4x3, POV, sap, lemon
for mis_shepherdes

His voice is deceptively quiet in the still early morning air. I love the depth of his tone; the measured quality of his words. I could listen for hours, and often do, just waiting contentedly for the occasional – but precious – comment.

“How do you know, Quatre?”

I let my lips rest very briefly on his bare shoulder, feeling them shape my murmur on his skin.

He sighs, but I know he’s smiling. “How do you know it’s love?”

From anyone but Trowa, the question would be arch, but I know he’s not fishing for anything. He’s genuinely curious.

I shrug. I shift carefully on the bed and settle my hands at the base of his neck, kneading gently at the tension I know is still there. He rolls over on to his belly and sighs again, this time with pleasure. “That’s good.”

“That’s love,” I smile. “Caring; comforting.”

When I’m ill,” he nods, his head nudging against me, looking for more of my touch. “When I’m tired. When I can’t manage things…”

“I’m here for you,” I reassure him. “That’s what I want to do.”

He murmurs again, half muffled by the pillow. “But a companion could do that; a nurse.”

I kneel up beside him, my hands sliding away from his head and shoulders and down to his broad back. I trace the bones of his spine where they press up under the taut skin; I smooth the warm goose bumps under my palms.

“I love to be near you,” I reply. “I like to talk to you – listen to you.”

“You do that indeed.” He sounds both amused and amazed. “Even though I’m not exactly rewarding in the conversation department. You’re bright and lively, Quat. You deserve more attention than mine.”

I laugh softly. “You give me plenty attention.” When he turns to me – at any time, in any context – I know that I’m the sole focus of his gaze, the only one he sees. That’s worth far more than hours of distracted chatter. “Love isn’t always about entertainment, but about support. This is where I want to be. This is rewarding.”

He turns his head on to one cheek so that I can see his profile. He’s frowning gently. “But a friend will listen. A colleague can support. That’s a different kind of loyalty, surely – a different kind of love.”

I laugh again. His confusion is part of him; part of us. My hands smooth the skin out towards his hips and then back in to where his body dips before curving upwards to his buttocks. I run a finger playfully between the cheeks, finding - and stroking - the different patterns of skin. He arches gently underneath me and I know he’s aroused again. I recognise the ragged hitch of his breath.

“And that…” he smiles now in return, and his voice is hoarser. “And that is just lust, Quatre Winner. Delicious, but with an agenda of its own. That can come without love -”

“But also with,” I interrupt.

He nods, but is silent. My hands slide down between his muscled thighs and his legs fall slightly apart for me. “Isn’t all that enough, Trowa?”

He faces down into the pillow as I massage him, my hands stroking down to his knees then back up to the crease where his buttocks meet the stretch of his long, supple legs. He’s moved his head so that he doesn’t have to answer me. Because he’s not sure. I know him too well.

“It’s not enough,” I sigh. “I agree. Not on its own.” I feel him tense a little underneath me, startled. “Except that you can’t look at any of these feelings in isolation. They’re a package, Trowa. A relationship is made of sharing and building and developing. We can be all those individual things to each other, but it’s the combination that makes it love.”

I can still feel the residue of cynicism and disbelief inside him, almost as real as the knotted muscles were under my fingers. I slide my hands under his belly, down towards his groin. His cock is swollen and pressed between his body and the sheet: I run my fingertip along its side and he draws in a breath.

I bend my head down and suck hungrily at the back of his neck. “It’s the combination of us.”

He gasps; shivers. His hips thrust up gently towards me. He wants me as much as I want him. “Us.”

I nod. “We’ve built something with its own agenda, out of friendship and companionship. We’re more than the parameters alone. That’s -”

“That’s love,” he interrupts, and it’s a statement, not question. He sounds at ease now, which always pleases me. “Quatre, I…”

I roll up against him, his legs parting very willingly underneath my own hot need. “Let’s save the talk for later, eh, Trowa?”

His laughter shakes his body, I can feel it against my own skin, the vibration thrilling me and making my cock throb between my legs.

“Just now I want to concentrate on the lust bit.”