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Thanks for the advice!

Thanks to everyone's comments, I’ve reworked this section in chapter four I posted last night, and tried adjusting the flow and intent to try and make more sense.

Again it's not grammatical errors right now I'm seeking advice on, but content and flow, and plot movement. I'll fix the structural stuff later.

^_^



CHAPTER FOUR

Numb, that’s how Trowa felt as he wandered the dimly lit corridors alone. At first he’d been angry, furious that Wallingford would dare do something so atrocious. Then he felt cold, imagining what might had happened had Quatre stayed on board that ship, and then imagining the other gruesome things that could have happened to Quatre as he floated adrift in the sea. The myriad of what ifs and might haves plagued Trowa as he wandered directionless.

As a boy this feeling in his spirit would have seen tears in his eyes, tears that if seen by his father would have left Trowa chastised and beaten. Men didn’t cry, his father made sure Trowa learned how to keep these emotions buried, his face placid, his torment keen, his sorrow limitless.

Pain, sadness, joy, love, any emotion was to be felt in silence. He was a Marquis’ Son, he was a lord, he was a man, and men were strong, especially men of noble breeding, they were better than normal men and were not supposed to feel, and were never allowed to cry.

Trowa’s father would be proud of his son, not even his death made his son cry, Trowa swallowed everything like a bitter pill and walked.

Walked and walked and walked until sheer exhaustion would give him a few hours of restless sleep before facing another day. It was either walk or lay tossing in turning in bed and getting absolutely no sleep at all before dawn came and his duties had to be addressed.

He had let too much anger show earlier, by throwing his wine across the room. So without the father, Trowa chastised himself for letting his emotions slip out of control. He almost hurt Duo in the process and that was unacceptable behavior. He was better than that, or so he was supposed to be, he certainly didn’t feel any better than other men. He wasn’t supposed to feel better than others, he was supposed to know he was better than others.

Or so his father had taught him, and so he tried to believe. All Trowa did know was wrestling with his emotions and his duties was exhausting, and just for one night - he’d like to actually sleep.

Quatre listened as the footfalls came and went outside his door. Bringing an intense pain with every pass they made. Whomever the restless soul was outside, and Quatre had a pretty good inkling to whom this soul belonged, needed help. They were dealing with far too many demons to be able to cope with them alone. The demons and pain they had wrought had been residing in this soul for a very long time, and would take time to be vanquished to a lesser level where they belonged.

And the war against such torment had to begin with the first step before the troubled soul outside could find peace of heart and mind. Quatre steeled his resolve and pulled his sheet around his shoulders, ignoring the residual pain in his own chest these demons left as they touched his own heightened senses.

His perception of others around him was both a gift and a curse. It brought joy of intense being and it brought sorrow of immense regret, one could not exist without the other, the light and the dark of the emotional spectrum. To feel one, one such as Quatre must feel the other. It was the price he paid for the glory of spirit gained.

But he could help bring a sense of peace to this soul who had forgotten the feeling altogether, so Quatre padded lightly across the room and opened his door and waited for whomever it was wandering this hall in need of comfort.

Trowa was watching his feet as he paced down the hall and was startled when only the sound of his footfalls on stone was broken by a soft voice.

“Torowa. Follow Quatre please.” Clad in only his sheet, standing in the doorway to his chambers stood a concerned looking Quatre, just staring compassionately at Trowa.

“It’s alright Quatre, go back to bed.”

“No. Come with Quatre.” Quatre said in what sounded like an order holding out his hand, obviously for Trowa to take. Bewildered Trowa took his hand. “Good, now come.” Quatre said pulling lightly and bringing Trowa into his chambers, shutting the door quietly behind them.

He led Trowa over to the low sofa by the dying fire and gently urged Trowa to sit.

“Quatre…I…” Trowa began to speak only to have Quatre lay his fingers on Trowa’s lips.

“No. No speak, only listen. Vow no talk until listen all Quatre try say.” Quatre said reaching down to pulls off Trowa’s boots. Trowa nodded his consent.

Once Trowa’s boots were off, Quatre set them aside then stood. “You sit here on floor. Front of Quatre. Take off shirt.” Too perplexed to argue, Trowa did as instructed and he felt Quatre sit behind him on the sofa as two soft and warm hands began to knead the muscles of his neck and shoulders.

“Close eyes and listen. I feel much sad in Torowa. Much bad things, you feel fault. I know, can feel you bad long time. It how you say, gift Quatre have. I feel many thing, not all can say, I no word to say to make Torowa understand. But I know little thing some time. I know you feel hurt inside… No!” Trowa had tried to respond in denial and as he tensed to turn to face Quatre his muscles were seized in a tight pinch of admonishment.

“I say no you talk. I no done talk. You sit, feel good touch from Quatre hand to make rest and listen Quatre talk.”

Trowa turned back around and stayed silent.

“I tell you story. How Quatre people live. All thing have purpose happen. Bad thing happen, make one sad. Good thing happen, make one joy. Joy or Sad must be wash away to make clean for new sad or new joy…” Quatre began in soft and soothing tones. Massaging Trowa’s stiff shoulders in rhythmic counterpoint to his tale.

“…If no clean, man can no feel all he need feel. To make tear in eye is make clean. It is wash soul. If no wash, soul become dirty, get heavy, get dark, make hard carry, make pain, make no more joy, make no more sad, only pain, only nothing.” Quatre continued quietly as he ran his hands up from Trowa’s shoulders into his hair tipping his head back to rest against Quatre’s lap in the process. Trowa’s eyes were shut, he was listening as Quatre’s fingers found his temples and began slow circular movements.

“All things happen for purpose. Bad thing happen, Quatre take from home. I Pray, I wash with many tear. Good thing happen, I come be finded by Torowa. Prayer heard, prayer answer, I wash joy with tear…” Quatre punctuated this by running the tips of his fingers ever so lightly over Trowa’s closed eyelids, circling the eye sockets with a gentle caress.

“…Bad thing happen, must tell long time friend-brother sad things, tell him how Quatre been hurt. Make friend sad, make both sad. Make tear and wash…”

Quatre drew a line down Trowa’s cheek to mimic the trails of tears.

“…Good thing happen, new friend save Quatre, show Quatre great wonder room of water in house, make Quatre happy have new friend. Bad Thing, new friend sad, feel angry and bad for Quatre…”

Again Quatre’s fingers stroked cheeks and brow in tender tracks as if he were writing his words directly into Trowa’s very skin so they would sink in and remain imbedded for all time.

“…Make Quatre sad see New Friend Torowa hurt.”

Fingers traced jaw and cheekbones, brushing across trembling lips in the barest of touches.

“…I feel hurt deep in Torowa, more bad happen before for to make new friend Torowa sad. Many bad things come before Quatre in Torowa soul. Sad things stay long time that Torowa no ever make clean. Torowa soul dirty, heavy on Torowa, hard bear, make pain, no wash, must wash with tear. Open eye Torowa, look Quatre.”

Trowa opened his eyes and looked straight into endless depths of sea-foam blue, they were so close and they took over his entire range of vision. They were misty with tears, filled with affection, friendship and concern and Trowa was lost and floating suspended in their web of offered comfort.

They captured him with a merciful caress and dove with rapid speed straight into his heart. Trowa took a deep shuddering breath as he felt a sudden overwhelming freedom. Like hands had taken hold of his heart and began rubbing life into it, just like the hands resting on his cheeks, holding his face still, forcing Trowa to look into Quatre’s eyes. Life and feeling radiated from Quatre’s very core, infusing Trowa, making the numbness begin to fade and tingle.

To breathe free from the restraint of emotional shackles was what Quatre was urging him to do, his eyes spoke clearer than any words ever could. He understood what Wufei had been telling him earlier. Quatre WAS peace and his eyes were truly the most amazing entity of being Trowa had ever seen or been imprisoned by in willing surrender.

Here was a man proven to hold courage beyond measure, faith that was unshakeable, compassion without conditions, and now wisdom beyond his years. This was a real man, the man Trowa wanted to be, wanted to emulate, wanted to believe.

He wanted to believe, he wanted to fly, he wanted to fall into Quatre and never stop.

Quatre’s eyes promised safety, promised to catch him if he fell.

Trowa took a leap of faith and let go, not afraid to fall for the first time.

Anguish began to pour from his soul as the floodgates of his emotions broke free. He cried for Quatre, he expelled his anger, he sobbed his frustration, he set free his troubles, and let his past losses be mourned.

Trowa felt an all encompassing warmth surround him as Quatre slid from the sofa to the floor behind where Trowa had been sitting, wrapping his slender and pale arms about Trowa’s middle, urging and guiding Trowa’s face to turn into his chest.

Quatre’s heartbeat was solid beneath his cheek as Trowa continued to weep in Quatre’s embrace.

Gentle hands stroked and soothed and did not cast judgment, did not silence, did not demand and did not scold. They only encouraged silently in wordlessly gentle strokes and in lazy patterned passes of fingers against flesh.

No words were spoken because none were needed. The only sounds in the room were those of Trowa’s sobs that grew quieter and softer the longer he purged his pent up emotions.

Tears that had been long overdue to be released washed away the stone that had been sitting in Trowa’s chest for as long as he could remember.

He felt exhausted as the last few tears trickled down his sodden cheeks, and he sniffed and snuffled his sinuses suddenly full to capacity and needing to be emptied. Only then did Quatre allow words to be spoken as Trowa sat up to scrub his eyes. “I need a…”

Quatre handed him his discarded shirt. “All have, you no need now wear. Use, wash away, then throw away, wash later.”

Trowa chuckled and took the shirt and blew his nose. Quatre was right, and it would wash.

“Now, follow Quatre again.” Quatre said still clutching the sheet about him as he stood and offered his hand to Trowa.

“Where?” Trowa asked as he accepted Quatre’s hand and let Quatre lead him across the room.

“Only here. Trowa sleep now. Much tired, much rest need.” Quatre said pulling back the cover and gesturing for Trowa to lay down.

Trowa no longer questioned Quatre, and crawled into bed.

Quatre crawled in beside him. “Lay on front.”

Trowa turned onto his stomach, obedient.

Those warm fingers returned and gripped tired muscles. “Sleep, feel rest pleasure from Quatre hands.”

They felt absolutely wonderful and Trowa fell into a peaceful, dreamless and liberating sleep in a matter of moments. The day, and indeed his whole life had finally caught up with Trowa in one fell swoop. And the intense exhaustion was unrelenting as it claimed its victim and forced him to sleep.

Quatre smiled as Trowa’s breathing deepened and sleep was certain. “You much better now. Not as should be yet, still need Quatre help. Quatre vow always help Torowa when need.” Quatre said softly into Trowa’s hair as he curled up beside him to find his own slumber for the remainder of the night.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


THANKS!

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
zozma
Aug. 10th, 2003 10:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's just the ticket! I thought the first version of this section was okay, but this does read better. Breaking up the long paragraphs of Quatre's short sentences, and adding more description of how Quatre illustrates his point with the symbolic touches, made the biggest improvement in my opinion. The added short section from Quatre's POV also helps by showing him in his full intelligence and not limiting by his knowledge of Trowa's language.

I can speak and understand just enough French that I know that I need to communicate in English to sound like anything other than a blithering idiot. Quatre's really managing to do quite well, I think!
fablespinner
Aug. 10th, 2003 10:17 pm (UTC)
It's the same with my Japanese and Macedonian

My Grandfather taught me just enough of his language for me to sound like a dork or get arrested because of course I know every swear word first.

><

I can basically say "NO SPEAK. ONLY ENGLISH I KNOW HOW SPEAK" In a variety of languages.

^_^

I butcher them all.

~_^
etcetera_cat
Aug. 11th, 2003 01:57 pm (UTC)
>^-^< Ahh... that's much better! This second version is definitely more cohesive in it's flow whilst Quatre's talking... the little bit in his perspective that you've added is also rather groovy for adding a bit of depth to his character. Definitely cookie worthy :)
durberville
Aug. 16th, 2003 05:01 pm (UTC)
Hullo. Sorry for being such a slow-ass with this. I'm not feeling well at the moment, which is why I wasn't able to concentrate on more technical stuff. This is more of an overall impression type of a response. Hopefully that'll help you as well. ^_^

I like the premise! It's different (and God knows we need a spark of something different here and there), and I really appreciate the whole cultural divisions that seem to be a major theme in your story. ^_^ Sure, it's fun to write them as practically being molded from the same source, but a relationship that's born of patient efforts in bridging cultural gaps (or any other kind of strong social gaps) is much more compelling.

If you do continue this fic, I'll definitely read it. It's a very clear maturing of your writing style and an impressive step toward complex subject matters. I'll cheer you on from the sidelines. ^_^ *waves pompoms*
fablespinner
Aug. 17th, 2003 07:42 am (UTC)
Thanks, and I'd be more happy in response if my head would STOP POUNDING.

I have a massive migraine. The light in here is killing me, ugh.

I can't lay down, I can't sit up, I can't eat.

Mommy Make it stop!

Thanks though, maybe I can get some owrk done if the pain goes away.

I've had this on and off for 7 days now.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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