While the discussion of Disney movies and popcorn went on, Duo Maxwell was busy teasing his lover mercilessly.
"No," the braided boy insisted, turning his back on Heero who frowned in annoyance.
"Why not?" the cobalt-eyed boy growled. "It's my turn."
"Oh?" Duo answered, pretending to be surprised. "How do you figure that, koi?"
"You were seme last night, baka!"
Duo snickered and threw himself into his lover's arms with a sweet kiss. "So I was! All right then," he pulled the Trigun cards out of a pocket of his black pants, the only thing he was wearing at the time, and shuffled them quickly, confusing Heero completely. He soon tossed down a pair of cards for each of them, one face up and the other face down.
"Duo, what do you think you're doing?" Heero demanded in annoyance. "Trying to drive me insane?"
The braided boy snorted in derision and then pointed to the cards without a word. Heero sighed as he realized that his playful lover actually was going to drive him nuts if he didnít go along with the game.
"I'll betcha' double or nothing, koi." Duo finally smirked with a saucy wink.
"Excuse me?" Heero nearly squeaked as he tried to see how that was even possible. How did one "double" being seme or uke in the first place?
"Well," Duo slid one finger down the other boy's bare chest, letting it trail along the firm line to the waistband of the black spandex shorts. "The way I see it, you won't be here for a few days, right?"
"So, I thought it might be nice to fit in a couple of rounds tonight, and this way you can either be seme twice or uke twice by the luck of the draw!"
Heero rolled his eyes and pushed the cards off the bed entirely before laying Duo down and kissing him bruisingly. When the kiss broke, he lifted up to lean on one arm and gazed at his lover with undisguised desire muted with a tenderness that this boy alone usually bore witness to. "Koi, you can be seme if it makes you happy, but either way, stop playing games, onegai?"
"Nah," Duo smiled as he touched his lover's cheek gently, "I want you to do it, Heero, I just wanted to see this look in your eyes, that's all." He moved up to kiss him sweetly. With an easy grace, the American teen wrapped both sleekly muscled arms around the slightly golden neck, and drew the Japanese boy down to him once more.
Shaking his head as he turned out the light, Heero remarked softly, "You really are sadistic at times, you know that, right?"
"Yup! And you love me for it!" Duo chuckled then gasped quietly as he discovered yet again that teasing the Perfect Soldier often had hidden rewards.
In the other bedroom of the apartment, a far less light-hearted conversation began as the orchestra played the opening bars for "Fantasia". Arms around one another, Trowa and Wufei lay in bed together, snuggled closely as they had been each night since the violent incident between the Sandrock and ShenLong pilots at the previous safehouse.
With an unexpected whisper of annoyance, Wufei reached up and pulled his hair free of the tight tail he usually wore it in, bringing a slight sigh of contentment from the boy beside him. Trowa preferred the ebony silk hair loose and free as it had been while the other boy had been recovering, but he hadn't mentioned it yet or Wufei would have worn it loose all the time.
Emerald eyes glittered in the darkness as Trowa finally asked softly, "Are you sure you're going to be okay while I'm gone, Fei-kun?" Almond-shaped eyes opened slightly as Wufei considered this more seriously. After a moment of silence, Trowa pulled him tighter and he asked again, "Well? Are you?"
Wufei sighed deeply and then answered, "I am fairly certain of it, koi, but we shall only be certain when you get back, now wont we? Besides," he allowed his eyes to slip shut again, "like I said before, I have been able to take care of myself throughout the war. I dare say I can take care of myself for a few days in the company of friends."
"Hn," Trowa snorted softly, rubbing one hand gently across the smaller boy's torso. "That would sound a lot more reassuring if I couldn't feel the bandage around your ribs, koi."
"Damn it, Tro!" A pained voice answered him, "Can you not see that it would have been dishonorable for me to have fought Quatre in the state he was in that day? Why do you keep questioning this? Why do you keep questioning *me*?" He added the last sentence in confused sorrow.
Long arms drew tightly around the smaller boy as Trowa placed his heart on the line again answering, "It's not *you* that I'm questioning, love, it's myself. I feel responsible for what happened and here I am going off and leaving you with *him* again just like I did before. I donít want to come back to a sight like I did then. I don't want to see you hurt like that."
"Oh, Trowa, please stop this." Wufei sighed sadly, "We are soldiers. This is a war. Sooner or later one or both of us will get injured again. Are we going to go through this each and every time something like this happens?"
"No," Trowa remarked thoughtfully, "It would be different if this happened in battle or because of being captured by OZ orÖ" he trailed off as he suddenly felt a strange change come over the boy in his arms.
The HeavyArms pilot could feel Wufei's body tremble slightly and Wufei's pulse seemed to speed up, yet Trowa knew these were not the pleasant effects of his own caresses and it frightened him.
"Fei? Love?" Trowa asked in concern, "Is something wrong?"
Wufei's mind raced as he tried desperately to find an excuse to offer to Trowa for what had just happened, but his heart was racing and adrenaline flooded his blood stream as memories he did not want resurfaced in a torrential attack. His chest ached as he pulled air into lungs which suddenly felt unable to keep up the pace needed and Wufei very nearly got out of bed just to move freely once more.
//Calm down, Chang! You've kept this damned secret for months, you can handle this by yourself! Take a breath, relax, this is Trowa holding you, notÖ him. Oh gods, let this pass without Tro noticing, please, I beg you!//
Clamping down on the extreme pain he was reliving against his will, Wufei took a deep breath and said quietly, "No, Tro, there's nothing wrong. Nothing that I'm willing to talk about at least."
"Wufei?" Trowa asked, worried by this strange behavior and not believing for a moment that there was truly nothing amiss. Never once had the smaller teen reacted this way as they lay in bed together and the change frightened the slender youth. His beloved was usually so calm and at peace when they had time alone together, what could possibly have disturbed him so badly? "What are you hiding? Why did that happen just now?"
"Please, koi?" Wufei begged in the darkness, still fighting for breath and concealing that as well. He reached up to wrap his arms around Trowa's neck to draw him down for a kiss, asking in desperation, "Just kiss me and donít ask, all right?"
Fear hit the taller teen full force as he realized that he had to make a critical choice.
Trowa knew he could either grant the unusual verbal request for affection or press what was obviously a difficult issue. But with his scheduled departure in the morning, he was afraid to start probing an apparently painful subject he might not have time to deal with fully. With unexpected sadness, he pressed his lips to the other boy's in a tender kiss which deepened subtly as he tried to apologize with his heart instead of his voice.
Even as he kissed the black-haired boy, Trowa wondered if he was sorry for making Wufei experience whatever it was he had felt or if he was sorry that he had chosen to avoid the possible conflict. A voice from his soul told him that he was truly sorry for both, but this wasn't something he felt he could face just yet.
"I love you, did you know that?" Wufei asked quietly, surprising Trowa out of his thoughts. It had been an unstated truth and this was the first time the words had left his lips.
Trowa smiled in spite of himself as he answered, "I had rather hoped so, but it's good to know since I love you, too."
"Ah, I had assumed as much," Wufei answered, relaxing once more. He turned onto his side and pulled the taller boy to him for a series of kisses that left them both breathless in a far more positive fashion than what he had been experiencing before.
If the light had been on, Wufei would have found the flushed look of his beloved's face after their embrace most attractive, but as it stood, they were side-by-side in the darkness, slowly allowing sleep to take over. The smaller boy nuzzled Trowa sweetly and buried his face in the other's chest, drifting into sleep with a smile on his face.
As time passed, though, his partner silently vowed to discover what darkness haunted the ShenLong pilot so badly as to startle him into making a verbal statement of his affections.
While Trowa was more than pleased to hear the words of love, he knew that they had not come easily to the lips he had kissed so fervently. The worried teen felt that after the relatively short mission he faced with Heero he would have all the time in the world to search out the answers to Wufei's fear. It never even occurred to him he might not make it back so easily this time.
Feeling assured that this was a mystery he could guide his love through given a chance, Trowa fell asleep satisfied with simply holding Wufei through the night once more.
 This little "taking turns" concept is a salute to my friends on the [1x2x1ML]! And, yes, Akuma, Duo does get to be seme here plenty even if this is only limited to "limey hints"!
Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.
End Notes for Parts 3 and 4:
Dedications: Woohoo!!! This is the first posting run with an edition of the infamous "C&C Hall of Fame"!!! Yuppers! Here the Llama takes the time to thank some of the lovely folks who commented about not only the first posting run of parts 1 & 2, but also that silly fic teaserish thing that went out! Yes, there were some very kind and supportive souls who sent me comments for that little old thing and *they* deserve a moment in the spotlight, too!
So, without further ado, here's the list of names of those who brought a smile to my heart on a day otherwise dedicated to helping my 6th grader write a report on Pythagoras of all people! (Um, yeah, he's the Ancient Greek Triangle Dude, but who knew he was such a trouble-maker? He preached all sorts of strange things and got people killed for it, kinda sounds like Khushrenada all of a sudden! Damn, but all this extra knowledge is giving me a headache!) (doesn't even mention that "other" thing from part 3 note since once is enough)
Here we go, a list of people who deserve a big thank you and a smile!
SkyLark, Ashura, Bara-chan, Mizuno, "goldmund" (eep! I still don't know your nickname so I thwap myself for you, okay?>, Rubious, Azzie , StarLight, tzinnamon, "Marzone" (um, see? Book 2 as per your request! ^_^), Mahtob, AJ from NZ, Kayo, and Sarah!!!
Special note of thanks to Ryoko who saw all this ahead of time and didn't kill me!!