Disclaimers:  I don’t own Gundam Wing or any of its wonderful characters.

Notes:  Here’s part 2.  Enjoy.



Christmas Memories
Part 2



Trowa gazed up at the large house before him.  It was just like so many of Quatre’s estates, simple, yet large.  Nothing about
the house was elaborate, as if the wealthy Arabian wasn’t trying to flaunt his money with extravagance.

A part of Trowa’s heart was thrilled to once again be able to see the blonde.  For a while now, he had been searching for a
reason to visit Quatre, but always he stopped himself.  Now he would come face to face with the object of his dreams once
again, the young man he had fallen in love with during the war.  

At the end of the war, when all of the other pilots went their separate ways, Trowa wasn’t sure of his own emotions toward
the blonde, or even if Quatre loved him.  He had needed time to think.  But once he realized that he did indeed love the blonde,
he just couldn’t bring himself to go back.  Fear had always stopped him.  Trowa still was unsure if Quatre even felt the same
as him.

Well, he knew he wouldn’t be making the same mistake twice.  He was going to tell the blonde just how he felt about him.  He
wouldn’t just walk away with a simple good bye.  He would bare his heart, if only to find out if there was a chance, a small
possibility for the two of them to be together.

However, the rest of his heart was overcome with worry and dread.  That phone call from Rasid had been very unexpected.  
The large man had told him that Quatre wasn’t well, that he had woken up screaming, and with a fever.

As soon as he had hung up the phone, Trowa had gotten dressed, fixing his hair in a hasty manner.  Catherine had stopped him
before he could even get out of camp. Trowa had been grateful that Catherine hadn’t tried to stop him, that she was only
concerned as to why he was leaving so late at night.  It was a lucky thing that Trowa was so close.  The circus wasn’t too far
away, one of their many performances on Earth.  Maybe he could be of help to the blonde he loved so dearly.  

“Quatre, you work too damn hard.”  Trowa mumbled to the empty winter sky.  “You always did.”

He began to walk, once again heading toward the house.  As he walked, he pulled his coat tighter around his neck, an attempt
to keep the chill of the winter night from freezing him completely.

The door was opened before he even reached the front porch, and he was rushed inside by several Maguanacs.  “This way,
Mr. Barton.”  One of them said, as his coat was pulled from around him, as he was nearly shoved down the hallway and into
one of the rooms.

Trowa noticed immediately that it was Quatre’s bedroom.  The entire room was done in cream coloring, all in a light natural
wood.  There wasn’t that much furniture in the room, other than the king-sized bed, a small bookshelf next to the bed and a
couple dressers.  Other than that, there was practically nothing.  Quatre was always very neat, nothing seemed to be out of
place.

Trowa’s gazed drifted over to the bed, and the figure that lay on it.  The blonde was unconscious, tossing and turning as he
whimpered in his sleep.  Abdul and Rasid, were standing by the bed, Abdul dabbing at Quatre’s pale face with a cloth.

Trowa didn’t waste a second, he quickly walked over to the bed, stepping past both Abdul and Rasid to stand beside the
blonde.  He picked up Quatre’s hand always watching his face, as he spoke.  “Has his condition changed?”  He asked, trying to
keep the worry out of his voice.

“No.”  Rasid replied, his answer short and simple.

“Can I have a few moments alone with him?”  Trowa asked.

“Of course.”  Rasid said.  “Come on, Abdul.  Let us prepare one of the guest rooms.”

Trowa didn’t avert his gaze from the blonde as the two men left.  He just sat on the bed, picking up the damp cloth from where
Abdul had left it in a small basin filled with water.  Trowa wrung out the excess water, then gently wiped the sweat from
Quatre’s pale face.

Slowly, Quatre’s eyes fluttered open.  After a few moments, he looked up at Trowa, his eyes slowly focusing.  “Tro  . . .
Trowa?”  He asked, tiredly.

“Quatre, you should go back to sleep . . . ”  He glanced at his watch, still dabbing at Quatre’s skin with the cloth.  “It’s only 5:
00 in the morning.”

“I can’t.”  Quatre replied, weakly pushing Trowa’s hand away and struggling to sit up.  “I have a lot of paperwork to do.”  He
turned to face Trowa, confusion on his angelic face.  “Why are you here?  I thought you were at the circus.”

Trowa smiled fondly, “You woke up screaming and fainted.  You scared the Maguanacs so badly that Rasid had to call me.”  
He let his smile vanish as his worry took over.  “What happened?”

Quatre frowned, looking away.  He wrapped his arms around himself, as if the room had suddenly become cold to him.  
“Someone  . . . one of the pilots . . . is in pain, Trowa . . . deep, soul-shredding pain.”  He shuddered violently, scaring Trowa
immensely.  “I need to find out who it is and help him, before it’s too late.”

Trowa laid a hand on Quatre’s shoulder.  “Shut it out, Quatre.  It’s okay to shut it out just for a little while.”

“But he needs me, Trowa.  I have to help him.”  Quatre said, looking up at Trowa with dread in his eyes.

“You won’t do  . . . whoever it is . . . any good if you’re too sick to help him.”  He replied, once again wiping the cool cloth
over his brow.  “You have to rest.”

“How can I rest when all I can feel is the intense pain of one of my friends?”  Quatre asked, his expression grim.

Trowa hated seeing Quatre like this.  The blonde Arabian should never be unhappy, in Trowa’s opinion.  “You have no idea
which one it is?”  He asked, trying to be of some help, dropping the cool cloth in the basin.

Quatre sighed.  “No, I only felt the emotions, the horrible depression.  It was so frightening, Trowa, all that darkness
surrounding me . . . It was unbearable . . . agonizing.”  He shuddered again, tightening his hold around his own body.

Trowa wrapped his arm around Quatre’s trembling body, pulling the blonde into a tentative embrace.  “How are we going to
find out who it is?”  Trowa asked.

Quatre turned to him, his shimmering blue eyes reflecting confusion.  “You want to help me?”  He asked, quietly.

“Of course, Quatre.  They’re my friends too.”  Trowa replied, offering the smallest of smiles to the blonde he held in his arms.

“Thank you, Trowa.  But I don’t know where to begin.  How can I help him, when I don’t even know who is in such pain?”  
Quatre replied, sighing as he looked away from Trowa.

Trowa frowned a little in thought.  “Perhaps, we shouldn’t just concentrate on finding the needle in the haystack.”

Quatre blinked.  “What?”

Trowa’s lips quirked into a faint grin briefly.  “What I mean to say, is that maybe we should bring all the pilots here.  That way
we can find out who it is that’s feeling all this pain, and we can all help him.”

Quatre nodded at the idea.  “Then I should start making preparations and . . .”

Trowa gently, but firmly, held Quatre’s shoulders.  “YOU should take it easy.”  His eyebrows furrowed as he felt the tenseness
in the Arabian’s shoulders.  “Take off your shirt and lie down on your stomach.”

“Why?”  Quatre asked, his brow furrowing.

Trowa couldn’t help but smile at the confused expression on Quatre’s angelic face.  He was just too adorable for his own
good.  “You’re too tense, Quatre.  I just want to give you a massage to work out all those knots in your back.”

Quatre nodded.  “Okay.”  He replied, meekly.  He blushed slightly as he removed his pajama top, then laid down on his
stomach, laying the side of his face down on his crossed arms.

Trowa looked down at the pale skin of Quatre’s back, seeing several small scars on his skin.  For a moment he wondered
where he had gotten them, which battles had caused each of those lines to mar his perfect, smooth skin.

“Do you have any lotion, or oil?”  Trowa asked, pulling his mind away from thoughts of Quatre’s beautiful body.  “It’ll be
easier on your back if I have something to work with.”

“In the drawer by the bed.”  Quatre replied.

Trowa turned and opened the drawer.  Rummaging around inside, he pulled out a bottle of massage oil.  As he pulled off the
cap, he deeply breathed in the scent of sandalwood, realizing for the first time that it had been what he had always smelled
when Quatre was near him.

He smiled at the memory, squeezing a large amount of the oil into his palm.  He placed the open bottle on the table, then rubbed
his hands together, warming the oil before beginning on Quatre’s back.  Then he climbed onto the bed, kneeling beside Quatre’
s body.

As Trowa began to rub the tension out of Quatre’s neck and shoulders, the blonde let out small whimpers of pain.  It must
have been terribly uncomfortable for him.  Trowa knew that it hurt.  Almost every day he did exercises to loosen tense
muscles, and it always hurt at first.  “Sshh, Quatre.  It’s okay.  I know it hurts now, but it’ll feel better soon.”  He once again
rubbed his hands along Quatre’s shoulders, kneading his palms into the blonde’s flesh.  “Quatre, how could you even move
with your muscles so tense?”

“It doesn’t hurt that badly.”  Quatre replied, immediately afterward letting out another whimper of pain.

“Yeah, sure.”  Trowa said, not believing one word that Quatre said.  It obviously hurt him.  Quatre flinched as Trowa pressed
his palm into the base of the back of his neck.  “Relax, Quatre, or it’ll just hurt more.”

“Sorry.”  Quatre replied.

“Don’t be sorry, just relax.”  Trowa said, continuing to rub Quatre’s back.

“How are we going to get the pilots to come here?”  Quatre asked.

Trowa thought for a moment, then remembered that Catherine had mentioned the approaching holidays.  “Well, Christmas is
coming  . . . What about inviting them to a party?”

“Would they come?”  Quatre asked, stifling another whimper.

“We’ll worry about that later.  Right now, you need to relax.”  Trowa replied, running his hands lower on Quatre’s back.

After several long minutes of silently massaging the tenseness from Quatre’s muscles, Trowa smiled at the loosening of the
knots in his back.  Finally, Quatre began sighing in relief, moaning as the pain left his body.  Several more minutes passed, and
Trowa couldn’t hear anything else from Quatre.  Quatre’s body seemed to be free of knots, so Trowa leaned over, looking into
his face.  He smiled, seeing that the blonde had fallen asleep.

Trowa slowly climbed off the bed, trying not to awaken the blonde.  He was obviously in need of rest.  As he stood by the bed,
staring down at the beautiful blonde, he couldn’t help but reach out and brush the bangs away from his face.  Then he moved
his hand along Quatre’s face, stroking the soft skin of his pale cheek.  

The heat he felt from the blonde’s face was unnerving.  Quatre definitely had a fever.  Trowa would make sure that he got the
rest he needed, and if that meant taking care of all the preparations by himself, then so be it.

Frowning at the sight of Quatre shivering, he reached down to the end of the bed, and pulled up the blankets, covering him all
the way to his neck.  He wouldn’t bother trying to get that pajama top back on him, or to roll him over onto his back.  If he
tried, he would only wake him up, and that was something that Trowa did not want to do.

Once again, he reached out.  This time he moved more hesitantly, still hoping not to disturb the blonde’s sleep.  Gently, he ran
the tips of his fingers along Quatre’s soft lips, wondering just what they would feel like pressed against his own.  God, how he
wanted to savor the taste of the Arabian’s mouth, to have his tongue explore that wonderful mouth.

“Mr. Barton?”  A voice said, bringing Trowa out of the enticing thoughts of Quatre.  

He turned away from Quatre’s beautiful sleeping form to see Rasid standing by the doorway.  “Yes?”  He asked, hoping Rasid
hadn’t noticed his actions, or the way he had been staring at the blonde.

“Your room is ready.  Please, follow me.”  Rasid replied.

Trowa hesitated a moment, stealing a glance at Quatre once again.  He didn’t want to leave him, but he couldn’t stay there all
night, he needed sleep himself.  Sure, he usually got up before dawn himself, but he still felt weary.  Maybe it had to do with
the emotions he had kept hidden so long, maybe worrying about the blonde’s health had tired him out.  Whatever the reason, he
was exhausted.

Trowa turned and followed Rasid out of the room, letting the older man lead him to one of the guest rooms.  It wasn’t very far
away, in fact it was right beside Quatre’s.  Rasid opened the door.  But as Trowa was about to step inside, Rasid roughly
grabbed his arm.  

“If you hurt him, you will answer to me.”  Rasid said, making it plainly obvious to Trowa that Rasid had indeed seen his
actions in Quatre’s bedroom.

Trowa nodded, unsure of how, or even if, he should reply to that statement.  

Rasid released his grasp on Trowa’s arm, his eyes narrowing as he stared at the silent ex-pilot.  “If there is anything you should
need, don’t hesitate to ask.”  Rasid said, his tone unpleasant.

Trowa nodded again, then stepped into his room, shutting the door behind himself.  He sighed as he stood in the darkness, not
bothering to switch on the lights.  He leaned back against the door, letting himself slide down to the floor.  He wrapped his
arms around his knees, unsure of why he was shaking.  

It wasn’t as if he had never been so close to the blonde Arabian, and he had seen Quatre in far worse condition than this
before.  But something about this entire situation disturbed Trowa.  If one of the pilots was in such a deep state of depression,
how would it affect Quatre further, and would they even be able to save their friend who was in such pain?  If they couldn’t
save him, whoever he was, how would Quatre react?

Trowa buried his face in his knees, shivering.  He could only hope that Quatre would be okay, and that his own emotions
weren’t being a burden to him.  He didn’t want to lose Quatre now, not before he got a chance to tell him what was in his heart.


*****


Rasid pushed open the door and stepped into the kitchen.  Already at this early hour, men and women were bustling about
doing their daily chores.

One man, one of many cooks, stopped what he had been doing to look up at Rasid.  “We heard that Mr. Winner has taken ill.  
How is the young Master?”  The cook asked.

All work in the kitchen came to a complete stop when that cook asked his question.  Everyone looked up at Rasid expectantly.  
Rasid could see the worry on each of their faces.  It was no surprise to him to see so much concern for Quatre.  The blonde
was loved by all that worked for him.

He sighed and took a deep breath before answering.  “Not well.  He is exhausted and stressed out due to overwork.”

“I saw Mr. Barton arrive last night.  Has he come to help?”  One of the butlers asked.

“Yes.  Hopefully, his presence will be of some help.  Master Quatre has always held his advice in the highest regard.”

Whispers filled the air as several employees turned to each other.  Rumors were bound to spread around the household now,
not only because of Quatre’s health, but also because of Trowa as well.  Most of the employees had been there the last time
Trowa had visited, and unless you were blind, it was plain to see how much Quatre cared for the silent young man.

“Enough!”  Rasid said, raising his voice slightly.  “Prepare breakfast for Master Quatre and Mr. Barton.”

“Yes, Sir.”  Replied the cook as he set about gathering the ingredients.

Rasid stood there and watched, waiting.  After several minutes, the food was served onto plates.  The plates were then set on
the counter and covered by metal lids.

One of the servants stepped forward, but Rasid held up his hand, stopping the girl in her tracks.  “I will take the food up to
them personally.”  Rasid said.

The girl nodded, and backed away.  “Of course, sir.”

Rasid picked up the plates and placed them on a large tray, along with silverware, napkins, and two mugs.  One mug was filled
with coffee, the other with tea.  Rasid walked upstairs.

While balancing the large tray with one hand, he opened the door to Trowa’s room.  Silently, he walked in and set the tray
down on a nearby table.  Rasid stepped over to the bed, making sure he didn’t make a single sound when he moved.  

He looked down at Trowa, just watching as the young man slept.  Trowa was still dressed in the clothes he had worn the
previous night, although that didn’t really surprise Rasid.  Trowa hadn’t brought anything with him, only the clothes on his
back.

As Rasid watched Trowa sleep, he wondered why Master Quatre cared for him so deeply.  Even though he didn’t swing that
way himself, Rasid saw how attractive Trowa was.  But a pleasing appearance wasn’t everything.  Other than his good looks,
Rasid couldn’t think of any redeeming qualities about him.  The young man was silent, Rasid couldn’t remember ever hearing
more than ten words from him at a time.  He was a mercenary, that much Rasid did know about him, however the rest of the
ex-pilot’s life was a complete mystery to him.

Rasid would have to keep an eye on him.  He couldn’t let Quatre be hurt by this young man, physically or emotionally.  Trowa
Barton was dangerous.

Rasid narrowed his eyes, glaring at the sleeping ex-pilot.  He remembered last night.  Rasid had been standing outside Quatre’s
door, just in case the blonde might need him for something.  He had been able to catch bits and pieces of the conversation,
although he hadn’t truly been listening in.  No, that would have been an invasion of the Master’s privacy.  But he had heard the
pain-filled whimpers coming from Quatre.

Rasid couldn’t be sure of what had been happening inside of that room last night, but he knew that he hadn’t liked the sound of
it.  If Trowa hurt him, Rasid would make him pay, no matter how much Quatre protested his interference.

Finally finished with just standing there, watching Trowa sleep, Rasid reached out and shook his shoulder.  “Mr. Barton.”

Trowa’s eyes flew open, and Rasid found himself staring into the barrel of a gun.  He hadn’t even seen the young man pull that
out.  “Sorry.” Trowa said, lowering the weapon.  “Force of habit.”

“I have brought your breakfast.”  Rasid replied, turning away from the bed, not acknowledging having a gun pointed at his face.

He walked back over to the tray and lifted the lid off of one of the plates.  Glancing at the meal, he saw that it was Trowa’s.  
Quatre’s meal was much lighter than the one prepared for Trowa, just in case the blonde’s illness had reached his stomach.

Rasid took the plate off the tray and set it down on the table, along with a set of silverware, a napkin, and the mug of coffee.  
He then picked up the tray and walked to the door.  As he exited, he glanced back to see Trowa pull a chair over to the table.  
“Thank you.”  Trowa said without looking in Rasid’s direction.

Rasid didn’t reply.  He closed the door behind him and walked over to Quatre’s room.  Silently, he stepped inside the room,
closing the door behind him.  Just as quietly, he walked over to Quatre’s bed.

The blonde was still asleep, lying on his stomach.  The scent of sandalwood permeated the air.  Rasid knew of the massage oil
Quatre kept in the bedside table, and could see the bottle sitting on the table instead of inside the drawer.  Rasid didn’t let his
mind wander to thoughts of why the bottle would be out.  If he thought about it, he might begin to think of things he did not
like.

Rasid reached out with one hand, the other still holding onto the tray, and gently shook Quatre’s blanket-covered shoulder.  
The blonde’s eyes slowly opened and he yawned.

“Master Quatre, I have brought your breakfast.”  Rasid said, setting the tray on the bedside table, after placing that bottle of oil
back into the drawer it had come from.

Quatre rolled over onto his back, the blankets falling away from his body as he moved.  Now Rasid saw that Quatre wasn’t
wearing his pajama top, as the blonde pushed himself to a sitting position.

“Master Quatre, might I suggest wearing more clothing?  I would not want your health getting worse.”  Rasid said.

Quatre looked down at himself, and immediately a blush crossed his face.  He pulled the blankets up to cover himself, out of
modesty, while he looked around for his top.  Once he found it, he quickly put it on, then turned to Rasid with an embarrassed
smile on his face.

Rasid laid his hand against Quatre’s forehead, only to find that it was still hot.  “You should not push yourself so hard, Master
Quatre.  It is wearing down your health.”

“But why should I order someone to do something that I can do myself?”  Quatre replied.

Rasid picked up the tray from the table where he had laid it earlier.  Then he set it across Quatre’s legs.  “Sir, your sisters and
all of the Maguanac, including myself, are only here to help you.  It makes us happy to be of help, but when you take the entire
burden of running your father’s corporation all by yourself, it causes us nothing but worry.”

Quatre closed his eyes a moment.  “I'm sorry.  I guess I didn’t stop to think of your feelings.  I just didn’t want to burden you
guys.”

Rasid lifted the cover from Quatre’s food and watched as the blonde eyed his toast carefully.  “Do not apologize, Master
Quatre.  Just remember that we are here to help you.”

Quatre smiled up at him, then turned his attention back to his food.  He gestured toward the small amount of food.  “What’s
this?”  He asked.

“Your breakfast . . .”  Rasid replied.  “Toast and tea.  I do not know how ill you are, so I do not want to risk giving you
something more substantial.”

“I understand.  Thank you, Rasid.”

“You are quite welcome.  If there is nothing else, then I will go about my daily duties.”

Quatre turned and looked up at him.  “There is something I need.”  He said.  Then he seemed to have difficulty with his next
words, as if he was unsure of what to say.  “Rasid, can you . . . I mean . . . will you find some books for me?”

Rasid half-smiled, wondering why he had seemed so hesitant to ask that question.  “What books?”

“Books about Christmas, and various other holidays that are taking place this month.”

Rasid’s brow furrowed in worry.  Was Master Quatre thinking of converting to another religion?   “Master Quatre, are you
becoming an infidel?”  He asked, concerned.  Perhaps this illness had affected his young mind, corrupting it with thoughts of
forsaking Allah.

“No, no.”  Quatre reassured him, laying a gentle hand on the larger man’s arm.  “I just need to do a little research.  I need to
get the other pilots to come here and a Christmas celebration might be a good way to persuade them to come.”

Rasid breathed a sigh of relief.  “I will find as many books as I can.”

“Thank you.”  Quatre replied, smiling.

“I will have the books brought here.  I do not want you getting out of bed unless it is absolutely necessary.”  Rasid said.

“I’ll see to it that he stays there.”  Trowa’s voice announced from behind him.

Rasid turned to see Trowa enter the room.  Without another word, Rasid left.  At this moment, he did not want to be around
Mr. Barton, afraid that, if he stayed, he may say something to the youth that he’d only regret later.



To Be Continued . . .