Second Chances Part 2
Quatre slowly opened his eyes as the gentle rocking motion of the car came to a halt. He couldn't believe he'd fallen asleep. He must have drifted off almost as soon as the car left the curb. Sitting up he blinked and looked around. This wasn't where the hotel was! This wasn't even in the urban part of the colony. Where the hell were they?
Duo threw open the door beside him and peered in. "Hey! You're awake. Good!"
"Duo. Just where am I?" He asked, climbing out of the back seat.
"Why, you're home!" Duo exclaimed, putting his hands on his hips. "Well, our home, anyway."
"Why did you bring me here? If this is some joke, I'm not finding it amusing." Quatre frowned. "I need to get back to the hotel."
Heero stepped forward and took the blonde by the wrist. "You're not going back to the hotel. Not yet anyway. You're going to stay here, with us, until we get all this sorted out."
"Damn! Heero there's nothing to work out. I told you, I'm fine." Quatre snapped. "I can't stay here. I have responsibilities!"
"I already talked to your secretary, she's going to have your sisters cover your end of the business for a few weeks." Heero replied calmly.
"Or months." Duo added. "However long it takes."
"Months! You've got to be joking! My wedding is going to take place in two months! I have to be around to prepare for that." He jerked out of Heero's grasp and whirled on the American pilot. "I think you've both lost your minds! This is actually kidnapping!"
Heero crossed his arms and glared at the Arabian. "Well then, if it's kidnapping then it's kidnapping. I don't care. We're not letting you go until we know you are going to be all right. And..." Nodding towards Quatre's hands. "That tells me that you're not fine."
"Yea!" Duo nodded, draping an arm around the blonde's slender shoulders. "Our minds are made up. So, you'd best relax and go along with us." His eyes were suddenly serious. "We care about you Quatre. We're not going to let this drop."
Quatre shoulders slumped and he sighed. They were probably right. A few days break couldn't hurt any. But he wouldn't stay here as long as they were suggesting. It was impossible. Maybe just a few days. "Fine." He spoke. "I stay for a few days. Then I have to get back. In my position now, I can't just take off."
Duo steered him to the entrance of the house, meanwhile exchanging a look with Heero behind the Arabian's back. Well, at least they'd get him inside. They'd work on the rest after that. He would be staying for a while. And if they had anything to say about it, when he left, it wouldn't be to marry Brenna Hart. After Quatre had gone to sleep, Hero had explained in quiet tones to the American, what he knew.
He'd known since near the end of the war, that Quatre was in love with his fellow pilot, Trowa. And he was pretty sure that Trowa felt the same. Why they didn't say anything to each other, he didn't know. But all the signs had been there. That's why he'd reacted the way he had when Quatre's engagement was announced. He was sure that by now the two of them had come to an understanding of each other. Obviously they hadn't. He could see that the current situation was going to destroy his blonde friend and he had a feeling that it would have the same effect on Trowa. He wasn't about to let that happen.
Duo had been in total agreement.
Once inside, Duo took Quatre upstairs to get him settled in the spare room, while Heero headed for the kitchen to make coffee and maybe find something for the three of them to eat. Peering into the refrigerator, Heero sighed... they weren't prepared for this, that was for sure. Someone was going to have to go shopping tomorrow. He figured it would be him, the thought of turning Duo loose in a grocery store by himself gave Heero the creeps. The violet-eyed American wouldn't even think to bring home anything besides junk-food. His lover might be a lot of things, but domestic was not one of them.
He shook his head, then again, who ever thought he would be!
Giving one last dismal glance into the fridge, Heero closed the door and grabbed the phone. Looked like they'd be ordering out tonight.
Pulling a couple extra pillows out of the closet, Duo smiled brightly at the sulking blonde. "It's not that bad, Quatre. Just think it'll be just like old times... well, except no missions looming over us!" Receiving no response, he sighed. Quatre really was upset with them for this.
He walked over to the bed, putting down the pillows, he sat down beside his friend. "Quatre, are you even going to talk to me?" Blue eyes swung his way and he could see the anger in the sapphire depths. "What? You're mad? Good! It's better than what you were feeling before!" Duo snapped.
He stood up and glared at the Arabian. "This isn't like you Quatre! You're not one to just lie down and give up. Why are you doing this? Why?"
Quatre's head snapped up and he stared at his friend for a moment before responding. "Because this is the way things have to be. I have a responsibility to my family to do this. There isn't any other choice."
"What about your responsibility to yourself?" Heero asked quietly from the doorway.
"My responsibility to my family is also the same for me." Quatre spoke evenly. "This is what I have to do."
"But you don't want to." The Japanese man replied. He could see that the Arabian was getting very angry. "Look this isn't the time to discuss this. Let's just leave it alone and try to have a quiet evening. Dinner's on the way. We're all tired. The best thing to do is get some rest tonight and tomorrow we can talk about this."
Duo nodded as Quatre stood. "There's nothing to talk about, Heero." Quatre replied sharply.
Duo slipped an arm around the blonde's shoulders and led him to the door. "Look! Let's drop it." Looking at Heero, his eyes sparkling. "Did you say that dinner was on its way? I'm starved!"
Heero groaned and rolled his eyes.
"Do you think we're doing the right thing?" Duo asked softly.
Heero paused, the hairbrush in his hand suspended over Duo's chestnut hair. Taking the time to brush out Duo's hair was one of the simple joys that he's found within their relationship. "Yeah. I do." He answered quietly.
Duo turned on the bed and looked at Heero, his violet eyes troubled. "He's pretty upset with us, over this. I'm not sure he'll get over it anytime soon."
Heero sighed and set the brush on the table beside the bed. Laying back he pulled Duo down with him, wrapping his arms around the pilot. Breathing in the clean scent of his love's hair, he felt himself relax. He'd discovered a number of things within himself in the arms of this vibrant, loving person. The most important being his own capacity for love. Both for loving and for being loved.
He also remembered the personal anguish, he'd put himself through before he came to Duo. The despair and hopelessness he'd felt at the thought that he may never see the American again. The stark terror when he'd knocked on Duo's door and told him that he loved him, head down, waiting to be rejected.
And the joy.
The absolute pure joy he'd experienced when Duo had taken him in his arms and told him that he loved him, also. That he'd loved him for years... since during the war.
He saw the same hopelessness and despair in Quatre's eyes. He couldn't let his friend suffer that way. Not without trying. Not when his instincts told him that Quatre belonged with the person that he loved. And those same instincts told him that Trowa felt the same way.
"Heero?" Duo's voice broke into his thoughts.
He looked down into those violet pools. How can I not hope that they'd find the same happiness that I have? "Ah, sorry. I was thinking."
"That was obvious."
"Look," Heero started, sliding down so that they were laying on their sides, facing each other. "Don't worry about it too much, ne?" He reached out and brushed his fingers across Duo's cheek. "If Quatre were that mad about it... then he'd be gone. We're not holding him here. He can walk out that door any time he chooses. The fact that he's stayed for three days now, tells me that he doesn't really want to go back."
Pulling the long-haired boy into his arms, his lips slid down the slim, white column of Duo's throat. "Quatre can act as defensive as he wants. The simple matter is, he doesn't want to go back. And I don't think he will, until someone tells him, he has to. And he won't get that from us." He breathed across Duo's skin, almost smiling at the low purring noises coming from his lover.
Duo held onto Heero's shoulders, as the cobalt eyed boy explored the skin of his throat. "I suppose you're right." He sighed, shivering. "But, still..."
"No. Enough talking." Heero growled, sliding his hands under the loose material of Duo's shirt. With a quick motion, he slipped the shirt up and off of the American. "I don't want to discuss it anymore tonight."
Duo murmured incoherently as those soft lips claimed his and the other pilot moved over him. Wrapping his arms around Heero's neck, he gave himself over to that kiss and the sensations building within his body.
Awhile later, the dark silence of the room was broken by soft sighs and whispers.
"Papa, when are going to do something about this!" Brenna demanded, slamming her hands down on her father's desk. "Quatre's been missing for four days now."
Silas Hart looked up as his angry daughter. "I've got people out looking for him now. There's nothing else that can be done. Do you really want me to drag the authorities into it? Make it a media circus?"
"Well, something more had to be done. What if he's hurt?" Her pale blue eyes narrowed. "That pilot! I'll bet he knows something." She stood up and started to pace the room. "I'm sure he does! Why else would he have been hanging around outside that room that night."
She stopped in front of his desk and glared at him. "People like him are always looking for ways to make money. Those types can't be trusted! And Quatre would be an easy target. Everyone knows that his sisters would pay any amount to get him back."
Silas sat there and stared at her. Those types? The type of person that would risk his life to save the colonies? And you couldn't trust them? He'd trust those pilots a lot faster than he'd trust most people of his own social standing. He did not raise his daughter to think like that. Where did she learn such things from?
"Enough!" He stood and stared down at the girl. "I put up with a lot from you sometimes, but you're crossing the line. I will not have you casting suspicion at people without any proof! You ever think that maybe he left willingly?"
"Why would he do that? He's got a business to run and a wedding to plan. There's no reason for him to take off without any warning! And what about the blood we found?"
"That could have been anyone's. We don't know that it was his. And I can think of a reason that he'd take off."
"And what is that?"
He walked around the side of the desk and leaned down into her face. "Why... to get away from you. I'm starting to find the idea very desirable!" He snapped, before standing back up and stalking out of the office.
Brenna stared at the door, her blue eyes wide. "W... what?"
Trowa leaned back on a bench in the small park, gazing out over the field, oblivious to the children playing in front of him. A light breeze picked up around him and blew a few strands of brown hair from his bangs around his tired face. He figured it was time for him to head back to the circus troupe. There was nothing for him here. At the same time he felt unable to leave. He was afraid to. That if he did then he'd never get to see Quatre.
And hadn't that been the whole reason for coming here in the first place? To see the blonde one more time. That had been taken away from him, so he hung around, hoping that somehow he'd get the chance back.
He'd spent the last four days, trying to find out what had happened that night at the party. Finally someone had let him know that Quatre was with Heero and Duo. If that were the case then he was in no danger. Those two would never do anything the hurt the Arabian. They'd make sure he was all right.
He sighed, his green eyes scanning over the field. Then why did he feel like he couldn't leave.
That he was needed here.
Laughing bitterly, he shook his head. What was he thinking? That he was needed here? He wasn't needed, here or anywhere else for that matter. He leaned forward and put his head in his hands. His laughing sounding strangely like sobs. I wish... he thought to himself. I wish... that I'd died in that war. There was no good reason for me to survive it. Why was I allowed to live? There was no purpose.
"Hey, mister. You okay?"
Trowa looked up to see a young dark-haired woman standing in front of him, watching him curiously. "I'm never going to be okay." He muttered.
"Ah, excuse me." He stood abruptly. "Yeah. I'm fine. Thanks." He said, walking away.
What a handsome man. She thought, watching him leave. But, he's so sad.
Reaching his hotel room, Trowa grabbed his bag and started to stuff his things into it. there wasn't much sense in him sticking around.
"And where do you think you're going?"
Trowa whirled at the soft spoken question, reaching for a weapon that he no longer carried.
Seeing the motion, Duo raised an eyebrow. "A little jumpy aren't we?" He asked.
"You startled me."
"I see." Duo pushed himself away from the door frame and walked into the room. Picking a book up from the bed, he sat down and thumbed through it. "You know what I think?" He asked, causally. "I think you need to learn to relax."
Trowa took the book away from the American and put it into the duffel. "Duo, if you don't mind. I'm kind of busy right now."
"Ah, yes. The packing." Duo gestured at the bag. "I do mind. You're not actually thinking of leaving. Are you/?"
"Why? When what you've always wanted is almost within your reach." Duo played with the end of his braid, not looking up at the green-eyed boy.
"What do you want Duo?" Trowa asked impatiently. The American could be infuriatingly vague, when he wanted to be. He wasn't too sure how Heero ever managed to put up with him.
Duo looked up, he eyes suddenly serious. "We need to talk."
"About what." He sighed.
Trowa felt like he'd been doused with ice water. He sat down in the chair across from the bed with a thump. Quatre? "What about him? Is he all right?"
Trowa growled. This was like pulling teeth. "What's wrong with him?"
"Oh, a number of things. What do you say we order up some lunch, a couple gallons of coffee... or stronger if you want. And I'll tell you all about it, ne?"
"Fine." Trowa waved at the phone. "Order whatever you want, just do it quickly!" Then adding as an afterthought. "Make it stronger. And forget the food."
Duo nodded and started to dial the phone. Well, he had his attention now.
"I told you to leave it alone." Quatre snapped, slamming his cup down on the table.
"Iie. I won't. I've let you alone long enough. Ima. It's time to deal with this." Heero sat back in his chair and crossed his arms.
"There's nothing to deal with. How many times do I have to tell you that. I've made my decisions. I have to fill my responsibilities." Quatre got up and started to pace the room.
Heero watched his friend walk back and forth in front of him, his hands shaking with agitation. "There are certain things that are expected of me. I've known that since I was a child. I've accepted that."
"Then tell me something." Heero replied quietly.
"Why are you still here?"
"Excuse me? What do you mean by that?" Quatre growled.
"There's been nothing keeping you here. If you're so happy with your life, then why haven't you gone back to it, like you keep telling me that you have to?" Heero got up and grabbed Quatre's arms. Looking into his sapphire eyes, he asked again. "Why are you still here?"
Quatre's eyes widened as Heero's words sunk in and he stared at the Japanese man, numbly.
Heero leaned in so that they were nose to nose. "Do you love her?"
"What?" He jumped.
"Do you love her? You haven't spoken a word about her. If you care that much then convince me of it. Tell me about what a wonderful person she is... and how much you enjoy being with her." He let go of the blonde and sat back down. "Better make it believable. If I'm not convinced then I'm not letting it drop." Settling back in the chair and crossing his arms again. "So, convince me."
Quatre stared at Heero in shock. What did it matter to him? Why was he forcing this issue? Going back to his pacing his thoughts raced. Heero was right. He could leave anytime he wanted. So... why didn't he?
I'll tell you why, he said silently. Because the thought of going back to all that makes you ill. You never wanted your father's company anyway. And you definitely didn't want to marry Brenna Hart. Your family pushed you into that. All you ever wanted was to take the money that was in trust for you and settle somewhere quietly with...
"Shut up!" He yelled out loud, causing Heero to jump. "Shut up!" He whirled and slammed the palm of his hand into the wall beside him, reopening the newly unbandaged cuts. "You bastard!" He swore. "Why can't you just leave me alone!" He balled up his fist and punched the wall.
"Why? Why?" Slamming his fist into the wall over and over.
Heero jumped out of his chair and moved swiftly to his friend. He'd seen the blood on the wall, from both the cuts on his hand opening up again and the new ones that he'd just inflicted on his knuckles. Shit! He wanted to bring out some of the feelings that Quatre was suddenly suppressing, but he didn't want it to happen this way. All the blonde was doing was hurting himself, and solving nothing. Heero grabbed Quatre's fist as he made to swing again and the Arabian turned to him. For a moment he thought he was going to swing at him instead.
Quatre stopped, wide eyed, realizing suddenly what he was about to do. What are you doing? He asked himself. Why are you taking out your misery on someone who cares about you? Who actually understands and want to help.
They stood there, narrow cobalt eyes staring into wide sapphire ones. Heero released Quatre's hand and he lowered it slowly. The blonde blinked rapidly as his eyes started to sting. Tears? He hadn't cried since the day his father was killed. After that he'd shut it all up inside. He'd felt that he couldn't show any sorrow after that. He had to be strong for the sake of his sisters. Now, in the presence of his friend, he found that he couldn't hold it back any longer. He took a deep shuddering breath, sinking to the floor at Heero's feet as the tears started to run down his cheeks.
Heero sat down on the floor and pulled the Arabian into his arms, the boy's slender form wracked with sobs. Finally, something other than that terrific anger. Maybe now they could get him to talk and then start to find some answers.
"Why, Heero? Why?" Quatre choked. "Couldn't you just leave me alone. I can't change what I was born to be. No matter how much I want to." He buried his face in Heero's chest, his body shaking violently. "I can't change the person I was raised to become."
Heero gently stroked his fingers through Quatre's silky blonde hair. "Yeah, you can." He closed his eyes and smiled as he thought. "Yeah, you can." He repeated. He pushed the Arabian away and looked into his damp eyes. "Quatre, how can you say that? Look at me. Me and Duo. And then tell me that a person can't change." Wiping the tears from the blonde's pale cheek, he continued. "I didn't think there was anything that could change the person I'd been raised as. Now, look at me. Look at what Duo's done for me." He chuckled. "I've actually become human."
"It's different for you, Heero." Quatre whispered. "You didn't have so many people with such expectations." The tears flowing anew. "It's a hopeless situation. There's nothing that can be done about it."
Heero drew his friend back into his arms and held him while he cried. There had to be someway to convince him that things didn't has to be this way with him. After a while, the blonde's sobs quieted. Heero let him go and got up. He left and quickly returned with a washcloth and a towel to clean Quatre's hand, again.
"You have to stop this." He said quietly, cleaning the blood off the boy's knuckles. "You have to stop doing this to yourself. What, are you going to do this every time the pressure gets too much? This isn't like you, Quatre." Gesturing at the wall. "It isn't very healthy, for you or what ever solid object that gets in your way." He dried the scrapes and sat back down beside the Arabian, draping an arm over his shoulders. "When did you get so destructive? I thought that was my job."
Quatre started at his friend's words. He just doesn't understand, he thought to himself. I can't do anything different, my position won't allow it. I have to go forward with things the way they are. Don't I? He frowned, how can I think that? I've tried to find a way out. There isn't any.
He stood and looked down at Heero. "I think that this had gone far enough. Don't you think that if I could do things differently, I would?" He spoke, bitterly. He slammed his fist into his hand, wincing slightly. "Don't you think I tried? And at this point it wouldn't make any difference if I could do it differently." He bit out angrily.
"Why do you say that?" Heero asked, looking up at his friend. Because I did try, he thought in despair. I did everything but come out and tell him that I loved him. He knew. He didn't want me. He didn't want to be a part of my life. There was never any flicker of emotion from him. I made a fool out of myself over him, and he walked away. I can't go through that again. I couldn't live through that pain again.
"Because, it wouldn't." He cried. "There's no other path for me to follow but the one that had been laid out for me." Whirling, he stalked towards the door. Stopping in the door way, he clutched the frame, his shoulders slumped. "I'm leaving. I have to go back. After I go, I'd appreciate it if you and Duo would stay out of my life. I think at this point, this friendship is at an end." He said quietly, then straightening back up he walked out of the room. Heero sat with his back against the wall, a stunned look on his face. He'd figured that Quatre would get angry. He didn't think he would get this angry. He hoped Duo was having better luck with Trowa.
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