by Bonnejeanne

"Dear Quatre..." the letter began, "I am writing you this letter because I don't think I can trust myself to have this conversation person to person. I am worried about Trowa, and I don't know who else to turn to. I know that you care for him and I know that the two of you share something from the time you spent together in the war. I know I haven't always been friendly to you, and I think you understand why. When other people look at Trowa, they see a soldier, someone who can do anything it takes to defeat an enemy...someone who can kill. When I look at him, I see a lost little boy...a broken child who can only be hurt by the harsh needs of those around him, someone who needs more than anything, love and peace and time to heal himself."

Quatre absently wiped the moisture from his eyes and continued reading.

"When you first came to find him, after he'd lost his memory, I wanted to keep you and all his friends away. But I saw, even then, that you felt something for my Trowa, something deeper than friendship, something that perhaps could be called love. However, that did not make me want to trust you with his heart. People in love can hurt, often without meaning to. It wasn't until I saw *his* eyes, looking after you, that I realized I had to let him go. What I saw there was more powerful than Trowa's pain, and for once, I had some hope. I was afraid for his life, and yours, yes, it's true, but I felt that if you both survived, there would be a chance that Trowa could find what he needed in you."

"Master Quatre..."

Quatre looked up, and his expression stopped the next words on Rashid's lips. "I...well it isn't really important."

"I'm sorry, Rashid, I'll be with you in a little while...if what you came in for can wait, that is...I have something I need to finish," the blond said with the respect and affection he always showed to the Maganac leader.

"Of course. It's not urgent," Rashid said, smiling reassuringly as he closed the door.

His heart beating quickly, Quatre returned to the letter. He felt something inside of him beginning to ache with the words he was reading, and more...he felt a sense of loss to come. What could it be?

"After the war was over," Catherine's letter resumed,"I was certain the two of you would find a way to stay together. But, aside from visits, this has not come about. Frankly, I don't understand why. Was I wrong, in what I thought I saw in both of you? Was it nothing more than the comradeship of war? I can't bring myself to believe that. I can only guess that something failed to manifest, something that should have. I don't know very much about you, Quatre, I don't know what pains and hardships you have suffered so I can't guess what barriers you may have had to deal with. But I do know what Trowa has, and his barriers are greater than anyone else I have ever known--they are as great as his pain...they are what he has tried to use to keep that pain at bay. Having his memories return...perhaps that was a good thing, but it brought back those barriers, that part of him which others see as strong, and which I see as his desperation. As the months have gone by, I have watched him, and I am not happy with what I see. When you visit, he seems fine, but when you leave, there are storms inside of him. He holds it all in so tightly that I can hardly find any real evidence to point to outside of my intuition. Lately, there has been this...when he sleeps, he curls into a tight little ball. This is what he used to do, during the time after we found him, when he had lost his memories. I know now from what you told me that he was suffering from the sensory deprivation of space, which gave him no where to hide from himself. He had stopped doing this until recently. And the last few nights, whatever is eating at him has been worse. I've heard him moaning softly, and when I go to see, he is curled in a ball so tightly that his body seems to shake. Night before last, I found him sleeping with the lions, curled in the cage as if it were the only place he felt safe. I know Trowa loves the lions and I know that he is like a god to them in their wild hearts, but they *are* beasts, and can not be trusted not to follow their instincts if he somehow frightens them. If anyone could be safe sleeping in a lion's den, it would be Trowa, but that is a foolish fantasy, and the truth is, it is simply dangerous. I don't know what to do. When I ask him about it, he simply smiles and tells me not to worry, that he is fine. I know he won't tell me what is wrong. I don't think he *can* tell me."

"Quatre," the letter continued,"You are my last hope, and probably Trowa's. I have no right to pry into your relationship, but I must beg you to tell me, is there anything that would help to explain what is happening to him? I feel...I feel in my heart that there is something incomplete between you, and that this is what is slowly driving him back into himself. I can feel his fear, though he covers it so perfectly with the mask of 'content brother' as he used to do with his clown mask. I'm asking you to put aside your own fears, Quatre Rabera Winner, and help Trowa. To many you appear to be timid and sweet, but I don't believe that is what Trowa sees in you. I believe he sees in you his last hope...a strength that is greater than his. He is drowning and if you don't find a way to reach him, we may both lose him forever."

It was, of course, signed simply, "Catherine."

Quatre dropped the letter from nerveless fingers and walked blindly to the big window at the back of his office. He stared out, unseeing, as water flowed from his eyes and down his cheeks. At last, he dropped to his knees and buried his face in his hands, sobbing brokenly.

It was all coming apart.

Feeling the rise of a tidal wave of guilt flooding inside him, Quatre began to try to control his body, his feelings, and the waves of uncertainty that threatened to submerge him. He knew...he knew what Catherine was sensing and it was...all...his...fault. Because of his cowardice, he was hurting the one person in his life that he loved more that any other. Because he had waited...because he had selfishly believed that he could wait, that Trowa would come to him. He had allowed himself long, endless fantasies about how it would be...about being taken in Trowa's strong arms and held, being kissed by those beautiful lips...and some of his fantasies had come true. Trowa had held him...had kissed him...but always there came a point they did not go beyond. He thought Trowa was holding back, perhaps to protect him. Quatre burned with shame as he remembered feeling impatient with his love, wishing he would sweep Quatre away with a storm of passion...

It was was was killing Trowa...because what Quatre was waiting for was something Trowa could not do.

Catherine's words brought everything into focus with crystal clarity. He should have known it, should have sensed it...but just as before, he'd let his own needs and desires fill his mind and had failed to protect the one he was happening again, just as it had in space, when he had gone mad and Trowa had brought him back to himself, but at much too great a cost.

The pain and guilt threatened to crush Quatre to the ground, but inside, a flame of protest grew. Whatever he was feeling, not matter how painful, no matter how unworthy he might believe himself to be, he could not fail Trowa this time. There was no excuse and no alternatives.

Slowly he sat up, wiping his face, and looked out across the colony landscape. Forcing himself to breath evenly, he turned his mind to the task, as he had done before when fighting the last great battle over Earth. Then he hadn't needed the Zero system to enforce his decisions. Now, too, he needed nothing, nothing but his own mind and determination. There was an answer and he would find it.

He brought everything he knew about Trowa to his consciousness. He let every memory flow through his mind. He examined every nuance, compared every difference, pouring the data into the cool, efficient computer in his mind.

In time, the answers came. Once he understood what was truly happening, and saw where he had made his mistakes, the solution was soon to follow. It was drastic. It was risky. But he had let things get to this point and the risks were something he had to be prepared to deal with. If it backfired...the one he loved would hate him forever, as would Catherine, and perhaps everyone else in his life. He might end up an outcast...which would hardly matter, for the loss of Trowa alone would cast him into the outer darkness. None of that mattered. It was time to do battle for the soul of Trowa Barton and he, Quatre would not consider the possibility of failure.

Getting up, he brushed at his clothes and wiped his face a last time. Then he went out to find Rashid.

"I need to go on a trip, Rashid," he said, upon finding the tall Maganac leader. "And I need some things prepared. It's important. Is there anything going on with the business that urgently needs my attention?"

Rashid looked down at the little master and saw that something was very different. The wide blue-green eyes held a determination that seemed to glint with the temper of Gundanium.

"No, Master Quatre," he said. "The truth is, things are running smoothly. There are always decisions we prefer to defer to you...but in truth the business could easily run itself for a while. I get the feeling," he continued slowly, "That your have a mission..."

"I do have a mission, Rashid, and it's the most important mission I have ever had in my entire life," the blond Arabian answered in a tone that matched the look in his eyes. He took a breath. "Rashid...if you can take the time, I have something I need to talk to you about. The truth is, I need you to share your wisdom with me. The subject is a rather...unusual one, but I have a feeling you can help me."

Rashid nodded immediately, intrigued. Whatever was in the little master's mind must be incredibly important to him. Whatever it was, Rashid had no qualms about offering any help or advice he could give.

"Good, lets take a walk, I need this conversation to be completely private," Quatre said.

Catherine expected an answer to her letter right away. She could not believe Quatre would read it and not reach immediately for a comm to call her. When a full 24 hours had passed, Catherine found herself becoming angry. Was it possible that the little blond was really nothing more than a foolish child, playing with her Trowa's affections? She found it hard to believe, yet she also couldn't understand why he had not contacted her. She headed back to the trailer to check her messages for the hundredth time and opened the door with an angry jerk... find Quatre Winner sitting in her trailer waiting for her. He stood up when she entered. He accurately read her expression, but simply said,"Hello, Catherine. We need to talk."

Rocking on her heels, she quickly recovered and entered the trailer, closing the door.

"What are you doing here? Why...why aren't you with Trowa? If you came here--" she began.

Quatre held up a slim hand. It was so delicate that it was easy to overlook the calluses on it, from piloting Sandrock.

"We have to talk first," Quatre said. "I'm sorry I didn't contact you sooner, but I had some things I had to prepare." Something in the tone of his voice made Catherine stop, and close her mouth. She took a deep breath, nodded and sat down.

Quatre smiled at her briefly, but his expression was one of unshakable determination. "First I want to thank you for writing the letter. Someday, if this works out, perhaps I can express my gratitude to you, but I'm afraid I won't be about to do that right now. You were right - too much time has gone by and I won't waste any more of it. The only important thing is Trowa. So here is what you need to know. I am taking him away for a while. I don't know exactly how long. Neither of us will come back until the problem is solved." Catherine started to speak and again he simply held up his hand and she stopped. "If I succeed, Trowa will return...but I don't know if he will come back to the circus or not. Do you understand?"

Catherine took a deep breath, feeling something growing inside her that felt like the beginnings of awe, just from the energy coming from the little pilot.

"He...he won't be my Trowa anymore, will he?" she said softly.

Quatre smiled and the compassion in his sensitive face forced tears to the back of Catherine's eyes. "He will always be your Trowa, Catherine," he said softly. "But he will be mine first...and always."

Catherine swallowed, and nodded, wiping her face absently. "I understand," she said at last. " careful with him...don't hurt him..."

Stroking her hair, Quatre said softly, "Catherine, dear Catherine...I would tear my heart from my body before I would harm Trowa. I swear it by Allah, by my father and by everything I hold dear, of which Trowa himself is the most precious."

Catherine suddenly felt knots of worry and pain unwind inside her and she laid her head against the little pilot's shoulder and wept.

It was nearly dinner time, and Trowa wondered absently why Catherine had not come by in hours. Surely she would be walking up any moment to nag him to come to dinner. He finished raking out the last of the animal cages and put the rake away, lingering in the barn, not in any hurry to join the group of circus people for dinner. He felt tired...weary to his soul, and knew that going to bed later that evening would not help. In the morning he would be even more drained. He knew there was something wrong, and knew what it was, but knowing only kept him in stasis, riding the circle of pain, regret, and inadequacy until he was unable to think outside the circle.

"Trowa," he heard a familiar voice say softly.

Whirling, he stared at the figure of the Arabian pilot. "Quatre!" How had the little blond approach him without his knowing? "What...I didn't..."

Quatre walked up to Trowa, smiling gently, but his eyes were serious...they were...

"I know. I didn't call before I came, like I always do. I'll explain later. Right now I need you to do something for me."

Trowa stared down at the person who held the keys to his heart, and felt a sudden flash of fear. His face showed nothing however. "Of course, Quatre. What is it?"

"Trust me."

Trowa blinked. "Quatre, I do trust you," he said quietly.

"Good. Then you must come with me, now. No questions, no hesitation." Quatre simply held out his hand.

Trowa felt a prickle run down his back. Suddenly he felt completely off balance. Usually when Quatre came to see him, there would be a hug, a kiss, many words of affection...the small blond would snuggle close to him and he would stroke those pale locks of silk...Something was happening now, something he didn't understand.

Quatre waited, his hand outstretched. His eyes were calm, and in their depths was something Trowa saw, but found himself refusing to name. He felt a great uncertainty rise up in his throat and opened his mouth to say something...'I must tell Catherine', perhaps...or...

Of its own accord, his hand rose and placed itself in Quatre's. The other boy closed his fingers around Trowa's hand with a firm grip. "Come."

Trowa wasn't told where they were going and Quatre made sure the course was not visible on the small ship's console. All he would say was that it was a short trip, an hour or so. Once they were underway, he turned to the green-eyed boy and began talking to him a calm, low, relaxing voice.

"Trowa, there are things about my culture you probably don't know," he said in a melodic, storyteller's inflection. "On Earth, we lived in the desert, and were nomads. We kept horses and goats and camels but we were not a farming race. Our men were proud warriors, but also poets and artists. The stongest would gather bands together and so the great families were born. Our people were god-fearing but have often been misunderstood by historians who came primarily from western cultures. We had many practices they considered barbaric, and some of our people still practice these things today, but under the protection of silence, to avoid misunderstanding and ridicule."

Trowa listened to the story, watching Quatre with eyes that could not seem to leave the other boy's face.

"It was not unknown for there to be marriages consisting of one husband with several wives. What is lesser known is that many tribe leaders kept other lovers...boys...who could accompany them everywhere they might go, in trade, in battle, who would not be needed to raise the precious children. They were slaves, these boys, or so they have been named by western eyes."

Trowa felt something inside him begin to stir...a tingle of, perhaps...fear? Anticipation? His rational mind wondered why Quatre was telling him this strange story...why the aqua eyes seemed so deep, so powerful, drawing him into their depths.

"Quatre..." he said softly, and his voice surprised him, making him wonder what had caused him to speak.

Quatre smiled slightly, and a look of pure love crossed his features.

"Hush, my love, my Trowa. You don't need to speak. We are here."

Trowa saw nothing except that he was on a private satellite, at a guess, one of the Winner family's extensive holdings. He saw little of it, for Quatre drew him into a building, whose exterior was exotic looking, ornate in the eastern way. Inside, Quatre drew him swiftly through the building, through hallways and over thick, beautiful carpets. At last he found himself in a room beyond several sets of doorways. The room was wide, but divided into shadowy alcoves by hangings of silk and brocade, creating an aura of mystery. There was a scent of incense from somewhere further inside, and a tinkling of wind chimes beyond.

Quatre closed the door behind them and then locked it with a passcode.

"Welcome to your new home, my love," he said softly.

Trowa whirled, staring at the blond Arabian, who stood watching him calmly.

"Quatre, what are you talking about?"

Quatre walked up to Trowa, close, very close. Reaching up, he caressed the tall boy's cheek. "Relax...Trowa. Just relax. Think of this as a small vacation. When you are ready, you can go."

Trowa's eyebrows drew together. "What if I am ready now?"

Quatre smiled again, shaking his head. "But you aren't. And I am the only one who can say when you are ready."

Trowa backed up a step. "What is going on?"

Quatre watched him, his face showing a calm expression, with no room whatsoever for hesitation or doubt. "You said you trusted me, Trowa. The time has come to test that trust. For both of us. I know you are afraid. I've been so stupid, so selfish. But that's over. We are going to find out about each other. You about me, and me about you. Everything. We will not be disturbed until it is done. Then...if you want to go, I'll let you. If you never want to see me again, I'll never enter you life. But now, for now, you must trust me, and you must do what I tell you to do."

Trowa stared at the other boy, feeling a mixture of emotions that he knew instinctively were only the edge of the threshold he was poised on.

"What if I can't..." he whispered.

Aqua eyes looked back into his, steadily. "You can. You will."

Trowa closed his eyes quickly, but not before Quatre could see the naked emotions...the fear, no, terror...And the longing that threatened to tear him apart.

Reaching out, Quatre took Trowa's hand in a firm grip. "Come."

Trowa found himself following the pull on his wrist. I can't do this, he thought over and over. I can't...he'll see...see what I am...he'll see that I am nothing...nothing...I'll fail...I can't love...I'm a soldier...A killer...that's all...I can't do this...

"You can," Quatre said in his ear, and Trowa realized he'd closed his eyes again. "And I'm going to help you."

Watching the terrible conflict going on inside his love, Quatre felt his heart tear, but it didn't matter - his pain didn't matter. He found the bottle of dark wine where he expected, and poured the red liquid in a cup. The aroma of it rose to his nostrils immediately. Lifting it, he placed the cup to Trowa's lips.

The green eyes flew open, and Trowa looked down, startled by the cool metal against his lips.

Quatre held his eyes. "Trust me," he commanded the other boy, allowing for nothing but compliance. Trowa felt something inside him snap, and he closed his eyes again, opening his lips to drink. Quatre lifted the cup, pouring more wine into the boy's mouth that he might have taken. Trowa swallowed, choking only briefly. Quatre put the cup down and stroked Trowa's forehead gently. "Good...good, my love...soon the knots inside you will begin to unwind. I know it frightens you, but trust me. I will take care of you. I will take you apart, and knit you back together. It's going to be all right..."

Those calm words seemed to sink inside of Trowa, as the wine, or something in it, began to work on his body. He felt the exhaustion of the past days fall on his shoulders like a stone, and his knees sagged. Reaching out, he was caught by Quatre's strong arms and lowered gently to the floor. "Yes, love. Relax. Relax and sleep. When you wake, you will be safe. And you will be in my arms to feel, and to take what I will give you. Free to surrender."

Those words seemed both wonderful and terrible, as they penetrated into Trowa's swiftly fading consciousness, the last things he knew before the darkness took him in her warm embrace.

Quatre held Trowa for many long moments, allowing himself at last to shed the tears he could now allow the other boy to see. It had been almost too late, he could see that now. Poor had he ever allowed himself to overlook the pain so evident inside him. Bending, he kissed Trowa's lips, tasting the wine, then his cheeks and forehead.

Calling on the strength from his rigorous training, Quatre lifted the taller boy in his arms and carried him back into the room, in an alcove he had prepared meticulously for what was to come. Gently, he removed every piece of clothing from Trowa's beautiful body, and then brought out the other things he'd stored here. Taking a deep breath and sending a brief prayer to Allah that he was not about to make the biggest mistake of his life, Quatre took the strong, silky ropes and began to tie Trowa's body with intricate knots.

Trowa came awake slowly, feeling a lingering lethargy from the wine or whatever was in it. There was a gentle light on his eyelids, not enough to cause him to wince, just enough to dispel darkness.

As consciousness began to filter into his mind, he began gradually to be aware that he was not simply lying, on his back or curled on his side as he usually woke. His muscles were very relaxed, but as he began to tune into the sensations around him, he felt stretched here and there, felt certain stresses that seemed unusual. He blinked and tried to turn, but his body would not obey. His muscles tensed, but his limbs were held in place.

Trowa felt a sudden jerk of alarm, which quickly cleared the fog from his mind. His eyes snapped open, and everything flooded in at once.

He was lying on some kind of thick, firm mattress covered with something smooth like satin or silk. He was completely naked. His arms were stretched over his head and bound with strong, soft ropes to something he couldn't see, which did not yield when he tried to flex his muscles against it. His legs...those long, slender, muscled legs were bent back on themselves, as if he had been kneeling and then lay completely back. Ropes bound them, his ankles to his thighs, and then ropes stretching to either side pulled them slightly apart. His back was flat on the firm but soft surface, but something like a cushion had been placed under his hips and the small of his back, lifting him.

The ropes were so cleverly tied that they did not cut into flesh, yet so tight and without slack that he could not get any purchase to flex his muscles.

As the entirety of his position became evident, Trowa felt his heart suddenly skyrocket into overtime, beating like a trip-hammer. He felt the air moving on all of his body, all the exposed flesh. Though he felt terrified, he also felt something else, and his balls tightened as his cock began to stir.

Quatre stepped out from beyond a gauzy hanging. The little blond was bare-chested, and his lower body was draped in a pair of loose harem pants, riding low on his hips. They were the same shade of aqua blue as Quatre's incredible eyes. His feet were bare and he wore nothing else, except a gold ring with a beautiful aquamarine stone, and a pair of small gold circles through his ears.

Trowa stared up at this vision in shock, and his cock firmed even further. Quatre looked...incredibly somehow, completely in control.

Looking down at the boy who was splayed out, every beautiful part of him exposed and accessible, Quatre moistened his lips and felt his own organ tighten and swell with painful anticipation. The expression on Trowa's face tore at his heart...he wanted to free his lover, hold him, reassure him...but understood now that this was not what was needed. Trowa had barriers he could not cross on his own. Quatre would have to help him cross them. It was the price of his love.

Coming close, he looked down lovingly at the green-eyed boy.

"You have no idea how beautiful you are," Quatre said softly. Trowa's mouth opened but he was still in shock, and found words would not form on his lips. Quatre let his eyes wander over the smooth, muscled, taut body, lingering here and there, and Trowa felt a flush steal through him as if he were experiencing a raging fever.

Quatre smiled gently, as if he understood what was happening. He knelt gracefully beside Trowa, and touched his face lightly, already feeling the perspiration forming on that smooth skin.

"Trowa..." he said slowly, his voice purring, his lips savoring each sound of his love's name. "This is where we learn about each other. I am going to learn all about you...I am going to find out everything you like...everything you love...everything you want. You don't have to tell can if you want, but if it's easier to just be silent, it's okay. You're breathing will tell me..your eyes will tell me...your body will tell me everything I need to know..."

These words brought a surge of fear through Trowa's mind...but even as the fear came, something else was there. Longing...terrible longing...could it be so easy for him? Everything he'd ever experienced said was his place in life to be fight, kill, overcome obstacles, defeat enemies, accomplish objectives...never be human, not allowed human weakness, not if he wanted to survive...and then, at last, not caring about survival, but helpless to give up.

Quatre watched these thoughts go through Trowa's mind. Already, his face was mirroring so much more of what was going on inside. In time, he would show everything there was...

Trowa licked his lips. "And what..." he said softly, his voice sounding strange and hesitant in his own ears, "What will...I learn...about you?"

Quatre leaned over and kissed Trowa gently, tenderly...then the kiss became more demanding as he thrust his tongue into Trowa's mouth, entering, retreating, caressing...coaxing, until Trowa's eyelids dropped and he began to suck on the Arabian's tongue...In answer, Quatre's mouth became more demanding, thrusting deeper, taking Trowa's mouth with his own, kissing him more and more deeply until he felt Trowa's body begin to tremble. At last he lifted his mouth, licking his lips as if the taste were something he enjoyed tremendously.

"You will learn...that I can be as strong as you need me to be. That I will never is you will do that, my will learn that I can take away your doubts and hesitation, that you can lie in my arms and be safe from everything...even yourself. You will learn how much I love you...and you will learn to trust me..."

Trowa felt as if those jeweled aqua eyes were reading his soul, as if his heart with all its faults and weaknesses were as bare as his body, as exposed. Again the fear washed through him, but the ropes held him securely and the face over him never changed.

"Un..tie me..." Trowa whispered, but it sounded unconvincing even in his own ears. 'Don't,' he thought desperately. But surely Quatre would not refuse...

"No, my love," Quatre said. "Not until I am finished with you. Not until I have pleasured myself with you...not until I see and feel and hear you screaming with pleasure as I take you..."

Trowa's cock leaped, stiffening instantly, betraying him utterly. "No..." Trowa whispered, or thought he did. " this..."

Quatre's fingers brushed his cheek, then trailed down his body. "Hush," he said. "Your body is speaking to me. Can you hear it? It wants to be taken..."

Quatre bent over him, fingers trailing lightly, everywhere. The blond licked his lips and kissed Trowa's chest, tasting the fine sheen of sweat that was now covering him. His mouth closed over one perfect nipple.

Trowa gasped, his eyes closing. He must...he should fight was wrong...he could not lose control like this...he must stay in control...

The warm lips and wet tongue of Quatre Rabera Winner feasted on Trowa's flesh as if he were a meal for lions to feed on. Licking and sucking, then nipping lightly, moving from one side of his chest to the other to take the second succulent bud and claim it for his own. Trowa's eyes closed, and he heard a soft, low sound coming from somewhere. It sounded like a cross between a moan and a sob...Quatre's hungry mouth moved back and forth, from one side of his chest to another, and the sound came again and again, louder each time, trembling in the air, and at last he could tell what it was expressing--pleasure...intense, complete, abandoned pleasure...Gasping, he licked his lips and then realized why they were dry, his lungs were gasping for air...the sound was coming from his own throat...

Delicate hands with incredible strength and precise touch moved over his skin, touching, caressing, claiming...he felt as if every inch of his skin were on fire - a slick, steamy fire. One delicate hand danced down, and he felt its direction...slowly...Trowa's cock was straining, aching, throbbing and when the strong, sure grip closed around it, he cried out, and sound of joy and need.

His cock was taken...stroked gently at first, then squeezed and pulled upwards, then released, then again...and again...Every cell in his body seemed to become sensitized. Inside, a war was going on...a cold internal voice insisting that he must fight this...he was being humiliated...used...but the sensations were so intense and lush that the cold voice could only rage silently. Never had he, Trowa, imagined such physical sensations. Every other experience of sex seemed harsh, cold, devoid by comparison.

Quatre's mouth rose from his skin, leaving Trowa's nipples swollen and engorged with blood, aching and erect. The Arabian sat back on his heels, looking down, touching the boy beneath him now only with one hand on his cock, stroking it, slowly pleasuring him.

The expression on Trowa's face was indescribable. His eyes were open but the softly-lashed lids dropped, fluttering from time to time, and the green eyes seemed to see into some other place. Trowa's beautifully shaped mouth was open, the lips rounded into a small "oh" from time to time opening wider as his moans of pleasure rose and fell.

Quatre knew he could have stayed this way for an eternity, watching, looking, never getting enough of the sight of Trowa's body stretched and bound, helpless and displayed for the delight of his eyes and his hands and mouth.

His surrender was not quite complete yet, Quatre could see the storm inside him rise and fall as it continued, but he was so confirmed everything Quatre had suspected about what was causing Trowa's internal deterioration. He wanted love, wanted it so desperately, but it had been written out of him by the rules of his survival. Once his choices were taken away, once he had no ability to refuse, the green-eyed boy's needs overwhelmed his barriers, battering them down.

Quatre rose without releasing his hold on Trowa's stiff flesh, and moved around until he was kneeling between the boy's legs, with Trowa's groin, lifted on a cushion in front of him, displaying everything about the green-eyed boy to Quatre's hungry eyes. He placed his free hand on the smooth thigh beside him, feeling the muscles tense with tiny contractions that mirrored the stroking of his hand on Trowa's cock. Another person might have been screaming from cramped muscles, with legs bound in the manner he had done, but Trowa's body was incredibly flexible and the wine he had been given had successfully loosened everything in preparation for this. Nevertheless Quatre knew he would have to be careful, to watch and feel for any sign of true discomfort.

Kneeling before the shrine of Trowa's body, Quatre inclined himself forward, bowing over the incredible sight before him. He closed his eyes and breathed a prayer to Allah to guide him and support him in what would come next. "Help me to free my Love, help me to show him my love..."

Trowa saw the movement of the golden-hair Arabian as he changed positions from his side to between his legs. Because of the angle he was bound to, Trowa could not watch him from there, could only see the top of his fair head, but he could feel the presence of the body there, feel the touch of a hand on his thigh like electricity, even as his entire being rocked and pulsed with the movement of his cock in Quatre's grasp. He was so close to coming right now that another stroke would bring it off...then he felt the warm breath across his skin, sending still more electric shocks through his body. Breath meant...No, it wasn't could not happen...never...

Soft, warm lips touched the head of his cock, pressing and spreading apart to envelope his aching hot flesh, and Trowa felt his body surge upwards of its own try to...shame burned through him at the impulse, yet the ropes held him perfectly in place, unable to influence anything that happened, unable to thrust himself deeper into the warm mouth...unable to move away from it as it descended with lazy, inexorable measure. Slowly it sucked him inside, slowly a hot, active tongue danced around his shaft, slowly its tip probed the opening at the end of his cock...

Trowa's cries and moans increased, his voice rising and falling like an instrument, and Quatre found he could play this amazing his mouth moved up, the sounds slowed to a sobbing his mouth moved down, the cries spiraled up, urgently. Stroking the smooth thighs that supported him, Quatre bent over, his body moving up and down as he sucked Trowa's cock with every nuance of skill, desire, love and enjoyment in his being.

The delicious throbbing ache between his own legs was simply a counterpart to Trowa's ecstasy, and Quatre refused to touch himself or otherwise ease his own needs. He was immersed in Trowa's pleasure, and felt it build, worked to keep it slow, but let it build, teasing and using every trick, every ability...he felt the tremors in the body beneath him increase and knew to the exactly moment when it would happen...when Trowa's mind lost its hold on his body, lost it completely as the tidal wave of his orgasm swept him completely under the thundering intensity of his pleasure and release.

Trowa screamed in sheer pleasure, his eyes closed tightly and his body straining as his vital fluids pumped from him and into the warm, waiting throat of his lover. Quatre drank the flood, savoring it, needing it, loving the taste and feeling as it slid down his tongue to be swallowed, Trowa's precious essence to keep inside him forever.

Trowa floated...unaware of time, unaware of anything but the shuddering completion of this moment, fading into a warm, welcoming darkness that seemed to shine with a velvet light of mystery and promise.

Quatre raised himself at last from his lover's body, gently stroking the smooth skin, coming to his feet to imprint the sight of the boy splayed out beneath him...his face so completely open, completely relaxed...eyes unseeing, but the unmistakable hint of a wondrous, satiated smile tugging at the corners of his beautiful mouth. Quatre wiped tears from his cheeks without noticing, breathing deeply, his own cock an aching throb.

Then he saw the slight flutter of Trowa's eyes. Their heavy lids lifted, and green jewels gazed up at him with an expression like nothing he had ever seen. Those eyes seemed to see him...he watched the reaction, and saw them drop to his own lower body, where his erection was pushing out the filmy gauze of the harem pants. Quatre saw those green eyes widen...saw a perfect tongue touching Trowa's lips. Saw the eyes come back to his...

"Quatre..." Trowa whispered...and the emotion was pure, clear, unmistakable longing.

"Yes, my love," Quatre smiled. "You don't need to say anything. You know what comes next...our completion."

Trowa's eyes widened. He'd been taken before...broken by nothing but power, but he knew now that this would be like nothing he had ever experienced before. This was what he wanted. This was what he had not dared to let himself think of, so important that even the possibility of refusal could not be allowed, therefore no thought at all could be...

Quatre continued to watch Trowa's face, drinking in what he saw there. Reaching down, he pulled the harem pants slowly down over his hips, freeing his cock, and stepping out of the aqua material to stand before his beautiful Trowa, fully displayed. Quatre's body, though it might seem fragile and slight when clothed, was perfectly proportioned, every part of him developed with smooth, fair skin over musculature that was as well trained and developed as any of the pilots. One hand reached down, touching his aching, swollen erection for the first time, not to relieve the tension but to keep it at its peak.

Trowa closed his eyes, but found he could not keep them closed...he wanted to see.

"This is for you, my love," Quatre said softly. "I hunger to take my pleasure inside possess your sweet body totally, and to bring you to a place you have never been before...Have you been there before, my love? Or have you been waiting just for me?"

Trowa shuddered slightly, as the Arabian's words drew him into the beginning of the final dance. I'm did I ever agree anyone...

Quatre leaned down, and Trowa felt hands on his legs, felt something shifting in the tension of the ropes that bound him. Carefully, Quatre shifted his position, adjusting the bonds to the new configuration. Trowa's weight now resting entirely on the raised cushions under his hips and the small of his back, and his legs were lifted, still bound ankle to thigh, but now at an angle that left his knees in the air, stretched apart in the shape of a wide "v". Quatre adjusted the ropes a little more, and Trowa knees now inclined in the direction of his head, still pulled apart, everything balanced with enough tension to keep him as helpless as before. He felt air touching new areas of his body, below and beneath. It took nothing to understand what the alteration was designed for.

Closing his eyes, Trowa tried to summon something...some kind of strength to fight this, to was almost impossible, so full and complete had been his relaxation and pleasure before, and so incredible was his anticipation now.

Quatre watched him carefully and saw the struggle taking place. This was it, the moment when everything would be broken. What would remain...Knowing he must not let Trowa's mind get control of him again, Quatre knelt, reaching for a small jar of scented ointment he'd placed close by for this. He opened it, and scooped out some of the slippery substance.

The change in position presented another part of Trowa's body for his access. Over the cushions, the curved hemispheres of the green-eyed boy's slim hips beckoned, and from between them the shadowed cleft emerged, curving up. There, barely to be seen, was a small puckering of flesh. Licking his lips, Quatre bent down, brushing the fingers of his uncoated hand across the sensitive skin there, hearing a strangled gasp respond, as the small opening tightened, as if trying to keep him out. Quatre felt a surge of lust that threatened to overcome his control, but he bit his lip, tasting blood to remind him of the importance of what he was about to do. He saw the muscles in Trowa's body tense...he was trying to fight this, and Quatre guessed the fight must have been going for a long time...years...

He placed his ointment-coated fingers at the cleft, following it to the opening that seemed so tightly clenched that it could never be parted. Gently but firmly, he pressed against it with a slippery finger, and it yielded, as he knew it must.

"N-n-NO!!" Trowa screamed, and his body tensed, rocking against the tethers. The ropes held him in place without giving.

"" Quatre murmured. " love...I know you're me..."

Trowa heard a soft sob from somewhere, unsure where it came from. The sensation of something penetrating him took over his mind. Suddenly his body stopped fighting the ropes, though the tension did not leave him, in fact he was all but throbbing with it. Quatre pushed his finger deeper, slowly, feeling the tight enclosure tense and then release in tiny contractions. Slowly he moved deeper until he could not go further, then slowly he slid back out, not quite all the way, and in again. Trowa shuddered but his body began adjusting, and the sensation of tightness and heat was enough to cause Quatre to bite his lip a second time. Next, a second finger joined the first, and the pressure changed, as he sought something should be...

Trowa gasped, as something inside sent a pulse of pleasure through him unlike anything he knew. His cock began to stiffen. Quatre moved his fingers inside and it came again, more powerfully. The cry that came from Trowa's lips was surprised, and Quatre smiled. Yes...

Quatre both felt and saw the sense of loss that came over Trowa as he slid his fingers out of the tight opening. Quickly, Quatre scooped more of the lubricant and spread it over his hard and aching organ. The sensations relieved him only slightly. Rearing up between Trowa's bound legs, Quatre looked down, holding himself, and found the eyes of the boy beneath him,"Now love..."

Trowa licked his lips, and suddenly found his eyes opening wide, locking with the blue-green jewels that seemed to penetrate his soul just as...

...something that felt hot, and huge, and slippery pressed against him, and his body yielded, parting as he was slowly impaled. He saw Quatre's eyelids drop, and his mouth open in pleasure as he pushed himself inside the other boy, inside Trowa, and something inside him seemed to break and release, something so deeply buried he could not understand what it was...the pain faded and now there was nothing left but the sensation of being filled, being taken...

"!" Quatre moaned, lost for a few moments in the perfection beneath and around him. This...was what he wanted. The fantasies of being held, those were the fantasies of a child...this was what he needed...this...taking...

A smile of pure pleasure stretched Quatre's lovely face as he began to move inside the hot, tight sheath that enclosed him. 'You're mine!' he cried silently. Rotating hip hips, he felt the reaction of Trowa's body as his cock stimulated something inside the green-eyed boy. Yes! Quatre's smile widened, then relaxed into a mask of hedonistic enjoyment.

Trowa lost himself as the pleasure came in wave after wave, each one overtaking the last. Stretched, bound, helpless to fight, each rhythmic impact brought him further and further from the cold emptiness he'd always known inside. His lungs gasped for air as his whole body throbbed and his voice spiraled, crying aloud with each impact, each wave of sensation. The rhythm increased, faster, the waves closer, and he felt Quatre's enjoyment as his own, shuddering, moaning...Quatre's hand enclosed Trowa's aching cock, piling yet another sensation of pleasure into the mix, and Trowa began feeling an urgency of need, echoed in his cries as they filled the room.

Quatre moved faster, pumping deeply, feeling the edge of his climax coming, twisting his hips slightly with each thrust to hit the spot he knew instinctively would send his love to another place. As both bodies gave into the overwhelming feelings, the needs, he felt rocked by the explosion of pleasure and power that moved through him, spilling his essence deep inside the body of the one he claimed, even as Trowa beneath him screamed in uncontrolled ecstasy.

Afterwards, Quatre held himself, by sheer will, on his knees there, as the shudders slowly eased in Trowa's body. Licking his lips, Quatre slowly moved back, letting his diminished cock return from inside his lover. Bending, he licked the stretched opening, knowing it would quickly return to it's natural state. Then he leaned over Trowa, and thought at first the green-eyed boy had lost consciousness. Then there was a flicker from his eyelids. Breathing deeply, trying to recover as quickly as possible, Quatre began loosening the ropes, using the special knots Rashid had taught him to quickly release the bonds. Trowa's body was completely relaxed, all his muscles slack and loose. Unwinding the ropes, Quatre knelt, sliding his arms under the boy and lifted him, calling on every reserve of physical strength he had. Steadily he rose with Trowa in his arms. A few steps to a wide bed behind a nearby hanging, he lay Trowa down, watching his face closely.

Green eyes slid open, focused on Quatre's face. The blond bent down and kissed Trowa's lips tenderly. "I love you, Trowa," he said softly, with unshakable certainty.

Trowa lifted one hand, almost idly, and it touched Quatre's cheek. Quatre turned, kissing the palm.

"Quatre..." Trowa whispered.

"Yes, love...?"

"You do..."

"Yes, love."

Trowa sighed. "Never thought..."

"Hush love, I know. I was very stupid, and wrong. It will never happen again. I *am* the one you need, Trowa."


Quatre gathered Trowa against him, holding him. Turning slightly, Trowa curled against the blond Arabian, tucking his head down against his chest and relaxing in Quatre's arms.

Spent, and no longer afraid, Trowa slept.

Catherine sighed, leaning in the animal enclosure, watching the lions eat what one of the other roustabouts had brought for them. They'd been restless, without Trowa near, and the truth was, so had she, but she comforted herself with the hope that at least she didn't have to watch him slowly dying least he had a chance that whatever had been happening might have ended and something better take its place. But she missed seeing him here and there, quiet, his presence completing something she missed from a long ago time she could hardly remember. It had only been a week.

Turning, her eyes widened and her face blossomed into a surprise and joyful smile, for the one she was thinking of was walking towards her across the circus lawn.

Beside him walked Quatre, and as they walked, their heads turned towards each other, and she could see them speaking together, their voices so soft she could not hear them. Quatre smiled, and then it happened--an answering smile, slight, but not tenuous, from the boy she thought of as her adopted brother. Catherine blinked.

Then Quatre saw her and said something to Trowa, who turned in her direction. He raised he hand, a brief, graceful gesture of greeting. Catherine tried to remember if he had ever done something like that before. So subtle yet...

Running up to him, she hugged him with sincere affection. He didn't stiffen...nor did he simply still in her arms. Slowly his arms moved around her shoulders.

"Catherine," he said, simply. His voice was a quiet as always, yet there was something different. Looking up, she decided it was in his eyes. His expression was not demonstrative, but his eyes seemed warmer than she could remember them. What...what had happened?

Turning, she looked at Quatre who simply stood nearby, watching with appreciation as Trowa greeting his adoption sister. Her eyes met the fair-haired boy' start calling him a young man...

I don't know what you did, but...her eyes said, and she finished the last part aloud.

"Thank you..."

Quatre nodded, indicating he understood the unspoken part as well.

Standing back from Trowa, she looked at them both.

"That must have been a nice vacation," she said brightly.

"It was," Quatre answered. Trowa glanced at the blond and the look under his hair carried a warmth that was startling, coming from the reserved Trowa.

"Can I get you some tea?" she offered, wanting to say something to prolong this so she could watch what was happening between them.

"That would be nice, Catherine," Trowa said softly. "Catherine...I came just to see you, and to get my things."

Catherine sighed softly but the smile did not leave her face. "I figured something like that. I'm glad you did come. I've been worried about you."

"I know," Trowa said, and leaned towards her, kissing her gently on the cheek. "But everything's okay now."

Catherine shook her head in sheer amazement. For something to say, she commented on the silk shirt he was wearing. "That's a nice shade." The color of coffee with cream, it was lighter color than she was used to seeing on him.

"Thank you," he said.

"Do you need help making the tea?" Quatre offered courteously, smiling as he watched Catherine's reactions.

"Sure, come on. You both know where the trailer is."

A little while later, they were listening as Catherine came to the end of a story about something that happened at the circus while Trowa was gone. It was funny incident and Quatre laughed appreciatively. Trowa smiled.

"I get the feeling you have to go soon," Catherine said, not feeling sad as she might have expected. It was almost like she had lost one brother but gained a second one, just that she wouldn't see both of them everyday.

"I want to go say goodbye to the lions," Trowa said. Quatre smiled.

Catherine got up and pulled out a duffle bag. "Your things are here...I put them in my trailer so no one would mess with them."

"Thanks. In that case, I'll change. I'd rather not risk this shirt to the affection of my friends," Trowa said.

Quatre shook his head, thinking it didn't matter, but he kept silent.

Pulling an old shirt out of the bag as Catherine put up the tea things, Trowa slipped the silk shirt off over his head, and folded it to drop in the duffle. Coming back for the napkins, Catherine stopped and simply stared, then walked up to Trowa, her eyes never leaving his chest.

"Oh my..." she said softly. "That is beautiful..."

Trowa ducked his head slightly, but the corner of his mouth curved just a bit.

On the right side of his chest, a tiny gold ring pierced the nipple, supporting a small aquamarine jeweled drop.

Catherine came to herself and flushed slightly in embarrassment. "I'm sorry--that was rude of me, wasn't it!"

"Not at all," Quatre said, hugging her. Catherine suddenly noticed that Quatre was wearing a ring she had never seen before, on his left hand. It was a band of fine gold, with a large stone set, of exactly the same color as Trowa's drop.

Trowa's mouth curved just a little more, and he pulled the old shirt over his head.

Shaking her head, Catherine reached up and started fanning herself. She could not prevent a smile from spreading over her features. "You...two..." she said breathlessly.

Quatre simply kissed her on the cheek.

"Yes," he said.

The End