“I don’t know what you want me to say.”
It was spring, and the sun was hotter than it should have been. Heero could feel some soft grass whispering against the backs of his ankles, and as the conversation had progressed the gentle sensation had graduated to irritating. The dry bark from the tree he leaned against felt rough against his shoulder blades too, and he scowled.
“Nothing,” he replied harshly, looking at the ground. “Don’t say anything.”
He was nervous for the first time he could remember. Had he been a smoker, his hands would have wanted a cigarette to hold, inhale and ponder over in the same way that a drunkard ponders fate through the mouth of his bottle. If he were still a pilot, his shoulders would have wanted to feel the reassuring pressure of the safety harness pulling him back against a hard cockpit seat. Instead he was just a man, a soldier growing old, sitting under a tree getting angry at the grass.
“You’re angry. Why?”
He pushed the heel of his foot through the grass hard, digging it in deep enough so that he could eventually feel the cold dirt against his skin. Idly he let it sit there in the divot, and he could feel Trowa’s eyes watching the action.
“Relena wouldn’t appreciate that,” he commented offhandedly when Heero didn’t answer the first question. The boy in question shrugged a little, apparently unconcerned with what Earth’s representative would or would not appreciate. After all, it was her efforts that were paying for these little recreation projects around the colonies, so he figured he really ought to take that into consideration. He stopped making holes in the park’s lawn.
“I’m not angry,” he finally heard himself say, and closed his eyes, feeling Trowa’s gaze upon him. He didn’t know how he felt, but he wasn’t about to start giving away information freely.
Trowa didn’t need to play the guessing game with him; he could tell most of what Heero was thinking by interpreting the intermittent actions and silence. When questions were posed, a lack of words was often more effective in conveying a state of mind than a stream of verbal explanation ever could. And Heero had never been one to lie; he just didn’t offer up his thoughts liberally, even though he could have probably conveyed them concisely if he had to. In a way, that would have been a fallacy anyway since he was still trying to understand why he felt the way that he did. Especially about certain things, such as the awkward conversation at hand.
“Why did you say it?” Trowa finally asked, turning his questioning eyes away from Heero and off into the distance. The buildings around the park rose up in blue silhouetted outlines, the fake sky above them the color of blue steel. Heero’s gaze was fixed downward, his eyes weighing heavily against the gashed ground.
He didn’t answer. Instead, he stood up abruptly and leaned himself against the tree, frowning. The leaves shivered above them with a sudden breeze, the whim of a creative weather technician who should have been an artist. Heero closed his eyes.
“I shouldn’t have said anything,” he answered finally. “Not a single word. Someone told me I should though, and I listened.” He shook his head, eyes still closed. “It was a mistake.”
“Only if you want it to be,” Trowa replied casually, as if he had just delivered the invitation for an afternoon lunch with a shrug of his shoulders and a cock of his head. As if he was someone other than Trowa Barton. As if Trowa Barton ever spoke that way.
“What do you want?” Heero asked the stranger, and he leaned down next to the strange conversationalist next to him, inches away.
“You tell me,” came the elusive reply. “Or tell me what you want.”
“Does it matter?”
Hesitance. Blinking, the widening of eyes in thought and then from beneath the fall of hair, a half smile without humor. “Maybe.”
He kissed him. It was quick and it wasn’t really a kiss so much as the coming together of two sets of lips, two boys’ faces that happened to touch one another’s at the same time, and the dry, close-mouthed sentiment that spoke of no heat except the arid sort. Heero could feel his emotions evaporate and leave him as dry as a water hole exposed too long to the sun, a mirage in the midst of vanishing.
He pulled back and Trowa looked at him. Time passed. Someone walked by with a dog and stared at them as the dog did its business, openly leering at the way they stared at one another, at Heero’s bare feet digging holes, at the way the wind moved them in ways they could not move themselves. The passerby passed by and then the world was theirs again.
“Is that your answer?” Trowa asked quietly, his face solemn. Heero scowled at him darkly.
The expression turned into something else entirely as he was pushed against the trunk of a tree. Trowa’s body completely erased his visibility, suffocating him in wonderful heat, pressing against him and moving and he was gasping as that same dry mouth was suddenly very wet against his ear and sucking. He sighed loudly, arms flailing until they met purchase at a convenient back and sat there motionless. There was movement and then stillness, a tedious wait for some response.
“Is that what you meant to say?” Trowa asked, raising a brow slightly. His words were coy, his tone was serious, his eyes were dark. Heero nodded, said yes, it was, and then his feet were digging into the ground again as he pushed himself against the hard, solid tree trunk, bark digging into his back. He let Trowa grip his arms tightly through the fabric of the light sweater he was wearing, and he said it again.
“I might love you.”
“I don’t know what you want me to say,” Trowa repeated, and kissed him.