Category: Um. I'm not sure. Thanksgiving fic?
Rating: PG-13. Mild language.
Spoilers: None. Set a few years after EW.
Disclaimer: I don't own GW. You know the drill
Summary: Duo finds something to be grateful for.
Thanks to Manon for the quick beta! :)
Notes: A few years ago, I wrote Because I Have Been Given Much. Duo wasn't happy. This is the same Duo, several years later - and with a new perspective.
There are entire sections in L2 populated by people of American descent. Can't even get a decent burger around here now. All the American fast food places are closed. The owners have called it a day, gone home early to eat with their families; to have their traditional Thanksgiving feast, to be together, to be thankful.
I haven't celebrated this holiday in ages. The last time was with them. With Father Maxwell and Sister Helen. And Annie, Ray, Barak, and Madison. All of them dead. Ghosts, the lot of them.
We had turkey legs and carrots, and a piece of stale bread that Sister Helen managed to make edible with a little bit of butter. She also baked apples. No, not apple pie. We couldn't get anything fancy like that. Just apples, with a little bit of brown sugar.
We all sat at the table and Father Maxwell gave grace. And then he went around, asking each of us to name one thing we were thankful for. Everyone had something to say, except me. Ungrateful little brat that I was.
Ungrateful bastard that I am.
Maybe things haven't changed so much.
It's been years since I've thought about this, about the way it used to be when Sister Helen was around. The last time I thought about Thanksgiving I was in one of my darkest funks. Pissed at the world, pissed at myself, pissed at the All-powerful guy who's supposed to live somewhere in Heaven. Wherever that is.
After all these years, all I have to do is close my eyes and I'm back there, back in my childhood, back in that church. I can hear her voice so clearly, sometimes I wonder if it's really just in my head, in my memories of her. Or if I've been clutching those memories so tight, I've somehow managed to conjure her ghost.
Adoro te devote, latens Deitas,
Que sub his figuris vere latitas:
Tibi se cor meum totum subjicit,
Quia te contemplans, totum deficit.*
She sang all the time, singing praises to her deaf God. It seemed to make her happy, though.
Father Maxwell didn't sing too often, but he prayed. I can hear his voice, too. I can hear the children laughing in the background. Amidst all the misery, there was happiness in that place.
Perhaps I should have been thankful...
I hear the front door and shove all these thoughts away; store them safely somewhere in the back of my mind.
He opened the door with his own key. A key I gave him months ago, and which he barely ever uses. It's usually me going to visit him. I go where he goes, following his nomadic lifestyle and making it my own.
It doesn't bother me. I don't mind following a circus troupe across the colonies, back and forth to Earth, all over the world.
His steps are quiet and soft. I can barely hear him make his way down the hallway. Then he's in the bedroom.
"Hello," he says, dropping his bag on the floor.
He looks a little tired, a five o'clock shadow on his face. He must have traveled all night from wherever he was to be here today.
"You made it," I say, not bothering to get up from the bed. I take one last drag from my cigarette and then put it out on the ashtray I keep on the night table.
He simply nods.
That silence that used to be such an issue between us at first is no more. I no longer get frustrated with his short sentences, his monosyllables. He seems to be used to my chatter. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself speak, and he seems fine with that, too.
"Come to bed," I say. But he's already kicking his shoes off, climbing up next to me.
He lays on his back and looks up. For a moment he seems lost in thought, and when I follow his gaze, I find he's staring at the ceiling fan, as if he'd never seen one before, as if he'd never seen this one before. He does that quite a bit. Focus on something ordinary and by pure observation, make it extraordinary.
Slowly, he turns to look at the lamp and his eyes remain there for a few minutes. "You need a new bulb," he says finally. "The one on the left is burnt out."
The light isn't even on, but he knows. He knows just by looking at the black smudge on the bulb. The smudge is so subtle, you wouldn't even see it unless you were looking for it. But that's Trowa, always taking in everything he sees, uncovering all the layers. Like he did with me.
"You can be my handyman. Make yourself useful now that you're here."
He turns to look at me, only one eye visible. And I reach out for his face and brush away the bangs so I can see the other one, too. His eyes are so green and deep, when I look at them I feel like I'm drowning in a fucking sea. And what a way to die! I'd do it any day.
"What do you want to do for Thanksgiving?" he says.
"I already told you I don't celebrate!" I move closer to him and steal a kiss. Just one for now. I know there will be more.
"Catherine was mad at me for leaving. We have a big show tonight."
"You could have come tomorrow. I wasn't really expecting you today," I say with a shrug. But deep inside, a part of me was hoping he'd be here.
"So, we do nothing." He stretches on the bed, placing his hands behind his head.
"I don't know about nothing." I move closer to him, then on top of him, and I straddle him. "I can think of plenty of things that do not involve a turkey." Then my mind begins to wander, going to dirty little places as it usually does when he's around me. "On the other hand, we've never done it with a turkey!"
Trowa stares at me for a moment and shakes his head in mock disapproval. Then he simply laughs. He pulls me close for a fierce kiss; his stubble feels rough on my chin.
I don't celebrate Thanksgiving. I still don't believe in God, but after all these years, I've found many reasons to be thankful. Peace is one of them. And Trowa...he's all of them.
"It's Thanksgiving, and you came all the way here," I say. "I suppose I'm beholden," I whisper, trying out a new word. Got it from one of those hymns Sister Helen used to sing.
The corner of Trowa's mouth twitches a bit. He silences me with another kiss.
So I lock away my singing ghosts, my melancholic memories, and concentrate on his kiss, his touch. I'm not alone anymore. And neither is he.
God, yes. I'm fucking thankful for this.
- Fin -
* Lyrics from "Adoro Te Devote"
Hidden God, devoutly I adore Thee,
Truly present underneath these veils:
All my heart subdues itself before Thee,
Since it all before Thee faints and fails.