Ah, more angst for the boys.  Poor, insecure lads...Can't you just feel their pain? ;)
by: Shoori

I Know Who I Want... + Part 13

I drift slowly to awareness, frowning slightly at the light beating against my closed eyelids.

As I stir, the warm body in my arms sighs, and moves closer to me.

I inhale deeply, my eyes still closed.

Duo.

I tighten my arm around him, and reach out beyond him to touch my other lover.

Nothing.

I frown, still stubbornly keeping my eyes closed. I lean backwards, expecting my back to come in contact with a hard muscled chest.

Nothing.

My eyes snap open. I look around.

I'm in our bed, in our new room in the Sanc Kingdom. Duo's curled against me, his eyes squeezed shut, obviously fighting consciousness for all he's worth.

Beyond him... nothing.

Missing: pilot 03. One Trowa Barton.

I scowl. Usually after a night like last night, we all wake up together and... recap.

I feel myself harden at the memory. Stretching a little, I feel a certain soreness in certain places that pays mute testimony to the wildness of last night's... encounters.

I grin at the memory, raising my free hand to rub my neck. I've never seen Trowa be so... forthright in his desires before.

Even as I revel in the memory, though, a darker thought intrudes itself on my consciousness.

Why, exactly, did he do that? Why last night?

And his nightmare.

He stayed in the bathroom a long time, and when he returned he refused to say anything, refused to discuss who his dream was about, wouldn't clarify his nebulous, confusing comment about his name.

Of course, it wasn't hard to guess who the dream was about. Granted, lots of people referred to Trowa as "Nanashi" throughout his life, but only one has done so recently, and that one has haunted Trowa's sleep for over a year.

I wish Duo and Quatre had let me go down to that colony with them...

Anyway, just like always, Trowa refused to discuss his dream. He announced simply that he was tired and wanted to sleep, laid down on our bed, let Duo drape himself around him and let me hold onto them both, and went to sleep.

At least, he seemed to sleep. His breathing and heart rate steadied, but we can all do that pretty much at will.

I wasn't planning to go back to sleep. But the soft, even breathing and the warmth radiating off of my two lovers lulled me into unconsciousness.

And now I wake up, and find one of them missing.

This is an aberration in the routine. I don't like that.

I push myself into a sitting position, trying to avoid jostling the bed, but the movement is enough. Duo groans loudly, raising his fists to rub the sleep out of his eyes.

"Wha' time is it?" he mumbles sleepily.

I glance at the clock on the bedside stand. "Ten," I reply.

He groans again. "Noone civilized should have to be awake before noon," he grumbles.

"What about us, then?" I quip half-heartedly.

Duo snarls at me as he pushes himself into a sitting position. "Where's Tro?" he demands, looking around.

I shrug, trying to keep the movement casual. "I don't know," I admit. "I just woke up and... he's not here."

So much for keeping casual, Yuy.

Duo's gaze sharpens. "Where the hell... " he mutters, almost under his breath.

He pushes himself out of the bed, and pulls on a pair of discarded boxer shorts lying on the floor.

I get up more slowly, and wrap myself in my robe.

Now that we're up, I hear it. Rustling noises in the living room, an occasional soft thump. Trowa's out there. He didn't leave.

But why did he leave the bed? Why didn't he wake us up, or wait for us to awaken like we all usually do?

I follow Duo out to the living room. We stop in the doorway.

Trowa, clad in faded blue jeans and a tight white T-shirt, his hair damp, is sitting on the floor, surrounded by piles and piles of video discs. Despite the extremely small size of the discs that carry tens of hours of entertainment, Duo still has hundreds of the things. I find it difficult to believe that he has actually watched all of them, though he swears he has.

Trowa looks up as we enter, and scowls at Duo.

"I can't believe how much of this shit you have," he tells him flatly.

Duo grins, rubbing a hand over his bare chest as he flops down on the sofa. "Hey, it's my addiction," he says affably.

"Some of this is hundreds of years old," Trowa argues. "How can it possibly be entertaining?"

"A good story is a good story," Duo points out. "Doesn't matter how old it is."

Trowa rolls his green eyes expressively. I lean carefully against the door frame, my gaze moving slowly back and forth between them, sensing and monitoring the slight level of tension that hovers beneath their easy banter.

"If you'd quit buying this junk, you'd be able to afford the rent on this place yourself," Trowa snipes without heat, sorting the discs into piles.

"Ah, but so much joy would be sucked out of my life," Duo sighs. "You wouldn't want that, would you, Tro?"

Duo's head is lying back on the cushions as he grins up at the ceiling, so he misses the suddenly intent look Trowa turns on him.

"Of course not," Trowa replies, in a wry tone that doesn't at all match the heated, intense look he's leveling at Duo.

They aren't talking about it. Trowa's tense because he thinks Duo might bring up last night, Duo's tense because he wonders if he should.

"Why so pissy about my vids, all of a sudden?" Duo demands, lifting his head to look at Trowa.

Trowa wrenches his gaze quickly back to the floor, his eyes flickering nervously over me as he does so. "It's taking me forever to unpack them," he grunts as he continues to sort them.

"You've got them all unpacked," Duo points out. "What are you doing?"

Trowa doesn't answer, but a light flush sweeps over his cheeks.

Duo grins suddenly. "You're organizing them," he establishes, still grinning. "How are you doing it, Tro? Chronologically? Alphabetically? By genre?"

"Shut up," Trowa mutters under his breath.

"By actor? Producer? What's the system?" Duo teases.

Trowa looks up and glares at him.

"C'mon, Tro," Duo demands. "How are you arranging them? Tell us!"

Trowa flushes redder. "Alphabetically within genres," he grumbles. "Happy?"

Duo whoops with laughter, leaning against the cushions again. "Alphabetically within genre," he chuckles. "That's great. Are you going to yell at me if I mix them up? What if I put a comedy in the drama section? What'll happen then? Will you... "

I watch them, Duo still laughing, Trowa snapping at him, trying to hide his own smile. That eddy of tension is almost gone. They've relaxed into roles that I realize must be very familiar to them - Duo teasing, Trowa reacting with mock irritation... I wonder, suddenly, how many times they've played this game. Trowa wakes up in the night, screaming. Duo offers comfort that Trowa spurns through embarrassment. Duo, hurt, masks his feeling of rejection in laughter and jokes. Trowa, feeling ridiculous, accepts that front as truth, and moves on, relieved that Duo won't be making an issue of his dream, yet at the same time a little wounded that he doesn't seem to want to mention it...

I'm suddenly incredibly irritated with them both. Aren't we supposed to be not doing this anymore? But if this behavior pattern is as well established as I suspect, maybe they don't even see it.

So how come I do? I'm not exactly the most emotionally aware person of my acquaintance.

Maybe because this morning is so different that I expected. I thought we would all wake up together, and Duo would at some point force one of our little communication sessions, and Trowa would tense up and probably refuse to discuss anything, but at least we would be together, attempting to work through it.

But instead... Trowa is cross-legged on the floor, obsessively categorizing and alphabetizing vid discs while heatedly denying Duo's assertions that he's obsessive.

"What do you think, Heero?" Duo demands, drawing my attention. "Is he obsessive?"

"Yes," I agree absently, earning another laugh from Duo and a growl from Trowa. "What was your dream about last night?" I ask Trowa abruptly.

They're both silent, suddenly, staring at me in surprise.

"Nothing," Trowa says shortly, looking away from me.

"Hee-chan," Duo begins hesitantly.

"It was obviously about something," I interrupt, directing my remarks to Trowa. "You were... upset. What was it about?"

"I don't want to talk about it, Heero," Trowa says tightly, his pale skin flushing with anger, rather than embarrassment.

"Why not?" I ask calmly, ignoring Duo's uncomfortable shifting on the sofa.

"I don't want to discuss it," Trowa repeats, warningly.

"Why?" I press.

"Heero, I don't think we should press him on this... "

"Why?" I turn on Duo. "Why can we press him on everything else, but not this? Why can we press each other on everything, but not ask Trowa about his dream?"

"Because I don't want to talk about it," Trowa answers for Duo, his voice angry.

I shrug. "I didn't want to talk about most of the stuff I've told you," I shoot back, starting to feel angry myself. "Duo didn't want to talk about the things he's told us. What does that matter?"

"So we all subordinate what we want to form this great central pool of awareness?" Trowa summarizes, glaring at me.

"No!" I almost shout. "We stop hiding everything that bothers us from each other, and from ourselves... " I sag, my anger gone suddenly. "I don't want you to hide things from us, Trowa," I say quietly. "I want to know that you trust me."

Trowa stares at the disc in his hand. "You don't trust me," he says, so softly I almost don't hear him.

"What?" I demand, incredulous. How could he think that? "Why in the hell do you say that?" I press.

He stares at the disc. "You don't think I can testify," he reminds me. "You think I'm... "

"That doesn't mean I don't trust you," I interrupt. "I don't want... I just don't want you to be hurt anymore."

He looks up at me suddenly, his eyes unreadable. "That's why I don't tell you about my dream."

There's silence in the room for a moment, interrupted by Duo's rueful chuckle.

"Well, we're stupid," he announces. "Haven't we established about a million times we aren't going to do this?"

I don't answer. I'm still staring at Trowa's lowered head.

"I should have asked you, Tro-chan," Duo admits softly. Trowa looks up at him, the expression in his eyes carefully neutral. "But... I know you don't want to talk about it. I guess... I don't know." Duo falters, and he stares at his hands. "I want to hear about it," he says finally, sighing. "But I can't make you talk about it."

"I don't really remember it," Trowa establishes. I stare narrowly at him. I think he's lying.

"Do you remember anything?" Duo asks softly.

Trowa shrugs. "Barton was in it," he says flatly.

Duo and I both stare at him, speechless. This is the first time since the war Trowa has said that name.

"I don't really remember it," Trowa says again.

I'm sure he's lying.

"Shit!" he says suddenly, glancing at his watch. "We're supposed to be at Quatre's by eleven-thirty today, aren't we?"

Duo bounces up with a muffled curse. "Fuck!" he grumbles. "We're meeting that Dufasion guy today."

"We'd better not be late for that," Trowa points out mildly.

Duo mutters agreement, pondering aloud on what exactly one wears to a not-really-secret meeting in a mansion to meet a prominent politician to discuss endorsing that politician over your one of your male lovers' almost-ex-wife. I can't help but notice the feeling of relief that comes from both of them. Trowa I can understand being relieved that we aren't going to have this conversation. But Duo? Why doesn't Duo want to pursue this? Why would he be relieved that we are being interrupted?

Duo stops in mid-ramble and turns to glare pointedly at Trowa. "We aren't done, Tro-chan," he warns sternly.

Trowa nods, standing up carefully to avoid bumping any of his piles of discs. "Better shower, Heero," he reminds me mildly. "Time to see about saving the Preventers from Relena."

I shudder at the sound of her name. "We aren't done with this," I echo Duo, as I turn and head for the shower.

I know we are, though. The moment for that conversation has passed. Trowa threw us a little detail - enough to stun us into silence - then managed to redirect. Excellent strategy.

I step into the shower, swearing quietly to myself. He doesn't want to tell us. He doesn't want to tell me.

He hasn't mentioned Barton in a year. But he suddenly does, telling us that he was in the dream. I wonder, suddenly, who else was in his nightmare that Trowa was so unwilling to talk about that he would talk about Barton instead.

I hate this feeling. This stupid, helpless, idiot, don't-know-what-I'm-doing feeling. I should be used to it by now. It's been the staple of my life for over a year.

Angrily, I turn the faucet, sending more hot water pulsing through the showerhead. For just a minute there, I'd thought I was getting a little control. I knew what we were all doing, and why, and why we shouldn't be doing it. I even thought I knew how to fix it.

Then... it all slipped away again. So that we could go have lunch.

This had better be a fucking productive meeting.

[part 12] [part 14] [back to Shoori's fic]