Disclaimers:  I do not own Gundam Wing or any of its characters.

Notes:  Dinner at a restaurant.  Then home to bed.



Valentine Blues



Part Sixteen


Quatre sat in the restaurant and glanced over at the two children that Heero and Duo had adopted.  They were looking at their
menus and Duo was helping them by telling them what was what on them.  Quatre liked this restaurant.  It was nice, but had a
decent children's menu with nutritious meals that children would eat.

Heero was sipping on an iced tea and watching Duo with a contented, if tired, expression.  It was that tiredness that concerned
Quatre.  However, Quatre knew that Heero had Duo and the kids to look after him.  As for Duo, though he was still a little too
thin, he looked much better and he practically glowed with happiness and improved health.

"So, how did you come across these delightful children?"

Duo finished listening to Laurel before answering Quatre.  "Laurel here, was staying in the hospital I was volunteering at.  I
found Solo on the streets and he sorta adopted us really."  He smiled warmly at the boy who was blushing.  "So, are you guys
going to be staying a while?  I'd love to hear how things have been going."

Quatre smiled as a waiter approached and waited until everyone had ordered before continuing the conversation.  "I'd be
delighted to stay in town.  Do you know any good hotels in the area?  I wouldn't want to intrude when your house is already
rather full."

Trowa sipped at his beverage.  "We could stay at my apartment.  It's not too far from Duo and Heero's place."

Blinking, Quatre turned and looked at his lover.  He felt a wave of hurt and anger flood his being.  "Your apartment?  I had
almost forgotten about it."

Trowa shrugged.  "It's no big deal, really."

Quatre let the subject drop with a shake of his head.  He didn't want to make a scene in the restaurant and upset the children.  
Perhaps it wasn't a big deal to Trowa, but Quatre felt that Trowa keeping the apartment meant that he didn't have faith in the
relationship they had.  "Indeed," he murmured.  He'd bring up his concerns with Trowa later.  Smiling brightly, he turned his
attention to the children.  "So, Laurel, do you like your new home?"

"Oh, yes!  It's wonderful!  My Daddies say I'm gonna have my own room just as soon as Daddy-Heero finishes painting it!"

"I get to help," Solo piped up, only to blush a deep scarlet and look away shyly.

Smiling warmly in encouragement, Quatre addressed Solo.  "I'm sure you will.  I think Duo and Heero have mentioned what a
big help you've been so far."  He watched the blush on the boy's cheeks deepen and forgot about his own ire for the time
being.  "Duo, now that you're feeling better, what are you going to do?"

"Well, I think I'll concentrate on looking after my kids.  I'll probably still volunteer when the kids are at school, but I won't stay
all that long.  I want to be home in time to fix a snack for these two and help them with their homework."  He reached over and
patted Laurel on the head.

Quatre knew, just from what he was seeing and hearing, that Duo would make a great father.


*****


Later, after dinner had been eaten and the bill had been paid, they said their goodbyes and headed their own ways.  In the car,
Quatre looked out the window.  He was distracted.  Now that he was alone with his lover, all the harsh feelings were coming
back to him.  That Trowa hadn't told him about the apartment, the mere fact that he was keeping secrets at all.  It worried
him.  It also angered him.  He thought they had a good relationship.  Why keep secrets?

"They're cute kids."

"Hmm, what?  Oh, yeah."  Quatre smiled absently and turned to face Trowa.  "So, do you have an apartment on every colony?"

Trowa shook his head, his eyes focused on the road ahead.  He had chosen to drive, rather than allow Quatre to hire someone
to do it for them.  "No, but I lived here for a while when not moving around with the circus.  It's good to have someplace to
settle into."  There was a pause and Trowa frowned slightly in thought.  "Why are you mad about it?"

"I'm not mad about it."  He turned to look back out the window, watching the passing scenery.  The streets were unfamiliar to
him, just a bunch of buildings he'd never seen before and didn't think he'd remember five minutes from now.

There was a sigh and Trowa spoke again.  "Yes, you are.  You're mad and pretending to ignore me for the most part while you
stew about it internally.  So tell me what I've done to upset you."

He rolled his eyes before responding.  "It would have been nice to know before coming here that you had an apartment.  What
other secrets do you have?"

"Secrets?"  His voice was filled with disbelief.  "What secrets?  It never came up, that's all."

"No, that is NOT all, Trowa."  Quatre motioned with his hand.  "What else has never come up that you decided not to tell me?  
You know just about everything about me that I can think of.  I'll bet you know how to get to any estate my family owns just
from me telling you its location."

Trowa laughed and shook his head.  "Quatre, you're making a big deal out of nothing.  It's just an apartment!  It's not like I
have a secret lover someplace!"

"You just ... don't get it at all."  Waiting until they stopped at the next traffic signal, he unbuckled his seatbelt and got out of the
car.

"Quatre?  Quatre, where are you GOING?"

Quatre kept walking and called over his shoulder.  "I'll send for my stuff later."

While he knew that he was probably making a big deal out of nothing like Trowa had said, Quatre believed that a relationship
that lasted was based on trust.  It wasn't like Quatre wanted to know Trowa's deepest and darkest secrets, but little tidbits like
the fact that he had an apartment would have been nice.

He flagged down a cab and got in.  There was only one place he could think of going at this point in time.



*****



Duo parked the car in the driveway and switched off the engine.  "Quatre's looking good, isn't he?"

Heero nodded wearily.  "Yeah," he yawned, covering his mouth with one hand as his other unlatched his seatbelt.  "Much better
than at Christmas."

"Uncle Quatre was sick?" Laurel's bright voice spoke up from the backseat.  Her little face was already etched with obvious
concern.

Duo smiled back at her.  "That's complicated, but yeah.  He wasn't feeling well at Christmas."

Solo frowned.  "That's when you were sick, wasn't it?  You told me you ... weren't well then.  You told me about a sick friend,
too."

Duo knew the boy was talking about his suicide attempt.  He'd mentioned it to him the first time they had met, while trying to
convince the kid that there were some people in the world that cared.  "Yup, Quatre was that friend.  And that's when I had my
problems.  Heero's my savior you could say.  He helped both of us really.  So did your Uncle Trowa and Uncle Wufei."  He
leaned over and gave his lover a quick kiss, delighting in the giggles it produced in the backseat.  "Come on, it's cold out here."

He all but hopped out of the car as soon as his seatbelt was unbuckled.  Then he went to the back and got Solo out.  He noticed
as Heero did the same on the other side of the car and helped Laurel out.  The two kids were all happy smiles.  Laurel even
hugged Heero's leg before taking hold of his hand and swinging it back and forth with a child's innocence.

"You kids get out of those nice clothes and into some clean pajamas and you can play until bedtime," Duo announced once they
were all inside the house.

The kids cheered and ran off to Solo's room.  Heero rubbed his eyes and dropped to a slump on the sofa.

Duo casually approached and sat beside Heero.  He slapped his hand down on the Japanese man's thigh.  "You, mister, are
going straight to bed."  He easily maneuvered until he was straddling Heero's thighs, staring deep into cobalt eyes.  "No
arguing."  He set his forehead against Heero's.  "You've got a fever and you haven't been sleeping well.  How am I supposed to
take care of two kids all by myself?  'Cause that's what I'll be doing when you collapse from the stress you're putting on
yourself."

Guilt flashed across Heero's face and he frowned.  "I don't want you to worry."  He ran his hand along Duo's thigh.

"Talk to me?  Tell me what's wrong."

Heero shook his head.  "It's ... it's silly."  His hand moved to firmly caress Duo's ass.  "Not important."

Duo reached back and stopped that wandering hand.  "Sorry buddy, no making out on the couch when little eyes are still wide
awake."  He pressed a chaste kiss to warm lips.  "I won't force you to talk, but I want you to.  Please, try to get some sleep
tonight."

Heero smiled, but Duo could see the bone-deep tiredness right through it.  "I love you."

The long haired man reluctantly rose to stand and offered a hand to his lover.  "Love you, too."  He kept holding that hand, until
Heero finally drew away and retired to their bedroom.

Although worried, Duo wasn't going to baby Heero.  It would only piss him off if Duo were to go check in on him.

"Is Dad okay?" Laurel asked.

Duo looked over, finding her and Solo standing in the doorway.  "No problem.  He's just tired, is all."  He gestured them over
and Duo collapsed onto the sofa, his kids on either side of him.  "So, what do you want to play?"

Before either could answer, the doorbell rang.  Duo shot up to answer it, confused as to who it could possibly be.  When he
saw it was Quatre, he opened the door in a flash.  "Quatre, buddy?  What's up?"

Quatre's face was stricken, raw emotion in his expressive eyes.  "Can I stay here the night?  Trowa and I ... we had a
disagreement and I forgot my wallet so I can't get a hotel room.  It took forever to get a cab.  And the cab driver is waiting and
I don't have any cash on me.  He actually offered to let me pay for it on my knees, the asshole.  Trowa doesn't trust me at all!"  
He was going a mile-a-minute.

Duo pulled his friend into a hug.  Patting his back, he ushered him inside.  "Kids, your Uncle Quatre's staying for a bit.  Why
don't you cheer him up."  He pulled back, framing the blonde's face with his hands and brushing away the faint traces of tears.  
"Let me go pay that cabbie and I'll be right back."

Quatre nodded and entered the house.  Duo quickly paid the cab driver, throwing in a few choice insults and threats for
harassing his distressed friend and returned to the house.  He found Quatre and the kids sitting on the floor with a deck of
playing cards.

"Where did you learn blackjack?" Quatre asked, frowning at his own losing hand, while Solo had won with an ace and a jack of
spades.

Solo shrugged, a smirk on his face.

Duo rolled his eyes.  "No cheating your uncle Quatre out of his fortune," Duo chastised.  "Gotta watch him, buddy.  He knows
how to palm cards like a pro."

Quatre hummed.  "Sounds like someone else I know."

"Hey, I didn't cheat.  It was blind luck."

There was a smile on Quatre's face.  "I don't think Wufei believes that.  He was feeling awfully chilly once you won his
boxers."

Duo laughed.  He remembered that night.  He'd never admit to cheating though.

"I hope you don't mind bunking out here on the sofa.  I'm afraid the guest room upstairs is in poor shape.  We kinda put
everything that we'd had in Solo and Laurel's room in there.  Tomorrow we can work on clearing it out, you and me.  It'll keep
your mind off of things."

"Thank, Duo."

"No problem, buddy."  He jumped up and went to fetch some linens and a blanket and pillow.  

He stopped briefly at the door to his and Heero's bedroom, glancing in.  Heero was lying on top of the covers, still fully
dressed.  Shaking his head, he strolled in.  It was surprisingly easy to strip Heero of his clothes, leaving him in his boxers.  
That worried Duo.  Heero never slept so soundly.  He ran his hand down Heero's side, disturbed by the feel of Heero's ribs
through the skin.  He was losing weight.  With a sigh, he drew a blanket over his lover's body.  He hoped Heero would be able
to confide in him soon.  If this went on too much longer ... Duo didn't want to think about the possibilities.



To Be Continued ...