Teaser:  Trowa receives a message from a distraught Quatre.  What does one do when expecting a golden haired visitor?  3+4

I wish I owned Gundam Wing because I would release Odds and Evens (Meterora) in the US.  But, I don't so I can't!  All respective rights belong to Koichi Tokita and Bandai. 

Warning:  This story contains Shoenen Ai (boy love) centering around 3+4.  A few sexual references, a little kissing, but nothing graphic. 

***

Green Sunrise

By April-san

***

It came as a complete shock to hear Quatre's voice on my answering machine.  Four months had passed since the destruction of Libra and the end of the war and we Gundam pilots had gone our separate ways.  I, of course, had stayed at Quatre's side until I was certain the little Arabian had recovered from his brush with death.  Being stabbed with a rapier was not a thing to simply disregard or be taken lightly.  I had stayed perhaps longer than I should have, spending long afternoons in the recuperating blonde's company.

I had eventually returned to the circus, back to the familiarity of Catherine and the circus animals.  Yet, never far were the thoughts of Quatre.

The red light on the small machine was blinking as I stumbled through the trailer door after a long, successful performance.  I almost ignored it, half-naked, changing into my dungy work clothes to take care of the animals.  I sighed and brushed my fingers over the play button, already moving toward the kitchenette for a quick snack before returning to the grounds.

"T…Trowa…umm…  this…this is Quatre."

The fridge door quickly shut as I moved towards the sound of his voice, my heart torn.  I could already hear the pain radiated from the machine.  What is wrong, little one?

"I know I shouldn't be contacting you.  But…but I…"  The voice on the machine took a shaky breath.  "A package arrived…from Mister Turner, a Winner Corporation lawyer.  He said…he said…the package…is from my father.  That…my father left me…a message…before he…he died."

He was crying.  I couldn't hear it on the machine, but I knew.  I just knew he needed me.  Already in my mind I had my trip planned out, my clothing stuffed in a brown paper bag, and my note half written to Catherine before the soft voice continued. 

"I don't want to be alone."

I blinked down at the paper bag.  Why do I have my clown costume in there?

"I was wondering if…if I could visit you…for a few days.  If you would listen to the message with me."

Visit me?  My eyes flicked across the barren room.  I spent most of my time practicing inside the tent or tending the animals.  My trailer was empty.  Literally.  I guess I should find a chair for him to sit down on, at least.

"But…but if you don't want me-"  Beep.

I just stared dumbly at the machine as the blinking light stopped. 

If you don't want me…

My hands clenched.  How could he possibly think that?  My hands were on the vid-phone, typing a number I had never before used but held deep in my heart.  For emergencies.  For me, this damn well was an emergency.

It had taken me almost an hour to get transferred to Quatre's secretary.  That little blonde had better give me his direct number next time I see him, or I'll-

"Winner Corporation.  Leela speaking.  How may I help you?"

"Quatre."  I had to restrain an irritated grumble from becoming a sharp bark.  "I need to speak to Quatre."

She blinked.  "Mister Winner is out of the office.  He is not expected back for-"

"How do I get in touch with him?" I rudely interrupted.  Quatre needed me.  I'm not letting some bureaucratic-

"You can leave a message, Mister…?"

Phone tag.  I was going to scream.  "Barton.  Trowa Barton."

Her breath caught in her throat and she seemed to take a closer look at the vid-screen.  "Mister Barton, I am sorry.  Mister Winner has been expecting your call.  Let me give you his home number."

I mentally kicked myself.  Perhaps if I would have given my name from the start, I would not have had the run-around.  How does Quatre stand all this red tape day after day?

After writing the private number down on a paper napkin, I thanked her and she gave me a bright smile before disconnecting.  I don't even remember typing in the number, only smiling as the disheveled blonde appeared on the screen.  He blinked for a moment, rubbed his eyes, and his entire face lit up.

"Trowa!"

My heart flew.  "Good morning, little one."

***

Where Cathy found that dreadful rug, I will never know.  A mix of yellows and greens and blues, in a design left to the imagination to resolve, shouted from my floor.  My sister said it reminded her of a lush garden.  After much prodding, I said it looked like a forest after a rain.  Kind of. 

I had gone immediately to my sister as soon as I got off the vid-phone with Quatre.  I needed help, especially when it was decided Quatre would be arriving in a matter of days, and I was blatantly aware how unprepared for visitors my trailer was.  She was too happy to oblige, finding not only the rug for the floor, but a large couch, pillows, and some pictures to put on my walls.

"While I'm at it, should I find you a larger bed?" she asked while flicking at my nose teasingly.

I blankly looked at her.  "I was planning on sleeping on the floor or the couch.  The bed should be large enough for just Quatre-"

"Oh," she pouted.  "You're no fun."

My sister can make odd comments, sometimes.

Despite her enigmatic remarks, she was thorough with her transformation of my trailer.  Curtains hung at my windows, an iron lamp on a small wooden table was set near the blue couch, a tall plant was placed near the door, and a picture of me and Cathy smiled behind the black frame on the wall.  Yet there were a few things she placed around the trailer which I did not understand.  Candles were set between the kitchen and living quarters.  Fragrant flowers in a green glass vase were positioned in the center of the kitchen table.  Sachet packs were left in drawers and closets.  Cathy even thought of extra towels and toiletries in the bathroom, not to mention the sweet smelling soaps and even more candles placed around the tub.  Was she expecting some kind of power outage?

An hour before Quatre was scheduled to arrive and, as I was already climbing the walls, Cathy paid me a quick visit.  A basket of fresh bread, muffins, and sweet pastries was set on the cupboard and an assortment of modest wines and cheeses were placed in the refrigerator.  I thanked her again, for what must have been the hundredth time, and received a small kiss on my cheek.

"It is good to see you so happy, little brother."

By the time a small car rolled up to the circus entrance, I was ready to call the space port to see if any catastrophic event had caused the blonde's delay.  I checked my watch.  Five minutes late.  He better have a good excuse-

The moment that fair-haired face appeared from the open door, all my tension seeped from my body and I started running to him.

"Trowa!"  His smile spread across his face, arms extended, and he quickly closed the distance between us.  I couldn't help it.  I embraced him around his waist and swung him around, laughing, tears clouding my vision, relishing the feel of the delighted Quatre against me.  Reluctantly, after a long moment, I set him on his feet, his gaze still on my face.  "I missed you, Trowa."

"And I you, little one."

Quatre glanced back to the few pieces of luggage unloaded from the car, then turned to the big top.  "Just as I remembered," he laughed.  The laughter suddenly stopped as a hand brushed at my bangs.  "Some things never change."

"And many things do."  I finally allowed my arms to fall only to reach for his two small bags of luggage.  The smile had not left my face since I had first glanced Quatre inside the car window.  "You must be tired."

"I am, a little," he softly admitted as he gently scooped up and held his violin case against his chest.  "But, I'm feeling better just being here."

Leading him back to my trailer, I answer his few questions about the circus, the employees, and the colony in general.

"This is where you live?"

I was surprised at the pleased tone in his voice, not in the least judgmental, as we stepped up to my trailer.  I nodded and opened the door. 

"I thought you slept with the animals."

I knew when I was being baited.  "I did, but Cathy started objecting when I bathed with the elephants."

It felt so wonderful to hear the bell-like laughter come from that throat.  His glee did not fade as he entered my abode.  "This is wonderful.  So peaceful."  He rested his hands on the back of my blue couch and stared out the main window as I placed his bags in the bedroom.

He did not move from his spot behind the couch as I quickly returned.  Slowly approaching him, much like moving towards a frightened animal, I placed a hand on his shoulder.  Blue eyes flashed up to meet mine and his smile finally wavered.

"Thank you, Trowa.  I just…"  He swallowed.  "Thank you."

"You're always welcome here."  My hand tightened.  "Don't scare me like that, little one."

"I didn't mean to.  I…I just…"

I pulled him closer to me.  "Say the word and I'll be at your side.  Don't ever forget that."

"Aa."  He was crying.  One moment he was laughing, the next large tears fell from his cheeks.

I couldn't think of anything else to do.  I wrapped my arms around his back and pulled him against me.  Nothing suitable came to mind to say, so I held him, protecting him against the world.  He was shaking so badly, his hands clenched in my t-shirt, soft sounds came from his covered face.  Thinking of nothing else, I just held him tighter.

***

"I like it!" 

The blonde had slowly recovered from his breakdown, and once again became the smiling youth I always pictured in my memories.  After much prodding, I convinced him to change from his stuffy suit into something comfortable.  He jokingly stated he brought nothing but suits, and blushed bright red when I threatened to burn all his work clothes, leaving him in his underwear.  Miraculously, a pair of khaki shorts and a loose pink top were quickly pulled from his bags.  He always looked good in that light pink he usually wore, enhancing that touch of color in his pale cheeks.

Quatre lay on the multi colored rug, running his finger in circles through the deep shag, watching the color change from yellow to green to blue.  The shy smile was once again on his face, brightening the entire room.

"You would like it."  I lounged on the couch, just watching Quatre play on the rug.

His lip stuck out in a soft pout.  "I like the way it changes color.  Like a sunrise."

I blinked.

He laughed.  "Okay.  A yellow, blue, and green sunrise, then."

"You need to get out more."

He turned toward me, his cheek resting on the palm of his hand, his elbow angled away from his body, a small wistful look on his face.  "Have you…heard from them?"

Them.  "Heero keeps in touch."

Those blue eyes widened and his blond brows rose underneath his hair.  "I'm glad he contacts you.  I hear from Duo and Wufei now and then through e-mail."

"I keep Heero informed.  He is very worried about you."  Understatement.  I had to use every bit of persuasion to keep the perfect soldier from storming Winner Enterprises and kidnapping the young heir.  Yet, he was completely aware my heart was not in the argument.  Actually, it would have been fun to have the blonde tied up and left on my doorstep…

Quatre had returned to making shapes in the thick rug.  "Next time you hear from him, could you tell him I said thanks?"

"Aa."  He looked so sad, again.  So sad.  "Would you like to take a walk?"

His eyes sparkled like sapphires.  "Could we?"

It felt so natural to have him walk at my side, smiling at the circus hands, laughing at the squirrels playing between the animal cages, brushing against me as we walked.

This is what we fought for.  All the blood on my hands, all the loss and pain.  Just having him at my side made it all worth while.  This peace.

The first time the boss saw Quatre, he came at us running at break-neck speed, yelling at the top of his lungs.  I guess he was a little startled to see the little blonde with his hand in the lion's cage, running his fingers through the animal's thick mane. 

"Are you trying to kill me, Trowa?!" he rumbled, hands on his knees, desperately trying to catch his breath.

I shook my head as Quatre kindly smiled at the older man.  "I did not mean to alarm you, Sir.  I apologize."  He lowered his head to the older man, and spoke with all the grace of a born leader.  "I am Quatre Raberba Winner.  It's very nice to finally meet you."

I believe my boss turned even paler with my companion's words.  He stuttered for a long moment, trying to comprehend what was said.  Who did not know of the Winner empire?  I guess it would be a little surprising to find the young heir in the middle of his circus as my guest without a single bodyguard in sight.

I just stood at Quatre's side as the boss slowly became more comfortable and conversed with him, asking about the security and traveling conditions between the other colonies along with the small blonde's current accommodations.  A small smile touched his face as Quatre glanced to me and took my hand.

"I'm very comfortable where I'm staying."

The older man in the bright red coat blinked before a smile appeared on his hardened face.  "You're like Trowa, aren't you?  One of…those pilots?"

Quatre nodded, squeezing my hand in support.  How did he always know when I needed reassurance he was still at my side?

"Kid."  I blinked as I found my employer uncomfortably close, one finger against my chest.  "Don't forget who you're entertaining here."  His voice softened as he turned to Quatre.  "If there's anything you need, don't hesitate to let me know."

Shortly after his warning, the boss had to rush away for an emergency.  More specifically, a few of the new hired hands were using the helium pump for other things than blowing up balloons.  As quickly and discreetly as we could, Quatre and I fled the tent.

"I hate it when people act like that around me," Quatre forlornly spoke as we lazily sat underneath a large oak tree at the edge of the lot as the afternoon slowly drifted by.  "They look at me like I'm…I'm so weak I'm going to shatter and fall while they're watching."

I reached over and messed the blonde's hair, earning a bright smile.  "They have no idea of what a pillar you are.  You supported all of us."

"Oh, stop it."  His hand absently waved in my direction.  "You're worse than Duo."  An exasperated sigh escaped his parted lips before he flopped onto the grass.  "Can we talk about something else?  Like you.  Did you and Cathy…?"

I shook my head.  "Not yet.  We just haven't had the time to take the blood test.  But she still wants me to call her sister, regardless.  I really don't mind.  It's nice…to belong, for once." 

"You can have some of my family, if you want it."

I laid next to him, just looking at the other side of the colony high above us.  "I have Cathy and you.  That's all I need."  I could feel Quatre's gaze upon my face, but I didn't dare turn to see his expression, as much as I wanted to.  Even though, I knew he was smiling.

"You're teasing, aren't you?"

"Why would I tease you?"

He pounced on me!  I didn't even see him move, but the next thing I knew Quatre was on top of me, his fingers brushing against the ticklish spots only he knew.  By the time he stopped, tears of mirth were pouring from both of our eyes, Quatre was laughing almost as hard as I was.

"That's what you get for teasing me!" he spoke between gasps.

It was my turn.  I twisted, my larger body pinning the young man beneath me, my fingers brushing against his sensitive, ticklish area under his arms.  He was howling, trying to worm from my touch, tears flowing freely down his cheeks.  "I wasn't teasing," I spoke with a grin on my face. 

"No fair!" he shouted at me amid his wails.  "Stop it, Trowa!"

Just waiting for those words, my fingers immediately stopped their ministrations, and I weakly collapsed on the small figure beneath me.  We barely moved as our chests heaved, trying to catch our breaths and find our thoughts.

"Shouldn't you be doing that in the trailer, you two?"

Even though I felt Quatre jump with my sister's words, I didn't move, cursing her timing.  Quatre's hands found their way to my chest and half-heartedly tried pushing me away. 

"Trowa…let me up…"

With one last breath of the yellow, sweat soaked hair, I quickly came to my feet and hoisted Quatre to his.  His face was actually pinker than his shirt and I hid a satisfied chuckle before turning to my sister.  "We were only playing, Cathy."

Her hands were on her hips, a deep frown between her eyebrows, the handles of a bag hanging around her right wrist.  Yet, her eyes sparkled with amusement.  "Is that what you call it?"

"Hello Miss Bloom," Quatre greeted her with a small embarrassed smile, shyly looking at her feet.  My Quatre, who could stare down business moguls, who would argue until his voice was raw, who could lead four independent pilots to the same goal, was afraid of my sister.  I didn't blame him.

"Don't be so formal, Quatre, or I'll make you call me sister, too."  Finally a smile blossomed on her lips and she laughed as she threw her arms around him for a quick hug.  I could see the expression on his face was a mix of surprise and panic, his eyes searching for mine.

"Ah.  Okay…Catherine…?"

She laughed and flicked his nose with her finger.  "It's Cathy, and don't you forget it."  With a quick, devious glance to me, she handed the bag to Quatre.  "Since me and Trowa are performing tonight, I thought you might be lonely-"

Oh, please, let there only be a ticket for tonight's performance in that bag.

"-and that you might like to join us.  I think that costume should fit you."

He stopped, the hesitation gone from his voice.  "Really?  I can be in the show?"

Nodding, Cathy had her older-sibling-look on her face.  "Go on.  See if it fits.  You better come straight out and show us."

As Quatre walked away towards the closest tent, his attention captured with the items inside the large paper bag, I moved to my sister's side.

After a long moment of silence, I finally spoke.  "That had better not be a tight spandex outfit."

She chucked.  "The tightest I could find.  Just for you."

"Cathy-"

The look she gave me was one of long suffering.  "Its one of the spare clown outfits."

I couldn't help but note the sly sparkle in Cathy's eyes.  "What are you up to?"

Her expression changed in a fraction of a heartbeat.  "Me, little brother?"  She blinked innocently.  "I was just going to give Quatre the VIP treatment."

Victim In Progress?  Very Ignorant Person?  "Cathy?"

"I thought it would be a good idea to have Quatre join us in our performance.  He'll enjoy it.  Didn't you see that look on his face?"

"But-"

"Don't you want him to run away to the circus more often?"

"Yes, but-"

"He'll be perfectly safe."

With those four words, a feeling of dread started to gnaw at the back of my mind.  Moments later, my guest re-appeared in the clown costume, slightly baggy around his waist, yet a surprisingly good fit.  Walking toward us, he tripped on those curled slippers twice but managed to stay on his feet, the bell on his pointed hat sending a soft jingle into the air.  He smiled sheepishly when he finally drew near, then holding out his arms and turning so we could take a look at his entire costume.

"You look great."  Cathy spoke before I could verbalize the same sentiment.  "Wait until we get a little make-up on you."

Quatre looked down at this pink and blue baggy costume, the top of his pointed hat bobbing precariously.  "It fits wonderfully!  But, I'm afraid I'm not skilled or trained to do anything more than just stand there for the entire performance."

"Perfect," she purred.

Why did my heart jump at her words?  I should have realized it sooner.  Catherine was going to use Quatre for target practice.  "Today is not the day to start missing."

Again, she just blinked at me with wide eyes.  "Me?  Miss?  I think you're forgetting who you're talking to, Trowa."  She laughed as she tossed back her head and strode away.

Quatre only watched as the lithe figure walked away before standing on his toes, cupped his hands, and tried to whisper in my ear.  "She wants to…she's going to throw knives at me?"

"Yes."

"She's still not mad at me for taking you away to fight, is she?"

"No.  If she still held a grudge, she would have attacked you directly."

"Oh."  He hesitated.  "Has she ever missed?"

I almost didn't tell him.  "Once."  I brushed back my hair to show a small scar on my ear.  "It was our first performance."  My memories returned to that day, remembering her expression.  "I think I scared her."

That evening, I believe someone said the boss actually fainted when he saw the temporary, fair-haired target set up in the center of the ring for that performance.

Cathy did not miss.  And Quatre played the crowd perfectly.  I knew the little blonde was not half-as-afraid as he led the audience to believe, whimpering with every impact mere inches away.  I could see the smile in his eyes even as the deadly objects impaled themselves all around his body.

Quatre was a gundam pilot.  And, I knew from his body language, he felt safe.  I flashed him a small smile before continuing my improvising, begging the beautiful knife thrower not to maim another of her targets in front of spectators.  I could see in her eyes she wanted to start throwing those daggers at me, warning me of our next performance together, but a malicious smile suddenly spread across her face.  The next knife embedded itself closer than all the others, causing two golden strands to fall onto the floor.

I was silent for the remainder of the act.

After the last of the audience left and I moved to help clean the stands, the boss stepped in my path, a hand on my shoulder.  "I believe you have something more important to take care of, right now."  His eyes turned to one side of the tent and I quickly followed his line of sight.

Cathy was rubbing the white make-up from Quatre's face, speaking in tones we could not hear at this distance.  He laughed at some joke, probably at my expense, before she rubbed the last stubborn white streak from his nose.

"Is it okay?"

"I just said it was."  He jerked his head toward my sister and her charge.  "Make him want to come back.  Understand me?"

I absently wondered if my face brightened as much as his did when I approached.  After wishing Cathy a good night, we thanked everyone for their hard work before leaving the tent.  What was everyone smiling about?

The lights on the colony had dimmed many hours ago, but with the rush of performing before a live crowd, I could tell the last thing on our minds was sleep.

"I want to show you something."  Seeing Quatre's nod, I quickly took his hand and led him down a small trail.  A few moments later, we stood on a grassy bank overlooking a small lake, cattails growing on the edge, hundreds of fireflies illuminating the grassy shore.  The sound of croaking frogs filled the air.  "This is my favorite place on this colony."

I only watched as his face lit-up, shining brightly in the simulated moonlight.  The gentle features on Quatre's face silhouetted against the pond milieu and, for a moment, my breath was caught in my throat.  I had to look away, watching the shimmering images pass over the water's surface.

"Beautiful…"

I glanced down at my companion and stopped, seeing his open gaze up at me, a tiny smile playing on his lips.  I smiled back, quickly pulling him against my chest.

I don't know who started the soft rocking motion, but we gently swayed to the amphibian choir, the small pond and the multitudes of fireflies the only witnesses to our actions.  Our first dance.  I was in heaven.

I had never seen Quatre chew his nails before that night, when we returned to my trailer, his gaze fixed on that single disk carefully unpacked from his bags.  I sat next to him on that rug, slipping one arm around his back and pressing his side against me.

"Trowa-"

"It is the reason you came."

"I'm…"  His blue eyes met mine.  "I'm afraid.  I never was this afraid during the war…"

"This is different.  I'm not letting you leave without listening to it…with me."

He hesitated, looking away from me, looking away from the disk, and looking only at the varying colors in that rug beneath us.  "Aa."

As quickly as I could move, I stood, put the disk in my player, moved the player within arm's reach, and returned to Quatre's side.  He just stared at the player and shivered with the first sound of his father's voice.

"Quatre.  I pray you never have to listen to this message.  I know something has happened, most likely my death, and I was unable to speak to you beforehand over these important matters.  The times have become so turbulent, I have no idea what tomorrow will bring.  I know you are fighting those who oppress us and you know I disagree with your methods.  What can we accomplish with violence, Quatre?"

He doesn't understand his own son.  I glanced at the blonde at my side and I saw tears forming in those shining blue eyes.  A breath escaped my lips to calm the cool rage inside, and I forcefully placed my arm over his shaking shoulders.  He will always have me.  I just needed to physically remind him.

"My son, this must be tearing you apart.  Fighting a battle without acknowledgment.  I know you are doing this for us.  I know you are trying to protect us.  I also believe this is not the correct path to peace.  But…"  The voice on the recording hesitated for a long moment.  "You will never know how proud I am."

Quatre's small body jerked under my arm and I could only watch his stunned expression, large tears rolling down his cheeks.  I resisted the urge to brush them away.  He needed to grieve.  He needed to absorb every word.  I only tightened my hold for a moment, letting him know he wasn't alone.

"It's true.  I have never felt such pride as a parent.  You are doing what your heart tells you, despite all odds.  I pray every night you are well…and happy.  Promise me you will find someone who loves you and never let go.  Do this for me."

"…yes…father…"

His voice was so hushed, I almost missed Quatre's words.

"I should have told you this a long time ago.  My Quatre, it must have been very difficult living in a house such as this one.  Twenty-nine sisters.  One father to spread his love so thin.  Working as much as I did has not helped with my relationship with you.  You wanted your father and I pushed you away.  Looking back, this is what I remember of your childhood.  I understand your bitterness."

Without letting him go, I gently placed a tissue in his shaking hand, lingering a moment to run my fingers over his.  It broke his empty trance on the player and he thankfully smiled at me.

"I should have told you why I could not bare being a true father to you.  I love your sisters.  I love you.  Never forget that."  He took a deep breath and slowly continued.  "But, Quatre…you hold a special place in my heart.  Not because you are my heir.  Because…because my beloved Qatherine died…my beautiful wife…she died bringing you into this world.  What you were told as a child was false.  You are not like your sisters.  Your mother loved me…loved you so much, she gave everything to have you.  She wanted you more than anything in the world.  She loved you.  And I loved her all the more for it.  For giving you to me."

I reached over to stop the message before gathering the small blonde into my arms, allowing him to weep against my shirt.  It was more than slightly unnerving to feel our beloved leader broken like that.  He seemed so fragile in that moment, and I was so lost.  I softly spoke comforting words against his hair as I drew small circles against his back, trying to calm him. 

I had no idea the circumstances of his birth.  What did it matter to me how my Quatre was brought into this world?  I didn't care whether he was created the normal way, in a test tube, or found under a cabbage leaf.  All that mattered was the young man I deeply cared about was at my side.  It made him no more and no less in my eyes.  I told him that.

And he cried even harder against my chest.

The remainder of the message consisted of minor details, contact names, and lists of company holdings on Earth and on almost every colony.  I could tell Quatre was no longer listening, his fists clenching my shirt, his face buried in the material, and my hand running over and over his exposed hair.  The disk was his and could be reviewed at any time.

"Be safe.  Be well.  I love you, my son."  With a small whine, the player stopped.

Silence filled the room, disrupted occasionally by a small sniffle from the figure still held in my arms.

In my mind, I replayed the entire message, not really understanding why this was effecting Quatre so deeply.  So what if he was created?  It didn't change who he was.  Unless…unless he believed he could be replaced on a whim, a brother could be created to take his place if he failed once too many times.  Is that why Quatre fought so hard in the war, trying to prove his worth?  To everyone?  To himself?

If he had known of this before, would he have still fought?  I contemplated my thoughts in those long dark moments, wondering if I would have ever met him if he had not been a pilot.  Probably not.  How would a circus performer interact with a multi-billionaire?  If not thrown together over and over, finally becoming a team, working together side by side, would feelings have developed?  Most unlikely.

I thanked everything good in this world Quatre was brought into my life.  And I damn well was not going to let him go now.

Another sniffle interrupted my train of thought.  I leaned down and kissed the top of that golden head.  Glassy blue eyes looked up from my tangle of arms, so sad they broke my heart.

"How are you doing, little one?"

He blinked and looked away.  "Better."  He ran the tissue over his face, dabbing at his swollen eyes.  "Thank you, Trowa.  I…I don't know…I don't know what I would have done without you."

"How many times do I have to tell you?  I will always be here for you."

Again, silence.  The water heater kicked on for a few moments, a soft hum but quickly stopped.  It took a hiccup against my chest to finally break the stillness.

"Trowa?"

"Hmmm?"

He took a shaky breath and his body tensed in my embrace.  "Make love to me."

What…?  I could only blink with his softly spoken words.  I could not have heard him correctly.  "Quatre?"

He rubbed his nose against my shirt and a shiver ran down my spine.  "Trowa…please…"

I rested one finger against those soft lips, silencing any further sound which might push me over the edge, taking advantage of his delicate state.  "I can't."  I wouldn't.

Quatre's head quickly fell and he gently pushed away from me, even though I wouldn't let him go.  I could clearly see the new unshed tears in those blue depths trying to desperately not look at me.  "I…I'm sorry.  I understand.  You don't want me-"

You don't want me…

"Damn it, Quatre-"  I quickly silenced him with a kiss, my fingers tangled in his blonde locks, keeping him from pulling away.  Long after he went limp in my arms from the lack of air, I finally broke away.  "You…cannot imagine how many nights I've dreamt of making love to you, little one."  I kissed him again, much briefer than before, but with no less feeling.  "But, if we do it now, here…"  On this awful rug…  "…we will both regret it in the morning.  I don't want…I don't want our first time regretted."

"Oh."  It took him a moment before his eyes snapped to mine in sudden understanding.  "But I…I thought you…I thought you were trying to seduce me."

Seduce?!  I only blinked at him.  Where would he get the idea that I-

Finally, a soft smile lit up Quatre's face and he reached up to touch my bangs.  "I thought it was what you wanted."  His blue depths wandered over my shoulder to, I quickly realized, the candles and flowers on the kitchen table.

I groaned and pulled the small former pilot into a gentle embrace.  "My sister brought everything in here.  I was living with empty walls and bare floors.  She said I should trust her to make you comfortable."  I closed my eyes.  "Last time I'll do that.  She made it…too comfortable."

"Trowa!"  My eyes snapped open with the sound of Quatre's astounded voice.  "Trowa, you…"  His fingers brushed against my cheek.  "…you're blushing."

I had no clue how to respond to the joy in his voice.  "You are too."

He turned even a brighter shade of pink before burying his face against my shirt, mainly to hide his blush.  "You know," he spoke softly, his voice muffled.  "Trowa, I wouldn't regret-"

"Think about it."  I spoke quickly before my desire overwhelmed my senses.  "The next time you visit me…we'll talk."

He sighed, warm breath felt through my shirt.  "That…"  His voice fell to a bare whisper.  "That is why I love you, Trowa."

A smile grew on my face and I leaned down to kiss the top of the blonde's head.  "I love you too, little one.  I think we both should call it a night."  But, even with my words, neither I nor Quatre moved from each other's embrace on that hideous rug.  I felt his breathing slow and his muscles relax as he drifted to sleep, my arms protectively around him.  I shifted my body to a more comfortable position, just breathing the soothing scent of his hair.  "We're going to be sore in the morning," I faintly whispered before closing my own eyes.

***

Watching him leave in that transport car, days later, was one of the most painful things I had ever emotionally experienced.  I was grateful Cathy was there, her hand resting on my shoulder as the small blonde's pitiful expression out the back window faded from sight.

"He'll be back."

I only nodded, still trying desperately to see the red taillights taking my little Arabian from me. 

Cathy stepped before me, taking my face in her hands and forcing me to meet her gaze.  "Trowa, Quatre will be back."

I blinked with the intensity of her words, finally hearing what she was not saying.  I could only nod, not allowing my voice to betray my feelings.  Yet, she knew.  She always does that, knowing what I'm feeling.  I just stood there with Cathy at my side, wondering how I would ever cope with this feeling of loss.

I later returned to my trailer, knowing full well how silent and empty it would seem without my small companion.  I closed my eyes trying not to picture the blonde at my door, lounging on that shag rug, chopping vegetables in my tiny kitchen, smiling as he snuggled closer to me on the couch.  I jealously guarded those precious memories, and with a steeled heart I entered my silent home.

The light was flashing on my answering machine once again.  I blankly stared at it for a long moment before my fingers automatically brushed the play button.

"Trowa."  His voice.  "I'm at the space port.  I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate what you did for me and…and that I miss you already."

My eyes fell to that green and blue rug, remembering the previous nights curled in each other's arms.  During his entire stay, we were so sore every morning, swearing we would sleep on the bed the subsequent night.  Yet, as the skies became dark, we always ended up on that rug with our arms around each other.  Night after night after-

"You know how to contact me."  A soft sigh sounded from the speaker.  "I…I love you, Trowa."  Beep.

A wave of emotion passed through me, happiness of hearing his voice,  joy of the meaning of his words, sadness of having him gone, frustration of being parted.  I froze with a sudden thought, a curse on my lips.

That little blonde never gave me his direct office number!

***

No matter how much I dislike that rug, I can't seem to part with it.  Any ideas?

Cathy has a large bed on order (a king size I believe) and it should be here in time for Quatre's next visit.  In our last phone call, he said he can't wait to try it out.  Neither can I.

So Heero, as you can see, Quatre is now doing fine.  If you wish to confirm the events of this letter, Quatre said he will visit me again in a few weeks and he would love hearing from you.  Like I told you before, there is no reason for you to invade Winner Enterprises.  Our former leader seems at ease.

But, thanks for your concern.

I will keep you informed.  Talk to you soon.

Trowa

*Owari*

Author's Notes:

My first Gundam Wing Fic!  I'm so glad I finally got this out of my system.  Hopefully, Trowa and Quatre didn't seem too out of character.  I never expected it to be so long.

Big thank you to Akai Kitsune for your wonderful suggestions and corrections!  And to Jefcat for all your support!

Soujirou:  Don't you love me any more???  *big teary eyes*

*Urk*  Must return to RK universe before I loose my little Sou-kun!  *runs away*