2-2-2004

Title: #87 - Surprising - Part 3
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat <calic0cat@fastmail.fm>
Story Completed: February 2, 2003
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Friendship, Romance
Pairing: 1x2, 3x4
Rated: PG
Warnings: OOC, Swearing
Archives: At Lev's Lair http://www.gwaddiction.com/levlair/ and at http://calic0cat.freeservers.com/ (my site) and at Mediaminer.org under Calic0cat. Anyone with archive permission for my other fics can help themselves.
Disclaimer: Duo and Heero and the rest of the GW gang aren't mine. This story is. Nuff said.

Notes: The arc begins between one and two years after Endless Waltz. Trowa POV in this story.

'Thinking'
"Speaking"
************ Time passing or scene change

Author's Notes: See earlier fics for notes on the arc as a whole. Feedback is appreciated.

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Trowa watched thoughtfully as Heero and Duo made their way across the crowded market. Something was definitely a bit off, or at least *different* between them... His musings were interrupted a moment later by Quatre's voice.

"Trowa, I need you to keep Heero busy for a while so that I can talk to Duo. I have to find out what's wrong and..."

"No," Trowa said simply but firmly, cutting off the concerned words. "Quatre, let it be. *If* there's something wrong, they are quite capable of dealing with it themselves. Neither of them will thank you for interfering." He wasn't convinced that Quatre's perception that their friends were at odds was correct. There was tension, yes, but it could be caused by something as simple as mutual worry over a contract bid. And even if it was due to an argument, Heero and Duo were perfectly capable of handling their own disagreements without any outside assistance. Even that of a certain blond with good intentions.

Quatre frowned slightly. "I have to try to make things better. It might be our fault for just showing up without any warning..."

Stifling the urge to sigh, Trowa knew that he was going to have his work cut out for him trying to persuade his lover to mind his own business. He loved Quatre's tender heart and deep caring for his friends and family but unfortunately those same feelings had a tendency to lead to Quatre being a bit of a busybody. Not to mention a worrywart.

"Quatre, if our surprise visit is to blame then that's all the more reason to stay out of it," he pointed out patiently. "I told you that it would be better to call ahead; Heero prefers things to be planned out in advance. And they both value their privacy; neither one of them will be grateful if you start poking your nose into their friendship." Glancing across the concourse to where the others stood talking, Trowa added quietly, "Do they really look as if they are at odds with one another?" He waited while Quatre followed his gaze and watched the two friends as they spoke, heads bent close together, before entering a butcher shop. Whatever might be going on, the two stood and walked just as far inside one another's personal space as always.

"No... not exactly..."

Trowa nodded, relieved by the admission. Maybe his lover was going to be easier to persuade than he'd feared. "Quatre, they've shared a house for a year and a half now and have been working together almost as long. I think they're capable of working out whatever it is that you're sensing on their own."

"I suppose... But there *is* something wrong," Quatre said firmly.

"Maybe. But if they want your - our - help with it, they will ask," Trowa said just as firmly. If Quatre insisted on interfering, he would have to do it on his own. Trowa certainly wasn't going to give in this time. He'd given in on making the visit a surprise one rather than calling ahead and he still felt uncomfortable over it. He had no intention of going against his better judgement again and letting Quatre talk him into meddling in Heero and Duo's friendship.

***

"Ah! If it isn't my two favourite boys, just in time for lunch! And with guests, too!"

Following Heero and Duo into the small pasta stall, Trowa blinked in surprise as a matronly Oriental woman swooped down on the two of them, hugging them and bestowing quick pecks on their cheeks. He exchanged a startled look with Quatre, both of them bemused by the sight. 'I knew that Heero had changed a lot since moving here but I would never have believed that he would allow *anyone* that kind of familiarity! Joining Duo here has been a very good thing for him...'

"Mama Lucia, these are our friends, Quatre and Trowa," Duo said with a grin. "They dropped by for a surprise visit this weekend and the cupboards were kinda bare so we figured we'd stock up and feed them lunch at the same time."

"Such handsome young men - but too thin!" Mama scolded. "Young people these days! None of you eat properly. Come along, now. Mama will make sure that you all get at least *one* proper meal today." She shooed the four of them briskly into the small cafe and seated them at a table. "Now, which will it be? The chicken parmesan or the fettucine alfredo?"

***

The rest of the afternoon passed surprisingly quickly. After returning to the house, the four ex-pilots gathered around the kitchen table to talk, updating each other on recent happenings and reminiscing.

'Heero and Duo seem much more at ease than earlier in the day...' Trowa decided. He was convinced that he and Quatre should have called before showing up for a visit. Their friends were clearly glad to see them; Heero and Duo had simply needed time to recover from the surprise nature of their arrival. Heero had always preferred that things be planned, organized, controlled. Despite the changes Heero had gone through in the past year and a half, Trowa didn't think that had changed. And the very fact that Heero was ill at ease would set Duo on edge as well. Duo had always been good at reading Heero's moods.

'Quatre was wrong. It's obvious that the two of them are getting along just fine. Their friendship is just as solid as ever; maybe even stronger and deeper.'

Though Trowa couldn't help thinking that something *did* still seem a bit different in the way that they interacted...