Wufei couldn't claim to be particularly well-versed in normal social niceties. What he had learned as a young man had been unlearned just as quickly the moment he climbed into a Gundam and took the controls in his hands: unlearned by the savage intent of men who couldn't understand the bigger picture, men who would use a biochemical weapon against a decrepit colony of asian-descent spacers, unlearned by the uncouth behaviors of the men he had been bound to. Men, he called them, because they could no longer be boys, childhoods stolen away by war.
Wufei wasn't well-versed in social niceties, but he knew he had to behave himself at events like these, no matter how much his base nature had changed since the war. He'd left the Preventers five years before, but he still received invitations to every major event, and the Summer Gala was one of those events. He came because it pleased Sally, because it pleased Quatre, because he got to see the other pilots, though they did not always speak to one another. At most events like these he usually stood against a wall and minded his own business, spoke only when spoken to and more often than not went back to his hotel early, begging the excuse of an early flight back to the remainder of the L5 cluster, where he'd made his home.
It was nearly as bad as L2 as far as resource management and crime were concerned, but those things were no longer Wufei's responsibility. He'd given up those ties when he'd left the Preventers, and he did his best to live his life as a simple citizen, spending most of his time repairing machinery for the factories that made up most of the colonies job market. The others found it funny, he thought. He couldn't blame them, but most of them had jobs to fall back on, or homes. Quatre was always talking about how he'd started funding a new charity, Trowa and Heero still worked for the Preventers. Duo was running a Sweeper salvage ship, and Wufei...
Well. He lived his life as best he could: with grease on his hands and cheeks, scraping by without enough food or clean water, without anything but the dust showers most apartments on L5 were equipped with; water was enough of a luxury that it couldn't be used so frivolously. The showers had been a familiar fixture on A0206, also: most of the colony's money went into the maintenance of the earth-like center dome, where ancient Chinese masonry and aesthetics were used to create an air of... What, wealth? A resemblance to an Earth that Wufei had, at that time, only seen from space?
He'd thought about moving down to Earth. Had been given the opportunity. But despite all appearances Wufei was a spacer, a dirty, weedy little rat of a human who could live through a nuclear apocalypse and come out on top. Duo could talk all he wanted about living on the streets in the steel jungle on L2; Wufei had lived in a different type of jungle, but it was a jungle nonetheless.
Wufei's childhood jungle had been made up of secrets and narrow hallways, of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of the men who were supposed to be taking care of him. He hadn't really thought about it until much later, when he'd had a rather embarrassing panic attack as a would-be lover tried to slide a hand down his pants. The man had left in a hurry, and Wufei had slid down the wall of the hotel room and put his head between his knees and counted in his head until he felt like he could move again. He was used to dealing with things by himself. He didn't need to be babysat. He knew he was an anxious, obsessively meticulous, PTSD-riddled mess who would never really be able to get rid of battle-taught reactions, would never be able to maintain a normal healthy relationship with a normal, healthy person and that... As much as it pained him on some level, shallow hook-ups and one night stands would have to be enough.
He'd been thinking about those things as he idly replaced the oil tank on a motorcycle that had been given to him by an old man from Earth who had heard he was good at repairing things and come all the way to L5 to deliver and explain what he wanted done with the antique. It was tedious work, and he was grateful for the knock on the large garage door.
He got up from where he'd been crouched on the floor and looked at the door as it opened. He blinked as he saw Quatre standing there, smiling, looking neat as always in his suit and a tolerant smile on his lips as he said his customary hellos and even dared to pull Wufei into a one-armed hug, despite the mess all over Wufei's clothes.
He'd given Wufei the invitation to the Summer Gala and Wufei had, as promised, shown up. Within ten minutes of walking in the door he'd been spotted by Duo and now he was standing against the wall as the man finally walked toward him, almost an hour later.
Duo had grown, yet again.
He was a spacer like all of them were, but he'd managed to get taller, broader in the shoulders. He had to be over six feet tall now, where Wufei had topped out at five nine and a half (that half was very important, it meant he was closer to five ten.) Duo's hair was still in a long, dark braid, though Wufei couldn't say anything about that: his own hair was much the same, these days. Duo looked at him and Wufei felt the world shrink as it often did. He'd been thinking about going home with the CEO of the BioTech Corporation, a handsome man with piercing eyes, but perhaps he'd go back to the hotel with Duo instead, as he had for the last three years.
He'd once wondered what Duo would think, to find out that Wufei was something of a slut. He hadn't really cared, thank goodness. He'd expressed his opinion and Wufei agreed, that Wufei's body was his own and he could do as he pleased with it. Then they'd gone back to the hotel they'd been staying in and Duo had fucked him harder than anyone had, post war. It was hard to get rid of the itching little desire for it to happen again, even if it was only once a year. It was... Safe, to have sex with Duo. To have sex with someone who could keep themselves safe from him, if needbe.
He leaned back a little more comfortably as Duo got closer, closer, close enough to speak.
“Wufei,” he said, his voice low and rumbling.
“Maxwell,” he replied, easily. “How many times am I going to have to tell you to call me Zhang in public.” Wufei had changed his family name after the war ended, not wanting to be associated with A0206 if he could avoid it. Zhang was close enough, phonetically, and most of his friends had picked up the new last name very easily.
“This is hardly public,” Duo replied, looking around them. “Bunch of fucking stuffed shirts with too much money wondering why they gotta fund the only peacekeeping corp in the entire known galaxy.”
“Regardless,” he said, looking up at Duo. “I would appreciate it.”
“Fine,” Duo sighed. “But only because you appreciate it, Zhang. Not for anyone else's benefit.”
“Of course not.”
They stood in silence for a while, too close together for the comfort of others who seemed to avoid getting to near them. As though they had some kind of visual, communicable disease but Wufei knew, he knew, it was because his bond with the other pilots was so tight that they no longer heeded normalcy's calls for personal space and especially not he and Duo. They'd only fucked three times in the last three years, but there were some walls that sex just tore down, and the two of them had ripped down every single one.
Wufei nursed his drink, the condensation making the glass slippery. Duo joined him in staring out at the crowd. He seemed quieter than Wufei remembered. More forcibly subdued.
“What's wrong,” he asked, unable to stop himself.
“I hate this shit,” Duo replied, easily and honestly. “Quatre's gotta board my damn ship once a year to remind me to come and he knows I hate it. He fucking guilt-tripped me, I'm supposed to be on my way to Mars to do some jobs for Zechs but instead I'm stuck here with these... These fuckin'.”
“Stuffed shirts?” Wufei asked, looking over at him.
“Yeah,” Duo said, crossing his arms. “Watching all this ass-kissing and playing nice with a buncha people who would rip each others throats out if they could.”
“Your faith is astounding.”
“My faith is something,” Duo replied, grinning over at Wufei, who smirked back at him. “Are you ready to get out of here? Because I am.”
“Yes,” Wufei replied, setting his drink on the table they'd been standing near. “More than ready.”
“I love that in a man,” Duo said, and Wufei smirked a little more, pleased with the turn of events. “My place or yours.”
“We're staying in the same hotel, Maxwell.”
“Yeah, but my room is on the top floor,” Duo said, sliding his hand around Wufei's waist as they slipped away into the dark, out of the room, the building, out into the street. “And it's got floor-to-ceiling windows.”
“You're a kinky fuck, you know that,” Wufei said, and Duo grinned, growled into his neck near his ear. It rumbled into his neck and made Wufei laugh, his hand reaching up to run through Duo's dark bangs.
“Shit, I love it when you talk like that,” Duo admitted, squeezing his arm a little tighter around Wufei's body.
“Like a fuckin' dirty spacer?” Wufei asked, making sure to exaggerate his accent, and Duo bit into his neck, made him laugh. “Yeah, I know you do. Your room sounds great. You gonna fuck me against the window, huh? So the entire earthspere can see what a slut I am for your cock?”
“You're worse than any L2 hooker I've ever met,” Duo laughed as they walked, his arm around Wufei's waist. “It's godly.”
Wufei grinned a dangerous little grin as they walked into the hotel and took the elevator up to Duo's floor. He leaned back against the wall and let Duo look him up and down, knowing he appreciated the view that was offered as he unbuttoned the suit jacket, then the emerald green shirt. Knowing how much he appreciated Wufei's bare chest, his pierced nipples and navel: a rebellion given into when he was twenty-three and desperate for some kind of control, some autonomy over his own body. The look on Quatre's face when he'd seen them had been more than worth it, if Wufei was honest.
“God, you're so fucking hot, Zhang.” Duo's body pressed up against his and Wufei groaned, tipped his head back to offer his neck. “Can't wait to get my dick in you.”
“Can't wait to have it,” Wufei breathed as Duo dragged him out of the elevator and to his room. Before the door even closed he was pulling off his clothes, dropping them to the floor, kicking off his shoes. He felt as though electricity was humming up and down his legs, racing through his belly and the feeling of Duo's strong and capable hands on his hips did nothing to alleviate the pleasure, only augmented it. He could feel Duo's erection through his slacks, grinned when Duo slipped fingers under the cheeks of his bare ass and bounced them, chuckling.
“Someone's been workin' out,” Duo said, and Wufei tilted his pelvis, bent over to put his hands on the low bed and grunted when Duo pressed closer, rubbed his groin up against Wufei's backside. Wufei's slacks were still around his ankles, he hadn't been able to get out of them completely despite his bare feet. “Your ass is looking better every year.”
“So hurry up and get your dick in it,” Wufei panted, grinning over his shoulder as Duo snapped his hips forward. Wufei bit his lip, grinned like the devil. “Shit.”
“You're fuckin' impatient,” Duo chided, undoing the knot of his tie and slowly undressing himself, bumping his hips forward as Wufei reached back and spread his cheeks, shoulders on the bed. “And just as much of a slut as ever, I see.”
“Always,” Wufei laughed in delight, arching his back as his thigh was slapped, hard. He loved the roughhousing, that was one of the best parts about sex with Duo. Wufei could probably have hooked up with Trowa, or even Heero: they had the same wartime policy of sleeping only with those on their team, but Duo really enjoyed it, had fun with it, as Wufei did. Neither of them were normal, or healthy. Their bodies were genetically modified, their minds twisted, their emotions warped and they enjoyed fucking one another.
Nothing had been quite so amusing as the first time they'd done this, four years ago at the first Summer Gala Quatre had convinced Wufei to attend: Duo's blue eyes had been wide and bright and excited as Wufei got onto the bed on his hands and knees and spread his legs like the slut he was, demanding Duo fuck him immediately if he wanted to keep his cock attacked to his body.
I didn't know you liked to receive, Duo had admitted, as he fucked Wufei into the wall, pinning his hands at the small of his back like Wufei couldn't have pulled free and broken his neck in two smooth movements, if he so chose. I'd've done this before now, if I'd known what a cockslut you are. I'd have fucked you so hard and so deep you'd feel it for days.
Wufei had been delighted by this, of course. Years of repression followed by years of self-imposed celibacy out of embarrassment or fear of hurting a partner had their way of affecting a man. So they had sex all night at the Summer Gala once a year, and Wufei went back to L5 and had one night stands with strangers, none of whom managed to grab him quite as hard as Duo did, none of whom managed to hold him down as tight, speak filth into his ear until he came in a hot, wet rush.
He sometimes wondered what it would be like to have sex with Duo more often, but neither of them had ever brought it up and Wufei was not going to be the first to do so. Instead he just enjoyed what they did now: enjoyed the feeling of Duo's bare cock against his rim, the slick of lubricant, the slow push of Duo's dick into his ass as he pulled his own hands away to make room for Duo's to grip him, hold him open.
“Oh, fuck yes,” Wufei grunted, fists grabbing at the sheets with a grip tight enough to tear the material. Duo groaned behind him, pushed in a little more, and little more, and Wufei felt his ballsac, big and full. Felt the heat of his thighs against his own. “Shit yes, love your cock, fuck.”
“Yeah?” Duo asked, grinning, grinding forward but not thrusting. “You like that? Shit,” Duo slid back, squirted more lubricant, pushed back in. “Shit yeah, Zhang, your ass is so good, sucking me in like that,” He pulled back again, all the way out, and then pushed forward until his balls slapped into Wufei's. Wufei grunted, cursed into the bedsheets.
“Again,” he demanded, looking back over his shoulder. “Again.” Duo laughed at him, like he always did, and reached down to grab at the base of Wufei's braid, yanking his body up from the bed, arching his back forward toward the mattress while Wufei balanced himself on his fingertips, pleased with the sudden bite of pain.
“You're so fucking impatient,” he accused again, pulling all the way out, shoving all the way back in to the sound of Wufei grunting. He squirted more lubricant down Wufei's ass—the sound as he pulled back and pushed in was vulgar, obscene and slick. He fucked like a demon, yanking on Wufei's hair, grabbing onto his hip to keep him in place as he thrust hard and deep and wet, their skin slapping together. “Shit yeah, loosen up for me, that's it—fuck, ass's so good 'Fei, could fuck you for days, so fuckin' wet n'soft... Yeah, take it, fuckin' take it.”
Wufei grunted, panted, grabbed at the sheets and bucked back onto Duo's hips, licking his lips and feeling his cock bob against his belly. His balls were starting to ache, full and tender from the slide of Duo's thick dick against his prostate. It felt good, it felt so good, so good he was startled when Duo pulled out of him and dragged him back, forced him to the floor so he was face-to-face with the lube-slick cock that had just been pounding into his ass.
“Suck my balls,” Duo growled out, still holding Wufei by the hair. “That's it, just like that,” he licked his lips as Wufei leaned forward and cupped his tongue around one testicle, sucked it into his mouth and licked, cupped the other in his palm and squeezed tenderly. “Oh, that's it baby, just like that. Shit, you look so fuckin' good.” His eyes were dark and sinister and Wufei looked up at him, nose against his wiry pubic hair and the base of his cock as Duo started to jerk himself. Wufei never felt so desirable as he did with Duo, never felt so helpless but so in control, never felt so sexy. It was hot. It was hot, knowing that Duo wanted him so badly, wanted to do this with him, wanted him, out of all the people he could have in the entire galaxy. Duo chose him.
“So fuckin' wet you're dripping on the goddamn floor, get up here, get my dick in your mouth,” Duo forced Wufei up by the hair and shoved into his mouth—Wufei choked, felt a little hot rush of lube dripping from his ass as all of his muscles contracted in rejection. Duo thrust hard, slamming his cock past Wufei's gag reflex four or five times before staying there, balls to chin, watching the drool slide down Wufei's cheeks and jaw, watching as Wufei closed his eyes and choked, his hands braced on Duo's thighs. He pulled back and Wufei felt himself coughing up thick, somewhat frothy saliva from the back of his throat—Duo caught it in one hand and shoved him back onto the floor, slid his hand over his own cock, positioned himself and snapped his hips forward.
Wufei coughed and scratched at the floor as Duo fucked him harder, faster, snarled against his shoulders as he bit them and grabbed at Wufei's ballsac, squeezing, tugging in the way Wufei liked best.
“Fuck that's right, yeah, so fuckin' wet 'Fei, love your ass, so good on my cock, you're such a fuckin' slut, come on, bounce that ass on me, yeah—oh fuck yeah, just like that, just a little more baby, you're gonna make me cum, gonna fuckin' breed your pretty little ass, need it, need you so bad—”
Wufei panted, squeezed down around Duo's cock and groaned as he felt Duo pull back so his cock was only a few inches deep. Felt the hot spurts of cum and grunted when Duo pushed forward, pulled back. Felt lube and semen practically dripping out as Duo's cock pulled back, shoved back in. He trembled violently, his own dick still so hard against his belly, wet with sweat and precum, and he gasped as Duo slid out of him and flipped him over, shoved his back down to the floor. His cock was replaced by three fingers and Duo's lips and tongue slid down around the length of his cock—Wufei grabbed him by the hair and tugged, thrust into his mouth as Duo's fingers rubbed over his prostate over and over. He blew his load onto Duo's waiting tongue, panting for air, quivering all over.
He laid there on his back, Duo's fingers still inside him as Duo got up and took him by the hair, a little more gently, and pulled him into a kiss. The taste of semen and sweat made him moan, and he felt Duo's fingers pull out of him—sucked them as they were brought to his mouth, kissed Duo when they were pulled away. He felt disgusting, fucking filthy and safe and loved it, moaned into the kisses and spread his legs when Duo moved to rest between them, one hand under Wufei's back and the other under his head.
“Fuck,” he breathed as Duo pulled away, biting at his bottom lip and at his cheek. “Oh fuck, you're so good.”
“So're you,” Duo laughed, biting at his jaw, his neck. “Fuckin' cockslut. S'so hot though,” he brought his fingers to his own mouth and sucked them before sliding them back down, pushing two into Wufei's body and rubbing insistently against his prostate, making Wufei shiver, shudder and groan. “You're such a slut for me. Who'da fuckin' thought,” he leaned down further, somewhat crushed Wufei beneath his own greater weight and kept sliding his fingers over his prostate, palm slapping into his tender ballsac. “Such a fuckin' upright citizen as yourself, Zhang Wufei, I'm surprised at you.”
Wufei barked out a laugh, tipped his head back as the overstimulation started to hurt more than it felt pleasurable, unwilling to stop it. His dick gave a traitorous twitch, his thighs opening wider.
Duo grinned, pushed his fingers in deep and wiggled up the bed, cradling Wufei's head in the crook of one arm and kissing him, sucking at his lip and fucking him with his fingers until Wufei was panting, cursing, spreading his legs.
They went their separate ways very early the next morning. Duo had fucked Wufei against the window, over the edge of the bathtub, and finally properly on the bed. They'd showered together, said their good nights, and Wufei had left to go to his own room where he showered one more time before getting into the big, too-soft bed to sleep for a few hours. The sex was always so good with Duo. It left him feeling empty and somewhat hollowed out as he boarded his shuttle back to L5 without bothering to say goodbye to anyone. They knew how to find him, if they wanted him.
His decrepit but clean little apartment was waiting for him when he got home. The same faux-hardwood floor, the same dull, grey-white walls and plaster-covered metal ceiling. The same simple decorations, his own low, firm bed which he collapsed on as soon as he got upstairs. He gave a heavy, contented sigh and squirmed out of his clothes to climb under the sheets, closing his eyes. He thought about the party, about how pleased Quatre had seemed to see Heero. How Trowa had watched them and slid himself into their conversation with ease, been so close to them, had touched each of them with his own hands as they touched him in return, tiny little intimacies that no one but a gundam pilot would have noticed. He thought about Duo, his brown hair and blue eyes and strong, unyielding grip as he pounded into Wufei's raw, abused ass and played at tenderness when he ran his fingers through Wufei's loose hair before both hands grabbed a fistful and pulled. It was always so good with Duo. There was something he gave Wufei and he couldn't find anywhere else. Need you so bad...
He didn't care to examine those thoughts too much.
Wufei fell quietly back into his routine of occasional one-night stands and repairing machinery. It was an easy life if not an exciting or fulfilling one. The months passed quickly and without notice. He was sitting at home one night, bare-chested and idly braiding, unbraiding, rebraiding his hair while watching some old earth documentary when there was a knock on his door. With a frown he got up—felt for the knife against his back, and glanced at the gun he kept near the door just in case. He took the doorknob in hand and carefully opened it.
“'Fei,” Duo breathed, his eyes wild and shaken beneath the hooded cowl of his jacket—a piece of practical nomad 'fashion' Quatre had given him two years ago at the summer gala, dark brown, oiled canvas and beautifully fit to his body. “Lemme in.”
Wufei, somewhat against his better judgement, did just that, with no hesitation at all. Something was wrong, something had to be wrong. Wufei opened the door and made room for Duo to come into his home, confused and alarmed at his somewhat haggard state. In the last four years he'd never seen Duo look anything less than perfectly put together, and the cracks in his mask were more frightening than they had any right to be. Wufei wondered if Duo even knew they were there. “What are you doing here,” he asked, watching as Duo made his way to the cushions on the floor and flopped down onto one of them before deciding to lay down instead. “How did you find me?”
“Mmm,” Duo hummed, his eyes closed. “You ain't a hard guy for me to find, 'Fei,” he said, sounding very, very tired. “Listen. I just. Took off for a while, y'know? Needed a change.”
A change? From a life of salvaging that had always suited him before? Wufei couldn't claim to understand but he supposed that everyone needed a change of scene now and again. Though that still didn't explain what Duo was doing here, on his floor, in his L5 apartment. “What happened?” he asked, moving to sit near Duo, though not touching him. They nearly never touched outside of sex and Wufei was not going to be the first to overstep that boundary, especially not when Duo's mental state seemed to be so delicate.
“You know when,” Duo started, frowning before restarting his sentence. “You know when you think you know what's what, n'it turns out you don't know shit,” his voice came out in a huff of breath like a sigh. “I mean you, you see what all these people got n'you don't got it, n'it makes you feel like shit cos you ain't fuckin' normal and you ain't ever gonna be normal? N'then you do some shit that really reminds you that you ain't normal? N'people get hurt?”
“What happened,” Wufei asked again, and Duo opened his eyes, looked over at him.
“I shot a guy,” Duo said easily, though the expression on his face was stormy and afraid. “On my crew.”
“What did he do?”
“Startled me,” Duo laughed weakly, glaring up at the ceiling. “Fuckin... Walked into the cargo bay, I was workin' on a generator for a client, n'he knocked over a toolbox and bang,” Duo made a gun with his hand, made a motion like shooting. “Shot him. Right through the shoulder. S'good my reflexes are getting' rusty. Otherwise I woulda hit him in the head.”
Wufei looked over at his fellow pilot, at... At his friend, and waited.
“This was the closest cluster,” Duo continued. “Told the boys to drop me off till I called 'em. Needed... Needed some time.”
“Is there anything I can do for you?” Wufei asked, knowing all too well the results of war reflexes. He had gotten some help for his—learned a few coping methods before he'd left the Preventers, but as far as he could remember Duo had never done that. They were twenty-seven now, it had been nearly eleven years since the war ended and still it hunted them, haunted them, reminded them that they would never, never be like most people. It reminded them that the only real solace they had was one another, the other four people in this miserable galaxy who knew what it was like to be turned into a weapon to be used and abandoned the way they had been.
“We could fuck,” Duo said, with a laugh that was more like a choke. “I mean that's what we do right 'Fei, you and me? We fuck.”
“We could talk,” Wufei said, very carefully. “If that was what you wanted.”
“No,” Duo shook his head, turned it to look at Wufei. “No. I want to fuck you. I need it, I need...” he trailed off and Wufei slid closer, squirming to lay down beside Duo. This was something different than what they had experienced before. This was more like the war. This was the desperate need to be close, this was the desire for sympathy and care that none of them had ever been given by anyone except for one another. Wufei couldn't claim to understand it but then again, neither could the rest of them.
“I'm right here,” Wufei murmured in the atypical Mandarin that had been used on his colony, reaching to slide his fingers through Duo's dark hair, his ruffled bangs, stiff with sweat. It was a safe space, Wufei speaking Mandarin. It was meant to comfort. Wufei had spoken Mandarin to Duo in that lunar cell, had spoken Mandarin when Duo woke up screaming on Preventer missions, spoken Mandarin to guide Duo out of a burning building during a routine infiltration gone terribly, terribly wrong. Duo spoke Russian, Farsi and Portuguese, but he was most proficient in Mandarin. “I'm right here, Duo.”
“Love it when you say my name,” Duo whispered in reply, reaching to take Wufei's shoulder and bring him down for a kiss. It was different than usual, as he'd expected it would be. It was slow and soft and deep, it cost Wufei his breath as he let Duo pull him in, in, in—let Duo wrap his arms around his waist and get them up onto their knees. He tipped his head back when Duo kissed at his throat, sucked, kept their bodies close and pulled Wufei to straddle one bent leg.
“Keep talkin' t'me,” Duo whispered as he kissed Wufei's bare shoulder, ran his hands up his ribs. “Please, 'Fei. Keep talkin' t'me.”
“You're safe here,” Wufei murmured, moaning softly as Duo's thumbs ran over his pierced nipples, rubbed them insistently. “You're safe here, with me, Duo you're always safe with me, I promise,” he wrapped his arms around Duo's shoulders, tangled his fingers into Duo's hair. “I've got you, Duo, it's alright now, you're safe.”
“'Fei,” Duo choked it out, pressing his forehead to Wufei's shoulder and grabbing onto him so tight he was sure to leave bruises. His breath was hissing in and out through clenched teeth and his fingernails raked over Wufei's bare back. It hurt. It bled, but Wufei was too focused on trying to bring Duo back to a place of safety from where his mind was surely a storm, ravaging his psyche to remind him of all his past wrongdoing. Wufei had been where Duo was. He wanted to help. “Shit, shit.”
“Duo,” Wufei murmured, sitting up a little more on his knees, so Duo's head could be pressed to his chest near his heart. “Breathe with me, Duo. I'm right here. Breathe with me, hold on to me.”
Duo clutched Wufei so hard it hurt. Wufei held on to him, felt his breath start to steady out, felt his racing heartbeat start to calm. Felt when the tension bled out of his friend and felt his own heart squeeze when Duo whispered, in very quiet Mandarin, “I didn't know where else to go. I don't have anyone else. Just you.” He sounded embarrassed and ashamed, and Wufei felt little drips of warmth on his skin that certainly weren't sweat. “I'm so sorry, Wufei, I ain't got nowhere else to go, I ain't got anyone in this fucking miserable universe except you.”
“And I'm here,” Wufei promised, bending to kiss the top of Duo's head. “Come on. Come take a shower and come to bed with me.”
Duo got up slowly and only with Wufei's very careful guidance. Wufei unstrapped the sheathe for his knife and left it on the couch before he led his friend to his bathroom, where Duo gave a weak laugh at the dust shower. “I forgot about these,” he said. “Even my ship's got real showers on it.”
“ The colony can't afford it,” Wufei said, helping Duo get undressed, clothes left in a pile on the floor. “We barely have enough drinking water as it is.” He managed to wiggle out of his sweats, and guided Duo into the shower, turning it on. The rain of soft, warm dust felt as much like getting clean as anything could on a colony so economically crippled, and when they stepped out Wufei offered Duo the bigger towel to wipe away any remnants after the dryers had blown most of it away.
“My hair...” Duo said, and Wufei laughed lightly.
“I have an oil,” he said, motioning for Duo to follow him across the small hallway to the bedroom. He sat on the bed and picked up a bottle, squirting some soft-smelling oil into his hands.
“What is that?” Duo asked.
“Camellia oil,” Wufei explained, waiting for Duo to sit down in front of him. “It's the best thing I've found for maintaining my hair here.”
“You have let it get long,” Duo said, sitting down with one leg bent up on the bed, the other on the floor. He slouched forward, and Wufei had to get up on his knees to reach his scalp.
“Yes,” Wufei replied, as he moved his fingers through Duo's dark brown hair, combed the oil through and picked up his brush. He brushed slowly and methodically until the strands were sleek and glossy before braiding them back, humming in contentment. Duo sighed.
“Let me do you,” he said, and Wufei turned around, listening to Duo laugh. “You're so obedient,” Duo continued, mimicking the motions Wufei had just done, right up until the braiding. Instead, he ran his fingers through the soft strands and carefully tipped Wufei's head to one side, kissing his neck, reaching to grope his groin through his towel. “It's so hot.”
Wufei couldn't help but laugh, leaning into Duo and looking up at his bare plaster ceiling. “What,” he asked. “Do you want me to call you Master when you fuck me?”
“No,” Duo replied, bullying Wufei down onto the bed, on all fours above him. “Just do as I ask. That's all.”
“Alright,” Wufei replied, looking up at the other man until they were too close—then he closed his eyes and they kissed, they kissed and kissed until Wufei's lips felt raw, until his cock was so hard it strained against his towel. He gifted Duo a small moan and Duo hissed in a breath, dropped his weight between Wufei's open legs and rutted his hips down with a grunt. “Ah,” Wufei breathed, tipped his head back. “Ah yes, Duo.”
“Again,” Duo said, rolling his hips forward slow. “Does it feel good?”
“Duo,” Wufei obeyed, rubbing his fingers against Duo's scalp. “It feels so good,” he promised, spreading his thighs wider, feeling his towel loosen. “So good.”
“Do you want me to fuck you?” Duo asked, and Wufei thought that was a rather stupid question, considering how hard they both were, but he nodded, wanting to give Duo the clear communication he so craved. “Tell me.”
“I want you to fuck me,” Wufei breathed out, lifting his hips and arching his back. “I want to feel you inside me, Duo, please fuck me.”
“Shit,” Duo whispered, reaching down and fumbling to get their towels off. Wufei laughed, assisted him and reached to grab his bottle of lubricant. He offered it to Duo and laid out beneath him, hands on the backs of his thighs, legs eagerly spread.
“You are so fuckin' beautiful, 'Fei,” Duo said, as he wet his cock and squeezed his own ballsac. “I mean it. You're so fuckin' gorgeous, I...” Duo swallowed, and Wufei looked up at him as Duo positioned himself and started a slow, easy push to make sure the angle was good. Wufei appreciated his caution. “Oh, fuck.”
Wufei tipped his head to one side and arched his lower back. Once he tilted his hips it was easy for Duo to slide all the way in, up to the balls, and Wufei gasped in a breath at his length, at his girth, as he always did. Duo was so big. He was so big and so hot and so firm against him, leaning down to press close to him. So real.
They'd never done it this way. Face to face, chest to chest. Duo's hands pushed under his shoulders, pulled him down. Then his forearms bracketed Wufei's head and he bent down to kiss him and all thought flew out of Wufei's mind beneath the wave of sensation: his thighs parted around Duo's hips, Duo's cock filling him up, Duo's belly against his balls and shaft, their chests pressed together. Duo holding him in place, holding him down, kissing him slowly and deeply. There was nothing in the world but them, twisted together on the low, firm bed. There was nothing except Duo's hard breathing, the tenderness of his hand as it slid up and down Wufei's side to hold his waist.
“Oh, 'Fei,” Duo whispered as he pulled up for air, kissing Wufei's neck while Wufei pulled at his hair. “Shit, s'so good. You're so good, so hot.”
“Duo,” Wufei breathed out, squirming. The weight on top of him was drowning and perfect, the body pinning his warm and strong and heavy. “Duo, feels good.”
“Yeah,” Duo moaned into his ear, rocking his hips but not doing much more than that. “Yeah it does, shit, Wufei. Feels so good, I. Fuck, fuck.” Duo's body was sliding against his own, grinding, and Wufei's cock was trapped between their bellies, wet with sweat as they ground against one another. It could hardly be called fucking, what they were doing now. It was writhing, it was squirming, it was becoming one entity where there had once been two. Duo's mouth was on Wufei's neck, Wufei's hands were in Duo's hair. Wufei's lips and teeth slid across Duo's cheek, his fingers clutched desperately at his hair to try and stay as close as possible. Duo rolled Wufei up a little further and angled his thrusts and Wufei moaned out loud, clutching Duo a little tighter. I don't have anyone but you, Duo had said, and Wufei let those words echo in his head as Duo fucked him slow and deep, suffocating him.
It alarmed Wufei to think that he didn't have anyone but Duo, either. Not in the way most people... Had other people. One night stands, those weren't people he had. Those were different. This... He'd been through war with this man. He and this man had watched one another's backs, he and this man had nearly killed one another, had nearly been killed together. This man had been through the same hell he had and he was all Wufei had. His colony was gone, his friends were wrapped up in one another but Duo sought him out. Every year at the Summer Gala, Duo found him. And he'd found him now. When Duo had needed Wufei the most, he'd come to him and that—that meant something. It meant something important and it made Wufei's heart clench up painfully in his chest, made it hurt, felt like thorned flowers blooming, filling up his lungs.
“Mine,” Wufei breathed suddenly, holding on just a little tighter. “You're mine, Duo, you're mine. I have you, you're safe here, you're mine, I'll protect you I swear, I'll be right here.”
“Wufei,” Duo panted, looking helpless as he lifted his head and looked down at Wufei who stared back up at him, all blazing eyes and soft pink mouth.
“You can always come here,” Wufei promised in a feverish rush, kissing all over Duo's face, feeling physical pleasure and emotion starting to overwhelm him. He'd always been emotional, despite his teachers best efforts. It had just been very easy, when he was young, to turn all of his emotions into hatred and anger but there was no place for that here. Not here in this place, with this man. “You can always come here Duo, I will always be here, I'll never leave, I swear, I'll always be here when you need me.”
“'Fei,” Duo choked, looking like he was going to cry. Wufei held the sides of his head, looked up at him, rolled his hips up so Duo could sink in as deep as he possibly could. Face to face there was nowhere to go, nowhere to hide and Wufei wondered if they'd still been hiding, these past four years. If now, there were truly no walls left between them.
“I'm not going to leave you,” Wufei promised, feeling his orgasm creeping up his legs, tight and hot even as his heart started to clench painfully. “I'm never going to abandon you Duo, I promise I'll never leave you, I promise, I.”
“'F-fei,” Duo's voice was small and choked and Wufei pulled him close, bucked his own hips and felt himself coming, felt hot wet spill against their skin, slicking the thrust of his cock between their bellies. His lips slipped against Duo's open mouth, his tongue touched Duo's, his chest arched up so tightly they touched.
“Trust me,” he moaned sweetly against Duo's lips. “Trust me. I trust you.”
“Fuck,” Duo snarled, pulling away and biting into Wufei's neck so hard he drew blood, the sound of Wufei's shout of surprise ricocheting off the walls of the bedroom as Duo yanked Wufei up his thighs, drove his body forward and stayed there, pumping his hips every couple of seconds, panting into Wufei's skin and hair. For a long moment they could only stay there, Wufei's lower back on Duo's thighs, his ass cradled by Duo's hips. Duo wound his arms around Wufei's shoulders, bent down and pinned him with all of his weight, grunted every few breaths, panted, licked the wound on Wufei's neck. “Fuck. Fuck, Wufei. Shit. Trust you. Fuckin' need you.”
I trust you, Wufei had said, and he meant I love you. It wasn't the kind of love normal people wanted, or had. It wasn't the hearts-and-flowers kind of love. It wasn't the healthy kind of love but it was love, regardless. Love one man had for another when both had nearly been lost on a battlefield. The kind of love that was wrong from the outside. The kind of love that kept Wufei alive and brought Duo to him in his time of need. That kind of trust was the equivalent of love and it was what Wufei wanted to say, what Duo had needed to hear. That someone still trusted him, despite his war reflexes. That someone wasn't going to abandon him because he messed up, because his brain was messed up, because he might never be able to stop his instinctive reactions to loud noises or alarms or tight, claustrophobic spaces.
“Need you so bad,” Duo hiccuped, and Wufei ran his hands up Duo's back, into the base of his braid. He pulled him in for a kiss, slow and deep and wet and perfect. It was messy, but so were they—ex-soldier boys with nowhere to go, no one to trust but one another.
“I've got you,” Wufei promised between kisses. “I'm right here, Duo. I'm right here.” Maybe that was what they needed, what they'd both been craving when they'd fucked that first time at the Summer Gala—when Duo hadn't even managed to make it into the hotel room, had started kissing Wufei's neck in the elevator, hands under his clothes, desperate to touch him. Maybe they needed one another.
It took a long time for Duo to pull away and even then it was reluctant. When his cock slipped out of Wufei's body he hissed, clutched him closer. There was silence save for their breathing, save for the soft, wet sound of kisses and rustling blankets as Wufei pulled them over their bodies. They'd never slept together before. Wufei wasn't sure they could manage it, but he was willing to try.
“I might kick you,” he warned as Duo spooned up behind him, face in his hair, arm across his belly, rubbing softly.
“S'okay,” Duo mumbled, rubbing Wufei's stomach. “C'n take it. Been through worse th'n you kickin' me by accident.” A pause. “Remember that time when you kicked me on purpose.” Wufei laughed a little. That was true, certainly. And he did remember, maybe regretted it a little bit. Only a little. Duo had deserved it, at the time.
“...Will you be here when I wake up, Duo.” It was a serious question. He felt Duo kiss the back of his neck.
“I'll be here,” he whispered, his Mandarin imperfect and soft. “I promise. You need me too, right? I won't abandon you.”
Wufei smiled, reached his hand down to hold Duo's hand in his. Scarred fingers, big knuckles from multiple breaks, rough skin that would never truly feel smooth, perfect against his own.
“I trust you.”
duo's perspective on the proceedings.
Duo woke in the wan, false morning light to feel that Wufei was still, incredibly, pressed to his chest. Somehow neither of them had managed to kill one another in their sleep last night, and that... Wow. That was awesome. Duo had barely been able to sleep in the same room as another person since the war ended. The fact that he'd slept in the same room—in the same bed—so close to Wufei was... Well, it was more important than he cared to think about, at the moment. Instead he just hunkered down and buried his face in the loose mess of Wufei's dark hair, smelling like the camellia oil and so soft, despite the dust shower they'd used the night before.
Wufei's hair was so long, now. Past his shoulderblades, thick but fine. Duo remembered a time when Wufei had worn it pulled back so tight it looked painful, when he'd looked so solemn and furious, without any other expression. It was hard to remember that sixteen year old boy now, with this twenty-seven year old man cradled against him. Eleven years...
Duo wasn't sure that he'd changed so much, in eleven years. He was still an obnoxious brat, according to some of his friends, though Hilde swore he'd mellowed out a little. But Duo had known something was missing, something important wasn't there. He'd felt it when Hilde got married, when Quatre had quietly confirmed that he was in a relationship with not only Heero but Trowa, too—when Quatre had asked, last year, if he was in a relationship with Wufei.
A relationship? he'd asked then, laughing. Ah, hell no. He's got like, a life n'shit, y'know? He ain't got time for me.
I think you'd be surprised, Quatre had said, but nothing more. Duo had left that conversation confused and tangled up and it had bothered him all through the last sixteen months or so. Maybe it was that conversation that caused him to ask his first mate, wide-eyed and panicked, to take him to L5. He'd locked himself in his quarters, taken out all the weaponry and given it to his security officer, and he'd stayed in those rooms until they reached their destination. He'd stewed in his own thoughts for almost four days, staring down at Wufei's address, thinking about him, wondering if he ever felt this way, if he'd ever fucked up so bad post-war.
But then Wufei had opened his door and all thoughts of anything except how good it was to see him left Duo in a rush. He was so beautiful, and he knew what to say, and how to touch him and Duo was so fucking grateful, he could never really express it.
I trust you, Wufei had said, and it was more comfort than Duo could have ever asked for. Wufei trusted him. Trusted him enough to sleep in the same bed with him, trusted him to take care of himself, to...
“Duo?” Wufei asked, and his voice was hoarse with sleep and Duo leaned over to kiss his lips, taking no small amount of delight in the way Wufei took in a breath and moaned it out, tired and shivery. “Duo,” he tried again, when they parted, and Duo hummed against his neck, kissing the pale skin. “Ah.”
“Mornin,” Duo murmured, pushing up onto his hand, rolling Wufei onto his belly and resting on top of him, back to chest, kissing his neck, one hand gathering up his hair while the other fumbled to hold his hand. Wufei held his hand and Duo wanted to cry.
“You're a fucking weasel,” Wufei laughed, almost croaked, his voice cracked up with dryness. “Does your libido have no limits?”
“None,” Duo said, kissing his way down Wufei's back, licking at the skin, letting go of his hand to cup his ass and hold it, to spread his cheeks apart and push his groin against him. Wufei grunted, lifted his hips up as best he could and Duo knew he had permission. Wufei stretched his arms out in front of himself like a great cat and it was just so sexy, it was sexy and beautiful and how could Wufei not know how beautiful he was? How could he be so unaware that he was sex on legs, that he was stunning? Duo knew he had permission, but he wanted more than that.
“Can I fuck you,” he asked, sitting up to let the blankets fall away from their bodies—watching Wufei break out into goosebumps, his shoulders tensing at the chill.
“Yeah,” Wufei hummed, tucking his arms under his torso, looking back over his shoulder at Duo with a tolerant smile. “Yeah, you can.”
“Do you want me to?” Duo bent down and kissed Wufei's cheek, was.... Startled and somewhat delighted when Wufei turned his head a little more to kiss his lips. It was... Soft, and chaste, and it made Duo's head spin.
“I want you to,” Wufei hummed, settling back down. “Just... Go easy, okay.”
“Easy,” Duo nodded, sliding his hands from Wufei's shoulders, to his narrow waist, to his delicately wide hips. “I can do easy.” He kissed his way down one more time—lingering in places that made Wufei shiver or shudder or squirm, tonguing at them, his hands kneading Wufei's backside, pulling his cheeks apart, running his fingers over Wufei's tight, raw rim.
He'd been buried inside him, the night before. He'd fucked him deep and personal, but more than sex they'd shared something so fucking intimate it made Duo want to hide, but he couldn't. Not from this, not from Wufei, who at the moment was the absolute center of his universe. He orbited him like the moon orbited the earth.
Duo's tongue slid down to rub over Wufei's rim. He took great pleasure in the stifled gasp, in the way Wufei's shoulders twisted and his hips pushed down into the bed. “You are such a slut,” he teased, even as Wufei lifted his hips and spread his thighs just enough to let Duo get between them and lick at him, holding the cheeks of his ass apart. “You should get it tattooed on you.”
Wufei laughed, breathless, and the sound turned into a groan as Duo pushed his tongue inside of him, pushed his body down. “You—ah,” Wufei's shoulders curled forward and Duo pulled away, grabbed for the lubricant. “You'd be, be the only one who sees it,” he admitted, and Duo held his breath for a moment. Was that true? Would Wufei... Did he ever see other people? If he had been, would he stop now? Would he wait for Duo? Wasn't that too much to ask of someone you had sex with once a year?
But at the same time the thought was irresistibly enticing. Wufei wouldn't fuck other people. Duo would be the only one to see him like this, panting, eager, groaning as Duo squirted lube down the crack of his ass and pushed fingers inside of him with ease, just to check and make sure he was relaxed enough for this, though he was... Sure he was. Wufei made a delicious little noise and Duo straddled his thighs, rubbed his cock up and down against Wufei's ass and slid inside with one easy thrust, cursing under his breath and listening to the way Wufei grunted, gasped into the sheets under his cheek. His torso was heaving for air and Duo got down onto his elbows, one hand sliding under to hold Wufei's jaw, to hold his head up. The other wrapped around his shoulder to keep him in place as he started to move, deep and slow. Wufei was so warm. So soft around him, so tight. It was better than anyone else ever was. Maybe because Duo didn't have to be gentle with him, maybe because he didn't have to be afraid of hurting him by going too hard, or too fast.
Duo got up, up onto his knees, and he guided Wufei to do the same. Wufei shivered, whined in protest at his chest being exposed. “Duo,” he complained, arms crossed over his chest. “It's cold.”
Duo laughed, he couldn't help it, and wrapped his arms around Wufei's torso, kissing his neck, cradling him back. “I'm sorry, baby,” he teased, reaching down to hold Wufei's generous cock in his hand, stroking slowly. “Can I make it better?”
“Lay down,” Wufei said, looking back over his shoulder. Duo's heart stopped. “Let me ride you.”
Well that was a temptation Duo certainly wasn't going to say no to. He laid back, carefully bending his legs so Wufei didn't slide off his cock. Not that he couldn't have climbed back on, but it was nice to stay connected like that, especially as Wufei started to turn his body around to face him. Christ, he was flexible. He was flexible but more than that he was beautiful, and as he spread his thighs, as he sank lower and tipped his head back Duo could do nothing but stare up at him, enraptured.
“'Fei,” he breathed. “You look so amazing.”
“Because I'm riding your cock?” Wufei asked, breathless with laughter as he started to gently rock his hips back and forth.
“Because you're mine,” Duo replied, without even thinking about it. Wasn't that was Wufei had said the night before? You're mine.
Wufei looked down at him, eyes unguarded and bright with surprise and something even Duo had the emotional sense to recognize as affection. “Yes,” he said, sliding up and down, very slowly. The words were reassuring, affirming. “Yes, Duo. I'm yours.”
Duo reached out a hand and took Wufei's cock in hand. It was warm in his palm, dark—he slid the foreskin down to reveal the wet, pink tip. Duo carefully slid his thumb over the sensitive skin and watched as Wufei dropped his head to one side and groaned, arched his back and tightened up. Duo lifted his legs, bent his knees and used his free hand to push Wufei back against his thighs, offering leverage. Wufei smiled down at him and it was... Shit, it was. Stunning. Beautiful. Like the fucking sun rising up over the crest of the earth, bright and awesome. Duo wondered if anyone else had ever seen Wufei smile like that. He wondered if he could hunt them down and kill them, so the sight could be his and his alone.
“Oh,” Wufei's legs were shaking with the strain of moving his body up and down. Duo watched him, let him thrust into his hand, drop down onto his cock, listened to him groan and pant and cuss in Mandarin, watched him bite his lip and claw one hand across his chest to leave bright red marks—watched him pull his nipple rings, cup his ballsac and tug. Watched him cum, his eyes wide and bright and open, his cock twitching as he fell forward onto his hands and worked himself back almost frantically, bucking, squeezing around Duo's dick so tight that Duo came before he really knew what was happening—jerking his hips up and feeling Wufei's cock giving another soft spit of semen against his palm as he rode himself back against Duo's pelvis.
“Shit,” Wufei panted, his elbows locked and his arms shaking, his head dropped and his face hidden behind his hair. “Shit, oh shit.”
“That was fuckin' glorious,” Duo breathed, rolling them over so he could look down at Wufei, panting beneath him, pink-cheeked. “Christ, Wufei.”
“Love it when you say my name,” Wufei whispered, a teasing little smile on his face as he echoed Duo's words from the night before. “So good.”
“Yeah,” Duo breathed, swallowing hard. “So fuckin' good.”
The two of them spent nearly four days cooped up in the apartment doing nothing but having sex, watching old earth documentaries, and sitting uncomfortably close together. Well. Perhaps it would have been uncomfortably close to anyone else, but to Duo it simply felt natural to be so close to Wufei, to be in his personal space when they were eating, or drinking coffee, or working out in the garage. Wufei didn't seem to mind it; in fact he seemed to prefer it, always stepping closer when he didn't think Duo was near enough.
But all good things must come to an end, and Wufei had to leave to get food, eventually. Duo got dressed in clean clothes from his go-bag, which he'd dropped just inside the door when he'd arrived, and took Wufei up on his offer of a clean t-shirt with some Chinese lettering on it.
“It's too big for me,” Wufei said, as he offered it to Duo. “So it should fit you just fine.”
“What's it say,” Duo asked, frowning at the symbols. His reading had never been very good, not even in English, nevermind in any of the languages he actually spoke.
“Match for a thousand,” Wufei said, smiling over at him as he pulled on a hoodie and adjusted the belt in his jeans. He looked so much like a normal person that Duo had to stop and stare. He hadn't seen Wufei in anything other than a suit (or his birthday suit) in years—it was startling to see him there, pulling his hair free of the hood to braid it over one shoulder, shoving his feet into a pair of cheap canvas sneakers.
“...What,” Wufei asked, blinking over at where Duo was half-laced into one of his own sneakers, the shirt ready to be pulled over his head. “Duo?”
“You just,” he started, swallowing. Honesty is the best policy. I trust you. “You look real good, that's all.” Wufei looked down at himself and cocked an eyebrow at Duo, who shrugged and tugged the shirt over his head. When his head popped out of the neck Wufei was standing right in front of him, as he'd known he was. His spatial awareness hadn't suffered since the war, not when someone was four inches away from his body.
“So do you,” Wufei murmured, giving him a soft kiss on the mouth. “Now get laced up, we gotta go before the market closes up for the day.”
Duo felt something closer to flabbergasted as Wufei took his hand and led him down the street. The aura of L5 was one of congenial poverty—old men and women smoking long pipes on porches, dirty children playing in the streets, women and men hanging laundry from windows, a cacophony of Asian languages spoken loudly—Duo could hear Thai, Vietnamese, a type of patois he knew was from Laos. Cambodian, Indian, Japanese, Balinese and Indonesian. Some words he knew, others he didn't, and as he followed Wufei to the marketplace he just... Enjoyed the racket of it all. It drowned out the sounds of the colony, the turn of turbines and the whoosh of vents, the inner workings of a mechanical world that only barely separated them from the vacuum just outside. There was laundry hung everywhere, there were colorful banners and flags, religious and fortune bells, little shrines outside some houses that must have also functioned as churches, and even though everything was covered with the slight grey grime that came from colony living, it felt like a place full of undeniable life.
Duo wondered if living in a place that was so full of color, movement and sound helped against space madness. Wondered if that was why Wufei had chosen this place instead of L4, where Quatre surely would have given him the best of the best in living conditions and quarters, or even Old China, down on Earth. Though perhaps like Duo, Wufei had never really felt in place on Earth. Maybe he would ask him, someday.
He let Wufei lead him through the market—which smelled like rice, overripe fruit, soaking tofu and dried meat. He listened to Wufei banter in Cantonese, Balinese and Korean over food, exchanging credits or sometimes just cards with Chinese characters on them. He did his best to talk to anyone who talked to him—mostly old women who eyed him up and down very suspiciously, and one little girl who begged him to let her touch his hair. He crouched to let her do so, smiled when her eyes lit up with delight and she babbled in Indonesian that she hoped her own hair grew that long, someday.
Duo felt very overwhelmed by all of it, in a good way. But before he knew he was getting overstimulated Wufei had led him away from the main thoroughfare and back towards the quiet street his apartment was on. Duo hadn't even realized how tense he was until his shoulders dropped, and his hand loosened against Wufei's in something like relief.
“Wow,” he said, looking over at the other man, who gave him a laugh.
“Mm,” Wufei replied, leading him inside. “Come on.”
There was always sound in Wufei's home, Duo noticed. Some kind of ambient not-quite-quiet, a hum like the idling engine of a gundam. It comforted him more than he'd noticed, as he sat down on the floor and watched Wufei unpack the food, putting the few perishables into the mini-fridge and putting the non-perishables into the small cabinets.
“It sounds like a cockpit in here,” he said, and Wufei looked over at him, quiet and considering.
“Yes,” he said, moving to sit down beside Duo with four soft plums. “It... I modified the air circulation system. It was too quiet, I couldn't sleep.”
“Yeah,” Duo nodded, looking at the plum Wufei dropped into his palms. It was small and dark and just barely off from overripe, so it would be sweet in his mouth. “Yeah, I uh. Used to sleep in the engine room. Couldn't stay in the cabin, y'know? Too quiet, like you said.”
There was a moment of silence, and Duo took a bite of the plum with an almost sardonic laugh. “We're so fucked up, Wufei.”
“We are,” Wufei admitted, looking over at him and taking a bite of his own plum. It seemed to split against his mouth, juice dripping down his lip and chin that he caught with his fingers and a startled laugh. It was so fucking beautiful. He was beautiful, this place was beautiful. Duo hadn't felt so... So fucking content and safe since the war ended. He'd always been looking over his shoulder, always waiting for the gunshot, for the scrape of metal to metal but there was none of that here. Nothing but Wufei sitting cross-legged beside him, laughing as plum juice slid down his chin, his palms as he cradled the offending fruit.
I could stay like this, Duo thought suddenly. I could just. Stay here, like this.
The idea seemed so insanely unbelievable. Where would he live, what would he do? What kind of use could he make of himself here, where Wufei had already built his life? What would happen to his ship? What... What would happen to the two of them, if they stayed together for too long?
“Duo?” Wufei asked, and Duo looked over at him, startled out of his thoughts. “Are you alright?”
“Yeah,” he replied, weakly, knowing Wufei would know he was... Not quite lying, but not really telling the truth, either. “Yeah, I was just... Just thinkin', that's all.”
“About what,” Wufei asked, and Duo pursed his lips.
“...Colony's short on water, right? N'other stuff.”
“Yeah,” Wufei replied, shrugging. “Most of them are, though.”
“The rig I captain,” Duo said, very slowly. “S'a supercargo, you know. Big. Fits a lot of shit.”
“Okay,” Wufei replied, blinking, taking another bite of his plum and licking his lips.
“So I mean, I could... Bring shit. Supplies. Bottled water n'stuff. I got a fly permit, I can bring stuff from Earth n'all that. Stuff you need.” Duo knew he wasn't being very eloquent. Wasn't really speaking very well but he was nervous and trying to avoid saying what he wanted to say, which was I could help your community, and I could come home to you.
Home. That was it, wasn't it? Wufei, this place, felt like home. Duo hadn't known that feeling since the war started, not really. Always moving, always going, always changing places or running away or... But Wufei was here. Said he'd always be here, said he wouldn't leave and Duo believed him because what else could he do? Wufei wouldn't lie to him, not after all this time, would he? No, he wouldn't. Duo was sure of it.
“Duo,” Wufei said, his voice firm and serious. “You shouldn't—we can't give you anything, you know that, don't you? This colony, it... It has nothing to give.”
“I don't need nothin,” Duo mumbled, looking down at his plum. “You think I ain't got black accounts like the rest of us, you think I ain't got more money than fuckin' Solomon? I ain't in it for the money, 'Fei, you know I ain't.”
“Duo,” Wufei started, and Duo cut him off.
“I'm in it for you.” The Mandarin rolled easily off his tongue, and he watched Wufei's expression change from one of confusion to one of... Something soft. Something accepting, something almost tender that wasn't a cage, wasn't a rope, wasn't a noose to tie him with. Just... And Duo couldn't stop himself, he kept talking, god he couldn't stop, even though he desperately wanted to. “I'm in it for you, 'Fei. I don't—I don't wanna get back on a fuckin' ship n'know I ain't comin' back 'less I have another fuckin' breakdown, I want—I want space, I want my fuckin' freedom but Jesus, Wufei, please,” he felt so weak and disgusting, like a man begging to be saved. “I want you. God help I'm so fuckin' selfish, but I want my freedom and I want you, too.”
Duo looked down at his hands, taking deep, gulping breaths, so close to panic he could feel the urge to run racing up his legs. He started to get up. He started to get up and gasped when Wufei grabbed him by the lapels and yanked him in close, staring at him with those dark, dark eyes. They were brown, Duo noticed. A dark, clear brown.
“If you think I'm going to let you walk out that door, Maxwell,” Wufei hissed, his voice delicate. “If you think I'm going to let you leave me without your solemn vow you're coming back, I'll never—never look at you again. Do you understand me. I'm not leaving, Duo, so you can't leave.” Wufei's voice was stained with a desperation Duo hadn't been able to recognize in himself, but heard clearly as Wufei pressed their forehead together, the bridges of their noses side by side, their breath mingling, the smell and taste of plum on their lips. “You can't leave me without promising me you'll come back, Duo. You have to come back.”
There was something important, there. There was something horrible and dark and important as Wufei's hands fisted bone-grindingly hard in his jacket and clenched, pulled him closer, jerked him a little. “You have to come back to me.”
Maybe someone had left Wufei. Maybe he'd lost someone. Duo didn't know what the cause was but he reached up and took Wufei's tight fists in his hands, smoothed his thumbs over the white knuckles. He listened to Wufei's breath even out, very slowly. Listened to his hisses become panting, watched his eyes squeeze closed and was somehow not surprised to see tears on his cheeks, his bared teeth. Wufei had always been so emotional. Duo wasn't sure who Wufei thought he'd been fooling during the war but it had always seemed so clear to him that Wufei was soft on the inside where it mattered, just like Trowa. That he probably bruised like a peach and was thus afraid to let anyone close enough to do any damage.
Duo was close enough to do damage. A lot of damage, he could see now that he knew what he was looking at. He brought Wufei's hand up to his mouth, kissed his knuckles. Kissed his fingers, leaned forward to kiss his lips. They tasted like plum, sweet and tart as Duo licked them, licked into them, tasted Wufei's tongue against his own. The kiss was not frantic, not yet. He kissed Wufei's chin, his cheeks and the bridge of his straight nose. He kissed Wufei's hairline, his temple, his ear.
“I won't leave,” Duo promised. “I ain't gonna leave you, 'Fei. I swear. Need you too bad.”
“Need you too,” Wufei whispered, his voice tight and his eyes squeezed closed. Duo kissed his eyelids, the crease in his brow. He dropped little kisses all over Wufei's face until the tension in his jaw disappeared, until he was relaxed, his hands now only holding on to Duo's shirt, instead of grabbing at him. The frightened desperation had fled as quickly as it had come.
Wufei had dropped his plum to the low table. Duo had squeezed his to a juicy pulp, and together the two of them licked his fingers clean between tired laughs and soft, soft kisses.
The supercargo Santa Helena came back to L5 a week later. Duo had input the lists of requests onto his tablet and grudgingly allowed Wufei to transfer credits into his known accounts, to at least make the business seem legitimate.
“I'll be back soon,” he promised, as Wufei looked at the floor, at the ship, at anything but him. “Hey, 'Fei. Look at me.” Duo reached out and took Wufei gently by the chin, brought his head up to face him. He had a feeling that if anyone else had done that, they'd have lost an arm. “I'll be back soon. Two or three weeks, tops. Okay?”
“Okay,” Wufei breathed out, visibly trying to relax. Duo smiled, leaned forward to press their foreheads together and wasn't surprised when Wufei wound his arms around his waist on the inside of his coat. Duo let him, pressed his cheek to the side of Wufei's head and listened to him speak against his throat.
“Promise you'll come back, Duo.”
Wufei let go after a moment, clearly disgusted with himself for getting so emotional. “Go on,” he said, trying very hard not to look as flustered as he felt. “Get out of here already. The sooner you leave, the sooner you can come back.”
“Yeah,” Duo laughed, and reached up beneath his braid to unhook the clasp on the little gold cross he wore. His nice one—the one given to him by the woman his ship had been named for—was kept in the captains quarters; this was the one he wore every day. The cross itself was smooth and worn to the shape of his clavicle, and as he hooked the clasp around Wufei's neck he had to smile that it cradled perfectly against his body. “It's a promise,” he said, when Wufei opened his mouth. “I'm gonna come back for that, so you better still be here.”
Wufei looked at him and Duo felt an eternity pass between them as they stood there on the launch deck. “I'll be here,” he whispered. “I told you. I promised. I won't leave.”
“And I promise I'll come back,” Duo replied, giving him one last kiss as the horn sounded for launch. “Need you too bad, to be gone for long, trust me. Even though,” he tapped the cross that hung on Wufei's chest. “It looks good on you.”
Duo offered him a smile, backed away. He didn't let go until he had to, dashing aboard just as the hatch doors were closing. Wufei was ushered out of the bay, the area locked down before the doors to the vacuum of space opened up beyond. Duo stood on board the Santa Helena, rubbing at the place on his neck where Wufei had sucked a passionate bruise as he'd ridden him up and down, clutched desperately at him, tore his fingernails over his skin and driven himself to the edge and backed away over and over, so many times that when Duo finally yanked him down and held him in place, fucked up against him he'd screamed out his name, wrapped his arms around Duo's neck and shaken to pieces. Duo had never known such an incredible lover and he knew, quietly, that he never would need to know another.
Wufei would wait for him. He'd be there, when Duo got back. He trusted Wufei, and Wufei trusted him. That made the return worth any parting, any wait in the world.