Story: A YOUNG MAN’S FANCY
Author: FancyFigures ([email protected])
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, wish I did, just enjoy writing about ‘em for free etc
Pairings: 2x1, 3x4, (hints) 3x4x5
Category: Humour, Romance
Warnings: Yaoi, lemon
Notes: Heero is in sore need of relaxation: Duo has more than enough of his own so he feels he has time to help out his friend. Their other friends are merely innocent bystanders... or are they??
Feedback: If you liked it, PLEASE let me know!
Heero came striding into the kitchen, his expression twisted with purpose – a decidedly murderous purpose. He opened the fridge door, pulled out a carton of milk, and slammed it so hard on the table that four other glasses shuddered on their bases, and one rolled completely over.
Wufei grunted behind the local paper; Quatre paused, fork half-way to his rounded lips. Trowa watched, with almost detached interest, as the remains of his tropical fruit juice dripped off the table edge and on to his knee.
Duo continued eating his pancakes, but he was the one who spoke first. “What’s up with your face, Heero?”
Heero turned abruptly away from them all. He seemed unusually interested in finding a clean glass over by the sink.
“Hey,” called Duo, darting a mischievous glance at the startled faces around the breakfast table. “No need to be embarrassed. You’re among friends; we don’t mind your afflictions. Though it’s kind of weird to have you winking at me all the time.” He reached across Wufei’s arm to grab the maple syrup and cheerfully splurged another helping over his food. He didn’t look directly at Heero, but he smiled. “Kind of cute, though.”
“What do you mean, Duo?” Trowa often had an expression on his face as if he were a couple of sentences behind everyone else. Sometimes, in his easygoing way, he found that preferable. “Heero winking at you?”
Heero turned to glare at him, and anyone else who happened to be looking – which at that moment included all four pairs of eyes around the table.
“Oh,” said Trowa, curiously. “I see.”
“What do you see?” barked Heero.
They stared at him and he stared back, belligerently. Well – at least one of his eyes did. The left one flickered very distractingly, the lid shaking, the skin of his cheek twitching with involuntary vigour. The eye closed swiftly, then opened again.
“See?” smiled Duo. “At long last he falls for my sensual grace and witty charm.”
“What’s wrong with your eye?” Quatre looked genuinely interested. “Is it some kind of disease?”
“Is something caught in it?” Trowa offered, more helpfully.
“It’s due to stress,” snapped Wufei. “Like I’m surprised. You’re always wound up like a corkscrew from the very nanosecond you wake, and now you wonder why your body finally reacts against it.”
“I don’t suffer from stress,” Heero growled back. He gripped the milk carton as if it were trying to escape. His knuckles were whiter than the shuddering liquid. “It’ll pass.”
“Dunno about that,” grinned Duo, swallowing the last of his pancake with an enthusiastic lick of his lips. “Your eye’s been like that for days.”
If looks really could kill, Heero’s glare would have left his friend a puddle of molten drizzle on his plate alongside the syrup. “It’ll pass,” he repeated, grimly and doggedly. That was his usual response to controversy. A homicidal light sparked in his right eye, but the effect was rather overshadowed by the fascinating antics of the winking left one. “You’re all overreacting.”
“You need to learn to relax,” said Quatre. He peered at the left side of Heero’s face with fascination, his breakfast largely forgotten.
“I can relax,” Heero said, his rigid limbs giving the lie to every word. Quatre looked at Wufei; Wufei glanced across at Trowa; Trowa caught Duo’s eye. There were a couple of hastily swallowed sighs.
Heero scowled. “What do you all mean by relax, anyway?”
Duo turned in his chair to grin directly at him. “Let loose sometimes. Express your feelings; show some passion. Hell, I’ve hardly ever heard you curse – or give me a run for my money in an argument. It ain’t natural.”
“Use your imagination,” added Quatre. His gaze travelled thoughtfully up and down Heero’s soberly dressed body; examined his stiff military bearing. He tried not to roll his eyes: Heero didn’t always take well to personal criticism. “Enjoy things; be more frivolous. Spring is in the air – we’re young and currently commitment-free. Look at what other people our age are doing: eating and drinking appallingly unhealthy things; following fashion; going out on a Saturday night.”
“Having plenty of sex,” said Trowa cheerily. Four pairs of startled eyes swivelled across the room and stared at him, instead. “What?” he protested. “That’s right, isn’t it?” He saw that Quatre’s face was scarlet, but he thought he’d find out later what that was about. “You need to have more sex, Heero.”
“That presupposes he’s getting some in the first place,” murmured Wufei, still sheltered behind his paper. “Growling at the postman does not qualify as an intimate physical relationship.”
Duo stood up and moved to Heero’s side. “You need some help with that?” he asked, his voice a little husky. “With the having more sex stuff?”
“No,” said Heero. “Is that your best suggestion for relaxation? A presumption that I’ll sleep with you?”
“Now, Heero,” Duo wheedled. “That’s so not true. It’s just that as Quatre said, it’s spring time, and I’d expect any healthy young guy’s fancy to turn to more … personal pleasures. Sensuality … seduction … surrender.” His eyes sparkled; he moistened his lips surreptitiously. “But I guess you’re repressing all that, right?”
Heero started to reply but Duo rushed on regardless. “No, don’t apologise, I understand completely, not in front of the others, sure.” Heero was gargling some protest but Duo was apparently oblivious. “So yeah, you’re hot and yeah, I know you want me and yeah, I know you’re fighting a losing battle over it. But at the moment, all I’m worrying about is your health.”
Heero looked unconvinced, though that may just have been the cast of his eye. “You’re outrageous. Arrogant. Predatory. Misguided.” He seemed to be ticking off a mental checklist.
Duo shrugged, not bothered. “But I know how to enjoy life, how to chill out. I can help you, Heero, help you get rid of that deformity –“
“It’s not a deformity,” said Heero. His eye twitched zealously.
“Look, give yourself over to me this weekend.” Duo slipped an arm around Heero’s tense shoulders: his tone was progressively more persuasive. “We’ll work through some issues, develop some strategies. I’ll get you to loosen up.”
“Strategies,” Heero repeated. “Loosen up.” Wufei noticed that he didn’t shrug off the touch, nor had he dismissed the wanting Duo accusation out of hand. The twitching had obviously worn down his resistance.
“You know it’s for your own good,” Duo concluded. “Hell, if that winking keeps up much longer, we can plant you in the garden and keep ships at bay. I’m your friend, Heero. I’ll sacrifice my time to this – to help you chill, despite the world’s stresses and strains.”
“If this is just another attempt to seduce me …”
Duo watched Heero’s eye flicker even more furiously. He widened his eyes in innocent reply. “Please, Heero. Trust me.” Then he grabbed Heero’s shoulders and quickly turned him towards the door.
As he passed the table, his eyes met Wufei’s. There was a definite ‘told you so’ look in the bright, blue depths.
The other three young men were left in the kitchen. Trowa nudged Quatre in the ribs. “What do you think? Will Duo succeed in helping Heero? I wonder what strategies he’ll try.”
There was silence in reply. The blond man was ignoring him. Pointedly
“What’s up, Quatre?” Trowa had always found the direct approach most successful and, incidentally, the easiest to maintain.
“You told them all we were having a full sexual relationship,” Quatre hissed. “All of them. Without them even asking. Over breakfast.”
Trowa frowned, puzzled. “No I didn’t. Well, not in those exact words. If I’d wanted to do that, I’d have told them who left the kitten-tail butt plug in the shower last Tuesday, and why you can’t wear thick cotton against your nipples at the moment, and that it wasn’t foxes that scared next door’s cat at 3am this morning, but the sound of your shrieks when I twisted –“
Wufei rose from the table, distracting Quatre’s uncharacteristic – and rather hypocritical – modesty. After all, it wasn’t as if they didn’t all know – or guess - what was going on in all the other pilots’ bedrooms in the small, dark hours of the night. Walls were thin … hormones were rampant. Though he’d still been laying guesses about the owner of the abandoned butt plug…
He carefully folded up his paper and let a sly smile slip across his face. “So who’s for staying in this weekend? Looks like we’ve got plenty of home-grown entertainment.”
Quatre glanced quickly at him. His humiliation seemed to be forgotten; his ears pricked up with interest. “You mean Duo’s attempts to seduce Heero?”
Wufei nodded. Their eyes met with mischief in mind.
“Of course, we mustn’t interfere,” said Trowa, firmly. He reached for the coffee pot to pour himself a cup. “It’s hardly a seduction – just Duo helping out a friend. We’ll leave them to it. It’s for Heero’s health, after all.”
But when he turned around to ask someone to pass the sugar, he found himself in a totally empty room.
The door to Duo’s room was firmly shut, but the voices of the young men inside could be heard out in the corridor.
“You’re fucking right.” Heero’s voice sounded more than a little weary. And the tone was still monotonous.
“OK,” came Duo’s sigh in reply. “So the words are right, but you still need some work on the expression. Say it like you mean it - with more passion. Like you hate my guts. Let it all out! ‘You’re fucking right’ - you see?”
“I see,” replied Heero. It sounded like he was gritting his teeth. It sounded like the 400th time he’d said the same phrase. It sounded like he was on the edge of saying something with just that very passion that Duo was seeking. “I see all too well. And that hating your guts part? It’s true.”
“Excellent!” Duo seemed heedless of the homicidal tone. “Let’s try some more imaginative curses this time –“
Heero’s voice rose a couple of volume points. “You mean like: may the devil play marbles with your eyes? Like: let the spiny hedgehog appear in your pants? Like: I hate you, kill yourself with a spoon? Like: may you turn into a frog, a stork eat you, and shit you from a 500 meter height?”
There was a slight pause before Duo replied. “Yeah, that’s good. I think. Did a couple of those lose something in the translation? Anyway, I must say you’re really showing promise. That’s what I’ve been on about: you need to express yourself outwardly, and far more often. It’s really bad to bottle things up.”
“Express myself outwardly. Right.”
There was a soft thumping sound and a yelp from Duo. “Hey! That hurt! I don’t think you needed to take me quite that literally.”
“I feel better for it,” stated Heero. “That felt right.” The tone in his voice was now a strong, satisfied one.
“Yeah, well, maybe you think it felt right to hit me –“
“It felt fucking right,” snapped the reply.
Duo made a strange gargling noise that may have been due to Heero tightening his fingers round his throat. Heero gave a sharp cry as if those fingers had been bent back. Then there was a bout of coughing, and some grunts of relief from both of them.
When next heard, Duo’s voice sounded a little subdued. “Well, OK, so you didn’t actually throttle me, but there’s obviously a real need for you to get back to the verbal expression exercises. Then we can move on to the sensory perception issues. This is all for your own good, remember?”
“How could I forget?”
“I’ll assume that’s rhetorical.”
“Assume what you fucking well please.”
“Very good! Now doesn’t that feel liberating?”
Quatre lifted his ear away from the keyhole of Duo’s door and leant against the corridor wall. His eyes sparkled.
Trowa stuck his head out of the next door bedroom. “What’s going on in there?” he asked.
Quatre grinned at him, his eyebrows wiggling theatrically. “Lesson 101 in swearing,” he hissed, gleefully. “Duo as teacher, Heero as pupil.”
Trowa’s mouth dropped open.
“I know, I know,” grinned Quatre. “Incredible, eh? Duo as a role model is bad enough, but trying to tutor Heero must be like stabbing kebab skewers through your own eyes.“
Trowa frowned. He realised he’d done quite a bit of that since he’d become more intimate with Quatre. The sex was fantastic – the other young man’s body was a constant thrill. But there was always this confusion as to the way his mind worked…
“No, I meant, what about their privacy?” he asked, puzzled. “You shouldn’t be listening like that!“
Wufei nudged past him, walking further down the corridor to stand beside Quatre. He shook out a folding chair, sat comfortably down in it, and handed one of two hastily-cut sandwiches to the blond man. “Did I miss much?”
Quatre took a bite of his improvised lunch and shook his head. “He’s progressed past the simple expletive, lost his temper with Duo and tried to choke him, and now they’re trying for the full-on stream of consciousness.”
“Quatre,” Trowa started to say, but paused. The other two men looked round at him, the same glazed look in both pairs of eyes. Trowa sighed. “Never mind.”
“I feel nauseous,” said Heero. His voice did sound shaky. “It’s like standing on the fault line during an earthquake.”
“What?” It was early evening and they were still up in Duo’s room, sat on his battered old couch. Duo stabbed the remote towards his CD player, turning up the volume yet again. His upper body was swaying back and forth. “Lose yourself in the beat, Heero!”
Heero knew the only thing he was likely to lose was the feeling in his inner ear, but he hadn’t offered his opinion. Duo wouldn’t have heard it, probably, let alone appreciated it. “Does it have to be so loud?” The music was very loud - so loud in fact that the other guys had abandoned them and gone out for the evening. Or so they’d said.
Duo wriggled across the couch a little awkwardly and pressed his face closer to Heero’s. “Have some more beer, Heero. Let the music flow through you; let it speak for your most secret emoshununs –“
“Duo, what did you just say?” Heero watched the liquid in his beer bottle ripple with each bass throb of the current track, like a dinosaur’s heavy tread approaching.
“About your emoshununs…” Duo hiccupped. He was having some problems of his own, connecting his bottle with his mouth, even with a steadying finger on his nose.
“You’re drunk.” Heero stated. “And you’ve eaten most of the truffles, too. Hideous self-indulgence. Pure greed. Nonsensical ”
“Get your head out your butt,” grumbled Duo. “You could’ve had your fair share. I told you to look on it as medicinal. And what’s with the pompous speech? Hell, you’re the only guy I know who increases his syllabubbles when he’s drunk.”
“I’m not drunk. And you said syllabubbles.”
“Of course I didn’t,” smirked Duo. He was leaning rather perilously close to Heero on the couch now. “That would imply I have trububble speaking when I’ve been drinking.”
“Sure,” said Heero, dryly. “Anyway, the purpose of this exercise is -?”
Duo sighed, exaggeratedly. His breath stirred the hair on Heero’s neck. “Just a little imbibing of good food and drink – comforting surroundings; the stimulation of sensual music. It lowers your inhibitions. Allows you to touch yourself.”
Heero’s head snapped round to face the other man. His focus followed a split second later, suggesting that maybe he was a little intoxicated. “Duo, you can’t have meant to say –“
“Yeah,” said Duo, firmly. “It allows you to get in touch with yourself, to relax. That’s what I said, wasn’t it? I’ve had to watch over things, of course, to keep all this in moderation. Of course. I’m in charge of this whole situation. But in one way, I’m pleased to see you arguing with your mentor. Of course. It shows lots and lots and lots and lots of promise. Of course.”
Heero stared at him, bemused. “You’re repeating yourself, Duo.” He told himself it was highly likely he’d misheard Duo first time around. He was a little … disorientated. It wasn’t often he had the time or appetite to drink to excess, to listen to such appalling music, or to sit so close to Duo on a couch.
He spoke, regrettably quickly. “So what happens if I do? Argue, that is? Am I to assume you’ll be putting me into some kind of detention …?”
He bit off the rest of the sentence. He thought his sarcasm may have been misjudged. They stared at each other, eyes suddenly wide, as if they’d both seen something rather inappropriate and yet rather provocative in that statement. Something that could possibly be more delicious than the truffles.
Heero felt a hot flush run from his toes to behind his ears.
Duo coughed, breaking the silence first. “So, ah, you appear to be getting the benefit of this stage quite well. You’re much more approachabubble than the last time we had a few drinks around here for Quatre’s birthday.”
“As I remember, you were out of order, noisy yet incapable of coherent speech -“
“You were a tight-assed, boring old fart –“
“You were unable to walk in a straight line!”
“So is that why you pushed me up the stairs to bed with both hands on my butt?”
Heero’s eyes drifted involuntarily to Duo’s butt, perched as it was on the edge of the couch. He snorted, but even to his own ears it sounded confused rather than derisive. “I didn’t want something broken around the apartment. I just guided you.”
“Very firmly, Heero …”
Heero opened his mouth to protest but wondered why the hell he should bother. Then he wondered where the hell the ‘why the hell’ had come from.
Duo was staring at him, though his eyelids looked unnaturally heavy, like he was struggling to keep them open. “I much prefer you like this, y’know? Not like earlier – when you were, well, throttling me. You’re kinda different tonight. Mellow.”
“Mellow?” Heero was going to snort again, but things were bubbling at the back of his throat that he thought might conflict with that. “I feel nauseous, I told you. I feel hot.”
Duo peered into his eyes, his cheeks flushed. “Hot. Yeah. You are. I told you about that.”
“No,” disagreed Heero, wondering what he was disagreeing with. “You told me about chilling.”
Duo hiccupped. Heero peered at him in return. “I must say, I prefer you in this setting, too. You don’t seem so outrageous. Not so…”
“Obscene? Predatory? Disruptive?”
Heero pursed his lips, thoughtfully. “No. Indeed. Those were harsh words. I may have been a little annoyed at that juncture. A little … distracted.”
When Duo leant even further in against him – albeit rather clumsily - he discovered that kissing was rather distracting, too. What the hell? joined his expanding vocabulary.
“What are you doing, Duo?”
“Don’t know about you, Heero, but I’m helping you loosen up.” Duo sat back with a sigh that might have been delight, might have been expulsion of the breath he’d been holding.
Heero licked gingerly round his lips, tasting the trail of Duo’s tongue. It was a far more complex taste than chocolate and cheap beer. He waited to feel aggrieved and offended by Duo’s arrogance. However, it seemed to be taking a long time to arrive.
When he found his voice again, it sounded nothing but curious. “That was … unexpected.”
“Yeah, I know.” Duo grinned, unabashed. “That’s an important skill to develop – how to cope with the unexpected, but stay chilled.” He bent down and fumbled for the remaining truffles among the packaging strewn all over the floor. The box had been ravaged and ripped apart like a maiden’s last defence. As far as he recalled, he’d been very keen to try their rich indulgence on Heero’s senses; very keen to try several things that escaped his memory at the moment. He wondered what particular strain of death wish had encouraged him to try the tongue tango at this early stage of the exercise.
He surreptitiously checked his limbs were still intact, and hiccupped again. “Anyway. More things to accomplishish tomorrow. Gonna work on your clothes – your image. Put those last truffles out of temptationunun’s way.” He lifted half of the box, sweet wrappers spilling like confetti, and slung it with a flourish out of the first-floor window.
Heero shook his head in admonition, and then wished he hadn’t. “Duo …”
Duo’s head was shifting six inches or so on his shoulders, and duplicating, which wasn’t anatomically possible. And Heero thought he’d heard the chocolates cry out with pain as they fell to their destruction. Again, not possible. Not in the real, stable world, anyway. “Duo, I’m not sure the loosening up hasn’t gone a little too far.”
The two-headed Duo came closer, both his mouths smiling a little raggedly. “Confession time?”
Heero nodded. Very carefully. “I am drunk,” he said, in some awe.
“And I –“ came Duo’s voice, very slurred now, “- have been unablebubble to keep it all in moderation –“
And he fell down on the couch, insensible, face buried in amongst the remaining sweet wrappers.
Wufei stood on the patch of grass beneath the bedroom window and scowled at the small electronic box in his hand. It had an antenna and a myriad of sophisticated buttons but - to his continuing frustration - it still gave out nothing but snap crackle and pop.
“Can’t hear a thing out of it,” he hissed. “Nothing but bubbling and scrunching sounds and the throb, throb, throb of that damned music. I heard as far as ‘both hands on my butt’, and then it cut out again.”
Quatre peered down at the radio as well and grimaced. “Hell, I thought Trowa fixed this.” He shivered. “It’s cold out here. It’s late. If there’s no voyeuristic reason to stand here freezing my balls into ice cubes, I’d like to go to bed.”
Trowa coughed pointedly from a more sheltered position under the porch. Quatre looked away, flushing. Wufei rolled his eyes.
“Are we sure they’re still in there together?” he grunted.
Quatre nodded. “They must be. Everything was set up for an evening in. Duo spent all afternoon shopping, then tonight I saw him running upstairs with cans of beer and a box of wrapped sweets. A clumsy approach to relaxation, some may say –“
“Worked for you,” muttered Trowa. Quatre ignored him. “More than once,” Trowa persisted. “Didn’t even need a whole box of chocolates to get you to loosen up.“
Wufei watched the pink colour rise in Quatre’s cheeks and his mouth twist with irritation. He was intrigued by the chemistry between his fellow housemates. He thought he might have to eavesdrop on them for his entertainment rather than Duo’s antics, but compared to their expectations of the Maxwell-Yuy fixture, it was likely to be a poor second feature.
“I don’t know what you’re hoping to see,” said Trowa. “Or hear. We all know that Heero’s unlikely to respond to that kind of strategy. He doesn’t drink much – and he once described Pocky as tooth decay on a stick. He was far from impressed by our behaviour at Quatre’s birthday celebrations.”
“Particularly Duo’s,” smirked Quatre.
“He was a little the worse for wear,” agreed Trowa. He was looking away from the others as they exchanged meaningful looks. “Heero helped him turn in early.”
“With both hands on his butt,” recalled Wufei, dryly.
Quatre sighed. It sounded regretful.
Wufei turned his attention to the radio one last time, and Quatre wriggled next to Trowa inside the porch. They also exchanged meaningful looks, but these were inspired by Trowa’s hand brushing against Quatre’s crotch. Trowa looked innocent, but Quatre seemed pretty sure that the touch wasn’t accidental. Pleased, too.
He went to open the door and let them all back inside. The door was locked.
“You have the key,” Quatre said tightly. It was a statement, not a question. Trowa had been fondling Quatre’s balls through his pants; he removed his hand, and went searching in his own pockets instead.
“No,” he said.
Wufei was coming over to join them. The air was tense. Trowa thought it may be a while before he was allowed to touch Quatre’s balls again, chocolates and/or beer notwithstanding.
“What’s that noise?” Quatre’s head snapped up to peer at the dark sky, his voice alarmed. He grabbed at Trowa’s arm for support, and the other man slipped his hand over the blonde’s startled grip, soothing him.
Wufei began to ask what the hell was going on, but never got the words out. A missile – something like a square shaped tray, with very sharp edges – fell from the sky and struck him fiercely on the corner of his forehead. He reeled back with a curse. A few sweet wrappers spiralled down to the grass; one tangled itself in his hair.
“Can this evening get any worse?” wailed Quatre.
It started to rain.
Quatre was loping about the bedroom, dressing hurriedly. Sunday was meant to be a day of rest. Or so Trowa thought. He opened an eye and peered at the clock. It was way too early to get up.
“What is it?” he asked sleepily. “Come back to bed. Are you going back to your own room? Are you still worrying about your virginal reputation?”
“No,” hissed Quatre. “How can you be so facetious so early in the morning?”
Trowa shrugged. It was easier than answering rhetorical questions.
There was more hissing at the door; Wufei was also out in the corridor.
Trowa turned over and burrowed back under the covers. He was very tired from standing outside in the dark and cold the previous night. He was very tired from the abuse he’d received because a radio that didn’t actually belong to him had been defective and yet he was expected, miraculously, to fix it – and he was very tired because a lost key that he’d never actually been given for safekeeping had also been deemed to be his responsibility. On top of that, he was very tired because he’d had to climb the side of the apartment block, and – in the rain - crawl over the narrow railing of the balcony into his room, so as to let the others back into the building.
Then there’d been the Spanish Inquisition from Quatre as to what had been going on in Duo’s room next door, but he’d deflected that quite neatly by going straight to his bed and falling sound asleep. He’d stirred a few hours later to find Quatre had crawled in beside him. The blond man’s snoring had disturbed him, though it was oddly comforting, too.
Now the sun was up, and Quatre was muttering at the door to Wufei, who sported a rather large plaster on his forehead and had the scowling look of a man who wouldn’t appreciate being offered a box of chocolates.
Trowa shut his eyes and wondered if
he could recapture that dream where Quatre stood in front of him, barefoot and
dressed in nothing but loose shorts, soaked through by warm
It was one of his more familiar strategies for restoring equilibrium. It was always very successful.
Duo’s door was shut firmly yet again, and had been since the early hours of Sunday morning.
“No,” Heero’s voice stated. His tone was extremely firm and the words carried clearly outside the room. “No!” There may have been the slightest touch of panic underlying it. In the background were the rustle of some rich, tactile fabric and the snap of an elastic strap. “I can’t wear this – or this - outside of this room.” His voice rose and fell in volume as if he were turning around as he spoke. Or maybe because he was becoming slightly hysterical.
“For God’s sake,” came Duo’s growl. There was the sound of him crossing the room, treading carelessly over the bags and wrappings that everyone had seen in his arms when he came back from town the previous day. “You have to be open to new experiences – new freedoms of expression. D’you see me complaining?”
There was another snap of elastic and a – newly learned – curse from Heero.
“That’s because this is by no means the first time you’ve worn something like – like this,” he protested, sharply.
There was silence for a while. Duo was probably looking at himself in the full-length mirror that he’d recently had installed in his room. He spent plenty of time doing that whenever he had new clothes. Perhaps he was shrugging. He spent a lot of time shrugging, too, but everyone knew that was because it really pissed Heero off. Usually.
“Of course that’s true, yes indeed.” Duo sounded thoughtful - maybe even a little coquettish. “I guess I thought you hadn’t noticed. You’re a perceptive guy, Heero, despite the fact you give the impression that the rest of the human race is just gum on the bottom of your shoe. So what’s your feeling about that?”
“Me,” snapped Duo. “Wearing this.”
Heero cleared his throat. “Is this part of the chilling exercise plan?”
Duo laughed. He sounded uncertain. “Yeah. If you like.”
Then a quiet response. “I think you look a whole lot better in it than I do.”
There was a short laugh from Duo, tailing off as if he’d just found out that there was no joke in Heero’s statement after all. Now he sounded uncharacteristically nervous. “You think so? That’s – unexpected. You’ve never said so before.”
“You never wore the hem quite so high before.” Heero’s voice was a little muffled.
“Yeah, I guess not.” Duo sounded pleased. “Only on special occasions.” There was another rustle of paper, as if he turned around again on the wrappings. Maybe twirled a bit. “I like the net underskirt, too. When you bend down -” his voice dipped as his body must have been doing – “it bobs up into view above the stockings.”
Heero’s voice sounded as if he spoke through crushed cornflakes. “I can see that.”
“And when I reach up again – “
“That’s enough,” said Heero, quite sharply now. “The demonstration has been quite adequate for me to get the point.”
“So now we must concentrate on your outfit. I think you’ll find it liberating, Heero. So much better than those sober colours you wear, the clinging fabrics. What do you think, eh?”
Heero gave a small, angry sobbing sound. “It itches. It’s not cut to my shape. It’s not – secure.”
Duo’s murmur had a hint of sympathy, but not much. “Pity – but that’s the whole point. Live the dream; wear the costume. You look cool, whatever you think.”
“Uh-huh. Very cool, actually.” Duo sounded surprised. A slight huskiness had slipped into his voice. “I’d never have imagined you in that colour. And the silk hangs beautifully.”
“I won’t go out of this room in it.”
“Oh for God’s sake, it just needs a little adjustment here, and no one will even notice –“
“Duo,“ came a warning growl. “I won’t be responsible for my actions if you – no, wait - don‘t touch that –“
There was the sound of a scuffle, then a startled cry and some sucking, liquid noises. Heero gave a grunt from deep in his throat – Duo a soft moan. There might have been the ripping of cloth as accompaniment.
Duo’s next words sounded breathless. “Well. So I guess you can just wear them here. Yeah, that sounds – good. I guess you’ve got the idea, just you and me – ah – working on it. You’ve certainly shown …”
“Freedom of expression?” Now Heero’s voice was husky.
Duo’s laughter was unrestrained. “Sure! I can vouch for that if anyone wanted to know…”
For a while, there were the sounds of two pairs of feet stumbling around in amongst the packaging and their steps seemed very close together. There were a couple of sighs and surprised gasps; some wet sounds like mouths meeting enthusiastically. It sounded like the two men were trying out different styles. Something like that, anyway. Though Duo may have muttered something about vouching for other freedoms that had nothing to do with fashion.
His next words were more business-like. “Well, yes, that will be awkward if you don’t remember you’re not in pants any more. Just don’t wear the thong so high on your butt. Pull up the waistband so the bottom of the skirt ruffles out at the back. Look, do you want the silk camisole after all? I could just pinch in the excess elastic there -”
“Duo – I said don’t touch that …!”
In the bathroom on the other side of Duo’s room, Quatre elbowed Wufei viciously in the ribs. Wufei had a glass pressed to the wall, and was shamelessly listening in to his fellow pilots’ conversation. He’d been there since Quatre first woke and joined him. He turned to Quatre now and glared. “What was that for?” he hissed.
“I don’t have enough space to listen,” complained Quatre, waving his own glass ineffectually in the air. “You’re hogging that clear space between Duo’s wardrobe and the desk. All I get over here is background gurgling from the cistern.”
Trowa appeared in the bathroom behind them, looking from one young man to another. He looked bemused. It was getting to be a familiar look for him. “What are you doing now?”
Heero’s voice came through the tiled wall in front of them, distorted but just audible enough. “Duo, that’s enough! Take your hand from there or I shall be forced to break three of your fingers. Maybe all four. I just don’t understand why a perfectly good item of clothing has to have these holes cut out of it…”
Quatre whimpered. His face was very flushed. He turned wide eyes to Trowa that were dark with threat, and his voice was rather hoarse. “Tell me, Trowa. Tell me you kept your promise. Tell me that you fixed the webcam in Duo’s room while he was out shopping yesterday.”
Trowa looked from him to Wufei and back again. His eyes rolled; his pupils dilated. He looked like a trapped rabbit in the eye of a snake.
“He didn’t do it,” groaned Wufei. “We’re stuck with just the sound.”
“And garbled sound at that,” growled Quatre, eyeing Wufei angrily again.
“I couldn’t,” said Trowa, his voice tinged with desperation. “Didn’t I say? I don’t know what the hell Duo had done to it, but none of the connections worked. It was in a worse state than the radio - it’ll take hours to fix. Besides, I thought you said you only wanted it for training purposes –“
Now it was Wufei’s turn to whimper.
Trowa caught the glass as it flew from Quatre’s furious hand, and ducked back out of the room. All he could hear was a muted, angry murmur behind Duo’s closed door, and a low moan – in stereo - from the eavesdroppers in the bathroom.
The lounge was dimly lit and quiet: the curtains had been drawn as the evening had settled down into darkness outside and a light falling of rain. Inside the room, there was a flickering on the dark wall, a reflection from the TV. There were strange moans coming from the programme; some cheesy background music. A pile of DVD cases lay on the floor in front of the couch; a bowl of popcorn was on the side table. It was half empty.
Two heads bobbed slightly over the back of the couch, attached – presumably – to two bodies that had gradually sunk further and further down into the cushions. The two heads were giving the TV screen their concentrated attention.
“It’s another crap movie, isn’t it?” came Duo’s cheerful voice. “No better than the last one. Or three.”
Heero cleared his throat, a little self-consciously. “There’s a better attempt at outdoor locations; smarter costumes. The men’s bodies are slightly less disproportionate. The music is –“ he paused.
“Yeah,” agreed Duo. He snickered slightly. “The music. Sounds like a kid brother’s first keyboard lesson, strangled on some eternal loop of tape. What more can I say?”
“It makes even that CD you were playing yesterday more palatable.”
Duo grunted assent. The watching continued.
“Why do they need to repeat the phrases so often?” Heero’s voice was deceptively mild.
“The dark-haired man – I didn’t catch his name. He keeps saying ‘fuck me, fuck me’. Then he says ‘oh yeah, baby, oh yeah, baby, oh yeah, baby’.”
Duo coughed. “No Pulitzer prize script here, Heero. You don’t really need to be listening to the words.”
“Bizarre behaviour,” mused Heero. Duo’s answer was swallowed in another fit of coughing. Maybe some of the popcorn had gone down the wrong way.
For a while, the heads moved comfortably against each other, and one of the bodies zapped the movie with the fast forward. Then paused it, suddenly.
“Wow.” Duo sounded impressed. “Haven’t seen that for a while.”
“Is that anatomically possible?” Heero sounded curious.
“Oh yeah. You need to be fairly supple. The other guy has to be at the right height, too - those chains look too short. The leather can be a bastard on your butt. And it helps if the other two guys are well lubed and using a couple of –“
Now it was Heero’s turn to cough. “Duo, that’s enough. It was a rhetorical question.”
Duo laughed. “I’m teasing. Like I’ve done that myself. Not. But I’ve watched a lot of these things.”
“And you find them good for … relaxing? Chilling?”
Duo’s head leaned in closer, presumably reaching for more popcorn. “Uh-huh. Of course. That’s why this is a most critical part of your education.”
“Getting me to watch porn. Right.”
“I’m not forcing you, am I?” Duo sounded mildly aggrieved.
“Yes you are. Or were.”
“And now you’re enjoying it, aren’t you?” Duo’s voice was growing husky again. “It’s a perfect way to unlock your inhibitions – to concentrate on your physical needs, not just your intellectual ones. You just needed encouragement to try. That’s me. Mr Encouragement. Hell, I’ve taken a sly look at the bulge in your lap and I know you’re enjoying it.”
Heero’s head shifted. It arched back a little. “I don’t call a hand down my pants a sly look.”
“You’re so pedantic, Heero.” Duo’s head stayed close, the two silhouettes becoming temporarily melded. Some stray bits of popcorn rolled off the couch on to the floor, unheeded. “It’s the evaluation part of the exercise.”
“It seems suspiciously like seduction to me,” muttered Heero, though his tone was soft.
Duo chuckled. “So very, very suspicious. As your mentor, I have to monitor your progress, don’t I? Anyway, I don’t hear you complaining.”
“That’s because when I do, you stick your tongue down my throat.”
Duo laughed again, but the sound was cut off sharply. Both of the heads sank further down, vanishing from view over the back of the couch. There was the sound of a discarded boot hitting the floor a couple of feet away. The volume of the TV suddenly blared loudly, and then was just as hastily muted. Maybe someone had rolled on to the remote by accident.
Trowa stood in the kitchen, kettle in hand, and watched Quatre and Wufei leap to their feet. There was guilt in their expressions, as well as the bright fire of vicarious delight. They looked at each other, and then back at Trowa.
“It was just the TV,” he said, mildly. “The sound’s down again now. I thought we were all meant to be going out.”
“I’m going to check my email first,” said Wufei, too loudly. The laptop was in the alcove just off the lounge.
“You did that barely an hour ago,” said Trowa. “I think it can wait until later.”
“I need to find my wallet,” said Quatre, also rather harshly. “Where did I see it last? Maybe in the lounge.”
“That’s nonsense,” replied Trowa. “I can lend you enough money for tonight. What else could you possibly have in there that’s so urgent?”
They both looked at him, temporarily confused. “Sit back down,” he said firmly, and they did.
He poured out the tea into three cups, and put them carefully on the table. “I have a few things to discuss with you both,” he said. “It won’t take long.”
Quatre wondered why he’d never noticed that thread of steel in his voice. Wufei wondered why he was intimidated by the thought of Trowa’s strong, steady hand on a kettle of boiling water. They both turned their attention from what might have been brewing in the lounge, and prepared themselves to listen.
Heero and Duo lay on the couch, most of their clothes in crumpled heaps on the floor, their limbs awkwardly – but sensuously – entangled. The room was even darker, the TV screen now grey and blank, but their eyes gleamed at each other like fretful fireflies.
“You know …” said Duo, rather dreamily. “Your eye is much better. Isn’t it? I must say, I don’t actually remember when that happened …”
Heero’s tone was as firm as usual, though his body language far softer – his hand caressed Duo’s hair very gently, very soothingly. “It cleared shortly after I punched you yesterday morning. It’s been fine since.”
Duo laughed softly. “Guess you mastered the freedom of expression rather earlier than I thought.”
“Didn’t you notice?” Heero asked. His lips brushed across the top of Duo’s ear.
Duo shivered. “Must have been looking elsewhere.”
“The TV’s off now.”
“I don’t mean the damned porn movies, you deliberately obtuse man,” Duo growled, but it turned into something like a purr when Heero’s lips wandered down his neck. He only had his boxers on; his skin goose bumped in every place that wasn’t covered. And in some that were.
“I must thank you for your guidance this weekend,” murmured Heero. He was also only in briefs. Crisp white ones. His state of undress didn’t seem to be a matter for his intellectual needs at all. He licked his lips and his tongue snaked along the thread of Duo’s throat. “I’ve learned a lot.”
Duo snorted, mainly to hide the gleeful shiver that wracked him. “Yeah, like that’s true.” What the hell made him feel like this whole campaign had been neatly turned around on to him?
“No, it is. You’ve helped me to come to terms with so much. Watching over me …”
Duo wriggled underneath the other man’s body, wondering breathlessly how his hand down Heero’s briefs had somehow been usurped by Heero’s hand down the back of his boxers. And wondering at what point he’d helped Heero come to terms with the delicious effects of running a finger down between the cheeks of a guy’s ass? He shifted the front of his underwear, surreptitiously admiring the size of his swelling cock. “Talking of watchers…”
Heero sighed. “They’ve been spying on us. I know.”
Duo nodded. “I disabled the radio and the webcam, but it doesn’t seem to have cramped their style.”
“They appear to have a mentoring agenda of their own.”
Duo laughed. “Those who can, do. Those who can’t …”
“Watch.” Heero finished. “I don’t want to watch any more, Duo. I want to do.”
“You learn that approach from the porn movies?” Duo gasped, half joking.
Heero laughed. “Maybe I have picked up some useful phrases …” he murmured. A harsh, needy sound rattled in his throat, and he rolled firmly over on to Duo’s body. His hands moved confidently and suddenly the boxers were a thing of memory, as were his own briefs. Duo felt the thick heat of Heero’s cock against his own and it warmed him right into the centre of his body.
“Still think you should have kept on the fishnet leggings…” he sighed.
“The elastic pinched my thighs,” muttered Heero. “I won’t suffer circulatory disorder purely for your entertainment.” He said it with his mouth against Duo’s so that the words were obscured by his flickering tongue. He pressed a knee between Duo’s legs and nudged them further apart. Duo hissed under his breath, then tangled his hand in Heero’s hair, tugging the dark head back, none too gently. Heero’s neck was bared to him and his even white teeth nipped at it.
They both groaned.
“Very good progress…” Duo whispered. “You said I was presumptuous, expecting you to sleep with me. Now who’s being predatory?”
“I didn’t have sleep in mind,” sighed Heero. From him, it still sounded like a growl, but a surprisingly sensual one.
“I’m gonna regret asking this…” sighed Duo. Maybe not, thought his secret, smug self. “But what did you have in mind?”
“Let’s see. I have a shortlist.” Heero’s voice was quite calm bur Duo could feel the throb of blood in his veins where his chest pressed against Duo’s own. “I liked pushing you up the stairs with both hands on your butt. We could do that some more. Or if you took exception to that, we could try the detention idea. I think you’ve … seduced me sufficiently.”
Duo caught his breath. It was in danger of leaping up and punching the air. His heart hammered so loudly it could join a rock band. Sure, it was distressing that his trusty wit seemed to have failed him, but that was more than compensated by the anticipation of Heero’s hands on his butt.
“So you want to take this upstairs?” His mouth opened for the words, but somehow got filled with a slick, greedy tongue. Like he said earlier about Heero: no one heard him complaining.
Heero grunted and shook his head. He released Duo’s mouth just long enough to speak. He obviously hadn’t abandoned every shred of self-control. “Well, maybe things are good enough here. It would be a waste of time to move. You’re just as accessible, and I’m easy.”
“You’re …?” Words failed a shocked Duo.
“Is there a problem?” Heero stared at Duo’s frown. “Is there some further evaluation checklist you have to consider as my mentor?”
“Fuck that,” snapped Duo. “I threw the clipboard away when you started licking my left nipple.” He slipped a hand round Heero’s neck and tugged him down to lie on to the couch beside him. There was a brief tussle between them, where Heero’s hands seemed keen to try out Duo’s butt again for size, and then were equally as reluctant to let it go. There was some flexing of fists as to who had the position against the arm. A couple of cushions were thrown aside to make some more room.
Then Duo reared above Heero, his body wriggled in between Heero’s outstretched legs, his hands on the other man’s bare hips. He looked down on wide, fiercely bright eyes. He looked down on a man who could propel him to the other end of the room with a single flex of his fist, if – no, when – he said the wrong thing. He looked down on that same man, flat on his back, his belly tight with clenched muscle and a drop of sweat gleaming in the hollow of his throat. Duo thought he might just be looking down on a ticket to heaven.
“Heero.” He cleared his throat. “There’s all kinds of things we haven’t covered yet. About physical pleasure and intimacy. About when you’re sufficiently relaxed, and when you feel that way around someone in particular, and it just makes your mouth go dry and your dick swell with pure need – “ He glanced further down Heero’s taut body. “Well, not that you haven’t graduated from that exercise with honours.”
“Fuck me,” groaned Heero. “Isn’t that what they say in the movies?” He tightened his thighs around Duo’s legs. Duo felt his heart gripped with delighted shock.
“Yeah. Oh yeah. But I need …” Duo scrabbled wildly on the table beside the couch, knocking Quatre’s wallet to the floor. A wide variety of personal accessories spilled out on the carpet, with enough fluorescent advertising script on the packets and tubes for Duo to grab exactly what he needed, even in the darkness. He mentally thanked his absent housemate. He also mentally made a note to give him oh-so-much shit tomorrow about keeping such an astonishing selection of sexual merchandise so readily to hand.
He knew he didn’t usually get nervous about these things, did he? But there was some kind of clumsiness in his fingers tonight. He was rather glad when Heero grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and pulled him down on top of him again. A greedy mouth sucked on his own, strong thighs gripped him and knees bent back to open the way. A hand reached down between their bellies to help guide him in, and he cried aloud at the tight, miraculous pleasure that awaited him, all the way to his destination. He felt dizzy; he felt like he was sinking and he’d forgotten his life-jacket. Whatever it was like, he surrendered far too willingly to it. The couch creaked underneath them and the soft slap of damp flesh echoed in the silence of the room. Muttered gasps seeped out from lips that Duo knew were his own, but when the hell had his voice become so needy? Anyway, he thought he ought to keep the noise down; he was damned if he was going to give those lecherous, voyeuristic housemates the satisfaction of a free show -
But then Heero appeared to have no such inhibitions. “Fuck me, fuck me!” he moaned loudly, arching up under Duo’s thrusting body. “It’s so good, Duo – the –“
“ – the feeling?” gasped Duo. “My cock -?”
“ – the repetition!” groaned Heero. “It really works! Oh yeah, baby! Oh yeah, baby! Ohhh yeahhh, baby –“
Duo started to laugh, but then the tears were squeezing out of him instead, and besides, he needed his breath to do, not to watch, right? Heero was amazing; Heero was beyond delicious; Heero was something else …
“Oh God!” cried Heero, his cock rubbing against Duo’s navel and dragging its sticky wet trail across his sweaty skin. This time his words were spontaneous and heartfelt, not just the recycled porn soundtrack. “That feels so right, Duo. So fucking right –!“
He felt Duo grab handfuls of his dark, thick hair and thrust himself in as far as he could go. Heero ignored the pain in his scalp as nothing more than background discomfort. It wasn’t important. What was important was the sight of Duo’s face, moving in and out of proper focus, and the feral light in his eyes that Heero had been waiting quite some time to see. This whole physical routine was strangely reminiscent of something they’d both watched in scene 11 of the fourth porno movie, but he considered it a far more exciting and glamorous exercise in real life.
Something coiled deep in his belly and demanded satisfaction. Now. He didn’t think it was open to negotiation, whatever pride he had in his previously rigid self-control. His eyes opened wide, and his fingers dug into Duo’s flesh. What the hell, he thought, but then that reaction was becoming commonplace in his life this weekend. Maybe it was the seducer who entranced, not the script …
He gave a strange hiccup. His cock twitched against Duo’s belly and throbbed joyously to a thick, sticky climax all over it. He felt his anal muscles contract around Duo, and an answering cry of surprise from above.
“Heero – hey – so soon -?”
Heero’s cry was gargled, as if he were amazed at something. For a few moments, they were both unable to think or speak. The beat in their heads matched the ripples through their bodies. They clutched at each other like they both needed an anchor to reality.
Heero’s head finally struggled out from beneath Duo’s neck, his face shining with sweat, and with stray locks of Duo’s hair between his lips. “Sorry,” he gasped. “I couldn’t match the movie performance.”
Duo lifted himself back up on shaky arms and laughed. He was still rather breathless. “I’m more of a man for live action anyway, Heero. There’s no need to apologise. Shit… no earthly need.”
Heero wondered why sexual satisfaction should lead to the loss of control of facial muscles. He couldn’t stop smiling. “Maybe if I could work on the butt-pushing some more …”
“Chill.” Duo’s voice was soft, as if it caressed the words – as if a broad smile of joy were wrapped around it. “Plenty of time. Don’t want you getting all tensed up again and twitchy-eyed. Hey, isn’t that just what this whole business has been about?”
In the kitchen, all three of the other housemates leapt to their feet.
“Tell me I didn’t hear that,” gasped Quatre, his face heavily flushed. “Tell me that wasn’t Heero’s voice yelling such obscenities.”
“It was,” replied Wufei. He nervously tugged at his collar, though it wasn’t remotely tight against his throat. “You did hear it. We all did. Sounded like a cheap porno movie. I didn’t know that word was ever in his vocabulary.”
“So beautifully expressed,” breathed Quatre. “Perfectly in context.”
Trowa laughed softly and they both turned to look at him. “The only really new words in Heero’s vocabulary are ‘Duo Maxwell’, and from that everything else flows.”
“Trowa, can’t you see this is serious shit –“ Quatre blustered.
“Oh, you can be sure that I appreciate that only too well,” said Trowa. “Sit down. Again.” The tone of his voice and the glare of his eye was enough to subdue the others. They slumped back into their seats. When he cared to use them, Trowa had strategies for dealing with most situations. It was just that they were usually far too subtle for others to notice. “So now you’ve heard it all. It seems that Duo’s ‘seduction’ has been successful. Has anyone bothered to see how Heero’s eye is doing?”
“It’s not his eye that concerns us,” grumbled Wufei. He cast a surreptitious look at the slim, confident man who commanded them. Commanded. It wasn’t a word that Wufei often considered in the same breath as self. He looked at Trowa a little more curiously.
Quatre had an ear that was half-open to the moans from the lounge, and the nervously twitching limbs of a very inquisitive, horny young man. His fingers drummed obsessively on the table top. “Don’t make me sit here, Trow. You know what this does to me. The listening – the watching.”
Trowa raised an eyebrow. “Yes, Quatre. I do know.”
Wufei rolled his eyes admiringly. “You are no innocent, Barton, whatever act you may put on. I’m beginning to understand that.”
Trowa’s smile was uncharacteristically broad. Someone like Duo would have described it as an inch or so short of demonic. “It’s no act, Chang. I just think it’s time the pair of you left the others to their own entertainment and found your own. Let them take themselves to bed tonight and -” he paused for an even wider smile, “– chill.”
Quatre pouted a little. “Just because you don’t have the same healthy interest in sharing the responsibilities of our friends’ epiphany …”
Trowa stepped to Quatre’s side and leant down to whisper in his ear. It was a stage whisper, and one that was fully audible to Wufei. “I think you’ll find I have as healthy an interest as you. After all, I’m the one in the bedroom next door to Duo’s.”
Wufei stared, bemused.
Trowa continued to whisper to Quatre, though he lifted his eyes to meet Wufei’s gaze. “I’m the one who now has the room bugged.”
“And the webcam fixed,” Trowa continued, relentlessly. “And – did I mention my purchase of the weekend? The 42” plasma screen?”
Quatre groaned, and he looked up at Trowa with a hunger that lit his eyes like a flame. “I knew there were many – many – good reasons I seduced you in the first place.”
Trowa smiled softly as if there were a couple of things that should really be reversed in that statement, but that it served his purposes to let it ride. Another of those subtle strategies, perhaps.
Wufei cleared an uncomfortably tight throat. “You’ll - consider a guest?”
Trowa looked at the tall, dark man with his athletic physique and his smouldering eyes. There’d never been any doubt, though he hadn’t been ready to declare it before. “I will. That’s if Quatre is as willing to share as he protests.”
His eyes still locked on to Trowa’s, Wufei slowly picked up Quatre’s hand and slipped three of the blond man’s fingers into his mouth. He sucked on them. Hard.
Quatre slid a grasping hand up between Trowa’s thighs and managed nothing more coherent than a pant. Trowa’s eyes widened with a hunger of his own, as if the sound of Quatre’s anticipation fed his own. He smiled at Wufei. “You have your answer.”
“And I also,” said Wufei, softly, “have the kitten-tail butt plug in my room.”
Trowa looked at Wufei with rich and lascivious laughter in his normally clear eyes. The three of them moved instinctively together.
“Success all ‘round,” whispered Quatre, as one man’s arm encircled his waist, and the other man’s mouth breathed into his neck.
In the lounge, there was nothing but a yelp of pleasure.