Sleet rattled against cracked windows, cold wind creeping through rattletrap wooden frames. Duo shivered.
Treize lifted Duo to his feet. Once again, the force of the boy's beauty hit him like a gale. He cupped his hand against the pilot's face, drawing him close so they could kiss. When their mouths fastened on each other, he forgot for a moment that he did this for any reason but his own pleasure. Duo's arms wrapped around his neck, pulling their bodies close.
Dear God. Such a sweet, eager little thing.
Slow and deliberate, he ran his hands over the boy's arms and back, reaching under the towel to knead the firm muscles of his ass, then back up to his shoulders and arms. Duo shuddered against him, wriggling under his insistent touch.
Treize glanced at Heero, who watched intently but made no move to assist him. He kissed Duo again, on the mouth, the chin, bent over to kiss his neck, lick at the spot just under his ear at the edge of his hairline. The boy whimpered as Treize's tongue drew delicate circles over his skin. Treize lifted his head to look at Heero once more. The other pilot's chest rose and fell with his rapid breath, and a thin sheen of perspiration slicked his upper lip, but still he kept his distance.
You like watching me tease him, don't you? Do you realize I'm teasing you, too?
Treize led Duo to the bed and laid him back against the pillows. Slowly, he unwrapped the towel from the slender waist. He trailed his fingers lightly along Duo's torso from his collarbone to his navel, then stood back. Heero made a tentative move toward the bed but checked himself.
So this isn't enough to make you join us? You have more control than I thought. But it won't do you any good.
Treize carefully unbuttoned his uniform jacket, then peeled off the shirt beneath. With one knee on the bed, he bent over Duo's supine form, positioning his mouth just above one of the delicate, pink nipples. His practiced tongue bullied the soft flesh, drawing hushed, inarticulate keening from the young man.
"Louder, pretty one." Treize rhythmically pinched the swollen nugget until Duo writhed under his hand, then worked its twin to hardness. "Let him hear what your pleasure sounds like."
"Treize...ah, please...please..." Duo's hands scrabbled at the covers as Treize rubbed his nipples between his thumbs and forefingers.
Heero edged closer each time Duo cried out. He had nearly reached the bed when Treize straightened, leaving Duo panting, eyes closed, legs wide. Treize removed the rest of his clothing, his movements precise yet leisurely. At last, he saw Heero's interest split between the enticing little form spread before him on the bed and Treize's powerfully built, naked form.
I've got your attention now, don't I?
Treize lay beside Duo. With feather-light fingers, he stroked the young man's belly and thighs, purposefully refraining from touching the straining, twitching cock. He traced the outline of Duo's navel with firm swirls of his thumb, each sweep sidling closer to the soft nest of chestnut curls.
"Treize...touch me, damn it. Touch me...oh god, please..." Duo thrust his hips upward, pleading more desperately as Treize withheld the contact he craved. "Hurts for you not to touch me. Need it, so bad..."
Do you hear him begging for me, Heero? He slid his fingers through the silken hair that curled around the root of Duo's penis. You can pretend all you like, but I know what this is doing to you. What he's doing to you. What I'm doing to you.
Treize rolled over, covering Duo's body with his own, briefly letting his partner rub against him. Even that small touch elicited sobs of relief from the young pilot.
"Oh, shit....please don't stop. Need to feel you..."
Duo struggled to pull Treize more firmly on top of him, but Treize gently pushed aside his hands. He allowed the barest touch between them, lightly grinding his hips in a broad circle against the younger man's pelvis. Duo had to want to be taken, want it so badly that he forgot to be afraid. Treize would not rush him. He had not forgotten how quickly the boy's desire could evaporate when he felt even the slightest bit forced.
Judging from his frantic, imploring cries, he had nearly reached the place where his body utterly ruled his mind. Determined to bring him totally into the present, to a place where yearning did not mix with fear, Treize reached down, stroking Duo's balls with the merest pressure. Duo arched his back, his body bent into a quivering bow.
A movement at the edge of his vision made Treize look up. Heero tugged off his stolen uniform and flung himself on the bed beside Duo. He stared at his fellow pilot with an undisguised craving, shuddering with restrained need.
Just a little more. And then you can both have what you need.
Treize continued to stroke the soft flesh of Duo's balls, weighing them in his hands. The young man lifted his knees, spread them wide, all the while pleading softly. Treize lowered his hand to stroke Duo's entrance. Duo mewled but did not pull away, and Treize probed him gently with his finger. He met with no resistance and thrust a little deeper. The pilot rocked his hips against Treize's hand, sobbing, imploring.
Treize's own body responded with an electrifying jolt. Even as he reminded himself that this was not about his own pleasure, he bent his head to Duo's opening, rimming the edge with his tongue as he pushed upward with his hand. He savored the particular texture of flesh and muscle, the sweet-sour taste, the sight of that tiny pink sphincter stretching around his fingers.
"Oh god, Treize, don't stop, I'll die if you stop." Duo tossed his head, babbling, almost incoherent with desire.
A warm pressure against his leg pulled his attention from the frenzied pilot. Heero pressed against him, his eyes closed, his face tight, concentrated. Treize felt the hard strength of the pilot's body, angular and unrelenting, and he understood the reality of Heero's fear of hurting Duo. The pilot rubbed himself against Treize's muscled thigh, silent but no less frantic than the boy who panted beneath him.
Treize reached his free hand to smooth the jagged, dark edge of Heero's bangs. It pleased him when the young pilot tilted his head back to receive the caress instead of jerking away, as he had half expected. His features had none of Duo's openness or generosity, but they had an intense, minimalist beauty of their own, as if some internal fire seared away everything nonessential.
No wonder Duo wanted him so...
"Do you feel left out, little one?" Treize slid his fingers out of Duo's body, took Heero's arm and guided him closer. "Here. I can share."
He lifted Heero's square, callused hand and pressed it to Duo's chest. Heero's hand twitched as it made contact with Duo's flesh, dark and tan in contrast with the smaller boy's softer, paler skin. Awkwardly, he did as he'd watched Treize do, moved his hand along the ridges of Duo's ribcage, obviously struggling to be gentle.
Duo opened his eyes.
So much longing in that one word.
Heero shifted himself, leaned down to kiss Duo. At first, they touched hesitantly. Heero reminded Treize of one of his hunting dogs, still on the leash after he had scented their prey, impatient, straining, yet willfully holding back until given permission to run their quarry to earth. Treize stroked the pilot's hair.
Time to let him run.
"Now, Heero. Make him yours."
Treize moved away from Duo, feeling the cool air fan his skin where warm flesh had pressed against him a moment ago. A dim sense of loss ached somewhere deep in his belly, but he put it aside, watching the two young men discover each other.
The kiss deepened. Heero slid his body onto Duo's, and the smaller boy sighed with relief as their erections touched. The sounds of his contentment appeared to encourage Heero, who began to grind his hips firmly against his partner's. The Japanese pilot caught Duo's swollen lip in his teeth, chewed at it and then released it to move his mouth over Duo's chin, down his neck, then back up the same path to kiss him again. His hands moved up the slight body beneath him, surer now, his fingers plucking at the hard buds of Duo's nipples.
Treize watched the contact between the two pilots grow more heated. His body responded with an urgency that startled him as the two young men grappled with each other, a tangle of oak and ivory limbs. Duo's hands raked Heero's back as the Wing pilot pressed hard against him and they both sought the solace of friction. Heero's fingers dug into the soft places of Duo's body. The long-haired boy cried out, and Treize could not tell if it was in pain or pleasure or some complex fusion of both.
Heero growled deep in his throat. The sound troubled Treize. Was the boy losing his control? He thought of the fierce strength he'd felt in the young man. It would be so easy for him to hurt Duo.
Their joining grew more frenetic. Heero pressed Duo's hands to the bed, his fingers closing around the slim wrists with what had to be bruising strength. Duo eyes flew open, and he looked wildly around him, as if he had forgotten where he was. His arms and legs stiffened as he tried to pull away from Heero's onslaught.
No, Heero, stop. You're frightening him.
Treize reached out to Heero, seized the narrow, thrusting hips with enough strength to distract the pilot. Heero turned away from Duo, snarling at the man who'd interrupted his pleasure. Treize glared at him, shaking his head. Heero glanced down at the slender figure panting under him. He took a shuddering breath, then raised pleading eyes to Treize.
I won't let you hurt him, Heero. It's all right. Trust me if you can't trust yourself.
Still with his hands on Heero's hips, Treize showed him the pressure and rhythm that would excite both of them without making Duo retreat into the nightmare of his memories. As Heero accepted his guidance, Treize's hand wandered a little, over the bony ridge of the boy's hip and the flat, hard muscles of his stomach, down the front of his lean thighs. Over Heero's shoulder, he watched the fear drain from Duo's face, heard pleasure return to his soft cries.
Heero pressed against Duo, lay chest-to-chest with him. The smaller boy wrapped his arms around his lover's torso, nuzzled his cheek against his shoulder. Heero looked down at the face only inches from his own, lifted a finger to trace lips, eyelids, nose, and an expression of wonder flushed his own features. Treize smiled with understanding; he'd felt the same awe himself.
Treize took a bottle of oil from a bedside table and poured it into his hand. He slid his hand between Heero's thighs, smoothed the oil over the pilot's thick, smooth cock. Heero bucked as Treize stroked him, snarling in frustration as he controlled his desire. Treize slowly smeared more of the oil over Heero's flesh, both to make his entry easier for Duo and to savor the feel of the hot, twitching rod in his own hand. Heero's thrashing reverberated through Treize's body to settle into a solid ache between his thighs.
He poured more oil and prepared Duo's entrance to receive his lover. That, too, was a task he relished, and he completed it with deliberate precision. Without speaking, he guided Heero, positioning him carefully. The Japanese pilot shook with need, but he allowed Treize to direct him.
Ah, Heero. It's worth holding yourself back a little to be able to claim the gifts he can give.
Duo tensed at first, but Heero pushed slowly into his body, moving with the cadence Treize set for him. The Colonel watched the pale boy on the pillows for any signs of pain, but the look on his face was more akin to rapture than agony. Eyes half-closed, a little, pink tongue wetting his lips, he clung to Heero, his hands roaming over the other boy's lean, brown body.
It's sweet to watch his pleasure...to watch both of them. For a moment, Treize wildly thought what it would be like to keep them both, to watch them make love to each other every night, to instruct them in the art of passion. He clenched his fists against the shock of excitement that ran riot through his body.
You're a fool, an idiot. This is not for you. Don't forget the world that exists beyond this bed.
The forms of the two boys, lost in their own enjoyment of each other, blurred. Treize leaned back. Heero no longer needed him. He worked Duo, if not gently, at least without violence, taking care that his partner experienced satisfaction. And Duo had, finally, what he wished for.
Treize began to move away from the coupling boys, loathe to disturb their joy yet unable to observe it any longer. He slipped from his position behind Heero, preparing to ease himself off the bed-although where he would go when he left them, he had no idea-when a tiny, distressed moue drew his gaze back to Duo's flushed face.
"Treize?" Duo held out his hand. "Don't go."
Treize hesitated, then clasped the long, white fingers. "It's all right, pretty one. I won't leave you."
Duo smiled even as he groaned in delight as Heero's thrusts stroked him. Nearly breathless, he said, "Not scared...just want you here."
He tugged on Treize's hand, making the older man lean down. His other hand snaked behind Treize's head, pulling him close enough to kiss. The boy's swollen lips nursed at his own, the quick, little tongue darting into his mouth. He felt Heero's hand tangle in the back of his hair, stroke the nape of his neck. Duo's kiss grew more insistent, and Treize responded, his own tongue expertly caressing the young man's mouth.
Treize, still captured by the boys' attentions, slid his hand down Duo's chest, his belly, wrapped his fingers around the heated pillar of the boy's cock. In concert with Heero's thrusts, he caressed smooth flesh, slick with Duo's moisture. He swallowed the little pilot's intoxicating squeals, felt the echo of Heero's rhythm as Duo's mouth rocked against his.
Heero's hand tightened around a fistful of Treize's hair. With a throaty growl, he drove deeply into Duo's body, and Treize felt his climax almost as though it were his own. He pulled away from Duo's lips, listening for the sobbing breaths that told him this pilot, too, was near to coming. Even as Heero pumped his seed into his lover's body, Treize brought the other boy to his summit. With a sharp cry, Duo came, his warm essence spattering all three of their bodies.
Both boys lay motionless, eyes closed, still gasping for breath. Treize smiled at the picture the two of them made, curled around each other like young animals in a nest. He pushed Duo's damp hair off the boy's face, earning him a tired, contented smile and a brief nuzzle against his hand. Heero wormed closer to the warmth of his lover's body, his hand groping blindly for the other boy, drawing him closer. A soft chuckle escaped Treize. I never would have suspected that Heero likes to cuddle.
Treize eased himself off the bed. This time, neither boy seemed to notice, lost as they were in the glowing afterburn of their lovemaking. But just as he was about to move away, Duo half-opened his eyes and caught Treize's arm.
"Where're you going? You keep trying to leave."
He tried to free himself, but the boy clung tightly. "Duo, you have to let go."
Duo's voice sounded fierce, possessive. "Not yet, I don't."
"Hn." Heero leaned up on one elbow and touched Treize's hip. "I thought you said we had until dark."
"So I did." Two pairs of eyes watched him, eager and imploring and perhaps still a little frightened.
Duo tugged on his arm. "C'mon. Stay for a while. Please?"
Who could possibly resist those eyes? Treize smiled and combed Duo's bangs with his fingers. "As you wish, pretty one."
Four hands drew him back to the bed. Two warm mouths fastened on his body, demanding as hungry kittens. Two lean bodies pressed against him, one on each side, twin heated columns rubbing against his thighs. Treize groaned and reached for the two young men.
Duo rested his cheek against Treize's, his hair draping over them, his lips against Treize's ear. "Let us, Treize. We both owe you, and...and we want to. Please?"
"Duo...ahhhh." Treize gasped as Heero's teeth nipped at a sensitive patch of skin. "It seems... I'm at your mercy."
"Uh-huh." Duo kissed the tip of the OZ commander's nose. "So you may as well not fight us. You won't win."
He's right. I can't beat them. And I don't want to.
Treize quit fighting.
Heero adjusted the gun on the belt of his stolen uniform. He hoped they wouldn't need it, but nothing on this mission had gone quite the way anyone planned. He stole a look at Duo, nodded with approval as the other pilot concealed his own weapon under the disguise of his coveralls.
"Are you ready?"
Treize's voice drew Heero's attention away from the willowy boy fastening his clothing.
"Nearly." Heero met the Colonel's clear blue eyes. "Have you cleared us for takeoff?"
"Yes. Report to gate C-8. Your shuttle will be waiting."
Duo looked up. "You aren't coming to the gate with us?"
Treize and Heero exchanged glances. "No. It will be safer for you if I don't."
Intent, Heero watched Duo's face. A tiny tremor worked across the braided pilot's lip as Treize's statement registered.
His voice cool, Treize cut off the pilot's protest. "Duo, a soldier doesn't question orders."
"Treize?" Duo blinked rapidly, his violet eyes shining suspiciously. "But...but we might not see you again."
"No, I don't imagine that you will." Treize turned away, ostensibly to pick up his gloves, but Heero caught the look of pain in the man's eyes. "I hope that we don't. We would be enemies." The cool, patrician voiced quaked so slightly Heero thought he might have imagined it, had it not been for those anguished eyes. "I don't want to be your enemy, Duo."
"I don't want to be yours, either." Duo stared at the floor. Kicking at the pattern of the rug, he muttered, "War sucks."
His back still to Duo, Treize slowly pulled on his gloves without a word. Duo's jaw set stubbornly, and Heero thought that he looked like a child who's been told he can't have the one toy he wants. He almost expected the pilot to stomp his feet in a display of temper.
The older man turned and smiled, finally, gently lifting Duo's chin. Before the boy could protest, Treize kissed him. At first, Duo resisted angrily, but Treize pulled him closer, and he surrendered, flinging his arms around the tall man with a poignant cry. The kiss lengthened, but when Duo trembled, Treize broke away. Briefly, he touched a long chestnut strand that escaped from the confines of the boy's braid.
Ducking his head so that his heavy bangs hid his face, Duo whispered, "Good-bye, Treize."
Heero felt skewered between the misery of these two, felt the resonance of their kiss in the core of his own being, a sad, bright echo of something that might have been. But he could do nothing for either of them. The only cures he knew for that sort of hurt were action-and time. He opened the door to Treize's private exit.
"Duo. It's time to go."
Without looking up, Duo nodded.
Heero glanced back at Treize, who stood in the open doorway that led to his office.
The Colonel accepted Heero's thanks with a slight bow. "And you, as well." An enigmatic smile softened the sadness in his eyes. "Heero, one last bit of advice..."
"Don't be afraid to tell him."
Tell him? "What...?"
"Never mind. You must go now."
Duo slipped into the half-dark of the corridor without a word to either man. At the mouth of the exit, Heero paused. After a moment's hesitation, he met the Colonel's ice-blue eyes. Straightening his back, he raised his hand and saluted the man who was his greatest enemy.
The house was dark when Duo and Heero arrived. Duo stretched, scratching his head.
"Doesn't look like anyone's awake."
Heero unlocked the door and they went inside. A solitary light burned in the kitchen.
"That's strange," Duo said.
Heero nodded. "Wait here. I'll see what's up."
Duo looked around the entry, surprised that everything should look the same as when he left. Well, hell, it's only been two days. What'd you expect?
Two days. How was it possible? In two days, everything had changed. Nothing would ever be the same again. He heard Heero in the kitchen. I hope things have changed, anyway.
The light in the kitchen snapped off, and Heero came back to the entry. "Quatre left a note. Wufei's on a mission, and Trowa and Quatre drove him to pick up Nataku." He ripped the paper into tiny fragments. "He shouldn't write things like that on paper and leave them lying around. It's dangerous."
"Yeah." Back in the house, Duo felt awkward again. The last two days had been full of intensity, and all of them had operated in a continuous adrenalin rush. Now, normalcy-or at least what passed for normal in lives like theirs-closed back in on them.
"You okay? You aren't saying much."
In the dark hallway, Heero's eyes looked like inky pools. Duo swallowed. Now what? He goes to his room and I go to mine? He started to climb the stairs.
"Whatcha want me to talk about?"
He stood with his hand on the railing, holding his breath so he wouldn't miss Heero's answer. Suddenly, a warm, callused hand covered his.
"I don't really want you to talk, Duo." Heero played with his braid, lifted it, kissed the back of Duo's neck. "But I'd like it if you listened for a minute. Now, before we go up to our room."
Our room? "I-I'm listening."
"Treize and I talked while you were in the shower."
"Well, yeah, I figured that out."
Heero laughed quietly. "No, not just about that. He...he told me you'd met before."
Duo turned, his eyes wide. "Huh? You're kidding! But..."
Heero stopped him, laying a finger on his lips. "Just listen. He told me that you didn't lead the OZ soldiers to the safe house that night. He said he had no idea you were a Gundam pilot until they captured you."
Duo nodded. "He didn't. I never told him my name-and he didn't tell me his."
"I know. It wasn't you at all, Duo. It was me."
Him? I don't get this... "What are you talking about?"
"OZ traced me when I hacked into their network. I thought I'd covered myself, but I didn't. It was my fault."
"Oh." What do I say now?
"I blamed you. I was wrong. And then I didn't trust you to handle this mission. I put you in danger because I didn't think I could make a mistake, and I'm sorry."
"Oh," Duo repeated, feeling like more of an idiot than usual. "It all turned out okay, though."
He blushed, thinking of the results of Heero's interference.
Heero reached for Duo's hand. "And there's one more thing."
Now what? I don't think I can take one more thing. "Yeah?"
"Just before we left, Treize gave me some advice. I didn't know what he meant. But I thought about it on the shuttle. And now I understand."
The only light in the entryway came from the moon, nearly full, high and clear in the winter sky. In the silver-blue light, Heero looked like a wraith, insubstantial, unreal. Maybe none of this has been real. Maybe it's all been a dream...
Ink-dark eyes peered at him from the half-shadows. "I love you, Duo."
A pair of strong arms wrapped around him. "I know that Treize meant something to you. I-I'll try not to be jealous. I...Duo?"
Duo hid his face against Heero's shoulder. His eyes burned and he choked back a noise that would have sounded suspiciously like a sob.
"Duo, you're crying."
"I thought you never lied." He could hear the smile in Heero's voice. "What's wrong?"
Duo took a shuddering breath. "When we said goodbye...Heero, it's like he's two people in the same body, and I-I..." And I think I fell in love with both of them.
But he couldn't tell that to Heero, not when the stoic pilot had just said the very thing Duo swore he'd sell his soul to hear. So he just stood silent for a long time, clinging to Heero in the moonlight. The other boy seemed satisfied to hold him, petting his hair gently, his arms a welcome shelter.
Can I love two of you? Is that all right? Because I do...
Heero rested his cheek against Duo's hair. When he spoke, it was with a different voice, almost soft, full of understanding.
"It's okay. I won't forget about him, either."
Duo burrowed his forehead against Heero's shoulder. "I hope he gets as lucky as I did."
Heero lightly fingered the bruise on Duo's cheek, a shadow on his pale skin deeper than the other shadows. "You have a funny way of defining luck."
Duo ran his fingers through Heero's tousled hair. "Luck is where you find it." He grinned at the Japanese pilot, wondering if the soft sheen over those inky eyes was a trick of the quicksilver light.
They kissed, gentle and sweet at first, then with all the heat of desire.
The night surrounded them, two boys who'd dared to play with the most dangerous fire of all. In the pale moonlight, war faded to nothingness, pain and death receded into darkness. They huddled around the blaze of their shared passion, no longer fearing what the flames might illuminate, content in the warmth they gave one another.
On to the epilogue. Back to part nine.