11-28-2000

This is a Gundam Wing fic.
I am a evil, relena-bashing maniac. I don't like her, I won't ever like her, and anyone who does can...well...forgive me? This fic has definite lemon to it, all in good taste, some angst-nothing too violent. Definitely a 1x2 pairing with a hint, slight, of 3x4. I really like this one. Hope you do too.
// denotes thoughts
* * denotes emphasis

 

Truth or Dare

 

"So, what do'ya want, anyway?" Duo looked at Relena in exasperation, head cocked and one hand resting on his hip. The girl had demanded he speak with her. In private.

"You know exactly what I want," Relena said with unconceiled dislike. "The same thing I've wanted since the first time I met you. I want you to leave Heero alone. For good."

"Relena, there's something you don't understand. I know Heero hasn't wanted to tell you, I'm not sure why, but...well..."

"If you are going to tell me that the two of you are involved, you are wasting your breath. I already know." Relena smiled a superior smile, not the least bit upset by what she'd said.

"You know!? Then why did you ask me to leave him alone if you know that he--"

"You are mistaken. If you think Heero wants you for anything other than to relieve himself, you are mistaken. I've seen they way he treats you. That's all you are to him, and I except that. Once you are out of the way, he will realize that there are more important things...like love, and affection, and--"

Duo's eyes narrowed in fury. "Heero does not love you!"

"I know." Relena was smiling again, "but he will. When he sees how much I love him, he will. But he will never care about you."

"How can you say that? Do you really think Heero would make love to--"

"Sex!" Relena's face turned red, slightly, "It is only sex. To make love, there must be love. What do I have to do to make you understand? I've seen the way he treats you. I've watched you when you didn't know I was there. Do you really think he would act like that toward someone he cared for? Let alone someone he loved?!"

"The way he treats me...?" Duo's face dropped slightly, wariness rising in him.

"I don't have any footage, I erased it all, but I remember. Shall I give you a couple of examples?" Relena was not smiling any longer. Instead, she was grinning a grin that would have rivaled Duo's had he not been feeling less than cheerful at the moment. "I know you can't be as stupid as you act or you wouldn't be a Gundam pilot. Just to be on the safe side, however," Relena leaned over Duo, who had sat down, moving in for the kill, "I'll speak slowly and use small words. He won't touch you in public. Now maybe in school it would make sense, after all, think of the attention such a disgusting display would bring, but even when you are only visible to the other pilots. Even when it is just the five of you. He shoves you away. And we both know he doesn't want me to see you touching him. He won't even let you put your hand on his shoulder." She stopped for a minute, revelling in the pain visible in those wide eyes before continuing.

"Do you remember when I invited the five of you to my resort, two weeks ago? When I came into the room, you were on the floor with a bloody nose. He didn't want me to see you with your arm around him. I did, of course. I only waited until he hit you before coming in, but that's not the point. He didn't want you touching him. Doesn't that tell you anything? If he cared for you, why would your touch repel him? If you wanted you for anything other than sex, then why is the bedroom the only place where he touches you? Why?"

"S-stop it," Duo's voice sounded angry, but she wasn't fooled.

"I will. After one more thing. Just a little something else that I've noticed. Your mouth."

Suddenly Duo's eyes sparked and he stood abruptly, small grin coming to his lips. "That's where you're wrong. It may surprise you, but my mouth is one of the things Heero likes most about me. I guess a prude like you wouldn't understand but--"

"Shut up! God, you've just proven my point before I even had a chance to say it. Crudeness aside, you never shut up. He may like the things," she seemed to have trouble getting the word out of her mouth, "you do with it, but he's always telling you to shut up. How many times has he said it? Have you ever counted? Well, I didn't count, but I listened. You remember the weekend I was talking about? Do you realize that although he talked more to you than anyone else, almost everything he said consisted of the same three words, 'Duo. Shut. Up.' " Relena stopped, contenting herself with merely looking at the shell-shocked boy. //Finally...finally I got through to him.//

For a moment, Duo's statement was unguarded, pain etched over it. Then it changed, eyes narrowing in anger, and he shoved Relena out of his way as he headed for the door. "You can say what you want, I know Heero. Better than you ever could."

With a frustrated breath, Relena glared at the door. //What will it take?! How can he be so stupid? Well, I'll make him understand. I'll have Heero explain it to him.// She smiled suddenly, plan forming. //Now he'll be aware of the way Heero treats him. He'll see it for himself. He may be stupid, but he's not blind. Heero's mine. He's always been mine. I may have let him relieve his frustration on that...idiot, but his love is mine.//

* * *

"Alright."

"What?!" //What the hell is wrong with him?! He never agrees! He probably hates Relena even more than I do. He's been too quiet recently. And now he agrees to staying at another of Relena's resorts without any protest at all?!// "Are you sick?"

Duo gave a small smile and shook his head before turning back to his bag. //I won't argue with you. If you want to see her, I won't argue with you. It doesn't matter if you don't care about me. I just want to be here. I just want to be with you. Sex. Comfort. Love. It doesn't matter what you call it. I want it and if keeping it means I never irritate you again, then that's a small price to pay. It's not like I try to irritate him, well sometimes I do but most of the time I'm just being. . . me.//

Heero watched as Duo packed his bag. Less than five minutes had passed since Heero'd suggested they accept Relena's latest invitation. Five minutes since he'd mentioned his preference to leave as soon as possible. And Duo was already packing. Frowning, Heero remembered the last time they'd accepted one of the girl's invitations. It was only two weeks ago, and he still remembered how he'd practically had to drag Duo out the door. He'd also had to pack, since the long-haired boy had been too buisy arguing to do anything else. //What is going on? And why am I complaining? He's actually cooperating for once.//

Having finished packing, Duo turned to find Heero frowning at him. //No. . . what have I done wrong NOW?// "Is something wrong, Heero?" Duo asked in as quiet a voice as he could, unable to remain silent completely. "Have you changed your mind?" //Stop now. That's enough. Give him time to answer.// Duo closed his mouth with a conscious effort. //God, this is so hard.//

If anything, Heero's frown increased. Then he turned away and began packing his own bag. //I guess that's my answer.// Thoroughly depressed, Duo sat on his bed and watched Heero pack. It took him half the time it had Duo, and he was much more efficient. //We're so different. The only thing we have in common is that we're both Gundam pilots. And sex. We have that. . .that's enough. . . it has to be. . .// Duo hid his face in his hands. He wanted nothing more than to make advances toward Heero, stalling the inevitable trip. //But that always irritates him. I have self control. I do. I just don't know how to use it. . .// Leaning against the wall, Duo closed his eyes and played with the edge of his braid. He still hadn't figured out how to sit completely still.

When Heero finished packing and zipped up his bag, the first thing that hit him was the silence. Turning quickly, his eyes scanned the room, stopping on Duo who was still sitting on the bed, eyes downcast and fiddling with his braid. //He looks like a puppy that's been kicked one too many times.// Frowning once more, Heero walked to the bed and stood in front of Duo, eyes blazing, waiting for him to look up. It was a long wait. Finally, he grunted to get the boy's attention. Duo looked up, eyebrows raised in a questioning manner.

"What is wrong with you?" Heero growled.

"Huh?" Duo looked down in confusion for a minute then smiled tentatively, "Why do you think something's wrong?"

"Let me think." Heero's voice dripped sarcasm. "You haven't said more than three words in the last two days. And you didn't say a word when I suggested going to Relena's resort. I want to know what's going on?" He waited, expectantly.

//I can't win//, Duo thought dejectedly, //when I'm loud and argumentative he shoves me away, and when I try to make him happy he gets mad.// "I just haven't felt much like talking." //That's true. I'll do anything to keep him from telling me to shut up.//

Heero's intense eyes searched his face. //I'll figure it out once we get to the resort. This is a good oportunity to get in touch with the others, and no matter how irritating Relena is her resorts are safe. Maybe he's just tired. He hasn't been sleeping very well, lately.// Nodding, Heero hefted his bag on his shoulder. "Ready?"

Duo nodded, picking his own bag up. It was going to be a long drive. //A long boring, quiet drive.// Stifling a sigh, Duo followed Heero from the room.

* * *

Heero glared at the road, hands gripping the wheel tightly. //Whatever it is, I'm sick of it.// He shot a quick glance at Duo. He was dozing off again. It was the third time he'd done so, but this time he was leaning against his door rather than simply reclining in his seat. The last two times, he'd started to slide towards Heero, only to jerk upright, a guilty statement on his face. //It's almost as if he doesn't want to touch me.// Heero gripped the wheel tighter. //If that's the way he feels, then he'll have to come out and say so.// Eyes glinting with determination, he reached out and grabbed Duo's arm, jerking him away from the door. Duo's eyes flew open in startlement, as Heero wrapped an arm around his waist and jerked him across the seat. Pulling Duo up against his side, arm still wrapped around him, Heero slowly relaxed as Duo rested his head against his chest with a soft sigh. //That's more like it//, Heero thought as Duo slowly rubbed his cheek against him.

* * *

"Duo, wake up. We're here." Duo recognized Heero's voice, not really listening to his words. With a soft groan, he nuzzled against Heero's chest, arms moving around his waist. "Duo..." Suddenly, he recognized the warning tone in Heero's voice and his eyes snapped open.

"S-sorry," Duo said quickly, sitting up and rubbing his eyes to hide his face from Heero. Then he stretched slighly and grabbed his bag. "Okay."

Heero blinked at him for a moment in surprise. //What was THAT?// Then he shook himself slightly and lifted his own bag before opening the door to the truck and climbing out. Duo walked around the front of the truck to stand beside him. Looking up at the tall hotel-like building, Heero frowned. "It's cold, for being so close to the ocean."

Shivering slightly, Duo nodded. "Where do we go?" He wrapped his arms around himself desolately.

Heero turned to look at Duo. //Any other time he'd be trying to climb under my skin after an invitation like that. I know how cold he gets. Relena should have warned us about the nights here. But then, she never thinks about anyone besides herself.// Heero was debating on whether or not to put an arm around Duo when a light suddenly flickered on near the hotel and a man approached them.

"Names?" the voice was imperious, as if the man knew his importance.

"Heero Huy and Duo Maxwell." Heero watched the man through narrowed eyes.

"Miss Relena instructed me to escort the two of you to your rooms."

Heero waited, but the man made no move to lead them inside. Glancing at Duo, Heero could see him shivering slightly. "Well, what are you waiting for?" he demanded angrily. "Are any of the others here yet?"

Looking insulted, the man started to walk for the building before answering over his shoulder. "They all arrived this morning."

"Good," Heero said, not liking the man one bit. "Show us to their rooms. We will room across the hall."

"Miss Relena gave explicit orders regarding the room assignments," the man objected. //I'll just bet she did//, Duo thought angrily, forcing himself to stop shaking. //She probably put me on the other side of the resort.//

"She will not argue if you tell her I demanded the rooms. Now show us in or we will find our own way." Duo looked at Heero in surprise. The dark haired boy was staring at the conceited man with obvious dislike.

With a shocked humph, the man straightened his back. "This way." He then proceeded them into the building.

* * *

Duo was buried under a mound of quilts, the tip of his braid the only thing visible. Lifting the edge of the mound, Heero slid in beside him, wrapping his arms around Duo's waist. For a moment, the American stffened, "Heero...?"

"Why didn't you come to my room?" Heero murmered, burying his face in the hair at the back of Duo's neck, his hands moving down to undo the braid.

"I...I was afraid Relena might decide to visit you..." Duo said hesitantly, trying not to lie, yet not wanting to say too much. //I'm so glad he came.// "Heero...?" Turning, he looked at Heero.

Heero stared into Duo's eyes, reading the longing there. //Since when does he need permission?// Heero frowned slightly, and Duo's face dropped. Eyes widened, Heero felt Duo's body go stiff as the long-haired pilot lowered his eyes. Thoroughly confused, Heero abruptly pushed Duo onto his back and propped himself up to loom over him. "Duo, tell me what is wrong with you." His voice was soft, yet demanding.

Lavender eyes looked up at him through long dark lashes, then they looked away abruptly. "I..."

"Tell me."

"I just...I just want to make you happy," Duo whispered, not meeting his eyes.

Eyes widening, Heero framed Duo's face with his hands. "Don't you always?" Looking up, Duo slowly lifted his head to touch his lips tentatively to Heero's mouth. Growling, Heero deepened the kiss, pushing Duo back against the bed. It was as if he'd hit a switch, suddenly Duo's arms went around him, hands rubbing over his back, tongue rubbing against his with the passion he always connected with Duo. Running his hand over Duo's forehead, Heero brushed back his bangs before following his hand with his lips. Then, after sharing another steamy kiss, he slowly moved down. Nuzzling the curve of Duo's neck, he moved down to take one of his nipples in his mouth, flicking it with his tongue before sucking on it roughly. His other hand slipped lower, pushing down Duo's boxer shorts and fondling him gently as he moved to the other nipple. Duo whimpered, his hands buried in Heero's hair. Then Heero took him into his mouth and he couldn't restrain himself any longer.

"Heero..." his voice was low, husky and thick. "Please..." Moving upward, Heero suddenly took his mouth with another kiss as he kicked off his shorts and spread Duo's legs. With a moan, Heero positioned himself, his mouth moving over Duo's, swallowing his answering moan. Wincing at the pain of Heero's entry, Duo buried his face against Heero's neck. Then Heero was touching him again, stroking him in time with his thrusts, and Duo's tongue flicked out to taste one of the nipples above him. Suddenly, Heero pushed him back into the bed, taking his mouth without ceasing his thrusts. Panting into each other's mouths, they came together, Heero gripping Duo's hair as his body grew tense. With a satisfied sigh, he collapsed on Duo, lips moving over the beautiful face, tasting the bruised lips and attacking the tongue they hid. Slowly, he moved to Duo's side, arms wrapped around him, pulling him close.

Duo sighed, a large smile curving his lips as he pressed himself to Heero's chest, his arms moving around the firm waist. "Heero..." he breathed. "Yes, Duo?" Moving his head slightly, Duo sighed again, his breath tickling Heero's chest, "I'm glad you're here."

Mouth twitching with a tiny smile, Heero tightened his arms as much as he could without hurting him, "Where else would I be?"

* * *

"I'm so glad you could come," Relena smiled at the five boys lounging on the patio overlooking the ocean. Heero's sharp eyes noticed the quick smirk that crossed her lips as her eyes met Duo's, then she set her devouring gaze on him. "How have you been, Heero?" Heero muttered something undeterminable, looking away from those obsessed eyes. "I am sure you were glad to know you would be able to take a break," she continued, not the least bit deterred. "To finally be able to get some peace and quiet."

Heero looked up at the irony in her voice, and she smiled at him sweetly. Then she sat down on the bench beside him, looking around at the others. Trowa and Quatre were sitting at a small table with Wufei, and Duo was leaning against the railing, facing the ocean.

"Have you made any plans for us this weekend, Miss Relena?" Quatre asked, looking at her curiously.

"Well," Relena smiled coquetishly at Heero almost causing him to snort out loud, "I was hoping you would all attend a little party tonight. Unless you have other things to do?" Heero followed her eyes to find them locked on Duo, who returned her gaze statementlessly.

"I'm sure none of us would refuse such a nice invitation," the Death Scythe pilot said, mouth quirking in a small smirk. "I for one wouldn't dream of missing a party of yours."

Heero blinked at the tension crossing between the two of them, //I know they don't like each other, but this...this is something else. What did I miss? And why is Duo standing all the way over there? Usually if Relena is around he's attatched to my hip. Now he's not even looking at me.//

Relena smiled, "Good. It won't start until six. Would any of you like to go swimming before then?" She turned to give Heero a coy smile, but his eyes were still on Duo. Frowning slightly, she cleared her throat causing him to flick his eyes to her. "I have bathing suits, if you didn't bring any."

Duo shoved away from the railing, and walked to stand behind Quatre, placing a hand lightly on the pale boy's shoulder. "Whatd'ya say, guys? It's hot enough."

Quatre turned and smiled up at him. "I would like to swim in the ocean. I've never even touched one before."

"That settles it," Trowa said smiling gently and standing, "Will you join us, Wufei? Heero?"

Putting a hand on Heero's arm, Relena practically purred at him, "Come on, Heero, I know you'd have fun. After all, the first time we met was on the beach." It was all he could do not to roll his eyes. //Yeah, we met on the beach, but I guess I can't blame the beach for that.// His eyes narrowed suddenly as Relena ran her fingers down his arm, but her eyes weren't on him, but Duo who abruptly turned away.

"Let's go get changed." After the others nodded, Duo turned back to Relena, smile securely on his face once more. "Think you could get us a lunch to take along?" he asked the girl who was still gripping Heero's arm.

"Of course," she answered. Then she turned and tapped a finger against Heero's chest causing his eyes to widen at her audacity. "Would you like to go with me, Heero? I wouldn't want to get anything you don't like."

"No." Heero stepped back and turned to head inside. "I'll go get changed and meet you on the beach," he turned, and looked at Duo for a minute. "Where are you going in?"

Duo looked out at the beach, spotting a large rock, "Right there."

"Alright."

* * *

Heero could hear Quatre giggling as Trowa splashed him, threatening to dunk him. Wufei was yelling at the two of them to act like men and not children. Relena was watching from the beach, laughing at their antics. And Duo was sitting on the large rock jutting out of the water about four yards from the shore. Just sitting and watching the frolicking pair with a wistful smile on his face.

As Heero reached the blanket Relena was sitting on and laid his towel on it, he saw something that made him pause. Wufei had laid off criticising Trowa and Quatre and had dived under the water. And he didn't resurface. Scanning the water, ignoring Relena's welcome, he finally spotted the dark head as it broke the surface near the rock Duo was perched on. The rock only jutted about a foot out of the water, so the end of the long, wet braid trailed the edge of the water. His mouth twitching in the beginnings of a grin that he would never allow to surface, Heero waited expectantly.

Sure enough, Wufei snuck up on Duo, who was staring off at the horizon, and grabbed that braid. Jerking the tip around his wrist, Wufei pulled Duo right off the rock and into the water with a destinct and unmanly high-pitched yipe. With flailing limbs, the long haired boy sputtered to the surface, staring around him in frightened shock until he spotted Wufei's laughing face. "Oh, no you did NOT just do that!" With a scream, Duo struggled after the black head that once more disappeared under the water. Diving, Duo searched for the culprit, eyes burning from the salt in the water. //Got him//, he thought as he spotted legs under the water. Moving quickly, he jerked on them until he'd pulled him under the water. Reaching the surface, he looked around in time to see Wufei break the surface, sputtering, but smiling.

"War, Maxwell!" he yelled as he leapt at the long haired boy, intending to dunk him.

"Catch me first!" Duo cried, diving into the water backward so Wufei wouldn't be able to catch his braid. Keeping very still at the bottom of the water, Duo quickly undid his hair. It would be much harder to grab it if it wasn't in a rope-like braid. When he couldn't hold his breath much longer, he slowly rose to peek out at the surface. Seeing Wufei nearby, he screamed and pounced, both going under.

On the shore, Heero's attempts to keep the grin hidden had failed slightly as a small smile played over his lips. Determined to be stronger, he forced himself to frown even though his eyes still smiled at Duo's antics. //He's happy. He hasn't seemed very happy recently, but he is now.//

"What a shame," Relena's voice cut into his thoughts like fingernails down a chalkboard. "I really wish Wufei hadn't done that, don't you?" She smiled up at Heero simpathetically, "It was so quiet." She patted his hand as if consoling him, oblivious to his angry gaze. "I guess it was silly to hope he'd be quiet very long, eh Heero?"

"What are you talking about? Do you mean Duo?" Heero's eyes narrowed dangerously.

"Heero," she shook her head at him, "It's not like it's any secret. And it's not just you. He irritates all of us with his noise. But look at it this way," she stood up, moving her body to show her curves as she moved closer, "as long as he's under the water most of the time we don't have to hear him. In the mean time," she shook her hair over her shoulder, smiling a coy smile again, "I'm going to swim a little."

Heero glared at the sashaying back as Relena walked out into the water. //Bitch. You can't complain about anybody's noise as irritating as your voice is.// Heero looked up as Duo screamed in mock fury as he wrestled with Wufei, both ending up under the water. //Even his screams sound good. As quiet as he's been lately, I'm glad to hear any noise out of him at all.// Good humor partially restored, he headed into the water toward the others.

"I win, Maxwell!" Wufei yelled triumphantly, before diving under the water to resurface near Quatre and Trowa, who were treading the water quietly.

"Only because I can't hold my breath as long as you," Duo muttered, shooting him a glare and wiping a strand of clinging hair out of his eyes.

"Who are you kidding?" Wufei taunted, rolling his eyes and smirking, "As fast as you run your mouth you probably only take one breath per minute!"

Glaring, Duo started to go after him when he noticed Heero. Heero was smirking. //Damn.// Clamping his mouth shut, Duo snorted at Wufei and splashed him half-heartedly.

"He's right, Duo," Relena said softly, smiling a pleased smile as she reached them, "We could hear you from the beach. You're very loud. Isn't he, Heero?"

//What is she trying to do?// Heero turned to give her a questioning glare, which she returned with an innocent statement. Looking back at Duo, his frowned at the unconcealed hurt in those lowered lavender eyes.

"Whatever," Duo said, in a ghost of his usual cheer. Turning, he dived into the water, splashing Relena, Heero caught Quatre stifling a giggle behind his hand, and resurfaced near the rock again. Heero watched as he pulled himself onto it and, throwing his hair above his head to dry, lay on his back with his arms spred, knees bent. //He was so happy...//

Suddenly furious, Heero turned to glare at Relena, unmindful of the fact that the others were staring at Duo with concern, (at least Quatre's statement was obviously concern the other two hid their emotions better). She too was looking at Duo, eyes wide with what he could only call pride. She wasn't smiling, but her head was held high and she looked very proud of herself. //It's her. It has to be.// Heero thought about beating it out of her, whatever her plan was, then paused. //I'd rather hear it from Duo.// He looked back at the motionless boy lying prone in the sun. //But I can't get two words out of him. I'll try again. He won't lie. He never lies.//

//I screwed up. I just can't do this.// Duo felt tears run down his cheeks, mixing with beads of salt-water. //I don't like pretending I'm someone else. I don't want to be quiet and reserved. I can't live like that. Unable to enjoy life. What's the point of living if I can't enjoy life?// Suddenly, Duo rolled off the rock, on the side opposite the others, so they wouldn't see him. As he'd feared, he soon began to sob silently, unable to still his shaking. //I can't be someone else. I'm me. That is who I am. I couldn't survive otherwise. I can't live my life like this. Even if it means giving him up.//

Duo sank beneath the water, holding onto the rock as he cried out. The water hiding his keening cries. //No. I can't. I don't want to live without him. It isn't much that he wants, after all, they are my faults. I am too loud, I talk too much, and I have no sense of decency wanting to touch him in public. I can do it. For him. I would do anything for him. I can.// Lungs burning for air, Duo let go of the rock and slowly floated to the surface, forcing himself to take a slow deep breath. //I will do whatever it takes.//

Heero watched Duo, wondering how to get him alone. When Duo rolled off the rock, Heero was afraid he'd fallen somehow, then he saw the tip of Duo's head on the other side. Then Duo moved out of sight. The next time he saw him, he was swimming for the shore. //He's going in. Damnit. He was having so much fun. And it's all because of her.// Heero shot Relena a dirty look before heading for the shore, not caring if she realized he was going after Duo. //I'll have the truth.//

* * *

"Duo?" Heero looked around Duo's bedroom, then wondered if he was in the wrong room. The bed was made, and there was nothing on the floor. Certain he'd somehow gotten the wrong room, Heero was turning to leave when he heard the bathroom door open a crack.

"Who is it?"

"It's me." Heero crossed the room, still staring in confusion at the tidiness.

"I need to wash my hair, can it wait?"

Heero suddenly turned back to the door and locked it before moving to the bathroom. Duo was still peering out, and he jumped out of the way when Heero pushed the door open. "Heero. . .I was--"

Eyes roving over Duo's now tanned body, and the very small towel he'd wrapped around his waist, Heero suddenly forgot why he'd wanted to talk to him. //It can wait.// Heero stalked forward, and Duo's eyes widened, a small hopeful smile curving his lips. "I know. Would you like some help?" Heero's leer was splendidly wicked.

"That would be wonderful," Duo breathed, letting Heero push him into the shower stall, the towel discarded on the floor behind them.

* * *

Duo sat on the edge of the bed, with Heero behind him, braiding his drying hair. When he was finished, Duo glanced over his shoulder. Heero's eyes were warm, a small smile twitching the corners of his mouth. Letting out a soft sigh, Duo leaned back against him, and Heero slid his arms around his waist. Tilting his head back to rest it on Heero's shoulder, Duo closed his eyes. //For this I would do anything. For you.//

"Duo?" Heero's voice breathed in his ear, and Duo slowly lifted his head, turning it to face Heero.

"Yes?"

"Are you ready to talk to me?" Heero's eyes were soft, yet determined.

"About what, Heero?"

"Why you've stopped talking. Why you act as if you're afraid to touch me. Why you don't smile anymore." Heero stared into Duo's stricken eyes for a minute, tightening his hold when the other boy tried to move away.

"I just..." //What do I say? I can't lie to him. Oh. I know.// "I've decided to get rid of some of my flaws." Duo met Heero's eyes, telling himself that it was the truth, even if he liked those particular flaws they were still flaws and he had decided to get rid of them to make Heero happy.

"Flaws?" Heero frowned. "Smiling is a flaw?"

"Well, no...not all of the time, but...I guess I miss some of my flaws. I've gotten used to them." //They make me who I am...//

"Self improvement?" Heero frowned, //I know he wouldn't lie. I believe him when he says he never lies, but he's not telling me the whole truth. It just isn't like him. Why would he want to change now?// "What brought this on? Are you sure you want to change?"

Duo shook his head, looking at his hands. //I don't want to change. But I don't want to lose you either.//

"Duo?"

"Duo, are you ready?" Quatre's voice sounded through the door. It was almost six.

"Yes! I'll be right down. I'll meet you at the foot of the stairs, alright?" Duo didn't look at Heero.

"Okay."

Taking Duo's chin, Heero turned him to look at him. "Why do you want him to meet you at the foot of the stairs?"

Surprise was written over Duo's features, as he stood and straightened his clothing, "So he won't see you. I know how much you hate public displays, Heero." With a wistfull smile, Duo unlocked and opened his door, "You will be down, won't you?"

"Yes." //When has he cared? He relishes in showing everyone that we are together. Or he used to. Is that one of his flaws?//

* * *

"What the hell kind of drinking game is that?!" Wufei sputtered. "Truth or Dare?"

"It's an old game, Wufei." Duo said quickly. "If you don't want to play then I won't either."

Wufei stared at Duo in shock, but the long-haired boy's eyes were on the table. //Maxwell, not wanting to play a drinking game? There must be a reason. I definitely want to see this.// "Not at all, Maxwell. I'd like to learn a new game."

Now it was Quatre and Trowa staring at Wufei in shock. Wufei volunteering to play a drinking game?

"How is this game played?" Heero asked Relena suspiciously. He had the feeling that she had an ulterior motive. She usually frowned at drinking.

"Oh, it's really simple and it's a great way to get to know more about each other. See, everyone rolls a die, and whoever gets the highest number gets to ask a question of the person of his or," she smiled sweetly, "her choice. That person then either answers the question, truthfully of course, or takes a dare."

"What kind of dare?" //I knew she had an ulterior motive. I won't play if there's the chance she'll make me...I think I'm going to be sick...//

"I don't think there are any rules about that, but it has to be something everyone can watch." Relena shot him a glance as if he'd been thinking of daring her to do something disgusting, to him at least.

"Where does the drinking come in?" Trowa's soft voice asked.

"Well, the person answering the question does the drinking. One shot of the drink of his choice if he answers and two shots of the drink of the questioner's choice if he takes the dare. All drinks have to be alcoholic, of course, no cheating and choosing water or something like that."

"I don't know if this is a good idea," Trowa said, surprising everyone by speaking so much, "There are some things we may not want known."

"Well you could always lie," Relena said receiving a burning glare from Duo, "or you can choose the dare."

"It does sound like it might be fun," Quatre said hesitantly, looking at Trowa.

//Yes//, Heero thought, //and maybe I can get some straight answers out of Duo. I don't even care if Relena finds out about us, if it will make him stop acting so...unlike himself.// "I'm in."

Trowa stared at Heero in surprise, Duo stared at him warily, and Wufei stared at the three of them loving the way they stared at each other. Relena simply sat back, a satisfied little smile playing over her lips and Quatre looked hopefully to Trowa.

"I'll play if you will," Quatre said to the tall pilot. Looking down at Quatre, Trowa nodded.

Duo looked hopefully at Wufei, hoping he would refuse and give him an excuse to do likewise. With a smirk, Wufei spoke, "I'm all for it."

"Well, Duo?" Relena's eyes challenged him more than her voice did. "Are you up to a little truth or dare?"

"Yeah," Duo said quietly, looking down at his hands which were folded in his lap to keep them from clenching into fists.

"Excellent! Let me see what kind of drinks we have." Relena called over a servant who left the room, returning with a cart of liquor. And a die.

The first roll ended with Wufei having the highest number with a five. Turning, he nailed Duo with a wicked look. "Maxwell. Why didn't you want to play this game?"

Duo's eyes narrowed. "Truth," he said softly, "Jack Daniels." Relena happily passed him the bottle and watched him fill the shot glass.

"Drink first, then answer the question," she said helpfully and was rewarded with a dull look.

Duo swallowed the drink quickly, gasping for a minute afterward before answering the question. "I can't lie," he said. "And there are some things I don't want to tell. Some things I can't tell." Setting his glass down, he turned and looked at Wufei. "Good enough?"

"I guess." Wufei gave him a searching look before looking away.

The next roll resulted in Quatre's having the high number. "Trowa. What's your favorite color?"

"Wow," Wufei muttered depreciatingly, "There's a tough question."

Glaring at Wufei, Trowa turned to look at Quatre, "Truth. Vodka." Swallowing the shot, he cocked his head. "Blue. Light, sky blue with just a hint of green." Quatre's seagreen eyes lit up as he smiled. Wufei rolled his eyes, Duo looked envious, Heero looked at Duo, and Relena looked down at a list she had hidden in her skirt.

The next roll went to Relena and she smiled, gripping the list in her hand. "Heero. Two weeks ago, at my resort, when I walked into the dining room Duo was bleeding. Why was he bleeding?"

All eyes flew to Relena, then to Heero's cold ones, then to Duo's startlingly blank and statementless face. Heero's left eye twitched. "Truth. Jim Bean." He drank quickly and looked at Relena through narrowed eyes. "I hit him."

"Oh!" Relena affected a surprised reaction, badly by Duo's estimation, "Why would you do that?"

"It's not your turn." Relena glared at Duo for interrupting, then her statement softened when she realized he was not even looking at her. //This is working better than I thought.//

Then it was Heero's turn. "Duo. Why do you want to change?" All eyes flew to Duo, Relena's sparkling.

Duo flinched. "T-truth. Jack Daniels." He swallowed quickly, not looking at Heero. "I...I stand to lose something the way I am now. I can't let that happen, so I have to change. I don't want to. I don't want to change."

Heero stared at Duo, willing him to meet his eyes, but it didn't happen.

It was Wufei's turn again. "Maxwell." Duo's eyes closed and Wufei's voice softened slightly, "What do you stand to lose?" //It's Heero, isn't it?//

Duo's eyes didn't open, but the corners of his mouth turned down slightly. "Truth. Jack Daniels." After taking another drink, Duo flushed and coughed slightly. "My life,"he whispered, "my life."

Heero's eyes burned, and Relena frowned, irritated.

Quatre moved his hand under the table to touch Trowa's. Taking the pale boy's hand in his, Trowa squeezed it softly.

It was Trowa's turn. "Relena." The girl looked up, startled. "Why did you want to play this game?"

For a moment she looked cornered, then she smiled slightly. //I can use this to my advantage.// "Truth. Bicardi Rum." Wufei snorted at her choice of liquor. Wrinkling her nose, she drank quickly. "To open someone's eyes. To help that person see the truth." She smiled at Trowa, not quite daring to look at Duo. //He probably thinks I'm talking about Heero, and in part, I guess I am.//

Duo's turn. "Heero. Why does my...talking bother you so much?"

Heero stared at Duo. //His talking? He hasn't talked, not really talked in so long. Why did it bother me?// "Truth. Jim Bean." He drank quickly, "It was distracting. I don't remember why that bothered me, but it distracted me." He met Duo's eyes, and the long haired boy gave a small nod before gazing once more at the table.

Relena's turn. "Heero. Why did you hit him?"

Heero's eyes snapped up, remembering her last question. //Bitch.// "Truth. Jim Bean." //Sorry Duo.// "He touched me." //Waitasec! He touched me and I hit him. Now he doesn't touch me unless I touch him first. His talking bothered me, so he doesn't talk anymore. Is this all my fault? His life? He stands to lose...his life? Is that what I am?// Suddenly he looked to Duo. His head was bowed, elbow propped on the table and hand over his forehead, hiding his face.

Then she rolled the high number again. By now everyone was waiting to find out what cruel thing she was going to come up with next. They all knew she was in love with Heero, but to torture Duo like this, they hadn't expected it of her.

"Duo." She waited until he looked up at her, "Why did he hit you?" There was no smile on her face, only a challenge.

Duo's face went white, then he shook his head slightly. "Dare." Heero's eyes widened and it looked as if he would hit Relena. Then he turned to Duo, but he was looking at Relena, eyes going dim.

Relena's mouth twitched, "Touch him."

Duo gave a small cry, stifling it almost before it left his mouth. Lowering his head, he shook it again. "Truth," he whispered, voice void of emotion, of hope. "Jack Daniels." He swallowed the shot, bowing his head and propping it up with his folded fingers. "I broke an unstated rule. I overstepped my bounds. I took a liberty, I was confused...I...I didn't understand."

//But you do now, don't you, Duo. You understand perfectly. You can't change yourself enough for him to want you.// Relena remained leaning forward, eyes glued to the bowed head, not noticing the pure look of hate radiating from the Japanese boy beside her.

Quatre leaned toward Trowa, who leaned down so the shorter boy could whisper in his ear. "I don't want to be here anymore. I think Heero's going to kill her. Even if he doesn't, I can't watch her torture Duo like this. It's sadistic and I don't..." Quatre bit his lip.

"Close your eyes and slump over in your seat. I'll carry you out as if you'd passed out."

The others paid little attention, as Trowa exited the room, Quatre in his arms. Glaring at Relena, for hurting his friend like this, and at Heero for letting it go on, Wufei looked at Duo. "If you'd like to leave, I'll go with you, Duo."

Duo slowly turned his head to look at Wufei, statement still hidden from the other two. The pure desolation and hopeless look of surrender was almost too much. "It ends here, Wufei. I'll stay until this is settled, or I pass out. Whichever happens first, but..." suddenly Duo leaned forward. He'd spoken loudly enough forthe other two to hear him, but now he whispered, his words for Wufei alone. "If...if they leave without me...would you keep an eye on me? Make sure I don't. . . don't do something stupid...something dangerous? Something I might not have time to regret later?"

"Duo..." Wufei's voice sounded terrified, making Heero want to leap across the table and shake him until he repeated whatever Duo had said.

"You know," Duo mouth twitched as if his instinct was to smile but he was unable to, "I think that's the first time you've called me anything but Maxwell. You should go now, Wufei. Thanks."

The three remaining people rolled the die, Heero won. "Duo. Do you want me to kill her?" Relena gasped, then turned to glare at the still bowed head.

"Truth. Jack Daniels." Foregoing the shot glass, Duo drank from the bottle, easily drinking two shots at least. "No. She loves you. No matter what she does, she loves you."

The next went to Relena. "Duo. What are you to Heero?"

"The dare?"

"Leave. Give up and walk away."

"Truth." Tipping the bottle, he drank again. "I am a distraction. A good one at times, more often an irritating one." Duo suddenly gave a sharp laugh, his head still bowed. "I'm a good distraction either way."

Then to Duo. "Heero. Do you care about Relena?"

"Truth." Heero drank. "Never. I do not now, nor will I ever care about her."

Relena frowned. //I know he doesn't mean that, but it still hurts to hear.// Then she rolled high again. "Duo. Do you really think you can change enough?"

"Truth." Swallowing rapidly, Duo finished off the bottle, throwing it on the floor behind him where it shattered. "Yes. I do. I have to."

Then she went again. "Duo." She placed another small bottle in front of him. "Do you think he'd be better off with you?"

"The dare?"

"Drink the entire bottle."

"No!"

Relena turned to Heero, angry now. "Rules are rules. He doesn't have to do it. All he has to to is answer the question." She turned back to Duo. "Well?"

Duo looked up, meeting her eyes. His, lavender pools of pain, yet a small spark flickered in their depths. Not dropping his gaze, he picked up the bottle, small smile playing over his lips as he pulled off the wrapping. He then proceded to drink it in rapid, unending swallows. When he slammed down the empty bottle, Relena's eyes were bugging out, and Duo pushed away from the table. Bending, he coughed roughly for a full minute, then he slowly sat back up, bloodshot eyes meeting hers as a small smile flicked the edges of his lips. He scooted back up to the table raising an eyebrow at her.

Relena sputtered once, then snatched up the die and rolled again. This round went to Duo. "Heero. When I talked too much, you got mad and told me to shut up. When I touched you without your permission, you hit me. When I stopped talking, you got angry. When I stopped reaching out to you, you asked me why. Is there anything I can do to make you happy?" Duo's voice took on a desperate edge, "Anything at all?"

Heero's eyes glowed with guilt, looking into those dull orbs so empty of hope. "Truth." //This is why. It was my fault.// "Be yourself, Duo. Don't change. Stay just the way you are, that would make me happy."

Relena rolled high. "Duo. Do you think he'd be better off with you?"

"You already asked that," Duo protested weakly.

"Doesn't matter. Truth or dare."

"Dare."

Relena's eyes narrowed, "Swim out to the rock and back. Fully clothed, with your hair down."

"Bitch!" Heero cried, "You're trying to kill him!"

"NOT if he answers the question. Answer it, Duo. Do you honestly think he'd be better off with you? Why do you keep avoiding it? Just answer the question." She waited, her moment of triumph at hand. //He knows he's not the one for Heero. That's why he won't answer. Once he admits it, he won't be able to fight anymore.//

Duo stood up. Grabbing another bottle, he ripped the wrapping off and poured a shot glass. Swallowing it, he met Relena's eyes and poured another glass, swallowing this as well. "Dare." Ignoring Heero's cry, he stepped out the door, undoing his hair as he went. The steps almost proved to be his undoing as he stumbled and almost fell down them, but he regained his balance and continued. He could hear chairs scraping back as Heero and Relena followed him.

It was cold outside. Duo was flushed enough from the alcohol so he didn't feel it as he normally would. Stopping at the water's edge, he finished undoing his hair. As he stepped toward the water, Heero grabbed his wrist, pulling him back and almost knocking him over. Shoving him away, Duo moved resolutely into the water, heading for the rock. Then he stopped abruptly. Tide was in. He couldn't see the rock.

"Where...?" Looking back at the building, he used his memory which was good even in his alcohol fogged state. He began to move again. Heero's angry cries, barely reached him, as he focused his entire attention on the spot where the rock should be. The water was freezing, numbing. //Am I going to die?// Pushing aside his fears, he felt his feet leave the ocean floor and began to swim ever so slowly.

Reaching the spot he thought the rock should be, he dived under the water. It was black, and he couldn't see anything, so he reached with his hands, searching. He ran out of air and had to resurface. He knew that if he looked to the shore, he would lose his direction. Taking another breath, he dived, searching again, going deeper this time. And his fingers brushed over a hard, solid surface.

His lungs were begging for air, but he had to be sure. If he went up and tried to come down to this same spot, he knew he had little chance of finding it again. Ignoring the fire in his chest, he dove deeper still until his hands touched the underside of the rock. The same rock. Letting out his air, he slowly floated to the surface, not wasting oxygen on moving. He could not force himself to take a slow breath when he reached the air, gasping desperately and promptly sinking again.

Kicking, he reached the surface again, forcing his limbs to move in a slow pattern rather than the flailing one they wanted to adopt. Slowly, he turned around, searching for the shore. He found it, darkness broken by the lights of the resort. The wind had started to blow hard, freezing his wet body. Suddenly he felt very heavy. His hair seemed to be drawing him down. His boots weighing down his feet, making it difficult to keep kicking. Then he spotted two shapes on the shore, a voice reached his ear carried by the wind.

//Heero.// Taking a deep breath, Duo dived under the water, escaping the cold air, swimming in the direction of the shore. When he surfaced again, he thanked whatever God was guiding him. //Shinigami, score one more favor I owe you.// He was still heading toward the shore. He hadn't gotten turned under the water. Treading for a minute while he gathered his strength, he dived again. Slowly, ever so slowly, he made his way to the shore until he could feel the sand beneath his feet. Without the water holding him up, he found himself sinking to his knees. Head down, he crawled the last yard until he was kneeling on the dry sand, icy wind jerking his hair and clothing, numbing his frozen skin. Panting, he didn't even have the strength to shiver. Then he heard footsteps running toward him and found that he did have strength after all.

When Heero reached him, Duo had made it to his feet. "Duo no baka!" Heero reached out to help him, but Duo pushed his hand away.

"N-n-not in p-p-public, r-remember? I'm n-not up to b-being h-hit." Duo walked slowly inside, leaning heavily against the wall as he climbed one step at a time. Finally he made it back to the room where it had started and sat shakily in his seat. Heero came in behind him, and Relena behind him.

Slowly they sat down, Heero's face statementless, Relena's in shock. Still shivering, Duo grabbed the die and rolled. It went to Heero. "Duo. Do you think I'd be better off with you?" Relena gasped and stared at Heero. Duo began to laugh hysterically, tears streaming down his damp white cheeks.

"W-what's the dare, Heero? Maybe you can finish me off this time. I'm really starting to hate this question." Duo continued to laugh for a minute, then he took a shaking breath and blanked his statement, going absolutely still.

"Tell me how you feel about me."

"What?" If it had been possible, Duo's white face would have went whiter. "That's the dare? You can't do this to me. That's a question. It...it's not..."

"Truth or dare." //Answer the question Duo. You've almost killed yourself twice trying to avoid answering it. Why? What answer will your honest nature make you give?//

"Truth." Duo stood up, wavering for a second, then straightening. "Damn you, Heero. I could have stayed with you. Just being there when you wanted me. So long as I didn't say it out loud, I could have ignored it. The answer is no, Heero. You would not be better off with me. You should be with someone you love. I can't stand in the way of that happening. You'll have to take your sexual frustration out on someone else from now on. I could have pretended it didn't matter, if I didn't have to admit the truth. Now it's too late. Damn you Heero. You've taken away my life."

Duo turned and ran, ungracefully, from the room and right into Wufei. Staring at the ice-cold boy, Wufei froze. Suddenly Duo started to sob, and Wufei quickly picked him up, carrying him down the hall. Stopping in front of Quatre's door, Wufei pounded on it urgently. He didn't even flinch when Trowa answered the door, simply nodding to the still sobbing boy in his arms.

Quatre stepped to the door, eyes widening at the sight of Duo. He reached out and touched him. "He's freezing, and he's soaken wet. What happened?!"

"I don't know, but he's going to catch pneumonia if we don't get him warmed up quickly. Is there a jacuzee here?"

"Yes!" Quatre cried, leading the way down the hall.

* * *

//I have to find him. If only I'd went after him when he first left. But...I was in shock. I couldn't believe he actually meant to leave me.// Suddenly Heero's arm was grabbed, and he was spun around. "Wufei!?" A fist cracked against his face, and he jerked back, pulling a gun. "What the hell are you doing?"

"Wasn't it enough that you rejected him, breaking his heart!? Did you have to try and drown him too?!" Wufei crouched, ignoring the gun aimed at his head. "Fight me like a man you coward!"

The gun fell to the ground, "Where is he?! Wufei, please, where's Duo? Is he alright?!"

Wufei looked at him through narrowed eyes, then his eyes widened at the desperation shining so brightly evident in Heero's eyes. "Follow me."

* * *

Quatre and Trowa sat together at the edge of the bubbling hot pool of water, holding Duo's head so that his nose and mouth were above the water. Seeing Heero, Trowa's eyes narrowed and he started to rise, intending to force the Japanese boy out of the room. Wufei's abrupt shaking of his head made him pause. Then he saw Heero's horrified statement. Climbing into the water, Heero held Duo's head. Putting his arm around Quatre's shoulder and meeting his concerned gaze, Trowa jerked his head toward the door. With Wufei in tow, they left Heero alone with Duo.

Duo's limp head cradled in his lap, Heero felt as if his insides were being torn apart. "I'm so sorry, Duo. I'm so sorry."

* * *

It was over a week before Duo's delirium broke, and another day before he actually woke up. During that time, Heero didn't leave his side. It was after midnight when he did wake up, finding himself in Heero's arms.

"Heero...?" Duo groaned and raised a hand to his head, "My entire body hurts."

"Duo?!" Heero sat up abruptly, leaning over Duo, eyes wide with concern. "You're awake..."

"What happened?" Duo groaned and rubbed his eyes.

"You took a dare."

Suddenly Duo's eyes widened and he didn't move for a full minute. Then he quickly started to get out of the bed. Grabbing him, Heero held him tightly, ignoring his weak struggles. "You aren't going anywhere until I've had my say." Arms tight around Duo's waist, Heero waited until he stopped struggling, then pulled him back onto the bed, pushing him down on his back and leaning over him.

"I'm sorry Duo. I've had a lot of time to think things through. First of all, I don't ever want you to be afraid to touch me no matter where we are. I know why it bothered me before. Whenever you touched me, all I wanted to do was take you in my arms. I didn't like giving you that power over me. It wasn't until you stopped reaching for me that I realized how much I longed for your touch.

"The same thing goes with your talking. I love the sound of your voice. No matter how anoying you are trying to be, your voice is as attractve and distracting as your touch. When you started talking too much, I'd be unable to withstand the temptation, so I'd quiet you. Again, I'm sorry. It was the power, you see? I couldn't handle the thought of you having such power over me.

"When you ran out of the room, you said I'd have to vent my 'sexual frustrations' on someone else. Do you have any idea how much that hurt? Do you think I would make love to you simply to satify myself? That anyone would do? It wasn't until you left that I realized how much I'd hurt you by not telling you. I...I thought you knew. I thought it was terribly obvious, I even resented you for not returning my feelings."

Duo was staring up at him, eyes wide, mouth open. "Heero. . .are you saying you. . .?"

"Damnit Duo I-love-you! I have since the first time I held you in my arms. How could you doubt it?" Heero stared down at him, pained statement on his face.

"Oh God, Heero. Me too. Me too." Duo wrapped his arms around Heero, hiding his face against Heero's chest.

"Oh no you don't," Heero said quickly, pushing Duo back so that he met his eyes, Duo's filled with confusion. "Do you have any idea how hard it was for me to say the words?! You have to say them too, damnit!"

A smile curved Duo's lips, widening into a familiar grin. "I love you, Heero. I love you so much. I love you so much I would have given you up to give you a chance to find someone you love. I love you--" Heero cut him off abruptly with a deep kiss.

"That wasn't because you were talking too much either, you baka, I just couldn't listen to your voice saying those words any longer without taking you. I warned you. From now on I'm not going to stop you when you tempt me, you're simply going to have to live with the results."

"I can live with that."