Once safely inside the bedroom with Wufei, Duo allowed himself to collapse
onto the bed, laying next to the silent Chinese boy for a long moment before
taking him into his arms as he had so often lately.
"You know something, Wu," he said with a sigh, "your boyfriend's a nutcase."
Unexpectedly a soft chuckle left Duo's lips and he added, "A damned cute,
self-destructive, overly concerned for the welfare of one braided baka,
nutcase, but a nutcase just the same. And he almost got me there, so that
makes me pretty much at par with him right now and isn't *that* a terrifying
The silence in the room wasn't as overpowering as Duo might have expected it
to be and he gave himself a few minutes to relax. He heard voices in the
hallway followed by the sound of a distant door opening and closing.
Duo sighed deeply before seemingly remarking to thin air, "I hope he didn't
have that knife on him when he went out."
"He didn't," Heero answered from the doorway. "You okay, koi?"
"Yeah, just barely, love," Duo turned his head to regard the Japanese boy
with a sad smile. "He almost got to me, Heero, and that really freaks me out!"
"I know, Trowa's too persuasive for his own good at times."
"Sad but true," Duo remarked with a tired sigh. "But I think he knew what he
was doing, and that's even more frightening. He knew just the right words to
say to get me to buy into the whole idea that he'd gone off the deep end and
go ahead and hit him."
Duo stopped for a moment as a thought occurred to him and he frowned as he
asked, "Heero? Do you think he was baiting you into slugging him yesterday?
Was that a trick, too?"
Heero looked disappointed as he answered, "No, that wasn't, unfortunately.
I'd prefer to think that he didn't mean what he'd said at the time, but he
was too raw, too open. He meant every last word. He probably regrets it, so
I'll never mention it to him, but I shouldn't have reacted that way just the
same. We have responsibilities to each other and I failed mine at that point."
"Ah, I see," Duo remarked, not wanting to even know what had precipitated the
event in question. "Oh well, no point in crying over spilt milk, ya know. I
think I'll just hang out here for awhile unless you wanted to, koi."
"Go right ahead, I'll keep tabs on our acrobatic friend," Heero offered with
a nod as he turned to go, "If Tro's not back in a reasonable amount of time,
I'll go looking for him. I'm fairly sure he's going to be fine, but I don't
feel like wondering about it all night long."
"Okay," Duo agreed. "Here's hoping Q-Ball comes up with a brilliant idea or
three, you and me are striking out."
"I know." Heero walked through the doorway and added petulantly, "I'd really
rather be off blowing up an OZ base right about now than being on vacation.
The sound of the door closing went unnoticed as the violet-eyed boy sighed
and stared at the ceiling for a moment. "One piece of good news is all I ask
for, Lord," Duo prayed quietly, "Please, God, if you've got even a half a
piece of good news for us, send it on down. We're running out of rope and
there's not enough left to tie a knot in to hold on to."
The quiet of early evening went unbroken as Duo assumed his prayer went
unanswered as most of them did and he eventually rolled over to take a look
at the boy in the bed with him.
The scar on Wufei's face was so fresh that it would have been absurd to
expect any noticeable improvement only forty-eight after he'd removed the
stitches. Yet with all that had taken place, it was easy to forget that it
had been such a short amount of time, and Duo frowned at it, annoyed with the
raw look of it.
"You'd heal better if we could get some food into you, babe," he said
quietly, moving the blankets down so he could check the bandage around
Wufei's ribs. "Your ribs need calcium and all that good shit, so why not wake
up and let me take you out for a nice seafood dinner and maybe some dancing?"
A silly smile crossed Duo's lips as he pulled the blankets back up warmly
around the Chinese teen's shoulders.
"I bet you'd be a pretty good dancer if you gave yourself a chance to try it,
Wu," Duo's smile grew a bit broader as his imagination played with that idea.
"I can just see it now! You and Tro, and me and Heero going out clubbing
together! We'd party 'til dawn and make all the other people jealous as hell
when you and me would refuse to dance with anybody but them, huh?"
He grinned and then yawned a little as he realized that he felt sleepy, and
moved closer to the other boy, pulling him gently into a protective embrace.
"But don't worry," he mumbled softly as he drifted off to into a light sleep,
"you can keep your nutcase boyfriend to yourself if we do. Tro's so far gone
on ya he wouldn't be any fun at all without you, babe. Nope, no fun at all."
Soon, the room was quiet once more and it remained that way for some time.
Outside, the moon shone down on a lonely figure perched three feet above the
top of the fifty-foot tall beach house.
Trowa stood on the railing of the widow's walk, relaxed and comfortable in a
position that might have scared anyone else to death. Hands in the pockets of
his jeans, he walked from one end of the house to the other, looking down at
the beach and admiring the reflections of the moonlight that danced across
the surface of the water.
As he walked, he noticed a sound from far below and watched as what appeared
to be a couple of teenagers roughly his own age strolled down the beach
hand-in-hand. Stopping to observe them, he thought about his own life.
//Why couldn't Fei and I be left in peace like they were? Why were we chosen
for this war? Out of the thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people
who could have been selected to do our jobs, why us? What makes us special?//
He resumed his pacing , unaware of how terribly obvious at least part of the
answer was. Utterly unafraid of the fact that a single misstep could send him
plunging to his death, Trowa continued to mentally ramble.
//Then again, if it wasn't for the war and the Gundams, I might never have
met my dragon in the first place and my life would be even more of a waste
than it is now.//
The HeavyArms pilot growled at this thought and then deliberately stepped off
of the railing and back down to the decking as his thoughts turned dark and
he no longer trusted his internal sense of balance to protect him from
//But if he hadn't been pushed into this fate, maybe he'd never have run into
that bastard Khushrenada and he'd be perfectly fine right now instead of lost
again. Damn it all! Why did it have to happen to him?! Why did someone as
good and pure as Wufei end up being raped anyway? How could *anyone* hurt him
like that in the first place?!//
Trowa's mind whirled in confusion as he sought a scenario that made even the
vaguest sense for what had occurred between the ginger-haired man and the
diminutive Chinese boy and Trowa shook his head in annoyance.
No matter how he saw the possible interactions between OZ general and Gundam
pilot, Trowa just could not see how the Russian man might have ever coerced
his beloved into a sexual act Wufei wasn't interested in. It never even
occurred to him that Wufei may have been unable to fight back against the
larger man, the oriental youth was simply too accomplished in hand-to-hand
combat to envision someone defeating him that totally.
''It makes no sense, it probably never will," Trowa remarked to himself,
sliding down against the railing to sit on the floor of the deck in almost
the exact same place he had found Wufei that morning. Without noticing it,
parts of his life were coming full circle.
With a sigh of guilt, he commented angrily, "The only one who knows the full
story is inside, unconscious again, and all my bad acting aside, it really
*is* my fault!"
Trowa leaned his head back and stared up at the stars, watching the edge of a
bank of storm clouds beginning to roll in. He sat there virtually motionless
for almost an hour, then dropped his head down to rest against his chest,
disturbed by dark visions and darker desires he could no longer repress.
"Heero's right," he mumbled, "I'm a danger to myself right now. I'll have to
remember to give him my dagger in the morning, nothing good will happen if I
get careless with it."
Returning to silence, the slender teen sat on the rooftop until the first fat
drop of rain fell against his neck and dripped down the back collar of his
shirt, tracing its way in cold unpleasantness until a shiver ran through his
Standing, Trowa remained motionless at one end of the high deck as the storm
built to full fury, rain and thunder drowning out his thoughts.
Soaking wet, the usually composed young man finally gave voice to his
thoughts and fears, screaming out his frustrations as well as his intentions
of finding and killing the man who had nearly destroyed the person he loved
far more than he loved his own life.
In point of fact, Trowa was realizing that until he had discovered that his
love for Wufei was returned, he had been like a soulless machine, a perfect
weapon of war, with neither fear nor hope. Now that he found he held the
capacity for both, he refused to lose the source of those feelings. He
further refused to see that beautiful boy's life held back by his own
weakness any longer.
Letting the rain wash over his slender body, Trowa felt liberated as he
decided that not only could he exact the vengeance that his lover needed, but
that he himself could rally emotionally and forgive himself and their friends
for only doing what had seemed best at the time that morning.
Fear, guilt, anger, blame, sorrow, shame, and a multitude of other feelings
mixed as Trowa let go of each of them one at a time, freeing himself of their
For reasons that Trowa failed to realize, thunderstorms often brought him
clarity and hope. Two weeks prior, as Wufei lay lost to fever and he himself
felt overwhelming anger with Quatre for tricking him into an act of violence,
Trowa had gone for a walk in the rain. He had returned with a sense of calm
as well as a resolve to find solutions for them both and he was experiencing
a similar rebirth of confidence and hope once more.
Feeling relaxed and almost happy once more, the young acrobat easily launched
himself back onto the railing for a few more circuits around the widow's
walk, backlit by bolts of lightning arcing across the rain-soaked night sky.
Unobserved, a figure rose from a corner of the doorway and returned inside
Walking down the spiral staircase, Heero Yuy found a small smile tugging at
his lips. In a voice too soft to be heard, he commented, "One down and one to
go. I'll take all the small victories I can get for this crew right about
Trowa remained blithely unaware that he had been watched as he completed a
few more rounds of the slippery wet railing before vaulting off with a
flourish and saying to himself, "Now, a change of clothing and I just might
be presentable enough to go spend some time with Fei. Who knows, maybe he's
feeling better by now and wouldn't that be wonderful news?"
Filled with an optimism he hadn't felt since dawn the day before, Trowa
headed back inside the house, ready to face his destiny and do everything in
his power to aid his stricken lover through the uncharted waters of sorrow
that lay ahead.
Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.