A/N: Here it is! To all you readers of When the Stars Fall, here's your Duo/Melody one-shot! Sorry it took so long, but you know me; I take on like fourteen projects at once. I have a short attention span sometimes. XD Enjoy!

To Heed the Flame

Melody pulled back her bangs with bobby pins as she walked out of the bathroom and into the living room. She came to a quick halt, noticing that Duo was no longer sitting at the sofa. She was only in the bathroom for a half an hour getting a shower and preparing for bed. She could still hear the cheering on the television from the football game he'd been watching.

Just where did he go?

"Duo?" She peeked her head into the kitchen, thinking perhaps he decided on a snack, but confusion swarmed her when she found it uninhabited. With hands propped on her hips, she had already ruled out two of his favorite rooms in a matter of seconds. Where else could he have possibly rushed off to?

Hands slid over her eyes, followed by a familiar masculine chuckle. "Guess who?"

Melody couldn't help but smile. "What are you doing? I thought you were watching the rest of the football game before going to bed."

Palms remained on her face. "You didn't guess who I was. Did your dad teach you to talk to strangers?"

Melody spun around, swatting his hands away from her eyes. Duo's trademark smirk met her with a vengeance. "No, he didn't, but he did teach me how to fend off braided menaces that like to play tricks on me."

Duo puffed out his chest proudly. "Oh yeah? Well, I think you should try out these tactics, but I don't think they're going to work against an ex-Gundam pilot. But I dare you to give it your biggest shot."

With an arched brow, Melody released a twittering giggle. "You dare me? What are you, seven?"

"Seven and a half," Duo retorted quickly with a wink. "Get it right, woman."

Melody shook her head, giving his chest a playful shove. "Goodness, I'm sorry, Mr. Maxwell. I'll have to remember to get your age right the next time, although I don't know how I manage such a travesty when you act your age so well."

Duo puckered his lips. "Ooh, touché," he said, bowing his head. He lifted his head, flashing a bright grin. "So, you ready for some sleep? I'm bushed."

Melody tilted her head to the side and pointed to the television. "But what about the game? It's not over, is it?"

Duo waved his hand dismissively. "It was boring. I'll catch the highlights tomorrow morning before I head off to work. Besides, I'd much rather lay in bed with you." He grabbed for the remote on the nearby table, turning the television off.

"You're such a sweet-talker," Melody laughed. Her hand grabbed for his, fingers entangling into his longer ones. "Let's go to bed, then. I have to get up a little earlier tomorrow morning so I can go back to my house and get another change of clothes. You seem to keep convincing me to stay here."

Duo slapped his hand over the light switch as they walked down the hall to his bedroom. "I'm good like that," he boasted. He motioned for her to enter his room before him, and he shut his door behind him. The nightstand lamp gave light to an otherwise darkened room after dusk.

Melody crawled into the bed, her body sinking into the soft mattress. After pulling the blankets over her, she stretched languidly, releasing a long sigh of relief. "It's been such a long day," she said, folding her arms over her head with a content smile. "I think I'll sleep well tonight."

Duo climbed in next to her, his arm sliding over her belly. He felt her twitch at the sudden touch, and a very familiar smile curled over his face. "You're a busy one, babe. You deserve a good night's rest. You're the leader of the Colonies, after all. You need to be in tip-top shape all the time so you can dish out some justice."

Turning her head to face him, she stifled a feminine giggle. "I try my best to maintain the peace you and the others have tried so hard to achieve. I wouldn't want any of your hard work to go to waste, after all."

The former pilot of Deathscythe propped his chin on his knuckles, admiring the natural red sheen on her cheeks from the bath she'd taken not a half an hour earlier. The tips of her fire-orange hair still clung to her face, curled rebelliously against the delicious pale skin his tongue suddenly wished to taste.


Violet eyes blinked twice before turning down to the curious cerulean stare gazing up at him. "Yeah? What is it, babe?"

Melody swallowed and leaned up on her elbows. "You were just staring at me. It just looked like you were in your own little world for a minute there. Are you okay? Maybe we should go to sleep. I think you may be exhausted. You're a pretty busy person yourself, you know."

Duo chuckled at her worrisome rambling. The woman did a lot of that. "Not as busy as you. You have all the Colonies to look after. All I do is salvage. That's nothing compared to what you do." He leaned over her, palms propped on either side of her body. "You're a pretty important woman. Gotta make sure you get your rest and everything else you might need."

Melody's heart took a fluttering skip against her chest. She didn't miss the wily twinkle in Duo's eye. She slid back down to the mattress, merely staring up at him. Heat climbed up her neck, claiming her normally flaxen cheeks with a splash of scarlet. "I… I normally get all the sleep I need," she stammered. She felt very claustrophobic with him hovering over her, his braid loose and falling over his shoulder.

With a wink, Duo nodded once. "Glad to know ya do. God knows there are some things I can do to help you relax if you have problems with it. It's what I'm here for, babe."

Her throat grew parched in a matter of seconds. His eyes were weighing down lazily, unblinking, as his body seemed to drop an inch or two, squeezing the air between them. "I… I know. You're always here for me if I need you."

His t-shirt clothed stomach brushed up against hers, rousing a sharp gasp from her in surprise. "And now? Do you need me now?"

Melody was almost certain he wasn't teasing her anymore, not with the continued glimmer in his eyes, the low, dull violet gaze as it roved over her, or the drag of his tongue against his pink lips. Her heart thumped hard against her chest, reminding her that she was indeed in reality, and was not stuck in an enchanted dream that radiated a certain tension screaming for satisfaction.

"Now who's in their own little world?" Duo asked with a chuckle, flicking his finger over her bottom lip. "You look cute when you're like that."

Melody blinked quizzically. "Like what?"

"Ya know." He leaned further still, his breath leaving a hot prickly sensation against her ear as his words spilled from his mouth in a hushed, passionate whisper. "All hot and bothered. Taken off guard. Like that."

Melody snapped away, stammering on an incoherent defense. "Wh—Duo! I'm—I'm not hot—hot and bothered!" She swung her hand over his arm in a gentle slap. "Don't say that!"

A familiar chuckle of amusement rumbled against his chest, vibrated against hers from their apparent closeness. "I love getting you all rattled, Melody," he admitted with a playful wink. "Sometimes you make it way too easy."

With her mouth hung open, Melody shoved him on the shoulder, face rising in heat and color from her own embarrassment. "That's not funny! Don't tease me like that!"

Her apparent aggravation only riled him further, his chuckling transforming into laughter that echoed against the walls of his bedroom. Wiping the tears from the corner of his eye, he peered down upon her as she folded her arms over her chest, staring up at him indignantly. "Sorry babe. I don't mean to make fun of you or anything. Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?"

Melody bit the inside of her mouth in thought. "Well… You can let me take out your braid."

Brow arched in curiosity, Duo pushed himself away from her, kneeling on his knees. "That's all? You just wanna undo my braid? That's a little too easy, isn't it?"

Melody eased herself into a sitting position, motioning with her finger for him to turn around. "I could make it a great deal harder for you to earn my forgiveness if you want," she replied with a smile. "I like touching your hair. So turn around or I'm going home, mister."

"Well damn, I can't let you do that," Duo grumbled to himself. He shifted around, presenting his back and long chestnut braid to her. "Have at it, babe."

Melody scooted close to him, her nimble fingers pulling the thin elastic band from the bottom of his braid. Starting at the end, her fingers slid through the folds of his braid, paying each lock of hair with gentle threading motions that teased his hair back to its soft, straightened state over his back. Her fingers made their journey to his scalp, kneading tenderly through the tangles.

Duo leaned against her hands, a content moan vibrating against his throat. "That feels nice, babe," he whispered, his eyes fluttering shut as he eased his head against her hands. "Don't know why I don't let you do this more often."

Stifling a giggle, Melody continued, her fingers making massaging circles around his head, erasing the tension of his hair caught in a tight braid for so long. She loved the feel of his silky hair through her fingers, sliding her hands over the bed of russet locks that begged to be touched. She raked her fingers through them, removing every last stubborn knot, before pulling away with a content sigh. "There. All done. Does that feel better?"

Duo was slow to turn around, his violet eyes hid by the dark lashes that weighed heavily down. "Yeah. A lot better." He leaned close to her, the long curtain of his hair falling over his shoulders. She didn't move. "C'mere and let me thank you the right way."

Swallowing the sudden lump in her throat, Melody bent over on her palms, her eyes falling on his mouth. Her lips connecting with his was like throwing gasoline onto a small flame, sparking life and renewed energy with the simplest graze of his kiss.

A strong arm wrapped around her small waist while Duo's broad hand twisted into the short ginger locks of hair framing her face. His kiss became more insistent, vigorous, and without any conscious thought, he eased her on her back, hovering over her like a protective canopy.

Melody's fingers grasped his shoulders, nails already close to breaking skin. Her legs squirmed beneath his, unable to ignore the sudden ache between her legs as the former Gundam pilot hung over her, his mouth weaving a passionate spell with little to no effort. She wanted his hands on her, wanted his mouth to explore other parts of her body, despite the anxiety and curiosity burning a hole through her being.

When Duo pulled away from the kiss, giving her the opportunity to gather a gluttonous drink of air into her lungs, he stared down upon her, cheeks speckled with crimson. She bit down on her lip, stifling a moan, as her eyes blinked lazily up at him. He knew exactly what she was asking of him, without so much as a single word. And he thanked the lord above that she wanted him, because he didn't think he would be able to sleep with the apparent throbbing beneath his boxers.

"Duo…" Melody lifted her head from the pillow, her mouth finding the tender muscle connecting his neck to his shoulder. She nipped at him nervously, curiously, as he continued to hover over her with uneven, shaky breaths.

"Are you sure about this?" he rasped, the innocent kisses against his shoulder, his neck, far too difficult to ignore.

Melody leaned away from him, falling back to the welcoming pillow beneath her. "I trust you," she whispered.

Sending another unspoken round of gratitude to whoever happened to be listening, Duo leaned down, his hair spilling like a waterfall from his shoulders. His palm cupped her cheek, angling her head towards him. "If you want me to stop, all you have to do is tell me. I won't make you do something you don't wanna do."

Melody smiled at his concern, her fingers splaying over the rippling muscles in his upper arms. "I want to do this."

Flashing her a comforting smile, he bent down, capturing her lips in an overly passionate kiss. He was hesitant, but his tongue slid forward, easing her lips open just slightly. She complied, allowing his smooth tongue entrance into the heated recesses of her mouth.

Melody fidgeted under the feel of his hands as they tugged at the buttons of her sleepwear. Nervousness flickered in the bottom of her belly as she felt the steal of air brushing against her skin, but Duo's kiss deepened, his tongue sliding over the smooth surface of her teeth. He threw her into a heated moan, and her reservations disappeared behind the fog of her desire.

Duo pulled the satin fabric away from her body, and counting to three in his head, his palm found one pert breast. Melody gasped against his kiss and snapped her head away from him, throwing her head to the side. His eyes fell upon her exposed skin, feasting on the simple glow of her pale skin, the darkened pink of her nipples. "Damn," he whispered. "You're gorgeous."

As one hand moved over one breast, rolling the hard nipple between his fingers, his other hand sought out the elastic waistband of her pants. His mouth nipped at the crook of her shoulder, suckling carefully as a means of distraction while he shimmied her bottoms past her hips, her knees, her ankles.

Melody felt the cold rush of the night air playing against her skin, but the wave of heat beating into her from Duo's body won over the chill escaping through the open window. She lay sprawled under him, completely at the mercy of his mouth, his hands. She didn't mind at all.

Duo pulled back for a moment, taking a deep breath as his erection begged to be removed from beneath his boxers. The scarlet splash of color against Melody's cheeks, the swell of her lips from his kisses, the disheveled form her hair took as her pins loosened was enough to send him straight into oblivion. She had no idea what she was doing to him. Yet.

"Hey." His finger cupped her chin, angling her to look at him. He was smiling lazily, lustily, down at her. "You doing okay?"

Melody shifted her hips uncomfortably, biting down on her lip, before nodding up at him.

"Good. Don't forget what I said." He leaned down, capturing her mouth in another kiss. His hand found her again, circling a finger teasingly around one nipple before sliding it back and forth over the aching peak. He felt the vibration of Melody's moan against their kiss, the arch of her back against his touch.

His lips left hers, tracing a gentle trail down the slender line of her neck, pressing against her collarbone, before finding its way to her breast. He molded his palm around it, expertly swirling his tongue around the responsive pink nub.

Melody cried out in a long groan, muttering his name in gratitude. She barely registered the silken feel of his hand as it journeyed down her belly, lining the top of her panties as they hugged her hips. His hand buried under the soft fabric, fingers reaching into the soft curls over her sex.

Gasping, Melody's eyes snapped open, searching over his worriedly.

Duo's smile stretched languidly over his face. "Relax, babe," he whispered. "It'll feel good. I promise."

The stretch of his finger between her legs released a constrained moan from the middle of her throat. He rubbed her slowly before sliding a finger inside her. "D-Duo…" She wriggled against him, adjusting to the gentle intrusion.

Duo slid his thumb over her bottom lip, smiling as she let out little pants, moans and grunts as his finger moved inside her. His erection was throbbing hard, the simple graze of his boxers stabbing pain through him. He wanted to bury himself inside of her warmth, feel her muscles contract and tremble around him.

He snapped out of his musings when he felt a petite hand sliding beneath her panties, directing his finger as it continued to slide back and forth inside of her. His eyes widened, watching as her hand left him as quickly as it joined him, her fingers playing about the sensitive nub seated above her opening. "Melody."

He had to be dreaming. There was no way in the fires of Hell that this woman, so innocent, meek and pure, was touching herself without a care in the world. No way.

"Duo… Please don't stop," she moaned, eyes blinking lazily up at him.

Duo bit back a scoff. Like hell he was going to stop now. His finger moved faster, harder, hoping to bring about the release she so obviously craved. She let go of her inhibitions, her fingers rubbing against herself as Duo added another finger to her depths. Her climax was coming fast.

A shrill cry escaped her throat and her body jerked, the final stroke of her fingers and another thrust of Duo's fingers catapulting her over the edge. She surrendered to her release, nails clawing into the bedding beneath her body as she rode out the wave of her pleasantly warm orgasm.

Duo pulled his fingers from her body, blinking sweat from his eyes. His only regret was that it didn't take longer to build her release; he would have loved to watch her continue touching herself. Knowing it would be branded into his mind as a memory rather than a fantasy was filling him to the brim with pride.

He grazed his mouth against the top of her shoulder. "You were really beautiful," he rasped. "Didn't think you would ever do something like that."

Melody's hand slid up his chest, gripping the fabric of his shirt. "We're not done… are we?" she asked timidly.

Duo snapped back, staring down upon her for a moment. A chuckle rumbled against his chest. "Hell no we're not. We're not done unless you want us to be." He watched her shake her head quickly, and couldn't help but laugh at her anticipation. His hands curled over the bottom of his shirt, tugging it over his head and tossing it carelessly off the bed. His thumbs slid under the band of his boxers, and slowly pulled the article down his hips.

Melody's eyes fell upon him, watching in curiosity, impatience, nervousness, as his erection sprang free of its former constraints. Pulling her bottom lip under her teeth, she swallowed hard, the ache between her legs sparking back to life. A fresh blush swarmed over her cheeks and her eyes met with his, violet flickering with desire and passion.

Duo's fingers found the strings of her panties, and carefully slid them down her legs. Melody accommodated him, lifting her legs as he removed them from her ankles, throwing them to the pile of clothes on the floor next to the bed. He lowered himself upon her, brushing his mouth against hers. "Melody, I… I might hurt you."

Shaking her head, Melody framed his face with her palms. "I don't want to stop," she said firmly.

Relief washed over him at her words. He nodded once and slid a hand up her neck, cupping her cheek carefully against his palm, rough from the years of training at the helm of his Gundam. He nestled himself between her legs, positioning himself at the entrance of her jittery body. "Hold on to me, babe," he said between clenched teeth as he brushed his tip against the inviting wetness waiting for him.

Melody slid her arms around his shoulders, fingers curling against the dewed skin of his back. She parted her legs an inch further and held her breath, waiting for him to change her life forever.

Duo moved forward, inching himself slowly into her body. She arched into him, a constrained moan escaping from her parted lips. Her fingers dug deep into his skin, anchoring herself as an uncomfortable fullness pushed through her. "Sorry for this, babe," Duo muttered. He crashed his lips against hers, and in that single moment of distraction, thrust hard and captured her virginity within his capable fingers.

Melody cried out against his lips at the sudden movement, clutching herself to him like a lifeline. He stilled against her and pulled away, giving her the opportunity to gather air into her lungs. She winced as her body accommodated his intrusion, but the knowledge that they were connected as one was enough to erase any spark of pain still ravaging through the middle of her body.

"Melody? You okay, babe?" Duo traced a finger along the line of her jaw, catching her attention.

She bit down on her lip and nodded quickly, her cheeks hot and her body aching from Duo's intrusion, from the hunger for him. "Go ahead," she whispered against the peaking of tears in her eyes. "I'm okay."

As Duo leaned down, his hair pooled around them both and his mouth nipped gently against hers. "Promise to tell me if it hurts and I'll stop," he murmured.

A smile cracked through the pained contorted expression on her face, and she flicked a finger over his nose with a weak giggle. "I wouldn't ever want you to do that. Please, Duo."

Nodding, Duo pressed a lazy kiss against the side of her mouth. "I'll go slow," he promised. Fingers splaying against her hip, he fulfilled his vow, moving with careful precision as she got used to the feel of him inside her, causing deliciously sinful friction against her walls. The former pilot of Deathscythe groaned against the resistance as he rocked his hips against hers. "Damn. You're tight, baby."

Melody's face fell as she released a guttural sigh. "I'm not hurting you, am I?"

Duo froze, staring down at her in disbelief. He shook his head and burned a trail of fire against her neck, under her jaw, until he finally reached against her pink-bruised lips. "Hell no. You feel good," he said, gaining an extra inch with his next thrust. He grunted, his mouth playing down her body until reaching a nipple, perched dark and begging for his touch. He flicked a tongue against it, riling a shrill cry from Melody's lips. "Damn good."

The nerve-endings in Melody's body were ablaze as Duo sped up his movements, her discomfort and nervousness fleeting from her. She was surprised how quickly her pain seemed to transform into glorious bliss, the pit of her belly igniting into satisfying volleys of pleasure.

Duo couldn't ignore the surge of pride through his veins that he was Melody's first, her only. As she writhed under him, her fingers branding deep moon-shaped scars into his back as her panting and moaning grew louder, he knew she became a slave to her own desires, and to his.

Groaning another curse, Duo suckled her nipple between his teeth, his pace quickening against her. Melody was meeting his thrusts now, her hips rolling decadently against his in a sinful dance. His hands found her thighs, jerking her close until her flesh pressed against his, sticky and hot. Dainty ankles locked around his waist as his efforts to bring her to the edge doubled, tripled, his consciousness hazy as his feral needs took control.

Tears sparkled in the corner of Melody's eyes, long snapped shut, as Duo waltzed relentlessly above her. Her throat hurt, dry from the constant call of his name.

"Christ," Duo groaned, jerking his head away from her breast. He buried his head against her neck, taking in the sweet smell of her skin mixed with the heat of their sex. "You're so tight. So wet. Can't take it." His tongue lapped against the tendon connecting her neck to her shoulder, moving over her thumping pulse.

Melody released a shuddering breath against his shoulder as the pleasure mounted to unbearable heights. Duo's fingers skittered across her skin, his tongue circling teasingly around her nipple, his thrusts rushing against her like a ravaging storm.

Duo groaned as Melody's inner muscles clenched around him. She was dangerously close. "Almost there, babe. Almost there," he murmured drunkenly. He dragged his tongue over her lips, wetting them before crushing his mouth to hers. A broad palm curled over her breast, fingers pinching and rubbing the aching nipple.

"D-Duo… Please. Oh god," Melody cried, bucking her hips relentlessly into his. The need for her release was overwhelming, throwing her into near insanity as he pumped inside her to an erratic beat. Her fingers trailed shakily between their bodies, searching for the ripe bundle of nerves that cried for attention.

But thicker, rougher fingers found it first, giving the nub a gentle graze that jerked Melody from the bed. "No," Duo rasped with a slow shake of his head. "Let me."

Melody's eyes matched with his, cerulean locking with violet, as his fingers rubbed the swollen petal above their joining, his rocking against her now uneven and quick. Her hips moved against his thrusts, his hand, as she sought her undoing. She needed it more than the air she breathed. She needed to feel the waves crashing pleasantly around her, rocking her from existence.

Electricity zigzagged through her spine as Duo callously rubbed against her, attempting to throw her to the edge. "C'mon, baby," he groaned. "Come for me."

"Duo, I—I can't…" she moaned, throwing her head from one side to the next as the pressure in her middle intensified, another shrill cry escaping her mouth.

"Yes, you can. Come for me, Melody. Show me," Duo all but begged, his words slurring together as he jerked against her hard and fast, seeking out his own rapturous destruction.

Melody's arms tightened around his back, jerking him close to her in a hurried kiss. As their lips met, flames ignited inside her, spreading through her belly like wildfire, and she cried out against him. But he continued kissing her, his tongue slamming into her mouth as she writhed against his thrusts, riding out the orgasm that rushed over her like thick honey.

As her muscles clenched and milked him, Duo snapped away from the kiss to mutter a curse, and in two more thrusts against her, he spilled himself deep into her body with a long, satisfied groan.

Pulling from her body, Duo collapsed above her, every last drop of energy leaving his pores. His mouth traveled lazily across her chin, her hot breath dewing over his cheek. Leaning to the side, he gathered her in his arms, gasping for air against his straining lungs. "You okay?"

Melody answered with a content moan against her throat, nuzzling her face under his chin. Resting a hand against the muscled flat of his chest, she curled into his side, fully sated. As the pleasure dimmed from her body, she felt a dull soreness throbbing through her. She adjusted her legs against him, hoping to combat the sudden ache.

Duo blinked at her, frowning. "You're sore, aren't you?" he asked.

She bit down on her lip as she peered up at him. "Just a little," she admitted with a single nod. "It's not bad."

He pressed his mouth against her temple. "Sorry, babe. I tried to be careful. Just didn't seem possible for a while," he said. He pulled away from her with an arched brow. "Didn't think you were so rowdy either. You took me off guard."

A blush sprinkled against her cheeks, and she looked away from him. "I don't know why I was like that," she whispered in embarrassment.

"Hey, it's nothing to be ashamed about," Duo replied. A wily smirk stretched across his face. "Sometimes you just need to let go." A yawn bit off the end of his sentence. "You tired me out, babe. I'm gonna sleep good tonight."

Melody smiled, a giggle playing about her throat. "Me too, although I hope I won't have a problem walking while at the office tomorrow. I would sure hate to try explaining myself."

Duo hugged her tight against him with a chuckle. "Well, maybe you won't have to. You can take a sick day or something, can't you?"

"Well, yes, I suppose so," Melody answered hesitantly. "Why do you ask?"

Duo dragged his tongue against his mouth before trailing gentle kisses along the frame of her face. "Well, I was just thinking that if you're up to it, we could just stay here all day tomorrow and do some more of that. If you think that was good, just you wait. That was just the beginning."

Melody's breath caught in her throat at the insinuation laced within his words. A plethora of images played around in her mind, changing the ache in the middle of her body to something quite recognizable and far from painful. "Perhaps a sick day wouldn't be out of the question."