The Stow Away
The hand on his arm dug harder, the nails biting into his skin.
"Cut it out, ya bastard!" Duo tried to pull away, making the sweaty man grunt and clamp down tighter.
Dragging him another step down the narrow passageway, the large sailor glared down at the boy. "The Cap'n 'll take the fight right out of ya, blasted stow away." Another yard farther along. "Why'dja'ave ta go'n do that ta Marty.'e wouldn'ta hurt ya."
"He was pulling on my hair!" Duo shouted. "Nobody pulls the hair!"
The man laughed, opened a door and shoved him in. "Capt'n Yuy, got a stow away fer ye."
Duo picked himself up from the stumble. His eyes narrowed, and he looked around cautiously. With the sailor blocking the door, there was no escape. The man addressed as Captain Yuy hadn't looked up from the table he leaned over, his hair and face hidden beneath the crown of his hat. Taking a peek before being pushed back to the floor, the spread paper appeared to be a map. The word treasure hovered in the back of his mind.
"What do I want with a stow away?"
At the sound of the man's voice, Duo angled his head to peer up at him. He hadn't moved, only continued to study that in front of him. "I'm not a stow away!" Irritation at being ignored spurred him to voice a protest.
The reaction was instant. The man glared as the sailor behind him shoved a boot to his back. "Keep yer trap shut, brat. Or I'll take care of'ye me own self!"
Duo slid out from beneath the boot, grabbing the man's ankle on the way. A quick yank, and the sailor hit the door, rattling it on its hinges.
Crouched on the floor, ready to spring in flight or attack, Duo paused, watching the other man. Hard blue eyes stared out from behind a curtain of hair. They seemed to take in who and what he was at a glance. The man's lips quirked in a bare half smile. The gaze raised to the man over Duo's shoulder. "Lock him in my cabin. I'll take care of him later."
With a laugh, a big, beefy hand clamped down on Duo's arm once again, pulling him to his feet. Allowing himself to be hauled around, Duo's eyes never left the captain's. Despite himself, there'd been something about the man, something that captivated his attention, drew his will and held it prisoner.
The Captain's cabin was dark, with only one lit oil lamp tucked in its sconce on the wall. Thrown roughly inside, Duo landed sprawled on the floor, the thick door closed with a decisive thump, and its lock tumbled into place from the outside. Duo gained his footing slowly, rubbing his arm where the nails had bit deep.
"Stupid bastard," he mumbled, looking around. He'd cut it close; his guard had nearly pushed him into a heavy chair. Duo ran a hand over the smooth wooden surface. He hadn't ever seen such a piece of furniture before. A bowl laden with fruit caught his eye. He'd picked up the apple and taken a bite before the thought he shouldn't caught up with him.
Not taking the time to savor the fruit, he bit ravenously into it, wiping his chin as the juice dripped from his mouth. The massive bed tucked to one side pulled his attention. Walking slowly forward, he chewed absently, eyes darting along the bed, over the canopy with its draped curtains, and coming to rest on the thick, rich covering. He looked at the core in his hand, and tossed it over his shoulder, listened for the crystal bowl to chime when it landed.
Duo pressed on the bed-covering, amazed at its softness. His hand stroked the plush velvet, its texture teasing his fingertips. Climbing on the bed, his senses alert for the slightest sound, he stretched out. Cool comfort surrounded him, conforming and cradling his body. Languidly, he rolled onto his back, reveling in the feel. Duo's eyes widened. "So, this is how it is to be rich," he breathed quietly to the fabric covered ceiling.
Even fully stretched, his arms didn't touch the ends of the mattress. Letting the childish thrill the sensation of being on a large springy bed take over, Duo rolled from one side to the other, stopping just before the edge. He sat up and gave the bed a slight push; grinning when its springs gave and pushed back immediately. A tentative hop lifted his legs off the surface, and back down, the springs repeating the movement.
Grinning happily, Duo bounced on his knees twice more before gaining his feet, his arms outspread for balance. He started with little hops, gaining momentum, and quickly turning into full-on jumps. Laughing for nearly colliding with the overhanging swatch of cloth, Duo bent over on the upward jumps, his knees drawn up to his chest. He switched from a jump to a dive at the pillows and back to his feet again. Landing one last time, he lay for the moment, letting the rushed beating of his heart calm, and his breathing return to normal.
What the hell am I going to do? The thought circled. This Captain Yuy, he'd heard of along the wharf. A notorious pirate, it'd been reputed captives never lived to tell their tales. No one had seen the pirate captain, and those who crewed under him spoke not a word. His exploits numbered in the hundreds and maidens of all walks swooned in mock dread upon hearing his ship had been sighted. You picked a hell of a time to leave the colony. He snorted softly, pushing the covering away from his face. Should have taken that dirty ship. At least it flew an English flag.
His mind recycled the thoughts that'd already played once, his hand clutching and releasing the velvet between his fingers. A dock rat, he'd grown up around ships all his life, and in his fifteen years he'd managed to avoid the shanghai gangs, work farm enforcers, and orphanage officers. The colony had become too small, the pick-up sweeps more frequent and the hiding places too few. His only chance at survival had been to stow away on a ship, stay hidden until they were too far to turn back, and force his passage to wherever the vessel was destined.
"His eyes are nice though," Duo whispered to himself, keeping his voice low. He tried to recall the look of the man, tried to imagine what the captain had in mind for punishment. Seaside tales of floggings, and walking the plank came to mind. Trying to banish those thoughts, he yawned. It'd been a rough night, first making his way onboard ship, keeping to the shadows, slipping past the guards, and then finding a hidden spot to where he was sure to not be found for a good long time. It'd been the smell of roasting meat that'd drawn him out. He hadn't eaten the previous day, and the little water he'd been able to sneak the night before left him with a thirst for more.
Another yawn, and his lids drooped. "Hands nice, too," he mumbled sleepily. Visions of the captain, his blue eyes, and strong hands whirled merrily as his body slowly shut down, lowering him into sleep.
A sharp stinging nagged at him. He brushed at it, not wanting to open his eyes. The bedding hugging his body added to the lethargic feel of his limbs, keeping his senses swathed in sleep. Bare pressure drew along his cheek, and he mumbled, digging deeper into the cover, trying to delve further into his lost dream. A warmth cupped his face, and he sought it out, whimpering slightly as it moved away.
The low chuckle and light touch on his arm brought instant alertness. Eyes opened wide, he stared with dawning horror into the intense blue ones of the pirate captain. The man lay on his side, close without touching him, a smirking smile and a glint of humor rubbed more than the sharp bladed knife held against his skin.
"Did you sleep well?" his tone amused.
Swallowing abruptly, Duo nodded, his eyes flitting from the knife to the captain's face.
"Are you hungry?" his voice still amused, but another element added depth. The blue eyes traveled the length of Duo's body.
Unable to resist the shiver, he watched as the man sheathed the knife. When the hand reached towards him, Duo scrambled back, sliding off the bed and darting to the door. "Stay away from me, ya bastard!"
The blue eyes blinked and the half smile became even more amused. "And just where do you think you're going?"
Hand on the door latch, Duo shouted. "Leaving here!" The outright laugh brought his attention back to the bed. At the sight of the brass key twirling on the man's finger, his shoulders slumped. "Bastard." He glared.
The captain's eyes stayed locked on him. The key stopped spinning, and the man slid from the bed, standing slowly. The lazy smile dropped. In its place a hard line appeared. "You want to walk out of this room, you'll have to take the key from me." The man's hand disappeared down the front of his breeches.
Duo's eyes widened, riveted on the slight bulge left where the hand had been. A low chuckle and he raised his gaze. "What.." his voice broke and he swallowed roughly. "What do you want?"
Not answering, the captain strode to the table and poured a tumbler of wine. Duo noticed another lamp had been lit, illuminating the man's face, teasing the dark red color from the glass. Staying close to the door, he watched as the man swirled the liquid. His eyes followed the cup's rise. Full lips touched the rim, red stained them briefly before disappearing into the generous mouth. His own mouth suddenly dry, Duo swallowed mimicking the man's movements. He was surprised at the quickened pounding of his heart.
"Why did you sneak onto my ship?"
Scowling, Duo looked away. "Wanted to get away from there."
A slight rustle sounded. "I see." The chink of a glass and liquid being poured again brought Duo's reluctant attention back. "Here, have something to eat." The man set a plate down opposite him; a sliced apple, a few chunks of cheese, and several slices of bread spread out.
A step forward, drawn in spite of himself, seeing the food, smelling the wine. Duo threw a suspicious glance at the man, his hand on the chair. "What'da I have to do for it?"
The Captain chuckled, his eyes sweeping over and through him again. "What did you plan on doing for passage away from there?"
Duo kept his eyes on the plate. He licked his lips and willed his stomach to stop growling. "I was gonna work for it."
"On a pirate vessel? How'd you figure you'd do that?"
Eyes blazing, he stared defiantly. "I didn't know your stupid ship was a rotten pirate ship!"
His brow raised as he brought the glass to his lips again. "And you believe you'd be treated better on another ship?" Duo gave a curt nod and scowled again at the man's laughter. "Don't believe it. You'd have wished for the worst hell the wharf police could give if you'd stow aboard the other ship in the harbor."
Dropping his eyes, Duo told the chair, "It would have worked. I could be used, I would have paid my way."
The laughter came to an abrupt end. "Sit!" the command came strong and sharp. Duo flashed him a startled look and dropped into the seat quickly. "Eat!" Dividing his attention between the man, and the food he grabbed eagerly, Duo stuffed his mouth full, chewing fast as if afraid it'd be taken from him.
The Captain reached over and stilled the hurried fingers. "Slow down before you choke. No one's going to take it, and more will be here when you're hungry again." Duo's hand burned with the contact, he'd stopped eating and could only stare across the table. The touch left his hand and pushed upward on his chin. "Eat, but slowly." the voice gentle, low and caressing.
As he chewed, he kept his eyes on the man across from him. Duo saw he no longer wore the hat, and instead, a bright red scarf held his tussled hair back. The flickering light gleamed brightly off the gold earrings, and the top two buttons of the ruffled shirt had been undone, revealing a small sliver of flesh contrasting against the white shirt and burnished red coat. In automatic motion, Duo's hand brought food to his mouth, the wine to his lips, and all the while his focus centered on the V point in the older man's shirt.
The man cleared his throat, and Duo saw the amused smile had returned. "No one else would hire you, you know."
"But I work hard. I could do the job, any job given!" Duo's hands stilled at their task.
An eyebrow raised, and the captain drank more wine, holding it on his tongue before swallowing. "I believe you." Duo relaxed, and picked up another apple slice. He gnawed on it, his stomach beginning to feel the effects of being full for the first time in many weeks. "You could work for me." Duo looked up. "I could always use a good ...boy."
"But I don't want to be a pirate!" the words left his mouth before he thought.
Expecting an outburst, Duo was surprised when the man only raised his glass to his lips for another drink. Setting the cup down, the man commanded, "Stand up."
He did as he'd been told, wanting to face his end as a man and not a coward. At least I got to eat. Facing the notorious pirate captain, he waited for his fate.
The captain waved his hand, gesturing for him to move away from the table. Duo took two steps sideways, not dropping his eyes. He wanted to see it coming, maybe fight it off if he could. He held no hope of winning in hand to hand battle with the older man.
"What?" the startled exclamation broke forth.
The slow lazy smile lifted his lips. "You heard me. Turn around."
He hid the shudder forming. It wouldn't do to show his weakness to the enemy. Duo spun on his bare feet, tossing his braid over his shoulder, deliberately presenting his back, daring the man to take advantage of his vulnerability. His bravado waned when he heard the man rise, and his steps approach. The touch, when it came, wasn't the kiss of steel, but one of warmth, softness and a mingling of excited fear.
"You're too pretty," the whispered breath brushed the hair on his neck.
Swallowing hard, Duo closed his eyes. "Wh..what?" he forced out.
A hand ran down his arm, slipped over his waist and stopped. The other hand brushed the straggling strands back away from the side of his face, revealing his neck. "Normal ships officers do not care what happens to the younger members of their crew." The touch came again, higher off the shoulder this time, grazing his skin. "If one didn't choose you for himself, you'd be at the mercy of the crew, and crews can be quite brutal."
"And you, aren't you doing the same?" His eyes remained closed, his lips parted, nearly panting in the anticipation of the next touch.
He felt the chuckle more than heard it. The touch lingered behind his ear, and his moan was lost in the amused sound. "If you tell me to stop, I will. But I don't think you will." The man's hands were on the move. One slid down his back, fingers gliding softly over the light material of his shirt, and ended cupping his ass. The other pressed firmly to his abdomen making it's way lazily down to tug briefly at his waistband, and even farther, to caress the sudden bulge the man's touch created.
"Do you want me to stop?" the question was asked and the man's tongue danced along his lobe.
Duo shuddered. He wanted to push himself into the man's hand. He wanted to thrust himself back against the man's body. He wanted the touch to continue. And he wanted more than anything to face this pirate captain, returning the touch that'd come to excite him as much as it had.
"Do you?" Fingers tightened, teeth nipped.
"No..." he surrendered to the heightening sense of touch.
"Good." And with the word, the man released him, stepping away, back to his seat.
Catching his breath, Duo turned. He blinked, and shook his head, trying to clear the lingering tingle. "What... why'd you stop?"
The captain grinned. He leaned back in his chair, and placed his boots on the table, crossing his legs at the calf. "Because I can."
"But... I didn't say..." Laughter rich and loud rang again in the cabin. Duo scowled. He'd been played with and he hated to be played. Darting forward, he snatched the fruit knife and threw it in a quick underhand toss. The man's reaction was swift; his hand blurred and the blade appeared suddenly between his fingers. Duo waited.
The laughter had stopped. The knife dropped to the floor and the man stood again. In a long step, he had Duo's arm in his grip. "Do that again, and I will let the crew have you." Without warning, the man pulled him close, those lips that'd given him such excited pleasure crushed his own in their anger, their dominance.
Duo raised his hands to push him away. At the man's chest, they clung to his shirt instead, traitorous to the command given. Bruising, demanding, the kiss elicited from him what the touch had only hinted. The hand in his hair snagged the tie, pulling it off and freeing the long mane. The other hand held one ass cheek in a firm grip, pressing him even closer.
The lips slowed their urgency, became lighter. "You never did tell me if you wanted the job," they murmured into his own.
Lost in swirling emotions, and an overwhelming need never felt before, Duo could only demand more. No answer would satisfy but that of flesh to flesh. Even as his mouth and tongue worked in ways instinctive, his hands pulled and tugged at the shirt keeping them from the skin they longed to touch. The man chuckled into his kiss, their tongues gliding over one another.
The man pulled back; Duo followed unwilling to break contact with the man. He gave a low moan when hands that'd been teasing him with pleasure, now held him at a distance. "I'll take that to mean you accept."
Nodding, Duo reached for him, wanting the heated feel of his touch. "Please, I... I need it... I need you."
"That's what I wanted to hear," the pirate captain's voice was amused again, but Duo was past caring how he sounded. He only wanted to know how he felt. Even as the man led him to the bed, his hands worked independently from his mouth with its magical tongue. Those lips had danced over his skin, down his neck and along his shoulder. The hands had him turned, and were busy undoing the stays of his trousers.
Duo parted the frilled shirt, planting kisses over the smoothed surface. Breeches lowered, fingers knead naked flesh making him feel weak, his legs rubbery. His hands slipped around under clothing to rake blunted nails down the man's back. Without knowing the reason, Duo thrust his hips, crashing into the captain's. The shock of meeting erections drove breath from his lungs. He fell back, pulling the older man on top of him.
"Roll over," the captain demanded, his voice harsh and husky.
The man had barely leveled himself up off of Duo to allow him to do as commanded. Braced up on his forearms, his breath coming in gasps, he knew only he'd never felt as alive, every touch tingled, from the velvet under his arms to the hands sliding his shirt up, stroking the skin slightly, sending his blood singing.
At the foreign intrusion, he hissed, pain mixed with the pleasure of the soothing hand that continued to stroke his side and down over his ass. The unknown object wiggled in small circles, making its presence known. As soon as he became comfortable, another invasion plunged into his body, jerking him nearly upright in surprise. Again the hand's soothing rub eased him into relaxation. The invaders began a rhythm, rocking his body, the hand guiding his hips thrusts and the man's voice, low, comforting, holding a barely suppressed edge evoking its own brand of excitement.
"Shit, now... I have to have you.."
The sudden loss of the unknown aliens nearly had Duo standing. The attempt to rise was short lived when both the man's hands clamped down on this hips, pulling him back even as he felt the man's body moving closer. A nudge, a push and a long slide and any loss felt - history. His mouth opened, his eyes flashed wide in shock.
"Oh God, Heero..."
"Duo.." the man spoke as from a distance, his voice low, husky, needy.
"More," Duo demanded hoarsely, clutching the velvet cover tightly.
A slick pull, thrust, and moan. The hands on his hips holding him still, fingers burning in their grasp.
"Duo," the pirate captain called out his name. The thrust and slide came faster. He could feel it, something gravitating to the central point of his pelvis. Thrust and slide, sparks before his eyes. "Duo!" His name louder yet, wanting to break his concentration, wanting to interfere in his revelry in the sensation. Thrust, pull, slide and moan. The sparks of light flashed quicker, breathing drew harshly.
"DUO!" the shout ground in his ears even as he felt the need to explode become near overwhelming.
Pulling his waning ability to think together with both hands, his brain sent the words to his mouth which spit them out in a loud squawk, "What the hell do you want?"
"If you don't hurry and finish getting ready, we're going to be late for this damned party you had me dress up for!"
Duo's focus sharpened. Before him Heero stood dressed in pirate finery, his blue eyes intense points of light, his brow furrowed. He closed his mouth abruptly and darted a look around. Disoriented for the moment, he'd wondered where the huge bed with the dark velvet cover and canopy had gone, and when had the lantern sconce been replaced by a terra cotta table lamp.
When he looked again, Heero had moved away, adjusting the red scarf holding his hair back. Tossed to the side, the wide brimmed felt hat waited for him to doff. "Stupid damned outfit. Whoever made such a thing should be stomped on by a gundam," Heero groused, now tugging at the dark red coat impatiently. He picked up the hat and headed for the door. "Duo, are you coming?"
Hiding the smile, the swabby murmured, "I wish I was."
At the door, Duo's boyfriend turned. His eyes raked him head to toe, his lips twitched into a half smile. "Move your ass, Maxwell. If Relena throws a fit for us being late, I'm siccing her on you." He passed through the doorway, pulling keys from one of the coat pockets.
Duo hurriedly tied off the florid sash around his waist and snatched up his coat on the way out. "Hey Heero," he called slamming the door behind him. "Do you think we can keep these things another day?"