see chap. 1 for notes, warnings
** AN: I don't often beg for reviews, but this chapter is reaaaly important
to me. I took a lot of time exploring one of the harder GW characters to
write (for me), Trowa. I tried to get a sense of what he's like, and I'd
like to know what you think about it. If successful, I'll use this idea
of his character in other fics. I'm particularly hoping the Trowa fans will
review. Assuming there are any still reading my fic after I was so nasty
to him to start with :D
Oh, and, don't ask me why Trowa's character made me think slightly of nuclear
physics. Sometimes I'm too weird to even understand myself... **
+ Chapter 6
All his life, Trowa had been
inert. That was the best way he could describe it. Not sad, not in pain,
not empty. All these things were close to what he'd felt but did not entirely
describe the state of uncaring acceptance in which he hovered, barely
existing. He did what he was told, he performed as he was expected, he
never hoped for better, never feared the worst. It was as restful as the
grave but he'd not known enough to realize it.
Like the cat in Schrödinger's box, he'd been in a state of flux, neither
dead nor alive, until the event which suddenly defined him.
Quatre had smiled at him. And told him to lower his hands (he was surrendering
at the time).
A minute later, Quatre asked him to lower his hands again. This time,
Trowa heard him.
But that first smile, that first look... it had been like a stream of
energy, hitting him and suddenly he was in an entirely different state,
a different level of awareness. He didn't know what had passed between
them, that current, but the results were plain. He was no longer Nanashi,
no longer the automaton with the borrowed name. He still obeyed orders,
performed as he was expected, in fact only one person could say that he
was any different than before. But he was. He now had something. A focus,
an energy. Someone had smiled at him and thought he was worth it. It was
not something he could explain, why that smile had been different from
any other grin his mercenary colleagues had given him during his tour
of duty with them. Why that first look had transformed him so completely,
had given him this energy, this purpose, this being.
But it was there. And it wouldn't leave him, he knew, until the day he
died. It didn't matter whether Quatre was his lover or not. It didn't
matter that they were even friends, or that Quatre was alive or not, though
the universe could cease to exist for all he cared if that eventuality
came to pass. Nothing could change the fact that now he was aware, he'd
broken the barriers that kept him in his inert state and he was now a
little source of light which pulsed to the memory of a smile and a look
from bright blue eyes.
Trowa looked at Duo carefully, ensconced behind his magazine. He'd overheard
the conversation from the beginning; Trowa, the perfect infiltrator, had
no compunction about eavesdropping, didn't even fully understand the notion.
He replayed the words, the tones of voice, and categorized the different
sentences. It hadn't been very clear.
Quatre had sought Duo out to talk about what had occurred between them
before they'd stumbled into Trowa. Quatre had wanted to know if Duo was
serious about it. Duo had just been his usual hyper self (the words 'lover-boy'
and 'little angel' rang hollow in Trowa's mind, though) but had implied
that whatever happened, Quatre had apparently not protested, had maybe
even enjoyed it. It had sounded teasing. When Quatre had said he cared
about Duo, it hadn't sounded teasing at all.
Seen logically, the overheard conversation could have meant a lot of things,
but he was hard pressed to find many explanations that could entirely
fit when added to the notes he'd taken earlier.
He also analysed the looks of the two once they realized he was listening.
Quatre had looked aggrieved and guilty to see him, and that actually managed
to hurt him a little. Quatre should never have to feel guilty or angry
at him. 'Someone's going to get hurt', the Arabian has said, well, that
worried Trowa. Quatre was a kind and loving person, who should always
follow his heart. If he had fallen for someone else not an unlikely contingency
in Trowa's mind, he never understood how he'd earned the privilege of
being loved by Quatre in the first place- then Trowa would be horrified
to think he could be the cause of pain or hesitation to Quatre.
Duo had looked nervous and guilty as well. That Trowa could live with.
He didn't feel anger towards Duo because he'd become the attention of
Quatre's affections. But the tone of the conversation indicated that if
that was the case (and there were still reasonable doubts) then Duo was
not taking this very seriously, and that, Trowa found, worried him too.
The joy he felt at being with his love, the pleasure, the friendships
he had developed while basking in that warm glow of Quatre's openness,
all that he could forego. He could live without it because he already
had for most of his life. The loss was manageable. He would still pulse
to the energy of a smile that had been meant for him alone, and that had
awakened him. He didn't want the person who had given him that gift to
be hurt. If all other acquired emotions died, that one would remain.
He had been staring at Duo for five minutes, fixedly, but the thief had
not left the ramparts of his magazine. Duo always knew when someone was
watching him, so he must be hiding deliberately. Trowa wondered if he
should say something. 'Hurt him and I'll snap you in two' sounded presumptuous
Quatre was his own person and had to live his own life, as did Duo -
as well as premature. Nothing had happened yet, he was guessing, and,
since the conversation was ambiguous, nothing might be happening at all.
He didn't know what to do, but he would watch Duo carefully. If Duo and
Quatre loved each other, well, fine. But if Duo was making Quatre fall
for him just to relieve the normal tensions anyone their age would develop
in these kinds of conditions... Trowa would have to warn him that this
was compromising their team, if nothing else. If worse came to worse,
he could tell Heero- no, that would be murder, he could imagine how the
perfect soldier would react to that kind of dallying. No, he'd have to
talk to Duo himself and see if he could sort him out, if he was, indeed,
toying with Quatre instead of being, as the blonde had required, 'serious'.
He'd have to have solid proof that Duo was teasing before he intervened
though; otherwise, if they were both serious, then this was Quatre's business and his alone.
He ignored the dull ache that was forming somewhere in his chest with
the force of long habit in fact, he'd never even noticed it before and
wouldn't now if he didn't know what it was like to live without it. It
settled on him like a crystalline coating, meshing him.
And something else...
Trowa glanced away from Duo who was still ignoring him with all his might
and scanned the room. Heero was looking at the pilot of Heavyarms through
the door's glass pane, a scowl and a strangely weighing look on his face.
As their eyes met, Heero opened the door. Duo shot out from behind the
magazine with a relieved grin.
"Heero buddy! Just the guy!"
"Duo... could I have a word with you?"
Duo froze at the tone and the look in the prussian blue eyes. Trowa managed
to feel a twinge of sympathy for someone he still couldn't help but consider
a friend. Yuy was obviously chewing over something serious. Sounded like
Duo was in trouble...
Quatre was leaning in the door to the comms room, his face serious. "We
have a disturbance. Something's knocked over a sensor line."
"Did you get a visual?" Heero's voice was as precise and calculating as
"No, whatever it is it's out of camera range for now." Quatre was turned
towards the monitor, checking as he spoke. "North quadrant. No confirmation.
Could be an animal." They were far out of any beaten path, it was likely
to be some woodland creature. But it went without saying it would need
to be checked. Quatre turned towards the others and suddenly something
else flashed through his eyes.
"Duo, want to come with me to check it out?" Quatre asked, his eyes dropping
and blushing slightly he wasn't very good at hiding his feelings. Trowa
felt the sinking feeling again, but ignored it.
"Sure thing, Q." Duo sighed, glancing at Heero, who was frowning at him.
Trowa spoke calmly. "Quatre, you need to stay by the monitors in case
there's another disturbance. You set the motion sensors, you know where
they're located. You can direct us to this and any other disturbance over
"Oh, okay." Quatre looked a bit put out, but couldn't protest. Trowa stood
and motioned to Duo. He thought he caught a strange look from Heero, but
a second later the blank face was all business again as he said: "Duo
and I can go and check it out."
"Yeah!" Duo shot out of the couch, apparently forgetting he was in trouble
with Heero, Trowa thought. He'd not wanted to keep Duo and Quatre apart,
that wasn't his prerogative, but he did want a chance to ask Duo a few
"Someone has to watch the Gundams... " Trowa murmured. He didn't know
much about people and the way they reacted, but Yuy was ultimately predicable.
Heero was out of the door with a confirming 'Hn' before any of the three
registered his absence.
Trowa noticed Duo's shoulders slump. Was Duo so worried about Trowa's
reaction that he'd rather go with Heero Yuy, who had a visible bone to
pick with him, instead? Trowa frowned internally. The conversation would
not be easy if that was the case. But he could try...
Heero walked rapidly towards the Gundam's hiding place, brow furrowed.
Most of his mind was occupied with thoughts of defence and strategy. But
right at the back, in the easily ignored part of his mind, another tiny
thought was running around in circles. He'd have been very annoyed at
it but he'd run out of mental processes to cope with that extra input
so it ran on unimpeded.
That had been... strange. He was not normally attuned to other people's
emotions (and he didn't give a damn about them either, that probably didn't
He'd arrived at the door just as Trowa had sat down. He knew the tall
stoic pilot was not one to sit around doing nothing for more than a minute
so had waited for him to leave so he could talk to Duo. And he'd waited.
And waited. And studied the very strange expression on Trowa's usually
unreadable face as the man stared at Duo's magazine fortification which
was also, on reflection, strange. Neither of them had even noticed he
was there which was not only sloppy but proof positive that something
weird was going on.
The look that Trowa was giving Duo... For some reason, Duo's usual chirpy
phrase was running through his mind. 'It's always the quiet ones!'
Heero scowled, his face taking on the sort of expression that could kill
small mammals at a distance. Up ahead several squirrels dived for cover
and a rabbit ran for dear life.
Damn it, why were things getting so complicated all of a sudden!
5] [chap. 7] [back
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