7-30-2001

With all my ramblings in the previous post, I forgot to mention one thing -_- There's one sentence in this part that has been harrassing me >.< (Just _one_ you might ask ^_~). Well, in this line, I couldn't think of the right word (adjective) so I left the sentence as it was, even though the word I put there doesn't make sense (like I'm sure I'm making lots of sense right now). Maybe you can pick it out :)

 

/.../ denotes flashback type dialogue

The Long Day
By Mika

Part II

 

Duo woke with an alertness he hadn't known he was capable of for a long time now, and after giving a quick look around the room, then at Heero and seeing that everything was fine, he spent the next few minutes wondering what the hell he woke up for. Inhaling a few calming breaths, he spared the clock beside him a quick glance, confirming his suspicions that it was way too early for anyone to be awake, and closed his eyes, determined to go back to sleep.

He got up five minutes later.

He walked out of the bathroom fifteen minutes later, still grumbling, but more quietly now as not to wake up Heero. Twisting the tie around his hair one last time he stopped just short of their bed silently watching Heero's peaceful, sleeping face, a sight he was sure a number of both girls and guys would kill for. Too bad neither would ever get that chance, not as long as he was around. Smiling to himself, he refrained from touching his lover's face, knowing Heero would wake up instantly if he did and he at least wanted someone to take advantage of the joys of sleeping in on the weekends.

He grumbled all the way downstairs.

When he stepped into the kitchen he almost started when he heard a strange sound coming from the living room. Walking closer he caught sight of a familiar bang and he let his body relax.

He'd almost forgotten what happened last night, but the slumbering lump on their couch gave him a clear reminder. It puzzled him. No...It confused him to no end when Heero had said that Trowa would be staying for a while. What the hell could have happened to send Trowa to the doghouse?

It must have been something big, he mused to himself. A few days Heero said. Not for the night, but days. Plural. He frowned. He didn't like to see his friends in pain. He hoped whatever happened between Quatre and Trowa would blow over and soon.

He bobbed back and forth on his heels for a bit before backing away quietly and towards the coffee machine. He was sure that they'd all be in need of some today.

* * * * *

When Trowa woke it was to a consistent pat pat pat sound, which he would later discover to be the steady dropping sound of the coffee machine. He didn't move immediately after waking, just remained still as he stared up at the white ceiling above, thoughts unwilling moving to the events of the previous night. Just the thought of Quatre made his insides hurt so he chose not to think about it, if that were even possible.

He sat up slowly, rubbing the crick in his neck as his eyes adjusted to the morning light.

"Mornin', Trowa," came the upbeat greeting and he turned his head to the voice, nodding back once in greeting.

Duo offered a congenial smile from where he stood, filling two mugs with freshly brewed coffee before heading over to the other. Holding out the cup Trowa accepted it gratefully and took a sip. He was well aware of the once over Duo was giving him but he chose not to comment. He wasn't in the mood for small talk despite what mannerism he possessed instructed him that he was at least obligated to do so.

"You look like hell."

That didn't stop Duo though.

"Thank you, Duo."

Duo smiled in reply and they fell into a companionable silence, both content with drinking their first cup of coffee for the morning.

A short time later, Duo retreated back into the kitchen (probably sensing that he wasn't going to get anywhere with Trowa at the moment) and after putting down his mug began fishing through the cabinets for the pancake mix. Soon the silence was filled with sounds of batter mixing and of the rotating exhaust fan, but Trowa ignored it all, hands still encompassing the cup he held, eyes focusing on nothing particular.

/"Get out."/

The words still rung clear in his mind and the pain that came with them never did leave.

If he had just pretended everything was fine. If he hadn't brought it up. If his damn emotions hadn't gotten the best of him...But what then? What would be accomplished if he didn't say anything? What?

He hated being confused, hated being frustrated, hated to be in pain-- emotional pain.

You invoked these emotions from within me Quatre. You brought them back to life and it's you who's now throwing them back into my face.

He placed his mug down atop a stray magazine on the coffee table, freeing his hands so he could let his head fall upon them.

I know I can't blame you for that Quatre.

But I sure as hell won't blame myself for this.

* * * * *

Heero walked into the kitchen refreshed and alert. He spotted his lover beside the stove, spatula in hand, a frying pan handle in the other. Not always the best combination for Duo, but the American had time, lots of time, to improve his cooking abilities.

His gaze then drifted to the room to his left meeting a pile of neatly folded blankets and a pillow.

"He's taking a shower," he heard Duo say and he walked over to the kitchen table and sat down.

Duo then appeared beside him, putting a plate of pancakes in front of the Asian. "I gave him some of your clothes. Hope you don't mind."

"That's fine," Heero replied, reaching for the syrup. After putting on an ample amount, he speared a couple of pieces and put them in his mouth. He gave the satisfactory nod to his lover and Duo beamed before setting out to eat his own.

"Did you talk to him?"

Duo shook his head, while drowning his pancakes in a pool of maple syrup. "He didn't seem up to it and I didn't want to butt into his problems unless he wanted me to."

Heero nodded thoughtfully, taking a sip of his coffee.

"So what do you think happened?" This Duo said around a mouthful of pancakes.

Heero gave a sideways glance to his lover, before putting down his mug and picking up his fork. "You don't want to butt in, but you're still nosy as ever."

Duo frowned and leaned back in his seat. "I'm not nosy. I'm worried."

Heero threw him an apologetic look. "I know. But like you said, it's up to him if he wants to tell us. We shouldn't interfere."

Duo picked at his food. "So calling Quatre would be a bad thing?"

"At the moment, yes."

Duo's frown deepened and Heero brushed his hand across the creases until they went away.

"They need time, Duo. Just to cool off. You can call Quatre tomorrow if you want."

Duo nodded leaning into the hand that now cupped his cheek. He kissed the open palm lightly, violet eyes gazing back deeply into blue.

The edge of Heero's lip curved upwards and he leaned forward until their foreheads touched. "I didn't say good morning, Duo. Good morning."

Duo shook his head in playful disbelief. "Baka."

Heero smirked before kissing his lover softly. He pulled away a few seconds later. Trowa took that moment to walk in.

* * * * *

Trowa leaned heavily on the blue tiles under the showerhead, the lukewarm water slowly easing the tension out of his taut body.

He brushed his hair out of his face, before reaching down and turning off the water. He didn't move for a while, eyes locked on a certain spot on the wall.

"Trowa, you'll catch cold if you stay there long enough."

He started, head immediately rising off his arm before he pulled back the shower curtain. It took him a moment to realize that the person he was looking for wasn't here. An unreadable statement fell on his face and he snatched the towel that hung nearby drying himself before grabbing the set of clothes Duo lent him.

Idiot. He's not here. He wanted you here. Away from him.

Trowa wiped the steam that settled on the mirror with a single palm, staring at his own reflection. Green eyes looked back a bit lifelessly.

Liar. He doesn't want that and you know it. It was stupid. This was all so stupid.

He wondered what he was doing now. Was he awake? Was he reading the paper?

He shook his head roughly, eyes hardening and he reached for the plastic sealed toothbrush he was given.

No.

Would one night away be all it took to break his resolve? Was he that dependent on the other? It wasn't his fault. Not all of it.

He was being stubborn and he knew it, but damn it, it wasn't his fault!

Squeezing a sufficient amount of toothpaste onto his brush, he brushed his teeth not glancing up once at the mirror for the remainder of the time he spent in the bathroom.

* * * * *

He was at the bottom of the stairs when he heard them.

"So what do you think happened?"

"You don't want to butt in, but you're still nosy as ever."

"I'm not nosy. I'm worried."

"I know. But like you said, it's up to him if he wants to tell us. We shouldn't interfere."

He mentally thanked Heero, or was it Duo...? In any case, he was glad the two wouldn't be interrogating him, which was one of the reasons he came here and not to his sister's. Catherine would have just nagged him, the dear, loving older sister she was, until he was driven mad.

He made to move forward again when he paused at Duo's next remark.

"So calling Quatre would be a bad thing?"

Yes. He didn't want to hear how Quatre was. He wouldn't give in first this time. No, not after--

"They need time, Duo. Just to cool off. You can call Quatre tomorrow if you want."

Tomorrow...would it be better then? Would he feel better? He didn't know.

He walked purposely down the hallway, yet stopping once again at the sight before him.

Heero's forehead rested on Duo's as the Asian whispered something that caused Duo to shake his head in good nature. Then...they kissed.

Watching the display of affection, something stabbed into his heart.

/"Good morning, Trowa."/

/"If we don't stop, we'll be late for work, To-ro-wa."/

/"Get out."/

He hesitated for another second before stepping into the kitchen. Heero and Duo had just pulled apart and Heero noticed him first and nodded. Duo turned around, smiling and smacked the spot to his left. "Saved you some, Trowa."

Not having much else to say, he sat down and reached for the syrup.

* * * * *

Duo wiped his sweating brow before falling backwards on the grass. Damn it. He hadn't known having a landscape would take so much time to take care of.

A loud rumbling sound came in hearing range and he sat up, watching as Heero walked by him, pushing the lawn mower as he did.

He told Heero this lot was too big.

He flopped back down on the now freshly cut grass gloved hand resting on his forehead as he looked upwards. The weather was looking better he noted absently. He was surprised with how dry the ground was this morning. The rain last night must have been light. Well in any case, wet or not Heero had designated today as Lawn Care Day.

Feh.

On a Saturday no less.

He picked himself off the ground and dragged the open garbage bag with him to the other side of the house with one hand, pruning shears in the other. As he did so he was able to see Trowa, who was currently climbing up their ladder to clean out the rain gutters. Trowa had offered; who was he to turn down help? The little matter that he was supposed to clean them out didn't factor into his decision at all. Nope, not at all.

He paused in step to look up at the other brunette. He still hadn't told them what happened, but Duo supposed it was a bit early for the ex-HeavyArms pilot to spill the beans, so to speak. He continued on his way, wondering how Quatre must be doing now. If Trowa were taking it so hard, surely the blonde would be too.

God _damn_ it he wished he knew what happened. Sure they had their fair share of squabbles these pasts few years, he and Heero did too, but nothing like this before.

He dumped the bag not so gently next to the overgrown bush he was supposed to trim.

Hell this was going to take a while.

* * * * *

Heero tied the last bag of grass clippings and proceeded to tow it beside their mailbox for pickup. He past his lover along the way and watched with a frown at what he was doing to their bush.

He told Duo it was going to be a lot of work to keep a landscape, but no the American wanted one.

/"It'll make our house so~ much nicer!"/

Ha. He hoped Duo was having a nice time.

Putting the plastic black bag next to the other one, he stretched his arms over his head. He caught movement at the edge of his vision and he glanced up and saw Trowa walking on the roof. He let his arms fall to his side and watched as Trowa picked out the leaves and what other debris that was in the gutters.

It didn't even seem like anything was wrong by the way he was moving. Though Trowa was always good at that, almost as good as he was, well used to be. Duo had changed all that...no, change isn't the right word really. To put it more accurately, Duo had only reawakened his human side. It was always there. But for the war, he had to suppress it. He had to.

He stood a moment longer on the sidewalk before he gave in and marched up to his lover, taking the pruning shears away from the other before he could do any more damage.

Duo threw him a smile, hands clasping behind his back. "Thanks, Hee~ro."

He snorted once in reply before he attempted to salvage the job Duo made.

"Saa, I'll go be the good wife and make some lemonade!"

Heero only shook his head as he watched his partner jog back around the house. He turned back and stared down at the enemy before him, weapon posed in both hands. Without any further delay he began hacking down the offending bush, though a small smile was on his face.

As much as he disliked to admit it, Duo was right. It did make the house look nicer.

* * * * *

He didn't mean to, but the phone was right there. How could he not?

Duo twisted the phone cord around a single digit, glancing over at the tray with the glasses of lemonade he made. He didn't really know how it happened, but one minute he was mixing the drinks and the next he had already dialed the first four digits of Quatre's number. He was regretting it already, Heero's words from this morning entering his mind. But he couldn't take it anymore!

Yes, he knew it wasn't even close to ten hours, let alone twenty-four since Trowa had showed up, but he was never known to be all that patient. Not when he possibly could do something to help...well he thought there might be something he could do. He had to try at least! He hated to wait around for things to just unfold on their own. Quatre was always good at that, Wufei even, but not Duo Maxwell.

The phone rang for a couple of times; it was one of those old fashioned kinds. No video screen. It was Heero's request actually as strange as it might have sounded. He wanted simplicity in the house, like those from the twentieth century. Strange huh? He didn't mind really. It wasn't like they were eating off stone slabs or using candles for lighting. He kinda liked the way they were living actually.

"Hello, Barton-Winner residence."

Duo jumped in surprise upon hearing the sudden voice. He had been waiting an awfully long time for someone to pick up, but then something else surprised him.

"Wufei?"

A pause.

"Duo."

Duo frowned, glancing at the phone and at the number he dialed. No...He definitely called the right number.

"Duo, both Quatre and Trowa won't be able to come to the phone right now."

Duo smiled. "Well I know Trowa can't; he is here and all. Oh and by the way, you make a great answering machine, Wufei."

An irritated snort. "Only you would think something like that, Duo."

Duo shrugged, knowing Wufei couldn't see the action, but did so anyway. "Yea, well you know me."

"Yes, and I regret it every day of my life."

"Aww, you don't mean that, Wufei."

"...No," came the thoughtful reply, "but some times--"

"Stop!" he laughed. "You're flattering me!"

A sigh. Duo could picture his friend rubbing circles around his temples and he laughed again.

"So, Trowa is at your place?"

"Aa," Duo said, leaning against the wall as he began to coil the cord around his finger again.

"I expected as much."

"So I guess you know too then huh?" he said, settling himself down on the tiled floor.

"That Quatre and Trowa had a spat? Yes, but that is as far as my knowledge goes on the matter.'

Duo sighed, rubbing his forehead. "So the blondeness didn't tell you anything either."

"No more than a few words on the subject before talking about something else." A pause. "I remembered him being stubborn. I suppose I'd just forgotten how much."

Duo shook his head. "That's Quatre for you. He'll stop at nothing to drag your problems out in the open and help you solve them, but when it's him with the problem, it's like pulling teeth and he has ALL the pliers."

He was granted with an amused hn and he smirked a bit, tilting his head back and letting it rest on the wall behind him. "Ne...So how is he?"

"He's in pain," came the even reply, "but tries not to show it, in my presence at least. I surmise Trowa is the same."

"Aa. Its funny how similar they are...yet not really," he added, almost like an afterthought.

"Like you and Yuy. In some ways at least."

Duo tilted his head to the side. "You think?"

"I _think_ we are straying away from the matter at hand."

"So we are. But now that I think about it, there's not much we can do, huh?"

"Regrettably, no there isn't."

"I don't like this," he admitted frown settling again on his face.

"Nor do I, Duo. But like you said, there isn't much we can do other than stand beside them while they work it out."

"Yea...

"Well, I hate to cut the conversation short, but I gotta go serve the lemonade."

"I knew your true potential would surface after the war."

Duo's jaw hung open loosely. "H-Hey! When did you get a sense of humor?"

"Goodbye Duo. I'll be watching Quatre. I hope you do the same for Barton."

"Ri~ight...Later, Wu."

Duo stood up after he heard the click and hung up the phone. His face still wore a shocked statement and he shook his head, a smile breaking loose. Wufei was just full of surprises these days.

After retrieving the tray he put out before he walked out of the house.

* * * * *

/Trowa...we'll be okay, won't we?/

/Aa, we'll be fine./

/No regrets?/

/None./

/Good. ...I love you./

Lying on the roof tiles Trowa stared up at the blue sky, eyes tracking the clouds above.

/I love you./

He closed his eyes and stretched his arms out on either side of his body.

/I love you too./

 

 

~Mika-chan