Art Of Life
Feedback: Always very, very welcome!
Disclaimer: Okay you know the drill. Time for the boring yet ever so necessary disclaimer. I DO NOT own Gundam Wing, never have, hopefully will someday but that's just my wishful thinking and somewhat pathetic delusion. Oh, and I also have no claims to X-Japan's wonderful song Art of Life. I'm merely borrowing my favourite band's work for my own perverted take on it's meaning!
Explanation: Trowas angsty ponderings on his angel.
It's in Trowa's POV for the most part - except for the flashbacks. Oh, and it may have some implications that are not suitable for a young audience. Such as NCS (Yes, I'm talking RAPE here, people! Nothing graphic - just some pretty strong hints) and has a nice little limey scene between the two leading boys! I'm sorry for those of you who despise the idea of Trowa as a rape victim but it just seemed to fit in with the story.
Important!: In this story, Trowa is staying at Quatre's mansion.
// Lyrics //
~~ Flashback ~~
He has always been secretive. He just has this way of covering it up with his kind demeanour and good-natured smile. He thinks that no one knows how much he hurts inside. He thinks that no one needs to know and that, if they did know, they wouldn't care enough to try and help him. Sometimes I just feel like taking him by the shoulders and shaking him until he starts to get better circulation to that brain of his. Can't he see that he is surrounded by people who would give anything to be let into his world? I must admit, I am one of those people. I wish, with such passion, that he would trust me enough to tell me the truth when I ask him how he is feeling. Can't he see that a mumbled "I'm fine, thanks for asking, Trowa." just isn't enough to convince me that everything is all right.
I should think it is probably caused by the stress of running the family business, which he took over once the war was resolved. Quatre never has had much of a business mind. He is far too sweet to be a good businessman and I am sure that he knows this even better than me. Yet he refuses to pass down the responsibility of the Winner Corporation to one of his better-suited sisters. When I question him he merely shrugs, smiles, and tells me that none of them would want the responsibility. Bullshit! There's twenty-nine of them, for God's sake! How can he expect me to believe that not one of them is willing to take the job?
I don't wish to seem too assuming here. I have never claimed to be able to fully understand Quatre Raberba Winner. I mean, how can any mere mortal possibly hope to see into the mind of an angel? Still, I am not blind. I can see the sorrow in his beautiful sapphire eyes, I can hear the sad tenor of his voice, I can feel his very essence that was once filed with joy flicker and fade as the burden of time weighs down on his young shoulders. I also watch him while he sleeps. He doesn't know, of course, but that doesn't mean that I don't sit for hours beside his head, wishing with all my heart that he would let me in.
He is so beautiful when he sleeps. He looks incredible when he is awake, of course, but he is positively ethereal when he looks so peaceful. I swear he glows. No shit! He really does seem to emit this light. Yes, I'm speaking metaphorically but it doesn't make it any less real.
But something is different tonight. He isn't sleeping peacefully as he should. Tonight his plain white bed covers are twisted around his body, revealing his bare chest. His blond hair is matted with sweat and clings doggedly to his forehead. His beautiful face is flushed and he is panting terribly, his features all contorted to display the utmost agony and discomfort. Both his small hands are visible, clutching at the covers like some kind of lifeline.
I can feel it. Seeing him like this reminds me of not so long ago when someone I knew used to sleep in the same way. To this poor, lost, little boy sleep was neither rejuvenating or relaxing. It was merely even more time to be spent dreaming and reflecting on the hell he had barely managed to evade during the day. Poor Nanashi. Poor Trowa.
~~ The young boy remained huddled in the dark, tight space, his arms encircling his knees and hugging them, as his head lay resting on them. He hardly even noticed the pain of being doubled over, his back pressed hard up against every wall. Silent tears streamed down his face as they fell from his dead olive eyes. He hadn't even realised that he'd been crying until he felt the moisture begin to gather on his knees. He immediately stopped crying and scolded himself mentally for being so weak and foolish. Crying wouldn't help the situation. It never had before. In fact, the boy could have sworn that his tormentors fed off of his tears. Just like they fed off of his fear. Every time he screamed, yelled, begged them to stop it only increased their roughness and drove them to find even more depraved ways of humiliating the boy and causing him to bleed.
Suddenly the boy snapped his head up when he saw the door to his little peaceful haven be prised open and the face he had learned to both loathe and fear appeared, smirking in a way that bordered on a snarl.
"It was quite clever of you to try and hide in the cupboard, Nanashi," He sneered as he grabbed the unmoving boy by the collar, "But, unfortunately for you, I know all of your little hiding places by now. You have nowhere left to hide."
The boy felt his lithe, skinny frame hauled out from the tiny cupboard and dumped onto the tiled floor in a manner so rough and cruel that it almost caused him to bleed even more.
"You've got to learn to stop running from your problems, Nanashi. You don't want to grow up to be a coward do you?" the man continued as he stood dominantly over the young boy.
The boy remained silent and still, knowing from painful experience that his commanding officer's questions required no answer. As he stared blankly down at the floor he noticed his faint reflection in the tiles. He could clearly see himself. His long, scraggy brown hair, his dead green eyes, his many facial bruises and scars. He also noticed the rest of his thin body. He was fourteen years old and, although he had the height of an adult, his malnourished, trembling form made him appear to be a lot younger.
Suddenly the man who had been quiet for quite a while now spoke up again, his grizzled face contorting into a wide grin, not meant to be a friendly gesture at all.
"Well, well, Nanashi," he said as he began to unbuckled his belt, "Seems I'm feeling a little active. Maybe you can help me out, eh?"
The young boy shuddered at the man's words but, never the less, moved his shaking hands down to clumsily tug down his loose-fitting trousers. He knew what his commander expected, and he wasn't about to deny the man who held his life in his hands' anything. The man's smile grew at this sight, his eyes glinting hungrily before he descended on the young boy ~~
I will never be able to forget my life as a mercenary. It is the dominant memory of my whole being. Except maybe the boy sleeping before me. He is so innocent and pure. There is no way that he had ever felt cold fingers trace across his convulsing body. No way that he ever heard taunting whispers in his ear. No way that he ever felt the searing agony of the first acceptance, or the dull ache of the next hundred. There is no way that he has ever had to fence himself off from the world because he is terrified of what it might think of him. You will never know how grateful I am that that is so. No one else deserves to go through that. Only I am truly deserving.
I am the one who has abandoned humanity in order to live in my own little world of loneliness, isolation, but self-assurance. I really am a coward. I would rather discard all of my emotions rather than confront my past.
Sometimes I can't help but imagine what Quatre would have done in my position. It's an ugly thought and always fills me with anger and hatred towards events that haven't even happened to the golden haired angel.
Quatre always tried to coax me out of my shell and almost succeeded a couple of times. He always fought to see the best in me, in everyone, no matter what was said to him. He had scared me back then. It was as if he truly were an angel, not only in appearance, but in heart and soul too. It was as if he had been sent down from heaven, to save the unworthy people down below. I would always be left trembling whenever he came near enough to me to make my body contact - because I always felt that my very touch soiled his purity.
~~ The sweet melody had been ringing continuously throughout the otherwise melancholy walls of the Winner mansion as the two boys played their musical duet. Time was no longer even a part of their world. In fact, at that glorious moment, it was as if they were the only two left in the world. There was no war, no bloodshed, no killing, no vengeance, no hatred. The atmosphere was intoxicatingly serene and neither Quatre or Trowa ever wanted their song to end. It was Trowa who finally surrendered to weariness and took the flute from his lips. Quatre noticed the loss of an accompaniment instrument and also ceased to play his violin.
Quatre set down his violin in it's display case once again, his mind whirring. Half of him was ecstatic at having just played a duet with an otherwise impassive man and to actually have evoked a response from the silent warrior, the other half was broken-hearted at having to admit that the moment of rare bliss was over. He turned and smiled sadly at his brown-banged companion.
"You play well." he said, for want of better conversation.
"As do you." Trowa replied, the raw emotion being displayed through his music now absent and replaced by the stoic young man's cold baritone.
Quatre blushed slightly, unaccustomed to receiving any compliments, whether they were as emotionless as that one or not.
"Thank you," he practically whispered as he saw Trowa walk over to the display case and go to place the flute down again, "Please don't!"
Trowa paused and looked over at the slightly embarrassed young man.
"Please keep the flute."
"But it is not mine to keep."
"No, but it is mine to give away to whomever I choose."
"I can't. It is yours."
Quatre smiled distantly, and gazed in a way that made Trowa feel completely unnerved. It was as if he was gazing right into him. Straight into his soul. If he still had one, anyway.
"The moment that flute touched your lips, it became yours. I cannot think of anyone who could play it as well as you do." Quatre said, his azure eyes shining sincerely.
Trowa could think of no reply to this and so merely settled for a short nod and the slightest turn up of his lips. He was almost smiling.
"Thank you." He breathed as he, whether he noticed or not, stepped closer to the shorter boy.
Quatre visibly swallowed the lump quickly gathering in his throat as he felt his skin begin to tingle at the close proximity of the handsome man.
"Y-you're most w-welcome." He stammered, unable to tear his wide eyes away from Trowa's own beautiful emerald orbs.
Then, after a few moments, Quatre finally closed the remaining distance between him and Trowa and reached out to touch him gently on the arm. Just this simple, innocent gesture sent a jolt of electricity up Trowa's arm and he snapped back to reality.
"I uh have to go." He muttered as he staggered backwards and began to make his way out of the room, the flute still gripped tightly in his hand.
Quatre didn't try to protest, as he suspected it would gain nothing. He merely watched Trowa leave with a sorrowful, wistful gaze in his eyes.
" I don't understand you " ~~
I see Quatre turn over, sighing miserably as he does so, sweat pouring down his flushed face. I would give anything if I could reach out and touch him. All I desire in the world is to show him how much I want to protect him, and comfort him. He is so beautiful. Even if this state of misery he maintains his angelically ethereal aura.
Oh...how I wish...how I ache...burn...to touch his skin. His perfect porcelain skin...
So I do. My body, of its own accord, shifts forwards so that I am now leaning over the smaller boy's form and my shaking right hand snakes out to gently brush over the angel's face. It brushes his sweat-matted fringe from his eyes and then rests on his lips. Oh, the texture. His lovely pink lips are so soft, so warm. I rub my thumb lightly over them, closing my eyes and imagining what it would feel like if I were to replace my thumb with my own lips. But I do not get long to speculate as I feel a sudden movement beneath my hand and a sharp intake of breath. And then that melodious, soft voice whispers into the darkness, confusion lacing its sound.
I don't want to open my eyes. I don't want to face the terrifying vision of Quatre's adorably innocent face as he asks what I am doing in his room, touching his face no less. But I do. I seem to have even less control over my body these days. And there he is. Quatre looking up at me with wide, azure eyes, his mouth slightly open and his little pink tongue darting out to lick his lips nervously. I groan inwardly and barely manage to contain the urge to go and claim his mouth with mine. I take a moment to get my raging hormones in check and then sigh in preparation to answer the many questions shining in the Arabian's eyes.
"I'll go." I say barely above a whisper as I draw back from my close proximity above the smaller boy's body and go to climb off the bed.
But he doesn't let me. Quatre grabs my shoulder and I turn my head back around to look at his now determined eyes.
"What are you doing in here, Trowa?"
I take a deep breath. I could lie. Hell, I've done it a million times before, I could do it again. But not to him. I couldn't tarnish Quatre with my lies. Just like I couldn't tarnish him with my love. But which was worse? Maybe if I told him how I really felt about him it would be enough to snap him out of his foolish trance and show him that he can't just wall himself up and lie to his friends about how he truly feels. Maybe he'd see that he is valued by people and he'd stop burying himself in his work. I know there is no chance that he could return my feelings, but surely it would do his self-confidence good to know that he is desired. After all it is quite an achievement to ignite a spark of emotion in a stone-cold bastard such as myself, let alone single-handedly open the floodgates so that the feelings burst out in a torrent of raw emotion.
"I...Quatre...I'm worried about you."
No! That wasn't what I meant to say! I see Quatre's eyes glaze over like they do every time I bring up the subject of his health.
"I'm fine, Trowa." he answered automatically.
"No, you're not! You're ill, Quatre and you don't even realise it! You live for your business and that's not healthy! You don't have to go through this alone! Your sisters can-"
"What?" I pause, confused.
"I do have to go through this alone, Trowa."
"Don't you see that I have to live for the business. Its the only stability I have in my life. I have nothing else to devote myself to. Yes, its hard work and I know that you don't approve of me for committing to something so big at such a young age but I have to. It's all I have." he ended miserably.
I am in such a state of shock at having heard all of this that I once again forget to keep my rebellious self under control.
"You have me." I say so quietly that I'm not even sure he could hear.
Quatre laughs bitterly. It's the first time I've ever heard such a sound issue from his lips. It doesn't suit him at all.
"For how long, eh Trowa? Another week? Another day? There's only so long you can force yourself to stay here with me. You'll leave one day. You don't give me stability, Trowa. Don't you realise?" Quatre pauses to swallow a lump in his throat and I see the tears beginning to gather in his sorrowful eyes, "Every day to me is just one more day until you leave me forever."
The silence that follows is deafening. I feel intoxicated by it as I think about all that I have just learnt. How could he possibly think that I would leave? But then...I have never told him that I didn't intend to. I have never told him that I think of him even as a friend. Of course he would jump to the wrong conclusion.
"Quatre," I finally say with more strength in my tone than I thought I was capable, "Why do you think I've stayed here with you for so long?"
Quatre looks at me in confusion and ponders my question for a while before answering with a shrug of his shoulders.
"I'm not sure."
"Well, it's because I've been trying to work up enough courage."
"Enough courage to do what?"
This is it. Suddenly I realise what I have to do. For better or for worse, I have to try.
"To do this." I say as I close my eyes and lean in towards Quatre to gently brush his lips with mine.
I hear the little gasp that he emits. I would probably find it cute if I wasn't so terrified. And then, after what seems like an eternity of uncertainty and coldness, he begins to respond.
I don't know how long we sit there, our lips moving against each other's in an improvised yet oh-so perfectly sensual ballet. The kiss is gentle, undemanding; more reassuring than romantic, although I have never been in a more erotic situation. Finally I surprise myself by being the one to end the kiss by pulling back gently, my face still close to Quatre's in case he thinks that I have changed my mind. And what I see almost makes me cry with joy. He has tears trickling down his cheeks but on his lips the most radiant smile I have ever seen is displayed.
"Trowa...I don't understand..."
I sigh, somehow knowing that everything was going to be all right, as long as I was completely open and honest.
"I love you, Quatre." I admit.
My heart soars as I see his beautiful smile grow and the tears to cease as he throws himself into my arms.
"Oh, Trowa! I love you too. But I thought...I mean...you never..."
I shudder at being forced to remember every single incident that I had to push Quatre away because I was afraid of the feelings that he was awaking deep down inside me. I used to be scared that if my emotions ever got through the barrier I erected to confine them then I would have no control and it would destroy me. But now I finally know what it feels like. And I have never felt safer in my life.
"I'm sorry, Quatre. I was afraid to open up. I mean, my whole life I thought that no one could ever make me overcome the scars of my past but then you came along and started to erase them as if they weren't even important. I was scared at the power you seemed to hold over me." I admit, feeling the tears sliding from my eyes now.
Quatre reaches out to wipe the tears from my eyes and smiles mildly at my vague references I just made to my life as a mercenary.
"You were sexually abused." he states simply, yet quietly.
Yet again, I find my eyes widening at how he manages to always know what I am thinking about.
"H-how did you-" I ask incredulously.
He laughs softly. It is music to my ears.
"Trowa, my Trowa, you think that you are the only person foolhardy enough to sneak into other's rooms in the dead of night? You speak in your sleep, my love. That is how I know. It seems the nightmares of your past still plague you."
"Not anymore. I think I have been to worried about you lately to give them a chance to come back." I say with a tiny smile.
Quatre looks slightly uncomfortable at the mention of his health again.
"Are you going to take my advice and pass on the responsibility of the company to one of your sisters?" I ask seriously.
Quatre looks thoughtful.
"Are you planning to leave any time soon?"
I shake my head.
"I want to stay as long as you'll have me."
"Trowa, I would wish for you to stay with me forever. Do you think you could ever commit to an obsessive, pathetic boy like me?"
I wince at his self-depreciation and take him by the shoulders sternly.
"Listen to me," I say, "You are not pathetic at all! I love you and to me your the most perfect being in existence so don't ever think of saying anything like that again! I will stay with you forever and a day if that is what you desire, as it is what I want too."
I see Quatre's wonderfully blue eyes fill with tears again and I drink in his scent like a rich intoxication as he buries his head into my chest, his arms clutching at me like I truly was the only stability he had left in his life. And I so want to be his stability always. I will never let him down; always be there for him. As a friend if he wishes. Or, and my heart soars at this prospect, as his lover.
"Then I will make the necessary arrangements tomorrow," Quatre promises me as he looks up into my eyes, "The Winner Corporation is no longer my business."
No possible words or actions could ever describe the overwhelming joy I feel at these words. Quatre, the Quatre I fell in love with, is coming back to me!
After another stretch of time of just sitting and holding each other, I stand to return to my room. It is late, and Quatre needs his rest.
I turn to look at my beautiful angel. My angel. Mine. Now I can say that and no longer feel guilty about claiming to own his beauty. Because he is mine. And I am his. I cannot imagine why he would want me, but he does. So he has me. I would give my very life for that man, had he but to ask, and I felt safe in the knowledge that he felt the same.
"Yes, Angel?" I say, the secret term of endearment slipping out accidentally.
Quatre seems to brighten at being addressed so dearly and he looks at me imploringly.
"Must you go?"
"I'll only be in the next room."
"But I was hoping," Quatre said with a most un-angel-like gleam in his eyes, "That you would stay with me tonight."
I am not as blind as I may seem. I recognise the considerably less-than-wholesome intentions behind Quatre's proposal. On the one hand, this is the very material of my most wonderful and lust-filled dreams, and on the other hand, I don't think that I could bring myself to destroy my angel's innocence. True, my awful past didn't seem to bother Quatre in the slightest. But still...I am dirtied. I am broken myself - how can I ever risk breaking him as well?
"I love you, Trowa. I trust you."
How does he do that?! I look at Quatre, my eyes clouded my both sorrow and lust.
"I...I want to..."
Damn, it seems I still have problems voicing my emotions. I thought that I was over this particular obstacle! But Quatre takes the initiative. He pulls me back down gently so that I am leaning over his lying form like when he first awoke. He smiles up at me. It actually reassures me.
"What do you want, Trowa?" he asks an innocent question, the mischievous twinkle in his eyes making it a whole lot less innocent.
"I want...to...touch you..." I manage.
Quatre takes my shaking hand and places it on his face, rubbing his smooth cheek up against it gently. Without consulting my brain, my other hand reaches out to touch his bare, milky pale chest. I feel his body trembling beneath mine and I realise that he is just as nervous as I. Feeling slightly bolder, I claim his lips once again and almost immediately begin to run my tongue over them. Knowing my intent, Quatre parts his lips slightly and I slip my tongue into the heaven of his mouth. He moans into the kiss and meets my tongue with his own. I pull away for a moment and whisper something before joining our mouths again:
"I love you."
And so, slowly, little by little, our bodies connected.
"I love you."
Through our gentle actions we proved our love to one another and claimed each other's bodies, just as we had claimed each other's hearts.
"I love you."
And with every whisper, every moan, every scream of passion that sounded from Quatre's room that night, they were all followed with a promise:
"I love you..."
"...And I'll never leave you."
There we go. Wow, even when I'm writing angst I can't leave out sap, can I? Oh well. It wasn't too bad, I suppose. Did you notice that the song was WAY too long for the story? Hehe, I didn't want it to drag on for any longer than it had to. Thanks for reading.
"Es solamente vida!"