Chapter Seven: Wake Up & Smell the ….Roses?
I'd forgotten how damn dirty-minded circus folk could be. Stupid me- there was a reason I refused to stay with them year round. Bunch of horny little shits too- always having sex or thinking about having sex.
….or teasing me about having sex.
Anyone sensing a pattern here? No? It's just me then.
I'd only been back with the circus for a week and a half and I already had the gnawing urge to run away again. Maybe Nana Minnie will take me in and feed me and play with my hair.
Heero was still dead to the world- ha ha- so he was safe from the blush-inducing comments from the carnies. Even though his injuries had healed, my suicidal squatter still hadn't woken up yet- but I couldn't just leave him here all vulnerable and comatose.
No matter how tempting the thought of getting away from Cathy's sly grins was.
The scent of roses had finally, FINALLY, come out of my hair completely just two days ago. That's probably why I was sulking in my trailer when Cathy leant me her hair gel and I got a good whiff of it.
I snuck a look at Heero's still body lying on my bed in the mirror before I sighed gustily and popped the top on the gel.
The scent of roses all but assaulted my nostrils. Ew.
My eyes crossed as I took in my fuzzy bangs and with my slightly blurred vision, I could swear I saw Heero twitch behind me in the mirror.
I felt my neck crick as I whipped around to stare at him. Nothing looked out of place as I went over Heero's slack face and still body. Was my desperate mind playing tricks on me, making me think he was waking up?
I snuck a look at the scent bomb in my hands.
Or maybe the stench of roses was finally getting to me and causing a vivid hallucination.
I slathered the gunk on my bangs with a scowl- the price I pay for having good hair. I had a show to do tonight and the lions to feed before we started to pack up and head out to another of the circus-needing colony in the L3 cluster. I had four days to find a place to stash Heavyarms and Heero before our cover left us high and dry…..again.
I had to wonder why I didn't inspire faithfulness in any of my allies. Nobody seemed to want to stick around to help me with anything. A nagging voice in the back of my head was starting to make me think I was developing some sort of abandonment complex over the fact.
Heero didn't seem to have any problems in that department. If the others had believed he had survived blowing up Wing he wouldn't be sleeping on my bed while I slept in the bath tub.
……he probably wouldn't have a demented pink-obsessed, pacifist princess stalking him either but that's half Maxwell's fault as well. He should have let Heero shoot the girl when he had the chance. Now we're all reaping the rewards of that mistake.
I'm just thankful the crazy brod has no idea Heero pushed the big, red button yet or I would have more than one squatter- hell, she'd probably throw away her pacifist ideals and wage guerilla warfare on me until I surrendered and handed over Heero's body.
With her tracking abilities, if Relena Peacecraft ever decided to go OZ, we Gundam pilots would lose the war. It's a sad thought to realize five trained terrorists can't keep one teenaged princess from finding their hideaways.
I pushed thoughts of the Pink Princess out of my mind with a firm shake before grabbing my clown costume. Maxwell seems to find it immensely amusing that I have a part-time job as a circus clown when I'm not busy being a terrorist. I've resisted the urge so far to ask him what he does in his spare time- I'm a bit afraid to know the answer, to be honest.
I didn't really look at myself until I had my half-mask in my hands- then the similarities struck.
Green pants, blue shirt…yellow stars. Green, blue and yellow.
I had just described the exact color of the clothing I'd first dressed Heero in back on Earth. Except for the stars and stripes of course.
Damn, no wonder the cop laughed at him- I'd unconsciously modeled his attire to match that of a 'circus clown's.
Nope, I was NEVER telling Heero about this interesting trip. Never. Contrary to popular belief, being a Gundam pilot doesn't mean you have a liking to getting shot. Personally, I hate it.
And I'd hate it even more if Heero was the one doing the shooting- he'd make it in a place that would be the most painful but in no way kill me. I'm still necessary for the war effort.
…….. Never thought I'd be thankful for that fact. Hn.
I fixed the sheet that had been wrapped across Heero's chest and checked his I.V. and stats before leaving my trailer. Other than being a bit warmer than usual, there was no change in his condition.
My thoughts turned morbid as I dodged excited, irritating kids and exhausted parents.
If Heero failed to wake up soon I would be forced to…..well, leave him behind is the closest I can come up with. Put him in a long-term-care facility? I could see his chart already; 'Here lies Gundam Pilot 01- best pilot this side of the universe. Failed to hit his head on the ice hard enough after self-destructing. Admission only $2.'
You know you've been with the circus too long when…….
My mind steered away from that thought as another solution reared its ugly head only to be squashed by my big mental foot.
I refused to kill him.
Hazy memories of smoke and blood and violence filled my mind and left me cold in the spring warmth.
No, I had killed more than my share of allies already, thank you.
It might be the most humane of the choices but I would always have that nagging voice inside my head wondering if he would have woken up the next minute, hell the next hour or day!
Or just eventually- that slim hope would haunt me forever if I had to pull the trigger on Heero Yuy.
Cathy grinned at me as I entered the tent connected to the Big Top.
"How's your special friend?"
"Fine." I bit out, tired of trying to get them to use Heero's name instead of that. It didn't work the first time and 'Special Friend' is a lot better than 'Japanese Love Machine.'
Jack was still limping from my professed amusement at his ability to nickname.
I guess I didn't look in the mood to be teased because no comments regarding Heero's bathing or endowment were mentioned again.
Cathy snuck a peek out the window. "Big crowd tonight- I guess people just need more of a reason to laugh these days."
Oh God. She was in one of her philosophical moods tonight. That meant deep thoughts, bonding and tears.
To be honest, I felt some tears of my own coming on just at the thought. Tears of frustration, fear and self-pity.
"…oh just be careful out there, Trowa!"
Lost in my own thoughts, I guess I missed most of the lecture about the pains of fighting a war.
I didn't miss my 'sister' throwing herself at me and suddenly sobbing like a madwoman.
I gave her fluffy curls a pat. What was I supposed to do now? Why didn't we ever get taught necessary things like dealing with stalkers or hysterical females in Gundam Training? Noooo, it was all stealth, infiltration and explosives- all things we already know how to use. Then our little group of mad scientists can sit back and say they trained the ultimate weapons.
….that's actually a very smart idea. We did most of the work and they take all of the credit.
I pried Cathy off of me- which was harder than it sounds- and made her get ready for the First Act. We'd dazzle the crowd with a high wire show and some trapezing then let the clowns pull out their tricks, bring out the animals and finally I let my drama queen sister throw knives at me.
Waking the rope isn't as hard as people seem to think- true you need good balance and nerves of steel- but it IS simply walking.
Of course I had back springs and hand stands and flips but I can do that sort of thing in my sleep. It's relaxing in the way Winner drinks his tea and Chang mediates.
It does help that Cathy makes them put up a net for the trapeze though. I may know I won't drop somebody but somebody just might drop me.
Well, there goes my previous calm.
There was a moment, swinging nearly fifty feet off the ground, where I thought Gustav was going to drop me but I countered it by wrapping my legs around his neck.
The audience thought it was a cool, new trick.
Gustav thought I was trying to break his neck.
I thought it was a decent form of revenge.
Everyone was happy.
Well, Cathy was but she's never happy- it's a redhead thing I think.
……….I'm not a redhead- my hair is auburn-ish brown.
Can a person suffer from selective denial?
I helped the clowns out a bit with the animals. I have this….thing with animals to tell the truth. I just understand them.
Not like they can talk to me either or anything so stupid. Who do you think I am- Winner? A gypsy? I know real gypsies and they've shown me some of their tricks.
I can't hear their thoughts or anything so...sci-fi, I just get them. I understand how they operate: food, sleep, sex and attention. I understand their instincts because they make up the basis for my own.
And I just might have trained the lions to listen to my voice only. Just being precautious- I don't want to lose my job if this terrorist thing doesn't pan out.
Mask securely in place, I followed Cathy's dramatic entrance with my own sedate one. Ed couldn't pay me to twirl and wave and grin at the crowd- I was letting an emotional roller coaster throw sharp pointy knives at me- I was suppose to be morose and dreadful.
I stood at the board, waiting as Cathy wow-ed the crowd by splitting fruit of various sizes- proving the knives to be real and sharp. To tell the truth, at the speed and strength she throws them, I'd be more worried if they were dull.
The first one hit the wood by my calf with a solid thump.
The crowd cheered.
I froze in place. The slightest twitch too far to one side would give me a large new piercing and I'm not into body art- too distinguishing.
Calves lined in knives, the next two surrounded my thighs. A slightly more worrying area as the right hit could make me bleed to death before help could arrive.
But I trust Cathy.
Yup. Jut got to keep telling myself that.
Two at the hips, two at the ribs, two at each wrist, forearm and bicep. You know Cathy must be great at tracing and forgery. Embroidery too.
My mind drifted back to my trailer and my Heero problem as I waited for the crowd to calm down. Cathy would stay behind and help me if I asked her too but I would never want to put her in any more danger than my being with the circus has. She has a chance of escape here with the masses but none if we were ever caught together with Heero's limp body.
The thunk just below my ears and the sting of a cut made me blink. What….had Cathy just cut me?
I felt a small trail of warmth slide down my neck and into the frill necktie. Hopefully that would hide it until the end of the show.
It's not very reassuring to get nicked twice now by a professional knife thrower who changes emotions like underwear.
Unfortunately Cathy either knew she'd been off or saw the blood because the four knives that circled my head were thrown one by one. A lock of hair fell to my shoulder.
I was suddenly relieved to be not following the circus to the next colony. Cathy was getting a bit too close for comfort.
We bowed to the applause and my dear 'sister' waited until most of the crowd had filed out before launching herself at me.
"I knew I'd hurt you! Let me see, let me see!"
Then she proceeded to try and choke me.
I batted her hands out of the way and felt the injury. It was barely an inch long and not all that deep. I rolled my eyes at her.
"It's a small nick, Cathy. It won't kill me."
I got glared at.
"Any closer and it would have nicked your jugular. That just might have killed you."
Hey, she knows her biology.
Or is anatomy?
"Quick, let's get you to my trailer and we'll clean that cut and you can go lie down and-"
I quickly cut Cathy off. Once she gets started I would be lucky to find myself simply resting in my bed and not at the ER like I'd been mortally wounded.
"No. you are going to clean up for the night. Those knives have to cleaned and sharpened. After I feed the lions I'll get this looked after."
She slapped my arm suddenly. "You're not going into the lion cages with blood on you! CARL!"
From the back, Hulk Hogan minus the sideburns strode out and gave us a sharp glare.
The sarcastic tone all but jetted over Cathy's head as she spoke.
"You fill in for Trowa tonight and you're done. I'll talk to Ed."
Carl beamed at her and all but skipped off. I wondered when he would realize the 'filling in for Trowa' meant 'feeding the lions.'
Jobless for the moment, I was sent back to my trailer to stitch myself up and rest. I've gone days without sleeping and eating; been shot, stabbed and tortured by the enemy; had to endure Maxwell and Winner on a sugar high- but one little nick and Cathy's gone mother on me.
My mind pretty much blanked after that, when I opened my trailer door to discover an empty, Heero-less bed.
The doorknob slipped from my slack fingers as I stood there and stared at the messy sheets, coiled caterer and all around empty room.
The door to my tiny bathroom opened with a click and a cloud of steam blocked my view before Heero strolled out toweling his hair.
He was wearing a better arrangement of clothing from the stuff I'd bought him back on earth- the black sweats and navy tank top- and he looked a bit on the thin side.
Oh and he was awake.
I understood, on some level of my mind, that he'd said my name in greeting. But my present consciousness was still stuck on the fact that Heero Yuy had woken up.
"You're awake." I said, as if he wasn't well awake of the fact.
I got strange look in return. "Hn."
Heero isn't the most talkative of the five of us but having spent weeks without a sound from him, I had sort of been expecting a bit more than a half grunt, half word.
"Hn?" I demanded frostily. "What does that mean exactly? Is it a question? An answer? An 'I Don't Care'? A death threat?"
I had the vaguest notion to check for brain damage when Heero's face showed honest confusion. He blinked at me.
"It's a multi-functional word." He said warily. "In this instance it means I am agreeing with your statement and yet have nothing else to add."
Well, how unexpectedly expected.
"Oh." I said as he picked up the piece of tube and shot me an unreadable glance.
"You put this in then?"
I shrugged suddenly, feeling vindictive. "We sold a raffle at the gate and let the winner have the privilege. Made the circus good money."
It's a good day when not even Heero Yuy can tell if you're being serious or not. I gave him a mysterious grin and left him staring at the piss tubing.
I went into the bathroom and checked out the cut on my neck. My ruffle was a bid more bloodied and hid the worst of the damage but it really was such a tiny thing to worry about. Some peroxide, a couple of butterfly bandages and it wouldn't even scar too bad.
I went back out to grab some clothes from my duffle as Heero made the bed and picked up his dirty sheets. Hey, he's house trained. I'll never forget the time Winner made up those household schedules and I had to clean the laundry.
Chang's socks reek.
I ended up giving myself a brief wash down in the bathroom sink. From the looks of the steam Heero had made, my previously comatose comrade had used up all my hot water. There's usually just enough to do my dirty dishes and have one shower a day- any more than that and people need to start sharing.
Hm, maybe that's why everyone here has sex on their mind all the time. Heero…sharing my shower….
Maybe that cold water was a good idea.
I dragged on a black t-shirt over my white jeans and left the bathroom. My costume was quickly stuffed in the laundry bag before the stench could kill me.
Then Heero had to go and nearly stop my heart when I turned around to find him right behind me.
I think I gasped. Or swore. Or did something because he looked a bit more approachable around the edges.
I sighed at the apology. "You're going to be the death of me."
His brows furrowed in confusion and I caught sight of the medi-kit in his grasp.
Heero followed my gaze and straightened.
I frowned. It was a damn nick! That's it, barely an inch!
"Sometimes an inch makes all the difference."
I'm not sure what was more surprising- me talking loud out again or the innuendo that appeared in Heero's words.
A hand like steel vice wound around my elbow as we made our way over to my neatly made bed. I sat down and held the kit open as Heero took the spot to my left. One hand held my chin as the other tilted my head to the side.
My bangs flopped out of my line of vision for the first time in a while.
I heard more than saw Heero take a sniff of the area around my head as I remembered the hair gel.
I could picture the look on his face perfectly. Have I ever mentioned how much I-
"You smell good." Heero commented suddenly, a lot closer to my ear.
-love the scent of roses?
"Well, I- thank you. I think. It's just Cathy's stupid hair-"
I was babbling. Impossible.
"Trowa, you talk too much."
Well, I can honestly say no one has ever said that to me before.
"I'm trying to thank you for saving my life." Heero muttered.
All thought- well all coherent thought- left my mind after that as my long-standing crush held my head in place and kissed me.
I dropped my medi-kit. Ask me if I care.
Somewhere in my mind, a hand scribbled 'picking up Heero Yuy's body' back on the list of things I'd do as a mercenary. If this was my reward……
Oh. Heero had amazingly soft hair for a terrorist. It's so silky and thick.
A tongue flicked at my lips. Of course I opened up- who wouldn't have?
Hmmm, he tasted like my vanilla-mint tooth paste……..
There's only one tooth brush in my bathroom.
I guess I should have realized I needed oxygen when my thoughts started to wander and worry about my tooth brush when I was being devoured by Heero.
I followed his lips when he pulled away.
"That's all?" I asked, wanting more. "Do you have any idea what I went through to get you here? That's all the thanks I get?"
Hero actually chuckled at me. Pulled him back for another kiss and glared his smile.
"I had to dismantle Heavyarms. There were demon kids, nosy grandmothers, flirty mothers, dead cops, shopping, coffins and wild Pekingese. I deserve to have the rights to your first born son for this Yuy."
Heero gave me a look that screamed disbelief as he picked up the medi-kit and finished working on my neck.
Something was nagging at me, in the back of my mind, hitting me with the sting of the peroxide.
"Just how long have you been conscious?" I demanded. "The show was just over two hours long- I should have seen signs of dreaming or even sleep."
I watched as Heero bit his lip in surprise. Zero One doesn't do that kind of thing.
"Technically I was awake when you changed into your….uniform."
The slight blush on Heero's cheeks was nothing compared to mine. I knew it. Even my ears were turning red.
"You were…ogling me while I changed?"
He nodded. "You have a geometrically appealing back view."
Even with Heero's hand on my thigh I translated that one easily: You've got a nice ass.
I dropped back to the present as Heero rolled away from me and stood up.
"Where are you going?" I asked, watching him pack up MY clothes with a blink.
Heero shot me a look.
"To visit Sylvia Noventa."
I'm not sure if that name should mean something to me- or my clothes for that matter- or not but the last part sure did.
He nodded, face unreadable. "I need to…explain myself."
I snorted at that, reading between the lines. The pause between the words was telling- Heero was probably going to break into this poor girl's house, claim he killed her relative and then give her his gun and tell her to shoot him in retribution.
Heero blushed slightly, as if reading my mind. He picked up the duffle and headed for the door, pausing with his hand on the door.
He was going to go off and get himself killed again if he wasn't careful. The last few weeks flashed through my mind- all that hard work, saving his ass and carting it around and the damn roses and now he was just going to go throw it all away.
I all but threw myself off the bed towards him.
Someone had to keep his ass alive- it might as well be me.
…..and it had nothing to do with me liking his ass the way it was.
Nothing at all.
Heero smirked at me as we headed out the door.
A/N: It's over! I'm thinking about doing what happens between Quatre and Duo and Wufei and Sally in two other fics.
Thanks for the reviews!