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Epilogue: Peanut Butter and Jelly

***

Going down the street he was trying to think of them all and even for a greater man this may have been impossible.

His books.

His doorways to pleasant and weird dreams where others had stuffed toys or the kindred souls they found to be infatuation. But books never burned out. So many momentos of the bitterly bright shining of his life he could feel sliding into a summer that for ages he had not wished to see because he'd never imagined it like this. He'd matured in some little ways. This way it wasn't so scary. He felt strangely safe now, more than he ever had before in his entire life. So then, whatever this would be: let it be, let it come.

He found in the steamy evening as he walked the lighted dust puddles of the yellowed streetlights that it really was summer. He'd been gone five months now and the time of them, more or less he wouldn't suppose, was like the passage of existence in one of those books of his and he now danced on the last few pages of an open, explosive, joyous ending with only a hopeful certainly to it even after chapter upon chapter sexual tragedy, death and despair.

Sometimes, even Tanith Lee wrote what could be called happy endings. Bright, but not too bright that creatures of the evenfall like him would shy away. A quiet existence out of the turmoil and a bodily pure white while the ghosts of the blackness remained.

There were always ghosts and amidst those buildings that were as battered as he books, they let him go unhindered. Never so pure had he felt, yes, just like a finish the reader imagines.

These people he had fought for even though he didn't know their names, these people who he had loved enough to force their smiles back into their possession, he wondered about every one of them; how they were happy and if they were living as he was. Well, some had names, but they were all gone except for the part of him where he kept them safe and warm. Everyone in the odd arrangement was free of the others. No guilt. Not even for the ones he could only keep to himself.

This whole place, it was poignant to him. These roads he had walked so many times before. Yeah, even in the nightfall he knew it. That café that was still open and dotted with people sipping coffee and nibbling croissants. It was almost grass green in the yellow light but under the sky it was just as sky blue and airy as clouds amidst the real blue earth. But tonight, a nice green. He stood across the street and watched the other people hurrying in and out amidst the passing cars. Some spoke and some were silent. He half expected to see Hilde there. That one, it could be her, sitting there speaking to the glitzier looking guy. He waved. He didn't care who to. She waved back, so it probably wasn't her but then she suddenly stood and beckoned.

He laughed out loud. It was her! It was. And she was happy too. He motioned for her to return to her chair, motioned that everything was okay. She understood so well, he was frightened. It really was okay though, even if she blushed a bit to be carrying on a private conversation in such a frivolous manner. At last, with a wink, he blew her a kiss and she knew that he would call her in the morning. Then he went on. It just seemed like the thing to do.

The market on this street was closed by now of course. The scent of it lingered still though, trapped in the sticky air, mingling with the aroma of the heat itself. The clatter and the voices though, they were gone. He made out and ran his fingers over the now empty stands he once knew. As he skipped beside them. All the marker signs, the snibbles of refuse on the sidewalk amid the fresh paint on these buildings- it was the newer section of town. Wow. How it glowed in the daylight like a big box of glass bottles.

Just around the corner, there the oily smoke of an aging garage. The busted pavement with it's patches, the peeling paint. Everything was closed this time of night except for that café. But this old place, he was already tempted to come back tomorrow and buy something just to buy something. They'd let him in now if he wanted, they were sweepers too after all. It was too late, and his thoughts were too unadulterated and too reflective for those fellows. Tomorrow then. Maybe he could even talk one of them in to buying his place. Better bring along some whisky then. Heh.

Once again, he found himself whistling alone. He had just as much subtle duplicity as the colony: shining and new now, dark and antique one way in his thoughts, too colorful to be measured the other. Each side against the other, more salient and somehow more memorable for their existence, sweet and tasty.

Someone slammed into him.

Laughter.

His first stunned thought was that Hilde had somehow pursued him and that this was her joke on him now. He had no recognition of the fleeting footsteps though. No pattern that he knew as he wheeled for a second, catching himself.

Two fleeing guttersnipes skidded away into the shadows. They had bumped him for the sheer pleasure of it. The boy had the hood of his windbreaker (whose sleeves were ripped off) pulled over his head, but it came flying down in a torrent of red hair. The girl was still laughing as she turned over her shoulder and gave him a good sight of her tongue.

Any other girl he would have left.

She looked like a sister, a blood sister. This one was him.

"Come back here!" he shouted, banking after them into the alley. In it only the nothingness, a few trashcans, someone's discarded drapes, a calm street cat that acted as if he was the first person she'd seen in some time. Indeed, The only distinguishing feature of the empty place was the view of the rising skyline above the tumbling, rickety apartments.

/Hundreds, there could be hundreds of them and all just like me. That one seemed such a girl though, and hey boyfriend, well, such a boy. But of she really was me, she was too young for me to follow, and too old not to be free./

He cupped his hands about his mouth and shouted to the blackness. "Good luck!"

If she was like him indeed, she needed it. She'd even vanished so well. Had she been there at all? He could still feel her on his hand.

/And if she wasn't, I'd be too upset if I didn't find her. If she was, she probably has a lot to learn yet that I shouldn't teach her. Maybe, now, she won't have to learn./

/If anything now, I'm sure things never turn out the way you think they will./

So it was settled and he went back to his scrapyard which still had it's "Condemned: DO NOT ENTER" sign, now hanging crookedly over the gate. For one brief second, it swelled in him the dread that he'd forgotten his keys so all this travel was for nothing until he remembered the spare set under a half-dismembered leo in the back. So he walked through the landscape of battered and rent metal that he'd arranged just how he liked it; just so, that on nights like this where the cobalt sky turned the junk black against itself. Relishing the scent of the dew forming on the metal surfaces where there was no grass, it looked not like ruins, but as a newly created landscape that, had he not been so modest about it, was equal in spiritual strangeness and windy fantasy of darkened dreams to anything any surrealist master had painted, or wished to paint but been unable to render in the suiting phantom half-beauty. As if it wasn't nearly a trash heap, but some endless tumbled plain without beginning or end. A place where you could just run off and never worry about coming back as your searched for the wondrous things that might lie hidden there. Maybe you could stay forever, and just be yourself.

He found his key and with a dragging sigh, set it to the lock. The noise of it startled him. It seemed so loud. For a second he listened, but nothing answered except for the dingy wind in the chinks of the realm he had neglected for so long.

And yet, he didn't want to be here. He wanted to be home and this did not feel like home at all.

/So I've gone soft too! Oh well./ So he opened his old door into a pool of ink disturbed only by the phantasmal patch of light that flung his shadow on the floor. Darkness; he still did not fear it, he never would, and it was nearly comforting to see it welcome him. He stepped inside and closed the door, calling to his empty dump "Tadaima!" with a giggle. He couldn't believe he had hesitated. /It's late. I think I'll just hit the sack, start in the morning./ With a yawn, he cast aside his bag and tried to remember how many steps to the hallway.

"I've been waiting for you."

Only then did his hand slam across the lightswitch as anyone else's would have the instant they entered that vacant house and it's ocean of black iris.

He had then an undeclared understanding of why Trowa sometimes could not bring himself to speak. It came with the dim, moody light. Appeared in the corner of his living room.

He was not alone at all. Heero was sitting cross-legged on his floor under the soft glow of the distant line of scintillating buildings- not half as blue as his eyes which remained as cold and as real as ice under that one plain, undraped window. He'd apparently been reading in that enchanting, bare light for in his lap rested a book, it's pages lolling with his breath and the flexing of his bare feet. And he was dressed from head to toe in loose, white gauze that clung to him in an almost infetecimale way because of the heat because. He was ice. Everything about him said so.

"Take off your shoes. I just vacuumed."

Duo's breath shot in and out of him so fast his wordless sounds of wonder cracked on the air, his heart rushing so fast because of them and still he couldn't. he just couldn't. His knees started to give way and he felt nothing below them. The rest of him seemed to have crashed out of reality, if indeed the rest of him still possessed sense besides that electric disbelief that was wired inside him starting to give up hope already.

"You'd been gone so long there was dust everywhere. Maybe you left it that way, but it was disgusting. I thought you had grey carpet."

"He-he-heero?"

Blink. Suddenly, the funniest expression as he actually said something for the sheer value of it not needing to be said, as if this once, it had to be, it just had to be. "Yes it's me, Duo. I just have one question." Pause, the scowl was back if indeed it had ever left. "Why the hell did you leave that one pickle in the refrigerator?"

Then he laughed. Laughed like he had been told the most fatally riotous joke in all of human history, falling to the ground clutching his sides and letting the tears gush over his cheeks with the refreshing throe of it. This died down suddenly into simple giggles as he looked at last to see his uninvited guest bending over him with a blank expression but nonetheless pulling off his boots, then setting them to the side.

"Why Duo!? Why!?"

"Because five months ago I left in such a hurry I forgot!"

"It's still there if you want it." But he stood up then and stalked out of the room without another word, leaving his companion to scramble to a sitting position and shake his thoughts back into some semblance of order for they were floating in the most scrumptious unreality. But he WAS THERE, in his own house, listening to this angel in HIS kitchen, switching on HIS cooling system which buzzed due to apparent disuse for a second. He was just crawling over to the temporarily neglected book when the same boy, just the same, came back into the living room carrying and ice bucket which he set down before placing himself just as he had been before. "I haven't been running the air conditioner. It'll take a while to cool off. You're obviously over heated. Here, suck on some ice."

"Uh, yeah."

The former Wing pilot seemed wholly unaware of the fantasy behind the wild indigo eyes that traced over him as if he was some rare blossom fallen on a normal sidewalk. He just sat down and scooped up a handful of ice which he rubbed over his face, leaving a coating of moisture that rolled over every contour of his stern face before he dumped the remains of the frozen part down his shirt creating a rather large transparent wet spot.

Was he actually uncomfortable in this roasting weather?

Duo packed some of the cold stuff into one of his cheeks like a chipmunk. "Whatcha readin'?"

The other boy glared harder for no apparent reason. A deeper glare could mean just about anything coming from him but for some reason, this one surprised him. It seemed a slight embarrassment for he reached down and held up the spread covers, raising his eyebrow.

" 'Charlotte's Web'? Aw! Don't gimme that look!" /Even though you always do./ "That's one of the best books ever written." He, himself had totally forgotten about it. He did have a meager selection of children's literature, the sort Sister Helena had read to him when he was very little. They hadn't crossed his mind in ages and here Mr. Macho Mecha.

Issued a very interesting complaint. "But Charlotte died."

The melt water in his mouth went down crookedly. "Man, what page are you on? Lemme see. Oh. Okay. I can't really say anything."

"It's sad. I don't want to read anymore."

"Yuy! You didn't just call yourself 'sad', did you?"

Defensively and snatching the book away, "I said the book was sad. Sad books are a waste of time. They accomplish nothing."

"But it kinda gottcha, didn't it?"

"What do you mean by that?"

"You know! Didn't it make you feel sad to, even a teeny-weeny bit? 'Cause there's nothin' wrong with that."

Heero flat out pouted as much as his usually ridged face would allow before snapping, "Duo, where have you been?"

"Now THAT'S a long story actually."

"Longer or shorter than most of your books?"

"Dunno. You want me to tell it, or not?"

"You will whatever I do."

"Uh. yeah. I guess I will." In occasionally excruciating detail he proceeded to recount everything that had happened to him and all the people who had been even the slightest bit relevant to the extreme tale he had accumulated. The thing that took him by surprise for yet another time that night was that not only was he working in present company, but that all those years of reading had finally done some good. He could tell a story, he could tell it in a way that his own skeptical and somewhat nervous ear found it pretty good actually, despite all the tangents he went off on or how he was inwardly shivering. It sounded made up sometimes.

At last, the other boy sat and starred at the wedding picture that he'd kept in his wallet while he, for that long while, sat and sipped water out of the bucket for his tongue had gone dreadfully dry.

"They're a cute couple, aren't they?"

"They're a little young."

Apparently his rambling had had little effect. "Oh! But you should see them!" he added jovially anyway. "I'd never seen Trowa actually happy before, the real kind of happy. And Quatre! He's got complexion, I swear!"

"All Trowa ever said to me was that he hated it when Quatre was wounded: it scared him. I knew it then. We shouldn't have made them fight again. They could have gotten themselves killed."

"Why are you always so negative?" He took the opportunity to flick some water in his general direction. "We're all alive, aren't we? Isn't that great? We should be happy!"

"A waste of time."

"Geeze! Happy is a waste of time, sad is a waste of time: make up your mind already! You have to pick one sooner or later."

"I didn't say happy was a was of time. It's only a waste to think about our existence like that. We should go on."

"Hey, I'm tryin! I'm tryin'! Right now, I feel like there's nothing left to worry about in the whole world, so I guess maybe I'm finally getting it."

"Careless."

"You were the last thing- the last thing I was upset about anymore. How'd you end up camping out in MY house to begin with?"

No answer, he only swallowed a shrunken ice cube.

"Alright, we'll start with something easier: How long have you been here?"

"Three months, one week, eleven hours and fifty-four minutes."

"What!?"

"I said I was waiting for you."

"You didn't try looking or."

"I was right and you came back."

"But you didn't have to wait for me by yourself all that time! You coulda called somebody or gone SOMEWHERE. What HAVE you been up to? We." He was shushed by his companion's sudden and as always wordless exit from the room. He may have returned shortly he was only carrying a slip of paper which was quickly handed over.

The ex-Deathscythe unfolded the scrap which was still so crisp he thought at first no one had read it before him.

Heero Yuy. I like that name I gave you, don't you too? Well, my boy, if you're reading this the war's over and I'm dead. Doesn't matter which came first. You're still alive though. Weather you consider yourself lucky because of it, I can't say. I doubt you are. You pathetic little bastard. I don't think you know how to survive on your own. You need someone, something to tell you how to pretend you're living your life. You needed that war. I made sure of it. So where are you now? Nowhere. Stay. You're better off that way. But, on the off chance you can think of anything you actually want for your stay, everything of mine I leave to you. I spent my life on you and your machine. You're the one that can pass yourself off as human, the most useful, and the gundam doesn't care about the money. I suppose it's best I make it yours then. [This was followed by some barely legible instructions for accessing a rather hefty bank account and the locations of a collection of items that sounded suspiciously worthless. It was signed though:]

Dr. J.

The braided one glanced up almost anxiously. Anyone else would have been injured by such casual words, even he felt a stab of grief, but this old acquaintance of his just looked impatient for him to finish.

"I wanted to prove him wrong," was all he said.

"He didn't expect you to."

"He wanted me to die. I wanted to die for a long time too. One day I didn't anymore. It felt. strange to me, to want to live instead. But it was what made me. what made it inside of me."

Heero was tripping over his own words. The other boy swallowed hard and watched him with a firm but kindly gaze that only seemed to make him more agitated, in a sort of quiet way as if he had been caught looking into the windows of the real world at last, and that it seemed like stealing to him.

"A lot of the money's already gone. I haven't been here always, but I came back and waited."

"Where did you go?"

"The therapist."

Duo's jaw would have dropped once more but instead he locked himself onto those chilly cobalt eyes, seeming only astounded himself though there was certainly a lot more to it. "You went to a psychiatrist?"

"Psychologist. I didn't want any drugs. She's a specialist in treating trauma victims that came her after the war. I said I'd kill her if she ever told anyone about me and she didn't act surprised so I stayed with her. I see her every day at eleven thirty. She's bought me lunch a few times."

"Oh my gosh," He chuckled in a happy, nonaccusatory way, "Heero, I don't know what to say. I mean, it's great and everything but this just isn't like you at all. Do you think she's helped?"

"She said I was somewhat better."

"Better how? What have you been talking about? I know it's none of my business and you sure don't have to tell me but I was just curious."

"Whatever I want so it's usually the same thing."

"Wow! Heero!" He could only wave his hands about in some empathetic gesture. "You really are amazing. I never thought I'd hear you admit to ANYONE that you needed help."

"I did it because I knew you wouldn't like it."

Of all his ambiguous (/Ambiguous? He must have learned a *lot* from that doctor! I'll be damned! She might actually have changed him. Damnit again! I think I like it./) replies, this one was the absolutely most baffling. "So you're going to therapy because you wanted to piss me off?"

The once perfect soldier was starting to seem more and more flawed by the minute, turning into a much gentler form of perfection as he glanced out the window, maybe soldier no longer. "No. you wouldn't like it if I was dead."

"But you're not dead! I thought we just went over that."

"I was dead inside and you knew it. I just didn't care. Nothing could make me care."

"No you're not, Heero! Whatever..."

"Damare. I wasn't done."

"Sorry man! Double geeze!" He sounded a bit rude; he didn't take to kindly to being shut up no matter who said it and in what language and weather or not they were glancing out his window with such a far off look that he might just have been asking the moon for words. How silly. Besides this momentary lapse of his, it was those eyes. something was so wrong with them.

Bluer as the moonbeams.

Bluer than the truest blue of the sky in the river if time.

Bluer than the softest image of evening on silver.

Bluer than the blue of sadness.

Bluer than all the blues in St. Louis.

Bluer than loneliness in.

"Daisuki da, Duo." [1]

/I knew I shoulda learned more Japanese!/

The boy who tamed Wing 0 made sure he would never forget it. He turned into an angel indeed with nothing so obvious as wings or a halo, but the shyness of a child (and it was easy to wonder if he had ever really been a child before that moment) who reaches out to catch a butterfly, he leaned over, eyes shimmering like sapphire flames in the tint from the window and kissed Duo's lips, ever so longingly, his own warm and hopeful against his skin.

There were no more words between them even as Maxwell's mouth tingled, begged the rest of him for something more. He couldn't. No, this wasn't real. If it was real, it would be his kiss and it would be drawing curses out of Lovely. It wasn't real.. it wasn't real. maybe everything else was but true kisses didn't make him want to burst into tears inside, only in his dreams. Kisses were things between lovers, not people who'd shot at each other the first few times they'd met and wouldn't even call each other friends. Kisses were not for people with so many regrets between them.

Blue was the dream in those haunting eyes as he had tried to forget once that he felt it himself. But there was also a quiet askance: Is that okay, Duo?

With just the softest sobbing murmur he took his fellow soldier in his arms, cradling him as close as he could, pattering heart to pattering heart, warm, frightened body to warm, frightened body, and let himself go planting sweet, innocent kisses all over his face, tasting his skin. He'd never craved the little sound it made so much, the wet clicking of soft flesh against softer flesh. His companion only laid docile in the embrace, pondering perhaps or savoring those long minutes all the more. He couldn't bring himself to stop. If he stopped he'd be weeping.

"D-d-duo?"

"I love you too, Heero." One of his hands tangling in the short, messy mop, the other slid down his back, stroking him through the thin material of his shirt as he nudged their cheeks together. "For once in your life you don't have to ask yourself. Just trust me awhile, My Lovely. And lemmee hold you, please."

"You. want to hold me?"

"Well, and kiss you to," Chu! Chu! Chu! He left himself slide further down the other boy's back as he felt up his neck with his hungry mouth. "C'mon Heero, you can confide in me all you want, tell me everything." To this he added a subdued, disastrous smile, eyes half closed as he gazed into the second pair.

"No one's ever held me."

At this, the braided one held the lips a long while, pushing them together as he rubbed the slowly relaxing shoulder blades under his hands, deciding that for each word this boy of his uttered, he would kiss him again and again.

"You feel like a shadow but your keep the others away. I never really wanted you to stop talking, but I was never afraid until I met you. Then I was afraid over everything, even myself. I didn't know what it was inside me. I thought for a long time I hated you. But I felt your warmth and it felt like home, yet I had no home except for you then. I tried to fight it for a long time. One day I didn't want to fight again, not ever. But that was against everything I existed for. I was born to die for someone else's cause. Not my own and it seemed like it was too late. I decided I wouldn't die. Not until I knew what was going on inside my heart and your home, it was my home to. I wanted to feel your warmth."

"Are you warm now?"

"I am."

"'Cause I can let you in and it'll be even warmer."

"How."

With an impish smirk, he pushed Heero until he was supine on his own living room floor, underneath his body- they couldn't have gotten much closer. But he seemed more ready for battle, almost sinking into the concrete foundations underneath. He leaned on one arm and stared down at him, just stared for a long time. /I've been waiting to do this to you. I have to. I wanna taste you but I don't wanna spoil you./ Was he actually starting to look impatient or just uncomfortable? I was an arrangement just the opposite of how he'd always supposed it might be and the noncomplacent rigidity of elder days was all through him. /But you were the one to speak so this time, I have to be the one to show you./ "Relax, I'm just gonna confide in you to.

"N-nani?"

He edged back a bit seeing him. such words were scarce. Duo leaned over then and tentatively ran his fingers over his lover's jaw, sliding it between the usually inexpressive lips that had been moved as suddenly as those of a statue that has been still otherwise it's entire existence, and he parted them, just a bit. So much younger because he didn't seem to push him away even in. fear? He really was afraid of everything now. "Don't worry, it's just how much I love you. Say," Evil grin. "Has anyone ever slipped you tongue?"

"I wanted to know what it."

He laid his hands on Heero's face and held his bangs away as he tipped his head back before burying his mouth on the Wing pilot's in a long, penetrating caress. The object of his affection made some shrill noise of surprise in his throat but as his companion drew away, he panted, eyes beginning to slid closed in contemplation, his thick, shallow breathing bumping against him, the metallic aftertaste of him still clinging to the tongue that had assaulted him, chilly still with ice.

"Do it again. You caught me off guard."

Duo didn't even try to count how many more wet, messy kisses they shared beyond the one asked for. How many moments tongue to tongue, the other boys groaning lightly under him, churning and sliding and soaking against him, in him. In him. And he was unable to open his eyes to the light of his brilliant angel.

"This is beautiful," he whispered between his tastes of those lips. "You and everything you do."

As the hands on his back began to paw at him, he knew it was his answer. Even in the dead of night when nothing came to him but voices of his own chilling thoughts, falling over and over without him there, going on and on, he'd never dreamed of this moment like this. Sometimes little kids will think of themselves as gods or monsters, but somewhere maybe they know it's not true? What if it was?

Catching those blue eyes at last and this newest time in his gaze, here his benediction, but was it really flesh or the illusion of flesh? It was right and that was all that mattered. So right. This glowing unconscious figurativeness between them as he kisses and his kissed harder as if some union of their lips would switch their hearts between their bodies. Closer and closer together, body and soul.

Something in him suddenly anxious. It was like in that split second as he felt his boxers, damp and rubbing against his crotch that he realized, and the veil descended between them. He felt faint.

"Duo.?"

/Did I scream? I didn't want. why this? Why now?/

"Duo?" He was lying on his back, the other boy beside him as if he'd been wounded.

"Heero, I gotta show you something." The immediacy, the sheer eerie surrealism of the whole thing, the way it was all falling before him like a poem gone wrong that summons itself before sensible thoughts finish it. "Turn around."

"But!"

"You can't look at me."

"You said to me.!"

/He's pleading./ It wouldn't have sounded that was to anyone but him. This was the sloppiest way, no doubt about that, but in his mind that swimming moment, it wouldn't hold up any in any other manner. He made him sit against the wall, and in his rejection he laid his brow against it and Shimigami even cursed him for making him do it. No time to rethink. It was this or lies.

He, with an almost exotic, unforgiving grace, took of his clothes and threw them into a corner, then sat down with his back to the couch. A quick sigh of preparation as if he was holding a knife to his wrists. Leaning further back, he braced his legs apart, cupping his boy half in his hands and out of the way. "You can turn around now."

Duo tried so hard to hold that smug confessor look of his to this, but it was a perfect control as always. His companion got to his feet ever so reluctantly. He only ended up putting his back to the wall then, pensive, and it made his companion shiver.

"Kimi wa ryosei," [2] was all he said as if remarking to the color of his hair in the sunlight after having not seen it so in a long while. "You're. wet."

"Yeah." glancing away and knotting his fingers in his braid at last. "My pussy likes the warmth." At this he really shuddered, disquieted by his own frankness and the slight fib. As if expecting a blow, he clamped his knees together.

Heero was standing beside him, brushing his fingers through his bangs in a manner more to be expected of a young teacher petting one of her hurting students. There was nothing even remotely harsh as his eyes looked down on him. "I would have trusted you. There was no need to take off your clothes."

"Yeah, well, it's hot in here anyway." The remark apparently having stemmed from his happy bewildered, vaporous mind that had taken off again at once. He started to laugh at once.

"Duo no baka. Come sit on my lap."

"Yuy!" So he quite daintily placed himself on his companion's legs, his own stretched out and crossed at the ankles, and he looped his arms about him, wrapped him with them, and they sat for a long while, just gazing into each other's pleasantly awakened face. But he chuckled just one more chuckle. "Aren't you worried that I'll get some on your pants?"

"I'll get another pair."

It was then the braided one realized that the thigh underneath him was shifting in a slight sort of adjustment and that only made things worse. As a little kid, he had really been awfully fond of that erroneous "funny feeling" deep within him, as a teenager, he could confess to having done some pretty awful things to get it. Suddenly, it had him petrified, seriously but soberly so. He only kept in him now the ethereal desire for closeness, the yearning for phantom hands that sublimated into real ones, here, right now, able to give him that at least. He sank into his arms. Closeness only then and he ruffled his shirt a bit.

"You cold?"

"Nah," /Hey. wait a second! I'm sitting naked on Heero Yuy's lap! Wow!/ At that he set to kissing him and nibbling his ear a bit. Couldn't hurt.

"Your skin is so smooth," Indeed, hands were tracing over his shin and his side, a delicate cover dotted with slight pinches, light trails of ghosts inside and out.

/I've just got to chill out and I'll be fine./

"And you're cheeks are thinner."

"My. eh?" With that he really pinched himself as hard as he could and raised his eyebrows. "Damn! I'm loosing my baby fat. I won't be cute anymore. Aww! You think if I started eating peanut butter maybe I could slow it down? Peanut butter's one of the best things there is in life, but somehow I get the feeling you've never had any."

"I've been eating soybeans out of the pod."

He got the impression that when he said "I've been eating soybeans out of the pod," he meant "Soybeans out of the pod are the first real food I've let myself have in a long time because I'm addicted to ration bars."

"Well, tomorrow I'll run out and get you the biggest jar of peanut butter they've got." So much for talking to calm his racing mind. He rambled on and on about the wonders of the stuff. His previous tale telling paled in comparison to his virtual seminar on the pasty concoction- how it was best straight out of the jar, how he was going to feed it to his dear, how it would smell, how smooth it would be going down attached to seemingly infinite tidbits of history he wasn't even aware he knew and probably didn't: it was entirely likely he made them up on the spot. Especially how smooth it would be going down. The words were completely empty though:

Heero liking peanut butter off a spoon.

Heero kissing peanut butter off his lips.

Heero naked and covered with peanut butter, tied to a pile of satin pillows and starting to stroke his own sword with need, begging in a saucy, desirable voice for him to. /Oh yes, you ARE delicious, My Lovely!/

"Kimi no chisai meiki de yarashite kure." [3]

He rubbed his eyes and sucked thoughtfully at the momentary lapse. "I'm sorry, I gotta get up now." It felt like he was drunk as he picked himself up. "Better go put somethin' on."

Squeezing the hand that had been resting on his. thigh? How strange? As he lifted it away and got to his feet as modestly as he could. He was sopping, he could feel it and it pained him so to leave. As he stood though, he realized his hair was falling. It had been undone by someone else's hand and it rolled over him, slithered free down to his calves, a blanket to hide himself in. Maybe herself? How embarrassing that he had to go like this, if only for a moment. Not that anyone ever paid much attention if girls were aroused. It was a convenience for rowdy boys. He'd put some pants on and be done with it.

"Choto Mat'te." [4]

He started to say ten things at once but all of them were gagged by the hand that slid possessively about his waist, the hips that softly bumped his own. His heart pumped wildly and it made his insides pain a little with some unwinding potency of want curling open in the fantasy world. There was another hand that weaved past the curtain of is tresses and skidded over his skin instead, tactfully kneading his bottom. His words turned to little twitches of dissipated desire. The small, pappy, fragile lips that hide him away slide back and forth against each other as he breathed and that hand slid down, cupped them in it's palm, bouncing against the supple flesh.

The Wing pilot, he seemed perfectly comfortable. The metalicized programmed conformable of his that let him walk around others unnoticed, that despite being required was almost somehow timid. Maybe he was just as lost as the emotions he was calling up, trying to offer something, to please in a way he'd never pleased before. To bring some solace, maybe in return.

Duo gusted inside. He could feel every detail of the adroit fingers on him that he had never imagined before but suddenly. "Heero."

The other boy responded by sinking closer against him, fully parting his flesh. The side of his hand brushed over the precious slit in quick little strokes, guided with some synchronicity to his actions to the soft noises falling part his companion's lips. "You're really hot. Does it hurt?"

His encouragement was an intent caress that slid up inside him. "A little."

The other boy impaled him a bit more roughly, working the wet muscle for a minute before pulling away. "Would you get on your hands and knees for me?"

Involuntarily, he started.

"My bed's in the front room."

He'd never even used that space before. In one moment, he was totally naked in it, more naked than he'd ever felt as he kneeled on the scant heap in rumpled sheets- sheets with the most enticing scent of his lover as he would have slept. He curled up on them now himself, head resting on his folded arms, his back arched, knees splayed apart leaving him completely exposed as he waited impatiently, rubbing his own face against his hands just to be touched. At last he felt the other former gundam pilot crawling up behind him. He expected. no, he really wanted and only with the slightest bit of apprehension to feel the blunt head of his unclothed member easing into him. He only felt his breath and he could have screamed out his strange mix of frustration and whole, free disbelief to the nearby moon.

"C'mon Heero. I'm ready."

"What do you want?"

He spoke without leave from the rest of his mind. "Stick it in me! God, please, anything! Fuck me with your pistol if you have to. Please! Please." Over and over again, please, please, please. there were some clicking noises behind him. More subtle then, he couldn't believe how desperate he'd sounded. "Heero I need you. I need you. I need you so much."

He felt the other boy steady himself with a hand on his waist and then. something cold and inhumanly hard shot all the way up inside him, slammed up against his dripping walls as he arched back to meet it. Glancing around he saw what almost could have been a smirk on a fully dressed lover of his, very calmly sliding something in and out and in and out. Six bullets laid sprinkled on the floor.

"I don't believe you did it!" He screamed. The metal was biting into him, almost scouring him out with it's chill slickness. Then in spite of himself and his initial disgust, he found it was staring to feel very oddly, no sensual, wasn't the right word. Naughty. Declared amidst a near giggle as he jerked his whole body backwards onto the barrel. "I knew you were good with a gun, but this is ridiculous!"

"You said this was what you wanted."

"I do, I do, oh good God!" He rocked backwards against the metal in him which had gone from freezing to comfortingly chilly in the summer heat, refreshing him inside in ways he'd never known could be refreshed. Still wearing his wry grin though, easing it against different sensitive places as he swayed his bottom. No, this wasn't as near anything like some of his books made it out to be, to let someone have you, even if that someone happened to be more comfortable with.

But the pistol was revoked and clattered across the floor with a creamy glisten.

Duo's throat burned with a stunned gasp. The other boy hesitated no longer but buried his face in the shaking folds of wet skin and started to lick deliberately away. At last he felt his breath bound to his body in a moan that shook him through and through.

"Is it okay. if I feel you like this?"

"Yes! Yes! I wanted it to be you I always wanted. ohhhhhhhhh." The liquidy brim of the mouth that nibbled him was so eloquent in this where often it had failing in speech, now compelling him to soft pleasured cries. So this was what it felt like to have such empathy with someone for each noise he made would change the pattern, find somewhere else that wanted kissed. And his hot breath was keeping him so warm, falling on him in pants. /He must know then, know exactly what he's doing. He must want me to feel like this./ He was weak and wobbling as if everything was set free inside him, drifting away.

As if sensing his impending journey to the brink, his partner grasped his shaking thighs and pushed his lingua as far inside as he could; gulping, nearly speaking into the white wine delicacy of the other boy who edged closer back against him in a silent plea, harder and harder, about to bloom fully in his mouth.

/If you could do this to me forever. hey! I got him in me! I did it! I did it! But./ Duo was starting to loose himself to each stroke, the gentle hands, portent of his release reached up throughout him, grasped each nerve and held it tight in pleasure, There was one last second of his ecstasy. It ended with a feeling as if he had burst though to the surface of a lake. He screamed, threw his whole self back in sheer heaven, spasming against his lover's mouth, lips twitching as they gushed.

One last sigh and he fell to the covers, no longer bound but raw and sweet where he laid prone and soothed as the summer's night about them. His companion shortly joined him, stretched out flat on his back, but their eyes met as soon as he had caught his escapee breath. Yes, it was still Heero, and he still looked just the same as every memory only seeming pleased, lying their, his face given a slight sheen by the milky fluid that drenched it.

"Say, what was that you said to me at first?" With one sexy mimic of a chuckle.

"Kimi no chisai meiki de yarashite kure."

"Ah, sore wa suki. I'll have to remember it." [5]

"Hn. Duo no baka." This heralding one of his absurd attempts at
perturbation shadowed by something else.

"Oh! You sound so raunchy when you say that!" With that thought, he rolled halfway onto his lover, taking him in a loose embrace, and began to lap away the juices on his face, licking until he tasted only the gunpowder salt of his skin. But those lips that had given him so much he cleaned last, pulling them into a long, winding kiss.

"Oh My Lovely."

"Why do you keep calling me that?"

"Because you are! In fact, you're downright gorgeous! Hasn't anyone ever told you that?"

"Relina said 'handsome' once."

"Ewe!"

"I like 'lovely' better."

"I'm flattered." He pressed their mouths into yet another lengthy kiss. "You know, I usedta lay awake at night when you were in some of our dorm rooms with me and wonder what you'd do if I got in your bed with you. But, here we are and now I know!" Laughter.

"I would have tried to knock you out and dump you on the floor."

"Tried?"

"Mission or no mission, you're dangerously seductive."

"Ooooooh!" The braided one went so far as to slap him in jest. "I think I like that, especially coming from you. I guess it's true, especially considering I just tricked Heero Yuy into making pillow talk."

"You're also manipulative." The words were presented so deadpan that they created only uproarious jocularity.

"Aw! That's sweet, but it wasn't that bad, was it?"

"No, I liked it."

"Mmm! But I guess you'd like to cut the formalities, huh?"

Heero just looked as painfully confused as Heero could look.

"C'mon! The night is young and I'm not sleepy," Said as he rolled on top of his lover and began a rub down of his shoulders as he gazed at him in slight thrill of what he intended to do soon enough. "Are you?"

Shaking his head.

"Then why sleep? We're in bed, I'm naked. Let's play awhile!" With that he coasted his hand down his side over his hip and, with the most outlandish feel to his grin, cupped Heero's groin in his hands, held it tightly. The fact just barely registered that he wasn't the least bit aroused- he was soft and easy as his own girl half, but he squeezed and grasped it well, temptation smoothing his hands like a sad song smooths over a morning. Underneath him, the once empty suddenly placated and endearing face cooled off again to that of a soldier, plain and simple.

"Dame da."

He was kicking himself, he was fighting himself to understand. "Okay... I'll go a little easier... you can give me lessons then, I mean, you were so good to me." His hands were guided them only by the blue calming his lust, there was a song truly that he started to contemplate to himself, hum away as he started at the shirt buttons.

"Yabette."

Brief image of the book splayed on the living room floor still before his eyes drew back, trying to discern something, anything. /He sounded scarred.../ "Lovely, what's the matter?"

Faint were the words but they still stung. "Don't touch me." And he fought his way out from underneath his lover, knee clouting him roughly in the chest as he scrambled away and pitched himself on the floor just barely off the covers.

"Peace Heero! Peace!" One of his fingers brushed over the form of the boy beside him as if he reached after a little bird flying away and it was met with a sharp, angry jolt. "Please, I just don't ever want you to feel used again. I love you and if we're gonna be like this you should get some too. It's great, c'mon."

Just the glare.

"Did I do something wrong?"

"You shouldn't waste your time."

"Hee-chan!" He was fussing and pulling the covers around his chest like a girl would have. "Why would making love to you be a waste of time? You just gave it to me, can't I return the favor?"

"I didn't give it to you, I just ate you out."

"Yeah and it felt great! It's close enough for me." /Because I always figured I'd never be that close to you at all./

"Hn."

"Spoil sport! C'mon now. *You're* acting ridiculous. Now, if I did something wrong, I am sorry and I promise to do it right from now. Gomen nasai, koibito. Gomen. Come back to bed." /I almost wonder if he feels intimidated, being asked to lye beside a naked lover, someone he would have rather shot with that gun once. Or maybe I'm being too goofy for him. Agh! The angst!/

But the other boy threw in the preverbal towel and scootched over a bit closer, still laying prostrate as if he was alone.

"Aw! Whyddya have to get so cranky on me? Are you embarrassed that you lost your inhibitions? Heero, I know this may come as a huge shock, but normal people fuck. It's okay, isn't it?"

"Why shouldn't it be?"

"You tell me? What are you holding back. There's something you won't say, I can feel it." Very mildly then, almost as mildly as Quatre, "You can tell me anything, anything at all." He rolled onto his side and chanced a caress on one of the piquedly crossed arms. /Ha! I thought so! He's just being difficult!/ "You're very hard for me to figure out you know. You're always on my mind but still, I loose track of you a lot. I understand if you're just not ready; hey! Up until thirty minutes ago, I was a virgin too! But I'm just Duo, I'm nobody else." /Did I just hear myself say that!?/ "It's not humanly possible to offend me. But you'll always be you- rather do things yourself..."

"I can't come."

/Well that just popped out!/ But it was still one of the most awful surprises that had been thrown his way in weeks, somehow especially pitiful, and he downright panicked. "You can't come!?"

"Weren't you listening?" Closing his eyes in exasperation.

"Hold on a second! I didn't question you at all! You didn't let me finish. It's not the mostly likely... err... difficulty for a guy to have. Have you, uh, tried very hard? I'm sorry! I'm really sorry but I just don't see..."

"I don't have to try. I know. Waste of time."

"So you can't... erp..." He started saying 'get it up' but it quickly degraded into a series of obscene gestures that would have proved obscure at best if anyone had actually been watching them.

"It's the training, Duo. I knew it would come between us."

"Dear God! What training!?"

"You're jumping to conclusions again. Frankly, I wonder why they never tried it on you."

"Tried it on me!? Heero, what did they *DO* to you!? Who hurt you!? Why I'll..."

"He's already dead. Dr. J was not satisfied until I was immune to every torture, even my own. He made me hate it just as much as I hated everything else until I hated so much I didn't care. It worked pretty well."

"Wh-wh-what did...?"

"You're doing it again. Fine. You want to know? Every time I got hard, even if I was asleep, he'd tie me hand and foot and string me from the ceiling, let me hang there all night until it when away. Once I got away with handling myself. He beat me so bad I never tried it again. I can't even remember what it felt like to have an orgasm. I do remember what it's like to go unsatisfied. I don't want to..." It was so funny about the way he'd talked before that night- it sounded like words that others simply came to know, as if there was no voice behind them. Until now. It was Heero speaking, he was sure of it. The Heero he'd never even dared dream of hiding all the way under the cold blood, the programming, the steel shell of a boy; that had never even flashed past before. Now he was talking. Blue is lonely certainly, but it was more than that. "...remember anything else. I'd be a burden to you then. I couldn't live with myself. So there. Are you happy now?"

"No," edged with a steamy chuckle of all things.

"Malcontent."

"Yeah, that's me! Maxwell Malcontent. But," Scrunching closer to his bedmate, he propped himself on one elbow as he gazed into that solicitously confounded face with his saddened yet always glittering eyes, smirking and that was probably what had lead to the confusion. "So you had me because you wanted me to feel released?"

"If you..." His words fell short and sweet, completely lost. "Yeah."

"That's a beautiful and unselfish thing to want. Not more beautiful than you of course. I want to return it, if you'd like."

"Don't give me that look."

"Okay, okay; I'll back off a little already. But you know, if you would just loosen up a little for me, I bet I could do it."

"Baka mitai." [6]

"So what? That's the magick of romance. Do you believe in magick? I didn't for a long time, but I do now."

This drew the longest pause of his entire life, hours and hours of perceived time and expectant sweating where he was trying so hard to keep his cool, biding time for the decision to be made.

The forfeit of this soldier of his came in a voice nearly as unnoticed as lost time. "I didn't until I met you."

"So, you wanna give it a go or not? If you need anything or if you're just not ready, that's cool with me." His sudden drooling was making him blather a bit as he tried to keep the lewd edge from the words. Not that they meant any less because but the mere sight of any of the other boy's flesh made his hungry. "Or if you just wanna book it for your therapist's."

"Sherri has nothing to do with this." Sigh. "Do your worst."

Encouragingly, he kissed his brow before he rose. "I'll go get some stuff we might need."

"Stuff?"

He could have laughed out loud at the way his face contorted so credulously. "No whips, no chains no enemas or things like that!"

"Dolls?"

"No dildos either. Unless... you'd like that..."

"It's not necessary."

"Okay." He shrugged and ran laughing and stark naked from the room into his office where he took a few seconds to consult the finest points of his collection. /Yes! Reading all this smut has finally paid off! I'm one of the few first timers who'll know what the hell I'm doing!/ That done, he fished around in his desk drawer for a second and dashed back displaying his prizes as soon as he returned. "Cherry or grape?"

Tentatively as if testing suspicious water, "Cherry." He added seeing the jar set beside their little nest. "You'll stain your sheets."

"They're going to be stained anyway."

"So desu ne."

"Now," the braided one began, sitting down on the covers and crossing his legs. "I'm gonna go real slow. If it hurts, you have to tell me even if you're not usedta it. I'll try to make it as nice as I can." With that determination filling up his mind, bound firmly by the ties of the blueness and all the desire he thought he could ever hold without expiring, he bent and pecked him lightly on the lips.

"Duo?" His partner quarried with their mouths only inches apart yet. "You kept me going you know... the sound of your voice... the feel of your hands on my shoulders..."

"Shh..." Chu! "Just lemme be good to you. Lemme be your daddy."

"Okay daddy."

The ex-Deathscythe pilot froze for a second and caught his breath, wondering if it was actually humanly possible to become completely hard in half a second as he could have sworn he did, feeling somewhat dizzy in the quickened process. But then with an unassuming laugh he dove down for those lips again, kissed him with an intrinsic neediness, long drifting strokes meant to savor.

"Mmm. Duo."

"Yeah?" he replied, eyes still closed as his other sense got a chance to take in his partner.

"Dr. J never kissed me."

"YUCK! Don't think about him or anything that gross! Think of. what makes you happy!"

"Another kiss?"

"You're really just a little flirt, aren't you?" One more through liplock and he pulled away, edging downwards over the other body until his head was laying on top of that chest that seemed so thin and fragile all of a sudden. Rocking to one side, he reached over, seeking the first button of the gauze shirt.

"You didn't think I was going to let you dressed did you? Oh Heero, you're my little baby. You're so good and you're so pretty. I feel like I left the world behind and now it's just you in my arms. No one else could ever do that for me..." Finally sliding the garment open he took a deep breath. The former Wing pilot had the most thrilling, musky, earth-bound scent to him even if it was just the residue from the wear and tear of his day, maybe traces of several others; a full, sweaty aroma. He found it almost comforting himself. The chest under him was so tight, so firm, compact almost to the point of being thin. Duo seized a handful of his own hyacinth hair and dragged it over ever plane of the body he had yet unwrapped, watching the skin beneath it shift only with breath at first then begin to shudder away from the ticklish ends. His lover fliched at last at the faint assault. "Yes, My Lovely? Did you want to ask me to put it anywhere? You looked like you were going to..."

He shook his head.

"Okay. But I'll tickle you if you like? I'm told I tickle very well," this said as he swished the tresses back and forth in a way more sensitive people would have laughed madly at.

"Could you use your hand?"

"Anything you want..." And with that he set to kneading the skin under the tips of his fingers, tapping at it lightly now and again. "You feel so nice to touch..." The skin was incomparably smooth, rolling under his touches, shifting as his lover's mind sorted wildly, trying to discern some technical meaning for his little moves and still found nothing, trying to make himself believe he didn't have to. The braided one himself was drawn away from that little game by the firm little buds on his chest. One he enveloped in a stroking hand, the other he washed over with his mouth, before sucking away at it, convinced to drink up ever drop of his fantasy amidst his occasional nips and the other boy's soft mumbles.

Heero gave one penetrating sigh and decided. He leaned back, digging his shoulders further into the blankets. Frankly, his companion was pleased, knowing at last he had done some good. Taking a moment to reverse his treatment of the nipples, he made up his mind only to kiss his chest for awhile even as his hands scooted onto his more vulnerable belly, drawing out distracting patterns until they reached the edges of his pants, which he traced lightly. Then he impishly laid a hold of the zipper, wiggling it back and forth.

A little moan of... something...

"C'mon, I wanna know what color your undies are!" rolling of to the side, he yanked at the bit of metal, feeling it skate over a few indefinite shapes. His partner sighed easing away, his bare arms folded. "Also white... kako-i!" [7] And leaning over, he pulled off the pants by reaching under the other boy's ass and grabbing it thoroughly as he inched away. "Oh my! What nice buns you have!"

"If you want me to say 'All the better for you to slobber all over' or something equally inane, you're out of luck." With only the slightest touch of irritation. Could it have been... a joke?

He shrugged and chanced a laugh.

Heero smirked and moved one hand behind his head, his blue eyes still but halfway open as the other hand reached down and pulled away the flimsy white briefs, which he spun on his finger for a second before tossing them absently above their nest. So that smirk, that he still insisted on wearing though there was nothing else, maybe it wasn't that single one he'd had on reserve so long for slain enemies that he'd laughed at so madly. This- this was an utterly risqué countenance with amusedlyly cocked eyebrows. A guise worthy of an naked moralist.

Duo gasped and almost dropped the jar he'd been trying to open so clumsily. Heero Yuy, utterly nude, glancing at him as invitingly as an unguarded box of chocolate, some fae composite of a Grecian dream mellowed with modern Japanese proportions made more erotic by his apparent scrutiny, but no longer just as secret. Just a little angel indeed, bewitching and beckoning with nothing but the cobalt of his eyes and the bareness of his body until he reached over at last and straightened the crucifix his bedmate was wearing and had been all the while, untangling it from its chain. Duo went right back to trying to open the jar which was absolutely not cooperating. At last the lid came flying off and he stammered, "I'm sorry if this is a little cold" before his wryness returned and he scooped out a handful which he slathered all over that magnificent torso making sure to place a nice dollop in the navel before sketching out a simple happy face, must to it's wearers apparent chagrin.

"You look delicious, you know." Then he dove for his chance, flinging himself on the floor between his legs and starting to wash him clean again, slurping away at the transparent red, salty sweet, oozing with the flavor of his lover as it dripped about in his mouth.

His reply for all of this was a sudden gasp this time of an unmistakable sort.

/He's enjoying this as much as I am! He must be!/ As his mouth continued to wash over the warm skin he reached for the jar once more and began to massage his quivering thighs with the slippery contents, sliding lower bit by bit. His breath washed over the fresh jelly heated by his companion's body, it's glisten shifting with his movements and it's occasional drips that ran deep and deeper between his legs, becoming ever more delicious. He finally laid his hands to the other boys knees and opened them fully, letting to luscious cherry goop drizzle backwards onto the sensitive juncture between his thigh and his crotch. Heero, who had thrown his head back into the pillow at some point, glanced up dubiously, breathing deeply apparently sensing the jellified fingers hovering near his cock.

"You're just getting excited," he reassured, more himself for he delightedly realized that at his first touch, the other boy's organ twitched evocatively. "You have to or this won't work. I promise not to just let you go. I'll set you free, but you have to want me to first." He seemed unable to take his eyes from his lover's shaft for some time, marveling at it as he slicked it down. With a reassuring wink, he added a little more of the goo and watched it slide all the way down into his balls quite hungrily.

/I gotta do it gently./ He insisted to himself. /If I don't, he'll never trust me again./ Sliding between his lover's open legs he nestled in and began to nibble at the head of his sex, lashing his tongue out after more of the candied substance so he had something to swish around. To his satisfaction and pleasant surprise, Heero's breathing became so hard it ripped through his entire gorgeous body as he rocked his own head back and forth, pushing the slowly stiffening organ closer and closer to his throat, taking time as if he was instead swallowing mouthful after mouthful of snow even if the flesh was springing to life rather than melting. He smiled around the other boy, lips curled under his teeth so they wouldn't knock against him by mistake.

/I wonder why people who like to suck dick are always put down in erotic publications? I don't feel degraded. Quatre only did because I made him tell me everything on the plane ride and Wufei heard. It feels just as good as he said it would. I gotta thank him then./ He sucked a little more continuing to contemplate. This was not to be the end of his play, even if he was starting to smart with his own desire. He slammed against the former Wing pilot with his whole mouth hoping it would be a suitable diversion.

Almost elegantly, he dipped his fingers in the jar once again, got them nice and slick. The game began and he turned into a magician performing a levitation before the stunned voices of his own thoughts. Ever so slowly, he lifted his head, encouraging his lover's hips to follow, to keep his rigid member buried in the sanctuary of his own mouth. The tawny legs actually bound around him for leverage, coaxing and nudging. But he slid his hand ever so slowly under his partner's bottom, rubbing the slit between his cheeks a moment with his dry palms before splitting him with one slender finger and lightly caressing his rosebud.

Heero squirmed a second but apparently forced himself to hold still. The sensation couldn't have been completely painless to him, but the other boy hoped that somehow he could transform it into something exciting. It was in little ways for him. He was breathing hard against the flesh he had consumed as he pushed his digit just a bit further into that secret, twitching warmth. He tried to persuade him into being lowered, he had to ask even if he left him fall further.

"Is this okay?"

His finger just brushed over that forbidden sweet spot. The wing pilot shook all over with an abrupt lurching gasp and gritted his teeth a second. He took him with his mouth again, held him and stabbed him at once, rubbing the tender place over and over.

"D-d-duo?" The heated sultry whisper hardly seemed real and the slight moan that shadowed it perhaps made it not so.

"I'll slow up if you want."

He looked up to see Lovely's head shaking, it just occurring to him that in his stillness those hips he was half holding were starting to bounce a bit.

"Onegai. onegai."

"Shh." he soothed, seeking deeper inside. His lover convulsed, plead without words, threw his pretty head all the way back. "Just nod if it's okay."

The reply was emphatic but ended with a distraught little choke as he pulled away and dumped the rest of the jelly onto his hands. He was already breathing heavily himself as he slathered the red stuff all over his own aching body. /Well, this is the part that always falls out of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, it should be slippy enough./ His fingers were shivering as he finished and tried to rinse them a bit with his suddenly dry tongue before reaching down and pulling his partner's legs loosely about his waist. His ears were throbbing with the beating of his heart, the bed seemed to be spinning, it's contents in danger of flying away. "Here with you at last, My Lovely. Here with you at last and it's too nice a job to rush."

Screamed, "Onegai! Hammenasai! Onegai!" [8]

So with one long, slow push he slid inside the cradling pressure of Heero Yuy, convinced that at this once, sex indeed was really beauty and he caught them both moaning allowed in their pleasure. The other boy was holding him completely and he could not bring himself to fully begin for some time. At last though, his eyes fluttered up the one he'd wanted for so long, onto those cobalt eyes open wide and blameless, but yet so dreamy, embodying everything dissolute and cabalistic that there was about blue. Between this and the gentle coercion that held him he wasn't Duo at all, he felt like space dust, some sexy cologne on the breeze, he was. sobbing in the absolute bliss of it.

And yet he knew he'd never shake the feeling of those eyes that had haunted him for so long. There would be no madness to this. He was already having something more inexplicable than his wildest dreams, but stretched out over him, his face exactly below the other, his hair slung silky all over them, he took a deep breath and began to thrust ever so slowly, but as deep as he could go, niggling the sympathetic spots.

"Oh Heero. My Lovely. Heero."

His partner at fist laid still as a mannequin but each movement called up in him some sharp, squeaky gasp just as Duo moaned again and again, unable to escape his rapture. "Duo. Duo." he called it out at last, lightly and unruly as he tugged a bit at his right arm, seeming to ask without a word.

"You.. you wanna hold my hand?"

"Onegai."

"Anything." So with the utmost tenderness amidst their act, he freed one his palms from the covers and caught the former soldier's and wrapped their fingers together. "But look at me. c'mon. just for a second. ohhhhhhh. there. I'm sorry. that I'm not tall enough to kiss you I."

Heero shook his head and curled up a bit, kissing his forehead as his free hand started petting his hair.

He could return the favor only with a few little butterfly kissed as he leaned against his neck. He had thick lashes after all. Sliding in and out of his lover, keeping him ready long enough that he might at last find satisfaction and he lost ever brutal memory he'd had of him, he'd had of anything and drove himself more deeply still, tried to share the gift. /Pretty memories this, Lovely... that's why then.../ They were already glassy with sweat but the air was only rife with their cries.

/So I did learn something about love after all./

/But I can't let him down! I can't! Even if it's not so much./

He took the other boy's sticky manhood in his hand and began to pump it slowly, his fingers clinging to it's sugary coating. The longer he took, the better it would be but how was he to keep going in this heavenly ecstasy of the two of them adorning each other? The body under him was writhing, crying and the longer thrusts he tried to steady him with only worsened things.

"I won't let you go. I promise. C'mon My Lovely! Let go! I know you can.AH!" The heat surrounding him had clamped down suddenly while his cock was fully buried. "Oh God! Oh God! HEERO!"

Each plunge now, as many as he could muster without hurting either of them, pulling them tighter and tighter together, hard flesh against soft. His partner twisting up against him, breathless, his hand clenched painfully tight about the one that held it. "Iku. iku."

Duo seized at him, pounded as hard as he could, let his palm churn between them after his stiffens. "It's okay. it's okay.. let go!" The compulsion in him rose with the mingled moans about him. He swayed, surged all the way. He felt just dark enough to be dusk, the other boy holding him with a warmth like the sun for this was real and this was not, this gleaming inside him, a feeling of pure weightless air as he lost himself. Something so wrong, but here at least, so right.

"Duo..?" He opened his eyes them. He was sitting on his lap now, yes, Lovely's and Lovely was rocking his back and forth, just a bit as he asked once more, still softly, "Duo? I feel funny."

He brushed a thread of hair from his face and reassured him "It's just afterglow. Makes you feel kinda dizzy though, huh?"

"Afterglow?"

Still half in his sensual lull he grinned and ran his fingers over his abdomen. "Sure is. That's your cummy on my tummy." And then he let himself roll down onto the irreparably stained covers, into the waiting arms of Heero Yuy. "You did it! You came!"

"No." Scowl. "You made love to me."

And he was pleasantly surprised once more as the former Wing pilot rolled further into their embrace. They were both soaking with sweat and their own juices and the remains of the jelly, all but stuck together.

"Duo? Do you still love me?"

"Hee-chan! Ai shiteru itsumo."

"Don't call me." His eyes twitched randomly for a second, then his nose twitched. What a sight. What could be the matter. the other boy could do nothing but giggle in shock! He yawned.

And good little Pavlovian-conditioned mecha pilots simply weren't supposed to do that.

"Aw, are you sleepy?"

"Uh. yeah. but there's something else to."

"Hmm?"

"I can't really say. I feel. I feel."

"Don't worry about it. Let's just go to sleep, you looks so worn out."

"You do to but I. I. I feel found."

Duo didn't say another word. He only rubbed his face against his shoulder, hoping he wouldn't feel it if he started to cry. In the end he didn't. The moment was to perfect for even that. /So I did not fight and suffer in vain. There is such thing as peace and it was saved for me as well. I have a family now; I have three best friends, a brother and a sister and they all need me. I have a home. But if anyone ever needed proof that God loves me and has not forsaken me, I have my Heero. It's a miracle./

"Oyasumi."

"Good night, My Lovely."

*****

The boy who had once called himself Shinigami was laughing at himself the minute he woke up. Shinigami indeed. Death had no such dreams, so strange- that the Wing pilot was just a little boy running barefoot in only a pair of over-alls amid such a thing as woodlands, which had all vanished in these years. Yes, the full of summer it had been and he was laughing too, dancing and singing under the trees, by the babbling brooks and at last in the fields of golden wheat that belonged to the parents he'd never had.

/Pretty dream. pretty damn ridiculous, but pretty./

The single snapshot of the boy standing on a bucket, leaning in closer for a look at a dew-drenched spider web glowing like a diamond necklace in a ray of sunshine.

He wished that when he opened his yes, he could have really seen it. Maybe someday. At least part of last night was real. He was laying tangling in the sheets which were gummed all over him, along with some of his hair. All this, in a room he'd never used. He was also alone in the makeshift bed with an empty jam jar, someone's pistol that had a slight white film on it, and some clothes that probably didn't fit him and weren't his style to begin with. He also had quite a headache and decided at once it was the best headache he'd ever had in his life.

/Not that I expected him to hang around and let me wake up in his arms. Too late a sleeper for that./ With a huge sigh, he peeled off the covers and meandered to the bathroom. The floor of the tub was still damp- someone else had been in there and what traces of himself he'd left! The smell of the Japanese soap, a few threads of short, dark hair. this morning the inconvenience seemed to have become the greatest joy.

But, he only rinsed himself off quick and let himself air-dry in the morning light that fell through the window as he combed out his hair. The junk all sparkled as if answering his whistling. At last, on with his purple boxers, down the hall into the kitchen. Someone. someone inside was knocking a spoon against a pot.

/I have spoons? Cool!/

/I have someone in *my* house using them?/

He peered inside. It was a blah, ordinary kitchen yes, but he couldn't even see it. Hovering over the stove was his lover, completely absorbed in whatever it was he was cooking, moving from one pan to another with a fluid skill. For a moment, he stood, unable even to feel himself for all his senses floated away in a foam of rapturous beauty. He had no concern for anything else, no thoughts for anything else. he almost couldn't fell his heart beating anymore or the sunlight it fell on his feet. This was warming and even of the dust showed in that light, wafting about the air like a hundred, thousand tiny flowers kicked up by his steps, there were some things brighter in his mind. Glittering, and still no compare for his Lovely that he snuck up behind.

The other boy was wearing nothing but a blue T-shirt and it slid against his skin, under his fingers as his hands slid over his waist. His companion actually mellowed a bit, head tipping to the side as he pressed loosely against him, caressed this pretty creature of his with his whole body only to find. "Heero? Why is there a pillow tied to your ass?" And then he absolutely couldn't help from bursting out laughing and giving him a tight squeeze.

"I was having trouble sitting and this was the most obvious solution."

"Oh My Lovely, you're precious."

"Hmph! It hurts."

"Woul it's not like you to admit." His chuckling died away and with huge, hurt indigo eyes that he batted forlornly at the cobalt ones, just whispering, "Is it. real bad? I'm sorry. I."

"Stop fussing," he interrupted, reaching up and laying a hand on his worried bedmate's cheek. "It's not so bad."

The braided one craned his head a little further around. Maybe he was lying, just maybe. He had the most serene, satisfied guise to him though, shining, smiling, nearly innocent even though that wasn't exactly true.

"Go sit down. Breakfast is almost ready."

So after administering a quick peck he bounced over to one of the places that had been set and watched him for as he whisked about, dishing this and stirring that, finally coming over bearing a big dish of steaming rice, a bowel of miso soup that smelled homemade, a saucer of shredded lettuce with soy sauce dressing and two croquets that were still sizzling. The Wing pilot served the other boy first, then himself, at last sitting slowly with a nearly imperceptible wince. His companion was just about to delightedly start stuffing his face. maybe after commenting on the affair, but he was silences by a slight glare as the cook clasped his hands and tipped his head for a second. "Itadakimasu."

"Itadakimasu!" Duo repeated enthusiastically, quite proud of himself for remembering the word, then dove for his croquette, severing a tiny portion with his chopsticks that never quite made it to his mouth because the sad fact was he had never been all that adept with chopsticks owing to the facts it was bad manners to use then like knives or large energy scythes and that oogling the person across the table just makes them harder to use in the first place. It splashed loudly into his soup. "Ooops."

Heero sighed, muttering a few "baka"s under his breath as he snatched
away the utensils and took a moment to rig them a hinge with a rolled up
napkin bit and a rubber band.

"Wow! Thanks! I mean, thanks for everything." At last he took a sip of his soup. "This is really delicious. I didn't know you could cook."

The other boy shook his head and reached onto the counter retrieving a cookbook which displayed a picture of miso soup that looked exactly as his bowl had to start out with down to the number of tofu pieces and placement of the scallion shreds.

"Um. so, you plan on hanging around today?"

"I have to go at eleven to see my therapist. I have a lot to tell her."

"Oh, Okay. You mind if I call Hilde? I mean, we're still broken up and everything but I ran into her last night and I kinda think I owe her a phone call. We didn't part on good terms. She needs some closure and I do to ya know? We're just gonna talk awhile."

"You can't."

"Geeze Yuy! Why.!"

"I want you to come with me."

Duo's rice almost ended up places rice ought not go, but he replied somewhat quietly. "You do?"

"Sherri's not convinced you're real. I want her to see that you are everything I said you are."

"Mmm?"

"Esu." [9]

He tilted away in impressed shyness. "Sure I'll go then! You always come first, Hilde can wait awhile. I'd kinda like to meet this counselor of yours before I go back."

"You're going back?"

"Yeah! 'Course I am, soon as I can."

Heero set down his chopsticks and dabbed at his lips with the corner of his napkin in an effort to hide the fact he had shrunk away somewhat. Looking up and shifting his shoulders bashfully as he spoke. "Am I allowed to come too?"

"Woul of course you are! Did you think I was gonna leave you here all by yourself? Never! I love you, and I know that may take some getting used to but I do. Honestly, I do! And it would make me just about the happiest person in the world if you lived with me. There's plenty of space at our house, a whole spare room!"

"Even if I want to sleep in yours?"

"Now THAT would make me the happiest person in the entire universe!"

"Then I will."

"Well, we'll try to get out of here by the end of the week. I gotta pack up my junk, see if I can sell the place, make peace with a certain ex-Oz officer. Ha! Who ever would have thought."

"Wait!"

"Hmm?"

"Before you do I'd like to. to. make love to you."

Duo's eyes became somewhat wider than usual.

"In every room of this house."

*****

Okie-dokie! We interrupt this awkward moment to bring you a Japanese lesson. (Just the stuff that's not common anime internet knowledge that is. If you have a question about anything that wasn't marked, feel free to e-mail me. Especially if it involves pointing out a booboo.)

[1] Daisuki da- "I like you a lot" what and proper Japanese would use to declare their love. "Ai shiteru" is actually considered a bit strong and can sound clingy or desparate.

[2] Kimi wa ryosei- "You're a he/she". Heero never ceases to be forward, does he?

[3] Kimi no chisai meiki de yarashite kure.- "Come here and let me play with your little pussy." Two odd things about this line" Heero used "kimi no" a more polite form of "your" (as opposed to Omae no) and instead of using one of various specific slang words for "vagina" he used "meiki" (meaning top-quality vagina) and the adjective "chisai" (small).

[4] Choto mat'te- "Wait a minite"/"wait up" ect.

[5] Sore wa suki- "I like that." (Thanks to Figgy for finding the mistake in the beta edition!)

[6] Baka mitai- "That's stupid". Not a use of "baka" you see a whole lot. Unless you're around me. and I'm talking about the dubbed version on CN.

[7] Kako-I "Sexy Cute". Almost functions as a masculine only "kawaii". Can also mean "wow" I think.

[8] Hammenasai!- Emphatic form of "Hameru", "to put in place". Essentailly, "Give it to me!"

[9] Esu- "Pretty"

*****

For awhile, the windchime's song was all they could hear. It was a glass windchime and it made the most whimsical symphony of light, delicate glassy noises; sounding as if it was a bunch of faeries playing.

Trowa sighed, his eyes flitting about their cozy sitting room which was done up in sea blues and ocean greens with hints of beige. They'd stolen the room from one of the unused spaces of the white mansion by the real sea so it was totally authentic for a villa of that decor. His eyes found once again his beloved as he peered out from behind his canvas. "Sorry."

"If you're bored, you can certainly move, luve." He reassured with a smile.

"Not until you're done."

Ponzu jumped up on the desk he was sitting at. Before anyone even had a chance to reprimand her, Andy had jumped to his feet and snatched her away, shaking his finger.

"Thanks," the little blond winked as his look-alike before turning back to his picture to make sure nothing had dripped. His subject was his dear, once silent lover. He was painting him from the side of the white writing desk on which were placed a few playful action figures, flashily posed, and a large porcelain vase of freshly picked flowers- pink to set off the jade eyes of the focal point as he posed in dramatic three-quarter, turned elegantly in his chair. His smile was more endearing than enigmatic now though it kept to it some shadow of that thought, but no physical shadow otherwise. The haircut had turned of wonderfully. His bangs were still rather long and untamed in their new found freedom from gel. Their weight lessened, they had perked up a good deal and now bobbed about whenever he moved, usually in an unclear direction. Quite frankly, they were adorable.

"Oh Mr. Quatre, you paint so very well!" Andy interrupted as he tried to pull the cat's claws out of his shirt, for she had yet to take a liking to him. "How long have you been doing it?"

"Gee thanks! That's really very kind of you. I've been a bit of an artist since I was little. I don't know if anyone ever told you though: I was very. very. apathetic isn't the right word. I felt very meaningless when I was young, and I wasn't any good at all until I got over it, so since I was thirteen or so."

Wufei pulled on the arm of his consort and pointed out a passage in the book he was reading.

"Oh! That sounds like fun, Mr. Wufei!"

"Did you ask to borrow that?" the artist inquired.

"Yes I did. I found Maxwell to be quite generous with his. stash."

"I didn't know you were into that too."

"I am not. I was running out of ideas and Max. oh. oh *GODS* that must be painful!"

"I think it *also* sound like fun!" Andy beamed.

But the little blond went back to his picture having completely forgotten where he was. Glancing again at his setup he found the boy he had so carefully posed fiddling quietly with one of the toys, making it dance about ridiculously in some plea for attention. He shook his head at this and walked out from behind the canvas, pulling himself onto the waiting lap. For one reason or another, this made him slide back a little too far, loosing his balance so they both ended up in a tangled heap in the floor, laughing and trying to snuggle as covertly as they could.

"You've got a room," Nataku's former pilot reminded them.

"Oh! Lighten up a little will."

A familiar, jangling knock sounded at the door.

"That's him!" the painter cried jumping to his feet and tearing for the door, everyone scrambling after him it what looked like quite a panic. Wufei seized the key hoping to be the first one to present himself along with his newly awakened creative sensuality, but he who had finally gotten a haircut snatched the bit of metal away so he had to grab it back only to have it stolen again.

Quatre though remembered that the door was already unlocked. "Welcome back," he began as he threw it open, "Big brother we." but his words fell short and his eyes glowed with a sudden cascade of emotions that started inside as his clasped his hand over his mouth in the complete melancholy joy of his shock.

There stood the braided boy in black pants and a robin's egg dress shirt that wasn't tucked in, dragging behind him some suitcases and

"Heero? Is that really you?"

Trowa's mouth actually crept open in surprise.

"Who's Heero?" Andy asked of a dumbfounded Wufei.

Duo shook his head and lifted his lover under his arms, placing him past the doorjam and within easy reach of his surrogate siblings who were frozen as he had been that first time he'd seen him again. Of all things, the new arrival suddenly blurted out, sounding as if he had come to repent for a pet he'd run over long ago, "Quatre, I'm sorry."

The boy he had apologized too only shook his head, and without dabbing away a single tear, screamed for all his glee and threw his arms about him in what could have been, for any other person, a near-lethal bear hug. "It IS you! It IS!"

And he actually offered back a little squeeze.

"You don't have to be sorry. Not ever again. None of us are sorry anymore but God! I was so worried about you! I'm so glad you're alright. SO glad."

"I'm happy to see you too." He lifted his eyes then, the mere act of which brought stunned smiles to all their faces. "Every one of you."

"Well, as you can see, I wasn't kidding when I said I brought back a surprise," Decided Duo as he pushed their things inside and slammed the door.

Trowa shook his head and embraced his returning roommate.

"You still haven't told me who this guy is! Does he tell dumb period jokes too!?" Andy complained only to be elbowed by his cranky Chinese catamite.

Heero patted the blond before him before finally letting go and saying to the other in an almost wistful tone, "I'm Duo-kun's koibito."

Four huge facevaults. The former Deathscythe pilot only turned him a bit so they were facing. Oh this angelic guise of his was so tempting when it smiled! So he laid one on him, a long, mischievous kiss as he tipped him backwards in a full blown dip. Pulling up at last to grin at the other's perplexed looks with his own boisterous excitement he declared. "C'mon everybody! Group hug!"

Heero shortly found himself sandwiched in between five people who were all trying to pet him and kiss him and nuzzle him. for at least two of them, grab him at once. But he consented to it, closing his eyes, letting them touch. He could almost feel himself arguing inside about what to do next.

/I know you're still in there, oh Perfect Soldier of mine./

/I am./

/But I want you to go./

/I can't. Didn't you listen to Sherri at all? You couldn't loose me in a million years. I'm part of you; you're jailor./

/Then let me out. I don't think you can hold me anymore./

/Fine! But you won't like it./

At first he didn't. He was sure it was nausea but the way it was kicking him inside like a child kicks at the water to make it fly, the way it did ache somewhat and he had started to panic but then. it was like he was about to turn a hundred somersaults.

Everyone almost fainted dead away right there when they heard that first girlish giggle pass his lips. No mad laugh in the middle of war was this; it was not tainted by blood or by sin (well.). This was a pure laugh and there were many more. He found himself next on the couch in the dead center of an affectionate little puddle that continued to love him up, cuddle and consume him.

"I'll be right back, My Lovely! Ni-chan and I are going into the kitchen for a minute."

"Okay Duo!"

But Quatre flat out hauled him away, flinging at one that knowing little look with all it's sultry sparks. "C'mon now, big brother! How was it?"

"Uh. the flight? Peachy?"

"You know what I mean." He shook one finger and laid a hand on his hip.

The braided one sighed and acquiesced, falling into fanciful remembrances for a moment before he seized his adopted sibling by the shoulders and through clenched teeth. "You gotta get him away from me, just for tonight! The guy's a fucking pervert! Please! Please! PLEASE! I'm begging you!"

"Eh!?"

"PLEASE!?"

"Umm. alright."

Relaxing them with a smirk, "I was fibbing. kinda. I LOVE the fact he's a pervert but the guy's seriously oversexed. See?" He lifted up his shirt revealing a huge cum stain on the front of his pants. "He decided it might be amusing to jerk me off through my clothes while we were on the plane."

"Oh. oh." Then rubbing his hands together. "Oh how lascivious!"

"The stewardess thought so too. Anyway, were you referring to the first time the second time the third time or anywhere between that and the thirty-sixth time?"

*GULP*

"I'm kidding! I lost count."

"Umm. maybe you should just give me the gist and we can sort it out over coffee a little later when there aren't people peeking at us in the living room."

Embarrassed chuckling.

"Quatre, old buddy, you never seem to run out of good ideas." Coy wink as he switched to his tempting tone. "You would not believe, even if I talked from now till next Thursday, how utterly fucked-up-stellar-out-of-this-world it was- how good he did me and every part of my body, how he made me feel when I took him and how I found out what a screaming orgasm is. He's just like you, trying to make up for lost time I think, but, he's also accomplished the impossible." He finished with a huge sigh as he leaned against the refrigerator. "He's worn me out. Damn! I knew he'd tax me to my limits if, on some off chance, we ever got together, but not LIKE THIS!"

"I know! He seems so stable all of a sudden! It's really kinda scary. in a good way. What happened?"

"He told me. Well, you know how he used to be so. soo. so like he didn't have a soul. So ghoulish. He told me once after we had finished that was how he really felt. Can you imagine? He talks to me, he tells me things I never knew he could even feel! He told me."

"Told you what? Why do you look so sad?" Petting his hand a bit.

"If someone told you they were only alive because of you, wouldn't you get all choked up?" He sniffed through his smile, fondly glancing out the door. "He makes me cry inside sometimes, y'know? But he makes me so happy. He really, truly, honest-to-God loves me and he SAYS SO. He's still Heero, but if I knew Heero in the light than this is Heero in the dark and he's free, not so empty anymore."

"Isn't that backwards?"

"No. well, you didn't have the same suggestive dream with the nymphet sorceress that looked just like me and conjured butterfly men before fencing with the red-haired guy who was her lover and her worst enemy in a giant ballroom with a mirror for a floor."

"Ah. no. but is he gonna stay with us?"

"Of course! But, he's kinda fragile. More than you'd ever guess. I don't think he can work." A very compassionate smile fluttered over his lips. "And I never would have thought he'd be the one. oh well! I don't care about that. I'll do whatever I have to do support him. I'll find something that'll make us all happy."

At that they fell into each other's arms. There was nothing to be said now. Nothing at all.

But a voice at the door: "Sumimasen, Quatre?"

They turned to see Heero watching them with only a soft seriousness, though he held the action figure of the magical girl, curled up as if sleeping as he cupped her; curled up like a little flower. "Can I play with your toys?"

*****

"Hey, would anyone get real mad if I wanted to say a prayer right now?"

"No, go ahead."

"I'd like that."

"Why not?"

"How sweet!"

"Anything, koibito."

/You're gonna let me! You're really gonna let me!/ He felt so clean, so free. He could think of nothing more appropriate for this moment, even if they didn't fully understand his devotion. They tried, that meant so much alone. "Dear Lord, thank you for this heavenly day and even more heavenly evening. But you know what makes it really extra special? Besides the sunlight and the starlight and the citylight and the spiffy house we have with all the nooks and crannies to hide pokey and licorice and whistle pops? I mean, those are the greatest, but they wouldn't be if I had no one to share them with. Thank you for my friends, thank you for letting us all be here tonight, where it's safe and so pretty. Thank you for letting us be together, in some reasonable semblance of harmony; like a real family. Amen."

And with that, he laid back one more time. The evening kissed him all over. He felt the star's heartbeats, or maybe they were real, tangible heartbeats and kisses. Or even stranger, all one. He seemed too light to even be among the stars. Heero leaned against him to his right, head on his breast, cooing now and then. Quatre was playing in his hair to his left, very close but he laid in Trowa's arms where he belonged, and Trowa was humming the concerto they had written that afternoon in their celebration, maybe thinking of adding the cricket to it's debut performance. Wufei and Andy were nestled about everyone's legs.

He could feel some pollen that had blown onto his cheek. The flower in the grass beside him was still open, shaking with his breath only and not the turning of their wheel in the world though he swore he could sense it himself like a revolving whisper in another dream. The Night Girl spoke softly in one ear and the Day Boy in the other. They did not fight. Angel's once quiet were moved to raise their voices in a gentle lullaby behind them. Lovely tried his best to sing it with his murmurs: the real one and the memory of one with wings.

He almost couldn't believe it. They had grown up. and by turning into children.

He would never have to find rest again. Every part of him let go. From here on out there was no concern. This total ease, this weightlessness in his heart. He could just take off and fly and everything he loved would follow.

Duo. Almost asleep. Caught between his world and the one where everyone else was. One with the breeze. One with himself at last.

Bliss in everything and nothing more.

"Whose foot is that!?"

And with such a sentiment, they all leapt up and went tearing back into their house.

***

Owari

*The Queen of Blueberry Toast takes a bow then passes out on her computer room floor.*

November 1999 - April 2000

Thanx to.

Chip Walsh who had to wait and wait and wait for his commission because of this mess. I'm thanking him because he was dreadfully understanding of the affair.

Some bands: Druan Duran, Depeche Mode, The Psychedelic Furs, David Bowie, B-Movie, Marshal Crenshaw, Tears for Fears, and of course New Order

Yan-yans!

Sea who runs Subtle Hints and the mailing list with the coolest acronym ever: TQML.

Kikotei and Darkflame who found it in their hearts to post all 155 pages of this fic.

Puckie, who has been so kind to me despite everything.

And last, but hey guys, you know I like to save the best for last: Figbash! For her great contribution to our society who's name is Neko Wufei, her contribution to my lonely life and what is the absolute bestest compliment anyone had ever given any of my stories: "and anyways, even if i secretly hated you and evily plotted your downfall, i'd still wanna hear more of your ficcy." Without her, you would not be reading this, so three cheers for Figgy!