Another Version of Events
by Karan Seraph
Heero felt better when he woke the next day. Any confusion he had felt
the night before had settled in the back of his mind in some directory
he almost never looked in. He remembered more clearly that Duo had followed
him to bed. The fact that Duo had not stayed to hang out with the guys
over-wrote any remaining confusion.
No airy tentacles, no phones, no sex, just normal sleeping in the same
bed, but that was what it really took to make Heero sleep soundly. He
rubbed the corner of one eye with his knuckles and then propped himself
up on his elbows. He had slept remarkably well for being in a strange
room; he remembered waking in the night once, but Duo had rubbed his back
and he had gone back to sleep almost immediately.
He was there, at Heero's right. They always slept on the same side
of the bed; Duo was always on the left when Heero was on his back, always
on the right when he turned over. Duo was on his back, shirtless, as Heero
was, eyes half open, smiling. The sunlight shining through the windows
made his hair look blond. It gave him assort of aura.
Heero slid over until his thigh touched Duo's thigh, then leaned
and kissed Duo. They had an unspoken agreement that morning kisses were
to be close mouthed, and though Heero was sure they had made an exception
in moment of passion, this was not one of those times. Still, it was nice.
Heero rested his right hand on Duo's biceps; his arm was across
Duo's chest. He felt something, a vibe maybe. The smile was not
really saying what Duo felt. The smile was saying he wanted Heero to figure
"Did you sleep well?"
"No. Didn't really sleep. Didn't need to."
This meant, of course, Duo had spent the last five hours lying in bed
watching Heero sleep.
This was not his 'want to talk' face. "Sex?"
"Please." The tone seemed to suggest the kind of experience
Duo wanted, but Heero asked to be certain.
"Does that mean you do not want to be the one doing the fucking?"
"You do not have to say 'fuck' all the time. I am not
sure a fuck is what I feel like."
"What is it to be then?"
Duo sighed, purposely it seemed. "There really needs to be a word
for it besides 'fuck' or 'make love'."
"Fuck you, just do me the way I like and I'll love you forever!"
He meant it. Heero was not sure if Duo ever said such things to other
partners, or if he might love anyone forever if they did him just right;
he had claimed not enough had done it the way he liked and this was to
be understood as his reason for so often topping. Whatever Duo had said
or done in the past, Heero truly believed that Duo meant he would love
him forever. Him. Forever. Loved.
Mission was so accepted!
Heero shifted his weight and wriggled out of his leggings. Duo turned
over onto his belly. Heero could see the shape of his thighs as they spread,
through the sheet. "I'll cut them off if you do not get out
Duo turned his head and looked up at Heero, grinning. He reached down
with one hand and unsnapped the side of the briefs he was wearing. A moment
later he had the other side unsnapped.
"You are just naughty and wanton." Heero put the first two
fingers of his right hand into his mouth.
"Mm." Heero drew his fingers from his mouth, wet with saliva.
"I think this counts as us both being lucky."
Duo laughed. Not the laughing at Heero laugh, the absolutely sexy chuckle
that he made when he was especially pleased. He looked back over his shoulder
as Heero was sliding back toward him. "Confidence is so sexy. Remember
when you were all nervous and hesitant about having sex with me?"
"Hn. I know I am good. If for some reason I am not perfect on
the first try, I know I will get a second chance to make it good for both
"Aren't I the best boyfriend?"
Heero pressed his index finger to Duo's asshole. "You are
Duo laid his cheek on the crook of his folded arm and looked up at Heero
from the corners of his eyes. His face wrinkled as Heero pushed his finger
in, but his eyes only closed for an instant, before he was looking at
Heero again. Heero stared at his eyes. They really were an interesting
color, and so dark right now. "Ne, Heero, you are going to use lube
or something when you really put it in? I can leave out the 'latex'
with you, but I'm still a lube guy."
"When we are home, you should wear that shirt again."
"Ah! What shirt?"
"Patrick's shirt. You can be 'Duo', just wear
"Aa, but the lube...?"
"Duo-chan, are you acting frightened to try to make things exciting
and chaotic? You should know..."
"If I am, it was a really stupid idea! Aw, Christ! Say something
to help me loosen up."
Heero reached over and retrieved the current container of lube from beneath
his pillow; it had been there since he unpacked. He had entirely anticipated
Duo coming over to this bed. He unscrewed the cap one-handed, being practiced
at the maneuver now. Heero brought the tube over to his right hand and
squeezed out some of the clear gel onto his fingers.
He knew what Duo needed besides the lube. Even when Duo wanted sex, his
body did need some small amount of preparation to enjoy it fully. It was
not always the same thing; one out of a number of things would turn him
on. Heero just needed to do at least one of them.
Sometimes, he only had to say the right thing.
Heero leaned over further, to put his mouth closer to Duo's upturned
ear, and kept his eyes fixed on Duo's. "When my car is finished,
if you wear that shirt, I'll bend over the hood and let you screw
"Yeah, yeah, I should hear from the paint shop soon. That's
a good one."
Heero felt the twitch. The sphincter muscle loosened around his finger
before it pressed in again. "But you are the one who wants it today."
"Not still sore from last time?" That had been hot. Some
foreplay involving, hands, massage oil and a dildo and then Heero's
cock in Duo's ass for a tortuous amount of time that paid off in
a particularly acute climax. They had needed to sleep on the plane.
"Nnnn, aaaa, there's been a day in between. Oh, yeah. Let
me see. Shift up this way. I wanna see it."
Without moving his hand from Duo, Heero rose onto his knees and twisted
somewhat, to show his cock. "You want to give it a lick for luck?"
"I'll touch it." Duo pulled his arm from under his
head and reached back. His fingertips groped and then made contact with
the head of Heero's cock. Duo's hand closed around it then,
just for a moment. "In me now."
Heero closed his eyes a moment to focus and then sat back on his heels
to squeeze out some more lube. He planted his left hand on Duo's
hip and put his right hand on his cock to guide it, and shifted his weight
Heero was not always so quiet now, when he had sex with Duo. He made
some wordless sound that communicated goodness, tightness and pleasure-pain.
He was aware that Duo made some noise that meant shock that was also good,
and then Duo drew breath through his teeth in a hiss.
Duo found ability to form words first, but his voice was strained. "Yes,
Oh, God, yes!"
"Who is God?"
It turned out to be fortunate the bed had an upholstered headboard. With
their straining against each other to find and maintain the deepest most
pleasurable angle, Heero had lifted Duo's hips from the bed and
Duo's head had ended up bumped against the headboard several times,
with the force of the thrusts against him.
All the time, Heero was thinking about the way Duo liked it, telling
himself to be forceful, but short of 'hard', and that Duo
got off on depth. And all the time, he was feeling good himself and trying
to be 'loose'. Sometimes, Duo liked if Heero went for a long
time, but then sometimes he was upset if he thought Heero did not let
go enough and enjoy himself.
This time was good. Heero gave some thought, but not too much. Too much
and he would not have let Duo's head hit the headboard at all. This
way, they were both too into each other to care, and only grateful for
the cushioning. Duo came first, by some short amount of time, and triggered
They lay in bed, breathing, for several minutes until Duo asked if Heero
thought they should get a shower. Heero agreed. They washed quickly, dressed,
collected the dogs and headed downstairs in search of breakfast.
Wufei was in the dining room, which they found first, and pointed out
the adjacent kitchen where they could get food. Sally was not present,
but several other Preventer agents were in uniform and seemingly alert.
Septem and his daughter were seated in the dining room as was Seth Naquib,
also of the MCP council.
The kitchen was large, but decorated in a very homey style, so that it
did not seem like the back of a restaurant. All the appliances Heero saw
did seem to be commercial, but they were inevitably behind facing panels
that made them blend with the cabinetry. Some cooks in white jackets were
at work and one maid was presently arranging the spread of food on an
"So, banana? Or peaches?"
"I think I will have an orange."
"They're not the only fruit, ya know."
"Um, we should get some decent California citrus at home."
"I will put oranges on the next order." They would have been
harder to come by than apples in the Colonies.
When Heero and Duo walked back to the dining room, they saw Quatre and
Trowa heading for the kitchen. They found seats at the long dining table
near Wufei, beside each other. Heero let Duo sit next to Wufei.
Approximately fifteen minutes after Trowa and Quatre came to the table,
Relena and Adin joined them.
Gwenevere Septem, born in 196 Heero's mental files said, asked
if Adin was Relena's boyfriend. Two seemed young to ask such things.
Relena answered, quite diplomatically, that she and Mr. Barnet were seeing
a lot of each other. Gwinter promptly warned his daughter in a whisper
not to ask such personal questions.
"I think she is adorable," Trowa said, "I want a daughter."
Quatre choked on whatever he had been trying to swallow. Trowa struck
his back once with the heel of his palm and Quatre sucked in air.
Duo laughed loudly.
"Not right now," Trowa said flatly. He did not appear to
think his own statement strange or sudden in any way. "I really
would like a daughter one day."
Relena made some small sound and tried to change the subject. "My
father used to take me with him when he traveled on business. It was educational."
"Dangerous in her case," Heero said. He found Duo looking
at him in surprise, and quietly. The quiet was the shocking thing.
"Gwenevere is usually very well behaved. It is good to have a companion
on long flights, and I think it is good experience for a child."
"You may dread long flights when she is teenaged with pink hair,"
Wufei said. He realized what he had said and added quickly, "I mean,
any parent must dread the possibility of raising their child through the
"Convenient of our parents, dying while we were young like that,"
Trowa pulled a scarf from his sleeve and began tossing it into the air
over the table and pretending he was desperate to catch it and keep it
from falling to the table, though it somehow flew into the air again every
time he touched it. Gwenevere thought this was very entertaining and laughed
and clapped loudly.
"So, tennis?" Quatre asked.
The tennis court was outdoors, shaded by a weave work of white parachute
nylon, which billowed meters above the clay as if to give flight to the
entire construct of court, net, lightposts and benches. They decided to
play doubles, Quatre and Trowa against Heero and Wufei. Quatre played
often, Heero and Wufei had learned the basics of the game along with other
sports and more academic subjects in youth, and Trowa had seen a few matches
on television, so the teams were as even as they could make them.
It was only the four of them at the court to begin, though a few others
had said they might stop by later to see how the game went, if they continued
to play. Duo had gone to see his Tinman again, and taken several accomplices
with him. Relena had preferred to go to the pool for the time being.
Wufei suggested they be fair and not keep score until they had a while
to practice, so for some time they did not play formally, but hopped the
net for one side or another as they wished and had several balls active
at one time, so they could all get a feel for the court and loaned racquets.
Of course, Quatre's racquet was one of his own.
Quatre even looked the part, in traditional white tennis attire. He even
had a cuff on his wrist to wick away sweat. Trowa was wearing some cut-off
jeans and a tee and jacket that seemed a bit looser than his usual clothing,
such that Heero wondered about Trowa's opinions on showing the shape
of his body and thought he looked rather like Harry Potter. In fact, Heero
noticed, when Trowa vaulted the net in his worn hi-tops, that his track
jacket was actual Harry Potter merchandise and apparently the jacket a
Seeker would wear, if they wore Muggle clothing. Wufei looked a little
more likely to practice martial arts than tennis, but none of the others
doubted his ability to move quickly in his clothing. Heero had not thought
to pack any shorts and had resorted to borrowing tennis clothing from
Quatre, so he likely looked perfect, even if he doubted his ability to
Heero had no doubt he had strength, excellent hand-to-eye coordination,
and understanding of physics enough to predict the flight of a tennis
ball with fair accuracy, but tennis was not a game he had played often
enough that he could do it without thinking. In Heero's mind, thinking
was a good thing, but sometimes there was an advantage in being able to
just do something.
No one was going to die if either team won or lost, so Heero decided
to just do it. He was not going to think about scoring at all. He was
just going to play.
As it turned out, once they began keeping score and playing in earnest,
Quatre and Wufei outwardly exhibited their competitive spirits to each
other, to the point where the game was a contest between the two and Heero
and Trowa only backup. Wufei and Heero took the first game, but then Trowa
seemed to really grasp the way of tennis, or else having a strong latent
telepathic connection to his teammate helped his game. He and Quatre won
Duo had arrived in time to watch the last game, and so when Quatre asked
if they wanted another match, Heero looked to Duo to see if he would object
to either answer. It did not matter, as Wufei said he would try a quick
shower and then a swim in the pool, and as Duo said it was not really
his game, there was no way they could continue to play doubles.
"Seems you should be playing against Trowa," Duo said as
he walked onto the court. He flicked the cuff on Quatre's wrist
and Quatre pulled his wrist back, as if actually hurt. The cuff was embroidered
with the words I'm a keeper. Heero got the joke, if belatedly and
laughed. Duo grinned. "C'mon, you guys planned your outfits."
"Not really," Trowa claimed.
"There is a Keeper and a Seeker on each team, Duo."
"Duo would probably make a good Chaser," Heero said. "Put
it in all three hoops, what?"
"You are so bad at accents!" Duo said through a fit of laughter.
"Does that make Heero your Beater, Duo?" Quatre asked, with a wink for Heero.
"Well, someone as good a flyer as me doesn't get hit unless
he wants to."
"It's probably really sweet that he doesn't make you
hit him first anymore."
Duo snorted and then shook his head. "Not like it much of a secret
to anyone here that I like Heero as a Dom or that I can take a beating
like no one, but its none of your business what Heero will let me do to
him. You just need to understand that I know what gets to him and I can
do it very well."
Heero flinched. He was embarrassed that he did it and unsure if it was
the tone Duo's voice took, or the words, or the fact that he suddenly
remembered the scarf at his neck and all the rest of the humiliation.
"Did I just smell fear?" Quatre asked. It was a very flirty
tone. Trowa, beside him, said nothing, but eyed Heero strangely.
Duo leaned weight onto Heero's shoulder and whispered at his left
ear. "You never know from hour to hour what I'll do, what
I'll let you do, what you'll let me do to you."
"Chaos," Heero growled quietly.
Duo nipped at Heero's earlobe, then straightened. "Sometimes
I might be too possessive in public, but you guys know, I don't
take this one lightly."
"Never thought you did," Quatre said, smiling.
"Heero," he said, and turned to face toward Heero, thought
he looked over his shoulder. "I know I do it. Sometimes you dislike
it more than others. It's just, when I'm with you, and there
are others around, I keep feeling like I have to make it clear I'm
the one you are going home with."
"We do live together."
"Yeah, I know, but, two people can cohabitate and share rent or
a mortgage and not really be together. We could just be old war buddies
to live in the same house."
"But we are not."
"I know, but I still get this feeling. It's just because
I want people to know. It's not even so much I want them to think
I'm so lucky, it's that I don't even want them to approach
There were two things Heero thought to say. First, he thought he could
ask Duo if it would help if he was seen holding him on a leash. The second
was whether this included people not approaching Duo or himself to ask
permission to come home with them. Giving the decision a few seconds thought,
Heero decided either question could come across as rather cold, though
his intention was not such, and there was probably a better time for either
of those matters to be discussed. So, he said nothing and slipped his
arms about Duo's waist.
Quatre's brow wrinkled for a moment and Heero feared he was feeling
guilty for the jokes about threesomes, or for not being able to hide his
desires in that area.
"You want to...?" Duo started.
"I was going to go check on Koi, but why don't we ask Quatre
where there is a good place to shop? There is probably time before the
test for a day trip. I'll buy you something."
"I can spare some time, before the actual test."
Duo turned to invite Quatre, but Quatre quietly interrupted and said,
"I should not really abandon my other guests. why don't just
the two of you go, like a date? I can give you some recommendations and
loan of a car or jet and driver or pilot for the trip."
They made it a date. They took the offered jet and hopped up to Baghdad,
arriving while it was yet in the afternoon hours. They hit a few shops
Quatre had recommended in the downtown area on the east bank of the Tigris.
They walked together and talked about the clothes Duo liked and made a
few purchases. All the time Heero felt like he was getting something he
had really needed without having known he needed it.
Heero wondered if it was that he wanted something like a vacation, or
if he and Duo had not gone out on enough date-like outings, or if it was
something he did not understand yet. They had had an order to their relationship
once, and Heero himself agreed that arrangement had been a little too
safe. And even after that, Duo had discovered this need for chaos, which
he said was for Heero's sake. Maybe Heero did like to get out and
have new experiences.
He was not sure what about the trip he liked.
They made their way up to the Baghdad Museum, or the Iraq National Museum
in Baghdad, depending which map or sign they checked. They entered the
grounds shaded by palms and then went in through the main entrance. There
was some quick discussion about whether they wanted to join one of the
tours or not, but Heero decided, neither having been there, they probably
could get more from being in a tour, and if it seemed horrible, they could
simply break away.
Their particular tour guide was named Georgia and spoke English with
a British accent and began by explaining to the small group, consisting
mainly a group of Japanese university students assisting in local digs
for the semester and an American family from Long Island, New York, that
the museum had originally been founded by British author Gertrude Bell
and opened in 1-9-2-6 of the old calendar.
Duo said he wondered how his CO was doing.
Heero thought that this museum had opened in the same period in which
Tutankhamen's tomb had been discovered in Egypt and British nationals
had been pioneers in archaeology all over the world at the time, many
of them collecting artifacts for private collections and the more honorable
collecting them for museums in London. That was all rather frowned upon
now, and it was considered appropriate to give historical treasures to
museums from the same region of the discovery.
They went upstairs and through a hall of Paleolithic artifacts, including
a lot of pottery. The period included finds within the period 100,000-years-old
up until the period of ice age melts, when the course of the Tigris and
Euphrates stabilized enough to allow habitation of the plains between
them. During the Paleolithic, humans in the area had lived in small towns
or villages or even cave-based communities and had migrated from site
to site through the year to follow game herds and find plants they needed.
During the Neolithic, once the river flows became more predictable and
stable, humans could more easily control them, and with fertile land and
irrigation made possible by river flows and simple machines there was
en explosion of civilization as gardens and crops were planted and tended
through the year and animals were domesticated.
Heero thought he would have had to have been an astronomer priest, because
he still could not imagine life without science or technology of some
As they moved into the Sumerian Hall, Georgia was explaining that their
museum had only reopened this year after being closed down during the
war, and went on to explain, as she stopped the group in front of a display
of artifacts found in the city of Warka, that the curators had closed
down the museum and transferred the collection to an undisclosed secure
facility in anticipation of escalation of Alliance-Rebel violence, as
in past wars that affected the area had taught them that thieves and looters
would exploit the fog of war to make a profit by stealing and reselling
priceless historical artifacts to black market collectors.
"During the Baathist era, the museum was closed for a period of
approximately 9 years and then after reopening for a period, closed again
for approximately three years, as the area was involved in military conflict."
Georgia pointed out a stone mask on display. "Several valuable artifacts
such as this mask, which is one of the oldest known lifesize carvings
of the human face, were lost, and through cooperation of the international
historical and archaeological communities and customs agents of various
nations were, thankfully, recovered."
One of the teenagers from Long Island asked what the Baathist period
was and the students began discussing the display amongst themselves.
"There are still numerous small artifacts that were known to be
in the collection which have never been recovered," Georgia continued.
"There were also many manuscripts irrevocably lost when the National
Library burned down. It is a tragedy when historical artifacts and writings
of any culture in the Sphere are lost to mankind, but we are fortunate
that in this age museums maintain digital catalogs of everything as back-up,
so that even if the original should be lost, we can still view the piece
in some format. Recently some of the crown Jewels of Sank Kingdom were
discovered in possession of a jeweler in Baghdad and arrangements were
made to return them to Sank, where they have restored the palace."
"Neutron grenade's sounding pretty good right now,"
"If you will follow me, here we have some small figures of Gudea..."
"I am certain there was looting in Sank, even if some claimed to
do it by way of safekeeping valuables for a time when the Monarchy was
"Happened a lot in history. Library of Alexandria was burned more
than once, like three times or something."
"At least twice," Heero said, He had been to Egypt, "They
moved what was recovered to the Serapium and then that was burned."
"Mayan and Aztec gold."
Heero nodded. "Legal suits between museums in Europe and survivors
of Jewish families the Nazis stole paintings from."
"Sometimes humans just suck."
"This is why it is important to invest in security systems and
remove valuables to a secure location at the first sign of civil strife."
"Well, security systems require the museum to have decent funding.
That's not always the case."
"Cannot always have a totalitarian regime of former art students."
"Neutron bomb does nothing to take out a munitions warehouse in
a residential neighborhood and there's no bomb smart enough to 100%
guarantee no civilians or cultural treasures will be collateral damage
when you make your precision strike."
"Oh, I know."
"Fucking mobile suits falling onto houses."
"I know, but, how smart is it to put military targets in the middle
of residential neighborhoods."
"Well, it is smart in an evil sort of way."
Georgia walked them into the Akkadian, Baylonian and Kassite hall.
"I am really decided that peace is the way. I mean that, even having
participated in the war, it was right for people to choose peace and put
aside differences. It was good that it was the choice of the people and
leaders listened." Heero rubbed his head. He thought it was hurting.
"There is just so little honor in war. Even if there are some who
follow some code of honor in battle, you know there are also soldiers
who took part in so much raping and pillaging. There were probably times
when it was not even considered very bad. Why would that be? Why would
it be OK to violate a woman or burn a house or steal grain or loot artifacts
just because there is war?"
"It's not really Oh-kay," Duo said quietly, "Maybe
some of it really can be accidental. Some unintended collateral damage,
a house bombed or a family killed, I don't know, maybe some form
of trophy taking is seen as earned, but the raping is awfully personal
insult anyway you think about it. I can only suppose that there was a
time when it seemed good strategy to kill the males and impregnate the
females so that your people overtook the area, your stock. Ya know?"
"I did not think of it like that, like it could be strategy, but
"The argument doesn't really hold in anything like modern
times. For certain we're not Paleolithic clans warring over fertile
ground for survival. People in the Colonies came from nations on Earth."
They walked out of the hall displaying ancient coins and went down the
stairs, following their tour group just out of range of overhearing whispers.
"Sometimes I just want it to be over, but even when it's
"You never know what is going to set you off."
"Yes," Heero sighed. "It's an outing to see cultural
artifacts and somehow it still all comes up again. I feel tired."
"Hey, I totally know where you are coming from." Duo gestured
to the large Assyrian statues about them. "It's good to say
we saw these once. I kinda want to see some of the Hatrene figures, too,
but we can get out of here after that. Get dinner or something. Maybe
play with the dogs a bit, have a bath. Just sleep."
"Maybe I will want to do more than sleep."
"Maybe we will," Duo laughed a little. "We'll
see what happens."
Dinner was good, at a coffee house Quatre recommended near the University
of Baghdad. It's distance from the museum necessitated use of a
taxi, but they had known they would be using a taxi to get to and from
the airfield at which the jet was parked. A few glasses of water truly
helped improve Heero's outlook and the food as well. It was a good
date overall. It was not a new thing that he and Duo fell into some discussion
or war or history on a date. Heero was always glad Duo was with him, even
if it could be said the discussions developed because it was Duo and himself
on the date, he was glad Duo was there when the discussion took place,
because in the end, Duo was going to understand his feelings and he was
going to understand Duo's.
Sometimes, there were a few aspects they disagreed on, but Heero was
still glad Duo was the one on the date with him.
On the jump back to Quatre's villa, they talked about the things
they had liked about the trip, the art and the way the shop girls in the
boutiques seemed to have never have met any Japanese people who were not
reporters or archaeologists. Duo said he was certain other Japanese people
did visit the region, perhaps textile buyers for design houses, he suggested,
but he agreed it did seem the average residents were puzzled when Heero
could not tell them what digs he was interested in. It had amused Heero
most that they did not seem to recognize he was Heero Yuy.
It was well after supper when they got back to the villa. Some had already
gone to bed for the night. They took the dogs outside and sat by the pool,
without going in. It had gotten much cooler now the sun was set, but the
stone and pavement still radiated warmth and Relena was still in the pool,
or was then in the pool for her second time that day.
They sat and watched the dogs run around and watched Relena's laps.
Relena got out of the pool, pulled on a robe-like cover and came to sit
beside Heero. He thought about mentioning the looting of valuables from
the palace she had lived in as a child but did not. Relena probably knew
about it better than most. She did not live there. The palace was property
of Sank, or the Sphere, now there was one nation, and no one's residence,
but Relena was probably well informed of the details of its restoration
and how many family jewels had been recovered. She was still such a well-loved
figure that they probably would have let her live there if she wished.
Relena just smiled and squeezed Heero's hand. "You can see
so many stars from here," she said.
It was true. This residential compound was self-sufficient and not attached
to any major city and though there were bright lights along the airstrip
and lighting approaches to the house, the surface illumination was not
so bright it cancelled the starlight.
"That's Andromeda. Alpheratz is her head," Relena said.
"Did Wadjet already have their test?" Heero asked.
"Jesus, you weren't worried Quatre would see the Tinman and
tell them about the competition?"
"It is all right, Heero, Wadjet already had their test at a site
in the Colonies."
"Quatre's more honorable than that!"
"ZT is to have their test shortly. I have to travel to North American
Mid District for it."
"You're the one who kept trying to tell me info about the
contract! Not that I let him, Lena!"
Relena laughed. "I never feared you would cheat in any way, Duo."
Heero wanted to go in and get a bath, so he told Duo and Relena he would
"I'll be up in a little while, OK?" Duo asked.
"You do not need permission. It is your room."
Duo did not say anything, so Heero went back into the house.
Heero went upstairs, into the wing of the house where things never happened.
He found his room, went into the adjacent bathroom to start water filling
the tub, then got undressed. He set his computer a safe distance from
the water and activated its music player. When the water was ready, Heero
stepped in and had a soak.
He noted Koi padding into the room a while later and guessed Duo was
about. Heero got out of the tub, let it drain and grabbed a towel. He
stood under the heat lamp toweling off and then walked into the bedroom,
naked and running his fingers through his hair so that it fell as he liked
it. Duo was on one of the two beds, fully clothed and playing tug-o-war
with Nu and the husky's favorite rope toy.
Duo smiled at Heero. Heero made a sort of smirk and then got into his
bed, where they had slept the previous night. "I think the boys
should be good for the night if they stay up here," Duo said.
Heero watched as Koi put his forepaws to the sill and investigated the
window. He wondered if dogs could be homosexual. He had not noticed Koi
or Nu trying to hump the other, but he was surprised the dogs did get
along as well as they did. Nu had been fixed before coming to them as
his breeder had desired to control the population of the sled dogs while
a treatment for the canine virus was being developed, but Koi had all
his parts. "Can dogs be gay?"
"I thought you weren't into animals?"
Heero raised the middle finger of his left hand and flicked Duo off.
Duo laughed and grinned. "Oh yeah, bring it!"
Heero turned his back to Duo.
"I think Koi likes the readhead," Duo said then.
"Quatre has some dogs here. I think Koi likes the sort of reddish-brown
"What breed is she? Assuming it is female."
"What the hell kind of question is that?"
Heero rolled his eyes, though Duo could not see. "They are dogs,
Duo. Koi is pedigreed. Probably has lineage to the kennel of some Caliph."
Heero could hear Duo laughing. "The purpose of keeping him un-fixed
is so he can be bred to some other pure bred Pharaoh Hound."
"She was a Pharaoh Hound," Duo said, "but I really
don't believe you. You were never going to seek out some breeder
and let them get their gloves on Koi."
"Their hormones are different if they get fixed. Different muscle
"An extra layer of insulation is probably not a bad thing for a
husky. We're not going to actually make him pull a sled."
Heero was certain Duo was hugging his dog. "We'll find snow
to play in, yes, we will! Maybe in Japan!" Duo made a wolf whistle.
"Forget the sled harnesses, the Japanese bitch will have you so
trussed up in ropes!"
Heero was having horrible visions of the next most frequently downloaded
pic on the net. He was also wondering if Duo had previously allowed some
Asian female to put him in bondage. He could hear Duo's clothes
being removed from his body. A minute later, the mattress shifted slightly
and Duo slipped into the bed and lay at Heero's back.
"Say you want me all trussed up," Duo whispered.
"I will gag you now," Heero growled.
"Don't tease!" Duo nipped at his ear and then kissed
Heero did nothing.
"You said you were tired, right? I'll lay off, unless you
tell me otherwise."
Heero feared he might have winced slightly, but he only tried to sleep.
Heero was aware some time later that he was awake and had not yet been
able to fall asleep. He thought he felt too hot to sleep, with Duo so
close, but even when he extricated himself from Duo's sleep-heavy
limbs and counted down from fifty, he was still aware of staring at the
ceiling. It was not white, but very pale blue, he decided.
Heero turned his head and looked to Duo. He truly seemed to have fallen
asleep. Heero could hear a sort of snoring noise from the floor that was
Nu sleeping. Even Koi was asleep, curled on the other bed in their room.
They had requested the pair of beds so they could play a game with the
phones and Duo would be allowed to do that thing. Heero had somehow avoided
Heero slipped slowly from the bed, not wanting Duo to wake and ask why
he was leaving. Heero went to his luggage and looked for his first aid
kit. He still had the bottle of French painkillers. He poured two from
the bottle to the palm of his right hand and swallowed without water.
This feeling he had, it was like not knowing the reason a computer system
began to react slowly. It was something like knowing that a mission was
going to be given, without being able to prepare or plan, because the
details of the mission had not been released. Heero pulled on a pair of
jeans and then went to the door to the hall. Duo shifted, but gave no
visual or auditory clue that he had woken, so Heero opened the door and
continue into the hall.
He could hear that a movie or television program was playing in the media
room and took a series of quiet steps in that direction then went still
near the opening along the sliding wall. Heero could see that Trowa had
spotted him, but also that Quatre was currently sucking hard at Trowa's
face. Heero swallowed. Quatre's face turned toward him, his lips
sliding from Trowa's mouth to his jaw. He looked at Heero, but did
not stop kissing Trowa. Several options presented themselves in Heero's
1. Apologize for interruption and leave.
2. Ask them not to tell Duo that he had not been able to sleep, when previously
he had slept better when Duo was near.
3. Enter the room and make out with Quatre and Trowa
4. Leave quickly without saying anything.
Heero left quickly without a word. He back-tracked past his room and
went to the stairs.
He found Hilde was in the kitchen, alone, eating mint chocolate chip
ice cream from the container. She waved with her spoon. "Are you
going to eat all of that now you are eating from the tub?"
"I will if I don't get sick first. Want some? We can kinda
carve off the layer I've touched."
Heero pulled one of the stools from its undercounter storage against
one wall and drew it to the steel-topped island to sit across from Hilde.
He scanned the kitchen again. "I was wondering if it would be true
Quatre does not have alcohol in his house."
"Right, Islam and all." She smiled for some reason Heero
did not understand. "Do you need a drink now, Heero?"
"I suppose it may seem bad to use alcohol for purposes other than
social or medicinal, but as I am not sleeping and it can cause sleepiness
and you are here it really qualifies as a good time to drink."
"Well, if you believe in self-medicating." She pointed with
her spoon toward a door that Heero had supposed to be a pantry. "I
think that is for guests."
Heero slipped from the barstool and went to the doors along the narrow
side wall of the kitchen. He opened the one that Hilde had pointed towards
and found within was something of a winecellar. The interior felt slightly
cooler than the rest of the house; it almost registered as too cold without
a shirt. There were several racks of wine bottles tipped to keep corks
moist, and elsewhere neat shelves of other spirits, as well as some mixers.
Heero noticed the little pirate drawn on one of the labels, rather a
Captain. He was certain the movie Quatre and Trowa had not been watching
had involved pirates of some sort. Heero took the bottle with him, left
the cellar, closed the door and then went for a glass. He had seen where
they were stored when in the kitchen to get breakfast.
He sat again across from Hilde and poured rum into his tumbler.
"Isn't that unusual for you?" Hilde asked, "Not
being able to sleep at any time, I mean."
"Do your characters ever have threesomes?"
Hilde set her spoon on the countertop with a metal on metal clink and
licked her tongue across her top lip. She fixed her eyes steadily on Heero.
"You are coming to me about this?"
"Just asking about your hobby." Heero took a drink. He never
expected such drinks to taste good straight, but swallowed anyway, waiting
for the effect.
"All right." Hilde rolled her shoulders. "As of yet,
I have never written Aka and Blaec involved in a threesome. Or are you
asking why I have or have not?"
"Well, in a way, fanfiction is always fantasy, in the sense that
the reader or writer is imagining people...characters in a way other
than they usually are. But fanfiction is not always fantasy from the in-story
point of view...the character's point-of-view. You understand."
"Maybe not," Heero admitted, taking another drink.
"Well, depending who writes the story and their mood it could be
absolutely fantasy in every sense. The characters may not be acting in
any way like their established selves, the setting may be different from
any the characters are usually seen in and there can seem little care
for consequence of action. Perhaps an example? Well, let us say someone
writes a story about teenaged mecha pilots having sex and according to
the story they can have painless sex without lubrication or foreplay and
no one ever raises the question of anyone getting pregnant or sick and
there's no question of how they will be able to work with the rest
of the team the next day."
"Aa, like a dream."
"Exactly. Some fanfiction is fantasy in that sense, in the sense
of being dreamlike. It's not right or wrong to write that way, it's
just done as fantasy, as escapism. If you write that way, you can have
three or four people...characters having sex with each other and you
do not really have to explain their motivation beyond horniness and you
do not have to address consequences of their actions."
"And...?" Heero took another gulp of rum. He paused.
"There would be consequences if real people took similar actions?
And you do not write this way, because you want to write about motivations
"Yes. For me, it is still fantasy in that default sense of being
very unofficial and a product of my imagination, but otherwise, everything
"And you believe that there is something real about threesomes
that you do not wish to write?"
"It is not that I do not wish to write, but if I did, it would
have to be handled delicately, and I have not felt any inspiration to
write such a thing yet."
"And what makes you think it is something that needs such delicacy?"
Hilde smiled. "The characters I write about are in love. A threesome
between three who have no past relationship with each other and for purposes
of casual sexual play is different that a couple becoming a threesome.
A true ménage a trois, it mean like a household of three. It means
a romantic relationship of three, rather than two, equally between all
three. I will allow that such relationships do exist, but it is my belief
they are very rare."
"And couples never just add a third to spice things up?"
"Yes, they do, but that does not mean it is wise."
Heero refilled his glass. "Why?"
Hilde looked at Heero strangely for a moment. He had no idea what she
was thinking. "well, because it works if none of the people are
involved or feel strong emotions for each other. It is like...some
of the same rules apply as they do for couples. You can be an individual
that hooks up with another just for sake of sexual pleasure. So, that
kind of person can hook up with two or more as well as with one, in this
experimental casual way. I would hope they would all be safe..."
"And it works in this rare ménage a trois way?"
"But not in some other arrangement?"
"Some may claim it does, but you are asking me. I do not think
so. A couple may try it, but I think there will always be strangeness
afterward. There will be jealousy. Let us say there is a man and a woman
who love each other. Then a third, a man is introduced and he is very
charming and exciting and such. Both the man and woman in the couple may
be drawn to him in some ways, maybe not sexually at first. And this man
may be drawn to one or both of them. But...what happens when the man
sees his sweetheart kissing the other man for the first time?"
"There is probably jealousy." Heero took a drink. "But
what if they are all Men?"
"Well, we could believe certain stereotypes that have been perpetrated
about Men who desire other men and say they are all promiscuous and it
is all about sex and hedonism, but I believe that would be cruel and untrue.
Maybe some people are like that, male or female, but not all those of
any gender or preference. Men also fall in love, Heero."
"They do," he admitted. "it never works?"
"Well, I am not saying that no one should ever experiment with
that or that in no way can it work...I am saying I have not found
a way to approach it that it will not leave my characters hurt, and they
have been hurt enough, in my opinion."
"Were you jealous?"
"Yes, but it happened before you ever had sex with Duo. What happened
between you was something I had seen coming for a long time. If it had
not been sexual, I would have still felt excluded in some other way. I
was prepared. I got involved with Duo as far as I did knowing this about
him. So, yes, I was jealous, but you did not hurt me."
"But you were hurt?"
"I felt a little uncomfortable or defensive to see you kiss him,
to have you threaten to soothe his nightmares away."
Hilde laughed. "It was not so bad, because I found someone to comfort
me close to the same time Duo found he could be with you."
"You don't really make Midii tell you about it the way she
insists you tell her about Duo?"
"I do not tell her everything!"
"But you do talk."
"No, she does not tell me."
"We really like each other, but she is a little concerned because
I am pregnant."
"Because you will not be able to have sex?"
Hilde laughed loudly. "Oh Heero."
"You know she's a really great person, like you or Trowa.
You know? She is kind and can care about others, sometimes more than herself.
She was worried that if she was around my baby that it would be attached
to her or know her and if we broke up later that it would be cruel to
disturb the child's homelife and she thought maybe it would be better
to stay away once the baby was born and us just not be together, because
she did not know how I would feel about her years from now."
"It's kinda like, umo, like Duo wanting to marry you."
"Yes. You're starting to slur, do you know?"
Heero took a drink.
"I can understand how they were both thinking. I know they both
lost family members and are kind. I really do know how good and kind Duo
is, maybe even better than you understand right now."
"What do you mean?"
Hilde shook her head. "It's my baby I told them, so if the
child has questions about who is seen going in and out of my life, if
there is to be any leaving or breaking up involved, then it is my responsibility
to explain to my child what I allowed or did not allow and why. It is
simply not their worry. I think you would refrain from drinking if I asked
you to babysit."
"Nothing. Heero. There are as many types of relationships as people.
There are people who are legally wed and participate in spouse-swapping,
and though it is not something I wish to be involved in, I have to acknowledge
that such things exist and some people swear by it, just as others will
say 'no, a thousand times no!' when asked about the same thing.
I can only tell you what I think or what I learned from my particular
experiences. If you ask, Duo can only tell you what he knows. Maybe there
are things you have to learn for yourself."
Heero took another drink and then dropped his glass hard to the counter
and looked at Hilde desperately. "But how do you know...sometimes...sometimes
you have to say no, even when you want to say yes! If everyone just was...hedonistic...if
"I know. When you have a commitment to someone, when you are a
couple, you should not take any vows involved lightly. Being with someone
in that way, as a couple, loving them, it does not somehow magically mean
that you are no longer human, that you cannot be tempted, that you cannot
possibly be attracted to others. It means you decide whether acting on
that temptation is worth risking what you have now. Sometimes the choice
is easier than others. Sometimes people make mistakes and do cheat."
"I don' want to cheat. I don' wan' Duo to cheat."
"I know. Not everything is cheating...I mean, just like thee
are people who believe in spouse-swapping, there are people who believe
kissing only does not mean cheating, or that allowing your partner to
watch does not count as cheating. You do not have to tell me what rules
you have, but couples usually do have rules. If you do not agree that
something is allowed, then usually it's better to resist that, unless
you do want to risk what you have. Also...sometimes...there are
different kinds of attraction and sometimes you can confuse attraction
of another kind for sexual desire. Sometimes you think you want to kiss
someone, but you would also be satisfied if you had a hug or a talk or
played a video game with them."
"But I...!" Heero started, but then he fell from his
stool and hit the floor, but somehow it did not hurt very much at all.