Story: GOOD FORTUNE
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em, wish I did, just enjoy writing about 'em
for free etc
Pairings: 2X4, 4X3
Category: 2 parts, AU, POV, romance/angst
Warnings: Yaoi, lemon
Notes: Nothing in Trowa Barton's wealthy, relatively sheltered life could
have prepared him for the shock of taking in the two street rats. His
life was going to be turned upside down by both of them, in different
ways. And by the end of it all, no-one was going to be quite what they
seemed at first.
Fortune + Chapter
I don't think there's much
time left now.
The doctor has been particularly
discreet, but I know that it is probably a matter of hours.
I smile at the picture on my
bedside table. The young, fresh-faced boy, smiling back as if he could
see me here. A picture from those happier times.
I ache for him.
Will he come back to me, now?
At the last?
He came to me last spring.
They both did.
I can't remember exactly how
I ended up in the park that late afternoon, unattended by my staff. I
suspect that it was another of my vain attempts to seek some solitude.
I can do very much what I wish with my life -- except to be alone.
There are always bodyguards, or nurses, or someone in attendance --
my father's will saw to that. But occasionally, because I'm still quite
young and slim and quiet, I can slip away from them, and make my own way
to and from my house. Please understand - I never want to go anywhere
else. I just want to choose my own way, and my own company. Is that too
much to ask?
There was a chill to the evening,
and the dusk would soon sink into darkness. The bodyguards would be out,
looking for me, I thought wrily. I had seen no-one else for over half
an hour -- I'd chosen a particularly secluded area for my route
home. The grass was uncut, the trees untended. There were several old
sheds leaning against the perimeter, broken, abandoned. There were night
animals already roaming about -- but I merited nothing more than
a curious stare from a passing fox. A few more hundred yards and I'd be
back on the main path.
Then there was a sudden rushing
noise, the patter of feet on the flattened grass. I had no time to stop
or turn and look -- there was only the consciousness of someone
behind me, the wind from a moving body as it passed, and the shock of
a hand hard against my back. I fell -- both slowly and quickly
-- I was full of the astonishment of falling when you're an adult,
you're never prepared for it like children may be. I fell hard on to the
ground, and the air was slapped from my chest.
I thought I might not get up.
But it was strangely soothing, just to give up. I waited to see what would
happen to me.
Then the voice came.
"Are you all right?"
It was very soft, but I could hear it clearly. I could feel my heart beating,
my sight clearing. I wondered if I'd had some kind of stroke --
but the moment passed, and I thought that all my faculties were restored.
"Thank you, yes. I --
I have spells of illness, I'm afraid. But that's all it is." The
speaker took my arm and helped me to stand up. When I started shaking,
he pressed me back down, to sit on the grass. He sat down beside me, still
watching out for me. And I took a full look at him.
He was a boy -- well,
a young man. I'm hardly an old one myself, am I? Perhaps in his late teens.
He stood a couple of inches shorter than me, probably five or so years
younger. The illness makes me look a lot older than I actually am. His
hair was pale blond, curling around his face, and his blue eyes were sharp
on mine. His hand felt very strong under my arm, and he was confident
in handling me. But overall, there was an impression of softness, of kindness.
And astonishing beauty!
Don't misunderstand me, I appreciate
beauty in any person, regardless of their sex. I suppose that I do have
a weakness for boys over girls. But it has always been an aesthetic weakness
-- not a sexual one. And he was -- truly -- lovely.
An angel growing up, I would have described him. Not the unformed, naive
beauty you'd expect of a new angel -- but one tempered with experience
of life, and a developing adult body. Yet still an ethereal quality that
might take your breath away.
And no wings, of course! I
almost laughed out loud at being so fanciful. I've always been a very
calm, logical man. I understand subjective feelings -- I feel my
own desires and I can work to my own instincts. But I have always had
"Who are you?" I
asked. "Where have you come from? I didn't know anyone was here.
I've walked here before -- it's always deserted."
He smiled. His mouth curved
softly, the lips full. He was looking at my mouth as I spoke, and I think
I may have blushed. Ridiculous!
"That's why we like it
here. We hang out in the old sheds. No-one bothers us, and we can make
our own way. But I saw you fall, and I had to come out to help..."
"I -- fell --
" Yes, I remembered now. The rush of a body beside me, running feet...
"There was someone else..."
"No," the blond boy
smiled. "Just me. Oh -- and maybe my partner, Duo."
The boy shrugged. Very gently.
Very expressively. "Duo does his own thing. We work together, we
stay together. But we're different people, I think."
I was regaining my strength,
but he didn't seem to want to leave my side. It felt surprisingly good,
to sit beside him, to talk to him like this.
"I -- you seem
almost familiar to me," I laughed lightly. "I feel very comfortable
with you. What's your name?"
"Quatre," he replied.
He didn't seem to resent my prying. He didn't have the aggressive nervousness
that I would have expected from a street boy.
Because that's what he obviously
was. I lead a very sheltered life, I know, but even I knew who lived in
these parks, who moved about so confidently at night. Street gangs, thieves,
men and women who sold themselves. Despite my fear, I felt a thrill of
excitement at being out here among them myself. I knew that the bodyguards
would turn up soon, and I'd be taken back to my relative safety. Meanwhile
-- well, meanwhile I had this boy to keep me safe instead.
"I'm Trowa Barton,"
I said. "I live on the other side of town..."
"I rather thought that,"
he grinned. "I don't think we have the same tailor, do we?"
He sat there in ripped jeans,
and a complex set of vests, variously torn and mended, and layered over
his upper body. His face had smudges of dirt on the chin, his hair had
been unevenly cut, and probably only washed in the rain. And he looked
I sat in an Italian hand-made
suit, boots tooled from my personal last, and I looked like nothing in
I heard the call of a man that
I knew. One of my bodyguards. He wouldn't yet be able to see me, particularly
as I sat on the ground, on the spiky grass. His voice was a mixture of
anger at the inconvenience of searching for me, and fear that I may have
come to harm. I sighed, and turned to Quatre.
"Will you come back to
my house? Have something to eat or drink? I'm not far away. Just so that
I can thank you properly for helping me. I don't have anything with me
He looked at me in some surprise.
Beautiful, deep pools of eyes. "I don't think so."
"Quatre, why? Just a meal
-- perhaps a small reward, if you won't be offended --"
"By money?" he smiled.
"Not at all! Easy to be offended when you have some in the first
place. But I can't come to your house. I have Duo to consider."
"Your friend? Partner?"
He nodded. And then I think
I noticed it for the first time -- a moving shadow behind him,
half hidden in the dark shapes of the trees. A shadow that moved independently
of the trees, that had limb shapes attached.
"Let me meet him, then.
If he's your friend, he could come too."
Quatre didn't seem to say anything
or make any gesture, but immediately the shadow broke away from the evening
darkness, and came to his side. It was another boy, as I'd guessed. But
perhaps I'd been imagining it would be someone like Quatre. Similar looks
-- similar bearing. This boy, although probably the same age, and
dressed as roughly as Quatre -- well, they couldn't have been more
He was taller, he was broader
in the shoulders, and his stance was immediately more aggressive. His
skin was darker, tanned by the sun. He wore a baseball cap tight on his
head, the shade from the brim half hiding his eyes. But even with that,
I could see the glint in those eyes - wide, violet-flecked eyes - staring
at me with hostility. As he moved, I saw something sway at the edge of
his hip; from the cap fell a long, thick braid of chestnut coloured hair.
He wasn't as beautiful as my
new friend, by any means. And dirtier. And scowling. But despite that,
I heard myself draw in my breath. He was striking in a very masculine,
physical way. He put out a hand to Quatre's shoulder -- possessively.
The blond of Quatre against his thick, dark hair was startling; an angelic
beauty against a handsome ruggedness. I couldn't believe that these two
were typical of most tramps. Or maybe my mind was playing tricks --
imagining the strange aura from both of them, as they stood there together,
looking back at me. I wished I were a painter -- a photographer.
I was rather stunned. You don't expect to find such creatures living rough
in the park.
"Come back with me for
a meal. For a reward," I quickly added, somehow knowing that Duo
would be more impressed at the thought of money. "I'll bring you
back later if you want. Or you can stay for a while." I turned to
Quatre. "I want to get to know you better."
"Jesus, Q, he wants to
do it in a decent bed, rather than a shed --" hooted Duo.
His voice was loud -- it was strident compared to Quatre's soft
"No!" I blushed despite
myself. I could hear the bodyguard approaching, knew I had little time
to persuade him. I wasn't quite sure what I was doing, myself. But I wanted
this boy back in my house -- like I said, I wanted to know more
"That's not what I mean!
Just for food, for -- company. Don't be afraid --"
"I'm not afraid,"
said Quatre, gently. "Not of you."
He turned to Duo, and their
eyes met. I was suddenly, insupportably jealous of their friendship. "Duo,
he doesn't want me for that. I helped him when he fell, and he wants to
repay me. Us."
"Yeah, right. Like I'm
gonna believe that. Fuck off, pervert."
He moved towards me, covering
Quatre. He didn't touch me, but I felt his bubbling anger, and I felt
the menace. I shivered.
He was only a foot away from
me, his face almost on a level, though he was a couple of inches taller.
I could stare into the unusually coloured eyes, see the firm set of his
wide mouth. Somehow I knew it was important to face him out.
"Is that what you are?
Some pervert, searching for rent boys in the park? We see plenty of 'em,
don't we, Q -- though you seem to be startin' kinda young..."
"No," I replied,
as clearly as I could. "I'm not into that sort of thing."
He stared a little longer at
me. I felt as if he was searching me, looking for something --
and finding nothing but dirt. I felt it myself, and yet I was innocent.
It was as if his gaze reached into me, and twisted something.
His hand raised very slightly
and I think that I flinched. He grinned, and it wasn't for happiness --
something rather darker. He reached out suddenly and grasped my chin.
I let him -- I don't think I could have done anything else. I don't
let many people touch me in the normal way of things.
"You're too soft to be
a danger to us, Rich Boy. Look at these clothes -- that skin! Soft
as a baby. You'd be no fun in the sack, anyway. I think you should just
run off home to your Ma before I get bored of you..."
Quatre spoke quite sharply,
but when Duo wheeled back to glare at him, he also flinched.
The boy Duo was angry and fierce
and he scared me, to be honest -- but in that minute, I wanted
to hurt him; to protect Quatre.
Then the tension eased. Duo
"You wanna go, Q, OK.
Fucking stupid, if you ask me, but I could use a good meal." He turned
back to me. "That guy with you as well?" He'd taken a more defensive
stance as we spoke, spreading his feet further apart, balancing himself
as if he was about to fight. His head jerked towards the bodyguard now
"Yes, he's with me,"
I said. I was trying to regain my breath -- to overcome my fright.
I concentrated hard on Quatre's lovely face, full of uncertainty. "Follow
us back. Please."
I suppose I should have known
that it wasn't going to be an easy time. But that first night was like
being in a dream. They both ate a huge supper, and took money, and then
they stayed as well. In two of my guest rooms, on the second floor. Rooms
beside each other. I saw Quatre to his door, to show him the towels, the
bathroom, the way the air conditioning worked. Duo pushed past me to get
to his door, snatching extra towels as he went, snarling that "the
water better be fuckin' hot" and glaring at Quatre as he went. I
heard him lock his door behind him. I watched Quatre shrug ruefully at
his behaviour, thank me for the money and everything -- and vanish
I felt bereft.
I knew, even that first night,
that I wanted Quatre with me. I had no idea for how long, or in what capacity.
But I knew that the rooms downstairs had been richer for his company:
that I loved to hear his soft, clear voice; that he made me feel so very
much happier. I'd known him only for a few hours.
I wanted him to stay.
"You're becoming a good
friend, Quatre!" I joked one day, a couple of weeks after he'd moved
in. I did a lot of my work from home, as travelling tired me so easily,
and we were sitting in my home office, having a tea break. Well, I had
tea. Quatre had water. "I hope that you'll stay a while. I like having
He looked at me a little strangely.
"Don't you have many friends, Trowa? A good man like you --
an important man like you?"
Of course, even in that short
period, he would have seen the succession of professional advisers tramping
through this house. The lawyers, the accountants. And the doctors, of
"No," I said, shortly.
And it was true. The advisers attempted to become friends, but that's
not what I needed. Annie and the rest of my office staff found me rather
difficult to work with, because of my strange hours and my continual medications.
As well as the frustration of working in a house so far from the city,
enclosed by high walls and thousands of acres of professionally landscaped
garden, with so few modern gadgets for entertainment.
I was sheltered, as I've said
before, but I knew enough to know I wasn't a typical young man myself.
I didn't go out, I didn't party; I didn't date. There wasn't much else,
except for occasional trips to town, and my sad little attempts to rebel.
"Where's your family?"
I wasn't offended by his questions,
much as he'd never so far been offended by mine, though he'd avoided most
of my gentle enquiries about his own background.
"They're all dead, now.
That's why I have this house to myself. Why I run the family business
as best I can."
"On your own?" Quatre
sounded admiring, and I suppose I was a little flattered. I was nothing
compared to my father, of course. But I did my best, and the share price
had increased significantly since my inheritance was confirmed.
"Why are you ill, Trowa?
Does it hurt?"
"A little. Sometimes.
I've always been ill, since a baby. I have a hole in my heart --
I had serious pneumonia as a child. It's difficult to breathe sometimes,
and I'm expected to rest far more than I do. I've learned to live with
"Can't anything be done?"
He seemed genuinely upset, and it moved me. No-one's been upset for me
since my mother died when I was ten. And it was all such a strain to her.
"No. I must be careful,
and take the medication, and they say that perhaps I'll live to my forties."
"You might die?"
His voice was a shocked whisper. "But you're young, like me!"
I forced a laugh. "We
might all die, Quatre! It's just that I'm more vulnerable, that's all.
To shock -- to extreme stress and exertion. I don't want to think
about that --"
"Nor do I!" he said,
quite forcefully. And he put a hand over mine. I didn't know what to say,
because my heart started filling with something alien to me --
a deep, roaring ache. I don't know if I gasped. His eyes widened --
the big, vibrantly blue eyes - as if he saw it too. But he smiled reassuringly
at me, and withdrew his hand just as gently.
"I'll fetch you another
tea with your tablets."
As he went to the door, I thought
I saw a shadow behind it, moving swiftly away as he approached. I was
tired. I was probably imagining it.
Gradually, he became my personal
assistant. My office girl, Annie, is a fairly timid person, and she's
never inspired me with confidence. When Quatre started gathering papers
for me, filing things away -- even answering the telephone a few
times when Annie was busy or too flustered -- I felt a reassurance
in someone else that I realised I'd never had since I took on the estate.
He met many of my advisors, many of the professional people I dealt with.
I could see that they were impressed by his manner -- by his calm,
intelligent support to me. I suppose that they were used now to dealing
with me, a man unusually young for their business. Quatre was therefore
not such a culture shock.
"Have you trained in business,
Quatre? What jobs have you had?" He could talk to anyone on the 'phone.
He could separate junk mail from the important papers -- he had
a rudimentary understanding of legal terms that had taken me hard months
"None, Trowa," he
smiled. "None that you'd want to know about, anyway. I just like
to help you. I listen to you when you talk about your life and it's fascinating.
I think that I've picked up a lot from you. Thank you. Perhaps I can get
a proper job some time." He looked wistfully at the door, away up
the stairs. "Perhaps..."
I knew where his mind was looking.
"I think you'd be very
good -- you're very bright." I looked at him sat there, barely
months after we'd first met, when he'd been sleeping rough and dressed
in rags. Now he was dressed by my own tailor, though not so formally.
He had proper shoes, his hair was trimmed regularly. Good food had filled
out his frame, and his body was already much softer yet fitter than mine.
He looked like he belonged here.
And that made me happier than
I'd ever been.
But despite this --
as I said - it was not an easy time.
To have Quatre come to my house,
I had to take Duo as well. I saw the troubles begin that first night,
even as he threw his grubby backpack on the couch. Even as he ran the
hot water dry; commandeered the chair by the fire that I always used;
drank all the beer as fast as the kitchen staff filled the fridge.
The days were bearable; he
left the house most days after breakfast, leaving Quatre to work or relax
with me. God knows what he did with his time, and I didn't really want
to know. He'd come back at various times during the evening, sometimes
after mdnight, and expect food, even though he'd missed the regular meals.
I'd see Quatre leave whatever he was doing and go to see to him. Sometimes
Duo got him up out of bed to cook for him, making such a drunken, clumsy
racket that I'd wake and see what was going on. Quatre knew I wouldn't
ask the staff to turn out again for my -- unwelcome -- house
guest. But they'd respond to him -- the cook would give him leave
of the kitchen, the maid would accept extra washing and cleaning at a
And Duo provided plenty of
work for them all. He ate like a horse, and drank alcohol like water.
He seemed always grubby, even though I reluctantly provided him with new
garments, and gave him the run of the guest bathrooms. If his clothes
were torn or ruined, he'd bin them, and take Quatre's instead. Or even
mine, on occasion. Like he took everything else he wanted. And none of
us stopped him.
That evening, I'd come up to
the guest rooms to call Quatre for supper -- I didn't know Duo
was back in the house, but I could hear two voices in Quatre's room. I
was already almost there, and I didn't want to go back. Nor did I want
to interrupt Quatre's conversation. That was my excuse for hanging back
in the corridor, waiting. Listening in.
The door was slightly ajar
and I could see that Duo was in there with him. He was still in his jacket,
as if he'd just returned, and he was dirty and dishevelled -- almost
like the day I'd first met the pair. I could see Quatre's hands, could
hear him clearly, but the rest of him was just out of my view. His voice
was unusually disturbed.
"You've been in the park,
haven't you? Look at the jacket, Duo -- it's ruined!"
Duo glared at the blond boy.
"They're fuckin' clothes, Q, not important! Look! Look!" With
an angry twist, he wrenched off his torn jacket and peeled the filthy
shirt up over his head. I had a view of his naked chest -- full
of taut, hard muscle, and scarred with various marks from God knows what
experiences. I thought for a minute he'd rip off the pants as well, and
I wasn't sure how I'd keep quiet -- but he paused. To snarl at
"You're getting' as bad
as him, Q, the Rich Boy! Carin' about clothes and food and -- and
the other soft crap. It's all too fuckin' easy for 'im here, can't you
see? This ain't us..."
"Hush, Duo," Quatre
murmured. I couldn't see his face. He bent to pick up the shirt, but his
"What's this, Duo? It
looks like blood. Blood! Are you hurt? What have you been doing?"
"None of your fuckin'
business, remember? I'm OK. You didn't wanna come out with me tonight,
so you don't get to know the score anymore. What I do's my own affair."
"That's not fair --"
"Fair?" he hooted.
"You're even talkin' like him now! Too much time on his hands --
too much pampering. Man's like an orchid, Q -- too bloody fragile,
high maintenance, and no fuckin' use to anyone! And I'll tell him so,
if you'll let me!" His voice was sneering.
"You shouldn't upset Trowa,
Duo. He's been good to us..."
"You're a fuckin' fool,"
he growled. "It's you he's good to, not me."
"He would like you if
you made an effort --"
"Chrissakes, Q, as if
I give a fuck what that pathetic geek thinks of me! I don't need 'im and
neither do you." His voice twisted to a wheedling -- he leant
a little towards Quatre. "Come on, blondie, we were OK together,
weren't we? I looked after you. We need to get back to that before you
forget how to." His hand reached out and must have taken Quatre's.
"I can make you feel pretty good, eh? Remember?"
I felt a chill all through
my body. But before I could decide what to do next, his hand was pushed
back at him. Quatre had obviously refused his offer. His eyes narrowed
"Q, what's here for us?
Tell me, blondie! No fucking TV, no music system -- no girls, except
for that tight-ass secretary who shakes whenever I goose 'er."
Quatre's voice sounded warmer. "He's my friend..."
"Jesus, Q, he's some kinda
ghoul, poppin' those pills like candy -- and creepin' about the
house at all hours. Damn guy doesn't hardly sleep, does he? I oughtta
show him what the real world's like!"
"Leave him alone,"
came Quatre's voice. I was startled by its firmness. I think maybe Duo
was, too. He paused where he stood, mouth slightly open. But he soon recovered.
"Look, I gotta pile of
cash -- let's split back to the city, eh?"
He fumbled in his pants pocket,
and brought out a wad of notes.
"Where did you get that?
Not from guys in the park -!"
"Nooo..." he grinned.
His eyes glinted at Quatre. "You think that's my only source?"
"Duo, what are you up to? What
have you done?"
"Ahh, don't be such a tight-ass!" he snapped back. "What else is there
to do? What you do?
Sitting here in this shithole, wearing his pants, eating his scraps --"
"It's better than ripping him off!"
"Shut your sweet mouth, blondie!" Duo's voice had dropped menancingly
low. "You may like being a pet, but I gotta life of my own. And it includes
you, OK? 'S long as I'm around, you better be ready to move on when I
say. Or -- you know what the alternative is, don'cha?"