The mansion became a madhouse within the span of a few hours.
Before the police had even finished questioning everyone, the press was at the gate, shouting questions and trying to get a glimpse of the infamous Gorgenstern Butcher. Heero didn't manage to get rid of them all until close to dinner time, with Wufei and Duo 'helping' by practically threatening the more tenacious reporters.
Heero was surprised at how quickly Relena pulled herself together. He hadn't expected her to emerge from her room until the next morning at the earliest, but when she came down for dinner she had washed and changed into one of her nicer outfits, and was all smiles. Only Heero, who knew her best, could see the faint shadow of remaining fear still lingering in the backs of her eyes. But she insisted she was all right, and that she was just glad the whole mess was over and done with, and there would be no more casualties.
Duo took one look at her radiant smile and fetched a bottle of wine from the kitchens. Dinner was a happy affair; it was as if a dark cloud had lifted. Then unexpected guests arrived, all of them there to check on Relena and join in the celebration. Dorothy arrived first with-- of all things --a fruit basket. But then, Heero allowed, she had always been a bit strange. Quatre brought Rashied in, and then Catherine showed up, which seemed to surprise Trowa a bit.
With the threat of the killer gone, conversation could turn to happier things. The girls chattered with Relena about her up-coming wedding; Duo told jokes that had Quatre nearly spitting his wine across the table; Wufei got into a debate with Trowa about whether or not swords trumped guns. Heero spoke little, sitting back and sipping at his wine as he simply took it all in. He was glad to see everyone smiling again, but he couldn't make himself relax. In the back of his head, his instincts were cringing and twitching and saying "Something about this is not right".
How could Pearson be the Butcher? He'd been caught in the act, but Heero was having a hard time wrapping his mind around it. Partly because he'd trusted the man, but also because he couldn't understand why Pearson would have such an intense interest in the politics that overshadowed the killings.
It did fit in some ways, if he thought about it, Heero mused, taking another sip of wine and watching the animated way Duo spoke, waving his arms in the air as Rashied looked on, unimpressed. Even Wufei had mentioned that it was likely the killer was already on the grounds: how else would the recent 'pranks' have been pulled off? Relena's cat, the body in the panic room, the oatmeal incident...
What was he forgetting?
He frowned down at his wineglass. Damn. What year had Duo brought out? It was strong-- and beginning to make his mind just a little bit fuzzy. He placed it on the table firmly. That was quite enough of that. He would just drink water and wait for it to--
"HEY!" He almost jumped at Duo's abrupt yell. He looked quickly down the table, hand already dropping to his holster, but Duo was on his feet and pointing accusingly towards him. "Hell no, pick that shit up," he hollered.
"Duo, if he doesn't like it..." Quatre started to protest.
"Hey, in case the rest of you forgot," Duo interrupted, spreading his arms and looking around meaningfully, "a certain ex-pilot didn't get to officially celebrate his twenty-first birthday. And if I know Mister Obey the Law Heero Yuy, that means..." he pointed again, triumphant, "this is the first time he's ever had alcohol in his life! So drink up, damn it. We'll help you make up for it."
Heero opened his mouth to argue, but for some reason everyone else seemed to find Duo's logic infalible.
"Oh~ that's right," Relena exclaimed, putting a hand to her mouth. "Heero was off-planet on his birthday!"
"Heero, you've never drank?" Quatre asked in surprise. Heero stared at him. The boy was younger than him by several months; he'd assumed Quatre had never tasted alcohol before tonight, either.
"Get him drunk!" Dorothy crowed.
Even Wufei turned traitor. "Yuy, seeing you drunk will make my night," he proclaimed with a little smirk.
"Get something stronger!" Catherine yelled, nearly sloshing her fifth cup of wine all over the table.
"I've got just the thing." Duo was sprinting out of the room before anyone could stop him.
He was back in just a few minutes, grinning like a loon and cradling a brown paper back. "Brought this baby with me safe and sound all the way from L2," he chortled, plunking it down on the table in front of Heero and motioning for Trowa to pass him a glass. "This shit could knock a horse on its ass."
Heero glared suspiciously at the bag. "I don't want any."
Everyone ignored him.
Duo pulled the bottle out of the bag and quickly twisted off the cap. "Somebody get me something to water this down a bit. Relena, do you even have any sodas in this place?"
They seemed to have reached a temporary truce after he'd assisted in saving her earlier. She motioned to the blank-faced manservant waiting by the door. "Of course I do, don't be silly. Daniel, can you bring a few sodas, please?"
"I don't want any," Heero repeated a little louder as Duo poured a little bit of the amber liquid into the glass.
"Shut up, Heero," Duo said with a grin. "This is a night for celebration, and we might as well lump your birthday in with it. Don't be a pussy."
Heero gave him a Look, but Daniel reappeared with several cans of soda just then, and everyone got up from their seats and clustered around Heero to watch. Heero leaned back in his chair as Duo poured half a can of soda into the cup. "Come on, Heero, it's not poison or anything," Duo teased. "Look, I'll even mix it a bit for ya so you don't hit all the alcohol on the bottom." He pulled a knife out of his boot and used it to stir the drink a few times. He stood back when he was done, wiping the blade absently on his jeans and grinning from ear to ear. "All yours, Heero! Drink up!"
Heero scowled at his friends, who were all waiting eagerly for him to obey. "I don't want to drink," he said firmly.
"Oh, come on, Heero, don't be such a stick-in-the-mud," Relena giggled. "Everyone's entitled to a night or two of silliness. You don't have to get drunk. But a little alcohol will relax you."
"And if anyone needs to relax, it's you," Quatre pointed out.
Heero sighed and eyed his drink distrustfully.
Oh, what the hell.
He picked it up and slammed the whole drink down in one gulp.
Everyone but Trowa erupted in whoops of surprise and appreciation.
"AHAHA Ohshit, Heero, get some water," Duo managed to gasp.
Heero was already snatching up the glass Trowa was offering. He took three large swallows, trying to get rid of the burning that seemed to go from his throat all the way to his stomach, which was apparently in flames. He coughed once, blinking a few times when his eyes watered.
"It tastes like gasoline," he growled breathlessly.
Duo was too busy laughing to answer.
Trowa had picked up the bottle and was sniffing at it. After a moment he took an experimental swig. Everyone stared, waiting for his reaction. He shrugged after a moment and placed the bottle back down. "The mercenaries I grew up with drank something similar," he noted calmly. "They used it to start fires when they were low on coal. They called it Hell Water."
Wufei seemed a bit disappointed at his unenthusiastic reaction. "Are you kidding?" He snatched up the bottle. "Heero, you have no tolerance for alcohol whatsoever." He took a big gulp.
..And promptly spat half of it across the table, spraying Relena and Catherine, who squealed and jumped back. Trowa burst out laughing, earning a startled glance from both Catherine and Quatre. Wufei tried to curse him, but was too busy coughing to get out a coherant sentence.
Duo was leaning on the table for support, laughing until his face turned red.
After that, everyone had to have a taste of the Hell Water. They all took a swig, with reactions similar to Heero's. Only Rashied and Dorothy could take it with the same casualness as Trowa. More soda was brought out, and Duo poured glasses for everyone. Heero stopped himself from arguing at the last minute when a tall glass of the stuff was shoved his way. If everyone wanted to relax and have a good time, he wasn't about to stop them. Besides, the killer was gone and the guards were alert and at their stations. What harm could one night of revelry do? It was something he had never in his life allowed himself to do, and if he wanted to be as human as Relena-- and even Duo --seemed to want him to be, this seemed like the perfect way to prove he was no longer "Soldier Boy", incapable of having any fun.
It was a good thing the nearest neighbors were a mile away, because things got noisy very quickly. Jokes and stories were told, good-natured ribbing was done, and even Heero found himself laughing with the others after the bottom of his second glass. Relena didn't so much as frown when Duo lit up a cigarette.
A third drink appeared in front of Heero moments after he'd finished off his second, and he started in on it without thinking, most of his concentration on Wufei. He'd never seen Wufei so laid-back before; he was flushed from the alcohol and trying not to snicker as he informed everyone of something ridiculous Trowa had done, losing him several "cool points" as Duo called it.
Everything seemed a bit muted, and it was hard to focus both his attention and his eyes. But Heero had never felt so relaxed and content. Everyone was happy. It was a pleasant feeling. He glanced over at Duo, who was laughing uproariously, leaning back in his chair and holding a hand to his forehead. Duo looked over at him as if he felt Heero's eyes on him, and offered him a slow grin that made Heero feel as warm as the alcohol did.
Everything was perfect.
Until he stood up.
Halfway through his third glass, Heero became aware of the fact that his bladder was in danger of bursting. He pushed back his chair and rose to his feet--
And almost fell back into his chair again.
He gripped the edge of the table and stared wildly at its surface as the entire room dipped and spun a bit around him. It was a terrifying feeling. He was suddenly unsure if he could control his own motor functions, and could not figure out why he felt as if he'd just stepped off of a rollercoaster.
"Uh oh," came Duo's voice, faint through the roaring in his ears. "Looks like it all finally hit." A moment later a warm hand landed between his shoulder blades, and Duo was speaking loudly right in his ear. "Calm down, man. If you freak out or move too fast, you're gonna get sick. Just wait for it to pass, then move real careful, all right? You'll be fine. All the alocohol just rushed to your head; you'll feel better in a minute."
Heero nodded a few times, which made him even dizzier, so he stopped that nonsense quickly.
Relena appeared on his other side, visibly trying not to smile at his condition. "Can you make it to the bathroom all right?"
"I'm fine," Heero insisted. He was not, but that was besides the point.
"Yuy's gonna puke," Dorothy drawled.
Heero looked up and tried to focus enough to glare at the woman. "I will not puke," he said firmly. He blinked, looking around in confusion. Everyone seemed to be getting up and carrying their drinks out of the room.
"We're movin' the party to the living room," Duo told him. "The servants need to clean up in here. So just meet us out there when you're done, okay?"
Heero waved his hand to show he understood. Relena ruffled his hair fondly and moved away. She and Dorothy linked arms and followed the others, leaning on each other and giggling about something.
Heero glanced at Duo, who hadn't moved. The other man was gazing thoughtfully at Quatre, who hadn't gotten up from his seat, yet. He flicked Heero a look. "You sure you can make it to the bathroom?"
"I'm fine," Heero repeated. He felt less dizzy already.
"All right. I'm gonna go have a little chat with Quatre. He looks sufficiently boozed-up enough to spill his guts. I'll see you in a minute." And he made a bee-line for the blonde.
Heero waited another moment to make sure he knew which foot was which, then made his slow way out of the room. He was halfway upstairs before he remembered that there was a bathroom on the ground floor.
Screw it, he thought stubbornly, clinging to the rail. He wasn't about to turn around and start all over again. He was half afraid he would fall down the stairs, anyway. It seemed being drunk was not all it was cracked up to be. No more glasses of Hell Water. Ever.
Muttering under his breath, he made the long, slow ascent, and managed to get to the bathroom without incident. He propped his hand against the wall behind the toilet to keep himself steady while he took what felt like the longest piss in history.
He stumbled down the steps when he was done, still clinging to the banister. He almost ran into Duo at the foot of the stairs.
"Whoa, there." Duo reached out and steadied him, laughing a little. "Feel better?" He sniffed at the air. "Well at least you don't smell like barf. But I think you've had enough to drink for tonight."
"Yes," Heero agreed firmly.
Duo laughed again, then glanced over his shoulder. "Hey, I just had a talk with Quatre," he said quietly. Heero had to lean forward a bit to hear him. Duo's hands on his shoulders were probably all that kept him from falling against his friend. "The shit is even more convoluted than I thought, man. You're not gonna believe what I found out." He cut himself off abruptly as Catherine emerged from the living room, staggering in the direction of the bathroom.
"What?" Heero demanded.
"Hold on. I don't want anyone else overhearing." Duo glanced around, chewing on his lip, then turned Heero around and steered him towards the door under the stairs. "Get in the elevator real quick. No one will hear us there. We'll be back before they realize we're missing."
His logic made sense to Heero's fogged brain. He leaned against the wall and watched in detached fascination as Duo tugged a PDA from his back pocket and connected it to the security lock with a USB. After a moment there was a beep and a click, and the door opened a crack. Duo unplugged the device and shoved it in his pocket, grinning.
"What's that?" Heero asked, because he couldn't seem to make his brain focus enough to actually vocalize the thought "Why do you have that thing programmed to open this door?".
"This way you won't need your laptop if you ever wanna get down there," Duo explained, opening the door and ushering Heero inside. He stepped in after him and pulled the door shut behind them.
It was cramped, but Heero leaned against the wall and looked expectantly at his friend, determined to sharpen his focus enough to understand the story. It was none of his business, a little voice muttered rebelliously in the back of his mind. But Quatre's privacy seemed insignicant in his current state. "Well?"
"Okay, get this." Duo was grinning like the mad hatter, and Heero eyed him a bit suspiciously. Duo didn't seem nearly as wasted as he himself was. But then again, he allowed, Duo was probably used to drinking like this. Duo was practically rubbing his hands together in anticipation of Heero's reaction to his story. "All right, so this is what's really going on behind everyone's backs with Tro, Wufei, and Quat. Apparently, I've had it all backwards. Quatre's not the one in the middle here-- Trowa is."
Heero stared at him blankly, waiting for clarification.
Duo was only too happy to elaborate. "Quatre practically outed himself to me, man. Way too much to drink for that kid. He said he's bi or something. ANYWAY. It seems Quat has had a thing for Trowa for a long time. But get this-- so did Wufei. And guess who Trowa chose?" Duo waggled his eyebrows, still grinning widely. "Trowa and Wufei have been an item for like... two freaking years, man. It seems Quatre told Trowa how he felt about him three years ago, but Trowa just saw him as a friend. But he happened to have the hots for a certain mysoginist swordsman, who had secretly been wanting him for some time." Heero could only stare at him in surprise. Duo chuckled, eyes glowing. "And man, Quatre did NOT take it well. He thinks Wufei 'stole' Tro from him, man. It's insane. You remember how Wufei said he'd run into Quatre, but he didn't wanna talk about it? It's cuz Quatre basically cussed his ass out. Well, maybe not like that. But he told Wufei exactly what he thought of him. So those two are always tense around each other, and Tro and Quatre have this whole weird uncomfortable vibe between them now. And-- god, this is too funny --that night we heard the disturbance and thought Trowa and Wufei had been fighting in the den? They were making out, I'll bet money on it. I guess they just like it a little rough." He started laughing. "Can you believe it? It's hard to imagine Wufei with anyone. Jesus! Though maybe it explains why Wufei has such this big thing against women. And here I thought those two were fighting over Quatre this whole time--"
Heero kissed him.
It wasn't exactly planned, as his mind seemed to be lagging considerably and his body found it quite all right to do whatever it damn well pleased. One minute he was trying to absorb everything Duo was telling him, and the next he was leaning forward and pressing his mouth to Duo's open one.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Duo was completely frozen and unresponsive for a moment, but he got over his shock in record-breaking time. In five seconds flat, Heero found his back up against the wall, a hungry mouth on his, and eager hands worming their way under his shirt.
Heero reached up and seized that damned braid in one hand while the other found its way to one of Duo's narrow hips.
"Christ, it's about time," Duo breathed against his mouth. Before Heero could think up a response, Duo was kissing him again, and grinding his pelvis against Heero's-- which immediately destroyed any remnants of coherant thought anyway.
It seemed the alcohol made it impossible to think with more than one head at a time, and Heero was getting hard fast, and it was getting difficult to breathe properly. He forced his tongue past Duo's, encountering the faintest taste of cherries on the other man's lips before the aftertaste of tobacco still lingering on Duo's tongue.
He definitely did not taste like an ashtray. He tasted like something dark, dangerous, and forbidden. And god, Heero wanted it.
Duo was breathing harshly, and his fingers were fumbling at Heero's waist. A minute later there was the clink of a belt coming undone, then the sound of a zipper. Before Heero could fully process the meaning behind these vital facts, a hand was shoving past his pants and dipping inside to--
A curse spilled from Heero's mouth, and his head thumped back against the wall, the pain dulled considerably from the combination of pleasure and alcohol.
Duo's mouth found his throat, and the hand in his pants was doing evil incredible things that made Heero's hips arch forward of their own volition, his fingers digging dents into Duo's shoulders.
Duo mumbled something against his throat, his voice almost guttural, and he reached out blindly with his free hand, smacking it against the wall until he found the button by Heero's head. The elevator lurched, startling Heero, but a demanding mouth on his own and an increase of speed from the hand in his pants made anything else unimportant in comparison.
There was a thump a minute later, and Duo pulled away abruptly, leaving Heero gasping.
"In here," Duo muttered, reaching past him to shove open the door impatiently.
"Wh--" Heero tried to turn to look in confusion, but Duo was practically shoving him out of the elevator. He stumbled backwards into the panic room, and a moment later Duo was on him again, hands yanking at his shirt and teeth digging into the side of his neck.
Heero was incapable of reason or thought. He just wanted Duo's hands and mouth to finish what they'd started. Something in the back of his head was throwing a royal fit of epic proportions, but it he wasn't interested in paying attention to the many "WHAT ARE YOU DOING??" cries it was hurling his way.
"Lift your arms, Yuy," Duo muttered, and Heero obeyed automatically. Duo practically ripped his shirt off over his head, tossing it aside unceremoniously before divesting himself of his own shirt. This time when he pressed up against Heero, it was warm skin to warm skin. Duo was all flat planes and hard muscle, and Heero's hands tracked across a strong chest and abs as he fought to give as good as he got. Duo was wriggling a lot, and Heero couldn't understand why until he realized Duo was stepping out of his jeans and reaching for Heero's slacks.
As he gave the pants a tug, Heero hesitated for the first time. He drew back, blinking and trying to remember why this was a Bad Idea. "No no no, don't think," Duo whispered harshly, giving him a quick, sloppy kiss and giving the pants another insistant yank. "Don't think about it, damn it. Just fucking let yourself do something because you want to without thinking too much about it for once, Heero."
"But--" There was a reason this was wrong. Think. Oh yeah. "Rele--mmph!"
Duo removed his mouth from Heero's. "Screw Relena," he said fiercely.
Heero found that funny for some reason. He felt a laugh bubbling in his throat. "I thought I was screwing you."
Duo stared at him for a long moment, then grinned abruptly, all teeth and fierce affection. "I like you drunk," he decided. He kissed him again roughly and reached around to seize Heero's ass firmly. Something hard pressed into him from where Duo was clutching it in his fist. "Though I think you're a bit confused about a certain fact, Mr. Yuy," he murmured. "You're not the one who's doing the 'screwing'."
Duo silenced him with a hard kiss and slid his hand down the back of Heero's boxers. Heero jumped as a wet finger slipped down his crack.
Duo chuckled against his mouth and lifted his other hand to wag a small bottle of lotion in Heero's face. "Relax," he suggested. "Relax your muscles, or it's really gonna hurt, and we've gone way too far for me to stop myself." He arched a brow. "Not that you couldn't throw me across the room anyway."
Heero stared back at him, then tried to force his body to relax. Duo distracted him with kisses and did a quick, rough preparation. Heero winced, but refused to tighten his muscles. It hurt a bit, and it was uncomfortable, but--
Then Duo was pulling away, eyes dark with lust. His breathing was ragged and there was a subtle shadow to his expression. Fierce possession and determination. "Okay, sorry, but I can't wait any more. You're just gonna have to deal with a little pain." He spun Heero around and shoved him up against the wall. His mouth touched Heero's ear as he yanked Heero's boxers down to his knees. "But it gets better, if you let it," he promised in a murmur. Then strong hands were gripping his hips, and--
Heero jerked forward at the sudden invasion, clenching his teeth and pressing his palms flat to the wall. His muscles locked up automatically in an attempt to expel the invader, but Duo only grunted and forced himself in further.
"Re...lax," he panted against Heero's ear. "Relax, damn it. Or I'm gonna hurt you on accident."
Heero let his forehead thump against the wall and closed his eyes tightly, trying to do as Duo suggested. Closing his eyes only made it feel as if the floor was rocking under his feet, so he opened them again. His heart was thundering in his chest, and he was taking ragged gulps of air. He could feel Duo moving-- out, then in... Out.. in...
It felt odd and painful, but... But it was getting... Better.
"Jesus, Heero," Duo groaned, pressing his forehead to the back of Heero's head. Heero felt the other boy shudder violently behind him, then he was slamming into Heero fast and hard and--
Heero's nails dragged at the wall helplessly, a gasp tearing itself from his throat. His body was reacting on its own, canting his hips back and upwards, meeting Duo's desperate thrusts. The pain was something faint and unimportant. All that mattered was the feeling of flesh on flesh, and-- every now and then, Duo hit something deep inside of him-- something that made his vision white out for a moment and a flash of heat go through every nerve ending.
Someone moaned. It sounded like his voice.
"Fuck," Duo growled, voice distorted.
Teeth sank into the vulnerable side of his throat, almost hard enough to break the flesh, and Duo's fumbling hand found Heero's aching erection and began yanking at it. A moment later Duo slammed into him and hit that spot again.
Pleasure erupted in Heero's body, shocking him with its intensity, and he rocked back hard, burying Duo in him completely and making the pain/pleasure explode inside of him. His mouth opened in a soundless cry, and for a few moments he was sure he'd blacked out.
When he could see and breathe properly once more, he could only stand where he was, pressed up against the wall, legs shaking violently, barely keeping him upright. Duo was panting behind him, his fingers on Heero's hips trembling.
"Good god, Heero," he finally whispered, voice hoarse. "I think you almost killed me." He gave a weak little laugh, then pulled out. Heero winced a little, then decided abruptly that it would be a good idea to sit down.
"Whoops-- hold on a minute, Heero," Duo yelped, catching him and holding him upright. "You're gonna be a little too tender to sit down on any hard surface for awhile. C'mere." He helped Heero pull his boxers back up, then steered him towards the bunk beds. Heero collapsed bonelessly on the bottom bunk, stretching out on his stomach and trying to get his breathing and heart rate back to normal. He felt exhausted, and his mind was pleasantly foggy. He felt more sober somehow, but was too lethargic from the afterglow to let his thoughts untangle themselves.
He blinked heavily a few times, and was aware of possessive fingers trailing down his back.
"Sweet dreams, Heero," Duo murmured.
He was only vaguely aware of Duo getting dressed and heading for the elevator. Then Heero closed his eyes and allowed sleep to overtake him.
Author's Notes: mwahaha Only a couple chapters left ^___^
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