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[Table Four] Second Chance

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Second Chance
Author: Anne
Pairing: 3x4
Warnings/Ratings: PG13, angst, romance.
Summary: Quatre realises he needs to make some changes in his life. Written using 5sentence_fics prompts from table four.
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing belongs to Bandai, Sunrise and Sotsu Agency. Quatre and Trowa belong to each other even if they take a while to figure that out at times.

It had been five years since they had destroyed the Gundams, and the first time that Quatre had returned to this place. Although he had thought he'd said goodbye to Sandrock for the final time with Trowa and Duo then, something today had drawn him back. The Gundams had been more of a symbol for war than they had for peace. He knew they had made the right decision but he missed the adrenalin rush that had come with piloting. His life had moved on in many ways, but he wasn't entirely sure he was following the path for which he was meant.

The sun was beginning to set before Quatre realised that he had been sitting on the grassy hill for several hours, just thinking. There weren't just the memories to sort through, but also his feelings regarding his life now. While he'd kept in touch with the other pilots, actually spending time with them had only happened intermittently and that had been when he'd done the occasional work for Preventers. It wasn't just piloting a Gundam that he missed but everything that had come with it. He needed to be a part of something again of his own choosing, rather than trying to live up to expectations which were not his and never would be.

Blue skies:
After a sleepless night, Quatre was disturbed by the curtains being drawn and sun streaming into his room. Mumbling something rude under his breath, and ignoring the beautiful day outside, he pulled the covers back over his head, telling the person responsible to leave him alone. Instead, he felt the mattress dip. Someone obviously needed more of a hint that he was not in the mood for company. Annoyed, he sat up, and found himself face to face with the last person he had expected to see.

Broken wing:
"You called me," Trowa said simply. "So I came." Quatre stared at him for a moment, confused, before realisation dawned with the memories of another time he'd needed the one person he'd always felt more than just friendship for.

He opened his mouth, but instead of the words he needed to say, all that tumbled out of his mouth were two that had never been enough. "I'm sorry."

High octane:
Trowa's expression saddened at the words of apology. It was several moments before he spoke. "Sorry for what, Quatre?" he asked softly. "The war is over but you're still fighting. I had hoped at least that you'd finally slowed down enough to think about what /you/ need and to stop running."

Silver and gold:
"I am not running," Quatre started to say, protesting, but his words trailed off. Why was it that he had no problems finding the right retort in the boardroom but with Trowa it was different? The answer was part of what he'd turned over in his mind most of the night. This was what was really important in his life, the other wasn't. He'd settled for something less than what he wanted and needed for all the wrong reasons, like settling for something made of silver because the cost of gold had seemed too high.

Too good to be true:
"Of course you're not." Trowa's voice was very calm, but it was obvious he did not believe the words anymore than Quatre had in speaking them.

"I'm trying not to," Quatre said softly. He didn't want to anymore, not when there was a chance of a future and a life he really wanted. Searching Trowa's face, Quatre couldn't help but hope that maybe what he felt might be mutual when Trowa reached to take Quatre's hand in his.

Tangled and dark:
Squeezing Trowa's hand, Quatre fought the urge to apologise once more. Trowa's words echoed in the silence between them: sorry for what? After the war Quatre had known he'd wanted Trowa but had been torn between want and obligation. Not being sure how Trowa felt had given Quatre the justification he'd needed to convince himself that he'd made the right decision. But it had been more of an excuse, memories conspiring with guilt to whisper that this was for the best.

Best served cold:
There had been a reason why he hadn't returned to where they'd destroyed the Gundams before now. Being there had brought back all of the emotions associated with them, and it was difficult to think logically and do what needed to be done when his heart and mind did not agree. Re-visiting the Gundams had also brought to mind his and Trowa's first meeting, and their mutual surrender at Corsica. Having Trowa in close proximity like this again, in the first time in months, made it difficult for Quatre to ignore feelings that he'd shoved to one side for far too long. Trowa was right; it was time for this particular war to be over.

Running on empty:
Trowa smiled, and Quatre couldn't help but return the gesture. "I can stay," Trowa suggested hesitantly, "if that is what you want."

Nodding, Quatre felt relief, and something else, flood through him. He couldn't do this alone; he'd been running on empty and not allowing himself to feel for such a long time now. "Please," he whispered, "I'd like that."

Slow hand:
Trowa smiled again but this time it was more open. Slowly he brought a hand up and caressed Quatre's face very gently and slowly. Quatre leaned into it; being close felt good, like it was meant to be. "I don't want you to leave again," he admitted quietly. "I need and want to make some changes in my life, and I want them to include you."

Double Vision:
"I don't want to leave," Trowa said in little more than a whisper. He gave Quatre a shy smile. "I'd like to be a part of your life, or at least see if we have something that might work."

Quatre loved that smile on Trowa; they were both reaching out and daring to hope. "We don't know until we try."

Trowa nodded slowly. "I have nothing to offer you but myself, but I can promise to be there for you and love you."

"That's all I've ever wanted," Quatre whispered, "and more than enough to offer." He leaned closer and brushed their lips together tentatively at first and then more confidently, breaking it to trace his fingers across Trowa's mouth. In response Trowa pulled him back for another kiss, and Quatre lost himself in something he'd never thought would exist in more than his dreams.

In the dark:
Both of them were breathing heavily by the time they broke the kiss. Quatre smiled, brushing Trowa's cheek with his hand. "I didn't know if you felt the same way," he admitted. "I'd hoped but I didn't want to act in case you didn't."

"My heart has been yours since we met," Trowa replied softly, "although it's taken me a while to realise that."

Personal space:
"Since Corsica," Quatre agreed. "Mine has been yours too since then, but I denied that was what it was for a very long time." He'd been scared of the depth of the emotions that he'd felt towards Trowa, and the risk of falling for someone who didn't share those feelings. Years of wanting to be accepted and loved by a father who had had no time for him had made him wary of treading that path again. It had been safer to not only give Trowa some personal space, but also himself time to work through the way he was feeling and see if it would pass.

Stormy weather:
"Sometimes," Trowa said slowly, "it seems at first to be easier to deny those feelings, but doing that only leads to confusion and heartache. If you're not true to yourself, it becomes increasingly difficult to ride the storm of your emotions."

"And the eye of that particular storm brings with it a false sense of security," Quatre continued the analogy, "because the reality of it cannot be kept at arm's length forever."

"No," Trowa said, "it can't." He hesitated, searching Quatre's face; there was still too much unspoken between them.

Wax paper:
Sensing that Trowa still had something else he wanted to say, Quatre gave him what he hoped was an encouraging smile.

Trowa reached into his pocket and pulled out a small box wrapped in wax paper. "I've...had a strong sense of you the past few weeks especially..." He seemed nervous; his voice trailed off. Sometimes it was easier to let actions speak for themselves; a gesture could be far more effective than an attempted explanation.

Sentimental journey:
Quatre swallowed, his fingers fumbling as he undid the box. Inside, wrapped carefully in tissue paper was a knife; simple in design, the balance of it perfect in his hand as he picked it up and examined it carefully.

"It's gundanium," Quatre said, a statement, rather than a question. He looked up at Trowa, not daring to ask.

"Yes," Trowa confirmed softly, "there was still one small piece left."

Perfect balance:
Reluctantly, Quatre returned the knife to its box, but not before he noticed an inscription on the underside of the handle. "Oh, Trowa," he whispered, the implication of what Trowa had done not escaping him.

"I wasn't sure if it was a bit..." Trowa licked his lips, nervously. "But I wanted you to have this, and remember that you're not alone, in the same way you didn't fight that first war on your own. You always said we worked better together and you were right."

No worries:
"I did and we do." Quatre knew that he'd lost sight of that and in doing so risked everything he'd fought for. He brushed his fingers across Trowa's lips, then leaned in and kissed him. "You've always loved me enough to remind me of that, and kept believing in me during those times when I couldn't." He smiled again; the last of what he'd been hiding from within himself falling away with it.

Chasing the wind:
"I've always believed in you, Cat." Trowa took the box out of Quatre's hand and put it on the table by the bed. "Often it's easier to do that for someone else than it is for yourself." Shifting, he settled back against the wall, opening his arms to pull Quatre into an embrace. "I think," Trowa continued slowly, "that both of us have been chasing what we thought intangible for too long and it's time to focus on the reality of what we could have together."

Blown away:
It felt good lying in Trowa's arms; it was as though they fit and this was where Quatre should have been all along. He tilted his head up to meet Trowa's eyes. "I'm tired of chasing what ifs and poking wooden swords at windmills. I've been fighting cobwebs, ghosts and shadows instead of being the person I need to be."

"Then take a deep breath, blow them away and be that person," Trowa suggested gently, stroking Quatre's hair.

Quatre had always fought so that others wouldn't have to. Even after the war, he'd kept doing so but had exchanged a battlefield for a boardroom. But had he continued on his crusade because of remorse for his part in the war, or just because it was easier to do that than to face up to the reality of how he really felt about his life?

Leaning into Trowa's touch, he decided that it didn't really matter anymore. Taking a deep breath, he blew his past away and inhaled the clean fresh air on the first step to his future.

In Chaos:
As he felt himself relax, what was left of the chaos of thoughts and emotions that had plagued him for so long began to ebb. Trowa strengthened his embrace, pulling Quatre closer, smiling down at him. "This feels good," he whispered, kissing the top of Quatre's head.

"Yes, it does," Quatre agreed.

It also felt right.

Rising Tide:
Trowa kissed Quatre again; Quatre shifting so that they were face to face and could kiss properly. What they needed to say finally spoken, this time when they broke the kiss, they searched each other's heart for something else, a confirmation of what they both wanted next.

Slowly Quatre nodded, placing his hand on Trowa's heart. In return Trowa smiled, it turning after a moment into a minute smirk as he moved Quatre's hand lower.

Quatre mirrored Trowa's actions; it was a much more effective way of saying yes.

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