("All for You" by Sister Hazel)
fic by Aoe

Hard to Say

Sometimes I wonder about me.

With the ease of long training, I keep my breathing deep and even despite the pain I'm feeling. Not that it really hurts that much. The first time, with Duo, hurt more I think.

Actually, I kind of like it.

But it does hurt.

An especially sharp stab of pain hits unexpectedly, and I wince reflexively before smoothing my features into impassivity once more.

"Heero? Are you all right?"

Trowa's hesitant voice from behind me. How could he have seen my expression?

He didn't, of course. He saw my shoulders tense. He lays a hand on my left shoulder blade, estimating my tension from the rigidity of the muscle. I consciously force it to relax.

"Heero?" He doesn't seem fooled. Damn it, Trowa, I chose this! I don't mind a little pain! "You don't have to do this, you know," he offers yet again. I growl low in my chest.

"Sure he does," Duo objects firmly from his seat a few feet away. He crosses his legs and smirks at me, eyes twinkling. "It's only fair, really. He did it for me. So he has to do it for you. Besides," he drawls, gaze roving away from my face to a point further south, "it's a little late to back out now."

"Well, if you're sure," Trowa says softly, that note of protest still in his voice. I have now forced myself to relax fully.

Then I feel sudden shocking contact with a sensitive spot back there, and ... well, I can't help it. I yelp.

Duo erupts into giggles at the unexpected sound, and I glare at him, which has as much of a quelling effect on him as usual. Which is to say, none whatsoever.

Trowa gasps behind me. "Heero, you're bleeding!" he exclaims a bit nervously.

Duo jumps up from his seat, eyes shining with a definite lustful gleam. Closet sadist.

"Yes, I know," I grunt out through clenched teeth.

"Let me see!"

That's Duo, standing close now, one hand idly caressing my back as he leans over me a bit for a better view.

"Duo!" Trowa protests, and I can feel him shift to block Duo's view. The braided baka makes a noise of impatience.

"C'mon, Tro, it's not like I haven't seen it before," he protests, leaning further over me.

I've had just about enough of this.

His last shift causes his braid to tumble down to hang in front of my face.

I grin evilly to myself.

"OW! Heero you bastard! That fucking hurts!" he yells, quickly backing away from me, clutching his scalp. I just smirk at him. He's breathing a little fast, eyes bright with pain... and something else. "Do it again," he whispers, sliding back towards me with a demented grin.

"Baka," I mutter, not interested in playing this game at the moment. My ordeal should be over soon.

This seemed like such a good idea when I was drunk.

Duo gives up on trying to peer around Trowa, and instead makes his way to my other side for an unobstructed view. "Wow," he murmurs. "Nice. Don't worry, Hee-chan, he's almost done."

"Whatever."

A few more minutes of intense probing pressure from behind, and Trowa lets out a deep sigh of relief as it's finally finished. I bite back a sigh of my own. I have been trained to endure pain, to fight through it, to soldier on, but in my current situation, when I don't really have a mission to focus on, my aching ass is a bit distracting.

"Well! I guess it's official now, Trowa! Welcome to our dysfunctional little family!" Duo proclaims expansively. I make a mental note to hit him later.

For now, I just look up wearily and grunt in a vaguely satisfied manner as the grinning tattoo artist angles mirrors with Trowa's assistance so I can see my behind.

Which now bears a bright red heart with the message "I Love Duo & Trowa".

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.

Got that line from Duo, but it seems appropriate at times like these.

As I stand up and pull my pants back on, manfully repressing any further indications of pain despite my dully throbbing butt, Duo pays the tattooist and Trowa hovers nervously, obviously not sure what to do or how to deal with the bizarre events of the day thus far.

I guess we are sort of winging it.

Eventually business is concluded, and we all step out into the sunny street again, Duo cheerfully waving goodbye to the tattoo artist, who is still making amused comments about how next time he'll have to enlarge the heart.

"There won't be a next time," Duo declares firmly as he latches onto my arm and Trowa's, pulling us both up against either side of him. He shoots a sly grin at Trowa and adds, "I'll share him with you, but my generosity only extends so far."

Trowa blinks dazedly, and finally a bemused little smile tilts his lips. Duo laughs brightly and leans over impulsively to kiss our newly acquired partner on the lips.

Trowa doesn't seem to know quite what to make of that, which only increases Duo's amusement. Duo now has everything he wants. He is content.

Maybe... maybe I am too.

I haven't been, these past few years with Relena. One could say I've generally been miserable. Relena is the sort of person you admire from afar.

Like, say, from a different country. The other end of a restraining order.

Just a comfortable distance.

I suppose I loved her once. But I can't really remember it now, and I don't know if it was really love, or if I just thought it was, having never known the real thing.

I know real love now.

Real love is Duo nibbling on my earlobe as we walk down the street, Trowa's hand sliding across Duo's back to brush feather light against my own as he smiles so softly. Real love is knowing that I will never feel alone again, that they will always be with me, as they always should have been.

Real love is wondering how I survived so long without them.

Finally I figured out
Though it took a long, long time

Duo pulls loose suddenly and spins around to face us, demanding that we go back to the park and get ice cream. He's such a child sometimes. It's an utterly frivolous request, when Trowa should be getting back to the circus to rest his wounded leg, and I should be meeting with Quatre's lawyer who is attempting to get me out of my marriage to Relena with something more than my old spandex shorts and a fading ring tan.

I smirk slightly and give in to Duo's request.

His eyes sparkle in the sunlight as he runs off ahead of us, no doubt to get a head start on the ice cream. I shake my head in silent amusement and offer my shoulder as a substitute for the crutch that Trowa is blatantly not using.

"There was a time when you would have said no, and called him a baka, and that would have been the end of it," Trowa observes softly. He's still a little confused by our earlier conversation.

I shrug slightly. "That was then, this is now. People change," I reply.

"HEERO! STRAWBERRY OR PISTACHIO?"

That's Duo, screaming from about three hundred feet distant.

"Well, some people," I amend, but we share a knowing smile. Neither of us would want him to change.

He'll be the one to change us. And we'll welcome it.

Now there's a turnabout
Maybe 'cuz I'm tryin'

Duo comes bouncing back with ice cream in hand, apparently having made my choice for me when I declined to scream back at him. He presents me with a dripping cone of strawberry, and Trowa with fudge ripple, keeping mint chocolate chip for himself.

I notice that Trowa's and my cones have already been licked.

Duo grins devilishly at us.

"Wasn't sure what I wanted," he explains with an unrepentant shrug. Trowa chuckles softly. I glare at Duo for a moment, but we've already established today how useful that tactic is in dealing with him.

Not for the first time, I wonder how I've ended up where I am.

I mean, I was married to Relena Peacecraft. And now I'm shacking up with two of my best friends? Two former Gundam pilots? Two guys?

This is not the neat, ordered, logical little life I should be pursuing.

There's been times
I'm so confused

Duo leans forward and takes a bite from my ice cream, utterly destroying the perfectly rounded dome I had been studiously forming with my licks. He grins at me, eyes gleaming happily as I glower. He's a little hyper right now, but that's to be expected, I suppose. He's wanted Trowa for a long time, and never really expected to get him.

I wonder briefly if he was settling for me, then put the thought out of my mind. I know he wasn't. He wanted me, too.

Just like Trowa wanted us both.

Just like I wanted both of them, although I never thought there was any remote possibility I could have either.

So we all wanted each other, and now we all have what we want.

I guess maybe that is neat, ordered and logical.

And all my roads
Well, they lead to you

Duo takes a bite from Trowa's ice cream as well. Trowa raises a brow at him, but smiles slightly. Duo giggles and dances away again, running off to find an open bench.

Trowa shakes his head and chuckles. "Staking his claim," he observes insightfully. I snort in response, attempting to repair the damage to my cone. He's right, though. Duo can be very possessive, and he's probably going to do a lot of silly little things like that for a while, just to make sure we both know who we belong to.

I've always been independent. I should chafe at his implied ownership.

But in a way, I guess I want to belong to him. I mean, I wouldn't still be here if I didn't, would I?

Just can't turn and walk away


We really are opposites, Duo and I. But that's what makes our relationship so interesting. He challenges me, and I always loved a challenge.

He changes me, and I've always needed to be changed.

Beyond that, I really can't explain why we're together. That's just the way it's supposed to be.

It's hard to say what it is I see in you
Wonder if I'll always be with you
Words can't say and I can't do
Enough to prove it's all for you

Trowa and I stroll along together, knowing we'll catch up to the hyperactive wonder eventually, content to go at our own pace for now. We fall into an old, companionable silence, although we are both capable of talking. Duo has mocked us for being too quiet, but we just talk less than he does.

We only speak when there's something we need to say, and we recognize when words aren't really necessary.

Still, I'm growing accustomed to a soundtrack of endless chatter in my life, so I shoot Trowa a little questioning glance.

He catches it, as he is watching me from the corner of his eye. Checking me out, as Duo would say.

I never thought he was interested in me. Just never picked up on it. Of course, I never realized Duo was, either, so I suppose that's par for the course.

And I'm supposed to be so observant. I've been oblivious for years to something that's been right under my nose. Just because I didn't believe it could be.

I thought I'd seen it all
'Cause it's been a long long time

I was thrilled to connect with Duo, and that was random enough, although I think maybe he knew what he was doing. Well, as much as he ever does.

This Trowa thing, though... Never saw it coming. I got out of court early when Relena stormed off in a huff, and decided to see if I could catch up to Duo and Trowa at the hospital. I found them in the park, sitting on a bench, and snuck up behind them just in time to hear Duo firmly establishing that Trowa was in love with me.

Imagine my shock.

I really, honestly, never expected that.

I was attracted to him, sure. But quite frankly, I always thought he had the hots for Quatre. Shows what I know, I guess.

He took care of me, when I first attempted to self-destruct.

I like being taken care of.

Maybe that's weakness, when everybody is always telling me I'm strong, but it's true. I can be cold and hard and determined, even ruthless and cruel when I have to be. I can function quite well on my own, take care of myself better than most people my age.

But that's because I've had to.

Duo and Trowa... both, in their own ways, have taken responsibility for me. Have tried to protect me from myself.

But still, Trowa's confession took me completely by surprise.

Oh, but then I'll trip and fall
Wondering if I'm blind

I guess it shouldn't have. The signs were there as much as they were with Duo. Of course, I didn't realize Duo returned my interest either until a few months back.

So how did we suddenly end up deciding to try a threesome?

Well, it was my idea.

Not that anyone seems to have objections.

In a way, it was the best logical conclusion.

And then, it's also about the craziest thing I've ever conceived of.

I smile slightly, remembering Duo's shocked expression when he realized what I was thinking. He hasn't quite got me figured out yet, and I love surprising him.

Trowa was the most surprised, though. I look at him again, and he's still studying me, slowly licking his ice cream.

"Do you really think this will work?" he asks quietly.

"It better," I mutter, rubbing meaningfully at my butt.

He chuckles softly, shaking his head. "I'm serious, Heero. Making the decision to try it is one thing, but... well, we're very different people, all of us. Do you really think we can manage the sort of compromise and patience this kind of relationship requires?"

I don't want such heavy thoughts right now. I want to eat my ice cream, and enjoy the sunshine, and the knowledge that I have more true happiness in my life right at this moment than I ever thought existed in the universe.

But Duo's never been good at compromising.

And I'm not known for my patience.

Trowa always has to drag logic into things. He's worse than I am.

And now he's got me thinking about it.

There's been times
I'm so confused

I shake my head suddenly, glowering at him. He blinks in surprise.

"It won't work if we overanalyze it," I warn him sharply. He frowns, and opens his mouth to protest, then pauses.

After a moment, his face clears and he shrugs. "Yes, I suppose you have a point," he admits. He sighs softly, though. "I just wonder... "

"Don't wonder," I order curtly, earning a brief upward twitch of his lips. "Just know. Know that we have each other, and that's all we really need."

He frowns pensively, turning my words over in his head. I lick my ice cream thoughtfully, realizing with mild surprise that I actually mean them.

And all my roads
Well, they lead to you

"HEY! GUYS!"

Duo is waving frantically to us from a bench up ahead. I can't help but smile at his enthusiasm. Trowa gives me a funny look for that rarely seen expression, then summons up a smile of his own as we arrive.

Duo beams up at us and loudly declares us both too cute for words.

Then promptly contradicts his own statement by launching into a rambling speech on how the sunlight brings out highlights in Trowa's hair and lightens my eyes.

I roll my lightened eyes, and Trowa runs a nervous hand through his highlighted hair as we settle on the bench on either side of the chatterbox, who has planted himself firmly in the middle.

Once upon a time, I might have hit him for talking so loudly in public about how pretty my eyes are. Or at the very least, turned and left.

I settle back with a long-suffering sigh and throw an arm over his shoulders instead.

Just can't turn and walk away

[cont]