Warnings for this chapter: Asuka: (2:04 AM) damn, what can I put for the warning of this chapter??
Kineko: (2:04 AM) Errrrrrrrr.... Heero feels the rhythm of his emotions?
Asuka: (2:04 AM) LOL
Kineko: (2:05 AM) T'is not good?
Asuka: (2:05 AM) Nyaaah silly, I thought, violence, shounen ai 3+4 and 2+1... things like that...
Kineko: (2:06 AM) Hooooooo…err…
Quatre torture again (but why him?)
Asuka: (2:06 AM) 'cause I like him
Kineko: (2:06 AM) sadistic b*…
Asuka: (2:06 AM) sankyu
Kineko: (2:06 AM) here, sadism toward a cutie (randomly, Quatre)
Asuka: (2:07 AM) ^_____________^ yeaaaah… thankies
Kineko: (2:07 AM) We're gonna have the Cuties protection society on our backs with that...
Asuka: (2:08 AM) don't care, they haven't got any army and we have reinforcements.
You with us gals?


The taste of his friend's blood in his mouth was like a slap in the face. Kind of painful, but helped him regain his senses.

'what the Hell am I doing?!?'

Heero slowly calmed down and straightened up. Surprised by his sudden lack of resistance, Trowa dragged him back, nearly tumbling; then froze a second, trying to judge his mood.

His eyes had returned to be as unexpressive as ever. Quatre thought the crisis was probably finished. He didn't feel anything alarming anymore.

"Heero? You're calmed down? You think you can keep yourself in check?" asked Duo, sounding like he had troubles keeping his own anger in check.


'But Quatre, Quatre's blood…'


"Hn… yeah, I'm ok. Let me go."

They didn't have any reason not to believe him. He was sounding calmer than he had been for weeks. And most of the hairs on his arms and nape were back under his skin… Weirded out, Trowa decided that it was sort of a proof, and let him go before he cautiously stepped back, ready to dodge and counterattack. But Heero didn't move at all.

"Hee- Heero?" Quatre succeeded in uttering. "You… You… how…?"

Heero sighed and shrugged, stupefying them. He lowered his eyes and hesitated for a long time before dropping his bombshell.

"I've become a werewolf."

"You what? Excuse me Yuy, it seems I've misheard you, I heard that you said you were a…" Wufei faltered.

"I'm a fucking WEREWOLF, ok?!?"

Silence fell on the room.

"You… what?"

"You heard." sighed Heero.

"You… sure?" asked Trowa, but at this moment, his eyes happened to wander on the furred, long and definitely animalistic ears still poking out of the boy's hair, and then, he just shut up.

More silence.

"I… change, with the moon, and I heal faster, and all of this stuff. And I… Damn. Duo?" asked Wing's pilot in a quiet voice, glancing at him ashamedly.

Maxwell knew what he was asking for. He groaned, but he knew that when Heero had this tone, Duo couldn't stop himself from doing as he wanted. Because he sounded as if mister best-of-the-bestest, I-prefer-to-wobble-on-a-broken-leg-all-damn-night-rather-than-letting-anyone-touch-my-Gundam needed the help, needed him, and that was… impossible to resist.

"Frankly, you could do it yourself… But OK, man, I'll explain what I can…" sighed DeathScythe's pilot.

The other three pilots stared at them, integrating the fact that Duo had seemed surprised by Heero's violence, but not by his physical changes… and now, Heero was asking him to…

"YOU KNEW IT, MAXWELL!!!" Wufei bellowed, sounding hurt and betrayed.

The worry and the incertitude accumulating in Duo since this day finally melted into anger.

"YEAH I KNEW IT!!!" he bellowed back. "I've known for TWO days, since that fucking mission gone bad!!"

Heero winced and his ears flopped slightly down to dampen the shouts. His hearing couldn't take this kind of abuse, now even less than before.

"How?" asked Trowa very calmly, his eyes still glued on the Wing's pilot.

Said pilot was sitting on the windowsill, and seemed to be trying to reach a decision about jumping head first or no, depending on his seeing the other pilots' discovery as a good thing for the group or as a personal failure to hide a secret.

Duo's grin took an ironic edge, but Quatre couldn't have said if the irony was directed toward Wufei or himself.

"Well, you know, when you fall asleep beside a brown-furred, blue-eyed wolf with a scar on his shoulder and you wake up beside a brown-haired, blue-eyed boy with a scar on his shoulder … Especially when the said wolf isn't really normal sized and has a grudge against OZ soldiers… And he acts like a soldier… And the boy you're suspicious about acts strangely since himself has been bitten by a big, strange wolf … And he has a tendency to heal really too fast and to open throats barehanded, with his nails or claws or whatever… Etceteras…Usually you wonder a little…"

"You didn't tell us," stated Trowa in a tone that was slightly less neutral than usually, only proof of his actual state of shock.

"What did you want me to say? Hi, guys, how's it going today, and, oh, by the way, did you know that Heero's a werewolf? Why yes, I saw him the other day in his furry form… Yeah, right! As if you would have even thought about believing me! And it was Heero's secret to tell, not mine " sighed the American. "And… I was a little… Shocked… Crap, to learn that one of your buddies is a bloody werewolf is not something you expect everyday!"

"A werewolf", repeated Quatre, beginning to laugh.

His dream… the dream where a beast that was Heero anyway ripped his throat out in an endless, hostile forest…

Duo stared at him suspiciously. Why was he under the impression that Quatre's laugh was verging on hysterical?

"Heero became a werewolf… because he had been bitten by a werewolf…? No?" the golden-haired boy succeeded in explaining to them.

He was shaking harder and harder.

He lifted his hand up toward them. On his forearm, a teeth imprint with too-big canines was still bleeding.

"Oh, Heero… Please… It only works when you're a wolf, isn't it…? Tell me it works only when you're a wolf!"

The Japanese boy turned around and stared at him in silence before approaching him, without a sound. He stopped two meters before he was actually in range and glanced at him, as if he was afraid of looking into his terrified eyes. He held out his hand, and after a while, Quatre gave him his shaking limb. The brown-haired pilot bent slightly, sniffing at the sweaty palm, before glancing at its owner.

"Sorry, Quatre…" he mumbled, in a voice where you really could hear regrets.

"No… NO!!" The smaller pilot screamed, dropping boneless on the ground.

A… Werewolf… A monster of legend… Not human… not anymore…

Strangely, the first thought that came to his mind was 'what is Father going to think?' He would have some problems being the perfectly well-behaved host that all the young ladies wanted to marry at those business parties now.

He began to rock himself mechanically, shell-shocked, his green-blue eyes staring off in space.

Trowa stepped forward and went to put a hand on his shoulder, but Heero got to the blond boy first. He knelt in front of his victim and put his hands on the boy's shoulders, turning him around to face him. Quatre looked at him, his lashes glistening.

"Quatre… Quatre, I… Gomen nasai, I wasn't in control of myself…" Heero mumbled, so low and soft that the other pilots wondered for a second if they weren't imagining it. "Calm down, it's not so terrible… All will be ok… "

His voice was strangely soft, and he seemed … worried was the best word. The other three pilots stared at him incredulously, refusing to accept that this anxious face and this kind voice were really coming from Heero-I-am-a-war-machine-Yuy.

Quatre was still rocking, a hysterical chuckle escaping him from time to time, with tears welling up in his eyes. Kindly, Heero caressed one of his damp cheeks and gently taped his shoulder.

"It will be ok, Quatre, it'll be ok…"

He stepped back, perplexed and undecided about what he could do, unused to care for crying people, then took a decision.

"You should get some rest, maybe you'll feel better afterwards. "

Quatre nodded and tried to get up, but his shaking legs weren't holding him up. Trowa caught his arm before he could nose-dive. The blond trembled slightly before looking up at him and giving in thanks a parody of his usual soft smile.

"Sorry, I shouldn't act like that … It's not as … As…" he stammered. Suddenly, he felt his legs fold under him once again, and Trowa had to keep him up. "I don't understand why my legs are doing that…" he complained absently. "I know I am too emotive, but not that much…"

Trowa frowned and put a hand on his forehead.

"Heero, he's getting fevered, is it normal?"

"Already?!" the other boy exclaimed, surprised.

"So, it is normal?" Trowa asked again, not in the mood to guess or wait patiently for the complete answer.

"Yes," Heero frowned.

A cold stare from Trowa encouraged him to elaborate.

"It happened to me too. But I had half an hour before beginning to feel dizzy. He's touched fast… His antibodies are probably less resilient than mine. But I was modified by J, so…"

Receiving a glare for his going into a tangent, Heero continued to count all of the side effects he could think of.

"For a few days, I had fevers, dizzy spells, and I felt very ill and ready to vomit anytime, even if I couldn't get enough to eat in between, but it didn't last much more than a week. After that, I felt… a little less able to concentrate for a long time, for approximately three days, I guess. For a few hours I couldn't even read, I forgot the beginning of the sentences before arriving to the end. And mood shifts, as you saw, although they are worse by night… And I am still feeling slightly more hungry than I was used to, so I suppose it is not going to go away. He'll need red meat too. It's more filling."

Heero looked disapprovingly at Quatre who, feeling slightly better, was stepping away from Trowa's support. And not without reasons; he had to catch Sandrock's pilot before the boy kissed the ground not a second after. Heero gave an undecipherable look at Quatre, then without thinking about it anymore, bent to put an arm under his knees and the other around his shoulders, and lifted the boy off the ground before resolutely attacking the stairs with the blond pilot in his arms.

"You have to rest" he answered sternly when the boy protested. "It won't be long before you fall asleep."

They disappeared in the staircase, letting behind the other pilots still shell-shocked and trying to cope.

Duo was, like always, the first to be able to talk again.

"Well, shiiiiiit… You saw how he was with lil'Cat? Woohoo… Tro-man, old buddy, you should have made your move earlier, you lost your place…"

Trowa stared at him but didn't say a thing, just let his eyes become colder.

"I don't have the first clue what you're talking about, Maxwell" he said finally, when the said Maxwell showed no signs about stopping to babble about the golden occasion the HeavyArms'pilot had missed.

"Well, if you had your sights on Quatre, it's too late, 'cause if Heero-I-am-a-polar-bear-Yuy takes the trouble to care for him, it can't be innocent… And now that he's a Were, I dunno how you'll be able to enter the competition, he could bite you by pure jealousy…"

Trowa considered a moment the thought of hitting the annoying pilot behind he head, but it would only give him a proof that he had hit a mark. Where it was not at all the case. He didn't have any interests of this kind for Quatre, nor for anyone now that he went around to it. He didn't need this kind of relationship, didn't need any relationship. They were in a war, and he was there to serve as a soldier, not to flirt. If Yuy wanted to have a relationship with the little blond, it was their problem, as long as it didn't prevent them from accomplishing their missions.

And Heero had changed, true, but not to this extend. It was his self control that had been damaged, not his libido. He didn't see why, like Duo said, he should be jealous.

He wasn't jealous at all. After all, why should he…?

Quatre was only his first, only and best friend. Nothing to be possessive about.

…He should probably go upstairs to see if the smaller boy didn't need anything.

Wufei shrugged and let himself fall on the nearest chair, and pressed his hands on his temples.

" Nataku…" he muttered, in a totally incredulous and spent tone of voice.

If Duo had believed in any god apart from one that didn't take kindly about being invoked for such trivial matters, he would probably have done the same thing. What a mess…

* * *

Heero pushed back the door with a shoulder and went to put Quatre down on his bed. The little blond huddled under the covers, shaking, and looked at him strangely before lowering his eyes. Heero stared at the boy for a few seconds, frowning faintly, then leaned toward him.


"Y-yeah?" he answered, voice shaking badly.

No, Heero was not mistaken… Sighing imperceptibly, he straightened up and stepped away from the bed.

"You can't stay alone for now… I am going to ask for one of the others to come and take care of you. Do you have a preference?"

"Err… No, I…"

"I'll ask Trowa, then," Heero said experimentally.

Two seconds later, as Quatre was looking confused and lowered his head, Heero authorized a small smile to play on his lips.

The Wolf was decidedly efficient to understand non-verbal communication.

* * *

A few minutes later, Heero walked back from the first floor. Three suspicious stares fixated themselves on him.

"Trowa, do you mind staying up at Quatre's?" he asked in a neutral voice.

"Why don't you?" the boy asked, an eyebrow raised in question.

"He's afraid of me" admitted the brown-haired boy with a seemingly indifferent shrug.

"Ah…? "

Trowa raised an eyebrow higher, his way to encourage explications.

"He didn't tell me but I can smell it. It's a very distinct scent."

"And why not Wufei or me?" Duo asked.

"He needs to be reassured. Wufei…" he said before looking at Shenlong's pilot and shaking his head. "Wufei wouldn't know how to, not any better than me. And you… "

"I'm his best pal!" protested the American.

"He needs to rest, not to hear you chatter for hours on the advantages and inconveniences of being a werewolf."

"You're mean…"

"No, realistic."

He tensed and stared back at his comrades.

"Nani? "

"Weeeell, lycanthropy can change a man!! before, you didn't even take the trouble of answering and now, you're talking back like that? Bite me!!" Duo exclaimed jokingly.

"Be careful, I could take you up on the offer…" Heero warned him with a menacing little smirk.

"You'd better not, Yuy; can you imagine him as a bigger chatterbox than he is now?" Wufei was sprawled out on his armchair, in a totally new posture for him.

Wing's pilot snorted.

"Quatre is alone," he reminded Trowa.

Trowa glanced at him and left for the stairs. Once he had disappeared, Heero smirked slightly.

"Ninmu kanryu…"

"What did you say?" asked Duo.

"Nothing" answered Heero, glancing at Maxwell innocently.

Duo didn't buy it for a second.

* * *

Quatre and Trowa were acting so differently when they were in the same room, and even their scent changed so much, but if they were waiting for the other to drop a hint about his feelings, they didn't realize it.

The Soldier was screaming at him, furious that he would take the time to concern himself with playing matchmaker.

The Wolf was laughing his ass off.

He found it way funnier to listen to the Wolf. And easier at the moment.

* * *

"Can I ask you some questions? " Wufei leaned toward the blue-eyed boy. Heero hesitated and nodded.

"You can SMELL that Quatre's scared of you?"

"My five senses have been…Augmented. More than largely" he added, looking away.

It made him feel ill at ease to talk about that… he didn't know if he really had accepted the truth so fast, or if it was just the shock not having left yet. And all these things he knew about himself without having to think twice…

"To which point?" Chang demanded when he saw that Heero wasn't going to continue alone.

"I can read easily in the dark, I have five times better ears and as for my sense of smell, in comparison, if it had been sight, before I was blind as a bat."

"So, there aren't only inconveniences then…" Duo smiled, playing nervously with his braid's end. "There are good points in it too…"

He had had two days to get used to the idea, but he had never had the courage to catch the psychotic pilot to ask him to feed his curiosity. Heero was already hard to manage usually, but as he had seen, the virus was playing havoc with his self-control, it was better to let him the hell alone…

But Wufei didn't seem to think so.

"And the inconveniences?"

Heero gritted his teeth, but forced himself to answer.

"Sometimes, I am in… In overdose of sensations. There are too many all at the same time, and I don't know yet how to pick what I should pay attention to and what I shouldn't. Furthermore, emotional instability, stronger with the full moon, augmented aggressive reactions, and … unnecessary impulses.


"Intense sexual needs?"

Heero didn't even give Duo one glance.

"I'll make a complete report when all of our group is together. For the moment I don't want to repeat myself uselessly."

Heero turned heels and marched out of the house.

"The group…? First time he ever acknowledges the existence of a connection of any sort between us… Usually he acts like if he was at the same place as we are by pure hazard… Or because he was ordered so…"

Wufei only nodded in answer, surprised to see that Maxwell's analysis was hitting so close to home.

* * * * * *

Four hours later, once Trowa came back from Quatre's room after making sure that the boy wouldn't wake up, and Heero back from his trek in the woods (with his feet dirty and his tanktop damp), the promised reunion finally took place.

Wufei attacked first.

"I won't ask you when you were… changed, this at least is obvious from Maxwell's report. Since when did you know what was happening?"

Heero glared at him, still feeling annoyed with him, but remembered that he had himself accepted the necessity of this reunion. He couldn't go back on his word now. May as well be open and honest.

"That there was something abnormal with me, two weeks. The abnormality in question… the last mission."

"Not before? why? Weren't you able to understand?"

"Try to get bitten by a werewolf and we'll see how much time you need to realize what are the results" Wing's pilot lashed back, clearly annoyed. "That's not as if I had an absolute knowledge of lycanthropy symptoms, nor as if I was expecting to wake up a half-beast! And… Lastly, my cognitive functions were somewhat thwarted by a few… instinctive reactions."

"You know it would have been faster to just say that you had troubles thinking right?" muttered Duo in his corner.

"That is to say?" Wufei rushed, not to let him the time to get pissed at Maxwell.

Heero got up brutally and began to stalk back and forth in the room, with long, supple steps. He raked a hand in his hair, and Duo stared, fascinated. For him to show such obvious signs of stress, he really had to be feeling a strong sense of unease.

"I… The wolf's instincts … they're so strong … I felt too much, too fast, too often, I didn't have the time to think anymore … That's why I isolated myself from you, I couldn't manage. And his senses, his strength, his suppleness… It was as if, all of my life, I had been living in cotton wool, behind a glass… and suddenly I was given a real body in a perfect state to replace the old rusty cyborg in which I was trying to function… It was too much at the same time…"

"Could you be more specific?"

"Yeah, you already told us about your senses…" Duo cut him.

He could FEEL that Wu was going to ask questions on the instincts… but it was not the moment for that. It was a ground even shakier than the other alterations, if they went and dug in here now, Heero would close up tighter than ever, he knew it as well as he knew his own name.

"It's mostly the sense of smell which has been modified. To be clear… before, I didn't have any. It is something totally…new. I don't think I can smell things as well as a dog, not in human form anyway, but I gather information by this way that you couldn't even dream of… and that I have no way yet of understanding. It's… another world… My sight… My acuity itself didn't really augment, but my nocturnal sight is ten times better, and the way I can zero in on the slightest movement…. As for my hearing, to give you an idea, I can hear your heart beat in your chest from this distance, if I concentrate on it. My touch didn't change in a measurable way, apart from my sensitivity to cold, which lowered rather significantly."

"The inconveniences to being a werewolf?" repeated Wufei.

Heero growled, unconsciously, and the other boys gulped and tried to act as if they hadn't heard.

"… instincts. I want to do things and most of the time I don't even know why. Or rather, yes I know, but… It isn't logical. Not justifiable. And… I do it without conscious control…"

Ouchie. The last admittance seemed seriously hard to admit.

"Like what?"

"Verify the house. Secure the perimeter. I can't rest, and I mean I can't, until I'm sure nobody entered my… territory. Sleeping hidden. Can't close one eye as long as I'm exposed. Smelling what I eat before I bite."

At the extreme interest and surprise of the other pilots, he suddenly blushed.

"… running after the people … things running away from me…"

Duo burst out laughing.

"Heero, are you trying to tell us that you're chasing after rabbits?!"

He whirled around and gave him a murdering glare, but calmed down nearly as fast as he had gotten angry. Trowa noted with interest that it was without a doubt linked to the fact that when Duo had been surprised by his reaction, he had thrown his head and his shoulders back, revealing for a second his throat.

"No. Squirrels…" admitted Yuy with a shadow of a self-deprecating smile on his lips. "And… I can realize quite well that I am unnecessarily aggressive with most of the males I meet. I don't know why, I try to keep a hold of myself, but…"

"Dominance conflict", diagnosed Trowa. "You don't have this problem with women?"

Heero thought about it for a second, then shook his head, frowning. He lifted an eyebrow for Trowa to encourage him to share his thoughts.

"Wolves have a very hierarchic social structure. I think that by your aggressive behavior, you are trying to establish a dominating/dominated relationship with the other males you meet, to know where you stand. Wolves have troubles attacking females, though. As for the verification of the perimeter, it's the same instinct that pushes canines to piss all around their territory. To mark their possession."

"I am not that much of an animal!!!" growled Heero while stepping toward Trowa, his eyes blazing with fury.

Rather than returning the glare, Trowa lowered his eyes to the floor, slightly tilting his head on the side in a way that made his turtleneck unveil a little bit of his skin, and adopted a more lax position, letting himself slide downward, opening his belly to attacks. The Asian pilot stepped back. Very calm, Trowa waited for him to return to his previous place before looking up once again.

"You just expressed your dominance upon me by raising your voice and stalking into my personal space in a menacing manner, and when I showed you my throat in a way expressing my acceptance of your place and my lack of desire to challenge you, you calmed down at once" Trowa remarked in a placid voice. "There are not many clearer conversations for a canine."

Heero clenched his fists.

"But you didn't make a sound, and him neither!?!" Duo exclaimed, looking at them alternatively.

"Wolves have a very evolved language, it just doesn't use only sounds like ours, but smells and body language as well. You should learn to pay attention to your body language, as it has a much greater impact on a wolf than it has on a human. At least until Heero learns to live with his instincts" the ex-mercenary added, as a concession to the stumbling control the Japanese boy had on his temper.

"Really? How do you mean that?"

"You can say something kind and friendly to him, if your scent and body language say that you are angry or aggressive or mocking, he'll attack you anyway without even thinking twice." Trowa shrugged.

Heero gave him a nasty glare, but didn't comment, too conscious of the fact that, for the moment at least, it was mostly true. If Trowa's voice had been only slightly less impersonal, he would have jumped him.

He looked at the other boys. Duo was sitting calmly, twisting his braid and looking at the floor, pensive. Wufei had his arms crossed on his chest in a way that tried for collected and superior but was only defensive and wary, and his eyebrows were frowning less in anger than in indecision.

"… Any other questions? No? I'm going out."

"You're living more out than in here…" remarked Duo.

"You prefer that I stay? The wolf is too strong, I don't want a repeat of what happened with Wufei and Quatre. The full moon only finished yesterday. And I still feel the call…"

"The call?" repeated Chang, confused. "What do you mean by that?"

Heero bit his lower lip. He had said too much… Bah, he didn't gain that much of an advantage by hiding it from them.

He tried to find words to put on the sensation, but it was not easy, because it needed allusive words, nearly poetry. For someone used to call things by their technical name, it was hard trying to deal with the metaphors that alone could explain accurately what he felt.

"I… The more the Moon was getting full, the more I could feel… Like if someone was calling me, but I couldn't quite hear the words nor recognize the voice… Now I know, it was the wolf rising … It was as if someone was hidden in the shadows of my mind, near the surface… and ready to jump in the broad daylight at the first occasion. It's hard to explain in a rational way " he admitted, shrugging in a helpless way.

He suddenly turned around.

"I'm going out" he informed them abruptly, before doing just that.

"Heyyyyy… well. Don't catch a cold!!!"


The door slammed, letting three very confused boys alone in the room.

* * * * * * * *

The young empath opened an eye, then the other… and swore. The atmosphere couldn't fool him… he was once again in Yuy's dreamforest. He hoped that knowing where he was and how, would make it disappear, but nothing happened. The forest was staying here… Sighing before the unavoidable, Quatre began his trek to the bottomless lake.

It was strange, it seemed that he just had had to think about the place to he there… he walked to the shore and bent over the edge to look at the bottom of the thawing out waters. The rocks were cascading down to crystal-blue depths… and the vaguely apparent reflection of lava, all the way down. The lake was a drowned crater.

He didn't have to wait for the presence for too long. Ever the same. Anger at his intrusion…

This time, Quatre didn't run. He knew what he would see… he wasn't afraid.

Well, to be truthful, yes he was… but less than before. He had had time to think about it, and… Well, it would be hard, and if he could have chosen, he would never have wanted it.

But so was being a Gundam pilot.

He just would have to make do with it. He was sure that there were positive sides, if you searched long enough…

He turned around, slowly, ready to meet the Wolf heads on. The beast was staring at him from the bushes, growling low in his throat. He only saw his glowing eyes, too blue…

"Come…" he breathed while kneeling on the bank.

And slowly, the beast walked out of the bushes.

It was the Wolf… and it was Heero… and Heero was the Wolf… Later, when he would remember the dream, he wouldn't know anymore how he could see a wolf and a man at the same time, but still only one being. But in the dream, it was something normal, logical.

He opened his arms, spreading them to offer his body, accepting whatever the beast…Heero would do to him for having penetrated his dream-territory once again… a cold nose pressed itself against his throat, sniffing, then disappeared.

* * * * * *


"Heero? … mmmm… it's cold in your forest …"

After retrieving the cover from the ground where the blond boy's thrashing had sent it, and giving it back to the sleeping boy who hugged it close at once, the Japanese smiled softly then closed the door behind him. He didn't know what had happened, apart from the fact that, when he had woken up, he had been feeling the urge to go check on the golden-haired pilot.

The picture of a young boy, throat bared with trust, was floating at the back of his mind…

… a boy with animal-like ears.

Dream-Quatre was already beginning to evolve.

* * * * * *

The morning after, Heero burst in the bathroom when Duo was drying his hair, singing and still only clad in a little towel hung on his shoulders. The American boy yelped and whirled around to face him.

"SHIT, HEERO!!! Does it occur to you to KNOCK on the bloody door?!!?" he shrieked, embarrassed, while snatching his towel and tying it around his waist.

"I need bandages for Quatre's arm," said the Japanese boy without bothering to answer that. "Where are they?"

"Lower shelf" sighed Duo, understanding that trying to get angry at his partner when he was in his 'ignore Duo' mode was a dead end.

The long-haired boy nearly tore out half his hair with a careless stroke of his brush when Yuy bent over to look at the closet, giving him an absolutely perfect view of a certain part of his anatomy the spandex was showing off more than it hid. He felt himself redden and turned around to face the wall, absorbing himself in brushing and braiding his hair.


Oops. The American boy slowly turned around.

"Yeah?" he asked with a big, nervous grin.

Heero was coldly staring at him, his expression as… as non-expressive as always.

"Are you interested in me, in a physical way?"

Duo blinked a few times and turned an interesting shade of hot pink.

"NO!! Not at all, what are you imagin…"

Heero's eyes imperceptibly narrowed, and the braided pilot remembered what he was now, correlating it with some things like heightened senses and the distinct smell of different states of mind, like the scent of a lie… and the scent of desire.

"Err, well, I… well…"

He began to torture the end of his plait between his fingers. To have to admit this as flatly, to a Heero who seemed as cold as ever and probably didn't give a damn about ruffled feelings…

"You would not be unattractive, I suppose…"

Heero turned slowly around to face him, and speared him with his so intense eyes, his expression unreadable.

"You'd like to date me?" he asked in a detached tone of voice.

Crap, Heero knew that he liked males. Now, if he was reacting badly or not about it, Duo couldn't judge.

Duo wondered for a second if he was asking… No, from the tone, he wasn't, he just wanted to know his intentions on the subject. Would have been too great to be true.

Now, to answer that. He didn't want to say that he was bi if Heero was homophobe, but, hell, he couldn't flat out lie either. And Heero already suspected, and strongly enough that he was speaking of it.

"Well, I… Not specially, well, I mean, if you wanted to I wouldn't spit on it, but like that, I dunno…"


"I never really thought about it, but… Yes, I'd like that." The American forced the words out, struggling to keep looking at him in the eye. He wasn't ashamed of his preferences, he wouldn't lower his eyes.

Heero narrowed his eyes even more. His voice was totally devoid of any warmth or even coldness, just precise and mechanical, when he clued Duo in about his view on the matter.

"From my experience, the… lycanthropic 'disease' transmits easily by ways of contact with contaminated spit and blood, and probably as well by sperm."

Duo started, shocked at first by the crude, cold terms, and more than a little hurt by the apparent disinterest and contempt; then after a second he put the cold aside to remember it was Heero he was talking to… and then, his hurt out of the way, he was hit dead on by the reality behind the scientific terms the boy was using.

Heero could never, would never, be able to touch someone like that, with a lover's touch, to share sexual intimacy with another person; not without contaminating them, condemning them to his and Quatre's fate. Never.

"But going so far as a transmission of seminal liquid wouldn't even be necessary" the Wing pilot continued, drilling his message home. "One kiss would probably be more than enough."

Yuy turned to the door, carrying an armful of bandages.

Duo stared at his retreating back, his mouth slightly opened, his arms limp, shell-shocked. He didn't even acknowledge the brush falling from his nerveless fingers to break on the floor.