Plastic 59

Quatre had come into Trowa’s house to break up a particularly bleak Monday afternoon with the announcement that, as he had meetings all day tomorrow, including through lunch, he was taking an abnormally long break today and they were to have a picnic right now. Trowa, in whom the word ‘picnic’ awakened only a wary avoidant impulse but who wasn’t inclined to disagree with Quatre, jumped them to some place Quatre had in mind that turned out to be a nice park somewhere with a lake.

The neat little sidewalk along which they wandered seemed to be leading over to a playground and some basketball courts, but they left it before it strayed too far from the lake. At this point the latter was eight or ten feet below the level of the path at the bottom of a sort of retaining wall; between this and a railing designed to keep people on the sidewalk, there was a little grassy spot, and on this they sat, dangling their feet over the wall.

The water down beneath was alive with ducks, to which they dropped little bits of the deli sandwiches Quatre had bought for the occasion. It was cool out, but not cold, and, though there was a distant sound of city traffic, the park was quiet and serene, with no other people about to spoil the atmosphere: all in all, not a bad place and time for the first picnic Trowa had been on in almost a century.

When he was done eating — actually, he’d given quite a lot of his lunch to the ducks because they were so funny to watch — he was more than content to sit still and enjoy the scene. Quatre finished his own sandwich and lemonade, gathered up the wrappers and bottles into the shopping bag in which he’d brought them, then stared complacently down at the lake with a little smile on his face.

Trowa, who had been looking around at the park and reflecting that being out of the house wasn’t nearly so bad when you didn’t have to deal with people, eventually found himself watching his companion exclusively. Quatre was swinging his legs, kicking his feet against the brick wall like a little kid in an inexplicably nice business suit, gaze directed intently at the water, hair falling across his face in delicate pale strands that glittered in the sunlight when he moved. Trowa was coming to know well just how firm Quatre was, but he looked so soft… his smooth skin, his perfect lips, the lashes that concealed his downturned eyes… Pushing past the instinct that told him he shouldn’t, Trowa reached out.

As his fingertips brushed, slow and hesitant, across Quatre’s chin and over his lips, Quatre raised his head slightly, eyes closed. After this Trowa could feel no breath from him, nor motion either, as if his hand were a rare butterfly that had landed on that fine face as it would on a flower, and Quatre was trying not to frighten it away. Almost without breathing himself, Trowa leaned forward, his hand sliding a little more surely up the far side of Quatre’s face.

Evidently just the very slightest pressure from Trowa’s wrist against his jaw was all Quatre had been awaiting, for now he turned and met Trowa’s kiss with an unusual gentleness to his commanding enthusiasm, and for a few moments everything in the world was good. Trowa was learning to ignore the prophecies of doom that issued from the darkness in the back of his head at times like this.

And then somebody on the path behind them commented loudly, “Oh, god, why can’t these fucking fags PDA somewhere else?”

Trowa wouldn’t have thought that such a poorly-expressed opinion could have such an effect on him. It wasn’t that he was ashamed of being gay — he’d missed most of the to-do about that issue anyway, and lacked the stigmas — but he was ashamed of being many other things that he was, things that Quatre shouldn’t have to put up with. And it wasn’t that he thought there was anything wrong with kissing his boyfriend, wherever they happened to be — though admittedly he probably couldn’t have done it if he’d known there were people around — but he did have issues with being in this relationship in the first place.

Not to mention that this was the first time he’d ever kissed anyone in a public place, and practically the first time he’d made this sort of overture toward Quatre rather than its being the other way around… and what was the result? The first time? What was the universe trying to tell him? It just seemed to confirm all of his worries about this situation.

His impulse was to pull away, but Quatre, whose hand had come to rest on Trowa’s shoulder, held him firmly still as he asked very quietly, “Can you teleport us to some place in my head if we’re in free-fall?”


“Get ready, then.” And Quatre released him, stood up, and turned in one smooth movement. In a louder and much harsher tone he added, “I can’t take any more of this harassment.”

A little puzzled, Trowa also stood. Half-turning, he saw a couple of boys on the path watching them in a mixture of scorn and curiosity. They appeared to be high-school-aged, but, as he had no idea what time zone they were in, Trowa couldn’t guess whether or not this meant they were truants. One of them carried a basketball, making their destination obvious; they probably found this nearly-empty park convenient for their game, especially if they were, in fact, skipping school.

He felt Quatre’s arms slide around his chest and cling tightly, heard Quatre announce in the same unhappy voice, “This life just isn’t worth it anymore!” And then, startlingly, he was off-balance, flying, falling, when Quatre unexpectedly pushed off and sent them both plunging from the wall toward the lake.

Usually Trowa avoided deliberate use of magic in front of non-magical people, as it tended to do more harm than good, but at this point it was either that or actually fall into the water. Apart from the general discomfort this would cause and the fact that Trowa didn’t really know how to swim, Quatre’s nice suit would be ruined. So he concentrated on the nearness of Quatre and the idea that Quatre knew where they were going, and spoke the spell as quickly as he could. Still it was some sort of miracle, he thought, that they didn’t hit the water before the weightlessness kicked in.

He’d been concerned that, practically horizontal as they were, they would fall hard onto concrete or a wood floor or some other unpleasant surface wherever they arrived, but Quatre was becoming an expert at envisioning destinations; they landed on something soft, bounced a little, and came to rest quite comfortably.

Quatre leaned up and kissed Trowa on the cheek. “Well done,” he said.

Trowa, who had begun looking around to ascertain where they were, turned back to the man in his arms and replied, “That was taking an awful chance.”

With a dark chuckle unlike anything Trowa had ever heard from him, Quatre said, “It was the best I could come up with on such short notice. I had to do something.” He snuggled into Trowa with an air simultaneously annoyed and self-satisfied; the unconstraint of this gesture suggested to Trowa that the bedroom in which they now found themselves was Quatre’s own.

“I doubt it accomplished anything. Your performance was not very convincing.”

Again Quatre gave that unusual, vindictive laugh. “If it made them panic thinking they’d contributed to someone’s suicide attempt, even just for one second, then that’s good enough. At the very least they’ll be confused because we disappeared.”

Trowa smiled against the top of Quatre’s head, and went back to examining the room.

It was nicely furnished. The bed on which they lay, a dresser, and a large desk nearby were all antiques, but it took Trowa, whose own life was so full of dated things and whose eyes were so accustomed to eclectic decorating, a moment to realize this. These well preserved walnut pieces had probably come from before even his time, and looked like a matched set.

It was also scrupulously neat and clean. From the wooden model vehicles on their little shelves — remnants of a childhood hobby of Quatre’s? — to the meticulously well-organized surface of the desk — Trowa, though no real expert on human behavior, hadn’t thought it physically possible to keep a computer desk that neat — to the books that stood in a size order that was probably only secondarily alphabetical, there was no trace of dust or anything that appeared to be the slightest bit out of place.

Even the two items that adorned the walls where they were free of shelves — one an amateur landscape on canvas and the other a bulletin board tiled with photos — had their edges aligned with the seams of the vertical wood paneling so perfectly that if Trowa hadn’t known better he would have thought magic was involved. Everything here was so pointedly, precisely charming somehow… very much like Quatre himself. And here Trowa was lying on Quatre’s bed… and Quatre was kissing him again, starting with his neck and ear and moving over his face to his mouth.

Last Friday’s excursion into the realm of sexual activity had left Trowa very definitely interested in further exploration. His guilt hadn’t disappeared, and he certainly wasn’t ready to take any sort of initiative in the matter, but now when Quatre was this close to him he was conscious of sensations he hadn’t felt in he didn’t remember how long. Quatre was like spring sunlight after a very long winter, and in more ways than just this; now, as Quatre kissed him leisurely and kept them tight against each other with a firm arm, Trowa felt his blood heating and his skin tingling.

By the time Quatre left Trowa’s lips to the cool, hungry air and put his mouth instead by Trowa’s ear to murmur, “I want you to do something for me,” Trowa was ready to comply with any request at all.

At Trowa’s futile attempt to articulate this sentiment, Quatre chuckled and kissed him on the nose. Then he pulled away, disappointingly, and propped himself up on an elbow. “If you can,” he amended. “Would you make your door open onto this room?” He gestured. “I’d like to be able to come see you without having to go through Heero’s apartment.”

Thinking that he would also like this, Trowa readily agreed, despite having been hoping for a more interesting request. And as Quatre was now sitting up beginning to look around in a very practical fashion, thus negating the possibility of any such interesting activities, Trowa joined him in this with as good a grace as he could command.

Quatre, it seemed, had made sure to keep his hand on the bag containing their trash from lunch when they’d jumped here, something Trowa definitely wouldn’t have thought of, and now he took this up again from where he’d let it fall, and went to throw it away beside the desk. And as he did so he remarked, “I don’t have a single empty spot on my walls that’s big enough to put a door into.”

“No,” Trowa agreed. “But that won’t be a problem, if you don’t mind me using your closet door.”

“How will that work?”

“It will be like my door from the inside; you’ll just have to concentrate on what you want it to open onto.”

Quatre grinned. “Well, I didn’t really need that closet anyway.”

Trowa had already turned toward the door in question and begun to run through the necessary magic in his mind before he realized what Quatre meant, and by then it was too late to try to think of an appropriate response. He really wasn’t very good at this flirting thing. But the remark did please him, and, as he set about preparing for the first spell he was to cast, he smiled a little.

Previous (Part 58) | Chapter Index | Next (Part 60)

In most of my stories, most of the characters of focus are bisexual (though admittedly in very few of those stories is anyone’s sexuality ever actually announced); this is a rare exception where Heero, Duo, Trowa, and Quatre all specifically identify as homosexual (though admittedly [again] Trowa is more on the Quatresexual side). This isn’t terribly important, but I thought it was somewhat interesting.

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