see part 1 for notes, disclaimers, etc.
notes: er, the usual. *snuggles for my mistress*
+ Part 8
Relena was wearing a soft pink
pantsuit with a string of pearls around her neck. She looked every bit
the world leader that she was, but more than that she really looked like
an adult, in a way that Trowa had never considered. They had gone to have
their breakfast in a small nook off from the room where the breakfast
buffet had been set up, so that they would have privacy. The room was
essentially a large window with a table before it, looking out over the
exquisitely trimmed garden maze.
Trowa placed his plate on the table reservedly. He had not intended to
actually eat this food; he had gotten it for Duo. He had not intended,
in fact, to speak to anyone. He had the perfect excuse to get away from
any social obligations that might have reared their ugly heads. After
all, someone had to take care of Duo.
There was something so confident in Relena's demeanor, he felt drawn along
almost magnetically. Even the suggestion that she might be able to shed
light on Duo's behavior was enough to entice Trowa to pretend to eat breakfast.
Relena smiled at Trowa, presumably to set him at ease, but it only made
him clench his teeth. He didn't have anything to say to her, and he thought
that maybe she was waiting for him to speak.
"I'll be blunt with you, Trowa, since we don't know each other that well.
I know you've had problems with depression in the past, so I hope you
won't be offended if I ask how you and Duo are doing?" Relena politely
sliced her sausage into small bites. Trowa found himself fascinated by
the gentile dissection.
"What is it that you know about Duo?" Trowa pushed some eggs around on
his plate, sorting the crumbles of scrambled eggs into three distinct
Relena sighed nearly imperceptibly, and ate a piece of sausage. "I suppose
the main question is, how much do you know about Duo? But I won't ask
you that... I just. I would really like to know. How is he doing? Is he
Her eyes were so perfectly clear, like crystals floating in milk. Her
face was blank and expressionless. The only emotion she conveyed was the
tightly reigned concern in her voice.
Trowa found himself caving to it instantly.
Delaying the inevitable, he contemplated a danish. "He drinks. Smokes.
Goes out. Takes E... maybe more, I don't know that much about drugs."
Relena's shoulder's slumped in a way that could only be described as regal.
Trowa examined her face carefully for signs of judgment. After a moment,
he nodded, and looked down at his coffee. It was black in way that he
found disturbingly soothing.
Relena took a sip of her tea carefully, as if it were too hot. "I had
hoped... Does Duo still... Do he and Heero still...?"
"Not since he moved in with me." Trowa was amazed at the sound of his
own voice. He didn't even sound upset.
"Well, that's good. I had hoped..." Relena's eyes drifted, her gaze turning
to the garden vista. There was a wistfulness to her tone that made Trowa
stop and look at her.
She really was an effective leader. She just had an unconscious ability
to make people pay attention to her.
"I had hoped that things would have been... different... between them.
I had hoped..." Relena sighed, and put her hands in her lap. "It seemed
like they were such a good match."
Trowa didn't respond. He turned to look outside as well, somewhat disgusted
by the excess of sunshine that was just beaming around everywhere. Just
the idea of Duo and Heero together made his stomach clench.
"I had thought that maybe they could, I don't know, help each other...
Well, that's not the way things turned out, is it? They aren't exactly
good for each other." Relena's eyes fell to her hands in her lap, her
Trowa narrowed his eyes, directing his ire at a garden gargoyle. "No.
I thought *you* were interested in him."
Relena turned her attention back to the table, straightening as she tried
to laugh it off. "Oh, well... A girl can be forgiven for her childish
infatuations, can't she? At any rate, I knew... I knew as soon as I saw
Heero's eyes after he recovered from his injuries from the Barton incident.
He and I... just aren't compatible."
She seemed willing to move on, but something vindictive in Trowa made
him press the issue. "But you are engaged."
Relena blushed right down to her roots. "Ah, yes, well... He is doing
me a favor. It is... generous of him, I suppose, but it is also, in a
way, no more than he owes me."
Trowa hid his intrigue jealously. "He owes you?"
She joined her hands, tenting her arms and resting her chin on her knuckles.
Smiling coyly, she sighed. "That's part of a long story. But tell me...
You and Duo are in therapy together, right? Has he talked to you, or in
sessions, about his past, about how his troubles started?"
"Troubles?" Trowa's eyes pierced into Relena's relentlessly. "I think
those began when he was orphaned as a toddler on the streets of L2."
Relena flushed again, which caused her to lose the look of authority and
maturity. "I meant... well, obviously, but I was referring... Oh, dear,
I'm doing this all wrong, aren't I?" She shifted in her seat and rearranged
her napkin on her lap. "Let me start over again.
"It began five years ago. There was a movement in the colonies to resurrect
White Fang, at least politically. It was called True Justice. They believed
that the accords that were signed after the war and the Barton incident
were nothing more than continued efforts on the part of the governments
of Earth to enslave the colonies. They wanted to continue the work my
brother had done in White Fang, and gain the rights of self-determination
for the colonies." Her voice was steady and direct, her eyes unblinking.
Trowa had the uncomfortable sense that she was telling him something that
was very important.
"Of course, the UESA Colonial Accords of AC 202 pretty much made the whole
issue moot as it gave each colony all the rights and privileges of any
nation. But, even though their goals had been accomplished, and the party
disbanded, there was still funding being funneled into the organization.
Commander Une decided to launch an investigation, which discovered that..."
Relena's eyes became distant, and her hands moved absently over the tablecloth.
"The political party was just a front so that they could get information.
"It was actually a cabal, a would-be triumvirate of men who had been leaders
in White Fang. The man who was at the center, the instigator, was called
Fabian Lestarte. He had been in White Fang, and before that, he had worked
under my brother in Oz." Relena sighed just a little, her eyes shifting
downward in some form of modesty.
Trowa nodded, his lips curling into a smile of understanding. "Your brother
does have a habit of inspiring fanaticism."
This seemed to depress Relena, but Trowa could hardly be bothered with
feeling guilty over telling the truth. "That is certainly true. This man
Lestarte, he was conceivably the only person in the known universe who
*actually* believed that my brother to be dead." Trowa could not help
smiling at that, and bolstered by the effectiveness of her little joke,
Relena plowed onward with more energy. "He got together with two of his
closest comrades from White Fang, a man named Julius Crane and another
man named Crandall Desmond, and he plotted revenge for my brother's death.
Naturally, he blamed *me* for my brother's actions, and Commander Une's
investigation found evidence that the cabal was planning on attacking
"Now, there are plenty of people out there who want me dead, and the Preventors
are keeping an eye on all of them, but Lestarte was found to have obtained
from various sources the makings of a dirty bomb, which he was keeping
in New New York, where the Peace Summit Meetings were to be held to celebrate
the Colonial Accords and help integrate the colonial governments into
the UESA. Une decided that they could not wait for any judicial process.
"She signed an order for assassination." Relena sighed with acceptance,
and she picked up her tea, draining the cup quickly. "She had no choice.
There were just too many innocent lives in danger to worry about details.
I suppose... If my brother had not been out of transmission range, he
could have been called in, but... As I said, there were too many people
in danger to be bothered with details.
"Heero was called in. He was an assassination expert. He was supposed
to be the best for the job." Relena smiled, and Trowa was struck by how
strange it was to see Relena being sardonic. "And he did his job well.
He tracked them down, found their hideout, tracked and recorded their
movements... He was ready for the kill. He had them in his sights, and
he was ready to take them all down in three quick shots, Lestarte first.
Trowa absently ate a forkful of eggs. More than the story, the tone of
her voice and the way her eyes drifted over the table entranced him. She
had become so mature, but she was still the same girl he had known in
the war. There was a trace of disillusionment in her voice, and Trowa
felt an unaccountable kinship with her. He had once had Heero Yuy on a
pedestal as well.
Relena's eyes were distant, a small warmth making her cheeks plump as
she spoke. "He had sworn that Mariemaia was the last person he was ever
going to kill, and he couldn't bring himself to kill again, even though
he knew it was necessary. He couldn't stop himself, though, before he
pulled the trigger, so instead he jerked the gun so that he would miss
the target. He didn't kill anyone.
"But he did alert them to his presence." Relena sighed heavily. "After
that, they became impossible to find. They had bunkered themselves in
their hideout, and there was no way to get to them without going in.
"The Preventors' needed an expert in infiltration and execution, someone
who could slip in unseen and get past some of the best security in the
Relena's voice got slower, betraying a weariness that suggested a sense
of guilt. Trowa felt something dark eating at his gut.
"Duo often did jobs for the Preventors, often ones that were completely
top secret. Given his past, he was the most logical choice. Chang Wu Fei
was never good at stealth, and no one else would was 100% reliable was
available." Relena took a deep breath, and smiled wryly. "He was perfect.
"And he did the job, perfectly. Within four days of being assigned, and
two days before the Peace Summit Meetings, he was able to bring down all
three of the conspirators, and he took down their headquarters, which
was an abandoned office complex in a run down section of town."
Relena seemed to be holding back tears, which puzzled Trowa, though not
enough to actually try to comfort her or speak. He waited patiently for
Relena to compose herself, while slowly eating more eggs.
"Afterwards, though, he seemed to be in shock. It was an unpleasant mission,
and he had had to kill three people in cold blood..." She cleared her
throat, and shook her head, a small smile turning up the corner of her
lips. "He was so... heroic. But the toll... the toll had been great. He
became withdrawn, he refused to talk about his mission in any detail,
and he was alternately hostile and defensive. It was at this time that
he and Heero met again for the first time since the end of the last war.
At first, I had hopes that the two of them could heal the wounds the wars
and their lives had left them with, but... Heero was so angry, with himself
for failing in his mission, and with Duo, for completing the mission.
And Duo... Duo seemed to *want* to be punished."
She made a girlish show of dabbing at her eyes with her lace handkerchief.
Trowa swallowed down his disgust with some cold toast. An unreasonable
anger bubbled inside of his chest. She had caused Duo pain, and made Duo
the man he was today. Unwittingly, of course, but that didn't excuse her.
Oh, it had been that terrorist, of course, but it had been protecting
*her* that got Duo into trouble. It was always about her protection, and
Trowa couldn't help but feel that if she were less feeble, a lot of trouble
could have been spared.
"They... they became involved, but there was obviously... obviously something
wrong. And the longer they were together, the... the worse it seemed to
get. And then it became clear that Duo was using." Relena sighed, her
shoulders shaking as if she were holding in sobs.
Trowa tossed his napkin down on the table, sick of listening to her babble.
"I pushed Une to offer him a permanent position with the Preventors once
Hilde fired Duo for losing his license. There was... an accident. So,
you see, I'm responsible for the troubles Duo has had recently, and I
want you to know... I want *him* to know... anything I can do, anything
at all, to help, please, all either of you have to do is ask. He's my
hero, you know?"
She tried to smile at him, but Trowa's eyes were narrowed dangerously.
"He's your hero, is he? I suppose a good pacifist needs someone like him,
a garbage collector, as it were, to take care of the unpleasant things
in life. Doesn't really matter what he's gone through to ensure your safety,
as long as you and your powerful friends can lead a peaceful life, the
torment of the people who built that peace is secondary, right?" Trowa's
voice was unusually lively, and he felt like he was unwinding a bit as
he spoke. He closed his mouth into a tight line when he had his peace,
unwilling to let go any more.
"Oh!" Relena's eyes widened, and her hand drifted to her mouth, her shock
evident. "No, that's not what I meant at all!" She shifted uncomfortably
in her seat, her actions erratic. "No, no, that's not what I meant at
all! I meant, he *knew*, you see? He *knew* what he was getting into,
what it would cost him, and he did it anyway. He didn't do it for me,
he did it for *peace*, for the people... because someone had to, and he
didn't want anyone else to have to suffer. *That's* why he's my hero,
because he's just so... so... *noble*. I mean, really noble. I'm sorry,
I'm not being very coherent..."
Trowa struggled for a moment, looking to the ceiling as he resisted the
inevitable. "No, I'm sorry. I made an unfounded assumption."
Relena's whole body bled relief. "I don't know if there is anything I
can do, but please, remember, if there *is* anything, just... just ask,
Trowa spared a moment to look her in the eye. She was desperate, begging
him. He sighed. "I can't promise you anything. I don't know... I don't
know if he wants anyone to *help*."
"I know. But if something comes up, anything at all...?" She leaned forward
in her seat, pushing her stomach against the edge of the table so that
her chest was practically in her plate.
Trowa looked away, annoyed. "We'll see."
Relena smiled brightly, as if he had just promised to grant her all her
wishes for the next fifty years. "Thank you! Here, let me give you my
card...I'll write my private number so that you can reach me at any time
at all...Here." She wrote down the number quickly, and then handed him
the card with a grin.
He took it resignedly. "Thank you."
She stood up, and walked around the table to kiss Trowa on the cheek.
Trowa was so stunned, he remained seated for the whole procedure.
"Thank you, Trowa. I really hope... Well, I hope that you and Duo are
both happy. I think..." She blushed, her cheeks like apples as she smiled.
"I think you two are very sexy together." She winked at him, and then
rushed out of the breakfast nook, moving quickly as she chuckled to herself.
Trowa just sat there, stupefied.
Scowling, he stood up and gathered up what remained of Duo's bagel and
danish. This morning had not gone as he had planned.
He kept to the shadows and walked quickly through the halls, hoping not
to be caught again. Relena had confused him, and he needed time to process.
There had been a mission, and Duo had succeeded where Heero had failed.
That explained a lot. Duo had gone into some sort of shock afterward,
and had become a junkie. That explained less, although Trowa supposed
that other people might be less blasť about murder than he was.
Relena considered Duo a hero.
Trowa found himself not disagreeing with that.
When he opened the door to their room, he found that there was an odd
tingling beneath his skin. He needed to touch Duo, to hold him, and to
fuck him madly.
The room was full of filtered sunshine, the thin curtains still drawn,
though the thick brocades had been pulled back. Duo was flat on his stomach
on the bed, just as Trowa had left him, his messy braid trailing like
a snake losing its skin over his back. At the sound of the door opening,
Duo groaned, and shifted as if he were trying to turn over, but not quite
Trowa put the rolls down on the table next to the bed, and crawled over
Duo, flopping on the other side of the bed with relish, stretching his
legs out in front of him. Leaning on his elbow, he looked down at Duo,
lightly running his fingers around Duo's hairline, pushing the thick braid
off to the side.
One sleepy eye cracked open, and Duo grinned up at Trowa with half his
face. "Took you long enough. Didja bake those danishes yourself? Didja
hafta track down real Danish people?"
Trowa smiled gently, suddenly very fully aware of Duo's nudity, and his
scarred beauty. His fingers moved to trace Duo's tattoo, and he watched
with abject wonder.
Duo sighed sleepily. "Are you trying to seduce me, Mr. Barton?"
Trowa did not respond verbally. He let his hands drift down the skin of
Duo's flanks, and he tasted the skin over Duo's spine with a long, wet
Duo woke up with a groan. "Oh, you *better* be seducing me..."
"Now, why would I want to do that?" Trowa put his hands on Duo's hips,
and opened his mouth, putting his tongue and his teeth on Duo's ass, sucking
gently on a large mouthful.
Duo nearly flipped over, except for Trowa's control of him. "Now you damn
well *better* be seducing me!"
Trowa rested on his side, grinning at Duo as he lazily ran his hands over
Duo's ass. "Don't you think we should get dressed? I think there were
planned activities on the agenda."
"The only planned activity on your agenda is screwing me, boy." Duo sat
up, grabbing for Trowa's wrists. "And you are way too overdressed as it
Trowa wrestled with Duo, slipping out of his grip and pinning flipping
him over, pinning him to the bed as he held Duo's hands above his head.
Duo squirmed under him, arching his back to push his erection into Trowa's
pants. "Please, Trowa."
Trowa looked down into Duo's eyes, wide and vibrantly colored. Duo's skin
was flushed, begging to be touched and tasted and kissed and sucked. Duo's
hair trailed off the bed, wildly out of place. Duo's long, slim neck was
arched, the lines of his trachea visible, his Adam's apple bouncing as
he swallowed hard. Duo's nipples were peaked and bright pink. Duo's legs
were attempting to wrap around his waist, wriggling like the tentacles
of an octopus as they enveloped him. Trowa kissed Duo's arms beneath the
wrist, kissed the inside of his elbows, kissed his shoulders, along his
collarbone, up his neck, his chin, and then his mouth, sucking on Duo's
lips and tongue. "I am very pleased, yes." Trowa's voice was unrecognizably
throaty, and his body shook with his emotion.
Duo laughed, a manic, breathy sound. He arched and thrashed in Trowa's
hands. "Oh, yeah, baby, please, please, please, let go, let me take your
Trowa grinned. "No." He pushed his tongue in Duo's mouth, and lay his
body down on Duo's naked flesh. Duo groaned, and ground himself against
Trowa's body. Trowa ran one hand down Duo's flank, and in between Duo's
Duo screamed as Trowa took a hold of his balls gently, and then Duo dug
the top of his head into the mattress as he arched his hips even higher
up into Trowa's hips. Trowa pushed his hand back, and circled Duo's anus
with his thumb.
"Do you want me?" Trowa spoke into Duo's ear, keeping his voice as level
as he could.
"*Please*, damn it, Trowa, fuck!" Duo writhed, throwing his leg around
Trowa's waist, digging his heel into the small of Trowa's back.
"Fuck, Duo?" Trowa pulled up, groaning, and used his free hand to open
his pants. He pulled Duo up, flush against his chest, and threw Duo's
arms around his neck. Duo helpfully began to chew on his neck, which did
incite Trowa into sitting up on his knees, pulling Duo's hips against
"Lube?" Duo panted, opening the buttons on Trowa's shirt quickly.
Trowa grunted, and leaned back long enough for Duo to finish opening his
shirt and for him to grab the lube and condoms off the nightstand. Trowa
pushed his shoulder blades against the wall above the headboard, and he
pushed his pants down to his knees. Duo put his knees on the pillows,
straddling Trowa's waist, and quickly lubed up Trowa's cock and his anus.
Trowa pushed into Duo, and Duo pushed down into Trowa. There was sound,
and heat, and sensation. Trowa dug his fingers into Duo's hips, and opened
his mouth to scream, though no sound came out. He thrust against Duo's
body, and his brain prickled with the perfection of the friction.
Duo moved like a wild man. Trowa's eyes were closed tightly, but he could
feel Duo's panicked movements. He could taste Duo's sweat. He pushed into
Duo's body, and he felt like Duo was seeping into his own.
When he came, he made a noise like a balloon deflating slowly. It was
a pristine moment.
He opened his eyes.
Duo was draped over his chest, his sweaty hair sticking to Trowa in thin
threads. Duo was heaving, unable to suck enough air into his lungs, his
hands on Trowa's arms weakly.
"I'm awake now, Tro."
"Kinda hungry for breakfast now."
"It's there on the table."
"I talked to Relena. That's what took so long."
"Oh?" Duo tensed minutely. "What'd ya talk about?"
Trowa sighed, letting the bad air drain out of him. "I think she thinks
about us naked."
Duo smiled, and then he started to laugh.
Trowa closed his eyes, and slept.