Author: BleedToBlue
Genre: Gundam Wing Fanfiction
Pairing: 6x2, 3x4, hints of 5x2, 1xR
Warning: R for possible language, m/m,
A/N: Many thanks to Marasmine for being my beta and friend.

The Entropy of Memory + Chapter 8

After the excitement of their arrival and then the early morning weirdness in their room (and wasn't 'their room' a strange term/concept to apply, thought Duo) the rest of their day (no, not their day...too much they, them, their and there wasn't any such thing the little voice added) was fairly tame, if no less odd. Duo just hadn't realized how really odd things would get after lunch.

The conversation with Quatre was pretty straightforward; Wufei spoke, Zechs interjected and, although they were unfailingly and excruciatingly polite, their body language spoke worlds; Duo just didn't quite understand the language.

"Whatever Chang thinks is right, I'm sure." drawled Zechs in the hated Milliardo Peacecraft voice.

"I bow to Merquise's knowledge of that subject," purred Wufei using a silky tone Duo didn't like very much either. Duo noticed Quatre flinch and rub his temple as the two continued their verbal sparring.

Duo didn't really think it was security although that's what they were talking about on the surface. He did notice that Quatre stood between them and Trowa kept a weather eye on them both. Duo thought they'd resolved their issues about the war and Trieze but now he thought maybe he'd been wrong about that. There was something going on. Thoughts of freighters and long space trips floated idly through Duo's mind. Duo would have slipped out of the room and found a quiet place to escape to, if he hadn't thought it cowardly to leave Quatre and Trowa to deal with those two.

Duo listened and asked himself what was going on. The strange tension between Zechs and Wufei he'd noticed earlier continued. Quatre and Trowa seemed to take it in stride, not surprised by it but cautious; Duo knew that if his face reflected his feelings then he looked confused.

Wufei was in charge of the Preventor security team but was, according to Une's suggestion, having a working vacation. That seemed an oxymoron of gigantic proportions when applied to Chang, Duo thought. Much to his amazement, Zechs consternation, and Quatre and Trowa's amusement Wufei checked over Quatre's security set up, made assignments to the agents, and then left them to it. Duo couldn't keep the surprise off his face.

"I trained them, I'm right here, and I don't need or desire to micro-manage," Wufei responded firmly when Duo expressed disbelief.

Wufei snorted in amusement when Duo had quietly asked, "Do you feel okay?"

"I'm fine, do you want to check the monitors or walk the perimeter, or do you want to enjoy your time off?" was the response Wufei gave.

"I know which I choose." Wufei had added with a smile. And although Duo would have preferred to be on security detail he'd realized what would happen if he said it.

Wufei looked at Duo knowingly, "I've learned to delegate. Quatre's security measures are excellent. I have my cell, I'm armed, and we are surrounded by agents." He glanced around the room before continuing quietly.

"Besides, Quatre and your partner," there was a subtle emphasis on that word 'partner' that puzzled Duo, "would be enough to deter the most determined attack." Wufei reached out to gently squeeze Duo's shoulder. "So relax, enjoy yourself." Duo had difficulty getting his head around this version of Wufei but it was welcome, none the less.*

The surprises hadn't ended after lunch. Zechs and Wufei managed to ratchet the tension level down during the security briefing with Quatre and Trowa. Both Wufei and Zechs had spoken with Lady Une on the vidphone. Trowa called Heero but Duo had retreated to the quiet of the living room when his part in the security discussion was over. Trowa knew Duo wouldn't speak with Heero and Duo didn't know or want to know, what Heero had to say. 'Later,' Duo promised himself, 'he would talk to Heero, later.'

Most of the security team had been dispersed around the estate and lunch was a quiet affair with just the five of them. Quatre discussed politics and business in the L4 cluster with Wufei and Zechs, while Trowa and Duo talked about modifications Duo planned to make on his newest bike. The one that was still mostly a pile of parts on the floor of the garage space he rented. Zechs asked knowledgeable questions about politics, which was not unexpected, and questions about motorcycle engines which was, then had the nerve to appear amused by Duo's surprise.

After lunch the five men returned to the living room which boasted a huge fireplace with a roaring fire. It was cool in the mountains and the fire was welcome. Trowa excused himself on the pretext of making vid-calls and Quatre suggested a game of chess to Zechs. Duo sprawled on the sofa and thought about the wisdom of retreating to his, or rather, 'their' room for a nap when Wufei stood and extended his hand.

"Take a walk with me?" Wufei asked. Startled, Duo took his hand, and Wufei pulled him off the couch. He could feel Zechs' eyes on him but Duo didn't look at him. Quatre's expression told Duo he wanted to say something but instead Quatre turned and spoke in a quiet voice to Zechs. Wufei said a goodbye as he and Duo left the room but if Zechs or Quatre answered him Duo didn't hear.

Zechs mind wasn't on the chess game. He thought about the way Duo had looked that morning, lying asleep in the bed across from Zechs'. Duo had looked very young relaxed and stretched out in the comfortable bed. Zechs had to dress and leave the room to keep himself from reaching out and stroking the curve of Duo's jaw. He had wanted to smooth the stray strands of hair away from Duo's face, wanted to free Duo's hair from it's confining braid and see how it looked falling down his back. Zechs had practically raced out of the room carefully, quietly so as not to wake Duo but he'd left as quickly as he could.

Quatre had found him pacing in the long hallway, given him a knowing, sympathetic look and suggested that he might enjoy a walk down to the river. The brisk trip to the river and back had soothed him. Quatre was waiting with a breakfast tray for him on his return.

"Duo will be starving and the dining room is already filled with security people. Do them a favor and take this up to your room. It will keep him occupied and out of their hair. Plenty of time for him to talk about it later." Quatre was beginning to look a bit harried Zechs thought.

Sipping his coffee, waiting for Duo to finish dressing, Zechs had his libido and emotions firmly in hand. He wasn't going to push Duo and make him run again. He'd decided that the way to Duo's heart was gentle firmness, being there, being consistent and most important letting Duo make the first move. He thought he was making some progress; Duo really seemed to be responding to him. And if it didn't seem to be working there was always the other option, capturing Duo and dragging him off to a cave...... he would much prefer that course of action.

When Duo walked out of the bathroom wearing just a towel and his hair falling over his shoulders Zechs' resolve to avoid acting like a caveman was severely tested. Zechs was quite proud of himself for not forgetting all his good intentions.

Then Chang had shown up. He'd wanted to knock Chang's arm off Duo's shoulder, wanted to order him out of the room, wanted to wipe the smug, self-satisfied look off his face. Zechs didn't think growling and snarling and jealousy would win him any points with Duo but it had been hard to exercise self-control.

And now, watching Chang pull Duo out of the room by the hand, taking him for a walk alone under the flimsy excuse of needing fresh air well, Zechs was seething. Zechs saw right through Chang. He might profess to be Duo's friend, but it wasn't friendship he had in mind. Zechs considered the possibilities. Chang had an edge because he had been Duo's friend for a long time but as far as Zechs was concerned Chang Wufei had had his chance and Duo belonged to him. Zechs only hoped Duo saw it that way; he hoped that Duo saw Chang as a friend and nothing more, and hoped that Duo saw him, Zechs, as much more than his partner.

Quatre saw and felt the emotions playing across Zechs face as he stared blindly at the chess board. At least any doubts he had concerning Zechs real feelings for Duo were resolved. Now if they could just get through the rest of the day without an altercation between WuFei and Zechs.

They were both startled from their thoughts several minutes later when a rather breathless security agent hurried in to say that the security system had gone down and that they were unable to contact Agents Chang and Maxwell. Quatre was still giving instructions when he realized that Zechs was gone, most likely on his way to find Wufei and Duo. Quatre didn't think that was going to end well at all and hurried off to find Trowa.

[ch. 7] [ch. 9] [back to BleedToBlues' fic]