Aberration of Fate
A Sequel to Caroline's [ A Mote in God's Eye ]
My arms reach, groping to my side, my brain only registering the chill that permeates from the cotton sheet as the fog of sleep slowly lifted. My hands clench in the stiff fabric as my eyes slowly open, turning to the side to stare dully at the empty space. He was gone, he always left before I woke, and every time it felt wrong, so wholly wrong that he was not there. I turned my head, staring up that the ceiling, my eyes moving slowly over water stains and cracks. I heaved a sigh, rolling out of the bed, wavering as a stood, my hands rubbing down my face, wiping the residue of sleep away.
I turned then, and I noticed them. Through the dim dawn light seeping through the gaps in the curtain hanging from the window, I saw them. Those dull green bills mocked me silently from where they sat on the table beside the door in the cramped hotel room. I mentally counted them, dread rising within me, a lead weight in my stomach as I reached the end of the precisely laid out line. It was the exact amount I had put there, just before he came. I could only think of one reason his all his...payment was lying there, untouched, hours after he had left. Only one reason.
He was gone. My eyes closed, blocking the sight of the innocent bills, the table, the room, blocking the world. I felt dizzy when I turned, my flesh ached, crawled with an almost foreign sensation, it had been so long since I had felt it. Fear. I was afraid. Afraid of never seeing him again, of never touching him, holding, kissing, loving him again. I felt as if I would go mad, as if I already was, the insane niggling that constantly lurked in a dark corner of my mind springing forth to take advantage. My head lowered, my eyes opening but only able to see my feet as I strode toward the darkened hollow forming a cramped hallway in one corner of the tiny room.
He was gone. My eyes rose as I pushed aside the bathroom door, my reflection taunting me from the mirror that was clinging to the front and I tilted my head to the side, wondering how I could look so alive, so solid when it felt as if my world had disappeared. My feet cringed away from the frigid tiles on the floor as I stepped into the bathroom, banging my hip against the cracked vanity as I turned toward the shower. I stood there, staring distantly at the soap-scum spotted curtain, unaware I had reached and turned the water on until I heard the spatter of it hitting the marble tub. Stepping in, letting the harsh water drill into me, burning me, my skin reddening under the driving assault, I collapsed.
He was gone. That one realization repeated itself in my mind; circling, tumbling over itself again and again. I had pushed him too much, asked him that damned question too many times, used him for my own selfish wants, desires, needs and he was gone. I was braced against the slippery tile beneath the shower head, my forehead pressed against them, one arm hanging limply at my side, the other raised, fingers curled but my palm was open as I banged it against the wall. The wet, hollow noise reflected my heart, the tears I found I wanted to shed but didn't know how; to release, to let go.
The water ran cold and I sluggishly reached to turn it off, numbed fingers fumbling over the knob. The water stopped spraying with a hiss; cool air washing over my wet skin as I pushed the curtain out of my way, climbing back out. I didn't bother reaching for a towel, walking out of the bathroom with water beaded, dripping, wetting the dingy carpet already rife with mildew stains. My gaze swept the room, steadfastly avoiding the table by the door, falling on my clothes, piled haphazardly beside the bed, strewn as if they had been walked through, tripped over.
He must have been so anxious to leave, was my bitter thought but I knew that was unfair. I shook myself, determined to push the hurt, the desperation, the fear downward, blocking it off from my mind. He was gone, there was nothing I could do, nothing but forget, nothing but hold on clenched fisted to a dream I had long ago awoken from and forgotten. The same dream that made me loose him.
I strode over to my clothes, pulling them on, tugging forcefully when they made to cling to my wet skin. And I left, left everything behind, not sparing the money on the table a thought as I passed it by, taking with me only the memory of the night before. I dreaded going home; dreaded seeing the look on Relena's face I knew would be there, that knowing look, tinged with hopelessness. But inevitably that's where I ended up, driving the familiar road toward the house that was too large for me, too large for twenty people but not large enough for Relena. I walked through the door, aware of the picture I presented, my hair damp, uncombed, my clothes bunched and clinging to me. And there standing before me was the one person I wanted nothing more in the world than to avoid.
"Heero," her gaze was hard, but uncertain, her lips tilted down in a frown but trying to curve upward. I nodded silently, a motion that tried desperately to be a greeting but didn't quite make it and made to move past her to the staircase. But she caught my wrist, her grip surprisingly strong, turning me back to face her. "You were with him again," her tone was soft, unrecriminating, just a breathy sigh and nothing more. "Heero, we need to talk."
I raised an eyebrow, but showed no other sign of acknowledgement, waiting for her to speak, not wanting to listen. I knew she was aware of where I went most nights, whom I went to. How could she not? But in the past she had always avoided it, denied it. She tugged my wrist, her lips pursing and my brow furrowed. "To the bedroom, Heero. I need to talk to you in private." Giving a curt nod, I jerked my wrist from her grasp, turning on heel, practically marching toward and up the stairs. I could feel her walking behind me, close to me, nearly stepping on my heels as I moved and unreasonably it annoyed me. I quickened my pace, pushing through the doors to our bedchamber, taking a few quick steps inward before turning to face her, watching as she closed the doors again, the lights flickering on at her touch.
"Heero," she sighed, looking downward, before squaring her shoulders her gaze rising. Silence reigned for only a moment before her voice broke it again, soft words floating toward me like silk-lined steel, demanding an answer. "Heero, do you love me?"
My gaze narrowed on her; her upturned face, her determined eyes. I shook my head, for once unable to lie, knowing she would see through it even if I did, but I still did not speak. Of course I don't, I love him. And she knows this, but we never speak of it, never. Pain flickered over her eyes for a bare second and I know that, on some level, she had been hoping my heart had changed; but she shook it away, her honey-blonde hair tumbling from her face at the movement. "Now answer me," her voice was faint and she paused, swallowing, and when she spoke again it was strong and clear, brooking no argument. "Could you ever love me? Speak, Heero! Talk to me, I need to know. Please."
My lips parted, my mind spinning, wondering why she was suddenly asking, why she suddenly cared. "No," the word finally broke itself hoarsely from my lips, and I stared at her in confusion as she nodded, as if she had expected my answer. And she probably had, it was no secret.
That one word broke through me like nothing else, and I lurched, disbelieving. "Why?" My voice held a barely discernable mystified quality, my eyes seeming to blaze within my head. She couldn't be telling me this. First Duo, now her; the people I had created my world around, destroying it, destroying me.
"I'm young, Heero, we both are," she started, explaining herself as she knew I needed her to. "We are only nineteen, and I cannot do this anymore. Sooner or later, I'm going to need someone who can love me. So, I'm asking you to leave. Please. Before I become scared enough to change my mind and live a lie with you."
I looked at her closely, her pale blue eyes were clouded, a shiny film had covered them. Tears. I shook my head, blinking, staring at her, the tears she was obviously not allowing to fall. I cleared my throat, my voice thick as I spoke only the third word of that day, "Alright."
She nodded once, and then turned, her shoulders stiff as she pushed through one of the doors, closing it behind her with a soft snick that somehow echoed with finality. I stood there, staring numbly at those doors, their elaborate design carved from rosewood, my mind finally registering that I was completely alone. I had no one, nothing. And I realized I couldn't do it, I couldn't just leave and live by myself. I had felt what it was to love, and I couldn't live without it. And from that I could only draw one conclusion.
I had to find Duo.
And I was going to find him, no matter what.
I stood, staring silently at the door I wasn't sure I wanted to open. The building was decrepit; it seemed to be falling apart at the seams, red brick crumbling at the corners, weeds growing the cracks in the stone stairs I had just climbed. The knob looked as if it had once been gold plated, there were still a few flecks of the enameled paint clinging desperately to the dull metal and when I finally reached to turn it, most of them came off on my hand. There was only one reason I would ever dream of coming to a place like this. And that reason was Duo Maxwell.
It had not been easy to find him, it wouldn't have been unless he wanted to be found, and he obviously had not. Bile rose in my throat when I realized where he had gone; my skin crawled, stomach clenched tightly, as I read the information that had turned up on the screen. He had bought passage to colony L1, and that alone was enough to make the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I knew what L1 was most known for; it was my home colony after all. L1 was the biggest whoring district out there, and yet I could not fault Duo for his choice. I had driven him to this; there was no one else to blame.
Stepping through the door, I wiped my hands on my faded blue jeans, causing the flecks of gold to flutter from my skin, mingling with the carpet of dust on the hardwood floor. My gaze swept over the interior, noting with some amount of disgust that it was nearly as unkempt as it looked from outside, but I was immediately moving toward the stairs, nearly taking two at a time in my haste. I knew exactly where I was going.
I stopped in front of one door, the wood discoloured, splintering. I raised my hand, nervous, knocking softly before letting my arm fall limply to my side again. I couldn't stop the tiny prickling of fear that started up, waiting for the door to open. And then it did, wide violet eyes peering out through a tiny slit before they narrowed in shock, the door slamming shut again. I stepped back, waiting for the sound of the archaic chain lock to slide open, knowing that if it didn't soon I would simply break the door in. But with a tiny thud the metal roller on the end of the chain lock hit wood and the door opened, revealing the shorter figure of my runaway lover.
The look in his eyes made me want to cry; pools of amethyst reflecting betrayed hopelessness, desperation. His plush lips were parted, moving, silently forming my name and I took a step forward as he backed up, following him into his apartment, stalking him. "Wha...What are you doing here?" he finally managed, his voice strained.
I didn't answer him, letting my eyes roam; over the room, trying to peer into darkened doorways, peek at what was inside, and finally over him. I took everything about him in, my gaze lingering over how worn he looked, tired. He was wearing a simple black t-shirt and sweatpants, but they looked old, faded to a deep navy blue from too many washes. I started move then, and he swallowed, tracking my progress with his gaze but making no complaints. "Do you...want something to drink?" I shook my head, turning to face him again, still silent, not trusting myself to speak. "Damn it, Heero, why are you here?"
Violet eyes flashed angrily as I tilted my head, again letting my eyes track over his body. "I came for you, Duo," I stated, as if it were obvious, and to me it was. Why else would I be here? It was a simple matter, really.
His face hardened, lips pursing tightly. "I told you, Heero. I won't...I just can't be with you like that. I would kill me," he rasped, his voice thick, and I knew he was talking about that tower, to be locked away, only taking every scrap he could get until he was forgotten and left. Anger at my own selfishness rose within me again; how could I have even dreamt of doing that to him?
But I could smile, knowing what he thought was wrong, so completely wrong. "Relena and I, we're not together any longer, Duo," I murmured, letting a small smirk replace the smile as he blinks at me for a moment, not quite comprehending. I could basically hear Duo thinking, 'Why would Relena ever let you leave?' "She kicked me out, a month ago," I state blandly, but I don't tell him anything else. He doesn't need to know just what had preceded; not yet, if ever. "I've been looking for you since."
Pride managed to creep into his eyes at that, that he had eluded me for that long. I was moving toward him slowly then, like a prowling cat, my gaze glinting. And he backed away in time with my forward progress, not looking where he was going. "It makes no difference, Heero. Not now. I'm...completely dead inside, I can't..." his voice caught when he realized I had him pinned to the wall, a curl of peeling wallpaper snagging his hair.
My hand came up, forefinger bending, the knuckle grazing his cheek. His eyes widened, and I watched as he bit his lower lip, my face lowering to stare directly into his amethyst eyes. "Then let me help you live." Duo made a small noise in the back of his throat, his eyes closing as my head resolutely lowered, and for once he didn't turn his face away, allowing my lips to fall onto his.
Brushing softly, I parted his lips with my own, our breath mingling, but I didn't try to deepen it further, only savouring the feel of him. My eyes slid shut, a moan rumbling up from within me as he took the initiative, his tongue licking against my bottom lip, delving into my mouth. He leaned into me, his arms wrapping around my neck, our tongues rubbing, sliding against each other perfectly. My eyes opened again, lids heavy, watching him as my hand coming to cup the back of his head as I feast on his mouth, loving the taste of him; my lips sucking on his own, my tongue stroking his, tracing his teeth, tickling the roof of his mouth, never ceasing.
Duo's eyes rolled beneath his lids as I pressed tighter against him, and he whimpered as I broke the kiss, his eyes opening, violet orbs clouded. I hissed as his knee slid between my own, his thigh rubbing against the bulge already forming in my jeans. And I was suddenly in motion, unconsciously rocking myself against his thigh, my hands ghosting over his arms, up his sides, fingers toying with his pebbled nipples through the cotton of his t-shirt. I lean forward, my tongue flickering over the spot behind his ear I know drives him crazy, teeth nipping at the lobe, pulling. Gasps filled the air between us, his arms unwound from my neck, fingers trailing up the buttons of my shirt, then undoing them, the garment sliding from my shoulders, pooling on the floor behind me.
His hands glided over my bared flesh, thumbs pressing into my nipples, his fingernails scraping over the beaded nubs, dragging a groan from deep within me as his thigh pushed harder against my burning length. My hands tugged at the hem of his shirt, pulling it over his head, throwing it across the room, the only thought running through my head was that I needed to feel him, needed to feel his flesh against mine. My arms slid themselves around him, grasping his buttocks, lifting him off his feet, my chest pressing his against the wall. He moaned, writhing against me as my hands kneaded the firm flesh beneath them, one moving around him, grasping his length, stroking him through the fabric of his sweatpants. Duo thrust into my hand, grasping at my shoulders, sliding down my back, clawing at my flesh, panting desperately, begging without words for more.
I supported him as I slid to my knees, his bent knees fitting easily over my shoulders. Pressing closer, I nuzzled his burning erection through the cotton clinging to him, breathing in, my eyes closing, fingers questing into the waistband of his pants to clasp the dripping flesh. He wasn't wearing underwear. I smirked up at Duo as my hand moved again, tightening, but his eyes are closed so tightly, his head lolling back and forth against the wall. Chestnut hair clings to his damp face, loosened from the braid by his movements and I groan, kissing the tip of his cock through his pants, rewarding him for his beauty. His glazed eyes opened, entreating, a whimper catching in his throat at that and I relented, sliding the waistband down, gingerly over his straining flesh, lifting his legs to bunch the pants at his knees.
My gaze moved back down, devouring the sight of his bared flesh hungrily from where it curved against his stomach, moaning as it twitched against him, pleading to be touched. I moved in, running my tongue up the length of his cock, swirling it around the tip, breathing the heady scent of him in, deeply. My lips wrapped around the head, sucking lightly, teasingly, his hips bucking, a sharp cry filling the air as he tried to get deeper. Duo's hands buried themselves in my hair, pushing, tugging, and I took pity on him, sliding downward, taking him into my mouth until his pushed up against the back of my throat. My tongue wrapped around his cock, savouring the feel of that velvety hard flesh smooth against it, my lips tightening, sucking harder. His moans got louder and louder as I worked, melding together, one long, keening wail falling from his throat.
My hands clutched as his ass, fingers tracing the crack, brushing promisingly against the puckered entrance. Duo's hands jerked hard at my head and my gaze flew back up, meeting his, reading the look in his sex-fogged eyes. My mouth slid from his cock, leaving it with a final lick and I pushing his legs from my shoulders, holding him up as I stood. My erection pulsed, straining painfully against the confines of my jeans as his fingers fumbled over the button, drawing the zipper down carefully over my cock, freeing it. A throaty purr rumbled in the back of his throat as his hand wrapped around my thick flesh, pulling my closer, and I moved him so that he was hovering just over the head. But I stopped, groaning with the restraint as concern breaks through the lust veiling my mind, I don't want to hurt him.
"Duo..." I moaned, looking at him as he tried to break my grasp and push downward.
"It's okay," he panted, but I shake my head, looking around the room for something, anything.
"I don't--" he cut me off, diving forward to plant his lips on mine, kissing me deeply, before breaking away again, whimpering.
"It's fine!" he bucked against me, just brushing the tip of my cock, and I surged upward before I could stop myself, my control snapping in two. He hissed in pain as the head pushed past the tight band of muscle, his face scrunching, eyes squeezing shut, tears tracing thin trails from the corners. I cursed, holding my hips completely still; leaning toward him, I brushed my lips over his eyes, licking at the tears, kissing the tip of his nose.
"I'm sorry, oh gods, I'm sorry," I whispered through clenched teeth, unsure how much longer I could take this, his hole pulsing around my cock, without moving, hurting him more.
"I'm not," his murmured, thickly, pushing downward and I couldn't stay still any longer. I rocked up, slowly going deeper, my hand grasping his length, stroking, trying to distract him but every whimper of pain cut deep and I was ready to stop. "No," he cried out when I tried to back away, to release him, his arms wrapping around my shoulders keeping me there. He moved against me, impaling himself, sitting still for a moment when I was completely in, his pained expression slowly dissolving. "I'm okay," his whispered, fingers brushing against my cheek, my lips and I kissed the tips lightly.
I pumped into him gently, testing him, watching as his eyes closed, a soft gasp parting his lips, and I couldn't hold myself back any longer. Leaning into him, I captured his lips with mine, pulling out of him only to plunge back in, unable to leave his tight warmth for too long. He moaned into the kiss, his legs wrapping around my hips, matching me thrust for thrust, and we were pressed so tightly together, clinging to each other, leaving no space between us.
He broke our kiss, pressing his face into the place where my neck met my shoulder, gripping the flesh between his teeth, pulling on it, his nails digging into my back. I growled lowly, one hand wrapping around his braid, tugging at it, knowing his loves that, my pace speeding, until I'm slamming into him, his noisy moans echoing in my ear. I felt his cock twitch against my belly, each thrust causing it to rub harder into my flesh, until he came with a loud cry, his liquid warmth pouring onto my skin. I moaned as he clenched tight around me, my driving thrusts speeding, searching for release as he licked at my shoulder, nipping my flesh. A howl broke from my throat as I finally came, spilling myself deeply within him, filling him completely, my hands moving lovingly over him, brushing his sides, stroking his hips.
He was still against my shoulder, his face still pressed tightly into my flesh, but it was wet with moisture that was not sweat. He was crying. "Duo," I rubbed my hand against his neck, soothingly. "What is it?" my voice was still hoarse, cracking slightly on the words.
His head lifted, his eyes glazed with tears and his shook his head. "I can't go back with you," he whispered, closing his eyes as my stared at him searchingly. "I'm a whore, Heero, that's all I'm good for, that's all you want me for, and I can't..." The words slurred together as he said them, his voice thick with tears he was obviously ashamed of. My eyes narrowed on his upturned face, clenched eyes, and I wrapped my arms around him, pulling him away from the wall, his head tucking under my chin as I walked toward the hallway.
"Bedroom?" I whispered against his hair, breathing in his sweet scent. Lavender, gods it suited him.
"On...the left," his voice hitched as he tried desperately to stop crying. I walked through the door, laying him gently onto his bed and straightening, watching him shiver, his eyes following as I moved away, probably thinking I was leaving him. I quickly found the bathroom, grabbing a washcloth and wetting it, washing myself off before rinsing it, taking it back with me to the bedroom.
I leaned over him, gently cleaning away the proof of our passion, brushing my lips over his. "I do not want you only for sex, Duo," I growl softly, tossing the cloth aside to land on the floor with a moist plop. I laid myself out next to him, dragging his smaller form against me, smiling as he unconsciously snuggled into my warmth.
"Heero --" he started, but I cut him off, smacking lightly against his thigh.
"If you won't come with me, I'll stay here. And if you won't stop," I faltered, swallowing, "doing what you do, then all I can do is love you. And I do," I whispered softly, my eyes closing again. I wasn't sure he had heard.
We lie like that, not moving for a while and I was positive he thought I was asleep before he raised himself to gaze down at me, brushing a lock of my dark brown hair from my forehead. He leaned forward, laying his lips on mine, just breathing against me before whispering, "I love you, too." And I knew, even if not right away, everything would be all right.