How It's Not Supposed To Be




I'm cold.


Sore, too, and stiff.  My back aches, from falling asleep on the cold hard metal floor, and the...evidence of the last hour's activity is drying to a crust on my skin. I'm gonna get zits on my stomach.  And we won't even go into the tangled mess that is my hair.


Oh, it's great for a while, I don't deny that.  Adrenaline's pumping, hormones are high, we run like hell for the nearest enclosed space and fuck each other senseless, then collapse in an exhausted heap on the floor.


Then after a while, the afterglow starts to fade.  The bruises start to ache on the bodies we already abuse the hell out of, and I invariably get cold.  That's my body's reaction to everything strenuous--I freeze.  And Heero wraps me up in whatever scratchy, holey, wornout blanket we've managed to get our hands on, but it's never enough, even when I cuddle up against him and he holds me in his arms.


So why do I keep doing it?


Because I love him, of course.


I wasn't actually sure for a while.  He's beautiful, and entrancing, and I'm enough of a danger nut that I find that attitude of his incredibly erotic.  And I'm a healthy teenage boy, you know?  No matter how much energy I spend blowing up the bad guys, there's always more.  Especially when it comes to sex.  So I saw him, wanted him, seduced him, slept with him.


But there's more to it than that now.  I can't pinpoint just when I first noticed it--that sadness, the soft vulnerability in his eyes that makes me want to rearrange the planets for him, or wish I could single-handedly defeat Oz and turn back time just to protect him, and keep him from ever having to kill anyone again.


Me.  Protect him.  What a thought.  But it's true.


Terrorist or not, he's a better person than me--as pure as they come, and sometimes I feel like if I drink enough of him into me, that I can touch some of that purity too.  Because I'm as tarnished and dirty as they come--at the ripe old age of fifteen, I think I've borne witness to every awful, sordid, despicable thing people can do to each other.  And I don't even blink at it anymore.


Lucky for me I've seen some good things too, or what the hell am I fighting for?  But there are good people out there, lots of them, and they're the reason I risk my ass fighting every other damn day.  Because I'm already ruined, I may as well make myself useful.


Heero hates it when I talk like that.  He continues to labour under the delusion that I'm secretly as pure as he is.  The only holiness I can lay claim to is that of an avenging angel, purging the world of sin--


But wouldn't the world be better off with people in it?


So here I am, on the floor of a what's basically a broom-closet on a spaceship that's not likely to survive the next battle, wrapped in a scratchy blanket while dozing in the afterglow of what's supposed to be a horrible carnal sin.


It's not supposed to be this way--stealing furtive moments in the silent pauses of violent nights, every lovemaking its own good-bye because we might die tomorrow and never get to say it.  Wondering if we'll last, or if we'll end up alone, and either way how the hell are we supposed to go on?


I always thought there'd be something more.  I don't know, something wholesome I guess.  A house with a flower garden, video rentals, and cooking spaghetti sauce from somebody's old family recipe.  A house full of kids, maybe, and having people over for holidays.  A dog in the backyard--a Husky or a German shepherd, I like those.  A big, playful, loveable dog.


And a real bed.  King-sized, with a goose-down duvet and lots of pillows.  I think that's the first thing I want when all this is over--well, that and a place to put it, of course.  I'd like to make love with Heero on a real bed...hell, I'd like to just sleep next to him on it, to watch him sink down into the mattress 'cause I know he's never had one either, to wake up in the morning in that state of perfect euphoric bliss because the blankets are /just/ the right weight and warmth, and not have to get up and face death again.


World peace and a king-sized's not that much to ask for,  is it?


But that's all a dream right now.  This is our world--this corner of dark cold metal, the rush of bloodlust and the psychotic thrill of courting death.  Fevered sex that leaves us both with bruises, the only release from a battle that scrapes away the edges of our sanity til we barely remember we're human, and whatever wishes I can make for us while I'm huddled and shivering in the void of space.


"Duo," he says, his fingers catching the knots in my hair as he strokes it.  A little more pain doesn't matter anymore, because I can no longer imagine a life without it.  Something in his voice--the catch, the way it trembles just a little on my name--tells me he's about to start again.  Just in case we fail, Duo.  If we don't live through tomorrow, Duo.  And I know I won't let him say it, just like I never let him say it.  I can't stand to hear it.  But always he tries, as if telling me he loves me first would make it all if I didn't already know.


"Don't say it, Heero."


"I was just thinking--"


"Heero!"  Pain in my voice, enough to surprise even me. 


He kisses me silent, adjusts the blanket around my shoulders.  "Hush.  I was just thinking, Duo.  When all this is over, I'd like to learn to cook.  Or maybe to can't be that hard after all we've done, can it?  Piloting a boat?"


I tighten my arms around him, bury my face in his neck, and he kisses a soft line down my temple.  "Will you learn with me, Duo?  When it's all over?" he asks.


"If we can buy a bed," I whisper. 


His finger slips beneath my chin, tilts my face up so I can see his eyes, and the moist shining in those blue depths he'll never show to anyone but me.   "Of course we will," he murmurs, and kisses me again.  "That's how it's supposed to be."