I have to admit that I had been a bit surprised when Trowa and Quatre had
first gotten together, because I had been so sure that there was something
more going on between Trowa and Duo. They’d always seemed close, and
I don’t think it was just my particular… perspective, because
Wufei had commented on it too.
But when Trowa had quietly announced that he and Quatre were
‘seeing each other’, Duo hadn’t been the slightest bit
upset, and in fact had seemed to delight in it. It hadn’t seemed to
change whatever was between him and Trowa though, and it had taken a while
for me to decide that they really were just friends… the kind without
I had almost gotten up my nerve, in fact, to make my own move
in Duo’s direction when… the ‘incident’ happened.
We get together as a group fairly often, and we’d been
planning a dinner out for weeks. The day, when it dawned, had been nothing
but rain though, and nobody was much interested in the intended trip to
the beach side, sea food restaurant that we’d had lined up. We ended
up going back to Trowa’s place instead, deciding on ordering in.
There had been an odd tension in the air all afternoon, but
it had only gotten worse once we’d settled in at Trowa’s.
Duo, I think, had sensed something as well, and had been teasing
Trowa, trying to lighten things up.
‘What the hell is this, Barton?’ he asked, brandishing
the phone. ‘I thought everybody had their local pizza place on speed
Trowa chuckled at him, pulling the phone book out and leafing
through it to get the needed number. ‘Not everybody lives off fast
food delivery, Maxwell,’ he quipped and Duo stuck his tongue out and
crossed his eyes, making Trowa swat at him with the phone book.
‘Some of us have slightly more sophisticated taste,’
Quatre interjected, and there seemed to be more bite to it. Duo blinked
for a second, and I half expected him to snipe back, but he recovered quickly
and just grinned.
‘Hey, if you wanted anchovies, all you had to do was
ask, man,’ Duo teased and Trowa made a face indicating his stand on
There was a hint of a flush on Quatre’s face and I wondered
about it, but Duo was already punching the number into the phone as Trowa
read it to him. Quatre looked to me like he was going to say something else,
but then just turned and left the room. I exchanged a look with Wufei, but
he seemed as vaguely puzzled as I felt. There was obviously something going
on under the surface between our three partners, but he had no more idea
than I did what it was.
Once Duo got an answer on the phone and began reeling off
our usual order, Trowa put the phone book away and slipped out after Quatre.
‘Trouble in paradise?’ Wufei muttered, trying
to decide if he should be concerned or amused. I shrugged and we waited
for Duo to hang up the phone.
‘Should be here in about a half hour,’ he told
us distractedly, frowning slightly and looking after the other two. There
was obviously a discussion going on in the living room, though we couldn’t
really make out the words.
‘What is Quatre’s damn problem?’ Duo asked,
though it seemed a rhetorical question. ‘He’s been in a mood
Wufei gave out with a soft snort. ‘You make him sound
like some hormonal woman,’ he ventured, making sure to keep his voice
‘Hey,’ Duo muttered darkly. ‘If the shoe
‘What ever it is,’ I soothed. ‘It seems
to be between him and Trowa.’
‘Sure doesn’t feel like it,’ Duo grumbled,
running his hand over his hair in a gesture I knew he made when he was uncomfortable.
‘Seems like he’s been glaring daggers at me all stinking afternoon.’
And that was when we heard the crash from the other room.
Staying out of a ‘lover’s spat’ was one thing… ignoring
that sort of sound was something else all together.
Duo was out of the room like a shot, Wufei and I hot on his
heels. I don’t think any of us were expecting to find what we did.
Trowa was sitting on the floor on his butt, obviously having
just been put there by Quatre’s patented right hook. They both looked
like whatever was going on was about to escalate into a brawl. Until Duo
rushed forward and put himself between them, demanding, ‘What the
If anything, Quatre looked even more homicidal. ‘How
perfect,’ he snarled. ‘Your ‘buddy’ is here to protect
you, Trowa.’ I can’t say I have ever heard anybody put quite
that much meaning into the word ‘buddy’.
‘Leave him out of it, Quatre,’ Trowa demanded,
climbing to his feet and I think he meant to move around Duo, but they ended
up standing almost shoulder to shoulder.
‘I think he’s already smack in the middle of it,’
Quatre snapped, reacting to the united front Duo and Trowa were unconsciously
putting forth. ‘I think he’s more in the middle of it than I
‘God damn it,’ Trowa snapped back. ‘I told
you you’re way off base and you need to drop it, right now.’
‘Will you two just time-out for a minute?’ Duo
yelled, looking completely appalled at them. ‘Just what the hell is
going on here?’
‘What is going on here is the question of the hour,
Maxwell,’ Quatre said, voice suddenly rather low, and the tone dangerous.
‘Maybe you’d like to tell everybody just what goes on here when
you’re alone with Trowa?’
Duo just stared at him for a long moment before suddenly turning
a bright red. ‘What? What the fuck are you insinuating, you asshole?’
I thought Quatre was going to try to deck him too, and maybe
he would have, but Wufei chose that moment to step into the middle of the
conversation. ‘That’s… a pretty nasty accusation, Quatre.’
Quatre’s attention swung his way. ‘And I don’t
make it lightly.’
‘You have proof then?’ Wufei asked, and managed
to look shocked. Duo looked over at Trowa, his eyes asking all kinds of
questions, but all Trowa’s attention was on Quatre.
‘I have the evidence of my own eyes,’ Quatre hissed,
his fury an almost palpable thing. It left Wufei not knowing who he should
be blinking at.
‘What?’ Duo demanded, shock written all over his
face. ‘You couldn’t have seen anything, Quatre… there’s
nothing to fucking see!’
I wondered, idly, how the argument had suddenly become between
Quatre and Duo.
Quatre’s fists balled themselves up again and he took
half a step toward Duo. ‘I don’t call you being half dressed
and Trowa running his damn hands all over you, ‘nothing’,’
‘What?’ Duo gasped, utterly incredulous. ‘What
the hell are you talking about? We never…’
‘Don’t you dare fucking deny it!’ Quatre
yelled and I swear he was shaking. ‘Last week; I saw you with my own
damn eyes right here on this couch!’
Duo just stood for a long moment and I could tell he was processing
it… trying to come up with something that fit with what Quatre was
saying. When it clicked in his head, he blushed to the roots of his hair.
‘That wasn’t what it looked…’ he began, and Quatre
lost it, advancing with the obvious intention of going after Duo too.
But Trowa was suddenly stepping in, and where Quatre’s
voice had been getting pretty damn loud, his was low… and very menacing.
‘Don’t you fucking touch him.’
I remembered thinking that it wasn’t the best thing
he could have said. It implied a whole lot of stuff that was causing everybody
in the room to feel slapped in the face.
I’ll admit it… it seriously made me not sure what
to think. Quatre seemed so sure that there was something going on, and Trowa
was being damn protective of the wrong man. Duo was looking like he’d
just swallowed ground glass, staring at Trowa with a totally unfathomable
look on his face. I could tell Trowa’s move had been the nudge Wufei
had needed, and he was ready to believe too.
The pain in Quatre’s eyes was enough to shake even my
convictions. If I didn’t know Duo as well as I did… I suppose
I’d be wondering too.
‘Is that how it is, Trowa?’ Quatre asked, and
his voice had dropped down to almost a whisper.
‘How it is,’ Trowa told him, his own anger running
cold where Quatre’s ran so hot. ‘Is that you don’t trust
me.’ They were just staring at each other and behind Trowa, Duo spoke
up softly, looking at me… looking at Wufei… looking at Quatre.
‘I… wouldn’t do a thing like that.’
But nobody was really listening to him at that point. I don’t
think anybody but me was paying attention to the very real pain in his expression.
He just looked confused. Confused, and somehow betrayed.
‘How can I trust you in light of what I saw?’
Quatre asked Trowa, and I was hard-pressed to believe that even stoic Trowa
wasn’t moved by the sound of that voice.
‘Because I tell you there is nothing going on,’
he replied instead, his own voice quite cold, and his gaze steady as an
Quatre’s temper flared again. ‘I’m not that
‘And I’m not that damn untrustworthy,’ Trowa
‘You expect me to believe that you having him sprawled
all over the couch half naked, running your hands all over him, touching
his face… his hair… you expect me to believe that nothing is
‘Maxwell!’ Wufei gasped, his eyes wide and I could
tell he’d made up his mind whose side he was on in the argument. It
occurred to me that we really shouldn’t be taking sides, and that
everybody but Trowa and Quatre ought to be getting the hell out of there,
but it was way beyond that point by then. ‘I can’t believe how
dishonor…’ Wufei began, but I reached out and touched his elbow
and gave him a glare, trying to impart that this was really none of our
‘I expect you to trust me,’ Trowa said simply.
‘I expect you to trust Duo.’
That was pushing it, somehow. Quatre was upset with the both
of them, but was obviously set to blame Duo for the whole damn mess. Perhaps
it felt like less of a betrayal if he could blame ‘the other man’.
‘I won’t be the damn cuckolded lover, you bastard,’
Quatre ground out, the hurt giving over to the balm of anger again. ‘Especially
not to some nameless L2…’
‘Then maybe we should…’ Trowa began, but
Duo, looking completely horrified, grabbed at Trowa’s arm and stopped
him from finishing the sentence.
‘Guys!’ he gasped, wide-eyed and looking from
one of them to the other. ‘Don’t do this. Come on… you
don’t mean these things! Stop it!’
Quatre’s eyes were tracking the touch though, and even
I could see that Duo’s hand on Trowa’s arm had been a very bad
‘This is all your God damn fault!’ he snapped
out, voice going as cold as Trowa’s had been. ‘If you could
keep it in your damn pants…’
And, in a case of the world’s worst timing, that was
precisely the moment that the pizza delivery guy rang the doorbell. There
was a moment when everybody froze… just a little bit horrified, I
think, at the idea that the yelling might have been over-heard. Trowa shook
himself loose first, turning toward me I think, to ask me to take care of
it. There was a scramble for cash and somewhere in there the doorbell rang
a second time. Quatre stormed off to the kitchen in the midst of it and
there was the sound of slamming drawers. Enough cash was finally produced
and I went to the front of the house to shut up the damn incessant ringing
of the doorbell.
When I came back… Duo was gone.
If I’d had a clue that ‘gone’ meant gone
for good, I’d have followed him then, but at the time I’d just
thought it was probably best if everybody took a step back and calmed down.
Go to Chapter Three:
back to chapter One
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