Trowa looked up from where he’d been staring at his hands, which he’d withdrawn from Quatre’s, and this time Quatre’s gasp was audible. He reached out and took hold of Trowa’s face, and found in doing so that his lover was shaking.
“Trowa, your eyes…” This emerged in a whisper as Quatre stared in wonder at the real green of the irises, the black of the pupils, the natural shine, the sparkle of tears. And all around these… Quatre ran his hands up and down Trowa’s face almost without realizing he was doing it. He’d been correct in his speculation that the softness and smoothness of Trowa’s skin would not change with the curse — but the color was suddenly healthy and natural: still pale, but only within the range of normal coloration. Quatre would miss that faint glow, he had to admit, sickly as it had often seemed, but to see Trowa looking so human was heart-rendingly wonderful — because the physical changes, of course, were all secondary to the great, glorious point, far brighter than glowing eyes or skin, that Trowa was alive.
Trowa pushed forward through the boundary of Quatre’s hands and clasped him tightly. He felt the same as ever, except for, perhaps, a greater vitality to his movement and the strength of his arms. Quatre returned the embrace with just as much intensity, and was unsurprised to find tears leaking from his own eyes in his happiness and relief.
The excited screaming from down the hall grew suddenly louder with the sound of the balcony door sliding open, then turned to what from here was little more than incoherent babbling. It was definitely Duo’s voice, finally at a normal human volume again (though this was the first time Quatre had heard it thus). Slowly Quatre and Trowa drew apart and looked at each other’s tearstained faces with very similar expressions of happiness so deep it surpassed even smiling.
“It’s over,” Trowa said.
Duo’s voice in the hall had gradually quieted, and now went entirely silent. A little unsteadily, Trowa got to his feet, and Quatre followed. Together they went to the doorway to see their newly-human friend.
He was easily recognized; in this form, his braid must have been three feet long. He was also completely naked, and very enthusiastically kissing Heero. In fact, even as they watched, Heero’s arms slid up around Duo’s bare back to pull him closer.
Now Quatre found himself grinning and inclined to laugh aloud from pure joy. He tore from the interesting sight, though, and, pulling Trowa with him, turned away. Looking as if he wanted to go back, Trowa began to protest, but Quatre interrupted. “Leave them alone for now.”
“But I haven’t–”
“He’s not going anywhere,” Quatre insisted. “Come on.”
Very reluctantly, Trowa allowed himself to be led across the room into his house; Quatre soothed him as he went, “They know where to find us if they’re not busy with something else.” Under his breath he added, “So much for Duo being in love with you…”
Trowa sounded a little startled as he requested clarification.
“Oh, that’s what Heero thought. He’s been pining over Duo all this time without saying anything about it because of that.”
“But…” Trowa’s brow furrowed slightly. “But I thought it was obvious that Duo was interested in Heero. That’s half the reason the curse is broken now.”
“Is it?” asked Quatre, greatly interested.
“When I cursed Duo,” Trowa explained, “I accused him of only pretending to care about that woman, of being fake. So the curse demanded that he genuinely care about someone. It had to be someone with magical abilities who wanted to see him human, so that their psychic field would influence his, but it wouldn’t have done a thing for him if he didn’t have that connection with them.”
“Why didn’t you mention this before?” There was, Quatre considered, something very deja vu about asking this.
“This whole thing started with me telling Duo what I thought he felt about someone. I didn’t dare do it again.”
Quatre laughed. “One of these days, all four of us are going to have to get together and make a pact not to keep secrets from each other anymore.”
“So Heero really believed Duo wasn’t interested in him?” Trowa came back to this point with evident skepticism, and maybe a touch of pity.
“Heero’s jealous in relationships,” Quatre shrugged. “Duo probably just mentioned your name a few too many times.”
Trowa nodded. “That explains some things,” he murmured.
By this time they were settled in the chair in the study, and now Quatre began kissing Trowa’s face in a clear but wordless change of subject.
“I suppose I’ll have to look in a mirror at some point,” Trowa said, and didn’t sound entirely pleased at the prospect.
“For now you can just take my word that you look wonderful.” At this Trowa made a skeptical noise, and Quatre laughed. “You never told me you had freckles,” he added in mock accusation.
“Do I?” Trowa sounded utterly blank at first, but then he went on in a tone of recollection, “I… suppose I probably should, yes…”
“I’m going to kiss them all,” murmured Quatre. “And later I’m definitely going to want to see if you have more anywhere else. Your skin is still so soft…”
“I’ll have to think about things like that now… my skin, I mean…” This was spoken in the same somewhat worried tone he’d used to reference the mirror. “I won’t be immortal anymore. I’ll have to start eating even more, and showering, and remembering to sleep… because the artifact will have to be destroyed, so I won’t be nearly as powerful. Which means I won’t be able to get the things I need in exchange for magical favors… Quatre, I don’t know how to live…”
“Trowa.” Quatre was simultaneously amused, exasperated, and remonstrative. “Why are you worrying about all of this right now?” He rose onto his knees in the chair and again took Trowa’s face in his hands. “We have the rest of your life to figure it all out.”
There was a long moment in which it seemed that Trowa was going to protest, go on listing reasons to be concerned about the future. But once that moment ended, Trowa’s brows twitched downward in what seemed to be a look of determination. Emphatically he said, “Yes. We do.” And, very deliberately, he pulled Quatre closer to him in a gesture free of any uncertainty, and kissed him.