Walking the Tightrope – Epilogue
Author: Asuka Kureru (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Series: Gundam Wing
You can find other chapters here:
http://asukasama.free.fr/art/Balance%2Bfond.jpg (this was actually intended as an illustration for another fanfic, but it turned out to be for that arc instead. Go figure.)
http://asukasama.free.fr/art/1x5on_a_bed.jpg (they're naked in that one, folks and yes, it's the pic that spawned that idea of Fei with space-blue hair)
Beta-reader: My Arabiana-love
Warnings: Yaoi, romance, sap, love triangle, threesome, heavy lime to nearly full lemon, dunno yet; the POV is shifting between the boys.
Couple (trio?) : 1+2+5
Disclaimer: They're sharing, why can't we do the same? ;_;
Duo leaned on the windowsill and looked around the yard for his lovers. He caught sight of them in front of the garage, tinkering with Wufei's bike. They weren't talking much, a word here and there when they needed a tool, but they were working together. On Wufei's BIKE. Even Duo barely had the right to touch it, much less play with its insides.
The braided boy grinned. It seemed that his two lovers had discovered some common interests between them. He was happy for them.
He had been so afraid that they were tolerating each other for his sake only... But they really seemed to get along great now. Hell, they acted like they liked each other, sometimes, although he could have waited for days and never heard one of them admit it out loud, even in as indirect a way as possible.
He meant... they kissed, and touched, and stuff. And he didn't even have to push them to. They weren't doing that just because they knew he found it hot, were they? And they exchanged amused smirks and knowing glances all the time, and they teased him in synch, and... so many things. They had to like each other, didn't they?
Well, yeah, they kind of had to... But... They liked each other ok, but he didn't know if they... liked... each other...
Ok, ok, they had sex together, so it had to be slightly sexual between them! Hell, Heero had admitted out loud to lusting after Wufei, and Wufei had kissed Heero without prompting many times now, and sometimes when Duo wasn't even supposed to be in the room; much less looking. So it couldn't be...
He sighed, and decided to admit his preoccupations out loud, to himself at least.
"They are not playing along for my sake," he whispered with intensity, his eyes fixated on the sight of the both of them behind the glass.
He didn't want to force them into anything... Well, it was obvious that they were content with the new arrangement, but he wanted more than content for them. He loved them. He wanted them in bliss, forever and ever, because he wasn't able to be truly happy if they weren't as happy as he was.
He knew they loved him. But what did they felt for each other? It was so complicated.
He had been listening for a clue, absent-mindedly at first, then with more attention over the weeks, until it had become almost an obsession, a worry that he was trying hard not to let his lovers see. But it was slowly eating away at his ability to enjoy being with them without afterthoughts. They just never, ever, hinted at what was between the two of them out loud. It was so frustrating!!
Ok, Heero had explained to him, when it had still been the two of them, that with the way he had grown up, with his adoptive father, Odin Lowe, Heero didn't know how to express his feelings out loud. He could only hint at it with his acts. He had been taught to act on his feelings, he hadn't been taught to explain them. He had trouble just finding the corresponding words to put to them sometimes. But if Duo looked close enough, he would see. And Duo had seen.
It had taken months before Duo had heard the words. He had been happy to hear them, that was a given, but he had not been doubting Heero's feelings, because he had known. Because he had seen it.
Plus, if what he had read on the question was correct, in Japanese society, affection and love were to be shown by subtle acts of thoughtfulness, not talked of. It was probably the same thing for Chinese society. Where his 'Fei had grown up, they had been formal and repressed, he doubted that they went around smooching everyone they happened to cross on their walks.
Yes. It was like the song. That stupid, sentimental song... but the lyrics fitted.
They said it better when they said nothing at all.
'They're prob'ly having whole, deep, meaningful conversations with two blinks and one shrug, then,'he thought derisively, feeling the good cheer he had been trying to ingurgitate rise like bile in his throat.
The fact was, either he didn't look where he should be looking, or they didn't show it when he was there, which opened a whole new line of worry, or there simply wasn't anything to see. And that was the worst possibility so far.
He sighed and tried to put things back into perspective. He knew that they had promised to talk if something bothered them, but he couldn't very well ask: "By the way guys, are you in love with each other?" out of the blue, now could he? It was something that he had to sort out himself. Maybe it wasn't that big a problem anyway; maybe he was the only one who was bothered by any of that.
'Even if they don't love each other, it's not important. They like each other as friends, and they tolerate each other, and they understand each other, and it's... It can be good enough. It can be.'
He sighed, then forced a smile on his face, forced the worry away from his eyes.
'Like they said that day; they love me, and they respect each other enough to try. There was never anything more in the initial accord, and now they're kissing and flirting and stuff. I have more than my share of happiness already. It's more than good enough.'
He opened the door, walking toward his lovers.
Duo spent some time with them, but for once he didn't have a conversation subject in mind that wouldn't lead to them finding out that he was concerned over such a silly thing. And they were already two people working on that bike; a third one would only make a mess of their carefully choreographed ballet. After a while, he excused himself and decided to go take a look at the little pond, just because he wondered if that toad was still there. He hadn't thanked it for his adventure with Wufei in the shower stall.
... ok, so it was a silly excuse. But he couldn't ponder on his problem in his lovers' presence, and they didn't seem to need him just now. He'd have some bonding time later... For now he just wanted to be alone, to be able to sort himself out. It was just a matter of time, really, before he got over this silly matter...
He sat down heavily in front of the pond and sighed. The muddy water plane was as uninteresting as possible. That suited him. He crossed his legs, put his chin in his hands and let his mind wander.
Wufei wiped his hands on a rag and began searching in the toolbox. "Duo seemed... concerned. Did you see? Or is it just me?" he asked, sounding totally aloof.
"Yes," Heero frowned. "Wonder why?"
"No idea," the black-haired boy shrugged.
"Do you think we should inquire?"
Wufei shook his head. "He's trying to hide it... We can't ask, he'd deny it and bury it, instead of only trying to sort it out by himself."
"Do you think he... he's having second thoughts?" Heero pondered, looking unconcerned. The stutter betrayed him, though.
"No way. Do YOU have second thoughts?" Wufei asked, stopping the pretense of working on his bike to look at his other lover.
"Hell no! ... do you?"
"Neither," Wufei snorted. "I get to top you, after all," he added jokingly.
"Cherish that memory," Heero growled," because it was an exceptional circumstance and I am not planning on repeating it anytime soon."
"Yes, of course, Yuy. Whatever you say, Yuy," Wufei leered at him.
"Next time I'll be the one on top," Heero assured, scowling.
"I hope you don't hold your breath, dearie."
" 'Che. Back to Duo, you self-delusional fool."
Wufei sobered up.
"I wonder what it is. He's trying to hide it, but he was never that good at hiding his feelings. He's been preoccupied for days now... He always cheers up when he's with us, but did you see him when he thinks he's alone? He's so deep in thought he doesn't even feel when someone is looking at him... I agree, he's used to our presence, but still."
"Yes, I saw that too," Heero nodded. "Maybe he fears for us... the three of us I mean."
"Why? It's going well... isn't it?" Wufei asked in a low voice, looking at his feet. His voice was strangely unsure behind the macho posing, and Heero felt a tingle of worry running up his back. Wufei wasn't supposed to be vulnerable.
"Oh yes it is," Heero leered to steer the conversation back on more manageable ground. Wufei punched him on his arm.
"Takes one to know one. And I wasn't the one taking and giving at the same time, you greedy, vicious little bastard," he added with a smirk.
"No, you were the one taking everything up every hole and demanding more, you cocksucking bitch," Wufei smirked back. Heero growled and wrestled him to the ground. Wufei fought back and soon they were rolling on the ground in a mock fight.
The horseplay didn't last long, and they sat back against the wall, disheveled, grinning like loons.
"You pawed at the front of my pants," Heero exclaimed, taken aback, when he remembered a peculiar sensation that he had felt during the fight.
"Yes, I did," the black-haired boy answered calmly.
Wufei smirked at him, a smirk so wide it was probably what killer whales called a grin. "Bitch."
Heero lifted his fist as if he was going to hit Wufei over the head, but on the way down the violence mostly disappeared from his gesture and the Chinese boy only had to suffer through severe disarranging of his hair, which in itself was quite damaging for his pride.
"Yuy, stop petting me, will you?" the Chinese boy demanded, huffing with annoyance.
"No, I won't."
"Yes you will," Wufei grumbled, dodging Heero's hand. "Or I'll cut my hair."
Heero snorted. "Like hell. As if Duo would let you anyway."
"What is with your and Duo's obsession for my hair?"
"It's pretty," mocked Heero.
"I'll give you pretty!"
"Oh, is that its name?" Heero asked, looking at Wufei's crotch. "I thought it was called little Feifei... hey!"
Chuckling, the Japanese teen evaded his comrade's fists.
He fell back against the garage's wall, and gazed up toward the sky. The clouds were drifting slowly, lazily. Wufei joined him in his contemplation for a moment.
"You think he's afraid we'll fail?" he asked, not looking at his comrade.
"I think he may be," Heero answered, pensive. It made sense, after all.
"But we will not... will we?"
"We won't," answered Heero.
"You sound so sure," Wufei scoffed.
"That's because I am. I trust Duo to hang on to us. And I think I want to hang on to you... a little while longer at least," he added with one of his little smiles, those who barely seemed to be here. "Do you... want me to?" he asked, his voice dropping low, nearly a whisper.
There was a long silence.
"...moron..." the raven-haired boy whispered. "Try ditching me and see how far you get away from me, and then ask me."
The level of emotion was becoming too much. The messy-haired boy jumped to his feet, surprising Wufei.
But once he was on his feet, the Japanese realized how his move could be interpreted. Heero didn't want Wufei to think that he rejected that line of conversation... He gave his hand to help him up. He didn't look at him, though. He was so embarrassed that he could feel the blush raising; he didn't want Wufei to see.
"Let's get your bike in the garage, we've done enough for today," he decided.
In silence, they pushed the bike back inside, and went to the living room.
"Hey... Duo's not here?"
"Nope. Strange," commented Wufei, looking in the empty kitchen.
"Maybe he decided to go for a walk," Heero pondered. "He couldn't know that we'd finish that early..."
"Probably," Wufei agreed. He went to the couch and sat down, heavily. He was not that tired yet, but he felt like resting a little. Plus he needed to say something to Heero, and he really thought that it would be better if he was comfortable.
He had been on the verge of letting it slip; if Heero hadn't jumped upward in that way, maybe he would have. But then, Heero was like him, uncomfortable with that touchy-feely stuff.
... well... maybe not the touchy part.
"Want a drink?" Heero asked, showing him a beer bottle.
"Sure," Wufei agreed. He had a feeling he would need the boost up.
Heero sat down at his side, handing him his beer, and they sat in silence for a long while, relaxing side by side in a wordless companionship.
They were drinking their second beer when Wufei leaned forward, nursing his can between his hands.
"You know, a few months… Hell, a few WEEKS before today, I would have laughed myself sick if someone had told me that you and me could be a couple. I mean, we've been rivals since day one, and as much as I respect you, I just cannot…*could* not stand you without a mission ongoing, not without trying to pick a fight with you. But you and me, together… Not in relation to Duo I mean. Well, I mean, I know I would never have thought about that if he hadn't made us more comfortable around each other, but…"
He fidgeted and glanced on the side before getting the courage to talk again.
"We would probably have a VERY rocky relationship, and most of our furniture would NEED to be unbreakable, but I… I mean, I still love Duo best, but if he wasn't here with us, I could… I think I could like being with you anyway," Wufei stammered. "Even if you are such a pretentious, pompous, self-important, sarcastic bastard," he added belligerently, daring him to laugh at his words.
Heero's eyes lightened and he smirked his superior, amused smirk, the one that buried its way under Wufei's skin every time.
"So I am a pretentious, self-important, sarcastic bastard?" he asked, deposing his can of beer on the coffee table.
"You forgot the pompous," Wufei grunted, half relieved that Heero hadn't decided to make a big deal of his confession, and half angry that he hadn't made a big deal of his confession. Shit, here he was, laying his feelings out for him, and the bastard didn't even seem to notice! What a...
Heero's arms encircled him, and he nuzzled the Chinese boy's neck, hugging him tight.
"You're right, without Duo to calm us down, we probably would kill each other within a week, but at least it would have been an interesting week, ne?"
Wufei chuckled feebly. What Heero had said didn't sound as if he had understood all that Wufei had been saying, all that he had been implying. But it was still an acceptance, still good enough...
"Suki da, Fei-kun…" Heero whispered against his skin, hugging him tight.
The black-haired boy's eyes widened. He didn't know much Japanese, but he knew that one.
"How did you manage to do that?" Wufei asked softly, amazed.
"What are you talking about?" Heero wondered, puzzled, lifting his head to look at him. His cheeks were slightly flushed, as if he felt intimidated somehow, but was unwilling not to meet his eyes. It made Wufei's belly clench tighter.
"What did you do to make me fall for you too?"
Heero blinked once, twice, and buried his face in the other boy's neck again. Not before the other boy saw the little, bewildered, contented smile lifting just so the corner of his lips.
The raven-haired boy hugged back, sighing deeply, and closed his eyes.
Behind the door, Duo closed his eyes and gave a watery grin to the ceiling. It seemed like they would continue to dance on the tightrope a little while longer.