title: Wounded animals
fandom: Gundam Wing
characters/pairings: Duo/Trowa, Heero, Quatre
rating: Teen
warnings: mentions of bad things off-screen, recovery
summary: Duo takes on a mission for the Preventers, and Trowa waits for him to come back home.
notes: for an anon request from tumblr, part of a holiday countdown of requests!

Trowa took a gulp of the beer, which was cold but not really cold. He was staring at something, but he wasn't sure what it was, and he wasn't really thinking about anything that was before his eyes. He took another gulp, trying to finish the beer quickly, but not for any particular reason.

Duo came out of the bathroom, his hips swaying just slightly. Or, at least, Trowa imagined that they were, because Duo had a particular, unconscious gait when he was naked. Trowa wasn't looking. Though, he should be. Duo's implied form was reflected in the window. Trowa watched the blur instead.

Duo pressed his hairbrush to Trowa's shoulder, and Trowa smiled slightly, set his beer down, resigned to write it off, and took the brush. Quatre had given this to Duo. He'd called it a wedding present but there'd been no wedding. It had a silver handle and the ivory bristles were thick and of varying textures. Trowa turned his body a little, giving room for Duo to sit down in between his legs.

Which he did.

Trowa started to brush out Duo's hair, reverently separating it into sections with his fingers as he gently ran the brush down the length. Duo's hair was like a museum of hope. At least, that was how Trowa romanticized it, feeling the weight of memory and loss as he brushed it.

He was allowed to do this.

Duo looked over his shoulder, smiling his crooked grin. "I'm going to be fine, you know."

Trowa did not scowl. Maybe. He turned Duo's head back, though, gently. "Look forward," he said softly.

Duo chuckled, but he acquiesced. "I'll be coming back to you."

Trowa knew that. He kept running the brush down the length of Duo's hair, feeling reassured by the feel of it and hoping to give reassurance.

"It's... It won't be too long."

Trowa said nothing. The hair was smooth and shiny, untangled, so he set the brush down next to his beer and divvied it into three main chunks.

"I'm sorry."

Trowa shook his head, but Duo wasn't facing him. He started to braid the hair, being careful. He had to make it nice and tight, but not too tight, especially at the nape. There, it had to have give. Plus, he had to keep the hair from getting retangled as he worked.

It was an art.

"It's a good mission plan. Fei will be watching, and of course, Heero will be close. It's not like... well... I mean, I've never... but at the same time... I'll be coming back to you."

Trowa scowled a bit. He'd done a few plaits, so it was time to tighten it up. He tugged hard on the chunks, making a nice, neat plait.

"Ow. You know, you do this just like Sister Helen used to," Duo said, and it might have sounded like he was complaining, but Trowa knew. "I will come back to you."

It occurred to Trowa that perhaps Duo was looking for something, like maybe he needed to know that he could come back. But, that was silly. It was the mission. It was to save lives. Trowa understood and Duo knew that he did.

"...If you don't want me to go, you know, you just have to say so."

Duo was waiting for a response. Trowa swallowed. "Do you want me to?"

"...No," Duo sighed, his shoulders slumping a bit.

"Then," Trowa leaned forward, and pressed his lips to the back of Duo's neck, "I won't." He brushed his chin against Duo's skin. Duo complained when he did that, especially if he hadn't shaved recently enough, but Trowa had a feeling that he didn't really dislike it. Maybe he liked it too much. "You will come back to me."

"Yes, I will," Duo replied, and his voice was emotional.

Trowa nodded, and went back to work. When he finished, he held the end while he leaned over to grab a hair tie. Seemed like they never thought of grabbing one before he started braiding. He made the end extra tight, so it would last. On a mission, on this mission, it was hard to say, but it would be nice if he was the one who got to unbraid it again. Trowa kissed his way up Duo's hair, and then kissed under Duo's ear.

"I'm coming back to you," Duo promised.

Trowa just closed his eyes, and put his forehead down on Duo's shoulder.

♦♦♦

The wind whooshed over his face. That wasn't truly accurate, because they were on a colony, and there was no wind. Wind was a property of planets, of space. It was natural. This sensation came from the speed at which he was moving through the artificial atmosphere of the colony.

It wasn't wind.

The transport stopped, and he jumped out, heading to the gate. He went inside, and picked up a utility belt, hooking it around his waist.

The animal trainer from the circus had recruited Trowa for this job, though it was really more a way of life. A conservation group from Earth reclaimed a lost colony, refitting it for use as a refuge for animals that were on the brink of extinction, as well as animals that needed to be rescued. The circus' animal trainer had brought his tigers, and elephant, wanting them to be able to 'retire' in peace. They saved animals that had been abused, either as pets or circus animals, or who had suffered due to humanity's expansion into their world, and they had breeding programs in place for animals on the brink. They could only work with land animals, but they had an extensive entomological section. They were doing good work.

Trowa approached a cage, where Elyn was standing warily back from a growling tiger. He looked at the tiger, and his magnificent fangs. "Hey."

"Trowa! Oh, how are you?"

"What's his story?" Trowa asked calmly, his entire attention on the tiger.

"Ah... mm. He's... he's got a crushed front ankle. He came on the transport last night. He was owned by some rich dude on, I think, L3? I didn't know L3 had rich dudes, but... they were doing some construction around the tiger, some sort of accident happened... Anyway, he was going to put the tiger down, but we saved him. Fortunately. He was tranq'd when he got here, but now he's... obviously awake and snarling. I think we're going to have to tranq him again to redo his dressing. The bones have been set, but..." she sighed.

Trowa stepped closer to the cage. He looked the tiger in the eye, unblinking. Once he had the beast's attention, and the tiger's growls had calmed a bit, he spoke, softly but determined. "We want to help you. Ease your pain. But we can't do that unless you let us get close. We're not like the ones you've met before. Please. Let us help."

The tiger continued to stare at Trowa, but after a moment, he stopped growling. Trowa continued to maintain eye contact until the giant kitty got bored, and flopped to his side, half-heartedly starting to wash his face with his good front paw.

Smiling tightly, Trowa gently opened the cage, and went inside.

"You shouldn't be doing this," Elyn muttered. "If Duo were here..."

"I'm fine," Trowa said calmly. He approached the tiger, who gave him a look that reminded him that his flesh was easy to tear and probably delicious, and then the tiger went back to grooming.

Trowa looked over the bandage on the ankle. Annoyingly, it was only cloth. He needed a soft cast. Trowa removed the bandages, and examined the wounds. His fur had been shaved away, leaving the surgical scars frighteningly bare. The stitches looked haphazard. This was getting even more annoying. They would even have to remove these stitches. What sort of hack with what kind of outdated equipment did this... His movements were slow and fluid. He took out an alcohol wipe, and cleaned the area around the scar. The tiger flinched a bit, and stopped grooming to give Trowa his full attention. Moving a bit more quickly, Trowa pulled out the tube of antiseptic jelly, and covered his scars. They'd have to x-ray, he thought. If the stitches were this bad, they had to be sure the surgery was actually successful. Trowa didn't like tranq'ing a wild animal twice in a matter of days, though. Hopefully, they could wait a bit, maybe a week. The tiger snarled a tiny bit, and Trowa looked at him, calming him. Finally, Trowa pulled out some plastic. It was an Oz doctor who developed this stuff during the war. It came in sheets, like foam, but a bit more rubbery and a bit stiffer. He wrapped it around the tiger's ankle, and held it tight. He looked the tiger in the eye while it set. The heat from his hands and the stretching of the material was enough to trigger it to harden. It wasn't a perfect cast, but it was flexible enough to allow motion, which was good for healing, and firm enough to protect the knitting bones.

The tiger watched Trowa intensely, but somehow, Trowa felt like he was beginning to trust Trowa. That was probably projection. There was no reason for a tiger to trust a man.

Once the first layer was done, he pulled out a second sheet, and wrapped it again. Once that was done, he got up and backed out of the cage, maintaining eye contact. Once he was out and the door was closed, the tiger blinked and went back to grooming. Trowa smiled tightly.

"You age me so much every time you pull that trick," Elyn sighed. "And you do it so damned often!"

"Sorry," Trowa said, slightly amused and not at all sorry.

Elyn rolled her eyes at him. "Whatever, let's do the rounds."

Trowa nodded.

It was good to work.

♦♦♦

He was thinking about opening another beer. If he did, he probably wouldn't finish it before it got warm. But, he was still thinking about it. His pad dinged, and he felt irrational hope and fear zing through him.

Then, he realized that it was Quatre.

He touched the pad, and nodded. Quatre just beamed at him. "Trowa! How are you doing?"

It was troublesome that it was a meaningless question that required an answer that would be equally meaningless. "Fine, you?"

"Oh, you know, busy as always, planning a family vacation for... So, you're doing ok?"

Trowa almost smiled. Quatre did that thing sometimes, when he was about to go off and talk about himself for an hour but he stopped himself. It was endearing. "You don't need to worry about me, Q."

"I know," Quatre sighed. "I'm worried about Duo."

Trowa's lips pressed into a firm line.

"I didn't like the mission parameters. I tried to stop them," he fervently explained. Trowa didn't need to hear it, though.

"No one liked the mission parameters. But, it's going to work, so." That was all there was to it. Even Heero Yuy couldn't come up with a better mission plan.

Bad guys were going to go down.

"Yeah, but... if it were my husband out there doing..."

"We're not married," Trowa cut him off. He knew bloody well what Duo was off doing. He didn't need to talk about it with Quatre.

"I know," Quatre looked abashed. "I didn't mean... I just... Well, if there's anything I can do..."

"I'm fine," Trowa repeated tonelessly.

"Well." Quatre looked like a kicked bunny. It was cute, and sad. "I know. I'm sorry. I just..."

"I know."

"We're here for you. I mean, me, Relena... Wu Fei and Heero are with Duo... Catherine's going to be staying with you, right?" Quatre eagerly leaned forward.

"Not for a couple of weeks," he replied. She was coming for the end of the year break.

"Oh. But. Well."

"You worry too much," Trowa murmured. "You always have. ...Except for those times when you worried too little." That was supposed to be a joke, but.

It probably wasn't funny.

Quatre smiled anyway. "He'll be home soon."

"I know."

"Ok... and hey, Tro? You both should come out and visit sometime soon. It's been too long." Quatre smiled brightly.

Trowa fidgeted just a tiny bit. He didn't... really want to leave the rescue colony. He didn't like traveling like a tourist and he didn't like visiting people. It was.

Normal.

Quatre was beaming, and it was like there was a goddamned angelic glow around him. So, Trowa just dropped his chin and nodded a tiny fraction.

It would be up to Duo, anyway.

"Ok, well... talk to you soon. Talk to you both soon."

"Yup," Trowa managed to get out. He looked up just as Quatre signed off.

He stood up to get a beer.

♦♦♦

He stopped in front of the tiger. He was pacing, prowling, really, around his space. When he saw Trowa, he growled once, and went back to pacing. Trowa watched him, unfazed. The tiger, unimpressed, turned his back, his tail jauntily hiking up, and he leapt up to the ledge in the back of the enclosure, landing neatly on three paws.

He was beautiful.

Trowa was mesmerized, even by the way the big cat gracefully slumped into a recline, stretching out his back legs. His toes separated, his claws extending. Trowa had to smile.

He was a beast made for killing.

"Trowa?" Elyn called out. "Transport's here."

He nodded, and turned away, reluctant. He dropped his utility belt on the table as he went out and hopped on the transport. The colony's lightening system was dimming. It wasn't like sunset, but they'd done a reasonable job emulating the colors. Trowa closed his eyes, and he realized.

It had been ten days now.

♦♦♦

Sixteen days after Duo had left, they got a signal that a Preventer's ship wanted to dock. Trowa was out tending to a sick alligator, but Robbie, a stickish boy with long hands who had a way with birds waded out to them to tell Trowa. He didn't stop what he was doing immediately, but Elyn cheerfully pushed him aside and told him, Just go already! I don't want Duo to be mad at me! So, he left.

It took him eighteen minutes to get from the enclosure to the dock, but the gangplank was just being lowered, the door still closed. Trowa realized he had mud on his uniform and he probably smelled, possibly like alligator piss. He couldn't tell, but Duo would. Duo.

Was almost home...

The door opened, and two people stepped out together, one leaning on the other. Trowa's heart sank. He recognized the slightly shorter, compact frame of Heero Yuy instantly. Duo was leaning on him, and he was limping. Trowa took a step closer, but. He waited. Duo had his head down, too, and a flood of memories came back to Trowa. Something from the war, Duo barely being able to walk, to lift his head, but when he did, he grinned wolfishly... Trowa waited for that grin.

Heero bent down and said something to Duo, and Duo looked up, and then the lopsided grin almost took away the visceral reaction to seeing Duo's banged up face. Duo pushed away from Heero and hopped down the rest of the gangplank, jumping on Trowa, who caught him and held him.

As tight as he could, and he put an arm under Duo's bum to support him, and Duo wrapped his legs around Trowa, and Duo smelled like shit, too, they probably both needed a bath, and Trowa realized...

Duo needed a lot more, probably.

Heero looked ashen. "We... we came straight here, I... Trowa..."

Heero Yuy, tongue tied. That couldn't be good.

"Didja get 'em?" Trowa asked quietly, brushing his nose through Duo's messy hair.

"Yeah, the bastards are dead," Duo said, equally quietly, with perhaps a panache of pleasure.

Trowa tightened his arms around Duo.

Heero stepped closer. "We went in... as soon as we... I mean... we should have gone in sooner, but..."

Trowa shook his head, and turned. He carried Duo to the transport outside. He was going to take Duo home and wash him up. Heero could be guilty by himself.

♦♦♦

"Wash my hair?" Duo asked, grinning. Half his face was purple, nasty, vicious bruises nearly closing his right eye. His left side was almost entirely black from bruising, too, and he had his ribs wrapped already. He also had his leg wrapped in plastic, higher but the same side as the tiger. That was... it was something, anyway.

Trowa kissed Duo's forehead.

They were already in the bathroom, already mostly cleaned up. Duo had already teased him about how he smelled. Trowa had already seen the bruising and tearing around Duo's anus. The hair was the last thing.

Trowa unwound the braid, combing the hair out with his fingers. Gently, he murmured, "Geez, did you clean an engine with this?" and Duo chuckled, but that was all.

It wasn't time yet to talk about it.

He drew Duo to lean back and he pulled out the nozzle, getting Duo's hair nice and wet. He then squeezed out some shampoo. He started to work it into the hair, making a nice lather. He shook his hand. "Someone's been playing in my hair," he murmured, trying to sound like he was reading a children's story.

Duo's body tensed.

Trowa massaged Duo's scalp. "Fortunately, the hair is stronger than the pervert."

Duo watched him, his eyes searching, and then he relaxed, and closed his eyes, smiling just at the corner's of his lips. "Fuckin' yeah."

Trowa almost grinned. He washed Duo's hair once, rinsed it out, and then started to wash it again. He took his time, really lathering it all the way to the tips. He rinsed it again, letting the water get a bit cooler. Duo shivered as it ran down, but he didn't say anything, and his posture didn't change. Trowa reached over and squeezed out the conditioner.

Duo's nose wrinkled. "I dun like that stuff," he sighed.

"I know," Trowa smiled. "But it's good for your hair."

"Smells," Duo sighed.

"I know, but you're too sensitive to smells," Trowa laughed.

"You spend all day mucking about with animals," Duo retorted. "Of course you don't care. It smells like peaches. Girly."

"Peaches are yummy," Trowa responded, reaching over to just brush a finger over Duo's nipple. Duo's body jerked and tensed at the same time. Trowa pulled his hand away. "And don't say girly like it's bad, or I'll tell Sally."

"That's so mean," Duo sighed. "Why don't they make a musky conditioner?"

"You know where musk comes from, right?" Trowa smirked.

"Smartass."

"That's you. Are you saying you're rubbing off on me?" Trowa finished rubbing the conditioner in, so he massaged Duo's head.

Duo sighed. "Well, maybe later, I dunno, still tired."

Trowa felt cold and sober in a bad way. He pulled Duo's head back a little and kissed his forehead. "I've got you," he said quietly.

Duo opened his eyes and looked up at Trowa.

"Oh, we have another tiger," Trowa said, and he realized it sounded like it came from nowhere, but it didn't.

Duo smiled. "You've been playing with a big cat, huh? Someday, they're going to call me to tell me you've been mauled."

"Nah," Trowa shook his head. "Well, maybe."

Duo's shoulders trembled with unvoiced humor. "Idiot."

"Yeah," Trowa nodded.

Duo shook his head, and closed his eyes, trusting Trowa to finish with the peach-smelling crap.

♦♦♦

Trowa wound his way through the cafeteria. He usually just ate ration bars out wherever he was, but he'd gotten three messages that morning. And a call. And the colony supervisor came to talk to him. All because of one thing.

One person, really.

Trowa set his tray down opposite Heero, and leaned back in the plastic chair. "I thought you'd've left by now."

Heero glared at him, but Trowa knew that look. It took him a long time to recognize it, because admitting that Heero Yuy could feel things like guilt, pain, or fear was like admitting that the all the atoms in the universe could choose the same moment to fly apart at the seams.

Atoms didn't have seams, but still. It was life-changing.

Trowa picked up his sandwich and took a bite resentfully. The flavor of 'real food' was disturbing to him. After a few more moments of silence, he started to think of something else he could say that might spark a conversation. Fortunately, Heero gave into the silence.

"It wasn't my idea. The mission... well, it was my idea, it was my plan, but it was my plan to get someone to go undercover as a prostitute, it wasn't my idea that Duo go undercover as a prostitute, that wasn't... I didn't want it."

"I know," Trowa replied evenly. Heero didn't want it and Trowa didn't want it and he was damned sure Duo fucking didn't want it, but those were the breaks. "It just worked that way. Duo fit the profile." Trowa shrugged. No one liked it. Missions weren't about liking things. It wasn't a vacation.

"No, but... it shouldn't have been..." Heero broke off, looking away. Trowa had been noticing as they'd all been getting older... become adults or whatever, that Heero was more prone to emotion. He wasn't sure if it was the aging process, or if everything he'd done had caught up to him, or if someone had exerted influence on him... if there'd been a catalyst. Seven years ago, he might have thought that Duo would have been that catalyst.

Trowa calmly ate his damned sandwich, and let Heero be emotional.

"You should have stopped him. He's your damned lover, and you let him..." but Heero's accusation died, choked in his own throat.

Trowa let it wash over him. Yes, he allowed, if such a term applied, and he didn't think it truly did, his lover to go undercover as a prostitute. Yes, that happened. But. "Heero, the mission was a success, right?"

Heero looked at Trowa, offended and pained by Trowa's serenity.

"The mission was a success? You got the bad guys? The child sex slavery ring was broken? You saved the kids, got the info to go after the bastards who bought kids?" Trowa urged.

Heero narrowed his eyes. "Yes, all mission objectives were satisfied."

Trowa let that wash over both of them. Actually, besides Duo's vague assurances that the bad guys were dead, Trowa hadn't been able to be certain. That was good news. "Well. That's why he agreed to it. That's why he volunteered. He knew..." but, knowing wasn't knowing. There was knowing, and there was living something. They both had known that going in. "He took that risk, he made that sacrifice... because of those objectives. ...It's not your fault."

Heero stared at Trowa for a bit, looking... far worse than Trowa could ever remember seeing him look before. "We... we lost contact with him. It was my fault, I didn't realize... there was a connected bunker... it took us nearly thirteen hours before we could raid. Before we could... extract him..." Heero voice broke, and he looked away. "So that's why... it's my fault, what happened to him..."

"Heero," Trowa cut him off, not wanting to hear it. He didn't want to hear anything like this from Heero Yuy. He didn't want to hear it from anyone but Duo, and only when Duo choose to tell him. He just didn't want to hear it. "He's fine."

"Is he?" Heero asked sharply. He narrowed his eyes, glaring with full Heero force at Trowa. "The whole way here... he leaned on me, but he didn't say a word. Duo Maxwell didn't say a fucking word for the damned near twenty hour trip."

That did sound bad, but Trowa wasn't going to back down, no matter how hard Heero glared. "He's the God of Death. Don't underestimate him."

Heero flinched, and looked away. "I never do. I don't really get him. I never have. He's always... surprised me," Heero shook his head. "He... he's the one who grew up in the streets, never really had an education, but he's the best pilot among us. Never had a family, but he's the most sociable. He reads books on theoretical physics for fun. He beat Chang at xiangqi, Chang was pacing and muttering and spitting nails at anyone who got near him for a week. He... can do anything. And he got reduced..."

"Stop it," Trowa sighed, irritated. "You realize this is why you and he never worked out?"

Heero stared at Trowa, completely not understanding.

"You put him up on a pedestal. I don't know when you started doing that... I didn't think you did that during the war. But you do it, you... might as well call him Saint Duo," Trowa tossed his crust away, disgusted. "Maybe you did do that in the war, too, maybe that's why you trusted him when you didn't trust anyone else, I don't know. But he's not perfect, he can't do everything, he's human, Heero. Just like anyone else. And he wasn't reduced to anything. Those men weren't capable of reducing him. He's strong. He'll be fine. And he's not alone."

Heero looked slightly mollified. "He's my best friend, Trowa. And I let these things happen to him. I could hear it all, and... I..."

Trowa shook his head. He didn't want to hear about any of this from Heero...

"I don't want him to be changed because of this. I don't want... our friendship to change. I just wish... I could take it all back," Heero glared furiously at the table.

Trowa sighed. "Heero. Come out and do some work with me this afternoon."

"Why?" Heero asked sharply, immediately. It was almost funny.

Of course, Trowa knew what he was thinking because he'd heard the post-op lectures from well-intentioned psychologists, too. "I don't know about devil's playgrounds, but I do know that if your hands are idle, your brain spins in circles, and that's no good for anyone. C'mon. Get a decent day's work done, stop brooding." Trowa stood up, grabbing his drink. He indicated for Heero to follow him. "Let's go."

Grudgingly, Heero got up and followed Trowa.

♦♦♦

Trowa looked up, shielding his eyes from the artificial light. Of course, Duo was perched near the top of the tree. Sighing, Trowa started to climb. There was a sloth on a low branch that gave him a funny look, like what are you in such a hurry for? but Trowa just kept climbing, until he was just below Duo, who was amusedly watching him.

"You're a damned monkey, it took me ten minutes to get up here!" Duo complained.

"You didn't have to climb so high," Trowa replied reasonably.

"Of course I did," Duo reasoned. "The view is the best from up here. Look, you can see the curve of the colony."

"You can see that from below, too," Trowa smiled.

"Yes, but not as well," Duo smiled back.

They were smiling.

"I think Heero is planning on staying here," Trowa stated quietly, just letting Duo react as he would.

"I know, I already got bitched at by Elyn. And Jackson. Oh, and also Percy. They're all afraid of him. I asked them how they can work with big cats and wolves and alligators and bears and be afraid of a shrimpy guy like Heero, but they didn't find it funny," Duo chuckled.

Trowa was amused, though. "He's a lot like the animals here. A bit damaged, being pushed out by a society that doesn't appreciate him..."

"Be careful of diving too deep without proper gear," Duo warned him.

"We're all a bit like that, though, right?" Trowa finished, ignoring Duo.

Duo was quiet. "Yeah, well. Some more than others."

Trowa reached out tentatively and touched Duo's hand. Duo didn't flinch, so Trowa kept stroking his skin. "You remember... when we met up again? I mean, after the wars, after everything, really... met up...?"

Duo smirked. "You mean, when we ran into each other in that spacer bar and ended up banging each other in the back alley? Yeah, somehow, that's stuck in my memory."

Trowa grinned. "We went back to your ship and banged each other for about two solid days. I felt like I was high."

"You've never done drugs," Duo scoffed.

"You let me wash your hair and rebraid it," Trowa reminisced.

"Yeah, and you did a terrible job," Duo snorted.

"I had to have Cathy teach me how to do it," Trowa acknowledged. "And it was two months before you let me do it again."

"Is there a reason why we're on this trip down memory lane?" Duo smiled, and his eyes looked beautiful.

Trowa slipped his hand over Duo's, and let it rest on Duo's thigh. He stood up, balancing on one foot and stretching up to kiss Duo softly. "We made a promise to each other in the cockpit of your shitty little cruiser after three months of enjoying each other's company."

"Oh, I remember that, but it wasn't quite a promise," Duo laughed. "I think it went something like... As long as we're both still alive and doing this living thing, let's agree to have each other's backs. That was it, right?"

"I've got your back," Trowa said quietly. "And you will never be alone."

Duo's face went still, and he looked into Trowa's eyes and Trowa looked into his. "I know that. I'm just not... not ready yet, you know, to talk about it all. But I know." He leaned over and kissed Trowa, letting the kiss deepen. Duo broke the kiss off, and ran his nose along Trowa's. "Though, physically, I'm A-Ok. In all respects."

"Is that so? That's good," Trowa smiled.

"I thought you'd like to know, since, well, you've been... giving me space and all. Which was... that was fine and all, but it's no longer necessary. Physically, I'm absolutely top-notch," Duo nodded seriously, his eyes looking amused.

Trowa kissed him again. "Are you saying you want to have sex in a tree? Because monkeys manage it, so I think we could, too, except we don't have prehensile tails. But if we brace each other..."

"I think we can wait until we get to a bed," Duo laughed.

"A bed of roses? Because the garden's just over there and I'm pretty sure it'd be empty now," Trowa teased.

"Of course that's what I meant. Oh, that's not a bad idea, though. You've got some lotion or something in that belt of yours, right?" Duo slipped his arms around Trowa's neck.

Chuckling, Trowa pushed himself up just a bit further, wrapping his arms around Duo's waist. He rubbed his face against Duo's neck, smelling his scent, feeling his hair. "Anything for you."

Duo squeezed him. "Don't fall out of the damned tree, I won't put your skull back together again, that's sick."

Trowa's shoulders shook. "So, I guess we've adopted a Heero? Just so you know, I'm pretty sure he's a biter, so you have to wash him."

"Eh, I think he can groom himself. We just have to make sure he eats," Duo smirked, and kissed Trowa's neck.

"Well, I'm not going to try to take any meat away from him, so..." Trowa pulled back and winked at Duo.

Duo pinched his cheek and pulled it. He was being playful.

He would heal.








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