While Duo and Heero were discussing matters that would be key to the survival
of the unique "family" that the Gundam pilots had become, another couple was
confronting its own fears.
"Are you sure you want to try to sleep together, koi?" Trowa asked nervously.
He'd been quite serious about his reservations about the two of them sharing
the same bed where his first attempt at seduction had gone so tragically
wrong that morning.
Wufei glanced at him from where he was carefully hanging up the white silks
he'd worn earlier in the evening. Even though he didn't want to admit it, his
pulse was racing as a variety of unpleasant memories kept resurfacing and the
mundane task of getting ready for bed wasn't helping distract him as much as
Forcing the panic back down, Wufei nodded. "Absolutely, Tro," he stated more
firmly than he had dared to hope for. His confidence raised, he continued, "I
have never been governed by fear and I will not allow it to rule our lives
This wasn't completely true, but the smaller boy felt like he needed to
convince the taller one that he wasn't willing to give up on what the two of
them had begun building together.
Trowa wisely kept his disbelief of the other's statement from his words as he
said quietly, "Well, I'm glad you're willing to trust me so much, love. I
wouldn't blame you for wanting a little personal space right now, though."
A soft snort answered this comment, as Wufei shook his head in negation,
"Hmph! I had *more* than enough 'personal space' during the months before I
came to stay with you and the others, angel! I have no need of it now."
"Ah," Trowa nodded in understanding, "You mean when you used to live alone in
the mountains and all that stuff Master O insisted on?"
When his partner nodded in agreement, the HeavyArms pilot continued, "I've
always wondered something about that, Fei. Do you happen to know precisely
*why* he wanted to keep you away from the rest of us? Did he think we were
bad influences or something?"
As the taller youth folded his own clothes up and slipped into sweatpants and
a t-shirt for bed, Wufei answered conversationally, "I have no idea. In my
culture, we were taught to never question our elders and occasionally old
habits rear their heads at odd times so I never asked. Besides, he was my
mentor and I trusted him even when his instructions didn't agree with my own
preferences. At least, I used to feel that way."
"Why do you say it that way, Fei-kun?" Trowa asked in confusion.
Wufei merely shrugged, "Well, Tro, if he ever tries to tell me to stay away
from you or the others again, I have no intention whatsoever of even
considering it." A shy smile grew as he added, "Especially not *you*, angel!"
Forgetting to be nervous, Trowa walked over to his love with the intention of
checking how well he was healing from the incident two weeks prior. He was
pleased that Wufei had replaced the bandage around his ribs, but Trowa was
still concerned by the raw pink scar tissue from where Quatre's heavy gold
signet ring had sliced the Chinese boy's cheek open. The sutures that Duo had
removed the day before had left behind a glaring reminder of the event and
Trowa continued to feel a certain amount of guilt about all of it.
Turning towards the boy he loved, Wufei tried again to stifle the nervous
beating of his heart and found the task to be easier with loving emerald eyes
to focus on instead of the shadowy memories which plagued him. Wearing only a
loose pair of shorts and an Ace bandage, the Chinese teen was surprised that
he didn't feel more ill at ease or exposed than he did until he recalled the
days on end he'd spent comfortably wrapped in the other boy's arms wearing
little more than that.
A slight smile crossed Wufei's face as he felt long fingers gently caress his
jawline as Trowa tilted his face up for a better look at the scar tissue.
"How is it doing?" Wufei asked in a hushed voice. No matter how disturbed the
day had been, his soul rejoiced at the closeness to its mate and he felt
perfectly centered by the feeling of the other teen's breath barely ghosting
across his skin.
"Better," Trowa spoke in a soft voice, immediately forgetting to add that
"better" was not good enough and that he wouldn't be happy with it until the
scar faded entirely from view.
Deep inside, the slender teen felt the same odd vibration of warmth that
Wufei had felt. Unexpectedly, Trowa found himself relaxed enough to wrap his
hands around his lover's waist and draw him close to place a kiss on slightly
Wufei carefully leaned into the kiss, sealing their lips and hearts together
in a single perfect moment.
Time seemed to stand still for the young couple, but as it began again the
kiss broke and Wufei moved within his lover's arms to lean his head heavily
against Trowa's chest.
"sweet gods, angel," Wufei murmured softly, "no matter what happens, never
forget that i love you more than words can say."
One hand came up to cradle the back of Wufei's head as Trowa gently caressed
him and answered from his heart in a voice barely above a whisper, "and i
you, my love. we'll get through this, have faith."
"i shall try," the Chinese teen promised breathlessly even as he allowed
Trowa to finally sense how exhausted he was by resting very nearly his full
weight against him where they stood.
A soft chuckle was all the warning Wufei received before Trowa gave in to the
overwhelming desire to simply sweep him up in his arms and carry him to the
bed they would share. "Someone needs to get some more rest, I think," the
taller teen remarked sweetly as he transferred his precious burden to the
smooth cotton sheets.
"Only if you do, too," Wufei pretended to pout even as the first yawns forced
their way past his lips when he slipped into the t-shirt he'd left for
himself on the pillow. "Gomen," he apologized sheepishly.
"No problem," the slender youth smiled as he turned out the light, leaving
them in a room lit only by the moonbeams that danced between the curtains.
Trowa slid into bed and unhesitatingly wrapped both arms around his love and
pulled Wufei close.
As they cuddled together, they each tried not to think too much about the day
behind them or the trials ahead.
The night passed marvelously uneventfully for all five Gundam pilots. In two
separate bedrooms, two couples slept limbs intertwined peacefully, and in a
third, a single teen dreamt of a stunning man with long, pale-blond hair.
Upon awakening, Trowa rolled over to kiss his lover good morning only to
discover that he was alone.
"Wufei?" He called out softly, wondering if the other boy might be down on
the floor stretching as he sometimes did. The fact that the Chinese boy could
move as silently as a shadow at times unnerved the taller teen, but Trowa was
sleepy enough to assume he'd simply missed the other boy's actions.
There was no answer and when he sat up and looked around, Trowa realized that
he was alone in the room after all. His instincts urged him to rise and go in
search of the missing boy, but he reminded himself that they had promised to
try to trust each other.
Running a hand through his overly long bangs, though, Trowa groaned a little
and commented to himself, "Ugh, I'm disgusting! I never got around to a
shower yesterday and now I feel totally grungy! No wonder Fei got up and
He chuckled a bit as he dug into his duffel bag and pulled out some shampoo
and soap before heading down the hall to the bathroom that Duo had used the
morning before in his attempts to assist Wufei.
As the water heated up, Trowa glanced out the window and smiled at the
sun-washed but breezy beach that he hoped to go out and walk on with his love
after getting some of the all-important coffee.
"Ah ha! Coffee! I'll bet *that's* what my dragon went off to find. Hmm, maybe
he'll bring me a cup after my shower? That would be nice," Trowa smiled at
the delightful images his mind offered him of the pair enjoying a quiet
morning together even as he climbed into the steaming water, allowing his
earlier worries to wash away.
Trowa Barton would come to regret failing to listen to his instincts about
seeking out the missing Chinese youth. The sun would be slightly higher in
the sky by the time that the HeavyArms pilot realized his error and it would
take the considerable combined resources of himself and the other Gundam
pilots to locate Chang Wufei.
More terrifying, however, would be the state in which they would find him but
only time would reveal the true meaning of his absence.
Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.
End Notes for Parts 14-16:
Gee, did anyone want a cliffhanger ending before I went away? I hope so since
this is what you're getting here. The return to the Casa de Llama will be
late next week and you can bet that Wufei will insist on my getting right
back to posting as soon as possible, so have faith!
Then again, seeing as how *I'm* going to a North Carolina beach and the
*boys* are at a North Carolina beach, I'll be thinking about this and I might
even outline the next book for this series while I'm there. If I do, that'll
help urge me to finish editing and posting this one so I can get started
writing "Avenging Gifts", Book 4 of the "Gifts Arc".
[micro-spoiler warning that isn't really a spoiler, more like a promise]
Far more action and adventure oriented, "Avenging Gifts" should get those two
blondes together finally as well as letting the reader see some of those
weapons Heero was thinking about during Part 15 in use.
Now, one last time before I fall silent (and go look for dolphins!), allow me
to roll out the red carpet for the "Gifts Arc Hall of Fame" honorees!
Tonight's gratitude goes out to many wonderful people including: Danielle,
Azzie, dhuron, bearliou, SkyLark (llama blows a kiss to the sweet flower girl
to encourage her some more), Nazarri, Rubious, Ashkara, Shini-chan, probably
several people who's mail got eaten by AOL, and, of course, my last best hope
for sanity, Ryoko, my kitten who inspires me far more than you can imagine!
Well, that's it for me for awhile. Have a great week, feel free to send me
ideas for that outline I doubt it will be terribly detailed if I even get it
done at all.