momentary lapse of reason
Saturday morning found the two rushing around the apartment in an effort to make Duo's 12 noon flight. Neither one had thought to set the alarm the night before as both were generally early risers; neither one took into account that they had stayed up half the night.
Having made their way to the departure gate with only 20 minutes to spare, Heero cornered his lover and the two said their good byes.
"Call me?" Duo asked, wrapping his arms around Heero's neck.
Nodding, Heero tightened his grasp on Duo's waist. "You can count on it." he answered, kissing him gently on the lips.
"I'm gonna miss that." Duo smiled at him, stealing another quick kiss. "Gonna miss *you*."
"Mmm... same here. When are you going back to work?"
"Not sure. I'll leave the link open in any case." he winked.
"Good. Come back in two weeks? For the weekend?" Heero asked.
"Love to. I gotta go... they're calling my flight." he sighed. "See you in two weeks."
Taking Duo's hand in his, he nodded and the two walked toward the gate in silence. Pausing to show his ticket to the agent, Duo turned back to look at Heero then continued onto the boarding ramp, the two holding tightly onto one anothers hands until the distance between them broke their grasp.
Duo slept the last several hours of the flight home, arriving well rested back in New York six hours later. Calling out as he entered the foyer and receiving no response, he headed upstairs to his room, smiling as he approached the door and read the note that had been taped to it.
|| We'll be back at 5:00. There's lasagna in the fridge. Hope you had a good time. Be prepared to talk! ||
He shook his head and laughed as he crumpled it before proceeding into his room. Setting his bag down inside the room's entrance, Duo headed into the bathroom, releasing his braid as he went. He was nearly done drying his hair when he heard the front open. Dressing quickly, he left his hair unbound and made his way downstairs to greet his friends.
There was no need for Duo to inform Trowa, Quatre and Wufei what had taken place during his absence, his cheerful mood made it quite obvious. They did not ask and he offered no information, instead choosing to focus on what he had spent a good portion of the last few hours thinking about.
He stood and addressed the small blonde. "Quatre, it's time you and I sat down and had a long talk." Trowa and Wufei politely excused themselves leaving the two alone in the den. Duo stood in the center of the room and motioned for Quatre to sit. Quietly seating himself on the sofa, he looked up at Duo.
"The first thing I want to make clear, Quatre, is that I understand that you did what you did out of concern for my well-being... and I appreciate that. What Heero did after the accident was wrong..... really wrong." he began, "What I don't understand, and I've already talked with Heero about this, is why neither one of you sought to straighten the whole mess out before it got out of hand." Pausing, he looked down at Quatre. "Hmm? What were the two of you thinking?"
Quatre looked up at him. "I don't know, Duo. I knew something was wrong from the very start. Heero was acting... irrationally. At first, we thought it was because of the stress he was under while he took care of you. But it was more than that." he paused, looking up at Duo. "I guess one of us should have come right out and asked him what was going on. He should have said something, Duo, it would have made everything so much easier on all of us. I'm not even sure how he kept his feelings a secret for all those years... or why he would even want to." The blonde shook his head in disbelief.
"Yeah, well that is a different story, Quatre. I wish I had figured it own sooner myself. A lot of this could have been avoided." Duo lowered his head for a moment before looking over at Quatre, his tone more serious. "Which brings me to the next issue we need to discuss."
Quatre shook his head and his voice softened as he addressed his friend. "Duo.."
"You knew perfectly well that what had happened between me and Heero was killing me. You *knew* how miserable I was. How could you just let me suffer like that... it boggles my mind.... but that's not even the point, Quatre. It's not your place or anyone else's to decide what is best for me. Not then, not now and not ever." Duo shook his head. "What gives you the right to take away my choices? What the hell goes on in that little head of yours, Quatre?" he asked bitterly.
Quatre lowered his head. Duo had every reason to be angered by his actions. He looked up at Duo who was now standing over him with his hands on his hips as he waited impatiently for a response. "Well?" Duo demanded.
He looked up at him, knowing Duo deserved some sort of explanation, knowing nothing he could say would be adequate; there was no excuse for his behavior. "Whatever I say, Duo, can never be enough. I can never make it right... no matter what I say... or what I do. I'm sorry, Duo..."
Duo studied Quatre for a moment. The blonde's eyes were filled with tears as he spoke and he didn't doubt his friend's sincerity, but it wasn't enough. "Sorry isn't going to cut it, Quatre. You owe me an explanation of some kind. I deserve at least that."
The blonde nodded. "When Heero contacted you that day when I was in your office, I remembered what you had done over the weekend... when you started clearing the stuff out of his room. I thought that you were making progress.... in finally forgetting him." he finished in a barely audible tone.
"You *thought*?" Duo asked accusingly. "You should have known better, Quatre. You of all people! And when did you realize that you *thought* wrong?"
"Six weeks later."
"Six weeks.... six goddamn weeks, Quatre!!" Duo shook his head. "Is that why you stayed home with me.. out of guilt?"
Quatre nodded. "That is when I figured out what you had been doing."
Duo approached Quatre and rolled up his sleeve, "You mean *this*?" he asked, offering Quatre a close up view of his forearm.
The blonde winced as he looked down at Duo's scars and turned his head away. "Yes."
Duo crossed the room and sat in the chair by the window, looking out into the side yard as he reflected on everything the two had said.
"I didn't realize that it had affected you so badly..." Quatre began.
Duo stood, eyes dangerously narrowing his as he looked at the Arabian. "YOU STILL DON'T GET IT, DO YOU!??!" he screamed. "It has nothing to DO with how it affected me, Quatre!!! It has to do with YOU and the fact that you need to mind your own goddamn business!!" he finished, storming out of the room.
Quatre let out a loud sigh and reclined back onto the sofa.
There was very little spoken between the two over the next several hours. Quatre made no attempt to side step Duo's anger. He waited until later that evening hoping that Duo had calmed down before he sought him out.
"Duo, it's Quatre. May I come in?"
The braided young man lie on his stomach in the center of his bed reading, not turning to acknowledge the blonde's entry into the room or even as he addressed him. "I'm sorry, Duo. I do understand. I was totally out of line. I had no right to keep it from you... regardless. It won't happen again... I promise. Can you forgive me?"
Duo rolled over onto his side and looked up. "Do you agree that I'm old enough and quite capable of making my own decisions, Quatre? Cause that's what this is all about. You may not like them and they may be bad decisions, but they are *my* decisions... and I'll deal with whatever consequences they cause."
The blonde nodded and stepped back as Duo moved to sit on the edge of the bed. "You are perfectly capable, Duo. I never meant to imply that you are not."
Duo stood, glaring at the blonde before turning away. "That is exactly what you did, Quatre."
Quatre's mouth moved to speak when Duo turned suddenly to face him; thinking better of it as he met with the icy glare.
Startled, Quatre took a step back then another when he heard the frozen tones of Duo's voice. "You will NEVER do it again."
Monday and Tuesday found Duo alone in the house; not only bored, but lonely as well. It was a bad combination and by Wednesday afternoon he decided it was time to return to work. By Wednesday evening, the tension caused by the emotional turmoil between Duo and Quatre had subsided.
The following morning Quatre, Trowa and Wufei noted Duo's unusually short-temper began flaring at lesser intervals; easily reading into their friends irritability and unrest. By Friday morning, Quatre had come up with a plan.
It was 4:30 p.m. PST and Quatre Raberba Winner found himself nervously pacing the cavernous hallway of the huge apartment building. It seemed like a good idea last night and even this morning as he readied his private jet, but he was now showing signs of doubt. Startled by the ding of the elevator signaling it's arrival, Quatre turned toward it and took a deep breath as the occupant emerged.
Heero was startled by the greeting as he stepped out into the hall. "Quatre." he returned, heading toward the blonde.
"I hope you don't mind my just showing up like this." he began. Bending down, Quatre picked up the box at his feet, offering it to Heero. "You left this in your room.... I thought you might want it."
Heero eyed Quatre for a moment. "You came all the way here to bring me this?"
The blonde looked up at his long time friend. "I think it's about time you and I sat down and talked, Heero... for Duo's sake."
"Hai. Come in, Quatre."
Duo had succeeded in laying a decent foundation for the reparations that needed to be made between his four freinds, making the confrontation between the two that much easier.
"I was quite surprised... rather, I should say *shocked* when Duo told me of your feelings for him." Quatre began. "I can't even imagine how you were able to hide them for all those years... or even *why* you chose to.... it doesn't matter now....and it wouldn't have mattered then. What you did was wrong, Heero... no matter what your reasons were."
The blonde sat across the table from Heero, the young man seemingly unaffected by his words. "Heero?"
Snapping out of thought, Heero nodded. "It was an extremely poor decision. I've already apologized to Duo, but you are also due an apology."
"No, Heero. If Duo has seen fit to forgive you, I have no right to demand an explanation or an apology from you. In fact, it is I that owe *you* an apology."
"Yes. I exercised poor judgment as well, extremely poor." The blonde stood and faced his friend. "I'm sorry, Heero, dreadfully sorry. I had no right..... and what it did to Duo." Quatre covered his mouth. "Did you see them, Heero? The scars?" he asked softly.
Heero rose. "Hai."
There was an extended period of silence as the two gave the events of the past year their deserved reflection. The effects both of their actions had on Duo were devastating; the ripple effects much less stunning, but significant nonetheless.
"Duo misses you, Heero. That's why I'm here.... Can you come back for the weekend? I thought it would be a nice surprise."
Heero shook his head. "I can't, Quatre, I have a project due on Monday. That is why I asked Duo to come back next weekend instead of this weekend. I'm sorry."
"You can work on the plane. That will be 5 hours going and 5 hours coming back." He began before looking up at Heero. "I can fly you back on Sunday Morning... first thing. Please, Heero?"
It was nearly 2 a.m. EST when Quatre and Heero arrived back at the house in New York. Trowa and Wufei had been unsuccessful in their attempts to persuade Duo to stay up.
The four talked quietly for an hour inside the large den; an abbreviated version of the long delayed discussion that needed to pass between them. While there was tomorrow, the three were relatively certain that Duo would be monopolizing most of Heero's time. They had managed to work through the major issues, certain their long-standing relationship would survive the lesser, unaddressed concerns.
Despite the fact that he had little more than 3 hours sleep, Heero rose precisely at 6 a.m. Quickly showering, he set up his laptop and proceeded to work while he waited for the rest of the house to awaken.
It was several hours before he heard music coming from Duo's room. With the knowledge that he was most likely readying himself for breakfast, Heero shut down his computer and stood quietly inside the open doorway of his room. He couldn't wait to see the expression on Duo's face.
Still groggy, Duo exited his room and headed for the kitchen.
Heero smiled as Duo walked right past his room, allowing him to only take a few steps more before he spoke. "I don't even get a 'good morning' ?"
Duo's eyes opened wide at hearing Heero's voice and he stood frozen in his tracks for just a second before spinning around to face his grinning lover. "Heero!! What? When?... HI!!!!!"
Heero stepped out into the hallway. "Quatre came and got me last night... something about you missing me."
"Mmmm... He was right, I missed you a lot."
"How about a proper welcome then." he asked, advancing on his smiling lover. It was only a matter of seconds before Duo found himself backed up against the wall with Heero's body pressed tightly against his. "I've missed you as well." he whispered, bringing his mouth down to cover Duo's as his arms drew him closer, deepening the kiss. The two groaned at the rising intensity of the kiss and the glorious feel of their hips against one another.
Heero stepped back several minutes later. "Mmmm..... We should join everyone for breakfast before I end up ravishing you right here in the hall."
"I might just have let you too." he winked, following Heero downstairs.
Quatre smiled as the two entered the kitchen. "I see you found your surprise."
"Actually, my surprise found *me*." Duo smiled, "Thanks, Quatre.... Heero told me what you did. I don't know what to say..."
"Don't mention it, Duo. It was the least I could do."
Duo seated himself next to Wufei. "Now I understand why you and Tro tried to keep me up last night." he shook his head. "I should have listened to you."
"Everything worked out just fine, Maxwell. The four of us got a chance to talk last night.. I think we've pretty much settled everything."
Heero nodded and took a seat at the head of the table, giving him a full view of the four young men seated before him. He studied them in silence for a time as they engaged one another in conversation and shared their morning meal. This, Heero recognized was what he missed more than anything in the past year... he wondered how he had managed to survive without it.
The next several hours were spent as a group, the five former pilots doing little more than hanging out in the den and catching up.
"I made dinner reservations for 5:00." Quatre began, turning toward Duo. "The four of us were up quite late last night. I think it's going to be an early night. At least I know it will be for me." he smiled. "How are you hanging in there, Heero?"
"Considering I had 3 hours of sleep, I'd say pretty well. As a matter of fact..." he started as he rose from the couch. "...I think I'm going to lie down for a few hours before we go out to dinner." Looking down at his watch, he turned toward Duo, "Wake me up at 4?"
Duo looked up at Heero and smiled, nodding. "Sure thing. Want me to tuck you in too?" he winked.
Heero's cheeks warmed and he was certain he was blushing, but nevertheless pulled a grinning Duo to his feet and took him by the hand as he prepared to exit the room.
Duo waved from the doorway as he looked back at the remaining three. "See you guys later."
Once inside his room, Heero closed the door and shook his head at his smirking lover. "You are very naughty, Duo."
"I didn't see you refusing my offer." Duo purred taking one step closer to Heero.
"Now why on earth would I do a thing like that?" he returned, reaching behind Duo to lock the bedroom door. "Hmmm?" he asked seductively.
"Dunno.... glad you didn't though. I don't think I could have waited until 4:00." Duo returned, shivering as he closed the gap between them.
"Waited for what, Duo?" Heero whispered as his arms surrounded his violet-eyed lover, kissing him gently on the lips. Duo took in a sharp breath as Heero's hands moved downward over his back to settle firmly on his bottom for a moment before shifting his hips so their arousals met. "For that?" Heero asked. He could feel Duo go limp in his arms, his own body reeling from the effects of the suggestive touch.
"Don't tease me, Heero." Duo softly begged, "Please......."
Guiding Duo to stand beside the bed, Heero brought himself to his knees in front of him and reached up to unfasten his jeans. "Teasing you is the last thing on my mind, koi."