A week later, the quiet of an early evening near Alice Springs was broken by
a whine. "But Heero," Duo groaned, "it hurt when you changed the bandage this
morning! Can't you leave it alone?"
"No, baka, I can't," Heero smiled to himself as he once more felt infinite
gratitude they were even having the argument in the first place. Duo's eyes
had yet to recover, but the doctors assured them that they would heal
completely. For now, though, it was best to keep them covered. "Would you
rather that I get the doctor to do it for you?"
"No," Duo moped, acquiescing and becoming quiet again.
Working far more carefully than his lover would ever have given him credit
for, Heero cut the gauze away and lifted it free grateful that the hair had
stopped falling away each time he did so. Duo looked substantially different
now, the braid half gone, trimmed to a reasonable facsimile of its previous
length to at least even it up after the worst of the burned hair was removed
several days prior.
They had waited until Duo was finally awake enough to understand what Heero
was trying to tell him about the hair. To everyone's great surprise, the
American had not really seemed to care about it at all, he simply felt glad
to know that Heero was safe. Duo's injuries would take time to heal, but it
was time they were all grateful to dedicate to it.
Trowa had seen to it that both Quatre and Wufei were treated upon arrival as
Keeping his promise to himself, Trowa had cornered his smaller lover while
sutures were being used to close the frighteningly deep array of gashes
across Wufei's hip. The emerald-eyed teen had forced him to talk openly about
their shared concerns. The smaller boy had vehemently denied any overt
intention of dying just to leave the other two members of their trio alone,
easily allaying one of Trowa's greatest fears.
Later that first night in the outback, the three lovers had also finally
discussed Quatre's feelings and they decided as a group to re-evaluate their
relationship. The Sandrock pilot had even apologized for being selfish and
unable to give equally to them both, surprising Wufei who thought Trowa was
unaware of this.
The fact that this particular trio had never been entirely successful at
finding the right mix for three-way liaisons made the situation even worse. A
trio which functioned as if it were three couples sexually is usually doomed
to failure. 
While Wufei was more than willing to forgive the blond's errors, Trowa made
it clear that Quatre needed to make a decision. It was all for one or none as
far as the tall pilot was concerned, and it was past time Quatre committed to
them both or bowed out. Unable to chose, Quatre proposed that the other two
take a few days away to be by themselves in peace and to give him a chance to
consider his own feelings in the matter.
He had gone so far as to provide accommodations for them in Bali, and Trowa
and Wufei had taken him up on the offer. It never would have even occurred to
the rampantly hentai blond that the pair spent almost the entire time just
lounging in each other's arms, resting, talking together, and quietly
enjoying each other's company.
The rows of sutures holding the injured flesh across Wufei's hip closed made
little difference, though, on the last night when the pair spent a luxurious
evening seducing one another to their shared delight. When they returned, the
dark circles were gone from under Wufei's eyes and both of them seemed more
relaxed. Before returning, though, Trowa and Wufei had discussed what to do
about Quatre and concluded it really was his decision, regardless.
"So, Quatre," Trowa asked over a glass of wine as they watched the sunset and
listened with amusement as Heero and Duo pretended to argue over the bandage
issue. "Have you come to any conclusions yet about staying with Fei and me or
Wufei sipped at his own wine thoughtfully as Quatre played with his glass and
tried to sort out his thoughts. The Chinese boy was not in favor of pushing
the blond for an answer but Trowa would not wait any longer for it. The tall
teen had made a very good point while they were in Bali that if Wufei had not
been so stressed out over caring for everyone as much as he did, perhaps he
would have found a solution to Heero's crisis other than self-destruction.
Even though it hurt his pride to admit he had probably made such a disastrous
mistake, Wufei had been forced to agree.
At that moment, though, Wufei was perplexed and more than a little uncertain.
He was worried about Quatre, a boy who seemed to have such a deep need to
feel loved, that he sought physical evidence of it at every turn. Trowa
pointedly indicated that soothing Quatre's sexual demands virtually every
morning *and* evening was leaving the ShenLong pilot in a near constant state
of exhaustion. As it was, Trowa's needs as well as Wufei's own were becoming
over-looked and Trowa was fed up.
Wufei was not, however, in the least bit confused as to his feelings for
Trowa. The tall pilot had been his first love and the strength of that
special bond only deepened with each passing day, and the small youth had no
intention of giving him up.
No matter what else Quatre might have decided, Trowa felt the same way and
had no intention of giving up his Chinese lover either, so the blond really
had only two things to choose from. He could either commit fully to making a
trio work or leave the other two pilots' bed in search of his own lover
"Well, Trowa," Quatre started slowly, this was harder than he expected and he
wasn't sure how to say what he felt, "it isn't as easy as I thought it would
be to chose." Aquamarine eyes came up to look for some sign from emerald
ones, yet Trowa remained cool as he returned the gaze.
"I never said it would be easy, Quatre, just that it had to be done."
"I know, Tro, it's just..." Quatre trailed off as he tried desperately to avoid
committing to what he wasn't sure he could even do.
"It's just difficult, isn't it?" Wufei finally said softly, a sympathetic
look on his face for both of them. "I'm sorry, angel, I can't stand watching
him suffer like this." He looked at Trowa who finally nodded before looking
away, clearly irritated.
The brunette wanted an answer and he wanted this settled. The entire thing
had gotten out of hand and if he didn't care as much as he did, he would have
suggested they just decide later, finish their wine, and just watch the
sunset. As it was, he remained sullenly silent and watched to see if Wufei
could get Quatre to state his preference.
"Little one," Wufei said gently, "You know that we both care for you, and
while you feel different things for each of us, the arrangement we have now
can not be supported much longer as it stands. We ask only that you either
commit to trying to be more reasonable about your own role with us or that
you move on and find someone who *can* make you happy."
"But you *do* make me happy, koi," Quatre whined. "That isn't it, it's just
that I thought that I wanted Trowa all to myself and now I can see that isn't
going to happen and..."
"Damned right it's not going to happen!" Trowa interjected, rising to his
feet and pacing like a lion from the circus that he had left behind. "If you
can't get past that, then good-bye and good luck, Quatre, we'll miss you, but
this is for the best."
"No!" Quatre rose to his feet angrily causing Trowa to come to a stand still
as well. The blond looked as if he might cry out of pure frustration but
settled for taking each of the other boys by the hand. "Trowa, please, let me
Trowa simply nodded and didn't remove his hand, glancing at Wufei and finding
the pain he expected on the other's face. He forced himself to remain in
place as Quatre made his pronouncement.
"Thank you," Quatre remarked and then looked at both with longing in his
eyes. "Wufei, I'm sorry this is even happening, but Trowa *is* right, you
know, I was being selfish and immature and I don't deserve it, but I'd like
another chance. I want to try harder to make this a more even relationship
for all of us. I know that I was being unfair to you both and I'd like a
second chance with the understanding that if I can't handle it, I'll quietly
move on and leave you two in the peace you deserve. All right?" He looked at
each in turn and discovered that Trowa was staring at Wufei, emerald eyes
narrowed with concern.
Wufei, however, had his eyes closed and was simply nodding, a slightly sad
smile on his face. He had expected this answer even if Quatre had no
intention of trying to change and it hurt to be right for once.
"You..." Quatre paused as he sensed the pain in his smaller lover's heart, then
added in shock "... don't believe me, do you, Wufei?" When he got no answer, he
added with a sob, "Koi, please trust me, I really will try to change, give me
The Chinese pilot did nothing to try to hide his own pain as he played his
final gambit, one he had never mentioned to Trowa whose honest reaction he
was counting on. "How can I? I've realized that Trowa is the one you want yet
I am the one you used. No, Quatre, I *don't* believe you, I'd have to be a
fool to accept this at face-value."
Wufei sighed deeply then continued, "Tell me, wouldn't you rather have him
all to yourself now? Don't you truly believe you can make him happier than I
can and that given the opportunity, you believe he can satisfy you better
than I can?"
"Wufei, what are you saying?!?" Quatre gasped as a flood of emotional pain
hit him full-force from not only the Chinese teen but from the tall youth
standing nearby as well.
"Dragon, have you lost your mind?!?" Trowa reacted violently, pulling his
hand from Quatre's and simply standing, utterly shocked as he stared at Wufei.
"You both heard me," a dead-calm voice answered.
"NO!!!" Quatre cried, moving to throw his arms around the Chinese boy who had
not moved one inch during the emotional exchange. "That's *not* true, koi, it
really isn't! Not anymore! It might have been before, but not now! Wufei...?"
Quatre buried his head against Wufei's chest and began to sob outright, his
tears soaking the other boy's tank top.
Understanding passed over Trowa's face and he finally smiled at the
incredibly brave young man he knew he'd never leave, mouthing out the words
"I love you" as Wufei smiled back at him repeating the silent sentiment. The
gambit had worked and now none of them could doubt what Quatre meant. Even
the blond had been uncertain until this point, and now it was totally clear.
The trio *did* still have a chance of working, but they had needed to get
past this critical point.
As the sun continued its descent, Trowa wrapped both of his lovers into his
arms and they sat together comforting each other and trying to redefine what
each wanted and how they could achieve it together.
 A nod to the general belief that a trio is inherently less stable than a
couple is made with a somewhat odd explanation for one reason why they might
fail. What reasons can you add? In recognition of hours of interesting
discussion along these lines, this footnote is dedicated to Jana.