“A curse affects both the victim and the caster. A skilled curse-caster can bend this effect so that their share in the curse is something they don’t mind, something that doesn’t inhibit them… but even if they manage that, repeatedly having a share in any curse leaves a mark eventually.”
When Heero rescues an abandoned doll from the gutter, he hardly thinks it’s going to change his life; but now he and his best friend Quatre find themselves involved in the breaking of a curse from almost a hundred years ago, and perhaps in falling for exactly the wrong people.
When Heero picked Duo up and left the room with him, Quatre and Trowa looked after them for several moments before the former got up, took his boyfriend firmly by the shoulders, guided him to the couch, and forced him to sit down.
For another little while Trowa still tried to see past the TV stand down the hall in the direction the others had gone. Finally, shaking his head, he murmured, “It’s late.”
Knowing that Trowa meant not, “It’s late in the day,” but, “This is taking longer than I expected,” Quatre drew a deep breath and asked calmly, “Why might that be?”
Trowa gave a slight, helpless shrug. “There’s so little to go on here… no fully transformative curse that I’ve been able to find a record of has been this powerful, never lasted more than few years. I’ve heard of less comprehensive curses lasting this long, but this is different. This is unexplored territory.”
“Groundbreaking magic from the magnificent Trowa Barton.” Quatre was trying for levity, but all he managed was levelness.
Trowa replied in much the same spirit. “As long as ground is the only thing that ends up broken…”
Seconds felt like minutes in an atmosphere like this, and after a while Quatre had no concrete idea of how much time had actually passed. Was it time to start really worrying yet? Or was he getting ahead of himself? The silence grew heavier and heavier, pressing down on him until he wanted to bend over and rest his head in his hands. He wished Heero and Duo would come back inside, just so they could all suffer together, but he suspected they were dealing with the same thing out there in their own ways.
Finally, when he felt he couldn’t take it anymore, he cleared his throat and asked, more or less in the same level tone as before, “Conceivably, what could have gone wrong?” Besides Cairo, of course. Because if this didn’t work… if nothing happened tonight… they might not even really know what, exactly, had caused the process to fail.
“I might have misinterpreted my visions,” Trowa began slowly. “That’s not likely… I’ve had a long time to learn to interpret visions… but I’m no diviner, and there’s always the possibility that I was wrong. We may have been going about this entirely the wrong way, or there may have been some crucial component to the process that I missed, or… god knows what.
“Some magic required even after everything is done… some final, triggering key spell… I may need to be out of Duo’s vicinity… the artifact may need to be in his vicinity… I just don’t know. Of course there’s always the chance that something’s happened… that they haven’t managed to stay within range this entire lunar cycle, and just haven’t told us…”
Quatre couldn’t stand it. With a deep breath that came back out as a sigh, he turned his eyes toward the ceiling and said, “Trowa, listen…” When there was only silence from beside him, he forced himself to go on, “We actually think that might have happened. That they got out of range, I mean.”
Trowa still said nothing, and Quatre finally looked back over to find him staring, blank-faced, clearly waiting for more information.
“Remember I told you I had Cairo in the car with me running errands the other day? And he started getting sick because it’s been a while since I’ve taken him driving?” At Trowa’s nod, he went on, “When I brought him here so Heero could give him some water, he…” Quatre threw his hands up in despair. “I have no idea why he did it! He picked up Duo and brought him over to me. I can’t figure out why he would have–”
“Cairo took Duo out of Heero’s psychic field?” Trowa broke in.
“That’s the thing… we don’t know for sure.” Quatre’s tone was miserable. “I wasn’t looking; I didn’t even know it had happened until Cairo showed up next to me with Duo in his mouth. Heero wasn’t sure how far it was, and I didn’t see.”
Slowly Trowa nodded. “Wasn’t this last week some time?”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
Quatre winced. “I’m sorry… Duo didn’t want to worry you, and he asked me not to.”
“Duo…” With a faint smile, Trowa shook his head.
“I couldn’t decide whether or not to tell you, and that defaulted into not telling you. I didn’t want you to worry either… you were so much happier when you were convinced that the curse would break, and I didn’t want to make you unhappy when we didn’t know for sure whether it was even going to affect anything.”
With a raised brow Trowa pointed out somewhat flatly, “That’s a familiar argument.”
“I know! I know. I…” Quatre looked at him helplessly. “I apologize.”
Trowa took his hand. “It’s all right. Though if you’d told me before, I could have made all of you feel a little better by explaining something about magic. Duo really should know this, but maybe he’s forgotten…”
“What?” Quatre was suddenly eager, even a little startled by the words. There had been hope all along, it seemed, regarding this particular issue, and he’d denied it to himself and his friends by his own indecision.
“Magic is rarely all or nothing.” Trowa paused for a moment, then added seriously, “When there’s ‘a complete cycle of the moon’ involved, I’m less certain about this than I would normally be, but even so… magic is almost never black and white; it’s more of a spectrum. I believe–” he emphasized the word slightly, another reminder that he didn’t feel entirely sure about any of this– “that if your dog really did take Duo outside of Heero’s psychic field, it’s far more likely to have pushed out the time or date than started the entire cycle over.”
For a moment Quatre just sat still with his mouth slightly open, but finally he managed, “So that would explain why this is taking so much longer than we’d expected!”
“God… I feel like an idiot… I should have just told you…”
Again Trowa smiled, more warmly than before, and squeezed Quatre’s hand a little.
Quatre shook his head. “I’m so sorry…” he murmured.
Slowly Trowa’s smile faded, and his brows drew together into a look of concern. “Actually, I feel like I owe you an apology.”
“I want you to know… I’m sorry about the way I spoke when I told you I might die. It took me a while, because I was shut off in my research as usual, but eventually I realized why you probably got up and left so quickly… I just assumed at the time it was because you had better things to do than deal with me, but then after what you said the other day, I realized it had probably… bothered you… to hear me talking about dying.”
Smiling regretfully, Quatre admitted, “Yes. It bothered me a lot. It’s been bothering me ever since, too.”
“I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking. I didn’t realize how it might sound to you, and then I misinterpreted your behavior because–”
“I know.” Quatre took Trowa’s other hand. “It’s all right. Your self-esteem could still use some work, but we’ll get to that if you survive.”
“I hope I do,” Trowa said, and it came out almost a whisper. “If I implied that I have nothing left to live for, it wasn’t true. I want to see Duo human again. I want Heero not to hate me. I want to be with you.”
Quatre bent so that his forehead rested against Trowa’s, and closed his eyes. “So do I,” he said, agreeing with everything.
They sat thus for some time, until they were abruptly startled by the sound of shouting from outside. Forgetting that he wouldn’t be able to see anything out there with the TV stand blocking his view of the hallway, Quatre glanced in that direction. When he looked back, he caught his breath as his heart suddenly stopped beating for a dizzy moment and then began a hot, startled pounding against his ribcage. “Trowa…!”
This was agony. Heero had never been so anxious for anything in his life, so worried and impatient. What Duo must be feeling he couldn’t even begin to imagine.
What if this didn’t work? What if the night rolled on and on, what if the moon rose higher and higher, and nothing happened? Would they simply start over and try to keep closer this time? What effect would that have on Duo? Hell, on Heero? Could he live another thirty days like this? He never had managed to tell Duo the unfortunate news about Trowa… how much longer would he keep putting that off?
There was no warning; it happened all at once, with a slight flash: Heero found that his hand was no longer clenched around a small plastic figure in a Star Trek uniform, but resting on the warm flesh of a bare human arm. He drew in a breath that was stabbingly sharp in its suddenness as he jerked the hand back instinctively. The entire world seemed to grind to a maddeningly painful sluggishness as Heero turned slowly under the moonlight to look at Duo for the first time.
Standing a couple of inches taller than him, Duo, though solidly-built, was as scrawny as Heero would expect of someone that hadn’t actually eaten in eighty-seven years (though, logically, why he should have expected this, when Duo had been a doll for all that time, he wasn’t really sure). And as Duo was completely naked — of the little uniform there was no visible trace — it was obvious that he was also every bit as well-hung as his plastic proportions had indicated, though Heero (for various reasons) didn’t let his gaze linger long that far down.
Moonlight on one side and electric light from indoors on the other fell on skin from head to toe that looked smooth and flawless. (A result of the curse breaking, perhaps? Heero had no concept of what that entailed, nor of what Duo’s skin had been like before.) His braid, still coming undone at the end as it never had been tied properly, fell as far as ever, but now obviously had the weight and fluidity dictated by its new mass, since it was swinging gently from side to side as if from sudden motion.
And his face… It was like seeing a work of art done over in a totally different style… the live-action version of a long-running cartoon… all the aspects Heero had come to know, now in a more appreciable form. But that wasn’t all. Simply put, Duo’s face was perfectly, stunningly beautiful. And his eyes really did seem — though it was hard to tell in this dimness — actually to be that impossibly warm blue Heero had so long admired.
Heero would have known him anywhere in an instant — without the braid, without the eye color. Beyond these obvious identifiers, there were other, subtler indications that yet spoke loudly to Heero: even in this long-awaited, breathless moment between the curse and the rest of his life, even dazed and motionless, Duo’s bearing and expression, perhaps some invisible air about him, were so perfectly typical of him, of everything Heero knew of him, that he would have known him even if every physical feature had been completely different from what he’d anticipated.
The moment ended. Duo’s eyes widened, and he swayed slightly as if, as seemed not unlikely, his sense of balance was a little rusty. He clutched the balcony railing for a second or two, breathing hard, and his gaze sought out Heero’s. Then he threw himself at Heero and started to scream.
There were words in there somewhere, but Heero couldn’t make them out. He was far too occupied being squeezed to death by the enraptured Duo; trying to keep them upright as Duo half jumped, half danced even while hugging Heero; hoping not to go deaf as Duo shouted his sudden, overwhelming excitement and happiness directly into Heero’s ear; wondering vaguely what the neighbors were making of this; and processing his own massive relief and pleasure at the success of the past month’s endeavors.
Duo was threatening to drag them both to the ground with his wild movements, his arms strong and warm and insistent on Heero’s shoulders, and he was still yelling. Heero was laughing in amusement and fondness at Duo’s behavior and happiness at the situation in general, but he couldn’t help thinking that out on the balcony might not be the best place for a naked Duo to go on screaming. Heero thought he’d already seen signs of other apartment-dwellers’ curiosity or annoyance at the circumstance.
His suggestion they go inside probably wasn’t heard at all; but Duo did allow himself to be led, a little unsteady, through the door. There he stopped in the hall, as if he was incapable of walking any farther — and his faulty balance made this theory seem plausible — and continued his rejoicing with tears running down his face.
This time Heero could pick words and phrases out of the noise, but they were so slurred and disjointed still — “walking agnn… muscles, ohmygod… eighty-se’en… feel th’air… moving around’n my own… whole fucking month…” — that Heero’s laughter did not abate. At least, not until Duo put his hands on him.
If they weren’t exactly the same hands Heero had invented for his fantasies, they were close enough that the old, hypothetical image was already melting into the wonderful reality. And now they were sliding manically over Heero’s body, across his face and through his hair, up and down his shoulders and arms and back and chest.
“It’s real,” Duo said, more or less coherently. “I can feel you.” He obviously had no idea of the effect this was having on Heero, nor how close the latter feared he was to giving everything away. And yet Heero couldn’t move; he’d wanted for so long to have Duo’s hands on him, the tangible warmth and presence of Duo so near him, that he simply could not bring himself to pull away. His entire body was heating, desire washing through him.
Then Duo threw his arms around Heero, pushing right up against him; Heero could feel Duo’s face against his neck, and Duo’s hot, excited breaths on his skin ensured that Heero could draw none of his own. “You smell j’s like I imagined,” Duo whispered. He lifted his hands and ran them through Heero’s hair again as he drew back, and Heero feared that his effort not to shudder in response was in vain. Half an instant later it didn’t matter, though, for Duo had come eye-to-eye with him again — and leaned in and kissed him.
Utterly stunned, Heero couldn’t at first respond in any way. But when Duo would have pulled away almost immediately in a jerky movement suggesting he hadn’t meant to do it in the first place, an instinct not unlike self-preservation kicked in and sent Heero’s hands out clutching at Duo hastily and desperately, keeping him close, and he kissed him back hard. It didn’t matter that Duo had probably only done it in the heat of his returning sensations. It didn’t matter that it undoubtedly didn’t mean to him what it meant to Heero. All that mattered in the entire universe was that Duo, human again, was kissing him.
Duo’s eyes widened, and then he pushed even closer, pulling at Heero more tightly, and thrust his tongue into Heero’s mouth. And perhaps he’d been having a hard time getting it to work properly for a while at first, but he seemed to have remembered plenty about its usage by now.
He was hot through Heero’s clothes, his restless hands still running across Heero’s form with abandon, and Heero’s concerns about why Duo had begun this kiss were melting away along with the rest of creation. His arms slid up Duo’s bare back, which was as smooth and flawless as it had appeared in the moonlight, one hand taking hold of the braid and gripping it tightly while the other simply pulled at Duo as if it were possible for him to come nearer. He was pressed fully up against Heero as it was, clutching just as desperately as Heero and squirming as if unable to stand still, provoking Heero into that full display of desire he’d been so trepidatious about just a few minutes before.
Duo’s skin beneath Heero’s hands was warm and soft, and he smelled and tasted strong and new and clean as if he’d just been made. And he was kissing Heero with a passion and intensity that suggested Heero had been wrong about a number of things. Only when Heero was thoroughly dizzy, erect, and breathless — and god knew how Duo was affected, given that he’d already been unsteady — did they break apart far enough to draw in gasping breaths and attempt verbal expression.
“I thought…” Heero was staring at Duo’s eyes — Duo’s beautiful human eyes; how could they really be that color? — and speaking only a breath away from his lips. “I thought you didn’t…”
“I thought you didn’t!” Duo replied.
And by mutual accord they erased the distance between them again — this time in a bone-creaking hug, holding each other as close as possible as if in defiance of this apparently long-running misunderstanding.
“Well, I do,” Heero said fiercely into Duo’s ear.
“Me too,” said Duo, rendering the entire exchange a triumph of coherency. “Forever and ever and ever.”
Heero chuckled weakly at this, though he really felt like crying. He was aware of Duo’s shiver at the touch of his breath against his neck. “Oh, god,” Duo said, and began slowly and very deliberately grinding his bare erection against Heero’s clothed one. “It is so good to finally be able to feel you.”
Both the touch and the words made Heero shudder, which was punctuated by another wave of desire. As he drew back, releasing Duo, he saw in the other’s face a look of mixed need, pleasure, and apprehension lest he’d been too forward. Heero took him by both hands and, walking backwards, pulled him through the door into his shadowy bedroom. Duo, now grinning with relief, allowed himself to be maneuvered toward the bed.
“Sit down,” Heero commanded. “You’re going to feel this.”
Trowa looked up from where he’d been staring at his hands, which he’d withdrawn from Quatre’s, and this time Quatre’s gasp was audible. He reached out and took hold of Trowa’s face, and found in doing so that his lover was shaking.
“Trowa, your eyes…” This emerged in a whisper as Quatre stared in wonder at the real green of the irises, the black of the pupils, the natural shine, the sparkle of tears. And all around these… Quatre ran his hands up and down Trowa’s face almost without realizing he was doing it. He’d been correct in his speculation that the softness and smoothness of Trowa’s skin would not change with the curse — but the color was suddenly healthy and natural: still pale, but only within the range of normal coloration. Quatre would miss that faint glow, he had to admit, sickly as it had often seemed, but to see Trowa looking so human was heart-rendingly wonderful — because the physical changes, of course, were all secondary to the great, glorious point, far brighter than glowing eyes or skin, that Trowa was alive.
Trowa pushed forward through the boundary of Quatre’s hands and clasped him tightly. He felt the same as ever, except for, perhaps, a greater vitality to his movement and the strength of his arms. Quatre returned the embrace with just as much intensity, and was unsurprised to find tears leaking from his own eyes in his happiness and relief.
The excited screaming from down the hall grew suddenly louder with the sound of the balcony door sliding open, then turned to what from here was little more than incoherent babbling. It was definitely Duo’s voice, finally at a normal human volume again (though this was the first time Quatre had heard it thus). Slowly Quatre and Trowa drew apart and looked at each other’s tearstained faces with very similar expressions of happiness so deep it surpassed even smiling.
“It’s over,” Trowa said.
Duo’s voice in the hall had gradually quieted, and now went entirely silent. A little unsteadily, Trowa got to his feet, and Quatre followed. Together they went to the doorway to see their newly-human friend.
He was easily recognized; in this form, his braid must have been three feet long. He was also completely naked, and very enthusiastically kissing Heero. In fact, even as they watched, Heero’s arms slid up around Duo’s bare back to pull him closer.
Now Quatre found himself grinning and inclined to laugh aloud from pure joy. He tore from the interesting sight, though, and, pulling Trowa with him, turned away. Looking as if he wanted to go back, Trowa began to protest, but Quatre interrupted. “Leave them alone for now.”
“But I haven’t–”
“He’s not going anywhere,” Quatre insisted. “Come on.”
Very reluctantly, Trowa allowed himself to be led across the room into his house; Quatre soothed him as he went, “They know where to find us if they’re not busy with something else.” Under his breath he added, “So much for Duo being in love with you…”
Trowa sounded a little startled as he requested clarification.
“Oh, that’s what Heero thought. He’s been pining over Duo all this time without saying anything about it because of that.”
“But…” Trowa’s brow furrowed slightly. “But I thought it was obvious that Duo was interested in Heero. That’s half the reason the curse is broken now.”
“Is it?” asked Quatre, greatly interested.
“When I cursed Duo,” Trowa explained, “I accused him of only pretending to care about that woman, of being fake. So the curse demanded that he genuinely care about someone. It had to be someone with magical abilities who wanted to see him human, so that their psychic field would influence his, but it wouldn’t have done a thing for him if he didn’t have that connection with them.”
“Why didn’t you mention this before?” There was, Quatre considered, something very deja vu about asking this.
“This whole thing started with me telling Duo what I thought he felt about someone. I didn’t dare do it again.”
Quatre laughed. “One of these days, all four of us are going to have to get together and make a pact not to keep secrets from each other anymore.”
“So Heero really believed Duo wasn’t interested in him?” Trowa came back to this point with evident skepticism, and maybe a touch of pity.
“Heero’s jealous in relationships,” Quatre shrugged. “Duo probably just mentioned your name a few too many times.”
Trowa nodded. “That explains some things,” he murmured.
By this time they were settled in the chair in the study, and now Quatre began kissing Trowa’s face in a clear but wordless change of subject.
“I suppose I’ll have to look in a mirror at some point,” Trowa said, and didn’t sound entirely pleased at the prospect.
“For now you can just take my word that you look wonderful.” At this Trowa made a skeptical noise, and Quatre laughed. “You never told me you had freckles,” he added in mock accusation.
“Do I?” Trowa sounded utterly blank at first, but then he went on in a tone of recollection, “I… suppose I probably should, yes…”
“I’m going to kiss them all,” murmured Quatre. “And later I’m definitely going to want to see if you have more anywhere else. Your skin is still so soft…”
“I’ll have to think about things like that now… my skin, I mean…” This was spoken in the same somewhat worried tone he’d used to reference the mirror. “I won’t be immortal anymore. I’ll have to start eating even more, and showering, and remembering to sleep… because the artifact will have to be destroyed, so I won’t be nearly as powerful. Which means I won’t be able to get the things I need in exchange for magical favors… Quatre, I don’t know how to live…”
“Trowa.” Quatre was simultaneously amused, exasperated, and remonstrative. “Why are you worrying about all of this right now?” He rose onto his knees in the chair and again took Trowa’s face in his hands. “We have the rest of your life to figure it all out.”
There was a long moment in which it seemed that Trowa was going to protest, go on listing reasons to be concerned about the future. But once that moment ended, Trowa’s brows twitched downward in what seemed to be a look of determination. Emphatically he said, “Yes. We do.” And, very deliberately, he pulled Quatre closer to him in a gesture free of any uncertainty, and kissed him.
Duo felt like the whole world was exploding around him. Of course it had been a very long time since he’d felt anything, but he didn’t think he’d ever felt like this before.
He groaned, and his head fell against his shoulders — which was in itself glorious, as it had been so long since he’d been able to feel the back of his head or his shoulders or his braid crinkling in the juncture — as Heero blazed a prickling path with his tongue over the most responsive of Duo’s skin.
This, among an overwhelming host of other sensations, was spectacular almost to the point of impossibility; Duo could hardly believe the entire situation. After convincing himself that he must wait a while before telling Heero how he felt, here was Heero sucking his cock. Heero liked him… Heero wanted him… and was more than proving it now.
“Oh, god,” Duo moaned, working his hands into Heero’s hair. He already loved the feeling of Heero’s hair, and the texture and warmth of Heero’s skin as his hands slid down his neck, but it wasn’t quite enough. Maybe he was just a greedy bastard, but…
“Heero…” he groaned.
“Mmm?” The vibration from this acknowledgment almost made Duo come right then.
“This…” he gasped. “This is amazing… but I want more of you… right now…” He wanted Heero against him; he wanted a more complete connection to him, after so long thinking of himself as little more than Heero’s charity project; he wanted the sensations of being with Heero to eclipse all others and stamp the first hours of his new human life with the smell of him, the feel of his skin, the taste of his kisses, the sound of his ecstasy. He wished he could articulate all of this, but at the moment he was simply too overwhelmed.
Heero seemed to understand, though; either that or he was caught up in the moment as well. At any rate, with a lingering trailing of his tongue that made Duo moan helplessly again, he pulled away and stood. He said nothing, but the look he gave Duo as he reached for the hem of his t-shirt to pull it over his head was so hot and intense that Duo shuddered. Heero tossed the shirt onto the floor, and Duo eyed his bare chest covetously. It wasn’t as if he’d never seen and, indeed, greatly admired it before; but things were different when he had hormones and the prospect of putting his hands and mouth all over it.
His attention didn’t linger there, however, as Heero was now taking off his pants. Duo had only been breathing again for a short while, but he was already rediscovering the art of holding his breath in anticipation as he watched Heero’s clothing come off. Whatever underwear Heero might or might not have on slid down and hit the floor along with the jeans, and he was stepping out completely naked the next instant.
“Good god, you are hot,” Duo said. And it was suddenly a very good thing that Heero had done his changing out of Duo’s sight all those times, because this knowledge, without the ability to do anything about it, would, without a doubt, have made something important inside Duo snap.
Heero smiled at him, again utterly stealing Duo’s breath. Then, to Duo’s momentary frustration, instead of coming within reach, he moved around the bed and extracted something from the nightstand drawer. When he returned to the spot in front of Duo again, his tempting hips just beyond the reach of Duo’s grasping hands, the object he held was revealed to be a plastic bottle full of thick bluish liquid.
“Was I ‘sleeping’ right above that this whole time?” Duo demanded, amused and aroused.
“Wait ’til you hear what I was doing in the shower this whole time,” Heero murmured, “with you just outside the bathroom door.”
Duo definitely would have pursued this topic, but at that moment — finally — Heero climbed onto the bed, kneeling, straddling Duo’s lap. Taking Duo’s face in both hands (he must have set the bottle down somewhere), he kissed him deeply and intensely, pressing against him.
As he felt so much of Heero’s skin in such blazing close contact with his own, Duo groaned in his throat, and his hands swarmed over Heero’s body in search of more. He wanted it all; he wanted every last inch of Heero for his very own, and it was a shame that he couldn’t touch him everywhere at once.
Heero threaded fingers through Duo’s braided hair and pulled at him, intensifying the kiss almost to the point of pain. Duo thought it could have been a good deal more painful, though, and he still would have reveled in it. The weight and heat of Heero settled in his lap was divine, and the air was starting to smell faintly of sweat.
As Duo began running fingers over Heero’s buttocks and thighs, which were taut where Heero’s legs spread around his, Heero released him and let his own hands explore. As he teased one of Duo’s nipples, Duo’s head rolled to the side with a gasp of pleasure. At the same moment, Heero moved his hips, rubbing their stiff cocks against each other in a burst of heat and pleasure that made Duo cry out.
“Oh, god, Heero, that feels so good…” Duo found that, though he was perfectly capable of shouting his pleasure aloud as it came to him, actual words emerged only in a groaning whisper. “I should probably tell you… I’ve never done it with a guy before…”
Heero nodded and kissed him again. And now he rose up on his knees, his hands releasing Duo even as he kissed him from this higher angle, pressed against him, squirming slightly. Duo’s lap felt cold and abandoned suddenly, and he made a noise that was half disappointed and half intrigued at the contrast. Heero, probably correctly interpreting the sound, chuckled breathlessly, drawing away from Duo’s lips and moving to kiss his jaw and ear instead.
Duo’s hands were running up and down the backs of Heero’s thighs, which were trembling slightly as Heero ground his erection against Duo’s stomach. And the next moment Heero went from nibbling Duo’s earlobe to groaning out his name in evident pleasure. The sound of the word made Duo shiver so intensely that his entire body stiffened and pressed even harder against Heero’s.
“I’ve always loved the way you say my name,” he whispered, “but I think that one was my favorite.”
In response, Heero murmured again, “Duo…” and straightened a little to look him in the eye. At his expression, simultaneously serious and adoring and lustful, Duo felt a line of fire race from swollen lips through his throbbing chest into his anxious groin. Heero’s eyes were astonishingly beautiful.
“You’re doing funny things to my heart,” he told him. “And I just got it back.”
“You can have mine,” said Heero, and kissed him again. And it was funny how so corny a line could make Duo’s chest ache so wonderfully and his already throbbing erection even harder and more desperate than before.
Suddenly Heero’s hand, which Duo hadn’t felt for some time, was on his cock, startling a cry out of him; as it was slick with lubricant, Duo thought he could guess now what Heero had been busy with. And as Heero rubbed Duo’s erection quickly and thoroughly up and down, Duo was reduced to a state of trembling, groaning helplessness, leaning back slightly, bracing himself a little unsteadily on his balled fists on the bed.
“I’m not… you’re going to… I can’t…” He wanted to warn Heero that he was going to come very soon if this continued, but apparently finishing a sentence was another thing he couldn’t do.
Heero seemed once again to understand him without needing to have the thought completed, however. He drew back, rising up onto his knees again and reaching down. Taking hold of Duo’s erection, he angled his hips and pressed slowly downward onto it, guiding the process with one hand while keeping himself open with the other.
“A-ah!” Duo cried as he was enveloped by tight, glorious heat. “Heero… Heero…”
Heero regarded him with slitted eyes as he sank completely onto him with a long sigh. Then there followed a protracted moment of stillness that felt like the calm before a storm, during which they stared at each other through hazy eyes and Duo said once more, adoringly, “Heero…”
And then Heero kissed him again, and started to move.
The world was exploding as it had earlier, but this time it was harder and brighter and faster. Duo broke what would have been a kiss with a groaning cry as Heero rose up and then sank back down. Also groaning softly, Heero abandoned Duo’s mouth, leaving it free to let out his growing pleasure, and moved to chew on his ear again instead. Duo could feel the warmth and motion and moisture of heavy breathing, hear the touches of voice that crept into Heero’s panting. But all noises were swiftly blurring together as Heero rode him harder and faster, urging him on with slick tightness toward orgasm.
He’d had sex before… but it had never felt like this. Granted, it had always been with women in the past (the distant past), but he doubted there was anyone in the world, man or woman, that could make him feel like this. The way it felt to be inside Heero, to have Heero against him, kissing him, loving him; the taste of Heero’s mouth (which was probably at least somewhat the taste of shrimp pasta salad); the damp, hot sliding of Heero’s skin against Duo’s everywhere they were connected — Heero, the man that had saved him, had given him new life…
And yet… Duo would never, never tell Heero, but along with all these wonders there was also the sensation of his toes curling in the carpet; the tenseness of his legs that seemed to cling to the bed, working hard to keep him in his current position so as not to break the beautiful rhythm; the sweat beginning to trickle down from his knees; his thighs and buttocks against the crinkled blanket, and the weave of its cloth against his skin; the burning of his clenching biceps that struggled to support them both; the tickling of his hair against his face; the smells of sweat and sex… everything around him, all of these long-missed sensations combined irresistibly with what Heero was doing to him to bring him hard. He gave a sharp, inarticulate cry as the world blazed white-hot and heavenly for a long, perfect moment.
Somebody knocked angrily on the wall, and Duo laughed faintly and giddily. His head was spinning, and he wasn’t surprised to find himself falling over, collapsing onto the cool blanket with Heero on top of him. The movement tugged at his now-flaccid length still inside Heero’s tight ass, and Duo groaned in mingled pleasure and discomfort.
“As if they aren’t at it every night of the week,” Heero muttered, clearly referring to the annoyed neighbors on the other side of the wall. He squirmed free of Duo’s cock with a sigh, and settled onto his side against Duo’s sweaty body.
Duo turned to face him, still loving the feeling of the blanket beneath him and the air on his damp skin and the fading shockwave of orgasm. He met Heero’s eyes and smiled. “It’s good to be human again.”
Heero smiled back. “It’s good to have you human.”
Duo leaned forward and kissed him again briefly, then took one of Heero’s hands in both of his. “It’s all thanks to you,” he said, and sighed in contentment. “And now good luck getting rid of me.”
Heero grinned. “I’ve put up with you this long…”
Duo snuggled into him. “Yes,” he said complacently. “Thank god for that.”
“Just so you know,” Duo was sighing, cuddling slowly closer against Heero and running a hand lovingly up his neck, “that was far and away the best sex I’ve ever had.”
There were too many potentially really weird responses Heero could have made to this, given Duo’s history; eventually he decided simply to widen his grin, pulling as he did so, a little absently, at his still-erect cock. Duo, eyes dragged away from Heero’s face by the motion, looked down and realized.
Abruptly he sat up, and didn’t seem to mind that doing so made him reel a little, dizzily. “Heero! You didn’t–” He glanced around at the wall, and went on in less of a shout, “Now you should really do me.”
Heero didn’t need to hear that invitation twice. He wasn’t too terribly surprised that Duo had made it, either. Even as he also sat up and looked around for the discarded lubricant, though, he commented wryly, “If you think my neighbors can handle it.”
“I think we have to take the chance,” Duo replied with mock seriousness. “It may be a matter of life and death.” Then he lay back again, tugging at Heero’s hand as if to pull him on top of him once more. The light gleamed off his sweat-slicked skin, and Heero drew in a sharp breath at the look in his eye. He allowed himself to be pulled down atop Duo, and soon was slowly exploring Duo’s mouth again with his tongue as he ground against him.
At first Duo’s hands worked through Heero’s hair, a sensation Heero was already falling in love with, but after not too long they shifted to running all over his neck and back and sides again. Duo was still hung up on feeling him, it seemed, and Heero thought that fucking him from this position would probably best satisfy this particular inclination.
He was already achingly hard, but the idea of having this burning need fulfilled by Duo, that Duo wanted it to be, and the way Duo was kissing him seemed likely now to drive him into a frenzy. Their previous connection had almost made him come, but it hadn’t quite lasted long enough. Now, with the feeling of being filled and stretched and loved from the inside still lingering, Heero doubted he would last long either.
One of Duo’s hands had evidently fallen on the bottle of lube, as he was pushing it insistently against Heero’s side. Heero took it without looking; eager as he was to make use of it, at the moment he was preoccupied with the softness of Duo’s lower lip and the noises he found he could wring from Duo as he sucked on it. Eventually, though, he pulled away, looking into Duo’s sparkling eyes and tasting as before his utterly untainted breath.
Duo grinned, squirming beneath him in a manner clearly calculated to keep things moving. Breathlessly Heero returned the expression and sat back, at which Duo drew one leg up, inviting Heero in.
Heero coated his fingers with lubricant — the hand opposite the one he’d used on himself — and slid the first one inside Duo. The latter made a noise of interest and some surprise as Heero pulled at him. When he added a second finger Duo commented somewhat shakily, “That feels weird.”
“Good weird or bad weird?”
Heero grinned again and pushed further in. He was watching Duo’s slitted eyes and parted lips, and anticipating joining so intimately with him once again. He added a third finger. Duo, clenching with a tight heat that promised extreme pleasure to come, gasped, “Ah! Definitely good weird!”
Carefully, Heero bent and kissed him as he continued to probe deeper. He knew he’d found what he was looking for when Duo stiffened, breaking from his lips with a startled, ecstatic cry. As Heero continued somewhat awkwardly to massage the spot with his fingertips, Duo writhed and groaned beneath him; and when he ceased and slowly withdrew the penetrating digits, Duo panted almost unintelligibly, “Can you… hit that… with your cock?”
“I certainly plan on trying,” Heero replied. As he shifted into position between Duo’s legs, Duo drew both knees up enthusiastically. “Tell me if it bothers you,” Heero said, readying himself at Duo’s entrance, “and I’ll stop.”
“You’ll never hear me beg for mercy.”
Heero had begun to push into him, but at this, with a monumental effort and a faint breathless smile, he paused. “Seriously, Duo,” he panted. “If I hurt you within an hour of you being human again, I will never forgive myself.”
“Fine, fine,” was Duo’s impatient reply. His hands rose to clutch at Heero’s back. “Just do it!”
So Heero did. Sliding slowly in, he bent low over Duo’s body so as to come into as close contact with him as possible. The area behind his eyes was already going nova before his entire length was buried, and he tried to concentrate on finding an angle that would brush Duo’s prostate, as promised, before he completely lost his presence of mind and primal urges took over.
Evidently he succeeded, for Duo was twisting beneath him after only a few thrusts, moaning sharply in conjunction with his quick rhythm. At a particularly loud outcry, Heero thought somebody next door knocked on the wall again, but that might only have been the pounding of blood in his ears. In any case he merely quickened his pace.
This was like a beautiful dream; he almost couldn’t believe it. Admittedly it was mostly like a very specific type of beautiful dream, but that wasn’t to say he hadn’t had non-sexual dreams about Duo as well that mirrored some aspects of this scene. The awareness that Duo wanted him, was happy to be with him… the welcome in his eyes and voice… his very presence here now the curse was broken… if Heero had hoped at all for any of these, it had been for some time in the distant future when Duo’s heart had mended and he’d had time to notice Heero that way. And yet here they were now, making love, toward which Duo’s attention and care seemed entirely directed.
“Wow…” Duo was gasping. “I knew… I knew this had to be… good… but I didn’t… realize…”
“Do you like it?” Heero whispered. It was an inane question, but, apart from the fact that he’d very much enjoyed Duo’s earlier assertion of how good he felt, he also couldn’t come up with any more intelligent response.
“Yes,” Duo groaned. “Oh, god, yes.”
Heero wished he could keep this up until Duo had recovered and could get erect again, but he was too close, and he couldn’t bring himself to stop and wait at this point — and that “Oh, god, yes” was just too much. His fingers tightened in the blanket they’d already been crumpling as he came hard deep inside of Duo. He heard nothing from beyond the wall; either his groan hadn’t been loud enough to disturb, or the neighbors had given up, or perhaps he had simply been too transported to notice their protests.
As he settled into stillness on top of Duo, the latter began slowly to pet his hair, and murmured, “That’s what I wanted to hear…”
Heero had to assume that Duo did not mean the sound of next door knocking. He kissed him, breathless and imprecise, and eased out of him.
“Oh,” Duo breathed, squirming. “Wow.”
Heero made an inarticulate sound of amusement and satisfaction.
“That was amazing.” Duo began wrapping his limbs around Heero in a manner that seemed designed more to allow him to continue feeling as much of Heero as possible all at once than for comfort, which made Heero chuckle a little even as he nodded his agreement. And then Duo added, “You’re amazing.”
Marvelously, astonishingly, ridiculously happy, Heero held Duo tighter, and they lay still in the cooling shadows.
Finally Duo broke the silence again. “OK, Heero… it’s time…”
“You liked me, apparently, and I was flirting with you every day… why the hell didn’t you say something?”
“Why didn’t you?” Heero returned evasively, jarred from his warm lethargy. “Flirting like yours doesn’t count.”
“Hey, I asked first.” Duo was withdrawing from the convoluted embrace, and at last sat up again, looking down at Heero.
“I thought…” Heero found this a little embarrassing to talk about. “I thought you were still in love with Trowa.”
Duo blinked. “How did you know I was ever in love with Trowa?”
Also sitting up, Heero explained briefly about the original misconception that had only been furthered by a certain email from Quatre.
“So they are together!” cried Duo triumphantly. “I thought so!”
Heero smiled. “That’s why Quatre’s been neglecting us for weeks.”
“Weeks?! This has been going on for weeks and you didn’t tell me?”
“I thought… I didn’t want to hurt you… I couldn’t figure out how…”
Duo leaned forward and squeezed Heero tightly. “Well, for future reference, I’ve been over Trowa for fifty years or something, and you happen to be the one I’m in love with.”
Heero felt his face burning. “‘In love?'” he echoed hoarsely. “Don’t you think it’s a bit early for that?”
“We’ve been practically dating for a complete lunar cycle.” Duo’s tone was chiding, but he didn’t sound hurt. Thank god he didn’t sound hurt. “Also I’m pretty sure we just had sex. Twice, even. Seems plenty late enough to me.”
Heero felt the first stirrings of panic. Was Duo expecting a reciprocal declaration at this point? It was quite possible that he was in love with Duo, but flatly impossible that he could put it into words just yet.
Duo seemed to sense this reluctance on Heero’s part, and not to be bothered by it, for he kissed Heero six times and changed the subject. “I can’t believe I’m finally human again! You know, until I met you, I almost kinda didn’t think it would ever happen?”
As he continued to speak, he was examining himself — running hands thoughtfully over his own flesh and his hair and stretching out in every direction. Heero watched this process with great satisfaction. “I thought for sure I’d just go crazy eventually and turn into one of those horror movie dolls that convinces the little girl to kill a bunch of people, and when they found out about me they wouldn’t be able to destroy me, so they’d throw me away, and I’d end up in a landfill somewhere ruling over a pack of junkyard dogs and referring to myself with the royal ‘we.'”
Heero wasn’t sure whether to laugh or wince, and definitely didn’t know what to say. But Duo looked at him again suddenly, and he was smiling. “But now…” It wasn’t the false cheer he’d often used before to put a good face on his bad situation, that phony brightness Heero had so hated — this was real. It was a smile unforced, a natural tone, an expression of genuine happiness. “Now…” He reached out to run fingertips through Heero’s hair. Then, unexpectedly, he slid suddenly off the bed and stood. “Now I’m going to see what’s on your bookshelf!” And, with a joyful and triumphant laugh, half stumbling, he ran out of the room.
His Own Humanity is an AU series set in modern-day America (plus magic) featuring characters from Rurouni Kenshin (primarily Saitou and Sano) and Gundam Wing (primarily Heero, Duo, Trowa, and Quatre). In chronological order (generally), the stories currently available are:
Sano enlists the help of exorcist Hajime in discovering the nature of the unusual angry shade that's haunting him.
Best friends Heero and Quatre have their work cut out for them assisting longtime curse victims Duo and Trowa.
During Plastic (part 80), Cairo thinks about thinking and other recent changes in his life.
A look at how Hajime and Sano are doing.
A look at how Trowa and Quatre are doing.
A look at how Heero and Duo are doing.
A meeting between Kamatari and Wufei.
Couple analysis among Heero, Duo, Trowa, and Quatre.
Quatre undergoes an unpleasant magical change; Heero, Duo, and Trowa are forced to face unpleasant truths; and Hajime and Sano may get involved.
During La Confrérie de la Lune Révéré (parts 33-35), Sano's 178-day wait is over as what Hajime has been fearing comes to pass.
During Guest Room Soap Opera (part 3), Cathy learns a lot of interesting facts and Trowa is not happy.
A few days before the epilogue of La Confrérie de la Lune Révéré, Duo and Sano get together to watch football and discuss relationships and magical experiences; Heero listens in on multiple levels.
On the same evening as That Remarkable Optimism, Trowa tells Quatre's parents the whole truth, as promised.