Like the Romans
It was supposed to have been a joke, and now, standing just out of the light coming in through the swinging glass doors, it had become his worst nightmare. Shifting from foot to foot, Duo tried not to watch as his housemate and best friend turned away, and left through those same glass doors he was trying to avoid.
"Nude Recreation weekend's coming up," he'd mentioned oh so casually that Sunday three weeks before. "A convention's being held up the coast. We should go check it out."
Heero had looked up from the counters he'd been wiping down, and Duo hid the smile wanting to form. The very thought of Heero at a nudist colony was laughable. But goading the man was Duo's pastime, and one he enjoyed as often as possible.
"Might see some people we know." He snickered and shot a glance Heero's way. "Might see more of them than ever ya wanted to."
Hanging the cloth he'd been using on the rack bolted to the door of the under sink cabinet, Heero grunted, then straightened and rinsed his hands in the sink. "It has been awhile since we've gone anywhere," he said finally, drying his hands and turning to face Duo. "I'll make the arrangements."
"Uh..." Duo hesitated. "It's at a nudist resort, you know."
"Affirmative." Heero nodded to confirm.
Duo grinned weakly. "There'll be naked people there-ones without clothes..."
"That's usually what naked means, Duo." Heero took a seat at the table opposite Duo, and opening a browser on his laptop, he began a search.
"And you're alright with that?" Duo asked.
"I am not bothered by other's lifestyle choices," Heero commented, his eyes glued to the laptop monitor. "There are still vacancies at the resort," he looked up and pierced Duo with stare. "Do you have a problem with nudist philosophies?"
On the verge of yelling a 'Hell Yes!' Duo saw it. Saw the challenge in Heero's eyes, in his look. The look that said 'I will if you will', and 'I dare you', and on its heels 'I dare'. It was his joke. He couldn't back down.
"No, I don't." And firmed his expression into cheerful confidence.
A handful of clicks and taps on the keyboard later, and Heero nodded in satisfaction. "We are booked into a two-bedroom bungalow for Friday and Saturday night, check-out at three on Sunday." He pulled up a map site, and spun his computer around for Duo to view. "If we work it right, we should be able to stop at that restaurant you liked in San Simeon for dinner on Sunday."
"Great," Duo said weakly, wondering how he was going to get out of this mess. Wondering if he could talk Quatre into getting violently ill to where his presence would be needed at his friend's bedside. Barring that, he wondered if he'd be damned straight to Hell if he prayed for Relena to get kidnapped again.
Standing on the hardwood floor in the bungalow's small sitting room, Duo swallowed hard, and wished again that he hadn't accepted Heero's unvoiced challenge. That Heero had no reservations about walking in the buff astonished him; waking up hearing Heero moving about and finding him sans clothes that morning had been a surprise. A nude Heero letting in breakfast delivery without batting an eye had left him speechless. Duo kept his boxers firmly in place.
When they'd checked in the night before, Duo thought it might not be so bad. The resort staff were all clothed, the reception area was decently decorated - no pornographic pictures, not even the artistic kind in sight - and the few guests seen had been dressed, if casually. The little cottage they'd been assigned was again, tastefully decorated, and Duo could find nothing odd in the furnishings or stashed in the cabinets. It had seemed like a perfectly normal, if somewhat worn, resort cottage.
During breakfast, Heero showed him the activities list, with the panel schedule, and mentioned the dance planned for later that night. Duo found it hard to listen, blood thrummed loudly in his ears, and his eyes remained glued to the food set before him. Heero had ordered his favorite weekend breakfast, and he couldn't taste it.
Heero was sitting with him at the table in the nude. Heero was naked and acting as if it was an everyday occurrence. Heero was making plans for their day, filling the hours with a beginning charcoal sketch class, a volleyball game on the beach, lunch in the community square, a nature hike followed by a swim in a wooded lake. Mention of a wine and cheese tasting before dinner was made.
Wine and cheese? Duo shot a look at Heero. The man was serious. Taking another bite of waffle, Duo made a vague agreement to Heero's itinerary, and wondered if he could fake an injury.
And now, Heero had left, heading for the main building to see what the charcoal class had to offer. His housemate had waited for Duo to join him, looking pointedly at the boxers he still wore, and when Duo gave him some hazy sort of excuse, Heero nodded looking disappointed, and left on his own.
Turning from the glass doorway, Duo explored the sitting room, discovering a vidset in an entertainment hutch. He turned it on and flipped through the channels idly, wishing Heero would come back; wishing they were at home; wishing he could shed his clothes and enjoy the weekend with Heero. It was only two days. He could withstand anything for two days.
With a growl, Duo hit the power button and jumped to his feet. Thumbs hooked his boxers, and he slid them off, letting them fall to his ankles and kicking them away with his foot. He was a God Damned Gundam fucking Pilot! He withstood OZ torture and interrogation. He grew up on the streets, lived his early life in poverty and want, snuck, stole, and fought his way to become what he was. Showing a little skin was nothing.
One hundred meters from the bungalow door, Duo heard voices down the path, and he froze. Hearing the voices coming his way, he turned back around. Later, he decided. He would venture out later.
Less than an hour had passed, and Heero was walking back through the door again. Duo stood behind the couch, acknowledging Heero's return, and wishing he hadn't had the brilliant idea to 'acclimate' himself to being in the buff by parading around inside the privacy of the cottage.
"Are you feeling better?" Heero asked, coming to the small dining table, and setting down a long, rolled up sheet of paper.
"Uh, yeah. Feeling better," Duo mumbled, averting his eyes from watching Heero. "Have fun?"
He saw movement from the corner of his eye, and figured Heero had shrugged. "The instructor was adequate." Suddenly Heero was in front of him, and Duo hastily jerked his gaze upward. "Do you feel well enough to play volleyball?"
Duo opened his mouth in a negative reply, and snapped it shut. He stared at Heero for a moment, seeing the concern in his eyes, the worry line furrowed across his brow. Nodding slowly, he licked his lips quickly. "Yeah, I can play."
"Good." Heero smiled, his head tilted slightly. "It's not the same without you," he added, and turned away. "There's a sign-up sheet for net times down by the community square. We should head up there."
"Okay," Duo croaked, and followed Heero out the door.
Each side of the path was lush with greenery. Huge leaf plants mixed with dense ferns surrounded copse of trees, and Duo felt an odd sense of relief. It had been too dark the night before to notice the plant life, and the well cared for paths, that were strangely comfortable to bare feet. The path they currently walked joined pathways from other bungalow clusters, and the main path led to the community square. According to the resort brochure, most of the larger group activities took place at the community square.
Knowing that many of the guests attending the convention would be at the community square, Duo developed a plan immediately upon leaving the cottage. Following closely behind Heero started out as a good idea. The closer he was to his housemate, the less of him everyone else could see. But, the closer he was to his housemate, the more he couldn't keep his eyes off him.
He stifled a groan, and tried not to watch the flex of muscle, the way one cheek would concave, and the other would stretch with each step. He wanted to touch, and wanted badly. This desire was not a new one; he'd gone through phases of wanting, of denial, and of channeling those feelings into physical activity. He would overcome this one as well. Heero would never know, could never know.
It was several years before he'd made the promise to himself, a promise made after a harsh rejection of a tentative advance. Five years had dulled the hurt, but it was still a lesson Duo held dear and near. Heero hadn't wanted him then, and hadn't shown an interest in being more than a friend since. And a friend was all that Duo would allow himself to be.
The problem of keeping his promise was instantly clear, and hot on Heero's heels was compounding it. The square was nearly in sight, and Duo knew he wasn't going to be able to maintain disinterest. Parts of him were showing just how interested he was in the scenery. Heart pounding, he stepped away from Heero and sat on one of the benches set into a recess along the path, immediately drawing his knees up to his chest.
"Duo?" Heero called, stopping to turn back toward him.
"Uh, go on without me, Heero," Duo said, hiding his face in his knees. "I'm going to go back."
Heero came closer, standing before him. "Are you alright? Do you need me to get the doctor?"
Shaking his head, Duo mumbled, "Nah, no doctor."
"Then, what's wrong?" Heero sat beside him, his hand coming to rest on the back of Duo's neck.
Duo took several deep breaths, keeping his eyes closed. Pride or Heero, he knew which he couldn't lose. "I can't do it. I can't go out there." Without raising his head, he lifted a hand and waved it in the direction they'd been headed.
A silence hung between them, and Duo peeked a look at Heero. Heero was regarding him with tender concern, Duo sighed. "It's like those dreams where you're at a party having a good time and discover you didn't put on your pants, and everyone's laughing at you," Duo whispered.
Heero nodded, and gave him a short smile. "Let's go back to the cottage." He rose and held his hand out for Duo to take. "You do realize this is a clothing optional resort, don't you?"
Gaping, he shook his head and took Heero's hand. "Optional? Like, I can wear something?"
"Yes, you can wear something." And Heero's smile widened, even as he turned to head back the way they'd come.
"So, would I be the only one wearing clothes then?" Duo asked, following behind Heero pretty much as before, but keeping his eyes above waist level.
"I doubt it," Heero snorted softly. "There were several who wore clothes in the class this morning."
Duo chewed on the inside of his cheek for a moment. "Will you wear anything?"
Heero glanced back at him before shrugging. "I am not bothered by the lack of clothing."
But I am, Duo thought, and sent a beseeching pray to whatever god was listening.
In minutes, they were back on the path heading to the community square, Duo comfortably ensconced in a loose pair of bathing trunks. To his relief, he discovered many of the guests present wore some covering, though the majority did not. It was shortly after the first game of volleyball he played, teamed up with Heero and a male and female couple, that Duo discovered his initial discomfort in the presence of so much exposed flesh had eased.
By his second glass of wine at the tasting, he thought he would be okay with shedding his shorts. He mentioned the idea to Heero, and was slightly miffed at his friend's sudden mirth. The challenge was back in Heero's eyes, and Duo wasn't going to back down this time.
Two hours and a lengthy shower later, Duo sorted through the meager clothing he had brought contemplating just what a person wore to a nudist dance. The towel from his shower was still wrapped about his hips, and he went to the door of his room, opened it, and called out, "Heero? What are you wearing to this thing, anyway?"
Heero stuck his head out of the bathroom, half his face still slathered in shaving cream. "Nothing." There was an amused smile on his lips and that challenge in his eyes.
"Nothing?" Duo almost squeaked. "What do you do with... well, when you dance?" He made vague wiggling gestures with his hand in front of his groin.
Laughing, Heero shook his head. "I don't think it matters." He ducked back into the bathroom, and Duo stared at the empty space.
"Not matter? Oh hell yeah, it matters." He was muttering to himself again. Shoulders slumping, he turned back to his room, resigning himself to do as the Roman's do.
In the end, Duo wore his hair braided, his only ornament the cross necklace he'd worn for over ten years. Heero joined him in the sitting room moments later, and Duo barked out a laugh seeing the shirtless collar and formally knotted bowtie around his neck.
"Where did you get that?" he demanded, moving closer to inspect it.
"There's a dealer's store up at the main building," Heero answered with a smirk. "I picked it up this afternoon."
"You should have told me, I would have gotten one too." Duo gave him a half glare, but stepped back with a grin. "Looks good."
Heero's eyes swept up and down Duo, coming to rest on Duo's face. "So do you."
His breath caught and held, his mouth gaped, but Heero was turning away, leading the way out of the bungalow and toward the main building. With Heero's seemingly blithe comment swirling in his suddenly confused mind, Duo followed with leaden feet.
Like many of the informal dances he'd attended, the room was dimly lit, decorated with strings of lights, balloons, and streamers. Guests congregated along the walls in groups of two, three and more. A set of refreshment tables aligned the near wall, and folding chairs were set at random intervals. At the back of the room was a raised platform were electronic equipment took up most of the space, and moving from one piece of equipment to another, a young man bobbed his head in rhythm to the song currently playing. DJ, Duo's mind supplied, and dismissed him.
He stood close to Heero, but schooled himself from openly staring at his friend. He definitely worked to keep his thoughts from how Heero looked, and the desires that woke with those thoughts.
Out in the middle space of the room, couples were dancing in varying degrees of talent and skill. One couple ignored beat and rhythm, and held each other close, moving to music only they heard, feet shuffling over the hardwood flooring. It wasn't surprising to find several sets of threesomes dancing back to front, and Duo frowned in puzzlement, wondering how the males of the group would be able to keep obvious reactions from showing.
An elbow to his side brought him around, glaring at Heero. "What?" he demanded with a hiss.
Heero lifted an eyebrow, glanced out to the floor, and back to Duo. "What were you thinking about?"
A sudden flush, and Duo looked away. "Uh, just about the dancers... how they can do it like that." Heero's gaze followed his, and they watched one set bump and grind in almost a practiced ease.
"You've seen dancing like that before, and I know you've danced similarly with Quatre and Trowa."
"Yeah, but not naked!" Duo protested, turning back to his friend. "Dancing with Tro and Quat was fun, but hell, it was erotic as fucking Hell." His eyes widened briefly and he looked back at the dancers again. "Everyone would have known it too, if I'd been naked."
Heero's laugh had Duo scowling at him again. "Like you could dance like that without getting a hard on, Yuy?"
Sobering slowly, Heero watched the dancers before answering. "I have no desire to be sandwiched between two men."
"But you're telling me you could and not be affected?" Duo challenged again. "Playing your way, if it was one person - man or woman - you wouldn't feel anything?"
"One person," Heero repeated, his eyes cutting to Duo and back to the floor. "It's a matter of control. I would be able to maintain mine."
"I'll bet," Duo muttered darkly. "You're telling me you could be ass to cock and not get erect? Fuck, I'm getting half hard just thinking about it!"
Immediately, Heero looked, and Duo felt his body flush with heat. "I see," intoned Heero. "Maybe you need mind and body control training."
This time, it was Duo's turn to laugh. "At a nudist colony dance?"
Heero shrugged. "You seem to have some trouble here."
"No thanks." Duo dropped his gaze to the floor, his voice lowered as he continued. "There are some responses that shouldn't be trained out of a man."
A touch on his arm, and Duo was looking up at Heero. "Affirmative," Heero said softly with a nod. With a slight indication of his head, Heero asked, "Would you like to dance?"
Eyes flicked to the floor and back, Duo nodded dumbly, letting Heero lead him to the edge of the floor. The song was a fast one, a heavy driving beat, and one that didn't require touching his partner. Duo discovered he didn't mind parts of him jiggling as he moved as much as he thought he might.
One song blended into another, and Duo was held close, his feet shuffling between Heero in small circles where they stood. Never had he thought he'd be skin to skin with Heero Yuy. Not since that day on Peacemillion, not outside of fantasies he tried to deny existed. As much as he attempted control, he remained just as he'd told Heero before half-hard, and wanting.
Keeping his pelvis from touching didn't mean Heero hadn't brushed against him, and Duo began planning to make a hasty escape to regroup as soon as the song ended. At the opening strands of the next song, Duo wasn't prepared for Heero to grab his waist, turn him about, and press his back to Heero's chest. He was even less equipped for one of Heero's hands to hold on to his hip, while the other splayed over his abdomen.
Heero's hands, Heero's whole body moved him in time to the beat; the red flush covering him was lost in the dim lighting. A part of him wanted to be angry with Heero. He'd already told Heero he didn't have the kind of control Heero could claim. And here he was, plastered against Heero's chest, Heero's pelvis grinding into his ass - his naked ass - and his response was immediate and quite possibly in danger of being discovered in an embarrassing way - dim lighting or no.
"Spontaneous response," Heero whispered at his ear. Heero's hand shifted lower, and Duo grabbed it with his own.
"I-I need to get out of here," Duo stuttered, angling his head to give Heero a pleading look. "I can't-" His eyes widened, and Heero's lips curved upward in a slow smile. "Is that-"
"Yes," Heero confirmed. "Control has been sacrificed, and retreat is advisable."
A wicked smile of his own grew. "Mission parameters, Heero?"
"Stick to the shadows. Avoid civilians," Heero's words ghosted over the skin below Duo's ear. He shivered and lifted his hand to cup the back of Heero's neck. "Draw back to base." Heero's lips sucked in Duo's earlobe and teeth grazed it.
"What's-" Duo gasped, his eyes closing; Heero's fingers skimmed over his erection. With a groan, he continued, "Mission objective, Yuy?"
"To take care of this," Heero murmured, fingers wrapping around Duo's cock. "And this." Heero thrusts forward with gentle pressure, leaving no doubts that his control was gone as well.
"Mission accepted," Duo said with a grin, and began pulling away from Heero's embrace, making for the darker corners of the room, and scoping out the best route to disappear with the fewest witnesses.
The end of the convention would bring questions needing answers, and plans that would change lives. But, for the rest of the night, and into the next day, Duo was going to accept, give, and believe. Living like the Romans wasn't a bad way to spend the weekend.