Home, Family, and Giving Thanks
Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing. Though not for lack of trying.
Warnings: Shounen Ai, nothing really grapic, and sap. Lots of sap. I am going to give all of you cavities. . . wait. . . that's the pie. My bad.
Author's Notes: I was doing some writing excercises this week, because I have a friend visiting and I'm busy, so all my writing is pushed back a week, but I did find some time to do a drabble. I bought a book of prompts because I need to keep sharp with some writing excersices, and this will help. Anyway, since I love Thanksgiving, this is where it all came from. Originally I was going to do Christmas, but I just love Thanksgiving, so that changed.
So, Happy Thanksgiving!
His muscles were tense, strung like bowstrings, and his hands gripped the vinyl covers on the arm rests, his nails creating small cresents in the smooth material. He'd already buckled his seat-belt, pulling it almost too tight to breath. Green eyes were closed tightly, and he knew his face was pale, offset by his roan hair. His heart was pounding, making him wonder if everyone else on the large plane heard it. The plane was getting packed, businessmen and college students like himself taking their seats for the trip, headed home for the holidays. He had a week off for Thanksgiving, and his sister had insisted he come home from his school in California for the break.
"Are you all right?" Trowa didn't answer, at first, not thinking the soft lilt was directed toward him. "Sir?" A slender hand settled on his arm.
Green eyes snapped open in surprise. "I'm fine," Trowa offered automatically, staring at the person next to him dispassionately. It was a business man, with soft, white-blond hair and large aquamarinne eyes. He was a delicate looking little thing, standing a couple inches over five feet, a gentle smile on his face.
"You look panicked," The man offered, laughing softly. "You really shouldn't. Planes are safe, you know."
"I suppose." Trowa managed to unhook his claws from the armrests. "This is my first time on a plane, after all."
"Oh?" A blond brow rose.
"I'm headed home for break. I haven't gone home for Thanksgiving the past couple of years, and my sister didn't want me to drive so far. So she found me a reasonable price home." Trowa was sure the tiny smile he gave the businessman showed just how many knots his belly had turned into.
"That must be nice," The blond chuckled. "I haven't had a proper Thanksgiving with my family in ages. We just. . . always seem too busy. And I'm the youngest without a family of my own. I rather miss it, sometimes."
"Oh--" Trowa never talked so much, and here he'd already stuck his foot in his mouth. "Sorry."
"Nothing you can do about it," The man gave a cheerful smile.
Trowa shrugged, forcing himself to relax further. Having someone to talk with helped, and Trowa was glad the blond was sharing the seat with him. It would have been a long flight if he'd been forced to sit alone, or with someone that didn't seem quite as nice. A stewardess approached them, her fake-smile slightly strained. It must have been a long day for her already. "Mr. Winner, we have a seat in First Class, if you'd like to follow me."
Trowa started. He'd heard that Quatre Winner was going to be on his flight, but this mild-mannered busniessman that didn't seem much older than him. That was hard to believe. He stared at The blond for a moment, and Quatre offered a him a quick glance and sheepish smile before turning back to the stewardess. "I'm fine back here, if you don't mind." He patted her arm. "The company is nice. Just bump the person who was supposed to sit here into that seat, if you would."
"O-Of course, Mr. Winner!" She babbled, and hurried toward the front, showing an elderly gentleman to first class, leaving Trowa to stare at the richest man in the world.
"You're Quatre Winner?" He finally managed, incredulous.
"You know, everyone always says that," Quatre grinned. "Then they tell me I look a little young. But that's my lot in life, I suppose. Yes, I am Quatre Winner. I never caught your name, though."
"Trowa Barton." The introduction came easily, even though Quatre was such an important person. It didn't feel like he was talking to an important person, after all.
"Where are you headed, Trowa Barton? Getting off in Ohio, or going further?" Quatre settled himself in the seat.
"New York. The circus winters near the city. Cathy--that's my sister--didn't want me driving so far for break. So I'm flying." He shrugged.
"That's nice. You're part of a circus?" Aquamarine eyes lit up. "That must be so much fun! Are you part of the act? What are you in school for?"
"My sister and I have several acts together, and we've done a few other things where we needed to. We all pitch in. I get on best with the animals. I do some of the large animal acts while I'm home." Trowa sat a little straighter. "And I'm in school for Veterinary Medicine."
"Are you going to go back to the circus?"
"It was my intent, yes." Trowa grinned. "For how long, who knows. But for a little while, at least."
"The boy who never had to run away to join the circus," Quatre said softly, and Trowa thought his voice held a note of longing. If it hadn't, Trowa probably would have rolled his eyes. He got that a lot.
Quatre, seeming to sense it, blushed. "Oh, I'm sorry. You must hear that all the time. It's just. . . well, I'm not so interesting and that's so cool."
"How old are you, anyway?" Trowa glanced Quatre over. He didn't seem old enough to be part of a large corperation.
"What?" Quatre went bright red. "I'm--that's. . . oh, I'm twenty four."
Trowa blinked. He was twenty five and in his last year of school. "I'm older than you?"
"Shut up," Quatre mumbled. "I just graduated early, all right? A prodigy, they called me. Bunch of shi--er--nevermind."
"You can say it," Trowa gave a smirk. "I won't tell."
Quatre laughed. "Paparazzi are everywhere," He explained. "In fact, there's a guy three rows ahead of us currently trying to train a camera on me. Being watched all the time sucks. I can't even have a window seat because they take film of me from the terminal--"
The rest of Quatre's explanation was lost on Trowa as the plane sped up. He tried not to grip the armrests again, felt a soft hand worm it's way into his and clutched that instead as the roar of the jet engines drowned out Quatre's words. He never should have let Cathy talk him into taking a plane. He should have just driven home--even if he would have gotten there and had to turn right back around--and then he wouldn't be having this problem. Or be scared out of his wits--
"You okay?" The roar of the engines had faded and Trowa finally realized that he was clutching Quatre's hand like a lifeline. "You seemed awfully frightened."
"I hate heights," Trowa offered weakly, then chuckled. "Well, maybe it's more I hate airplanes. I do all sorts of things in the air."
"Walking tightrope?" Quatre asked, eyes wide in awe.
"Yes, and trapezee." Trowa shrugged. "Sorry for half breaking your hand." He hadn't missed Quatre flexing his fingers after he'd let go to attempt to get feeling back into them.
"It's fine." Quatre chuckled.
"You were telling me about getting your picture taken from the terminal?"
"Yes, so I can't have a window seat and I just love looking out the window. It's very rude to take up a whole row, and I can't exactly demand someone else give up the seat."
Trowa glanced out the window, paled, and closed the blind. "You can have this one. I'd feel better in the aisle."
"But I couldn't possibly--"
"Please," Trowa didn't want to look out the window again. "It'll be my pleasure. Really."
Quatre blinked, but agreed to trade when the seat-belt sign went off. Trowa almost relaxed in his chair at the thought of getting away from the window. And the moment the seat-belt sign faded, Trowa had insistantly traded seats with the blond, contenting himself with staying in the aisle. Quatre stared out the window for awhile, munching on the plane's peanuts and soda with Trowa as they shared more about their lives. Quatre was a happy person, Trowa realized, but rather lonely. His last relationship had soured when he found out his lover was sleeping around and selling news to the paprazzi to keep quite about it.
Trowa knew a little bit about the feeling. He hadn't had much luck with lovers either. His last one--Wu Fei--had decided he was straight after all and started going out with a girl names Meiran, and the one before that, Duo, had left him for Hiiro. Trowa's best friend.
Though he and Duo and Hiiro were all still good friends, and it had been for the best, but it still upset Trowa. Still, Duo hadn't cheated on him, and hadn't started going out with Hiiro until they had broken up and come to an understanding. And while the break-up had been mutal, it had hurt them both.
They shared stories about their love lives, and Trowa soon had Quatre laughing at some of Duo's current antics when the plane finally landed in Ohio. Time for the fun three hour layover.
Quatre didn't seem perturbed, however, and Trowa worried briefly he was actually getting off in Ohio and not going to New York. "Let's get lunch," Quatre finally broke Trowa from his melencholy. "I'm starving and I'm sure you are too, seeing how you gave me your peanuts, and we have three hours."
"You're going to New York?"
"Where did you think I lived?" Quatre chuckled. "Come on! I'm starving!"
Quatre probably starved a day in his life, but Trowa would forgive the remark since it set his own belly rumbling.
"Wait," Trowa ordered, fishing in his bag and pulling out a ball-cap from the circus. "Wear that. Maybe it'll take a few minutes for people to recognize you that way."
"Yeah, right," But Quatre donned it anyway and followed Trowa off the plane, surprised when he wasn't immediately mobbed by reporters.
They didn't hold off long, but it wasn't immediate, which gave them some time to clear the plane and find somewhere to eat. Quatre gave a sigh of relief when he realized that the cap had helped, but wondered what he'd do afterward. It would be hell to get back to the terminal, the reason he'd almost been late in California.
Trowa gave him a once-over, then let it drop, but Quatre made a mental note to ask after lunch. Trowa seemed to have an idea. Settling at the table, Quatre encouraged his new friend to order whatever he liked. "I can think of this as my Thanksgiving," Quatre explained. "Since I won't have a real one."
"What do you do on Thanksgiving, then?" Thanksgiving was a huge holiday at the circus, when they celebrated their year on the road and their accomplishments. The circus families and all their friends ate together, usually having close to a hundred people attending Thanksgiving dinner. One year they had so many, they'd had to put up the big-top to accmodate! Trowa had been very young, six or seven, and they'd never had one so big since, but it had been so fun. He had loved every moment of it.
"Oh, warm up a turkey dinner and watch television," Quatre shrugged dispassionately. "Nothing special."
"No family or anything?"
"The moment I got the business, my family went as far away as they could. My father died a few years ago, and I spent the holiday with him and one of my sisters. She married, so she's got her own celebration, now." Quatre rested his head against the chair back. "So. . . like I said, nothing special."
"You should come to the circus," Trowa blurted out, then wondered what he was thinking. Why was it that Quatre Winner made his common sense run away like a scared rabbit?
"Huh?" Quatre blinked at him, those aquamarine eyes so gentle and innocent.
Trowa always had been a sucker for innocent eyes.
"Come to the circus for Thanksgiving," Trowa repeated. He wasn't going to take back his offer, after all. "We have a big celebration and I'm sure you'll have fun."
Quatre gave him a soft smile. "I wouldn't want to inturrupt any of your family time--"
"Nonesense. We have so many people no one will even notice you." Trowa dug out a pen and wrote the address and his phone number on a napkin. "Here. The dress is casual, and you might get a little dirty. Don't worry if you just decide to show up, but you can call me and let me know what you decide, if you'd like." After giving the blond a few more details, Trowa finished his meal quickly while Quatre stared at the napkin.
Quatre Winner gave a soft smile, tucking away the napkin and then rising with a sigh. "Better head back."
"Wait," Trowa ordered, confiscating Quatre's nice suitcoat and stuffing it in his backpack after pulling out a large hoodie. "Put that on." The hoodie swollowed Quatre's tiny frame, made him look several years younger than twenty four, and it was the work of a moment to muss the blond strands before plopping the cap back on his head. "Congrats, you're now Kat." Trowa smirked, putting an arm around him and leading him from the restaurant.
The paparazzi, assuming it was just another couple coming out, didn't even give them a second glance while they waited for Quatre Winner to appear. Quatre grinned. He'd have to do that more often!
From there, time almost seemed to fly. The plane trip was comfortable, and Quatre got his much-loved window seat, with Trowa more relaxed upon both take-off and landing now that he'd experienced. Quatre even managed to get him to look out the window a few times without fainting. "I think I'm getting used to this," Trowa half-cheered, making Quatre laugh. Trowa smiled too. Quatre had a beautiful laugh.
They parted ways at the New York City Airport. Cathy had anxiously caught Trowa up in a hug while he waited for his suitcase and Quatre met the heavily armed body guard that was already carrying the small blond's things. Casting Trowa a last, slightly sad look, Quatre let himself be herded from the airport and to the waiting limosine.
When Thursday rolled around and Trowa still had not heard from Quatre, he assumed the blond wasn't going to be at Thanksgiving dinner. Trowa sighed. It had bene worth a try, and no one should be lonely on Thanksgiving. Not even big business tycoons. "Hey, who's the blondie?" Trowa heard Cathy call, and he poked his head outside to see Quatre standing uncomfortably by his car, a dish held in his hands. He looked ready to bolt away, chewing his lip nervously.
"Hey, Kat," Trowa greeted cheerfully, waving to the man. "You made it."
"Sorry I didn't call," Quatre whispered. "I just. . . I wasn't sure if. . ."
"That's all right." Trowa patted him on the back "I'll show you where to put that, come on."
"You're sure it's all right?"
"Yeah, see? Look." Trowa gestured to the preformers that had been staring at Quatre in confusion moments before had returned to their previous activities. "No problem."
"Is that a problem?" Quatre point hesitently to a brown and black figure barreling toward Trowa.
"Oh shi--" Was all Trowa had time for when the blur slammed into him, knocking him to the ground and sending the air from his lungs, leaving him wheezing.
"TRO-TRO!" Duo Maxwell screamed, hugging Trowa tightly. "You made it!"
"You moron." Hiiro's voice followed closely behind. "Get off him before you kill him."
"Get--lover--off," Trowa managed to choke out, gasping when Hiiro lifted Duo bodily off Trowa.
"Trowa?" Quatre was staring at him, biting his lip. "Are you all right?"
"My ribs," Trowa moaned, laying on the ground a little longer, despite the cold. "Duo, you asshole."
"Sorry, Tro-Tro, but I haven't seen you in five days. Five days! That's the longest I've been!" Duo looked anxious.
"I know I have to see you daily, because we live in the same house, but really, Duo," Trowa rose to his feet, rubbing his ribs. "You don't have to kill me."
Quatre was looking a little more lost each passing second, shifting from foot to foot, and Trowa got the idea that he was getting the wrong impression from the way Trowa and Duo were acting. "Quatre, this is Duo, and that's his lover, Hiiro."
"Oh, yes," The light went off in Quatre's eyes. "I remember you telling me about the on the plane."
"Is that how you met?" Duo asked, looping an arm around Quatre and passing Trowa the dish in his hands before leading him off. Trowa rolled his eyes and looked at Hiiro for an explanation.
"Cathy invited us because we had nowhere else to go, so we decided to make it a vacation," Hiiro explained. "We're staying in the hotel down the street, though Cathy offered to let us use the guest room."
"Thank you. I love sleeping." Trowa and Hiiro both smirked, knowing just how vocal Duo could be when the mood struck. He'd probably already had complaints from the hotel neighbors.
"And this guy is. . .?" Hiiro asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Quatre Winner. Met him on the plane ride. He didn't have anywhere to go for Thanksgiving."
"Always taking in strays. Even if they're rich business tycoons," Hiiro shook his head, following Trowa to the tent they'd set up for the feast to drop off the dish, then find Duo. It wasn't hard, his voice was loud enough to lead them straight to him. Quatre grinned at Trowa as he and Hiiro approached, and hugged Trowa happily.
"Thank you so much for inviting me," Quatre offered, blushing slightly. "It's so nice."
"We haven't even gotten to the food, yet," Duo clapped his hands in glee and dragged Hiiro to the table, all the while exclaiming over the food. Trowa just shook his head. Duo was insatable.
"Thanks again for letting me come," Quatre laughed. "It's so nice. And. . . well. . . I'm glad I don't have to spend the holiday alone."
Trowa just shook his head again. "It's nothing." And really, it was. Quatre was just another person to join in and make the celebration even better, and everyone just loved having extra people around. It made for a better holiday. Because Thanksgiving was about sharing with family and friends. Even friends as new as Quatre.
Quatre had never had so much fun on a Thanksgiving before, spending it with people that seemed to care for each other so much. Even though Trowa wasn't blood-related to anyone but Cathy, the entire circus crew was like a big family. They juggled and di tricks to entertain the non-circus people that had come, and threw food and other objects at each other. Cathy and Trowa had even demonstraited their knife act, making Quatre's eyes grow wide as dinner plates in fear and awe.
"That's why no one robs us," Duo told him jovially. "They're afraid of the clown!"
"Shut up," Trowa grumbled, putting Duo in a headlock and giving him a noogie. Duo whined a bit, prying Trowa's arm from around his neck and smoothing down his hair. It was growing late and Duo and Hiiro were heading out, with many of the other guests. Quatre kept flipping his keys from hand to hand. It was a couple hours back to the city, and he was tired. He wasn't sure if there would be any rooms left at the hotel, because he knew several people from the party were staying there.
"Something wrong?" Trowa seemed to read him like an open book, and Quatre was surprised. Most people had so much difficulty telling when something was wrong.
"I'm just tired," Quatre explained, shaking his head.
"Stay in the guest room," Trowa offered, waving to their trailer.
"Oh, no," Quatre protested. "I managed to avoid the paparazzi today, but I'm sure they'll be here tomorrow. . ."
"Who cares? Publicity is good," Trowa smirked as Quatre laughed, but let the clown lead him to the extra bed. The trailer was where they wintered, not the one that they took around the country, so it did have three rooms. Small rooms, but rooms none-the-less.
"Thank you for inviting me," Quatre leaned against Trowa, head resting against Trowa's shoulder. "It was wonderful."
"Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family," Trowa offered, green eyes dark with something Quatre wasn't sure he wanted to identify. "New and old."
"Maybe. . . Maybe it would be okay for a new friend to become an old one?" Quatre asked nervously. "Maybe. . . it would be okay to stay around for next year?"
"You want to run away and join the circus, too?" Trowa asked, leaning a little further toward Quatre.
"Well, maybe not join it. . . but visit?" Quatre blushed endearingly, but leaned closer to Trowa as well. "And. . . maybe swing by California a little more often?"
Trowa couldn't resist those sweet lips much longer, and let his lips brush Quatre's gently as he replied. "I like that idea."
And then, under the sky that still rang from the merriment and laughter of Thanksgiving with Trowa's family, Trowa brushed their lips together, sealing the promise with a kiss.