Disclaimer: Legal claims to characters and setting; none. Desired claim to the same; significant. Conclusion; still don't own the rights, but as so many others spend the meantime toying with the characters somewhat unlawfully. ;-)

Pairing: 4x3x4
Contents/Warnings: Shounen Ai/Yaoi, angst, sap, lime/lemon.

Escaping Solitude
Part 5 - Engagements
by kebzero

The growing light from the many tiny artificial suns in the colony's inner hub wall high above forced its way through drawn curtains, and turned the darkness of the trailer into a dim shade. Two boys were still sound asleep in the bed at the end of the trailer, huddled close together, the sheets rumpled around them, tugged just high enough up by the restlessness of sleep to leave their feet unprotected - not that it mattered; the trailer was comfortably warm.

On a red lampshade above the sleeping boys' heads, two tiny creatures rested, their feet dangling over the edge of the lampshade. Each had an arm draped across the other's shoulders, each stared down at the result of their efforts.

"I think we did well."

The angel nodded. "I agree."

Grin. "Thanks for playing along with my perfect plan, buddy."

Mild frown. "I didn't 'play along' with your ideas. I just helped him after the guidelines given to me by my superiors."

"Oh, sure you did - I noticed you took a really good peek at Trowa's-"

The angel pinched the shoulder he was holding. "Don't say it."

Chuckle. "Oh, it's not like your brain can't handle some lusty thoughts once in a while."

Grunt, faint blush. "I'm not supposed to have any. Thoughts of respect, maybe love, but not... that."

The imp grinned even wider, leant in to whisper in the angel's ear. "But you did, didn't you?"

The angel's cheeks flushed further, and after some hesitation, he nodded.

The imp gave him a quick hug. "I knew it - there's hope for you yet, flyboy. Just a little while longer, and I'll make you as gutter-brained as yours truly."

Dismissive grunt, averting eyes. "It's a miracle those crazy plans of yours worked out. They usually cause only chaos."

Laughter. "Well, yeah - that's my specialty, right? Anyway, miracles are your department - and we're both here to make things balanced, aren't we?"


"Well, in that case, I say everything turned out just fine, and that we should share the glory - though, I'm perfectly ready to take it all for myself, if you stick to not having had anything to do with creating the display down there."

The angel turned his head to glare at the imp, intense blue mellowed away by defensive grin. He sighed. "At least you're showing signs of improvement. Promoting happiness and love isn't exactly your forte. Maybe I'll be the one to change you - straighten you out a little."

Laughter. "Oh, thanks for the credit, wings - but I think I'll remain as hell-bent as ever. Straight and narrow just isn't fun; the opposite can be so much more entertaining."

The angel smirked, stretched out his right wing to follow his arm, pulling the imp a little closer, shielding him with the wing. "You're a bad influence on me, you little imp."

Grin. "And you're a good influence on me, flyboy - I guess that's what we get for promoting balance, right?" Passing chuckle, serious face. "Oh, and don't ever call me little again, or I'll clip your wings, literally. I'm slow to anger, but my scythe is sharp."

Faint grunt.

The imp looked down at the two sleeping peacefully below, thoroughly intertwined. "You know, I think we'll be out of work now."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, I mean - look at them. You think Quatre would listen to what we say now? I think he'll use Trowa as his guide of conscience - or anything else, for that matter."

"Hn. Maybe so."

Mischievous grin. "Think we should go and stoke the fires down below a little bit? Those two are ripe for it, don't you think?"

Cool glare. "That is definitely not my department - and I wouldn't want you to do it, either. Let things work their natural way."

Shrug. "Whatever, just a thought - but we're part of that natural way, aren't we?"

The angel folded his wing just a little closer around the imp, produced a faint smirk and a sigh. "I guess..."

Feeling a bit uneasy with the divine embrace, the imp decided to stir things up again - as was his nature. He weaseled his tail free, and sent the triangular spike at the very end of it to deliver a soft stab to the angel's bum, causing a yelp of surprise. The embracing arm and wing vanished, and the cherub grabbed the offending tail, holding it up while giving the snickering imp another frosty glare.

"If I want you to poke my rear, I'll let you know."

The imp's jaw drooped momentarily at the answer, before he broke into a healthy belly-laugh.

Angelic frown. "What's so funny?"

The imp laughed even harder at that.

Thinking it over, the angel finally figured out why, and the blush returned.

Done laughing, the imp hugged the angel. "Well, wings - I kinda get the feeling you won't ever ask about that - though I'd be happy to comply..."

Coloring slowly fading, grunt.

"I still think it's funny you made a slip like that - it's really not like you."

Mild snort, arm and wing returning to embrace the imp. "Like I said, you're a bad influence on me."

The imp rested his chin on the other's shoulder. "You wouldn't want me any other way."

Smirk. "But you think I want you?"

Grin. "Oh, my - I see my influence on you is stronger than I thought..."

Yet another grunt, though subdued.

The imp looked down on the two boys below again, let his left toes play footsie with his conscience-counterpart. Quatre's eyelids were fluttering. "Looks like they're about to wake up. We should probably go."


The sheepish grin flashed once more. "I'd really want to stay up here where the view's good, though - I've got a good feeling about this. Can't you just feel the lust in this room?"

Soft snort. "I think the expression says 'love', not lust."

Snicker. "Not in my book, it doesn't."

"I haven't read your book."

Chuckle. "Well, it's basically the same as yours - with a few revisions at the end."

Grunt, smirk.

Below them, Quatre yawned, eyes still closed.

The imp sighed. "Guess it's back to work now - until Trowa replaces us, that is."

"Why are you so certain that he will?"

Genuine smile. "For someone who is supposed to be a promoter of eternal love, you sure are pessimistic about it sometimes."

Once more, the angel gave a grunt. "I don't like unpredictability."

Soft snicker. "Well, sometimes, the unpredictable can be good."

"Good in your eyes, or good in mine?"

The imp shrugged, and gave the angel a quick peck of a kiss on the cheek. "I was hoping both."

The angel just stared at him, jaw loose. "I - I..."

Quatre stirred again, drawing the attention of them both.

"We have to get back," the angel stated, before shooting the imp a serious look - though with mellowed blue eyes. "We'll discuss this later."

The imp grinned, grabbed a tighter hold around the angel's neck, snaked the tail around the cherub's waist for good measure. The angel returned the embrace, unfolded his wings, and sent them off the lampshade, down towards their standard places at Quatre's shoulders, their impact nudging Quatre that final stretch out of the boundaries of sleep, eyes suddenly opening, and lungs taking a brief gasp for air.

The first sensation Quatre had upon waking up, was how heavy his chest felt, coupled with something tickling his nose to make breathing even harder. It took him a few seconds to remember why there was a head of hair against his nose and cheek, why his chest and stomach were weighed down, and why his right arm felt completely numb, trapped underneath the still sleeping Trowa half-way draped across him. Quatre smiled, suppressed a yawn and did his best not to move. The position was uncomfortable, but at the same time very satisfying. With his free hand, he gently trailed the outline of Trowa's jaw, lifting the limp wayward bang out of the way. Maybe he'd finally get to discover how Trowa managed to shape his unique hairstyle this morning. He'd asked about it long ago, but Trowa had been as enigmatic about that as with everything else.

Bits and pieces of his dreams came back to him - blurred images, sentence fragments, feelings - all centered around a miniature devil and angel, the same two creatures he occasionally felt guided him - all a product of his overactive imagination, of course. He smiled. Maybe he should remember this dream, and the daydream thoughts of them as well. If nothing else, it'd make a strange story to tell Heero and Duo. Heero probably wouldn't care, and Duo might laugh if off, but it didn't matter. Thinking it over, it was much too clear who had stood role model for the characters visiting his dreams.

Trowa stirred, made a faint moan and rubbed his head against Quatre's neck and collar bone again. Startled, Quatre removed his hand the instant Trowa moved, and he waited for Trowa to settle again before softly caressing the sleeping boy's cheek, smile across the faces of them both, though Quatre's was a notch greater. Dimly, he regained some sensations from the fingers of the arm wrapped around Trowa, and it took but a slight movement of them to realize he'd slipped his hand in under Trowa's green T-shirt at some point during the night, fingertips grazing the sleeper's bare side. The soft, tickling touch was enough to cause a subdued giggle from Trowa, but didn't quite wake him up.

Quatre looked around the room, tried to assess the time. The shades were drawn before the windows, but some light shone through. It still looked like early morning light levels outside. His eyes searched for a clock to confirm that suspicion, but couldn't find any, given that he didn't want to move too much; didn't want to wake Trowa up.

He did anyway, though unintentionally. His increased breathing frequency and rate of heart beats was enough to stir the sleeper, though it took Trowa some time to awaken enough to realize his pillow was a lot warmer than usual. At first, the thin slits his eyes formed could barely make out something pink. He turned his head upwards after a short while, and slid up a little bit to share Quatre's pillow instead. Quatre brushed away the strands draped across Trowa's forehead, placing a soft tap of lips there. "Good morning," he whispered.

"Hmm... 'morning," Trowa muttered back, eyes still in the process of adjusting to dim daylight.

Quatre chuckled, touched Trowa's jaw line again, tilting his chin up a little before leaning in for a brief kiss.

Smile, minute yawn. "What time is it?"

"I don't know... Still early, I think."

Trowa sighed, pushed up from his comfortable position and leant over Quatre's torso in search of the alarm clock parked on a little collapsible shelf on that side of the trailer. Quatre used the opportunity to get his right arm free, and he rubbed it to get circulation back to normal. Trowa studied the dials, groaned, and put the clock back with quite a bit of force. "It's barely past six..."

Trowa leant back and pulled the white sheet back up over them, Quatre placed his right arm along his side to avoid getting it trapped underneath Trowa again. However, as Trowa sprawled half-way across him just like the night before, snuggling up against his chest, it was rendered immobile yet again - though without the same pressure across. Teasing fingers snuck in under the pink T-shirt, tickling Quatre's belly with their gentle motions. The wayward brown strands again brushed against Quatre's chin, lips and nose, and he felt Trowa's leg rub against his groin, alerting him of a growing situation he had neglected to notice earlier.

Trowa's dancing fingers grew more daring, trekked north to toy with a nipple, while he planted light kisses along the base of Quatre's neck. The blond arched his neck in invitation, though he felt a bit embarrassed by the situation growing down south, constantly further provoked by Trowa's leg. "T - Trowa," he mumbled, "I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but-" he gasped as the fingers pinched his nipple, combined with another kneading of his groin. "Please stop that..."

Trowa immediately froze, tilted his head to give Quatre a puzzled and vaguely concerned look. "Why? Didn't you like it?"

Quatre smiled, kissed Trowa's forehead again. "No... No, I enjoyed it very much..."

"Then why-"

Smile growing shaky, cheeks pink. "Because if you keep going, I think I'll soil my underwear."

Trowa chuckled. "Oh..." With a suggestive wiggle of eyebrows and a twinkle in his eyes, he asked "Then lose them?"

Quatre's blush deepened, and he grew uncertain at the proposition, despite how now highly alert unlikely couple of angel and imp screamed in his ears to go for it. "You said no funny business."

Smirk. "Yeah, but that was for tonight. It's morning now..."

Vaguely trembling voice. "Trowa, if you're suggesting what I think you are-"

Raised brows, amused grin. "What if I am?" To further his point, Trowa pressed the bulge that had formed in his boxers against Quatre's trapped hand.

Faint, surprised gasp. "I - Trowa, we've only - I mean - Just yesterday-" He shook his head. "What's gotten into you?"

Trowa chuckled at Quatre's word fumbles, pacified him with a short, soft kiss. "I was hoping..." Another kiss. "You."

Quatre didn't reply at first, his wide open eyes and gaping mouth said pretty much all he was thinking - which was next to nothing.

Warm smile. "There are things I've wanted to do to you, with you, for a long time, Quatre. Those thoughts didn't start yesterday - I just didn't think they could be more than that - fantasies. But now..." Brief pause. "Well, now that I - we - might do something about those..."

Slow, understanding nod.

Trowa pulled a little away. "I don't want to push you into anything, though... If you don't feel the same way just yet, we could-"

"No!" Quatre interrupted, before letting the blush cover him again. "I - I mean, I want to, but... I don't want to make you do anything you don't want to either. I don't want you to think I'm taking advantage of you, or..." His voice faded as he saw one of Trowa's brows move, just barely. Maybe it was best not to dwell on the past. Instead, he summoned up the courage to ask another question. "Uhm... What is it you wanted to do, exactly?"

Trowa's turn to gain some color, though with a slight grin. "Well, I... I haven't thought that much about it."

Nervous chuckle. "Liar."

Faint smile. "Yeah..."

"Trowa, I've never-"

"That's okay - me neither," Trowa interrupted. "...so we don't have to impress each other, right?"

Quatre nodded in agreement, and gave Trowa a chaste kiss, free hand idly trailing up and down Trowa's left biceps. He felt Trowa's leg shift in response, and shuddered as it rubbed against his groin again. "Wait... What about con-"

Trowa silenced him with a return kiss, and grinned. "Have any secret illness? Or have you been cheating on me already?"

Quatre giggled, shook his head.

"Me neither. Mutual trust, Quatre. Good enough?"

Momentarily hesitating, Quatre nodded, smile growing.

For a moment, they just lay there, Quatre on his back, Trowa at his side, both smirking at one another. Quatre's free fingers trailed down Trowa's arm and snuck in under the bright green T-shirt, tenderly caressing Trowa's stomach. In return, he felt Trowa's hand slowly move from deep inside the pink cotton down to his hip, fingertips just barely tugging at the elastic of his underwear.

A quick exchange of naughty glints was the trigger. Trowa's hand dipped down to grope Quatre's butt as the blond sent his fingers racing up under the green cloth. There was a quick kiss, before the white sheet was tossed aside, and they both lifted from the pillow, Quatre pulling the green T-shirt over Trowa's head as he felt his underwear go down his thighs and off, the same hands soon tugging on the white-gone-pink he was left with, making him take a short pause in applying feather-kisses on Trowa's bare shoulders, only to let the pink T-shirt pass his head. Quatre gently pushed Trowa down on his back and straddled his hips, before leaning down to capture his lips again in a hungry kiss.

Both were panting by the time the first flurry ended, Quatre grinning down at Trowa barely a handbreadth below, getting a sated smile in return. With a sudden smirk, Trowa shot a glance down. Quatre followed the gaze and felt his cheeks warm again, reminded Trowa had a slight advantage on him in terms of coverage - but not for long, he decided. Quatre kissed lips, chin and a nipple in quick succession, lingering on the latter while scooting down a bit, landing more soft lip-landings as he went further down Trowa's chest. By Trowa's belly button, he stopped to dip his tongue inside, swiveled it teasingly - though Trowa's low moans indicated emerald eyes wanted attention elsewhere. Quatre looked up with a grin, placed his fingers along Trowa's hips, just inside the elastics of the blue boxers, waited for permission. A nod in response later, Quatre's fingers went inside, and slowly pulled the boxers off.

Though he'd gotten a glance of Trowa in the buff the night before, it wasn't quite the same. For one thing, this time it wasn't accidental, or even remotely unwanted. Quatre studied the form before him, starting with eyes - which he quickly went past, lest he drown there, moving on to nose, smiling lips, pert nipples, hips bucking up towards him, long slender legs trying to reach around his torso - no, definitely not the same. Tentatively, he reached for Trowa's erection, at first just to touch, though soon enough his fingers wrapped around it. Through clenched teeth, Trowa hissed. Quatre grinned, and repeated the motion a few times, before curiosity and desire got the better of him again. The blond bent down, placed his hand around the base, and let his tongue make a quick sweep up Trowa's shaft. The gasping sound Trowa made at that only made him grin; urged him on. Quatre licked the tip, softly circled it, before he tried taking more of Trowa into his mouth, bobbing his head. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Trowa's fingers crumple the sheets. He smiled around Trowa, felt him twitch inside his mouth.

Growing ever-more adventurous, Quatre tried to relax his throat muscles, and took in as much as he could. However, his body disagreed with the move, and the muscles shifted at the unfamiliar intrusion. Trowa had been taken by complete surprise by Quatre's sudden move, and the sensations made him gasp, unintentionally buck his hips, pushing further inside the blond's mouth. Quatre winced as his nose and lips met Trowa's groin, and quickly moved back, coughing, trying to breathe normally again and hold back the sour gastric fluids he felt starting to rise far down in his throat.

Trowa's arms were wrapped around him immediately. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," he whispered. "I didn't mean to- you surprised me. Did I hurt you? Please don't-"

Quatre coughed again, wiped his mouth and smiled, before hugging back. "No, that's okay. I just got a bit eager, that's all..." He kissed Trowa, openly inviting Trowa's tongue to enter for a taste, before bringing the mock duel to Trowa's mouth, ending the sparring match by letting back, sweeping the tip of his tongue along Trowa's upper lip. Quatre looked inside the green eyes, and managed to lose himself there. The words passed his ears, but his mind didn't register them at first, his eyes barely caught Trowa's lips moving, whispering something. He blinked. "Sorry, what did you say?"

Cheeks flushed, Trowa momentarily avoided his eyes. "I - I want..." he mumbled, having lost his nerve from the first attempt. Quatre reached for his chin, called him back for the faintest of short-lived kisses.

"Whatever it is, just say it," Quatre whispered back, smiling. "I don't think there's anything I wouldn't do for you - remember?"

Vague nod, blush remaining. Trowa reached down the side of one of the mattresses, and returned with a small tube he immediately offered Quatre.

Quatre accepted, studied the little container in his hand, realized what it was. "A - Are you sure?"

Another slight nod. Trowa leant back on the bed, pushed aside the pillows, spread his legs. Quatre hesitated. He'd fantasized about this often enough, though in most of those, their positions were reversed. Then again, in his dreams - be they of the night or day kind - the end result had nearly always been the same sticky, solitary one. He grew a wide wicked grin bordering on sinister and predatory, and it was only when he noticed Trowa's slightly troubled return expression that it faded.

Quatre searched out the towel on the floor Trowa had used to dry his hair the night before, and placed it beside him, fairly certain things would get messy. He knelt within Trowa's spread legs, opened the tube and smeared some of the slick content on his fingers, before tossing the tube aside. Trowa grabbed one of the pillows, arched up to place it under his lower back, and relaxed back down. One of the slick fingers lingered at Trowa's pucker. Quatre looked up, again waiting for permission, not wanting to rush. Getting a nod, he slowly pushed the digit inside, making a few gentle prods.

Much too curious, he didn't check the questions through his higher brain functions first. "How does it feel? Does it hurt?"

"Huh? No, it doesn't hurt, it just feels... odd."



Quatre let a second finger join the first, scissored the two apart. Trowa hissed. Quatre froze.

"No, it's okay - Quatre, we both know this will probably be a bit painful, at least at first - so, would you please keep going unless I tell you to stop?" Quatre's worried look made Trowa sigh, before smiling. "Look, I can't possibly keep a straight face through all of this, okay? Just don't stop unless I say so. Deal?"

Thinking it over, Quatre nodded, and immediately flexed the two buried digits again. As the fingertips grazed a specific spot, Trowa arched his back up in surprise, tensing around the digits. He relaxed again, heard Quatre chuckle, felt the fingers begin to move again. Through gritted teeth, he mumbled "Another..."

Nodding, Quatre pulled the fingers out to the outermost knuckle, added a third and pushed back inside. Trowa gasped, breathing growing erratic as the trio prodded his inner tissues, more so whenever they came close to his prostate. He struggled to relax, accept the foreign sensations.

"E-Enough," Trowa panted, rubbing his shins against Quatre's sides. Quatre removed the fingers, coated his erection with lube and wiped his hands on the towel. He cautioned Trowa's legs aside and back, positioned himself, tip touching the stretched entrance. Again, he looked into Trowa's eyes for permission. Again, he got a it. Tentatively, Quatre pushed inside, overly scared of going too fast, of causing pain. His restraint began to shatter as he went deeper, Trowa's mild flexings and attempts at adjusting stimulating him further. Once he was fully inside, he stopped, waited, tried to control his own panting and racing heart beat as much as let Trowa get a chance to do the same, to get more used to the sensation. Quatre reached out for one of Trowa's hands, kissed its knuckles and placed it over his drumming heart.

It made Trowa smile, relax just a little bit more. He moved his hand down Quatre's chest, eventually barely grazing Quatre's belly with his fingertips. "Please..." he whispered.

"Are you sure?"

Strained chuckle. "What did I tell you, Quatre?"

Unconvinced, Quatre hesitated, but complied nevertheless. He retreated until only the tip remained within, and slammed back inside. He saw Trowa clench his teeth, heard him hiss, but repeated the motion; once, twice, slowly building up a rhythm in his thrusts.

There was some discomfort, that much Trowa felt. However, the new experience also triggered other sensations, good ones, and as his body adjusted, the pain became less and less noticeable among the electric tingles sent up his spine. When Quatre grazed his prostate again, he arched his back with the spine shivers, all thoughts of pain and past forgotten.

Quatre's self-control was rapidly losing ground to his libido, and he was losing himself in rapture. A far corner of his conscious wondered if he'd even be willing to stop if Trowa told him to, much less be able to. Though the words of the inner voice were never heard, they reminded Quatre of something he'd neglected. He balanced on one hand, wrapped the other around Trowa's erection, and tried to stroke it in sync with his thrusts, not quite succeeding, but judging from the Trowa's moans and the way his hands dug into the sheets, nearly ripping them as his arms lifted, the coordination was good enough.

Trowa was lost, lost in the waves of pleasure that emanated from the dual assault. The heat in his abdomen grew, and he knew he was getting close. He wanted to warn Quatre, tell him that, but he was barely able to stop panting long enough to stutter his lover's name - but by then, it was too late, and his vision blurred into a hot white.

Quatre barely registered the near-whisper of his name, with the member pulsing and emptying in his hand and Trowa's inner walls contorting around him. A few thrusts later, Quatre tried to return the favor of names, failing as splendidly as Trowa had as his own orgasm hit. He was thoroughly drained by the time his hips stopped bucking, and he slipped out, butt falling back on heels. Absentmindedly, Quatre reached for the tossed-aside towel, used it to wipe away most of the mess on Trowa's torso, made a quick swipe over both their groins for good measure, and tossed it aside before near collapsing by Trowa's side, immediately snuggling up against him, too exhausted and sated to speak, a silly grin the best he could muster. Trowa wasn't in much better shape, same odd smile on his lips as he pulled Quatre closer to plant a sloppy kiss on his forehead.

Quatre rolled over on his back, giving them both some space to breathe. Lavishing in afterglow, anything more than breathing felt too strenuous. He tilted his head to look at Trowa, studied Trowa's glazed eyes staring at the ceiling, his parted, softly smiling lips, heaving chest... His eyes might have trekked further down, if he hadn't felt Trowa reach for his hand, interlacing their fingers. Quatre looked up, his eyes met by Trowa's twin emeralds beaming back at him.

Trowa momentarily tilted closer, just to pull aside the pillow he'd used to elevate the small of his back. As he rolled back, he made the slightest of winces. Quatre noticed, but chose not to comment beyond his ever-present warm smile before looking up at the ceiling. His mind started to drift, and as coincidences would have it, he remembered the voices that had guided him this far; the ones he'd embodied into avatars of his friends. He closed his eyes, tried to conjure up an image of them, visualize them - but they were nowhere to be found on his shoulders, or anywhere else where his mind's eye looked. Instead, he saw two discarded robes; one black, one white. Beside the clothing, there lay a black baseball cap, a scythe with a golden halo wrapped around the sharp, curved blade, and from somewhere in the distance, somewhere behind his neck, where he could not possibly see, Quatre thought he heard muffled grunts of some sort, faint whimpers, but clearly not of pain. In reality, he shook his head, tried not to think further down that trail. Yes, it would definitely be an interesting story to tell - but this last flash might be best to neglect, should he tell it to anyone else, especially Heero or Duo. He did not want them to think him a total pervert, after all.

He grinned into a sigh. Still, maybe his subconscious was trying to tell him something, inform him that his uncanny sense of empathy had picked up on vibes that had never reached his consciousness? Momentarily, Quatre closed his eyes, a singular chuckle escaping. Maybe he should investigate that closer sometime... He tilted his head again just to meet Trowa's mellow eyes and soft smile again. He smirked a little - maybe he would have an accomplice in this endeavor, too.

Quatre rolled over on his side, one set of fingers still interwoven with Trowa's. With a deliberately slow motion, he let his left hand digits barely touch Trowa's side, sliding across slick skin down to the hip, then back up, across a firm stomach, ending up drawing lazy circles around a nipple. "You know, despite my little clean-up earlier, we'll still have to change sheets..."


Grin. "Remember what happened to your laundry?"

Trowa closed his eyes for a moment, groaned. "So, I have to sleep in all-pink sheets and pillowcases until I get around to buying a new set?"

Snicker. "Well, it was my fault... I can trade you for my spare set."

Chuckle. "Thanks." Trowa loosened his hold on Quatre's fingers, and placed both hands behind his head, looking up at the ceiling. "I was kind of hoping you wouldn't need your spare set anymore..."

Quatre smiled, immediately crept closer, draped his left arm across Trowa's chest, and rested his head in the nook shaped by Trowa's shoulder and bent arm. Quatre trailed his fingers across Trowa's forehead, brushing the unusually limp bang aside. He chuckled, let fingertips pass down Trowa's temple and cheek. "You know, you have to tell me what you do to make your hair point out sometime. It's driving me nuts, trying to figure it out."

Grin. "Couldn't do that. It's a family secret."

"Oh? So, if I asked Catherine, she'd know?"

Serene smile. "Not unless she's been spying on me." Trowa tilted his head to lock on Quatre's eyes. "Maybe I will tell you sometime, Quatre - but not today."

Faint snort. "Maybe I'll find a way to make you tell me." With that, he assaulted Trowa's bare stomach with his fingers, tickling at will. Trowa laughed, made a mock struggle trying to stop it, before latching on to Quatre's neck instead, pulling the blond close for another kiss.

"Like I said, maybe someday."

Quatre accepted that. There was a point to keeping some mysteries for later, some secrets and new things to discover as they went along. He locked with the emerald eyes again, only the need to blink interrupting. "You know..." he whispered, "Whenever I think of you, I think of a certain animal too..."

Trowa rolled his eyes. "Let me guess - a unicorn, because of my hair?"

Chuckle. "Well, you're right about the animal, and that is one reason - but that's not the only reason why I think of you as a unicorn..."

"Oh? Then why?"

Warm smile. "Because you behave like one... Unicorns are elusive beings..." He kissed Trowa's forehead. "They can turn themselves invisible, if they want to..." Lips touched brow. "They're able to mesmerize and blind their hapless victims..." Grazed closed eyelid. "They're absolutely beautiful..." Tip of nose. "And they exist almost exclusively in dreams and fairy tales..." Quatre pressed his lips against Trowa's, initial softness giving way to passion. He was a bit surprised when Trowa gently pushed him back, even more so to see a rather monotonous face looking back at him, immediately worrying. "Did I do something wrong?"

Trowa blinked. "No... No, just don't - please don't call me that, at least not in public."

"A unicorn?"

"No. Beautiful."

Quatre shrugged. "Nothing wrong with saying the truth, Trowa."

Faint blush, wary curl of lips. "Look... I might have let you... take charge this time, but I'm still a guy. Next thing, you'll be calling me 'cute' too."

Snicker. "Well, if the shoe fits..."

Mild glare.

Brief chuckle. "Male pride clouding your ability to accept compliments?"

Sigh, faint smile. "You might not have a problem being called that in public, but it makes me uneasy."

Return sunbeam. "You're right, I wouldn't have a problem - as long as you were the one saying it, of course.... Think you could handle being called 'handsome' in public?"

"I think I could live with that..."

Playful grin. "What about 'gorgeous', or 'hot-stuff', or... 'soul mate'?"

Smile, soft blush. "Lets... take one word at a time, Quatre."


Three rapid knocks at the door. Two surprised boys in mild panic. One firm voice from an older sister. "Trowa? Trowa, open up, would ya?"

The two exchanged troubled looks, both suddenly looking out through the room, at the clothes scattered about, the crumpled bed sheets and disorganized pillows, the sticky towel discarded somewhere on the floor - not to mention, the fact they were both naked. They would need time to cover up; both themselves and their actions.

"Don't say anything, don't even move," Trowa whispered. "If she thinks I'm not here, maybe she'll go away..."

Quatre nodded. He wasn't too keen on being seen like this.

The door handle rattled. "Trowa? Trowa, I know you're in there, unlock the door right now."

Quatre was about to speak, Trowa immediately placed a finger across his lips, hushing him. He glared at the door.

"Look, don't make me ask Quatre to open - I know he's in there too."

Another exchange of worried glances. "How does she know that?" Quatre whispered.

"If you don't open, I'll go over to wake the manager and get the master key. I swear, I'll do it, and I'm sure he'd be delighted to be awakened this early, just to see you two."

Trowa growled, got up, and grabbed the pillow he'd used to support his back earlier, used it to cover his foremost assets, giving Quatre a good look of his rear as he walked over to the door. Quatre enjoyed the view so much he barely remembered to grab one of the sheets to cover himself up at least a little, draping the thin white fabric across his hips. Trowa unlocked and opened the door, sidestepped to let his sister hurry inside, closed and locked it up again, and sat down on the little stool by the door, still clutching the pillow to cover himself at least a little. He glared daggers at Catherine, who smirked back.

She turned to Quatre. "Hi, Quatre. Nice abs."

Quatre felt his cheeks grow just a tad warmer, embarrassed. "Hi, Catherine... Uh, thanks."

She looked back and forth between the two of them. "Well, I see you two have been busy..."

Trowa could barely temper the annoyance in his voice. "What do you want, Cathy?"

Grin. "Oh, did I interrupt something? Please, don't let me stop you from getting back to... whatever it was you were doing."

Growl. "Cathy..."

Ever the diplomat, Quatre intervened. "Catherine, how did you know I was here?"

She rolled her eyes, walked over to the bed and sat down on the edge. "Didn't take a genius to figure out. That's why I'm here anyway. Joseph woke me up."


Nod. "He was really grumpy, too. Your alarm clock went off as usual, but it wasn't turned off."

Quatre paled a bit.

"Anyway, he eventually got fed up with it, thinking you were just getting back at him for his singing, I guess. I shared a trailer with him once, I know his habits. He went through the bathroom doors, which were unlocked, and couldn't find you anywhere. I always hated those doors... Well, he told me he didn't think you'd been there at all tonight, since the bed wasn't made, and there weren't any dishes from supper or breakfast. Joseph came over to my place, and asked if you had left, or something. He was worried you'd gone missing. I told him I'd look into it."

Sheepish grin. "Well, you found me..."

"And it looks like you found what you were searching for too, huh?" Quatre's grin grew. She leaned in to whisper in his ear. "So, how was he?"

Grumpy voice from the other end of the trailer. "I can still hear you, you know..."

Catherine sat up straight again, folded her arms and crossed her legs. "Afraid he'd give you bad marks, Trowa?"

The deep frown got a touch of crimson cover.

"Well, at least tell me how good a pillow Quatre made."

"H-How did you know-"

She snickered, placed her arms back for support and adopted the greatest smirk Quatre had ever seen. That couldn't be good. "Well... See, when I came here searching for you, Quatre, I saw the trailer was shaking just a little. The supports of these wagons can only do so much, and when you lean up against a trailer wall, you can hear a lot through them - they're not at all that thick."

Quatre's jaw drooped. "Y-You mean you-"

Laughter. "Yeah, I... overheard the two of you." Quatre's blush deepened. Trowa shot his sister an even nastier glare. Catherine just grinned madly. "Hey, at least I was kind enough to wait until you were done before knocking, okay?"

Quatre wasn't quite sure just how red his face had gotten, but his cheeks definitely felt on fire. He almost wanted to hide underneath the blanket, when another thought hit him. "Did anyone else see-"

Smile. "No, I don't think so. We don't have that many true early birds, so I think I was the only one to see you two make the earth move. Well, this trailer, anyway."

"What about Joseph?"

"What about him? I think he went back to his trailer when I told him I'd find you."

"Oh... Wait, how did you know I was here? You didn't answer-"

Grin. "Last night, I came over to check if Trowa had noticed I had returned his laundry - including the bits of his you discolored. I saw you outside, tapping the door, so I decided to wait. Snuck up to the trailer and listened for a while."

Again, Quatre's mouth was agape, not all that happy Catherine had overheard that conversation too, on top of- No, he really didn't want to think about that.

She gave him a quick hug, ignoring the warning growl from the direction of the door. "Hey, I told you everything would work out, didn't I? You worry too much, Quatre."

He rubbed his right biceps with his left hand. "Wait, what about Sylphie? If Joseph's awake, then she must be too, and she's able to detect nearly everything that goes on around here. Can you imagine what she'd put out of rumors if she-" Quatre just imagined. He shook his head. "We're so totally screwed."

Wicked grin. "Well, brother dearest certainly is..."


Snicker. "Oh, touchy now..." She turned back to Quatre. "Anyway, Sylphie is probably still fast asleep. Her duels with Joseph always tires her out - I think she won last night, though."

Surprise, arms in covered lap. "Duels?"

"Yeah, didn't you know? Joseph and Sylphie has a really odd affinity for that Twister game - you know, the one where you have to place your hands and feet on a blanket with color blotches? 'Right foot blue', and all that?"

"Yeah, I know the game." Quatre shook his head, chuckled. "So, that was what they were doing last night..."

Catherine shrugged. "I guess - Joseph showed me what they were fighting over yesterday - he'd bought a bottle of wine, since he lost last time. Loser always buys the prize for their next match."

Smile. "I wish I'd known, instead of thinking they were... well..." He scratched the back of his neck, bothered by his preconceptions.

Light chuckle. "The two of them have grown rather close lately, so I can understand you jumping to that conclusion, Quatre." Teasing wink. "Think the others will do the same about you two?"

Truth be told, Quatre would rather not think about that - even if the conclusions would be somewhat correct. "You said nobody else were outside. If you don't tell, nobody would know." He saw Catherine's triumphant smirk. So, that was what she wanted to present; a bargaining chip. Quatre growled. "What do you want to keep shut about this, at least until we're ready?"

"Oh, I'm hurt, Quatre. You think I'd exploit this joyous situation like that?"

In perfect unison, Quatre and Trowa firmly stated "Yes!"

She laughed. "Yeah, you're right, of course... My demand is simply this; that you don't go all lovey-dovey and forget your duties. You're still employees of this circus."

"Working hours doesn't start for-"

"Yeah, Trowa. You still have some time left. I'll go tell the manager the two of you will probably be a bit late today." She momentarily leant over to Quatre, took a deep, demonstrative sniff of air right by his neck. "I guess the two of you want to freshen up a bit first, take a shower or something." She grinned. "By the way, Quatre - mini-Sandrock is showing..."

Panicked, Quatre looked down to see the sheet had slid down just a bit too much. He hastily pulled it back up and placed his arms protectively across, cheeks warming up again. Catherine's snickers didn't help one bit.

"Oh, and by freshening up, I don't mean you two continuing your little session under running water, okay?"

A deep sigh came from over by the door. "Cathy, thanks... but could you please leave now?"

Chuckle. "Impatient, brother dear?" She stood up, walked towards the door. "Don't worry, I'll leave and let you get back to your fun. I expect to see you both at work by lunch, though." Catherine unlocked the door, put her hand on the handle and shot a glance at Quatre over her shoulder. "Oh, and don't abuse his butt too much, Quatre - he still has to lean back against the dagger board tonight, and I couldn't very well have him squirming because-" She ducked to avoid the pillow Trowa threw at her, opened the door to protect herself from the next swing, laughing. Through it all, she snuck a peek. "My, looks like mini-Sandrock is a wrong nickname after all, compared to-"

"Get out!"

With a snicker, Catherine closed the door behind her. Trowa growled again, locked the door, tossed the pillow aside, and walked back to the bed. Quatre flicked the sheet aside, let Trowa get in and covered them both up as he snuggled up against his lover. "Don't you worry," he said with a teasing, faintly patronizing voice. "You're more than big enough for me. You're quite a mouthful."

Trowa shook his head, gave Quatre a gentle slap on the cheek, but smiled back at the chuckling blond nevertheless. "Please don't become a copy of my sister. She's not a good role model."

"Oh, I think she's good enough - but I think you'll be more likely to change who I am, Trowa."

That earned him a soft kiss. "Thanks, Quatre. I just might take advantage of that offer - not that I can think of anything I want to change, though."

Giggle. "Well, just wait until you know me better. I'm sure we'll find enough habits in each other to get annoyed about."


Silence, eyes locked, gentle smiles.



"Now that we're together - we are, right?"

Trowa hugged him close. "Together? You bet. I won't let you go now, Quatre."

Sigh. "Well, that's just it, Trowa."

Embrace released. "Huh?"

Quatre momentarily avoided Trowa's worried eyes. "I can't stay here forever, Trowa. I have to get back to the company eventually. I'm not sure how long I can shove my responsibilities to the corporation over on my sisters, and-"

"Oh... I understand, Quatre."

"Couldn't you come with me?"

Warm smile. "I'm as tied with this circus as you are with your company, Quatre - and I don't really want to become dependent on you." He paused, thought the words over for a bit, before kissing Quatre's cheek. "Not financially, at least."

"I'd really miss you, Trowa - I can stay here for a while, but eventually..."

Sigh in smile. "I know... Well, I have a bunch of vacation days I haven't taken advantage of, and there's a seasonal break coming up soon..."

Sunbeam. "You'd come back with me?"

Nod. "At least for a while. I'm not ready to abandon my ties with the circus just yet, Quatre - I love you, but some things are hard to deal with, hard to give up."

Quatre pulled him closer for a firm, passionate kiss, hugging him tight afterwards. "I love you too, Trowa. Thank you."

Slight pause, smile. "We'll work something out, don't worry."

Quatre quietly agreed - though from some distant corner of his mind, two faint voices promoted an interesting thought - which was quickly made into a question. "Trowa? Are you going to take Catherine up on her offer - about the name, I mean?"

"Hm? Oh, that... I don't know. Maybe."

"Trowa Bloom... Yes, you're definitely a rose in full bloom."

Trowa rolled his eyes. "Great, compare me to a fragile flower with all the thorns out, why don't you?"

Chuckle. "I am." Quatre brushed his fingertips along Trowa's temple, before continuing along the rim of his ear. "Well, if you don't like that name, and if you want... I'd gladly share mine with you..."

Mild surprise, smile. "Really?"

Nod, reflecting sunbeam. "Of course." Fingers along cheek. "I think I'd share everything I have with you, Trowa."

A snort of a laugh. "I don't know about that... I'm sure you have some secrets you'd want to keep from me for a while longer."


Trowa smiled. "I feel like a Winner already..."

Chuckle, kiss. "Me too, love. Me too."


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