title: Jaded Trade
fandom: Gundam Wing
characters/pairings: Duo/Solo/Hilde, Duo/Heero, Duo/random people, Quatre, Zechs
rating: Mature
warnings: sex, prostitution, RAPE, GRAPHIC VIOLENCE, drinking, language
summary: Sex for sale, lives on the line, and friendship leading to more...
notes: many, many thanks to my aisoku for help with the title.
much of the sex in this story is related to prostitution, and there is straight up rape. if sexual violence and non-consensual situations bother/trigger you, this probably isn't the story for you.
also, there's quite a bit of rather graphic and disturbing violence, particularly near the end. be warned.
many thanks to everyone who read this while it was being written and encouraged me to continue, and everyone who is reading this now!!

It was when Duo's braid brushed against his arm that he felt it, like a trigger being pulled in his gut, and then everything tightened up. He could feel it in Duo, too, the way he would gasp in the middle of a kiss.

This was their fourth time. They had graduated to kissing horizontal and bare-chested, but so far, Duo had been unsuccessful at getting into Heero's pants. Heero kept saying that they needed to take things slow for the sake of their friendship, but it was becoming increasingly apparent to him that he needed to take it slow, or else, in his nascent desire, he might just toss Duo face down on the ground and fuck him raw. He needed to learn to control his passion.

Duo whimpered as Heero pulled away. It was a damn sexy sound, one that practically begged for attention, and Heero wanted to just give in, but the heat from Duo's chest was driving him crazy, and he was too aware of how well Duo fit under him, and how little there was between them to stop him, and then that damned braid had to be there when he slipped his arm under Duo's neck, and for a second, Heero couldn't see properly.

Control was the key.

He stood up abruptly, and thought of the worst thing he had ever seen. He looked at each detail until he could see it in the original context, and he could breathe normally again.

Duo rolled over to his side, exaggerating his inability to get up right away. "Has anyone ever told you that you're a damned cock tease, Heero?" Duo grumbled, glaring up at Heero from under his bangs.

Heero could only shrug in apology, as his throat was still too constricted.

Duo sighed. "It's ok, you know, I mean, it's part of our deal, and anyway... I don't mind. I... I'm all hot and bothered here!"

Heero closed his eyes, clenching his hands into tight fists so that his short fingernails could dig weakly into his flesh. "Sorry," he muttered, "Let's call it a night, ok? How much can I give you?"

Duo pushed himself up, letting his braid slip over his shoulder unconsciously. He bit his lip and glared at the floor. "I can't... I've hardly..."

Sighing, Heero slipped his shirt back on and tried to smile. "We've been through this, ok? Just don't worry about it. Will $200 cover you until payday?"

"I've already taken so much of your money," Duo sighed. "It's not... It's not right. Pretty soon you're going to be poor'n me."

Heero shook his head. "Not likely."

Duo sighed. "Then eventually, someone's going to start wondering what you're spending all your money on. This is absurd. We've barely done anything!" Duo stood up, narrowing his eyes at Heero. "Let me just give you a blow job, ok? I'm really good at that, and I want to, ok? It'll be good for the both of us, and you can actually get something for your money."

He could see it, too, Duo's head between his legs, and he could feel it, a bit, the anticipation of the sensation shadowing through him. Heero froze.

Duo moved like a cat from the couch to Heero, putting his hands on Heero's body immediately. "It'll be good, I promise, and I swear to you, I want it, you've been driving me crazy on that couch..." He leaned forward, just barely touching his teeth to Heero's lips. "Let me give you something. You give me way too much... You have no idea what your help has meant to me... I don't want to be indebted to you..."

It would be so sweet to succumb. To let temptation have its way with him. To let Duo have his way with him. He was so close to just giving in... "You don't owe me anything, believe me. The money's more good to you than to me. Just take it, and forget about it, ok?" He put his hands around Duo's waist, because all that skin was right there, and because he felt like his hands belonged there somehow. He sucked gently on Duo's lips for a second, savoring it. "As far as I'm concerned, I'm getting more than I deserve from this deal."

He pulled away fast, leaving Duo whimpering behind him. He picked up his wallet from behind his desk where he had tossed it earlier. He had gotten in the habit of getting cash every day, so he'd have plenty. He counted out fifteen twenties fast, and rolled them up, hoping Duo wouldn't count them right away.

Duo took the money, looking at the lump of cash in his hand sadly.

Heero cleared his throat quickly. "So, uh, we still on for hoops tomorrow?"

Nodding slowly, Duo shrugged. "'Course. Can't let you get complacent..." He raised his eyes, and looked directly into Heero's eyes, the naked honesty making Heero shrink. "You don't know what you are doing for me, do you?"

Of course he knew, Heero thought, but he said nothing, for fear of being made wrong.

Duo smiled slightly, but he still looked sad to Heero. "It's ok, it doesn't matter. Just... don't, you know, do too much. I can't... I can't pay it back, you know?"

Heero almost said that he didn't expect Duo to pay back the money, but he wasn't completely sure he knew what Duo was talking about.

The apartment was very cold and dark after Duo left, and Heero went to bed without even trying to beat the next level on his current favorite game.

The ball hit the rim, bouncing down sharply, giving Heero a chance to take possession. Duo rarely missed from the three point line, but Heero was getting better at being physical in the game. Actually, he found it hard not to be physical with Duo of late. There was blessedly little awkwardness between them, despite the shift in their friendship, but everything seemed heightened. Every brush of fingers or arms, the way he could smell Duo's hair when Duo hunkered down over his notebook, small glances and smiles, they all seemed to mean more now. Heero could feel them in his flesh.

Basketball was becoming a chance to bump into each other and fake roughhouse with each other. They played every day, and after a whole physics lecture, just sitting next to Duo who always managed to take up so much space in his chair that he needed to invade Heero's space, Heero needed to be able to bump into Duo.

The competitive edge just got sharper, too. Besting each other became of paramount importance, even though Heero wasn't entirely sure he knew precisely what was going on between them in their struggles. But Duo liked to flip his braid into Heero's face now, and Heero couldn't say for sure that he didn't like it, too.

He liked this the best. He dribbled slowly, stretching out the moment. Duo was ahead of him, moving lightly from foot to foot, ready to defend. There was an unholy gleam in Duo's eyes, and Heero pitied the poor soul that met that gaze in less friendly confines, but it only served to excite him. He grinned, the tip of his tongue sticking out from the corner of his mouth, and he began his drive. He angled so that he could lead with his shoulder, blocking the ball from Duo's long arms, and stampeded to the net.

Duo liked to shoot from far away, taking advantage of his quickness and accuracy to compensate for his slight stature. Heero liked to slam the ball into the net, even though he wasn't quite tall enough to dunk properly, using his power to propel him.

When they clashed, it was a little like a wave breaking against the rocks, and it was always a coin toss who would prosper.

Duo managed to get right in his way, and they danced a bit on the asphalt, Heero looking for a window to break away, Duo looking to plaster himself onto Heero. In such close quarters, his strength and Duo's speed made for a pretty even match up.

Duo smirked. "Damn, you look hot in those shorts. You have the tightest little ass I've ever seen."

Heero stumbled, loosing his rhythm with the ball. Duo swiped it away easily, running too fast for Heero to follow. The ball slammed against the backboard, bounding down into the net without touching the rim.

Heero growled, picking up the ball to take it to half court. "Cheater."

"Ha," Duo winked, smug. "I think you're just too damn tense. You need to get good and laid, man. Do you a world of good."

"Really?" Heero drawled sarcastically. "Think so? Quatre's been bugging me to go out and hit the bars with him. Maybe I should go."

Duo's was piqued, but it wasn't that easy to get a reaction from him. "Good idea, man. Take a break, let loose. Finals are coming up soon. If you can't blow off some steam now, when can you?"

Heero narrowed his eyes. This time he wouldn't be distracted. His nostrils flared as he anticipated his strike. He barreled straight for the net, ramming into Duo and then spinning out to jump. Duo clung to him, though, and dragged them both down to the ground. Heero rolled as he fell, unconsciously sliding around to cushion Duo's fall, so he ended up flat on his back with Duo sprawled out all over him as the ball bounced harmlessly away.

Duo brushed his fingers through the hair at Heero's brow, grinning madly. "You're buying lunch."

"I am?" Heero asked, playacting at annoyed.

"Yeah, I won." Duo winked slyly.

Heero narrowed his eyes. "By my reckoning, I just pulled ahead by a basket."

"But I'm on top," Duo countered, quickly backing up his argument with a fleeting kiss. "So I win."

Heero blinked, watching Duo stand up in a haze. "Really?" He couldn't keep the thickness from his voice, not with the tingle that was running down his spine. "Top wins, huh?"

Duo flipped his braid over his shoulder, moving to collect the ball. "Sure. Didn't you know that?"

"So if I top you, you'll buy me lunch?"

"You have to top me first, lover," Duo teased, intentionally brushing up against Heero so his hand slipped past Heero's crotch. "Then we'll talk lunch."

Heero stood flatfooted in the middle of the court until Duo yelled at him to catch up. His heart was hammering in his chest, and he broke out into a cold sweat. Too many images and sensations were skating through his mind. He watched Duo's ass as he stumbled behind, and the way the braid swung back and forth, the tip of it like a pendulum drawing the eye down.

He was going to fantasize about winning with Duo all day now, but he was used to it.

The guy in the cubicle three down was tapping his pen against his book. It was really fucking irritating. If Heero wasn't talking to Quatre in the library about his personal life, he might have been tempted to break the guy's tapping hand.

"So," Quatre stared at him with a blankly indescribably expression, "your problem is that he's throwing himself at you, and you don't know what to do?"

Heero hadn't used any of those words to describe it, but it wasn't an entirely unfair assessment. "Yes."

Quatre picked up his notebook and hit Heero in the face with it. "Idiot!" he hissed, "you sleep with him!"

Heero rubbed his cheek, glaring at Quatre. "But I don't to mess up our friendship..."

"Yes, you do!" Quatre hissed insistently. "You definitely want to mess up your friendship. You want to have sex with him. That will mess up the friendship. On the plus side, you'll be too busy having sex with him to notice."

Heero puzzled it out in his head. There had to be a flaw in Quatre's logic; Heero was never this lucky. "No, wait..."

"Heero," Quatre sighed, packing up his books. "It's simple. You are attracted to him. You have gained his regard and his trust. He is giving you positive signals. So shut up and do it, already. Look, don't argue with me, the next time he gives you a chance, go for it!"

His Analytic Number Theory wasn't giving him any clues, but Heero continued to glare at it, trying to figure it all out. "But..."

"No," Quatre sighed. "Sex. Good. Stop thinking so damned much. I'm out of here; if I email you my paper, you'll send me back some notes?"

Heero just grunted in reply.

Quatre shook his head. "Hey, look, I know you aren't looking for it, but you have my approval. I give you permission. Now go boink his brains out, and stop whining to me about the gorgeous boy who keeps wanting to have sex with you; I'm not frickin' penthouse letters here..."

The guy was still tapping his damned pen. Heero flipped through his binder, trying to remember what he wanted to study.

He kind of hoped that Hilde would need to see the doctor soon, so Duo would need money.

Duo checked his appearance in the window before jimmying the door open. He hated waiting for the buzzer, and these locks weren't nearly as good as people thought they were. He had taken the path through the park to get to Heero's; Heero would likely kill him if he knew, but he wanted to be soaked to the bone before getting there, and short of standing fully clothed in the shower, it was the only way Duo could think of to do it. It wasn't raining hard enough for his tastes.

Anyway, he could take care of himself.

He had goals for the evening. He had finished his last final this morning, and the summer session didn't start for another three weeks, so he wanted to celebrate. He wanted Heero to celebrate. He wanted to know if Heero was as big as he felt.

He was a little nervous. He tried not to think about it. It wasn't Heero; he was pretty sure Heero would be good. It was the whole situation. The money was only a part of it; Duo hadn't planned on this becoming a relationship of any kind. He liked being friends. He was comfortable with friends.

People could be friends and still have privileges, though. They were both men, and they could be mature about it.

The fact that he was a little nervous was part of what excited him so much about it. Sure, he felt guilty, too, and he didn't like to think about that, but the guilt was just an aspect of it. The main thing was the excitement, the desire of it. It had been a long, long time since Duo had felt like this... In fact, Duo couldn't remember ever feeling quite like this. His other experience was so different.

He took three deep breaths before knocking on Heero's door. He counted to seventeen before Heero swung the door open, surprising him. Duo grinned from ear to ear. Heero was wearing a t-shirt and some loose sleeping pants, nothing else. Perfect.

"Hey. Mind an intrusion?"

Heero stepped aside quickly. "What happened?"

Duo shrugged. "It's raining out."

"Oh," Heero said, sounding a little stupid.

Duo bit the inside of his cheek. "So, um, with finals and all I really haven't been working much..."

"No problem!" Heero spoke in a rush. "Do you... do you want to change your clothes? Would you like a towel? Maybe some tea?"

Heero was really sort of cute and naive, in a never tell him that or be killed kind of way. Duo loved that about Heero. "Yeah, I'd like to get out of these clothes..."

Heero blushed, and looked away. "I don't actually have any tea."

"That... will simplify making the tea. Just boiling water, really." Duo was trying not to grin, but the butterflies in his belly were making him a little goofy, and Heero was being so shy.

Heero half nodded. "I'll... get a towel. Just... you can go to the bedroom to change, take whatever you need. I'll be right back." He fled.

Duo felt his stomach roll over, and he turned to go to the bedroom. This was perfect. He shucked off his clothes, standing completely naked in front of Heero's closet as he tried to pick a suitable shirt quickly. He found a chambray shirt in the back that was easily a size too big for Heero, and he slipped it over his shoulders, buttoning just one button in the middle. It came down to about his mid-thigh, though it wasn't as roomy as Duo would have liked. Still it was damn sexy enough.

For the final touch, Duo undid his braid, combing out his hair with his fingers. It flowed in clumps over his shoulders. It was unfortunate that it was part of his plan to have wet hair, because if he'd've had time to brush it and dry it, it would have looked a lot better, but still. He was pretty sure that Heero wouldn't kick him out of bed over something like that.


He climbed into the middle of the bed, sitting with his legs tucked to his side, and he waited. He thought maybe he should have done something with the lights, made it sexier, but it probably didn't matter.

"Duo?" Heero called out from the living room meekly. Duo smirked.

"I'm in here."

He waited again, suddenly feeling so nervous, he had to clutch the sheets in his hands.

Heero peeked around the corner of the door, just his head showing. Duo smiled at the gesture, not sure if it was comic or childish or just sweet. "C'mon in," Duo beckoned.

Heero swallowed hard and did as he was bid. He was looking Duo up and down, wringing the towel in his hand. Duo felt seventy different degrees of hot and cold all over his body from Heero's gaze, and he very distinctly wanted Heero's hands on his skin.

He smiled in what he hoped was a come-hither manner, and raised one shoulder demurely. "I figured we'd done the whole getting hot and bothered on the couch thing. We've graduated to getting hot and bothered in bed."

Heero's eyes widened by degrees, his face flushing. His jaw worked as he tried to speak, but Duo was afraid of what he might say.

Duo sat up so he was kneeling on the bed. He reached out for Heero. "Come on. Please? It's just the next step..." He toyed with the buttons of his shirt, opening it a little to reveal more of his chest.

It was like Heero was hypnotized. He moved closer, but he only dug his hands into the towel more. "Duo... Duo, this isn't a good idea..." His voice was gravely and deep, and it turned Duo on a little.

Duo walked on his knees over to Heero. He tugged on the towel until Heero let go. "It's not a good idea, Heero, it's a fuckin' great idea. I need... I want to do this. Please."

He could see the moment when Heero's resolve faltered, and he knew that he had won. He leaned over, kissing Heero softly, just tasting his lips. He waited for Heero to open his mouth before pressing forward. Heero's hands went to his hips naturally, and Heero's whole body jolted when he realized that Duo was completely nude under the shirt.

"Duo...!" There was so much desperation in Heero's voice, so much need, it was intoxicating. Duo took Heero's hands and brought them to his face, pushing Heero's hands into his hair.

"This is what you want, isn't it, Heero?" He spoke quietly, never dropping his gaze. Heero's eyes were stormy and beautiful. Duo loved them. "You wanted me to take my hair down, right? Because I wouldn't do this myself... It's too messy. It's for you."

Heero shuddered as he slipped his fingers into the mass of hair that surrounded Duo like a shroud. It was like a tether, anchoring Heero and drawing him in as Duo fell back onto the bed. He separated his legs to make room for Heero, and surrounded Heero with his limbs.

"Is this what you want?" Duo ran his hands up and down Heero's back, feeling the tight muscles of Heero's body. He had to admit, he really wanted Heero to say yes. He wanted Heero to accept him.

Heero took Duo's wrists in his hands, and pulled them down, pressing them into the bed. He covered Duo's mouth with his, and devoured Duo as he pressed his hips down. He pulled away, his eyes clouded and heavy, lifting up so he could look down at Duo's body.

The shirt was separated in the middle, except where the button held it shut, and Duo's long cock rose up from the bottom of the shirt. Heero was breathing heavily now, his eyes wide and wild. It was driving Duo a little bit crazy, as he ached everywhere he lacked contact. He grabbed at Heero, digging his fingers into Heero's thick, messy hair, pulling him down to devour him again. Heero was just strong enough to resist, to hold himself just about Duo's lips, just a feather's width from touching them.

"This... no... we should..."

"We should give in," Duo insisted, rolling his hips up. Heero jerked, closing his eyes as he tried to contain it all. He bent his head down, touching his forehead to Duo's, resting his mouth on Duo's cheek. Duo could feel him breathing, feel the saliva on his lips, feel the heat from within him. Duo groaned, and hooked his leg over Heero's, trying to pull him down further.

"No..." Heero whimpered, ragged. "I don't..." He pulled up, exerting his strength to hold Duo down so he could look into Duo's eyes. "I don't want to hurt you. It's still too soon...."

Duo felt his heart plummet and soar at the same time, ripping him into shreds. Heero let up, starting to move away, but Duo put his hand on Heero's neck, holding tight. "Heero..." A million things at once went through his head, and unexpectedly he felt a rush of affection and respect for Heero. "I don't know how to say this without being cruel... but this isn't going to be my first time since I was raped."

Heero's eyes went blank.

Duo threw his arms around Heero's neck, kissing his face gently. "I'm sorry, but... I mean, this doesn't change anything, does it? We still have our deal... and if it's ok with me, then it should be fine, right? We're still friends..."

Heero was looking at him, but he was still unresponsive. Duo didn't let up, though. Until Heero tossed him aside, he wasn't going to let up.

He kissed Heero's face and put Heero's hands on his skin. He drew Heero back down to the bed, and unbuttoned the single button that held his shirt together. He spread his legs out to make room for Heero, and he tugged on Heero's shirt until Heero put his arms up so he could take it off.

Slowly, Heero came to life, becoming more and more involved. Duo could feel how aroused he was under the flimsy cover of the sleeping pants, and suddenly there couldn't be enough contact between them. He used his toes to pull down Heero's pants, and he pushed the condom and lube into Heero's hands urgently.

He didn't expect Heero's mouth on his stomach as he was being prepared. He didn't expect Heero's impossibly strong hands to be so forceful, and yet so patient. He didn't expect the sound of Heero's growling to make his skin tingle. He didn't expect to stare up into Heero's eyes and see such fire and passion. He didn't expect to be so affected by it all. He didn't expect to feel so much with every touch, and he didn't expect to be so demanding and needy. He didn't expect Heero's orgasm to send electric shocks through him, and he didn't expect to be so blown apart by his own. He didn't expect such tenderness from Heero when he recovered, and he didn't expect his heart to lurch when he saw the emotion in Heero's eyes.

He'd just expected sex.

He wanted to stay in Heero's bed forever, and each second that he lingered made him more confused. He needed to get his bearing back, get his brain back inside his skull so he could use his head again. He pulled away from Heero's embraces, feeling guilt on top of guilt blanketing him. It was awkward and embarrassing, and he felt foolish and uncertain.

Heero seemed to understand, though. He kissed Duo once, tenderly, with affection, and then he got up. He tossed Duo his clothes, and dressed himself quickly. He mumbled something about needing to get something, and left Duo to dress alone.

The shirt that Duo had slipped on was still clinging to his back, and he partially wanted to take it with him, but he was leery of keeping a souvenir. It was hard to pull his jeans back on, because they were stiff from being wet, and he felt tender. He braided his hair loosely, not bothering to finger comb the sections, but just making a big, messy braid to keep the hair out of his face while he went home. He would have to take a shower anyway.

Heero was waiting for him out in the living room. He was holding something balled up in his hand, and Duo wanted to bolt out the front door before he had a chance to see what it was. He knew what it was, and he really didn't want to see it. He looked everywhere but at Heero, but Heero was quicker. He stuck it in Duo's back pocket, and kissed Duo's cheek.

"This isn't for... what we just did. It's because you need it. Please. Let me give you this gift."

Duo was all choked up, turned inside out. He didn't know back from front or up from down, he felt dizzy. "Heero..." This wasn't how this was supposed to go. This wasn't supposed to be so damned confusing. "You... you give me too much as it is."

Heero brushed the back of his knuckles against Duo's cheek. "I only do what I can."

Duo threw himself around Heero, hugging him tight for all he was worth. Heero's arms came around his waist, and they made this perfect little unit together, Duo's cheek against Heero's neck, their feet touching. "Thank you," Duo whispered, feeling inadequate as he felt too much to put it all into words. He clung to Heero, pulling away suddenly when he knew he was almost to the point where he wouldn't be able to let go again.

Heero looked totally shell-shocked, over stimulated, and deprived. Duo left quickly, not waiting for Heero to follow him to the door. He just needed air, but when he got outside it was too warm and it was choking him. He needed space, but he felt isolated and dirty, standing on the street corner, waiting for the light to change. He felt tired, but he didn't want to sleep because he could still feel Heero's hands on him.

He vowed never to come to Heero again for money. He had taken too much, clearly. Anything would be better than using a friend.

It was a beautiful morning, with clear, crystal sunlight, everything smelling fresh after a night of rain. Solo was deeply engrossed in his canvases. He was finishing up what he hoped would be the coup de grace to his current collection before Tuesday, when he would get a chance to show his work to the gallery. Duo thought the painting was magnetic, with haunting images and arresting colors, but he wasn't as intuitive about art as Solo was. Hilde was certain that Solo would get a wall at a showing, but Solo was nervous. Duo had never seen him looking so determined as he was now.

Duo curled up on the couch in Solo's studio to eat his breakfast and watch Solo work. He was wearing a thin old wifebeater and grey cargo pants, his inky hair spilling over his face and into his eyes so he had to push it aside from time to time, always leaving a smudge of paint behind. Duo even now wasn't sure what all the materials were, but he liked it when Solo worked with these resources. He had powdered stuff and oily stuff, and his hands were covered in color. He looked very astute, timeless, the eternal artist.

In the clear morning light, everything seemed apparent. He felt like he knew exactly where he belonged and exactly what he was doing, and exactly why, and it made him feel itchy with guilt.

He tossed the last bit of his bagel at Solo, and cleared his throat. Solo flicked his eyes at Duo in irritation, so Duo knew he had his attention. "You know that guy from physics I told you about? The one I've been playing basketball with?"

"Hngh. Yeah." Solo was using the fat brush, feathering it over the surface of the painting, shaping the texture of the color as he added depth.

Duo closed his eyes. "I had sex with him last night."

Solo nodded. "Ok."

Duo blinked. "Ok?"

Solo took a step back, and put down his palette and brushes. He picked up an old t-shirt he was using as a rag, and he started to wipe off the excess paint on his hands. "Yeah, I mean, I could tell you were kinda into him."

"It doesn't... It doesn't bother you?" Duo wasn't at the point yet of reacting, but he did feel a little cheated. He had been bracing himself for drama.

Solo shrugged, grinning. "Was it good?"

Duo blushed right away, and Solo laughed, throwing his head back in the way he did when he was really surprised by something funny. Duo fidgeted on the couch, pulling his legs up to hug them to his chest. "He's really... strong, and... intense. It was really..."

"Wow," Solo smiled softly. "He really got under your skin."

Duo shifted, scowling. He wanted to say something, to defend himself, but he couldn't think of anything that wasn't a lie.

Solo plopped down next to him, still grinning. "Hey, don't worry about it, Kid. I'm glad, really."

"Really?" Duo looked at Solo skeptically, but he didn't see any reason to distrust Solo.

"Really," Solo bumped himself against Duo. "You didn't freak out when you came home to find me with Hilde, did you?"

"No," Duo shrugged half-heartedly. "But that... I mean, it was the three of us, then..."

"Maybe, yeah," Solo put his arm over the back of the couch. "But you were never that into girls. And we've spent plenty of nights together without you. Have you ever felt jealous?"

Duo shook his head. It was like he was trying to work out a puzzle, connecting the dots to link Hilde to Heero. It seemed so different.

"That's because you never had to doubt me. And I'll never doubt you, either." Solo leaned over and kissed Duo's cheek. "We don't need jealousy, Kid. We've been to hell and back and are still together. What do you think could ever break us up?"

Duo felt color touching his cheeks, and he smiled a little. He leaned over to cuddle into Solo, rubbing his cheek against Solo's frail chest. "Not god or the devil, man."

Solo held Duo tightly in his arms, kissing the back of Duo's head. "Damn straight. Now, when are you going to bring this Heero over to meet the family?"

"Jeez, man, slow down!" Duo laughed, feeling nervous and childish, and very glad he had Solo. "We just had a roll in the sack... let me catch my breath, ok?"

"A roll in the sack?" Solo mocked gently. "Damn, you're not turning player on me, are you?"

"Yeah, that's right, I'm a total player," Duo joked. "I've got the tricks lined up 'round the block."

Solo moved quickly, sliding his face down as he raised Duo's chin. He kissed Duo soundly, smiling. "I wouldn't be surprised. I'm pretty damn lucky to have you."

Duo's hand slipped down Solo's cheek. "Me, too, Cap'n." He put his head down on Solo's lean shoulder, and sighed.

"Don't be afraid to admit you have feelings for the guy, Kid. You wouldn't be my Kid if you weren't more sensitive than just 'a roll in the sack.' And I can tell he makes you happy. That's all that matters." Solo rubbed Duo's back as he spoke softly, rubbing his chin over the top of Duo's head.

"Do you think he'll understand?" Duo asked hesitantly. "I mean... we're not exactly conventional."

"Is he conventional?"

"I don't... I'm not sure."

"Eh, give him a chance. I bet he surprises you. He's... the one, right? From... when..."


"He'll understand," Solo said, and he sounded very sure. "Just bring him 'round and we'll make room for him somewhere."

Duo grinned against Solo's chest. "Just give me some time to work my head around this all myself, ok? Jeez!"

"Ok, Kid, but don't forget... gotta grab the day while you got it, you know?"

"No worries, Cap'n." Duo sat up, feeling a million times lighter. "Hey, how d'ya think Hilde will react?"

Solo rolled his eyes, snorting. "Oh, don't worry, I don't think she'll have any problem with having another gay guy in the house... I mean, you might have trouble getting any privacy with that pervert around, but she's not going to have any problem with it!"

Duo laughed, pushing Solo away playfully. He still felt guilty about everything, but at least he didn't have to worry about Solo being upset. That took a world of worry away. Now he just had to figure out the whole money issue, and convincing Heero to join their little den of iniquity.

He was already getting some really good ideas of how to do it, too.

Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart FourPart FivePart Six • Part Seven • Part EightPart NinePart TenEpilogue