|These poor boys have
been left in such a bad spot :( They have gotten out of my control,
though...this was supposed to be a humorous little 5-way... Then, angst
attacked! This part is a little more cheery...
it Down to Learning + Chapter 11
Clearing Things Cryptic
Heero checked a notation on
the top page of a huge stack of printouts on the desk beside his left
hand. He ran his finger down the page until he found the appropriate section,
then, with a pleased grunt, turned his attention back to the computer
screen. He found the matching area in the file, and began to type.
He really liked planting information. It wasn't as satisfying as
ferreting out hidden information, of course, but in its way it was almost
as challenging. You had to assume that whoever it was that you suspected
would be going through the records was going to have some copy of the
old records, from before they were altered, so you had to figure
out a way to explain why the record you were planting wouldn't have shown
up for a time, or why it would suddenly be there in the first place.
It required second, and third, and fourth-guessing your own actions. Heero
Looking at this kind of thing from multiple perspectives he understood.
He could figure out how to get into the mind of his philosophical, political
or business opposite, and come to understand the workings of that mind.
He could think like whoever his opponent was, see things from their perspective,
examine his own movements with complete objectivity. It was challenging.
It was invigorating. It was fun.
It was also something he was very good at. Duo joked that the only thing
stupider than trying to match wits with Heero in that particular arena
was getting involved in a land war in Asia. The way the other man always
made that remark let Heero know that it was a quote from something, but
Duo was intimately familiar with thousands of books, movies and comics,
and Heero had long ago given up trying to keep track of where all his
allusions came from.
It had been ten days since... since the other man had gone away.
Since he had colossally fucked-up, actually, but it wasn't doing his peace
of mind much good to keep thinking about it that way.
Quatre and Wufei had assured him that the entire thing wasn't solely his
fault. They had shown no hesitation in acknowledging that his behavior
had hardly helped a difficult situation, but they'd told him that Duo
had certainly played a part in his own misery. He shouldn't have left.
He should have stayed and beaten the crap out of him, Heero.
Heero devoutly wished that he had. He would have taken it, if it meant
that Duo would have stayed.
But the only person to punch him was Trowa, and that was ten days ago.
Trowa hadn't punched him since then. Trowa hadn't spoken to him
Quatre and Trowa had made some kind of peace a few days before, but Trowa
still refused to as much as see Heero. Whenever he was back at their house,
he stayed in his own room, with the door firmly closed. Quatre went and
talked to him, and Wufei had tried to go tell him that he should at least
talk to Heero, but...
But he hadn't. Heero had dragged out of Quatre that Trowa just didn't
want to talk to him yet.
Didn't want to see him.
"He's got to blame someone," Quatre had explained earnestly.
"And... you win," he'd finished with a wry shrug.
He won. Wasn't that supposed to be a good thing? He was always trying
to win, always striving to be the victor in whatever he did, whether it
was a pick-up game of basketball in the gym, a Preventers case, or some
faceless, one-on-one electronic struggle.
He was good at those. He rather thought he liked these games of cat and
mouse that took place in the ephemeral world of computers so much just
because he didn't know his opponent, and his opponent didn't know
him. There was nothing personal behind it, and the best man invariably
It was a lot more fun than trying to figure out any kind of personal motivations.
Heero just wasn't as good at those. He didn't have any particularly complex
interpersonal issues himself. At least he didn't think so.
Take the relationship the five of them had together.
They lived together, they hung out, they had fun and they had sex.
He didn't need a damn thing more. He'd have been perfectly happy going
on just like that forever.
But... would he have? Had he been perfectly happy? It seemed now
that the others hadn't been, so it hadn't been perfect after all. He wasn't
so selfish that he would willingly continue an arrangement that didn't
suit them, though he'd thought it had been great.
He'd thought it had been perfect.
Duo hadn't, though. Neither had Trowa.
Quatre and Wufei had said that they wanted there to be... 'more' than
there had been.
But what 'more' was there?
Marriage? They could hardly manage that. Even if they could get by the
gender issues - which, if Relena got the legislation she was backing pushed
through, would no longer be an issue at all - there was still the matter
Noone did five-way marriage licenses.
But what did that matter anyway? All marriage was, as far as he could
tell, was a contract to remain with someone forever. And if you were planning
to do that anyway, who needed it?
What else could they want? Children?
Heero shuddered. Again, medically impossible, and not even to make the
others happy was he going that route.
Heero scowled, jabbing the keys harder than he needed to as he created
a fraudulent cash account to a company that didn't actually exist, except
in the network of records that he had created three days ago.
More. They wanted more.
More talking, he supposed. He made a face at the screen. He hated "Talking"
- he never knew what to say. Either things were understood, or they weren't.
Heero sighed. He guessed they weren't, judging from Duo's and Trowa's
But... how could those things not be understood? Why would Duo or Trowa
ever think that he would reject them because of something that had happened
Didn't they know that he... cared about them?
It had amazed him when he realized how he felt about all four of them.
He liked them.