Can Duo help Trowa and Heero in the aftermath of a mission gone wrong? Post EW.
You crawled away from me,
Slipped away from me,
I tried to keep a hold,
But there was nothing I could say.
"Crawl Away" - Tool
Trowa had been holding onto me for what seemed like an eternity and I didn't want to do anything to break the spell. This was one of those fleeting moments where Trowa was vulnerable and seeking comfort. I want him to know that his first rape doesn't matter, that I wasn't lying when I told him it didn't change my feelings about him. It sickens me to think that someone out there must have rejected him for him to be so sure that Heero and I would automatically do the same. But then again, Heero was with him in that room; I know there are things that he is leaving out. There is still tension between the two. Heero's obvious displeasure at watching Trowa and I snuggle on the porch swing is another quandary. Is it just simple jealousy? Did he want to be the one Trowa leaned on? It's not a bad thing for him to want to help Trowa, but he doesn't need to act resentful towards me if Trowa decides he doesn't want what Heero has to offer. Looks like I'm going to need to have another talk with Mr. Wonderful upstairs.
Trowa was content to stay in my embrace longer, but my knees were beginning to hurt. I lowered my arms and gently pulled back. Trowa took the hint and pulled away as well. When we were face to face I could see the wet trails down his cheeks. Trowa reaches up and runs his fingers across his damp face. I watch as he looks down at his fingers, disgusted by the moisture he sees there.
"Fuck," he says softly, but still angrily. It was almost as if the tears were a surprise and he hadn't realized he had been crying.
"Hey," I say as I quickly take hold of his hand and bring it up to my lips to place a kiss on his fingertips. "Don't be ashamed of this, Tro. You need a release, its okay." I cup his face gently with both of my hands and wipe away the tears with my thumbs. "It's okay." He stares at me with an expression I'm not sure is disbelief or astonishment. I withdraw my hands slowly and place them on Trowa's shoulders. We stare at each other for a few heartbeats before Trowa leans forward and brushes his lips against mine, feather-light. He places his hand carefully against the side of my neck and I feel the rough texture from the Velcro on the brace that encloses his broken wrist. My natural instinct takes over and I lean into him and return the gesture as my eyes slide closed. We both shift a bit to make ourselves more comfortable and the kiss deepens gently, tenderly. It's so comfortable and familiar. Our bodies move automatically to compensate for each other and even though we have not shared a kiss like this in days, it still feels like coming home. In this moment there are no bruises or broken bones. There is no pain here, only comfort, understanding, and an easy symbiosis.
But then I pull away suddenly.
"I'm sorry," I whisper and turn my head to look away.
"For what?" Trowa responds hoarsely.
"I shouldn't have done that." Trowa eyes me suspiciously.
"You didn't do anything, I did," he says. I meet his eyes once again.
"I know, but I shouldn't have..."
"Kissed me? Why?" Trowa continues to stare at me. His green eyes are narrow and calculating.
"It's so soon after...I don't want you to feel like I'm trying to push you or force you to...because I'm not," I babble. Trowa inhales loudly through his nose and his lips purse together tightly.
"Oh, I get it," he begins angrily. "Let's coddle the rape victim a little more because he's obviously incapable of thinking for himself."
"No! That's not what I mean-"
"Oh, come off it, Duo. I don't know who's worse, you or Heero. The two of you are going out of your way to make me feel like an invalid," Trowa snaps at me as he struggles to stand up. I reach out and steady him and he shoves me away. It was a weak attempt and I immediately move back and take hold of his elbow and pull him up the rest of the way. He glares threateningly at me, but I'm pretty much immune to such looks by now.
"But you're injured, Trowa. Whether you want to admit it or not, you are going to need help with some things," I reply.
"Yes, fine, I will need help, but that doesn't mean that the two of you have to treat me like some sort of fragile victim," he says with his fingers pointed towards his chest. "I'm not a victim," he adds much softer. I am so tempted to ask him what he is if he's not a victim.
"You're right, I'm sorry. I didn't realize I was treating you like that," I say as damage control. I don't need him getting upset again. I'm not sure how I avoided the panic attack just before, but I do not want another close call like that.
"Just quit treating me like I'm going to fall apart. I'm still the same person, nothing has changed." He runs a hand through his hair and I'm briefly rewarded by an unobstructed view of his face before his bangs fall back into place. I don't know who is trying to convince, me or himself, but I'll play along, for now.
"Okay, you're right. I will try not to...do that anymore." I'm not exactly sure what I'm agreeing not to do, but screw it. I'm all for ending an awkward situation peacefully. Trowa nods his head in acceptance.
"Good, now why don't you go back upstairs and rest or something and I'll finish putting the laundry in. Then you can keep me company while I straighten up my room. Sound like a plan?" I ask, but I notice Trowa's eyes are fixed on my upper arm. He closes the small distance between us and takes hold of forearm and pulls my sleeve up, exposing the band of bruised skin.
"Duo, what happened?" he asks, clearly concerned for my wellbeing as he twists my arm gently to get a better look. Trowa glances over and sees the identical mark on my other arm. I pull back shyly.
"It's nothing, really. Heero and I-"
"Heero did that?" Trowa interrupts incredulously.
"Yes, but it's not what you think. We kind of had a little...er, argument that got a bit out of hand and he grabbed me. He got carried away and didn't realize that he was holding on so tight...you know how strong he is." Please, don't ask me. Now is definitely not the time to explain that Heero tried to put the moves on me.
"You mean this morning? I heard the two of you yelling, but I couldn't make out what you were saying." I nod my head slowly, stalling for time while I think of what to say.
"Were you eavesdropping on us?" I say, employing one of my more traditional diversion tactics. Trowa immediately withdraws with a slight blush coloring his cheeks.
"No...I well, the walls really are thin. I couldn't help but hear you," he attempts to justify, but Trowa is sly and not so easily thrown off the trail. "What was the fight about?"
"Well, that's kind of between Heero and I."
"Duo," Trowa interrupts and the warning tone in his voice tells me that he is probably not going to let this go. He even crosses his arms over his chest and glares at me like I'm some petulant child. "Apparently the fight was bad enough for him to act out with physical violence. Regardless of what it was about we need to take into consideration that Heero might be unstable."
I think my brain just had a seizure. Either I am completely insane or Trowa just accused Heero of coming unglued. Was he not aware that he has had two complete breakdowns in the past twenty-four hours?
"Uh, Tro, I don't think Heero is unstable. Sure he's having some trouble dealing with everything that's happened, but I don't think he's a danger to us, if that's what you're implying."
"He attacked you, Duo," Trowa says matter-of-factly.
"First off, he didn't attack me. Second, don't you think this is a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black?"
"I think you know what I mean," I reply evenly. When he doesn't respond, I continue. "You can't stand there and tell me that Heero is so emotionally distraught after witnessing one of his closest friends get tortured and...and raped right in front of him that he is going lose it and try and hurt us." I watch Trowa's eyes narrow dangerously at me and I can see the tension in his jaw.
"He might. People under extreme stress are liable to do all sorts of things that are uncommon for them," he shoots back.
"Well, if that theory is true, then how did Heero get that fat lip? I don't think he accidentally ran into your elbow. It looked to me like you were aiming for him." Okay, I admit that one was a little below the belt and the cool glare I'm getting from Trowa confirms it.
"Duo," he says again with the warning tone.
"What? If there is anyone in this house that we should be worried about freaking out and becoming a danger to themselves or others, it's you." Oh, Trowa was definitely not happy about that remark. His hand actually curls into a fist and I wonder, momentarily, if he's going to take a swing at me.
"You don't know what the hell you're talking about," he says in a low, angry voice. We stare at one another, silently sizing each other up. My heart is pounding in my chest so hard that I'm sure Trowa must be able to hear it. He takes a step towards me and I take an instinctive step in the opposite direction. We circle each other slowly, like two predators fighting over the same animal carcass.
"I don't?" I snap sarcastically. "Maybe, maybe not, but I know that it was not Heero who collapsed at the bottom of the stairs last night, shaking and hyperventilating. I also know that it wasn't Heero who woke up screaming three times over the course of the night, or who-"
"Shut up," Trowa says with a low growl.
"Why? Because the truth hurts? Because you don't want to accept the fact that you are a victim? For Christ sakes, Trowa you were raped! It's natural that you're going to be angry or upset from time to ti-"
"Shut up!" Trowa yells this time. His whole body is shaking with the force of his anger. "You don't know a fucking thing about what I've been through and neither does Heero. The two of you can spout all the crap you want about counseling and therapy but it's all bullshit. I know how to get past this, and I know because I've done it before."
It hurts me to hear Trowa say those things. I know he has been through this before, but judging by his reaction to things so far I don't think he's dealt with shit. I think he just buried it so deep and repressed so much that he's managed to convince himself that he's moved on. This whole situation has rapidly deteriorated into one big shit-storm. I find myself in an interesting position. I could concede and let Trowa think he's convinced me that he's right or I could keep at him and poke holes in his elaborate delusion of normalcy. You might figure I would have learned my lesson by now.
"Well, Tro it looks to me like you haven't been doing such a good job," I say and the condescending tone rolls off my tongue without conscious thought. "But in all fairness, I will agree that three days might not be enough time to shake off the trauma of having some psycho carve you up like a turkey while another guy shoved his dic-"
I have to give Trowa credit. For an injured man, he moved with surprising speed and strength. Before I knew what hit me, he had me slammed up against the basement wall with both hands fisted in my shirt. I was fully expecting him to punch me, but he didn't. Instead he stared at me, breathing hard, his face just inches from mine. The look on his face was one of betrayal. I realize at that moment just how cruel my words had been.
"Tro...I'm sorry. I...I..." I attempt to get my mouth to form the words, but my jaw opens and closes ineffectually. Trowa doesn't respond, and I'm not sure that I want him to. He instead tosses me to the side like a rag doll and storms off towards the stairs. I throw out my hands to break my fall, but still land hard enough to sprain my wrist.
"Trowa!" I call out to his retreating back. I scramble back up on to my feet to go after him but he pauses on the steps.
"Don't, Duo...just don't," he says quietly without turning around. I let him leave without another word. I mean, what could I possibly say? I walk back into the small laundry room and kick the hamper over, sending articles of clothing everywhere.
"Fuck!" I scream to the empty room. How the hell am I going to fix this one?