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

Notes:  Trowa awakens and readies to leave for Quatre’s estate.  Catherine makes a surprising discovery and speaks with Trowa
about it.

Young Hearts

Part Sixteen

Trowa awoke to the smell of food cooking.  He opened his eyes and glanced down, a tentative smile working its way across his
features as he saw that Triton was still asleep beside him.  The boy had shifted sometime during his slumber and his arms were
both wound around one of Trowa’s arms now.  The bear that he had been holding still lay between the two of them, although
apparently forgotten since the child had found something else to attach himself to during the night.  Trowa didn’t mind the
contact though, knowing that he shouldn’t discourage such affection from Triton, even if the boy had only done it while he had
been asleep.

After another minute, Triton’s brow furrowed a little bit . . . he was apparently beginning to awaken.  Trowa felt a moment of
worry as the child frowned.  He hoped that Triton wouldn’t suffer a setback due to waking up to their close proximity.  When
the distressed expression slowly changed to a calmer one, Trowa relaxed himself and managed a small smile for Triton as the
child opened his eyes.  “Good morning.”  He whispered, raising a hand to brush the bangs from the child’s eyes.

Triton blinked for a moment then gave Trowa a surprised look.  He gave a soft sound, not a whimper and yet not a groan . . .
just a soft noise from within his throat.

Trowa could guess at what Triton was thinking.  The child must have been surprised that Trowa hadn’t harmed him even
though he’d had the perfect opportunity to do so.  “I wouldn’t hurt you.”  Trowa said, hoping to keep the boy calm.  “You feel
up to some breakfast?  I believe that Catherine is cooking.”

Triton nodded, uncurling his arms from around Trowa’s arm.  He raised his hand, yawning as he rubbed a small fist over his
eye.  Trowa pulled the blankets away, waiting while the child slipped out of bed.  Then he climbed out, handing Triton his
stuffed bear before leading the way out of the room.

In the kitchen, Trowa found Catherine standing in front of the stove, making breakfast.  She turned, smiling brightly to both
Trowa and Triton.  “Take a seat.  We have eggs, toast, waffles, whatever you want.”

“I see you’ve been busy.”  Trowa commented, helping Triton into a chair, then taking a seat at the table as well.

Catherine shrugged.  “Yeah, well I didn’t sleep well.  I figured you two would be up soon and I wanted to make sure you both
have a good meal before you leave.”  She walked over, scooping a portion of scrambled eggs onto each of the three plates on
the table.  For a moment she returned to the stove, then came back to the table with a plate that had a large stack of waffles on
it.  She set it down in the center of the table then got drinks for them, coffee for herself and Trowa, a glass of milk for Triton.  
“If I had orange juice, he’d be drinking that.”  Catherine smirked.  “But milk is good too.”

Trowa drank his coffee, picking at his eggs randomly.  He didn’t really feel like eating right now, wasn’t all that hungry
actually.  Across from him, Catherine ate her food, a pleasant smile remaining on her face throughout the meal.  Triton ate
slowly, not really consuming all that much before he timidly pushed the plate away from himself.

Catherine noticed that Triton had stopped eating.  “Don’t you like waffles?”  Catherine asked, her own fork held in the air.  “If
you want, I’ll make something else for you.”

Triton shook his head, looking down at the plate.  He bit his bottom lip, looking a bit unsure of himself as he picked up the fork.

“Go ahead . . . you can eat more if you want to.  But you don’t have to stuff yourself just because I want you to.  If you’re full,
you’re full and can’t do anything to change that.  I don’t want you getting sick from eating too much.”  Catherine smiled.

Triton smiled at her momentarily, then ate a bit more.  Trowa sat back in his seat, deciding that he had finished his own
breakfast, even if he hadn’t eaten all that much.  He just wasn’t hungry really.  He pushed his chair away from the table.  “I’m
going to go take a shower.”  He said, rising from his seat.

The moment Trowa got up, Triton made a move to get out of his seat and follow him.  Catherine laid her hand on his shoulder,
gently keeping him in his seat.  “Go on, I’ll take care of Triton.  When he’s finished eating, I’ll help him pick something out to
wear today and get him dressed.”  She looked at Triton.  “That okay with you?”

Triton looked as if he was considering it for a moment, but eventually he did nod in assent.  He turned to look up at Trowa and
gave a tentative smile, silently saying that he was okay with the decision.  

Trowa nodded and left the kitchen, stopping briefly to get himself a change of clothes before heading into the bathroom.  He
was glad about Triton’s decision.  That Triton had willingly let Trowa out of his sight was a good thing, and yet another tiny
step in the right direction for the child.  Perhaps Triton had a chance to grow up happy, whereas Trowa no longer had such an


Catherine watched as Triton ate a little more of his breakfast.  When the child pushed his plate away this time, Catherine smiled.  

Triton nodded and gave her a grateful look.

“You’re welcome.”  She smiled in understanding.  She rose from her seat and held her hand out for Triton to take.  “Now . . .
how about I take you over to choose what you want to wear today?”

Triton nodded again, slipping from his seat and taking the hand she offered to him.  His one arm remained fixed around that
black bear as Catherine escorted him over to the luggage containing his clothes.

“Go ahead, pick what you want to wear.”  Catherine smiled, leaving the choice up to Triton.  It would probably do the child
good to make his own decisions.  She grinned when he pulled out a simple pair of jeans and a dark blue, long-sleeved shirt.  
“Wonderful choice.”  She commented, taking the garments from him and riffling around for a pair of socks for the boy to
wear.  “I bet you look wonderful in blue.”

Triton blushed slightly, ducking his head out of embarrassment.  Compliments were probably foreign to him.  Catherine would
have to make it a point to give the child more of them.  He certainly deserved it . . . such a cute kid.

Catherine led Triton into her bedroom, deciding to let him change in there while Trowa showered.  She left the door open
though, not wanting him to get scared.  Being alone in a room was probably pushing the tentative trust that Triton had in her at
the moment.  She didn’t want to do anything that would make him nervous.

“Now, take off your pajamas and I’ll help you get dressed.”  She said, immediately regretting her choice of words as the child
backed away a little.  “I’m sorry . . . I didn’t mean to make it sound that way.  I won’t hurt you, I promise.”  She said, hoping it
wasn’t too late to calm the distress she had inadvertently caused.  “Trowa would never forgive me if any harm came to you.”  
She smiled as the fear in his eyes receded slowly.  “I didn’t mean all of your clothes.  You can keep your underwear on.”  
Catherine moved so that Triton had a clear path to the door.  “I’ll even stay right here and hand clothes over to you.  Okay?”

Triton nodded warily and turned to face the door.  He looked as if he would bolt at any opportunity.

Catherine smiled and looked around the room in an effort not to make the child nervous by staring at him openly.  She watched
out of the corner of her eye as the child got out of his pajamas.  Slowly, she bent to pick them up from the floor, making herself
seem smaller and less threatening at the same time.  “There . . . that isn’t so bad, it is?  You want to know what the good news

Triton was trembling, his arms wound around his body in an attempt to hide his state of undress, but he did nod.

“The good news is that you get to get dressed now.”  She smiled.  Keeping her movements slow, Catherine held the jeans out
for Triton.  “Okay, this is going to be a little awkward.  I promise not to harm you though.  Okay?”

Triton nodded again, and relaxed a little as he hesitantly placed his small hands on Catherine’s shoulders to steady himself.

Catherine watched as he lifted one leg to put his pants on.  She blinked at a mark on the boy’s right hip, her mind going over the
odd coincidence.  She waited until the jeans were fully on the child before broaching the subject.  “Triton?  Did you know you
have a little mark on your hip, Sweetie?”

Triton nodded, but looked puzzled.

Catherine knew that she had to ask questions that could be answered without words.  The boy just didn’t talk . . . she did hope
he would eventually.  “Have you always had that mark?”

Triton nodded and tilted his head.  He apparently didn’t see the reason behind Catherine’s questions.

Catherine took a breath.  “Can I see it?  You don’t have to get undressed . . . just push the material down a little.  Then you can
pull it back up.”

The child’s eyes darted to the bedroom door and he looked as if he were about to make a run for it.

“Triton . . . please?  I promise I won’t even touch you.  It’s only on your hip, so I won’t see anything.”  She held up her hands
and backed away from him a little.  “I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t important to me.”

The fear in Triton’s eyes turned back into confusion.  Still, Triton turned a little and pushed his jeans down on one side . . . just
enough so that Catherine could see the mark.  Catherine held her breath, holding back the tears that mingled in her eyes.  There it
was . . . a wine-colored mark on his hip, roughly shaped like a trident.  This was just too much of a coincidence . . . it couldn’t
be happening.

“Thank you.”  She smiled as Triton pulled his pants up again, handing the shirt to the boy when he wordlessly asked for it.

Internally, Catherine was going over the facts before her, her eyes winding their way over Triton’s young body, taking in his
features and comparing them to the faded memories and old photos that she had of her own little brother.  He did look like the
real Triton . . . this could be what Catherine’s brother would have looked like given time to age.  Those eyes, so much like
Mother’s . . . the same shade of hair as Father . . . and the birthmark.  The mark was how he had gotten his name.  Catherine
remembered her mother telling stories of the son of Poseidon, the myths about the power the deity had over waves, and that her
little brother Triton had gotten his name for having that trident on his hip.  Could it just be some strange coincidence?

Maybe it was a mistake on the part of the scientists that had created the clone.  Perhaps they had added it in some way to make
sure that they knew which was the clone and which was real or something.  Trowa might not even have the birthmark.  

Biting her lip, Catherine thought over the idea of asking to see if Trowa had such a mark.  It would be weird to ask something
like that of him, maybe she should keep her mouth shut.  But if he really was her baby brother . . . the hope of finally having her
younger sibling back was too much for Catherine to ignore.  She had to talk with Trowa.  First though, she would see to little
Triton and make sure he was dressed and ready to go.

“I was right . . . you do look wonderful in blue.”  Catherine smiled, just as soon as Triton had gotten the shirt on.  He blushed in
response, shyly averting his gaze as he smoothed his hands down along the garment he wore.  “You know what we forgot?”  
Catherine asked.  Noting Triton’s confused gaze she answered her own question.  “Shoes.  We forgot your sneakers.  Do you
know where they are?”

Triton nodded.

“Good.”  She said.  “Why don’t you find your shoes and meet me in the living room?  You can watch something on TV until it’s
time for you to go.”

A smile flickered over Triton’s features.  He grabbed his bear then walked out of the room to get his shoes.  Catherine shook her
head, chuckling . . . the boy was just too adorable for words to describe.  

She headed out to the living room, grabbing the remote for her TV from a table as she strolled over to a chair and plopped down
into it.  She tiredly rubbed her eyes with one hand as she turned the TV on.  She hadn’t slept all that well . . . even last night she
had thoughts that perhaps Trowa might really be her brother . . . Triton’s resemblance to the long lost sibling had been eerie
yesterday, the addition of the birthmark made it more so.

Idly, she flipped through the channels, settling on some children’s program.  She had no idea what it was called, but it looked to
be educational and that was good.  Besides, it wasn’t as if the kid would be watching it for very long . . . it was just to pass the
time until he and Trowa left for one of Quatre’s estates.

It wasn’t long before Triton brought his shoes over to where Catherine was sitting.  Catherine grinned, rising from her seat.  
She picked Triton up and set him down in the seat, dropping to a kneeling position at the boy’s feet.  She put his socks on, then
slipped on his sneakers, tying them for him.  When she stood, she ruffled his hair a little.  “I won’t be long.  You just stay here
and watch tv for a bit.”

Triton nodded, then turned his attention to the screen.  Catherine turned and headed for the bedroom, deciding to wait for Trowa
in there.  She knocked on the door first though, deciding that she would rather not just walk in on him if he was undressed.  
“Trowa?  Can I come in?”

“Sure.”  Trowa replied, although his voice was muffled by the presence of the closed door between them.

Catherine pushed the door open, stepping into the room.  Trowa was standing by a dresser, where some of his clothes were
packed away.  He hadn’t packed all of his own clothes into the luggage last night, only Triton’s and a few of his own garments.  
At the moment, Trowa was clad only in a towel that was wrapped around his waist, his hair disheveled, clinging to the sides of
his face and dripping with water, his well-toned body glistening ever so slightly with the moisture still collected on his skin.

“Um, Trowa . . . can I ask you something?”  Catherine asked, her heart pounding in her chest from nervousness.

Trowa turned to face her, his gaze quickly filling with concern.  “What is it?  Is something wrong?  Is it Triton?”  He asked in a
rush, his hands clutching the garments he had chosen to wear that day.

“No, he’s fine.”  Catherine replied, holding up her hands.  “There’s nothing wrong.  It’s just, I have some personal questions to
ask you . . . I hope you don’t mind.”

Trowa paled slightly.  “Personal?  Just how personal?”  He set his clothes down on top of the dresser, folding his arms over his
chest probably out of nervousness.

“Well . . . I . . .”  She frowned, trying to figure out a way to say what she wanted to say.  Maybe she should have taken a few
moments to collect her thoughts before she had come in here.  It was too late now, she just had to think of something.  “I saw a
mark on Triton’s hip and well . . . do you have the same birthmark?”

Trowa nodded.  “Yes, I do have a birthmark.”  He turned and pulled the edge of his towel down slightly, revealing a birthmark
identical to the one that Triton had, a wine-colored trident that was high on his hip.  He then covered himself again, adjusting the
towel so that it wouldn’t fall off.  “Why did you want to know that?”

Catherine gave a tentative smile, hoping that she wouldn’t scare Trowa or make him uncomfortable.  “Trowa, you remember me
telling you about my little brother, Triton, right?”

“Of course.  You said that he died when you were young, along with your parents.”  Trowa responded, crossing his arms over
his chest once again.

“Yes, well that’s almost right.  His body was never found.  I gave up hope of ever finding him, but I was never truly sure he
was dead . . . he was so young when he was lost . . . he could have been found and raised by someone.”  Catherine saw the
confused look on Trowa’s face, knowing that she was rambling.  She took a breath, collecting her courage as well as her
thoughts.  “My brother . . . he had a birthmark on his hip . . . a trident . . . just like yours.”

Trowa’s brow furrowed.  “Are you suggesting that you think I’m your brother because of a birthmark?”

Catherine held up her hands.  “Just hear me out.”  She sighed.  “Your clone looks so much like my baby brother . . . the
resemblance is uncanny . . . and the birthmark.  You can see how I could come to such a conclusion, can’t you?”

Trowa nodded.  “Yes, the coincidences are quite strong in favor of me being your long lost brother.”  He sighed deeply.  “But
still . . . I’ve lived all my life without a family.  I won’t let myself fall victim to false hopes.  I need more proof than a birthmark
and a resemblance.”

“How about a blood test?  We could take one and the results would tell us if we’re related or not.”  Catherine frowned, noting a
look of hurt in Trowa’s eyes.  “Trowa . . . I want you to know, it doesn’t matter to me if you’re related to me by blood or not.  
You’re my brother in my heart and nothing will ever make me feel differently about you.”  She set a hand on Trowa’s face, idly
brushing the skin with her thumb.  “I’ll understand if you don’t want to take the blood test.  I know you don’t want to endanger
our relationship in any way, and that you don’t want to hurt me if we aren’t really related.  So I won’t ask again.  If you say no,
then we won’t do it.  You’re my only family and I won’t push you away with my hopes.”

Trowa raised his hand, setting it over the one Catherine had set on his face.  He smiled, taking her hand and pulling it away from
his face, squeezing it gently.  He looked down, and took a breath, raising his gaze to look in her eyes.  “How could I possibly say
‘no’ to that?  Of course I’ll have the blood test done.”  He took a tentative step closer to her.  “Are you sure you won’t feel any
differently toward me if I’m not your brother?”

“You are my brother, Trowa . . . even if only by love alone.”  She gently wrapped her arms around Trowa, pulling him into a
tender hug.  Trowa hesitantly returned the embrace, his breath hitching slightly.  Catherine didn’t linger too long, knowing that
such contact would only leave him uncomfortable after awhile.  She smiled at him again, raising a hand to his shoulder and
squeezing it reassuringly.  “Why don’t you get dressed now . . . I’ll go keep the munchkin company.”

Trowa nodded.  “Okay.  I’ll be out soon.  When we get to the estate, I’ll give Sally a call and arrange the blood test.”  He said.  
Catherine turned and walked over to the door, pausing there when she heard his next softly spoken words.  “Perhaps you’d like
to visit us at Quatre’s place sometime . . . after we get settled?  Triton might like it.”

Catherine smiled.  “I’d be thrilled to visit.  I’d love to meet the other kids.  Quatre’s clone is probably quite adorable.”  She gave
him a wink then turned and left, closing the door behind her before heading over to Triton and taking a seat in a chair next to
him, keeping him company while Trowa got ready.  She glanced at the child, knowing that if the blood test did prove Trowa to
be her long missing brother, she’d end up with two younger siblings . . . Triton was a welcome addition.

To Be Continued . . .