While the Maxwell-Yuy team worked in the fragrant kitchen, another pair of Gundam pilots
continued to rest in their bedroom on the third floor.
Arms wrapped loosely around his partner, Trowa gratefully kept watch over the boy he loved,
never once wondering if this was the right thing to do. All he knew was that if Wufei asked him
to leave he would, perhaps the reawakened memories of being raped would change the
Chinese boy's mind about sharing a bed with another male, but for now, he'd stay.
Emerald eyes took a long careful look at Wufei's face, saddened as always by the highly visible
scar tissue on his cheek yet pleased to see that he was sleeping easily, no obvious signs of
distress present that might indicate further suffering for the oriental youth.
As Trowa was considering getting out of bed to close the curtains to reduce some of the
afternoon sunlight that was pouring in on them both, a soft sound drew his attention and he
saw dark eyes fluttering open. Wufei lay comfortably in his arms, blinking away the last of the
sleep that had held him since Heero had carried him to bed.
"Fei-kun?" Trowa asked gently, "How are you feeling, love?"
Wufei moaned softly as he stretched, then offered, "I think I feel a little better, angel. I am
sorry to have worried you." Fleeting thoughts that he should get up passed through Wufei's
mind, but he silenced them easily as he nestled closer to Trowa, pleased to feel the other
gather him closer in comforting warmth. "I am grateful that you chose to stay here with me,
Tro. Thank you."
A soft smile graced the slender teen's lips before Trowa pressed a tentative kiss to the bronze
forehead that now lay so close. "I won't leave you unless you ask me to, koi," he promised,
relief flooding him. "When I offered you unconditional love yesterday, I meant it. And I meant
my promise to never leave you, too."
"And I appreciate both far more now than you can possibly imagine, angel," Wufei sighed. "I do
not think I could survive all this without you here beside me."
The ShenLong pilot deliberately failed to mention his on-going fears of how the terrifying
revelations might change his ability to fight or even face the war again. Wufei knew all of that
could wait for another day when more immediate crises had been dealt with and felt no guilt
for avoiding adding to their burdens at this point.
For his own part, Trowa was pushing away similar thoughts and fears in favor of only positive
topics for discussion and then realized that something had been perplexing him that he hoped
Wufei might be able to shed some light on.
"You won't be facing anything without me at your side for the foreseeable future, dragon,"
Trowa reassured, carefully leaving wide open the fact that he fully intended to depart to seek
vengeance against Treize Khushrenada as soon as Wufei was strong enough to handle it. "But
for now, would it upset you if I asked a question about this morning?"
A shudder went through the smaller teen's body and Trowa pulled him closer still, stroking his
back comfortingly as he rushed to add, "Not about the memories, Fei, but about how you
reacted to them."
"Well," Wufei deliberately bit at his lip allowing the slight pain to help him focus even as he
stared into the deep green eyes he adored, "I shall try to answer your question, Tro, but if I
can not, please forgive me?"
"Always, koi. And if what I want to ask is painful for you, forget it immediately and I'll hope
that you forgive me instead." Trowa reassured and was pleased to see Wufei nod.
Even though the Chinese boy was nervous about even recalling the most minute detail from
earlier in the day, he wanted to please his lover if at all possible and said simply, "Go ahead
and ask, angel, I will do my best to answer."
"All right," Trowa said, then asked, "What I want to know is a little confusing and while I'm
very glad that you didn't pass out this morning, I can't help wondering why it turned out that
way. I mean, I'm damned glad that you didn't, but I'm curious just why that happened when
you were out cold for so long yesterday and all. Do you have any idea what was different
today from then?"
Wufei shuddered as thoughts and images from earlier in the day flooded him and he suppressed
most of them only thinking of what had happened other than the soul-shattering visions from
the past that had been shared with his friends.
Frightened that he'd made yet another mistake when he felt Wufei shaking slightly, Trowa
pulled him close and whispered urgently, "Forget it! I'm sorry I asked! Please, relax, Fei! Please
take it easy, love!"
Breathing a bit harder but not much worse off, Wufei shook his head and put one hand on
Trowa's chest to get his attention as he told him, "I am fine, Tro, I just needed a minute to
get past the initial pain. Really, I am all right."
Wufei calmed down as he saw that Trowa believed him and soon they were looking deeply into
one another's eyes again and with a soft sigh of confusion, he admitted, "I really do not know
why I was able to do that, come to think of it. The memories that surfaced today were far
more complete and more horrible than what came to my mind yesterday, I think." Actually, the
confused young man wasn't even sure what exactly he'd recalled the day before, the period of
unconsciousness that followed the painful declaration of the OZ general's name as his attacker
having rendered much of his recollection of the incident hazy and uncertain.
Despite being somewhat at a loss, Wufei continued, "I think that perhaps it was because I
knew that all four of you were there for me. Even though you are the most important one to
me, knowing that Duo, Heero, and Quatre were all there helped as well."
"How so?" Trowa asked, sensing a solution to the issue of protecting his beloved as they
continued to resurrect the pain of the past in the hopes of saving the future.
Frowning slightly, Wufei paused and considered the matter carefully before offering, "This may
or may not be the answer, Tro, but it seems that Heero had a point the other night when he
called us a family of sorts. It was as if the four of you helped me carry the burdens of my
memories even when they were at their worst."
Trowa nodded, he had already lost any reservations he might have had about the family
theory, the concept simply fit the five youths too well to be anything but the truth. "And does
that explain how you made it through what happened when we first woke up, too? When Duo
and Heero arrived, I was sure that you were about to faint again."
The particular wording of Trowa's question sparked an automatic response from Wufei who
snorted softly at this, pulling back a bit and remarking with unexpected strength and humor, "I
do *not* faint, Trowa Barton, and you know it! It would be unseemly for a warrior to do so!
Now, I might pass out or fall unconscious, but 'faint'? Never!"
"I stand corrected then, oh great and mighty Chang Wufei!" Trowa teased gently, not the
least bit shocked by echoing the playful use of his full name, something that under other
circumstances might have been seen as a sign of trouble between them. The slender teen was
becoming more accustomed to his love's mannerisms, especially the nuances of his speech
patterns, and Trowa felt himself to be lucky to have such subtle clues available to interpret
Wufei's frame of mind during this difficult period.
The resulting shared laugh over this simple lesson in semantics gave them both a much needed
break from the tension in their lives.
Allowing the last soft murmur of laughter to leave his lips, Wufei stretched once more, arching
his back slightly before rolling over onto his side to look at Trowa as he became completely
serious once more. "Teasing aside, though, does that answer the question, koi? Did it even
"Yes," Trowa nodded, reaching out to slide his fingers through the loose jet-black hair he found
intoxicating, playing with it gently before tucking it behind one delicate ear with a smile. "That
explanation makes a whole world of sense to me, Fei-kun. It also makes me think that we need
to make sure that you and I don't go into some of this stuff too deeply without them around. I
know there's things I want to ask you, things that I want to tell you, but if you're stronger
when they're around, I'll just have to wait."
Wufei shook his head slightly, "No, angel, that is not entirely true at all." He returned the
gentle attention to his lover's face, pushing Trowa's soft auburn bangs aside so as to better
enjoy looking into both of his entrancing emerald eyes. With a sad smile, he went on, "I think
that the worst of the memories have already surfaced and while it may never be comfortable
to think of them, I must learn to control my thoughts and deal with them as a part of who I
am. There is no way to escape my past or my destiny, I simply must learn to accept it and
then proceed along the path that fate has chosen for me."
Trowa looked at him closely and asked, "You don't really believe that you can do that on your
own, do you? Accepting *that* as part of who you are seems like far too much to ask for to
"Ah, but I must," Wufei sighed, letting his hand slip back to lay limply against the mattress
even as his eyes slid closed in sorrow once more. "There is no way to change the past as
much as I might wish to and continuing to deny it only hurts us more. No, Heero was right in
saying that this must be faced."
Trowa abandoned all hopes of asking some of the other questions he had for Wufei at that
point knowing that there would be other opportunities to do so, choosing instead to comfort
and cherish him.
"Then know that you're not going to face it alone, my love," Trowa promised yet again,
drawing Wufei into his arms and tucking the dark head under his chin, allowing the smaller boy
to rest as comfortably as he could.
In a soft almost childlike voice, Wufei answered, "I'm glad, angel, but can we forget all that
right now? I just want to snuggle for awhile."
Smiling and beginning to gently stroke the smaller teen's back, a pleasant action that they
both enjoyed, Trowa nodded and said, "Sure, why don't we relax a bit longer and then go
down and see what we've missed? I'm sure the guys would like to know how you're doing."
"All right," Wufei agreed and then curled closer, laying comfortably atop Trowa's chest in the
afternoon sunshine and leaving his companion feeling much more at ease as well.
Trowa had gotten the answer he needed as to why Wufei felt that he could handle talking
about the painful truth of his past, yet he was deeply concerned.
If the Chinese teen truly needed all five of them to be together to be able to face the past
and thereby the future, how could he assure them both that this would even be possible?
Despite the fact that they would be staying in the large beach house for a few more days,
what would happen when they returned to active duty to fight OZ? If the team was divided as
usual and sent in differing directions, he feared that Wufei might be at greater risk for any
number of negative outcomes, not the least of which involved further unidentified memories
resurfacing and possibly sending him over the edge.
As he drifted in a sleepy haze, Trowa came to a conclusion.
//I've been putting it off since we hadn't talked about it yet, koi, but I'll have to get in touch
with Doktor S soon and let him know that you and I are together now and I don't want us
separated. He'll probably blow a fuse over that, he always worried that I'd get emotionally
attached to someone and lose my effectiveness as a soldier, but to hell with it. If the price of
victory for the colonies is your health or even your life, then it's too high.//
For a warrior who had once been more than happy to die in battle early in the conflict, Trowa's
thoughts showed how drastically he'd changed thanks to the love he shared with the boy in
his arms. A soft sigh from the exotic youth that held his heart reminded the HeavyArms pilot
that he wasn't the only one that might need to face one of the scientists over their
relationship and he had sudden doubts.
//Then again, my dragon, maybe I need to wait. None of us besides you have even met Master
O and from what you've said and what I've observed, he's not terribly open-minded. Who
knows how he might react to the idea that you've become involved with someone much less
another male and even worse, a fellow Gundam pilot? If I spill the beans to S too soon, he's
apt to go bitch at O and then you'd have a mess to cope with and I can't do that to you. No,
I'll just not say anything for awhile and hope that nothing too horrible comes up before we can
take care of this.//
Unaware that Heero and Duo were already actively addressing these very concerns, Trowa
eventually stopped worrying over them and returned to silently enjoying a moments respite
from the crises he and his soulmate were facing. Smiling at the welcome weight of his love on
his chest, the slender teen allowed himself to focus entirely on memorizing the pleasant
feelings of peace Wufei's presence brought him even as the surf crashed outside their window,
providing a nonmusical soundtrack to their time together.
Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.