The hallways were dark, lit only by the silver, ghostly light of the full moon shining through the fairy-glass. The household had settled down an hour before. Not many people were stirring after the long day of celebrations. However, one lithe figure moved through the shadows, pausing every now and again to listen to see if anyone was following. He'd been lucky so far. He'd managed to make it to the back entrance of the palace without attracting the guards' attention. Sadly, he was so intent on getting past the outer guards, he didn't notice the small figure sliding up behind him.
"I thought after last time you'd be over the whole escaping the palace thing," a voice said from behind him, causing the Unseleigh prince to nearly jump out of his skin.
"Yah!" he screamed in surprise as he turned to see two aqua-blue eyes staring at him from under a mop of golden hair. He clapped his hands over his mouth, hoping that no one had heard his surprised outburst. "Quatre!" he whispered, pulling the winged sidhe close. "What're you trying to do? Give me heart failure?"
"What are you doing, Duo?" Quatre asked, ignoring his friend's question.
Duo looked away, shifting his weight from foot to foot like a guilty child. "Nothing," he mumbled, his wings fluttering involuntarily.
Quatre merely looked at him. "I thought you didn't lie, Duo." He waved a hand at the prince's wings. "You've re-dyed your wings. Dark purple and white? Looks to me like you're going out on a nighttime flight and don't want to be seen."
"Quatre, please don't say anything."
"Tell me where you are going first."
Duo sighed. "I'm... going to meet Heero."
The blonde sidhe gasped. It had taken two days of endless wheedling by both him and Hilde to get Duo to tell them about the Seleigh warrior that had let him go. Both his friends had been shocked when Duo had told them he had allowed the other sidhe to place a truth spell on him. But even more surprising were the feelings Duo had professed for the dark-haired warrior. Quatre had tried to convince Duo that the Seleigh soldier was just using him, but Duo wouldn't listen.
"Duo, please, I think you are making a mistake," the blonde sidhe said, grabbing his arm.
"Look Quatre, you know what I told you. Something strange is happening between us. We need to figure it out." He jerked his arm away out of his friend's grasp. "Please, don't make me order you to stay quiet."
The two friends stared at each other, neither one wavering. Finally, Quatre slumped his shoulders in defeat. "At least let me go with you."
"No. You and Hilde are together now. I won't risk you. I can take care of myself." When Quatre looked doubtful, Duo gave him a little push. "Go back to bed, Quatre. I'll be fine. I'll see you in the morning."
"Be careful Duo. Promise me you'll be careful."
"I promise. May I go now?"
Quatre surprised him by giving him an unexpected hug. "I expect to see you here in the morning," the blonde sidhe said before turning and heading back inside the palace.
Duo stared after him for a moment before heading back out. He couldn't keep Heero waiting.
A cacophony of insects, coupled by the low songs of a family of frogs across the pond blended together in an endless night symphony. Heero took a deep breath, breathing in the cool, crisp night air. He stood on the edge of the pond underneath the willow tree, watching the moonlight play over the water.
He glanced up at the silver orb hanging low in the sky, shifting impatiently. He was early. Duo wouldn't be there for a little while longer yet. He looked around, taking in his surroundings. His eyes widened as he noticed an abandoned bird's nest nearby that had apparently fallen to the ground some time before. Curious, he walked over to it.
The nest had been well built. It had survived the fall mostly intact. He shivered slightly as a small breeze blew across the water. Looking at the nest again, he decided it would be a good place for him and Duo to sit, sheltered out of the wind while they... talked. Heero swallowed. His hands were almost trembling as he thought of the beautiful violet-eyed prince.
Sighing he glanced at the moon again. Still not time yet. He decided to make their... nest more comfortable. He hurried around the area, gathering up leaves and soft grasses to place in the bottom of the nest so that they could have something comfortable to sit on. He was patting the last of the grass in place when he heard wings approaching from across the water.
Duo alit gently on a nearby rock. Heero sucked in his breath as he watched. For a moment, the moon was suspended behind the Unseleigh prince, casting an ethereal glow around the boy that made him look... well, quite simply breathtaking. Heero felt his heart leap into his throat as Duo stepped down and walked toward him.
"Hello, Heero," the long-haired prince said almost shyly, smiling up at him.
The Seleigh warrior had to force himself to not reach out and touch the boy standing in front of him. He bit down on his lip, forcing himself to look away from those amaryllis pools that threatened to suck him in and never let him go. He shifted his eyes past Duo's face to look at his wings, which had been dyed yet again.
Duo drew back, frowning as if hurt. Heero immediately felt guilty.
"What?" the prince asked plaintively.
"Your wings. I... I don't understand why your kind insist on dyeing them frivolous colors every other day."
Duo cocked his head and looked at him as if he was crazy. "Why do you dye yours brown?"
"Camouflage," the Seleigh warrior answered automatically. "Brown is harder to see in the forests."
"Hmmm... well would it surprise you to know we dye ours for camouflage too?"
Heero threw his head back and laughed. "Don't be silly. We'd spot your ridiculously colored wings from twenty leagues away."
"You think so, eh? Okay, close your eyes. I'm going to hide. Try to find me."
Heero gave him a funny look before deciding to indulge the Unseleigh prince. He closed his eyes and waited. A moment later Duo's voice from somewhere above him told him he could look.
He turned his head up, expecting to spot Duo immediately. But all he saw was the starlit sky among the branches of the tree. He blinked and turned around, searching for the errant prince. He knew Duo was up there somewhere... he'd heard his voice come from above. But why was he having trouble finding him? Those white spots on his wings should have been...
The white spots. Of course. Clever boy... those white spots were blending in to the sky above, making him think he was looking at stars. "Come on down, Duo," he called out. "You've made your point."
A section of the "sky" above him moved, revealing Duo to be hanging upside down on one of the branches above him. He'd used his wings to hide his body. The Unseleigh prince giggled and dropped down next to him.
"See?" he said, giving Heero a toothy grin, "There be method to this madness."
"Hn. But that doesn't explain the... vibrant colors some of you use. Red stands out easily amongst the green."
"But not amongst a field of red flowers." Duo cocked his head to one side. "You know, I could be damning my people by telling you all this."
"Not likely. Just because I know where to look doesn't mean I'll see."
"True. In that case... what about your wings? They stand out as much as ours you know."
"What are you talking about, baka?" Heero asked, irritated. "Dark greens and browns blend into the surroundings more easily than reds and blues."
"True." The Unseleigh prince walked around Heero, appraising the warrior's strong, brown wings. "But tell me honestly, Heero. Where in nature do you find that shade of brown concentrated in one large area like your wings are?"
Heero shook his head. "I don't understand."
Duo looked around and sighed. "Let's find a place to sit down and I'll show you."
Heero suddenly remembered the nest and gestured for Duo to follow him. When Duo caught sight of the nest for the first time, he gave a long appreciative whistle. "Someone took the time to prepare this. It looks like others have met here for midnight trysts before us." As soon as he said the words he felt his face turn bright red. He glanced over at Heero who was also blushing furiously.
"I, uh, thought it would be more comfortable than sitting on the ground," he explained haltingly, trying to banish the erotic mental images that Duo's words had placed in his mind.
"Um, thanks," Duo said quietly, stepping into the nest. He motioned for Heero to have a seat. Duo sat down in front of him with legs crossed underneath.
"Explain what you meant about my wings," Heero ordered, flapping his slightly in irritation.
"How about if I just show you?" Duo asked hesitantly. "Would... would you let me use magic on you?"
Heero looked at him for a moment before nodding. "You let me place a truth spell on you. This is the least I can do. Do ahead. I trust you."
'I trust you.' Duo's heart fluttered at those three little words. Getting to his knees, he moved around so that he was kneeling behind Heero. With trembling hands, he placed the tips of his fingers on Heero's wings. Reaching deep inside himself, he touched the pool of magic that resided within, bringing it to the surface and channeling it through his fingertips.
Gently he changed the color of Heero's wings. He used different shades of browns and greens, earth colors that would blend in with Heero's surroundings better than one solid color could ever do. He traced random patterns across the silky smooth surfaces of the appendages. His breathing grew heavier as he leaned closer to Heero's muscular back. The scent of the Unseleigh warrior was intoxicating. He had to force his emotions down several times during the process, lest his libido take control of him and he jumped the Seleigh warrior right there.
At last, when he was done to his satisfaction, he slid back around so that he was once again facing Heero. The Seleigh warrior fanned out his wings, turning his head so he could see them.
"What did you do?" he asked, looking at the myriad of colors now spread across his wings.
"You'll blend in to your surroundings better now. The blended colors look a lot more natural than one, solid color," Duo explained, hoping that Heero wouldn't be too upset with him.
Heero's eyes opened wider as he realized the Unseleigh prince was right. He could blend in against the leaves of a tree just as easily as the grass on the ground now. Why he or any of his people had never thought of this before was beyond his understanding. Finally they'd have a new defense against...
The Seleigh warrior turned his head to look back at the braided prince who was sitting shyly beside him, waiting for him to speak. "You're smarter than you let on, Duo," Heero said teasingly, smiling at the boy. "You make a valid point. I thank you for showing me this."
Duo blushed and looked down. "You're welcome," he whispered, not quite trusting his voice.
"Still, that doesn't explain why you dye such elaborate patterns into your wings. As you've shown me here, a random pattern seems more suitable."
Duo rolled his eyes. "We do it because it's fun, Heero. You do know what fun is right?"
"Hn. Play is for children. There's not much time in our lives for 'fun.'"
The violet-eyed prince looked at him incredulously. "You mean you never just let loose? You never let your hair down?" Heero looked at him pointedly. "Ok, bad analogy... but really. You've never just... done something utterly silly just for the fun of it?"
Duo got a devilish gleam in his eye. "Well it's time you learn something else, Yuy." He reached out and tapped Heero on the shoulder. "Tag. You're it."
Heero blinked as Duo leapt to his feet and zoomed away over the water. He hesitated only for a moment before grinning wolfishly and taking off after the retreating prince.
He caught up to the young prince quickly enough, but Duo glanced over his shoulder and laughed before he veered sharply downward, causing Heero to fly right over him. The Seleigh warrior growled and changed direction. Duo continued to elude him, performing an amazing set of aerobatics, twisting and turning in the air like a fish through water. Heero couldn't help but be impressed. He was also amazed to find himself enjoying the chase. He hadn't had this much fun in... well, since he was a child. Even then, he couldn't ever remember a time when he had felt this carefree.
Duo brought an end to the chase by coming to an abrupt halt in front of him. Heero pulled back just in time to keep from slamming into the boy. The Unseleigh prince laughed and clapped his hands.
"Ooooh, that was fun, Heero," he said, grinning. "I haven't done that in ages!"
"It was fun. Thank you, Duo," the dark-haired sidhe said, trying to catch his breath.
They hovered in the air for a moment before a devilish gleam crept into Duo's violet eyes. "Heero, have you ever skimmed the water before?"
Heero's brow furrowed in confusion. "I don't think I know the term."
Duo's grin grew bigger. "Trust me."
The braided boy reached out and grabbed Heero's hand, causing both of them to jump a little at the contact. Duo gripped Heero's hand tightly, pulling the Seleigh sidhe high into the air. He stopped them when they reached treetop height. Duo turned to Heero and squeezed his hand reassuringly.
"Trust me," he said again, as he pulled Heero into a steep dive.
Heero could only watch as the water grew closer and closer. He tried to pull out of the dive but Duo held fast onto his hand. They were gaining speed, and Heero knew that if they didn't pull up soon, they'd crash into the water, breaking both of their necks.
"Duo!" he cried out, trying again to get the braided prince to pull up.
"Not yet, Hee-chan!" Duo yelled back as the water loomed closer.
Just as Heero thought they were lost, Duo snapped his wings out and pulled up. They were centimeters above the water. Duo stretched out his free hand, skimming it along the surface of the pond, sending a stream of water behind them. Heero did the same. Tiny droplets fell on them both like rain, cooling them off as they gradually came to a stop.
Duo smiled at him, breathing hard. "Tell me that wasn't the greatest thrill of your life." Heero merely looked at the Unseleigh prince, drinking in his appearance. Once again the boy was bathed in moonlight. His glorious chestnut hair was coming free from his braid to wisp around his heart-shaped face. He could feel Duo's pulse pounding under his skin from where he still held his hand. The fey prince was simply too beautiful for words. He shook his head.
"No, it wasn't. This is."
He leaned forward to brush his lips against Duo's. He heard the prince's breath hitch in his throat as he swept his tongue inside, drinking in Duo's unique taste. Violet eyes closed as tongues moved together in a lazy rhythm. Heero gently maneuvered them back toward the willow tree. Duo's hands clutched desperately at the front of Heero's tunic as the Seleigh sidhe brought them down in the middle of the nest.
He wasn't aware of sinking to his knees until he felt Duo in his arms, leaning against his chest as they kissed. Once again the nagging little voice in the back of his mind asked him what he was doing. He was supposed to be working with Duo, trying to figure out what was happening to them, not drinking from his lips as if he were dying of thirst. Reluctantly, *very* reluctantly, he pulled away.
Duo's eyes were glassed over as they stared at each other, faces still very close to one another. Heero swallowed as he tasted Duo's breath on his own.
"Duo, we have to stop," he whispered, trying to find his voice.
"Why?" the Unseleigh prince mewled back, squirming in his arms.
"Because... because if we don't stop now, I won't be able to stop later."
Duo licked his lips, causing Heero to groan low in the back of his throat. He reached up and wrapped one arm around Heero's neck. "So don't stop."
"Duo... are you sure? I mean, we haven't figured out..."
The violet-eyed boy silenced him with another earth-shattering kiss. The nagging little voice in Heero's mind screamed at him to stop. But Duo was so warm and felt so right in his arms that he crushed the voice with one thought. There would be enough time later to deal with everything. Right now, he only wanted to explore the silky smooth skin beneath his own.
He lay Duo down on the soft grasses in the nest. As they moved together, mouth and hands exploring new territory, Heero knew that he was completely lost. His heart and soul now belong to his enemy. And as he kissed his way down Duo's slender neck, he realized that he couldn't have cared less.