Disclaimer: I'm just borrowing the boys from Bandai/Sotsu/Sunrise for a little while. I promise I'll dust them off properly and place them back on the shelf for other writers when I'm done playing with them.

Warnings: This is a 3x4 AU piece with mention of past 2xFC (hang on folks, the 1+2 is in the sequel okay?), some 3x4 exploration of the very mild lime-ish variety, and a brief NCS scene in the second chapter (it's not all that explicit, but I know some people are very sensitive on that point). Some occasional bad language surfaces from time to time as well. This is also my first attempt at writing 3x4, so I'll apologize in advance for anything that reads as OOC to regular readers of that pairing.

Notes: This fic nearly didn't happen. I constructed a fairly elaborate outline and extensive character notes to establish the pre-existing 3x4 relationship in another fic titled Daydreams. While I was working through the review and development process for that fic, I made the mistake of mentioning the existence of said outline to a couple of people who, well, begged rather shamelessly for me to write an expanded version of it. So, here 'tis. Again, if my memories of Cambridge, MA are a little fuzzy, it's because it's been more than fourteen years since I lived there.

Summary: Trowa works construction and odd jobs, Quatre is a grad student. This is yet another hurt/comfort type of get-together fic (that and working AU were my themes for the summer). This fic takes place about three years prior to the events in 'Daydreams.'

Chapter Seven
by D.C. Logan

Trowa's first thought was that, for a twenty-eight year old man away from home for the first time, Quatre didn't have much in the way of personal possessions. He liked what his things revealed about the man he was interested in though. There wasn't much to pack, but all of it was lasting quality, well cared for, and in good taste.

It wasn't until the second load was safely in the car and they were back to finish packing up the odds and ends that Quatre's roommate showed up. Trowa had waited by the car to lock it (the locks, unused for months, didn't want to cooperate), and walked in on the two of them, or more specifically, Quatre's roommate, ahem, correction, ex-roomate, berating Quatre for leaving with only a note to explain his behavior. He looked at Trowa derisively, scanning up and down his body, noting the tattoos and dismissing him out of hand as inferior. Which was his second mistake. His first was in underestimating Quatre. Trowa waited, trusting that Quatre would let him know if or when he needed help. Hopefully that would be soon, as his ex-roommate was becoming offensive, and Trowa wasn't certain how much longer his restraint would hold. His control was generally quite good, but it hadn't been tested like this in a long, long time.

Quatre hadn't expected Sean to show up. Hell, he'd intentionally chosen this day and time to avoid him and any chance of confrontation, but Trowa was a comfortable looming presence in the doorway, and Quatre was grateful for him. He'd shown the good sense to let Quatre handle this situation. He was monitoring, and there if necessary, but so far had done nothing else, not even when Sean had snubbed him like that. He was actually learning a lot about how Trowa handled stress and situational tactics. It was very telling, and he was unaccountably proud of him.

Quatre had more or less given up on paying attention to Sean and had tuned him out in favor of watching Trowa. Trowa was evaluating Sean carefully, waiting to see what he would do or say next.

Sean worked right up to the point where he said something to the effect of 'reading the note about staying with a friend for a few days--when what you really meant was that you were shacking up with some non-breeding faggot reject pervert' before Trowa started to move. Quatre had watched objectively up until that point, uncaring of what assumptions Sean might jump to or comment upon, and curious as to what Trowa would do, but he just couldn't let Trowa brain Sean, as enjoyable as that might be to watch. Sean came from an entire family of lawyers; it just wasn't worth the consequences.

He reached over a laid a hand on Trowa's arm, but Trowa shook it off, intent on impressing on Sean just how much of a reject pervert he might actually be.

Quatre sighed in acceptance of the inevitable. He responded to Sean's accusation by agreeing pleasantly with a clearly stated, "You're absolutely right of course," just before reaching up and hauling Trowa's head down for a very public first kiss.

He hoped that Trowa would shift his attention from Sean to him, he hoped to avoid what could turn out to be a very nasty physical incident and to keep campus security out of his personal life, but his misdirection worked better than even he expected. He reached up with both hands and pulled Trowa's face down to his level, and pressed his lips to his hard enough that he'd accidentally clicked his teeth against Trowa's mouth--which he'd found conveniently open in surprise. He gave up on the subtle approach and poured himself into the moment, turning a two-day old desire and a momentary impulse into an opportunistic exploration.

Trowa hadn't seen the attack coming. He'd been expecting one, but his opponent arrived from an entirely unexpected direction, and his defenses couldn't stand long under the sweet onslaught. He fell hip deep into the kiss, exploring and prolonging the moment and stretching it out into a sweet eternity of twining tongues and exploring hands. It was hot as hell; slick, wet, and enthusiastic.

Deeply entrenched in the moment, they didn't even notice when Sean's rant trailed off and he stood dumbly watching them in loathing. Nor did they remark when he left in disgust.

A crying need for oxygen finally threw them apart, and Quatre was appeased to see Trowa shakily balancing on his feet while bracing his palms on his thighs, bent over in shock and taking in deep rattling breaths of air. He noted that the rest of Trowa's body was happy to make his acquaintance as well. Good. Apparently they wouldn't be having any problems in the bedroom arena. None at all.

He felt the packet of condoms and covert tube of lubricant in his pocket, and smiled, unbeknownst to him, a very fetching and deeply mysterious smile. There was daring in it, and power, and the knowledge that it was in his control and that he held both time and opportunity. It felt very good.

Trowa slowly regained his composure and stood. He flashed a glance in Quatre's direction, just long enough to measure how effected he was by the interlude. Without a word said between them, they picked up the two remaining boxes and headed towards the loaded car. Trowa did not bother to lock the door behind him. Quatre noted the lapse and smiled wider.

The short drive back to Trowa's apartment was navigated in a shaky, stilted silence with neither of them willing to broach the subject of their intense reaction to each other. Spandex, thought Trowa, looking cautiously down at his lap. He'd need to buy more clothes with stretchable qualities until he relearned his usual level of control over his body. It usually didn't disobey him this badly. Of course, he hadn't met anyone like Quatre before either. He was definitely keeping this one. Oh dear god yes.

"We're not going to be able to take our time with this are we?" Quatre asked. He didn't have enough control to sound properly dejected.

There wasn't any question about the direction they were headed in. Trowa tried to come off as regretful, but the effect was probably destroyed by the huge grin threatening to break out any second. He tried for a casual, "No, I don't think so."

"Two questions."

"Okay, shoot." God no, bad choice of words. Willpower, that's what he needed. He'd have to order some from somewhere.

Quatre's voice was a curious mix of resigned and tremendously excited. It gave his voice an odd timbre. "Bloodwork results? And when do you need to get up to go to work? I'm assuming that we can figure out the rest of it as we go."

"Three months ago, negative"--he waited for Quatre's response.

"All normal here."

"And I'm off on Monday... you?"

"Yeah, me too."

"We're going to get pretty sore... and hungry."

"We can deal with that later. Domino's delivers."

The car didn't get unpacked.

They'd destroyed the bedlinens and thoroughly soiled the pile of clean laundry that Trowa had dumped on the floor as an impromptu bed. All of that and Quatre hadn't even had the opportunity to use his carefully hoarded condoms, at least not in the way he'd intended. He'd never realized how much the simple sharing of touch could excite him--how much fun sexual play with Trowa could be. They'd stumbled up the wooden stairs to the upstairs apartment, anxious and laughing like children on holiday. Quatre made it into the living room before the thought of what he had to look forward to completely overwhelmed him, and he lost control in his jeans. He dropped to the floor, oddly dizzy with the release of his pleasure.

Trowa had looked disappointed for a brief moment, and then laughed and crashed to the floor next to Quatre, enfolding him in a commiserating hug. He'd discovered the condoms in his pocket as he helped Quatre out of his soiled clothes. They'd started fumbling at the fastenings on the front of Quatre's jeans when Trowa had caught Quatre looking longingly at his own erection. And damn if he didn't follow him right into embarrassment. Trowa couldn't remember the last time he'd been so excited that he'd soiled himself like that...when he was in junior high maybe. They'd spent a very happy evening trying to get past the point of getting the condoms on either one of them, failed miserably, and wound up relaxed, sticky, and completely sated regardless. There'd been some quiet moments as well. Quatre decided that he rather liked waking up completely enfolded by Trowa's body.

It must be morning by now, Quatre couldn't see a clock from where he was sprawled across the sofa, and he couldn't move due to Trowa's arms wrapped around him from behind. Too relaxed to care about mundane issues such as time or day, he instead lifted a lethargic arm and traced the tattoo on Trowa's forearm with a light finger, idly tracing the swirls and vertebra of the winged serpent that wound about his forearm before sleep took hold of him and he slipped under again.

Trowa was tired. Oh lord he was tired. That was his first observation. The second was that he was very warm and relaxed, and that he was holding onto his lover and had apparently drifted off to sleep like this since he couldn't feel his right arm any longer. Oh Jesus, what a night. He wasn't taking the Lord's name in vain, more like thankful prayer for sending Quatre in his direction.

The man was insatiably curious, very well read on his subject matter, and bold enough to try anything Trowa was willing to let him explore. It had been a humbling and exhausting experience. He remembered coming twice before managing to get his clothes completely off. There'd been that embarrassing moment in the living room and he'd shown only marginally better stamina in the bedroom. At least his recovery time had been respectable. After that they'd been hungry, and Quatre had thought to raid the kitchen and experiment with pouring various food substances onto assorted body surfaces. The additional salt and scent of his skin had made Quatre curious to try more, and Trowa's staying power, well, seemed to have reverted back a good twelve years. He had none. None at all. It was embarrassing. It made him think about some of his spam email with more than passing curiosity. Not that Quatre seemed to have much control either, but he at least had the excuse of inexperience on his side.

They'd manage. Quatre shifted gently against him, and he bit back a groan. Hell. They weren't going to get anything done for days at this rate. He waited to see if Quatre would wake, but he snuggled closer, took a deep breath and relaxed down back into Trowa's arms. Rest, he'd take it now 'cause sure as hell he wasn't going to get it later. He leaned back into the sofa cushions, pulling Quatre with him. Sometime during the past few hours, the blanket he'd hastily dragged from the stack of Quatre's bedding had drifted to the floor. It didn't matter though, he was warm, he was content--very content. He had nearly convinced his body that sleep was preferable to sex at the moment when there was a knock at the door.

Shit. If it was Duo, he was being incredibly polite or unusually cautious. Normally, he just wandered in since he'd somehow acquired a key to Trowa's apartment three days before the security deposit had cleared and he'd been given his own. So if it was Duo, and he didn't get up _now_, Duo would walk in upon a very public display of private assets. Hell, so much for relaxing bonding interludes.



"Someone's at the door."

"Mm, okay."

So he wasn't a morning person. Trowa couldn't exactly blame him after the night they'd just had. He shifted his lover's body to the side and tossed the blanket over him as more of an afterthought. Shame to cover that up, but he wasn't going to share the view with Duo or anyone else--not a chance.

Granting Quatre the blanket left Trowa hastily looking around for a way to cover himself. He spied some of the discarded clothing from his laundry hamper, and wrapped a sweatshirt about his privates in order to answer the door. It covered the essential bits, but not much else.

He edged the door open just enough to see who his visitor was.

It wasn't Duo. It wasn't the rather appalled Domino's delivery girl that had gawked over the raspberry jam in his hair last night. He hadn't a clue who the hell these two people were.

on to chapter eight

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