("Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order)
fic by Aoe

Bizarre Love Triangle

I don't like hospitals.

I don't like the cheap antiseptic smell, or the unrelieved whiteness, or the way everybody's shoes squeak on the floors. I shift restlessly, fidgeting with my braid, a spot of incongruous black in my tee shirt and cutoffs as I watch Trowa filling out the discharge papers.

How'd I get stuck with picking him up?

Catherine's pissed. Don't ask me why. I'm not brave enough to bug her about it. Nobody wants to get in Catherine's face when Trowa's involved.

I don't get it, though. Usually she's like a mother bear protecting her cub when he gets so much as a paper cut. But a training accident that put him in the hospital for three days with a concussion and a severely sprained leg, and I'm picking him up?

She doesn't even like me much.

I jump up from my seat in relief as he rises from the desk, paperwork completed. I bounce in place as he hobbles over, only pretending to use the crutch.

I'm used to that kind of shit, though. I glower menacingly at him until he sighs and begins to put at least some of his weight on the crutch. I fall into step with him, heaving a sigh of my own as we amble out into the sunshine and clean air. He smiles at me, just a little, and it hits me unexpectedly, the way it does sometimes.

Damn.

I have Heero. I'm happy.

So why do I still get these... feelings when I'm around Trowa?

Every time I think of you

I feel a shock right through
The bolt of blue

I try to shake it off, thinking of Heero instead. His eyes, his hands, his mouth...

Yeah, that did it. Of course, now I'm grinning like an idiot, but what can I say? The guy really does it for me.

Then I glance at my silent companion and I'm all distracted again.

Damn, damn, damn. It's gonna be one of those days.

He's checking me out, too, those little sidelong glances that he thinks I don't notice. He's always done it, and once upon a time, I actually tried to take him up on what he seemed to be offering. Tried to give what he seemed to want.

I got the big brush-off.

C'est la vie, eh?

But we're buddies. Friends. He's been great about the Heero thing, but even before that, we've stayed in touch since peace broke out. It's kind of funny, I guess. I mean, only Wufei could possibly be considered more incompatible with me, right? But Trowa...

I don't know what it is about him. Probably the same thing that makes me hammer away at Heero's reserve, although to be honest, Spandex Boy is a lot easier to get to.

Heero.

I love him. I'm happy.

But Trowa's looking at me again, and I'm squirming inside.

No.

No, no, no, no, forget it, Maxwell. He turned you down flat, and you're so involved. Leave it in the past where it belongs. Choices, decisions, were made. I like my life the way it is now. Which is good, because it would be a bit difficult to shake things up at the moment.

And that doesn't bother me.

Really.

Jesus, quit looking at me like that, you jerk! Don't you know what kind of signals you're sending? You're confusing the hell out of me! And I don't need that! I'm already confused enough!

Wait a minute.

What was that? What am I confused about?

I have Heero. I love Heero.

I'm happy, damn it!

It's not a problem of mine

But it's a problem I find
Living a life that I can't leave behind

Have to talk. Avoid confusing and dangerous thoughts.

"So, Tro, any idea why Cathy's too cheesed to come pick you up?"

He looks over at me, not so furtively this time, but there's this guilty look in his eyes...

"What did you do?" I ask flatly. Not that I can't guess. Training accident, my fanny.

He clears his throat and frowns up at the sky, buying time. I know all his tactics. I haven't spent the past few years trying to slowly win him over without picking up a few things.

Oh, no. That was not what I was doing! I was just... being his friend...

Later, Duo. Talk now. No thinking.

"Well?" I prompt.

He sighs and shuffles to a stop, leaning more heavily on the crutch now. "Well," he begins softly, "I was practicing. On the trapeze. And I was thinking... I got distracted, I guess, and... Well, I sort of forgot to grab the bar," he finishes in an embarrassed little mumble.

Uh-huh. Right. Gonna try to sell me some oceanfront property in the colonies next, Trowa?

"You... forgot," I repeat, sarcasm dripping from my voice.

He winces slightly, picking at the foam handle of the crutch. "Well, yes. Catherine was watching though... And she seems to think I... did it deliberately," he admits.

I want to hit him.

I want to scream at him.

I want to pitch a raving fit right there on the street about idiots who can't deal with things that are bothering them in a rational, non-self-destructive manner, and believe you me, I'd feel damn justified in my preaching. I've got tons of material to work with, with the two of them...

But I don't do any of these things. Because I know it won't do any good.

Everybody always says I talk too much, but do they ever fucking listen?

I should really just cut my losses. Walk away from both of them.

Whoa, where did that come from? Heero's gotten a lot better... And Trowa doesn't do this sort of thing often...

Hell. I'm just flustered. Nervous. I don't want to be here dealing with this. I don't want to be tied down, weighed down...

Hilde's pissed at me. When I told her about Heero, she yelled for a while, then she told me I was freakin' nuts. I keep talking about how I want this footloose and fancy-free life, but I'm hooking up with the most structured tight-ass I know. She tells me.

Maybe she's right. But I don't feel tied down with him. I don't feel trapped. There's a side to him that most people don't know about, the wild, carefree side that he keeps hidden, contained. That's what draws me to him. His recklessness.

Speaking of recklessness.

I shake my head and shoot a glower at Trowa, letting him know I know exactly what went down, if not why it happened, and he flushes slightly, looking away.

Maybe Hilde's right. Maybe I'm nuts for caring as much about either of them as I do.

But I do care.

Which is a trap of sorts, but... one I don't seem to mind.

There's no sense in telling me

The wisdom of a fool won't set you free

"So where's your better half?" he asks with forced lightness. He thinks I can't tell, but I'm good at reading emotional nuance. I have to be, don't I?

"Hey, I'm the better half, thank you very much," I correct him archly, earning a strained grin. Something's really bugging him today.

Duh, Duo. He just plummeted headfirst off a trapeze on purpose. You really think something's bothering him?

"Heero's hip-deep in lawyers," I answer. He raises an eyebrow in question. "Divorce proceedings," I elaborate.

"Ah," he says softly. He's quite for a minute, and I watch him closely, looking for clues, hints to what's going on behind his blank fašade.

"So I guess you'll both be leaving soon?" he asks after a while.

Ha! Gotcha! I detect wistfulness!

But...why?

He's checking me out again.

I don't know what to make of all this.

I have Heero. I love him. I'm...

I'm admiring the golden highlights the sun brings out in Trowa's hair.

Damn it.

We're friends. He didn't want to be anything more. Just because I did...

Do I still?

God. As if I weren't confused enough about where my life is going.

Why now? When I thought I had everything I could ever want, when I'm happy... Now he's changing his mind? Changing the rules?

What the hell am I supposed to do?

But that's the way that it goes

And it's what nobody knows
And every day my confusion grows

I've waited so long for him to change his mind about me. About us. And yeah, lately, I'd thought maybe I was getting somewhere.

But... Heero...

I do love Heero. Even if I haven't told him that. He hasn't said it out loud either, although he has declared it quite indisputably.

But... Trowa...

I've wanted him for a long time. I stopped letting myself think about that a long time ago, but it never really went away. All these years, I've kept in touch, visiting whenever I could, spending time with him, always watching, always hoping...

Sometimes he came close. He'd look at me this certain way, and his eyes would soften, and I'd start to hope...

I tried once, you see. I can't bring myself to make the first move again. I don't handle rejection well. So it's up to him now.

Every time I see you falling

I get down on my knees and pray
I'm waiting for that final moment
You'll say the words that I can't say

He's looking tired, so we stop and sit on a bench. In the park.

I like this park. Pleasant memories. Heero showed me his new tattoo here.

Heero. God, what have I been thinking?

He loves me. He's throwing his entire life into chaos right now because he loves me. How can I be even thinking about anybody else?

How can I be sitting here in the sunshine, feeling his thigh pressing warmly against mine, and smile happily at the sensation? How can I feel so nervous and giddy inside at the brush of his fingers against mine?

I feel fine, I feel good

I feel like I never should

It's starting to make me nervous, how good it feels just to be near him. Yeah, I've always been interested, but it's never been this bad...

Maybe because I never really knew... what it was like?

Trowa could have been my first. First guy, anyway. But he turned me down. But now I've been with Heero... and God, it's driving me crazy, wanting to know how that long, lean body would feel, pressed against mine. I want to feel those slender fingers, callused from resin, caressing my skin...

Jesus. I have got to cut this out. I'm getting all...

Yikes. Heero would totally shoot me.

That's got to be what's changed, though. Now I really know what I want from him. And maybe... maybe after all this time, he's finally decided he wants the same thing from me?

But... it's too late. Isn't it? I've made my choice...

And I won't betray Heero. I do love him.

It's just that I love Trowa, too.

Damn it. Why can't we just be friends like we were before? Why does everything have to change? Even I like a little stability. I need Trowa. I don't want to have to cut him out of my life because we can't just be friends anymore...

Whenever I get this way
I just don't know what to say
Why can't we be ourselves like we were yesterday?

Of course... maybe I should just take a pill here. I could be projecting. Maybe I'm still just seeing what I want to see. Maybe he's no more interested today than he was four years ago.

But... he's looking at me again.

Man, this is gonna drive me nuts. I can't figure out what he thinks or feels or wants.

I just know there's something he's hiding.

I'm not sure what this could mean
I don't think you're what you seem

I've got to know.

I'm sorry, Heero, but I've got to know.

"So why the swan dive without a pool, Tro?" I ask casually. He turns to look at me straight on, eyes narrowed.

"Don't you have any theories?" he asks flatly.

"Sure, lots of them. But I figure why theorize when you can get right to the truth?"

He frowns and sighs and picks up the end of my braid, brushing it against his hand. I wonder if he appreciates the level of trust and affection I show every time I let him casually touch my hair.

"I wanted to move," he says quietly, almost talking to himself.

"Huh?" is my brilliant rejoinder.

He smiles slightly. "It sounds silly now, I suppose. But I was thinking about how I never... take action. I just sit and wait for things to happen to me. The people I... care about flow around me like I'm a stone in a river of life. I just wanted... to fly. To be free, for a moment."

I sit quietly, digesting this speech.

"Trowa... "

"I never meant to fall in love with him," he interrupts, still speaking so quietly. That comment throws me for a loop.

Him. Not you. Him. Him who? Quatre? Wufei? Or...

Heero. Somehow, I just know that's it.

Shit.

Well, glad I didn't open my big mouth for once.

This shouldn't hurt. I have Heero.

Trowa wants Heero.

"It's different with you. Falling for you makes sense. But Heero... I still don't understand why I want him," he continues thoughtfully.

It's different with me? What the hell does that mean? It's different because we're just friends? He could understand objectively falling for me, but he hasn't? Or he has?

"I'm confused, Trowa. You're... in love with Heero, right?" I ask slowly. He frowns slightly, glancing at me.

"Yes," he answers calmly.

I paste a big ole shit-eating grin on my face. "Oh, okay. Well, I can certainly understand that, even if you can't. Maybe I can explain it to you. I'll tell you, though, it would have made a lot more sense for you to fall for me."

Oh shit. I did not just say that.

Yes I did.

Hmm, that's an interesting shade of red he's turning. I wonder what color I am.

That's what I get for letting my mouth run off unattended.

He takes up an intense study of his knees, the long bangs falling forward, brushing his nose.

"Well, yes, as I said, that part does make sense," he says quietly.

What was that?

"Wait a minute, Tro... You're saying you... love... both of us?" Man, that word really just sticks in my throat.

"I'm happy for you. Both of you," he says, so softly. "I'm glad that you're... together." He pauses and shoots me this really pathetic attempt at a grin. "I just wish I could figure out which of you I'm more jealous of," he adds.

Well. I am stunned.

He loves me. Trowa loves me.

Heero loves me.

And I love... I love...

Oh man oh man oh man.

I do admit to myself that if I had someone else
Then I'll never see just what we're meant to be

"Duo?"

Ack! Déjà vu!

Can this day get just a little more difficult, please?

No, it actually probably couldn't.

"Ah... hi, Heero," I finally manage to choke out. He's approached from behind, and his strong, warm hands settle on my shoulders, squeezing gently.

With very little effort, that soft caress could turn into a choking grip, or a practiced twist that would just snap my little neck...

"Interesting conversation you two were having," he continues in his flat, cold soldier voice. The one I hate. His fingers dig a bit more sharply into my tense neck muscles.

"Heero... " I gasp, wincing as he hits an especially tight knot. He makes a little noise of concern, determinedly grinding into the painful spot.

"You're so tense, Duo," he observes. "Are you worried about something?"

The voice is still flat, but I am beginning to pick up on some kind of undertone... I crane my head backwards to peer up at him. He stares down at me, face blank and cold... but there it is. That mischievous glint in his eyes that he hardly ever lets show in public. He meets my gaze for a moment, then his eyes flicker to Trowa, sitting very still and nervous beside me, staring at his knees again.

And damned if the little prick doesn't freaking leer at Trowa. And then smirks meaningfully at me.

It's way too early in the day. He can't possibly be drunk.

He's not going to start acting like this all the time, is he? Scary thought.

Intriguing one, too, though...

He raises an eyebrow at me, demanding some kind of answer to the silent question I cannot believe he is asking.

I wouldn't have thought he could even conceive of the concept of a threesome, much less be interested...

He pinches the nerve cluster at the base of my neck, and not gently either. Okay, he's interested all right. And, as always, impatient as hell.

I scowl up at him attempting to convey the message: It's your hentai idea, you bring it up. Then I grin to let him know I don't actually object to the notion.

He grunts. Message received.

I almost feel sorry for Trowa as that old "mission accepted" gleam enters his eyes. He's eyeing the poor guy like a tiger would a big juicy steak.

My life just gets weirder every day.

I'm loving it.

Every time I see you falling
I get down on my knees and pray
I'm waiting for that final moment
You'll say the words that I can't say

"So. Trowa. You want us both, is that it?" Heero asks, in his best detached clinical tone.

Trowa squirms for a moment, then sighs and reluctantly nods his head.

"I'm sorry," he whispers. "I know I don't have the right to intrude. I hope... I hope we can all still be friends."

Man, he sounds so miserable that I know this is what caused his little mishap with the trapeze. Obviously he's been spending too much time thinking again. It's a dangerous pastime. He's already determined in his mind how this turns out, I can see that, too. And it's not a happy resolution. I almost take pity on him and open my mouth. Heero in his eye-glinting mood can be a vicious little bastard.

Ah, what the hell. He'll have to get used to it sometime.

"Well, I just don't know about that," Heero says coldly. "There's no way I'm going to give Duo up for you."

Ooh, good one, Heero. He just lets that lie for a moment, and I can see the wheels in Trowa's head spinning at lightspeed as he tries to work out the meaning of that phrase. It's magnificently oblique.

"No, I'm sorry, Trowa," he continues after a brief pause. Trowa's shoulders have slumped in defeat. "I'm afraid you're going to have to intrude," Heero concludes.

Trowa sits quietly for a moment, then his head slowly raises and he frowns at Heero in confusion.

My darling psycho boyfriend drapes himself casually over my shoulders, nipping briefly at my earlobe before adding, "We come as a set these days. If you want either of us, you have to take both."

Trowa proceeds to do his goldfish imitation while I am seized with a fit of the giggles. Heero just smirks at me and rolls his eyes, which makes me laugh harder.

Maybe, just maybe, I am a tiny bit hysterical at the sudden resolution of all the tension I have experienced in such a short time.

At any rate, I wind up with my head in a startled and confused Trowa's lap. I grin widely up at him.

"Well, Tro? What do you think? Menàge a trois sound like a plan to you?"

He stares, stunned, as Heero slips around the bench and lifts my feet up into his lap, rubbing my ankles.

Trowa looks back and forth between us, obviously trying to figure out if we're joking. We both let the silence stretch, letting him slowly realize that we're not.

He finally manages to get his jaw to close after a while, and then I can see resolution enter his eyes.

He's made his decision on the matter.

Heero's grip tightens on my ankle and I'm holding my breath as he opens his mouth to give us his answer.

Every time I see you falling
I get down on my knees and pray
I'm waiting for that final moment
You'll say the words that I can't say...

~owari

[back to Aoe's fic]