Somewhere between dreaming and the physical plane of existence, soft muffled whimpers drew Heero out of his sleep. He felt the sporadic hot breath and soft lips brushing his neck. The familiarity of Duo battling his demons in his sleep wrenched at Heero's heart.
It wasn't right. During the war, each of the Gundam pilots had carried emotional scars from one thing or another. But the atrocities and indignities that Duo and Trowa were forced to endure as children were beyond comprehension. It was because of them that Heero made it his mission in political life to help orphans.
Instinctively, he tried to pull Duo closer to him, but they were already as close as two bodies could be without be joined. So he wrapped his arms tightly around his husband and began humming very quietly.
Just as it was during the war, Heero was quickly able to comfort Duo. His breathing evened out and he stopped whimpering. Most likely, he wouldn't even remember having the bad dream.
As Heero drifted back into sleep, he remembered happier times, when his friends were still alive. Now, all that was left was himself and Duo. He cursed himself for bringing Duo into the hostile palace environment. He looked upon their time apart with deep regret and terrible loss.
Within his dreaming mind, he heard a warm chuckle. "Oh, Heero."
He immediately recognized the voice. "Quatre."
Looking around for his friend, he found himself encircled by stone monoliths bathed in an eerie blue glow. As he slowly turned around, he could see each stone had a marking carved into it. Heero knew what they meant, but his mind would not allow him to speak their definition. These were sacred symbols and he was standing on sacred ground. This knowledge did not cause Heero alarm; somehow, he knew this place and there was no reason to fear it.
Between each massive rock stood an archway made of twisted roots. Each of these portal entrances was covered by a silent fall of black water. One particular doorway seemed to draw him closer. He called out again. "Quatre?"
He watched as a hand reached out through the black sheet of water and beckoned Heero forward. Without hesitation, he passed through the waterfall barrier and emerged on the other side completely dry.
Heero found himself in a clearing of trees. The leaves sparkled eerily from an unknown light source. Before him was a round stone table with four evenly spaced stone benches. He scowled as feeling of familiarity washed over him. This was a place that he knew with a certainty deep set into his very soul.
Heero approached the table, running his fingers over the amazingly smooth surface. In front of each bench, on the very edge of the table, were two sets of markings. These were names of soul-mated couples. Mated throughout time without beginning or end. It simply was, always.
Although he could not read the symbols, his heart knew immediately what they meant. The first set were the names of the souls contained in the bodies he knew as Treize and Zechs. Heero's fingers slid around the edge to the next set, Wufei and Meiran. Then he walked around the table to the next pair of carved names, Quatre and Trowa. His heart knew what the last set would say and he was correct, Duo and Heero.
Heero scowled as he looked around. He knew that he had seen a hand reach out to him through the portal; someone had to be here. "Quatre!" he called out.
Suddenly, the table was gone and a large ornate bed appeared in its place. Heero was rather startled to see a nude Trowa beautifully splayed across forest green sheets. His eyes were closed in blissful sleep and the shimmering light of the stars illuminated his perfect skin. He was breathtaking and Heero had no desire to turn his gaze away.
"Mine." Came a threatening growl behind him.
Heero didn't bother to turn around, he knew who was there. "Quatre." He felt Quatre's arms wrap around his waist from behind. Heero felt his friend's hands on his taut stomach, he placed his own over them. They stood there in silence for a moment, enjoying the comfort of being back together once again.
"Why are you here, Heero?"
"Duo and I are alone."
Quatre kissed the back of Heero's neck. "You are never alone, Heero. We are always with you."
The truth of those words burned in Heero's heart as he felt his spirit slip back into his earthbound body.
Morning sunlight broke over the horizon as the day of the Peace Celebrations began. The palace came alive with servants and earlier risers. A soft hum of excitement traveled through the corridors. Dignitaries from all nations and the space colonies awoke to the new day. Ready for a day of revelry, they dressed in their colorful daytime finery and sumptuous accessories.
The banquet hall had been set up with an elaborate buffet so that the guests could eat at any time during the morning or early afternoon. Cut crystal plates reflected the soft colors of the morning sky. Fresh flowers from the garden were arranged beautifully and set upon each table over delicate lacy linens.
The young Queen stood in the parlor as she greeted guests arriving for the brunch reception. Dorothy stood next to her, watching with disgust as the guests smothered Relena with false flatteries.
"Have you seen Heero?" Relena leaned back slightly and whispered to Dorothy between greeting smiles and polite nods.
"I wasn't looking for him." Dorothy hissed through her clenched teeth and a forced smile. She had no desire to discuss what she had seen from her bedroom window during the night.
"I know he is here somewhere." Relena visually scanned the room one more time in hopes of sighting Heero and getting him to stand by her side. After all, it was his place.
"What could possibly be keeping him?"
With that though, Relena excused herself and went to find Heero.
Heero could hear Duo's soft whisper as he slowly woke up from his interesting dream. Concern for his mate brought him fully awake. He pushed himself up and looked down at Duo. Heero placed his hand on Duo's forehead to check for fever. His beloved's eyes were tightly closed as if something were wrong. "Duo, are you in pain?"
"It hurts." Duo whispered breathlessly. His eyes remained shut.
Fear began to rise in Heero. Duo's temperature seemed normal and there was no sign of cold sweats. "Show me where it hurts." Worry washed throughout his body.
Duo's hand visibly shook as he reached out for Heero's and guided it under the covers to his swollen length.
Cobalt eyes shot up to meet the mischievous twinkle in Duo's now open violet eyes. He moaned, "It hurts." as he pressed his cock into Heero's hand.
"Duo!" Heero growled as he grabbed Duo by the waist and flipped him into his lap. He applied one good hard smack to Duo's bare backside.
"Ow!" Duo squealed with laughter.
Heero rolled Duo back off of his lap and pinned the young man to mattress. "Don't scare me like that!"
"Sorry." Duo managed to get out between giggles. "But its not a lie, I am in pain when you are not filling me. I want to be in you or you to be in me all the time."
"I think that would make press conferences and birthday parties somewhat awkward."
Duo sighed, "I guess so. But that doesn't change how I feel."
"Duly noted." Heero smirked. "Now, about this pain of yours." He reached back down and teased Duo's thick member with his fingertips.
Duo's responsive moan was drowned out by the sudden commotion in the outer room of the suite. The surprised voices of Heero's private secretary and bodyguards could be heard challenging an intruder.
Relena's voice could clearly be heard above the din. "I know he's in this room! Get out of my way! Heero!"