I'm almost certain Trowa is avoiding me now. I know he made arrangements with Rashid yesterday, but we could all have taken that tour together today. I keep thinking back and try to remember if I've said or done anything that could offend him - not just these past few weeks, but back during the wars.
I never felt I had a problem with Trowa - but I suppose I was a problem for him. If I hadn't had my slip into madness, he would not have had to shake me out of it by almost losing his life - and in a sense, he did lose his life, forgetting it for months. I can't express the relief I felt when we had him back.
I've often wondered just where 'he' was during that time, and if he remembered any of that. Articles I've skimmed suggest no, but you never know.
Though not exactly an enigma, Trowa certainly remains somewhat of a mystery to me.
Duo is more straightforward to read. There is certainly something he's dying to tell me - or not tell me, since he hesitates at every turn. I admit I've grown very curious now, and I'm tempted to just ask him outright. I can only think of one time I've seen him like this - early in the war, in this very compound. He was given free access to our support bays and tools, and took advantage of that. However, as it turned out he needed to replace one of the fusion valves. One of the water-tight seals had been damaged, and salt water had caused even more havoc, and the part needed to be replaced.
Fusion valves aren't exactly cheap, and you can't really botch one together, salvage style. That could have some seriously negative effects with the stability of the reactor, like going 'boom' at ill-timed moments, like when you're inside the cockpit.
Duo stalled like mad trying to ask for one, and he did try to repair what he had. It wasn't until one of the Maganacs caught on to what he was doing that I saw to it that a brand new fusion valve got properly scratched and dirtied down to look old, and deposited in the low-grade spare parts vault by 'mistake'.
We found it fitted in Duo's gundam the next morning, and he was back to his normal, carefree self.
Unfortunately, I have no clue what he needs this time. Perhaps he'll open up to one of the others, and I can get some idea second-hand.
If it takes too long, I'll just go zero on him. Ignorance might be bliss, but knowing there's a mystery there with a solution you're not privy to, is beyond frustrating.
Heero asked me about one of the yellow press articles I've had my face plastered across - the 'most eligible bachelors' one. I had to laugh at that, because he clearly thought I had become some sort of high society Casanova. Luckily, that happened over dinner. Duo was quick to tell him I was on that list because of my money. Wufei said it was for my connections. Trowa added that my looks didn't hurt the magazine sales figures, either.
Immodest to say it, but I suppose they are right.
Wufei asked if that sort of printed rubbish bothered me. Maybe it should, but it doesn't, not anymore. After the field day they had when they first found out that I'd been one of the gundam pilots - which wasn't until after the trials were over, thankfully - this sort of gossip is nothing. It's much better to be fronted as a rich, good-looking bachelor than a war criminal that had simply bought his freedom.
The problem with slander is that even if you get it refuted in court, the damage has already happened. It took a good couple of months with PR campaigns to rebuild the good reputation of the Winner name.
The settlement has prevented reoccurencies. Sometimes, it is good to have bloodthirsty lawyers in your keep. Once their wallet has been bitten into, most editors will reconsider whether the extra sales revenue would cover the lawyer fees and reparations.
I once discreetly let the management of the larger glossy magazines know that my lawyers would defend my friends also. I haven't seen speculative stories about Heero and Relena since then.
Wufei might sound like a broken record, but at least he feels strongly about the issue. I already find myself making pledges to increase donations to the Preventers, and he's cajoled me into help funding a laboratory, should Heero join the agency's research department after graduation.
I couldn't help but notice the look Duo gave both of us, once that became 'public knowledge'.
Perhaps he'll crack tomorrow. Or maybe I will.