An entire week off at such short notice for two employees that everyone knew were friends and many suspected were more than friends was something only a Regional Manager could procure, and then only with the understanding that said Regional Manager would still be on call for every little emergency that upper management (nearly all of whom were relations) wanted dealt with at his level. Quatre was satisfied.

He also didn’t consider it in any way inappropriate to leave just a little earlier than usual today. If anyone had asked him why, he could easily have made the excuse of wanting to beat traffic and get to Heero’s apartment before the game started. Which was true. And which would have caused some speculations among those that had an incorrect idea of his relationship with Heero that he would have considered inappropriate. But nobody asked him.

It hadn’t been an easy day to get through — even just reaching lunch time was more along the lines of ‘nightmarish’ — but when he saw how much worse Heero was taking it Quatre could at least be pleased with his own powers of concentration. Of course, he didn’t have to deal with the sales floor. Yes, some time off was exactly what they needed. A week should be enough for them to get things sorted out, and then they could come back to work and be productive employees again.

Admittedly this sorting out might well involve Duo’s curse being broken, and then he would undoubtedly be off with Trowa, and then Quatre and Heero would never see them again and would be left in the ‘getting over an unrequited crush’ stage and be very mopey productive employees… but the result, and hence the basic concept, was largely unaltered.

Though the same thought had evidently crossed Heero’s mind, he also seemed quite pleased at the prospect of a week off. And the moment he was back home and with Duo, he seemed fine in every respect. He’d evidently even gotten over the discomfort of last night regarding the magic thing, and could talk cheerfully to Duo about basketball and whatever else came up.

Quatre, however, was not nearly so at ease. It wasn’t that he paid no attention to the game… it was just that his eyes were on the door in the wall almost as often as they were on the TV. How likely it was that Trowa would come in here two nights in a row he didn’t know, but he could hope. Heero noticed his behavior and gave him a look or two, but Quatre couldn’t stop himself. And the very moment the game was over, he was off the couch and headed for Trowa’s door.

“Oh, are you going to go check on him?” Duo wondered. “Good.”

Reflecting on the absurdity of ‘checking on’ someone that had gotten along for ninety years without this service, Quatre replied that he was, and Heero gave him another look. This Quatre ignored, and went into Trowa’s house.

Once again, the moment he stepped into the entry, he was greeted by Trowa’s query, “Who’s there?” from what Quatre was coming to think of as the study.

“It’s me,” he replied as he entered that room.

Trowa didn’t look up from whatever he was doing at his table, nor did he have anything at all to say in response to Quatre’s identification of self, and it occurred suddenly to Quatre to wonder exactly why he had a crush on this man. As he went closer, into the globe of soft-edged light from the single lamp, and saw the disarray of the table and once again the now-cold remains of a cup of tea, he considered that pathos definitely had something to do with it. It had always been his habit — rather unfortunately, he thought — to assign greater importance to early impressions than they probably deserved, and Trowa had certainly been pathetic during that first meeting. And it had also always been one of Quatre’s habits to feel a greater-than-usual interest in anyone he pitied.

Other than that, though… an attractive face and body, a mystique consequent upon being a taciturn hundred-year-old wizard… and what else was there? It was true there was something to be said for instinct, but Quatre couldn’t help feeling a bit shallow. What did he really know about Trowa?

As he came to stand beside the table and the armchair drawn up to it, Trowa finally looked at him — sluggishly, as if his eyes were reluctant to release what they’d been studying and move elsewhere. But when they rose far enough for Quatre to see them, he took an inadvertent step backward in surprise.

From the first, Quatre had noted the unnatural brightness and vibrant hue of Trowa’s eyes, and if he’d thought about it would have realized that this was probably caused at least in part by color contacts. These were obviously absent now, baring the two glowing moons, nearly at the full, that Trowa had in place of the more traditional irises and pupils.

“Yes,” Trowa said impassively as Quatre stared, “if you come in here without warning, you may see things you won’t like.”

Quatre shook his head, as much to clear away his startlement and break off his riveted gaze as to deny the implication. “Well, they’re definitely a surprise,” he admitted, “but I don’t think…” He trailed off.

For Trowa had stood abruptly, taken a step forward, and put his pale face much closer to Quatre’s than anyone that wasn’t flirting or instigating a fistfight generally did. “Take a good look,” he said emotionlessly, “so you won’t have to stare again later.”

It didn’t really matter that it might be a little shallow to be infatuated with someone without knowing much about him; the infatuation was there whether he liked it or not. And it was evident that Trowa had rather fallen out of synch with the rest of the human world in the last however many decades, since leaning like that was a blatant invitation to be kissed and he obviously didn’t know it. Quatre would gladly have enlightened him, in a very practical way, if Trowa hadn’t been someone else’s boyfriend.

Quatre also managed, while these thoughts were passing through his head, to take the adjured good look at the eyes in question. They were nicely-shaped eyes. The strange glowing moons were somewhat disconcerting, especially when they moved as irises and pupils would have done, but they were also very interesting: peering intently, Quatre could make out a familiar pattern of craters in tiny detail on each one.

The moons didn’t really detract from the overall picture once you were accustomed to them, either; a more remarkable feature, in fact, was the lashes. Funny he hadn’t noticed before… Trowa had the thickest, most obscenely long and beautiful lashes Quatre had ever seen on a man. They swept down over his eyes when he blinked in very much the same way his hair fell across his face: a sort of soft veiling motion that almost invited more than it concealed.

Abruptly Trowa broke their locked gaze, turning back to his table and picking up his teacup and saucer with a clatter. Then he moved past Quatre out of the room.

Quatre took a deep, steadying breath, and moved slowly to follow.

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The illustration above is by Link Worshiper.

Here’s a picture I drew of moon-eyed Trowa: