Chapter 13
"Noble Intentions"

    "I apologize for bringing up a subject that was obviously painful for you yesterday."
    Wufei didn't even look up from his task. He was seated on his cot, silently wrapping a fresh dressing around a gash in his calf.
    Trowa stood in the doorway, watching dispassionately. After a few minutes he asked, "May I come in?"
    Wufei didn't answer at first. He tied off the ends of the bandage and pulled his pant leg carefully back over the wound. He gave a curt nod as he tossed the roll of guaze in his first aid kit and pushed the small box under his cot.
    Trowa stepped inside, but stayed close to the door, his eyes studying Wufei's face carefully. Finally Wufei looked up at him, resting his elbows on his knees. He'd had time to cool down since his outburst yesterday, having finally fought back his pain and his overwhelming guilt. Now he could look the other boy in the face without flinching.
    "You couldn't have known," he said shortly. "There's no need to apologize."
    Sensing that things were no longer quite as tense between them, Trowa took another two steps into the room. "I'm telling the others today," he said. "Though I think Quatre suspects."
    It took Wufei a moment to realize the subject had been smoothly changed to Trowa's amnesia problem. "Good." He decided not to think about what would happen when Heero found out.
    Trowa glanced around the room, a habit Wufei was beginning to learn meant he was searching for the right words to his inner thoughts. "I know you don't exactly consider me a 'friend' or anything," he started slowly. "But.."
    Wufei frowned slightly. He felt a twinge of unease. Did Trowa think Wufei held him in some kind of disdain or something? Of course, he hadn't been exactly friendly to him during his amnesia. "I don't dislike you, Barton," he said carefully. "You're a competent soldier, as I've told you before. And at least you know when to keep your mouth shut unlike Maxwell and Winner."
    "Thanks," Trowa replied drolly, as if he couldn't decide whether he'd just received a compliment or not.
    "I mean," Wufei went on quickly before Trowa could say anything else, "that while friends aren't a luxury any of us can afford at this time, you.. well, you make a good ally." That had sounded weird, he told himself inwardly.
    But Trowa gave one of his strange half-smiles, his eyes softening a bit. "Well," he admitted quietly, "I can learn to deal with 'ally'."
    Wufei cocked his head a little, feeling he had missed something there. He didn't see anything strange or even promising about the word, but he got the feeling 'ally' had its own meaning for Trowa.
    "Heero is out saving the world again," Trowa said, once again changing the subject. He took a hesitant step forward. "I was hoping we could talk."
    Wufei would have blown off anyone else that might have come to him with such a proposition. But Trowa was the only other person besides Heero that he did not look down on, so he pushed aside the instinctive denial that tried to creep up and merely nodded instead. He gestured towards the small fold-up chair in the corner in invitation.
    Trowa seated himself gingerly, as if he half expected to get kicked out of the room any second. He sat with his arms crossed and met Wufei's piercing stare dead-on. "I ran into Sally earlier," he said carefully. "She said something strange."     Wufei arched a brow, shoving his pillow between his back and the wall. "Why do I have the feeling it's something else about me that is none of her business?"
    Trowa gave the tiniest flinch, and Wufei was immediately on guard. He'd hit the nail right on the head. "Go ahead," he said from behind gritted teeth, ready to deny whatever the lunatic woman had said. "What did she say?"
    Trowa was looking at a point right over Wufei's head, and his face was firm in its impenetrable mask. "When Heero was leaving, she stopped me when I was heading towards the hangar. She said he might be busy, and to give him a minute."
    Wufei frowned, puzzled. "What did she mean by that?"
    "I had no idea," Trowa admitted without a hint of embarrassment in his voice, "so I listened outside while she went in to check. I heard her ask Heero if you were in there."
    Wufei's brows shot up. In the pit of his stomach, something twitched in cold warning.
    "When he said no, Sally came back out and said it was all right to go in."
    Wufei's fingers were digging dents into his arms as his face went frosty and he blew out a hissing breath from behind his teeth. He struggled with the surge of anger and panic that tried to force itself out. He didn't want Trowa to think he was angry at him.
    It was a certain braided onna he was planning on skinning.
    Trowa finally met his gaze, seeing the anger clearly. He hesitated, then said quietly, "I may be going out on a limb here, but... there are security cameras." He paused, then added delicately, "In the hangar of her ship."
    If Wufei hadn't been struggling to contain his temper, he would have been out the door in a flash, sword in hand. As it was, his previous panic turned to horror, and he could feel the blood drain from his own face as he stared at Trowa in numb silence. Rage quickly followed, making the blood pound in his ears. Trowa took one look at him and knew his guess had been right. A second later the blood flooded back into Wufei's face in a furious blush as he realized in panic that there were now at least two people on board that had either witnessed or knew about the.. scene.. between himself and Heero in the hangar.
    He was a breath away from darting from the room to destroy something-- he wasn't sure if it would be Sally or the video tapes --when Trowa spoke softly. "I don't think she's told anyone, Wufei. And I certainly won't. There's no need to panic. And if you're worried about how it might make Sally or myself feel about you, you can relax. She wouldn't have bothered stopping me in an attempt at leaving you and Heero alone earlier otherwise."
    Wufei wanted to rant and rave. He wanted to shout or break something. Instead, all that came out was "And you?" in a rough voice trembling with contained fury.
    Trowa gazed at him steadily for a long moment, and for an instant something in his face twitched-- a vague sign of.. irritation?
    Before Wufei could decipher it, the slender pilot had gotten to his feet and strode over to the bed. He stood before his partner, gazing down at him soberly. "You aren't a stupid man, Chang Wufei," he said. "I have no doubt you've made your own assumptions about Heero and I."
    Wufei felt a flash of shame, but Trowa didn't give him the chance to speak.
    "Whatever happened in that hangar between you two, I'm certainly not one to hold it against you," Trowa said quietly. "As for Heero and I... well, that was nothing. It's been awhile, besides. Don't think you have to be noble and step aside now that I'm back..."
    Wufei could tell the words were a struggle to say, but he didn't let the other boy finish. He jumped to his feet, and Trowa rocked back, startled. Wufei glared at him fiercely, jabbing his finger in Trowa's chest. "Who's being noble?" he growled. "Forget it, Barton. That.. incident was nothing. Yuy and I are rivals, nothing more. That was a result of stress more than anything else." He hoped to the gods he wasn't blushing at the memory. "Do what you want. I have no interest in him, and he feels the same, no doubt. Now can we just drop this whole inane conver-" Something in Trowa's eyes changed. Perhaps it was hopelessness. Or maybe just exasperation. Whatever it was, he didn't allow Wufei to finish his rant. Without a word, he reached out and placed his long fingers to either side of the swordsman's face. He leaned in and cut off the words with a soft, close-mouthed kiss.
    Wufei, stupefied, could only stand there, eyes wide, fist still in the air from his shouting. His first instinct was to pull away, but he checked himself at the last second. Heero would ignore such a hesitant retreat. Trowa would not. He would take it as rejection, and Wufei realized in that moment that the last thing he wanted was for Trowa to leave.

    Trowa was both surprised and unexpectedly relieved when Wufei didn't pull away. The kiss had been spontaneous, a primal reaction to the helpless, anxious feelings inside of him that had risen up at the thought of turning his back on the dark-eyed pilot so that he could have the man they both wanted.
    Wufei didn't respond at first, but he didn't pull away, either. After an obvious internal battle, Wufei leaned forward a little, tilting his head and roughly taking control of the chaste kiss. There was desperation there, and a hint of the same fear Trowa had been feeling himself. And need.
    It was just simple kissing at first, and Trowa was content to let Wufei experiment, letting him take control of it. When they broke away for air, their faces inches apart, both of them were breathing as if they'd just run a race. When Wufei stepped closer and put his hands and mouth on him again, Trowa never even contemplated the idea of retreat.
    Harsh breath by his ear, rough hands on his torso-- perhaps it should have scared him, but it didn't. Quite the opposite, actually, he noted somewhere in the back of his mind with the very small portion left still able to think coherently. Those calloused hands were skimming possessively under his shirt and tracing his abdomen, and a jolt of unexpected desire shot through him, leaving his mouth dry. He reached up and curled slender fingers over the back of the pilot's skull, pulling Wufei's head back marginally and crushing his mouth against the other boy's lips.
    Wufei gave a little grunt, but didn't fight the rough hold. He twisted somehow, and slipped his body in between Trowa's long arms so that their bodies were pressed against each other in a way that made Trowa groan deep in his throat, the sound vibrating against their lips.
    Wufei seemed to appreciate the noise; he wrapped his arms around Trowa's waist so that his hands were splayed against his lower back, holding them together as he took control of the kiss again, sliding his tongue past Trowa's teeth in a deep kiss that left the green-eyed boy breathless.

    The door swung open.
    Trowa and Wufei jerked apart and whirled, eyes wide in surprise and horror.
    "Chang, suit up. OZ-" Heero's mouth snapped shut on the words as he stood frozen in the doorway, staring dumbly at them. For an instant shock showed clearly on his face, then suddenly it was a stern mask once more. Only his eyes gave him away.
    There was a long moment of tense silence, then a cold anger began burning in Heero's eyes. The look he turned on Wufei made the bold swordsman want to retreat to the far side of the small room.
    Oh shit, he thought numbly.
    "Heero," Trowa started to say softly, but the perfect soldier seemed not to hear. He brushed past the tall pilot and got right in Wufei's face, his eyes narrowed with tightly-controlled fury.
    "I thought you were the one who preached about honor," he growled.
    Wufei felt as if he'd been punched in the stomach. He fell back a step, unable to get his voice to work.
    Trowa's eyes widened in realization as his quick mind dissected the scene. "Heero," he said more firmly, grasping the man's shoulder. Whether it was to get his attention or keep him from going for Wufei's throat, the Shenlong pilot wasn't sure. "Heero, calm down," Trowa said quietly. "It's me. Trowa." Heero started to jerk away, but Trowa's grip, surprisingly strong, only tightened. "Heero, my memory came back yesterday."
    Heero stopped trying to pull away and twisted his head to stare at the other pilot in obvious surprise.
    Trowa smiled just a tiny bit, but didn't relax his crushing grip on the wild-haired boy. "I was planning on telling everyone today," he explained, still speaking quietly and soothingly.
    Heero blinked and relaxed marginally. He shot a suspicious look towards Wufei again, then looked Trowa in the face. He stared at him for several seconds before slowly drawing the anger back down into himself. The rigidness in his shoulders eased, and Trowa slowly let him go.
    Finally Wufei caught on. Heero had thought Wufei had been taking advantage of the amnesia Trowa. His nerves-- already frayed with panic at the abrupt entrance and stupefied hurt at the betrayed anger in Heero's eyes a moment ago --snapped. He lashed out with his fist in a blow meant to take the other boy down.
    Heero dodged the blow with lightning-quick reflexes, and Wufei's fist merely grazed his cheek.
    "What the fuck is wrong with you, Yuy??" Wufei shouted furiously. "Just what kind of person do you take me for?!"
    Heero took a wary step back, out of immediate reach, his eyes narrowing warily. His anger, so abruptly pushed back, began to burn in his eyes again. "I didn't know," he said shortly in lieu of apology.
    "Fuck you, Yuy!"
    Trowa's eyes had widened slightly, and there was hurt in the back of them as he watched the two pilots helplessly. He took a step forward, interrupting sharply in an attempt to stop the fight, "Heero, what did you want to tell Wufei? I thought you were on a mission."
    Heero and Wufei remained locked in a glaring stare-down as the blue-eyed boy answered in clipped tones, "OZ is splitting their forces. Someone needs to take out the group headed for the colony while I take care of the rest."
    "The great Heero Yuy, asking for help?" Wufei sneered. Heero's eyes narrowed dangerously.
    "Trowa can go," Heero snapped. "Since you're obviously not focused enough to fight right now, and he's been out of comission." Wufei's face reddened with fury, and he opened his mouth for a vicious retort.
    "No," Trowa said sharply. They both looked at him, startled out of their stare-down. Trowa's mask was not quite in place, and they could see the guilt and the hurt plainly as he shook his head quickly, backing away. He glanced from one boy to the other, his voice hushed as if he were speaking more to himself than them. "I did this." He turned and hurried from the room.
    "Trowa!" Wufei called after him.
    Heero took a step towards the door, then checked himself. He shot Wufei a burning look. "Suit up," he growled. "We don't have time for this. OZ isn't going to wait on us."
    Wufei was used to pushing aside his own wants and feelings for the mission. He swallowed his resentment and guilt with difficulty and ran after the other pilot towards the hangar.
    He would take out his rage and his hurt on the scum of OZ.


...*looks at it* This chapter is shorter than I thought o_O;
But Part I is almost done, so.. .meh.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
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