12-16-2002
Title: Stealing Away
Authors: Heidi <beaglepack@earthlink.net> and comet <comet@ao.net>
Pairings: 3x4 / 4x3
Rating: R
Warnings: None, other than this is not part of any of our series.

Disclaimer: All Gundam Wing characters, and the concept of the Gundam Wing universe belongs to Sunrise, Bandai, and others. We're just borrowing them. No money was made from this, and this was done totally for fun. Original characters belong to us.

Notes: This is for our beta reader, Kelly, who graduated this Saturday with her Master's in English Lit. Congrats, Kelly! She's a total 3x4 fan.

Archiving: This story can also be found at http://home.earthlink.net/~beaglepack/vault in the Misc Stories section.

Feedback: Any and all comments are welcome.


Stealing Away
by Heidi and comet


What he really wanted to do was throw the paperweight on his desk through the window and watch it plummet the thirty floors to the road below. But he didn't. No, he figured with the type of day he was having it would cause a major accident and there was the fact that it of course wouldn't solve any of his problems. More to the point, he could easily solve everything by getting out of his office and building without anyone noticing...and there was his main problem.

The phone beeped at him, signaling that his secretary wanted to speak with him. Either his next appointment was out there waiting or there was a phone call or worse, he had more paperwork to read through and sign. He wondered if he could throw the phone out the window instead. After all, the cord would stop it from going to far, in theory anyway.

"I need a vacation," he said ever so softly before pushing the button that would answer the intercom. "Yes, Marie," he said.

"Your eleven-thirty is here," she said.

"Thank you, Marie. Please show him in."

Quatre Winner sighed as he pushed back his desk chair and stood to meet his appointment. He smiled as the man entered the room, offered him his hand and a chair. Winner Charities, one of the smaller operations that WEI held, was sponsoring an event and this was the man that he'd picked to oversee everything.

Half an hour later, Quatre was satisfied with the man's progress and the event's program appeared to be moving along on schedule. "Thank you, Mr. Tillstoich. Everything appears to be in good hands," Quatre said, standing and once again reaching across his desk to shake the man's hand. "I'll make sure Marie sends the contract amendments to your office."

"Thank you, sir." Mr. Tillstoich nodded at his boss and left.

Quatre dropped down into his chair with another sigh. Buzzing his assistant, he told Marie about the changes to the contract and then told her to hold and rearrange his schedule for the rest of the day. "Shift everything around, unless absolutely necessary, to the end of the week. Hold all my calls. I'm going to be working on a few things and I really don't want interruptions."

"Yes, sir," his ever efficient assistant replied.

"Thank you, Marie."

Quatre swiveled around in his desk chair and stared out the window. Off in the distance, he could just make out the place he wanted to be. Coming to a decision, he took off his suit jacket and tie, rolled up his sleeves, and snuck out of his office.

***

Quatre walked through the crowds. He recognised several people and either waved a hello to them or stopped for a moment to chat. But, he didn't see the one person he was hoping to see.

"Are you lost?" a voice asked from behind him.

Quatre shook his head and turned around. Looking up a little and with a large smile on his face said, "No, I've run away to join the circus."

"Did you tell this to Marie?"

"Not exactly," Quatre said, a little abashedly. "I snuck out." His companion quietly laughed at him. "Trowa," he complained.

Trowa smiled at the shorter blonde. "Come on," he said, pulling on Quatre's hand so the boy would follow him, "I bet you haven't eaten today. And coffee doesn't count."

Quatre huffed. He'd only had four cups, so that had to count for something.

"Your frayed nerves," Trowa responded. "And yes, you said that out loud. Might also account for you sneaking out of the office instead of just walking out the front door like the executive you are."

Feeling a bit childish, Quatre stuck his tongue out at the taller boy. Trowa's only response was to walk a little faster, pulling Quatre behind him towards the food vendors.

Trowa picked one of the vendors that served rice with chicken and vegetables, something he knew Quatre would enjoy and eat. Getting their lunch and grabbing two bottles of water, Trowa herded the escaped executive to a quiet out of the way table where they could talk and watch the crowds.

Quatre watched Trowa as he got their food and then followed him to the table. After the first couple of bites he had to admit that he felt better. "Okay, so I needed something more than the coffee," he said sheepishly which got Trowa to smile. "I also need a vacation," he said between bites. "Run away with me."

Trowa snorted. "Maybe later, right now you should just eat and relax a little." Trowa had watched Quatre begin to unwind as he sat down and ate probably the first real meal since lunch the day before.

"How much longer will the circus be here?" Quatre finally asked, pushing an empty plate away from him. "I know you said the stay was extended but you never said for how long."

"A month." Trowa moved the plates to a nearby rubbish bin. "Though, I told Une I'd be back for duty in three weeks."

"I bet she'll be relieved."

Trowa offered a shrug in response. He was helping the circus out while they were here and it gave him a chance to spend time with his sister. Besides, he had plenty of vacation and sick leave that the time he was taking off would probably go unnoticed.

They sat quietly and watched the crowds begin to file in for the next half hour as they waited for the main fairway to open. "Shall we walk around some?" Trowa asked, not knowing if Quatre was tired or simply restless.

"Sure." Quatre nodded and stood. Disposing of their rubbish, he followed Trowa into the midway where there were several gaming booths and people selling local and foreign wares.

Quatre spotted a small figurine of a teddy bear and a cat at one booth, commenting that Marie would like it. "Pacifying your assistant might be wise," Trowa told him. Which promoted Quatre to buy the figurine for that exact reason.

"Good call," Quatre said as he pocketed the gift.

"You still need to call," Trowa reminded him softly.

"I know."

"Just so you remember," he said, with a wink and then bumped his hip into Quatre's. "Let's go this way." Trowa lead them to the games fairway. "Want to try your luck?"

"Is that a trick question?" Quatre asked as he raised his eyebrow at Trowa.

Trowa smirked. "Maybe."

Quatre huffed. "That's not an answer," he mumbled, but followed Trowa to a bottle and ring toss game anyway.

The carnie called out a hardy hello to Trowa and his friend. "Come on lad," he said, "give it a try. All you have to do is get the ring around the neck of the bottle."

Trowa pushed Quatre forward. "Go on." He knew he wouldn't be allowed to play the game. He'd already won at this one and the carnie wouldn't let him come back. Told him something to the effect that there wouldn't be any prizes left for the kids if he continued to play.

Quatre picked up one of the red rings and gave it a toss towards the bottles. The ring clanked against several of the bottles and then slipped between two bottles. Trowa nudged him again. "Not so much force," he whispered.

"No givin' hints you," the carnie said.

Quatre picked up another ring and tried again. This time the ring spun around the bottle's lip and then fell off to the side. Quatre didn't waste a moment and tried it again, shifting how he tossed the ring. The third ring spun around the lip of the bottle and down the neck, settling with a clink.

Trowa watched Quatre bounce in place as the third ring settled around the bottle's neck. He bent to whisper in the blonde's ear again. Quatre blushed slightly and used the back of his hand to hit Trowa in the chest. The carnie grinned at both of them as he handed Quatre a small toy for making the ring toss.

Saying good-bye to the one carnie, the pair made their way further down the fairway until Quatre stopped and pushed Trowa towards one of the other booths. "It's your turn now."

The shooting gallery, Trowa thought with a shake of his head, it figured. Quatre knew he'd be good at this one. "Going to finally give this game a shot, are you?" the new carnie said.

"Apparently," Trowa muttered.

Quatre stood up on his toes a little and this time he caused Trowa to blush as he whispered something into Trowa's ear before pushing him at the rifle. Trowa shook his head again but moved to the game booth and picked up the rifle. He lifted it, sighted and fired. The bullet knocked over the target. The next four did as well.

"Now I see why Cathy no let ya play dis game," the carnie said, taking the gun from Trowa. Trowa shrugged his shoulders but accepted the stuffed lion, handing it to Quatre while thanking the carnie.

Brushing his hand through the fluffy mane of the medium-sized stuffed lion, Quatre leaned up and kissed Trowa on the check. Quatre's smile turned into an evil grin as he took a step back. "Guess you weren't always shooting blanks," Quatre joked, running off, stuffed lion still in hand, from Trowa as the taller boy reached out for him.

***

From the fairway the two made their way to the animal's tent. Their first stop were the dogs who were practicing in a side ring. Quatre liked the animals, but he liked watching Trowa with them more. The horses were next, as was a short ride around the tent on the back of the only black horse in the show.

"I need to check on one of the lions," Trowa said, helping Quatre down from their horse. Quatre nodded and let Trowa take his hand as he followed him to the other side of the large tent to where the lions and other large cats were kept.

Trowa approached the roped off area where a large male lion laid against the bars of his cage. Trowa slowly reached his arm through the bars, whispering to the large cat as he scratched the top of the lion's head, rubbing at both ears before withdrawing his hand. "Come on Cat, there's something you should see."

Quatre followed Trowa around the side of the cage and behind another tent flap to an area that was more secluded. Quatre let out a gasp as he saw what was hidden in the out-of-the-way tent. The smaller area was home to a lioness and her cubs. "How old are they?" Quatre asked, walking a little closer to the holding pen.

"Not even a month," Trowa said, unlocking and opening the gate to the cage. "Want to meet them?" he said over his shoulder.

Quatre didn't answer. He just attached himself to Trowa and followed the taller boy into the cage. The lioness looked up and watched their approach but she didn't move. She was feeding her cubs. Trowa knelt down next to the lioness and scratched her head and ears like he had the lion in the other cage. He held out his hand to Quatre and indicated he should come over and kneel next to him. Taking Quatre's hand, he placed it just above the lioness' head. Quatre took it from there and soon the lioness was issuing a soft purring sound.

Trowa smiled at the expression on Quatre's face as the lioness leaned into his touch then quickly checked over the faintly spotted cubs. "Are they okay?" Quatre asked him, never stopping his ministrations to the lioness.

"Yes," Trowa answered. "Would you like to hold one?"

Quatre nodded and slowly pulled his hand away from the lioness. He watched as Trowa picked up one of the cubs that had already wandered away from its mother and after one of its siblings. The cub nipped at Trowa's fingers and batted at the brown-haired boy's hair. Quatre's laughter was soft and musical as he laughed at the cub's antics.

Trowa smiled and directed Quatre to sit on the ground before he placed the small cub in Quatre's lap. Quatre stroked the little cub's fur until it to was purring. Trowa smiled down at the blonde, enjoying the relaxed air that was now around the young man.

For her part, the lioness was very relaxed and quietly watching the two humans that had entered her cage. The one had been there many times before and she knew him, knew he was special. The other was new, but his scent was not.

"We should let them rest," Trowa said quietly.

Quatre nodded and set the cub down, watching it scamper off to play with its siblings before taking Towa's hand to help him stand. "Thank you."

"No thanks needed."

Trowa locked the gate behind them and the two young men began to make their way toward the area that housed the other large cats. Just passed the male lion's pen both boys heard a man let out a very loud yelp and a curse. "How the hell does he do that," the man claimed, referring to Trowa.

Trowa had stopped to turn around and watch as one of the other animal handlers was trying to get into the lion's cage. He turned around to see Quatre watching him. Quatre offered him a brilliant smile. "You just have a way with animals," he told him.

"Hmm, that's not all." He reached out his hand and ran the back of his fingers softly down Quatre's face. The innuendo was evident in his touch.

The moment was broken mere seconds later. "So, there you two are," a female voice called as the person entered through the tent's flap. "Should have checked here first."

"Hello, Cathy," Quatre said brightly to Trowa's sister.

Trowa gave his sister a small nod before telling her that they probably wouldn't have been here if she had.

"True," she said, smiling at the two boys. "But eventually I knew you'd have to come visit your lions."

Trowa just shrugged, couldn't disagree with his sister, especially when she was right. "Was there something you needed?" he asked her. She normally only came looking for him when something was wrong. The last time was with a message from Wufei telling him that Duo had been injured but that he was okay.

"No, nothing from the Preventers." She said straight off to stop her brother from worrying about one of his friends, even if he rarely ever showed that he was worried. "No, I was actually looking to see if Quatre was here." She smiled at the blond executive. "I was told that you'd runaway from work, most likely to join the circus."

Quatre blushed. "How does she do that?" he asked no one in particular.

Trowa couldn't help but laugh at the chagrined look on his lover's face. Quatre obviously had yet to figure out how well his secretary knew him.

"It was probably why you hired her, honey," Cathy told Quatre. "Though you might want to give her a call so she doesn't worry about you having actually been kidnapped instead of being here." She pointed at the cell phone that was on his belt and clearly turned off. "Then you can return to your running away to join Trowa at the circus bit."

Quatre thanked Cathy and walked just outside the tent to make his phone call. "He looks like he needs a vacation?" she told her brother. "He works too much for someone so young. As a matter of fact he reminds me of someone else," she was looking directly at Trowa, "who tends to overdo things." She stepped a little closer to her brother, not wanting Quatre to over her. "Maybe you should help him relax. Maybe stay around for a while, you know. Instead of the two of you meeting here and there, now and then."

Trowa didn't get a chance to respond as Quatre came back into the tent. "Thanks again, Cathy. And I do apologise that she had to bother you to find me."

She patted him on the arm. "Not a problem, hon, but try to actually get a look at the day before it passes you by," she said, walking out of the tent.

Quatre looked from where Cathy was walking away to Trowa. "She's telling me I work too hard, isn't she?" He didn't need to see Trowa's nod for the answer to be confirmed, he already knew it was the truth. His friends made no bones about the fact he worked too hard.

"Let's go back to my trailer, I can make you some tea while I change for the first show." Trowa said, this time Quatre laced his fingers together with Trowa's while telling him to lead and he would follow.

***

When he worked with the circus, Trowa shared a trailer with his sister. Though the spare room was now his permanently. Cathy had moved the junk out and made him actually leave clothes and personal things in the room. "This will always be your home," she had told him the day he'd come in to find the room cleaned out and the bed made up with darker colors that she knew he would like and two pictures in frames on the dresser. The first was of she and him; the other was of him and the other pilots.

The kitchen was little, but the selection of teas was wonderful. Quatre breathed in the aroma from the brew and settled down on the small couch in the trailer's living room, moving his newly acquired stuffed lion to a nearby table. After taking a sip of the tea, Quatre closed his eyes and rested his head on the back of the couch.

Trowa watched his friend, correction lover. They'd been together since the end of the first war, they just didn't get to see each other very often, and maybe that needed to change. Outside of Cathy the only people he ever associated with were the other pilots who he'd see at least once a month when he was on a mission or case for the Preventers. No telling when the last time he'd spoken to Duo, probably not in the last week, which was bad for Quatre since he and the braided boy had made themselves brothers.

"How long are you running away for?" he asked Quatre.

Without opening his eyes or moving his head, Quatre sighed. "My wonderful assistant managed to actually clear my schedule for the whole week."

Trowa nodded to himself, a plan forming. "Good. You're staying here then. And tomorrow we'll go visit Duo?"

"Duo?" Quatre questioned, shifting to sit up right faster than he should have. "Why? Is something wrong with Duo?" Quatre was now worried and a little upset with both himself and Duo. "Have I missed something?"

Trowa moved to sit on the couch with Quatre. Sitting behind his lover, he wrapped his arms around Quatre, resting his chin on the blond boy's head. "He's fine. He's probably bored and driving Wufei and Heero crazy by now," he reassured Quatre before explaining further. "While he and Wufei were chasing down a suspect, said suspect tossed him through a second floor window. His right foot is fractured and he has a lot of scratches and bruises."

Quatre tried to get off the couch. Trowa wrapped his arms around his lover and held Quatre to him, effectively stopping the smaller boy from getting up and pacing around the floor while he vented about not knowing of Duo's injury. "Why didn't he tell me?"

"He didn't want to worry you. He knew you were going to be really busy." Trowa replied softly, trying to soothe Quatre.

"When?"

"Late last week." He tightened his hold on Quatre, knowing his lover wouldn't take *that* news well.

"Then why didn't he call me or at least email me over the weekend?" Quatre didn't let Trowa say anything. "Not that I've slow down to even check my personal email or anything," he sighed. He was a bit stressed, but sitting there in Trowa's arms was very comforting. Something he wished he could do more often. He leaned back into the strong body. "Fine. I'll just yell at him tomorrow," Quatre said. "Maybe I can take him some ice cream and see if his favorite author has a new book out. I'm sure Heero and Wufei could use the break," he was planning this out while Trowa held him, "and you can take them away for a while."

"Hn," Trowa replied. He was only partly listening to Quatre plan their day tomorrow. He had other things on his mind, like how his lover fit perfectly against his body and how he tasted in the sensitive juncture of his neck and shoulder. He tipped his head just enough to graze his lips along Quatre's neck.

"Are you even listening to me," Quatre asked. Only getting a nip on the shoulder in response, he ran his hands down Trowa's thighs that framed his body and squeezed gently. "That's what I thought," he whispered before turning in Trowa's arms and kissing him.

Scooting down on the sofa until they lay side by side, the pair traded gentle kisses and caresses. They wanted more, there was no way they could deny that fact to one another, but they knew they their time was not their own so they just enjoyed they moment of closeness.

So wrapped up in each other they missed hearing the door open. It wasn't until they heard Cathy's disgusted, "Oh geesh, get a room," that they flew apart and tried to look innocent with their hair mussed up and their clothes in disarray.

"Cathy...," Trowa complained still blushing from being caught, as he buttoned the shirt Quatre has somehow managed to unbutton.

"You two are *so* cute when you blush," she teased. "Brother dear, I hate to interrupt but we have a show to do in 45 minutes. Think you can manage to get changed in time?" she asked.

"I'd be glad to help," Quatre said just loud enough for Trowa to hear, earning him a tight embrace and a hard, but quick, kiss.

"Oh no you two don't," Cathy exclaimed, knowing full well that if Quatre got Trowa's clothes off, her brother would never be ready in time for their act. "Quatre, come with me." Quatre finished straightening his clothes and meekly followed Cathy out of the trailer.

Trowa watched Quatre follow his sister. As much as he wanted his lover to stay he also knew Cathy was right to take him away. He had no doubt as to what Quatre's reaction would be when he saw him in the tights he had to wear to walk the wire.

***

Quatre had followed Cathy back to the main tent and the performers' entrance. "Looks like another packed performance," they both heard the ringmaster say as they entered. The ringmaster stood just within the room as looked out into the audience. "Alright people, show time."

The lights out in the main section of the tent dimmed almost all the way to dark and several colorful spotlights began moving around the crowd and the ring below. One by one the lights blinked from color to white as the light landed on circus performer dressed as a clown. The clowns did a short little act to get the crowd excited and then three spotlights illuminated the ringmaster as he began to talk.

Quatre watched most of the show from just outside the performers' room. He watched as Cathy rode out on the black horse to the cheers of the crowd. The horses were followed by another clown act to give the trapeze artists enough time to get into place. The lights switched again and the crowd began to "ooh" and "ah" over the daring aerial feats.

The ringmaster had set the circus' schedule so that you were always either on the edge of your seat with awe or laughter. Cathy came to stand by Quatre. "You know," she whispered, "you could have gone over there and sat down." She indicated a spot that she knew had been reserved for her brother's lover. The circus was family and most of them had recognised Quatre as soon as he stepped foot on circus grounds as a member of its extended family and the seat had just as quickly been reserved.

Quatre shook his head and Cathy quietly laughed. "You do tend to panic a little?" she joked. She remembered the first time after the wars that Quatre had come to watch. It had been a very good thing that Duo had been there to keep the blond boy in his chair or else Quatre would have tried to do something during the knife throwing act or maybe collapsed from fear during Trowa's main act.

Cathy laughed to herself. Just as Quatre would go use to one of their acts they would change it, she couldn't wait to see his reaction to Trowa's new act. "Ah," just who she'd been thinking about, "your on in two, little brother."

"Thank you," he told her, stepping up to the pair. He bent and kissed Quatre on the check, watching him blush. Trowa smirked. This should be interesting, he thought.

Quatre watched as Trowa took off his cloak with a flourish and draped it over Cathy's waiting arm. He hadn't been allowed to see Trowa's costume before hand and now he knew why. The tall boy wore a one-piece lycra unitard that covered him from neck to ankle but left very little of Trowa's lean, well muscled body to the imagination something which from the noises coming from the crowd they approved of as well. The costume was new, and damn, that meant the act was new as well.

While Trowa was climbing up to the high wire above the main ring, Quatre would have tried to move closer to the ring had Cathy not stopped him. "He'll be fine," she said, patting him on the arm. "Like with the lions, he's a natural up there."

"I know, but I still worry."

She shook her head and smiled. "The two of you," she started to say as she turned around to enter the backroom, but Quatre didn't hear the rest of what she saying, his attention was solely focused on Trowa.

Cathy slipped backstage to change her costume and gather her knives. Stagehands were prepping and moving things for the next act big act. All they would have to do was move and lock down into place once the high wire act was complete. There would be another clown act and an animal act before Cathy and Trowa would go back out into the spotlight one more time for the final act of the evening.

As soon as Trowa was done on the wire he came down and quickly slipped his clown costume on over the unitard and sat to have the half clown mask and makeup applied while Quatre watched on. Giving his lover another quick kiss, Trowa followed his sister through the curtains and out into the spotlight. Quatre watched with thinly veiled panic as each knife flew threw the air and landed with a thunk near Trowa's body. His dread increased as the knives got closer and closer to Trowa's head. It wasn't that he didn't trust Cathy's aim, he did. He had to, but one wrong move by either of them or an unexpected gust of wind, which was hardly likely, could be dangerous. And, while a knife in the arm or leg would hurt the damage wouldn't be nearly as bad as if Trowa was hit in the head or chest.

As soon as Trowa came through the curtains after his final act, Quatre grabbed his lover and held him tightly. He knew the siblings were experienced but seeing those knives come toward Trowa never failed to bother him. Not even Trowa's high wire act bothered him as much as those knives. Trowa understood Quatre's reaction. It was the same every time his lover watched their act.

Trowa quickly shed the clown suit and handed it to the costumer then grabbed the warm damp cloth and wiped the makeup and glue from his face. When his face was once again clean, he leaned down and kissed Quatre's cheek. Knowing this was their chance, Trowa once again wrapped his cloak around him and grabbed Quatre's hand and in the confusion of an act change the two slipped out of the tent and headed into the near- darkness. When they got far enough away from the light and noise of the big top, they collapsed against each other in laughter. They really hadn't needed to sneak away but they had just for the fun of it. Although judging by the wolf calls Trowa got in his bodysuit maybe they did need to disappear before his adoring fans sought him out.

Shedding his cloak, Trowa spread it out over the ground and they two boys laid down together. The din of the crowd from the circus became background noise as the sound of the crickets and the wind got louder. With their arms wrapped around each other, they picked up where they left off earlier when Cathy had interrupted them.

Soon, however, their gentle kisses turned into something more as the earlier banked desire for one another flared to life once again. With his arms still wrapped around Quatre, Trowa rolled them until his smaller lover was laying half on top of him. Using the position to his advantage, Quatre slowly slipped the zipper on Trowa's bodysuit down, kissing the newly exposed skin as he went.

As Quatre continued to adorn his body with gentle kisses taking time to lap at his nipples, Trowa pushed the suit down his arms until it lay bunched under his back. Deciding it was time to take matters into his own hands, Trowa grabbed Quatre and rolled them over. Quatre was the one who needed to relax and he knew just the way to help his lover along.

Trowa slowly undressed his smaller lover, raining kisses all the way down his body. When he divested Quatre of all his clothes, he pulled back just long enough to push the body suit down and kick it off. Fitting his body against Quatre, Trowa kissed him taking time to explore his mouth. This time when Trowa moved downward he did so with the express purpose of bring as much pleasure to Quatre as possible.

He brushed his tongue over Quatre's nipples then sucked one into his mouth causing Quatre to moan and push against his mouth. Smiling at the reaction he got, Trowa repeated the teasing on the other side. When he had Quatre almost begging he moved on and ran his tongue along the edge of Quatre's ribs before flicking it into his naval. He grinned at Quatre's startled shout before he continued to lave kisses along Quatre's body until he reached the juncture of his legs. He nipped at Quatre's inner thighs before running his mouth along Quatre's shaft.

Quatre moaned when he felt Trowa's mouth surround him. With each lap of his lover's tongue he moaned and arched into the moist warmth. When he began to beg, Trowa dropped one last kiss to the tip of his erection, then moved up and fitted their bodies together. He wrapped his legs around Trowa's as they moved together until they climaxed at almost the same time.

Trowa rolled them over and settled Quatre against his chest before pulling the ends of his cloak around them. With the cloak wrapped around their cooling bodies, the couple lay curled together and looked up at the crescent moon above them. Occasionally a shooting star would go whizzing across the sky causing both boys to wonder if it really was a star or something else flying across the heavens.

***

Sometime in the middle of the night they had returned to the trailer and snuck into bed without disturbing Cathy. The two of them had talked before both slowly dropped off back to sleep. Trowa had informed Quatre that he was telling Une that he was staying here. At first Quatre had though he'd meant with the circus, but soon realised he Trowa meant he was staying in this town. "Stay with me," Quatre said very softly.

"There would be nowhere else," Trowa had said as equally quiet.

With that settled, they slept until mid-morning when Cathy woke them for breakfast. Over the simple morning meal Trowa told Cathy his plans. She seemed quite happy that the two of them were finally staying together. "Took you long enough," she said walking back to her room. "Oh, and you have to be back by six so bring them all with you. I'll get the seats reserved and this time," she turned to look at Quatre, "you can actually sit and watch the show."

Now an hour later, Quatre and Trowa had entered the condo through the open sliding glass door to hear what amounted to loud bickering between the residents.

"...I swear."

"All the damn day."

"Funny, Yuy, real funny. But I swear if you two don't let me out of here I'll, I'll..."

"What will do?" Quatre asked from the bedroom door.

Heero turned at the new voice and his entire body seemed to relax just a little. "Oh, thank whatever deity heard my pleas."

"You're welcome," Trowa said, smirking.

Quatre approached Duo where he reclined on the bed with one foot propped up on pillows and several more pillows behind his back. "I'm mad at you for not telling me."

Duo had the good graces to look just a little ashamed, but still repeated just what Trowa had told Quatre the day before. "I didn't want to bother you."

"I see," Quatre said, holding a small round container. "So then maybe I should just eat this myself," he waved the carton of Grandmother's Cookie Jar ice cream in front of Duo's eyes.

Duo might not have been able to walk without assistance, but his arms and the rest of his reflexes worked just fine for now he held the ice cream and was looking for a spoon. "Someone want to be helpful and get me a spoon?"

Quatre smiled and climbed up on the bed to sit next to Duo. As soon as he got comfortable he produced two spoons that he'd been hiding. "You three can go do whatever it is you do in your free time," Quatre said to Heero and Wufei. "We have to leave before five to get dinner and get back to the circus."

"Yes!" Duo looked happy that he'd finally get out of the house.

A "we shouldn't go" got Heero a dirty look from Duo that only brightened when Heero capitulated. "Alright, we'll go, but you have stay up here until then and relax, agreed." Duo nodded.

Wufei snorted and shook his head. "He has you wrapped around his finger," he stated.

"Hn," Heero grunted, but didn't deny it.

Heero followed Wufei and Trowa to the kitchen, leaving Quatre and Duo alone to eat their ice cream. "He's staying," Quatre said to Duo, then started at the beginning.

- end -