torch, November - December 2000 (January 2001)

Disclaimer: Bandai, Sotsu, Sunrise. Thanks to elynross and !Super Cat. Do not archive this story without permission.

What it's like

Going inside, Trowa pulled the door shut behind himself. The windows would let in enough air. He didn't want a rabbit wandering in by mistake. Turning towards the right half of the house, he found that Heero was sitting up in bed, the one nearest the back wall, with his arms wrapped around his updrawn knees. Heero looked up at Trowa, his blue gaze a little less focused than usual. "Have you ever touched anyone?" he asked abruptly. "Have you ever really... touched?"

Trowa walked closer and looked down at his hands uncertainly. Thought about reaching out to touch smooth metal, and the tones from the flute reaching out to touch those from the violin, and about fingers brushing accidentally over a box of strawberries. Thought about cleaning and caring for Heero's unmoving body until he knew it as well as his own. Thought about burying his hands in a lion's scratchy mane, and about Zora's light, undemanding kiss. "I don't know," he said finally.

Heero's eyes were distant, and he nodded, once. "I don't know either," he said. "I don't know what it's like." He was drawing the tip of one finger down the inside of his arm, as if testing to see that he was really there.

It only took one more step, and Trowa was right there, sitting down next to Heero. He put his hand over Heero's and let his finger move, too, over that soft skin. When he reached Heero's wrist he could feel the pulse, slow and unhurried. He curled his hand around the wrist and rubbed his thumb across Heero's palm, tracing the shallow bowl of its curve, the lines crossing it. Stroking his fingers up over the back of the hand, he could feel bones moving under the skin. There was roughness over the knuckles. Heero had long fingers and brutally short nails.

Turning Heero's hand over, Trowa saw the faint, fading mark where the last IV port had pierced the skin. He put his fingertip to it, could barely feel it, and instead lifted Heero's hand to his mouth and rubbed his lower lip against the mark, and then the tip of his tongue. Yes, there it was. He went on to taste the knuckles, sliding his tongue over the bumps, and then licked up along Heero's index finger and sucked it into his mouth. The taste of soap was a transient sensation, and under that was just skin. Trowa ran his tongue over the nail, down around the joints, and then slid his mouth over the middle finger as well, sucking on both together, feeling the pads rub against his tongue and the inside of his cheeks.

When he looked up, he saw that Heero was watching him in something akin to shock; Heero's eyes had widened, but his mouth had thinned. Trowa cupped both his hands around Heero's one, let go of the fingers, and pressed a kiss against the palm. "I think some of it is like this," he said. His fingers kept moving over Heero's hand, touching the skin between the fingers, finding the soft spot between the thumb joint and the wrist. "Do you — do you like it?"

"I don't know." Heero put his free hand on Trowa's chest, fingers spread out like a starburst. Trowa waited to be pushed away, off the bed, away from Heero's soft skin, but Heero just rested his hand there for a little while. Then he stroked his fingertips down Trowa's chest, very lightly. When he got below the edge of the ribcage it began to tickle; Trowa felt his stomach muscles flutter, and Heero jerked his hand away, taking his other hand out of Trowa's grasp, as well.

They looked at each other. Trowa reached out, keeping the motion slow, took Heero's hand again, and put it back on his chest. "I guess you're not ticklish," he said. "Just — not so light, okay?"

"Okay." Heero nodded, with a trace of something that might be a smile, and trailed his fingers over Trowa's skin more firmly... then pushed Trowa down flat on the bed and held him there with one hand, and ran the fingers of his other hand over Trowa's stomach, with the lightest of light tickling touches.

Trowa squeaked.

He wrapped both hands around Heero's wrist and tugged, but he might as well have tried to shift his Gundam barehanded. Heero kept tickling him, and Trowa wriggled, and thrashed, and couldn't stop the laughter rising out of him until he was gasping for air; he let go of Heero's wrist to bat at the tickling hand, but kept missing it, he was laughing so hard. When he couldn't even laugh because he couldn't catch his breath, Heero stopped.

Trowa felt dizzy, and the echoes of his own laughter were ringing in his ears. He stared up at the ceiling, dark broad beams with the occasional light drapery of cobweb. He could feel the blood pounding all through his body. When he started counting the beams from the wall and out towards the middle of the room, his breathing slowed. Then Heero came into his field of vision, leaning over him, eyes gone hard again to hide the insecurity. Trowa didn't want that. He reached up and took hold of Heero's shoulder and pulled.

Heero let himself fall, slowly, until he was sprawled over Trowa and they were almost nose to nose. And that was... "This is touching," Trowa said. He fitted his fingertips into the shallow groove of Heero's spine and let them run all the way down to the edge of the spandex shorts. He could feel Heero's chest against his own, and one of Heero's knees was digging into his thigh. "This is what it feels like." The skin on his belly was still oversensitive from Heero's attack and he felt faint muscle tremors when anything shifted against it, flesh or spandex.

Propped up on one elbow, Heero brought his other hand to Trowa's face. Trowa kept his eyes fixed on Heero's as he felt the side of his face cupped in a firm grip, kept his eyes on Heero's even as his head was tilted slowly from side to side. Heero drew his thumb over Trowa's mouth and chin, traced the outline of his lips. Trowa pushed the tip of his tongue out, running it over the whorls of Heero's thumbprint. He smiled a little, and Heero smoothed a fingertip along his eyebrow, following its arch repeatedly and then stroking under the eye instead, tracing a line just under the lower lashes, then touching the cheekbone, up along the zygomatic arch, finding the top of his ear and following its whorls down to the lobe. Trowa imagined Heero's finger dipped in paint, drawing patterns on him. Patterns that looked like the thin cracks in the ceiling beams, perhaps.

Lying so still was difficult. Trowa pushed at Heero, who wasn't resisting now, and they rolled over. He rubbed his face into Heero's shoulder, smelling a little soap there, too, and trailed kisses down the arm, the undamaged one, smooth and strong. In the crook of the elbow he hunted with his lips and tongue for more needle marks, found none. Heero tensed up a little, pushing. "That feels good." Trowa flicked his tongue right there again, and again. He knew the exact shape of every part of Heero's arm. His tongue followed the veins, pressing down so he could feel them.

On the inside of the upper arm, Heero's skin was even softer than down over the wrist, and tasted more of sweat, of two days' travel in a hot climate. The veins were like rivers on a map. Trowa drew his teeth over the curve of Heero's shoulder, feeling the muscle density under the skin. He burrowed in and bit at the join of shoulder and neck, flicking his tongue over the flesh trapped between his teeth, and Heero bucked under him, nearly throwing him off. Trowa cautiously moved his jaw to make sure it wasn't broken. "Sorry."

Heero's hands dug into his back. "Do that again."

"If you promise not to knock my teeth out," Trowa said, and did it again. Heero was taut with suppressed vibration, like a tightrope, but held still. Trowa worked his way around Heero's neck and throat, found the same spot on the other side, and investigated it with his mouth, licking and sucking and biting. He could feel Heero press up against him, hard, all of him. Both of them. Kissing his way up Heero's throat, he chewed on an ear lobe for a while.

They were rocking together, rubbing slowly against each other. Trowa felt trapped behind the fly of his jeans. He rolled off Heero and sat up, and snapped the elastic of Heero's spandex shorts. Heero pushed himself up on his elbows, looking at Trowa; when he saw Trowa begin to unfasten his jeans, he rolled over to one side and stretched out a hand to help. Their fingers tangled, and Trowa lost the battle over who would get to undo the buttons. Heero snapped the buttons open and slid his hand inside, and Trowa sucked in air between his teeth, pressing his cock against Heero's palm. The back of his neck felt soft and hot; it was the only thing he could feel apart from Heero touching him. Heero's touch was slow, methodical. He looked up and said, "It's different."

Trowa could only nod. It was very different. He wanted to get out of his jeans, but he was caught by Heero's hand, the steady movements of it, small and confined. He looked down first, to see it happen, but then he looked at Heero instead and the intent look on Heero's face. Trowa wasn't sure anyone had ever looked at him with such perfect concentration before. He knew no one had ever touched him like this.

An insect was fluttering around the lampshade of the bedside lamp. Its wings seemed to move just like the sensations inside him. Trowa broke away from the blueness of Heero's eyes, just so he could breathe. Suddenly Heero let go of him, and he turned his head with a sound of protest to find that Heero was licking his own fingers. Heat flowed over him and he shivered so hard he could barely get his jeans off. And Heero was still in that damn spandex; Trowa threw his jeans on the floor next to his shoes and started to roll the spandex shorts down, away from Heero's sweat-damp skin. Heero wriggled, and groped under the small of his back and brought up his gun. It didn't look as though Heero meant to shoot, so Trowa went on undressing him.

The spandex shorts puddled on top of the jeans, and Trowa turned back to Heero, who was lying back on his elbows again, his hair falling in his eyes, all of him bare except for the bandage around his left arm. There was a stillness about him that was nothing like peace, and Trowa leaned forward and licked at the head of Heero's cock, at the liquid that welled up there and had left a wet slick spot on Heero's stomach, and he heard for the first time how Heero drew in a sharper, quicker breath.

Bitterness filled Trowa's mouth, and he tasted again, running his tongue all around. It wasn't a bad taste. It was better than eggplant. He sucked and felt his cheeks hollow, pushed at the foreskin with his tongue. When he brought his hand up and worked his mouth down he could hold almost all of Heero's cock with palm and fingers and lips and tongue, and then he had to pull back and breathe and move his aching jaw. He looked at Heero's face, saw a faint flush. There were so many places he hadn't touched yet.

With his hand still stroking Heero's cock, Trowa put his mouth against the edge of Heero's ribs, where Heero wasn't ticklish, and licked. He kissed up along the ribs, kissed the hollow at the center of Heero's chest, then brushed his lips over the closest nipple and felt the skin draw together at his touch. Biting a little seemed like a good thing to do, and Heero fell back, lying flat on the bed, and Trowa followed him down, licking and chewing and stroking. Heero clenched his hand around Trowa's shoulder, a bit too hard, and Trowa lifted his head. "Ow."

"Sorry," Heero said on a short gasp, and grasped the bedcovers instead. Trowa shifted upwards and found that place where shoulder met neck again; Heero was thrusting up into his hand, against his palm, and breathing hard. Shivering. When Trowa bit down and stroked faster, he heard the bedclothes rip. The sound seemed to tear Heero free from his silence, and he growled on a rising pitch, hips jerking with more force. Trowa worked his hand faster, almost holding his breath, as though he were the one trembling with tension, striving for release. He could feel the pulse beat in Heero's throat.

All the same, it took him by surprise, the quick twist and arch, the sharp cry, and he lifted his head to see Heero's face contort, and then relax into something utterly unlike his usual expression. Trowa slowed his hand, stopped. His palm was wet and sticky. He licked at it and wondered about sucking and swallowing. Maybe next time. Heero was unmoving, eyes closed, and Trowa pushed at him. "Don't fall asleep."

"Why not," Heero said, and even his voice was relaxed, but then he opened his eyes and rolled over on his side so they were facing each other and Trowa could feel the viscid spatters on Heero's skin against his own stomach and chest. He rubbed up against Heero's hipbone, feeling the edge of it along the length of his cock. Heero pushed Trowa's head up, butting at it with his own, like a cat, and sucked at his throat. That was nice, but then Heero slid lower in the bed to lick at Trowa's nipples and that was far beyond nice, that was a sensation that cut like ice through the fuzzy heat. And Heero's hand was on his cock again, like before, moving in short light strokes.

Trowa realized he was on his back now, as Heero had been, and his left foot dangled over the edge of the bed, and with every breath he breathed in the mingled smells of himself and Heero. Overwhelmed by it all, he closed his eyes against the lamp's yellow glow to feel more clearly what was happening. Slow kisses moving down his chest to his stomach, firm enough not to tickle. Dip of tongue in his navel, and Trowa made a sound of displeasure.

Then Heero's mouth was on his cock, and his mind shorted out in a crackle of white static. His breath caught in his throat and his chest ached. More of this, his heart beat with single-minded prayer, more of this more of this more of this, running through him faster and faster. He tried to take hold of what he wanted, but it was elusive and insubstantial and not quite there... and then it took him, swift and hard, in a clean rush of delight.

Insect wings beat against the lampshade, as fast as the beating of his heart.

When Trowa opened his eyes again, Heero was sitting up and wiping his mouth on the torn sheet. Trowa reached out a slow hand and tugged at him. "Come here." Heero dropped the sheet and lay down, half on top of Trowa, warm and damp and heavy. That felt good. Trowa rubbed his cheek against Heero's hair, and strands of it clung to his skin. There was something reassuring about feeling Heero breathe against his throat. He looked at the thin cracks in the ceiling beams again, tried to find a path among them that would look like the roads they'd driven from Marseilles all the way to this little house.

Heero shifted and lifted his head again. He looked at Trowa, and looked at him, and then kissed him on the mouth. At first it felt strange, and then it felt right. Trowa smiled into the kiss. He pushed his hand into Heero's hair, but Heero drew back a little to meet his eyes again.

"I like it," he said.

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