Gundam Wing Fan Fiction ❯ Hard to Trust ❯ Chapter 1

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Disclaimers:  Not mine.  I wish they were, but sadly, they belong to someone else with a lot more money than I.

Pairings:  3x2

Warnings:  There be men in them there hills, doing things they shouldn’t be.  If you don’t like it, don’t read it. Yaoi, with a dash of lime.

Beta provided by TanithNight.  Thanks again!

AN:  Not one of my favorites, but here it is.


Duo frowned at the back of his lover’s head, bent over a stack of files.  Rolling his eyes, he continued to talk as he prepared their dinner.  “Then Heero and I decided the best way to break the monotony was to have sex, so we screwed each other stupid in the back of the surveillance van.  The techs were taking pictures and everything.  I bet there’s a video running around by now, if you want to see it, okay Trowa?”

“Okay, Duo,” was the other man’s reply, obviously not paying attention.  “We’ll see if…wait.  What?” Trowa turned around; sighing when he saw Duo’s lifted eyebrows.  “Sorry.  This case is taking up all of my attention lately, isn’t it?”

“Yeah it is, and before this case it was a different one, and another one before that,” the braided man muttered, wondering how long it was going to be before his lover noticed him again.  Finishing up the burgers, he shook his head, trying to recall the last time they had done more than sleep in the bed they shared.

Intending to ask if Trowa could remember, Duo glanced up and winced when he realized his lover was already focused on the case file again.  Appetite gone, he placed Trowa’s plate on the table, receiving an absent nod of thanks.  Without a word, he left the room, suddenly wearier than he had been in a long time.

Closing the file, Trowa picked up the thick cheeseburger Duo had made.  “This looks great…Duo?” he frowned, discovering he was alone.  Getting up quickly, he went to the bedroom and saw the long-haired man already in bed with the lights off.  “Why aren’t you eating?”

“I’m not hungry.  My appetite’s been off.  I’ll eat in the morning.”

Unsure of what to do, Trowa stood in the doorway for a few more minutes, waiting to hear the words Duo said to him every night without fail.  When they never came, he walked away with a frown.  It was the first time since moving in together that Duo hadn’t said he loved him.

“You have to stop letting work take over your life,” Wufei advised the next morning after Trowa told him of the occurrence the previous night.  If you don’t you’re going to lose him, Trowa.”

Rubbing a hand over his face, Trowa nodded wearily, “I know that, but can’t seem to stop myself.  As soon as we get a new case, I throw myself into it until it’s closed.  It didn’t used to be a problem, but now…”

“Now, as soon as we close one, another one lands on our desks,” finished the other man, understanding his partner’s predicament.  “We used to have days or weeks before having to start a recent case, spending our time working on older ones.”

“Duo’s always known I get so involved, but he’s getting impatient with me and I can’t blame him.  I can’t even remember the last time we were…intimate,” he said in a rush, face burning.  “Duo’s a physical person and I’ve been neglecting him.”

“You’ll have to make it up to him somehow,” Wufei offered.  “Explain that we’ll have a break soon and you can take a vacation or something, just the two of you.”

“Do you think that will work?”

The dark-eyed man nodded, “Duo just needs some attention.  You don’t have anything to worry about yet.”

“Good, I’ll talk to him tonight…what do you mean, yet?”

Turning to his own computer, Wufei shrugged one shoulder.  “He’s with you every night, so you can rest easy.  It’s when he starts coming home late, or not at all, that you need to worry.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, if you ask where he’s been or where he’s going and he’s evasive, it might mean he’s found someone else to give him the attention he needs.  If he suddenly starts missing meals and evades when you try to touch him, he’s probably found someone else.  After that, it’s only a matter of time before he moves out to be with this other person who can give him more than you can.  So, as long as he doesn’t start acting strange, you have no problems.”

Trowa frowned, wondering if his inattention would drive his lover away.  After a moment, he shook his head, deciding the notion was so ridiculous it wasn’t worth entertaining.  After all, Duo knew how much Trowa loved him, didn’t he?”

Stopping by the office Heero and Duo shared later that day, Trowa frowned as he found Heero leaning over the braided man’s shoulder, his chest touching Duo’s back.  The two were looking at each other, speaking in hushed tones, their faces only inches apart.

Wufei’s words buzzed in his mind.  If Duo was going to turn to someone else wouldn’t he choose Heero, his best friend and partner?   No one, not even Trowa, knew Duo as well as the prussian-eyed former pilot of Wing Gundam.  The two had been the first of the five to meet and that bond of friendship had lasted for eight years, against all odds.

Shaking his head, he cursed his own partner for planting seeds of doubt in his mind.  The two had always been close and he hadn’t had an issue with it before, so why did the idea bother him so badly now?  Could it be because he hadn’t noticed the way Heero tended to hover over Duo, or the way Duo didn’t seem to mind the hand resting on his shoulder, as if it were a regular occurrence?

Clearing his throat, Trowa’s eyes narrowed when Duo turned toward the door, his smile strained.  Instead of moving away, Heero remained where he was, hand still casually resting on the long-haired man’s shoulder.  “I came to see when you wanted to go to lunch.  I thought we could eat outside, since it’s a nice day.”

“Damn, Trowa.  I meant to call you earlier, but we got caught up and I didn’t realize how much time had passed.  We have an interview at lunchtime for one of our cases.  I’m really sorry.”

Duo had never forgotten to call him before if there had been a change of plans, a fact Trowa hadn’t paid any attention to before now.  “It’s okay,” he said after a moment.  “I can understand how work interferes with plans.  Will you be back before the end of the work day?”

Trowa’s irritation and concern grew when Duo looked at Heero, who shook his head in response.  “It’s doubtful.  We have two interviews today and then there’s that thing this evening.  We probably won’t be back until late,” the blue-eyed man reminded his partner.

“That thing?” Duo frowned.

“The thing, Duo.  Remember the thing?” Heero gave his partner a pointed look.

The long-haired man abruptly winced, “Oh, right.  That thing.  Sorry, Trowa.”

Knowing his lover was keeping things from him didn’t make the tall man feel any better.  “No problem.  I’ll put your dinner in the microwave, so you can eat when you get home.”

“I wouldn’t bother.  We’ll pick something up,” Heero lifted his eyebrows, a silent dare to Trowa, challenging him to say something.

Uncomfortable and confused by the way Duo was looking to Heero for answers Trowa nodded rather than say anything, wary of the light in Heero’s eyes.  Without a word, he turned and left, only to stop halfway down the hall when Duo called out to him.

“I really am sorry about the short notice, Trowa. It slipped my mind about lunch,” Duo gazed up at him with an apologetic expression he thought was sincere.

“Dinner plans slip your mind too, Duo?”

At the coldness of his tone, his lover stepped back as if slapped.  “Those arrangements were made just a short while ago.”

“Arrangements for the thing, right?  The thing Heero reminded you about.”

“What’s with the attitude?  I deal with your work bullshit all the time,” Duo hissed, violet eyes blazing with anger.

“Is this really about work?  I doubt that.”

Clearly hurt, Duo stepped away shaking his head.  “Sounds like you’ve already decided.  You don’t need an explanation from me – good.  I’ll just stay with Heero tonight so you don’t have to worry about my dinner.”  The smaller man walked back to his office, where Heero stood in the doorway with their jackets.  Heero said something, to which Duo shook his head in response.  As his partner headed for the elevator, Heero turned to Trowa and gave him a look of clear warning before following.

“Do you know when you’ll be back?” Trowa tried to keep his voice calm, hoping to conceal the panic he felt as Duo put some clothes into a bag.

It had been almost two weeks since their argument in the middle of the Preventers hallway and things had only gotten worse with each day that passed.  Duo had only come home one night before dinner, only to leave with a vague excuse when he had received a call on his cell phone.  Trowa had his suspicions about whom the call had been from, but hadn’t dared bring up Heero’s name; a sore topic in their house right now.

Most nights, the long-haired man either came home late into the night and was gone again before Trowa got up for work the next morning, or didn’t bother coming home at all.  There had been three separate occasions where Duo had come home early in the morning, obviously exhausted, but strangely cheerful until Trowa had demanded answers about where he had been all night.  There had been no shared meals or quiet moments with his lover, an occurrence Trowa was beginning to realize he had taken for granted, just as he had taken Duo’s constant presence in his life as a given.

Tossing shampoo, conditioner, and a brush into the bag Duo shrugged, “I don’t know much.  It could be a week or so, possibly longer.  I’ll call you when I get a chance.”

“Do you think you’ll have a chance?” Trowa shoved his hands in his pockets to prevent himself from shaking the other man until his lover decided to tell him what was going on.  “From the rumors going around you’re either on a secret assignment or going on a vacation,” he joked, but the words fell flat.

Without looking at him, the long-haired man gave a short shrug, “When did you start listening to rumors?”

“When I started being able to get more information from them than I could my own lover.”

Duo turned, opening his mouth then closing it again quickly.  A long moment passed before he met Trowa’s eyes.  “What do you want me to say?  I don’t know what to say to you anymore.”

It took only an instant to realize what he wanted to hear from Duo, but he had no idea how to ask the most important question he could think of; instead, he went with a different approach.  “I love you.”

Rather than being pleased, the violet-eyed man growled, “The first time you say it without me saying it first and you use it as a weapon?  I didn’t think you’d do that to me, not even now.”

Not sure how he had messed up, but knowing he had, badly, Trowa yanked his hands out of his pockets and reached toward Duo only to jerk back when his lover flinched.  “I wasn’t using it as a weapon, Duo.  I wanted to tell you so you would know and because I wanted some reassurance that when you walked out that door you’ll come back in.”

“Half the time you don’t even notice I’m here.”

“I always know you’re here, I just don’t pay any attention.  When you aren’t here, the house feels empty.”

The sound of a car horn had Duo moving back even farther, eyes wide and wary, bag gripped in his hand tightly.  “I don’t have time for this right now.  We’ll talk when I get back, okay?  I…I have to go.”

Alone again, Trowa realized he still hadn’t gotten the assurance he had needed so badly.  With nothing left to do and faced with the emptiness of the house, he called his closest friend.  “Quatre, are you busy?  I need to talk to someone.”

The blonde listened closely, eyes sympathetic as Trowa recounted the events from the last few weeks.  Trowa appreciated the way the blonde listened and the way his glass was never empty.  When he finally finished his story Quatre leaned back on the couch and tapped his fingers on one Armani clad knee.  “Trowa, did you think maybe Heero and Duo do have an assignment they can’t say anything about?  It makes more sense than them having some sort of illicit affair.”

“I’ve thought about it.”  And he had, especially during the nights Duo hadn’t come home or while he had eaten dinner alone.  “It would be easier to consider if there was some talk, like there always is when there’s a supposedly secret assignment.  There’s been nothing, other than a lot of speculation.”

“That should tell you something, Trowa.  It would if you were thinking instead of reacting – reacting badly, I might add.”

Offended, the green-eyed man stared, “What?”

“Has there ever been a case or situation that called for a complete lockdown?  When there was no information at all?”

“Not that I’m aware.”

“Here’s something else to think about.  With the amount of people that work in that building – all of them aware you and Duo are together – wouldn’t someone have seen Heero and Duo together if they were having an affair?  Agents live all over the city.  At least one of them should have seen something if that was true; stolen embraces, clandestine meetings, or some kind of behavior that wasn’t appropriate for partners.  Have you heard any rumors of that nature?”

Giving it careful thought, Trowa admitted he hadn’t.  “But Wufei says there are warning signs that someone is having an affair, and Duo has been behaving strangely.”

“You’ve been listening to advice from Wufei?  That was your first problem,” accused the blonde, stabbing a finger at Trowa.

“He sounded like he knew what he was talking about,” he defended his partner.

“Where did he get the credentials to give you advice on relationships?   He most likely got them from movies.  He hasn’t even had a successful date in over two years, Trowa.  Why would you listen to him?”

“I didn’t take him seriously.  Not really.  Not until I saw the way Heero was touching Duo.  Then the comment about the make believe ‘thing’ made me ever more suspicious.”

Quatre shook his head, rolling his eyes, “You never would have paid any attention to it if it hadn’t been for Wufei putting ideas in your head.  I’ve seen Duo and Heero either touching or in close contact almost every time I visit the Preventers building.  It’s one of the ways they communicate and one of the reasons they work so well together.  Could you work with either of them for an extended amount of time without going crazy?”

Trowa loved Duo more than he could put into words, but that didn’t change his answer, “No.”

“Why not?”

“Heero’s too serious.  It’s all work, all the time.  Duo isn’t serious enough and has a habit of fooling around when he should be working.”

“You and Wufei aren’t the same?” Quatre propped his chin on his hand and peered at the other man avidly.

“Like most agents, we’re more centered without going from one end of the scale to another.  I tend to brood more often than Wufei, but we work within the same range.”  Comprehension dawned, “You’re trying to tell me Duo and Heero are the way they are because it helps them balance at work?”

“Precisely; they’re friendship is an oddly precarious thing, Trowa.  We’ve all known that for years.  Without one, the other would be lost, and likely ostracized as a freak.  Because they are close friends, they can keep scrutiny away while being an outstanding team.  Duo gets Heero to loosen up at work, and Heero keeps Duo focused on his job. Away from work, they’re both different.  Heero is less stern and Duo less likely to act like a clown. Without the stress of work they don’t need that extra comfort.  Do you understand any of this?”

“You’re telling me that while they’re close at work it would never become more than that,” Trowa guessed, both hands around his glass.  

“If they were more than partners and friends, one would overwhelm the other.  There has to be outside influences to keep the balance; for Duo, you are that influence.  You let him be himself, but he’s calmer around you.  I don’t know what Heero has, but I promise there’s something.”

“You mean Duo’s strange behavior is all in my head?” Of this, Trowa was doubtful.

“Not at all.  Duo probably is acting strange, but only because you’re acting strange.  You’ve never been jealous before or so attentive to how he reacts to every little thing.  You have, in essence, thrown off his balance.”

“What’s your advice, since listening to Wufei is obviously a bad idea.”

“When he calls, and he will, act like you would have before you got all these silly ideas in your head.  Once he gets home, tell him everything you just told me.  Duo loves you, and always has.  You just need to explain to him why you’ve been acting so weird.  You should be able to figure it out from that point.”

Duo didn’t call until the following evening, giving Trowa enough time to alter his way of thinking.  It was a lot easier to dismiss all of the things Wufei had said after realizing Quatre was right – the dark-eyed former pilot had no real experience in successful relationships.  After that, he had gone through his memory of each recent conversation with Duo, reliving each argument or moment of awkward silence without the taint of Wufei’s warnings.  As Quatre had assumed, it had been Trowa acting differently, not Duo.

With this in mind, he answered the phone when it rang, noting the number was blocked, as he had expected.  As his long-haired lover appeared on the screen, Trowa saw the strain and wariness in the violet eyes – strain he had caused by his demands and accusations.  “Is everything going as it should?” he asked instead of demanding answers, as he would have before Duo had left, under the same circumstances.

The surprise on Duo’s face was clear before he seemed to relax slightly, “It’s going as we expected.  You…okay?”

“I’m okay.  The house is quiet.”

“You have time to get your work done without me harassing you,” Duo smiled, just a little.  It was the only smile Trowa had seen in weeks.

Pained he had caused the rift between them Trowa shook his head, “It’s too quiet.  I can’t concentrate without you talking to me.”

“Do you have any idea how messed up that is?  It doesn’t make sense.”

“I guess it’s all in what you get used to.  Will you be able to come home soon?”

Duo winced, “I don’t know.  Things are being kept pretty tight here.  We don’t really know what’s going on until it happens.”  Looking to the side, the braided man nodded, “Listen, I have to go.  I should be able to call in another day or two.  I can’t promise anything, though.”

“I understand.  Take care of yourself and that partner of yours.  Make sure you both come back without any holes or chunks taken out.”

“That’s a promise.  Trowa…I’ve missed you.”

It wasn’t just his absence Duo was commenting on and Trowa was aware of it.  Hoping to have a chance to make up for the way he’d been treating his lover, Trowa shook his head, holding Duo’s eyes on the screen.  “You know I love you, don’t you?  I don’t say it as often as I should, but it doesn’t mean I don’t.”

Duo blinked, obviously caught off guard by the avid proclamation.  “I know, but lately I was starting to wonder.”

“We’ll talk when you get back.  I’m thinking a vacation might be in order and we’re both long overdue for one.”

“That’s the best offer I’ve heard in a while.  I love you, too.”

A commotion off screen had Duo jumping from his chair.  “Gotta go.  Love you.”

Although he was worried, Trowa found himself smiling as the screen went blank.  Hearing the hasty declarations of feelings had reassured him in a way the former statement hadn’t.  Duo had remembered even when rushed, and that helped Trowa feel everything would be fine.

Three days later, the mild concern had changed to full-blown worry.  There had been no word from Heero or Duo and Trowa had too much time to himself when he could imagine all the terrible fates that could have occurred.  Unable to concentrate at the office, he brought home the files he needed to focus on for work.  Unfortunately, the stillness of the house only served to remind him of his absent lover and that Duo could be in very real danger.

Hoping to fill the house with some noise he eventually turned the radio on, cranking the volume up so there wasn’t a quiet corner to be found.  As music filled the house he was finally able to concentrate.  A half-hour after he had sat at the table, Wufei was standing in front of him, shouting, “Turn the damned radio off!”

Stunned at his partner’s sudden appearance, Trowa quickly turned the music off, momentarily shocked at the silence.  “What’s so important?”

“If you listened to an actual radio station instead of satellite radio you’d already by aware of this.  I’ve been trying to call you for the last twenty minutes.”  Turning on the TV, Wufei flipped through channels until he found what he was looking for.  “You need to see this.”

Trowa started to question his partner, stopping when he saw Duo and Heero on the screen, on either side of a man he easily recognized as one of the hopeful future world Presidential candidates for the next election.  Snatching the remote from Wufei’s hand, the tall man turned the sound up as Granger Johnson made it to the podium and began to speak in a clear voice that had caught the attention of many supporters.

“It seems to be well-known I have been approached to run for the Presidency during the next election.  I now stand before you to confirm I have accepted the nomination.  It appears that some people aware of my decision have decided to do their best to prevent me from running.  I have been a firm supporter of organizations such as the Preventers since the beginning of their conception and I now owe them my gratitude, as well as my life.  There have been several attempts to terminate my life over the last month, but because of the quick reactions of the Preventers I am able to stand before you now, alive and well.  I have also been urged to inform everyone I now have my own bodyguards, trained by some of the best agents to work for the Preventers Agency.  Nothing will stop me during the coming year and I hope to stand here after the election as I am sworn into office.”

The crowd roared its approval as Heero and Duo moved in unison, escorting Johnson off the stage.  Within seconds, they had disappeared into a car waiting for them.  As the speech began to be replayed, in its entirety, Trowa turned off the TV and tossed the remote onto the couch.  “That explains why no information got out.  When guarding the future president of the world, it has to be kept a secret.”

Wufei was staring at his shoes.  “I need to apologize to you and to Duo.  I assumed a lot of things and made things hard for you when I should have had faith in both of you.”

Knowing that was as close as the other man would get to admitting he had been wrong, Trowa shrugged and returned to the dining room table, where his work was spread out.  “It’s okay.  I’d already decided you had no idea what you were talking about; Duo and I are going to talk after he gets back.  We’ll be fine.”  Turning to Wufei, his eyes shone with promise, “However, if you ever try to give me advice again, I’ll shoot you.”

“Right, I’ll be going now.  I thought you would want to know they were both fine.”  Wufei left quickly, apparently not wanting to give Trowa more time to reconsider his punishment.

Before returning to his work, Trowa turned the radio back on, this time low enough so he could hear the phone, but there was no call from Duo that night and he eventually went to bed.  He was already asleep when he woke suddenly, smiling as he saw a familiar figure getting undressed in the dim light.  “Both of you in one piece?” he asked softly, chuckling as his lover jumped.

In his boxers, Duo sat on the edge of the bed, “Not a single chunk missing.  Did you hear?”

“President Granger Johnson sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?”

Even in the near darkness, he could see Duo’s smile.  “Yeah, it does.”  The long-haired man shook his head, smile gone in a flash.  “Listen, about the last few weeks…”

“If you apologize, I’m pushing you off the bed.  You didn’t do anything wrong.  I was the one acting like an idiot.”

“But why?  Did I do something wrong?”

Siting up, Trowa pulled the smaller man into his lap, encountering no resistance.  Looking into dark violet eyes, he shook his head slowly, “I was jealous.  Things have been…sedate between us for a while, and that was also my fault.  When you were suddenly gone all the time, I began to have doubts about how you felt.  I was an idiot, Duo.  It took me a while to figure that out, but I did.”

“You don’t doubt what I feel for you now?”

Brushing hair from Duo’s eyes, Trowa lifted his eyebrows.  “If you didn’t love me you wouldn’t have kept coming back when all I did was demand answers.”

“I wanted to tell you, but we had to swear secrecy about what we were doing.  No one was allowed to know.”

“I understand that.  Can you tell me about it now?”

“I’m exhausted, Tro,” Duo winced.  “We’ve been working twenty-hour days to protect Johnson and get his team trained.  It’s been a long few weeks.”

“I didn’t help any by putting undue stress on you, either.  I didn’t mean you had to tell me right now.  I can wait until we go on vacation in a few weeks.”

The lingering weariness in Duo’s eyes abated slightly, “Where’re we going?”

“We have some options to look through later.  I’ve been getting some brochures and stuff together while you were gone.  We’ll look over them tomorrow.”  Pushing his hand into Duo’s thick hair, he slowly undid the braid, “I do have one request, though.  Wherever we go, it’s just the two of us.  I want to be completely alone with you.  It’s been too long since we had any quality time together.”


“I want to make up for ignoring you all the time.”

Pushing Trowa to the bed, Duo gave a crooked grin.  “You can start by paying more attention to me right now.”

“I thought you were exhausted.”

“I think I can find a little energy left, if you make it worth my while.”