title: Pretty Lies
fandom: Gundam Wing
characters/pairings: Trowa/Quatre, Duo/Heero, Duo/Trowa
rating: G
warnings: cheating
summary: Things start to happen, unexpectedly.
notes: for my aisoku, her ficlet on demand, which became a good excuse to exorcise a fic i wouldn't have otherwise written. ^_^ *snugs*

He had just been trying to escape, just for a moment. To breathe in the night air without feeling like he was going to choke. To just get cold in the darkening quiet.

He had almost turned around when he saw Duo standing there, thin arms wrapped tightly around a thin body. He would have, too, but Duo turned around and smiled at him, and that made him feel defensive.

"I just needed a breather."

He didn't need to justify his actions, not really, not even to Duo, and he felt a little foolish having said it. It seemed strange to be standing out here on the grass in the dark with a man he barely knew discussing anything. Duo was, in the orbit of their close circle of friends, his polar opposite.

But Duo smiled knowingly, looking off into the distance unseeingly, and he shrugged with one shoulder. "Quatre means well. He just doesn't understand."

Trowa blinked. He wanted to say something, to contradict Duo, to defend his lover, but he was too staggered by the implied understanding behind the words.

"He can't understand what it would be like to grow up without a name or a home or a history, or even a birth date," Duo grinned, "so he can't understand how shallow this is."

A dozen and more things bubbled up inside of him. He had to pick through each thought to find just exactly what he wanted to say. He rarely wasted words, even in less purposeful conversation. "It would have been nice... if he had asked for my input on the date."

Duo turned to look him in the eye, and it was one of those moments that seemed very real. Trowa was aware on a level he never had been before how really stunning Duo's smile was. "You don't seem much like a Sagittarius to me."

There was something in the tone, in the inflection, in the way that the light from his 'birthday' party flickered in Duo's eyes... Trowa smiled. "I always thought of myself as a Pisces."

Duo laughed, such a startling bright noise, it disturbed Trowa into wanting to laugh along. "You definitely should have been given veto rights."

Trowa looked away. "Quatre wanted to have a party in the holiday season that wasn't denominational." He hadn't expected the peevishness, or the trace of hurt, to become intertwined with his tone of voice.

Nor would he have expected Duo to be so understanding. "Well, he tries... Sometimes, harder than others, but... I think he loves you. He's just...not so good at it."

Never had anyone said anything that would imply that Quatre was anything less than a perfect little angel to Trowa. Never had anyone admitted the possibility that sometimes the things that were wrong with them might be Quatre's fault, and not his. Never had anyone even tried to see things the way that he did. It had gotten to the point where Trowa had started to believe that Quatre was right about everything.

He wanted to say something, but there were no words anymore, nor did there seem to be any need of them. What he was tempted to do in response to Duo's words was too shockingly aberrant to simply give into on a moment's notice; and good thing, too, as he had not heard Heero approaching.


Duo had clearly not heard him either, as he jumped an inch at the sound of his name. His posture changed, and he took on the appearance of a haunted man. "Heya, Heero, how's the party going?"

Heero walked over to him, his hands in his pockets but his strides long and determined. He put his hand on the back of Duo's neck, his fingers squeezing as they wrapped around to get a grip on Duo. "Come on. You've been away too long."

Duo sighed, and walked where Heero directed him to, not daring to say goodbye to Trowa, but waving just a little, his hand at his hip. Heero glared accusingly all the way up to the patio door.

Trowa felt rather uncomfortable, and a little sick, so he wandered into the thickening of trees just in 'their' backyard.

There was something not quite right about Heero's relationship with Duo, but no one ever mentioned it. Trowa had a vision of Duo slowly dying on the inside under Heero's protective watch, and he felt achingly sad at the thought of it.

By the time his thoughts had run their course, he was thoroughly chilled, and the party was over. When he got back inside, desperate for something hot to drink, and maybe a long hot shower, Quatre aimed one of his weary sighs at him, as if Trowa had behaved like a recalcitrant child, and he, Quatre, had been made to endure the embarrassment of it. It made Trowa feel irrationally angry, and so instead of slipping under the covers as Quatre had expected him to, he went downstairs to read.

It wasn't intentionally the beginning of anything, but things changed after that night. At first, Trowa and Duo were just friendlier to each other at work. They had an assignment together in Bristol, and after that, they started having lunch together at least a few times a week. Then there were the dinners. An occasional movie. The night out at the club every once and a while.

At first, there had been no reason to conceal anything. Duo was a friend; if not someone he was personally close to, then someone who was close to all the people who were close to him. At first, there had been nothing more to hide.

Eventually, Trowa came to feel protective of his time with Duo. It took on a cherished feeling, and he savored it too deeply to want to share it, even just in relating details. A trail of careful misdirections soon turned into a web of delicate lies. When Quatre had meetings that ran late, or had to be out for a night for some charity, Trowa would find a way to be with Duo.

He had no idea what Duo told Heero, but he knew that there must be an equally binding web of lies, or more likely, evasions, on Duo's end, because Heero wasn't treating either of them any differently. Trowa didn't know what things were like in Heero and Duo's apartment. He knew that Duo seemed to shrink in Heero's presence, and he had the look of a runaway just basking in freedom when they were alone.

It was so innocent, he could pretend that there was nothing wrong with what they were doing. They weren't sneaking off to some hotel to screw each other's brains out. They weren't slipping into some maintenance closet to make out. They were just talking, just hanging out. It wasn't physical.

They were just falling in love.

He got defensive inside his own head. He was so sure that they had a moral high ground. After all, it was Quatre's thoughtlessness that had started everything. It was because Heero was so stifling that Duo needed to sneak away to be with a friend. They were just reacting to the situation that their lover's had created.

If he got jealous when Heero touched Duo, it was only because he was afraid that his friend was stuck in a bad relationship. If his insides turned to boiling acid whenever Duo said or did something affectionate to Heero, it was only because he was afraid for Duo. If he was no longer attracted to Quatre, it was because of the extra weight he had started to put on, and not because he was comparing Quatre to Duo.

It seemed like it was so true; they really weren't doing anything wrong.

They didn't do anything wrong, until they were in the alley behind the Triple Eight club, and Duo was laughing uncontrollably. They both had a comfortable buzz blurring their thoughts and actions, and the smoke from the club was still tingeing their senses. Trowa had to have his arms around Duo, to keep him from falling, it wasn't anything more than that...

But the sound of Duo's laughter had become sweeter music to Trowa's ears than the most skillfully arranged concerto, and the night air was warm enough now, and the blood rushing through his brain seemed a bit too electric, and he was holding Duo in his arms, and it was the most natural thing in the world to kiss him, wasn't it?

And Duo kissed him back, throwing his arms around Trowa, pulling them both tight against each other, Trowa's body pressing Duo against the industrial brick of the back of the club.

It wasn't wrong to do this, because it was so inevitable, so crushingly fated to occur. Trowa ran his hands down Duo's body, and things seemed much clearer to him. It became much more evident that a conversation out in the grass during a party for a fake birthday could lead, moment by moment, to standing in an alley behind a club, wanting another person so badly, it actually hurt to think that they might ever part.

Duo kept his eyes closed long after the kiss had dissolved into groping and petting, as if he were keeping himself from seeing what was happening. Trowa wanted badly for Duo to open his eyes, so he could see the dancing blue-violet, and know that there were no regrets.

Duo smiled. "I'm going to have to lie to Heero." His eyelashes fluttered, like he was just waking up, and he looked up into Trowa's eyes.

Trowa ran his hand down Duo's cheek. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be," Duo shook off the apology. "It's... well, it's what happened."

Trowa nodded. They wouldn't be going off to find someplace to stay. They wouldn't be stripping each other bare, and learning every reaction of each other's bodies. They wouldn't be going home, late into the next morning, to evade their respective lover's questions. They wouldn't be hiding the marks of affection on their bodies as they waited for the next chance to be alone together.

Not that night.

A single tear started to form in the corner of Duo's eye, and Trowa kissed it away before it could fall. He straightened Duo's shirt, and brushed the little flyaway strands of his hair back into place. They shared a cab home, even though they lived in opposite directions, and their hands were joined, resting in the middle of the back of the seat. They didn't kiss goodnight, but there was such longing in Duo's eyes when they parted, it nearly broke Trowa in half.

His heart was hammering in his chest on the ride home, and he kept visualizing each moment of the night over and over and over again, until he had it perfectly memorized.

They hadn't intended for anything to happen, but Trowa wasn't sure they could maintain any moral high ground anymore.