The Boy and The Squirrel [Part Eleven]
Trowa was not pleased. It had been too long since Mother Nature had ceased contact with him. While Quatre didn't seem bothered by the turn of events, he found himself cursing his fate for having to deal with Quatre's supposed disappearance.
The authorities had searched weeks and questioned him daily only to come out empty-handed. His jaw was sore from talking more than necessary and his legs were aching from having to escape Heero's treacherous tendencies. Not even the two friends could have stopped his rampage. Somehow Trowa felt that Heero was more disappointed at the loss of a brother than a loss of a friend. He would have sympathized with him if not for the times that the butt of a gun was pointed at him.
Trowa was safe for the moment, relieved that Heero's admirers were keeping him busy. He didn't seem to want the attention but he didn't look like he was bothered by it either. He knew that he would have to thank the blond girl later. She was really a big help even if she didn't know it.
At the moment he was occupied with playing slave to his little love. Quatre was sprawled languidly on the sink while Trowa massaged his fury body into a thick lather. The shampoo he used was starting to smell good. It seemed Quatre was enjoying more of the change in form than he ever did. He didn't even remember relaxing that much when he was a foot-tall and incapable. Quatre, however, had his dependence on one human called Trowa who would certainly do anything and everything for him.
Trowa retrieved a bath towel and placed the soaking wet creature on top of it before rubbing him dry. Quatre made a sound of protest but Trowa didn't hear it. He was too busy cleaning up the squirrel. It was the only way Wufei would let it near him. He needed the other for a little talk and wanted to make sure that he wasn't kicked out with his filthy rodent before he even started.
Picking up the newly bathed Quatre, he went directly for Wufei's room, knocking before being led in.
"What is it Nana...?"
The only consolation to all his trouble was the relief he felt when he realized that he could at least say his name right.
"Trowa then. Maybe you could start explaining to me our dilemma a little more clearly. You seem more willing to talk now."
"Quatre is doing fine."
"How would you know that?"
At least with Wufei, he didn't need to explain any further. Anyone else would have questioned him to no end. Telling Wufei at least that much alleviated his guilty conscience. After all, Quatre's friends had the right to know how he was doing. It was up to them to extend the words of comfort to his parents.
"Fine. I'll take your word for it."
As if on cue, Quatre jumped and landed on Wufei's shoulder almost looking like he was giving the other a sloppy kiss of gratitude.
"You better have cleaned this rodent," Wufei snarled.
Quatre nodded his tiny head in a 'yes' but it was only Trowa who noticed it.
"I have things to do. Get that rodent out of here and try teaching it how to at least move on its own. A weak squirrel is as good as a dead squirrel. He may rely on you but he still has to learn how to fend for himself."
Trowa picked up the creature and left with nothing more to say. He found it more and more difficult to talk about the species issue. Not only was he close to being mute, Mother Nature hadn't even explained her intentions at all. He might as well have been blind as well.
Quatre tugged on his bangs before he realized that he was still holding on to the knob of Wufei's door. He really needed to concentrate more.
"What is it?" he asked Quatre with his normal tone.
Quatre put his paw on his stomach, indicating that he was hungry. If it weren't for Trowa, the squirrel wouldn't even survive a day in the wild.
He retrieved a few nuts from his pocket and bit them just enough to open them up before offering them to the hungry squirrel. Quatre accepted them and plopped down on Trowa's palm to begin his meal.
"After that, I'm going to have to teach you how to move properly."
Another difficulty with dealing with Quatre was that the transition had rendered him almost handicap. His instincts stubbornly forced him to stand when the proportions of his body dictated that he walk on all fours. A 'drunken squirrel' as Duo had dubbed it, was very likely to raise suspicion.
Quatre was tugging on his bangs yet again. He was really beginning to wander off more often. It must have been the nights he spent wide awake, unable to sleep because of worry of the impending doom he would have to face for the rest of his human life.
Quatre's huge eyes were on him as if asking him if he was all right. He pat the yellow covered head in response before carrying him back to their room. It was funny how none of Quatre's friends noticed any resemblances. The mop of yellow on top of the squirrel's head was more than a very clear indicator.
"How long do I have to stay in this position," Duo whined more than asked as he tugged his braid loose off the offending attachment.
"Let it sleep," Wufei commanded without taking his eyes off the book he was currently reading.
"If this is supposed to be called 'study time' in the 'study area' then why am I not getting any studying done?"
"You chose to play with it. Deal with it."
Heero gave him a hard stare following his earlier comment and quickly went back to scanning his notes. Duo sighed and looked at Trowa for much needed sympathy. If his two other friends felt grumpy that day then he thought that he might as well have his try at Trowa. He may have been silent but at least he was a little more pleasant to talk to.
"He likes you," Trowa simply said.
It was true enough and the simple statement made Duo calm down. Trowa had a certain way of dealing with things and it always seemed to work with him. At least he could start getting some studying done.
Before opening his book, he stared thoughtfully at the people seated around the table. It seemed that Trowa was starting to blend into their crowd. The only missing puzzle was Quatre and he hoped that his friend was fine wherever he was.
"Fourteen days," Trowa muttered as he brushed the fur on Quatre's head. "Why can't she at least tell me what she's planning?"
Quatre gave him a look that told him that he would know soon enough. It was just a matter of time.
"It's a little too bizarre for me not to wonder," Trowa continued despite not getting a verbal answer from anyone.
Quatre merely shrugged but he looked like he didn't mind the small talk. That was before he jumped and scampered as far away from the window as possible.
"What is it?" Trowa asked in fear that something had gone wrong. If the usually care-free squirrel was scared that much then something may have been going wrong. He only thought the worst. After all, there was no telling if Quatre's body was stable enough yet.
He turned his head to the source of Quatre's distress and found one female squirrel looking about ready to jump Quatre. She had the look on her eyes that said that she wanted at least twelve children with the cute blond one. Trowa had to groan. Things were getting even stranger than he expected. There was no way he was going to believe what he was seeing.
To finally get it over with, he opened the window and picked up the wayward female.
"He's mine you little tramp," he said before dropping it and closing the window.
"A little possessive, are we?"
Trowa turned his head to find Heero staring at him from his position at the entrance of his room.
"He better show up soon, Trowa. Wufei told me you know where he is. Make sure he comes back safely or I'll blow your head off."
Strangely enough, Trowa was getting used to the constant threats. He was no longer fazed by Heero's methods. He simply felt tired. He had to make sure that Quatre was back to normal soon or else the situation would be more chaotic than it already was. He wasn't about to spend the rest of his life with the man of his dreams literally eating off his hand. They just wouldn't match very well.
"I'm waiting," Trowa said for the umpteenth time that day. He woke up in the morning and suddenly felt the urge to speak with Mother Nature. He'd been outside all morning and yet there weren't any signs that she'd speak to him soon.
Quatre was finally able to control his movements so he was off to the side somewhere. He did still move in a somewhat drunken state but at least he was more coordinated.
"He can't stay like this forever," Trowa said, continuing his thoughts. It was the chant he repeated all morning and it didn't seem to be working.
"And you can?"
Trowa turned around, almost landing on his behind to find Heero giving him one intense stare. He was rousing suspicion and he knew it. It was time to cover up yet again.
"Do you need anything, Heero?" he asked casually.
"I should be asking you that question."
Trowa was too tired to get out of it. Perhaps he needed a change in tactics. He needed to change the subject into something a little less close to the truth.
"I can feel him, you know," Heero said, effectively cutting him off. This left Trowa quite confused. "I can feel him in that little body," he elaborated.
Heero was staring at Quatre, watching the furry animal roll around, playing with an apple. Trowa stared agape. He'd picked up so many words in the past few weeks but he didn't seem to be able to use any of it at the moment. Heero couldn't possibly have deduced their situation that quickly. It was impossible. Then again, their situation was just as impossible.
"I'm not dumb," Heero continued almost to himself. "There's a certain way he sleeps through study sessions clutching Duo's braid and not to mention those eyes, they're his."
There was no longer a need for charades. It was pretty obvious that Heero knew what was going on. He was sure that Mother Nature was going to kill him for letting out their little secret. It was bad enough that she was turning butterflies into whales but the humans were a little more dangerous than that.
Trowa wanted to know more about what Heero had said if only to stall him from asking more specific questions about their current situation.
"I don't know why. I just did ever since we were children. The only difference is that he feels me more intensely than I do him."
"And the others?"
"It does not concern them."
"And this concerns me?"
Heero gave him the look that told him that he should have been a little more perceptive.
"I can give you a name, a history if you will. The name Trowa cannot stand on its own. If you plan to keep up with this form then you might as well find a way to secure your identity."
"Why would you do this for me?"
"I'm not doing this for you. I'm doing this for him."
"How are you so sure that this would please him?"
Heero let out a mocked laugh as if to emphasize Trowa's naïveté toward the situation.
"He spent a lot of time searching for the circus clown. Your predicament no longer matters, Trowa. Squirrel or human, you are still the same. I don't even believe it myself but something tells me that my help would turn out for the best for everyone involved."
Trowa contemplated on the answer just as Heero left. It was looking like things were beginning to work out for the better. If only he could fix his other problem then things were certainly going to get better.
"Oh, and Trowa," Heero said, reappearing from where he left. "I'm still going to kill you."
At least he had that to look forward to.
"Sweetie pie!" Mother Nature screamed all the way across the earth. The trees gave way to the sudden whoosh of air in their surrounding.
Upon hearing this, Trowa immediately bolted for the door and stepped outside to the cool morning air. Of course, he didn't forget to bring Quatre with him even if the other was still fast asleep on his palm. His pajamas were too cold for the wind but he didn't mind. At least he was finally going to have that talk with Mother Nature. What was even better was that he knew more words, providing him with the tools to communicate more effectively. It took a more than a month but his mouth and vocal chords were finally cooperating with him.
"I'm here! I'm here!"
"Humph, I wasn't talking to you," Mother Nature said indignantly. "I was talking to the cutie pie on your hands."
"I see. I'm not cute anymore," Trowa muttered but then remembered that there were more pressing matters that he had to deal with.
Before he could even open his mouth, Mother Nature started talking.
"I had it all worked out and it looks like everything happened as perfectly as I planned it."
"How come I wasn't informed about this plan?"
"My, my Trowa, just because you can talk now doesn't mean that you have to be rude when you do use your mouth."
"That's better sweetie. Now, where was I?"
Trowa shifted uncomfortably as he waited for the explanation.
"You'll be glad to hear that I finally balanced things out. By turning Quatre into a squirrel the same amount of time I turned you into a human for the first time, I was able to cancel out the need for an exchange."
"Why didn't you tell me earlier?" Trowa asked in a pained voice.
"Now, now. Don't give me that look Trowa. I did it for your own good. If I left you the way you were then you would have stayed mute for the rest of your human life and besides, Nanashi was such a horrible name. You needed a little practice to get your act going."
"What about Quatre, how would this affect him?"
"He's learned the life of a squirrel. Sure, you spoiled him to no end but he still lived as one. At least now he'll be able to understand your earlier predicament."
Trowa nodded in understanding. Everything was starting to make sense. He just felt a little frustrated that he didn't know what was going on until now. Leave it to Mother Nature to get things done right.
"And it looks to me like you've gained some friends."
Trowa nodded again and Mother Nature gave out one of her hearty laughs. The strong winds were the only indication of that laughter to the untrained ear.
"You've grown up so much since you came to me up on the mountains that day. I couldn't resist how adorable and charming you were, especially with that weird looking hair."
Trowa looked up at his hair. He still didn't know why everyone thought it strange.
"I still can't resist you so I'm giving you what you want. I know I'm not making a mistake now. I think the balance lies where you put it. You could go one way or the other and still find something in between. I trust you Trowa and I trust that you will take care of each other."
Trowa looked at the still sleeping creature on his hand. He was glad that he was finally going to get what he wanted.
"Tomorrow morning he'll be back to normal."
"Anytime. Now, could I have your love machine for a day? I think we need some of his genes to mix up with the squirrel population. I mean, I've received a ton of propositions from the female population who would just love to have kids that gorgeous."
"Aww, don't say no Trowa. After you left, all the good genes left with you. Maybe at least one of you should reproduce and make some lovely looking children. What do you say to that?"
"Just kidding. Just kidding. Geez, you've only been human for a month and you're already uptight. Now go on along back to your room before the gun on that boy goes off.
Trowa turned around to find Heero hot on his trail again.
"When is this going to end?" he groaned, running out of harm's way.
"I have to keep the balance, sweetie," Mother Nature called out. "Just consider this as a repayment. After all, there always has to be a prey and a predator."
She grinned in amusement and watched on as her creatures flitted about their little lives. All was good. Now all she needed was a little vacation. Maybe she could do a little flirting with Father Time and have him stop time a bit so she could have that vacation. Yes, all in all, things were going perfectly well for Mother Nature. Not much could be said about her creatures though.