Second Chances Part 3

Trowa slowly picked his head up from the small table and stared at Duo. "Yeah, I know he's getting married." He slurred. "Did you actually come here to tell me that?"

Their order from the bar had arrived a while ago and they had spent the last two hours plying each other with drinks and talking about small things, like how Heero and Duo were getting along. What Wufei had been up to and some of the others. They were both good and drunk by the time Duo turned the conversation over to Quatre, asking Trowa if he was aware that Quatre was getting married.

Taking another drink and stretching out his legs, Duo grinned at his friend. "Well, what do you think of it?"

Trowa snorted.

"Yeah, me too." Duo chuckled. "Although," He said thoughtfully, tapping his cheek. "She is very pretty. Lots of money too. I don't see how he could do much better."

Trowa sat up and tossed back the rest of his drink. Grabbing the bottle and pouring another, he looked over the American. "I've met her." He commented.

"Really? I haven't! Just seen her." Duo exclaimed. "She must be nice, for Quatre to be getting married to her."

"She's a bitch!"

Duo started and peered at the tall man, who was now staring at the amber liquid in his glass. The American blinked a couple times trying to collect his thoughts. Trowa? Express an opinion about someone? And a negative one at that? Glancing down into his own glass, he thought with amusement. Maybe the alcohol was a good idea! He looked around the room and wondered how Heero was doing, trying to reason with the blonde. He almost sighed as he tried to focus on the problem at hand. Maybe the alcohol wasn't a good idea for him!

Duo leaned forward and took his friend's hand. "Then why are you letting him do it?" He asked, trying to appear serious.

"That's the path he chose for himself."

"Bull!" Duo exclaimed. "It's more like the path his sisters chose for him."

"He could've said no." Trowa replied dimly, finishing his drink. This time he set the glass back on the table, not bothering to pour another. He rested his chin in his hands, his green eyes a little blurry as he stared at the boy sitting across from him.

"I wonder." Duo thought out loud. "If he thought that all other choices had been taken away from him, he might have not had the will to go against them." He thought for a moment before continuing. "Do you want to see him go through with it?"

"Not to her." Trowa answered, tripping slightly over his words. "I'd rather see him marry Relena Peacecraft, than I would Brenna Hart."

Duo fell out of his chair, unable to control his peals of laughter. "T-Trowa! Tell me you're joking! Please!" He choked out, his laughter almost reaching hysteria. "Please!" He got to his knees and peered over the edge of the table at the taller man.

Trowa stared at his friend, his eyes not quite focusing. "Has you ever known me to tell a joke?" Maybe he's finally lost it, Trowa thought to himself.

"Uh, no. But..." Duo slid over to sit on the floor beside Trowa's chair. "But..."

"What?" Trowa grabbed the bottle off the table and slid out of his chair to sit on the floor beside Duo. Taking a long drink, he handed the bottle over to the braided pilot.

"But, what about you?" Duo asked, also taking a drink from the bottle.

"What about me?"

Duo smacked Trowa in the back of his head. "Idiot!! I can't believe you! You're just going to let him go off and get married and leave you behind? Why?"

Trowa glared at the American and considered tossing him out the window. If it weren't for Heero, he thought. I'd whip his ass! Right here and now. "Don't you think you're prying?" He finally spoke stonily.

"No. I want an answer!" Duo exclaimed, suddenly serious. "Why?"

Trowa sighed and stared at the wall on the other side of the room. "Because he doesn't need me." Sobering a bit at the thought, he continued. "I wouldn't be any good for him. What could I offer? I can't even lay claim to my own name." Why am I telling Duo this?

Duo blinked at him several times, before smacking him again. "Idiot! I can't believe you! What could you offer him? How about your heart? A chance for both of you to be happy? Aren't those something worth offering?"


Duo's eyes glittered as he leaned sideways and looked up at his friend. "And I can tell you that he does need you! More than he needs that damn company of his. Or anything else for that matter."

Startled green eyes looked down at him. Ah! Maybe I'm finally getting through to him! "I can also tell you that he'd probably give it all up, if meant he had the chance to be with you."

"What makes you think that?" Trowa asked quietly, now completely sober. He looked at the bottle in his hand and set it on the floor in disgust. Lot of good that did me!

"Because, I've been with him that last few days. He hasn't said anything outright but I've seen enough to know. I've seen what he's going through because of all this. He has about as much desire to marry her... as... as you would!"

"I can't imagine."

Duo waved a finger under Trowa's nose. "And let me tell you another thing. Heero's worried. Real worried. And that's unusual for Heero, you know that. He's actually afraid for him."

"Afraid?" Trowa's mind reeled. Heero? Heero was afraid?

"Yes." The American nodded. "He thinks that if Quatre goes through with this that we won't have him around much longer. He's so depressed now that he's caused injury to himself. If he gets married, it's just going to get worse."

"Especially if he marries her." Trowa snorted. He leaned his head against the wall and thought about what Duo had just said. "What do you want me to do about it?"

"Be sensible, Trowa. Think honestly. Exactly how do you feel about Quatre?"

Trowa laughed. That was an easy question. And he also knew that Duo already knew the answer, or he wouldn't be here right now. But, for some reason the American wanted to hear it from him. He sighed. "I love him." He said simply.

"Then go to him. Tell him." Duo insisted.

"I can't."

"Why? I don't understand! Trowa, he loves you. He's dying inside because he thinks that you don't care about him. Shit! You're both idiots! You'll each destroy yourselves because you don't think the other wants you? Or in your case that you aren't good enough for him! Trowa, don't you think that's his decision to make? Don't you think that you should at least give him that chance to make that decision?"

Trowa closed his eyes. "I told you, I can't. It's better this way."


"It wouldn't work." He replied dismally, his heart aching. "His family, the people around him would tear him apart. Not only for getting involved with another man... but for getting involved with one that has nothing. Is nothing. It's better for him this way."

Duo jumped to his feet and dragged the other boy with him. Clutching his shirt, he slammed him into the wall, his violet eyes blazing. "What are you really afraid of, Trowa? That you might actually discover that you're worth something? That you'll discover that you actually can be loved? Or maybe that it's you, they'll tear apart? You know something?" He eyes narrowed. "You're even more pitiful than Heero was when he came to me. At least he was willing to try!"

Duo let go of his shirt and the green-eyed pilot slumped against the wall. "I've said all I can!" He spat turning away. Walking to the door, he paused. "You have our number. Quatre's with us, for the moment. But he won't stay forever." He said softly, before flinging the door open and walking out.

Trowa flinched as the door slammed, shaking the little room. He slid down the wall to the floor, grabbing the bottle and draining it. Staring at the floor, Duo's words raced through his head, tearing at him, drawing blood with their sharp edges. He reached up and grabbed the other bottle from the table and opened it. Tilting his head back he took another long drink, not even tasting the burning liquid.

What am I afraid of? He asked himself. Iie. That's not it. I'm not afraid of anything. I know that I'm no good for him. Is that it? What can I offer him? What good could I possibly do? None!

He closed his eyes, letting a single tear trickle down his face. Bastard! That's all you are. There's nothing you can give.

Then suddenly another thought forced itself in. But what about your heart? Can't you offer him that? He laughed bitterly. Oh, what an offering. The heart of a homeless, nameless, ex-Gundam pilot. A lot that was worth! "Shut-up." He whispered. "Leave me alone!" No. There's never any relief for the likes of you, his inner voice sneered. Never any happiness. You'll let the person you love, whither and die because you're afraid. Afraid that he might actually make you give up on your self-pity. Afraid that you, yourself will find something worth living for. Afraid of the feelings he raises in you, because you have no control over them.

"Shut-up!" He yelled at the empty room. "Shut-up! I am not." He put his face in his hands and started to sob. "I am not!" Aren't you? He asked himself. Then why are you not doing something about it?

Because... he answered. He lifted his face towards the ceiling, unable to control his sobs, the tears running freely now. Because...."I'm scared." He whispered. "Quatre, help me. I'm so very afraid."


Quatre closed the file folder in front of him, and leaned back in his chair. He sighed, rubbing his temples. These headaches were getting worse. More frequent. He tossed the folder off to the side and leaned his elbows on the desk, staring out the window. He'd had too much to think about recently. Too many things going through his mind.

"Excuse me, Mr. Winner?" His secretary spoke up from the doorway.

"Yes." He looked over at her.

"Are you alright? I spoke several times."

"Yes, I'm fine. What is it?"

"I just came to collect the file on the new project." She answered.

"Oh! Yes. I'm done with it. Thank-you, Anne." He said, handing her the folder.

"Is there anything I can get you?" She asked frowning at the haggard look on his face.


She turned to leave the office, when Quatre spoke up. "Anne?"

"Yes, Mr. Winner." She responded turning back around.

"I think I'll take the rest of the day off, ne? I'm not feeling very well, after all."

"Yes. I'll cancel your appointments."

"Thank-you." He said quietly, gathering his things and leaving the office.

She watched him go, a worried expression on her face. She wasn't too sure what had gone on while he was on L2, but it must not have been too good. The evening of the ceremony, she'd gotten a strange call that said that Quatre was going to take a few days to himself. Not to worry, he'd be fine. Just to have his sisters handle any important business, the rest could wait. And not to tell Brenna anything. Then she got several frantic calls from Brenna, saying that Mr. Winner had disappeared and no one could find him. She never said a word about the call she'd received.

Then he'd returned, just as suddenly as he'd disappeared. He'd been even more quiet and withdrawn than before. And there were the strange bandages on his hand. He'd talked to Brenna on the phone but had refused to see her right now.

Anne shook her head, whatever it was, it was eating away at him.


Quatre had refused to even think about what had transpired those few days. Never mind talking about it. He'd told Brenna that he was all right but he couldn't see her right now. She'd demanded to know why. His response? He needed to take care of some things before he saw her again.

He needed time for his torn hands to finish healing. After that then he'd go back to his normal routine. He shook his head, as dismal as it appeared it was his life. He had to accept that. He also needed time for his heart to heal. He'd just severed two friendships. Very important ones. And it sickened him that he's had to do it. But, he couldn't pull them any further into his mess. They had their own lives to live.

Getting out of his car, he looked up at the estate, his blue eyes dull. And he hated this house almost as much as he did his life. It was too big, empty, lonely. And he had the feeling that adding Brenna to it wasn't going to change it any.

Matter of a fact, since their engagement, she'd been showing a bit more of her true nature. He'd probably spend most of his marriage avoiding her. He was now of the opinion the he'd marry her, he was obligated to, they'd spend enough time together to look good and produce the expected heir. But, that would be it. Beyond that he didn't care what she did. Her scathing remarks about his acquaintances during their last conversation had made up his mind.

He unlocked the front door and wandered in, tossing his jacket and briefcase in the chair by the library door. Maybe he'd just take a shower and lay down. He didn't feel much like bothering with eating tonight. He didn't eat most nights anymore.

He climbed the stairs to his room, undoing his tie. Walking into the bedroom, he draped the tie over the foot board of his bad and was about to head into the bathroom when his phone rang. He briefly considered letting it ring, then grabbed it. If it was Brenna, she'd just keep calling back.

"Hello." He said.

"Quatre!" Duo's bright voice came over the line. "I thought I'd give you a call and see how you were doing."

Quatre felt like he'd been doused with cold water. "I thought I told you too to leave me alone." He said angrily.

"I didn't think you honestly meant it." A hurt edge crept into Duo's voice.

"I meant it. Our friendship is over. I don't want to hear from you again." Quatre replied hanging up the phone.

He ran his fingers through his blonde hair and sighed. He didn't think he could keep this up much longer. Looking around his room, he decided to forget the shower and just lay down. Even though sleep wasn't much of an escape either, he was plagued by nightmares.

He walked into the bathroom and opened the medicine cabinet. Pulling out a bottle, he opened it and shook two pills into his hand. At least with these, I don't dream as much, he thought as he took them.

Going back to his room, he didn't even bother to completely undress. He shrugged out of his shirt, kicked his shoes off and laid down on the bed. The blonde stared unseeing at the wall until the sleeping pills took over awhile later and he drifted off to sleep.



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