8-10-2000

And Never the Twain Shall Meet
Part XII

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Duo and Kaylin walked in silence for some time. The events of the afternoon had left them both feeling that things still hadn't quite been resolved. Duo had suddenly become aware that Kaylin was intimidated by him... which in turn made Duo uncomfortable. Kaylin was his friend, plain and simple. He just wanted to make certain that Kaylin understood that.

As they made their way to Kaylin's dormitory, Duo was the first to end the interminable silence. "You know, Kaylin, I'm a little pissed right now that you would think that we might actually hurt you."

Kaylin stopped and stared at Duo with hurt obvious in his eyes. "Be as pissed as you want, Duo. Remember, I didn't know who you really were until I saw Wufei with you guys at lunch today. Everything Treize told me about you came back in a flood... especially when you had me in that room with Wufei reading that message out loud... the rest of you just... just glaring at me!" Kaylin lowered his head and spoke in a soft, tremulous voice. "I thought I was going to die."

Duo didn't buy it... just yet. "But you sent that message after you knew who we were and after you already made your date with Wufei. You told Treize we were all cool and that he should even meet with us after the war." Duo crossed his arms. "I don't get it."

"Duo, that's why I was sneaking to Wufei's room... that's why I reacted the way I did in the hall when you snuck up on me. I was still on pins and needles from just realizing who you are!"

Duo remembered now. Kaylin had gone 'battle-ready' at the sound of his voice in the hallway.

"Damn! Duo, I know this is a clumsy explanation, but it's the truth! The reason I told Treize that you were my friends... was to prove him wrong..." Kaylin paused for a moment, "... and because I'm hoping it's true."

It took a moment, but Duo finally managed to start smiling again. "Don't worry, Kaylin... it's true."

A small, uncertain smile curled the corners of Kaylin's mouth as hope glimmered in his blue eyes.

Duo shrugged. "I guess maybe we didn't handle that... situation very well, but it was the best we could come up with on such short notice." He turned and started walking again. "So... why do you call him 'Uncle' Treize?"

Kaylin shrugged. "He's older than me. Even when we were little, Treize had that mature, aristocratic air about him... very different than me. I didn't see him often enough to think of him as a big brother... his family was always traveling all over the place... but the times I did see him we were always... like family." Kaylin chuckled softly. "The day after he turned thirteen his family came to visit us. I teased him mercilessly... and I do mean mercilessly... about becoming an old man. He finally got fed up with it and tackled me... which wasn't easy. Even at that age I was almost as big as he was. Anyway, he tickled me until I almost pissed my pants. I finally couldn't stand it anymore and I called out 'Uncle! Treize! Uncle!' so he would stop tickling me. I'm not sure how, but 'Uncle Treize' just sort of stuck after that... it seemed to fit."

Duo had never thought of Treize as anything other than an instigator of death. He had forgotten that the man he consider his nemesis had been a child once. Kaylin's story sounded so innocent... it almost left Duo feeling guilty about disliking the man... almost. "I understand."

Kaylin sighed softly. "I hope the others are as understanding."

"Well, let's see... as far as I know, your date with Wufei is still on for Friday night..." Duo gave Kaylin a sidelong glance and noticed he was smiling broadly now, "... and Quatre and Trowa like you well enough that I don't think they have any doubts about you. Heero..." Duo thought for a moment, "... Heero might take some convincing... suspicious of everyone, that boy is. But you can rest assured... I will handle Heero."

Kaylin suddenly burst out laughing. "Oh! I'm sure you will - in more ways than I can imagine."

For once, Duo couldn't think of thing to say.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"It's stuck!" Trowa gritted his teeth as he pulled as hard as he dare.

"Pull harder," Quatre suggested. "Here let me help. Ouch!"

"Be careful. I'll have to replace it if we damage it," Trowa warned.

"Why don't you let me try," Heero offered.

Quatre gasped. "Heero, you can't just twist and grind like that, you'll bend it!"

Heero looked at Quatre. "It's useless as it is. Trowa, why don't you just have it replaced or repaired?"

"Because they'll treat it like brain surgery... forms and all."

Quatre sounded sad. "Looks worn out to me anyway. I think it's time it was retired. Maybe you should get a new one, Trowa."

Trowa was silent for a bit. "I've gotten used to this one. I should have used more grease on it."

At that moment Duo burst into the room to find Heero between Quatre and Trowa... holding Trowa's flute in both hands. Duo was breathing heavily and glaring at each boy in turn. "Do you guys have... any... idea what this conversation sounds like in the hallway?!"

Heero just shrugged and held out the flute to Duo. "We can't get it apart. Would you care to try?"

Duo snatched the musical instrument from Heero's grasp and, with a quick twist of his wrists, had the flute apart. He looked down at the two pieces he held and looked back up at Trowa. "You really should follow your own advice about lubricant, Trowa," He said, placing the pieces into Trowa's palm.

Trowa gaped.

Heero gaped.

Quatre giggled. Trowa had that one coming.

"Where's Wufei?" Duo asked as he gave Trowa a sly wink.

Quatre was the only one able to speak at the moment. "He went back to bed, saying he was emotionally exhausted. I do feel a little sorry for him... "

Everyone looked at Quatre.

"... just a little," Quatre clarified.

Duo threw himself onto Quatre and Trowa's bed, lacing his fingers behind his head. "I feel sorry for Kaylin... poor guy was just caught in the middle of this whole mess..." Although Duo really felt that way, he had said it to evoke a reaction from the others... to find out how they were taking this.

No one shot Duo a harsh or surprised look. Everyone nodded.

Heero uttered a single, softly spoken word. "Faith."

Quatre and Trowa looked up to find Heero gazing intensely at Duo.

An equally intense but unreadable expression had quickly settled on Duo's features. After a moment, he swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat. Duo smiled slightly and nodded.

Trowa looked at Quatre and raised both eyebrows as he began to put the flute back in its case.

Quatre interpreted Trowa's expression as - I don't know what that was all about... but... wow! Quatre had been thinking likewise.

Duo stretched and yawned where he lay. "This bed is so much more comfy than mine."

"Don't even think about it young man," Quatre said with mock sternness. "Trowa and I have things to do this afternoon."

Duo quickly rolled onto his side and propped his head in his hand. He was grinning again and the old mischief was back in his eyes. "Really?! What are we doing?"

Heero closed his eyes. He is so incorrigible sometimes... no, make that most of the time.

Quatre smiled. "Trowa is preparing a nice quiet dinner for the two of us this evening."

Duo looked confused. "How are you gonna manage that without any..." Duo suddenly sat straight up, eyes wide, "... food!! You guys are going grocery shopping!?" Duo was grinning ear to ear now.

Heero squeezed his eyes even tighter... he knew what was coming next.

"Can Heero and I go to the store with you... pleeeeeeez?!"

Heero's eyes slowly opened. I know I'm hooked when I can predict anything about Duo Maxwell. "Duo, leave them alone. They want to be left alone tonight."

Trowa cleared his throat. "Actually, we could use the help carrying the stuff back here. The shuttles don't run after four on Sundays."

Heero gave Trowa his best 'this-is-another-fine-mess-thank-you-very-much' glare.

"We're going shopping! Yaaaaay!" Duo bounced happily in front of Heero, hoping the enthusiasm would somehow be transmitted to his companion.

Heero crossed his arms as he looked at Duo. He really couldn't fault the young man for being excited. They all knew where Duo grew up. To walk into a single building that housed, very nearly literally, mountains of food... it had to be nothing short of awe inspiring for a boy who used to have to steal what amounted to scraps in order to survive. Heero finally smiled. "Go get our jackets, it's chilly outside."

Duo froze, seemingly in mid-hop, and looked at Heero with wide, glistening eyes... and then threw his arms around Heero's neck, hugging him tightly and trapping Heero's folded arms between them. "Thank you, Heero." He said it softly enough that only Heero could hear.

When Heero recovered, Duo was already out the door. He noted with some amusement, that Trowa and Quatre were trying to look busy... without actually being busy. "You don't really need our help... do you." It was a statement, not a question.

Trowa looked up from where he had been busily doing nothing. With a sheepish grin, he shook his head. "No... I'm glad you saw it too." Trowa stopped as Quatre whispered into his ear. Trowa shrugged as he looked at Quatre. "It really wouldn't be any extra effort."

Heero disliked secrets, especially when they involved him. "What?"

"I just asked Trowa if it would be too much trouble to make enough for four. We can have our own quiet little dinner..." Quatre paused for effect, "... and you and Duo can have yours."

Heero's face lit up as much as he dare allow in front of the other two boys. A sly little smile slowly graced his lips. "Don't tell Duo."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As the four boys neared the market, Quatre watched the excitement build in Duo. This must be so much fun for him... I think I'll let him go nuts. "Heero... Duo... we might not get this opportunity again, so get whatever you guys want while we're here."

Duo looked at Quatre as though he had just spoken in tongues. "Quatre, think about who you're talking to... do you really mean that? Think very carefully before you answer."

Quatre thought about it again. "Yes... yes I do. Remember that we don't have a refrigerator though... and remember we have to carry it all back to the dorm." Quatre had to shout the last part of his sentence. Duo had already taken off in a brisk jog toward the massive building in front of them, Heero following not far behind.

Trowa looked at Quatre. "Are you sure that was wise? I mean... I know money's not a problem... but there's no telling what he might come out of there with."

Quatre smiled, his eyes gleaming as he watched Duo's receding back. "Let him go, Trowa. He deserves this. I think he may actually surprise both of us"

Trowa and Quatre stepped into the entryway and each grabbed a hand basket before going into the store itself. They both stopped and looked at Duo.

There Duo stood with his back to them, Heero by his side, looking around with his mouth hanging open... and the biggest shopping cart they had.

"Surprise." Trowa smiled at Quatre.

Quatre couldn't help but laugh as they walked toward the other pilots. "That's fine. Let's just see what he puts in the cart."

Duo looked at Quatre with eyes as round as saucers.

"Are you ok, Duo? You act like you've never seen the inside of one of these places before."

"I haven't... at least not one that hasn't been gutted by artillery or beam weapons." Duo looked around the perimeter of the store where the backstock of nonperishable food stood - still in the cases and stacked almost as high as the two-story ceiling. "Let's go shopping, Heero." Duo's voice clearly communicated the awe.

As Duo and Heero moved off, Trowa looked at Quatre and raised one eyebrow. "I think we're going to be here a while."

Quatre chuckled and placed a hand on Trowa's shoulder. "Let's go shopping, Trowa."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Duo actually didn't waste much time with the things he knew wouldn't keep. So far he had collected some fresh fruit, a couple of loaves of bread.... "Hey, Heero, do you still have that Swiss Army knife?"

Heero nodded.

"Good!" ... about a dozen different kinds of soup, several cans of chili... "What's this?"

Heero looked at the can. "Says 'Beanie-Weenie'. Looks like beans and hot dogs in a can."

Duo smiled lasciviously. "You ever had weenie in the can, Heero?" Duo wiggled his brow.

"Can't say that I have..." Heero acted as though the implication had been lost on him as he grabbed six cans of the stuff for himself... and then he actually leered at Duo. "... yet."

As Heero moved off with the cart, he gave Duo the best 'fuck-with-me-will-ya' smile he could muster.

Duo was left standing there with his mouth agape, blushing down to his toes... and still holding a can of 'Beanie-Weenie'.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quatre followed in silence as Trowa picked out each item for the masterpiece he was going to prepare this evening. Each piece of meat was closely scrutinized for fat and gristle content - the aroma of every fresh spice was carefully savored - every vegetable meticulously examined for freshness and firmness.

"Trowa, I hope you have a skillet in the bottom of that duffel bag you carry around," Quatre teased.

"Actually, I checked in the cabinets in the lounge area yesterday evening while you were sleeping. The school has seen fit to provide the students on each floor with a community set of cookware... a rather nice set, I might add. I've already spoken to Ms. Griswold about borrowing a spice mill."

"You mean Ms. Griswold... from the cafeteria?! I'm a bit surprised she would loan it out."

"She said no... at first. She has a rough exterior, but she really is sympathetic toward the students. She said she would loan me one... if they had one... which they don't." Trowa shrugged. "So, I'll chop them by hand."

"I'll help if you like. I know I'm a catastrophe waiting to happen in the kitchen... but I think I can handle chopping spices for you."

Trowa almost laughed at the memory of the last time Quatre tried to prepare anything more complicated than a can of soup. "Fine, I hereby designate you the spice chopper for the evening... just don't cut anything off." He had meant a finger... but as soon as the words were out of his mouth, the look on Quatre's face told him that the blonde boy was thinking he meant something else.

"Trowa!?"

Trowa smiled... and decided to leave it at that.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When Duo finally caught up, he found Heero standing at the end of the cereal aisle... waiting. Duo came around the corner and stopped dead in his tracks. "Whoa!"

Heero smiled knowingly. "I thought that might be your reaction."

"There's got to be like... a bijillion different kinds of cereal here!"

Heero nodded. "One-hundred and forty-seven... not counting the oatmeal. Remember though... no milk."

Duo looked at Heero. "Who needs milk, man!" ... and Duo started grabbing boxes.

Heero actually picked out a couple of his own favorites and put them in the cart as well.

At least Duo was limiting himself to what he could carry under one arm. He dashed up and down the aisle putting one box back and picking up another. As he ran down the aisle, one name caught in the corner of his eye and he slid to a halt. "Heero... you are not going to believe this!"

Heero walked to where Duo was staring at the top shelf. Heero's jaw fell open for a moment. He reached up and grabbed the box to get a closer look at it. The front panel had a close-up picture of a bowl full of tiny, sugarcoated mecha. "Gundam Crunchies." Heero read the name.

"Do you believe that shit?!" Duo was beside himself.

Heero shrugged. "Some companies will do anything to make a buck, Duo." Heero hugged the box to his chest and walked away.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quatre and Trowa were standing in the personal care area when they noticed Duo and Heero coming toward them. The oversized shopping cart was a little over half full. Quatre discreetly surveyed the contents. Cereal, canned goods, fresh and dehydrated fruit, bread, peanut butter, bottled juices, a bag of chips and some dip... a few other things that he couldn't make out. Quatre wouldn't have cared if Duo had wanted a whole case of chocolates... he would have gotten it for him. But Duo had been... efficient in his choices... getting reasonably healthy items and only that which he could store away or eat within the next three or four days. Quatre looked up at Duo as the cart came to a halt in front of him. "Are you guys done already?"

Duo smiled. "Almost. I need a new toothbrush. And I need to get some shampoo and conditioner... because somebody keeps using mine."

Quatre nodded. "Heero, why don't you get some for yourself then?"

"Because..." ... it's his, something about it being his... that's why I like using it. It won't be the same if I have my own... that's downright obsessive, Yuy. Heero just shrugged.

"S'ok, Heero... you can keep using mine."

When Heero looked up, he could see the twinkle in Duo's eye.

Duo smiled as he left the other three boys to go searching for his hair care.

A minute later, Duo's voice could be heard from two aisles over. "Hey Heero, grab me a toothbrush while your standin' there, will ya? Trowa, could you come here for a minute?"

Trowa was examining a pair of insoles for his shoes. The calluses on his feet had softened over the last three weeks and his feet were actually starting to hurt a little. He dropped the package into his hand basket and followed the sound of Duo's voice. When he came around the corner, Duo was standing there with what looked like a box of toothpaste in each hand.

"Which one should I get, man? Name brand or generic?"

Trowa looked at the boxes again... it definitely was not toothpaste. "Uhhh... Duo... you couldn't possibly have used all of what I gave you last night."

Duo rolled his eyes. "Don't be silly, Trowa. You can't be my supplier forever ya' know. Now, which one do you buy?"

Trowa pointed at one of the boxes of lubricant. "That one tends to be too watery."

Duo put the box back on the shelf and watched as Trowa picked up another box of the other brand and added it to his basket. "Stocking up too, Trowa?" Duo had a huge accusative grin on his face.

"I gave you the only unopened tube we had left."

Duo feigned flattery. "Trowa! I don't know what to say! I'm honored."

"Don't thank me... thank Quatre." Trowa smiled as he headed back down the aisle. "He's the one that buys the stuff."

"Really?!" Duo grabbed his hair supplies and followed Trowa out of the aisle.

Heero watched as Duo tossed each of the items into the cart. "What's that?"

"What's what?" Duo was playing innocent.

"That." Heero pointed at the conspicuous box.

Duo leaned on the handle of the cart and smiled coyly as he picked the box back up. "This?"

"Yes, Duo, that!" Heero was becoming impatient.

"So, you wanna know what this is, do ya?" Duo tapped the box in his palm as he backed away from the cart.

Heero came around the cart and pursued Duo as Duo walked backwards down the isle.

Trowa and Quatre knew what was in the box; both were getting quite a kick out of watching this.

Heero quickly caught up to Duo and tried grabbing the box from Duo's hands, but Duo already had the box behind his back. Without realizing what he was doing, Heero wrapped his arms around Duo in an attempt to snatch the box from his grasp.

"Nnnn... if you keep your arms around me like that, I'll use it on you right here in aisle forty-seven."

Trowa snorted.

Heero quickly unwrapped his arms from around Duo and stood toe to toe with him. "What - is - in - the - box - Duo?" Heero asked through his teeth.

Duo held the box up in front of Heero's eyes. "Desert."

The look on Heero's face...

Quatre started laughing so hard, he fell to his knees.

Trowa wasn't doing a very good job of holding in his own amusement.

Heero recovered his composure and snatched the box from where it hovered in front of his eyes. He gave Duo a sinister smile. "I'll get even with you for this, Duo Maxwell," Heero whispered softly as he tossed the box back into the cart.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At the checkout line, Heero suggested that Duo and Trowa get into two different lines in order to make the checkout faster. Heero would accompany Quatre to the cash machine.

Duo daydreamed as each item was scanned. *beep* "Gundam Crunchies" *beep* "Peanut Butter" *beep* "Cheese Dip" *buzz* Duo looked up at the ugly sound the machine made.

The cashier frowned and tried the scan again. *buzz* "I'm going to have to call for a price check."

Duo nodded.

The cashier leaned into the microphone and started speaking. "Pharmacy..."

Pharmacy!? Duo finally looked down at the item in question. The lube!!!

"... I need a price check on a box of personal lubricant - item number PH01070." The query echoed through the cavernous building. Before the echo could even die, the cashier repeated the request.

Another voice came back over the loud speaker. "We have a bit of a mix-up here... is that the large or small size?"

The cashier looked at the box. "It says 'jumbo'." The word 'jumbo' bounced between the walls several times before it dissipated.

Duo was too humiliated at that point to even care about the conversation going on over the loudspeaker system. While the cashier waited for the price, she set the box back down on the counter. That was when Duo noticed... the product code had been scratched off. "Heero!"

The cashier jumped. "Beg your pardon, sir?"

Duo quickly looked around and spotted the other three pilots waiting for him by the exit... all three doubled over in laughter. "Heero!" All Duo could do was shout his name... he couldn't think of anything else. "Heero!"

Heero contained himself and waved several bills in the air... a wide, satisfied grin on his face. "Come and get it."

Duo couldn't actually hear him... but he could read Heero's lips even through the grin. Duo smiled at the lady behind the counter... "I'll be right back."... and stormed off.

Duo glowered at the three. "Do you have any idea how embarrassed I am right now?!"

Heero held the money out to Duo. "Yes... I do," he said, smiling.

The other two boys were still laughing too hard to speak.

Duo frowned as he watched them... then he started smiling... then giggling... then started laughing himself. "Ok, ok... Heero, you definitely got me back.... man that was mean... but good. I had it coming, huh?"

Heero nodded and continued to smile.

Duo walked back to the checkout, the whole time shaking his head and laughing.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Man I didn't realize cereal could be so heavy." Duo complained as he dropped several bags next to his bed.

Heero looked at the clock. "Don't eat any of this. We'll be going to dinner at seven. Help me put this stuff away."

"Yes sir!" Duo saluted and started dumping the bags onto his bed.

Heero just shook his head and started making room on the top shelf of his closet for some of the items.

The two worked in amicable silence for a while.

"Duo, understand that I am not angry with you, but I am curious. Why do you try to embarrass me so."

Duo stopped what he was doing and looked at Heero. "I... I'm not sure. I never really thought about it." Duo shrugged. "I guess I just try to get the people I care about to laugh at their own hang-ups. If you can't laugh at it, you sure as hell can't get past it. You have to admit, the things that happened at the store were a riot."

Heero nodded. "I was angry with you for a moment... at first. I have to keep reminding myself that that's just how Duo is."

"You want me to change?!" Duo sounded hurt.

Heero shook his head. "No. Not only would that be improbable..." Now, Heero stopped organizing and turned to look at Duo, "... you wouldn't be my Duo anymore. I'm still learning. I just need to understand you better, that's all." Heero turned and went back to putting cereal away.

Duo almost melted into a puddle where he stood.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quatre watched as Trowa made dinner. It always amazed him how the young man could put something so delicious together so quickly. What amazed him even more, was that Trowa never seemed to measure anything... a pinch of this, a dash of that. He made it look so easy.

The aroma of what Trowa was making made Quatre's mouth water continually. Several students returning from a weekend with their families even stopped by to see what was cooking, complimenting Trowa on how delicious it looked and smelled.

Heero and Duo finally managed to find their way to check things out.

"God, Trowa, that smells wonderful! What is it?" Duo asked.

"Veal... in a sauce that I sort of... developed over the years."

Duo peeked into the pan. "Looks good too. There's an awful lot there... you sure you're not eating for two, Trowa?"

Quatre looked innocently up at the ceiling.

"Come on, Duo. The bookstore closes in fifteen minutes." Heero was tugging on his arm.

"OK, OK, I'm coming."

Quatre watched as the two left. He waited exactly one minute. "OK, lets go!"

Trowa dashed into one of the study rooms and rolled out a small folding table which he continued to roll toward Heero and Duo's room.

Quatre opened a cabinet door and produced a table covering, two sets of silverware, a bottle of wine, and a small vase with two long stemmed roses in it, one red, and one white, tied together with a ribbon, and made to look fuller with plenty of fern and baby's breath.

Trowa opened the door to Duo and Heero's room, which Heero had conveniently left unlocked, and rolled the table in. He set the table up as Quatre came in with the other items.

Quatre spread the cloth over the table and placed the roses on one side. Heero had informed him that all the candles that Trowa had given them were on the middle shelf in Duo's closet. He retrieved them and went about setting them around the room, with one of the smaller ones next to the flowers on the table.

Trowa took the two boys' desk chairs and positioned them next to each other on the side of the table opposite the roses. He took a corkscrew from his pocket and pulled the cork from the wine bottle with a pop.

Quatre looked up. "I love that sound." He placed the silverware and went to Heero's desk and turned on the radio and listened for a moment. He raised an eyebrow; Heero's radio was already set to the station he was going to chose.

Trowa and Quatre met at the door to the room as they took stock of their handiwork. They looked at each other.

Quatre smiled. "Duo's gonna kill us."

Trowa smiled back. "I know."

At that moment a bleary eyed but well rested Wufei came staggering up behind them in his bath robe, toiletries and change of clothes under his arm. Wufei peered into the room. "What in blue blazes..."

Trowa turned to him. "Wufei, I'm afraid none of us will be joining you for dinner this evening... nothing personal."

Wufei waved him off. "Not to worry, I understand... at least... I think I understand. I'm dining with Kaylin this evening; we have some serious matters to discuss." Wufei looked into the room again. "Does Heero know about this?"

Quatre smiled sweetly. "It was Heero's idea."

Wufei came fully awake. "You jest!"

Quatre indicated otherwise.

Wufei turned and walked toward the lavatory, shaking his head and muttering something about the crimminally insane.

Trowa looked at the clock on Duo's desk and closed the door. "The bookstore closes in five minutes, I need to put their plates in the oven." Trowa and Quatre went back to the lounge area and Trowa began putting together the other two pilots' plates. Trowa knew from experience, flavor was first, but presentation was a plus. He carefully arranged the food on each plate, making it as appealing to the eye as possible. Once he was finished, he loaded the plates into the oven. He looked at the clock on the wall, it was seven o'clock exactly. "They'll be here in three minutes. I'll go set our places and have there places set one minute before they arrive."

Quatre gave Trowa a sideways look. "You're enjoying this, aren't you."

Trowa smiled and nodded.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Heero, I will help you with your lit class, don't worry about it. You don't need cliff notes."

"Duo, every single assignment I have is so... rife with the writers' emotions... I just don't get it sometimes."

"Heero, we have the same class... same professor... different times. Let me help you, please."

"I can't believe the bookstore was sold out. I always read the assignments, but the notes make it much easier to understand."

"Hello, Duo calling Heero Yuy! Am I not getting through here? Heero, you know from my real school records that I always do very well in literature."

"Then why don't I see you reading very often?"

Duo rolled his eyes. "Because I don't need to study it... I just read it... and I understand it."

As they entered the second floor lounge, Heero noticed with satisfaction that Quatre and Trowa were nowhere to be seen. "I think I understand. Your emotions help guide you to a better understanding of the text and the meaning the author intended?"

Duo shrugged as they made their way to their room. "I guess... it would explain why you've had such a difficult time with it in the past." Duo chuckled as he keyed into their room. "Who knows, maybe your new self will be able to understand those emotions a little better." With that, Duo opened the door to their room. "Oh my God."

Heero placed his hand on Duo's shoulder as he looked about the room... Trowa and Quatre had outdone themselves... "Who knows, maybe it will."

"Hee... Hee..." Duo gave up trying to speak as he took a step into the room. He couldn't believe what he was seeing... not in front of him... but inside of Heero.

Heero quietly closed and locked the door behind him. "Duo?"

"Hee..." Duo turned around and tears were streaming down his cheeks. "I... I..."

For the first time in his life, Heero felt good about causing someone's tears.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trowa gazed across the table at Quatre. "Do you think we may have overdone it?"

Quatre chewed his food and thought for a moment. "Yes... and I hope they appreciate and enjoy it."

Trowa chuckled as he took another bite. "You know... I didn't really see it until today. I think Heero really loves him."

"The potential has been there for a loooong time, Trowa."

Trowa shrugged. "I know... but what I saw today... it wasn't potential... it was really happening. I'm happy for both of them... but I'm really happy for Heero the most."

"Heero?"

Trowa nodded. "I can relate to what Heero's been through... is going through... will go through... he's actually progressed much faster than I did."

"He was buried much deeper than you were, Trowa. It was a matter of slow acceptance for you... you already had some idea of what to expect. Everything is a surprise... a new experience for Heero. It's like a drug for him right now... very seductive. I just hope we don't lose him if and when reality jumps up and bites him on the ass."

Trowa sputtered into his wine. "Ahhh... well... I remember you used to worry about the same thing with us. Last time I checked... I didn't have any teeth marks on my rump... well... unrecognizable teeth marks anyway."

Quatre laughed. "You better not have any teeth marks on your bottom... lest I should hunt down the creature that put them there and destroy it."

Trowa smiled at Quatre's choice of words. "Oh, but my fair Prince Quatre. Whatever would I do were you not there to protect my bottom from the maw of some hell bound creature."

Quatre grinned. Trowa didn't play like this very often, but he definitely enjoyed when he did. "Why... I would surely smite down such a creature... and mark your bottom for my own."

Trowa almost choked on a carrot.

Quatre blushed. "Sorry, Trowa... the combination of you, the wine, and the food... is all making me feel a bit... feisty."

Trowa's eyes gleamed. "More wine?"

Quatre nodded and held out his glass. "And then more food... and then more you."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Duo had finally managed to find his voice as Heero pulled out a chair for him. "Heero, I... I just... I don't know what to say."

"Then don't say anything - just sit with me." Heero indicated the chair he was holding for Duo.

Duo quietly took his seat.

Taking his seat next to Duo, Heero looked at his food... he didn't know what to do next.

Duo watched the young man out of the corner of his eye and smiled. Heero was uncertain, that much he could tell. Duo reached under the table and took Heero's hand in his own.

Heero watched as Duo reached across and took his fork. "What are you doing?"

The beautiful boy with the braid smiled and poked at a vegetable on Heero's plate. "Open your mouth, Heero."

Heero did as he was told.

Duo carefully placed the food in Heero's mouth and watched as Heero chewed. "Good?"

Heero nodded and started to reach for Duo's fork. "Do you want me to..."

Duo blocked Heero's hand with his elbow and shook his head. "Just... let me..." Duo said softly.

Heero gave a slight smile as he watched Duo cut off a small piece of meat and offer it to him. Heero took the offering and closed his eyes as he chewed. "Damn, that's good."

Duo cut up the rest of the meat on Heero's plate and on his own. He continued to feed Heero, occasionally taking a bite for himself. For every morsel of food he fed to Heero, he would place a small, painfully slow, lingering kiss on Heero's cheek... or ear... or neck.

By the time they were half way through the meal, Heero didn't know which way was up... and he really couldn't possibly care less.

Duo watched as he continued to feed Heero. The young Japanese man wasn't even bothering to open his eyes between fork-fulls now. Apparently, Heero could sense when there was another bite there for his taking. Duo thought as he sat there adoring Heero. Even without the war, I would still give my life for this man. I don't know what it is about him that inspires such devotion in me... I never thought you would be able to get this close to me, Heero... I never thought you would be able to get through the barriers of noise I had so painstakingly put into place. I didn't realize they would actually draw you to me... and you, in your blissful ignorance of such things, would calmly step through those barriers and so utterly and completely capture my heart... and my soul.

Heero opened his eyes when he felt the back of Duo's hand caress his cheek. He looked at his empty plate, wishing there were more. "You are spoiling me, Duo."

"I'm just getting started, Heero."

Heero looked down where he held Duo's hand in his own and stroked the back of Duo's fingers with his thumb. "I'm sorry I humiliated you in the store today... it was uncalled for."

"Nonsense, Heero. It was hilarious. We all need a good laugh every once in a while."

Heero looked at Duo and smiled. "You were pretty red in the face."

Duo stroked the hair behind Heero's ear. "Yes, well... you did catch me completely off guard. Congratulations... your first practical joke was a stunning success."

"You are mad at me."

"I am not mad at you, Heero. Today just made me realize something. I haven't been very fair with you. I expect you to change your behavior to accommodate my feelings, and yet, I am so inflexible that I can't even behave myself in public... I'm going to have to grow up sometime, Heero."

Heero looked into his eyes. "Duo, the very fact that you can sit here and say that means you already have. Your interest in your schoolwork, the things that you say when you're serious, the things that I've learned from you in the last few days... you're growing up, Duo... faster than you think."

"Gah! I'm getting old! If this keeps up, I'll be a complete bore by the time I'm thirty."

"Duo... I won't... I can't allow that to happen."

Duo's head flew up and his eyes met Heero's. "You... you plan on being around long enough to keep it from happening?"

Heero rose from the table and smiled down at Duo. "I plan on keeping you around to make sure I never crawl back into my hole. That fire in you is what drew me out, Duo. If I let that fire die... then I die with it."

"Heero, I..." Duo's voice hitched in his chest.

Heero looked at the roses sitting on the table. He picked up the container and considered the flowers for a moment. "I wonder what the colors mean."

"I think the white one means purity or innocence. The red one means passion... love. When they are together like that... it signifies unity."

"Unity..." Heero said softly as he set the flowers back on the table. He reached down and took Duo's hand again, pulling Duo to his feet. Heero looked from one of Duo's huge eyes to the other. "Duo... I've been thinking about this all day. When you were talking earlier... abut people's hang-ups... and a few minutes ago about growing up... I realized at that moment that I feel like a child. There are a lot of things... feelings I'm having that I don't understand." Heero became pensive for a moment. "I can remember a time when I used to tell Trowa that I acted on my emotions. I didn't realize it at the time... but I didn't have any... save for one... anger - destroy anyone or anything that stood in the way of our mission." He looked back into Duo's eyes. "Now there is so much more than that... and I'm afraid."

Duo pulled him into an embrace. "I understand, Heero. You don't have to explain yourself to me... I understand."

Heero stared at the wall over Duo's shoulder. "I don't think you do." He gently pushed Duo away. "I can't go on like this."

Duo's heart stopped.

"I can't go on... pretending... that these feelings don't exist..."

Duo was shaking. God, Heero... don't do that to me! He placed two trembling fingers against Heero's lips and Heero closed his eyes. "Don't say anything you don't mean, Heero."

Heero reached up and took Duo's hand, kissing those fingertips. "I don't know what it means, Duo..." Heero opened his eyes.

Duo gasped. There was fire in Heero's blue eyes, not from the candles... but from within.

"... but I do know that I mean it... and I know that I have to say it... I... " Heero closed his eyes again. "I love you, Duo Maxwell." He said it like a prayer. Heero, in that moment, felt a ponderous weight lift from his spirit... he was free.

Without a word, Duo fell into Heero's arms and started bawling his eyes out.

Heero stroked the back of Duo's head. "Shhhhh... Duo... why are you crying?"

"Becau... " Duo's voice was coming out as a squeak. "... because I'm happy."

"Then... shouldn't you be laughing?" Heero smiled to himself, he understood why Duo was crying.

Duo started laughing... and crying... and laughing again. "Heero... I just don't know how to act right now. You just took my whole world, turned it upside down, and shook out all the shit. God I love you, Heero." Duo started crying again.

Heero held Duo tightly... he held on for dear life.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After organizing the room, and having done the dishes, Quatre and Trowa sat on their bed, drinking wine.

"Dinner was magnificent, thank you." Quatre leaned over and kissed Trowa on the cheek.

"I would cook every day if it were more practical. I enjoy doing it. It gives me an opportunity to be creative."

Quatre shook his head. "It wouldn't do for you to cook every day, Trowa."

Trowa looked almost hurt.

"I would get fat." Quatre giggled.

Trowa snorted. "Aside from having the metabolism of a rabbit, you just have too much energy for that to ever happen... not that I'm complaining, mind you."

Quatre sighed and pushed himself back on the bed, resting his back against the wall. He patted his thigh and Trowa lay down with his head resting in Quatre's lap. Quatre ran his fingers through Trowa's hair just as he had done so many times before.

Trowa closed his eyes, resting his wine glass on his chest.

"Are you tired?" Quatre asked.

Trowa shook his head. "No, just relaxed... content."

Quatre continued to play in Trowa's hair. "Trowa, have I ever told you how handsome you are?"

Trowa opened his eyes and looked up into Quatre's smiling face. "Only every day for the last two years."

"OK... I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention." Quatre took a sip from his glass. He leaned forward, cradling Trowa's head in one hand and kissed him.

When Quatre broke the kiss, Trowa licked and smacked his lips. "How is it that wine always tastes sweeter on your lips than it does from the glass?"

Quatre smiled impishly. "Want more?"

Trowa smiled and nodded his head.

Quatre took another sip from his glass. He leaned forward and again took Trowa's lips with his own. He ran his tongue along Trowa's lower lip.

Trowa shivered slightly at the sensation. He was certain that Quatre thought that he had intended the comment about the wine to be taken poetically. He had meant it literally. For some reason, the wine did taste sweeter on Quatre's lips, but if this is what it got him, he certainly was not going to complain. He ran his free hand through Quatre's blonde tresses and returned the kiss as passionately as it was given.

After what seemed like minutes... and it may very well have been minutes... Quatre pulled away again, breathing quite heavily. "Oh, Trowa... that was nice. It never ceases to amaze me how every time we do that... it still feels like the first time... it still has the same effect on me."

Trowa could see the effect in Quatre's flushed cheeks... and he could feel the effect on the back on his head, through Quatre's docker's. He noted, with some physical discomfort, that it also still had the same effect on himself. "That makes two of us." Trowa said as he sat up and leaned his back against the wall next to Quatre. He put his arm around Quatre's shoulders and took a drink from his glass.

Quatre slid down a bit and rested his head where Trowa's arm met his body. He quickly sat back up and started undoing the buttons on Trowa's shirt. He pushed the shirt open and off of his shoulders and helped him pull his arms out of the sleeves. Quatre rested his head in the nest formed by Trowa's arm again.

"What was that all about?"

"I love the feel of your skin against mine." Quatre closed his eyes and rubbed his cheek against Trowa's chest while slowly running the fingers of his his free hand up and down Trowa's arm.

Trowa's skin tingled where Quatre was touching him... his skin always tingled when Quatre touched him. Trowa deftly undid the top buttons of Quatre's shirt so he could return the favor.

Quatre sighed happily as Trowa's hand slowly and repeatedly found its way back and forth across his chest. He noticed that Trowa's wine glass was now empty so he emptied his own and got up to put the glasses on his desk. When he walked back to the bed, he just stood there, smiling down at Trowa.

"What?" Trowa smiled back up at Quatre.

Quatre shook his head. "Nothing... just admiring the view," he said as he began unfastening the rest of the buttons on his shirt.

Trowa rose to his knees and grabbed Quatre's hand. "Let me."

Quatre watched as Trowa undid each button with deliberate slowness.

Trowa couldn't help but think what a surprise package Quatre was. Clothed, the blonde looked slight, almost skinny. Now, with his shirt off, Trowa could see the finely toned muscles of Quatre's arms, chest, and abdomen... and the surprises didn't stop there. Trowa suddenly realized he was staring, and Quatre was grinning at him.

Quatre knelt on the bed, facing Trowa. "See anything you like?"

Trowa ran his hands over Quatre's bare shoulders and nodded. "I like what I see."

Quatre leaned forward and took Trowa's mouth again. He pulled Trowa to him and leaned sideways, toppling them both to the bed. Quatre giggled as their mouths lost contact.

Trowa smiled and ran his thumb along Quatre's jaw.

"I love you, Trowa. Have I ever told you that?"

Trowa's smile broadened. "Every day for the last two years..." Trowa paused, "... I love you too, you know."

Quatre had heard him say it many times before. Trowa loved him with all of his heart and he knew that, but Trowa didn't make it a habit of saying it the way he did. Quatre didn't mind at all. It just made it all the more effective when Trowa did decide to actually say it. He wrapped his arm around Trowa's waist and pressed himself close so the full length of their bodies touched. Quatre delighted in the satiny feel of Trowa's skin as there chests touched and he ran his hand up and down Trowa's back. He began trailing small, wet kisses from Trowa's neck to his shoulder then back again.

Trowa sighed with contentment. "You make me feel so good... inside and out."

Quatre placed his lips against Trowa's ear. "But I'm not inside you... yet."

Trowa chuckled and pried his head away from Quatre's tickling lips. He looked into Quatre's smiling eyes. "Oh, but you are, Quatre. You are always inside of me."

Quatre's eyes teared a bit. Trowa still surprised him sometimes. "What a beautiful thing to say." With that, he eased Trowa onto his back so he was lying half on top of the green eyed young man. Quatre began kissing Trowa's shoulders and neck again, tracing his fingers down Trowa's side. He gently pressed his thigh between Trowa's legs.

Trowa gasped. "Ouch!"

Quatre looked up, concern on his face. "I'm sorry, did I hurt you?" The last thing he wanted to do was cause Trowa pain.

Trowa shook his head and smiled. "I'm feeling just a bit... confined... at the moment."

Quatre looked down. Trowa's state of arousal was obvious through the denim. Quatre giggled and ran his fingers lightly over the fabric. "I can see how that might be uncomfortable. I can fix that..." Quatre looked back up at Trowa, "... if you like."

Trowa smiled and nodded.

Quatre curled downward as he rubbed his hands over Trowa's abdomen. He lowered his head and tongued the quivering muscles of Trowa's taut belly as his hands busied themselves with the buttons of Trowa's too tight jeans. Quatre slowly eased the constricting material part-way down Trowa's thighs.

Trowa sighed with relief.

Quatre turned his head and looked up at Trowa. "Better?"

Trowa nodded. "Much better."

Quatre moved down a bit farther and placed his mouth against the mound below Trowa's waistline, blowing hot breath through the material of Trowa's briefs.

Trowa gasped and arched his back slightly. He ran his fingers through the hair on the back of Quatre's head and closed his eyes. "Quatre..." Trowa whispered.

Quatre smiled to himself and repeated the action, evoking another gasp from the dark haired boy. He reached down and grabbed the cuffs of Trowa's pants and began easing them off of Trowa's legs. Quatre blew again, causing Trowa to flail slightly and his legs to come free of the fabric. Quatre tossed the clothing onto a chair. He ran his hands down Trowa's bare legs and nuzzled between Trowa's thighs, causing Trowa to spread them wider. Quatre inhaled deeply, becoming dizzy with the scent that was Trowa. He felt Trowa's hand tugging at his waist, urging him to turn around so Trowa could remove the rest of his clothing. Quatre happily complied.

Trowa began unbuckling Quatre's belt as he felt his briefs slide down his thighs. Suddenly, his hands were shaking and he had trouble concentrating on the task at hand as he felt a hot wetness engulf him. He stopped fidgeting with Quatre's clothes and groaned. Trowa lay there for a few moments, enjoying the feelings, both emotional and physical, that Quatre stirred in him. Trowa had to force himself through the layers of desire that had settled over his consciousness. After a few moments, he used his will power to steady his hands and set them in motion again, making short work of Quatre's loose fitting slacks and boxers. He took Quatre's rigidness in his his hand, as he allowed drunken passion to overcome him once again. He opened his mouth and returned the loving touch that Quatre gave so freely. Trowa worked slowly at first, he had no choice given Quatre's size, but within a few minutes, he had his throat wrapped around Quatre. He shivered uncontrollably as Quatre moaned with delight around his member.

Quatre propped himself on his elbow between Trowa's legs as he continued to love the boy. He gently trailed his fingers back and forth between Trowa's root and the cleft between his cheeks. Each time his fingers made there way downward, Trowa would spread his legs a little farther... beckoning him... inviting him. Quatre rolled them so he was on top. He raised his hips and arched his back so Trowa's head could move freely beneath him. He freed Trowa's thickness from his mouth and stroked him with his hand. "God I love you, Trowa... I love everything about you." Quatre spoke several more sweet nothings as his mouth and tongue found their way to the ridge of flesh that ran between the underside of Trowa's nest to that private place Trowa so loved him to touch. He gently teased the flesh with his lips and teeth as he sensed Trowa slowly slipping into delirium.

Trowa was slowly going out of his mind. Quatre always knew just what to do to set him on fire, and right now he was blazing. The feel of Quatre's hand sliding along his erection combined with what his mouth was doing sent sparks flying through every nerve in his body. He would take Quatre all the way in every time he raised his head and moan uncontrollably as he withdrew. His pace was becoming fevered as he succumbed to the pleasure that was racing through him. He could feel Quatre's tongue working its way lower still and his eyes rolled back into his head.

Quatre worked his way inexorably downward as his mouth found its mark. It fascinated him that Trowa always managed to stay so sweet and clean. He gently eased Trowa's knees upward and laced his arms through Trowa's legs. He circled Trowa's opening with his tongue several times before dipping inward. The boy underneath him moaned loudly and wrapped his arms around Quatre's waist, pulling him downward. Quatre almost lost control as he found himself buried in Trowa's throat. He slowly raised and lowered his hips as he continued to probe Trowa's opening with his tongue. A few more strokes into Trowa's hungry mouth would send him over the edge... he had to stop.

Trowa gulped air as Quatre rolled off of him. Quatre hadn't been suffocating him... he had just forgotten to breathe. Trowa blinked his watering eyes and panted. "Oh wow... wow-wow-wow."

Quatre chuckled softly and propped his head in his hand, running his free hand down Trowa's chest and stomach. "Something?"

Trowa sat up and ravaged Quatre's mouth with his own. He was hungry... oh so hungry. After a few moments, he eased out of the kiss and looked pleadingly into Quatre's eyes. "Something..." he said softly.

Quatre knew that look all to well. He smiled before scrambling to the end of the bed where he opened Trowa's bottom desk drawer. He sat up and kissed Trowa tenderly. "Turn over."

Trowa obeyed with a quickness. He lay there with his legs spread-eagle and smiled over his shoulder as he watched Quatre apply a line of lubricant to one finger.

Quatre rubbed the slippery substance between Trowa's cheeks and put another large dollop on the tip of his finger. He slowly, lovingly eased his digit into Trowa. Quatre watched as the green eyes closed and the boy's head fell to the pillow, a small whimper escaping Trowa's throat as he slightly raised his hips. Quatre deliberately avoided the spot inside of Trowa that would set the boy's blood to boiling. He gently eased his finger out and applied more of the gel to another finger. He gingerly inserted an additional finger. This time Trowa writhed under the sweet torture as he tried to push back farther onto the intruding fingers.

"Quatre..." Trowa's voice begged now.

Quatre shook his head. "You know the procedure, Trowa..." Quatre twisted his fingers and spread them slightly causing Trowa to gasp with pleasure. Quatre leaned into Trowa's ear and whispered hotly, "... I don't want to hurt you... I would never hurt you."

Trowa swooned at the sound of that reassuring, lust-filled voice. Chills raced down his spine, arms, and legs as Quatre's hot mouth made a trail down his back and a third finger began to work into him.

Quatre watched as Trowa's body twisted in agonized pleasure. He raked one of his fingers across the fleshy lump inside of Trowa. Trowa's eyes and mouth flew open and he froze... it was all he could do to stay in one piece. The first time Quatre had ever seen that look on Trowa's face, he feared he might have injured the young man in some way... but he knew that expression now... a look of paralyzed ecstasy.

Trowa couldn't take the teasing anymore and he pulled his knees underneath himself and pushed back onto Quatre's hand. "Quatre... please... I'm going nuts here..."

Quatre kissed Trowa behind the ear. "Ok, love... if you think you're ready."

Trowa nodded his head enthusiastically as Quatre lay down on the bed.

Quatre handed the tube to Trowa, relinquishing control for the time being.

Trowa squeezed two lines of the stuff from the heel of his hand to the tips of his fingers. He lovingly wrapped his hand around Quatre's semi-rigid pole and watched in fascination as he stroked. Within moments, the glistening member was at full mast, and Trowa marveled at its size and beauty. He straddled Quatre's thighs and slowly eased himself down. Although it had been deliciously torturous, he was now glad that Quatre always took the time to prepare him for this moment. A mild, fleeting flash of pain, and he was seated. Trowa wallowed in that sensation of oneness that this gave him... oneness with the man he so desperately loved. "Quatre..."

Quatre winced a bit at the desperation he detected in Trowa's voice. It reminded him of how lonely and hurt the boy used to be... but it also drew him in. To know he could provide Trowa with such unwavering friendship, dedication, and love... and Trowa would give as much as he took... it moved him deeply. He watched through mist filled eyes as Trowa eased himself forward, savoring the sensation that Trowa created all for him, as it washed over his body and mind. He sat up and wrapped his arms around Trowa's waist as Trowa slowly found a rhythm. "Trowa... oh, Trowa... feels so good."

Trowa clasped his hands behind Quatre's head as Quatre began suckling one of the dark nubs on his chest. Trowa was breathing so fast and hard that he was becoming dizzy. Each move he made would cause his heated flesh to rub against Quatre's muscled belly and chest. Every downward move would push him close to the brink of a bottomless pool of ecstatic release. Every upward movement would quickly snatch him back from that unstoppable fall. He was so completely lost between here and nowhere... but there was another soul there, guiding him closer to nowhere.

"Trowa... I love you so, Trowa..." Quatre was babbling endearing phrases as he rode wave after wave of desire. The position he was in kept him hovering right on the edge of release for so long, he felt as though he might pass out. Quatre felt himself swimming through the excruciating pleasure and joy. "So close... we're so close."

Trowa slowed his movements and looked into Quatre's eyes. "We're so close?"

Quatre leaned back on his hands and let his head fall back with his eyes closed as Trowa continued to move slowly on him. "I can feel you, Trowa... you're right there with me... I can feel you."

Quatre's words left him with a sizable lump in his throat. Trowa had thought it a figment of his imagination... was it possible that a filament of consciousness connected them? The very thought of such a thing sparked even more passion in him as he pulled Quatre back towards him and leaned backwards.

Quatre folded his legs and allowed Trowa to lower himself to the bed. Quatre came to his knees and wrapped a hand around each of Trowa's ankles, spreading Trowa's legs wide. Quatre began moving his hips in slow, wide, sensual circles.

Trowa gasped and let his head fall to the bed. He felt like he was floating. What Quatre was doing to him at that moment was nothing short of mind numbing. He could feel Quatre touch every sensitive spot inside of him

Quatre smiled at the effect his lovemaking was having on Trowa. He watched as Trowa groaned and panted and pulled at his own hair.

Trowa held his breath for a moment and opened his eyes to find Quatre smiling down at him. He let his breath out explosively and let his head fall back to the bed, thrashing it wildly back and forth.

Quatre's smile widened as he closed his eyes and he slowly withdrew to the tip and, without stopping, just as slowly pushed back in.

That was it. Trowa's mind went blank and all he could see was stars... millions of stars showering down on him with cold fire. Every nerve in his body screamed for release. He felt himself toppling, tumbling, spinning out of control... every time Quatre would push into him, the whole vision would repeat. He felt as though he would go mad at any moment.

Quatre's breath was coming in fits and starts. He was so close, and he knew there was no turning back this time. He released one of Trowa's ankles and grabbed Trowa's slippery shaft. He moved his hand slowly, pushing Trowa to the brink of insanity. He watched as Trowa raised up of his elbows and looked at him with unseeing eyes. Trowa began rapidly breathing through his clenched teeth. Quatre counted the beats... one... two... three and he pushed slowly inward one final time.

Trowa growled like some wild animal as the first volley escaped his spasming rod, flying clear over his head. "Ah!... Quatre... oh!... Sweet stars help me!" Trowa fell back to the bed and clutched at Quatre's biceps as the physical and emotional sensations swept him away.

Quatre was pushed over the edge when Trowa clenched around him again, the stream landing on Trowa's cheek. He took in a ragged breath as his essence began pouring into Trowa. His mind reeled as the powerful release caused him to shudder violently. He instinctively began moving his hips again as he leaned over and whispered into Trowa's ear. "We're here, Trowa... together." He pushed his tongue deep into Trowa's mouth as he continued to rock into him.

Trowa moaned repeatedly around Quatre's tongue as his own release continued, covering both boys' neck, chest and stomach with the pearlescent fluid.

It seemed like minutes passed before the flow from either of them subsided.

Quatre collapsed sideways pulling Trowa with him, careful not to pull out of Trowa just yet. They lay like that for several minutes, basking in the afterglow of one of, if not the best lovemaking sessions either one of them had ever experienced.

After many minutes, Trowa slowly pried his eyes open to find Quatre lying there smiling at him. "Wow."

Quatre rubbed a lock of Trowa's hair between his fingertips. "Trowa... that was... amazing. I never imagined it could get any better than it already was, but that was just... amazing." Quatre couldn't think of any better word to use at the moment.

Trowa chuckled softly. "If it gets any more amazing you may have to have me committed... you were driving me out of my mind... and I loved every moment of it."

Quatre laughed. "I hope we can top tonight... but don't worry, Trowa... I know some of the best shrinks in the world. I'll make an appointment for you if you like."

Trowa chuckled again. "That won't be necessary... I'll manage." Trowa wiped his cheek on the back of his hand. "I didn't realize I could shoot that far."

Quatre looked down at his chest. "I'm getting runny."

Trowa, reluctantly, began pulling himself off of Quatre's softening member as Quatre leaned in and kissed him again. Trowa grunted into Quatre's mouth as the welcome intruder was freed. Quatre pulled his mouth away and rested his cheek against Trowa's, speaking softly into Trowa's ear. "You make me so happy, Trowa... have I ever told you that?"

Trowa snorted, his somewhat muffled voice responding softly. "Every day for the last two years."