Things went their way, there was tension in the air, especially between Wufei and Janina. He was all too glad he defeated her, when he was forced to fight her in fencing. He didn’t enter that duel without protesting – after all she was a girl! He had to, though, and he was merciless. It almost felt like defeating Treize: strange, surreal.
On the fifth day, Trowa finished his mask. It was a half mask, like the one from the circus. Quatre, who by now was working without inspiration on a piece of clay, spared a look at it, as Trowa stopped his working.
“It’s crying,” he said pitifully.
“Hai...” he said, not looking up. Quatre wondered whether there was any meaning behind this, but he didn’t dare to ask. He himself had absent-mindedly formed a heart out of white clay, rounding it’s corners smoothly, perfectly measuring it’s proportions.
”Quatre,” a girl across from him asked, who couldn’t quite see what he was doing, “What are you modeling over there?”
“Oh...! Nothing,” he blushed, looked at the heart and squished it onto the pile of clay, destroying it. Hopefully nobody would ask, about whom he had been thinking. Trowa watched and his heart stung, as the heart lost it’s shape. How disturbing to have the one you love model a heart at your side and than kill it...
Meanwhile, Wufei, Duo and Heero had started their drawings of humans. They had received a lot of proportion aids, information about how to draw from another perspective. Duo had asked for a mirror, Wufei sat across from him, drawing Duo, and Heero was next to Wufei, also working on a picture of Duo. He enjoyed drawing his love, though it was disturbing to not be able to completely capture that beauty on paper. They had been told to draw the people they drew doing something, not just sitting there, drawing. So Wufei decided to draw Duo in a clown’s costume, showing off, just to annoy him. Duo had his own vision of a picture and nobody knew what he really was up to. Janina secretly drew Wufei with the katana, but Wufei didn’t know this...
During his free time before coffee-break on Saturday, the last day of their time here, Quatre had wandered into the chapel on his own, with his violin. He felt like being in alone, playing some violin, maybe. He carefully lifted the instrument and tune it. The sound down here was thrown back from the wall, giving everything a full and strong tone. There was only a little bit of light falling through the colored window. He carefully started a tune, his injured leg resting on the bench beside him He had to be careful not to hit the wall with the bow, but he found a comfortable position in which this was possible.
As he played, he – without noticing it at first – started the solo he played with Trowa before sliding back to another piece.
Music... and the flute... Trowa was the first person I ever heard play it – in a passion I would never have known on him. I remember that day in every detail – how could I forget? I had put myself into bed like all the other pilots after a long mission. My thoughts were as always whirling around Trowa. Trowa... he wasn’t in his bed.
I think I eventually fell asleep, but something woke me. First, with closed eyes, I thought the music was just hovering in my mind, and I enjoyed such a sweet dream. Only slowly I realized that the tune was real, and raised myself into a sitting position. Trowa’s bunk was empty. He had either gone to bed after me and waken before me, or he had never been there. I couldn’t tell whether his bed had just been made again, or never been touched. Mechanically I let my feet carry me out of bed and put on my pink shirt and the khaki pants, as well as the vest, leaving my feet naked. While I did this, I hoped desperately, he would not stop playing, before I could see him. Almost hastily, I left our room following the enticing music to the assembly-room. The door was ajar. I squeezed myself through it, my eyes set on the tall and slender European, who had his back towards the door. He was sitting on the red sofa, the flute against his lips. I lowered myself on a chair across from him. Trowa’s eyes were closed, he was totally drawn into the music. His fingers moved skillfully, conjuring tunes on the instrument while he was swinging in a slow rhythm.
It was a strange tune he played... It had no theme or chorus which would return, and almost aimlessly the music ran though different major and minor keys. Was he making this up by himself? It did not seem to end, and I was thankful for that. We are so much alike, I thought. I remember that my playing sounded just the same, when I was composing my own tunes, and I did not react less to my violin-playing than he did to his flute. I would imagine; I would forget my surroundings, just as Trowa did now. The fingers do the work, the soul listens. I watched him, forgetting about time, forgetting there were other pilots somewhere in this house, too. Trowa eventually found an ending to his infinite melody in a long, breathtaking a, the concert pitch. Slowly he opened his eyes, as if awakening from a long, relaxing dream. For a moment, he did not seem able to focus his eyes, then he spotted me and lowered the flute.
“No!” I protested softly, “don’t stop, please!”
I could not tell whether there was a slight blush on his cheeks, as he drew back into his shell. His peaceful expression returned to that stony look. It was a pity to watch it: Trowa had been so open before and now he returned to that mask again – when what I longed for was seeing that other character, the one he hid.
“Trowa-kun, please!” I begged again.
He closed his eyes and nodded, taking the silvery instrument up to his lips again. He would play for me! First the tones were accompanied by a slight shiver, as they wandered through the room, but it grew to a strong and passionate tune. I closed my eyes to listen. This one was different... it was as intense as the other, but it must have been composed music, while the other tune had been made up by himself. It might have been Mozart or Beethoven, I could not tell. However, the piece was short, oh, too short! Trowa didn’t change to what he had been with the other tune. He changed a bit, but the stony, icy shell was present all the time. He seemed a little exhausted when he lowered the slim flute again, resting it on his knees. Oh he was so beautiful! But I felt he would not play anymore. I got up slowly.
“Arigatou, Trowa-chan!” I said without noticing it... I had called him Trowa-chan! I turned to the door, my cheeks burning. How could I dare?! Somehow I wished he would follow me to our room, but he didn’t come. I didn’t hear the flute, either. It was over. My stomach ached... Another blissful moment has passed by.
For nothing I wished more this moment than see the true person behind Trowa again...
Trowa meanwhile had stopped reading the book, he held on his knees in the garden. He couldn’t read, his concentration had flown somewhere with the wind. And he wondered where Quatre was. Maybe that was the reason for his lack of concentration... Wufei was sleeping, Heero was still trying to study German, while Duo leaned over his shoulder, giggling his head off about the German words, desperately trying t pronounce them. It was easier for the Japanese to say the words correctly, than for the American, Trowa guessed. He got to his feet, leaving the book on the blanket and wandered towards the portal of the garden. Quatre wasn’t in the yard, either.
Knowing the Arabian couldn’t have gone far with that leg, he decided to have a look inside the different rooms. He promised himself, he would just check whether Quatre was alright, and then go back to the garden to not disturb him. He was about to enter the building, when he heard faint music. He followed it to the chapel, slowly opening the wooden door, he peeked inside. Violin-music was echoing from inside... the solo he and Quatre were supposed to play. He stepped downstairs some. He couldn’t see Quatre, for there was a narrow entry to the chapel down the steps. He sat down on the stairs and listened the playing, leaning against the wall, enjoying. For a whole while, Quatre did not stop.
Then, Trowa heard a heavy sigh and the violin was put away with the light sound of wood meeting with wood. He hesitated to get up and tell Quatre how beautiful this music had been...
Quatre looked around. The violin playing down here was just too thought-provoking. His eyes fell on the electric piano, the voice & movements-group had brought down here earlier. He switched it on, trying the keys. He carefully sat down in front of it, using his left foot to press the right pedal. He was even handicapped in playing music. Oh, well... he was incapable of playing the piano, anyway. All he could do was accompany his singing with some easy accords, but that was just what he decided to now. He started in B-flat-major for some odd reason, singing out the song, he had held in his heart, composed and changed all the time.
Kamoku kurohyou, what do you hide?
Silent panther, so still at my side...
I want to know what’s in your heart
and break that shell, but it’s too hard.
Kamoku kurohyou, as if that was true,
but I’ve got the feeling, there’s more to you.
I don’t believe, that’s all you’ve got
but what’s wrong with me? Cheeks burning hot...
I am in love with a strange one,
Kitto in love – and not returned
I am in love with the wrong one
Passion deep inside me burned...
Kamoku kurohyou, I want to take
the mask of you, make you awake...
I want to break that icy shell
Wonder if that would make you feel well...
Kamoku kurohyou, I can’t force you,
can’t make you want to let me go through
I don’t believe, that’s all you’ve got
but what’s wrong with me? Cheeks burning hot...
I am in love...
It’s so dark and cold,
I feel lonely
What I am asking for is not right,
Yet my feelings make me wonder,
whether there’s a ray of light.
Kamoku kurohyou, It hurts to see
how you hurt yourself, it hurts me,
I wish I could do something at all,
Before in grief and need I fall...
Kamoku kurohyou, I’m upside down,
In these emerald eyes, I’m in danger to drown.
I don’t know what’s wrong with me,
I’d like to cry out: Trowa, ai shiteru!
Trowa’s heart leaped and fell at the same time. This song was entirely about him. He was the Kamoku Kurohyou, the silent panther. And Quatre was so right, he was nothing but an unbreakable shell of stone, a human being behind a mask, letting nobody come through to him. How could that little Arabian be so sweet and fill him with joy and infinite pain at the same time? And how could he, Trowa, dare to sit down here in secret and listen to all of this? He shouldn’t have done that. But Quatre – did he say he loved him? It was hard to shape a clear thought right now. He couldn’t just stay here and wait for Quatre to discover him, nor could he just walk away. It wasn’t right to secretly listen, and than walk away. Not if it was about something as profound as love. If he himself had just been Heero or Duo,... but no, he was Trowa. Wasn’t he supposed to be happy, after what he had heard? Why was he not, than?
With shaky legs, he went downstairs the last few steps, making his appearance in the darkness of the chapel. Quatre was still sitting on the piano, Trowa’s heart pumped hard and loud.
Quatre looked up, spotted him, figured out who it was, and jumped up from the chair, as if wanting to pretend he had never touch the piano, and painfully landing on his ankle. His face was painful again, but he stood upright.
“TROWA!” he exclaimed, a hand clutching to his chest. “D-did you hear?”
Trowa just nodded.
Quatre stood there, completely horrified by the thought, that Trowa knew what was up with him. There was no way back, there was only and altar. Trowa was standing in the middle of the room, practically blocking the way out. Never had Quatre wanted to face that! He was deadly embarrassed. It was a secret, Trowa wasn’t supposed to deal with, he thought. He felt filled with emotion, as he had been so often lately, but it was overwhelming. There was embarrassment, fear, hope, fright, anger and of course the confusion which feeling should dominate here. It was the confusion, that dominated, bringing Quatre to helpless tears. He stared at Trowa for a moment, then felt them streaming down and dashed past Trowa as good as possible with his ankle. He brushed him aside roughly and ignoring the pain, he pulled himself upstairs. The pain in his ankle brought even more tears to his eyes, but as if insane, he just wanted to get out and far, far away.
With the stinging pain from his foot, he hurried down the yard towards the old tree, stumbling more, than running down there, before Trowa caught up with him. Trowa slung an arm across Quatre’s chest from behind, effectively blocking his way, slamming him backwards against his own chest.
“IIE!!!” Quatre was crying out, but Trowa just slung the other arm around him as well, pulling the crazy boy down onto the grass with him, trying not to hurt his ankle. He held him tightly, since Quatre in his fit would run as long as his legs would carry him. Quatre writhed and quivered in Trowa’s grip. He slammed his fists against Trowa’s shoulders, tears streaming down his face as he yelled: “Iie! Let go of me! Let go! You were not supposed to hear that! Leave me alone! Go away!”
He sobbed harder, his protest becoming weaker. He tried to push himself away from Trowa, but the European held his hands tightly around Quatre’s upper body. The blond was bound to give up. He sunk down in himself, sobbing on Trowa’s chest.
“Shh....” Trowa tried to calm him down, caressing the back of the crying bishounen. They sat like this for a long while, Quatre kept sobbing and Trowa did his best to comfort the beauty. He didn’t know what to say, he was scared of bringing up more confusion in the blond angel.
“You weren’t supposed to hear that...” Quatre sobbed weakly.
“Shh... Quatre... suki desu, suki desu,” Trowa repeated whispering, rocking him lightly.
“Na-nani?” Quatre sobbed, still crouched into himself, his head on Trowa’s chest.
“Quatre,... I love you, too. I’ve loved you all my life, aoi me tenshi...”
“Kurohyou,” Quatre sobbed, “you mean that?”
“Mh-mh...” Trowa kissed Quatre lightly on his forehead, “We could have been so much happier a long while ago.”
Quatre looked up and smiled into Trowa’s face. “Doesn’t matter.”
Trowa wiped the tears away, not sure whether to kiss those lips or not. He laid his forehead against Quatre’s, feeling his breath and the warmness coming from warm skin and blushed cheeks.
“Trowa...?” Quatre asked awkwardly.
“Can I – can I kiss you?”
Trowa laughed heartily before kissing his koibito, letting all the longing he had flow out of him. They sat there for a while, until the bell for the orchestra rang. Quatre’s jeans were all dirty from the fight he had put up, and so were Trowa’s. Towa picked him up, after pulling a tissue out of his jeans (yeah, they still fit in there!), to hand to Quatre.
“Let’s get your violin, they’re waiting for us, beautiful tenshi.”