The Weary Traveler Returns
by Dev-Aki Basaa
I had anticipated their reactions. Quatre would jump
up from his seat at the Preventer's conference table
and pull me into an embrace. Expecting it, I didn't
freeze when he wrapped his arms around my shoulders.
I brought my arms up and touched his back, leaning
towards him just enough, yet not stepping outside my
comfort level. Trowa would smile and nod, a glimmer
in his eye that would tell me that he was glad I'd
returned. I nodded back to him when he did so and his
lips curled just a bit more. Wufei's response would
be similar to Trowa's, though he'd certainly say
something, his gesture of welcome.
"So, the weary traveler returns. You need to stop
being such a stranger, Yuy," he said and I nodded to
him as well as I stepped deeper into the conference
"I will certainly try, though I've always thought you
were stranger than me," I said in response and smiled
when Wufei laughed at my rather bad joke. They'd all
relaxed so, comfortable in this post-war life. I too
had relaxed, but I had not yet found comfort.
It was Duo's reaction I couldn't anticipate. I knew
it would depend on what level of importance he'd given
me in his life. I actually hoped his reaction would
be poor, perhaps even down-right caustic. That would
say much more than a friendly ambiguous gesture. I
wanted him to be angry to see me after almost two
years of no contact, of no trace whether I was dead or
I wasn't disappointed.
"Duo," Quatre began, his eyes a bit wide to see Duo
still just standing against the wall, his arms folded
across his chest, a dark look on his face. "Don't you
have something you want to say to our newest agent?"
Duo lifted his chin, his long bangs shifting away from
his eyes and I could see the hurt there. Perhaps he'd
accepted that he'd never seen me again; perhaps a part
of him had found peace with that.
"I don't think this is a good idea," Duo said,
"Heero's always had his own agenda, you can hardly
depend on him."
Lady Une stood suddenly, her features twisted with
shock. She probably expected a joyous reunion when
she gathered the four of them together to introduce
the newest member of their team. Father Christmas Une
with a previously MIA former Gundam pilot to pull out
of her big red bag.
Duo didn't look at her, though. His gaze - his glare
- was set firmly on me.
Quatre spoke up, obviously distressed by the
animosity. "Duo, you can't mean that." Both Trowa
and Wufei also wore expressions that clearly said they
didn't know what to think either.
"Well," Une said, her balled hands resting on his
hips, her most defensive of stances, "I personally
have checked and cleared Yuy for service. I have
found him to be more than capable and expect him to be
a viable member of this team." She then shook her
head. "I can't see what you have to be concerned
"Yeah, whatever," Duo answered, followed with a
dismissive wave of his hand. "Obviously, it doesn't
really matter what I think - he's already signed on
and gotten the benefits package, isn't that right?"
Duo looked away. "Well, doesn't mean I have to work
He pushed himself off from the wall, his gaze focused
at a spot over my shoulder, making a beeline for the
door. He'd have to pass through me to get out and I
had no intention of moving on my own. His shove was
hard and jerked me out of the way just enough for him
to push though. The sound of the door slamming shut
caused us all to jolt a little.
"Trowa, Wufei, someone go after him!" Une called out,
looking as exasperated as I'd ever seen her.
I shook my head and held up a hand. "Let me handle
I caught up with him only a short way from the
conference room. He was gasping for air as if he'd
run at full speed after he'd left. His back to me, he
had one hand pressed to the wall, as if he needed the
support to stay upright; with his other hand he rubbed
his face, threading his fingers up into his hair.
I paused a little distance from him and called his
name. He wasn't glaring at me when he turned around.
"Heero, I..." he began, but then shook his head,
straightening up. "I overreacted," he said, finally.
"I'm sorry. If they want you on the team, who am I to
say you can't be. I just think it'd be best if we
didn't work together."
"Why?" I asked as I took a step closer.
"Well, hell." He shrugged, turning his back to me
again. "We're just too different."
I nodded at that, taking a few more steps. It was
certainly true. It also was a lie.
"I believe you think we shouldn't work together, but I
don't believe your reason."
I could see his anger building again, the heightening
of tension across his back. He spun around, his mouth
open and ready to yell at me, his face contorted. He
surely had some insult on the tip of his tongue
waiting to lash out at me. Only, he stopped, barely
holding back a gasp when he realized how close he'd
let me get to him. He moved to take a step away from
me, his bright eyes wide with shock. Except, I beat
him to the move. I reached out and touched my fingers
against the side of his chin. I half expected him
jerk away or shove my hand off him, but when he
didn't, still just staring at me as if too shocked to
move, I grinned a little. I tilted his chin, tipping
his face at an angle and watched as realization dawned
across his face. Leaning in close, I could feel him
began to tremble and finally all my assumptions
blended into a sense of certainty. I had been right.
His eyes slipped shut, his lips parting, waiting for
me, waiting for this kiss he'd been wanting since
probably before Marimeia's uprising. Waiting for this
kiss that he thought would have graced his lips years
I could deny it to him no longer.
The first touch of our flesh was electric - like white
hot flames shooting through my body, down my legs and
up my arms to my fingers softly caressing his face.
Pressing into him, deepening the kiss, I felt his
fingers brush against my shirt, taking it into his
hands, fisting the fabric and drawing me closer.
I wanted to tell him how much I missed him while I was
traveling the world. I wanted him to know how I kept
searching, not knowing what for and it had taken me
this long to realize what I was searching for was him.
I wanted to explain how I hadn't understood his role
in my life and these emotions I had for him; of how I
never would have understood them if I hadn't left them
behind. I wanted to ask him to give me a fresh
chance, yet to bear with me as I became used to these
feelings of need, want, desire, love. I came back for
him; I joined Preventers to be closer to him.
I would tell him all of this.
However, right now, with the way his tongue was
sliding against my own, I couldn't bear the thought of
breaking this kiss even to take a breath. I hoped he
didn't mind the little extra wait because, right now,
all this weary traveler wanted was comfort from his
finally found home.