Taste of cheating

Warnings/notes : Treize/Wufei, (hints at) Heero/Duo and Trowa/Quatre, non-episode-oriented fic, slight oocness

Disclaimer : I don't own Gundam Wing.

written at 11th march 2003, by Misura

For Firekat, to thank her.

**********

It was, Duo Maxwell reflected, an absolutely perfect morning. The sun was shining, he had managed not to burn his toast for once and Heero had only kicked him one time before he was able to drag himself out of bed. Our bed, he thought smiling.

Yet there was something off, something not quite fitting into this perfect picture. He could sense it but couldn't quite name the source of his unease. Quatre seemed to experience it as well, snarling at Trowa as he accidentally spilled a bit of tea.

Well, let's see. It's not me, it's not Heero, it's not Quatre, it's not Trowa so that leaves ...

"Where's Wufei?"

Quatre sighed, while Trowa shot Duo a thankful glance for distracting his younger lover from the spilled tea long enough for him to wipe it away.

"He went duelling with Treize again last night. He hasn't come home yet."

Duo raised one eyebrow. "He sleeps at Treize's place? Didn't I hear him say he'd rather die than do a thing like that? What changed his mind?"

"Nothing did, as far as I know." Quatre replied. "As far as Treize knows he went straight home after their duel. He called this morning to tell me Wufei had forgotten to take his katana with him as he left. Someone will drop it off later."

"You told him where we lived?" Heero asked neutrally.

Quatre rolled his eyes. "Of course not! He knew it already."

"Hn." Heero did not look very happy with this news.

"Why would Wufei 'forget' to take his most valued weapon? Did Treize try to do anything?" Duo inquired, a hint of anger in his voice. That's it ; that OZ-bastard must have upset him so bad he couldn't think clearly anymore and just fled. Maybe he'd like to meet Shinigami ....

"He said nothing special happened between them." Quatre started. "But - "

There was the sound of a key turning in the lock and Wufei entered. He looked ... Bad. Really bad. Like he hasn't slept for a week. And depressed too. Very depressed.

"Wufei? Are you all right? What happened?" Quatre asked worriedly.

"Nothing."

"Come on, Wu-man. We can all see *something* happened. The way you look .... " Duo let his voice trail off as Heero and Trowa nodded, all four of them now staring at the fifth pilot.

"We are your friends, Wufei." Trowa stated simply. "We care about you."

"Talking about a problem helps." Heero added, a remark Duo would have found rather funny any other given day. Like Heero ever discusses his private trouble with anyone.

"I challenged him, he beat me. He won, I lost. That's all that happened." Wufei said, not returning their gaze, his eyes on the floor. "Again."

"Maybe you should - " Quatre tried.

"No! I will defeat him! I can and I will! Now stay out of my business!" Wufei snapped, storming off to the privacy of his room.

Duo stared at his plate. Somehow he wasn't hungry anymore.

I have to do something about this. He's falling to pieces before our eyes.

*****

"I cannot deny I'm not worried about him." Treize admitted, sipping of his tea. "But I really can't do a thing about it. To deny his challenge wouldn't change anything. It might even make things worse."

The OZ-general had agreed to meet Duo and Quatre in a cozy little cafetaria that could be regarded as 'neutral territory'. Though there wasn't any reason not to invite him to the safe-house, Heero had insisted his lover meet their 'enemy' elsewhere.

Plus the coffee here's much better than that drab Trowa makes.

"Well, couldn't you let him win, just for once?" Quatre proposed, turning the full force of his clear blue gaze on Treize. Most people found it very hard to refuse the blond boy anything if he looked at them that way. Treize turned his eyes to his teacup.

"I can't do that, no matter how much I want to help."

Quatre pouted.

"Why on earth not?" Duo demanded. "You'd do it if you really cared about him."

"It would be without honor." Treize replied stiffly. "It would be a mockery."

"One time only?" Quatre pleaded. "Please! It would mean so much to him, I simply know it."

"No. I'm truely sorry. 02, 04, I have a meeting to attend in half an hour, so I must leave now. You know how to reach me in case something happens." Treize rose and left.

Duo muttered angrily. "Great. That really helped us along."

"At least we tried." Quatre shrugged. "Now we proceed to plan B."

"Plan B?"

Quatre grinned. "Didn't I tell you about that?"

~tbc~