10-25-2001

Title: Innocence Faded 14/16 (2x1 lemon prelude)
Authors: Jenn & Kea (Dreamscape Studios)
Email: HeeroYuy1x2@aol.com and DuoMaxwell1x2@aol.com , respectively
Archive: Dreamscape Studios Ltd (www.dreamscapestudios.net) ; anyone else please email and permission will be gladly given
Feedback: Absolutely. ^_^
Rating: R throughout, pushing NC-17 in parts
Warnings: Angst, hurt, despair and heartache with spoonfuls of hope to make them go down smoother. Mild lemon and strong lime in some parts. This fic takes place following the events in Endless Waltz (movie version). This is a completed multipart fic.
Pairings:1x2/2x1, implied 3x4
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing is owned by a bunch of companies in Japan (Bandai, Sunrise, Sotsu Agency), and their sandbox is only on unsanctioned loan for us to play in. ^_^ The song "Innocence Faded" belongs to John Petrucci and Dream Theater, lyrics used without permission.

Authors' notes: Innocence Faded is written completely in alternating first-person perspective. The three asterisks usually denote a shift in POV, with thoughts or emphasis indicated by single asterisks. In-monologue flashbacks will be denoted by slashes, complete ones or scene changes with the asterisks.

This is also known as the fic that ate our lives. Or was it our lives that ate the fic? I believe we started this in June of 2000, and when Jenn moved out here in November, we got kind of distracted for several months. I'm certain there are a lot of people who have long ago given up this fic for dead; I'll admit to being one of them. ^^; But some stories simply won't go away until they're fully told.

Huge thanks and worshipful adoration go out to Moe-chan, the best beta reader anyone could ask for, and the constant motivating force behind the rest of this fic. When I sent her a pathetically rough draft of the monster known as IF6 (that became IF 10-15 after chapter breaks), asking her to read it and let me know if it should be finished or scrapped, I never knew what a friend I'd be gaining. Without her help, this very well might have lingered unfinished and certainly would have had lots of inconsistencies and stupid errors.

Background music, title and constant source of inspiration: Innocence Faded, by Dream Theater...from the "Awake" CD.

**************
Forever hesitating
Caught beneath the wheel
**************

*You know I'm not worth it...stop pretending and let me protect you...*

*I'm not worth it,* he said. I refused to accept that. I had carefully built much of my own worthiness, my hope, my future around him--around us--and when he denied his own value, he denied mine, too. He denied the faith of the friends who had carefully orchestrated this sliver of paradise just for us. He denied that there was anything to live for with war in its grave.

Bullshit.

I didn't realize I'd moved until his head snapped to one side and a crimson print bloomed on his cheek. "Bakayaro!" [1] I ground out between clenched teeth. The part of me reserved for rational thought and remorse for my actions was cowering and whimpering somewhere in a tiny corner of my psyche, but I couldn't hear it; at that moment, body shaking with adrenaline, I didn't notice anything more than what his words meant to me.

I gripped his shoulders, anything but gentle now. No one should ever forget that I was a Gundam pilot, too, and a damn good one. Especially not Heero Yuy.

"Listen to me," my voice commanded as I shook him roughly, hearing his teeth click together. "I'm not the little pink princess that can't see past the mask to the killer underneath. I've never denied his existence; I know he's in there. I see him everyday. He looks out at me through your eyes, and the mirror shows me he's in mine."

A grimace wrenched my mouth into a twisted line. "We were killers. All of us. I have the nightmares that make me sick, too," I admitted. "The flowing blood, the death, the screaming in pain. They exist only to help us remember why war is not the answer to man's problems."

"But those dreams aren't me. They aren't who I choose to be. They aren't real."

I shook him again, harder, determined to drive this point home. From this...from him...I no longer wanted to run or hide. "But I'm real. Feel my heart," I demanded, pressing his left palm to my chest and pushing his right one over his own heart. "It beats the same as yours." The desperate cadences pounded in perfect synch, resonating through our skin.

"We are the same, Heero. You are me. I am you."

***

Shock. It was shock I was feeling, beginning in the abused flesh of my cheek and flaring outward. It robbed me of sensation, plunged me in ice water....ice that compressed inward until I shattered beneath the pressure.

I hung limp in his grasp for several moments, distantly aware of his impassioned words. They seemed to grow louder as he continued, or perhaps they simply became clearer to me, my mind fastening to them to draw the meaning out.

*The killer... I see him everyday....*

My head snapped forward as he shook me, and I slowly lifted it, breath coming in uneven pants as he seized my hand and pressed it over his heart. It beat strongly beneath my touch...finding its match in my own, urgent pulse.

No. This can't happen. I won't let it.

"Let me go..." I rasped softly. "Let go of me, Duo." My voice took on a frantic note as I tensed beneath him.

I have to get out of here. I can't breathe, I can't think.

"Get off of me," it was too shaky to be the snarl I'd intended. "Let me go, dammit!"

I squirmed, trying to struggle free, but he had the full advantage of the entire weight of his body to fix me in place. His purple-dusk eyes blazed with challenge as I tossed my head up, daring me to do what it took to throw him off. He knew he had the upper hand, exploited it shamelessly.

For the first time in a long time, I was terrified... because he was right.

***

"No." Grated out between my teeth, the syllable was raw. "If you think you wronged me, then I'll forgive you and we'll move past this. But I will not let you go. I will not let you run away anymore."

Taking his face in my hands, I poured the full power of my gaze straight into his soul.

"I am not afraid of you."

In the stunned pause that followed, the invasion began. One hand firmly
grasped the back of his head, tilting it just so in readiness. "Kiss me," I
breathed, and it was warning rather than request, a declaration of my
intentions a heartbeat before I lowered my mouth to his and plundered the
territory. The thumb of my other hand gently pushed his jaw down and I thrust
inside, aggressively waging war on his tongue with mine.

Talking with Trowa had emboldened me to take the lead, a lead begun with but not limited to the body. After all, if sex instantly cured everything that was wrong between two people, no one would ever have bad relationships. Sex was only the method, not the message. Speak in the language of touch, glance, and deed and let it communicate the subtext of feelings, emotions, needs and desires. And I did.

My hands ran over him, greedily devouring the breadth of his shoulders, the tightness of his chest. They paid homage to the sculptured planes of his stomach, traveled the unforgiving power of his back. It was like making slow love to nitroglycerine; my adrenaline levels shot to critical just with the not-knowing of what he might do. At any second he could escalate my strike into full-blown war.

A war to be waged completely on my terms. No quarter given, no mercy offered. I demanded nothing short of full surrender, and I would attack until it was mine.

***

Clean.

He smelled clean. Not like blood, or fear, or pain. He smelled clean and he was warm, and he was kissing me. Kissing me like I was worth saving. I tried to pull back but he prevented it, growling softly as his fingers laced deeper into my hair. He stroked my back, urging me to relax, to submit to his will. If only this once.

I tensed, ready to put up a fight, and then....then abruptly let the tension go. I leaned into him, inviting his tongue deeper. Do you want explanations? I don't have any, other than I knew he wanted this more than I wanted to escape. That, somehow, I wanted this too. For days I'd been lost in my nightmares. Caught somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, playing out scenarios even worse than the one I'd told him about. I needed something real to replace them in my conscious memory.

He wasn't going to let me go. I needed him to help me stay. Or, more simply, I needed him.

This was his game, his rules. I...I wasn't sure if I liked that. Then again, if we'd played by my rules we wouldn't be here. It wasn't the first time, it wasn't even the first time in recent memory, but... I don't know. This time it was different. We kissed, and it became a skirmish, ending abruptly when I wrenched away from him, gasping for breath as I looked anywhere but at him. This could get out of control again so easily, become a repeat of our last encounter. I considered trying to get away again, but he seemed to sense the cant of my thoughts, steadying his balance, tightening his hold on me.

He grasped my chin, lifting my head, and the same choices as before were there in his eyes. Submit, or turn this into a real fight. It really left me with only one choice.

There was a pause, I think he wanted to be sure I wasn't going to bolt, and then the kiss began all over again. He went a little slower this time, but it was building to the same pitch, climbing to the same level of intensity and aggression. Again I fought him, but the hand tangled in my hair stroked gently, urging me to relax.... and this time I did. I submitted, arching my neck, dropping my jaw to allow him further in. It was strange and intensely erotic, all at once.

***

He pulled back, not with his body but with that blazing, incandescent soul that lives inside and looks out through his eyes. Heero Yuy was terrified...of me, for me, and most of all of himself. That he would hurt me again. I still didn't consider soreness from good lovemaking being hurt, but he did, and therefore I had to remove that possibility from occurring. Yet another brilliantly drawn Maxwell conclusion.

Or you could say it was Trowa beating me with the comprehension stick...

Almost since I met him, I realized I have viewed Heero as someone beyond human, transcending the fragile bounds that define the existence of the rest of us. Setting his own broken bones. Tearing down the defenses of an impenetrable palace sunken into the ground. Taking on the Zero System that cheerfully made scrambled eggs out of my psyche.

Nothing stopped him. Was there anything he couldn't do?

Yet, these same abilities, talents, strengths I admired--even secretly envied at times--he hated. In his mind, they comprised something far, far less than human. Something that had neither right nor privilege of aspiring towards humanity. Something animal lurking just under that shell of flesh and blood, something bubbling with violence scarcely restrained by the few, filmy shreds of decency floating on the surface.

Those abilities were the tools of war, designed only for causing destruction, pain and chaos.

Tools with no use in a time of peace.

In the midst of my frazzled nervous afternoon, that thought sparked a faint memory in me, a misty recollection of...something. Something vital. Something that I sensed was the missing key. I'd read or heard it once upon a time, I knew. I had searched every book in the spotless house and every resource I could imagine in vain, sparing a frustrated kick for both computer and desk in the office.

The top lateral drawer had slid open, revealing an open leather-bound book. A slender sateen ribbon snugged into the spine marked the place. Fingers trembling, I picked up the book, cradling its comforting weight in my lap as I dropped into the chair behind me. Underlined words leaped out at me, the very words I had been seeking.

'They will beat their swords into plowshares...nor shall they train for war anymore.' [2]

*Another message, Trowa? Or was it Quatre?* What amazing foresight to plant a well-worn Bible in our new house, open to a specific verse, in the hope that one or the other of us would find it and understand. A joint effort and a soft, encouraging push from our absent friends, I decided, drawing a fragrant breath of some of the wildflowers pressed elsewhere in the pages.

Gently, I closed the book, leaving it out on the desk this time instead of hidden away in the drawer, already feeling the urge to move taking me again. Shinigami had one more good fight left in him, and if he gained a wounded soldier his humanity, perhaps he could at last rest in peace, too...

Sunlight reflected in Heero's eyes, swirling them with infinite shades of oceanic blue. I could never get tired of just looking at him, drinking in the magic and power of his presence. So strong, so tender. *Let me take care of you,* mine whispered, framed in that low, seductive chuckle bubbling past my lips just before they claimed his once more.

This time, stealth was my weapon. I cloaked the attack in an almost meek front, whispering up against his mouth with a tenderness that turned torrid the moment my tongue quested inside. He stiffened beneath me like a startled horse, once more ready to bolt, but I was ready, offering touch and sensation to his resistance, slowly rocking my hips against his with languid ease, dropping my other hand to those acutely sensitive male nipples. I circled one with my thumb in lazy strokes, tracing its circumference until the muscle beneath quivered with tension. *You can depend on me. I won't let you fail. I won't let you fall.*

He took a shuddering breath from my mouth, inhaling some of my determination, and opened himself to me.

Wasting no time, I surged forwards, lunging desperately for what he offered, plunging deeply inside. The inertia rocked us backwards--even Heero occasionally falls prey to the laws of physics --and splayed us atop his blanket on the sand as I savaged his mouth with demanding, fierce kisses. We wore nothing from the waist up, and that left him bared to my invasion, trailing a hot, wet path over his chin and down his neck. *I love kissing you. God, Heero, I need you like air.*

Like a tiger, I fastened onto his throat, sucking just hard and long enough to redden his skin. Hot, every part of me felt on fire, consumed in the heat that poured off his body as I made my way further down his chest, leaving a greedy swath of bitemarks straddling loving and lustful.

Reaching that nipple I had earlier teased, I mercilessly laved it with my tongue, suckling it to stark alertness. He groaned and arched under me, and I slid a hand beneath him, squeezing his backside and pulling him towards me, drawing burning heat against burning heat.

My hips gyrated suggestively into his, shockwaves pulsing outwards and stars clouding my vision when our cloth-covered and straining flesh met. "Can't you feel how much I want you?" I purred, the words rising up like steam. *Not just your body, but you. All of you.*

"You want me too, ne?" My hand slithered inside the waist of his shorts for my answer, hot and firm and throbbing.

***

The waves ravaged the beach, slowly but surely wearing it away. That's how the beach came to be in the first place. It may have even been a mountain once, tall and proud, forbidding... But the tide is relentless, day after day it rolls in, leaving its caress on the land, taking away a little of the mountain and leaving the open, golden beach in its wake.

Both constant and capricious, my lover was the waves, I the land. Duo wore at me, rolling over me with the merciless persistence of the ocean. I could feel his power over me intensify, reinforced by touch, scent, softly spoken word. Casting thought away, I welcomed it at last.

*Pull me under, Duo... Pull me under, I'm not afraid. Not anymore. Just don't let me go.*

In the past, it has always been his gentleness to my ferocity. Sometimes blind, even mindless or angry, he would meet my passion with his own, taming it, accepting it and giving it back to me as something that had far more to do with making love than sex. This time it was neither and both, the ferocity was his, but I had nothing to offer save uncertainty, fear and hesitance... He didn't seem to mind.

Truthfully, neither did I.

A kiss that began as something slow swiftly became anything but, his body slamming into mine as he took the ground I'd given up, pressing his advantage as we tumbled to the sand. His mouth burned against my skin as he left me gasping for breath, blazing a trail down my jaw. Teeth closed possessively over the gentle rise of the jugular beneath my skin and I hissed softly in protest against the surge of pleasure/pain.

The protest was short-lived, becoming an unsteady pant as he marked my skin from throat to chest. The stakes of this game were very high. He was bidding not just for simple possession of my body, but of mind and heart, making it clear that from beginning to end, he controlled this.

The intent was simple: if I lost control this time, it didn't matter...

It had never been mine to have in the first place.

My over-sensitized skin betrayed me as he lowered his head to suckle at my nipple, teasing it erect in a pale reflection of what had already been alert and aware long since. I groaned, throwing my head back as my spine bowed, all but giving him invitation to bring our bodies into closer contact. I gasped, writhing beneath him as he moved against me. Could I feel him? *God, yes.*

"Dammit, Duo," I grated, looking up at him with blue eyes gone hazy with need. "Hai... I need..." Suddenly my brain refused to supply me with either the Japanese or the English required to express just what I needed. I think he knew, I'm not sure how he could have failed to know.

Slim, agile fingers brushed against hard, fevered flesh, eliciting a sound from me that was more sob than anything else. I tangled a hand in his hair just for something to hold onto, my hips lifting instinctively in response, searching for friction, for anything to ease the tension that sang through me as though my body were a well-tuned string plucked by a maestro.

***

[1] 'Bakayaro' has many different connotations depending on context--hey, what doesn't in Japanese?--and it can range from "idiot" to "fucking bastard". It falls much more on the latter end of the spectrum here.

[2] The Bible, Isaiah 2:4, New International Version

TBC...