Author: pyrzm
see ch. 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer

Summary: It's never easy, even with love.

Broken Warriors + Chapter 104
Special

Trowa was a good actor, but he couldn't hide his true feelings from Quatre for long. Quatre hardly needed his empathic skills to pick up on the undercurrent of worry that had plagued his husband since Heero had carried Duo off to bed that afternoon.

It persisted through the evening, mingled with the usual good feelings as they all danced and drank together, but the moment Heero and Duo left for the hotel, Quatre saw some of the light go out of Trowa's eyes.

They danced a few more times, and then Quatre kissed him and whispered, "Let's go home."

Later, as they soaked together in the tub, with Quatre's plastic wrapped ankle hanging over the side, he decided it was time to break the silence.

"Are you still jealous, Trowa?" he asked, leaning back against Trowa's chest.

Long arms tightened around him. "I don't know. I don't think so." He went quiet for a long moment, resting his chin on Quatre's shoulder, then sighed. "We've been over this before."

"Define 'this'." Quatre already had an idea, but he wanted Trowa to vocalize it for himself.

"Us. Them. Who we are together."

"It's not settled for you, love. I can feel it." Quatre spoke calmly, but he felt pain around his heart. He had thought it was settled, or at least hoped it was, that night in Tokyo. He thought Trowa had reached some sort of peace. But he hadn't and it hurt more than Quatre wanted to admit. "You can't have everyone, you know."

"I know. I don't want-"

Quatre turned as best he could and looked into those green eyes. Confusion seemed to be the dominant emotion there, mixed with the old familiar shame. "Please Trowa, don't make me dig for it. What are you feeling?"

Trowa shook his head slowly. "It feels--It feels like they're going to leave us. That Duo is going to take Heero away."

"Like he did during the war?"

Trowa shrugged. "It's not just the sex, corazon." He scrubbed a hand across his face, leaving a trail of false tears. "I never had a family, just temporary groups that always break up. The mercenaries, the circus--"

"You haven't lost Cathy, Trowa. She's still your sister. She still loves you. And the decision to break up that circus was yours, remember? You wanted to strike out on your own."

"I hoped she'd come with me."

It was the first time that Trowa had admitted that out loud. He'd tried so hard to convince her, but Cathy had her own ideas, her own plans and they didn't fit with Trowa's dark vision.

"But she still loves you, Trowa, whether she's here with you or not. That's what family really means. Believe me, I know."

Trowa gave him a sad smile. "I'm sorry, meli. It's cruel of me, insensitive--whining like this with all you've been through."

Quatre caught his face between his hands and made Trowa look at him. "Don't say that! I know what you mean, and I can feel your fear and your pain. I love having them with us, too, but maybe that's not the best thing for them. That's what loving someone really means, Trowa. Wanting what's best for them."

"I'm selfish," Trowa whispered, turning away.

"Wounded," Quatre countered, kissing him, then couldn't help adding, "I just wish that I was enough for you, the way Heero is for Duo."

Real tears mingled with the false ones. "You are!"

"No, I'm not, or we wouldn't be having this conversation again." Quatre levered himself up out of the tub and hobbled over to the stack of towels on the counter. He expected Trowa to follow, but he just sat there in the cooling water, face in his hands. Blinking back tears of his own, Quatre limped to the bedroom and stood staring at the wide bed there.

/Why can't this be easy?/ he thought desperately. /It seems so good most of the time but underneath, there's always trouble! Trowa and Duo--they're never at peace long. They just can't let things be what they are. If it was just Heero and me---"

He stopped, shocked at the disloyal thought. The evening had started off so well, and now he was miserable again. That bed looked far too big and lonely now. If he lay down there, he'd smell the others.

Instead, he limped to the guest room and burrowed between the clean sheets alone. These only smelled of fresh air and the lavender spray Marie used on the linens. He turned off the light and curled up in a tight, unhappy ball, clutching an extra pillow to his chest with his face turned to the wall.

At last he heard soft footsteps in the hall as Trowa left the bathroom and went to their room. A moment later, he heard him come out and make his way unerringly to the guest room. He paused in the doorway, broadcasting heartache. Quatre said nothing, just waited, and after a moment he heard him move away again.

He hadn't expected that. He'd expected Trowa to come to him and apologize and cry and make love to him until everything was all better again, at least on the surface! Tears welled up under his tightly closed eyelids and leaked out to soak the pillowcase. He was so lost in misery that he didn't know Trowa had come back until he felt him slip into bed with him and spoon in behind him.

Quatre let out a choked sob and turned in his arms, burying his face against Trowa's bare chest. Strong hands stroked his hair and back.

"You are enough for me, meli. If they died or went away forever I'd be sad, but I'd go on. If I lost you, I couldn't. When we were on L-4, when they took you away to the courtroom and wouldn't let me come, that's all I could think about. What if I never saw you again? I couldn't go on. Life wouldn't hold any meaning, any flavor, without you to share it. I've been talking to Dr. Batoosingh about this a little in our sessions. It's hard, but I'm trying. I think maybe this isn't about you or Heero or Duo or all of us together. It's about me and what happened---before."

"The mercenaries who first adopted you."

"Yes. I think maybe, deep down, I don't think I deserve people who love me, because of what I did."

"That wasn't your fault. You were just a kid and those spies used you."

"Doesn't matter, meli. I still killed them, those people who loved me and sometimes, if I make myself think about it, I wonder if God hasn't given me you and the others as some sort of trick, so he can pull the rug out from under me again, to punish me."

"You don't believe in God, Trowa, except when you need to be punished." A sigh was his only answer. Quatre pressed his hand to Trowa's heart. "Let me read you, Tro."

"Go ahead."

Quatre silently opened his mind wide, willing himself to connect with Trowa's thoughts and feelings. There was pain, plenty of pain, but underneath it his love for Quatre still burned bright as ever, despite the guilt and bad memories. So did his love for Heero and Duo, but it was different, though still intense.

It was like his own feelings for them: friendship and affection mixed with sexual attraction. His thoughts strayed back to L-4. He'd been scared, especially when they separated him from Trowa. The minute Trowa had shown up on that motorcycle, he'd been OK again. He'd been glad when Heero and Duo showed up, but he already felt safe, because Trowa was with him. Taking a deep breath, he whispered all that to his husband, and felt the pain let go of him a little.

"So I don't want us to have this fight anymore. Never again," he finished, running his fingers through Trowa's bangs. "No more doubt. No more second guessing. I know how you feel about me, Trowa, and believe me, I feel just the same for you. And I love the others like you do, too. I wouldn't mind having sex with them again either, because it doesn't change anything. Even if that never happens again, though, even if they go off on their own, Trowa, they still love us. You must have faith in that."

"Will you keep reminding me?" Trowa murmured, touching Quatre's cheek.

"As often as it takes, my darling."

Too exhausted and overwrought for love making, they kissed and caressed for a long time and fell asleep in each other's arms.

+

They woke late the next morning to find Heero and Duo sitting on the edge of the bed, eyeing them with concern. They were both dressed in last night's clothes, still flushed from the wind and smelling of sex and hotel soap. For some reason, Heero wasn't wearing a shirt under his biker jacket.

"What're you doing in here?" asked Duo.

Trowa shot Quatre a questioning look as he sat up against the headboard.

"I guess we just needed a change," Quatre answered for him.

Heero regarded them quietly for a moment, then reached out and touched Trowa's cheek. "You've both been crying. What's wrong?"

Caught in that quiet gaze, Quatre found himself pouring it all out while Trowa's hand stole over to clasp his.

"Oh, man!" Duo climbed on the bed between them and put an arm around both, hugging them tightly.

Heero settled next to Trowa and took his hand. "Duo and I have been having similar thoughts. It's not easy, figuring all this out. Maybe that's why people stick to pairs. Even so, we love you both very much. And we are family, no matter how we sort this out. Do you want us to move out?"

"No!" Quatre and Trowa answered at once and without hesitation.

"All right then. Duo, do you want to move out?"

Duo gave Quatre another squeeze. "No, but I think I'd like for Heero and I to sleep in our own room for now, at least some of the time. I just--" He paused, chewing at his lower lip. "I just want to feel like it's a decision when we do."

"What about this?" Trowa offered. "You sleep in your room during the week, and with us on the weekends."

Heero nodded. "That's good for a start. I say we try it for two weeks and then discuss it again then."

Quatre could feel Trowa's relief as keenly as his own, and Duo's, too. There was no sense of rejection in any of this. The others clearly wanted to be with them, and felt the same need for some sense of order or boundaries. It would do for now.

+

And it worked. Quatre and Trowa stayed in the master bedroom and Heero and Duo moved down the hall to what had been a second, disused guestroom for privacy. The need to hear each other having sex seemed to have passed. They still cuddled in front of the TV at night and worked closely through the day. Duo and Quatre were as affectionate with the others as ever. Heero made an effort to pull Trowa aside often for reassuring kisses and caresses, and the new act involved a lot of physical contact.

It was not sexual, and it was. Trowa felt the heat between them, and carried the sweet, lingering memory of Heero's cock inside his body, but those feelings no longer had the raw energy of obsession. If anything, the separation at night made such activities sweeter, and by the time the first weekend rolled around, going to bed together felt like a reunion. They didn't have sex together, but "messed around", as Duo put it, without guilt or pressure and fell asleep in a contented sprawl of arms and legs.

Trowa pondered all this as he and Quatre showered together the next morning, but couldn't find the right words.

"It keeps everything special," Quatre told him.

"Yes, that's it." Trowa smiled and pressed him back against the tile wall of the shower, belly to belly, erection to erection. "I like special."

[chap. 103] [chap. 105] [back to pyrzm's fic]