Another Version of Events
by Karan Seraph
Heero walked Koi along Fifth Avenue in the English Quarter. They came to the intersection with M Street, here one of the Quarter's shopping districts, that was not so touristy as those nearest the government buildings. Tourists might find their way here of course, as it was not far from J Street, which divided English and Russian Quarters from Japanese and German. The buildings had the same box-like construction that was common to the Colony, but they were more often decorated with bits of wrought iron. On buildings and streets, small structures and trim were likely to be painted in deep glossy colors rather than left natural.
Heero gave a tug at the leash to signal Koi that they would move onto M Street. Passing the shops, some had old English antiques, but many more had contemporary furniture, which the English seemed to favor these days. Contemporary in this case, meaning lines were simple and little wood was used, but fabrics were very rich looking and upholstery was used on many kinds of furniture.
Heero saw the shop he was looking for. The name of the store seemed only to be a family's name, but beneath that name, on their window and door, were the words: Irish Imports.
Heero opened the door and noted that a chime sounded automatically. Then he realized that it was a real bell hung over the door. The interior had walls, floor and some walls of simulated wood and the rest of the interior was wallboard with a bright, chalky white paint that likely was intended to resemble bare plaster. They sold prepackaged foodstuffs, furniture, clothing and gift items, all presumably of Irish origin.
There was a long glass display case that served as a cashier counter and behind it a man observed Heero. He observed Heero quite a while before speaking. "May I help you?"
"I have a ring that someone told me might be Irish."
"Is it a claddagh?"
"I do not know..."
"Does it have a crowned heart held in two hands?"
"Yes, it does," Heero said.
"The pattern is Irish. Come over to the side counter, I will take a look at it if you like."
Heero gave a nod and saw the man walk toward the left. Heero walked around the outside of the counter and met the man over the short display case connected to the main one. "Eric Barton," the man said in introduction, as he was removing a few devices from a cabinet below the case. "The relation's distant if it's there."
To Dekim, Heero understood. He had made the name infamous. Fewer people remembered that a Gundam pilot had also been named Barton. Fewer still understood that Trowa had assumed another man's name.
"Heero," Heero said. "Do you have any relatives that are in Preventers?" Heero asked, thinking that, to him, the man looked more Latin than Irish.
"Preventers...?" Eric switched on a bright work lamp, focused on the glass countertop. "Actually... my first cousin April is a Preventer now."
"I met her once. I thought you looked somewhat alike."
Eric snorted a soft laugh. "May I see the ring?"
Heero took the ring he had bought for Duo from his jacket his pocket. He had wrapped it in a small washcloth to protect it. Eric smothered the cloth on the counter and then carefully lifted the ring and examined it under the light. Heero watched him turn the ring about slowly, looking at it from all angles.
"May I ask where you got this?"
"I bought it in Moscow."
"I do not think it is from Moscow. May I test it?"
Eric used some of the devices he had. Heero had seen the vender at the bazaar use some of them. He was measuring the size and weight of the stone. As well, he seemed to be referring to some information on a computer terminal atop the counter, but Heero could not view the display from where he stood.
"I think the ring might actually be American, at least the setting and the silver is American."
"Then it is not Irish?"
Eric fit a magnifying lens to his right eye and then examined the ring again. "There is a silver mark and a smith mark on the interior of the band, but they are very worn. The particular shape of the ring and the engraving is not usual. The ring is definitely not produced for the mass market, but I am so far unable to identify an exact jeweler or artist. The testers indicate the silver is alloyed with 10 percent copper. This makes it more durable for engraving and is not uncommon in jewelry. The precise content of the metal seems to be American. but I believe the stone may be older than this setting."
"Is it a ruby... or fake?"
"Oh, it's a ruby. Spot on 3 karat. Heart cut, of course. Excellent transparency. Very deep color. I think..." Eric paused and removed the lens to look at his terminal. "No, it definitely is Pigeon's Blood."
"What does that mean?"
"It's not a star, though..." Eric looked up, "Pigeon Blood is the name for the color of very dark violet-red rubies. Very desirable. This stone is Pigeon Blood."
"Desirable, how valuable is the ring?"
"I can't give you an exact value without knowing the maker, though, I suspect the ring is a custom piece made by a New York jeweler and at least three hundred years old. Catalogs of mass produced jewelry as well as valuable custom pieces are available to professionals through 'Net databases... for appraisal and insurance purposes."
"You mean, to properly trace stolen jewelry," Heero said.
"Yes. Sellers and appraisers contribute to the databases. It is just like the antique furniture market. Having the professional databases makes it harder to sell stolen or forged pieces. But your exact ring is not in this database at all. But you said you purchased it on Earth?"
Heero was worried now. Maybe the ring was stolen. "Yes. I only paid 1750 Yen, plus I traded a silver and turquoise American ring, to a bazaar vender."
"It is worth a lot more than that if I understand the exchange rates. It is difficult to estimate, as I said. With the wars, many people sold jewelry on the black market in order to ensure protection or passage out of a conquered region. I read an article recently that said that even though no one had realized it during the war it was possible to trace the passage the Prince and Princess of Sank took from their country when they escaped by the royal jewels that are turning up on the market."
Heero thought that Darlian had helped Relena to escape and he suspected someone had helped Milliard to escape. They must have taken valuables from the palace to bribe and buy their way out of the besieged nation.
"Then I should be able to keep the ring?"
"I have searched the reported stolen jewelry for such a ring and no matching hits have turned up. There are many ways it may have made its way to Moscow."
"It could have been robbed from a grave," Heero said. It had occurred to him suddenly. Sick as it seemed, he knew that in desperate times people had opened graves for jewels. As well, some people who worked with the bodies were less honorable than others and pocketed valuables they found on those they were to prepare for burial."
"It is at least three hundred years old. The engraving is Victorian in style. The ruby originates in Myanmar. It is possible that it was originally owned by anyone who traveled between England, Ireland and America, I suspect the stone was cut by English jewelers and predates the setting. Do you want me to catalog the ring?"
"That seems the honorable thing to do."
"Are you sure? You seem hesitant."
"I am just worried that someone will claim it. I had intended to give the ring to someone."
"I see. I can catalog it for you. The ring should be professionally cleaned and lacquered. You see here, the engraving has worn slightly. It was deeper. It has been polished and worn over many years. Applying a coat of lacquer would preserve the band and make the ring hypoallergenic as well. Some people are sensitive to silver."
Heero nodded. "Why would a valuable ruby be set in silver?"
"Some people place particular symbolic value in materials. A ruby is said to symbolize contentment."
Heero smiled. "Being at peace."
"Yes. Silver has some meaning to people. It has an association with the number 25. Various cultures and religions put other value on the metal. It is the most conductive of heat and electricity." Eric laughed, "Iron keeps faerie at bay, but Silver might keep vampires or werewolves away."
"Where could I get it cleaned?" Heero asked as Eric took a photo of the ring.
"I could do it."
"If you have a day I could write up an appraisal, clean the ring and lacquer the band. If anyone sends more information about the ring, I will let you know."
"Yes," Heero said.
"I will print up a receipt for you to keep while I work on the ring. That way you can pick it up when you have time, even if I am not here. But I will most likely be here."
"And it is just safer to have a receipt," Heero mused.
Eric laughed. "I wouldn't want the Preventers after me. I am the senior jeweler here. Don't you worry. I will take care with your ring. When do you absolutely need it?"
"Would you like to pick it up Thursday? It will give me more time to do research. It is a very lovely ring and I would like to be able to give you a better estimate of its value. I think you would feel better if we could find out more."
Heero nodded. "Before lunch?"
"I can arrange that. Input your contact information here, please."
Heero typed at terminal when it was swiveled toward him. When he was done, he spun the terminal back to Eric. A few keys pressed and a receipt printed.
"Can I interest you in anything else?" Eric asked.
At first, Heero thought that it was some kind of pick-up line. He did not know why he thought so, but he did. Then, he thought he must be mistaken. Eric was just being helpful, doing his job, and he knew that Heero intended to give the ring to someone. No," Heero said quickly, then paused, "I mean... if you could tell me again... you mentioned the ring had a name."
"Oh, yes, a claddagh."
"Claddagh," Heero repeated.
"Then you do not know the symbolism. I should have realized."
"I was told it might be a sort of sweetheart ring."
"Yes. We don't know for sure who first designed the claddagh, there is a legend about a man named Joyce, but I do not know that it has been corroborated. Id does seem they were first made near Galway."
"A port city on the Western coast of Island," Heero said, knowing his geography from studying maps during his training.
"Yes, but outside the city, in a smaller town named Claddagh." Eric held up the ring. "The heart symbolizes love. In this case, being a ruby, it could additionally symbolize contentment. The two hands symbolize friendship. The crown symbolizes loyalty."
"Aa." It was a good ring to give to Duo. They had already had a sort of loyalty and Heero was sure they had been friends. Duo said that he loved Heero, and Heero felt he loved Duo. Heero planned to offer the ring to Duo no matter what Duo intended to do after Friday night.
"You give the ring to someone you care for, most often, but sometimes parents give them to children as well. The tradition goes that mothers passed them to daughters for use as wedding rings, but they became more common than that. If it is worn like this..."
"Do not put it on your finger," Heero said quickly.
Eric nodded silently and then held the ring beside his right hand so that Heero could see the shapes upright. "And you, facing me, can see the ring right side up, this means I am available. The person wearing the ring, I mean."
"If it is turned this way, so that, standing there, the design is upside down, then it means the one wearing the ring may be taken. They have someone they are considering or seeing. If it is worn in this position on the left hand however, they are most definitely taken. Actually, it is in this way that it is used as a wedding band, or sometimes an engagement ring. Often that would be in gold or platinum set with diamonds, but many people are not so traditional these days."
"I understand." He wondered if Duo knew about these rings. "Do very many people know about these rings?"
"Many, but they are most popular in places with Irish influence, such as the Isles, colonies where people descended from those places live, parts of America where there were many immigrants in the past, and their colonies."
"In the English Quarter?"
"Of course. Many school age girls wear the plain ones, like these here." Eric pointed into the case. Heero saw the solid gold claddagh rings in a tray. They are not so popular with boys of the same age, but older men do wear them. Adult men and women do often choose them as wedding bands."
Heero was not thinking of getting married. "Thursday morning?" Heero asked.
"Yes. See you then."
Heero put the receipt and washcloth into his pocket. He gave a nod then walked to the door. He had this feeling that Eric was attracted to him, but he did not understand why he felt that. It was enough that Heero turned to look back over his shoulder. He saw Eric watching him leave.
Heero turned to the door again and made his pace purposely casual as he moved through the door. He wondered if Eric was actually attracted to him or if he had somehow imagined it. It felt strange. Heero knew that people had been attracted to him, from the mentions of his name in magazines and the way Relena and Duo spoke, but he had rarely been aware of it.
Heero shook himself to be rid of the thoughts and then gave a tug at the leash to draw Koi in the direction of home.
Trowa had gotten in between Heero's going out and returning. He was presently standing in the kitchen dressed in baggy black pants and some manner of small, sparkly blue shirt. His shoes were near the door. Heero did not know why his guests insisted on doing that. Trowa turned. His hair appeared matted, as if it had been wet and then dried, without the styling products being washed out completely or a comb being run through it. His eyes were smoky, cosmetics having been applied and then nearly worn off.
"Do you like crepes?"
"You make crepes?"
Trowa actually smiled. "I learned the trick of it only recently. The right pan and ladle make a difference."
"I eat crepes."
Heero went about putting his shoes and jacket away, removing Koi's harness and washing his hands. He returned to the tiny kitchen then and stood at Trowa's left side. There was a small stack of crepes on a plate already.
"May I taste?" Heero asked.
Trowa made an affirmative sound.
Heero tore a piece from a crepe and ate it. "Did you ever make blini?"
"I don't think so. You know I usually just put whole foodstuffs over heat. I learned to make pancakes and crepes only recently. We had some people to our house during Carnival, Catherine and I."
"I never learned to make blini. I have not had them in a long time. I remember they are thinner, like crepes, but the batter does not taste exactly the same. I think they are supposed to be more like pancakes."
"You could probably look up a recipe."
Heero nodded. He watched Trowa ladle a thin layer of batter into the greased pan. When the edges began to curl Trowa lifted the crepe by an edge with a fork and flipped it. "How was your first night at the new job?"
"Tiring," Trowa said in a sigh. "Fun," he said then. He glanced at Heero to give polite eye contact then turned back to the pan. "I do one segment of wire walking and a little dancing during certain hours and the rest of the time I am to move through the crowd and be attractive and look like I am having fun. If I keep the job and do well, I will get to do more acts. Different kinds of acts."
"You like it then?"
"You will definitely stay in the Colonies?"
"Catherine doesn't need me really and... I don't need her so much now." Trowa laughed softly, nervous at the admission. "It was just a cover at first, you know. I do not know why I was drawn to the circus. They're traveling provided means to move close to various targets of course, but I could have found other ways."
"But I like the performing." He sounded very sincere. Heero thought he could sense that Trowa was happy to perform. It is not the attention. I think I like it, because it is something I can do that makes people feel good."
"No one gets hurt," Heero said.
"And I have the skills to do it."
"It is a logical choice, I think."
When Trowa was finished with the cooking, he moved to one of the chairs to eat. Heero took share of crepes to the desk, to eat with one hand while he reviewed news and business on his desktop with the other.
There were new clients that wanted Lowe Security to perform various tests or consultations, and their staff being restricted to Midii and himself Heero was going to have to do a lot of fieldwork in the coming months. They needed to hire help, but even if Heero could find people he was able to trust with the work, they still had to complete a few more assignments before they had enough company savings to be able to pay employees through the fluctuations in number of open accounts. Heero could compile a list of people willing to work on a case-by-case basis, he supposed. Still, he would rather have a small number of permanent employees than deal with the administrative tasks associated with hiring contract employees.
He and Midii could share administration and mission planning and they were doing all right in carrying out field assignments, but Heero was more visible than he wanted to be. He should do only the covert work and deal with information. Midii was good at dealing with people, but there was only so much work one person could do.
Heero sent a text message to Midii asking if she could think of anyone they might trust with the work.
Trowa had settled down to watch afternoon dramas. Heero took his dishes and washed them with his own.
"I'm going to bed," Trowa announced.
"I was going to take a nap," Heero said.
Trowa shrugged. "It's your bed."
"I will be there in a few minutes," Heero said, giving Trowa time to change clothes or wash up with some amount of privacy.
Heero pressed his lips together as Trowa shut the bedroom door but for a crack. He knew that he had to find out what had happened with Quatre. He certainly did not want to pressure Trowa too much, or hurt him, but Quatre and Duo were both already hurting. Quatre of course because he felt rejected and embarrassed and did seem to love Trowa. Duo, partly because he had always been friendly with Quatre, but more, Heero suspected, because Duo knew that he had insisted that Trowa and Quatre should have sex and felt guilty that things had gone badly.
When Heero had cleaned up he went into his bedroom. Trowa was resting in the bed, shirtless, but mostly covered by a blanket. Heero lay down on his usual side of the bed, where he had left his mobile and phone. He pulled the second blanket over his body and then closed his eyes.
Heero waited, wondering if he should say something or wait longer, until Trowa had gotten some sleep. It did not sound like Trowa was asleep yet.
Small affirmative sound.
"How are things with Quatre?"
A silence. "What do you mean?"
Heero turned and looked toward Trowa, whose back was turned to him. He did have some scars, like Heero remembered. "last week you seemed very interested in him and you seemed to be having fun. I am not aware of you calling him from here or him calling you. You haven't gone out to see him. He is still in the Colony."
"I didn't realize I was under surveillance."
"I saw him last night." That was a surprise to Heero. He wondered I fit was an invitation to ask about their problems or more a way to tell Heero he had been wrong.
"At the club?"
"He said that he just wanted me to have a friend there for support, but I didn't invite him."
He had invited Heero. He had even invited Duo. "I am sorry that I could not be there."
"I got it, Heero. You were with Duo."
Heero cringed at the accusatory tone. "I was, with him, but even if Duo had studied at Relena's house I would have not felt like going to a club."
"I got it."
"So, what happened with Quatre?"
"I told him I did not want to see him right now."
Heero frowned. "Why? Did something else happen?"
"I think you already know, or you wouldn't be asking me these questions. He probably told Duo and Duo told you. Why don't you just say what you mean?"
"I wanted to give you a chance to tell me yourself," Heero said loudly, "I did not want to pressure you, but the truth is, I do not know the full story, I just have heard how upset Quatre is and how worried Duo is and you did not tell me a thing." Heero groaned. "Trowa, I did not expect you to suddenly express feelings to me, but this... is something we have already talked about and I think I am insulted that you decided that it is no longer a subject you can talk to me about."
"I didn't like it," Trowa whispered.
"I had sex with Quatre last week. I didn't like it."
"How could you not like it?" Heero asked. A split-second later he wished he had not asked that. It would not make Trowa feel better. "Trowa..."
Trowa sat up, twisting to face the wall with the mirror. His face was hidden from Heero's view by his hair. "I don't know," he said seriously. "I really don't like this... feeling. I don't know why I didn't like it."
Heero pushed himself up from the bed, rested his weight in his hands. "What happened? You didn't hurt each other... did you?"
"I don't really want to talk about it."
"Trowa, whatever made you not like it, I would never want to make you do that again. But you should tell Quatre, I think you should."
"He'll just feel hurt! That's a fucking stupid solution, Heero! What am I supposed to say to him? 'I think I love you, but I hated when we had sex, so let's never see each other again?'"
That did sound harsh. "Trowa, Quatre is already hurt. Maybe there is some kind way you could phrase what you need to say. Quatre is my friend, I hope, and I think you are too. I would rather not have to choose between you..." Heero paused. "One of you did not force the other?"
"No! No! It was nothing like that... nothing... physical!"
"You told me you had another lover once."
"There is nothing physically wrong and I know that I am attracted to men." Trowa turned his head and the way his eyes paused on Heero's body horrified him. The eyes shifted away quickly. "I don't want to talk." Trowa lay down again, back turned to Heero, body curled slightly.
"Did you think of someone else when you did it? Or have a bad memory when it happened?" Heero pressed, mentally telling himself he really should not press.
"No. I didn't think at all," Trowa said coldly.
"Were you safe?"
Trowa said nothing.
"Was that it?"
Trowa lifted hands and tugged at his hair. "Maybe part of it. I don't know!"
"Trowa, calm down. Listen, you told me that you love him. You told me you are attracted to him. You said no one was forced or hurt. But something went on that is making you feel sick and angry and confused. I swear, I will not tell anyone, but I would not be a real friend if I let you keep it to yourself. Go tell a doctor if you can't tell me."
Trowa mumbled something about not wanting to go to a doctor.
"We have to watch out for each other, Trowa. If I had nightmares or flashbacks or had a fight with Duo I think that you would try to help me in your way."
"I am not trying to be difficult, Heero. You know I trust you. I appreciate you letting me stay here. Just understand, I don't actually know what happened exactly."
"Do you actually not remember? Did you black out?"
"No. I remember it basically..." Trowa whispered.
"Maybe if you talk about it then I will figure out something that you didn't. Other people have problems right now, Trowa, strong people. I have problems. You don't have to tell everyone. Just tell someone, or write it in a secret file and read it over. Do you want to figure it out at all?"
"I do. I want to understand."
"So, what are you going to do?"
"If you tell Duo I will shoot you."
"He probably already knows Quatre's side of the story."
"I could say, 'Trowa told me something in confidence,' but not tell him what you actually told me?"
"OK. Fair enough. It was Thursday night, at headquarters. I remember that. It was Quatre's room in the dorms. I honestly don't remember why I went there, I mean, I was horny, but I had some other excuse for him."
Heero smiled, suppressing a laugh.
"I remember that I kissed him first. We had kissed before, so that was not traumatic or anything."
"Go on. Just try to remember anything that happened, or if you felt anything in particular."
"Yeah... it was just kissing for a while. I don't remember how long."
"But you liked that?"
"Yes." Trowa nodded for emphasis. "I told you, it wasn't physical. I hated the experience, but I know..."
"What?" Heero asked when Trowa trailed off.
"Heero," Trowa said softly, "We had sex. We both got off on it."
Heero nodded. He was certain that it was possible for a person to physically be brought to climax, even when raped, but he thought it an inappropriate time to say this aloud.
"But that doesn't always mean..." Trowa said.
Heero knew, he cut Trowa off. "Just tell me what events you remember."
Trowa gave a slow nod. "Did Quatre say something? Did he say he was hurt?"
"No. From what Duo told me I think that Quatre was perfectly fine until you left him."
"He was really OK?" Trowa asked.
"Do you think that you hurt him?" Heero asked.
"How I remember it is that we were kissing and then Quatre's hands were on me. I didn't stop him. I liked it. Then Quatre moved my hands onto his body and he said... I think he was telling me that he wanted me. I took off his shirt. Then, after that, I happened to move in a way that my hand touched his dick. I don't think I meant to at the time, but I did. And he was hard. And he said something like, 'If you want to.'"
"What did you think he meant?"
"I thought he meant that if I wanted to have sex with him that he was willing," Trowa said sharply.
"It's OK. I think Quatre probably did mean that. Is that when you had sex?"
"I guess. I mean, I consider the whole experience as 'having sex.' That was when I first understood that he really did want to go a lot farther. I honestly do not think that I was considering it before them."
"But, you went to his room to have sex?"
"Did I?" Trowa asked.
"You said that you went there because you were 'horny.'"
"Yeah, but I really did not think we would go through with it. I think I just wanted to see him and then go back to my room and jerk off or something."
"My life does not seem so glamorous now?"
"I make no judgment on you based on that."
Trowa sighed. "Maybe I did, on some level. Certainly, after Quatre said that he was willing I followed through as if I had planned it all. But I didn't plan it. It went so fast. We pulled our clothes off and... I remember that I did hesitate when Quatre offered me the lube."
"Why?" Heero asked.
"I was shocked that he had it nearby."
"Because he's Quatre."
"Oh." That did not make sense to Heero, but Trowa's image of Quatre was likely part of their problem. "What happened then? After you hesitated?"
"Quatre said in this small voice, 'Don't you want me?' And I felt like he really wanted me to do it, so I took the lube and... you know... greased up and opened him up a bit and then I fucked him."
"So, you were on top, as they say."
Trowa shrugged. "Fucking him and on top, yeah, if you must know."
"And you liked that?" Heero asked.
"You didn't like it?"
"I think I did hurt him. You said you didn't think so, but.. I remember now. The look on his face, it was pain. Maybe not all pain, but there was pain and I didn't stop."
"Did Quatre ask you to stop?"
"No. No, he didn't. He just said my name a lot." Trowa's voice cracked. "It was too fast, all of it, and I just kept doing it. I should have stopped. Part of me wanted to, but there was this other part of me that just kept going. It was like I was watching myself."
"Trowa. That was you too. You wanted to have sex with Quatre."
"I should have stopped."
"Trowa," Heero said more firmly, "You wanted to have sex with him. You wanted to fuck Quatre. You did it and you liked it."
"Yes!" Trowa admitted. "I'm sorry. I did."
"Why are you sorry?" Heero asked quietly.
"Because, I didn't stop any of it. It wasn't special or anything. I just fucked him. It was his first time and I didn't make it special or gentle or anything."
"Maybe Quatre was OK with that."
"No! Quatre can't be OK with it!" Trowa shouted, "He shouldn't believe that I'm sorry or forgive me or let me make it up to him. He shouldn't love me or get attached! He shouldn't let me hurt him!"
"Trowa," Heero said in his firm tone, "We are talking about you and Quatre now. And even so, it would be all right if Quatre did forgive you. It would be all right if he agreed to have sex with you again. Quatre does love you and there is no reason why he should not. Quatre is strong and he knows how to protect himself. If there was only pain and nothing good then Quatre would have stopped it, right? So no one needs to be ashamed of what they did, understand?"
Trowa nodded. He leaned forward, hugging his knees and wiping his face with his fingers. Heero knew he had been crying. Heero knew that sometimes very strong people had to let out their emotions that way. "Sorry," Trowa whispered.
Heero crawled slowly over the bed to be closer to Trowa. He touched Trowa's shoulder and Trowa flinched. "I will not hurt you," Heero told him. He put his hand to Trowa's back. He had scars there because he had been in an explosion when he was young. The scars were old, but they were all across his back and with his skin bared, they could easily be seen and felt.
Heero imagined that someone might have wanted to give Trowa some simple reassuring gesture and recoiled when they felt the scars. Trowa did seem tense now. "It is supposed to be a comforting gesture," Heero said flatly.
Trowa laughed weakly, but he relaxed, just a little.
"I think it is probably OK what you did with Quatre," Heero said, "The other stuff was probably OK too. You do not have to feel guilty or ashamed. You did not let anyone take advantage of you any more than you did of them. Duo could explain it better..."
Trowa tensed up again.
"But I will not tell him. I only meant that he would know the words to explain it better than I do. It is different: being casual or making love. Right? It is not wrong to be casual, but I know, that if someone is looking for casual sex and one or both partners does love the other, they will probably feel hurt. Also, if someone is expecting something very special, like making love, and they get something colder, they will feel hurt. But it does not always mean that either of the people meant to hurt the other. It just means they had a misunderstanding. I think it would even be OK sometimes for someone to want to make love and accept something casual, because it is all they can get. It is not the best thing, and I probably would have disagreed at one time, but people do need affection and I think it is OK to take it as it comes. Of course, if there was nothing but pain, that would be different. Someone should get out of that situation. But you were never in that situation Trowa."
Trowa shook his head.
"So, you had some misunderstandings and you loved someone who didn't have the luxury of making every time painless and special, but that is probably how it is for a lot of people when they are out fighting. I am sure he did care for you and you cared for him, or it would not have hurt when he left. That is how Duo said he thought it would have been for us, only I wasn't interested back then. Even so, our first time was pretty shitty."
"You can tell Quatre, Trowa. He will forgive you."
"I wanted to protect him."
"I know. Tell him you are sorry."
Heero's phone rang. Heero moved slowly away from Trowa and then put the headset on. The Id was blocked, so Heero thought it was Quatre calling from Headquarters. "Yuy," he answered.
"It's Quatre." His image came up on the tiny screen. "Heero, Trowa is still staying with you?"
"Is he all right?"
Heero smiled. "I can't say, but hold on a moment." Heero looked back to Trowa. "It's him. Do you want to talk to him?"
Trowa sniffed once then raised his head. "Can he come here?"
"Can you come to my place, Quatre?"
"Yes. Is Trowa hurt?"
"He wants to know if you are hurt," Heero relayed.
"Tell him I am not in danger or anything. I want to talk to him."
"Trowa is not presently injured or in danger, but he does need to talk to you."
"He's hurting, isn't he? I know you are probably sworn to secrecy, so don't answer. I will be right over. Heero, tell Trowa that I know he must have needed to leave and that I am sorry for any over-enthusiasm that may have pressured him. Please."
Right I will wait with him until you get here," Heero said. He disconnected. "Quatre says that he knows you must have needed to leave and that he is sorry for any over-enthusiasm that may have pressured you."
"He felt it somehow. He feels when I am in pain."
"Or when you are happy."
Trowa nodded. "But he did not feel it that night."
"I think that something about sex interferes with the abilities. At least, it affects control. I can usually read Duo's thoughts when we have sex." Heero smiled.
They fell into silence.
"Can I?" Trowa started after a while. He rest of the question was in gesture. He wanted Heero near him again.
Heero thought it was all right. He moved over the bed and sat down, allowing Trowa to scoot close and rest his head on his shoulder. "Duo thinks you have a crush on me," Heero said plainly.
"No!" Trowa said, lifting his head.
"I know. It is just because I reminded you of someone else. Duo doesn't know that. Maybe only I figured it out." Heero touched Trowa's hair and brought his head back to his shoulder.
"Quatre will be sad if he knows I loved someone before him."
"No. Quatre will not be sad. And, he probably already knows."
"You can make things OK now, Trowa. It made things come out, when you had sex. It was difficult, but now you know what you want, right?"
"Yes," Trowa agreed.
"What is that?"
"You can say it. It is not girly."
"I want to make love with Quatre."
"Very good. I am sure he wants to do that with you. 'Making love' does not mean it is not also mind blowing sex, it only means you are considerate of your partner during all the groping, sucking and fucking."
"Do you think you would try it the other way around?" Heero asked.
"Let Quatre fuck me?"
"I guess. Assuming we ever get that far. Why'd you want to know that?"
"I never did it."
Trowa lifted his head again. "You didn't?"
Heero shook his head. He felt a little embarrassed. He did not know why he was confessing to Trowa, except that he wanted Trowa to feel like they were even. "We tried some stuff, but no penises in there yet."
Trowa laughed. Heero liked when he did. "It doesn't have to hurt," Trowa said.
There was quiet. Trowa was no doubt thinking that he feared he had hurt Quatre. Heero was thinking that he had other issues apart from worrying about pain. Quatre probably had not been hurt so much as Trowa thought, Heero thought.
"Quatre's kinda big though, so I'd be a little nervous trying it with him the first time."
"You talk about him easily now." Heero saw Trowa wince as he said it. "That's good." Then it hit him. "You just told me..."
Trowa smiled. "Really, he's pretty well hung!"
Heero was thinking that Quatre looked like he might be, but one could not always tell from looking.
"He looks like he would be, right? But then it's even bigger hard. Thick too, like 13 cm or something."
Heero raised a brow in question. "Thirteen sounds a little... large. Does it?"
"OK, maybe not 13, but 12.5 is probably not an exaggeration. And he's got nice length of course."
"Of course," Heero rasped, not exactly liking the visual appearing in his mind.
"So, how big is Duo?" Trowa asked. Heero was starting to regret that he had convinced Trowa to be so open with him.
"You do not need to know."
"I told you about Quatre!"
"I will just say that I believe that Duo's dick is slightly above average in size for people of his background and that I am quite satisfied with its appearance and function, but I love Duo for who he is and the size of his dick is not the most important thing."
Heero glared... then laughed. "If I was a size queen then I would try to steal Quatre for myself, so you should be glad that I am not," Heero deadpanned.
"Size queen?" Trowa snickered.
Heero shrugged. He had read that phrase in an e-zine.
Trowa lifted a brow and seemed to study him.
Heero stared back.
"So you are totally...?"
"And you really did not know for sure, before, even when we talked?"
"No attraction to me?"
Heero looked to be sure. "I think that you look sexy and I like who you are, but I do not feel like I want to kiss you or anything else."
"Same to you, except I think I could kiss you."
"I won't; I was just trying to measure how much I could be attracted to you."
"Duo was not completely off."
"Whatever. That's the pot calling the kettle black. Think about how he hangs all over Quatre and it looks just as bad."
"But they are just friends and physically affectionate."
"Right. I just meant, if what Duo thinks he sees makes him think I have a serious crush on you then the same flawed logic could be used to argue that he has one for Quatre."
Heero shrugged. He was thinking, suddenly about how Duo and Relena were not actually interested in each other and had kissed. Had Duo ever explained where 'messing around' became 'sex?' Heero tried to shake the thought. "Maybe they have messed around."
"Maybe," Trowa said coolly. He seemed to have entirely regained composure.
There was a buzz at the door shortly and Heero left the bedroom to let Quatre in. Heero started to speak a greeting but Quatre rushed right past him.
"Where is he? Is he OK?"
"Trowa!" Quatre called, as he ran to the bedroom.
Heero rolled his eyes. He walked as far as the bedroom door, knocked once, then pushed it all the way open. Quatre and Trowa were busy telling each other how sorry they were.
"Trowa, I can stay if either of you need me, but I can leave you alone for a while."
Trowa glanced up at Heero and nodded. Heero understood.
"I will just get these things here," Heero said, collecting his phone and mobile and then stepping over Quatre's legs to get shoes and jacket from the closet. "I will have my phone if you need anything."
"I forgive you."
"I forgive you too!"
"Sayonara," Heero called.
"Gracias, Heero," Trowa called after him.
Heero collected his satchel and packed a few more items. He took his skateboard, a container of dog food and Koi's harness from the kitchen. Heero harnessed Koi, shouldered his bag, and then left his apartment. He thought, since he had nowhere else to go, he would see if Relena was at home.