Title: Itooshi Hito No Tameni (For the One I love)--yup, like the FY
opening theme ^__^
Author: A-chan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Pairings: 1x2 (just like all my other fics)
Warnings: Past-lifetime thingie; Lime/Lemon; potential sap (I dont know, though)
Timeline: Everything from before GW (a LOOOONG time before ) and during
Disclaimer: I dont own anything but this fic.
Note: Heika-sama and Kotei-Heika both mean Your Majesty (the latter is more formal).
[The legend begins to unfold
And the real me inside unfurls
(The distant echo of "I love you")...
...leads me to you.
My awakening soul shines
In this other world.]
"Kotei-Heika, now that the last heir of the Maxwell kingdom is in our hands and the land under our rule, perhaps we should began preparations to conquer the Peacecrafts as well."
Heero watched the black-haired man knelt at his feet through the rose-colored glass he held. He twirled it in his fingers, pretending to think. He finally snorted, a small smirk curling the sensual line of his lip. "Why the rush, General Chang?" In truth, Chang Wufei was not to be a general, but rather an advisor like the other two of his emperors personal friends. However, he preferred leading his army into a glorious battle over anything, so Heero-sama had granted his wish.
The young emperor held up a long-fingered hand, glittering with jewels. "The Peacecraft kingdom is large but their army small, for they believe in total pacifism--fools. It should take no more than a flicker of your wrist to topple it, correct?"
"Yes, but if we do not act soon, it may fall in the hands of others who desire their land."
"Surely that is no threat to you." Heero leaned forward in his throne slightly. "It was because of you, Wufei, that the Yuy kingdom is so powerful and all fear my name."
The general smiled. "Thank you, Your Majesty."
Heero set his glass on the silver platter held by the servant standing beside his diamond-encrusted throne, taking time to admire her pretty face. She blushed, and he smirked in satisfaction. Wufei swallowed the urge the growl at his Lords amorous nature.
In one smooth motion and a flutter of his cape, the young emperor stood, ready to walk out of the room, his personal maids following.
Wufei climbed to his feet. "What would you like me to do with the Maxwell prince?"
Heero stopped mid-step. "Take me to him," he commanded.
The general looked uncertain. "If I may, Sire, I would like to suggest him being brought to you."
Heero scowled. "A gave a command, and I expect you to follow it."
Duo banged his head against the stone wall yet again, and winced yet again. It was really the only thing he could do to pass the time until Heero-sama came to see him. He sighed, slumping to the same dirty floor that hed almost thrown up on at first sight--he was the Crown Prince of a powerful kingdom for crying out loud!
Duo missed his father, mother, his friends, cousins, and most of all, his servant and mentor, Howard. At the thought of the gray old man, his already low spirit sank even lower. Howard was more than a teacher to him; he played the role of the father Duo never saw. and the much-feared army of Chang Wufei had killed him. The young prince rested his arms on his bent knees and buried his face in the crook. He silently vowed to himself that when he gets out of this dingy dungeon, he would see to the revenge for every single life the Yuy kingdom had taken.
So deep was Duo in his thoughts that he didnt hear Emperor Heero enter his cell until the braided prince found himself jerked roughly to his feet and staring into bottomless blue eyes.
Heero couldnt help but cringe at the sight of the dungeons, and the odor was nauseating. The smell of burnt flesh, dead bodies, blood, and other body fluids Heero didnt want to think about had hit him full force the moment his manservants had opened the large iron doors. The rugged stone steps revealed by them lead downwards towards a cold darkness where occasional moans of agony and pain could be heard.
"This way, Your Majesty."
Heero hadnt even realized hed stopped and just stared. Quickly composing himself, he nodded, following Wufei down the narrow staircase. The general exchanged some rapid words with the soldier at the bottom, and with a bow, the man led them through the dark passage before stopping in front of the most inner cell and unlocking the metal gate.
By the dim light of the torches held by his servants, the emperor could see the outlines of a slender form with a long rope of hair dangling over one shoulder.
Heero snorted and crossed the space between them in two long strides. Pulling the boy brutally to his feet, he got his first good look at the startled face. What he saw took his breath away literally.
The unmistakable smack of a fist connecting with someones jaw resounded through the entire dungeon, followed by shocked cries and gasps. One of the soldiers present immediately leapt forward to land a solid kick to the back of Duos legs, forcing the young captive to scream and fall to his hands and knees before Heero.
For several moments, there was no sound other than heavy breathing. Heero rubbed his jaw, face devoid of any readable expression. Finally, he let out a low chuckle, and with two fingers under Duos chin, gently lifted his head until the prince was staring straight at the emperor. Heero grinned wolfishly at the sight of the others eyes, spitting violet sparks.
"You have spirit, I see," he said finally. "All the more fun it will be to break you."
"Youll never break me!" was the defiant reply. Duo was rewarded with a hard slap that almost knocked him over.
A minute later, the metal gate to his cell slammed closed and footsteps died out. And yet he didnt move, just sat on the dirt floor, hand against his bruised cheek. There was a shuffling next to him, and he looked through the imposing bars at the man watching him.
"Who are you young en?" The strangers voice was smooth with a distinct royal accent.
The man started, then relaxed. "So thats it," he smiled, "thats why the emperor himself came to see you."
Duo didnt answer.
"Well Your Highness, I dont think youll be staying here long."
A violet blink. "Why do you say that?"
The man gave a humorless laugh. "None of the important ones do. Thats why this prison is hardly ever full."
"Whats so special about this prison?"
"Its where royalty and other significant people go."
" Oh "
The ginger-haired stranger extended a hand through the bars. "Im Treize Khushrenada, former guardian of His Majesty."
Duo shook the offered hand. "What did you do to displease him?"
Treize grinned darkly. "I deflowered one of his concubines."
The braided boy looked faintly sick. Hed always been disgusted at the Concubine System, and felt sorry for all the women. But in truth, they didnt seem so displeased with it and fought constantly to be the one in his fathers bed the most. Duo gulped. "I take it hes very possessive of them?"
"Oh yes, more than any other man I know." Treize gave Duo a searching look. "And I have a feeling " His sentence trailed off.
The older prisoner shook his head. "Nevermind."
The next morning, Duo was woken up by the sound of one of the guards voices. When his eyes finally opened, he looked at the armor-clad figures in front of him. For the first time in over a week, someone bowed to him. Eight someones.
"Prince Duo, we have come to escort you to your--"
The young man didnt let him finish, and got up. "Lead the way. If Im to be killed, then Im going to be killed with pride."
[Oh, what can I do now
For the one I love?
There are no dreams that cant come true.
I believe in what lies ahead,
Because I believe that love
Will save us every time.]
Heero paced about his backchamber like a caged wild animal. His breath was heavy, his steps heavy, and his thoughts heavy.
"I HAVE to kill him!" he was hissing to himself. "I MUST! Its for the good of the kingdom." He quickly squashed the nasty little voice in his head that insisted it was NOT good for the kingdom.
In truth, the last thing he wanted to do with the shockingly good-looking Maxwell prince was kill him. But what he DID want to do was most unacceptable.
There was a polite knock.
"What?!" Heero snarled viciously.
After a hesitant pause, Wufeis voice came through the door, a bit restrained. "Heika "
Mind made up, Heero yanked open the wooden panels and pulled the astonished general in the chamber. "Wufei, listen carefully to what Im about to tell you."
Wufei listened. The wise onyx eyes widened almost doubly and he stared openly at the emperor. "Heero, you mustnt!" he cried in horrified disbelief. "What will your people think?! Your late father! Have to forgotten your HONOR?!"
Heero seemed to not notice the others slip of usual formalities as he racked his brain for a good excuse. "You know full well that the people of Maxwell Kingdom still do not consider themselves as my subjects. Itll show them whos in power."
Wufei sighed, unable to argue with that logic. "Yes, Your Majesty. As you wish." He bowed out of the room.
The corridors were dark, damp, and cold. And Duo shivered as he followed the guards--four in front of him, four behind him--to wherever. Oh wait Treize had said something about a slaughter chamber nearby. Now, the prince shivered from more than just the cold.
The head guard noticed the shaking, and asked, "Are you cold, Your Highness?"
Duo nodded stiffly, rubbing his arms. With a fatherly shake of his head and chuckle, the soldier pulled off his cape and wrapped it around the braided youth. When he signaled to continue moving, though, Duo didnt budge.
"Why are you being so nice?" he demanded suspiciously.
The blue-clad man turned to him, voice strangely mellow. "My mother was from your kingdom, as is my wife."
Duo opened his mouth, then closed it. "Wherere you taking me anyway?" he inquired for reason unknown other than to change the subject.
The guard looked at him a little strangely, then began walking once more. "The harem baths, of course."
That stopped Duo dead in his tracks. "Nani?!?" he cried, voice resounding against the walls. "You want me to take a bath? With a bunch of concubines?!"
"Oh, not me. His Majesty gave strict orders to fully prepare you for tonight."
Pale brown eyebrows furrowed in confusion. " Tonight?"
"Yes, and the women have been told to stay out." The guard
came to stand directly in front of the boy. "Prince Duo, you are to
become an Imperial Concubine of the king."
Duo was having trouble breathing as he digested the latest news. His eyes were orbs of pure shock, then of hatred and anger. "Imperial *what*?!" he choked, barely managing to get the words out in his furious state.
The guard was expressionless. "Imperial Concubine of the king," he repeated, feigning indifference.
The youths lean body was like a tight string, one pluck and he would snap. Had the man known him better, perhaps he wouldnt have said what he did.
"Worry not, my prince, for you will like it without a doubt."
"So you expect me to just hop into his lap and let him do whatever he likes to me?!?!?!" Duo exploded.
"Duo-sama, please. Please dont make this any harder than it is. Heika-sama isnt bad, not really. He just "
Duo growled an Eltwo curse and stomped off again, the guards following.
The harem baths were relaxing, and Duo couldnt help but enjoy it. He sighed, sinking even further into the water. Hed been surprised at the amount of dirt that had been soaked from his skin, though he really shouldnt have been, since he hadnt washed himself for longer than he wanted to think about.
Duo had not expected the baths to be so beautiful nor so grand. Warm waterfalls poured from an unknown source above into the enormous emerald-lined pool, on the floor of which graced a mosaic of tiny hand-painted, hand-placed tiles forming the shape of the Yuy family crest. Fruitful trees of different colors grew in abundance around the bath, and lush grass covered what would have been hard ground. All in all, it was fit for an emperor.
Duo sighed, swimming to the opposite side of the pool and climbing out. A pile of fresh towels was waiting for him on the bench and he dried himself off, tying one around his waist.
"You shouldnt do that. I was enjoying the view," a hatefully familiar voice purred from the shadows.
Duo whirled, white teeth slightly bared. "Pervert!" he accused venomously, "Do you have a habit of sneaking into womens baths and spying on them?"
Heero snorted and walked towards him. Uncomfortably close. Before Duo could tense his fist to strike, however, Heero had his wrist in a painfully tight hold. He slammed the long-haired prince into the wall, pinning him there with his own body.
"Sneaking in?" he smirked. "No, my pretty pet. This is the Imperial Baths, my baths. Id originally planned to send you to the harem, but " He gripped the elfin chin of his captives heart-shaped face, "I think youre worthy to be here, hmm?"
Heero caressed the slightly rounded cheek, where the bruise hed made earlier still stood out clearly. "Well have to do something about this," he said quietly, as if to himself.
With his free hand, Duo slapped away the emperors. "Dont touch me," he hissed, glaring for all he was worth.
Heero pulled back, smirking. "Yes, I was right. You do have spirit a little too much it seems."
Duo didnt even have time to blink before he found himself lying on his back in the soft grass, Heero on top of him. He saw the wild look of lust in the others eyes, and felt something hard press against his inner thigh through the thin towel. His mind flashed back to the time Wufeis army had invaded his castle and several of the soldiers had for the first time in his life, Duo was truly scared.
"Iya," he whispered as Heero tangled his fingers in the long cascade of wet chestnut, lowering his lips to the tender skin of Duos throat. "Iyana!"
Heero smiled grimly against his neck, letting a hand fall to Duos hips, where he hooked his thumb into the towel. The prince began to struggle, only to have Heero grab both of his wrists and lock them securely above his head.
"Please!" Duo cried desperately. "Onegai! Dont! Ill do anything!"
With his words Heero was gone. He stood over the smaller boys prone form on the ground as Duo shook uncontrollably, wrapping his long arms around himself for comfort. The young emperor was confused, to say the least. Hed expected fear, yes, but the waves of it rolling off of Duo was almost to point of being visible. Heero hadnt wanted to frighten him that much. Just enough to make him surrender.
Somehow his actions must have triggered something in Duos mind.
At the loss of knowledge on what to do in such a situation, Heero did
the one thing he KNEW. He turned and walked away.
Such an interesting boy, that Maxwell prince. He seemed in full belief that Heero was really going to rape him that day, which more than told the emperor that he had not heard of the way Heero treated his concubines. Heaven knew he was good to them. Never had he hurt, abused, or harmed them in any way. Especially not one so gorgeous as Duo.
And such a strange boy too. Of all the people whom Heero had laid his eyes on, he was the only one that didnt want to be taken by the young emperor. And Heeros beauty was known just as widely as his power.
But of course, the resistance only made him more appealing to Heero. It was no longer satisfying to have the women come crawling to him, begging for attention. Duo provided something new and different; he offered a challenge.
Win Duo Maxwells heart.
Duo bit his lip, lying back down on the bed. A month. A month since that incident at the bathing house and Heero never said a word about it, even though they were together often. And during the times he spent with the emperor, Heeros new smooth and welcoming manners had well. In a way, Duo was starting to like him, albeit slightly.
And his bedchamber what the young ruler did to it had shocked Duo into minutes of silence, a rarity in itself it had been modeled exactly after his own suite in the Eltwo palace.
Duo sighed, turning over so that he was propped up on his elbows. So different was Heero now after that day. Not once had he pushed himself onto Duo; not once had he done anything even remotely alarming. He was very charming, infact. and he WAS awfully handsome
But the same man had taken his family, his kingdom, his throne, and was seeking to take his virginity too.
Duo didnt understand the sudden change in Heero, and was slightly suspicious. What were his intentions? Had he really given up? Or was trying to get him through another way?
"Duo-sama," the familiar voice of his servant, whom hed made friend with, called through the scarlet doors--the only sign that this was a concubines home.
There was a pause. "His Majesty requests your presence for dinner."
It was working, Heero knew that much. His plan was working. Although Duo didnt seem to behave differently than before, he knew from the servants reports that the prince no longer hated him.
It was a good start, Heero said to himself.
The large doors to his private dining room opened then clicked shut and he looked up. The apparition before him made his heart skip a beat then start racing.
Duo was wearing official harem girl clothing. Not a dress, but an outfit feminine enough that upon first glance, the Maxwell prince wouldve passed as a woman.
A very beautiful woman, Heero thought as his eyes trailed up the slender form. Loose violet silk concealed most of what he knew was velvet skin, but there was still a fair amount of it exposed enough to send his hormones and imagination raging. A silver crown sat on top of the shining chestnut locks, undone from its normal confining braid and cascading downwards in rich waterfalls. Duos appearance screamed sex.
The sound of a near-by servant clearing his throat made Heero realize that he was practically ogling the walking sensuality named Duo Maxwell. He pulled his eyes back in their sockets and smiled at the glaring boy before him.
Walking to his concubine, Heero took his elbow and, ignoring Duos cringing, led him to the table. When guiding the long-haired prince to sit in the exquisitely carved chair, his hands lingered on the bared shoulders a bit longer than necessary before going to his side of the dinner table.
Heero noticed Duos wary gaze and let out a low chuckle. His little pet was staring at him like he was attack or something. Leaning forward, Heero said softly, "You look nice tonight, Duo, as always."
The change was immediate and pleasing. The muscles on Duos body visibly relaxed and a small grin broke over the pretty face. "Thanks, I had a hell of a time trying to figure out where the arms and legs go so many holes in this thing." He rolled his eyes. "Hilde--thats my maid, by the way--insisted that I wear it, but wont tell me why." Duo pouted a little. "Will you tell me why?"
Heero continued to stare at him. Duo sighed.
"And will you stop looking at me like Im a piece of meat?"
Heero blinked at the openness of his concubines words. Its been so long since anyone dared to speak to him that way ten years The emperor shook his head clear of those memories.
Several servants came in, all of them carrying some sort of gold or silver platter. A moment later, a food-tester approached them. She chanted something in a language that Duo didnt understand and took little pieces of food from each of the platters. She stood for a while, then bowed and prepared to leave. Before she could get very far from the table, however, Heero grabbed her hand and said something in the same tongue as she had spoken in moments ago. She blushed and giggled softly.
Duo barely contained a snarl, but bit his lip and turned away. He suddenly frowned, puzzled as to just why he found the sight before him so so !
From across the table, Heero smirked triumphantly to himself. Perfect. Everything was perfect. Hed had it all planned. It was to seem like he said something flirtatious to the girl when basically what hed done was order her to tell the other servants to leave the room. In turn, she was to seem giddy.
And Duo had fell for it. Most wonderful.
A tense minute passed before he blurted out, "What was that language you were speaking in?"
Heero looked at him. "Its an ancient Elwon tongue. Rarely used now that theres a uniform language between most of the countries, but royalty is still required to learn it."
Duo sagged in his seat. "Oh."
"How are you enjoying your meal?" Heero asked near the end of dinner.
Duo took another huge gulp of wine. "Its good," he slurred. The violet eyes were glassy, probably the fault of the drink, and they were fixated on Heero. He looked ready to fall over.
The emperor had been shocked at the amount of food the small boy could eat. So far hed had three servings of rice, two enormous stuffed bear paws, and more assorted servings of vegetable and meat than Heero wanted to count. Not to mention he didnt seem quite done yet. And the wine! Heero had wanted Duo to get his fill of the drink so he wasnt so reserved and stubborn. But he couldve sworn the other had emptied an entire cask.
Before Duo could get his hands on the carafe again, though, Heero snatched his wrist and held fast.
"No more," he commanded sternly.
Duo glared at him to the best of his current ability, to which he responded with a dominant look of his own. The braided boy made a strange noise and reached out with his other hand. Heero took that one too.
"Youll make yourself sick."
"Dun care "
With a sigh, Heero pulled Duo unresistingly to him and picked him up. The small body was practically a dead weight in his arms as he carried his concubine to his own quarters. Upon reaching his destination, Heero somehow managed to open the door without the assistance of any servants. He gently laid the slender boy on the bed and tucked him under the covers. He sat beside Duo and stroked the loose chestnut hair.
"You were a real case tonight. Whats wrong?"
Duo cracked open one eye, which quivered suspiciously. "Dont like seeing you with her " His sentence trailed off, but hed already said enough for Heero to understand.
He leaned close to others face until their noses were touching. "Dont be jealous, Duo. I still want you, more than ever now actually."
"Oh yes you are."
"Not jealous," Duo insisted stubbornly, though he sounded like he was trying to convince himself.
"Oh yes--nevermind. Id better be leaving now."
As Heero stood up, a shaky but determined hand latched onto his cape.
"Stay with me?"
Heero gave a sharp intake of breath. He hadnt been expecting that so soon "No." As much as he wanted to--oh Lord he wanted to!--he shouldnt. He knew that better than anyone else. "Youre drunk and youll regret it in the morning." He wanted no regrets, not from any of his concubines and most of all not from Duo.
"Will not. Just hold me dont wanna be alone "
Duo giggled a little. "What were you thinking?"
"Nothing," he lied. Stripping off his outer layers of clothing, Heero crawled onto the bed beside the lithe body.
"Mmm, thought you hated me," he murmured, taking Duo in his arms.
The long-haired prince responded with snuggling closer. "Hate you? Not any more. Still want revenge? Hell yeah." He looked up at Heero. "Im still going to kill you, you know. But later, Ill do that later," he mumbled, already loosing hold on consciousness.
Heero chuckled into his hair. "Then I guess I should be prepared, ne?"
"Im serious." The threatening growl ended in a soft snore.
Duo was reliving the nightmare, one that will forever haunt him.
[Screams was all he could hear; blood was all he could smell; fear was all he could taste; pain was all he could feel; and death was all he could see.
The palace walls were crumbling under the repeated assault of Chang Wufeis army.
Duo stood paralyzed at the tower window. //This couldnt be happening,// he told himself. //Im going to close my eyes and when I open them again, everything will be back to the way it was last week.// Duo closed his eyes. Nope, nothing changed.
//Wait a minute! What am I standing here like a scared cat for?! I have to DO something!// Braid flying behind him, Duo ran to his private chamber. The screaming was getting louder, he noted as he yanked open the door to one of the hidden compartments beside his bed. A jeweled scythe gleamed proudly in the orange light of the dying sun.
//Deathscythe // Supposedly missing for the last five hundred years, the legendary weapon now lay in his hand.
"Your highness!" someone rasped weakly.
Whirling in surprise, Duo was horrified at the sight at his door. "Howard!" he cried, dropping the scythe and going over to assist his injured mentor on the floor. An arrow protruded from the old mans side and it was clear that Howards strength was draining out of the wound it created.
His bony hand grasped at Duos cape, pulling the boy close to whisper something in his ear. The clear, amethyst eyes widened in disbelief and he stared incredulously at his teacher.
The frail body in his arms went limp. Duo allowed himself no time to grieve, however, as he heard footsteps coming nearer and nearer. With one last glance at the man who had taught him everything he knew, Duo snatched up Deathscythe and exited through another hidden passage in his room.
It was a rough ride down, as Duo missed the first step and basically fell down the steps. Upon reaching the bottom, he rubbed his rear, wincing slightly.
A feminine shriek sent shivers up and down his spine, and he looked up. One of the young priestesses of his fathers temple was pinned to the ground by several soldiers bearing Elwon armor. Her delicate face was terrified and tear-streaked as they tore at her robe, baring skin that was never meant to be bared in front of another man.
//Helen !!!!// Duo watched helplessly as one by one, they took the unwilling, virgin body, laughing and groaning. His instincts and personality screamed at him to take action, to help the woman that had dedicated her life to serving the Gods. But his mind knew without a doubt that he could do nothing against the huge men, and that it was foolish for him to even try.
Helen cried. Cried for the pain, her tainted purity, her betrayal to the gods, and the utter humiliation. Out of the corner of her eye, she detected a figure crouched behind one of the trees. Even through her panic, she could see that it was Prince Duo. Helen had always been taught that no matter what, she was to serve those above her. So she willfully blocked out the large body on top of her, thrusting inside, and silently pleaded with her eyes at the boy. //RUN!! Get out of here!// she prayed desperately.
Duo seemed to get the message, as he looked away from the sight of the soldier giving the battered form a final, brutal thrust and made a break for the stables.
Shockingly, no one saw him, as they were too intent enjoying the suffering of the young woman.
Helen smiled slightly as Duo nearly stumbled in his haste to get away from the palace. //Go, Your Highness. Youre our only hope.// she thought as comforting darkness settled over her senses.
Duo ran as fast as he could towards where he knew the horses were kept. Shinigami he had to get Shinigami. He tightened his grip on the scythe. He would repay everyone Howard, Helen, everyone. Somehow.
Something struck him in the temple, and Deathscythe flew out of his hand into a near-by bush.
His last thought was of the Yuy king. //Heero Yuy, you will pay for my countrys pain.// he vowed solemnly.]
Heero woke to shifting of the body next to him. He growled unpleasantly, then stopped. This couldnt be a concubine--he never stayed with them through the night. He opened his eyes and turned his face towards whoever it was. He was greeted with a mouthful of hair.
Everything came to him. The dinner, Duo getting drunk Heero smirked. His harem girl was going to be pissed, but it would be interesting
Something was wrong. Duos pale brown eyebrows were furrowed, his eyes were squeezed shut, and beads of sweat broke over the smooth forehead. Heero reached out a hand and gently shook one shoulder, bared from the silk clothing Duo still wore.
and found himself on the floor. Heero blinked, wondering why he was there when he should be in bed. Looking up, he found his answer half draped over the side of the mattress, a crazed look in the violet eyes and clothes more off than on.
"Bastard!" Duo spat suddenly.
Heero frowned. //I thought we were over that //
Without warning, a pale hand shot out to hit him. Although Heero had not been expecting it, he acted purely on instinct and caught the slender wrist. The attempted assault, however, had knocked Duo hopelessly off balance, and with a startled yelp, he tumbled from the bed onto the muscular body below.
They wrestled furiously for a few moments--Duo in his sleep-mussed state and Heero in defense--before the young emperor grabbed both wrists and pinned them to the floor on either side of his concubine.
Duo bucked and thrashed uselessly beneath him until he abruptly stilled and slumped. They stayed like that for what seemed like an eternity, panting heavily. Long chestnut hair formed a curtain from where some of it clung to Heero. After making sure that Duo would not try to hit him again, he slowly released the smaller boys arms and used two fingers to raised the elfin chin.
To his utter surprise, Heero found the rounded cheeks faintly red.
"Sorry," apologized the other boy sheepishly. "I forgot that I no longer hate you."
Heero blinked. Duo grinned.
Both suddenly realized just how close they were, and that their hips were subconsciously grinding together to create a certain effect
Duo giggled nervously and tried to squirm out of Heeros grasp, but his actions only resulted in the short-haired boy tightening his hold on Duo and pressing his body even more firmly to the princes.
Despite his best efforts, Duo couldnt stop the wet moan that erupted from his throat. Pleased and more encouraged than ever before, Heero waited no longer and smothered his concubines mouth with his own. The amethyst eyes widened dramatically, then slid shut.
Just as Duo could tell that Heero was a very experienced kisser, Heero knew without being told that it was Duos first kiss. He smirked against the petal-soft lips and licked at the bottom one, urging them to part. When they did, Heero wasted no time in thrusting his tongue deep inside, claiming the beautiful angel under him as his own.
For Duo, it was as if the sky had split and the world had suddenly been transformed into Paradise. When Heeros mouth left his, he felt as if his heart had been ripped out of his chest. and returned to him when he felt the emperors lips again, this time at his throat.
Heero teeth nipped none-too-gently as the tender skin of his lovers neck, hands moving lower to slide the flimsy silk of Duos gown off when--
*knock knock knock!*
"Duuu~o-samaaaa~!" Hilde sang from the other side of the door, which burst open a moment later. "I had your measurements sent to the tailor and--KYAAAA!!!!"
Heero glared murderously at the poor maid, naturally bad temper just boiling with the painfully hard-on still lingering in his veins. And he was so close--!
Hilde had dropped the clothes she held in her shock of seeing the two men, limbs tangled and looking for all the world like they were about to She flushed bright pink. With a mumbled apology and one last look at Duos glassy eyes, she gathered up the fabrics on the floor and bolted out to the hallway. Heika-sama would have her head for sure!
Inside the room, Heero gave a feral growl and climbed to his feet, pulling Duo up as well. With the mood broken, he began to straighten his rumpled regalia. He felt his concubine watch him as he left the room. But when he turned to close the door, he couldnt help but look at Duo.
The other boy was standing by the wall, nibbling on a lock of his hair. Knowing he was responsible for Duos red, swollen lip, Heero pulled the slim body close to brush one last apologetic kiss across the small mouth. He rested his forehead against that of his almost-lover.
"Dinner," he breathed, stroking the heart-shaped face, "Come for dinner."
Duo nodded, leaning in for a brief hug before pulling away. Heero looked at him almost mischievously. "Just dont try to hit me again."
A small laugh. "Alright."
Duos next few weeks were the happiest he could remember. Heero spent every free minute with him, going to plays, taking moonlight walks, and of course, stolen kisses in the dark. What Duo felt was strangest, though, was that they never went beyond fondling and foreplay. Hed been tempted to ask several times, but since he wasnt sure what Heeros intentions were, he kept his mouth shut.
But he found out sooner than he wanted to
He had been on his way to Heeros wing of the palace as usual, when one of the chambermaids suddenly rushed past him, face bright red and nearly bumping into him.
"Whoah, what is it?"
"Duo-sama!" the girl gasped, "Where are you to?"
"Heero, of course."
To his surprise and utter confusion, she grabbed onto his arm, dark eyes wide and pleading. "Oh, please dont go in there!" she begged.
Duo opened his mouth to ask why when an unexpected sound came from Heeros bedchamber. Flushing again, the maid muttered something and took off again. Duos face was completely white as he cautiously pushed open the door to the room.
He was confronted with a sight that he had feared above anything else and never wanted to see.
With a strangled cry, Duo staggered backwards and landed rather ungracefully on his rump. But he hopped to his feet a moment later and bolted back the way he came.
It couldnt be true, it just couldnt.
Heero looked at the dazed concubine beside him on the bed. He didnt want to do it, really he didnt. But dammit, everything was getting too frustrating, and he needed to vent it all out.
"Heika-sama," the naked woman purred, one bare arm reaching up to touch his face. She was one of Heeros favorites--Kisha, her name was--, but all of his female concubines seemed to loose their shine after he had seen Duo in the baths.
He wanted Duo so badly, but it wasnt right to do anything until he was officially Heero smiled slightly, and the concubine began stroking his hair, thinking the expression was for her. He abruptly pushed her away, climbing off the bed and beginning to dress.
Heero was completely unprepared for the door to open, but remembered that he had stupidly forgotten to lock it.
Shocked cobalt met horrified violet, and time froze. Duos gaze flickered to the woman on the bed, then back to the half-naked emperor.
"Iya," he choked hoarsely, backing out of the room again. Tripping on the lush maroon carpet, Duo landed heavily on his rear, then was gone in a flash.
"Du--!" Heero called after him, but it was too late.
Kisha stretched lazily under the sheets, then sat up. "Whats the matter, Your Majesty? Who was that anyway? One of those jealous servants?"
Heero didnt answer, since he was already dressed and out the door. Her black eyes narrowed to mere slits and she glared at nothing in particular. Oh, she knew exactly who that boy was. He was the one that Heika-sama was rumored to have fallen in love with. Impossible.
Even though Kisha had never met Duo, she automatically hated him--just like all the other women did. For the past few weeks, she hadnt seen so much as a glimpse of Heero because of his constant luring of the emperor. She wasnt sure how he was able to captivate Heika-samas attention so fully to the point of him ignoring the other concubines, but whatever it was, Kisha didnt like it.
Duo heard his name being called, but didnt stop. What a fool he was to think that any of the affection and favor Heero had shown during the past several weeks would mean anything. So what if the emperor acted like he was the best thing in the world? It didnt mean anything that Heero had given him everything hed ask for, or that Duo was just about the only one hed willingly look at.
By the time Heero finally reached Duos room, he found the door locked.
"Duo, open the door."
"Come on "
Heero straightened his back and hardened his voice to how he spoke in Court--the Omae-o-Korosu voice. "Duo Maxwell. Open this door, NOW."
There was a pause and a shuffle, then a violet eye peaked out at him from within the darkened chamber. Without waiting for an invitation, Heero pushed passed the wooden barricade. Pulling his concubine with him, he sat down on the bed and drew Duo across his lap. Although the braided boy didnt resist, he didnt respond, either.
"Duo," Heero began somewhat uncertainly, "you have to understand."
"Understand what, Your Majesty?" The honorific term was mocking. "That you would rather lead a woman to your bed instead of me?"
Heero smirked. And Duo, as if realizing what hed just said, looked away and blushed.
"Gomen," he said softly, "I shouldve known better than to expect anything."
"Maybe Im still awed at my kingdoms defeat, so much that I fooled myself into believing that someone still loves me. But now I see I was wrong. Since it obviously doesnt mean anything to you, does it? I know. Am I just--"
Heero suddenly placed two fingers on the pale red lips, silencing him. "No, dont say it. Its not true. I do care about you, Duo, if thats what youre asking."
"But you dont love me."
" Ive never loved anyone in my life, so I dont know what to say to that right now."
Duo opened mouth to reply but was interrupted by Heero.
"Duo will you be my concubine?"
A violet-eyed blink. "But I thought I already was--"
To his surprise, Heero looked almost sheepish. "Actually, no. There was never an official ceremony."
"So thats why "
Heero nodded. "Yes. Thats why we never really DID anything. Its against the Elwan laws for the concubine to loose her--er, his virginity before being recognized in Court."
Duo rubbed his temples. "But why wait until now? You could have just forced me."
"My grandfathers laws do not approve my using political force on a woman in the case of the concubine system. And I wasnt sure if you were willing or not until just a little while ago."
Slowly, understanding came to him. "Alright," Duo said.
Heero stared at him. "So is that a yes?"
Almost shyly, he nodded. It was the highest position he could be for
In a darkened room, a shadowed figure sat on the large bed, holding something that looked suspiciously like a needle in the pointed flame of the candle in his hand. On a silver platter was five more of the same needles, only their tips were burned to a strange purple. They were all neatly aligned so not a single one touched another.
A small, jeweled scythe laying at his side and long braid tumbling over his shoulder, the figure grinned to himself. It shouldnt be long now.
Heero Yuy will die at the blade of Eltwos treasure.
Heero had picked a perfect day for the ceremony. The sky was a beautiful blue, and a few wispy clouds danced across its azure backdrop. But for the young ruler, it was not the weather that he admired. Rather, it was the ethereal form bowing at the bottom of the hundred steps leading to the high platform that held the full attention of Elwans eighth emperor.
Heero watched, almost hypnotically, as Duo straightened with the grace of an Imperial dancer. The moment he ascended the first step, the musicians standing on the sides began to play and the near-by courtiers and court ladies kneeled, touching their foreheads to the ground respectfully.
A young man about Heeros age slowly approached the emperor. Dressed in royal regalia, he stood beside his long-time friend and commented softly, "He seems to have captured the hearts of those around him. More so than any of the concubines I recall."
"Hn," Heero replied absently.
The advisors one visible emerald eye broke from its normal indifferent expression to sparkle briefly before the young man bowed slightly and returned to the shadows.
Silk and satin wrapped loosely around the lean body, Duo began to walk up the carpeted steps. He had seen such splendid display before, but had never been at the center of it, or that he could remember. Trumpets blared at his sides, thousands of Heeros subordinate officers and ladies alike were hunched over on his behalf. Four manservants carrying fans that seemed twice as long as they were tall marched in front of him, and two maids following him held the sunshade above his head. The thick braid that normally hung down his back was unraveled, the ends resting on the cape dragging on the ground after him.
Abruptly, the four manservants parted, and Duo saw that he was at the top platform. The maids also moved away, since the newly made concubine was now under shade anyway. A young girl stepped out from behind Heeros seat, a golden tray held reverently in her hands. Curtsying before Duo, another servant came forward to remove the yellow cloth covering the trays contents.
Inside laid a ruby-colored pendant that signified the wearer as property of Heero Yuy, and that one would be putting their life on the line if they touched that property.
Duo reached for the pendant but was stopped by what hed come to recognize as Heeros emotionless court voice.
Violet eyes glazed over in confusion, the male concubine couldnt help but cock his head at his Master.
To everyones utter shock and disbelief, Heero removed one of the many priceless necklaces around his throat, getting up from his seat and motioning for Duo to come closer. The smaller boy had by now learned to obey his emperors commands, and stopped directly before Heero. The silent ruler ignored the murmurs and whispers of the courtiers, and fastened the diamond-encrusted jewelry around his concubines neck, fingers deliberately brushing the exposed collarbone in their retreat.
Duo knew a sign of tremendous favor when he saw one, and bowed low.
"Thank you, Your Majesty," he said in as formal yet submissive of a voice as he could muster.
Heero nodded and signaled for Duo to stand up. Then, taking him by the elbow, the emperor guided his official concubine to sit beside him on the large throne-like chair.
Heero then waved his hand. "Carry on."
At once, the music that had stopped minutes ago started again, and dancers bearing thin dresses and other gauzy fabrics ran lightly from the sides and partially up toward the couple.
It was different from Eltwo performances, yet Duo found it delightfully fascinating. He was so absorbed in the singers that he didnt even realize Heero was moving closer until the young emperor slipped an arm around his waist and he was pulled against a muscular chest.
"How are you enjoying this?" a slightly nasal voice asked. Heeros breath on his ear sent pleasurable shivers down the concubines spine.
"Very much," Duo replied. A moment later, he reached out to the long table the servants had placed a while ago and plucked a grape from one of the bowls. Curling his pinky daintily, he gently but firmly slipped the fruit passed his masters surprised lips.
"If Im going to be a concubine," Duo purred, pressing himself closer, "Then I should at least learn how to please you, hmm?"
Eyes wider than usual, Heero nodded, then bit the slender finger on his lips. Duo giggled in response and leaned his head on the emperors shoulder.
Duos eyes twinkled as he stepped through the golden doors. The room it lead to was a gorgeous pearl white, with filmy curtains hanging in graceful waves from the ceiling. When he reached them, the drapes lifted like magic. Duo gasped when he saw three maids suddenly step out from some place unknown to him.
"This way, Your Highness," said one of them, and began to walk. Duo followed with the other two servants tagging along. He was nervous, and tried to get his stomach to stop fluttering.
The girl in front seemed to sense his unease and said reassuringly, "Worry not, Duo-sama, for His Majesty is a gentle lover."
Duo didnt reply, because he was sure his voice wouldve been two octaves too high.
Upon reaching a bathing pool, this one not nearly as big as the Imperial Bath, but still moderately sized. To the long-haired boys dismay and shock, the maids began to strip him.
"What are you doing?!" he demanded, hugging his skimpy outfit tightly.
The girl that had done all the talking so far spoke again. "You must prepare yourself for the emperor."
Duo remained adamant. The maids looked at each other, then left. He let out a sigh, eyeing the bath. He knew they were right, but
Mind made up, Duo let his clothes drop to the tiles, and feeling horribly exposed, stepped into the pool.
"I must congratulate myself again on capturing such a rare beauty."
Duo jumped, then complained, "Hiidoooooi!! You have to stop doing that, Heero!"
Dressed in casual bedroom robes, Heero stood at the midpoint of the white stairs leading to yet another set of curtains. He raised a regal eyebrow. "Oh? And who are you to tell me what I can or cannot do?"
Duo looked down, and Heero smirked, approaching the bath. Without even bothering to take off his robes, he entered the chest-deep water of the sunken pool and took the other boy in his arms.
"If someone else were to say that, they would be executed immediately. But when you say it it doesnt seem so disrespectful." Heero buried his nose in the loose chestnut hair. Something between lilac and ocean breeze. Cutting, but sweet and oh-so-soft.
Slowly, a long-fingered hand slid up his chest to rest on his shoulder, then another on the other side.
Duo leaned closer so Heero could feel the hardening need between his legs. It seemed to please the emperor, and he responded with a tiny answering thrust.
"I never thought we would come to this," the newly made concubine sighed dreamily.
"Neither did I. For a while, I thought to force you into submission."
Duo blinked up at him. "But you said it was against the laws to use force in such a situation." He slapped the muscular chest playfully. "Quit changing the rules!"
Heero snorted. "Do you know how much you get away with? You do realize that those self-centered politicians would not approve your using such language with me or them." His expression turned almost mischievous. "Change the rules? But of course. I am the emperor!"
Duo opened his mouth to say something, but the words ended up in Heeros throat. Still kissing, Heero placed one powerful forearm behind his concubines knees and carried the slender body out of the water like it didnt weigh anything at all.
When Heero finally pulled back, Duos eyes were a little glassy, but he now saw that on the other side of the curtains was what appeared to be a bedroom. only it had no dresser, desks, or even chairs. There was, however, a large bed, and absolutely nothing else.
Just when Duo reached out a hand to part the curtains, Heero seemed to change his mind, and in six long strides returned to the tub, where--
Duo surfaced sputtering and gasping with about five and a half feet of hair tangling around him. He had no time to be angry, however, for a pair of well-muscled arms wrapped around his waist and chest and he almost melted.
"Silence." To take the possible sting out of his command, Heero brushed a single light kiss over Duos ear. His tongue then darted out and traced the outer shell before his lips closed over the lobe.
He turned Duo around so the soul-searing violet eyes were staring straight into his own. Heero began lowering his head, deliberately slow, watching for the braided boys expressions carefully. Duos face first spelled anticipation with a bit of nervous tension, then his eyelids squeezed shut and the petal-soft lips parted sweetly. Heero did not disappoint.
He suddenly noticed just how uncomfortable wet clothes were and without loosing physical contact with Duo, removed them until he was every bit as unclad as his concubine.
Heero tugged insistently on the chestnut locks until the long-haired prince tilted his head, allowing him to nip at the gracefully long neck. Feeling the shudder that shook Duos entire frame, his hands fell from his concubines slender waist to cup the pert bottom possessively.
" Routine," rasped Heero, mouth leaving a wet trail of kisses from the point behind Duos ear to the junction of his neck and shoulder.
Duos hands tightened around his Master, as did Heeros grip on his rear. He felt himself being pushed back until he was pressed firmly to the cold tile of the tub wall. Heeros fingers wrapped around his arousal without warning and Duo threw his head back, nearly giving himself a concussion in the process. His previously ceased groaning renewed with vigor and he thrashed as Heero stroked his length.
The rhythm of his hand increased, and Duo gave in to instinct, hips jerking along with him. Dry-throated, almost animal-like pants tore themselves from his throat. Somewhere in the distance, he heard Heero say something, but wasnt in the right state of mind to understand the jumbled words.
"Heeeeeroooo," he whined when the stroking suddenly stopped.
"Spread your legs," Heero ordered, and he did just that. There was something about the warm water rippling around the both of them that reminded him of his emperors hand, constantly stroking
"Let me show you how I planned your kingdoms take-over," he growled in his concubines ear, one leg jammed intimately between Duos.
"I first pulled out a map of the border "
Heeros hand slipped between his parted thighs right then, brushing his sack on its way. Running a finger from the base of his spine into the valley between the tempting buttocks, he bit savagely into Duos shoulder, and the long-haired prince gave a pained cry, which melted into a satisfied purr.
" then I studied its surroundings "
Fingernails scratched gently down the sides of the heated crack, and Duo groaned.
" as well as your kingdoms defenses "
He prodded at the puckered entrance and Duo hissed sharply when a finger was inserted into him.
A second, then third finger slid past the tight opening. It hurt, but Duo had been expecting it, and that helped a little.
"Fairly good, but I knew Wufei would be able to handle it easy enough. Not to mention I longed for Eltwos jewel "
Heero teased him from inside, and abruptly removed his fingers. He grabbed the slender hips roughly, pulling Duo close until not even water flowed between them, and snarled, "Ive heard of you before, Duo, did you know that? Duo Maxwell, whos beauty and overall greatness was renown over land and sea." His cobalt-blue eyes gleamed, expressing anger and death, then pure animal lust. "I longed to have you in my hand " He pulled at his lovers thick arousal, " and now here you are." Heero yanked on the loose tresses, forcing Duos head back as well. He drew a wet line with his tongue from between the graceful collarbones all the way to the elfin chin. Duo closed his eyes, feeling his knees beginning to buckle; only Heeros arms kept him up.
Heero nodded once and lifted the long legs to his waist. Duo wrapped them around his emperor, arms propped at the edge of the wall.
Normally, Heero wouldve had a jar of cream near-by, but the soapy water should make it easy enough to--
"Ive wanted you " he positioned himself. "for a very long time."
Duo cried out when Heeros length impaled him fully with a single thrust, biting his lip at the pain of the sudden intrusion. He squirmed slightly, trying to get into a better position.
Heero leaned over, mouth centimeters from his, and whispered fiercely, "You are officially mine." He pulled out almost completely before ramming back in, making Duo groan loudly in response. "By right of conquer !" He punctuated each word with a hard thrust into that maddenly tight heat.
"Nnng " Duo agreed helplessly, chestnut-topped head tossing from side to side in ecstasy. He could feel his release creeping up on him, and oh God !!
"To use," Heero continued, "and take anywhere, anytime, and as often as I want." He smirked. Yes, a true virgin indeed He reached between them to grasp Duos erection, rock-hard and quite a handful.
Duos spasms exploded, and he shook violently. "Hee Heerooo!!" he choked desperately as a callused thumb stroked the slit at the head of his arousal.
Heeros hips delivered a series of slow, brutal thrusts, vaguely aware that his lovers back was connecting with the unforgiving tiles of the wall with each of his thrusts and the water sloshing over the sides. He hit something up the hot channel that turned Duos entire world pure white. He nearly sobbed as he rocked against Heeros burning length inside him.
As for the young emperor, he wasnt much better off. The sensual image Duo made was steadily driving him crazy, and as if on their own accord, his eyes slid closed. He began chanting in the ancient Elwan tongue, but Duo was in no condition to ask him what he was saying.
He tightened his inner muscles, delighted as the shocked groan coming from his master.
"A virgin is not supposed to know that," Heero wheezed, his rhythm increasing.
"I read," Duo panted back, "a lot "
Spurred on by Heeros pumping of his erection and the hard flesh buried deep in his rear, Duo climaxed for the first time in his life. He opened his mouth to cry out, but found another thoroughly covering his, so he screamed into Heero, again and again, sending vibrations down his throat.
Heero followed shortly, last thrusts spilling his secret seed inside that sweet, sweet body. Although still dazed, he felt Duo beginning to slide underwater as his arms gave way. Pulling out swiftly, he reached down and caught him before going fully under.
Heero leaned heavily against the side of the sunken tub, Duo draped wearily
across his chest. His hair was soaked, and his skin was starting to prune.
Deciding it was time for bed, Heero once again picked up the deadweight
and carried him to the bedroom, where they tumbled on top of the silk sheets,
wet hair and all
Two of Heeros advisors stood at the foot of their emperors platform in confusion. The EMPTY platform.
"I do not understand," Quatre whispered to his lover. "Heero-sama is never late for morning audience."
Beside him, Trowa shrugged in response, one visible eye narrowed in thought.
After another ten minutes of muted waiting, he announced to the rest of the men, "Quatre and I are going to see whats wrong."
With that, the two head advisors strode out of the room.
Even in his sleep, Heero was deliciously aware of the scent of lilac under his nose, and of the slender body in his arms. They seemed to drive away all unpleasant dreams.
Strange, that didnt sound like Duo Too high in pitch.
"Heero-sama, wake up."
Oh, Trowa and Quatre.
Slowly, one cobalt-blue eye opened, then another. Heero did not look happy.
"What do you want?" he grouched.
The two advisors exchanged glances, and Trowa said cautiously, "It is well past the eighth hour, Your Majesty."
The two visitors seemed to understand the get out undertones and backed away.
Sighing, Heero sat up, careful not to disturb the purring kitten beside him. Lightly, almost tenderly, his finger traced one delicately curved brow and lower, down the side of the heart-shaped face to the full lips parted in blissful slumber.
Using his whole hand now, he continued his exploration of the boy beneath him. Last night hed been to anxious in possessing Duo he hadnt really the chance of enjoying him.
But now that the exquisite body was all his and only his, there was plenty of time to take advantage of every inch of it.
Throat, chest, and lower yet to the flat belly--everything. When Heero looked up, he saw that two soul-searing violet eyes were fixed on his hand with curiosity.
Duo had the most shockingly beautiful eyes.
"Ohayo," he muttered.
"Good morning," the long-haired boy greeted back, voice softer than usual and cheeks a faint crimson.
Duo sounded unsure, bewildered, lost even.
Heero brushed that tempting mouth with his lips. It couldnt count as a kiss, but it didnt really matter because Duo relaxed and gave a tiny smile anyway.
Heero, being one to take advantage of opportunities when they presented themselves, now took time to admire the view his concubine made. Long chestnut silk tumbled across the mattress in rich masses. His pale skin was of delightful contrast with the dark sheets.
And he was completely bared.
Duo made a move to sit up, but winced, hand instinctively going to the source of the pain: his rear.
Heero frowned. He was a lot rougher than hed intended to be the night before. He laid back against the pillows, pulling his lover closer until the chestnut-topped head rested on his chest.
"Gomen," he apologized quietly.
"Daijoubu," Duo breathed in reply.
Heero pushed him away to kiss him, demanding but gentle, tongue seeking entrance and hand rubbing up Duos side then down again, each time higher than the last. The full lips parted in a sigh.
Suddenly he didnt hurt anymore.
A pleasured shiver worked its way through the slim body and Duo began to squirm when the callused thumb teased one of his nipples. He pulled his mouth from that of his Lord to groan and plead for more.
Heeros strong arms held him tight, held him secure as he writhed helplessly in the circle of his embrace.
"God !" Duo moaned when firm lips fasted on his right nipple and fingers worked the left until they were painfully sensitive. Heero was suddenly gone, leaving him dazed and in want of more of the same treatment.
Duo looked down the length of his body and saw his lover smirking just over his hardening member. He gasped and arched almost completely off the bed when a hot mouth engulfed his whole head, crying out loudly and hips thrusting upwards.
"Heero!! Kso !"
Duo wasnt sure what he said after that, but he did know that he talked a lot in a begging tone. With the sensation of Heeros hard sucking, he came quickly, spilling himself into his superiors mouth.
The emperor took in every last drop of his concubines essence, closing his eyes to savor the bitter-sweet taste. Then, with one last lick at the slit of the softening shaft, he rose from his crouch to settle once more beside his contented lover.
Duo sagged against the cushions on the now rumpled bed. He was tired but still responded to the kisses Heero placed on his lips, tasting himself. The flavor surprised him, but he was too satisfied to do anything about it.
Heero stroked the silky hair, mind going hazy. He was just about to fall asleep again when he remembered.
Upon hearing his lovers agonized groan, Duo looked at him. "Whats wrong?"
"I think I just completely missed morning audience."
The former prince stiffed a giggle. "They always say the same things over and over again when I attend them. Thats why I try to get out of it whenever I can."
Heero snorted. "Thats the case with me as well--Trowa and Quatre are the only ones that dont give me the same information again and again. But unlike you, I cant escape it."
Duo opened his mouth to say something, but was interrupted by voices on the other side of the bed curtains.
"Heika-sama, whats the matter?"
"We heard from Trowa-sama that werent feeling well."
"Are you ill, Your Majesty?"
"Shall I fetch a doctor?"
There were eight voices talking at the same time, minus Trowa and Quatre.
Heero was barely able to clamp down on the urge to call for an executioner.
Three months since the ceremony~
Hilde ran to the Throne Room. When she reached it, however, two huge guards stopped her.
"Hanase!" She struggled, though she knew it was useless. But she had an idea. "Heika!!!" she screamed at the top of her lungs. "It's Duo-sama! I can't find him anywhere!"
Almost immediately, the door burst open and the emperor himself stood wide-eyed and stiff before her.
Heero grabbed her roughly by the shoulders. "What are you saying?" he demanded, giving her a hard shake.
Hilde tried to catch her breath. "This morning he said he wasn't feeling well and that he would keep to his chambers. But I looked for him everywhere. Oh Heika, I'm afraid something might have happened to him!"
As Heero took off, Trowa ordered the rest of the advisors to return to their chambers while Quatre tried to get more information out of the stricken maid. But Hilde couldn't say much more.
Trowa followed the path which his emperor had taken, calling over his shoulder, "Take the girl back, Quatre. I'm going after His Majesty."
The entire palace was in up-roar, as it was not often that the king was seen in a near-panic state. He stopped several people to inquire after his concubine. Only one was of any help.
The tiny man blinked was it really the EMPEROR talking to HIM? "Uh, I believe he ran towards the direction of the lake, sire. He was carrying something that had a curved blade-"
"!!! See me later today and I will give you your reward."
Duo paused at the waterbank, DeathScythe in one hand and his free one tensed in a first. It wasn't supposed to turn out this way
Firming his jaw, he held the legendary weapon at his wrist, and cut a long slit in the flesh there. Strange, so little pain.
He took a few more steps into the water, feeing a little weaker with each one. It wasn't supposed to turn out this way! He should've been getting revenge instead of escaping his miserable failure.
He slipped on an unseen rock and stumbled.
Heero approached the lake just in time to see Duo disappear beneath the ripples. He cursed and discarded his cape, plunging in the water without a second thought. It was murky, and he couldn't see anything at first. But as his eyes grew accustomed to his surroundings, he saw something a little ways ahead of him.
He grabbed the rope trailing from the figure, and was both horrified and delighted to feel that it was hair-Duo's braid. From it he was able to find Duo's waist and began to drag him to the surface. His upward progress was halted, however, when some underwater plant tangled around his leg.
Just when Heero was to give up, his limb was miraculously released and he stroved once more for the surface. He sucked in a lungful of fresh air, immediately feeling re-energized. Careful to keep his precious burden's head above water level, he began the long, tedious journey to shore.
His breathing was hard by the time he fell onto the sand beside his concubine. He tried to check his pulse, and was shocked to find a long slit on the slender wrist.
"Better get him to the doctor, Majesty."
For the first time, Heero noticed his advisor, every bit as soaked and worn out as he was but still calm. Had it not been such a distressing situation, Heero might have taken time to stare at Trowa's bangs. It hadn't moved a bit!
Instead, he nodded, scooping up the limp, barely alive body and began running up the shoreline, his advisor a little ways behind.
Sally Po sighed, gently stroking the damp bangs of the young man who'd barely survived. She looked at Heero.
"Fever, blood loss. For some reason or other, it appears that he tried to kill himself."
The emperor looked confused.
The palace doctor continued. "Has he been acting strange lately?"
Heero started to shake his head, but stopped. "Ever since last week, he's been talking and shivering in his sleep. I think he said once something about revenge, though I couldn't really understand.
"Nightmares of the invasion, do you think?"
"Your Majesty, Doctor." Trowa entered the room, a covered tray in hand. He set it down on the table next to the bed which Duo was now on. "I think you would be interested in seeing what I found in Duo's bedchamber."
He uncovered the tray, and Sally gasped. On a silver plate laid five needles. The strange thing was that the silver beneath the tips were almost pure black.
Heero took everything in with an emotionless expression.
Sally finally found her voice. "Sire, I think I had better analyze this."
As soon as she picked up the tray, Heero's monotone growled, "Out. Get out, all of you."
Trowa, Sally, and everyone else backed out hastily.
The first thing Duo was aware of was a now familiar hand stroking his cheek. The second thing was that he was alive.
He tried to sit up, but found himself pushed back down, head swimming.
"Stay still," a nasal voice commanded him.
"'Eeewo " he said weakly.
"You tried to kill yourself."
Duo squeezed his eyes shut even tighter.
There was silence, then Heero spoke again. "Tell me later."
One week in bed had Duo well enough to talk again without feeling nauseated. But his energy was gone.
Heero came to see him every night, and he did so now. He sat facing his concubine on the canopied bed, and Duo gave a small smile.
"Are you well enough to tell me why, now?"
The tentative grin disappeared, the gloomy face returning. "I suppose so."
"Because I love you."
Heero blinked. "What?"
Duo sighed, violet eyes watering a little. "I love you, Heero. I don't know how and I don't know when it started. But I do."
"That's not all." It wasn't a question.
Duo winced slightly at the tone. "No, it's not. I wanted to kill you. You took everything of mine. My family, my kingdom, my pride, my body. I knew that if I killed you, I'd be next in line for the throne. I'd have my revenge as well as my kingdom back."
Heero found his concubine clinging to him.
"But I can't. I can't kill you, Heero! What kind of crown prince am I?! If I can't even vanquish an enemy???"
For once, Heero didn't return Duo's embrace. He sat there stiffly with no readable expression on his face as the other cried into his tunic.
"Is that all?" he asked quietly. "Is that why you seemed to forgive me so easily?"
A small nod.
Heero stood up, leaving his concubine dazed and off-balance.
Duo stared at him blankly, uncomprehending. "Where?"
"The punishment for even thinking to murder the emperor is death. But I won't kill you. Go back to your kingdom. It's yours." The cobalt eyes were mirrorlike and icy as he finished quietly. "The only reason I attacked was because of you."
He walked out of the room.
Hilde watched from the shadows as Duo slowly made his way to the emperor's chamber, barely able to contain the flow of tears that threatened to spill despite her defenses. Duo-sama had been such a delight to serve, so unlike those other prissy, power-hungry concubines. And he was leaving today.
He paused in front of the large, imposing door and exchanged a few lethargic words with the large, imposing guards, who just sneered at him, not budging. Quatre, whom Duo had come to become friends with, happened to walk by and ordered the men to open the door.
They hesitated, but when the little blonde squared his shoulders and threatened to send them to an executioner, they immediately bowed and moved away. Sometimes it was truly amazing how Quatre seemed to be able to move a mountain by will alone.
Duo stopped before the emperor's document chamber. Heero ignored him. He spoke anyway.
"I am leaving, Your Majesty."
Heero looked up at the formal title, one that Duo had never used seriously.
"My maid suggested that I come and see you while the coach master prepares." He bowed deeply and turned back to the door. "Sayonara, Heika."
As he disappeared behind the wooden panel, Heero couldn't shake the feeling of dread.
Why did letting Duo go seem like the biggest mistake he'd ever made?
" So the Elwan advisors are suggesting that you go visit their king."
King Duo the Third could barely contain his excitement. Going back to Elwan, back to Heero after five years!
Mueller continued. "But we know the awful things that man has made you do, and of the terrible memories that must haunt you from that place. So I have seen to it that a representative be sent in your place."
WHAT?!?!?! "I gave no such order!" cried Duo, lurching out of his throne and nearly strangling the advisor.
Mueller blinked. "Your Majesty, please calm down! Surely you are not thinking to really take up on such a ludicrous idea."
"As a matter of fact I am! Er it would be impolite to refuse the invitation."
"But it is not official, Sire. They were merely suggesting it."
"I know that!" Duo said impatiently. "But still, cancel that plan and I will go myself."
" Yes Your Majesty." Mueller prepared to bow out of the room.
"And I want to clear something with you."
He once more kneeled down before his king.
"This kingdom would not be half as successful and powerful as it is had it not been for Hee--the Elwan king. He was the one who repaired for the damages his army had made, as well as the buildings and libraries that had not had attention for decades. He was the one that brought Eltwo under his wing as his empire grew larger and larger over the past few years. Now I want no more of this negative LIES about him."
"But Duo-sama! What of those things he forced you to do during his reign?"
Duo stiffened. "They are to be dealt by me and me alone."
Mueller swallowed his snarl. "Yes, Sire. But I must insist on accompanying you."
Duo, coming back! Heero felt his breathing beginning to quicken as Trowa delivered the latest news of the Eltwo kingdom. After five wasted years !
"He's bringing two advisors, six maids, four manservants, and one personal guard."
"So little "
"He is said to be one of the fewest requirements, Heika." Trowa continued. "It is in regard the possible union of our two empires. The OZ kingdom is quickly rising in power and has their eyes on us. Wufei is unsure whether or not our defenses alone will be enough, and we will probably need their help."
The uni-banged advisor looked up. "Yes, Heika?"
"Prepare a procession for daybreak tomorrow. I will send Wufei and a troop to meet hi--them at the border-lands."
"But Your Majesty!" One of the lower advisors protested from behind Trowa. "What if they attack and hold him hostage?"
Quatre sent him an annoyed glance from where he was beside his lover. He didn't like anyone doubting his friend.
"Do it. They wouldn't attempt anything dangerous with how things are going. Tell Wufei that I want the Eltwo king escorted to the palace without any trouble or harm in any way." Turning back to Trowa, he said: "I'm guessing about fourteen days at most, so make sure supplies are plentiful. And that this time of year a sandstorm is almost guarrenteed, so make the necessary adjustments to that."
"Yes, Your Majesty."
"Quatre, prepare a suite for His Majesty before the general gets back."
Heero stood up. "That will be all for today I think."
Kisha glared at the maid. "Him? Coming back?!?!?"
The poor girl winced at her mistress' angry tone. "Y-yes, m'am; I heard it when one of Heika-sama's maid told me."
The concubine clutched the armrest of her chair until her knuckles were white, then she hit it with an animal-like shriek of pure jealousy. "How dare he?! It was because of him that Heero-sama didn't touch me for over a year ! Think about that, an unwanted concubine, having the FACE to return to her--his master after being cast away. I'd be too ashamed to even see him!"
The maid nodded, as it was an unspoken rule to always agree with one's mistress. "Hai. But he IS a king now "
"Quiet! I didn't give you permission to speak." She jerked her head suddenly, sending the diamond earings Heero-sama had given her flying. "Taeko," she called to another servant.
"Go call Heero-sama's other Favorites to come and see me. They won't refuse because I am of higher rank."
Kisha relaxed slightly. "He may be a king, but not in our land. Here, he is still a cast-away concubine."
The first maid looked somewhat panicked. "But Kisha-sama! Will Heika stand for it?"
"Quiet!" Like a dog.
Duo had went up the Hundred Steps of the Elwan ceremonial platform once before. Only this time, instead of walking up, he was being carried in a chair. His head was held high as he was lowered to the ground before the emperor of Elwan.
He stood just like he had once before, and bowed. Not as deep as a concubine would after being taken in, but just enough to show respect to the host emperor.
"Emperor Heero, it is truly an honor that you have not only welcomed me into your empire, but also sent a general to insure my safe arrival."
Heero forced himself to be calm and he raised a palm, signalling that the gratitude was noted. "Not at all, King Duo. It is a pleasure to have you here."
Duo hesitated before taking his rightful seat beside his former lover on the long, beautifully decorated bench, the buckles and jewels on his clothes voicing his every movement.
Duo nearly fell in the Imperial Baths. He was exhausted, felt filthy and was in an over-all terrible condition. He washed himself quickly before lying at the edge and soaked. Sitting in a bumpy panlequin, however spacious, for days at a time was not something to be enjoyed. His muscles were so knotted it surprised him that they didn't verbally screech each time he so much as twitched.
As much as he would've like to just lay there for the rest of the month, his skin was still as tender as it was years ago and was already starting to prune. So he dragged his aching self out of the water only to collapse onto the lush grass and basically pass out.
He woke up to someone leaning over him, awfully close too. He groaned, and a familiar, sensual voice asked him how he felt.
"Like I just got run over by a herd of elephants," he said quite matter-of-factly. He hated using Proper language when it was not absolutely necessary.
Heero chuckled. "I'm not surprised."
"Heero, do me a favor and kill me."
Duo opened his mouth to protest, but found himself unable to, since warm lips covered his own and he could do nothing besides let out a little moan. Heero's hand settled at his bare hip, thumb stroking.
"Hee--ah " Those same, maddening lips closed on his throat, teeth nipping the parts the Elwan emperor knew was sensitive.
"I missed you," Heero whispered before biting into the jugular of Duo's neck.
"Missed you too," he somehow managed to reply.
When Heero's hand began to wander, violet eyes popped open and he stopped it.
"What are you doing?" he demanded.
Heero smirked. "Are you trying to tell me that you don't want this?"
Duo cursed, pushed the other man off of him, and threw on a robe. "I'm not your concubine anymore, Heero. You sent me away yourself, remember?"
The emperor glared at him. "By Elwan law it was either that or kill you." He tangled his hands in the damp locks of Duo's unbound hair. "And I didn't want to do the latter."
"I know, but " But what? But I still wanted to stay with you? I still wanted you to make love to me every night?
Heero kissed him. "You must be starved. Lunch will be ready in a few minutes."
Duo nodded. "Alright."
Duo was kind of stiff, Heero noted as the other king practically collapsed onto the chair across the table from him. He nodded politely and his former concubine returned it wearily.
"I see it has been hard on you," Heero commented as a maid poured their wine.
"The trip," he clarified, taking a small sip.
Duo smiled weakly and reached for his own goblet. His eyes widened when he sniffed at the liquor. "This is "
"Yes, that rose-grape you grew."
After Duo had been officially made Favorite concubine, hed insisted on growing grapes to make special wine for Heero alone. But unfourtunately, his spider rose patch was too near to the grapes and they somehow interbred. The result was the regular flavored wine with the scent of roses.
Duo blushed at the memory of his mistake. It wasnt an unpleasant one, but it certainly had not been intended. Heeros expression was one of amusement.
"I had the palace gardeners copy what had happened." His eyes froze over and he reached across the table to clasp one of Duos cold hands. "I decided that if I couldnt have you with me, I could at least have something that would remind me of you."
While the longhaired king stared stunned at him, Heero pulled back and called to the servants to bring up the dishes.
Duo chattered all through the meal while Heero basked in the comforting familiarity of the situation. Him, with his lover surrounding them with a flurry of words, telling him all about his day and asking questions without giving him a chance to answer. He should have known it wouldnt last forever.
After dinner, they were both startled when Kisha suddenly entered the chamber in thin, see-through veils. Several other of Heeros favored concubines were behind her, clad in similar style outfits although not as provacative.
"Your Majesties," she bowed demurely, "The ladies and I have prepared a welcome dance for your enjoyment." She smiled sweetly at Duo, although the kind expression did not reach her eyes.
This did not go by Duo unnoticed.
They played, sang, danced, and threw off the veils one by one. The performance had a storyline--the tale of a fallen prince who betrayed his people to become a whore for an enemy emperor but was cast away.
As soon as Duo realized just what it was, he began to shake violently. Finally he couldnt take it anymore and nearly ran out to the palace garden. The dance did not stop, much to the joy of Mueller and the other advisors present.
"Chkuso!" Duo rasped as soon as the chords and words of the dancers song were out of hearing range. He punched the tree nearest to him and the leaves shivered slightly in agitation. He sank to his knees by the shoreline of the lake where he once tried to take his own life.
That damned woman! Such audaucity He was too angry to even order her execution. She must be extremely confident that Heero would not allow her death to even THINK of doing such a thing. She was not a stupid person, Duo knew that much from his previous encounters and confrontations with her. //She probably means more to him than I ever did.//
"Chkuso," he repeated weakly, wrapping his arms around himself and beginning to rock back and forth.
A powerful but elegant hand appeared out of nowhere to pick up his own and stroke the bleeding skin at the knuckles where the unforgiving bark of the tree had broken it. Duo didnt move.
"You still let her get to you," Heero commented softly, pulling out a hankerchief to wrap around the injured member of his former lover.
"It was deliberate humiliation," Duo replied quietly. He suddenly let out a humorless laugh. "Well it worked."
"Why do you let it?"
He sighed. "Sometimes you just cant help but feel hurt. But you wouldnt know. Youve never been insulted, have you? What am I talking about--of course you havent."
Heero suddenly chuckled. "Oh yes I have. Do you remember when you first arrived here? What were the first things you said to me, hmm?"
Duo grinned slightly. "Well, other than that. But I dont think it meant anything to you."
Heero laid back onto the grass and pulled the other ruler on top of him, closing his eyes when Duo tucked his head under his chin. "As if being called a womanizing bastard by the jewel of the three worlds didnt mean anything," he snorted, petting the long braid of silk.
Duo giggled and propped himself up to cluck his tongue at the man beneath him. "And youre still womanizing."
Heero raised an eyebrow. "Oh? Are you a woman?" Duoizing was more like it.
Silvery laughter rolled over him like a wave, followed by silence as they just lay there on the grass and enjoyed each others warmth.
"Heero?" Duo whispered.
"I still love you."
Heero nuzzled his lovers fragrant hair. "I know."
Duo closed his eyes. "But we cant be together like this."
The taller emperor frowned. "Why?"
"Not with possible war in the horizon."
Heero flipped them so Duo was now pinned under his body. "But OZ isnt stupid enough to try and take BOTH our kingdoms. If we join that is."
The violet eyes were earnst yet sad. "You know theres nothing I want more, Heero. But Eltwo still harbors ill feelings toward you, and the wants of the people out-weigh my own."
Heero groaned. "Oh yes, that could be a problem. But cant you sway their opinions?"
Duo sighed. "What else did you think Ive been trying to do during the past few years? Theyre beginning to improve, but not quickly enough that theyd willingly join forces with Elwon in time to prepare for OZ."
"What if I, well " He shifted uncomfortably. "Apologize?"
Duo made a face at him. "See? Youre not even happy about the IDEA, much less doing it."
"But I can," the other insisted stubbornly.
The king regarded him carefully. "Then it may just be possible."
A treaty was signed seven months later and the capitals of the two kingdoms became one: right at the border between Elwon and Eltwo.
Epilogue: Itooshi Hito No Tameni~
Heero cursed and hitched his pack a little higher. This was NOT going well. First that girl had showed up at the base unexpectedly then that boy. He scowled and muttered another foul word. At this rate, his mission was going to f--f He shook his head. No use getting himself upset with that idea.
He opened the door to his dorm room and reeled back in horrified shock. A black-clad figure was bottom-up with the head in a medium sized suitcase, tossing shirts, pants, and various articles of clothing helter skelter. A pair of boxers came flying his way and he caught it. Heero frowned and rubbed the material between his fingers absent-mindedly. Silk, he noted.
The familiar tenor snapped him back to attention and he looked up. His computer-like mind immediately registered the slender, braided boy smirking before him, hands on his hips and weight on his left foot. It was his first good look at the boy and Heero felt his heart beginning to race, though hadn't the faintest idea why. It was almost as if as if he'd known him somewhere else. Beyond time, beyond space, hundreds of years ago. But that wasn't possible.
"When ol' principal-sama said I was going to share a room with a 'rather strange young man of Oriental ethnics', I wasn't expecting you!"
The boy came up to him and extended a friendly hand. "Hi, I'm Duo, Duo Maxwell. I run, I hide, but I don't lie." He leaned forward and whispered playfully, "But my enemies know me as Shinigami." He winked. "So you'd better watch out!" Duo took off his cap and did a sweeping bow. "Nice to meetcha, glad I didn't hamper you much with those shots. Say, what's your name? I don't think I caught it on our first (he wiggled his fingers in a quoting manner) nice-'n-easy introduction. And I wasn't listening when that principal was talking."
Heero's glare had somehow worsened during the American's extensive speech. "Hn." He pushed past the newcomer to his bed and threw down his things.
"Hn? Hmm, strange name. Like a rhinoceros' grunt or something. HNNNNNNN! But that's alright, I knew a boy named Ryuuen, can you believe it? A BOY named RYUUEN!"
Duo grinned. "Oh! A little more nasal, is that it? OK, let me try ehem, hhnnnnnnnnn--!"
Heero whirled around and gave his deadliest glare. The other groaned.
"Now why do I have a feeling we'll either ignore each other's existence or kill each other before the next mission?"
Heero didn't answer, Duo didn't expect him to. Instead, he stared at his roommate for some time as he pulled out his homework and settled at the desk. Finally he blurted out, "Do I know you?"
Heero stopped his movements and his blood ran cold.
Duo obviously mistook it, and added hastily, "I mean, before I shot you. Like we've somehow met before " His expression was one of confusion, lost somehow. His eyes cleared and he blushed. "Er, not a very good first impression was that? I'm not crazy, really I'm not."
Heero just did his homework, determined to forget everything.
He loved Duo best like this, lying naked and content beside him, his beauty unguarded and open for his eyes to feast on. Heero nosed aside a stray lock of silky chestnut, tongue flicking out to taste his lover's ear.
His reward was a purr and he kissed his way down the swan-like neck, long and graceful and so Duo.
"Heero " the American sighed dreamily. He craned his neck to give his love better access before meeting Heero's lips with his own.
Heero pulled him tighter, but quickly released him when a wince penetrated the gentle atmosphere. He pulled up the bed sheet and checked Duo's bandaged ribs carefully.
"I'm sorry," he murmured apologetically, silently taking note to be more careful.
Duo cupped the side of face sweetly and kissed his nose. "Don't apologize. It's not you who hurt me; it's those OZ bastards. And we'll beat them, itooshi." He laid his forehead against Heero's. "I'll do it for you, just you. Anything for the one I love. That's from a song on Fushigi Yuugi you know. About a girl who traveled into a book of the ancient times and fell in love with a boy from there who existed in that world only, a long, long time ago." He was suddenly thoughtful. "Still, I can't help but feel like I knew you before I met you, no matter how dumb that sounds."
Heero added quietly into his hair, "Maybe in a past life, sitting on a shining throne of gems and gold of the highest grade."
"Right, and surrounded by concubines though we chose each other over them." Duo giggled. "Oh my, are we getting carried away or what!" His expression turned mischievous. "Feeling up to some RP, Heero? I'll be your innocent concubine forced to do whatever your hentai mind and gorgeous body desires," he offered slyly.
Heero smirked. "As soon as you're out of those fashionable gowns of the bluest hue."
"Oi, I'm out of it now."
"You'd go out to the mall with that?"
"So I'm forcing you to recover before we get frisky."
"Yes, Your Majesty."