Warnings: I barely own my own clothes, much less any character or song rights. This is purely for my entertainment, and the entertainment of those twisted in the same way I am. This story contains huge gobs of lemony goodness, and a little bit o'sap. There's a bad word or two, so be warned.

by: Shoori

Friends and Lovers

This is nuts, crazy, out of control.

Ok, so that would describe just about anything that's ever happened in my life. Or any of the guys', for that matter.

But this…this is insanity of epic proportions. It must be celebrated with something equally crazed.

My buddy - my best buddy, maybe - has just gotten married.

To the Queen of the World. Miss Obsessive Stalker herself.

I shake my head sadly as I glance down the reception line at Heero. Heero, married. Another fallen soldier.

Who am I to talk, though? Heero's just married a rich, beautiful woman who has pretty much more power than anyone alive.

And what am I planning to do? I'm planning to seduce another of my best friends. Another Gundam pilot. Another guy.

‘But Duo,' you gasp in shock and horror. ‘What would make you do such a thing?'

That's easy. I want to. I want him. In some way that I don't really understand and that sounds cloying and mushy and dumb, I need him.

Ah, you doubt me. You think that such a thing is unlikely, to say the least. You think that I'm thinking with my hormones.

To an extent, you may be right. I am an eighteen-year-old male. I'm at my peak, sexually speaking. It would be a shame to waste it.

But there's more than that. Of course I want Trowa's body. Who wouldn't? It's long and lean and surprisingly muscular. Plus, he's an acrobat. Need I say more? Also, he's got impossibly deep, vibrant, beautiful green eyes, and skin that's ridiculously pale and smooth for a guy.

But it's not just his body I want, as tempting as it is.

I can talk to Trowa. He's never said much in return, but what he has said…

Ok, it's corny. But he has a soul.

Yes, everyone has a soul, if you follow the traditional religious dogma. But Trowa's…

Everyone thinks that Trowa is some kind of crazy introvert. Most people think he doesn't have any feelings at all. That's laughable.

Trowa has lots of feelings. He probably is at least as emotional as I am, and that's saying a whole hell of a lot. We've gotten to know each other really well since the end of the war. We each needed a friend. So we found each other. Once you loosen him up a bit, and learn to read between the lines and figure out what he means from what little he actually says, Trowa reveals a lot.

You know, he hated being a soldier. He became one because he likes to fly. He told me once that it makes him feel free. The only way he could get his hands on the Gundam was to agree to sign on to kill people. So he did it. Now he lives every day with the knowledge that he killed - ended lives, destroyed people - just to free himself for a few moments at a time from the reality of being himself. And he can never escape that. Never be free of it.

Ironic, isn't it?

But I understand it. I understand it because I am the same. We both flew, and fought, for the same thing. Escape.

We were trying to escape slightly different things. Everything I've ever cared about, I saw destroyed. I thought I was a jinx, a bad luck charm. I thought that if I died, at least I wouldn't bring death on anyone else I cared about. Instead, I became death, and brought it on the world.

When Trowa broke up with Quatre, I became Quatre's unwilling confidante. I heard all the gory details. He didn't really have anyone else to tell. Could you imagine crying on Heero or Wufei's shoulder? I think not. They didn't even know there was a relationship in the first place, much less a break-up.

So, one night, I got a little drunk and asked Trowa why he's ended it so abruptly. Maybe he was drunk too, or just amazed at my audacity, but he told me.

I fought to escape the loss of everyone I cared for. Trowa never had anyone to care for at all. The one person he had ever cared about turned out to be a spy, and was using him. Everyone had used him for something - sex, information, work. He fought against being used.

What he'd realized about his relationship with Quatre was that they were using each other. For comfort. For escape. It was a ‘friends with benefits' type thing. I see nothing wrong with that, personally, but when Trowa realized what it was, he was horrified. It was everything he never wanted. So he ended it so fast poor Quatre was left reeling.

So, here's my challenge: Seduce a guy who is convinced of two things. One, that everyone is out to use him, and two, anytime he feels any happiness or pleasure, he is using the person that provided it.

Ninmu ryoukai.

This should be something else.

What would you say if I told you
I've always wanted to hold you

Here goes. Time to screw my courage to the sticking point.

Good to see all those lit classes I've sat through haven't been a total waste.

"Some day, huh?"

Trowa looks up at me. He knew I was there, he just hadn't acknowledged my presence. His glance flickers away almost as soon as he meets my eyes.

I thought so. I knew I couldn't feel this way if it weren't in some way reciprocated.

"Hn," he grunts noncommittally.

Great. Now he's turning into Heero.

"I didn't think they'd ever get away, did you?"

He doesn't grace this inanity with a reply. Can't really blame him.

This isn't exactly going the way I planned it. But I'm not saying the things I feel.

But what would happen if I did?

I want you.

You want something from me.

I need you.

I'm not a thing to satisfy your needs.

I love you.

Aaargghh!!! (runs screaming into the night)

There has got to be an easier way that this.

I don't know what we're afraid of
Nothing would change if we made love

Ok, so the "L" word is out. I don't even know if I do, really. I don't know if I can. If I did, with my track record, I'd probably be signing his death warrant.

Enough of that. Focus!

What's the worst that can happen? He can reject me. So what?

I don't want to lose him. I don't want to lose his friendship. I don't want to lose the fantasy.

But I don't want just the fantasy. I want the reality. I want him.

He looks up at me again, suddenly. For once, he has failed in masking the expression in his eyes. I see reflected in them all of the longing, insecurity, and uncertainty that I feel myself. And I know. He wants what I want. But he fears what I fear.

What if we get together and it doesn't work out?

What if something happens to him?

What if I come to use him, or he thinks I do?

I break the glance and look down. I sense, rather than see him stiffen. He has taken this as a rejection, a sign I'm not willing to take the risk. He starts to turn away. I start to let him.

On second thought, fuck that.

So I'll be your friend
And I'll be your lover
‘Cause I know in out hearts we agree
We don't have to be one or the other
Oh, no, we could be both to each other.

"Trowa." I wince as I hear my voice. It's too loud. Too urgent.

But he stops. He turns back toward me. He looks at my face, though he doesn't meet my eyes.

"Come upstairs with me." We both have rooms here, in the Sank palace. Actually, our rooms are right next to each other. Convenient.

He stares at me. He has regained some control ­ his eyes have that flat, blank expression he uses to mask any emotion.

A long, uncomfortable silence stretches out. "Do you think that's a good idea?" he asks finally.

"I wouldn't have asked if I didn't."

Another long, deathly silence. Got to give him time to think, Duo! I'm trying not to squirm.

"Why do you want me to?" he asks finally.

Damn, damn, damn. I knew he was going to ask that. Now, if I don't phrase it just right, he'll ride his high horse out the door forever.

"I want you."

EEEECCCHH!!! Thanks for playing! We have some lovely parting gifts!

The look in his eyes has gone from blank to grim. "You want me," he repeats dully. But I hear the edge in his voice.

Ok. So that was the wrong answer. But it's true. So, I nod.

A spark of anger flickers in his eyes. "Well, sorry to keep you from what you want, but…"

"Damn it Trowa, cut it out," I hiss.

He looks startled. As well he might. I don't get pissed very often.

"Get past your complexes," I order harshly. "I want to be with you. I want you. But you want me, too."

Great. Now he looks like I just slugged him.

"I'm…I'm sorry," he whispers, he face stricken. He turns away.

"Trowa!" Crap, there it is again. Do try to keep the desperation out of your voice, Duo.

"Trowa, look at me."

He turns slowly, and hesitantly raises his eyes to mine.

"T, we're friends. Friends. You know what that means?" He just stares at me. "It means, we give to each other. Time, support…companionship. Each of us gives, and each of us takes. That doesn't mean we're using each other."

He's still staring at me. Ok. Hmmm….

"Using implies that you're taking something the other doesn't want to give. I want to be with you. But only if you want to be with me."

Maybe he's gone catatonic. That's the only explanation I can think of. I don't think he's as much as breathed in the last two minutes.

I sigh. I've said all I can. I can't phrase it any other way. "I'm going to my room, Trowa. I'd like you to join me. Please come ­ if you want to."

Turning my back on him is one of the hardest things I've ever done. But at some point, persuasion starts being pressure. Trouble is, I've never been too good at figuring out where that point is.

I flop into the ridiculously huge, soft bed that's been provided me. I still have my shorts on, but nothing else. I don't want to shock him too much. If he comes.

‘Shock' him. Don't flatter yourself, Duo.

It's been a half-hour since I left him. He's not coming.

I can't believe he's not coming.

What happens now? Do we pretend this never happened? Go on like before?

I don't know if I can.

I roll over on my side, trying to squelch the sharp feeling of humiliation spearing through me. So he doesn't want me. So what.

This sucks.

Even steeped as I am in self-pity, my training doesn't fail me. When I hear a noise at the door to the chamber, I automatically roll toward it, my hand reaching for a gun I don't have.

And that's a good thing, too. There, standing in the open doorway, is Trowa.