Categories > Anime/Manga > Gundam Wing > Shades of Gray

Chapter Nine

by sumthinlikhuman 0 reviews

It took me a great, long stretch of time before my sluggish brain registered: me. He's talking about him and Trowa and me. (Winner of KumoriCon '06, Best Novella Adult!)

Category: Gundam Wing - Rating: R - Genres: Angst, Drama, Romance - Characters: Duo, Trowa, Wufei - Warnings: [!] [X] - Published: 2007-03-13 - Updated: 2007-03-14 - 1935 words

Loneliness awakens in the darkness
An endless journey
Maybe we'd meet again one day,
Unforgettable wounds still hurting
Every time I turn around
I hold in these hands the answers
Seems like my shadow's looking down at me
-from Ishino Ryuzo's "Let Into Top" (translation)

Chapter Nine

Duo looked across at Trowa, and tried desperately to formulate an appropriate answer to such a proclamation as had just been made. After a while, he chuckled slightly, and smiled, tipping his wine glass gently towards his lover.

"Well, good for you. Who is it?"

"Noone of terrible importance." The avoidance of that statement made Duo shake his head and sip at his wine. He nibbled at his chicken, and swallowed heavily, simply trying to understand the entire thing.

It was a common and even thing, between the both of them, that their 'relationship', as it was, was completely open-ended. Such as it had been when they had entered into their rapport after the first war had ended-Trowa had come into the pairing with some ingrained, intuitive knowledge that he would never wholly hold Duo's heart and love, and had resigned himself most respectfully.

"Will he treat you well?"

"I don't know. He's . . . a bit difficult to talk to sometimes. I get nervous." He was blushing gently, picking at his rice and laughing at his own weakness. Duo smiled, and reached across the table, caressing his lover's cheek gently.

"I suppose it's only fair that our agreement extend to you as well? I'd be a bit of a bastard if I didn't, wouldn't I?" Trowa only chuckled gently.

The arrangement was a simple enough thing, to go with their simple enough situation: they knew that they would never be the other's faithful partner, and so they had decided that, should they come upon someone whom they truly believed that deeply loved, they would tell the others, and remind their partner before anything happened that they were in such an open ended relationship. And if anything came of something, then they would go their ways.

They had yet to go their ways yet, and for that, Duo was slightly thankful.

"Do I know him?" The pressing questions had never been asked of him, when he'd taken up with someone. Trowa smiled genially, and sipped his wine. Duo poured them both a refresher, and leaned back in his chair; his feet tapped at Trowa's shin, and there was no shame in him removing his stylish boots and running his socked foot up the inside of his lover's calve.

"Yes," Trowa responded simply, and picked at the chicken. They fell into a peacefully heavy silence; after a while, Trowa softly murmured, "God, I wish I knew how to talk to him."

"I suppose my approach of bad pick-up lines is out?"

definitely," Trowa laughed, his eyes bright and shining. "He'd run away rather than listen."

"So just talk to him."


"You both seem happy together."

Duo looked over at Wu Fei, and cocked a brow, before looking over at Trowa. He smiled slightly, and shrugged, watching the tall man perform a rather amazing handstand and then dive spectacularly into the pool.

"I suppose we are. It's nice to come home to, at least." Wu Fei nodded a little. Duo watched him intently out of the corner of his eyes, trying to understand the cryptic look.

Finally, he kicked him in the back of the knees, grinning when the dark Asian swore and glared up at him. He gently asked, "Why aren't you out there swimming with him? I know you want to." The accusation was meant as a joke, but Wu Fei was flushing softly nonetheless, looking swiftly and pointedly away.

He'd been noticing that more and more, admittedly. Trowa had been a bit more distant in his advances and acceptance of the same; the two of them were almost painfully careful never to be left alone together for any substantial amount of time; and Heero had mentioned something in passing, more to Quatre than to Duo, that his relationship with Wu Fei had become strained at best.

He hated to think that Wu Fei was cheating on Heero, more out of fear for Wu Fei's well being than anything else. Of course, he knew Wu Fei was more than capable of taking care of himself. Still. He had seen Heero at his peak during the war, when he'd set bones without even something to grit his teeth against, and had blown himself sky high more than once. There was no doubt in his mind that Wu Fei, if he chose such a dangerous route, would not come out unscathed.

"Hey," he murmured, leaning back a little and crossing his ankles. Wu Fei looked over at him, cocking a brow slightly and darting his loose hair out of his eyes. "You know Heero really likes you a lot, right?"

"Ah . . . yes, I know that." That flush was back, and Duo didn't doubt the shame and guilt in it now. He smiled slightly, and patted his friend's thigh, trying to ignore the thrill that went up his arm and down his spine.

He didn't want to be on the receiving end of any anger, be it from Wu Fei or Heero.

"Just . . . . He really likes you." Duo couldn't bring himself to blurt out the obvious statement there, and hoped Wu Fei picked up on the 'don't break his heart!' that sat heavy at the end of that sentence.


Trowa was glad Duo was out, for once. Wu Fei was slow, silent opening and closing the door, standing against the heavy wood as though afraid that moving would awaken some rabid beast. He smiled at his secret lover, and turned down the covers a bit, beckoning the younger man closer and into his bed.

Wu Fei kissed like he was drowning, and Trowa was more than willing to grapple with the intensity of that hunger, feeding it easily. His fingers tripped delicately over soft caramel skin, and he frowned just a little to feel ribs and hip-bones, and then the bulge of his spine. But Wu Fei effectively distracted him from any observation he would make, stripping away their clothing and sprawling in such a wanton fashion that Trowa could not help but be drawn.

Afterwards, he showered under scalding hot water, and tried to wrestle with the guilt that was chewing away at his chest. Wu Fei, of course, knew about Duo and his relationship. But he had not fulfilled the agreement, though doubtless Duo knew by now; he wasn't stupid. Still, he knew he should have told Duo when he'd slept with Wu Fei that first time, months ago.

The guilt did not leave him, but quieted, when Wu Fei slipped into the shower as well. He was humming softly along with the radio, and Trowa sang pleasantly to earn a small smile from the drowsy Asian.

They were damp as they fell into the bed together. Trowa was glad Duo was out, for once.

For a very long time, they lay still and quiet, until Wu Fei quietly asked, "I need to break it off with Heero."

"Why?" Trowa asked gently, stroking his face and darting dark hair out of dark eyes. Wu Fei sighed, and leaned into the gentle caress.

"I can't go on like this, you know? It isn't right. He . . . he deserves better." Trowa smiled very softly, and leaned down, kissing Wu Fei despite the tiny voice in his gut that was telling him what an idiot he was. Wu Fei kissed like he was drowning, and he grappled with that intensity willingly, allowing himself to be dominated.

"He has the best," he finally replied, some time later. Wu Fei nuzzled his neck, and didn't say a single thing.


Little Asia was pleasantly bustling with energy. Wu Fei was hanging out in the back, talking quietly with Heero, and Duo couldn't help but worry over the tension in the older young man's shoulders, watching the way his fists clenched and unclenched arrhythmically.

Surely, if anyone knew who Wu Fei was sleeping with besides him, Heero would. Surely, Wu Fei was not so stupid as to think he'd duped his boyfriend with some easy lies and perhaps some offer of one favor or another. Duo did not doubt the favors were frequent now, dubious, harsh.

He'd heard their confrontations. No one would think two men as quiet as them would be quite so loud, but Duo believed now.

Heero hadn't fought that much with Quatre when they'd gone their separate ways. Duo could count the number of times Heero and Quatre had fought on one hand; the verbal battles between Heero and Wu Fei were swiftly growing into the innumerable numbers of a full-scale war. He only hoped their little group outing would dissolve some of the tension.

It didn't.

In Uwajimaya, browsing through the bookstore on the northern corner of the shopping center, Duo became distinctly aware of the sound of their newest ensuing argument. He didn't stop to wonder what the problem was this time, didn't wonder what had 'triggered' the outburst this time; he only knew that Wu Fei was snapping some mix of several languages, and they all sounded like swears to him.

He put down the book he'd taken up, and hurried up to the second floor to see them snarling at each other over the space of a compact-disk. With a sigh, he strode over, grabbing Heero's elbow, and tugging his attention away from the smaller man.

"Cut it out," he hissed, "or truck your ass back to the apartment. I'm not gonna put up with both of your shit today."

"Mind your own business, Maxwell," Heero snarled, wrenching his arm away. He stomped away angrily, shoving his way through the assembled crowd.

Duo consolingly approached Wu Fei, ready with some apology for a problem not his own. The young Asian flinched away, his arms wrapped around himself as if to hold himself in. He stepped around Duo, and tore his arm away when he grabbed it.

"I don't need your help. I don't need your help."


He didn't say anything for a very long time, just stared at Trowa incredulously. They could hear the angry voices of Heero and Wu Fei, drowning out whatever they might have thought of saying. But they didn't speak.

Trowa hadn't bothered to dress. He sat in his dressing robe, his legs carefully canted and tucked to protect whatever propriety he had left. The sight of that seemed to be the finally straw-Trowa had no right or privilege to act like he had propriety left.

could you?"

"It's an open ended-."

"That's not what I meant, Trowa Barton, and you fucking know it." His eyes were blazing, and he stood, towering over his lover. He grabbed the shoulders of Trowa's robe, tugged him a little, until his legs splayed and he looked more like the wanton whore he should have, if the angry voice in the back of Duo's head had any sense of righteousness. "How could you not tell me?"

"I tried to," Trowa attempted. Duo scoffed, let his hands drop away.

Trowa did not cant and tuck his legs. He was still hard, though his erection had wilted. Duo looked away, choked on a sob, and swore violently under his breath.

"He knew I was with you. We were both consenting. I know I didn't tell you, but-."

"Damnit, Trowa," Duo growled, running his fingers fitfully through his hair. Finally, he looked back up, and shook his head. "I loved him too."
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