Love Among Friends
It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do... telling someone that I don't love him. He looked at me with such hope in his eyes, and I had to say the words that took that hope away. "I'm so sorry, Trowa."
He was my closest friend, my confidante, the brother I never had. I could tell him things that the other pilots wouldn't understand. Being in the company of older people for most of my life has made me quiet around my peers, often unnaturally so. But not with Trowa. He understood how hard it was for me to relate to the others. Trowa accepted whatever I was willing and able to give. He never pushed me to tell him what I was thinking or feeling. Until that day when he told me he was in love with me. And I couldn't tell him that back.
If I didn't know what love feels like, I might have chosen differently. Then again, this isn't the first time I've let an opportunity for happiness pass me by. Relena. She was the first person to make me care so strongly for another's well-being. In the beginning I saw her as an obstacle to what I was trying to accomplish. She seemed like a spoiled child compared to my normal companions, if Dr. J and his fellow scientists can ever be called "normal". I should have been able to walk away from her without a second thought, but I couldn't. Her determination was something I admired.
Later, when she became the representative for Sank, I began to see how necessary she really was to achieving peace. My admiration grew for her to the point where I couldn't kill her even if it seemed like the right thing to do. In the end, she was every bit as responsible for the newly won peace as any of us Gundam pilots. She even stood up against her own brother to protect the people of Earth and the colonies. I could have fallen in love with her after the war but for one thing. I didn't desire her as a man is supposed to desire a woman.
It's not that I think I could never desire a woman sexually. There are times when I sneak glances at Lucrezia Noin, hoping that Zechs won't catch me in the act. I'm attracted to some women, but not all of them. Not Relena. She's still far too innocent. We're the same age and yet I feel years older than her. I'll never stop caring about her and being her friend, but that's all she'll ever be to me. She's the kind of person I fought the war to protect. I'll always be there to watch over her, but she doesn't have that special something to set my heart racing. Like Trowa, she's just not dangerous enough. Not like him.
He's everything I'm not, and nothing I want to be. Yet he fascinates me. Perhaps I do want to be more like him, but I've been trained too long and too hard to allow myself to live the way he does. By being with him, I get to experience that life through him. He feels passionately about so many things. I sometimes look forward to the things we don't agree on more than those we do, just because I enjoy seeing the fire light up his eyes. He probably doesn't even realize I sometimes take an opposing view just to watch him get so excited. I wonder how he'd feel if he knew?
Is it worth risking the friendship we have to find out? Trowa took that risk, and look where it got him. We hardly say a word to each other any more. I think that will change, in time, but for now the silence between Trowa and myself is uncomfortable where before it felt natural. I don't think I could stand it if I lost someone else I'm close to that way. This other person is my friend now, but would he still be if he knew that I desired him?
Oh, and I do desire him. There are times when we're working together and it's all I can do not to touch him in some way. It would be so easy just to "accidentally" brush up against him, or lean close to him as we're checking our Preventers' assignments. I'm just not sure I could stand those little touches when I want so much more. It would be like offering a sip to a man dying of thirst while keeping the pitcher full of water right in plain sight, yet just out of reach.
What makes a person take that chance? It's the one thing I wish I could ask Trowa. Why did he tell me how he felt when he did? Did I give him some indication that I had stronger feelings for him? Did I subconsciously encourage him? I've tried to remember, but I can't think of anything I might have said or done that could be misinterpreted that way. Or perhaps he feared if he didn't take the chance when he did, he might not have the opportunity again. He'd been watching me fall in love with someone else.
If Quatre was here, he'd have seen it too. Then again, if Quatre was here perhaps things would never have gone the way they did between Trowa and me. I can't help but believe those two have a connection that can't be broken. I wonder if that's why they stay apart so much? Quatre's family and religious obligations will always come between them. For once I'm happy I don't have a loving family controlling my future. Finally being in control of my own life is more important to me than anything.
Anything but him.
But how do I tell him? How do I avoid going through the pain that Trowa's going through right now? Is it better to prepare myself for possible rejection, or should I go into it expecting the best? All I know for sure is I have to tell him. Soon. Before these feelings take complete control of my life.
I love you, Duo.