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

Notes:  Quatre wakes up to a new day.  Une leaves for business.  And Duo and Heero have a rocky start to the morning.



Strays and Misfits



Part Twenty-Five



Quatre blinked his eyes open and yawned sleepily.  He felt stiff and sore due to his healing injuries, but he otherwise felt better
than he had for as long as he could remember despite the slight fever that Trowa had told him he still had.  Remembering that he
had the run of the house, he cautiously slid out of bed.  He didn't feel up to doing much, but he was hoping for something to
eat.  He thought he had heard Trowa going downstairs earlier and now he caught the faint whiff of something delicious.

He picked Iria up and headed out the door and downstairs.  He was careful as he made his way down, not wanting to fall and
hurt himself further.  And he was quiet as he eased himself into the doorway and stood in the frame, his fingers wrapped lightly
around the edge.

The aroma was stronger here and his nose twitched as his ears caught the sound of sizzling.  He sniffed lightly at the enticing
scent and bit his lip before softly speaking.  "Trowa?"

Trowa jumped only slightly before turning calmly.  "Good morning, Quatre.  How are you feeling today?"  He checked
something on the stove before walking over.

Quatre closed his eyes as Trowa placed his hand on his forehead then his face.  "Better, Trowa."  He let his eyes flutter open,
unable to repress the gentle purr from bubbling forth.  He liked it when Trowa touched him.  His hands felt nice, warm, and he
was oh-so-gentle.  It gave Quatre a strange feeling somewhere within his belly, but it was no less enjoyable.

Trowa smiled.  "I'm glad.  Sit down.  Breakfast is almost ready."  He flushed a little, looking embarrassed.  "Sorry about the
pancakes.  Cathy can get them to be perfectly round, but I never manage it."

Quatre sat and sniffed at the food as it was being placed on the table.  He'd never had pancakes, so Trowa's oblong ones were
the best he'd ever seen in his life.  Other than the strangely shaped pancakes, there was also eggs and bacon set on his plate for
him.  Quatre blushed a little as Trowa poured him a glass of milk.  "I really should be serving you breakfast.  It's part of my
duties, isn't it?"

Trowa paused as he was dishing up his own food.  "You ... you're not here to be a servant, Quatre."  He frowned a little.  "I
thought you knew that."

Quatre shrugged a little and poked at his pancakes with his fork as he waited for Trowa to sit.  "It's ... hard to believe.  All I
know is serving my masters.  To serve as best as I can while chained up.  My last master, my only master, took great pleasure
in watching me try to accomplish a task while the chain's length wasn't long enough."  He absently rubbed his neck at the
memory.

Trowa growled softly.  "And humans thought your people were savage."  He shook his head.  "After breakfast, I have to check
how your injuries are healing."  He frowned a little then.  "This means, I’ll also have to check your tail.  I'm sorry.  It'll hurt but
it needs to be done."

The blonde feline moved his tail and winced as the tenderness he still felt made itself known.  "It's not so bad."  He tried to smile,
but doubted that he was convincing.  "Maybe it won't hurt so much."  He certainly hoped not.  He didn't want to hurt Trowa by
accident again.

"Let's hope it doesn't.  I don't like the idea of causing you any pain."  He took a few bites.

Quatre joined Trowa in eating and found himself enjoying the meal thoroughly.  He was hardly surprised at this point.  He had,
as of yet, to receive a bad meal from Trowa or his sister.  He idly swung his feet.  He felt so much better that he hazarded a
question.  "What are you going to do today?"

Trowa paused in his eating and seemed to think for a moment.  "It's a weekday, so I have a tutor coming."

Quatre was intrigued.  He inclined his head, asking, "You get tutored?  Why?"

The taller youth flushed and looked down at his plate.  He no longer ate, but instead pushed the remains of his meal around.  
"Well, you remember how I reacted when you first arrived here.  I react that way to just about anyone.  After ... after my
parents ..." He shook his head as if to get out of a memory.  "After they died, Cathy tried to send me back to school and ... and
it didn‘t go so well."

Quatre felt alarmed as Trowa started to tremble and breathe heavily.  "Trowa!"  His instinct to comfort and help kicked in and he
hurried around the table to take Trowa's hand between his own.  Somehow he knew that embracing this fragile human would be
a horrible move on his part.  "Trowa, no one is here but you and me.  No one is going to harm you.  Please, please calm down."

Trowa's fearful gaze shot to take Quatre's face in.  A moment went by before his wide pupils became normal and he seemed to
calm down little by little.

Quatre's ears, which had drooped out of concern and sadness, slowly twitched.  "Trowa?"

Trowa's hand, still somewhat shaky, came up and rubbed Quatre's ear lightly.  "I'll be all right.  Thank you, Quatre."

Quatre shook his head, not feeling pleased ... but shamed.  "Don't thank me.  It's my fault that you had to think such unpleasant
thoughts.  "I'm so, so sorry."

Trowa opened his mouth to reply, but he jumped when someone rang the doorbell.  "Who's that?"

Gently, Quatre cleared his throat.  He didn't really want to overstep his boundaries.  "Perhaps your tutor is here?"

The tall brunette blinked in true surprise and looked at the clock before smiling a little.  "Yes, she usually comes around this
time.  Come on, I think you'll like her."

Quatre grabbed Iria and quickly followed behind Trowa.  He peeked out from behind the human as Trowa looked out the
peephole and unlocked the door, finding it curious when Trowa didn't actually open the door himself.  "It, it's open," he said,
crossing his arms across his chest and stepping back away from the door.

She was a lovely young human, dark hair and a gentle face that bespoke of good humor.  "Good morning, Trowa," she greeted,
shutting and locking the door behind herself.  Her kind smile changed a little to include bewilderment when her eyes focused on
Quatre.

Quatre ducked behind Trowa and hugged Iria close before carefully peering out at the young woman.

She smiled sweetly at him.  "Why hello there.  I'm Lucrezia Noin, what's your name?"

Quatre whimpered and ducked behind Trowa again.  He was nervous, not sure how he was supposed to respond.  Was he
allowed to speak with strangers?  Would Trowa be mad at him if he overstepped the boundaries he wasn't sure about?  He didn't
want to make Trowa mad at him.  But he also didn't really want to speak with this woman.  She was new, different.  Maybe her
kind demeanor was a hoax.  What if she wanted to hurt him in some way?

Trowa seemed to understand and spoke on Quatre's behalf.  "This is Quatre.  Heero brought him to me a couple days ago."  He
paused before speaking again; slowly easing his arms around himself a bit tighter.  "He ... he's a Winner survivor."

Quatre winced as he heard the sound of books clattering to the floor.  "I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to upset anyone," he whispered,
lightly curling his fingers in the back of Trowa's shirt.  He was shivering, scared of what would happen now.

The tutor's voice spoke from somewhere by the floor, perhaps she had bent to pick up her fallen books.  "You haven't upset me,
Quatre.  What upset me was the knowledge of what the officials at that camp did.  Oh my!  Oh, you're hurt!"

The concern in her voice made Quatre peek out at her again.  "It's nothing ... really."

Trowa made a soft sound, not quite clearing his throat.  "We have to check everything.  Miss Noin ... would you assist me while
I check how his injuries are healing?"

Noin blinked and then smiled.  "Of course.  And afterwards, perhaps I can find something for Quatre to do during your lessons.  
I have a few puzzles and coloring books in my car.  Have you arranged for someone to tutor him?  If not ..."

Trowa nodded.  "Heero said something about getting a tutor for Quatre and a feline that Heero took in."  He turned to Quatre and
smiled, gently reaching to grasp the blonde's wrist.  "Come on, let's go look at your injuries.  Maybe afterward we can dig up
my sister's brownies."

The mention of brownies made Quatre perk up a bit.  "Brownies?"  He turned his attention to Noin and smiled timidly.  
"Catherine makes good brownies.  I like them."

Noin chuckled and her eyes twinkled.  "I know.  I've had them."

Quatre smiled back.  He bit his lip, his tail waving lazily behind him.  It still ached, but it was nowhere near as bad as it had been
a couple days ago.

She motioned to the living room.  "Let's go have a look at your injuries then and I'll get something for you to do while Trowa's
studying."

"Okay," Quatre nodded.  He was beginning to like this lady.  "I ... I'd like that."  Still, he nervously followed the two humans as
they led him over to the sofa.  He did trust Trowa, but it wasn't so easy to trust others when he knew nothing about them.  He
would do his best to behave though.  The last thing he wanted was for Trowa to get in trouble because of him.  A disobedient
feline would undoubtedly make him look bad.



*****



Une walked into the FCPS building with all of her identification and pertinent information in hand.  She was looking forward to
meeting the feline that had changed Heero's mind about owning a Companion.  She knew that he had to be someone special for
Heero to put aside his ideals.

She approached the receptionist and smiled.  "Good morning.  I'd like two copies of the Feline Educational Assessment Exam,
please."  She handed over her license as a feline educator and continued to smile warmly.  "I'll be back later for any books I'll
need."

The receptionist smiled back at Une and handed over the booklets.  "Excellent.  It's always wonderful to hear of new felines
being educated as they should be.  Any idea how old they are?"

"Adolescent, I believe," Une said with a nod.  She could only assume though.  For all she knew they could still be children, or
even quite mature.  Treize hadn‘t told her much.  But she also doubted that he had gotten a great deal of information from
Heero.  "I don't know about their educational background.  All that I know is that one of them is a stray that somehow came to
trust my former owner's younger brother."  That still boggled her mind.  Strays rarely trusted humans.  Still, she remembered
that Heero was a sweet young man who needed love and companionship that he just hadn't gotten from…

Well, she wasn't going to think about that unsavory individual.  He wasn't worthy of her attention, not after all the damage he
had caused - not only to Heero, but to his family as well.  She shook her head and steeled herself for any reaction, knowing her
next words would cause some sort of surprise.  "The other is a companion that was recently placed with a shut in.  He's a
Winner."

The receptionist stilled a moment.  "A Winner?  I was unaware that any had survived.  Oh, I have heard rumors, but none of the
people who bought from the Winner camp would ever dream of coming forth.  Are you quite sure?"

Une shrugged.  "I haven't met him, so I don't really know for certain.  However, the young man has no reason to lie about such
matters."

A woman's voice called out sharply.  "Oh!  You must be talking about Quatre and Duo!"  She walked over and placed a folder
on the receptionist's desk.  She was blonde with her hair in two thick twists.  "Hi, I'm Dr. Sally Po.  I treated Duo and Quatre
when they were brought in here.  Your former owner's brother is Heero Yuy, right?  Forgive me, I couldn't help overhearing."

Une smiled brightly.  "Yes.  May I ask?  How did Heero look when he was here?  Did he seem okay?"  She flushed a little.  "I
haven't seen him in almost two years, so..."

Sally tilted her head in thought.  "I think he looked tired, but quite happy to be helping out a stray.  From what I understand, the
ownership is just a formality."  She shook her head.  "I don't know if he mentioned it, but he actually saved Duo from a catcher
who used his job as a chance to take advantage of the felines being brought in for processing or treatment."

Une blinked.  "No, I was not told that.  But I also wasn't the one to speak with him.  He only called Treize to ask for my help in
tutoring the two felines.  My name is Une, registered feline educator."  She held her hand out.

"Nice to meet you," she replied, taking her hand with a firm shake.  "Oh, here's my card.  If you visit Quatre later, please give
me a call to let me know how he's doing.  He was brought in injured and is easily startled.  He had a scare and hid under his bed,
making him a little ill."

Une nodded.  "I will.  Thank you.  It was a pleasure to meet you."  She held the two booklets that she had taken from the
receptionist.  The tests inside started with several simple things for kittens and got progressively harder.  The reason for this
was that not all felines were taught even the basics.  Felines given this test were told to take their time and were encouraged to
stop when they felt they couldn't do any more.  Considering that one was a stray and the other a Winner, she doubted that either
of her students would get very far.  But she also knew that she could be wrong in that assessment.

Taking a deep breath, she started for Heero's place.  She'd find out soon enough how much Duo and Quatre knew.



*****



A feathery touch moved across his hip, a gentle arm tugging him close to a firm body.  A leg brushed gently against his knee,
nudging between his thighs.  He moaned, turning closer to the warmth caressing him, seeking more of those tantalizing touches.  
He rocked his hips, a jolt of pleasure coursing up his spine.  He repeated the motion, wrapping his arms tighter around the warm
form.

Lazily, the world began to drift into focus and Duo found himself returning to reality, only to become aware of the fact that his
dream seemed to continue on.  He paused only briefly, but then the waves were too strong to deny and he rocked his hips
again.  There was a part of him that felt horrible about doing what he was doing, but it felt too good to stop.

Then arms wrapped more firmly around him and he felt something, a distinct hardness, pressing into his thigh.  He bit his lip to
keep a whimper from escaping his throat.  The arms around him - Heero's arms - only heightened the sensations.  He sped his
movements and leaned over to lick Heero's neck.

The feelings coalescing in his body were making his pajamas feel very uncomfortable, so he wriggled out of them while
continuing his rocking against Heero's pelvis, sucking on Heero's neck all the while.  It was getting better and better, and there
was something building within him, trying to bubble over and explode.

Heero shifted beneath him and whispered his name just a moment before his eyes began to flutter open.

The shock of being caught and the shame of taking advantage of this human who had been so good to him, combined with the
pleasure flowing through him and caused the explosion that had been inevitable.  He blinked his eyes once the feelings ebbed.  
Shame and embarrassment overwhelmed him and he bolted for the bathroom.  He couldn't believe that had just happened.



*****



Heero watched as Duo ran into the bathroom with a feeling of disorientation swirling through his mind.  He looked down at
himself and blinked when he saw that he had an erection.  He hadn't had one of those since…

The thought caused his erection to fade like snow in the summertime.  He pushed the blankets off and stared.  Duo's pajamas
were crumpled at the foot of the bed, and there was a stain on Heero's own garments.  That was enough for Heero to put the
pieces together.  He waited for the revulsion and fear that usually came with someone expressing an interest in him.  Ever since
HIM, he'd never felt more sickened by anything more than by the mere thought of anyone finding him attractive.  Oddly enough
though, the discovery that Duo might feel something for him only made Heero feel warm and happy.  He blushed lightly and
shoved the blankets away.

Getting out of bed, he walked to the bathroom.  When he found the door locked, he knocked lightly.  "Duo?"

A frail whimper answered him.  "Look, I'll ... I'll just go as soon as I get myself under control, okay?  I'm sorry, Heero.  I ...
You've been so great to me and ..." There was a hitched breath before Duo continued.  "Just ... just pretend you never met me.  
I was fine before you came into my life.  I'll live.  A-And you'll be better off without me."

The words sent a jolt of fear through his being.  He didn't want Duo to leave.  That was the last thing on his mind.  He opened
his mouth, his heart pounding in his chest.  "Duo ..." he began, only to be halted by the sound of the doorbell.

As he went to answer it, all he could think about was Duo.  Just how could he get the feline to stay with him?  He never wanted
Duo to leave him.



To Be Continued ...