For Cutter. Merry Christmas. ^_^

~~~
The Worst of Pandora's Evils

He's beautiful in the evenings after he's spent the day working in his studio. That's when he wanders around, eyes dreamy and contemplating private things. He's good-looking the rest of the time, of course, but usually there's nothing there in those marvelous eyes beyond glass walls acting as two-way mirrors. Most of the time the only thing I can see in his eyes is me.

He tends to smile more often in the evening, too. In the morning, he's terribly grouchy. I'm not a morning person, either, but he takes it to extremes. He never says a word until after his third cup of coffee, but he makes up for it by slamming cabinets and rattling dishes, as if by this show of displeasure he can make the morning go away. He's much more affable in the evenings.

If I sound enamored of my roommate, it's because I am. It's a bad habit of mine; I wish I knew where I picked it up, but it's not that easy. He's not the first one I've fallen for. I could tell you stories about the first guy I ever roomed with: his name was Heero, and he had these ungodly blue eyes, two glacial volcanoes. It didn't work out, though, and he and I went our separate ways. Then there was Wufei, with eyes that held as many secrets as the night. He was straight, much to my dismay. So that didn't go too well, either.

I know I sound a little pathetic at this point. I swear it's not as bad as it sounds. I can't help too much that I keep ending up rooming with gorgeous men. Since I date other people, and keep my little crushes firmly under control, I don't bother myself about it.

No, I'm not fooling me, either.

Well, back to Trowa. He drives me crazy trying to figure out what he prefers in a partner. I'm beginning to wonder if he prefers any partner at all. I've never seen him date, male or female. He does have a sister, Cathrine, who's really fond of coming over and fussing over him. Which is fine by me, until the point where she starts raiding our kitchen and fridge for soup ingredients. She has one recipe for her soup, and it changes ever time, depending on what Trowa and I have in the way of leftovers. Trowa chokes the stuff down with barely a change of statement, for which I admire him. I force myself to eat it, because I'm madly in love with him, and it wouldn't do to insult his big sister's cooking.

Of course I'm in love with him. Trust me, if you knew what that soup tastes like, you'd know that only a fool in love would eat it.

Besides, Cathrine is kind of scary in her own right. I consider it in my best interests to keep her happy.

As near as I can tell, though, that's the extent of his social life. He goes out sometimes, but I've never seen him go out with anyone. While that gives me hope for me, that I don't need to worry about hiding a rival's body, it's just so frustrating trying to figure out if has any interest at all.

I was joking about the body. Give me some credit. I'd just hide it with the rest of the bodies.

You really don't take a joke very well, I just want you to know that.

Of course, just out-and-out telling him would be the quickest solution. Either he'd accept my offer for a date, or I'd have to start advertising for someone else to split the rent with. I just don't know if I'm brave enough for that. At least this way I still have the benefit of seeing him every day. I really don't' want to see him move out, even if it meant not having to ingest that god-awful soup ever again.

Yes, I am that far gone on him, you idiot. Why else have I been sitting here, mooning over him to you? Geez. Some people don't ever listen.

Sorry. Didn't mean to snap at you . The entire situation has me a little tense. Yes, I know you noticed. The question comes down to what I'm going to do about it.

Is sex all you ever think about?!

Not, that was not as stupid question. Sometimes I wonder why I bother talking to you. You have a truly lecherous mind.

No, seducing him is just as much out of the question as pouncing him and having my wicked way with him.

Well, that's probably the first sensible thing I've heard you say yet. Probably telling him is the best way... I'd ask you for advice, but I'm very afraid of what your idea of a good pick-up line might be.

Yeah, well, I guess I'll get going. I'll give you a call, let you know how it goes. See you around, Quatre.

~*~

You're so very restless tonight. You're never one to remain still for long, of course, but right now you're roaming the apartment like a caged panther. There's a very feline air to all your movements, one of wary anticipation and hunger.

I have to smile inwardly. Cathrine always says I have a fondness for feline imagery.

"You wanna order a pizza?"

Your voice is harsh, a little strained as you ask.

Why not? It sounds good to me.So you order the pizza and pace till it arrives. We sit at the kitchen table, and I eat. You pick at your slice, pulling off the pepperoni, then the cheese, scraping sauce aside and tearing the crust to pieces. Watching your face, I think you don't even know you're doing it.

"Um... Tro? I have something I need to tell you," you say suddenly.

Uh oh. Most of the bad news I've received in my life has been couched in those exact words. Please don't say you've found someone. I don't think I could bear it.

What, Duo?

"Um... well... we've been rooming together for what, two years now?"

Two and a half.

"Right, yeah... anyway. We don't really keep a lot of secrets from each other... well, mostly."

Please don't say you've found someone.

"Anyway, uh... you know I like guys."

Please don't say you've found someone.

Yes, Duo, I know.

"Well, I've kind of fallen for this guy..."

Oh no. Please no.

Really?

You fidget. I don't think I've ever seen you this embarrassed.

"Yeah... I've known him for a while now, and I've never been this consistently amazed by anyone before." Your voice goes soft. "I could just sit and watch--him--for hours, and be happy."

I'm dying. I really am.

I'm glad for you, Duo.

"There's just one problem."

Hope is a cruel thing, the worst of Pandora's evils.

What's that?

"I'm .. I'm not sure he likes me. I'm not even sure he likes other men."

Who could fail to love you?

Have you told him yet?

"Well, that's the thing, Trowa. I'm trying to right now."

What?

I can only stare.

"Uh ... say something. Say anything. Please?"

I--You--Me..?

You run your hands through your bangs, obviously embarrassed, maybe even hurt. "Um, yeah. Sorry. Didn't mean to offend you. Look, forget I said anything, Tro. I'll understand if you want to move out, it's okay, really."

I don't have the right words to say what I need to.

Duo...

You won't look at me anymore. "Yes?"

I...

The words are refusing to come like I need them too. So I have to use the only other medium available to me.

One of your hands lies on the table, loosely curled, as defeated as the rest of your body language. I lay my hand on top of it, my paint-spotted skin contrasting with the paler cream of your own.

Can you understand what I'm not able to say? Hear me, Duo. Please hear me.

You haven't looked up yet. I can't see your eyes, or the statement on your face.

Duo, I need you... please. I need you.

The warm skin beneath my fingers begins slipping away, eluding my grasp.

So this is how it is to be. Chances missed.

Your pale fingers slip between mine, our hands lacing together. Without thinking, I squeeze your hand, and you respond in kind, our fingers wrapped tightly together.

Your voice is rough, maybe like someone's who is trying not to cry. "So... you don't want to move out after all?"

I have to make my voice work... I have to...

Not... not until you ask me to leave... Duo.

"I'm glad.. I'm so very glad. I--don't want you to go."

Never. I promise.

You finally lift your head, and I can see your eyes clearly. They're shining, a little too brightly. And there's something in them that makes my world spin.

"I think... I may love you."

Will you ever stop stealing the voice from my throat?

Probably not.

Duo... I ... me too.

~*~

Yeah, Quatre, it's me.

I told him.

It went better than okay. Way better than okay. Way the hell better than good.

Thanks. Look, I just wanted to let you know everything worked out.

Yeah, we'll talk later. Oh, one last thing.

You would not believe how flexible he is.

~Owari~

<grins> I promise I'm working on your other present, babe. <glomps>

Feeeeeeedbaaaaaaack.