Disclaimer: I do not own

Pairings: none unless you squint
Warnings: a bit of angst
Wordcount: 546

Slipping Into Tired
by Merith

A ringing nudged him out of the doze he drifted into. He pulled himself upright and looked at the instrument on the long table against the wall. It rang again, the tone sharp in his ears. Scratching at his hand, he wondered if he should answer or let it go to the recorder. The abrupt cut-off negated having to make the decision.

Staring at his feet, he tried to remember when the phone had rang last, when he'd actually spoke with anyone. He thought it might have been with Duo, but wasn't certain. Days, at least—more than a week. He glared at the phone in a mild sort of way before standing.

The message light blinked on the console panel, and he pressed a button. Duo's voice boomed.

"Quatre, man. Give me a call, would you buddy? It's been over two months. You can't be that busy…" his finger touched the button again.

"Thanks, Duo." His voice surprised him, caused his feet to stumble when he heard himself. Rusty and croaking, it'd been days since he last spoke—even to himself.

Back at the couch, he paused. "A shower would be nice." He sat and, feeling the harbored warmth from his previous nap, he curled up into it and closed his eyes. "So tired."

Thoughts of dreaming, lost in a sea of green, his vision vague, out of focus, he sought something solid. The warmth called and he moved closer. Wrapped in a cocoon-like embrace, he dozed again.

"No, you're not going back to sleep. Wake up, Quatre. Wake up and talk to me."

Blinking, his dream had a face, and he smiled fleetingly. "Trowa?"

Trowa frowned; his eyes flitted to the kitchen and back to his face. "When was the last time you drank anything?" Quatre unfocused. "Ate? Have you eaten today?" Trowa's voice was soft, poking into places that hurt his mind. He closed his eyes.


Arms held him upright, held him against a heat that demanded sleep. From a distance, he heard Trowa ask, "Why didn't you say something?"

Trowa's voice carried a pain almost rivaling the one in him. He forced his eyes open and tried to smile. "'m okay," he said thickly, trying to pull away. Trowa's arm tightened, his face directly in front of his.

"No, Quatre. You're not." Sea-green eyes searched his face. "You're too thin. You haven't contacted any of your friends in weeks, haven't showed up at the office in over a month." His look encompassed the room. "You even fired your cleaning service." Trowa's other arm encircled him. "And I'm pretty sure you haven't showered in a long time."

Quatre ducked his head. He'd thought about it, but not seeing anyone made it seem not worth the bother. "I'm just so tired..."

"When I was lost, when I couldn't remember, you were there," Trowa murmured into his hair. "You wouldn't let me go. You kept reminding me to hold onto myself, that I was someone worthy to know." He felt lips press to the top of his head. "I'll be here to hold onto you. I'll be here to remind you that you are someone worthy to know."

He released a long breath; the urge to sleep seeped away.


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