Sweet Summer Sweat
by Fancyfigures

Heero sat on a bench in the hall, casting a quick look around him. Inside the building was as dark as outside -- but there were several candles lit in here, so that he could see where he was. The floor was uncovered boards; the windows had only shutters, no drapes. Everything appeared to have been furnished with the bare minimum. There was little other furniture except for a large, old-fashioned desk with pigeonhole shelves on the wall behind it, and a closed ledger book resting on its top. There was one other bare wooden chair, and a standing box with a single abandoned umbrella in it. He saw a door off the hallway that would lead to the closed walkway of guest rooms, and a door that led to the dining room -- he peered in, to see a few, disparate tables set with off-white cloths, and similar chairs scattered around them. There was no sign of the tables being laid for a meal; no sign of any other guests.

Heero thought he may have heard some noises from beyond the dining room, where the kitchen must be. But no evidence of a meal being prepared; no aroma of baking, or food cooking. Just the smell of sharp fruit, and a heavy floral fragrance. He wondered where the flowers were; he'd enjoyed gardening in the past, but he didn't recognise this scent.

He sank his head in his hands. Trowa bent at his knees, tipping his chin up to see how he was.

"I'm fine!" snapped Heero. "Just... just need a rest, I guess."

A glass of water appeared beside him on the bench; the blond boy put a hand on his shoulder and passed it to him. Heero shivered. He wanted to shake off the touch; he wanted Trowa's hand there instead, but his travelling companion continued to kneel a foot away from him, though his face was creased with concern. Heero was irrationally angry with Trowa. His stomach ached; his legs felt unsteady.

He felt his host's eyes on him still. "You must have supper at once. You need the food inside you. Then a good night in bed."

"I need sleep --" said Heero. His voice sounded hoarse. He swigged another mouthful of the water.

"A good night in bed..." repeated the boy, firmly. Heero wondered why it didn't sound like he was agreeing with him.

"He's very pale..." came Trowa's voice. Both of their faces swam a little, on the periphery of Heero's vision.

"He'll be fine," came the boy's voice in reply. "Like I said, he needs a good night." His eyes were suddenly very large and close, and Heero blinked sharply to ward them off. The blue iris was sharp, as if it had a physical edge of its own. "You're pale, yes. But you have a lovely face," came the murmur against his cheek. The boy's breath was warm, and there was that sharp, poignant aroma of citrus again. Almost as if it emanated from his own body. But Heero had never known a fragrance or a soap that strong.

The laugh was soft, and melodic like the chimes, again. "A lovely face..."

Heero felt much better for the food, though he'd eaten less than Trowa. Trowa was even now mopping up gravy with some fresh bread, the light of pleasure from good food in his eyes. There were drops of gravy on his lips; Heero watched him lick them up. His lover did, indeed, have a healthy appetite, though he remained stick-thin, whatever he ate. He was deceptive! thought Heero. Tall and skinny, with a pale complexion that had made his parents see their boy as delicate; as needing protection. Trowa had explained it to him, that their ‘protection' was stifling; that it had become more and more like isolation and imprisonment, as he grew up. But Heero was sure that Trowa was stronger than him, in many ways. He deferred to him often -- he knew that. Trowa knew so much more about the world.

They had spoken little between themselves -- just eaten the soup, and the goulash, and drunk the cool water. The dining room was lit by candles as well, though a couple of times during the meal the overhead lights flickered. The generator was warming itself up again, perhaps. The air inside was cooler, now, though heavy with stillness. The sweat in their clothing had dried to a soft clamminess.

The boy had introduced himself as Quatre, and he appeared to be the waiter as well as desk clerk. He fussed round them, still in the brief shorts, but with his shirt buttoned up now. "Are you the chef as well?" smiled Trowa, one time that Quatre returned to the table.

"No, not tonight," replied Quatre. He turned his back to Trowa, briefly, as he collected the plates. His eyes met Heero's again, like magnets. There was a flash of mischief there. "I service other needs. Other appetites..." His voice dropped to the lowest murmur, so that Heero was unsure if he'd heard accurately. He thought that Trowa had not heard at all.

Heero was suddenly, embarrassingly aware that he had an erection, though his lap was luckily hidden under the table. He was confused. It was because he was very tired... he was still so hot from the journey, and the sticky heat of the evening...

He wished that the meal was over and they could go to their room.

Then Quatre turned back and spoke to Trowa. "Our chef tonight is Wufei. You'll meet him soon."

"I should thank him for this great meal," said Trowa. Heero saw a high flush on his cheeks that was also very unusual. The meal had been too highly spiced, he thought.

"Do it," replied Quatre, simply. "Go into the kitchen and thank him." He stood there, with the plates piled in his hands, his back now to Heero, and seemingly unaware that his butt was poised just over Heero's leg. Heero couldn't help but see the smooth, plump flesh of his buttock, out from under the high cut shorts. The crease at the top of his thigh had a remnant drop of warm moisture.

"Wufei appreciates personal attention. He'll want to know that he's pleased you."

Trowa was embarrassed again at Quatre's directness, and perhaps at some of his strange phrases. "Well... maybe in the morning...I think we'd better rest soon, for tonight. We've been on the road for a coupla days now, non-stop."

Quatre nodded. "It's been a long journey for you, but you'll find it was worthwhile."

"I -- huh?" Trowa was confused. He watched Quatre stack their glasses -- his slow, sure fingers. A slight smile on his lips. They were full lips, the colour of a blood-red orange. Strangely at odds with his naive, boyish looks. Trowa found his conversation disconcerting.

Heero wasn't listening to their conversation at all. His heart was beating very fast, and his hand had stilled on the table in front of him. He knew several things in just that one, blinding moment. He knew that Quatre had nothing on underneath his shorts. The boy had, as he thought earlier, just thrown them on carelessly, to come and greet them. The shirt, as well. He had been naked before. And his flesh was very warm.

How am I so sure about that? he marvelled. And why is such a fantastic thought so vivid?

He wondered what a creature like Quatre was doing here in the first place. He was almost beautiful, like a Greek Adonis -- he seemed careless, though not in a clumsy way, and rather fey. He moved languidly, and smoothly; his gestures were easy, and he touched everything as he passed, with a trailing, almost aimless finger. He had brought food to their table on plain, simple plates, and then moved gently around them, with water glasses and paper napkins, to serve and to clear. His eyes were never still, and yet when Heero looked up at his face, they always seemed to be fastened back on him. They sparkled with a pale blue light; it was riveting. Heero thought that Quatre didn't match this strange, run-down place. He wouldn't look out of place on a stage; on a catwalk; in a club. Where he could be admired, and coveted.

I could see him through a window, thought Heero. Through a spy hole. He'd be in a cage. Up high. Where he'd wait for me to arrive, and beg me to release him, and then I would watch him stroke himself, and smile, and undress for me...

He was horrified at the unbidden, fantastic thoughts that had suddenly consumed him! He'd never had such thoughts in his life... at least, not since his early adolescence. And then he had been wracked with guilt and misery because his desires had reached for young men, not girls. He had listened to his parents' loud and bigoted opinions, and watched the way that they expected everyone's behaviour to fit in with their own narrow, cheap, aggressive world. He had learned a long time ago not to argue anything with them, because his father's hand was fast and vicious, and he still had marks on his back from earlier years' beatings. He had hidden his pubescent agonies under the bedclothes at night, clasped tightly in his palm. Hot, quick, shuddering agonies. With dreams of smooth, breastless bodies, and wide, boyish shoulders, and the touch of a warm, thick cock against a thigh...

And then he'd met Trowa, and he knew for certain that his way was different. That what he wanted was the right thing for him. Most importantly, that that there were other boys like him, which he had never believed before. It had been on the one hand, a great relief. But he also knew then that the difference was unacceptable in their small, deep-rooted, homophobic town. And it always would be. Trowa knew it, too, and Trowa didn't want them to hide their relationship anymore.

And so they ran.

Quatre had brushed at his arm, ostensibly reaching for the side plate, to clear it away. Heero snatched his arm away from the touch, but the blond wasn't offended. He straightened up, still nursing that slow, lascivious smile.

Trowa was staring at his lover, strangely. There was tension between them, and Heero cursed himself. He still felt a little disorientated.

"Do you own this place? Run it?" Trowa asked Quatre. He was being polite, both he and Heero knew. Neither of them felt this boy had either the ability or the attitude to run a motel. "If you don't mind me asking."

Quatre shrugged, expressively. "Of course not. I just work here. I work for Maxwell; he owns it all."

"The motel...?"

Quatre turned again, so that he looked at Heero, but his reply was to Trowa. "The motel... everything... everyone... he owns it all..."

Somehow his odd behaviour didn't seem rude. No, not rude, thought Heero, his head beginning to throb again. But it seemed dangerous...

"You look faint again," came Quatre's cool voice, seemingly from a far distance. "You must rest now. Wufei will take your bags down for you."

They were back out in the hall, and Trowa was holding Heero's elbow, steadying him. When Quatre moved to the desk, Trowa wondered if he'd be asked to sign them in. They'd used false names a few times -- to get a bus ticket into town; to buy the car. He would use them again, if needs be. A little paranoid, maybe -- for he was reasonably sure that his parents wouldn't report him missing. He rather thought that they'd be relieved. He'd never told Heero the whole story of the scene with them, when he confessed his relationship with another boy. Taunted them with it, in fact. His words had been laced with the keenness of revenge. For Heero had also never known just how repressive they had made his childhood life; the cold hatred; the hours spent locked in dark rooms. The strange and unnatural ways they had tried to prevent him ever growing up at all...

But the boy never asked for formal registration. Trowa looked over the counter, and couldn't see any paperwork at all. No pen; no index cards. He thought that he could see a thin film of dust on the cover of the ledger. He wondered how the hell they ran this place at all.

Then there was movement at the corner of the hall, and another man appeared from the dining room. He moved with astonishing grace, yet he was taller and stockier than Quatre; there was none of the boy about him.

"This is Wufei," said Quatre, quietly. His eyes ran from Heero to Trowa. And stayed there. "You wanted to praise him for his skills, didn't you? His culinary skills?"

Trowa felt that he was being teased. He was being tested. He just didn't know in what context. He felt Heero when he shifted his feet beside him, but he didn't turn to him; he just stared at the man in front of him, temporarily speechless.

He was spectacular! Where Quatre had beautiful, youthful looks, Wufei was most definitely a man; dark-haired with strong, masculine features. He looked slightly Asian -- he wore his hair long, but it was drawn back severely from his forehead, with a braid caught in a band at his neck. It shone a purple-black colour -- and his eyes reflected the same richness. His body was clothed in a pale-coloured tunic top and loose pants, but even under that, Trowa could see the muscles of his shoulders, and the tight definition of his chest. He stood easily, his legs slightly apart, his hands at his sides. Trowa had never thought he was attracted to such an athletic model of a man -- but he felt strange stirrings in the pit of his stomach. And, unmistakeably, his groin.

He felt both thrilled and ashamed, at the same time. He tightened his grip on Heero's arm, full of confusion.

Quatre sighed gently, breaking the silence. One of the candles sputtered, and went out, casting further shadows over the reception area. He hitched himself up on to the desk, and perched there, swinging a slim, barely tanned leg over the edge. He stared at the man called Wufei, and they seemed to share some hidden message between themselves.

"Take the bag down to number 6 for Mr Barton, will you, Wufei?"

Trowa gasped slightly. "I -- didn't tell you my name yet, Quatre, did I?"

The boy shrugged. His eyes flashed in that sultry way they had; his hands spread expressively on his thighs. "I don't remember. Perhaps your -- companion did. I don't see that it matters, do you?"

Trowa thought that it probably did. But he didn't feel he was in any state to debate the point. Wufei moved in front of him and bent slightly; he picked up their bag as if it weighed nothing. There was a fragrance to his body that teased at Trowa's nostrils. Skin, and sweat, of course, as he'd expect in this sweltering weather, and also some memory of the supper food -- but a muskiness as well. It was heady.

"Do you work for Maxwell, as well, Wufei?" he stuttered. "Are you and Quatre -?" He realised he had no idea how he was going to finish the sentence, and his mouth shut with a snap. He had no knowledge of this man at all; no notion of what kind of person he was -- whether he spoke the language; what sense of humour he had. Whether he worked for or with Quatre; whether he was hetero or not; whether. Trowa wondered why he was bothered. Why he suddenly wanted to know some of these things.

"I work here as well," nodded the man. "For Maxwell. Of course." His voice was deeper than Quatre's, and with a lilt that showed he had foreign origins. It was almost a drawl -- very seductive. Trowa didn't know if he was aware of that.

"We're colleagues," he said, and there was a flicker of amusement in his eyes. "You might say that we work together."

He moved behind the desk, and paused at Quatre's back. He rested the bag on the edge of the counter. Both of the travellers felt as if their eyes were being dragged towards the pair of them. They saw Wufei's face over Quatre's shoulder -- the difference in the two men's heights allowed it. They saw Wufei's left hand rest gently at Quatre's hip; the fingers teased gently under the fabric of his shirt, pushing it away from his skin. The erratic light dappled across Quatre's chest. Wufei's right hand couldn't be seen, as it was entirely behind the blond boy's back. Then Quatre leant his head slightly to the side, baring his neck to where the other man stood. Wufei dipped his head slightly, planting his lips at Quatre's exposed neck. And he nipped at the pulse there.

Quatre whimpered. It was a soft, breathy sound, like a trapped animal. Heero stared with shock, at the blatantly sexual caress. Trowa felt his heartbeat hitch, and pause.

The candle nearest them hissed, and the flame flared up. It shot long, dark shadows across the room. The planes of Wufei's face were accentuated; the paleness of Quatre's thigh shone the more brightly in contrast to the darkness.

Heero looked up at Quatre's face, to meet the blond boy's gaze. It was calm; it was steady. But the pupils were dilated. And as Heero watched, he saw gentle movement around the waist of his shorts, as if the back of them was being tugged down -- as if there were something being slipped down inside. He thought it was probably Wufei's hidden hand. He could see more of Quatre's nude hip, now. More of his pale, young skin.

Quatre sucked in a breath, his eyes still holding Heero. Another slight smile teased at his full lips. The tip of his tongue appeared suddenly, rubbing quickly across the pink flesh of his mouth, then darted back in. His head fell back a little; very slowly, as if dominated by an invisible thread. The movement in his shorts became more pronounced.

"Heero..." he whispered. He couldn't have said that! thought Heero. He doesn't know my name. It's the wind.

Quatre's hand slipped into his lap, and rested on the bulge that they could now see under the denim. He sighed again, softly. Bit at his lower lip, as if something were nagging at him. And then, in front of the two spectators, sat as he was on the desk, with Wufei's hand down his shorts, up against his ass, he started to rub at his arousal.

Heero wrenched his eyes away as if he'd been burned. He needed the balm of Trowa's gaze; the comfort of his lover's attention. But as he turned his head, looking to the other man for support, he found Trowa also entranced by the erotic show.

And Wufei was staring straight back at him.

Trowa gave the smallest sound of protest. Not even a word -- more of a moan. When Heero followed the line of his eyes, he saw that he wasn't watching Quatre's masturbation, so much as the man behind him. Watching Wufei -- tall, and silent, and seemingly calm, even as his shoulder rocked gently and rhythmically, and his upper arm muscles flexed, and Trowa knew without a doubt that he was fingering the blond boy.

Quatre was panting softly now, but fast. His hand slid inside the front of the shorts, clutching the shape that strained the fabric -- that was obviously his fiercely erect cock. He pumped at it, roughly; he licked his already moist lips. He leant slightly forward, allowing Wufei more room behind, and his hips began to thrust gently, in counterpoint to the rocking hand that they all knew now was up his ass, and probing for his prostate. He turned his slightly unfocussed gaze on Heero -- and he smiled at him. He opened his soft, lush mouth, as if to speak.

And then a bell rang.

It was a short, sudden sound. Loud; shrill. Like an alarm. Or a buzzer, calling for their attention.

It startled them all.

And at the same time, the lights in the ceiling flickered, then flared, and stayed on. The hallway was bathed in full light, like a spotlight on the performers there. It froze them all.

Wufei moved first. There was a rustle of cloth, as he must have removed his hand from Quatre's shorts, and he stepped out from behind the desk.

"It's Maxwell. He needs us elsewhere. I'll carry the bag down, and then we'll go and see to him."

Quatre cleared his throat. His face was a little petulant, but the expression passed quickly. He nodded agreement with Wufei, and tugging a little at his shorts, he hopped down off the desk. They both looked over towards the dining room, expectantly. Still stunned, Heero and Trowa followed their gaze -- but there was nothing there that they could see. No-one there. Just the tables and chairs, the cloths looking even more poor and washed out in the newly restored electric light.

Heero's nose was alert to the citrus smell, mixed now with a heady, cloying smell of herbs of some kind. Beside him, he felt Trowa catch his breath, as if he'd been holding it for ages.

His voice sounded calm, but a little alien in the new atmosphere. "Quatre - what did you mean, you'd got our room ready?"

Wufei was already opening the door to the outside walkway. Quatre was also distracted; he brushed back a stray lock of hair from his forehead. "It's ready now for you to go in..."

"No --" Heero shook his head, impatient with the deliberate misunderstanding. It was nagging at him. "When we arrived. When you met us in the yard. You said our room. As if it were already designated as ours; as if you knew we were coming. But you didn't."

"No," replied Quatre. "I didn't. I think you're still a little dizzy, Heero. It was just a figure of speech." He moved almost swiftly out of their way, and Wufei stood waiting for them to follow him.

"Come on, Heero," murmured Trowa. His head still ached a little from the exhibition they'd been witness to. He was aroused, too -- and surprisingly disturbed by the fact. He needed sleep more urgently than he'd thought...

Heero followed. He was angry, for some reason. And a little scared. Quatre had used his name, in the hall. He knew his name already.

On to part three. Back to part one.