* * * * * * * * * *
Trowa walked on the side of the road. He could have taken any mode of transportation from the station, but he preferred to walk. It gave him time to calm himself, to steel himself for seeing all of them again. To see Quatre again... against his will, his heart and his manhood swelled at the thought of the small blond. He had no right, he told himself bitterly, to think of Quatre at all, let alone like this. He had given up that right a year ago, when he had desecrated his angel.
Unwillingly, his mind strayed back to that night. The night he had ruined the only good thing in his life by his weakness.
It had been so perfect. They were finally alone, and the alcohol in his system had strengthened his resolve to finally tell the blond pilot how he really felt. Not that he had to; Quatre had been all over him, making it clear that he wanted him. Trowa was as happy as he had ever been.
It felt so right, kissing Quatre and holding him like this. He barely noticed it when Heero and Duo left the room. He never intended to go any farther. He knew his angel was innocent, and didn't want to force his desires on him. It was enough to hold Quatre, touch his perfect skin and entangle his fingers in the spun gold of his hair.
He hadn't counted on his angel being so passionate. Quatre seemed to like the effect he was having on Trowa, and liked wiggling around on his lap. Trowa tried to tell him to stop, but the small blond wouldn't listen. Quatre kept rubbing against Trowa's trapped erection until the taller boy couldn't think straight anymore.
After that, Trowa couldn't remember much of what happened. The alcohol in his system combined with the passion in his veins to cloud his memory of what happened next. Vague impressions of Quatre saying, "No!" and something crashing to the floor, then he woke up on the floor with unbearably bright light streaming into his eyes.
The first thing he noticed was the soreness in his body from sleeping all night on the floor. Then he caught sight of Quatre.
His Quatre! The blond boy was naked and curled up beside him, his ripped clothes in shreds around them. Trowa struggled to remember what happened as he surveyed the room. Ripped clothes, broken lamp, blood on the floor... Trowa glanced down at himself, horrified to realize his pants were unzipped and there was blood on his... oh god Quatre!
Rushing over to his love, Trowa saw what he had most feared: there was dried blood on his creamy white skin, on the inside of his legs, between them. Trowa buried his face in his hands. No, it couldn't be... vague memories of Quatre beneath him... no, he couldn't have done this unspeakable thing to his angel, couldn't have lost control like this... He gently rolled Quatre over on his back, and nearly cried out. An ugly bruise had formed on Quatre's perfect face, right on his temple. No!
Trowa scrambled back in horror. What he couldn't remember, his imagination filled in for him. He had raped Quatre! Had forced his angel, and when that angel resisted, hit him, ripped his clothes off and fucked him so hard he had bled. He was no better than they were!
Trowa's mind went unwillingly back to the times he was raped, years ago. There was always someone bigger than him, and when they got drunk and there were no women available, they turned to the next best thing, a pretty boy. Until he got big enough to fight back and killed the attacker. Then no one bothered him again. Now he was the rapist.
He stared down at the naked, bloody boy next to him, whom he loved with all of his heart. He couldn't face him, not now. Trowa zipped up his pants and fled, intending to return later to face the consequences.
But I never did, Trowa thought miserably as he approached the Winner mansion. I am a coward. Trowa ran back to the circus, and told himself he would go apologize to Quatre the next week. Quatre left messages, sent letters, and Trowa ignored them all. He didn't want to know how much Quatre hated him. It was easier to just move along with the circus, running away, trying to forget what he had done. The month stretched to a year. Trowa couldn't believe it had been a year since that fateful night. When he received the invitation, in person so he couldn't ignore it, he decided it was finally time to face the music. He would apologize to Quatre, even if the boy didn't want to hear it, then he would leave. Forever.
* * * * * * * * * *
Heero was torn. Part of him wanted desperately to see the other pilots; no, no sense lying to himself: Duo. The longhaired vision that had haunted him, day and night, in one way or another, for the past year.
Human psychology, though far from his specialty, was something Heero had been made to study as part of his training. Looking back, he could clearly see the stages he had gone through. Since he had met Duo, he had been in denial. Denial of his feelings for another boy, let alone the loudmouthed baka he worked with. When Duo's lithe form would inhabit his dreams then, Heero chalked it up to wartime stress, heightened emotions due to hormones, and any number of other reasons. Then the war was over, and the night that his denial snapped into anger. The night of the party, when Duo had stirred a raging fire inside him that Heero had come within a hairsbreadth of giving in to. After a year, he could still feel the burn of Duo's lips on his. And the shame of his body responding to Duo's touch. And the sting of his hand after he hit Duo. And the sting of his tears as he stumbled out of the house, out of Duo's life, out of his mind.
Still his anger burned on. Burned at Duo for shaming him. So he did the best thing he could think of doing to spite Duo: he went to Relena.
(flashback)Now Heero found himself on a motorcycle, speeding toward Quatre's mansion, and toward his destiny, and hopefully toward Duo's forgiveness.
Relena assumed that Heero wanted her, of course. The only thing that Heero really wanted was to exorcise the braided demon that possessed him. Relena was so giddy from Heero's acceptance of her offer of a position as her head of security that she didn't notice for some time that Heero managed never to be alone with her. Relena lived in her own dream world, and the fact that Heero had come back to her after the war was all she needed to complete the delusion she had of her perfect world.
Eventually, of course, Relena maneuvered him into dancing with her at one of her inane functions. Never mind that it was ridiculous to distract the person charged with keeping you safe, Relena thought Heero looked dashing in his uniform and wanted to hang on him. By then, Heero's anger at Duo had all but burnt itself out. The anger had been replaced by a deep sense of loss. A loss of something he couldn't even define. Along with the loss, there was a longing; a longing that a devotion to his job, and certainly not Relena, could alleviate.
Amazingly, Heero rather enjoyed his job. He was quite good at it, and most of his lifelong training actually was applicable to a defensive rather than offensive position. Coming from the side of an assassin, he could identify possible routes and methods of infiltration, then neutralize them. Though the Earth and Colonies were at peace, splinter groups formed all the time, not all run by sane individuals. As Vice Minister, Relena received her share of death threats, though not from Heero any more.
So Heero found himself with Relena glued to him for the duration of a waltz. It seemed like an eternity. Relena managed to dance closer than was necessary, and her perfume and inane chatter was giving Heero a headache. He let her words go in one ear and out the other as he valiantly tried to keep her from pressing against him. Relena wasn't taking the hint. She pressed closer to him as they danced.
"Oh, Heero," she sighed. All Heero could think of at that moment was how he wished he were somewhere else. Anywhere but here, in the arms of an annoying girl. Though he didn't feel the need to kill her anymore, he still didn't want to be this close to her. Heero closed his eyes and willed the song to finish quickly. Relena chose that moment to make her move.
Standing up on her tiptoes, she clumsily plastered her lips to Heero's. And waited for him to respond. She didn't know what else to do, since she had never kissed anyone before.
Heero froze. What was Relena doing? With horror, the truth dawned on him. She was kissing him. In the middle of the dance floor. Too stunned to react, Heero let her kiss him. There was very little else he could do in the middle of the room; pushing her away in disgust, his first reaction, would cause too much of a scene. Finally regaining control of his body, he firmly pushed her away, enough to break the kiss.
"No," he said firmly.
Relena, of course, took this the wrong way. "We could go somewhere else," she suggested hopefully. Attempting to get closer, she looked up at Heero.
"No," Heero said again. Relena looked at him blankly. Heero suddenly felt liberated. This felt right, finally. "Not here. Not anywhere. Ever."
"But Heero..." Relena looked confused. "I love you!"
"I don't love you. I never have, and I never will. I have, and will continue to protect you, for the good of the planet, and because I do not wish to harm any more innocents. But that's all. Nothing more."
Relena was still stunned, not accepting. "But, Heero! You love me!" Seeing the cold stare that Heero was giving her, she tried, "Is there someone else?"
Heero's expression softened slightly. "No, but there will be." With these words, Heero made a decision to accept Quatre's invitation to the reunion. I will make things right, Heero thought to himself.
Despite his conflicted emotions, Heero had been using his position to access the worldwide data networks. He had kept track of Duo's movements during the past year, and knew he had spent all of the intervening time on L2. He had told himself that it was to make sure of the braided pilot's safety. Heero felt an inexplicable twinge when he found out Duo had been spending a lot of time with Hilde. Heero finally, grudgingly, identified the unfamiliar feeling as jealousy. Heero had finally come full circle, to acceptance.
Continued in part 5