Know Who I Want... + Part 25 (cont)
Well, this is awkward.
I'm sitting on the couch, Heero's sitting next to me, not quite touching.
Neither of us is talking.
Frankly, I'm not up for it.
But it is getting a little weird. We've been sitting here like this, in
the dark of the living room, ever since we got home several hours ago.
Neither of us has made any move to change position, to talk, or to get
the other to talk.
I'm not used to being quiet for so long.
Nor am I used to rabid self-introspection. I leave that to Trowa and Heero.
But I... I can't get Trowa's accusations out of my mind.
I'm sorry I hurt him.
He says he knows that, but is still mad because I'm not sorry for doing
what I did - namely sleeping with Hilde and Heero.
But I told him I'm sorry I hurt him. Isn't that the same thing? Isn't
that the important thing?
Maybe he's just mad I never told him about Hilde. But Christ, why should
I have? It was just an ending to the whole relationship, it didn't mean
anything, and he would have completely freaked out and dumped me and left
me for no real reason.
Even now, after everything we've been through and the promises we've made,
he still left.
Ok, so he'll be back tomorrow, but still. He left.
I jump, startled, as the phone shrills loud and sudden into the silent
I groan. Dealing with people is the last thing I want to do now... but
"Trowa?" I mutter, jumping up and running to the base and picking up the
I curse softly as the phone continues to ring in my hand as I fumble to
find the correct button on the handset. Heero gets up and switches on
a lamp, and finally I find the right button. The little red light goes
on, and I quickly jerk the receiver up to my ear.
"Hello?" I call hopefully into the phone, inwardly cursing myself at the
tone of hopeful expectation I hear in my voice.
"Hi Duo, it's Quatre," comes a voice that, though familiar, is definitely
not the one I had been hoping to hear.
"Hey, Q," I answer, trying to keep the disappointment from my voice, smiling
tightly at Heero, whose shoulders slump a little as he realizes who I'm
"Sorry to be calling so late," he apologizes sincerely, "but it took me
forever to get Trowa into bed, and he finally fell asleep just now, so...
I choke on an inhalation of air. Got Trowa into bed!! What the Hell!!!
I force myself to stamp down the immediate surge of jealousy that Quatre's
- surely - innocent remarks send pulsing through me. No way has Trowa
gone to bed with Quatre. The Q-man is just too naive for his own good,
always has been, and he doesn't realize what he's saying.
"Great," I manage lamely. "I mean... no, it's no problem. I was... "
"Good," he interrupts briskly as I trail off into inanity, still pondering
his early remark. "I just thought you might be a little worried, so I
wanted to call to tell you that he's fine, and he's going to stay the
"What?" I shout into the phone. "The weekend? I thought he was coming
home tomorrow! When... "
"Well, we had a long talk," Quatre interrupts again. "You know how hard
it is to get him to discuss anything, but... "
"But, what?" I demand suspiciously, shrugging slightly at Heero's expression
"But I have a lot of practice," he laughs. "I know his sensitive spots."
Aack! Stop the mental images!! Too much information! This time, a freakin'
tsunami of jealousy practically knocks me over.
Settle, Duo. Trowa isn't sleeping with Quatre. He wouldn't go have
sex with Quatre just because he's mad at me. That's not his style. It's
not. Really. Just because he's had sex with Quatre before and still feels
friendship for him... just like I had had sex with Hilde before and felt
friendship for her... .
No! It's not the same thing and Trowa fucking well knows it! He better
fucking well know it or I'll beat it into him...
"Anyway," Quatre burbles merrily on, cutting unknowingly through my silent
storm of seething envy, "he finally opened up. He's very stressed, Duo.
I think he needs a weekend off."
He opened up. To Quatre.
"A weekend off," I repeat stupidly, staring at Heero.
"Yes. So, he's going to stay here. Wufei has an all-day meeting with the
other L5 representatives tomorrow, poor guy, so Tro and I will have the
whole day together to hang out and talk and... stuff."
I must have imagined the pause before the "stuff." No way would Quatre
have allowed such an innuendo-laden silence. No way would he have a reason
to. ‘Stuff' covers a lot of things that don't need a pause. They're probably
going to... play basketball, or watch vids, or make music together...
Or maybe they're going to... ‘make music together.' That would
necessitate a pause before "stuff."
I'll kill them both. I swear, I'll...
SETTLE DOWN, DUO! You're reading way too much into this conversation.
It's probably my guilty conscience at work, hearing badness where none
"So, I'm not sure if he'll be back Sunday, or if he'll just go on to court
with us Monday morning. I guess you'll see him when you see him... "
"I... All right," I mutter into the phone. I can't really go off on Quatre
about this without sounding like more of an idiot than I already have
today. "I... I am sorry... Quatre. I didn't mean to hurt him... I... "
I sigh, lifting my head to meet Heero's concerned gaze. "I wish he'd come
home," I admit unhappily.
Heero moves to stand beside me, and his arm slides around me. I tilt my
head, and rest it on his shoulder.
There's a long pause, and when Quatre speaks again, his voice is gentler.
"He's going to come back, Duo," he assures me quietly. "He just... needs
a little distance, for a little while. You know he's like that," he reminds
me. "It's different from how you and I are, but... that's the way he is.
He needs some time to calm down and see things in perspective... and you
just have to give it to him."
"I guess," I mutter discontentedly. "But I don't like it, Q. I mean, the
last thing he needs is more time to brood... "
"Oh, he won't be brooding," Quatre promises brightly. "I plan to keep
him very busy. So don't worry! I'll talk to you later, ok Duo?"
I know he didn't use the tone I think I heard on the "very." He can't
have. He wouldn't have. He...
"Ok?" he repeats.
"Yeah," I say weakly, and, with a happy good-bye, Quatre breaks the connection,
leaving me staring dumbly at the phone in my hand.
After a moment, Heero gently takes the phone away from me, switches it
off, and replaces it on the base. He takes my hand and pulls me back to
the couch, arranging both of us so that he's sitting in one corner, and
I'm leaning against him.
"So, what was that about?" he asks finally, his deep voice quiet.
I shrug, trying to dismiss the conversation. "Trowa's going to spend the
weekend at Quatre's," I tell him. He probably already gathered that much.
"Is he coming back Sunday, or... "
"I don't know," I interrupt. "I guess we get to find out when we find
That irritates me. Trowa's always the one who needs his freaking anal
obsessive plan, he could at least inform us when the hell he plans to
next grace us with his presence...
Just as I'm working myself up into a good old bout of pissiness, Heero
takes my hand in his and gently rubs his thumb over the backs of my fingers.
Great. Now I'm upset again.
"You're upset because he's not coming back tomorrow?" Heero asks carefully.
I smile despite myself. Some habits never die. Heero's always been obsessive
about preparing for the mission, and he's done a great deal of research
on the issue of inter-personal communication. So, when he's not caught
off guard, and when the conversation moves slowly enough for him to remember
the little scripts and diagrams he has in his head, he's actually pretty
textbook good at this whole talking things over deal.
"Yeah," I admit.
"He will come back, Duo," he tells me softly.
I sigh. Everyone's telling me that. I didn't realize that I had ‘needy
loser' tattooed quite so visibly on my head.
"He will, Duo," Heero promises. "He's just... upset. Hurt. When he calms
down a little, he'll... "
"Come back for a few days until the next time I hurt his feelings, and
then he'll go again," I interrupt. "Shit, Heero, I can't seem to do anything
fucking right when it comes to him anymore! If I manage to keep my foot
out of my mouth for a day or so then shit I did fucking years ago
pops out of the woodwork to upset him." I falter, my sudden indignation
fading as suddenly as it had flared up. "Christ, Heero, I just don't know
what the Hell to do."
Heero is - not surprisingly - silent after this little diatribe. I guess
I sort of pulled that one out of left field.
"Well," he says after a moment. "What did you do when he was like this
"Before?" I repeat, frowning.
"Before all of this," he clarifies -badly- waving one hand vaguely. "When
it was just you and him."
I frown. "What did I do... " I muse, thinking. "This... this didn't happen
like this," I tell him. Well, I guess I'm catching the anti-clarity bug.
"You didn't argue?" he asks, one brow lifting in disbelief.
I shake my head. "Of course we argued," I correct him. "We just... " I
scowl, trying to think of how to phrase it. "He didn't leave, though,"
I say. "I'd yell, and he'd glare at me, and finally we'd... " I stop and
groan, lowering my head into my hands.
"You'd what?" Heero asks curiously.
I look up at him with a sickly grin. "He'd agree with me, or I'd jump
him and we'd have sex, and not discuss it again. And I thought that made
everything ok. Jesus, what a stupid fucking asshole I am. I... "
"Stop it," Heero interrupts harshly, his hand tightening on mine. I look
up at him, surprised. "You don't help anything by doing that," he informs
"Doing what?" I frown, trying to pull my hand out of his painful grip.
He doesn't let me pull away, but does lighten his hold slightly.
"Don't say those things about yourself," he tells me. "They aren't true.
So you haven't been perfect. So you've messed up. So maybe sometimes you
were actually kind of a jerk." He shrugs. "So what? It doesn't mean you're
an awful person when you screw up, it means you're a person. Human. That
means you make mistakes. That's what you tell me," he reminds me.
I stare up at his earnest, angry face for a moment, then feel my own expression
relax into a smile. A lot of the tension I've been feeling slowly starts
to melt away. "Ok. You're right," I concede.
"And if that was your pattern before, it's probably good that Trowa's
breaking it," Heero points out. "I mean, he doesn't want to just swallow
things he doesn't like to keep peace anymore. That's a sign of trust,
Duo, not abandonment."
Since when have my abandonment issues become so clear to the entire world?
Crap, they're barely clear to me. Why does everyone else seem to have
such a clear link to this page of the Book of Duo?
"So, what do we do?" I ask tentatively. This is kind of new territory.
Heero and I have discussed Trowa before, but somehow, not like this. "I
mean, I've been knocking myself out, especially since we got back here,
trying to be... I don't know... sensitive to him or whatever, and it's
still not... "
"Maybe that's the problem," Heero muses. I glance up, and he's got the
same expression in his eyes he gets when he's hunched in front of a computer
trying to solve some problem. I just know he's analyzing all available
Trowa data and crunching it to figure out the next best step.
Hell, it's better than any process I've got. It might be a nice change
to have a well-ordered plan, rather than to just fly by the seat of my
"Maybe we're being too careful," Heero muses.
I frown. "What do you mean?"
"Maybe we're being too focused on being nice to him," Heero explains.
"It's not... we're not behaving naturally. Maybe we're making him nervous."
"You mean, we're fussing too much?" I ask after a moment.
He nods. "It would probably make me uncomfortable," he reasons. "Everyone
always trying to anticipate my every reaction to every word that they
said to me... "
I nod slowly. "So, we should stop over-analyzing everything?" I conclude.
He grins at me, pulling me against him. "Think you can handle it?" he
I scowl at him. "What's that supposed to mean?" I demand.
I'm shocked and amazed when he actually breaks out laughing. "See what
I mean?" he teases after a moment.
I grin unwillingly when I catch the joke. "I just... don't want to hurt
him anymore. Or you," I admit hoarsely.
Heero sobers. He moves so he's lying against one arm of the couch, and
lifts me easily on top of him. Even amidst the seriousness of the moment,
I can't help but shiver a little at this casual display of his strength.
"You won't, Duo," he assures me softly, wrapping his arms around me. "Or,
if you do, it won't be the end of the world."
"But I don't... ."
"I know. And Trowa knows too. We all just... " Heero sighs. "We all just
have very different ways of looking at things. We react differently from
each other. That's ok, and in time, we'll all become much better at figuring
each other out. But it will take time," he emphasizes. "And until we do...
" He stops again, making a small sound of frustration. Emotional articulation
just isn't easy for Heero. "Being considerate of one another is one thing,"
he establishes. "Worrying obsessively about every little reaction one
of us has to everything is another."
"Are you accusing me of being obsessive?" I mutter into his chest.
His arms tighten briefly. "Yes," he says flatly, but I hear the humor
in his voice.
"Pot, kettle," I accuse.
"Yeah, we've all pretty much got obsessive wrapped up," he concedes wryly.
We're both silent for a few minutes, trying to work through everything
that's just been said.
"I don't know," Heero tells me finally. "I don't know exactly what's right.
I just know... "
He stops, and is quiet for several minutes. Finally I lift my head up
and stare down at him. "What?" I demand, frowning. He stares back at me,
his eyes troubled.
"I... haven't felt like myself in a long time," he admits. "Years. Before...
the peace, I almost never felt like... I didn't know what I was doing.
Out of control. But... since I married Relena... "
"None of this was covered under basic training," I summarize softly, understanding.
He nods. "Or advanced," he tells me seriously. I hold back my smile. "I
just... I don't know how much longer I can... " He flounders to a stop
"Can do what?" I ask nervously. Is this all too much for Heero? Does he
His arms tighten around me again, and one hand soothingly strokes my back.
"I will always be with you and Trowa," he tells me firmly. "I will never
let either of you go. But... " He glances away from me for a minute, thinking.
"I have to try to... figure out what happened to me." He frowns again;
this is obviously not quite what he's trying to say. Give Heero a statistical
problem or a batch of computer code and he can work miracles, but he has
a terrible time vocalizing anything. Watching one of the most brilliant
people I've ever known struggle so with language is always a kind of disconcerting
experience. "I can't keep worrying about everyone's reaction to everything,"
he warns finally.
I nod. "Well, you just said maybe we should stop doing that anyway," I
He nods. "I just... need to find the line," he tells me seriously.
I sigh. "Welcome to the club, Hee-chan," I answer wryly. "We aren't much
for moderation, any of us," I note. "We spent years running around not
giving a crap about how anyone else felt about anything, now we've spent
months doing our best not to look at anyone the wrong way." I shake my
head. "We all need to find the line," I finish, sighing.
We're quiet again for awhile. "Do you think that Trowa... " Heero begins.
"I don't know what Trowa will do," I interrupt. "I guess... he needs to
figure some stuff out for himself. We can't help him until he tells us
how he feels. And we can't make him tell us." I pause. "Maybe Quatre can
help him on that," I conclude, unable to keep the acerbic tone out of
Heero's brows lift again. "What's wrong?" he asks.
I swear softly. "Nothing," I mutter. "Quatre just... he kept saying stuff...
and it just... the way he said it... "
Heero chuckles. "Trowa's not getting it on with Quatre," he assures me,
hugging me close again. "Wufei would have a fit."
I scowl. "I don't think he's ‘getting it on' with him," I snap. "I just...
"You're just worried he is," Heero grins.
"Shut up," I mutter, trying to pull away from him.
"You're afraid they were lying like this," Heero says, shifting his hands
to my hips and pulling me against him. I gasp.
"And that Quatre was touching him like this," Heero continues, sliding
his hands up underneath my untucked shirt, fingers skimming lightly and
teasingly against the bare skin of my back and shoulders.
"And this... " Heero murmurs against my lips before his mouth claims mine,
tongue moving inside to rub teasingly against mine.
I moan into his mouth, my eyes closing as I lose myself in the kiss.
"And then, you think Quatre might do this," Heero gasps, tearing his mouth
away from mine to trail a path of hot kisses down my neck, biting sharply
at the base of my throat.
"God!" I cry out, clenching convulsively at his shoulders.
"And Trowa would respond like that... and then, they... "
"Knock it off," I command sharply. He looks up at me, surprise and shock
at my seeming rejection in his blue eyes. "This game is sick," I clarify,
softening the accusation with a wicked grin. "They aren't doing any of
this. I believe you. But we had better be, pretty damn soon, or
I'll know the reason why."
Heero grins and sits up. In a moment, I'm lying on my back on the carpet
with him grinning down at me. His eyes are dark with desire, and I feel
a stir of answering need sweep through me.
"Mission accepted," he breathes, and leans down to kiss me again, and
thoughts of Trowa, Quatre, Wufei, Relena, court and the Preventers are
banished from my mind.
The nine-day celibacy streak is over.
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