Warnings: Angst, anger, revelation of Heero stupidity and Trowa trauma.
by: Shoori

Marking it Down to Learning + Chapter 7
Tumbling Down

"Heero? Heero, what's going on? Where's Duo?"

Trowa leaned against the frame of the door in the room that Heero was presently engaged in tearing apart, watching as Quatre hovered over the other man, trying to get him to stay still, repeating the same pointless questions over and over again.

Heero pushed the blond aside and slammed into the large walk-in closet, bellowing Duo's name.

Trowa considered reminding Heero that Duo had come out of the closet a long time ago, but somehow it just didn't seem to be the most appropriate time for jokes.

The tall man acknowledged to himself that nothing about this situation was funny. A feeling a sick dread had settled in the pit of his stomach, and he was afraid that nothing was going to be funny for a long time.

He hadn't had that feeling in a long time - years. He'd used to experience that sick dread constantly - it had been so much a feature of his existence, that after the wars were over and there was nothing to worry about, he hadn't quite known what to do. He hadn't known how to live without a constant, overwhelming sense of apprehension.

But now... well, now it was back. And Trowa didn't like it one damn bit. That was probably why his mind was producing bad, inappropriate jokes - he didn't want to face that the idyll was over.

The idyll. He knew - he'd always known - that that's all this life was, all it could be.

Nothing this enjoyable, this... perfect could last.

It would end, as all things did.

He'd always known that.

And the sick fear in his stomach warned him that the end had finally come.

He just... didn't want to accept it.

He scowled, glaring at the open door Heero had retreated through, with Quatre in close pursuit. Wufei touched him lightly on the arm, and he turned to meet worried black eyes.

He shrugged in answer to the question in those liquid depths, looking quickly away.

He didn't want to see the understanding in Wufei's eyes when he too realized that, most probably, their peace was at an end.

Worse still, he didn't want the other man to read that truth in his eyes.

A loud crash came from the closet, accompanied by a startled cry from Quatre, and a moment later a wild-eyed Heero rushed back into the main room.

"He's not in there!" Heero bellowed to Trowa.

"No shit," Trowa snapped back, eyeing Heero with disfavor.

"If he's not here, where the hell is he?" the Japanese man shouted back, as though this room was the obvious place for Duo to be.

In fact, it was not a room the other man spent much time in. They all had a private room of their own, with a small bed, dresser and a closet for their clothes. It was a place where they could all retreat, store their belongings, and have some privacy if they needed it.

They almost never used the rooms. They were more or less glorified dressing rooms. They always slept together, in one of the large bedrooms in the other wing.

The room that they actually slept in varied from night to night. Trowa was never sure when he woke up in the morning where or exactly with whom he would spend that night.

Neither were any of the others.

It was a slightly odd arrangement. As Trowa glanced around Duo's 'room,' a thought struck him that had never really occurred to him before.

Despite the fact they that all had their 'own' rooms, they never used them. The other bedrooms that they did sleep in, they rotated randomly between.

In a strange way, although their living quarters boasted no fewer than fourteen bedrooms, Trowa didn't have his own bed now any more than he had as a child.

Never in his life had he had a room of his own.

He'd never decorated a bedroom.

Had a bed he felt attached to.

He'd never had... a sanctuary.

Trowa glanced around the room they were standing in. There was a bed, a desk, a chest of drawers. It was decorated in a soft yellow, with curtains and a bedspread of the same tone, flecked with an equally muted shade of green.

Pastel yellows and greens certainly didn't scream, "Duo!" to him.

This wasn't "Duo's room" anymore than the room next door where he kept his things - a room decorated in shades of mauve and beige - was his.

Trowa shook his head, trying to dismiss the seemingly random thought. There were bigger things that he should be worrying about at the moment than stupid bedrooms.

Like where Duo was.

"Where is he?" Heero bellowed at him again.

Trowa narrowed his eyes. Heero was in that particular state of panic that could be created by only one thing - knowledge that you yourself had done something very stupid and fucked things up very badly.

Heero was panicking... and Duo was missing...

Therefore, Duo was probably missing because of something Heero had done...

And so it followed that the feeling of sick loss in Trowa's stomach that was growing stronger with every passing minute was caused by Heero.

Trowa's eyes narrowed even further as he stared at the Japanese man.

He was suddenly very angry with him.

"I've got to find him... I've got to find Duo!" Heero shouted, and tried to shove his way past Trowa.

The taller man reached out quickly, grabbing Heero's arm and jerking him back in front of him.

"Duo's not here, Heero," he said flatly. "Where is he?"

"I don't know where he is!" Heero bellowed. "I have to find him! I need to... " The blue-eyed man's words trailed off, and he growled in frustration. "I need to find him," he finished inadequately. "Let go of me, Trowa, so that I can... "

Trowa tightened his grip on Heero's arm, pulling the other man so that he was standing directly in front of him. "What the hell is going on, Heero," he demanded through clenched teeth, emphasizing each word.

Heero glared at him, the glare that had once wilted men twice Heero's age, but Trowa had seen it too many times for it to retain its efficacy with him. He just glared back.

"What's going on?" Trowa repeated evenly.

Heero stared at him, and the silence lengthened between them. Trowa's fingers tightened, digging wells into Heero's strong arm.

The blue-eyed man glanced down, staring at Trowa's bone-white fingers clenched over the flesh of his arm. He looked up and his eyes met Trowa's green ones for a long minute. He sighed, and the anger seemed to drain out of him. "We had a... well... he... " Heero trailed off, his face reddening.

Trowa scowled at him. Heero didn't stutter. Yet, he was.

"Did you have a fight?" Quatre asked, moving up to stand beside the Japanese man.

Heero shook his head impatiently. "No," he snapped. "At least... well... "

"Look at this." Trowa's head snapped to the side, his instincts alerted by the tone in Wufei's voice.

The Chinese man's face was drawn with worry. He held out a folded piece of paper.

Heero grabbed for the paper, but Trowa yanked hard on his arm, knocking him off balance, and grabbed it instead.

Trowa finally let go of the Japanese man, and carefully unfolded the plain white piece of paper. He smoothed it carefully as he opened it - it didn't really need smoothing, it wasn't crumpled. But he needed something to do with his hands to stop the fine trembling running through them.

Hi Guys, the note read. I'm just writing this so you don't worry about what happened to me. I'm... going. I should have gone before... I shouldn't ever have been here in the first place. I've been lying to you, and I'm sorry. Heero can... tell you... everything. I hid things from you. I thought it would be ok, because the past never seemed to matter with us, but... the past always matters. I'd forgotten that, I guess. I never meant to hurt any of you. I'm sorry. Please... don't be mad at me. I'll miss you all. Love, Duo.

Trowa stared at the paper, the words blurring into each other.

Duo left? Duo had gone? That wasn't possible. He'd woken up with Duo this morning, the American's arm thrown casually over his middle. Everything had been just like it always was. And now... Duo wasn't here? It just couldn't be - Duo couldn't be gone tonight - it just didn't make any sense.

He looked up slowly, staring at Wufei, seeking some answer to the questions that plagued him. Wufei would tell him the truth. Wufei had given him this paper, and so Wufei would explain what was going on.

But there was no comforting solace on the other man's face.

"It was on the dining room table," Wufei told him softly. "He must have thought we would be home earlier, and eat... "

Or he hadn't wanted to put it somewhere conspicuous. They didn't eat in the dining room all that often. At least, they didn't eat the kind of meals you ate in the dining room. They ate pizza and take-out Thai food and fried chicken. They rarely sat down for a formal meal.

No. He definitely hadn't wanted them to know.

Why? Why hadn't he wanted them to know that he was gone? Why had he left in the first place?

Heero grabbed the paper out of Trowa's hand. Trowa watched the other man's blue eyes move as he read it through once, twice and again. Heero stared at the paper for a full minute, just staring at the words as though they would change if he looked at them.

"He's... gone?" Quatre had read the note over Heero's shoulder, and he was staring between Wufei and Trowa with the same look of uncomprehending disbelief that Trowa was struggling to keep off his own face.

"Where'd he go?" Heero shouted. "Think, damn it! Where could he have gone? We have to find him! We... "

"Don't you tell me to fucking think, Yuy," Trowa snarled, advancing on the agitated man. "What do you know about this? What happened? Why did Duo leave?"

"I don't know!" Heero shouted. "I don't know why he left! I knew he'd be mad at me, but I have no idea why he'd... "

"You knew he'd be mad at you." Trowa grabbed on to the pertinent piece of the other man's babblings as he continued to advance slowly. Heero was backing up. "Why would he be mad at you?"

"Trowa." A hand came down on his arm, and he turned his head to the side, snarling at Wufei.

"Let him talk," Wufei ordered simply.

"I'm not stopping him," Trowa snapped. "I... "

"Just stay here," the Chinese man advised quietly. He turned his attention to Heero. "What happened, Heero?" he asked simply, his voice bare of emotion.

Heero growled, shoving a hand through his already-tousled dark hair. "Why are we standing here wasting time?" he demanded. "We need to go find Duo! We need to... "

"We need to know what happened, before we can figure out where he may have gone," Wufei interrupted smoothly. "What happened, Heero?"

"I don't know what happened to him!" Heero replied in a shout. He was shifting his weight from foot to foot, a nervous gesture that was entirety atypical. Heero never fidgeted. He never displayed any kind of excessive emotion.

He was now, though.

"You were the last one to see him," Trowa snapped, stepping forward aggressively despite Wufei's restraining hand on his arm. "What happened?"

Heero looked away from the challenging green gaze, his cheeks flushing slightly. "I... He was the one that messaged me," he said awkwardly. "I met him in one of the conference rooms... "

"I knew it!" Quatre interrupted, scowling as his grievance from earlier in the day was confirmed. "I knew you both left to fool around! Damn it, Heero, you know that kind of thing just gives Une more ammunition, why do you insist on... "

"Fuck Une," Trowa snapped, still glaring at Heero. "So you were in the conference rooms screwing around, and then what?"

Heero stared at the floor, his mouth set in a stubborn line.

"Then what?" Trowa repeated loudly when the other man didn't reply.

"None of your fucking business," Heero snapped, looking up to glare at the other man with frustrated anger.

With one smooth lunge, Trowa shook off Wufei's light restraint and bounded forward. Before Heero even realized he'd moved, he had a handful of the other man's shirt and had slammed Heero up against the wall.

"Duo's gone, you were the last person to see him, and you've as good as said you did something to upset him," Trowa summarized, the anger pounding through his veins honing his voice to a soft, dangerous smoothness. "It certainly is my fucking business, Heero, so stop dicking around and tell me what the hell is going on!" By the end he was shouting, and he slammed Heero's head hard against the wall for emphasis.

"Trowa!" Now it was Quatre's hands on him, forcing him to put Heero down, pulling him away. "This isn't helping anything!"

Quatre wasn't quite right. True, his screaming at Heero wouldn't bring Duo back, wouldn't correct whatever had passed between the other two pilots earlier in the day. But it was certainly making him feel better.

Trowa shook off Quatre's restraining hands and clenched his fists, glaring at Heero. "What happened?" he spit through clenched teeth. It was no longer a question, but a demand for information, and Heero sighed, recognizing it as such.

The Japanese man stood straight, putting his hands behind his back. His gaze appeared to fasten on something somewhere behind Trowa's left ear, and he began to speak, in a cold, passionless voice.

Trowa almost lost track of what Heero was saying, he was concentrating so hard on the other man's demeanor. He never talked like that, but somehow... the whole position, the tone, everything, seemed strangely familiar.

It hit Trowa suddenly, and he almost swayed as the sudden realization struck him.

It was Heero's "mission report" stance. This was how he'd related any success or failure to anyone he considered a superior, during the war.

He hadn't acted like this in years, but it was a side of Heero that Trowa had seen frequently during the war. It was the stance he had took when he spoke to every family member of every official that had gone down on that ill-fated plane at New Edwards.

"... in the conference room." Trowa shook himself and forced himself to pay attention. He'd already missed the beginning of Heero's recitation - he didn't want to lose anymore.

"Hillis walked in and caught us. He slammed out and told us we should hang out a red light if that's what we were going to utilize conference rooms for." Trowa bit back a snort of derision. He didn't believe that Hillis had used the word "utilized" anywhere in his remark. Heero was so intensely... military sometimes. It was easy to forget that Heero had been raised to be a weapon, but sometimes, especially when the Japanese man was uncomfortable, it was very apparent. He fell back on all the excessive formality of the military when he was in the least bit unsure.

"Duo replied that his red light days were over. I... asked Duo why he said things like that." Trowa's eyes narrowed, catching the slight hesitation. He'd bet that Heero hadn't exactly phrased his request in the most polite manner.

"He told me he said that because they were. I asked him what he meant by that, and he told me... " Heero hesitated, and his eyes moved to Trowa's. The tall man saw the bewilderment and pain in those blue eyes - Heero's detached, bureaucratic facade was crumbling. "He'd told me he'd been a prostitute," Heero finished heavily.

Trowa was staring at Heero, he wasn't looking at Quatre or Wufei, but he heard the indrawn gasps of surprise from the other two men at Heero's revelation. He wasn't surprised, though.

This information only confirmed what he'd been thinking since he saw Duo's reaction to Dacia and Michel's stories. He wondered with slight exasperation why everyone else seemed so shocked - hadn't they seen how atypically the American had been behaving?

But, he supposed they wouldn't. Or, at least, they wouldn't realize why Duo would be acting strangely. For all that they had all been soldiers at a very young age, they'd all - even Heero - had very sheltered upbringings. They had all been cherished children - the heir to the business, the pride of the clan, the hope for future victory - and they'd all been protected as such.

He and Duo hadn't been precious to anyone, though. They'd seen a lot more of the ugliness of the world than the others. So maybe it wasn't unusual at all that Quatre and Wufei and Heero wouldn't have drawn the same parallels that he had.

But the question remained, how would they react?

"What... do you mean, Heero?" Quatre asked, and Trowa heard the strained horror in the blond's voice.

Heero's eyes moved briefly to Quatre's. "When he was a child, Quatre," he managed, his voice missing all of the detached flatness of a moment ago. "Just a kid. He had to... "

Wufei said something in Chinese, and Trowa glanced over at him. The smaller man's face was dark with anger, his eyes flashing. "What is wrong with people?" he hissed angrily. "Children are precious. They should be protected, not used for... "

"Why didn't he ever tell us?" Quatre murmured.

Heero shrugged. "I... I don't know," he answered helplessly. "I just... he just told me today, and... "

"And what?" Trowa interrupted, Heero's hesitance reminding him of the point of the questioning. "What did you do when he told you? Why aren't you with him? Why don't you know where he went?" His voice got louder and louder with each question, until he was shouting again. This was the answer - this had to be. It explained why Duo left. He'd told Heero this secret, made this painful confession, and Heero had rejected him.

"I... I told him... I... I didn't know what to do, Trowa," Heero confessed.

"Because you found out you'd been sleeping with a whore?" Trowa accused smoothly, again advancing on the other man. "Because you found out that you'd been sharing your precious body with someone who used to sell theirs?"

"NO!" Heero insisted furiously, shaking his head from side to side, but Trowa was too angry to absorb the other man's denial.

This... anger... always caught him by surprise. Confused him. He tried to hide it from everyone, and had done an admirable job of it in the years they'd been together. Once he'd lost control during a case, venting that uncontrollable rage on their target, a sadistic killer who'd kidnapped and horribly murdered the family members of some government officials who'd helped pass legislation that tightened the penalties on criminals. After that particular occurrence, Une had threatened that if anything like that ever happened again, she'd have him brought up on charges and thrown out of the Preventers. They'd been able to hide that one incident, though, because only the five of them had been on the mission.

And the target... well, he wouldn't be talking to anybody, unless they went through a medium.

He'd shocked his four lovers that time, but they'd dismissed it as a one-time episode, brought on by the horror of some of the crime scenes that they'd had to witness over the course of that case.

They hadn't seen him in the year or two after the war.

When all of the restraints of being a 'soldier for peace' were lifted from him, and he didn't have to fight, or kill, or answer to anyone... when there was nothing to do and noone to fear, this anger had suddenly risen in him.

He'd been thrown off of two colonies, out of three cities, and out of more bars than he could count. He'd fight with anyone, over anything.

He wasn't even angry at anything specific. He'd just been... angry.

He'd been angry only once before in his life, up to then, and it had been so long ago he could barely remember it. He'd forced himself to forget it, to the point where he didn't even understand exactly what anger was. He'd seen other people, the other pilots even, get angry, but he hadn't understood the emotion. Even when he was captured, when they were betrayed, even when Quatre himself shot at him... that was just what happened in battle. It was nothing to get angry over.

It made no sense. Even he didn't understand it. He'd managed to keep his temper through events like that, but once there was nothing to be angry at, he couldn't contain his rage.

It had faded away after they had all come to their arrangement, when there was something else to occupy his time, soothe him, distract him.

But now it was back and it burned hotter than ever. This time, though, it had a focus.

Heero. He was angry at Heero.

Heero had hurt Duo.

"So you were too good for him, then?" Trowa continued mercilessly, his whole body trembling with the force of his fury.

"No, Trowa! I never said that. I said... "

"You know, Heero, you aren't exactly the most pure person to ever walk the face of the earth. You... "

"I never said that, Trowa!"

"You must have said something!" Trowa shouted, fists clenching. "Duo's gone, Heero! He's gone! What the fuck happened?"

"I told him it was sick... that he'd been used like that," Heero babbled. "I said... "

"Allah," Quatre whispered. His voice wasn't very loud, but it wasn't often that Quatre appealed to a higher power, and it startled them all.

They all turned to the blond. He was clutching his chest, his face pale. "You didn't say it like that," he accused Heero. "Did you?"

Heero flushed. "I... don't know!" he insisted. "When I'd calmed down, I realized... he may have misinterpreted... "

"You hurt him," Quatre said, just as flatly. The blond was trembling, and he reached out, grabbing hold of the dresser to steady himself. "You know it, now. You feel it... "

Trowa stared in concern at Quatre, noting the blond's pallor, his trembling, and the hand that was still pressing firmly against the broad chest.

"Guilt... you know you hurt him... " Quatre murmured, weakly, closing his eyes as though in pain.

"Quatre... stop." Wufei approached the taller man, and carefully reached out and pressed his hand to the hand that still rested on the blond's chest.

Quatre started at the contact, jerking away from Wufei's touch as though it hurt. But the Arab stopped trembling, and some color slowly leaked back into his face.

Trowa slowly turned his stare back to Heero. "What did you do?" he asked softly.

Heero took a deep breath, closing his eyes for a minute. "I... it shocked me, Trowa," he confessed, opening his eyes. "I didn't know... how to react. What to say... what to... "

"Did you tell him you were sorry?" Trowa demanded softly. "That you still cared about him? That it didn't change the way you thought about him?"

"No, I... "

"Why not?" Trowa interrupted fiercely.

"I don't know, Trowa, I was... I didn't know what to do!"

"So what did you do?" Wufei inserted pointedly.

Heero looked away. "I... left," he admitted unwillingly.

There was silence for a moment.

"What?" Quatre asked finally, with the air of someone who knows that he can't possibly have heard correctly.

"I left," Heero repeated.

"You left," Quatre said blankly.

"You asshole!" Trowa bellowed. This time he didn't bother with Heero's collar - his fist connected cleanly with the other man's jaw, knocking him off balance and sending him sprawling to the floor. The rage was still there, hotter than ever, spurring him on as he followed through with the blow, bending down to lift Heero up and punch him again. He gloried in the feel of his knuckles connecting with the other man's face - he wanted to hit him again and again, he wanted to punish him, to hurt Heero as Heero had hurt Duo, as he hurt thinking of the misery of Duo's past and the realization that the American had left them all without even saying good-bye... the pain in his hand blotted out the pain in his chest, the fury pushed away the sorrow, and if he yelled, he wouldn't be able to cry...

"Trowa! Allah, Trowa, stop it! What are you doing?" Quatre's horrified voice penetrated the haze of his fury, but still he snarled as Quatre and Wufei pulled him away from Heero.

"You heard him, Quatre!" Trowa shouted. "Do you realize what he did? Do you know what you did?" he shouted at Heero, who had risen slowly from the floor and who stood staring at him, rubbing his aching jaw.

"I just... Trowa, I just couldn't... I couldn't... deal with... I didn't know what to... "

"You couldn't deal with it." Trowa shook his head in disgust. "What was there for you to fucking deal with, Heero? All you had to do was be there for him. You couldn't even manage that?"

"I... couldn't stand to think of Duo being hurt like that, Trowa. I... "

"You couldn't... you're an asshole!" Trowa shouted again. "It was Duo who was hurt, Heero - not you! Nothing happened to you. Nothing! You were fine! He was the one who had to deal with that, and you couldn't even stick around when he told you about it?"

"I... I didn't want to upset him, and... "

"And so you ran away?" Trowa's throat was starting to ache from all the shouting. "Can you imagine what that looked like to him? He tells you that, and you take off?"

Heero was staring at him with a pleading look on his face, his skin white. He realized what it must look like now, but he obviously hadn't thought of it then, when it mattered.

"You asshole," Trowa muttered. "What the fuck is wrong with you, Yuy? You were more grown-up when you were fifteen than you are now."

Heero snarled, his pale features darkening as Trowa continued to hurl insults at him. "What makes you the master of tact, Barton?" he spit out. "You have plenty to say to me, but I'd like to see if you'd handle it any better... "

"I could hardly handle it worse," Trowa spit.

Heero sneered at him. "But you wouldn't fuck anything up anyway, right, Trowa?" he mocked. "You're perfect, you understand Duo better, you... "

"I do understand him better," Trowa barked.

"What makes you the fucking expert?" Heero shouted. "Why are you... "

"Why?" Trowa yelled back. He shook Quatre and Wufei away and stepped forward. "Why am I the expert? Because, Heero, when J was feeding you nutritious vitamin supplements and the glory of the revolution, I was in the same damn place as Duo - on my knees, or on my back, using the only thing I owned to keep me from fucking starving to death!"

Trowa couldn't have shut Heero up more effectively. The Japanese man's mouth opened, and closed, his face turned red, then white, and he looked for a moment if he were going to fall down.

"Trowa," he managed after a minute. "Trowa, no, not you too... you couldn't have... "

"What do you think life's like for kids who have no home, Heero?" Trowa spat out angrily. "You... you think nice people give them shiny apples and a warm place for the night? Welcome to the real world," he sneered. "I did what I had to do. You think I wanted it? You think Duo did?" he demanded rawly, fighting to stay angry, to hold onto the rage, to hold on to anything that would keep away the bleakness that threatened. "When you're too small to protect yourself, and noone else wants to bother, there's not a lot you can do when someone wants you. And after awhile, it's easier to give it away than have it taken."

Trowa stared at the floor, not wanting to see Heero's horrified stare anymore, and unable to even bring himself to look at Quatre and Wufei. He wished already he hadn't said anything. But Duo... Duo had told, and suffered, alone, thinking that everyone would rebuff him. He'd left, thinking he'd be - that he'd been - rejected and despised. Trowa couldn't let him suffer that alone, not when he could share it. Even if Duo didn't know he wasn't alone, he just... couldn't leave him.

"God, Trowa." The green-eyed man looked up at Heero's horrified whisper.

"What?" he demanded flatly. "Don't know what to say? What to do? Want to run away?" he taunted. "I know, Heero - I broke the rules. We aren't supposed to talk about anything - we're only here for the sex right? I'm sorry," he apologized insincerely.

He began to move toward the other man, not with the aggressive lunge from before, but slower, more deliberately.

"I'll make it up, Heero," he promised. As he moved in on the other man, Heero retreated, until his back was against the wall. "I'll stay where I'm supposed to stay," he whispered, bracing his hands on the wall on either side of Heero's head, imprisoning the man against the wall. He moved forward and rubbed his pelvis against Heero's.

"Trowa! What the fuck are you doing?" Heero demanded, trying to push him away.

"Isn't this what you want?" Trowa asked, leaning down to move his mouth against Heero's neck. "You don't want anything interfering with the sex, right? That's the whole point to everything... Nothing can get in the way of that - not meetings, or jobs, or other people who might want to use the conference room... certainly not other people's feelings... "

Trowa pressed himself harder against Heero, grinding his hips in small circles against the other man. He didn't know why he was doing this, didn't know what was driving him toward it, but he couldn't stop himself, couldn't fight the impulse to make Heero feel as uncomfortable and cheap as he'd made Duo feel...

"Trowa! Stop it! This is... not right." Poor Wufei sounded bewildered, the note of certainty usually so strong in his voice completely absent.

Trowa resisted the Chinese man's attempts to pull him away, just rubbing harder against Heero. He lifted his head and stared down into the blue eyes, staring up at him with bewilderment and pain and hurt churning within them. He moved faster, and felt Heero's growing hardness against him.

"Trowa... don't," Heero choked, shaking his head.

"Don't what?" Trowa asked artlessly, sliding one hand off the wall to run down Heero's side. "This is what you want, isn't it, Heero? You just want this... nothing else... "

He slid his hand between their bodies, and wrapped his fingers around the bulge in Heero's pants, squeezing hard.

"Trowa... STOP!" Heero shouted, shoving the taller man violently away from him.

Trowa staggered backwards, loosing his footing and falling painfully to the ground. He looked up and Quatre was standing over him. The blond hesitantly extended a hand to help him up.

Trowa stared at the tentatively outstretched hand, then up into the blond's uncertain face.

The anger was gone, the drive to punish, the angry lust. It was all gone. He stared up at Quatre, his chest aching from the sudden sense of betrayal pulsing through his entire being.

It was all gone.

And Duo was gone.

He stood up, ignoring Quatre's hand.

"Trowa?" Heero asked irresolutely.

"I'm going to call the airports and the shuttle lines," Trowa said flatly, turning his back on all of them. "I'll inquire after Maxwell, and all our known aliases A-I. You all can divide up the rest, if you want to bother."

"Trowa, wait a minute." Quatre.

"There's nothing more to say here," Trowa said flatly, moving out of the door, into the corridor, ignoring the voices behind him.

He'd gotten his answers.

It didn't matter.

The idyll was over. Best to end it decisively.

But he had to find Duo.

Duo might... he would... understand. It would... it was... hurting him too, the sudden fall of their house of cards.

He had to make sure Duo would be all right.

Then... he would be free to go back to...

To his nothing.

[part 6] [part 8] [back to Shoori's fic]