Duo had to resist the urge to jump when his partner gave him a pat on the left shoulder. "Well, we’re back to where we started so that means we’re done for the day. See you tomorrow." Toshi had the gall to appear happy at the moment, which really made Duo’s frayed temper even worse. Sure, they were finished with their shift – but it had been one hell of a rainy, miserable day. Most of the time he was happy to be on patrol duty - to spend the shift walking around and seeing the city, running into people and having some fun handling various problems - but not when it had been raining all damn day. It had started sometime last night and had only come down even harder during his shift. And as if to spite the fact that it was early summer, the day was pretty damn cold, too. Duo so wished that he was able to return to Esset so he could kick the asses of the elemental bounds who were responsible for this messed-up weather.
To make matters worse was that since he’d basically been out in the open all day, he hadn’t been able to use his power at all, not even to warm himself. That would have led to the temptation to evaporate all the water that had soaked into his uniform, hair and boots, which would have caused a cloud of steam to appear. After all, it would be a bit difficult to have to explain that he was a bound to any human who wasn’t fine with him being one.
"The bastards better appreciate what I’m suffering for their sakes," he growled under his breath as he headed home, not quite sure who the ‘bastards’ were. Once he reached the apartment, he could deal with being soaked, but not before then. It wasn’t even worth it to dive into a quiet alley along the way since he’d just get wet all over again during the ten block walk it took to reach home.
At least the rain was keeping the streets from being very crowded; the only people he’d seen out today had been fellow Guards and those unlucky enough to be stuck running errands. So when he noticed someone in a dark rain cloak standing at the end of the block under the bright blue awning of a bakery as if waiting for someone, he grew a little suspicious. It wasn’t until he noticed how his temper was fading that he realized who the person was. "Trowa?"
Pushing back the voluminous hood of his cloak, Trowa nodded once and smiled, the expression slight but heartfelt. "Duo." He raised his left hand, which contained a basket from which the scents of butter, flour and sugar radiated. "I thought you could use some croissants and this." In his other hand was an umbrella.
It was amazing how little it took for Duo to become so happy. First there was the fact that his mate was here unexpectedly and smiling at him, then there was the promise of sweets and now an umbrella which he desperately needed since the rain cloak he was wearing had a leaking seam down the back. "What are you doing here?" he had to ask, a little worried that something was wrong since he couldn’t possibly be this lucky; all his good fortune had been used up when Trowa became his mate.
Trowa stepped away from the awning and opened the umbrella, then motioned for Duo to join him beneath it. The two of them were pretty skinny and didn’t mind being close to each other, so they just fit. Duo had to smile when his shoulder bumped against his lover’s and Trowa merely leaned more toward him.
"I finished work early and wanted some croissants. They’ll be nice with a pot of strong coffee, I’m thinking." As he spoke, Trowa’s smile strengthened and a feeling of amusement flowed over their link.
About to tease his lover about enjoying the sweet pastries, Duo noticed that his clothes were slowly drying, even his thick, very wet socks. "Trowa?" he asked, his eyes widening when he realized what the bound was doing.
"Hush, no one will know unless you draw attention to it," was Trowa’s quiet reply. Which was true, really, as he probably was invisibly siphoning the water into the air or the already wet ground. Since the rain was so heavy and Duo mostly covered by his cloak, people wouldn’t even notice the color of his clothes lightening a little from the lack of water. Oh gods, did it feel *good* to walk and not have water squish between his toes.
"I love you," he moaned in pure contentment and bumped his shoulder against his mate’s. A slight hint of red colored Trowa’s cheeks and all he did was bow his head, but Duo could feel love over their link. Smiling like a happy idiot, he took the umbrella from Trowa’s right hand. "So, was it a good day at work?" It would be best to change the topic before Trowa felt forced to say something or grew embarrassed. There was also the fact that Duo was curious as to how the water element’s day had been. He hadn’t felt much from his mate over their link, just a sense of extreme concentration.
"It was a slow day, all in all. Most of the highborn kept to their estates because of the weather." Trowa shrugged, the motion more elegant than it had any right to be, and switched the basket to his right hand to keep it out of the rain. "I helped Birman organize some files before she left for a meeting, and she told me to go home." The wisp of a smile returning to his lips, he glanced at Duo. "Should I ask about yours? From what I felt, you weren’t happy today."
"No, dammit." Duo huffed a breath of air at the hair falling into his eyes – Trowa had even dried that, too. "It was boring as hell, my cloak’s leaking like a sieve and… well, I’m not as lucky as you when it comes to not being noticed over a few things." Now that all the water was gone, he used his talent to warm them both.
"I’ll ward it for you tonight since the rain won’t stop until tomorrow afternoon." Trowa’s voice could barely be heard over the wind and the rain and he looked skyward as if the umbrella wasn’t in the way. "I’ve decided it’s best to just control it once it hits the ground and direct it to where it’ll cause the least amount of damage rather than raise any suspicions."
Duo slowly realized that the concentration he’d felt all day wasn’t from Trowa organizing files. Concern washed through him as he quickened his pace so they’d get home faster. "Don’t make yourself sick again, Trowa." He didn’t want to dwell on how he’d handle his mate being so weak and ill, not when he’d been so worried the last time Trowa had used his talent too much – and they hadn’t any bonds between them other than friendship, back then.
"No." Trowa stopped looking toward the sky and slowly shook his head. "I’ve got the flows set up so it’s not that much work, really. There will be some flooding along the river since they’ll be expecting Kritiker to suffer from all the rain, but for the most part all the wells and cisterns in the area are going to be very full." He sighed, the sound weary and a little frustrated, and rubbed his eyes.
They were quiet for the remaining blocks to their home, Duo’s need to hold his mate growing with each step. As much as he’d accepted it years ago, the fact that life wasn’t very fair frustrated the hell out of him. Both of them were assigned to Kritiker as spies and were now traitors to Esset, and Trowa seemed to get stuck with all the hard work even though the risks they faced were equal. Duo didn’t mind being a Shadow Guard, not since most of the humans he dealt with on a daily basis knew what he was and didn’t give him any shit over the fact. While Trowa enjoyed being a spy, he had to be very careful about his true nature and had to interact with humans more than he’d like. Added to that was the fact that the water elemental always seemed stuck with manipulating the weather because of how Esset had royally fucked it up. Unless there was a huge forest fire, Duo wouldn’t be expected to use his talent very much, other than to assist Trowa with the weather fronts whenever he could. Since they didn’t want the old bastards to realize that they were traitors, they usually only lessened the storms as much as they could without being noticed, which left Trowa to deal with everything else.
Trowa’s shoulder nudging into his own made Duo snap out of his thoughts. "You’re thinking too much," Trowa teased, his perfectly impassive face a great tell now that Duo had their link to know what his mate was feeling; Trowa always tried to bluff his way through a joke or verbal jab by pretending that he was serious.
"Sweet gods, it’s a sign that the world is coming to an end," Duo teased back, his heart fluttering at the way Trowa’s lips curved a little and he ducked his head. Duo didn’t mind it so much when Trowa’s hair hid his beautiful face like right now, not when he could sense what Trowa was feeling. His mate was still too damn good at not showing any emotion, so the link was one of the better things about their mating bond, in Duo’s opinion. Having Trowa as his lover until the day they both died was the best, of course.
He hadn’t meant to feel a sudden spike of lust, let alone allow it to cross over their link, but it happened and Trowa turned a little to face him. "You better be prepared to warm up the croissants afterwards," was all he said before looking away and increasing his pace.
Struggling a little to keep up since Trowa had the longer legs, Duo cursed and jumped forward to keep his lover beneath the umbrella. About to ask what the hell Trowa had meant by that, he caught an echo of lust over their link and grinned instead. Oh yeah, he had no problem reheating the still warm pastries if it meant that he got to have sex once they were back at the apartment. Praying that they didn’t run into Sandra or her family and have to make endless small-talk, he stretched his legs as far as possible to increase his pace, to the point that Trowa was surprised and had to hurry to keep up. Duo heard a rare, low chuckle and forced himself to walk forward instead of pushing Trowa up against the nearest wall and kissing him silly.
The lousy rain meant that the sidewalks were mostly empty even if it was right before dinner-time, so they managed to get home relatively quickly. Duo practically raced up the steps with Trowa’s left hand in his right. Someone called out their name along the way, but Duo didn’t let anything stop him from reaching his apartment. Nope, not when there would be a naked Trowa in his bed very, very shortly.
He felt amusement and desire over their link, the emotions warming him through better than his talent. The amusement grew as he struggled with pulling out the key for their apartment door, his hands shaking so much that it took him four tries to unlock the damn thing. Then he shoved it open and with Trowa’s hand still in his, rushed into the living room.
Trowa chuckled again as he set the basket of croissants down on the small table by the door and kicked off his wet boots. Duo struggled to do the same, his leaking rain clock already on the floor and his boots thrown across the room while he waited for his lover to finish. Once Trowa was standing in his stocking feet, Duo stepped close and slowly slid his right hand into his mate’s thick ponytail to undo its tie.
Part of him still hated the fact that he couldn’t rush forward, pin Trowa to the wall and kiss him breathless, that he had to take things almost painfully slow, but it faded with each day. The past couldn’t be changed, but at least Trowa seemed to be moving away from it and deserved the time and patience to fully heal. One day Duo could give in to his impulses, he was sure, yet even if that never happened he’d still be able to kiss and make love to the most gorgeous man alive with a little patience on his part.
Trowa made a needy, moaning sound back in his throat and after undoing the clasp to his cloak, slowly draped his arms over Duo’s shoulders. That was a signal that Duo could be a little more forceful, a bit less patient, so he deepened the kiss while taking a step backward. As much as he wanted to push his mate to the wall and mark his slender neck, things would be better if they went to the bedroom. Then they could lie on the bed, Trowa in no danger of being pinned down unless he wanted to be.
Along the way, Duo released the handful of his lover’s hair so he could work on removing Trowa’s clothes. His mate was decently attired today since he’d worked in Birman’s office; dressed in a long-sleeved, dark brown cotton tunic and dark blue leggings. Duo loved to expose his mate’s lean body and golden skin, to hear the way Trowa’s breath caught in his throat whenever a garment was removed and the rush of trust over their link. He never moved too quickly for this part, using the time to carefully undo lacings or buttons, to caress revealed skin for a few seconds before moving on. By the time Trowa was naked and his hair draped over his shoulders, Trowa had done Duo the courtesy of removing his uniform coat and the shirt beneath that. Pushing past the flare of impatience, Duo allowed his mate to undo the laces of his pants and shove them down his hips along with his underwear so he could step out of the suddenly constrictive garments; Trowa liked undressing him and it gave the water elemental a sense of control over the situation.
They were naked now, but Duo’s wards kept the apartment at the perfect temperature for exposed skin. Smiling at his mate, Duo kept walking backwards until he ran into the bed, reluctantly letting go of Trowa before falling onto the soft mattress.
He was a little surprised when Trowa crawled right on top of him, long auburn hair cascading onto his chest and shoulders. Only sparing a moment to flick his own long braid aside, Duo smiled and threaded his fingers into his mate’s silky hair. "You are gorgeous, Trowa." His voice came out husky with desire, the words heartfelt since Duo couldn’t imagine anyone better looking than his mate.
A sad smile on his lips, Trowa shook his head as much as he could. "I’ve a decent body and a pleasant face, that is all." He stroked his right hand along Duo’s cheek. "You’re the one who has so many people around him all the time." There was a sense of jealousy and fear that made Duo want to hug his lover with all his might.
"Nah, I’m good looking and like to have some fun, but that’s it." As much as he hated it, Duo had gotten used to being ‘cute’ years ago. Oh, he could manage ‘sexy’, too, especially when chasing after someone he wanted, but Trowa was utterly gorgeous with those deep green eyes, golden complexion and unique face. Then add in that lean, wonderfully flexible body and Duo had resigned himself to a lifetime of jealousy and possessiveness; Trowa was *his* and he didn’t even want people to look at his lover. So far, Trowa hadn’t tried to kill him for that ridiculous mindset, but then again, Trowa didn’t like people looking at him, either.
"We’re not going to have this argument again." Trowa shook his head and stretched out on top of Duo, his skin smooth and warm. "Besides, the croissants are waiting."
Pretty sure the croissants had just been Trowa’s excuse to meet up with him after work, Duo snorted and arched his back so his body pressed harder against his mate’s. "I’m a hell of a lot more delicious than a pastry, dammit."
Trowa’s answering smile made him forget to breathe for a few seconds. "I hope so." Finished talking, Trowa leaned forward for a kiss that made Duo’s head dizzy with desire and pleasure.
Oh yes, thoughts about this had been what had kept him from burning things to ash today, Duo told himself as he chased after Trowa’s tongue with his own. Him and Trowa and their bed and great sex, something that could make the worst of days suddenly better. His hands left Trowa’s hair to skim along his lover’s back, mindful of the scars there since he wanted to inspire pleasure and not reawaken old pain. The love and desire he felt over the link told him that he was successful in that endeavor.
Still, he was surprised as hell when Trowa rolled them over until he was on top of his mate, nestled between Trowa’s long, toned thighs. "Ah, is this-" he stopped himself barely in time, not wanting to ruin the move by bringing up the past.
Taking a deep breath, Trowa nodded before using his hold on Duo’s braid to pull him in close enough for a kiss. Not really expecting much of a verbal answer, Duo decided to trust his mate’s emotions and not bring things to a screeching halt by asking stupid questions. If Trowa had done this, then he must have wanted to since Duo was perfectly happy with their positions from before. On his back or on top, being fucked or doing the fucking, it didn’t really matter to him as long as his lover was Trowa. Hell, he *couldn’t* have any lover other than Trowa now, not that he cared about that in the least. For so long, the water elemental was the only person he’d wanted and now he had him.
Duo kissed his mate back with all of his skill, his desire growing with each stroke of tongue and hands. Not that he would admit this to Trowa, but the demon part of him got off on their current positions, on him pressing his mate against the bed, easily able to move to kiss or touch or bite whatever portion of that golden skin that he wanted. For all of Trowa’s aloof nature, it was such a damn thrill to have the normally strong, distant man beneath him while writhing in pleasure.
Which was certainly something that Trowa was doing now, his breathing ragged and his eyes heavy lidded as Duo rocked their hips together and his hands skimmed up and down his lover’s sides. Encouraged by that response, he trailed kisses along Trowa’s jaw, delighted and impassioned by the broken whispers of his name and pleas for more. At times like these, Trowa let Duo do whatever he wanted and could barely manage more than holding onto Duo’s hair or hips or shoulders as the ecstasy coursed through him, his body and heart both perfectly willing. Duo didn’t mind that at all, not when he knew the amount of love and trust that went into Trowa opening up to him like this, the way the other bound could let go of the pain and abuse to allow Duo to touch him. All Duo wanted was to make his mate feel as good as possible, the pleasure that raced over their link feeding his own until he was panting along with Trowa.
Spurred on to action even as he was afraid of moving too quickly, Duo couldn’t hold himself back from licking the length of Trowa’s neck, the taste of sweat salty against his tongue. He licked again, from the hollow at the base of Trowa’s neck up to just below where throat met jaw and then sucked hard, his teeth gradually pressing into taut skin. He felt a flare of pain from nails digging into his shoulders the same time that Trowa bucked beneath him, not attempting to push him away but against him for more wonderful contact.
Funny, how any other time Duo could talk up a storm, yet not when he was having sex with Trowa. He was so afraid of saying something that would kill the moment and hurt his mate that he fell back onto his emotions instead. Other than some fragmented murmurs of encouragement, he didn’t say much, his mouth put to much better use by kissing along Trowa’s collarbones. Forcing his right hand away from his lover’s writhing body, he searched for the jar of lubricant jelly since his desire was growing and patience faltering.
Trowa’s eyes opened when Duo pressed a slick finger against him, body stilling yet their link flooded with love, want and trust. Duo made sure to never break eye contact as he leaned back to settle on his knees between Trowa’s thighs, giving up all that delectable body contact so as to not risk provoking his mate’s fear of being pinned down. He made it clear that Trowa could stop things at any point, that he wouldn’t rush and do anything to harm the man he loved. All of his attention was focused on sharing his emotions and doing as thorough a job as possible in preparing his lover.
"Duo." Gods, Trowa could sound so fucking sexy with his voice a touch hoarse like that, little more than a ragged whisper as he reached for a pillow and put it beneath his uplifted ass. Duo’s fingers nearly slipped out then, his cock twitching at the thought of Trowa helping to prepare himself for sex, the way he could so easily slide into that addictive, grasping heat with his mate’s hips tilted like that. Feeling as if his body was burning from all the desire and want that boiled inside of it, Duo moaned in needful delight and forced himself to move his fingers a few more times. All of the passion, need, ecstasy and love would come crashing down if he ended up hurting or scaring his mate.
However, it wasn’t his patience that to be seemed pushed past the point of caring; Trowa lifted his legs and hooked them around Duo’s hips to pull him forward. "Now, Duo," Trowa hissed, his hands reaching for Duo’s shoulders and a needful whine in his quiet tone.
"Anything you want, Trowa." Duo spoke the words with the reverence of a solemn oath, more than willing to prove them true.
Trowa snorted at the comment, yet his emotions were strong and serious, in no way an indication that he took the words lightly. Instead, he used those long limbs of his to pull Duo closer the same time he showed off that amazing flexibility to sit up enough to nip at Duo’s jaw. "I want you." His expression was a little uncertain and shy, his emotions darkened with worry that melted away when Duo kissed him back.
Dammit, Duo was going to be driven insane by his mate, he just knew it. How long could he live with such conflicting needs? Not that he really cared as long as Trowa got what he wanted. Holding back only long enough to slick some of the lube onto his cock, Duo shuffled forward until the tip of it pressed against Trowa’s opening. He stared intently at his lover as he slowly pushed inside, torturing the both of them with a creeping wave of pleasure.
Trowa hissed slightly and tossed his head back, his nails once more digging into Duo’s shoulders; if it wasn’t for the sensations of need and pleasure that Duo felt, he would have stopped right then in fear of pushing his lover too far. Instead, he continued the slow thrust until he couldn’t move any deeper into Trowa’s body, his breath coming in uneven pants and his body covered with sweat and trembling slightly. Oh sweet gods, it felt so *incredible*.
Shaking his head to free the strands of hair clinging to his face, Duo pulled back so he could thrust in again, his pace gradually increasing once he was certain that his lover’s body had adjusted to his cock. Trowa’s eyes were still closed, his head tilted slightly to the side while his fingers continued to clench Duo’s shoulders, his legs wrapped tightly around Duo’s waist. Every few thrusts he would whisper Duo’s name, the pleasure he felt increasing with each heartbeat.
Duo stopped for a moment to lean forward and nuzzle Trowa’s neck, to murmur his mate’s name aloud before shifting back. His right hand curled around Trowa’s cock, slick with sweat and lube that helped it to move smoothly over hard, hot flesh. That made Trowa loudly gasp and open his eyes, his head turning so he could look at Duo. The feelings of love and pleasure intensified, echoing back and forth between them with a fervent crescendo.
No one had ever inspired this much desire and love from Duo, this strong a need to give everything he had just to make them happy. Trowa’s pleasure was more important than his own, yet the ecstasy he felt over their link made his burn all the hotter. Reduced to sensations and movement, body struggling to provoke as much ecstasy as possible, he continued to thrust and stroke, to stare into his lover’s eyes darkened with passion and left utterly unguarded for once.
The sharp snap of hips, the hiking of the lean, strong legs wrapped around his waist up higher made Trowa cry out in pleasure, his eyelids shut once more as he arched his back off the bed. Molten ecstasy slammed into Duo, overcoming him with the potent emotions when he was already precariously balanced on the cusp of his own orgasm. There was no hope of holding back now, even if he’d wanted to, so he gave in and added his own emotions to the mix, showing Trowa how incredibly good the water elemental made him feel.
Collapsing forward, he managed a few gasping breaths against his mate’s neck before he groaned aloud and forced himself to roll onto his side. What surprised him was this time, Trowa rolled with him until they both lay facing each other, their limbs still tangled together and Trowa’s face scant centimeters from his own.
"Trowa…." Duo forced his shaking left hand to brush aside the damp locks obscuring his lover’s face, surprise turning into happiness to see the revealed smile. He knew that he was grinning like an idiot, body still trembling a little from pleasurable aftershocks, his demon soul purring at the way his scent mingled with Trowa’s and clung to his mate’s skin. No one could deny that they were bound together now, and he could feel contentment and love over their link.
"Duo," Trowa responded, still sounding hoarse and a bit pleased. He let out a slow breath and closed his eyes, his right arm draped over Duo’s waist. "Hmmm," he hummed, obviously happy and tired, the emotions confirmed over their link.
"Idiot, you did push yourself a little too hard today," Duo chided when he realized that Trowa shouldn’t be so tired after a bout of sex. As much as he wanted to yell at Birman, he knew that she’d probably made Trowa do paperwork so as to wear him out as little as possible while he dealt with the rain.
Sighing in response, Trowa grimaced and seemed to sink further into the bed. "I did what was needed to be done," was his simple, quiet explanation, and Duo knew there was really no way to continue the fight. Nope, not unless he wanted to come across as an over-protective idiot who’d hand the war over to the Elders because of his lack of control – which was absolutely the last thing he’d allow to happen at this point. Those old fuckers had taken away his best friend and would hold Trowa hostage against him in a heartbeat, he knew, and he’d never let them hurt his loved ones again.
Nails softly scratched down the small of his back. "Stop that," Trowa murmured, sounding ready to fall asleep while his emotions were disturbed. Realizing that his mate had picked up on his fear, hatred and concern, Duo took a deep breath to calm himself. While he knew that other mated bounds blocked their links from time to time to keep some things private, that wasn’t something that he and Trowa had taken to doing. They could dampen down their awareness of each other while working, but they derived too much comfort from knowing that each other was there, alive and well, to do more than that.
"Sorry." Creeping forward to press a kiss against his lover’s forehead, Duo sighed in contentment as he basked in Trowa’s nearness. He sensed how his lover was losing the battle with consciousness and moderated his emotions to allow Trowa the much needed rest. Once he was certain that Trowa was asleep, he’d head off to the kitchen to see what he could make for dinner since his mate needed a lot of food to replenish the energy he’d used up today. The croissants could wait for dessert, when they curled up on the couch to watch the fire and talk about their day. There was no way in hell that either of them would go to the Koneko tonight, not with the weather so miserable and no pressing cases to discuss. The prospect of having Trowa all to himself this evening made Duo purr and shift closer to the bound, to indulge in Trowa’s scent and warmth.
While there were so many things that could go wrong to ruin this new-found happiness, he refused to dwell on them at this point. They were safe in the apartment they’d made into a home, had jobs that would be there for them after the war and friends who sought to keep them safe. For the first time in much too long, Duo had someone to hold close and protect, to love and look after. He almost laughed at the thought that he really needed someone to fuss over, to share his life with and tell corny jokes, to be there when he sat down to enjoy a meal or just wanted to flop onto the couch and talk.
Trowa was officially dead to the world, his body slowly relaxing as unconsciousness took over. Duo raised the temperature in the room a little more since they were still naked and lying on top of the blankets, not about to jostle his lover and risk waking him up at this point. After about ten minutes or so, Trowa’s sleep should be deep enough that he could move. Until then, he’d just lie here perfectly content. For a lousy, cold, rainy day, it certainly had one hell of a happy ending.
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