Plastic 75

Quatre thought he could definitely get used to waking up in Trowa’s bed late on Saturday mornings in the warmth of a very long (or possibly just recurring) afterglow. Actually, he thought he could get used to waking up next to Trowa any day, anywhere, no matter what they’d done the night before.

Now the sleeping magician’s hand rested lightly on Quatre’s arm as he lay on his side with his head tilted in this direction; as Quatre awoke, he smiled at the sight of the pale, peaceful face not far from his own. He slid forward to press himself against his lover, wrapped an arm around him, and laid his forehead against Trowa’s. This, of course, woke Trowa up, and Quatre was pleased by the thought that the first thing to meet Trowa’s eyes would be Quatre’s. The moon must be about at the half.

“Good morning,” Quatre smiled.

Slowly Trowa returned the expression. Quatre noted that, for all Trowa’s increased cheer and confidence over the last few days, he yet looked at Quatre as if astonished he was there. And, while Quatre was still flattered that Trowa seemed to attach so much value to his presence and attentions, he still wasn’t terribly pleased that Trowa seemed to believe they might cease at any time. But whatever its type, Quatre loved to see Trowa’s smile.

“Good morning,” Trowa said.

Quatre kissed him on the cheek. “It’s Saturday,” he said contentedly.

“Yes, it is,” Trowa agreed.

“What are you going to do today?” He could provide a suggestion or two if Trowa didn’t have any concrete ideas.

Trowa did, though. “Continue some research I started the other day.”

“For your book?” Quatre ran his fingers idly over Trowa’s smooth, bare arm.

“No… Since the other day, I’ve been thinking about the curse ending, and I’ve been doing some research again into past curses that I have documentation of. I don’t know how likely it is, but I believe there is a possibility that when the curse is broken, all the time I’ve lived will catch up with me at once.”

Quatre’s hand on Trowa’s arm stilled. “What would happen then?” He feared he already knew the answer.

“I would die,” Trowa replied, simply and calmly.

Quatre took a deep breath, trying to push past the cold, clutching feeling these words had called up in his heart. He tried to match Trowa’s disinterest as he remarked, “Like the knights in Indiana Jones.”

“Like M. Valdemar,” Trowa replied in a tone that clearly indicated he had never seen Indiana Jones and was submitting this instead. Quatre, in turn, had no idea who M. Valdemar was, but thought they were nonetheless on the same dreary page.

“What about Duo?” Quatre’s mouth had gone dry.

Trowa shook his head. “The precedent for fully transformative curses is that the victim simply returns to his previous state, takes up where he left off. But for the caster, it’s more of a condition being lifted, which may be a problem for me. I’ll leave information easy to find about whom to contact in case this happens.”

“You seem awfully calm about all this.”

“I should have been dead years ago. I’ve been living for the breaking of this curse for so long, it only seems natural that my life should end with it.”

Quatre stared at him, unsure of what to say. The implication that Trowa had been and still was existing solely for this, and that when this was over it would be perfectly acceptable for him to die; that there was nothing else in the world that meant enough to him even to be referenced in his considerations on the subject…

From someone like Trowa, Quatre definitely didn’t expect a declaration of love and devotion at this point… but to be told, essentially, that he was so unimportant, that he’d made so little difference in Trowa’s life, that his presence weighed nothing in the question of whether Trowa would rather be alive or dead… perhaps he was simply arrogant, but he’d thought he meant more to Trowa than that.

But, then, maybe he was overreacting, applying to himself what really wasn’t about him at all. It might just be Trowa thinking badly of himself again, and assuming it made sense for anyone else to agree with him.

“I don’t know what the physical effects would be,” Trowa went on placidly, “but my guess is that my body would go through rapid decomposition and probably disintegrate.”

Quatre sat up.

“No body for the coroner is the greatest problem I can see if anyone wanted to, for instance, take legal possession of my house. But one of my contacts is a legal consultant, and she understands my situation; she can make sure things go smoothly, though I don’t know what she’s likely to charge if I’m no longer around to do her favors.”

“Are you leaving a will?” Quatre couldn’t quite believe he was having this conversation.

Trowa frowned. “I currently have one that leaves everything to charity. I’d like to leave Duo something, but he doesn’t legally exist at this point.”

Quatre’s manager brain immediately started suggesting possible solutions, but the rest of his head and heart just wanted to get away from this discussion. Of course if what Trowa said did come to pass, it was best to be prepared… but the way he was talking about it was, frankly, quite painful. It wasn’t only the idea of Trowa leaving him so soon, but Trowa’s apparent indifference to how Quatre felt about it. And then there was the fact that the word ‘decomposition’ really shouldn’t ever be used in bed.

Quatre slid out and went to the chair where he’d put his things last night, keeping his back to Trowa. Finally he forced himself to say, “Well, it’s good that you have contacts and some kind of plan, just in case.”

He could hear Trowa behind him rising wordlessly, and Quatre began to dress in the same silence. It seemed they were done with the conversation, but in his head it was far from over. He was so perturbed… he needed to go somewhere else and calm down.

Trowa didn’t ask him to stay; Trowa consistently gave every indication of wanting Quatre around except this. When Quatre was here, Trowa seemed glad of it… but when he was gone, perhaps Trowa forgot about him — at least to the extent where he could calmly consider his upcoming death without thinking of him at all. But Quatre couldn’t keep having these thoughts here in Trowa’s presence. You didn’t chide your boyfriend of less than a month for not thinking of you when he realized he might die soon, no matter how peaceful he was about it… no matter how much you cared about him.

Quatre’s goodbye was a little cool, for all he tried not to let it be, but if Trowa noticed, he said nothing of it. So Quatre went back into his own house feeling cold and sad and agitated. A hot shower didn’t really help his state of mind, for the only thing he could think about was Trowa — Trowa’s quiet conversation and calming presence, and how much he didn’t want to lose him so soon after he’d found him. He didn’t want to say goodbye. He wanted Trowa not to want to say goodbye… but perhaps that was asking too much.

As usual on a Saturday, the house was fairly loud, and Quatre’s phone rang as he walked through it to add to the din. Observing the name of the friend that was calling, knowing it would just be an invitation to go out and drink tonight, he turned the entire thing off. He felt himself drifting toward the conservatory where he could make his own noise and drown everything out for a while. That he found the room empty was a relief, as he didn’t feel like explaining his mood to anyone.

His eyes and intentions moved indecisively from piano to violin, but eventually settled on the former because there was less preparation necessary: he had only to slide onto the bench and uncover the keys to begin playing. This was another thing he normally did on a daily basis but had been neglecting lately, and at the moment he took a bittersweet pleasure from being back at the instrument. He rambled through a few songs he knew by heart before pulling some less familiar sheet music from inside the bench and setting to with a vengeance. And all the while he thought about Trowa.

The biggest problem was that, while Quatre felt he had a decent imagination, he really couldn’t put himself in Trowa’s shoes with any kind of certainty. What did you feel like after living in misery for ninety years? Immortal not by choice but because of your own mistake; knowing you had a task to complete but never seeing how; unable to fulfill your purpose in life but unable to die? Perhaps, after such an existence, death would be specifically appealing. Perhaps Trowa would be surprised to find that Quatre didn’t see it that way.

The conclusion he came to at last was that Trowa’s manner of telling him his news probably wasn’t a reflection of how Trowa felt about him, but rather of a frame of reference so alien that Quatre could only just begin to see it. Trowa hadn’t meant to hurt him, and probably wasn’t even aware that he had — and Quatre would like to keep it that way. He didn’t want to lose Trowa, but that matter was out of his hands. What he did have some control over was how the potentially last days of Trowa’s life would go, and he didn’t want to spoil them with a reproof that Trowa might not even understand.

He stopped playing mid-movement and pulled out his phone to turn it back on and check the time; he found he’d been in here almost two hours with these bleak thoughts. Was Trowa still over there researching his own possible death in cold but placid aloneness, unaware of the reason Quatre had left but believing it was no more than he deserved?

Abruptly an overwhelmingly sorrowful feeling welled up in Quatre, a combination of forlorn longing and an aching pain that, at least at the moment, could not be healed. He knew where he really needed to be right now, whether he’d entirely worked through his thoughts on this or not. With a sad little sound, he scrambled off the piano bench and hastened from the room, hurrying back to his own and the enchanted door therein, desperate to return to Trowa.

Previous (Part 74) | Chapter Index | Next (Part 76)

Like Trowa, I have never seen an Indiana Jones movie. But I can heartily recommend The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar.

24 thoughts on “Plastic 75

  1. I see, what a pity that he had to agonize all alone. I hope Quatre gets a closure if Trowa really passes away. *Snifs* Why can’t everybody have a happy ending?! Real life is one thing, fanfiction is another. Happy endings please. Thank you.

    1. It is an unfortunate situation, isn’t it? And it would be so cruel of me to kill off Trowa after his 87 years of suffering, wouldn’t it? So I guess what you have to ask yourself is: Just how cruel is kuroiyousei? Hmm…

  2. Oh, that’s Poe… I was thinking it was something by Doyle, but his story to the effect of people living well beyond the average life expectancy for a curse was “The Ring of Thoth”

    Oh, this chapter was beautiful. Trowa’s approach to the potential end seems understandable, yet it’s so easy to relate to Quatre. I get the feeling Trowa’s complacency about his pending demise is like his complacency with Quatre (at least in that he’s simply enjoying the ride as he waits for Quatre to “realize” he doesn’t really love Trowa).

    I don’t know if it counts as as being “issues with death” but sometimes, I wonder at the old argument “think about the people you’ll leave behind.” I just never understood the idea of trying to guilt people into living longer… and I liked that Quatre chose to not foist his own issues on Trowa (as they are out of everyone’s hands).

    I’m still waiting for the “I can’t force Duo to live forever as a doll” shoe to drop… I get the feeling if/when Duo gets wind of Trowa’s theory, he’ll be the first to offer it.

    1. Congratulations to you on having speculated this might happen back at part 13 :D Well done! Perhaps you are a magician too?

      I totally agree about guilting people… if someone’s reached the point where they’re ready to die, for whatever reason, then telling them to think of others is pretty damn hypocritical coming from someone that’s essentially disregarding the other person’s wishes, frame of mind, and state of life.

      Oh, you’re waiting for “I can’t force Duo to live forever as a doll,” are you? Heh heh heh…

      Thanks for your comments, as always :D

  3. I’m glad Quatre finally figured out what was going through Trowa’s head. I’ll forgive him for being a little self-centered at first. I think most people would have felt that way, in his position. He knows he’s helped Trowa change in so many little ways. It makes sense that he’d think Trowa would want to cling to life more to be with him.

    That said, I get what Trowa’s probably feeling. I can imagine him saying that it’s what he deserves, after all Duo’s been through. Luckily, I know you and I know you won’t be that cruel. Still, it’s a great twist to the story.

    I hope someday you see the Indiana Jones movies. At least watch 1 and 3. Unlike Star Trek, the odd number movies are my favorites.

    1. Yeah, I think Quatre’s reaction was fairly reasonable. But I like to think his eventual decision was even better. He’s a smart guy, that Quatre.

      Luckily, I know you and I know you won’t be that cruel. Ah, I guess I’m caught! Given that there’s no warning for character death in the fic’s information, though, I suppose it’s pretty obvious. Still, y’all can pretend you’re desperately worried, right? :D

      Which Indiana Jones movie is the one with the obnoxious screechy lady that, like, hates bugs and children and being outdoors and pretty well everything else? That one used to play sometimes at a call center I worked at, so I heard bits and pieces of it from afar and it was HELLA ANNOYING XD

      1. That Indiana Jones movie would be #2, The Temple of Doom. Seriously, skip that and watch #1 and #3. #3 is my absolute favorite, but you should watch #1, first. You’ll appreciate the characters more that way.

        Ironically, the screaming woman is Kate Capshaw, who is Mrs Steven Spielberg in real life. She’s the reason I don’t like that movie much. I can’t stand her character.

  4. Oh my goodness, i feel like my heart has been ripped out! I sure HOPE Trowa doesn’t die over this! ; . ; And poor Quatre! After making such progress… It’s because of Quatre that Trowa is learning to live! You can’t kill off Trowa! Not after the puppy-scene!! Quatre’s DOGS like Trowa! he just can’t be dying! *wibbles quietly in a corner*

    1. I really shouldn’t express satisfaction at you feeling like your heart’s been ripped out, but even so… ngyeeee… I am glad I could elicit such a response. Quatre feels that way too, I promise :D We will just have to wait and see what happens!

  5. Something tells me that Trowa is ALSO cursed and needs to learn to love again or something and so when the curse is broken (which would be hard to do as both Duo and Trowa would need to simultaneously learn to love) they would both go back to their original state…? Hmmm… I’m hecka sad about the thought of Trowa dying but something tells me it wont happen. :) I hope.

    1. Trowa is definitely also cursed. For the physical/magical curse — the curse he shares with Duo — all that’s required is for Duo’s end of it to be broken, and so will Trowa’s. But, as I may have mentioned before, not all curses are magical, and Trowa’s definitely got one going on the emotional end that will require a little more than just the original spell being reversed. You are definitely on the right track. However, it won’t have anything to do with whether or not he dies when the physical curse is lifted :D

    1. What are you talking about; there’s never enough angst!!! This is going to twist things up in another way, too… but we’ll get to that soon enough. In the meantime, thanks for your comments! ^__^

  6. Wow that was incredibly well written; Quatre’s thoughts about Trowa’s news. :D [applauds]

    I hope things work out well for them when Quatre gets back!

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you thought so! We won’t actually see what happens when Quatre gets back in there, but I’m sure it will involve cuddling and Quatre trying not to think about or mention the death thing.

    1. Maybe someday I will watch one or more of thems! And maybe not.

      Yeah, it’s good that Quatre went back. He needs to enjoy as much time as he can with Trowa before the big day.

      Thanks for your comments!

  7. I must say M. Valdemar was deliciously gruesome and therefore increased the hilarity to me (okay, so I’m a little morbid) of Trowa’s calm pronouncement, much to Quatre horror. Although very sad to think of, I could see Trowa being very matter of fact about his possible fate; Quatre has come along a little late in the game (as it were) and Trowa has worked towards this end for a long time now. I would imagine that Trowa is enjoying his time with Quatre, and from his comment about his research, he’s going to see if he has other options, but trying to be realistic about it, too.

    I couldn’t see Quatre not going back to Trowa, even if he may ultimately lose him. But here’s hoping he won’t. *hopes*

    1. Trowa’s calm pronouncement in bed, even. I have to admit I laughed when I wrote that part, so I’m glad someone else sees the humor in it.

      Yeah, the possibility that Trowa may die actually makes it all the more important for Quatre to spend as much time with him as he can — which I think Quatre realized with some dismay. Poor guy.

      Thanks for your comments!! ^___^

  8. *gasp* I never even thought of that happening! Ohh, poor Quatre. And poor Trowa. What horrible thoughts to have to wade through alone, I’m completely sympathizing with Quatre here. *wants to hug them both* And it’s even more sad that Trowa really doesn’t even seem aware that Quatre would be upset over that kind of news.

    Tangent: it’s cool that Quatre plays piano and violin. Do I remember correctly that Trowa also plays an instrument? Is it clarinet? I may have to go back and find that segment… sometime. XD /tangent

    1. It is horrible, isn’t it? I had this little twist in mind from the story’s conception; I am so mean to these guys XD

      Quatre’s musical abilities are so hot. I think people forget that he plays both in canon… because the gay violin/flute duet with Trowa so overshadows the brief piano scene later. Oh, they totally have gay duets all over the place in my next story *__*

  9. Dang! To wake up with your heart wide open and have it stabbed. I’m glad Quat took to the music to help him think things through and not act rashly. I wonder if Trowa has a piano at his place? I bet he does, Quat should play for him.

    1. Trowa does not have a piano. He could replace his bed with one, I suppose, but otherwise he doesn’t really have room in his tiny house :D He and Quatre will totally jam together one day, though, I promise!

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