, Jen and Barb came from next door. Jen was dressed for hiking, but Barb wore trendy flats. Jen stopped as soon as she got a clear line of sight to Quatre and looked suddenly nervous and unable to lift her eyes.

Cia came outside soon, wearing her sneakers without socks and having a bandana in her hair. They walked down the drive and then along Lake, toward Sitka High, where Sitka Cross Trail passed behind its yards. Pete walked first, and then Heero and Duo, trying to stay close to each other. Jan walked to one side, usually near Heero. Quatre followed them, and then the three other girls.

When they came to the rear of the school, they found Ester and Gory with some other young people. Ester greeted everyone and she and Gory were introduced to Quatre. Duo offered to carry the cooler from there, until someone else wanted a turn, and they set off again, with Gory and ester taking the lead.

Pete then informed them that the plan was to take Sitka Cross all the way to Indian River Trail and then to Indian River Road. They would leave the road to go back into the forest at the old cemetery and then take the road again to Sawmill Creek Road until the forked intersection with Dergoff, and take that to Lake Street, on which they lived. They estimated the entire distance as about 8 Kilometers. Sometimes, if they had more time, they would head downtown on Sawmill Creek instead of toward home and check out shops or look for tourists to watch, and head home later in the day.

These young people did not own cars, so they were accustomed to walking a lot, if not hiking, and were fit enough that an 8K hike would not trouble them. The terrain of Sitka Cross was easy, anyway.

They sopped to rest a little and have drinks from the cooler when they reached the intersection with Gavin Hill Trail. Duo had brought their camera, and so he took some pictures, now he was not also carrying the cooler. He made sure to get Quatre to pose with all the girls, even Jan and Ester.

Some tourists passed them, coming along Gavin Hill, and Jen thought it very funny that they had not even done as much as a double take after walking right by three of the famous Gundam pilots. Heero thought this was a very good thing.

When they continued, Heero volunteered to carry the cooler for a while. It was a little lighter then, but still kept one hand occupied and occasionally bumped against his leg. They talked as they went, and much of the conversation was taken up by others asking Quatre how fabulous his life really was and if it was really true he had been tried for war crimes.

As soon as that came up, Heero told them to change the subject. "It is all past and not something we should discuss right now. You just need to know there was no conviction."

Quatre was quiet for a while after that, and then Duo held his hand and Jan began babbling to him about her favorite novel and game characters Katir and Nada Sin from Blood Wing.

They stopped again when Pete located the old cemetery. Though it was not far from the road, it was hundreds of years old and had been in neglect for much of that time. Some of the most dilapidated graves dated from the time of American possession, and so it was not the oldest cemetery in the area; there were older ones carefully preserved and tended and visited often by tourists. Some High School students charged tourists to be guided here, but most of them did not, and wanted to keep the site to themselves.

Heero had never seen anything like it. It did seem remarkable in that it was not preserved. It was a graveyard that had been over taken by the forest. There were ancient wooden grave markers barely distinguishable from the moss growing on them and headstones nearly covered by underbrush and vines, and tree roots growing through the rails in dilapidated cribs surrounding certain graves. There were also stones leaning over settled earth, and stones that looked strange only because they stood surrounded by tall, thick old trees.

Heero knew there were places on Earth where ancient cities and temples were overgrown with forest or jungle, or sunken beneath a sea, but in his mind, he had not considered that graves would become so neglected. And here, it was so close to civilization, and yet so clearly wild. It was a Christian site, if the stone crosses over some graves were taken as evidence.

Heero had traveled Earth, but most often visited large cities. Seeing this place of death amid life, he wished to go see an ancient temple recovered from a jungle and ancient carvings and maybe a few pyramids. "Do you ever come here at night?" Duo asked, busily capturing photos.

"The academy where they train for law enforcement is near here and, if they see many lights in the forest or hear voices at night, they will send someone up here to check everyone's breath and eyes and send them home", Gory said.

They headed back to the road and continued toward town. Gory carried the cooler. Pete skated ahead and sometimes did a few tricks, while he waited for them to catch up. Quatre and Duo walked behind Duo, debating whether Duo had caught a ghost in one of the photos in his camera, or if it was some natural phenomenon or trick of light Duo had not noticed when capturing the image.

It was near dark when they reached the Foster's driveway. Cia went into the house with the girls. Ester kissed Gory and then said goodbye to the group, before jogging toward her own house. Jan, Pete and Gory said goodbye then, and walked on to their driveway, while Heero, Duo and Quatre went to their nearby drive. Duo opened the gate so they could enter the yard.

They had left the dogs in the house, because Heero was not entirely confident in how they might react to wild animals, though he did plan to be able to take the dogs on hikes some time in the future, perhaps when Nu had more training. This meant they were pawed and whined at as soon as Heero opened the door.

Duo offered Quatre the bathroom, suggesting he might want a shower or something. "I know I do, but you can go first if you like."

"No. Thank you. I will get one later tonight, though, if you do not mind."

"No, No, make yourself at home. Ya know." Duo stopped to ruffled the fur at Nu's neck and then looked up at Heero as he was petting his dog. "You want to get a shower with me, Heero?" It was so casual, even with Quatre there.

If it had been another type of guest, maybe Duo would have been more subtle, Heero thought, but perhaps not. Being near others often made Duo feel greater need to demonstrate that Heero was his. "Sure." The motivations did not really matter to Heero. He wanted the shower with Duo. He wanted any excuse to get him alone and out of clothing.

Heero let the dogs out the front door, into the yard, knowing they would find their way to the back door later and be let into the bedroom. Duo was already in the bathroom with the shower head spraying, when Heero entered the room. He still wore half of his clothing and was in the process of undressing. Heero closed the door, stood watching for a moment, and then stripped.

Heero kicked his pile of laundry to one side and then stepped into the spray. Duo offered a comb to him. "Hey, would you check my hair for bugs?"

"Who would be…?" Heero started, and realized Duo meant insects. "Really?"

"We were out in nature. On Earth. Diseases, botanical irritants, insects, animals…do you know that dried animal urine is one of the substances that can transmit disease to the human population?"

"I did know that." Heero took the comb worked it through all Duo's hair and checked his scalp for insects or strange marks. All he found were a few bits of leaf and needle in Duo's hair.

"Really nothing on me?" Duo looked down at his own body and twisted in attempt to view all sides. "I feel itchy."

"Psychosomatic. Check me if you want."


Heero turned toward the door to the hall and felt Duo's fingers in his hair. He closed his eyes. Duo's fingers touched his ears, his neck, his back.

"You're clean", he breathed.



Heero turned and put his hands on Duo, made contact with his right shoulder and some lower portion of his chest, and pushed him out of the spray and against the wall between the tub and the shower controls. "Duo. Nearly twelve days."

"On the phone."

"Not the same." Heero kissed him, deeply, forcefully. He felt Duo's hands on his back, on his buttocks, pressing against his skin with need to be closer. Heero wanted to press his entire body against Duo. He wanted sex. He wanted to touch him.

He moved closer, slipped his hands around Duo, the left grasping damp hair, the right settling in the small of Duo's back. He could feel the tingling and shifting in his groin; could feel Duo's dick rise against his stomach. Heero shut his eyes tightly and moaned into Duo's mouth. It hurt. Too much adhesion in damp skin. It should have been dry and soft, or slippery wet.

Heero cried out, desperately, without language. He did not want to stop touching Duo. He held Heero tightly, forearms braced across his back. His lips found Heero's right ear. "Uh, we could go to bed. Get a good rinse and then just go to bed. Let's go to the bed."

"Aa. Bed good. Want to touch you."

Duo shifted his weight, encouraging Heero back into the spray of water. It was hot, saturated their hair and washed the sweat from their bodies. Duo reached to the wall with one hand and shut off the flow. He looked at Heero a moment, clearly feeling equal lust to Heero's. "My hair's going to tangle, but I don't want to wait."

"Later. I'll help you fix it later." Heero took down two towels and tossed one to Duo. Heero did not wear his towel as a garment, but only carried it in front of him so that Quatre would not see his full nakedness.

"Kat, we gotta…" Duo called as they passed through the living room.

"I understand. Go on, do not let me stop you."

Heero did not even care if the bed got wet. Later. It would all be worked out later. He needed to be with Duo in absolutely every sense of the words.

He knelt on the bed, sitting back on his feet, and when Duo came in, he walked around Heero, dropped his towel to the bed, and sat sprawled before him. "Have something in mind?" Duo asked.

Heero reached out, took Duo by the arms and drew him close. There was an awkward moment in which Heero felt Duo's weight would cause them both to fall, but then Duo quickly recovered his balance and put his knees either side of Heero's legs, so that he was close enough for Heero to hold.

"I need to touch you. I missed just touching you." His right thumb worked one of Duo's nipples. His left hand touched Duo's face. In this position, Heero had to lift his head completely to look at Duo or kiss him. "I want to fuck you, too. I want to feel my cock in your ass. I want to see you come. I want to see you. I want to touch you. Taste you."

"Oh God! Heero!"

Heero put his mouth to Duo's neck and nipped flesh between his teeth.

"Yes. I want you too. I want it long and slow tonight, Baby. Can you do that for me?"


"Uh, oh, Heero… if that's not what you want, I mean, you recover pretty fast, Baby, so, maybe you want to get us off fast first and do it slow later? That'd be good? You can really let go, that way?"

"Aa." It was all true. That way did work well for Heero, especially when he had been away from Duo a while and was feeling the way he did now. He was able to hold off the orgasm for a long period of time, and he was willing to do so to see Duo pleased, but it was not what would be the most satisfying to his own body. "Thank you. Excellent compromise. We will need the slimmest dildo you have, some lube for you to use with it and maybe some massage oil for me to play with."

Duo grinned. "Don't move, I'll get them. What exactly are we to do with the stuff, Heero?" Duo said his name in sing-song. He did that occasionally, when he knew he was being coy, or that was what Heero supposed.

"You will come back here and straddle me and use the dildo to prep yourself while I get us off the fast way." He smirked. "Maybe not the very fastest."

Duo had collected the supplies already and climbed back onto Heero's lap. "And afterward?"

"When I am recovered, I take the dildo out of your ass and fuck you for as long as you can stand it, and then we will probably sleep through most of the flight."

"Mmmm, my ass will be so sore. I still want it, though." Heero watched Duo rub lubricant over the dildo. "Hey, talk dirty to me some more and work my nipples while I get this in, then you can do your thing."

"If your ass is sore, we can still have a few days of hot sucking, rubbing and massaging." Heero put his hands to the rings piercing Duo's nipples and tugged on each of them. "You look hot like that, like you did that time on the phone."

"Yeah. You like to see me get myself off. You like to watch."

"Of course I like to be the one to do it, but watching is good, if we are apart."

"Uh, and if we were together?"

"It would be hot to just watch, but I might have to chain myself up to not touch you."

"Yeah? Would you do it for me? Would you let me watch you?"

That took a moment of thought, and thoughts came slowly when Heero was watching Duo fuck himself with a dildo. "Aa. I would do it, but I still would want to be able to touch you afterward."

"Now. Touch yourself. Touch me. I wanna see you touch yourself."

Heero grabbed the bottle of oil and squeezed a generous amount on his left hand. He rubbed his hands together then to warm and spread the oil, and then he touched their cocks. He put his right hand on Duo and his left hand on himself. Heero looked down to watch his hands work. He watched, and he felt his cock being squeezed, and he felt the two dicks in his hands. It felt good, really good.

"Yeah, ah, yeah, Baby, more. Like that." Duo thrust forward, trying to get closer to Heero, trying to get more.

Heero squeezed their cocks together and put both hands around the pair of cocks and pumped them. It did not really feel as intense as having a hand devoted to each, but the visual impact and knowledge of what was being done were so great that the loss of physical stimulation just did not seem to matter. They both came soon afterward, calling each other's names.

Heero lifted Duo's towel, lowered Duo to the bed and then used the damp towel to clean cum from their bodies. Duo looked, beautiful, hair in a damp knot, right hand behind his back still holding the dildo in his ass. He just looked beautiful.

"Don't you ever want to have a threesome?"

"Not really."

"Two dicks in your hands. Oh, man, I want to have two dicks, just try to get my mouth around two dicks, licking and tasting a pair of them. You could take one in the ass and the other in the mouth. You could fuck one of them and suck the other. Whatever you want. Man, it would be so hot."

"You did it before? Two guys?"

"No. Not really. I mean, I messed around with two guys, but there was no fucking involved that time. It was just hands and mouths all over each other, and even that was done with latex."

Heero lay down beside Duo and tried to imagine what that would be like. "Duo, it would be too complicated. You and I have feelings for each other, love, and if there was someone else involved... I just cannot imagine we would all feel OK about it later."

"Aw, but the sex would be hot."

"Maybe, but I can fuck you, put my hand and your dick and kiss you all at the same time. I let you do the same to me. That is hot too."

"Yeah. I gotta give you that. It's hot all right."

on to chapter 97

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