Hearing a long and low moan coming from the direction of the restroom, the blond teen quickly moved to grab up the remote control, turned on the television and immediately increased the volume. He then looked self consciously around the room then adjusted the front of his slacks.
Three minutes later found him sitting on the couch and staring intently up into the television screen watching the early morning news program. Continuous reports of recent repercussions resulting from a major skirmish two weeks ago on the far eastern borders that separated the Allied and Federations forces, caused a feeling of tense trepidation to hang over the whole planet of concerned citizens who were anxiously waiting to see how the two major powers would react. A cease fire had been hastily arranged by several of the more influential neutral countries and heated negotiations for a cease fire were in the process of being conducted. Despite the on-going talks between the two powerful enemies, small air and land strikes against each other continued every couple of days as a form of retaliation for earlier battles, with each country pointing the finger of blame at each other.
Wufei and Trowa entered the lounge and came to join Quatre as he sat on the couch listening intently to the latest new report.
"Where are the gruesome twosome?" Trowa asked with a grin as he sat next to his friend. He liked Heero and Duo but always had an odd or humorous name when referring to them, behind their back, of course. Quatre's favorite had been when he had teasingly called them the 'dysfunctional duo'.
The blond didn't turn his face away from the television as he answered his friend's question. "Using the restroom." The two newcomers noticed the flush on the Quatre's face and looked across the blond who sat between them, exchanging a puzzled look.
"Don't ask and don't go in there," Quatre advised quite firmly, then pinched his lips tightly together, vowing to himself not to say another word.
Not more than ten seconds passed when a squawking sound came from the direction of the bathroom followed in rapid succession by a few more, causing the three boys in the rec room to turn their heads and look to the closed door.
Laughter rang out from the restroom; unmistakably Duo's. The door to that room was then abruptly flung open with a loud bang against the back wall and the braided boy came running out of the bathroom a scant second later with a look of devilish glee on his face. The front of his green jumpsuit was dotted with dark splotches on it, obviously wet.
Heero came barreling out after him with two brown balls of wadded up and dripping wet paper towels in his hands. Using his highly trained skills, he raised his right hand and hurled the dripping wad with considerable force, hitting Duo square in the back.
Another squawk sounded from the braided boy followed by more laughter. He moved quickly to position himself behind the three bystanders who had risen to their feet to watch their approach.
The last wadded paper towel shifted from Heero's left hand to his right in preparation for being launched. Being the strategist, Quatre observed this and reacted immediately, jumping onto the couch and gracefully leaping over the top, effectively eliminating himself as a possible target. His cheeks were blushing brightly at the thought of what those seemingly strategically placed wet spots on both Heero and Duo's jumpsuit were meant to cover up.
Trowa and Wufei also moved to get out of the way but Duo chose the Chinese teen as his permanent shield.
"You wouldn't get Wufei wet, would you Heero?" Duo teased; a dazzling grin on his face.
"He'd better get out of my line of fire then," Heero smirked, his eyes sparkling with mischievous intent never left Duo's semi-hidden form.
"Don't you dare, Yuy," Wufei warned in a serious tone, though the smile on his face failed to be squelched as he observed the large, round wet spots on the front of Heero's jumpsuit. The largest one happened to be centered on the front of his pants, specifically, his crotch. "Looks like Duo has either a very good or a very bad aim," Wufei chuckled, despite the fact that Heero was ready to hurl the wet wad in his hand.
"He's the best," Heero replied, sounding rather proud of his friend. "But then so am I."
Sensing that Heero was going to throw the wet glob despite his being in the way, Wufei decided he needed to act fast. In a quick move, he spun around and grabbed hold of Duo's upper arms and wrestled with the braided boy to try and reverse their positions. There was no way he was going to go back to his room to change his clothes again. He and Duo playfully struggled, trying to put the other in Heero's line of fire. They wound up face to face, hands clamped around each other and laughing while continuing their playful struggle. Duo's eyes met the dark ones for a moment and the laughter eased as they paused in the gaze. Then without warning, the sopping wet and wadded towel forcefully hit Wufei's head with a loud 'splat'.
All play stopped abruptly as Wufei immediately released Duo and raised his hand to his smarting head and snarled back at Heero. "That hurt!" he complained, rubbing the large wet spot on his head that had been hit by Heero's forceful throw.
In a flash and without warning, Wufei found himself knocked off his feet, his body flying through the air after being hit with a full-body tackle. With Heero's hands gripping his body, both boys fell, crashing gracelessly to the floor together. Momentarily stunned by the unexpected attack, Wufei became alarmed when his wrists were grabbed in an iron hard clasp and forced to a position above his head. He struggled for a moment and found he couldn't remove the hold he found himself in and was dismayed to find himself thoroughly pinned to the floor by the dark haired boy who had scrambled to sit on his stomach and was now glaring down at him, his glowering face inches from his own. The dark haired teen who had been playing a harmless game only moments before now looked down at him with fury blazing in his eyes.
"Heero! No!" Duo shouted and Wufei could see the braided teen standing above them, his hands trying to pry Heero from off of his body.
Heero, for his part, ignored his friend completely as he bent closer to glare menacingly over Wufei's face. "You kissed him," he hissed accusingly.
Wufei's dark eyes widened with understanding. Duo must have thought about their shared kiss when their eyes met and Heero must have read his mind. Without a doubt he knew he was about to suffer the consequences for his moment of weakness.
The room around them stilled at Heero's accusation.
"Heero, please." Duo knelt down next to his angry lover and spoke carefully. "It was just a misunderstanding. I honestly didn't know he felt that way and we both know it won't happen again."
Heero slowly turned his head to look at the boy who was his. "You let him kiss you," he accused him, a flicker of hurt showing on his face.
Duo lowered his eyes, unwilling to see the hurt and disappointment Heero was feeling. "The second time, yes, I did. He's my friend, Heero. Wufei has helped us both innumerable times. It was a... a kind of final farewell to any hope he had of a future with me." His words came out in a rush in an effort to explain his and Wufei's actions. He then lifted his eyes, silently appealing for understanding into the blue, accusing orbs of his lover. "He understands now that I'm yours and that I will always be yours."
Heero turned his head to look back down at his prisoner. He studied the Chinese boy's face and decided that Wufei looked remorseful but not fearful, even though he knew he could easily mane or kill him with little effort. "You have a physical attraction to Duo?" Heero questioned with a frown.
"I care for him first as a friend," Wufei answered with a frustrated grunt, still trying but unable to pull his hands from Heero's strong grip. "And it's partially your fault that I'm attracted to him in a...a romantic way," he spat out angrily.
Heero's frown increased. "How do you figure that?" he demanded in a low, menacing voice.
Wufei fought to calm his anger as he answered in a level tone of voice. "Every time you hurt Duo it was left to me to comfort him, emotionally and physically. You put me in a nurturing role when you were cold, aloof or abusive to him. You scolded him for poor performances and I tutored him. You pointed out his faults and weaknesses and I was left to build back his confidence. You hit him and I held him. My growing feelings towards him are a direct result of your actions, Heero. They grew in time from the caring of a friend into something more."
Heero's face took on a determined look. "I can never relinquish him, Wufei. He's the other half of my soul and I'll never let him go."
"I know," The Chinese teen's voice softened and his face took on the look of sad resignation as he looked into Heero's face looming above him. "And it would be dishonorable for me to try to come between the two of you. Duo told me he needs you and, more importantly, that he loves you. I know that my place is to be his friend." He looked up into the deep blue and troubled eyes above him. "And I would like to continue to be your friend too, Heero. That is, if you'll let me."
Heero turned his head to the other three just behind him, standing close together, observing their reactions to the conversation he was having with Wufei. Duo's worry and guilt were pulsing against the mental barriers he'd erected the moment he'd tackled Wufei. Trowa and Quatre appeared nervous and unsure, their eyes fixed on himself and the boy on the floor. Heero slowly turned his eyes back to the boy still pinned below him and no longer struggling to gain his freedom. With deliberate slowness, Heero lowered his face to stop mere inches from the Chinese boy's, never shifting his gaze from the dark eyes widening with apprehension. "For now," he began in a quiet voice, meant only for Wufei's ears, "Duo and I need your continued friendship." Then his facial features softened slightly as his eyes took on a different look, giving a hint of empathy and the possibilities that were running through his genius mind. "But in the future, when we're out of training and have completely bonded..." He let the thought trail off and a wry, cunning smile grew on his lips. "Well, let's just say the future holds many possibilities to explore."
With that said, Heero abruptly lowered his head further and he unexpectedly and soundly kissed the shocked boy beneath him.
Three separate gasps sounded in the room as Wufei let Heero take his mouth in a kiss that seemed to punish him for his encroachment into his relationship with Duo. Unable to move or to protest verbally or physically because of Heero's continued hold on his wrists and pinned down by his body's position on top of his stomach, he just let the kiss happen, his mind telling him that he deserved any punishment Heero would mete out to him for kissing Duo. Yet during the onslaught of lips and tongue, the spontaneous act turned from one that brushed past any semblance of revenge and restitution to one of pleasure. Then as suddenly as it had begun, it was all over, and not only had Heero's lips left his, but the weight his body was also removed from off his stomach.
Blinking with shock and embarrassment, Wufei slowly rose from the floor to see Heero once again at Duo's side staring intently at the long haired boy. It was obvious they were communicating through the link they shared. Duo was wide eyed as he looked into Heero's face and nodded his head in agreement to some unspoken words that Heero was mentally relating to him.
Wufei's eyes then turned to his other two friends who had just witnessed him kissing another boy and noted the expressions of complete shock on their faces. He lowered his eyes to the floor in shame and embarrassment, not wanting to see the look of revulsion on their faces when they recovered from their obvious state of shock at witnessing his confession and weakness.
After several silent, uncomfortable moments, the Chinese teen dared to look up at the person whose hand had gently settled on his shoulder. It was Quatre, with Trowa standing directly behind him.
"It's alright Wufei," The blond said with a compassionate smile. "We're surprised at this new development, but we understand. We're not embarrassed or repulsed by what's happened. We're your friends."
Shifting his eyes to the other boy behind the blond, Wufei watched as Trowa nodded his agreement to Quatre's statement and offered a small, comforting smile as well.
"Thank you," he replied quietly, not sure what to say or do in such an awkward situation.
Duo broke through the strained silence that all five boys in the room found uncomfortable. "Um...Heero and I have to go and change our clothes," he stated in an apologetic tone while motioning to the wet spots on his jumpsuit. "We'll meet you in the cafeteria in about ten minutes, alright?"
The three checked their watches and silently agreed, then watched as the two turned and left the room with Heero's hand placed on the center of Duo's back, gently leading him out through the door.
"Excuse me," Wufei mumbled and all but ran to the door marked exit and turned to the opposite direction in the corridor than the other two had taken.
Quatre sighed loudly and turned to look up at his taller friend. "That was certainly a ... surprise," he said.
"You had no idea Wufei felt that way for Duo?" Trowa asked, still wearing a look of surprise on his face.
"I knew his feelings were strong, that he was close to Duo and protective of him, but I think he's been unconsciously holding back, even to himself, as to his true feelings. At least he had until I told you two about Heero and Duo's relationship. Then something... changed. Wufei suddenly felt different, his emotions seemed conflicted, yet at the same time it was like he felt that he had..."
"Possibilities?" Trowa filled in the word Heero had used earlier.
Quatre nodded, agreeing with the word chosen to describe what he'd felt. "But not only did he have that feeling that there were possibilities, but he also gave off feelings of futility at the same time," he answered with a look of sad concern on his face. Then suddenly, he looked up at Trowa and gave his friend a small smile. "It should be interesting watching those three, to see what happens between them. I can't believe Wufei kissed Duo." He grinned at his friend with amusement.
"Or that Heero kissed Wufei." Trowa still looked a bit perplexed by the scene they'd witnessed moments earlier.
"It's like watching one of those daytime soap operas my sisters used to watch, isn't it," Quatre chuckled. His laughter slowly eased to a halt when he saw that Trowa had sobered somewhat.
"Does the idea of a homosexual relationship bother you?" Trowa asked his blond friend then glanced at the floor, suddenly looking bashful.
"I don't think so," Quatre answered, his smile fading to be replaced by a thoughtful look. "Maybe it's because I've been watching Heero and Duo for a long time now, knowing their secret and being aware of their increased draw and attraction to each other. It's no longer a shock and I've come to an acceptance of their relationship."
Trowa shifted nervously before he spoke. "Have you ever been attracted to a guy?" he asked, now looking self-conscious.
Quatre swallowed hard, suddenly very uncomfortable. "I'm not so sure I can answer that question," he replied.
Trowa frowned. "Why not?"
Pleading blue-green eyes looked up at him. "Because I don't want to risk losing your friendship, Trowa. You're my best friend."
Both boys searched each other's eyes for the answers to so many unspoken questions.
"Then I'll take a chance and tell you of my feelings," Trowa managed to say with a slight, almost trembling smile. "I don't know if it's because we're trapped here on an isolated island with only boys and our teenage hormones running crazy, but I've certainly had sexual thoughts about boys." The taller teenager's cheeks began to flush a deeper shade of pink.
"Duo's probably the most beautiful boy I've ever seen," Quatre admitted shyly. "I think over half the training facility has had a wet dream with Duo as the subject of it. But don't tell that to Heero," he added in a small voice with a slight, nervous grin, knowing Heero's possessive nature over Duo wouldn't take that news very well.
"Have you ever kissed any one?" Trowa asked, obviously nervous as his cheeks pinked further and he bashfully looked to the floor as he ventured into dangerous territory, the looked up through the hair hanging over his forehead.
The smaller blond boy shook his head to answer that he hadn't.
"Want to try it to see if we feel an attraction to the same sex. You know, kiss to see if we respond to it in a sexual way?" Trowa suddenly felt like he'd do anything to swallow the words he'd just spoken as he watched Quatre's eyes narrow in thought. He was sure he'd just upset his friend with the suggestion.
He was definitely surprised when Quatre looked at his watch and answered casually, "Okay, but we only have five minutes." He then promptly lowered his arm, took the few steps forward to plant himself in front of the taller boy, then with an upward tilt of his chin he offered his lips to his best friend.
Trowa looked down at the boy who had been his commander at times and his friend since they first time they'd met. He knew he could trust Quatre with this experiment, that he wouldn't reject him or say anything to anyone about what they were about to do. And seeing his friend willing to trust him as well in this new experience, deepened his feelings for him even more. He lowered his head and turned it just enough to tentatively place his lips against Quatre's soft and willing mouth.
The two inexperienced boys were clumsy at first, and as Trowa's hands rose to cup the shorter boy's face, the kiss deepened and their mouths opened to each other. Just as their tongues caressed and their hold on each other tightened, Quatre broke off the contact and took a step back, his cheeks a bright pink. "Ah..thanks," he said awkwardly, looking at Trowa's shoulder instead of his face.
"Did you...feel anything?" Trowa asked, hoping his own body's reaction to the kiss wasn't visibly apparent.
"Um..yes, I did," came the blond's quiet reply. "We better get going." He continued in a more business-like voice. "We need to meet the guys."
He quickly moved past Trowa towards the door in order to exit the room. Yet after opening it, he turned to look questioningly at the boy who remained rooted to the spot in which he'd left him. "Trowa?" he called back.
The auburn haired teen turned his head to look at him, a lost look on his face. "We're still friends, aren't we Quatre?" he asked in a voice sounding almost fearful.
The blond boy turned his head to scan the corridor outside the rec room's door. He then quickly closed the door and went back to his friend. Stopping in front of him, he softly whispered Trowa's name, his eyes searching the taller boy's face for answers. Seeing only insecurity in his friend face, the blond stretched up on his toes and brushed his lips against Trowa's in a brief, chaste kiss. Pulling back, he was rewarded by seeing the green eyes sparkling with happiness. "Definitely friends, Trowa," he declared with a crooked smile. Then grabbing the taller boy's sleeve, he pulled him towards the exit so they wouldn't be late in meeting their friends.
On to Chapter twelve
Back to Chapter ten