The morning sunlight streamed in the bedroom window, coming to rest on a pair of handsome young men, one sleeping and the other simply watching over him with a gentle smile.
Trowa sighed happily as Wufei turned towards him in his sleep and snuggled closer still.
"Koi, you are amazing," the taller boy whispered as he ghosted a kiss to the other's undamaged cheek and closed his eyes, unaware of the endearment that he had used. "You forgave Quatre before he even apologized. How is it the others think you are nothing more than a justice ranting loner?"
"..i dunno.." the unexpected reply was soft and barely audible, but Trowa acted as if a snake had bitten him as he jerked his eyes open suddenly.
As he wondered how to handle this faux pas, he heard a snicker from the doorway and he turned to stare at the intruder. "Duo!" He hissed at the boy with a hand clamped to his mouth trying desperately to keep from laughing outright.
"Sorry, Tro," the braided wonder answered moving next to the bed, "But you set yourself up for that one!" He knelt down on the opposite side and gently lifted some of the stray black hair away from Wufei's face, failing to note the skin felt a little warmer than it should. "How's he doin'? We wear him out too much yesterday?"
A slight frown crossed Trowa's face as he considered this. The tall boy glanced at the clock and saw it was later in the morning than he thought it might be and he turned worried eyes on his friends. "Maybe so," he looked at the sleeping boy and couldn't see any indication that the Chinese youth was going to wake up any time soon.
"Don't worry about it," Duo answered reassuringly. "He had a busy day after being out for awhile. Give it a chance, okay?"
"Right," Trowa didn't sound as confident as his words were, but his stomach growled and he shrugged helplessly as Duo bit back yet another snicker. "Guess I'm hungry."
"I'd think so! Wu isn't the only one who's been going without eating as much as he should. And you're too damned skinny to begin with anyway. That's why I came in, I picked up some more of those yummy cinnamon rolls and there's fresh coffee. Go get yourself some and I'll watch over Sleeping Beauty for awhile." He stopped as he saw the first signs of argument forming on Trowa's face. "And I'm not taking 'no' for an answer, Mr. Barton! Go on, I'll stay with him."
"Well, since you insist," the emerald-eyed teen looked at the two boys opposite him before shrugging as if silently saying "too hell with it" and kissed Wufei once more before climbing out of bed.
As the HeavyArms pilot was about to leave the room, he glanced back to find Duo once more laying beside Wufei, arms wrapped around the smaller boy and a sad smile on his face. "What's wrong, Duo?" Trowa asked, concerned that the look of unhappiness might have been because something was amiss with the American's patient.
"When are ya' gonna tell Wu you love him, Tro?" Duo asked, looking at the startled youth with the same sad smile still on his face.
"Um," Trowa hedged, "I hadn't decided if I even would, Duo, why? Think I should?"
"Baka!" The braided boy grinned and kissed the sleeping boy in his arms chastely and was rewarded with a slightly jealous frown from the boy standing beside him. "Of course ya' should! If you saw how you looked just then when I kissed him you wouldn't even be asking. Come on, Tro, we both know Gundam pilots don't live forever, make the most of what you have while you can, okay?"
Trowa smiled tenderly at both his friend *and* the boy his mind gladly converted from the "friend" category to "lover" without a moment's notice.
"You're right, of course, Duo. I'll tell him when he's feeling up to it." He started to head out the door before he stopped and turned back, another little smile on his face as he added, "Maybe even tonight if I can get my courage up."
After the door slid shut, Duo turned his attention to the boy in his arms as he commented, "As for you, my fine friend, how soon are *you* going to tell him the same thing?"
Duo was answered by continued silence. With a soft sigh, the American teen held the Chinese boy a bit closer, stroking his hair gently as he said, "Well, all right, Wu, you get off the hook for now, but later we're gonna have to talk about this, got it?"
He finally stopped making plans to help his shy friends admit what was so glaringly obvious as violet eyes closed and the Deathscythe pilot drifted off to sleep. The match-making youth adored his own lover, but Heero had worn him out the night before and he needed a few extra hours of sleep.
Trowa walked into the kitchen with a lightness in his heart he hadn't expected as it sank in that Duo was quite right. He needed to tell the quiet Chinese boy how he felt and he needed to do it soon. His good mood, however, was spoiled the moment he noticed who else was in the room making yet another cup of tea, a beverage Trowa was beginning to loathe for no reason other than the fact that the blond drank so much of it.
"Hello, Tro!" Quatre smiled at him. "How are you this morning?"
"Don't call me that," the slender teen remarked quietly as he poured himself a cup of coffee and picked out the smallest cinnamon roll which he tentatively nibbled on with no intention of finishing.
"Huh? Why not?" Quatre asked, failing to catch the slightly cold look in the other's eyes.
Heero, however, had heard the start of an argument and walked into the small room in the hopes of preventing bloodshed or at least moving it somewhere that wouldn't endanger the precious coffee maker now that it was repaired. "Trowa? Got a minute? I could use a hand on some code I'm trying to break."
"Sure thing, Heero," Trowa answered, gratefully following the Wing pilot away from the blond who stood, aquamarine eyes wide, still wondering what he had done wrong using the nickname he had heard Duo use without negative repercussions.
Eventually, the tea was ready and Quatre followed the others into the living room to find the silent pair huddled over Heero's laptop quietly conferring together. He sat down, pouted slightly at being ignored and then wondered where Duo had gotten off to. Curiosity got the better of him, though, and Quatre asked simply, "Heero? Where's Duo? I wanted to check with him on a few things."
"He's with Wufei," Heero could tell trouble was in the air and he added, "leave them alone."
Trowa's head came up as he, too, sensed something odd in the blond's sudden interest, but he refused to look at Quatre since every time he did his mind gladly recalled all the reasons he wished the Sandrock pilot had never returned to the safehouse to start with.
Long fingers clenched into fists as Trowa restrained an almost overwhelming desire to "assist" Quatre in seeing the error of his ways and encouraging him to leave now. But he also recalled that Wufei had forgiven the boy for his mistake and Trowa felt the Chinese pilot might not approve of further actions taken against the annoying blond without provocation.
Quatre, however, seemed dead-set on causing trouble as he frowned and commented, "Is Duo really in there babysitting him?"
Duo, awakened by a sense of something being not right in the confines of the so-called safehouse, had come out of Wufei's bedroom, carefully closing the door behind him. He was walking towards the living room when he heard Heero's angry response.
"Winner, *back-off*! NOW!!! That's an order!!" The Wing pilot had no grounds for issuing orders to any of them, but it seemed to fit the sudden tension in the air.
Shaking his head in disbelief, Quatre remarked caustically, "Wufei's a Gundam pilot, for crying out loud! Can't he handle a little pain any better than this?"
At this remark, Duo saw red and he came flying towards the group with a shout but he was not as fast as Trowa.
The lanky teen was out of his chair fluidly then caught the blond by the lapels and dragged him to his feet.
Face-to-face, Trowa growled simply, "Just shut the *fuck* up!!!"
The incensed teen's left fist, stronger for months of piloting the aptly-named Gundam HeavyArms, crashed into the smaller boy's face twice in rapid succession, sending Quatre into a world of darkness.
Trembling with fury, Trowa let go and the unconscious body slid to the floor where it lay bleeding and ignored.