see chap. 1 for notes, warnings
+ Chapter 2
In the Woods
Trowa's gun was drawn. He'd
seen Quatre tearing out towards the trees from a distance as he came back
from a perimeter check. He ran after him but lost him in the woods, and
he wasn't sure which hot spot his lover was running to. Frustrated, worried
but practical, he walked back to the house slowly, covering every step
professionally looking for danger. He'd check the monitors to see if a
sensor alarm had been tripped. He knew Quatre could take care of himself,
would not have taken off like that without backup if he had been unable
to cope with the consequences. Quatre was the tactician of the team after
He heard a quick ragged step behind him and was crouched with gun pointed
before it fully registered.
"Quatre." He said with relief.
The blonde almost fell over when he saw Trowa.
The pilot of Heavyarms stared at his lover for a few confused seconds.
Quatre was red on every inch of visible skin, more than even exertion
could explain. His eyes were wide, his hair tangled and full of leaves,
his clothes- Trowa blinked, his clothes were ruffled and the knees covered
with dead leaves, water stains, little twigs... his hands too, he saw, before
the blonde started to wring them
"Status?" He fell back on the mercenary routine by force of habit and
Quatre opened and closed his mouth a few times. The red started to drain
from his cheeks, his eyes looked a little less wild.
"I- er I-"
Well it couldn't be a real danger. Quatre might look as dangerous as a
toy rabbit to the untrained eye but he could be just as lethal and efficient
as Trowa when the need called for it. He wouldn't be stuttering and stumbling
about if there had been an immediate danger.
"I thought I saw something on the monitors near the Gu-Gundams and checked
but it wasn't anything." The words were quick, too quick. Trowa was a
master of infiltration, he knew all about lying, the pauses and natural
tones that entailed. No, Quatre wasn't exactly lying, he thought he didn't
need a space heart for this- but he'd stopped short of the whole truth.
Which was very strange-
A crackling of quick steps across the forest floor warned them of another
arrival. Trowa put his gun away, recognizing the muttered commentary going
with the steps as coming from Duo ‘Motor-mouth' Maxwell. But his mind
stuttered in surprise as he saw Quatre's face. It had gone pink and horribly
guilty and embarrassed, though the blonde was visibly trying to hide it
"Hey you guys, whatcha doing here?" Duo appeared.
Trowa was the essence of an impartial observer.
So he merely noted that Duo also appeared to have a few leaves on his
clothes. And he appeared to be hastily straightening them at the sight
of the other pilots. And he was giving them a wary eye. And...
"N-nothing." Quatre blushed.
Duo hadn't stopped, merely slowed. He seemed to be wanting to avoid them,
Trowa noted again, sending that extra thought spiralling down to the little
mass of confusion that was wandering around his chest, looking for a place
to do some damage.
Duo took one look at Quatre's face, then smirked, but it lacked his usual
buzz (noted). He glanced almost acidly at Trowa (noted) then shrugged
(noted) before passing them, instead of sticking around to chat as he
would usually do (noted).
Trowa didn't want to but he couldn't help also noting the slight mutter
that drifted back to him on a treacherous breeze: "Well maybe you'll
Trowa and a red-faced Quatre were left alone in the woods, unable to speak
for a few moments...
Trowa thought in straight lines and simple forms. He didn't deal well
in conflicted thoughts and emotions.
Now nothing had actually ‘happened happened' because Quatre had
only been out of his sight for five minutes if that.
But all the notes he'd made were telling him that during those five minutes,
something might have very nearly happened, something that had put
both Duo and Quatre in very strange emotional states.
He'd thought of Duo as a bit strange but a harmless baka (as Yuy put it)
on first meeting him. Well, no, not harmless, no more than any other homicidal
teenage terrorist. But not, well, untrustworthy.
He'd even thought of him tentatively, touching hesitantly onto this new
emotion- as a friend.
A friend who knew about his relation to Quatre.
But from those premises, he wasn't good at drawing conclusions about how
other people would behave and react; he left that to Quatre.
And Quatre, he knew for certain now, was going to lie to him. He could
see it in his eyes, in the faint flush of his cheeks, the slightly unhappy
droop of his mouth.
So he wouldn't ask.
Trowa didn't know what to think so he fell back on absolutes.
He trusted himself and Quatre with everything in the universe.
He trusted Duo (and the others) with his and Quatre's lives and Gundams.
Nothing else would be able to touch that, so he was just going to have
to take a cold calm analytical view of all this and work from there. And
wait. And watch. And observe.
"Shall we get back? Someone should stay near the monitors." Trowa said
in his calm voice, his soul like a pool of roiling water caught under
ice. He could feel his lover's eyes on him, puzzled and slightly relieved
at feeling nothing untoward from him, even with Quatre's empathy. Calm
and collected he lead the way back to the safe-house.
[chap. 3] [back to