<shrugs> This is something a little different from everything else I'm working on right now. Hope you like it.
Yaoi (as if I write anything else), potentially angsty, kind of weird in my opinion, and I think OOC... and of course it takes place in my own twisted AU. Like everything else I write.

The lyrics in the last part are from 'Everything you Need' by Horizon.

Only Happy When It's Complicated by Lys ap Adin
Part One: Observations

I think that sometimes our lives resemble one of those shows that housewives are supposed to watch--you know the type, full of melodrama and angst and tangled romances. I think they're called soap operas.... I've never really understood the purpose of such shows. But I digress. Our lives are like soap operas. Yes, that is an apt enough description. The five of us move through tangled webs of murky politics and manuevring, executing missions for the obscure motives of our superiors with the all-encompassing goal of securing peace for Earth and the colonies. On top of *that*, we find the time to embroil ourselves in emotional complexities that would do the author of the most involved romance novel proud...

...And we're only in our mid-teens.

It's rather funny, really, in a certain light. If we were any older than we are, I doubt we'd have the time to keep up with it all. As it is, we run ourselves ragged trying to balance it all, whether we admit these weaknesses or not. Even Yuy, the perfect soldier, shows some of the signs of the strain he is under--the signs that he too is human and as fallible as the rest of us.

I'm surprised that he doesn't exhibit more stress than he does, all things considered. Whoever trained him did a superlative job. It's taken extraordinary circumstances to bring him as close to the edge as he is now.

I see more than they give me credit for observing, you know. But then it's always been in my nature to reflect and watch the goings-on around me. And it is my contemplations of my fellow pilots that leads me to my conclusion that we lead soap operatic lives.

I don't see everything; I don't know all the details. For some reason I don't seem to provoke a trusting response in people. None of the others comes running to me to pour out his troubles on my sympathetic ear. No, they go to Winner for that, generally, if they feel a need to talk. That's fine with me, though. I don't have the charismatic touch that they're wanting anyway, and he does.

The current situation, though, is slowly becoming untenable even for me, who spends less actual time socializing with the other four. It makes me wish that I possessed at least a portion of Winner's--or even Maxwell's-- personal touch. Then maybe I could at least intervene and knock some sense into their silly heads. Something tells me, though, that I am the last person they'd be willing to listen to.

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Part Two: Masks

It's really funny how many masks the five of us wear, even around one another. We're entwined in so many ways now that you'd think we'd feel safe enough to lower our guards and show a little of what we're feeling. Then again, there's so much raw emotion floating in the air right now that letting down even a few of our barriers could provoke a shit storm without compare.

I should know; I'm right in the middle of all this muddle, with my fingers in just about every single pie here. At least I have a greater control of my own feelings than Heero "I am an asocial psycho" Yuy does. As far as the other guys know, nothing about their romantic triangle is affecting me in the least... beyond giving me a source of endless amusement.

I am the king of masks.

Before this all started, you couldn't have paid me to believe that I would ever sink this low. I mean, come on, I'm a survivor. Nothing can take me down... I take other things down. I still don't know how I let this happen to myself.

It's a real blow to the pride, you know. At least no one knows how low I've sunk... except for Wufei, maybe. He's the one truly on the outside of this mess, and I've caught him watching it all more than once. *He* probably knows my little secret, but he's cool enough that he'd never bring it up unless I did first.

Which I'll never do. Why make a fool out of myself over the fact that I've got it bad for the guy in a love triangle who's getting the short end of the stick? Who only acknowledges my existence when he has to or when I make myself too annoying to ignore? Give me a little credit, I have some pride left still.

His mask is one of the most intriguing, actually. His training was so thorough that the random expressions of what he's really feeling almost never slip through. He has to be really by something to let it show on his face...

Like he was the night he found out about the other two. God, I hope I never have to see him like that again, struggling to understand how that sort of thing can happen... unequipped emotionally to deal with it, not really wanting to let me in, but needing to lean on someone for at least a little while. And I was there for him. I'm always there for him, whether he realizes it or not... but he never tries to look behind my mask like I look behind his.

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Part Three: Don't Know Why

//He's everything you want
He's everything you need
He's everything inside of you
that you wish you could be
He says all the right things
at exactly the right time
But he means nothing to you
and you don't know why//

I can't get the refrain of one of Duo's songs out of my head. It's a song he's fond of, I guess... I certainly hear it often enough. The words are in English, but I understand them well enough after hearing them so many times.

//He's everything you want//

Duo is life personified, at least in my mind. The sheer amount of enjoyment he gets from even the simplest things never ceases to amaze me. For a guy who calls himself Shinigami, his affinities lie with the living.

I envy him his ability to laugh in the face of everything.

//He's everything you need//

He has an amazing ability to draw people out of themselves, too. He practically exudes charm, but it's--sincere. People want to trust him, and open up to him. He even has that effect on me, and I'm honest enough with myself to admit that that's no easy task. He keeps me from collapsing inward sometimes when the weight of all that I am is heaviest.

//He's everything inside of you
that you wish you could be//

Full of light, and laughter... despite the darkness that comes with being a gundam pilot. He'll survive this war, I have no doubt, and afterwards... He'll find a way to set up a relatively normal life. *If* I live all the way through ... I won't live long after. I don't possess the capacity for a civilian life. I'm too well trained, too much a soldier. I need a mission to be able to survive.

I'm not like him. I can't simply live...

//He says all the right things
at exactly the right times//

I tell him to shut up a lot, too... Not that his endless chatter really bothers me all that much. It's soothing, at times... comforting to know that he's there, reaching out, even if I'm swatting him away at the same time. And in my darkest moments... he knows what I need to hear most. Supportive silence.

//But he means nothing to you
and you don't know why//

Of all the things he's told me in our time together, he's never crossed one line. I know he what he wants from me, it's almost painfully obvious in the way he opens up the scrapbook of his life for me and me alone. Duo wouldn't share most of that highly private information with just anyone. I'm not stupid; I know what he's telling me.

I just don't feel the same way. Mostly because I have... other feelings for *him*. It's the most idiotic thing in the world, because Duo and I... we'd be good together. I don't know why I can't just get over *him* and move on to a relationship with Duo.

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Part Four: Can't Be Sorry

Try as I might, I can't feel wholly regretful of everything that has transpired.

It's callous of me to say such a thing, isn't it? After all, *I'm* the one who's ending up the happiest here, aren't I? I'm not Heero, abandoned for someone else. I'm not Duo, trying desperately not to care too much in a onesided relationship. I'm not Wufei, unable to reach out to my fellow pilots in spite of myself. I'm not Trowa, torn between two guys who both need me. No, I'm the lucky one here.

If it can be called luck. There's a rift between us all now, probably irreparable. Duo resents both me and Trowa, with just cause. I think he would have been fine with what was between Heero and Trowa if I hadn't interfered. Probably as long as Heero is happy, he'll be happy... He's the protective type. I don't know what Wufei thinks about all of this, but I don't think he approves entirely. I don't blame him. This all is beginning to interfere with our duties...

What can I say about Heero? That he's possessed of an incredible inner strength that allows him to carry on despite the amount of betrayal he's feeling? That I can feel his spirit dying by inches, after having come alive for a time? That I sincerely wish he'd wake up to the braided wonder right beneath his nose? I can say all of this, and more.

Sometimes I stop and wonder how it all became this complicated. Then I answer my own question. We're all exceptional people under exceptional stress. It was only natural that we connect to one another on various levels; perhaps more surprising were the liaisons we formed with each other. Although I don't understand why everyone doesn't see the same things in Trowa that both Heero and I found to love.

Love. That's the reason why I can't be sorry about this mess. Under the most adverse of circumstances, in the unlikeliest way possible, I found love, and I'm not letting it go.

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Part Five: Mixed Feelings

If I had seen any way to do it, I would never have let it come to this. I never imagined that things would turn out quite like this, hurting everyone I've come to care about... especially the two I care about most.

I think I must have been the first person to ever show gentleness of any sort to Heero--the expression of disbelief in his eyes when he woke up a month after self-destructing told me as much. We're kindred spirits in that, both having grown up in a too-harsh world. I knew the need in Heero, and I gave him everything I could to help him. Including myself.

Quatre needed me, too, needed to be loved and nurtured more than the outsider would think. Who would have known the Winner heir, a child of a huge family, attended by forty loyal soldiers, could be so lonely?

He needed me, too.

Quatre is the more aggressive of the two, though, and he pursued me, through the guilt and the pain that it caused... and Heero made the decision for me, telling me not to bother him again after he caught Quatre kissing me.

It was a relief, at least... the decision of which one to love was taken away in one angry night. I still feel the guilt, though, every time I feel the gaze of dead cobalt eyes lying heavy and hurt on me... every time I see Duo's reproachful indigo gaze... every time Wufei's dark eyes refuse to pass judgment... every time I look into a mirror and wonder if it was worth it.

I just wish it could have been different somehow.

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~Owari~

<blinks sleepily> <pokes at Heero and Duo, who have both fallen asleep> Oi, wonder where *that* came from? <shrugs> This is what I get for working without the benefit of a muse...

<Bob staggers in, somewhat charred and otherwise mauled> Where've you been, you baka?

Bob: <smirks> Arika and I were blowing shit up... <looks at the fic> Geez, Em, what have you done without me?

I dunno... but you shouldn't wander off like that. <uncollars Heero and Duo> You're free to go, gentlemen... Have some pocky as a payment.

C&C, anyone?