11-11-2000

Disclaimer: Standard disclaimers apply
Comments: I haven't slept in forty-six hours. Enter at your own risk.
Warnings: Yaoi, lemon, 13x5, angst, a cat.

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A pair of hands reached from behind him, massaging his temples, easing away the dull throbbing there with firm, circular strokes. It felt so good that he thought he might melt into a blissful puddle on the ground. He leaned back onto the body behind him, sighing.

"What's wrong, dragon mine?"

"Nothing."

"Nothing?"

"Aa."

"You might fool everyone else, but you can't fool me."

Those hands stilled and roamed further down, to his shoulders, working out the knots he didn't even know he had. His knees were about to give way under the pleasurable onslaught.

"You're purring, darling."

"Am not."

But he continued making that sound anyway because he couldn't help it. Soft laughter drifted from behind him, and he was turned around. Treize dropped down onto his knees, his face level with his breast.

"Your heart beats too quickly, Wufei…"

And he lowered his mouth to a tautening nipple, flicking the tip of his tongue against the sensitive nub, teasing, tasting. Wufei arched involuntarily against his lover's body, and arms wrapped themselves tightly around his hips, making sure he kept it that way.

Wufei felt Treize start to suckle on him, pulling gently at on the sensitised flesh, nearly weeping with the ache that welled up within him. He dug his fingernails into his shoulders, fingers flexing with barely-controlled need, leaving reddened imprints, marks of possession- being possessed. He brought his hands to Treize's jaw, enjoying the warmth of his skin, the strength that it had, strength much like the owner.

Tilting it up, he was stunned, as he was every time he looked, by the cornflower blue that was staring back at him with equal intensity, unblinking. They closed willingly, though, when he brought their lips together for a kiss-

He awoke with a start.

The clock read 2.05 a.m. The house was silent, except for the occasional sound of nightlife. He was drenched with sweat, so he took off his top. It was soaked. He winced. His cramps hadn't abated. He pulled his knees up, wrapping his arms around them, and burying his face in the crook.

No, never again. Even though you promised to be there, promised that I would be yours forever…

He stayed in that position until the alarm rang, then he staggered into the bathroom to wash up. He didn't look at the mirror. Didn't dare to. He left his hair as it was, and pulled on another tank top. A wave of nausea assailed him. He retched, but his empty stomach could only spasm painfully, having nothing inside it.

Padding into the kitchen, he got himself a glass of water, forcing himself to swallow. It tasted flat, disgusting. It churned uneasily inside him. The thought of food made him want to throw up. He dismissed the thought of breakfast. A warm furry body sidled up against him. Mao.

It jumped up onto the table, butting at its empty dish with its head.

Wufei reached into the cupboard, fished a can of cat food out, and pulled it open, accidentally slicing open his finger with the rim of the lid. Cursing softly, he emptied the cat food onto the dish, and threw the empty can into the disposal.

"Mrraow?"

Mao looked quizzically at his breakfast, and began to eat, delicately snagging choice morsels with its tongue. Wufei looked into the bowl. His blood had dripped all over Mao's food. He reached into the fridge, got out a carton of milk, and dumped a quarter of its contents unceremoniously over the food.

A small snuff of protest, as stray drops splattered against the tortoiseshell's face. Mao continued eating. Wufei didn't notice, he was too busy staring out of the glass window. It had begun to rain.

"Why do you persist in refusing to kill me?"

"Are you really that blind, Chang Wufei?"

He looked up and saw the General looking back at him. The rapier clattered onto the floor, where it had previously kissed the skin of his neck.

He had been defeated, again.

With a start, he realised that his opponent's eyes were lifeless. He couldn't understand! What did he mean? What was he trying to say? Wufei didn't know.

"What do you mean by that, General?"

"For the last time! Call me Treize!" He snapped.

He did not want to. It implied that they knew each other personally. They were just enemies.

Weren't they?

It was raining, he noticed dispassionately, the raindrops running slick along his enemy's hair, dripping down behind his ears. He looked enchanting. He broke off that thought. It had slipped past his defences. It was-

It was true.

He couldn't lie to himself anymore. The look he had seen in the other man's eyes…

Need. Unadulterated, naked, pleading need.

He turned and ran, leaving his own honour in shambles. It was unbearably shameful, running away from a duel. But he had seen himself reflected in sapphire blue, and what he saw in them terrified him.

His eyes had mirrored the painful desire the General had.

He had taken a sip of the milk without noticing. The cramps redoubled in intensity. He regurgitated the milk; along with the glass of water he had drunk earlier into the sink. Mao continued to lap at its milk, reddish swirls spiralling lazily in it.

He braced himself with his right arm, resting his forehead against the cool metal of the tap, while his guts continued to wrench painfully. When the worst of it passed, he opened his eyes. He was vomiting blood. He turned on the tap, running it at full blast. He rinsed his mouth, finally remembering to wash his cut finger. The blood on it had dried messily and he rubbed at it. The wound reopened again. He left it under the water until it ran clear.

"Pwshrr…" Mao was playing with his other hand, batting at it where it rested on the sink. He let the cat be, and switched off the tap. He turned to leave the kitchen.

Mao pounced on his hand, only to find itself clinging hopelessly to him, the rest of it suspended in mid-air. It released it hold on those fingers and dropped onto the floor, pausing only to reward Wufei with a disdainful sniff before padding out of the kitchen, tail held high above its head.

A ghost of a smile hovered around the edges of his mouth, then left.

He made for his library. He didn't have much to do really. Ever since he'd fallen ill, he had left the Preventers to stay in this place. Money was of no problem. His clan had been a wealthy one, with major investments on Earth and the other Colonies. He was the only one left to spend it. Most of it had gone to charitable organisations. Those left over kept him and his cat alive, enough to last for a long, long time.

At the rate Mao was going through his food, he might be wrong.

He didn't know who was Mao's previous owner; there were no identifying tags on or in him. He didn't care. It was a good companion, though he never got down to naming the creature (1). Didn't feel the need to. It felt affected, silly to give him a name that wasn't one that he had chose.

So Mao remained Mao.

He sat himself down; reaching for the book he had not finished reading. Opening it, he took out the scrap of silk ribbon, setting it on the table beside him. Reading brought the temporary relief he craved. It was late afternoon when he looked up again, slipping the scrap of silk back between the pages of his book. He replaced it carefully, tucking his hair back behind his ears. It had fallen in front of his face while he was immersed in the book.

He went to his room to get a rubber band. His fingers were clumsy and refused to do his bidding. Finally, he managed to pull all his hair back. He sat up, and looked into the mirror, one hand gripping his ponytail tightly, the other poised to tie up his hair.

The steam curled up in delicate wisps around him, condensing on his hair so it was flecked with a thousand little pearls, a few coalescing together to drip lazily into the water with an audible " plip"

"Wufei? Let your hair down, please."

He shrugged, pulling the band loose. A soft gurgle as Treize moved towards him, the water eddying in his wake. He moved beside Wufei, angling his body so that he was half facing the lithe back of his dragon. He stretched to grab a small bottle of shampoo, squeezing out a generous amount onto Wufei's scalp. Then slowly, methodically, he began washing his lover's hair, raking his fingers through the fine black strands, pulling them down till he reached the end, then repeating the process again.

Wufei swatted irritably at the foam, which threatened to blind him. The scrubbing stopped, Treize moving around to Wufei's front.

"Close your eyes."

He complied. Treize scooped up the steaming, fragrant water with his cupped palms and rinsed off the shampoo. The water dribbled sensually down the curve of his skull, the slant of his cheekbones, foam dribbling off the solid wave of smooth black hair.

When Treize finally found his voice, it was a hoarse rasping,

"Did I ever tell you that you are the most exquisite creature I have ever seen?"

He dived down and captured the willing lips under his. Wufei could feel a hand sliding along his slick thigh, knuckles pressing on the soft flesh near his groin, cupping the rapidly stiffening organ tightly, kneading it. He thrust up against the delicious pressure, his breath quickening. Treize slid his tongue into the hot, wet crevice of his lover's mouth, tasting himself, his seed, faint but detectable.

It drove him insane.

He pulled Wufei over him, so that the Chinese boy was now straddling him, his kiss-swollen mouth slightly open with want; the tip of a moist pink tongue barely visible. Wordlessly, he searched for Wufei's hand under the water, lacing their fingers tightly together. He brought it to his cheek and kissed the tip of each finger.

Wufei watched him with wide eyes, a seething brew of emotions bubbling in the black depths. He drew up his knees in a crouch, placing himself directly above the tip of his lover's throbbing erection. Slowly, he lowered himself upon it, taking it completely into his body.

He watched as Treize's pupils darkened, turning stormy blue with pleasure-

He found himself staring at the mirror, mumbling. Wufei turned away, and quickly tied up his hair. His arms were beginning to ache. He forced his body to accept another glass of water before he opened the door and walked out. Mao followed him, long tail swishing predatorily behind him, a separate entity.

The air hung heavily, unsure of itself. It was autumn, and the rain had passed a few hours ago. The sun shone on the damp grass, changing it into the purest emerald gold. Mao immediately started stalking a hapless ladybug, keeping its haunches lowered, its tail continuing to swing crazily behind it.

He sat himself on a smooth granite boulder, near the shade of some trees. Folding his legs in the classic lotus position, he began to meditate. He struggled, for a long time, to clear his mind, before his thoughts finally quietened. After that, there was silence for a very long time, only broken once in a while by demented rustling when Mao tried to pounce on its prey but missed.

The sky darkened. Mao grew tired of killing ladybugs, and stalked up to the still figure on the rock, it's edges still dappled with slowly fading light. It leaped gracefully onto the edge of the rock, scrabbled a little as it lost its footing momentarily, and hissed at the impudent edge, turning its back resolutely on the offending portion of granite.

It rubbed imploringly against Wufei's thigh, and placed a tentative paw in his lap when there was no response. Emboldened, it snuck into the hollow between his crossed legs, curled up into a soft furry ball and promptly fell asleep.

Wufei opened his eyes, to see a mottled black and orange cat curled up in his lap, head resting against his inner thigh. He stroked the fur absently, scratching hard behind Mao's ears. It huffed in delight, arching the too large, slightly ridiculous looking ears in bliss.

"Mwrrrr…."

Wufei felt his legs go to sleep, and shifted. Mao started and jumped out of his lap, landing skittishly on the grass. He got up. His stomach shifted, heaved. He steadied himself against the rock, then made his way slowly into the house.

Mao raced past him into the house, skidding ecstatically into a corner, and proceeded to wash itself, frantically licking the burrs out of its fur. Wufei shook his head, and went into the kitchen. He took a small sip of fruit juice, standing still until the worst of his cramps had passed. He went to his bedroom.

There were six new messages. Five were advertisements, and he deleted them. The last one was from Duo. He had tracked down his address. He switched off the laptop.

He closed the bathroom door behind him, stripping off his clothes. Stepping into the shower stall, he allowed the water to run down his body.

"Don't touch me!"

"Tell me, how do you do this to me?"

He looked furiously at the taller man, unwilling to acknowledge the underlying anguish he was hearing.

"Don't play mind games!"

"I beg to differ, dragon."

"My name is Wu-fei! Wufei!"

"And my name is Treize, not General."

He gave a howl of frustration, and their swordplay increased in intensity, both only managing scratches on their opponent. Suddenly, without warning, Treize brought his rapier down beside him, head tilted so that the pale column of his neck was exposed, his Adam's apple stark in contrast with the fluid line his throat presented.

"If this makes you happy, Wufei…"

"This is, this is dishonourable!"

"You've already bested me."

"No, I have n-"

"My heart was already yours from the very beginning."

Wufei was speechless. Then he moved forward, slashing open Treize's sleeve, which bled red almost immediately, a thin stream flowing downwards onto his skin.

"I hate you." Wufei hissed.

"Then this should be no trouble at all."

He couldn't bring himself to do it. Wufei was appalled. He threw down his sabre, and slapped Treize. A fiery red mark stood out in brilliant relief against his face.

"Dragon?" A mild, surprised inquiry.

"Damn you!"

He hugged the taller man, so hard it seemed as if he was trying to crush his spine. Treize gave no outward reaction, and brought his arms around him. Their lovemaking was angry, violent and raw, and it lasted for hours.

Wufei stole out of the OZ compound immediately after Treize fell asleep.

He coughed, reddish spittle flecking the hand which had covered his mouth. He rinsed it off under the shower. He was erect, uncomfortably aroused. Wufei's hand stole downwards to himself, and he moaned when his fingers closed around his length.

I hate you.

Slowly, agonisingly, he brought himself into orgasm, the jets of water obliterating all the incriminating evidence. He collapsed against the white marble, spent. Wufei pushed his face into the warm spray, closing his eyes.

Trying to pretend that the only thing running down his face was tap water.

When he got himself under control again, he switched off the water supply, and walked out of the bathroom, wrapping a towel around his hips. Something jumped from behind, trying to snag the edges of the towel. He allowed Mao the petty victory, and yanked some clothes out of the closet, putting them on. The nights were getting colder.

He took out a small bag of dry cat food, tossing a biscuit at Mao every now and then, watching as it caught them in mid-air, chewing down savagely, as if it would crawl out of its mouth any minute. He envied Mao.

He resealed the remaining cat food, ignoring the soft mewls of distress.

"No more. If you get too fat, I'll have to roll you around."

A growl. Wufei gave it a small shove with his foot.

Mao shrank back a little, and pretended he intended to do that all along. It weaved around his legs apologetically, nearly tripping him up. Exasperated, he reached down and picked the sleek body up, and went to bed. It stretched itself out next to him, extending and retracting its claws. Sphinx-like, it kept watch over the door. Snapping off the rubber band tying up his hair, he reached for the pill bottle, shook out two tablets and swallowed them dry.

Please, no dreams tonight…

As a precautionary measure, he swallowed another two.

He stilled, hand frozen from where he had been tracing idle patterns on the other man's chest. Flames crackled and spat, a sudden shower of sparks rising every now and then in the brick fireplace. It traced flickering lights on the shelves of books on the opposite wall. He could see the shadows their bodies threw on the ancient spines.

"What did you say?"

"Do you love me?"

He sat up, moving away from the cocoon of warmth that had surrounded him. His back turned away; he hugged his knees to his chest.

"You know my answer, Treize."

"But, dragon…"

The voice was fluid, but there was a slight tremulousness that hadn't been there before. He didn't know what to say.

"I-I can't."

"Then why do you keep coming back?"

His fingers clenched tighter around his own flesh. He knew he had lied, and he was going to have to do it again.

"What do you think?"

"So it was always about the sex. My body, is that it?" The voice was husky, subdued.

His answer sickened himself.

"H-hai."

He wasn't prepared for the bitter, broken laugh that echoed horribly off the walls of the library. Steely arms pinned him down onto the rug again, and he struggled. Treize looked down at him, his lips twisted into a terrible smile conceived in agony.

"If that's the case, let's make it worthwhile, shall we?"

Something wet and very rough was licking at his face.

His eyes opened. Mao. The infernal cat was currently in the process of sanding all the skin off his face. He tossed the cat off, and sat up. Funny, the alarm clock had been switched off. He distinctly remembered that he had set it the night before…

Mao kneaded his claws into his calf.

He got up, and went to the bathroom. The sun was way overhead. At least he had gotten some sleep, never mind about the dreams. He threw up in the toilet bowl. Blood again. His head was swimming unsteadily. Dehydration. He wasn't getting enough anything. He didn't care.

He followed the normal ritual, feeding Mao, reading, and picked up the groceries that had been delivered. Mostly cat food, and some milk and fruit juice. He really couldn't eat, didn't want to think about his own failing health. He stacked the tins in the shelves, shaking his head occasionally to clear the fog. Mao danced worried circles around him, jumping nimbly out of the way when he crashed onto the floor, tins clattering about him.

Mao butted at his neck. Its human did not respond. It turned away. The door was open and it wanted to go out. It stopped at the door though, spitting and arching its back, seeing a stranger step into its territory. The strange human ignored it, moving towards its owner.

Mao leaped and clawed furiously at the stranger's pant leg. He did not respond, carrying its human out carefully. Mao followed, yowling its displeasure. He jumped into the back seat, where the strange human had placed its human in, settling itself on Wufei's chest, still hissing balefully at the insolent stranger. He only chuckled, face growing serious again.

"Wufei no baka…"

The cat snorted in reply.

They were in an underground base this time, in the control room. It was deserted.

"Nn, please! Treize, don't force me!"

"Is it so difficult? All I need are those words."

"Mmm, ah! Gods, Treize!"

He thrust into Wufei again, slamming him against the slanted control panel. The screen switched on, showing a rotational blueprint of the base. It threw a greenish tint on them both, crazed with lust and passion, two animals in heat. Wufei's back was to him, front braced against the maze of buttons and switches. They dug cruelly into his chest, his abdomen. Treize was almost fully clothed, only bothering to unzip his pants, while Wufei's loose drawstring pants were currently low about his ankles.

He leaned close to his quivering mate, whispering softly.

"Come for me…"

Wufei emptied himself into Treize's cupped palms with a scream. He brought his hands up to his lips and licked it off, holding it in his mouth, draining his own seed into Wufei, who sobbed in reply. He withdrew, a small shudder passing through the both of them as he slid out of the slick inviting warmth.

Treize pulled Wufei up close against him, barely touching, running a thumb across his lips, parting them, and claimed his prize, sharing the elixir with him.

It was a long time before the both of them could speak coherently.

"Do you have to torture me so?"

Treize smiled at that heated question.

"Until I get what I want, dragon, until then."

"Kisama! Curse you!"

"I can wait. An eternity if need be."

"K'so! I-love-you! Happy now?"

Wufei looked at him, livid. Treize's face, previously mocking, changed, disbelief lining his features. This before he crushed Wufei possessively against him.

"Happy, love? You cannot begin to conceive…"

"He's awake."

"Wufei? You gave us such a fright!"

"Hey Wu! What the heck were you thinking! Scaring Quatre like that, you should be ashamed of yourself!"

He cracked open his eyes. They hurt like hell. It was Duo, leaning so far over him that he was sure that idiot would crash onto him. He tried to tell him off, but failed, so he settled for a scowl instead.

Duo leaned back, shooting a worried glance at Quatre.

Hell, even his scowl looks frail…

He tried to sit up, couldn't, and started cursing. Finally, he blew the stray bits of hair off his face, and glared at Duo.

"Why am I here?" Gods, his throat hurt.

Quatre brought a cup of ice chips to his lips, and he accepted it gratefully, all the while continuing to glare at Duo.

"Oi, did you knock all the sense out of your head or what? You fainted! If not for Heero, you would have-"

"Shut up Duo."

He shot Heero a look of thanks. Said man was leaning against the door, conferring with a doctor. He turned his attention back to Duo.

"Get me out of here. Now."

Duo made to protest, but Quatre stopped him. His teal eyes were furious.

"You are very sick, Wufei, and you need medical attention."

"I am not sick!"

"Don't lie!"

Wufei shut up. Quatre wasn't a person he wanted to mess with, not right now. The little blonde continued,

"You have stomach cancer. They are running tests now. The doctors aren't sure whether its benign or malignant, but they are saying that it's a close one. Plus you are severely malnourished and dehydrated. That didn't help at all."

Duo cut in, " What did you do, Wufei, stop eating for three weeks?"

Wufei mentally corrected the American. One and a half.

"They took the cancerous tissue out. There's a good chance you'll recover fully and go into permanent remission."

Suddenly, Duo strode up to him, and pulled him up. Heero raised an eyebrow.

"Listen, Chang. All of us are worried sick about you. Heero hasn't slept for the last thirty hours, and Quatre dropped everything to come visit you."

He looked at the American. And shrugged. Duo shook him in reply.

"I made Heero look for you. And he found you on the floor. He was nearly murdered by your fucking cat! When he brought you to the hospital, we all thought you were a goner! What are you trying to do, kill yourself?"

He'd considered the idea.

"He wouldn't have wanted this, Wufei."

It was Heero. Trowa nodded in agreement.

"Don't bring him into this!"

"Then show some interest in yourself!"

"For what?"

"For us." Trowa spoke.

"We care about you." Quatre said, leaning against his husband.

Wufei didn't reply, but Heero could see he understood.

There was a mournful rumble near the foot of the bed. Wufei brightened visibly. Trowa lifted the cat onto the bed. He had a hard time sneaking the cat into the hospital. Heero had dropped the cat off at his place. He could understand why. It was obvious both man and cat disliked each other. It was a contrary thing, much like Wufei.

Mao was ecstatic, eagerly seeking Wufei's hand, which rose to pet it of its own accord. It plopped itself down on the blanket covered legs, and purred so loudly the bed vibrated. It found its human. Things were looking up. Now, if only there was a dish of milk somewhere…

It spotted Heero, and wrinkled its nose at him. Heero snarled, and it dived beneath the bedsheets. Humans!

All the ex-gundam pilots laughed, even Wufei.

-A month later-

He still couldn't bring himself to visit Treize's grave. Too painful. Maybe one day. But not now.

He sat on the soft golden sand, watching Mao bat at a pile of rotting seaweed. It jumped into the middle of the mess, and proceeded to rip the mess apart. It choked on some sand and coughed, giving the innocent pile an injured look.

Wufei laughed. He was still getting accustomed to that. Laughing, that is. Not Mao's antics, there were plenty of them. It was still too early for most people, and the beach was almost deserted. He lay back in the sand.

He had more money than he had previously estimated, probably because most of them were investments, and profitable ones at that. He probably wouldn't have to work at all. He didn't think he would go back to the Preventers again. Some things still remained the same. He didn't want to fight anymore, not really. He would if he had to, but he was essentially still a scholar at heart, not a warrior.

He had sold the house, deciding to travel with Mao. He was too used to having the cat by him. He communicated with the others though. Not often, but regularly enough.

"Treize?"

"Yes, dear heart?"

"If I die, will you still love me?"

A sigh.

"Yes, Wufei. I will. For as long as it takes."

He got up, beckoning Mao to follow him. It did, a frond of seaweed entangled around a paw. It looked insulted, and shook it off. The sun was rising, and the beach was getting too crowded. The water though, was the clearest blue.

Like Treize's eyes.

Wait for me.

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End

(1) OK. For all you non-Chinese people out there, "Mao" is the Chinese equivalent of the word cat. (How original…) And no, it's not THAT Mao. The intonation is different.

Guess I love to let Wufei get in touch with his Chinese roots huh?