Bane of Darkness


South Gate: 2


Quatre's face had a worried look on it as he walked down the hallway beside me. I watched him, slightly amused, as he held my hand in between both of his, absently toying with my fingers. He was chewing on his lower lip and despite the way his eyes slanted in at the edges to make his expression so worried, he looked adorable. I smiled.

Duo had apparently noticed as well. "Hey Quatre!" he said cheerfully, tossing an arm around his best friend's shoulders. "What's eating you, huh? We're lounging about in luxury here! I think it's great!"

"I guess it is." Quatre managed a genuine smile for the braided boy. "Sorry Duo. I'm a bit distracted, that's all."

"Oh sure. And I know just what's distractin you, too." Duo winked, then looked up as the servant who'd been leading us stopped in front of a door. "There's my stop! It's been fun chatting with you guys!" He released Quatre and jumped toward the room. A second after the door closed behind him, I heard, "Holy cow! You could fit five people in that thing!"

Quatre laughed softly.

"It's about time we got a little peace," Wufei commented irritably as we started to move through the hallway again. "Barton," he added, after a moment. "Could I have a private word?"

I glanced at Quatre, who half-smiled. "I don't mind, Trowa."

"All right." I pulled my hand free of his and dropped back a few paces to where I could talk quietly with Wufei. "What is it?"

He glanced back at where we'd left Duo. "Does it seem to you like he's got more on his mind than just mere friendship at times?"

I thought back to my conclusion about the mutual attraction between Heero and Duo. "Yes, I noticed."

Wufei glanced at me incredulously. "And that doesn't bother you?"

"Why should it?"

He frowned. "Have you spoken to Quatre about this?"

I shrugged. "No. Why should I?"

"Don't you think he should know if one of the people close to him has those kind of feelings for him?" Wufei demanded.

I was silent for a moment. Duo... and Quatre...? I smiled. "You think that Duo has feelings for Quatre?"

"Of course. I've seen the way he acts around the two of you. Isn't that what this conversation was about?"

I started to laugh, softly. "Not to me."

He frowned again. "Sometimes you don't make any sense at all, Barton," he accused me, then he marched, stiff-backed, into the room waiting ahead of us.

"What was that about?" Quatre asked, as I rejoined him.

I claimed his hand again. "Nothing important. Wufei was under the impression that Duo had feelings for you."

"Duo?" He laughed. "That's ridiculous! Duo's falling for Heero, not me. We've never been anything but friends." He bit his lip again and the worried look returned to his face. "Heero is... um... falling for Duo too, isn't he? I thought I'd picked up on that, but now I'm not so sure..."

"I am."

"Oh." Quatre was silent for a moemnt, then he turned to look at me again, face anxious. "Well, I don't know... It just seemed to me like he might've cared about that... the queen... a lot more. What do you think?"

I was already shaking my head. "The relationship between Heero and Relena has absolutely nothing to do with what's going on between Heero and Duo. You shouldn't make any sort of connection between them."

He looked baffled. "What do you mean?"

I gave him a half-smile. "What ties Heero and Relena together is that bond between ruler and champion - it's been the same for generations. What is has to do with is loyalty, respect, and most of all, duty. There is nothing in there about the kind of love between two equals - which is what I'm sure Heero is looking for in Duo."

A faint comprehension was beginning to dawn in Quatre's eyes. "I think... I understand," he said slowly. "But... wouldn't it divide his loyalties?"

I nodded. "If Heero were to find someone to spend his life with, that person would have to accept the fact that he's totally devoted himself to his duty. Someone who could share that duty with him would be the best choice. From what I've seen of Duo, I think he could handle it."

Quatre smiled, no longer looking worried. "You're probably right," he agreed, and moved closer to me in the hallway.


I looked up. The servant stood waiting for us in front of another door. So, at least one of us woud be taking that room.

At least.

Quatre was looking up at me as if waiting for a clue on what to do next. I gave him my best impassive stare. Don't think you're getting out of making this decision. If he wanted me to stay, I would. If not, I wouldn't. Simple as that.

"Well." Quatre drew himself up. "What are we waiting for, Trowa? Let's go inside." His voice didn't shake too much, and he met my gaze almost defiantly.

I walked past him and into the room.

Quatre let out the breath he'd been holding and followed me in, shutting the door behind him.

We were silent for a moment, staring at each other.

"Now what?" Quatre asked, breaking the silence. He was watching me with an expectant look in his eyes - this decision was mine.

I moved forward slowly, and his gaze stayed locked with mine, hopefully anticipating what my next move would be. Hmm. I'd sooner die than disappoint him. Sliding my arms around his waist, I tilted my head to capture his lips.

Quatre responded by wrapping his arms around my neck, grabbing handfuls of my shirt, and eagerly returning the kiss.

I responded to that by leaning back so that we were lying across the bed, with him on top of me.

He immediately rolled over and pulled me on top of him, tangling our legs together and burying his fingers in my hair. I ran my hands down the smooth line of his waist, over those slight hips, and felt irrationally possessive. That soft skin, beautiful face and body, tender lips... All mine. I wanted all of him.

Breaking from those incredibly addictive lips, I trailed a line of kisses over his jawline, to where his ear met the edge of his face. His breathing was hoarse and ragged, and his finger clenched in my hair, almost seeming to claim me in return. He didn't need to. He'd claimed me back in his own world, with kindness and big blue eyes, with a soft smile and absolute faith. In more ways than could be put into words, I belonged to Quatre. And it felt incredible.

"T-Trowa..." He barely managed to breathe out the word, body shuddering at the first soft touch of my lips against that pale throat. I could feel him swallow almost nervously, and deepened that kiss, caressing his skin with my tongue. He didn't taste, as so many poems would say, like frust, or heavenly nectar - but I thought it was sweet all the same.

"Mmm... Trowa..." I broke contact with his neck and let my lips trail lightly over his skin to attack the sensitive spot behind his ear. With a startled gasp, he arched against me involuntarily, his body making contact with mine in just the right places to stimulate both of us. And that was when I stopped.

Moving from that tempting spot, I leaned my forehead against his, reaching up to press my hands against his cheeks. It may have seemed like one of those moments... when a person should ignore thought and go with feeling. I prefered to have the thought come first - and permission straight from him when he was able to think clearly. So... "How do you feel?" I asked him instead, quietly.

"Fine." His voice was a whisper and his eyes were closed. They opened again and he whispered, softly, "Trowa, I love you."

I nodded slowly, unsurprised. One more tie that binds me to him, and not fully of his doing. I had fashioned every one of those ties myself, gladly, willingly. His eyes stared up at me, blindly giving affection and expecting nothing in return. Reminding my soul that they'd already claimed it as their own property, with that same simple affection that I claimed in return.

I kissed each one of those eyes softly in turn and just held him.