Title: Sir Maxwell's Guide to the Honorable Sport of Dragon Hunting
Authors Note: This story takes place after the events of my other story 'Saint Quatre's Home for Retired Gundam Pilots'. I suppose it could be read alone, if you so desire. You just need to know that because of events that took place in the previous story, the pilots are sharing a house. Also, Wufei and Duo were at one point sleeping together, but do to actions on Duo's part (breaking things off in a note), the liaison has ended.
Disclaimer: I make absolutely no profit on these stories.
The thing about living in someone else's house is that they tend to know the place. It makes it hard to disappear, especially when they have a master key. Even with that, it was two weeks before I walked into my room to find Quatre sitting on my bed. You've got to give the man points for patience. I wouldn't have lasted a day. But I wouldn't have cared, not really.
Quatre cared about everything, all the time. It set my teeth on edge. Something about always turning a corner and finding him there empathizing with you. Don't get me wrong, he's cool. We're all cool. But we've got our quirks. Me, I don't need anyones abstract sympathy.
"I don't want to talk about it," I announced as I shrugged out of my jacket and hung it up in the distressingly ample closet the room provided. I'd lived in apartments smaller than that closet. Quatre had a tray sitting next to him complete with teapot and what I'm sure were delicious cookies.
"This isn't an interrogation."
"What is it then?" I crossed to the desk by the bed, and perched there, watching him. I wanted to be out of his reach. I wanted to be able to leave, if I had to.
Quatre poured, carefully, for both of us. He stirred honey into my cup, and added milk before handing it to me. I'd never told him how I liked my tea. He just knows stuff like that. He smiled and if the smile wasn't innocent (we're none of us innocent) it was honest.
"This is tea, Duo." He spoke with the slow care of someone addressing a very small child. It's hard to tell when Quatre is kidding. He always sounds so sincere. It wasn't until he began to chuckle that I realized and mimed throwing a punch at him. "Do you want a cookie?"
Of course I wanted a cookie. That's how they get you, with food. But me, I'm an easy catch. I'm available. Not like some people I could name, people who hide behind open books and locked doors. People who walk off in the middle of chess games if you so much as enter the room.
Quatre waited until I'd had two cookies before he said anything that wasn't food related.
"Do you like it here?" he asked.
There was something behind the softness of his voice, a quiet tenseness, like a trap waiting to be sprung. You learn to hear things like that, when you spend your time around dangerous people.
"I'm glad." His tone didn't change. Whatever needed to be said to disarm him, I hadn't said it.
The quiet began to stretch. I could only peacefully drink tea so long. I kept feeling the fragility of the cup I held. "Well?" I asked.
Quatre didn't pretend not to understand the question. I like him for that. He plays the game sometimes, says nice things to people he could kill without trying. But he knows how to be honest.
"Why don't you talk with him?"
"Because he's a bastard." I answered. If he weren't such a bastard, he wouldn't be avoiding me. Of course, he made it look like he wasn't. He was polite, he said hello if I ran into him. But try to talk to him and I might as well be talking to his Gundam.
"He says the same about you."
"Yeah, well, takes one to know one." I paused midway into another cookie, "You've been talking to him?"
Quatre's smile was self-satisfied and I couldn't blame him. He'd managed more than I had. He said, "A little."
"What'd he say? Other than me being a bastard. I know that part." I heard the urgency I hadn't meant to allow into the words, and flashed my best grin, "I want to hear all the naughty details about myself."
Quatre, being Quatre, being sympathetic and aware, wasn't fooled. Heero would have been, but Heero wouldn't have cared either. "Does it matter that much to you?"
"No. Yes. Listen—" I opened one of the drawers on the desk and took out a gun. It was something to hold, something to focus on.
"Yes?" He prompted.
"We were fucking. It was good. For both of us. I just don't know why that has to be over." The quiet stretched, wound itself tight. "Well?"
"What are you asking?"
"Why does it have to be over?"
"Duo—" He sounded tired, but his tone held a certain level of ironic amusement, "What would I know about it? Business leaves even less time for relationships than terrorism did."
"But you're good with people!" I don't know what I'd expected. An answer. Advice. If he couldn't fix it, why'd he break in? Why bring tea?
"Not as good as I thought I was." Whatever trap had waited in his words earlier, it was gone now. He was aware of it too; he spoke like someone who had just missed a target.
"It's not important." I began to take apart the gun. It's not that they need cleaning, that much. It's just something to do with your hands.
"That, the both of you agree on." Quatre set the tea tray on the desk beside me. "You want to know what he said about you?"
I didn't answer. Didn't know the answer.
Quatre started talking anyway, as if my silence had been an enthusiastic yes. "He said you used to show up starving and wired. He said you'd spend half the night talking and sometimes he couldn't even follow what you were saying. He told me you love omelets, but not with onions. You're excellent at cards, particularly poker. You like your tea with lots of honey, and just a little milk."
"So?" I asked, when he stopped without warning to give me a surprisingly unpleasant glare. It's easy to forget that Quatre's as dangerous as the rest of us. But he has ways of reminding you.
"So. He never mentioned sex."
"Wufei's a prude." It was true. You could fuck the guy, but you couldn't really talk about it with him. He'd just change the subject.
Quatre's breath left through his teeth, a slow hiss like a fuse burning down. He stood then, leaving the tray behind, and walked to the door.
"No. Duo, Wufei's in love." He shook his head. "If you want sex, try Heero or Trowa, or one of my people. Leave Wufei alone. I don't think he can be just what you need anymore."