Author: Anria Lalumin
Disclaimer: I do not own this thing. It belongs to my psychotic muse who took over my brain and used my fingers to type.
Warnings: okay, people are definitely gonna say Trowa's OOC in this. Hey, it's after the war, I've already explained that they've all lightened up a bit, he's not as far as I'm concerned! Ha! Yaoi, humour (I hope)
Pairings: 1x3, 2+1, 2+3, and a little surprise for you all. . . .

Thinking About Forever + Part 3

"Heero?"

"Hn?" the sleepy grunt came from just beside Trowa.

"Did Duo's reaction seem . . . well, off, to you?"

"Nani?" Well, Heero was sounding more awake now.

"He . . . wasn't happy." Trowa frowned at the ceiling.

Suddenly his vision was obscured as Heero leaned over him. "He was grinning like usual," Heero replied in his usual monotone.

"Precisely. He was wearing his mask. I think . . . I think that bit where he went quiet and tried to pass it off as a joke was part of his real reaction."

"Why would Duo not be happy about us? He's tried for ages to get us to open up."

"I don't know why!" Trowa said, frustrated and flustered. "Dammit, do I look like a mind reader to you?"

"Of course not," Heero replied. "You're not blond and you don't have twenty-nine sisters."

Trowa stared. ". . . did you just make a joke?"

His lover smirked.

"I hate you."

"Uso." [1]

"Yep."

"Don't you think Duo would be happy to see us arguing like this and acting like him?"

"Yes, I do think he would. Which is why I'm really confused as to why he didn't react like that, why he seemed like he was disappointed that we're together. I . . . just don't get it." Trowa stared up at Heero. "I'm going to find out what's bothering him."

"How?" Heero's eyes narrowed suspiciously. He was alarmingly protective when it came to Duo, even with his own lover.

"I'm not going to torture him for information, Heero. I'm just going to talk to him. If he doesn't want to tell me, so be it."

Heero snorted and lay back down, his way of indicating the end of the conversation.

Yeah, Heero, I know how you feel, Trowa thought. I don't believe me either.

"Trowa," Heero said suddenly.

"Yes?"

"Talk to Quatre first."

+

"Trowa! What a surprise!"

Trowa simply stared at his former war companion incredulously. Quatre had opened the door to the apartment he kept so he could live away from the servants and take care of himself while not at work wearing only a towel with wet hair and looking suspiciously flushed.

"Um, can you come back in about ten minutes? I . . . um, I need to do some . . . uh, cleaning up, yeah that's it. . . ."

"Who's with you?" Trowa asked, feeling a smile tugging at his lips.

"Uh, nobody!" Quatre said, just a little too high. He coughed and lowered his voice back down to its normal level. "I mean, what do you mean, who's with me?"

Trowa looked down at him and raised an eyebrow. "Quatre, you're not even trying."

Quatre heaved out a sigh and slumped against the door frame, hitching his large towel higher on his chest. "Do you want to come in and wait for a minute while I get changed?" he stepped back to allow Trowa to come in.

A very familiar voice floated out of Quatre's bedroom. "Who was it?"

Trowa choked. He stared down at the smaller blond boy, who had suddenly gone very red.

And then he started grinning. And then chuckling. And then he couldn't hold it in any longer, and quite literally fell over onto the cough laughing. He doubled over, clutching his stomach, still laughing, while Quatre stood there and glowed with the force of his blush, that had now spread onto his shoulders and chest.

"Quatre?" Wufei walked out of the bedroom clad only in the pants of his Preventer uniform. He stopped dead, staring at the near-hysterical Trowa and furiously-blushing Quatre, and his jaw came slightly unhinged.

Trowa opened watering eyes, caught sight of Wufei standing there in such an undignified state of dress and gaping at him like he'd dressed in a grass skirt and started doing the hula, and laughed harder than he could ever remember doing. He flopped over backwards and clutching his aching stomach as he laughed so hard tears fell out of the corners of his eyes.

"Y-you . . . and -- and Wu-chan!" he managed to stutter out, and then collapsed into hysterical giggles again, although whether at the idea or his use of Duo's nickname for Wufei was not obvious.

Wufei managed to shut his mouth, and then turned to give Quatre a helpless look. Quatre, still glowing red, brushed past him, trying to hide his face as he raced into the bedroom to put some clothes on.

Wufei shrugged and picked up his shirt from the table where it had apparently been thrown, slinging his arms into it and loosely doing it up. Apparently not caring that his appearance was less than immaculate, he then calmly walked over and sat down in a padded armchair across from Trowa and sat like a king on his throne, waiting for the boy's fit of giggles to calm itself.

Eventually Trowa did calm somewhat. He lounged bonelessly on the couch, staring up at the ceiling, and occasionally some hiccupping sort of chuckle making its way out. He wore a smile that seemed to say he had found out the meaning of life, and it was all one big joke.

After judging a suitable amount of time had passed, Wufei said, "Well, I bet you never thought when coming here today that you would find this, did you?"

Trowa rolled over to grin in his friend's direction. "It seems congratulations are in order," he said, rather hoarsely. His bout of laughter had torn up his throat somewhat.

Wufei smirked at him -- the infuriating kind, this time. "Definitely," he said in a throaty tone of voice.

That set Trowa off again.

By the time Quatre emerged from the bedroom, now fully dressed (sans shoes), Trowa was just beginning to calm down again, although he was far from sober. The blond Arabian walked over to the other armchair and sat down in it, deliberately distancing himself from the other two men in the room.

Trowa swivelled so he was sitting upright and facing the other two. He couldn't help but smirk in Quatre's direction. "So, I hear you two had a good time last night."

Quatre shot a deadly glare in Wufei's direction.

"Don't look at me like that, Winner! I said nothing!"

Trowa, meanwhile, was chuckling at the two of them. "You two are so cute," he told them.

"Cute?!?" two voices said simultaneously.

"An unfortunate turn of phrase, perhaps," Trowa said, completely deadpan in tone while he gave the two a small smile. It appeared that his loss of control in the fit of hysterical laughter was beginning to revert back to his usual reserve. "I didn't come here to talk about your sex lives."

"I most certainly hope not," Wufei said, pretending to be highly offended. He was deliberately not doing a very good job. Trowa took a deep breath. "I wanted to talk with you," to Quatre "about Duo."

Quatre leaned forwards intently, all embarrassment forgotten. "You noticed it, too?" he questioned eagerly.

"Noticed what?" Wufei asked, looking between the two of them, then backtracked. "If it is something you would rather not discuss with me, then -- "

"No, Wufei, it doesn't matter," Trowa interrupted. "I would like your input as well, if possible," he added as an afterthought.

"All right. So what is wrong with Maxwell now?"

"I'm not sure."

Quatre intervened. "Wufei, you remember when we all met at that restaurant and Heero and Trowa made their rather stammered announcement?"

"I resent that phrase," Trowa said, now back to being completely deadpan.

"You stammered, don't deny it. Wufei?"

"I remember."

"Did Duo's reaction seem . . . well, off to you?"

Wufei frowned, propping his ankle on the other knee. "Now you mention it . . . it did seem rather strange at the time," he said. "But then Maxwell turned it into a prank, and I thought nothing of it."

"I don't think the first bit was a prank," Trowa said quietly. "I -- I thought Duo, at least, would be happy for us. . . ."

"I would have thought that, too," Quatre agreed, nodding. "After all the time he spent with you and Heero, trying to get you to open up, it only seems logical that he would be equally happy -- if not more so -- with this than when you smiled at him for the first time, or something like that."

"So we've established that Maxwell wasn't happy about Heero and Trowa. Does anyone have any suggestions as to why?" Wufei asked.

"I can't think of a damn thing," Trowa admitted. "That was why I came here."

"Can Heero think of anything?" Quatre wanted to know.

"Heero didn't even think anything was off until I pointed it out to him. He's probably got half a dozen theories right now, but if he thought any of them viable he would have shared them with me."

"Hm." Quatre sat back, tapping a finger on his chin.

Trowa hesitated. "I thought maybe I could . . . talk to him," he said. "Find out what's wrong, I mean."

"He's not going to tell you right out," Quatre said, still frowning and tapping.

"Have you got a better idea?"

Quatre sighed. "To be honest, it seems like whenever I try to use my strategic knowledge on a friend, my brain flies out the window. All I can do is act on my own emotions. . . . I'm not sure whether this is because subconsciously I feel guilty about manipulating my closest friends or just because I can't apply tactics to the complicated people I know." He smiled ruefully at them. "And Duo's just about as complicated as they come. I can't think of a damn thing either."

"Wufei?" Trowa asked.

"I'm concerned about Maxwell," Wufei said slowly, "but I can't say I know him well enough to know a way to get him to open up." He frowned suddenly. "No, that was the wrong way to phrase it. I know him well enough to know that there is no way to get him to open up if he doesn't want to. So your solution is to get him to feel that he wants or needs to tell you what's wrong with him."

Trowa buried his head in his hands. "This is too complicated," he groaned. "I'm not Duo! I can't deal with people!"

Quatre snorted. "Tell that to Lady Une."

Trowa glared at him through his bangs. "Tell that to Trant." [2]

"Point."

"So, does everyone agree that the I should talk to Duo."

"That does seem to be the wisest course of action to take, yes," Wufei replied. "Now if you're finished, may I finish getting dressed?"

"Why bother?" Trowa called over his shoulder on his way to the door. "Quatre will just undress you again." His laughter echoed through the door as he made his way out of Quatre's apartment.

+

[1] Liar
[2] Remember Mr Let's-Test-All-The-G-Boys-With-Zero-System-And-Who-Really-Doesn't-Like-Trowa?

[part 2] [part 4] [back to Anria's fic]