"These are the rules, koi. You put your hands behind your head and keep them there. No touching me, and no touching yourself."
"ME? This was your idea. You want a show, you'll get a show, but you have to follow the same rules you would if you were at one of those meat clubs. Of course, if you've changed your mind... " Duo shrugged.
Heero shook his head. "No, I haven't changed my mind. You don't think I can do it, do you?"
"Call it a lesson in self-control." Duo grinned. "Or lack of."
Heero laid back on the bed, clad in nothing but a pair of thin white boxers, and placed his hands behind his head. "Okay, let's see how good you are." He teased.
Duo padded over to a stereo. Unlike Heero, he was fully dressed in a pair of black jeans and a purple silk shirt the same color as his eyes. His hair was still braided and his feet were bare. He flashed Heero a look that was purely sensual and turned on the music.
A throbbing beat started. Duo began swaying in time with the rhythm, moving back and forth across the bedroom as he danced. His throaty voice began singing along to the hypnotic words
"Close your eyes
And walk the endless night to sleep
Know the lies
And no more promises to keep"
Heero's eyes were fixed on him and he was breathing hard. Duo noticed his breathing wasn't the only thing that was hard and fought the urge to laugh. You haven't seen anything yet, koi.
"Light the light
Follow closely as you lead
It ends tonight
It fills the emptiness and need"
Never missing a beat, he began opening the buttons on his shirt slowly, revealing the pale skin of his chest an inch at a time. With a grace a cat would have envied, he hopped up on a chair to complete his task. Finally the shirt hung loose around his shoulders. With a shrug he slipped out of it, kicking it away from the chair.
"You must give in - you
must give in
A game that you can't win
Heero sucked in his breath on the bed, trembling with the need to either touch himself or grab Duo, but he did not move, only continued to watch the show his maclen was providing him with.
"The darkness aches
And tears away the strongest heart
The music plays
The fire burns the soul apart"
Duo gyrated his hips as the tempo increased, moving until he was crouching on the chair and then back up again. He smiled at Heero, and mouthed the words 'keep watching'.
"The fever breaks
Cool rain is falling on our bed
The time is come
The hunger's longing to be fed"
One slender hand moved down to the fastener of his jeans and popped open the button. With a nail, he slid the zipper down and danced out of them. They landed somewhere near his shirt.
"You can't turn back
- you can't turn back
The night bleeds in black - the hunger"
Now in his black boxers, he began dancing faster. He turned his back toward Heero and pushed the boxers down his legs. Not looking at his mate, he swayed his now bare rear in the air, up and down.
"You must give in - you
must give in
A game that you can't win
Duo jumped down off the chair and danced his way over to the bed. Heero didn't look so good, he noted. He looked like he was about to lose his mind. Well, about to only counted in horseshoes. Time to see just how much self-control his partner really had.
With a quick move he was straddling his mate, a leg on either side of Heero's hips, but still not touching him. Moving his bottom less than an inch above Heero's still clothed arousal, he reached up and undid his hair, letting it fall around his shoulders and down his back and onto Heero's legs.
Heero cried out and suddenly Duo found himself yanked downward, his mouth captured in a searing kiss, which he returned enthusiastically. There would be time for teasing Heero about breaking first later.
The Japanese man almost angrily ripped aside his own boxers. Duo had a momentarily flash of fear that Heero was going take him unprepared, unlubed, but even in his state of aroused insanity Heero still had enough control to fumble for a tube. He coated himself roughly and thrust his fingers in and out of his lover until Duo was begging in his need.
Heero pulled the other man down again, raising his hips to penetrate his partner fully. Duo threw his head back and moaned, rocking his own hips.
Heero very slowly thrust again. Duo tried to increase the tempo but Heero held him fast. Another achingly slow thrust. Duo's teeth were clenched in agony. "Faster." He pleaded.
"No." came the hoarse reply. And the movement slowed down every more. "I don't think so."
It was maddening. Heero kept the pace almost to a crawl and no amount of pleading, begging, or threatening on Duo's part could encourage him to change it.
"Duo... " Heero groaned, releasing one hip to grab Duo's hardness and stroke it.
Duo? Who was Duo? The longhaired man had no identity. He was a creature of need. Primal and unnamed and wild.
Heero released his other hip. "Go." he urged.
Duo tossed his head like the stallion Heero loved to call him and rode his lover as fast as he could until they were both shrieking words with no meaning. He felt Heero suddenly release with him, flooding him, and a moment later he covered both of them with his own seed.
He fell forward, his legs still wrapped around Heero, and buried his face in his maclen's neck, purring, inhaling the wonderful smell of sweat and soap and life. Of the man he loved. He felt a gentle hand stroking his back.
"I love you. I love you so much." Heero was whispering. He tilted Duo's head up to capture his lips and then pulled him back to lay against his chest. "Oh god, I can't believe how good you make me feel."
Duo licked the salty skin, smiling against it. "Love you right back, Wolf. I love driving you crazy, too. You want me to dance for you again sometime?"
Heero nodded. "I may not survive it, but oh yes. That was incredible."
"I'm a man of many talents." Duo muttered, almost asleep.
"So I'm learning."
"Sheld, I'm curious about something." Heero sipped at his tea as his friend finished making a note to herself on a pad of paper.
"Lay it on me."
"When we came here, Jazz started having memories of Sem the first night. But why didn't Duo? He's a generation closer, after all. Wouldn't it make more sense for him to remember?"
"Not really." Sheld shrugged. "I've had much better luck stimulating racial memory in children than adults. I'm not sure why that is. My theory is that it's because they have fewer memories of their own so they're more susceptible to racial ones. That's one explanation anyway.
She tilted her head and glanced at Heero. "Another one would be that Duo has memories of his own life he's tried very hard to bury. It would stand to reason that he'd bury someone else's unpleasant memories as well."
Heero nodded. "I understand." He was grateful that she didn't press deeper.
"I'm almost done with my report. This is what I've waited for all my life, Heero. This is going to be big, very big."
"Jazz is still sulking that he's not going to be named in your report."
"He'll cope. Duo was right in making that a condition. The last thing any child needs is to be poked and prodded and questioned. There will be people who'll insist he made the whole thing up. And people wanting to know what else he has stored in his head. He may not understand now, but he'll be grateful one day."
"Maybe by then he'll be speaking to us again." Heero sighed.
Sheld refilled his tea. "Sounds like you're getting a taste of real parenting."
"Tell me about it. He's so... mercurial. I keep waiting to hear 'You're not my father'".
"Marti said that to his pledge-mother once, told her she wasn't his mother and couldn't tell him what to do."
"What did she say?" Heero had met Marti's pledge-mother and respected her.
"She said 'You're right, I'm not. And yes I can. What's your point?'"
Heero laughed. "I'll have to remember that."
"But in all, how do you like it? Being a parent?"
"Honestly, I love it. Even when he is being a beast. He amazes me. He says things, thinks things, that never would have occurred to me. He reminds me how important it is to taste raindrops, or to sing in the shower."
The Japanese man fingered the teacup. "He's not happy that the others are going to be going back home. When Duo said we were staying here, he thought that meant Quatre and Trowa and Wufei were staying as well."
"That can't be easy for him. He's always had them in his life. Is there any chance of them changing their minds?"
"For Quatre and Trowa, no. Quatre has family on L4. He misses his sisters. He'd never be happy living so far away from them. And Trowa would live in a mud pit of that's what Quatre wanted."
"What about Wufei?"
"I'm hoping he'll rethink his decision and settle here. He says his place is back home but he seems to be wavering. In spite of all his complaining, he adores Jazz. I don't think in the end he's going to want to leave him. To him, godfather isn't just a name. He takes the position very seriously."
"I know a few places that would jump at the chance to have him as an instructor. Since we're going to be establishing relations with Earth and the Colonies and hopefully bringing people here to live, schools are going to need to have Earth History teachers. He'd be ideal."
"I'll talk to him about that. I'm not above a little arm-twisting, but Duo's better at that than I am."
"He'll also want to be around when you adopt your daughter." Sheld pointed out. "It was funny. He was asking me the other day what kinds of presents were appropriate for little girls."
"Wufei has some... interesting attitudes where women are concerned."
"Possibly. But there's more to it than that. His late wife was a very strong young woman. He looks for that in all women now and unfortunately finds most lacking. However, he also considers it his duty to protect anyone he considers weak, so most of the women he's known go between being insulted, amused, and suddenly remembering a prior appointment. Which is why he's never remarried."
Sheld's eyes sparkled. "Did I mention Denea has just returned from Seta?" she asked innocently.
Heero's hand froze on the teacup. "You're not thinking."
"Thinking what? That I might invite my old friend over for dinner tonight and happen to ask the rest of you as well?"
"DENEA and Wufei?"
"And why not? They're perfect for each other."
Heero put his head down on the table and shook with laughter. "There's a saying, you know, that two suns can't share the same orbit."
"Well, every theory deserves a sound testing now and then." Sheld said cheerfully. "I can get Denea here if you can get Wufei to come."
"Oh, he'll come." Heero's own eyes gleamed dangerously. "I wouldn't miss this for anything."
"It is the responsibility of the strong to protect the weak!"
"Not weak, those you THINK are weak! If it doesn't have balls, you assume it's going to break down at a paper cut!"
Barely five foot in height, and weighing maybe 90lbs if you soaked her in brine, Denea Maroni was as intimidating as a woman 3 times her size. She had strawberry blond hair, which was carelessly tied back in a ponytail, and clear brown eyes that saw everything. And an opinion on everything she saw.
"Things are different where we come from."
"Bullcrap they are. You're like my ex-boyfriend. Completely and totally hopeless. You think you can solve all your problems by waving around your weapon, and let me tell you that I have NOT been impressed with many of those I've seen, and yelling a lot. Well, guess what, Woof Woof."
Duo made a choking noise and Heero clamped him on the back, holding his own napkin to his mouth. Sheld was beaming, Marti looked like he wanted to run away, and the children, as well as Quatre and Trowa, were staring rapt at the escalating battle.
"Whatever. Tell me you don't think might makes right."
"Where justice is concerned."
"Whose justice? Your justice? Who made you judge and jury, anyway?"
Wufei threw down his napkin angrily. "Woman, did you come here tonight deliberately to provoke me?"
"Woman. Gotta love that." Denea stood up as well. "And again, that's just like a man. You think the whole freaking universe revolves around you. Yes, I asked my childhood friend to invite me to dinner tonight solely for the purpose of ticking off a complete stranger. I'm sorry, Sheld." Denea said stiffly. "I didn't mean to ruin your dinner. But I cannot stay another minute in the same room as this..."
"Lout?" Duo offered. Heero smacked him lightly across the back of the head.
"MAN!" Denea finally shouted, and stormed out of the room.
"WELL EXCUSE MY FATHER FOR PROVIDING ME WITH A Y CHROMOSOME!" Wufei yelled after her.
Linra giggled. "Gee, Wufei, I've never seen Denea take to someone that fast."
"I beg your pardon?"
"You should see how she treats people she doesn't like." Linra continued. "That can get scary."
"Are you saying she's... normally like that?" Wufei was appalled.
"No." Marti shrugged. "She didn't throw anything at you."
"Just in case, we always use the cheap plates when she comes to visit." Linra told Jazz, and the boy snickered.
"There's a nice sunset tonight." Marti glanced at the window. "Seems a shame to waste it indoors. What do you say we go out and enjoy it?"
"Not until you help me clean up." Sheld scolded him. "I'm presenting my report tomorrow and I'm so nervous I'm more than likely to break every Denea dish we own."
"Can I go out, Mother?" Linra asked.
"Sure. Oh, Heero, will you take Rosie with you?" Sheld was handing plates to Marti. "She'll love the colors."
"Sure." Heero hoisted the baby into his arms, and the five former pilots, accompanied by the three children, stepped outside into the evening air.
Linra and Jazz laid back on the ground, watching the stars come out. "That one." The girl pointed, "Is Aria. The warrior goddess."
Wufei glanced up at the constellation and smiled. "Yes, I see that. What's that one?"
"The Flanari. According to the stories, they were declared enemies before birth, and Aria's whole purpose in life was to destroy the Flanari. But they became friends instead and vanished together. It's said they escaped into the sky."
"Wow." Jazz was impressed.
Heero leaned back on a cage stand with Duo reclining in his arms, holding a chattering Rosemary. Not far away, Quatre and Trowa were cuddling together as well. There was calmness to the night. A sacredness.
A sacredness shattered moments later by a deafening explosion.