Author: pyrzm
Summary:03+01.

Lost Souls + Chapter 5
Strange Attractors

For as long as he could remember, Trowa had lived his life by the soldier's unwritten code; one of the cardinal rules was that you never left a fallen comrade on the field.

He'd never actually met this Heero Yuy. They'd almost fought each other at the New Edwards base, before Quatre made them stop. But he'd seen Yuy fight the enemy, and he'd seem him follow orders without hesitation or complaint. The look on his face as he'd stood in the open hatch of his Gundam and pressed the self-destruct shift had been chilling, so fearless and determined. Trowa might not know him, but he recognized the sort of soldier he was, and accorded him the appropriate respect.

And to his credit, Zechs Merquise had shown the same. Trowa took note of that, too, and the incredible machine the man was piloting. Merquise had the advantage over all of them after the colonies had capitulated, but he'd refused to claim any it and he'd let them all go. Trowa would remember that, if they ever met again. It wouldn't stop him from killing him if the situation required it, but he would show the man respect.

That regard did not extend to the other OZ forces on the field. He grabbed Yuy's body and got the hell out of there. When he was a safe distance away with the transport, he'd stopped to bury Yuy. But as he'd dragged that limp form from Heavyarms's grip, he was amazed to discover the boy was still bleeding. Dead men didn't bleed. Yuy's pupils were dilated and fixed, his body cold as a corpse, but when Trowa held a knife blade under his nostrils he saw the faintest mist cloud the polished surface. Yuy was alive.

Trowa bundled him up in his own jacket and a tarp in the cab of the transport, not really expecting him to survive the long journey back to the circus where Trowa hid out between missions.

Yuy defied the odds again, comatose but clinging to life.

+

With no missions to fight, Trowa found himself playing nurse to the unconscious boy. Catherine, who'd been told this was someone Trowa had found on the road, was glad to help, and between the two of them they spooned water and broth into Yuy and kept him clean. The circus medic put in a catheter, sparing them some trouble with mess.

He still needed to be bathed every few days, though, and Catherine left that to him. Not that Trowa minded, particularly. Under his expressionless exterior, Trowa was both kind and lonely. Taking care of Yuy gave him something to do, and kept his mind off their situation. Stranded, orderless, possibly being hunted by OZ, their days might be numbered. Trowa kept busy with the circus and his patient and tried not to dwell on how wrong the whole Operation Meteor had gone, and how much he missed Quatre Winner.

Another person might have been surprised at that. Trowa had only met the shy, brave little blond twice, and whatever connection they might have found hadn't stood a chance in the circumstances of war. Even if Quatre was still alive, he was probably back on his colony by now. Trowa watched the news obsessively for weeks, but there was no sign of Quatre and Sandrock, or either of the other pilots.

As days turned to weeks, he found himself growing fond of Yuy. It was silly, of course. He had no idea what he was really like, but he wasn't the sort who could feed another person like a baby and handle his naked body on a regular basis without forming an emotional attachment. And even unconscious, Yuy was striking. His body was tightly muscled and had healed at a phenomenal rate. Trowa had heard rumors of genetically altered "super soldiers" and decided Heero must be one of these. Weeks in bed unconscious should have wasted the muscle from him, but aside from getting a little thinner, he stayed hard and lean. Bathing him, changing his dressings, Trowa couldn't help letting his hands linger a little over that perfect skin and that unruly shock of dark brown hair. It wasn't just Yuy's looks that attracted him, though, but his smell. Trowa was highly attuned to such things, and found he liked the way Yuy smelled, even unwashed: musky, sweaty, and laden with teenage hormones and the adrenaline of healing. Trowa often caught himself leaning close as he bathed or bandaged him, inhaling that intoxicating mix. He'd never heard of pheromones, but his body knew and responded on a visceral level. He took no liberties, of course, not even when he had to wash the other boy's genitals or backside. That was part of the soldier's code, too; never ever take advantage of a comrade. And, if only through circumstance, Trowa considered Yuy his comrade.

Even so, he found he enjoyed sharing the trailer's single big bed with him. Enveloped in his companion's scent, listening that steady, shallow breathing, Trowa slept better than he had in a long time. It wasn't surprising, he supposed, that he dreamed of touching and being touched, even had wet dreams, but more often than not, it was not Heero but Quatre he held and caressed.

There was no getting away from it; he really missed the little blond. Would he ever see him again? Lying in bed at night in the darkness, with another body lying so close beside him, it was impossible not to pretend that it was Quatre there, not this stranger.

// And if it were? // he asked himself, rubbing at his chest, trying to drive away the empty ache there. His body knew what it wanted, but his heart was appalled. Sure, the kid had kissed him first, but it had been so innocent and sweet. Quatre couldn't possibly feel the sort of raw sexual urge that Trowa did, mercenary camp rat that he was. Quatre had said himself he'd never kissed a boy before, so he sure as hell hadn't blown one.

No, it was for the best that things had turned out the way they had. Better for both of them. That's what his heart told him, or tried to.

+

A month after his arrival at the circus, Yuy woke up. Trowa was off getting supplies one day and returned to find Catherine happy and excited.

"Look, Trowa, your friend is awake!" she announced happily as he came in.

Looking past her, Trowa saw Yuy sitting up, glaring at the two of them as if he wished he knew where his gun was. It was the first time Trowa had seen those blue eyes open at close range and the sight hit him like a jolt of testosterone, It wasn't just the fierce, measuring look in them, but the fact that he'd never seen eyes that shade of dark blue. From the looks of it he was very confused and probably assuming he was in enemy hands. He didn't recognize Trowa, of course; there was no reason he would, since he'd never seen him out of his Gundam.

Trowa quickly sent Catherine off for food and filled him in. He kept his distance, waiting until he saw Yuy relax a bit before he moved closer to take the chair by the bed.

Heero lay back and stared at him, but Trowa could almost hear him giving himself the 'stand down' order. But he remained wary, those eyes hard and calculating. "Do you know where the others are?"

"No."

"Do you know them?"

Trowa shrugged. "I spent some time with 04, and Chang stayed here after the New Edwards attack."

Yuy didn't wince, but those blue eyes darknened a bit. "What do you think of the other guys?"

"They're good. Chang was only here for one night and he didn't say much, but he's solid. A good fighter, and very devoted to the cause. The other one, Quatre? Well, he's not what you'd expect."

"What do you mean?"

"He looks more like a little kid than a soldier, and he's very uh-well, proper, I guess you could say. You'd never believe he was a Gundam pilot if you hadn't seen him fight. I was raised for it, and I get the sense that you were, too." He paused, but Yuy gave nothing away. It only seemed to prove Trowa's point; this kid had not grown up in any palace. "But he's as good as any of us, from what I saw at Edwards, and he's brave as a lion. He has a unit of auxilliaries, too, called the Maguanacs; tough, experienced fighters. What about the other one, that excitable guy in the black Gundam?"

Yuy didn't smile, but the corner of his mouth did twitch a little. Trowa couldn't tell if it was meant to be a grin or a sneer. "Maxwell. He's OK. Talks a lot. We were undercover together for a while, before Siberia."

"You guys friends?"

Yuy shook his head, and gave him a look that said very clearly that missions left no time for such foolishness. "So, what do we do now?"

Trowa shrugged. "I work here and stay under OZ's radar. I still have my Gundam. I expect I'll fight again."

"Hn." A look of pain crossed Yuy's face at the mention of the Gundam. Trowa tried to imagine how it would feel, to destroy Heavyarms.

"You did the right thing, you know."

Yuy gave him a dismissive glance. "Of course!"

Yuy wasn't much more of a talker awake than he'd been unconscious. That was fine with Trowa.

+

Sleeping beside Heero had become such a habit that it didn't occur to him to warn him that night. He nearly got his wrist broken because of that oversight.

After supper Trowa went out to give the lions their evening feeding and make some costume repairs. When he got back Yuy was asleep. He read for a while, then stripped to his shorts, washed up in the trailer's tiny bathroom and, without thinking much about it, pulled back the covers and started to climb in.

Yuy's hand clamped over his wrist before those hard blue eyes even opened. "What do you think you're doing?"

Trowa went very still, as he might have if one of the lions had suddenly closed its jaws on his hand. "I'm going to bed," he said calmly. "I've slept beside you every night for a month."

Yuy stared at him hard and the grip on Trowa's wrist tightened. "You what?"

"This is my trailer, and my bed. I've shared it with you willingly. If you don't like the arrangement, there's a cot in the fodder tent you're welcome to use. Otherwise, let go of me. Now."

Yuy did, and sat back. "I'm sorry."

"De nada. Go to sleep."

That brief encounter seemed to set the tone for their interaction from then on. Both were taciturn, plainspoken, even blunt with the other, but there was respect, too, and under his hard expression, Trowa knew that Yuy was both embarassed and grateful for all Trowa had done.

He just wished he got some sense that Yuy liked him. It wasn't that he expected any great show of gratitude, but deep down he felt a little hurt that Yuy remained so cold toward him. The connection with Quatre had been as inexplicably instantaneous and strong as this was lacking. Two different boys; two extremes. Why did Trowa find himself attracted to both of them?

And why did it make him feel so guilty?

++

(**Note: In case you're worried, I'm not going to go minute by minute through every single episode. There are big gaps when they were all separated. I just want to show how they all first met and the roots of the relationships that developed.)

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