Well, I have finally returned to this fic after almost a year! I just suddenly got the urge to write more, and this time I'm gonna stick with it 'til the end. Honest! Well, I hope so anyway. I re-read the previous chapters, and it didn't suck quite as much as I thought it would, so that pleased me. However, I found so many typos I missed the first time around. I hate typos, and I desperately hope that this chapter is free from them! Thankyou so much for everyone's encouraging reviews, and I hope you enjoy this chapter! It is going somewhere, trust me, and chapter 5 will hopefully be along soon.

Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing. If I did, Heero and Duo would be an official couple, and the program definitely wouldn't be suitable for children.


It Shouldn't Have To be This Hard - Chapter 4

As Duo and Heero approached their group's usual meeting place the next morning, Duo noticed in surprise that Quatre was waiting by himself. As they drew closer he saw that the blonde's usual happy, too-bright-for-the-morning smile was replaced by a depressed looking frown.

"What's up, Quat? Where's Trowa?" as soon as he was within earshot he bombarded his friend with questions.

"He's gone on ahead, by himself," he said glumly.

"Has something happened?" he asked in concern.

"You could say that," was Quatre's mournful reply.

Guessing what Quatre was talking about, he turned to Heero. "Um...would you mind walking on so we can talk for a bit?" he asked. Heero stared at him for a second, then nodded and began walking. Turning back to Quatre he commanded, "Now, tell me everything."

"Trowa rejected me," Quatre began, and then hesitated. "You want the full story?"

Duo nodded gently. He's already suspected as much, but it still came as quite a surprise. He had been so sure that Trowa felt the same way for Quatre...

"Well, I went over to his house after school and we were just sitting in his room, going over some homework. We were sat opposite each other on his bed and after I while I said 'Trowa?' and he looked up at me. He just looked into my eyes and I was so sure...so I leaned towards him and...kissed him. He just sat there and didn't respond, and as I was pulling back he kind of jerked away. I didn't know what to say, he was just looking at me all shocked. I was about to say something, but then he said 'Quatre, I guess I know how you feel about me now but...I'm not like that. You're my best friend and I don't want to ruin that, but I don't want to be anything more.' So I just said 'sorry', got up and left." Quatre fell silent after his long speech, gazing at the obviously extremely fascinating tarmac.

"Quatre, that's awful!" Duo laid a sympathetic hand on the blonde's shoulder. "He's so mean!"

"No," Quatre said dully, "he's not. He just didn't like me in that way, I misread the signs, and he probably thinks I'm a complete freak now."

"He won't think you're a freak! Besides, you've never been one for giving up. You're just gonna have to try harder to win him over!"

"Whatever." Entering the school, they spotted Trowa stood with Heero over in their usual morning place. Duo began to walk towards them, but stopped as Quatre turned in the opposite direction.

"Quatre?" Duo questioned.

"I'm going to class," he replied.

"But your class is this way."

"I'm going the long way round," Quatre stated shortly.

Duo watched in concern as his friend walked off, shoulders hunched and feet dragging. He was obviously really upset about Trowa; Duo wondered how long he would carry on avoiding him. 'Right,' he said to himself. 'I am going to make Trowa see sense, and get those two together,' he decided firmly.

He walked over to where Trowa and Heero stood in silence, deep in thought and already plotting ways to get his two friends together. He had been so sure that Trowa returned Quatre's romantic feelings and, judging by his demeanour, so had Quatre. And Quatre was usually right about emotional things! Typical that he had to be wrong about something so important. He felt so sorry for his blonde friend – he had had the courage to actually kiss Trowa, only to be rejected. Now Duo was not a coward, but he sure as hell didn't have the guts to admit his feelings to Heero.

He was so engrossed in his thoughts that he didn't notice the figure in front of him, and walked slap bang into said figure, sending books and papers flying everywhere. The shock of walking into someone caused Duo to squawk in what Heero later told him was a very unmanly way, while the person he had walked into calmly bent down and began to retrieve their things, their long black hair falling to obscure their face. Flushing, Duo began babbling out his apologies, while hastily bending down and grabbing at the scattered papers.

"I'm so, so sorry! I wasn't look where I was going, and I just-. It's all my fault, I don't know how I-. I'm terribly sorry Miss, very sorry!"

The other person, who had been silently collecting together their items, finally raised their head to look at Duo.

"It's no problem," said a deep, rich, obviously male voice.

Duo stared into the deep brown, almost black eyes that were looking back at him, then immediately began an even more flustered string of apologies. "Oh, oh. I am so sorry, sir. It's just, that hair- and I wasn't thinking- and I'm terribly sorry Mr...?" He trailed off, looking at the other boy helplessly.

"Chang. Wufei Chang. I've just transferred here."

All the papers seemed to have been collected, and Wufei rose from his position on the floor in one fluid, graceful movement. Duo followed, and finally got a good look at the new student. He was tall and slim, with silky black hair that flowed straight down to his shoulders. He was Chinese looking, and the expression on his face was calm and neutral. He was really quite good looking.

"Oh, have you just moved in down Appletree Avenue?" Duo enquired, remembering that a Chinese family had just moved in there the other day.

"Yes, just yesterday," Wufei answered.

"Oh, I live opposite from you then!" Duo exclaimed, smiling at the other boy. Then quickly added, "By the way, I'm Duo. Duo Maxwell."

"Pleased to make your acquaintance, Duo," Wufei answered politely, a hint of a smirk playing around his lips. "Oh, would you be able to tell me where homeroom 9B is?" he asked suddenly, glancing down at a timetable in his hand.

"Hey, that's my homeroom!" Duo grinned at Wufei. "Just follow me!"

Heero was already seated in his usual place in their homeroom when Duo and Wufei arrived, having left the yard as the two were engrossed in conversation.

"Heero! This is Wufei, he's new here and he's gonna sit with us, ok?"

Heero 'hned' his agreement, then turned to Wufei. "Heero Yuy. Pleased to meet you."

"Wufei Chang, and it's my pleasure." Wufei nodded to Heero as he sat down on the chair Duo gestured to.


That evening they met at their usual spot by the gate, but Trowa walked off by himself before Quatre arrived. Heero probably would have gone with him, if it weren't for the fact that Duo was going to his house so that they could work on their Science project together.

The evening at Heero's passed by uneventfully. Not that Duo had expected anything eventful to happen. Heero sat and typed non-stop on his laptop, whilst Duo offered the occasional suggestion about the project whenever he managed to snap himself out of his daydreams. He always seemed to lapse into daydreams whenever he was at Heero's. Maybe it was something to do with the fact that he was sprawled on Heero's bed, head on Heero's pillow, and was that drawer over there Heero's underwear drawer?

When he arrived back home, Duo was feeling pretty glum. Whenever he spent time with Heero, if just made him realise how hopelessly unrequited his crush was. Unrequited crush. Unrequited love. He sighed to himself. It wasn't love, so he'd get over it eventually.

His gloomy thoughts reminded him of someone else who was having a rough time with their love life. He decided to give Quatre a call and make sure he was ok.

He dialled the number and Quatre answered on the third ring. He knew it would be Quatre since the line was his own private one. Lucky rich guy.

"Hey, Quat, it's me. How ya doing?"

"I'm okay," came the reply, accompanied by a sigh that contradicted the words. "I'm sorry I didn't walk home with you guys, I just...you know."

"Hey that's ok. Will you walk with us tomorrow?"

"I guess..." Quatre's reply wasn't too enthusiastic.

"Aw, come on, you can't walk by yourself forever!" Duo's tone was pleading. "You don't even have to talk to Trowa at all!"

"Ok, ok," he gave in. There was a moments silence and then he spoke up again. "I can't believe I was so stupid, Duo."

Duo hated hearing his normally super-duper-children's-TV-presenter-style-happy friend so down. "Listen, Quat, I admire you for what you did. I mean, it took a lot of guts. And...you know I thought it would work out too. Maybe he just needs some time to think, I dunno. But come on, you're the one who always looks on the bright side – at least he definitely still wants to be your friend and wasn't awful about it."

Quatre sighed and said "Thanks, Duo," but his voice quivered slightly.

Realizing that his friend was probably about to burst into tears Duo quickly said, "I'm sorry. I'd better go."

"Thanks Duo, I'm glad you're my friend," Quatre told him, sniffing a bit.

After saying their goodbyes and hanging up, Duo flopped back on his bed with a sigh. Honestly, he couldn't do anything right. He couldn't even comfort his best friend, he just rambled the first things that came into his head. He could never come up with the inspirational speeches people always had in movies. He couldn't get the perfect love life like in the movies either. And if Quatre couldn't get the guy he wanted, just how the hell was he meant to get the guy, or should he say cold, emotionless (yet undeniably sexy) rock, that he wanted?