Pairing/s: 2x3x5, 3x5, 3x2, 2x5
For: hakkai_duo, peace_piper, lemurian, jai_jai
A/N: These...turned out more like one-shots than drabbles, because my brain has proven incapable of writing smart non-smutty quickfic. You'll notice that Trowa, Wufei and Duo are especially featured this time; in the same way as the first batch of drabbles then, to maximize reading experience, do take a break before heading on to the next section, or you'll be wondering what in the world is going on. Again, these are Christmas gifts, not Christmas-themed (though it sneaks in at the end). Thanks for throwing in requests, and I hope you all enjoy. ^_____^
P.S. lemurian, I know you wanted pure fluff, but, uh, I have proven incapable of writing that either *shuffles feet and looks at floor* My apologies in advance!
Amid wild yowling, Duo clutching his face, and Wufei studiously standing with his back to them doing the dishes as if he couldn't hear the racket Duo was making, Trowa could make a pretty good guess as to what had happened.
“Trowa!” Duo howled, finally noticing him leaning in the doorway. “Wufei hit me in the face with a frying pan! He doesn't love me anymore!”
“It was an accident,” Wufei enunciated clearly, not even turning around. “I didn't mean to.”
“He won't even apologize!” Duo flung himself at his tallest lover and pointed an accusing finger at Wufei's straight back. “Trowa! Make him apologize!”
Trowa sighed internally. After a moment, he caught Duo's outstretched hand, gave it a cursory glance, and then looked back down at the disgruntled face. Sure enough, there was the red imprint of the frying pan, smack dead center on Duo's forehead. “You tried to feel him up again, didn't you?”
“Yes he did,” Wufei replied coolly, before Duo could even open his mouth. “With oily hands.”
“Look, it's not like it was lube or anything—!”
Trowa began to back carefully out of the kitchen—
“And I suppose the fact that it wasn't lube but turkey grease is supposed to make me feel better?” Wufei dismissed Duo's defensive squawk with a wave of a soapy hand.
—and then made a dash for the front garden.
It was only later, when he'd collapsed onto the white wicker swing and covered his face with both hands, that he finally allowed himself to laugh. God forbid that either of them should hear or see; he'd have a hell of a night on the tiny couch, all from being caught in the middle. Again.
He awoke, shifting automatically from sleep to full consciousness in an instant, as he had been wont to do for a long time. For a heart-stopping moment, he didn't allow himself to breathe; his muscles had instinctively tensed and readied for escape, because where else would he be knocked out like a light with his arms trapped if not an OZ prison?
His gaze finally settled on the sleeping face before him, and he'd exhaled before he was aware of it, relief, a terrible exhaustion, and an alien warmth flooding his veins like a riptide. No, this wasn't OZ anymore. His arms weren't bound, merely tangled with white, slightly sticky sheets, pinned down by a living, breathing human body. He paused, belatedly watching for wakefulness from the other, but there was nothing, only a slight stirring, a shift closer to him, a hot hand curling tighter around his neck, and barely perceptible breathing against his shoulder.
He didn't know how long he stayed there, drinking in the sight of the man before him, all tawny-skinned and loose-limbed, fine, round features smoothed and relaxed in slumber. The weight of the hand on his neck seemed to grow heavier; he'd seen those very fingers break an arm, a leg. Cautiously, slowly, he freed one hand, working it loose from long strands of inky black hair, combing it out. Only then did the dark eyes flutter open, focus with no effort at all on him.
There'd been one brief moment of tension that wouldn't have been noticeable to anyone else, but Trowa wasn't just anyone else.
The spoils of war, hanging over them both, still, three years down the road. They tried so hard not to let the past damage them. But some days, Trowa felt like running. He could pack his things, leave quietly without a word, and he wouldn't be missed by anyone else but this man in his arms, in his bed, and even then, surely Wufei would understand. He could assume a different name, assume a different life, and try to start all over again. And he could just keep doing so, repeatedly, over and over, whenever the guilt and the ghosts came back in monstrous shadows and yawning chasms to haunt him in his dreams.
Some other days, however, he thought he could stay here forever, living a life he struggled to find a purpose for. The nights were always filled with a dark, curling heat in the pit of his belly, and he would never forget the images, of Wufei's flushed cheeks and swollen lips, Wufei tossing his head back and burying desperate gasps into the pillow, his own hands, shaking and trembling, sweaty and slippery hot on the willing body beneath him.
“Morning,” Wufei said softly, and Trowa reached around to stroke a thumb down the tanned cheek. “Bad dreams?”
He considered the question seriously, while his fingers worked stray tendrils back and tucked them behind an ear. Bad dreams..? He pulled Wufei closer, felt the other man's heartbeat pulse strong and steady against his chest.
He closed his eyes, bowed his head, and whispered back honestly,
“They're not so bad anymore.”
He didn't know how Trowa planned it, but as it was, the taller ex-Gundam pilot was doing a very good job of sitting on the floor, palms behind and bracing him, long legs stretched out under the table, and keeping his face blocked from Duo by the fortuitous placement of a tall, steel teapot.
“You don't have to give me an answer right away,” he sighed, tapping his fingers on his knee unconsciously. “I mean, I did make the decision already and all, but I could always call and cancel...”
“I mean, it's only a three-week holiday to the Maldives, Singapore, and the Gold Coast, and the flight only leaves in six hours or so. So, yeah. No hurry whatsoever.”
“It's not like, like I have designs on your virginity or anything, having you come on this trip with just me, but I figure, I've been staying at your place for over a year now, and...uh...I do like you, but you already know that, and I wanted to give you a surprise—”
“You know what I mean—look, I can't say it out loud, alright? And will you please remove that damned teapot so I can look at you and see if you're unwilling, or angry, or happy, or upset, not that your face shows much of your feelings most of the time anyway—”
“...Was that an insult?” Trowa's voice was mild.
“Of course it was, you idio—was that a joke?”
Trowa chuckled and leaned forward, making a deliberate show of hooking his finger into the handle of the teapot and slowly pulling it away. So close, Duo could see the sparkling green eyes, the pressed-together lips that meant the other man was hiding a smile. “Better?”
“Yes. God, I hate your sense of humor sometimes.”
“...will you just go pack already? Please?”
He slowed his steps as he approached the doorway, and couldn't help the quirk of his lips as he watched Wufei, sitting cross-legged on the rug-covered floor, sorting out brown-wrapped parcels and other more colorfully packaged presents with a look of concentration on his face that extended to a little wrinkle between his brows. In the next moment, he knew, Wufei would notice him, would turn around with that small, welcoming smile that was still conservative, still slightly unsure...
Later on, their little flat would be filled with noise and laughter, the clink of glasses, and the rich smells of Christmas food. It would be warm, and the lights and bells on the tree would be flashing and glittering merrily. Everyone around would see them, him by Wufei's side, his arm around Wufei's waist, and Wufei would do his best to hide his mixed feelings, as he always did.
“Hey,” he murmured softly in greeting, crossing the threshold and feeling his heart catch in his throat when Wufei turned around. A lock of unruly black hair had escaped the low, loose ponytail, and fallen fetchingly against the side of the round, glowing dark face. “Everything okay?”
Wufei smiled, that small smile he'd known he would, and half-turned away, gesturing to the heaps of presents that they'd bought earlier in the week. “If you'd come home with any more, I might have had to resort to using the tablecloth for wrapping paper. As it is, I think Sally will be especially thrilled with what we got her. Though I still have no comments about what you chose to get for Heero—”
He bent down, kissed Wufei quickly and lightly on the forehead, and settled to a crouch, sweeping the errant lock back. “None of that. Look what I got you.”
They looked at the tiny box together, and Wufei all but froze, his words trailing off.
“All I want this Christmas,” his voice had gone huskier than he'd hoped it would, his own uncertainty betraying itself in the stumble of his speech, “—is for you to say the word.”
There's nothing more important than you, 'Fei.
He waited, his heart pounding in his chest, not entirely out of dreading an answer, any answer. It was commitment he had proposed, commitment he was vowing to keep, and it was something new and wild that he'd never once thought he might want before. He wanted it now, and it was breathless, painfully hanging there in the space between them, fighting off the insecurities, the ghosts of the past and the abyss of the future.
I'll cherish you forever if you let me.
Wufei hesitated, and he could read the question in dark eyes even before Wufei looked away, hands twisting uncharacteristically in his lap: Are you sure?
Was he sure?
“...Always,” he breathed finally, and it was as though he was hearing his voice from somewhere else, an echo loud and thundering in his ears, striking deep and true, affirming the honest answer from his heart. His hands fumbled, opening the box, and then he was reaching blindly for Wufei's fingers. They were fever-hot and shaking, offered, tentatively and heartbreakingly trustingly, to him. To him.
When he slipped the ring on, a kernel of something dark and cold that he'd been carrying deeply buried inside loosened, shook free, and shattered into a million pieces. Wufei's tremulous laughter was tender and warm as a breaking wave of sunshine, sweeter than anything Duo had ever heard.